Ah, Kev Sutherland’s finely crafted Bristol Comics 2001 convention. Round of applause that man! Go see his fine stuff at http://www.sitsvac.org
For some reason I thought John Layman was black.
No, I can’t remember why.
So picture me, at the Retailer’s Trade Day watching Bob Wayne, DC’s Marketing Guru (I think that’s his official title), as he introduces this short white guy with a goatee and thinking “oh, that irrepressible Bob Wayne sense of humour again!”
Bob did one of his DC presentations and while we’ve seen most of that stuff in other presentations that have been reported on my other reputable news sites, what they generally don’t do is report what Bob Wayne actually says. And what he’s wearing. During the con he was seen to wear an “Approved By The Comics Code Authority” T-shirt. Glad to hear it Bob!
On Green Arrow, “We believe in overprinting and reprinting, unlike some other companies. We’ll print as many copies as we think we can sell, if that’s okay with you.”
On JLA/Avengers, “We’ll publish two issues, Marvel will publish two issues. So there’ll be more than enough of two issues anyway”
“Order enough Planetary figures or Warren will come to your store.” Interesting reverse-psychology creator appearance promotion there…
We saw some lovely images of the Batboys, appearing in Dark Knight Strikes Back, a group of men with Bat wings, razor sharp, cutting through the sky, as well as the cover to the first issue, the silhouetted raised fist of Batman against a bloodshot sky. Oooh…
And the running line from Bob after responding to any criticism from retailers, “Of course, I should point out, that we’re here!”
Have you seen the Bryan Hitch cover to the 2000AD TPB from Titan, Judge Dredd: Death Aid by Ennis and Ezquerra? I have. Oooh, it’s lovely.
As well as the Dredd: Emerald Isle, Halo Jones and Zenith TPBs coming our way, we’re also promised DR And Quinch in October. And is there any connection between the Transformers TPBs being released and the fact that creator Simon Furman heads up the graphic novel line for Titan? Hmmm… Still, I’ve got them on my pull list.
2000 AD fans should be happy with the new Ennis/Ezquerra Judge Dredd story about to start off a 12 part story, with a host of old characters appearing, and getting killed off very quickly. Tau Cyan is the new Rogue Trooper-style character, as editor Andy Diggle says, it’s Future War, and “Big blue guys with big guns sell comics”. Nikolai Dante goes back to being a swashbuckler, the comedy Dredd-spin-off strip the Banzai Battalion, about a host of garden infestation clearing robots who think they’re soldiers, a Chris Acheillios Durham Red cover and a story yet to be named with a character called Joey who’s basically a psychic anarchic punk. Oh, and the saviour of the world. Nice!
We should also look for some more 2000AD crossovers with other companies. Batman/Judge Dredd is again being looked into, as are other possibilities. Bob Wayne’s suggestion of Betty And Veronica And Dredd was a favourite.
And look for more Rogue Trooper, Flesh and Bad Company TPBs to be published in the future…
I hear Marvel may be renumbering ongoing series into series-of-mini-series, after the upcoming Deadpool experiment, namely Black Panther, Spider Girl and Captain Marvel. Also it makes the title more TPB friendly, as all the stories would run from 4 – 8 issues, ideal to package and sell to book stores.
BEST IN SHOW – COMICS: Petra Etcetera #3. Consequences of past actions. People trying to share the same space. Cartoony face-pulls, bad puns and not an alien in sight. Definitely deserving of the Best Self-Published Comic award, even if a touch of accidental ballot-stuffing was necessary.
I hear that Comics International is to up sticks from its base in publisher Dez Skinn’s London home and moving with Dez to Brighton. The move will be made slightly easier as Dez has sold his comics collection to Comic Biz owner (and Radio 4 writer) Paul Sassenie.
I hear Defenders still hasn’t been renewed past #12, and this may be the last issue. The main creator, Larsen isn’t the draw he used to be and the issue he had least to do with had a small critical spike.
I’ve seen the first Peyer/Nguyen issue of The Authority. It’s beautiful. It stands up to Millar and Ellis’ work on the book and certainly blows away Casey’s work. It slightly suffers from some old school-structure, the end gag being set up in a very Silver Age style, but hey. It’s got black humour, understated messages, over-the-top action, media-savvy and a real sickness at its heart. This is a good thing and it made me laugh. Authority fans should not be disappointed with this one and, for me, its Tom Peyer’s best work to date. Go buy it, fools!
Chris Weston is no longer drawing Grant Morrison’s The Filth, as there’s a schedule clash with a project with Tom Peyer for Vertigo. He was also selling Authority and other art at a ridiculously low price – to the despair of editor John Layman who seemed to seriously consider buying his whole collection on the spot and worry about shipping it back to California later.
I also hear that we might see The Filth at Top Cow.
Marvel Knights may be cancelled as Marvel wants to make the Knights Imprint more of a focus for solo characters like Dagger & Shang Chi without having to worry about continuity. But because Chuck Dixon writes scripts well in advance, this won’t be till at least #23.
I hear talk of a new UK based fan based magazine being set up using a new and previously unused format. A number of well known writers have already been signed up and it’s being edited by a seasoned UK professional.
BEST AWARD NOMINATION: “Arthur Ranson, for Button Moon”
On Sandman, Jonathan Ross – “Neil is his own biggest fan”.
We can look forward to WildCATS being cancelled and restarted in the new year as a Mature Readers title with a new creative team. No, not Ed Brubaker, though I’m told he’s working on another Wildstorm Universe title.
BEST IN SHOW-MERCHANDISE: The Card Set. A card set of 60, featuring a huge amount of gorgeous comic art by some astonishing creators. And me.
I hear Marvel are planning a new “Marvel Media” imprint. Among the first books to debut will be X-Men: Evolution and Mutant X.
I understand Marvel have also shown interest in developing series for the TV shows Andromeda and Charmed, though the latter may be strained, as creator Constance M Burge, a big comic fan sees similarities in Witches.
Another signee may be JK Rowling, who Joe Quesada is reported to have met with in his recent UK trip, to create a new series aimed at children. Whether that’s Potter-related or not is unknown.
Eddie Campbell announced that there was an e-mail waiting from him from Joe Quesada at home, and he teased us with the possibility it might be work on an X-title.
Eddie also told us about The Eraser, appearing in the Bizarro Comics book, an old Batman villain who erased clues from other criminal’s crimes, and even tried to erase Batman himself. Eddie’s revived him for this book, though two gags that had to go were over mentioning that not even Neil Gaiman has revived eraser and the original ending with the Eraser being “pulped”. However Eddie assures me he was happy to make the changes and is pleased with the final result – hitting our shelves fairly shortly! No Fantagraphics histrionics here!
The Comics Celebrity Weakest Link event was superb, though I was shit. I am the Weakest Link, but Dez Skinn did a very realistic and scary impression of Anne Robinson. Dave Gibbons won at the end after beating off Charlie Adlard and going head to head with John Mcrea for a solid fifteen minutes.
Dez Skinn – “Who were Death, Dream, Delirium, Desire, Despair and Destruction?”
John Mcrea – “A bunch of Goth tossers.”
Dez Skinn- “Correct.”
And no, the fifth letter of SHAZAM doesn’t stand for ‘Mole Man.’ But it should.
Coventry, the famed but failed Fantagraphics series about a tiny demon in an urban environment is to return as a DC Vertigo series. With Bill Willingham writing with a new artists, the action this time will be set in New York
On Corben’s colours on The Spirit, Jonathan Ross – “It’s like taking a large bottomed woman from behind”
As for the Best Magazine/Website Award, there were no votes for Previews or Tripwire – despite the nomination form actually being printed there.
On S**** D****, Jonathan Ross – “You’ve got to love a mad right wing fascist like S**** D****, haven’t you?”
The Hypotheticals II panel was incredibly entertaining. And none of it can ever be reported ever, save on Earth Dave.
Comic Convention flu struck again. You get a thousand individuals together and germs spread. Cough cough, sniff sniff.
I hear that when asked once what Dave Sim will do when Cerebus ends, Matt Wagner mimed a handgun to the head…
On Tintin, Jonathan Ross “What’s not to love about a boy racist with a little dog?”
Hattie Hayridge on Jonathan Ross “Jonathan Ross there, on the Snowy. Probably”
As first justified in this very column ages back, the identity of Brotherhood writer, X, being Howard Mackie is gaining credence. One punter noted that despite at attempted change in writing style, the abundance of parentheses or brackets common in Howard’s work is present in the script and another source on the Warren Ellis Forum has the identity confirmed by a Marvel editorial stance. I myself took the Howard Mackie position when a source close to Marvel editorial heard the writer being referred to as Howard, and with Chaykin out of the picture.
Of course, there is the nagging feeling that it could still be Bill Jemas…
As for Com X doing a Metal Army II: Sons Of Liberty comics adaptation? “No comment,” was the keen reply. Feel free to read between the lines.
Shane Oakley was hired by Alan Moore for Tomorrow Stories #13 with the proviso, “Can you draw fast?”
Steve Ditko on Rorschach, as reported by Jonathan Ross – “He’s a bit like the Question. But he’s mad!”
Dez Skinn on John Cassiday when he stayed with him for a week. Down the local, an old slapper in leather starts to give them the eye so John says to Dez in a geeky voice “So, who’s your favourite Star Trek character, Dez?”
Even after a few cutting comments, Bob Wayne said to the crowd, “Despite some differences, Marvel are creatively charged and putting out better work than ever.”
This is what comic conventions are made of. Not so much of the comics, hey we can get them in comic shops… if we can find one, but the human contact, expression, vomiting and taking of horse tranquillisers.
Next week: The Last Comics Code Meeting With Marvel