Frank Miller Wrong About Wizard

It wasn’t too long ago that Frank Miller spoke out against Wizard and condemned its influence within and without the industry. Well, let’s take a case study and see.

Wizard has been plugging a new book called Shadow Reavers, published by Black Bull, coincidentally also part of Gareb Shamus’ publishing empire, and written by Pat McCallum, coincidentally Vice President and editor-in-chief of Wizard.

Pat’s an old friend of All The Rage. Indeed, it was only a few months ago that he called a meeting to find out who the dirty rat was who’d spilled a particularly delicious Wizard rumour my way (with no results, sadly).

Wizard provided heavy, deserved promotion for this book, which will no doubt go down in the annals of comics history as one of the greatest examples of juxtaposed words and pictures, alongside Maus, Watchmen, From Hell, Tintin, Akira, and Acme Novelty Library.

This promotion included a preview edition, an aggressive ad campaign, and multiple articles in Wizard magazine. Indeed, the current issue of Wizard has the book highlighted in Picks, mentioned in the “Comics You Should Be Reading” by genre, news, a feature, Shamus’ Publisher Page and a two-page ad spread, and so on. This was a pinnacle of a long campaign that saw considerable editorial space given to this clear masterpiece in the field, despite obviously jealous critics describing it as “derivative drivel” or “crap.”

The Best In Class article in the new Wizard makes this case perfectly. Written by “the Wizard staff”, it features the likes of El Diablo, Planetary, Obergeist, Top 10, 100 Bullets, Alias, and oh! Shadow Reavers. Written by Mike Cotton, Christopher Lawrence, and Andy Serwin, it doesn’t say which thought their boss’s new comic was worthy of inclusion in this list. But certainly it must be! After all, when Black Bull started it was made quite clear that Wizard wouldn’t give the company of its books undue prominence. And since Shadow Reavers is all over Wizard, this must be a sign of its quality.

I hear that this project is so strong that when pitched to other publishers they didn’t feel worthy to publish it. Thankfully Pat’s influence at Wizard, what with being editor-in-chief and having a very large voice persuaded Black Bull that they were indeed worthy to publish this epic as only their third title.

So what’s the result of all this Wizard hype? Well, the first issue debuted at 113 in the charts.

See, Frank? Wizard can only do so much…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


Another Notch To The Staff?

Reprinted from Neil Gaiman’s journal at http://www.neilgaiman.com

    Saturday, July 28, 2001

Hurrah for Wizard magazine. A few months ago they published that some film that I had had in my basement for some years was irretrievably lost. (The people who sent the film to me told them this, for their own reasons.) This month I was told that Wizard had published an update — that there was film in my basement, but it was in unusable condition — which was an amazing thing for them to know, since, as far as I can tell, the boxes haven’t been opened since they were owned by Eclipse, pre-bankruptcy.

So I thought I’d go down to the basement and look.

Not only was it not at all damaged, old or unusable (because my basement is the other half of my library, and shares drainage tiles and moisture control and sensible things like that) but there was an awful lot more of it than I had thought there would be from the labels on the boxes, including some things I’d thought gone for good — which will, I think, soon be seeing print from a delightully unexpected source.

Which is enormously fun, and I owe it all to the responsible journalism of Wizard magazine.

Thanks Neil! I presume “the people” are Todd’s guys… interesting, because I’ve had insinuations from a few people close to Todd and Eclipse that Neil Gaiman has been lying about having any Miracleman/Marvelman film in his basement. Neil may be many things, but an outright liar is not one of them. Especially on something on which he could get so easily caught. And if Neil is a liar, then Mark Buckingham, one of the sweetest and most upright chaps in comics, is a liar too. Which means we’ve bought a penthouse suite in Bizarro World.

Look, I mean anything’s possible. But I’m really wary about this.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10 (apart from the Neil lying bit, that’s way down at 2)


Role Model?

Earlier this week I got a press release from Marvel about Elektra becoming a virtual model for Karin Models – and it looks like Silver Bulletins got it too.

Here’s the bit that stuck out for me – “Marvel Vice-President, Licensing Ellen Sevin added, ‘Elektra is every man’s fantasy and women aspire to look like her.'”

Oh, yes, I want a psychopathic killer for a girlfriend, especially one whose not exactly too careful with those gardening tools she chucks about. Remember, she’s every man’s fantasy. Gay men too, who’d have thought it? Must be that broad chin. And what with women aspiring to be her, I’m looking forward to seeing all these women taking major surgery to remove internal organs and ribs, not wearing underwear and only using a few strips of cloth around the groin. And gusts of wind whipping it up all the time.

And people say Marvel are living in a fantasy world…

This Has A Sequential Tarts Value Of 8 out of 10


Self-Appreciation Society

An ATRite reports from San Diego and the Marvel panel, when Kevin Smith appeared and started making knob gags.

“Anyway, Joe started gushing how things at Marvel turned around when Kevin Smith started writing Daredevil, and then Kevin Smith started talking about how Marvel was a good company again thanks to Joe. I didn’t realize I’d walked into the Joe Quesada/Kevin Smith mutual admiration society meeting; it was really rather sickening. Tom Breevort, who I think was the only editor on the panel who was around pre-Quesada, rolled his eyes a few times while Smith gushed on and on about Joe saving Marvel from itself. Smith also made a reference to how bad Marvel was before, and made reference to the Spider-Clone story (edited by you know who).”

Another attendee saw this differently.

“As it so happens, Kevin Smith made one or more nods to “the people who were here (Marvel) before me” and tried to make sure that everyone in the audience knew he was joking about “saving Marvel” and patting himself on the back (Smith even appeared a bit embarassed by the hype). The entire speech was tongue-in-cheek and it rather bothered me to see people unable to take something for what it is so instead they cut & paste what was actually said to make the announcement appear venomous. I don’t know about this ATRite’s ability to understand these concepts, but he must have also walked away from the conference believing Quesada and Smith were gay lovers and Smith really thinks Joe can’t draw.”

Ashley Woods reaction to whether or not Automatic Kafka would be in the same style he used for Hellspawn has been reported by Newsarama and others as being simply, “No”. I hear it was a bit more than that and at a panel “he looked like he was going to pounce over the table and attack the questioner. Dunbier calmed him down (too bad).”

I also hear that an upcoming issue of The Defenders will carry a quote from Comics International over its banner – “Worst Comic Ever”. What’s that they say about no such thing is bad publicity? Um… that they say it I guess.

I also hear Brian K Vaughn was hanging around Scott Dunbier a lot. Well, Scott is a great guy…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out of 10


Doran And Ellis Together

No, not that Doran.

As leaked at San Diego and semi-confirmed by Warren Ellis, we can now look forward to an original graphic novel called Orbiter by Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran, as part of a new line of original graphic novels, including one by Steve Seagle.

Another project being talked about was the James Robinson’s Justice Society of America maxi-series that he wanted to do when he had the time. Each issue would spotlight a different character, appearing in the month they first appeared and concluding with the formation of the Society.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out of 10


Keep On The Borderlands

Already plugged by this column, now monthly PDF comics magazine, Borderline, launches at midnight on the 1st of August. I’m doing an All The Rage archive compilation column for the magazine called Burning Down The Curtains, so why not pop by? Issue 1 is at http://borderline.mediahall.co.uk and also right here at Silver Bullet Comics.

Not only that but All The Rage is also being reprinted by Dez Skinn in Comics International. Talk about working for both sides…

This Has A Shit-Stirring Value Of 4 Out Of 10


First Principles

Currently moving house, I came across a bunch of photocopies I’d thought I’d lost. Dated July and August 1993, they are mini-comics from an imprint called DAMAGE by Warren Ellis and David Gordon. Entitled DERNA, POISONED KISSES, THE LIGHTNING ROOM, and WIRED, I also have a series of photocopies from another comic by Ellis starring a character called Pete Wisdom…

Naturally I wouldn’t infringe copyright by scanning and uploading them. But to anyone who finds me and buys me a pint…

This Has An Inebriated Value Of 9 Out Of 10


Moving Stories

In my attempt to imitate Marvel at every turn, I also have moved house. I’m now at: 8 Robin Hood Lane, Kingston Vale SW15 3PU. You can still call me on 07801350982.

I will now attempt to arm wrestle my wife for the continued employ of our window cleaner.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 10 Out of 10


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