UPDATE Oni Other Business

Marvel have called a press conference for Wednesday, with Joe Quesada, Bill Rosemann, Bill Jemas and “possibly others”.

Could this be an official confirmation of Sunday’s rumour that Marvel and Oni are doing a deal? A number of creators have already confirmed the rumours to me.

I also hear that Ben Abernathy, formerly of Marvel’s trade paperback department, whose resignation seems to have triggered many of the problems within he department, has returned, is working from home and is partly responsible for the Oni/Marvel deal. If that’s the case, the production quality of Oni’s titles may well be the reason for this deal.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10


A small rage this week. More of a mild tiff to be honest. But you’ve got it nice and early, so hey!

Authority Cuts: The Next Generation

We understand there was a lot less cut in Authority #28. Mostly this is because the script was toned down as a result of the cuts in Authority #27. Still here’s something we’ve come across…

This Has A Where’s Waldo Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Oni And Marvel Up A Tree, Kay Eye Ess Ess Eye Enn Gee

I hear on the comic pro runaround that Marvel and Oni are negotiating what seems to be a Marvel Knights style deal. What this means is still unclear; with Marvel Knights, Event Comics was moved in to Marvel and eventually became an internal part of the company. With Chaos, the comics were created outside Marvel premises but only for a short period.

Either way, can we look forward to some more on Oni’s stars working on Marvel titles – with the individual styles and tones as well as the lavish care and attention to production that Oni is famous for.

Jamie S Rich, EIC of Oni Press told me, “I met Bill Jemas at Wizard World, and he made it pretty clear he was a big fan of our comics, but that’s about all I know. If he wants to write me love letters and make me feel pretty, I’m all for it. A girl needs to keep her options open.”

Joe Quesada told me, “Oni puts out some of the finest comics in the industry. Why would a class operation like that even be seen talking to two sleaze ball, louts like Bill and I? Just for the record, Bill is sleazier than me while I’m significantly loutier. Anyway, Jamie and Rich are two smart upstanding citizens and if I was on the outside looking in, I would severely beat them about the face and neck for even gazing in Marvel’s direction.”

Bill Jemas however told me, “And did you hear the one about Maxim magazine taking over the MAX line?”

Thanks guys, very helpful.

So what to believe? Marvel use a number of Oni creatives as it is, so what could be in it for Marvel? Why would they give a cut to Oni when they’re perfectly capable of doing it themselves? Could it be:

      a) They’ve fired a bunch of production staff, and Oni have the rep for being some of the best production people in the business.

 

      b) As well as taking the profit, Oni may also share the risk of a possibly unsafe project, say the hypthetical Scott Morse’s Hulk.

 

      c) This is part of Marvel’s attempt to swallow up possible opposition and grow marketshare.

 

    d) It’s a load of bollocks made up for my benefit.

I’d go for a) – but let’s wait and see, shall we? I’m pretty sure something’s happening here but that Rumour Barrier is up there for a reason.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Big Board

Someone who had the opportunity to see Frank Miller’s original art for Dark Knight Strikes Again tells me that Frank is working on double-sized art boards to create the images.

All those who said, “It looks like he drew it on half-sized boards,” see me after class.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Old Soldiers Never Die, They Only Vanish…

Silver Bulletins announced this past week that Chuck Dixon is about to release a B&W graphic novel called THE VANISHERS. I’ve been informed that this is not new material but rather a collection of THE VANISHERS back-up features that ran in the Swedish Phantom book.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10


Wildstricken

Wildstorm laid off three staffers last week, including editor Aaron Watanabe. Reasons given include poor sales levels on certain books and a general tightening of belts. Another reason given is the editing and design of the trade paperbacks and hardbacks moving to DC’s New York offices.

Was canceling Authority and almost all of its spin-off projects really such a good idea, folks?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10


Ride ‘Em, Cowboys

This weekend, half the comics industry could be wiped out with a well timed stampede of buffalo.

To celebrate Nelson DeCastro’s birthday, the likes of Heidi Macdonald, Jann and J.G. Jones, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Pamiotti, Janet Jackson, Dan Raspler, Joe Jusko Stewart Morales, Joe Delfini, Zena Tsarfin, and a bunch of others are going to what is described as a “dude ranch” – a little hideaway in the Poconos, with horses, drinking, cowboys, bars, indoor pool, drinking, skiing, bob sledding, drinking, shooting range, drinking, hay rides, all arranged by the Brooklyn Bizarro team..

Did we mention the drinking?

All The Rage eagerly awaits pictures…

This Has A Rolling Rolling Rolling Value Of 9 Out Of 10


Peeling Back The Layers Of X-Statics

First – I print the rumours I’ve had from sources close to the x-books that X-Force is to be relaunched as X-Statics with the same creative team, Deadpool to Agent X, and Cable to Soldier X. And while no one will comment on the record, I’m given the firm impression that this is happening.

Marvel put up the “revealed” and “hidden variant” covers of X-Statics #1 on their website. They then realized they’ve erred by putting up the “revealed” cover, asking certain message boards to remove it. The story is that there will be deaths at the end of the X-Force series and the “revealed” version gives the game away – only the “hidden variant” was to be used to promote the series. It’s also noted that the silhouettes on the HV version don’t match the R version. Some fans believe that this is because the R version is a fake. However I’ve been told that this is deliberate so that people couldn’t tell who lived and died correctly from the HV version.

With me so far? Well done.

Then Mike Allred puts it out that it was only a bit of fun, he doesn’t know how the cover got out (both of them, all nicely coloured, versions with and without the logo…) and that the name was just a gag Axel came up with in the office and this cover is how all the rumours started.

Except that’s not how all these rumours started – the rumours were out there before the cover art was.

It’s not the first time the creative team of X-Force have been used to spin along the Marvel line – remember when Peter Milligan revealed that the posted-to-internet Doop font couldn’t give away what Doop was saying, despite that being exactly what it had been doing up to that point?

Beware of pros bearing spin… and look for any tell tale signs of horses being changed mid-creek.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10


Wish Granted

It was only last year that Brian Bendis was denying the upcoming cancellation of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up. But, as was rumoured at the time, if that goes it leaves plenty of room for Ultimate Fantastic Four by Grant Morrison without going over the self-imposed four-titles-a-month-and-no-more rule for the Ultimate books.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


Find The Lady

UK x-books buyers are still waiting patiently for Elektra / Wolverine #2, due to have shipped to the UK for the 17th January. It looks like the books have got lost within Diamond’s system, but they are devoting plenty of resources trying to track it down.

It’s possible #3 might ship first though.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Todd Talkin’

Heard on the gossip vine was a Todd McFarlane employee telling all and sundry that McFarlane was planning on selling “his company” – whether that’s the toys, the comics, the multi-media, his share in Image, his hockey team, we’ve got no idea.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 4 Out Of 10


Begging Bowl Still Hanging

All The Rage donators continue to receive an early e-mail version of this column. If you too would like to join this select crew, feel free to paypal your hard earned dollars/pounds/euros to [email protected], or send hard cash to: 8 Robin Hood Lane, Kingston Vale, SW15 3PU United Kingdom, with your email address. This help subsidises the continuing column and also gives you an enormous sense of well being. Creators, feel free to donate artwork or signed scripts for auction. Or if it’s really good, I might just keep it…

And next week. I’ll speak a little more freely about the planned All The Rage Live event.


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