Firing, Hiring, And Very, Very Tiring
By Rich Johnston
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Next From MoorcockTardy Assassin
I hear that Next Comics, the online free comics website at http://www.nextcomics.com will be publishing two new stories by Michael Moorcock with art from Promethea's Jose Villarubia and Vatche Mavlian, the latter being a Western mini-epic.
How did this site get such a coup? Simple it seems. They just asked…
This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out of 10
Retailers were amused this week to receive a promotional poster advertising Elektra Nuff Said, coming in December.
Nuff Said indeed.
This Has A Cheap Shot Value Of 8 Out of 10
See Through Guide
Remember that tip top Miracleman Guide, Kimota! From a few months ago detailing the ins and outs of that most remarkable of comics? Well, I hear that creators are currently being asked to contribute to The Invisibles Guide, a look at that most complex of surreal conspiracy books. The word is that there will be heavy input from Grant Morrison and new artwork from all the artists on the series. The author is Patrick Neighly.
This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10
Bring Me The Head Of Diana Schutz
I hear that of late, both Wildstorm and Marvel have been head hunting Dark Horse editor Diana Scutz. The word is though that she's staying put. Sorry guys…
This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10
Sex And Cable
David Tischman is off Cable it’s mostly the pressures of other books and film work that’s done it and his schedule has been slipping a little of late.
But one project I heard he was working on for Marvel with Howard Chaykin and Kevin McGuire was either called Female Problems or Ms Marvels depending which source was talking. Described as "Sex And The Marvel Universe," it was to star She Hulk, Wasp and Sersi, although to avoid conflict with the rest of Marvel editorial, these characters might have been reinvented to “new” superheroes, Watchman style.
However, no more it seems. Tischman emailed me in reply saying, "MS. MARVELS is a 'Sex and the City' take on super-heroes. A four-issue mini. We've been trying to get this idea going for over two years; we were going to do it for Marvel (hence the title), but it looks like the project's been shelved. Schedules for everyone involved are tight, and it's really just a case of 'stuff happens.' A shame, because Howard and I had some really fun, really dirty things planned. Who knows? When somebody does one of those '10 great ideas that never saw print' articles maybe this'll be one of them."
As for coming off Cable, Tischman told me "Yes, I am off CABLE -- a hard decision, as I've really enjoyed writing the book and am proud as hell of the work I've done. But I'm also writing a movie for Paramount, and a pilot for Comedy Central, and there are only so many stories I can keep in my head at one time. Mark Powers, who hired me and Andrew Lis, my editor, have been great to work with, and nobody could ask for a better artist than Igor Kordey. Howard Chaykin and I continue to write American Century, and there are other projects on the books for 2002, but for now, I need to limit my work load to a manageable level."
This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10
Marvelcution: The Next Generation
A few months ago, Bob Greenberger was headhunted to whip Marvel's schedule into shape. Well known and respected for his work at DC, and with Marvel's schedule slipping all over the place, this was seen as a wise and clever move to turn things around.
But recently, a number of commentators noted that things hadn't improved at Marvel, indeed if anything, they'd gotten worse. The word around the campfire was that Bob Greenberger was running a Red Queen's Race - and that without him, things would be even worse than they were…
On Friday, I heard Bob Greenberger was fired, while a number of other colleagues were laid off, Special Projects Co-ordinator Mike Farah, Designer Camille Murphy and Digital Assistant Jessica
Schwartz. Their manager, Matty Ryan, is on holiday and has yet to be informed. Email to Bob's Marvel account no longer works and is forwarded to David Bogart.
There were some wild allegations running around the place. These included Marvel's desire for more and more trade paperbacks outstripped their internal capabilities and Greenberger wasn't shy in saying so. I have also been told about problems when trade paperbacks were delayed by the comics they were meant to be collecting slipping their schedules - but this wasn't seen as an good enough excuse by management. One pro told me, " When a lone gunslinger rides into town to clean things up, he makes a lot of enemies." I also hear there were problems with productivity, internal communication and excessive internet use from some individuals. The departure of Collected Editions head Ben Abernathy a short while ago, with his workload split between a less experienced team didn't exactly help matters either. There may have also been issues of space, I've been told that to save money, Marvel has been renting out one of their floors so that everyone is now squeezed onto one floor. And indeed another source told me, "his firing has more to the current 'corporate' culture at Marvel than anything else - and Greenberger tried to blend in with that, but ultimately he didn't fit in well. What is the Marvel corporate culture these days? Seems that whole Brooklyn Bizarre/ strip club/ chemical life and the bad boyz attitude that seen in Wizard and MAXIM and elsewhere - the older nerds with hormones and undefined anger raging. There's no place for folks like Greenberger and Bobbie Chase in that kind of atmosphere."
Bob wasn't that keen to talk, and doesn't see himself as the stereotypical bitter ex-employee that All the Rage has learnt to love and cherish. But he did give the reason he was given for his dismissal saying, "Marvel said they were restructuring the Special Projects group and as a result my services were no longer required. Nothing was said with regard to the Publishing Operations portion of my job (i.e. David Bogart) or Marketing (Bill Rosemann) or Business Affairs (Chet Krayewski)."
Bob did however tell me that, "within an hour of word getting out, I received two calls, both outside of comics. Additionally, two different comic companies got in touch about possible consulting work. So, I walk into the job search with a degree of optimism that I will find something. I can still project manage or run departments and hope to find something challenging in the media world."
Other recent departures include Deb Krier, originator of the Marvel Authorised Fan Site Program, Kwanza Johnson (otherwise known as Marvel Dog), Production Editor for Marvel.com. Aside from Bill Rosemann's Your Man column and the DotComics, Marvel.com's other features will no longer be updated. There were other cuts in marketing, reproduction, and licensing. Editorial, however, remained untouched and Marvel are currently hiring Associate Editors.
All The Rage wishes Bob and all others affected, good luck in the future.
This Has A Rumour Value Ranging From 5 Out Of 10 To 9 Out Of 10. You Work It Out.
I hear that Kyle Baker has just taken a whole bunch of animation work for Warner Brothers. Hopefully there'll be no chance of any of it getting pulped.
This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10
We hope Joe had a wonderful birthday bash yesterday, even if the launch of http://www.joequesada.com had to be delayed a week or two. However, not everyone in comics has been as kind to Joe. For example, this image that was circulated earlier this week:
I'm sorry, but this kind of thing is not big and it's not clever. Please people, show some sense of decorum.
This Has A Daddy Fat Value Of 7 Out Of 10
Anyone see a recent publicity shot of the Image crew for the 10th Anniversary book? The one with them squatting in a row and one standing? The latest Comics International noticed one particular feature about the shadows that many seem to have missed - that it forms a certain "image" that some might find offensive.
Whether it's to their critics or a homage to Erik Larsen's response to Peter David at the David vs McFarlane debate all those years ago is unknown...
This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out of 10
As Smooth As Baby Skinn
And on that note, earlier in the month Comics International publisher Dez Skinn and his partner saw in the new day with a new arrival, Alice Skinn. Silver Bullet Comics and All The Rage sends its well wishes and hearty congratulations!
This Has A Baby Value Of 10 Out Of 10!
Hang on... did I just go a whole column without mentioning Authority? Damn, I just did!
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