What Everyone In Comics Is Thinking

Klaus Jason should have inked it.

This Has A Cheap Shot Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Avatar Changes Face

Avatar is rapidly changing its image in the face of comic fans.

Mostly known for violent, pornographic content, an attempt to publish more diverse fare such as Jenni Gregory?s Dreamwalker was aborted when Barry Gregory was fired from the company. Barry was known to have stood up for certain creators against the publisher, including one creator who was only paid a small kill fee for work the company decided was substandard ? but then published anyway.

It was Warren Ellis? move to Avatar that seemed to be the catalyst for change. His title Strange Kiss, which was too visually extreme for Vertigo to publish. The success of this project and its sequel, combined with Avatar’s picking over Rob Liefeld’s bones have produced a stable of creators that any publisher would be proud to have – Ellis, Moore, Ennis, Grant, McCrea – and now the likes of Anthony Johnston, Matt Fraction and Michaela Peterson, a newer younger bunch of writers to take over from the old (who all seem to be falling apart, looking at the amount of illness-related delays that have been happening over the year).

Especially now Avatar have stopped advertising their porn books in these name titles.

This Has A Mulling Over Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Rates Of Change

Exchange rates. A burden for UK comics customers, who seem to suffer whenever the pound falls against a dollar (but curiously never reap the benefits when the pound rises).

Of late there have been a few more blows to the system ? the Titan sticker slapped on the back of DC and Dark Horse trade paperbacks that they distribute in the UK, with an exchange rate of close to 1 pound to the dollar (international exchange rate is generally about 2/3 of a pound to a dollar and comic rates (including shipping) are at about 3/4 of a pound to the dollar). Certainly UK customers feel pretty ripped off when buying the Akira trades.

But little could prepare UK customers for the exchange rate on the PVC Bone statues that shipped this week.

While each statue has a cover price of two dollars fifty, UK retailers have had to mark them up at five pounds.

It?s actually far cheaper to buy them from http://www.cartoonbooks.com and have a box shipped on an individual basis, than have to buy them through Diamond, which ship using bulk rates.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out of 10

Dante Decisions And Hellish Hauntings

The 2000AD Christmas party earlier this week was replete with the phrase “don’t print this but?”. How frustrating is that? Those souls that were chatty included Robbie Morrison, as he engaged Titan representatives with the reasons why Nikolai Dante should be printed in collected form (and rightly so!) And we’re all looking forward to the AIT/Planet Lar reprinting of his White Death graphic novel.

Mike (Lucifer) Carey was also chatty about his upcoming stint on Hellblazer. He was much in praise of Warren Ellis’ run and wanted to evoke the “Haunting” tone that Ellis explored before his “Shoot” story was cut and the writer left. Certainly giving Constantine a place amongst other magicians, as aspect that has been avoided of late, is top on his list. Damn, might have to start buying it again?

One other creator had an interesting story to tell. Apparently 2000AD, a British weekly with sales of just over 20,000 pays a higher page rate for a new writer than Marvel pays. Might this be another reason why DC picks up more 2000AD writers than Marvel does?

Also, no one seems to be suing the makers of the film Mean Machine, out this weekend. Shame.

This Has A Taxi Home Value Of 8 Out of 10

Christmas Cheer From Dave Campiti

This year I, like many, found myself of Dave Campiti and Glasshouse Graphics’s Christmas card mailing list. I’d like to share with you the graphical christmas cards he sent.

Full of Christmas cheer, yes?

This Has A What The Hell? Value Of? Ooooh? 7 Out Of 10

What Everyone Outside Comics Is Thinking

Is that a silhouette of Godzilla on the cover?

This Has A Cheaper Shot Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Punch Young Writer Of The Year – Not The Face! Not The Face!

Just want to share some good news with you lot. Punch Magazine, a comedy/satirical/political magazine that has been running for centuries now, just named me Young Writer Of The Year this week. With a nice cheque and commissioned work into the New Year, that should solve a lot of problems for me – and hopefully open up a few doors in the process. Joy.

This Has A Punch Drunk Value Of 10 Out Of 10

Carol Stinging

And I’ll leave you with a few little ditties that carol singers decided to inflict upon me last night until I covered them with boiling oil from the top parapet of my quaint old English castle – who says tradition is dead?

      Good King Jemaslas looked out


      On the glut of TB reprints


      When the trades lay round about


      Fine, VG and Near Mints


      Brightly shone his Diamond contract


      Though his terms were cruel


      When recyclers came in sight


    Gathering winter fuel

God rest you merry merchants, may all that you display
Be all about the comics and not frittered away
On cards and toys and trinkets, the fad, the now, the mod
Or you all will end up just like Todd
Just like Todd
You will all come in alone on your tod.

Christmas is coming, Quesada?s getting fat
Please put Diamond in Bill Jemas? hat
If you haven?t got Diamond, no one else will do
And Client Distribution Services go ?boo hoo hoo?

On the twelfth day of Christmas Paul Levitz took from me
Twelve injured eye motifs
Eleven buildings falling
Ten exploding heads
Nine vaginal douches
Eight foreign country references
Seven Ted Turners
Six naked people
Five tales of Ron Hubbard?
Four gay kisses
Three exploding heads blurred
Two Carlin eyes spinning
And the cancellation of Authority

While shareholders watched their stocks by night
All plummeting to the ground
The Sony Spider-Man movie deal went down
And dividends passed around.

We wish you a Merry Christmas
We hope creators get pissed much
Rumours spread when we buy them whisky mass
And a happy new beer
Bad hidings they can bring
But the rumours the thing
Just keep causing such a fuss
With a flapping open ear!

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