Money Matters

My Ebay auctions are still up and running – it’s a fine way to help fund the column and get something physical out of it at the same time. Click here for the current list?

Low Blow

Drinking with Mark Millar this weekend (he’s on mineral water for another three weeks! The poor wee bastard!) he began to talk, very guardedly about his new Youngblood series, and how he tested the waters to see how much he could get away with from Liefeld. His first thought was that Supreme would realise that he was the Christ and would recruit Youngblood as his disciples. But then he thought of something a lot worse… of which he’s spilling nothing.

Well okay, just the first issue opening double splash page. It features Shaft on the receiving end of a blow job from another team member saying, “Sometimes I feel supervillains were the only thing that kept us decent.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out of 10

Back To The Grist

Mark Millar and Paul Grist’s Insiders series, published originally in the UK’s Crisis magazine, is to be collected later this year by Avatar.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Rodney’s Comics

Rodney’ Comics is a comic shop in Barking, Essex, that held the Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch signing yesterday. They wouldn’t let me pay for a copy of Savage Dragon and let me off with giving them a free plug, which I’m very happy to do.

Find all about them in an out-of-date-but-still-relevant store profile from the Master List, here.

I’d like to make it clear that I’m open to bribes or any sort. I have no shame?

This Has A Greed Dressed Up As Irony Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Call Out

The Call is a new series written by Bill Jemas, drawn by David Finch and inked by Art Thibert. An action comic about firefighters and paramedics, I?m told that the firefighter star has a girlfriend in the style of Milo Minara.

A preview of the series will appear in all the back pages of the May Marvel titles ? part one in the first week?s shipping books, part two in the second week, and so on.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out of 10

Tiny Problem

Top Cow is having trouble with the Battle Of The Planets. It seems that every page, every panel must be approved by owners Sandy Frank Productions, including the covers. The sticking point? It all has to look like the cartoon exactly and none of the guys they have under contract can do it, so they?ve had to go outside. Top Cow were using Snakebite, of Red Star fame, to colour the book in an animated style but were quoted $20,000 a book to do the job. So Top Cow have looked elsewhere?

I understand that when Top Cow approached Red Star initially, they didn?t tell them that Sandy Frank Productions had approval, just that Alex Ross wanted to duplicate the acclaimed Red Star look, and learn how to replicate the Red Star production process ? hence the high quote.

Snakebite told me, ?Every situation is different in the freelance world when it comes to billing. I have a vested interest in The Red Star, I?m a partner. With Top Cow all they wanted was to milk the love of Team Red Star and they wanted to pay me a crap rate to suck on my nipples. For me to take away time from The Red Star as well as my other ventures for a job that is paying me crap would’ve been a stupid decision and the thing that is getting me the attention in the first place would’ve suffered for a crap rate. How would professionals and fans alike look at me?

?Besides, they approached me, I wasn’t looking for handouts or favors and that?s how they sold the job to me, as a hand out and favor. Fooey, I say.?

David G. Wohl of Top Cow told me, “As for approvals, they are Alex’s because he is the art director and he is spearheading the project. The look of the series is in his hands. The owner of the property has faith that Alex knows what he’s talking about. It was the look that ALEX wanted that I expressed to Snakebite. Nobody else’s. And as I told Snakebite recently, the “crap rate” I offered him was because I thought he was just the colorist of Red Star and someone else did the digital effects. That’s what it looks like in the credits for their book. It was a mistake that he seems to think was the greatest offense ever perpetrated upon mankind.

“So for the last time and for the world to see (or whoever reads this column anyway), I’m REALLY SORRY I OFFENDED YOU, SNAKEBITE. It was COMPLETELY UNINTENTIONAL. I had no desire to milk the love of Team Red Star. I just wanted good artists on a good book and apparently I was tremendously ignorant to what went into making Red Star. It was a MISTAKE.

“And lucky for us, Udon Comics agreed to do the color art and digital effects for the book. They weren’t offended when I approached them. They actually had love for the project too, like Alex Ross and Munier Sharief, the writer, and Wilson Tortosa, the penciler. So luckily things worked out for all of us and Battle of the Planets will still debut in July and it will still look really good!”

For additional stuff on Top Cow and Battle Of The Planets see recent Newsarama articles.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10

Back in The Bat

Talking of Newsarama, we’d also heard the ATR busting rumour that Jim Lee, Jeph Loeb and Scott Williams would be working on Batman. The only difference is we’ve heard it’s a graphic novel rather than the ongoing… let’s so who’s right. Maybe we both are!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10

Avoiding Death

Red Star are also the people doing the ?reimagining? of Lady Death, a project that also has been doing the houses. Before Dan Jolley, Red Star and Jimmy Palmiotti took the book on, it was turned down by Michael Turner, J Scott Campbell, Joe Madureira, David Finch, Joe Benetiz, Kea Cha, Kevin Lau…

I also hear that, despite certain announcements, Amanda Conner is not drawing any of the book, just the cover.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10

The Late Todd McFarlane

As to why the Image 10th Anniversary book will be late, Erik Larsen posted on his forum, “I don’t wanna McPoint any McFingers at anybody at Image. I TODD those guys to get McWorking but so FAR, one partner hasn’t gotten out of the slow LANE.”

However I also hear that Silvestri?s been a little tardy too?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Rabbit Trick

The Harvey nominations made for fun reading this year. Good to see CrossGen made sure their employees sent in their nominations ? and that Marvel didn?t. One of the advantages of having your creators as in-house employees instead of freelance workers.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Wolverine’s Claws Are Impaling My Face!… Oh No

I understand that Marvel’s latest Big Gimmick is that a bunch of top titles will go 3-D! Yes, it’s that mainstay of gimmicks, red and blue glasses!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Clobberin’ Time

Grant Morrison’s CGI Ultimate Fantastic Four is scheduled for December. Look forward to th Ultimate line expanding by a few titles in the next year or so as well.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Warning! Warning! Warning!

This column will not be available over Easter Weekend. But if any up-and-coming rumour mongers fancy a shot at the big-time, email me and we’ll see what we can work out?

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