X-Corps: We Salute You

The X-Corps visuals circling the net have been causing a bit of a storm – or should that be stormtrooper?

Word is that the final character designs, to be seen in Uncanny X-Men #401, will lose the swastika X’s and other Nazi-style uniform bits – apparently certain bits of art were sent out without passing through the usual editorial processes.

Another symptom of the internal problems that led to all these no-solicitation-copy-available listings of late?

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This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10

Bogie Man

I hear David Bogart, editor in chief of Harris Comics (and responsible for getting the likes of Millar, Morrison, Ellis, Moore, and Delano working on Vampirella) has been headhunted for managing director of Marvel Comics. Marvel refused to comment but expect an official confirmation this week.

David was also instrumental in me getting the Gutter Press gig from NPO all those years ago… see, good fortune comes to those who help me. Remember that, later in this article.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Art Droids

I hear that a number of Marvel inkers have been persuaded to buy scanners. Smelling a change in working practice, I sent an enquiring e-mail to Joe, who was feeling a bit more chatty.

He told me, “Pencilers and inker! We’re trying a paperless experiment, Six penciler, inker teams were chosen. The idea is that pencilers will scan their artwork and send electronically to the inkers. The inkers in the experiment will be provided with printers especially made to print Blue line on boards. They will work on blue lines and then scan and send electronically to Marvel. All nice and neat in a perfect world. Less FedEx and pencilers and 2 sets of originals to drive artdealers mad! Artists will never have to part with their originals which in my mind is a beautiful thing!”

Hit those manuals, boys!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10

Storm Cover

There’s been a rumour going round that Wildstorm is going to be closed down by AOL Time Warner, and possibly merged with DC’s offices in New York, shedding staff as they do so. It’s been a popular rumour, popping up in a number of places.

However, a quick check through my gossipy sources indicates that Wildstorm is perfectly safe, no one knows how this rumour started and it can be dismissed. For now, anyway…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 1 Out of 10

Society Issues

On the Warren Ellis Delphi Forum, Greg McEllerton spotting something of note. As well as the announced postponement / cancellation of the Goddess TPB, also dropped was the JSA: Darkness Falls TPB.

Greg wrote, “It took me a second to figure it out–but then I remembered that part of the storyline involves a terrorist organization blowing up a passenger airline with over 200 people on board. Oops.

“(The interesting thing is that the story was, in part, co-writer Geoff Johns still working out his emotions over the crash of TWA Flight #800 a couple of years ago, in which his sister Courtney was killed. There was a very good text piece at the end of the storyline where Johns talks about the emotions that it stirred up inside of him; I do hope that whenever they do put JSA: DARKNESS FALLS back onto the schedule, that they let Johns write the introduction, which is now more timely than ever.)”

This Has A Rumour Value of 8 Out Of 10

White Bristol Sheets

I hear that the CrossGen compound is haunted. Or are those groans coming from the room where they brand you with the sigil?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out Of 10

Art Changes Art

So what’s the deal with Authority? While Mark Millar claims to be mostly in the dark, I hear that Art Adams is having to make some serious artistic changes. The first few pages, showing a city being destroyed, published on the internet and Comics International, may be the only chance you get to see them. Oddly enough, these are also the pages Frank Quitely would have drawn before he left the book.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10

Proliferation Of Labels

A fun note from Warren Ellis on his Delphi Forum after he was asked his reaction to the news that Marvel were to print a WTC memorial label on all their comics for a year.

“Presumably their next step will be a photo-fumetti book showing the Marvel staff marching down to ground zero while weeping, singing hymns and rending their garments. In all seriousness, this looks a bit much, from over here.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 1 Out Of 10

Macchio Gives It To The Man!

As to last week’s Bobbie Chase / Alias story, alleging that Chase was fired for seriously challenging the Alias comic, Bill Jemas writes:

“The plain fact is that there was never any Alias letter and, Rich, it’s an editor’s freakin’ job to express their honest opinion about Marvel books – no one would get dismissed for doing that. In fact, one of the most respected people at Marvel is Ralph Macchio, and Ralph has closely scrutinized the entire Max line, and (in general) has been a vocal critic of many of the more outrageous and/or silly things that Joe and I have done. Believe me, Ralph does has not been diminished in any of our eyes for speaking his mind”.

A regular reader also writes about the reasons behind Bobbie Chase’s dismissal from Marvel, saying “Maybe it was Galactus the Devourer? Or perhaps all those Before The Fantastic Four limited series? Iron Man? Iron Man: Bad Blood? Captain America? Captain America/Nick Fury: The Otherworld War? The Fantastic Fourth Voyage of Sinbad? How about every comercial failure she’s created short of the successful Fantastic Four run by Carlos Pacheco?

“Actually, it was most likely the year long bomb she committed to, Fantastic Four: The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine. Considering Quesada spotlighted the project as the single greatest sign of everything wrong with Marvel once he took over… not to mention taking 2/3 of Chase’s monthlies from her almost immediately…”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10

Revenue Raiser

A few kind souls have been asking how my work situation is. Well, dribs and drabs of advertising freelance, Dez Skinn reprinting All The Rage in Comics International and selling scripts to the TV show Smack the Pony has helped. I’m still not in permanent employ but there are some possibilities in the upcoming months. But it’s true, my time has been tighter that I’d have thought of late. And I kind of have to justify the time I’m using putting this farrago of nonsense together. So now it’s time to ask for something I thought I wouldn’t have do for ages. Money.

Consider this a one-off payment for columns past – those you’ve enjoyed, those you’ve passed to friends and message board, in some cases those that have enabled you to get comics gigs on, say, Counter X. Or Authority. Or given you the opportunity to move your comic before your imprint came crashing down. That kind of thing. Ahem. Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, the column’s been running ten years and has always been free. In fact it still is free. But if you can contribute a sum for all those years of pleasure (and probably pain) then please do so.

Paypal.com is the favoured establishment of paying choice (and if you’ve never signed up, do so. It’s very useful and if you put twisting@hotmail.com as your referee, there’s $5 coming my way when you start using it. Sorted.)

Go to https://www.paypal.com/refer/pal=twisting%40hotmail.com for details.

Other revenue raisers ideas. Any publishing company which gives me work will see a rumour ban on their company for the week of publication. A few creators have offered to send original scripts and art to auction – look forward to that. Anyone want sketches? I wasn’t British Student Cartoonist of The Year 1994 for nothing you know.

I’ll also put contributors, in they wish, on a mailing list to send out a draft copy of the column so far on Saturday night. It may be missing stories that are waiting a response (or that haven’t even been written yet) but it’ll give you a sneak peek of what to expect. And you’ll have carte blanche to contact my AOL Instant messaging address when I’m online too.

Because, chaps, next week’s column is going to be a doozy.

Next Week: The Marvel That Wasn’t.

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