Here we are again. Are you all sitting comfortably? Yes? Then we?ll begin.

Welcome back to All the Rage – a weekly column devoted to the world of comic books. Our speciality is rumour, gossip and tittle-tattle but we have been known to put in the odd bit of news every now and then too. Before we go any further I really must insist you visit our sponsors website by clicking on the banner ad above, we?ll still be here when you get back.

Done? Have you made a nice list of goodies you want your comic shop guy/gal to order in for you? UK readers should remember to check out the listing on the QVC channel to see when you can join Nick and the guys there too.

As always we are running our usual competition this week. It?s easy, all you have to do is figure out the source of the codenames I use. The source can be virtually anything, we?ve had famous French literature, British soap opera and last week the fantastic TV series ER.

Last week?s winners was The Eyeball Kid, who won the fantastic Uncle Sam Hardcover, signed by Alex Ross and Steve Darnall, and supplied by our lovely sponsors (have I asked you to click on their banner ad yet?). E-mail us, Mr. Ball, and let us know where you live! This week?s prize, a whole swag of signed comic books, is also supplied by those lovely people at Dynamic Forces, so just e-mail with your SBC Message Board ID and tell us what you believe to be the source of this week?s codenames, to be entered into the draw.

Quick note to all would be prize suppliers; if you want to jump the queue to be one of our competition sponsors bribery always works. In fact I?m thoroughly disappointed by the level of honesty amongst all you companies out there. You obviously believe me to me a man of integrity and honor. That is true to a point, but I love graphic novels, statues, mini busts, T-shirts, and comic books as much as the next guy… but the next guy doesn?t get thousands of hits a week.

Enough gibberish and nonsense you came here for scandal, news and whatever crap I?ve been sent by those wishing to smear their peers?


For those who really have to know, I have an update for you on the ongoing saga of Peter (Star Trek novels, Captain Marvel, and Young Justice) David?s daughter (see last week?s column). I thought I really ought to run with this as Mr. David was nice enough to mention that we?d mentioned it (yep I?m one of those saddos who?ll take a picture of a friend taking a photo of me). Nice to know you are a reader Mr. David and I?m glad we?ve only said good things about you!

The update:



      In the continuing saga of my daughter, Gwen, she had told New England Comics that she couldn’t work on weekends during the day because she works at a bakery then. So NEC offered her Saturday from 11 to 5. On the surface, that would seem rather bizarre behavior. So she turned them down. But wait! Apparently NEC displayed foresight bordering on the psychic, because Gwen was informed a week later that the bakery was changing her hours, and she wasn’t going to be working weekends anymore. Which means she *is* available Saturdays from 11 to 5.


      Is the NEC slot still available? Will Gwen want to give up her now-free weekends? Will she, in fact, meet some nice kids around her age (17/18) so she’ll have people to hang with? Will she be able to keep a straight face behind the NEC counter and not burst out guffawing if customers say, “Wow, that Peter David is the best writer ever!”


    All I know is, the adventures of Gwen are spreading in notoriety, and recently were recounted in All the Rage.

Man, a mention on the Peter David website, fame at last… go and visit him there, it?s the least you can do?tell Mr David I sent you.

Thanks to Dave for spotting the above item.

This Has A ?Meet ?Nice Kids? In A Comic Shop?!? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten

More From Mr. David

Man, this guy is getting a mention every week, I really have to ask my sources to check out a few other creators, mind you they may not be so kind as to keep such an up to date site. Mr. Peter David is a well-known and respected comic book writer and novelist. His work on Hulk, Young Justice and Captain Marvel has received great critical acclaim ? check out the SBC review section for the latest Captain Marvel review – we love it. Recently Mr. David has been working on the Hulk movie novelisation, both of them as it turns out:



      So I was contacted by the folks at Harper-Collins about writing the Young Adult version of the “The Hulk” novel. Apparently they’d heard good things about me and figured, since I knew the script, I’d be the person to do the YA one.


      Two problems faced us, though. First, if my name was on both of them, that might cause some confusion in the marketplace. And second, from a personal and creative point of view, how could I approach the same material and keep it interesting for myself? Because if it was boring for me, it would be boring for the reader.


      What we came up with was simple: The entire book will be told first person, extracted from diaries kept by Bruce Banner. And the author’s name on it will actually be “Bruce Banner.” So young adult readers will be getting the real story straight from the Hulkster’s mouth, so to speak.


    Should be interesting.

Let?s hope that Marvel doesn?t drop the ball on this one. They cocked up big time with the X-Men film by failing to promote the source material (the comics). The tie in GNs were good but the monthlies were terrible and impenetrable at the time. They got it right for Spider-Man, and seem on track with Daredevil, so maybe there is hope.

This Has A ?Gotta Find A Story On Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman? Value Of Seven Out Of Ten

What?s Your Prison Bitch Name?

Skip this item if you have a weak stomach, or under the age of being able to go down the pub of an evening. Don?t say we didn?t warn you!

Many thanks to Dwayne for spotting the this link on the Brian Michael (Powers, Ultimate Spider-Man, Daredevil, and loads of other extremely good comics) Bendis? message board:

Basically you put in your name and it?ll tell you what you?ll be called in the nick. I have the rather painful and tear jerking name of Double Fisted, I guess my wife will be sneaking in lubricant to me and I?ll be able to get rid of an entire meal in one poo! Craig Lemon, the reviews editor for SBC has the honor of being called Stubby, now he may look that way but it?s an optical illusion, he?s really quite tall and Big Kahuna Jason Brice is Bitch Ho, which frankly we knew already.

This Has A ?That?s Gotta Hurt? Value Of Ten Out Of Ten

More On The Gaiman / McFarlane Case

I don?t know – it seems that some stories are destined to run and run. As you may well know there was recently a court case between two of the comic book industry?s highest profile creators. Neil (Sandman, Black Orchid, Neverwhere, Death, American Gods, Smoke and Mirrors) Gaiman sued Todd (Spawn) McFarlane over a variety of issues, particularly that he hadn?t been paid or attributed properly for characters he created for McFarlane. Gaiman won the case and I reported last week that Mr. McFarlane and Image comics had filed a motion to have the verdict overturned. I commented at that time that this was odd, why didn?t they go straight to appeal. Well good old Arnold wrote in on the message board to fill me in:

      About the McFarlane appeal — I don’t know anything more about the case than what’s been reported in the online press, so I’m not playing with all of the facts, but …


      The way the law in the United States works is that there are a few steps between a trial and an appeal. At the close of evidence, the defendant (or a plaintiff) is permitted to ask for what is called a directed verdict. This is basically the defendant’s way of saying “Your honor, you have heard all of the evidence. Even if the jury interprets everything the way the plaintiff (in this case, Gaiman) wants them to, they still don’t have enough evidence, as a matter of law, to find for him.” Defendants almost always make this motion and almost always lose this motion.


      After the jury verdict, the defendant (or, for that matter, the plaintiff) is permitted to ask for judgement not withstanding the verdict. This is basically the defendant’s way of saying “Your honor, you have heard all of the evidence. There’s no way it supports the verdict. You should ignore the jury and enter a judgement in my favor.”


    In the federal court system (which is where Gaiman v. McFarlane was tried), both of the above motions are consolidated into “Judgement as a Matter of Law” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50. The moving party makes his motion at the close of evidence and, if necessary, renews it after the jury verdict.

Well, that clears that up, then. Many thanks.

This Has A ?All My Knowledge Of The Law Comes From Ally McBeal? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten

Comic Sales Slip

Many sites are bristling with statistics and numbers to baffle and bemuse you at the moment, because Diamond (the monopoly holding comic book distributor) has just published the monthly sales figures.

A quick look through the stats shows that comic sales are down, whilst graphic novel sales are up. No big surprise when monthly comics aren?t quite so reliable any more, many shops sell out of Marvel product because they can?t reorder and DC seem to (note ?seem to…? not a statement that they do, ok so don?t bombard me with shipping details) collect stories into graphic novels the week after they?re finished in the monthlies, in some cases. Are comic books on the way out? If you listen to SBC?s reviews editor you?d think they were (but no-one usually does), I?ll withhold judgement for now as I quite like my weekly fix.

This Has A ?I?m A Monthly Junkie? Value Of Six Out Of Ten

Jesus, Jesus, And Jesus

We present a positive gaggle of Jesus stories for you this week, all from Captain Hollister.

First up is the ongoing obscenity case where a comic book retailer (Jesus Castillo) was prosecuted for selling adult comics to adults (there?s more to it than – that check out the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund?s website for more details). Poor Jesus has been through two state-level appeals and he is now going to the Supreme Court to appeal again. The problem is that this?ll cost about $10,000 which he doesn?t have. Jim Lee from Wildstorm comics has started an Ebay auction:

to raise money for the appeal. It?s a novel idea, he is auctioning a personal appearance at a comic shop. To find this on ebay or just to donate check out the CBLDF?s website:

and please do check this out if you want to be able to buy DC Vertigo, Marvel MAX or most of the so-called indie comics in the future.

Jesus of Gallilee, Son of God, carpenter, leader of men and women, revolutionary, a respected and loved individual who appeals not only to those who believe but who is considered to be a ?cool bloke? by some of those who don?t. Previously Jesus has hit the comic book store shelves with Kevin Smith?s tongue in cheek ?Buddy Christ? dash board figure (from the film Dogma) but the man is back in PVC with a new articulated action figure. The 5? figure retailing for around $7 comes from Accoutrements and it seems to have a broad appeal from Christian families to those buying it as a joke present.

And once more, check out:

…and see just how bizarre message boards can be. This thread on the DC Comics official Batgirl message board shows a bunch of fans seriously losing the plot. It starts as a simple question about whether or not Batman has super strength because in this issue he did this blah, blah, blah. It quickly turns into all out war between those who believe Batman is capable of anything and can?t do anything wrong and a coalition of Batman realists and haters. This turns up a notch when one fan asserts that Batman is a better role model than Jesus, then later insists that Batman is better than Jesus. At this point you could almost see his previous supporters quietly edging away from the crazy kid and leaving him to dig his own grave (or to paraphrase one posting, ?Jesus is better as he can send you to Hell?).

This Has A ?May God Bless You And Keep You? Value Of Ten Out Of Ten

Oh Dear…

Sometimes the message boards are quite painful to watch. Captain Hollister also sent me the following from the Batgirl message board:

      Save WB’s

Birds of Prey

    by clicking links below to sign the petition and watch the show.

You can almost hear the earnestness in the poster?s voice, the feeling that they had found a bunch of kindred spirits. Then came the reply:

    *stifles laugh*

This Has A ?Is It That Bad? Honestly? I?ve Not Seen It Yet, Tell The Truth? Value Of Six Out Of Ten

Simpsons Nearly Beats Heidi

Years ago (1968) NBC abandoned coverage of an American Football match with scant seconds to go just to air the show Heidi (a show most of our younger readers won?t even have heard of, that should tell you all you need to know about it). As it was the remaining seconds of play were the most exciting of the game and it has taken years for the network to recover from the embarrassment.

This time out it was the Simpsons and Fox… San Francisco and Oakland were playing and the whole afternoon and evening were flooded with adverts for the new Treehouse of Horrors episode to follow. The game overran and the network… joined the episode half way through!!! Treehouse of Horrors, the one everyone waits for, all those adverts and… and well, actually the adverts had got it wrong, it was a Simpsons double bill with an old episode first, the Treehouse of Horrors ran in full at 8pm but the repercussions have started in any case with American newspapers asking what people would rather watch, the Simpsons or football.

Thanks to Christine for this snippet.

This Has A ?D?oh!? Value Of Five Out Of Ten

DK2 – The Critical Response

Received at SBC was this in-depth critical analysis and response to our negative review of the disastrous DK2 mini-series:

      Your opinion of

DK2 1-3

    is wrong. You just don’t get it.

Er, and that’s it. I’ll withhold the name of the sender, as I don’t like to make fun of the elderly and infirm, but if anyone else would like to spend the time writing a similarly detailed article in response to a feature at SBC, then please forward it to (really the e-mail addresses that are handed to me by the upper echelons of Rage Towers are terrible).

On a serious note I have no problem whatsoever with constructive criticism but that was not constructive. If the sender wishes to write a full review of DKR stating what it is that the whole world doesn?t get then I can guarantee that it will be run either in the SBC review section or as a Silver Soapbox depending on length and quality of writing. I will also organise a direct link to the review from this column. That can be sent to, or just to me if you prefer.

This Has A “Dear, Oh Dear” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten

Whatever Are They Teaching In Schools Today?

Once again, an opportunity to use an exceedingly silly e-mail address?

I?m told that one of the staffers here at SBC is about to start work on a post-graduate thesis and needs help tracking down ?research material.? And what would this material be? The egg-headed SBCer is after copies from the late-lamented Carl Barks Library series.

These albums were published by Gladstone in the 1990s, and in their entirety, contain all of the Duck material created by the legendary Carl Barks. Said SBCer is willing to pay for the books from this series, but seeing as he is a student, I?m sure donations would be appreciated, too.

To contact the Brainiac, please e-mail him at

This Has A ?Shaking My Head In Wonderment? Value Of Ten Out Of Ten

Nevermen Return

The trench-coated mysterious lawmen from Dark Horse are back soon. The following was spotted on the DH site by Ace:

      “Who are the Nevermen, anyway?” Oh, if I had a dime for every time I got that question, I could buy a dime-encrusted hat “Are they clones? Robots? Why do they look alike? What’s with those tubes on their backs, mister?” I hear those variations, too. So, without giving too much away, let me offer some clues.


      Who are the Nevermen? They are a trio of trenchcoated punch-monkeys in fashionable eyewear that protect a dirty burg called Midnight City from Lovecraftian thugs. There isn’t a corner of the city they don’t protect, which is good, because crime is 24/7 here. One baddie is done blowin’ up a bank, another is waiting to fleece an art gallery. Put one knuckle-dragger in jail, two more swipe your granny’s purse. The Nevermen used to be a sextet but two of them died, and another become a charming freelance bounty hunter called The Murderist. Why do they look alike? Are they clones? No. Are they robots? No.Professor Ira Strauss–a reclusive super-genius/voyeur that lives in a mile-high tower– created them in a “classic” mold. By night, you can’t tell one square-jawed vigilante from the other. By day, they have very different lives, which you’ll see in the new series. (plug, plug)


      What’s with those tubes? Ah, yes, the tubes. The Nevermen are tough, but they need help. That’s why the Murderist, a mechanical genius, created their exoskeletons, which they wear under their suits. It’s armor for when they fall out windows or leap from fiery landscapes. They also have cool gadgets like magnetized gloves (for summoning a jostled gun back in hand), and “squid” tubes on their backs, which pop through their coats and unleash an inky wake of smoke. With their goggles, our heroes can see in this mess. The bad guys can’t. Heh-heh.


      That’s the tip of the iceberg, but you’ll learn more in the new series that comes out in January. Hints abound as to the origin of the Murderist, what Ira–a.k.a. The Professor–had been busy doing before he created the Nevermen, whether or not there’ll be any heroes joining their thinned ranks, and what the Nevermen do all day when they’re not punching someone. Plus, you’ll see a nasty new archvillain, Winterbone, that makes the Joker look like a Lord of the Dance.


    Till then, as the Nevermen say, “Trust your gut.”?

If you didn?t check out this series on its previous outings, it?s one I?d recommend.

This Has A ?Punch-Monkey? Value Of Ten Out Of Ten

The Archies Set To Make A Comeback

Sugar, do-da-de-do-de-dah, ooooooh honey-honey, do-da-de-do-de-dah, you are my Candy Girl and you?ve got me wanting you…

Sorry, caught me practising there.

The Archies, a cartoon pop group based on the characters from the dire Archie comic books, are set to make a comeback. In their last outing they struck gold worldwide and in the UK they spent 8 weeks at number 1, the longest for a nonhuman group by quite some margin. But that was years ago and I have been passed information from Holly that there is currently a secret recruitment drive to put together a new Archies group. So, if you like sickly sweet pop fronted but the most mundane and appalling excuses for comic book characters then this is for you…or if you?d sell out for cash (like me, offer me some, someone) I guess it?s for you too.

This Has A ?Ooooooh, Honey-Honey? Value Of Six Out Of Ten

Best Selling Comics In November

Hell, you can check this out anywhere, but I?d thought I?d save you looking:

1. Masters of the Universe #1 (not available outside of North America remember)
2. Daredevil: Target #1 (Kevin Smith mini-series? bodes well for his Spider-Man relaunch next summer)
3. Ultimates #10
4. New X-Men #134
5. Amazing Spider-Man #47
6. Batman #609 (Oh dear, slipping down the charts already?)
7. Ultimate Spider-Man #30
8. Ultimate Spider-Man #31
9. Ultimate X-Men #25
10. Ultimate X-Men #24
11. Uncanny X-Men #415
12. Transformers War Within #2 (Fallen outside of the Top Ten)
13. Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra #1
14. Transformers Armada #5
15. Truth #1
16. Wolverine #183
17. JLA #75
18. Thundercats #3 (re-solicitation)
19. Thundercats #4
20. Captain America #7
21. Spider-Man Peter Parker #50
22. GI Joe #12
23. Daredevil #39
24. X-Treme X-Men X-Pose #1
25. Green Arrow #19

It?s worth noting that for all the dropping in comic sales both for Marvel and the industry on the whole, the company still manages to hold 8 out of 10 slots at the top! Good on them.

This Has A ?*Yawn* Statistics…? Value Of Five Out Of Ten

JQ On His Leaving Valiant

In the interest of accessibility I suggest you read up on the last couple of columns particularly the Wizard/Joe Quesada stories.

The following was a further reply to the aforementioned articles sent in this week by Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Joe Quesada himself:

    Hey, Alan, tell Bob Layton or whomever gave you that Valiant info that they got it all wrong.

You should know better than to try and second guess our sources Mr Quesada. We have our reasons for protecting identities you could be the next person who has to release a story but can?t use your own name. That said I?m pretty sure they are reading this now and if not I will e-mail a copy off to them.

      Valiant bounced me off of


      but they never fired me, I was under contract and I quit, ripping up my contract. I was on a very lucrative page rate plan with Valiant. I fell behind on


      but here’s where it gets weird. You see,


      premiered to high numbers but it hit as the industries bottom was falling out so subsequent issues started to drop rapidly. Suddenly I was bounced as of issue #3, all this after I was promised to get at least a 6 issue run. I might have accepted the excuse of my running late except that I wasn’t that far behind and they had no one working on issue #4. That would be the normal way to operate, “gee he’s running so late get someone working on issue #4 before he’s done with #3.” I remember it vividly; I handed in issue #3 and was told that day that I was off the book. Okay, so who was working on issue #4, no one, they could have easily had given it to me especially since it took them a month to find someone to pencil it and it shipped late anyway. Oh, but the day they took


      away I was offered the chance to launch a new character with a brand new #1. So, why did I quit?


    Because what I found out was that they weren’t being honest with me. You see, they were fearing that by issue #4 the cost of paying my page rate would come to more than the book would make. Now, I understand this sort of math completely and I would have gladly bowed out of issue #4 had they told me the actual reason. I would have also gladly have jumped onto another #1 because I would have understood the fiscal demands. My page rate was high and they had to keep me on high revenue product. But as was Valiant’s way, they had to lie about stuff and blame it on my lateness. So if someone wants to believe that Bob fired me then so be it, but if I remember correctly I sent out a press release announcing my resignation from Valiant and I’m pretty sure it hit trade publications that were around at the time so it is documented.

What I was able to find was the following:

      Notes from Diamond Comics Distributors Fall Fling, Nov. 4, 1993.


      Compiled by Tim Stroup


      Recently, our local Diamond Comics Distributor warehouse had a Fall Fling. Guests included Jon Hartz, Vice President of Direct Sales & Marketing of Voyager Communications and Editor Mark Moretti. I was unable to attend, but persuaded a friend of mine to take along a small tape recorder and record the Valiant presentation. What follows is some highlights from that tape…


      …Joe Quesada has made a commitment to Valiant to do


      on a regular basis. So as long as he can produce the book _on time_, he’ll stay on the book. The orders on

Ninjak #1

      were about half of what

Bloodshot #1

    was, but Valiant overprinted it some. The print run was about 400,000 copies…

Four? hundred?. thousand? copies. Blimey.

I did find the following in an e-mail by Jimmy Palmiotti:

      We quit


      because they pulled us off to do #1s for Valiant instead. We wanted to continue doing


    , they said no, so we quit.

This Has A ?Thanks, Joe? Value Of Ten Out Of Ten

Do Some More Charity Work

Another eBay charity auction to advertise. I?ll just quickly introduce what it?s about with the help of this article by John Robertson:

      In mid-summer 2002, Gary Groth, a good friend and the former publisher of William Messner-Loebs, announced on the Comics Journal Message Board, with the intent of soliciting help, that




      , and


      creator William Messner-Loebs, and his wife Nadine, due to the very nasty dealings of a duplicitous bank (in a nutshell they lied about when a payment was due–Bill and Nadine got them the money, but it was too late; this didn’t prevent said bank from keeping the money anyway, swine that the bankers were), were in danger of homelessness and impoverishment.


      The house is already lost, and Nadine, according to Bill, is also rather ill. (Not many people know but Bill & his wife are senior citizens.) Some assignments have been coming in for Bill (and then there’s the impending DC republication of EPICURUS). But they’re still in trouble deep through no fault of their own, not unlike many in the incompetent and apathetic Bush’s America.


    Currently they’re living out of a motel, and though ACTOR donated, I think, $12,000 to them, this doesn’t begin to cover their losses and, as mentioned, the house is gone. I set up a Paypal account for them (anyone who wishes–and please do–can donate to them at Paypal to the ID, but wanted to do something more within my limited means.

I would strongly urge you to visit the following link and see if you can help in any way:

This Has A ?It Feels Good To Help Others? Value Of Nine Out Of Ten

Good News For Manga Fans

The following was spotted by Jake:



    ADV Films today announced publicly the creation of The Anime Network(tm), the first television channel in North America dedicated to anime (Japanese animation) and anime-related content. The Anime Network(tm) targets the nation’s estimated 85 million cable television subscribers, and seeks to capitalize on cable’s increasing dominance in the world of at-home entertainment.

As the title says, this is good news for US Manga fans. Seeing that UK?s Sky tends to adopt new channels soon after the States does this could also be good news for European Manga fans too.

This Has A ?Tetsuuuuuuuuuuuuuucooooooooooo!!!!!! KANeeeeeeeeeeeeeDA!!!? Value Of Seven Out Of Ten

More Super News

The following casts an interesting light on the upcoming Superman film:

      After an abysmal first script turned in by


      writer J.J. Abrams (wherein Krypton wasn?t destroyed and Luthor was Kryptonian), Howard Chaykin, Walt Simonson, Michael Kaluta and Stuart Immomen have been brought in for consulting, according to



Sounds better already.

This Has A ?Bird, Plane, Whatever…Just Get On With It? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten

Graphic Novels In Libraries

The following was sent in by Cat:

      The graphic-novel collection at Berkeley Public Library was begun in 1989, the same year the library instituted Young Adult (now Teen) Services. The following “Top Choices for Teens” list is based on a decade of graphics collection development…

Top Choices for Teens

Chadwick, Paul

      . Complete Concrete. 1994. Dark Horse Comics, paper, $24.95 (1-569-71037-6).


      Concrete is hard of body but not of heart. His superhero battles for goodness often center on timely topics and require thought as well as action. He appears in several short story collections and full-length novels.

Gaiman, Neil

      . Books of Magic. 1993. DC Comics, paper, $19.95 (1-563-89082-8).


      A young boy escapes into the many worlds of magic in one of several titles from a prodigious storyteller. Several illustrators contributed artwork.

Gonick, Larry

      . The Cartoon History of the United States. 1991. HarperCollins, paper, $16 (0-062-73098-3).


      Loopy black-and-white illustrations amplify an accurate and lucid text. Gonick uses the same engaging style for books on other topics, for example,

The Cartoon Guide to Genetics

      (Rev. ed, 1991), which takes readers from the prehistoric breeding of domesticated animals through the ethical issues presented by contemporary technology.

Kubert, Joe

      . Fax from Sarajevo. 1996. Dark Horse Comics, $24.95 (1-569-71143-7).


      The images and text created by this master of graphic literature are based on faxed transmissions from war-torn Bosnia. Booktalk this with

Zlata’s Diary

      (1994), Zlata Filipovic’s actual journal.

Llewelyn, Morgan and others

      . Ireland: A Graphic History. 1995. Element, paper, $19.95 (1-852-30627-0).


      Outstanding full-color artwork complements this telling of the bloody and romantic history of a nation rich in political activity and mythic culture. Follow potential lovers through the centuries and keep an eye out for the raven.

Morice, Dave

      . More Poetry Comics. 1994. A Capella. o.p.


      If you are lucky enough to have this hilarious book, hang on to it. The text is drawn straight from the likes of Blake, Dickinson, and Shakespeare; the illustrations are blatant visual puns. It’s great booktalking material for ESL classes.

Nakazawa, Keiji

      . Barefoot Gen. New Society, o.p.


      Although this book, along with its three companion volumes, is currently out of print, rumor has it they’ll be published again soon. The powerful series focuses on the bombing of Hiroshima, telling the story through the eyes of a Japanese family at ground zero.

Pini, Wendy


Pini, Richard

      . The Forbidden Grove. 1994. Warp Graphics, $19.95 (0-936-86118-5).


      There’s plenty of humor and lots of suspense in this Elfquest adventure in which Skywise sets out to locate other elf tribes. Just a sample from the popular, ongoing graphic novel series.

Spiegelman, Art

      . Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. 1986. Pantheon, $28 (0-679-74840-7); paper, $12 (0-679-72977-1).


      Along with its companion volume

Maus II

      (1988), for which the author received a Pulitzer Prize, this book recounts the Holocaust and its effects on survivors and their children. Jews are depicted as mice, the Nazis as cats, and other ethnic and political groups as pigs and dogs, among other animals.

Takahashi, Rumiko

      . Ranma 1/2. 1993. Viz Communications, paper, $16.95 (1-569-31137-4).


      The first of an ongoing series, this


      saga features a girl who is really a boy–and his (her) panda. Takahashi is known as Japan’s “Princess of Comics.” Next to Concrete, Ranma is my library’s most popular graphic-novel hero.

Talbot, Bryan

      . The Tale of One Bad Rat. 1995. Dark Horse Comics, paper, $14.95 (1-569-71077-5).


      In a book that turns out to be much more than a teen problem novel, Talbot depicts the spiritual rebirth of an abused girl whose life seems connected to that of Beatrix Potter. An appended discussion of the process through which the book was created makes the story an ideal first read for librarians unfamiliar with graphic novels.

Vance, James


Burr, Dan

      . Kings in Disguise. 1990. Kitchen Sink Press, $25 (0-878-16106-6).


    The Depression-era Midwest emerges through the eyes of wandering hoboes.

Certainly an eclectic selection. Maus and Books of Magic I would certainly have put in my top ten for young adults (in fact every library I?ve been to in the UK has Books of Magic in their collection but I?ve yet to see Maus in a library in the UK). Ranma ? is a great book, one of my favourite comic book series of all time but considering the graphic novels that are missing from the list I am surprised to see it here. There are many great GNs listed here that are very different from those you?d usually expect. It?s interesting and heartening to see some of them.

What does get me, however, are the absences. Where is Pedro and Me? What about any of the Sandman books? It seems impossible for a list like this to be made without any Alan Moore at all, no V for Vendetta, no Watchmen, no Killing Joke and no Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow. Concrete makes the grade but The Dark Knight Returns, Arkham Asylum and Batman: Year One doesn?t. There?s no Will Eisner… that is a crime. Then what of the modern classics, no Alex Ross to inspire would be artists Marvels is one of the best works that has ever come out of the Bullpen.

Yes, it is excellent that the library service has identified some great titles that may otherwise have been overlooked. Yes, it is true that many of the titles I?ve named above and titles like them receive a lot of publicity as it is. Yes, it is true that we should be thankful that North American and UK libraries carry graphic novels at all. BUT there is a reason these works get the publicity they do. There is a reason Alan Moore is considered to be one of the greatest living writers. There is a reason that the Sandman collection is considered by some to be the greatest piece of serial literary fiction, ever. There is a reason Will Eisner is considered to be the creator of Graphic Novels as a term and concept. And, finally, there is a reason Pedro and Me was nominated for a Pulitzer.

Mainstream isn?t always an insult.

As an aside I looked through the online graphic novel selection at my local library. I had been surprised at some of the absences from the shelves. Almost every Batman and Judge Dredd graphic novel in the entire county had been transferred to the local prison. Now do criminals like the tough, no nonsense heroes or are the wardens limiting their choice of reading matter to that which shows perps getting their heads busted?

This Has A ?This Book Is Overdue… Deal With Him Joe? Value Of Five Out Of Ten

That?s Terrible!

We recently contacted a comic book creator for details of some work they have coming up. They wanted to share but apparently they?d had an:

    e-mail from DC included a line stating that if any details end up on the web I’d be fired.

Now, perhaps this is always the case but really DC this isn?t very nice at all. Apart from anything else this is a guilt trip for people in my position who could end up losing someone their job inadvertently. Lighten up and play the game, if stuff is leaked it only helps to promote the project it?s leaked from. We?re here to build up the comic book industry not knock it down.

This also follows on from a piece we didn?t run last week, where DC allegedly pulled a high-profile writing gig from a writer due to a write-up in a rumour column?

Sounds like freedom of speech is alive and well in the halls at DC.

This Has A ?For Goodness Sake, That?s Pathetic? Value Of One Out Of Ten

More Marvels Missing

Chen has just sent me some info to say that:

    Joey Zerbo, Marvel Comics Senior Marketing & Communications Manager is no longer working for the House of Ideas. Today marked his last day. Prior to working for Marvel Comics, Zerbo worked with CPM as one of their marketing personnel.

As many of you will know this isn’t the first Marvel employee to leave this division of the house of ideas in recent months. I have e-mailed Joe Quesada the editor in chief of Marvel comics to ask if there is a problem in this department and if he knew what was going to happen with this important division of the company. At the time of publishing he had yet to reply (hardly surprising, give the guy a chance) but as soon as he does a minion of some description will post it up here for your delectation.

This Has A “Is All Ok In The Bullpen?” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten

Even More On Supes’

Peterson has sent me the following piece on info on the latest draft of the Superman film:

    Superman’s father, Jor-El, is no longer the man who gives a hideous I-told-you-so to his superiors as the planet they’re on falls apart. Now he’s the leader of Taza, a Kryptonian nation, which is embroiled in a civil war. Krypton no longer explodes. Now Taza is laid waste by giant robots. The people of the utopian Taza are slaughtered; the survivors are rounded up and enslaved in a concentration camp. Before being captured, Jor-El puts his only son, Kal-El, in a transport capsule and shoots him into space, toward Earth. And who is behind this warring, bloodthirsty army that sends Taza to its knees? Jor-El’s brother, Kata-Zor. It seems Kata-Zor didn’t like being pushed aside by their daddy to give way to Jor-El and took it personal. And now, with the help of his own son, Ty-Zor, he’s going to make him suffer. Plus, Luthor is an X-Files-type CIA agent, Jimmy Olsen is gay.

I’m not a die hard fan but why mess with something that works? The Superman origin is one of the best and doesn’t really need any changes, the same for the core characters. That said didn’t you always suspect Jimmy “man of action” Olsen wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of Will and Grace?

This Has A “I’ll Reserve Judgement” Value Of Five Out Of Ten


Check out


Yep, I’ll say it, the Daredevil film looks very cool.

This Has A “Man Without Fear” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten

?Til next week? ta ra. And don?t forget to send in all those snippets to All The Rage. Confidentiality is assured.

– Alan Donald

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