Old Man Of Comics
I hear much of comicdom had a right old shindig at Jimmy Palmiotti’s recent 40th birthday bash. The likes of JG Jones, Mike Carlin, Axel Alonso, Stuart Moore, Lisa Hawkins, John Cassidy, Tammy Beatty, and more attended and can be seen having a right old shindig at the Brooklyn Bizarro website. Whether Mike Carlin’s eyes were rolling at the strippers has yet to be confirmed. Check these photos for the cheerleaders spelling out Jimmy’s name…
This Has A Nudity Value Of 3 Out Of 10 – Until The Rest Of The Photos Are Uploaded That Is…
Just A Pilgrim’s Progress
A peace offering to Black Bull – I hear that Just A Pilgrim returns for a sequel, namely Just A Pilgrim II, again 5 issues, again by Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra, is scheduled for next year. Read about it in Wizard any day now.
This Has A Scripture Quoting Value Of 9 Out Of 10
Well, last week’s Marvel/CSN/CrossGen story took a battering from all sides and opened up a right can of worms. My inbox has never been so full. Go read the story if you haven’t already.
The fight over CrossGen ads attacking other comics companies and publishers in a jocular manner appearing in CSN also seems to be part of a bigger story. A story that sees Marvel vs. CrossGen with the likes of CSN getting caught in the middle. After talking with a number of sources, here’s a list of the stuff I’ve been hearing.
I hear that it was an email that Joe Quesada sent to Cliff Biggers about the cartoon situation, rather than a phone call.
I hear that rather than just going to Biggers, Quesada had already talked to Marc Alessi about the situation without receiving satisfaction.
I hear the fight over Bryan Hitch’s contract may have been the catalyst for this situation’s escalation.
At the Thursday of San Diego, Marc Alessi was heard to tell fans in line for Scot Eaton on Thursday of the con, that he was headed to a meeting with Quesada where he would “smack him around.” I hear he implied the meeting would to focus on Marvel’s very public and very recent shenanigans and antics – those criticized in the CrossGen cartoon. When asked if this was a panel, Alessi replied, “I wanted it to be a panel and have it filmed and everything. But Joe wouldn’t let me do that.”
I understand that Quesada took umbrage at CrossGen buying “editorial” space in an advert, and one that attacked Marvel, other companies, and specific employees.
I’m told Alessi regarded it as a humour cartoon, not as an editorial and defended it as such to detractors.
I hear Alessi did however write a letter of apology to Matt Hawkins who had been portrayed in the strip.
I understand that Quesada’s relationship with Hawkins goes way back, including the time Hawkins managed to get art returned to Quesada from Liefeld’s studios that he wouldn’t have got any other way.
I hear Quesada has a real problem with editorial paid-for ads. Considers their existence to be wrong and unethical.
With the cartoons still running, Quesada didn’t feel it appropriate that he should co-operate with a magazine that felt it was fine to publish those cartoons and so took the threat to Biggers. And was surprised to find Biggers in agreement.
I also hear that a motivating force may have been that Marvel wanted more covers than CSN gave them – specifically when a Deadpool cover piece was dropped for an Image hardcover visual. Marvel then threatened to make a bigger deal out of the whole thing – hence the stories you’ve been reading here for the last week or so.
I’m told that before the “attacking” ads had been distributed, CSN and CrossGen had already agreed to tone them down – although a number had gone to the printers by then. The fact that CrossGen send the ads straight to the printer rather than going through Cliff probably didn’t help.
Here’s another shot – sources at CrossGen have complained how uncooperative DC are over talent that wishes to move to CrossGen. While companies usually have a way of working things out amicably, DC have not applied that standard to CrossGen that they would for, say, Marvel and have cancelled completed work by an artist as a result.
However, it now seems the boot is on the other foot. CrossGen’s contracts include a ninety day non-competition clause at the discretion of CrossGen, meaning that if a creator finishes the end of their contract and wishes to work for another company, CrossGen can, if they wish, refuse. And that’s what they did with Bryan Hitch.
Now this situation is complicated by Hitch signing to CrossGen, withdrawing and then being unable to pay back the advance (now with added interest and legal fees) in a month as demanded. Marvel sorted these fees out, but CrossGen still invoked their 90 day clause until the situation could be further worked out.
My take on this? Well, paid-for editorial has a precedent in this industry, Cat Yronwode’s Fit To Print column ran for years in CBG as part of an weekly Eclipse ad and it has not been uncommon for comics advertising to snipe at other publishers either. This isn’t unethical, it’s part of the cut and thrust. And while it may seem admirable when David takes a pot shot at Goliath, when Goliath threatens to stamp down on David unless he cow tows, it’s less likely to engender audience appreciation. Contracts are a messy game – anyone remember NPO’s The Gutter Press – but sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation. Not only are the people who sign contracts human, but so are the people who enforce them.
Next time Jerry Springer needs a replacement, pencil me in, okay?
This Has A Rumour Value Of… Oh, I Don’t Know, Let’s Say 3 To Be On The Safe Side
On The Job
By the way, to those concerned about my job situation, thanks for the e-mails. I’ve got a bit of freelance advertising copywriting work lined up, and am onto second interviews for a couple of places, but anyone with contacting in the advertising industry, feel free to send on this link – http://www.geocities.com/evenwood – to anyone you think might be interested. I appreciate it, guys!
Although, as of right now, I can probably rule out employment at Marvel or CrossGen…
This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10