Friends, readers, carbon based life forms– Lend me your eyes! It’s that time of week again. You know, the time where I show off what I’ve cobbled together for a column like a glue-mad shoemaker buried in Ceasar salad. Some of you love it, some of you hate it, some of you have just skimmed right past this part. Any way you care to cut it, let’s get down to some finely honed Rage.
DC has been having quite a bit of stuff happening in their neck of the woods. I?m to understand that they have been changing up things as far as Countdown is concerned because of worries over how this latest DCU weekly event-riddled offering appears to be rather messy (whatever that means) until around #44. There have been editorial shifts and other things as Dan Didio and crew try to get their comic goodness on the up and up. I don?t feel it?s much of a stretch to say that DC should do fine in the end. Sure, they?re taking a licking from Marvel right now? But these things always have a way of working themselves out. Furthermore, I?ve heard rumbling of some new talent coming in and although that?s the usual case (hopefully) with the comic companies (ie time passes, talent comes and goes, etc, wash-rinse repeat), there?s supposed to be some excellent fresh faces popping up.
This Has An ?It?s Not A Countdown To Extinction By A Longshot? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten
Dark Horse And Their Secret
Information has managed to leak from sources close to Dark Horse Comics that publisher and writer Mike Richardson may be continuing his lauded mini-series, The Secret, with a surprise fifth issue. What?s that? Oh, sorry. I ruined the surprise. These kinds of things made me unpopular at times growing up? Anyhow, details are elusive at the moment, but I?ll be sure to keep the minions busy with this.
In the meantime, why don?t you take a look at The Secret? Here are some pages I lifted for your viewing pleasure? More information can be found HERE.
This Has A ?Shhhhhh?? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten
There was a disturbance in the Nerd Force that some of my Zurichian Gnomes had brought to my attention. Armed with this notion, I tracked down said disturbance to its source: Tony Lee, writer of the title Starship Troopers for UK publisher Markosia. It seems that the Word said Lee was to leave Starship Troopers or some crazy thing like that. I had to know for sure. What follows is an ATR exclusive?
ATR: Hey Tony, what’s this I hear about you leaving Starship Troopers?
TL: It’s all true, I’m afraid. From issue #5, I won’t be writer any more – instead I shall be hanging up my spurs and sitting back behind the editor’s seat.
TL: Well, there are a couple. Firstly, I’m writing this as Tony the writer, not Tony the Markosia guy. That’s because my opinions are my own, not the company’s, capeesh?
Basically, we were crippled with the ongoing from the moment we came out of the starting gate. The issues that Damaged Justice had, lateness, the changeover of art team, the delays getting it out in the US etc meant that sales for the ongoing were crippled – after all, many retailers were wary of ordering from us after the DJ debacle, and it’s a bit annoying when the ongoing comes out before issue #4 of the previous series. But these things happen, and we have to deal with them. Anyway, it was decided this Bristol that we’d suffered due to the lateness and that after issue #4 (which is due out in August) we had finished the first arc, ‘Marooned’ – and we’d be getting a new art team anyway, as Chris Dibari has a super amount of work on his plate these days. So we decided to hold issue #5 a couple of months, until the end of the year, so that we could ensure a solid build before it comes out – we’re sick of telling retailers something’s coming out only to find it isn’t, you know?
So anyway, we make this decision, and I’m thinking about art changes and new beginnings and all that, and I come to the decision that with the three books, the issue #0 and the first four of the ongoing, I’ve done about seventeen issues of Tanner’s Tigers. And I’m worried that I’m not being as hungry as I should be. And, to be honest I have a lot of non-Markosia work that’s eating up my time and also Hope Falls in November – I couldn’t guarantee that I’d be able to give it the attention it deserved. So, while talking to Harry about the art team that’ll be coming on from #5, I told him I’d be stepping down from #4.
ATR: Man. It sucks to see you go from the project, but considering everything, I can understand. Now you’ll still be editor on the book, right? And this would also be a good place to ask the burning question: Who’s going to write Starship Troopers?
TL: I’m Group Editor of Markosia, so it was only natural that I’d be editor of the book. But with it being a license, there are many ‘editors’, if you know what I mean. But I’ll still be overseeing the title – it just won’t be as much my baby as it was. And the single issue #5 that Chris and I were doing as a link between arcs will still be done, just not until next year now. And it’ll either be a filler or an annual, depending on what happens. It’s actually rather scary – after all, I’m turning down a regular paycheck to walk off the title with nothing else regular to walk on, but I’d rather be broke than make money going through the motions. The fans deserve better than that.
As for creative teams? You’ll just have to wait. *grin* We have an absolutely incredible art team coming on board, and more on that when we sign the contracts. As for writer? I’ve suggested one person, but until he pitches and everyone signs off on it, the field is open. But I will be honest, the writer we’re looking at does have a solid background in this genre, so unless he totally drops the ball, it’ll be unlikely anyone else will get a shot.
Of course, he also reads this column, and I’ve really ramped the pressure up now… *laughs*
TL: Starship Troopers is a flagship title that regularly hits the top 200, so we’ll make damned sure it’s in the right hands before we let it go on.
ATR: That’s excellent to hear, especially since it’s one of those titles I like to read. I’d hate to have to send the ninjas after you, Mister Lee.
TL: I fear not your ninjas.
ATR: You should. They’re powered by uranium enriched bacon.
*a pause while we considered all of this*
TL: Well, I’m finishing the re-write of #4 as we speak, as it’s probably the last time we’ll see Tanner’s Tigers for a while. So I’m having a little more of a farewell ending for them. Then I’m writing a treatment for Hope Falls as we already have movie interest, I’m writing a ten page story for a UK magazine and a couple more Wallace & Gromit tales, a one shot for a US publisher – and then, I have no earthly idea. Pre production on Hope Falls and Dodge & Twist, most likely. I’m getting pages from both books at the moment and it’s a very exciting time.
But after that? The eight ball says the future is unclear. I’ve taken a gamble walking off the book, but I know it’s for the best. If I wrote shitty stories I’d feel like I was cheating the readers. And there’s a few thousand of them every month. I don’t want to piss that many fans off! But if you’re a mainstream editor… I’m available! *laughs*
ATR: Yeah, and Troopers has some ardent fans… it’s best to treat us?er, them right. I’ve heard? things.
TL: I have one who has been sending me incredibly long emails on where I’m going wrong. In a way, it was these that made me realise that someone new should have a shot.
ATR: Hopefully they were polite emails?
TL: Oh don’t get me wrong, they were brilliantly worked out emails – but this guy was suggesting ideas and characters with such passion – and on the weekend in Bristol I found a writer who matched that, someone who I’ve spoken to about Starship Troopers since the very beginning Mongoose days. (And that’s a clue to who this possible writer is.)
TL: Personally? I don’t think I was. I had hundreds of emails over the run, and I can count the ones that said I was screwing up on one hand. But each of those made me question the core beliefs in my tales. And, with the delays, the workload, and my feeling it was time to move on – they convinced me. Starship Troopers is an Eagle award nominated title. Someone has to think I’m doing well. *wink*
ATR: I’ve really enjoyed your run on Troopers, man. My fave so far (as the comic adaptations go over the years). If I like it, it can’t be that bad… although, I wouldn’t brag about– Ah, too late now, hm?
*Tony gives me that look. You know the one. If not, just use your imagination*
TL: I’ve had a lot of good responses from fans and pros alike about Troopers – and I’ll always be thankful for what it gave me. Remember, when I first got the gig it was 2004, I’d just had my X-Men story out and I was unknown to the world. Starship Troopers got my face known. Without it I wouldn’t have got into APC, wouldn’t have met Dan Boultwood, wouldn’t have had Midnight Kiss or Hope Falls or anything to do with Markosia. I can literally say that Starship Troopers made me the writer I am today. And you know what? I read the end of Damaged Justice the other day, and it’s still one of the best bloody things I ever wrote.
Don’t believe me? We have the first 30-odd pages on Newsarama’s daily comic thing.
ATR: Like I need more convincing. Tony, it looks like I’m out of time as I have to run outside and save my children from wild geese… Thanks so much for dropping by to chat! Any last things on your mind?
TL Last things on my mind? I hope to god I haven’t made a terrible error! *laughs*
Seriously though, I’m excited to see what the next corner brings. I have some incredible things coming out in the next year and it’s going to be a rollercoaster. And that includes Hope Falls. Here, have some pages. You’ve been a good boy…
This Has An “At Least He’s Still In The Strategic Picture” Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten
Detective Richard Fell: Gentleman Tome
I happened upon this tasty bit and I just had to toss it in here somewhere? It?s a simple truth that I love the dark and criminally entertaining Fell which is written by Warren Ellis and magnificently illustrated by one Ben Templesmith. As a matter of fact, it is the latter?s Livejournal where I saw pictures of the new hardback and trade paperback edition of Fell Volume 1: Feral City, collecting issues 1 though 8.
This Has ?A Thing Of Beauty Indeed, Sir? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten
Friends of Lulu Awards
I guess I find out a lot through Livejournal. Good thing I give them money. Or is it those excellent tips on how to effectively utilize a trebuchet at a party I give? No matter. Point is I saw the hardworking EiC of SLG Publishing, Jennifer de Guzman, make an entry (link: http://slg-news.livejournal.com/190989.html) about how she?s up for a Friend of Lulu Award, which I think is pretty damned neat. There are some great candidates this year, so head on over and vote HERE.
Now, I wonder if she knows how Mr. Dorkin feels about awards voting?
What?? I keed, I keed! Call the mutant monkey-chinchilla hit squads off!
Seriously, though, if you are going to vote, this is a fine award in which to place votes.
This Has An ?Are You Voting Yet?? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten
Comic Web: Superfogeys!
Here?s a great strip I am happy to say I?m reading on a regular basis now. It?s called Superfogeys. Yes, as the name may infer, this comic is about elderly superheroes.As it says on Th3rd World Studios? site: ?Where do old superfolk go when it’s time to get out of the game? To Valhalla – Home for the Supertired.?
And a couple of instalments to whet zee appetite?
While you?re investigating Superfogeys, make sure to look around to see what else Th3rd World has to offer. Like here, for instance? Omega Chase? It had me at ?medieval adventurers?, ?19th century?, ?24th century starship? and ?zombie horde? (Which is always a great way to seal any deal? What can I say? I?m easy for Zombie Hordes).
This Has A ?Get Off My Lawn Or I?ll Give You The Eye-Beams Again!!!? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten
Loose Ends, Bits, and Some Closure
In keeping with the brief column this week, I give you these bits I found?
Wanna draw Star Wars? Want to learn it straight from Your Flickering Gawd? Well, now those videos that phenom artistMatt Busch did and put up online are compiled on one nifty DVD, which will be unveiled at Celebration 4. Snagged from here.
Hey, have you lot seen all of that hubbub over the Mary Jane statue? If you don?t know what I?m talking about, I envy you. No, really. Google it and see what I mean. I?ll wait?
?See? Crazy. The internets have gone crazy yet again (Do you see my surprised face? Do you? Yeah, well, I ruined another surprise, I?ll wager). My only lamentation is that it isn?t over Power Girl this time (Although she does get plenty of action? Aw, c?mon, I didn?t mean it THAT way. Yeesh). This would be a great place to plug an LJ community that just appeared called women_n_comics which is run by a good friend of mine? She may be even still remain friends with me after she sees this. *wave*
You?ve come this far, and I thank you for your perseverance. If you have any need to contact me for whatever reason, I am at your beck and call. Kinda.
Livejournal (link: http://synabetic.livejournal.com/)
MySpace (link: http://www.myspace.com/synabetic)
Then there is the forum, ?Steve?s Rage Cage?. It?s pure, unadulterated genius, yes? No? Fine. Stop by and post if you feel the urge.
Until next time, dear readers.