First a little good personal news. I’m now back in permanent employ. The Punch Magazine Young Writer Of The Year Award has opened up a door or two. And the local supermarket has just started selling some really decent cheese. Rejoice! And anything you can find lacking in this column, you can blame on two stories that were ready to run have stalled. Still, it’s New Year, you can forgive me.

Birthday Boy

Our congratulations to Joe Quesada, turning 40 this week. Frankly it’s amazing he’s survived so long, what which his debauched behaviour, scandalous history and enraged John Byrne fans roaming the streets.

His birthday bash is expected to be a big one, and he launches his website on the same evening. It’s taking place very close to DC offices… does he expect to do any headhunting at the same time perhaps?

Either way, I hear a few uninvited DC staff members may well try to crash it…

As for the contents of the site? Well, it sounds like it’s going to be a big one. From one creator alone, Mark Millar says, “2002 will also see the launch of my personal web-page and the MILLARWORLD forum (thanks, Blankboy) over at JoeQuesada.Com. This has been set up to provide updates on X-Men and The Ultimates and also to provide information on the other 2002 projects like my two creator-owned series WANTED and XXX.”

This Has A Gatecrashing Value Of 9 Out Of 10

Dark Knight Steps Up

I hear that Warner Bros. have been having meetings about getting a certain Frank Miller involved in developing one or both of the Dark Knight books as a feature film. This may keep Miller very busy in Hollywood as he is currently working on screenplays for both Batman: Year One, with Darren Aronofski, and his and Geof Darrow’s Hard Boiled.

How this will affect his schedule on the discussed DKSA sequels, or the Jesus series or even the Black Captain America project is yet unknown.

Say, is Clint Eastwood too old to play the role now?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Lee Lines

I hear that just prior to Christmas, Stan Lee has turned up at MGM Studios, where he’s involved with a number of film projects. So just how much with Sony use his Spider-Man credentials during the promos for the film this summer?

So what else is Stan Lee up to? Well, a novel was published over Christmas that managed to escape everyone’s attention. Called The Alien Factor, written by Stan Lee and Steve Timmons of Battlestar Galactica fame, it’s a sci-fi what-if story, with aliens making contact during World War II. To find out more, click here for a 30% saving.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Cold Turkey

Posted by SK McGrovern to the Delphi Retailer’s Forum in response to Marvel’s 9 cent Fantastic Four #60 Christmas poem, just in time for Christmas and reprinted here, because it was rather funny.

Twas a Marvel Light Xmas

Twas a few days ‘fore Xmas, and all through the store
Many customers were shopping, (though I was hoping for more);
I cleaned up the comics, handling them with care,
Then started relaxing, resting back in my chair.

I shut off the light, and locked the doors tight,
I was almost quite ready, to call it a night;
So I hit the computer, and accessed the ‘Net,
And saw Marvel’s latest, to my full regret.

Rhymes and insults, were all of the matter,
To the Media Whores’, newest little clatter.
I sighed and wondered, and then realized
That if Jemas could write one, well then so could I!

I turned on the lamp, and through the soft glow,
I noticed some papers, had fallen below;
When outside the store, what should appear
But an over-sized sleigh, and eight tired reindeer.

With a rosy red driver, neither loud nor shrill
I knew in a flash, it wasn’t Joey or Bill.
Searching his bags, he looked rather frazzled
As he called out some names, he sounded quite dazzled

“Where, Origin? Where, Spidey? Where, Daredevil Yellow?
Where Kubert or Miller, or those English fellows?
To Diamond I search! Through stockrooms I crawl!
I’m better off banging my head ‘gainst the wall!”

He seemed quite perturbed, that Jolly St. Nick,
I noticed his anger, it came rather quick.
“This is getting absurd,” as he kicked a small rock,
“Why call them “Essential”, if you can’t keep ’em in stock?”

He sat down on the bench, feet over the ground
So I asked him inside, join me for a round.
An hour later, He was one drunk Elf
Who started to talk, quite in spite of himself

“I really don’t get it,” he said, looking pissed
“Explain to me how, they get away with all this;
Marvel is rather rude, with these little tactics
But in Marvel’s glass house, they shouldn’t toss bricks!”

“CrossGen always gets, their books out on time,
DC is selling, a comic for a dime,
Neither is perfect, I will agree,
But at least they’re getting something, under THEIR x-mas tree!”

“What bothers me most,” he said with a frown,
“Is that Marvel thinks they’re, the best show in town!”
“Now just wait a second,” I said with a smile,
“Compared to last year, Marvel’s better by miles!”

His eyes- how they sparkled! His dimples how merry!
Then his cheeriness faded, and his voice got quite angry.
“You stick up for them still, after what you’ve gone through?
Late product and arrogance, very pricey trades, too!”

The stump of a pipe, he held in his teeth
His smoke filled the room, while I started to speak
“I won’t argue the truth, they could use a clue
On how to treat people, or judge their IQ.”

“Marvel will say, ‘We put asses in seats’
When their books fail to show, I’ve got others to read!
I’ve got Oni and CrossGen, DC and Dark Horse
Slave Labor, Top Shelf, Larry Young and much more!”

He walked out the door, threw his bags on the sleigh,
I finished my beer, and walked over to say,
“At Las Vegas I heard, Valentino speak smart
He had a good point, so take it to heart.”

“Remember his words, when asked whose side he’s on?
‘On the Side of Comics’, was his smart response.
That jolly old man, he stood rather still,
Then laughed really hard, while the snow blew uphill,

“You speak the truth, sir, they don’t really matter,
It’s just that they sound, as mad as a Hatter!
Thanks for reminding me, whom I can trust,
And which Industry Pro’s, need a kick in the nuts!”

He leapt on his sleigh, hit Prancer’s brown ass
And whipped the reins hard, while smiling quite crass
I heard him exclaim, as he flew out of sight
“Merry Xmas to all, and to all a good night!”

This Has An IQ Rating Of 7 Out Of 10 RR 07

Start The Year As You Mean To Go On

The staff of DC returned to work after the New Year break to discover a slight problem. They couldn’t make any long distance USA phone calls. Some could call Brooklyn. And Birmingham, UK. But if they wanted the West Coast, they could forget it. For the whole day.

A little inconvenient as they’d just all spend ten days off and had work piling up and people to talk to.

Shame that Bat Signal doesn’t have better range really…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Authority Dregs

What, did you think there were no more Authority #27 art changes we were going to bring you? Here’s a few that haven’t been catalogued yet.

Face details removed from the dislocated head.

Check out that nipple removal technology!

Cooking dinner, to cleaning the plates with your tongue, which is worse?

Oh my… is that a certain President?
Know this: we don’t have the last four pages of B+Ws for comparison. And more importantly, we don’t have the original script. Anyone there who help us out with these, not to mention anything from issue 28?

We’d also like to hail a SBC message boarder by the name of Ratt for creating this banner… T-shirts for San Diego anyone?

This Has A Bottom of The Barrel Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Art Attacked

And finally, to reward those readers who read the whole column, right to the end… and especially those of you expecting a certain story I wasn’t able to finish in time for today…

Art Adams looks like he won’t be drawing the last issue of Authority, due to a tight schedule getting even tighter – partly due to the interplay between creative and editorial of late. No idea who his replacement is yet.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10

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