Bill, Please

This rumour has been doing the professional rounds, basically marrying the new Marvel changes with the report that Marvel are about to run out of cash.

It seems that there’s an influx of royalty payments to Marvel which should help them in the very short term. But as of February next year, Bill Jemas will be leaving the day-to-day business at the Marvel offices. And Joe Quesada then has six months to make a major impact, ie, to show them the money. If not, look for Marvel to undergo a serious change in strategy. Again. Basically, the survival of Marvel as we know it rests on Joe Quesada. And he hasn’t got long…

Maybe they’ll revive that deal they had going with Dark Horse when they were considering licensing out all their characters…

Of course, this presumes that there will be a Dark Horse then…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10

Feeling Horse?

There have been rumours of some serious changes at Dark Horse too. Rumours round the comic pros say that Dark Horse comptroller Neil Hankerson recently called all the dept. heads into his office and told them to “draw up lists of employees to fire, and to figure out which employees can do more than one job (at no extra pay or a pay cut).”

I also hear that “a top editor there is demanding Richardson fire basically the entire marketing and editorial staffs, or she’ll will resign and take all her creator talent with her… though I personally don’t expect either will happen…” Diana Schutz perhaps?

Another source states “Just got word that Randy Stradley is still officially on staff at Dark Horse but has been told not to bother coming into the offices anymore, and Chris Warner still comes in but is basically in exile in his cubicle. Look for possible big changes over there by Christmas…”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10


Randy Stradley from Dark Horse, presumably not stuck at home, replies

“It was with great amusement that I read your latest “Rage” column. So far, in regards to rumors about Dark Horse, you’re batting a solid zero. But keep it up. Maybe one of these days your “source” will actually get something right.”

Sources, Randy, sources!

Board Stupid

It wasn’t long ago that if you wanted to discuss comics on the internet, you had Compuserve which was pricey, AOL which was stupid and Usenet’s newsgroups which were obsessive to say the least.

Nowadays message boards proliferate and it’s a right bugger to keep up to date with who’s saying what. Here are some interesting recent samples…

To Be Continued…

As the Cliffhanger contracts end, the members have been realising that if they moved their comic to another company with far fewer overheads, and still keep their sales they could make even more money than they do now. And with Image’s very low overhead, they’re the publisher of choice! We know Battlechasers has gone and >a href=> has reported Danger Girl might follow. I hear Campbell might be using Madeira to test the water…

Either way, Scott Dunbier hinted that WS are going to announce a new Cliffhanger member sometime soon. His wrote ” As for new members…Don’t bother to ask who, but we’ll have a really cool announcement sometime soon.” My money’s on Art Adams…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Getting Shirty

Rick Vietch wrote on the Tomorrow Stories Wildstorm Message Board concerning his new Greyshirt series. He writes “Correct. I’m working on #11 right now. I’ve also turned in the proposal for a GREYSHIRT Mini-series (tentatively titled “INDIGO SUNSET”). Alan helped plot it. Should hear next week if its a go or not.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Chasing Kevin

Michael Oeming posts to the Bendis Forum “So I just got Dogma, Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy on DVD – I’d never seen Chasing Amy before. I like his other films (even Mallrats was fun:)) BUT MAN! Chasing Amy was amazing. Not just because of the comic conection (Your a tracer!) but I couldnt believe how insightful it was. It was fucking great! Dogma still hurts my ribs from cracking up. Gee, I wonder why I’m watching all these Kevin Smith movies???:)”

I believe ladies and gentlemen, that’s called a hint.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10

Operating Theatre

Scott Lobdell posted to the X-Fan message boards about the original pre-editorial changes ending to the X-crossover, Operation Zero Tolerance.

He writes “OZT’s original ending was going to be… ICEMAN, MARROW, CC and SABRE were on the beach and MARROW is ranting it isn’t fair that BASTION got carted away to safety by SHIELD. ICEMAN was going to say “Let it go…it’s over.” Suddenly, the SHIELD HELICARRIER was going to RIP IN TWO and thousands of AGENTS were going to plummet into the water… …in the CENTER of the shredded HELICARRIER was going to be…MAGNETO, THE MUTANT MASTER OF MAGNETISM! “It’s not over until I say it is over!” ”

“Outraged by all the crap BASTION got away with, and how far he pushed things, MAGNETO was going to start an all out WAR ON HUMANITY (something he’s been talking about for years!)…so that we’d essentially have had a civil war between BASTION’s forces of HUMANITY and MAGNETO’s MUTANT forces — with the X-MEN trapped in the middle! But remember, this was to be a drastically SCALED DOWN X-MEN, with NO SHI’AR TECHNOLOGY, NO MANSION, NO BLACKBIRD, NO DANGER ROOM…I really wanted to play to the X-MEN AS UNDERDOGS for a while…to deal with them and their POWERS ONLY! (I HATE and have ALWAYS HATED the DANGER ROOM HOLOGRAPHIC TECHNOLOGY. I am pretty certain I NEVER used it during my entire run…and I certainly never opened up with a DANGER ROOM HOLOGRAPHIC PROGRAM in order to fake out readers. Brrr!)”

“Any way, the basic idea was to try to do AGE OF APOCALYPSE sort of in the here and now. Really defy expectations as to what constituted the X-MEN and what constituted an X-MEN story. I think it would have been AWESOME, but instead, it was decided to go other way and embrace the X-MEN circa late seventies. Oh well, I tried.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10

X Position

On rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks, Chris Claremont defended himself from accusations of over-exposition in his books, a frequent charge based on his recent X-Men run.

Claremont writes “The basic problem is — and it’s a problem I have encountered recently with a great many books — that the writer assumes that the reader has been around forever and knows the title nd character status quo backwards and forwards. I have read issues where I didn’t know who the main characters were or their powers or the basic premise of the story. And consequently, felt no desire to come back for more. Now, the case should be made that such information should be presented artfully — but that’s a function of the synergy between writer and penciler and editor and that occasionally isn’t as smooth as it should be. Do some writers talk too much, myself included? No doubt. But the decision to be made each and every time is how to balance the needs to establish that status quo for new readers without boring the long-standing
ones. Nothing like a challenge.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Relative Rumours

APOLOGY: In Sunday’s column, I attributed words to a poster on the Ellis forum, Hughues. In fact I even misspelt his name. Either way, I mixed up my headers. The poster in question was actually Skadave. I apologise and return you to your regular viewing.

A reader known only as Skadave posted to the Ellis Forum about the antagonism shown by some people towards ex-X-editor, Jason Liebig. “I remember once reading from Devin Grayson about her hating Liebig and I’ve heard of some connections between her and Waid.” That’s one way of putting it, Skadave. “I’m not sure if his dislike for Liebig spread to her or if that was vice versa. Also Grayson is well liked by Quasada camp through her work on the Marvel Knights books so there can be something there.”

Far too much tittle-tattle for me, what do you think this is? A gossip and rumour column? This is a respectable news-gathering organisation, with ideals, principles and ethics. I’d never stoop so low as to…

Oh wait a minute. Sorry, got mixed up again.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out Of 10

Cracked Diamond

Diamond UK also seem to be going through another cutback… gone is long time stalwalt from the Titan days, Nick Perry-Jones gone. As is the entity known to comic shop retailers as Warehouse Wilf.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10

Men At Work

The new CD from Alan Moore, David J and Tim Perkins, following Birth Caul: A Shamanism Of Childhood and The Grand Egyptian Moon And Serpent Theatre Of Marvels. I loved the last two. Will I like this one? Of course I will you bloody fool.

But first, lets play six degrees of separation? Alan Moore and Banshee bassist Steven Severin? Well, Severin and Robert Smith worked on a project called The Glove. The Glove is sampled by Pop Will Eat Itself for 92 deg, F (The 3rd Degrees). Pop Will Eat Itself also sample “ground floor – coming up” from Watchmen on another track and mention him in Can U Dig It.

Or, of course, you could just say Highbury Working, new CD written by Alan Moore, published by Steven Severin. Got mine in the post, looks pretty. Apparently, it’s a ‘beat s?ance’. Lovely.

It starts with a cacophony until guitars and sticks take up the rhythm.We meet geography and history as Highbury, an area of North London, seen through the ages and through different perpective, jumping from time to time, and follows certain aspects, such as the rise of Alexandra Theatre from a barn into a arena of a freak show, “the magical perfume of quim upon the breeze”. Suddenly, it feels like the intro to Moon And Serpent, with electronics, as with Peppers Ghosts “All the boundaries begin to slide, even the human body is unfixed” as its effect spills out across London. The jumps continue, delving into football, the team on amphetamines denied a game by fog, and continues with the mannerisms of a football commentator. The tube line seen as an penetrating invasion that both powers the area but sucks it.

And this is what Moore does. Takes facts, anecdotes and stories associated with the region and knits them, either forcing or revealing a pattern of how people live, worship and die, affecting the area at a structural level. He makes the place organic and the people cogs in the machine. An underground river with two springs is labelled “two heads better than one”.

He follows Highbury to the modern die where it dies. As a place, it is eaten by other boroughs. “Everyone’s already making out they live in Islington. The Blair Zone.” So where does it exist now, this home to freakish culture and football and beautiful music? It concludes with a fantasy, as characters mentioned previously, meet for a destructive celebration, glorifying and descecrating at once to Moore’s spiralling exhilarating voice. It knows how to move the audience, it presses buttons and we respond. Clever and naughty.

Like previous albums, this was recorded on Alan Moore’s birthday. It’s a very personal work and it offers a look into a many splintered point of view. This is a faster album than previous. The heavier beat and rock music provide a greater sense of urgency that in previous albums. It’s also an album you can actually dance to if the spirit takes you.

There are parts way too heavy on the air guitars for my liking. Reminiscent more of an Aerosmith concert that usual. Buit it’s part of the diverse musical apparatus common to Moore’s albums. There’s some really stirring piano melody work, and shoulder twitching dance music herein.

Always recommended, Highbury Working continues the work of Birth Caul and Moon And Serpent. It tackles the themes and ideas that Moore seems to love, how what we see around us is the product of far more that the surface, stretching four dimensionally, the future affecting the past as well as vice versa, as ideas take form and form takes ideas. Moore uses the same word tricks you’ll see in his better comic work, Big Numbers, From Hell as well as the themes seen in Voice Of the Fire. Moore’s voice is rhythmic and hypnotic, you don’t have to listen to the words to gain enjoyment from it. And while it needs concentration, its rewarded as your mind begins to map out what Moore describes in beautiful, hideous detail.

If you enjoyed the first two, you should love this. If you’ve never heard a Moore CD, this is a great one to try. If you have tried previous, but didn’t enjoy them, Highbury Working is probably not for you.

But at least you can dance to this one.

Highbury Working: A Beat S?ance by Alan Moore and Tim Perkins. 45 minutes
Published by RE:
Can by ordered at

This Has A Recommendation Value Of 9 Out Of 10

Blatant Self Promotion

There is a TV drama on the BBC called Attachments. Set in a startup, the production company created a version of the site the company is meant to be creating, at all the articles are written by characters who appear in the show. Well not all of them… check this link… hey if I’m now a fictional character, do I get to be the third man in Planetary? Please?

This Has A Blatant Self Promotion Value Of 10 Out of 10


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