Hello there. Me again. Welcome to SBC’s news, opinion and rumour column. Remember the rumour barrier when you read through, and that we’re here to entertain – not offend.

Last weeks non-competition’s answer was Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon though I would also have accepted the films Manhunter or Red Dragon. The non-winner was star of stage, screen and television, MidnighterUK. Pat yourself on the back, my friend. No secret codenames this week as I don’t want to waste good source codenames until I can offer you a prize for your brain work.

Remember that for the whole of February you have got a chance to win some gorgeous original art by Jae Lee from our wonderful sponsors Dynamic Forces. Go visit the competition page now: Win Prizes!. Look for clues to the contest questions liberally spread out in this week?s instalment. Just so you know what to look out for, here are the questions:
Q1. What was Paul Jenkins’ first work as a comic book writer?
Q2. What was Jae Lee’s first work as a comic book artist?
Q3. In what year was Dynamic Forces established?
Q4. What previous projects have Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee worked on together?

Before we get under way, Nick at Dynamic Forces asked me to remind of the 50% Off Sale his fine company is currently running. He told me they?ve added some brand-new items at unbelievable prices (10 items to be exact, for their 10th birthday). I know I really want one of those Punisher Lunchboxes. Firearms, mayhem, the smell of fear, plus a sandwich for your midday meal!

Enough yapping! On with the show!

Weapon X or Echs?

Ok? this in from a mole deep in the entertainment business:

    Weapon X is actually Weapon Echs and has nothing to do with the Marvel property. Though the rest is true, about the technician getting superpowers, which include, yes, a healing factor. Surprisingly, no one’s been sued… yet. The company I work for xxxxxxxxxxx is doing the pilot, so I’ll probably get to work on it as well.

No reason to doubt this, particularly with the provenance, it has but it really feels like my chain is being yanked.

This Has A “Lawsuit Coming?” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


D-day has finally arrived – Daredevil has hit the silver screen. Is it any good? I can’t say as this week?s babysitting break was used to have a quiet meal out with the wife and to work on baby #2 (oh man she’s gonna kill me for that) so we won’t be able to go to the cinema until next week. I have, however, been reading the reviews and they’re somewhat mixed. Most of the mainstream critics are very scathing and the film has been banned in Malaysia. The comic book sites and reviewers take a very different approach and are in general very positive. Oddly the most glowing review I’ve heard anywhere came from perhaps the most mainstream source imaginable, the BBC. Film 2003 is the BBC’s highly respected film review program. The review is worth noting as it could have come straight out of Wizard rather than from ‘Auntie’ (as the Beeb is affectionately known). Dear old Jonathan Ross (do you read this? I wouldn’t put it past you) showed far too long a clip, explained the history of Daredevil (name checking Frank Miller and even slipping in a mention of his Batman work) and pointed out the in-jokes. Ross is a well-known comics fan, of course, but the publicity he gave it deserves a magnum of champagne at least from Marvel. Is the film any good? Let me know.

This Has A “Booking The Babysitter Now” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten

Check This Out!

Here’s a site I’ve name checked before but it’s been updated and a top comic artist (that we shall merely call the Irelander) asked me to mention it.


Whether you agree with the war or not the posters are still worth checking out, very funny but also at times very thought provoking.

This Has An “Anything Else Similar? And Can Anyone Explain Where The Death Puppets Have Gone?” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten

Ticked off…

Few things on the Tick story I ran last week:

    Larsen and the Tick. 8 out of 10? I think you’re overrating there…

Anyway why’d you say that?

      See, Erik Larsen has published the Megaton Man Serial in

Savage Dragon

    . That would implies he likes Don Simpson’s work and is on good terms with him. Now, Don Simpson has been pretty vocal about what he thinks of the Tick (basically a cheap rip-off of his own creation). Put 1 and 1 together and I think 1 out of ten would be a generous rating.

Interesting… Anyone else got any news on this?

    Per Larsen himself on the savage dragon boards “As usual–“all the Rage” is all wrong. I have absolutely NO desire to have anything to do with the Tick. I could not care less about the character. I was, however, asked about doing it. NOT INTERESTED. ?Erik.

As usual? As usual? I’ll have you know we regularly have good scoops! We do get things wrong, hell that’s the nature of RUMOURS what do you think the barriers there for?

Who’s up next with some info on this?

      My name is Bob Polio Art Director of

The Tick

    comic line and I’d like to set the record straight. New England Comics has NOT lost the rights to The Tick and NECP has not contacted Mr. Larsen to write The Tick.

Okay, fair enough.

    This RUMOR was started by customer (at one of our stores) overhearing a conversation between myself and one of our store managers. I’m not going to go into great details other than saying that Mr. Larsen’s name came up as a “WHAT IF” as comic shop talk goes. NEVER in my life have I ever met or talked to Mr. Larsen, don’t even know what he looks like and I’m sure he hasn’t ever heard of me. Please put this to rest. It is not worth your time effort getting folks into an uproar over nothing.

People get worked up over the strangest things.

However, what I find most interesting is that Larsen said he WAS asked about doing it and said ?NOT INTERESTED?, whilst Polio stated that Larsen WAS NOT asked? they can?t both be right!

This Has A “Everyone Join In…RUMOUR BARRIER!” Value Of Two Out Of Ten

Leave Him Alone!

Gregory Stonehouse sent me in a mail (wow someone who doesn’t want to stay anonymous, haven’t seen that in a while) with regard to the midweek story and the reply to it posted by top comic pro and all round nice guy Marv Wolfman:

    Marv says, ?Simply put, Paul [Levitz] is probably the most ethical and honest publisher who has ever been in comics.?

But then says, ?As a friend of Paul’s, I am also fed up with him being mindlessly treated as a target for internet columnists. Paul is a friend and has been so for more than 30 years. He has helped more people in the industry than anyone else in his position ever has. And, in my opinion, if Paul had not been in comics these past few years, I seriously believe there would not be an industry today.?

HA! So, basically we should just throw out his whole post as biased. 30 years of friendship, good basis for objective comments I don’t think! Anyway I thought your job was to target the big bosses, Jo and Bill are targets, Alessi one why shouldn’t Marv?s friend be one?”

Some good points. Consider, however, that there may be another truth. Marv actually does know Paul, and to me (and I guess you too) Paul Levitz is just a bloke we’ve read about on the internet. As for the other point, yes, I do try to kick ass evenly but it’s dependent on what?s been going down each week.

    Marv goes on, “Secondly, Paul has worked harder than anyone I know to keep people employed even when the bottom line says layoffs are needed. When there were wholesale firings at other companies I didn’t see their publishers being taken to task for doing what they had to do.”

Maybe there’s a scoop for you here Alan. Is DC in that much trouble? Are they financially in the shit? Marv seems to think so. Bottom-line hit and all that. Dig dig dig!”

The bottom line is that Marv Wolfman is a fellow SBC columnist and a very respected member of the comic book community. You do raise some good points but perhaps you shouldn?t be putting words in people?s mouths.

Nevertheless, Gregory?s question remains? is DC in real trouble? Have they been bouncing off their bottom line repeatedly? AOL is in trouble, so maybe the smaller companies are too. But as has been discussed here earlier, I?m not a business reporter.

Back to the core issue, here’s Peter David’s take on the editorial reshuffle:

      Wow. Gotta admit I’m somewhat rocked by the editorial shake-ups at DC I’ll tell you, if Mike Carlin is privately annoyed and/or angry (which I’ve no idea if he is) you sure can’t tell by his public face. Maybe he really, truly is more comfortable getting his hands more deeply back into editing. And Dan DiDio has a lot on the ball. He’s one of the spearheads behind getting

Fallen Angel

    up and running. Truth is, these days if you look at the major new titles with original characters that folks are talking about, they’re coming out of DC.

We’ll see how it all shakes out.

Now, I like PAD and I’ve often run stories about him but this seems an odd posting for him, it really isn’t like him to hold back at all. It would appear as an observer that since effectively burning his bridges at Marvel after some pretty rough treatment that PAD is sensibly determined to mend fences with DC.

The final point, the whole post from Marv came about because of the title of the piece. I have to confess the title came from the Big Kahuna, not me?.just to state facts.

This Has A “DC In Trouble And PAD Kissing Up, Whatever Next” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten

At Long Last?

I love Com.X. The plucky British comic book company has really been through the wringer and they’ve had delays left, right and centre for various reasons but they keep on plodding on without loosing their way. I’ve always suspected Com.X will one day become the British CrossGen or shut down overnight as all its talent is signed up by the US.

Some news just in is heartening for two reasons 1) It means I may finally see the next part of a series I’ve been desperately waiting for and 2) It could mean Com.X is steadying up and could be building for the future.

The news? Look out this or next week for an official announcement that Com.X have signed up an American artist to finish off volume one of Cla$$war. I know who it is but have been sworn to secrecy until the announcement? remember you read it here first. Oh and watch out in the shops for a bumper compendium issue containing parts 1-3, apparently all that is waiting for is the click of a button.

In the meantime you can get your fix of Rob William?s writing in the Judge Dredd Megazine from Rebellion ? he contributes a Sopranos-with-powers story to that monthly, and it rocks.

This Has A “Hope For The Future” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten

Running Scared?

I really don’t know how much credence to put in the next story. I know I’m going to get flak about it whether it’s true or not. According to one Rage-mite, all is not well in the House of Ideas. There are allegations that they are running scared. Witness…

Bill Jemas is apparently upset that he looked ‘a pratt’ in his recent interview with Rich Johnston, that the sales of Marville are ‘terrible’ (my source?s words) and that he had to recently show a creator on one of the top new books how to actually write a comic.

Michael Doran is allegedly trying to turn Marvel into DC by instigating a full-scale Gestapo-like crack down on any leaks. The new Marvel policy is now apparently the same as DC’s, announcements come through the PR guy or else someone loses their job.

Joe Quesada is supposed to be upset. Soldier X, Agent X, and X-Statix are all likely to be cancelled within a year, and there’s still no sign of Kevin Smith’s books, so the Spectacular Spider-Man relaunch is turning into a Spectacular flop. A differing source, however, maintains that Paul Jenkins, who?s career has been through significant changes since his first work writing Teenage Mutant Turtles #43 in 1992, is still all set to go on his Spidey book with Humberto Ramos in time for summer.

The lawsuits with Stan Lee and Brian Hibbs and Joe Simon are all, according to my original source, really bugging Marvel, especially the when the legal costs impact on the company?s profitability and adversely affecting the possibility of selling the publisher. There are rumours of Marvel refusing to talk to some websites, and maybe even blocking their e-mails too.

It could all be testicles but it could equally be true, who knows?

This Has A “Strange Things Happening In The Bullpen” Value Of Five Out Of Ten


Go to http://www.tcj.com/250/n_7hills.html right now, don’t delay.

To summarise, Seven Hills was a distributor, they went bankrupt, they owe publishers money and the return of stock. Now 50 books a day are being posted on ebay by the owner of Seven Hills. The publishers know nothing and aren’t making anything out of it, his lawyer knows nothing and his bankruptcy trustees know nothing.

I’m not going to get judgemental, as there could be a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes. Shutting down a business is never fun and mistakes are always made. It must be even harder when you’re in the public eye and when it’s big companies you owe money. If there’s any truth in this it could be that Seven Hills owners are trying to raise funds out of stock they kept to themselves to try an offset the debt, but even if that were true it would still be silly. Bankruptcy trustees are not to be messed with and bankruptcy isn’t a nice place to be. I really feel for Seven Hills but they are going to be crucified in the press for this.

This Has A “Silly, Silly, Silly” Value Of Five Out Of Ten

Done, dusted and put to bed. Hope you enjoyed the show. If you did, then tell your friends; if you didn’t, then I’m sorry – remember I can’t do this alone I need YOU to be searching the web, listening at doors and generally being sneaky. If you spot something, no matter how small, just send it in. All sources are treated as anonymous unless you specifically specify otherwise.

Within the next few weeks I’ll be making a big announcement with regard to the UK comic festival so watch out for that.

Until then…

Alan Donald signing off from a frosty but sunny island.


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