“Glad you’re back. Helps keep my blood pressure up.” – Patty Jeres, DC Comics.

The Ghost Of Al Milgrom

Remember the Universe X: Spidey story All The Rage covered way back? Check here and here if you can’t.

Basically inker Al Milgrom inked in a nasty comment directed at departing editor-in-chief Bob Harras in Spidey: Universe X as a gag, which was then later removed. However, when the art files reverted to a previous colour file, the gag reappeared, was printed and the book withdrawn from sale, pulped and reprinted. Al Milgrom was fired from gross misdemeanour, which meant he lost his benefits for being employed for so long and only rehired for freelance work, and told to pay off the cost of the reprinting from his salary. That was then.

The Universe X trade paperback Volume 1 has just shipped. And it includes the comment in question.

Marvel editor Dave Bogart tells me “Yep. We printed the wrong page. As to what happened, it appears that the wrong version of the page was archived when the original comic was printed. Who’s fault is it? I couldn’t even begin to tell you, the book was printed well over a year ago. Should we have known better? Yes. But truth be told, no one who works in our trades program was even at Marvel at the time. And believe me, no disrespect was intended. I hope this clears things up.”

Last time the comic was withdrawn, pulped and reprinted. I guess this won’t be happening now though?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10

An Issue With Marvel

I hear that Grant Morrison isn’t too happy about this 18-24 issues a year thing Marvel are trying to encourage – especially as they used him in the example given to promote the idea. While the idea of doubling his paycheck may be an attractive one, he may simply not have the time or inclination to double his X-Men writing gig – especially when he has Filth, Ultimate Fantastic Four and other non-comics gigs on the boil.

Morrison did not choose to reply to enquiries.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out of 10

Killer Queen

Thanks to her popularity in New X-Men, here’s a White Queen mini-series in the works. I understand that editor Dave Bogart has been ringing round a few “babe” artists… Randy Queen was up for it, Joe Benitez turned it down, I hear Ken Chau may well have got the gig.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 4 Out of 10

Rough Trades

Despite previous discussions with Titan Books, Panini has plumped to produce English language Marvel trade paperbacks for the UK bookstore and comic bookstore market with British comics distributor Red Route. This should expand distribution of the Marvel TPBs away from the limited Diamond (and often out-of-stock) distribution through the UK. With Titan already printing and distribution selected DC, Dark Horse and Image titles through bookstores and comic shops, it looks like there may be a little head-to-head competition. And this might be just the boost red Route needs to go head to head with Diamond in the UK.

Panini gained the Marvel license in Europe during Marvel’s financial difficulties and have sold a large amount of trades through the European market. While the deal was very beneficial for Panini, they do pay a certain percentage of sales back to Marvel. None of that money, however, is passed onto creators as either royalty or incentive payments according to current contracts, and it was this that caused quite a fuss a few years ago when Jim Steranko spoke out about hundreds of thousands of his Nick Fury series being published outside the USA and nary a cent coming to his bank account.

The books will have different covers and a different trade dress – and that’s not all. Panini are looking to include sketch pages and text pieces to accompany the work. The Amazing Spider-Man: Coming Home, for example, will contain the issues from the US collection as well as the WTC themed issue 36 – which currently will not appear in the US trades.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out of 10

Diamond Geyser

Some of you might remember I was in Iceland recently. While jumping over geysers, walking behind waterfall and feasted on smoked puffin, I had the opportunity to visit P?tur Yngvi Yamagata, Iceland’s oldest half-Icelander, half Japanese inhabitant, manager of Nexus, Iceland’s only comic shop. And what a store it is, with a selection of trades worthy of Gosh Comics or Page 45, well presented, well lit and covering a wide range of cross genre and left-of-centre superhero comics.

P?tur insisted on giving me discount and, after going for some very pleasant drinks surrounded by some very pleasant Icelandic women, a copy of Top Ten Book Two in return for a plug. I’d have given him one anyway. Comic book pros? Iceland is slap bang between the UK and the USA, they can pretty much all speak English, the nightlife is fantastic as are the local attractions. You may even find yourself, like I did, bathing in hot spring mineral pools with The Strokes. And Nexus just love to do signings? just ask Warren Ellis, he’s off there again in a few weeks.

This Has A Puffin Value Of 10 Out Of 10

Green Thoughts

I hear that Greg Capello is being considered by Axel Alonzo to take over the art on Hulk when John Romita Jr leaves the book.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out of 10

Ian World News

Marvel recently tried to hire Ian Churchill, who was dropped from Uncanny X-Men after he and Joe Casey had creative differences. Marvel told Churchill that they realise they were wrong to choose Casey over him, especially now that Casey has also been dropped from Uncanny X-Men, but Churchill told them no. He’s sick of Marvel, the x-books and the whole of comics for now and plans on taking a year-and-a-half off to travel the world. Um. This sounds like it’s probably from Churchill’s side, you know?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out of 10

King Leach

So, who owns Miracleman/Marvelman now? Well let’s have a think. If Dez Skinn’s claim (admittedly tucked away in the rumour column of his own Comics International) that the contract has a reversion clause to the original creators holds, this is how it pans out.

Originally, in Warrior Magazine, Dez Skinn, Alan moore and Garry Leach shared ownership of the character between them. When Alan Davis came on board, they each donated some of their share to Davis. But when Eclipse came along and Davis fell out with both Skinn and Moore, he gave all his share of Marvelman to Garry Leach. And later Moore gave his share to Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham. So after the Eclipse rights reverted, it would currently mean that Gary Leach is on 60%, Neil Gaiman/Mark Buckingham on 30% and Dez Skinn on 10%. And Todd McFarlane on nothing.

Which makes Garry Leach the king maker. He currently works for both Wildstorm and Marvel. I understand though that Wildstorm are not able to pursue the matter as DC Comics’ legal people do not want to let themselves be open to a legal suit from, say, Mick Anglo’s half-brother’s niece once removed. AOL Time Warner would make for a much bigger financial target than a debt-ridden Marvel.

Let’s look forward to some new Garry Leach courting from Marvel in the near future.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Lending A Hand

For those who you who haven’t already been swamped with appeals for Top Shelf Publishing, in their time of trouble with distributors, LPC, go here and spend over $50. If you haven’t got From Hell or Alec: How To Be An Artist then that’s your first stop. I’m currently waiting for email receipt of the order I put in? Chris?

For those who fancy giving Drawn And Quarterly a hand, likewise here. Golem’s Mighty Swing and Berlin are your first choices.

For those who wonder what would have happened if Marvel had signed to CDS (part of LPC) when they were trying to get the best deal from Diamond? just don’t go anywhere.

This Has A Dread Warning of 7 Out Of 10


From the press release circuit, a new Hulk illustration from Mike Deodato:


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