Don't you love Rich Johnston
? He has a way of hedging his bets with certain bits of gossip so that, no matter what, he later can say, "See? I told you I knew all about that!"
People's Exhibit A:
Today's item about Grant Morrison's permanent replacement on "New X-Men" ...
"I apparently know who the new writer of 'New X-Men' is, to follow Grant Morrison and then Chuck Austen. But if I report it, I may scupper the deal. Gah! And, since I'd rather read X-Men comics by this individual, than report the rumour and wreck the project, I guess I'm going to hold this one in.
"Yes, I know it's frustrating. It's even more frustrating to me. But, apparently, Salvador Larocca will be drawing them."
Ah, Rich Johnston. Deals are made and broken based on his very word. Nations rise and fall with every breath across his puckered lips. The mere sound of his voice causes the lame to walk and the blind to see.
So, for the love of God, Rich don't
report anything on Morrison's replacement! And don't worry that it makes you look weak and easily manipulated.
You're above such mortal concerns. You, my friend, are a saint.
Johnston, however, does
deliver with his weekly dose of Rob Liefeld gossip:
"I also hear that Rob Liefeld is to take full creative reins on a new 'X-Force' title, as Marvel outsource the entire creative and editorial responsibilities on the book to him. Liefeld will also be responsible for producing a range of one-shots and mini-series associated with the project. Expect the return of a number of his New Mutants and X-Force characters. Liefeld declined to comment."
Welcome to the '90s. Here's your pitchfork.
Fanboys in need of something -- anything -- to rage about: The Pulse
reports on DC's attempts to stop employees from taking advantage of comp books through a trade-in "gray market" at Jim Hanley's Universe in New York.
Forum reaction about something that doesn't affect comic fans at all
is muted so far, with only a couple of people tsk-tsking DC. Expect unfocused outrage by afternoon.
Over at Newsarama
, Mike San Giacomo continues his painful recount of every second that has gone into producing "Phantom Jack" (heheeee!) for Marvel's ill-fated Epic imprint.
Mike hasn't had anything new or interesting to tell us since, oh, August
, but that hasn't stopped him from keeping us abreast of every phone call and email exchanged between he and the rest of the creative team.
Luckily, though, Mike tells us that from here on out, "My Epic Journey" will only appear twice a month.
finally chimes in on last week's furor over the Publishers Weekly report about Marvel's apparent plans for digest-sized collected editions of its Tsunami books -- but (gasp) only for the book market.
The retailer-oriented site adds this in way of comment:
"A 'channel exclusive' for the Marvel Tsunami trades doesn't make much sense; perhaps it would for some of the shoujo manga titles from other publishers, which do 80-90% of their sales in the book trade, but full color titles with ties to the X-Men and Spider-Man lines certainly have potential in the comic shop market. Marvel released its Mary Jane prose novel, which was clearly aimed at female readers, to the comic shops, so it appears unlikely that the publisher will withhold the Tsunami trades from direct market stores, but let's wait and see before jumping to conclusions."
Warren, what's the frequency? Warren Ellis
finally comments on news that the WB has bought the rights to "Global Frequency":
"Frankly, I forget all the details and I'm freezing bloody cold in the pub, but as I remember the deal comes with a script commitment -- my friend the screenwriter John Rogers is writing and developing -- and I'm on as a consultant and producer."
When you have an hour or so to spare:
Read last week's "Permanent Damage"
at CBR. In it, Steven Grant sits down with writer Ed Brubaker ("Sleeper," "Gotham Central") to talk about the new "Sleeper" trade. But instead of asking Ed about, oh, how he broke into the business or how many hours a day he writes, Steven actually asks pertinent
And, better yet, Ed answers them. The two talk, at great length, about the wait-for-the-trade mentality, the bumpy and (so far) unsuccessful shift by the comics industry from magazine model to book model, and writing in the 22-page format.
It's one of the best comics-related interviews I've ever read. If you have the time, check it out. Now.
Still crazy after all these years:
Once a month or so, legendary comics curmudgeon John Byrne writes a column at Slush Factory
. Occasionally, the column looks at changing trends in comics or gives a little insight into the art of storytelling.
But more often than not, it's just John lashing out at these nebulous segments of the comics-reading population that have somehow wronged him over the years. Many of these columns sound as if they got their start at John's message board, where he routinely delivers puzzling sermons from the mount to an audience of unquestioning devotees.
This time around, John unloads on fans and critics who profess to know what he thinks, and whether he's "into" a certain project. Stupid, stupid humans!
"Case in point, the 'Robin' book I did with Stan Lee a while back. When the pencils came into the DC offices there was an almost universal reaction of 'Wow! Byrne is really turned on by this project! You can see it in the work!' When copies of the pencils circulated into the hands of some quarters of fandom, the reaction was much the same. 'I wish Byrne would bring this kind of enthusiasm to his other work!'"
Now, what would make them think that? Foolish, foolish humans!
Lest you think he enjoyed the work, Byrne continues: "... it has been a long, long time since I cared LESS about a job than I did the 'Robin' assignment. I was handed a plot not written with me in mind, and I simply sat down at the drawing board and set about working through the dynamics of the storyline to the best of my ability. No 'WoW!! This is gonna be great!' No 'I'm so glad I got picked to do this book!' Nope. Just a job. Interesting for the way it exercised certain artistic muscles, but nothing more. Did it mostly for the prestige of working on a Stan Lee book at DC. (The money was not bad, but -- again, contrary to the telepaths in the audience -- I do not do the jobs just for the money.)"
Now that that's
cleared up, we can all continue our sad little Byrne-free lives.
Yeah, I am
going to plug this again ... My first published comic work, a 10-page story called "Bad Elements," comes out Wednesday in "Digital Webbing Presents"
It's a little ditty about crime, loyalty, family ... and magic.
Peter Honrade is the artist. Jonboy Meyers did the cover. Buy it. Please.
And so ends the shameless pimping segment of our show.