This week I have mostly been reading emails about the size of comics creator’s penises. I blame Mark Millar. Onwards.
Welcome to the eighth weekly installment of Lying In The Gutters, a gossip and rumour column serving the comic book industry by having its wicked way wuith the comic book industry’s younger sister. The traffic lights on each story are my takes on their reliability. Green lets you know I believe it, Amber let’s you know I reckon there’s something in it somewhere, Red lets you know I think it’s quite possibly bullshit. But then you never know. The lights are just an indication – doesn’t mean a red can’t be true and a green can’t be false. Take everything you read with a plate of seabass – and if you do repost information here elsewhere, please include a warning to that effect. And a link. Man does not live by hits alone – I wish.
STORMWATCH ONE OF SPIKED ‘TIBET’ TITLES
VERTIGO TO RESTRICT PROJECTS?
Vertigo are also currently looking for a project for Eduardo Risso to work on while he waits for “100 Bullets” scripts.
WINTER IN THE SUN
This has been a clear set-up by Ellis from “Stormwatch” that’s finally being acted upon. Bet Ellis even thought of the “Winter In The Sun” line, which everyone is bound to use. A number of writers have picked up on this strand and pitched the idea over the years, finally Robbie Morrison and Frazer Irving have the go ahead.
I wonder how long until we get to the bit about Jack Hawksmoor being The Spirit Of Murder, after he killed Rose Tattoo and was suddenly no longer a pacifist…
IN THE WAKE OF CHAOS
A few weeks ago a number of Chaos Comics creditors received a letter from Brian Pulido and stressing a reorganisation of the company in order to pay them. It never happened.
I understand a number of freelancers were asked to stop work on books, so that lower paid creators can take over the books in question – but they weren’t paid either. Some of Chaos’s creators and suppliers went out of their way to suggest lower-cost alternatives, but feel their efforts were ignored.
Well it never did get better. I understand that Glass House Graphics, suppliers of art for their WWF books, “Insane Clown Posse,” “Lady Death,” “Chastity” and “Purgatori” are one of Chaos!’s biggest creditors.
I talked extensively to Dave Campiti of Glass House. He told me “Quite a while back, Brian fell behind, and we had a long talk. I told him every company that we let fall $38,000 or so behind has burned us. We couldn’t afford to let him do what Eclipse and Continuity and Angel and others have done to us. He replied, ‘I’m good to my word. You will not get burned. You have my word on this.'”
Campiti said that if he’d known about the situation, “we would have accepted ownership of his characters and some reprint rights and files, he could have covered 100% of his debt to us without actually paying us a dime and and Glass House could have generated money from these to pay everyone.”
Campiti also adds to the CBR news story “when Hi-Fi dumped Chaos, Chaos came to Glass House for more coloring services without warning us they couldn’t pay for it. Certainly, Chaos knew before telling the lawyers ‘file Chapter 7’ that it was happening, so Brian Pulido could have picked up a telephone and worked out an exchange of character rights or: something, to pay off the debt. But his way of rewarding us for several years of Glass House essentially ‘being the bank’ and granting him no-interest loans for was to burn us totally.”
Campiti names artists he knows as being out of pocket, Wilson Tortosa, John Toledo, Blond, Michael Kelleher, Chris Dreier, Will Conrad, Ivan Reis, Joe Pimentel. Campiti adds “Ivan & Pimentel were the top ‘Lady Death’ artists for Chaos. For three years, Reis turned down jobs at Marvel, offering a higher page rate, to remain faithful to Brian. Ivan passed on ‘Defenders’ and other regular monthly series, until recently.
Campiti says “At one point Ivan was going to finally leave Chaos to go to Marvel, because Brian’s way of rewarding Ivan for years of exclusive service was to lower Ivan’s page rate. This was right after Ivan passed on taking over ‘Defenders.’ So when Ivan decided to leave, Brian Pulido called personally to beg for Ivan to stay aboard at the original page rate. Ivan agreed, as long as Chaos got caught up on 4 or 5 unpaid issues of work. Ivan kept doing art, but the money never came. Fortunately, Ivan decided to split his efforts and finally began taking on some Marvel jobs, or he’d be destitute now.”
So what is to blame? As well as expensive-to-create books which Campiti believes could have found ways to reduce costs without skimping in quality, Campiti sites three attempted launches from Chaos that sucked in money but failed in the marketplace.
“First was their WWF licenses, shot into the direct market only instead of working backwards and locking in smart distribution first. That was the ideal project to go out-format — you know, do ‘The Rock’ say, as a Treasury-sized with photo covers, pull-out poster, interview feature as well as the comics, and sell in the stadiums to a captive audience, The direct edition of that would’ve been almost afterthought.
“Second was their aborted super-hero line. They developed several titles, one drawn by Ivan Reis that died in the water. I think only 1 issue of 1 title came out, and art for the next couple of issues is on a shelf somewhere. (We made suggestions how to incorporate ‘Lady Death’ into the unpublished material with only adding a few new pages, so none of that art would get wasted and the material could be resolicited as Chaos titles, but the suggestions were ignored.)
“Third was their ‘Black Book’ line. They at least had the Chaos logos, but they were basically black-and-white books on nice paper. None of those worked.
“Part of the problem I see with Chaos is, no matter how good the idea — conceptually, financially, or whatever — if the idea didn’t originate from Brian, it didn’t get used.”
As to other deals from other publishers, Campiti told me, from discussion with Pulido “He said, ‘I’ve had Chaos up for sale for two years. In 2000, CrossGen was, I think, the first company we approached, in and out of the comics industry, and we had no takers.'”
The rumour mill says the next to go is Sirius. However Campiti tells me that, unlike Chaos!, “we’re packaging ‘Banzai Girl’ for Sirius, and their payments have been on-time and they’ve been great about communication and publicity.”
PALMIOTTI ON THE SET!
LOEB WRITES SMALLVILLE
ALL OUR COLLECTIVE MEMORIES AT WILDSTORM
I’m assured by involved parties that this is untrue and it’s simply down to shoddy printing.
COMIC BOOK CREATORS WITH BIG PENISES
One popular choice was Roy Thomas, namechecked a number of times as having an absolutely prodigious todger.
Frank Brunner was mentioned by a few as was Jeff Jones. Now living as a woman, I was told that “there’s an old Studio photo floating around in which Jones is nude (pre-breast days) and it looks like he has three legs.”
Again, Robert Crumb was also mentioned by a number of people as having pendulous properties.
Someone told me that a certain editor at DC Comics “*is* the biggest penis in comics” but that’s not the same thing and it would be cruel to mention his name.
SUPERMAN/ROCKETEER STILL STALLED
MARVEL HARDCOVERS GO OUT OF PRINT
Look for them all in your local comic shops now – or on eBay in six months time.
NEW FAN CAMPAIGN, HILARIOUS
This is good stuff folks. Pray you never end up like them.
DIGGLE LAUNCHES WEBSITE
CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE
DON LOMAX REVISTS THE ‘NAM ONLINE
TODAY TEXAS, TOMORROW THE WORLD?
Increase the amount of smaller shows over different regions of the USA, making conventions more frequent and accessible so as to make San Diego less “special.”
Bring more entertainment based programming to all these shows. Attendance by the likes of Ben Affleck and Arnold Schwartzeneggar are morale boosters for convention goers, an acceptance by the great and good.
Set up a West Coast beach head for inland manoeuvres.
Remove the idea of a convention season, by throwing these shows all across the calendar rather than the summer months. Newsarama.vom reported WizardWorld Texas as taking place in the autumn. A Southern Californian WizardWorld would take place in the winter.
LOVE AND COMICS
“But Lisa Marie… I named myself after this one…”
“Okay, okay, I’ll sell them…”
PAT LEE’S THOUGHTS OVERLOADED
It’s back up now though.
MILLAR NOT TO WRITE VAMPIRELLA
WAITING FOR WAITING FOR TOMMY
Yes, Dynamic Forces are partially responsible for the boom and bust of comics. Yes, they’re evil soul-sucking monsters. And yes, their premium comics pander to the worst dregs of the comic buying community. But they’re paying me money.
RECRUITING IN THE GUTTERS
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Be seeing you.