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"DANGER GIRL" CREATOR BLASTS VARIANT PRODUCER

In comments on the Cliffhanger Danger Girl message board(www.dangergirl.com), "Danger Girl" creator J. Scott Campbell, whosebook featured more than five variant versions of its first issue, blastedretailer Comic Cavalcade for their "absurd" prices and multiple variantsof "Danger Girl" #2.

"I am appalled and embarrassed by not only the amount that they aretrying to charge you guys for these very ordinary comics, but the fact thatthey slapped a couple of different colored sparkly inks over the logo andpretend that they're 'completely different!'"

Comic Cavalcade is selling three versions of "Danger Girl" #2, a newcover for $7, the platinum foil version, which has a chromed title, for $20and the "ruby red" version, with a red chromed title, for $60. Thecompany says the variants are limited to 4,000 copies for the basicvariant, 1,000 for the platinum and 400 for the ruby red.

- J. Scott Campbell

"I assure you all that neither Andy [Hartnell] or myself had any idea whenwe were approached to do this alternate that there would be THREEdifferent logo colors. Nor were we told of this absurd price they wouldbe asking. I assure you, we only see a fraction of the money they'retaking in. I apologize for this fiasco and promise that I will pay moreattention to the deals that I get myself involved with regarding 'DangerGirl' in the future."

This isn't the first time "Danger Girl" has ventured into variant territory,however: The first issue was also accompanied by a "chromium" editionwith a foil cover, which was limited to roughly two copies per retailer,leading to some California-area retailers charging $70 and up for theissue, which has a cover price of $9. There was also an oversized"Danger-size" edition made available to stores that had high orders of theregular edition of the comic, a "tour edition" cover only available atpersonal appearances by the creators, and retailer AmericanEntertainment had an alternate cover of the first issue, using the art from apromotional "Danger Girl" poster from last summer. The AmericanEntertainment version was also available with chromed title. AmericanEntertainment also had variants, including one with a chromed logo, ofthe "Danger Girl" preview issue originally available only with copies of"Gen13" or "DV8."

- J. Scott Campbell

"Be aware, though, that variants have become a permanent fixture of thisbusiness," Campbell said. "That's just a fact we all have to come to gripswith. I mean think about, If you guys didn't buy them, we wouldn't makethem."

In an e-mailed response to Comic Wire, William Christensen, thepresident of Comic Cavalcade, wouldn't go into details about thesituation, but said the company has "put a call in to Wildstorm and Mr.Campbell to discuss any possible confusion that may have occurred. Welook forward to doing more products with Image, Wildstorm, and Mr.Campbell in the near future."

And back at the Dangergirl.com message board, Campbell defended thepractice of issuing variants at all:

"Believe me, not having all the variants to DG will not affect yourenjoyment of the storyline in the slightest (unlike another forthcomingcomic which boasts that you absolutely NEED all it's variants for greaterunderstanding of it's story, which will remain nameless...)"

The probable nameless comic? Top Cow's "Fathom," which will featuremultiple first issues, each of which will include severalunique-to-that-variant pages, featuring a different character's perspectiveon the events in the story. Top Cow's spin on the "Fathom" variants isthat they actually have more value for the readers other than collectors.

LARSEN GOES "NOVA"

Erik Larsen, who's gone from working on only his own "SavageDragon" book to taking over "Aquaman" and "Wolverine" will soon beworking on his fourth regular monthly book: "Nova."

Larsen made the announcement Wednesday on the Savage Dragonmailing list, and says no artist has been decided yet. The announcementhas not been officially confirmed by Marvel Comics at press time. Noword on when Larsen's "Nova" will hit the stands.

ORIGINAL "MAGE" SERIES REDISCOVERED

Even after a decade's absence from the stands, Matt Wagner's "Mage"series made a big splash critically and with fans when he began thesecond part of his trilogy, "Mage: The Hero Defined" last year.

But fans who wanted to pick up the original series, "Mage: The HeroDiscovered," were out of luck. Original issues and the three tradepaperbacks that collected the series - which is both an autobiographicalwork about Wagner himself and a Campbellian adventure storyfeaturing legendary figures returning to the modern world - were bothscarce and very expensive.

What seemed a natural solution - republishing the original tradepaperbacks - was complicated by the fact that when Comico, thepublisher of the original "Mage" series collapsed, the printing films fortwo of Wagner's series, "Mage" and "Grendel," were lost.

But there's "destroyed lost" and "misplaced lost," and "Mage: The HeroDefined" turned out to be the latter.

Starting in October, Image Comics - the publishers of the current"Mage" series - will be publishing a series of eight prestige formatbooks every two weeks, each including two issues of the original series.Each will have been recolored using modern coloring techniques.

And in other "Mage" news, or perhaps non-news, Wagner declined tocomment on rumors mentioned on several Internet film sites that VinceVaughn, of "Swingers" and "The Lost World" fame, had spoken to himabout playing Kevin Matchstick, the protagonist of "Mage," in apossible upcoming movie.

"CHASTITY" SUIT OFF

Nancy Collins has dropped her suit against Chaos Comics. The former"Swamp Thing" scribe accused Chaos of lifting much of the earlyadventures of Chaos vampire Chastity from Collins' first novel,"Sunglasses After Dark," the first of several novels about the vampireSonja Blue.

"The resemblance to Chastity had less to do with the comics version ofSUNGLASSES than it did the original prose version. And numerousreaders (including several fellow professionals) familiar with my worksaw the initial attack in the van (and the whole punkvampire/vampire-slayer thing) as a distinct rip-off, so it wasn't just me,"she said in an interview at Beau Yarbrough's Secret Identity Web site(http://www.lby3.com/comic/archive/collins.html).

- Nancy Collins

"However, time constraints forced me to drop the case. Drop, notwithdraw," Collins emphasized. "I still believe what I believe concerningthe matter to be true, but I have chosen not to pursue further litigation,as it would be a waste of my time and resources."

Chastity appears next in Chaos Comics' "Evil Ernie" #1 this month,while Sonja Blue most recently appeared in "A Dozen Black Roses"from White Wolf Books.

BARON AND RUDE VENTURE OUTSIDE "NEXUS?"

It's been a while since the critically acclaimed "Nexus" has shown up onthe comic stands, but Mike Baron and Steve Rude have something elsein the pipeline. Unfortunately, what they've been busy with is somethingof a mystery.

"I can't say for certain when Nexus will again appear, but he will,"Baron wrote this week to the Comic Wire. "In the meantime, the Dude["Nexus" artist Steve Rude] and I have not been idle. We hope to havean announcement to make in Chicago [at the Wizard Con '98 comicconvention next month]."

What's the announcement concern? Baron isn't saying …

"There's always a temptation to say 'This will be the Biggest Thing sinceStar Wars!" and announce Project X. But right now, Project X is still inthe formative statements so I can offer you no details, except it will bein English!"

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