Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Newsarama interviews a variety of creators, including me, on the state of Tokyopop. It's an interesting range of viewpoints; worth a look.
Above: Busted! A page from the now-web-only EARTHLIGHT volume 3, coming from Tokyopop this fall. Art, as always, by the amazing Christopher Schons.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Dirk Deppey's Journalista is a great news source and links blog -- it's the first comics site I check in the morning. His breadth of interest and knowledge of indy and foreign comics is impressive. Unfortunately, when he speculates about DC and Marvel, he's usually writing as an outsider, and frequently misses the mark.
Today he has a longish editorial about systemic problems within DC Comics. Some of it is pretty spot-on and some of it is dead wrong; I'll be honest and say I have too many conflicting interests, and too many friends at both DC and Marvel, to wade into this in any detail, especially at a volatile time like this.
However, I can set the record straight on one historical matter. In discussing DC's reputation for competition within the organization, Dirk writes:
"The most striking (and admittedly anecdotal) example I’ve heard — from multiple sources — would be the way that Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan was moved from the company’s failed sci-fi line Helix over to its Vertigo division, where it was allegedly resented by editor Karen Berger for being 'imposed from outside' and thus treated like Vertigo’s Ugly Duckling ever after, regardless of its obvious sales potential."
I acquired TRANSMET for Helix and edited the title for a little over two years -- the first at Helix, the rest at Vertigo. While Karen Berger and I had our differences during that time, I can tell you there was absolutely no resistance on her part to bringing the book over to Vertigo. She was nothing but supportive of it. In fact, DC gave issue #13, the first under the Vertigo imprint, an extra promotional push -- I think it was an overship, but I can't swear to that. I do know that Warren worked with Karen and Vertigo consistently for several years after that, notably on the graphic novel ORBITER with Colleen Doran. And TRANSMET, like PREACHER, SANDMAN, and THE INVISIBLES, was consistently and regularly collected into trade paperbacks before that was the norm.
Warren or Darick, or Axel Alonso, could tell you if there were problems with TRANSMET after my time. But if this really is a prominent rumor -- that the book was resented by Vertigo or somehow foisted on the imprint -- then let me squash it right now. Nothing to it at all.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Thank you, Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan!
A few pressing matters:
• First and most important, since it keeps coming up: As far as I'm concerned, in my current IRON MAN storyline, Dugan (see above) is not a Skrull spy. He's the real thing. In the online prologue to SECRET INVASION, it's revealed that Dugan was killed and replaced with a Skrull just a few weeks before the Invasion began. My story takes place before that time.
So you can look at "With Iron Hands" as Dugan's last hurrah. And he gets some fun stuff to do in issue #31, next month.
All this is void where prohibited, or if Tom Brevoort decides I'm wrong.
If none of that made any sense to you, you probably have a life. Go back to it and stop making the rest of us feel bad.
• I've received word from Tokyopop that EARTHLIGHT volume 3, like most of their Original English Language manga, will not be published as a printed book, but will instead appear, free of charge, on their website at some point. Tokyopop is going through a change of business plan and, as has been widely reported, the OEL books haven't sold very well (with some definite exceptions). I'm sorry I won't be able to put volume three on the shelf next to the others -- but both Chris Schons and I have been paid in full, and this actually means more people will probably see the work. So no giant complaints.
• I don't know much about what's going on at DC right now; my interactions with them lately have been limited to some minor licensing work, and a recent, helpful interchange when the state of California decided retroactively that I and a few other freelancers owed them back taxes for work done for DC in 2005. (Spoiler: We don't.) I do wish John Nee the best. I can't say I know him well, but he's always done right by me and he inexplicably kept recommending me for jobs a few years ago. Also best wishes to Chuck Dixon, who's handled his own DC situation this past week with clarity and class.
More soon, including updates on THE 99 and new Marvel and Virgin projects.
Monday, June 16, 2008
More frequent blogging soon -- promise! Meanwhile:
IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #30 is out this week, featuring part two of my four-part story "With Iron Hands." The tension escalates as the Overkill Mind is born! Part One got great reviews, and I'm really pleased with the way this whole book is coming out. Previews here and here.
Heidi MacDonald tells all about THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY VOLUME TWO, coming in September. I can't wait to show you some of the art on this.
I'm not sure of the status of EARTHLIGHT VOLUME THREE at Tokyopop. As far as I know, it's still scheduled for November. More info as it comes.