As the world lurched into the first five-day-workweek of the year (Surely it wasn’t just me that felt as if this was the longest week in history, right?), the Newsarama mothership lurched into another week of news and, indeed, arama. The big publishers had the spotlight again this week, but for reasons other than what they may have wanted – Civil War was delayed again, and Stephanie Fierman left DC, according to Paul Levitz. Who would want to talk about anything more than that?
This may be the week where the more interesting story on the mothership was the one that no-one paid attention to, though. And I mean no-one: Open Book Press’s Mike Gagnon responded to last week’s story about HC Noel getting ripped off by Gagnon, and there wasn’t one response. How could everyone avoid such deathless defending as this?:
At no time have I or anyone currently or formerly involved with Open Book Press ever been involved in any type of copyright infringement action or treated Mr. Noel unprofessionally. On several occasions I have explained to Mr. Noel that stock sold by Amazon was ordered and fulfilled prior to the termination of our contract, and that issues 2 and 3 of Mr. Scootles were never printed, let alone sold by any means. The title information listed at book sales sites is a result of advanced solicitation to retailers and distributors. Books begin soliciting a minimum of six months prior to actual retail release, and book listings for issue 2 and 3 had already been sent out prior to the termination of our deal.
Claims also made that Mr. Noel has not received sales records, comp. copies, royalty statements, etc. are blatantly false. This information was sent to Mr. Noel via e-mail on or about the 16 th of November 2006, nearly a month before Mr. McLelland’s article claims that he had still not received anything. The information was also sent via mail in a package along with any and all material in my possession concerning Mr. Scootles at the time. Printed copies of #1, original submissions, as well as a copy of the rejection notice from Diamond listing that the title was rejected due to the quality of artwork, not unprofessional format, sizing, printing, or approach as Mr. Noel has claimed.
This information has been sent to Mr. Noel on several occasions, and I find it strange that none of these e-mails were able to find their way into Mr. McLelland’s article. I cannot comment on if this is due to Mr. McLelland overlooking them, or perhaps selectively having never been supplied to him by Mr. Noel.
Perhaps the talkback posters were too busy being unsurprised by the news that Civil War #7 will fail to meet its third announced ship date. Surprisingly, there were only six pages of replies on the initial announcement, and nine on the second, headline, story about this that also revealed yet another previously-unannounced epilogue issue. Even Heidi MacDonald commented on the lack of fan outrage over at The Beat:
We haven’t been entirely up on the news, but the announcement seems to have been met with very little wailing and gnashing. It seems fans that a) fans WILL wait and b) retailers WILL continue to order Marvel Comics in large amounts. Looks like the only thing that ever really changes is the line-up of the Fantastic Four, and somehow, with a movie on the way we think Sue and Reed may just be back someday. Ah yes, the restoration of order.
The real truth may, of course, just be that the internet is kind of bored of Civil War by now. Not only is another delay the cause of anything other than rolled eyes from all but the greatest Marvel Zombies and anti-Zombies at this point, but we’re already hearing about the books that come after (That new Ronin, by the way… It’s Steve Rogers, isn’t it? He’s going to fake his own death at the end of Civil War, isn’t he?).
Other Marvelarama this week included the first rumblings of the Hype Machine for the Dark Tower project, with Peter David, Jae Lee and Richard Isanove getting their turns under the spotlight and news of a Harry Potter-esque midnight release of the first issue breaking. Because if there’s one place I’d want to be at midnight on a Tuesday night, it’s at a comic book store.
DC, meanwhile, had some comings and goings this week. Coming! Sexy Sean McKeever, who leaves the House of Ideas because they didn’t pay him enough attention:
To Marvel’s credit, there were a couple big things that I was attached to. But every time, something would happen that would stop it. You know, the project would get canceled before I even wrote the first script. Or the first script would be written and the project would get put on hold. It was always for various reasons that were beyond my control — and I wasn’t really privy to all the reasons why. So, it was frustrating.
So yeah, that was a big part of the appeal of DC’s offer was that they do want me to do some high-profile stuff. I’m not just going to jump over and do Johnny DC — not that there’s anything wrong with Johnny DC. And you know, not that there’s anything wrong with Marvel Adventures books. But I would like to take some time to do some stories that more eyeballs are going to be looking at.
Going! Senior VP of sales and marketing Stephanie Fierman left DC under somewhat mysterious circumstances on Friday:
Stephanie Fierman’s tenure as DC Comics’ Senior VP of Sales and Marketing has come to an end, this according to a statement by DC President and Publisher Paul Levitz issued to Newsarama Friday afternoon.
“Stephanie Fierman will no longer be in her current role at DC Comics,” reads Levitz’s statement. “She may be doing projects for us or working elsewhere within Time Warner.”
Paul Levitz released the statement? That’s… unusual, isn’t it? Especially a statement as vague as that one, with the “she may be doing projects for us” line. I believe this is the kind of story that is generally described as “developing”. Perhaps some of those developments have already been foreshadowed by Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, however gossipy it may be…
Also developing at DC is 52, which gets four spin-off one-shots all shipping on the same day in April:
As [Dan] Didio explained it, the stories being told in the one shots were always on the books as things that needed to be told during 52, but plans for the four one shots didn’t solidify firmly until 52 had been running along for a few months, and once the scope of World War III was fully realized.
“I want to be very clear about this,” Didio said when asked about how the story flows through issue #50 of 52 and the specials, “52 #50, the big battle of World War III is something that fits within 52 and plays within 52, and what has been building in 52. These four specials are things that help expand that story, but are by no means issues ‘#53-#56’ of 52. These are four separate issues that are building on a particular event or a particular moment, and 52 can work fine without these, but if people want to see a larger view of the scope of the war, these issues are available.
“Because of the real-time nature of 52, and the concept of the war is that it’s lightning fast in terms of actual time, we though that to get the full impact of how it hits the DCU so fast, so furious, we wanted to do it all in one week, so that everyone felt the impact of it during that one week time while its taking place in 52 itself.”
So – clarifying and reiterating – 52 is the war. The four specials are the world around the war, plus the One Year Later threads.
It wouldn’t be that cynical to think that the reason these new books exist is because the writers got to week 50 and thought, “Shit, we only have two more issues to go and look at all the things we still have to do,” would it? It would…? Oh. Never mind, then.
Meanwhile, the rest of ‘Rama’s week was taken up with Rick Remender profiling up-and-coming artists who just happen to be working on things that he’s written (snark aside, they all look pretty good so far; there’re three more to come.), news that Vampirella was going to be be published by a new company (which was only briefly interesting in the period where it looked like her current publisher was contesting the issue), and the return of Michael Golden to the sick, infantilized world of comics.
My advice to Mr. Golden? Get out again, Michael. While you still can. Before you’re invited to one of Paul Jenkins’ parties.