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Hell, Harras and Hate

By Jason Brice
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From Prague

A nice fellow just e-mailed me a visual, purporting to be from the upcoming From Hell film. The one that turns the book into a whodunnit, and has an action packed chase to save Mary Kelly.

Oh dear. Anyway, have a peek...

This has a Rage Value of 6 Out Of 10


Harassing Harras

An Anonymous poster posted rumours about what happened with Bob Harras to the Savage Dragon Message Boards. He then reposted a reply posing as another individual, pretending to be surprised at the news. Erik Larsen responded by saying that previous to the post, a source he knew had posted the exact same message to him.

Since then the post has been doing the rounds. The original poster's IP adress is 64.12.105.182 and was posted on August 30, 2000 at 14:12:56. Now, all I've been able to do is dicover that this canme from an AOL address, but that IPs gets swapped around real easily by AOL. If anyone can take this further, go for it.

Some of the rumours tie in with what I've been hearing from other pros in the industry, but there's a lot on insults in the post. I do not have any idea of the truth of this message. And, unless you have heard from a primary source, neither do you.

Under the title 'What Happened At Marvel', Anonymous throws insults around, a figure called 'Ike' being tagged as the real boss at Marvel, with Peter Cuneo as "the President in name only", with Bill Jemas in charge of editorial and new media.

Ike has been identified by other sources as 'Isaac Perlmutter', a director at Marvel who was with ToyBiz when the Marvel/ToyBiz structure was rearranged. Its reported that both he and Avi Arad hold the controlling levers to Marvel, and Isaac does hold a large amount of Marvel stock… more than any other individual I could find.

Jemas is also insulted with a story that he "made the fumetti for the website for $30,000 but didn't bother to find out that you can't put JPEG's into Flash and make a little animation."

According to Anonymous, this situation started when John Galvin, who had delivered the mail at Marvel since 1968 was fired just before San Diego and "Bob suddenly had an epiphany and said, "these people are dangerous. They really do have no soul." He started fighting back suddenly, after years of playing the compromiser and mediator."

Anonymous says that this started a lot of pressure on Bob, being held accountable for orders of paper clips and staples, and to harass people for arriving 7 minutes late to work. Anonymous continues that Bob was told to "Make them punch out at the end of the day" and that Bob refused, "saying that editors are salaried, not timeclock employees." Apparently "they wanted him to fire Mark Powers for coming in every day at 9:30 and Bob refused to even speak to Mark about it."

Here Anonymous is a little unclear and isn't sure which happened first. He/she talks about the point where Bob and Ike stopped speaking. Apparently, "Ike stopped Bob in the hall. "You should be ashamed of yourself," said Ike. "You should be embarrassed for writing 'Stan Lee Presents' on the X-Men TV Guide insert." Bob said something along the lines of "you can't be serious, that's policy. If it's changed, you need to tell me.""

Another moment Anonymous talks about is when "Ike told Bob he should be "ashamed and embarrassed" for having written a memo a year ago in support of keeping the coffee maker for the employees. Bob said, "Eric Ellenbogen (president at the time) asked me to write that to explain why we needed it." At this point, Ike got hopping mad and said, "THAT guy! I hate Eric Ellenbogen! If your children turn out like him,you should KILL them!"" Anonymous presumes this is a reference to Eric's sexuality.

Anonymous continues, saying "So Bob says "I don't have to take this," and walks away. They don't speak again until Ike fires Bob today. Bob raked Jemas and Cuneo over the coals for letting Ike fire him. "That man told me to kill my children," he told them. "You shouldn't have had him do it. He's not my supervisor, you are.""

According to Anonymous, when Bob asked them why, they replied "First, they said, "you take too many days off." Bob said, "I've taken off a week this year, try again." "You make too much money... no, wait, that wasn't it... you're, uh, burnt out... uh..." All this said with downcast eyes. Jemas and Cuneo couldn't face Bob, who was to my mind, clearly fired because Ike wanted to intimidate and cow the cool kid on the playground. To my mind, it's clear, deliberate malice."

Anonymous concludes with Bob Harras after work in the Abbey Tavern, a pub/bar near to the Marvel offices, saying "he thought I should kill my children. He said I should kill my children if they're gay."

Okay chaps, this is rumour posted by someone who remains anonymous. So who knows what truth lies within here. Make that call yourself.

However, as Warren Ellis said when this was reprinted on his Delphi forum, "I would not write this off as bullshit" and that "I happen to know that Bob did go out for a drink that night". Mike Heisler replied "I can't speak to what Warren knows or how he knows it, but there is nothing in that report that I haven't already heard from other sources." And Steven Grant wrote "I wouldn't necessarily discredit this report either. I've already had parts of it independently verified. And the Abbey Tavern is close enough to Marvel - I used to eat and drink there when I lived in the neighborhood (you could tell it was an English pub, 'cause they kept the home fries burning) - that it fits."

Remember, this is a post full of hate, bile and anger. That doesn't mean it's false, but in no way does it mean it's true, either. Remember that.

I contacted Joe Quesada, Bill Jemas, Bill Rosemann and Marvel's PR department with no response. I attempted to contact Isaac Perlmutter but failed.

I have, however been informed by another source that Bob Harras' firing was welcome news to his wife who was very pleased with the severance pay. No news as to how much this was, but a perusal of Warren Ellis's latest CIA column shows that when Eric Ellenbogen was fired, he received 2.5 million dollars. Enough to cover the electricity bill, anyway.

This has a Rage Value of 4 Out Of 10


Paul Levitz Love-In: Part Two

Well, last week’s Paul Levitz love-in seemed to go down well last week. One DC editorial staffer who asked not to be named said “Last week anyone who would have mentioned your name in the office would have been fired. This week I’ve seen a print-out of the column on a desk without comment from anyone.”

Hmmm, I don’t want anyone to think I’m going soft. Anyway, Kevin Maroney said “Paul spoke briefly at Mark Gruenwald's funeral. His speech was kind, funny, and poignant, almost exactly what I would have expected from the man whose career I've been following since 1982.”

While Jason Bergman had a more light hearted look, saying “My father was Paul Levitz' limo driver for awhile. He tips well.”

Warren Ellis on his Delphi forum posted “I've dealt with Paul, and happen to like and respect him.” All good so far, positive, positive, positive! But then, calamity! “But these "mistakes" are starting to come thick and fast, and are increasingly unsupported by human logic. I'm starting to worry, frankly.” Oh, he was so close there.

And then Stuart Moore on the Comicon boards, about the Tomorrow Stories #8 incident says “Oh, and in my experience, Paul Levitz's reasons for these decisions aren't always purely legal in nature -- sometimes they have to do with respecting trademarks and wanting other people to respect yours, for instance.” Excellent Moore, that’s more like it. “But I don't have any specific knowledge about this case, and I'll agree that Paul's decisions often leave you scratching your head.” Egad! Fie! Woe!

Oh this is terrible. There's no way anyone will be leaving printed columns on the desks at DC this week… or probably at Marvel either. Right folks, next week I want positive Paul Levitz stories. We’ve proved that they exist… let’s go find some more!

This have a Rage Value of 6 Out Of 10


Fanta’s Grotto

I’ve come across a list of December-shipping comics from Fantagraphics, and since most of the other news sites don’t seem as interested, here’s a few things that stood out for me.

Angry Youth Comix by Johnny Ryan, nominated for best Mini-comic in the 2000 Ignatz awards, has been picked up by Fantagraphics as a quarterly series, in the tradition of Eightball, Hate and Naughty Bits. It’s been praised to the skies by some top cartoonist bods And the first issue features, well, “the full-length “Whorehouse of Dr. Moreau,” in which Ryan’s resident loser, the pizza-faced Loady McGee, is forced to get a job and decides to open up a whorehouse in his pal Sinus O’Gynus’s pad. Sinus ain’t too happy about it, especially when he finds out what happened to his pets!”

There’s a long-awaited eight issue of Charles Burn’s Black Hole – oh what a comic, Comics Journal is interviewing Gene Colan, Seth Tobacman and Alan Moore – with a special TCJ review of all the ABC books, a new issue of Frank, Luba’s Comics And Stories... and then this...

This has a Rage Value of 9 Out Of 10


Peter Bagge Hate-In

I hear Peter Bagge as a new issue of Hate scheduled for December. Hate was a successful and influential quarterly comic from Fantagraphics by Peter Bagge that finally came to an end a few years ago. But it’s back! A 48 page Hate Annual will feature Buddy and Lisa’s story after Hate #30, a new character called Lovey, comics journalism and a 3 page Matrix story.

Interesting, especially as in an Alan David Doane interview with Peter Bagge at Comic Book Galaxy he said that Fantagraphics had rejected another series proposal from him - looks like there's life in the old Hate yet.

This has a Rage Value of 8 Out Of 10


Cascading Men

So what's the line-up for the much hyped Alan Moore's America's Best Comics Cascade anthology? Looks like it's the Glenn Fabry cowboy story we hyped up about a year and a half ago, as well as sci-fi with Dave Gibbons, Glamour Adventuress in a Barbarella style with Brian Bolland (we pray for a Zirk appearance) and a tale of psychedilia with Bryan Talbot (hey, whatever happened to Nightjar?)

Yet to be decided is whether Greyshirt will become a continuing series or a continuing arc in Cascade.

This has a Rage Value of 8 Out Of 10


Thunder In A Honey Pot

Eric deSantis, ex-editor of Wildstorm wrote to the Wildstorm Message Board some explanation for the recent Wildstorm Thunderbook.

He wrote "Everything you never wanted to know about the WS THUNDERBOOK: original scheduled ship date: JUL 99, original format: 80 pages, original price: 4.95"

"Gen13: Adam had that story in the works for something like 3 years. But I love him nonetheless. Yes, he should be writing more. DC edits: Holly originally offers Roxy a Coke, to which Roxy denounces preferring Pepsi. Adam had also intricately drawn Winnie the Pooh on each instance of Holly's shirt."

I also hear that "Adam Hughes wasn't happy about seeing the story he laboured on for 3 years or so changed in any way" and I also hear that a few "curse words" were toned down.

Back to Eric, "Grifter: This is the second version of the story. Harris' original had the girl pick up a gun and give poppa a lead kiss, but this unfortuneately was turned in during the wake of Columbine. I guiltily asked Harris to revise it, and he kindly did so. But the book was pushed off for so long, the change now seems kind of pointless. And I'm in minority, but Ellis is okay by me."

"Jet: fun all the way around. Thought Durruthy's inks were neat. A post on a message board a while back pointed out that the preview copy didn't have Backlash's scar drawn in, so we had the colorist add it."

"Cybernary: I went after Boller for the art primarily because I dug his series KAOS MOON. Tommy's story was short and sweet, presumably to help lead into something new. Now...?? DV8: love this story. still works even a year after it was written. Tom Orzachowski [sic] rocks."

"Cut from the book was a Hazzard story and a Mr. Majestic story."

"Pin-ups: After a small mix-up with the intended G13 pin-up, in came the Ed Benes pin-up.That was Ed's version of "Gaijin13" for issue #57 which he did for kicks. Sean Phillips colored his own piece. Cybernary, sorry to hear the jeers, I was just trying to do something different."

"I think it's a nice batch of stories, though I really am sorry about the price. Since I left WS before the book was complete, thanks to John Layman for cleaning up my mess."

This has a Rage Value of 7 Out Of 10


Tit Bits

With all this fuss over the possible line-up for a new Ghost Rider series, is it worth pointing out that Wizard has tagged writer Brian Azzarello and artist Trent Kaniuga?

I also hear that "Dirty Pair" creator Adam Warren will be doing a Battlechasers one-shot.

These have a Rage Value of 7 Out Of 10


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