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Cancellations And Consolations

By Jason Brice
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Dist-Rob-Ution Solution?

A source of mine contacted me about Awesome's recent comics solicitations, saying "Diamond recently cancelled just about all of their outstanding solicitations, and I've gotten conflicting reports about the future of the company. Jimmy Jay's brother said the company was gone for good, but a few days later Jimmy himself said they'd found a new investor and were getting back on track."

This is the kind of rumour surrounding Awesome that goes around on a regular basis. Still, I passed it to Rob Liefeld. And he told me a rather interesting story. Liefeld writes "First off, I very seriously doubt that Bill Jay, Jimmy Jay's older brother said anything concerning Awesome's status. Secondly, we have no new investors and are not looking for any."

"Finally, it is absolutely true that for the moment we are our making no attempt to fulfill our current Diamond orders. Our future will no longer be determined by the archaic practices of the severely depleted direct market. We continue to produce new comic material and look forward to premiering our product through the exciting new avenues of distribution that are available to us."

Goodness. Awesome Comics leaving Diamond and pursuing other forms of distribution? What could this mean? I pressed Rob on this, especially the controversial Youngblood: Genesis, also on the Diamond cancellation list. He wrote "Youngblood: Genesis still exists, it will be released in the next 60 days. It will not, however be released through Diamond's system."

Okay, that's all I'm getting out of him. But it looks like we might see a new way of distributing mainstream comics very shortly indeed...

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


Editor Uber Alles?

Gods, you know, for a column that, according to some critics, is meant to have a bias against DC, I haven't been covering them much of late. So let's see what I can do about that. One source repeated a few rumours I'd been hearing but encapsulated them together. He writes "An editor talked to Levitz recently about all the artists that are leaving DC for CrossGen and Marvel (with more to come) and saying that DC should make more of an effort to hold on to these more experienced pros instead of the steady stream of weak anime artists who are doing a lot of art at DC (the Superman fill ins, the new guys on NIGHTWING, BATGIRL, RELATIVE HEROES, YOUNG JUSTICE, etc). Levitz said it's more valuable for DC to hang onto the editorial staff, because it's hard to convince anyone to work in New York City at DC's editorial wages. "The artists are a dime a dozen these days."

DC were asked for comment but declined. While this does tie in to past rumours that DC were looking to push editors as stars rather than creators, there have been numerous rumours circling surrounding Paul Levitz from people with clear agendas against the man that have proved to be deeply flawed or untrue.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 4 Out Of 10


Good For Business

Everyone read the new Transmetropolitan, entitled "Business"? Good. Everyone read the online version of "Shoot", the Hellblazer that got pre-printing pulped and saw Warren Ellis leave the book?

Pretty similar in fact. Both mature readers titles, both using a similar structure and both including children. Except the one that was withdrawn involved children shooting each other and the one that was printed involved children raping each other and engaging in child prostitution.

Interesting variable standards? Or did Ellis manage to sneak one past DC...

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10


Harrissed By DC?

I've been getting a number of reports that suggest that Tony Harris' relationship with DC has not been rosy of late. Harris' work on titles such as Starman and Lazarus 5 has been critically acclaimed and has attracted die-hard fans. But a few months ago, it was announced after an investigation, that DC were dropping Obergeist, a project from Harris they had previously commissioned.

The new trouble seems to revolve around his work for the Superman office. However, details are sketchy. Harris himself refused to comment and there has been no word about this from DC.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10


Getting Down With Obergeist

But as part of the pretty much aborted investigation into the above story, I came across Tony Harris and Top Cow's name being mentioned in the same sentence by one of my sources. So, on a whim, I asked "Is Top Cow going to publish Obergeist as part of its upcoming creator-owned Minotaur line?" And the response I got makes me think so.

Obergeist was the project that DC commissioned and then decided not to publish. Good to hear it's found a home at last - and part of what sounds like a prestigious new line of comics.

At the same time, Warren Ellis was talking to WizardWorld about "doing a six issue mini-series for Top Cow that's also creator owned, for early next year. That's a straight crime thing, but we don't have an artist yet." This sounds like the previously mentioned Down comic, also linked to the Minotaur imprint.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

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