Ellison/Groth settlement released


You boys play nice now.

Here you go. At long last the Ellison/Fantagraphics settlement agreement. Basically everyone agrees not to say nasty things about each other any more, Ellison’s interview is removed from future printings of THE WRITERS, the offending paragraphs are removed from the upcoming history of Fantagraphics while they get to post a rebuttal on the internet. Also, everyone is responsible for their own legal bills. Fantagraphics can’t solicit any more defense fund contributions, but can continue to sell those that have already been donated.

And then, everyone goes home.

Wieringo funeral details

Self Portrait By WieringoMike’s brother Matt has posted the following: :

First, let me thank everyone who has expressed their condolences online and over the phone. We have been, frankly, overwhelmed by all the good will from all over the world. I don’t think our parents fully understood (nor did Mike) just how much he was loved and admired. To get us through this, my wife and I have spent a couple of sleepless nights reading the postings here and at Newsarama (thank you, Matt Brady) and the John Byrne Forum and it’s helped a great deal. Most touching of all was Cully Hamner’s heartfelt eulogy at Newsarama. Thank you so much, Cully. You are a beautiful man.

Now to the hard part. Mike will have two funeral services.

First, there will be a public viewing this Friday (August 17th) from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service at 1113 West Main Street in Durham, NC, followed by a chapel service at 2:00. This will be open to any of Mike’s friends and colleagues who’d like to attend. Please come prepared to share a Mike story. I plan on putting you on the spot. It would really help our Mom and Dad through this.

Second, at a time to be determined, there will be a private service for Mike’s family in Lynchburg, where we grew up.

As mentioned before, in lieu of flowers, if you’d like please send donations to the A.S.P.C.A. (aspca.org) or to the Hero Initiative (heroinitiative.org). I had previously mentioned the CBLDF but, having time to think about it, I realized that the Hero Initiative was more Mike’s style. Those wishing to contribute to the CBLDF anyway, please feel free as it’s a worthwhile cause as well.

Shazam   Or Captain Marvel By Wieringo
You should check out Wieringo’s art gallery and read Tom’s collection of memories. The sadness grows in the telling. And Tom Brevoort notes that Wieringo died on August 12 — the same day that Marvel editor Mark Gruenwald dropped dead of a sudden heart attack at age 43. Certainly the memory of both these fine men will live for a long time.

Steve Bissette on STARDUST

Prolix Steve Bissette has a very very long review of STARDUST and observations on the role of illustrators in film and great links and why Charles Vess getting his name on the movie is a good thing and tons of obscure history, like this:

In fact, the exile of mere “illustrators” to this limbo of no screen credit is sadly emblematic of the ‘creator rights’ era of comics publishing, save for those key works that were wholly creator-owned and comics-creator originated (e.g., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Crow, Fish Police, The Tick, etc.). Things are better than they were pre-1980, but the illusion that the creator rights battles have been fought and won is a pervasive and destructive one. When, in 1986, cartoonist Bill Wray adapted to comics the short story “Eight O’Clock in the Morning” by Ray Nelson (aka Radell “Ray” Faraday Nelson), published twenty years earlier in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, for the short-lived Eclipse Comics anthology Alien Encounters under the title “Nada,” he arguably created something new: a collaborative work with new, unique elements. It was Bill Wray’s adaptation, not the original F & SF pulp publication of the story, that brought Nelson’s story to the attention of filmmaker John Carpenter, who loved it. Carpenter contacted both the writer’s agent and Eclipse Comics to buy the rights to both and adapt them himself (scripting under the screen pseudoname “Frank Armitage”) into the film They Live (1988).

Interview: Paul Gravett and Nick Bertozzi

Daily Cross Hatch sits down with Paul Gravett and special guest Nick Bertozzi:

A lot of people have asked me this question, so I’m sure you get it fairly often, yourself: have you ever had any ambition to create your own comics?

No, I haven’t. the world of comics isn’t just writing and drawing—there’s another side to it. Bringing people together is important, and also just being able to read people’s stuff in its gestating stages, and tell them what could be improved—I’m not actually a hands-on editor, as I was with Peter Stanbury on Escape. The fact is, I’m still in touch with a lot of people who show me things and ask for feedback. I like to help in that way. It’s also things like running a festival, and putting people together who haven’t met before, internationally. People don’t realize how much they have in common with someone, over from France, with, say, someone like Nick from America. That sort of thing can spark off so much.

Questions about Minx, DC

Clubbing-794919Another newspaper, another favorable review of the Minx line (along with other comics):

The hip Minx series is consistently cranking out some of the sassiest, fun-to-read comics this year. The top-rate talents attached to it never talk down to the readership, and they address heady topics – death, Sept. 11, racism, partying – without being preachy.

Every month I receive a Minx title, I move it to the top of my comic books pile at home. After reading one, you’ll understand why.

The story is written by one “Randy Myers” which could theoretically be a female, but a little googling shows it’s a guy. Which is fine. The Minx line is a nice little line of books. We know from our link farms that it has touched the fancy of thirty-something male comics writers across the land. Our question is, do we know if any actual girls are reading these? The female blogosphere hasn’t been all that supportive of the line, but some have read that as sour grapes over the lack of female writers.

We’ve heard of a few bits of anecdotal but we’re still curious. Buehler?

As long as we’re picking on DC, Marc-Oliver Frisch looks into his crystal ball and what he sees is…clouded.:

At DC Comics, the future holds… well, more of the same, really. Which in itself isn’t a bad thing, unless you realize that 2007 so far hasn’t been going desperately well for them. So, more of the same? Well, not ideal. In Salvation Run, an upcoming seven-issue limited series by Bill Willingham and Sean Chen, mysterious forces are conspiring to ship the DC Universe’s villains off to some nasty prison planet for good, instead of going through the hassle of putting them on trial and such. In fairness, the concept seems workable enough and it’s a solid creative team. On the other hand, of course, Salvation Run is another Countdown spin-off title, and it’s apparently connected to everything else DC are putting out. So that’s two big strikes against it which might make it a bit of a hard sell, given the less than impressive sales Countdown itself has been generating so far.

Persepolis closing night film at NY Film festival

Marjane Satrapi’s animated PERSEPOLIS film will be the closing night movie at the prestigious New York Film Festival:

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s Persepolis has been selected as the festival’s Closing Night film. The animated coming-of-age story, based on Satrapi’s popular graphic novel about her own childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, won a Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It features the voice talents of Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Danielle Darrieux and Simon Abkarian, several of whom are expected to attend the festival’s Closing Night screening at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on Sunday, Oct. 14. Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the film.

[snip] Persepolis joins a select group of films that have closed the New York Film Festival, many of which have gone on to critical acclaim and successful theatrical runs. Over the last 20 years, these have included David Mamet’s House of Games, Jane Campion’s The Piano, Milos Forman’s The People vs. Larry Flynt, Pedro Almodóvar’s Live Flesh and Talk to Her, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams, Alexander Payne’s Sideways, Michael Haneke’s Caché and last year’s selection, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.

A little bit more Chicago

WE haven’t had much to say about the recent Chicago con, because no one did: by all accounts most folks were exhausted. However good times were to be had, and The Hero Initiative’s Jim McLauchlin has some memories and photos like the Millar/Jenkins showdown above:

• The greatest thanks are reserved for Paul Jenkins, who worked his balls (billiard balls, that is) off all weekend, and Michael Turner. Turner, sporting what he calls his “stylish new walk,” showed up to challenge Jenkins to a best-of-9 9-ball tournament on Sunday and gamely hung with the master. Final was 5-3, and you could see the flopsweat marshalling on Jenkins’ brow. Turner’s right leg ain’t what it used to be, but he can still play. It was great to see Mike get out and have a little fun shooting some stick, and I hope he enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed having him there.

300 rooms available for Comic-Con 2008!

Via Comic Book Conventions comes the joyous word that the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego will be available via Travel Planners for both Comic-Con International and the Action Sports Retailer (ASR) tradeshows.

Although not scheduled to open until the fall of 2007, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego has already been secured through Travel Planners Inc. to host the 2008 attendees from two of the largest lifestyle and entertainment conventions in the country – Comic-Con International and the Action Sports Retailer (ASR) tradeshows. Through its partnership with Travel Planners Inc., the host travel agency for Comic-Con and ASR, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego has arranged for 300 rooms during each event, as well as space for private media events associated with each convention, including a planned gala during ASR to benefit several action sports environmental organizations like the Surfrider Foundation, Ocean Institute and Heal the Bay.

With its prime location across the street from the San Diego Convention Center and at the ceremonial entrance to the historic Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego’s dining and entertainment district, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego provides arguably the best Downtown location for hosting guests of the city’s burgeoning meetings and conventions market. With over 40,000 square feet of unique meeting space, guests of the 12-story, 315,000-square-foot property will also enjoy a stunning lobby lounge and rooftop pool bar created by Rande Gerber, Nobu restaurant by celebrated chef Nobu Matsuhisa, a fourth floor urban garden overlooking the Gaslamp Quarter, a live concert venue, coffee shop, Rock Spa and fitness club.

Unique pooltop bar! We smell party! IN other San Diego hotel news, most popular spots are still unavilable for pre booking, but the Marriott just went live, and rooms are going for $435 a night. Book early!


The Hurting remixes Alan Light.

BTW, in the comments section of our original posting, light links to another wonderful set of old convention photos, and reveals the following:

You’re going to cringe (I certainly do every time I think about it) when I tell you that virtually all pre-1983 photo negatives related to fandom were burned in a big barrel outside my folks’ rural home along with various papers and records, shortly after my business was sold to Krause Publications. Stupid, stupid.


Gordon Lee case delayed until November

While we can all agree that the Gordon Lee case should never have happened — surely the trauma of seeing a small drawing of a normal penis is less upsetting to the two young boys involved than being coached as part of a witch hunt — there is something very strange going on.

First the case had to be delayed because it turned out the prosecutors had the wrong victim: charges were refiled and went from a felony to a misdemeanor. As the CBLDF timeline puts it:

Lead counsel Alan Begner said, “I have never — as a criminal trial lawyer for thirty years — seen a complete changing of the facts like this. Throughout the year and a half before that trial date, through written statements, the investigation, and the presentation of evidence before the grand jury, as well as the written accusation and indictment, the State had steadfastly asserted that the comic book had been handed to the nine-year-old. The dismissal of the charges today reflects the prosecution’s admission that everything that was presented as evidence before was untrue, and that they had stuck to the false facts through procedure after procedure in the case. How did a year and a half of statements based on one set of facts get changed at the last minute to another set of facts?”

After this bamboozling, the trial was set to get underway this week. But first the start was delayed due to a broken air conditioner. In a sweltering court room, this was a matter of some urgency.

After every comics website has trumpeted the headline “GORDON LEE TRIAL TO BEGIN TODAY” yesterday, it turned out we were to be denied again — the judge in the case came down sick. Perhaps gthe filter in the Ac needed to be changed, and the judge had come down with the ague.

And now, because of the way the Rome, GA court docket works, the trial has been delayed until NOVEMBER:

“Everyone gets sick, and Judge Salmon would surely excuse either our team or the prosecution from trial if any of our key players were too ill to appear,” Brownstein said. “This isn’t like the prosecutors calling off the case in April of 2006 because they had their facts wrong; this is a normal, unavoidable human reality.”

To us, one thing is clear, and we hope the good people of Rome, GA get the message loud and clear:


In His infinite wisdom and mercy, He is sending us signs. It is up to us to listen.

Elvis was a hero to most


And also:


Lo, there shall come a forum

From the ashes of The Engine cometh Panel and Pixel, a new comics-creator themed forum run by Rantz Hoseley, with a few of the same back-up group. Go forth and post.