Well, having gotten away with putting a toe in the water by publishing a deluxe limited edition Zenith—the long lost, highly contested superhero comic by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell—Rebellion is jumping right into the old swimming hole with a non-limited edition four volume hardcover reprinting he Zenith saga. Each volume will contain one of the four “Phases” of “Zenith”, along with new material created by, one assumes, people who are not Grant Morrison. The first colume will shop in October, 2014, with volume 2 in December. PLenty of tim efor legal maneuverings, one supposes.
In case you missed it the whole mental story, Zenith was originally published from 1987 to 1992, and its ownership has been hotly contested since, with Morrison claiming he has the rights to it, and Rebellion saying no he doesn’t. (Go to the above link for the whole story courtesy of Laura Sneddon.) The first Zenith reprint went out via direct sales from Rebellion, perhaps to avoid Diamond’s distaste for distributing legally contested material, but it sold out and people seemed to like it, and no one has sued publicly. So more Zenith for all.
Rebellion’s extremely discrete marketing maestro Michael Molcher is interviewed in the above link and explains how it worked out, without addressing the Morrison matter, as is Rebellion policy.
I think the complete “Zenith” did two things for “2000 AD” — firstly, it showed it really has been (and remains) a powerhouse of new talent. If you look at a lot of the output of Marvel and DC it’s notable just how many of the new artists and writers making a name for themselves started and honed their craft in our pages, Grant included. Secondly, “Judge Dredd” is always our strongest performer yet we have a veritable galaxy of characters and the “Zenith” book showed that there are career-defining moments from some of the biggest names in comics waiting to be discovered by a new readership.
Nicely stated, Michael.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.