We often forget to talk about each PW Comics Week’s newsletter — you have all subscribed, right, because it’s free? — but this week’s issue turned out pretty good, especially considering we had to put most of it together by ourself. A guided tour: First up: Van Jensen looks at Platinum Studio’s public statements and insider background and it isn’t pretty:
“Until we have made further progress on our business plan, we will most likely continue to have [going-concern warnings] in all of our filings,” Altounian said in an exclusive interview with Publishers Weekly. “You have to understand that in these post-Sarbanes-Oxley days, there are so many mandatory disclosure items for public companies that a significant number of SEC filings are filled with risk factors and going concern clauses and every kind of contingency to alert the average investor to every possible thing that can go wrong with a company. It’s really not an issue of whether or not I agree with the assessment — if the auditors have some criteria for determining whether or not a company is a going concern, they are required by law to include the clause.”
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which responded to accounting scandals including that at Enron, was passed in 2002. More than a year later, an article in the CPA Journal noticed no increase in auditor warnings, but rather a “dearth of going-concern modifications.”
Joe Hovorka, a financial analyst and senior vice president at Raymond James & Associates, Inc., said of going-concern opinions, “You don’t see them often. …An auditor giving a qualified opinion is not to be taken lightly. It’s a red flag.”
NOTE: Platinum has responded with their own transcript of Jensen’s conversation with Brian Altounian:
Brian Altounian: As you say, Van, there are a lot of rumors and without sounding glib, I am just glad they’re spelling my name right. In all seriousness, the great thing about our industry is it is filled with passionate, creative and brilliant people who comment on almost any and every topic and this digital medium provides the platform to reach a wide audience. Frankly, we would much rather focus on building our business than spend time addressing speculation and conjecture.
Next, our newest recruit, Sam Thielman looks at the long and winding road to the American Flagg! collection:
Of course, when you feed a handcrafted ink-and-marker-on-Duoshade page to Photoshop via a computer scanner—from the printed comic book, remember, because you don’t have the original art—it’s a little like showing a blurry picture of a Louis XIV chair to a talented wood shop student, handing him a hammer and some 2x4s, and telling him to go nuts.
“Everybody wanted it to be perfect,” says Larsen, who went a little nuts himself. “So they were combing through the book going, ‘When this guy says this word, there’s a little “TM” next to it, so we want to make sure that’s there every time the guy says this word in the entire 480 pages of the book.’”
AND, for good measure, Todd Allen digs into the BPA audited circulation figures for comics and figures out why Marvel publishes the Marvel Adventures line when it sells like crap in the DS:
The comic with the most subscribers was Marvel Adventures Spider-Man with a whopping 27,395. You want to know why Marvel Adventures exists with low direct-market sales? There’s your answer—subscriptions. The second-highest subscriber count was Ultimate Spider-Man with 14,890. The lowest subscriber count was Mighty Avengers with 77 (that title had just debuted, so don’t read too much into it). The second-lowest subscriber count was Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane with 280.
AND IF THAT’S NOT ENOUGH, Laura Hudson gets Nick Gurewitch to talk about his PERRY BIBLE FELLOWSHIP pilot for the (ulp) BBC:
NG: I’ll be adapting a couple of the strips for the pilot, and I just got the news the other day that they wanted to make it longer because they liked the 12-minute treatment I sent. They want to make it a 30-minute pilot. I’m actually working with a British television company, Endemol Entertainment. A number of people there had ordered some prints from me, and apparently someone brought them into the office. It became known amongst them that they really liked the comic, and [making the pilot] was just a decision that came about organically because of that. They all realized they liked the strip, and said, “Why don’t we do a show?”
FINALLY: Tori Amos
Although she was originally unclear about exactly what the project would entail, Amos became convinced of the possibilities. “What I was extremely clear about was that the comic artists weren’t being asked to do visual cover versions of the songs. It wasn’t their job to try and figure out what the song is about, it was their job to use the song as a jumping-off point,” Amos explained.