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.
Not massively impressed having bought the Limited edition, but I suppose without that these wouldn’t have happened so there we go. I’d prefer the 4-volume edition for ease of reading so time to think if I’ll buy those as well!
I will only buy this if Morrison gives his blessing.
“More affordable non-limited edition of Zenith coming” — Yeah, it’s called 1980s Miracleman reprints, on the way soon from Marvel Comics.
“without addressing the Morrison matter”
Indeed, and without a straight answer from Yeowell too really (I think your interview with him Heidi is still the only one) – though as I allude to in my longer pieces, there isn’t much that those who still work for Rebellion can say even if they did object.
I know of at least two people who bought the super exclusive limited edition that are more than a bit pissed off right now.
“I know of at least two people who bought the super exclusive limited edition that are more than a bit pissed off right now.”
They didn’t expect there to be a cheaper edition following a high-priced hardcover that sold out instantly? Seemed inevitable unless lawyers had shut it down.
“extremely discrete marketing maestro”
Well, now I know what’s going on my next business cards ;)
Rich – The combination of the high price point plus the wording of this quote from the Rebellion press release: “Never collected in its entirety before, this is a unique opportunity to own the whole of Morrison’s first superhero series in a never-to-be-repeated format.” did lead many to think that although there was a slim chance their might be softcovers, there wouldn’t be HC’s again. It’s clever wording but understandable that some of the people who forked out £100 are a bit miffed.
And while there were complaints over the small print size of the collected edition, the new ones have been confirmed as “as close as we can to the original Prog size“.
This isn’t the first book that was solicited as a limited-not-to-be-reprinted-edition, only to have a second or better version come out a year later. Nor will it be the last.
Been burned before. And, then there are times I’ve waited, as I was sure that a later edition would come out, and it never did (Batman/Grendel HC anyone?)
In any case, I will be curious to see how Morrison responds to this version.
Yeah, I felt pretty pissed off as well and for the exact reason Laura is giving. They gave the distinct impression this was a one off deal, not to be repeated, which is why I forked out the £100.
I was already a bit annoyed when they first promised a big format for the limited edition book, which then ended up being a smaller format, but thought at the time “hey fair enough”, to then see these new editions come out and closer in format to the originals adds a little bit too much insult to injury to be honest.
But I also think they’re going to do it again as in the CBR interview they also mention that not only will this edition be closer in format to the original, it will have extra material as well.
Although I have to say now that the news has settled a bit, I feel less angry about it all and can say “fair play Rebellion”, but it’s still remains a dick move on their part.
Also with the limited edition I felt less sorry for Morrison and more glad for Yeowell, but with a limitless print they are just pushing Morrison a bit too far I feel and taking too many liberties with his rights.
On the bright side for those who paid for the limited edition you don’t have to wait until 2015 to read it all.
“The combination of the high price point plus the wording of this quote from the Rebellion press release: “Never collected in its entirety before, this is a unique opportunity to own the whole of Morrison’s first superhero series in a never-to-be-repeated format.” did lead many to think that although there was a slim chance their might be softcovers, there wouldn’t be HC’s again. It’s clever wording but understandable that some of the people who forked out £100 are a bit miffed.”
I’m sorry, Laura, but that’s horseshit. You have as much reading comprehension as anybody here but the never-to-be-repeated format could mean published-in-one-volume as much as being in 4 separate hardbacks. It’s naive to think that Rebellion wouldn’t capitalise by publishing the same thing in an slightly alternative way had the book proved successful. This is the comic industry we’re talking about where people complain but still buy variants. At least Rebellion aren’t just changing the colour of the cover of the one volume hardback edition and releasing it.
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