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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #204

Welcome to the two-hundred and fourth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous two hundred and three.

Comic Book Legends Revealed is now part of the larger Legends Revealed series of legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can check out here, at legendsrevealed.com.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Bob Layton and Jackson Guice re-wrote and re-drew X-Factor #1 from scratch in two weeks…in the midst of a Hurricane!!

STATUS: True

An anonymous reader e-mailed me regarding X-Factor #1. He said:

1986′s original X-Factor #1 was completed, then was completely scrapped, rewritten
and redrawn by Jim Shooter, Bob Layton & Butch Guice in two weeks!

This was during New York City’s Hurricaine Gloria in 1985!

So I went to Jackson “Butch” Guice, and he went so above and beyond the call of duty in his response that it’s nuts.

Jackson delivered the following rousing story…

Bob Layton and myself had pitched a simple idea — that being our doing a regular team book with the various surviving members of the original X-Men team (several of whom were appearing in The Defenders at the time). It sounded like a fun project to us, and we were looking forward to working together on something. We also enjoyed the concept twist of the original X-Men using the growing mutant hysteria (then playing out in the Marvel Universe) as a cover to better enable them to locate and protect fledgling mutants. Mike Carlin agreed to edit the book (and christened it, as well, it if I recall correctly), and before the dust could settle, we were off and running on our book. Only — we weren’t…

Word of the new book had spread around the Bullpen and John Byrne and Roger Stern appeared to offer an idea they had concocted on how to resurrect Jean Grey (and complete the original team once more) [See this Comic Book Legend installment to see where Byrne and Stern got the idea - BC]. John offered to set everything in motion in the Fantastic Four, which he was currently writing and penciling –and give us a tremendous lead-in to our own book. Obviously, this seemed to be the way to go, so Bob and I quickly scratched our first story idea and shifted creative gears to tell the return of Jean Grey [See this Comic Book Legend installment to get a view of who the original fifth member of X-Factor was going to be].

The first issue was double-sized. We put it together under the guiding hand of Mike Carlin and the first issue was finished and submitted for final approval to Jim Shooter — who, for reasons he would have to explain himself, decided the entire issue was unacceptable and would need to be redone from scratch — with only 2-3 weeks remaining before the printer’s deadline! Those were a dark few hours, as I recall. Bob and I pleaded that there wasn’t enough time to completely rework an entire double-sized issue, but Jim was adamant and told us if we were not up to the task he would bring in people who were capable of doing so– it was our choice.

[Here's a little tangent, even before this time, Layton had drawn a variety of possible covers for X-Factor that Shooter had rejected, like the following two...

Ultimately, Walt Simonson did the published version of the cover.

Back to Jackson's story!]

I holed in my hotel room and drew like crazy, night and day, sitting on the floor hunched over a small coffee table which serving as my drafting table; Bob often sitting a few feet away scripting or inking. Inker Joe Rubinstein was shanghaied into our merry band of misfits to help speed up the work. During the course of the next mad few weeks, a hurricane churned up the eastern seaboard and seemed determined to drive straight into New York harbor for dramatic effect. Overnight, Manhattan Island (and apparently the entire hotel staff) evacuated the city. The last surreal act before departure was the hotel concierge handing me a roll of masking tape and requesting I tape off the windows in my room — and wishing me luck.

Well, the hurricane thankfully made an unexpected left turn during the night and drove ashore to the south, with the next day dawning bright and clear like a scene from the movie, The Omega Man. For several hours we could ill afford to lose, Bob and I wandered the deserted streets of downtown New York looking for any open deli or restaurant in order to eat. It was a very unique experience.

Long story short, we did somehow manage to completely redo that first issue — Bob, Joe, and I gang-inked the last of the pages while they were hurriedly being colored in the Bullpen right up through the final hours of the deadline. The book went to the printer and the rest is history.

A remarkable story, and one very well told by Jackson!

Thanks to the anonymous reader for the suggestion, thanks to Bob Layton for one of the unpublished X-Factor cover (which you can see on his awesome website, BobLayton.com) and thanks a gazillion to Jackson Guice for the wonderfully detailed story of what certainly sounds like two weeks to remember (even if you wanted to forget them)! Guice doesn’t have a website that I can send you to, but he does have original art up for sale on The Artist’s Choice! So go check that out here.

If only we could find the copies of the original pages! Jackson mentioned to me that Mike Carlin gave him photocopies of the issue as a memento, but Jackson has since misplaced them (it WAS twenty-four years ago, after all!). Maybe Mike still has copies?

COMIC LEGEND: A deal for Fangoria to purchase Vampirella from Harris Comics fell apart after a general agreement had been made.

STATUS: False

Vampirella is one of the longest lasting independent comic book characters in all of comic-dom, debuting in the late 1960s as Warren Publishing’s third horror title, with a cover by Frank Frazetta and interiors by the late, great Tom Sutton.

Originally, Vampirella was just the person who introduced the stories (like Cain and Abel in the two DC Houses), but eventually, under Archie Goodwin’s guidance, she became the star of the book herself…

Vampirella was an alien from the planet Draculon, where the inhabitants were all, well, vampires (duh!).

She came to Earth and helped fight the evil ACTUAL vampires of Earth.

The magazine lasted until the early 80s, with #112 being its final issue.

Harris Publishing purchased the rights to Vampirella from Warren at bankruptcy proceedings, and eventually published their own Vampirella series in the 90s.

Kurt Busiek wrote the revamped origin, which was one of those “everything you knew is a lie!” deals, with Vampirella now being a standard enough vampire.

Harris tried different things, too, like a manga-style Vampirella, Vampi!

In January of 2007, Fangoria announced that they had purchased Vampirella from Harris Comics.

Very soon afterward, Harris explained that that was not the case, and Harris went back to publishing Vampirella in the pages of a quarterly comic later in 2007…

The last issue that I’ve seen was 2008. Is there a more recent one?

Reader Jeremy awhile back asked me what the deal was, did the deal just fall apart after Fangoria announced it? Did they ever have a deal?

Apparently, what happened was that someone in the structure of Fangoria had begun negotiating, but it never went past that, and the problem came down to someone at a convention telling a Fangoria head to announce it when there really wasn’t anything to announce. Perhaps they figured that if they announced it, it would put pressure on Harris to sell the character? I have no idea. It very well could have been a “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” type of thing.

In any event, when I asked Harris head honcho Bon Alimagno about it, he basically said that yeah, the talks had not gotten anywhere near that. As he put it:

That had as much credence as us announcing at New York Comic-Con that we’ve bought Spider-Man. :-)

Still, I have no idea exactly how long they had been talking, just that Fangoria was not in a position to announce anything back in January 2007.

Thanks to Jeremy for the question and thanks to Bon Alimagno for the concise response!

COMIC LEGEND: Spider-Man and Captain America starred in a 1970s Turkish film.

STATUS: Sort of True

Reader Roger wrote in the other day to ask:

A friend of mine showed me a clip of Cap and Spidey on Youtube. What’s the deal with that? Is that for real?

I suppose, Roger, it all depends on what you think “for real” is.

In 1973, writer Do?an Tamer and director T. Fikret Uçak released in Turkey the film 3 Dev Adam, which roughly translates into English as “Three Mighty Men.”

The “three mighty men” in this instance were Captain America, Spider-Man and the Mexican luchador (wrestler), Santo.

Of course, though, all three people were being used unauthorized (particularly Santo, seeing as how he was, you know, an actual guy and not a fictional character).

This unauthorized nature was particular true for Spider-Man, who is a vicious killer in the movie.

Here he murders a woman in her shower…

Here, he has just unleashed flesh-eating guinea pigs into a tube attached to a guy’s face (and yes, that’s right – flesh-easting guinea pigs)…

He’s a SINISTER Spider-Man!

Cap, meanwhile, is a good guy fighting alongside Santo…

He manages to defeat Spider-Man in the end!

So, Roger, is it “real”?

Yeah, in the sense that they WERE in a movie, but it wasn’t authorized.

Here’s clips from the film on YouTube…

Thanks to Roger for the question and thanks to AntimatterMultiverse for the YouTube clip!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the cool new logo for Comic Book Legends Revealed!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com.

In less than a week, this Tuesday, April 28th, Plume Books (a division of Penguin Books) is publishing a collection of my Comic Book Legends Revealed columns (half expanded “best of”/half new stuff).

Here is the cover by artist Mickey Duzyj. I think he did a very nice job (click to enlarge)…

If you’d like to pre-order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you next week!

75 Comments

Every time I’ve preordered that, Amazon has tried to ship me the rest of my order early with me not having the funds on card for it, thus leading to it being cancelled.

Presently, it’s on order with funds on card. So hopefully there will be no more troubles.

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 24, 2009 at 5:26 am

I’ve always been impressed with Butch Guice, but this is awesome.

Spider-man killing a woman in the shower. Why isn’t he in jail!!!!

I know, Tom! Brand New Day has gotten out of control! Now he’s single AND a murderer!

Oh, Jim Shooter; you don’t have to be crazy to be Marvel Comics Editor in Chief (but it sure helps). :)

That Turkish Spider-Man thing reminds me of Italian Spider-Man. Except that the Turkish thing is true.

http://www.alrugo.com/ – Italian Spider-Man producers.

Ha!

Awesome link, Squashua, thanks!

Would be interesting to hear Shooter’s side of the story, Brian.

Do you think he really has a “side,” though, Richard?

I’m sure he had his reasons for telling them to re-do the book. Heck, they might have been really good reasons! But I don’t think his reasons really affect the story here, which is just that they did the whole book over in two weeks in the midst of a Hurricane.

I thought Guice did a good job of avoiding knocking Shooter. If I thought it was coming off as an attack on Shooter, I’d either not run it or gotten Shooter’s take, but I think it’s a pretty neutral account.

That said, if all you mean is “it would be interesting to see what his reasons were,” then I agree. :)

That Turkish movie reminds me of that Indian comic book that’s been floating around on the internet for awhile now. The one where Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man team up to help an Indian hero fight an evil wizard. No flesh-eating guinea pigs, but there is a bit where Superman throws a criminal into a volcano.

You can read it here if you haven’t yet: http://www.alanhunt.ca/images/nagraj/index.htm

I also remember seeing some clip from an Indian movie of Superman and a woman in a Spider-Man costume flying around a city, getting into poorly choreographed fights and dance numbers. Basically, all of this just goes to show you that there are parts of the world where copyright laws don’t hold as much sway.

The Vampirella covers weren’t NSFW, but I sure felt awkward reading them while someone might be looking over my shoulder. I suppose that’s what I get for browsing the ‘net at work.

And yes, I was reading the covers. For the font!

That’s an awesome Adam Hughes Vampi cover. Wow!

Cheers,

B

The first X-Factor cover looks a little too static, to me. I presume the second one was reject due Jean’s pose being too Phoenix-like, although I think it’s the best of the three. The whole point of the revival was the real Jean had never been Phoenix, who had to stay dead due to being a mass murderer.

They really stuck to that policy, didn’t they? I’m not sure whether or not the original Phoenix/Dark Phoenix was Jean or not.

Yes.

His side = his perspective = his reasons, Brian.

Hey, no mention of Indian Superman?

Boy does that Manga Vampirella look like crap!

Here, he has just unleashed flesh-eating guinea pigs into a tube attached to a guy’s face (and yes, that’s right – flesh-easting guinea pigs)…

Why does that method of torture sound familiar? Somebody else unleashed some kind of animal via tube to maim a person’s face in something… South Park maybe?

Man, my memory is shot these days.

And I know you posted this long ago, but how’s about a little love for Return to Supermans ?

Awesome legends today. The first one makes me want to ask, tongue in cheek, why it takes so long for some books to hit the stands.

“Why does that method of torture sound familiar? Somebody else unleashed some kind of animal via tube to maim a person’s face in something… South Park maybe?

Man, my memory is shot these days.”

Rats in a cage, 1984.

jajaja Turkish Spiderman is bad and evil!!!!

Wow, it sure was handy to have an accomplished inker as the writer of the book, so that he could pitch in!

I love that Turkish Spider-Man apparently raised and cared for a pack of flesh-eating guinea pigs just so he could have them eat a guy. Peter Parker may stumble through most of his days but I have to admit that, regardless of his actions, Turkish Spidey really has his act together.

Tom DeFalco told a story that he took a group of pencilers, inkers, letters and colorists back to his house and re-did a book in one night once. He said he was scripting pages out of order so the letters would have something to work on. In the end he scrapped on sub par book with another sub par book which must have puzzled the guy who did the first version to no end.

That Turkish movie clip was great, Cap looked like Cap while Spider-Man is barely recognizable. Don’t think I’d want to see the whole film, though.

Wow, X-Factor #1 “Baptism of Fire” indeed!

As for Vampirella, there was a reprint series a couple of years ago… and an Artist-Spotlight-type series of issues focusing on a different artist, breaking down a particular story and how they used their coulrs etc…

Don’t remember ever seeing the quarterlies…

Love the Dave Stevens and Adam Hughes covers though…

“Why does that method of torture sound familiar? Somebody else unleashed some kind of animal via tube to maim a person’s face in something… South Park maybe? ”

You’re thinking of 1984, and the cage of rats placed to Winston’s face. Or all those stories about Richard Gere..except that wasn’t his face.

You know, if I worked in comics and had to redo an issue under pressure WHILE A HURRICANE LOOMED OVER THE CITY I’d say “Screw this, I’ll work for DC!” and split. Still, kudos to the people involved for succeeding.

Man, those Vampirella covers were as close to public porn as they could be at the times! (In newsstands anyway.)

You know what REALLY gets me about the Turkish “Spider-Man” movie? That they included El Santo in it! The character was pretty famous around Latin America in the 70s (even starred in several movies) but while I expect Captain America and Spidey to be known on the other side of the world, that El Santo was too is a nice surprise. :D

I donno, I kinda think we need more editors like Shooter. We’d probably see a lot less late books, that’s for sure.

Turkish Spider-Man just made me reconsider Iron Man’s arguments during “Civil War”.

Turkish Spider-Man: THREAT or MENACE?!?

~P~

Why does that method of torture sound familiar? Somebody else unleashed some kind of animal via tube to maim a person’s face in something… South Park maybe?

Given your guess of South Park, I’d be willing to wager you’re thinking of Important Things with Dimitri Martin, which did a rat head-cage gag a mere half hour later in the evening a few months ago…

Turkish cinema created a bunch of notoriously bad films based on limited information about the source material. IIRC, there were bans on Western works but filmmakers made their own versions from what they heard about Western films or shows. One of the stars of 3 Dev Adam also stars in Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam (aka Turkish Star Wars), another odd Turkish film–which makes little sense even with subtitles. They splice in clips from the original Star Wars trailer to frame the plot, but the movie bears almost no relation to Star Wars.

[...] courtesy of the becoming-my-favorite-thing-ever Comic Book Legends Revealed column over at CBR, we’ve got this Turkish movie from the 70’s, featuring an all-star line-up [...]

..And people wonder why no one wants to work with Jim Shooter…

I think South Park did the gerbil/guinea pig/hamster-face-cage thing at one point as well, but yeah 1984 did it first.

I got 3 Dev Adam (Three Mighty Men) a few years ago, it was actually released on DVD by a Turkish company for all regions. The same company also releases Turkish Superman, Turkish Spy Smasher, Turkish SuperBatman, and various others. Pretty entertaining, in all honesty.

Say what you will about Jim Shooter, but under his watch as EiC, Marvel didn’t put out late titles! Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine NEVER would have been allowed to happen. The Kevin Smith Daredevil limited series that simply vanished (wasn’t there a Spider-Man one too?) also would never have been tolerated. All the delays during the Civil War story? It would have been completed and shipped on time. I see nothing wrong with that. As a customer, I want stuff out when it is announced as being out. I expect a limited series to be completed.

The EiC isn’t supposed to be everyones buddy, he’s supposed to be banging the drum to set the pace and crack the whip if need be. Heck, under Shooter, page rates went up for the artists and he had Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema create a filler story for each title to be used in the event of someone not being done on time. Guess what? It worked. No one wanted to have a filler story used in their book, because it meant they lost out on a paycheck.

I miss the good ol’ days when everything was out on time and limited series had a beginning and an ending (no, being spread over the course of several years doesn’t count). Speaking as a customer, I think that Jim Shooter did a wonderful job!

my oh my… i bought 3 Dev Adam, but since itñs in PAL i havent seen it yet…

I’m pretty sure that late, canceled, and oddly altered books did happen under Shooter’s watch.

The thing is, this was in the pre-internet days. Unless you followed Diamond’s shipping dates or Marvel’s own Marvel Age regularly, you might not have noticed. I did, on both counts, and distinctly remember certain books slipping through the cracks or just disappearing entirely.

The other thing is, today in 2009, Marvel will publish 100 or so ongoings, limiteds, or one-shots a month. In 1985, that number was closer to 50. The amount of pressure was less. Even the idea of event driven stories was smaller – with Secret Wars II occupying 9 issues and only a few token Beyonder cameos elsewhere.

Plus, the work ethic was a lot different back then. It wouldn’t be until those darn upstarts who formed Image would create the idea of overpaid superstar talent. Most writers and artists busted their butts with nary an acknowledgment of their stellar work. None of that “Young Gun” crap or flavor of the month gimmick to temporarily boosting sales. Creative teams could afford to develop a solid rapport and rhythm because they would stay on a book for more than just one arc – which didn’t exist as TB friendly chunks, btw.

Personally, I’d much rather a taskmaster like Shooter, Greunwald, or DeFalco than Quesada. Quesada helped to put things in order after Harras’ slap happy 90s decisions. However, his series of decisions have led to some modern trends that are far scarier than demanding a team to redo an entire book in 2-3 weeks.

To me, the EICs of the 80s did a hell of a job. The legacy they helped craft is so much more important than the egos they may have bruised. Quesada will go down as the everyman’s EIC, but his decisions will be far more scrutinized.

I have a vhs copy of 3 Dev Adam, it’s is absolutely horrible, but I love stuff like this. Oh and the Evil spiderman kills someone by burying them in the sand and holding boats outboard motor to their head. It’s just wrong.

..And people wonder why no one wants to work with Jim Shooter…

c’mon…it was his job to OK/not OK a book. He didn’t like it, he didn’t OK it. I don’t think writers/artists would have wanted Big Shooter hovering over their shoulders while they worked, right? Can’t have it both ways…either he ok’s the final work…or he ok’s the work in progress.

Doesn’t make him evil.

Turkish Star Wars is one of the best, most awesomest bad movies every made! Believe me, you won’t find worse cinema than in Turkey. Bad production values, incomprehensible plot, terrible acting, ripping off actual popular characters. Put it all together and you have awesomely bad movies!
DFTBA

M. Bloom wrote:
I also remember seeing some clip from an Indian movie of Superman and a woman in a Spider-Man costume flying around a city, getting into poorly choreographed fights and dance numbers.

At the end of the clip Brian linked to, that was one of the selections you could click on as tiny little icons at the bottom of the YouTube screen.

Vampirella looks like Joanna Lumley (in her New Avengers days, not so much the Ab-Fab days) on the 100th gala issue.

And for God’s sake, was Superman a spy or not?

ParanoidObsessive

April 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm

“I dunno, I kinda think we need more editors like Shooter. We’d probably see a lot less late books, that’s for sure.”

I kind of feel the same way. For every story I hear about rampant editorial meddling ruining what could have been a good story, I hear another where an editor put his foot down and stopped something nightmarishly stupid from getting through.

If anything, I definitely think there might be a greater need for editors to act as stupid filters these days. Which would work even better if there was someone who could act as stupid filter to the editors as well…

“Personally, I’d much rather a taskmaster like Shooter, Greunwald, or DeFalco than Quesada.”

Strict editors rarely tend to produce happy writers/aritsts, but they usually produce much better work. At least, as long as the editor doesn’t start forcing their own story ideas on a writer just because they think of something “cool”, as opposed to simply filtering out bad ideas.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Shooter, both as a writer and an editor. Granted, I didn’t WORK for the man, but product that had his name attached was usually pretty good. Even now, most of my favorite stories were produced under his watch. And a lot of the “JIM SHOOTER IS EVIL!” talk you hear sounds like a LOT of it is just sour grapes on the part of creators who had their egos bruised.

Nobody has to pre-order Brian’s book anymore, it’s out. I received my copies yesterday!

I like ‘Butch’ Guich’s work, even whan he was mimicking Golden, but X-Factor #1 looked like it was drawn in a rush, and thankyou for elaborating why.

Now tell me why the original was rejected. Please? Ask Shooter, he’s so accomodating.

I would love to see the original X-Factor #1 that was not published. I’m curious as to what was so wrong with it to encourage such a crazy endevour.

Now I know why X-Factor #1 looked so crappy. I always thought it looked rushed and now I know. Like my Grandad used to say “Do you want the job done, or do you want it done right?” Thanks for the inside story.

One other good thing about Jim Shooter:

It was under his watch that G.I. Joe and the Transformers were given birth! Two very important staples of my childhood.

As a comics customer in the 80s, I only knew about Shooter’s work from the quality of the books Marvel put out- and those were pretty good days. Sure, there were Marvel “insider” mags such as MARVEL AGE, but they always spoke of the behind-the-scenes stuff in rosy terms, and I wasn’t naive enough to assume that was always true; at most Shooter got riffed over his being so tall. So maybe he was a dick, or maybe not- but as noted above, he got the work done, which was his job. I’m not saying that having a healthy relationship with your employees isn’t important, but the opposite -giving them too much leverage- is also bad, as we can see from the abuses “Big Name” stars commit these days.

Speaking of odd foreign superhero movies, I vaguely remember seeing a movie in VHS titled “The Supermen” or somesuch, with several guys wearing Superman-like costumes, except they had no powers (other than the costumes being invulnerable). It was a goofy, very low budget affair. I think it was Italian. Anybody know what I’m talking about?

Two weeks for a double-sized issue. Makes you wonder why some artists nowadays can’t even meet a monthly deadline.

Oh, andf if yoi like 3 Dev Adam, I suggest hunting down a copy of James Batman, a mash-up between James Bond and Batman (It’s a Philippine movie from the 1960s).

Would be interesting to hear Shooter’s side of the story, Brian.

I bet Shooter’s side of the story would go something like this:

“…you want me on that wall, YOU NEED ME ON THAT WALL!!!
Honestly Quesada, I don’t know what the hell kind of an outfit you’re running here.”

Brian,

Regarding the “lost art” of X-Factor #1, examples of this first pass made its way into the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition, which was publishing concurrently with the launch of X-Factor. Check out the Cyclops art in issue #3. I always wondered where that art came from, and assumed it was commissioned for OHOTMUDE, but now I see that the first pass cover art was the source of one of the pieces.

ph

yea I want to see the original first ish

[...] Watch: “The Avengers”; Marvel Comics’ nightmare: [...]

God I’d love to have Jim Shooter back on that wall

Thanks, Brian! Informative as always.

A bit of that first X-Factor cover was used as an action shot in Cyclops’ Deluxe Marvel Handbook entry. Always wondered where that shot came from.

I’d really love to hear more about the first version of X-Factor #1 & why it was rejected. Was it just the resurrection of Jean Grey that affected everything so much or was there some other reason?

The pages in Fantastic Four #286 that dealt with Jean’s resurrection were also heavily rewritten & redrawn (by Chris Claremont & Jackson Guice) shortly before release. John Byrne has the original version of those pages up at his website. I’d put up a link, but his site’s not loading for me right now.

thebhamgunslinger

April 25, 2009 at 8:35 am

Brian, another great one. I’ve been addicted to your column for a year now. Always very interesting and entertaining.

You forget to talk about that in 3 dev adem, spider-man can clone himself. Everytime cap killed him a clone popped out.

Turkey made tons of rip-off movies. Batman, superman, he-man, tarzan and others.

I looked up the Vampirella flap, and found a pretty direct set of answers from Fangoria’s associate editor Troy Brownfield in an interview at Comicmix from October 2008.

http://www.comicmix.com/news/2008/11/07/inside-fangoria-graphix/

“CMix: It sounds like the two ends of the operation weren’t talking to one another. Is that how the Vampirella fubar occurred?

TB: That bit of ancient history was very much a cart-before-the-horse situation. We knew that there was an attempt at a deal in the works. As for the announcement, well, Scott was on stage at one of the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors conventions. He had Michael Madsen, Amber Benson, Dee Snider . . . a number of people up there with him. One of the executives pulled Scott aside as he was emceeing and said, basically, “Hey, don’t forget to tell ‘em we got Vampirella!” Scott basically did a “Really? Cool”, turned around and announced it.

A couple of days later, that’s all over the internet, and Harris is saying, “Hey, wait!” On Scott’s side, he’d been told it was good. As it turned out, it wasn’t quite a done deal. Fortunately, Harris Comics and Vampirella editor Bon and Scott (hey, Bon Scott!) talked way back in February of ‘07 and the air between them is totally clear. It’s not dissimilar, in some respects, to the controversy surrounding The Phantom this year. In point of fact, the situation went on much longer in the blogosphere than it actually did in practical, realistic terms. Which, as they say, is showbiz.”

It’s funny that they mention that it went on much longer online. How long do these guys (both Fangoria and Harris) have to keep answering that question?

“Can’t have it both ways…either he ok’s the final work…or he ok’s the work in progress. ”

It seems like, if a book is so important that it has to meet a specific release date (even in the case of a #1 issue, where the fans aren’t actually waiting for it yet), the editor should read it before there are only two weeks left. He should be on the ball enough and know enough about what they’re doing so that he doesn’t have to scrap the whole thing and give them two weeks to start over.

There is a Jim Shooter story lots of G.I. Joe fans know, but I dunno how that translates to the comic fans at large… The very first issue of Marvel’s G.I. Joe has a scene at the Pentagon where pictures of the Joes and their code names show up on a bank of monitors. The final monitor has an obscured face labeled “Shooter”. Obviously a jokey nod to Jim Shooter, probably simply because his name fits right in with characters named Stalker and Steeler.

This was of course not meant to be a real character, but almost 25 years later Devil’s Due put out G.I. Joe: Declassified in 2006, written by Larry Hama. It included a female sniper character named “Shooter”, who was a black female member of the team whose existence was a secret to all the Joes except for a General or two. She was running around behind the scenes of issue #1′s story.

A movie which shows Captain America as a good guy and Spider-Man as a bad guy… sounds like it was financed by the Daily Bugle!

I always thought that Jim Shooter’s top priority was to get comic books out on time – every time, all the time in the 70s and 80s. The same for Dick Giordano at DC. Only because Marvel and DC’s main income came from news-stand distribution. Nationwide distributers would not be too happy with any publisher that could not guarantee product out on time as promised. This, of course, did not apply to series that were direct sales only to comic shops – Camelot 3000 12 monthly issues took over two years to appear.

I can’t speak for the US; but in the UK, we don’t have newstand distriubtion for Marvel and DC anymore. You have to go to comic shops to buy the monthlies, annuals and mini-series. Comic shops are a bit more forgiving (or have no choice?) regarding late shipping. So maybe the comic companies are a bit more relaxed and not too worried if a book is late? No fear of Marvel or DC being dropped by a nationwide distributer?

Also, for whatever it’s worth, both Shooter and Layton have acknowledged they were pretty close friends and colleagues at the time– while I’m sure Layton was not thrilled at having to re-do the issue, it didn’t seem to impede their working relationship at Marvel through the end of Shooter’s tenure (I know they had a pretty dramatic falling-out after that, according to interviews both men have given). And as someone who loved Marvel comics during Shooter’s tenure, I wouldn’t mind having him back there as an editor or a writer (maybe he could take over The Avengers from Bendis, a writer I like who is horribly miscast on that book).

Regarding Vampirella, Harris has announced that the Quarterly is done with (at least for now), but that a “Second Coming” will occur in September, as part of Vampi’s 40th anniversary commemoration. More details will apparently be forthcoming in May.

http://www.vampirella.com

Turkish Reader

April 27, 2009 at 3:49 am

So J. Jonah Jameson was right after all about that meancing Spider-Man!

“Why does that method of torture sound familiar?”

Ian, I think they used a similar method on “Hannibal”, the “Silence of the lambs” awful sequel. IIRC, the vilain planned to kill Lecter using some kind of killer pigs.

I love these articles! Coincidentally, Kurt Busiek just gave an interview where he talked about his part in resurrecting Jean Grey for X-Factor here.

In retrospect, it might have been a better idea to wait a couple of weeks. The “Scott leaves Maddie and lies to Jean” story arguably damaged Scott’s character permanently.

“If only we could find the copies of the original pages! Jackson mentioned to me that Mike Carlin gave him photocopies of the issue as a memento, but Jackson has since misplaced them (it WAS twenty-four years ago, after all!). Maybe Mike still has copies?”

Butch gave me the photo copies of that issue years ago and said I should hang on to them because I was one of only a cpl of people would have the first story before it was redone! Hey Butch remember that!

Well? Let’s see ‘em!

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