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WAITING FOR TOMMY: NEW YORK SPIN CITY: MARVEL & DC
By Richard Johnston

Recently I ran a story in Lying In The Gutters about Marvel cracking down on some very anti-social behaviour by employees, namely playing Dungeons And Dragons in their lunch hour. Clearly there's one so much geekdom a company can take, and so the activity was banned.

I was forwarded a resulting memo (slightly reworded in case there's tricks to catch a leak) "Employees are reminded that giving out information to media sources not affiliated or against Marvel's interests are not only against policy signed and agreed upon by Marvel employees but are also opening themselves to possible litigation."

Remember guys, talk about banned board games can lose you your house. Best stop it now.

SALVADOR LARROCA’S X-WOMEN UNITED LITHOGRAPH

Marvel have had a history of famous leaks, the most famous being Jim Shooter's memo, referring to Marvel's readers as "Little F***s" but I especially like the ones asking people not to leak things. That are then promptly leaked. Patty Jeres at DC had a similar problem when ex-employee Joe Illidge started speaking out against the company. She sent an e-mail reminding everyone not to talk to me. which I received seven copies later that day.

Anyway, there have been unfortunate parallels with much of my recent reporting on Marvel and another case on a much grander scale in the UK. A BBC journalist, Andrew Gilligan, made some allegations about the Blair Administration deceiving Parliament and the Cabinet over the Iraq War. He specified one source in the intelligence services, although that was later backed up by other sources from other journalists. The Government went apesh*t, started spinning against the BBC, the BBC regrouped, and the prime suspect for the intelligence source, Dr David Kelly, committed suicide. He was then confirmed as the source, at his family's request.

You know, I hope Felicia's state of mind is okay right now. P> This week's Lying In The Gutters set the column record at CBR for the most readers in one day. It ran a large smattering of pieces, from tens of sources, all concerned with what had been going down at Marvel and who was jumping ship to DC. Who was on Batman, Superman, other titles, the lot. You can read the whole thing here

Some creators weren't best pleased about being talked about in this way. While the column was being written, JMS and Bendis vehemently denied moving to DC. Mark Bagley also joined that group afterwards, and Grant Morrison, without giving specifics, wrote to throw doubt on pretty much everything printed about him.

While there clearly were nuggets of truth in who was and wasn't moving, there were two other conspiracy theories forming.

One: That the rumours were getting started by DC employees, attempting to recruit talent to DC by telling them about everyone else who was signing up as an exclusive. Whether they were, or not. After all, if you've been told that JMS, Bendis, Morrison, Hitch, Azzarello, Art Adams and Andy Kubert had all signed exclusives. well, what were you waiting for? You might as well sign while the contracts still on the table - they won't be there forever!

Two. That Marvel were preparing themselves for what might have otherwise been a devastating Chicago, as well as San Diego, by creating fictitious rumours that all their A-list were leaving the company for DC, so that whoever DC does announce as exclusives, won't look that bad against what might have been. And if they've got round to announcing a new Neil Gaiman project by then, and a host of Brian Bendis' stuff, more's the better. If the biggest story that DC have is that Jim Lee, the fix-it king, will move from Batman to Superman, reversing the titles' current positions in the charts, then Marvel have a shot at taking the PR crown back, especially with their deal with the WizardWorld organisers.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Continued Here...

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