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Waiting For Tommy: Ian Edginton and Joe Quesada
By Richard Johnston

I kept working for CrossGen because I knew if I quit, they'd never pay me what was outstanding and I needed to pay everyone back what I borrowed. In the end, I simply refused to turn in anymore work until they paid me. Within about ten minutes of my sending the email to Bill [Roseman], I had Mark on the phone playing both good cop and bad cop. He told me that they wanted me to stay onboard, that I was an important part of the CrossGen family, that they thought I was a major talent and that they'd gotten rid of writers such as Ron Marz to keep me. The latter wasn't even true since Ron left of his own accord!

It was pathetic.

During my initial visit I'd found him a little intimidating, now he seemed weasel-y and desperate. Just before Christmas I received several payments that almost covered what I was owed but of course it wasn't quite so simple. A cheque bounced taking me way past my overdraft and on the receiving end of a snotty phone call from the bank early one Saturday morning. I decided to pass the grief along. I have Mark's home phone number and gave him a wake-up call.

 

LADY DEATH/SOJOURN #1 DF EXCLUSIVE FOIL EDITION - DF FOIL EDITION

After a moderately heated exchange, I simply told him that if the next words out of his mouth weren't: "Ian, don't worry. You will be getting your money wired to you first thing Monday morning." then the last sound he would hear from me, was my putting down the phone and we would be done as of that moment.

It was a gamble, but by that point I was too pissed of too care. If he'd been in the same room, I'd have chinned him.

The money duly arrived. I explained that from now on, our working arrangement would be like the exchange of spies at the Russian border. I give them a plot (not full script), they pay me. I give them the dialogue, they pay me. I realise this is about as unprofessional as you can get but by this time, I think CrossGen had forgone any right to professional behaviour. In one mildly amusing moment, I was informed that Mark was doing this out of good faith and that by rights they could hold me to waiting thirty days for payment. I pointed out that thirty days would be a luxury given that quite a few of us had been waiting a lot longer than that to be paid. I do have to give all credit to Bill for getting the wheels rolling and the cheques sent out.

A couple of weeks ago, Bill told me to start thinking about winding up Sojourn with issue 41. He said that the story had pretty much run it's course and it was time to bring it to a close, despite it's climbing back up the sales charts and being their only top 100 ranking book. He also mentioned that Greg Land was taking a break from the book to work on other projects. I thought now was a good a time as ever to bow out but, after everything that's happened, it was the astonishing promo blurb for American Power that clinched it for me.

For those who haven't seen it, the cover shows a muscle-bound, gimp type hero punching out Osama Bin Laden.

I asked Bill if the book was actually some kind of post-modernist, ironic joke but no, it's art... apparently.

I asked him that if in the light of recent events, it was in questionable taste publishing a book that could be read by the husbands, wives and more importantly the children (it is a comic after all) of the victims of 9/11 and the Atocha station bombing? He said CrossGen intended it to be controversial hence the provocative cover and copy for the prequel. I added that since this book would not have been able to happen if 9/11 hadn't itself happened, that CrossGen were in fact cashing in on those people's deaths. He said no. I finally asked him if, human being to human being, he didn't feel at least a twinge of morality or conscience? He said, everyone's entitled to their opinion.

Except the poor souls who died in 9/11 and at Atocha.

Given CG's fluctuating financial status, the way this book's been pitched, it seems intent on appealing to the lowest common denominator, shamelessly milking peoples tragedy and loss to put money back into Mark Alessi pocket. He must be more stuck for cash than anyone imagined.

I realise this is a little off-topic and that I've based my comments on a single picture and a paragraph of copy but this is one of those rare moments where the real world bisects with the comic book business and we're found wanting.

Twenty years ago, I had a real-world job working in the press office of a small, now defunct third world environmental charity group. We were all about saving the environment but in that part of the world, poverty, famine and war were all part of the mix, war especially since it was pretty much responsible for the other two. I have seen pictures that would chill your blood.

I am all for freedom of speech, but we can't let the atrocities of the past few years be the basis for acts of cartoon violence, however serious or well meaning the intent. It diminishes those who lost their lives and makes caricatures out of those who took them.  

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 Continued Here...

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Updated: 08/16/19 @ 10:01 pm

1. 'KRYPTON' CANCELED AFTER TWO SEASONS, SPINOFF 'LOBO' NOT MOVING FORWARD ON SYFY

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3. TREES RETURNS WITH "THREE FATES" STORY ARC & TEASES INTERIOR PAGES AHEAD OF SEPTEMBER RELEASE

4. YOUR FIRST LOOK AT FIREFLY #9 FROM BOOM! STUDIOS

5. BRIAN HABERLIN & DAVID HINE’S SONATA #2 & SONATA #3 RUSHED BACK TO PRINT



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