Anyone who has had the displeasure of editing or reading poorly executed copycat literature is likely entertained by the core premise of writer Andrew Foley & artist Fiona Staples’ Done to Death trade collection: an editor who sets out to kill the writers of bad literature. This trade collection, which was released by IDW on September 21, had quite a six-year journey to get on the shelves, as Foley explained to me in this email interview. My thanks to Foley for his time. Once you’ve read this interview, be sure to read the late September interview that Foley did with CBR’s Shaun Manning.
Tim O’Shea: How long have you been developing Done to Death and how did it come to be at IDW?
Andrew Foley: It’s taken a little over six years to finally get this collection on the shelves. The original five issues took a little more than a year from to get from the initial pitch to publication. After parting ways with Markosia Fiona and I spent quite a while looking for the right publisher for the collection. In the early portion of my career, I had publishers I was working with: abruptly go out of business; unilaterally break contracts they’d agreed to; elect not to publish several graphic novels (at least one fully illustrated) I wrote for them while being constantly reassured they would see the light of day; stiff dozens of creators when the publisher decided the moment for their wildly ambitious anthology series had passed; and just generally try to advance themselves on the backs of passionate (if naïve) creators.
There are some great indy publishers out there. Red 5 springs to mind. But there are also a distressingly high number of predatory companies around whose sole purpose is to acquire or control as much intellectual property for as little as possible in the hopes that one will become 30 Days of Night or Cowboys & Aliens and get optioned for millions of dollars. It’s a bit like playing the lottery, only each ticket represents hundreds of hours of labour on the creators’ parts.
Saturday at the New York Comic Con brought news for the Avengers, Superman, Legendary Comics and … Disney’s Prep & Landing? Here’s a round-up of announcements from the show today.
• With a big, blockbuster Avengers movie scheduled for next May, Marvel announced a new ongoing series, Avengers Assemble, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley. The book will launch next March and will feature most of the Avengers featured in the movie — Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk. The first arc will feature the villainous group the Zodiac.
• Marvel also announced that writer Rick Remender and artist Gabriel Hardman will take over Secret Avengers with issue #21.1, adding new members and pitting them against a new Masters of Evil.
• At the Cup O’ Joe panel today, Marvel also announced a Disney/Marvel crossover — Prep & Landing: Mansion: Impossible. It features the elves from the Disney television special who prepare homes for the arrival of Santa Claus every Christmas eve — only this time they’re trying to break into Avengers Mansion to get it ready for Santa. Written by director Kevin Deters and drawn by story artist Joe Mateo, the story will run in the back of the Marvel Adventures books as well as Avengers #19 in November.
It look as if Mark Millar’s vampire-induced disaster has been averted.
If you’ll recall, on Thursday Millar was upset to see Marvel’s “We are the X-Men” teasers that hint at a mutants-versus-vampire storyline. That’s because some of the elements — Blade and vampires attacking mutants, namely — seemed awfully similar to an Ultimate Avengers arc that Millar had been talking about publicly for some time.
So, before Millar contacted Marvel, he took to his message board, writing, in part: “How the Hell did this happen? It wouldn’t have been as big a deal if I hadn’t started the series yet, but it’s almost done and just going to look foolish following an X-Men event. Am honestly just so disgusted with this as I’ve talked about it many times. [...] I’m hoping this is some horrible misunderstanding. I’ve only seen what you’ve seen online with Blade and the X-Men and a vampire Jubilee (again, very close to stuff I’m doing). Fingers crossed this bullshit gets fixed, but am getting closer and closer to just doing my own stuff every day.”
But by the end of the day Millar had updated his forum members, saying he had spoken to Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley, and that the misunderstanding would be sorted out today. And that appears to be what’s happened.
“It seems there was something of a communications problem between the Ultimate U and the Marvel U, which is understandable because they don’t share the same continuity,” Millar wrote today. “Anyway, the similarities between these storylines were evident, but with a few tweaks these are being cleared up and Marvel have been great about it. The extra good news is that Ultimate Avengers 3, the arc guest-starring Blade, has now been pulled forward by a month or two and fans of the book are going to get lots of double-shipping. [...] Marvel took the miscommunication problem very seriously and we sorted it all out today with a couple of conference calls.”
The X-Men storyline, which presumably ties into The Death of Dracula, is expected to be announced Sunday at C2E2.