Planet Buzz 02-12-02


Liberty Meadows Gets a New Image…

With no small regret, the Insight Studios Group announced today that Frank Cho would be leaving after issue #26 of Liberty Meadows. No particular reason for the move was cited, though both sides stress that it is not a personality conflict. In fact, Cho will still be contributing to various Insight projects (again, undefined) in the future.

So where does this leave Liberty Meadows? The press release refers to Cho "going solo," but the book will be published by Image Comics. Whether that will be renumbered from 1 was not clear.

Despite the almost constant brouhaha surrounding Image co-founder Todd McFarlane on the Spawn line, Image has a great reputation dealing with creator-owned works, and a bigger promotional budget. Since leaving the steady income of newspaper syndication, the recently "with child" Cho likely just needs money for the baby's new shoes.

They're surprisingly expensive.

Quick…Shred The Documents!

Last week, long-time DC president Jenette Kahn stepped down to move on to bigger and better things.

In her place, DC has named Paul Levitz as President and Publisher, moving him up from Vice-President and Editor-in-Chief. Levitz has definitely come up through the ranks, including a fan-favored stint as writer of The Legion of Super-Heroes in the early eighties.

Recently, though, Levitz has come under fire for being the man responsible for the shredding of entire print runs of books he deemed objectionable at the last minute. Though some were reprinted after revision, we still have not seen the fabled Elseworlds 80-Page Giant stateside. (2,000 copies in England managed to survive.)

It's also rumored that Levitz has a huge problem with the content and style of The Authority, and has been behind all the editorial problems that book has faced in recent months. For more information on that, check out Rich Johnston's column All The Rage at Silver Bullet Comics.

So will DC get bowdlerized as a result? The man may not have quite as broad a taste as fans would like, but DC has done plenty of great work under his watch, and it would seem silly to think that may change. But why not work ourselves up into a good lather?

Dini Does Another Super Girl…

Oni Press announced that it will be releasing a new book from creator Paul Dini in May. Titled Mutant, Texas, the book will follow the adventures of Sheriff Ida Red, a flying cowgirl with the ability to shoot lightning from her hands. She's the law in a town full of super-powered beings.

The irreverent (but fun-sounding) book is the second direct-to-comics concept from Dini (best known for the Batman and Superman animated series) after the popular Jingle Belle.

J. Bone will provide the art, commenting, "Paul said he wanted to do something in the southwest, and I thought, 'Oooh, great! Denim!' There's not enough denim in comics, and I've had my fill of plaid school-girl skirts."

I'll just leave that one alone.

JLA Meets Planetary

Sources at DC have confirmed that this summer should see a JLA/Planetary crossover. Nothing much is known beyond the assignment of Jerry Ordway to do the art over a script by, of course, Warren Ellis.

Unbound Comics To Bring Back Old Works

Unbound Comics will reprint writer/artist Timothy Truman's The Wilderness, a book long out of print but well-respected. The historically accurate Western had once been the province of First Comics before the rights reverted to Truman.

The new web e-publisher considers this an experiment, hopefully offering creators a new way to get their work directly in the hands of fans without negotiating away their rights. Other creators have expressed interest in following Truman, but the company declines to name names right now.

Though the details have not yet been set, this could finally be the right step in fulfilling the promise of the internet for comics distribution. If this were Little Annie Fanny, though, there would be no question.


The Truth Is Ether…

X-Files producer/writer/director Frank Spotnitz has entered into a two-picture writing and directing deal with Dimension Films. His first film will be Into The Ether, about a medical resident who suspects that her hospital's patients are dying through unnatural means. Spotnitz will re-write the script by Brian Carr.

No word on how (or if) this will affect his behind-the-scenes role on the second big screen X-Files outing, nor his production responsibilities for Chris Carter's first film, announced last summer. (Announced, and quite honestly, mysteriously easily forgotten about by all concerned in the wake of the 9th Season.)


The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

Amidst a lot of grumbling from the production offices of Futurama, word has come down through Aint It Cool that the show has been outright (but quietly) cancelled by Fox.

Always treated like a red-headed stepchild by the network, this season of Futurama has actually seen only four new episodes broadcast. The rumor has it that at this rate, Fox believes they can simply stretch this so-called "Season Four" into a Season Five, and just burn the remaining episodes whenever they need to fill a hole in the schedule.

Yeah, they're just geniuses over there, this being the same network that made sure that no one actually realized that the brilliant The Tick was on, either, by pre-empting it every other week and then showing episodes on different nights. At least Futurama has the benefit of always being on Sundays at 7 unless there's football, which there almost always has been so far.

Please send your potential aneurysms to Fox.

And Yet, I'll Be There For You…

Friends, though, has been renewed for another season, with each cast member rumored to be getting over $1 Milllion per episode next year.

Would anyone at NBC like Futurama or The Tick? Please?

The Huntress?
Ah, The Birds of Prey, At Last…

Already, the WB Pilot Birds of Prey has a fansite. Thankfully so, because Gotham Clock Tower has uncovered the casting for the pilot.

Dina Meyer, who you may remember from the film Starship Troopers has been tapped to play Barbara Gordon, aka Oracle. Fresh from a recurring role on Dark Angel is Ashley Scott, who will be playing The Huntress. (The Huntress fills the role in the pilot that Black Canary has in the comics.)

Black Canary?
Playing teen-age runaway The Black Canary will be Rachel Skarsten, a veteran of some Disney Channel movies and shows. In a rare casting moment, the 16-year-old Skarsten will be playing a character who is actually 17. This precedent could lead to a rash of high school age characters actually looking like they're in high school, and the very foundations of our television society will crumble.

Derek McCaw


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