You'll All Be Sorry

Mon, November 22nd, 1999 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Gail Simone, Guest Contributor

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WELCOME TO THE NEW MILLENIUM!
HEROES!


GIRLS WITHOUT NO CLOTHES ON!
OTHER WORLDS!


LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!!

Black Bull Entertainment

the power
gared shamus, publisher

Even though I've spent the last decade trying to destroy comics, I've always been fascinated by them.

Each morning when I get up, I have a little meeting with myself, where I call myself by different job titles, and use different funny voices for each. And sometimes I pretend to be a big-time publisher of comics, like Stan Lee or one of those other guys like Jeanette Kahn. That's a lot of fun and fills up a lot of time, too. Once I started yelling at myself and my wife told me to keep it down and I suddenly thought, "Hey! Why can't I publish comics for reals? What's stopping me? I can do whatever I want! You're not the boss of me!"

You see, every day at Wizard, I get at least 300,000 letters asking me, "Gareb, why don't you form a comics company and get top talent to produce it and maybe call it Black Bull?"

I realize that this is a controversial move…other companies are going under, and even the "Big Two" are struggling, but I have something Marvel doesn't have: thirty thousand dollars!

So, here we are, and even though I know everyone in the industry, I can honestly say that starting a new line of comics takes a lot more talent, creativity, and energy than I ever imagined I'd have to buy. It's kind of neat to know that, as much integrity as these people have, they still aren't so big-headed they can't be purchased outright.

We work in an industry where EVERYBODY has a chance to succeed, even if they are disadvantaged with a lot of money or a monthly magazine which they can advertise in for FREE no fooling! All this theoretical person has to do is say, for example, "Drop the news section this issue," or "Skip letters 'G' through 'N' in the price guide!" and boom! But why should that be a handicap?

And as you can see from the latest issue of Wizard I think it's pretty clear we no longer have a clue what people want. Did you see it? I mean, there's eleven pages devoted to jokes about the Wizard staff. I'm not making this up. You can count them yourself! Do YOU care about the Wizard staff? I pay their checks, and I don't give a shit about the Wizard staff! And did you see that crap about Keep Squeezin Them Monkeys Lad? I mean, Jesus, we've TOTALLY lost our way. They had a staff meeting a few days ago where all they did was sit around saying "boobies!" for an hour. "Boobies!" for Christ's sake. I mean, they think this is funny. We won't be able to keep going like this. Time to get into comics, I think. Maybe it was a mistake to fire everyone who had any wit. "Keep Squeezin Them Monkeys Lad." Christ.

Uh…Anyway, I plan on bringing that same expertise to Black Bull Entertainment.


BLACK MAIL
The announcement of Black Bull Comics has sent a shock wave of excitement through the industry. Here's a sample of what some high-profile professionals think:

ALEX ROSS

Oh, swell. Just great. PERFECT. Oh, this is just the

BEST. And I'm being SARCASTIC. Gareb Shamus is just a

GREAT guy who isn't at ALL a nerd. Remember that I'm

being sarcastic here. And Black Bull is just a GREAT

name. I'm being sarcastic, though.

BRIAN CUNNINGHAM, WIZARD EDITOR

Man, this is just great!

This is PERFECT! This is the BEST! Wow! And to those

worried about whether or not Wizard will

be…snort…impartial need worry no more! We plan on

giving these wonderful, elegant, much-needed godsend

comics a FAIR review, honest! And we'll be using the

same high standa…Jesus. I can't do this anymore. Just

make something up and sign my name to it. And get me

some Taco Bell. And I need those proofs on that

"Underaged Superheroine We'd Most Like To See Nekkid"

thinkpiece.

JIM SHOOTER

I wish I still had a monopoly. Sniff!

Of all the things I miss about comics, I think I miss

the evil most of all. Good luck to Gareb. He's got

potential.

GAREB SHAMUS (a different one)

Hey, give the guy a chance!

Mark Waid and Amanda Conner are very talented, the

characters sound fun and maybe a new comic company is

just what the industry needs! Plus, I hear Gareb has a

HUGE SCHLONG!

ROB LIEFELD I'm doing a comic based on the letters in Alan Moore's name! It's called NALA REMOO! It's exciting to be working with Alan Moore, even when he doesn't know about it. What? Gareb's doing comics now? I heard he has a huge schlong. No, really, that's what I heard. Some guy told me. Huh? Oh, he saw it at the Wizard urinal. What? Well, he didn't say exactly, but I got the impression it was like an eggplant, seriously. What's Gatecrashers about, anyway? …Wow, that's a coincidence, cause I've been planning a book EXACTLY like that for YEARS, assuming it's a hit. Sincerely! And I'll have dated sketches to prove I thought of this idea YEARS ago by this

afternoon at the latest! Man. An EGGPLANT, can you

imagine?

WARREN ELLIS I have BLOOD CLOTS more talented than Gareb Shamus…what? An eggplant? Really? Gorblimey! I retract my earlier statement.

GAREB "THE EGGPLANT" SHAMUS Me again! Don't forget to join us in January, 2000 for GAREB SHAMUS' CATECRASHERS! featuring m. waid and a. conner

the creative

mark waid, writer

When Gareb came to me with this Black Bull idea, I said I wasn't interested unless he paid me a lot of money. A whole SHITLOAD of money! Did I just say that? Don't print that. Print this: When Gareb first came to me with this Black Bull idea, I said I wasn't interested unless he wanted me to really write. For money. A shitload of it! Wait. Skip that last bit. Just put the bit about me really writing. For money. Don't put that last bit in.

On the other hand, in this market, isn't taking the money really the brave thing to do? I mean, I COULD do the easy thing and only do the books that lose money, but I've never been the kind of guy to take the easy way out like some of those creators who think it's fun to starve and be homeless. Never let it be said that Mark Waid was afraid to take a book just because he got a shitload of money for it. Frankly, the money doesn't even enter into it, assuming it's a shitload. In fact, I took this book DESPITE the fact that it's such a tremendous great amount of money. That huge paycheck was something I had to OVERCOME. Writey writey, five dollar! Me write you long time, Joe!

But the money is a side issue. No, honest. The truth is, I just REALLY wanted to work with…to…heh…seriously…haha…give me a sec…heh. Okay, I'm ready. I just really wanted to…hee…work with Gareb Shamus. Heh. Don't print that face I'm making. Seriously. I want to…heh…work with…heh. Don't print that I had to get up and go to the bathroom.

amanda connor, artist

"Yer kidding me, right?" is what I said when the Black Bull guys first told me they wanted me to draw their first title. "I mean, this is a joke, isn't it?" is what I said when they said they were serious. "But, you guys print a comics news magazine!" I said when they said no, it wasn't a joke. "And it isn't even a GOOD magazine anymore!" I pointed out when they said yes they publish a news magazine but they were branching out. "Well, why don't you DO something about it?" I queried when they admitted the magazine had been insufferable for at least two years. "But what do more titty jokes have to do with me?" I asked when they said they had a plan to improve Wizard by adding a lot more titty jokes.

Then I remembered that I'm really talented and this would be a high-profile book and I'd probably be cut in for a percentage the merch rights, and I suddenly fell in LOVE with the concept even though I hadn't heard it yet. And I only loved it MORE when I realized that Mark Waid and Gareth Shamine would be working on it, having been a big fan of both of them for years, no kidding, I'm not making that part up at all. And what sealed the deal for me was being able to help create a whole new world and the money!

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