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Author Topic: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters  (Read 4815 times)

Frank

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Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« on: 21 November, 2016, 01:55:35 pm »
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So many great nuggets of information are mentioned in passing round here, remembered only by a few and never seen again, I thought it would be a good idea to have one place to post information or artwork that didn't make the edit on the official history of 2000ad.

This is the detail that set me off on this train of thought; how could John Smith have been interviewed about the history of 2000ad without mentioning he almost became Tharg? *


reproduced with permission





* I asked a follow up question, but I'm working on the assumption that Smith was offered the role following the departure of McKenzie. The Burton/McKenzie succession seemed an orderly one, and Smith says it was pre-internet - which rules out Tharg's Bishop/Diggle regeneration.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #1 on: 21 November, 2016, 06:59:48 pm »
Wow that's a fantastic tit-bit. Who knows where that would have taken the comic, but I wish I would visit the alternative reality where that did happen.

We'd only get 2000ad once in a blue moon. But by God when it came out it'd be fantastic!

GordonR

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #2 on: 21 November, 2016, 07:09:13 pm »
Scavenging screen-grab scraps from people's FB pages.

Classy.
« Last Edit: 21 November, 2016, 07:15:29 pm by GordonR »

Frank

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #3 on: 21 November, 2016, 07:35:29 pm »
Who knows where that would have taken the comic, but I wish I would visit the alternative reality where that did happen. We'd only get 2000ad once in a blue moon. But by God when it came out it'd be fantastic!

Ha! I'm not sure Smith would have tried to write every story himself - that was Alan McKenzie.

Be careful what you wish for. Steve said he talked to Smith about the role in 1986 - when MacManus was leaving to travel around the USA. If Smith had gone into editorial then, we might never have seen Tyranny Rex or Indigo Prime.

I'd have loved to see which direction traditional series would have taken under Smith - Rogue Trooper would surely have turned out much better - and whether nascent strips, like Zenith might have gone even more gonzo. Sean Phillips would have got a lot of work.

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Leigh S

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #4 on: 21 November, 2016, 08:54:28 pm »
Interesting stuff...

Having a writer as editor makes sense in retrospect, but at that time how much writing had John Smith got under his belt - might have lost out a good few tales from John, at a time when they were more needed than most times!

Hawkmumbler

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #5 on: 21 November, 2016, 09:51:56 pm »
Scavenging screen-grab scraps from people's FB pages.

Classy.
Eeerrr, sorry Gordon but you DID see the bit in the post where McManus said he was cool with it? And, not to speak presumptuously, but I hardly think John Smith woult have umbrage with it either...

On the matter itself, blimey, what a view into the mouth if madness. Smith as manager?! The comic would be printed on technicolour card to induce trippy experiences.

Frank

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #6 on: 21 November, 2016, 10:07:18 pm »
The comic would be printed on technicolour card to induce trippy experiences

Not far wrong! Smith got back to say he would have turned it into a horror comic, rather than sci-fi - and predicted he'd have run it into the ground.

I reckon it would have been worth the ride - we know he would have had done a fantastic editing job on Chronos Carnival ...



ZenArcade

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #7 on: 21 November, 2016, 10:13:20 pm »
An alternate years 1992 - 2000 prog....a la John Smith. Man the mind boggles. Z
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Tony Angelino

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #8 on: 21 November, 2016, 10:19:26 pm »
I've only ever understood parts of John Smith's stories. Always found his stuff hard to follow. Can't imagine what he would have been like as an editor.

dweezil2

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #9 on: 21 November, 2016, 10:25:21 pm »
"Free (ornamental) bong for every reader!"  :o

ZenArcade

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #10 on: 21 November, 2016, 10:25:34 pm »
Well it wouldn't have been dull that's for sure. His work from 87 - 93 was in my opinion ground breaking and has seldom if ever been surpassed. Z
Ed is dead, baby Ed is...Ed is dead

Fungus

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #11 on: 22 November, 2016, 10:01:59 am »
I've only ever understood parts of John Smith's stories. Always found his stuff hard to follow. Can't imagine what he would have been like as an editor.

Often skip his stuff.
Editorship seems - from memoirs and the like - to be a reasonably thankless and much tougher role than the younger me ever assumed. JS and his output don't say 'editor' to me. Although the history of Thargship is filled with randomness and odd turns...

Frank

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #12 on: 22 November, 2016, 09:51:57 pm »
So many great nuggets of information are mentioned in passing round here, remembered only by a few and never seen again, I thought it would be a good idea to have one place to post information or artwork that didn't make the edit on the official history of 2000ad.

This is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind when I typed those words. Thanks to Cal Hab for posting this on the Luke Kirby thread; much of the main post was in Thrillpower Overload, but the comments section features new information from McKenzie.

It was his recollections on the question of assigning copyright (and the legality of that famous cheque/docket system) that leapt off the page:


Quote
When Fleetway was first looking into selling the film rights to some of "its" intellectual properties, both Ridway and I were approached to sign an assignment of copyright which would "confirm" Fleetway's ownership of the Luke Kirby character.

(I refused but) because of the increasing desperation Fleetway were demonstrating (I'd been told by friends inside Fleetway that MD Frank Knau had sent round an email effectively blacklisting me for refusing to sign his document) I thought I'd better investigate the legal position.

As a member of the National Union of Journalists (still am!) I checked the situation with their legal department. Seems that, in a way, Fleetway was in part right. Legally, if not morally.

When I discussed the position with the NUJ legal department, they said that Fleetway might have a claim to the copyright in the published Luke Kirby stories in their existing form, but that to exploit the character further they would need at least my assignment of copyright.

However, they were also quite clear that the ownership of the characters rested with the original creator and that this would certainly apply to any use of the character in the future, as well as to retellings of the published stories in other formats, including screen or prose.

And of course, I couldn't consent to that.

Fleetway have also tried to assert that all freelance payment cheques were issued with a stamp on the back that said the undersigned relinquishes all claims to copyright and that the payee had to sign the back of the cheque in order to cash it. The NUJ pointed out to me that a cheque is a promise of payment and that no one can add conditions to that payment after the fact. No bank can enforce that condition and copyright extracted from creators on that basis will not hold up in court.

Copyright is always vested in the creator of an intellectual property until it is actively signed away by the creator. Fleetway's panicked attempts to get creators to sign "confirmations" that Fleetway was the copyright holder on 2000AD characters clearly points out that they knew the legal situation full well and were using the carrot of a tv or movie adaptation down the line (which of course didn't happen) to get creators to retrospectively relinquish their legal rights.

http://viciousimagery.blogspot.co.uk/2007/02/28-days-of-2000-ad-271-john-ridgway.html



Frank

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #13 on: 11 December, 2016, 08:52:25 pm »
.
Thanks to the handsome and charismatic Roger Blake and Glyn Robinson-Byrne and their 2000ad Facebook Discussion Group (click to join) we can add some footnotes to Steve MacManus's excellent Mighty One tome (still available in all good stores).

An abridged version of Steve's generously detailed, warm and personable replies:


Quote
The visual reference that accompanied the script in which Anderson first appears (actually written for the Dredd dummy) [1] showed a woman in a black leather catsuit with a zip pulled halfway down, revealing an ample sized bosom.

In the Robo-Hunter series Play It Again, Sam, Ian Gibson drew Maggie Thatcher with a truly supersized Gerald Scarfe type nose – it was like Concorde. But I cravenly had the art team scratch it down a peg or two. And this nose was everywhere.

The Summer Special with art by Casanovas was so late I forced his agent to fly to Spain and back in a day to wrench the pages from his grasp. I had to – there was no other material to take its place as the special was a different size from the weekly.

My proudest moment was when the printed copies of the First Judge Dredd annual arrived in the office. This was my baby from cover to cover, although I misread the colour page allocation, which is why one of the stories is split.

I regret not saving Zenith for Crisis, commissioning that unfunny back page strip whose title escapes me (the one by Chris Stevens), and selling the Bisley Batman Promo Page for £250.00

Original art came back from the printer in a big parcel and we just chucked it in a corner of the office. Eventually, it was taken over to the fabled Fleetway archive library, where it was unpacked and stored. When the artists began to have their art returned, Robin Smith would package it up nicely for them.

In the beginning, all work was commissioned on a work for hire basis, attracting single payment based on a page rate. No further payments, no royalties, reprint fees, etc.

When it came to creating Crisis I lobbied for, and got, an improvement on these terms, which was enshrined in a contract given to each contributor to Crisis.

The copyright remained with Fleetway, but in addition to the page rate royalties kicked in on sales above certain figure. 50,000 copies sold I believe. In this sense the page rate became a non-returnable advance on any future royalties falling due.

In addition, we made provision for a payment to be made if the work was reprinted in the UK or syndicated to Europe and the world. if there was a graphic novel compilation the royalties would be paid on every copy sold – just like a book.

Finally, provision was made for creators to share in any audio/visual exploitation of the work, such as television, film and radio.

Above all, provision was made for creators to share in merchandise revenues. I think the merchandise split was 50% to the publisher and 50% split between the writer/creator and artist/creator. The syndication revenue to the contributors was 35% of net receipts. Reprint fees were around £10-15 per page.

When the company decided to extend the deal to 2000 AD contributors, a whole new contract was written and it ran to several pages!

My role as Managing Editor of the 2000ad Group concerned hiring staff to work on the editorial team. In terms of creative input, I offered none. Richard and Alan commissioned 2000 AD’s content with design by Steve Cook. On the Megazine, Dave Bishop assembled a new creative crew, drawn from Scotland in the main and I applaud him for it.

I let both editorial teams get on with it! Later came Sonic and Red Dwarf and other titles following the merger with London Editions. To be fair, I don’t think there was much use in the role of Managing Editor, but what else could I do?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2000adDiscussion/permalink/1544855875675611/


[1] Steve might be conflating the visual reference Wagner supplied to Bolland for Anderson's 2000ad debut appearance - in the very first Judge Death story - and her first solo strip - The Four Dark Judges - which was originally scheduled to appear in the aborted 1985 Dredd monthly.

Obviously, the only visual reference Brett Ewins would have needed for The Four Dark Judges was Bolland's previous strips.



Leigh S

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #14 on: 11 December, 2016, 09:02:48 pm »
.
Thanks to the handsome and charismatic Roger Blake and Glyn Robinson-Byrne and their 2000ad Facebook Discussion Group (click to join) we can add some footnotes to Steve MacManus's excellent Mighty One tome (still available in all good stores).

An abridged version of Steve's generously detailed, warm and personable replies:


Quote
The visual reference that accompanied the script in which Anderson first appears (actually written for the Dredd dummy) [1] showed a woman in a black leather catsuit with a zip pulled halfway down, revealing an ample sized bosom.



https://www.facebook.com/groups/2000adDiscussion/permalink/1544855875675611/


[1] Steve might be conflating the visual reference Wagner supplied to Bolland for Anderson's 2000ad debut appearance - in the very first Judge Death story - and her first solo strip - The Four Dark Judges - which was originally scheduled to appear in the aborted 1985 Dredd monthly.

Obviously, the only visual reference Brett Ewins would have needed for The Four Dark Judges was Bolland's previous strips.

From, erm... memory, that's it...very vague memory,  isn't there a panel in the Four  Dark Judges episode of Anderson doing up her uniform? So the error on Mac1 part might be the talk of it being her debut...