Before San Diego Comic-Con I heard two rumours. That ex-Marvel publisher Bill Jemas was starting up a new comic book publisher and looking for people. And that he may have been behind this wanted ad. And I also heard that ex-Marvel EIC Axel Alonso was doing the same thing.
Well, tonight I have heard from a couple of pretty reliable industry sources, that these two things are actually the same thing. And that Jemas has hired Alonso – indeed that they have been working together for months. What happens now I have no idea. But I understand that phone calls have been made to major comic creators this past week asking about people's availability, contract length, that sort of thing. And Alonso's contacts are a lot more up to date than Bill's…
Bill Jemas is the ex-publisher of Marvel Comics who helped pull the comics publisher out of bankruptcy, started the Ultimate Comics line – and co-writing Ultimate Spider-Man. Who started the Max line. And who also launched a large number of completely insane ideas that went nowhere. He was eventually victim to a power play by Marvel Studios' Avi Arad, after the extreme nature of the Fury Max comic book written by Garth Ennis lost Marvel Studios a movie starring George Clooney as Nick Fury. Since Marvel, he has been involved with a number of comic book start ups, including Take 2 Interactive's Double Take. Initially meant to be a reworking of a number of their games into one comics universe continuity, Jemas so annoyed some of the games creators, it instead became a reworking of The Night Of The Living Dead movie. It was intended to turn from zombies into a post-apocalyptic superhero universe continuity – though the comics line closed before it could get that far.
Axel Alonso was also an editor at Marvel at the time, hired by Bill Jemas from DC/Vertigo, and one if the attendees at the final Marvel/DC meeting over the future of the Comics Code, which Jemas staffed the Marvel side with all ex-DC staffers. Axel replaced Joe Quesada as Editor-In-Chief when Quesada was made Marvel CCO, and held that role for seven years, but was let go by Marvel last year and replaced by C.B. Cebulski though he did not go entirely quietly into that good night.
Alonso did not reply to messages and all the e-mails I have for Bill are now bouncing. Let's keep watching the skies, I guess. Could this be another AfterShock? Another CrossGen? Or a publisher that doesn't feel the need to add capital letters to their name?