Blast From The Past: How The Purchase Of Wildstorm Was Reported

Blast From The Past: How The Purchase Of Wildstorm Was Reported

So Wildstorm is finally ceased to be, the studios in La Jolla ceased to be, staff and projects absorbed into DC Digital in Burbank.

Wildstorm was the Jim Lee side of Homage Studios, the Image studio that split along creator lines with Mike Silvestri' half forming Top Cow, as the separate founders created their own identities within the publisher. Publishing the liks of WildCATS, Stormwatch, Den 13, then DV8, Planetary, The Authority and Monarchy, after a brief dalliance with Marvel over the Heroes Reborn books, DC bought the lot, lock, stock and two smoking Deviants. So why not join me for a blast from the past, when the web was young and most comics discussion took place on the Usenet, AOL and Compuserve forums… with a few fledgling websites like Mania and Comicon doing the heavy lifting…

Aug 28, 1998 from Michael Doran on rec.arts.comics.misc:

No, sorry, there isn't any info here… but I haven't done this or anything like it in like, forever, so if anyone has objections, well… tough oeros:)

If you don't want to browse, I'm sure someone will post it here soon enough… But very early Friday (don't ask me exactly when cause I'm posting this before hand) Newsarama will be posting a newsflash rumor in Mania's Daily Buzz (http:\\ that may be the mother of all 1998 comics rumors…

If you're interested, check it out. If not, sorry to waste your time….
michael doran
CBI Newsarama @'s MANIA

I can't find the post but I believe Mike Chary then asked "Is DC buying Wildstorm?" He would later attribute this to a dream. On Aug 28, 1998, I posted;

Well, Mike said someone might post it… from mania's buzz page.

DC To Buy Wildstorm?

Newsarama doesn't dip into the rumor mill often, but today is one of those days… According to a source close the publishers, IMAGE COMICS co-founder JIM LEE is close to reaching an agreement for DC COMICS/TIME WARNER ENTERTAINMENT to acquire his Image imprint, WILDSTORM PRODUCTIONS. Though official spokespersons for DC and Wildstorm could not confirm the rumors when reached for comment, sources tell the CBI-N that an official announcement of some kind will be soon forthcoming. According to the rumors, Lee/WS would leave Image Comics, and the rights to the WSU titles, concepts and characters would belong to DC Comics, though remain a distinct comics "universe" and imprint. Wildstorm's creator-owned imprints, HOMAGE and CLIFFHANGER, would also transfer to DC, but with the status of all creator-owned rights unaffected. The deal would also similarly include and affect titles with "creator participation", and separate lines like ALAN MOORE'S upcoming AMERICA'S BEST COMICS. Finally the agreement is rumored to include a contract for Lee to exclusively work on and create Wildstorm and DC properties. Newsarama will continue to follow this story if/as it develops and provide information and details as soon as they become available.
End of clip.

Cheers Mike, good to get some rumour juices flowing. Do it more often! Now… I think Alan Moore is going to have some big problems with this. He turned down writing Jim Lee's Heroes Reborn titles, because they would be published by Marvel and he has similar feelings for DC. Moore was uncomfortable when he heard that Rob Liefeld was seeking a similar deal with Marvel/DC for Awesome and while I can't go into the details here, it would have had a serious impact.

I reckon he'd have problems with America's Best Comics and Gentlemen being published by DC. Steve Bissette may begoing back to DC, but Moore and Bissette don't see eye to eye these days.
But that's just what I reckon. So why don't I go ask

So I did. Called up Alan, found he was on holiday in Wales, spoke to Melinda Gebbie and passed on the news. Rick Veitch, working with Alan on ABC, posted on Comicon.

It ain't a rumor, but a fact. It wasn't supposed to be announced until Tuesday, (and I sure as hell didn't have a clue) but as I now understand it, Warner Brothers is buying Wildstorm, lock stock and contracts in some multimillion dollar deal. As briefly explained to me by Wildstorm, with promises of more info after Tuesday, Wildstorm will remain autonomous and in California. The comics will not have the DC bullet but DC will be in charge. I don't think Alan even knows yet, since he's off on holiday. My bad blood with DC is well documented, but I'm holding off judgement until I get the full story of the deal, but I can't say I like what I've heard so far!

This situation doesn't really surprise me, since it just reflects another death rattle of the old Direct Sales Market. If anything, its hardened my belief in the need for its immediate replacement here on the net (the Connect Sales Market?).

One has to wonder what this all means for Image and Image central? Is this the end for that particular comics crusade?

Here are my Rich's Ramblings, a precursor to Bleeding Cool from around that time…

Wild Storms

Kudos to top rumour monger Mike Doran at Newsarama, he's just got a hell of a rumour correct about DC buying Wildstorm. Check his Newsarama column or Daily Buzz for the full info!

We've got confirmation from Warner Bros, DC's owner, that this deal is going ahead and we can expect a full confirmation next week. Wildstorm will become a DC imprint, with Jim Lee and his people working exclusively for DC and Wildstorm.

As to the big Alan Moore question?

Well, Alan has in the past stated that he won't work for DC again. He has five current projects with Wildstorm. Looks like there's some transatlantic shenannigans going on as a result… full details when
we can print them.

At the moment, we don't know if or where Alan will be going. Hell, at the moment, we don't even know where he is. But a number of publishers will no doubt be interested. But can he be persuaded one way or the other?

It seems certain Californians may be taking their holidays in Europe shortly. Very brief holidays… business or pleasure?

And then;

That Will Do Nicely…

Alan Moore (and others) have been talking about the DC/Wildstorm buyout over on Mania, and Alan has confirmed that his books will come out from Wildstorm, or a Jim Lee imprint outside of Wildstorm so as to honour his contract with Lee. After that, he doesn't know.

Lee's doing a lot to try and persuade Moore that working for him isn't the same as working for DC, Moore will never come into contact with DC, won't be solicited by DC, etc, etc, and the killer is that we've heard that Alan Moore will be paid directly from Jim Lee's personal bank account. Cheques will come to Moore from Jim Lee directly…

I'm looking forward to seeing the comics and am impressed by Jim Lee's equivocating abilities.

Rumours about Lee's involvement abound. A Hong Kong publisher with links to Wildstorm has rumoured that Lee will take over the Superman titles, although current DC Superman creator, Dan Jurgens vehemently denies it. We've also heard tell of Lee working on the Bat titles.

Well, as expected, especially since the official announcement hasn't been sent out, Jim Lee can't confirm anything. However Lee did comment on his recent trip here, wooing the British creators. "You know I can't comment on the circus but, yes, England was simply grand. The weather, English breakfast, the Guinness on tap, and company. A lovely trip."

So there we have it, officially. Amidst all the rumours and gossip and innuendo, Jim Lee likes England. A man with good taste, what?

Later conversations with Jim would confirm that he had no idea that Alan would have a problem with DC Comics. Clearly he should have read more Rich's Ramblings…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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