Sunday, October 30, 2005

Oil Crisis? What Oil Crisis?

Texas-based oil giant Exxon Mobil has just posted a quarterly profit of $9.9 billion (£5.55 billion) - the biggest profit in US corporate history - on the back of record oil and gas prices.

Bush's invasion of Iraq leads to chaos in the Gulf. Chaos in the Gulf leads to record high oil prices. Record oil prices lead to record profits for oil companies. Oil companies are among Bush's biggest financial backers.

Do I sound like a conspiracy theorist?

From Dow Jones:

"SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones) -- A week after Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast, U.S. gasoline prices hit an all-time high of $3.06 a gallon. On that same day, the nation's top five oil companies pocketed $364 million in profit.

[snip]

Since higher crude prices in America spread quickly through the global energy market, their overseas operations swiftly benefited from the chaos in the Gulf..."
From ABC News:

"The huge profits are enormous because the public is drastically overpaying what it costs to produce," said Joan Claybrook, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

Many of these companies long ago bought oil reserves at prices of $10 to $25 a barrel. With prices peaking near the $67 mark, the profit margin has been enormous.

Even more eye-opening is the profit in Saudi Arabia. Saudis are making an average of $208 million more each day since the increase in crude oil prices first began in December 2003..."
And I haven't even started on Bush's multi-billion-dollar tax breaks for the "crisis-stricken" oil industry. Straight from your pocket to theirs...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

New and Exclusive!


I've just read on The Pulse that my new DC exclusive agreement has finally been announced, so I guess I'm safe to talk about it (I actually signed a month ago).

I'd sworn I was going to stay a free agent once my previous exclusive expired, but by that point I already had a hefty chunk of new work lined up at DC - including my Big Shiny New DCU Project That I'm Not Allowed To Talk About Yet - so I figured, why not? DC have gone out of their way to keep me happy; I'm already doing the work; I don't have time for anything else on the side anyway; and renewing my exclusive contract meant I could wangle myself a nice pay rise. No-brainer!

The only thing that stings a little is not being able to do any more Marvel work beyond my PUNISHER CHRISTMAS SPECIAL - which is, after all, the entire point of an exclusive (although I'm still free to write for games and movies).

Mark Millar lobbied hard for me to follow him on WOLVERINE (cheers Mark!), but the Powers That Be wouldn't go for it. So they invited me to pitch a certain other character - someone I'd pay them to let me write - but they didn't go for that either. They were very welcoming and enthusiastic, but the project they did offer just didn't click with me. DC were putting a lot more on the table, both project- and money-wise, so I just thought fuck it, why not... ?

Anyway, here's the official press release:

WRITER ANDY DIGGLE RENEWS HIS EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT WITH DC COMICS

Andy Diggle, writer of Vertigo's THE LOSERS, the DCU miniseries ADAM STRANGE, and the WildStorm miniseries SILENT DRAGON, has extended his exclusive agreement with DC Comics by one year.

"DC has been good to me, and the opportunity to play with some of their shiniest toys was too good to pass up," says Diggle. "I'm having fun, so why stop now?"

"Andy's sharp, smart and suspenseful writing on THE LOSERS gave the series the well-deserved reputation as the thinking man's action book," says Karen Berger, VP - Executive Editor, Vertigo. "We're delighted that Andy has signed with us for another year, and we look forward to working with him on some new and exciting projects."

Some of Diggle's work may be found in these collected editions, all available for reorder:

* ADAM STRANGE: PLANET HEIST TP (JUN050355)
* THE LOSERS: ANTE UP TP (DEC030316)
* THE LOSERS: DOUBLE DOWN TP (SEP040391)
* THE LOSERS: TRIFECTA TP (MAR050484)
* SWAMP THING: BAD SEED TP (OCT040365)

Also, THE LOSERS: CLOSE QUARTERS TP (SEP050310) is available for advance reorder and is scheduled to arrive in stores on November 9.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pod Person


You can download an mp3 podcast of my Fanboy Radio interview here.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Radio Daze


I'll be chatting live with those kerrazy cats at Fanboy Radio tonight. Not quite sure what to expect, but it's 6pm tonight Central U.S. time, i.e. midnight out here in the Land of the Greenwich Mean Timers.

And I've been baby-wrangling and cranking out THE LOSERS since the crack of sparrowfart this morning, so the chances of me remaining awake/sober/compos mentis that long are not good.

But hey! What's the point of live radio if you can't make a total jackass of yourself, right? You can add to my ritual humiliation by phoning in your questions/abuse/dirty limericks to U.S. (817) 257-7631.

All y'all Texan types in and around Fort Worth can check it out on KTCU 88.7FM, while everyone else can listen in live over the web.

Or, y'know, find something more worthwhile to do with your Sunday...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Catching Up

Blimey, has it really been a month since I last blogged? Apologies - deadlines. I've been struggling to keep my head above water, but now that I've finally clawed my way to the top of the hill there's light at the end of the tunnel. Or something.

Feels good to finally be crossing some projects off the To Do list. I've finished my Punisher one-shot for Marvel and the final issue of Silent Dragon, and I've only two more issues of The Losers left to write. I've also just completed the first issue of my Big Shiny New DCU Project That I'm Not Allowed To Talk About Yet, which was an absolute hoot to write and I can't wait to get started on the rest.

Plus I've some more DC-related news which I'm waiting for them to announce, otherwise you'd be the first to know. COME ON DC, SPILL THE BEANS!

It feels like time to start simplifying my life, so it'll be one project at a time for me once The Losers wraps. It'll be bliss to just concentrate on consecutive issues of my Big Shiny New DCU Project That I'm Not Allowed To Talk About Yet instead of jumping between Losers for Jock, Losers for Colin Wilson, Silent Dragon and Punisher like a rabbit in a minefield. There's only so many plates I can keep spinning at once, y'know... ?

The question is, what should I write next, after my Big Shiny New DCU Project That I'm Not Allowed To Talk About Yet? I don't have anything definite lined up for next year, and at the moment I'm quite happy to keep it that way. DC and Wildstorm have offered me some high-profile relaunches, but none of them really sounds like my kind of fun. And if it's not fun, why bother?

I'd quite like to do another creator-owned mini, but nobody buys 'em, and I've been toiling away in the Nobody Buys 'Em ghetto for long enough. I guess I'd probably sell more if I wrote some of those navel-gazing, hand-wringing, "My Tights, My Burden!" spandex continuity misery-fests where everyone stands around and WHINES. They seem to be all the rage these days, but... frankly I'm not sure I could live with myself.

When did superhero comics stop being fun?

I tried to convince Dark Horse to let me do a retro "Han And Chewie Smuggle Shit And Get Into Scrapes With The Empire" caper, but I could never get a clear answer out of them. Not even a clear No. Same with my Aliens pitch - it's like pissing down a well with those guys. Oh well. Maybe I'll just wait for the license to lapse and do it myself.

Hmm, I wonder how much the Indiana Jones comic license would cost. Now that would be fun...