Acclaim's revamping mini-series Unity 2000 is still plagued by delinquent accounts, and yet Quantum & Woody will have a new life soon after that.
After an astute reader contacted CBR after we ran our interview with Acclaim Comics' Jim Perham. We learned that Shooter was not the only one who had not been paid in full.
On Jim Starlin's Web site (www.starlin.com), he has posted an advisement of his non-payment of $4,000 from Acclaim, citing that they have not acknowledged his emails or phone calls. It also prominently displays the email address of Perham, de facto head editor of Acclaim Comics. He said that he's averaging about one hate email a day from Jim Starlin fans.
The situation has snowballed from when Shooter was behind on submitting plots for Unity 2000 to Acclaim.
"So far, in fact, that Mr. Starlin started complaining that the down time was costing him big bucks," Perham said.
"So I quit," Starlin said, "and then Walter Black offered my attorney, Harris Miller, the $4,000 bonus if I did the last two issues."
Perham said that the bonus would be paid upon completion of the mini-series, which might have been fine had it finished in March 2000. But Starlin contended that the bonus was to be paid upon Acclaim's receiving issue 6's pencils and there was never an agreement to receive the bonus post-publication.
"I never would have agreed to stay on Unity 2000 if I knew it was going to be more than six months before I got paid the finishing bonus I was promised," Starlin said.
Perham doesn't want people to think that Acclaim doesn't pay for services rendered. "Mr. Starlin has been paid for every page he penciled... and was paid for them months ago. The only monies owed him is this bonus, which I'm working to get paid as quickly as I can."
As of this writing, Shooter is still awaiting full payment for his part on the series also.
"[Mr. Shooter] hasn't been paid yet either [in full], but both he and Mr. Starlin are the next payables to be taken care of."
Just to be thorough, we wanted to check on the rest of the U2K creative team.
"We were late to Joe Rubinstein on his last two checks," Perham admists, "but he's been paid up through the first nine pages of U2K #6. He just vouchered for the final 13 pages of U2K #6, but he and I worked something out where he'll hold those pages until I have a check for him, which is a fair deal to everyone concerned.
"Digital Chameleon has been paid for everything they've done on the series (colors for issues 1-4), as has Chris Eliopolous (letters for 1-4). The remaining books (and some re-coloring and re-lettering that had to be done) are being done elsewhere."
With all the bad blood around, it has been rumored that Walter Black has been ousted, but the rumors are not true.
"Walter is still with us as publisher, but is much more active on the strategy guide side of the business than comics," Perham said. "He has over 20 years experience in the regular book trade, so that's really his area of expertise."
As a silver lining to this story, it should be announced that fan favorite Quantum & Woody will return to the stands in early 2001.
"We have several issues (#22-27) of Quantum & Woody 'in the can' and we will be bringing them out beginning with issue #22 in February," Perham said. "I can't comment on any plans beyond issue #27 until we see how the fans respond to the return, and I discuss things with Christopher Priest and Mark Bright." – Michael Thomas