Author: Clifford Meth

Clifford Meth: Welcome to Hollywood, Part Deux

Clifford Meth: Welcome to Hollywood, Part Deux

Glenn Hauman promised yesterday that I’d deliver a “fuller explanation of what’s been going on” vis-à-vis my piece “Welcome to Hollywood.” So in the interests of keeping this story alive (because you haven’t lived until you’ve heard the words, “You’ll never work in this town again”) I’ll try to squeeze in another few inches.

Jason Brice and his site Comics Bulletin (formerly Silver Bullet Comic Books) have run my “Meth Addict” (formerly “Past Masters”) column without interference since 2004. Among other things, the column was a linchpin in helping secure an important financial settlement for Dave Cockrum that allowed the X-Men co-creator to live his last few years in relative comfort. Good for you, Jason Brice. If we never do another good deed together again in our wretched little lives, that may have been enough.

The yanking of “Welcome to Hollywood” after CB’s EiC Jason Sacks (the other Jason) had already accepted it and promoted it was a joint decision between the two Jasons shortly after the column was live. I wasn’t in the room when things got weird, but I imagine the conversation was fairly tame and thoroughly professional and went something like this:

Jason: Are you crazy?!
Jason: Huh?

The pair discussed the matter and decided that what I’d written was a little too dangerous for CB. Jason Sacks then pulled the short straw and sent me the following: “Jason and I have decided to pull the column out of concerns about CB’s exposure to potential legal action.”

Within moments, the story was live at Harlan Ellison’s site (“Read it…love it,” wrote Harlan) with offers from others, including comics pros Tony Isabella and Michael Netzer, to re-post. I called Glenn H. because I particularly admired how he’d pointed to the competitive website’s initial story on his own front page. “Want it?” I asked. “Yup,” said Glenn.

Did the Jasons abandon Mr. Meth in his hour of needful spleen venting? Not hardly. “I want to emphasize that as the editor of the piece and editor-in-chief at ComicsBulletin I both support and encourage Cliff to do everything he can to expose the horrible acts of this scumbag,” writes Jason Sacks at Harlan Ellison’s website. “It sounds like Richard Saperstein is the exemplar of exactly the sort of lowdown ripoffs of creative types to whom Mr. Ellison has dispatched his most scathing scorn.”

So where does that leave us? With a bunch of hyperlinks and meta-columns. Could be worse.

In conclusion, I’m sure you agree that it would be a case of chronic irony if the story of how my column was pulled and reposted somehow obscured the far-more-important tale of what occurred with The Futurians movie, the Snaked movie, and my brief love affair with Richard Saperstein.

And they lived happily ever after.

What happened to Clifford Meth’s column? Read it here

What happened to Clifford Meth’s column? Read it here

Editor’s note: This column, which was originally published at Comics Bulletin and which we pointed to on Friday, was taken down from their site yesterday. We’re a bit touchy when it comes to internet censorship and the hint of legal threats from movie people, so we asked Cliff what we could to do help. Clifford has graciously allowed us to republish the original column here, and he’ll be writing up a fuller explanation of what’s been going on tomorrow. –Glenn Hauman

“Welcome to Hollywood”
By Clifford Meth

I’ve been away from this column for so long that an explanation is in order. I’m tempted to say it was something like a summer vacation where, by virtue of missed flights, I didn’t come home for years…but the truth is I sank belly-deep into a myriad of projects, most of which were destined to fail. So before we go any further, let’s get some closure:

Dave Cockrum’s Futurians and I have been attached at the hip for what seems like a lifetime. Besides being a fan of the project, I penned a back-up story that Dave illustrated for Futurians #0 (1995, Aardwolf Publishing) then personally walked the intellectual property into Starz Entertainment (nee IDT Entertainment) a decade later. How excited was I—and how excited was Dave—when they optioned rights and Stephen Brown, executive producer of Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” series, asked me to write the treatment and first draft for what they planned as a theatrical release. This came back-to-back with a script-editing assignment working with Peter David on Gene Roddenberry’s “Starpoint Academy” as well as script vetting for Stan Lee’s POW Entertainment. Seriously fun stuff. And happening fast.

Then came the long fizzle.



Stan’s Here! ComicMix Talks With Stan Lee About His New Project for BOOM!

Stan’s Here! ComicMix Talks With Stan Lee About His New Project for BOOM!

BOOM! finally made their teased-out Stan Lee announcement yesterday morning. And despite calls from 1000+ reporters, my 87-years-young friend stopped by to answer a few questions. Briefly.

Cliff: Were the characters and back stories for the new POW-BOOM joint venture actually created by you?

Stan: Yep!

Cliff: Do you still think it’s important for a hero’s alter ego to have an Achilles heel?

Stan: Yep… Usually.

Cliff: At what stage are you at with the projects that you’re doing with Walt Disney Studios?

Stan: All different stages. Script. Development. Production.

Cliff: When I was with IDT Entertainment, you shared a letter with us that you received from Paul McCartney pitching you a character. How often do you get pitches from fellow celebs?

Stan: Occassionally. An average of three or four a year.

Cliff: Now that you’re hitting middle age, do you have any intention of slowing down?

Stan: Not if I can help it! Excelsior!

Visit author Clifford Meth at

Clifford Meth: Fantagraphics’s Legal Defense Fund — Decisive or Deceitful?

Clifford Meth: Fantagraphics’s Legal Defense Fund — Decisive or Deceitful?

Clifford MethBefore you give your hard-earned money to Gary Groth and Kim Thompson for their recently announced Fantagraphics Legal Defense Fund, you should know a few facts about publishing companies and their insurance obligations. Fact #1: It is highly unlikely that a company the size of Fantagraphics isn’t covered by a standard publishers insurance policy for lawsuits precisely like the one they now find themselves entangled in with author Harlan Ellison.

While it is rare when a publisher is found liable for incitement or negligent publication, there have been certain well-publicized instances where publishers have been forced to pay damages resulting from the content contained in their publications. For instance, the publisher of Soldier of Fortune was held liable for the death caused by a "hit man" following the magazine’s publication of an advertisement for a professional mercenary. Speech may be protected by the First Amendment, but that doesn’t give you the right to yell, "Poker game!" in the middle of a crowded firehouse. For instance, speech designed to incite lawlessness isn’t protected by the First Amendment. Neither is slander. When slander is written, that’s called libel.