Yesterday, books one to five of Zenith in a long out-of-print version sold on eBay for £110.
Someone was trying to get the money quick. They knew what was coming. And the price was relatively low.
Amazon still has listing for three figure sums for the books. But not many will be biting.
Today, Rebellion has announced that it is to republish the series Zenith, by Grant Morrison, Steve Yeowell and Brandon McCarthy in a complete format. The entire series, telling the story of this pop star superhero, this new wave warrior and his battle with The Man, as originally published in 2000AD. And now in a £100 one-off limited-edition-of-a-thousand hardcover, to be sold directly from Rebellion to the consumer via their website. All 480 pages of it from 1987 on, including later stories by Morrison and Mark Millar.
As to why it has been out of print for so long, it seems that Grant Morrison challenged a previous reprint edition over ownership issues, and previous licensee Titan Comics was forced to warehouse, and then pulp, a rather large print run of the book. It seemed to come down to some pesky observation that Morrison had never actually signed his rights away, and was wanting a sizable payment or a renegotiation of terms before he’d allow it.
The new edition means one of two things. That Rebellion and Grant Morrison have finally come to an agreement.Hmmm.
Or that Rebellion have decided to publish and be damned. And by distributing direct to customers, they avoid dealing with Diamond Comic Distributors who are notoriously averse to any legal complications, such as Cease And Desist notices.
The Rebellion press release states “Both Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell have been informed of the exciting plans for The Complete Zenith, and this new edition is being handled with the same respect and close attention to detail that 2000 AD gives all its much-praised archive reproductions.”
Informed but not consented to? That’s what I’m hearing.
Enquiries regarding the existence of any deal between Rebellion and Morrison were not answered. But friends of Morrison state that he maintains he owns Zenith, and will not have agreed to this publication.
Until we hear more, enjoy comics folk talking about this yesterday, while still embargoed.
— Laura Sneddon (@thalestral) May 28, 2013