LOVE BYTES Though ”nothing is signed,” a publishing source says that Courtney Love plans to write an insider’s guide to the music biz for HarperCollins’ Regan Books. The idea grew out of a speech she gave in May at New York’s Digital Hollywood conference, in which she said, ”The system’s set up so almost nobody gets paid … Now artists have options. We don’t have to work with major labels anymore.” Publisher Judith Regan had no comment.
— Matthew Flamm
X-EMPLOYEE So what if the X-Men movie grossed more than $150 million? Life at Marvel Comics can still be as peril-fraught as any of its characters’ adventures. X-Men‘s solid showing seemingly marked the end of several tumultuous years, during which the company slogged through a Chapter 11 filing and a protracted legal battle to reclaim movie rights to Spider-Man. But on Aug. 30, Marvel announced it was replacing editor in chief Bob Harras — an 18-year company vet — with artist-turned-editor Joe Quesada, whose Marvel Knights imprint has been one of the industry’s recent bright spots. Quesada had impressed Marvel by luring Kevin Smith and screenwriter Bob Gale (Back to the Future) to his projects. ”Joe took books that were off-the-charts failures and turned them into off-the-charts successes,” raves Marvel exec Bill Jemas. A factor in Harras’ ouster was frustration that the film didn’t spike X-Men comics sales. Jemas also contends that the comics’ long-running story line has kept Marvel from hooking new readers. One solution may be the company’s new Ultimate Spider-Man comic, which dispenses with four decades of continuity for what is billed as a fresh look at the familiar character. Ironically, it’s also a concept that was shepherded through on Harras’ watch — apparently a little too late.