Friday, May 30, 2008

Tori Adore?

There's a tempest in a teapot regarding Tori Amos and an anthology of comics stories based on her work. The book, Comic Book Tattoo, is being released in trade paperback, hardcover, and limited edition hardcover in July; none of the editions will feature Tori Amos's name anywhere on the front cover, according to the editor.

When asked why, I've been told through middlemen that the editor has indicated that some, such as Warren Ellis, have advised him that Tori Amos is too polarizing a figure and that her name would work against his interest. I haven't asked the editor if that's true, because I don't have his contact info; I have no reason to doubt the report, though, since the source is citing contemporaneous correspondence regarding the subject.

So I'm left with a couple of questions. First off, if it is true, why is the editor going to the trouble of producing a Tori Amos project if he's too ashamed to promote the artistic connection on the front cover? Second, why is he trying to sell it to me (and other comics retailers) via the Tori Amos link if he's going to fail to promote it to our customers? Third, why is Warren Ellis (the only person cited by name) trying to convince the editor that Tori Amos is some sort of musical pariah?

And most importantly of all, what the heck has Tori Amos ever done that makes her a polarizing source of controversy? Lots of folks like her music; some don't. I can't find anything that indicates that she at all deserves a Michael Jackson comparison; when I asked the writer what he was talking about, he sidestepped the question entirely.

Anyone have any idea what this purported controversy is? Anyone have any idea why an editor would think enough of a musician to assemble a comics anthology based on her work, but would be ashamed or afraid to put her name on it? And lastly, does anyone have any theories how Tori Amos might feel if she knew that her name was intentionally being left off the front cover of a book licensed from her music... a book for which the editor is charging a hefty $150 a copy for the 1000 copies that Tori signed?


Rantz said...

Cliff, as editor of said book, I can tell you it has nothing to do with 'being ashamed' (since tori and I have been good friends for over 20 years) or any 'controversy' or 'hiding' her connection with the book, since every story on it is inspired by over 50 of her songs.

I'll be glad to discuss this in detail with you if you're interested, either via email (rantz at rantzhoseley dot com) or in person (I'll be at Image's booth Friday and Saturday 1-2pm at BEA this weekend)


cliff said...

Good to hear from you--I've written you for more info, and I'm eager to hear directly what led to the decision and what, if anything, can be done to remedy it.