Lying In The Gutters

Mon, September 30th, 2002 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

Welcome to the fourteenth weekly instalment of Lying In The Gutters, a gossip and rumour column serving the comic book industry by having its wicked way with the comic book industry's pet rock. The traffic lights on each story are my takes on their reliability. Green lets you know I believe it, Amber let's you know I reckon there's something in it somewhere, Red lets you know I think it's quite possibly bullshit. But then you never know. The lights are just an indication - doesn't mean a red can't be true and a green can't be false. Take everything you read with a dose of gak - and if you do repost information here elsewhere, please include a warning to that effect. And a link. Man does not live by hits alone - but I could do with the attention.

RABBITS UP HIS BUM

[Green Light]This is the last week of the Warren Ellis Delphi Forum - it's ending midnight Sunday. So let's make this a Warren Ellis Special Lying In The Gutters. The Delphi Forum gave this column a great place to plug each week, and is certainly responsible for its increased prominence in the industry. Not to mention being an invaluable place to find stories as they were happening. Cheers Warren!

When asked "is there any word on the previously mentioned 'Transoceanic, Transcontinental' and the-hardcover-prose-book-with-art-by-Tim-Bradstreet spin-offs?", Warren replied "Forget the latter. May as well forget the former for at least a couple of years, too."

Steven Grant went on to slyly mention a project called Interplanetary. "Or are we not supposed to talk about that yet?"

Warren Ellis writes on his Bad Signal mailout;

"New project time. Because I'm working in short-form now, I need to generate these pretty regularly. Four new projects is equivalent writing-time to a year's worth of one ongoing title. Vertigo and Wildstorm have expressed their notional amenability to the formats for two new projects - 'Take My Hand,' an original graphic novel, and 'Max Chill,' an action serial."

He describes Max Chill as "massively decompressed, in the mode of the action scenes from 'The Authority,' with a superimposed layer of incidental information adapted from 'American Flagg' and 'Luther Arkwright.' Again, we'll see if they go for it."

Ellis then considers another project "I'm currently wondering if I can do something under the Eye Of The Storm mature-readers superhero line banner that isn't actually a superhero book -- take the subgenre and push out the back of it into my own science-fictional concerns. The superman is a valid science fiction trope, and I have a ton of research on aspirational body modification that's begging to be used somewhere. I have a few half-ideas and a title - 'Supermodified' -- but it remains to be seen if I can stick them together into something worth reading."

[Patrick Stewart as Spider Jerusalem]On the forum, Warren also wrote about the following visual "...this was done by artists at Sony Digital in prep for a 'Transmet' animated serial for the web that never happened because the Screenblast.com guys tried to screw us (before they all got fired themselves, of course). I was writing it, Darick was doing conceptual art, and it was to be co-produced and voiced by Patrick Stewart. This wasn't how Spider was going to appear in the animation, it was a website element intended to lead to additional content... but I thought I'd show it before I left..."

Everyone go "ooohhh"...

WATCHING THE WATCHMEN

[Red Light]I hear that Darren Aronofsky is allegedly in secret talks to finally bring "Watchmen" to the screen after Gilliam et al bailed. Ed Norton is apparently attached to the project (possibly as Rorschach).

Ooh.

BULLET PROOFED

[Green Light]Remember the Bulletproof UK anthology mentioned a few months ago, that seemed to be a reunion of people from the "Sonic The Hedgehog" Comic?

I've been handed a credit list for the first 60 page issue.

Redstitch (10 pages): Lee Langford & Klaus Belarski


Armageddon Patrol (6 pages): John A. Short & Simon Ecob


Mort Janus (10 pages): Nigel Kitching & Richard Elson


Occultus (10 pages): Nigel Kitching & David Hankin


Funguys (10 pages): Alan Grant & Alan Burrows


Magpie (10 pages): Nigel Kitching & Nigel Dobbyn

Whether the complex characters and scenarios will have to catch golden rings is as yet unknown.

CARRY ON DOCTOR

[Green Light]Remember the "Doctor Who" spinoff comic book project mentioned a week or so ago? Well, I hear there's *another* in the works, based on the "Doctor Who" novel, "Father Time" starring the Doctor's supposed daughter. It will be written by Lance Parkin and drawn by Allan Bednar.

This is a good thing.

FUNKY JOHNNY BYRNE

[Green Light]John Byrne mentioned on his Message Board that in May he ghosted the art for 10 weeks worth of the "Funky Winkerbean" strip. Because of the lead on the strip, they will start to appear next May.

NO TO VETO

[Green Light]More on the kitchen coup story about Steve Geppi granting CrossGen Premier status as a publisher through Diamond Distribution.

I understand that while vetoes do exist for CrossGen (and who knows, maybe even Dreamwave) getting Premier status, from the other Premier publishers, this does not apply to Marvel who joined Diamond's Premier clique too late, and Dark Horse did not have the clout. Only Image and DC have that power - and both have denied that they will use it, if it even exists.

Paul Levitz denies it, saying on ICV2 last month "Not true with respect to us. We have no control over who's in the front of the book. " Jim Valentino when asked if he's veto another company said "If there is a 5% 'rule' and if they meet that plateau according to whatever provisions it entails then my objection to it, if I had one, wouldn't be relevant. That said, no, I wouldn't"

So it looks like CrossGen will be taking their pride of place at the front of Preview next month after all.

However, in order to "compensate" the other Premier publishers, look for Diamond giving them extra pages in Previews…

Damn it, I want compensation as well! What for, I'm not sure, but still!!!

NO MORE WAITING

[Green Light]The current Waiting For Tommy features Warren Ellis' Future Of Comics, the wedding invitation on eBay and Tom Baker in The Body Shop. Next Wednesday's column has the most inappropriate comic cover ever, the new royal couple of comics and the first page of 1603. Now with added archive, so enjoy!

RECRUITING IN THE GUTTERS

If you've got a story, talk to me. Your identity will remain anonymous unless you wish otherwise. You can choose a pseudonym and join the ranks of the Gutterati. Or be a demon reposter, join the Gutter Snipes and spread the word about stories in this column across the Internet, where relevant. Then tell me where you've put them up - the more mainstream the better!

You can contact me at:

  • twisting@hotmail.com (which often gets full, but it'll reach me during the day)

  • rich@twistandshout.freeserve.co.uk (which I read every morning - best for graphic files!)

  • AOL Instant Message me at TwistRich

  • 0780 1350982 (01144780 1350982 from N America)

  • Anthrax packages can be sent to 8 Robin Hood Lane, Kingston Vale, London SW15 3PU, ENGLAND

Be seeing you.

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