Lying In The Gutters

Mon, October 14th, 2002 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

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Welcome to the sixteenth 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 peeve. And this week on Lying In the Gutters, it's clips week. Yes, the last sixteen weeks of bitter infighting, twisted acts of malevolence and basically shoddy reporting exposed, spat on and trampled into the ground as Lying In The Gutters goes through its files and see what's still hanging on, yet to be resolved, or just plain queer. Not even a traffic light on this little lot… more like a stop sign. These rumours are either on hold or have been stopped in their tracks. We're playing a waiting game here. If anyone can give any credence to any of these hanging rumours, which frankly are as annoying as a fingernail that refuses to come loose, e-mail me. Take everything you read with a sense of wonder and scorn - 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.

CLIPS CLIPS CLIPS CLIPS BASTARD CLIPS CLIPS CLIPS

June saw the 'issue 0' as it were of Lying In The Gutters, and the first report of the existence of CrossGen's two new imprints Code Six and CGE, as well as CGE's first signing, "The Red Star." Well, that seems to have happened, even if the imprints, championed as a new outlet for creativity and excitement, will soon be publishing… "Lady Death."

July saw the column start properly, with allegations that DC were banning the use of Tibet in certain comics, in order to smooth over AOL's move into China. In the end, only one title was specifically pointed out, as "Stormwatch's" current issue changed the setting of its current storyline from Tibet to Chechnya. I understand now that this was an action from a DC executive, but not one backed up by general DC policy.

Top Cow creators are still expected to be working on a Secret Wars related story for Marvel.

The Wildstorm/DC Universe titles have yet to be scheduled, but the current creative lineup is still expected to be:

  • "Vigilante" by Rick Veitch and Carlos D'anda.

  • "OMAC" by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo

  • "Adam Strange" by Zander Cannon and Andrew Robinson

  • "Mister Miracle" by Jeph Loeb and Adam Hughes

I hear that the much rumoured "X-Men/GI Joe" crossover for Marvel by Keron Grant, Rob Stull and Chris Walker has been put on hold, while the companies involved work out just who has the rights to what. Devil's Due's inquries as to what the hell may going on when *they* had the GI Joe comics rights seems to have kicked off an internal enquiry at Hasbro.

Still haven't heard anything further about Alan Moore possibly doing a very little something for Vertigo's 10th anniversary. Anyone else?

UK retailers never did get "Madman: Picture Exhibition 2." I've got a couple spare on my shelf if anyone needs them… maybe you'll get them before you get the latest issue of "Cerebus" (currently over three weeks late for UK readers)

As to certain DC titles spotted shipping without the Comics Code, that's still a mystery.

Reports that Joe Quesada's position may be unstable do not seem to have been born out by reality. While there are still internal pressures from some camps, he seems fairly secure - as much as he's ever been. However the anti-DC bickering has indeed been reduced in recent months.

A new issue of "Fray" is *still* to come out since we reported creative shutdown on that title.

"Eden's Trail" is yet to be released since its "early" solicitation that was rapidly withdrawn

No one's letting on what Neil Gaiman and Any Kubert's 1602 is to be about, although new thoughts include the date of publication of Hamlet, and the first account of The Wandering Jew.

Rumours that Diamond and Dreamwave were manipulating the market have proved false as company after company have reported high nostalgia sales - which bears weight to the allegation that this was intended as a diversion from the fact that "Transformers" beat "Spider-Man" in pre-order direct market sales in the same month when the "Spider-Man" movie came out.

Creative differences over "Darkminds" has dropped that particular title into the well of oblivion, it seems.

The cancellation of the "Essential Tomb Of Draculs TPB" was initially criticised as its pre-order sales were so high. As a result, Joe Quesada looked keen to resolicit the book in question, only to later report that the costs for cleaning up the old material, never before reprinted, would be too high for the project. However, that hasn't stopped a Spanish publisher doing the same, reprinting "Tomb Of Dracula" for its own market. Maybe Marvel US could do a deal and get the cleaned up files sent back for a US edition?

As to the furore caused by last week's exclusive, that Gail Simone has walked off "Agent X" due to creative differences with editor Andrew Lis, I've heard rumour that Ron Zimmerman has been approached to take over the title.

Lea Hernandez's very public spat with Larry Young crossed a number of message boards leading to much spinning around the axis that is the Warren Ellis Forum and its many still-existing splinter groups. I hear Lea is now heading up a new pay-for-content Web site to be called Girlamatic, currently the rumoured line-up includes Donna Barr, Carla Speed McNeil, Vera and Covielle.

Another spinoff from the now-defunct Warren Ellis forum was the ComicsPros Delphi Forum, a pro-only, no-journalist (bastards) arena. It's been slow taking off - the company bosses having access has prevented many from speaking their mind, and the more fun element of pros having goes at other pros are stomped on. Indeed anything which could prove possibly contentious is deleted so… well, if anyone feels they're missing out, don't be. Whoever thought Bob Wayne should have been invited, well…

Yes, that ABC TV series I hinted about starring a DC character with a bunch of trades *was* "Starman." Well done to the one of you who guessed - although your full guess was "'Starman' or 'Ambush Bug.'" Hmmm.

We're still holding out for the Authority December one-shot to be the return of Stormwatch's Winter, an energy-absorber superhero last seen taking the Stormwatch orbital platform into the Sun… and the book is meant to be The Authority Vs The Sun. You put it together.

I still hear that Dark Horse are to start up a new "mainstream" line using established writers such as Peter David, Steve Niles, etc. I hear there are six books in the line, but as to the actual content, well Dark Horse are still keeping it hidden.

Then there's that Garth Ennis/Glenn Fabry four part Mighty Thor story. Oooh.

We're still waiting on news about what's still referred to as 4/11, a follow-up to Marvel's 9/11 work. Thematically entitled The White Album, it's meant to be another hardcover one-shot featuring stories described as "peaceful solutions to world problems," with stories up to twenty pages. A percentage of profits will go towards charity and the creators may donate their salary for the project if they wish. Expect upbeat stories - not a touch of cynicism or nihilism.

The news that CrossGen are now a Premier publisher in the eyes of Diamond is still to break properly, although expect that to go official when the proofs of the upcoming Previews go around the publishers. Steve Geppi's kitchen announcement to CrossGen staff remained remarkably leak-proof considering.

Other stories we're still waiting on confirmation or denial include Elfquest at DC, Oni working on a number of books for Marvel, the PAD/LeSean Thomas Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book for Dreamwave.

And I still haven't stopped laughing at "Civilian Justice" 1. No signs of issue 2, to see if the unintentional hilarity continues however.

Ed McGuinness is still working on "Thundercats" and has shown no sign of returning to the Christian line of comics he was pegged to head up, over at Wildstorm.

And what's happening to Young Titans/Young Justice/Teen Titans is still anybody's guess.

I'm still doing Waiting For Tommy at DynamicForces.com, a column about this, that, the other, and on Wednesday expect to see Jack Kirby gyrating with a belly dancer. A smattering of pictures, puns and trivia that Lying in the Gutters just doesn't have room for. Of course sometimes, DynamicForces don't have room for everything that could go in the column. Take this rejected cover image…

Click to enlarge.

To be fair though, if it was going to happen anyway, wouldn't you have preferred it to have gone like this?

And next week, from the minds of the ex-WEF, a very special rumour column…

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:

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

  • mailto: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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