Lying In The Gutters

Tue, August 30th, 2005 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOL 2 COLUMN 15

Welcome to the most popular and longest running comics column on the internet. In its various forms, Lying In the Gutters has covered rumours and gossip in the comics industry for twelve long glorious and quite scary years. All stories are sourced from well connected sources and checked with respective publisher representatives before publication. The veracity of each story is judged by me and given a spotlight - Green is the most reliable, Amber means there's likely an interest involved or the likelihood isn't set and Red means even I can't quite bring myself to believe it.

Lying In The Gutters is for your entertainment. Neither Fair Nor Balanced.

NELLIE VISION

[Green Light]Nellie Kurtzmann has been appointed as a director on DC Comics' marketing team.

She's best known in the industry for her work on the Harvey Awards, named after her father Harvey Kurtzmann, founder of MAD Magazine.

But she's also been Associate Director of Marketing at book publisher Simon & Schuster, where she worked on children's paperbacks and co-founded Simon Spotlight Entertainment an adult pop culture book imprint responsible for "He's Just Not That Into You".

This is seen as a further sign that DC intend to expand its growth into book publishing, while it simultaneously deepens its impact within the direct market.

PROCON ON

[Green Light]Last week Dez Skinn was pouring cold water on the ProCon to precede the Brightcon Comics Convention this November. But the situation seems to have changed.

The UK ProCon has been rescheduled to the slightly-more-cheery-than-November-at-the-seaside, March 2006, with funding from various business and government organisations. Then the second ProCon will coincide with Brighton in November 2006.

As for this years Brighton Convention, Jim Steranko is pencilled to give the keynote speech.

LITG TRULINX

[Yellow Light]A nine page preview of Andi Watson and Simon Gane's new book, "Paris."

Alan Davis explores digital colour with dazzling results.

Some anonymous poster kicks off with some serious "House Of M" spoilers. Be warned - just in case he's not making them all up.

"Wannabee" and other Vicious Circle comics get a writeup.

AP CEASE

[Yellow Light]The latest to join the list of comic companies with creators crying foul over non-payment is APC... or rather was. Itself the subject of peculiar press releases the last month or so. After one Newsarama piece which saw publisher Richard Emms quit APC for Markosia, taking certain talent and titles with him, a few people thought this was... odd. Especially since most people thought APC *was* Richard Emms.

But it was the thread that followed the article that really hotted things up.

Saviour of mankind Mike Netzer brought up the aspect of nonpayment of creators for the "Mr. T" comic, saying "Richard Emms has been dodging three creators who came to aid APComics on 'Mr. T' #3. Mike Kelleher, James Taylor and myself have been told by Emms that he will not take responsibility for 'Mr. T's' writer and project manager, Chris Bunting, who brought us in to help out. The work we produced for APComics will not be paid for, Emms said." As more creators kicked off on the APC forum, it was taken offline.

On the Newsarama thread, Markosia managing director Harry Markos gave Emms his full support. Mike Netzer countered with letters from Richard Emms, inciting Emms to reply in person, followed by Chris Bunting. It all turned into a free for all.

Two versions became clear. Chris Bunting hired Netzer, Kelleher and Taylor to fill in ink 'Mr. T' #3 for APC, acting as Mr T's liason. Richard Emms states that Bunting exceeded his authority, fearful that inking styles may cause problems with the licensor based on Bunting's own statements. But Bunting believed he had been given full reign to meet a deadline and had greater powers of approval.

Either way, the book was cancelled, leading to the lack of payment to the individuals above. And everyone blaming the other. And as the conversation continued it became clear that APC was no more - with certain titles surviving at Markosia.

The thread concluded however with Netzer announcing that he and the other freelance inkers had come to an arrangement with Emms over payment.

To be honest, I think that's the happiest one of these forum back-and-forths has ever concluded.

ARACHNID IN THE UK

[Green Light]Marvel have set up an online shop, selling comics, graphic novels and statues.

But only in the UK. Selling Panini Marvel graphic novels and comics as well as other statues, merchandising, the usual.

That's the kind of thing that usually gets retailers a little curious.

While Eaglemoss in the UK are to launch The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection - a new comic book line, with a figure attached to each issue.

Ebay should be busy...

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PASCUAL FERRY?

[Green Light]Pascual Ferry was to have drawn the Mister Miracle series, part of Grant Morrison's "Seven Soldiers" arcing series. Well, he's only doing the first issue, with Bill Dallas Patton taking over the remaining three issues, with Michael Bair inking and Dave Macaig on colours.

SHY CHANGE

[Green Light]Pertaining last week's Lying In The Gutters, PCB, the producers of "Ascend," have written to me to say that Christopher Shy did indeed use scenes from movies such as "Undewrworld" when creating the art for the book, as they were originally for a movie storyboard. When the decision to release "Ascend" as a graphic novel instead was made, those storyboards were used as a basis for the work, but Shy redid them from scratch. However, a few pages from the original version made it to print by mistake-- one that will be corrected by the time "Ascend: Special Edition" goes to print, including a number of extra scenes and many more pages.

Here are some of the redone images for that volume, which can be compared to the swipe files from last week.

Ironically, Sony, producers of "Underworld," were sued by White Wolf and settled, for similarities to projects of theirs... including art by Christopher Shy.

DEVIL'S POWERS

[Green Light]Devil's Due were in a little hot water over using print-to-order over certain titles of late. It seems that they may well now be doing second printings of affected titles. However, sales on the affected titles were significantly higher...

Editor Mark Powers has left Devil's Due, due to family reasons, though his name will still appear for publishing purposes for a short while, working virtually on a few projects.

As a result, Michael O'Sullivan has become senior editor and they are considering increasing editorial staff next year.

Devil's Due have also signed a mass market distribution via the newsstand in preparation for a tie in with the "GI Joe Sigma 6" Saturday morning cartoon. The "America's Elite" title will be hitting newsstands.

Expect lots of articles about that one appearing in Lo-Fi magazine - in which Devil's Due publisher Josh Blaylock is a partner.

BACK TO THE AMAZON

[Green Light]One Amazonia listing to tickle the comics nostalgia is Steve Englehart's "Secret Empire" run from "Captain America" is here. Now there's a comic which is strangely of its time now.

Then there's "Essential Marvel Handbook Vol 1" ... "Essential Tales Of The Zombie" ... Brings a tear to the eye so it does.

And if you're all Marvel overdosed out, here. Relax. "Joe Kubert's Tarzan" should fill your stocking.

JUST DESERTS

[Green Light]It's that time of year for the Lying In The Gutters plug for "Just 1 Page," a charity comic magazine produced every year for the Bristol Comics Expo in England. Each year they collect and publish a range of art work and then auction the art that has been donated by a range of comics artists, from professionals to newcomers to enthusiastic amateurs.

Auctions are starting as of last Sunday night. With more to come in future weeks. Here are some highlights.





More items to come include a Gilbert Shelton & Hunt Emerson cat-fight between Fat Freddy's Cat and Firkin, and a unique limited print of Tim Bradstreet's unused cover for Warren Ellis's unpublished "Shoot" edition of Hellblazer.

The charity magazine itself, with all the Just 1 Page entries can be bought here.

For more info, email Adrian Brown at Just1Page@aol.com

SMALL PRINT

For other comic and non-comic book related nonsense, check out the Twistblog.

Discuss this column at the Lying In The Gutters Forum.

Contact me on richjohnston@gmail.com or on AOL Instant Messenger as TwistRich

You can also write to me at 8 Robin Hood Lane, Kingston Vale, London SW15 3PU ENGLAND

Or call me/text me on 0780 1350982 from the UK or 01144780 1350982 from the US.

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