Lying In The Gutters

Mon, November 20th, 2006 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 79

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 individuals and checked with respective publisher representatives before publication. Mostly. 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.

But first, "Saying Goodbye To Comics" is something every LITG reader needs to read. It's by Valerie D'Orazio, who used to work as an assistant editor at DC Comics and Acclaim, on books including "Identity Crisis," "New Frontier," "JLA" and "Aquaman."

Do it before reading this column. Start at the bottom.

The blog has also been updated since people started linking to it this morning.

LICENCE TO SHILL

[Green Light]The hottest comics collectable right now? The movie treatment of "The Spirit," being used to sell the upcoming movie directed by Frank Miller to industry people. The treatment is peppered with Eisner art, but it has a cover with the Spirit drawn by Frank Miller. Which has caused copies to be ripped from the sweaty hands of AFM attendees.

And here it is.

Any reposting, please link back to Lying In The Gutters. Thank you.

A VIEW TO A KILLING

[Green Light]The new weekly series to follow DC's "52" is called "Countdown." Written by Paul Dini, it will start the week after "52" ends, and will continue the concept of portraying the DC Universe out in real time.

Other new titles to look forward to include "Black Canary" and "Cyborg."

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN

[Yellow Light]I understand that Warners are looking for writers and treatments for a proposed "V For Vendetta" direct-to-DVD sequel projects to be filmed, low budget, in the UK next year. Naturally without the Wachowskis or Joel Silver who made a point of saying the original movie was a one off.

No, they haven't approached Alan Moore, why do you ask?

Will it be called V4V2?

FROM RENAULT WITH LOVE

[Green Light]You know how top Hollywood stars are happy to do advertising in other countries, as long as it isn't touched by the people who make casting and financial decisions back home?

Well, I understand a rather prominent Renault campaign running in the UK and France has been designed by a rather prominent US comic book artist.

Any guesses?

THE WORLD IS NOT ENGLEHART

[Green Light]The Batman "Dark Detective" sequel is in full swing, with all scripts by Steve Englehart completed and Rogers and Austin finishing the art before it gets scheduled.

The Englehart/Rogers team would also love to continue their "Black Rider" series, but all depends on the editorial powers and any fan demand in the character and/or the genre. An anthology series with several characters looks like the best current hope in Marvel bringing back the westerns, but nothing's confirmed.

THE GUY WHO LOVED ME

The French edition of Jose Villarubia's reworking of the Alan Moore/Rick Veitch classic "Mirror Of Love" has just launched. The accompanying gallery show, "Le Miroir D'Amour," runs for another week at Galerie Peter's Friend in Paris.

The gallery is just a few doors away from where Jean Cocteau lived, one of Alan' Moore's greatest self acknowledged influences as a writer, and artistically a very heavy influence on Jose Villarubia's upcoming project, "The Book of Copulations," adapted from a section of "The Moon And Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre Of Marvels" CD by Alan Moore, David J and Tim Perkins.

DIET ANOTHER DAY

[Green Light]Kevin Smith is hosting "An Evening With Stan Lee & Joe Quesada" on December 2nd at the UCLA and will benefit The Hero Initiative (formerly known as ACTOR). Get your ticket... now!

OCTOPUSSY

[Green Light]We all know what the covers of the Dynamic Forces "Witchblade: Shades Of Gray" series are going to look like don't we? Even if the books are written by Leah Moore and John Reppion? Well, I'm sure we could all make a pretty educated guess. Let's have a look.

Yup, I think we were all right on the money there. But how about some of the inside inked artwork.

My word. They've got clothes on and aren't performing any anatomically impossible stretching exercises. Well, apart from the twisted dead body on the floor, but then I think he's supposed to be like that.

FOR YOUR EYES OLNEY

[Yellow Light]In the light of previous LITG columns, Rick Olney has been emailing a number of TightLip creators, firstly to check that they have all signed non-disclosure agreements and contracts, stating that they'll only be paid what they're owed when they've been signed.

Gail Simone has commented regarding Chuck Dixon's comments about TightLip Entertainment and Rick Olney last week, and Onley's retort, saying, "Rick blaming Chuck for everything is classic Olney, and more than I can stomach. I've kept quiet about this, but my experience with Rick was also horrid, and the exact reason why I stopped doing cons for a good while.

"Everyone knows Chuck pretty much created the word, 'professional,' and I take serious offense at him being blamed for any of this."

With Tony Isabella joining in, it was a matter of time before Rick Olney himself would join the fray. Here are some highlighted extracts:

Chuck Dixon: "Instead of typing up all this intense blather why not give that ol' check writin' hand a workout? I know a dozen or so people that would appreciate it."

Rick Olney: "TLE's Creative Director, Dave Lanphear does adhere to his belief that Mr. Dixon broke his confidentiality with TLE. So this will go to litigation and/or be worked out by the legal firms representing each party."

Tony Isabella: "If you told me the world was round, I'd start worrying about falling off the edges."

Gail Simone: "Well, our experience in comics publishing is practical, yours is imaginary"

Chuck Dixon: "I didn't sign your NDA because it wasn't necessary after you told me all about the project via email. And I was never work-for-hire on this. I have a contract signed by you guaranteeing me partial ownership of everything I came up. Ownership that becomes total, BTW, if you don't pay me, and the artists I worked with, what we are owed."

Rick Olney: "I am not interested in dragging our combined laundry into Rich Johnston's column. That doesn't, however, mean that I am going to let you bully me by making untruthful assertions. In fact, as we've agreed, the better place for this is between our lawyers. So I wish you well."

Gail Simone: "The fact is, this person is not worth it. He'll never get it, he'll never face up to it."

Chuck Dixon: "What is your experience in the comics industry that you think you can lecture me on professionalism and practices of the business I've worked in for over twenty years?"

Rick Olney: "I'm not all that keen on the frosted varieties though. I like the plain strawberry and blueberry."

Gail Simone: "And you're about as scary as a dead rutabaga. With a dress on."

Rick Olney: "I've always wondered how you each keep from getting sore arms or carpal tunnel syndrome from all that self ingratiating of each other"

DIAMOND SOLICITATIONS ARE FOREVER

[Green Light]"Civil Wardrobe" artist Frazer Irving has this little sucker coming out from Image in March, "Gutsville."

He's also the recipient of a "2000AD" volume, "Storming Heaven," dedicated to his work on the title. It contains "Storming Heaven," "A Love Like Blood," "From Grace," "Mars Needs Mates," "Reefer Madness," "Monsters of Rock" and a few "Future Shocks."

ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE

[Green Light]Alan Moore has written a 12,000 word essay for "Arthur Magazine" issue 25. It's entitled "Bog Venus Vs. Nazi Cock-Ring: Some Thoughts Concerning Pornography by Alan Moore"

Look for your copy at the beginning of December... 50,000 copies will be available FREE across North America in record stores, comics stores, coffeehouses and various other dens of iniquity. Some copies will make it into London and Manchester, but not many.

People who want to guarantee themselves a copy should reserve one via the website.

MOONTRACER

[Green Light]On the left, a scene of manual dexterity from "The Boys" by Darick Robertson. On the right, a familiar scene from "Il Gioco" by Milo Manara.

Rule No 1. Only swipe from the best!

Talking of which...

and...

THE LIVING HIGHLIGHTS

[Green Light]Bob The Builder meets the cast of Hellboy.

What if Stan Lee had created the Fantastic Four with Jack Chick instead?

After a little bit of internet back-and-forth, I'm told that, yes, the Marvel crossover event "Onslaught" will be reprinted soon. So, if you want to make money of the existing trades, sell them now!

Other trade paperbacks that are hard to find include the English translations of "Sailor Moon." Hence huge eBay prices for something that must have sold in the hundreds of thousands…

Film Ick picks up that Jonathan Powell is writing the film score for "Watchmen" - and that Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright Jr are working on a Time Travel movie.

Check out the artwork for "Son Of Rambow."

It's my birthday on Tuesday. 34. Goodness.

SMALL PRINT

Discuss this column at the Lying In The Gutters Forum and add your request to what you want from future columns.

Visit my MySpace as I discuss next week's column through the week.

Check whatever I'm selling on eBay ... new stuff every week all the way up to Christmas.

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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