Lying In The Gutters

Mon, June 25th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 110

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 thirteen 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.

FALLEN SON, RISING INTEREST -- Added 1:30 PM Pacific

[Green Light]I understand that the "Iron Man: Fallen Son" will receive a considerable degree of US media coverage. What, I don't know. The FOC ordering deadline for retailers is this Tuesday. Retailers, if you haven't updated your orders, now's your chance. We're not quite talking "Captain America" #25, but we're certainly talking "Gay Batwoman."

I should make a DEFCON-style chart for this I really should.

POWER CUT

[Green Light]The Power Girl image for "Justice League of America" #10 from Previews.

The Power Girl image upon on publication.

Thanks to Bedrock City Comics of Houston for the scans.

They're still bigger than her head though.

BRITPUB

[Green Light]Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen celebrated the launch of the "Phonogram" TPB in a Fitzrovia pub last Thursday.

While Kieron had a few comp copies on hand to sign and sell, Jamie was lacking. Turns out that, accidentally, Image sent his comps to an old address.

Where the tenant had signed for the books using Jamie's name and now has no intention of giving them to Jamie. I understand the police are involved.

If you see a job lot of "Phonogram" trades on eBay, you know who to contact.

LOVING PUNISHMENT

[Yellow Light]From the solicitation to "Punisher" #51. "It's the grudge match of the century. In this corner, the 6'4", 220-pound force of nature known as the Punisher . . . And in this corner, the 6' 6", 300-pound engine of destruction know as Barracuda . . . The prize? A 7-pound, 10-ounce bundle of joy."

Whose bundle of joy? I understand the Punisher is a daddy again. Kevlar diapers?

THE MAN OF NEEPS AND TATTIES

[Red Light]This is Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as of later this week.

And this is the latest Superman doll.

Anyone got any Brown Kryptonite?

WIZARD IN CHAINS

[Green Light]It's a hard life being a retailer. On one hand, you could get prosecuted for giving away a free comic book. On the other, a simple call from Wizard's Price Guide could see you on the end of a federal charge.

Recently, during the controversy over the conflict of interest over Wizard's editorial side knowing the contents of "Captain America" #25 and its retail side seemingly getting a resultant unfair advantage in ordering stock of the issue to sell at hyped up prices on eBay, Wizard representative Drew Seldin confirmed that there are no firewalls of information at Wizard to prevent such information flowing.

On the members-only Comic Book Industry Alliance forum, retailer Phil Boyle of Coliseum Of Comics in Orlando stated, "After speaking with my lawyer today we will no longer be supplying prices to Wizard price guide. Since Wizard is a seller of comics on eBay and recently admitted that there are no firewalls between editorial and the sales department, we feel it's best not to give the appearance that we are helping to set prices with a fellow retailer."

Fellow retailer Jim Hanley of Jim Hanley's in Manhattan replied, "I have long taken the same tack when regarding all such price guide contributions" before elaborating with "Discussing pricing with competitors is a Federal offense. The current Justice Department may be somewhat lax in enforcement, but all those prosecutors do need to do SOMETHING.

"As I said here some years ago, it may be that Federal penitentiaries are 'country clubs,' where you can meet a swell bunch of fellas, but I prefer my three hots and a cot on my own schedule.

"Those who have other views of the situation should follow their own counsel and let the rest of us know how it goes."

You know, it doesn't take much to get an allegation of price collusion going.

TO THE LOSER, THE SPOILS

[Yellow Light]For the last year, a user going by the name of MazingMan728 has been posting major issue spoilers for "52" and recently "Countdown" on the DC boards. Usually he posted a scene by scene description of the plot of the issue, the Monday before the book shipped. And while some creators have not been happy to see their work reduced so, DC Comics has not reacted negatively.

Last week though something changed. After Mazing Man did the same to the new issues of "JLA" and the "Flash," and did so at the ComicBloc boards, there were complaints, all of MazingMan728's posts from the DC boards were removed and a contrite apology issued. It did rather smack of those forced apologies issued by employees at CrossGen.

It appears that MazingMan728 was a prominent figure working at Diamond Comics, the sole direct market distribution agent for DC Comics. DC Comics were moved to track MazingMan728's IP number and use further clues to identify him.

It appears that DC were happy for MazingMan728 to post what he did regarding some books, and there is evidence that such posts increased interest and sales in the series. But when it came to major series, high profile built up event spoilers, it was a different story.

The new status is outlined here.

While DC posts were removed, other boards still have examples, here and here.

THE PRICE OF A NIPPLE

[Green Light]TokyoPop have started a new system for applying its age-appropriate classification, which they are talking about extending to all of US-published manga, indeed, comics in general. David Hine talks about his first brush with it here.

The word is "Individual editors rate each book from the checklist of content indicators and a ratings board of Tokyopop editors and marketers determines the final rating for each title."

Ticking boxes. I'd love to by a fly on the wall. "Is that a nipple?" "It could be a mole." "Just how erect is that penis?" "Do tentacles count?"

NAKED PRIDE

[Green Light]Bryan Talbot has filled a couple of spare pages at the end of "The Naked Artist," one with a self-portrait by Hunt Emerson as a naked caveman, the other with a nude photograph of Bryan himself.

Let's hope a certain something is in slumberland.

MARZ ATTACKS

[Green Light]Last week's story about new DC Ron Marz projects? According to this podcast, we're looking at an Ion/Kyle Rayner project and a revival of the "Tangent" characters.

ALPHA MAIL

[Green Light]Skott Kolins has been leaving tantilising hints on the return of his Alpha/Omega Flight series…

"Now it's true that my next gig is a Wolverine arc starting in September, but know that Marvel has heard your voice and recognizes that there's gold in these hills. So I don't imagine it'll be too long before you hear what comes next - and hopefully I'll be along for the ride. "

SELLING OUT

[Green Light]Dan Schaffer, creator of "Dogwitch," and co-creator of "Indigo Vertigo," has written the screenplay for going through pre-production and shooting at the end of the year. Directed by Jake West, starring Emily Booth, Chris Adamson and Terry Stone.

FASCIST IMAGERY

[Green Light]Comic artists Tomm Coker and Eric Nguyen have had their work for the "300" PSP game selected for the Into The Pixel design awards.

You can see their work here.

I understand they didn't know their work had been entered, so it was a nice surprise.

GAME DIVISION

[Green Light]This week I become a games journalist. Okay, not really, but I have written a piece on Comics And Games for the UK's PSW magazine.

I talked with Warren Ellis, Paul Jenkins, Dave Gibbons and a host of others. 2000 words for a 1000 word article. I wonder who'll be cut?

Weirdly, the day after I was asked to write it, an Xbox magazine emailed me to ask the exact same thing of me. Must be something in the air.

A LOT OF LICK FOR ONE SO EXTINCT

[Green Light]Naughty Dinosaur tongue! Naughty!

Is it a tongue or a tentacle, anyway?

SWIPE FILE

[Yellow Light]X-Men Clinch

Countdown Crush

Anyone want to add a scene from "Women In Love"?

BITS AND PIECES

[Green Light]Turkish Batman

Steve Gerber thanks The Hero initiative. Have you donated yet?

An acquaintance of mine has read a Doctor Who script from series 4, well down the run. And Martha's still in it. So there.

I was briefly mentioned in The Guardian last week…

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 or my ComicSpace as I discuss next week's column.

Maybe.

Oh and I'm starting to Twitter now as well now.

And Facebook.

And my Wii number is 0512 2690 8446 2879

Sorry.

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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