Lying In The Gutters

Mon, October 29th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 128

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 fourteen long glorious and quite scary years.

All stories are sourced from well-connected individuals and sent past 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.

Looks like I'm going to be going to the Big Apple Convention in New York this November. Don't ask how, or why, sometimes opportunities just present themselves.

MASTERS DEGREE

[Green Light]Leaked online, an animatic used to promote a live-action treatment of "He-Man And the Masters Of The Universe" that stalled in development. Using Kaare Andrews illustrations… ooh…

BATLEAK

[Green Light]I have confidentially been told that, confidentially, DC have cancelled "Batman Confidential." Just don't tell anyone, okay?

NEW MARVEL ARMY

[Yellow Light]Last week I ran a story about Marvel running product placement for the US Armed Forces in its comics. The logo appearing on character's T-Shirts, on buildings, that kind of thing. Then something occurred to me.

Does the media buyer for the US Army, pleased at securing such a coup, realize that the people reading the comics are possibly older than they think, and less likely than the norm to be able to pass a physical? Also, probably more likely to be gay as well. Don't ask, don't tell, don't eat that hamburger.

Maybe they should switch to "Marvel Adventures."

SINGING MAGGOTS

[Green Light]Alex De Campi, writer of "Smoke" and "Kat And Mouse" had just written and directed a video for Real Tuesday Weld and The Puppini Sisters. It's really rather good and can be seen here.

Alex is also known well online for writing quite candidly about her dealings with the comic industry. One well-connected industry commentator was quite aghast at the way Alex seemingly burned bridges recently. However, when pressed, the commentator agreed that everything Alex had said was true…

ZUDA ZUDA HEY

[Yellow Light]Congratulations to the Zuda contest finalists!

Although some of the creators may have had an inkling they were in for a shot.

Todd Allen wrote quite extensively about this over the weekend, including how a number of them were personally solicited to participate in Zuda, before Zuda even had a name, or a contestant element back in the early part of 2007.

Indeed, Pop Mhan, Ramon Perez, Karl Kerschl, and Tim Smith III were all responsible for developing the original content to promote the site back in August - and two of them are in the final list.

Totally absent from the list are names more familiar with existent web comics, the very crowd most keen and able to submit quality, finished work to Zuda.

Indeed the winners, I'm told, are more associated with people who've been submitting work to DC Comics for some time now with limited success, though their work has previously been positive received.

It does appear that there have been Zuda favourites from before the beginning. It was never sold as a new talent search, but that's how it's been perceived by the blogosphere and I've not seen that perception challenged anywhere, not by DC or Zuda. The contest element made that perception inevitable, and who were DC to argue withe the large amount

of press Zuda received? Basically, it's "The X-Factor."

This is no bad thing. It's all about entertainment, the process as well as the final performance. And it gives a certain talent base, who have already shown persistence, quality of work, likeability and a hunger to break into DC Comics, a chance.

Just don't confuse it with a genuine new talent search.

WHY ARE WE WAITING?

[Green Light]So what's Joe Quesada been saying about "One More Delay?"

Remember the book was originally planned as an August weekly book before it got moved to September.

Quesada regularly assured readers the book would be on time.

May 2007

NRAMA: The clip is pretty high quality looking? How much time goes in production? And just to assure readers, things are still on pace for One More Day pages, right?

JQ: Yeah, things are on pace for Spider-Man: One More Day.

June 2007

NRAMA: Progress wise - where are you on One More Day? Looking good for finishing it up soon?

JQ: Yup, everything is on target to ship on time so I'm keeping my fingers crossed [winks].

However by solicitation deadline the weekliness had been abandoned and the series was coming out every three weeks. And further solicitations extended that time difference, with the final issue initially solicited to ship seven weeks after the third. Although the third issue is delayed six weeks and the fourth by four weeks, so the difference between issues has shrunk...

I am reminded that, during the "Civil War" delays, Tom Brevoort insisted that everything was going according to schedule. When I pointed out that this directly contradicted previous statements, he told me I was wrong, that it was all going to schedule…

Just not the schedule that had been released to the readers. A private internal schedule we hadn't been made aware of. And according to that, everything was fine.

I still love that one.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

[Green Light]Are you a comics creator who has, at one point, created an original character for Marvel? Do you receive any extra payments for Marvel's use of that character in television, movies, games, DVDs, toys or if the character gets a book of their own? No? Well, would you have any qualms about signing any potential rights to it away, indeed even the right to legally challenge the rights, in return for said payments? No? Excellent. Then maybe you should write to specialcharacters@marvel.com and ask for the Special Character form, which you can fill in details, sign and return and wait until Marvel's semi-annual review.

That's "Special" as in "'specially good at making money and possibly could be lawyer-fodder at some point in the far far future". As opposed to "special needs." Although, you know in some cases…

Basically, with Marvel extending its operations across media, especially in film, they're looking to lock down any potential future problems, and indeed, reward creators for contributing to any further exploitations of the Marvel Universe.

Maybe Marv Wolfman should write in.

FLYING FRIAR HITS THE UK. UK FALLS TO THE GROUND.

[Green Light]"Flying Friar In Colour" hits UK shops this Thursday, with US copies to follow in a couple of weeks. Check out the new website and any retailers stocking the comic, let me know and I'll add you to the store list. I'll be in Gosh Comics on Thursday at 1pm and 6pm, if you want one signed...

I HAVE THE POWER OF… A STURDY SPINE!

[Green Light]Remember, Absolute and Omnibus comics are a vigilante's best friends.

"Coming home from the train station, I had two omniboo in my backpack (Daredevil Frank Miller & Amazing Spider Man, iirc) and someone tried to snatch it. I grabbed the pack away from him and used the momentum from the books to spin around and whack the guy in the face on the turn around with said pack. while he was bent over recovering, I hit him again around the upper back area again. He went down and didn't get back up (or probably didn't. after a second, I was running to the car!)"

BITS AND PIECES

[Yellow Light]And now it's Levitz on Legion...

"From "Suburban Glamour" creator, Jamie McKelvie's blog comment thread, proves the potential money making opportunities from illegal downloads...

Ian Gibson writes weekly….

SMALL PRINT

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I have nothing on eBay right now but check back later in the week.

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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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