Lying In The Gutters

Mon, February 25th, 2008 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 146

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. But I urge you to use your judgment and remember, context is everything.

The traffic light system is simple. Green means there's a pretty good chance it's true. Amber means the source may be lacking, or have a clear bias. And Red means that I reckon it's bollocks. Still, you never know.

Lying In The Gutters is for your entertainment. Neither Fair Nor Balanced. Please don't shoot the messenger.

Okay. The missus was away this weekend, leaving me solo with Eve. Expect a shorter, less researched, less interesting column and you won't be disappointed. You may even be pleasantly surprised. But I doubt it.

GRAY MAGIC

[Green Light]Scottish broadcaster and journalist Muriel Gray, is to write "Doctor Strange" for Marvel Comics. And it's all her good friend Mark Millar's fault.

The story appeared in "Saturday Live" on BBC Radio 4 where Muriel enthuses at length about the character and the comics, then picked up by the Scottish Sun newspaper, which is why everyone missed it. Naturally Craig McGill has further details.

What with Ian Rankin doing "Hellblazer," is there a better time for a Scottish author to break into comics?

ROBINSON JUICED

[Yellow Light]I understand that James Robinson's second project after the already-announced "Superman" will be "JLA" - or at least a JLA-related project.

DANGEROUS DAN

[Yellow Light]Look for some changes to come for "Brave And The Bold." I'm told that writer Mark Waid may be leaving the book and Dan DiDio has added the title to books he'll personally edit, like "Titans." Expect some major creative changes.

SIM CITY

[Green Light]Dave Sim's concurrent project alongside "Glamourpuss" has been a mystery. Known as "Secret Project One" it looks like it may see publication sooner rather than later. And Neil Gaiman, after getting a sneak peek, tells us, "Dave Sim's upcoming Secret Project is Holocaust-related, and is one of the most emotionally affecting things I've read in comic-book form."

At The V> Margaret from the Cerebus Fan Girl site comments, "He'll be showing 30 pages of original art from it at the upcoming Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (aka SPACE) in Columbus, Ohio next weekend. Supposedly the art will be facing away from the main aisle / doors so people just walking by won't be able to see it as it is not appropriate for kids (from what I've heard)."

UPDATE: From the upcoming Previews:

MAR083367 - JUDENHASS GN (MR) (RT)


by Dave Sim


An examination of the historical roots of the Holocaust through quotes from historical personage drawn in a photorealism style from period photographs.

FALLOUT

[Yellow Light]The Dabel Bros have announced they'll be publishing "Fall Out Boy" comics, based on the band.

Bongo Comics also publish comics based upon the fictional fictional character from The Simpsons, "Fallout Boy."

I wonder if anyone has called their lawyers?

ELEVEN BREAD

[Green Light]Markosia have picked up "Eleventh Hour," an anthology series previously published by small press publisher Orang Utan Comics in the UK for the last couple of years. It will be republished as a massive trade paperback with 80 pages of new material, for June publication. The lead creator is "Flying Friar" colourist Ian Sharman. Hence the plug.

BOOK EM DANNO

[Green Light]There has been a lot of fuss about the Bookscan figures. About how difficult it is to see the raw figures, how confidential they must be kept and how inaccessible the information is.

What, this information?

DABEL TROUBLE

[Yellow Light]Les Dabel has replied to last week's mention of Tobias Buckell's comments on working with the Dabel Bros. He writes "There are a lot of speculations about what happened but the funny thing is people don't know what happened. What if Marvel bought out our properties or what if Marvel gave us the option to leave the contract early?"

It has been repeatedly alleged by sources that it was the Dabel's not paying on time that triggered a buyout clause in their contract with Marvel.

HIS DFC MATERIALS

[Green Light]I first reported news of a Philip Pullman-contributed comic book back in 2006. It's now all official. "The DFC" is a new British weekly kids comic that's been previewing work and characters in The Guardian newspaper over the last few months.

Philip Pullman, writer of the acclaimed "His Dark Materials" series, with acres of books adapted for TV and radio by the BBC, has long expressed his love for comics as a child, especially Batman. Yet no major publisher seems to have taken advantage of this until now.

His strip, "The Adventures Of John Blake" with art by John Aggs will sit alongside already seen strips such as "Good Dog, Bad Dog" by Dave Shelton and Mobot High by Neill Cameron.

"The DFC" is published weekly from the David Fickling imprint, part of Random House. The holding website can be found here.

FISHING FOR COMPLIMENTS

[Green Light]And you thought the Steven Colbert/John Stewart/Conan O'Brien fight over who made Mike Huckabee was ridiculous and clearly could not happen in real life?

Enjoy Hart Fisher on how he made "My Chemical Romance" and "Umbrella Academy's" Gerard Way. How he first published Way. And how Way is denying his work on Fisher's books and will be punished by embarrassing exposures as a result!

I read those comics. You know, if I was Way, I'd deny it, too.

You know, no one remembers his work for the DC Paradox Press "Big Book Of..." series.

REMEMBER DOTCOMICS?

[Green Light]Want to work at Marvel? There's a part time job going in their digital comics section which runs from 9 to 5, 5 days a week. Not exactly part time is it?

Anyway, it involves taking existing Marvel print comics and turning them into digital comics. You know, couldn't they just go to Pirate Bay like everyone else?

WHITAKER'S WORLD

[Green Light]He'll be remembered most by the industry as the colourist for "V For Vendetta." But Steve Whitaker, who died last Friday, was a huge figure for anyone who worked or hung around the UK comics industry.

Tributes from Guy Lawley, D'Israeli, Martin Hand, Tim Perkins, John Freeman, Jenni Scott, Nick Abadzis and more, spinning out online. Steve's image blog was always a rewarding visit.

I would always see Steve at Caption, the Oxford-based small press comic convention. I'm told this year's is on the 9th and 10th of August, and the theme is "Time Warp."

It's just a jump to the left, Steve.

MILLAR TIME

[Green Light]Mark Millar has been talking about how the trade paperback of his "Fantastic Four" run won't be published for ages, to encourage people to buy the singles.

He may not have reckoned on Panini in the UK, which published all sorts of books well ahead of the US schedule, leading to considerable leakage via the grey market.

Such as "World War Hulk," out since January.

SCAMWATCH

[Green Light]Watch out for getting commissions from a creator known as Josh Hoopes. He's been accepting commissions, farming them off to South American, Australian and Spanish artists – who he then doesn't pay.

The individual in question is young and has had some unidentied trouble with the law in the past and there are more complaints here.

One person who bought said commissions and posted them on his sites, had three artists contact him to claim the work as their own. Josh stopped returning emails to this individual.

One artist was commissioned to ink 24 pages at $50 a page, was not

paid for the work and was not even told who the penciller was.

If you are or know the original penciller of these works, please get in touch, I'd like to hear your story.

COLOUR MAD

[Green Light]Have you got a copy of "Madman Atomic Comics" #6? Sad that Laura Allred's colours are all washed out? Then contact your retailer and get a newly printed, replacement copy with bright shiny glossy pigments courtesy of Image Comics. More details here

SPECULATION CORNER

[Green Light]"Kick Ass" ships this week. It's a Marvel Icon book, it's by Mark Millar, it's been sold as a film, it's going to have been underordered. Think "Wanted". Pick up a few copies, maybe the variant covers if you can get them cheap, then put them in storage until two months before the film comes out and stick them on eBay for $20 each.

It does make me want to write a parody called "Kiss Ass" though.

"Locke & Key," tipped by LITG and sold out from a large overprint on its first day, is starting to move. IDW have announced a second print – and the UK have to wait till this week to get copies.

THREE OF A KIND

[Green Light]We already have "Trinity" from DC and "Broken Trinity" from Top Cow this Summer. And now Valiant Comics are bringing back Trinity Angels.

A trinity of trinities.

IS THIS A GRAPHIC NOVEL I SEE BEFORE ME?

[Green Light]The Macbeth graphic novel from Classical Comics has been getting some tasty press and Patrick Stewart has been giving it his blessing, too.

See a preview of the three versions here, by John Mcdonald, Jon Haward, Gary Erskine and Nigel Dobbyn. The team will then get to work on "The Tempest."

SWIPE FILE: MACK SPECIAL

[Green Light]Alan Davis:

http://www.alandavis-comicart.com/images/Excalibur61.jpg

David Mack:

http://image.milehighcomics.com/istore/images/fullsize/45270881526.1.GI

Echo by Mack… Rainmaker by Adam Hughes…

Daredevil...

And Mack jumps in...

NON-DAVID MACK SWIPE FILE

[Green Light]On the left is a panel from Victor Santos' "Pulp Heroes: Bushido" published in 2005. On the right, the poster for the new movie "Vantage Point."

As to the Wizard Trinity cover's Wonder Woman swipe, most people seem to agree its Amy Dumas who wrestles as Lita – but no one can find the exact pose.

JOHN BYRNE SWIPE FILE

[Green Light]Collector commissions Byrne to do a Captain Marvel piece. As per John's rules, if he doesn't like it, he doesn't have to buy it.

He doesn't.

He then gets John Byrne-inspired artist and Byrne Board member Anthony Castrillo to trace a new version with minor modifications.

Caught by Byrne, lambasted by the Byrne Board. And then both commissioner and tracer show up.

Release the dogs..

And hope no one from Marvel or DC legal decide that now is the time to make a test case on any kind of original commissions.

BITS AND PIECES

[Green Light]Is Anthony Michael Hall playing Deathstroke in the "The Dark Knight" movie? Possibly.

There are certainly a lot of SHIELD logos on the Hulk Movie toy packaging. Expect those Nick Fury rumours to come true.

And finally... 2Boys1Cup.co.uk

SMALL PRINT

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

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

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