Lying In The Gutters

Mon, April 7th, 2008 at 12:43pm PDT | Updated: April 8th, 2008 at 11:08am

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 152

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.

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

The column is currently working on a skeleton service. Traffic lights are down, as is reliability I’m guessing. Normality will resume when a certain someone starts sleeping through the night.

ITEM! The illegal scanning and distribution of comics has caused a number of tracking sites to be closed down in the last few months.

Individuals involved are painted as slapdash unthinking miscreants, acting without care, vandals of the comics industry.

Naturally, they don’t feel that way themselves. Indeed, I’ve recently come across the scanning guidelines for leading online comic bootleggers, The Digital Comics Preservation Crew, who upload hundreds of comics to Pirate Bay the week of publication, for hundreds of thousands of people to download.

Their given name says much, they see themselves as evangelical archivists who spend thousands of man hours scanning and Photoshopping comics work, with intricate care and detail, exhibiting a real pride in their work. Much like the live music show bootleggers who would spend days on the perfect edit, so these scourges of the sequential art have created an intricate, extensive and frankly long-winded bible for those individuals keen to join them. With paragraphs such as…

Adjusting the colors of a scanned image is an imperfect science and heavily subjective as far as how much to adjust the color and how to go about doing it. However, some amount of color correction is absolutely necessary. I handle covers (including anything printed on the front interior, back interior, or back cover) and interior pages differently because they’re printed on different types of paper. This same rule applies when editing interiors on DC’s Vertigo paper versus Marvel’s standard versus Wildstorm’s standard, etc. Just keep in mind that you will probably need to change your editing technique because of the different types of paper. What may look great on type of paper may be woefully inadequate on another type of paper.

or…

Remember to follow the standard DCP file naming convention. It is as follows: title volume issue year notes scanner. For example, Civil War 09 (2007) (c2c) (Dude-DCP) or Crisis on Infinite Earths v2 01 (2008) (noads) (Dude-DCP). Comics that only have a volume 1 generally don’t need a volume indicator so you can leave it blank. Issue numbers 1-9 are expressed at double digits with a leading 0, while numbers 10 and up are expressed as triple digits with a leading 0. Use parentheses and not brackets!! Comic titles should generally be expressed as a proper title in upper and lower case letters, not all CAPS.

I’ve said it before, we’re in the middle of a comics boom as big as the mid-nineties. It’s just instead of people buying millions of copies and storing them in kevlar bags, they’re being stolen instead. And actually read.

I understand that at both Marvel and DC there were internal suggestions that such people be contacted and brought in house, bringing their existing work and experience and adding it to respective archive and trade paperback sections. In both cases such suggestions were instantly snuffed out.

ITEM! Watch for those Secret Skrull Variant covers… "Captain Marvel" #4 had a half Skrull face on Captain Marvel on one in ten copies, "Young X-Men" #1 had a Cyclops ‘skrull face variant’ �" they are hard to spot, but eBay will make it worth while. A lot of retailers simply don’t realise they have copies sitting on their shelves…

Look for "Uncanny X-Men" #497 and "Amazing Spider-Girl" #19 this week!

ITEM! Look for J Scott Campbell to finish his "WildsiderZ" series this year, as well as working on a high profile "Spider-Man" book…

ITEM! Rick Veitch talks about his work on a new Harvey Pekar story for "Smith Magazine."

ITEM! Actress-turned-struggling-writer? Trying to make a name for yourself? Then why not spout spurious stories about a film in production that doesn’t yet exist, based on a comic book which you’ve written a screenplay for.

ITEM! The New York Comic Con schedule. Photos, please of the "Kids Day: Growing Up With Archie" panel queue next door to the queue for the "New York Comic Con: Super Queerio" event, guest starring "Captain Condom." Thank you.

ITEM! Over in the Marvel Universe, Stephen Colbert is a genuine candidate for the US Presidential Election. And the Daily Show/Colbert Report's Indecision 2008 is keeping track. Click the link and give them the Gutter Bump.

ITEM! Are these the Three Musketeers from the upcoming Marvel Illustrated series?

Or is this Led Zeppelin (with a little Orlando Bloom mixed in for good measure)? And that's got to be Lemmy at the back.

ITEM! Who is the mysterious 'Hyrocomics' user ID cleaning up Pat Lee's Wikipedia history and replacing his history of bankruptcy and dodgy dealing with one of success and admiration?

ITEM! The last issue of "Gotham Underground" is entitled "The Day the Penguin Died."

ITEM! LITG has been following Eaglemoss' Marvel Classic Figurine magazine/toy partwork series since its inception. Last year, the series became the first UK partwork series to be officially distributed in the USA, and it just won the Diamond Gem Award for best magazine. With the DC series now starting, I do wonder if "The Flying Scotsman Locomotive" or "The Magic Of Ballet" could be next to cross the pond…

ITEM! How to you treat for a seizure? The recommended procedure says, "Do not touch the person's mouth or put anything in it, including water or medicine used to treat seizures, as it may cause the person to choke. People having seizures cannot swallow their tongues, despite popular belief."

In "Secret Invasion" #1, Ms. Marvel says about Tony Stark, "He's having a seizure. Give me a branch. Something to bite on."

Evil, evil Ms Marvel...

ITEM! Guess Matt Sturges' new DCU/Vertigo/Wildstorm book for July and win a signed first issue!

ITEM! The long running "Smuggling Vacation" about drug smuggling holidaymakers begins serialisation in Weedworld magazine, six pages a month, starting this month.

ITEM! I'm being told that the Black Lantern Barry Allen may be a deliberate red herring from DC central... look for a return, but not that way.

ITEM! I'm told that DC's apathy towards WizardWorld is that they believe Wizard is too Marvel biased. Chicago saw some DC staffers leaving the Wizard Fan Awards ten minutes in, complaining with other staffers and freelancers of said bias.

Of course, reducing participation only increase or entrenches any bias. If it never existed, it might well do now.

ITEM! Another creative ripoff alert - an individual is trying to employ people without paying posing as Jason Cooper from Blackheart Studios, while the real Jason and Blackheart Studios remain blissfully unaware. I understand they know now...

ITEM! "Fangoria" is back, or at least the names associated with it. And it's called Scream Factory.

Previously unfinished stories will be concluded, including Robert Kurtzman's "Beneath the Valley of the Rage" as well as new movement of the movie "Bump," directed by Kurtzman with "Saw's" Tobin Bell attached.

ITEM! Knit an Adipose for money…

ITEM! Great title for a comic…

SMALL PRINT

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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.

TAGS:  lying in the gutters, comic pirates, skrulls, stephen colbert

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