Lying In The Gutters

Tue, July 15th, 2008 at 12:40am PDT | Updated: July 15th, 2008 at 7:29am

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 166

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 lights are an indication (and only that) of how reliable I believe the story to be, based on source, context and gut feel. Red lets you know I think this rumour is bunkum, but it is still one being spread about. Amber indicates I think there is a heavy bias involved here, or it just seems a little dodgy. And Green as far as I can tell (as far as I can ever tell) is the real deal, junior.

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

SAN DIEGO DREAMING

[Green Light]No, I'm not going to San Diego next week. Yes I want to. No I probably couldn't afford it without pawning one of the children. Though don't think I haven't considered it. Instead I'll be taking Eve to see The Charlatans, Charlotte Hatherley, Ash and The Lemonheads instead.

It'll do.

Still I think I may have to do what I did last year - a live feed from you guys, straight from the convention floor, restaurants, bars, hotels and gutters. Wherever you are, whatever or whoever you're doing, share your thoughts, opinions, quotes, pictures and scoops as they happen by emailing richjohnston@gmail.com, AOL IMing to TwistRich or text messaging to +44 7801350982. You have "26/07/07 01:22 EMAIL: Gaiman fans self harm because of their inner turmoil. Ellis fans self harm cos it's bitchin" to beat.

Next week will be your big pre-San Diego column giving you the lowdown on some exclusive industry announcements. If you have something to say, leak, or tease, take advantage.

Also, if anyone feels like picking me up a "Grant Morrison's MBX Sketchbook" from the Virgin Comics stand, "Crossed Sketchbook" and "No Hero" #0 and "Sketchbook" from Avatar, "Welcome To Hoxford Ashcan" and "Darwyn Cooke Special Project Cards" from IDW and the "Doctor Who Time Crash" set, I’d be most grateful. LITG plugs all round.

I am such a whore.

LAY LINES

[Yellow Light]We mentioned Bob Layton was working on a Hercules project last week. Well, it's a four issue mini-series called "Twilight Of A God" for early next year. But before then, he's working on an "Iron Man: The End" four-issue mini-series out towards the end of the year.

THE GOATMOBILE

[Green Light]Ryan Richards is a wonderfully entertaining small press writer who should be writing "Hellblazer." Anyway, he's currently undertaking a motorcycle ride to meet his father for the first time... and attend the San Diego Comic Con. It's good to get your priorities right. And naturally he's blogging it.

The journey has been dubbed "Operation M.O.D.O.K." (Motorcycle Outing to Discover Origins and Kin.), the bike called "Stark Industries" and the rest of the website is here, and you can help his journey by donating here. Because right now he's having serious motorbike issues.

There's got to be a book in it. Or a sponsor.

There are few people as entertaining as Ryan, and I eagerly anticipate his "Carson City" comic with "2000 AD's" Natalie Sandalls coming from "Civil Wardrobe" publisher. I expect big things.

Updates next week.

ADI NUFF SAID

[Green Light]As well as a possible "Brand New Day" Spider-Man arc, Adi Granov has been talking to the X-editors about a possible arc in one of the X-Books.

DEVIL YOU KNOW

[Green Light]Devil's Due is the latest company to gain the reputation of late-payment in the industry.

Perhaps due to losing the "G.I. Joe" license, perhaps to do with changing printers. I understand shipping delays from the printers to Diamond have delayed everything, including cashflow, by weeks.

I’m told by informed sources that the latter situation should be resolved very shortly, and you might expect money to be rushing down the pipe very shortly afterwards.

I also understand that Devil's Due have been keeping in contact with people they owe money to, updating them on the situation.

It really doesn't look like they are going to pull a Dreamwave here, and it's more of a cashflow than a cashless problem. The "Vampire Hunter D" work, Capcom comics and upcoming Hollywood related income (cough, cough " "Hack/Slash") might also help resolve this situation.

But for a number of creators, right now, it could be tricky. Talking to Josh Blaylock, he offered his private number (773-506-8912 ext.707) for anyone to call if they need information, clarification or help, or feel they have "fallen through the cracks."

The Devil it seems, does want to pay his Due.

CHO BEATS

[Green Light]I have often been critical, mocking and downright disrespectful to Wizard. I now take everything back. Why? Because I just got this email from a Wizard serf:

Rich,

Love your column, despite everything you say about us. Here's a copy of *that* Frank Cho Hulk image you asked about, without logos.

Enjoy.

Have to say, as earlier rumoured, that is exactly the same level of nudity as appeared in the Hero Initiative auction for Frank Cho’s Spider-Man piece last year. Yet this year, it was totally unacceptable.

What changed?

LEGION OF WRITERS

[Yellow Light]It’s handy that Jim Shooter worked so far ahead on "Legion," Because, even though he stormed off the book around March (hence his no show with DC at the Bristol convention), things were patched up nicely and he’s back on the book. Without missing a single issue.

Of course, when he does decide to gracefully step down, expect Geoff Johns to jump on that book like a… well, a rude word.

I understand that Marvel have been playing wargames on how to persuade Geoff Johns to jump ship at the end of his contract (over a year away) and what to do with him when they get him, so expect to see DC Comics fight back pre-emptively…

IT'S 2008. WHAT COMICS ARE YOU READING FOR FREE?

[Green Light]Myebook is a free digital reading service that's planning to diverge into comics in a big way. A number make up their most-read titles and they expect that category to grow.

I understand that Markosia, publishers of "Flying Friar," "Starship Troopers," "Kong" and more, will be moving a lot of their books to this model, and are already a lead publisher in their Comics section. Here's a free copy of "The Boy Who Made Silence" for example.

It has a much more engaging and intuitive reading device than the current market leader, Wowio. It doesn't use the embedded advertising of Wowio, is available internationally, doesn't require a credit card for registration, but pays the publisher a lot less per read than Wowio.

Talking of which, this week I received a cheque from Wowio. From the one small 24 Hour Comic I've put up there, "Soul Less." It's small, it will barely cover the bank charges transferring it from dollars to pounds. But you know what? It's more than I was paid for "Holed Up" and "Flying Friar," because print and publishing costs ate up all the profits (if there even were any) so far.

This week I hit the scanner with my nineties titles "X-Flies" and "Dirtbag." When Wowio returns, see if they go international, if the payment amounts are affected, and if the new Platinum terms means I have to sign Alice and Eve over or something.

As it stands, Myebook is better than Wowio for international online distribution, but far worse for US. And that US market does punch above its weight.

And of course, right now, Wowio is down. Leaving Myebook to clean up.

KNAUF HERDER

[Green Light]Mitch Breitweiser ("Captain America: The Chosen") is the artist on a Charlie and Daniel Knauf Captain America one-shot.

ABSOLUTE DOSS

[Green Light]So why did DC cancel the vinyl record from the upcoming "Absolute League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier"? I understand that some people at DC believe one of the songs featured bears too much resemblance to an existing track still under copyright. Anyone have any more information? Ideally an mp3 file would be excellent...

Considering there is no script book, no record and the volume is considerably thinner than the previous two volumes at $75 each, one wonders how the $100 price tag for the upcoming volume is justified, other than "because we can... and it's our last chance to get some new Moore money."

Expect the record to be published by upcoming "League" publishers Top Shelf somewhere down the line.

WIZARD'S STAFF

[Green Light]Another Wizard redundancy, this time Phil Colligan. Currently credited as Coordinator/Marketing Services, he's been there since he left school fifteen years ago.

Bugger.

HOLLYWOOD MONEY

[Green Light]So you publish your creator-owned comic and sell it as a movie. Time to pay off the mortgage and buy a Bentley, yes? Not totally.

"Wasteland" writer Antony Johnston writes on The V about news that Jennifer Garner will be starring in an adaptation of his "Three Days In Europe" book from Oni.

"the Oni production arm, bought the actual production option (but I won't be rubbing myself with fivers any time soon). Garner and Jackman have committed to it, and part of that agreement is that Vandalia, Garner's production company, will co-produce if/when it sells to a studio. We still control it, and so we could pull it from Vandalia at any time if we wanted to, but that would all kinds of crazy.

"Production option (beer money) -> Studio option (new kitchen) -> Principal photography (helloooooo, Dolly). Many "X comic got optioned" announcements that you see are actually just production options released for publicity purposes (and god knows how many of those we saw during the Great Hollywood Gold Rush of the early 00s). Until the story says a studio bought it, hold off on the begging letters."

Don’t believe it, folks. Antony Johnston is richer than Mark Millar. Start asking him for money now!

WHAT'S NEXT

[Green Light]As well as the "Compleat" series of "Next Men" trade paperbacks, IDW will be publishing the series as a hardcover Omnibus-style volume, with a new John Byrne cover.

Start adding support to your bookshelves now.

NO NO NO NO NO NOVA

[Red Light]There have been rumours spreading that "Nova" is cancelled from #18. They're not true. The book is not cancelled.

See? LITG isn't always here for the nasty things in life.

ZOMBIE PORN

[Green Light]I understand Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer are writing the screenplay for a movie adaptation of their highly entertaining zombie/porn movie series "XXXombies."

COMIC BOOK CRE-HATERS

[Green Light]Ah, the wonders of Twitter.

DJ Coffman, ousted from the Platinum comic he created, "Hero By Night," has a "Will Draw Anything For $2" feature on his site, where you can find Barack Obama as Captain America fighting John McCain as the Red Skull. You can also find characters like Skull from Scott Kurtz’ "PVP" getting skull-fucked by the Red Skull…

Well not any more. Let's go to Twitter and reconstruct the argument

pvponline: Hey, asshole. I officially do NOT give you permission to draw the red skull fucking my character. take that shit off your website

djcoffman: Removed it

pvponline: and P.S. Since you made 2 bucks off that, you owe me two fucking dollars.

djcoffman: Ha, but i'll give you two dollars after you give George Lucas money for the Han shot first shirt

pvponline: the Han shirt is commentary and satire (i.e. fair use) DJ. What you did was infringement. my paypal is kurtz@pvponline.com.

djcoffman: No, that was "dark satire" you twit. RedSkull, fucking skull, and he also requested any other skulls I could throw in. So blow me

pvponline: Where was the satire? Maybe if you understood these things better you would still own Hero by Night. So blow ME.

djcoffman: Of course ,I'm sorry that type of humor upsets you. I understand. Now drop it and move on.

djcoffman: And if you allow it to run on your forums I'm going to re-publish it on my site. Just a heads up

pvponline: Scott Rosenberg has taught you well. You two so deserved each other

djcoffman: Well, sorry it upset you. You should see the ones I've turned down. There are a lot of people who don't like you.

pvponline: How noble of you, DJ. You're a real gentleman.

djcoffman: I try?

djcoffman I haven't had this many laughs on a Sunday since I don't know when.

JTSHea: Yep. he'sa piece of work isn't he?

djcoffman: No. He's the world's largest hypocrite. Maybe he should remember things from 1999 like this:

tombrazelton: Wait. This mystery drawing w/ Skull being sodomized is bad, but this one is okay?

pvponline: Why can't it just be about the fact that I don't like seeing my characters get skullfucked?

tombrazelton: That's very understandable. But I think you took a cheap shot mentioning copyright. Either it applies to everything or not.

pvponline: Let me see if I can break it down for you guys: Skull getting eye-fucked=not like. PvP being parodied in Foxtrot with reverence=DO like

onlyduh: So copyright applies only to things that YOU don't like? Either its all or nothing, you can't pick and choose

pvponline: Yeah. that's how it works. I like people who strengthen my brand, not damage it. I like positive intent over malicious intent.

onlyduh: Totally understand not wanting skull portrayed in that manner, but isn't it a situation of having to take the good with the bad?

pvponline: it's not about good or bad. It's about intent. Most people that aren't disney don't pursue infringement of good intent.

happymrlocust: Out of curiousity, if it was a copyright issue, couldn't an conventional cease-and-desist work just as well?

pvponline: I figured just letting the guy know I was upset, was a proper first step.

drwright: It was better than sending a cease and desist letter, but it would have been better still to settle the dispute privately

djcoffman: I only took it down because he got upset. Not because I broke ANY laws. It's clearly satire. In bad taste

pvponline: Why is it okay for DJ to draw Skull getting a cock in the eye, but I'm out of line for getting upset about it?

drwright: You're not out of line for getting upset; there was no need to take DJ to task publicly

djcoffman: any more dicky discussion about the drawing I took down, and I'm going to republish it. Fair warning

happymrlocust: Ah, ok. I just figured that "hey, asshole" would be more damaging to the brand than a shiny C&D from a lawyer

pvponline: The twitter post was much cheaper

djcoffman: in fact, maybe I'll just start a whole other comic about ways to skullfuck trolls? I've got time

I dunno about you, but I’m sending Scott $2 just for the entertainment value alone.

JOE AND CO

[Green Light]Sorry about the late column, I got delayed by Joe Quesada. He's in town on a family holiday, so put out the call to the London crew to turn up to a Soho pub. I brought along Drew Pearce, showrunner for "No Heroics" who dropped off a DVD or two to people, and James Chittenden, Head Of Creative at Harrods, looking to create an upcoming comics exhibition. I am the new Paul Gravett. Also propping up the bar were Paul Cornell, Bryan Hitch, Si Spurrier, Frazer Irving, Brendan McCarthy, Richard Isanove, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and more were present, along with fair chunk of Millarworld.

Drew gets to grips with Frazer...

...and Brendan, whose "Skin" we were discussing as he arrived, and whose "Zenith" work was quite an inspiration on young Drew.

Jamie believes he can construct a Warren Ellis doll out of Kieron's loose beard hair.

Joe signs his life away. That's the general rule when an American enters a British pub.

Let's all get together the next time an American is in town!

At this point I gave up taking photographs and turned to the drink.

Not quite sure hope I got home, but it seemed to have worked.

SPECULATION CORNER

[Green Light]We talked a few weeks ago about the number of "Kick Ass" #3 that got lost on the way to the UK and the effect it had on eBay sales.

So what's next?

I'm told that there's an awful lot of "Walking Dead #50" that went mysteriously missing worldwide with no signs of replacements.

Everybody with copies get to eBay immediately!

DC DANCING

[Green Light]Michael Freeman, from DC's Sales Department, gave his two week's notice last week. And left by the end of the day.

Still, one out, one in. Want to be an assistant editor at DC Comics? Apply here

Or maybe you know someone who should be Bryan Hitch’s inker...

SWIPE FILE

[Red Light]The logo for the Diabol Industrial Chemical company of Paris, France, in use at least by 1931.

Bob Kane worked at Max Fleischer Studios from 1934. Max's brother, Dave Fleischer, was a director at the studio and had previously worked at the French film studio, Pathe.

"The Batman" was created in 1939, credited to Bob Kane.

Is this too much of a stretch?

Hat Tip to Patrick Zircher of the Bendis Board.

SWIPE FILE " JAPANESE EDITION

[Green Light]Busted. Makes Greg Land look like an original. Here’s a sampling.

ODDS AND SODS

[Green Light]"Alan Moore In Your Store" MJ Hibbert creates a fumetti video for his office romantic ballad "It Only Works Because You’re Here"… awww.

Also been rewatching Alex De Campi’s B-side video for The Puppini Sisters’ "Millionaire."

You know, if you want to make a career in comics, it's always useful to have something to fall back on.

I wonder if the patios are sentient yet? And just how mad his crazy paving is.

Rob Williams talks about writing the Indiana Jones comic.

Did you see Michael Turner get a scrolling news item mention on CNN?

Wendy Pini will be interviewed at The Comic Bug, this Wednesday being filmed for the "Comics on Comics" vodcast about the upcoming "ElfQuest" movie. More here.

SMALL PRINT

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

My social networking is pretty much all Facebook these days, but I'm around at Bebo, MySpace, ComicSpace and Twitter, too.

You can see my Guido Fawkes cartoon most Mondays here. Here's the latest.

And my Wii number is 0512 2690 8446 2879. Anyone for a game of Mario Kart?

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:  adi granov, joe quesada, frank cho, nova

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