Lying In The Gutters

Mon, September 15th, 2008 at 2:10pm PDT | Updated: September 15th, 2008 at 3:34pm

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 175

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.

DOUBLE TAKE OF THE WEEK: "British artist Rich Johnston's "The Flying Friar," a graphic novel about St. Joseph of Cupertino, was an immediate financial and artistic success." - Angelo Stagnaro, National Catholic Register. Was it? When?

SOME DAYS YOU JUST CAN'T GET RID OF AN F-BOMB

[Green Light]We had a mid-week special for Lying In The Gutters last week, with the exclusive scans of the elusive "All Star Batman And Robin The Boy Wonder" #10 original printing with lots of not-very-well-obscured Batswearing.

Let's just show one again for novelty's sake.

Since then there have been so many delicious updates.

WARNING: CONTAINS BAD RETAIL PRACTICES

[Green Light]Most shops didn't get the comic. The West Coast and UK shops certainly didn't. But a number of East Coast, MidWest and Canadian shops did. Some shops didn't receive any demands to withdraw and destroy the comic. Some did and chose to woefully ignore it. Some put them on eBay, either obscuring exactly who the seller or was, or being totally blatant about it. Such as Comix Central in Canada, Warp 9 Comics in Michigan or Empyre Comics in Maryland.

THE GUTTER MOUTHED PRESS

[Green Light]A few papers picked up the story. Then The Drudge Report stepped up and it went global. Not just the main suspects but UK muso press, Irish Fashionistas, everyone has jumped on.

MARVEL BARS

[Green Light]The same black bar approach was used in previous issues of "All Star Batman And Robin The Boy Wonder" with success - why did the printing choice for lettering and black bar change this time?

The exact same problem happened at Marvel with the "Civil War Directors Cut" which led to all sorts of hooplah on Marvel's part. But in that case, it didn't use the word "cunt." Although I understand some of the readers did.

NO CONSPIRACIES

[Green Light]As for those who believe that this is all part of some publicity-raising conspiracy on DC's part. Ummm. No. Like any company, DC hates negative publicity, especially for anything that links a character such as Batman with something like homosexuality or saying a naughty word.

John Byrne confirms, saying, "I've know about this for a while. And, based on the wailing and gnashing of teeth that was going on up at the DC Offices when it was discovered, I can assure you it was not deliberate. Stupid and incompetent, yes. But not deliberate".

BEYOND THE WORDS

[Green Light]The book did go through some changes before publication. One of the sweary affected pages had already been bowlderised visually.

Two balls in the hand are worth a black bar in the bush?

TO PULP ONE COMIC MAY BE REGARDED AS UNFORTUNATE, TO PULP THREE IN ONE WEEK LOOKS LIKE CARELESSNESS

[Yellow Light]It's been a while since DC gained a reputation for pulping books willy nilly. It may still happen but it's been undiscovered. Well last week's major pulping uncovered two other books in the same week that met the same fate.

For while All Star Batman got the press both "Action Comics" #869 and "DCU: Decisions" #1 were also withdrawn from shops and destroyed without a very obvious reason.

So what could it have been?

I understand that "Action Comics" #869 committed the heinous crime of showing Clark Kent on the cover drinking a bottle of beer.

And does "DCU: Decisions" feature a certain Condeleezza Rice as the model for a Republican candidate who almost gets blown up?

There's also speculation these pulpings could revolve around the revelation that Supergirl's parents are alive, or that Lois Lane is a hardline conservative, but... well, no one is completely sure.

And just as with "All Star Batman And Robin The Boy Wonder" #10, copies fell through the cracks. While they haven't received the speculator attention, keen eyes will be comparing differences later this week. And checking eBay.

BAT TO THE BYRNE

[Green Light]As to Frank Miller's LA Times interview, he said, "My plan is in the end we find out where that robot tyrannosaurs in the Batcave comes from. We finally find out. That's plan. Unless of course I get fired now."

As Byrne points out, "The robot dinosaur is from 'Dinosaur Island,' in BATMAN 35 (1946).

"Which raises the question -- is this another example of Frank not doing his homework (like making Alfred the old family retainer, or giving Catwoman a new origin because he didn't know she already had one)?"

Fuck that.

No more Batswears this week.

IRON MANAGE

[Green Light]Remember the story about a photographer suing for the use of his photo of the Iron Man costume in the movie of the same name?

Looks like in the upcoming DVD, they changed the photo...

The wonders of digital manipulation. Now make Gwyneth Paltrow look like she could act.

NO MISSING NO HEROICS

[Green Light]The superhero sitcom "No Heroics" airs this Thursday at 10.30pm on ITV2. Americans, look for torrents available that night. It's had a great write-up from The Guardian. Look for: the Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison oil paintings, the V For Vodka bottles, the Zarjazz cigs, the Moore's Old Peculiar ale.

I've seen two episodes and I think it's ace.

SUDDENLY... RACISM!

[Green Light]The Faiza character in the current "Captain Britain & MI13" has caused a few raised eyebrow comments. LITG reported on Newsarama's jihad comments in the interview with writer Paul Cornell a while back, but now its time for their message boards to "go all racist"

Drcharles: But its Faiza Hussain that really turns my gut , so PC or what ! and how the hell did a non-Brit pull the sword ? if that isn't appeasement I don't know what is ?.....

And it kicks off after that.

WANTED HERO

[Green Light]From the recent "War Heroes" tour, Mark Millar was very happy to sign a printout of a very famous comics mashup.

SWIPE FILE

[Red Light]Puppies!

Buffy #20!

NON-SWIPE FILE

[Yellow Light]One page of "Secret Invasion: X-Men" #1 has Angel...

...the other, Archangel...

...despite they're meant to be versions of the same character. Is it a really obvious clue that Angel is a Skrull? And that all the other X-Men are idiots?

Or is that the readers...

ODDS AND SODS

[Green Light]Me at the Harrods original comic book artwork exhibition. Door Five, down the stairs chaps!

At 6.30pm on the 29th September in Harrods, "V For Vendetta" artist David Lloyd will be presenting a talk on the creation and history of "V For Vendetta" from concept to comic book to blockbuster movie. Call 020 7173 6473 for free tickets.

Con Tales Of Alex Ross.

John Byrne Vs Libraries.

Chris Weston Vs The Spanish.

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.

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:  all star batman and robin, action comics, pulping, dcu: decisions, captain britain

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