Lying In The Gutters

Mon, November 24th, 2008 at 3:40pm PST | Updated: November 25th, 2008 at 9:17am

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 185

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.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Marvel is bunch of hippies" - Esad Ribic

MAN AND SUPERMAN

[Green Light]My job would be so much easier if I lived in New York. During the day, I'd get a fold up chair and sit myself outside the Marvel and DC offices noting who came in and out. I'd find their waste refuse area and stick all their shredded documents back together by hand. And in the evening, I'd just hang out at McGee's bar.

Thankfully, that's exactly what one source was doing last week.

Last week, LITG reported that James Robinson had had a stand up row with Dan DiDio and had walked off Superman.

I was later told that this wasn't a creative nor editorial issue, but a personal one.

I then updated the story last week with a report from The Superman Homepage which reported Superman editor Matt Idelson as saying that Robinson "has not" quit the book.

It appears that was very specifically phrased.

Robinson certainly had quit the book. Past tense. And it was everywhere, I heard from DC employees, from Marvel employees, even from Diamond employees who had been instructed by DC not to mention James Robinson in any Previews article in any capacity. This was big news.

But then I started to be told that DiDio and Robinson patched up their differences, and suddenly Robinson was back on the Superbooks. And soon everyone was singing from that hymnsheet.

No harm done right? Well not quite. Because there was one person who has wanted to write Superman for a very long time and had been denied the opportunity. One who had even been told that he'd never write the Superman monthly title. And who, when Robinson stormed off, was approached by DC to take over the Superman book. And who instantly agreed. And was then ceremoniously dumped when Robinson came back.

In McGee's, everyone was drinking in commiseration to Mark Waid.

I understand that DC are in negotiation with Waid over this and related issues to find a situation that everyone's happy with. Guilt can be quite a powerful weapon in such circumstances.

ELEVEN? THAT'S NUMBERWANG!

[Green Light]Lying In The Gutters currently feels ready to make the call that Paterson Joseph is the new Doctor Who. I understand that while there were still a number of contenders in the running at the beginning of last week, the role was offered to him by the BBC a few days later and he accepted.

That Joseph was showrunner-from-2010 Steven Moffat's favourite choice, was revealed in Lying In The Gutters in early October, which caused the bookies to make him their favourite.

His odds dropped when further tabloid rumours tagged other actors, as well as a horrific misreading of the upcoming Christmas special co-starring David Morrissey as The Next Doctor - ignoring the audio drama it is based on, “The One Doctor.”

But as of now, he's the bookies' favourite again. And PaddyPower have withdrawn the category, a sign that they believe the decision has been made. Meanwhile Betfair have him at around 1/2 odds.

Paterson Joseph starred in a very Hartnell/Pertwee turn as The Marquis De Carabas in “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman, rumoured to be writing an episode of the series in 2010.

Joseph also played a strong supporting role in Steve Moffat's “Jekyll”, Alan Johnson in “Peep Show” and a regular character actor in “The Mitchell And Webb Look”. He currently appears in the BBC remaking of Terry Nation's "Survivors."

He does a great line in pompous, mischievous, inspiring, well-presented, well-spoken, with a big cheesey grin.

He's absolutely perfect for the role. I can't wait.

Also for 2010, we're not only getting a new Doctor but it appears the TARDIS console room will get a new desktop theme…

"OH MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF SPARS"

[Green Light]So I land on Saturday and it's raining. It rained most of the weekend. But this is Dublin and this is the way things are. No wonder everything is so green.

That was also the colour of certain people's faces on Sunday morning as well. Oyster stout will do that to a man.

The Duiblin Convention is small but perfectly formed. Guests sketch, do the occasional panel and retire to the bar. Local comics get to put on a show and continue it in the bar. Dealers help you fill in your collections which you can show off in the... you're getting the idea.

Everyone was having a good time and the show sported a guest list worthy of a show twenty times its size, Dan Slott, CB Cebulski, Esad Ribic, Paul Cornell, Michael Lark, Jonathan Hickman, Adi Granov, Tommy Lee Edwards, Olivier Coipel, Matt Hollingsworth and more. Esad soon became everyone's favourite drinking buddy, as he insisted to Dan Slott that he was drinking flags and Dan should drink flags too!

Yes, the Irish Flag cocktail was quite an evil thing...

I wanted to give a special thanks to Dan Slott. First time I've met him, no idea what to expect, he is a wonderful, funny, engaging and infectious individual with more stories to tell than Peter David. He seems to sum up in many ways the most mocked aspects of the comics industry and yet he wins you over in seconds and makes you love comics, if ever you once doubted it. If he ever touched Evan Dorkin there was be a huge explosion that would destroy the universe.

And it was quite fun asking him about the news that he'd re-signed another Marvel exclusive contract, just mentioned by CB Cebulski, and he refused to even accept that such a thing was even being discussed until CB walked up and said "Hey Dan" We've just announced your new contract!"

Dublin's a great show, it was my first time to the Emerald Isle and that will be the last time I use that phrase before the organisers beat me to death for using such sterotypical language, shouting "You'll never get me lucky charms!" as they do so.

I'll definitely go again if they let me.

The Live-Ing In The Gutters panel on the Sunday involved a large piece of twine that captured and ensnared the comics industry as well as member of the audience and seemed to go down far better than I was expecting. So yay!

I also bought a stack of indie comics. Some were world class. More on those next week.

MOON POLITICS

[Green Light]During one panel at Dublin Con, Paul Cornell talked about an upcoming arc for "Captain Britain and MI5" with a battle against Dracula. Cornell got a lot of press for including Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a previous arc, so in this one we see The Leader Of The Opposition, David Cameron, in a space suit, entering into negotiations with Dracula on the Moon's Sea Of Tranquility.

Yeah, I think that will get press coverage over here.

[Green Light]BACK TOGETHER

Also mentioned at Dublin was a new series from Marvel, "New Avengers: Reunion," for next year.

IN DEFENSE OF DAN DIDIO

[Green Light]It seems that every six months this comes up. The Internet gangs up on Dan DiDio and calls for his head. And are convinced that all the creative community wants it, too.

Now there's no doubt that Dan can stir up controversy sometimes. He's not been nicknamed "Jemas" for nothing and yes, he has had his differences with creators.

But, just as with his nicknamesake, there's a significant number of creators who really appreciate him. Who see him as a man who goes to bat for their ideas. And who readily takes public blame for events and actions that are not of his doing

And who also has a history of making money for DC Comics? DiDio. So as far as Warner Bros is concerned, he's not going anywhere soon.

CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?

[Yellow Light]As for issues over "Final Crisis," I understand that Grant Morrison has been rewriting scenes from the series that have not only contributed to the delays on the title, but also delays on other books. I understand that the spinoff book "Final Crisis: Resist" underwent fourteen rewrites in a week over changes to main book, and only when the request to remove the star character Mr. Terrific came through did people put their foot down.

Certainly there has been negotiation with DC Editorial and Grant Morrison over where the book is going, but it won't come out with Morrison's name on it until he's happy. But just as the delays with "Civil War," it's not just one book that's on hold, it's dozens. And there's rewriting going on all over the place.

Is this the Wildstorm Relaunch all over again?

[Green Light]YU HU!

Leinel Yu announces he's drawing an arc of Mark Millar's “Ultimate Avengers.” Probably.

SPECULATOR CORNER

[Green Light]Lots of good things are being said at Marvel about Jonathan Hickman's upcoming "Secret Warriors" series and people are expecting the book to be underordered.

So even if the first issue doesn't end up on dealers walls for $10 each, at least you'll get a good read!

And it looks like it's time for everyone to start queuing up to buy large quantities of Batman comics to sell on eBay.

STRAIGHT DOWN

[Green Light]In a recent column, I stated that Vertical Comics had fired a bunch of staffers.

Turns out, it was only one.

I've heard of unemployment figures being exaggerated, but that's a bit ridiculous.

ODDS AND ENDS

[Green Light]A new music video from the newly-engaged comic book writer Alex De Campi (congrats!!!!), “Leeds United” by Amanda Palmer.

"Shadowhawk" writer Pedro Angosto takes on Alan Davis over a matter of continuity. And doesn't come off very well.

More attempts from Josh Hoopes to scam people, posing as agent Jeff Henzel. This time he's using the art of Mike Choi.

"Lying In The Actuarial Gutters." Bang on perfect.

More "Youngblood" hardcovers on the way... and "Absolute Youngblood!"

SECRET SANTA

[Green Light]There were two main sparks of original thought that infected British comedy in the nineties. One was the Vic Reeves axis of non sequitor surreality. The other was the Armando Iannucci strain of surreal satire. The birth of the latter is about to be released as a CD box set as "On The Hour", the Radio 4 sketch show that rocketed the careers of Armando Iannucci, Chris Morris, Steve Coogan, Richard Herring, Stewart Lee, Patrick Marber, Peter Baynham, David Schneider, Rebecca Front, David Quantick, Doon Mackichan, with Graham Linehan, Arthur Matthews jumping on for the TV show "The Day Today" - and who would go on to create pretty much everything decent in British comedy until "Ali G" and "The Office". And even then, Peter Baynham co-wrote the "Borat" movie.

If you are a comedy Angophile, you cannot be seen without "On The Hour" stored on your iPod. Series 1 and Series 2 available now, 8 CDs in total.

SMALL PRINT

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

I'm still eBaying odds and sods here. My social networking is pretty much all Facebook and Twitter these days, but I'm around at Bebo, MySpace, ComicSpace 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:  james robinson, dc comics, doctor who

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