Lying In The Gutters

Mon, May 11th, 2009 at 1:58pm PDT

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 209

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 and could do with stamping on. Amber indicates I think there is a bias involved in the telling 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. But it's still quite possibly wrong.

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

GRAND TRAILER

[Green Light]Bryan Talbot’s new graphic novel, "Grandville." Steampunk furry. The first full trailer here.

TOP TEN SEASON ONE-AND-A-HALF

[Green Light]Were you one of the people buying the "Top Ten Season Two" mini-series who, like me, were surprised that it seemed to just stop rather than finish? A commentary on the randomness of life? That stories rarely end smoothly? That loose plots are endemic of our own life so why not reflect them in fiction?

No.

The series was originally planned and written as an eight issue series with two one shots on top, all written by Zander Cannon, one of the artists from the original "Top Ten" series, with Kevin Cannon. The other artist, Gene Ha, was only available for four issues. Wildstorm seem to have decided that it was only Ha's name that appealed to the consumer, so they only published his four issues, and the one shot drawn by Da Xiong that accompanied them. Without telling anyone that they would only be getting half a story.

But what a story it was. The first half was the equal of Moore's run on the title and was certainly the most critically well received of the non-Moore ABC titles.

Quite a few people are a little annoyed, and tell DC/Wildstorm their frustrations here as Zander Cannon comments about the situation on his blog, here.

Hopefully we'll see "Top Ten Season Two Point Two" at some point. I'd happily pay $3.99 for it. And, you know, incessantly plug it. Would that help?

BACK UP MARVEL

[Green Light]DC has made a big thing out of adding back up stories to DC Universe titles as a way to make up for potential new and higher price $3.99 points.

Marvel haven't made a big thing. But, apparently, they are doing the same. Creators are writing and drawing them as we speak.

POWER AD

[Green Light]Amanda Conner was due to sign at two comic shops to help promote the new "Power Girl" series. A Comic Shop last week and Tate's Comics next week.

Both shops created ads for Facebook to promote the signing, using the Amanda Conner cover of the comic.

Both shops had their ads removed by Facebook for being too offensive.

When asked in an upcoming interview for the column "Shop of Ideas," Amanda Conner replied, "I don't think it's degrading at all. I think that the person they had red flagging that ad probably knows absolutely nothing about comics, they don't know who the character is because they said it was irrelevant to the ad when it was 100% relevant. They just set themselves up as the morality police, that's my guess as to the reason she was red flagged. I don't feel Power Girl's costume is degrading. I like Power Girl's costume, I drew it."

If you feel strongly about this most despicable piece of online censorship, write to Facebook expressing your support of Power Girl's unique appeal.

After all, she is clearly in need of support right now.

HOOPES SCHEMES

[Green Light]Famed comics conman Josh Hoopes is still trying to scam publishers as the Fake Art Adams. He recently approached Hero Universe Comics offering fully inked covers for $300 using the adamsarthur@rocketmail.com address. Thankfully the owner smelling a rat googled "art adams scam" and found previous LITG articles on the con trick.

He previously applied for a job at Hero Universe Comics posing as one John Martin with the cinemagic87@yahoo.com address and using Mike Choi samples as his own.

Of course, Josh has his own copycats. Such as one Scott Meherg who was sent down for seven years for forging a cheque to buy a copy of "Amazing Spider-Man" #2.

WARNING: CONTAINS LANGUAGE

[Green Light]Last week's commentary by Dwayne McDuffie on working on JLA proved incredibly popular with LITG readers. Many found his frank-but-polite approach refreshing.

Eric L raised the issue of politeness on The V forum asking, "since when could you say ‘asshole’ in mainstream DC Universe books? Because on page 20 of ‘Final Crisis Aftermarth: Run’ (the page with the first panel reading 11:32 pm) one character calls another character an asshole which is kind of jarring in a book featuring characters like Green Lantern & Firestorm."

Dwayne McDuffie was on hand to reply saying, "Sometimes they let me say asshole, sometimes they don't. There are a lot of words sort of on the line. In an upcoming script, I wasn't allowed to say ‘that woman has balls.’ So I don't try and figure it out ahead of time."

BRISTOL CITTIES

[Yellow Light]The reduced Bristol convention ran this weekend. And while it may have been smaller, there were still a few highlights that have already crept blinking into the LITG sunlight.

Look for the director’s preferred cut of "Watchmen" to hit cinemas/theatres/IMAX before it’s then released on DVD.

Potential "Blackest Night" spoilers, just as Hal Jordan, Green Lantern became The Spectre, so it seems that Jim Corrigan, The Spectre will become a Black Lantern.

And DC are committed to working with Gail Simone on "Wonder Woman" to crack what they refer to as the great Wonder Woman concept/story waiting to be told.

The current "Fables" crossover will be collected into one Fables book, so the trades of Jack will just skip those issues.

This Doc Savage pic doing the rounds…

… is part of a new line at DC that will be set in current DCU continuity.

"Cancertown" was a big hit of the convention, selling a hundred of the 150 page graphic novel in one day (and another fifty the day after without even having a table, as word spread).

Also Tony Lee returns to Oz…

This is part of his and Dan Boultwood’s "The Forgotten Oz Trilogy." Also, Arcana will be collecting their "The Gloom" series as a trade paperback.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF BRIGHTON

[Green Light]"Heroes Run" is a charity fun run along Brighton Beach with loads of people dressed in superhero costumes, blogged about here.

The fifth such fun run takes place on Sunday, May 17th on Brighton seafront with a five hundred metre kids dash, and either five or ten kilometres for the "grown ups." And this year they are trying to win the Guinness World record for most superheroes in one place, currently at 103, set by Bournemouth University in 2008.

The rules are:

  1. Each person must be dressed as a recognised superhero.
  2. A recognised superhero is one that has been used in a published book, comic, television programme or film.
  3. Each persons costume must be instantly recognisable as the superhero they are portraying.
  4. All participants must be gathered in one location for a minimum of 10 minutes.

It is organised by local charity Passing It On who raise money to build schools and support education in some of the poorest areas of Africa. This year they are raising money for two projects, the Tenderfoot school in Kenya and the Dreamlands school in Ghana.

Someone send me photos. Please, someone send me photos…

HANDFUL OF DUST

[Yellow Light]"Neil Gaiman Presents" was a line of books coming from Dark Horse, reissuing fantasy stories chosen by Gaiman for a new audience. The books have had solicitations cancelled, have disappeared from Amazon and no longer appear on Dark Horse's website.

Some worried with the departure of editor Rob Simpson, that the line had been cancelled.

It transpires that, what with changing editors, the series may have been solicited too early before all rights for subsequent books had been tied down.

Look for the line to be re-announced sometime in the future.

And here’s a reason to love Dark Horse right now… The Groo Treasury Volume 1

TAXPAYER FUNDED COMICS?

[Red Light]Sadly, despite reports in Telegraph, British Immigration Minister didn't claim expenses for buying comics for his children. As he explains here they were listed on a submitted receipt with other items that were claimed for.

Shame.

BLACK DOSSIER BOOKS

[Green Light]Graham Lineham, creator of comedies such as "Father Ted,"Black Books," "Big Train," and the recent BAFTA-winning "The IT Crowd"... is a bit of a geek. But a well connected one. And a connection he was willing to share on Twitter.

Living the dream tonight, my friends. Dinner with Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. YOINK!

Any questions for alan and kevin? They're all ears and fascinated by twitter.

LordWoolamaloo - Just finished copy of Century Tony Bennet sent me - ask Kev if that is Andy Capp in one of the Norton scenes, please

Kevin O'Neill- yes

MechaMorgan - How do you keep your beard so magnificent?

Alan Moore - curried mushrooms from a fish shop

DocHorror - More importantly when is 'Jerusalem' being published?

Alan Moore - couple of years

LOTW1952 - what were their favourite boyhood comics ?

Alan Moore: ogden Whitney's 'herbie'

Kevin O'Neill: Jonah in the beano

MechaMorgan: Kevin - will there be any more Nemesis the Warlock?

Kevin O'Neill: no

@Widgett - Yes, when is Mr. Moore doing another spoken word album? Because they're fantastic.

Alan Moore - thank you very much! Maybe sometime in the next year

You can hear the bearded one talk about the nature of superheroes here.

And Alan Moore gives some hope to the prospect of collecting his Marvelman/Miracleman comics in the short term in this interview

GRUNT NOT OUT

[Green Light]A few weeks ago, this column asked where Arcana's "Grunts" series had disappeared to. Looks like Aint It Cool had better luck.

Apparently it's all down to Diamond's new thresholds, and publisher Arcana's reduction in product per month, to spend as much time as they can maximising orders on those titles.

So the completed "Grunts: War Stories" graphic novel by Dwight MacPherson, Marc Bernardin, Jimmie Robinson and the like is currently in scheduling limbo.

MENSCH FREE

[Green Light]Brave New World reports that they stopped three people on Free Comic Book Day, who took that description a little too literally, taking more than just copies of "Blackest Night" #0 out of the store under their coats.

The one common item in all three petty criminals' hoards?

Copies of "Watchmensch"

So... do criminals have taste? Am I the no.1 shoplifted comic in California? Should I put that on the cover of the second printing?

GREEN FACED

[Green Light]Here's one website that maybe Warner Bros should have grabbed the domain name on... Green Lantern DC.

DREAM DOCTOR

[Green Light]You know, I haven't had much luck with "Doctor Who" rumours of late. Okay, okay, I had Matt Smith confirmed an hour before it was official, but had been wrong the previous six months. Not good.

And there's that "Neil Gaiman writing an episode of the fifth series" rumour that still hasn't been confirmed. Lots of people have been talking about it however.

Over the weekend, British TV/radio presenter/host/comic book superfan interviewed Neil Gaiman on his Radio 2 show about, well, about Neil Gaiman basically, and the question came up again.

Neil gave the stock answer that he's given before, "It would be nice wouldn't it?"

Jonathan replied, "Where's that script you sent my wife?" before quickly thanking Neil and ending that segment of the show.

Jonathan's wife is Jane Goldman, screenwriter of "Stardust" and "Kick Ass." And someone whom, if Neil was possibly writing an episode of "Doctor Who," he might have shown an advance script to.

Neil declined to comment. After all as he puts it, "Where’s the fun in that?"

BITS AND PIECES

[Green Light]No one does a sarky plug like Stuart Immonen:

Ultimate Spider-Man #132, the book that should have shipped weeks ago because it was ready, is available to preview at CBR.

The first exhibition of Chinese Comics in Britain hits Durham.

Hey Wizard! They might want to get someone to answer the phones!

SMALL PRINT

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

I write and draw a cartoon every week for the UK's biggest political blog, Guido Fawkes. Here's the latest one.

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.

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:  top ten, power girl, josh hoopes

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