LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 167
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: “I saw the watchmen trailer last night. It resembles Dave’s art very closely, but dad does Rorschach’s voice waaay better. :)” – Leah Moore via Twitter
THE KINGSTON VALE COMIC CON
Instead I will be sitting at home, reading copies of the Giffen/DeMetteis “Justice League” with Eve. Shhh. If I call it a con, it’s a con. She plays at being a Dalek, it’s as good as the real thing.
I may even record a Not-At-San-Diego All The Rage Video Blog – the first went live yesterday, entitled, “When Comics Go Bad”.
I will also be kickstarting San Diego Dreaming again, a collection of anonymous Twitter-based reports and photographs from San Diego. Wherever you are, whatever or whoever you’re doing, share your thoughts, opinions, quotes, pictures and scoops live as it happens from the con floor, the bars and the hot tubs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, AOL IMing to TwistRich, Twittering to XGirlA or text messaging to +44 7801350982. Write those details down somewhere, for when you feel inspired.
I’d also like to thank Mayhem Collectibles of Des Moines, Iowa, for shipping an “SDCC Doctor Who Time Crash” set of dolls. I am weak. Thank you. Apparently they are the best place on the planet to get your Doctor Who fix and who am I to argue?
So. What’s happening in comics? Ooh lots. Some you’ll get more details about at San Diego. Others you won’t.
One main topic was “Elfquest.” This decades-old creator owned series by Wendy and Richard Pini was signed up by DC Comics a few years ago, and a number of elegant compilation volumes of the cult favourite swords-and-sorcery comic were published. However, DC weren’t inclined to pursue licensing “Elfquest” in other media, which is part of the reason the Pinis signed by DC in the first place.
So last year “Elfquest” and DC parted ways. Subsequently “Elfquest” was all-but-instantly snapped up by Warner Brothers, DC’s parent company, for a movie deal.
A deal which would have cost Warners an awful lot less if the title had remained at DC.
So yes, there was a little recrimination over the handling of the property at the summit.
IMAGE IS EVERYTHING
So that leaves Image. Who were the basis for the Icon deal, but with much greater creator accessibility. But one problem for some is that, as with Icon, the payments are all back-end. And a number of creators can’t go without page rate payments for a few months until the impressive cashflow kicks in. Indeed some writers have found themselves paying page rates to their artists, which has caused problems for some.
At San Diego, we may see a new option at Image. No one’s quite sure what’s happening, but everyone is sure that something is. Stories, gossip and rumour conflict in places, but here are a few common themes being passed from comics pro to comics pro, though a number are probably wide of the mark.
I’ve been told Robert Kirkman, writer of “Invincible” and “Walking Dead,” will be named as a new partner at Image.
I also hear reference to a number of big comics names signing projects with Image. Look for people who have recently chosen not to renew their exclusive contracts with Marvel and DC.
And there is gossip about an emerging new model of payments for certain creators and projects, with less of an emphasis on back-end payments and the introduction of page rates.
Could Image be the new creators’ choice again?
All this, and more (or possibly less) to be announced at San Diego.
SPY VS SPY
She’s writing a new series for Marvel Comics. Featuring a fan-favourite duo. And it’ll be announced in San Diego.
Regular LITG readers may be able to work it out for themselves from recent columns.
Those who can’t should repeatedly hit themselves over the head with a Cylon Toaster until their brain cells shake loose.
People are going to squee.
FROM DUSK TILL CON
GARTH IN MOTION
You won’t believe which one.
HE WASN’T EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE THERE.
Especially since one eighties Marvel event seemed to be repeatedly ignored. And it was always my favourite. Absolute favourite. And deserving of… reinterpretation.
This San Diego. Marvel announce a new X-event for next year. Headed up by “Loners” and “X-Men: Manifest Destiny” writer CB Cebulski.
Stay clear of those fire hydrants…
I really should buy a ticket.
Well, at San Diego, it’s going to get messy. See, there’s this performer who goes by the name of “Doktor Steel” with this whole singing mad scientist schtick. It’s very different to the Whedon clan thing, but enough of his fans have taken offence as to flood blogs, message boards and the like with allegations of ripoffs. And it’s not stopping there. From the Doktor Steel website:
COMICON MISSION ï¿½” DR. HORRIBLE BRAINWASHING EXPO
When: Friday, July 25th 10:45pm ï¿½” 12:00pm
Where: Room 6B
The “creators” of Dr. Horrible will be at the ComicCon Convention in San Diego, California. This is the perfect opportunity to pay them a visit, ask some questions and inform the masses about Dr. Steel.
Don’t let Dr. Steel’s work go unrecognized for the unique and brilliant vision that it is. Stand proud as a Toy Soldier and raise your voices to the cause.
1) Create propaganda dvds, manifestos and press packs.
2) Write “The REAL mad scientist” on the covers.
3) Create banners or leaflets that read “Dr.Steel. Taking over the
world since 1999”
4) Distribute these items during the Dr.Horrible showing on Friday night.
5) Let the fans discover for themselves that Dr.Steel is far more entertaining.
6) Be awesome and curtious and bust out the humour like never before. Remember how powerful your creative charm can be!
7) Inquire as to when the creators came up with the idea of Dr.
Horrible and inform them that Dr. Steel devoted his life to his
amazing cause in 1999.
8) Do not lash out or become confrontational, because you might get kicked out of the convention. We need you all to be there for as LONG as possible to gain awareness.
They sound like scientologists. Mad Scientologists. Watch out for boarding parties on the CBR Boat.
Will it, as I’m hearing from vague Marvel people, be Simon Pegg?
Too obvious. Too easy. But I want it.
And if so, will someone please cast Nick Frost as Janet van Dyne?
END OF THE WORLD AGAIN
MJ mentions the Geek Tour we were all shown, around the set of the show, but one thing he doesn’t mention is that two of the portraits hung around the off-hours superhero bar, are those of Grant Morrison and Warren Ellis.
SAN DIEGO TWITTERING
Tony Lee: With San Diego but days away, tons of scripts and pitches to do and a dozen other things on my plate, I have decided to re-write CrowTown
Lea Hernandez: Nyyyaaaaaaaaaaaa. Jacket for SD not wearable. Jacket replacement shopping discouraging in extreme. Petty and yet important.
Ben Templesmith: First friend is in for SDCC. My house will fill up rapidly.
Tony Lee: JUST AS I THINK I’M SORTED I SAVE OVER A FUCKING ILLUSTRATOR FILE NOOOOOO BASTARDS DIE DIE DIE GAAAAAH KILL ME NOW
Augie De Blieck Jr.: Only five days until San Diego begins. Coincidentally, only five days until Augie weeps.
Scott Kurtz: except for packing and a couple strips, we’re done prepping for SDCC. But we are never this prepared. Our brains won’t let us believe it.
Tony Lee: My first ‘meeting’ when I hit SDCC is with the motherfucking Batman. MOTHER. FUCKING. BATMAN. Also on Tuesday.
Jordan White: Everyone is twittering talking to each other, rather than what they are doing. That’s cheating!
Warren Ellis: Slept. Still tired. On the other hand, I’m still not going to San Diego next week. Ha ha ha hahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAAA cough
Pinguino: I’m totally all for boycotting Hyatt’s bar. Mariott sounds way better anyways for comicon
Anthony Johnston: getting ready for San Diego. here comes the madness
D Curtis Johnson: Brother in law says he’s already “seen some silver people” in San Diego this weekend. Like Christmas, Con moves earlier every year
CB Cebulski: Just starting my last script due before San Diego. Sleep deprivation, here I come
Graeme McMillan: My first SDCC anxiety dream: Jeff Lester, Douglas Wolk and I get locked out our hotel rooms and have to sleep under longboxes
Ben Templesmith: Just had my haircut for SDCC. Small children will now run from me, screaming
Lea Hernandez: I have reached San Diego zen. I have jacket, my hair will pass, I have enough dosh to eat, I can wave CBT under noses to find more work.
Ben Templesmith: Twitter will be doing maintenance during the busiest time of the busiest day of SDCC? Well how wonderful!
Remember chaps, San Diego Dreaming 2! Email email@example.com, AOL IM to TwistRich, Twitter to XGirlA, Text message to +447801350982
And it’s first unofficial outing here!
Stop by Booth 2307 for more, or their blog here.
Inside, browsing the racks, making sure your books are as prominent as they can be (which doesn’t take much, you own those Top Ten shelves!), you feel a tap on your shoulder from a young staff member.
You smile, assuming she’s recognised you and wants you to sign some of your comics currently weighing down their shelves. Instead she informs you of the store’s no-food policy and you are escorted from the premises.
Almost as surprising as the unannounced one-in-ten variant cover on “Broken Trinity” #1 shipping this week.
Better watch it though. I understand Tony Daniel got in trouble with DC for posting something even less innocuous on his blog…
THE WIZARD’S STAFF
I’m told that Joe Yanarella is pushing out all of the old conventions department people and replacing them with people from the Wizard and ToyFare Magazine editorial departments, as they feel that the solution to their convention problems lies in making the vibe at conventions more like the vibe in the magazines.
Casual sexism, toilet humour and emphasis on price guides?
It’s a longstanding tradition at Wizard to fire someone and then promote someone else the next day in order to balance out the company morale and external spin. So as soon as longtermer Phil Colligan was fired after fifteen years, Tom Conboy was promoted to a position, the job description of which was what he’d been doing at Wizard for years anyway.
Such an obvious idea. The good ones usually are.
Chaired by journalist Rachel Cooke, this coincides with the new publication of the masterpieces “Tale Of One Bad Rat” and “Gentlemen Jim” from publisher Jonathan Cape. Who sent me copies of both. Cheers!
The executive from the Coca-Cola Company, Michael Stopford, has spent two years guarding Coca-Cola’s image and will join NATO as deputy assistant secretary general for strategic communication services in August. Mr. Stopford, a British-born American, is a specialist in managing reputations.
ODDS AND SODS
Hart D Fischer wants full length horror films to distribute internationally. Have you made one? He wants it. Contact him here.
The San Diego Diet – eat a massive breakfast (take advantage of hotel buffets here) and then skip lunch. Walk the show with all your comics and trades to get signed. Take large bottles of water (and aerosol). You will lose 3-4 kg over the show.
The San Diego Time Shift – if you’re British, the West Coast can kill you if you try to acclimatise to the local timezone. So don’t. Go to bed at 4pm (midnight UK time), wake at 11pm (7am UK time) and hit the bars and late night parties for breakfast, all bright eyed and bushy tailed. Be the hardest drinker in San Diego, stay latest at the parties, impress the bloggers. Maybe have a little sleepy at around 6am (2pm UK time) then hit the con and get back to the hotel for bed at 4pm. No jet lag, you’re the star of con, and you miss out on those interminable dinners.
The San Diego Absence – go without going. Get everyone’s phone numbers and text them all to meet up at various places, then never be there. Read CBR intensively and pretend you were on their boat. Send lots of texts asking “where RU? I’m by the Klingons.” Send proposals to editors saying “I met you in the bar and you were very keen I send you this…” They’ll believe you. Congrats, you’ve saved yourself thousands!
In FC will the New Gods becoming humans end with Grant Morrison assuming the role of Metron, being pushed around in a wheelie chair by DiDio?
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And my Wii number is 0512 2690 8446 2879. Anyone for a game of Mario Kart?
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on AOL Instant Messenger as TwistRich.
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