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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 thirteen long glorious and quite scary years.

All stories are sourced from well-connected individuals and checked with respective publisher representatives before publication. Mostly. The veracity of each story is judged by me and given a spotlight – Green is the most reliable, Amber means there’s likely an interest involved or the likelihood isn’t set and Red means even I can’t quite bring myself to believe it.

Lying In The Gutters is for your entertainment. Neither Fair Nor Balanced.

Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve. Who is Christmas Eve? Well, clearly this little girl.


[Yellow Light]

Following Marvel’s Creative Retreat, LiTG has learned that at least one of Marvel’s top 20 books is being cancelled not due to sales — but to Skrulls.


[Green Light]

I understand that Matt Fraction will be working on an X-book in the near future. The already-announced “Young X-Men” has been touted as a possibility.

Fraction writing X-books, Antony Johnston writing “Wolverine.” We’ll have The V’s Nick Locking writing “Cable” next. Or a comic named after Anna.


[Green Light]

“Anna Mercury” is a new five-issue colour mini-series by Warren Ellis for Avatar.

Cover artist, Paul Duffield.

It comes with the following text:

“Dancing amid the spires of a city called New Ataraxia, there is a woman who can cloud men’s minds, leap across buildings as if weightless, unerringly fire twin automatic pistols in the most insane conditions, and disappear in a crowded room. She fights against the political repression of an insane technocratic society, and she comes from a place that no-one in New Ataraxia has ever heard of. And she’s got one hour to save the city from itself.

“A high-octane blend of The Shadow, Tomb Raider, retropunk science fiction and 21st century Weird Pulp Action, ANNA MERCURY is a headlong adventure serial about a beautiful and mysterious spy-adventurer who is not what she seems….”

One of these days, mysterious comic characters will be exactly what they seem.


[Yellow Light]

From the USA TV Guide, over the “Veronica Mars” comics, Rob Thomas speaks. “I had a second meeting with DC comics. I heard that the [WGA] didn’t want [TV writers penning TV-based] comic books during the strike as it would promote a network property. We’re investigating whether there are similar hurdles for a defunct TV series like Veronica Mars. Naturally, I won’t be writing it if the Guild doesn’t want me to, but we’re hoping that’s not the case.”

Of course, Joss Whedon and Brian K. Vaughan wrote their “Buffy” work before the strike.


[Yellow Light]

One Wizard employee when asked if they’d read LITG this week said they all had, but that I’d only scratched the surface. Ever the way, it’s the nature of gossip and rumour columns to just get crumbs from the table. So let’s sweep the floor a little.

So, apart from the $200,000 shortfall, what else may have led to Wizard’s recent employee departure?

I’m told that the move coincided with Gareb Shamus’ attempts to inject more capital into his mixed martial arts fighting league (IFL). Of course he has since resigned.

And because they have to make money somehow, look at the markup on their Amazon store for Baby and toddler toys. Ouch. Quite a mark up for the festive season there.

My favourite part of all the stories running around is that they’ve fired anyone who can change the signature file on their PR account with NewsReleaseWire. Right now, anyone who wants more info has to contact Mel Caylo. That’s ex-Editorial Director, Mel Caylo. Oops.

Remember folks, the only worse thing than being talked about, is to be caught by your parents having sex with a hyena.


[Green Light]

Apart from this new quite excellent Doctor Who short story illustrated by Mike Collins, Paul Cornell has a mystery Marvel project he’s starting to push.

I hear tell that Tony Lee is doing a “Doctor Who” series for IDW in 2008. Contacting him, Tony says “All I can say is that it’s a six parter called ‘Doctor Who: The Forgotten, it’s a Tenth Doctor and Martha tale, and it involves more than one Doctor. And that sound right there? That is the sound of a thousand Doctor Who fans looking up in shock.”

And “2000AD” co-creator Pat Mills has a new audio “Doctor Who” episode, out in January. Worth a link.

But Jason Liebig, what are you up to?


[Green Light]

A look at some “Starship Troopers” artwork from Paul Green, from Cy Dethan’s new series, “Bad Blood” from Markosia.

Markosia publish “The Flying Friar” Color Edition. Which seems to have sold out everywhere – though Markosia do still have copies. A number of West Coast retailers seem to have been shorted their entire order, so don’t be hard on them, and Diamond are sorting out the problem by ordering more copies. Hooray!


[Green Light]

Brian Pulido wrote the following on the Lady Death Universe message board.

“As of products shipping in March 2008, due to a change in policy, Diamond Comics Distributors will no longer consistently carry LD prints and limited run collectible comics.

“We are not being singled out. This is an overall change in their policy toward these type of products and variant covers offered by independent publishers.”

Let’s look what fallout that brings in the New Year.


[Green Light]

Bryan Talbot and Mark Stafford’s new project for Desperado, “Cherubs,” looks sensational. Here are a few pages.

Bryan Talbot’s “Naked Artist” and “Bryan Talbot Art Book” made for fascinating reading this week when I finally got round to them. Dave Sim is less than pleased though


[Green Light]

Steve Niles and Ashley Wood have a new series starting with IDW next year called “The Mysterie Society.”

Niles has had a huge boost as the IDW graphic novel adaptation of the book “I Am Legend” has been screaming out of shops thanks to the Will Smith movie – though the comic is pretty much word-for-word from the novel. And the movie really isn’t.


[Green Light]

A few spare IDW files floating around. Looks like we can get some ideas of IDW’s future plans. Mike Avon Oeming on “Badger”…

Jennifer Love Hewitt’s incredible shrinking waist…

War in Bete Noire…

DC Fontana’s Star Trek issue cover…

… and Hot Mummy Action!


[Green Light]

How busy is B Clay Moore for 2008? “JSA Classified,” “Superman Confidential,” creator-owned Wildstorm book, a Tony Harris co-creator book and both “’76” and “Hawaiian Dick” continue for Image.

The JSA arc with Ramon Perez is all about redefining Wildcat for the future of “Final Crisis.”


[Green Light]

Neal Adams famously drew the Superman/Muhammad Ali fight comic.

And now his son, Josh Adams, is working on a webcomic biography of Ali for Feb/March.


[Green Light]

The Hero Initiative is reviving FOOG (Friends Of Ol’ Gerber) for 2008 as FOOG, TOO! To help “Howard The Duck” and “Omega The Unknown” creator Steve Gerber with his recovery from lung transplant surgery. He is now officially in the lung transplant list. More at his blog.