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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 94

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 twelve 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.

SHOCK HORROR

[Green Light]

Flying back from NYC last week, and claiming for my lost luggage, I had to fill in a form with UK Customs declaring that there were no guns, explosives, drugs, meat products and…

…no horror comics.

No horror comics? What is this, the 1950s? UK Customs are seriously asking me to declare whether of not there were horror comics in my luggage – and indicating this was a serious issue of contraband?

I ticked “no.” “Civil War” #7 doesn’t count, does it?

No, sorry, sorry, I’m the guy who liked “Civil War.” At least we now know that, yes, “A” does stand for America.

Since I got back from NYCC, I think I’ve put more things on eBay this week than ever before. Currently standing at around 120 books, comics, graphic novels and the like. Any more and I have to start listing chairs and curtains…

PUTTING THE FUND BACK INTO FUNDAMENTALISM

[Green Light]

Fantagraphics have launched their Defense Fund for their upcoming legal battle with Harlan Ellison, and are soliciting support in the form of increased orders, donations and auctions.

I am donating to the auction, one “Get Out of Jail Free” card for Lying In The Gutters. The highest bidder will have the right to request LITG pull one story at a time of their choosing, either before or after publication, without argument.

Denying free speech to raise money to defend free speech. It has a certain… beauty about it.

X-MEN RETURNS

[Yellow Light]

Bryan Singer’s “Ultimate X-Men” arc is back on, in conjunction with Marc Andreyko. Look for an announcement soon.

DIXON OF COCK GREEN

[Green Light]

One page from the “Midnighter/Grifter” comic by Chuck Dixon on display at NYCC has Apollo and Midnighter having a tiff.

The dialogue reads, if you need to see past my poor photography:

MIDNIGHTER: Maybe it’s not all right with me

APOLLO: Midnighter, what are you talking about?

MIDNIGHTER: They took me because I was the weakest one of us

(Midnighter puts his fists up to Apollo’s puffy face)

MIDNIGHTER: And my big hearted lover comes to rescue me.

APOLLO: It’s not like that.

MIDNIGHTER: You’re (expletive deleted) right it isn’t.

MINIGHTER: I’m not the convenient hostage here.

MIDNIGHTER: I’m not the little wife.

MIDNIGHTER: And you know that better than anyone.

(Midnighter walks off in a strop)

Chuck Dixon’s work on this title has been of interest to the chattering classes, based on previous statements of his that, “I don’t want to expect to be able to shield my kids from the subject of homosexuality as the media seems intent on bringing into my home and nothing short of cutting the electricity and boarding the windows will stop it. But I DON’T want my kids reading about it in comics. I don’t want Judd Winnick or Grant Morrison or the nimrod who wrote this ‘Rawhide Kid’ comic informing my kids about the many facets and lifestyle choices out there in the world. I’d like to be the one to talk to them about it when they’re older and I feel the time is right. I especially object to them using characters familiar to my kids to present this worldview. Could you please leave the Beast and Green Lantern alone?”.

Midnighter is an out gay character married to Apollo. An analogue of Batman, he was created by Warren Ellis in the all ages title “Stormwatch,” before graduating to “Authority.” And Grifter, not seen in this segment, was created by Jim Lee in the multi-million selling “WildCATS#1” from Image, and certainly a familiar character in comics as a result. Some people will see this comic portraying a perversion in an all ages superhero story, as Dixon once stated, “reading about it in comics.” Some will see this as a creator working outside of his comfort zone, always useful creative activity and a place where interesting things can happen.

Others however will wonder why Apollo doesn’t add “Ooh, handbag!” in the last panel as Midnighter throws a tantrum.

MY CHILDHOOD NOSTALGIC ENTERTAINMENT FORCED UPON YOUR UNBLINKING EYES WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.

[Green Light]

Andy Lanning and John Carnell’s “Sleeze Brothers” are coming back. Originally published by Epic and Marvel UK, this “Blues Brothers’ Guide To The Galaxy” is one of my most loved comic book series of all time. I also hear there’s an animated version in the works, to boot.

FANTASTIC JESSICA

[Green Light]

A production decision in “Fantastic Four 2” to increase Jessica Alba’s prominence as The Invisible Woman, led to the entire script being rewritten. Look for her to take a key role in most scenes – mostly at the expense of Michael Chiklis’ Thing.

ABANDONED WARREN

[Green Light]

Thank you JoBlo! The remains of a “Kill Bill” comic book from Adam Warren that never happened

And… “The Matrix!”

DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO NIGGARDLY ABOUT THE CHOICE OF NAME?

[Green Light]

What do you call an African-American Secretary Of Defence in the Marvel Universe?

Apparently, you call him Jack Kooning.

FUNDING NEMO

[Green Light]

Did you order the “Little Nemo In Slumberland” volume using the online Previews at $14.95? It’s actually $49.95. Just in case…

OLD DOG. NEW TRICKS.

[Yellow Light]

There’s an unprecedented new “Dylan Dog” series on the way. Look for the first volume in August, with multiple 32 page stories in colour…

I’M THO THOR I CAN HARDLY THIT

[Green Light]

Professional Alan Moore interviewer, stand up comedian and writer/director of “Jerry Springer The Opera,” Stewart Lee has written a script for a BBC2 sitcom plot being made about Thor. Not the Marvel Thor obviously, but considering Stewart Lee has at one point performed a stand up act around Peter David’s run on “Incredible Hulk,” expect a nod or two in that direction. Thor will be played by comedian Tony Law.

LONG WAY HOME

[Green Light]

The Mazzuchelli graphic novel I mentioned last week? David described it thus: “Oh, it’s your typical story. A man trying to return home. Having adventures along the way.” Quite an Odyssey, then.

MIGHTY ME

[Green Light]

I’d like to officially announce that I am now not attending Rick Olney’s Mighty Mini Con.

I never was attending it, never been asked, never been announced. I just wanted to jump on the bandwagon.

I understand that Rick’s sense of humour may have taken a turn for the worse. He’s currently advertising a “CBR UNSCREWED” shot glass with every weekend pass. CBR tells me they have no participation in this convention and wish to have none – it’s probably a reference to this thread on the CBR forums. Also, “Unscrewed” is the title of this anthology, seeking to recoup money owed to creators by Rick Olney.

Almost as if Rick is trying to get hits for anyone who Googles those terms and his name in conjunction.

CRUMB BULL

[Green Light]

Sunday, March 11th, Aline Kominsky Crumb will be talking about her graphic memoir “Need More Love” with Melinda Gebbie, co-creator of “Lost Girls,” at the ICA 4pm, followed by a screening of the classic 1987 BBC Arena documentary “The Confessions of Robert Crumb.” Tickets are here as part of Paul Gravett’s ComICA events. Paul will also profile Aline in the Independent On Sunday newspaper on the same day.

BITS AND PIECES

Two new RichAndMark.com films, Piccadilly Pinball and Find The Lady are ready and waiting for you all.

Mike Oeming goes drinking with Craig McGill in Glasgow.

Film Ick has this year’s Comic Relief lineup and a diatribe against the R1 DVD release of “Tideland.”

Hot Fuzz’s Adam Buxton tries to “Help The Police”

SMALL PRINT

Check whatever I’m selling on eBay, discuss this column at the Lying In The Gutters Forum and add your request to what you want from future columns.

Visit my MySpace or my ComicSpace as I discuss next week’s column through the week. Maybe.

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.

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