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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 90

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.

DOWN THE WIRE

[Green Light]

Rafael Alvarez, writer on my favourite TV show ever, “The Wire,” has turned in a pilot script for an adaptation of Warren Ellis’ Top Cow comic “Down” for NBC. However, I understand that the project is currently on hold.

Ellis declined to comment when approached.

Fingers crossed.

Interestingly, both Alvarez and Ellis had work published in the classic anthology “Negative Burn.”

SUMMER LOVING

[Green Light]

From my inbox this weekend. I have no idea what this is, aside from a new comic from Avatar by Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp.

I don’t know about you, but I get the feeling it might be a tad political.

And while we’re doing Ellis Avatar covers, here’s the cover to his new Apparat graphic novella “Crécy,” painted by Felipe Massafera.

I get the feeling it might be a tad religious.

IN SYNCH

[Yellow Light]

I’m told one of the creators Bendis and Mack will be working with on their top secret Daredevil project is Bill Sienkiewicz. Bill last worked with Bendis on “Ultimate Marvel Team Up,” I believe.

SUPERWILD

[Green Light]

Wildstorm are to publish a comic book adaptation of the “Supernatural” TV series, written by one of its exec producers, Peter Johnson. Series creator Eric Kripe and Senior Exec Producer Robert Singer are also involved in its production. Called “Supernatural Origins” and tells the story of how supporting-character-and-mysterious-father-of-the-two-leads, John Winchester, became a demon hunter.

Well, they couldn’t have a comic book starring ‘the boys’ could they? Only leads to trouble.

AWESOME FIGHT

[Yellow Light]

Earlier this week, apropos of nothing, Rob Liefeld announced on his forum that he wants to buy back rights to multi-media usage of the Awesome library from Platinum, although he states he owns all comic book usage of the characters.

“For quite some time, my partners and I have had different visions for the respective future directions of the characters from the Extreme/Awesome catalogue. Recently, I have offered to initiate a complete buy out of the entire catalogue based on the contractual price outlined in our agreement that would return total control of the characters to me. As this entire process plays out there is the possibility of multiple legal challenges from all sides that would in essence freeze the catalogue in it’s entirety for at the very least a few years.

“So as all of you have been the lifeblood of these creations over the years I thought you should be given at least a head’s up as to what is going on behind the scenes that could halt everything currently in the works as well as future projects.

“I’m aware that this is just business as I attempt to buy back my catalogue. It will run whatever course necessary as I, the author and creator of the catalogue seeks to regain complete control of my creations which remain dear to me.

“To date, no lawsuits have been filed but there has been plenty of posturing as different positions are communicated.

“Hopefully, in the end, the buy out will go as planned and everything will jump into overdrive.”

All well and good. However, this week I also became aware that Platinum, named above as Rob’s “partners,” are producing an “Awesome” comic book, featuring the Awesome characters in a series of four page stories, being published purely for copyright and trademark reasons.

It transpires that Platinum is working with Arclight on a number of films, a slate that included “Youngblood.” On learning of the details, I understand Liefeld approached Arclight stating that the property wasn’t well represented and, after Arclight backed away, requested that he exercise a buyback option in his contract with Platinum. This was refused and the detail disputed, which has led to Platinum’s decision to publish Awesome characters in comics form to make their own legal claim.

I understand the situation is currently with the lawyers.

MORE LEES, GROMMIT?

[Green Light]

Tony Lee is the new writer for the “Wallace & Gromit” comic strip in “Titan” magazine.

SWIPE FILE

[Red Light]

ULTIMATE CIVIL WAR SPIDER-HAM (FEATURING WOLVERHAM)

A parody of current industry practices and the Civil War crossover with a bunch of redesigned Marvel characters, using a host of different artists with an almost non existent top and tail (as it were) narrative structure to feature splash page gags.

CIVIL WARDROBE

Umm….

Incidentally, the shipping title of the more recent book was “ULTIMATE CIVIL WAR SPIDER-HAM CRISIS #1” and recently was referred to as ‘Frisis’ in the solicits text. Did a lawyer get a bit nervous about the end bit?

BITS AND PIECES

[Green Light]

Anyone who wants to meet up at New York Comic Con, feel free to email me. But also take note of my mobile/cell number below – text me at any point during the con if you need me for anything.

Someone has bought Roy Of The Rovers for a measily £150. For what is arguably one of Britain’s most famous comic book characters, admittedly only within its own shores. Hasn’t been published for a while, but still.

That’s basically the equivalent of someone buying Flash Gordon for $300. Remarkable.

Paul Gravett and David Lloyd present a Graphic Novels Event at Streatham library on next Saturday. Paul is also interviewing Joann Sfar and JD Waldman as part of Jewish Book Week. And Paul’s ComICA events for 2007 start to ratchet up as on Sunday March 11th at 4pm he interviews Aline Kominsky Crumb for the UK launch of “NEED MORE LOVE”, alongside a screening of the 1987 BBC Arena documentary, “The Confessions of Robert Crumb.”

For your diaries, 5th April sees a Bryan Talbot signing at Gosh! Comics in London of his “Alice In Sunderland” graphic novel, released that day. Afterwards there’s a presentation and talk about the book at the Cartoon Museum, with limited ticketing at £5 available from Gosh.

From the Amazon solicitation of “Essential Golden Age Marvel Comics,” “Watch for one of the stars of J. Michael Straczynski’s upcoming Golden Age project!”

“Who cares about windows” – Rob Liefeld, quoted by Alan Moore.

The Steve Geppi Museum reviewed… and it’s painful.

Panini has been running a rather interesting Marvel UK operation of late. As well as publishing softcover versions of books only available in hardcover in the US, they have been collecting one or two oddities that won’t see press in the US at all.

These include a collection of the never-reprinted early Claremont/Trimpe “Captain Britain,” with volume two on the way, and my own favourite , the original “Death’s Head,” by Simon Furman, Geoff Senior and, ta daaaa, Bryan Hitch. All we need now is “Dragon’s Claws” and the original “Knights Of Pendragon” and I’ll be happy.

“Wolverine” #50 – Where exactly did Silver Fox get her bra from?

SMALL PRINT

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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