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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 24

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 sources and checked with respective publisher representatives before publication. 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.

FAT ADAM’S GRAND SLAM

[Green Light]

I understand my current publisher, Speakeasy Comics, has been sold to an as-yet unnamed entertainment company for big cash.

I’ve made no bones about my admiration for Adam Fortier. Setting up the Transformers comics deal, Devil’s Due, Udon and many more, he makes creative business opportunities that spring up from the ground before moving on to do it again. And he’s staying as CEO of the company, which I presume was part of the deal. Adam is Speakeasy after all.

Speakeasy Comics was especially clever in my mind. Setting up an Image style publisher with less overhead, where fully creator-owned books are published at the creator’s risk rather than the publisher’s is a clever way to avoid the ptifalls that so many have fallen into – and ensure the ongoing survival and success of the company. Creators and studios may come and go, but there will always be a queue and the company is guaranteed not to end up in the financial straits that so many of Fortier’s peers have found themselves in.

Looks like I wasn’t the only one watching his operation with an envious and admiring eye.

The new money will allow Speakeasy to expand into licensed properties, merchandising and provide opportunity for big name creators – guaranteed success bringers – but who won’t work purely for post-publication payment.

I just hope whoever it is still likes “The Flying Friar.”

HAWKGENDER

[Green Light]

What, you want more After-The-One-Year-Gap revelations? I’ve given you Batman and Flash… how about Hawkman? Well, it appears, “Hawkman” is no more. The title will be renamed… “Hawkgirl.”

Remember the Superman “musical chairs” mentioned a few months ago? It’s happening. Collectors, start your screaming now… “Action Comics” remains the same. “Superman” is getting cancelled. “Adventures Of Superman” is then being renamed “Superman,” keeping the AoS numbering. I think. While “Superman Confidential” starts afresh from issue 1.

And two Batbooks are getting cancelled outright. Time will tell which ones.

Remember, we are also still waiting for official confirmation on LITG-mentioned-first, “Shadowpact,” “Blue Beetle,” “OMAC,” “Batman Confidential,” “Superman Confidential,” “Wonder Woman” restarting, “Batwoman” (no, not with Gail Simone), “Brave And The Bold,” “Atom,” “Freedom Fighters,” “Checkmate,” “Creeper,” “Shazam,” “Ion,” “Martian Manhunter,” “Spectre,” “Secret Six,” “Herculoids” and “Terra”… going to be an even busier year for DC than some are expecting.

JASON VERSUS JASON

[Green Light]

Avatar are publishing a Jason Vs Jason comic, featuring the character from “Friday the 13th” facing off against the character from “Jason X” – the far future self.

Two issues, written and drawn by Mike Wolfer (“Strange Killings”), starting in February.

ADAMS WHINE

[Green Light]

LITG reported a few months ago that DC, specifically through the actions of Paul Levitz, had agreed to pay certain individuals for the use of company-owned work that had inspired “Batman Begins.”

Neal Adams was so chuffed, he even got someone to take a photo of it.

However, Neal took this opportunity to launch an attack on Marvel’s history in this regard.

DARKER TOWER

[Green Light]

Last week’s big news, or September the 26th’s big news for regular LITG readers) has been Stephen King writing “Dark Tower” stories for Marvel Comics with Jae Lee on art and Robin Furth on some nebulous role that might be John Cleese/”True Brit” Neil Gaiman/”Lady Justice,” but then might not.

Of course it may not have been the first time…

A year ago, Kurt Belcher contacted Marsho DeFilippo, one of Stephen King’s assistants about the possibility of adapting “Dark Tower” as a series of comic books. He was invited by DeFilippo to submit a proposal. This, with Philipp Neundorf, Brad Mrock, Carlos Mendez Dumestre, Jeff Cram, Eric Mrock and Bob Cram, he proceeded to do.

They detail the extensive proposal they submitted here.

They did not receive a reply.

NEXTPICS

[Green Light]

Pencils from Stuart Immomen for “NextWave” written by Warren Ellis.

The Headphone Of Dirk Anger:

Ellie Bloodstone plays the old-time Rock And Roll:

WALK ON THE WILDSIDERZ

[Green Light]

J Scott Campbell has earned a reputation for kicking up huge sales – but also being tragically late. And sometimes the latter has cost the former.

So when Campell was promoting his new series from Wildstorm. “WildSiderZ”, he made it clear that he had multiple issues finished, had never been so far ahead on the book, and delays weren’t going to be an issue. Indeed he seemed quite upset by the allegation that the books might not come out on time.

The zero issue with an 8 page “trailer” came out in June, the first issue came out in August. By June, he posted that he was working on issue 2 and 3.

However, they have yet to be published and his Diamond Distribution schedule has started to slip…

Campbell used to be a very regular contributor to his messageboard, but the last time he posted was on August the 8th, just after the debut of issue one. Saying he had a lot on his plate, he promised “I’ll try and post some more again real soon.”

Then nothing. However, he kept checking in – and last logged on, at time of writing, on October the 2nd.

And now preview information for “WildsiderZ” #3 has been removed from the Wildstorm site.

The crowds called for Jeff to speak. Or rather, an email did. And he replied.

Jeff tells me, “The truth is, I did have multiple issues done when I made that statement on my message board. At the time I had both the 24 page issue #0 and the oversized 32 page issue #1 in the can. I know some people like to dismiss issue #0 as only being an 8 page trailer, but that book had 22 pages of new artwork created especially for that issue, so it’s unfair to write it off just because those other pages didn’t have ‘word balloons.’ And the ‘trailer’ itself was all new artwork too, created just for that issue, meaning: those panels won’t appear again in the series. At the time there was also a substantial amount of work started on both issues #2 (laid out in detail at the time) and #3 (in the form of break downs). And yes, believe it or not, that was the furthest ahead I’ve ever been on a series. So what I said there was true.

“You know, I’ll admit it, project scheduling continues to be a real albatross for me. And now with #2 late, I’m late on #3. sigh. This is just a very ambitious project, probably even more then I could have ever predicted! It’s been a lot of work! I hate it when I miss a ship date, it’s just about the worst feeling in the world. But even worse for me is to have a substandard book on the shelves. I really just want these books to be as good as I can make them every time out. Once that trade paperback comes out, that’s the way it will be from then on and I really can’t stand the idea of having something out there that I’m not proud of. I apologize to my fans, I hope they think it’s worth the wait.

“In regards to my message board, I was attempting to regularly contribute earlier in the year. I would also post often on many other comic book related message boards. I did it because I enjoyed interacting with fans and I was also attempting to get the word out about my newest project and to hopefully generate some ‘buzz,’ if you will. I’m not sure if all of that effort made much of a difference in sales, but I do know that all of that accumulated time spent online did end up noticeably cutting into my workload, so I’ve had to cut back on it quite a bit, in fact, just about all together! It’s tough, because these days, it’s become a real expectation for creators to have a regular online presence in addition to everything else. But it does take a lot of time and effort to have one, and when you’re already working seven days a week and evenings just to keep your head above water, well, the online stuff is the first thing to go! I hope my fans will understand.”

Jeff, you should have seen the emails when I took my six-week break. Betrayed they were, betrayed. Hey! Jeff! What are you doing reading this? Hmm??? Back to the drawing board with you!

BACK AT THE HOUSE

[Green Light]

Rob Liefeld’s recent work on “Teen Titans” with Gail Simone was initially seen as a first foot in the door at DC and a chance for Liefeld to expand certain DC properties in ways that he has been successful with in the past. Indeed it appears he had a number of projects in the pipeline there.

But this week, something changed and Liefeld was suddenly off any Titans project and DC as a whole. “It was definitely fun while it lasted.”

And now it looks like Marvel have got their bad boy back again. Something Mark Millar has been trying to sort out for quite a while…

More message board hilarity here.

ROBBIE AND MORRISON

[Green Light]

Robbie Williams’ “Intensive Care” album came out last week. In like a rocket at No 1.

Here are some of the Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely designs from inside…

SOMETHING TO DO WITH NU DREAMWAVE

[Green Light]

Something to do with Nu Dreamwave. Apparently.

FLOWERY TWATS

[Green Light]

Capalert is the bizarre end of fundamental Christianity’s movie review service. While my favourite review of theirs is still “ET, The Extra Terrestrial,” which includes the line “I am not going to get into a debate about the evilness of levitation,” the current review for my favourite film this year, “Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were Rabbit” features the comment:

Sexual Immorality:

* male character with a flowery purse.

Wonderful. Here’s Eve looking for that flowery purse now.

SMALL PRINT

Discuss this column at the Lying In The Gutters Forum.

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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