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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 20

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.

NEVER SAW THIS HAPPEN WITH NEW AVENGERS.

[Green Light]

Last week, Lying In The Gutters reported on the release of the name of the new “Asterix” volume “The Falling Sky” in Brussels. But it didn’t stop there. Two planes from the national company SN Brussels Airlines decorated with Asterix and Obelix in celebration, collector stamps and coins were released, a massive show entitled “Le Monde d’Asterix,” a new painted wall with the Gaul tribe and last, but not least, a life size replica of the village was installed in the centre of the Grand Place, with a real menhir and with the famous Manneken Pis statue dressed as Obelix for a day. All this and French creator Uderzo being welcomed by the city’s officials like he was a president. Quite a day for a little comic book.

Those wacky Belgians!

Fixed link from last week – UK version.

MARVEL NEXT IN TROUBLE?

[Yellow Light]

Amongst the recent sales estimates of comic books, there’s one line that seems to be suffering the Tsunami-style brunt – that of the “Marvel Next” books. “Amazing Fantasy” crashed from 24000 for issue 6, the last with Arana, to 12.7k on 11, the second to last Scorpion issue. “Machine Teen” crashed from 16k to 6k in four issues. “Spellbinders” and “Livewires” have had similar patterns. And the expectations of trades, even in digest sizes, are not stellar. Almost like those titles Bill Jemas used to hype up, that would then fall flat on their mainstream faces after a few issues.

Shame, because there was some nice stuff in there. But I understand from people close to the company, that Marvel will soon be saying “Next!”

S THEY ARE A CHANGING

[Green Light]

From the Newsarama first six pages preview of “All Star Superman,” from last week, and the Wizard preview of the same six pages last month:


Has Frank Quitely been on-messaged?

Scan by Gerry Turnbull.

FURMAN IN DISGUISE

[Green Light]

Now it’s time for Simon Furman, British creator and much acclaimed for his work on the “Transformers” comic, to speak out against DreamWave-now-Dream Engine owner, Pat Lee.

“I think what annoys me most is that one month or less before it all crashed and burned I was sitting with Pat Lee in a restaurant in Tulsa and he was waxing lyrical and hyper-enthusiastic about the stuff we were doing and all the things he had in mind to do, and I was going back to my hotel room and basically continuing to crank out stuff for them (as the editorial pedal was firmly to the metal at that point, and a business trip to the US meant taking my laptop with me and working every step of the way), and all the time, he must have known it was the end, that it was over. It makes me angry (when I let it) to think just how far he let me (and a whole host of other freelancers) run (in the process running up more and more debt) before finally, grudgingly it seems, admitting what must have been inevitable months before. If Pat had been some faceless bureaucrat it maybe wouldn’t now seem such an acute betrayal, but he looked me square in the eye and said everything’s hunky-dory. That’s what still, even now, burns.”

GAIL SIMONE – HUMANITARIAN

[Green Light]

What do you do if you’re a fan of Gail Simone’s comics, but have had to evacuate your home due to a hurricane?

Justin Davis knows.

“In a thread with preview pages for ‘Birds of Prey’ #86, I made some comment about how I didn’t know when I’d get to pick it or any other comics up since I’m displaced because of Hurricane Katrina. Gail quickly asked for the address where I’m currently staying so she could send me some comics. Needless to say, I was taken aback because I didn’t honestly expect my admitted pity party to garner much more than an, ‘Aw, man, that’s too bad’ kind of a response. After giving her my address, she then asked me if I wanted any of them signed. Again, that’s just unexpected coolness on her part. I was never able to get back to her on the specific comics I missed like she asked because I was busy trekking all over the place down here checking on my current job, figuring out living arrangements, and looking for a new job and living arrangement at the same time.

“Late yesterday afternoon, Kristina came in with a package from Gail. It had the last two issues of ‘Action,’ the last two issues of ‘Villains United,’ the last three issues of ‘Birds of Prey,’ and the trade of ‘Killer Princesses.’ All of the books are signed. Thanks tons, Gail. Not only missed comics that I really wanted to read, but you helped create a nice sense of normalcy among the strangeness and chaos.”

ATKINSON DIET

[Green Light]

And today’s media ignoramus award goes to… Michael Atkinson of the Village Voice.

By criticizing the medium of comics, and specifically those translated into films, whilst making the same old genre/medium mistakes, as a way to segue into a negative review of “Mirrormask,” a movie not based on a comic book in any way whatsoever.

Show your appreciation.

BOB AND STEPHANIE SHOW

[Green Light]

Looks like Bob Wayne and Stephanie Fierman are attending Brighton’s Comic Expo in November. I wonder if I can draft them into the Live-Ing In The Gutters panel?

TRANS FORMER

[Green Light]

There was to have been a third “Transformers/GI Joe” crossover, from Devil’s Due. But it’s been bogged down with politics and currently resides in publisher limbo. Shame, it would have been illustrated by Don Allen Figuero. But his Devil’s Due contract expired by the time Hasbro approved the crossover, and is now ensconced on “Beast Wars” for IDW.

Send your letters to the usual addresses.

FLYING THE FLAG

[Green Light]

Thanks so much for the response to last week’s “Flying Friar” offer. It’s been so well received that I’m extending it one more week.

Order “Flying Friar” (page 317, of the new Previews, with a snazzy ad a few pages later) from your comic shop, email lyinginthegutters@gmail.com to tell me that’s what you’ve done and from which store, and if it’s not up to your exacting standards, then post it to me the week it’s published and I’ll send you your money back. Make the order and email me before next week’s column.

Of course that’s not the only project I’m plugging this week. The second volume of the Heavy-Metal-styled “Event Horizon” from Mam Tor Press comes out next month, debuting at Brighton.

Here’s a couple of pages from the second installment of “Chase Variant” by myself and uber-talented artist Bagwell. He’s mine, you can’t have him, hands off.

Get a preview of “Event Horizon” 2 here and of the full Dave Kendall and Brian Holguin’s “Sea & Thunder.”

BOLTED

[Green Light]

Tom Scioli, artist wowing them on “Godland” and “Myth Of 8 Opus,” pitched a “Black Bolt” limited series with writer John R Fultz a short while ago.

Still sitting in a Marvel drawer, the story involves a rogue Celestial abducting Black Bolt from his home in the Inhuman city of Attilan, dragging him across the universe to serve as a reluctant messiah for a dying planet doomed by endless wars. The story builds to a suitably cosmic climax that eventually sees the full, awesome might of Black Bolt’s power unleashed…

Here are a few pages, seen here for the first time. Kirby-tastic.

PUNK GIRL

[Green Light]

Lea Hernandez is to create a third in her Texas Steampunk series, following “Cathedral” and “Clockwork Angel.” Entitled “Ironclad Petal,” it’s about “a strange girl who’s building an automaton friend who will understand her, and a robot to hide herself from the world. But will she be thwarted by Thomas Edison’s hunger for the perfect mechanical woman?”

She also has a new “Rumble Girls” series, “Runaway Lightning Ohmry,” starting in late October on WebComicsNation.com. “Rumble Girl Pink is sent to Idyll, partnered with a Tanuki named Pry, and trying to find a wayward fortune teller named Ohmry. Pink is rudderless and looking for something worth fighting for. Will it be Ohmry, or something bigger?”

And to make space for all this work, she has turned the editorial responsibility of GirlAMatic.com to her editorial right hand Lisa Jonte.

NEWSADRAMA

[Yellow Light]

Diamond have been using the Newsarama article on Diamond’s new benchmark and cutoff policy as a promotional article for small press publishers at shows, and has been handing out printed copies.

At the time I took issue with certain aspects of the article, seeing them as a way for Diamond to say “nothing has really changed”– when there was clearly a significant change in policy alongside an increase in profitability demanded. As a result of my expressed concerns, specifically that of bad maths being used to prop up such a proposition (say that fifty times fast) the article was amended.

However, it was the non-amended article that certain publishers and creators report being handed out by Diamond…

GROO THE WANDERING MIND

[Green Light]

From the Ultimate Marvel press release that went out last Friday. On Ultimate Spider-Man:

“Issue #104 will also bring a milestone: Bendis and Bagley break Stan Lee’s and Jack Kirby’s FANTASTIC FOUR record for consecutive issues of a Marvel comic.”

Hold your horses, folks. What about “Sergio Aragones’ Groo The Wanderer.” By Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier? 120 consecutive issues at Marvel, as well as two graphic novels?

No doubt Bendis and Bagley will pass that record but, for now, let it stand. Mind you, this is from the same company who announced a celebration of Marvel Knights’ fifth anniversary– when the imprint was six years old.

And maybe someone could reprint those earlier Groo collections. Hell, some kind of Groo Omnibus around now would be tip-top.

GODS OF OLD

[Green Light]

“Small Gods” is discontinued with issue 12. Sorry folks.

However, the creative team are working on a new project for Jim Valentino’s Shadowline at Image.

DILEMMA SOLVED

[Yellow Light]

Remember that story about an inker who found himself credited for a book he’d never heard of?

Marc Deering saw an ad for the book “Jendai” 1 with his name in the credits for issue 1 and, after some discussion, was still at a loss as to how it happened or who really inked the book.

It turns out that Tracy Duty had discussed inking a “samurai” book with him a year and a half ago, but turned it down. It appears that Duty was representing Deering back then, but was unaware that he was still represented by him. And won’t be for much longer.

The actual work was done by Brazilian artists, Daniel Bradao and Cristiano. But the miscommunication seemed to come down to the fun involved when a studio is doing work for a studio doing work for a studio.

However, on the back of this, Deering has been talking to final publisher Zenescope about doing some work for them directly.

GRADY BUNCH

[Green Light]

This Wednesday, the UK’s leading commercial TV broadcaster, ITV 1, has Lynda Carter appearing on “The Paul O’Grady Show.”

They’re looking for old superhero memorabilia to spotlight. From the seventies and back, Wonder Woman or otherwise.

If you can help, contact Anoushka Chengadoo at Granad Productions. And let her know Rich Johnston sent you.

ALIAS THE EXPLANATION

[Green Light]

Last week’s comments about Jack Lawrence and Theo Bain having to remove certain images from the gay cartoon website BritDoodz.com for Alias to publish “Lions, Tigers & Bears” and “Gimoles” were confirmed by Mike Miller. He writes, “Regarding our policy on pornography, we do not work with artists who currently produce or promote pornographic works. Maybe for a cover or pin-up, but not as a main artist on a book (ala Jack Lawrence doing a cover for ‘Lullaby’). It’s just contrary to what we want to promote in the comic market, since we focus on all ages titles so much. As well as having dealings in the Christian market, it’s just bad business.

“It’s not a contract, it’s a policy. We’ve chosen not to work with several artists, and some have chosen not to work with us, because of this policy.”

That’s from the publishers of Bluewater Production’s “Tenth Muse” inspired by Cindy Margolis

…and “The Blackbeard Legacy” inspired by Tracy Bingham there.

SMALL PRINT

For other comic and non-comic book related nonsense, check out the Twistblog.

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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