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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOL 2 COLUMN 16

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.

ALL STAR ROBBIE WILLIAMS

[Green Light]

Robbie Williams, one of the world’s most successful pop singers, with a new album coming out on October 24th, “Intensive Care“, is quite the fan of Grant Morrison. Hell, he even went to see Sin City with him. So little wonder that the new album’s cover….

and inside art released…

…was conceived, designed and drawn by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Yowzer!

May also be a reason why, even though “All Star Superman” is set to be published in November, Quitely admits he’s only just started drawing issue 2…

Cover courtesy of Taylor Herring. Inside art courtesy of The Sun newspaper.

CLERKS COMES BACK TO COMICS

[Green Light]

According to Kevin Smith on Fanboy Radio, he is planning a new Clerks comic to bridge the gap between “Clerks” and “Clerks 2,” much as “Chasing Dogma” did between “Chasing Amy” and “Dogma” (only for much of it to be reprised in “Jay And Silent Bob Strikes Back”). And Jim Mahfood is slated to draw “Clerks 1.5”– an appointment made in the very show itself.

The new story will, however, only appear in a new version of the “Clerks” TPB, from Graphitti. Still, not like Kevin Smith fans are unaccustomed to buying an item a second or third time for new content…

FERRY CROSS

[Green Light]

Lying In The Gutters reported that Pascual Ferry was off “Mister Miracle” after issue 1, last week. It looks like his departure may not have been of his own volition.

He wrote, “Yo lo siento tanto como tú MAKA. Mister Miracle era una serie que realmente me hacia MUCHA ilusión hacer. Estaba disfrutando con el excelente guión de Grant.

“Pero los planes pueden torcerse. A veces por culpa propia, otras por la de los demás. (En esta ocasión yo pondría una cruz en la segunda opción.)

“Pero hay que mirar hacia delante.

“Veremos que nos depara el futuro :)”

The translation would be:

“I’m as sorry as you are [regarding his departure of the book]. Mister Miracle was a series I was really looking forward to work on. I was enjoying Grant’s excellent script.

“But plans may change. Sometimes because of one’s own fault, sometimes due to others’ fault. (In this case, I’d put a cross besides the second option.)

“But you have to look forward.

“We’ll see what the future brings. :)”

I understand that, indeed, Pascual Ferry was pushed from the book, halfway through the second issue, when DC discovered he had an exclusive deal elsewhere in the pipeline.

STYX STICKS

[Green Light]

Want to see Simon Bisley drum? Lying In The Gutters is giving away 4 free pairs of guest list places for heavy metal band Kaotika’s next gig.

KAOTIKA – September 17th. Purple Turtle, Camden, London.

And for those who can’t make it to the show, there are 2 free “Fuck Yes” CDs up for grabs.

Email Guest List or CD to the following address: lyinginthegutters@gmail.com

PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE

[Green Light]

LITG understands from a DC source that “Plastic Man,” this year’s Eisner-winning series from Kyle Baker and DC Comics, has been cancelled from issue 20.

Bugger.

It’s also interestingly timed as a Plastic Man cartoon show is in the works at Warner Bros, based in part upon Baker’s run, although he’s been denied any participation in the project.

There may, however, be a epitaph in the form of a Plastic Man/JLA oneshot.

Kyle Baker’s quite excellent “Nat Turner” continues publication, uncancelled. Because, well, Kyle’s publishing it himself.

Also in DC news: A new “The Atom” ongoing series has been officially greenlit internally at DC, as well as a mini-series for “The Freedom Fighters.”

BROTHERS IN ARMS

[Green Light]

Dery… Dery… I knew that name rang a bell.

Christian Dery, new owner of Dreamwave, is brother of artist Pierre-Andre Dery, who has also joined Dreamwave. That’s right, one pair of Canadian brothers replaced with another. Hah. The odds were in their favour, what with bidding for Dreamwave only open to Canadians.

In this case, Pierre is actually working for Christian. Damn, that must really tickle the old sibling rivalry.

So any Transformers-a-likes from the new Dreamwave? Pierre told me, “we are looking into some licences. I should say our priority is doing a few excellent books with those existing properties first, though.

“We’ll preserve the premise and characters for most of them, albeit everything is to be tweaked/beefed up. Some will be more drastically re-invented. No printing of any previous works. If you’ve seen our Talent Search ad posted this week, this was an image from the updated ‘Sandscape.’

“‘Dark Minds,’ ‘Sandscape’ and ‘Warlands’ are coming out first. What comes after that technically depends on the talent lined up and how fast projects will be coming together.”

I’m glad I’m not the only one obsessed with the antics of Pat Lee. Here’s another take.

EXCLUSIVE – BIG NEW MARVEL EXCLUSIVES

[Green Light]

Of course the big news this week is the new wave of Marvel exclusives. Next week look for P–p–p-** *..xxxxx>>>##k##k#k##k#kkkrr#r###I’m going to start letting some of the pros into The Engine early, so listen: if you’re a PUBLISHED or CONTRACTED-TO-PUBLISH creator, and working entirely or partly outside the superhero genre, drop me a line at warrene@aol.com. I realise the genre distinction is going to put some noses out of joint. But there are loads of other, bigger message boards that are pretty much all ab0out superhero comics. It’s not my field of interest. I’m not even talking about my own superhero work at the Engine. And there’s just not a big public place for those of us working outside the genre to talk. I wanted to make a space for people like me, focussed on making original material outside the genre. That’s the whole deal. I will also take “creator” to mean a webcomics creator publishing on a paysite or working ad-supported, on a case-by-case basis. Which I know sounds kind of snooty, but, right now, I’m looking for a separation between hobbyist creators and the people who are risking significant chunks of their lives on this stupid game… I know I’m going to piss some of you right off. I apologise in advance. By “comics,” I mean comics, graphic novels, manga, OEL, BD and any other contortion of the intended meaning. I was discovering manga and BD while some of you comickers were still twinkles in a tentacle-beast’s eye, and it’s all bloody comics as far as I’m concerned… I’m holding off on creator-publishers and the like for the moment. Doing this thing by stages.s.s…s..s.kkkrr.r.r.rrr;;;ss>> >***&^^&&~###~jj~f~#~###..e..e..esada confirmed last night. Wow, what a scoop, eh readers?

Hold on. Did you get all that? I think there was interference from somewhere. Ah well.

JIMMY INCORRIGIBLE

[Green Light]

Chris Ware is self-publishing his next issue of “Acme Novelty Library,” issue 16, as a colour 64 page hardcover.

In his Amazon listing, we see the full copy that Diamond Previews cut. Ware writes, “Though originally released by alternative comics vanguard Fantagraphics Books, this new sixteenth issue is the first to be entirely produced, printed and published by Mr. Ware alone; limited to a single press run, once it is sold out, pulped, and/or burned, neither of these narratives will be available again until ‘Rusty Brown’ and ‘Building Stories’ are eventually edited, collected and remaindered as hardcover books. Thus, be the first in your mercantile district to own this first chapter of what years from now is sure to be a tart, possibly insincere reminder of the fragile economy and mental disposition of the early 21st century.”

He goes on to quote the LA Times as reviewing his work as “nearly impossible to read” and refers to the series as “a nearly decade-long publishing experiment which more or less single-handedly demonstrated the redemptive power a fancy paper stock or a little gold foil might exert over an otherwise dull, dry visual narrative.”

Chris Ware should write everyone’s listings.

SHE DETAIL

[Yellow Light]

Frank Cho created the new “Shanna The She Devil” series for Marvel’s adult line, Marvel MAX. The sight of Marvel’s jungle heroine jumping topless around the trees seemed a popular choice. When Lying In The Gutters originally reported that the title was being scaled back to a more PG level, and the breasts had to be covered up, there was much beating of them, though Cho hoped a restored version could be made possible further down the line.

Recently the Amazon listing for the Shanna “Premiere” hardcover went up, without being a MAX title, scuppering the hopes of many.

Well, check this one out. A MAX hardcover Shanna with the same page count, but for $5 extra has just gone up on Amazon.

Boobies clearly cost… or do they? Frank Cho told me, “I don’t know about the Amazon info, Rich. Here’s where it stands.

“Marvel is releasing the PG Shanna version in hardcover and softcover this fall.

“The rated R version with the nudity is still up in the air. I’ll know for sure by end of the year when they make their publishing plans for 2006.”

Amazon have been known to misrepresent information or use out-of-date informatioin before now. But this whole MAX imprint HC listing myust have come from somewhere…

HULK IN SPACE

[Green Light]

Look for a future plotline of “Hulk” for our jolly green giant to be abandoned in space. Including a lot of floating in the void. For ages. But he does return eventually with a large chip on his shoulder…

UK DAYS

[Green Light]

Much has been made of the decline of the Anglophone comic book on newsstands. While the US has kept it up with kids comic “Archie,” and the UK with adults comic “Viz,” of late the latter market has been experiencing a bit of a mini-boom.

The return of Marvel to UK newstands/newsagents from Marvel UK has been a slow and steady one. But bit-by-bit they have grown their titles, monthly and weekly, matching their own market’s taste from all of Marvel’s library and even publishing a “Batman” series to boot.

And the kids market, dominated by weekly comics “Beano” and “Dandy,” has also grown considerably welcoming rivals who use the comic book as a well to sell “free” sweets and toys bundled in a plastic bag alongside the sequential art for kiddies.

And this week, the national launch of “Classic Marvel Figurines Magazine,” with a lead Marvel figure with each issue, flew off the shelves. One WH Smith’s I went into on Saturday morning had five on display in the centre of the shop.

When I came back an hour later, they’d all gone. And in Central London, it’s hard to find a single copy. What is also refreshing is that although these are being sold to people who probably aren’t great comic book readers, it gives a full history of the featured character, with feature articles and a guide to picking up the character’s comics. The publisher could have just published a collection of cliches and it would have sold as well, but this has been properly researched and both written and edited by people who love the comics and the characters.

Right now, in the UK, there’s a bunch of kids and teenagers growing up reading weekly and monthly superheroes, just as I did in the last Marvel UK newsagent boom of the early eighties. Which means the comic shop market in the UK should stay pretty secure for the next couple of decades…

And Viz Comic? Way up there…

I did not see “2000AD” or “Megazine”…

BULLET?

[Yellow Light]

Someone’s not very happy about the way they stopped working for an unnamed comic book company…

The obvious choice is DC Comics, though a number of professionals have told me in their experience, DC is exceptionally good with their voucher system. However, one pointed out that DC’s fiscal year ends at the end of November, so if freelancers don’t voucher before then, no cheques can be cut until the following January, while DC submits all their paperwork to a routine Time Warner internal audit. And another suggests DC’s record may be/may have been patchy with certain individuals, while being perfect everywhere else. However, one also tells me that emergency cheques are often cut when needed, such as that period.

I am reminded of the editor who was made quite the example of, a few years ago, after she forged signatures on those vouchers in order for creators to get paid sharpish. But there have been a lot of changes of late to streamline the systems.

And talking of DC employment, Galley Cat, “John Cunningham, formerly the publisher of St. Martin’s Minotaur imprint, has left his position to assume duties as a vice-president of DC comics.” Probably the new VP – Marketing. Another high-level hire for the book market there.

MAD RUMOUR

[Red Light]

I can’t believe I’m doing this.

Okay, this is for entertainment purposes… but remember this Marvel tease?

That everyone, including me thought meant Stephen King?

V-Man on the Bendis board noticed something in “Watchmen.”

“At the end of Chapter nine in the article part at the end, there is a letter written by a Edmund ‘King’ Taylor to Silk Spectre and he signs it with simply ‘King’– with the eye dotted with a crown.”

It couldn’t be? Could it? Well obviously not, no. I’m not even going to call him to check. Shame though.

Thanks to Taxman for the scans.

LIP SERVICE

[Green Light]

Brendon Connelly once wrote a comic called “Freudwitch.” He’s got two short films he directed playing free in the Soho Supershorts Festival over the next week or so.

Love on the Upper Lip” at 01: Thu 8th Sept, 2.55pm. At Costa: Thu 8th Sept, 3.05pm

Daniel Bellamy’s Video Diary” at 01: Mon 5th Sept, 4.20pm. At Costa: Mon 5th Sept, 4.30pm. At Bunker: Tue 6th Sept, 1.55pm

People should arrive early too, I think.

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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