LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 12
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.
Marvel may have won the main buzz at the Chicago panels. But on the convention floor, it was all DC.
One intrepid reader heard Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Stephanie Fierman launching into a minor tirade about yours truly (“he’s not a journalist!”). Nevertheless my wide and varied web of sources throughout the convention (and not just a couple of willing prostitutes with dictaphones, honest) pulled up this collection of treats. No, not even the recent appointment of a Jeff Trojan as a VP can stop all these leaks.
LITG has mentioned “Superman Confidential” and “Batman Confidential” before – well it looks like they’re both confirmed as good to go ongoing series. The contents are, well, confidential, but expect to see Geoff Johns on the former.
There’s a new “Blue Beetle” book by Keith Giffen on the slates. That news alone gave me an internal tingle that you really don’t want to know anything more about.
“Wonder Woman” will be kicking off again from issue 1, but this isn’t your dad’s reboot. All the Countdown miniseries will get “Infinite Crisis” specials.
I’ve heard talk of two new ongoing series, “Checkmate” and “Shadowpact.” And there’s a bunch of new miniseries around. Names being bandied about include “Creeper,” “Shazam,” “Secret Six,” “Ion,” “Martian Manhunter,” “Spectre” and “OMAC.”
One common comment on the convention floor was that if DC had managed to keep Jeph Loeb, instead of signing with Marvel, they’d have got the Joe Madueira team up project as well…
Pity poor John Dokes going into super-spin mode on the Marvel floor at Chicago. Is Joe Mad an exclusive? Is Michael Turner? Is anyone? It’s hard to get that frog back in the box once he’s started leaping around the convention floor and Internet forums, but John did his best.
For anyone who’s never seen John Dokes spinning around the floor, here’s a brief reminder.
Mike Carey, writer of the soon-to-be-concluded “Lucifer,” will be writing the next arc on Speakeasy’s “Beowulf.”
We’ve already had “Bolland Strips” in black and white this year, now for a similar treat comes Brendan McCarthy’s “Swimini Purpose” published in ever colour under the sun – including some previously undiscovered hues. Known for his “2000AD” work, “Rogan Gosh,” “Strange Days,” “Skin,” the “Reboot” and “TMNT” TV series, “Skrull Kill Krew” designs and much more, this is a non-linear look at much of Brendan’s published and unpublished work in a dazzling display. And it’s a massive tome. Brendan is one of my all time favourite comic book artists and it’s rather joyous to get this madly designed gallery of Brendan’s comics and artwork so handily available.
The website is here. It’s a UK only edition, with a US version coming out next year – but expect some grey imports all over the place.
Homage? Swipe? Both?
It’s amazing what one can find on the internet.
In which Alfred is replaced by Little Al – “a gigantic, early middle-aged black man”
And some people just have too much time on their hands…
How’s your wallet? Is it ready for MASSIVE SEPTEMBER as I’ve decided to name it. Word from retailers on the Comic Book Industry Alliance is that orders for September’s new comics are breaking records all over the place. Now, part of this is the collision of “House Of M” and “Infinity Crisis,” but it seems to be spreading wider across the board, a combination of desirable product, a growing and more prominent comics market and – in some cases – the return of variant covers.
This isn’t the nineties boom and bust – not yet anyway. A number of these retailers are conservative in their ordering, and this discussion was raised from their questioning of their own order assumptions.
Rory D Root of Comic Relief writes, “It shows strength in the market. With Comic Relief, reorders run over half our sales so it is especially encouraging/daunting.”
John Tinkess of Another Dimension sought to reassure himself and others, “Our orders were higher than normal, but our sales have been setting new standards every month so far this year (July was our highest single month ever) so as long as they keep buying we shouldn’t have anything to worry about.”
Paul Stock of Librairie Astro said, “I looked at the numbers and freaked. If I stretched it just a few hundred, I would have hit 10k on DC. Marvel… was around $7,300.”
Robert Scott of Comickaze announced in true comic book guy style, “Biggest order ever. Started out 5% higher at retail than our total retail for this month, which was our best ever.
“Scared the crap out of me and despite seemingly adequate justification for each line item ordered, I still forced myself to cut back on all high $$$ total items that I was fairly certain would be available for reorder, just to calm my nerves.”
So we may well see a new comics boom – and one that actually sells. For now at least.
That is, if the comics actually all ship in September of course…
GILLIAM’S DARK MATERIALS
In the week that Anand Tucker is in talks to direct the “His Dark Materials” trilogy, based on the books by Philip Pullman, Terry Gilliam shows an interest.
Pullman original. Stoppard scripts. Gilliam direction. Is there a better dream team out there?
Especially as Tucker is talking about reweiting Stoppard. Gilliam isn’t.
Come on, you know it makes sense.
Back to your regular comic-talking.
Some of Paul Pelletier’s “Exiles” sketches, featuring a number of different possible lineups for the series.
Help me out here guys… I only recognise Doom from the first one, then there’s Star Brand, Spidey 2099 and Longshot, then.. well that’s Spiral and… in the last one, well, that’s The Invisible Woman, The Vanisher, Nowhere Man and ninja Kitty Pryde obviously.
Pat Lee’s interview with Newsarama has been criticised for delivering underarm questions and not holding Lee to account for his recent actions – indeed that it’s more of a PR piece than anything else. Well that’s just not true. Wizard published the PR piece, and it appears that Newsarama was placed under restrictions when carrying out the Pat Lee interview in question. I may not have agreed to conduct such an interview, but its arguable that half a loaf is better than no bread, Lee’s answers expose his actions even if they are not followed on – and that both Matt Brady and Alex Segura Jr. knew that the Newsarama Talkbacks would cover whatever they felt they were unable to.
In such cases, people aren’t replying to the article – they are the article. Which means they should all be able to get into comics conventions for free as representatives of the media. Chicago Preview aside, of course.
As to the interview itself, there was one very fun contradiction between
“I was involved in the day-to-day operations of the company much more than I should have been.”
“I just haven’t had any control over it whatsoever. Each of the decisions was made for financial reasons that I’ve had absolutely no part in shaping.”
Lee’s comments that he had no ability to help at all in the bankruptcy proceedings, seems to conflict with the bankruptcy trustee’s version of events that Pat Lee declined to respond to his many questions over the matter. But I’m sure you’ll all have your own favourites.
The Dreamwave trademark has been bought by a new publisher, hoping to launch very soon. They are unconnected with Pat Lee… but may well be Canadian.
I told you people were taking more interest in variant covers. Both Marvel and DC have opened the box on this particular industry-boom-and-busting practice. And with cover allocation being strictly adhered to, there’s been quite a trading market in the rarer variant covers.
Except that adherence has got a lot less sticky in the last month. Variant editions are being offered again to the market under different allocations, after their initial distribution – which is likely to reduce their market-trading price.
Retailers have been able to get free copies of the “New Avengers” variant covers by ordering books like “Tales Of Suspense: Captain America & Iron Man,” “Young Guns Sketchbook” or “Marvel Milestones Iron Man” – one for each copy they order. Compared to the prices the variants have been getting on eBay, this is a real bargain which has led, in some cases, to people buying up all the copies they can.
And some people just seem to be able to get their hands on job lots.
Take the eBay seller markfcg from Collector’s Universe in NYC. He’s selling hundreds of copies of the 1 in 20 variant edition of “New Avengers” 3 (with Wolverine on the cover).
100 copies for $599
50 copies for $299
10 set of 5 copies for $50 each
With others already sold, that’s enough variants from ordering around 10,000 copies of the original issue. Or by wiping out the Buy One Get One Free deal single-handedly…
Alan Moore and Gene Ha’s “The Forty Niners” came out last week. And rather ace it is, too. But did Wildstorm really have to advertise it as Alan Moore’s first original graphic novel? No love for “A Small Killing,” released by Victor Gollancz/Dark Horse and recently remastered and rereleased by Avatar?
THAR BE DRAGONS. OR NOT.
Is Joss Whedon going to Dragon Con?
No, says Joss Whedon. Never heard of Dragon Con. Never been asked.
Has someone at Universal just been reprimanded?
THE CANADIAN AMAZON
What is this? Canada Week?
Eric Martel has been finding more of DC’s possible TPB plans through Amazon.ca’s listings.
by Dave Gibbons (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Plastic Man the Archives
by Jack Cole (Author) (Hardcover – January 1, 2006)
Golden Age Hawkman Archives
by Gardner Fox (Author) (Hardcover – January 1, 2006)
Lex Luther: Man of Steel
by Brian Azzarello (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
The Devil Does Exist
by Takanashi Mitsuba (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Elfquest the Grand Quest
by Wendy Pini (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Losers, the: Close Quarters – Volume 4
by Andy Diggle (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
by Peter Tomasi (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Superman: True Brit
by Kim Howard Johnson (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Swamp Thing: Spontaneous Generation
by Rick Veitch (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Batgirl Kicking Assassins
by Andersen Gabrych (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Crisis on Multiple Earths the Teams-Ups
by Dc Comics (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Plastic Man Rubber Bandits
by Kyle Baker (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
by Grant Morrison (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Fables: Homelands – Volume 6
by Bill Willingham (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
by Yasuda Hitoshi (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
by Higuri You (Author) (Paperback – January 1, 2006)
Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales: Book 1
by Alan Moore (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
Teen Titans the Future Is Now
by Geoff Johns (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
by Chuck Austen (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
by Warren Ellis (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
Catwoman: When in Rome
by Jeph Loeb (Author) (Hardcover – December 1, 2005)
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent Archives
by Dc Comics (Author) (Hardcover – December 1, 2005)
The Spirit Archives
by Will Eisner (Author) (Hardcover – December 1, 2005)
I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League
by Keith Giffen (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
by Iwahara Yuji (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
by Shimizu Reiko (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
Man Hunter Street Justice
by Marc Andreyko (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
Legion of Super Heros the New Rebellion
by Mark Waid (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
Pieces of a Spiral
by Tachibana Kaimu (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
Tower of the Future
by Hiwatari Saki (Author) (Paperback – December 1, 2005)
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