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This is the forty-eighth weekly episode of Lying In The Gutters, the industry’s premier rumour column and gossip sheet. At all times, remember the rumour rules. Red light means it’s probably bullshit, Yellow light means I think there’s an element of truth and Green means you get bet your life on it. Or someone’s life. Not mine, I’ve been wrong before. Take everything you read with Bob Wayne’s sarcastic tone – and if you do repost information here elsewhere, please include a warning to that effect. And a link. Man does not live by hits alone – but I could do with the attention. As everyone at Bristol clearly realised.

BACK FROM BRISTOL

Okay, it’s been a long, fun weekend, here’s what I’m hearing…

THE GREENS

[Green Light]

Talking with Bryan Talbot, while he’s finishing up a project we’ll talk about in a few weeks, he’s also shipping around his latest major work, “Alice In Sunderland.” Unlike either of his two best known works, “Luther Arkwright” and “Tale Of One Bad Rat,” “Alice In Sunderland” is an multi-layered, introspective look at reality and creation. It’s wonderful, and as of yet, it doesn’t have a publisher. This will likely change very shortly, but if anyone wants to jump in first…

Fans of Bill Savage? The star of “2000 AD’s” Invasion series is to feature in a new “Savage” series by Pat Mills and Charlie Adlard starting next summer.

Mark Millar and Terry Dodson’s series for Epic, “Trouble,” has already been optioned by MGM. I also hear another more bizarre option is also in the works.

The current slogan for DC’s “Legion” is “the worst is yet to come”. Erm… yes.

Beware John McCrea, strange american visitors. For he will lead the likes of Avatar’s William Christensen and DC’s Dan DiDio to sleazy Bristol strip joints and will coin the phrase “is that hooker juice?” if you appear to have a damp spot on your trousers.

Both Forbidden Planet Scotland and Forbidden Planet London were locked in battle again at Bristol this year. See Lying In The Gutters passim for previous battles, but this year it was over the freebie goodie bags given away at the door. Each wanted the exclusive, neither got it, both tried to up the other on the freebies. Comics, mouse mats, Desperate Dan Pie Eaters Club, they really went to town. Howeverm Forbidden Planet London won by including copies of the “Sandman Companion.” With a nine pound cover price, this meant every attendee made an instant profit. And one guy who’d brought a bunch of “Sandman Companions” to sell at the show was a little narked.

Dan DiDio still has his rejection letter from Paul Levitz in 1978 – a nasty one too, apparently. Bob Wayne has one from Karen Berger which he threatens to use during negotiating meetings.

There will be a new “Firestorm” book out next year from DC, but no, it won’t be by Mike Carey.

You have to love Chris Weston. Just like last year, when on the Vertigo panel, Weston went completely off message, praising Marvel for how they’d developed characters with top-class creators, when DC have lagged behind considerably. He pointed out that a really good idea would be to get Mike Carey to do “Firestorm.” Brilliant. Bob Wayne responded, saying he was really looking forward to “Ministry Of Space” 3.

On the same panel, play-by-the-rules boy, Andy Diggle, declined to discuss his upcoming “Swamp Thing” project, as he would be killed. Now that’s proper creator management there…

David Hahn, creator of “Private Beach,” will be working on a Vertigo series next summer, after he’s drawn an issue of “Lucifer.”

Staz Johnson is drawing a three-issue mini-series around a Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus battle, to be published around the time of the third Spider-Man film.

Rick Veitch has a new project for the DC Universe after his already-announced Vertigo project.

Over-enthusiastic fan John Mazzeo attempted to first “dwarf-toss” Jim Lee then settled for dry humping his leg.

Chris Weston explained his procedure when drawing “The Filth.” First he gets the script and wonders how he can draw something when he doesn’t even understand it. He then e-mails Grant with questions, gets no response, so gets his wife to dress up as the characters and draws that.

Look for Vertigo series about The Phantom Stranger, Madame Xanadu – and some other very unexpected DC Universe transferrals…

The “Sandman Mystery Theatre” series is to be traded by Vertigo. “Doom Patrol” is to have its first trade, “Crawling From The Wreckage,” reprinted with an eye to continuing the collections, along the lines of “Animal Man.”

In an attempt to speed up the production of “Ultimate Adventures” issues, Duncan Fegredo will only be pencilling the yet-to-be printed issues.

In contradiction to a previous Lying in the Gutters rumour that DC declined to comment on at the time, not only do DC have no plans to cancel “Gotham Central,” DC say they are committed to the book exploring aspects of Batman’s world that can’t be explored elsewhere.

“Ore” is a three issue series that was being developed as an Iron Man series by Com.X, but now is being reworked to be published by Com.X themselves.

The upcoming Superman/Batman series will conclude the President Lex storyline. Superman Birthright’s first two issues will be giant-sized for the standard price.

Expect a hardcover of “JLA/Avengers” very shortly after the fourth issue ships.

The Lai brothers are off of “Thor” to be replaced by Scot Eaton. Hey, didn’t that happen with CrossGen as well?

Bryan Talbot’s work on a recent issue of “Fables” acquired a few extra folds of material between art and publication. How many differences can you spot?

Click to enlarge.
Art Publication

THE AMBERS

[Yellow Light]

Epic series, going through the system, part one. From Andy Kuhn, “Young Ancient One,” about Doctor Strange’s mentor as a young man in feudal China.

Epic series, going through the system, part two. “White Light” from Mark Peyton and Tony Harris.

Epic series, going through the system, part three. “Last Of The Midnight” Screamers from Lee Barnett.

Epic series, going through the system, part four. Something unnamed from Rob Worley.

No really.

DC are publishing a book called “Vertigo Vertical,” a half-width comic that also opens upwards, giving very tall, thin pages. By Steve Seagle and Mike Allred, the book goes from jumping off buildings to Andy Warhol’s factory. The first ‘highscreen’ comic perhaps?

I hear Seagle and Kelly have six months left on “Superman.”

There are talks of a new British comics convention next year or the year after with a very European feel – and a European funded budget. Something on a bigger scale than has been attempted for a very long time…

The concept of L’il Death is a gag that many people still haven’t got. Anyone remember what “little death” refers to in French?

Howard Porter is going to be drawing six upcoming issues of “Fantastic Four,” as well as working on a new mini-series with an A-list writer.

I hear Tidalwave Studios have filed for bankruptcy.

Space shuttle geeks have been calling for Warren Ellis’ head. His crime? In the “Orbiter” graphic novel, to spell the shuttle Endeavour without a ‘u’, when the international spelling is used by NASA…

“1602” is, apparently, the Occam’s Razor solution. It’s a kind-of-Elseworlds project with the Marvel Universe characters emerging in medieval times. Or, at least, that’s what it starts off as…

Comicon Pulse reported that Salvador Larocca was leaving “Namor” for an unnamed title – I’m reliably informed it’s going to be either “Amazing Spider-Man” or “Uncanny X-Men.”

Sean Philips is off “Uncanny X-Men” after doing nine issues, and John Romita Jr. is expected to leave “Amazing Spider-Man” for his creator-owned epic title.

John Romita Jr., well known for his views on commentator Michael Moore, recently drew him into an issue of “Amazing Spider-Man” holding a sign that was obscured by a word balloon.

On the Spider-Man Comic Board, he wrote “Unfortunately, my favorite socialist’s sign is covered by dialogue. It originally read…’Ban me!’ Okay I’m done…I won’t go there again!”

Oh please do, please do…

I understand that Bob Morales, controversial writer of “The Truth,” will be the new ongoing writer for “Captain America” from issue 21.

THE REDS

[Red Light]

Oh, apparently Jim Lee’s a lesbian.

AVAILABLE SHITE…

Mike ‘don’t mention Firestorm’ Carey poses for a Tim Bradstreet cover

The ‘holy’ John McCrea… he who is without sin…

Beware! The Mighty Dunbier walks the con…

For a dark, moody, serious writer, Antony Johnston sure has a cheeky smile. And silly hair.

The cast of Friends start an impromptu signing.

Bob Wayne and his hand puppet of an Avatar publisher.

Nick Locking, playing with Transformers. William Christensen starts to wonder about the sensibility of hiring this man to write “Robocop.”

Lobo or Despair in a leotard?

RECRUITING IN THE GUTTERS

If you’ve got a story, talk to me. Your identity will remain anonymous unless you wish otherwise. You can choose a pseudonym and join the ranks of the Gutterati. Or be a demon reposter, join the Gutter Snipes and spread the word about stories in this column across the Internet, where relevant. Then tell me where you’ve put them up – the more mainstream the better!

You can contact me at:

  • mailto:rich@twistandshout.freeserve.co.uk (which often gets full, but it’ll reach me during the day)
  • AOL Instant Message me at TwistRich
  • 0780 1350982 (01144780 1350982 from N America)
  • Anthrax packages can be sent to 8 Robin Hood Lane, Kingston Vale, London SW15 3PU, ENGLAND

Be seeing you.

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