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This is the forty-sixth 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 a sense of increasing irony – 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. And my garden is currently being turned upside down – literally, it seems. Now…

In 1858, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. wrote, in his book “The Autocrat Of The Breakfast-Table,” “Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch;”

“Nay, you may kick it about all day, like a football and it will be round and full at evening.”

Gentlemen, it’s kick-off time.

EPIC EFFECT – PART ONE

[Green Light]

When Marvel announced John Jackson Miller as one of the writers on one of the upcoming Epic series, “Crimson Dynamo,” a few questioned Miller’s editorial integrity. He’s a prominent staff member of the Comics Buyers Guide, Editorial Director of Krause Publications Comics & Games Division. Marvel assured people that Miller would not be expected to change his views or challenge his impartiality – which also let Peter David off the hook from charges made against him weeks earlier by Joe Quesada.

However, not everyone is as happy with this situation. I understand that DC Comics have withdrawn all advertising spent on CBG, CG&R and other Krause publications as a result.

CBG did not choose to return e-mails. DC declined to comment on its advertising in Krause’s publications but, according to a DC spokesperson, the publisher has no intention of changing its long and friendly editorial/publicity relationship with CBG and C&GR.

If this kind of thing begins to spread… well… any wonder Matt Brady is so keen to go on about not pitching for Epic?

EPIC EFFECT – PART TWO

[Green Light]

While there has been talk of Marvel already being flooded with thousands of Epic submissions a week, before the official gates have even been opened, at least they have the ability to hire people to cope.

What a couple of other, smaller publishers are dreading is that the moment Marvel reject the proposals, they’ll all be tweaked and resubmitted to other publishers.

Can AiT/Planet Lar, Oni, Slave Labor, IDW, CrossGen, Dark House, Image, Avatar and others survive the mountain that’s about to fall on each and every one of them in a few months time? Look for submission guidelines to get stricter everywhere else. And Marvel standing tall as the only “anyone can have a go” publisher.

TIDE MARK

[Yellow Light]

You’re a comic book creator. You believe a publisher is trying to stiff you. Do you a) talk to them directly about it? b) call a lawyer/accountant and try and get a picture or c) post about it online.

Well, more and more are choosing c), which is where Sean Murphy comes in. He writes, “I’ve done some work for Tidal Wave comics, and never got paid, along with about a dozen other people. The owner owes me more than $5,000. But the book was never published, so he illegally never paid.

“The owner of Tidal wants to now publish my stuff and I don’t know what to do.”

The thread continues in context at the link, with contributors from other name artists, ex-Tidal Wave publisher Darren Davis himself.

TAKING SIDES

[Green Light]

While last week’s story about the DC Divide headed up by Didio and Carlin has been confirmed pretty much everywhere, not least in their own internal mailings. I hear it was quite the party and team T-shirts are in the offing.

And the first thing I was told (by pretty much everybody) was how the original line-up I stated was incorrect, and you know, in hindsight, it seems quite clear. Put Bob Schreck on Dan DiDio’s side and Eddie Berganza on Mike Carlin’s and things make much more sense. Pete Tomasi, Matt Idelson and Joan Hilty seemed a little mock-miffed to be ignored in the list but, you know, they never call, they never write, what do they expect?

The divide-and-rule policy of Paul Levitz was confirmed by everyone, too, although referred to as “conflict management theory.” When it works, it gets results. When it doesn’t, it gets cranky arseholes.

One called it “survival of the fittest”. Another, “survival of the fattest” and gave waist measurements to back up his theory. Another, that it was the policy of throwing a large Danish pastry into the corridor and see who got the biggest bite – which backs up both other versions.

But that the idea of aggressively taking on the marketplace, for DC, often means taking on themselves. They should run for government, they really should.

SPANISH BITE

[Green Light]

For those non-Spanish speakers amongst you, patiently waiting for your “Essential Tomb Of Dracula,” here’s what you’re missing out on…. Spanish Marvel black and white reprints.

No. 1 (Dec. 2002): 2 short stories from Dracula Lives! #2 and 3 written
by Wolfman, one drawn by Neal Adams, telling the origin of Dracula; the other by John Buscema, and Tomb of Dracula #1 to 6 (written by Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin and Gardner F. Fox).

No. 2: Tomb of Dracula #7-13, Giant-Size Spiderman #1 (Art by Ross Andru)

No. 3: Tomb of Dracula #13-19, WereWolf by Night #15 (crossover with TOB)

No. 4: Tomb of Dracula #20-24, Giant-size Chillers #1, Giant-size Tomb of
Dracula #2

No. 5: Tomb of Dracula #25-30, Giant-size Chillers #2, Giant-size Tomb of
Dracula #3″

The Spanish publishers have remastered all the original art in black and white. We hope then if/when Marvel US get round to using the art files, they also consider including the related “Dracula Lives” and “Werewolf By Night,” Spider-Man issues as well.

BAT TALIONS

[Yellow Light]

Latest rumours down the Bat Pole… Jon Lewis to leave “Robin”… “Legends Of The Dark Knight” to be cancelled… “Gotham Knights” to be cancelled for a Tangled Web-style series… Azzarello and Russo’s arc to follow Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb on “Batman” with Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee’s arc to be a separate “Batman: Jekyll And Hyde” mini-series…

TOM TOM

[Green Light]

Paul O’Brien, rummaging through his X-Men collection as he does every week came across an article in “Uncanny X-Men” 298 from eleven years ago, written by then editor-in-chief Tom DeFalco. As Paul says “This may be the single most depressing editorial I’ve ever read. Marvel’s strike rate in 1992 was not desperately high.”

Whew! This past year has been the most exciting and rewarding in the entire history of Marvel Comics… and we owe it all to your unwavering support! We began 1992 with a big bang from a big gun (PUNISHER WAR ZONE) and are ending it even more explosively with PUNISHER 2099.

This is the year that gave NOMAD, SILVER SABLE, CAGE, TERROR, INC., REN & STIMPY, SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE, MORBIUS, DARKHOLD, NIGHTSTALKERS, MUTATIS, DINOSAURS: A CELEBRATION, WEAVEWORLD, SAM & MAX, EPIC COMICS, A-1, FISH POLICE, TEK WORLD, MOTORMOUTH, KNIGHTS OF PENDRAGON II, IDOL, DARK ANGEL, DEATH’S HEAD II, WCW WRESTLING, KID’N PLAY, SLAPSTICK, NIGHT THRASHER, CABLE and VENOM a shot at their own titles and limited series.

We threatened the universe with THE INFINITY WAR, terrified Marveldom Assembled with THE RISE OF THE MIDNIGHT SONS, peaked everyone’s curiosity with the introduction of our new 2099 FUTUREVERSE, and even enticed a few tears with a rousing chorus of the X-CUTIONER’S SONG!.

Epic Comics celebrated ten years as Marvel’s line of creator-owned comics, and Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man reached their thirtieth anniversaries… complete with holograms, posters, and a host of intriguing extravaganzas!

These are only a few of the countless special events of the past year, and that’s not even counting all of the innovative cover treatments of the foil, embossed, glow-in-the-dark, holographic, die-cut variety!

Topping 1992 will be one heck of a challenge, but I have an inside scoop for you. The best is yet to come.

Wait until you see what we have planned for 1993! Trust me, you’ll be sooo glad you did!

Thanks for being there!

Tom D.

And people wonder why some prefer New Marvel to Old…

COLOUR ME CURIOUS

[Green Light]

The Marvel Exodus listing from last week brought a few interesting missives. One drew attention to the quite phenomenal list of Wildstorm colourists that have jumped ship to Florida and join CrossGen. They include Laura Depuy-Martin, Nick Bell, Larry Molinar, Justin Ponsor, Mike Garcia and Sumi Pak.

Given that Wildstorm’s skill in the colour department was one of the reasons DC bought Wildstorm, it seems slightly peculiar that so many of them have felt the need to regroup elsewhere.

WHERE’S WALTER?

[Green Light]

John Byrne revealed on his message board earlier this week that in issue 9 of “Generations,” featuring a series of flashbacks through the history of Apokolips and Generations, that Walt Simonson will be pencilling the panel depicting the Last battle between Darkseid and Orion.

John Byrne has also moved message boards, to a new forum, with threaded, separated discussions, as opposed to the previous free for all.

LIVE-ING IN THE GUTTERS

[Green Light]

Well, I have a few stories that will be revealed only at Live-Ing In The Gutters, the Saturday 11am Hangover Panel at the Bristol Comics Festival on May 24th, sponsored by my erstwhile dealer, www.comix-shop.co.uk – but I need your help.

If you have any downright dirty stories that you don’t want to see print, but do fancy being gossiped about by a hungry horde of Brit comic geeks, bring them on. Also, if you’re attending and you want to submit any questions to the (as yet unnamed) panel regarding stories floating around the place, likewise.

MAJOR HITCH

[Green Light]

Bryan Hitch spilled the beans on his work, his motivation and his desires for the comics medium, as well as taking some cheap shots at Mark Millar and Liam Sharp. Catch up with last Wednesday’s Waiting For Tommy.

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.

Discuss this column on the Lying In The Gutters Forum.
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