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 fourteen long glorious and quite scary years.

All stories are sourced from well-connected individuals. But I urge you to use your judgment and remember, context is everything.

The traffic lights are an indication (and only that) of how reliable I believe the story to be, based on source, context and gut feel. Red lets you know I think this rumour is bunkum, but it is still one being spread about and could do with stamping on. Amber indicates I think there is a bias involved in the telling here, or it just seems a little dodgy. And Green as far as I can tell (as far as I can ever tell) is the real deal, junior. But it's still quite possibly wrong.

Nevertheless, do remember, Lying In The Gutters is for your entertainment. Neither Fair Nor Balanced. Please don't shoot the messenger.


[Green Light]I've had a hell of a week.

Sorry it's a short column, folks. A few stories fell at the last hurdle and I've been a bit up to my eyes, as you can guess.

But everywhere I look there's "Watchmen." I walk down the Thames, there's a massive naked blue Dr Manhattan hovering over the river. I pick up a morning freesheet newspaper to see The Metro has transformed into "The New Frontiersman."

Images courtesy of Darren Shrubsole

Bookshops cover their frontage with the book and spinoff books. Someone stands outside Oxford Circus sticking blood splattered smileys on people. And people in the office turn to me and say, "So, what's this Watchmen thing then?"

It's been fun following the twitters and the blogs as opinion on the film seems to split neatly in twain. People love it, despite its flaws, or hate it, fall asleep, walk out or scream at the screen. Or, you know, don't see it at all. It's an '18' film in the UK, which means there's zero chance of parents taking in seven year olds, which seems to have been endemic in US screenings. Seriously, the "Lesbian Whores" panel at the beginning should be a signal of where this thing is going.

Actually, the very first scene with the original Nite Owl... is that Thomas Wayne, Martha Wayne and Alfred he's saving? And no Batman as a result? Ooh, meta...

You know... two weeks after seeing the film. It has still stuck with me, scenes repeating in my head daily. Is that a good thing? Usually.

Anyway, it just really just ripped off "The Incredibles" and "Heroes," didn't it?

"Watchmensch" out next week everyone.


[Green Light]Americans! Did you enjoy last night's episode of "Celebrity Apprentice" set at Image Comics? Big shout out to the Burbank guys!

But did you know that they'd already done a trial run at Marvel Comics with Phil Jiminez and Paulo Rivera? However a few sticking points between the producers at Marvel saw the production move coasts. Apparently a combination of the over use of the Zappos sponsorship, replacing Marvel signage, and a desire to up the geeky fanboy element rubbed Marvel up the wrong way... but Image aren't the type to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Though, fortunately for Marvel, one of the Image books that did get visually namechecked in the show... was "Powers."


[Green Light]Is Twitter the new way to issue fast-response rebuttals? Especially concerning movie adaptations of the work of Mark Millar?

From gossip mailout Popbitch:

Matthew Vaughn is just finishing off his new film Kick Ass, but it appears it wasn't the smoothest of shoots. Budgets were somewhat underestimated, leading to them having to raise almost 50% again during the shoot, and in the scramble to finish somewhere near on time they had not the usual one or two but four units all filming at the same time.

FYI: On a previous movie Vaughn had been known to get his supper helicoptered to the set. How cool is that!

Minutes later, Jane Goldman ("Kickass" screenwriter) popped up to say "Evening all! For any readers of Popbitch: I'd like to note that today's piece about Matthew Vaughn & Kickass was entirely truth-free."

Consider Popbitch's ass kicked.


[Green Light]"Chronicles Of Wormwood," by Garth Ennis and Oscar Jimenez.

The Last Battle. It's back.


[Yellow Light]aWizard also seem to be taking a kicking this week. As they up sticks to their swanky Manhattan residences, a Gutterati writes

"Before high speed internet got common, original art done for Wizard magazine had to be mailed in. It was supposed to be mailed back since they were still property of the artists but it usually wasn't unless the artist specifically asked for it back. Some swimmers but also lots of big fish who were probably too busy to remember.

"Before the recent big employee cut Gareb Shamus had staff collect all that art and sent to him personally. Will be interesting to see if that shows up on the market."

There are also reports of cutbacks on the Wizard website, with no updates since February 26th. This may also be down to the move, but it seems that ex-web writers have created their own website Panels On Pages and using the Wizard forum as a recruitment ground for readers. And of course, all the contacts they gathered while writing for Wizard.


[Green Light]The Scans_Daily story gets curiouser and curiouser.

People who had posted excerpts of Marvel titles on the now-cancelled Livejournal comics scan site have received letters from Livejournal's abuse team not only reprimanding them for posting copyright material, but also telling them they are forbidden from showing the contents of the letters to other people or reposting the letters anywhere.

Which is, apparently, a new one for LiveJournal.


[Green Light]Thanks for Amazon for showing me what I won't be able to afford to buy soon... "Absolute Justice"...


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I'm still eBaying odds and sods here. My social networking is pretty much all Facebook and Twitter these days, but I'm around at Bebo, MySpace, ComicSpace too.

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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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