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. Amber indicates I think there is a heavy bias involved 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.

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

QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "I mean, he is thrilled by the Doctor Who rumours, but I think mostly thrilled because it's suddenly taken him from an actor who nobody really quite knew who he was, you'd have to say, 'Well, he was the guy in the Numberwang sketch, or he was the guy from Peepshow, or he was...' to people going, 'Yes, Paterson Joseph, he could be the next Doctor Who,' and so it's done amazing things for him." - Neil Gaiman.


[Green Light]Bill Maher and Lewis Black writer Adam Felber is writing a comic for Marvel... according to his Thanksgiving blog that is...

"Now we're back in LA, and I'm hard at work on that comic book. I'll tell you more soon, but for now, just know that it's a five-book series, it comes out early next year, and it involves... SKRULLS! Yes, Skrulls!"

No, I didn't know too much about them either. I've never really been a Comic Book Guy, at least, not a devoted fan, not enough to cringe appropriately when someone invokes them nasty Skrulls.

But why should that stop me? Excelsior!

To quote Joe Quesada on Twitter, "I miss the Rich Johnston Skrull, he was so much more fun"


[Green Light]The executive producer on the upcoming Clint Eastwood movie "Gran Torino"... is Jenette Kahn, previously the President of DC Comics for a good couple of decades.

What's harder to deal with -- Hollywood or comics?


[Green Light]Main Street has a very interesting piece that states that Marvel have basically mortgaged the rights to produce and distribute films based on ten of their characters against the success of the Marvel Studio films for each character.

So basically, if Kenneth Branagh's "Thor" flops then financers Merill Lynch get the rights to make and sell future Thor movies.

You know, I can feel a "Producers"-style plot coming on.


[Green Light]There's a Californian company known as DC Shoes, making skateboarding fashion gear. This is their logo.

Not too long ago, DC Comics decided to sue them for trademark breach of their own logo...

...as DC Comics also make and license clothing.

However, DC Shoes' lawyers looked into DC Comic's trademarks and discovered that, despite the fuss when their new logo was launched, they'd never actually got around to trademarking it properly.

In fact, DC Shoes discovered they had a case of trademark infringement from DC Comics.

So Warner Bros had to pay a significant sum to continue using the DC Comics logo.

Ho ho ho.


[Green Light]It's common for websites to shut down over Christmas - and CBR is no exception - But bloody hell, with more people full of mince pies by mid afternoon than ever before, there should be something for them to find online.

So here's a list of comic and comic-related people who'll be launching new content for Christmas Day.

As well as putting up a pre-Christmas YouTube treat... "Feed Our Egos - They'd Better Bloody Know It's Christmas Time By Now" that I found knocking around in a drawer, Christmas Day will bring a new RichAndMark video, entitled "South Bank Christmas Cracker Hallelujah" going up Christmas Day Morning.

Sideways 8 Studio will be posting new content with their two web comics, "inBetweeners" and "Monkey In Space."

Again With the Comics will have a "best of" column with "Young Watchmen" and "Ask Golden Age Wonder Woman."

Watch for an Iron Man/Batman Christmas Message alternative to The Queen's Speech from Nygma, a festive round up of comics-related deaths from Matt Tauber and an instalment of "Nightmare World" from Dirk Manning.

Blog This Pal will be running a celebration of Humphrey Bogart's and Rod Serling's birthdays, will be doing... um, somthing, and the webcomic M.I.M.E.S. will be updating, as will "The Venger: Dead Man Rising" from Ronin Studios with artwork previews of upcoming issues and new projects from Matthew D. Spatola.

The webcomic "The Li'l Depressed Boy" will get a festive episode, as will the agony aunt clay comic "Dear Pirate." And from the same creator, "How to Kill Things That Go Bump in the Night" will relaunch especially.

OM will be running a wide selection of Chrisnukkah-related music video clips and the old BBC/ITV/Thames Xmas Party Blooper Tape clips and my old friend and part time comics museum curator Anna Jay will be blogging.

"Action Figure Blues" from Scott Anderson will be updating, and CBR's Comics Should Be Good blog will be finishing its countdown of the Top 100 Comic Book Battles too.

The Paradox Comics Group blog will be running a post entitled 10 Great Christmas Comics, and Comics Village will be announcing Dave Sim's new comic book project, with the cover.

The Forbidden Planet International blog will be running through the Christmas Holidays, including Christmas Day, and The Omnibus Podcast, devoted to comics, film, television and video games will also have a new episode,

Bill Williams, Bill Willingham, Matt Sturges, Chris Roberson and Mark Finn as the Clockwork Storybook writers will have a Christmas Day Special.

The OutHouse will be running op-ed pieces on Christmas Day, Speed Force will be running a special edition on Christmas-themed Flash covers, Random Happenstance has new content, Alex Fitch's Panel Borders blog will have the last Resonance FM show of the year at 8am GMT.

Johnny Gigawatt and the Tiger Men from Mars will have new content all week next week, including Christmas Day, Dan Fish will be scheduling his latest micro-comic to debut online Christmas Day, called , Gene Kelly will be updating Cranky Octopus with special Christmas content and Dan Barrett will be updating his Televised Revolution a couple of times.

Both the Fractal Hall Journal blog and the Toybox of Solitude webcomic will be updating.

Johanna Draper. writer of one of comicdom's leading blogs, Comics Worth Reading also tells me she'll be updating, as will be Kevin Huxford of the scurrilous Schwapp Online.

Andy Luke will be launching his new Christmas Panto comic, something similar to what he did back is 2005.

Rob Schamberger will continue updating his webcomic The Unbroken Circle" through Christmas.

Kimota 94 is running a big trivia contest on comics, movies, TV and general pop culture - perfect for when the sprouts are settling.

The "Bob Mitchell in the 21st Century" will be running a Mark Millar interview, in which Millar states when and where Richard Donner called Mark a "fucking punk."

Chuck Moore's Comic Releated looks like they're gearing up for lots of Christmas Day material, including articles, artwork and comic strips.

The webcomic Global Freezing is updating with a special Christmas tale of the far future. The Endless Screw will have two new columns on the day and Extra Sequential will also have new content.

The DC fanfiction site DC2 Universe will be putting out a DC2 Holiday Special on Christmas Day and A Comic A Day will be running reviews up to and including Christmas Day.

There's a Christmas TV show video update from BW Media, a sneak preview of a new webcomic "Registered Weapon" about LA's toughest detective and his partner, a robot who used to be a cash register and Cup O' Kryptonite will be posting its end of the year awards, The Cuppies.

Kevin Smith's Quick Stop Entertainment will post three new film reviews, giving away a DVDs and publishing an year-end list of favorite bits from 2008, Best Graphic Novel, Best Reason To Hate Publicists, etc, and Mumble Puss will have a special new strip that day.

WingedLion's Quiver will be presenting a festive look at the Justice League Christmas cartoon. Theo Radomski's Canadian webstrip Hastily Put Together gets a Christmas update.

Tony Lee will be writing a new He's Only A Writer column (with photographic proof) on Christmas Day, Internet Popular will be running a Christmas story "I'm Drinking With Santa On His Day Off Mom" and Multiversal Nexus will have a comics and music special broadcast.

Jim Hanley's Universe will be running reviews and creator interviews while Let's Be Friends Again will be running two new comics.

Comics Daily will berunning their Christmas awards daily starting on Christmas Day.

And finally the Lying In The Gutters Forum will be having its own Christmas Party with guests, surprise presents and more!

Bring a bottle.


[Green Light]I understand that Asylum Press is another company that fell foul of Josh Hoopes aka Mike Roberts aka Merrily Martin aka Jeff Henzel aka The Fake Art Adams. They join TokyoPop, Desperado and Penny Farthing Press in this unfortunate situation, and indeed a possible joint suit. I understand that Asylum are pursuing their legal options.

In a similar case, an artist calling himself Travis T Cowsill has been using the storyboards of Jeff Parker to get work. Full story here.


[Green Light]British comic shops are getting this week's delivery of comics on Tuesday and Wednesday (normally Thursday). Congratulations to Diamond UK for getting the shipment in on time before all the shops close down on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

On that note, it looks like Forbidden Planet will be the first of the London shops to make the price change, based on the new exchange rates. Last January, you had to pay £1.65 for a $2.99 comic, then £2 in July and now £2.35. A $3.99 comic will cost £3.15. Basically, "New Avengers" will have all but doubled in price in a year.

Expect the other London shops to join FP with a comparable price rise in the New Year, as Orbital Comics moves from its current location, down Charing Cross Road to Great Newport Street, basically opposite where Comics Showcase used to be.

Some shops will charge more, some will charge less. Some will make money, some will lose money. But, for comic fans, it's not going to be a very happy new year...


[Green Light]This week's Previews will list "Watchmensch" from Brain Scan. On page 244. Diamond Order Code: JAN09 4081. By myself and Swedish artist Simon Rohrmuller. The cover is coloured by Matthew Vega.

It's a "Watchmen" parody that spans the history of superhero comics, and the bargains and deals that creators and publishers have entered into. And an assortment of New York lawyers who have had dealings with DC Comics and Alan Moore who are getting bumped off one by one...

Please consider ordering a copy from your retailer in the New Year as payment for your weekly fix of Lying In The Gutters. When you put it like that, $3.99 is a bargain isn't it? Less than 8 cents a column. And you get a free comic to boot!

I'm making myself available for interviews. Talk to me, world!


[Green Light]

And a real classic one...


[Green Light]Jamie McKelvie: Cheque has not cleared. Preparing to go to war.

Si Spurrier: Why are you even still with them? This has happened about a million times now.

Jamie McKelvie: F'reals. Next month I switch banks.

Si Spurrier: You said that last time. DO IT NOW.

Jamie McKelvie: Kind of have to wait until I have any money to switch... heh.

Andy Diggle: No you don't. Open a First Direct account today, and the moment the cheque clears you can tell NatWest to go fuck themselves.

Jamie McKelvie: UK freelancers - which bank do you recommend? I've had one vote for First Direct, one for Lloyds.

John Reppion: we use Abbey but they were shit for ages, we just trained them ourselves and still have to fill out our own forms.

Leah Moore: last christmas half our cheque (John's half) ended up in Abbey limbo until mid January! in the end we got a sorry and flowers!

John Reppion: yeah she's right. :-/ Not Abbey then

Leah Moore: the only good thing is when we walk in now they go to panic stations. It still sucks though

Kieron Gillen: Both AJ and I said Lloyds when you asked before elsewhere. Good on cheques, if heavy on paperwork. KILL TREES. ALSO, CARBON

Andy Diggle: First Direct are excellent. I switched from Lloyds years back and I've never regretted it.

Kieron Gillen: But most importantly, whatever your decision, *DO IT NOW*. Get those wheels in motion

Paul Cornell: finds that Jamie McKelvie is asking 'First Direct or Lloyds?' Both good banks. But which is best? There's only one way to find out.


The saga continues after Christmas...


[Green Light]The trailer for Ed Brubaker's Angel of Death.

LITG gets put in an AICN rhyme...

How not to find an artist for a project...

Neil Gaiman gets Padraiged....

NEXT WEEK: THE RUMOUR AWARDS. Yes that's right, I'm still doing them. Prepare with the last eight years worth first...


Discuss this column at the Lying In The Gutters Forum and add your request to what you want from future columns.

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.

You can see my Guido Fawkes cartoon most Mondays here. Here's the latest...

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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