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.


[Green Light]Last week's "The Fake Art Adams" report and sting operation on a comics industry con man is one of the better pieces this column has published. Check it out before continuing.

So, after that piece ran, the Fake Art Adams took a while to get round to reading it. Firstly his fake agent "Jeff Henzel" replied saying:

Get me the script, contract, and as far as the financial part goes, I, or my partner deal with that side of it then disperse it to all according parties.

Paypal is OK but I would prefer it if you could send as a check $5000 made out to Jeff Henzel, CEO, or Merrily Martin in Payroll and human resources.

The office number address is.

Jeff Henzel and or Merrily Martin.XX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXNicassio, Ca 94946.

Ah, that Nicasio address again. Looks like a large property in the mountains. A few hours later, someone suddenly read LITG and I received from "Jeff":

Oh and by the way, your way to obvious with your offers so we won´t be doing any bussiness.

That´s why I gave you any old address I could come up with.

Nice try.

Any old address? The same address given to other publishers to send cheques to? Yeah, right.

Because then from the Fake Art Adams address I received the following.

yea I read all the forums now what??

And for your info I am an artist.

My fault was claiming I was Art.

Because talent alone never get´s you hired when I got contracted it was me who did the work.

I had to fib about getting work with Marvel, and other companies just to show you other guys I had experience and what it takes. What I showed you guys were portfolio pieces nothing more, the other guy´s like Joe I had every intention of following through with his project

The amazing thing is everyone liked my work, but now that I´m not Art I´m suddenly not talented or professional?

There´s nothing more I can do now but put everything away and face the music.

Sorry for causing such terrible problems, I´ll do everything in my power to make up for it.


That's a full confession, I think. And a possible complete and utter lack of a sense of reality. He is complaining that other people might be upset that he is not Art Adams.

I asked:

Will you be refunding the people who paid you money under false pretenses?

To get the reply;

Sure..............No problem.

That was the last message I received from The Fake Art Adams in any guise. Because I then revealed that I knew that publishers he had deceived had been asked to send cheques made payable to one Josh Hoopes.

Joshua Hoopes is the man who, under a number of guises, has repeatedly conned individuals, creators and artists out of large sums of money and work.

It appears he has now stepped up and successfully targeted a number of publishers, including Desperado, TOKYOPOP and Penny Farthing.

This is a page he, or another artist he conned, seems to have prepared for Penny Farthing's "Captain Gravity."

And for Desperado's "Messiah."

The difference this time is that publishers have greater access to big scary lawyers. And I understand legal teams have been briefed.

Previous Josh Hoopes scams can be read at previous LITGs, all over the internet and this CBR thread provides quite a list. Including, in August, the first appearance of his Fake Art Adams identity.

So to recap. Addresses and aliases of this scam artist include:

Joshua Hoopes, Josh Hoopes or Mike Roberts


Sacramento, CA 95838

Jeff Henzel, Merrily Martin


Nicassio, Ca 94946.

Other aliases include Joshua De Lava, Robert Salinez, Anthony Birch and John Martin.

E-mails include magic_bella@yahoo.com, art-wise@hotmail.com, liveink@hotmail.es, cinemagic87@yahoo.com, adamsarthur@rocketmail.com, crazypens@live.com.

His date of birth is very likely the 29th August 1970 and his social security number is... well... it leads to this kind of thing. Anyone got a spare hundred dollars.

But in all likelihood, the next time you encounter him, it will be under a different alias and address.

LITG will keep updated on any new developments. Any other publishers, please get in contact and I will give you all the details and evidence I can.


[Green Light]So what was the best selling American comic book single issue of the year? "Final Crisis?" "Secret Invasion?" Something manga? No. Nowhere near.

"Gears Of War" #1 from DC/WildStorm. Over 450,000 I'm told. Only 10% of which went through the direct market.


[Yellow Light]A familiar source known collectively as "New York comics industry employees talking in bars" tells me that the last issue of "Final Crisis" is further delayed as it is suffering from serious rewrites. It appears that DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio was unhappy with the way the story concluded and the implications for the DC Universe for a while and had ordered changes from a, naturally, rather unhappy Grant Morrison. Considering this is the way he wrote the pitch for the book.

As a result, creative teams working on a number of spinoff and affected books have also had to stop work while the "Final Crisis" ending is reworked.

Expect more lateness, more annoyance and less likelihood of Grant Morrison doing DCU work in the near future.


[Yellow Light]Morrison is not the only person having difficulties with DiDio's direction. I understand that James Robinson and Dan had a stand up argument that led to Robinson quitting the Superman books and the DCU in general.

UPDATE: Superman Homepage reports Superman editor Matt Idelson stating that James Robinson has not quit the Superbooks. Which is doubly intriguing, because pretty much everyone in the comics industry seemed to believe that he had. I guess that's where I end this article with the word "Developing..."


[Green Light]Dan DiDio is currently in the process of recruiting film and TV writers for their books. The recent "Batman: Cacophony" by Kevin Smith and Walt Flanagan has been cited, apparently the script was perfect, with very little editing needed.

This, of course, would be the comic where the The Joker offers his bottom to be sexually violated by his rescuer, jokes about the colour of his pubic hair, a scene depicting genital torture and no sign of a Mature Readers tag.


[Yellow Light]Also, just who is writing "Battle For The Cowl?" Earlier in the year, before it was even announced, it was expected by many that it would be Grant Morrison, until he denied it.

Then recently, Fabian Nicieza, author of the soon-to-be-cancelled-and-replaced "Robin" series, stated that Judd Winnick would be the author.

Then Dan DiDio announced that Tony Daniel would be both writing and drawing the series.

Times they are a changing.


[Green Light]Next Saturday and Sunday, I'm in Dublin for the Dublin City Comics Convention. I'm allowed one convention a month, and a free hotel room, a £20 flight on RyanAir and a chance to do a Live Lying In The Gutters superseded the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds over the weekend just gone...

So in your face Leeds, it's Dublin all the way! It's my birthday the Friday before so I'll probably be in party spirits. Feel free to celebrate my 36th by joining me in a drift into unconsciousness against a protesting liver.

Mmmm... liver...

Guests include Dan Slott, Adi Granov, Olivier Copiel, Jonathan Hickman, Tommy Lee Edwards, Michael Lark, CB Cebulski, Esad Ribic, Paul Cornell, Liam Sharp, Matt Hollingsworth and the usual hangers on. Word is Simon Bisley might even be popping by. See you there.

Even if my vision is impaired.


[Green Light]The response to the cover to "Watchmensch," the upcoming "Watchmen" parody by my good self and artist extraordinaire Simon Rohrmuller from Brain Scan for March... was rather good.

So here's a first page...

Start mentioning "Watchmensch" to your retailer. Casually, of course.


[Green Light]Once upon a time, Bill Jemas took an ex-cab driver-turned-writer to write an "Ultimate Daredevil" series, concentrating more on legal somersaults that superheroic ones.

Said writer had no experience of law whatsoever and spent weeks watching Court TV to catch up.

Sadly, Jemas found himself unable to sign off any of his proposed scripts and that was the last anyone heard of him.

Until he just popped up writing "Gossip Girl."


[Green Light]The last chapter of "Watchmen" sees Ozymandias dropping a huge alien Cthulu-like extra-dimensional god creature on Manhattan, its psychic impact killing millions and being felt worldwide. And it existence unites a world on the brink of war.

It's such a ludicrous plot device - but as such it mirrors the ludicrous idea of killing millions to pursue an agenda.

It's a joke. And one that The Comedian doesn't get.

The "Watchmen" production team designed and developed the squid. But the findings of the test screening? The fans are happy enough with a squidless ending. And as that aspect was seen as off-putting to a mainstream audience, the squid's gone.

But replacing our tentacled chum in the movie with a series of Dr Manhattan energy devices around the world that explode, making Dr Manhattan the evil the world unites against, loses all sorts of nuances. But especially the ludicrousness.

"Watchmen's" going to be a good film. A lot better than "V For Vendetta." Leagues above "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." A hell of a lot more decent than "Constantine."

But, to paraphrase Pink Floyd...

Hey! Snyder! Leave that squid alone.

After all... Alan Moore knows the score.


[Green Light]I understand the proposed "Bad Girls Of Gotham" series starring Harley Quinn and Catwoman, scheduled for next year, was axed. Scott Lobdell had prepared an extensive pitch document that had been accepted, but was canned just before "Countdown" finished.

The series may not even have been announced but it has remained on DC's subscription lists for months.


[Green Light]"No Enemy, But Peace." - the true story of Sgt. Marco Martinez written and drawn by one of his fellow marines, Richard C Meyer, back in 2003. Meyer is currently deployed in southern Afghanistan in the Army. The comic is released at the end of December. Preview here.

Mark Waid's own "Legion Of Super Heroes" flight ring on eBay. Non-functioning, sadly.

More Steve Geppi property dealings.

Jamie Hewlett's "Phoo Action" TV series cancelled before shooting over script concerns, despite £200,00+ being spent. As if anyone watched it for the script.

Kick-Ass/Yummy Fur Swipe?

1:40 in? Yeah, looks like I'm getting X-Box 360 for Christmas.

"Rumors Of War," by Justin Jordan and John Bivens, is "Saving Private Ryan, written by H.P. Lovecraft, directed by David Cronenberg and it needs your votes.


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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