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 light system is on hold for now. They usually represent how reliable each story is, but with the column on a little skeleton staffing of late, I'd just take everything with a big handful of salt and hope for the best. Hell, this week is thin. A combination of sleepless nights, hard work, one night out and a weekend barbeque. Normal service will be resumed soon. Please, please soon...

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

ITEM! Yeah, so what happened with that Jim-Shooter-off-Legion thing? Industry gossip has the move down to the "Legion Of Three Worlds" series that trampled on what Shooter saw as his plans for his series. And, so, vamoose.

ITEM! So who will be drawing the rumoured fill-in sections on "Final Crisis?" The name I'm given is one Shane Davis...

ITEM! This Saturday's Alan Moore signing for the UK launch of the "Mindscape of Alan Moore" DVD at Orbital Comics in London could be quite entertaining...

I love Orbital. It's a classic model of an old school basement comic shop, but it has a wide range, manga, back issues and a real family feel. It also has no back entrance, just the small cramped set of stairs from the street level.

Alan is planning to sign for about an hour. As a result, it's an on-the-day ticketed event, and people are planning to camp out overnight to make sure they don't get bumped. Some are planning to fly in from Texas. Also, the shop is on the route the Anonymous crew take to picket the Church of Scientology building in their V For Vendetta masks and getup.

The world is coming. Down that small flight of stairs. And no one's getting out...

Perhaps they should hire some security from the Astoria opposite. Just in case.

ITEM! And for those who get their copy of the "Mindscape of Alan Moore" DVD, there's a wonderful Easter Egg. One of the unused cards on Chapters 29-30 reveals a recital of "The Demon Regent Asmodeus" by Alan Moore, with music by Tim Perkins from "The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels" CD. A symmetrical poem, it also appears in "Alan Moore's Magic Words" from Avatar, illustrated by Jacen Burrows.

The visuals match the poem - they play through to the middle, then reverse along with the words...

ITEM! And finally, boy, Dave Gibbons is going to be in demand...

Back to BJ And The Bear.

ITEM! The cover to the TPB of "Aztek: The Ultimate Man" .

So... which one of these writers does DC prefer?

NON-SWIPE FILE ITEM! From the back of the "Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther?" trade paperback:

Ain't It Cool News has lauded as "better than watching a really great hour-long television drama."

From Ain't It Cool News:

"does feel almost like I'm watching a really good hour-long drama on TV."

Is "almost" the new "better"?

ITEM! Now you know I'm allergic to cosplayers. Which makes it doubly strange why, this Saturday, I'll be at the MCM Expo in London helping Markosia shift some signed copies of "The Flying Friar." But I thought it might be the kind of place my three-year-old daughter Eve might just love. If she's very good, I may buy her a hat with ears or some such. But that's it.

ITEM! Next weekend, the Camden No Barcodes Festival is taking place. Minicomics all round, and a full exhibitor list. If you're in London on May 31st, why not pop by?

ITEM! On Monday the 28th April, LITG published

ITEM! No one snarks like Mark Waid. And I should know. From a recent Comics Bulletin interview, "Spider-Man is FUNNY. He's genuinely funny. His dialogue is a joy to write, and if you don't have your readers chuckling or even laughing out loud a few times per issue, you should go write Thor or something."

This was a whimsical attempt at humour, inviting the reader to draw an inference from something that was never there for comedy purposes. We never mentioned Joe Michael Straczynski (ex of "Spider-Man", now on "Thor") but Mark Waid has apparently been battling to put out the fires it caused ever since (though without actually letting me know) so I'm pleased to confirm that Waid was not referring to JMS and that they are both just cuddly bunnies together.

ITEM! The burning question - what does John Byrne have to say about the action of Warner lawyers stepping in to forbid online sales of original commissioned artwork?

"Copyrights have to be protected in ALL circumstances, or they are implicitly protected in NO circumstance.

"Might make for "bad form" sometimes, but it's the Law."

Blogosphere, I'll leave that Judge Dredd-style pronouncement to you.

Until then, here are some more sold original artwork featuring Warner Bros characters.

ITEM! DC Comics? Planning on reprinting Frank Miller's "Ronin" as an "Absolute Ronin" volume? Maybe you could return a stab of speech that has been missing from every TPB collection of the mini-series.

From the issue

From all the TPBs.

Shut Up Momma!

And its time to save up for "Absolute Sandman" volume 3 and volume 4...

ITEM! LITG is proud to welcome Brian Hibbs TILTING AT WINDMILLS back to CBR. Back you say? Why certainly... this was the first edition of the popular column made available online...


Bryan Hitch and Google Images

"Pulp Tales," from Boom! Studios

ITEM! Poster for "War Heroes" from Image.

Obvious photo reference

Attempt to hide source of original swipe, including photoshopping in an extra bit for the gun, and launch a competition.

As you can see, retailers can get their details listed in "War Heroes #3 if they take a photo of the "War Heroes" poster in store. But as well as that, artists known to a store can submit their own variant War Heroes cover to be used on issue 4 at full professional rates (and we don't mean what Pat Lee paid Alex Milne).

And if that's not enough, look for incentive covers on each issue of "War Heroes." Issue 1 will have a 1:10 for a colour Marc Silvestri, 1:25 B&W version of the standard cover and 1:50 B&W Silvestri cover.

And nothing to do with "War Heroes," this is an LITG competition announcement, currently without a prize. Who can send in a photo of themselves posed to look like their favourite swipe? Mack? Land? The choice is yours!

ITEM! Want to be in Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse?" Why not post an audition on YouTube? Don't want to be in "Dollhouse?" Ditto. Why not join me?

ITEM! Wizard interviewing Daniel Way:

"Perhaps that's why the publisher is letting the scribe behind the controversial series Wolverine: Origins spin a brand-new Deadpool ongoing series out of the upcoming Origins arc featuring both characters. Shipping to comic shops next week, "The Deep End" is a five-part story pulling Deadpool and Wolverine into a head-on brawl, and after that story wraps, Way and artist Steve Dillon will continue the adventures of Wade Wilson in a Deadpool ongoing series debuting later this summer."

Joe Quesada MySpace blogging:

"we never announced that Steve would be the artist on the series. I believe some in the press speculated that he might, but that didn't come from us."

Naughty Wizard! But thank Joe for some Milo Manara X-Men art...

I'm sure one of them is Storm.

ITEM! There's a vacancy for Senior Vice President Business and Legal Affairs for the DC Legal Affairs department.

That was Paula Lowitt's position. It appears she's been gone from DC for two weeks.

ITEM! Ethan Van Sciver makes a bid to get in LITG with this post; "Gail Simone made it the best convention ever, as we finally got our project together. Gail said, "I don't know if Didio will let us..." But I reassured her, "Gail, we're big, gigantic superstars. He'll let us.

"And over a huge DC family dinner, Dan immediately agreed the moment the subject of our top secret cool project was broached. He's no dummy!"

Success, Ethan, success!


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And my Wii number is 0512 2690 8446 2879. Anyone for a game of Mario Kart?

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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