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. Normal service will be resumed soon.

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

ITEM! Garth Ennis has a new ten part colour mini-series in the works from Avatar called "Crossed." Art by Jacen Burrows. Garth describes this intense horror series, saying "Precious few laughs in 'Crossed’; it's easily the most disturbing and fucked-up thing I've ever written".

And I've got every issue of "Dicks."

ITEM! I can confirm that "Kick-Ass" has gone into preproduction. The script, based on Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's "Kick-Ass" creator-owned comic from Marvel, is written by Stardust team Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn. Directed by Vaughn, it's been fully financed from his MARV Films company. All that's currently needed is a studio to distribute the finished movie, which won't exactly be too hard to find when "Wanted" hits. And when news breaks on a certain actor they have lined up...

And look forward to other movies from Mark Millar's canon from MARV Films in the near future.

Gods, he's going to be unbearable isn't he? Maybe this press release sent to Variety by Platinum Studios might help. It credits "Wanted" as being created by Will Eisner...

ITEM! The Wizard building listed for sale in last week's column caused some ex-employees to share their fond memories. One said that promised raises were not delivered and the cost of the building was blamed.

With the Congers HQ sold and the New York building on the market, could Wizard be downsizing fast?

If a sale goes ahead, current employees will miss the smell of the muffin factory next door.

ITEM! I wasn't at Bristol this weekend for the comics convention - being a new daddy. But some people were. Haven't missed it too much to be fair. Not seeing old friends, that's a bummer, but the weather has been sweltering this weekend and that place doesn't have air conditioning.

It also doesn't have very strong floors. Remember the Iron Man Mark One costume I reported on last year? That turned up, but apparently was too heavy for the floor in the building, so it had to go back on the van that delivered it. Oops.

It was also a shame to miss Bob Wayne on Friday's retailer panel, he's always entertaining. When one editor let slip news on a new Gene Ha "Top 10" series, Bob ordered the retailers to act surprised when it's officially announced. So you lot do likewise!

What else came to me in my London backwater? Well, Mike Conroy's daughter Cassandra has taken over the running of the Eagle Awards from next year. The awards ran over terribly this year and the results are still to be officially press released anywhere though someone's memories reveal Best Newcomer Writer: Matt Fraction, Best New Comic: Thor, Best Inker: Matt Brooker, Best British Colour Comic: Spectacular Spider-Man, Best Website: Marvel.com, Best Letterer: Dave Gibbons, Best Editor: Matt Smith, Best Publisher: Marvel, Best Black And White British Comic: How To Date A Guy In Ten Days and Best B/W US Comic: Walking Dead. Favourite Original Graphic Novel: Black Dossier. Favourite Magazine About Comics: Wizard. More to come as and when.

And no one wants a repeat of the bullying stormtroopers, trying to get people from one pub into the film show/cosplay event... Jim Shooter's non-attendance was due to being dropped off "Legion" by DC.

Also coming out of Bristol is word that Andy Kubert is joining Joe Michael Straczynski on "The Brave And The Bold."

ITEM! Currently on eBay, Bob Kane's personal Batman comic collection, compromising his bound file copies of “Batman" 1, 2, 3 and “Detective Comics" 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45.

Full provenance can be found on the listing.

Anyone with the right cash and connections willing to purchase said item for, say, the Library Of Congress, alongside the “Amazing Fantasy #15" artwork?

Or even just authenticated and noted by a comics historian for archival purposes?

Makes this copy of the BJ And The Bear Annual with early rare Alan Moore work seem rather pathetic in comparison.

ITEM! Alan Moore is signing "The Mindscape Of Alan Moore" DVD and grey-imported copies of "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier" at Orbital Comics on May 24th.

Orbital is a wonderful basement comic shop in Soho, due to be demolished for the Crossrail project. They asked me if I'd donate my Alan Moore spoken word CDs to provide background tracks for the event. I'll bring them in on Tuesday, chaps!

ITEM! Looks like Sony is looking for a senior artist for the MMO, DC Universe Online. Anyone?

ITEM! In an infamous Newsarama thread, Hollywood producer Don Murphy and my good self once went head to head over a battle over what is known in the industry as "The Alan Moore Question."

You can read the whole thing here. Well, most of it anyway.

Because one discussion point spUn around Alan Moore's attitude to the movie industry over his experience with the film of "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen," a movie that Murphy produced and, indeed, sold to a studio for Moore before the comic was even published. It was that act which ensured "LOEG" was a creator owned title within the ABC line, rather than owned by Wildstorm and then DC like all the others.

However, a legal suit brought against the movie over its similarity to the script "Cast Of Characters" saw Moore dragged into a deposition that lasted a day, a court experience than Moore believed would have been better if he'd "molested and murdered a busload of retarded children after giving them heroin." And he blamed Fox for settling the case, effectively as he saw it, accepting the charge that Moore simply rewrote the "Cast Of Characters" script under Fox's instructions as both a comic and a movie.

Murphy took exception to this accusation, and stated that it was Fox's insurance company that settled, not Fox itself.

Until the 27th of April 2008, that is. When Don Murphy edited his old Newsarama posts to remove any mention of Fox's insurance company settling. On the same day, Wikipedia user MyVeryEducatedMother deleted all mention of Fox's lawyers settling the case on Wikipedia entries with labels such as "removed citation that is no longer there- oh well" and "hmmm citation gone."

What remains is older pre-edit Wikipedia entries and replies to Don's posts quoting his words. As of now, those are untouchable.

So what happened? Don has a history taking issue with Wikipedia and he may simply be scuppering the ability of Wikipedia to reference his statements.

But it does seem rather odd.


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