The leading comics industry column is currently running on skeleton service, due to this little bundle of fun.

Normal service will be resumed when her sleeping patterns form. And I get a little rest by going back to my radio advertising job tomorrow. But for now... this is a gossip and rumour column for the comics, please use your inate intelligence when reading. You'll find a mixture of news, reportagage, opinion, gossip, rumour and spoilers. You should be able to figure out which is which. Feel free to email for any clarification.

ITEM! Looks like I'm not the only one going back to work tomorrow. Scott Dunbier, removed as Executive Editor from DC/Wildstorm Comics will be joining West Coast publisher IDW tomorrow in an editorial role, when his contract with DC expires. IDW was originally run and staffed by Wildstorm emigres, such as Ted Adams and Jeff Mariotte, so there will be plenty of friends. Expect more from the usual sources when it's official.

ITEM! Debate on the identity of the Marvel_b0y blogger continues. Purported to be a Marvel insider posting spoilers and inside company gossip for upcoming comics, much as Felicia did years before, he was banned from the Bendis Board by an irate Brian Bendis.

Appearing on the Bendis Board again under a new identity, "marvel_boy 2 electric boogaloo," it was clear than rather a new login identity, it was the blogger's previous login unbanned and renamed - something only a top Bendis Board moderator could have done. Explanations of the board being hacked have been dismissed.

Marvel_b0y's original blog was self-deleted when real hardcore spoilers started being posted in the comments. And his/her new blog has had anonymous comments removed.

The conclusion being drawn by much of the industry is that even if the original marvel_b0y blogger was genuine, the current one is not and is totally being run, written and controlled by Marvel or Marvel-associated people. That any negative descriptions towards Marvel employees, such as Joe Quesada, have been cleared by them. And nobody is buying it.

If it is a new development, then the current execution seems flawed - everyone seems to be calling it viral. If it was always a gag, then certain Marvel employees have been working in a climate of fear and uncertainty unnecessarily. And if it is all genuinely non-viral, then he (or she) is multiple-personality, chemically imbalanced or a fraud.

It's April Fool's Day tomorrow. Maybe we find out then.

ITEM! While everyone saw marvel_b0y for what he was, there's one piece of viral marketing which slipped everyone by.

Kinsey is a girl with a lot of friends on MySpace (793 at time of writing). And why not, she's 18, she lives in New York, she's hawt. Why not add her to your MySpace friendls list?

She's got a video blog ostensibly about her senior year. But there's something very weird about her brother Hank.

He's acting crazy, he writes in his own language, keeps maps and may be a pod person.

Her last blog where she confronts Hank, got over 200,000 MYSpace viewers concerned. And who is Professor Fitzgerald? Well, she and Hank are totally fictitious creations from Marvel. Professor Fitzgerald is a professor of Peter Parker's at ESU, where Hank is studying. I think we all know what Hank is.

Bravo Marvel. This is how you do viral marketing.

I really am myself by the way. Unless I'm Tom Brevoort.

Unless he's Tom Kreevoort.

UPDATE: Kinsey is played by Megan Sherlock, who is the partner of Marvel employee and ex-Wizard staffer Ben Morse. She previously hosetd Wizard YouTube videos...

UPDATE 2: Brian Bendis confirms the whole Kinsey thing...

ITEM! Stan Lee on spinning "One More Day"

ITEM! DC has mixed up which Earth is which. Originally there was New Earth and Earths 1-51. Apparently, New Earth is now Earth 1 and there is now an Earth 52. I think.

ITEM! There's been a bit of a ding dong between Wizard World and DC of late, with DC refusing to attend any of the smaller Wizard World shows such as Texas, LA, and next year Philidelphia. DC feel they aren't getting the editorial and convention programming love so they want to cut ties wherever they can. Watch for Wizard trying to appease DC wherever they can - Dan Didio was their #1 headlining guest at a recent show, above hot artists and writers.

ITEM! Continuing yet more departures from Wizard, their PR guy Drew Seldin left last week to set up his own PR company. By emailing everyone on his address list, smart man.

A second shoe dropped as Martha Donato, pressured to leave due to her decision to criticise internal decisions alongside a fellow departed colleague, finally left.

Wizard Magazine recently plugged this product, a scanner described as "Comic Book Collectors Heaven"

The ad goes on, "It is a unique scanner catered to anyone who wishes to keep their comic books or even old magazines in pristine condition for financial gain."

Just like people back up Playstation discs so they don't get scratched, right?

"The OpticBook 3600 also has an amazing scanning speed of 9 second per page that really shortens the time that need to be scanning a book."

Upload all this week's First Look books illegally online in minutes!

ITEM! Are you a member of the estate of a comic book creator, who wrote or drew some random comic before the Second World War which has gone one to make thousands of faceless bureaucrats exceedingly rich? Why not employ this man, stop living in a hovel and go and buy Florida.

ITEM! I understand that as of tomorrow, you'll never look at this column in the same way again

ITEM! I've decided to act on one of my resolutions. This week, a proposal for a new "Comic Relief Comic," a sequel to this little baby, is being considered by Comic Relief for Red Nose Day 2009. More, as (or indeed if) it happens.

ITEM! The second season of "Joking Apart" by Steven Moffat has been officially released by a fan of the programme and is only available here. Both volumes highly recommended as a pinnacle in the "Seinfeld"/"Fawlty Towers"/"Frasier" school of farce. I am the Moffat pimp, I am.


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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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