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. The veracity of each story is judged by me and given a spotlight - Green is the most reliable, Amber means there's likely an interest involved or the likelihood isn't set and Red means even I can't quite bring myself to believe it.

Lying In The Gutters is for your entertainment. Neither Fair Nor Balanced.

I'm thirty-five on Wednesday. Ouch.


[Green Light]Flew in for the Big Apple Con, flew back out and wrote this column.

And what a blast it was. A hundredth the size of the San Diego and NYCC events, yet with a decent guest list and a critical mass of people and attention. Where else would you see S Clay Wilson and Rodney Ramos sitting together? Or someone who once played a stormtrooper sitting next to Val Kilmer? Where suddenly without warning on Saturday, Neal Adams shows up as a surprise? Where a cheerleader might not save the worldm but could save the convention? Where the stifling heat inside contrasted with the freezing wind outside? Where a gossip columnist from another country could perform a live rumour panel that involved tying audience members together with string?

And with decent bars in short walking distance. In which you'd meet up with old friends and new ones.

Basically it was a British comics convention in the USA. I really enjoyed myself. Picked up lots of comics which I'll be talking about this week, heard lots of gossip, some of which I'm talking about this week, and found myself walking past a nice looking cafe to look up and see DC Comics above it.

Pictures and commentary to follow...


[Green Light]The last two LITG columns... this one and this one, have covered the death of Bruce Wayne, his ascendancy as a Fifth World New God, and his replacement here on Earth.

I can now tell you that the new Batman will be designed by Alex Ross and will see Jason Todd under the cowl.

Poor Dick Grayson. Don't you hate it when someone junior to you is promoted above your head?

This is all part of a cross-continuity, longform story by Grant Morrison and in terms of structure bears similarity to his "New X-Men," but on a far wider scale. It sounds rather good.


[Yellow Light]"Adventure Comics" #462:

In which the Earth-2 Batman dies. And then there's

In which... well...


[Green Light]It was Heidi MacDonald's birthday bash on Saturday, during the Big Apple Comicon. And a load of us crammed downstairs at The Stout on 33rd for a spot of karaoke. Including Heidi's rendition of... well... why not expecience Heid Zeppelin for yourself? She was followed by Alex Segura, Nelson, Rodney Ramos and many more.

Thankfully no one recorded Heidi and me dueting on "Summer Lovin'" later. If you did, I am prepared to pay for it to be deleted.

I left at around 2am to get a bit of sleep. Sadly an hour later I realized the bag I'd carried to my hotel wasn't my bag at all.


[Yellow Light]Also at the party I got to chatting with a bunch of people intent on reviving the Valiant Universe. And, I understand there's a possibility DC may be reprinting the published works as trade paperbacks, with a little Miracleman-style skirting around Magnus and Solar for copyright purposes. And probably paying a lot less for the rights than they would have had to years ago when Acclaim made the offer...


[Yellow Light]Last week's story about Marvel's profits being so high in part due to "the benefit provided by the settlement of the audit claims" pricked up a couple of ears. It turns out that as part of a licensee's agreement with Marvel is that the licensee is regularly audited, and can be heavily fined for making any mistakes. However, they can't complain to anyone about it. So no other licensee is put off making a deal.

Of course, there's always the flipside of the coin, where licensees get away with ripping Marvel Comics off.

However, auditing fines for licensees have, of late, turned into a small but growing revenue raiser for the company. And can make more profit than a few of their existing comics!


[Green Light]Josh Adams, son of Neal Adams, will be making his comics debut in early 2008, in the third issue of "Division 18: The Union of Novelty Costumed Performers" from Silent Devil, with a pin-up on the back cover of issue 2.

See how his work is going here.


[Green Light]Angel Medina has revealed at WizardWorld Texas that his next work is going to be a six issue Venom limited series, in a "Year One" style. Medina states that in the first proposal, Venom would only actually appear in issue 6, but it's now been rejigged so he first appears in issue 2.


[Green Light]I understand that "Spider-Man: Reign's" Kaare Andrews is taking a breather from sequential art to direct a TV pilot called "Siblings." Produced for Tommy Lynch Co. and The Cartoon Network, it's a live-action series described as "Heroes for tweenagers"

You can see it listed on page 5 of this Director's Guild Of Canada, BC District listings PDF...


[Green Light]John McCrea is drawing "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" for the UK edition of the comic. Take a sneak peek.

The issue is published in the UK on 17th January.


[Green Light]The current "winning" Zuda entry is David Gallaher's "High Moon". Apparently it got a huge influx in hits and readers when this column linked to it recently. So, I'd better make sure I don't do that ag... oh bugger.


[Green Light]We're all aware that Fangoria has ceased comics publication. Well, according to artist Brian J Crowley, they may have ceased paying as well. This is a letter he sent two weeks ago, without reply.

Dear Mr. Avallone,

Enclosed is a copy of an invoice for $2,160 that your company received on Aug. 17, 2007, for work I completed as an Independent Contractor for Moe Greene Entertainment LLC.

As of this date, Oct. 22, 2007, payment has not been received.

Last week, during a telephone conversation with Jeanine Walsh, who described herself as the "payroll manager," said she was aware of the invoice but informed me that the "investors" of Creative Group/Moe Greene Entertainment have decided that the company will not pay its outstanding invoices.

Mr. Avallone, I met my contractual obligations with Creative Group/Moe Greene Entertainment. The books I lettered were completed on time, without problem and in accordance with our agreement signed on April 12, 2007.

Please note that the invoice for $2,160 states that it is "approved by Scott Licina" (executive editor) and was, "payable on invoice date" of Aug. 17, 2007.

At this point, I can only assume that Ms. Walsh was misinformed about Creative Group/Moe Greene Entertainment's intentions toward paying money it owes to independent contractors and others.

My working relationship with the company has been enjoyable and I hope to have the opportunity to continue working with Creative Group Inc.

Mr. Avallone, I would appreciate it if you would look into this matter for me and promptly let me know when I may expect to receive payment of $2,160.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

It's going to court.


[Green Light]I picked up my copy of "Black Dossier" over the weekend. And while fellow Brits are anxiously expecting their copy from Amazon.com, I understand it's expected to reach you... just after Christmas.


As for the US version, it sold out from Diamond in a day. A hardcover graphic novel. Quite unusual.


[Green Light]The covers to the first issue of the new "Halloween: Nightdance" coming out in February from Devil's Due, courtesy of Bill Sienkiewicz and Tim Seeley.


[Green Light]Do you like music? Do you like "Scott Pilgrim?" Then why not listen to Black Ball False Truth's song "Knives Chau Luvs LCD"

Phil Hall's back. Run.

You know Midtown Comics in Manhattan, just off Times Square? Turns out the corner that their shop is on, is the same crossroads corner from "Watchmen." I hope they capitalize on that come the movie...


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

My social networking is pretty much all Facebook these days, but I'm around at Bebo, MySpace, ComicSpace and Twitter, too.

Use eBay to help pay for my flight to New York too...

And my Wii number is 0512 2690 8446 2879

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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