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 and sent past respective publisher representatives before publication. Mostly. 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.

Looks like I'm going to be going to the Big Apple Convention in New York this November. Don't ask how, or why, sometimes opportunities just present themselves. If you're lucky you may see the USA debut of Lying In the Gutters Live!


[Green Light]I briefly attended the Movie And Comic Expo in London's Docklands on Sunday to help launch my "Flying Friar" comic, in full colour with a nice TPB spine and a thing of beauty. The show was impressively sized, with a mostly manga/anime focus, and a few actors from "Heroes," "Star Trek," "The 4400," "Town Called Eureka," that kind of thing. The comic publisher area was small in number, but spacious.

You know, if this expo actually reached out to the wider comics community, it might not be a half bad way to get the UKCAC-style convention, currently masquerading in Bristol and Birmingham, back to London. It's not that far to a pub either…

Also, with "Flying Friar" hitting shops in a few weeks, I'd be interested in talking to anyone who'd be able to help out publicity-wise. Journalists for respectable publications preferred of course. Especially those visiting this column because of the article directly below this one…


[Green Light]Marvel seem to have a new sponsor.

The United States Army logo has been popping up all over the place in Marvel comic books. Issues of "X-Factor," "Hulk," "Ultimate X-Men" and more. I sent a number of emails to the man responsible at Marvel, Mike Pasciullo without response asking about the backstory.

Page from "X-Factor" #24.

It's not exactly something new - Marvel has used Nike logos before now as product placement, and of course during World War II, it was a propaganda partner. But now, with so much criticism aimed at the ongoing war in Afghanistan and Iraq (with a possible extended crossover into Iran) is it really the best time for a series that features violent, fantastical escapades to seek to ally themselves with army recruitment? Especially in such a subliminal fashion?



[Green Light]The next "Power Pack" mini-series is titled "Power Pack: Day One." The series will be by Power Pack regulars, Fred Van Lente and Gurihiru.

Van Lente's next series with Ryan Dunlavey after "Action Philosophers" is a comic based on the history of comics.


[Green Light]John Byrne announced "Next Men" black-and-white "phonebooks" will be published by IDW next year. Think "Cerebus"-sized. New content may be forthcoming if the volumes sell well.

On Tuesday's episode of the US reality show "Beauty And The Geek," the writer of IDW's "Angel: After The Fall" (officially not allowed to be called "Angel: Season Six" so watch it) Brian Lynch, as well as Eric Powell, Dwight Albatross and IDW EiC Chris Ryall appear, sadly as neither beauties nor geeks, but as part of a challenge. Maybe there's room for an American virgin...


[Green Light]Jim Starlin snuck Dr. Strange's window into Death of the New Gods, having it be Metron's window. Cute lil Easter egg - but don't mention it on the Byrne board!


[Green Light]Here's the scam.

A man calling himself "Charlie Scott" calls a comic store listing a number of rare comics he has to sell. He says he's an old customer of yours and has won an auction in an estate sale. He's disabled, his parents are dead and he needs $32 to complete the sale. He will then sell the books for $300, when they are worth tens of thousands, if he's wired $32.

He mentions very specific examples and gives a convincing back story. And the amount is small enough that the receiver may be willing to risk it.

But Charlie will never be heard from again.


[Green Light]Tony Bedard's screenwriting debut, "Turok: Son On Stone," due out in February.

Shame IMDB lists the writer as Fabian Nicieza...


[Green Light]Entertainment Weekly recently ran a preview of "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier," at such a low resolution, that the lettering wasn't visible. So they scrubbed out Todd Klein's carefully chosen text and inserted their own. And then added a magnifying glass device removing the need to have relettered it at all. It could have been worse, it could have been in Comic Sans.

I'm glad to see the online article also now references Top Shelf - it previously mentioned Top Cow instead.

UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly have fixed the original piece, allowingreaders to read the pages as they were originally lettered! Huzzah!


[Green Light]There's been a little debate of late over publishers practices of when or when not to collect a title or continuing series in trade paperback form.

Chris Rice holds forth on Brian Hibbs' take on Vertigo's trading practices.

Marvel did at one point state that a collection of "World War Hulk" would be delayed until the end of 2008, but a hardcover is listed on Amazon US for January 23rd and a softcover on Amazon UK for January 14th.

Needs must, it seems...


[Green Light]Fired ex-DC staffer Bob Greenberger is writing a new "Batman Encyclopaedia." Looks like you can rebuild bridges.

The conclusion to Geoff Johns' "Last Son" will be published in February.

Peter David has been having his own interesting issues with the United Fan Con, who invited him as a guest back in April, only for them to disinvite him last week because they hadn't sold enough of his signatures in advance. Cue, people telling the con that they aren't coming anymore

UPDATE: They changed their mind! Peter David shall go to the ball.

There is more Roger Langridge "Fin Fang Four" on the way. Yay!

James Kochalka has another "Hulk" strip that will be featured in Marvel's indie anthology. No sign of the Peter Bagge "Incorrigible Hulk," though.

The Birmingham Comics Convention, displayed in the only way it can be. With Kev F Sutherland's Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre. Featuring Hunt Emerson, Bryan Talbot and well, um, me.

Karl Alstaetter's new book, "88" is about a drug that gives the user super powers for 88 minutes and the cops that try and stop them from hurting themselves and others. Initially a stand alone single issue, "88 Preemptive Strike," followed by a graphic novel sized book.

This is thee new cover for Phantom Jack trade out in November...

Lying In The Gutters has been exclusively invited to the preview of David Bircham's new exhibition of art from "Brodie's Law" and "Destiny" on November 14th, London. So I've decided to invite as many of you along as would like to come. Just print the following image out.

A link for PJ Holden's "Previously" comic mentioned last week...

And get your illegal comic downloads while you can...

I'm interviewed by Alex Fitch at Resonance FM this Thursday from 5pm as part of their "Strip" programming, streamed and with replayability later. That London radio station has lots of comics programming, interviews with Neil Gaiman, Leah Moore and John Reppion, with ComICA coverage to come…

In the second part of the Moore/Reppion interview, they mention that they moved to Dynamite from Wildstorm, because Wildstorm wouldn't commission any new work from them until the "Albion" TPB was released.

I seem to recall making the very wise and spontaneous observation that British creators, via US publishers, are basically outsourcing the publication of British comics for British readers to other countries - such as "Suburban Glamour," "Jack Staff," "Fred The Clown," "Glister" and the upcoming new "Excalibur" series. Shame the plan came a cropper with "Black Dossier."

And with "Viva Laughlin" debuting on US TV, a look at the original BBC version, "Blackpool" here, here, here, here, here and here

UPDATE: The curse of LITG strikes again, "Viva Laughlin" has been cancelled after two episodes. Looks like Americans will have to make do with the original.

And just because I can, look who's back in a Steven Moffat written mini-episode airing shortly.


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.

I have nothing on eBay right now but check back later in the week.

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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