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 thirteen long glorious and quite scary years.

All stories are sourced from well-connected individuals and checked with 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.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK- "I wish I hadn't lost my password to the Bendis boards" - Mark Millar.


[Green Light]On Wednesday, the San Diego International Comic Con starts. Expect announcements of projects, exclusives, signing and deals all over the place. Photos of booth babes, of pissing stormtroopers, of parties and of people falling off the CBR boat. A great time for comics and its associated hanger on industries like film, games, toys and little beany hats.

Of course conventions do bring out the worst in people. The heady mix of success, drink, drugs and Hollywood types has seen senior members of various companies risk their marriages on a spin of the dice with an employee and/or spouse of a freelancer (with heavy repercussions meted out to any who speak out of turn). And as some marriages fail or separate, with people finding themselves back "in the game" suddenly it's a whole new world. A chance for geeks and those in administrative positions in the comic industry to behave like coke-addled rock stars.

Conversely, it's also chance for the comic starfuckers to emerge, fans to shag their way round the pro circuit and at one recent San Diego one was responsible for a minor STD outbreak. One person's hot tub hijinks is another's personal trauma, one person's near-nude booth babe becomes a wardrobe malfunction and a chase through the Hyatt hotel at 2 in the morning. When I was first at San Diego in 1997, I had sexual advances made towards me eleven times in four days. Mostly by women. Since then it's got a whole lot worse.

My advice? Stay safe, if you're fucking around. And if you're married don't fuck around. For all that San Diego is large, the industry is tiny and it all has a horrible act of getting back to you. Or the spouse of the person you're fucking. And then suddenly there are people packing boxes and calling lawyers, company allegations of sexual impropriety and late books getting even later.

No I'm not going.

Anyway, if you'd like to be my eyes and ears on the floor, in the Hyatt lift, on the CBR boat or trawling the Gaslight district for cheap waffles, e-mail and text message me at any point. I'll put up the best observations, quotes, gossip, rumours and examples of NerdCon at RichAndMark.com through the convention.

And if you missed your SDCC tickets, don't worry, the eBay ticket touts are out. I've got my own stuff to sell as well you know.


[Green Light]The upcoming artists for "Amazing Spider-Man" so far?

Well, "Brand New Day" is obviously Chris Bachalo. Like, duh. And Phil Jimenez lined himself up for an arc up a while back.

The rest get revealed in a few days time.

And what's this little visual of Simone Bianchi's that someone left lying by the photocopier?


[Yellow Light]I understand that, disappointed with "Countdown" sales to date, Mike Carlin is bringing in a few artistic "ringers," big names to help draw attention to the teetering weekly. Bet a few get announced at SDCC.

Also, I hear this week's issue should be quite interesting for all sorts of good reasons…


[Green Light]"FreakAngels" is a new series for Avatar that Warren Ellis will announce on his panel on Saturday night.

Or rather "confirm."


[Green Light]Alex Serra and J Torres will be the regular team on the Johnny DC "Legion" book from issue #10. As the cartoon has been revamped for the second season for an older audience, the comic will follow. It's the Legion anniversary next year, and there's quite a lot riding on Legion as a franchise.


[Green Light]I understand that Top Cow will be re-signing their deal with Marvel Comics for an extended period of time. Expect more details at SDCC.


[Yellow Light]Look for the "Degrassi" graphic novels to move to DC's Minx line. Degrassi executives have been dining DC people and line editor Shelley Bond is a big fan of the TV series.


[Green Light]It won't be just the CBR boat that will be launched at SDCC.

I'm told Bryan Talbot will debut his "Naked Artist" collection of industry anecdotes. Do make sure you get him to sign the naked photo of himself at the back.

While you're there, the "Supernatural Law Companion" debuts, with a guide to the Batton Lash series from Exhibit A.

And in a coup for the Prism Comics table, they have "Fun Home's" Alison Bechdel doing a signing just before the Eisner Awards on Friday. Looking after the people who looked after her.


[Green Light]Alex Fitch's radio show "Panel Borders" on Resonance FM here in London is wonderful for some of the more intriguing comics-related interviews around. Four episodes are currently streamable here, with a Transformers Geoff Senior/Simon Furman on the way.

My favourites are Patty Jeres and Peter David. The latter has the true story behind the Captain Marvel/Bill Jemas farrago, and the first mention of David's Doctor Who short story that's coming out in March.


[Green Light]From Radical Publishing, created by Dave Elliot. A new, harsh, down to earth take on Aladdin. Expect to hear more at SDCC.

Image by Dave Wilkins.


[Green Light]Pencils from the newly-announced "Lord Havok and the Extremists" by Frank Tieri and Liam Sharp for the DC Universe.

Looking lovely there, Liam!


[Green Light]Something special this column has donated to the CBLDF is the "Get Out of LITG Free." One chance for a creator of publisher to get rid of an LITG story either before or after publication.

Interested parties can bid on the item at the CBLDF Comic-Con Welcome Party on Thursday. Anonymous bids can also be sent to info@cbldf.org by Wednesday, 12 AM PST. More Welcome Party items can be seen here.


[Yellow Light]I understand that DC had so much success with giving employees every other Friday last year that they're doing it again this year and included an extra floating holiday in the summer.

Which should bring cheer to every DC employee.


[Yellow Light]Anybody want to buy a used fantasy anthology magazine?

Back in 1998, Heavy Metal owner and Turtle creator Kevin Eastman said "If there was an opportunity to get a fair price for Heavy Metal, I would sell it . Why? Because I just would, I guess. There's other things I want to do."

Last year, Eastman apparently told a friend that he had sold the magazine. Double Zero, the singer of a rock band in Los Angeles posted on his blog that Kevin Eastman was giving him the main role in the movie adaptation of "Fistful of Blood", the graphic novel Eastman and Simon Bisley did for Heavy Metal, that Eastman is directing himself:

He wrote"Fuck a band! I am starring in Kevin Eastman's next movie with Pam Anderson! Kevin Eastman (ninja turtles & heavy metal) is doing a movie called "fistful of blood" and has asked me to star and I have said "yes!'" also he will be doing the Double Zero "The American hero" book and movie with Bruce Willis playing me in the year 2012! wow!"

And during last years San Diego, he added"…speak with "Kevin Eastman" to finalize my co starring (Kevin told me at the show my name is "above the title! " oh my god! I am getting full body rushes sitting here just thinking about it! let me tell you something, when you dreams come true it is so fucking sweet! man! life is worth living after all!"

"Then Bob, Kevin and I are doing "double zero" for Heavy Metal and my comic book/movie!"

And then "Kevin broke my heart! He is selling 'Heavy Metal!" Shit! There goes my movie and comic book! Good! Fuck that shit!", adding "Now that it looks like Kevin is selling Heavy Metal and retiring I am over all the comic book bullshit and movie crap! He told me three times I was in his movie "Fistful of blood" with Pam Anderson and my name was to be above the title! Well fuck it if it don't happen! Less pressure on the hero! "Good!" and "Last week Kevin told me he is selling out Heavy Metal and he is "over" the comic thing! "Me too!" If he is out then I am too! The only reason I went to that comic con was to watch the back of a guy who stanned mine and to see Kevin who is retiring! Thanks anyways whatever happens Kevin I think your the coolest! Thanks for even saying I was going to be above the title! It was sweet while the dream lasted!"

Except Eastman didn't sell Heavy Metal. But probably tried.

Anyone want to talk more, this looks like the place to do it.


[Green Light]Jamie Rich's next comic with Joëlle Jones, "You Have Killed Me." Expect to see a lot of this from Wednesday on.


[Yellow Light]I understand a Todd McFarlane/Robert Kirkman project will be announced at the Todd McFarlane panel at SDCC.


[Yellow Light]South West England is currently under threat of flooding as the Thames River is expected to break its banks. Scenes like this:

My house is at risk, but not as much as the Oxfordshire offices of Rebellion, home to "2000AD" and "Judge Dredd Megazine." The worry starts here as Oxforshire begins to sink.

You know, on a TV show a few years ago, with hypothetical political events occurring and contestants choosing policy decisions, Rebellion boss Jason Kingsley made the decision to let prisoners in a fictitious prison drown.


[Green Light]Did we know Howard Mackie was originally asked to write "Ultimate X-Men" before Mark Millar?


[Green Light]No not that book. "Soon I Will Be Invincible," a new novel by Austin Grossman available shortly in hardback from Penguin. With a Bryan Hitch cover.

The story of two superpeople, a new member of a JLA/Avengers style team and an old super villain working on his new plan. "Squadron Supreme" Meets "Watchmen" Meets "Astro City" Meets All The Other Attempts To Tinge Superhero Stories With A Little World Realism.

Still if you like "Astro City" and don't mind words (you beat yourself through a whole column to get this far), you'll like this.

Not exactly going to set the literary world on fire, but then it's better than Jennings The Wizard.


[Green Light]Does anyone have a contact for ex-Comico, Andrew Rev? I have someone here who might have a deal going for him.

"Final Crisis?" I'm sure I've heard that name before, back in May?

Transmission-X is a new webcomic site from Cameron Stewart, Karl Kerschl, Ramon Perez and more.

Gay erotic thriller comic interview recorded, semi-naked, in bed.

"The Weekly World News" is shutting down. Where now Paul Kupperberg?

The first episode of "The Wire", the best television drama made since "The Singing Detective" (and not, as Nick Hornby says "Abigail's Party"), legally online, for Brits. Oh and Heroes starts on BBC2, Wednesday. Double bill from 9pm and a "Making Of".

Mass Distraction.

Naked Fat Rave at SDCC. Work safe, honest!


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

Visit my MySpace or my ComicSpace as I discuss next week's column.


Oh and I'm starting to Twitter now as well now.

And Facebook.

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.

How the New Batman/Superman Adventures Exceeded Expectations

More in CBR Exclusives