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.

Next Monday is the last LITG before San Diego. As it stands, no I don't think I'm going unless something amazing happens last minute. So if there's anything I need to know before, tell me now. And anyone who wants to be my eyes, ears, mouthpiece and possible nostrils, whether on the convention floor, in the panels, in the fast lift at the Hyatt, stuck in that motel 2 miles along the train line or on the CBR boat itself, give me a shout. Include your mobile/cell phone number as well. I intend to create a Gutterati network across the square mile that is San Diego Comic Con.

The column usually sucks the Monday after cons as everyone is either still drunk, jet lagged, in flight or basically never wants to think about comics again - at least until Wednesday/Thursday anyway. Let's stop that happening together.


[Green Light]Care for a sneak peek at the San Diego CBLDF Auction?

I knew you would! Everything from Bendis' Batman to a menu signed by Marvel.

And many more! You saw them here first...


[Green Light]I understand that Jeph Loeb is going to be taking a significant creative role at Marvel and will be heavily involved with the future of Marvel Comics. Expect all sorts of announcements in the months ahead.

Basically, if you want to do well at Marvel, sucking up to Jeph Loeb is a great place to start right now.

So, Jeph, about that "Marville 2" idea I had...


[Green Light]I understand that JH Williams is the artist on a new "Batwoman" series from DC Comics.

You know, after "Desolation Jones" I do hope JH isn't getting a reputation for drawing lesbians in tight leather. That would never do.


[Green Light]Remember those Titans-related "Year One" books that Dan DiDio mentioned a couple of weeks ago? Let's have a few titles and creative teams...

"Teen Titans" by Amy Wolfram and Karl Kerschel we knew about.

But what about "Raven" by Marv Wolfman and Damion Scott?

"Cyborg" by Adam Beechen and Ken Lashley?

Or "Beast Boy" by Mike Norton and J. Torres?

Start your geek engines.... wait for it.... NOW!


[Green Light]So, how cut throat is online comics? Well with DC dropping their load last week, everyone's going to be fighting over the content, right now.

Take Mike Miller, the comic industry public face of Wowio. He's been trying to get Scott Kurtz of "PVP" fame, pretty much the Alan Moore of online comics, to sign up via a mutual friend. Well, an ex-mutual friend.

An email to that individual was forwarded to me. The email is aggressive, accusing the email's receiver of bad mouthing Wowio in private emails that Mike Miller has seen, and half hearted attempts to bring Kurtz on board. Miller denies that the receiver deserves a share of any commission, which seems to be the focus of the email, and that any offer was dependent on getting Kurtz. Miller dismisses the acquisition of Jay Faeber's comics in comparison. Miller expresses a desire to kill the contract with the receiver, only paying for getting the "Goblins" series on contract.

This column is not printing the email, in part or in full, after receiving legal threats from Mike Miller to both myself and CBR in general, and stating that any article would put the chances of any of my own comic work appearing with Wowio at peril. While the latter has never been a concern, the former clearly is.

Mike did however state regarding the leaked e-mail, "This was one small portion of a private negotiation. There is a greater context to what was said and the other party and myself have come to terms and we are still friends. Business is business, and my business is my business."

Which is fair enough. This episode does however illuminate the degree of passion, concern from all sides over the future of digital comics and that there's an awful lot of money riding on it. Those of you who dismiss digital comics as a fad, or one that will never work financially should better think again. And clearly Wowio is a company that's filling its boots.

But not mine it seems.


[Green Light]I understand that Wolverine's son Daken is tagged to be … rumour/spoilery/warning white text on…the next Sabretooth later this year.


[Green Light]Dave Elliot, the creator of "A1" and publisher of some of the best comics to grace the good earth is back as editor-in-chief of a new comics company. Creators include John Bolton, Jim Steranko, Bill Sienciwitz, Yoshitaka Amano, Dave Dorman, WETA Workshop and more. The president and publisher is Barry Levine.

It's called Radical Publishing, they'll be at booth 2701 at San Diego and if you don't believe me, here's their flyer.

You saw it here, first.


[Green Light]So yes, I announced that Pete Tomasi would be taking over Batman And The Outsiders. And he isn't, Tony Bedard is. So what happened?

I'm told that Tomasi was lined up to write the book but didn't fit with artist Koi Turnbull who'd also been lined up. But it's not like Tomasi is without work, it appears that he has "Nightwing" and "Green Lantern Corps" on his plate.


[Green Light]Everyone's reported that Jamie Hewlett's writing a new BBC3 drama based on his "Get The Freebies" strip from "Face."

Just no one seems to exactly remember much about it. For shame, right, to the longboxes in the shed and fire up the scanner!

Seems a self fulfilling prophecy doesn't it?


[Yellow Light]In celebration of Rob Liefeld's return to Image, I'll like to link to a fun conversation between Erik Larsen and Rob Liefeld from an old All The Rage column… sorry, it's what I do.

I am looking forward to reports from the San Diego Image get together - considering Marc Silvestri took Top Cow out of Image totally rather than have be published alongside Rob's books. And both Erik and Todd have been fairly expressive about their criticism for Rob, post-Image. And Rob hasn't been exactly shy about mouthing off at the others either. Allegations of embezzlement, creator poaching and the like have been flying back and forth for quite some time.

Oh, I'm sure it's all water under the bridge. Still, I look forward to reports from the panel.


[Green Light]It's getting harder and harder to find anyone who supports the Iraq War these days. Thankfully, the comic book industry still has Green Lantern Ethan Van Scriver to fly the flag!!! Go Ethan!


[Green Light]The cover to "New Avengers/Transformers" #2:

Is that the Wolverine balloon from Thanksgiving Day Parade? Or is has he subject to the effect of extreme gravity falling into a black hole?


[Green Light]"Hack/Slash" Maiden

Iron Maiden


[Green Light]Gossip columns under the spotlight.

My favourite Flight of The Conchords song.


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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.

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