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.


[Green Light]I understand that both Fantagraphics and Harlan Ellison were asked if they would participate in mediation over their current legal confrontation and that both have, at this time, gladly agreed. This will occur on May 29th at the Federal District Court Of Appeals in California. It will be attended by Ellison, Groth and their respective legal representatives.

Given the good will from both sides regarding this approach, maybe we could indeed see peace in our time.

Nevertheless, I want to read the transcript. Serve it up to me on a silver platter with roast swan and fine wines.


[Green Light]Brian K Vaughan was writing the last issue of "Y: The Last Man" during the Bristol Con. I really hope he wasn't too influenced by any of the evening antics. Fighting, debauchery, public displays of nudity, copious drug use and the Eurovision Song Contest.

A fun show all round, really. Heavy audience on the Saturday for a UK con, plenty of British publishers, big and small, and a variety of big names and panels, a number of costumed exhibitionists and lots of young faces, it felt more like the grand old days of the UKCAC. This is a good thing. Basically you run around the hall and it's GristEmersonHineErskineWinsladeFegredoPhillips AdlardStarosBoardmanPhonogramBrodiesLawTalbot TripOverYoungGirlsReadingComicsOnTheFloorIsThatADalek?

The Lying In The Gutters Live panel, opposite the much more popular DC Universe panel, had the licence to be far more outrageous and scandalous than ever before with Patty Jeres, Andrew Wheeler and David Hine joining me in talking about some of the more juicy stories over recent years to an audience sworn to secrecy.

Patty Jeres…

…on the Gay Comics panel. Bizarrely, the panel, tucked away in a small unfindable room, was a thoroughfare for people dressed as stormtroopers. It felt ever so 1930's Berlin…

Gary Spencer Millidge doing his best "I've just been to Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's wedding and you haven't." Yes, the creators of "Lost Girls" tied the knot on the same day as the Bristol Con started, which saw certain regulars absent for the day. I understand the ceremony was small, went without a hitch, or rather, with a hitch. Alan and Melinda wrote their own vows and the celebration was long, cheerful and good humoured. Congratulations to the happy couple.

Neil Gaiman's cameraphone there - more photos here.

Back to the convention, me, drawing a one minute sketch of Darkseid vs. Scooby Doo. Oh yes, the ladies love a sketch artist, no matter how bad.

Warren Ellis cleaned up at the Eagle Awards mostly for "Nextwave," kicking everyone else to the curb, though he only found out the extent of his victory on Sunday night when I got back. The full results are here.

However, the true awards happened in the bar immediately afterwards, the Tony and Dan Champage Awards, where Titan Book's Jamie Boardman was only beaten to Hardest Drinker by the entirety of Mam Tor. I won Best Journo Scum Award and "Phonogram" walked off with Best Comic Written or Drawn By Our Friends.

An impromptu portfolio review

Steve White of Titan sporting a previously-unseen example of a strobing/flashing Transformers T-shirts about to hit the market.

An example of how small Phil Winslade's incredibly detailed original artwork is. The answer as to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? All of them, if Phil Winslade is handling the original art. Talk in the bar revolved around how the dollar/pound ratio means that "2000AD" are possibly paying artists better than Marvel and DC right now.

A working Dalek guards the Panini booth before the show opens.


[Green Light]The "Hitman" mini LITG talked about is a go, but it's the long delayed "JLA Classified" arc rejigged into a mini, so as not to sully the superhero title.

BRIAN VAUGHAN QUOTE: "Marvel is good as a training ground - get all your bad stories out of your system."


[Yellow Light]Expect a number of "Countdown"-related spinoffs from DC. Learning from Marvel's "Civil War," the mini-series in question will have "Countdown" in the title.

And to the creator who was worried I'd report a convention-floor "Countdown"-related conversation, please. I'm nice.

BRIAN VAUGHAN QUOTE: "I haven't dated a woman who hasn't stolen Preacher from me as our relationship crumbled into dust.."


[Green Light]Look for the return of Barry Allen, as hinted at in the "Countdown" ads, before the end of the year.

BRIAN VAUGHAN QUOTE: "Definitely, Flash has to win. There's no reason for his existence otherwise, he'd have to be executed."


[Green Light]Titan are creating a new "Tank Girl" series written by Alan Martin and Mick McMahn, unconnected to the Martin/Ashley Wood series from IDW. Though I understand that Wood was originally on board to draw the Titan version.

Titan are creating a book to accompany "Albion" called "Albion Origins," featuring classic IPC tales such as Kelly's Eye.

Titan are creating an "Art Of Jim Lee" hardcover

Titan are hard.

BRIAN VAUGHAN QUOTE: "I went on a shark diving adventure with Garth. I was trying to look tough around him, even though I'm scared of water and of sharks. I spent six hours over the side of the boat puking up my skeleton, while Garth was laughing at me and somehow got suckered into writing 'Midnighter.'"


[Green Light]Alan Heinberg is writing a Barbara Gordon series with Terry Dodson

BRIAN VAUGHAN QUOTE: "If I get on a boat with another creator I may end up writing 'Captain America.'"


[Green Light]"Vinyl Underground" is a new DC/Vertigo series by Si Spencer, Simon Gane and Cameron Stewart with very unusual and distinctive Sean Phillips covers based on record sleeves about London student muso occult detectives. Or the "Justice League Of Phonogram" as I'm calling it in a mean spirited fashion. I do understand it has been in the works for a long time.

BRIAN VAUGHAN'S ARTIST'S QUOTE: "Show that you're regular, that you can continue to put out." (Pia Guerra)


[Green Light]Issue #57 of "Y: The Last Man" has what Brian K Vaughan calls a "shocking amount of nudity." Artist Pia Guerra reported that the inker, Jose Marzan Jr., had to hide his pages from his mother.

This irked Jock slightly who has seen certain nudity on his and Mike Carey's upcoming series "Faker" circumcised by Vertigo editorial.

Vertigo editor Shelly Bond pacified Jock saying that, "Nothing's over till it's over... We'll talk..."

LITG will be performing a genitalia count on your behalf for both comics on publication.


[Green Light]Brian K Vaughan will be pitching a new graphic novel to Vertigo shortly and following that up with a new ongoing series.

He had four pages of notes from Joss Whedon regarding his first script for his upcoming arc on "Buffy" Season Eight.

But what we all wanted to know is that yes, he does know the complete picture of "Lost," he knows there's always been a complete picture about what's really going on, he knows all about the Dharma Initiative and he's only nine drinks away from telling people at any point.

And, yes, he did write the Superman/Flash sequence.

Enough Brian K Vaughan! Before I go all Alan Moore over him.


[Green Light]Recorded Thursday May 10th for FanboyTV.

FbTV: Can I get a confirmation - he [John Romita Jr.] will return to Spider-Man?

Joe Quesada: I don't know where you heard that.

FbTV: Can we say he's returning to *a* Spider-title?

Joe QuesadaL I can not confirm nor deny.

Really Joe? Let FanboyTV help you. Recorded two weeks before, Monday April 23rd for FanboyTV.

FbTV: What are your plans?

John Romita Jr.: I'm not entirely sure... there's a chance I'll do a regular Spider-Man title

FbTV: You're doing another Spider-Man title after The Hulk, presumably? I've been waiting for that.

John Romita Jr.: the last I heard, I'll be getting back on Spider-Man... I don't know which title... I can't give any more clear an answer than that.


[Green Light]Do you live in Hong Kong? Would you like to take advantage of an "Exciting opportunity to take inspiration and direction from renowned comic book artist GREG HORN!"Then click on this job listing.

"We're looking for energetic pencillers and inkers with a great attitude, passion for illustration or animation, and eager to contribute to a new series of orginal comic books."

What could they be?


[Green Light]Scott from Scott's Comics writes concerning FCBD, "I'm an online retailer and I received my FCBD books. I know another that received them also. I wasn't sure until I received the books, but I think your article and other complaints reversed Diamond's decision.

"Thank you for having articles about it, my online customers appreciate it.

No problem, Scott!


[Green Light]The Last Bat Days Of Alan Grant And Norm Breyfogle.

"Digital Webbing Presents" ends with issue #36.

Paul Levitz quoted on the cancellation of the "Teen Titans Go!" Comic - "I do not think we have officially ended Teen Titans Go! But the time is certainly near. With the animated TV series wrapped up and sales of the comic always having been fairly modest, it is time to make room for new projects. I hope you will enjoy most of them as much as you did Teen Titans GO!"

The final part of Brendon Connelly's Film Ick review of "We3."


As always, I've got all sorts of fun stuff selling on eBay right now, you 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. Maybe.

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.

x-men powers of x xavier
The End of Evolution: Powers of X Destroys the X-Men's Biggest Myth

More in CBR Exclusives