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 twelve 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 Mike Marts has just signed Jim Calafiore as a DC exclusive creator.

I also understand that when Marts moved from Marvel to DC, a rather large percentage of creators he was working with at Marvel were suddenly have very favourable terms arranged to stop them from moving…


[Green Light]Rob Liefeld's schedules reminds me of Douglas Adams' comment about loving deadlines - "I love the noise they make as they whoosh past." Every book this century seems to have been late, whether that be weeks and months late on "X-Force" and "Teen Titans," or years on "Youngblood Bloodsport" (which, reportedly complete, was originally planned for 2002, but recently resolicited from mid-2004's solicitation to ship in November 2006 - it didn't.)

So the news Rob has been working on the "Onslaught Reborn" series with Jeph Loeb set certain people's stopwatches ticking. Especially since it was meant to be a weekly five issue mini series, shipping in November. Well that soon changed.

Rob started work on the project in March 2006 and previewed pages at the end of that month. In mid-September, he stated he had finished issue #2, but then in October stated he was still working on the issue in question, trying to solve problems with one particular spread. The book was clearly now going to be a monthly. When the first issue shipped late November, Rob stated he was working on the third issue - which conflicted with earlier interviews when he guaranteed he'd have finished the third issue by that point and also guaranteed a monthly schedule.

Issue 3's original shipping date of January 17th first slipped to January 31st but has now slipped to February 14th.

Onslaught #4's published schedule has slipped from February 21st to March 7th but #5 is still at 28th March. Hmmm.

Still, Rob's had more comics published of late than his old "Heroes Reborn" partner Jim Lee. Right now, "All Star Batman And Robin The Boy Wonder" (I love typing that all out every time) is an annual.


[Red Light]The following is purely speculation and supposition so it's not actually a spoiler for "Civil War." Still, tread carefully.

Now, Marvel have a pattern of both intentionally and unintentionally spoiling the plot twists of this title, whether it's Spider-Man's unmasking, the identity of Daredevil or the post-CW role of Iron Man. Often once something leaks, Marvel have then had a habit of running interference, creating mock covers or mock leaks to obfuscate the original.

For the last week, the big supposition was that Captain America was going to kark it. With no Captain America issue solicited for April, and the fake title spinoffs "Fallen Son" quite easily becoming "Fallen Soldier" by the date of publication, a blood spattered shield on the cover of "Civil War: The Confession," the division centring on the Avengers team, and statements about the death of a much beloved character and how Captain America will have to be dealt with, it wasn't looking good for Steve Rogers.

Then suddenly, Amazon had a listing for an upcoming TPB by Iron Man regulars called "Iron Man: Steve Rogers," (suggesting that Steve Rogers survives and becomes Iron Man) featuring this oft-posted Marc Silvestri cover….

…with aspects that have appeared in other artwork for "Civil War: The Initiative."

… and signs of bad photoshopping. Yup, it's a fake on Marvel's part. And one that got taken down a few minutes after I emailed them about it (though the visual is still on Amazon as of print).

The timing does indicate that Marvel has engineered a diversion away from the original rumour, and it would fit their PR pattern. Certainly artwork from "Mighty Avengers" seems to show a post-CW Tony Stark in the Iron Man suit. But nothing post-CW for Steve Rogers or Captain America yet. Although odds are one of them will be the new Ronin.

Head spinning yet?

Of course, Mark Millar is on record stating that neither Iron Man nor Captain America will die. But he didn't say that Steve Rogers or Tony Stark wouldn't die did he? Ahhh.... And the ending of the series was formalised after a writers summit discussion with Joss Whedon - a man who has made a habit out of killing off lead characters in his TV series, "Buffy," "Angel" and "Firefly."

But Marvel also have a long history of hinting something very strongly and obviously before then pulling the rug from under the readers' feet.

So, looks they'll just kill Nick Fury again.


[Yellow Light]Tony Lee. No sooner is he made Group Editor at Markosia Comics under Brian Augustyn, than Comics International who publish his monthly column say that as there's a conflict of interests, the column should end. And its nothing to do with Lee's vocal criticism of new CI editor Mike Conroy's Eagle Awards (though Lee seems to be nominated in almost every one of them).

Lee tells me, "I would like to thank all those at Comics International who have worked with me over the last year on 'It's Only a Comic,' especially Dez Skinn, who was the bloody fool who allowed me to stay in the first place.

"This isn't the end of IoaC, as I've already had a request to put it back where it started, as a column on an international news site.

"As speculation is rife on such things, it is a decision that Mike Conroy had to make for the good of 'Comics International's' commitment to be unbiased in all aspects of their magazine, and not, I'm sure due to the fact that I have been openly critical of his Eagle awards over the last 24 hours, and have been quoted on other rumour sites as starting up a tongue in cheek rival ward ceremony with Dan Boultwood to be held in the bar the same night. I am convinced that the timing of this is totally coincidental."

Conflicts of interest never seemed to bother CI before. Really must be a dawning of a new age. Reminds me, still got to deliver my own copy. Coming in a second, guys.

EDIT: Bloody hell, someone's gone and voted me in for the Lifetime Achievement. Oh, that could be very funny.


[Green Light]There's been quite a lot of fuss over a piece of artwork being sold on eBay by Jim Steranko. Steranko states that he'd donated the hand coloured original artwork to a Harry "A" Chesler, setting up a permanent collection of original comics artwork at Fairleigh-Dickenson University, only decades later to find the piece being eBayed off. And then suddenly, the eBay auction was removed. Success on Steranko's part had been presumed.

Then it appeared again, with a rejection of many of Steranko's claims and litany of explanation as to the piece's provenance - including the statement that the piece served as wallpaper in a children's bedrooms for a time.

Better than my old "Star Wars" wallpaper, I tell you.


[Green Light]Last year, Marvel published the "Amazing Fantasy" series. It died a respectable death. But, in a quirk of fate, issue #15 lives on. The original "Amazing Fantasy" #15 in 1961 featured the first appearance of Spider-Man. Well, the new "Amazing Fantasy" #15 featured the character "Mastermind Excello," who is now instrumental in the upcoming World War Hulk.

Man your eBay stations…


LITG's favourite film-related website, Film Ick, has the low down on "Spider-Man 2" Special Edition DVD Extras.

A video trailer for AiT/Planet Lar's "The Homeless Channel" by Matt Silady.

Brian Bendis and David Mack talk about their new "Daredevil" series, starring three "legendary" artists on Fanboy Radio.


Check whatever I'm selling on eBay ... I'm having a big New Year's cleanout. Lots of hardcovers, trades, DVDs...

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