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]Dez Skinn, co-creator of "V For Vendetta," and publisher of "Warrior" and "Marvelman" has published the magazine "Comics International" for two hundred issues and almost as long as I've been enjoying American comics. I've read every issue, started writing pieces for it, and for the last few years, have seen extracts from LYING IN THE GUTTERS reprinted in its pages every month.

And after publishing its 200th issue, Dez has sold the magazine. To who, I don't know, but Dez is stepping down, news editor Mike Conroy stepping up to editor, and Dez will be consulting during transistion. Issue 201 is delayed, but will come out in the next few weeks.

Dez is working on a new TV live action series, an animated series and spending more time being a dad.

It's an end of an era. It really is.


[Yellow Light]Kneon Transitt, mentioned last week as a creative with payment problems fromn Gemstone, emailed me to say "My wife just dropped me a line and told me that Jon Clark (of Gemstone) called and that the checks were released today."

I understand Gemstone owner Steve Geppi became aware of the situation after LITG was published. And it seems a dozen or so Gemstone freelancers will have a slightly merrier Christmas than they may have been expecting.


[Green Light]It was solicited as the "Infinite Christmas Special." The shipping list, on the week it came out, had it as "Infinite Christmas Special." So why, when it shipped, had it become "Infinite Holidays Special?" After all, previous Christmas Specials have had no problem featuring Chanukah stories (and more on that in a minute).

Dammit, maybe Bill O'Reilly is right after all? Just after it had all been debunked.

Marvel should have published a "Civil War On Christmas" book. It would have come out in March, but hey.

Look. Billy from the Family Circus reads Marvel Comics.


[Green Light]But it wouldn't be Christmas that destroyed the DC Universe, rather Chanukah. Benjamin Birdie of Boom! Studios points out that in the latest issue of "Firestorm," one of the small plot points is that Dr. Martin Stein hasn't been in touch with Jason (Firestorm) for a few days "because of Chanukah." Another character is quick to inform Jason that Chanukah runs from "16 December - 23 December." Which is this year's dates for the festival of lights.

Which would be great if "Firestorm" wasn't running on the "One Year Later" schedule. Which would mean the dates would be different.

Of course, this only applies if the DCU is working off the same calendar as we do, which "52" seems to indicate, but has not been officially stated. Maybe Superboy's punch knocked Chanukah out of whack in the DCU, along with all those retroactive changes to the "Infinite Crisis" hardcover?

And is it me, or has Superboy's punch become "the fluke" from Alan Moore's proposed "Twlight Of The Superheroes?"

Oh, and from page 3 of "Justice Society Of America" #1... is that "Wacker" who is going out of business with a 52% off sale?


[Green Light]I understand that specific shops that ordered hundreds, even thousands, of Platinum/Image's "Cowboys & Aliens" received a cheque this week for the full amount from Platinum. Watch for that graphic novel chart any day now.

It also seems that Platinum bought minor comics newssite BrokenFrontier.com. Apparently Platinum shopped around, but instead plumped for something a little... well. Cheaper.


[Green Light]Isn't it fun when press releases explode? When it's not so much trying to read the fine print, but realizing that this is actually the tone they want people to associate with their company? Let's take Shocker Toys.

"It is with regret and extreme frustration that Shocker Toys announces a further change to Indie Spotlight series 1. The premiere of this line will now include Rob Schrab's Scud the Disposable Assasin, Terry Moore's Katchoo of Strangers in Paradise, Jimmy Valentino's ShadowHawk and David Mack's Kabuki.

"Company head Geoff Beckett remarked 'We understand that this is the second time we've had to change this lineup and people have even suggested we are making plans without contracts in place. This is simply not the case. Shocker Toys had hoped to create an action figure line that celebrated the spirit of independent comics, working closely with the creators of each comic to make the figure fans always wanted. Unfortunately, sometimes money becomes more important than honoring a contract. This business can be as cut throat as any other.'

"Shocker Toys will continue to develop the 6 inch Indie Spotlight action figure series alongside our GWAR 7 inch figure series and the customizable and licensed Shockers block figure lines into 2007. We look for the support of toy and comic fans to help us spread the word on our projects and help us to make the best toys we possibly can. Be sure to look for us at Toyfair 2007!"

Maybe wear kevlar, just in case.


[Red Light]Rumours from the DC Subscription department have caused all sorts of kerfuffles, telling subscribers that "All Star Batman And Robin The Boy Wonder" have been cancelled. Worried DC readers who called up the department, hoping that maybe they meant that the book just wasn't available from the subscription department (and with their schedules who could blame them looking to replace them with something a bit more regular) were told, no, actually, that while "All Star Superman" will continue, just not from the subscription service, "All Star Batman" has been totally cancelled from issue 5.

Sounded like misinformation to me. Titan Magazines will certainly think so, as they've started serialising Miller and Lee's title along with Morrison and Kubert's "Batman" run and "Superman/Batman" in a new "Batman Legends" monthly newstand magazine in the UK, which in no way resembled the almost entirely identical "Batman Legends" book thatPanini used to publish until last month when they lost the DC license to Titan.

Americans, watch for it on eBay any day now.

A quick e-mail to DC confirms what seemed most likely - that "All Star Batman" isn't cancelled. The subscription department got it wrong. Expect someone over there to be given a quiet word.


[Green Light]From the film "Saving Private Ryan."

"Ultimates" Vol. 1, Issue 1

Tim Bradstreet comments on an earlier Swipe File, for the full, unadulterated truth...<>



Remember that "Civil War" varaint cover that accidentally got leaked on Diamond's website for a few minutes, that Marvel then decided they had to cop to, featuring a new Fantastic Four?

Could it be the same cover that has actually been up on Wizard's site for ages, and is the real source of everyone getting the cover and sending it around?

Yes, yes it could.


[Green Light]Order the Hero's Initiative Stan Lee/Joe Quesada/Kevin Smith DVD. Brits get it now, while the dollar is so low!

Esad Ribic has completed three issues of the "Silver Surfer" limited series by Joe M Straczynski, but as yet, no one knows if it's a five of six issue limited series...

Skottie Young's no-show from the Birmingham Comic Show last week? Turns out that Skottie didn't have a passport. Ouch.

Looks like we're getting John Byrne's "Alpha Flight" run in trades.

I got a Wii.

And on the vinegar strokes with CBLDF's eBay listings ...

NEXT WEEK: A Christmas Day column... on Christmas Day? Who'd have thought it? So don't watch the Queen's Speech, read Lying In The Gutters instead... with all the trimmings! (Well, actually, maybe. Depends on Jonah's schedule.)


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

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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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