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.

Currently writing this column in the little village of Abberley, just outside Worcester, visiting my parents. Hey, you know the best way to stop me writing about "Lost Girls?" Discovering my mother reads the column. Anyway…


[Green Light]Marvel Comics has issued an instruction to artists, basically, to ask them to stop swiping. Here's the letter;

Swiping has a long and proud tradition in comic books - Wally Wood famously wrote "Never draw anything you can copy, never copy anything you can trace, never trace anything you can cut out and paste up." To some people, including me, seeing where images originated or what influenced them, is a peek behind the creative process. To others, it's considered theft, or lazy work practice. But now it seems, to Marvel, it's a potential legal minefield. And what impact will this have on clear homages, where the intent isn't to hide the original reference but to proudly announce it?

It wasn't something I said, was it?


[Green Light]With Mark Bagley's lengthy run on "Ultimate Spider-Man" ending soon, it's time for a new artist to be named. Who might it be?

I have it confirmed that Stuart Immonen is the new artist on "Ultimate Spider-Man."

To celebrate Stuart's arrival, I have decided to spell his name correctly.


[Green Light]I understand that there is a "Tick" special in the works - including work by Simon Bisley and Fred Hembeck. There's a couple of names that go well together…


[Green Light]So… who's going to ask Alan Moore what he thinks about this then?

The V For Vendetta Hallowe'en Costume Kit.


[Green Light]Madison Carter, "Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe" writer, recently defended what some people saw as the "inning" of gay Marvel character The Rawhide Kid, as anything but that.

However, after Joe Quesada spoke out on the issue, Carter posted his own account of how this all went down, saying "As you can see, the two explanations don't quite add up."

I can't really see the contradiction myself. And it's worth pointing out that Ron Zimmerman didn't originate the gay Rawhide Kid concept, Axel Alonso did. And Ron's history with Howard Stern, although promoted heavily at the time, is minimal - he's been far more involved with shows like "7th Heaven" - which makes for a rather interesting biography.


[Green Light]Kevin Murphy, "Desperate Housewives" writer, is writing the "Nobody" pilot for ABC, based on the Image/AiT Planet Lar comic of the same name. Variety are describing it as "Gilmore Girls meets Kill Bill"

Also, one of the Project: Greenlight winners, Patrick Melton is working on another AiT/Planet Lar property, "Smoke And Guns."


[Green Light]The new "Who's Who Mystery Boxes" range from DC, where the customer buys a box without knowing which DC figure is inside, is part of a toy-wide trend to provide an added "chase" element to buying cool-looking bits of plastic.

However, a number of retailers have reported that on the checklist that runs down the side of each box, the character in question has been ticked off with a pen, "ruining" the element of surprise.



[Green Light]Ron Marz has been promoting the "Cyberforce/X-Men" project he's writing for Top Cow with Pat Lee on art. Linking to the Newsarama article he comments "Before anybody asks ... to my knowledge, Pat Lee is drawing the entire project without background assists. Not that the geniuses posting on Newsarama understand that..."

So there you go then, geniuses.

On the thread, colourist Richard Isanove had his own take.


[Green Light]Where did the extra finger come from in this Byrne Commission?

Could it have been from this Sentinel?


[Green Light]Last week, we linked to a discussion in the Byrne Robotics forum on gun control. While there was one quote in particular pulled, John Byrne's opinions concerning the ownership of guns were rather negative, and as he said "At least twice in the past 2 years I would have been dead by my own hand if I'd had a functional gun in the house".

Other lines included:

"Let me say, as calmly as I can, that all of you who think private ownership of guns is a good thing are seriously fucked in the head."

"How many more children have to die before you morons grow up?"

"However "responsible" you may think you are, having a gun in the house automatically increases the odds that someone will be hurt or killed with it."

"Private gun ownership must be phased out, over a period of years."

Thanks to the LITG reader who scanned in an issue of Wizard, interviewing John Byrne at home. I think we can all be glad, based on John's comments, that the issue in question is a fair number of years old.


[Green Light]Superman by Sienkiewicz… and then by Arthur Suydam


[Green Light]"Omac" #4

That's just wrong.


[Green Light]Andy Mangels likes Wonder Woman just a little too much. You know, the way that can scare people. But that does make him perfectly qualified to run an online Wonder Woman museum and on October 29th, 2-6pm, "Wonder Woman Day" at Excalibur Comics, Portland OR, to benefit the women and children's shelters - Raphael House and Bradley-Angel House. A free all ages event with Wonder Woman artists signing, art prints, art auctions and well as exhibitions, costumes, memorabilia etc.


[Green Light]Next week, "Comics International" publish their 200th issue. CI publishes extracts from Lying In The Gutters every month in a special column "In The Gutters" and I've been writing for them on and off for about thirteen years. So, it's about time I gave them a plug.

The 100 page anniversary issue has a Mark Millar interview and unseen sketches, character designs and layouts by Steve McNiven for Civil War.

It sees the one-issue return of "Ranson Notes" by Arthur Ranson, "Major Digressions" by Peter David, "Beyond 2000" by David Bishop and "Movers And Shakers," as well as the regulars.

The letters column also features words from Paul Levitz, Dan Didio, Joe Quesada, John Cassaday, Michael Moorcock, Roy Thomas, Axel Alonso, Mike Richardson, Chris Staros, Marv Wolfman, Paul Cornell, Dave Gibbons, as well as art and comment from Mike Deodata Jr, Brendan McCarthy, Bob McLeod, Henry Flint, Kaare Andrews, Tan Eng Huat, Philip Tan and more.


[Green Light]Orbital Comics in London is hosting a Ben Templesmith signing on Saturday. Bring your copies of "Fell"… then sell them on eBay.

Want to be a Marketing Manager for Wizard? "Help take mag, event & retail businesses to next level. On-line and Viral specialist w/ strong background in trad mrtkng. Database analysis a +. Email sal req" mdonato@wizarduniverse.com

Me, I'd suggest they use more vowels.

Marvel really should get those Joe Kelly "Deadpool's" back into trade.

"Civil Wardrobe" is still in print… but I've had lots of reports of shops selling out. Here are a few stores with plenty of copies if your own store isn't particularly helpful

USA: Silver Bullet Comics, Phoenix Comics & Toys, Flying Colors Comics.

UK: Gosh Comics, Orbital Comics, Amazing Fantasy.


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Check whatever I'm selling on eBay ... new stuff every week all the way up to Christmas.

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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