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.


[Yellow Light]Terry Gilliam is the latest movie name associated with Virgin Comics.

There are rumours that he is willing to see his unproduced movie scripts adapted into graphic novels, limited series and continuing series... and that Virgin is the name most associated with this project, after a recent interview with Phil Stubbs.

Rumours I hear include a version of "Time Bandits Two" as an ongoing series - a young girl meets a new group of Time Bandits on the run from a Supreme Being set on destroying the universe.

"Theseus And The Minotaur" sounds like a limited series, portraying the story of Theseus after he has slain the beast, trying to live a normal life again.

And "The Defective Detective" seems to suit a massively complex graphic novel running through the subconscious.

Gilliam's interest in this project comes from an intention that these comic book adaptations provoke new Hollywood interest in old ideas and, if nothing else, give the audience a glimpse of what he intended.

Expect a bigger, in depth investigation from the Film Ick blog some time Tuesday or Wednesday..

And has everyone seen Gilliam's "Tideland" yet? If not, make speed!


[Green Light]This is the solicited cover to "JLA" #2.

And this is the new cover to "JLA" #2

Notice how the shadow figures don't match up to the real cover - and how the bow changed from green to red? Naughty naughty...

Hat Tip to Brad Meltzer's own Myspace page.


[Yellow Light]On Millarworld, Mark Millar is predicting a huge boom in the comics industry between 2010 and 2013, but a bust to follow that will destroy the US comics field as a result of Hollywood leeching talent, turning comics into little more than a hobby industry.

Of course, we've been here before. In 1999, Morrison and Millar in "Writers On Comics Scriptwriting" predicted such a boom in 2005, something they repeated in 2002.

But in 1998, I reported on Morrison predicting a boom in 2002.

Of course, Morrison has said the world is going to end in 2012 anyway.

Me, I think the comics boom is happening now... only the people who would have kicked the sales of books into the millions are downloading them instead.

Still, Millar may have a point. I had a producer sniffing round "The Flying Friar" the other day. If they'll have me, they'll have anyone.

Regarding the sliding scale of his predictions, Millar told this column, "There's been lots of takes on the speeding up of the next boom with the early naughties or whatever, but I've maintained since 1995 that it would really get underway in 2005, similar to the last one twenty years ago, where a consolidation period occurs and writers are the driving force of the industry. However, just like the late eighties, I think artists will become a much, much bigger deal than writers in the next few years and a group of people with the significance of the Image guys (for good or bad) will take the books to new sales heights. What's exciting, of course, is that someone reading is one of those people. Also, the fact that so many comic writers are being poached by Hollywood right now is a wonderful opportunity for new writers to start submitting because we have an expanding market and hopefully lots of job vacancies. I think the next eight years or so will bring a boom to the business like we've never seen before. Civil War's three printings might have taken the first issue to nearly 400K, but that's nothing compared to what's coming up. I think the next near-decade is going to be an explosion like we've never seen and, quite rightly, anyone over thirty like me will look like doddering old farts.

"Then, of course, bust naturally follows boom and it all collapses again in the middle of the next decade. However, take these guesses with a pinch of salt as I'm the same guy who said 'Superman Returns' was going to be great so what do I know??."

Well, with Terry Gilliam moving into comics in order to get Hollywood interested in those properties again, looks like a few minds are thinking the same way.


[Green Light]This is the cover to "Phonogram" #5.

Oh yes.


[Green Light]Marvel Babies. As seen at the 2006 Licensing Show.

Photo by Jeff Lange.

Who says Marvel don't target young children any more?


[Green Light]I came home tonight to find my "CSI: Dying In The Gutters" comp copies. Oh, and the framed original art for my death, by Stephen Mooney.

Thanks IDW! I'm going to hang it in Eve's room...


[Yellow Light]My sources inform me that Pat Lee is no longer a part of Dream Engine and that the departure involved a dispute over personal projects. The Executive side of this disagreement seems to be saying that Pat Lee was using too much company money for personal projects. Pat Lee's side seems to be that built-in caps on the amount of money Pat Lee was ableto make on Dream Engine work justified more emphasis on separate deals. Fall-out over this clash seems to include Pat's brother and co-investor Roger Lee, who I am told was also let go, and allegedly the pulling of extra funding for Dream Engine.

As a result, I currently understand that Pat Lee is refusing to pay certain Dream Engine artists, even those working on projects credited to him, and who are now told to ask Yeon Yi for money. It's not looking good. Dream Engine e-mails, phone numbers and even the website are dead. The site is currently in admin mode, which can make for some entertaining statistic reading (apparently on an average of 11 hits a day).

Pat Lee recently helped his partner, Aimee Chan to win Miss Hong Kong 2006. He's been in Hong Kong for the last month or so while Alex Milne has been helping him get his work done.

Milne has been ghosting for Pat on most of his recent work. Previously credited as background assistant, when creating entire backgrounds, design and page layouts, after he took over drawing characters as well, he stopped getting credited at all.


[Green Light]Comics International, the UK comics reportage magazine that reprints extracts from Lying In The Gutters, has hit a speed bump. And flipped. Approaching their 200th issue anniversary, their computers went down. And their backups. And couldn't create printable pages for a month. As a result, issue 199 will ship a month late, without any reduction in overheads. First time they've been more than a week late for 16 years, with the last of the Jack Staff serialised original story and Doctor Who in Comics featurettes. Ouch.

Maybe they can just say its part of some crazy "Civil War" homage?


[Green Light]Planeta De Agostini bought the rights for publishing DC Comics/Vertigo in Italy. But the first two issues of their "Adventures of Superman" (collecting in the first issues "Man Of Steel" by Byrne) have been produced in Spain and there has been much criticism of the translation and proofreading skills.

De Agostini's Italy have even stated on their public forum that though they distribute this, they have no hand whatsoever in the production.


[Green Light]From Previews - Holiday Ornaments

"This 11" tall wooden Superman nutcracker will crack your nuts faster than a speeding bullet!"

and for Yoda...

"May the force be with you as you crack open your nuts"

Going to be quite a Christmas!


[Green Light]Jimmy Valentino has been running a rather entertaining retrospective look at each issue of "Guardians Of The Galaxy," his pre-Image Marvel series. Worth reminiscing over, as well as the mentions of his planned projects with Rob Liefeld.

Avalon High gets sequeled. Yes that is a word. It is.

When Credits Go Wrong.


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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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