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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 55

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.

DESOLATION CAJONES

[Green Light]The new artist on Warren Ellis' "Desolation Jones," to replace the Dini-"Detective"-bound JH Williams, is Danijel Zezelj.

That's quite an artistic departure. But it's a rather thrilling one.

BATTYWOMAN

[Yellow Light]I understand that the creative team behind the ongoing "Batwoman" series, to be launched later this year/early next year, will be Devin Grayson and Dustin Nguyen.

Devin is best known for her run on "Nightwing," though I have a lot of love for her "User" series from Vertigo. I probably wouldn't mention this, but as it's going to be a talking point, Devin is also a prominent bisexual comic book creator.

Dustin's work first came to prominence on "The Authority" and he has continued to build a career with Judd Winick on "Batman," "WildCATS" with Joe Casey and "The Authority: Revolution" with Ed Brubaker.

The resulting coverage of the new Batwoman character over the last week has been surprising to some. Not so much the coverage, but the generally positive tone. Aside from a few cracks like the above title, criticism of pandering and a small minority of bigoted commentary, the coverage has been generally positive and welcoming. Some have seen this as indicative of a sea change, especially in American society. It's certainly different from the mauling Marvel received over "Rawhide Kid" which made them rather risk-averse in this area.

And for DC, that they've come a long way since they ordered a panel in "Jenny Sparks" to be replaced, from one that showed Apollo kissing Midnighter before they went into battle.

It is yet to be seen if there are double standards here. Gay women may seem to be more acceptable to a conservative society than gay men. But nevertheless, it's a positive step and one that might give a lesson to a number of publishers - including DC itself.

HALO CAJONES

[Green Light]From Alex De Campi's "Messiah Complex" coming out from Les Humanoides later this year.

It currently has no English language publisher. Someone should do something about that.

FAN-CAST-IC FOUR

[Green Light]From Elite Casting

FANTASTIC FOUR 2

"Casting is now in process. We are looking for many different "TYPES". If you are interested in auditioning please contact production for more instructions on how to submit your headshot and resume.

"The Fantastic Four will battle Silver Surfer and his planet-eating master Galactus."

If Keanu is set for Silver Surfer, than may I be the first to call for Jack Black for Galactus?

Jack Black for Galactus! Jack Black for Galactus! Jack Balacktus!

STAFFORD ON DISPLAY

[Green Light]Mark Stafford is one of my favourite cartoonists. I was the first to publish his work in America, in my old "Dirtbag" comics, so I feel as if I have a stake. He's currently working on a series for Dark Horse written by Bryan Talbot.

Currently, he is also cartoonist in residence at the Cartoon Museum for the next thirteen weeks. Drawing while children poke him with sticks.

I'll be popping round with an extra long stick myself tomorrow lunchtime.

SUPERMAN, SIX FOOT, WELL BUILT, CUT

[Yellow Light]Bryan Singer is still editing "Superman Returns." Currently at three hours, he's been ordered to bring it down to under two-and-a-half.

Care to preorder your extended DVD now?

GETTING MY SNIPE IN EARLY

[Green Light]From an interview with Wesley Snipes in "Men's Fitness" magazine this month:

"We're actually talking about doing Black Panther - he was the first African American superhero. He was around before Blade. He's the original. We've already done a lot of work on it. We hope to have a director soon."

Sorry Wesley. He was an African African superhero. Although even Marvel have referred to him as African American in at least one press release.

Still, I remember the time a newsreader referred to Nelson Mendela in those terms, so hey.

POSTMAN GLENN

[Green Light]I was watching an episode of "Postman Pat" with my 14 month old daughter yesterday on CBBC. Only to see that it was written by Glenn Dakin, one of my favourite cartoonists, behind such works as "Abe" and "Temptation" and someone I'd lost track of for a while.

Turns out that he's been writing for "Shaun The Sheep," "Bob The Builder" and has a children's comedy action series in the works called "Wereforce One."

Both myself and Eve look forward to it.

HARVEY NICKED

[Yellow Light]Could Marvel Comics' untraditional high standing in the Harvey Awards nominations be due to Marvel actually sending out nomination forms to staff and creators, as opposed to throwing them in the bin?

I don't know what's more shocking. That this is the only way "Combat Zone" could get nominated for Best Original Graphic Novel, or that Marvel not only care about the Harveys to send out ballots for a change and actually want to win them.

Quite the reversal of policy...

THE PILGRIM'S QUEST

[Green Light]London is completely dry of "Scott Pilgrim" #3. Despite ordering hundreds and hundreds of copies, all orders being filled by Diamond, by last weekend Forbidden Planet, Gosh, Comics Showcase, Comicana and Orbital were devoid of the book.

On reorder apparently. Still, it's shouldn't be this hard to keep a guaranteed hit on the shelves should it?

Looks like "Scott Pilgrim" is shaping up to be the comic industry's "Harry Potter." Expect midnight queues for volume 4.

PERSONS OF COLOUR

[Green Light]It's been widely reported that "Absolute Sandman" will collect the first 20 issues of the series, the first 18 of which will be recoloured to correct mistakes, suit a computerised system and modern sensibilities.

One wonders, if it ever happens, if "Absolute Sandman Mystery Theatre" will get the same treatment?

THE GREAT BLOG

[Green Light]I was curious as to why Newsarama hadn't run anything on the final confirmation of LITG-revealed series "Superman Confidential" and "Batman Confidential," with Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale on the former, Andy Diggle and Whilce Portacio on the latter. WizardUniverse were the first to announce it and The Great Curve were the first to follow up.

Until I popped along this morning to see that Newsarama have bought out The Great Curve and turned it into the official Newsarama blog.

This seems a definite marketplace challenge from Newsarama towards Comicon's The Beat. Grabbing some less serious, quick-witted reportage without having to change the original site's branding. Having your cake, eating it and increasing your size of the slice.

With WizardUniverse.com kicking off, and already leading with Newsarama-beating exclusives, is this the start of more online reportage consolidation? Look, CBR has got a blog now -- Comics Should Be Good moved here a couple of weeks back.

LOST GIRLS GONE WILD

[Green Light]From the industry's "Harry Potter," to its "Lady Chatterley's Lover." Okay, okay, just the tiniest of mentions this week. Promise.

I made quite a fuss last week about the decisions of various retailers whether to stock or not to stock Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's "Lost Girls".

But who thought, whatever the new social climate, that a chain such as Wal-Mart would happily sell the book? Without a content warning or anything?

Start a countdown until that link disappears.

Of course this Wal-Mart link shows that the speculator market isn't dead - although is possibly rather stupid.

SMALL PRINT

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