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.

Quote of the Week: "There are a lot of stupid people buying comics. Proportionately more than ever, alas." - John Byrne.


[Green Light]It's recently been indicated by Marvel that Thor is coming back as a part of "Civil War."

Feel sorry for the "Planet Hulk" guys… that was originally going to be their big denouement on Hulk's return.

Not any more.


[Red Light]There's a character name I've been hearing repeatedly in relation to the events of Marvel's "Civil War" series. White text for the potential-spoiler-free amongst you.

Hate Monger. The superhuman reborn Adolf Hitler. Who better to start a Civil War in America over allegations of fascist government policy?

That a thread about this individual was deleted off Millarworld very quickly last week could be telling... or it could be bollocks.


[Yellow Light]It's often been observed that Marvel and DC seem to swap identities periodically. Habits you expected from one, suddenly emerge in the other. DC reduce overprinting, Marvel overprint significantly, and run second, third and fourth prints to satisfy demand. Marvel won't publish non-MAX a comic with a gay lead character, DC line up a batch.

Marvel, accused of ignoring the direct market, and arranging exclusive deals for bookshops, have responded to retailer issues and have presented a far friendly face to them. And DC, long associated with supporting direct market, go and put a Barnes And Noble link on their website ahead of the comic shop locator service in their 'Way To Buy' section.

Admittedly, it's ahead of Borders and Subscribe, but still…


[Green Light]It's common these days for visuals on the cover of a periodical to cover up part of a logo. Characters burst over logos to give a feeling of three dimensional, especially when you know the logo and can take it for granted.

The magazine "SFX" made much of having characters standing over the bottom of the F, so the casual newstand browser would presume the title was SEX.

Well, now it's "Avengers/Power Pack Assembled" to get a bit of that action.

More suitable for the MAX line, no?


[Green Light]"Captain America" fill-in artist artist Mike Perkins is no longer fill-in. He's been officially designated "rotation artist" with Steve Epting, working on alternating story arcs.

Feels more like a scene from "Chasing Amy," but there you go. Artwork from his most recent issues is available here.


[Green Light]There's been a lot of fuss in LITG passim over copyright issues over its run. Well, there's been an intriguing development in a field with some Venn crossover with out own.

Last year, Lori Jareo wrote a Star Wars novel "Another Hope," published by Wordtech Communications. It was initially fairly well received by the Star Wars community, as it expands characters and subplots from the first "Star Wars" movie into an alternative retelling of those events. And of late, sales had been rising.

Trouble is, Wordtech is not a Star Wars licensee. Jareo should know that as she is also the publisher, before specialising in poetry collections. But by using the Ingram Lighting Source POD system that existing publishers have access to, they can get any book into Amazon and other online stores automatically - check Amazon US or Amazon UK. If you want a copy, I'd get in there soon.

Because, after the book was publicised on blogs and message boards, the lawyers started to act.

The website created to promote the book, has been pulled, but it is all available for now by clicking on the Cache section in this Google search including an excerpt from the book.

In the now-pulled interview with herself, Jareo answered the following questions:

"Q: Having set Another Hope in an already existing universe, I find myself wondering if there was any concern on your part regarding copyrights?

No, because I wrote this book for myself. This is a self-published story and is not a commercial book. Yes, it is for sale on Amazon, but only my family, friends and acquaintances know it's there.

Q: I also wonder how far a writer is allowed to write in a world and to use characters introduced by another author?

If it's not a commercial project, I don't see any problem. George Lucas' Star Wars universe is fertile territory for so-names "infinities," or alternate storyline material. Thousands of people write them, and they are posted on hundreds of unofficial Star Wars-themed web sites on the Internet. Lucas himself said that as long as no one is making a profit, he thought such tributes were wonderful.

Yeees...... it certainly seems like the book has been selling well enough though. Probably due to all the promotion and advertising she was doing for the book - the only way to meet your friends and families these days.

This may cause follow up problems for all publishers and their relationship with online book stores, especially the lack of checks in the Ingram system. Look for a Homeland Security style solution, familiar to anyone getting through passport control in a US airport these days.

And LucasFilm, which has tolerated, even supported much fan fiction when conducted in a non-profit fashion, may be legally forced to clamp down on everyone. Hence all the new Amazon feedback the book is getting.

Certainly, not everyone is a fan...


[Green Light]Hey, look everyone! It's Joe Quesada's kitchen!

Joe Quesada's Kitchen!


[Green Light]"An Unlikely Prophet" by Alvin Schwartz, featured in LITG a few weeks ago, has a confirmed new printing available from May the 9th. Amazon US here, Amazon UK there.

The full title is "An Unlikely Prophet : A Metaphysical Memoir by the Legendary Writer of Superman and Batman." Alan Moore often refers to it and it's an unmissable look behind the scenes of both the comics industry and reality itself. "Kavalier & Clay" on LSD - but it's all true.


[Green Light]The Bristol convention is coming up for May 13th and 14th at the British Empire & Commonwealth Exhibition Hall.

The Virtual Bristol Athology is showcasing a number of new comics on sale that weekend, including Sean Philip's self published book "Half Life" and featuring his son's first comic work.

The Eagle Awards are on Saturday night. Leah Moore and John Reppion are selling signed copies of "Albion" #4 (and 1-3) with a Expo Exclusive Albion Signature card, to raise money for Oxfam Arms Control Promotion on Saturday afternoon.

Also look for Duncan Fegredo, Charles Adlard, Staz Johnson, Mike Collins, Ian Gibson, Ian Richardson, Nat Sandells, Boo Cook, Martin Griffiths, Geoff Senior and Andrew Wildman working with NCSoft to get fans' "City Of Heroes" or "City Of Villains" character officially sketched, to raise money for Draw The World Together.

The Monsters anthology from Accent UK, featuring John Reppion, Leah Moore, Shane Oakley, Dave Hitchcock, Jason Cobley, Garen Ewing, Colin Mathieson, Dave West and more gets its UK debut.

Look for TokyoPop, Rebellion, Knockabout, Panini, Doctor Who Experience, with all their star guests to boot, Colin Baker, GP Taylor, Brian Bolland, Roger Dicken, Roy Thomas, Howard Chaykin, Geoff Johns, Tommy Lee Edwards, Arthur Suydam, Chris Staros, Gary Spencer Millidge, Simon Furman, Dave Gibbons, Dave Gibbons, Renee Witterstaetter, Mark Buckingham, Liam Sharp, Ian Churchill, Ian Edington, D'Israeli, John M. Burns, Ian Gibson, Steve Yeowell, Al Davison, Paul Grist, James A. Hodgkins, Phil Winslade, Dave Hitchcock, Chris Weston, Simon Bisley, Carl Critchlow, Roger Langridge, Lew Stringer, Jock, Andy Diggle, Andi Watson, Jim Alexander, Tony Lee, Simon Williams and one of my favourite comic creators of all time, Paul Rainey.

Oh and probably me as well. In the bar. Listening in on other people's conversations. Especially from comic creators drunk, stoned or coked up. Always entertaining.

And then there's Hypotheticals ... it also seems a Spanish convention has nicked the Hypotheticals idea without informing creators Lee Barnett and Dave Gibbons. However, since they nicked the idea from a BBC Radio 4 programme of the same name, they haven't exactly got a leg to stand on…


[Green Light]I'm working on a parody comics project called "Civil Wardrobe." Long time since I've done one of these, I'm looking for top drawer artists who can spare the time to create a splash page - with hilarious consequences. Email me.

Oh, I also need a publisher as well. Anyone?


[Green Light]They're still reviewing "The Flying Friar.".

Quantum physics meets Noel Edmonds in Shrodinger's Deal Or No Deal.

Last week, the Progressive Ruin blog drew an intriguing comparison between the printed issue of "Outsiders" and how it appeared in the TPB… The "Outsiders" #30 had a scene that caused quite a rumpus.

Hot on the heels of the Superboy example recently, looks like there really is retroactive continuity being applied as a result of "Infinite Crisis."


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Contact me on richjohnston@gmail.com or on AOL Instant Messenger as TwistRich.

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