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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 48

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.

NAMING NAMES

[Yellow Light]

Two stories gripped the message boards this week. The identities behind the individuals who allegedly spread vicious rumours about Mark Millar, as referred to here. And the identity of the alleged sexual harasser that has spurred a civil suit, mentioned in LITG last week and updated here.

I have been aware of the named individuals from both stories for some time, but as of this week there’s been quite a call for me to name them. Sorry, but that’s not happening.

For a start, the parties on the sides you haven’t heard from yet dispute important details of the incidents – but not openly. And the parties you have heard from aren’t willing to name them – and if they do, right now, it could get messy.

The vitriol has been so much that, it’s possibly not a good idea to name names to a group of people who have grown up reading the tales of a man who dresses up as a bat and goes out to right wrongs with his fists.

As these circumstances alter, so might this stance. But for now I’m staying quiet.

Of course, if either appear in Heidi MacDonald’s The Beat, then all bets are off. As of now, you’ll have to be satisfied with stories about, I dunno, a “Lady Death/Shi” crossover or something.

MORE THAN MORE THAN MORTAL

[Green Light]

From Avatar this summer. “Lady Death/Shi.” By Brian Pulido, Billy Tucci and Juan Jose Ryp.

Cover to the Preview book.

Also from Avatar this summer, returning from its stint at Image, “More Than Mortal.”

THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION IS IN SESSION

[Yellow Light]

Ronee Garcia’s original report of the sexual harassment scenario has caused some real problems, especially for Jim McLauchlin. Jim was, until very recently, the Editor In Chief of Top Cow. And for the last six years he’s also been president of the charity ACTOR, which raises funds for comic book creators who have fallen on hard times.

Ronee’s original reports stated that the alleged harasser worked for a prominent comic charity and gave a description that many believed described ACTOR. And Jim being a vivacious outgoing type, he was seen by some as a suspect. Of late, that rumour has been growing and I’ve heard it repeated.

I’d like to state that Jim is not the alleged harasser known to me. And Jim would also like to make it clear that it is not anyone involved in ACTOR, past or present. Indeed, Jim was not even present at the Mid-Ohio Convention where these alleged incidents took place.

“I’ve never been to Columbus, Ohio in my life, and I think the last time I was in the state at all was 1997,” McLauchlin said. “I am thinking about going to the convention this year, however, as a lot of folks have told me it’s really great.”

It’s certainly a fine principle and fund to be supporting if it has wider implications across the industry. This case in particular however may prove tricky. The police report is all but blank, charges dropped, and not just because of inter-state difficulties. The charity body in question has already run its own investigation during the past five months, from a conservative standpoint, and cleared the individual. And that’s before you get into the role of alcohol, the level of assault alleged, and conversations between present members after the incident that exonerate him. Even a civil case is going to come across some serious stumbling blocks. But that in no way should trivialise the effect an all purpose fund and general awareness raiser could make.

But if nothing else, the publicity to this case is going to see some serious changes made at upcoming comics parties and social occasions. Some might find that repressive and uncomfortable. For others, it may prevent an incident that could scar them for life.

The Fund being raised to take this case to the civil courts, is being organised by Friends Of Lulu.

Take Gotham City Limits in Florida. Friends Of Lulu announced that they had donated a “Sin City” Prize pack consisting of all sorts of “Sin City” stuff worth $130. Including this pack of action figures:

A punchline? Oh no, I’m all out of those this week. Provide your own.

SECOND SHOT

[Green Light]

“Gun Theory” was a book by Daniel Way for the Epic Line, remarkably a creator owned series for Marvel that saw print, but also cancelled only a couple of issues in.

Well, it’s back as part of a self published line from Ten Terrific Daniel Way, called Bad Press. It will be accompanied by two other titles, “Stanko Gets The Ladies” with artist Nick Dragotta (“X-Statix: Dead Girl”) and “Heavier Than God” with artist Ken Knudtsen (“My Monkey’s Name Is Jennifer”).

“Gun Theory” will also be co-published by Oddgod Press and the other titles will follow. I understand that it’s a “director’s cut” of the story, completely unedited, uncensored and uncompromised. So a not-fiddled-with-by-Bill-Jemas guarantee there then…

DEADPOST

[Yellow Light]

In a now deleted thread on the Bendis Board, an alleged private AOL transcript with Fabian Niceza was posted by ‘higgins4’, revealing plans for “Deadpool” during the “Civil War” crossover:

deadpool will be first in line to go hunt renegade heroes. he doesn’t need to “register.” his identity is publicly known

Maybe he’ll be sent to take down Mr Higgins first…

DRAGON WANTED

[Green Light]

“Savage Dragon” #128. A crossover with Top Cow’s “Wanted” series. For July…

Yowza.

DEMON DOWN

[Yellow Light]

Over a year ago, I posted that I’d been informed by a DC source that “Blood Of The Demon” had been cancelled far in advance with issue #18, something John Byrne vehemently denied.

Turns out I was wrong.

Issue 17, it seems.

IDENTITY CRISIS

[Yellow Light]

One of my favourite Bill Jemas stories was his instruction to certain writers that they start a story small and then build up, rather than opening with major action. He used “Star Wars” as an example of this, starting with two robots wandering around a planet. Until one editor pointed out that “Star Wars” didn’t start like that, it kicked off with an enormous space battle actually, then proceeding with the robot Abbot and Costello number.

Bill switched to using “Die Hard” as an example instead.

The latest “Wizard” reminded me of that story. It seems that during the creation of the “Civil War” event, there was a dispute as to whether a major incident concerning a character should be revealed in the “Civil War” mini or their own book.

As reported by “Wizard”:

‘The conversation divides the room into two camps immediately: those who want the moment in ‘Civil War’ #2 and those who want it in the ongoing. It’s Bendis, arguing on the ‘Civil War’ side, who crystallizes why his side will win the day. ‘Supergirl and Flash both died in Crisis, not in Supergirl or Flash,’ states Bendis, crouched near a picture window overlooking the busy streets of Manhattan. ‘This should happen in Civil War’…’I’m right and you know I’m right,’ adds Bendis to the writer leading the rival faction, with a wide, friendly grin that makes him sound and look more playful than serious. ‘And you’re pissed.’

Of course, when these deaths occurred in “Crisis Of Infinite Earths” there was no Supergirl or Flash ongoing series for those deaths to appear in…

SPIKED

[Green Light]

The missing page of dialogue from “Spike Vs Dracula” #1. Cut out and keep.

NIKE HUNTING

[Green Light]

“X-Men: The 198,” page 14, panel 3.

Any more for any more?

BITS AND PIECES

[Green Light]

An unseen by comic-reading-basement-dwellers splash page from “Civil War” that appeared in the Washington Post.

I got my “Absolute Watchmen” through the post this week.

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s work will be appearing on mobile phones, thanks to some mobile phone tie in deal with Robbie Williams.

I’d dead. And CBR scooped me. The bastards.

Fair Trade Cocaine.”

My brother’s band “Shambles” are asking you to vote for your favourite track to be mixed…

The Secret Wars Re-enactment Society. This link was sent out by Joe Quesada… you made it, guys!

Eve Johnston, One Year Later.

SMALL PRINT

Discuss this column at the Lying In The Gutters Forum.

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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