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LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME 2 COLUMN 41

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.

A STORY THAT'S NOT ABOUT COMICS

[Green Light]Jodi Picoult is a best selling author. Her book "My Sister's Keeper" has been boosted by Richard And Judy in the UK. Her soon-to-be-released next novel, "The Tenth Circle," is set in the modern comics industry. A kind-of modern day "Kavalier And Clay." This kind of thing:

There was a game they had played when Trixie was little, and would pore over the comic book collections he kept in his studio for research when he was drawing. Best transportation? she'd challenge, and Daniel would say the Batmobile. No way, Trixie had said. Wonder Woman's invisible plane.

Best costume?

Wolverine, Daniel said; but Trixie voted for the Dark Phoenix.

Now, he leaned toward her. "Best superpower?" he asked.

It had been the only answer they agreed upon: Flight.

But this time, Trixie looked at him as if he were crazy to be bringing up a stupid game from a thousand years ago. "I'm going to be late," she said, and she started to walk away.

"The Tenth Circle" is also intercut with pages from the graphic novel that the protagonist is working on, artwork created by Dustin Weaver. With all the metatextual aspects that, say the pirate comics scenes from Watchmen had. Or the TV movie "GLC."

It also has a page 147. Page 147 you ask? What's so special about page 147? Well, why not reproduce it in full?

Damn it, she's got my writing style down pat. Down pat! This must not be.

I've already ordered mine from Amazon UK. Amazon US, go here.

Then I've just been made aware of a London band called "Lux Luther."

Right. Now then. Comics info that's not about me.

SUPERMAN AND EARTH TWO SUPERMAN

[Yellow Light]I hear the new writers of "Action Comics" are Geoff Johns and his old boss Richard Donner.

FROM BATMAN TO BAT-BOY - Updated 2/28/06 8:00 EST

[Green Light]Paul Kupperberg has resigned from DC Comics to join "Weekly World News" as a Senior Editor. His last day was on Friday.

Kupperberg was considered one of the last of the old guard at DC Comics, putting in thirty years. His departure will be seen as further proof of the changing times at the company. A friend of Paul Levitz when young, they created the comics fanzine "Etcetera" together, before Kupperberg was invited by Levitz to join DC.

As well as editing most titles at DC, he created such series as "Arion: Lord Of Atlantis," "Checkmate!", and "Takion," as well as writing runs on "Doom Patrol," "Checkmate," "Vigilante" and Cartoon Network titles. Of late, his time has been dedicated to Licensed Publishing.

Kupperberg will work with ex-DC staffer and Weekly World News Executive Editor, Jeff Rovin. He will continue to work freelance and has a JSA hardcover novel coming out shortly from iBooks.

UPDATE: It appears iBooks have gone bust. Paul Kupperberg posts aboutthe future of his JSA book and his exit from DC Comics here.

MARVEL VIRGINS

[Green Light]I've been hearing that the new Virgin Comics company has hired ex-editor MacKenzie Cadenhead to edit the books, and ex-Marvel editor CB Cebulski as a consultant. Expect to see a few other familiar names on the editorial and sales side.

TELLYMOORE

[Green Light]There will be a rare TV interview with Alan Moore on "The Culture Show," BBC2 7pm on March 9th. This will include contributions from Jonathan Ross and Iain Sinclair.

LANSDALE. CONAN. THAT IS ALL.

[Green Light]Upcoming projects from Joe R. Lansdale's Web site.

"A five-part Conan comics series from Dark Horse (with Tim Truman art)."

That should be enough to cause a few fanboys to shriek.

MAKING WAVES

[Green Light]The six new titles announced by DC Comics this past week (all previously reported on by LITG) are but Wave Two in the new DC Comics assault. Expect a Wave Three to follow very shortly, making a total of 18 new issue ones.

KILLING ZONE

[Green Light]At Brad Meltzer's panel at the New York Comic-Con, Dan Didio gave him permission to reveal the list of characters he was allowed to kill in "Identity Crisis," which included the Atom and Martian Manhunter.

With both of those characters getting a new mini-series, it might be worth watching their backs.

CRISIS MANAGEMENT

[Red Light]Rumours from Megacon... enter if you dare...

The word on the floor was that "Infinite Crisis" was late due to delayed scripts. In order to speed the slipping "Infinite Crisis," George Perez will pencil issue #6 of the series, the artwork being digitally reproduced from his pencils.

While Gutteratti Funshine tells me that Howard Chaykin has a project coming up with Bendis for Marvel. And that Sal Buscema says "Spider-Girl" isn't dead and should be back before the end of the year. Aside from covers, that's the only gig he has or wants right now.

LOW BLOW

[Green Light]Okay its a few years old, but it's been put online now.

An absolutely spectacular fanmade filmed version of "Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special." Intense, clever, respectful to the original (if nothing else). Starring Andrew Bryniarski (Leatherface in the remade "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" as the main man).

OKAY, OKAY, ANOTHER STORY ABOUT ME.

[Green Light]"Holed Up" #3 is in the published Previews, from Avatar. Artwork was finished a couple of years ago, so there should be no way this one can be late. No, honestly.

It's the story of an average American family with semi-automatic weapons. Issue 1 saw them deal with their unusual daughter's unusual choice of boyfriend. Issue 2 had them under seige by the FBI, before being given a very tempting offer. Issue 3 sees them dropped on the Middle East given a mandate to "just sort the place out."

I thought I'd have to heavily rescript it to take account for changes in Iraq. Turns out, I'd been so prescient that I hardly had to change anything. And the Danish cartoon controversy only gives it another thematic level.

The order code for your friendly local comics dealer is MAR06 3008 for the standard hilarious airport gag cover and MAR06 3009 for the was-hilarious-two-years-ago-slightly-sicker, "Homeland Security Cover"

And for those of you who missed the first two issues, they've been made available again. Order Code MAR06 3010 for issue 1, MAR06 3011 for issue 2.

BOY BANNED

[Green Light]From "Infinite Crisis" #4, first print.

From "Infinite Crisis" #4, second print.

Naughty, naughty, Superboy. Is this proof that the "Infinite Crisis" is changing the very metatextual nature of comics reality, to a cleaner. Simpler life? Or did someone just blow their top at Superboy's potty mouth?

V FOR VIOLATION

[Green Light]Much has been made of the request and follow-through from Alan Moore to have his name taken off the credits of the "V For Vendetta" movie.

And, while this has been successful for the UK and US versions, across Europe that hasn't quite been the case. Both German and Italian markets report his name still on the posters.

In Italian, it's "Basato sul Graphic Novel di Alan Moore e David Lloyd"

And in German, "Nach Dem Comic Von Alan Moore Und David Lloyd"

Right hands and left hands I expect.

STAPLE GUN

[Green Light]Val Staples is one of those principled publishers we could do more with in comics. When CrossGen fell, leaving his studio MVCreations with huge debts and an inability to pay creators, Staples vowed he'd do what he could.

He writes, "In the next two weeks, I will have every artist that has invoiced MVCreations paid off, with the exception of my friend Emiliano Santalucia - who I will be paying off this year with DVD work, as I owe him the biggest debt. He and I have already worked out the details.

"But there are a couple of artists I either have the money for, but not their current info, or people who still have yet to invoice me for debts that I'm aware of... which I know is their responsibility, but still, I feel obligated.

"The first artist is Pat Boutin. I have his last payment for his work on "Spook Show," but I don't have his current contact info. His e-mail bounced, and I'm not sure if his old mailing address is still valid. So I'm hoping to flush him out through the grapevine so I can pay him off.

"Another artist is Andrew Crossley. But with Andrew, he never invoiced me for coloring work he did on Tales of the Realm. I told him at a con to make sure he invoiced me, but I never received anything from him. And I can't find a way to contact him.

"The last is EJ Su. I do talk to him regularly. But I always have to prod him constantly to get me his invoices. If he sees on your column that he needs to get off his butt and send me his last invoice, that may do the trick.

"Aside from that, I also wanted to put out a disclaimer that I am human and make mistakes. So possibly there is a debt that has escaped my attention. Thus, if there are any artists out there who feel MV still owes them a debt, I'd like them to contact me so I can go through our records and straighten out any discrepancy.

"Above all else, I want to thank all the artists for their patience, understanding and for their faith in me that I would pay them off in time. Same goes to all the fans and my fellow professionals for their words of encouragement and support. I couldn't have done any of this without their help finding work, bidding in my auctions for personal possessions I sold off, etc.

"And thanks to you for all your help in the past to help get the word out, and to give me a chance to set things right despite CrossGen saddling us with the debt."

Email this column if you have any details and I'll pass them on to Val.

[Red Light]THE BOOK THAT SANK SPEAKEASY

Ah well. "The Flying Friar" is still available here.

ARE YOU SELF OBSESSED OR WHAT? WHY NOT GET A BLOG!

[Green Light]

Me being officially invited to Copertino by a visiting Italian on behalf of the mayor. What an honour!

SMALL PRINT

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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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