Welcome to Lying in the gutters folks. Your usual hostess with the mostness, Richard Johnston is currently on vacation with his lovely wife in South Africa.
So....of all the people he asked to fill in, he unfortunatly had to ask me.
The one everyone seems to hate; Ian Ungstad.
It's an honor really, Richard has always been a kind hearted soul, often supportive when others were not.
So while this week's column isn't going to be as juicy and titillating as one would expect from Lying In The Gutters, hopefully it will be of some interest.
Since this will likely be the last column I will ever write for an online publication (but eh? who knows), this is sort of a tribute to the scandalous life of a rumor monger.
Here are some highlights from the ol email bag that has been gathering dust for the last year or so.
"I was not aware that you had denied the story to Johnston. I apologize if this has hurt chaos comics in any way...Ian"
This was an apology I had written to Brian Pulido who at the time was the owner of CHAOS! comics. He had written an angry email about an article I wrote last summer, in which I had claimed that CHAOS was on the verge of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and that he was trying to sell off the big characters to other publishers, at a low price in exchange for some creative control and profit sharing on the properties, rather than having the copyright seized by creditors.
Brian denied the story and chatisized me for even running it, only for a month and a half later to release a press statement about the sale of Lady Death to Crossgen and the end of CHAOS comics. Who knows if he was just trying to prevent legalities involved in the bankruptcy proceedings at the time, but I certainly wouldn't trust the man.
So you folks still there? Probably mumbling this is old news...that you all want some juicy dish, so here's a bit from my column that was pulled two weeks ago, regarding Miller's next Batman project, not many of you got to read it, cause the column wasn't even online for 24 hours, but if you did (and I love your for it!), you'll probably want to scroll down to the next article.
So whats Frank Miller's next DCU project.
How about a Batman graphic novel, clocking in at 300 pages. For all fans of Frank Miller's "Sin City" style (i.e. no color) the book will be in black and white.
The rumors I'm hearing are that Miller isn't getting anything up front, but gets 50% of all the gross profit. Won't be near the million dollar payday of DK2, but a deal that will net him a check in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Here's a rather odd story about comic fans, as told by Chris Weston:
"There I was, sat on the D.C. Comics Stand at the 2000 San Diego Convention, chatting with fans and happily doing sketches of Lucifer. And then I heard the question: "You English?" I looked up to see a grey, grizzled red-neck stereotype. All that was missing was the banjo. My spider sense immediatly started tingling: trouble! "Yes. I am," I replied with a wary smile. "You seen The Patriot?" he asked with an altogether more sinister smile, referring to Mel Gibson's Anglo-bashing exercise in historical revisionism. I don't know or care what gripe that short-arsed antipodean has got against the Engish, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna pay to see his racist, celluloid, revenge fantasies. However, I framed my answer in more polite terms: "er, .no... I don't think I'll be seeing that particular film; I beleive it is full of historical inaccuracies." Unfortunately he chose to ignore the jocular tone in my voice and immediatly launched into an anti-English tirade cataloguing all the atrocities committed by those dastardly Red-coats; "It's all true! You English did terrible things!" I'm sure they did, but just why I should personally feel responsible was beyond me. He wasn't finished, though: "And do you know why there are no native Tasmanians in Tasmania?" he screamed as I slumped deeper and deeper into my chair "Let me guess... something to do with the English?" I proffered. "That's right! You English killed 'em all! You did terrible things!" At this point, I lost my temper! "Oh yeah, and I suppose you were all sweetness and light to the Indian nations, right?!!!" My explosion seemed to catch him off guard, and he pathetically mumbled, "Yeah, well... these things happen in a young country." "And I won't even mention the question of slavery, eh?!!" I shouted at his back as he shuffled off. Not amusing at the time, granted, but the adrenalin that rushed through me was immensely satisfying!"
Eek! You guys are a bunch of freaks. Speaking of freaks, rememeber when Mark Waid went nutso on some arabs at last year's Wizardworld? Well the story that ran in All The Rage wasn't quite true, as it turns out Mark didnt actually exchange blows...but:
"I happened to be passing by this exchange and it wasn't at all like that: Mr. Waid and a Palestinian fellow shoved each other a time or two and some harsh words went back and forth but that's all that happened (unless something happened after hotel security came and broke it up, which is when I left). The convention's main hotel was hosting a large gathering of Palestinian people, which were all very nice and very pleasant, from my experience."
So? You want to know why the column was pulled two weeks ago off the SBC Web site? Apparently some folks thought it seemed a bit crude, which to be fair, it was. One creator who found the column offensive wrote in with these encouraging words.
"Ian, you stupid Fuck. Dont talk about anything in my fucking life again, you fucking asshole piece of fucking shit from hell. fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you.
"burn in hell,
Well now, I think somone was a bit upset about that particular blind item!
So, what other pros responded negatively to stories from the good ol' days...well admittedly, a lot. But one nice guy out there is Crossgen's Tony Panaccio! Here is some brief snippets about his query about a story relating to Crossgen's interview practices!
"Hi Ian --
"Just a heads-up to point out one inaccuracy and one major faux-pas regarding the item above. First, and you can ask any creator who has been quoted in a press release recently on this, all quotes and interviews are indeed checked by Ian and/or myself -- mainly for grammar and style. We like our guys to sound articulate -- and then they are given BACK to the creators to make sure none of the conent or context was changed. Now, a lot of our guys used to do phone interviews, until they realized they were getting quoted out of context or incorrectly, so for accuracy's sake, they prefer written interviews that they email back. Now, this is pretty much standard procedure for any press communication for any company in any field to handle things through the Corporate Communications office. That's kind of what it's there for.
"As a side note, Ian Feller is Jewish, and really didn't appreciate the Nazi commentary. It's a bit of a sore point, and I had to ask him not to email you about it, because I don't think it would have made for any kind of positive discourse between us.
"As far as the Nazi comment goes, I knew it was ****** who gave it to you. He has a bit of the flair for the dramatic. The one thing to be careful about in your position is the fact that people will try to use you as an organ to succeed in their agendas. Some agendas will be hidden, and some not. ******** would love to see CG fail, as he has a bit of a Jones for Mark Alessi. Two alpha males in a studio setting do not a happy place make."
EEEK! Sources with an agenda! How does Richard Johnston do it! Speaking of agendas, it's time to plug Waiting for Tommy found at the wonderful (hardly) Dynamic Forces Web site.
So, while there are many more semi interesting emails in my old inbox, this column has ran on long enough, and most of you have probably already left for another Web site or are half asleep.
Whew, it's been a busy week up here in Canada, and in all honesty, writing Lying In The Gutters was asked of me at the last minute, and I had a busy weekend planned, so you get this mess of a column rather than real sleuth work and rumors!