This is the fifty-sixth weekly episode of Lying In The Gutters, the industry's premier rumour column and gossip sheet. At all times, remember the rumour rules. Red light means it's probably bullshit, Yellow light means I think there's an element of truth and Green means you get bet your life on it. Or someone's life. Not mine, I've been wrong before. Take everything you read with a Slimfast strawberry Shake and if you do repost information here elsewhere, please include a warning to that effect. And a link. Man does not live by hits alone - but I could do with the attention. I blame the BBC.
And welcome to the new slimline Lying In The Gutters. After recent accusations of bloatedness, the column has been having a shake for breakfast a snack for lunch and a proper meal in the evening. And boy, doesn't it look trim? Comments welcome…
For more post-San Diego stories, check out next week's column, after a few of my more disreputable sources have got back to their PCs. But here's a good start…
Leah Moore has been writing a few stories for her father's ABC line (including a rather wonderful Paul Saveen story a few months back). I understand that she's spread her wings a little and is working on a new title for Wildstorm entitled "Wild Girl."
AN APPROPRIATE TITLE
Finally, Linda Medley will be kicking off her "Castle Waiting" series again, very shortly, from Dark Horse.
CALL THEM LEGION
I hear that Barry Kitson may be one of DC's to-be-announced exclusives. After Mark Waid was dropped from "Fantastic Four," it's rumoured that Kitson was going to leave in "sympathy." Either way, he's slated to draw "L.E.G.I.O.N." after he's finished "Empire."
I also hear that Alan Davis is to work on a sequel to the "Superboy's Legion" Elseworlds, after finishing his current Elseworlds sequel, "Another Nail."
RESTRAIN THE BULLDOG
Also, look for a return to the Gorilla comic "Section Zero," from Kesel and Grummett coming from DC's new sci-fi line. Indeed, with "Empire" already being published, the entire Gorilla line, sans "Crimson Plague" might end up at DC…
THAT BAT-FILM EVERYONE'S GOING ON ABOUT???
It's all right I suppose.
GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL
The wisdom is that publicity wise, Marvel was truly trounced at San Diego by DC reeling off exclusives. However, quite a lot of Marvel creatives are happy at the news - it indicates that DC's pay freeze is over, and they can expect increases across the board at Marvel as a result.
There's still a few more to come, it seems. Phil Jiminez is expected to sign a deal when he comes off "New X-Men." Look for a Donna Troy mini-series after he finishes the "Otherworld" 12 issue series he's working on.
SUPER DAYS TO COME
It's expected for Marvel to do some big counter-announcements at Chicago, but DC may well have been saving some. It's expected that Dan DiDio will be creatively stacking the Superman titles, just as the Batman titles have been of late. And, yes, everyone's looking at Grant Morrison for that one…
Brandon Thomas, already scripting "Youngblood: Genesis," will be writing Brigade for Rob Liefeld as well. He was also seen getting very tight with Marvel Epic's Teresa Focarile…
SNEAKING A PEEK
Marvel's bid for film studio Artisan has turned a few heads, especially considering the still-debt-laden status of Marvel. But could it just be a ruse to get a chance to look at the books of a company that has licensed so many Marvel properties?
WHAT'S TWENTY-FIVE GRAND BETWEEN FRIENDS?
So just what is the difference between the much lauded Marvel Knights creator contracts that are being done away with, and the new slimline Epic contracts that are now all the rage?
Well, the first has a budget per issue of over thirty thousand dollars. The latter? Eight.
No wonder that share price went up so much…
THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND
The return of an old favourite, the Blind Items!
Which DC staff member couldn't show their face at a San Diego panel appearance due to being unable to wake up a certain comics professional they'd become attached to in time for it? Jet lag's a terrible thing…
Which two DC editors are for the boot? The last time the mill was bang-on accurate over which three would (eventually) go. Now it's two new ones…
Which female creator was telling a few fan friends about setting up her stand at San Diego when she saw them standing at a nearby booth, only to have the large sweaty award-winning male owner of said booth walk over and place his hand over her mouth saying "don't talk about my competition." Ewwww. Wouldn't have been quite so bad if he'd clearly not washed his hands the last time he went to the toilet.
THE STORIES THEY DENIED…
From the Grant Morrison Waiting For Tommy interview six months ago, when asked if Grant was planning on leaving "X-Men" sometime after 150 and heading to DC to do Superman
"I just completed New 'X Men' #152 so I'm not 'headed' anywhere at the moment. Your sources are shite, Johnston."
Then there was that one recently about "Alias" ending, and Jessica Jones appearing in a new title written by Bendis. You know, the story Quesada and Bendis both denied…
After last week's story about Walden Wong's inked blue-line printouts being split between inker and penciller, I now understand the situation has been resolved. That Walden will get all of the inks. And that this is now clarified as Marvel policy for blue-line copies.
It appears that an awful lot of freelancers contacted Marvel on Monday to ask for clarification after the Lying in the Gutters story appeared. Including those who'd had their work allocated in such a way…
MALICE AND FORETHOUGHT
Coppervale International is to publish Bryan Talbot's "Malice In Sunderland," serialised in its new Words And Pictures magazine, starting next Spring.
I understand they approached Bryan after reading about the project in this very column.
A PHANTOM ABOUT THIS HIGH
John Byrne has a new project coming from Dreamwave next year entitled "You Go Ghoul." Dynamic Forces are issuing a premium ashcan in the new Previews. It's a four-issue mini-series, for starters, and here's some advance art - doesn't it look spiffy?
That banning of Dungeons And Dragons at Marvel quote in full;
"If you guys don't stop playing D&D during lunch, we'll fire Dan Carr."
Dan Carr was in charge of production and the Bullpen, known as the last stop between the corporate waffle and the rest of the employees. Much loved, by threatening his job, Marvel got the staff to toe the line…
For those of you wishing for "Youngblood: Bloodsport," can't get to a con, but balk at paying the $5 shipping on top of the $4 cover price, fear not. I understand the issues will be made available via Diamond next year. Until then, see you on eBay!
A DISTANT BOARD
I wish to apologise to you all for failing in my duty. It has been pointed out to me that Colleen Doran's own Web site is itself a goldmine of gossip and innuendo just waiting to be linked to. And there's stuff that's been just standing there for years waiting to be linked to.
This thread alone has enough gossip and scandal to keep this column going for weeks. From:
"When I was 16, I remember being told by Bob Layton that, though I had talent, I just was never going to make it as a comic book artist. He said 'You don't have the guts.' And then he got kind of nasty and I just stood there and took it. Then he said, 'See? If you had what it takes, you would argue with me.' Then I said, 'Well, I'm not going to argue with you because I did ask for your advice and it would be rude of me to argue with you about it,' and then he just looked kind of odd."
"I once had a very powerful editor flatly tell me that if I would go on dates with him and hang on his arm, he would introduce me to powerful and famous people and make me famous, too. When I refused, I got blacklisted at that publisher for two solid years. No lie. If you go looking at the pub dates of certain companies and wonder why there is a big blank in my production for a certain imprint, wonder no longer. And this guy was about forty years older than me. I was about 19! In order to make his point more forcefully, this pig actually body slammed me in the company limo and left bruises all over my thighs and arms before I got away."
And then there's a few references to an individual she dubs "The Painter.":
"A couple of people came to me and said that The Painter was telling them I was crazy about him and throwing myself at him. I was completely shocked. I had been bending over backwards trying not to dislike him. And he had somehow convinced himself I was out for action.
"I finally just blew and told everyone that I was right in my assessment of him in the first place: he was an arrogant, egotistical boob and the only reason anyone hung out with him was because he was so talented…
"I tell you, he was such an anti-Southern bigot that he actually kept newspaper clippings of natural disasters that had occurred in the South on his refrigerator. A series of tornadoes that had ripped through Texas was evidence to this creep that God hated Southerners. I am not kidding. He was pathological! And this ass thought I was hot for his bald pate. I don't think so. Maybe on 'Earth X'..."
Or "Universe X" or "Paradise X" presumably. And …
"There was one small press company that was run by a guy who used to request that women who worked the publishing booth at shows wear spike heels, miniskirts and fishnet stockings! I am not kidding! Secretaries, artists, writers, didn't matter. If any woman creator with the company wanted to get into the show and be at the booth, she had to tart it up."
Time to delve, time to delve…
READY TO RUMBLE
Recently, Newsarama led with a story about the "Royal Rumble" anthology from the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design . And a happy-go-lucky puff piece it was, the interview portraying a friendly project, by friendly creators and a smooth process - including how the project originated, developed and was published.
An explanation from Darwyn Cooke, who seriously fell out with project editor Cameron Stewart while they were on "Catwoman," posts a different story, with the unknown creator Brian (Obi Wan Shinobi) and J Bone originating the project as Drive-In Comics, taking it to the group, then seeing themselves and their work squeezed off the project, now renamed and lauded as a studio originated creation.
If nothing else, it's an interesting other side to the cleaned-up-and-polished public face of the book.
MY DULCET TONES
For an interview with Kyle Baker and a guide to surviving convention season, check out last Wednesday's Waiting For Tommy. And to hear my own dulcet tones, check out the Fanboy Radio interview with me that went live over the weekend.