First off, if you missed last week's Alan Moore exclusive on "A Suburban Romance" click on the link and check it out - it got added later in the week. This is the thirtieth (huzzah!) weekly episode of Lying In The Gutters, still the industry's premier gossip column. Just about. Anyway, 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 sense of scathing abuse - 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.


[Green Light]I understand that Frank Quitely is officially off "New X-Men" now and is currently working on a creator-owned series for Marvel. It's a three-issue project, and he'll return to regular superheroics after that.

Quitely's work, while sporadic on "New X-Men," was instrumental in raising the book's profile when he and Grant Morrison joined, with a fresh style that hadn't been seen before. His artistic flair, originating as it does from the old "Oor Wullie" and "Broons" cartoons, found a strange home in the superhero genre, But Quitely has never been a monthly artist and when his fill-in artists needed fill ins and Igor Kordey ended up having to draw whole issues in days, while also holding down another monthly gig on "Cable"/"Soldier X," something was going to have to give eventually.

Lying In The Gutters looks forward to learning more about his new project shortly.


[Green Light]Philip Tan is to be the new regular penciller on "Uncanny X-Men." He will start doing fill-ins for Kia Assimya and then will take over the title. Chris Bachalo has also been offered an X-book.

Boy the X-books are great for that kind of thing. Each book can have about three regular pencillers without anyone noticing that it's a contradiction.


[Green Light]Brian Vaughan, writer of "Y: The Last Man" and "The Hood," has indicated that he's the writer on the new "Runaways" series, teased previously by Marvel, when there were allegations that it was just a "NYX" revival, which he denied.


[Yellow Light]"NYX," the urban mutant title, has been doing the rounds from creator to creator. A few writers have turned it down - it appears that one of the provisos is that it has to be co-written with Joe Quesada.

I understand that Joe Quesada has been shipping another project round amongst other writers - whether it's "NYX" or not, I don't know, working around a bullet point plot and idea from Joe.

One turned it down due to time - he's working on a major title for Marvel already, the other turned it down because the creator is seen by many already as a co-writer and he wants to get away from that. But as of this moment, Joe has found a young writer with an up-and-coming major artist. Whether it's still "NYX" or not, let's see…


[Green Light]"Nimrod," one of the titles I leaked last week, is by Sean McKeever and Udon. The visual that goes with it is the one with the kid and the eyes. Because, yes, the return of one of X-Men's most impressive foes (and one that had a real impression on me when John Romita Jr was drawing him), "Nimrod," will see him discovered by a kid. Think the Iron Man/Iron Giant everyone. Oh, and that Ben Raab "What If" story.

In related rumours. Sean McKeever has also been linked to an upcoming "Inhumans" series Udon has also just got the "Street Fighter" licence. Who'll be publishing the comic is yet to be decided.


UPDATE: Lying In The Gutters has been told that the New Mutants to be announced shortly by Marvel is to be drawn by Keron Grant. And as written below, The Human Torch image is for a Human Torch book by Skottie Young, though we now hear it will be drawn by Karl Kesel. And we printed the 4-11 story *ages* ago... 8-)

[Green Light]And this 4..3..2..1..Ignition image is apparently a Human Torch story that was commissioned quite a while back. That grey stuff around the silhouetted figure? Imagine if it were orange. That at least was the rumour I was going to print under an Amber or Red light before the next image popped up on Comixtreme and then got shot round the message boards…

Made it a Green pretty quickly. The artist is Skottie Young, of "Spider-Man: Legend of the Spider-Clan" and from his web site there is also this image.

More on Monday I guess. But no, I don't think this is Ultimate Fantastic Four. All rumours surrounding that comic still suggest it's CGI. For now.


[Green Light]The upcoming "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" film will get a "novelisation" by Kevin Anderson. Fair enough, considering it looks like the film will bear no relation to the original book. Again.


[Green Light]Keith Champagne, the inker of "JSA" is stretching his skills. I hear he's going to be writing upcoming issues of "Legion" for Steve Lightle to draw.


[Green Light]Andrew Lis has told his freelance creators that he is no longer part of Marvel's editorial team. While he's still finishing up on a couple of books, I understand he's been promoted to Marvel's Licensing department.

I hope this is a different kind of promotion that happens when DC editors get promoted to licensing. It usually means they're on the way out.

Because seriously, Andrew, you're doing a wonderful job.


Updated: 1/23/02

[Green Light]Steve Uy has requested that the article where he vented his spleen about extensive changes to his "Eden's Trail" book in theme, tone, structure and scope be withdrawn from this site.

Lying In The Gutters is happy to comply with this request. Uy did follow-up with the following regarding his previous statements:

"I would, however, like to point out on the record that in no way did I ever chastise Marvel the company or point fingers at anyone throughout the body of that article. I was very careful with the wording of my post to point out that I was simply not happy with the changes that happened to 'Eden's Trail,' no more, no less. Never once did I blame Marvel for the changes, I even specified that it was 'business' as usual.

"The one single purpose of that post was not to vent, but to vindicate myself, as I had written, from any creative backlash that may have arisen against me after the issues' publication. If there was any negative sentiment towards the company itself that seemed to underlie the tone of the article then please keep in mind that it was not intentional.

"Saying anything otherwise does me, and my career a great disservice.

"Unfortunately whenever someone tries to show their displeasure of a particular book or how it was published, especially a creator, it is typically seen as his reflection of the company itself. I tried to make sure the wording of my post was as specific as possible, so that it could not be misinterpreted in any way possible, but it seems that was unfortunately not the case.

"So, just in closing, I'll say it once again: my qualms against 'Eden's Trail' are just that. It is in no way a reflection of Marvel the company itself, but simply one man's opinion, and his right as a creator, to critique a PUBLISHED WORK. It was a critique made for the sole purpose of vindicating myself creatively so that I could move on and do my next project, Feather, with no baggage.

"If I were to critique 'X-Men' or 'Spawn,' would that make me a Marvel or Image basher? Nope, didn't think so. So why would critiquing my own book be seen any differently?"


[Yellow Light]I have been informed that 88MPH are the studio involved in creating the "Ghostbusters" revival title, LITG touched on last week, to be pencilled by Mark Brooks.


[Yellow Light]Signs that Mike Turner has left Top Cow continue, as the Fathom message board has been taken down from the Top Cow Web site. As well as the rumour that Turner is going to a new company with his new projects, I had also heard he's been tapped by Marvel for their upcoming "Namor" series but that seems bunkum now. The 'unfathomable' in the Marvel teaser is in relation to longtime Fathom colorist JD Smith, who will be coloring the monthly Namor book, spotlighting a japanese artist.

Board moderator Chris writes, "Well, there was no warning given that this was to happen. I was asked to take the forum down by Matt Hawkins. Sorry for the inconvenience. I'm sure there is an explanation forthcoming.

Incidentally, it's not deleted. It exists in the database still but is currently inaccessible.

I understand people will have strong feelings on this, but please try to remain level-headed."

Matt Hawkins is head honcho at Top Cow. It doesn't sound good, does it?


[Yellow Light]Marvel are having a series of press conferences this week. The first, held today, is to announce a project, suitably timed for the day of remembrance currently being shared in the US. Could this be the "4-11 White Album" project that Lying In The Gutters was talking about a few months ago? A hardback volume of stories about making the world a better place, in light of recent terrorist activities?


[Yellow Light]On his Delphi forum, Micah Wright, "SW:TA" writer, mentioned a Stormwatch spinoff book he's pitching. He writes "I keep pitching Tomm on doing a Jukko miniseries with me. Just Jukko out and about in the vast wilderness of America, hitch-hiking around the country, getting into trouble in small towns. So, yeah, 'First Blood.' With Finns. And the occasional superpower."

That'll be Tomm Coker, folks.


[Green Light]A lot of fans have been speculating that Christopher Priest might be the new writer on "Iron Man." Many seemed impressed by his recent run with the character on "Black Panther" and for some fans, without any more evidence to back it up, it's a done deal.

Sorry guys, it's not. Don't know who it is, but it's not Priest. Shame, I'd have bought it then… but do look for upcoming new projects at Marvel with the man who put "The" in "Panther."


[Green Light]Steve Seagle has been talking about his time on "X-Men." It kind of reads like a "Yes Minister" plot. Take it away, Steve.

"I wrote what became 'Uncanny 353' first - that was my first script. Then they asked me to write 'Uncanny 350.' I didn't want to, because it was the end of a bunch of storylines, and because all the plot points for 'Uncanny 350' had already been plastered all over the internet, but I did want to work with Joe Mad before he moved on, so I wrote the issue and changed some of the plot points so there could at least be some surprises. Then they asked me to dialogue 'X-Men 68' overnight because it wasn't going to ship on time - and I thought that would be a good warm-up for getting a handle on the voices. Then they told me told me if I didn't write 'Uncanny 351,' someone else would, which seemed dumb to do 'Uncanny 350,' skip 'Uncanny 351,' then come back with 'Uncanny 352,' so I wrote 'Uncanny 351.' Then, what was supposed to be my first issue, 'Uncanny 352,' became what is now 'Uncanny 353' to give Chris Bachalo more time, and they made me squeeze some other story in between 'Uncanny 351' and 'Uncanny 353' and that's what became 'Uncanny 352.' As I say, craziness. And that kind of stuff continued. "


[Yellow Light]Todd McFarlane is definitely still pursuing publishing a Miracleman book. A number of high profile writers (who haven't yet been pissed off by Todd) have, however, turned it down. Some expressing solidity with Neil, others fearing it's a curse which will bring anyone down.


[Yellow Light]Lee Ferguson ("Mutant X," "Chamber") is to draw a black and white graphic novel with writer Justin Gray ("21 Down," "The Resistance"). Could this be the HYPE book mentioned on Justin Gray's site or is that something else entirely?


[Green Light]But he picks himself up, dusts himself down, starts all over again. For the full Rich Johnston Interview With Mark Millar click on this week's Waiting for Tommy … and be back Wednesday for another exclusive, abrasive and downright insulting interview.


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