As many of you know, check Comicon’s Splash for good information, the rumour column The Gutter Press is no more. But despite public crowing by Busiek and Waid at SDCC (who were also signing stuff at the NPO booth… hmm…) my rumour column has just upped sticks and moved to a new location. Not only will Silver Bullet Comics provide decent archives and a message board, but also the ability to provide daily updates when there’s a time-sensitive rumour. Welcome to the fourth name for the column this year alone, All The Rage. Enjoy the ride.

Now. This is a rumour column. A gossip column. It takes rumours that circle the comics industry and seeks to verify or debunk them. When neither is possible, it prints the rumour in an attempt to draw discussion and debate. None of the stories here should be reported to anyone else as fact until one of the comics news sites does so. On average, only fifty percent of rumours printed by the column are true or have truth to them.

In the past certain individuals have acted on rumours printed as if they were true. I ask you not to do that and demand that by reading the column, you agree to follow this rule.

Every rumour is graded from 0 to 10, 10 being the honest truth. Anything below 10 should be treated with scepticism. The grade is down to my belief as to how likely the rumour is. A gut feeling, no more.

Holding On For Tomorrow Stories #8

Originally meant to ship on June 8th, a late shipping ABC book is no real surprise. What is surprising is that it hasn’t been a new schedule unlike all the other ABC books. The Late Comics report written by Andrew S. Toth
and posted to Compuserve listed for the 27th July reads:

America’s Best Comics:

Tomorrow Stories #8 (Jun 7; new release date TBA)
Top 10 #9 (May 10; rescheduled for Aug 9)

On the DC Comics Message Board, Rick Veitch wrote “What I heard is TS #8 is in the can but there is some sort of legal question about one of the stories. Don’t know if its been resolved or not.” He also mentions that the Greyshirt story in the delayed issue, entitled ‘Thinx’, was inspired by a dream and attempts to capture human thought processes.

While Rick wouldn’t comment any further to All The Rage, a more definite rumour came from two other pro sources. They both agree that the delay is due to the appearance of L Ron Hubbard, he of Scientology fame in the comic. One of the sources states that the book was printed and then pulped, under the orders of Paul Levitz. The other states that the book was never printed at all.

DC has been reticent about the appearance of real people in their comics before. The appearance of a governor in Impulse had many ramifications. The infamous non-published Jesus appearance in Swamp Thing #88 is another prominent example. There was a rumour at one point that Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth was asked to sign off an appearance by himself in an upcoming ABC comic.

And considering past legal moves by Scientology movement, I would speculate that they don’t want to take any chances.

Enquiries to DC Comics were directed towards Patty Jeres, but she’s currently out of the office. Enquiries to Wildstorm were not answered.

This has a Gut Feeling score of: 7

Back To The Bat

Grant Morrison’s work on Batman has been enjoyed on JLA of late, but mainly forget two of his previous Batworks, the prestige graphic novel Arkham Asylum with Dave McKean and his Legends Of The Dark Knight run, Gothic, with Klaus Janson. But his JLA work has certainly led fans to appreciate Batman in new ways.

But the rumour at San Diego, spread around a few select individuals is that Grant Morrison was going on from the convention to Los Angeles to discuss being lined up to write the new Batman movie.

Details are sketchy, but I’d be delighted if such an appointment was made – and so would plenty of the fans. Not only would this mean a comic writer familiar with the basics of what make Batman work and history of pushing them to critical acclaim, but Grant has effectively been writing Batman as a movie character for the last four years in JLA. With an audience familiar enough with the Batman as any Batman movie audience would be, he’s got the skills and the tools to turn the plot on its head, surprise and thrill, while being true to what makes the character and his world work.

Attempts to reach Grant and sources close to him for comment were unsuccessful. It’s currently no more than a rumour. But bloody hell, what if…?!!

This has a Gut Feeling score of: 4

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