I’ve sold out. I’ve taken the King’s shilling. I am in debt to the Man.

Ramblings 2000, that fiercely independent rumour column, the guilty pleasure of comic book professionals the world over and a source of great entertainment to the comic reading masses has been finally neutered, tamed and caged.

And not, as it may have been predicted, by a company legal department determined to banish any non-official information leak, or a comic creator with an ambulance chasing lawyer by his side or even a disgruntled type with a baseball bat. Not even, as some hoped, that I’d get bored with it all, grow up and leave it behind as I did my teddy bear, my plastic He Man sword and my penchant for masturbating four to five times a day.

No, instead it’s the lure of filthy lucre, of cold hard cash and the desire of a company to broadcast content that attracts viewers, hooks them and then forces them to buy comics and comic-related paraphenalia. Naturally, the details are a tad fuzzy at present, but as far as I can gather, I’ll be writing a weekly column detailing the latest, greatest rumours to circulate the industry as well as a few blasts from the past so new readers can slowly catch up.

So how will this affect the column? Well, usually the delay from writing to broadcast was due to me being bothered to properly collate the info I’d received, waiting patiently for creators to confirm or deny a rumour so I wouldn’t look so irresponsible when it saw print. Now of course I’ve got a weekly schedule to stick to, so there’ll be none of that. There won’t be any of this ‘it’s been three weeks and no column’ malarky that Ramblings readers have been used to of late.

Mind you, I’ve got layers of managers and lawyers to go through. Who knows what they may object to or demand snipped to protect themselves from a massive lawsuit here or a threat of non-compliance there. Ah, but there’s the thing.

You see, the column will need a name change. That means I can keep the old Ramblings column going in the same space, this time for stuff that gets sniped out by the lawyers or for long winded stuff that, while interesting, might not be what a modern professional rumour column is in need of. So I get all the new readers and exposure that this venture will bring, a more reliable and regular service for the old readers, and a bit of much-need cash that will go a long way. Hopefully that’s everything covered.

For now… you see, I’m not giving you the new web address, because I don’t know it myself. I don’t know when it’ll appear, exactly when it starts or in what format it’ll be presented. I look forward to finding out though. Oh and I’ve got another deadline to meet for this Tuesday.

Of course, this could be a completely made up story to explain why I haven’t put up a new Ramblings column for a month now. But either way, it’s a damn good rumour.

Rich Johnston

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