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Rich Johnston at the 2007 New York Comic Con
November 21, 1972 |
|Notable works||Lying in the Gutters
Johnston grew up in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, studied politics at University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and was an advertising copywriter until 2009; he currently lives in Kingston Vale, London, with his wife, Janice Hodgson, and their young daughters, Eve and Alice Johnston.
Johnston began writing as a gossip columnist for the USENETnewsgroups in 1994 as Rich's Ramblings. The Comics Journal declared Johnston as having claim to being "the oldest extant comics news reporter on the Internet."
He then took the column onto the burgeoning World Wide Web, with Rich's Revelations on the now-defunct Twist And Shout Comics website. After a few years, he was headhunted by Marvel Comics's David Bogart to write for NextPlanetOver as The Gutter Press. However, when DC Comics threatened to withdraw advertising, the column was dropped.
Johnston was then headhunted by Jonah Weiland to write a new column Lying in the Gutters at the Comic Book Resources website, posting rumours and gossip, with a traffic light icon imparting advisory caution as to the possible credibility of each rumour: a red light denoting the least likelihood of accuracy, a green light for the most credible reports, and a yellow light for those that fall somewhere in between.
Scoops included the first visual of Two-Face from The Dark Knight movie, Alan Moore's decision to pull The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen from DC Comics to Top Shelf Comics as well as his engagement to Melinda Gebbie, and the existence of DC Comics titles 52 and its various spinoffs, Countdown, Final Crisis, "One Year Later",and "Batman RIP". He also first publicly revealed payment problems from the now defunct CrossGen, Dreamwave, and Dream Engine. The column ultimately came to an end after 211 installments.
On 27 March 2009, Johnston announced his launch of the website BleedingCool.com, which he described as "Lying In The Gutters, four times a day, seven days a week." It is funded by Avatar Press. He recruited the likes of Warren Ellis, Si Spurrier, Adi Tantimedh, Josh Adams, Alex De Campi and Denny O'Neil to provide regular content for the site.
Johnston's writing does not often impart sources. Johnston notes, "I often obfuscate sources to hide their identity—even deny that a story has sources on many occasions." However, his column reported first on many topics of note regarding the comic book industry, something The Comics Journal attributes in part to "Johnston's discerning intelligence and an attitude that sometimes approaches iconoclasm." Johnston sees himself as part of a tradition established by the "British tabloid press, one that seeks to entertain rather than inform..."
Bleeding Cool was nominated for the "Favourite Comics Related Website" Eagle Award in 2010 and 2011 and won in 2012. It was named as one of PC Magazine's top blogs of 2010. and Technorati gave it a perfect 1000 score for influence in the comics category.
Johnston has written a number of comics, mainly consisting of one-shots and graphic novella. The first consists of parodies, such as Watchmensch and Civil Wardrobe (alluding to Marvel's 2006 story Civil War). The second include his original work, both creator-owned and those based on licensed properties, like Doctor Who: A Room With A Deja View, The Flying Friar (based on the life of Joseph of Cupertino) and Chase Variant which started life at Mam Tor's Event Horizon.
In 2007, he wrote the IDW trading card set "George W. Bush and the Weapons of Mass Distraction."
For 2009, he has a story scheduled for the Spearmint anthology from Image Comics with Sleaze Castle writer/artist Terry Wiley. He wrote a short story 'Rustlin Up Business' for the second volume of Outlaw Territory, published in February 2011.
In 2012, he wrote a comic serialised in Dark Horse Presents, entitled The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, with art from Simon Rohrmuller. He also wrote a series of parody comics for Boom! Studios, taking on Marvel Studios films, reinterpreted at Iron Muslim, Scienthorlogy, Captain American Idol and The Avengefuls.
In 2006, he appeared as a character in the comic book CSI: Dying in the Gutters as a source of "inside joke" humour by featuring him as the victim in a murder mystery set at a comic book convention and using other notable real-world comics creators as suspects in the crime. He also appeared as a character in the Jodie Picoult novel, The Tenth Circle.
||This section includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (December 2009)|
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