Rich Johnston at the 2007
New York Comic Con
November 21, 1972 |
|Lying in the Gutters
Johnston grew up in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, in direct view of the Ilkley television transmitter. He subsequently moved to London. He studied politics at University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
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.
Lying in the Gutters
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. Rich Johnston was awarded the Shel Dorf Award for Best Comics Blogger for his work on Bleeding Cool in 2012.
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 Rohrmüller. 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 and made a more major appearance in the Leverage novel The Con Job.
Johnston's daughter Eve was born in April 2005.
- Dirtbag (Twist and Shout Comics, 1995)
- The X-Flies (Twist and Shout Comics, 1997)
- Rich Johnston's Holed Up (Avatar Press, 2004)
- The Flying Friar (with Thomas Paul Nachlik, Speakeasy Comics, 2005)
- Civil Wardrobe (with various artists, including Darick Robertson, Ashley Wood and Frazer Irving, Brain Scan Studios, 2006)
- Watchmensch (with Simon Rohrmüller, Brian Scan Studios, 2009)
- Doctor Who: A Room With A Deja View (with Eric J., IDW, 2009)
- "A Trip Into Space" (with Terry Wiley, in This Is a Souvenir: The Songs of Spearmint & Shirley Lee, Image Comics, 2009)
- Chase Variant (with Saverio Tenuta/Edmund Bagwell, Image Comics, February 2010, forthcoming)
- Kate and William: A Very Public Love Story (60 pages, Markosia, April 2011, ISBN 1-905692-45-5) collects:
- The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, with Simon Rohrmuller, Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse Comics, 2012)
- The Avengefuls, (Boom! Studios, 2012)
- Johnston, Rich (July 4, 2013). "Adi Granov: Man Of Ilkley, Yorkshire". Bleeding Cool.
- "Lying in the Gutters". Lying in the Gutters. Comic Book Resources. July 1, 2002.
- Dean, Michael (2005). "Online Comics Journalism: Does It Exist? Part 3: Rich Johnston's Honest Lying". The Comics Journal (266): 21–23. Archived from the original on 2006-05-05.
- Johnston, Rich (July 31, 2000). "It Lives!". All the Rage. Silver Bullet Comic Books. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- CBR's Lying in the Gutters Archives. Accessed January 18, 2008
- "Lying In The Gutters". Comic Book Resources. 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "2010 Eagle Awards nominations". The Beat. May 24, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- Griffith, Eric (November 11, 2010). "Our Favorite Blogs: 2010". PC Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- "Bleeding cool". September 21, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- Ekstrom, Steve (March 5, 2009). "Who Skewers the Watchmen? Rich Johnston on Watchmensch". Newsarama,. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
- Singh, Arune (August 14, 2006). "Rich Johnston Changes Minds In "Civil Wardrobe"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
- Marshall, Rick (April 17, 2009). "EXCLUSIVE: 'Doctor Who: Room With A Deja View' Writer Rich Johnston Talks TARDIS And Time Lords". Splash Page. MTV. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
- Dowling, Tim (December 3, 2007). "A saint with the powers of Superman". The Guardian (London). Retrieved December 16, 2009.
- Wigler, Josh (December 10, 2009). "Johnston Pursues His "Chase Variant"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
- Weapons of Mass Distraction. Accessed January 27, 2008
- Maev Kennedy (June 21, 2007). "Report on George W Bush cards". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- Harrods Comic Timing Exhibition 2008. Accessed October 17, 2008
- Image Comics Solicitations for January 2009. Accessed October 17, 2008
- Good, Oliver (January 16, 2011). "Wills'n'Kate: the comic book". The Guardian (London). Retrieved January 17, 2011.
- RichAndMark.com site. Accessed January 27, 2008
- After the Chalk Dust Settled, featurette on Chalk Series 1 DVD, ReplayDVD.co.uk, prod. Craig Robins
- Rich Johnston at the Internet Movie Database. Accessed January 18, 2008
- The Guardian, Feb 28th, 2001 Accessed January 27, 2008
- PlayStation World UK. Accessed January 27, 2008
- Sequential Tart interview, November 2002. Accessed January 27, 2008
- IDW's Dying In the Gutters' site. Accessed January 27, 2008
- Film Ick. Accessed April 2nd, 2013.
- Bleeding Cool. Accessed April 2nd, 2013.
- Google News Cache. Accessed January 27, 2008
- Times newspaper, September 15th 2006. Accessed January 27, 2008
- Times newspaper, August 20th, 2007. Accessed January 27, 2008
- The Village Voice, March 7th, 2006. Accessed January 27, 2008
- G2, The Guardian, December 3rd, 2007. Accessed January 27, 2008
- Johnston, Rich (June 7, 2005). "Lying In The Gutters". Comic Book Resources.
- Official Dirtbag site. Accessed January 27, 2008
- Official X-Flies site. Accessed January 27, 2008
- Official Holed Up site[dead link]
- "Official Flying Friar site". Flyingfriarcomic.com. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- Civil Wardrobe download. Accessed January 27, 2008
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rich Johnston.|
- Bleeding Cool
- Lying in the Gutters, Johnston's Comic Book Resources column.
- Rich Johnston at the Comic Book DB
- Waiting For Tommy, Johnston's Dynamic Forces column (largely interviews).
- RichAndMark.com, Johnston's collection of non-commercial performance work.
- Rich Johnston at the Internet Movie Database
- Darius, Julian (4 November 2002). "Rich Johnston on Comics Gossip". Sequart Research & Literacy Organization.
- "Rich Johnston". 2000AD Review. June 15, 2005