Rich Johnston

For other people with the same name, see Richard Johnston (disambiguation).
Rich Johnston

Rich Johnston at the 2007
New York Comic Con
Born Richard Johnston
United Kingdom
Nationality British
Area(s) Comics journalist, gossip columnist, comics writer
Notable works
Lying in the Gutters
Bleeding Cool
Awards Shel Dorf Award, 2012

Richard "Rich" Johnston is a British comics creator and columnist[1] who is editor-in-chief of the comics news site Bleeding Cool.

The Comics Journal described Johnston as having claimed to be "the oldest extant comics news reporter on the Internet."[2] His past columns include "All The Rage" (for Silver Bullet Comic Books), and "Lying in the Gutters" (for Comic Book Resources).

Early life

Johnston grew up in Pontefract, West Yorkshire. He subsequently moved to London.[3]


Comics journalism/gossip

Johnston began writing gossip on USENET newsgroups in 1994 as "Rich's Ramblings".[4] He then took the column onto the burgeoning World Wide Web, with "Rich's Revelations" on the now-defunct Twist And Shout Comics website. He later started the comics gossip column "All The Rage" for Silver Bullet Comic Books, later Comics Bulletin.[5]

Johnston wrote the column "Lying in the Gutters" for Comic Book Resources,[6] 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.

Johnston's writing does not often impart sources. About that, Johnston said, "I often obfuscate sources to hide their identity—even deny that a story has sources on many occasions." Johnston sees himself as part of a tradition established by the "British tabloid press, one that seeks to entertain rather than inform."[2]

Bleeding Cool

On 27 March 2009, Johnston announced his launch of the website

Bleeding Cool was nominated for the "Favourite Comics Related Website" Eagle Award in 2010[7] and 2011 and won in 2012. It was named as one of PC Magazine's top blogs of 2010.[8] and Technorati gave it a perfect 1000 score for influence in the comics category.[9] Johnston was awarded the Shel Dorf Award for Best Comics Blogger for his work on Bleeding Cool in 2012.[10]

Comics creator

Johnston has written a number of comics, mainly consisting of one-shots and graphic novella. The first consists of parodies, such as Watchmensch[11] and Civil Wardrobe (alluding to Marvel's 2006 story Civil War).[12] The second include his original work, both creator-owned and those based on licensed properties, like Doctor Who: A Room With A Deja View,[13] The Flying Friar (based on the life of Joseph of Cupertino)[14] and Chase Variant which started life at Mam Tor Publishing's Event Horizon.[15]

In 2007, he wrote the IDW trading card set George W. Bush and the Weapons of Mass Distraction.[16][17]

He wrote and drew a number of pages for the Popbitch book and curated the Harrods Comic Timing exhibition of original comic book artwork.[18]

In 2009, he had a story scheduled for the Spearmint anthology from Image Comics with Sleaze Castle writer-artist Terry Wiley.[19] He wrote a short story, "Rustlin Up Business," for the second volume of Outlaw Territory, published in February 2011.

He has also written Kate and William: A Very Public Love Story, a comic commemorating the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, published by Markosia.[20]

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, with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers reinterpreted as "Iron Muslim", "Scienthorlogy," "Captain American Idol," and "The Avengefuls," respectively.

Johnston writes and draws weekly cartoons for the UK blogger Guido Fawkes, appearing each Monday and collected at[21]

Non-comics writing

Johnston wrote briefly for newspapers like The Guardian[22] and magazines like PlayStation World[23] The now-closed publication Punch Magazine named him Young Writer of the Year Award in 2001.[24]

His poster campaign for the Churches Advertising Network in December 2006 generated coverage,[25] including a leader in the Times Newspaper[26] and an appearance on BBC's The One Show.

He was an advertising copywriter until 2009.

Media appearances

Johnston contributed to the British Channel 4 sketch show Smack the Pony as well as for BBC Radio 4's satirical sketch show Week Ending and the stage/TV show The Sitcom Trials.

He appeared as an interviewee in After the Chalk Dust Settled, a documentary included on the DVD release of Steven Moffat's sitcom Chalk.[27]

He was a zombie extra in Shaun of the Dead and a congregation member in the movie Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[28]


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.[29] He also appeared as a character in the Jodie Picoult novel, The Tenth Circle[30] and made a more major appearance in the Leverage novel The Con Job.[31]

Personal life

Johnston's daughter Eve was born in March 2005.[32]



  1. Singer, Matt (14 March 2006). "Pulp Friction". The Village Voice. New York City. Archived from the original on 15 March 2006. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
  2. 1 2 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 5 May 2006.
  3. Johnston, Rich (4 July 2013). "Adi Granov: Man Of Ilkley, Yorkshire". Bleeding Cool.
  4. "Lying in the Gutters". Lying in the Gutters. Comic Book Resources. 1 July 2002.
  5. Johnston, Rich (31 July 2000). "It Lives!". All the Rage. Silver Bullet Comic Books. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  6. CBR's Lying in the Gutters Archives. Accessed 18 January 2008
  7. "2010 Eagle Awards nominations". The Beat. 24 May 2010. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  8. Griffith, Eric (11 November 2010). "Our Favorite Blogs: 2010". PC Magazine. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  9. "Bleeding cool". 21 September 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  11. Ekstrom, Steve (5 March 2009). "Who Skewers the Watchmen? Rich Johnston on Watchmensch". Newsarama,. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  12. Singh, Arune (14 August 2006). "Rich Johnston Changes Minds In "Civil Wardrobe"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  13. Marshall, Rick (17 April 2009). "EXCLUSIVE: 'Doctor Who: Room With A Deja View' Writer Rich Johnston Talks TARDIS And Time Lords". Splash Page. MTV. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  14. Dowling, Tim (3 December 2007). "A saint with the powers of Superman". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  15. Wigler, Josh (10 December 2009). "Johnston Pursues His "Chase Variant"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  16. Weapons of Mass Distraction. Accessed 27 January 2008
  17. Maev Kennedy (21 June 2007). "Report on George W Bush cards". London: Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  18. Harrods Comic Timing Exhibition 2008. Accessed 17 October 2008
  19. Image Comics Solicitations for January 2009. Accessed 17 October 2008
  20. Good, Oliver (16 January 2011). "Wills'n'Kate: the comic book". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  21. site. Accessed 27 January 2008
  22. The Guardian, Feb 28th, 2001 Accessed 27 January 2008
  23. PlayStation World UK. Accessed 27 January 2008
  24. Sequential Tart interview, November 2002. Accessed 27 January 2008
  25. Google News Cache. Accessed 27 January 2008
  26. Times newspaper, September 15th 2006. Accessed 27 January 2008
  27. After the Chalk Dust Settled, featurette on Chalk Series 1 DVD,, prod. and dir. Craig Robins
  28. Rich Johnston at the Internet Movie Database. Accessed 18 January 2008
  29. IDW's Dying In the Gutters' site. Accessed 27 January 2008
  30. Film Ick. Accessed 2 April 2013.
  31. Bleeding Cool. Accessed 2 April 2013.
  32. Johnston, Rich (7 June 2005). "Lying In The Gutters". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  33. Official Dirtbag site. Accessed 27 January 2008
  34. Official X Flies site. Accessed 27 January 2008
  35. Official Holed Up site Archived 20 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. "Official Flying Friar site". Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  37. Civil Wardrobe download. Accessed 27 January 2008

External links

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