Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #96

Sun, April 4th, 1999 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist


The tale of confusing credits from a couple of issues ago seems to get more and more complicated. It's beyond the point where you can't tell what a person does from the credit anymore and has progressed to the point where they blatantly don't do what the credit says they do. Does that make sense?

"Who is too busy making Hollywood deals to bother drawing his own book?"

How about stories of background artists drawing the background and everything else -- save for the characters' faces? Maybe one in particular, who is too busy making Hollywood deals to bother drawing his own book? So he gets the lackeys to do it. He spots out the page and gives it to the "background assistants" to draw. Their names, which rightfully belong on the cover, don't go there because their names wouldn't sell the book. It's bait and switch, smoke and mirrors, etc. etc.

Folks, I'm not talking about Rob Liefeld here. Yes, Marat Mychaels ghosted an issue of X-FORCE, but Marvel editorial was afraid of a sales slippage without Rob attached to the book as artist. Besides which, that would also have made the books returnable. Rob's been open about this since that time.

But this other "creator" I'm talking about today lays out a page at a time, and leaves the rest of the work to the people who don't get their own office space. The bullpen draws the comics; those with offices pull down the checks.

I'm not naming names here. I have no proof or evidence or corroboration on this story. But if this is true, then I hope someone would speak up about it. Or just set the record straight. What do the background assistant artists at [studio name deleted] actually do? So anyone who would care to enlighten me and my readers -- either anonymously or openly -- feel free to drop me a line at augie@nic.com. I'll be looking into this where and how I can on my own.

I'd like to think that it's only a matter of time before a system such as this would get exposed. There'd have to be an ex-employee with a grudge or something, right? No, instead we have an insular "community" which doesn't like to expose some of the ugly truths. There are no investigative reporters in comics today, save maybe Richard Johnston. And Wizard wouldn't cover something like this for fear of losing a major advertiser and magazine-seller.


I haven't spent much time in this column lately going over PREVIEWS. I think we shall see what madness it inspires this month:

Not even an Alan Davis cover is getting me interested in the JSA. I read James Robinson's THE GOLDEN AGE. That's enough for me. It was OK, but nothing to rev up my engines. I skipped the JSA event this past month, too.

DARK HORSE is flogging a dead horse. They're doing "Maverick" to band together some of their top-name creators. I guess they didn't learn much from "Legends," eh?

WildStorm is soliciting for a DARKCHYLDE SUMMER SWIMSUIT SPECTACULAR, marking the first such special in which the starring character will be wearing more clothes than she often does in her regular series.

Jim Lee continues to learn from his Cliffhanger protges how to package and repackage what little work he does, as a third collection of DIVINE RIGHT hits the shelves, containing two stories with extra 'f' words added in.

More worthy of your money is "STORMWATCH: CHANGE OR DIE," collecting a bunch of Warren Ellis' great stories.

Further proof that the comics industry is dying: Even Todd McFarlane needs to publish three unnecessary spin-off series in order to keep his empire afloat.

ARIA #6 is solicited. I almost lost control of my bladder from laughing so hard when I saw that. I bet ya we'll be lucky to see the third issue by June.

MONSTER FIGHTERS INC. #2 is solicited. I have nothing witty to say here. I just like to publicize J. Torres' work.

Speaking of which, Tim Levins is drawing BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #15 in June! Whoo-hoo! Now let's get back to THE COPYBOOK TALES, OK, guys?

TELLOS, Todd Dezago and Mike Wieringo's fantasy series, looks a hell of a lot more interesting than BATTLE CHASERS. And I have a better feeling that they'll put out more than 5 issues in their first year.

"I didn't think it possible, but Firestar's face looks even more ridiculous in black and white than color."

Marvel prints the black and white artwork by George Perez and Al Vey (presumably) from a few pages of AVENGERS #19. I didn't think it possible, but Firestar's face looks even more ridiculous in black and white than color.

That new BLACK WIDOW is cute. . . However, I also acknowledge the fact that she's a figment of someone's pen and ink imagination. This, I believe, separates me from a lot of fans you find on the Internet lurking in dark corners.

Doug Braithwaite's CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY #12 cover makes me long for Rob Liefeld's anatomically-correct CapAm.

WIZARD interviews JMS for its 95th issue! Whoo-hoo! They also include an offer for another comic based on a weak wrestler-based character. I long for the day when this pornography is taken back off the air. Did anyone else see that ESPN special about wrestling?

The cover to THE COVEN: DARK ORIGINS #1 features a woman who is able to move the upper part of her body without any attachment to its lower half.

BTW, don't blame Rob Liefeld for the lateness of ALAN MOORE'S AWESOME UNIVERSE HANDBOOK. It's strictly a printing press mix-up. Not Awesome's fault. GLORY #0 is still Awesome's fault, however.

The Buffy photo covers are worth more than the pen-and-ink covers. I don't get it. All those photos are seen countless times on the Internet and in the newspapers and. . . I don't know. ::shakes head::

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