Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #112

Tue, July 27th, 1999 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

MORE DC STUFF

Here's the last of the stuff I didn't fit into Friday's column about various and sundry DC offerings and decisions:

Someone should start a comics deadpool web site. (No relation to the Marvel mutant.) Let's start taking bets on which comic will get cancelled next. I'd go with STARS and S.T.R.I.P.E., but that's just the cynic in me who can't allow himself to enjoy a new book published by DC or Marvel.

DC Editorial has done stupid things for a long time. In addition to hiring Kevin Dooley, that is. . . But recently, they've subscribed to the panic mentality of the major media and changed content on books such as HELLBLAZER, FINALS, and even SUPERMAN.

I imagine next we'll have a ban on all small aircraft crash stories in comics. (Local NY TV station WPIX has already announced they won't be airing the Murphy Brown episode in which JFK Jr. made a cameo appearance, even though it isn't due to air anytime soon now. Why? I haven't a clue . . . I guess they had to get in on the media frenzy, too. And this just in: one movie company is having a 'hard time' trying to figure out how to promote Harrison Ford's upcoming movie about losing a loved one in a plane crash. Sheesh)

e? I'm sick of it. It's pathetic how weak these companies are, and how overly-sensitive the masses are. Comics don't even have a mass audience. They certainly don't have one with kids anymore. Why should they worry? FINALS was a VERTIGO book expressly for mature readers. (The creators say they changed the sequence of their own accord, but I like the original scene better, and think this whole Columbine b.s. factored into it, even if subliminally.) Ditto with HELLBLAZER, which features horribly mutilated corpses regularly with Warren Ellis at the helm. The 80 PAGE GIANT ELSEWORLDS Superman story was the funniest thing I've read all year. And it made a good point -- with Superman as a baby, the babysitter has little to worry about. Sure, the tyke might get in trouble, but he's well-nigh indestructible. And why complain about imitatible violence? How many one-year olds are reading Superman comics? (Probably about as many 10 year olds, actually, but that's another rant altogether.)

I wonder what else we're going to get squeamish about next is? The classic (in my mind) JUSTICE LEAGUE of AMERICA cover with a gun pointed at a cat's head and the caption reading, "Buy this book or we won't shoot this cat!"?

(And just so you think this isn't me looking for an excuse to bash DC some more, let me chastise Marvel for their policy of not letting their hero characters smoke. Nick Fury without a cigar is a crime. In this day and age when yuppies have taken over the cigar industry as their own, maybe it's an even bigger crime. We need Nick Fury comics in J.R.s and other cigar superstores! =)

The funny thing about this all is the political rants it gets people on. I'm generally a good boy about not putting politics in this column. It is, after all, what eventually drove me away from Tony's Tips, an otherwise decent enough daily column of commentary and review. But the hypocrisy and group-think surrounding this is starting to annoy me. Yes, the religious right are all over this. But so is the politically correct left. They seem to get a pass from their friends in the media, which is odd since it's their decisions not to air this stuff. And I think it's a safe bet that most network executives are more likely Democrat donors than Republican.

And in the end, the whole thing just shows the parents' lack of responsibility, anyway.

But I think I had better stop there before this becomes a full-blown political rant. Let's move back to comics and something less controversial, like Rob Liefeld.

NOT A SWIPE

In last week's column, I asked that timeless question: "Did Rob Liefeld swipe this?", showing the covers to AUTHORITY #4 and SUPREME: THE RETURN #2. Despite similar composition and coloring, a reliable source from "deep within" Awesome has personally assured me it isn't. Between that assurance and the admittedly weak similarities, I'll be more than happy to chalk this one up to coincidence. My apologies to Rob on this one.

WILDCATS #4

WILDCATS #4 was only half-done by Travis Charest, although not advertised thusly. Heck, even the credits are impossible to figure out, as they've chosen to skip the classic "writer - penciler - inker" titles for the oh-so-clever "Supreme Commands - Field Commanders - Artillery Support - Armored Division." I think the Artillery Support is the second creative team and Armored Division the colorists. Don't quote me on that, though. Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary, of course, draw the next issue as Travis Charest fails to keep up with the bi-monthly schedule this book is already on. (Warren Ellis has just announced he's leaving THE AUTHORITY with them as of issue #12, BTW.)

This can only mean one thing for Charest -- he's gearing up for his very own Cliffhanger title! (Yes, before I get anxious e-mails: That last bit is a joke. You see, Joe Madureira and J. Scott Campbell, the two biggest-name artists on the imprint, are often late.)

Charest's half is beautifully-rendered, though, if story-telling-impaired. The second half is done in the house Wildstorm style.

THE WEB LOSES SOME OF ITS POP

I was sorry to see Kirk Kimball has given up doing the weekly news updates over at Pop Rocket. His sarcastic tone and irreverent manner, couple with a great clean website design, always made stopping by on Friday nights a joy.

The good news, though, is that his reviews are still coming every week at the link above, and still have the same tone to them. Every industry needs a good wiseass, you know? He also has a great list of links down the left side of the screen to all the major comics news columns and review sites out there. (Yes, Snap Judgments and Pipeline are both included there. What can I say? Kirk has good taste, and even did the logo for the original Pipeline website.)

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