Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #101

Mon, May 10th, 1999 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

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ANOTHER #1?

It wasn't even tempting.

The thought never entered into my mind to renumber this issue as Vol. 2 Issue 1.

I did, however, cheat a little. This is column #101, which looks sorta like Vol. 1 Issue 1, depending on your point of view. However, it also

manages not to disgust my regular readers by disavowing any knowledge of the first 100 columns they spent a

little of their time reading each week over the past two years. Those first 100 columns are still easily accessible

through the old web site for no charge and may even be referenced upon occasion. But, no, I won't show them

that level of disrespect by starting over again.

So there!

MANUFACTURED FIRSTS

Remember when Image first came out and all the creators involved,

save Todd McFarlane, talked about initial mini-series? They said that if

the characters they were drawing and writing in the mini-series proved

popular enough, then they'd do regular series with them.

Did they truly believe that they wouldn't sell? After all the hype and

buzz generated by the Image announcement, there wasn't a chance in

hell that the books wouldn't sell. Granted, Image was really the first to

prove you could print a top 10 book without being under the Marvel or

DC masthead, but it seemed a slam duck to me. Maybe since it wasn't

my career that was being risked, I shouldn't pretend to be wiser than

them, eh?

Maybe those first 100 PCR columns were my mini-series. May this

edition, then, last longer than CYBERFORCE or WILDCATS or

YOUNGBLOOD! It's funny, but only SPAWN and SAVAGE

DRAGON are still being published from those days. SHADOWHAWK petered out and finally died, came back, and died

again. Rob Liefeld has bounced in and out of public consciousness with the

regularity of a tightly-wound yo-yo. Whilce Portacio was written right out

of Image history. Portacio had some family troubles and got bought out

and written out of the picture completely. His WETWORKS was

pretty highly anticipated in the beginning.

Nowadays, WILDCATS is being restarted, YOUNGBLOOD was

restarted, and even Todd McFarlane is attempting it by starting new

on-going SPAWN series.

FIRST ISSUES

So what should a successful first issue encompass?

Basically, everything that ARIA #1 did not. It should

tell a complete story. Writers hate for me to say that,

but that's what I want as a reader. I don't want 22

pages of teasers for the series. I want a real story

which introduces me to the character or characters

who act as the protagonist of the series. How am I to

know if I'm going to like the series if I can't get to

know the characters? There has to be something else

exceptional about it.

All things being equal, I want a real story in that first issue. Not a teaser.

Not part 1 of 6. (The way I read comics today, I wait for that 6 issue

arc to be done before reading it all in one sitting. If I don't like it then,

you catch my wrath here. =)

Also, if your second issue begins with a recap of the first issue which takes up half of the inside cover and still switches scenes with just about every sentence, you're in trouble.

FIRST MADISON SQUARE GARDEN CONVENTION

I attended the unwieldily-named "The New York Comic and Fantasy

Creators Convention" this past weekend. I have a mix of opinions on it.

First, it was great to see a real live Artist's Alley at a comic book

convention. Sure, the Big Apple Con and Fred Greenberg shows may

have a guest artist or two at a table, but here you had a whole row of

booths including the likes of Keith Giffen, Peter David, Mark

McKenna, Jon Bogdanove, Jimmy Palmiotti, Walter and Louise

Simonson, and a couple dozen more! It's also the first convention in the

area that I've been to which included booths from both Marvel and DC,

not to mention Wizard and Warren and Harris and NEC Comics,

which had a large TICK thing going on.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that the comics selection was extremely

underwhelming. When I go to a Big Apple Con or a Fred Greenberg

con or the show over here in Wayne, NJ, I tend to leave with a bag full

of comics from the 50 cent bins. Here, comics were an afterthought.

There were more toy and original art and horror and sci fi-related

dealers than comic book merchants, it seemed.

The whole show was made possible, I imagine, by STAR WARS. It

was a STAR WARS show hoping to capitalize on the upcoming movie

by throwing David Prowse and Kenny Baker at us again. (The local

TODAY show had the weather guy broadcasting from the show on

Saturday morning.) Heck, it even

overshadowed the pair of actors who

were there from BABYLON 5:

Joshua Cox and Wortham Kimmer.

Then there was your assortment of

spandex-clad females with various

degrees of clothing on. It seemed like

the most conservatively-dressed

member of that crowd was Alley

Baggett, the Playboy lingerie model.

Go figure.

Maybe I'll just have to give my definition of a Perfect Comic Con in this space one of these weeks. Stay tuned. . .

FIRST MONSTER FIGHTERS, INC. !?!

Is this out yet? I thought I saw a review or two of it on the web a couple of weeks ago, but it hasn't shown up at my comic shop yet. Has it been released yet? If it's anywhere near as good as THE COPYBOOK TALES or SIREN, then it'll be worth the wait. If you don't have a clue what it's about, go to the Monster Fighters Inc. web site.

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