Pipeline: Pipeline2, Issue #60

Fri, August 4th, 2000 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

ONE LAST TRIP TO SAN DIEGO

As you read this, I'm in Chicago. (I'm assuming you're kind enough to stop by on Fridays to read Pipeline2.) So I have to get all the San Diego stories out of my system before I report back on Chicago next week.

What follows is a bunch of oddball bits and pieces of leftover observations and stories and panels from San Diego 2000.

Most of the nitty gritty of these panels isn't discussed since it's news that's already been relayed in the Comic Wire, or stuff that you just had to have been there to get.

Here's one interesting bit of business, though. It's the promo flyer the Marvel booth had to give out for their upcoming BIG TOWN mini-series. I've seen the first few pages of this thing, and it looks gorgeous. Picture "Metropolis: Y2K" taken to its logical extreme, and influencing all the heroes in it and all the surrounding areas.

IMAGE CENTRAL PANEL DETAILS

Jim Valentino came out with one of the funniest lines of the convention during the Image panel on Saturday morning. In talking about the variety of books Image has added to its lineup lately, he said, "We're even doing a book with Tom DeFalco, which appeals to my sense of humor enormously."

At the same panel, Erik Larsen was asked what the secret was to being so prolific. His answer? "I don't have any videogames."

BATMAN PANEL DETAILS

The 5th week Batman event coming from DC in November revolves around the relationship between Batman and Gordon. Creators involved in this project include Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Chuck Dixon, Steve Lieber, Joe Giello, Dick Giordano, Joe Kubert (a cover), and Paul Pope. The books will each look at a different period of time during the relationship, from Year One to AzBats to today.

Despite the pleas of one particular fan at the panel, Staz Johnson said he had no interesting in returning to ROBIN anytime soon, saying he didn't want to draw "14 year old boys in green tights" anymore. So now he's drawing a 20-something woman in full purple bodysuits. Kinky.

Greg Rucka said that the coloring style in DETECTIVE COMICS is going to stay the way it is. I'm glad to hear that. It's one thing to experiment; It's another to stick by your guns in the face of some severe (if unfounded) criticism.

At the same panel, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale said they didn't have anything planned together just yet for after DARK VICTORY. Less than a week later, WIZARD announces that they're paired up for a DAREDEVIL story set during his yellow-costume time. What can one learn from this? If you're a journalist, keep pressing for details. They're probably out there. If you're a fan, don't believe anything until the books don't see print.

THE EISNER AWARDS

[Eisner Awards]The Eisners were a lot of fun. For one thing, they were more entertaining this year than last. They were still clocking in at two and a half hours, but the time did pass relatively quickly. The Eisners are held in the ballroom of the Hyatt every year. There's a stage up front, a screen to display slides, and a screen to broadcast video of what's going on at the podium for those sitting in the back. Up front are a couple of dozen large round tables, seating about 8 or 10 people each. These seat all the nominees, sponsors, and assorted professionals. Just behind that are a few hundred folding chairs for the general public to come view the event.

There was a small hors d'oeuvres thing before the ceremony begins, where you could get little pieces of steak, small rolls, and some other little stuff I didn't bother with. The food was free. The 6 ounces of Diet Coke ran $3. Yeep!

As a sponsor of the event this year, CBR even had a table. So we got to sit up front with the professionals and try to act professional ourselves and not geek out in our surroundings. We did pretty well, too. CBR Head Honcho Jonah Weiland spent most of the time with his head down in his laptop computer sending live updates to CBR of the Eisner winners. It was quite a neat setup to get a phone line into the ballroom for that.

The only downside of the Eisners, of course, was packing an extra change of clothes to attend the affair. It's more or less shirt and tie, but not everyone abides by that, unfortunately…

It's humbling to have been part of the long standing ovation for Dan DeCarlo when he was honored. The crowd there really showed a lot of support for him in his fight against Archie over character creation and ownership.

It was really neat to be sitting in front of the Bongo table when they won for best humor comic, and to be at the table next to Evan Dorkin, when he got up to accept the award(s) for Alex Ross. Dorkin was nominated for an issue of DORK earlier in the ceremonies and lost. He references that loss in both speeches.

All of the acceptance speeches are now available via Real Audio here at CBR. Take a listen. Here are some highlights:

Tony Millionaire gets the award for classiest acceptance speech for his "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" win.

Scott Dunbier had to get up there and awful lot to accept awards for America's Best Comics books. Twice he took out his cell phone at the podium to make phone calls to the winners. I was afraid the second time might be a bit redundant. When the phone call did, indeed, wake Chris Sprouse up, the crowd went crazy. It doesn't come through quite as well on the recording as it did from the crowd, but it's still entertaining. (Keep an ear open for Sergio Aragones jumping in near the end.) My apologies to Scott Dunbier for doubting his sense of comedic timing. =)

Listen to Kyle Baker's first acceptance speech. Nobody's applauding until the end. Why not? The crowd was just waiting for a 'pulping' reference, and got one at the end.

The most poignant moment of the affair was when the PEANUTS book won. Charles Schulz's daughter was there to accept the award and gave a beautiful short speech.

After the ceremony, there was really loud music. There was also a dance floor open, but nobody had gotten drunk enough yet to venture forth onto it by the time I left.

SUPERMAN PANEL DETAILS

Once again, it's sort of disappointing that there isn't anything terribly well organized for this one. Just like last year, editor Eddie Berganza 'leads' the panel with a selection of the Superman creative teams. (This year it was artist Mike S. Miller and writers Joe Kelly, Jeph Loeb, and Mark Schultz.)

But there's nothing set up. The first words out of Berganza's mouth were, "So, any questions?"

There's an hour and a half of time scheduled for this panel, and nobody has anything prepared?!? Wow. So things stumbled off to their inevitable start, with a few tentatively raised hands, and the creators vamping for time. Things did eventually get moving, with Kelly and Loeb stealing the show. Miller got about two sentences in.

You don't necessarily need the sometimes-contrived lead-ins of Patty Jeres' DC panels or Bill Rosemann's Marvel panels, but some sense of direction and help in keeping things moving would be nice.

UP NEXT IN THE PIPELINE

Wizardworld Convention 2000 and comics reviews. That's pretty much the size of it. See you then!

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