Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #91

Sun, February 28th, 1999 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist


Lots of interesting stuff in the news file this week. So let's have fun with these blasted gits, shall we?


Whatever's in the water over there at Awesome, it sure is catching.

First we have Rob Liefeld. We generally know what to expect from him already, but he sure is outdoing himself this year. So far we've had one issue of RE: GEX, the series which he said he has zillions of ideas for and could be his masterpiece. He was so sure of this, he even struck a movie deal, which he would write and direct. After one issue of that, though, he got bored and solicited for ROB #1, a semi-autobiographical book. That's not out yet and already he's announced this third new project for the year: taking over on CABLE.

So for those of you keeping count: In 1999, Rob Liefeld has solicited for three different comic book titles, and produced 20 actual pages of work.

Now Ian Churchill is following suit. THE COVEN just wasn't good enough for him. No, sir.

Let's read from Michael Doran's NEWSARAMA column, shall we?

Awesome Entertainment has announced the debut of an all new Ian

Churchill created mini-series entitled Lionheart. Written by

Churchill's Coven partner Jeph Loeb, the mini "chronicles the saga of

an ancient power that has been handed down throughout the ages, and

the woman who now shares its amazing properties."

So on top of the fact that Churchill can't manage to produce 6 continuous issues of a series, he's now changing gears to a new series which bears a description which would label it a WITCHBLADE clone, at best. Of course, I believe ShadowHawk (with Alan Moore, Kurt Busiek, and Jim Valentino) beat them both to the concept, but then someone probably beat them to that concept long ago, too. In any case, I'm sure the breakout success that Michael Turner and Joe Madureira have had drawing half-naked women with oversized chests has nothing to do with this decision.

But, wait! It gets better! Churchill says this won't mean the end of THE COVEN! (Heck, no. Should this series bomb, he'll need something to fall back onto and proclaim his one true love.)

Rob Liefeld is also quoted as saying this:

"A special Coven: Origins issue written by Jeph and Ian will ship in

June and the Coven is also featured prominently in the pages of Coven

vs. Re: Gex, a 2-issue mini-series on sale in May and July. Ian will

then return to the Coven in late summer/early fall just in time for a

major new storyline."

So the two also-rans of the AWESOME set -- RE: GEX and THE COVEN -- will meet up in a mini-series designed to be short enough for someone at AWESOME to actually finish! Fancy that!

The sad thing is that they may just be the smarter people for this. Mini-series sell better than titles with long histories. Heaven forbid anyone buy THE SAVAGE DRAGON, right? It's almost at issue 60! It's ancient in this day and age! (BTW, see the letters pages of the most recent DRAGON issue for a beautiful rebuttal of this numbering system by Erik Larsen.)

I'm surprised people still read SPAWN, but then nothing has really changed in that series in more than 60 issues, and Todd McFarlane is introducing something like 3 new Spawn-related series in the coming months, so maybe it is starting to fade.


I can't take it anymore. More of my favorite and potentially-favorite projects died out this week than I care to count. But being the dedicated columnist that I am, here's where the death toll stands:

  • Sierra fired its programming staff in charge of the upcoming BABYLON 5 space simulator. The fate of that program is unknown, although it was far enough along that they might cobble something together to release anything. It remains to be seen if this is for the best or not.
  • CRUSADE, the B5 spin-off series, was officially declared dead by its creator, jms, this week. The Sci-Fi Channel couldn't afford to grow its audience and bring in a loyal fanbase, so they had to pass on the series. (I suppose they've never heard of deficit financing? I'm just being cranky, is all.) TNT wouldn't finance any more of the project unless it involved naked babes and four-letter words. UPN wouldn't buy it for fear of having something intelligent on its schedule. And The WB wouldn't buy it unless James Vander Beek starred. So rather than pour some model into a skin-tight bodysuit in an effort to gain an audience at the expense of its intelligence, jms closed it down. We wish him well on his future projects and remember fondly BABYLON 5 as the shining beacon of light that it was -- a fully-realized 5 year story arc with the courage of its convictions.
  • Chris Eliopolous' DESPERATE TIMES comic has ended with the fourth issue. We wish him well in selling the strip into syndication. I look forward to reading the further adventures of Marty and Toad in the local papers. =)
  • MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000 will be ending at the conclusion of the upcoming 10th season. And there are still so many really incredibly bad movies to make fun of, too. MST3K will live on with the web, but weekends won't be the same with Mike and Tom and Crow. =( And whatever happened to that MST3K comic book series? Oh, wait, that was an Acclaim property, wasn't it? Nevermind. . .


Martin Wagner, who left HEPCATS because he can't stick to a schedule any better than anyone mentioned in the first section of this week's column, has found his new career in film. He's scheduled to storyboard Robert Rodriquez's next film, described as a kids' adventure movie. With this announcement, you can expect the movie to begin filming in 2005, just as soon as Wagner has finished 30% of the storyboards and proclaimed financial trouble since Rodriguez wasn't able to pay him on-time for his 6 sorta-continuous years of work. In response, Rodriguez will cite creative differences, noting that Wagner hasn't been able to be creative in more than a decade.


And this bit from Diamond Online from the Bizarro Pipeline file:

The title of Comics Journal #212 Year In Review (DEC981287F/$5.95) has been changed to Comics Journal #211 Year In Review.

And they thought Todd McFarlane couldn't count !


Special thanks to Michael Doran's NEWSARAMA and Beau Yarbrough's THE COMIC WIRE for the newsbits in this week's issue, as well as Diamond Comics Distributor.

  • http://www.mania.com

  • http://www.comicbookresources.com

  • http://www.diamondcomics.com

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