Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #66

Sun, September 6th, 1998 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

CROSSOVERITIS AND REVIEWS

I generally don't go for large company-wide crossovers. I hate them. It's like when Marvel started up Generation X. Just when you were getting used to the characters and the creators and enjoying the book, they rip it out and do the Generation Next book. This is generally not a good way to start off a title. Momentum is everything.

So now DC starts up YOUNG JUSTICE and after two issues throws us a crossover. YJ #1,000,000 is still good, though. Mostly meaningless, though, except for a couple of subtle clues about what's to come in the future for YJ. It's some potentially-funny self-parody of the DC Universe and its Big Event books.

Let's start back with the first bookend book, ONE MILLION. (Between this and Frank Miller's 300, I'm getting sick of series whose titles are numbers. ;-) Grant Morrison writes and, mercifully, Howard Porter keeps his ugly pen away from this comic. It's good. Confusing at first for those of us who weren't reading JLA up to this point, but still chock full of coolness. So cool, in fact, I immediately went out and bought a copy of JLA: NEW WORLD ORDER, collecting the first four issues of the current JLA series. I must admit I am terribly impressed by this series and I'll work on picking up the rest of the TPBs over the coming weeks. Grant Morrison does the sense of wonder thing on

a completely different level than Kurt Busiek does it with AVENGERS, but it works amazingly well. This is fun stuff.

Chris Eliopoulos' DESPERATE TIMES #2 is out this week, as well. It's a great humor book about two twenty-somethings searching for love in all the wrong places, including a strip bar. It's funny stuff, with quirky, well-drawn cartoon characters. Erik Larsen contributes on the cover again this month, and makes it really stand out on the racks. Take a look and see what I mean.

Warren Ellis scores yet another hit with WILDC.A.T.S/ALIENS. It's a dark and moody book, filled with little frights, BIG happenings for the WildStorm Universe, and some great art by Chris Sprouse and Kevin Nowlan. (Well, OK, Zealot's head looks a little small in some spots, but part of that might be those huge shoulder pads. Page 14's first page, though, is just a case of a really small head.) Warren Ellis knows how to pace things out, that's for sure. The most recent issue of StormWatch sets the scene for this book nicely. And this book starts off with an escape pod crashing into NYC, along the lines of Deep Impact/Independence Day/Armageddon. (Mostly like Armageddon, in which NYC carries the same sepia tone this book has it in.) My only complaint is that I wish the events of the final page had taken as long as the event of the first couple of pages. It seemed a little sudden. Maybe a bit longer of a monologue, and a longer chance for the reader to take in the magnitude of the event. . . All in all, it will be fun to see what Ellis does next.

I complained last month about FANTASTIC FOUR #10 and it looks like FANTASTIC FOUR #12 will answer some of those complaints. In the meantime, FANTASTIC FOUR #11 is a lead-in to the events of the big Year-End 12th Issue Double-Sized Extravaganze. Nice art, a progressing storyline with yet another participant, and more mutant tie-ins. Who wants Claremont to write X-Men when he practically is here?

ORGANIZING COMICS

This seems as good a time as any to print one reader's response to my question posited a couple of weeks ago: "How do you organize your comic book collection?"

Johnny Gonzalez writes:

I use to try to organize my comics in alphabetical order. Of course as I got to have a lot of my personal favorites I tried

to group them by favorite artist. Neither of course worked for me.

What I am trying to do at the moment is to get RID of my big long comic boxes and instead BIND my comics as a hardback. Thereby I can bind 20 comics together and be able to put them on my bookshelf and make people think I'm very intelligent. I got the idea about binding from Diana Shutz's editorial in Grendel Tales: The Devil May Care #6.

I believe John Byrne has his collection of older comics bound. Steve Geppi does, too, IIRC. It's a neat idea and one which makes your comics not only easily-organized, but also look good on your bookshelf.

Jim Demonakos is the Web Guru of such sites as the official Savage Dragon site ( http://www.savagedragon.com ) and Fin World, the home currently to all things Erik Larsen-related ( http://www.neudesign.com/elwr ). His boxes are organized thusly:

#1s/One-Shots, Non #1s (some issue #2, 5, 117, etc), Miniseries', Sets (large complete runs of issues, like Spawn #1-52), Currently Collecting (stuff that gets added to every month, like Dragon), Special Editions (ashcans, etc), #1/2s, #0s. All in a handy-dandy Microsoft Excel file!

The important thing to note here, folks is the database! That's the most important part. No matter how badly organized your collection it, you'll always and easily be able to tell if you have a certain comic in a collection with the use of a good database. Of course, if you're one of those who can memorize everything, more power to you!

Thanks to Jim and Johnny. More next week!

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