THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
I've been hinting at this for a few weeks now. Today I can finally let you all in on the news. This is the last issue of Pipeline Commentary and Review at nic.com. I've sold out. Or been bought out. Take your pick.
With the 101st issue, Pipeline Commentary and Review will proudly be a part of Jonah Weiland's Comic Book Resources. Not much will change. Jonah's given me free reign to continue this column the way I've always done it. I will have no commercial interests bogging me down. I will have a much larger audience, though. I regret having to drop the mailing list, but PCR is promised exclusively to CBR.
I've been a CBR visitor for a few years now. I've always enjoyed the site. It's grown a lot since its original days of being a list of links. There are some good message boards on there now, as well as a terrific semi-weekly news column by Beau Yarbrough, and occasional interviews, contests, features, and more.
And as of Tuesday, May 10th, there'll be a little corner called Pipeline Commentary and Review. I hope to see you all there. An official announcement will be released tomorrow. I'll be sure to post it here.
A BRIEF (yeah, right) HISTORY OF PIPELINE
As Pipeline Commentary and Review hits its 100th issue and prepares to restart itself again, in a way, over on Jonah Weiland's Comic Book Resources, I thought now would be the best time to look at the past three years of this column's life. It may be self-indulgent, but I know a couple of people are curious as to the early days of this column.
It goes back to 1995. Back then I decided to do a column and called it "Augie's Reviews," lacking anything better for a name. I attempted it weekly, but that didn't work out too well. You could probably blame it on school or something. It didn't last.
THE SECOND COMING OF PIPELINE
I needed a better title. So I asked readers to write in with their suggestions. I got one response from Ben Rawluk. He suggested "Pipeline." I went with it -- as of January 6th, 1996. "Pipeline" was born. That's all it was called, "Pipeline." That first issue included reviews for THE SAVAGE DRAGON #24, ASH #6, CAPTAIN AMERICA #449, IMPULSE #11, VELOCITY #3, THE NEW SHADOWHAWK #5, and SOVEREIGN SEVEN #8. It included a section for "Confusing Ad of the Month",and was a strictly regimented review column. All reviews included creator credits right after the review.
I got into reviewing comics for USENET for a couple of reasons. One, it looked like fun. Two, there weren't many people doing it at the time and those that were had a lot of overlap. I offered a different set of reviews. I had UNCLE $CROOGE reviewed in the same column with THE FLASH and whatever new comics Image was putting out at the time.
The 35th and final column -- by then entitled "Pipeline Reviews" -- was dated January 5th, 1997.
The columns which were published under the "Augie's Reviews" banner were merged in with the Pipeline columns, merely re-titled to fit into the archives a little bit better.
THE THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM
I obviously had no momentum working for me with the column and even less in the way of inspiration. I felt tied down with the rigorous format of doing strictly reviews. I wanted to say more. And so I did. I participated in different USENET threads, but mostly on CompuServe's Comics and Animation forum. My comments were spread out all over the place.
On June 8th, 1997, the column returned. This time it was called "Pipeline Commentary and Review." I picked the name for a couple of reasons. First, it reflected the actual contents of the column. Taking some level of inspiration from editorialist Thomas Sowell's "Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene," I incorporated almost-random comics commentary in with the comic reviews. This allowed me to do both things that I wanted, along with not having to participate in a dozen different threads of conversations. Anything I wanted to say I could just say in this column.
This time, also, I wanted to do it weekly, come hell or high water. Some columns would be better than others. Some might seem rushed. Some would be pretty far out there. But they would be out week after grinding week. No breaks. No vacations. No excuses.
Sure, I've been a day late on several occasions, and a few days late on one or two, but I practice what I preach: In order to hold an audience you have to stick to your schedule. I'm not soliciting columns I never intend to write. ;)
The column has had pretty terrific exposure in the past couple of years. It's been posted on CompuServe, USENET, David LeBlanc's CBEM, and a ListBot-based mailing list, as well as the home web site.
Special thanks also must also go to Kirk Kimball, who did the logo you see on top of the PCR homepage. I don't credit him often enough for that, but he took my cheap little homemade thing and made it look clean and professional. (Of course, you can easily thank him, too, by taking a look at his excellent POP ROCKET web site, which is updated every Friday night with news and no-holds-barred reviews at http://idt.net/~nexus1/comics.html [Sadly, the website is long dead now. -Augie])
PCR'S FOURTH LIFE?
But now all of that is going away for one big shot at larger exposure, a new audience, and some exciting possibilities. Jonah Weiland contacted me a few weeks ago with this crazy idea of bringing Pipeline onto his web site. My ego swollen to the size of a whale, I let Jonah swallow me. (I wonder how many variations of that old saw he's heard in his life?)
So next week is it. It does mean I'm giving up some things. I won't be posting the columns to the mailing list anymore, or to USENET or CBEM. It's something I'm truly sorry for, but them's the breaks and that's the business. It wouldn't be fair to Jonah to continue cross-posting this column all over the place, when he picked me up to increase the amount of hits on his site.
The column will stay the same. It'll still be me, live and uncensored, for better or worse. The column will come out every Tuesday from now on, but I'm guaranteeing shipping, so hopefully that'll make up for the day's delay. You'll get used to it. =)
The PCR web site at nic.com will always remain open, if only to provide a link to CBR and to house the first 100 issues of this experiment.
Also please visit the newly redubbed Pipeline Script-Writing site which I unveiled earlier this week. It's my old "Augie's Fan-Fic" site redesigned with added links and information. I hope to update it more frequently, as well as add in some more essays on writing comics and more links. It seems there are finally some sites out there dedicated to comics scripting, or that might help those of us interested in the art.
I'm also working on something else, which is my pie-in-the-sky web programming project. I'm doing it as a learning thing. Whether it ever goes live or not is another issue.
Join me again next week - Tuesday at Comic Book Resources.
Thanks for all the fish,