Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #76

Sun, November 15th, 1998 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

BEWARE THE IDES OF NOVEMBER!

UPDATE: I re-reorganized my comics collection this afternoon. Realizing it was too cumbersome to have everything in strict alphabetical order when it meant often having to push around 2 or 4 boxes to get to something, I've gone back to my previous system of keeping boxes thematically, with the most active boxes on top, and the inactive boxes on the bottom. Since I can stuff the latter boxes completely full, it means I have more room in the boxes which are still growing. Let's see how this works. It took me the better part of three hours this afternoon to get this done.

(In case you're curious, one box is devoted completely to Peter David's comics. One box is John Byrne's. Both boxes at about 85% full. Erik Larsen (and all books he's been associated with at Image) take up about 3/4 of a box. That's about as simple as it gets. It's much more complicated afterwards, but I have the boxes labeled. Mark Waid and James Robinson share a box, for example. Warren Ellis, Alan Davis, Karl Kesel, Joe Kelly, and Dan Jurgens take up another. Superman and a couple of other inactive DC books fill another box. And so it goes. . .)

WHY KYLE BAKER IS A GENIUS

WHY I HATE SATURN was just reprinted by Vertigo this past week. Completely unfamiliar with this book - but having loved THE COWBOY WALLY SHOW - I picked it up immediately. It's just an hilarious book. Not necessarily in the same way as Wally, though. It's reminiscent a little of Warren Ellis' works. It stars a neurotic writer, although in this case it's a New York female with her own set of hang-ups, including being tormented by the whole "When Harry Met Sally" question.

Some of the strongest material in the book -- which does vary in tone a lot -- involves the discussion of interpersonal relationships. The whole dating thing. Why people say what they say. It's very well done.

My comic shop owner says it's the book she shows all the girlfriends who walk into the shop apprehensively. I can see why. It's only tangentially superhero-related, but it's funny stuff without being condascending.

The book retains a distinct 80s feel to it, I think, but it's something I like a lot. I'm big into 80s nostalgia. Just bought a Rubik's Cube, in fact. =) Some of the political satire and the fashion styles will scream the book's age, but I like it.

Baker has another graphic novel coming out this week called YOU ARE HERE. I'll be sure to review it next week. I'm looking forward to it.

BIG APPLE CON

I attended this weekend's BIG APPLE CON. You might remember it from my previous visits as being the stinkiest comics show in town. That's no value judgment on the dealers or the guests -- it relates directly to the aromatic flavor of the basement in which it is held. It's too small with too many people in it.

But yet I managed, despite myself, to enjoy it once more. There was some interesting stuff going on at this one, for better or worse.

Kevin Smith kept the place packed with autograph-seekers. It was so overwhelming, they resorted to calling numbers for people to get into line. I never got to get on line since I was #2700-and-something, and when I walked in they were just calling 2000-2099. By the time I left they were up to the 2400s, but I wasn't interested enough to wait another hour for my autograph. (I brought DAREDEVIL #1 with me, just in case the opportunity presented itself.)

The highlight in an odd sort of way for me was the appearance of Sonny Shroyer, Sheriff Enos on the Dukes of Hazard. Dukes was my absolute favorite show when I was younger. Better, even, than ChiPs. He hasn't changed all that much and he tells me he just finished playing an attorney in a recent movie. That's the good news.

The bad news is that it was kind of sad. He looked like one of those actors trying to make a living out of one role he played twenty years ago for a short time. He was there in Dukes uniform, with a mini tape recorder to play Dukes music on as he signed your autograph. Once or twice, he even lapsed into Enos character to the delight of fans.

I don't know. Something just seemed wrong about all that.

Star Wars' Uncle Owen was also there, but I didn't get a chance to get his autograph. He seemed a little less exhuberant, though. Which is good, actually.

I managed to pick up a couple of trading card sets at good prices from a dealer liquidating his stock at 50% off. I've never really been a big trading card fan, but as it harkens back to my baseball card roots, there are still some things I like. I bought a Savage Dragon and Babylon 5 card set for myself, and a James Bond set for my bother-in-law for his birthday. They look nice in their plastic sleeves.

I saw a dealer who had bootleg DVDs. Wow, that was quick! I didn't get a chance to find out how expensive they were, but I imagine they couldn't have been cheap. Commercial DVDs go from $15 to $35, generally, and a DVD recorder still costs in the thousand-dollar range.

One last thing I saw at the convention, but was not an official announcement: I saw a dealer being handed a promo flyer for a new comic convention in New York City next year: Madison Square Garden, May 7th and 8th. The ad had pictures of Vampirella and Spider-Man on it.

Could this be The Big East Coast Convention we've all been waiting for? Or another small con? Or another big flop, due to the stupidity of unions and their tight-fisted control over New York City? We shall see, I suppose.

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