Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #2

Sun, June 15th, 1997 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

PIPELINE COMMENTARY AND REVIEW #2

First, an update: Warren Ellis responded over in the excellent CompuServe Comics and Animation forum that JKMoore is gone from TRANSMETROPOLITAN after only one issue. He left for religious reasons. Just recently, I found out that Vic "FREAK FORCE" Bridges left comics altogether for religious reasons. Is there anyone else anybody can think of?

I've left a few books in the past few months in an attempt to cut back on this comics habit of mine. X-O MANOWAR and JACK KIRBY'S FOURTH WORLD were two of them. Well, guess what? Last week, X-O published a letter of mine. This week, JKFW published a letter of mine. So I had to buy each. Sheesh

And in the arena of being forced to cut back, Jim Lee announced recently that SAVANT GARDE is dead. This is a shame. The fourth issue just came out this week and it's a fun and adventurous book, without any of the melodramatic or deep and serious undercurrents of the rest of Wildstorm's output in the Image Universe. Issue 4 is not really a good jumping-on point, but it has been a fun series and I think a TPB wouldn't be a bad idea when it's done, to collect this story. Ryan Odagawa does some nifty art in here, without bowing to the Bad Girl altar.

Arrowette isn't a Bad Girl by any stretch of the imagination. Although her skirt is short and her midriff bare, she's more abused than anything else in IMPULSE #11. Think Olympic gymnastics done in a super-hero setting. I liked the issue, though I think it felt short in a couple of areas. And this has nothing to do with sour grapes over a similar story I was working on not too many months ago. =)

I've written a lot of stories. I haven't written even more. And I've half-written twice the number of the aforementioned put together.

A good and handy tool for writing comic book scripts is Steve Gerber's FScript template for Word for Windows. There's a link to it from my Fan-Fiction page at

http://www.nic.com/~augie/fanfic.htm

Changing gears completely (I can find no decent segue here), Marvel's new pricing scheme complete with "Your New Guide to the Marvel Universe" is now out. For a mere four extra pennies, you get a gate-fold cover which has all the background info for the story you're about to read. Not a bad idea. What *is* a bad idea, though, is the larger caliphon in the upper-left corner. The Marvel Comics logo is huge, the figure standing in the box is big. I think the larger issue number isn't a bad idea, though.

Speaking of which, I'm buying more Marvel books now than I have in a number of years: The Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Deadpool, the Heroes Reborn Titles, Thunderbolts, Ka-Zar, Marvel Vision, Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Essential titles, and probably one or two more I'm forgetting.

I am thinking of dropping a couple of Heroes Reborn titles. Captain America is just not exciting me right now. And I haven't read Fantastic Four now in about four months, despite buying them all. Maybe my subconscious is dropping me hints?

When VR.5 premiered, a show dedicated to exploring the subconscious, there were immediate rumors about comic book companies vying for the rights to publish the accompanying comic book. Ditto for Millenium. And Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, X-Files all have comic books right now. (OK, so B5's won't be out for a little while longer yet.) So where's the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book? I nominate Tony Isabella to write it (after his wonderful piece in the Comics Buyer's Guide about it) and Rob David to draw it. And I humbly accept the job of permanent fill-in and/or back-up story writer.

Speaking of short-stories, whatever happened to anthology comics? (Yes, THIS old tired question is rearing its head again.) Negative Burn will be leaving this mortal coil soon. Dark Horse Presents has to reinvent itself every year or two, it seems. Walt Disney's Comics and Stories is now up to issue 600-and-something, but at a price tag out of the reach of the common reader. Wildstorm has tried a few variations on it without success. Marvel Comics Presents was a fun title until, in a desperate bid for better sales, it sacrificed half of itself for Ghost Rider and Wolverine stories, and then became bastardized to do promotions for Marvel 2099. MCP was a great spot to break in new writers and artists. Scott Lobdell did several Captain Ultra stories, as well as various and sundry other stories. Joe Madureira broke in there, inbetween classes at junior high, presumably. ;-) Sam Kieth gained wider recognition than ever before with his 8-part Wolverine story written by PAD. Jae Lee, Rob Liefeld, Erik Lar, Ron Lim all did work relatively early in their careers there. As did John Byrne, Bill Mumy, FabNic, Todd McFarlane (only a cover, really), and more I can't think of off the top of my head. Where is the comparable showcase for new talent today?

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