Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #3

Sun, June 22nd, 1997 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

PIPELINE COMMENTARY AND REVIEW #3

It appears that my efforts to cut back on the amount of money I spend on comic books is bearing fruit at last. The past two weeks combined I've spent as much money as I used to spend in one week alone just a couple of months ago. Or have these just been slow weeks? Can anyone let me know?

"Slow" is a good way to describe how I felt reading George Perez's CRIMSON PLAGUE #1 this week. The art is beautiful, but there's too many characters (well, this is Perez, right? ;-) and lots of exposition. Nor, by the way, am I a fan of the lettering in this book. And the rest of the time I'm trying to figure out if any of the people drawn into this book are people I may know. I guess I'd recommend the book, but it wouldn't be a strong recommendation.

I wouldn't mind computer lettering so much if so much of it didn't look like a bad Tom Orzechowski impression.

YOUNG HEROES IN LOVE gets a strong recommendation from me. The third issue just came out this week. It continues along an interesting course, focusing on the confused and tangled social lives of a group of green super-heroes. And when they meet Superman - in an introduction which is just beautifully done, by the way - it's an actual event. This series reminds me, in some ways, of Peter David's X-Factor run. You can have page-after-page of nothing but dialogue and be mesmerized by it. The stuff is witty and well-done. The characters are strong and their situations are not interchangeable. Buy this one before you are forced to wait for the TPB because your local retailer is all sold out.

Picture this high-concept: "If superheroes really did exist in the world, how would they affect us? Not who would fight them or what crimes would they solve, but how would it affect us? The media would certainly latch onto them. If there were superheroes, they would be the trendsetters, the guys who impact how people think, and they would be watched 24 hours a day." Sounds like something Kurt Busiek would write, isn't it? Heck, that could be THUNDERBOLTS.

Nope, it's Rob Liefeld describing YOUNGBLOOD. (See COMICS SCENE #25) Sigh, if only he could have followed through on it better. It showed up in some issues better than others, but he still focused more on the super-hero antics than anything else. Too bad.

I want to create, write, and draw my own comic book so I can self-publish it in black and white, get it some good word of mouth and critical praise, move it to Image, and then change my mind in 6 months and move it back into self-publishing, having used up Image for all it's good for (publicity and distribution). It's all the rage these days, I understand.

Riddler got some good dialogue in on Batgirl in BATMAN & ROBIN ADVENTURES #21, but am I the only one left scratching his head over what the big final riddle actually meant? I don't get it. Otherwise, a fine comic.

Is BORIS THE BEAR officially dead now?

People have talked about the manga-fication of the X-Men universe and I've been ignoring them for a while now. I don't read any X-titles except DEAD-POOL, and that barely even counts as an X-title. I generally like Joe Madureira's art, too. But I picked up THE INCREDIBLE HULK #455, as I have been for more than 75 months now, and I saw what they meant. Having just finished reading ESSENTIAL X-MEN #1, I am shocked. That's not Ororo. That looks like some kid. And everything else looks too bulky and too "cyber." I miss the ultra-cool, slick clean lines of Jim Lee.

(Oh, and by the way, I like HULK and think PAD's got it back on track again.)

Speaking of Jim Lee, WildStorm's TPB of the original batch of Warren Ellis STORMWATCH issues has been cancelled due to low orders. I already have the issues so it doesn't really affect me, but it's another sign that the system just doesn't work. (And thus ends the obligatory Warren Ellis reference. I expect my check is in the post, Warren?)

What happened to all the comic book magazines? HERO ILLUSTRATED, AMAZING HEROES, COMICS SCENE, FAN, ARENA, INSIDE COMICS, etc. All gone. We're stuck with WIZARD.

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