Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #8

Sun, July 27th, 1997 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

PIPELINE COMMENTARY AND REVIEW #8

Well, we're back this week with a full edition. So let her rip!

Some good comic book recommendations this week. First up is THE SAVAGE DRAGON: A TALK WITH GOD. This is the new TPB collecting 7 of the most recent issues of Erik Larsen's series, of which I'm a big fan. It also contains the most-talked about one, for which the collection is named. There's also the issue in which Rapture proposes to Dragon, and the issue in which she gives birth to his child, as well as a couple of crossovers with Maxx and WildStar. It's uneven in parts, but if this collection doesn't make you a fan of this colorful and imaginative series, nothing will.

Erik Larsen: The last Image founder still writing and drawing his own book.

UNCLE $CROOGE #306 came out this past week, too, featuring the cover story by Don Rosa, "The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff." This is the 6 1/2th episode of his Life and Times of $crooge McDuck series, and it's another whopper. While it's not the strongest of the episodes, the ending ties everything up QUITE nicely. Rosa has done another terrific research job. (And Todd Klein's lettering makes it look even better. It's amazing what a good letterer can do for a story, not just in terms of balloon placement, but just in sheer overall "look.")

Pat Block does the cover of DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES #46. This got me to wondering: What is he doing now? It's been a long while since his last story was published by Gladstone. Is he working for Egmont now?

Speaking of research jobs. . . (Well, I was a couple paragraphs ago - go ahead and take a look to remind yourself. I'll wait.) I have to recommend John Ostrander's DC maxi-series THE KENTS. Being the American History major that I am, it was probably an easy sell, but he talked me into it anyway yesterday at a store appearance. It's the story of Clark Kent's ancestors in the old America west, featuring some meticulous research and some good storytelling. I was afraid that the storytelling would get lost. When you have a 20-year time period to cover in 12 issues, there's a danger of ending up with more synopses than storytelling. I can honestly say Ostrander does not fall into that trap here. Through a series of scenes, he really made me feel for Silas Kent and his boys, who come across as truly three-dimensional characters. (They all have their takes on the issues of the day, and aren't afraid to let it be known.) Tim Truman handles the art, so I suppose I needn't say that it looks spiffy too, do I?

It looks like DC's cover prices are going up from $1.75 to a $1.95 in October. It was nice while it lasted, I suppose. (THE KENTS is a $2.50 book, and the second issue is out already. I plan on getting it this week.)

SUPREME #50 features "guest-artist" Chris Sprouse. He'll be back in a couple of months as the regular penciller of the series. Thanks heavans. Here's a person who can really handle Alan Moore's stuff and make it seem real and not trite. His style is smooth and simple, but it conveys a wealth of emotions. This is especially good considering the whole current-time story revolves around a plotting meeting between Diana and Ethan. Their dialogue and plotting of a comic story serves an ironic note as it mirrors everything that happens between them in the story. Ethan's feelings towards Diana are obvious, but hers for him are less so. There's a pin-up gallery in the back to commemorate the fiftieth issue. There's some nice pieces in here, although I would rather have paid the buck less and not had the gallery.

ACCLAIM COMICS is coming up on its one-year annniversary soon, I suppose. So let's see where I stand with them: I've dropped BLOODSHOT after the first issue, X-O MANOWAR after the fourth or fifth, MAGNUS after 2, and SHADOWMAN after one. I'm not bothering with DOCTOR TOMORROW. I'm still buying QUANTUM AND WOODY which is hands-down the funniest thing in the market. NINJAK is terrific and the best super-hero comic of the bunch, but it's not long for this world. TRINITY ANGELS is still a goofy sort of fun, but I don't know how long I'll be reading it. TROUBLEMAKERS isn't the best thing on the market, but it's still interesting enough to hold my attention. TUROK: DINOSAUR HUNTER I'm not sure where I stand with right now. I liked the first

couple of quarterly books, but haven't been moved to pick up the latest one yet. What does all this mean? I don't know. But there's my scorecard. So how long before the entire ship sinks in a sea of red ink?

So the San Diego con is over. Where's all the news scoops, everybody? Hmmm? I keep hearing about a Jack-In-The-Box spraying confetti all over Kurt Busiek, but nothing past that. Maybe I should go read some more con reports.

I graduate college next year. With any luck, I'll get a job right off the bat. If so, I'm planning for San Diego: 1999 as we speak. =) So, who wants to be my roomie? ;-)

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