Pipeline

Tue, November 24th, 2009 at 2:28pm PST | Updated: November 25th, 2009 at 9:17am

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist
5

QUICK THOUGHTS

  • Completely forgot that I had the original trade paperback of the "Sinister Six" hardcover book I reviewed here a couple weeks back. Here they are, lined up side-by-side, along with Larsen's "Spider-Man" sequel.

    They used the same cover art, though some minor coloring things were changed, such as the shape of the flame coming out of Hobgoblin's hand. Inside, the coloring is all the same, right down to the uncorrected errors. The big difference is paper stock. It's glossier paper now, so the colors look lighter and brighter. They don't have the same weight as the original printing had. That works, for the most part, though there are a couple of times a heavier look would have been more appropriate.

  • "Comics Spotlight" was a short-lived magazine back in the early-aughts, for which I wrote a dead wood edition of Pipeline. Maybe I should find those columns and use them for filler here sometime? I know I did one column dedicated to CrossGen, and one dedicated to Marvel's Ultimate line. Don't know if I ever squeezed in a third or not.

    That's Claude St. Aubin doing the cover, I believe.

    Look, I had my own column header and everything:

  • I could never be a comic book editor. I couldn't stand the constant roller coaster ride of sales - put a big splashy team on a book, hit a new high, watch it slowly wither away until you need to throw them off and put a new big splashy team onto the title to repeat the cycle.

    There are other cheats you can use to game the system - guest star characters, special anniversary issues, event crossover tie-ins. In the end, though, it's all a game of giving people what they want until they change their mind six months later. Sales fall all the time, with occasional spikes when the editor or publisher makes some big move. But those sales don't stick, and so the game goes on.

    It would drive me to drink.

  • I came across a longbox of Gladstone II Disney comics over the weekend, and opened up a random "Donald Duck" issue to find one of my letters printed in it. No big shock. I had plenty of letters printed in that era of Duck Comics. The thing that I did a double take on was the letter printed elsewhere on the same page - from Shel Dorf, the guy who started the San Diego Comic Con and passed on recently.

    Comics: Sometimes it's an even smaller world than I thought.

  • Speaking of letters columns, here's a scan of a letter I had printed in "Comics Buyers Guide" #1118, in their April 21, 1995 edition.

    "I find it strange to say I miss the days when all Image titles were a "cheap" $1.95."

    
15 years later and the pricing debate rages on, though the Marvels format isn't so badly overused.

    See? Everything old is new again.

    I would read "Marvels" in a trade paperback years later. I think I picked up the issues of "Rogue" at a convention for fifty cents a go. Didn't Mike Weiringo draw that one? Never did read "Tales to Astonish," I don't think.

  • Started reading Alan Moore's "Swamp Thing" again, this time in hardcover form. It's the first time I've ever read the pre-"Anatomy Lesson" issue, drawn by Dan Day, whose panel layout and design drew a line in my mind forward to Todd McFarlane's "Infinity Inc" and then to J.H. Williams' "Promethea" and "Detective Comics."

    I'm not saying there's any influences back and forth there. I'm just saying that the mind works in mysterious ways sometimes.

  • Chris Butcher is right. I wish that weren't so in this case.

  • The February hardcovers for Marvel includes an omnibus edition of Matt Fraction's run on "Invincible Iron Man," collecting the first 19 issues for $40. And, yes, it's oversized. Honestly, as with most of my comics reading, I fell off the series when my daughter was born a year ago. But that's one I've missed. This might be a handy way to catch up.

  • I fear sometimes that I'm out of touch with the kids and their comic book reading. Marvel has a character named Molecule Man? Really? Hunh.

  • I'm glad to see "West Coast Avengers" getting collected, but in a Premiere Edition hardcover? Seems like overkill. On the other hand, a paperback edition of "NextWave" gets a pass from me, even with the included letters columns. It would have been an easy buy in oversized hardcover format, even at a few bucks more.

  • I had a request this week for an update on the "Purge of 2009" that I haven't talked about in detail here for a while. Sadly, there's not much of an update. I do need the space back in the garage, though, so perhaps that'll spur me back into action.

  • Come back on Wednesday night or Thursday morning for the second half of this week's Pipeline column, in which I'll be reviewing "Image United" #1.

Next week: A Tuesday review.

The #McSpidey campaign only has an issue or two to go on Twitter, as time allows. Follow me on Twitter at AugieShoots.

My photoblog, AugieShoots.com, has birds in flight and more.

The Various and Sundry blog is still alive. Most of the time.

Don't forget to check out my Google Reader Shared Items. It's the best of my daily feed reading, sometimes with commentary!

You can e-mail me your comments on this column, or post them for all the world to see and respond to over on the Pipeline Message Board.

More than 800 columns - more than twelve years' worth - are archived here at CBR and you can get to them from the Pipeline Archive page. They're sorted chronologically.

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