Pipeline: Augie in Comics

Tue, September 4th, 2012 at 2:58pm PDT

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist
3

AUGIE IN COMICS

There's this guy:

Jay Faerber got it right in "Dynamo 5":

Augie Ford

John Byrne snuck one into a bar once in an "Aliens" story in "Previews" that Dark Horse later collected:

Bartender Augie. My grandfather owned a bar in Paterson, NJ nearly 100 years ago now. He was an "Augie," too. Coincidence? Yep.

Heathcliff always knew the score:

Hanna Barbera knew what they were doing. When most people hear my name for the first time, they think of Augie Doggie:

Robert Kirkman got it right once:

The legendary "Savage Dragon" #115

Then, there's this bit of unfortunate spelling in this week's "Thief of Thieves" #8:

It's not a fluke. The horrible misspelling happens twice in the issue.

I'll blame scripter James Asmus, who dared to move away from "Augustus" to the more familiar form, though he blew it in the process. It can't be Robert Kirkman's fault. He's known my name for far too many years to get "Augie" wrong by now, don't you think?

The only "real" person I could find with the name mangled like that is a comedian, Auggie Smith. He lives in Portland, so I'm sure lots of comic people know him. Maybe he's the problem?

But, c'mon, two "G"s? That's awful. Even baseball player Augie Ojeda spells it right...

If you know of any other characters named "Augie" in comics, please pass them along. I like collecting them for obvious reasons, particularly if they spell their names right.

That major fumble aside, "Thief of Thieves" #8 is another awesome issue. It seems trite to call it "overlooked," but I think it might be. Once the TV show gets on the air, it'll explode, but there's no reason to wait for that. The trade paperback collecting the first seven issues hits stands this week, too. It's only $15, so it's a good deal. If you miss the days of Christopher Priest using scene introductions in "Quantum and Woody" or "Black Panther," this is the closest thing you'll see to it today. Give it a try.

DITKO ISN'T THERE, UNLESS HE ALWAYS HAS BEEN

So the story of Steve Ditko attending a comic book convention in the UK turned out to be false. But what if Ditko showed up for NYCC in his own hometown? If he showed up unannounced, he could freely walk the place without anyone noticing him. What if he's been doing that for years? What if Ditko walks amongst us, but nobody knew?

I picture him at NYCC in a few weeks grabbing a quick lunch with Ike Perlmutter, hiding in plain sight amongst the masses, snickering.

PURGE UPDATE

I've now packed 15 boxes and inventoried 12 of them. The item count is up over 350 books to be purged.

Came across my copy of "Essential X-Men" Volume 7 along the way. I'm keeping it. It has the run of "Uncanny X-Men" from #214-#228, Annual #10, and the four-issue mini, "Fantastic Four Vs. The X-Men." Under editor Ann Nocenti, that string of issues includes art by Art Adams, Barry Windsor-Smith, Alan Davis, Jackson Guice, Marc Silvestri, and Jon Bogdanove. Kerry Gammill has an issue in there, too, that's as impressive a job as I've ever seen him do.

Of those seven names, only Guice and Davis do regular assignments anymore. Heck, I'd argue that only Guice is left doing monthly comics. Davis pops up here and there for short runs and mini-series, but doesn't commit to longer runs on a single series anymore. Silvestri's longest stretch in recent memory is three issues of a Hulk title. Who knows what Barry Windsor-Smith is doing these days? Art Adams does a mini-series every now and then.

Chris Claremont wrote it all, and Tom Orzechowski gloriously lettered it all. If you're looking for a prime example of how lettering can lift a story and add to the art, this is a good book to pick up. Even across all the different art styles in the book, the lettering helps to give the book a unique look, as combined with Claremont's singular style.

IT'S COME TO THIS

Actual conversation I had with my daughter this week:

Daughter: Daddy, let's play princess! I'll be Ariel.

Me: OK, do you have legs or a flipper?

Daughter: Legs!

Me: Are you married to the Prince yet?

Daughter: No!

Me: So you have no voice yet?

Daughter: Right.

It was about then that I realized my daughter was asking me to play pretend with her and I had to work out the continuity issues first before creating a story.

I am a comic geek.

THE LIP LOCK THAT LAUNCHED THE LATEST MEDIA TIE-IN

We're fast getting to the point where the marketing departments and writers at DC and Marvel are going to run out of hot button topics of the day to entice newspaper and magazine coverage of the books. Death, marriage, gay marriage, presidential appearances, random hook-ups, characters of various minority representation, etc. will get old after awhile, barring a slow news day. I can only wish The Big Two luck in their on-going effort to court "civilian" interest through "mainstream" headlines with hot-button topics of the day.

The latest bit in the last week is Superman and Wonder Woman becoming a romantic item, which instantly became a big brouhaha for reasons which elude me. You might have had a problem with the two characters as they had been established up until a year ago becoming a thing. But this isn't that Superman and it isn't that Wonder Woman. This is the New 52, and all bets are off. At least, they should be.

If you want to complain that this demeans Superman's character by making him subservient to Wonder Woman and his role in comics now being defined as "Wonder Woman's boyfriend," then go nuts. The actual argument goes the other way, I know, but I find it laughable in either instance. It all comes down to how the writers use the relationship that will show us whether it strengthens or harms the characters.

Forget Match.com; If Chat Roulette suddenly got hot again, would DC try to incorporate it with Oracle or with the Justice League's Monitor Duty? There's a hook there that someone in a marketing department somewhere must be considering.

I guess we're only a month or two away from Clark Kent losing his job at The Daily Planet and posting his profile to LinkedIn and Monster.com to find a new job. The Daily News will report that first.

Do you think Oracle has an App.Net account? I bet she's active on Quora. What is Maxwell Lord's Klout score? The fun goes on and on...

Unfortunately, most of those references are likely out of date in the New 52 world. Crap.

ODDS AND ENDS

Sal Velluto art from "Justice League Task Force"

    • Congrats to our friends at iFanboy on the occasion of their 350th podcast this week. Most impressive, gentlemen!
      * On the off chance you're not already subscribed to it, do check out Brian Bendis' Tumblr site, which features daily looks at the best of comics art from the last thirty years. There's a lot of great Art Adams stuff in there, plus Toth, Byrne, Hughes, Maguire, Keown, and so much more.
      Whatever happened to Scott Mills? I have no idea if his website is even up to date. He all but disappeared after "Seamonsters and Superheroes" wrapped up in 2005.
      Whatever happened to Sal Velluto? He basically disappeared after a healthy run on "Black Panther" a decade ago. I loved his stuff on there and going back to "Justice League Task Force."
  • Original Art Collection || AugieShoots.com || VariousandSundry.com || Google+ || Twitter || E-mail || Pipeline Message Board

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