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Pipeline, Issue #101

by  in CBR Exclusives Comment

ANOTHER #1?

It wasn’t even tempting.

The thought never entered into my mind to renumber this issue as Vol. 2 Issue 1.

I did, however, cheat a little. This is column #101, which looks sorta like Vol. 1 Issue 1, depending on your point of view. However, it also
manages not to disgust my regular readers by disavowing any knowledge of the first 100 columns they spent a
little of their time reading each week over the past two years. Those first 100 columns are still easily accessible
through the old web site for no charge and may even be referenced upon occasion. But, no, I won’t show them
that level of disrespect by starting over again.

So there!

MANUFACTURED FIRSTS

Remember when Image first came out and all the creators involved,
save Todd McFarlane, talked about initial mini-series? They said that if
the characters they were drawing and writing in the mini-series proved
popular enough, then they’d do regular series with them.

Did they truly believe that they wouldn’t sell? After all the hype and
buzz generated by the Image announcement, there wasn’t a chance in
hell that the books wouldn’t sell. Granted, Image was really the first to
prove you could print a top 10 book without being under the Marvel or
DC masthead, but it seemed a slam duck to me. Maybe since it wasn’t
my career that was being risked, I shouldn’t pretend to be wiser than
them, eh?

Maybe those first 100 PCR columns were my mini-series. May this
edition, then, last longer than CYBERFORCE or WILDCATS or
YOUNGBLOOD! It’s funny, but only SPAWN and SAVAGE
DRAGON are still being published from those days. SHADOWHAWK petered out and finally died, came back, and died
again. Rob Liefeld has bounced in and out of public consciousness with the
regularity of a tightly-wound yo-yo. Whilce Portacio was written right out
of Image history. Portacio had some family troubles and got bought out
and written out of the picture completely. His WETWORKS was
pretty highly anticipated in the beginning.

Nowadays, WILDCATS is being restarted, YOUNGBLOOD was
restarted, and even Todd McFarlane is attempting it by starting new
on-going SPAWN series.

FIRST ISSUES

So what should a successful first issue encompass?
Basically, everything that ARIA #1 did not. It should
tell a complete story. Writers hate for me to say that,
but that’s what I want as a reader. I don’t want 22
pages of teasers for the series. I want a real story
which introduces me to the character or characters
who act as the protagonist of the series. How am I to
know if I’m going to like the series if I can’t get to
know the characters? There has to be something else
exceptional about it.

All things being equal, I want a real story in that first issue. Not a teaser.
Not part 1 of 6. (The way I read comics today, I wait for that 6 issue
arc to be done before reading it all in one sitting. If I don’t like it then,
you catch my wrath here. =)

Also, if your second issue begins with a recap of the first issue which takes up half of the inside cover and still switches scenes with just about every sentence, you’re in trouble.

FIRST MADISON SQUARE GARDEN CONVENTION

I attended the unwieldily-named “The New York Comic and Fantasy
Creators Convention” this past weekend. I have a mix of opinions on it.
First, it was great to see a real live Artist’s Alley at a comic book
convention. Sure, the Big Apple Con and Fred Greenberg shows may
have a guest artist or two at a table, but here you had a whole row of
booths including the likes of Keith Giffen, Peter David, Mark
McKenna, Jon Bogdanove, Jimmy Palmiotti, Walter and Louise
Simonson, and a couple dozen more! It’s also the first convention in the
area that I’ve been to which included booths from both Marvel and DC,
not to mention Wizard and Warren and Harris and NEC Comics,
which had a large TICK thing going on.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the comics selection was extremely
underwhelming. When I go to a Big Apple Con or a Fred Greenberg
con or the show over here in Wayne, NJ, I tend to leave with a bag full
of comics from the 50 cent bins. Here, comics were an afterthought.
There were more toy and original art and horror and sci fi-related
dealers than comic book merchants, it seemed.

The whole show was made possible, I imagine, by STAR WARS. It
was a STAR WARS show hoping to capitalize on the upcoming movie
by throwing David Prowse and Kenny Baker at us again. (The local
TODAY show had the weather guy broadcasting from the show on
Saturday morning.) Heck, it even
overshadowed the pair of actors who
were there from BABYLON 5:
Joshua Cox and Wortham Kimmer.
Then there was your assortment of
spandex-clad females with various
degrees of clothing on. It seemed like
the most conservatively-dressed
member of that crowd was Alley
Baggett, the Playboy lingerie model.
Go figure.

Maybe I’ll just have to give my definition of a Perfect Comic Con in this space one of these weeks. Stay tuned. . .

FIRST MONSTER FIGHTERS, INC. !?!

Is this out yet? I thought I saw a review or two of it on the web a couple of weeks ago, but it hasn’t shown up at my comic shop yet. Has it been released yet? If it’s anywhere near as good as THE COPYBOOK TALES or SIREN, then it’ll be worth the wait. If you don’t have a clue what it’s about, go to the Monster Fighters Inc. web site.