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Pipeline, Issue #371

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Pipeline, Issue #371

SAVAGE DRAGON #115

This week sees the long-awaited release of the big 100 page installment of THE SAVAGE DRAGON. Why is it 100 pages? Sometimes, Erik Larsen doesn’t know how to shut up and likes to keep telling stories. That’s good enough for me. In this issue, you get a 30 page lead story featuring Dragon, a nearly 50 page story giving us the return of Freak Force to modern continuity, the latest 8 page installment of the MIGHTY MAN serial, and a short Dragon story that’s new to this series, if not the publishing world at large.

The lead story could be picked up by any new reader. Larsen throws in enough exposition to choke a horse, but it is welcomed and it is important. Since the last issue was months ago, the refresher on continuity was a good thing. Plus, it’s done entertainingly, with the speaker showing his or her own character in the way the exposition is delivered. That seems like such a small and obvious thing, but you’d be surprised how few people understand it.

The story is a Big Important One. There’s a Big Event in it, characters die (with graphic violence), the world changes, and Dragon Does Important Stuff. I promised I’d keep this review spoiler-free, so that’s about as good a job as I can do with it.

Larsen’s art looks strong. He has an overwhelming number of characters to draw in this issue with a ton of action to put across, and it all works. There’s some nice touches with background patterns, too. It’s probably all done in Photoshop these days, but it accurately reflects the kind of stuff that used to be used in black and white indy comics back in the 80s.

After that, there are a couple of Freak Force pin-ups, followed by the ‘main’ event, Freak Force’s return. The first page is a nice homage to the first page of the DEFENDERS revamp that Larsen did with Kurt Busiek a few years ago. After that — well, I can’t talk about it too much. In a way, it’s this Freak Force fan’s ultimate dream come true. In other ways, it’s my worst nightmare.

Pick your cliche: You can’t go home again. The grass is, indeed, always greener. My lawyer will be in touch. All of those apply to this story.

Any way you care to phrase it, make sure you flip through this at your local comics shop this week if you don’t plan on buying it. It’s entertaining. I’ll talk about it more when I get back from San Diego.

Englert’s art is morphing into a Rick Leonardi style, mixed with the Larsenesque style it usually resembles. We’re seeing an artist creating a style of his own before our eyes. It’s interesting to watch.

That’s followed by Englert’s art on the MIGHTY MAN serial, which was done some time earlier and inked directly by Larsen. The effect is very much like looking at Larsen Lite art. It’s not bad at all. Very consistent with the main art in the series.

Finally, Larsen colors himself in a reprint of the story seen in last year’s MORE FUND comic, Chris Giarrusso is back with another COMIC BITS page, and two pages of letters column rounds out the whole deal.

The book is square bound (cardboard cover) with wraparound art featuring a bevy of characters. The $8 is likely to scare all but the regular DRAGON readers away, but it was worth it to me.

Of course, after you read the FF story, you’ll wonder if I’m at all an unbiased reviewer this month. Ah, screw it. I enjoyed the book.

HOW DID I MISS THIS ONE?

Stop the presses. In putting together my PREVIEWS order for my comics shop this weekend, I caught a book in the back half of the catalog that I missed the first time around. It just shows you how much stuff there is in the catalog these days, and how oddly organized it can be sometimes.

In the “Book” section, there’s a “How To” category. Under there is the latest addition to the “DC COMICS GUIDE TO…” series. While previous editions have covered writing (Dennis O’Neil), pencilling (Klaus Janson), and inking (Janson again), this latest update bears the delightful title of THE DC COMICS GUIDE TO COLORING AND LETTERING COMICS. That’s right, we have another lettering book coming onto the market. While Mark Chiarello handles the coloring section, the lettering is covered by the man who’s won more Eisners than Eisner, himself, probably has, Todd Klein.

It’s on page 382 of PREVIEWS, and it wouldn’t be too late to pre-order it now from your local retailer or mail order dealer. The asking price is $19.95 for 128 color pages. I just hope the lettering section doesn’t turn out to be the afterthought at the back of the book.

You can read more about the book at the publisher’s website.

SAN DIEGO: THE SECOND HALF

Last week, I listed some of the interesting panels happening at the convention on Thursday and Friday. This week, I’m taking a look at the ludicrously busy Saturday, and insanely slow (relatively-speaking) Sunday.

Saturday is the day where all the day-trippers come in. They’re most obvious as the people who look the most frustrated and annoyed all day. They drove into town that morning to find there was no parking anywhere near the convention center. Then, they had to get in a line that wrapped around the block just to buy their day passes. Then, they discovered the wide hallways were choked with people like themselves, panels they came in for are filled up, or have long lines out front, and it’s such a nice day outside why did we have to come here? Don’t mind me. I’m just a cynic sometimes.

So Comicon reserves this day to put on their biggest presentations, many of which feature the big Hollywood types. That’s how the day starts off:

10:00-11:00 ABC’s New Fall Series Lost– Come to the screening of the new pilot by Alias creator JJ Abrams! Join the actors, producers & writers of this new ABC series debuting in the Fall. Starring actors Matthew Fox and Dominic Monahan who have established their fan following from appearing in TV’s Party of Five and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy respectively, and Evangeline Lilly, a radiant actress who is the female lead in Lost. Fans of Buffy and Angel will enjoy seeing what writer and producer David Fury is doing now on Lost and fans of comic books and the award winning Batman: The Animated Series will enjoy a discussion with Lost writer Paul Dini. Also, please join executive producers of Lost, Damon Lindeloff and Bryan Burk, for this sneak peek into the first hour of the pilot of Lost and a interview and Q&A session following! Room 6CDEF

I’m confused by the write-up. It sounds like it’s going to be a few writers and producers from the show there to talk about it. If the big Hollywood actor types were scheduled, they would have put this thing in the new Hall H. however, I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two of them didn’t make surprise guest appearances. That kind of thing happens a lot at San Diego.

That said, how do they plan on showing the first hour of the show AND having a Q&A in the space of an hour? The initial series pilot was two hours, and will be shown as episodes one and two at the end of September. So figure the first hour of the show is, in reality, about 44 minutes long. (Cut out the commercials.) That leaves about 15 minutes for a Q&A. In order to get the next panel in, organizers often cut off the panels about 5 minutes early, so that’s 10 minutes for Q&A.

Given the nature of the questions asked from the audience at presentations like this, that might not be such a bad thing.

In any case, this is one of the few shows I’m looking forward to this fall, but I doubt I’ll be hitting with the panel. There’s too much stuff to do on the floor first thing in the morning. Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself.

11:00-12:00 WildStorm: Comics Untamed — Coming from California: some of the wildest comics anywhere! Find out what’s coming up from WildStorm Productions in this slide presentation. Join executive editor Scott Dunbier , and some of comics’ rowdier talents-Jim Lee, editorial director, WildStorm (Superman), Tony Harris (Ex Machina), Dustin Nguyen (The Authority, Batman) and more-for the most unbridled information on record! Room 5AB

Another company panel with a cross-section of guests on the dais, with plenty of books that I do read. That’s always a good sign.

11:00-12:00 Warner Home Video DVD Special Editions-WHV will present a special panel to unveil some of the studio’s most in-demand DVD titles getting the deluxe Special Edition treatment this year. Showcased on stage will be actors Corey Haim and Corey Feldman for a special Q&A discussion about the upcoming Special Edition DVD release of the cult-favorite vampire movie The Lost Boys, which features over two hours of never-before-seen bonus materials. As an added bonus for Comic-Con guests, there will be an exciting DVD announcement for one of the greatest sci-fi trilogies of all time! Room 6AB

Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. I get the feeling sometimes that VH-1 is taping a special on the sly and calling it “Comic-Con International: San Diego” as their cover story. I LOVE THE 80s Volume 3 begins here!

Will there really be enough questions about THE LOST BOYS to justify bringing the two Coreys out to this thing?

11:30-1:00 The Simpsons-Now in production in its 16th season, The Simpsons has gone from an animation curiosity to a worldwide pop culture phenomenon! This Emmy Award-winning series is now in the history books as the longest-running sitcom currently on television and the longest-running animated show in television history. Creator Matt Groening offers an exclusive peek behind the scenes of the world’s greatest animated TV show, accompanied by producers Al Jean, Matt Selman, Don Payne, Michael Price, Matt Warburton, Bill Odenkirk, and Bonnie Pietila, and supervising director David Silverman. Room 20

This is the one panel I’d really like to go this year, but won’t. We have a scheduling conflict here with the one panel that’s on my Can’t Miss list for the weekend:

12:00-1:30 Quick Draw! Cartoon Improv-In one of the most popular annual Comic-Con events, emcee Mark Evanier throws challenges at three swift cartoonists who then draw as fast as they can; the results are always hilarious. This year, the combatants are Mad magazine’s Sergio Aragonés, Simpsons comic artist Scott Shaw!, and the creator of Bone, Jeff Smith. Room 6AB

This is the third year for the panel, as I recall. In the first year, attendance was good, but not terribly solid. Last year, the room size expanded, and the cartoonists did a great job of filling it. I remember sitting in the far back right corner just to get a comfortable seat. It’s in the same sized room this year, so there will be plenty of space. I just doubt it’ll stay empty for long. Get to this one early. Word of mouth has sold this panel as the next big thing.

With the television series being effectively cancelled, I guess we won’t get Evanier’s annual joke about this being like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” but with fewer writers.

12:00-1:00 Comic Writers Talk About Writing –From creative issues to business matters, from breaking in to breaking out, top comics writers Louise Simonson (X-Men), Bruce Jones (Incredible Hulk), Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Stuart Moore (Lone), and a couple of surprise guests talk about their art, their craft, and whatever else may come up. They’ll answer your questions, too. If you’ve ever wondered how comics writers think and how they make the choices they make, this panel is for you. Moderated by Write Now editor-in-chief Danny Fingeroth. Room 7B

Erik Larsen participated in the inaugural Quick Draw! competition. This year, he’s on opposite it. Too bad. This is another panel I’d have loved to attend. Would it be San Diego without panel scheduling conflicts?

12:30-1:30 Why We Love Peanuts –The National Cartoonists Society presents a panel of comic strip artists who will share why Charles Schulz is their hero. And Jean Schulz will appear to reveal what Schulz thought of his peers. Panelists include Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Kevin Fagan (Drabble), Bill Amend (Fox Trot), Michael Jantze (The Norm), Paige Braddock (Jane’s World), and Greg Evans (Luann). Moderated by San Diego television personality Jack White. Room 3

This would be my personal geek out moment for the weekend. Last year, I had the chance to meet and get sketches from THE FAMILY CIRCUS’ Jeff Keane and HAGAR THE HORRIBLE’s Chris Brown. This year, I’m hoping FOX TROT’s Bill Amend is sitting at that same table. FOX TROT has been one of my favorite comic strips since it first started. It reminds me far too much of my own family, albeit a bit exaggerated. (Honestly, I never did put on the Spock ears, and I don’t own an iFruit.)

Oh, sure, and PEANUTS was really cool, too.

1:00-2:00 Marvel: X-Men Reloaded — The X-Men never rebuild, they just reload-and this is X-Men Reloaded like you’ve never imagined! Excalibur penciler Aaron Lopresti, New X-Men’s Christina Weir and Nunzio Defilippis, X-Men: The End artist Sean Chen, and Astonishing X-Men artist John Cassaday join Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada and Marvel publisher Dan Buckley to give you the lowdown on your favorite mutants! As an added bonus, join Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort for a round of “Stump the T-Voort”-be the first to stump the walking Marvel Encyclopedia, and win a prize! Room 5AB

One sure thing about Marvel: You never know what the creative teams are going to be on their books from story to story anymore. It gives fans something to speculate about ad nauseum. And it gives the press wags something to write about. Show up to this panel and you may be surprised to find out who’s working on which books. Heck, Joe Quesada might be surprised, too!

1:30-3:00 Cartoon Voices— Witness a demonstration of the artform at this annual Comic-Con event with Joe Alaskey (Duck Dodgers), Dee Bradley Baker (The Fairly Odd Parents), Gregg Berger (Men in Black), Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants), Neil Ross (Transformers), Billy West (Futurama) and many more! Mark Evanier moderates and promises an amazing “dramatic reading” of the craft. Room 6AB

This panel was the highlight of my San Diego experience last year. Getting to hear Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen read a PINKY AND THE BRAIN script live was, well, awe-inducing. It’s a strong contender again this year for my attention. Since it’s in the same room as the Quick Draw Competition, I won’t even have to stand up for three straight hours. Ouch.

2:00-3:00 Reality Stars Unleashed!-Meet some of your favorite reality TV stars, including Lex (Survivor Africa, Survivor All Stars), Trischelle (Real World Vegas, Real World Road Rules Challenge), Josh Souza (Big Brother 1), Erika Landin (Big Brother 4), Irulan Wilson (Real World Vegas, Real World Road Rules Challenge), Alton Williams (Real World Vegas, Real World Road Rules Challenge), and more in this exciting Q&A session. Finally hear the truth of what happened behind the scenes on the reality shows you watched. Get real: forget what the networks made you think happened-get the scoop on what really happened. Also, get all the info on Creative Light Entertainment’s upcoming DVD release of Get Real: Reality Unleashed. Get to know and interact with the people who lived through the reality! Room 6CDEF

I should be too ashamed to admit it, but this one sounds like fun. While I haven’t followed the MTV shows in years (I think REAL WORLD: HAWAII was the last one for me), seeing two BIG BROTHER contestants and a SURVIVOR would be cool. Plus, I just like to hear the behind the scenes stories on these shows that you never get to hear about.

2:00-3:00 Comics Pro/Fan Trivia Challenge-BWAHAHA! The Purple Pros-Len Wein (creator of Swamp Thing), Tom Brevoort (Marvel editor), Kurt Busiek (Astro City), and Mark Waid (Fantastic Four- try to take over the world, er, beat the Black Ink Irregulars fan team-Tom Galloway, David Oakes, John Sardegna, and Hal Shipman-in a supervillains-themed deathtrap, er, trivia match moderated by criminal mastermind Jim Hay. Room 7B

They couldn’t get Ken Jennings for the Fan team, so they’re sunk.

2:00-3:00 Dimension Films: Sin City-Comic-Con attendees will be treated to an exclusive panel on Sin City, a feature film based on the series of comic books and graphic novels created, written, and illustrated by Frank Miller. Sin City is a series of stories of vengeance and redemption set in the grimiest, toughest city in the world. The film will incorporate storylines from three of Miller’s graphic novels including Sin City, which launched the long-running, critically acclaimed series as well as That Yellow Bastard and The Big Fat Kill. Confirmed guests include Frank Miller, director Robert Rodriguez, and cast members Jamie King and Rosario Dawson. Hall H

This is the one big Hollywood panel that I wouldn’t feel guilty in attending, particularly if they show any footage from SIN CITY. I think it’s the most anticipated comic book film of 2005 for me. Filming it against a green screen could lead to it being one giant suckfest, but I’ll reserve my opinion until I see it. Plus, Rosario Dawson has played CELEBRITY POKER SHOWDOWN. She gets massive bonus points for that.

3:00-4:30 DC Comics: Taking It to the Limit–There’s never a dull moment for the heroes of the DCU! Look into the futures of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman-not to mention Green Lantern, Green Arrow, the Flash and all the others-in this slide show presentation moderated by Dan DiDio, VP/editorial and Bob Wayne, VP for sales and marketing. Joining them will be some of the best and brightest stars in the industry, including Brian Azzarello (Batman, 100 Bullets), Ron Garney (JLA), Jeph Loeb (Superman/ Batman), Jim Lee (Superman), Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis), Rags Morales (Identity Crisis), Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman, Gotham Central), Judd Winick (Outsiders), Howard Porter (The Flash), Dan Jolley (Firestorm, Bloodhound), Geoff Johns (Teen Titans, JSA), Howard Chaykin (Bite Club, Challengers of the Unknown), and Jimmy Palmiotti (The Monolith, Hawkman). Room 5AB

DC gets the award for most impressive lineup of guests for a single panel. Also, it gets the award for Most Hollywood-Connected Comic Creator panel.

4:30-5:30 Cup O’ Joe with Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada!— Sit down, kick back and enjoy a cup o’ Joe, San Diego-style. Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada is joined by Marvel publisher Dan Buckley to rattle off a full-on blitz of the most shocking announcements the House of Ideas has ever saved for a San Diego panel in 2004. Ears up, True Believers-this is the panel you can’t miss! As an added bonus, join Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort for a round of “Stump the T-Voort”-be the first to stump the walking Marvel Encyclopedia, and win a prize! Room 5AB

Sometimes, Quesada’s very quotable. Other times, he’s predictable and political. Which will it be this time? That all depends on the questions he gets.

These panels are very good things that everyone on the internet should attend to humble themselves. Excitable comic book fans will get up to the microphone to ask questions that you, fearless internet reader, knew the answer to weeks ago. That’s right — there are more comic book fans than just the ones on the internet who write columns, blogs, and message board posts. Sometimes, it’s good to be reminded of that.

5:00-6:00 Humanoids/DC Comics— Learn all about the international invasion as Humanoids and DC team up to bring some of the world’s greatest comic books to North America. Find out about John Cassaday’s I Am Legion, Milo Manara’s newest graphic novel, Enki Bilal’s masterpiece December 32nd, the latest mania from Alexandro Jodorowsky, and more. Creators who will be discussing their upcoming work with Humanoids include Chuck Austen, Terry Dodson, Metal Hurlant’s Jean Pierre Dionnet, Jamal Igle, and Geoff Johns. Room 7B

A big giant No Prize to the first five people to stand up at this panel to complain about the way DC is shrinking the Humanoids books down. Sadly, I doubt anyone from DC will be there to hear it. ::sigh::

Double bonus points to anyone who can get John Cassaday to badmouth DC for this during Marvel’s X-Men panel earlier in the day.

If they ever announce a manga-formatted Francois Schuiten-drawn book, I’ll know that DC has officially lost it.

5:30-7:00 20th Century Fox: Alien vs. Predator and Fantastic Four— Alien vs. Predator: It’s our planet . . . and their war. Youll have the first look at scenes from the long-anticipated cinematic head-to-head of the iconic monsters. AVP stars Sanaa Lathan and Lance Henriksen and creature effects supervisors Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. will be on hand to take your questions. Then: At long last, Fantastic Four is about to go into production next month. But before cameras begin rolling, 20th Century Fox is thrilled to bring the cast and filmmakers to Comic-Con to discuss Fox’s epic adaptation of the World’s Greatest Comic Magazine! Hall H

Will Michael Chiklis show up for this one? Will Jessica Alba? And, really, isn’t Lance Henriksen enough?

The final day of the con is almost painful in its programming. There’s an emphasis on children’s panels on the final day, but everything else so often feels tacked on. That’s not to say there aren’t any interesting panels. It’s just that they save the cream of the crop for Saturday and sometimes forget there’s a convention on Sunday. I guess everyone leaves early to catch flights or start driving home. Not me. I’m taking a red eye flight home again this year. Wish me luck.

10:30-11:30 One-on-One: Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale-Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, along with editorial art director Mark Chiarello, have collaborated on some of the best books and graphics novels DC has to offer – Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory and Superman: For All Seasons, to name just a few. Come and find out how these three powerhouses of creativity collaborate collectively on some of the most thrilling and beautiful books in the business. Join Jeph, Tim and Mark for this one-on-one-on-one interview and Q & A session. Room 8

Richard Starkings will have early copies of THE ART OF TIM SALE available at his booth, which should be listed as either Comicraft or Active Images in the official convention book. I pre-ordered it, so I have to wait for it. On the bright side, that’s one less thing to carry home.

Mark Chiarello interviewed Darwyn Cooke for WizardWorld Philly earlier this year, and proved to be good at it. He had interesting and open-ended questions for Cooke, and I’m sure he’ll be able to keep things interesting here, if need be.

Unfortunately, it’s opposite the biggest panel of the weekend:

11:00-12:00 Comic Book Idol 2-Meet the winner of the Comic Book Resources Art Contest! For two years, ComicBookResources.com has run an amateur art contest, which has awarded its winner with work in the industry. 2004 saw the launch of Comic Book Idol 2, and CBR has flown the winner to San Diego to meet the fans. Go behind the scenes with the winner and fellow panelists creator J. Torres (Teen Titans Go), CBR executive producer Jonah Weiland, judges Ron Marz (Green Lantern) and Scott Morse (Plastic Man) ,and 2003 winner Patrick Scherberger (Marvel Age Spider-Man). Moderated by Augie De Blieck Jr. Room 9

The list of people attending the panel has grown since this writeup. It’s going to be a mob scene. And I’m supposed to herd them all in? Wish me luck. I almost think doing a one-on-one interview with Will Eisner in front of 1000 people would be easier than this. But it should be a lot of fun, and a ton of CBR regulars are telling me they’ll be in the audience for it, too.

12:00-1:00 Spotlight on Eduardo Risso— Eisner Award-winning artist and Comic-Con special guest Eduardo Risso s best known for his work with Brian Azzarello on the VERTIGO title 100 Bullets, but he is also coming off an acclaimed run (again with Azzarello) on Batman. Room 1B

Be sure to check out Risso’s BOY VAMPIRE series, published by SAF Comics. It’s a beautiful black and white graphic novel series that I hope to have a review on in a couple of months. I believe the fourth volume was just solicited in PREVIEWS.

1:00-2:00 Comic-Con Self-publishing School 104: Promoting Your Book— Now comes the hard part: Getting noticed in the market. “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t work in comic books. Even if you have produced the greatest comic book ever, got it in all the comic shops, and put up your web page, all your work will be irrelevant unless readers know your book exists. Promoting your book is the single most important thing a self-publisher needs to do. And promotion kicks into higher gear once your book is in the stores. Self-publishers Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man), Jeff Parker (Octopus Comics), and Paige Braddock (Girl Twirl Comics), retailer Robert Scott (Comickaze), and moderator Tim Stroup (Cold Cut Distribution) will discuss what has worked and what doesn’t, how to determine your target audience and market to them, what retailers look for in a solicitation, and inexpensive ways to reach both retailers and fans. Room 1B

Every sentence Jeff Parker speaks on this panel will include the word “Interman.” Afterwards, sales on the con floor of his critically-acclaimed original graphic novel will shoot through the roof. He’ll post to his blog the next day, “Here endeth the lesson.” (I hope he’s a Sean Connery fan.)

1:00-2:00 Joss Whedon: Serenity-Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, Angel and Firefly, will be on hand with surprise guests from the cast of Serenity. Get your first glimpse of Joss’ eagerly awaited feature film adventure set in the Firefly universe. Currently filming, Serenity will be released by Universal next summer. Room 20

This is the other Must See panel of the convention. I couldn’t care less about BUFFY at this point, but I’ll wade through that for as much SERENITY stuff as I can get. If they show footage from the movie, it’ll make my day. It’s obviously expected to be a big panel. This is in Room 20, which holds about 3000 people, as I recall. It was the big Hollywood room last year. Nevertheless, I fear the lines this panel might bring about. As much as I say I want to see it now, I doubt I’ll want to be bothered by it by then.

At last, that is my breakdown of the panel schedule for this year. I remember a time when it all seemed so monstrous and overwhelming. Experience sure has simplified it a lot. Like most years, I’ll likely miss half the panels I called “must see”s this year, attend a couple just for the sake of hanging out with friends longer, and blow off at least one for a better last minute lunch offer.

But I’ll definitely be there leading the 76 trombones in the CBI parade. I hope to see you all there.

JUST FOR FUN

Let’s start a pool: Who will be the biggest name to drop out of attending the convention? They’ll make some poor excuse about weather or illness or schedule conflict, but we all know it’ll be because someone showed them pictures from CBR’s Photo Parade last year and it scared them off completely.

Remember, Alfred Molina backed out of attending WizardWorld East on a perfectly sunny day due to “poor weather” in New York.

Bonus points for the lamest excuse, also.

BITS AND PIECES

* Finally saw SPIDER-MAN 2 over the weekend. I doubt there’s anything I could add to the discussion that a dozen people haven’t already said, though. I enjoyed the movie a lot. The thing that jumped out at me was the way Raimi created a modern-day monster movie using many of the same techniques that you might see from a monster movie of the 50s or 60s. It had everything but the woman on the street screaming and running right into the camera. (One came close, but ran just to the side, as I recall.)

* Mike Wieringo is updating his blog these days with unpublished sketches he’s done. It’s worth a look. Love that BONE pin-up. . .

* If you get an icky feeling from IDENTITY CRISIS, then check out The Hurting’s analysis for more reasons to squirm. I agree with a lot of what he wrote there.

* Here’s the latest word on Keith Giffen’s attempts to write a funny superhero series with J.M. DeMatteis. I mention this here purposefully, because I’m working on another review that I think Giffen fans will enjoy. Look for that sometime in August.

* DRAWN TOGETHER: It’s like THE CROSSOVERS, but dirtier and made for Comedy Central. It’s also premiering at the con this weekend.

* How many PIXAR people are drawing comics these days, anyway?

* Next week’s column is already written, and is filled with reviews a’plenty. If you’re heading to the convention this weekend, though, I’ll give you a few books I’ll be reviewing positively in the next column that you might want to look out for this weekend: EGG STORY should be available at the Slave Labor Graphics’ booth. THE FADE TRADE, Volume 1 (collecting the first six issues of FADE FROM BLUE) is also a good read, though I don’t know if Myatt Murphy and/or Scott Dalrymple and target=”_blank”>Second To Some Studios will have an official presence at the con or not. Also, track down the nomadic Steve Lieber for his new FAMILY REUNION chapbook/ashcan/mini-comic.

Pipeline Commentary and Review will be updated live from San Diego on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning. I’m also hoping to do a write up for Thursday morning, but I’m not guaranteeing anything just yet. We’ll see how Preview Night goes. Stop by to see what’s going on then.

Next Tuesday’s column, as previously mentioned, will be stacked with reviews.

In August, I’m sure I’ll have the Pipeline Photo Parade from the con, just before heading out for the WizardWorld: Chicago show, which will have a column to itself.

Then there’s the aforementioned Giffen-related column, and after that we’re practically into September already. Time does fly, doesn’t it?

Over at Various and Sundry this week: KenJen continues to run over every Jeopardy! contestant they throw at him. Rockapella loses another member. The Emmy Nominations are sorely lacking, as usual. Microsoft makes one good move, at least, but that’s still overshadowed by on-going security concerns. Plus, the inevitable “whole lot more.”

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 500 columns are archived here at CBR and you can get to them from the Pipeline Archive page. They’re sorted chronologically. The first 100 columns or so are also still available at the Original Pipeline page.

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