Pipeline 2, Issue #182


If you aren't already checking out Scott Shaw!'s Oddball Comics on a regular basis, do me the favor of at least checking out today's column. Besides being a rather fun issue of THE FLASH that he's highlighting for the holidays, there's a nice little namecheck of a certain Pipeline author at the end...

Thanks, Scott!


This column is a little different from the usual. Rather than reviews or commentary, I'm going to provide a bit of an index to the columns from the year 2002. Truth be told, I'm doing this one for myself. I need a quick and easy way to access past columns on certain topics, and this seems like a good way to do it. Plus, it might help introduce newer Pipeline readers to some of the traditions of Pipeline and, as you'll see a bit later, some of the past reviews. The highlight of this column is a breakdown of the more than 50 reviews of trade paperbacks, graphic novels, and prestige format one shots of the past year.

BEST OF 2001

The year started off the same way I'm planning to start it this year. It was a two-parter that counted off the top ten on-going series for the previous year. This year's list will be a lot different. At first glance, it looks like there might be as little as two series from last year's list returning to this year's. Here are links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.


Pipeline covered (with both commentary and reviews, where possible) some notable industry events and releases of the year. Here are links to some of those:


The flip through PREVIEWS changed from being an occasional filler column to being a regular column in the Pipeline arsenal. I missed a month in the spring, but the rest can be found for each release month here: March Part 1, Part 2 | April Part 1, Part 2 | May Part 1, Part 2 | June Part 1, Part 2 | July | September | October | November | December | January 2003 Part 1, Part 2 | February 2003 Part 1, Part 2.


Conventions are always a big part of Pipeline's coverage of the industry. Every summer, I hit a few of the larger ones and 2002 was no exception. While I did skip Chicago, I still hit Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Diego, and the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. San Diego gets the most coverage, since it's the biggest convention. It also gets live day-by-day updates, as it will in 2003.

Pittsburgh garnered a remarkable three columns' worth of coverage, including a con preview, con report, and a final wrap-up, which included a look at the Harvey Awards. It's the best little con I've ever been to. It also helps that I can drive there from here. Airports are annoying, and I'm lost without a car to drive.

First rule of con-going to far away places: You have to find a way to get all the stuff you just bought back home. In San Diego, that usually means one trip on Sunday afternoon to the place in the con center that you can ship boxes out via UPS. With Pittsburgh, it's no big deal. I just load it all in the car and go.

Wizard started WizardWorld East in Philadelphia, as a healthy little three day con attended by more major exhibitors and companies than the Northeast has seen in a long long time. That con report can be found here. I drove in and out every day, which was a little tiring. If I go for all three days again this year, I would have to strongly consider getting a hotel room near the con center. Driving home at 1 a.m. after a full day at a comic convention and the local watering hole can be a bit much.

San Diego is such a big deal I can only sum it up with bullet points.

San Diego 2002:

And, finally, the Small Press Expo returned to Bethesda, MD with an overflow crowd of small press creators and a few not-so-small press creators. This was the second time I attended the con with CBR Executive Producer, Jonah Weiland, and it was just as much fun the second time around. The final Pipeline wrap-up hit CBR on September 10.

I don't know what the 2003 convention schedule will look like just yet. San Diego is a given. (I'll be putting in for my vacation time for that next week. Hotels will be scouted later in the month.) Philadelphia seems pretty easy, even if only for a day or two. Small Press Expo is likely. Pittsburgh and Chicago are very iffy.


I don't care what WIZARD thinks. The biggest event of the year in comics was not someone getting paid a million dollars for the rights to his comic. It was the actual release and mass market acceptance of a Marvel superhero character on the big screen. The SPIDER-MAN movie was by far comics' biggest moment of the year for all corners of comics. That includes a column I wrote that appeared the same day as the movie opened. It was a last minute idea to explain some of the current Spider-Man comics to a potential new reader who may have been excited by the movie and interested in the source material. The hits on it flew off the chart. Three times as many people as usual read the column that Friday, and overall readership for the next four days eclipsed the usual mark for two weeks worth of columns. I later reviewed the movie here.


Pipeline went daily only twice this year. (If you consider the San Diego coverage, you could make an argument for three times.) The first happened at the end of February in celebration of Image Comics' 10th Anniversary. It ran the same week the much-heralded hardcover book was originally solicited for. The idea was to pick up the hardcover on Wednesday and write a full review of it for the complete Friday column. Check your shelves; the book hasn't shown up yet. Instead, I finished off an interview I had done with Todd DeZago and Mike Wieringo about TELLOS some months earlier and placed that in the Friday slot. (The magazine I had written it for never published its first issue.)

  • Day One - An interview with Director of Marketing, Eric Stephenson
  • Day Two - Chris Claremont's THE HUNTSMAN
  • Day Three - A look at the early years of Image, part 1
  • Day Four - A look at the early years of Image, part 2
  • Day Five - The TELLOS interview

The other Pipeline Daily event was for Pipeline's 5th Anniversary. I had a lot of fun with that week. For starters, I managed to talk four comics professionals (and Pipeline's Official Mascot and message board denizen, Tracie Mauk) into coming up with illustrations to celebrate the event. Art came in from Chris Eliopoulos, Tom Beland, Steve Lieber, and John Gallagher. It's all great stuff, and I have the hard copies of most of the art here to prove it.


They're becoming a bigger and bigger part of the industry, as economics dictate. While Pipeline has reviewed such books in the past, I made a special effort this year to include more such reviews. Many Friday columns were devoted exclusively to reviews of collected editions and original graphic novels. Here's an alphabetical listing of more than 50 of them:


There will be 114 columns total added to the archives when this year is complete. All of the archives can be found here for posterity, broken down month by month. Feel free to peruse them anytime.

I've got one more column before 2003 begins. So come back on Tuesday for a look at some of the best comics of 2002. Friday will be a look at PREVIEWS for comics shipping in March 2003.

Thanks, as always, for your continued support. And a happy and healthy new year to you and yours!

VariousAndSundry.com has been updated with thoughts on a white Christmas, the dismissal of one of DVD's fathers by Warner Bros., and new DVD releases.

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 400 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 still available at the Original Pipeline page, a horrifically coded piece of HTML that's soon going away.

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