Pipeline, Issue #101


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 alsomanages not to disgust my regular readers by disavowing any knowledge of the first 100 columns they spent alittle of their time reading each week over the past two years. Those first 100 columns are still easily accessiblethrough the old web site for no charge and may even be referenced upon occasion. But, no, I won't show themthat level of disrespect by starting over again.

So there!


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

Did they truly believe that they wouldn't sell? After all the hype andbuzz generated by the Image announcement, there wasn't a chance inhell that the books wouldn't sell. Granted, Image was really the first toprove you could print a top 10 book without being under the Marvel orDC masthead, but it seemed a slam duck to me. Maybe since it wasn'tmy career that was being risked, I shouldn't pretend to be wiser thanthem, eh?

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

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


So what should a successful first issue encompass?Basically, everything that ARIA #1 did not. It shouldtell a complete story. Writers hate for me to say that,but that's what I want as a reader. I don't want 22pages of teasers for the series. I want a real storywhich introduces me to the character or characterswho act as the protagonist of the series. How am I toknow if I'm going to like the series if I can't get toknow the characters? There has to be something elseexceptional 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 issuearc 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.


I attended the unwieldily-named "The New York Comic and FantasyCreators 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 bookconvention. Sure, the Big Apple Con and Fred Greenberg shows mayhave a guest artist or two at a table, but here you had a whole row ofbooths including the likes of Keith Giffen, Peter David, MarkMcKenna, Jon Bogdanove, Jimmy Palmiotti, Walter and LouiseSimonson, and a couple dozen more! It's also the first convention in thearea 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 extremelyunderwhelming. When I go to a Big Apple Con or a Fred Greenbergcon or the show over here in Wayne, NJ, I tend to leave with a bag fullof comics from the 50 cent bins. Here, comics were an afterthought.There were more toy and original art and horror and sci fi-relateddealers than comic book merchants, it seemed.

The whole show was made possible, I imagine, by STAR WARS. Itwas a STAR WARS show hoping to capitalize on the upcoming movieby throwing David Prowse and Kenny Baker at us again. (The localTODAY show had the weather guy broadcasting from the show onSaturday morning.) Heck, it evenovershadowed the pair of actors whowere there from BABYLON 5:Joshua Cox and Wortham Kimmer.Then there was your assortment ofspandex-clad females with variousdegrees of clothing on. It seemed likethe most conservatively-dressedmember of that crowd was AlleyBaggett, 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. . .


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.

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