Pipeline, Issue #9

"Devils, Dead-Pool, Ducks"

(Yes, I'm experimenting with putting titles on these columns. Wish me luck.)

Went to see SPAWN Friday night. 10:50 showing. Sold out by the time I got there. Go fig.

Anyone else remember the brouhahas regarding Todd McFarlane's adjectiveless Spider-Man comics? No, not any of the money issues surrounding it or the quality of the story or of the art. I'm talking about two specificincidents. I'm thinking only of --

The impalings.

One scene in the first couple of issues featured a panel with Lizard impaled upon some piece of wood or something. Marvel made McFarlane cover it up in enough black ink to make it into a silhouette.

Then, a year later, McFarlane drew Shatterstar putting a sword in Juggernaut's eye. Marvel made him redraw that, too, so the sword was just in front of his face.

What's the point?

Did you read DEADPOOL #8 this week? There's a panel in there with a sword impaling Dead-Pool's hand. It is Comic Code approved. Marvel did publish it, uncensored.

Times change, eh?

Otherwise, this is the highlight of the series so far, easily its best issue. Joe Kelly brings everything together from the past 9 issues or so, and does it with a smile and a sharp ending. Can't wait for the next issue now.

Last chance department: TEEN TITANS #12 came out this week. This should be George Perez's last issue inking over Dan Jurgens. Damn. I'm looking forward to seeing his stuff on AVENGERS, don't get me wrong, but this is some of the prettiest artwork in comics today. Smooth, easy to read, fun to look at. And just for kicks, there's also artwork in there by Gil Kane and Dick Giordano.

There's a lot of that "comics about comics" going on lately, eh? BIG BANG COMICS makes a living off of it. STORMWATCH did an issue. SUPREME does it every month. And Acclaim has DR. TOMORROW, a 12-issue mini-series doing the whole thing. Alan Moore is still the best at it, no doubt in my mind. Warren Ellis' story suffered for the terrific art on STORMWATCH's issue. I'm not reading DR. TOMORROW, and only occasionally pick up an issue of BIG BANG.

In the meantime, the best place for a good throwback is reading any issue of DONALD DUCK or UNCLE $CROOGE or WALT DISNEY'S COMICS & STORIES. You can get new stories told in the classic style, as well as reprints of the original comics. And there's some terrific new stuff out there now:

Don Rosa's latest epic adventure (coming in at 28 pages!) is titled "The Treasure of the Ten Avatars." It's everything you could ask for. It's intelligent. It relies on a knowledge of Hindu religion, which it imparts as you go. It's a learning experience. It's got classic action/adventure and in some spots could easily pass for an Indiana Jones movie. It incorporates a couple bits of true economics, the kind of which you rarely see. (The

issue is raised that when the rich get richer, so do the workers whose jobs have just been created.) And it's got laugh-out-loud funny running gags, slapstick comedy, and character-based comedy. It's got top-notch hand-lettering and well-detailed coloring.

And most people won't read it because it's all found in UNCLE $CROOGE ADVENTURES #51. They won't read it because they'll pass it right up on the stands, ignorant of what lies inside. They won't read it because comic shops don't stock it because potential readers remain ignorant. And, hey, it's one of them there funny animal books.

There, I feel better now.

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