Of reprints and Patreons.

§ April 26th, 2017 § Filed under dc comics, legion of super-heroes, publishing, self-promotion § 4 Comments

So a while back on the Twitterers I complained that a joke I had planned for an End of Civilization post was undone by the fact the publisher actually didn’t mess up something I thought they had messed up. I’ve been meaning to get around to telling the one or two of you who might remember that and still care just what I was talking about. And what I was talking about was the Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes hardcover volume one, as solicited in the March 2017 Diamond Previews:


That’s the image they’re using to solicit the collection, but obviously not the actual, final cover since that’s a pic of the Legion treasury edition the book will be including.

Anyway, my assumption is that there were going to be some issues skipped between the last of the DC Archives reprintings of the Legion of Super-Heroes and this volume, which picks up in the 1970s. However, to my surprise, this new book picks up exactly where the Archive editions left off, so for those of us depending on DC’s reprint program to gather up all those classic Legion stories in chronological order, like I know I was, that’s good news. Of course, this new format won’t have as many stories per volume, but also it won’t be $75 like that Archives generally were near the end there, so at least there’s that.

Like I mentioned, the treasury edition, featuring the wedding of Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad (hey, stop snickering, this is a big deal) is in this book, and I was greatly anticipating its appearance in the never-forthcoming Legion Archives Volume 14. At some point, around, I don’t know, 2008, I even passed up on a copy of the treasury because I figured I would eventually get that story in the archive series. Well, took a little longer than expected, but it’s finally on its way. Hopefully. Assuming it isn’t cancelled or postponed.

Now if we can get DC to pick up reprinting Sugar and Spike where that last archive edition left off….

• • •

And now, for a brief commercial message…as mentioned just the other day, plans are continuing apace for the Swamp Thing-a-Thon, my attempt at reviewing every Swamp Thing comic, that will be an exclusive, at least for a time, for Patreon supporters. I finally updated my Patreon page to include that reward tier in the sidebar.

Since I have the reward tier set at the lowest level (I mean, I don’t think you can contribute less than a dollar a month, can you?), anyone who supports my Patreon at any level will get access to the Swamp Thing-a-Thon posts. If you’re already a supporter, you’ll get access. If you click the “Become a Patreon” button and donate that generous $150 a month I know you want to, you’ll get access. You don’t have to click on that $1 Reward button to get access, that just makes it easier for you to chip in. If you’re contributing at all, you’re in.

Like I’ve said…the content there will make it over to this site eventually, but not for a while. If you can provide support, that’s great, but if you can’t or don’t want to, that’s perfectly okay too, and you’ll get to see that stuff anyway, if you don’t mind waiting a bit.

Thanks to you folks out there who still read this “comics” “blog” after all this time. I appreciate all the support and readership you’ve given me for so many years.

The garden of funnybook delights.

§ April 24th, 2017 § Filed under question time § 1 Comment

Let’s dip back into the ol’ question pool for our next inquiry, coming from young Matthew Digges:

“Having been in comics retail for as long as you have, I imagine you’ve seen just about everything. Is there anything recently that filled you with surprise and/or delight?”

Goin’ on just about thirty years now in the ol’ comics retail game, he said all folksy-like. And it can be very easy, working behind the counter, to get a little jaded, to lose that sense of wonder and excitement, as you have to consider order numbers and sales and other business-type stuff just to keep the doors open. The trick is not letting that get in the way of the actual enjoyment of the art form, which of course you need to have in order to make informed decisions about all that running-the-store rigmarole.

It’s hard to be surprised by things, too…even back in ye olden tymes when I was but a mere customer, like many of you, I still had access to ‘zines and publisher handouts and such that kept me informed as to what was coming. That was nothing compared to today, with an internet rife with spoilers, and solicitation information easily accessible, and…well, I don’t have to tell you. Very few surprises catch us off guard any more, since most everything is telegraphed one way or another in advance. Even Marvel is ballyhooing some last page “internet-breaking” reveal in a new comic they’ve got coming up, so 1) we’re already primed for something at the end of that comic, and 2) now we get to spend a few months guessing what it is, and more likely than not overthinking and over-anticipating what that actual surprise is.

On the other hand…that’s just “surprise” over events and gimmicks and the like. I can still be surprised by picking up a comic I wasn’t planning on reading and getting immediately sucked in. The most recent example was Curse Words by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne. Now, I like pretty much everything I’ve read of Soule’s work for DC and Marvel, but even so I wasn’t planning on picking up Curse Words…’til I read the small preview I was sent, which hooked me immediately and now I’m regularly recommending that comic to customers. Now that’s a surprise, getting a comic I didn’t think much about before beyond “I wonder how many I’ll realistically be able to sell on the shelf,” suddenly becoming one of my favorites.

Or the recent Flintstones reboot from DC…I planned on at least looking at the debut issue because I liked the artist…but that first issue was so different from what I was expecting I really didn’t know how to feel about it at the time. Since then, it’s become one of, if not my favorite comic of the past year, and I never thought I’d be saying something like that about a Flintstones comic. That definitely put Mark Russell on my “always buy work by this writer” list.

Now, for just plain “delight” at a comic’s very existence…well, I tend to enjoy all the comics I take home to read. But certain comics do stand out, mostly from amazement that they actually exist in today’s marketplace. The main one I’m thinking of here is Popeye, IDW’s ongoing reprint series of the original Bud Sagendorf Popeye comics of the 1950s/60s. That it’s lasted this long is shocking to me, but I’m glad it’s still here, showing off Sagendorf’s classic cartooning. In fact, a lot of IDW’s recent reprint work is great, such as reprints of 1950s mystery comics in Haunted Horror, or the complete reprinting of Berke Breathed’s Bloom County family of strips. Getting access to material like this is always a surprise and a delight.

There’s another aspect that I was going to say is unique to being a shop owner/employee, but upon a moment’s reflection, I realize it’s just another side of the same coin. As a comics shopper, I would get excited at looking through a box of unsorted, unknown comics, at a store or at a convention, not knowing what strange wonders I may find within. I get that same feeling now, when someone brings in boxes of comics that they’re hoping to sell to me. Yes, there’s a part of me that immediately responds with “oh boy, bet it’s another run of Brigade,” but there’s something about sorting through a long box of comics, wondering if there’s going to be anything unusual or neat about to pop out at me. It could be a Giant-Size X-Men #1 that I can sell for a lot of money in the shop, or it can be some rare fanzine that I don’t already have in my ‘zine collection. You never know!

And then there’s that feeling of finally filling that one hole in the collection. That’s always a delight, no matter how long you’ve been doing this.

So yes, Young Matthew, I can still be surprised and/or delighted by comics. This doesn’t even bring up how happy I feel when there’s, say, a new issue of Groo that’s out, or more Love & Rockets, or that Walt Simonson is doing a series based in the Norse legends. But there’s still plenty of joy to be had in the comics field, if you look.

When Dr. Manhattan does finally appear, he’s totally going to be wearing pants.

§ April 21st, 2017 § Filed under batman, buttons, dc comics, retailing, this week's comics, watchmen § 4 Comments

[Some minor SPOILERS for Batman #21 ahead.]

The lentincular covers are back on the shelves this week, thanks to DC’s first installment in the “We’re Finally Getting Around to That Whole Watchmen Thing” storyline running through Batman and Flash for the next few issues. Ah, the long-missed “zzzzzip-zzzzzip” sounds of those covers sliding against each other as customers pull their copies off the rack. Actually, I’m surprised it took DC this long to get back to doing these fancy movin’ picture covers, since they certainly grab attention (even if they’re hard to stack on the rack in any sizable quantity if you don’t have anything at the front of the shelf to keep them from toppling over and falling off, since they don’t exactly lay flat). I mean, I can understand why they don’t, given the extra lead time it takes to get these printed after taking in orders, so saving them for special occasions like this, where it’s worth the extra hassle, makes sense.

However, I will note that I’m getting lots of requests for the non-lenticular variants on this issue, as compared to the newsstand editions of the lenticular covers the last time we did this which mostly just kinda sat there and stared back at me from the rack with their sad little eyes.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with the actual content, which is the first storyline to actually revolve around the connection between the DC Universe and the Watchmen since that DC Universe Rebirth special from last year. Yes, there have been references here and there to “something bigger” going on behind the various reality-changing shenanigans going on, most notably in the recent “Superman Reborn” series of comics, as well as the occasional mention in Flash and either Titans or Teen Titans or maybe both…I’m specifically thinking of whatever one had the old Flash villain Abra Kadabra. The whole “Dr. Oz” thing that’s been in the Superman books had been assumed by some folks to be Ozymandias from Watchmen, though that seems a little too on-the-nose and obvious (which doesn’t rule it out, I do realize). He is involved somehow in the whole Watchmen event, but I feel like there’ll be a different reveal than “Gasp! It’s Ozymandias!” Maybe it’s Bubastis. Or an in-his-fightin’-trim Seymour.

Anyway, we don’t get a whole lot regarding any actual Watchmen characters yet, aside from what we can assume is an off-screen Dr. Manhattan doing away with the villain. There’s also a bit of business where the Comedian’s button reacts to the Psycho Pirate’s mask…a reference to (and likely a plot point based on) the conclusion of the now-30-year-old Crisis on Infinite Earths, which left Psycho Pirate as the one character who remembered the pre-Crisis multiverse…well, aside from everyone else who remembered it. (That situation was more-or-less twisted back into its original intent later in Animal Man.) And on top of all that, the comic is laid out in the 9-panel-grid in which Watchmen was largely presented.

I’m not 100% convinced we’re going to see any Watchmen characters in this particular story, honestly, beyond maybe a fleeting glimpse…I mean, we’ll find out within the next three weeks, of course. There’s more to come, too…the Batman issue I just placed orders for is already following up on the events in this storyline, so my guess is whatever big reveal we’re getting now is going to be “huh, there’s a multiverse and this button is from another universe and someone from said universe is futzing around with us.” Okay, I think the characters knew most of that already, but my point is that the full-on “Naked Blue Man Versus the DC Universe” is waiting for a Big Event Crossover Thingie down the line, and not happening in this Batman/Flash crossover that’s running now. Like I said, we’ll find out how right or wrong I am soon enough.

Ballet Dancers of the Old West.

§ April 19th, 2017 § Filed under scans § 3 Comments

This is one fancy-pants punch-throw…I can’t stop looking at it, and now neither can you:


 
 

from Roy Rogers Comics #86 (February 1955)

“Star Wars demoted to bimonthly” is hard to imagine now, too.

§ April 17th, 2017 § Filed under captain america, pal plugging, publishing, question time, retailing § 6 Comments

Back to your questions:

Argh!Sims arghed:

“Since you and GregA were discussing it on the Twitters and all … Did you find any more info about the proposed cancellation of Captain America back in the ’80s? That was at least a minor deal back then, and I seem to remember it was going to end around 300, with Cap being aged and having his ‘final’ victory over the Red Skull”

Yup…Twitter pal Greg posted a scan of a news item from an old Amazing Heroes (#69 from 1985, to be exact). I hope he doesn’t mind me borrowing said scan to present it here, since I’m too lazy to scan it myself:


My memory at the time is that is was kind of a minor deal, as you say. Mostly surprise that Marvel would even think about ending one of their…well, maybe not a flagship title, as such, but certainly a long-running title with one of their most famous, if not top-selling, characters. You know, back in the day when every ongoing series didn’t get relaunched every 18 months.

And yes, I did spend some time going through subsequent issues of Amazing Heroes trying to find any kind of follow-up on this announcement, as well as going through the Amazing Heroes Preview Specials that would preview the next few months’ worth of content for individual titles. Alas, I couldn’t track down what I was looking for, which was confirmation of my vague-ish memory of someone at Marvel basically saying “hey, we realized that we couldn’t cancel Captain America, of all titles — that would be be crazy!” I said in the Twitter thread that followed that my belief was that said cancellation might have been forestalled by licensing deals that might have been dependent on Marvel continuing to publish and support the character, but that’s just a mostly uninformed assumption on my part.

Anyway, I am relatively certain that it was said somewhere, in some news story or interview, that the cancellation of that particular title was reconsidered because of the nature of the character and its importance to Marvel. And, if I recall correctly, I think it was also said by someone that the title wasn’t actually in danger of cancellation, and that its inclusion on the list above was a mistake. Now, I owned and have read a lot of comic ‘zines over the decades, so I don’t know where exactly I saw all this…or even if I did, since I should probably accept that possibility. If anyone has more specific information, feel free to let me konw.

• • •

Old pal Brandon wants to know

“Have you ever been witness to a major collapse of shelves or avalanche of comics?

I have seen some pretty precarious shelves in the backs of comics shops before and it was always a concern of mine going into the back room of your old place of employment (though admittedly that was purely anxiety driven).”

Well, true enough, the shelving in the back of my old place of employment was very end-of-Raiders of the Lost Ark-ish, with shelving stretching up to the ceiling, filled with countless comic boxes. It was all quite sturdy and secure, however, and in the three different locations that store had while I worked there, I don’t believe there ever was a major collapse or shelf failure.

Now, that one time someone busted in through the ceiling to steal some…uh, Witchblade and Spawn comics, I thought maybe some of our bookshelves out front were knocked over, but from the look of things it was just a huge mess made by broken ceiling tiles and insulation.

The only time I can remember any sort of in-store shelving collapse was a hook busting loose that connected a shelf to its supporting unit and a bunch of books falling off. No life-threatening epic disaster stories to tell, thankfully. But here’s something to tide you over:

• • •

In completely unrelated news…pal Andrew could use a little assistance, if you’re able.

“Looks and feels like real alligator skin, and it sure wears like iron!”

§ April 14th, 2017 § Filed under advertising § 6 Comments


 
 

from Roy Rogers Comics #86 (February 1955)

More Swamp Thing talk, plus a big ol’ commercial at the end of the post.

§ April 12th, 2017 § Filed under reader participation, self-promotion, swamp thing § 4 Comments

And heeeere’s Part Two to “Mike Talks About Swamp Thing Because Someone Asked, and Not Because He’d Do It Anyway.” You can find Part One here, or pretty much most of the last 13 years on this site.

Let me be frank…I haven’t read the earlier Swamp Thing series in a while. Aside from poking through some older issues here and there for writings on this here blog, the most recent Swamp Thing comics I’ve read have been the New 52 run and other assorted recent endeavors. Now, that’s not to say I haven’t read many of those comics about a billion times and have a lot of the events in them committed to memory…in particular, the original ’70s series and the ’80s Saga of… relaunch. The series afterwards I can probably use a refresher on, and…well, more on that later. But ultimately, I am mostly giving general impressions here on the assorted runs, as asked by Rich a couple of weeks back.

And last time I left off at the end of the Marty Pasko run on Saga of the Swamp Thing. This was where Steve Bissette and John Totleben took over as artists, prior to their partnership with Alan Moore on the title. We get a standalone story that would have fit in nicely in the original series, about strange goings-on in a mysterious town, and then we get the return of Arcane and Matt and Abby, which, as I said last time, sets the stage for Moore’s run. It’s nice to have short-run, high-impact stories after the year-long…well, saga, as it were, and Pasko sends off one of his cast members in his final stories, leaving Moore to write out the other Pasko-created supporting cast in his first issue. As a whole, I think Pasko’s run with his various collaborators is quite entertaining and effective, bridging the gap between what could be called the original, classic Swamp Thing and the more modern take on the character we’re accustomed to now. A little text-heavy at times, perhaps, but I don’t mind that so much when it’s good writing, which this was. With a high-end reprint coming of those issues, we might be a little closer to current audiences rediscovering that work…though a single paperback reprinting Pasko’s run would be better for those purposes, I think.

As to the other major runs on this particular series (and I’m skipping over fill-ins and such, like I did that Mishkin/Bo & Scott Hampton Phantom Stranger/Swampy story in the middle of Pasko’s stretch):

  • Rick Veitch had the unenviable task of following Alan Moore on the title, but he did so quite well, with stories that were perhaps a little weirder, creepier, and sometimes grosser than Moore was. A solid run, one that I would probably put at third place in the “classic Swamp Thing runs” contest here, marred only by Veitch not getting to complete his run as planned when DC balked at the last moment over his “Swamp Thing Meets Jesus” time-travel story.
  • Writer Doug Wheeler had the even more unenviable task of following Veitch, trying to wrap up his storyline before moving into his own direction. It wasn’t bad, with some nice art by Kelley Jones here and there, and a “trip to Hell” story that was interesting. His run wrapped with the “Quest for the Elementals” storyline, that had great covers but I seem to recall that the art in some of these being a bit disappointing, like it was super-rushed. I mean, it’s been a while, and I’ll need to reread these to get a firmer opinion on them after all this time. Overall, I’d give this run an “OKAY.” Some good moments and issues here and there.
  • Nancy A. Collins’ run (with some great art by Tom Mandrake and Scot Eaton, among others) was up next, focusing on Swamp Thing’s domestic life with Abby and their daughter Tefe in the swamp, with lots of weird monsters, and ghost pirates, and a crazy ongoing subplot with tiny flower people, created by Tefe, and the evolution of their society. Said domestic life is essentially dissolved by the end of this run, leaving Swamp Thing a solitary monster living in the swamp again…basically back to basics, setting up the next sequences of stories on the book. Would probably rank this above Wheeler, below Veitch.

  • And seeing out this iteration of the Swamp Thing series was Mark Millar (kicking off with a four-parter cowritten by Grant Morrison), primarily illustrated by Philip Hester. His run of stories cranked up the horror again by quite a bit, with a hard-to-forget image of Swamp Thing trying to pass as human in the guise of Matt Cable, his human-ish face showing leaves and branches poking through. It’s basically about the alienation of Swamp Thing, as his grasp on what was left of his humanity slips away and others have to gather and put a stop to him. Would probably place this run just behind Veitch’s, but it’s very close.

And for now I’m going to have to beg off ranking the other Swamp Thing series that followed, for the most part, since those aren’t quite as firm in my memory. I enjoyed them, as I recall, though I can’t really nail down specifics at this point. There was one story about an underground cartoonist that I quite liked. As for the more recent comics…that mini-series that popped up just before the New 52 was not great, unfortunately; the New 52 series wasn’t bad, though I thought the back half of the series by Charles Soule felt more like classic Swamp Thing; and the recent mini was good but felt a little off in places.

So, Rich, in answering your question this made me realize that it’s probably time to do a thorough rereading of all my Swamp Thing comics again, since my mastery of the information contained within has slipped a little in recent years. And here is what I am going to do about it:

As I mentioned a while back, I was planning on some Patreon-only content, to maybe boost contributions there a bit. Like I’d said, it wouldn’t be exclusively Patreon-only forever and ever…like, contributors would get to see each post there first, and then a few months down the road, I’d put that post publicly on this site.

I was wondering what to do, when blogging sister Tegan made the suggestion that I do an issue-by-issue review of every Swamp Thing comic. And, you know, that’s a fine idea. One of the things I first did when I got my first Mac and access to Hypercard was try to create a stack-database of Swamp Thing comics, with artist/writer info, first appearances, significant events, etc. etc., that I could trade with all my Mac-owning, Hypercard-using, Swamp Thing-enjoying friends, of which I had none. But, now that I’ve successfully suckered…er, attracted readers to my site, some of whom may even be interested in Swamp Thing, maybe now I’d have the audience for this oddball project of mine.

Thus, starting probably next month sometime, will be Mike’s Swamp Thing-a-Thon, a Patreon-only series available on Patreon for Patreon contributors who contribute through Patreon. That seems like a long title, so I’ll probably just shorten it to “Mike’s Swamp Thing-a-Thon.” I’m still hammering out the details, like exact formats and timing and such. I’m planning on at least two entries a month, maybe more as time permits, so that’s the next decade or so sorted, pretty much. This will be available on Patreon for anyone contributing at least a dollar a month. The posts will eventually be made available here, so if you want to wait, you’ll get to see each entry eventually, probably six months or so after being posted for contributors. The first entry (about House of Secrets #92, natch) will probably be available for free, just to give you kids a taste. A nice, minty taste of Exclusive Swamp Thing content.

So hopefully this is a good compromise…I didn’t want permanently exclusive content on Patreon, but exclusive enough that people might want to drop a buck on me to get to see it early. Thanks for reading all this, pals, and I’ll be back on Friday with more…stuff.

Top of the Swamps.

§ April 10th, 2017 § Filed under question time, swamp thing § 4 Comments

Okay, I asked you for questions and/or topics, and you gave me some, and I’m going to start taking a crack at ’em today. And, if you want to add to the list…feel free!

Anyway, Rich asks

“How would you rate each of the various eras of Swamp Thing, in terms of the work each writer-artist team did during their tenure?”

Well, sure, Rich, start me off with something easy, why don’t you?

Now there’s the thing…I think, almost inarguably, the two pinnacles for the character are the original Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson comics from the 1970s, and the Alan Moore/Steve Bissette/John Totleben/etc. of the 1980s. Trying to pick which one is better than the other is almost impossible. Perhaps the Moore-era books are more effective in evoking a more modern-seeming feeling of horror, but they wouldn’t exist without the groundwork of the Wein/Wrightson stories. Also, few are the people who were better horror artists than Bernie Wrightson. In a way, both runs tread similar ground, in that they explored some of the more traditional horror themes (witches, vampires, werewolves, haunted houses, and so on) while giving their own particular twists on the topics.

Getting down to it, though, if I had to pick one over the other, I’d give the nod to Wein/Wrightson, setting the bar so high right out of the gate, which is probably mixing metaphors a bit but you understand what I mean. It’s because of them that we expect a certain standard of quality out of our Swamp Things, and it’s disappointing when that level isn’t reached. Moore ‘n’ pals would be a very close second, building on Wein/Wrightson’s creation and updating the storytelling for current sensibilities. Ideally, if someone were to ask me which Swamp Things they should read, these would be the ones.

As for the portions of the series by other creators…well, they all succeed at certain things in their own ways. The issues that followed Wrighton’s tenure featured beautiful artwork by Nestor Redondo…while the comics are not the legendary classics of the preceding issues, they are still excellent in their own right, and only probably overlooked now due to their lack of reprints (a situation about to change with the forthcoming omnibus).

The Marty Pasko/Tom Yeates run that opened the Saga of the Swamp Thing series that returned the character to newsstands is one worth revisiting as well. Its lengthier storyline, pulling together a new cast of supporting characters and giving more of a focus on ongoing subplots, was one that, if I recall some of the letter columns correctly, met with some resistance from older fans of the character. Things were maybe a little too wordy, and subplots stretched out a little too long, for their tastes, though I suspect that’s more a generational change in reader expectations from serialized comic books. Multi-part soap opera-esque stories were more the norm at DC as the 1980s rolled on, perhaps inspired by the success Marvel had along those lines in their own books. Looking back, the initial story wrapped up after only 13 issues, which…well, come to think of it, many stories nowadays come in 5 to 6 issue easily-trade paperback-able chunks, which are only approximately half the size of this Swamp Thing story. But, the point is, people are more used to not getting done-in-one stories in their comics today, which they weren’t back then, which may have affected their perceptions of this then-new Swamp Thing comic. Particularly since it couldn’t help but be compared to the classic ’70s run, which was mostly self-contained stories with only the barest minimum of subplots connecting issues together.

That’s all discussion about structure, not content, I realize. I think Pasko/Yeates put together a fine run, presenting effectively scary stories within the confines of the Comics Code Authority that weren’t necessarily variations on traditional horror topics…okay, there were the punk rock vampires, but there was also a story about Vietnam vets, a story inspired by a then-recent spate of child murders, a medically-themed body horror story, a weird alien-possession tale, and the whole storyline ending up with [SPOILER ALERT, I guess] Swampy going toe-to-toe with the Anti-Christ, which was probably not something anyone expected, but there it is. It wasn’t the Swamp Thing of the 1970s we were used to, but Pasko/Yeates certainly expanded the character’s scope, paving the way for the Moore/Bissette/Totleben stories to follow.

I hadn’t yet touched on the stories Bissette/Totleben did with Pasko pre-Alan Moore, but I think I’ll do so in Part II of “Mike Discusses How Good or Bad Certain Runs on Swamp Thing Were.” Yeah, there’s going to be a part two. At the very least. And I may eventually mention how this particular topic may be related to the special Patreon-only (at least temporarily) content I was talking about a while back. Stay tuned!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ April 7th, 2017 § Filed under End of Civilization § 7 Comments

Okay, you hockey pucks, try to keep up…if it helps, mouth the words as you read along in your copy of the April 2017 Diamond Previews, assuming you cheapskates actually bought it for yourselves:

p. 113 – Batman/Elmer Fudd Special #1:


There are a whole slew of Looney Tunes characters teaming up with DC superheroes, but the one I want to see most is Gabby Goat teaming up with, well…anybody:


Can’t you just see him hangin’ out with, I don’t know, Green Arrow? They could exchange beard-grooming tips.
 
 
p. 130 – DC Universe Rebirth Omnibus Expanded Edition HC:


Reissued in order to include comics that debuted after the first edition of this volume…I hope Rebirth goes on for years just to see how fat this book gets. “DC Universe Rebirth Omnibus Expanded 14th Edition – Now Includes Steel Hand Truck.”
 
 
p. 134 – DC Super Hero Girls A Kids Coloring Book:


Wait…what if the companies decide they can save money by releasing all their comics in black and white and calling them all “coloring books?” …Actually, might get a more significant portion of the general public interested in comics, come to think of it.
 
 
p. 141 – Watchmen The Annotated Edition HC:


“And on this page, we see Dr. Manhattan’s wiener again! Tee hee!”
 
 
p. 168 – Clue #1:


Will this comic be called Cluedo when released outside the U.S.? Asking for a guy who’s semi-obsessed with the fact everyone else calls it “Cluedo” – a guy who definitely isn’t me, by the way.
 
 
p. 202 – Shirtless Bear Fighter #1:


Rack with “Guy in Bat Costume Who Punches Weird Criminals” and “Man with Spider-Powers Who Has Problems.” Will still likely be asked by someone “what’s this about?”
 
 
p. 312 – Jungle Fantasy Annual 2017 Beautifed:


From the solicitation:

“‘Beautified’ is our name for variant interior artwork, with less clothes! So the story just got more nude.”

I can’t even make fun. They know what they want, and what their audience wants, and it sells. I admire its purity. …Also, I think this was sort of the same thing Barry Blair did with the old Leather and Lace comic.
 
 
p. 332 – Mighty Mouse #1:


Yes, that’s a realistically-painted Mighty Mouse cover by Alex Ross you see there. That started me to thinking about a realistic live-action Mighty Mouse…like, an actual mouse, with a little cape, that just darts from nook to cranny, poops and pees on everything, and chews and shreds whatever it can, and makes everything around it just plain smell funny. …Look, I can’t stop the future, I can only prepare you for it.
 
 
p. 358 – Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck The Don Rosa Library Vol. 7 The Treasure of the Ten Avatars:


In which Donald and Scrooge uncover James Cameron’s upcoming film plans.
 
 
p. 478 – Best of Fresh Natural Girls HC:


I can’t wait to find out about all the comics these girls like! I mean, why else would this be in the catalog?
 
 
p. 480 – 100 Things Spider-Man Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die SC:


I propose a follow-up, One Thing Spider-Man Fans Should Do As They Die, which would of course be “Let Spider-Man catch you after being thrown off a bridge.”
 
 
p. 484 – Spider-Man Doodles SC:


I can’t believe they brought the 1990s Marvel Tryout Book back into print.
 
 
p. 484 – Marvel’s Spider-Man Mad Libs:


Please please please let there be “with great [noun] comes great [noun].”
 
 
p. 504 – Previews Cover Marvel Secret Empire Black T-Shirt SC:


Whoa, hold on, when did this start happening? And if they’re actually doing t-shirts with Previews covers, then I know which one I want:


 
 
p. 505 – Previews Logo T-Shirts:


Ah, the all-purpose Previews t-shirt, the official clothing in which to read my “End of Civilization” posts, and conveniently available for preorder at Sterling Silver Comics!
 
 
p. 540 – Twin Peaks Log Lady/Log Pin Mate Set:


This looks all the world like the Log Lady had a log costume she would occasionally put on to fight, like, owl-crime. And, to be honest, we haven’t seen the upcoming Twin Peaks revival so, you know, maybe she does.
 
 
p. 551 – Twin Peaks Action Figures – Laura in Plastic:


Brother, look at all that action. …Unless they’re talking about Laura’s body being the catalyst for action from the other characters in the show, in which case I salute their extension of the descriptor “action” in this context.
 
 
p. 560 – Marvel Deadpool Wood Nesting Doll Set:


And inside that fifth doll…an itty-bitty Deathstroke.
 
 
p. 583 – Star Wars The Force Awakens BB-8 Silicone Tray:


I see they were finally able to repurpose the poorly-selling “Deformed Conjoined Tangerines Silicone Tray.”
 
 
p. 624 – Power Rangers Movie Adult Helmet:

pfffft PLEASE, as if any adults like the Power Rangers!
 
 
p. 627 – The Walking Dead Lucille 36-inch Foam Replica Bat:


Handy for helping you pretend to cave in the skulls of your friends as they kneel quaking in fear before you, and much easier to clean than an actual bat wrapped in real barbed wire!
 
 
p. 627 – The Walking Dead Large Walker Bite Costume Effects Appliance:


Cover up those embarrassing hickeys with something only slightly less embarrassing!
 
 
p. 634 – The Walking Dead AMC Monopoly:


“Pass GO, Pass Jail, Just Keep Going Around in Circles Indefinitely.”
 
 
p. 636 – Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book HC:


“And I’m also including a chapter featuring all the fan-art from Tumblr!”

“GREAT SCOTT, MAN…are you trying to get us arrested?”
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 76 – X-Men Blue #5:


This is such a terrible blurring job that I can only assume they want you to think this is who it looks like but it actually isn’t, unless it is who you think it is and they’re just trying to make you think that it isn’t because why would they make it so obvious? Hm, this must be that “four dimensional chess” I’ve been hearing so much about lately.
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 103 – Muppet Babies Omnibus HC:


At last, the classic all-ages comic is back in print, in the $75 hardcover format that children love!

MORE NANCY EVERY MONTH…

§ April 5th, 2017 § Filed under low content mode, nancy § No Comments


…but perhaps less Mike this week, due to some scheduling issues. I should have the new End of Civilization up this Friday, with any luck, so you all can “look” “forward” to “that.”

And I am still taking your comics-related questions and topics, if you’d like to submit any. I promise to get to them sometime before our sun turns into a red giant. That’s the Progressive Ruin Guarantee!

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