Whoops, meant to put up a post on Wednesday.

§ November 20th, 2014 § Filed under swamp thing, wonder woman § 6 Comments

Well, these things happen. Sorry, gang.

Let me remind you that I’m doing question time again, so toss your questions into that comments section (not the comments for this post, but that previous one I linked) and I’ll give you answers. Some of them possibly truthful! I’ll probably start taking a crack at them this coming Monday, so for God’s sake, clear your calendars.

In other news, this week saw the release of the greatest Wonder Woman comic of all time, in that it guest-starred Swamp Thing:

…or at least something that vaguely looked like Swamp Thing while still being called “Swamp Thing,” and I’ve bought worse things for worse reasons so, you know, don’t think you can shame me on this. Also, making thing worse, pictured there is the variant cover for the issue, with Swampy and Wondy posin’ pretty for the camera, and silly me, I thought that was the 1 in 25 variant. Nope, that’s the 1/100 variant, so only those elite retailers who bought 100 copies of the regular cover got a copy of this darned thing. Well, don’t look at me, since I just started a brand new shop, I ain’t ordering a hundred copies of anything yet.

And because it’s brand new, it’s currently going for stupid prices on the eBay, so I’ll have to wait a few weeks where, like most of its variant cover brethren and sisteren, the hotness eventually cools off and prices will be lowered to the “please for the love of all that’s holy take these off our hands” levels. Of course, with my luck, this will be the exception and will hold its collectible value, at which point I’ll have no choice but to sell my blood and the blood of a few “volunteers” in order to afford it.

Look, I own Swamp Thing slippers. I’ll stop at nothing to maintain the Swamp Thing collection.

So I haven’t done one of these in a while.

§ November 17th, 2014 § Filed under reader participation § 25 Comments

Ask me a question, preferably related to comics and the comics business, and I’ll do my best to answer it in a future post. If you give me a silly question, chances are about 50/50 I’ll give you a silly answer. If it’s too personal or if you’re obviously just trolling, I’ll ignore it…but otherwise, just throw ‘em into this comments section and I’ll get cracking on them later in the week. Thanks, pals!

Progressive Ruin presents…not really the End of Civilization.

§ November 14th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 2 Comments

Yeah, I’ll probably be back into the End of Civilization swing of things next month, but I didn’t want this month to go by without noting these goodies from the November Diamond Previews, like the Batman Retro 1966 TV Series Tied-Up Action Figures on page 445:

As a wise man once said…oh, wait, that was me…”this is a fetish for someone.”

Oookay, there, Boy Wonder, simmer down.

Then on page 514 is this parade of Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver-esque items:

…which just goes to show you that there’s nobody who says “no” in the BBC’s licensing department. However, I suspect this is reassuring to folks who know their weird nephew is really into that TV show about the British guy and his magic flying box and there will never be a shortage of things to buy him for those various gift-giving occasions.

…Though those same folks may hesitate a bit at this Doctor Who wristband on page 515:

…which apparently commemorates that one time the TARDIS farted.

Ah, Progressive Ruin…come for the incessant plugging of the shop, stay for the classy jokes. Thanks, everyone, and good night! Tip your waitresses!

I only wish I had one gross of Howard the Duck #1, much less two.

§ November 12th, 2014 § Filed under zines § 5 Comments

So let me take a break from constantly yapping about my comic book store to show you a recent addition to my collection that I’m not selling in my shop:

Collectors Dream #4, from Spring 1978, featuring a great Don Rosa cover. Just picture my face in the place of that blank question-marked fellow in the center, torn between two funnybook seller extremes. (Click on the pic for the bigification of that image.)

Sadly, I was hoping the cover-blurbed article “Consumer’s Guide to Comic Dealers” would be like an illustrated version of this, with cartoony caricatures detailing varying degrees of the Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy, identifying characteristics listed beneath. Alas, but perhaps even more shockingly, it’s a tell-all column in which orders were placed with multiple mail-order comic houses and the results were lovingly reported. Haven’t had too much time to read through it too closely, but I’ll see if I can’t pick up some tips for my own mail order business. But first, I need to spend some time restocking my boxes of Esoteric Comics.

So far, so good.

§ November 10th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 2 Comments

Well, I have to say, while I’m not being swamped (heh) with customers by any means, I am doing some business, and so far I’ve been exceeding my initial expectations for the shop. I’ve been seeing several old customers of mine, greeting some new ones, signing folks up for the comic saver program, and only occasionally having to lock the door and put up the “Back in a minute!” sign so that I may attend the Gentleman’s Library, because, you know, flying solo at the shop and all that.

But seriously, thanks to everyone who came by the shop, everyone who supported me online, and everyone who helped get the word out…it’s all greatly appreciated. And thanks to my dad, who’s been helping out and keeping me company at the shop over the last few days.

And a big thanks to BobH for this beautiful thing:


On an almost unrelated note, I see someone took one of my scans from the “Marvel 2093″ promo and colorized it. Looks kind of neat, I think.

I say it’s “almost unrelated” if only because now that I’m now at my new shop, I don’t have the easy access to 30+ years of promo material that I had back at the previous place of employment. So, I suppose don’t expect a whole lot more of that on my site in the near future, unless I still have a box of that stuff sitting around the house that I haven’t returned to Ralph yet. Or, heck, who knows what will show up in collections? People are already bringing me comics to sell, so I’m sure the occasional oddity will shop up now and again.

And on another somewhat related-maybe note, I should be back to what passes for a normal schedule on this site again, now that the pressure to get the store ready to open has eased up a bit…at the very least, barring emergencies, I shouldn’t be staying at the store ’til 5 in the morning any more. Could this mean…a slightly-belated End of Civilization post? I’ll see what I can do.

Again, thanks for your support, friends. It is much appreciated.

Day One.

§ November 6th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 28 Comments

And lo, did my first day of business at Sterling Silver Comics come to pass, and things went fairly well. For what was basically a “soft” opening, without all that “BIG GRAND OPENING” hoohar that will likely come later in the month, I did have several customers throughout the day, with one or two dead times that more or less corresponded to the doldrums I would have at the old shop at about the same points in the day, so no big whoop. Overall, I did manage to meet some new folks, welcome some customers from my previous job, and make a little more money than I was expecting for my first day. Hooray, I’m marginally less in debt!

A big thanks to pal Nat, who was my store’s very first customer…well, walk-in customer into my physical store, as opposed to my eBay sales (which I also appreciate, if any of you eBayers are reading this right now). Thanks also to pal Cathy, who sent me a box of candy in celebration of the big day. And of course, thanks to everyone else who shopped with me on my opening day, and to all of you out there with your kind words of support. Maybe I can make a go at this after all.

Now, there is still plenty to be done at the shop…a few more fixtures need to be installed, I definitely need to price more comics, I would like more toys and games in the store…but these things will happen soon enough.

Here’s a quick look around the shop, starting with the thing I was looking forward to the most – GIGANTORACK:

36 feet of The-Monolith-from-2001-esque ebony shelving, custom-built to my specifications, crammed full of issues of Swamp Thing and other less-important comics. …Well, okay, for opening day, it was only 32 feet, as there were some minor technical difficulties preventing the last four feet from being installed, resulting in some clever t-shirt rack placement to disguise the shortage:

Anyway, as I write this, I am sitting in my store right now while the master craftsmen put the finishing touches on the new comics shelves, including that final four feet of four-color fun. Beginning today visitors to my shop should be able to witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational comic rack.

Now here’s a shot from one of the back corners of the store, from behind the register/work station counter…you can see the corner of my stack of Previews at the bottom, there:

You get another shot of GIGANTORACK, plus two custom-made wooden tables built for me by former boss Ralph of Ralph’s Comic Corner. These are smaller versions of the same tables Ralph built for his shop years ago, and these things are rock-solid monsters of shelving — well, little monsters, in my case — that bear up the weight of fully-loaded comic boxes quite well. Above GIGANTORACK you can see some of the framed comic covers that my girlfriend Nora printed out and framed for decoration. She did a great job. (Yes, the covers include Swamp Thing and Nancy & Sluggo comics. How could they not?)

Another shot from behind my register counter, facing toward the front window:


Please note the organically-grown cruelty-free custom stand for my register (AKA “scrap wood left over from making those tables”), as well as my Stool of Power and a computer displaying a wallpaper image that should surprise nobody.

In this next pic from the front corner of my shop:

…you see a couple of my merchandise/showcase fixtures, along with my spinner rack containing a plethora of all-ages comics. You also get a good shot of my bookshelves, and their spacing along that wall should allow for some expansion. One top of one of those shelves is a Superman The Animated Series bust that I bought several years ago for five bucks and have now finally found a use for.

Here’s a straight-on shot of three of my bookshelves:

…and I hope you enjoyed this brief look at my shop as it stands now. As I said before, it’s a work in progress, with lots more comics and fixtures and goodies to come. But most importantly, this is a much-needed change in my life, a new beginning in an industry that, despite everything, I still love and enjoy, and this has given me a new enthusiasm for this business that I’ve been sort of taking for granted for years. Here’s to fresh starts and moving forward, my friends!


So it’s about 4:30 AM as I write this…

§ November 5th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 7 Comments

…having just come home from the shop after spending long hours prepping it for opening at 11 AM today. Thus, should you happen to stop by to purchase something, just gently tuck the bills into my pocket and try not to wake me.

Anyway, let’s see how this goes!

Sterling Silver Comics is opening this Wednesday, November 5th, at 11 AM.

§ November 3rd, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 9 Comments

That is all.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.

§ October 30th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 6 Comments

So reader Allan said in response to Monday’s post “hey, how ’bout a link to your comic shop’s website in your sidebar or somethin’, dummy,” which, okay, he was too nice to say it like that, but I would have completely deserved it, especially since it’s how I felt after I read his comment because Allan is totally 100% correct. And thus, there it is, glaring at you from the right side of my website, that very link, gazing into your very soul, overwhelming you, yes, you with guilt that you haven’t bought that Walking Dead #1 from my eBay listings yet.

Also, my storefront sign was installed Tuesday morning…in fact, it was installed before I showed up that morning, and I’d walked in and out the front of the store two or three times before I even bothered to look up and see it was there! But here it is, in all its glory:

That’s a photo I look late Wednesday afternoon. Tuesday I took a picture for Facebook as soon as I realized its presence, but it was close to noon at that point, with the sun shining behind it thusly:


Anyway, I still really like that logo. Everyone thank Benjamin Birdie for his great job on it.

Speaking of the Facebook, my Aunt Dee even reviewed my store there, though I’m not sure this counts as a review. Nonetheless, I believe it to be entirely objective and unbiased. No problems with ethics in comics journalism here!

The most incredible thing about this post is that I actually used Facebook for something.

§ October 27th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 11 Comments

I’m entering the home stretch in the “opening a comic book store of my very own” process…hopefully next week, depending on how the custom shelving I’m having built turns out. Otherwise, all the new comics will just be dumped into an inflatable pool in the middle of the floor and y’all will just have to dive in for the funnybooks you want.

But things are going well…I’ve got my business cards, the store’s sign should be installed within the next day or two (after getting a wee bit of city hall runaround trying to get the permits properly filed…seems I’ve heard an expression somewhere about the futility of city halls and the fighting thereof), and I’ve been pricing comics like a crazy person. I mean, literally like a crazy person: I’ve been at it almost non-stop to the point where I’m just scrawling indecipherable glyphs on the price stickers. (“What’s the price on this comic?” “‘Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.'” “Um, okay…how’d you fit that on the sticker, anyway?”)

I keep getting asked “am I nervous?” and I suspect I probably am, though for the moment it’s buried beneath my desire to get fixtures installed and comics priced and stuff ordered and so on and so forth. It probably won’t be until the morning of the first day, when everything is more or less in place and all I need to do is unlock the door and let in the (hopefully) massive hordes, that the real worry of “boy, I sure hope people will shop here” will finally get its clutches around what’s left of my heart.

Well, we’ll see soon enough. In the meantime…more fixture building, more comic pricing, and, oh, yeah, should probably teach myself how to use this new cash register at some point, too.

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