I particularly like Swamp Thing’s Popeye arms.

§ October 24th, 2014 § Filed under cranius, reader participation, sluggo, swamp thing § 2 Comments

So I received a letter at the shop yesterday from the possibly-pseudonymous “Sluggo Jr.” who, inspired by my most recent Swamp Thing/Sluggo mash-up post, sent along a page crammed on either side with pencil drawings, sometimes featuring best pals Swampy ‘n’ Sluggo teaming up, sometimes just Sluggo facing menaces on his own (like fighting a knife-wielding Charlie Brown and a bat-wielding Henry).

Here are a couple of samples:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do the “Cranius middle-finger” joke before. Well done.

I was only going to scan those two for now, due to time constraints — I’ve been working long hours, as you might imagine — but I just glanced again at the paper and have to present this one, too:

I could read about the adventures of Sluggo and Swamp Thing all day. Thank you, Sluggo Jr., for your fine contribution to the arts.

Technically, I’m unemployed.

§ October 20th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 4 Comments

Yesterday was my last day working for Seth’s Games and Anime/Ralph’s Comic Corner.

Today will be the first day of being at the new shop full-time, prepping it for its opening in about two weeks or so.

I’ve opened up the store’s website…not a lot there yet, and there’s still more tinkering to be done and an awful lot of white space (oddly enough, I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it, for some reason!) but go check it out so you can see Benjamin Birdie’s wonderful logo!

As I write this, it’s two in the morning. Related: when WordPress plug-ins say their Facebook integration is “user-friendly,” IT’S ALL LIES.

Future historians will someday wonder what inspired the flood of Swamp Thing/Sluggo Smith crossover art in the early 21st century…

§ October 17th, 2014 § Filed under pal casie, sluggo, sterling silver comics, swamp thing § 1 Comment

…including this latest example from pal Casie:

…given to me as a going-away present, as I near the final hour of my lordship over Seth’s Games and Anime/Ralph’s Comic Corner. This Sunday, October 19th, will be my last day of employment at the shop, so come see me steadfastly refuse, out of sheer cruelty, to assist Employee Aaron in his transition to the managerial position.

Ah, I’m just jokin’. Even after I leave I’ll still only a phone call away, willing to assist the guys for a meager per-minute charge.

Speaking of my own store, which I really wasn’t but it’s too late to go back and retype that transition now, its official website will be open this coming Monday, should things go as planned, and will feature my brand new, 100% swell logo created for me by The Rack‘s Benjamin Birdie! It’s great…I can’t wait to show it to you!

Thanks again to pal Casie for the great drawing, and thanks to all of you for your support and readership. I’ll see you all on the other side.

Man, what was up with that beard.

§ October 13th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 3 Comments

So basically any free time I have that isn’t earmarked for working in the new shop is devoted mostly to pricing up comics for my back issue bins, which is still going strong. As I noted last time, there are some hard decisions being made regarding what goes in the “keep” pile and in the “sell” pile. By and large, I’m being a good Small Business Owner and putting most things in the “sell” pile, including Vertigo titles I love like Invisibles and Sandman and Preacher because those will probably always be in print (or at least in print long enough for me to eventually reorder them for myself).

And then there’s the occasional moment of “why do I have this one issue of Lucifer?” until I realize “oh, it’s kind of a Swamp Thing tie-in.” (Issue #49, if you’re wondering.)

There’s still lot to do, such as getting my logo prepped (already have seen the nearly-finished version by an artist pal, and it looks great…more details to come!), plus an out-of-town trip or two to pick up some sellable goodies for the shop, such as the one I’ll be making to Los Angeles in just a few hours, as I write this. I’ll keep this short, then, and I’ll make further updates soon. Thanks, pals, and in the meantime, check this out.

One step closer.

§ October 10th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 13 Comments

That would be the brand new floor just put into my shop, so now we can start putting in, you know, all that other stuff, like “fixtures” and “comics” and other luxuries.

The pricing of comics from the Increasingly Less-Vast Mikester Comic Archives continues apace as well, where I find myself preparing my run of Walt Simonson’s Thor for sale with some minor hesitance, while simultaneously discovering I cannot bear to part with my full run of Hex.

There is no explaining the human heart.

Kept my Steve Gerber-written She-Hulks, too.

§ October 6th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics, the eBay § 8 Comments

I wrote up a little thing on the Seth’s/Ralph’s site about my impending departure. Includes lots of photos y’all have seen before, but may be new to my customers. Nice to have them all in one place, anyway.

By the way, pricing up my own back issues for sale is a terrible thing. I wavered on Quasar, but priced ‘em up. I’m not giving up my Squadron Supreme, however.

Also, in my price researching, I discovered that this particular issue of the 2000s series of The Brave and the Bold is selling in the $20-$30 range, presumably due to the Killing Joke tie-in. One guy on eBay right now is shooting for $75, believe it or not. Huh, who knew.

No idea if I’ll have time tomorrow evening to write up a post for Friday…

§ October 2nd, 2014 § Filed under nancy, pal plugging, sluggo § 2 Comments

…so while I have a free moment, let me link you to the very-correctly titled “Greatest Nancy Comic Strip Paper Dolls Ever Made” (using some scans I made (gulp) nearly eight years ago for this post).

Print ‘em bigger, you’ve got hats.

Speaking of paper dolls, I helped Bully, the Little Stuffed with Paper, Maybe, Doll Bull, with the last post of his Paper Doll Month.

Well, if you insist.

§ September 29th, 2014 § Filed under trading cards § 3 Comments

Progressive Ruin presents…the shortest ever End of Civilization.

§ September 26th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 7 Comments

Just get out your copy of the October 2014 Diamond Previews and look at this thing. JUST LOOK AT IT:

p. 455 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Mr. Pointy 12-Inch Plush:

So the very first End of Civilization post was a Buffy stake replica made from real wood and kept in a fancy box, and now here we are, with this soft fabric carrot-y looking thing, which, to be fair, seems to be a fairly accurate representation of the item from the TV show. This is how far we’ve come in that nearly ten-year span.

TEN YEARS FROM NOW: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Stake Costume – dress like your favorite Buffy prop based on designs meticulously recreated from carefully selected stills from the show!”

TEN YEARS AFTER THAT: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Talking Stake! One press of a button is all it takes to hear ‘You’ve been Buffied!’ and ‘WILLOW POWERS ACTIVATE’ and ‘What accent is that exactly, Spike?’ and lots more of your favorite Buffy catchphrases!”

AND TEN YEARS AFTER THAT: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Hard Light Hologram Stake – actually it’s just a clear plastic thing with some fiber optic lights inside, but IT’S THE FUTURE! HARD LIGHT HOLOGRAM sounds FUTURE-Y!”

AND YET ANOTHER TEN YEARS AFTER THAT: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Pill-Holding Stake Replica – all you Buffy fans have to keep close tabs on your meds, especially at your age, so let this stake do the work for you! Secure compartments marked with each day of the week ensure you take your Monday pills on Monday!”

AND THEN TEN MORE YEARS: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Replica Stake Funeral Urn” — and let’s just stop right there.

“How come there’s nothing but Swamp Thing on the new comics rack?” “They make other kinds of comics?”

§ September 22nd, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 10 Comments

The store plans continue apace….my dad volunteered to take down a drywall partition that needed to go, and that was very kind of him. I’ve started to remove the carpet, and oh, yeah, the building finally has power! I can see what I’m doing! The air conditioning works! The cyclotron’s acceleration of particles is satisfactory!

And then there’s the other side of the business, where I have to plan out my orders for the shop. Now, just ordering stock to fill shelves and racks so that there’s something there in the store when I open, that’s fine. That’ll be the perennials, the items that always sell, your Walking Deads and your Scott Pilgrims and such, plus the previous month or two’s new funnybook releases that, sure, other stores will have had as new items when they came out, but should be on the shelf and available anyway since not everyone is Johnny on the spot when it comes to New Comics Wednesday and I should probably put a period in this sentence at some point.

It’s the stuff that I’m going to want on the shelves once the store is open for business and I supposedly want to, you know, make some money rather than watch it sprout wings and fly away for such trivialities as “water service” and “a phone line.” When people come into the shop looking for new books, I want to make sure I have those new books to sell. At the same time, I don’t want to overspend and overorder and get stuck with lots of product at a time I especially can’t afford to do so.

There are a couple of things that help. One, I already seem to be lining up a number of comic saver customers for my shop before I even have a proper floor put in, so that gives me an idea of at least a certain minimum of copies I’ll need to have.

Two, there’s my decades of comics retail experience, which will give me, if not the exact numbers I’ll need to order, at least the relative numbers. I know about how well, say, Batman sells, and I know Supergirl sells about a third of that, and Infinity Man and the Forever People sells…well, let’s not talk about that. But you get the idea. It still leaves a little guesswork as to what exact numbers to order, but it’s a start. And if I’m off…well, I’m off. I can always reorder, and hopefully folks will understand that I’m starting afresh and am still in the process of determining what the local market wants.

All I can do is the best I can, and see how it plays out. At the very least I want every customer who walks in to be happy they made the trip…and the first step for that is to make sure I have a floor for them to walk on, so I better get cracking on that.

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