And now, a blown-up detail from a comic book that’s coming out this week.

§ December 13th, 2017 § Filed under this week's comics § 3 Comments

From the Die Kitty Die Christmas Special by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz that’s out today, a close-up of a handful of titles on a comic rack:


That first one is Space something-or-other, which I thought was Force at first until, duh, I noticed there’s a rocket ship on the cover. That second one is The Bat, which can only be a parody of Spider-Man, I’m sure you’ll all agree. But that third one…that’s Capybara Girl, while being a clear take-off on Squirrel Girl, is totally a comic book I would read, given my life-ling appreciation of the world’s largest rodent.

I’ve written about Die Kitty Die before…Archie Comics artist Parent mixes a little satire of the comics industry with some very mild cheesecake and the occasional rude gag (like this issue’s pottymouthed Mrs. Claus) and a whole lot of silliness, all wrapped around the not-dead-yet title character, Kitty…who is also a witch, by the way. It’s cute and fun and despite appearances, not for kids…and it’s put the idea of “Capybara Girl” out into the wild, so it’s okay by me.

Kept having to make sure I wasn’t spelling it “marital.”

§ December 11th, 2017 § Filed under question time § 9 Comments

Okay, my eyes are a’burnin’ something fierce, being irritated from the ash in the air and all, so let me go back to those questions you folks left me way back in ye olden times and knock a couple of those out in short order today:

Gareth Wilson kicks this one my way:

“Are martial arts interesting enough to be the basis of a modern superhero?”

The short answer is “sure, if the comic is any good.” With the right creative team, a clever enough take, and a wee bit of luck, pretty much anything is fair game superhero-wise.

The big problem is translating the excitement of a martial arts battle that one could see in live action into static images on a page, and have it compete on anywhere close to an equal basis for a kung-fu fan’s attention. It helped that the huge faddishness of martial arts during the 1970s stoked desire of pretty much anything along those lines in any medium, so that did feed into comics readership. And it didn’t hurt that comics like Master of Kung-Fu and Iron Fist were generally pretty good.

Not to say martial artist-type characters weren’t around prior to that…DC had Karate Kid, for example, and there was Karnak of the Inhumans over at Marvel. However these guys weren’t the primary focus of their respective books/appearances, but rather team players whose powers would be used as the plot warranted. They were just part of the mix.

Nowadays we’ve got…I guess just Iron Fist as the martial arts title from the Big Two (and there was a Bruce Lee comic from an indie company, though it’s been a while since one has come out). Iron Fist does fien, and Bruce Lee seemed to be gathering a reasonable following while it was running. Oh, and there was that Master of Kung-Fu one-shot that came out a week or two ago…that sold okay. So, I don’t think there’s any particular objection to martial arts heroes in the comics marketplace…they have as much of a chance at being of interest to a comic reader as anything else. As I said, depends on execution and a little (or, well, maybe a lot of) luck.

Now whether it’s interesting enough to carry a live-action superhero in, say, a TV show on a video streaming service. …No. No, it’s not.

• • •

Mike Loughlin wonders

“Are there any superstar comic book creators left, I.e. anyone whose comics sell on the basis of their involvement alone?”

Well, there are certainly creators who’ll get people to pick up books, sure, but you’re saying “superstar,” like BIG BIG NAME people. Like, say, Frank Miller or John Byrne at their 1980s heights, is how I’m interpreting this. Folks who’ll grab everyone‘s attention on whatever project they’re working on, regardless of what it is, and whose movements are forefront in the fan press, and so on.

You don’t really see too much of that sort of thing anymore, mostly because most comic book sales are down in the dumps and that’s hardly the place from which superstars spring. Well, I mean, you’ve got Raina Telgemeier, who is a genuine Comics Superstar, who’s probably put out single volumes of things that have larger print runs than all of Marvel’s monthlies put together, but that’s probably not what you mean.

In the regular ol’ comic book market, as opposed to Telgemeier’s dominance of the bookstore market, I don’t know if there is one single Big Name Personality that would have fit the old Miller/Byrne mode. I mean, I guess Miller still does, in that anything he’s attached to tends to attract eyeballs and discussion and so on, if maybe not sales (though Dark Knight III did well). Todd McFarlane is kind of out of the public’s eye right now, though I bet if one day he said “f**k it, I’m gonna draw Spider-Man again” he’d rocket right back up to superstar status.

Honestly, though, I can’t think of a Big Time Creator still doing work who crosses enough lines of interest like that. Maybe Brian Michael Bendis a few years bacK? Honestly, I’m not sure who, if anyone, quite fills that criteria any more. If you have any suggestions, drop ’em in the Usual Place, if you’d like.

The fires.

§ December 8th, 2017 § Filed under not comics § 3 Comments

As you may have heard, Southern California is undergoing an onslaught of wildfires, with one of the hardest-hit areas being Ventura County. Now, Ventura County includes the city where I live (Oxnard) and the city where my store is at (Camarillo), but I have been (so far!) fortunate enough to not be in any immediate danger, as the fires are mostly around me, but not near me or headed towards me. Of course, this could change at any time, and there’s always the possibility that a new fire could start, God forbid, so I’ve been trying to keep an eye on what’s happening.

Several friends and customers haven’t been so fortunate, as many of them live in the actual city of Ventura, which is, like, right there in the danger zone. In fact, my former place of employment had to shut down at least for a day due to mandatory evacuations in their area. I’ve heard from folks who live only blocks away from where houses burned down. I have a friend who still has his car full of his possessions in case he needs to bug out. An apartment complex on the same street where I used to live in Ventura years ago burnt to the ground. And of course everything is covered in ash and clouds of smoke. It’s a real mess out there, and I hope everyone stays safe.

This page can keep everyone updated on the situation, and also provides a couple of places where people can send donations.

Anyway, think good thoughts for all of us out here, and here’s to everybody getting through this as best as they’re able.

“Suddenly, fourteen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2017 § Filed under suddenly... § 7 Comments

Hey, remember blogging? That’s a thing this fellow you’re reading right now has done for fourteen years, long past anyone’s interest in actually reading blogs! That’s okay, I’ll probably soon switch over to that all-video format all the kids are into. Auto-playing video, of course…that’s what the people want.

But honestly, thank you to everyone who’s kept reading this site after all these years, and of course big thanks to my internet pals who continue to support this behavior. Special thanks to my girlfriend Nora, my family, and pal Dorian, who have all pretty much just accepted this is how I’m going to waste my free time. Big thanks to Neilalien, The Most-Firstest of Comics Bloggerers, for his longtime support.

This year, my store Sterling Silver Comics just had its third anniversary, and it’s still going strong. If you’re in the area, drop by and say hello! If you’re not in the area, feel free to give me a call. Oh, and buy something, if you’d like…I won’t stop you!

I still have a Patreon, though my planned regular reviews of Swamp Thing comics hit a snag when suddenly my extra blogging time disappeared. Still planning on keeping that going, though perhaps at a more reasonable pace…I keep saying the new installment should be up soon, but really, the new installment should be up soon. No, really, stop laughing.

Speaking of free time, I still chime in on the Twitterers once in a while, opining on your favorite comic book movies:

…or talking about my day-to-day delights running a funnybook store:

…or relating the vengeance Diamond Previews has exacted upon me for all my End of Civilization posts:

…or telling you about my exciting dream life:

…or remembering this especially-timely Brush with Greatness:

…or admitting this very specific personal problem:

…or just straight-up twittering about Twitter:

…and sometimes my friends pipe up with some True Facts:

Anyway, enough about me posting stuff online, now here’s more about me posting stuff online! Once again I’ve pointed out the highlights, the lowlights and a few of the middling-lights on this site from the past year for your perusal, entertainment, or reawakening of terrible memories. Enjoy, won’t you?

DECEMBER 2016:

The Teen Titans are weird, the passing of my girlfriend’s mother, METRON VERSUS DISCO, some comic book lettercol funny business involving my home town, boy Suicide Squard was not a good movie, so long Carrie.

JANUARY 2017:

Unleash the Youngblood trading card, a nice Swamp Thing pic by a pal and a Richie Rich cover I messed around with, who else dares to draw a connection between Wolverine and the Three Mouseketeers.

FEBRUARY 2017:

So long Dan, at long last the Flaming Carrot one-shot is mine, Wendy the Good Little Witch versus the World, I end up talking a lot about Swamp Thing in this Justice League Dark movie review believe it or not, the award-winning (well, not really) story about Willie and the Bug comic, “The Arch” if you can believe it, BAMM-BAMM CAN SEE YOU.

MARCH 2017:

This is a terrible joke I’m totally proud of, I write a bunch about Don Rosa, I made a joke here about Dr. Manhattan stealing Superman’s red trunks that other people came up with independently and it turned into this whole Twitter thing and anyway I still think it’s funny, this birthday post worked out nicely, so long Bernie, DC’s “hardcover/softcover” plan (parts one and two and oh here’s three), Archie Vs. Swamp Thing, Archie Vs. Arcane, a brief discussion of DC’s Hanna Barbera books.

APRIL 2017:

A little about Logan, rating Swamp Thing creative teams (one and two), that is one fancy-pants leap, a look at the initial installment of “The Button,” what in the comics world has caught me by surprise of late, presenting a Halloween ad in April because why the heck not.

MAY 2017:

Oh my God Reggie, Free Comic Book Day before and after and after-er, we’re very close now to finding out how Nekkid Manhattan will actually be handled, so long Rich, the first freebie installment of the Swamp Thing-a-Thon which I will be getting back to soon I promise, yet another Howard the Duck movie post in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Seventeen.

JUNE 2017:

And here’s another Howard the Duck movie post, let me know when Riverdale shows Jughead doing this, so long Best Batman, the amazing Ing takes my ideas and makes them beautiful, the Zero Month video is both terrifying and beautiful, Brit buttons, JONAH HEX TALK, I sold this comic so it’ll be another 10 years before I see another one, on second thought maybe you’d better just shoot Charlie Brown, FOX AND THE CROW TALK.

JULY 2017:

The Spidery-Mans movie, JUGHEAD WANTED BY JOHN LAW, come to think of it Betty’s legs do seem awfully scrawny, that’s a weird use of dialogue I don’t think I’ve seen too often, who were those mystery Legionnaires (as to be seen soon on The CW, “Dare to Defy”).

AUGUST 2017:

The mystery of that specific issue of Saved by the Bell, always time for a little Garcia-Lopez Superman and Firestorm, you probably hadn’t heard how good this new Mister Miracle comic is so thank goodness I’m here for you, can you believe some dumbass got on my case about taking the apparently extreme position of not liking Hitler, I will be talking about the Death of Superman ’til the day I die, your guide to price guides, I think Helper was probably my earliest “what th–!?” moment in comics, I still can’t believe I had this comic in my hands even briefly, it’s no Google Doodle but here’s a Kirby tribute.

SEPTEMBER 2017:

Where’s my Eisner…nay, my Pulitzer…for how I altered this Preacher page, let’s not do this again, a customer-made Swamp Thing drawing, so long Len, Batman ’89 retail and cultural memories and the market crash and a little Dark Knight thrown in (one and two and three and Bob and Ted and Carol and Alice).

OCTOBER 2017:

Good Lord Batman CONTINUES (here and here and also here), the missing DC Comics event book, Comic Show News issues #1 and…#0, the Swamp Thing Omnibus and an old ad slick, the return of Maximortal, the end of the original New Teen Titans series.

NOVEMBER 2017:

Boris the Bear is here to teach you about variant covers, Marvel wasn’t quite sure what to do with this comic were they, the Classics Rack, more about variants (specifically those DC test covers), a promo for Swamp Thing #60, Valiant would like you to order more Valiant please, a follow the book plug with PAPER TALK, an old promo poster and some Xerox humor, the joy of Not Brand Echh.

DECEMBER 2017:

However tangentially I still consider this a Death of Superman post.

• • •

A very sincere thanks to every one of you for sticking with me for all these years. I can’t say how much I appreciate it. I hope you come along with me as I work my way through year 15 of this silly ongoing project of mine.

For reading all that, here’s a pic of me taken literally moments ago, sitting at my store counter waiting for Godot my weekly Diamond Comics shipment to arrive:

Thanks again, and I’ll see you again in a couple of days.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ December 4th, 2017 § Filed under End of Civilization § 5 Comments

ALL RISE. The newest End of Civilization is now in session, Judge Spike Merling presiding. We will now hear the evidence as presented in the latest Diamond Previews, the December 2017 edition. Please follow along as the cases are presented:

p. 83 – Young Monsters in Love #1:


Would that this comic just be story after story of Swamp Thing mackin’ on all the wives/girlfriends of the DC Universe, as per the cover. “You take your hands off Saturn Girl, you mossy son-of-a-bitch!”
 
 
p. 90 – Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #4:


Are we going to get team-ups between DC characters and any other black-and-white boom three-adjectives-and-an-animal comics? Surely the world deserves Superman and the Adolescent Radioactive Black-Belt Hamsters? Or Wonder Woman and the Geriatric Gangrene Jujitsu Gerbils. Maybe the Teen Titans and the Pre-Teen Dirty-Gene Kung-Fu Kangaroos? Anyway, DC, you know how to reach me if you need any of these written.
 
 
p. 140 – DC Gallery Two-Face Coin Prop:


A nice commemorative item for the old days of this character, before he stopped carrying cash and replaced it with a debit card that’s totally scratched up on one side.
 
 
p. 177 – Rick Veitch’s The One #1:


Don’t think it’s featuring the “Puzz Fundles” back-up strips from the original printing, which is a shame because then they could put a big ol’ “FEATURING WORK BY RICK GRIMES ” on the cover and get that tie-in Walking Dead money.
 
 
p. 273 – The Tremendous Trump A Man-Child Covfefe:


Oh, right, I remember “covfefe.” The life cycle of these things are so quick, and immediately supplanted by new things, that the whole “covfefe” thing seems like a happy, wispy memory from the long-ago past.
 
 
p. 298 – Charlie Brown HC:


“Where’s The Rest of the Title of Your Book, Charlie Brown?”
 
 
p. 339 – Reanimator The Board Game:


Okay, here’s the piece for Herbert West, and for Dan, and, hmm, wait, what do these pieces for Megan and Dr. Hill do…OH DEAR.
 
 
p. 462 – Young Lesbian Girlfriends for Men HC:


Well, pfft of course they’re For Men, who else would lesbians be for? C’mon now.

Also…COMICS, everyone!
 
 
p. 509 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Casey Jones Hockey Mask Prop Replica:


Someday a studio will listen to my pitch for a Casey Jones/Friday the 13th film crossover. I mean, aside from hearing me shout it through a megaphone from the street up to their windows, that is.
 
 
p. 511 – Marvel 8-Inch Stan Lee Action Figure:


“I…I don’t get it…no matter how I arrange the figure in the display case, he…keeps…facing front.”

“Let’s get out of here, Billy!”

[ZOOM on Stan Lee’s action figure head as the boys rush out of the room and shut off the lights. A clap of thunder is heard. As the lightning illuminates the room, we see that the figure’s head has turned ever so slightly toward the front of the box.]
 
 
p. 578 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo Inflatable Adult Costume:


Wow, the CGI in these new Turtles movies is incredible.
 
 
p. 583 – Ork! RPG Special Edition


Shazbot! Orson does not look how I expected in this reboot!
 
 
p.583 – Monopoly Disney Animation Edition:


“Do not pass…um, actually, we’d prefer if you’d pass Song of the South. No, please, really, keep going. NOTHING TO SEE HERE.”
 
 
p. 584 – Monopoly Gamer Edition:


“Pass GO, find our princess in another castle!”
 
 
p. 587 – Monopoly Rick and Morty Edition:


“You are late to the Szechuan sauce-collecting craze…pay each player $50 for their packets.”
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 47 – Lockjaw #1:


(sigh) Honestly, Marvel, you should’ve led with this.

“Occasionally?”

§ December 1st, 2017 § Filed under advertising, death of superman § 4 Comments

Yet another goodie found whilst digging through the piles of promo stuff…this 1993 flyer advertising the then-forthcoming indie comic release Tandra #12:


The flyer alarmed me at first…I’m not overly familiar with the title, though we did carry it at the time, so I thought at first maybe it was a memorial issue for a deceased creator. No, they’re talking about one of the characters in the book. But, if you read between the lines a bit there, and by “read between the lines” I mean “get ready for that incoming sledgehammer to the forehead,” you can probably spot the (cough) implied criticism of the Death of Superman storyline from just prior to Tandra #12’s release.

That last line of “we will not be throwing a party!” is stirring up some vague memories…did DC have some kind of “Death of Superman” memorial event to advertise the storyline? Or were there such events arranged at stores across the country? At our store the only event we had was “wall-to-wall people inside, a giant line down the block outside,” so having a “party” on top of that would have seemed…impractical. But I’m reasonably sure something of the sort happened to inspire that final line in the advertisement.

Well, okay, we did do one special thing at the store to commemorate the event, and that was to make a window display of comic covers from years past showing many different “deaths” of Superman. …We may have occasionally been smart-asses at times.

Anyway, this I think is an interesting artifact of that period showing how at least this smaller publisher reacted to the overwhelming marketplace blitz of the Death of Superman story. That event did bring lots of customers into stores…but I bet plenty of indie publishers probably felt lost in the shuffle.

Collectors edition Titans collectors comic for collectors.

§ November 29th, 2017 § Filed under advertising, collecting, dc comics, teen titans § 5 Comments

from DC Coming Attractions #81 (August 1983)

I sort of preferred Marvel using “Distinguished Competition” as a nickname for them.

§ November 27th, 2017 § Filed under collecting, marvel, retailing § 7 Comments

Occasionally the One Remaining Comic Book Distributor in the U.S. will run some deep discount sales on stock for retailers, and recently they unloaded a bunch of Marvel’s Omnibus editions and Marvel Masterworks volumes for prices ranging from “well, that’s a little less than normal wholesale” to “whoa nelly that’s cheaper than a cheap thing that’s cheap.” So natch, I loaded up on a few items for the shop and offered them at discounted prices, and everyone’s happy.

I’m especially happy, because a couple of the items offered were of particular interest to me, and at the ridiculously low sale price I picked them up for myself. One is the Howard the Duck omnibus, including the entire original series (including the couple of later issues released around the time of the movie), his previous appearances in Man-Thing comics, that one treasury edition, and something from Foom magazine that I haven’t looked to see what it is yet. I’d actually been on the lookout for discounting on the HtD book after getting my giant-sized Man-Thing omnibus on the cheap a while back.

Now, I have an ulterior motive for this…primarily, getting these reprints in a nicely-printed permanent edition frees up the actual comics from my collection, allowing me to put these out for sale in my shop. You’ll notice that post about the Man-Thing omnibus went up around the time I was beginning to open my store…well, suddenly, I had full runs of two Man-Thing series, a bunch of issues of Fear, some Giant-Size Man-Thing, and other odds and ends I was able to turn around for the most part. It more than covered the cost of the omnibus, and provided some sorely-needed store-opening cash besides.

Thus, theoretically, I should soon have a full run of Howard the Duck plus Asst. Materials for sale in the shop…though I 1) already have a number of those issues in the store right now, acquired from other collections, and 2) I kinda wish I kept those Man-Things now that they’re gone. Logically, I have all the stories, so I don’t really need them, but there was some small measure of sentimental value to them. Plus, omnibuses are a lot harder on the scanner if I need to grab any images out of those comics.

But hey, that’s life, so I’ll get those Howards into the shop regardless.

The other book I acquired for Low, Low Pricing from that recent sale was the Marvel Masterworks edition of Not Brand Echh. That’s another series I have all the issues for…in fact, this was the first series I completed a run for that had come out (almost) entirely before I was born. (Not sure about the last issue, with the May 1969 cover date…given cover date shenanigans, it may have actually come out just prior to or during my birth month of March ’69.)

Now it’s been a while since I’ve read my run of it, but getting a hardcover volume with the artwork printed on paper that isn’t slowly turning to dust has inspired me to dip into this zaniness again…as, you know, time permits, since I’m constantly behind on reading everything. And what I’ve read so far is very funny…very early Mad Magazine-ish in that every square inch is filled with a joke of some kind, and all the more remarkable that it was the very creators of the comics themselves doing the parodies. Yes, it’s the dreaded “Official Parody” that should be toothless and boring, but Not Brand Echh often reads like Stan and Jack and the rest of the gang blowing off some steam after toiling away at the Marvel Universe for so long.

My favorite panel so far into my rereading is this one…it’s specifically mocking the Fantastic Four storyline where Dr. Doom tricks Silver Surfer and steals his powers, but the way Stan ‘n’ Jack exaggerate Doom’s strategy of “pretending to be nice” is hilarious:


The more I look at this panel, the more I think there’s no way on God’s green Earth that anyone could have come up with a funnier book for Doom to be reading than “Butterflies I Have Loved.” I don’t know why that puts a stupid grin on my face every time I see it, but good gravy that one panel alone is funnier than entire issues of supposed humor books I’ve seen of late. Those Lee and Kirby kids, they’ve got some talent.

The actual title of the comic itself, Not Brand Echh, is charmingly dated as well, reminding us of a simpler time when products would be advertised in comparison to competing items, but the competitors would be described as “Brand X” or something similarly obfuscatory. You know, not like today, where commercials are basically “BURGER KING SUCKS, EAT AT ARBY’S” or something equally straight-forward. “Brand Echh,” of course, was Marvel’s nickname for their crosstown rivals DC Comics (putting a Mad-esque twist on “X” for the grosser-sounding “ECHH”), and when the title of the series was combined with the blurb just above it (“Who says a comic book has to be good??”) the cover of every issue was a slam at their competition. That’s…got my respect. I think the closest DC ever got to lobbing that ball back into Marvel’s court were some Marvel parodies in Inferior Five, though there were other minor gags/references in various DC titles here and there. (Wasn’t there a direct swipe at Spider-Man in Legion of Super-Heroes? Maybe someone can remind me.)

And now that I have this book, a run of Not Brand Echh should be making it into the “New Arrivals” back issue bins at the store as well. If, of course, I can convince myself to bring them in.

Thanksgiverlings.

§ November 23rd, 2017 § Filed under movie reviews § 6 Comments

Ah, one of the few days of the year where I can bend the bars, roll the toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape from the shop. Yup, ain’t no Mike at the store today, so you all are just going to have to wait ’til Friday to pick up your extra copies of Frank Miller’s The Spirit Blu-rays for the holiday season. In the meantime, I plan to…hell, I don’t know, what does one do with this “free time” I’ve heard about in whispered legends? …I actually had a customer say to me on Wednesday “you are taking the day off, right? You’re always working!”

This looks like one of those lost weeks here on the blog…late start with a Tuesday post, and ain’t nobody checking in during the holiday weekend, so…yeah, let’s all meet up here again next week. I’ll bring the dip. …Me, I’m the dip, in case you were wondering.

However, let me comment on a couple of things before I send you off to argue with your relatives about the political matter of choice:

1. Saw the Justice League movie, which was just fine. Lots of action, sufficient humor, all the characters got their time (or times) to shine, and was just good old fashioned fun. Not a perfect movie…no movie is perfect, save Cabin Boy…but for folks who’ve been wanting a DC Universe live action movie that isn’t dark and dour, well, here you go! Yes, the villain is just a dude who wants to destroy things for its own sake, but served well as a plot device to spur our heroes into action. And yes, most of the film is about as deep as a sidewalk puddle…no attempts at the “big questions” or themes here, like in MoS or BvS…but that first Avengers movie was empty calories, too, and we all seemed okay with that.

Also, didn’t seem to notice Henry Cavill’s CGIed lip or a surfeit of midriff-baring Amazon warriors…you know, the things everyone was complaining about.

Anyway, the movie’s plenty entertaining, and just from my personal experience, still seems to be attracting audiences…we had to go to two theaters, on a Tuesday night even, to find a showing we could get into.

2. So I got my signed comp copies of Cryptid Cinema in the mail from Steve Bissette, and here’s what he put on my envelope:


WELL HA HA GUESS THIS ENVELOPE IS A PERMANENT PART OF THE COLLECTION, WHAT CAN I DO

See you guys next week, and thanks for reading.

Some neat stuff I found.

§ November 21st, 2017 § Filed under advertising, pal plugging, self-promotion, swamp thing § 1 Comment

Here’s yet another installment of “what did Mike find in the boxes of old promo stuff from his previous job this time,” featuring this poster advertising the Marvel graphic novel Death of Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin:


Unlike a lot of the posters I’ve been seeing, this one was totally displayed, with pieces of tape still affixed to the back, and even a couple of tape tears noticeable on the front from where another poster with tape on its back was placed on top of it. Even still, it’s a nice piece of retail history from the very early 1980s.

From a couple of years later is, not a promo poster, but an odd piece of photocopier humor that was passed around in the wake of the release of Frank Miller’s mini-series Ronin:


You see, the joke is the comic is called Ronin, so the picture on the original cover has been replaced with an image of Marvel’s Red Ronin fighting Godzilla, and…well, look, this is what we had before Photoshop and image sharing on your Tumblrs and whathaveyou. Just eighth-generation Xerox copies of Xerox copies of gags being passed around by hand for everyone to enjoy. From the few examples of these I remember seeing way back when, at least this one wasn’t, like, purposefully offensive, which was a rarity in itself.

• • •

Hey, my friend Cathy, who does lots of medically-themed comics (some of which you can sample right here) has started up a Patreon of her very own. I know everyone’s got a Patreon right now and times are tough all over, but if you’ve got a dollar to spare, I bet she’d appreciate it.

And speaking of Patreons, I know I fell behind on mine and its exclusive content a bit, but I have started on the next Swamp Thing-a-Thon installment (covering original series #8, The Lovecraftian One). That should be up soon. I apologize, but sometimes real life gets in the way of doing fun stuff. I’m sure some of you can relate.

Oh, and on the topic of Swamp Thing, I did get a copy of the Bernie Wrightson Artifact Edition from IDW, featuring tons of original art for Swamp Thing another other DC horror comics. I’ll probably post a more extensive review of it soon, but in the meantime, let me assure you that it is sufficiently fantastic. I told myself a long time ago the only Artifact Edition book I’d personally get would be one that featured Wrightson’s Swamp Thing work, and I chose wisely. Not to say the other volumes don’t look great (and they do!) but Wrightson’s originals are the ones I felt I’d appreciate the most, and I wasn’t wrong. This book is printed in almost literally tear-inducing detail…I was comparing the original art in the IDW volume to the original printed comics from the ’70s and…sheesh, wotta revelation. And yes, the werewolf splash and these two covers are in there, too. …So go buy one already! Or order one from me! I won’t stop you!

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