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God bless you, Internet…

§ July 31st, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on God bless you, Internet…

…for showing me the Scourge web page…complete with a list of victims.

Not updated in four years…and yet as timely as ever!

To think I wouldn’t have found it if it weren’t for the Comic Treadmill’s Heroclix collection.

§ July 31st, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch #3 (Nov 1975) – art by John Byrne

§ July 30th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

As you may recall, Wednesday we received our UPS shipment from Diamond Comics, but alas, we were short a box that was apparently taking the scenic route through Laguna Hills. Said box contains about a third of the new DC titles, so I was a little peeved (especially since it meant pulling books for our subscription service twice, when believe me, once a week is plenty). Well, it did arrive today, about two hours after we opened, so I guess all’s well that ends well, and all that. Thought now I have to wonder what will happen next week? Will UPS arrive early but be missing a box? Or will we get everything, but not until after we’ve opened our doors for business that day? Stay tuned!

The delayed book I was most looking forward do was DC Comics Presents Hawkman, as the previous Julius Schwartz tribute books have been mostly quite well done. So far the pattern has been to have one great story (the Morrison story in Mystery in Space, the Azzarello story in Green Lantern), paired with a more…well, “average” story, for the lack of a better term, though that has a negative connotation I don’t intend. For Hawkman, however, both stories are closer to the “average” level, but are enjoyable nonetheless…Cary “Mr. Surprise” Bates returns to comics with a story starring Julie himself, with nice art by John Byrne and Lary Stucker. Very evocative of the Silver Age trend of the comic creators somehow getting mixed up in the very adventures they’re writing/illustrating/editing. The second story, by Kurt Busiek and Walt Simonson, is a tale of the love between Hawkman and Hawkgirl, with of course a flying gorilla mixed in, and it’s fun as well. It does make one wish for a longer Simonson Hawkman tale, as his art style is very suited to the Winged Wonder.

Speaking of comics that are new this week…Marvel needs to go back to an actual publishing schedule, instead of just immediately sending books out to the printer as soon as the art is in-house, which is what appears to be happening. Getting three of the four Fantastic Four books in the same week is inexcusable. It’s like Marvel is daring the reader to realize that, you know, maybe they don’t need to read all these FF books and that they should drop one, or two, or all of them. What made Marvel think that the market could support multiple FF titles anyway, when it could barely manage one? …Oh, right.

On a completely unrelated note, I was watching a little bit of RoboCop on cable TV last night…this is one of those movies that, even though I already own the Criterion edition DVD (he said snobbily), I always feel compelled to watch at least a little bit of it whenever I come across it on TV. It’s a great darn flick…I’ve referred to it as “the best superhero movie not based on a comic book,” and I’ll stand by that statement, mister, so don’t give me any guff. It’s got one of my favorite villain-comeuppances of all time, and no one plays “sleaze” like Miguel Ferrer.

Er, I got a little off the point, there. Anyway, I noticed something in the film last night that hadn’t occurred to me before. Comic books pop up once or twice in the film, and each time they appear (at least in the hour or so of the film I saw last night), Rom is prominently featured. Rom…the comic about the space warrior whose body has been mostly replaced by robotic parts. Hmmm. Coincidence?

Speaking of RoboCop, in the second film (the one written, at least in part, by Frank Miller), there is a scene where a computer screen is flashing through several files of criminals as candidates for the RoboCop program. Now, I haven’t seen this movie on regular television, so I don’t know if you can make it out on the small screen (maybe on the 50-inch plus screens you can), but all the names of these criminals are people from the comics industry. I remember specifically “Deitch,” “Crumb,” “Hernandez,” and (I believe) “Groth,” and “Kirby” might have been in there, too. Every name that flashes by was the name of some comics guy or gal. Hmmm. Coincidence? Probably not. Yeah, I was watching the computer screen instead of the actual action of the film. I was probably better off.

And on yet another unrelated note…welcome to Matt Maxwell and his new comics weblog Highway 62.

§ July 29th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Good news! Scott Saavedra announces that his great comics-zine Comic Book Heaven has been granted a reprieve.

Retailer Brian Hibbs has a weblog now, so, in addition to pal Dorian and me, you have three regular webloggers from the other side of the counter…unless there’s someone I’m missing.

Speaking of Dorian, sorry, man, you’ve been drafted.

§ July 28th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Well, due to circumstances beyond our control, we’ve had to have our comic shipments sent to the store by UPS rather than picking them up at the warehouse like we usually do. Last week, the boxes arrived at opening time, which meant we were frantically breaking down our order while trying not to let our big mess get in our customers’ way, which was a bit tough. This week, the UPS shipment came early…alas, one of the boxes apparently ended up in Laguna Hills, so we were shorted several DC titles and some of our reorders. Crud. So if you happen to be in Laguna Hills and spot a Diamond Comics Distribution box wandering the streets, lonely and confused, send it up our way, would you?

Some brief thoughts about the new comics we did get:

  • Justice League: Another Nail #3 – it’s about 128 pages of story squeezed into 48 printed pages, and it’s all a confused jumble, but it’s also Alan Davis and Mark Farmer drawing everyone and it’s all absolutely beautiful.
  • Doom Patrol #2 – an improvement over the first issue, as we get more of a straightforward story here and more of a focus on the original DP members. But, if I were a cruel man, I would note that using the cover blurb “REBORN OUT OF DISASTER” shows a marked lack of self-awareness, given the general reaction to the JLA run this book spun out of (and I actually kinda liked, so don’t give me any grief). And as noted by the oft-mentioned pal Dorian, “REBORN OUT OF DISASTER” is not at all like “CRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE.”
  • Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 3 TPB – As stated before, I’m a sad old fanboy, and there’s nothing I love more than the old Justice League/Justice Society team-ups…and this volume includes the three parter from issues 100 to 102 with the Super-Soldiers, and the later story with the Earth-X Freedom Fighters. The writer of these stories, Len Wein, provides an introduction which gives some nice behind the scenes details on the conception of these stories. Very nice. The first two-parter in the book, though, is written by Mike Friedrich, and it’s…well, it’s pretty campy. In fact, it’s really campy, and that’s just fine, because it’s bit of a hoot as well. You gotta love Batman saying, in an actual dialogue balloon, “Dick (Robin) Grayson!”

    I hope they continue doing these JLA/JSA team-up reprint volumes…these were always some of my favorite superhero stories. At the very least, I hope they get to reprint the George Perez-drawn crossover from the early 1980s (featuring the first appearance of this version of the Ultra-Humanite) and, my favorite, the JLA/JSA/, All-Star Squadron crossover featuring Per Degaton.

  • Superman: Birthright #12 – so Superman now has sewing vision*? That’ll go great with his “Repair Great Wall of China-vision!” (video clip of said power at the bottom of the page)
  • Other goodies: Luba by Gilbert Hernandez (always a lot of fun…seems like we’ve been seeing a lot of comic work from Gilbert lately); Uncle Scrooge #332 (with Don Rosa’s “Life and Times of Uncle Scrooge Chapter 10B” – maybe going to the well one too many times, but by God, Rosa gives us Scrooge teaming up with Teddy Roosevelt, so who am I to complain); DC New Frontier #5 (finally gives us context for Jordan’s refusal to kill during wartime – still beautifully drawn, though there are still elements in this comic certain to tick off the more thin-skinned comic fans); and the Free Comic Book Day edition of A Bunch of Baboons (a little late, but sent for free to those West Coast retailers who ordered it and didn’t receive it for the actual event).

Other random notes from the day:

  • It’s a couple hours before we open. I’m sitting in the store doing some computer work while waiting for UPS. Most of store’s lights are off. (Most of the stores in the surrounding area are also closed at this time in the morning.) There are two closed signs in the front door and window. A truck pulls up with a dad (presumably) and his little son (about 7 or 8). They both look at the front of the store, right at the closed signs. The dad turns off the motor, and sends his son out of the truck. The son tries the door, finds it’s locked, and returns to the truck. They drive off.
  • Okay, so I lied: for no good reason, the following tagline for a possible Jack Black Green Lantern movie popped into my head: “BLACK IS THE NEW GREEN.” If this movie is real, I can almost guarantee this is the tagline they’ll be using. You know I’m right.

    EDIT: Someone beat me to it. Note to self: “Google before post!”

  • Pal Dorian was just a little miffed over not getting a post in General Smallnut’s Squirrel Army, so with help of the Squirrel Name Generator, Dorian’s squirrel name has been determined to be – “Baron Bushkisser.” Oh, the irony**.
  • Pal Ian dropped by the store and regaled us with his tales of Comic Con derring-do…which you can be following too, should you go to his website.
  • And Pal Corey and Pal Tom dropped by as well, which I only mention in order to plug their sites.

* Yes, yes, I know he was apparently “welding” or “melting” the costume back together…you have to admit it still looks weird.

** Oh, quiet you…I’m his friend, I’m allowed.

"Liz isn’t interested in boys…you know what I mean!"

§ July 28th, 2004 § Filed under love is in the air Comments Off on "Liz isn’t interested in boys…you know what I mean!"

Young Romance #197 (Feb 1974)

In which Mike puts on his jealous pants.

§ July 27th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on In which Mike puts on his jealous pants.

Pal Ian is linked by Mark Evanier, making him the first in our merry band of the ACAPCWOVCCAOE* to receive this honor.

Gosh dang it.

*Associated Comics and Pop Culture Webloggers of Ventura County, CA and Outlying Environs

§ July 27th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

1. You may henceforth start referring to me as “Nibbles Wobblebottom.” At least, those of you who weren’t calling me that already.

2. So I was given a little bag of goodies from the San Diego Comic Con…all freebies scored from various tables: a whole bunch of buttons (including several for Stargate: Atlantis – has anyone watched this show?), a keychain pimping The Hire, a tiny Dark Horse Comics magnet, a Stargate: Atlantis pen, a SciFi Channel “poplite” (some kind of candy-flashlight thing), and, best of all, a tiny set (about 1/2 by 2 inches) of Dark Horse Comics playing cards (Dark Horse’s motto this year must have been “think small!”). The face of each card features a different character from the DH publishing line: Hellboy is the King of Spades, Little Lulu is the two of Hearts, publisher Michael Richardson is the Joker.

3. Pal Ian continues his San Diego coverage, discussing the Marv Wolfman and Jack Kirby Tribute panels…managing to compare me to Mark Evanier in the process.

4. Gasoline Alley whips out one of the oldest jokes in the book…admirable in its shamelessness, it is.

This is it for superhero movies, I promise.

§ July 27th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on This is it for superhero movies, I promise.

Hellboy: The Movie is out on DVD today, if you’re interested. I wonder if I should expect more Hellboy comic sales because of it?

Also, I screwed up in my post from yesterday…the Grayson movie can be found here.

§ July 26th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Augie De Blieck Jr. mentions that a fellow advertising the previously-mentioned Secret Spider-Man Movie site was at the San Diego Comic Con, in costume, loudly proclaiming his dislike of Hollywood’s superhero movies. I did a quick Google-search for pics, and all I could find was an image of a hand-printed sign advertising the site’s address posted on a pole (look a few pictures down). Probably too early yet…I’ll check again in a few days.

Actually, like Augie says, I’m not sure what that fella was complaining about, since the Spider-Man and X-Men movies, while certainly not perfect, were a darn sight better than they had any reason to be. I mean, it’s not like they were on par with James Batman or anything (though James Batman is wonderful in its own peculiar way). Apparently the problem is that the films are not spot-on adaptations of the comics…you know the type: “Well, clearly Spider-Man is flawed from the start by its complete glossing over of Gwen in favor of Mary Jane.” Or Spidey has organic webshooters, like Chris mentions, or Wolverine is too tall, like Shane mentions…it’s getting caught up in the little details without looking at the big picture. It’s like the people who got bent out of shape over Tom Bombadil not being in The Lord of the Rings movies, even though his presence almost certainly would have brought the proceedings to a grinding halt. Though speaking of little details — it’s “SPIDER-MAN,” not “SPIDERMAN.” If these people are going to complain about the quality of someone else’s work, they should at least spell the name correctly.

I was joking the other day with a customer of mine about how I think they should do a completely true-to-the-source-material adaptation of, say, The Korvac Saga from The Avengers just so people would see what bad idea a 100% accurate comic to film translation would be. Sure, we comic fans would probably dig it (some at face value, some on a self-aware ironic level), but the general public would almost certainly stay away in droves.

Anyway, that’s enough carrying on about comic book movies. Go read a comic. I’m reading the first Adventures of Barry Ween Boy Genius trade paperback, which I picked up after reading the Free Comic Book Day issue. What are you reading?

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