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

Commenter Sean points out, and quite rightly so, that maybe I should have mentioned that a new Swamp Thing reprint volume, collecting the beginning of Rick Veitch’s run, was released last week. I mean, me, of all people, not to mention that…. Well, my only excuse is that my posting mojo was at minimal levels over the last few days due to a variety of real world doings, and thus Swamp Thing: Regenesis slipped my mind. Ah, well…what do you want for free?

At any rate, I’m glad to see DC remember that this particular Swamp Thing series didn’t end after Alan Moore left the book, as there was plenty of good stuff that followed (though it gets to be a bit of rough going around the “Quest for The Elementals” storyline). Rick Veitch’s particular off-kilter sensibilities gave this title a great new direction that was horrific (and black-humored) in its own way, not relying entirely on Moore. By the way, is there any official word on whether or not the unpublished “Swamp Thing Meets Jesus” story will pop up in these reprint volumes eventually?

Happy Halloween to all you Halloweenies!

§ October 31st, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Happy Halloween to all you Halloweenies!

Sugar and Spike #55 (Oct-Nov 1964) – art by Sheldon Mayer

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

Well, this fellow is gettin’ hitched today, so I’ll be at the wedding festivities along with a few of my fellow ACAPCWOVCCAOE members. While I’m doing that, maybe some of you can go enter some contests:

Ed at The Low Road is giving away a copy of Adam Sacks’ Salmon Doubts. Details here; ends Oct. 31st.

The Peiratikos are offering up copies of Scott Pilgrim, a Scott Pilgrim T-shirt, and an original watercolor by creator Bryan Lee O’Malley. Details here; ends Nov. 5th.

Shane at Near Mint Heroes is giving away a Walking Dead trade and a 24 Hour Comics trade. Details here; ends Oct. 31st.

And, what may be my favorite current contest…Tim at The Hurting wants you to insult him! Best insult (as judged by Tim’s wife) could win the DC Comics Encyclopedia (yes, that new one, the forty buck one), a copy of Warren Ellis’ Come in Alone, or Andi Watson’s Breakfast After Noon. Details here; ends Nov. 10th.

In non-contest news, a big ol’ THANK YOU goes out to Scott Saavedra for posting a swell Swamp Thing drawing on his site. Scott’s fanzine Comic Book Heaven was one of the inspirations for this weblog of mine, and it’s good to see his love of comic history’s bizarre moments continuing on his own weblog. If you haven’t checked it out, really, go take a look.

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

1. Thank you for your web-comics suggestions…I’ve not had a lot of time for the weblogging over the last few days, but I’ll hopefully be back up to speed next week and be able to check out all the sites you all have pointed out.

2. Found via pal JP – a supposed one-sheet for James Cameron’s unproduced Spider-Man film. I get the feeling that this item has been relisted several times (and with a minimum bid of $675, it’s no surprise), given that one of the lines in the description is “Only a few days untill the Spiderman 2 movie with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst opens!”

3. This week’s Smallville…okay, Lionel Luthor and Clark Kent switch brains, which is a groaner of a premise, but the execution was a lot better than it had any reason to be. Yes, it was yet another Kryptonian artifact that triggered the change, but the look on Lionel-as-Clark’s face as he discovers the powers that body holds was a laugh-out-loud moment, even as you go “oh, crap.” And seeing him using Clark’s body to sexually assualt/tease Clark’s female friends and family was just downright creepy.

4. Ken at Ringwood does his overview of the Comicsweblogosphere as part of his larger criticism of comics weblogging in general. (Neilalien, Johnny Bacardi, and I will survive the coming apocalypse, apparently. Well, I’m hoping!) I thought about responding to it at length (but then again, when do I respond to anything not at length?) with my own views on comics weblogs; I think, instead, I’ll sum it up with how I view weblogs: it’s like reading a big ol’ fanzine, where all the writers complement each other…everyone’s got something unique to contribute.

And I wouldn’t want Milo George to change in the slightest.

4a. Rick Geerling refers to me and my ACAPCWOVCCAOE pals as The West Coast Avengers – and, like I told him, as long as we’re not referred to as The Great Lakes Avengers, that’s jake with me.

5. Found via MetaphorgeNeil Gaiman’s Endless, in LEGO form.

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

First off, my condolences to the friends and family of Golden Apple’s Bill Liebowitz, who passed away Wednesday morning. I’ve met him only on a couple of occasions, when he had popped into our store to say hello, but he was always nice to me. Again, best wishes to his loved ones. Mark Evanier also has a nice tribute to the man, along with a fun photo that, as Mark says, Bill would have appreciated.

Now, to new comics day (SPOILERS may follow):

Okay, let’s deal with that elephant in the living room first…yes, Green Lantern Rebirth #1. (Ken, avert your eyes!) I feel sorry for anyone for whom this is their first comic (though, as pal Dorian told me earlier when I made this observation, this is no one’s first comic)…the sheer weight of continuity would be more than anyone (other than experienced fanboys like myself) could take.

Okay, I just deleted a whole long essay I was writing here about how all those years ago, they screwed up the transition of Green Lantern from Hal to Kyle Rayner (and how this sort of thing can be done well – see Barry Allen/Wally West), and how the writer of this mini-series Geoff Johns has a long way to go to get Jordan back to full hero status, untainted by the evil deeds of his (Jordan’s, not Johns’ — that I know of) past. But, really, it’s nothing you haven’t heard before. So, in short…while I appreciated how Johns dealt with the Silver/Modern age Hawkman’s screwed up continuity (solution – skip over that Hawkman entirely, bring back the Golden Age Hawkman), it looks like Johns is going to be going over Jordan’s history pretty thoroughly, knocking out the dents and polishing the chrome. He’s got a long way to go, though…this first issue is just setting up the pieces, so I don’t know where he’s going just yet. There is a nice confrontation between John Stewart and Batman regarding Stewart’s opinion on why Bats doesn’t like Hal…and there’s a good scene right near the beginning where Hal (who’s still the Spectre, remember) can’t get away from his Spectral duties even when he’s just briefly trying to relax at a ball game. And it all sure is done up purty, with art by Ethan Van Sciver.

And in case you’re wondering…yes, we sold out at our store (though granted, we probably didn’t order as many as well should have). Only one multiple copy sale that I know of (to a mail order customer, who regularly gets extra copies of some titles for friends of his, so that wasn’t unusual). If you didn’t get a copy, don’t worry…DC is reprinting, and those people who bought 10 or 20 copies (why???) will almost certainly be unloading them on the eBay right quick.

Other new arrivals:

At long last, The Complete Peanuts 1953-4 has arrived in our store, and it looks just as beautiful as the first volume. The characters are slowly transitioning into their more familiar forms, but still different enough to look slightly odd to those of us more accustomed to their modern appearances. I haven’t had much of a chance to do more than read a few pages…the introduction by Walter Cronkite is as well-done as you’d expect, and a note at the end of the book details some of the production difficulties in assembling strips for this volume (some source materials were less than optimal, which translates into a few strips being not as perfect and clear as others). Still, nicely done, and I’m sure I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next volume as soon as I’m finished with this one.

WE3 #2 – Morrison and Quitely’s tale of three cyborg-animal weapons looking for home is as grotesque as it is heartbreaking. Seeing what these animals can actually do once faced with a threat is downright terrifying. Seeing 1 say “GUD DOG” (and later, “BAD DOG”) is emotionally distressing. Certain superhero comics only wish they were this involving.

JLA #107 – if you’ve been avoiding this title for, oh, the last year — come back! It’s safe now! Kurt Busiek has taken over the writing, and it’s a promising start. J’onn J’onnz and the Flash are on duty in the JLA HQ, doing security checks, monitoring threats (not that there really are any), and tending to an old villain, the Construct. (If memory serves, Busiek also featured the Construct in an old Red Tornado mini-series…he must like that character!) The issue also follows up on situations from the JLA/Avengers mini-series, which makes that series officially a part of (at least) DC continuity. One thing about that cover, though…Batman’s huge!

Others: Demo #11 (good as usual, funny and depressing, as slackers realize slacking is not a good career option), Adam Strange #2 (goodness, this is a gorgeous book…Pascal Ferry is doing a great job, and writer Andy Diggle ain’t doing a half bad job either), Planetary #21 (another mind-bender), Hellblazer #201 (felt like an old Jaime Delano story…group of people get mixed up in magic they don’t understand, pay a terrible price — all remarkably understated, considering), and Flash #215 (Johns dips into late-70s/early-80s Flash continuity – maybe he can bring back Colonel Computron next!).

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

Ghostly Haunts #34 (August 1973) – cover by Steve Ditko

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

Okay, I probably won’t post too many audio messages on this here site, but I figured telling you all how to pronounce ACAPCWOVCCAOE was reason enough to do at least one. Anyway, after seeing how much fun The Real Sam Johnson was having with his audio posts, I couldn’t resist.

Other site news: I plan on making a few organizational changes to my sidebar, and you may have noticed one change already. Instead of having every quote listed under “What Other People Are Saying About MSPR,” they now rotate, changing every time you reload the page (like my “…since 1969” quotes at the top). It took me darn near forever to figure out how to do it and include clickable links (i.e. it took me forever to figure out the right combination of search terms to Google up the javascript I needed), so if it doesn’t display right for you, or if it causes some kind of crash or error, or if it makes your computer catch on fire, let me know.

I also plan on listing comic strips and webcomics in the sidebar as well, just to make it easier on me to keep up on the ones I like. Alas, I don’t read a whole lot of webcomics…any good ones out there I should know about?

Because I know you all were wondering….

§ October 26th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Because I know you all were wondering….

this is an audio post - click to play

In other news…Swamp Thing reference!

§ October 25th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Whoa…Walt Wallet’s exact age was just pinned down in today’s Gasoline Alley.

"Here comes Swampmania."

§ October 25th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on "Here comes Swampmania."

Add this to your “will never show up on CD, ever” collection – the Swamp Thing movie soundtrack composed by Harry Manfredini. Track titles include “Ferret Meets The Swamp Thing,” “Swamp Thing to The Rescue,” and the heartbreaking “Swamp Thing’s Farewell.” The best song title is “Airboats, Guns, and Grenades,” which movies quite frankly don’t have enough of nowadays.

The front of the album cover features that great movie poster illustration by Richard Hescox, while half of the back cover is taken up by an extensive essay by the film’s co-producer Michael Uslan (who went on to work on another comic-based movie or two). He details the history of the Swamp Thing character, as well as the efforts made in translating the character to the big screen. Most tantalizing (for me, at least) is this paragraph near the end of the essay:

“Coinciding with the world premiere of Swamp Thing in Charleston, South Carolina, the location of the filming, related books and merchandise will be hitting stores all over the world. Tor Books is publishing the movie novelization by Len Wein and David Houston, as well as a paperback reprinting the first three original Wein & Wrightson comic books. From Eclipse Enterprises comes the official souvenir program book which sells in the theatres as well as in comic book specialty shops, the illustrated Wes Craven screenplay, and an art portfolio book of scenes from the film as rendered by fandom favorite Paul Gulacy. A children’s hardcover book detailing the movie make-up of Swamp Thing will be forthcoming from Crown. A poster fold-out magazine will be published in addition to the great new monthly Swamp Thing comic book series from DC Comics. DC also has the Swamp Thing Annual #1, which is a comic book adaptation of the film. Meanwhile, keep a look out for Swamp Thing bubble gum cards, sleepwear, Halloween costumes, toys, games, T-shirts and (believe it or not) underwear! All this and a Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon series too. Here comes Swampmania.”

Okay, some of those I have already, but I don’t believe I ever saw the trading cards, and I think I’m lucky the underwear never came out (I’d have a hard time explaining why I had those in the collection). I’m also fairly certain the Crown book on the make-up was never released…I wonder how much of the merchandise was held back or outright cancelled once the licensors saw the film.

Another vaguely Swamp Thing-related record release is this 1986 45 RPM single by the Chameleons (b/w with the David Bowie cover “John, I’m Only Dancing”). While the lyrics to the song might only be tangentially related to the comic character (if you kind of squint a bit), the song itself is quite moody and fitting to the tone of the comic. The song is available on the Strange Times CD (and you can hear a sample here)

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