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So I was bored.

§ May 31st, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on So I was bored.

Who’s got Swamp Thing-related domain names?

(Note: have your pop-up blockers armed and ready!) – just being squatted on at the moment. – “under construction,” but has a trippy ST logo. – looks like a personal page…Flash animation ‘n’ sound, ahoy! – just a blank page with the text “” Trying to load either or has the same result. – “This domain may be for sale by its owner!” Another parked page. – server information, with links to a couple personal pages. – Swampthing Environmental, Inc., complete with a picture of Swamp Thing in the logo which I’m sure is totally authorized by DC. and exist, but there’s nothing there (404 errors). But does bring up a page of…well, something. brings up the same something. – GAH! The ads, the ads! – No such animals. Who uses “.name,” anyway?

Related people and places – personal page, photos, java applets, sound. Amusing, actually. – contains a total slam on the NeXTStep market. Take that, NeXTStep fans! – video game ads. – hey, a weblog (“Cafe Arcane”)! Cool! – another squatted domain.

Johnconstantine.netfinally, a page that actually has to do with the comic character. – all the links on this page go to sites with the phrase “newxxx/hot_site” in the URL. Just so you know. – weblog page, with some creepy images and background music. – “Your gateway to golf!”

Patchworkman.comtotally available. Who woulda thunk it?

Yes, more pins.

§ May 30th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Yes, more pins.

(See these previous four posts for even more buttons.)

Because of the glare (and the size of the image) you may not be able to make out that the pin in the upper-left corner is for the 20th anniversary of Kitchen Sink (1969-1989). The next button is for the 20th anniversary of Elfquest pin from…well, there’s no year on it, but I’m assuming it’s from 1998, since the first appearance of Elfquest was in ’78.

I’ve always really liked that Marvel 25th Anniversary pin…it’s just made of plastic, but the Spidey figure has a nice texture to it, and the whole piece is very eye-catching. DC’s 50th anniversary logo is equally eye-catching, I think, though I have vague memories of people not thinking much of it at the time. I liked it, anyway.

Those last pins are celebrating the 30th anniversaries of the Avengers and the X-Men, though trying to incorporate the title’s logos (or portions of them, anyway) into the number 30 weren’t entirely successful.

Ah, the parade of Jim Shooter comic book companies…Warriors of Plasm, from Defiant Comics, gave us the immortal phrase “gore for the org.” My only real memory of Broadway Comics was that the only ones that sold were the ones that features curvy dames on the covers. And I know that Shooter was long gone before Valiant Comics became Acclaim Comics, but where else was I going to put it? Also, it always seemed to me that there should be another half to that pin.

Ah, the Big Comic Book Market Boom of the late 1980s/early 1990s. That was the heyday of the All-Purpose Comics Price Guide Magazine (the only survivor of which was, of course, Wizard). Combo was, true to its name, a combination of comic book price guide, trading card price guide, action figure price guide, collectible card game price guide…and somewhere in there was the occasional stab at an article or two. Most issues were prebagged with a trading card or three…another symptom of this particular time in the marketplace.

The next pin is “Martin the Satantic Raccoon,” which was brought back for me from a San Diego Con a few years back. Here’s a website, which tries darn hard to not be safe for work.

Collected Editions brought up the badges given away during the DC Vs. Marvel mini-series, where fans could vote on the outcomes of key battles. I only have the “Vote DC” badge, it appears, because pffft, like I’d vote for Marvel.

Don’t bother going to the address on that Senator Kelly button (from the first X-Men movie)…it just forwards to Fox Movies. That other pin is a promo for the first Tim Burton Batman movie from ’88. I always thought Billy Dee Williams (who played Dent in the first film) would have been a kick-ass Two-Face, but we ended up with Tommy Lee Jones as Dent in the third film. Not bad, I guess, but he’s no Billy Dee.

These are more of those metal badges with the bendy bits at the top, allowing you to hook ’em over the top of your pockets, or whatever. The first badge was to advertise your sense of loss and despair at the temporary lack of Superman in the Superman comics. The other badges plugged the other fill-in Supermen, each with their individual S-shields. The shield for “The Kid” (i.e. Superboy) was stitching around the edges, in case you can’t make it out.

The first two pins were released by First Comics in 1985, taking a minimalist approach by just showing the logos on a white background. The third pin plugged Groo’s 20th anniversary in 2002.

Here are some examples of “freebie” pins that Marvel and DC used to release to advertise new series…something I wish they’d still do, and not just so that I could collect them! (Here’s another example.) I couldn’t tell you a single thing about Spellbound. I know we got ’em in the store, but don’t know nuttin’ about the contents. I think I wore that “Doom Patrol” button to a Cure concert, once, just to be “funny.” Legion ’89 was actually an okay comic, for a while, and hey, that Green Lantern pin is good again, what with the new series and all. I also have a GL pin DC released to advertise the Kyle Rayner version of the character, but, well, you’ll just have to imagine it, because I forgot to scan it. Maybe next time!

A former employee of our shop gave me this button several years ago. I wonder what she was trying to tell me?

§ May 29th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Sometimes pal Dorian and I revel in our cattiness:

Me: “Boy, the last issue of The Unfunnies sure was good, wasn’t it?”

Dor: “Yeah…so was the last issue of Kevin Smith’s Spider-Man/Black Cat.”

Me: “The end of Daredevil: The Target was very quality, as well.”

Dor: “How ’bout that last Hepcats?”

Me: “I never saw that surprise conclusion of Sonic Disruptors coming, I’ll tell you that for free.”

Yeah, we’re jerks. Who’s surprised?

Speaking of unfinished series, I was going through some of our Anne Rice back issues (because they needed restocking, not because I was enjoying it), and I recalled that one of Innovation’s adaptations of her vampire novels never concluded. Overstreet only listed The Vampire Lestat and the Standard Catalog listed twelve issues for all three series, which is wrong.

A quick Googling turns up this interview with Rice, which references the unfinished series…which is Queen of the Damned.

Okay, that’s hardly important to anyone, but it’s the kind of thing I depend on our reference guides for, and occasionally they fall down on the job.

(EDIT: In fairness, I just noticed that Interview is in Overstreet under Anne Rice’s Interview. Still no Queen, though.)

Oh, and Innovation’s adaptation of the Piers Anthony novel On A Pale Horse never had its last issue released, either. Boy, that would have been a pisser for anyone buying the full, prestige-format series.

And that reminds me of a short exchange between a customer and me from a few years back:

Customer: “Do you have any Anne Rice comics?”

Me: “Yes, here’s a run of the The Vampire Lestat….” (pronouncing the last “t”)

Customer: “That’s pronounced ‘Le-staaaah.'”

Me: “Here y’all go! Yer Vam-peer Leeee-STAT! Wooo-WEE!”

Okay, I didn’t actually say that last bit. I sure wanted to, though. I don’t mind being corrected (though, as pal Dorian likes to note, neither of us may have been correct…this FAQ suggests a third pronunciation that Rice herself supposedly prefers)…but the whole smugness of the correction was a bit off-putting. I’m the smug one around here, thank you!

Don’t ask.

§ May 28th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Don’t ask.

“At last! I, Dilton Doiley, have invented Riverdale’s first ORGASMOTRON!”
“However, side effects from the invention include deviant sexual behavior….”

“But surely, it’s all worth it in the pursuit of romance….”

Images from Skybox’s 1992 Archie trading card series.

Progressive Ruin Again Presents…The End of Civilization.

§ May 27th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Progressive Ruin Again Presents…The End of Civilization.

Time to swing through the latest Diamond Previews ordering tome and document the horrors within…grab your copy and follow along! (Enjoy some previous installments, if you dare.)

From the June ’05 edition:

p. 422 – Okay, the Garfield PVC figure is about 3 1/2 inches tall, and it’s $7.99. That’s more or less reasonable. The Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam PVC figures on the very same page are much larger (about 8 to 10 inches), granted, but they’re $75.99 each! Dear God, why? Are they imports?

Also on page 422 – Invader Zim “Set of Doom” mini-figurines. Probably could have used these a couple of years ago, back when people were actually looking for Invader Zim merchandise.

p.442 – Robocop 18-inch talking figure. …Well, okay, I’ll let this one pass. C’mon, like I’m going to say something bad about Robocop.

p. 444 – Star Wars M-Pire M&M Plushies. Six inch tall plushie dolls based on the talking M&M mascots, dressed up as characters from the Star Wars saga. You haven’t lived ’til you’ve seen an M&M done up as Chewbacca. ($9.25 each.)

Also on page 444 – Tim The Enchanter Chibi Plush. I think I liked it better when Monty Python didn’t license out their characters for merchandise. I can’t quite wrap my head around a super-deformed Holy Grail character that talks when it’s squeezed.

p. 460 – Star Wars Darth Sidious Lightsaber Replicas. You can get a mini-replica (based on “laser scans” of the original prop) for $35.00, or, if you’re not satisfied with wielding such a…small weapon, you can drop $369.00 for a more manly sized tool. A Darth Vader saber replica is available only in full size, and the Yoda replica is available only in mini-size. (The description for the Yoda saber notes that it does look significantly different from the Episode II prop replica, with simulated battle-damage.)

p. 468 – Pal Dorian made sure that I mentioned this one: a Bob Moog vinyl figure, for only $35.00.

p. 488 – Lord of the Rings: Sword of Boromir replica. Only $348.99, and comes with a wooden plaque. Insert your own joke about what the wooden plaque says.

p. 492 – Sin City Yellow Bastard Limited Edition Full-Sized Resin Bust. “Limited edition?” The devil, you say. Who wouldn’t want a live-sized version of this thing hanging around the house. For extra fun, leave it in a window facing the street.

p. 493 – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Style “A” 3D Movie Poster Sculpture. Here’s another one pal Dorian wanted to make sure I’d mention…I’m fairly certain this thing would creep me the hell out. Disembodied hands, sticking out of some box hanging on a wall in my house? No thanks.

In the Adult Previews Supplement:

p. 4 – Brian Pulido’s Unholy #2 – Nature Calls Cover ($5.99). To quote the solicitation: “Penny takes a much needed break on this new variant cover edition by Di Amorim, limited to 700 copies!” A woman, sitting pantsless on a toilet, as a fetishistic variant cover image for a book that the publisher describes as having a readership that is “all ages.” Hey, you know, whatever floats your boat, so to speak. I always wonder, though, about what happens when a publisher brings an image like this to the printer. I’m picturing lots of awkward silences.

§ May 27th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized § 1 Comment

Still short on weblogging time, but I should note to all concerned that the Composite Superman action figure (which I first noted here) is now out in stores. I repeat: Composite Superman is now out in stores.


§ May 26th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

No time for a real post this morning, so instead I point you in the direction of this Batman/Swamp Thing illustration. Enjoy!

§ May 25th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

A few random thoughts from today’s new comics day:

Grandma, no! – Having a topless Elvira on the cover of the Elvira Mistress of the Dark comic book is a little risque for Claypool, isn’t it?

DC’s consistent reprinting of the Infinite Crisis tie-in books have paid off nicely for us, as the books are selling very well, and I imagine that, once we get further along in each of the mini-series, they’ll continue to do well as back issues. Plus, today we put in our orders for the third printing of Villains United…didn’t go overboard, but I bet we’ll be able to move these, too.

I am glad Marvel has backed away from their “no reprints” policy, but I do wish that the cover of today’s reprint of Phoenix: Endsong #5 differed from the original more than just some slight color adjustments. The previous reprints all had different covers…why not this one?

And the new issue of Fantastic Four had two covers, in a 1:1 ratio. Why did one have a “variant cover” note on the cover? What’s the difference between the two, when they’re available in equal amounts?

Just so I’m not solely picking on Marvel: say, DC, you’re not fooling anyone by splashing “collector’s item” on the cover of DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy. I had several customers make joking comments about that blurb. Then again, I suppose it did draw attention, so it did its job!

Speaking of that DC Special: the new DC logo does look pretty good on the cover, there. It also doesn’t look too shabby on the covers of our preview copies of next week’s DCs.

Whenever a customer only has money for an issue or two of a comic, and they clearly have interest in fantasy/sci-fi books that aren’t from Marvel or DC, and they ask me for my recommendation for “something good” – AiT/Planetlar‘s Demo almost always fits the bill.

Today, we had a quorum of the Associated Comics And Pop Culture Webloggers of Ventura County, CA And Outlying Environs at the store…pals Ian, Tom, Corey, Dorian (natch), and myself (equally natch) were all present at the shop at the same time! (Fred was by, too, but missed the meeting by an hour or so.) For safety reasons, we try not to gather like this too often…the loss to world culture would be too great should something unfortunate happen.

Plus, we may have a new member of the ACAPCWOVCCAOE coming soon…watch this space for details!

§ May 25th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Released to tie into the 1987 wedding of Peter (Spider-Man) Parker and Mary Jane Watson, this button features a light-up heart that can be set to flash or to keep a steady glow. This pin is two inches across, and nearly an inch thick to accomodate the battery and the clear plastic cover that’s over the face of the item. There’s even a little plastic lip at the bottom, so you can stand this up on your desk or mantlepiece or what have you, letting it flash away and remind you of that beautiful day.

§ May 24th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

The extremely swell Dial B for Blog (now added to the weblogroll) posted a couple pro-Rann banners, one of which now adorns my sidebar. Stick it to those Thanagarian rascals!

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