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I’m running a tad bit behind this morning…

§ February 28th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

…so here are a couple “real world” comic book reviews for your enjoyment:

“DC Comics revists indie division classics”

It’s a positive review of DC’s two Vertigo sampler books, which includes this particular perspective:

“Over the past several years, though, Vertigo has been faced with the difficulty of creating another hit comic book series, and with the increase in attention from Hollywood and consumers in the past several years, the pressure has been high to release something that strikes it big.”

I know pal Dorian and I have often discussed how a few of Vertigo’s releases seemed to be “Look, we’re the new Preacher, except movie-friendly!” Since, you know, a movie where the bad guy is God is not likely to fly in today’s climate, to say the least.

Anyway, this writer floats the idea of putting out subsequent volumes of these sampler books featuring the second issues, the third issues, and so on, effectively making them ongoing anthology series. Given how well it worked that last time someone did this (Crossgen and their two anthology books, reprinting material already in trade form), I wouldn’t expect it to happen (and neither does that writer), but it is interesting to think about.


“Tonight, Leave Your Comics Bedside – Alan Moore Reminds Us That Not All Graphics Are for Kids”

Brief, positive reviews of Alan Moore’s graphic novels…primarily the ones that would be familiar to the general public via their film adaptations, with the exception of Watchmen, which was in Time, doncha know.


Meanwhile, back in the comicsweblogosphere…Alan David Doane speaks hard about Speakeasy. You know, we carried all of Speakeasy’s comics…and with the exception of Rocketo (which ADD mentions) and Beowulf — and the first issue of Atomika, I guess — they didn’t do all that terribly well for us. It was just plain too much, too fast…well, I’m gonna duplicate what Alan said, so just go read his post.

So, Monday, we meet again.

§ February 27th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

Another quickie post for today…would you believe this will be the third Monday in a row that I’m expecting those workers to come to the house to do repairs? And it’s not like I can hire different people…these are the workers from the house’s builder. Sigh. And it’s raining today, so I wonder if that’ll be the excuse for not showing up this time (even though 99% of the work is inside the house).

Ah, well…so once again you get random thoughts and links (yeah, I know, “as opposed to what, exactly”).

I’m also thinking about a response to Ringwood Ken’s thoughts on the Comicsweblogosphere — well, “response” is too strong a word, it’s more like “my own ponderings (mostly regarding my favorite topic: myself) piggy-backing on Ken’s hard work.” Hopefully I’ll get to it this week.


Employee Nathan: “You think Marvel Comics ever considered doing a iron-plated cover for a special issue of Iron Man?”

Me: “Boy, you think retailers complain about Diamond’s shipping charges now….”

Actually, my initial comment was “Marvel can’t afford iron,” but that wouldn’t be very nice of me to say.


Things noticed during my Sunday reorder session:

Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures digests #1 and #3 haven’t been available through Diamond’s reorder system in months. Surprisingly, Star Wars books are still selling…but I bet I could sell more of #2 and #4 of the CWAdv books if #1 and #3 were around.

Remember what I said about Marvel Zombies still selling well, due to availability of previous issues? Well, forget it…only #2 is still available for reorder now. Here’s hoping for more reprints. Like I noted, people still seem to pick up later issues even if they can’t get the earlier ones, unlike most Marvel minis, but lack of availability will probably curtail any increased sales on later issues anyway. It was nice while it lasted. EDIT: Commenter Don tells me that orders are being solicited this week for reprints of #1 and #3. I stand corrected. (I would have noticed that eventually…I hope!)

Not to turn this into “picking on Robert Kirkman books” or anything, but we finally moved a few more Walking Dead books after a few weeks of moribund sales. For a while there I was having to restock these books every week, then…pfffft! Nada movement.

And, despite what I said about our customers’ skepticism regarding the Spider-Man costume change…we sold through all copies. And are getting calls for more. Luckily I called in our reorders early on this, since looking at Diamond’s most recent stock list…there are none to be had.

Boy, that Mouse Guard sure came out of nowhere, didn’t it? It’s sold fairly well for us, too.

And we’ve had a sudden rush on Batman books again. We’ve also had more requests for Killing Joke, which is now no longer available on its own, but rather in a trade paperback I don’t really want to reorder until they fix its problems.


Due out this week:


Man oh man, I can’t wait. And no, I’m not being sarcastic. This Watcher figure rules.

See, I can be a fanboy sometimes, too.


“How come?”

“I have always wondered why really powerful superheros ie. superman dont train and learn how to fight. If sups took some kung fu from batman he would be able to handle people like doomsday.”

“If you throw Karate master on top of being the most powerful Super hero then the guy could conceivably just walk through any bad guy he comes up against with no challenge.”

“There was this really bad live action 70s show where Superman gets depressed because he’s different, and he meets up with 2 hippies who tell him its OK to be different. Anyway, he uses karate in that.”

What show is that last person talking about? Just wondering, because it sounds fantastic.


One of the things I’ve never covered on this site, because I figured everyone already knew about it, was “The Day Mark Gruenwald Stole The Flash,” in that one issue of Quasar. Basically, Gruenwald took DC Comics’ deceased Barry “The Flash” Allen, and revived him in a barely-disguised form in the Marvel Universe. A good joke, and an amusing, and slightly touching, tribute to the classic Silver Age character.

Well, it so happened that I mentioned this story in passing at the store a few days ago, and both Employee Nathan and Employee Aaron had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

So, if you didn’t know about this before, you can read this synopsis or you can get your mitts on a copy of Quasar #17 your own self. Actually, even though it sort of fell apart right near the end, Quasar itself is a pretty good superhero comic throughout its run, particularly if you like Marvel’s cosmic characters.


For reading this far, you get a picture of a vampire reading an issue of Ghost:

Sunday morning misc.

§ February 26th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

Customer: “I’m looking for comics with pictures of devils in them. They’re for a seven-year-old. Do you have any?”

Me: “Did I wake up in Opposite Land today?”

Okay, I didn’t say that, but I did sell the gentleman a handful of inexpensive ’70s Ghost Riders, which apparently fit the bill quite nicely. SATANISM: Kids love it!


(Employee Aaron takes a phone call, which I only barely overhear. Aaron answers the caller’s question, and hangs up.)

Me: “Did I hear right? Was that customer asking for J-Lo action figures? Please tell me he was.”

A: “No, he was looking for Halo action figures.”

M: “Gosh darn it…’J-Lo’ would have been funnier! Are you sure that’s not what he was asking for?”

A: “It was definitely Halo. But, yes Mike, I’m sure he was going to ask for J-Lo action figures next.”

M: “Oh, don’t you be condescending to me!”


A happy sixth(!) anniversary to the comics weblogger what taught us all how to do it, the always-excellent, always-enigmatic Neilalien. Congrats to you, good sir!


And a happy second anniversary to Ken “Ringwood” Lowery, who ponders the state of the Comicsweblogosphere for his special day. Hola, Ken – one post of yours is like ten posts by any normal man.


I mentioned a few days back that I kicked off my New Comics Day by listening to National Lampoon’s “Deteriorata” — well, commenter Randy points us in the direction of this flash animation, which includes the full song. Go, listen, watch. But mostly listen.


“Who’s Going to Want Grandma’s Hoard Of Antique Gnomes? – Since Kids Aren’t Connecting With Collecting Today, Answer May Be Nobody”

“Collecting things, once a big part of childhood, is now pretty much passé with kids. Preoccupied with MP3 players and computer games, they are rarely found sitting at the kitchen table putting postage stamps into collectors’ books or slipping old coins into plastic sleeves. These days, baseball cards and comic books are collected by adults. Of the estimated 37 million Americans who identified themselves as collectors in 2000, just 11% were under the age of 36, according to a study by marketing consultant Unity Marketing Inc. Most were over 50.”

(Parts of this article remind me of some thoughts I had on a related topic.)


So long, Don.

Also, so long to Darren and to Andreas as well.

Well, they do say "quickly."

§ February 25th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

“How to Write a Comic Quickly”

“Writing a comic can only be achieved with a great idea, some spirit and ambition! It may take more than an hour as well to create.

1. Think of a plot for your story.

2. Once you have a solid idea, write an outline with characters, plot, twists and anything and everything that happens.

3. Take your story and form it into a script format in which the artist (or you if you’re the artist) can easily read from it and know how to draw it.

4. Continue to write out the story until it’s done.”

EDIT: Um, it appears that, given the nature of this Wiki “edit it yourself” site, the article in question has since undergone some…enhancements, shall we say, since my original post.

Speaking of DVDs….

§ February 24th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

So I’m terribly excited about that complete Planet of the Apes collection that comes with APE-HEAD PACKAGING (see the photo at the end of yesterday morning’s post), to which the mighty Milo George responded with a mention of the Godzilla Final Box set:


Alas, the Godzilla head isn’t the packaging itself, but just an extra that comes with the DVDs. And, as Milo noted, this isn’t available in a Region 1 (as far as I know)…and neither is my all-time favorite DVD collectors’ box:


I had believed this was Japan-only, but apparently there was a UK edition as well. But, really, just look at it…the DVDs are stored beneath the Alien’s clear skull top. Does it get any better than that? I suggest that no, it does not, sir.

Oh, and don’t forget the apparently forthcoming fourteen-disc Superman DVD set, which includes a new cut (with previously unseen footage) of Superman II. If there’s any justice in the world, these DVDs would come in a box in the shape of Marlon Brando’s head:

It’s pal Dorian’s birthday today…

§ February 24th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

…and I totally forgot, so all I have for him is a picture of Rick Jones in little swimtrunks and a vest:


from Marvel Comics Presents #52 (1990) by Richard Howell


Hope he likes it!

I’m just going to quote from the bad reviews, since those are more fun.

§ February 23rd, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

From the Amazon.com user reviews for Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, out on DVD this week:

“This is yet another attempt for Marvel comics to sell their toy line. the weak stary and sub par animation left this movie wanting more time for action and less on everything else they did.”

“this movie was weak.
i was looking at it at home fell asleep on it.
i’ve seen better marval catoon movie’s.
the fact that it seemd to old.
i was hopeing they put spider man in it.
thor looks like an women in the movie
rent it if i was you.
i’ll give you my copy if yah’ll want lol'”

“Apparently, Thor just THINKS he’s the Son of Odin? AND he’s a bleeding heart hippie with a mad-on for professional fishermen? I won’t insert here the obscenities I unleashed at the TV when I saw that bit.”

“This movie really needed to be rated R to do justice to the source material.”

“And what’s up with Hulk picking up Mjollnir and using it against Thor?? WRONG!!!! NO ONE ELSE CAN PICK UP HIS HAMMER!!!!!!! Thor should have been kicking major butt, but not here. Thor is the GOD OF THUNDER, show him that way!”

“The Ultimates comic was skillfully written, socially relevant and brilliantly illustrated. The movie is a watered down, Saturday morning cartoon adaptation, probably aimed at people under 12.”

“Oh and as far as all you Amazonian’s out there giving this a good review and telling others to ignore the bad ones, you’re exactly the people Lions Gate is banking on rushing right out to buy this without first reading reviews.”

Top hats, old people, new comics, and the End of Civilization.

§ February 23rd, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

So for new comics day, the decision was made that the store must change its name to “Top Hat & Monocle Comics” — with top hats and, yes, monocles being the required store uniform.

That would be reason #14 not to drink on the job.

We also started the day off breaking down the Diamond order by listening to “Deteriorata” from one of the CDs out of the Classic National Lampoon 4-CD boxed set. If you don’t know what “Deteriorata” is, or the original song it’s parodying, go find someone old and him or her about it. I mean, someone other than me.

Anyway, as for some of the new comics themselves:

The three best things out this week: the new Zippy the Pinhead book Type Z Personality, Luba’s Comics & Stories #7 (focusing on Fritz), and Superman Chronicles, reprinting the early Superman stories from the beginning in chronological order. I loves me some Joe Shuster art.

Amazing Spider-Man #529 – The debut of the new costume was met by our customers with, well, not the usual “Oh no, something’s different! We must react with fear and anger” that you generally get from some comic fans, but rather with eye-rolling and a sort of a “give me a break” attitude. Now, Spider-Man has had costume changes before, but this time appears to be just one time too many, I guess.

Zombie Tales: Death Valley Days #2 concludes the story, the first part of which I discussed way back when. I don’t really have much to add to my original review, as Andrew Crosby, Johanna Stokes, and Rhoald Marcellus bring a satisfying ending to this undemanding but entertaining light-horror comic.

Astonishing X-Men #13 – I only mention it because I keep getting asked if it’s out yet or not. Yes, it’s out. Come buy it already.

Also of note: Original Adventures Of Cholly And Flytrap #1 (reprinting the violent and dark-humored Arthur Suydam strips from Epic Illustrated), Thing #4 (now with 100% more Lockjaw, and thus officially great), Swamp Thing Vol. 3: Healing The Breach (reprinting issues 15-20 of the current series), and Following Cerebus #7, which has this cover:


I find it interesting that Cerebus is dressed as Babylon 5‘s Londo Mollari, as both characters began their stories as sympathetic and humorous, and ended as tragic and pitiable.

But perhaps I’ve said too much. I don’t want you people to think I’m a big ol’ nerd or nuthin’.


Speaking of Cerebus, pal Tom and I were discussing Dave Sim, and how I believed that in a few years, once Cerebus trade paperback sales ran their course, we’d be seeing “Uncanny X-Men, now written by Dave Sim!” in the Marvel solicitations.

Once again, now that I’ve said it, I want to see it. I’d want him to draw it (with Gerhard, of course), too.


And now, the lucky 13th installment of Progressive Ruin Presents…The End of Civilization. Flip open that copy of the Diamond Previews catalog and follow along. (Previous installments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)

p. 122 – Superman Returns Kryptonite Prop Replica: Now, it used to be if you wanted yourself some glowing green rocks you could pretend were made of Kryptonite, you could drop a couple bucks and satisfy that urge. It was packaged in a little cardboard box with a colorful pic of Supes, the rocks would glow in the dark, and you were happy. Now, if you want the Kryptonite, you have to drop 200 bones…granted, it does come with a glass cover and a Certificate of Authenticity, because you don’t want people to think you got a fake piece of fake Kryptonite.

p. 169 – Dracula Deluxe Boxed Set:

“This is the first action figure licensed granted by Sony Consumer Products for Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece.”

Okay, now I thought this movie was okay, certainly entertaining, but calling it a “masterpiece” may be overstating it a little, I think. (Please don’t fill my comments section telling me why I’m wrong.) And judging by the figures chosen, I’m guessing “no likeness rights.”

p. 181 – Marvel Universe X23 Bust: I can’t look at the “character” of X23 without thinking of pal Dorian’s post on the subject.

p. 182-5 – Lots of X-Men 3 toys and busts, illustrated with close-up photos of the cast rather than pictures of the actual items. Oh, dear.

p. 187 – Marvel Universe Pirate Nightcrawler Bust: Any proceeds going to Dave Cockrum, I wonder?

p. 247 – Those are some large, large breasts in that full page Tarot Witch of the Black Rose ad. I mean, they’re even large by usual Tarot standards. Invariably the page Mom flips to when she’s poking through Previews while waiting for Little Billy to finish shopping for comics.

p. 248 – Elric/Cadillacs & Dinosaurs Two Book Set – Good Lord, that Elric of Melnibone hardcover from First Comics must have been overprinted like nobody’s business, because these things have turned up as “warehouse finds” I don’t know how many times. Anyway, depending on your Michael Moorcock tolerance, $14.99 for this handsome-looking book is a bargain, even without the extra Xenozoic Tales volume.

p. 414 – Freddy Mercury 18″ Action Figure – Fantastic.

p. 416 – Spider Plush-Slippers:


There’s nothing I can add to that.

p. 434 – Superman Returns “Krazy Kryptonite” Compound:

“The Krazy Kryptonite Compound can be molded, thrown, bounced, or stretched!”

I’m not sure that I like the fact that my only commercial alternative to the two hundred buck prop Kryptonite is the Silly Putty Kryptonite.

p. 438 – Transformers Matrix of Leadership Replica: I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THIS IS, I’M TOO OLD. It’s also $175.

p. 444 – Scarlet Spider Mini-Bust: Relive the storyline that almost killed off Spider-Man comics for good with this high quality bust.

p. 476-7 – Two more pages of Superman Returns crap merchandise. Lots of mugs and keychains…the Binocular Keyrings are my favorite. “See with the accuracy of Superman with these Binocular Keyrings, adorned with the classic Superman logo.”

p. 499 – Planet of the Apes Ultimate Widescreen DVD Collection Limited Edition: Includes all the movies (including the Tim Burton one), all the bonus discs, all episodes of the TV series, and all of the animated series. And it comes in ape-head packaging:


Ape-head packaging.

APE-HEAD PACKAGING.

APE-HEAD PACKAGING.

We don’t deserve beauty such as this.

NOT MINT.

§ February 22nd, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off


Found in one of our store’s back room boxes…somehow this mistrimmed copy of Spider-Man (#26, from 1992) managed to sneak past us and not get reported in as a damage. Oops.

That’s okay…I think we’ve had our $3.50’s (minus the wholesale discount) worth of entertainment out of this comic, just as a conversation piece. And the unusual shape actually makes the contents seem interesting, in an odd sort of way, since goodness knows they weren’t before.


“Colossus is bisexual in X-Men 3″

I don’t know why this is on the DC boards, either…but the tone seems to fit right in:

“I wanna see how they show its a romantic crush on Wolverine and not just platonic admiration.”

“In the comics he is bisexual and in the ultimate universe he is gay, his boyfriend is northstar. what a sick way to ruin a great character”

“Why is it sick? Colossuss is bisexual, so what? […] What’s he going to do? cop a feel during a fastball special?”

“I’m not implying that it’s sick,because a person’s sexual orientation does not bother me, but I don’t like when people change a character. I’m a purest.”

“I hope this is a damn joke.Colossus isn’t gay,aside from the horrendous Ultimate title.Homosexuals want a gay character ? Create one,and leave traditional characters the hell alone.”

“I for one don’t care what someone’s sexual orientation is, and I sure don’t want them to assign any orientation to any comic book character, especially since my kids want to see these movies.”

“Liberal Hollywood Attacks Again!!! You know I dont have anything against changing some characters here and there,but I am getting tired of Hollywoods agenda.”


“For Storm and Black Panther, it’s my big fat superhero wedding”

“Although [Eric Jerome] Dickey is comfortable writing erotic scenes for his novels, Storm fans won’t be seeing anything explicit.

“‘What I love about comics is that you still have that modesty,’ Dickey said. “You still fade to black.'”

Didn’t see Avengers #71, I guess.

Comic book titles I don’t want to see.

§ February 21st, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

Wolverine’s True Bride Romance

G.I. Joe Versus Transformers Versus Voltron Versus Battle of The Planets Versus Micronauts Versus Masters of The Universe: Battle of The Fading Licensed Properties

Fantastic Foursome

The New Ultimates

New New Warriors

Li’l Vampirella

Sin City: The Dark Knight Strikes Again at al-Qaida (guest-starring Elektra)

Sgt. Fury And His “Going Commando”

Pa Kent: Manhunter

Power Pack Swimsuit Special

Extreme Justice: The Absolute Edition Hardcover

Betty & Veronica & Tarot Witch of the Black Rose

Sandman: Another Spin-off Series Not Written by Neil Gaiman And Not Starring Death; Sorry, Goths

Richie Rich Junk Bonds

Youngblood

Millie The Nude Model

Aquaman And The Ravers

Pantha: Rebirth

Todd McFarlane’s Miracleman

Lady Death 2005 Bikini Special Prism Foil Cover (oops, sorry, that one’s real)

Spider-Man: Yet Another Mini-Series That Could Instead Have Run in One of The Four Or Five Regular Monthly Spider-Man Titles (applies also to Batman, X-Men, Superman….)

Giant-Size Throbbing, Rigid And Penetrating Man-Thing

Another Amateurish Dark-Humored Black And White Comic Trying for Some of That Johnny The Homicidal Maniac Money

Superman’s Girlfriend, Paris Hilton (that’s for you, pal Tom!)

The Comic Where We Spent All Our Budget on Advertising Even Though The Comic Itself Is Crap, But It Doesn’t Matter Since We’re Just Hoping for A Movie/Animation Deal Anyway

Batman And The Supply-Siders

Hawkman: A New Beginning (NOOOOOOOOOOO!)

Deathmate II

Jim Henson Presents Swamp Thing Babies

Mary Jane & Speedball Versus Doctor Bong

Okay, maybe I’d want to see those last two.

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