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So Kid Chris pops by the shop and tells me 1) he bought his new comics somewhere else, the lousy no-good askljflffd — and 2) that he encountered a parallel universe version of me working at another comic shop. As Swamp Thing is my favorite comic book character, this other fellow’s favorite character is Marvel’s swamp creature Man-Thing.
Clearly, we’re going to have to have a crossover, where my counterpart and I encounter each other and immediately fight, only to realize that we’re on the same side and that we have to team up and fight a common foe: a guy whose favorite comic book character is the Heap.
Anyway, that’s enough reason for me to run this Comics Buyer’s Guide cover again:
As a side note, this counterpart of mine is apparently clean-shaven, while I wear a goatee, which means on the Star Trek “Mirror Universe”
scale that I’m
the evil one.
As a side-side note…I was talking with pal Dorian on Saturday about how there should be a variation on the common usage of Godwin’s Law, in regards to Star Trek. Something like: “If Star Trek is invoked in a discussion that has nothing to do with Star Trek, then [something].” I’m wavering between “the discussion is pretty much over” and “the invoker shall be pointed at and mocked accordingly.”
And I’m saying this as a Star Trek fan who brings up the franchise all the time on my site. It’s too late for me…SAVE YOURSELF. (And too late for Kid Chris, who was wearing his gold Classic Trek captain’s shirt the day he told me about the Man-Thing fan.)
I was processing a collection today that we acquired from a customer who used to do his funnybook buying from our (now several years gone) crosstown competition. This other store used to seal their back issue bags with a large sticker with their name, address and phone number. And that reminded me of how, shortly after that other store opened, a lot of those stickers just happened to suddenly appear up and down our block, stuck near public phones, on light poles, and so on.
But then, we stuck a deal with a fast food joint, in the same shopping center where they were located, to distribute coupons for our store. Comics business in the ’90s: cutthroat and heartless.
Every once in a while I feel like discussing the half-dozen or so other stores that popped up in our general area during that brief period of time when comics were HOT and COLLECTIBLE and VALUABLE and MOSTLY NOT VERY GOOD and VASTLY OVERPRIN–I mean, HOT and COLLECTIBLE. But, nah, I never see any reason to go into excessive detail…I can’t blame folks for trying to make a buck, and, at the time, the comics business seemed like (and was) a lucrative way to make a living. And you all know how the story ends (comic market crashes, nearly takes entire industry with it).
Let me just leave it at “there, but for the grace of God….”
For some reason, I was also reminded of some comic fanzines I purchased some years back from a particular mail order comic company, whose idea of “Mint” apparently included “Has colored stickers applied directly to the face of the scuffed front cover.” Luckily, I paid next to nothing for these items, and I’m not especially picky on my fanzine conditions (I’ll accept “readable” and “no cat pee”), but still, that didn’t fill me with confidence in regards to any other “Mint” items they may have had for sale.
A sad farewell to Filing Cabinet of the Damned
, one of the good’uns in the comicsweblogosphere, which is ending its two year run. Best wishes to you, Mr. Jerkwater!
“SUPERMAN AND SUPERGIRL THIMBLES – THIMBLE PAIR” – If you’re gonna protect your thumbs from the needle-pricking, let a couple of invulnerable Kryptonians do the job:
“Vintage Superman TV Tray with Stand”
– I would have loved to have had one of these as a kid. Heck, I’d love to have one now:
“~SUPERMAN~HERMIT CRAB SHELL~PAINTED SEASHELLS~”
– “NON-TOXIC HERMIT CRAB FRIENDLY PAINT USED,” thank goodness:
“SUPERMAN ICE BLING HIP HOP RAPPER LIGHTER GIFT BOX”
– “BRAND NEW Bling-bling LIGHTER […] Shiny white genuine Stones, bling-bling,” as the kids say:
“Superman Ice Bling Hip Hop Rapper Lighter Gift Box.” It’s…it’s like poetry.
So I got a whole five comics (or six…see #5) for myself this New Comics Day:
1. Nextwave: Agents of Hate #11 – Some people may complain about the series of six two-page spreads featuring the Nextwave team fighting various groups of threats. I am not one of those people. These is a lot of joy and silliness in those pages (Kev’s got a sample) that rewards re-reviewing and extensive contemplation.
This comic is worth a thousand Onslaught Reborns.
2. 52 #34 – Origin of Zatanna drawn by Brian Bolland. Fantastic. (Here’s another classic Zatanna by Bolland image, in case you don’t know what I’m talking about. And how could you not?)
3. Love & Rockets #18 – Gilbert namedrops my place of employment on page 21:
#9 – I enjoy the series, mostly, though occasionally Alex Ross’ not-so-subtle “here’s what the DC Universe should
be like!” undertones are a bit distracting. But I do like this cover
5. Ah, the Gumby quandary. Now, the new Gumby comic by Flaming Carrot’s Bob Burden and Rick Geary is a thing of beauty and genius. People may try to do bizarre comics, but Bob Burden is bizarre comics, somehow made even more strange by trying to make this comic an all-ages adventure.
Now, the quandary is this: issue #2 of Gumby has, God help us, a variant cover drawn by Burden:
Which is odd and great, of course, but here’s Rick Geary’s cover for the “regular” edition:
…which features Golem Gumby, complete with the Hebrew word Emet
on his head:
I may actually have to buy both the regular cover and
the variant cover of a comic. They’ve finally found a way to make me do it. Yeah, I could
just save the scan, but then I wouldn’t have my fetishized collectible object. Don’t judge me, you.
And here’s an image from Supergirl #13, which I didn’t buy, but I happened to flip through and saw this:
Um, yeah, okay.
Also, for whatever reason a number of DC Comics that made it to shops everywhere else didn’t get to several Southern California accounts. We were shorted over 2/3rds of our Justice order, and we received no copies of Justice League of America #5 (among others), which apparently has something in there I should see. We did receive about a dozen or so DCs, which is better than some stores which, apparently, only received two or three titles.
That’s okay, since Marvel made up for it by publishing about a thousand books this week. Remember when the period between Christmas and New Year’s was a dead week for comics?
In other news, pal Dorian has another of his inimitable end-of-year award wrap-ups
. Well, it’ll be imitated a little, since I’ll be getting around to mine next Monday (hopefully) and, um, I’m going to have to find a way to say the same thing about Civil War
without stepping on any toes, there.
You have to go see Dorian’s artwork, though.
I made a reference in yesterday’s post to the new Fantastic Four movie hopefully being better than Eragon, which would imply that, yes, I did indeed inflict Eragon upon myself. I wrote a brief review of it for some pals, which was as follows:
“Boy, Eragon really wasn’t very good. I don’t think it could have been more predictable if I had a copy of the script with me and I was reading along. Totally generic by-the-numbers fantasy twaddle, and ends with a total lead-in to a sequel that will probably never come, which would be sad if anyone cared.”
And for some reason, the fact that the movie’s title is the word “Dragon” with an “E” instead of a “D” really irritates me, but that may just be free-floating hostility toward this film.
So, yeah, avoid at all costs. Which, it appears, most of you have been doing anyway.
Special “Stan Lee’s Birthday” news:
The teaser trailer is up for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and…well, actually, it’s kinda cool. Mostly it’s just the Human Torch chasing the Silver Surfer over, under, and through the big city, and that seems to work out well enough. I also appreciated the nice Lee n’ Kirby-esque touch of the Thing dabbing at his eyes with a hanky during Reed and Sue’s wedding. And look to the mighty Kevin for a shot of a damned fine cameo.
So, anyway, I didn’t see anything that makes me think this is going to be an unmitigated disaster, so I am guardedly optimistic about this flick. I did enjoy the first film for what it was, though it could have used a little more time on the stove before being served to audiences.
I haven’t read any articles on the subject or even spent the time trying to Google it up myself…but what’s the word on Galactus in this movie? I mean, if you’ve got the Surfer, you have to have Galactus…but I’m thinking it’s going to be the Ultimate-verse “swarm of space bugs” version more than “giant guy in a funny helmet” version.
Oh, okay, I did find this mention via the Wikipedia article I linked. This is what Fox chairman Tom Rothman had to say about it:
“IESB: Is [Galactus] going to look like anything like we’ve seen him in the comic books?
TR: Yes, I think that Galactus, look, I don’t want to give away too much, right, but I will say this, Galactus will appear and fans will not be disappointed.”
‘Course, he didn’t say which comics, and “fans will not be disappointed” is usually code for “we bent it ’til it broke, but hopefully fans won’t care,” but, honestly, before I die, old, alone, in my tiny, underheated apartment with piles of months-old newspapers and too many cats, all I want to see is a live action version of Galactus, as Jack Kirby imagined him, stomping through New York like Godzilla stomped through Tokyo. THIS MUST HAPPEN.
One of the gifts I received for Christmas was the Mel Brooks Boxed Collection DVD set, given to me by my mother, which reminds me that I probably never shared with you, the semi-loyal and occasionally-sober Progressive Ruin readers, one of my favorite movie-going experiences:
Now, Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights will probably never be referred to as one of Brooks’ major achievements, but it was a relatively amusing spoof of Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (which itself wasn’t terrible, but certainly not a patch on Errol Flynn’s version).
However, that same weekend my girlfriend and I went to see Robin Hood: Men in Tights, there was a festival at our local marina, and as part of that festival there was an ersatz pirate ship, manned by dozens of folks in piratey costumes, doing piratey things. And, after the festival closed up shop for the night, those pirate folks went looking for some fine evening entertainment…and they all wound up at the very same showing of Robin Hood: Men in Tights that we attended. Me and my girlfriend, surrounded by dozens of rowdy folks in pirate costumes.
My initial response was “well, better go get a refund on the tickets, because there’s no way we’re going to be able to watch the movie with this noisy crowd,” but for whatever reason we decided to stay and see if things quieted down.
Well, as it turned out, it didn’t quiet down, but that ended up being okay, as our pirate pals were really into the movie. They cheered at all the right spots, they groaned at the awful puns, and just plain enjoyed the film. (One particular example I remember was when Robin Hood (Cary Elwes) says to the camera “Unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent,” the entire audience let out a loud “ooooooOOOOOOOOooooooh!”) It was darned infectious, this joy was, and and it basically took what would have been an average film-going experience and turned it into a real blast.
Believe me, it was vastly preferable to the vast sea of cell phone lights that seem to pollute any movie-going experience I have nowadays. Even now I think to myself, at pretty much any movie I go to, “how much more would I enjoy this film if there were a crowd of pirates here with me?”
In fact, if you plan on attending any movies, do your best to share a theatre with a bunch of folks dressed as pirates. I highly recommend it.
By the way, in that Wikipedia entry about the Brooks film
, they mention that they change the “English accent” line for some other countries. The German joke is pretty good (“Because I, unlike some other Robin Hoods, do not cost the producers 5 million”), but man, the French and the Italians get shafted with their versions of the gag, referring to Costner’s earlier hit (“Because unlike other Robin Hoods, I do not dance with the wolves”). Unless there’s some cultural thing, or word play in those languages, that this ugly American is not aware of that makes
it funny…that joke’s pretty lame.
Okay, here’s a little bit of comic book news:
“‘Civil War’ best comic book series of the year”
“1. Civil War (Marvel Comics): The best comics always hold a mirror to society. In this stark and tightly written miniseries, superheroes had to determine among themselves why they do what they do. […] Civil War is a thought-provoking nail-biter.”
from Archie Giant Series Magazine #4 (1957)
What I bought Pal Dorian for Christmas.
What Pal Dorian got me for Christmas.
He also got me the Justice League Unlimited action figures for Elongated Man and Rocket Red, because Dor is tetched in the head. And because, as Dor says, these are two unloved characters and he figured if anyone would appreciate them, it’d be me.
And yes, we already opened the presents. We’re bad, bad people.
I spent a good chunk of Saturday reorganizing and cleaning up our t-shirt inventory, which I’d been successfully putting off doing for quite a while until I realized I couldn’t put it off any longer. Really, I think the last time anyone dealt with the shirts in this thorough a fashion it was…um, Dorian, when he still worked here. So, yeah, it had been a while.
Anyway, a few observations from that particular endeavor:
1. Apparently we thought Elektra shirts were going to sell far better than they actually did.
2. Hey, we still have a couple Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman shirts in stock! (Both in Large.)
3. We are actually out of Vertigo Sandman shirts. I never thought I’d see the day. We even got rid of that lame “it was good being your raven” shirt that makes absolutely no sense with that panel taken out of context.
4. Oh, dear God in heaven, we still have an Arnold Schwarzenegger as “Mr. Freeze” t-shirt (with “FREEZE!” emblazoned along the bottom of the image). Next time I ship something to, say, Kevin, I’m going to use it as packing material.
5. I think, at this point, Pokemon shirts may be a bit of a hard sell.
6. As I was straightening out the Batman shirts, I was remembering back to the time of the first Tim Burton Batman film, when we had a waiting list for Bat-shirts a mile long. Those were the days.
7. There sure are a lot of Golden Age Flash t-shirts.
8. Has there ever been a MODOK t-shirt? And if not, why not?
Also on Saturday, we had in the shop, at the same time, former employee Rachel (now a WizKids rep…look for the woman with the wild look in her eyes behind the WK table at a convention near you); Rachel’s replacement, the oft-mentioned pal Dorian; and current employee, and Dor’s replacement, Aaron. Three generations of coworkers, all simultaneously in my presence.
No, it didn’t make me feel old at all, why do you ask?
Okay, I’ve been lazy-posting…sorry, holiday stuff and all that. Expect more of the same on Sunday.
But during a slow point at the store on Friday, Employee Aaron was poking through the latest issue of Star Wars Insider, and pointed out the article on bootleg items within. Okay, the “LORD VADER” belt buckle was 100% fantastic, but what grabbed my eye was the sidebar on Star Wars fanzines. Yeah, the author of the article does note that fanzines don’t really qualify as “bootlegs,” but they are unofficial SW products, and hence their inclusion.
Anyway, that gave me the itch to see if I could find any period SW fanzines on the eBay. I did find a few (and it surprised me to see how many had page lengths numbering in the hundreds!), but I found this more recent ‘zine that I just had to share:
“SPORTS NIGHT+QUANTUM LEAP+BUFFY+STAR WARS-Gen Fanzine”
“The title of this multi-media fanzine is FOR THOSE WHO WAIT, was published in 2001 and is 164 pages long. It is a digest-sized fanzine and is both and gen and slash zine. If male/male or heterosexual relationship offends you, please do not bid. This is based on the events of September 11, 2001; these stories were written at various times in the hours, days and weeks following the tragedies, based upon information available at the time. Some stories contain facts and numbers which were later changed or modified.”
Oh, man, my brain is still trying to deal with this.
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