Saturday, November 25, 2006
I don't remember what I did with the rest of the comics in the collection.
Comico Comics promo poster (1986) - art by Ken Steacy
This came packaged with the Comico Collection, a black slipcase with silver foil imprinting, which included a copy of Grendel: Devil's Vagary, a new Hunter Rose story by Matt Wagner which everyone wanted, along with several overstock Comico comics, which no one wanted.
Here's a look at the foil design:
In my copy of the slipcase, I store the aforementioned Devil's Vagary and the first twelve issues of this Grendel series. Hey, it looks pretty neat on the shelf...what can I say?
Friday, November 24, 2006
Black Friday, Mr. Spoiler-pants, what passes for reviews, Jerry Bails, books, Kirby, and Tim.
Our new comics day was pretty busy, thanks to everyone trying to get in before the Thanksgiving holiday...however, the dreaded "Black Friday" will probably not be too big of a deal for us. My experience is that the big "Black Friday" sales that you've been hearing about on the news are more for malls and "big box" stores like Walmart and Best Buy. Small businesses, at least in our area, don't get that bump in business until later in the shopping season, after customers are tired of dealing with crowded malls and work their way outward into the outlying areas, desperately seeking out present ideas.
So, no, I'm not expecting this Friday to be any busier than normal. (And yes, in the past we've tried to attract business with special post-Thanksgiving sales and special deals, but no dice.) Ah, well, that's okay...I've got store stuff to catch up on from not being open on Thursday.
Anyway, from New Comics Day this week...there's this one customer, and I swear to God this happens every week, who picks up his weekly books, flips through them on his way to the register, and makes sure to point out to me (for example) "Hey, did you see that [shocking revelation from the end of the story] happened in this issue?" This is sometimes accompanied by his waving the page in question in front of my face. And I always respond to him in the same way: "No, I haven't read that issue yet." And he did it to me again this week. I need to start hiding in the back room when he comes in.
As for a couple of the comics themselves:
Planetary Brigade Origins #1 - as the title implies, it's the "origin" of the Planetary Brigade superteam, told in the typical light and witty style of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, accompanied this time by artist Julia Bax. Like its parent title, Hero Squared, this comic cleverly and gently skewers (with love, not contempt) the cliches typical of the superhero genre, while not letting the satire overwhelm the actual superhero adventure. It's a tough balancing act, but one Giffen and DeMatteis have mastered and is always a pleasure to read.
Enigma Cipher #1 - fast-moving action/suspense, as students from a college class studying a WWII-era Enigma coded message suddenly start turning up dead, and one last student struggles to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. It's a plot-type that should be familiar to anyone who's ever seen an action movie (the "we must get the disk" plot, I like to call it, after some computer espionage flick I saw years ago), but Andrew Cosby, Michael Alan Nelson, and Greg Scott do a good job keeping up interest in the story and maintaining reader sympathy for the student-on-the-run.
JSA Classified #19 - takes the classic "organ-harvesting" urban myth, and applies it to superheroes. Again, we've seen the "stolen body parts of superheroes" thing before, but not quite to this extent, and not with that urban myth aspect, which, I think, is quite clever. And on top of that, they managed to find some use for a couple of those "Bloodlines" characters that have been floating around for a while. I should note that I read the heavily-medical aspects of this story wondering what our resident medical comics weblogger Polite Scott would have to say about some of the details of this story. In fact, I now think that when I read any comic stories involving medical issues. See what the comicsweblogosphere has done to me?
In other news:
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Let's all be thankful for...the End of Civilization.
So, happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans, happy Thursday to everyone else, and let's dig right into a tasty plateful of fine products as seen in the new Diamond Previews catalog (Dec. 2006). (If you want to see previous installments of "The End of Civilization," I finally put the links in the sidebar, instead of dumping them in this post.)
p. 52 - Hot Stuff merchandise:
Hot Stuff, once a popular Harvey Comics character, now primarily exists only as tchotchkes and gewgaws. I wonder how many years away we are from, say, Spider-Man and Batman existing only as merchandise, their comic book origins long forgotten? (They're pretty close to it as it is, frankly.)
p. 71 - All-New Atom #8:
No pic, because I want you to go to pal Dorian's post on the matter (about halfway down the page). Basically, unless there's some minor editing or careful placement of cover blurbs, we're getting a penis (or, at least, a cross-section of same) on a DC comic cover.
p. 124-125 - DC Minimates:
Green Arrow makes out okay:
Power Girl...mmmm, not so much:
And Blue Beetle's little plastic bubble eyes disturb me:
p. 127 - Women of the DC Universe Big Barda Bust:
The mature adult Mikester thought about passing on yet another obvious joke, but the 12-year-old Mikester can't help but snicker at "'Big Barda Bust,' tee hee." So there it is, for the rest of you 12-year-olds out there.
p. 272 - Superman "Lucky 21" Starter Set:
"This collection contains a random selection of signed and unsigned comic books, plus two (2) randomly chosen signed DC Comics! For the full-time collector - or for anyone who wants to dive right in and immerse themselves in the world of comic books - this collection is for you!"
"Here are a bunch of overstock comics we got stuck with, and the only way we can get rid of them is by blowing them out in 'mystery packs,' because if you knew what you were actually getting, there's no way you'd drop twenty bones on it."
p. 398 - Punisher "Eroded Pride" T-Shirt:
p. 410 - Gwar Action Figures:
If these figures don't spit out blood and, um, other bodily fluids, as Gwar themselves have been known to do during their calm and demure live shows, then I'm going to be terribly disappointed.
p. 410 - H.P. Lovecraft's Series 1 Previews Exclusive Black Cthulhu Action Figures:
"Who's the black Great Old One
p. 422 - Tonner Harry Potter Collector Dolls:
"...All dolls have hand-painted face details (including Harry's scar) and wear a white shirt and tie underneath a custom knit sweater with flannel pants, all under the school robe with school crest decal. They also each come with a wand, socks, shoes, and custom stand."
For some reason, Harry Potter dolls with (presumably) removable clothes make me nervous.
p. 436 - Star Trek The Original Series - "City on the Edge of Forever" 40th Anniversary Statue:
And now, the Greatest Star Trek Statue Ever:
If that photo of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy is removable, this could double as a Guardian of Forever photo frame. For extra nerdy Trek fun, replace that photo with one of Harlan Ellison.
p. 439 - Witchblade Anime "Masane Amaha" PVC Statue:
"Masane Amaha is the lead character (and blade-wielder) of Witchblade, an anime series based on the famous American comics series. Instead of a straight adaptation of the original series, the Japanese producers decided to create an entirely new scenario, with all new characters and situations."
Hmmm...I can't say that it's entirely new:
Seems like it has pretty much the same raison d'etre to me.
p. 458 - Betty Boop T-Shirt w/Bobble Head Set:
Looks like they finally found a way to move all those shelf-warming bobble heads...in case you can't read the package, it's the shirt that's being sold, with the bobble head as a "free" bonus. (There's a Family Guy set like this later in the catalogue.)
p. 462 - Marvel Heroes & Villains Jumbo Plushes:
I was going to make a comment about the cute, plushy mass-murdering Venom doll, but then I read the solicitation info:
"If you like to do things big, then that includes your assemble [sic] of friends. You don't let in just anybody to your private party. He or she that enters the room has a VIP pass. Only the big boys and girls are allowed through the gate, and that includes these big Marvel heroes!"
That's a rich fantasy life going on there.
p. 466 - 300 Prop Replicas:
Pictured: the Spartan Helmet. Also pictured: one happy guy modeling the helmet.
p. 472 - Almighty Heroes Pre-school Action Figures:
"This first assortment of Almighty Heroes pre-school action figures features a quartet of the Bible's greatest heroes - David, Moses, Noah and Samson - all redesigned to look like modern action heroes!"
You know, I don't think I really pictured Noah looking like that. Moses, yes, but not Noah.
Marvel Previews, p. 21 (among others) - Black Panther #25:
Okay, I can understand not wanting to spoil secret details for forthcoming storylines, and I suppose with the info we're given (creative teams, the cover) and the info we already have (our cycle sheets with past sales performance), we can still plan our orders accordingly. But, still, this is just a tad annoying.
Marvel Previews, p. 36 - Immortal Iron Fist #1 Director's Cut:
Hey, nice of Marvel to announce this item ahead of the release of the regular edition of Immortal Iron Fist. Now all you folks know you can pass on the regular edition when it comes out, and save your money for the Director's Cut with the extra material. Thanks, Marvel!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
When you're feeling lazy...it's time for another visit to the DC Forums.
"Giving Batman a superpower"
"Okay, here's the drill: DC comes to you and says, 'We're giving Batman ONE superpower. No whining, it's a done deal. He's going to be a meta-human from now on. But it's up to YOU to decide which power he gets. Choose.' Which power should he have?"
This one is my favorite:
"I have toyed with a story line where Prof. Strange transplants a metagene in Batman. When the gene activates, Bruce generates a glowing field of white light. It isn't bright enough to really be useful, and it would be intanglable, offering no protection. It would set just above any covering, so he could never cover it up. Imagine the problems it would give him. He wouldn't be able to be Batman or Bruce. This would put him on a quest for a 'cure' that would take him to Lex Luthor, STAR LABS, Dr. Midnite, etc. Eventually, he would be cured, but it would make for a fun story arc."
"ATTN: any bloggers who have ongoing fights with eachother"
He means "message boarders" when he says "bloggers," but you'll get the idea:
"i havent been on these boards in a while, and while i love discussing comics and reading other fans opinions, all id found all night was people arguing with eachother all over these boards. under any topic about absolutely anything. basically i was already getting sick and tired of reading comments from guys who cant get laid for $h!t and are so ridiculed in their daily lives by there peers they vent frustrations at eachother from the safety of their own homes behind alias's and their computer screens.
"Batgirl is dumb"
"Batgirl is dumb"
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Hey, Cully -- there's a link for you at the end.
Site update: I finally got around to thumbnailing images from a number of the last week's posts (except for yesterday's...I'll give it another day or two). Hopefully you folks on the dial-up will now be able to load my page without having to start a new hobby or finish reading Spenser's The Faerie Queene while waiting for the images to come up.
But, really, if it's available in your area, get yourself some of that broadband connectivity. It's not that much more expensive, and you'll be able to
In other news:
Monday, November 20, 2006
All roads lead to....
Sunday, November 19, 2006
* Yes, I knew that before I even put the CD in the player. No, I didn't play it while customers** were in the store.