“Jake Danner has been collecting comic books on the North Coast for 16 years, and lately he’s seen a ‘comic book craze’ sweeping through the streets of Astoria.”
“…He’s seeing more comics at local antique stores, grocery stores and art galleries. It’s not just a local phenomenon, either. There’s a new Spider Man comic book series inside the Oregonian, and the new film ‘The Night Rider’ is the latest example of modern movies being inspired by comic books.”
“Danner said he has about 1,200 comic books, some of which go for $200 to $300 apiece. His entire collection is worth about $15,000 by his calculations. Of course, he probably couldn’t cash them all in at once.”
“If he ever really needs an extra $20, though, he knows where he can get it.
“‘That’s where most of my money gets invested,’ he said. ‘It’s like my own personal savings account.'”
I was sick on Monday, so I took it easy most of the day, reading and watching the television. One of the things I reread was the recent “Up, Up, and Away!” Superman storyline, and noticed an ad for Batman Legos that I had overlooked the first time I plowed through the books. I tend not to pay attention to the ads as I’m reading, unless they’re hideously obnoxious inserts stuck in the middle of the book, but even then I usually couldn’t tell you what they were ads for. But this ad grabbed my eye, as it was done up like a “Who’s Who” entry for the Lego character. Primarily I was interested in how they handled the murders of Bruce Wayne’s parents and its place in Batman’s origin, since I figured that was a bit too rough for an ad for kids’ toys. It was addressed more directly than I expected, reading: “Orphaned as a young mini-figure due to the actions of a criminal….”
Yeah, it said “mini-figure.” That particular conceit also shows up in the vital stats department: “HEIGHT: 41 mm (as Bruce Wayne) / 48 mm (as Batman).”
Well, it amused me, anyway. Hey, I’m sick, it doesn’t take much right now.
You can see more of Lego Batman, if you dare, at the official site. Lego Robin looks like he could drop a few pounds, frankly. Well, okay, ounces, I guess.
§ January 29th, 2007§ Filed under UncategorizedComments Off on "Bat-juice? Bat-coffee? Bat-milk?"
ITEM! Who could have done such a thing?
from Super Power Collection: Firestorm (1984)
ITEM! Pal Nat, proprietor of About Comics, dropped by the shop the other day to show me an advance copy of his forthcoming book Schulz’s Youth. Contained therein are several single panel cartoons dating from the ’50s, which feature, as it says at the link, “the teen view of dating, religion, clubs, parents, sports, and more.” Looks great, and will make a welcome companion to your Peanuts collection.
ITEM! Jake at Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge has a great collection of sketches from the Phoenix Comicon, including a character drawn by George Perez that Perez himself admits he’d never drawn before! Which character could it possibly be? Well, click the link and find out your own self.
Also…and I know I noted this before…it amuses me the level of renown and/or infamy regarding my Swamp Thing fandom, given the number of mentions folks make of me in connection to the character (as Greg did in the CSBG article).
ITEM! So that weird promo image DC unleashed last week:
(click for a link to a larger image)
…I agree with pal Dorian’s assessment (that it’s an amalgamation of recent and future events, rather than a specific forthcoming company-wide event). But I do want to note that I’m glad to see Pirate Batman from this Detective Comics Elseworlds annual popping up. That was one of my favorite Batman comics of recent memory, primarily due to the artwork of Alcatena. I am curious as to what DC is planning on doing with Pirate Batman…hopefully something good, but you never know. We’ll see.
And, okay, fine, he’s called “Leatherwing,” but c’mon, “Pirate Batman” just sounds cooler. You know it’s true.
“A Metis organization plans to present the controversial history of Louis Riel in a colour comic that is every bit as colourful as Riel’s personality.
“The 50-page, hard-cover graphic novel is to be published in both official languages. The proposal includes an interactive DVD, a teacher’s guide and student workbook, and an interactive, animated website.”
“‘This research can hardly be considered work. It’s so fascinating. To synthesize all the information into comic form will be very challenging, because the story is quite complicated.'”
…as anyone who’s read Chester Brown’s Louis Riel already knows. It would be interesting to see another funnybook take on Riel’s life, though, just to see where they agree and where they differ.
THING! Michael Chiklis talks about his role as “The Thing” in the forthcoming second and the potential third Fantastic Four movies in this IGN interview. My favorite exchange:
“IGN: What’s Ben’s role in the second movie?
Chiklis: He does heroic s**t.”
ITEM! So I was doing a little internet searching, and came across several links to a review of Blood and Chocolate (such as this one), which relates this exchange between two of the lead characters:
“Maybe she’s impressed by what Aiden does for a living. ‘I write graphic novels.’ ‘You mean comic books.’ ‘Noooo. Graphic novels.'”
Are people really uptight about this? I’ve never noticed in among my customers or my circle of comic-reading friends a tendency toward correcting folks who dare to call graphic novels “comic books,” but I’ve seen or heard this sort of thing referenced in the media before. It’s like the new shorthand for establishing someone is a geek…”oh, isn’t it cute how he refers to his comic books as ‘graphic novels,’ like they’re real books or something.”
I don’t know…I call ’em “funnybooks,” because I’m a bad person.
“Whereas Mr. Judd Winick is a writer of comic books, particularly one comic book titled Green Arrow.
“Whereas the sales of this comic book have dropped at a steady interval over the years that Mr. Judd Winick has been the author of said comic book, consistent in the manner of the readers staging an organized boycott.
“Whereas it is the opinion of the undersigned, that Judd Winick has not done justice to the character of Green Arrow, a nom de plume adopted by the fictional character Oliver Queen.
“Whereas it is the opinion of the undersigned, that the same injustice has been perpetuated upon the supporting cast of the Green Arrow comic book, to wit, Mia Dearden, Connor Hawke, Roy Harper and Dinah Lance and that all of the aforementioned fictional characters have been tampered with in a most unseemly manner.
“Whereas DC Comics, the publisher of the Green Arrow comic book, seem indifferent to falling sales figures and the wishes of their fans for a new writer to be assigned to the comic book in question.
“Whereas Mr. Judd Winick has always been a friend of the Mexican American citizens of, and Mexican Immigrants into, the United States of America.
“We the undersigned do solemnly swear, with our signatures here as oath, not to patronize any local, family-owned Mexican restaurants until such time as Mr. Winick is removed from his position as author of the Green Arrow comic book by the editorial staff of DC Comics or until such time as Mr. Winick freely resigns from his position as author of the Green Arrow comic book.
“It is our hope that Mr. Winick, long known to us as a man of honor, will choose to do the honorable thing and resign before allowing any financial harm to come to the Mexican American restaurants owned by the people he loves so well.”
They’re…they’re joking, right? This is just a prank? Please tell me they’re not serious.
§ January 26th, 2007§ Filed under UncategorizedComments Off on So I like Stephen King books…what’s it to ya?
Now here’s some good marketing…we got a batch of the above postcards this week from IDW Publishing, promoting their Clive Barker comic book adaptations, just in time for the imminent release of Stephen King’s Dark Tower comic that some of you may have heard about.
Speaking of which, I am very curious as to how well that Dark Tower comic is going to do. We ordered pretty good numbers on it…not out of control case-upon-case “Turok Dinosaur Hunter #1″ numbers or anything, but hopefully sufficient amounts to meet demand. I do think our orders on the Marvel Spotlight: Dark Tower interview/preview comic due out next week may be a little low, even though I bumped them up a tad during the order adjustment period. Having seen a preview copy of Marvel Spotlight, however, it actually doesn’t look too bad. If you’re a King fan or a fan of adaptation co-writer Peter David, there’s a lot of material of interest in this issue.
As a Stephen King fan, and having enjoyed the Dark Tower series since the original stories were first collected into that initial volume long ago, I am looking forward to the comic book version, though I can’t help but feel we got a little bait-‘n’-switched on “Stephen King is writing comics!” becoming “Stephen King approves this service and/or product!” Okay, this early press release didn’t explicitly say he was writing the series, but when you throw around phrases like “the comic series will mark the first time Stephen King has produced original content for an ongoing comic book project,” you can’t help but infer it, you know? Oh, and the press release does mention series co-writer “Robin Furth, who is also contributing to the Marvel comic project.”
Nevertheless, I remain interested enough in the project to at least give it a try, and while I was never a huge Jae Lee fan, his art does seem a nice match for the material.
On a related note, here’s a poll on Darktower.net asking fans if they’re going to buy the comic. As of this writing, 68.2% say that they’ll buy every issue, while 5.5% say “Comic books suck! What was King thinking?” And only 16.2% say they’ll wait for the trade.
And let’s all give thanks to Dave at Simply Comics for providing the old Update-A-Tron for as long as he did. Many comic webloggers benefited greatly from the traffic he provided, and was instrumental in helping us acquire the readerships we have. Thanks, Dave!
§ January 25th, 2007§ Filed under End of CivilizationComments Off on Progressive Ruin Presents…the End of Civilization, 2nd Anniversary Edition!
This post marks two years I’ve been digging through the monthly Diamond Previews catalog, inflicted upon comic book and specialty stores in the U.S. and abroad, finding only the tastiest treasures for you good folks to enjoy. And to think it all started with my stunned disbelief at a Buffy the Vampire Slayer replica stake.
Anyway, if you want to see previous installments, they’re linked in the sidebar…and if you want to follow along with this month’s entry, grab your February 2007 edition of Previews and let’s get started!
p. 170 – For a second there, I thought I saw something called a Spawn 2.7″ Bearbrick Collection, in which the demonically-powered Hellspawn was turned into a cute little bear, but surely I was mista…
p. 376 – Magnetic Wisdom Lois Lane’s Guide to Life:
“In this fabulous guide […] lovely Lois explains how to tell super ‘heroes’ from the ‘zeroes,’ reveals how to avoid potential courtship kryptonite, and shows how to bring out the Superman in every man!”
Most of you have read a lot of the same Superman comics I have. Is Lois Lane really someone you want relationship advice from? Is anyone in the Superman family of comics really a good source for this kind of advice? (Okay, maybe Perry…well, then again, his marriage with Alice has had troubles of its own over the y…um, why are you looking at me like that?)
p. 383 – The Big Book of Breasts HC:
You know, they probably would sell more of these if only they’d left the Witchblade logo on the cover.
p. 394 – American Idol Season 6 Trading Cards & Binder:
So not only do they make the cynical manipulation of consumer tastes and the corporately-driven generation of “hot talents” transparent to the public on a popular television show, but they also sell to this same public trading cards based on the process? As evil plans go, this one was exceptionally well-played.
p. 402 – The Flash Track Jacket: Oh, dear, this has “sarcastic nickname” written all over it, like when they call tall guys “Tiny” or fat guys “Slim:”
p. 403 – Ghost Rider “Icon 3” Foil Grey T-Shirt:
During my first pass through the catalog, I thought this was a belt buckle. Imagine my disappointment.
p. 406 – “Evil Keeps Me Young” Black T-Shirt:
If there’s one shirt I never need to see again…. I swear, I know people for whom this is their only t-shirt. Or shirt, period.
p. 408 – Star Trek “Episodes” Black Long-Sleeve T-Shirt:
It’s hard to tell, since the image in the catalog is too small, but I’m assuming it’s a shirt listing the title of every Star Trek episode (Classic series, presumably). I suppose I could look it up online and find out for sure…but I don’t want to discover that I’m wrong.
p. 427 – Star Trek The Wrath of Khan 25th Anniversary Previews Exclusive Kirk Action Figure:
I suppose calling it “Wrath of Khan Kirk ‘Scotty’s Nephew’s Bloodstain’ Variant” would have been in poor taste. (And that’s a figure set we haven’t seen yet: “Scotty w/Dead Nephew” two-pack, reenacting that scene where Scotty hauls his critically-injured nephew up to the bridge instead of, say, to sickbay.)
p. 442 – Star Wars Return of the Jedi Jabba the Hutt Statue:
Like it says, the “Product [is] Not Final,” but whatever the final product ends up being, it damn well better have that Jawa with the fan:
p. 450 – The Cactus Friends: Polpettinia Vinyl Figure:
I don’t even know what the hell this is. All I do know is that it disturbs me deeply. And that it’d probably hurt a lot if you tried to swallow it.
p. 460 – There are an awful lot of pages in this month’s Previews that look just like this:
“Her gigantic eyes tell you everything you need to know about this sensitive cutie. Manaka-chan measures almost 6 inches tall in her kneeling position.”
p.467 – Doctor Who Cyberman Voice Changer:
…And “Reputation Changer,” presumably, if anyone catches you wearing one of these.
p. 481 – “Hmmm…oh, look, a Wonder Woman cookie jar, a Mickey Mouse bank, a Superman logo magnet…say, what’s this at the bottom of the page?”
Why, it’s a Traditional 3-Headed Battle Mace:
“Nothing is cooler than watching the havoc caused by three spiked balls on a chain in a Medieval movie…unless you have your very own! From Master Cutlery comes this awesome recreation of one of the coolest weapons ever!”
Okay, people having cell phones in movie theatres was bad enough, but giving them maces…on the other hand, maybe I can use this to…”discourage” cell phone use while the movie is playing.
Marvel Previews p. 30 – Fantastic Four #545:
Okay, I don’t want to be “that guy,” the one that complains every time there’s an insignificant cosmetic change made to a favored character…but I don’t like glowy face outline Galactus. It reminds me of the old Battlestar Galactica helmets.
Marvel Previews p. 42 – Marvel Adventures The Avengers #12:
“The skies of Earth are a boiling tempest. Tidal waves threaten the coasts. A large dark force draws closer. Is it Armageddon? Naw, that’s love in the air, baby…Ego style!”
First, Ego is a sentient planet with a beard. I think we can all agree that’s cool. But, on top of that, if I’m interpreting the solicitation info correctly…that this story involves Ego falling in love with the Earth…then that picture shows a sentient, bearded planet making googly, flirty eyes at another planet!
Between this and the recent MODOK issue, I hereby declare Marvel Adventures The Avengers…Marvel’s Best Currently-Published Comic Book.
Marvel Previews p. 60 – Silent War #4:
There are so many ways I could have gone with this image, most of which were supremely filthy. Thus, I’m just going to let that pic stand on its own. Enjoy, won’t you?
§ January 24th, 2007§ Filed under UncategorizedComments Off on Finally got a quote into Previews.
So I was poking through the latest issue of Previews, preparing for the next installment of “The End of Civilization,” when I decided to read the full-page “Previews Profile” on page 307 for Rick Veitch’s King Hell publishing concern. And what do I spot there?
I’m a happy man. They were even good enough to correct my misspelling of “wondrous.”
The book I was talking about there is this one, and the book they’re advertising this time around is Shiny Beasts, containing several of Veitch’s short features (including some done with Steve Bissette and Alan Moore). Good stuff, all around.
§ January 24th, 2007§ Filed under UncategorizedComments Off on Progressive Ruin: Patriot-made, America-approved.
Due to an unfortunate slip-up on my part in yesterday’s post, the phrase I’d meant to write (“stick it to Hitler”) was missing the “it,” which resulted in a statement opposite of what was intended. In my comments section, folks were shocked, shocked I tell you, to think that I, Mike, patriot and brewer, would dare to include such an inflammatory statement in my normally 100% all-American weblog.
I’ve since corrected that typo, but let me make sure that the record is set straight, as I take the bold step of reaffirming the strong anti-Hitler position of the Progressive Ruin management, which may be expressed thusly: that Hitler guy really sucks, man. Sure, other, lesser comics weblogs, weak-kneed and yellow-bellied as they are, may shy away from political and moral statements such as these, but I’ve made my statement, and I’m standing behind it.
And, in 1992, New England Comics (the publishers of The Tick) released this comic, reprinting a handful of war-era “anti-Hitler comics” (as the title explicitly explains) along with several text pages providing analysis and historical perspectives:
Alas, only one Hitler-hating issue of this series was released, but it remains a good companion to their much-missed Tales Too Terrible to Tell horror reprint series.
Anyway, I hope you all will join me in thumbing our noses at Adolf Jerk-ler and his good-for-nothing Ratzis. And remember what Willie the Worm says:
…And wash your dishes, too: dirty dishes = happy enemies!
§ January 23rd, 2007§ Filed under UncategorizedComments Off on In which Mike goes on too long about too many things, and clearly does not stop soon enough.
I rented the first disc of the new Saturday Night Live Season One set from Netflix, and as I was watching it, I noticed, for the very first time in all my years of SNL-watching, the Marvel Comics Planet of the Apes cameo in the opening montage:
Specifically, it appears to be issue #14, dated November 1975, which means the photo was probably shot in the late summer or very early fall.
I hadn’t mentioned it, but I finally, finally gave up on buying every issue of Alter Ego, Roy Thomas’ mag of comics history and interviews. Not that I don’t like it…I do, I just don’t seem to have the time to sit down and read it any more. And I know it’s monthly, or every six weeks, or something like that, but I swear to God it feels like it’s weekly, sometimes, and that’s a massive chunk of text to plow through, particularly when you’re otherwise busy having a life or, ahem, writing a daily weblog.
I think I’m better served just buying the occasional Twomorrows mag when it has something I’m genuinely interested in, like I did with last week’s Back Issue, rather than just accumulating a pile of magazines that I may or may not ever get around to reading. You know, like normal human beings do, rather that sad, old comic fans like me who have been trained by the hobby to get every issue, to have a “complete set.”
52 SPOILERS: Re: the return of you-know-who in last week’s 52…I told you so. ‘Course, I didn’t think they were going to reveal him as Supernova, as that was the painfully obvious solution and I expected more of a twist than that — I was kinda hoping it would be Wally West, for no good reason I can explain. Anyway, there still could be a twist, if it actually turns to be not the original character, but the ancestor of the character discovered earlier in the series. Or maybe not.
I’m really wishy-washy about the whole “spoiler” thing. I try to play coy, but in my discussion I invariably give everything away. And Darth Vader is Luke’s father.
Speaking of 52 spoilers, the editorial page for last issue had a secret hidden message…old hat for Groo fans but not something modern superhero fans are accustomed to. It reminds me slightly of the old coded fan club messages in ’40s comics, detailing events in future issues, reminding kids to drink their milk and stick it to Hitler and all that.
Anyway, the secret’s given away on the first page of this Newsarama forum, and it’s not much of a secret, really, aside from it being explicitly connected to events in 52, somehow.
The secret (and again, SPOILER ALERT, if you don’t want to know) is that DC’s Multiverse — their elaborate network of parallel Earths, done away with in Crisis on Infinite Earths twenty years ago, and revisited in Infinite Crisis just last year — is being reestablished.
That got me to pondering…in the old days, the parallel Earth “our” heroes (the Earth-1 folk) most interacted with was Earth-2, home of the Golden Age heroes, Infinity Inc., Justice Society, and so on. Well, because of the original Crisis, all those Earth-2 folk are now part of the standard DC Universe Earth. And, given the number of times the characters from this series have popped up in DCU books lately, I’m thinking the alternate future of Kingdom Come is going to take the position of the new Earth-2 as being the parallel universe destination of choice for our heroes. Like I said, just a random thought, could be totally off-base, but completely worth it so I could write the phrase “alternate future of Kingdom Come is going to take the position of the new Earth-2″ — you won’t find that in Newsweek, pal.
The Fantagraphics store is Seattle is having a 25 Years of Love & Rockets” exhibition from February 10th through March 7th. If you’re in the area, stop in and check it out…the Hernandez Bros. are swell guys and fully deserve their accolades. Details at the link.
Now I had to reorder more copies of Star Wars: Legacy #0, the special introductory comic to the series with the 25-cent cover price. I know comic companies don’t usually go back to print on the cheapie books, so for our distributor still have copies six months or so after the initial release, particularly for a popular comic such as this, means that Dark Horse must have printed tons of the thing. (And made the person who paid $19.31 for it in the auction I talked about probably feel really, really dumb.)
For some reason, as I was putting together the order on Sunday, I started to break down the costs and profits on this comic. So I order 20 copies, which, at our cost, are $0.1125 apiece, which works out to a total of $2.25. If we sell them all, that gives us a profit of $2.75.
I then had the idea of placing them in the back issue bin with other previous issues of Star Wars: Legacy, rather than having them on the Cheapie Comic Spinner Rack with the rest of the promotionally-priced funnybooks the comic companies have released, where perhaps folks interested in the Legacy series might miss them. Of course, if I put them in the back issues, I’ll have to bag them up to protect them from damage, which means an additional $0.02 wholesale cost per bag per comic, bringing our potential profit down to $2.35 on these 20 issues. That’s assuming, of course, I put all 20 in the bins, rather than, as I’m more likely to do, splitting them between the bins and the spinner rack.
Plus, there’s the cost of the removable labels that I’d use to seal the bags, which works out to about 1/3 of a cent each…and I wouldn’t use our specially-printed price labels on the front, since I’d just sell them for cover price anyway. Oh, and the labor: there’s the cost of having employee Aaron bust open the distributor box, pull out the comics, count them, bag ’em and rack ’em, and so on.
I don’t know why I do this to myself. It’s like picking at a scab. And don’t take it the wrong way…I’m not complaining about the price point being too low to bother with it, like some folks did with the $1.99 Fell comic. I know the comic’s a promotional tool, which is what we’re paying for…I’m just amusing myself by juggling some of the numbers around.
I apologize in advance: this is old news, I know, but for some reason I’ve been enjoying inflicting it on people again lately, and now it’s your turn. The most terrifying thing you will ever read…Harry Knowles’ Blade 2 review. Warning: contains sexually explicit text, will also destroy your will to live and your ability to enjoy anything good and wholesome in the world.