Saturday, April 07, 2007
"These DC comic characters are long ago retired."
"WILTON SUPER HERO CAKE PAN SET ~ 1977 BATMAN SUPERMAN !"
"These DC comic characters are long ago retired. They were revived again in the 1980's with a more futuristic design but these are the originals from the 'good old days' DC comics!
There's a newer Superman cake pan available, but it's not quite as charming as the '77 model:
Friday, April 06, 2007
Cut a rug with Galactus.
Because sometimes you just need to blog about Cliff Carmichael.
from Firestorm the Nuclear Man #4 (Sept. 1978) by Gerry Conway, Al Milgrom & Jack Abel
Me: "You know what I like about Firestorm?"
Employee Aaron: "No, what?"
Me: "Well, Ron Raymond [Firestorm's secret identity -- well, one of them] is on the school's basketball team, and he's always getting picked on by the school brain, Cliff Carmichael. It's some kind of weird parallel universe high school where the jocks get bullied by the smart guys."
Aaron: "So what parallel Earth would that be?"
Me: "I'd call it 'Earth-Remarkably-Improbable.'"
To be fair, Cliff Carmichael always was one of my favorite antagonists in comics, Asimovian sideburns and all, and that switcharoo on the expected relationship between the smart guy and the athletic guy is clever and amusing. Alas, and almost inevitably, Cliff was turned from a regular everyday jerk into a supervillain, and that was pretty much that.
In other news:
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Some Marvel sales, JLA covers, and general griping.
Well, perhaps it's a bit early to judge, but for its first day of sales, Fallen Son: Wolverine (the first "death of Captain America" spinoff) just kinda sat there. I hardly moved any copies. It's not as if we weren't busy...we had plenty of customers come in, and we sold tons of comics, but perhaps nobody wants to read a series of one-shots featuring characters being mopey about a hero's death that'll be undone in short order anyway.
Ah, well, at least it has nice art by Leinil Yu inside. Maybe sales'll pick up on it by the weekend. And I know I've said it before...but all those folks who rushed in to buy the Cap death issue? They're not going to come back for this. They'll be back eventually...in a few years, when it's time to sell that death issue for the thousands of dollars it almost certainly will be worth.
Also from Marvel, the "Planet Hulk" storyline wraps up with this week's issue, laying the groundwork for the forthcoming "World War Hulk" event, and giving Hulk plenty of reason to be pissed off at Earth's heroes. I'm a longtime Hulk fan, and I love the premise of WWH (heroes try to get rid of Hulk, and not only does Hulk end up gaining experience in war strategy and leadership, but he also gets plenty of reason to really be mad), and I am looking forward to the event...but still, I gotta wonder, how's Marvel going to screw this one up? They already throttled sales on later issues of "Planet Hulk" by not rushing out, for once, a trade paperback for the early issues, allowing readers to jump on and follow the story. And once WWH gets going...will it have shipping delays, like Civil War? Will it have heroes acting remarkably out of character, like Civil War? Will it sorta peter out in the end, like, oh, say, Civil War? I hope not.
Oh, and apparently WWH will involve the Sentry, a character Marvel keeps inflicting on us, even though I'm not convinced anyone actually likes him. Am I wrong? Let me know.
Here's a little something about the new issue of Justice League of America...it has two covers, which fit together to form a larger image of the team. One cover prominently features Superman and Batman, the other Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. I have them racked side by side on the shelf, and, if given the choice, people tend to take the Supes/Bats cover. Also, it may also be as folks are perusing the shelves from left to right, they hit the Supes/Bats cover first, and that's the one they grab. So, as I was pulling books for our store's comic savers, they all got the WW/GL cover to redress the balance. 'Course, that won't stop them from swapping out for the other cover, but hey, at least I tried.
Something else: I screwed up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer #2, forgetting to bump our orders up after seeing sales on #1, thus causing us to run out right away. Now, when I placed our reorder on the first issue, effectively doubling our order, a while back, I may have been a little on the optimistic side, as the initial rush of sales ended up fading away right quick. They picked up slightly recently, and I think it'll be a consistent back issue seller, at least while the series is running, so I'm not worried about having the extra stock. My reorder on #2, however, is slightly more realistic.
The other Whedon-written book this week, Runaways, will be the test on whether Whedon can sell comics to his fans that are 1) not based on one of his TV properties, and 2) not featuring Marvel superheroes that those folks would recognize from movies or TV shows. Given the large number of customers we had on Wednesday, and the number of copies of Runaways we didn't sell that day, it doesn't look good. But, again, it's just one day, and maybe once word gets around that, hey, Whedon's writing a new series, it'll move. I managed to handsell a copy or two on the basis of Whedon's name, so maybe those two factors I mentioned won't be too much of a detriment.
Geez, I'm a grump. Okay, one thing I did love this week: Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness #2 had the greatest last page ever. Well, it made me laugh, anyway.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
This is a fetish for someone.
from Wonder Woman #62 (Nov/Dec 1953 - 1977 reprint)
I think I've seen this particular sequence featured somewhere-or-other before, but I couldn't Google it up, and, what the heck, it won't kill anyone to see it again. Maybe.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
"The Panzer's disappeared!"
I have no reason for posting these two Batman panels, aside from 1) they amused me, and 2) they're good examples of how Batman generally isn't presented anymore:
from World's Finest #250 (May 1978) by Gerry Conway, George Tuska & Vince Colletta
You know, for my money, Batman doesn't fight Panzers nearly enough nowadays.
In other news:
Monday, April 02, 2007
Aftermath, bad collections, and pizza.
So of course it's on April Fool's Day that I get linked to by Boing Boing, thus giving several presumably-new readers the idea that I'm obsessed with Kevin Church. Well, I'm not, honest! He's just a pal. A sexy, sexy pal...er, anyway. I still do think there's a market for those t-shirts, though.
That was kind of a last second thing...my initial plan was to parody a certain new comic book weblog, but I wasn't sure enough of my readers would know to whom I was referring, and it may have come across as mean-spirited, which wouldn't have been my intention, so I thought I'd better pass. Next year, though, watch out.
My second idea was to do yet another parody of the "Captain America's dead!" media debacle, with "MIKE STERLING KILLED - FOUR DECADES OF NERDITY COME TO END," but I'd already gone down that road with my "death of Batman" story. Plus, the only real joke I had was that the sole clues would have been a torn piece of a Wildcat t-shirt in my left hand, and a blood-splattered Dolly Parton CD near my body.
Speaking of Wildcat-loving Dolly Parton fans, I had some fun on Saturday helping pal Dorian set up his April Fool's post. Yes, that's really my arm in that picture. Look how strong and manly it is. Also, Dor and I putting together that image with the puppy wetting the Wolverine comic drew some odd glances at the shop -- Dor trying to pose the puppy, gently pouring water onto the pages and smearing it just the right way. A couple times I had to tell customers "don't try this at home!"
"What?!?" you may be crying out. "You...you poured water on a comic book? A Wolverine comic book? Oh, the humanity!" Don't worry, oh delicate reader...let me tell you about where this comic book came from.
Well, actually, it's not so exciting. It's another typical example of someone calling the shop, excitedly telling us about his huge collection of comics from the '60s to the '90s, all in "very fine to near mint condition" and all "in the original bags." Well, surprisingly, the collection did indeed have comics from the '60s to the '90s, and unsurprisingly, they were mostly in lousy condition. There was a small stack of stuff we could use, plus several boxes of stuff that ended up getting dumped on us. Most of those comics are destined for the dollar boxes, but there was a pile of coverless and otherwise unsellable books that we ended up with as well. It was that pile that the stunt comic used for Dor's April Fool's post came from. (It was one of the piles from that collection that Dor's puppy is sitting on, as well.)
An interesting find in this collection were a handful of DC reprints produced for Pizza Hut in the late '70s, such as this one:
Here's a closer look at the Pizza Hut blurb across the top:
I can just see kids across the nation in '78, reading this comic and asking "Mommy, why is Wonder Woman tied up...again?"
Some of the filler non-Wonder Woman material in that particular issue includes a couple pages on "Unlucky Brides" and "Lucky Brides" -- wedding-related folklore, such as "If a girl is the least bit superstitious, she should not accept an engagement ring containing pearls, as it is fated to bring tears to a marriage." (This message brought to you by De Beers, apparently.)
It also includes this bit of business, which is just slightly disturbing for some reason:
Gee, thanks for the stretchy comforting hand, Elongated Man!
Sunday, April 01, 2007
KEVIN CHURCH FAN CLUB UPDATE #1750
Hey, gang! There's a whole lot of breaking Kevin Church news, so let's just jump right in!
Okay, guys, that's all this time! Hopefully I'll have big news about the Kevin Church action figures and bobbleheads for the next update...but until then, as always, keep on Churchin'!
EDIT (4/2): Here's a screenshot of the site's April Fool's makeover: