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Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ January 31st, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

Here you go…the 36th monthly installment of the End of Civilization! Yes, that’s right, I’ve been doing this catalog round-up for three years, kids…staying up late nights the day the Previews arrives, foregoing sleep and putting off reading my new funnybooks, just to do this. Why? Because I’m a masochist, that’s why. I thought you knew that.

Anyway, whip out your February 2008 Previews and follow along…by the way, when I say that, do any of you actually follow along in your Previews?

Well, here you go. Let the carnage begin:

p. 176-7 – Spawn: Age of Pharaohs:

That would be Warrior Isis, the Only Figure That’s Gonna Sell from This Set. Well, okay, maybe Sebek (as he’s called in the catalog…he’s called “The Crocodile King” on the website) will, too.

p. 182 – Witchblade/Devi #1:

Now, I’m not a regular reader of Virgin Comics’ Devi or anything, but it seems to me she usually wears slightly more clothing than that, at least judging by the covers. If I’m wrong, let me know…but if I’m not, see what teaming up with Witchblade does to you?

p. 187 – Wanted Graphic Novel (New Printing!):

It says “Soon to be a major motion picture” in the ad, but the only movie called Wanted I can find is this one, and it doesn’t look a darn thing like this comic. Is there another movie called Wanted in the works?

(Note: That would be “sarcasm.”)

p. 197 – Wizard Exclusive Marvel Zombies Spider-Man Bust:

You know, there are a bunch of Walking Dead zombie statues later in the catalog…I’d imagine having those on display throughout the house would raise far fewer questions than having this thing glaring at you from the china cabinet.

p. 282 – The Silence of the Lambs Minimates:

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, given the rather wide range of licenses that have appeared in Minimate form. But given their prediliction for variant figures, look out of the Pantless ‘n’ Tucked Dancing Buffalo Bill Minimate.

p. 403 – Iron Man Teen Novelization MMPB:

That there has to be a special “teen” edition of the book based on the Iron Man movie, a Hollywood action movie (traditionally not the most intellectually-challenging of entertainments) based on a Marvel superhero comic book…honestly, I don’t know how much more dumbed down it can get. Maybe the word “shit” appears in the “adult” novelization, and goodness knows no teenager has ever heard the word “shit” before, so we’d better put out a special version of the book for them. (Or, more likely, to keep their parents from complaining that they found a dirty word in a superhero book their precious snowflake was reading.)

Just to go off on a slight tangent here…honestly, “shit” barely even counts as a swear word any more. It’s not any worse than “damn” or “hell.” And every English speaking person on the planet says it. And plenty of non-English speaking people say it, too. And the people who say they don’t say it really say it far more than you do, just not where anyone can hear them. It’s used so much it can’t possibly have any kind of impact, any more. Plus, it’s Comics Code-approved.

So, “shit.” Say it to your teacher during class. Drop it into conversation with Grandma. Spice up the hymnal a little. And if anyone complains, just let them know your special internet friend pal Dorian said it was okay!

p. 430 – Batman/Superman Foiled Duct Tape Symbol Grey T-shirts:

I don’t even know what to say about this. “Hi, I look like the upholstery in my college roommate’s 20-year-old Datsun 280Z!”

p. 431 – T-shirts:

“Say, do you have anything that combines an ancient video game with a movie that was sorta popular last year?”

“Why, yes, I do…I have this stylish ‘This Is Zeldaaa’ shirt that combines 300 with the Legend of Zelda:”

“Ah, and do you also have a shirt that lets people know that I can’t tell when fads are on their way out?”

“Well, I’m out of my ‘Underwear Perverts‘ shirts, but I do have this snazzy ‘Zombie Crossing’ number.”

“Oh, I hope it’s a black t-shirt!”

“Today is your lucky day, friend:”

“Okay, now I need something to let women know I’m an absolute pig undeserving of the touch of the fairer sex.”

“Here’s just the thing….the ‘Girls Gone Wild Camera Crew’ t-shirt, guaranteed to enforce that celibacy:”

“Wrap ’em up…I’ll take ’em! And make it snappy…I’ve got a hot date tonight!”

“No, you don’t.”

Sigh. No, I don’t.”

p. 440 – Tonner “Justice Protector” Wonder Woman Previews Exclusive Doll:

Well, I guess it’s kinda Wonder Woman-ish. And is that a bird on her head?

Good gravy.

p. 453-4: Star Trek “Amok Time” Action Figure 2-pack:

Oh, look, Kirk’s pecs are smiling at you!

If this set doesn’t come with a sound chip that plays the time-honored Star Trek “fight music,” then mister, color me uninterested.

In fact, let’s have a little taste of “Amok Time,” complete with said music:

Ahhhh…that’s good Trekkin’.

p. 468 – Lord of the Rings: Dark Galadriel Mini-Bust:

Okay, I’d ordinarily not bother with the LOTR busts, since they’re been scraping the bottom of the barrel for a while now…it’s only a matter of time before we’re back to Gandalf statues that can hold your, ahem, “incense.” But, according to the full-page ad for this bust two pages later…THIS BUST LIGHTS UP. That’s just the right amount of “tacky” to gain my admiration.

p. 474 – Lord of the Rings Balrog Monument:

And they ain’t yankin’ your chain about “monument” — 48 inches long, 40 inches high, 26 inches deep, and PURE FREAKING EVIL:

Dropping the required $2000 on this item will cement your reputation as the neighborhood Satanist. I mean, look at that thing. Holy freakin’ cow.

p. 486 – Dr. Hofmann Glow-in-Dark Edition 8-Inch Toyer Qee:

This is just such a weird conglomeration of pop culture elements that I had to note it. Nothing weird to say about it…just, you know, let it sink in a little. Stare at it. Let it occupy your thoughts.

p. 500 – Doctor Who The Face of Boe 5-inch Figure:

If it’s just a face, does it really count as a figure?

I think the Face of Boe would have made a good Boglin toy.

p. 517 – Kit Rae Black Legion Battle Axe:

It’s described as having a “false-edged finish,” but I think that’d be small comfort if that thing’s swinging your way, false edge or not. That’s a beheading waiting to happen.

p. 549 – Comic Book Pencilling with Stephen Platt:

“…Comic illustrator Stephen Platt [Moon Knight] covers how to create a fully pencilled page from beginning to end. […] In addition, he discusses industry conventions as well as advice on portfolios and earning a living in professional comics.”

Weren’t those Moon Knights 15 years ago? I know he did Prophet and Soul Saga, too, but I don’t know that he’s done any comic book work in recent years. I was just surprised to see his name, after all this time, and on a $49 instructional DVD. Certainly wasn’t inspecting that.

p. 549 – DC Comics 52 Audio CDS:

“DC Comics’ epic comic book mini-series, 52, is brought to life with this pulse-pounding, multicast ‘Movie in your Mind’ audiobook featuring professional actors, scoring, and digital effects!”

Okay, I shouldn’t buy these, but I want to. One of you out there needs to stop me…before it’s too late. But then again, maybe it’ll provide inspiration for my forthcoming amateur stage production of “Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man.” “His webline” — dramatic pause — “advantageous!”

Sometimes I’m a tad testy.

§ January 30th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Sometimes I’m a tad testy.

Due out today in your finer funnybook establishments:

  • Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters #1 – Given that the market is only barely supporting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles titles, I’m not quite sure it’s ready to handle the revival of the original TMNT knock-off, too. But, you know, I do have a soft spot for this title, if only because it was the first TMNT knock-off, so there’s, you know, historical value.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #546 2nd printing – Oh for God’s sake.
  • Avengers: Initiative #9, House of M Avengers #4, Mighty Avengers #8, New Avengers Annual #2, New Avengers: Illuminati hardcover, New Avengers/Transformers trade paperback – Gee, it’s too bad we couldn’t have had a new Marvel Adventures: Avengers and a new monthly issue of New Avengers this week, too, just so we could have every friggin’ Avengers title come out at the exact same time. I didn’t even mention the Young Avengers hardcover, since that’s more of its own thing, rather than another comic for Iron Man to be in. Er, Iron Man was in Young Avengers at some point, come to think of it, wasn’t he?
  • Badger Saves the World #2 – I do love the Badger, but he never had quite the following his brother-in-funnybook-arms Nexus did, and there doesn’t seem to be quite the same amount of nostalgic good will fueling this new series. I think it’s okay, but there don’t seem to be too many Badger fans around any more, new folks aren’t giving it a try, and we barely move any copies.
  • Black Adam: The Dark Age #6 – I know this probably makes me a bad person, but I’ve been enjoying this comic. Yes, I know it’s all dark and violent and grotesque and stuff, but it’s still kept my interest. Black Adam makes for an interesting tragic character who is his own worst enemy.
  • Captain America #34 – This would be the one with the “new” Captain America taking the place of the temporarily-dead Steve Rogers. Marvel’s apparently attempting to drum up some real world publicity for this, but I haven’t noted any extra inquiries about this comic, aside from the folks who already come in every Wednesday for the new books.

    We bumped orders up a bit, but not a lot…we’re not really expecting too many “civilians” coming in for the book. I wonder if there’s such a thing as “real world comic book news fatigue,” where people see yet another story about comics in their newspaper or on TV and the novelty of rushing in to buy the newest thing they just heard about has worn too thin for them to care any more.

  • Countdown to Final Crisis #13 – I hope there’s something for online fans to complain about in this issue, just, you know, for a change of pace.
  • Death of the New Gods #5 – So, I wonder if we’ll get any closer to proving/disproving the other half of my theory in this installment?
  • Fantastic Four #553 – Ah, the last monthly issue. Enjoy that new quarterly schedule, folks. (Or am I jumping the gun a bit?)
  • Free Nexus Origin S&N Incentive – Yeah, we’re getting three of these. Would be nice to have a second new issue of Nexus someday, however.
  • Futurama Comics #35 – You know what? The Simpsons family of comics may not be huge sellers, but they’re consistent sellers, and real fan-pleasers. And they sell to folks who don’t normally buy comics, which is a plus.
  • Gene Simmons Zipper #3 – Title still makes me laugh, still doesn’t sell to anyone, ever.
  • Project Superpowers #0 – Well, it’s not too late, but people stopped asking about it a few weeks ago, so here’s hoping they still want it. At least it’s only a buck.
  • Salem #0 (of 4) – Seeing something numbered “#0 of 4” makes me laugh. Well, not so much laugh as chuckle. Well, okay, not so much chuckling as sighing heavily.
  • Satanika Halloween Special – In January. I’m going to be nice and assume it shipped early for Halloween ’08.
  • Spirit #13 – Written by Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier, and drawn by freakin’ Mike Ploog. MIKE PLOOG. Wait, let me emphasize that:


    Gosh darn, I do loves me some Ploog. Can’t wait to see it. (See, I’m not cranky all the time.)

    EDIT: Er, make that issue #14 for the Ploogmania to begin. Tarnation!

  • Suckulina Vampire Temp – That, my friend, is the very definition of HIGH CONCEPT.
  • Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #48 – Ooh, I hope this issue has women with large breasts in it. I don’t think the last issue had nearly enough. (But let Mr. Sims tell you more about it.)
  • Trials of Shazam #11 – I know I’ve complained about this comic before, but I still can’t believe it’s not over yet. Feels like it’s been running forever.
  • Transformers Spotlight: Blaster – Okay, I realize this came out a week or two ago, but we’re getting a restock on it this week. We cut the Transformers orders down way low, since the comic tanked shortly after the movie came out…and now, suddenly, people want it again. Not a lot of people, mind you, but a few more than the number of copies we’ve been ordering. Ain’t that always the way?
  • X-Factor #26 2nd Printing Variant – I like how Marvel is still referring to the 2nd printings as “variants” to lessen the blow that they were forced into backpedaling on their “no reprints” policy. But, I’m glad they are doing reprints, particularly on titles like this one that I can genuinely use (as opposed to a certain reprint that may have appeared earlier in this post).

In which I go on too long about Doctor Who.

§ January 29th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on In which I go on too long about Doctor Who.

I had a couple questions in my comments sections recently that I thought I’d address in the main body of the site, rather than just have ’em languish in the Haloscan archives, unseen by God and Google.

First off, commenter Dario asks:

“Hey Mike, it’s been a while since you blogged about Superman… any thoughts on Busiek’s run?”

I’ve been quite enjoying Kurt Busiek’s run on Superman…his stories remind me, in a way I can’t precisely define, of the Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin stories I grew up on in the ’70s and ’80s. They’re straightforward, the characters are all clearly defined, the stakes in each story are solidly established…they’re just plain fun, serious enough without being too serious. And they’re not bogged down by excessive subplotting, which I appreciate. For most of the post-1980s revamp era of Superman, it felt like each issue had to split time between whatever this month’s A-plot was, and the B, C, D, and E-plots that continued from issue to issue, establishing the serial nature of the Super-books. Now that Superman doesn’t have to cross over with three or four other Super-books a month, we can get stories with beginnings, middles, and ends, with little subplot noodling gumming up the works.

So there’s not really a whole lot I can say about Busiek’s run, other than he’s writing good Superman comics that I’ve been enjoying. If you all need a sample, try the Up, Up, and Away trade paperback (co-written with Geoff Johns). It features a depowered Superman (from the events in Infinite Crisis) slowly regaining his powers, the threat of Lex Luthor, and a nice portrayal of Clark and Lois’ married life…which goes to show you that some comic creators know how to handle a married superhero. Pete Woods and Renato Guedes provide the clean, attractive artwork, which of course isn’t on the cover of the paperback. Ah, well.

Normally I don’t post Amazon links to comics…I want you to buy them from me, me, but if a bunch of you want this book all at the same time, I don’t have enough on hand to fill lots of orders, so here’s that Amazon link below. And if you like that book, the rest of the Busiek run has been just as good.

Commenter Chris had this to say:

“Are you watching Torchwood? I’m not sure if you have written about Doctor Who stuff before […] but I would be interested to read your take on the series and related shows.”

Well, it’s not as if it’s really off-topic or anything, since God knows I’ve gone on about Star Trek and Star Wars on this site. But I’m more of a casual Dr. Who fan…pal Dorian is the big Whovian in my circle of roustabouts and ne’er-do-wells, but I’ve been following the latest iteration of the Doctor’s TV series via the DVD releases. I’ve not seen minute one of Torchwood, but I imagine I’ll probably give it a go via the Netflix (and in fact, I just now added it to my queue, so long as I’m thinking about it, and the first disc has “a very long wait” – sigh).

Doctor Who is just one of those things I feel like I’ve always known about…I can’t remember a moment in my childhood where I said, “Huh, wonder what this Doctor Who thing is.” It just seems like I’ve known the basics of the character, even without being a particular fan of the show, much in the same way I feel like I’ve always known that Superman was from Krypton, and Kirk was the Federation’s most badass captain, and so on. It’s like nerd instinctual memory. But for Doctor Who, I do remember catching glimpses of the TV show on public television here and there, but I never sat down and watched an episode straight through. When I was a young teen, some U.S. publisher or ‘nother started releasing a whole bunch of Who novels, and I read more of those things than was probably healthy. But, I was (and still am) a voracious, and fast, reader, and those Who books were about as thick as a CD case, so it didn’t take long to read a lot of them. And that’s where my knowledge of the character(s) comes from…not the TV show, but the tie-in novels. And somewhere, a Who fan is crying out in pain at this revelation.

But, aside from that brief obsession with the novels (which I probably read since the Star Trek books didn’t come out fast enough), I didn’t go out of my way to pursue Doctor Who material. Over the years, I’d catch articles in Starlog (which is how I found it was a really big deal for Peter Davison to be taking over the role from Tom Baker) or glimpses of the occasional episode on TV…and once I started doing the funnybook selling thing, I had the comics around, too, though I wasn’t a reader. “Oh, I guess the Cybermen are some of the Doctor’s enemies.” Basically, I’m telling you that even without being a huge fan of the character, I more or less knew what he was about, what his backstory was, who some of his bad guys were, etc.

Prior to the beginning of the newest incarnation of the show, my last major exposures to the world of the Doctor were:

1. The Curse of Fatal Death, a comedic take on the character with Rowan Atkinson in the title role. I went searching for this particular video, not because of the Who connection, but because by this point I’d just mainlined four seasons of Black Adder and wanted more Rowan.

2. That made-for-TV movie, giving us the filmed adventure of the Eighth Doctor. Don’t remember a whole lot about it, though I seem to recall liking it well enough.

When the new show started…well, it seemed like most people I knew were downloading the BBC broadcasts via torrents and watching it that way, rather than waiting for the Sci Fi Channel to broadcast the shows several months later (and if I recall correctly, there was some worry whether the new show would ever get broadcast in the U.S.). Even when it started airing on Sci Fi, I didn’t bother watching it, primarily out of my desire to not get beholden to yet another TV series. But, once they made it to DVD, that’s when I began to watch them.

Overall, I do enjoy the series…it’s not deep or meaningful, but it is clever and fun, with some sharp dialogue and strong acting that can help sell some of the more ludicrous events, and doesn’t have to worry about selling the low-budget effects. Tom Baker had to convince the viewers that the cardboard ‘n’ rubber thingie suspended by wires and wrapped in green bubblewrap posed some kind of threat. That’s not so much a problem any more…now all they have to do is convince folks that the Weakest Link parody is a serious danger, which may be as difficult a job, if not more so.

The lead actors have done wonderful jobs on the show…Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Doctor was lean and angry, quite a contrast from the Tom Baker version that tends to dominate the perception of the character (though Baker’s Doctor had his angry moments, too). When David Tennant took over the role, I wasn’t quite sure, having gotten used to Eccleston’s portrayal…but he quickly won me over with a Doctor that was just slightly more round-the-bend, while maintaining that undercurrent of anger and…disconnect that has characterized the Doctor in these newest shows. Maybe I’m just reading too much into the performance, but Tennant’s Doctor feels a little more alien to me…there’s the occasional expression, or pose, or look in his eye that tells you “this isn’t a normal person.” Which is good, since the Doctor isn’t a normal person, and the occasional reminder that this character is not a human being, and is dangerous to be around, is what gives Doctor Who that additional level of gravitas that keeps it from being just another sci-fi superhero fightin’ the aliens-of-the-week.

Plus, if there’s a more terrifying hour (well, forty minutes) of television than the Who episode “Blink,” I don’t want to see it.

And it’s got me watching some of the classic Who adventures via Netflix. Man, that Davros…what a card!

And I promise, I’ll get around to watching Torchwood. I understand it has a lot of the sexy in it. And who doesn’t like the sexy?

Sometimes you just need a picture of Cable leaping at you, guns blazing.

§ January 28th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Sometimes you just need a picture of Cable leaping at you, guns blazing.

He’s shoutin’ at Magneto, in case you’re wondering.

And here, also for no good reason, is a shot of the cast from the first page of this comic:

There’s a happy bunch, he said sarcastically. Well, okay, Boomer’s smiling behind those “I just had an eye exam” shades. And Sunspot might be smirking a bit. But the rest of those folks look like a bunch of poutypants. And if my name were “Rictor,” I’d pout, too.

Anyway, these images are from X-Force #25 (August ’93), a comic I’ve discussed before, and you can read that pulse-pounding story, featuring Canadians and toilet paper, right here. But at the moment, I have a stack of funnybooks I’m processing for sale in our eBay store, and one of them happens to be a copy of X-Force #25 from one of those companies that offered autographed copies (with “certificate of authenticity”) directly to retailers for premium prices.

This particular comic is signed by artist Greg Capullo, and is numbered 5903 out of 7,500 copies. I always try to picture what that’s like, the poor guy with 25 or 30 cases of these comics crammed into his studio, spending hours each day slapping his signature on comic after comic. I wonder how many copies end up getting spoiled, with accidental smudging of the ink, spilled drinks, pet cats, or maybe the signature just gets mangled as it’s being written…distracted by a phone call, or just had a brain fart, or something. And then someone has to come along and number each cover “n/7500,” which is probably an even bigger drag.

At this point in comics history, the early ’90s (just after “The Comics Boom,” and just before “The Burning Times”), “insta-collectibles” were the big thing, so pre-autographed books were (and still are, actually) a common sight in the order forms. We ordered some, here and there…didn’t carry a huge stock of them, but occasionally we’d get some that we thought might do okay in our shop.

Now there a number of X-comics in mid ’93 that were extra-sized tie-ins to the “Fatal Attractions” X-crossover, each with a trading-card sized hologram affixed to the cover. That signed-comic company offered autographed editions of all these oversized “Fatal Attractions” comics, and we thought “Hey, kids like the X-Men…they like autographed books…they like the holy-grams…let’s give these a shot.” There were $24.95 a pop, but these were special X-books, after all…they were certain to sell. And given the kinds of things people were buying at the time, a $24.95 autographed edition of a popular comic book series seemed like an easy sale.

Fifteen years later, I still have two of these “Fatal Attractions” books left (the other being X-Factor #92, signed by Joe Quesada). The other three I’ve managed to sell on the eBay at vastly reduced prices in recent years. I’m not so anxious to move the last two for too cheap, so I’ll ponder some kind of price I can live with and put ’em in the eBay store.

In our brick and mortar store, the unsigned “Fatal Attractions” tie-ins remain popular, particularly the Wolverine issue. But the signed ones? Nah, too expensive, and probably should have dropped the prices sooner on them…but just never seemed to get around to it. Seemed like there was always something more important to do, and those last two comics managed to avoid my attention. Until now, when hopefully someone online will be willing to pay the price I want.

Nowadays the only “pre-signed” comics we get today are the “incentive” ones, that show up if we hit certain ordering plateaus. And, of course, any that our customers asked for (like that $70 signed Dark Tower hardcover we got in — good gravy!).

The moral of the story? “Collectibles aren’t,” maybe, or “Don’t order overpriced pre-signed X-Men books,” which may be unnecessarily limiting. But I’m sure we learned something here at the funnybook shop from these signed comics, even if it’s just “thank goodness for online auctions, (theoretically) clearing out our dead stock.”

"Why suffer the mortification of foul smelling bedrooms…?"

§ January 27th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on "Why suffer the mortification of foul smelling bedrooms…?"

excerpts from comic book ad, 1953

1. I once heard that you can tell what a publisher thinks of the readers of certain magazines by the kind of ads they run there. Just sayin’.

2. When I showed this ad to pal Dorian, he immediately noted the quotation marks in the ad’s header and asked “I wonder what ‘bed wetting’ is a euphemism for?”

3. Most of the folks in the “case studies” section seem relatively pleased to be there…which is only natural, since DRY-TABS apparently solved their problems. But Case #2 appears to be showing the proper amount of shame, and Grandma in Case #6 just makes me feel sadness and pity. “Please don’t leave me out in the woods…I promise I’ll stop!”

4. You know, if you’re a kid, and you’re suffering from a little late night liquid leakage, well, URINE LUCK! Ha ha! No, seriously, if you’ve got troubles with wee hours weeing, seeing the phrase “if your loved ones suffer the humiliation, the disgrace, insecurity and helplessness” doesn’t help — there’s “pointing out a problem,” and then there’s piling on. I’m sure the kid (or Grandma) feels bad enough without having to bring “YOU’RE SHAMING YOUR FAMILY AND FILLING THEM WITH DISGUST — why aren’t you dead?” into it.

Lies, damned lies….

§ January 26th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Lies, damned lies….







Don’t mess with Alvin.

§ January 25th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Don’t mess with Alvin.

The Little Lulu story “Boy Cannon Ball” (as featured in this week’s Dark Horse release of Little Lulu Vol. 18: The Expert) contains some of my favorite little gags from the series, where Alvin, in the audience for Tubby’s alleged human cannonball trick, continually declares “FAKE!” Like so:

He’s paid his nickel for the privilege, he insists on sitting through the trick multiple times, and he’s entirely unconvinced, shouting “FAKE!” or otherwise heckling the festivities.

And when there’s activity away from the main stage, our man Alvin doesn’t care, because he’s too busy being pissed off and glaring distrustfully at the cannon:

Of course, Alvin is right, and it is a fake…but once the trick’s exposed, suddenly he’s happy and can’t wait to see Tubby “get shot out of the cannon again.”

The focus is primarily Lulu and Annie trying to figure out how the boys are pulling off this stunt, which I’m sure in the able hands of John Stanley and Irving Tripp would have been enough to form an entertaining story. But the willful contrariness of Alvin just kills me, every time, and adds yet another dimension of humor to the shenanigans. I mean, just look at him:

That kid’s got no time for your shit, so don’t even try it.

And he’s right not to trust Tubby, because check this out:



I mean, between that and this, I think that young man has some self-control issues.

In other news:

  • If you work in, or shop at, comic book stores, and if you’re already in kind of a downer mood, I don’t recommend you read Tim O’Neil’s comic shop manifesto, because you’ll turn to the drink. I’ve been in shops like he describes. It’s depressing. (Though I have to admit our shop used a cigar box for transactions…like, over twenty-five years ago, when the store was just a hole-in-the-wall inside another store. We’ve improved slightly since then!)

    For some related reading, here’s a post of mine from a while back.

  • Nothing quite like checking the ol’ answering machine and having a message from none other than Dave “Cerebus” Sim, promoting his forthcoming funnybook Glamourpuss and offering to send us a promotional item. Even better: getting to call him back and give him our correct address, since he had an old address and couldn’t quite make out the new one from our machine’s message. (Not Dave’s fault…I need to rerecord it. EDIT: Not because we have the wrong address on there…just the playback’s a bit garbled.)

    Alas, I didn’t get to talk to the man himself, but I did get his answering machine, featuring a message from a woman portraying “Glamourpuss,” plugging the series. Fantastic.

  • Speaking of creators doing some promotional legwork (and believe me, nothing quite gets your attention like Dave Sim calling YOU), comics weblogger and all-around swell guy Matt Maxwell has the first chapter of his forthcoming graphic novel Strangeways: Murder Moon up for your perusal. Good stuff, give it a read.
  • You know, I put in this fourth spot without really having anything in mind to put in it. So, what the hell, here’s more Sluggo, repurposed from this post by reader The Mutt:

    What more is there to say, really?

Let’s see if this post gets me on the work ‘n’ school internet filters.

§ January 24th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Let’s see if this post gets me on the work ‘n’ school internet filters.

The big news for this week’s batch of new funnybooks is the surprising return of Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories (#686) and Uncle Scrooge (#371) to the stands, after months of being AWOL. An official statement on the updated schedules for Gemstone’s Disney releases may be found here, though no reason for the delay is given. I can’t seem to find one in that newsletter archive, and the only thing I’ve seen is a mention of some printer issues on a message board somewhere. But, whatever the reason, I’m glad they’re coming out again, so people will stop blaming me for the delay.

Other new arrivals:

  • It’s the comic everyone is talking about…MILFs on Mars. Yes, I said MILFs on Mars. And yes, we ordered it for the store. From the makers of Housewives at Play.

    I’m a porn merchant. YAY!

  • Marvel Zombies 2 #4 – I noted before that the bloom is seemingly off the rose for the Marvel Zombies franchise, as it’s not selling with quite the frenzy the first series did. It’s still a very solid mid-range seller, so I can’t complain too much.
  • Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #5 – it’s not quite the photostat/Photoshop-fest of the previous issues…or, rather, the artist manages to hide it marginally better this time. But when you do see it…man, that’s distracting.
  • Speak of the Devil #4 – I was warned that things were going to get remarkably violent after the relatively benign early installments…and boy howdy, here you go.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #38 – Jim Shooter’s second issue in his return to the title, and it still remains fun and action-packed. His attempts at creating “future slang” in this issue grate a little, but I can live with them.
  • Army@Love #11 – It’s nothing short of a miracle that this comic is still coming out, since it’s witty and strange and satirical and adult and it’s not easily pigeonholed. We’re guaranteed at least 18 issues, I understand, but in a good and fair world, it would get a good Sandman or Preacher-length run.
  • Countdown to Mystery #5 – My favorite of the Countdown spin-offs, and contains a far better Spectre story than that Tales of the Unexpected mini. And the Dr. Fate story is absolutely prime Gerber…funny, cynical, and creepy, in just the right mix.
  • Jack Staff Special #1 – There is apparently some doubt out there that this was actually released. I assure you, I held this comic in my own hands. It exists. It’s real. Trust me.
  • Gold Digger #92 – I’ve never had the foggiest idea about what’s going on in this comic, but it’s certainly been coming out for a long time, and its fans are quite loyal, and bless ’em all for it.
  • Hellblazer #240 – A new revelation about Constantine and his place in the world pops up in this issue, along the lines of Alan Moore’s revelation about Swamp Thing way back when. (No, John isn’t really just a plant.) Interesting, and I’ll enjoy seeing what writer Andy Diggle does with it.
  • Little Lulu Vol. 18 – The Expert TP – Haven’t even cracked the cover yet, and I already know this is going to be the best thing I’m going to read this week.

In other news, of the MST3K variety:

The Mystery Science Theatre 3000 DVD license has moved to Shout! Factory. They do promise more releases of previously unreleased episodes, but, you know, what else were they going to do? (C’mon c’mon c’mon Escape 2000!)

Also, Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Movie, previously only released in a barebones bargain-DVD from Image Entertainment (lacking even an “interactive menu”), is finally being reissued in a new barebones DVD release. Well, it apparently is going to include the trailer, and a new anamorphic widescreen transfer, and maybe even that interactive menu…but it’s a shame that the deleted “host segment” scenes won’t be included, as long as they’re going through the trouble of putting the film back out.

From the "It’s An Ill Wind…" department.

§ January 24th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on From the "It’s An Ill Wind…" department.

Found on the eBay:

LIMITED EDITION Heath Ledger Tribute Poster

“This 20″x30″ Full-Sized Limited Edition Heath Ledger Tribute Poster is designed to pay tribute to the Man and the Actor. Featuring an artistic rendition of Mr. Ledger himself and his latest role in Dark Knight as Joker, this Limited Edition Printing is certain to become a collectors favorite and be cherished for years to come.”


“As the first non-American actor to portray the Joker, we pay tribute to Heath Ledger and this acting legacy.

“This Limited Edition Print is accompanied with an Authentic LE Certificate. This registered document contains your print set number and a Seal of Authenticity to verify that your print is NOT A REPRINT!”

They might want to double-check the spelling of Davy’s name on the tent.

§ January 23rd, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on They might want to double-check the spelling of Davy’s name on the tent.

The copy in the lower left-hand corner reads:

“Double-barrelled, super-powered 2 cell
Davy Crockett flashlight…with red top
that glows when light is on!
Solid steel case, Ivory finish, with 2
color Davy Crockett illustration.”

ads from A-1 #139 (1955)

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