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Citation no longer needed.

§ April 30th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

And now, for no good reason, Iron Man versus Man-Thing:


from Iron Man Annual #3 (1976) by Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema & Jack Abel



Following up on yesterday’s post:
  • There was some discussion in the comments as to why Iron Man hasn’t had the sales bump comic books usually get prior to the release of films based on them. Generally responses have ranged between “Iron Man hasn’t been a very likable character lately” and “Iron Man comics, by and large, aren’t very good.” And either theory has its merit, though a comic not being good is rarely a detriment to sales, as proven by [insert title of comic you don't like that sells well here]. But those are as good reasons as any for a lack of interest in Iron Man comics…though if the movie is as good as I’ve been hearing from reliable sources (as opposed to, say, Ain’t It Cool News), maybe we’ll actually see a reversal of the usual trend. Maybe a comic book movie will finally inspire sales after the movie’s release. Not holding my breath, but we’ll see.

    It’s the total lack of even the investor-types that has me puzzled. There’s always at least two or three people who come sniffing around for key issues and first issues and “excellent to mint” (gah) copies for resale, even for the movie series that have been around for a while and the sales bumps are no longer as significant as they were for the earlier films. Like the example I used yesterday…Spider-Man 3 didn’t generate a whole lot of funnybook activity, but I still had that guy buying all of the issues with the debut of the black costume. I would have figured I’d have more people looking for Iron Man #1, or that issue with the debut of Thanos, or the greatest issue ever, or whatever.

    If anything, our Iron Man sales are down. Even the brief flurry of customers I had looking for those Warren Ellis issues a few months back have dried up.

    Curious to see what happens after the film’s release.

  • Phil notes that Swamp Thing had a brief, brief cameo in the House of Mystery preview in the latest issue of Fables. Phil’s belief is correct: that isn’t a new drawing of Swampy…in fact, it’s from page fifteen of the first issue from 1972, drawn by Bernie Wrightson.

    Well, “cameo” is overstating it, since the cameos of the various Vertigo stars amounted to inset bubbles with old art and new dialogue espousing the virtues of this new House of Mystery series (or whatever they were doing — I don’t feel like double-checking). This series does look interesting, though, from what little I’ve seen. Hopefully it’ll feature more Cain and Abel than what’s just in the preview…haven’t had enough of them since The Dreaming was cancelled.

    Here’s DC’s page for the series, including a PDF file of the preview.

  • I can’t believe I’m now the citation for Woozy Winks’ doofus-ness in the Plastic Man Wikipedia article. Well, at least until it gets revised away by someone with no sense of humor. EDIT: Citation since revised away by someone with no sense of humor.

"A most peculiar comic book experience."

§ April 29th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

So there I was, reading the Wikipedia entry on Plastic Man for no good reason, when I spotted this:


Here it is, just a little larger:


Is a citation really necessary for Woozy’s description as a “doofus?” Isn’t it fairly self-evident? He’s a goofy, silly sidekick for a 1940s superhero — of course he’s a doofus.

Ah, well. We all know you’re a lovable doofus, Woozy, citation or no citation:


Plastic Man #5 (1946) – cover scan from here


Good news for fans of Tales of the Beanworld, straight from the mouth of creator Larry Marder:

Deluxe hardcover reprints of the original series, followed by a new graphic novel and a new series. This makes me remarkably happy, as I do love the Beanworld. Shame that it has to be “deluxe hardcover” (read: expensive) reissues of the originals, but I’m sure it was either being released in that format, for various economic reasons, or no Beanworld at all.

A while back I suggested that Beanworld would make a good webcomic, while worrying that there may not be enough Beanworld fans around still buying comics (or even near a shop that would dare order something called Tales of the Beanworld which wouldn’t even have a zombie variant or foil cover or anything).

But then again, I do have customers at the shop who’ve kept Beanworld on their comic saver lists all this time, so who knows?


An observation about the forthcoming Iron Man movie:

Usually, as I’ve noted in the past, when a comic book movie is impending, there’s a sudden increase in interest in the related comics, at least until the movie is actually released. At that point the moving picture supplants interest in the printed page, so any brief bump in sales (or, in the case of Dark Horse books that inspired movies, a brief bump in people asking us for DH books that are unavailable for order) vanishes. Like during the run-up to Spider-Man 3, I had someone wipe us out on every copy of Amazing Spider-Man #252, the first appearance of the black outfit. (Wonder how he did on those?)

However, I’ve had no such bump in interest in Iron Man back issues. A couple kids have been poking through the bins in the Iron Man section, but no onslaught of people having to read this “Iron Man” thing, no speculators snapping up key Iron Man issues for presumably, slabbing ‘n’ throwing on the eBay.

Oddly, our customers are extremely enthusiastic about Iron Man the movie. They’re just less enthused in regards to the Iron Man funnybooks, which remain among our lowest-selling “classic” Marvel comics.

And speaking of the Iron Man, those Free Comic Book Day Iron Man HeroClix figures are on this week’s invoice, so hopefully they’re actually showing up…along with the couple of FCBD comics that have been AWOL. Thank goodness…maybe we’ll almost be ready for the event this year!

What I wouldn’t have given to have seen this actually happen in a classic Trek episode.

§ April 28th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off


from Star Trek #7 (March 1970) – art by Alberto Giolitti & Giovanni Ticci


Not that I have anything against the Eiffel Tower or our French friends…I’m just appreciating the sheer Irwin Allen disaster movie vibe of the scene.

Anyway, I’d like to apologize for the dependence on scans over the last few days. My “Low Content Mode” from a couple weeks ago seems to have extended itself, due to Real Life intruding on my weblogging time. Yes, I have a real life, that I manage to fit in between “managing” the comic shop, and writing my love letters to All-Star Batman. I should be back to what passes for normal in short order.

If I may continue blogging about blogging, I’m also still planning on creating a “rotating logo banner” function on this site, much like the random “since 1969″ taglines, in order to show off all the great banners submitted by readers. I didn’t want folks to think their hard work is just disappearing…you banner will be seen again, I assure you.

And so long as I’m on the Trek kick, lemme point you in the direction of the weblog/podcast Look at his Butt — yes, that’s what it’s called. I first noticed it in my referral logs one day, some time ago, and went to investigate…it features two happy young women, cheerfully obsessing over the manly manliness of William Shatner. It’s good, fun, silly obsessing, not “restraining order” obsessing, from a couple of people who know their Trek stuff.

Speaking of obsessions, here’s a fellow weblogger feeding one of mine with a homebrewed Swamp Thing Final Crisis promo.


Where were you when SPIROMANIA STRUCK?


“What? What did you say? Who is this ‘Billy’ you’re speaking of?”

How I wish to be described, from this day forward.

§ April 27th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off


From the cover of this book:

"No pot needed!"

§ April 27th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off



A closer look at your “hand painted Mexican cardboard box.”


Cactus garden excitement shown in ad may not accurately represent actual excitement. Your cactus garden excitement may vary. Duration of cactus garden excitement also not guaranteed. If cactus garden excitement exceeds 48 hours, consult your physician.


full ad from Captain and the Kids #18 (1950)
- click to make prickier

"Mod special, extra long hair."

§ April 26th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off


full ad from Star Trek #51 (March 1978)
- click to make Trekkier

The things you find in old paperbacks.

§ April 25th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off


Superman party invitation card, circa early ’70s(?)

FCBD Vs. eBay.

§ April 25th, 2008 § Filed under free comic book day § 1 Comment

Beginning to prep for the ever-approaching Free Comic Book Day, coming May 3rd. We were shorted our Gumby and Love & Capes FCBD comics, and the Nascar Heroes and Imaginary books have yet to ship to us. Here’s a sentence I never imagined myself saying: “Boy, I hope those Nascar comics show up next week.”

As in previous years, we divide up the free funnybooks into three age-appropriate bundles to hand out to equally age-appropriate customers: “Kids,” “Teens,” and “Grown-Ups.” This year the books are all allegedly more “general audiences” than in past years, to avoid any more penis panics, but the three-pack distribution has worked well for us in the past, so we’d like to keep up the tradition. And there’s still some necessary age sorting to do…I don’t particularly want to give the Top Cow freebie to kids, and I’m just assuming the Wizard giveaway isn’t for kids, since they haven’t been yet.

Since the sorting is fairly time-intensive, we’ve got to get cracking early…but that also means when the missing or late FCBD books finally show up, we’ll have to go through and dump them all in the bags after the fact, which is a little annoying. And, we’ll only have a couple days to do it.

In addition to the bags, we’ll have loose copies of all the freebies on our tables in the FCBD staging area at the front of the store, as well as leftovers from previous years. Plus, I’ve already spoken to some folks about providing leftover giveaways to schools and libraries.

We’re using these FCBD comics for their intended purpose: promotion. Getting them into the hands of as many people as possible. Maybe…just maybe, getting a new reader or two out of it. Or getting old readers into something new. (I’ve discussed the apparent effectiveness of the event here.)

That said, here’s a quick survey of 2008 Free Comic Book Day comics I’ve found on the eBay, current and ended auctions, as of this writing:

  • Multiple listings for “full sets” of all of this year’s FCBD comics (one set sold for about $30)

  • One copy of this year’s Marvel Adventures: Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man with a minimum bid of $7.99 (wholesale cost, by the way: 20 cents)
  • One copy of this year’s Hellboy book, minimum bid about $2 U.S.
  • One copy of this year’s Broken Trinity (Top Cow) book, minimum bid $2 U.S.
  • Two copies of this year’s Sonic the Hedgehog book, sold for $2.50 and just over $3

There ain’t no law sayin’ they can’t, but it still feels like a shame. At least it’s just one or two books here and there, and not, say, case lots of FCBD books like I’ve seen in previous years. Hopefully the people selling these still have plenty more of them in stock to give away.

And I just looked at this next auction because I was wondering why a copy of the FCBD Ultimate Spider-Man #1, from a previous year, was listed at $24.95. Turns out the seller is also accepting “best offers.” Given that other copies of the same book have sold for a penny (well, half a penny, in this case)…well, good luck.

Anyway, the auction that I actually wanted to draw your attention to is this one, and don’t look at it if you’re somewhere where web page sound is gonna be a problem.

So, did you look? “What th–!?” — right? Startled the heck out of me. Here’s the site responsible (sound, natch).

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ April 24th, 2008 § Filed under End of Civilization Comments Off

One of these days, I’m going to wise up and stop doing these…you know, spend my time instead “going out” and “meeting friends” and “socializing” and doing other things that I’ve read about in books. But not today! Pull out your copy of Diamond Previews, May 2008 edition, and follow along! Invite your friends over, make a party out of it! Er…you do have friends, don’t you?

You do?

Lucky.

p. 60 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Conversations with Dead People” Board:


Comes with this disclaimer:


Not stated: entertainment will be for your friends, when they see you buying into this ouija board crap.

p. 138 – JLA Trophy Room Bat-Cuffs Prop Replica:


These do lock, so don’t lose your special “bat-shaped key.” Otherwise, there’ll be some red faces at the locksmith’s after you or your significant other get trapped in these after a frolicking session of “Batman Catches Catwoman Mishandling the Jewels.”

p. 239 – Bongo Comics:

Prepare yourself for this nightmare fuel:


You’ll be seeing that face again…in your unquiet dreams.

p. 247 – Picture This SC:


Pictures of the colorist/letterer of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, as taken by the writer/artist of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose. Includes pictures of the Ms. G as Tarot. Note it doesn’t say “dressed as” Tarot. (Further Not Safe for Work reading, if you need clarification.)

p. 297 – Michael Golden Heroes & Villains Sketchbook HC:


I wonder if it’ll include this piece which recently wasn’t sold on the eBay. (Link via Neilalien.)

p. 414 – Obsessed with Star Wars:


At $29.95, it seems pretty steep for a trivia book, but:

“…This comprehensive book features an innovative, computerized module embedded on the cover which allows readers to keep score electronically.”

Oh, well, okay then.

p. 451 – Marvel Legends Mighty Muggs Figures:

There’s a certain level of “cuteness” that particular Marvel characters must not achieve, lest some “cute event horizon” is passed and the world endangered.

That being said, BEHOLD CUTE GHOST RIDER:


p. 458 – Desperately Seeking Susan Minimates 2-Pack:


Looks even more lifelike than the actual Madonna.

p. 468 – Star Trek Ultimate 1/4-Scale Captain Kirk Figure:


C’mon, we’re one fourth of the way there. Just go the whole hog, man…LIFE SIZE KIRK FIGURE. It’s gonna happen, sooner or later.

p. 470 – Star Trek TOS Science Tricorder:


Lights up, and features sound effects from the show. When I was a kid, I had one of these…it only sorta looked like the tricorder from the show, but it was also a functioning tape recorder, and therefore a heck of a lot more useful than this newer “prop replica.” Though…hmmm, maybe you can replace that monitor with a video iPod, which would also give you improved sound playback…maybe that can be a summer project for some of you more industrious kids out there. (And if you make it steampunk, it’ll get you on Boing Boing!)

p. 475 – Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter Doll:


I am having a very hard time reconciling that face with the Mad Hatter we’re all familiar with from Disney and the Tenniel drawings. Gaze into the face of madness:


He’ll be visiting your dreams, along with “Grampa Rosie” Simpson from up there in the Bongo Comics listing.

At least there can’t be anything more terrifying than this on the next page….

p. 476 – Alice in Wonderland Humpty Dumpty Doll:


AAAAAAAAAAUGH!

p. 484 – Luke Cage Statues:


So there’s the Classic Luke Cage on the left, there, and the Cage statue designed specifically for Brian Michael Bendis to buy on the right. That was nice of them.

p. 486 – Lord of the Rings Balrog Wall Mount:


Well, apparently enough people wanted a Balrog wall mount, but didn’t want to spring for the larger one, which was approximately one whole city block in width. This one’s 12 inches tall, 12 inches wide, 8 inches deep, and there’s no measuring how deeply upsetting this thing is.

p. 518 – Lost Kubricks:


These are weirding me out, for no particular reason I can articulate. However, I do like that Locke comes with a big honkin’ knife:


Not shown: his “Causing the death of everyone around him, plus causing the occasional explosion” action feature.

p. 518 – Lost Jack Kubrick and Bearbrick Set:


The bear threw me off for a second…and yes, that’s the Lost logo on his tummy. For just the briefest moment, I actually tried to remember if there was an episode of Lost where Jack was being followed around by a giant bear that only he could see, like Harvey.

p. 522 – Prism Ark Priecia 1/8 Scale PVC Figure:


“Precia is thought to be the princess of Wind Land. She is enrolled in the knight school where she is widely known for her expert swordmanship as well as her beauty.”

She’s also widely known for almost wearing panties. She’s from an “erotic video game,” in case you were wondering.

The hair’s neat, though.

p. 532 – Halo 3 Belt Buckles:


“Featuring Shotgun Ammunition or M6B AA Ammunition….”

Please, for the love of God, don’t wear these to school or to an airport.

p. 534 – Chuck Norris Magnet Set:


Keeping up the Chuck Norris Facts Meme Deathwatch, as the Facts are slapped onto yet another product.

The solicitation text attempts another “Fact” — to wit:

“…Chuck Norris can take two comic masters of magnetism, Magneto and Cosmic Boy in a fight. Because he’s Chuck Norris.”

WHAT.

p. 535 – Smallville Dar-Ur [sic] Kryptonian Beacon:


It’s “Dax-Ur,” actually, but it doesn’t change the fact this is still a big ol’ hunk of, presumably, metal that’s of no use whatsoever. And apparently they’re still trying to unload the Kryptonian Key, featured in a previous End of Civilization:


To repeat my previous observation, at $60 and $40 respectively, these are some expensive coasters.

p. 537 – Mr. Clock Radio:


“…The Mr. Clock Radio tells fortunes, speaks the time, and reacts to light and motion.”

Also will absolutely terrify you. Not quite “uncanny valley” territory, since it doesn’t look like an actual human, but darned if it’s not close enough.

p. 555 – Yetisburg Titanic Battles in World History Volume 1 Card Game:


“On the bloody fields of Pennsylvania in 1863, two great armies collided to decide the fate of a nation. At the forefront of the battle stood the mighty Yetis, white-furred giants imported from the wilds of Canada to shred the opposing front lines.”

Say it with me:

“YETISBURG.”

I can’t even make fun of this. It’s…it’s too beautiful.

A whole lotta Shatner goin’ on.

§ April 23rd, 2008 § Filed under the shat Comments Off

By popular demand, a small selection of the many funnybook faces of James Tiberius Kirk:



from Star Trek #51 (Gold Key, March 1978) by George Kashdan & Alden McWilliams


from Star Trek #16 (Marvel Comics, Oct. 1981) by Marty Pasko, Luke McDonnell & Sal Trapani


from Star Trek #6 (DC Comics, July 1984) by Mike W. Barr, Tom Sutton & Sal Amendola


from Star Trek: Debt of Honor (DC Comics, 1992) by Chris Claremont, Adam Hughes & Karl Story


from Star Trek Unlimited #1 (Marvel Comics, Nov. 1996) by Dan Abnett, Ian Edginton,
Mark Buckingham & Kev F. Sutherland


from Star Trek: All of Me (DC Comics/Wildstorm, April 2000) by Tony Isabella, Bob Ingersoll,
Aaron Lopresti & Randy Emberlin


from Star Trek: The Manga #1 (Tokyopop, 2006) – sorry, didn’t have the book in stock at the moment,
so the credits will come later


from Star Trek: Year Four #5 (Nov. 2007) by David Tischman & Steve Conley

ADDITIONAL TREKKING: Please, enjoy a little Ska Trek, courtesy Transbuddha.

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