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This post meets or exceeds your recommended daily dosage of Shatner.

§ April 22nd, 2008 § Filed under the shat Comments Off

I missed this in the New York con coverage, but Rich pointed it out to me…according to the Karen Berger herself, Swamp Thing spin-off title The Un-Men is cancelled. Alas, that didn’t come as much of a surprise, since we sell all of two copies at the shop, one of which is to me. I thought it was pretty good, myself…it took a couple issues for me to get into it, but I’ve been appreciating the very dark humor at work in this series.

And to clarify my thoughts on The Spirit trailer I posted yesterday: I like how it looks, and it seems like it could be an entertaining, or at least interesting film, just judging from what little I’ve seen. The narration is…a tad over the top, yes, but if that comes as a surprise, you haven’t been paying attention to what Frank Miller’s been up to these last few years…or ever, if you get right down to it.

But none of it really says “The Spirit” to me. As Phill said in my comments, where’s the color blue? I don’t want a non-blue Spirit. Or a non-funny one, as I said yesterday. On the other hand, this is just the teaser trailer…we may be stuck with the “Sin City” look, but there’s still a chance of some Spirit-esque whimsy making it into the flick.

Yeah, I know, that trailer really exudes whimsy. Hey, a boy can hope.


It’s been reported all over the place, but the more people that see this story, the better: some scumbag stole art and interviews from an illustration site and republished them in a $100 book without permission. Unbelievable.

Artist Luc Latulippe has more on the story.


At the risk of repeating myself:


Why would you make this the “retailer incentive” cover (i.e. for every 10 or so of the regular cover ordered, you get one of these)? Do people not understand the sheer sales power of The Shat? Sure, he’s all Romulaned up on that cover, but that’s 100% Real Kirk, baby.

So long, Dave’s Long Box.

§ April 21st, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

Dave Campbell is closing up shop at his much-beloved comics weblog Dave’s Long Box, as only he can. Thanks, Dave, for all the laughs, peculiar videos, and for adding the word “Airwolf” to internet discourse.

Do not be sad, my little internet friends, for Dave continues to have a paying blogging gig at ABC.com — he’s paid to watch TV and then write about it; truly he’s living the American dream — and he promises to have a new more general-purpose blog launching in the near future.

Good luck, Dave, in your post-Longbox endeavors…I think I speak for most folks when I say I can’t wait to see what you cook up for us next.

ADDITIONAL LINKAGE:

Dave’s longtime friendly rival Chris Sims gloats grieves in his own inimitable manner.

In which I talk a lot about a convention I didn’t even go to.

§ April 21st, 2008 § Filed under free comic book day Comments Off

So, I’ve been off for a week. What’d I miss?

Oh, okay, I know I missed a lot. There was that whole New York comic convention boondoggle over the weekend, which, from what little I managed to read about it, made that Wizard World con pal Dorian and I went to look like just a bunch of guys trading comics in a garage somewhere. Well, it is a little closer to the center of the American funnybook universe, so there’s that.

A few of my blogging buddies attended the show, and have been updating over the weekend. I imagine we’ll see more comprehensive reports once they recover (or, in Kevin’s case, sober up), but Kevin Church has a brief wrap-up here, Chris Butcher has some photos and will speak about the con on NPR Monday morning (here’s the show archive if you miss it), Johanna has run-downs of what she was getting up to Friday and Saturday, and Bully…

…Bully, the little stuffed bull what loves the comics was at the con all weekend, and here’s the photographic proof. I think I just about died when I realized Bully was wearing a tiny backpack. Oh my goodness.

Bully also got shots of the Watchmen action figures, the Mike Sterling Memorial Comic Book Rack, and The Rack‘s Benjamin Birdie doing his Flash impression and Kevin Church doing what Kevin Church does best.

There are some little bits ‘n’ pieces of actual comic news from the New York con that I’d like to point out (with links to the Newsarama articles):

  • Dude, all you need to know from this Grant Morrison panel is this:

    MORE SEAGUY.

  • New ongoing Secret Six series, written by Gail Simone. Simone’s previous Secret Six stuff was a lot of fun, and she somehow pulled off the miracle of making people interested in Cat Man, of all characters, so I’m really looking forward to this series.
  • “Marvel Apes?” Most folks’ immediate reaction seems to be “we didn’t like this when it was called ‘JLApe’ either.” I mean, I’m all for more monkeys in my comics, but DC always struck me as your go-to company for primate funnybook action.
  • I like Frank Miller ‘n’ all, but I’m gonna need to see more of The Spirit movie before I can decide how I feel about this. The poster didn’t help matters much, and while I like the look of the trailer:


    …I’m hoping there’s a bit more of a lighter touch in the actual film. I do appreciate that the trailer says “BASED ON THE COMIC BOOK” in BIG, BIG letters, though.

  • There’s a new Supergirl comic aimed at younger readers supposedly forthcoming. Hopefully kids will still want a Supergirl comic, after DC did its best to drive away budding Supergirl fans with their regular offerings.
  • The best news out of the convention is that the Gordon Lee case has been dismissed, especially after the peculiar behavior of the prosecution the last time a trial was attempted. For more information, please check out the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund website.


In other news:
  • Speaking of Benjamin Birdie of The Rack fame…he now has his own fancypants website, located at, where else, Benjaminbirdie.com. Already he knocks it out of the park with the first of an ongoing series of posts discussing single pages from assorted comics (beginning with a sequence from Marvel Boy #4). Good, insightful reading, from someone who knows what he’s talking about.

  • Regarding that terrifying post of mine from yesterday, reader Ironbear left a comment describing how the sound function on those toys worked:

    “The cool thing was the weird sound technology: the Patented Talking Tape was embossed plastic, attached at one end to the inflatable. The sound was embossed in the tape in thousands of grooves along the length of the tape. To play, you’d simply run a fingernail along the tape: the very lo-fi sound came out of the inflatable itself.”

    Huh. I was pretty sure I hadn’t heard of this, until I looked at this page about “talking tape” and suddenly it seems oddly familiar. I don’t think I ever had anything that used this technology, but I must have heard about it at some point. Anyway, here’s a short YouTube video demonstrating one of these talking tapes in action:


    Sorcery! SORCERY!

  • We received most of our order of Free Comic Book Day comics last week, with the balance to arrive this week. Haven’t had much of a chance to go through too many of them, but the Hellboy one is nice — all new stories, though the BPRD story is is for the Long-Term Fans Only. The EC Sampler is pretty cool, even if it only exists as an advertisement for the $50 EC Archives volumes, but it’s hard to fault anything that gets old EC comics into the hands of kids. And the Archie entry is essentially a blatant ad for the Geppi comics museum.

    Also, I did my usual search on the eBay for people selling this year’s new FCBD books, and, sure enough, there are a few folks out there desperately missing the point, who’d rather make a quick buck or two in the short term rather than take the chance of giving the comics away to someone who might become a regular reader.

    After the FCBD event is over, I’m…well, the market will out, I suppose, on the FCBD books, but I think selling them even after FCBD is over for the year is still missing an opportunity. We use them throughout the year, giving them to libraries, passing them out at the store, and so on. It’s a great promotional tool, and it’s a shame some folks don’t see it that way.

    I may have more to say on FCBD this year, but if not, you can read previous musings on the topic here and here.

"Latex takes hard play!"

§ April 20th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

BEHOLD

MONKEY DOODLE

ad from The Captain and the Kids #18 (1950)

"…So don’t goof!"

§ April 19th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

Dear Archie,

Don’t promise me something fantastic:


…And then just present me with a simple subscription pitch:


No Archie, having taken the brown acid, tripping hard while Jughead tries to talk him down? How terribly disappointing.

Yours,

M.


Archie subscription ad (1970)

And now, for no good reason, two panels from Planet of the Apes #3.

§ April 18th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

LATER….


from Planet of the Apes #3 (Dec. 1974) by Doug Moench,
Mike Ploog & Frank Chiaramonte

Yes, yes, "it’s all Greek to me," I know.

§ April 17th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

So pal Tom (not that pal Tom, but the other pal Tom) brought in some comics from Greece for me to peruse, and, like the comics my girlfriend brought me from Mexico, the paper quality and printing are very nice, and generally superior to their American counterparts.

Here’s one of them, an issue of Batman from Grant Morrison’s run:


Here’s a close up of the publisher’s way cool logo:


Something about Batman shouting at you in Greek makes it even more menacing:


Even the house ads are nice…this one makes even that “Hush” storyline look almost interesting:


There are three pages of comics news in the back, including a short bit on the end of Y The Last Man, an article about 24 Hour Comics Day, and an article about Green Arrow, featuring a headline in English that we can all agree with:


Yes, he certainly is.

The poor man’s CGC.

§ April 16th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

Had issues #1 and #2 of Spawn show up in a collection, and this is how they were being kept:


Spawn, framed under glass. Seems like a bit of overkill to me.

Now, using those frames for a couple of my many copies of House of Secrets #92, on the other hand….

I hope the kid put that Donald Duck cut-out to good use.

§ April 15th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

We recently acquired a large collection of early Disney comics, including a mostly full run of Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories from #1 onward, the Firestone giveaways, and this copy of Four Color (first series) #4 (Feb 1940):


Regarding the odd outline around Donald that you may see there: at some point in this comic’s past, the image of Mr. Duck had been cut out of the front cover…and eventually replaced by a color copy that had been carefully pasted in. Not professional restoration by any means, but, as this sort of thing goes, it doesn’t look too bad, I think.

Some Watchmen stuff.

§ April 14th, 2008 § Filed under watchmen Comments Off


This full-page ad appeared in Amazing Heroes #120 (July 1987)…and in the letters column of the very next issue, the publisher responsible for this ad apologized to both DC Comics and Mayfair Games (the company that held the DC role-playing game license) for any confusion this ad may have caused. Since Gateways was, I think, a role-playing game magazine, and that Mayfair was specifically mentioned in the apology, this “new Watchmen story” was probably an RPG adventure. I don’t know if the apology was for accidentally making people think there was a new Watchmen comics story, or because the adventure wasn’t authorized by DC, or whatever. I can’t find any evidence this adventure was ever released…if anyone knows better, clue me in.

“Harlot’s Curse” — the phrase presumably comes from a William Blake poem. I wonder what this lost Watchmen “story” was about?


Related Watchmen info: I’ve been trying to research the actual release dates for the mini-series. Amazing Heroes appears to list DC’s original intended release dates, as the on-sale dates are all exactly a month apart.

This helps a little, as the one issue of Watchmen I can personally tie to a specific time period is #11, which came out the same week I graduated high school (June ’87). According to the AH listings, #11 was originally due to ship March 10th. So, by that point, the series was at least three months off.

Researching release dates for a twenty-year-old comic book series: this is what I call “taking it easy for a week,” apparently.

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