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“Bienvenue au manoir du meurtre!”

§ October 31st, 2008 § Filed under halloween Comments Off on “Bienvenue au manoir du meurtre!”

from Batman et Superman #6 (Sept/Oct 1977)

How badass is it that this haunted house has an octopus behind one of its doors?

Well, close enough, anyway.

Happy Halloween, where applicable.

Past Halloween posts: Pinkenstein and Stan Lee Presents Se7en.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ October 30th, 2008 § Filed under End of Civilization Comments Off on Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

WHAT MANNER OF SORCERY IS THIS? Another End of Civilization, by Crom! Flip open your Diamond Previews November 2008 edition, you mangy curs, and follow along or else you’ll taste my blade! Previous installments in the sidebar, if you’re brave enough to make the journey!

p. 55 – Bettie Page Heat Sensitive Mug:

As per the description…as the mug heats up, so does Bettie’s top fade away.

Has Dark Horse put out replicas of those old “Kiss Me in The Dark, Baby” glow in the dark ties yet? Seems to be up sorta the same alley.

p. 130 – Batman CosBaby Mini-Figures:

So this Joker is almost completely inappropriately cute:

…but dig this cute Batman. Batman is totally Bat-worried!

There’s a “mystery figure” (shown only in silhouette), but if it’s not Cute Superdeformed Alfred, I don’t want to know.

p. 138 – American Jesus Vol. 1 Chosen TP:

First thought was “oh, man, ‘volume 1’ — they’re doing more.” Second was, upon reading a description of the “bizarre plot twists” therein later in Previews, remembering when the first issue of this series originally arrived at the shop, and pal Dorian flipping through it, and (accurately, as it turned out) predicting the series’ “twist” ending.

p. 148 – Wonderlost TP:

For just the briefest of moments, I thought this was an ad for a new Fast Times at Ridgemont High comic. No offense to Wonderlost, but I was totally disappointed. So I must put the call out to pal Ian, the only editor in this business hopelessly under my hypnotic thrall, and bid him…OBTAIN THE FAST TIMES LICENSE. DO IT NOW. THIS I COMMAND.

p. 372 – Star Wars Galaxy Series 4 Trading Cards:

Why Mike is a bad person, reason #whatever: there’s a promo card inserted into this issue of Previews with the image just below, and when I saw it –

…I laughed and laughed and laughed, for no real good reason I can explain. Like, employees looking at me and wondering “what the hell?” kind of laughter. A reaction to retrofitting Episode III schmaltz into the original trilogy? Hard to say. Maybe I’m just losing my mind.

p. 377 – Jigsaw “Get On My Level” T-shirt:

This smacks just a little of “trying too hard.” Also, I was going to say “why a Jigsaw shirt?” but he’s the villain in the new might-as-well-be-direct-to-video Punisher sequel.

p. 390 – Barbie “Went with The Wind” Carol Burnett Doll:

No pic of the doll is ready, so there’s a still from the show instead. But that doesn’t matter, since a Barbie based on a decades-old comedy skit is exactly what little girls want, and I’m sure it’ll sell itself.

(So, let’s see how many different fan bases I’ve just annoyed….)

p. 415 – Mangog Mini-Bust:

I always think “wow, surely Marvel can’t scrape the bottom of the barrel any further with their choices for busts,” and I’m always wrong. I never thought, in my lifetime, I’d be typing the words “Mangog Mini-Bust.”


Just say it to yourself, repeatedly, quietly, during the course of your day.

p. 415 – Marvel Zombies Wolverine Bust:

I “get” the comic. It’s a dark-humored joke…it’s probably gone on a bit too long, but I can see the appeal. The Marvel Zombie merchandise, however, having removed the characters from their original context…just seems a little…peculiar to me. Like “here’s my favorite Marvel hero, miserable and suffering and, essentially, dead!”

p. 422 – Star Wars AT-AT Driver Mini-Bust:

I love this sculpt. It’s like he’s just casually posing for photos to send the folks back home in his Life Day cards. “Hi Mom! I made it through AT-AT Driving School!”

p. 439 – Captain America Winter Soldier Fine Art Statue:

There’s only one thing you need to offer with each product to guarantee sales, and that thing is:

p. 441 – Death Note Plushes:

This must be the Previews for inappropriately cute things. “Hi! I’m a mass murderer, and I’m holding an apple for my Death God friend! Tee hee!”

p. 480 – Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition for Dummies:

Well, sure…who else would play 4th edition?


Marvel p. 57 – Sub-Mariner The Depths #4:

And now, my joke for old Saturday Night Live fans:

“You look like you need a massage!”

p. 58 – Thor #600:

And we wrap up this time pointing out that Marvel abandoned the “renumbering from #1” sales boost gimmick in favor of the “large ‘milestone’ issue number” sales boost…again.

Which reminds me…Amazing Spider-Man had an annual out this week, numbered “1,” while also having the original numbering, “35,” printed on the cover alongside the “1.” First, the regular Amazing Spider-Man title doesn’t have this double numbering scheme any more, so why still do it with the annual? And secondly…they’re already putting out three ASMs a month, and Marvel ain’t shy about upping the page count and the price on any of their regular titles at any given time. Not sure why an annual was entirely necessary, but I’m sure folks have their reasons.

Sorry, that’s a decidedly non-silly way to wrap up the End of Civilization. Let’s look at the AT-AT driver again:

I’m pretty sure this is the same pose I had in most of my elementary school pictures. But without the armor. Well, not that armor.

Late Wednesday night update, when I should be working on the End of Civilization.

§ October 30th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Late Wednesday night update, when I should be working on the End of Civilization.

1. Just heard a local news broadcast on the radio, stating that the big holiday supply/costume place in our county is experiencing large demand for Supergirl and Poison Ivy (“from the popular Batman series of films”) and other superhero costumes from little girls.

2. From Yahoo news:

Why wasn’t this the “Daredevil race?” Why? WHY?

The forgotten faces of laughter.

§ October 29th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on The forgotten faces of laughter.

Title panels of one-page gag strips from Don Fortune #3 and #5 (1946):

Can you tell that I really didn’t have anything ready for today’s post?

§ October 28th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Can you tell that I really didn’t have anything ready for today’s post?

  • I’ve not been in a Halloweenish mood this year, as I’ve mentioned previously, and I’m afraid that’s getting reflected on my site with a lack of spooky posts and scary scans. (Though I think yesterday’s YouTube link qualifies!) I have been trying to do banners that sorta fit into a Halloweeny theme, which is one of the reasons why I haven’t yet switched over to the random banner rotator that I’ve been promising for months now.

    A couple of my blogging brethren have been picking up the slack, however: Dr. K has been doing his Halloween countdown (don’t miss his great Solomon Grundy costume!), and as I’ve noted before, Armagideontime is doing a Halloween countdown as well, complete with MP3s.

    And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you in the direction of Plastic Pumpkins‘ celebration of all things All Hallows Eve-ish.

  • Speaking of Dr. K, he recently received a letter from a mother who wants to answer her 4 year old son’s questions about Spider-Man and Superman, and Dr. K gives her the lowdown.
  • Big Bad BeaucoupKevin draws a comparison between Grant Morrison and David Mamet, and discusses storytelling in the comics medium. Good, interesting reading.
  • And since Kevin brought it up in that post:

    Really, Marvel. Rulk. That’s what you’re calling the Red Hulk.

    That’s dumb. And given that this comic is profoundly stupid, that’s saying something.

    I’m not saying I don’t like the new Hulk series, mind you…it’s big, loud and stupid in a way that I’m generally enjoying, even if I agree with Kevin’s particular criticisms of this book. It ain’t high art, it ain’t deep, but it’s nicely drawn and kinda fun in a dumb action movie sort of way.

    But I’m totally drawing the line at calling the character “Rulk.” You folks stop that right now.

  • So I was thinking about a comic which would have a lead Catwoman story by Chuck Dixon and Jim Balent, and a back-up story starring the Ted Kord Blue Beetle, and it would be called Here You F’n Go. Pal Dorian suggested that every story begin with a shot of Spoiler’s memorial in the Batcave, and that there be pages with blank word balloons and a note for readers to “write in your own dialogue, since you, the fans, are clearly better at it then those of us who are paid to do this.” Dor’s title: Quit Your F’n Bitching.

    Of course, we realized this thing wouldn’t even sell Street Poet Ray numbers, since its target audience probably accounts for 0.001% of comic sales. But that didn’t stop us from having some shrivel-hearted, mean-spirited fun.

  • Yes, I was trying to avoid using the word “fuck.” I run a clean blog, here.
  • I also realize the irony of putting that bit of business right after my “Rulk is a stupid name” post, thank you.
  • Do you people even remember Street Poet Ray? Just kind of curious. How many of you have ever actually seen a copy of it? (Would you like to buy some from us? I’ll make you a swell deal.) Here’s a blog entry from a chap at Marvel discussing this publishing misstep.
  • You know, now that DC’s started the “triangle number” system of keeping the multiple Superman comics in order again, they’re not going to get me to buy the Supergirl book, too, since they’ll be slapping that triangle on that book, too. I’m not going to buy Supergirl just to keep the triangle number run complete. I’m not. I’m not.

    I probably am. I hate myself.

  • We’re getting in those McCain: The Comic Book and Obama: The Comic Book titles from Antarctic Press this Wednesday, so we’ve pretty much got a week to sell them. To be honest, that’s a week more than I was expecting since I thought for sure they’d be out after the election.

    As for the IDW biographies of the candidates we received a few weeks ago…we sold out of Obama, have a couple remaining of McCain, and a couple remaining of the flip book. COMIC SHOPS: HOTBEDS OF LIBERALISM.

    Seriously, though, I thought J. Scott Campbell did a knockout job on the covers for those IDW books, which really helped sell them at our shop. Good caricatures, and the candidates’ superheroic poses in front of the flag was perfect.

  • Somehow I missed that IDW actually registered to advertise these books. Might be a dry spell on that site, though, for the next three years or so until the 2012 election gets going.
  • So, how many Halloween-themed books will we see arriving the first week of November? There’s always one or two!

And now…some good ol’ fashioned nightmare fuel.

§ October 27th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on And now…some good ol’ fashioned nightmare fuel.

French Supergirl is embarrassed.

§ October 27th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on French Supergirl is embarrassed.

This is from another recent store acquisition, a copy of Batman et Superman #6 from 1977:

As the title promises, it reprints U.S. Batman and Superman stories, along with Supergirl and Superboy adventures. The stories are presented in a mix of color pages and black and white, switching off within the same story, presumably as a cost-cutting measure. It’s odd to be reading a story in color only to turn the page and have it suddenly in black and white, but it’s not as distracting as you might think…the print quality is pretty high, with nice clear and crisp reproduction of the lines.

As promised on the cover, the two auto-collants (stickers) are still intact inside, one for Supes and the one shown here, for Bats:

“Me, I read Batman. You can keep your Camus and your Proust and your Hugo.”

Several puzzle pages appear throughout this book, including these two accompanied by a couple of terrifying caricatures:

And there are some educational nature pages as well, apparently taken from the Mark Trail comic strip, since these are credited to Ed Dodd, creator of the character. And here’s Mr. Trail himself getting up close and personal with a fuzzy caterpillar:

My God, that caterpillar is huge.

Anyway, there you go…yet another non-English superhero funnybook that turned up in our store. Not a bad little package, with generally high printing quality and a variety of stories and free gifts…well, just stickers, sure, but still pretty cool.

Educational Werewolf teaches you about the Notre Dame Cathedral.

§ October 26th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Educational Werewolf teaches you about the Notre Dame Cathedral.

from Werewolf by Night #16 (April 1974)
by Mike Friedrich, Mike Ploog & Frank Chiaramonte

In other news:

  • Pal Ian has yet another story in Boom! StudiosZombie Tales #6. It’s a spooky one…those with delicate constitutions need not apply! Nurses will be posted in comic shops across the country in case of stress and/or injuries caused by fright! Buy lots of copies so I can guilt-trip Ian into buying stuff at our shop next time he stops by!
  • Matt Maxwell — blogger, comics writer, and handsome fellow — has announced the impending online serialization of Strangeways: Thirsty, a sequel to his excellent werewolf graphic novel Strangeways: Murder Moon. A print version will follow. Pages will be posted three days a week at Blog @ Newsarama, starting October 27th. Tell them Mike sent you! (And watch ’em reply “Mike who?”)
  • Pal Dorian chats a bit about that time Captain Marvel fought ghost pirates. Oh, those ghost pirates…them guys is rascals.
  • Some Mystery Science Theatre 3000-related news:


    The 20th Anniversary boxed set, coming this week. Features four movies, a new documentary, and a Crow T. Robot figure. Already ordered mine…you’d better order yours. I was totally shaking my fist at the screen as I wrote that.

    And there was a new release from MST3K creator Joel Hodgson’s Cinematic Titanic earlier in the month…Legacy of Blood, available on DVD or by download. I just received my copy on Saturday, and haven’t had a chance to watch it yet…but the previous three installments were a blast, and I expect the same from the fourth.

  • Hey, I just realized…we’re pretty close to, if not right on top of, the 20th anniversary of this comic:

    So, how are you gonna celebrate?

Oh God, not Batman and Robin again.

§ October 25th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Oh God, not Batman and Robin again.

Like the other three posts weren’t enough, I know. But I was checking our Batman backstock when I happened across the comic book adaptation of Batman and Robin, and I decided to peek inside.

This is the first page of the adaptation (by Denny O’Neil, Rodolfo Damaggio and Bill Sienkiewicz):

Yes, the comic actually starts with us watching the crew filming Batman and Robin, and with the actors playing “Batman” and “Robin” on the set in front of a greenscreen (or bluescreen, whatever). Then, with the second panel, we’re immersed in the story, and that moment of kinda/sorta fourth wall breaking is not referenced again…until the last panel of the story, where instead of having “THE END” there’s a little caption reading “THAT’S A WRAP!”

So…metacommentary on the film’s (possibly) intentional artificiality? A reminder to Bat-fans that, not to worry, this isn’t their “real” Batman, only a movie version? Maybe O’Neil just messing around? YOU DECIDE.

Whatever the reason…it’s still a little strange.

There’s this one thing that frustrates me for, really, no good reason.

§ October 24th, 2008 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives, sir-links-a-lot, swamp thing § 1 Comment

So, many years ago, even before my entry into the high-finance world of comics retailing, I was trying to put together a run of the ’85 indie mini-series MacKenzie Queen by Bernie Mireault. I found the first four easily enough, but the fifth one took some searching. Like, a lot of searching. More searching than I should have expected, given that I began looking for these issues just a couple of years after they were originally released. But then again, this was in the midst of the black and white glut and bust, so it probably shouldn’t surprise me that an obscure b&w title from an even more obscure publisher would have slipped through the cracks.

But, eventually, after about five or six years of scouring quarter bins, and looking through collections (for by this time, I was in the funnybook-sellin’ business), I finally found a copy of MacKenzie Queen #5 in the quarter box at a (now defunct) store in Santa Barbara. And because I was a “fellow professional” (i.e. worked at another shop about 45 minutes south), the guy at the shop gave me a discount, so I got issue 5 for even less than twenty-five cents. Seems almost anticlimactic, now that I think about it. (And I should note, I was buying some other things at the same time, and I didn’t ask for the discount…he knew me from our intershop dealings, and just offered it to me. Honest. As cheap as I may be, even I wouldn’t ask for a break on a quarter comic! Really. Would I lie?)

Now here’s the thing that frustrates me.

I’m sure a lot of you comic buyers out there have had that one comic you’ve been seeking for ages, and once you find it, suddenly…you can’t stop finding more copies of it. It just seems like it’s everywhere. I mean, it’s not just me, is it?

There was an issue of Zot! that was like this for me…I couldn’t find #5 (again, a fifth issue…what’s up with that?), looked for a year or two, and finally found it. And then, of course, every time I turn around I find more copies of the damned thing. But for whatever reason, that wasn’t nearly as frustrating as the whole MacKenzie Queen thing. And yes…once I found MacKenzie Queen #5, I started seeing more of them. And every time I would see one, it would remind me about how long I’ve looked for that issue.

Even just this past Thursday afternoon, I was going through a long box of books we acquired from a closed comic shop a few months back…just one of those low priority jobs that I get around to whenever I’m tired of dealing with restocking or mail order or beating the employees. And, of course, here’s what I find in the box:

And here’s what I thought when I saw these books:

“Well, shit.”

And let me note that no other issues from this series were in the box. Just #5. The comic collecting gods are mocking me.

Told you this is a point of frustration that has no real good reason. Any reasonable human would have been over this by now.

By the way, I’ve been looking for an issue of Yummy Fur (#9) for, like, twenty years now. I know as soon as I find that, I’ll suddenly be hip-deep in issue #9s, because the universe is laughing at me.

On a related note, because this post isn’t long enough yet, I was double-checking some dates over on the essential Grand Comics Database, and noticed that the entry for MacKenzie Queen #1 has a note that reads “may be reprinted in trade paperback.”

Well, I can verify, for the one or two fellas from the GCD who are kind enough to read my site, that the MacKenzie Queen trade paperback does exist. I bought back when I expected I’d never find the #5…even though I did have the story already, I still bought that #5 when I found it, because, well, you know how comic fans are.

Here’s a scan of the cover, direct from my bookshelf and onto your computer screen:

Published by Caliber Press in 1990. Still in black and white. Paper smells kind of funny, like most Caliber Press books. If you GCD guys need a larger pic, just let me know where to send it.

In other news…well, it’s not a lot of news, but these items have been brought to my attention, and they must be revealed to the public!

From the comments, commentator Michael points out [EDIT: Haloscan comment link dead] this collection of graffiti photos that has an image of interest to Swamp Thing fans about nine pics down. Of all the things (har) I never expected to see spray-painted on a wall….

And Johnny Bacardi was kind enough to direct me to a Presidential/Vice Presidential pairing that I can get behind. I’d of course would want the VP candidate in the President slot, and vice versa, but I could live with the ticket as it stands.
(post updated 8/2016)

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