mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just how bad-ass is Jonah Hex? 



from DC Special Series #16 (1978) by Michael Fleisher & Russ Heath

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Recall Explicit Swearing Error Banned Alternate Mint" 

Various ways the misprinted All Star Batman and Robin #10 is being described on the eBay:

Banned edition

Bat-ho variant

HOLY F&#@ All Star Batman & Robin #10 BANNED potty

Batman F-Bomb #10 Recalled Error

Recall Explicit Swearing Error Banned Alternate Mint


Holy #*&$ Batman!! Printing error shows foul language

RECALLED - Swear Words

You know, it's not really banned, as such.

Interestingly, I found one auction ended with a "Buy It Now" at about ten bucks for a current, non-misprinted version of issue #10. It's not unimaginable, I suppose...a number of years ago, I used to list brand new comics on eBay every week at cover price, and occasionally one would get multiple bids, driving the price up. But I looked at this auction for the F-bombless version of ASBAR, and found this in the item's description:

"Corrected Edition
Already Sold Out at Diamond ! Definitive Collector's Item with Error Variant!"

They're trying to say "this corrected edition also has an error variant, maybe you've heard of it," which is likely there just to get the word "error" into the description text to grab searches. But I think it's within the realm of possibility that whoever bid on this may have thought "say, this item comes with the error variant! Woo hoo!"

Hey, it might have happened.

I should also note that prices are coming way down on the misprinted #10...my prediction a while back that I'll be able to get a copy for about five bucks or so within a few months is well on its way to coming to pass.

  • DC Comics cans its Minx imprint. Don't have much to say about it myself, other than they didn't do all that well for us, either, but Kevin Church has some extended commentary (beginning with some joke commentary which, really, may be more true than one would initially think), and longtime comics blogging treasure Johnny Bacardi gets into it as well.

  • All but two of our copies of Simpsons Treehouse of Horror #14 were misprinted, featuring repeated pages. Retailers, check your copies...customers, check yours, too.

    By the way, what I've been able to read of this issue is typical top-notch Treehouse of Horror funnybooking. Includes a black and white Death Note parody (in that manga Simpsons style that's been getting some play over the last year or two), and Gilbert Hernandez' installment is just downright peculiar. And great.

  • Pal Dorian looks at Green Arrow strutting his stuff, and uses the single longest Green Arrow panel scan I've seen on a website. IT'S HUGE.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Progressive Ruin presents...the End of Civilization. 

Ellohay, internetway alspay! It'sway onceway againway imetay orfay ethay Endway ofway Ivilizationcay, asway Iway owplay oughthray ethay ewestnay issueway ofway Iamondday Eviewspray andway ickpay outway itemsway ofway interestway orfay educationway andway iscussionday. Ipflay openway ouryay ownway opycay andway ollowfay alongway! Ou'reyay otnay eallyray eadingray isthay, areway ouyay? Eviouspray installmentsway areway, asway alwaysway, inway ethay idebarsay.

p. 137 - Superman/Batman Series 8 Action Figures:

Okay, I probably shouldn't be complaining about in regards to a set based on the Superman/Batman comic, but, honestly, I think the Direct Market has reached its Superman/Batman action figure saturation point. Where's my kick-ass Johnny Thunder and his Thunderbolt two-pack?

p. 211 - Archie #592:

Wh--what's this? A reasonably up-to-date video game reference on the cover of an Archie comic? Given the joke is based on the novelty of a video game that requires folks to peel their hinders from the Barcalounger to jump and move and flail about with the controller, it's only about two years behind since everyone in the real world is more or less used to the idea of the Wii by now. But, you know, a couple of years behind is pretty good for Archie.

p. 313 - M.I.L.F. Magnet #1:

"That's right. You read it correctly. And don't lie to us, you know what a MILF is! You know the kind of guy we're talking about. It's not his fault; he just attracts women like nobody's business - with catastrophic results! After a magical accident during a fight with a supervillain, a young and innocent hero named Taser discovers that he now has a more specific kind of ability. Women of a certain age will just not leave him alone, 24/7!"

I should add something to that, but for the life of me, I can't.

p. 389 - Topps 2008 Sterling NFL Cards:

No relation.

But wouldn't it be something if these were cards of me? A card set showing photos of my exciting life...see Mike working! See Mike blogging! See Mike drinking Diet Coke! Not to mention the special rare chase cards, featuring bits of my clothing and clippings from my luxurious golden mane of hair.

p. 400 - The Spirit "My City Screams" Black T-Shirt:

Ooh, I was hoping that one of the more ridiculed lines from The Spirit movie's advertising campaign would make it onto a shirt I'm not going to wear.

p. 414 - Cinema of Fear Jason 2008 San Diego Comic-Con Deluxe Plush:

I just picked this item at...well, not at random, but this is the goofiest example (is that machete plush, too? I gotta know) of all the leftover "exclusive" merchandise from the San Diego Comic Con. Really, there's a lot in this catalog...action figures, paperweights, etc. ...Wasn't there a time when a lot of leftover Warner Brothers Store merchandise was making it into the Previews catalog? Because it sort of feels like that.

p. 422 - The Spirit Movie Keychains:

Now, honestly, I enjoyed that brief clip that was up on the internet for about a minute, showing the Spirit fighting the Octopus. It was amusingly goofy, and at times looked as if it were drawn by Will Eisner. But some of the stuff from the ad campaigns, which has ended up on these keychains...egads.

p. 424 - Gangsta Babies Series 1 Dolls:

I can't say it any better than the solicitation info:

"Comin' straight outta crib-town! Each of these 10" hoodlers are A-Listing in the playground! Rockin' fab-tastic clothing and so much baby bling that other rug rats can only catch their vapors! This first series of Gangsta Babies contains Pookie, the green-eyed baller who features a thermal shirt, t-shirt, dew rag, ring, and pimped out pacifier necklace; Benjino, the carrot-toped homey with a red bubble vest, football jersey, jeans, cassette-shaped ring, and old school boom box necklace; Rey Rey, a playa who is #1 with all the Shorties with a hoodie, skullcap, camo jacket, and shorts; and Big Deuce, the liíl shot-caller is runniní things with a baseball hat, shirt, cuffed jeans, and white do rag, diamond ring, gold rope bracelet, and crown pendant."


p. 424 - Star Trek The Original Series Tribble Role Play:

You have no idea how disappointed I was that this wasn't a costume for tribble cosplay...basically like a big ol' furry beanbag you can roll around in.

Someone, somewhere, at some Star Trek convention or even just in the privacy of their own homes, has dressed as a tribble. Let that ease your dream-filled sleep.

p. 442 - Thor Classic Helmet 1/1 Scale Replica:

This bad boy costs $369...but if you're the kind of guy who's gonna dish out for a winged metal hat to display in your home, you're gonna wear it too. Ain't no denying it.

p. 442 - Clash of the Titans 2008 San Diego Comic Con Mini-Bust 3-Pack:

Probably the only product featuring exposed breasts that didn't sell out at the 'Con.

p. 444 - Rock Iconz Ted Nugent Statue:

WARNING: Mike will repeatedly say "The Nuge!" at the slightest provocation, such as, say, seeing this Previews ad about mid-day at the store. Just letting you know.

p. 446 - Star Wars The Clone Wars Ahsoka Tano Maguette:

"This pre-memorial statue based on the Clone Wars cartoon character pays tribute to young Jedi padawan Ahsoka, doomed to be either exiled or simply outright killed (likely by her master Anakin, for full dramatic impact) during or shortly after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Enjoy her while you can, kids!"

p. 466 - Peter Pan Captain Hook Bust (Color Version):

I'm not seeing the appeal of a Hook statue that doesn't, oh, I don't know...show his hook.

p. 486 - Star Wars R2-D2 4 Port USB Hub:

You know, this is about the best match between "licensed character" and "USB hub" that I've seen. Pal Sean made a joke about that USB cord being R2's robot naughty bits, but I'm runnin' a clean site here, sir. Good day...I said good day!

Marvel p. 83 - Punisher War Zone Minimates Box Set:

If you're familiar these kinds of figures, you know of their disturbingly noseless visages:

Except this guy, who has enough of a vestigial bridge where his nose should be to wear a NOSE BANDAGE:

This is just slightly upsetting my Minimates worldview.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The future King Richard I would like you to know that he is a fighter. 

from Ideal #4 (January 1949)

EDIT:Bully is also a fighter!

"His accent...advantageous!" 

Just a few days ago, I mentioned that internet pal Andrew, who puts out some of the best comics 'n' music commentary I've ever read over on Armagideon Time, had just started Pronounced Woo-bin, a site in celebration of the Bostonian accent. Each post features a short recording by Andrew his own self, reading poetry, reciting comment phrases used by inhabitants of far-flung Bostonia, what have you.

The man also takes requests, and when I asked if he could do me the great favor of applying his wonderful accent to one of my all-time favorite "read it aloud for maximum impact" comic books, he was enough of a gentleman to agree.

So without further ado, to-do, or hoohar, I present Andrew and one of the best-selling comics of the 1990s.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Things that are rad. 

Original sketch card of Bat-Mite by Tone Rodriguez, from the Rittenhouse Batman Archives trading card set.

Who gets the ladies? 

Sluggo gets the ladies:

In other news:
  • Chris Sims presents a new chapter in the Solomon Stone saga. A laugh in every line!

  • Pal Dorian takes issue with a kind of...peculiar...defense of current Spider-Man comics.

  • This installment of The Rack reminds me of a similar situation from our store, many years ago.

    I'll wait until you read the strip before I continue and spoil it for you.

    Hmmm mmm mmm mmm...okay, you're back? Good.

    So quite a while back, after a week where the new comics shipment had another holiday-delayed new comics shipment, a customer came into the shop and pressed what looked like a home computer-printed banner into my hands.

    "This is for you to post in the window when the new comics are delayed a day," said the customer, voice tinged with irritation.

    I unfolded the banner, which read "NEW COMICS DELAYED UNTIL TOMORROW." It was printed on a color dot-matrix printer, with a combination of hues that could have been described as "garish" if it hadn't have been printed with a color dot matrix printer.

    He continued: "Now I can drive by and see from the street whether or not the new comics are in, without having to park and look."

    Now, I was much younger then, only about 50 or so, so my response was probably something along the lines of a nearly-sarcasm-free "gee, thanks," and not "what, is your phone broken?" or "great, this should help keep out customers on a day that's already going to suck financially."

    We never used it. The guy never said anything about us not using it, far as I can remember. Come to think of it, I bet it's still floating around the shop, somewhere, packed in a box in the back room.

    I'm not unsympathetic...I know a new-comicsless New Comics Day is a drag for the customer. But it's a drag for us, too, and putting a sign in the window that's basically discouraging customers from coming into the store at all is not a good idea. I mean, I'm already telling folks on the phone that new comics aren't in, so they're not going to drop by. If customers expecting new comics on a comicsless New Comics Day actually show up at the store, there's still a chance they may buy stuff...a chance that's gone if I'm stopping customers at the door before they even step foot inside.

    We have one-day special sales on those holiday-created new-comicsless New Comics Days, but even putting up sale signs may not counter the full-on comic-blocking posted in the window, telling the New Comics Day customers that the exact reason they've come to the shop is not in effect. As a store, we need people to walk through that front door and look around, and giving them any excuse to not do so is a bad idea.

    And if you really need to know if the new comics are in, give the store a call. We'll tell you, honest. But if I have to tell you they're not in, I'm gonna pitch our one-day-sale to you, too. I hope you don't mind.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mike's draconian in-store dancing policies, and other topics of importance to the young student. 

  • Sometimes the in-store staff meetings depart from the prepared agenda:
    Me: "No, we can't have dancing in the store."

    Kid Chris: "No dancing?"

    Me: "Well...look, we can't have anyone doing the 'Cabbage Patch' or the 'Running Man.'"

    Employee Aaron: "The 'Running Man?'"

    Me: "That's right."

    (sees disappointed looks on the faces of Aaron and Kid Chris)

    Me: "Oh, fine, if you need to, you can do The Swim."

    Employee Aaron: "Can we do the Hustle?"

    Me: "The Hustle is permitted if...and only if...'The Hustle' by Van McCoy is playing on the CD player."

  • Despite the above, our store won Best Comic Book Store in the county for the somethingth-time in a row, according to a long-running local free weekly paper. Number two was a store in the next town over, and number three was the game store we rent space to. They carry Knights of the Dinner Table, you see. Yes, the #3 comic shop in our county is located within the #1 comic shop. I recently cleared some space over near the comic racks...maybe I can open a shop there and we claim all three spots next time!

    All kidding aside, it does make us happy, and we get a snazzy framed award certificate we can hang up in the shop, so there you go.

  • More buttons from The Collection:

    That Green Hornet button is an original, not a reproduction, far as I can tell. And, you know, I thought there were more comic-related buttons in this collection at first glance, but it seems to be mostly music-related or regional interest or buttons like "I'm A Killer Bimbo," which I'm going to assume doesn't refer to Betty Boop's companion.

    I thought this was an odd thing to make a button from:

    ...though I suppose it is kinda creepy, given the Hitchcock connection.

    ...And I'm still trying to figure this out:

    I'm assuming it's perhaps a sports mascot of some kind, but my sports knowledge, such as it is, and my Google-fu both fail me. Maybe one of YOU know what's going on here.

    If ducks in clothing disturb you, here's a button of a presumably clothes-less, or at least shirtless, duck:

    Not quite sure what's going on there, either.

  • Some "blogging about blogging is a sin" business...I'm getting closer to beginning the "rotating title banner" function on the site, so that every time you visit a new banner will turn up at the top of the page. Here are details if you'd still like to contribute your own...when I start doing the rotating banners, I'll have a link at the top of the page leading to a credits section, which will have links to contributors' websites as applicable.

    It's about a month away, and I'm just going to start with a handful of banners at first, to make sure it works okay. So, if you pop by the site sometime in the next few weeks, and things have gone horribly, horribly awry (or maybe you just get this page)...I assure you, I'm working on it!

  • Came across this on Amazon:

    Not a collectible card game, but just your standard card deck. Take a look at the Amazon page for more details, such as they are.

    Girly cards are pretty far down my list of expected Star Wars merchandise. Perhaps right after the splayed-leg C3P0 tape dispenser.

    And hey, I'm no dummy:

  • Speaking of Star Wars, I just had this brief exchange with the girlfriend's 11 year old niece, as we were looking at a Star Wars toy catalog:
    Niece: "I think I can name all these characters...that's Yoda, that's R2D2, that's General Grievous, that's Darth Maul, that's Mara Jade...."

    Me: "Do you know who Mara Jade is?"

    Niece: "No."

    Me: "Just checking."

    Niece: "Who is she?"

    Me: "She was a bad guy who was trying to kill Luke Skywalker, then later became one of the good guys and ended up marrying Luke."

    Niece: "Really? How do you know that?"

    Me: "Um...I've read all the books and comics."

    Niece: "You have?"

    Me: "Yeah. Don't rub it in."

    There's a lesson to be learned here, and that lesson is "Mike shouldn't read so many Star Wars books."

  • Came across this at the shop the other day:

    The post-crash late '90s comics industry bore some strange fruit, indeed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Let us rub our external mouth tumors together to prove our love!" 

So there I was, just cruising through the Grand Comics Database, looking at old photo-cover comics, when I came across the cover for Miss America Magazine Vol. 7 #11. And really, click on that link to see the cover at full size, because I don't know if it's the coloring on the cover, or just the scan or what, but those bubblegum bubbles (if that's what they actually are) look really, really appalling.

I grossed myself out with the thought that's in this post's subject line, and now I've passed it on to you. No need to thank me.

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