Saturday, December 27, 2008
More blasts from the past.
Still perusing some recently-recovered archives of postings from my BBS days...don't know if they're of much interest to anybody, but they're certainly amusing me.
I like this one for reminding me what I was reading thirteen-something years ago:
I'm including this announcement for the then-forthcoming issue of our local mini-comics digest simply because, while this certainly sounds like something we'd do, I have no recollection of planning to include this book with our comic, nor of actually doing it:
Hey, someone asked what was up with DC's elemental characters, and I obliged:
And now...reaction to the Spider-Clone Saga as it was happening:
And now, some comic investment news:
And here I am being too earnest for my own good. But, hey, here it is anyway:
And, finally, while I didn't note the exact date I said this (sometime in '95, I'm sure), it perhaps remains the truest thing I have ever written:
"There's no such thing as a Billy Barty movie that's COMPLETELY bad."
I said it...I stand by it.
Friday, December 26, 2008
She was my favorite Catwoman.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Progressive Ruin presents...a Merry Christmas and a Happy End of Civilization!
IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! Santa has brought you good boys and girls another choice selection from the latest Diamond Previews catalog (the Jan. 2009 edition), so if you're done opening presents and you're sick of dealing with your family...well, spend some time with me as we peruse these fine items:
p. 195 - Wizard #210:
If you're going to throw the phrase "Bosom Buddies" around and not give me Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in dresses, well, I can only express my extreme disappointment.
Though I suppose I should commend Wizard for one of its rare instances of restraint and not giving us, I don't know, Power Girl and Witchblade in the ad. Because, you know, "'bosom,' tee hee."
p. 217 - Betty #179:
Hey, Betty, I'm pretty sure Green Day is still performing...they're just fine, thank you.
p. 244 - Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #55 Previews Exclusive 9th Anniversary Photo Cover:
Normally I'd let the expert in all things Tarotian, Mr. Sims, handle this, but...9th anniversary? Really? Unless they're just really genuinely surprised that they actually were able to keep doing this for nine years. Or maybe the number "9" is some
p. 348 - Girls of Gaming Volumes 1 and 2:
"More than just a pin-up book, Girls of Gaming celebrates gaming's vast line-up of heroines, from the cute, to the sexy, and everything in-between. From Lara Croft to Aerith Gainsborough, from Vanessa Schneider (P.N. 03) to Farmer (Dungeon Siege), the 'girls of gaming' are brought to life through CGI renders, concept artwork, and commissioned and exclusive original artwork. Each volume of Girls of Gaming features hundreds of full-color images, interviews with the creators, gamers, and the girls themselves...."
Emphasis mine. Though there's really no end of things I could have emphasized there.
p. 362 - How to Cosplay Volume 1:
"Step One: Buy mace. Lots of it. Maybe get a taser, too."
p. 378 - Superman "Mini-Bling" Black T-Shirt:
I suspect a fundamental misunderstanding of the Superman character is at play here.
p. 388 - The Creature from The Black Lagoon Super-Size Creepy Collector's Figure:
"Hey, who wants a hug? A wet, squishy, vaguely-smelling-of-fish hug?"
p. 412 - Conan the Conqueror Statue:
"Conan, what is best in life?"
"Enjoying the bucking bronco ride at the country-western bar between the wet-shirt contests! Oh, and driving my enemies before me, the lamentation of their women, blah blah."
p. 416 - Saw - Jigsaw's Gauntlet Prop Replica:
I should stop being surprised by these things by now, but seriously...what are you going to do with this?
On second thought...perhaps I would like to remain blissfully ignorant.
p. 420 - Man Ape Mini-Bust:
Every month, I think Marvel has reached the absolute nadir of characters to translate to convenient bust form, and every time I'm proven incorrect.
Man Ape. Seriously.
p. 422 - Offered Again: Marvel Universe Civil War Busts:
So the statues with the series logo and exploding crotches tying into the crossover event from about two crossovers ago haven't sold out? A B-list villain, a goofy-looking Wolverine, and Spider-Man in that costume he doesn't wear anymore?
p. 426 - Star Trek The Original Series Classic Captain's Chair Replica:
While I'm the first to acknowledge the sheer awesomeness and power of Kirk's Chair, it seems the price of $2,717.01 is both steep and annoying cutesy. Plus, it looks like you could probably build your own, given some moderate skill with tools and finding the right kind of chair to build your wooden box base around.
There, that's a good summer project for some of you. Not me, I'd end up nailing my hand to the Captain's Log or something. Boy, that sounds dirty.
p. 430 - Star Wars Garindan Mini-Bust:
You really want a statue of this son-of-a-bitch? This guy totally snitched to the Stormtroopers where Luke, Han and gang were at. Also:
"...Nicknamed by Jabba the Hutt 'Long Snoot' for his long, green-black elephantine trunk...."
My first reaction was "oh, c'mon, no Jabba didn't," but that freakin' Expanded Universe, man...no minor character is left untouched. I'm sure in Star Wars: Hoojib Attack Volume Four: The Vengeance of Plif Garindan's nicknaming was covered.
p. 438 - Super-Bastard Box Art Character Toy Mini-Figures:
Huh, that's funny...not one of them looks a thing like Kevin Church.
p. 452 - Twitch the Raccoon Plush:
Yes, that's little stuffed guts coming out of him, and stitched-on tire treads. This is grossly fantastic.
p. 462 - The Spirit Wrench Keychain Bottle Opener:
While I'm looking forward to The Spirit film, I realize that other, less enlightened, folks are deriding this movie adaptation, and it looks like it may be heading for a box office bust. And thus, this item, and the other tie-in products scattered throughout this catalog...well, for one, the movies opening today, and even if we did order these items, they probably wouldn't show up until the film was on DVD. And at this point...I don't expect there's going to be a huge demand for Spirit junk.
So I can buy it all for cheap in about six months. Ha HA!
p. 463-4 - Watchmen stuff:
I'm taking a kind of perverse fascination in the marketing of this maybe forthcoming Watchmen movie.
Like the Dr. Manhattan baseball cap, or this flask:
Or the beanies...the beanies:
I have to admit I like the idea of being able to get a Rorschach lunchbox:
"...This iconic phrase, coined by the Roman poet Juvenal about the limits on police power, is stamped on this metal keychain!"
What kind of a world is it where one can't get good Juvenal merchandise without it having to be tied into some big Hollywood movie?
And...okay, you got me. This button?
Kind of awesome.
Marvel Previews p. 14 - Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk #3:
Marvel Previews p. 101 - Wolverine GN:
"...For the first time ever, experience the storied saga of everybody's favorite feral X-Man IN HIS OWN WORDS...."
"...And get this, bub...there was this one time the Ultimate version of me fought the Ultimate version of the Hulk, and it seemed like that battle took over three years to wrap up!"
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Blogging about blogging is a sin...
...but I've got some bits and pieces about the site (and other sites!) I'd like to clear out, so bear with me here.
And I guess that's it for today. I will have something new up here tomorrow, but let me wish you all in advance a happy, safe holiday...and, as always, thanks for reading.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Adventures of Mikester When He Was A Boy.
Or, at least, in his 20s.
Found a few messages from my comics board on the Retreat BBS (which I spoke a little about yesterday). Thought you all might be amused by some of these:
[The next one is in response to someone asking if I could tie these two particular characters/franchises together. One person responded that there's actually a shorter route between the two, and pal Andy was moved to comment to me "man, you're a geek," before coming up with his own chain of connections tying Gilligan of Gilligan's Island to Beavis and Butthead.]
[Because you're going to ask...I'm talking about John Estes in this next bit, who was at our shop signing copies of a bookshelf-format Marvel book he'd painted.]
[Hey, I was singling out internet folks for everyone's amusement even back then! EDIT: These are two people I found on Usenet...neither of them are me!]
[And here's a little bit from the front lines of the thoroughly-crashed comics market....]
Monday, December 22, 2008
When Mike was young and the world was full of hope.
So in the early-to-mid 1990s, I was fairly active in some of the local computer BBSes, being the resident funnybook expert on a handful of them. My main online hang-out at the time was a board called "The Retreat," where there was a lot of emphasis on creative writing, punnery, silliness, cleverness (or "cleverness" -- my glasses aren't entirely rose-colored), obfuscation, what have you...and of course, I had a comic book subboard there, too. It was a very fun BBS, and we'd even have occasional get-togethers at the sysop's house, just to hang out, talk, play nerdy games (my one and only time playing "Cosmic Encounter" was during one of these gatherings), eat junk food, whatever.
One day, pal Andy, who was also a regular Retreater, put the call out to some of the folks on that BBS, asking if they'd like to contribute to a forthcoming music magazine being assembled by his mother and aunt. A handful of us gave it a go, including me...and that's how, for a brief period of time, I was actually a published and, just as importantly, paid writer.
The magazine was Music Confidential, an irreverent, National Enquirer/Weekly World News-esque assemblage of humorous articles, reviews, interviews, and celeb photos, and featuring contributions from such notables as surf-guitar god Dick Dale, Rodney Bingenheimer, former MTV personality Kennedy, and...was Kato Kaelin involved? I think he might have been. Or maybe he just showed up to the premiere party.
My try-out piece was a bit of business about visiting a "Paul Is Dead" convention, based, naturally, on my comic convention visits. It was a bit nerve-wracking, sitting there in the Music Confidential offices, watching a handful of people passing around my article and reading it, but thankfully they all seemed to enjoy it and, with some slight editing (since then, as now, I tend to go on a bit) that article appeared in the first issue.
Although I wrote a variety of other columns and filler bits for the magazine, my regular gig was "Mikester's Comic Corner," in which I'd discuss and review music-related comic books. The running "gag" through the columns was that I'd tease discussing that KISS appearance in Howard the Duck, but, whoops, maybe I'll get to it next time! Yeah, I know, it's about as insufferable as it sounds, but I did finally get around to writing that Howard the Duck review for issue #5.
However, the magazine only lasted four issues (plus a one-shot "try-out" issue published quite a while before I came along), which as I recall had something to do with distribution difficulties...not to mention the fact that it's just plain hard to get a magazine going.
But it was fun while it lasted...I don't have any particularly wacky stories to tell from my time there, other than having to rewrite my article about Prince (as cover-featured on Music Confidential #2, pictured above), since the original version apparently worried the lawyers. That's something to be proud of, I think.
Oh, and there was a brief stab at producing a pilot for a TV show based on the magazine, and I performed in one of the skits filmed for it...from which we learned - Mike Sterling: NOT AN ACTOR. And hopefully all copies of that performance have been destroyed, and not on the verge of showing up on YouTube, Andy. One disappointment was that I had worked up a bit for the pilot based on those old elementary school educational films about proper behavior at a rock concert, complete with the dry, deadpan instructional narration (which I hopefully would have provided). Yeah, that's Comedy Premise #18, but I think it might have been funny, in my own unbiased opinion.
Anyway, on my old website, "Progressive Ruin 1.0," I had posted all my articles, including several intended for the never-published #5. That website's long gone, but lives on, kinda sorta, at archive.org...most of the articles are still there, though a couple will result in dead links. Hey, what can you do? But be gentle when you read them, as they're in the voice of a Mikester in his mid-20s, and not the embittered old Mikester you're dealing with right now. (But I think the "Interview with God" thing still holds up, so try that one first.)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Just so that previous post isn't at the top of the page all day.
Rick Veitch is taking commissions, and posted a commissioned Swamp Thing Meets The Spirit sketch to advertise as such. Very nice.
Inappropriately Cropped and Rotated Comic Cover Image Theatre presents....
Image stolen from here, because the copy I saw of this I saw in a collection someone brought in to sell ended up not being ours because apparently we weren't offering the immense fortune he thought he was going to get. But anyway, in conclusion, I'm a bad person.
But frankly, it's still pretty disturbing even without the cropping and rotating.