ad from Saga of the Swamp Thing #5 (Sept. 1982)
1. Gaff didn’t really do much, did he? Stupid bird.
2. I hope no one actually tried to do any of this once they got their shark tooth pendant.
3. I’m going to resist the “Village People” joke.
4. “For you, your crew, and your country” — “your” country, not “our.” Is Sgt. Shark…a man without a country? Or does he owe his allegiance to some foreign power?
5. How’d the parrot lose an eye? Surely not a shark attack — that probably would have taken the entire head — though that would explain Gaff’s reluctance to join the “adventure.”
Hey, man, I was ending civilization before it was cool. Now I look at the headlines in one of the few newspapers that are left, and it looks like everyone’s getting in on my action. Ah, well. The more the merrier, I suppose. Fiddle along with me as we see a little bit of Rome burn away within the February 2009 edition of Diamond Previews:
p. 196 – Cerebus Archive #1:
Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Cerebus
. I plan on buying this new series featuring early work by Dave Sim, background material on the creation of Cerebus
, etc. But the zombie cover variant? After doing a handful of them for his other project Glamourpuss
, I think we’ve got the joke by now. The $15 retail price joke.
But the worst part? The zombie variant for this series looks awesome. Dangit.
p. 344 – The Desktop Heads of Easter Island:
Apparently these were made by very
tiny alien beings.
p. 372 – Indiana Jones Sallah Mighty Muggs figure:
Now let us picture John Rhys-Davies in a skin-tight white suit, as demonstrated here.
p. 382 – Terminator 2 Series 1 Minimate Assortment:
gets points for including the explody “liquid metal” version of the T-1000.
p. 387 – Star Trek Movie Electronic Communicator:
So this is what they’re going to look like in that new, revamped Star Trek
movie, hm? Sort of an interesting design dilemma, trying to evoke the look of the original TV series, while simultaneously trying to appear more
futuristic than our modern day, ubiquitous cellphones, which themselves are at least in part inspired by the original show while also being far more advanced in many ways than what those old props were supposed to represent.
However, this communicator toy has it all over cellphones, what with the included lenticular Kirk/Spock sticker inside. ADVANTAGE: ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATOR.
p. 393 – Giger’s Alien 1:1 Lifesize Statue:
Sweet dear holy God in heaven. It’s almost eight
feet tall, it’s bottom-lit through the “floor grid” base, and you can move the arms so that they’re sticking out in from of the Alien, like he’s grabbing for you. Good for keeping around the house if you want to occasionally scare the living bejeebers out of yourself.
Also, out of curiosity, I checked the retailer order details on this item…the net cost on this is several thousand dollars, and apparently it would be delivered to us in five large boxes. Some assembly required, my friends.
p. 398 – (Offered again) Lord of the Rings Balrog Monument:
As first featured in this post
, the $2000 four foot wide
limited Balrog has been relisted for more orders in this month’s Previews
. Oddly enough, it didn’t sell out the first time.
p. 400 – Kurse Mini-bust:
Mixed feelings: “a Kurse bust…really
?” versus “oh man, a Walt Simonson-era Thor
BONUS: Statue is also a Secret Wars II tie-in.
p. 404 – Back to the Future Marty McFly Hat Replica:
I thought for sure this was some kind of Hypercolor
-esque thing, but apparently it’s just “ultra-refractive fabrics” that make up the hat.
Really, when was the last time you thought about Hypercolor? (I couldn’t even remember the name, until Kid Chris reminded me.)
p. 408 – Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi Bronze Bust:
Only $1,500. Probably would have immensely irritated Sir Alec.
p. 416 – Broken Heart Doll Plushies:
“Aarrchie was the sickest bass player around, but all he got was a lousy photo op with Green Day’s Billie Joe and one free drink ticket.”
“Wolfgang thought he hit the jackpot with the ladies with the screen name ‘just10timbrl8k,’ but things always took a rapid dive when finally showed them his picture.”
Emo pillows with backstories. Well, sure, why not.
p. 438-9 – Joker masks:
I can’t decide which is most terrifying…the Joker masks based on the recent Dark Knight movie:
…or this classic look Joker:
Any of these would be perfect for your social gathering or church event.
p. 444 – Star Wars Trooper Fine Art Print:
Today’s winning entry in the “Self-Canceling Phrase” contest is….
p. 445 – Watchmen Rorschach Beanie Mask:
Well, surely this is going to bite into the sales of all those homemade Rorschach masks on the eBay
p. 446 – Watchmen Rorschach Desk Blotter:
A desk blotter with “ink” splashed upon it to resemble Rorschach’s mask, with the Rorschach logo. $29.99. I don’t have a joke for this, or even a smart alecky comment. I’m just puzzled, mostly.
p. 447 – Watchmen Rorschach Pennant:
“Rah rah! Chop that dog! Go team Rorschach!”
There are four pages of Watchmen merchandise in this catalog. They’re just seriously slapping Watchmen characters onto anything that’ll take an image.
Marvel Previews p. 7 – X-Men Legacy #223 70th Anniversary Cover:
Why is Marvel Girl throwing gang signs at me?
Marvel Previews p. 79 – Marvel Minimates Series 28 – Wolverine Movie Assortment:
Hey, I had no idea Marlon Brando was in this movie. I’m totally seeing it now.
Marvel Previews p. 94 – Spider-Man Torment Premiere HC:
At last, a deluxe collection of what may possibly be the most common Spider-Man comics ever published. Good, I was worried there weren’t enough copies of this story already in existence.
Tip o’the toupee to pal Sean for the Brando joke.
The ad as it appeared in Saga of the Swamp Thing #2 (June 1982), sans name and address since I’m paranoid about that sort of thing:
And then in Saga of the Swamp Thing
#3 (July 1982):
Not sure if the person who placed the ad arranged for the relettering, or if someone at the people who processed the ads took pity and did it for him. But now that most folks have access to computers and word processing and/or art programs, you don’t see a whole lot of sloppily-handwritten ads appearing in nationally-distributed, professionally-published comic books any more. Too bad…there’s a kind of charm to the first version of that ad that would be lost in 24-pt. Helvetica bold. (Or in Comics Sans, yes, yes, I know.)
EDIT: London Loves Comics covered this as well.
Yes, it’s a fourth part to my ongoing quest to answer your questions. I’m sorry if this is going on too long, as I really didn’t intend for it to drag out like this. But I’m still fighting an illness, and answering these questions a few at a time is, for the time being, easier than trying to generate a whole lot of content on my own. So, to all of you who participated, I really do appreciate it. You’ve made this week go by a lot more easily, and without having to resort to another “low content mode” series of posts again.
Anyway, on to your questions:
- Ryan wants to know
“How poorly is The Amazing Spider-Man selling compared to before the Brand New Day mess?”
For us, sales are Amazing Spider-Man have been generally declining (aside from, oh, say, the Obama issue), and I think they’re at lower sales levels than before the sorta-weekly relaunch. Now, at the time I thought maybe we’d experience a dip below normal ASM sales, but that sales on three issues per month of ASM would still be higher than sales on one monthly issue of ASM and two issues of the other monthly Spider-Man series. However, I suspect the numbers may have dropped even further than that, though I don’t have our cycle sheets right in front of me to see exactly how they’re doing.
On the other hand, Spider-Man sales prior to Brand New Day were mostly one crossover tie-in or special event after another, so average sales were sort of on the inflated side anyway before the whole Mephisto boondoggle. After Brand New Day, there weren’t all that many heavily-promoted event issues of ASM, aside from the Anti-Venom story and the aforementioned Obama comic. Without the constant onslaught of events, sales couldn’t help but average lower than before.
Of course, I’m just talking about our sales. Maybe the comics are doing great elsewhere. But judging from the sales chart someone dropped into my comments a while back…well, while we have learned that those sales numbers people keep posting aren’t necessarily 100% accurate, they’re good enough to present general trends, and ASM certainly seems to have been trending downward.
- Ray Cornwall ponders
“Who’d win- Swamp Thing, Man Thing, or Herbie in a three-way fight at the Nexus of the Universe?”
With such a horrific conflict among such powerful and influential beings, there can truly be no winners, only losers, as we all face total and utter destruction at the cosmic conflagration that would certainly result.
Shorter answer: Herbie.
- Thwacko dares to ask
“Is it true J*** B**** once drew a guy’s penis in a mainstream comic?
Oh, wait, wrong column.”
I believe the column you’re looking for is this one, where the kind and good Brian Cronin takes on that very topic, with pictures and everything! But I’m going to respectfully disagree with Brian’s negative response to said rumor…man, that’s totally a penis sorta hangin’ on down there. Nobody looked at that panel and didn’t think it. Even if that wasn’t the intent, that’s what you got.
(I’m sorry, Brian…but when it comes to penises, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.)
- Snapper asks
“Do you think Swamp Thing would be even cooler if he had Batman for a left arm?”
I don’t know about cooler, but he’d certainly have a conversation starter.
- g23 comments
“You can make at least one post out of Gail Simone’s Twitter challenges… they are brilliant.”
I’m kinda vaguely aware of these challenges, as I don’t follow Gail Simone on the Twitter, but I’ll occasionally see a bunch of folks I follow suddenly send a bunch of messages her way, all seemingly on the same theme. They’re in response to Simone’s commands, like this one:
“Your Twitter Mission for the Day…give me a superhero’s post-coital comment, six words or less, and no cursing. I dare you.”
I wouldn’t want to make a post out of her particular Twitter game, as it’s specifically for her Twitter followers and not fodder for weblog content. Er, not that it stopped me from writing a couple of paragraphs about it, but you know what I mean.
- Nik must know
“What canceled comic book would you bring back if you could?”
Yes, I know, everyone expects me to say Swamp Thing. And that would be the obvious answer. But I suspect we’ll get a new Swamp Thing series sooner or (more likely) later, so no special wishing power on my part is really necessary.
If I were to pick a cancelled comic that’s not likely to return, I’d pick Jupiter by Jason Sandberg. The ongoing narrative starring Pelasgus and the continuing building of a society around him was compelling reading, and I was sorry it ended so abruptly.
Plus, Customer Rob is still kinda steamed at me for turning him on to that comic, only to have it stop. Sorry, Rob!
- CW has a couple of questions for me
“Mike, what do you think of Avatar’s Crossed? I think it’s actually a satire of the horror genre, since it’s so over the top.”
I think there are certainly some satirical elements to it, yes. But the horror element is really horrific and just beyond the pale, and the end of that one issue (oh, you know which one) still has just kinda stuck with me in a way most horror comics don’t. Now that’s what I want from a scary comic. An actual honest-to-God impact.
“Also, can we have high DPI scans of old funnybook characters pointing angrily?”
All seriousness aside…for a “low content mode” week, the amount of work I put into those posts was just stupidly crazy. Remind me never to do that again.
- Philip asks
“Now that I’ve mentally worked through all of my ‘can I borrow 20 bucks?’ and ‘what’s that on your face?’ type questions:”
1. You’re asking a guy who sells comics for a living for money?
2. That would be my ritualistic tribal Native American tattoo, in honor of Star Trek: Voyager‘s Chakotay, as portrayed by Robert Beltran.
“Did you set out to be comic book retailer or was it thrust upon you? And, in your career as a retailer, what are some things that surprised you (good or bad) and what might you take a do-over on if you could?”
Basically, I needed a job, hey I liked comics, I was in the right place at the right time (pushing previous job holder Ray out the door), and next thing you know, here I am writing a blog about comics every night because I don’t get enough of the things during the day.
I think the next part of that question requires a dedicated post on the topic, but…huh, what surprised me? I think the sudden burst of comic book faddishness in the late ’80s/early ’90s and the huge mainstream interest in the collectibility of comics certainly came as a surprise. ‘Course, it nearly resulted in the end of the industry, but it was a surprise nonetheless.
And related, what I’d do over: more conservative ordering in the early ’90s, ordering more for rack sales than for estimated back issue sales…essentially, read the writing on the wall a little more quickly than we did for the impending market crash.
- Jamee asks
“Does your store have a manga section? If so, does it sell well? I ask because of all the stores I’ve shopped at over the years, only one had anything that could be called an actual manga section. Maybe manga does better in bookstores?”
We do have a large manga section on several tall and full bookshelves at the front of the store. It sells well enough, though some books certainly sell better than others. I’ve seen the manga shelves at the local bookshops…I certainly see a few kid in those aisles, sitting on the floor mooching free reads, but if they’re buying one for every five they read and put back, I’d be surprised.
Let me amend that…I used to see kids in the manga aisles. The last few times I’ve been at the bookstores, I’ve seen no one in those aisles.
- K26dp wonders
“Did you ever in a million years think that the Death of Batman would generate so little buzz?”
I’m grateful it didn’t, since I’m still getting the occasional walk-in customer wondering why there are still Superman comics since, you know, didn’t he die a few years back?
Besides, we know he didn’t die for good, we know he’s coming back, we know Warner Brothers wouldn’t allow DC to do permanent harm to one of their most valuable properties. And, for the people who actually read the comic instead of just grinding axes and bitching about it, we know that this is clearly not the Final Fate of Batman. It’s just a plot twist in an ongoing serial. Surely nobody seriously thought it was anything but.
That there wasn’t an onslaught of real world news stories about “the Death of Batman” is…well, I want to say it was a sudden outbreak of common sense and restraint, but, you know, c’mon. I don’t know if DC tried to get real world news in on it, but if they did and the story didn’t catch on…well, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Which is why retailers don’t order books assuming freak sales based on news coverage.
Anyway, here’s all the Batman death coverage you need.
- Andrew Leal leals
“Who do you think would win in a fight amongst Nancy, Lulu, *and* Audrey?”
Ah, geez. Well, Audrey would be out right away, I think, narrowing it down to a close contest between Nancy and Lulu. While Nancy may have a slight edge physically, Lulu is perhaps a bit more cerebral. Assuming Nancy’s brawn doesn’t end the fight early (though it should be noted Lulu is bit of a scrapper herself), given enough time and opportunity Lulu would likely think of a clever way to ensure her victory.
- Caleb demands answers:
“–Have you ever considered maybe possibly blogging about Batman and Robin (the movie)?”
Stand a little closer…I want to show you this wooden baseball bat.
“–How come you won’t mention that person you won’t mention on your blog? Please explain in great detail, without mentioning that person or that person’s identifying works and characeristics.”
If we’re speaking about the same person we’re not speaking about, it’s because that person, who used to be a favored creator of mine, has very clearly become, via his online behavior, someone I don’t necessarily want to promote or even really discuss.
“–I’ve been reading Essential Man-Thing lately, and noticed the covers of some bill him as ‘The Most Startling Slime Creature of Them All!’ Were there mutliple Slime Creatures in comics at the time? Were they calling Swamp Thing out? Is Swampy really a slime creature? I always thought of him as more of a plant creature.”
Well, if you have a bunch of wet swamp plant life in your body, some of it is bound to be pretty slimy. I’m guessing, too, that they probably didn’t want to use the word “Swamp” in their slogan, reminding folks of their crosstown rival creature. Thought it should be noted that “Swamp” was the word used on the early issues.
“–Is it true that you’re a cheater pants? According to the Internet, you are.”
If it’s on the internet, it must be true.
(Here’s where that started, by the way. Like most things of this nature, it’s ultimately my own fault.)
Okay, and that’s enough of that for today. Will I wrap this up tomorrow? Come back and see! You know, if you really want to.