mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sluggo Saturday #26. 



from the How Sluggo Survives TPB (1989)


Friday, October 30, 2009

A quick Friday post... 

...since I'm a bit short on time and low on energy, but I just wanted to point out this new weblog that I just noticed in my referral logs: Love and Maggie, a clearinghouse of news and links for the work of the Hernandez Brothers. A very nice resource for fans of Jaime, Gilbert, Mario, and their army of characters.

The site mentions Jaime and Gilbert's appearance at a store in Portland, OR to celebrate Wonder Woman Day...and my old friend Matt reported to me that he got to meet them there and talk about my hometown (and Matt's former stomping ground) of Oxnard for a few minutes. And he got his Ill Repute album covers signed. So, you know, cool.

On a completely unrelated note, reader Paul asked me why I haven't mentioned this yet on my site, and...well, I'm not sure why, exactly. But apparently Akiva Goldsman has expressed an interest in making a new movie based on Swamp Thing. Now, Mr. Goldsman is the man who wrote Batman and Robin and you all know how much I liked that. And he wrote the Lost in Space remake, which, um, I sorta liked, kinda -- DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT. But anyway, I don't have an opinion one way or another just yet...it's just all talk at the moment. Once a script is settled on and people start getting cast ("Rob Schneider is...SWAMP THING") I'll probably have more to say.

Hey, maybe they could give it to the guy who made Return of the Swamp Thing, so we could have an origin movie just as crazy that completely nuts sequel! Sure, it'd make about ten bucks in the theatres, but I'd be happy and that's what's important.

One more Swamp Thing bit of media business: he gets a brief mention on a recent episode of the Colbert Report, which you can see right here (starting at about the 9:30 mark). Thanks to reader Rob for letting me know!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Progressive Ruin presents...the End of Civilization. 

Hey gang...your pal Mike has been busy over the last week or so doing, you know, some stuff, so posting here has been a little thin for a while, and may continue to be so for a bit longer. I apologize, but it's also cut into my End of Civilization prep time, so this one's slightly truncated compared to previous installments. If I can, I'll try to come back to this Nov. 2009 edition of Previews with some additional, non-EoC discussion, but for now...please enjoy these fine items selected from the pages of America's Favorite Catalog That Doesn't Have "Victoria" in the Title:

p. 129 - World of Warcraft Collectible Coin Sets:

There are two sets available, the "Horde" and the "Alliance," and I think that's the "Alliance" pictured there. These are replicas of the coins used in the video game, and a reminder of the real money you've spent playing for countless hours online and earning fake money.

p. 183 - Obamouse:

"The economy is crumbling like stale roquefort. We are at war with Owl Kaida, our soldiers being targeted by their traps, poisons and predators. When the nation, perhaps the whole world, needs change, one rodent steps forward to offer it: Barack Obamouse. But if his daring plans for the country are to succeed, he will have to win over his skeptic political rivals and countrymice, including Hen Beck, John McCrane, Sarah Penguin and Ratt Limbaugh!"

I am honestly at a loss for words.

p. 307 - Will Green Lantern T-shirt:

"Hi Will!"


"I said 'hi Will!' That's your name, right, on your shirt?"

"Er, no...."

"Oh. Who's Will, then? Some rock star or something?"

"No, no...it's a shirt about Green Lantern. You know, the superhero."

"Oh, yeah, sure, I loved Green Hornet. His real name's Will? I thought it was Van Williams."

"No, you see, there are lots of different colored Lanterns, each representing a different part of the emotional spectrum. The Yellow Lanterns are 'fear,' the Red Lanterns are 'rage,' and the Green Lanterns are 'will.'"

"Um...is 'will' an emotion?"

"Okay, look, I'm taking off the shirt. See? I'm no longer wearing the shirt. Stop talking to me."

p. 315 - Battlestar Galactica Series 4 Action Figure Assortment:



p. 332 - Herbie the Love Bug "Tooned Up" Maquette:

For some reason this "tooned up" version of a car disturbs me more deeply than the "tooned up" human statues do. Probably only a matter of time 'til someone builds a life-size drivable replica of this hideous distortion.

Shorter, more jokey: "Look out for that black hole, Herbie!"

p. 332 - Super Goof Mini-Maquette:

That there now exists (or will soon, anyway) a Super Goof statue reignites my faith in the human spirit. Perhaps I should change the title of these posts to "The Rebirth of Civilization!"

p. 338 - Iron Man Movie Arc Reactor Prop Replica:

On second thought, belay that name change. Of all the neat things in Iron Man, this is the prop replica they wanted. Huh. Plus, it's already engraved, which totally screws up my plans to have it engraved myself before using it for wedding gift.

p. 344 - Lightsaber Chopstick Sets:

"First unveiled at San Digeo Comic-Con 2009 where fans got to compete in chopstick competitions against real-life 501st Stormtroopers...."

They're stormtrooper-approved, kids!

Looking at the fingers touching the "laser blades" in this pic strikes me as oddly unnerving. "AUGH MY FINGERTIPS"

Anyway, let me know when they develop actual mini working lightsabers I can use to cut steak. That's what I'd be interested in.

p. 359 - Star Trek Starfleet Logo Flask:

Just like the one that one guy who played Enterprise Guard #3 occasionally sneaks drinks from while he's killing time between customers at the autograph show.

Also, if this were actual Starfleet branded material (yeah, I know, work with me here), does this mean Starfleet is encouraging its forces to carry around their own source of emergency sauce? Or maybe Scotty just knocked out a one-off of these during a downtime in Engineering, while he was feeling a bit cheeky. And drunk.

p. 359 - Star Wars Darth Vader Helmet Clock Radio:

Lucasfilm's continuing efforts to strip poor ol' Darth of any menace or tragic dignity continue apace. Apparently the end of Revenge of the Sith wasn't enough.

That said, I totally want one of these.

p. 361 - World of Warcraft Leather Wallets:

Hey, something to keep your non-legal tender WoW coins in.

p. 361 - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Journal:

One should probably take actual previous diary entries and transfer them to this new journal, and, like the book the journal's based on, rewrite your entries to include zombies. "Today, Jeremy asked me to the Spring Formal, just before he was attacked by a zombie. He fought valiantly, and after seemingly hours of battle, he emerged victorious, safely free of any infecting bites. So I said yes."

NOTE: would probably really worry nosy moms.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just a fraction of the new funnybooks this week. 

  • Ambush Bug #7 (of 6) - Sigh. Anyway, scheduling issues and numbering shenanigans aside, I've mostly enjoyed this new AB series. Some of it felt like it was trying maybe a little too hard, and some of it did feel like the old, seemingly effortless zaniness of the originals. But, overall, it was good to have Mr. A. Bug back on the shelves again.

  • Bart Simpson #50 - Features the debut of Sergio Aragones as a regular contributor to the title. I do so love the Sergio, so I'm greatly looking forward to this.

  • Batman: The Killing Joke New Printing - Apparently the final printing in the original squarebound comic Prestige Format, and using the original coloring. This is nice, since I've had a number of people interested in the story but not wanting the new, recolored hardcover edition, and all I have of the comic book versions is the first printing. Oddly enough (and I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before), this comic was reprinted, what, seven, eight times, with tens of thousands of extra copies? And yet I never see the reprints in collections...it's always the first print. Go figure.

  • Groo: Hogs of Horder #1 - That's two Sergio comics this week! Excellent.

  • Ignition City San Diego Comic Con Edition #1 and Auxiliary Edition #4 - Seems like every week there's yet another Auxiliary or Supplemental or Random Comic Con Edition of this particular title, of any given issue.

  • Invincible Hercules #137 - Have I mentioned this is my favorite Marvel title? This is my favorite Marvel title. Just the right mix of super-melodrama and outright goofiness.

  • Muppet Peter Pan #2 - These comics never fail to make me smile. Well, at least make me frown less. I'm a bit of a frowner. :(

  • New Mutants #6 Zombie Variant - Please. Just stop.

  • Vincent Price Presents: The Tingler #1 - Probably one of my favorite Vincent Price films..."Scream! Scream for your lives!"

    I think, in one of my End of Civilization posts, I mentioned that this series should come with built-in electric shockers to replicate the original movie presentation. Alas, customers who buy this book from us will just have to settle for the gentle kiss of my taser, so that they may enjoy the full Tingler experience. No need to thank me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yes, another link post...sorry, been busy. 

  • I'm getting a lot of e-mails about this post of comics strip mash-ups by Ryan Dunlavey, including a Nancy & Sluggo/Sin City crossover you won't soon forget. Dunlavey does a superior job mimicking the different art styles, and all the strips are very funny. "Spy Vs. Spy Vs. Alien Vs. Predator" is an especially good'un.

  • Those no-good sons-of-bitches Chris Sims and Eugene Ahn have inflicted yet another War Rocket Ajax podcast upon the world. I warn you...don't listen to this terrible, terrible podcast! Fear it! Shun it! Oh, sure, they might try to lure you in with their interview with fine writer Matt Sturges, and sure, it guest-stars folks from that vastly superior podcast Awesomed by Comics, but don't let them fool you! In the name of all that is good and holy in the world do not download the latest episode of War Rocket Ajax! Don't let them kill again!

  • Andrew whips out another Halloween-themed Nobody's Favorite, and it's one we had a little fun with around these parts when that particular story was coming out.

    Andrew also has a post about two horror-film tie-in video games for the Atari 2600. To think these were "controversial" at the time! Now they just look sort of quaint, almost like you're playing little abstract paintings. Still fun, though!

  • Tim reviews three recent comics from Marvel and DC in his usual entertaining way.

  • ...And Kevin and Ming should have a new installment of their strip The Loneliest Astronauts up at noon EST on Tuesday. Ming draws this comic beautifully, and Church supplies some strong gagwriting, and the whole work is just this wonderfully packaged bit of art that, if there's any fairness in the world, will be eventually collected into a nicely-designed hardcover.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lantern ring, do your thing. 

  • So you know those multi-colored Lantern rings that a Comic Shop Near You will hopefully be getting over the next few months and distributing to the customers in what I am sure will be in a fair and equitable fashion? Shops got samples of each of the rings (save the Black Lantern rings, already received weeks ago) to use for promotional purposes, like, say, me 'n' Employee Aaron wearing 'em around the shop like the fashion plates we are. When we received the sample black ring in advance of their arrival at the shop, my wearing it around the store resulted in lots of requests from customers on how one could obtain a black ring of their very own. And sporting the yellow ring recently has resulted in similar inquiries.

    I only bring this up because I see folks selling full sets of the rings on the eBay. And apparently not just pre-selling the rings prior to release...there are people selling sets of the actual promo rings that stores received a week or two ago. I'm guessing these are shops doing so (it can be hard to tell without an attendant "About Me" eBay page), but it seems a shame to go for the short term profit rather than using the rings in-store to encourage some excitement about the related funnybooks. Then again, maybe these stores aren't reaching the sales plateaus required on the specific DC books you had to purchase in order to receive the rings, so they don't need the promos and who am I to judge?

  • Bully the Little Stuffed Bull is probably too young and sensitive to be reading such scary comics, but I'm glad he did this Separated at Birth post featuring a certain swamp creature of some note.

  • In other Swamp Thing news, RetroCRUSH did a list of The Top 20 Pop Culture Plants, and Swamp Thing puts in an appearance (though with a superfluous hyphen) at #4, right between Jack's Beanstalk and Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Surely fine company to be in.

  • In other other Swamp Thing news, Reader Jef told me a tale of spotting a drink called a "Swamp Thing" on a menu and, my site looming large in his mind as it does in all people about to make important drinking decisions, gave it a go. He describes it thusly:

    "The drink consists of lemon, lime, whatever fresh herbs they have handy (this time I got parsley, chives, and mint, all picked from planters at the bar) muddled together with sugar, Pimms, gin, and a bit of soda water. It was a pretty funky drink, but I would probably order it again."

    And he also photographed it thusly:

    Well, that's certainly very yellow-ish. I wonder what the Arcane drink would look like? Probably filled with insect parts, I'd imagine.

    Anyway, thanks to Jef for sending this along...I got a kick out of it!

  • My Canadian twin Steve recently posted that much discussed Batman/Joker/Naked Catwoman pic drawn by Bruce Timm to illustrate all the horrible stuff that would corrupt the minds of children should they even see the barest hint of it in their cartoons...so of course this marks the second time I've linked the image on my site. But I did so just in case the Photobucket image disappears...I now have a back-up source. Plus, it gave me a chance to say "NAKED CATWOMAN" on my site again, because brother, bring on the perverted Google search referrals in my site logs.

  • So in the last week or so, I saw this in Green Lantern Corps #41:

    ...and since the bad guys didn't come out of any kind of glassware, I'm assuming that's supposed to be "vile."

    And I saw this:

    ...from right above the logo on Titanium Rain #1.

    Okay, nobody's perfect (except, if I may quote Employee Timmy, Jesus and Batman), and goodness knows I've made my share of spelling errors and typos on this site, and I'm sure there are probably one or two or a dozen right here in this very post for you folks to jump on and mock as soon as I publish this. But I also don't have any editors ("Noooooooooo!" "Quiet, you.") and I'm not asking you to pay out $3 to $5 per entry to read my site, so long as you don't count my subtle gesturing toward yonder PayPal Donation button. And while we're a long way from, as I recall, Valiant Comics' consistent inability to tell "it's" from "its" or "who's" from "whose," it's still just slightly embarrassing to see these errors creeping in. (And before any Marvel fans get too smug, please enjoy.)

  • And speaking of which...you have been reading Fake AP Stylebook, right?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

And you can use the ballpoint pen to stab poachers in the neck. 


1958 advertisement for the 10-in-1 Sgt. Preston Trail Kit

...not to be confused with the 10-in-1 Scope which, frankly,
would probably give you a better chance of survival

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