mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, December 05, 2009

"Suddenly, six years later...." 

Six years. Daily updates.

Send help.

If you've read the previous five times I've gone though this particular preamble, there probably won't be much here new to you guys. But as always, I wanted all of you to know how much I appreciate your readership, your comments, your e-mails, your banners, and so on. The feedback and the back-and-forth is part of the enjoyment I get out of putting together material for this site every day, and thank you for that.

Plus, I once again thank my long-suffering girlfriend Nora for putting up with this particular obsession of mine, my parents for me even being here in the first place, pal Dorian for being my continuing partner in crime and a swell friend, and employees Aaron and Timmy and former employee Kid Chris for allowing me to exploit them for the entertainment of others. Well, not "allow" as such, but they haven't sued yet, so I figure I'm okay.

And, as always, I must pay homage to he who came before: the enigmatic Neilalien, First among Comic Bloggers, for showing us how it's done and for all the helpful advice he's provided. Thanks, Neil! (Can I call you "Neil?") (Er...I mean, Mr. Alien. Sir.)

A little something different happened over this last year as well...internet pals Ken and Mark, just as a goof, cooked up the parody grammar/journalism advice Twitter feed Fake AP Stylebook back in October, and invited a few other friends to participate, including me and some other comic bloggers you might recognize. It turned out to be a big hit; within a few days we had thousands of followers and multiple agents contacting us about pursuing a book deal. And now, a month later, we have nearly 71,000 followers (as of this writing) and we've got an agent and things are happening and it's all very exciting. Turns out this internet thing has its uses. But seriously, I couldn't have been a part of this if it weren't for this goofy site of mine here and building the online relationships I have with all these talented folks. (Read more about the Fake AP Stylebook in this recent article.)

So again, thank you to all you folks who continue to tolerate my internet presence here day after day. I'm still trying to have fun with this hobby and this business I've been involved in for more years than I care to think about, and I hope you're having fun with me.

And now, let the self-indulgence begin...well, continue: a selection (i.e. about 80%) of my posts from the past year that you may enjoy revisiting. BEHOLD:

The return of the Conquistador, the most patience-testing series of posts I've ever made (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), The Spirit movie promo items, I was totally implying that was urine, secrets of my magazine-writing past...revealed, Swamp Thing and Sluggo - together at last, Mike's BBS days, the death of customer Sean and the arrest of the suspect , Green Arrow's bullbleep, more of Mike's BBS days, the worst Watchmen (unofficial) merchandising tie-in ever, 2008 Prediction follow-up (1 2), dude, the Hoaxmaster, Biblical UFOs, Grundy ain't no Swamp Thing, Spider-Obama mania, a tribute to Porkins, the fans react to Mopee, QUESTION TIME 2009 (0 1 2 3 4 5 6), Swamp Thing fights a giant purple monster, SGT. SHARK, raw mutants in vicious nightgowns, no it's not weird at all that I have children's size Swamp Thing slippers, I knew not what I asked: Defense of Rob Liefeld and Youngblood Week (0 1 2 3 4 5), possibly my favorite comic strip panels ever, the "After WATCHMEN" initiative, the 3rd Annual Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk Day (soon to become All Star Batman Day), in which I posit the Watchmen reading experience in serialized form is different from trade form, original Watchmen solicitations, I'm totally making a urine joke here, the amazing 10 IN 1 SCOPE, I saw the Watchmen movie for free and really late at night, I turn 40 and immediately drop dead, Who Eats The Watchmen Cupcakes, the Watchmen/A-Team crossover, BIG-ASS KIRBY STYLE MUTANT DOG, the senses-shattering Frog by Day, Progressive Ruin Regrets the Error, screw you - the Sneezler is awesome, Swampy by Birdie, Swamp Thing monsters and vans, America's favorite comic strip about a comic shop The Ruin, oh that crazy Twist, I bought the Howard the Duck DVD - what's it to ya, someone keep Jor-El away from the bottles, rejected by Marvel, Rogue vs. Dazzler's apartment, Legion of Super-Heroes stickers, pal Cully asked for Galactus Week and lo, I delivered (1 2 3 4 5 6 6 1/2 6.75), I'll have you know that my original joke for the Female Force comic in this End of Civilization installment was going to be "THIS ISSUE: A Female Force member dies!" - yeah, I know, Look at My Butt and listen to my podcast interview, Free Comic Book Day aftermath, the very first Sluggo Saturday, Klingons off the starboard bow Captain, Doiby Dickles - badass, Yul Brynner's puppet show comic: the cover and the hideous nightmare inside, what YOU can do with comics, so anyway, Ben Grimm is in his 90s, I don't post about Dr. Doom enough, I kick a guy out of the shop, and my friends turn into jerks, Hell-Rider is awesome, man , never look Popeye straight in the face, the strip that could only be called Fumpy, behold the wiener ring, hangin' out with my governor, this issue of Sgt. Rock sponsored by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, I answer more questions (1 2 3), nobody in the Justice League knows when to shut up, I thought my Question joke was funny, I ponder a very hypothetical situation regarding a reduction in books starring the same properties, and a follow-up, Casper cosplay or something like that, I still get a lot of traffic going to the page with naked Jughead, dig the Drag-U-La, a Beatle, Stonehenge, UFOs, and nose candy, Kung-fu Kirby, I didn't completely hate Transformers 2, in which I fail to explain why Nancy and Sluggo appeal to me, the "Which Is Nerdier: Star Wars, Star Trek or Doctor Who" debate...settled at last, Employee Aaron looks a bit like Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka in that first pic, gaze into Darth's eyes and see...something, still waiting for TRUK: Rebirth , the many faces of Ch'p, the day the Bat broke, behold Cardboard Batman, the hideous terror of Sweet Sue, a handful of True Retailer Stories, whoa what the hell Reed, and now - some Beatles quotes, boy, people really didn't care about Models Inc., this Metal Men series had nice covers anyway, Kirby covers Comics Reader #100 , Arisia says what? (and the follow-up), yet another Sluggo/Swamp Thing mash-up, I am inappropriately amused by dead Green Lanterns, CRACKBUSTERS, what's new from DC in July 1986, did someone say...Puffy Conan Stickers, Swamp Thing fire truck patch, '90s Avengers dangly shelf-talker thingie, my terrible Dick Tracy villains, Hugo, man of really only one face but a variety of extra features, I lived through the Death of Robin, but barely remember it, the Clone Saga will never go away, it's like they don't want fans to find the comic, Linus is coming down from a bad trip, man , the metaphysical horror of Frisky Fudgie, Jaime draws purty, my favorite Gilbert panels ever , Mike Organism Designed Only for Killing , Sentient Weaponized Amorphous Man-Plant Designed Only for Killing, Flintstones vs. Indians, the inherent humor in bird death , the deadliest animal in the sea, MONSTEREX, NANCODOK and SLUGGODOK, Sgt. Preston is making damn sure you're PREPARED, Holy Batman bookmark, this is probably the best thing about those late '80s Superman cartoons, Swamp Thing pog kinda sorta, I bought way too many of these Aliens toys, this is a terrible Superman poster, you know what's great? Writing at length about tampons, even superheroes love Crumb, the worst alien ever, Casper's mom and his eternal doom, yes yes "Dan Cooper" I know, when a man and an elephant really love each other, this is the grooviest Veronica has ever been, when Dutch Spaniard Cowboys ruled the beaches, Joker loves his bootleg Jerry Lewis manga, and Shmidlapp has a bad day.

By the way, not that I'm one to sing my own praises, he said in his sixth annual anniversary post, but I think I deserve some kind of reward for that Rob Liefeld week. Sainthood at the very least.

And for reading all that, here's a picture of me in the Virginia woods as a child, borne aloft upon my cranberry flares:

Thanks to everyone for continuing to read, and I'll see you tomorrow.

And yes, don't worry, there will still be a Sluggo post this weekend.

Friday, December 04, 2009


It had completely slipped my mind that the volume 3 hardcover of Beanworld, out this week from Dark Horse, was going to be brand-new stories. I spotted it on the invoice earlier in the week, went "oh, more reprints, hope they start doing new stuff soon," and continued on my merry way. But, nope, it's 200+ new pages advancing the Beanworld storyline even further along, and I couldn't be happier.

It's also a strange experience to be reading an extended Beanworld storyline after about a decade and a half of the title's publishing dormancy (aside from some short bits here and there). Once again my need's been awakened to see how the whole Beanworld story eventually works out, while at the same time never really wanting it to end.

In conclusion: huzzah, more Beanworld!

Some other stuff came out this week, too, but all I've read was Beanworld and...
  • Blackest Night: The Flash #1 - I'm glad these Blackest Night tie-in mini-series are 1) only three issues long, and 2) only $2.99, so it's not that much a dent in a pocketbook. And this series is Barry versus the Rogues, and that's very welcome. It repeats that bit of business about the Rogues having a "secret cemetery" for their comrades in the Flash's stomping ground of Central City...seems to me that given the number of times the Flash "searched the entire city" at super-speed for a bomb or a missing person or what/whomever, he would have noticed the secret cemetery. Unless there's a brief explanation for this I missed and/or forgot that you're all about to tell me in the comments.

  • Adventure Comics #4 - Yeah, I know, this came out a few weeks ago, but I put in a reorder and apparently got the last copies the distributor had...which all turned out to be the 1 in 15 variant cover. Huh.

  • The Boys #37 - Did glance through this...may singlehandedly set back relations with the French a few years. But, it looks funny, and The Boys is a good comic, so sorry, France!

  • Fall of the Hulks Alpha - I haven't yet talked myself into picking this up, yet. A flip-through didn't impress, but I may need to get it just to know what's going on in the regular Hulk titles. Feh.

  • Glamourpuss #10 - I continue to be the only reader of this comic at this store. I guess after everything, I still like watching Dave Sim draw stuff. Plus, this comic is just so damned peculiar. Fashion model parodies mixed with classic comic strip art appreciation...a strange mix, but fun nonetheless. Also, this issue has a swell Gene Colan cover.

  • JSA All Stars #1 - People sure liked showing me pages from this comic on Thursday...in particular, all the ones with Power Girl in various positions and states of dress. I haven't gone looking for the online outrage, but I'm sure it's there.

  • Little Lulu Vol. 21 - Another great book from Dark Horse this week. Classic John Stanley comics in color? Okay, sure, I'd like that.

  • Popeye Vol. 4 HC - Plunder Island - Another collection of the classic strip, and it continues to be great. I've been going through it and I swear, I've probably found a dozen contenders for the sidebar icon pic on my site.

  • Siege: The Cabal - Was trying to explain to a friend on Twitter that crossovers of today are a different animal from the ones in the '90s, in that they all tend to lead more or less smoothly from one into another...there's no year-long break while the next Event gets slapped together. Everything feeds either one crossover or another. Anyway, that's what I have to say about this comic, which I'm sure is fine at what it does.

  • Thor #604 - Well, let's see if the non-JMS Thors continue to sell well.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Oh, that Shmidlapp! 

from Super Powers #5 (Nov. '84) by Jack Kirby & Greg Theakston

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

So Employee Aaron went to a convention over Thanksgiving weekend, and he got me these buttons. 

And if there's anything the people want from this site, aside from nekkid pics of TV stars as per my Google referrals, it's buttons buttons buttons!

Hey, a button of the original Battlestar Galactica, in all its washed-out, possibly bootleg glory.

This movie will be 20 years old next year. That's something I probably didn't want to know. I haven't seen in in over a decade, and I primarily remember that they really ramped up the goofiness for this sequel. Also, there's the genius of the speech Phoebe Cates' character gives about a tragedy in her past, parodying the similar speech from the first flick.

I have two primary memories of this TV series. First, that the series' star, Roy Scheider, reportedly wasn't pleased about the existence of the comic book spin-off, and it only had one issue released. (No idea how true this story is...maybe one of you can confirm or deny.) Second, there was a stereotypical sci-fi nerd type in a Saturday Night Live sketch, and he was wearing a way-too-tight Seaquest shirt.

Never saw the actual show itself, aside from maybe five or ten minutes at one point.

Now, I keep seeing copies of the DVD of this in the $5 bin at my grocery store, and I'm tempted sometimes, until I remember just how dark and depressing this film was. I actually haven't seen it since I sat in that theatre back in '87, just shaking my head at it all, and I think I may just be better off sticking to the comic adaptation. At least that has Curt Swan art.

Boy, if it's one thing a guy who manages a comic shop knows, it's fitting into society.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

"The Adventures of Jemmy Levitz." 

So as I've mentioned several times before on the site, I'm slowly working my way through Batman: The Animated Series DVD season sets thanks to the Netflix. In this episode from season three, "Trial," the Joker is presiding over a, well, trial in Arkham Asylum with a captive Batman as the defendant. And instead of paying attention to the equally-captive D.A. as she attempts her defense, the Joker is enjoying some reading material:

That of course is based on the classic DC Comics humor series The Adventures of Jerry Lewis, complete with the '60s go-go check design!

Okay, sure, the front cover is on the wrong side of the book, unless it's an advertisement for the next issue or something. Or hell, maybe the Joker just tore the cover off and glued it to the back. He is the Joker, he doesn't care about mint condition!

Here are a couple of closer looks at the cover, including a nice shot of the logo, a brief glimpse of a Jerry Lewis caricature, and a word balloon with the word "LADY" inside the comic:

And here's another time Jerry Lewis appeared on a Batman TV show:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Granted, I'm making some assumptions about this person's particular desires. 






Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica #164 (August 1969)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Progressive Ruin presents...the (slightly-delayed) End of Civilization. 

DELAYED BY ILLNESS, FORGED IN FIRE...it's the latest installment of the End of Civilization, my nearly five-year-long series of poking through each new issue of the Diamond Previews catalog and pointing out wonderful items you should order in enormous quantities, preferably though me. So whip out your copy of the December 2009 edition and follow along:

p. 61 - Blackest Night #7:

There are six full pages in the Previews book that essentially look just like that. Wonder how many trees could have been saved by putting all six solicitations on one page and saying "look, we're not going to show you the covers, so just order up, fanboy."

p. 130 - True Blood Busts:

So Employee Aaron couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the solicit for these busts, especially since it was used on the cover, and he pretty much insisted this make an appearance in this month's installment of EoC. Those would be the actors' faces Photoshopped onto mock-ups of the statues, it appears. It's a bit disturbing-looking.


For some reason I'm now imagining these busts with solid cast bodies and soft to the touch fleshy faces. That'd be weird.

p. 188 - President Evil Yes We Cannibal T-shirt:

So at what point do you think President Obama regretted ever admitting he was a comic book fan?

p. 188 - How to Draw Vampires:

1. Draw some pretentious guy (or gal).

2. Add pointy teeth.

3. Sprinkle some glitter (Twilight only).

4. Hide drawings in my tattered notebook and wish for a dark and mysterious creature of the night to come into my home and whisk me way into a foreboding yet romantic realm of forbidden desires. "COME WITH US, MIKE...JOIN THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF BLOOD AND FANG."

5. Er...disregard that.

p. 306 - Kryptonian at Heart T-shirt:

"Ma'am...I'm sorry, but I'm afraid the Superman 'S' shield is sticking directly into his aorta. We must operate immediately."

p. 309 - Super Trooper Red T-shirt:

Ever notice how Stormtroopers have little frowny-faces? "WHO'S A SAD CLONE?"

Also, does the red color of the shirt represent the blood of the countless victims crushed beneath the cruel heel of the despotic Empire? Do all the Star Wars aliens even have red blood? I bet there's a website somewhere that'll tell me. I bet Jawa blood looks like what you get when you squish a bug...all yellow and green and gooey.

p. 318 - Barbie Ladies of the '80s: Debbie Harry and Joan Jett Dolls:

I'm pretty sure Joan Jett and Debbie Harry would've kicked Barbie's plastic, copyright-stamped ass way back when.

However, if they're taking suggestions for future Ladies of the '80s, might I recommend Wendy O. Williams?

p. 323 - Living Dead Dolls Freddy Krueger 2010 Remake & A Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Mez-Itz Figure:

That's what I want from my mass-murderer/child-killer toys: more cute.

p. 345 - Kubrick Disney Characters:

"This...this really hurts, guys. No, seriously, stop laughing, I'm not joking. I think my neck is very badly compressed. This isn't funny. I need someone to take me to a doctor right away. Oh God the pain"

p. 346 - Kubrick Be@rbrick Series 19 Mini-figures:

"Captain...I have tried to assimilate myself into their culture by disguising myself as one of them, but they still reject me. I believe it is the fact that I appear to have four ears which repels them."

p. 347 - Star Trek USS Enterprise USB Webcam:

You know, aside from warp drive and the transporter, a USB webcam is probably more technologically advanced than anything represented on the original show.

p. 350 - Star Wars R2-D2 Bobble Head:

What's wrong with just making that a plain ol' Artoo statue? Why make any part of it bobble at all? R2-D2 WILL NOT BOBBLE FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT, HU-MANS.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure his whole body bobbles, not his head, since giving R2 a giant headdome out of proportion to the rest of his body (like most other Bobbles) would be just this side of traumatizing.

p. 350 - Pac-Man Bonus Fruit Energy Drink:

I'd like to see a whole line of video game energy drinks. The Donkey Kong Flaming Barrel Energy Drink. The Defender Mutated Lander Energy Drink. The K.C. Munchkin Energy Drink That's Entirely Different from the Pac-Man Energy Drink. The Crazy Climber Condor "Eggs" (wink) Energy Drink. The Wizard of Wor Thorwor Energy Drink.

I might have to pass on the Custer's Revenge Engorged Arrow Energy Drink, however.

p. 355 - The Twilight Saga New Moon The Board Game:

"Whoever moons the most over the dreamy pictures of the cast wins!"

p. 357 - Star Wars R2-D2 Is in Trouble Board Game:

Given that R2 is the most competent character in the Star Wars saga, what kind of trouble is he going to get into that anyone else is going to get him out of? I mean, Jar Jar? Anakin? Threepio? C'mon.

Well, okay, maybe Chewie.

Marvel p. 20 - Deadpool Merc with a Mouth #7 2nd Printing Variant:

Oh, Rob Liefeld, you're the gift that keeps on giving.

Marvel p. 24 - Ultimate Comics X #1:

"...The all-new ULTIMATE X ongoing bi-monthly series from the superstar dream team of JEPH LOEB and ART ADAMS."

B...bi-monthly? Ongoing?

"But he's got high hopes
He's got high hopes
He's got high apple pie in the sky hopes...."

Marvel p. 85 - Iron Man 2 Marvel Select War Machine Action Figure:

They tried to hide it, but obviously the big spoiler for Iron Man 2 is that Jim Rhodes is killed by a giant wrench to the head. Sorry, kids.

This is an archive page for the old Blogger version of Progressive Ruin, kept around to maintain all the old permalinks. Please visit the main page for the current version of this site. Thanks for visiting, and sorry for the inconvenience!

Copyright © 2003-10 Mike Sterling. Some images used are copyright © their respective copyright owners.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?