A giant mosquito on top of a tiny elephant.

§ February 11th, 2010 § Filed under employee aaron, question time § 45 Comments

It’s like a ready-made symbolic representation of something:

Like the mosquito could be labeled “DC/MARVEL” and the elephant can be, I don’t know, “THE DIRECT MARKET.” Whee, instant editorial cartoon of…dubious meaning, I guess. It came about when, at the end of the day, Employee Aaron got his hands on a piece of paper and asked if I wanted him to draw anything, and I told the very thing that’s in the subject line of this post. So there you go. And yes, maybe it’s a regular-sized elephant and a really freakin’ huge mosquito, or a regular-sized mosquito and a very tiny elephant. But whatever.

Anyway, I didn’t ask you here to show you that. I asked you all to meet me here today for you to ask me questions. Yes, it’s been about a year since the last time I did this (though that “question time” tag brings up a post from 2007, and I know I did it more recently than that), but I think it’s been long enough. So, you, my internet pals, know the routine…please drop a question in the comments section for this post, and, in a few days (let’s say, Monday) I’ll start answering them. As usual, try to keep ’em clean and friendly and not too terribly nosy, and at least kinda related to things on this site. And as before, I reserve the right to reject questions, but I haven’t so far. (Don’t take that as a challenge, by the way!)

If you have any questions, please drop ’em in the comment box down there. I always enjoy doing this and I hope you folks get something out of it, too. (And, since it happened the last couple of times I did this…please don’t answer my questions for me by responding to them in the comments. Thank you!)

45 Responses to “A giant mosquito on top of a tiny elephant.”

  • Suckmaster Burstingfoam says:

    When did you last masturbate?

    When did you last masturbate to a comicbook?

    How much comicbook pornography do you own?

    Have you ever masturbated while on a break at the comicbook shop?

  • Mikester says:

    I said “don’t take that as a challenge.”

    I’m still totally going to answer these, by the way.

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    Not necessarily a question but a request, hope that’s okay: more Smallville commentary. It seems like everything I hear about it is either snark or geek worship. Your even-handed opinions about the show are refreshing.

    (Full disclosure: I get pretty snarky with the show myself, but I give credit where credit is due – like the Kandorian-ruled dystopian future episode with the armed and dangerous Chloe.)

  • H says:

    Okay three questions just in time for Valentine’s Day:

    Who does Sluggo pick between:

    1) Betty and Veronica;
    2) Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson; and
    3) Jean Loring and Enrichetta Negrini?

  • GQ says:

    So, Flash existed in the Smallville universe but when another super-speedster shows up, the press dub him “The red-blue blur.” Really? They wouldn’t just call him “The New Flash?”

    Anyway, real questions. Lemme see, real questions…

    If you that baby’s father, where you bin at?

    No, that won’t do…

    I’ll get back to you.

  • Nimbus says:

    Do you think Marvel and DC are somehow in cahoots when it comes to some of their recent major storylines? They both “killed” one of their major characters (Cap America & Batman) and sent them tumbling through time. And DC is heading towards a Brightest Day whereas Marvel has the lighter Heroic Age on the horizon. Or is it all just coincidence?

    What thoughts do you have on the upcoming Brightest Day and Heroic Age events? “About time”, “Not more events!”, “I’ll sure sell more at the store”, or something else?

    If Swamp Thing and Man-Thing somehow merged together to form one creature would it be called Swamp Man? Or Thing-Thing?

  • Eric L says:

    As a comic store manager what is your reply when a new customers asks you “Is this book any good?” when you in fact think this book is complete garbage? let’s say it’s ULTIMATES VOL. 3 which is a book I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say anything nice about. Do you pass up the sale and tell the customer it’s crap or do you knowingly sell the customer something you feel is crap and very few people have even enjoyed? something you

  • What comic books should I be investing in right now?

    Okay, more seriously along those lines: do you get a lot of people who think they should be getting rich by selling their 1990’s investment collections to Ralph’s or has that gone away entirely?

  • googum says:

    If I’m buying books from the quarter boxes, am I wrecking comics? I got Batman: Unseen and almost all of the new Unknown Soldier for a dollar an issue; and enjoyed them both, but it can’t be helping out those books, creators, the comic shop, DC…can it?

    (I think I will start pulling, and paying more, for Unknown Soldier, though.)

  • Jason says:

    Let’s say that the iPad/electronic market explodes and Marvel & DC move to exclusive distributon of single issues electronically. Do you think your store could survive as a retailer of print collections of comics and back issues (and as a retailer of whatever indie singles still released)?

    Do you think this is a likely future (as in happening in the next 10 – 20 years)?

  • Andres says:

    If a freak snowstorm would to hit Ventura and you were trapped in your store under 30 feet of snow with all your current employees who’d be the first to, you know, get turned into lunch?

  • Gordon says:

    First, do you feel the term “reboot” gets bandied about too frequently in both comics and movies (and comic movies)? It seems as if the idea of “rebooting” a movie franchise is akin to publishing a new # 1 issue.

    Also, where did I leave my library card?

  • Wayne Allen Sallee says:

    Why do you think that there are no Robert Mitchum ties?

  • William Gatevackes says:

    What’s your opinion on DC’s habit of making a bigger deal about anniversary issue numbers (i.e. changing Wonder Woman’s numbering in time for her 600th issue, having Helen Slater do a story for Supergirl’s 50th issue, etc) than the actual anniversary of the characters themselves (i.e. nothing really last year for Supergirl’s 50th or Batman’s 70th, nothing for Superman’s 70th the year before, and not much this year for DC’s 75th anniversary (at least not as much as Marvel did last year for their 70th))

  • Mike @ MHH says:

    Have you read the Fables novel “Peter and Max”? If so, what’d you think? If not, are you a communist?

  • caman agus sliotar says:

    I read it and LOVED it.
    Why won’t Mr. Ellis put out Fell in a timely manner?
    I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
    Here’s a slightly better question.
    Does every arc get put out in hard and eventually soft cover trades or do only some get this treatment? If it’s not every book how do you think they decide what gets hard cover? Obviously “blockbuster events” types are a given but what about the rest?

    Why does a shop owner I sometimes frequent get mildly angry at the idea of me giving, oh, say some plastic colored promo rings, to my 6 year old son?

  • Brad says:

    Bit of a (long-winded) extension on Jason’s question above – ipad or not at some point DC/Marvel are going to explore direct digital distribution (probably “late” and “poorly”) but then the DM is going to be facing the same issues that are plaguing the direct music market.

    While there’s still specialty music stores (and I suspect larger, well diversified stores like yours, or Toronto’s “The Beguiling” will always have a niche) most “average” music stores and chains have either gone under or only survived by greatly diversifying into DVD’s, video games, and other media.

    What happens to the “average” comic store (most of whom already diversify to some extent into rpgs, heroclix, ccg’s and the like) if the DM shrinks, even by a nominal extent? How much of an overall market change do you think the status quo can handle without yet another retail-implosion? And most importantly, are there advantages to the DM that could be created by better access to digially distributed comics work?

  • FxHx says:

    OK Mike, I got one. Do you sometimes think of just how different your life is since starting this site? Is it strange?

    And I have one for your lovely girlfriend: when the hell are you and Mike getting hitched?

  • Scott Rowland says:

    What’s your dream reprint project from DC? Marvel? Dark Horse? Image? Anybody else?

    Do you think the current spate of event storylines with multiple tie-ins offered is training even long-term collectors to wait for the trades? (In my case, I feel my need to buy individual issues is seriously dropping, even for series I love, and I’ve been collecting for almost 40 years).

    Who would win: Herbie Popnecker or Sugar Plumm?

    Why the heck is there not a Sugar and Spike collected edition?

    How do you think retailers can compete with something like Amazon when it comes to TPBs?

    What’s the current count on HOS 92 reprints you own? (I’m too lazy to look back through the site). Is there any other story you have that approaches that number? (Me, I think I have about 9 or so copies of the Spider-Man origin).

    Thanks for the fun reading!

  • Nate says:

    Many see the coming of digital delivery of comic books as inevitable. Maybe it won’t be the iPad, but at some point someone will make a device that will deliver picture and word balloon content straight to a computer that’s easy to read.

    Do you worry about the future of your career in direct sales? Do you think there will be enough fanboys that need to hold a piece of paper to keep direct sales going?

  • How much is The Legend of The Dark Night #1 worth if it’s the yellow cover?

    How much will it be worth ten years from now?

    How much more is it worth if it’s signed by Billy Gibbons from The ZZ Tops?

  • Rich Handley says:

    If I turned my long-dormant Swamp Thing site into a book, do you think DC’s lawyers would break down my legs and THEN issue a cease-and-desist, or would I get the cease-and-desist first and then the broken legs?

  • Rich Handley says:

    D’oh! That should have been “break my legs,” not “break down my legs.”

  • Rich Handley says:

    “Sluggo-Thing”: Best. Crossover. Ever… or just plain stupid?

  • Steve Cameron says:

    Another question about back issues: how’s business these days? With so much getting collected now, most stores have sold off their old issues to give most of their floor space over to trades and manga and graphic novels and what not, but I understand that Ralph’s still has a lot of back issue bins. Do you still do a lot of sales in old floppies? How’s it changed from a decade or two ago?

  • […] don’t forget, I’m still taking questions in the comments for this post. Feel free to ask […]

  • Erik says:

    If I download comics that aren’t collected am I still killing comics?

    What’s better, Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen?

    Who would win in a fight, Supergoof or Mighty Mouse?

  • Allan says:

    What do you think is the most significant contribution to society you completely failed to make because of a) comic books and b) your blogging about comic books? How many people do you think would be alive today if you had chosen a less geeky path? And if the answer is greater than one, does the thought of this ever keep you awake at night or do you consider the existence of Progressive Ruin to be more important than any one nameless individual’s life?

  • Keith says:

    Another question relating to the secret genius behind Progressive Ruin.
    Noticing employee Aaron (with his hair cut) has a girlfriend, I have not help but be a bit skeptical, is she real or is she one of those “I have a girlfriend, but she lives two states over” kind of girlfriends? Bonus question: If real, is she shorter than him? (As if that’s even possible?)

  • Jay V says:

    Do you have any thoughts/opinions on Charlton comics? How about Gold Key? Do you have any back issues of Wacky Witch?

  • Can you help me open this jar of Palm Hearts?

  • Rich Handley says:

    Since changing over from the prior blog site to the new ultra-white version, have you seen a change in your traffic? Does it look like most of your regulars made the jump to the new location?

  • Josh Perdue says:

    Years ago in college I had a class with this girl who was a friend of a friend. We sat beside one another in class and used to chat sometimes and she was always very friendly. Then all of a sudden one day she was very rude to me. I used to see her outside of school and say hi and she would reluctantly acknowledge me, then ignored me outright.
    What did I do?

  • ¡Sombreros! says:

    […] • • Reminder! Last day to send i questions for me! Please leave ‘em at the link there, and with any luck I will start answering them on […]

  • Tom K Mason says:

    Okay, I’ll play. What are the three biggest things – hit comic book movie, blogging, distribution changes, crossovers, clean windows, Virgin Comics, anything really – that have had a positive impact on the store?

  • Progressive Sterling's Mike Ruin says:

    Mike, some questions:

    -Who would win in a fist fight: Chris Sims or Dave Campbell?

    -From a strictly visual point of view: do you think Swamp Thing looks better than Man-Thing? WHY??:O

    -“Swamp Thongs”. For the ladies. Sexy or not?

  • Roger Green says:

    I had to delete you from my weblog on Blogger then reinstall you. I assume that’s tied to your new feed. Is that a common issue or am I merely technologically cursed?

  • […] asked you for questions, you folks questioned me, and now, let me offer up some answers for your […]

  • deadlytoque says:

    I’ve never read any comics with Thor or Iron Man, but I am keen on both characters. I’m a fan of Matt Fraction and also of Warren Ellis, and (to a lesser extent) J. Michael Straczynski . I also like the new Marvel Adventures stuff.

    If I buy Fraction’s runs on both titles, as well as JMS’s Thor and Ellis’s Iron Man, and then some of the MA: Iron Man books… will any of them make sense to me? Or will my total lack of knowledge of the decades of continuity exclude me?

  • Metz77 says:

    What do you think of Fantastic Four right now? I’ve never been a fan of the series before but the current creative team seems good. Do you think it’ll last?

  • […] feeling a bit run-down as I write this, I’m afraid…I was going to beg off, but there are just a few questions left and I’d like to get them answered. So let’s see how I do […]

  • […] So customer Gary put together a couple of sample panels for the Atomelephant and Elastiquito comic based on Employee Aaron’s sketch. […]

  • […] sex dungeon,” then I get to say “squared-off udder teats,” Employee Aaron draws a giant mosquito on top of a tiny elephant and customer Gary continues it then finishes it off, Michael Pollard poisons your mind with a […]