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Oh, right, Free Comic Book Day.

§ April 30th, 2010 § Filed under free comic book day § 5 Comments

Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow, and I realize I haven’t said a whole lot about it this time around. I’ve said plenty about it in the past, and I just spent a few minutes creating a “free comic book day” category so you can click on that and see my many posts on the topic. But, as always, we’re one of the stores that does Free Comic Book Day right, and I’m reasonably certain that we’ll give away lots and lots of comics and we’ll still make a profit while we do it (thanks to concurrent in-store special sales), like we do every year.

As for the actual comics themselves: Pal Dorian has once again presented his comprehensive review of this year’s offerings, which you can read at the Bureau Chiefs site.

Personally, my favorite free book this year is probably Weathercraft by Jim Woodring, but then I’m already a huge fan of Woodring’s work, so this is sort of preaching to the choir, here. It may be a little too much on the weird side for your average “I’m here for your free comics, give them to me” FCBD attendee, but I’d much rather give someone something weird than something boring.

Other good’uns: the Incorruptible/Irredeemable flipbook from Boom! Studios is a solid introduction to Mark Waid’s superhero universe; Yow! from Drawn & Quarterly is a great sampler for John Stanley’s classic kid comics, like Nancy and Tubby; The Tick #1 – a reprint of the very first, very funny issue of the spoof superhero series by creator Ben Edlund; Bongo Free-for-All presents more funny Simpsons comics, and you can’t really go wrong with these; and Fraggle Rock/Mouse Guard…the Fraggle Rock comic is nicely done, very children’s storybook-y.

Other titles:

War of the Supermen #0 didn’t come with that cover people were getting the vapors over, but the actual comic in question felt…a bit disappointing, to be frank. A little too dark and strangely violent for a Superman comic that we’re supposed to be giving to potential new readers.

Library of American Comics – Can’t help but think they should have gone the same route that Fantagraphics did with their Unseen Peanuts freebie a while back, and put out a Unseen Bloom County comic. Well, maybe not an entire comic of just previously unreprinted Bloom County strips, but a sampler focused mostly on BC with a few sampler pages from their other books might have been more of an attention grabber. (There may be contractual things preventing this I don’t know about, but still…it would have been neat to have an actual Bloom County comic book, don’t you think?)

Overstreet Guide to Collecting Comics – I will concur with my colleague Pal Dorian on this item. Free Comic Book Day is about comics as a storytelling medium, not as a collectible investment.

Iron Man/Nova and Iron Man/Thor – I wonder if there’s an Iron Man movie coming out soon? Anyway, they’re both okay, but it would have been nice to have, say, a Captain America comic to remind people that there still is such a thing, after the very publicized “death” a few years back.

Sonic the Hedgehog – I know these are popular with kids, but I swear to God, showing me a Sonic comic is like trying to get the dog to look at something on a TV screen. It’s just…my mind can’t even wrap around it, you know? This must be what it’s like to be a Newsarama commenter trying to read a Grant Morrison comic.

Anyway, that’s just me. Your mileage may vary, so go to your local comic shop and pick up a few. If you’re lucky enough to be near a store that’ll happily give you all of the FCBD books, get ’em all! What the hell, they’re free. And if you don’t like some of them…pass them on!

• • •

Speaking of the Bureau Chiefs, which I was several paragraphs ago, you may have missed this entry I made just prior to my End of Civilization post, with some weekend convention news involving some of my fellow Chiefs.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ April 29th, 2010 § Filed under End of Civilization § 20 Comments

Yup. It’s another one of these things, because YOU demanded it! Not even an earthquake which occurred while I was putting this together could prevent this from happening! Ha! Take that, nature!

p. 132 – Blackest Night Series 7 Action Figures:

Doesn’t say in the solicitation, but I’m presuming Dex-Star, the feline Red Lantern, is packaged with the Red Lantern Mera. Really, DC could’ve skipped making that Mera figure and just made Dex-Star. No one wants a figure of Aquaman’s wife. Everyone wants an evil space-kitty.

p. 228 – Life with Archie The Married Life #1:

Continuing the “imaginary” (as they say) stories of Archie in his marriages with Betty and with Veronica. Any theoretical little kids who may read this and not quite get what’s going on here may find themselves exposed early on to the idea of polygamy.

p. 234 – Aspen Splash 2010 Swimsuit Spectacular #1:

A swimsuit special. Published by Aspen. LILY STATUS: GILDED.

p. 394 – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Communicator Role-Play Replica:

“Features 3 play modes: Voice Clip Mode, Screaming Kirk Mode, and Hail / Call-Back function.”

“Screaming Kirk Mode.”



p. 405 – Kick-Ass 6-Inch Action Figures:

Due out September 2010. When the movie’s been out of first-run theatres for about 6 months, and, I’m assuming, will have been on DVD for about two months.

That’s some good timing.

p. 406 – Mr. Potato Head Elvis Presley:

Sadly, Mr. Potato Head Elvis Presley was found floating in his toilet this morning.

p. 415 – Clash of the Titans Baton from Gods Prop Replica:

There are three replica swords from the movie available from the same page. At least the swords sort of look like something that has a use (even with the presumably blunted edges, I’m guessing). The baton…not really so much, no. I suppose you can use it for added emphasis if you gesture with it. “You’re lookin’ for Old Mill Road? Well, go a half-mile in that direction” (BATON POINT) “turn left at the silo” (BATON SWEEP TO LEFT) “and keep headin’ north…you can’t miss it” (BATON TAP TO BRIM OF HAT). “Have a nice day.”

p. 417 – Return to Wonderland Calie Bronze Statue:

Enough of a fan of the Grimm Fairy Tales comic to drop $2,900 on a bronze statue? Now’s your chance.

(My mind always boggles at super high-end comics merchandise like this. I mean, they’re only making 30 of these, which seems…well, reasonable, for the lack of a better word, and surely someone must being buying these, right?)

p. 423 – Jonah Hex Tomahawk Axe Prop Replica and Turnbull’s Cane Prop Replica:

YAAAAAWN. How boring. You know merchandise the Jonah Hex movie needs? “Jonah Hex’s Make-Up Kit for Li’l Cowboys.” Comes with one-size-fits-all prosthetic mouth scar-flap, and optional oversized googly-eye.

p. 426 – Star Wars The Force Unleashed Darth Vader Mini-Bust:

I’d be okay with Lucas going back and redoing the original Star Wars movies one last time, if we could have that climactic lightsaber battle in Return of the Jedi with Darth looking like this.

p. 429 – Darth Maul Lightsaber Chopsticks:

“…A special bonus connector piece lets you turn the Darth Maul chopsticks into a fun double-bladed lightsaber.”

“WARNING: Trying to eat meal with chopsticks in this configuration will only annoy your friends and piss off the waiter. ALSO NOTE: ‘Fun’ may vary from customer to customer. Length of fun not guaranteed.”

p. 433 – Doctor Who the 11th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver:

Me: “Hey, look, it’s that new Sonic Screwdriver.”

Nora: “Really? What does it do?”

Me: “Well, it…lights up, and these claws at the end open up, here….”

Nora: “And they want…thirty-two dollars for that?”

Me: “And now you know why I started ‘The End of Civilization.'”

p. 436 – Kick-Ass Talking “In Your Pocket” Keychain:

Plays “six different phrases taken from the film.” There’s only one phrase…well, word from the film in particular anyone really talked about. I would die if that’s on this toy.

p. 443 – Star Trek Cufflinks:

For the stealth nerd in your life. “Sapstein, I don’t want to see you wearing your Star Trek t-shirt to work. Nothing but collared shirts and ties from now on. Got it?” “Got it, boss!” (turns to camera, winks, flashes cuffs, and links, for audience to see)

p. 448 – Tinker Bell Treasure Chest Box:

“OH GOD MY BACK, IT’S BROKEN didn’t that stupid human see me leaning here PLEASE OPEN THE BOX OH GOD THE PAIN”

Marvel Previews p. 73 – X-Women #1:

VERY SPECIFIC JOKE, REQUIRES NERD KNOWLEDGE: “We’re one step closer to getting X-Men: Click.”

SLIGHTLY MORE GENERAL USE JOKE: “At last, bringing all those amateur-made sexy X-Men drawings for sale on eBay into continuity!”

Some Fake AP Stylebook news.

§ April 28th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 1 Comment

So Ken Lowery and Mark Hale, creators of Fake AP Stylebook, will be appearing at ROFLCon II in Cambridge, MA this weekend, on Saturday afternoon from 3:30 to 5 PM. Other members of The Bureau Chiefs will be in attendance…sadly, not me, as Massachusetts won’t have me back after, you know, that one thing.

But I am making my presence felt there, anyway, as I, along with a few other Chiefs, “guest-edited” several columns for the Weekly Dig, a local indie paper. And by “guest-edited,” I mean “inspired the several pages of readers’ hate mail and editors’ apologies in the next issue.”

So, please, enjoy! And if you’re in the area, go say “hi” to Mark and Ken for me.

It happens to the best of us.

§ April 28th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 15 Comments



from The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974

It’s an ill wind, and all that.

§ April 27th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 10 Comments

So we picked all these up from a local yard sale…a bunch of JFK memorial photo mags published in 1964 which are all surprisingly in reasonably good shape:

In Memoriam has a full-color centerspread “pin up” of Jackie Kennedy, which seems a little odd, considering. Also, not sure why the Four Dark Days mag above is pictured in the corner of the In Memoriam cover, since the two appear to have different publishers. (Unless of course they are from the same publisher, using two different names and addresses.

This “Federal City” one is a mix of pages regarding the life and assassination of Kennedy, with a photo tour guide of sites of note around Washington, DC.

This next one was published in 1965: Article of note: “What The Stars Say about Bobby’s Presidential Hopes.” And not “stars” as in “Gina Lollobrigida” — I mean, and I quote:

“A wry sense of humor is suggested by the position of Venus in Capricorn near the mid-heaven, favored by a conjunction with Jupiter.”

This is all very depressing.

Darkseid has the best names for stuff.

§ April 26th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 13 Comments

image from Super Powers Collection: Parademons (1984)

I could use a Tower of Rage. It’d be a nice trade-up from my current Bathroom of Annoyance.

Another from the back room of misfit toys.

§ April 25th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 10 Comments

Once again I’ve dug deep in the recesses of the store’s backroom to pull out for sacrifices for the eBay slaughter, and this time I’ve dragged out “Barrow-Wight, Evil Spirit of Angmar” based on some fantasy book trilogy with wizards and elves and stuff like that.

This was released in 2000 as part of a line of figures based on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels…and then the year 2001 rolled along, what with its big-budget Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the RIng movie directed by Peter Jackson. And then suddenly came the flood of movie merchandise, including, of course, action figures, and this figure pictured above was suddenly made effectively redundant. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a figure line based on the books as opposed to the movies…but, well, here I still have it, a decade later, with plans to put it up for online sale at prices so low, I must be under the influence of an evil ring.

I seem to remember having other figures from the same line in stock, but none of the other figures pictured on the back really ring a bell:

Whatever we had in stock did sell, though, so perhaps having this last straggling figure isn’t so much “the movie merchandise killed its sales” as “nobody wanted to buy the barrow-wight.”

Anyway, it’s kind of neat…it has a little translucent green bit of plastic in its head, so that light shining into the exposed bit in the scalp feeds the light through to the figure’s eyes, where the green plastic gem-thing is also exposed. And he’s got his sword, and his mug for drinking his Mr. Pibb, and a little treasure chest where he keeps all his money that he makes barrow-wighting. EBay, I implore you…take this little plastic burden off my hands.

In the meantime,



Sluggo Saturday #51.

§ April 24th, 2010 § Filed under sluggo saturday § 8 Comments



from The Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy (1988) – thanks to pal Andres

Where to direct the blame.

§ April 23rd, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 4 Comments

Was working on another project last night, so I didn’t have time to prepare a proper post for today. Sorry about that! But I did write a guest review for the Trouble with Comics group blog that was posted just the other day. So please, go read what I said about a certain comic publication’s huge influence upon a teenaged Mikester! (As usual, I ramble a bit and get off topic, but hopefully you’ll enjoy it anyway.)

I know a few people who could use these.

§ April 22nd, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 6 Comments


1982 comic book ad

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