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So I finally got around to seeing Iron Man 2.

§ May 31st, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 20 Comments

(SPOILERS AHEAD, like you all haven’t seen it already)

Yeah, I know, I’m like the last person on the planet to see it…or at least it feels that way, given the number of conversations about the movie I’ve had to avoid at the shop over the last couple of weeks. But, I finally got in there Saturday night, with a surprisingly large crowd, and…well, the film was okay. I did enjoy it, but it’s not really a patch on the first film. Once or twice early on in the flick, I found myself thinking “why is the movie showing me this instead of more scenes of Iron Man doing something awesome?” Okay, I know it was necessary character set-up stuff for future plot events, but still, it seemed like there was a little more forward momentum and…”spark,” I guess, to similar scenes in the first film.

When you actually count out the number of Iron Man action scenes in this film, there really aren’t that many, and I’m not sure if I’d count the very uncomfortable bit of business with Tony acting like a buffoon at his party (though it does set up how Tony and Rhodey are able to defeat the bad guy at the end). I’d heard some complaints about the climactic battle being hard to follow, but I didn’t have any trouble (and I usually am the first to complain when a film’s action sequence is poorly directed).

And I had heard comments from folks about having yet another bad guy with a Bigger, Badder Iron Man suit for our heroes to fight, and…yeah, they should probably change it up a bit for the next movie. I’m pulling for Living Laser, myself. Though I’d die if it was MODOK.

Oh, and hello, Sir Scene-in-The-Trailer-And-Not-Appearing-in-This-Movie:

Supporting cast was strong: every time Sam Jackson shows up in a Marvel movie as Nick Fury, it’s a hoot, and I can’t wait for his version of Fury to get a meatier part in some future film. (Though Fury gets plenty of screentime this time around.) Plus, Sam Rockwell is suitably slimy and obnoxious as Stark’s competitor Justin Hammer, and Mickey Rourke is quite the imposing presence as Ivan Vanko. Also, I seem to remember hearing gripes about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts and her particular storyline in this film. Aside from being more scenes that aren’t Iron Man doing cool things, I didn’t see any particular problem with her arc, especially as its purpose was to show how Tony reacts to it. What was your exact beef, gentlemen?

By the by…so decades ago, Poppa Stark hid the description of a secret element for his son to later find, and it just happened to be the right element to solve Tony’s current health/power generator issues? …Sure, why not. I did figure the city layout was a hidden message to Tony from his father early on, but I thought it was going to reveal plans for a circuit board. I mean, it did look like one, right? A bit? Somewhat?

And yes, there was that bit of business at the end of the film, after the credits…and I do wish they had inserted the scene, like, a minute or two into the credits instead of at the very end, because man, sitting there and waiting is a drag.

But there was the scene, and the few other suckers audience members who waited it out cheered when they saw the hammer, and at least one guy exclaiming “it’s Thor!” I also overheard someone explaining to his friends what the significance of the hammer was, using Adventures in Babysitting as part of said explanation. I thoroughly approve of this.

Also, I’m glad I was going out of my way to see or read anything about the film ahead of time, because man, when I was going through the trailer to pick out images as my “spoiler borders,” it’s like the entire film was in it. It’s almost Disney trailer-esque in its reveals.

But most importantly…just how fantastic was Garry Shandling in this movie?

Very fantastic” is the correct answer.

The return of the World’s Frownest.

§ May 30th, 2010 § Filed under customer gary Comments Off on The return of the World’s Frownest.

So in response to this post, Customer Gary (he of Frog by Day and Atomelephant and Elastiquito fame) has generated yet more amusing bits of business:

Look at the image in the next one upside-down if you’re having trouble the source, there:

Thanks, Gary! (Man, that’s the unhappiest Flash logo I’ve ever seen.)

Sluggo Saturday #56

§ May 29th, 2010 § Filed under sluggo saturday § 8 Comments



from Nancy and Sluggo #181 (March/April 1961)

World’s Frownest.

§ May 28th, 2010 § Filed under employee aaron, sir-links-a-lot § 2 Comments

So first, Employee Aaron drew this:

And then I drew this in response:

Neither of us were particularly sad at the time, so I have no explanation. But that won’t stop me from slapping these pics up on the site for all to…”enjoy.”

In other news:

  • Say, you know what’s five years old this week? Why, the weblog of Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull, that’s what! Since Bully is only six years old, he’s been doing his site for 5/6ths of his life! And who among us can say that?

    Congrats, Bully! May you defeat all the matadors life throws at you!

  • Fellow Bureau Chief Matt Wilson penned an article looking at the problems with “nerd news” reporting. Some interesting food for thought in there (especially the bit about some folks just not being able to admit they were wrong about something).
  • Here’s something I didn’t expect to see…the all-seeing Neilalien turns his Eye of Agamotto upon the last episode of Lost. It’s a short, thoughtful, and reasoned response to the show, and I can’t disagree with it.

    Speaking of Lost, get a load of Nedroid‘s “Twitpic” stream, with plenty of Lost comics and illustrations. If this strip doesn’t make you wish for a follow-up TV series with those two characters, then I don’t know what to tell you.

  • Longtime customer Kevin started a sketch blog and I’ve kept meaning to link to it. So here you go. The man wields a mighty pen.
  • If you somehow missed out on ordering the print version of The Journal of MODOK Studies fanzine, like I did, you can now get all three issues as PDFs from the official website. You’re welcome.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ May 27th, 2010 § Filed under End of Civilization § 18 Comments

It’s an all-new installment of the End of Civilization, going on 5 1/2 years and still ending strong! This particular edition is very heavy on the fake dialogue, so please enjoy the voices in my head being transcribed here for your pleasure. Crack open your copy of Diamond Previews (June 2010) and follow along, with me and my magical elf friend Elfy! Right, Elfy? “Right, Mike!”

p. 92 – The Brave and The Bold #36:

“When Adam Strange offered Lois Lane the chance to file a story from Rann, she jumped at it – but she wasn’t expecting to become an interstellar war-correspondent!”

She certainly didn’t expect it the last time, either!

p. 134 – 51 Ways to Save Her Vol. 1:

This new CMX book sounds pretty good. Can’t wait for future installments!

p. 270-1 – Miscellaneous Green Hornet comics:

So, there are seven different Green Hornet periodicals, plus a hardcover reprint, this month. Pretty good for a character that, not that long ago, was mainly referenced by people trying to remember Green Lantern’s name.

p. 301 -The Smurfs Vol. 1 The Purple Smurf & Vol. 2 The Smurfs and The Magic Flute:


p. 346 – Lost Encyclopedia:

“So, who was that on the other outrigger shooting at our heroes?”


“Oh, does it say who was still dropping off supplies on the island?”

“Well, uh….”

“At least tell me it has the Man in Black’s name.”


p. 349 – Star Trek The Original Series 365 HC:

“In addition to a wealth of never-before-seen images and newly commissioned photography, [this book] presents a treasure trove of remastered stills from the CBS archives….”

“Newly commissioned” pics aside, it seems to be there’s a finite amount of period photos from the original Trek series. Eventually archivists are going to be pouring through old episodes frame-by-frame trying to find an image not already used:

“Okay, this frame from ‘And The Children Shall Lead’ – cleared for use?”

“Wait wait, lemme look…nope, used in the ’70s bubblegum card series.”

“DAMN. How ’bout the next frame?”

“Checking, checking…okay, that one’s good. Slap that sucker on a t-shirt.”

p. 349 – Star Wars Year by Year – A Visual Chronicle HC:

“Hey, the book stops at 1998!”

“Trust me, it’s better this way.”

p. 360 – Multiple Mang T-Shirt:

Yes, “Multiple Mang.” Also, the shirt looks like it’s celebrating model sprues.

p. 365 – Zombie God Save the Queen Black T-Shirt:

So we’re just throwing zombies onto anything now, are we? “WOO check out my zombie toaster, man! It makes toast…UNDEAD TOAST.”

p.372 – Marvel Select Juggernaut Action Figure:

“Man, what are we going to do with all these leftover misshapen lumps of plastic from our action figure factory?”

“Oh, just throw them out…wait, hold on, I have an idea.”

p. 376 – World’s Greatest DC Heroes Retro Action Figures:

“I really need to pick a shade of blue and stick with it.”

“Look, they didn’t have glove-cuffs my size, okay? Just lay off.”

“Stop making sense
Stop making sense
Stop making sense
Making sense”

“Man, look at me. I’m badass. I don’t belong with these losers.”

p. 378 – Auto World Batman Slot Car Track Set:

Okay, so here’s a Batman slot car set based on the 1960s TV show. And also in this catalog is

p. 384 – Auto World Dukes of Hazzard Slot Car Track Set:

If one were to, say, combine both sets together: ADAM WEST BATMAN VERSUS THEM DUKE BOYS IN THE RACE TO END ALL RACES.

Surely the world does not deserve such beauty.

p. 386 – Fisher Price Milk Wagon:

Soon to become a Fisher Price Beer Wagon in some college student’s dorm room.

p. 386 – Fisher Price Record Player:

“Here’s your very own record player, Little Billy!”

“A what player? Where’s the USB port? Why are these CDs so lumpy?”

p. 392 – Avatar Jake Sully’s Na’Vi Dagger Prop Replica:

For extra authenticity, prop replica available solely as 3D graphics on supplied DVD-ROM.

p. 392 – The Phantom’s Jungle Bowie Knife Prop Replica:

Hey, remember that one time the Phantom totally shanked a guy? That was awesome.

p. 394 – Harry Potter’s llluminating Wand Prop Replica:

“Wave the wand and a light shines from its tip. Wave it again, and the light is extinguished.”

Oh, I think we’ve all experienced that, am I right, guys?

What, yours doesn’t glow?

p. 396 – Thor Classic Mini-Bust:

“Verily, the fish I doth caught was this big!”

p. 398 – Nick Fury S.H.I.E.L.D. ID Set and Pistol Prop Replicas:

This is a government security breach waiting to happen. And by “security breach” I mean “some dope getting the crap beat out of him when he tries to get past some checkpoint with these.”

p. 424 – Batman Folding Pen:

“Use the writing implement designed for billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne….”

…Which totally has the Batman logo on it. That Wayne, he’s got chutzpah.

p. 437 – Smallville RPG Core Rulebook:

“Okay, so Luthor hops into his plane and flies off with the Kryptonite. What do you want to do?”

“I’ll fly after him.”

“Sorry, you can’t fly yet. Not until after ten years of campaign time have passed.”

“Wait, what? What can I do, then?”

“You can look longingly into Lana’s big watery eyes and say incredibly evasive things that exacerbate everyone’s problems.”

“Oooh, I roll for Save Vs. Ridiculous Plot Developments.”

“Yeah, you can try.”

Sometimes you just need to ponder a picture of the Punisher doing what he does best.

§ May 26th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 8 Comments

Also, you know what you don’t see enough of anymore? Wolverine enjoying a good belly laugh:

Here’s a closer look:



from Amazing Spider-Man #161 (October 1976) by Len Wein, Ross Andru & Mike Esposito

This character always seemed a bit peculiar to me…

§ May 25th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 7 Comments

…and seeing her in three-dimensional action figure form doesn’t dissuade me from that particular feeling. And frankly, the very idea of her figure having “arm-spinning action” is making me a little nauseous.

I probably won’t be mentioning any of this in the eventual eBay auction listing.

Yet another item from the Back Room of Misfit Toys.

§ May 24th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 11 Comments

DC Direct’s Pocket Heroes were, it seems, a direct response to Marvel’s extensive Minimates line of eesny-weensy superhero figurines (which you can see here at this extensive Minimates review site). The Pocket Heroes line ended once DC got in on the Minimates action, but alas, some Pocket Heroes product still remains at the shop even today.

I suppose these were a cheap alternative to the larger and more elaborate DC Direct action figures, which retail for about $16 to $20 a pop. And I guess they look…okay, but they probably should have avoiding representing characters in their civvies:

Lois comes out fine, but poor Jimmy looks like he’s in his long johns. At least you get Superman’s JLA chair! “Includes awesome sitting action!”

It seemed like, from the get-go, that the Pocket Heroes were going to be hot items. Prior to the launch of this toy series, the deluxe Solomon Grundy action figure came with a promotional Golden Age Wonder Woman Pocket Hero figure, which we received many, many requests for, and which I suspect brought about the almost instant unavailability of the Grundy figure. And the first wave of Pocket Heroes sold very well for us. The next wave…not really so much, I’m afraid. I’m still listing and, sadly, not selling them on the eBay.

There were a couple of other boxed sets like the Superman one above, pictured on the back of the packaging, and which I do not recall ever carrying:

Ooh, that’s the Golden Age Green Lantern in his Sentinel costume, isn’t it? That’s a shame. Hmmm…come to think of it, maybe we did carry this, because I just now recall a conversation I had about how the Pocket Heroes line may be the only way to get every member of the Green Lantern Corps an action figure. “Collect all 3,600!”

More examples of folks in their civvies not looking quite right. “Why, Alfred, that spandex butler outfit fits snugly to your every curve!” “Why, thank you, Master Bruce. And may I compliment you on your spandex business attire?”

Ah, well, nice try, Pocket Super Heroes Superman Box Set, but nobody around our parts wanted you. Let us cast your fate to the eBay winds, and we shall see where they will take you. L@@K LONG JOHN JIMMY RARE H@T

Don’t ask.

§ May 23rd, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 6 Comments

“This calls for my rarely-used power of fist growth!”

“You’d think if I was going to buy 500 identical outfits so I can wear
the same thing to school every single day, I’d have picked an outfit
that wasn’t so itchy.”


Kryptonian dogs had evolved far beyond their terrestrial counterparts,
with advanced intellects, opposable thumbs, and the ability to walk
on their hind legs. They still enjoyed peeing on everything in sight,
because hey, who doesn’t?

“I’ve had it with this stupid one-horse town. Especially when that
horse turned out to be yet another super-villain gunnin’
for Superboy. I mean, c’mon, give me a break, here.”



Sluggo Saturday #55.

§ May 22nd, 2010 § Filed under sluggo saturday § 2 Comments



from Nancy #158 (September 1958)

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