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Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ September 30th, 2010 § Filed under End of Civilization § 22 Comments

It’s this thing again! I poke through the newest issue of Diamond Previews (October 2010, this time), point out some Items of Note, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll all learn a little something. …Have I done the “we’ll all learn a little something” gag too often on this site? Probably. Send your letters of complaint to my editor. Also, I overuse variations on the word “would” in one entry, and don’t even bother to check my French in that other entry, because it’s totally wrong. Which is fitting, considering. Anyway…awaaaaaay we go:

p. 25 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer #39:

Revealed in this issue…the shocking secret of Buffy’s pants!

p. 42-45 – Star Wars Legacy: War #1, Star Wars: Knight Errant – Aflame #3, Star Wars The Old Republic: Blood of the Empire #3:

If you would have told me 30 years ago that there would someday be multiple Star Wars comic book series on the stands, but I wouldn’t be familiar with any of the main characters in them, I wouldn’t have believed you.

p. 59 – Classic Archie Character #3 – Betty Statue:

“Ooh, gross, creepy ol’ Mr. Eerie is substituting today.”

p. 60 – Cousin Eerie Statue:

“Why, hello, Ms. Cooper…you’re certainly looking…nice this morning…see you in class!”

p. 83 – Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #5:

Oh, hey, this series totally abbreviates as “GL: EW.” That works out nicely, considering.

p. 131 – Wonder Woman #600 Statue:

Commemorate the stunning and dramatic costume change of our favorite Amazon Warrior, with this dynamic statue that will remain a treasured collector’s item for years to come….

Um, wait, what was that?



p. 132 – Heroes of the DC Universe Blackest Night Black Lantern Batman Bust:

I try not to go to the “this would be damn hard to explain to your friends and loved ones” well too often, but c’mon.

p. 135 – Harley Quinn 1:4 Scale Museum Quality Statue:

Is it just me, or does Harley Quinn get progressively creepier-looking the more “realistically” she’s portrayed?

p. 154 – Star Trek Khan – Ruling in Hell #3:

For the life of me, I have no idea why you would make the Ricardo Montalban photo cover the rare one. SLAP THAT SMOOTH BASTARD ACROSS ALL YOUR COVERS. Especially the Witch & Wizard series…it could use the help.

p. 205 – Marvel Select Gambit Action Figure:

Sacre bleu! My coat, she has too much of ze starch in it! And my cards, they are en flammes! I am having ze bad day, vraiment!”

p. 226 – Archie #226:

I’m sure this cute and completely innocent gag will have the desired effect of pissing off everyone of every political stripe everywhere.

p. 227 – Betty & Veronica #251:

Thought this might have been a good candidate for my “This Is A Fetish for Someone” entries over at The Bureau Chiefs, but

1. …I’m pretty sure this actually is a common fetish for some folks, and This Is A Fetish… is only funny if it’s something really bizarre, and…

2. …As I recall, Betty and Veronica are supposed to be, what…15? 16? And that’s a fetish I’d just as soon not address.

p. 345 – Quicksilver T-Shirt:

“Hey, man, what’s the ‘L’ stand for?”


“Oh, okay…wha huh!?

p. 370 – Labyrinth the Worm Plush:

Seriously, the more I hear about this Human Centipede movie, the weirder it gets.

p. 373 – Star Wars Death Star Planetarium:

If you gotta dress up your educational toys in Star Wars drag…well, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Look how happy this kid is:

“Oh boy, I can’t wait to blow up that planet…and that planet…and that planet….”

p. 378 – Smurf Statues:

So this Smurf:

…is in love with the only lady Smurf in town, Smurfette:

…which will create quite the love hecatontagon when the other Smurfs find out. Or love centagon? Love Zocchihedron™? Man, I don’t know. Let me know when they nail down a term.

p. 381 – Resident Evil T-Virus & Anti-Virus Display:

If you have any airline travel to do in your immediate future, I’d suggest not taking this along in your luggage to show Aunt Rose back east. You’d likely end up with some ‘splainin’ to do.

p. 384 – James Bond Jaws’ Teeth Signature Edition Prop Replica:

Those of you shopping for gifts for dentists: here you go. You’re welcome.

BONUS: comes with a “tram cable” piece to show your teeth replicas “in action.”

p. 391 – DC X Bishoujo Collection Catwoman Statue:

My, that certainly looks both comfortable and practical when jumping from rooftop to rooftop.

p. 394 – Bakemonogatari – Kanbaru Suruga Ani*Statue:

This statue is absolutely all about demonstrating the basketball prowess of this young woman, and nothing else. You’d have to be some kind of weirdo to think otherwise.

p. 398 – Harry Potter RAH Figure:

No thanks, I prefer my Harry Potter figures fully cooked.

…Look, it’s late, and I’m tired.

p. 403 – Stay-Puft Quality Caffeinated Marshmallows:

Oh, sure, let’s take something that’s sugary and add caffeine to it. That’ll make the kids zip around like hummingbirds.

p. 406 – Star Trek Sulu por Homme Cologne for Men:

I’m not even going to make fun; let’s just enjoy the majestic beauty of this solicitation text:

“Sulu Pour Homme, or Sulu For Men for those who are French-impaired, is the perfect cologne for the man who does everything, whether that be cataloging exotic plants, collecting antique firearms, or piloting ancient helicopters and advanced starships. It’s more than just choosing to live your life with style; Sulu dives straight to the soul and allows you to release your own Intergalactic Man of Mystery. That jaunty, fearless swashbuckler of a man who, whether he’s wielding a rapier in a swordfight or commanding an Excelsior-class starship, is always ready for action. Oh, my!”

Oh, my indeed.

p. 426 – Grant Morrison – Talking with Gods DVD:

“I hated this DVD. It was too convoluted and confusing, and it was just weird for the sake of being weird.”

“Did you watch it?”

“No, of course I didn’t watch it.”

Marvel Previews p. 71 – Wolverine The Best There Is #1:

Oh thank God, a new ongoing Wolverine series. For while there I thought we’d have to make do with only a dozen or so comics featuring Wolverine per month. THE DROUGHT IS OVER, THE DROUGHT IS OVER

The only proper response to the imminent collision between an airplane and a car.

§ September 29th, 2010 § Filed under golden age § 9 Comments

from Banner Comics #4 (November 1941)

I am very, very sorry for the last link in this post.

§ September 28th, 2010 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot § 9 Comments

  • INTERESTING TIMES CONTINUE: The week after DC Comics imprints Wildstorm and Zuda were canned, Bob Harras, former editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, was named editor-in-chief at DC.

    This got some internet pals of mine talking about the Spider-Man Clone Saga, which ran, at least partially, under his watch. My contention was that the Clone Saga, while running way too long, and dealt a nearly-fatal blow to the Spider-Man franchise with the revelation that the Spider-Man we’d been reading for the last couple of decades was, in fact, the presumed-dead clone Spider-Man, started out as a good thing. Sales were strong, readers were interested in the story…it wasn’t the greatest story in the world, no, but it kept people’s attention and entertained them, at least until that particular goose was killed for its golden eggs. And until that saturation point was reached, as a person who was slingin’ funnybooks at the time this storyline was running, I can guarantee you that I was selling plenty of the Clone Saga comics to people who were into the story, and not just buying for investment. You can usually tell the difference.

    And, to this very day, I still have kids looking for and buying Clone Saga back issues (and anything involving Venom and/or Carnage). Far more kids, in fact, than are buying the currently-published Spider-Man comics. Or the currently-published Marvel anything. And I can see the appeal…lots of action, lots of villains, lots of just plain’ ol’ things happening in every issue. Frankly, whatever comics excite kids and get them interested in comics, I’m grateful for.

    So, there you go. I’m the guy defending the Clone Saga. …And All-Star Batman and Robin. And The Spirit movie. I deserve some kind of medal (“BIGGEST CHUMP, 2010”).

  • From a ’90s flashback to an ’80s one: a little bit about comics coloring from Comico Comics.
  • And speaking of internet pal Andrew: here’s his latest Nobody’s Favorites entry, featuring a character that, even at the time it was published, had my customers going “what…really?”
  • Reader De, in the comments to yesterday’s post, suggested the site Comic Book Cartography, given my recent fascination with comic book maps. There are maps aplenty at this site, as well as other cutaways and diagrams and, thankfully, I didn’t duplicate any of this person’s posts with my recent entries. Anyway, go check it out…lots of good images from funnybooks of days gone by.
  • Adam Koford, the fella what does Laugh-Out-Loud Cats, recently uploaded some of his Disney Interactive Toy Story designs, and they’re adorable.
  • Longtime internet chum Mr. Dan Kelly gives me the beauty of a giant Luke Cage wall poster. Find more here.
  • Oh, dear: Hipster Hitler webcomics. Funnier than it has any reason to be. I double-dare you to wear the shirts from the strip’s store.
  • THIS IS TERRIBLE: here’s an auction I found for a JonBenet Ramsey black velvet painting. Nothing to do with comics, I realize, but good gravy, why would…how could…I…what? The description raises more questions than it answers.

Yes, it’s another map from an old comic book.

§ September 27th, 2010 § Filed under maps, sir-links-a-lot, supergirl § 7 Comments

from Action Comics #337 (May 1966) by Otto Binder & Jim Mooney

You know, given that the Evil-Eyed People only have one entrance to their underground realm, you’d think folks would have since found some kind of alternative path that didn’t lead right towards it.

Then again, who’s gonna feel threatened by these guys?

Now we humans have smallish eyes with lids, and I don’t know about you, but I’m always getting, like, something blown into my eye out of my truck’s air vents, or an eyelash stuck in there, or just some random detritus flung into my eyeballs by a cool summer zephyr. Maybe I’m just lucky like that. But this guy…this guy…he’s gotta be peeling crap out of eyes constantly.

But on the other hand…the Evil-Eyed People are able to shoot fire out of their eyes, so if their eyes can handle straight-up open flame, having a gnat fly in there probably ain’t no big thing.

…This really wasn’t what I meant to talk about, here. I was going to comment on the map, because boy howdy I love maps in comic books, but…seriously, it’s a map with ant people, giant acorn trees (not “giant trees with acorns,” though they are big, but “trees with huge-ass acorns“), and Evil Eye People. What’s not to love?

Sooner or later we need to gather up all these comic book maps, and feed ’em into a Google Maps/Mapquest-esque database: “How do I get to Star City?” “Well, hang a left at Gotham City, go a couple of miles past the Justice Society headquarters, make a right at Titans Tower, and if you’ve reached Gorilla City, you’ve gone too far.”

• • •

In other news:

  • Amalgam Reborn, by Awesome Hospital artist Matt Digges. Not many there yet, but it starts off with “Batman Beyonder” and how great is that?
  • And now…the Worst Comic Book of All Time, courtesy Dr. K., a professor who’s studied, academically, stories featuring Chop Chop from Blackhawk, so he knows from terrible. By the way, the comic under discussion couldn’t be more racist if it tried, so be prepared.
  • Superman also hates vuvuzelas.
  • Here’s your odd Swamp Thing link of the week: a comparison between the behavior of a particular U.S. political movement of some note and the author’s attempts to cajole his parents into buying him a Swamp Thing action figure. …Certainly wasn’t expecting to read something like that this week. Also, that post made me feel very old.
  • Speaking of Swamp Thing, approximately 3,000 of you out there in the Progressive Ruin Super Agent Force emailed me the link to Daniel Crosier’s Deviant Art page featuring a wood-burned art piece of our favorite swamp dude.

    Here, let me get this out of the way, before anyone asks this:

    FAQ: Wouldn’t Swamp Thing, representative of Earth’s plant life, object to the burning of a piece of a tree?

    A: No. Swamp Thing is a fictional character, and can’t object to anything.

  • For more recent Swamp Thing-ery, hie yourself hither to Roots of the Swamp Thing, which has had a flurry of entries covering recent events and historical material involving the big green fella.
  • And finally:

    “The Joker becomes Swamp Thing Alec Holland does not become part of the Green, the Joker does. All Swamp Thing issues are retroactively taken out of continuity, replacing them with Joker-Swamp Thing. How does this affect things?”

    I shudder to think.

Look what I smurfed.

§ September 26th, 2010 § Filed under smurfs § 2 Comments

It’s only fair that, since I slagged the typeface in the new Smurfs books so hard, I point out when they did something with the lettering that made me laugh.

So here’s this, from The Purple Smurfs:

And let’s compare that “Hey Look!” to the logo on this collection of Harvey Kurtzman’s classic comic strip of the same name:

A closer look at the logo:

And just for the heck of it, here are a couple of samples of the Kurtzman strip, with some variations on that logo.

Now, I have no idea if this little tribute to Kurtzman is new to this volume, and/or if it’s something that everyone knows about and I, Captain Obvious, am pointing out (which I have a history of doing), but I’m putting it out there anyway. So there. Plus, I Googled it and didn’t see anything about it. Well, sorta Googled it. Skimmed a couple of pages of results, anyway.

In conclusion: Smurfs – I have, won’t you?

• • •

Speaking of the Googling, in regards to the title of a post of mine from a couple of days ago…I appear to be the #2 Google result for Teaser and the Blacksmith (if the search terms are enclosed in quotes, that is).

And folks thought I’d never amount to anything.

Sluggo Saturday #73.

§ September 25th, 2010 § Filed under sluggo saturday § 8 Comments



from The Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy (1988)

Eat it, Google Maps!

§ September 24th, 2010 § Filed under maps, reader participation § 3 Comments

The timing on this worked out fairly well, as I’m under the weather and this is content provided by YOU, the reader. As I was hoping, some of you folks took this map and did something creative and amusing with it, which, as someone in need of some cheering, I very much appreciate.

Swamp pal and damned dirty ape expert Rich Handley put his stinking paws to work on this fine map:

Sleestak consulted the Library of Skulls in the Lost City, and came away with this timely map ripped from headlines of the 1950s…or is it today:

And this last one is from the little stuffed bull to end all little stuffed bulls…the Fantastic Bully, who clobbered me with this:

It seemed wrong to post this particular image without any alt text, for some reason.

Thanks, guys…you done good, you mugs.

ADDENDUM: I missed this one that was sent to me by Dave from Dave Ex Machina…sorry, Dave!


§ September 23rd, 2010 § Filed under smurfs, this week's comics § 6 Comments

Today’s post title comes from the wide selection of only the finest comment spam my site receives on a daily basis, where, in broken English, the “commenter” extols the virtues of my webpage, describing how my writing “brings great informative on this topic that I find interest,” and ends the response with a promise to “return in short to find more of this content” or, as above, “I WILL OCCUR AGAIN.” It’s like an excerpt from the first draft of General MacArthur’s speech: “‘I will occur again!’ No, no, that’s not it…wait! ‘I SHALL RETURN!’ That’s PERFECT!” Except, you know, with links to v1ag4a sites.

Anyway, enough about that, let’s look at some comics:

  • Jeff Parker takes over writing chores on Hulk with #25, bringing the book from its big, loud and stupid beginnings and moving it forward into a big, loud and not-quite-as-stupid future. Not that I’m slamming the Loeb issues…ain’t nothin’ wrong with a comic book that’s just action action action and not a brain cell in sight, so long as it’s fun (and I have been enjoying the book, despite the “event” tie-ins that frankly I’m having less and less patience with). And really, Hulk should be big and loud with lots of action. It’s a Hulk comic, for God’s sake. Anyway, Jeff Parker: good start. Nice art by Gabriel Hardman, too.
  • Fantastic Four #583 kicks off the whole “Death of One of the FF” storyline, though nearly everyone who’s reading the book knows that whatever character they kill off, that character will be back sooner rather than later, so it’s kind of quaint that they’re putting this much effort into hyping this storyline. Of course, Hickman is a good writer, and has been doing a strong job on the book, so I expect we’ll be getting more than the typical “oh noes [REDACTED] is dead and gone forever, how can the team go on” kind of thing. …This first chapter is nicely done, and sets up an unexpected alliance between a couple of characters whose interaction certainly grabbed my interest.
  • Boom! Studios has a new Muppet Show (#10) written and drawn by Roger Landridge this week, and as usual, it’s perfect funnybooking, and pal Ian has another issue of his Darkwing Duck comic on the stands, and, oh, I guess it’s okay, if you like that sort of thing.
  • I haven’t had a chance to read the new Zippy the Pinhead collection, Ding Dong Daddy from Dingburg, but Zippy hasn’t disappointed me yet, and I don’t expect this to be the exception.
  • Pal Dorian already reviewed the new editions of the two Smurfs volumes released this week, and I concur with the statements made by the gentleman from Santa Barbara. I would also like to reiterate the apparently near-universal complaint that they used a lousy font on these books, and that it’s too slight and tiny to comfortably read, especially at the sizes these books are printed at. Otherwise, this is classic cartooning and well worth seeking out. Have your jeweler’s glass handy, though.
  • The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #16 isn’t as relentlessly weird as last year’s installment, but filled with some good ol’ fashioned Simpsons-style, kid-pleasin’ gore and violence anyway. Particularly in the lead story by Evan Dorkin, which is almost Milk ‘n’ Cheese-esque in the amount of Grand Guignol-ish mayhem dished out on each page.

    Lemmy from Motörhead is the celebrity contributor for this ish, contributing the story (with a script by Tom Peyer) for the last segment of the book. Needless to say, this would be the Most Metal Comic Book Story on the stands this week.

    BONUS FEATURE: inset sheet of Marge Attacks trading cards. It’s exactly what you’re thinking, and it’s fantastic.

  • Justice League: Generation Lost #10 – You know what? I like this series. A lot. It’s very well done, fast-paced, with strong, witty dialogue, and most importantly, doesn’t feel too padded like DC’s last couple of year-long series…which I’m sure cutting the number of issues in half helped with quite a bit.

    Also…I liked Kingdom Come. Liked it well enough to get that Graphitti Designs slipcased edition with the Mark Waid and Alex Ross autographs and the extra sketchbook and all that other hoohar.

    …But seeing Kingdom Come pop up in Justice League: Generation Lost made me groan just a little. I think I’ve reached my KC saturation point during that eighteen-year-long storyline in Justice Society. I mean, Generation Lost hasn’t disappointed so far, and I’m sure they’ll handle the KC stuff just fine, but…man, I can probably do without seeing any more references to KC for a while. Unless it’s KC and the Sunshine Band, because that’s the way (uh huh uh huh) I like it (uh huh uh huh).

  • And I also got Fables #98, which I’m still enjoying, and Legion of Super-Heroes #5, which, I’m sorry to say, the recent relaunch of which hasn’t helped sales any, at least for us.
  • Also, I’m still not buying The Flash. Am I missing anything there?

I’m probably the only person amused by this…

§ September 22nd, 2010 § Filed under maps, reader participation § 9 Comments

…but I love doing things with this stupid map from Sensation Comics #50.

…Like this:

The maps may not be to exact scale. Or have anything resembling actual geographical locations:

Would I pay good money to read a comic with Swamp Thing chasing Arcane on a motorcycle? Yes…yes I would.

This could almost be an editorial cartoon of sorts, if I’d put any actual thought into it:

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m totally wrong. Here, have at it yourself:

Mr. Terrific’s amazing photographic mind left a bit of the “F” off of “farmhouse.”

§ September 21st, 2010 § Filed under golden age, maps, mr. terrific § 9 Comments

image from Sensation Comics #50 (February 1946)

You don’t get enough panels like this in comics anymore. To wit:

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