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Things from my comments sections, both wonderful and terrifying.

§ December 31st, 2010 § Filed under cartoons, sir-links-a-lot § 11 Comments

So, you, the readers, have been contributing a bit of content in my comments sections recently, which I always appreciate…partially because I always like finding out about new things, but mostly so I can appropriate what you’ve submitted and turn it into site content.

Like, for example, reader Cobalt informing me about the fact that the little rabbit in the old Pete Puma cartoon is saying actual dialogue, just sped up very fast (a fact I may have been somewhat aware of, but never really thought about it until, well, now). And then reader Mike points me in the direction of this YouTube clip, where the little rabbit’s voice is slowed down into comprehensibility. Interestingly, while most of the dialogue is meaningful in context, there is a small bit where the rabbit is talking about an oak tree that doesn’t seem to relate to anything (which someone in the video’s comment section, in a rare instance of a YouTube commenter actually being sane, also notes). It sort of sounds to me like this piece of dialogue was just spliced in to extend this particular bit of the rabbit’s sped-up speech to fit the animation. I haven’t any idea, really, and maybe someone else can clear it up for us.

Another thing dropped into a recent comments section was from reader A.L., who produces the beautifully-illustrated webcomic Rose Madder. He has earned the title “Arch-Nemesis of Progressive Ruin” for daring to drop a link to this piece of Disney merchandise, and baby, if I have to think about Minnie Mouse squeezing her tuckus into a slinky, form-fitting Tron outfit, then so do you:



Just a little something to bring with you into the new year. No need to thank me.

And speaking of the new year…I certainly hope you all have a safe and happy new year’s celebration, and I’ll see you all in 2011! At least, those of you who are still willing to come back to the site after what A.L. and I have done to you.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ December 30th, 2010 § Filed under End of Civilization § 14 Comments

Is there any better time to end civilization than at the end of the year? I think not, sir and/or madam. Please grab your copy of the latest Diamond Previews (Jan 2011) and let’s say goodbye to 2010 the best way we possibly can: by making bad jokes about silly stuff in a catalog:

p. 19 – DC Comics Top Secret Free Comic Book Day 2011 Edition:

Oh boy, I can’t wait for this 16-page long FCBD preview of DC’s forthcoming Batman and/or Superman and/or DC Universe-centric line-wide epic crossover, with some sketchbook/editorial material and plenty of house ads!

p. 24 – DC Heroclix: Green Lantern Figure:

Crud, I already did the cucumber joke. “BEWARE MY CACTUS OF JUSTICE!” …No, no, that doesn’t work…. I’ll think of something.

p. 25 – FCBD 2011 Silver Wrist Band:

NOTICE: FCBD 2011 Silver Wrist Bands do not improve your strength, balance, or flexibility, and there is no credible scientific evidence to support such claims.

(In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about.)

p. 63 – Toy Story Woody’s Roundup #2 – Bullseye:

Hmm. A limited edition collectors’ figurine based on a character whose first appearance was in a film which contained explicit criticism of the collectors’ mentality. …I’m so confused.

p. 141 – Ame-Comi Heroine Series Wonder Woman V3 PVC Figurine:

I would give One American Dollar for this to be the costume in whatever live-action version of Wonder Woman ends up happening.

p. 249 – Female Force: Ruth Handler, The Creator of Barbie:

Mattel generally has a pretty good sense of humor about how other people use the Barbie property. I foresee no problems with this.

p. 266 – Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #1:

Well, thank goodness they’re offering a “risque cover” variant:

As opposed to this totally non-risque one:

p. 297 – The Hardy Boys The New Case Files Volume 2: Break-Up! SC:

Break up? I didn’t even know they were going out.

p. 336 – The Comics: The Complete Collection HC:

Contains every single comic ever published between these two covers. All of them. What part of “Complete” are you having trouble understanding?

NOTE: Portions of Drabble have been omitted for space considerations.

p. 339 – Creating Comics from Start to Finish:

“First, get a tiny woman with large breasts and no legs to sit on your art board.”

p. 362 – Barbie Dolls of the World: Australia Landmark Doll:

It’s a dress based on the Sydney Opera House. Yes, really. I’m waiting for a dress based on this.

p. 368 – Spongebob Squarepants Trexi 3-Inch Vinyl Figure:






(PLEASE NOTE: While I’ve seen some Spongebob Squarepants, I’ve not seen them all, but I’ve seen enough to realize that I could very well be describing something that actually happened in an episode. I have no idea.)

p. 372- Hello Kitty World: Cruise Ship Playset:

Why, this doesn’t look seaworthy at all.

“The sinking of the Hello Kitty World Cruise Ship has been confirmed. All kitties reported lost.”

p. 386 – Giant Tyrannosaurus Model Kit:

Pretty sure this is a reissue of the Tyrannosaurus model kit I had as a kid. The thing had glow in the dark eyes and teeth, man. It was awesome. I’m guessing my parents paid far less for it in the 1970s than the $80 price tag it carries now.

p. 394 – Disney X Medicom Alice in Wonderland – Mad Hatter Mickey Vinyl Collector Doll:

So they decided against Mickey changing appearance (i.e. becoming “Evil Mickey”) in the Epic Mickey video game…and yet, this is happening:

Just as long as we never see Mickey do this.

BONUS – Solicitation text contains the following sentence:

“Mickey Mouse has truly gone gonzo.”

I look forward to reading a collection of Mickey’s journalistic endeavors.

p. 404 – Pop! Heroes: Batgirl Vinyl Figure:


p. 405 – Star Wars Darth Vader 20-oz. Ceramic Mug:

“Join Us Or Die!” is a pretty heavy message to hit someone with first thing in the morning, when they’re trying to have their first cup of coffee of the day. Just, you know, ease ’em into it. “Join Us…and Just Relax, Man. Enjoy Your Cuppa Joe.”

Marvel Previews p. 1 – Venom #1:

Hmm…”his first ongoing series!” That’s strange, it seems to me there was something prior to this. Lemme think here….

Marvel Previews p. 97 – Venom by Daniel Way Ultimate Collection TPB:

Oh, right, this series!

Unless it was advertised as an 18-issue mini-series, which, admittedly, I may have missed.

This dude is more punk rock than you will ever be.

§ December 29th, 2010 § Filed under cartoons, superman § 6 Comments

I mean, just look at him back there, in his little hat and sleeveless shirt, makin’ hot dogs and flouting societal conventions. Let your freak flag fly, maaaaan…oh, wait, that’s for hippies, I’m pretty sure. Well, you know what I mean.

For more examples of antiestablishment funnybookin’, may I suggest ComicPunx?

image from Superman: The Animated Series Season Two episode “Double Shot”

Sometimes you just have to link to a page of sound clips from a Pete Puma cartoon.

§ December 28th, 2010 § Filed under cartoons, Christmas, sir-links-a-lot § 10 Comments


Given to me by Employee Aaron is this fine example of science journalism:

He’s a card, that former employee Aaron.

And given by me to pal Dorian was a bottle o’hooch with a custom label featuring Dor’s favorite character. You can see the actual bottle at Dor’s site, and right here is a better look at the label itself:

In other news:

  • Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull, is just about to wrap up 365 Days of Hank McCoy, but get a load of this new thing: 365 Days with The Guy Freaking Out on the Cover of Action Comics #1. Fantastic.
  • It’s time once again for another installment of Nobody Else’s Favorites…gimme a D!
  • Here’s the full original art for a very depressing Christmas story, illustrated by Rick Veitch and written by the late Steve Perry.
  • For no good reason whatsoever, Employee Aaron and I like doing impressions of the relatively little-used Warner Brothers character Pete Puma (as voiced, back in the ’50s and even ’til today by Stan Freberg). And that’s why I’m posting this page of clips from the Pete Puma cartoon “Rabbit’s Kin.” Enjoy.
  • P-Tor over at Sanctum Sanctorum informs me that there is are a series of fundraising auctions for Bill Mantlo, the former comics writer who was seriously injured years ago, and now needs full-time medical care. All the pieces feature Rom, and some of the contributing artists include Zack Soto and Mike Allred. You can also the see the artwork here.

“Let her go, Man-Jaw, or I’ll be forced to kick myself in the head!”

§ December 27th, 2010 § Filed under cartoons, superman § 13 Comments

So I was watching the episode “Mxyzpixilated” from season 2 of Superman: The Animated Series, featuring, as you might guess, Mr. Mxyzptlk. At one point during the story, Clark Kent is scanning the Daily Planet funny pages, into which Mxyzptlk has inserted himself as one of the strips:

Thanks to the miracle of DVD technology, and my obsessive need to repeatedly pause and look at details of cartoons that otherwise would just flash by onscreen, only barely noticed by the viewer, I was able to get a better look at the other strips on the page. According to the episode’s commentary track, the other strips are in-jokes and references to members of the production team, in addition to being parodies of popular comics.

Of the production team members referenced, the most recognizable is, of course, Paul Dini, one of the prime movers behind DC’s animation initiative. Here he is in a parody of Calvin & Hobbes:

The next strip is, of course, a parody of Peanuts, where the “punchline” is (again, according the commentary) a direct quote from the person being caricatured:

The next parodies Dick Tracy, and I’d almost rather read this than what’s going on in the real Dick Tracy strip right now:

And here’s the Mxyzptlk strip, credited to Superman’s (and Mxy’s!) creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster:

And the last looks like a parody of, if not the strip Momma, then at least of cartoonist Mell Lazarus’s style, with a pretty brutal last panel (what you can see of it) which they probably only got away with due to it only appearing onscreen for a split second:

Whenever brief gags like this flash by, I wonder if there were kids watching this as it originally aired, or during reruns, who were tantalized by the quick glimpse they were able to grab, who knew there was more there than what they saw, but missed their chance to see what was there. Even if they recorded it on their VCR, getting consistently clean stills when pausing the tape was never a sure thing. And beyond even that, I wonder if the people behind the cartoons ever thought there’d come a time when in-jokes like these would ever become easily accessible to anyone outside of the team that actually produced these shows.

Well, okay, they probably did, fans being obsessive about this sort of thing and all (like, oh, say, screen-capturing the frames in question and straightening them out). But I certainly wanted to show my appreciation for the extra level of detail and humor added into what is already an excellent cartoon.

EDIT: I’m being told in the comments section here that the Modern Masters Volume 3: Bruce Timmbook includes the above artwork in full, and is much more clear than in my screenshots. So check that out if you get a chance!

The problem with writing really short posts is that it can leave me stuck for a title.

§ December 26th, 2010 § Filed under Christmas § 3 Comments

I’m taking the day off from blogging, since I’ve had a long Christmas day and can use a bit of a break, but not before telling you that pal Dorian‘s present for me was a Jemm, Son of Saturn action figure (as discussed previously and reviewed here). At long last, I can reenact all of Jemm’s dozen or so appearances in the privacy of my own home! Without having to dress up as Jemm myself, might I add.

I hope everyone had a good holiday, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Sluggo Saturday #86.

§ December 25th, 2010 § Filed under sluggo saturday § 7 Comments



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

The truest thing ever said in the streets of Tijuana.

§ December 24th, 2010 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, Christmas, does mike ever shut up § 7 Comments

So subscribers to Mike Sterling’s Progressive Ruin, Premium Edition may have seen an early release of yesterday’s post with a few embarrassing typos, for which I apologize. All I can say is “don’t write posts for your weblog when you’re really, really tired.” Anyway, thanks to an alert by a helpful reader, the errors were fixed by the time the Progressive Ruin Free Edition was distributed.

If you’d like to sign up for the Progressive Ruin Premium Edition, here’s what you get:

  • The secret phone number for the Mike Sterling Hotline, with prerecorded messages from me, just for you, about life, love, and dealing with the little problems that drive us all crazy!
  • All the latest news about UFO abductions, crop circles, and psychic predictions!
  • And this personalized and hand-signed color photograph, suitable for framing!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

• • •

In other news (assuming you’re still reading):

  • Thursday afternoon, I was gifted with two wonderful, wonderful things.

    First, from Kid Chris, this swell Blue Demon matchbox/refrigerator magnet purchased during his last visit to Tijuana:

    Kid Chris informed me that he had the following exchange with the little girl who was selling these:

    Kid Chris: “El Santo…es bueno?”

    Little girl: “El Santo es fabuloso!

    I think we can all agree on this.

  • Later in the day, pal Casie brought in a big plate of cookies with the following homemade and completely awesome Christmas tree ornament attached:

    Oh man, this makes me want to run out and chop down a tree so I’d have something to hang it on, which is, um, a tad ironic, considering. Plus, the picture is green and red, so it’s totally Christmas-y!

  • So anyway, read this article about the forthcoming “death” in the Fantastic Four comic, and then immediately follow that up by reading this post I wrote in 2007.

    I wonder if we’ll get any bump in sales on this comic from the general public. I suspect this gimmick’s been pulled often enough that even the non-fans are as jaded as the fans when it comes to the “in this issue [Big Name Superhero] dies!” hoohar.

  • Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my readers!

This post is about Batman and Superman.

§ December 23rd, 2010 § Filed under batman, superman § 6 Comments

From the “Daily Planet” news page in January 1980 DC Comics comes this story with a headline that’s hard to beat:

It’s been a while since Superman’s been described as the “Krypton Comet,” hasn’t it? Though apparently it is the name of some amusement park rides.

I’m going to have to check the back issue shelves at the shop and see if we have a copy of this, even if the actual comic has a lot to live up to. So sucking Kryptonian blood would make Dracula “invulnerable to wooden stakes?” Aim high, Drac! Though admittedly, that would be a priority for Dracula, I suppose.

• • •

Meanwhile, at Yahoo Answers:

The “best answer” is supposedly

“read the killing joke,it will explain why there are so much alike in different aspects.”

But I think we all agree the real best answer is

“What do you mean? Batman defeated the Joker. Jack was splat in the first one…”
=) ‘Wait ’till they get a load of me.’-Joker”

And the Joker was never seen again. The end. (Well, except for that other Batman movie. And the cartoon. And the video games….oh, and the comics, too, but surely those don’t hold the influence over the franchise the way the Tim Burton adaptation does.)

Sometime I just feel like posting a panel with Supergirl in a crazy outfit.

§ December 22nd, 2010 § Filed under supergirl § 13 Comments

from Adventure Comics #415 (Feb 1972) by John Albano, Win Mortimer & Bob Oksner

There are two Supergirl stories in this “52 BIG PAGES – DON’T TAKE LESS! ONLY 25¢” issue…the second one, written by Len Wein and illustrated by Bob Oksner, isn’t tied plotwise to the previous story at all, aside from this bit of probably editorially-mandated bit of dialogue seen here in this detail from the title panel:

I thought that was a nice bit of intra-issue continuity, connecting two otherwise unconnected stories together and explaining why Supergirl is suddenly in a different costume (a costume that’s a little closer to what she wore through most of the 1970s and the early 1980s, and at least had the virtue of not being accessorized with a headband).

It seems I’ve now written a post about Supergirl’s costumes. So it’s come to this.

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