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From the never-ending box of promotional material…

§ February 28th, 2011 § Filed under advertising § 7 Comments

…comes this swell back cover ad from the fourth issue of the Eclipse Extra retailer giveaway, dated March 1985:


In a fair world, we’d be up to about issue 300-something of Mr. Monster by now. Of course, there have been several mini-series and spin-offs over the years, but there just wasn’t anything quite the like the demented energy and creative diversity of those original ten issues. And while I liked the “serious” Mr. Monster origin story in the series that followed, I had a bit of difficulty getting back into the not-so-serious version of the character presented in the stories published after that second series. Not that I was all “I demand my Mr. Monster be serious stuff now,” but…I don’t know, it just felt like something had changed. Maybe it’s not you, baby, it’s me…perhaps I’d just read enough Mr. Monster at that point.

Anyway, those old Mr. Monster comics were some fine books, even if the later issues didn’t quite grab my fancy the way those earlier ones did. But I’ll tell you, I’d still read the hell out of this crossover!

I have absolutely no memory of ever seeing anyone wear this shirt…

§ February 27th, 2011 § Filed under advertising, watchmen § 13 Comments

…but surely somebody did:


Almost, but not quite, up there with those Metal Men t-shirts in the “not really explaining what all this is about” department. Though I guess that’s probably the point of wearing a shirt like this…the right people will know, man.

Hey, remember that time in the ’80s when Howard Chaykin did an adult-themed Blackhawk mini-series, and it was relatively popular and there were follow-up Blackhawk comics by other creators that were also adult-ish and slightly naughty and they were still getting enough attention that DC actually produced a little bit of point-of-sale signage to tell everyone “hey, Blackhawk’s in our weekly anthology book?”


And there it is. There’s tape residue on the back, so this sign was up at the shop at some point. Hopefully when the book was coming out in 1988, and not, say, in 1993.

I’m pretty sure this next bit of comics retail detritus, dated 1987, was intended to get names and addresses for store mailing lists…at least, that’s how it should have been used:


In case you can’t read the text:

“We the undersigned, wish to voice our opinion as guaranteed by the first amendment. The Mutant Registration Act as outlined by the government must be repealed if we are to maintain our freedoms as specified in the Constitution.”

Pretty sure “First Amendment” is supposed to be capitalized. Also, has the Mutant Registration Act been repealed yet? I haven’t been keeping up.

Sluggo Saturday #95.

§ February 26th, 2011 § Filed under sluggo saturday § 9 Comments

HANG ON, WORLD

HERE COMES SLUGGO

reprinted in Nemo #30 (April 1989) – thanks to pal Andres for the loaner

The recusal of Neilalien.

§ February 25th, 2011 § Filed under neilalien § 2 Comments

Today, on the 11th(!) anniversary of his website, the irreplaceable, inimitable Neilalien has announced his semi-retirement from the world of comics blogging.

I’ve often spoken before of Neil’s great influence on, not just me, but many of us who blog about the funnybooks on the internet, and his regular contributions will be missed. But I’m glad he’s still leaving the channel open for the occasional communiqué from the unknown realms into which he’s journeying.

Excelsior, Neilalien!

Now if I can actually play as Galactus, you’ve got a sale.

§ February 25th, 2011 § Filed under reader participation, sir-links-a-lot § 6 Comments

So I asked for caption submissions for that Swamp Thing/Starfire/Robin pic, and several of you delivered some good lines. I have picked this one as the winner, emailed to me in that time-honored format of the gag motivational poster:


That’s from reader Michael (whose fine first name had no influence upon my decision), and you can visit his website, with many more funnybook-related motivational posters like the above, at Michael Paciocco’s Mind.

Thank you, Michael, and thank you to everyone else who contributed!

In other news:

  • Tim O’Neil writes smart about the passing of Dwayne McDuffie and the great value of his work.
  • Siskoid has his tribute to Doctor Who‘s Nicholas Courtney, in the form of unauthorized Dr. Who CCG game cards.
  • So that Chris Sims guy has a story in Image Comics’ Skullkickers #6 and would like you to buy it. I have read it, and it is the kind of subtle, thoughtful and heartstring-tugging work you’ve come to expect from anything with the name “Chris Sims” slapped on it. Very recommended.
  • Speaking of Sims, he and Matt interview Kevin Church in the latest War Rocket Ajax episode. BONUS: episode title comes from something mentioned during the show that I found on a message board five years ago. Good memories, those guys.
  • I’m not big on this type of fighting game, but after seeing some footage of the Galactus battles in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, I’m intrigued. Here’s an article with some details on his appearance in the game, and an embedded video showing the big guy in action (short ad at beginning of video, Galactus shows up at the 45 second mark).
  • And now, for no good reason other than that my pal Corey pointed out to me that it was up on the YouTube, here is one of my all-time favorite SNL sketches:


    It’s not so much that it’s laugh-out-loud funny as it is just damned peculiar.

And now, something absolutely terrifying.

§ February 24th, 2011 § Filed under golden age § 11 Comments

Was just doing a little sightseeing over at the Grand Comics Database and just happened to see Startling Terror #11 (July 1952), with this cover by L.B. Cole:


The Ghost Spider of Death? Great googly-moogly.

The text is a bit hard to read in that scan, but I found a picture of a slabbed-and-graded copy that had a better view of that blurb, and have transcribed it here:

“Have you ever wondered why wickedness and evil remain in the world? How is it that some things can be explained, while others cannot? Are you sure you can walk without turning to see if you’re being followed? If you can sleep without fearing the unknown…then read this story for it may be the answer. Story? There are many who claim to have seen…and been bitten by…THE GHOST SPIDER OF DEATH!!”

So the Ghost Spider of Death’s bite isn’t immediately fatal, I guess. Also, the Ghost Spider is the reason why some things can’t be explained. Like tides, or magnets. THE GHOST SPIDER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BOTH.

The logical conclusion to be drawn here is that “Ghost Spider of Death” is the answer to everything. Feel free to use when necessary.

Dwayne McDuffie (1962-2011).

§ February 23rd, 2011 § Filed under obituary § 7 Comments


Dwayne McDuffie, comics and animation writer/editor, and cofounder of Milestone Media, passed away earlier this week. While I’ve enjoyed many of his works – in particular, Milestone’s Hardware and Icon, as well as his work for DC Comics’ animation unit (including the screenplay adaptation of All Star Superman, just released this week) – I think his multiple Damage Control mini-series, about the folks who clean up after superhero battles, may be my favorite.

He was a strong and unique voice in the comics industry, and he was taken from us too soon. My condolences to his family, his friends…and to all of us.

Pals Kevin and Chris have more insightful things to say about the man…especially make sure to check out Chris’s article, which includes a particularly-pointed series pitch written by McDuffie. And Dr. Polite Scott links back to his coverage of McDuffie’s Canadian anti-drug comics.

• • •

A beloved figure from science fiction television has also passed away this week: Nicolas Courtney, whose portrayal of the Brigadier on Doctor Who has spanned decades, has died at the age of 81. My best wishes to his family, friends, and fans.

• • •

Just two reminders to appreciate people while they’re still around for you to do so.

I picture Baron Winters and Captain Carrot always bickering with each other, like Green Arrow and Hawkman used to do.

§ February 22nd, 2011 § Filed under reader participation, swamp thing § 21 Comments

Here’s a colorful cast of crazy characters from the May 1983 DC Comics retailer order form…click on the pic below for a larger image:


Now that’s a Justice League line-up I’d like to see.


I was trying to come up with some funny dialogue or a humorous caption for the above picture, but my fever-addled brain is having none of it, so you folks go ahead and give it a shot. My favorite gets…oh, I don’t know, a big fat plug for their webpage or whatever on my site, for all the good that’ll do you. Just keep it…somewhat clean, is all I ask. (Both the submission and the website you’d like me to plug.)

BONUS: house ad from Superboy #189 (August 1972):

“…He stands in imminent peril of becoming the eternal pawn of THE INFERNAL ONE.”

§ February 21st, 2011 § Filed under advertising, publishing, retailing § 7 Comments

I have an odd fascination with the unpublished Redeemer series written and drawn by Joe Kubert, and originally intended for release in the mid-1980s from DC Comics. It may be because it was one of my early encounters with the comic book version of “vaporware” – an advertised and hyped product (prominently featured in a favorite comics ‘zine at the time, Amazing Heroes, containing several completed pages of the first issue) that ended up never appearing.

At the shop, we newly uncovered another old box or two of promotional comics material, including a handful of DC’s “Coming Attractions” flyers listing forthcoming funnybook releases, dated October 1983 through January 1984. The front page feature of the October flyer was Redeemer:


And here is the specific information for the first issue, including what I’m assuming is the cover, though I suspect some kind of, um, Speedos or something would have been colored onto the final product:


And over the next thee installments of “Coming Attractions,” we get the info for issues #2-#4:


No idea if it got any farther than that before folks realized this series wasn’t going to happen and, hey, we should probably stop telling people about it. But reading those descriptions…just picture Kubert drawing all that. This would have been one crazy and beautiful-looking series.

Bob Rozakis writes briefly about the series’ demise, citing, among other reasons, complaints regarding the religious connotations of the title. (Wonder how those people reacted to Preacher?)

This interview indicates that the completed Redeemer stories may yet appear in a forthcoming Kubert anthology series. Can’t wait to see ‘em. (Also, Kubert is doing a new Hawkman story for this anthology series, and I know you folks want to see that!)

Sometimes a Superbaby has just about enough of your guff, grabs his bindle, and hits the road…

§ February 20th, 2011 § Filed under superman § 8 Comments

…or “hits the air,” rather:


And just what does a Superbaby put in his bindle? The panel just previous to the one above reveals the answer:


Why, toy cars and planes, of course. NOT SHOWN: the Kent family pickup truck, crushed by Superbaby into a lump approximately the size of a tennis ball prior to its bindle insertion.

images from Superboy #189 (August 1972) by David George, Bob Brown & Murphy Anderson

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