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Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ March 31st, 2011 § Filed under End of Civilization § 18 Comments

ME: SWM, early 40s, non-smoker, reading through latest issue of Diamond Previews, April 2011: YOU: Following along in your own copy. LIKES: Long walks on the beach, romantic dinners, cracking wise on direct market merchandise, making obscure Green Lantern references:

p. 114 – Showcase Presents The Trial of the Flash TP:


Hopefully this story won’t kill the Showcase line of books like it did the Silver Age Flash series.

NOTE: I actually liked this run of comics. Don’t yell at me.

p. 115 – Firestorm The Nuclear Man TP:


Apparently this month is “DC Reprinting Series You Weren’t Expecting Month,” what with the original Firestorm series, a Secret Society of Super-Villains hardcover, some ’80s Legion of Super-Heroes, etc. Will DC kick down a reprint of those post-Wrightson ’70s Swamp Things, or those pre-Moore ’80s Swamp Things, so long as they’re delving into Reprinting the Unexpected territory.

p. 137 – Green Lantern Series 4 Action Figure – Arkkis Chummuck:


With exciting “eating the corpses of his fallen enemies” action!

p. 139 – Women of the DC Universe Series 3 Zatanna Bust:


“If only there were some way I could misdirect people from my hands while performing magic. Some way….”

p. 228 – Archie & Friends #186:


It’s the Cosplay special, with the just vaguely-upsetting image of Jughead as Spock:


…though it wasn’t until I scanned this pic and saw the larger image that I noticed Sabrina apparently dressed as Slave Leia:


Oh dear. Is nothing sacred?

p. 228 – Archie Babies Original Graphic Novel:


I’ve got nothing to say here. I’m just going to leave this here for you to think about, in those quiet times, late at night, when the fears and insecurities prey upon the edges of your awareness as you try to sleep and sleep just does not come.

Also, apparently Jughead still wears the same hat as a teenager that he did when he was a toddler. Well, I know I’d be lost today if it weren’t for my adult-size Garanimals.

p. 229 – Veronica #207:


SOLICITATION TEXT BEFORE THE KEVIN KELLER MOVIE:

“Kevin Keller returns to Riverdale in the pages of his own mini-series, from superstar writer/artist Dan Parent!”

AFTER THE KEVIN KELLER MOVIE:

“Kevin Keller returns to Riverdale in the pages of his own mini-series, from Goldwater-founded Archie Comics!”

p. 253 – Lady Death #6 Art Deco Order Incentive Cover:


I have to admit “Art Deco Cover” sounds a bit classier than “Crotch Close-Up Cover.”

p. 266 – Red Sonja Statue Inspired by J. Scott Campbell:


Just glancing through the catalog, when I first spotted this page I thought I saw something entirely different from what is actually here. “Boy, I’ve got such an itch back there….”

p. 344 – Star Wars The Official Figurine Collection Magazine:


Man, Lucas’ insistence that Greedo was molded into a die cast figurine first really doesn’t sit well with me.

p. 344 – Star Wars Heir to the Empire 20th Anniversary Edition HC:


Just noting this is 20 years old. And it was originally published about, what, fourteen years after the first Star Wars came out?

…Feeling old yet? Good, then I’m not alone.

p. 378 – Indie Spotlight Series 2 Action Figure 2-Packs:


Includes Zen, Intergalactic Ninja. Image unclear on whether it’s Zen with mouth or without.

p. 382 – Mega Bloks Hello Kitty Flower Shop Set:


Also on this page is the Hello Kitty House Set, and the Hello Kitty Candy Shop set, and the Hello Kitty School House set. Not pictured: the Hello Kitty Abattoir, the Hello Kitty Hooters, the Hello Kitty Military Surplus Warehouse.

p. 395 – Disney by Britto Jiminy Cricket Figurine:


I wish I knew more about sports and was aware what team had as their colors lime green and forest green, because I totally had a “Jiminy is clearly prepped for the next _______ home game!” gag ready to go.

p. 400 – The Twilight Zone Mystic Seer Replica:


Read that line near the end:

“Can’t you just see this in your living room or office?”

So now Diamond Previews is totally doing its own “End of Civilization” riffing, is it?

p. 404 – Ghostbusters Lucy Bishoujo Statue:


Here’s hoping Dan Ackroyd wears this exact outfit in the next possibly-theoretical Ghostbusters movie. “Uh, Ray…I can see your thong.” “Don’t get uptight, Egon…I am enjoying unrestricted movement in this new uniform!”

p. 410 – Ghostbusters Mugs No Ghost Logo:


“I’d like the mug with No Ghost.”

“All the mugs have ghosts on them.”

“No, no…I want No Ghost!”

“I really can’t help you. There are ghosts on all these mugs.”

“AAAAUGH.”

p. 416 – Batman X Mimobot 4-Gigabyte USB Flashdrives:

Obvious joke coming in 3…2…


“Holy macrocephaly, Batman!”

p. 419 – Naruto Shippuden – Tobi Mask:


So there’s a guy in Naruto disguised as a one-eyed pastry? I’m not sure how I feel about that.

p. 433 – Dungeons & Dragons The Dungeon Master’s Keep DM Screen:

The Dungeon Master’s Keep is the perfect bastion of secrecy from which DMs can run their adventures and campaigns! The Dungeon Master’s Keep is cast from durable resin and comes pre-painted and ready to use right out of the box. The gatehouse is secured by two stout doors with a pair of familiar-looking door knockers, and above the doorway hangs the D&D 4th Edition Dragon Icon. Behind the screen are numerous shelves to store miniatures, game cards and other record-keeping notes. Two handy trays are built into the walls to hold your GF9 Dungeon Master’s Tokens. Plus, the towers of the gatehouse also serve as dice towers, with one tower facing out to your players (the rolled die exiting from a door in the tower) and one securely behind the screen for private rolls.

In case you’re wondering…yes, this is the single most awesome thing in this entire catalog. Worth every single penny of its $150 price tag. Yes, I’m totally serious.

Sleepytime link-logging.

§ March 30th, 2011 § Filed under self-promotion, sir-links-a-lot § 4 Comments

  • So some of the folks from Fake AP Stylebook have a little something in the online edition of The Wall Street Journal. Take a gander and discover…”Grammar’s Dirty Little Secret.” Also, buy our bookplease. Or the Kindle version.
  • Andrew tackles a new Nobody’s Favorite, this time written by, and starring, an actress we actually had at the shop for a signing for this particular comic at the time. The comic was…eh, but she was very nice, and good with the fans who showed up.
  • Gerry at CO2 Comics ponders the language of comics.
  • So this was on the front page of Yahoo! a couple of days ago:


    Well, I know I hadn’t heard of cobras until seeing the Indiana Jones films.

    Okay, maybe they probably meant a specific type of cobra, but c’mon.
  • I could talk about current comic news and review recent releases, or I can look at more 1970s Marvel Super Hero Stamps.

    § March 29th, 2011 § Filed under merchandise § 6 Comments

    I know which I’m choosing!

    I have this package here that showed up in some collection or ‘nother of Marvel Stamps (as seen here):


    …that contains several uncut sheets of said stamps. Since each package is supposed to only contain 10 stamps, plus one “special stamp,” obviously this package was only kept to store the stamps. Why the original owner didn’t go out “get [his] own Marvel Stamp Album,” as is blurbed on the back, I do not know.

    Below are the five “special stamps” that this person had…they are normally sort of a shiny gold-ish color, but they didn’t scan all that well. Or rather, I didn’t scan them all that well. Should probably look at the scanner’s instruction book one of these days.


    I like how the Hulk stamp looks as if they just threw that “Bruce Banner” above the Hulk’s head to fill space. “You know what would complete this design? If someone would hastily scrawl ‘Bruce Banner’ in this blank space here. …Perfect!”


    Your Spider Sense is telling you…what? There’s a spider above your head?


    The FF stamp is a little scuffed-up, and required some brightness/contrast adjusting, but hopefully you can make it out just fine. I guess…the Thing is hitting giant baseballs emblazoned with the faces of the other Fantastic Four members? “What If…Marvel Published Strange Sports Stories?”


    I’ve got nothing snarky to say here. That’s actually not a bad pic. Well, none of these are really bad pics, but I thought this Cap stamp was quite nice, even with “AVENGER” scribbled in there at the side.


    Now I know “The Invincible Shellhead” is just combining two of Iron Man’s most common descriptors, but man, that just doesn’t look right to me.

    Anyway, the package says there are six “special stamps,” but I have only five here. And yeah, I know what the sixth stamp really is…


    …but a boy can dream, can’t he?

    Also, according to the in-show dialogue, Smallville has a comic shop.

    § March 28th, 2011 § Filed under cartoons, supergirl § 8 Comments

    So I finally wrapped up my watching of the Superman: The Animated Series DVDs, and in the third season episode “Unity,” Supergirl (in her civilian get-up) is given some comic books by a friend. First up, a probable precursor to Garth Ennis’s Jennifer Blood:


    Here’s a slightly larger image of said funnybook:


    In a way, I sort of admire the purity of it. Though I kinda hope it’s actually about a woman who turns into a gun. Who also carries a a gun.

    Here’s another comic that shows up a bit later:


    Again, a better look:


    This one is an object of a brief gag in the episode where Supergirl reacts in disgust at the very idea of a spider-based superhero, a direct slam, of course, on Marvel Comics’ Incredible Hulk.*

    The hero of this one looks slightly like a pro-wrestler — appropriately enough, given the original Spider-Man’s initial brush with rasslin’ during his origin. But I could see this guy rising up and bellowing “SPIDER POWER!” just before whipping out his finishing move, or whatever it’s called. I’m unfamiliar with the proper parlance. Also, it looks a bit like this character borrowed a helmet and gloves from Japan’s Ultraman.

    Anyway, now the Superman series is down…time to move on to Justice League! Bring ‘em on, Netflix!

    * Yes, I know it’s Spider-Man. I’m goofing on the obviousness of the cartoon’s reference. This footnote only exists to avoid the inevitable “um, actually” corrections in the comments.

    Don’t really have anything for today…

    § March 27th, 2011 § Filed under scans § 7 Comments

    …so here’s a 1976 Marvel Super Hero Stamp featuring Sub-Mariner fighting an octopus:


    At least, I assume they’re fighting.

    Sluggo Saturday #99.

    § March 26th, 2011 § Filed under sluggo saturday § 4 Comments

    SLUGGO SMITH

    HYPERTEXT PIONEER

    from Tip Top Comics #158 (Sept-Oct 1949)

    I often have the same reaction when I too see a cow.

    § March 25th, 2011 § Filed under self-promotion, sir-links-a-lot § 1 Comment

    from Black Fury #11 (November 1957)

    In other news:

    • A brief postscript to my marathon Man-Thing postings…both pal Nat and Buzz Dixon popped into the comments yesterday to relate a story regarding primary Man-Thing writer Steve Gerber’s own experience with the Giant-Size Man-Thing title, so feel free to take a gander at that, if you haven’t already.
    • Okay, so Andrew’s moved his Nobody’s Favorites feature to Tuesdays (latest installment here), but that’s not what I want to tell you about. What I want to tell you about is Andrew’s latest, most malevolent plan…a creation so dire, so purely evil that I shudder to even contemplate it. Arising from this long ago Nobody’s Favorite entry comes this, the most terrifying Tumblr of all time. ABANDON ALL HOPE.
    • For balance, here is a Tumblr of pure love and joy: it’s the official Tumblr of Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull: the Little Stuffed Tumblr!
    • Behold the soul patch of Evil Superboy.
    • Mag reviews the new Garth Ennis series Jennifer Blood, which sort of surprised me by absolutely tanking at our shop. Man, I tried to get it to move. “Hey, new Ennis series!” I’d say to our regular Ennis fans. “Nah, thanks anyway,” sez they. Maybe going one too many times to the bleakly-violent well, perhaps? I really have no idea.
    • If only Boom! Studios had plugged this a little more on their Twitter feed…! Ah, but I kid my pals over at Boom! as they’re just excited, and rightly so, about their new Hellraiser comic, and they want folks to download that PDF file featuring the exclusive Clive Barker co-written prologue (like, for example, from here). Yeah, I know, I was just half-complaining about a comic maybe being too “bleakly violent” in the previous bullet point, but, hey, it’s Clive Barker writing new Hellraiser material. I’ll cut this some slack.
    • A brief reminder that the Fake AP Stylebook book Write More Good, that I, and I alone, worked on, with absolutely no assistance from anyone else, is due out in stores April 5th. Read a free chapter here, and, if you so desire, order it from the below links (print on the left, Kindle on the right):


      …or get it from the other online booksellers listed here. Buy the book critics have hailed as “forthcoming!” and “based on the Twitter account!” and “a book!”
    • Speaking of Twitter, I hope this Twitter account is revived soon. EDIT: It lives, it lives!

    Giant-Size Man-Thing.

    § March 24th, 2011 § Filed under giant-size man-thing § 9 Comments

    So let’s wrap up these two weeks of Man-Thinging with a little bit of class, as we turn our gaze upon one of comicdom’s favorite only-just-barely-double entendres, the title of the five issue series Giant-Size Man-Thing.

    We’ve all heard the jokes, a few have popped up in the comments for my last few posts, and I’m sure you’ve noticed how I’ve tagged my Man-Thing entries. I even had someone message me on the Twitter, commenting on how “Man-Thing” sounds like a euphemism for “penis,” and I almost responded “Huh…never noticed that before,” but I couldn’t be that much of a jerk. I do wonder if someone at Marvel in the ’70s ever went through their catalog of titles and suddenly realized what they’d done by adding Man-Thing to their “Giant-Size” line of books. “Let’s see…Giant-Size Avengers, Giant-Size Fantastic Four, Giant-Size Invaders, Giant-Size Man-Thing, Giant-Size Spider-M…wait, hold on.”

    The last time I addressed it, I asserted that there was only one “in-universe” Giant-Size Man-Thing gag that I knew of, and some of you responded letting me know of a couple of others I’d forgotten about.

    The one I’d mentioned comes from issue #6 of the 1997 Man-Thing series by J.M. DeMatteis and Liam Sharp, where Manny’s old pal Howard the Duck observes the creature magically increasing in size, and Howard’s commentary is as follows:


    Some folks, both in my comments and across the Internet, have mentioned a gag in Peter David’s Captain Marvel series where a character protects his modesty with a copy of Giant-Size Man-Thing. However, it’s not Rick Jones, but rather a person (unnamed during this storyline) who appears to be the Modern Age version of the Red Raven, and who had been transformed into a bird by Merlin, and…well, there’s a lot to get into here. Suffice to say, he ended up nekkid and in search of his armor, appropriated by another character, and there you go. Here’s the scene from Captain Marvel #21 (Sept. 2001) by David, ChrisCross and Anibal Rodriguez:


    Some additional information, including some possible background on the gag, can be found at the end of this Marvel Universe Appendix entry.

    And here’s the one in-universe gag I didn’t own, but has since been provided to me by that most stuffed of little stuffed bulls, Bully. (He’s too young to get the joke, so don’t tell him, okay?) From Deadpool Team-Up #894 (June 2010) by Ivan Brandon, Sanford Greene and Nathan Massengill:


    And there you have it, a tour of Giant Size Man-Thing jokes from within the Marvel Universe itself. If there are more, I’m sure we’ll hear about ‘em in the comments.

    Thank you, everyone, for putting up with my peculiar obsession with Marvel’s swamp monster over the last couple of weeks. Sometimes I just get that urge and have to let it all hang out.

    For the last word on Man-Thing (for now) let us go back to the very first words, as they were blurbed on the cover of the mag with Manny’s debut, Savage Tales #1 (May 1971):


    Well, sure, why not.

    Bonus Man-Thing!

    § March 23rd, 2011 § Filed under giant-size man-thing § 10 Comments

    So I ending up spending my bloggin’ time Tuesday night looking for a particular Man-Thing appearance that, it turns out, I didn’t have in the Vast Mikester Comic Archives, and I kinda needed it for what was intended to be the end of the Man-Thing posts. Yeah, I know, you’re all sad it’s coming to an end, but as a result of my inability to find that one comic, that final post is pushed back a day, and today you all are getting…Bonus Man-Thing!

    Well, it’s not much, really…just his two appearances from Marvel’s alternate-timeline/future/whatever mini-series Universe X. Here’s Man-Thing apparently leaping into action against Dormammu, from issue #0 (September 2000) by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, Doug Braithwaite, Bill Reinhold, Al Williamson, and Robin Riggs:


    And here he is fighting the Micronauts in a flashback to Micronauts #7 (July 1979), accompanied by a brief synopsis of his origin, from issue #5 (February 2000) by Krueger, Ross, Braithwaite, and Garry Leach:


    So there you go, Man-Thing’s brief appearances in a series with a cast of thousands. I don’t really have any commentary on this aside from “well, don’t that all look right nifty.” But it is nice when the comic book companies remember to include the poor, maligned swamp monsters in their multi-issue mega-event crossover/Elseworlds/hoohars, even if it is just for a couple of panels.

    “Man-Thing of the Eight Fingers and the Swamp of Doom.”

    § March 22nd, 2011 § Filed under giant-size man-thing § 10 Comments

    Issue #9 of the second Man-Thing series (March 1981) was a one-off story by Dickie McKenzie and beautifully illustrated by Larry Hama and Danny Buladani, which certainly deserves a little more attention than what I’m giving it today, but I’m bringing it up because of what you see here in this panel:


    Nice pic, right? I trimmed out the overlapping panels in that scan because, well, that’s what I usually do since the excess art tends to distract a bit. But, here’s a small image of the full page, showing how that particular panel pops out at the reader:


    Nicely done, I think. Anyway, what I wanted to point out is that, not only is Man-Thing drawn with only four fingers (or three fingers and a thumb, for you “members of the band, plus the drummer” people out there) on each hand instead of his usual five, it’s also made into a contest of sorts on the letters page for this issue:


    Sadly, this Man-Thing series ends two issues later, so if there were any reader responses, they were, as far as I know, unreported.

    My own explanation is simply that we’ve seen Man-Thing regrow his body after being nearly destroyed by some attack or another, and that maybe sometimes not everything grows back the same way…like occasionally missing a digit or two. Hey, why not.

    By the way, the very first issue of this Man-Thing series also had Manny with the wrong number of fingers on the cover, prompting a reader to point that out in a letter printed in issue #3. The editorial response:

    “…Yes, Bashful Bob Wiacek did forget the extra digits on his premiere cover (and former Marvel editor Roger Stern kids Bob about it every chance he gets!)”

    I’d like to think Mr. Stern is still kidding Mr. Wiacek about it. “Hey, remember that Man-Thing cover you did 30 years ago?” “Oh, come on….”

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