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So then there was this in the most recent Previews catalog: a 1,200 page Man-Thing Omnibus:
And here is what it contains, cut ‘n’ pasted directly from the solicitation text because I’m
not going to retype it:
“Collecting ASTONISHING TALES (1970) #12-13; FEAR #11-18, and material from #10 and #19; MAN-THING (1974) #1-22, GIANT-SIZE MAN-THING #1-3 and material from #4-5, INCREDIBLE HULK (1968) #197-198; MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #68; MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #43; MAN-THING (1979) #1-11; DR. STRANGE (1974) #41; and material from SAVAGE TALES (1971) #1, MONSTERS UNLEASHED #5 and #8-9, and RAMPAGING HULK (1977) #7.”
First thought is, as Chris more or less implied in his response to my Twitter post about this book, if anything deserves to be called Giant-Size Man-Thing, it’s this monstrosity. Secondly, it seems odd that they’d pass up Marvel Two-in-One #1 while including Marvel Two-in-One #43, which is also (as I recall) the second part of a two-part story. Plus, there are a couple of other appearances of Manny in this general time period that don’t appear to be part of the contents…but they gotta leave something for Man-Thing Omnibus: The Second Volumening, I guess.
The $125 price tag is a bit dear, but let’s face it…no one is going to pay full retail for this. And it’ll probably cut off circulation to your lower extremities if you keep this book in your lap while reading for too long. But, it would be nice to have good reprints of this material, in color, on white paper. Some of the older comics were printed on…not the best paper available for magazine use, and certain artistic decisions (like printing white text on black backgrounds) can make some of the stories a bit of a challenge to read. I’m interested, of course, but I may just hold out for a more affordable format. (A color format, I should add, since I know Marvel has the black and white Essentials books reprinting a lot of this same work.)
One more note: I could have sworn something like this already came out, but I didn’t see any record of it in our distributor’s stock listings. Maybe I was just imagining things…Man-Things, that is!
• • •
A brief site update: I think I am a lot happier with the reduced posting schedule. I’m enjoying working on the posts more, and it feels like I’m actually having something to say rather than having
to say some
thing. Even the single-image gag posts are the result of just having come across those images and wanting to share them, rather than scouring books seeking out something to scan.
In addition, the new schedule frees me up to do things like, oh, reread the entire run of The Boys thus far, in preparation for the series wrapping up in the few months. I don’t have a whole lot to say about that, other than noting that the story certainly flowed a lot more smoothly for me reading it over a relatively short period of time, instead of an issue a month for about six years. Easy to lose some of the nuances, and to lose track of some of the set-ups and payoffs, of the plot when you’ve got four weeks between installments.
Anyway, got sidetracked a bit there…what I’m trying to say is that I’m ultimately pleased with having dropped the pace down a bit here at the site, and I hope that comes across in what I’m doing. Thanks for your patience, and for sticking around and reading my nonsense.
image from Wonder Woman #208 by Robert Kanigher, Ric Estrada & Vince Colletta
Don’t let my reduced posting schedule fool you…I’m still keeping tabs on the End of Civilization, which should be ending, oh…any time now, I think. Please dress appropriately. Anyway, pop open your copy of Diamond Previews, the May 2012 edition, and let us observe the wonders as they pass before us:
p. 96 – Superman #11:
It’s terrible. …Next question?
p. 152 – Before Watchmen: Rorschach Statue:
“There he was, just walkin’ down the street
Singin’ ‘hrm hurm hurmy hurmy hrm hurmy hurm.’”
p. 154 – Ame-Comi Heroine Series Arisia PVC Figure:
Somehow this makes that whole storyline where Hal Jordan enters a relationship with Arisia after she uses her ring to age herself from adolescence to adulthood even worse
p. 158 – Jericho Season 4 #1:
You know, if I wait long enough, I’ll finally get that Otherworld: Season Two
comic book series that I’ve been waiting for. JUST YOU WATCH.
p. 169 – Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2:
This issue: The Fourth Doctor meets Captain Kirk! Next issue: the Peter Cushing Doctor Who meets the post-reboot Enterprise crew!
p. 236 – Glamourpuss #26:
And now, exhibit A in how it’s hard to explain why I like this comic:
“It’s Zootanapuss vs. Cosplay Lass and her Kosupure Kaos Posse. Who will win? Can Bunny face down Mr. Rat, da Killa Chinchilla? Toma dis Kitty put you in a coma? QT McWhiskers, yo butt be will kiskers? Also in the History of Photorealism in Comics, Dave Sim continues to compare the various versions of the September 6, 1956 car accident that claimed the life of Alex Raymond.”
God bless you, Dave. You keep printin’ it, I’ll keep readin’ it.
p. 357 – DC Super Pets: Swamp Thing vs. Zombie Pets TP:
Yes I’m getting it shut up
p. 374 – Watchmen Dr. Manhattan Symbol T-Shirt:
p. 386 – Star Wars Death Star Magnetic Bottle Opener:
Admiral Motti: “This bottle opener is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it!”
Darth Vader: “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to pop open a Bud is insignificant next to the potential of the Force.”
Admiral Motti: “Dude, c’mon, just toss me a bottle from the cooler. You’re standing right there.”
p. 398 – Yummy Black & White Cookie Plush:
Kirk: “You’re black on one side and white on the other.”
Yummy Black & White Cookie Plush: “I am black on the right side.”
Kirk: “I fail to see the significant difference.”
Yummy Black & White Cookie Plush: “He is white on the right side. All of his people are white on the right side. Clearly I am yummier.”
p. 411 – Star Trek USS Enterprise Plush:
“Captain, our ship has been converted to a…squishy material via as-yet-unknown means, and we are being grasped by a giant hand.”
“…What is this? Fourth season? Fifth? What’s happened to our scripts? …Oh, for the days of ‘Spock’s Brain.’”
p. 419 – Harry Potter Mechanical Death Eater:
You know, someone out there is, by default, the World’s Biggest Mechanical Death Eater Fan. Probably without even knowing it.
p. 419 – Green Lantern Movie Prop Ring:
Replica prop ring: $35. Actual ring worn in the film: Oh, I don’t know, maybe $50 or so. …How ’bout $45?
p. 426 – The Relic: Kathoga Creature Pre-Built Model:
Is this is a good time to complain that Agent Pendergast got screwed out of appearing in this film? …No? Okay.
p. 427 – Star Wars Death Trooper Statue:
…I’ve been sitting here for more than a few minutes trying to think of a gag for this thing and…well, words fail me, apparently. Is it not enough simply that this exists?
p. 434 – Disney Mickey Mouse Ultra Detail Figures:
I’m going to assume, for no good reason, this is a Mickey Mouse version of the Tron Guy
. Maybe a Mickey Mouse version of this fella
can be next.
p. 452 – Crusty Zombie Toenails Snack:
Is there like a contest to see just how gross a name you can but on a food item and still get people to eat it? There was like “Dried Zombie Skin,” and various drinks pretending to be blood, and there’s Soylent Green Crackers on the same page as this toenails thing. “So, wha’cha eating?” “Oh, just some Intestinal Choco-Pellets.” “…Excuse me, going to throw up.” “‘Throw-ups?’ I have a bag of those, too!” “…Urp!
p. 462 – Spider-Man 14″ Super Deformed Plush:
I swear, at first glance I thought this was a Spider-Man head resting on top of a hand, like our old pal Cranius
. …That would make shooting his webbing a bit awkward, I’d bet.
Marvel Previews p. 11 – Wolverine and the X-Men #14:
…Why, with Japanese-Porn Man, of course!
Marvel Previews p. 45 – Space Punisher #1:
…That’ll do, Marvel. That’ll do.
BEHOLD THE MAJESTY
OF THE APESTACHE
from The Return to the Planet of the Apes episode “Invasion of the Underdwellers” (1975)
So a reviewer posted what seemed like a fair-minded, reasonable if not overly-glowing review of the Avengers movie, and made the mistakes of 1) not being 100% positive about the film, 2) accidentally calling a character by the wrong name (since fixed), and 3) being a woman, resulting in some of the following somewhat over-the-top responses in the comments:
“This pathetic ***** will do anything to get some traffic for her shit little blog. Hope it paid off you stinking ****. Perhaps next time the guy who’s **** you sucked to get the job will send someone who’s actually capable of remembering a character’s name for longer than two minutes.”
“She asked her boyfriend what score she should give. Just stick to rom-coms, bitch.”
“Hope your site got the hits it so desperately craves, you sad pathetic excuse for a human being.”
“You actually wanted this movie to suck, didn’t you? I’ve seen your other reviews, and your bias opinions on pretty much everything. You spelled names wrong, you got names wrong, You somehow managed to think that explosions and aliens means Transformers. You have no business being a critic if you are going to act like this.”
“Bitch what the fuck is wrong with you, I knew there would be bad reviews from some people but not from spiteful assholes who bash shit for attention.”
“She didn’t bash it for attention, it’s starting to become clear she’s a DC fangirl, so she actually had an agenda.”
When folks tell you “don’t read the comments” — well, this is pretty much the reason why. I hope the people who left these comments are proud of themselves. (Sadly, they probably are.)
And as esteemed pal Ken says in his tweet on the topic, the last paragraph of that review “is a call to action for anyone making superhero ANYthing.” Well said, friend. Too bad the point will be missed by the folks desperate to defend their beloved film from what they somehow see as such a horribly negative assault.
So here’s a slabbed ‘n’ graded copy of Civil War
#2, 2nd printing, that turned up in a box of unsold stock we acquired from another store. It’s an interesting artifact of a once red-hot comic book crossover event since supplanted by a cascade of other crossover events, themselves all secondary to the pursuit of the movie tie-in dollar which may or, more likely, may not trickle down from the cinematic breadwinners to their poor print cousins.
This particular edition itself is of note, a second pressing of the issue in which Spider-Man publicly reveals his secret identity, with a new cover reflecting said event to apparently take advantage of the real-world (as opposed to just comic book press) media attention. The revelation itself pretty much had “reset button” written all over it, and sure enough, shortly after Civil War was over and we were all on to the next thing, Spider-Man’s secret identity status quo was restored and thus, what small importance this issue had in the grand scheme of Marvel’s things was no longer what it was.
Currently, no one is really seeking out back issues of Civil War, and even the sales of the books collecting that series and its army of tie-ins have fallen the farther away we get from that event’s heyday. And now we have this…an item produced to exploit interest in a specific plot twist, since undone, in a Big Event Series, since…um, unbiggened, I guess.
This item’s only claim to collectibility at this point is that it’s sealed in a plastic slab, with an official condition grade assigned to it by a grading company. And, as we can see on auction sites and as used to be demonstrated by helpful graphics in the now-defunct print edition of Wizard Magazine, “slabbed” comics can often command much higher prices (or at least are set at higher prices) than the same comic without a slab.
If the story I was told of this item’s lineage is accurate, it was apparently offered, as is, slab and all, through the monthly distributor’s catalog as a prepackaged collectible. The price marked on the store sticker is $59.99, which is like twenty times the regular retail cost of the comic by itself. I was also told the item was ordered by mistake and could not be (or simply wasn’t) returned.
This is an empty collectible. Now, to be clear, I’m not accusing or blaming anyone for this. There was a time when this was possibly a viable item. There was demand for this series, for this particular issue, and interest was high in that plot development. And the graded ‘n’ sealed books are usually of interest to some collectors. However, you can infer a “sell-by” date on some items, and it’s reasonably clear this is one “collectible” that has outlived itself.
It’s my problem now, and hopefully I can get a few bucks for it on eBay.
I hope none of my potential bidders read this.
SURF N’ WHEELS
images from Surf N’ Wheels #1 (November 1969) – thanks to Ralph for the loaner
So I saw in my site referrals a particular Google search (“comic books stupid”), which I then searched myself to see what would come up, and lo, there was this question on Yahoo Answers:
I like all the assumptions being made there, like there’s this incredible cachet of “coolness” surrounding the reading of comics. Seeing movies
based on comics, sure, or maybe watching TV shows about people who read comics, but actually reading them? C’mon. And I’d like to hear more about the “good ones like ‘Spiderman’ and ‘Xmen.’” that the questioner apparently likes, in contradiction to the tone of his inquiry. They sound sort of similar to Spider-Man
…I wonder if Marvel knows about them?
Anyway, some of the responses to the question are pretty good, if occasionally veering into the “yeah, that’s not helping” realm. Then again, I shouldn’t be so quick to judge, because I was sitting there thinking how I could explain why I like comics, and…well, I can’t really articulate it. I mean, I could probably explain why I like certain comic books, or why I like particular genres of comics, but even then my explanation may not get much farther than “because Green Lantern has this awesome ring that does anything he wants and it’s awesome, yeah I said ‘awesome’ twice, shut up.”
But as to why I like comics in general? I don’t know. I simply like reading, whether it’s just words, or words with pictures. I think most people like comics, even if it’s just reading the funny pages in the newspapers…I’m sure people still do that, even if it’s perhaps not the universal experience it once was.
Maybe I just was never conditioned to not like comics, to not dismiss an entire storytelling method because someone told me it was stupid or worthless. And that I found enough of value in this medium that when I did start to get exposed to people who thought comics were worthless, I realized they were wrong. Not that every single story was a treasure, of course, but that comics were no more or less worthy a medium than any other. A bad TV show doesn’t invalidate television any more than a bad comic book invalidates comics.
Preaching to the converted, I know. But it did get me to wondering, as I said, how I would specifically explain why I like comics. An appreciation of the craft of cartooning, and the usage of drawings to communicate a story? Or, like one of the respondents to the original inquiry stated, “the unique experience of visually experiencing a story on paper.” Or on iPads, nowadays.
I could be going about it the wrong way. Perhaps my answer to “Why I Like Comics” should be “Jack Kirby. Carl Barks. Bernie Wrightson. Ramona Fradon. The Hernandez Brothers. Gilbert Shelton. Curt Swan. Charles Schulz. Sergio Aragones. Paul Chadwick. John Severin. Shary Flenniken. Mike Mignola. Jim Starlin. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.” And so on.
While I may not have a particularly pithy or detailed explanation as to why I like the comic book medium beyond “I enjoy stories told with pictures,” I do know that I would have missed out on a lot of great work if I’d rejected comics outright. Plus, I wouldn’t currently have a room full of Swamp Thing merchandise in the house…which probably also falls under the previously mentioned “yeah, that’s not helping” category.
So, while the rest of you were out there watching your Hunger Games and your Three Stooges and (to a somewhat lesser extent) your Cabin in the Woods, I was enjoying, for certain values of the term “enjoy,” a free screening of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance:
Yes, it’s another Nicolas Cage-tacular, with no piece of scenery left unbitten. It was also directed by the same guys who did the Crank
films, and there were at times moments of those films’ energy and humor in this otherwise turgid sequel, but alas the decision was made to attempt “plot” and “characterization” at the expense of “Ghost Rider doing crazy shit.”
Or “Nicolas Cage doing crazy shit,” I suppose I should mention, since there’s one scene where Cage, as Johnny Blaze, is apparently barely containing his transformation to Ghost Rider while he’s interrogating this one fellow. Did I say “interrogating?” I mean “yelling and jerking his head around and acting like a lunatic and basically barking at the dude” and it was either the worst acting I’ve ever seen or, dare I say, the greatest acting I’ve ever seen. Honestly, say what you will about the man and his acting choices…once he’s made his decision, Cage just full out goes for it.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen the first film, so I don’t recall if it establishes Ghost Rider’s super power of making anything he rides turn into a flaming hellengine of death. In this film, he hops into the control booth of some huge piece of construction equipment, which proceeds to burst into flames and become something terrifying and awesome, and later Ghostie hops onto some big truck which also becomes all firey and rad. Frankly, had the film just been Ghost Rider driving a variety of vehicles that are on fire while fighting the bad guys or monsters or other cars that are on fire, I think we would have had somethin’ here.
Also of note:
- Cage’s opening narration catching folks up on Ghost Rider’s back story: pretty sure the intent was “down to earth recounting of fantastic events” in order to somehow promote the audience’s suspension of disbelief in the premise, but somehow the tone of Cage’s line-reads made it sound hilarious. Not to mention the fact that you’ve already got people who willingly came to a film about a demonically-possessed motorcyclist…they probably don’t need the semi-embarrassed hardsell on the product.
- There’s a cheap, obvious joke in which one of the villains of this piece, Decay (who has the power to…well, guess) is going through a lunchbox trying to find food that won’t crumble to dust in his hands, and finding success with a Twinkie. Like I said, it’s cheap and obvious, but still, it was amusing.
- Ghost Rider is not nearly as loquacious as he is in the funnybooks: he only speaks a couple lines of dialogue. The first time, it’s genuinely creepy, as he mockingly repeats “does this hurt” (or something similar) to a bad guy who had mocked him with the same words a bit earlier. The second bit is Ghost Rider laying the completely unnecessary quip “Roadkill” after his nemesis is flattened by a vehicle after a battle. I suppose it was supposed to be “funny” or “cool,” but…nah, sorry, it was neither.
- And there are times when Ghost Rider just does…odd things, which were sort of baffling at the time (like when he just kinda stands there, rocking back and forth, during a pause in a battle). While talking about this film with a coworker, he mentioned that he read an interview where Cage said he took inspiration from a pet snake in his portrayal of Ghost Rider, and…you know, I haven’t verified that, have no idea if it’s true, but I’m not going to check because I want that to be true and I do not wish to be disappointed.
So, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – worth seeing for free, I guess, if you’re not otherwise busy. Even at about 90 minutes or so, it’s a bit overlong, but if you enjoy Nic Cage movies, this one is certainly very Nic Cage-y.
I should also tell you that, as we were walking into the theater, there was a group of about a half-dozen or so kids, about 6 to 8 years of age, coming to the movie as well, all cheerfully chanting “GHOST RI-DER! GHOST RI-DER! GHOST RI-DER!” …All things considered, that made the evening’s entire movie-going experience worth it.
NOPE, SORRY…MOVE ALONG
NOTHING TO SEE HERE
from Nancy Is Happy (2012) – get yer own!
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