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Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ October 3rd, 2016 § Filed under End of Civilization § 11 Comments

Okay, okay, fine…after months of pressure, I’ve finally released my personal End of Civilization returns. I hope you all find what you’re looking for in there…and maybe you should have a copy of the October 2016 edition of Diamond Previews to help you follow all my earnings and losses:

p. 125 – Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #76:


[Ghost of Shakespeare is tied up, Daphne pulls off mask]

Velma: “Jinkies! It’s Christopher Marlowe!”

Marlowe: “I would have won the day if not for thee
You kids who meddle, make my plans for naught.”

(NOTES: see here for the original Internet Scooby-Doo/Shakespeare mash-up, that of course I didn’t remember ’til after I wrote this.)
p. 151 – Batman The Animated Series Batman, Robin and Mutant Leader Action Figure 3-Pack:

“So Marvel’s got toy Hulk hands that kids can wear, right?”


“And they also did Thing hands, if I remember correctly.”

“You do.”

“Okay. So what we should do is produce….”

“Batman hands?”

“No…Mutant Leader nipples. Be just like your favorite villain from the Batman cartoon by wearing th–”

“Get out of my office.”
p. 152 – DC Icons Swamp Thing Action Figure:

“Hi, I’m Alec, and after being on the Weight-Beaters power diet plan for only six weeks, I’ve lost all sorts of excess poundage! And look at how much weight my friend Cranius shed after six months!”

“I no longer even have a stomach! Or pretty much any other internal organs!”

“That’s great, Cranius!”
p. 157 – Star Trek/Green Lantern Vol. 2 #1:

Featuring the Guardians of the Wold Newton Universe!
p. 271 – Cavewoman Monster Dreams One-Shot Massey Cover B:

Well, wouldn’t you know it, someone’s beat me to my Halloween costume.
p. 273 – Alexander Hamilton:

Why, that doesn’t look like the Hamilton I’m familiar with at all.
p. 278 – #TeamBetty Blue T-Shirt/#TeamVeronica Red T-Shirt:



p. 322 – Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1:

Here’s hoping for the follow-up Ace the Bat-Hound/Run, Joe, Run, for which I suspect I’d be the only audience.
p. 410 – Doctor Who Tenth Doctor Year Three #1:

“I believe that this publisher should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of publishing a Doctor Who comic based on the Peter Cushing movies.” [cheers, applause]
p. 445 – The Pokemon Cookbook Easy and Fun Recipes:

“Why, this Lickitung tongue tastes terrible. Are you sure you cooked it right?”

“Look, if you don’t like it, we’ll have Pidgeot giblets tomorrow.”
p. 471 – Star Wars Galactic Maps An Illustrated Atlas of the Star Wars Universe:

“Well, look, here’s the bright center to the universe…and here’s Tatooine all the way over here. Huh, guess Luke was right.”
p. 509 – Batman Classic TV Series King Tut Resin Bust:

Frankly, I think all Batman merchandise has been leading up to this. What home doesn’t need a statue of Victor Buono, to watch over your household and bring you good luck?
p. 520 – Alien Derelict Ship Statue:

The World’s Richest Alien fan is buying a few dozen of these for the most expensive game of horseshoes ever.
p. 536 – Friday the 13th Part 5 Jason Mask Prop Replica:

“Can’t…can’t you just go the sporting equipment store and…?”

“MOM. This is the OFFICIAL replica. As seen in Friday the 13th. Part FIVE. Please do NOT waste my time with nonsense.”
p. 583 – Dragonball Z Figure-Rise Mechanics Saitan Space Pod Model Kit:

I’m not sure I’m into this Mork and Mindy reboot.
p. 613 – Marvel Heroes The Infinity Gauntlet Cookie Jar:

MOM: “Okay, who’s been sneaking cookies out of the Marvel Heroes The Infinity Gauntlet Cookie Jar?”

BILLY: “Not me!”

DOLLY: “Not me!”

THANOS: “Fools taking up arms against omnipotence. They rush head-on into Armageddon. So I shall provide them with a most glorious doomsday! The heavens will run red with blood. But in the end, as always, Thanos will have his cookies.”
p. 616 – Star Wars Darth Vader Briefcase:

“The briefcase Darth Vader carries to meetings with his officers” reads the actual solicitation, so they’ve already beaten me to the obvious joke. But here’s hoping someone out there is working on a Special Special Edition of the original trilogy and can CGI some briefcases in there.
p. 618 – Star Wars Death Star Schematics Mighty Wallet:

So this is how the Rebels got the plans out without any apparent email or anything in the Star Wars universe. They just folded them up into novelty wallets and Imperial security didn’t even give ’em a second glance! “You crazy kids and your wacky, mixed-up wallets, get on out of here!” …Oh, SPOILERS for Star Wars: Rogue One, by the way.
p. 621 – Batman The Animated Series Almost Got ‘im Card Game:

Well, if we’re basing games on single episodes of the Batman cartoons, then let’s have one based on the greatest episode:

p. 624 – Magic the Gathering TCG Conspiracy Take the Crown Booster Packs:

“Atogs are putting mind-numbing chemicals in our water supply.”

“…Wait, what?”

“The Brothers’ War was a false flag operation.”

“Now hold on….”


“Leeeeet me just stop you right there.”
Marvel Previews p. 95 – Star Wars Classified #1 & #2:


“An all-new, top-secret ongoing Star Wars series begins this December…”

…please be Lobot please be Lobot please be Lobot….
Marvel Previews p. 106 – Star Wars Box Set Slipcase:

“Yup, it’s collecting all the major Star Wars comics. Episodes IV-VI, the latest Episode VII, Shattered Empire, the first Darth Vader hardcover….”

“And Episodes I-III, right? Right?”

“Episodes IV-VI, and Episode VII, and that Darth Vader book, and Shattered Empire….”

And I-III, yes?”

Shattered Empire for sure, Episodes IV-VI….”
Marvel Previews p.134 – Marvelman Classic Vol. 1 TPB:

Marvel…who, again? This character seems familiar, but I just can’t place him. Maybe they should do a regular comic with this guy or something.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ September 5th, 2016 § Filed under End of Civilization § 10 Comments

Yup, that’s me, sitting here with the September 2016 edition of Diamond Previews. You’re probably wondering how I got into this situation. Well, follow along with me in your own copy of Previews and let’s find out together, shall we?

p. 106 – Superman #10:

I know the big joke ever since this cover was released was that everyone thought they looked like they were about to kiss, but it looks more to me like they’re smelling each other.

“Say, Superman, what is that wonderful scent you’re wearing?”

“You smell like eggs, Superboy.”
p. 149 – Batman the Animated Series Expressions Pack:

Kind of hope they do one of these for the regular DC Universe Batman…a half-dozen slightly different scowling faces, and one with a sardonic grin. Also, turns out the Question Expressions Pack isn’t quite so exciting.
p. 180 – Sachs & Violens TPB:

Say, remember when Peter David and Todd McFarlane had that spat in the comics press a long time ago, with David criticizing McFarlane about somethin’ or other, and McFarlane responded with a comics sales chart showing Spawn near the top, and David’s Sachs & Violens way below?

Just sayin’ there’s probably not so much of a difference now.
p. 189 – John Byrne’s Stowaway to the Stars: A Graphic Album to Color:

Hmm…this one character appears to be a Latina. Which color should I use for her hair…which one….
p. 225 – Spawn #269:

The solicitation description reads, in its entirety, “The SPAWN saga continues!” Creative team is “Todd McFarlane & Friends,” with Covers A and B both featuring art by “To Be Determined.” Oh no, how am I ever going to decide what orders to place on this comic without the necessary relevant information? [enters same number of copies I’ve ordered for Spawn for the last several years]
p. 238 – The Walking Dead Take It Like A Champ T-Shirt:

Good thing everyone everywhere is absolutely 100% familiar with The Walking Dead in all its forms and thus there’s no chance of anybody ever misconstruing this t-shirt.
p. 238 – The Walking Dead Lucille 34″ Replica Bat:

Celebrate and reminisce about the brutal bludgeoning-to-death of [REDACTED] in the comics and, I’m guessing, Abraham in the forthcoming season premiere, with this lovely souvenir keepsake! Carry it around with you while wearing your “Take It Like A Champ” t-shirt so everyone knows of your love for The Walking Dead!
p. 279 – Shark Trek T-Shirt:


Was going to make fun, but I’d be totally for a Captain Kirk vs. Space Sharks movie. Or just rebooting the franchise with the entire Enterprise crew as sharks. Either or.
p. 334 – Vampirella Bottle Opener:

Now if were making these, they would be in the shape of Vampirella’s head, and her wide-open mouth is where you’d insert the top of the bottle, hooking the fangs beneath the edge of the cap. And then I’d just laugh and laugh and laugh.
p. 362 – The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Video Games SC:

So I was totally going to make a joke about “I bet they’re going to start slabbing video games CGC-style now, too!” and then I looked it up to see if this actually was happening, and, uh, I’ll just be over here playing my unslabbed copy of Turmoil on my Atari 2600 if you need me.
p. 364 – The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Movie Posters SC:

“I wonder what my original Revenge of the Jedi poster is worth? Let me look it up.”

[flips through book, finds entry that reads “You don’t have the original, you probably got ripped off.”]
p. 436 – Faith #5:

“…And anyway, Hillary, I sure hope you like comic books.”

“Uh, Barack? What do you mean by that?”

“Oh, you’ll see. You’ll see.”
p. 471 – Doctor Who The Twelve Doctors of Christmas HC:

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my companion gave to me…
12 sonic sunglasses
11 bowties
10 overcoats
9 leather jackets
8 TV movies
7 Panama hats
6 too many trial episodes
4 Jelly Babies
3 polarity reversals
2 recorders
and 1 grand daugh-ter…!
p. 476 – Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them HC:

J.K. Rowling, five years from now: “Oh, I forgot to mention, one of the beasts was secretly a robot.” “That one beast I said was blue-colored? Actually green.” “All the beasts had postal boxes in Fairfax, VA…did I not mention that? Oh, silly me.”
p. 491 – Star Wars “It’s A Trap” Sky Blue Heather T-Shirt:

There is likely a worrying percentage of customers for this shirt who only know it from online shenanigans, and have no clue it’s from a movie. At least, that’s what I’m assuming, since I’m a cranky old Original Star Wars Fan from 1977, Thank You.
p. 500 – Suicide Squad The Joker Sublimated Premium Crew Socks:

Sure, you may laugh, but I’ll have you know Jared Leto spent weeks wrapping himself around people’s feet and occasionally getting lost in the wash to prepare for this role.
p. 522 – Tokidoki X Hello Kitty Kittypatra Vinyl Figure:

Comes with just the most adorable asp!
p. 601 – Batman and Wonder Woman Ceramic Sculpted Mugs:


Part of the “DC Comics Tribute to Brain Surgery” line.
p. 602 – The Joker Steering Wheel Cover:

Sure, you may laugh, but I’ll have you know Jared Leto spent weeks clinging to a steering wh…huh? I already did this gag? …Sigh, fine.
p. 603 – Superman 15-Ounce Double Wall Travel Tumbler:

I was wondering when they’d get around to merchandising this image:

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ August 1st, 2016 § Filed under End of Civilization § 14 Comments

The End of Civilization is staring us right in the eyes, friends, and you get to stare right back into that abyss with the latest issue of Previews! Grab your copy (the August 2016 edition) and follow along, why don’cha?

p. 44 – Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse #1:

Man, musical comics are really hard to do, so how are they going to pull this…oh, it’s short for “universe.” Never mind.
p. 54 – Muhammad Ali HC:

I know this is supposed to cover his life as a whole, but it’d be a shame to have his team-up with Superman compressed to just a few pages.
p. 80 – Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #1:

“Oh yeah? Cybernetic lip, cybernetic lip!”
p. 122 – He-Man/Thundercats #1:

He-Man’s gonna have a lot of ‘splaining to do to the Thundercats regarding the whole “Cringer” situation.
p. 284 – Archie Meets The Ramones #1:

Okay, every single time something like this comes up I always make a joke like “and then they should team up with G.G. Allin!” which is exactly what I said when this series was originally announced.

So let me change my reference: boy, I sure hope the Archies meet Throbbing Gristle next! “IN THIS ISSUE, JUGHEAD MEETS THE HAMBURGER LADY!”
p. 302 – Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1:


p. 338 – Betty Boop #1:


I freely admit I did not know I needed a Howard Chaykin-drawn Betty Boop drawing until I saw it in this Previews.
p. 485 – Super Mario Adventures GN:


This is the weirdest variation on the old “two brothers on opposite sides in the Civil War” trope that I’ve ever read.
p. 508 – Wonder Woman Coloring Book SC:


“So what color should her panties be?”

p. 509 – Home Alone The Authorized Coloring Book SC:


At last, my days of coloring in unauthorized Home Alone coloring books are over.
p. 509 – 101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die:


Oddly enough, one of the movies listed is actually titled 101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die.
p. 526 – “For Darkseid” Red Heather T-Shirt:


And also “FOR ZARDOZ!”
p. 630 – Star Trek Pizza Cutter:


Obviously based on that scene from “Who Mourns for Adonais” when Apollo grabs the Enterprise with his giant projected hand and uses it to cut his godly-sized pizza.
p. 643 – Howard the Duck Molded Head Mug:


Either the greatest piece of Marvel Comics merchandise of all time, or the one artifact by which future civilizations will pass their harshest judgement.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ July 4th, 2016 § Filed under End of Civilization § 17 Comments

The End of Civilization is closer than ever, friends, and there’s no greater tome of portent than this, the July 2016 edition of Diamond Previews! Grab your copy and follow along, if you think your heart can stand it! Also, yes, I know there’s an easier way to do that Space Invaders thing…anyway, HERE WE GO:

p. 62 – Avatar The Last Airbender Coloring Book TP:

“Here, Little Billy, I even bought you some extra blue crayons since I know you’re going to need them.”

“THAT’S A DIFFERENT AV — sigh, thanks Aunt Millie.”
p. 63 – Serenity Adult Coloring Book TP:

“What color is ‘eternal longing for a thing that will never return?'”


“Okay, thanks.”
p. 98 – All-Star Batman #2:

At long last! The Greatest Batman Epic of Our Time finally continues! None of you believed, but only I kept the faith that Miller and Lee would return to this grand tale! HA! IN YOUR FACES, SUCKERS.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: nobody tell Mike. He doesn’t know yet.]
p. 108 – The Flash #6:

Okay, having a speedster villain named “Godspeed” is pretty great. But if someone named “Black Emperor” shows up….
p. 130 – Batman ’66 Meets Steed and Mrs. Peel #3:

please please please “Batman ’66 Visits Gilligan’s Island” next please please
p. 137 – Goodnight Batcave HC:


You know, if they’re going to be doing Batman-themed children’s book parodies, well….

p. 139 – Watchmen Noir HC:

C’mon, just call it the “Watchmen Coloring Book,” you know you want to.
p. 148 – Supergirl Book One TP:


CUSTOMER: “So my daughter really likes the Supergirl TV show…will she like this book?”

ME: “Um, well, this Supergirl is actually a shape-changing artificial being from a parallel universe who merges with a human woman, and then there’s this whole angel thing….”

CUSTOMER: [blank stare]

ME: “Yeah, it’ll be fine.”

[PLEASE NOTE: the previous dialogue was simply a fictional exaggeration and not reflective of my actual in-store behavior. At least, not for another decade or two.]
p. 197 – Strawberry Shortcake #6 Scented Variant:

“And now, My Little Pony scented variants!”

p. 237 – Snotgirl #3:

So, a boy, then?

(Look, I’ve had that stupid joke rattling around in my head for months.)
p. 279 – Irwin Allen’s Lost in Space #5:

Surely with at least three versions of Lost in Space rattling around (what with the upcoming Netflix revival) we’re due for some kind of “Crisis of Infinite Jupiter 2s” or something. Actually, I’m still waiting for Classic Trek vs. New Trek thing…”Prime Universe Vs. The Kelvin Timeline,” if you’re nasty nerdy. (EDIT: I’m told Old Vs. New Trek is already a thing in the comics. I SAT TOO LONG ON THIS JOKE.)
p. 286 – Trump Vs. Clinton Coloring Book:

NO MATTER WHO WINS, WE LOSE…well, okay, more one than the other, but still.
p. 287 – Major League Badass T-Shirt:

Please enjoy this t-shirt of a Generic Shaggy-Haired Fella What Carries What Could Be Just Any Crossbow, and Not Any Particular One, No, Really, I Have No Idea What You’re Talking About.
p. 328 – Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #100:

Number one hundred!? That’s a lot of haunted vaginas. In fact, haunted vaginas for everyone!

p. 336 – Art of Atari HC:

NOT INCLUDED: beautiful watercolor painting of me frying my 2600 so I could get two shots at a time in Space Invaders.
p. 351 – Battlestar Galactica #2 Subscription Variant:

Ladies and gentlemen…the best one yet of these action figure variant covers.
p. 362 – Barack the Barbarian GN:

“Ah, once I’m out of office, maybe they’ll stop making comics about me.”

PREVIEWS JUNE 2017: “Retired Barack Versus Predator #1”

p. 501 – Doctor Who A History of Humankind, The Doctor’s Official Guide HC:

p. 506 – Ghostbusters 2016 Little Golden Book:

Oh, great, here come people complaining about women ruining their children’s books, too.
p. 508 – Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Star Wars Little Golden Book:

“Um…open heart surgery?”

“Page 17.”

“How to file quarterly sales taxes?”

“Page 113.”

“Ballroom dancing?”

“Page 484.”

“This is one hell of a long Little Golden Book.”

“Contains all knowledge it does, yes? Hee hee hee!”
p. 554 – Batman & Robin Clooney Panther Cowl Replica:

Had literally no idea merchandising from the Clooney Batman was still a thing. Is there enough demand for that very specific version of the Bat-cowl to…oh, what am I even saying.
p. 569 – Pop! Aliens Alien Queen 6-Inch Vinyl Figure:

Man, that alien queen from Aliens, there’s no way they could make that more terrif–GAH

p. 576 – Alfred Hitchcock 1/6 Scale Collectible Figure:

Hitchcock figure making mysterious cameos in other action figure playsets: “hey, who’s that behind the Mission to Gamma VI set?” “BILLY, GET YOUR HITCHCOCK FIGURE OUT OF HERE!”
p. 601 – Batman V Superman Batman Nendoroid Justice Edition:

Even the most outspoken of Batman V Superman haters will love our newest version of the film, where every appearance of Ben Affleck has been replaced with this cutie pie.
p. 604 – Gundam Unicorn GFFMC Unicorn Gundam “Final Battle” Figure:

Thundercleese looks different from how I remember.
p. 609 – Pharrell Williams Real Action Hero:

This is the worst Freddy Krueger cosplay I have ever seen.
p. 624 – Movie Icons The Godfather Vito Corleone 7-Inch Action Figure:

Alternate Orange Peel Head not included.
p. 632 – Cthulhu Molded Mug:

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die…before my first cup of coffee! Am I right, Augie?”

“I’ve asked you before not to talk to me, Howard.”
Marvel Previews p. 105 – Color Your Own Star Wars:

Look, I already did that with markers in my old treasury editions because the lightsabers were the wrong color, so, got that taken care of, thanks.

Progressive Ruin presents, at long last…the End of Civilization.

§ February 29th, 2016 § Filed under End of Civilization § 12 Comments

So…nice civilization you’ve got here. Shame if something…happened to it. Say, why don’t you follow along with me in your March 2016 edition of Diamond Previews before something…unfortunate should occur:

p. 76 – Snoopy Qee Mystery Box Series:

Revealed at last: the hideous results of the unspeakable experiments at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm.
p. 80 – Scooby Apocalypse #1:

Sure, you’re all makin’ fun of this now, but once Scrappy-Doo is revealed as the leader of Bartertown, you’ll all come crawling back.
p. 152 – Wonder Woman Action Figure 3-Pack:

You’re gonna do a three-pack of Wonder Woman figures and you don’t do the classic Wonder Tot/Wonder Girl/Wonder Woman team-up?

I don’t even know, DC…I don’t even know.
p. 422 – Batman Facts and Stats from the Classic TV Show HC:

Looking forward to the comparison chart showing “Number of Heart Palpitations Caused by Reminding Batman Fans of This TV Show Prior to, Say, The Year 2000 VERSUS After About That Point.”
p. 451 – Scumbag Loser Omnibus GN:

You know, at this rate I’m not going to have any potential titles left for my eventual autobiography.
p. 460 – 100 Things Superman Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die:

Here’s hoping “actually read a Superman comic” is somewhere in there.
p. 463 – Superman Classic: Pranking News SC:

I’d almost forgotten about the Mxyzptlk New 52 redesign. “Fievel Goes to the Fifth Dimension,” I guess.
p. 464 – Doctor Who Mad Libs:

“It’s [ADJECTIVE] on the [LOCATION]!” “Quickly, [VERB] the [NOUN] of the neutron [NOUN]!” “Oh for [DEITY]’s sake, not [NAME OF COMPANION] again.”
p. 468 – Star Trek What Would Captain Kirk Do? SC:

Wait? “What would Captain Kirk do?” Find out exactly what he did by reading this book solicited on page 422 of this very issue of Previews!

p. 479 – Team Cap T-Shirt:

I think we can all admit now that we really wanted Bella to hook up with Captain America and not that vampire or werewolf or whatever.
p. 494 – Marvel Minimates Series 67 Civil War 2-Packs Asst.:

I see Cap and Iron Man already have the pre-distressed “accidentally left in the sandbox and then dug up a couple of years later” look to them. Why, in my day, we had to do that the hard way. You kids today have got it too easy.
p. 508 – Batman V Superman Super Deformed Plushies:

p. 521 – Pixel The Matrix 4-Pack:

At last, the perfect ice-breaker for conversations with your teenage relatives, which will usually start with them asking “…What are those? Is that based on some old movie or video game or something?” before they wander off playing with some new tech something-or-other you don’t understand and you feel that creak in your bones, surely that creak’s not getting stronger and anyway ha ha I’m just kidding, but seriously, death comes for us all. …Thanks for shopping.
p. 526 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael 1/6-Scale Collectible Figure:

Oh, it’s his tail.
p. 532 – Dragonball Super Sculture Spirit Bomb Figures:


Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ July 27th, 2015 § Filed under End of Civilization § 9 Comments

What? Time for one of these again? Say it ain’t so…but it is! It is! The End of Civilization waits for no man, and we can see what’s barreling right down the tracks at us by getting our your copy of the August 2015 Diamond Previews and following along! I apologize ahead of time for my overlooking such things as “publishing lead times” for the sake of a joke, as well as any tummy upset that may occur during, um, a couple of the entries:

p. 78 – Superman Lois & Clark #1:

Hey, finally we get a spin-off from the Convergence event, and…huh, it’s not based on the Shazam! comic that everyone was excited about. That’s funny, you’d think you’d want to build on that buzz, but, well, this will probably be good, too.
p. 79 – Telos #1:

Oh, okay, here’s a Convergence spin-off featuring…um, I don’t see the Shazam! characters anywhere. That’s strange.
p. 80 – Titans Hunt #1:

Ah, here we go, Captain Marvel’s probably in there some…where…there’s Batman, and Starfire, and…huh.
p. 144-5 -Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Batman and Superman Statues:


“No, but I have this support bar that makes me look like I’m flying! You should try yours…oh, you don’t have one? So sad!”

p. 324 – Grumpy Cat #1:

“We must prevent Grumpy Cat and Hello Kitty from ever touching…or the resultant matter/anti-matter explosion will destroy the universe!”

Anyway, just working on my pitch for the eventual team-up book. Don’t none of you bastards steal my idea.
p. 408 – The Comic Story of Beer GN:

Missed opportunity to have a special “water ring damaged” variant.
p. 423 – Dreamworks Classics Digest Vol. 2:

Alas, not a “team-up” book where Po just beats the tar out of Shrek. Someday, my friends…someday.
p. 467 – Make Comics Like the Pros SC:

Presumably includes a special chapter on how to deal with a bunch of ungrateful online jerks who don’t appreciate your hard work and mock you in, say, website posts.
p. 468 – 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die HC and 1001 TV Shows You Must Watch Before You Die HC:

“Ah HA! If I never watch the 1001st movie or TV show, I will never die!”

“But Mike, the 1001st movie is Frank Miller’s The Spirit II and the 1001st TV show is an unaired episode of Doctor Doctor!”

“Well…who wants to live forever? DIIIIVE”
p. 473 – The Walking Dead The Pop-Up Book HC:

You remember those Al Jaffee drawings from Mad where a character vomits, and there’s just this huge massive jet emitting from the poor character’s mouth, filled with, like, bones and stuff? I sorta picture the same jet of bones ‘n’ junk shooting out of this book when you open it.
p. 521 – Star Wars Kitchen Storage Set:

Nobody enjoys Droid Constipation Repair duty.
p. 525 – Star Wars Jedi Hooded Robe:

That is one tall Jawa…
p. 525 – Star Wars Chewbacca Fleece Robe:

…and here he is in his Wookiee cosplay. “Uti-GRAWRG!”
Marvel Previews p. 42 – What If? Infinity – Thanos #1:

The origin of Thanos’s villainy, revealed at last: everybody laughed at his convention costumes. Captain America, Sub-Mariner, Cloud…nobody appreciated his work.

…Now you’re probably picturing Thanos in Namor’s little green Speedos. You’re welcome.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ June 29th, 2015 § Filed under End of Civilization § 8 Comments

Psst. Hey. Hey, you. Stop lookin’ around yourself like that, I’m talkin’ to you. Anyways, you know what I got here? Yeah, you know what this is. This is the good stuff. This is that End of Civilization you’ve been hearin’ all the other kids yakkin’ about. Here, take this July 2015 edition of the Diamond Previews and check it out. Yeah, it’s free. The first one’s always free:

p. 76 – BPRD Neon Sign:

“Uh…is that a long-necked bunny with a top hat and a monocle?”

“Oh, come now, you’re just stretching for a joke at this point.”

“Okay…uh, it’s Señor Wences with a lollipop, and…he’s running really fast, making those speedlines kind of at the top, there.”

“Señor Wences. Really.”
p. 150 – DC Comics Icons Harley Quinn Statue:

5200 what? 5200 separate Harley Quinn statue designs? “Here’s one of her playing badminton! Here’s one of her doing her taxes! Add on that new wing to the house, here comes a full set of her dressed as every Green Lantern!”

…There seem to be a lot of Harley Quinn statues, is what I’m saying.
p. 156 – Star Wars Artifact Edition HC:

Yup, going back to the comic’s original art firmly establishes that Camie shot Fixer first.
p. 165 – Star Trek New Visions The Survival Equation:

p. 186 – From Hell & The From Hell Companion Slipcase:

Finally, these two books are conveniently stored in one handy slipcase so you can continue to enjoy that one volume again and again.
p. 218 – Science Is The New Rock ‘n’ Roll:

…In that an uncomfortable number of parents think science is also from the devil? Or that Neil deGrasse Tyson once played a flaming guitar with his tongue before smashing it onstage? Or that if you play the Second Law of Thermodynamics backwards, you hear a mysterious warbling voice intoning “GOD DID IT?”
p. 268-9 – Jughead #1:

New interpretations of the Archie gang are beginning to pile up…we’re going to see some kind of “Crisis of Infinite Archies” or “Secret Archie Wars” or some darned thing pretty soon. New Look Archie versus The New Archies, “Death of Archie” Archies vs. To Riverdale and Back Again Archies — you know, like that.

Yeah, I’d totally buy that.
p. 318 – Aliens/Vampirella #1:

DO NOT REVEAL THE SHOCKING ENDING [the Alien Queen emerges from the shadows, wearing Vampi’s costume — unspeakable desires awaken across America].
p. 451 – The Ages of Iron Man SC:

Let’s see…Silver, Bronze, Copper…nope, no iron. Sorry.
p. 458 – The Big Bang Theory Kit:

Not pictured: a “Yes, This Store Is Just Like The Big Bang Theory” t-shirt for comic shop owners.
p. 458 – Ghostbusters The Ultimate Visual History HC:

A whole chapter devoted to close-ups of bro ‘Busters fans crying after finding out just how they’re getting Ghostbusters 3 finally? Delicious.
p. 478 – Swamp Thing “Flip Mask” Black T-Shirt:

Will be wearing this all day, every day at the shop. Just me, shirt pulled up over my head, silently standing behind the counter. Occasionally I’ll shift slightly in your direction if you speak or make a sound.
p. 495 – Back to the Future Monopoly Board Game:

Do not pass GO, do not make like a tree and get out of here.
p. 520 – Pop! Peanuts Vinyl Figures:

Oh, good, I was wondering when Peanuts Zombies would hit the shelves.
p. 528 – Legend of Zelda Link Deluxe Adult Kit:

“GASP! Master gave Dobby a windsock!”

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ May 28th, 2015 § Filed under End of Civilization § 13 Comments

It’s back, and more annoying than ever…the End of Civilization, as we gaze ahead two to three months (or up to six months, in the case of some merchandise) to see what dangers loom ahead for the world that we know. Take out your copy of the Diamond Previews, June 2015 edition, and follow along as we see what terrrors await us all:

p. 129 – Deathstroke Book and Mask Set:

If only this existed back when Seduction of the Innocent was published…we could have had manufactured data about kids putting their own eyes out pretending to be Slade Wilson.
p. 140 – Central City Police Badge:

Kids wearing their Central City Police Badge replicas, facing off against kids with their Gotham City Police Badge replicas on the playground, arguing all recess over who has jurisdiction. Oh, what a world that would be.
p. 146 – DC Comics Swamp Thing Action Figure:

“Excuse me, I don’t see the words ‘glow-in-the-dark’ anywhere in this solicitation. Do you expect me to go through life with only two different glow-in-the-dark Swamp Thing figures?”
p. 155 – Godzilla in Hell #2:

“On the Third Circle of Hell, we find the Gluttonous. On the Fourth Circle of Hell, the Greedy. On the Fifth Circle…Rodan.”
p. 157 – Star Trek/Green Lantern #2:

You know, if the Guardians of the Universe just gave Green Lantern rings to tribbles, they’d have the galaxy cleaned up in no time.
p. 217 – Sex Criminals #13 Coop XXX Variant:

Hold on just a second…Coop, doing a naughty picture for a variant cover? Well, I certainly find that hard to believe.
p. 276 – Ink for Beginners A Comic Guide to Getting Tattooed:

Okay, here’s something I’ve probably mentioned here before, but this is good comic-related tattoo advice, based on an absolutely true story.

One day, some folks from a local tattoo emporium dropped by and took some of our freebies — Comic Shop News, some Marvel flyers, etc. — to take back to their place. Some time later, one of those fellows returned to the shop and asked if I could answer a question for him. “Sure,” I said, and he immediately pulled up a sleeve to reveal a large forearm tattoo of a Marvel character.


“Uh…it’s X-23,” I managed to say, not quite believing that this was happening.

“Thanks!” the fella said.

Well, I mean, I guess he was happy, so who am I do judge, but seriously…if you don’t know who a particular character is and are sort of maybe curious about it, the time to find out that information is quite possibly prior to having that character become a permanent part of your body. Just a little bit of advice from your pal Mike to you.
p. 471 – Jurassic World Velociraptor Claws:

Finally they found a use for that warehouse full of unsold Hulk 2099 fists.
p. 494 – Stan Lee 1/6-Scale Action Figure:

I see the smaller scale prototypes are in for how they’re going to replace the real Stan when he can’t do film cameos any more.
p. 494 – The Simpsons Homer Buddha 3-Inch Figure:

There were apparently some marketing issues with the Ned Flanders Jesus figure.
p. 497 – Masters of the Universe Man-at-Arms 1/4 Scale Figure:

“Tom Selleck in a role you won’t soon forget.”
p. 508 – Attack on Titan Levi 1/8-Scale PVC Figurine:

Now if that top of that Titan head that functions as a base were actually some kind of rubbery skullcap, why, you’d have the fanciest topper at the ball, that’s what you’d have.
p. 530 – Hybrid Metal Figuration “Superman DC Comics Version” Figure:

These continuing redesigns of the New 52 Superman are just getting weirder and weirder.
p. 561 – Avengers Age of Ultron 5-Inch Bobbleheads:

“Rick Moranis is ‘Iron Helmet’ in Mel Brooks’s Avengers 3: Men in Spandex.”
p. 566 – Gumby Many Moods Bendable Figure Box Set:

I liked Gumby better when he was just fighting crime on Earth, instead of all these different Gumby Corps fighting each other in space all the time.
p. 567 – The Walking Dead RV Walker Ceramic Cookie Jar:

Little Billy: “Grandma, can I have a cookie?”

Grandma: “Oh, certainly dear, help yourself. They’re in the kitchen.”

Little Billy: “Okay, I’ll go get one right…AAAAAAAH! NEVER MIND, I DON’T WANT ONE!”

Grandma [whispering to herself]: “yessssssss, more cookies for me, excellent
p. 572 – Dungeons & Dragons Beholder Dice Bag:

The second item on today’s list that should have been a hat.
p. FS1 – The Top Ten Greatest Comic Book Video Games article:


Marvel Previews p. 100 – Fallen Son The Death of Captain America TPB:

“If only there were some way we could relive those couple of months where we all pretended Captain America was dead ‘n’ gone for good.”


Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ February 27th, 2015 § Filed under End of Civilization § 5 Comments

Back after a brief hiatus, the End of Civilization returns to warn you what awaits in your local comic shop’s future! Forewarned is four-armed, after all, so crack open your copy of Diamond Previews March 2015 edition and follow along! Also, here’s hoping enough of you read the Dirk Gently novels to know what I’m talking about in my alleged joke for it:

p. 42 – Fight Club 2 #1:

“The Third Rule of Fight Club is that a Fight Club must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.”


“The Third Rule of Fight Club is just keep on talking about Fight Club and its rules, I mean what the hell at this point, right?”


“Um actually there are eight rules of Fight Club, your jokes are dumb”
p. 112 – Convergence: Swamp Thing #2:

So if you’re a big dope like me and just have to be a completist about certain characters, then you end up doing dumb things like buying both the main cover of Convergence: Swamp Thing #2 (the big pic there) and the Chip Kidd-designed “variant” cover (the little inset), even if you think the “variant” is, well, kinda so-so. I mean, maybe when all those variants are up on the rack they’ll give an impression of, well, some kind, but just on its own…I don’t know. I may have poked some slight fun at the design with an image on the Twitters recently:

p. 153 – The Flash Reverse-Flash Ring:

“Hey, I really like your Flash ring!”

“Actually, it’s the Reverse-Flash ring, worn by the Flash’s arch…enemy, um…from the future…uh, yeah, I really like my Flash ring, too.”
p. 155 – Wonder Woman The Art of War Wonder Woman by Robert Valley Statue:

Man, the Lady Apple Bonkers are hot:

ALTERNATE GAG: That statue’s legs are almost as long as the statue’s name.
p. 161 – Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #1:

I’m kind of hoping there’s a plotline in the comic about how they have to go back in time to prevent Keven Smith from finishing Daredevil/Bullseye: The Target in order to save the universe.
p. 436 – The Art of the Pimp: One Man’s Search for Love, Sex and Money:

“Dennis Hof, proprietor of the world-famous Moonlite BunnyRanch brothel and the P.T. Barnum of prostitution, charts his path to fame and infamy, while dispensing homespun wisdom about sex, sales, money, and how to live as the country’s most recognizable pimp. In The Art of the Pimp, Dennis Hof offers a hilarious, insightful, behind-the-scenes look at life as the proprietor of The Moonlight BunnyRanch and recounts his chaotic life as the king of America’s sex industry.”

Comics, everyone!
p. 482 – Firefly Jayne Cobb with Hat Legacy Collection Action Figure:

Actually, it’s about ethics in knit caps.
p. 490 – Batman 1966 Dynamic Duo Monolith:

Say, why don’t we have a giant statue for Batman and Robin? Maybe we can just hit Mount Rushmore and slap a cowl on George Washington and a mask on Jefferson…and, I don’t know, dye Roosevelt white and green and put a luchador mask on Lincoln. Just spitballin’ here.

While we think about that, please enjoy Batman’s visit to Rushmore:

p. 492 – Avengers Coulson’s Captain America Trading Card Set II:

So Coulson just had card sets in every pocket while he was runnin’ around doin’ stuff in the Avengers movie? Did he have Force Works pogs in his socks? A Nomad phone card in his wallet?
p. 556 – My Little Pony Rainbow Dash Hooded Throw:

Oh, hey, to go with your Doctor Who pony, your very own Lady Cassandra pony:

p. 558 – Roddenberry Trek Fish Car Emblem:

“What does God need with a bumper sticker?”
p. 559 – Star Wars Darth Vader Comfy Throw Fleece Blanket with Sleeves:

Man, even in the upcoming sequels they’ve found a way to undermine Vader’s villainy.
p. 560 – Zombie Window Buddies Decal Sets:

Sure to delight any nearsighted traffic cops that happen to be in your neighborhood!
Marvel Previews p. 131 – Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2 – Revelations TPB:

Oh man, Chip Kidd got to this cover too?

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ December 8th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 11 Comments

Okay, it’s been a while since I’ve fully performed my civic duty of gazing into the mists of the future and divining what terrors await us all. Now that my store is open, however, and surely everything there will run perfectly smoothly with no unexpected problems cropping up ever at any time, I can finally turn my full attention to warning you…yes, you…of the future that’s coming. Grab your copy of Diamond Previews, the December 2014 edition, and follow along, and also try to guess what joke I totally had to Google-research:

p. 82 – Justice League Dark #39:

Ah, DC’s doing some Marvel-style “killing the goose to get the golden eggs” this month by slapping Harley Quinn on all the variant covers, which may burn out interest in the character once and for all. That said…this Scooby-Doo inspired variant for Justice League Dark makes me want an issue of Scooby-Doo Team-Up with Swamp Thing, or even better, someone editing together Scooby cartoons with the Swampy cartoon from the ’90s so we can finally get that scene with Shaggy and Scooby and Swamp Thing chasing each other in and out of an endless hallway of doors while some generic rock-pop song plays in the background.

p. 144 – DC Comics The Justice League Starter Poker Set:

Speaking of Swamp Thing, that looks like him on one of the cards, there, which could lead to some problems: “Hey, Mike’s smiling again…he must have the Ace of Clubs.”

p. 255 – Say My Name T-Shirt:

Sure is nice of Warner Brothers to let Antarctic release a straight-up Shazam! t-shirt.

p. 299 – Lady Death Fetishes Special Deluxe Collector Box Set:

“A 10th anniversary special […] a complete set of first printing copies of all the covers of the Lady Death Fetishes Special! The amazing Deluxe Collector Box set features all 13 of the original covers: Regular, Angelic, Devil Girl, Latex, Lace, Leather, Mistress, Pixies, Art Nouveau, Dressing, Hellish Angel, Cyberbabe, and Bad Girl, and the original Platinum Foil and Gold Foil Editions! Plus, to top it off, a previously unreleased Ruby Red Foil Edition, only available with this set!”

On one hand, I want to make a joke like “paying the $119 retail for this set is practically a fetish for someone right there,” and on the other, I now have ideas for a series of themed ads for my store. “What costume is Mike wearing this w…OH GOD IT’S THE DEVIL GIRL COSTUME”

p. 411 – American Boobs HC:

Comics, everyone!

p. 412 – Exploring Calvin and Hobbes SC:

At last, an in-depth examination of the prehistory for the modern art form of the peeing/praying/possibly both Car Window Kid stickers.

p. 413 – Secret Wars Audio CD:

Imagine my disappointment to discover this was an audio story, and not, say, 12 tracks of rockin’ hits based on the comic books. No “Spidey With The Black Suit On,” no “Hulk Under Pressure,” no “When A Molecule Man Loves A Woman.” Nertz to that.

p. 443 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Boxers:

One of the ways you can tell the Turtles apart is by the kind of instruments they’re holding.

p. 448 – Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Monopoly Game:

Do not pass GO, do not snooch to the n — no…no, I’m sorry, I can’t do it.

p. 449 – Jay and Silent Bob Super Groovy Cartoon Movie Ceramic Mug:

The old gods need to reinvent themselves on occasion to keep themselves relevant. ALL HAIL THE NEW JANUS

p. 454 – Godzilla 2000 Sculpted Pizza Cutter:

Coming soon: the Godzuki Hot Pocket slicer.

p. 459 – Smurfs Monochrome 8-Inch Vinyl Figures:

“Ebon-Smurf and Ivor-Smurf smurf together in smurfy harmony

Side by side on my piano smurfboard, oh Papa Smurf why don’t we?”

p. 464 – Game of Thrones Collectable Dragon Egg Box:

I never thought Diamond would start carrying novelty golf balls, but here we are.

p. 494 – Tamashii Effect Explosion:

“Mom, this popcorn tastes funny.”


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