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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.”

“NO, MY KUUJINMARU MACHINE HERO WATARU DIORAMA, RUINED!”

Progressive Ruin presents…not really the End of Civilization.

§ November 14th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 2 Comments

Yeah, I’ll probably be back into the End of Civilization swing of things next month, but I didn’t want this month to go by without noting these goodies from the November Diamond Previews, like the Batman Retro 1966 TV Series Tied-Up Action Figures on page 445:


As a wise man once said…oh, wait, that was me…”this is a fetish for someone.”


Oookay, there, Boy Wonder, simmer down.

Then on page 514 is this parade of Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver-esque items:


…which just goes to show you that there’s nobody who says “no” in the BBC’s licensing department. However, I suspect this is reassuring to folks who know their weird nephew is really into that TV show about the British guy and his magic flying box and there will never be a shortage of things to buy him for those various gift-giving occasions.

…Though those same folks may hesitate a bit at this Doctor Who wristband on page 515:


…which apparently commemorates that one time the TARDIS farted.

Ah, Progressive Ruin…come for the incessant plugging of the shop, stay for the classy jokes. Thanks, everyone, and good night! Tip your waitresses!

Progressive Ruin presents…the shortest ever End of Civilization.

§ September 26th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 7 Comments

Just get out your copy of the October 2014 Diamond Previews and look at this thing. JUST LOOK AT IT:

p. 455 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Mr. Pointy 12-Inch Plush:


So the very first End of Civilization post was a Buffy stake replica made from real wood and kept in a fancy box, and now here we are, with this soft fabric carrot-y looking thing, which, to be fair, seems to be a fairly accurate representation of the item from the TV show. This is how far we’ve come in that nearly ten-year span.

TEN YEARS FROM NOW: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Stake Costume – dress like your favorite Buffy prop based on designs meticulously recreated from carefully selected stills from the show!”

TEN YEARS AFTER THAT: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Talking Stake! One press of a button is all it takes to hear ‘You’ve been Buffied!’ and ‘WILLOW POWERS ACTIVATE’ and ‘What accent is that exactly, Spike?’ and lots more of your favorite Buffy catchphrases!”

AND TEN YEARS AFTER THAT: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Hard Light Hologram Stake – actually it’s just a clear plastic thing with some fiber optic lights inside, but IT’S THE FUTURE! HARD LIGHT HOLOGRAM sounds FUTURE-Y!”

AND YET ANOTHER TEN YEARS AFTER THAT: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Pill-Holding Stake Replica – all you Buffy fans have to keep close tabs on your meds, especially at your age, so let this stake do the work for you! Secure compartments marked with each day of the week ensure you take your Monday pills on Monday!”

AND THEN TEN MORE YEARS: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Replica Stake Funeral Urn” — and let’s just stop right there.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ August 29th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 4 Comments

You! Yes, you! You must heed my warning! I have come from the far-flung future of November 2014 to warn you primitive savages of the tragic future that’s coming! Look to your current day Previews almanac, the September 2014 edition, and learn well from it as I guide you through it and point out the terrors that await you!

Also, there’s a spoiler in here for The Man of Steel film! I understand you ancient peoples still revere the moving picture and the sanctity of its secrets!

p. 126 – Injustice Gods Among Us Year Three #3:


Oh, sure, Swamp Thing’s not good enough for your precious video game, but you’ll put him in the tie-in comic. I see how it is, thinking we Swamp Thing fans are so easily swayed after your earlier refusal to pander to our needs.

‘Course, I’ll buy it anyway, because I’m a chump.

p. 150 – Superman The Man of Steel Superman by Moebius Statue:


Now the solicitation says “this newest entry in the line of statues based on the artwork from SUPERMAN #400,” and I don’t know if that means “this is our newest Superman statue, and this one is based on the illustration from Superman #400″ or “this is the latest in our series of Superman #400-inspired statues,” because I sure don’t remember any previously-statued renditions of Superman #400 pin-ups. I’d certainly remember this one:


Wouldn’t that look good, seemingly busting out of your wall in your house’s study or sitting room?

p. 159 – Angry Birds/Transformers #1:


Uh, guys, it’s okay if you don’t want to cross over things. You really don’t have to.

p. 242 – The Walking Dead Rick Grimes TV 10-Inch Action Figure:


Oh, the ad says “Rick.”

p. 259 – Ewoking Dead T-Shirt:


This may be hypocritical of me, given what I just said about the Angry Birds/Transformers comic, and I don’t know if these shirts are getting better or I’m just getting soft in my old age, but…man, I can’t help it, I think “Ewoking Dead” is kind of funny.

Don’t look at me like that.

p. 473 – Legends of Cthulhu Spawn of Cthulhu Action Figure:


These are about the same size, and close enough in appearance, to the old Star Wars action figures. That would have made my playtime a lot different as a child:

“‘The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age.’

“C’MON MIKE, that’s not what Obi-Wan says about the Force!”

p. 474 – Man of Steel Superman 10-Inch Plush:


Just imagine those cutesy-wutsey puffy hands around Zod’s head, breaking his neck. Why, that would be adorable!

p. 480 – Battlestar Galactica Viper MKH Super-Deform Model Kit:


This is what Starbuck’s ship looks like after he’s had a few drafts of ambrosa and bumps the back of the launch bay during landings a few too many times.

Also, I’m picturing the base as little Flintstones-type feet that spin around in a circle before the ship dashes off, a little deformed Viper shaped puff of smoke left behind.

p. 484 – Man-Thing 1/4-Scale Statue:


This statue better be 21 inches tall, one-fourth of Man-Thing’s documented seven foot height, as indicated in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #8 (1986), or there’s going to be trouble.

Also, I will be accepting donations to help me purchase one of these for myself. Oh no, no need to thank me for allowing you to contribute.

p. 486 – Star Wars Life-Size Vintage Boba Fett Monument:


This Life-Size Boba Fett statue is the edition with the non-firing backpack cannon, after the possible choking hazard threatened by the first version. And by “choking” I mean “taking heads clean off.”

p. 491 – Marvel Deadpool Marvel Now ArtFX+ Statue:


To represent the character even more accurately, they should release four or five marginally different Deadpool statues all at the same time.

p. 502 – Doctor Who The Impossible Set:


Remember that episode where the Doctor and Carla cosplayed as Willy Wonka and Veruca Salt? That was a good one.

p. 523 – Pop! The Walking Dead Vinyl Figures:


Okay, at first glance:


…I thought this was a Charlie Brown zombie. It’s that jagged gap across the stomach that got me.

In fact, as I look at this larger scan…it has to be Charlie Brown. He even has that little tuft of hair at the top of his head. If the next set has a scraggly-haired zombie carrying remnants of a raggedy blue blanket, I’ll know I was onto something.

Marvel Previews p. 24-6 – New Avengers #26-#27, Avengers #38:


Wow, something big is happening in these two Avengers titles, and it’s only six months and approximately 15 to 20 issues away!

Marvel Previews p. 32-3 – Spider-Woman #1:


That is the worst sunburn I’ve ever seen.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ July 25th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 7 Comments

Oh, sure, all those folks are down there in San Diego at the convention, experiencing their very own personal Ends of Civilization, but that won’t stop me from giving you all your regular frog-march through the latest installment of Previews! Grab your August 2014 edition of that esteemed publication and follow along with me:

p. 113 – Harley Quinn Annual #1:


Sure, a special “Scratch and Sniff” issue sounds like fun now, but should Scott Shaw! ever bring back his comic character The Turd, well….

p. 131 – Superman Unchained Deluxe Edition HC:


Hey, I wonder if DC will let us trade in all those #1s we ordered back when we thought this was an ongoing series as credit against orders on this book. That’d be pretty swell.

p. 146 – DC Comics Cover Girls Starfire Statue:


“Hi, Superman! I see you got your shorts back!”

p. 146 – Superman The Man of Steel Superman by Gary Frank Statue:


“Yes, and, oddly enough, I feel so free! Also, how come my statue isn’t called ‘DC Comics Cover Boys?’ I’ve been on covers!”

p. 163 – Edward Scissorhands #1:


Answering all those questions the original film didn’t address, like…c’mon, putting a vast array of unwieldy sharp blades at the ends of his arms? Vincent Price couldn’t put, like, rubber caps on the stumps ’til the hands were ready? Or maybe not activating Edward ’til he was finished? You know, stuff like that?

p. 252 – Rachel Rising #29:


Wow, Lady Death sure looks like she’s mellowed out a bit.

p. 260-1 – Antarctic Press Steampunk Month:


That’s like Aspen Comics advertising “New First Issue Month.”

p. 261 – JAWaS T-Shirt:


Oh, please, another mash-up? Do we really need yet another…um, another…well, okay, I kind of like this one. LOOK, I’M ONLY HUMAN

p. 375 – The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil:


Now what am I going to call my tell-all Alan Moore biography?

p. 434 – Modern Sci-Fi Films FAQ:


“So, do humans really only use 10% of their brains?”

“NO.”

“Was Prometheus any good?”

“NO.”

“Is R2-D2 the best character in the entire Star Wars saga?”

“YES.”

p. 437 – Push Start The Art of Video Games:


Hopefully it’ll include this rare Andy Warhol piece featuring the Hero from the Atari 2600’s Adventure:

p. 440 – DC Chess Collection #70 Constantine (White Pawn):


I wonder how John Constantine would feel about being a pawn. Too bad there’s no “Arrogant Bastard” piece…well, maybe the Knight.

p. 442 – Jack Kirby Collector #64:


In this issue: FORESHORTENING

p. 473 – Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back Cock-Knocker Retro Action Figure:


The barrier’s been breached, boys…you can totally use “cock” as a slang term for “penis” in the pages of Previews. What brave new world we have entered, my friends…what brave new world.

p. 522 – Doctor Who Tardis Spatula, Tardis Tray, “Bigger on the Inside” Welcome Mat:


Once Google Glass (or its competitors/successors) gets to be a little more prevalent, someone will develop an app that will digitally “skin” whatever you look at with whatever imagery you’d like.

These Doctor Who products will give you a little preview of that future.

p. 528 – Sherlock 1/6-Scale Figures:


Well, yeah, $230 bucks each seems a bit steep, but it’s so long between batches of episodes that you’ll be glad to have these figures around to act out your own episodes, fighting crime, solving mysteries, studying clues, kissing each other, racing after suspects, getting into disagreements but working it all out in the end, worrying about…what’s that? Yes, I said “getting into disagreements,” what about it?

p. 552 – Star Wars Millennium Falcon Chopping Board:


“Chewie, I hear a knocking sound from the top of the Falcon! Go check it out!”

“WRRRAAAARROROAAARH!”

“Get up there you big, furry oaf! I don’t care if it does smell like onions!”

Marvel Previews p. 12 et al. – Death of Wolverine The Logan Legacy #1, #2….:


Guys, they wouldn’t be putting out all these Death of Wolverine tie-in comics unless, as it says in the solicitations, he really was “now gone forever” and “permanently out of the picture.” There will never, ever be a “Return of Wolverine” event with a boatload of tie-ins, mark my words.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ June 26th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 5 Comments

Once again the end is nigh, and let us go together through this prophetic tome of doom (AKA Diamond Previews July 2014 edition) and see what awaits. Note: contains one local reference for punk rock fans or close readers of Love and Rockets, and a couple of links to YouTube files, at least one of which should not be clicked on in the presence of loved ones, the family pastor, or sensitive rodents. LET THE END BEGIN:

p. 90 – Superman Unchained #9:


It’s the final issue of what turned out to be a mini-series, which retailers weren’t warned about when it started, so it sure is nice for DC to buy back all those #1s everyone way overordered back then…wait, what? They’re not? Ah, well, that’s okay. Quarter boxes exist for a reason — right, two-or-three-relaunches-back Marvel series?

p. 128 – Batman and Superman Wood Figures:

p. 239 – Pen & Paper Gamer T-Shirt:


Hold on…an Antarctic Press t-shirt that isn’t mashing up Star Trek or Star Wars with, like, steampunk bacon or something? WHOA. Well, okay, a Klingon said that phrase along the bottom once, but still.

p. 259 – God Is Dead #19:


Hey, it’s the special Nardcore issue!

p. 412 – Big Hero 6: The Essential Guide HC:


“SPECIAL NOTE TO INVESTORS: probably too late to start trying to buy Big Hero 6 back issues for quick fat-cash turnaround.”

Also, “From the creators of Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen.” Great, I loved their work in the original Big Hero 6 comics.

p. 413 – Doctor Who Mad Libs:


“Fezzes are [adjective rhyming with ‘pool’]!”

“It’s [adjective rhyming with ‘digger’] on the inside!”

“Oh for God’s sake it’s [just write in ‘Rose’ here] again.”

p. 474 – Firefly Malcolm Reynolds 1/6-Scale Action Figure:


Sure, at $179.95 the price seems a bit steep, but this is a high-quality figure with which you can act out your own new Firefly adventures for a good, long time, since the actual show is never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever coming back to TV.

p. 482 – Re-Animator Finger Creature 1/1-Scale Prop Replica:


Sure, that’s all well and good, but will they be doing a prop replica of that…other reanimated creature from the third film Beyond Re-Animator? (WARNING: Link not safe for work, or pretty much anywhere)

p. 511 – Star Wars Rebels Medium Talking Plushies:


This magical plushie doll comes in the shape of the Star Wars Rebels logo, and says “I’m a Disney/Lucasfilm trademark” whenever it’s lovingly squeezed!

p. 521 – Pop! Breaking Bad Vinyl Figures:


I’m glad to see Breaking Bad Babies is finally getting some traction. Also, there may be a spoiler in that figure assortment.

p. 528 – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy masks:


Well, my wardrobe for the coming fetish ball is all sorted out. Also, what if Baron Zemo was wearing one of those Rocket Raccoon masks instead of that other thing he had on when that accident with Adhesive-X permanently bonded it to his skin? Marvel’s WWII would have gone slightly differently, I’ll tell you that for free.

p. 535-6 – Assorted Walking Dead masks:


You know, this gives me an idea to help all those costume companies avoid heavy expenses with any defective masks that come off the assembly line (or whatever). If the mask comes out deformed or torn or whatever, just paint it to look like rotting bloody flesh and call it a “zombie mask!” I mean, what the heck, right? No one’s going to complain it doesn’t look like a zombie. Like, say, those Guardians of the Galaxy masks. If you had a bad batch come through, just slap a new paintjob on them and suddenly you have “Tree Zombie,” “Zombie Raccoon,” and “Ummm…Darth Zombie, I Guess.”

No need to thank me.

p. 536 – Walking Dead Rick Grimes Machete:


You can buy this for $19, or, um, you know. Of course, you’d have to put the blood spatter on it yourself, but that was just a suggestion, Your Honor, I didn’t actually tell anyone they had to do that.

p. 537 – Galaga Pillow:


So I can just wait for one of those mothership thingies to swoop down and grab my pillow with its tractor beam, I can shoot it later and suddenly have two pillows! My plan is flawless!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ May 30th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 13 Comments

Here he comes, here comes Progressive Ruin, he’s a demon on Previews, as we once again take a look through the industry catalog to see what’s ahead of us on the funnybook racetrack. Grab your copy of the June 2014 Diamond Previews, leave this tortured introduction behind, and let’s gaze into the world that’s coming:

p. 94 – Star Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #2:


Man, if anything called out for one of those 3D covers, it’s this trial run for DC’s “Giant Phallic Symbol Cover Month!”

p. 111 – Harley Quinn #9 & #10:


Two issues scheduled for the month? Well, that’s one way DC can catch up with Marvel.

p. 158 – Cerebus High Society Digital/Audio Experience:


Dave Sim reading Cerebus to you, doing all the different voices, plus sound effects and music and such, while the panels progress before you, all on DVD.

This has inspired a similar project from me, “The Progressive Ruin Experience,” where I’ll just come to your homes and read off old website posts to you. And eat your food. And probably rifle through your wallets and purses when you aren’t looking. INVITE ME IN.

p. 233 – Spawn #246:


You know how I’m usually against constant reboots and restarting series with new first issues and all that? Well, for certain cases, I’d make an exception.

p. 254 – Momeye the Sailor Scout #1:

“She’s Momeye the Sailor Scout! She’s Momeye the Sailor Scout! She gets her bravado from fresh avocados, she’s Momeye the Sailor Scout! In this action/comedy from Fred Perry, Magical Sailor Scout Momeye and her best frenemy, Bruta buddy-brawl their way though one adventure after another. It’s not just gender-bent, it’s gender-punched through the celiing!”

I…I, uh…um…I don’t….

…Okay, you got me. I can’t resist a Popeye parody. But someone’s going to pay for “she gets her bravado from fresh avocados” — and I think that someone…is all of us.

p. 415 – Soul of the Dark Knight SC:


Finally detailing those lost early years of Bruce Wayne during his time at Motown.

p. 419 – Doctor Who The Official Guide on How to Be A Timelord HC:

First, be fictional. Next, um, wear a fez, I think. And be all timey…wimey, right? Is that it? Then kidnap innocent people and make them travel in time with you. And get a robot dog, but surely that goes without saying.

p. 421 – Star Wars in 100 Scenes:


NOTE: all scenes personally reedited by George Lucas to match his final, final vision of the films. Greedo shooting Lando during the Death Star II battle. Ewoks dancing and singing before Senator Palpatine at the Hoth rebel base. Chewbacca running over Jar Jar with Luke’s landspeeder while being chased by the Geonosian army. Biggs is everywhere. The Return of the Jedi post-credit sequence, with the rise of Darth Yoda, his little ears sticking out from either side of his black helmet. All of your favorite moments, featured in this exciting volume!

p. 425 – Marvel Chess Collection Absorbing Man:


Unfortunately, this piece tends to confuse things by turning light or dark depending on what square he’s on.

p. 434 – Doctor Who Stacked Tenth Doctor White T-shirt:


Ah, so it is “timey-wimey.” Also, Time Lord skeletons look weird.

p. 436 – Previews Exclusive Clothing spot ad:


Okay, I wasn’t paying attention when I turned the page, and had my hand covering up part of this image when I looked down and I thought, very briefly, that Diamond was selling shirts with this logo. Not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed by the truth.

p. 442 – Hawkeye Minimalist T-Shirt:


“Hey, I like purple books, too!”

“Uh, that’s not….”

“Dude, I thought Snake Eye’s mask was silver.”

“Huh?”

“I don’t like that your shirt’s telling me to look down at your crotch, you weirdo.”

“BUT IT’S NOT…AUGH”

p. 448 – The Big Bang Theory “I Love Soft Kitty” Black Boxers:


This doesn’t say very good things about me, but “Soft Kitty” was not the first term I associated with that cat face.

p. 455 – Batman Classic TV Series Batman Vinyl Bank:


[drops coins into Best Batman Bank]

“Well done, old chum! It is always wise to put away a little money…for a rainy day.”

“Did…did you just talk to me, Best Batman Bank?”

“Of course, citizen! Open communication is the hallmark of a healthy society!”

“I…I love you, Best Batman Bank.”

p. 460 – Marvel The Infinity Gauntlet Bank & Gold Pewter Keyring:


Okay, bank, fine. Keyring, fine. How ’bout an actual wearable Infinity Gauntlet? This was close, I think, but, like, something affordable. And make it quick, this dishwashing glove with the marbles glued to it isn’t going to last much longer.

Marvel Previews p. 38 – Iron Fist The Living Weapon #5:


Hmmm….


HMMMM….


HMMMM….


…well, maybe not.

p. 63 – Wolverine #12:


Will this be the end for any future Wolverine #1s? Find out in next month’s Wolverine #1!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ May 1st, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 7 Comments

Free Comic Book Day is just around the corner, but even that happy day can’t forestall the coming End of Civilization, predicted right here in the newest Diamond Previews! Grab your copy of the May 2014 edition and follow along, why don’t you:

p. 122 – 136 – The New 52 Future’s End one-shots with 3D covers:


Okay, so ordering DC’s 3D covers last time was a pain in the ass, what with the allocations and shortages and the ensuing hoohar with people trying to grab whatever covers they could find and folks charging $10 apiece for them right out of the gate and I think you’ll agree with me that all sucked.

So now DC is getting orders on 3D covers with (hopefully) enough leadtime to (hopefully) meet demand, and given that the excessive demand last time was mostly based on customers knowing the covers were in short supply, now I have to decide what numbers will actually be enough, if the 3D is “done” and customers won’t be as interested, if overall orders will be conservative and suddenly it’ll seem like there’s not enough to go around and demand jumps again and we won’t have enough, or if everyone overorders and we’re stuck with huge expensive excesses, especially on titles like Grayson which are getting a 3D special one-shot without any reasonable idea how that series is going to sell, aside from the mostly moribund sales for the Nightwing series its replacing, and so on and so on.

Or maybe I’ll get lucky and be hit by a bus before I have to think about placing any of these orders.

p. 143 – Batman Death of the Family Book and the Joker Mask Set:


Comes with “a replica hand-painted vinyl latex mask of The Joker that features sewn-on hair and a white elastic band.” Apparently the do-it-yourself kit that just came with a knife and formaldehyde didn’t make it out of the planning stages.

p. 145 – Forever Evil HC:


Hopefully Volume 2 will include the seventh and final issue of the series, whenever that comes out.

p. 265 – Rabbids Invasion Super Plunger Sound Blaster:


Sometimes things in Previews will make me feel really, really old.

p. 290 – Life with Archie #36:


Ah, yes, the Death of Archie, which 1) I have to explain to everyone looking for it that it’s not really the end of Archie comics for all time, it’s a possible future, blah blah they’ve stopped listening already, and 2) it won’t be out for months, so hopefully you’ll still care when it finally happens this summer sometime!

And look at this totally guilty dude:

p. 298 – Extinction Parade War #1:


Does anyone ever read Avatar’s solicit text all the way through? Maybe they should sneak, I don’t know, a secret phone number in there for people to call for prizes.

p. 414 – Swampmen Muck-Monsters of the Comics SC:


Oooh don’t you tease me again with this book, Twomorrows.

p. 451 – DC Board Book Batman Shapes:


“And what does this shape look like, Batman?”

“JUSTICE.”

“And this one?”

“VENGEANCE.”

“Er, okay. How ’bout this one?”

“M-MY PARENTS! A BLOO BLOO”

p. 451 – DC Board Book Superman Colors:

“And look, Superman, this one’s green!”

“Great Scott! Green (gasp) kryptonite! Feeling…weak! My powers…draining away!”

“Oh for God’s sake, Meryl Streep, it’s just cardboard.”

p. 451 – DC Super Friends Wonder Woman A Word Adventure! Board Book:


“‘It’s too what to make a Wonder Woman movie.’ It’s too what, now?”

“It’s too hard!”

“Yes, that’s right! Very good, Little Billy!”

p. 455 – The Twilight Zone FAQ SC:


“Which episode was the one….”

“‘Time Enough at Last,’ starring Burgess Meredith.”

“Well, what about…?”

“‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,’ starring William Shatner.”

“Okay, then what’s….”

“‘Showdown with Rance McGrew.’ Wow, no one ever asks about that one.”

p. 455 – The Big Butt Book 3D HC:


Comics, everyone!

p. 470 – Topps 2014 Chrome Wacky Packages Trading Cards:


Seems to me like “chrome trading cards” would be the very sort of thing Wacky Packages would make fun of.

p. 492 – Marvel Retro Spider-Man Limited Edition Action Figure Box Set:


Dress Spider-Man three different ways: based on the original ’70s Mego figure, with an updated costume, or as Elvis Costello!

p. 535 – Misc. 300 Rise of an Empire prop replicas:


You know, given enough time, these could be ancient artifacts displayed in a museum. “Here are the originals from approximately 500 BC…and then about 2500 years later, another now-extinct civilization duplicated these weapons and armor using inferior materials, which seemingly resulted in that culture’s eventual defeat and downfall.”

p. 539 – Zombie Magneto Mini-Bust:


why

p. 548 – Freddy Krueger Bishoujo Statue:


You know, just when I thought Freddy Krueger couldn’t possibly be made even more sexy….

p. 557 – Doctor Who Large Tote Bags:


I know y’all like to show everyone you’re a fan of the Doctor, but for the luvva Pete don’t bring this one with you to the airport as carry-on.

p. 584 – Peanuts Snoopy Keychains:


You’re Seriously Tripping Balls, Charlie Brown!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ March 28th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 17 Comments

Hey, remember comics? Boy, I sure do. Those cute little booklets of pictures, folded and stapled, that we all so enjoyed. Those were the days, back when we had trees, and people who could read, and before the electromagnetic pulses destroyed all electronics. Ah, yes.

But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself! Civilization’s still here, but not for long, as perusing this month’s selection of goodies from Diamond Previews may show. Grab your copy of the April 2014 edition and follow along:

p. 101 – Superman #32:

“A NEW ERA for SUPERMAN begins….”

Oh, good, that’s like era number, what, four? five? in the last three years or so?

p. 149 – Superman Vs. Darkseid Statue (Second Edition):


“YOU WILL NEVER HAVE MY MAGICAL POOL OF ORANGE JELLO, KRYPTONIAN!”

p. 150 – DC Comics Super-Villains Harley Quinn Bust / DC Comics Cover Girls Katana Statue:


Oh, sure, the item that might sell has less than half the production run of the statue of the character no one’s ever been interested in, ever.

[THREE DAYS LATER: policeman gather around Mike’s body, slumped over at his computer desk. A spilled Diet Coke is at his feet.

“We’re not sure what happened here. The only clue we have is…this,” says one policeman, as he points at the katana handle sticking out of Mike’s back.]

p. 154 – Scribblenauts Unmasked Mini-Figures Blind Boxes Series 4:


Man, “blind box” packaging. There’s no way they’re going to suck me into buying blind-boxed stuff ever ag…


…DAMMIT.

p. 182 – Star Slammers Re-Mastered! #4:


I can’t believe they got four comics outta space pogs.

p. 259 – Mountain Dewback T-Shirt:


Coming soon: Yodoo-Hoo, 7-Ugnaught, Black Sunkist, Pepsi Max Rebo, Jar Jar Barq’s, and the dreaded Dooku Pepper.

p. 264 – Fathom Annual #1:


To be followed next year by Fathom Annual #1, and then Fathom Annual #1 the year after that.

p. 323 – The Twilight Zone Vol. 1 TPB:


I know the creative team’s decision to tell multi-issue stories over the course of this series was bit of a controversial one, but my disappointment is that the series wasn’t like “Crisis of Infinite Twilight Zones!” The aliens finally decide to take direct action on Maple Street, only to be countered by Mr. Dingle, who retains his superhuman powers from the Martian and Venusian experimentation! Meanwhile, the gremlin, who landed just outside of town after falling from the plane, teams up with Anthony Fremont to exact revenge upon a world that fears and despises them! Will Robot Grandma step in to help save the world, even as the Kanamits wait in orbit to eat whoever survives?

…I probably need to get out more.

p. 353 – The Smurfs Volume 18: The Finance Smurf:


Bilderberg Smurf’s secret meetings are looked upon with suspicion by Conspiracy Smurf: “They’re up to something smurfy…very smurfy indeed,” he says during his Smurf-to-Smurf AM radio interview.

p. 367 – Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor #1 / Doctor Who The Eleventh Doctor #1:


…released on a just slightly more-than-monthly schedule, with, I’m sure, a Twelfth Doctor series in the offing. And then, eventually, Doctors One through Nine get their own 15-issues-a-year series, and then there’s the War Doctor series telling all those adventures from those missing years. And then the series with the Curator from Day of the Doctor, fighting art thieves and such. And then a series starring the companions…heck, a series for each companion. Sarah Jane, of course, and Ace because Ace is awesome, and K-9, probably Leela, and sure, Rose, why not. And a Brigadier series. And a series for Vastra, Jenny and Strax. And so on.

Will probably still only be about half of the number of Avengers titles that’ll be on the stands by the time they get all these out.

p. 431 – Dream Vader T-Shirt:


Oooh Dream Vader
I believe you can get me to the lightsaber fight
Oooh Dream Vader
I believe we can find the Jedi Knights
Fly me high through the starry skies
Maybe to Dantooine
Cross the highways of hyperspace
Help me to forget Tatooine

p. 434 – Adventure Time Duality Leggings:


Yet another piece of clothing to add to the official store uniform.

p. 480 – Doctor Who Stress Toys:


Oh, good, I’m going to need these squeezable stress toys…

p. 481 – Mr. Potato Head Doctor Who Figures:


…after looking at these nightmarish things. Sheesh.

p. 489 – Star Wars R2-D2 Egg Cup:


Knowledge of the reproductive cycle of the droid is not for the weakhearted.

p. 501 – Doctor Who Car Magnet 3-Packs:


Okay, items like these generally only make sense to other fans of the property when they’re out of context like this. But, c’mon, “Bad Wolf” barely made sense in context.

p. 507 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Soft Touch PVC Key Holders:


“Honey, which one’s the key to the Ranger?”

“The Donatello one!”

[stares at the key rack for another five minutes]

Marvel Previews p. 75 – Marvel Minimates Series 57 Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Asst.:


Featuring a bunch of other sets that you’ll be shoving aside only to discover you can’t find the Drax/Groot/Rocket Raccoon pack.

Marvel Previews p. 79 – Marvel Masterworks Not Brand Echh Vol. 1 HC:


A missed opportunity to make one of the book’s variant covers look like the DC Archives trade dress.

“NOT BRAND ECHH ARCHIVES” — one of you Photoshop masters can slap together a replacement dustjacket for this, I’m sure.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ February 27th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 23 Comments

So I totally forgot that last month’s End of Civilization entry was the ninth anniversary of what I consider to be the very first EoC post, about the Buffy replica stake.

Nine years. Nine years of near-naked Japanese girly statues. Nine years of crazy prop replicas. Nine years of Monopoly jokes. Nine years of Marvel’s publishing shenanigans. Why, it only feels like I’ve been doing this for about 108 months.

And apparently I haven’t learned my lesson, because I’m doing it for another month. Get your March 2014 edition of Diamond Previews and follow along, as I hypocritically make fun of things I’m probably ordering for the store, and, in at least one case, myself:

p. 48 – Star Wars Rebel Heist #2 (of 4):


So, get ready to see this comic, and its eventual trade/hardcover collection, going for stupidly high prices on eBay shortly after Marvel takes over the franchise and the book’s printing lifespan of a couple of months or so is put down right quick.

Nice cover, though.

p. 89 – Marvel Classic Character X-Men 94 #3 – Cyclops:


“Ooooh, I’ve got such the headache, and massaging your own temple just doesn’t do it!”

p. 96 – Superman: Doomed #1:


1992: Line wrapped around the block, everyone waiting to get their “last issue” of Superman.

2014: Occasionally a customer will glance at this cover. “Huh, I thought Superman was dead. They’re still making his comics?”

p. 161 – DC Comics Icons Superman 1:6 Scale Statue:


“Clark? Clark, what’s taking you so long in the bathroom?”

“I’m…uh, I’m oiling my costume, Mom!”

“(sigh) I don’t know about that boy.”

p. 227 – The Walking Dead #127:

“In the aftermath of ‘ALL OUT WAR’ we discover…A NEW BEGINNING.”

Well, off to the next community of survivors who aren’t all that they seem!

p. 271 – Carpool T-Shirt:


So the difference between this “parody” shirt and what could actually be a Deadpool shirt is…what, exactly?

p. 275 – Sonic Super-Sized Digest #7:


I haven’t seen so many wieners in a piece of Sonic the Hedgehog art since the last time I looked at Tumblr.

p. 315 – Iznogoud Volume 9: The Grand Vizier Iznogoud GN:


Mike, circa 1989, helping a customer with back issues: “Here’s the Ms. Tree box…oh, ‘Ms. Tree!’ ‘Mystery!’ I get it!”

Mike, about a month ago, helping a customer look for humorous European graphic novels: “Here’s Iznogoud…oh, ‘Iznogoud!’ ‘Is No Good!’ 25 years later, I’m still stupid!”

p. 415 – The Quotable Doctor Who Wise Words Across Space and Time HC:


Simulate being in a crowd of Doctor Who fans by reading this book out loud to yourself!

p. 417 – Planet of the Apes Miniature Book Kit with Sound:


Okay, forget the sound bit (not Charlton Heston growling “write me out of most of the sequel, damn you,” but it should be), but let’s focus that this comes with a bag of actual sand that you can spread out on, I don’t know, your mantle next to Great-Aunt Gail’s urn as a base for your Taylor and Horse versus Lady Liberty diorama.

Here’s hoping the eventual The Shining Elevator Scene Kit comes with a pouch of fake blood.

p. 442 – Spider Pog T-Shirt:


Sometimes I mock Previews, sometimes it mocks me back.

p. 457 – Sin City Monopoly:


“Go to the electric chair. Go directly to the electric chair. Do not cross Senator Roark.”

p. 459 – Darth Vader Tinned Mints:


haaaaaa PURRRRR haaaaaa PURRRRR

“Why, Lord Vader, may I compliment you on how fresh your breath smells today!”

“ARE YOU SAYING MY BREATH DOES NOT NORMALLY SMELL FRESH?”

“N-n-no, Lord Vader, I, uh, I’m just….GACK! (choke!)”

“FEEL THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE. AND ALSO THESE TASTY, FRESHENING MINTS.”

p. 459 – Space Dog Tin Toy:


Man, this early version of K-9 is pretty rough.

p. 498 – DC Hero Swamp Thing Sofubi:


The upside of Swamp Thing comics not being published: much easier to keep up on buying appearances and merchandise.

The downside of Swamp Thing comics currently being published: “$119 for a Japanese import Swamp Thing toy! SON OF A BITCH”

p. 503 – The Beatles Yellow Submarine Titans Mini Figures:

“We are all
Tiny plastic things
Tiny plastic things
Tiny plastic things”

p. 527 – The Walking Dead Daryl Crossbow Mug:


I didn’t get this before, and I don’t get it now. Is “If Daryl Dies We Riot” really that strong of an iconic quote from The Walking Dead? Some kind of rallying cry, a mission-statement-y kind of thing? I mean, I’ve watched the whole series so far, and I don’t even remember anyone saying this. Not saying they didn’t, just that it apparently wasn’t all that memorable.

Now, if at some point Rick looks at the screen and declares “we ARE the walking dead,” put that on a mug.

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