REMINDER: the Ultimate Powers Jam continues, in which Pal Andrew rolls up a character using the Marvel Super-Heroes role playing game system, and other folks step in to flesh out the character. Probably better than whatever comic you’re reading right now. Unless that comic is All-Star Batman, and nothing is better than that.
AND NOW, A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR: please buy some stuff from our shop’s eBay store. Dig some of these shirts, man. This Jar Jar shirt is made from real Gungan skin. Help me clear some of this stuff out…I need to make room! Thank you.
I haven’t linked to swell chap Tony Isabella in a while, so here’s today’s post of comics reviews. I haven’t really gone out of my way to seek out other people’s opinions of the current Superman books. I’ve been enjoying them, thinking they’re an improvement on what’s been going on with the character since the New 52 hoohar began, so I was interested to see Mr. Isabella’s somewhat-opposed take.
It was pointed out in the comments that the Sluggo doll from this post was probably just some other doll repurposed into a Sluggo doll, and yeah, that’s probably what happened. It was still apparently marketed as a Sluggo doll (along with a Nancy doll) in the 1950s as a Post Grape-Nuts cereal promotion. Here’s a shot of them in their box. …Phew, Nancy didn’t make out so great, either. Assuming that is supposed to be Nancy and not some generic “Girl Friend” as the box would have it.
So Paul wrote in and asked if I had any comment on this week’s delayed arrival of Scarlet #6 from Marvel’s Icon imprint. And I said, “oh, was it late?” and I checked our cycle sheets at the store, and BEHOLD:
Wow, nearly two years between the last two issues. Not quite Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine level, but pretty close. I probably just didn’t notice it because, unlike that Hulk/Wolverine thing, I didn’t have people asking me every day when it was coming out. Or any day, for that matter. Is anything really late if nobody’s waiting for it? …Ooh, okay, that’s a bit harsh. I’m sorry. But not too sorry, because I have to sell these things, and a two-year gap between issues is kind of bullshit, and certainly no way to keep a readership.
And of course there’s the other end of the spectrum, in which we got three issues of The Avengers over the last three weeks, which is also ridiculous. Or two issues of Superior Spider-Man over the last two weeks. Or seven issues of All-New X-Men since mid-November. I’d like to see comics released on a rational, responsible schedule, one where retailers and customers can plan out their spending, and one where the market isn’t flooded so quickly with consecutive issues of a series to the point of discouraging readership, but I suspect I’ll see “Steve Ditko Sings The Hits – Live On-Stage Revue” before that ever happens.
Mmm. Okay, now I’m angry. WHY MUST YOU POKE THE BULL, PAUL?
Let us go on to happier things:
I am getting comments and multiple emails from folks telling me that the current Nancy comic strips are retelling the origin of Sluggo. Read ‘em yourself, starting here. …To think I’d ever see the word “reboot” in a Nancy strip, that wasn’t about, say, Sluggo putting on two pairs of boots.
This is interesting…John MacLeod, one of the contributors to this issue of Ultra Klutz I discussed a while back, popped up in the comments to that post with a couple of details about his contribution to the comic. And it turns out you can read his Dishman comics online (along with his commentary)…and be sure to take a look at his more recent project, Space Kid.
So pal Andres points out this eBay auction to me on the Twitters, and I think “I really shouldn’t try to bid on that, I need to save money,” and “I really shouldn’t try to bid on that, I’ve got enough junk in the house for the creditors to haul out after I’m dead,” and “what’s my eBay password again, I need to go bid on that.”
As it turned out, the auction got too rich for my blood…well, actually, I put in one bid and I was busy working when the auction ended and thus couldn’t enter that last second bidding war which is always so much fun on the eBay. Ah, well, at least I have these images liberated from said eBay auction to remind me of that ship which passed me in the night:
Yes, that’s right, only the Nancy and Sluggo Game dares to bring you an “infinity cover” on its lid. (Not to mention the omnipresent “three rocks.”) This game is produced by Milton Bradley, and has a 1944 copyright notice. The cover appears to be genuine Ernie Bushmiller (there’s his signature, though that doesn’t always mean anything), while the images on the board inside:
…appear to be just slightly off-model, as if traced from original panels, or simply done from scratch by artists at the game company. It’s hard to say without having the actual board right in front of me. As for the game proper, it’s all pretty basic, rolling the die and moving the pieces around the board, gaining advantages or penalties based on what’s in the square you land on, in case you were wondering what a “board game” was like. It’s just that there’s nothing specifically Nancy or Sluggo-ish about the game itself, beyond the imagery. It’s not like you’re moving a Sluggo piece around the board, and lose a turn every time you land on a square containing a hammock or a harmonica…though that‘s within spitting distance of a Nancy and Sluggo role playing game, and I’m not sure the world is quite that ready for such a wonderful thing to exist. (If you’re wondering…yes, the Nancy and Sluggo role playing game would have Gelatinous Cubes in it.)
Speaking of the game pieces, here’s a shot of them from that auction, along with what I’m presuming to be the original die:
Man, they’re just round wood thingies. They don’t even have pictures of the Nancy cast or anything: “HA HA you have to be Pee Wee!” “Dash it all!” Okay, I know it was wartime, and Nancy and Sluggo face decals had to be conserved for the war effort, but still, it’s a bit of a disappointment.
Just a short post to share with you a gift, sent to me by reader Eric – the Listen, Laugh & Learn record from 1982:
“It’s learning, the way you always hoped it would be, filled with songs and laughter.”
“It’s Nancy and Sluggo in their very first record album. They’re here to help your child explore new horizons in learning … with a few giggles along the way. Each story and song is designed to open up young minds to their endless possibilities as they Listen, Laugh & Learn with Nancy and Sluggo.”
Listen, Laugh & Learn • Video Brain • Figure It Out • Anything You Want • Perspecive • Listen, Laugh & Learn (reprise) • When the Levee Breaks”
Okay, maybe not that last one.
I have had a busy weekend, so I haven’t yet had time to give this “vinyl record album” a “spin” on my “record playing turntable” (kids, ask your grandparents what these things mean), so I have no idea if Sluggo was given the deep and rich baritone that he obviously should have. I’ll report when I can.
Also, I shudder to think at what lessons Sluggo has to impart, unleashing his terrible knowledge upon impressionable minds.
1. So reader David was at a convention recently where he encountered Guy Gilchrist, one of the current creators of the Nancy comic strip. Well, he explained to Mr. Gilchrist my little Sluggo Saturday project — I can only imagine how that went! — and apparently it went okay, as Mr. Gilchrist presented David with the following sketch:
I am downright flabbergasted. In times of darkness and despair, I shall simply focus on this image and let its beauty shine over me.
Also, it’s been a while since I’ve done a Sluggo Saturday. I’ll try to cook one up soon.
2. Here’s a thought that crossed my mind when I read the recently-released Fury of Firestorm #13: the general status quo for the character, recently reestablished in the new title, is that two people would merge together to form Firestorm, with one person controlling the body, and the other person existing as a disembodied voice who can mentally communicate with the first person. Or, you know, something like that. You get the idea.
In the old Firestorm comics, sometimes Ronnie (the fella running the body) would be talking out loud to Professor Stein (the poor bastard stuck in the “disembodied voice” position) and someone would walk in on the conversation and would be all “hey, you talkin’ to yourself?” and Firestorm would be all “D’OH!” and embarrassed and stuff, since the Firestorm-is-actually-two-people thing wasn’t general knowledge.
Well, we got a scene like that again in the aforementioned #13 of the new series:
…and what I thought was “wouldn’t people nowadays just assume anyone talking to himself was actually using one of those Bluetooth ear-clip thingies?” That actually happened to me at the shop once, where a sole gentleman was in the middle of a very spirited conversation and I just assumed he simply had a Bluetooth headset on…until I got a good look at him and realized, oh, there’s no cell phone involved here.
Okay, in the panel up there, the dude isn’t explicitly saying that he thinks Firestorm is talking to himself…I mean, I think it’s sort of implied, but I suppose he could be thinking that Firestorm is just yappin’ on his cell. But anyway, I think modern technology may have taken away one of Firestorm’s running gags, and surely the world is poorer for it. (NOTE: Not actually sure of that.)
3. There is no third thing. I’m a big lying poopiehead.