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.

Would Swamp Thing’s favorite skateboard trick be the salad grind?

§ September 30th, 2016 § Filed under swamp thing § 2 Comments

Thanks to Twitter pal Sean for sending this my way…a poster for a concert that, alas, was a few days ago as I write this, so if you wanted to go, you missed it. I sincerely hope there was a skateboarding Swamp Thing at the show, as advertised.

I’m reminded of something from a long time ago, the misty dawn of the 1990s, when old friends Rob (bass) and Zack (vocals) were in the local nerd-punk band Phooey. They were going to be doing a show with The Muffs, and I’d found a panel from a Harvey comic that would have made for a good flyer. It was a shot of, I believe, Spooky, exclaiming “PHOOEY! It’s no fun to play with girls!” I thought it was funny, but alas, the flyer was never made, but it’s just as well — I wouldn’t have wanted to make it even the tiniest bit easier for the he-man woman-hater types that pollute the internet now to find said image for sadly non-humorous, non-ironic usage.

Yes, that first line is in the original cartoon.

§ September 28th, 2016 § Filed under cartoons, superman § 4 Comments


“So long, my Super-Robot! Bring back lots of juicy loot!”




“I said ‘loot,’ you stupid robot! LOOT!”


images from The New Adventures of Superman, “The Two Faces of Superman” (originally aired December 24th, 1966)

That red arrow is pointing at Pal Dorian’s old car.

§ September 26th, 2016 § Filed under free comic book day, retailing, self-promotion, sterling silver comics § 4 Comments

Oops, sorry, I really was planning to have a post on Friday, and then when I missed that, a post on Saturday…but I have an excuse, honest. I was out car-shopping, and then, eventually, car-buying, over the last week, and was coming in awfully late and very tired in the evenings. Turns out that, if you’re running a shop seven days a week, that doesn’t leave you with a whole lot of time to do other things, like, oh, say, getting a new vehicle to replace the old about-to-die one.

Yes, buying a new car wasn’t something I wanted to do, but rather had to do, as my old pickup, immortalized in this Google Earth image from long ago (pointed at by the blue arrow):

…was well north of 200,000 miles on the odometer, and a visit for a smog check resulted in the mechanic telling me “I can’t test this thing,” so that, and several other issues, resulted in the need for a new Mikemobile. And thus, the 1994 Mazda B2300 is dead, long live the 2016 Hyundai Tuscon. …Actually, I tried to buy used, but it turned out there was nary a difference in price between a used 2015 Tuscon and a new 2016 one, and frankly, instead of driving a car that already had 20,000 miles on it, I’d rather put those 20,000 miles on it myself (or approximately 1,200+ trips back and forth between my home and the store).

So anyway, I have a new car, with all kinds of crazy electronic gadgetry I have to learn, as my previous vehicle was essentially a collection of levers and pulleys and this new car is like a more advanced version of KITT from Knight Rider. But now Caveman Mike have new magic machine to bang club on, and Blogging Mike should be back on schedule with his website. Thank you for your patience.

Oh, and by the way, on a completely unrelated note, now might be a good time to, say, come shop at my store, or maybe buy something from my eBay listings, or even patronize my Patreon. Or just overnight me a shoebox full of twenties, that’d be okay, too.

• • •

Okay, how ’bout some comic book-type stuff? I kept meaning to do a little write-up about DC’s Batman Day event, in which DC tries to get the word out about this crazy dude what dresses like a bat and fights crime. Yeah, okay, it’s the comic industry’s version of advertising Coca-Cola, but there’s usually a freebie of some kind involved (this year, a reprint of the recent Batman #1 from the Rebirth event), and it does get folks into the shop. I did the same thing I did last year, and set up a table filled with Bat-books and boxes of back issues and offered discounts on all the stuff, and did some pretty good business. Certainly there were people out enjoying Batman Day decked out in their Bat-regalia…shirts and dresses and the like, and I barely had to advertise it at all for the event to be considered a success.

Now, this is all part of trying to create Free Comic Book Day-esque events throughout the year to generate business for comic shops, like the still-forthcoming this year Halloween-Fest and Local Comic Shop Day. That’s fine, I won’t say no to stuff like this that’ll boost sales, especially when they don’t really require a whole lot of effort. Advertise, have the goodies ready for the day, and be a happy and polite retailer that welcomes everyone that comes into your shop. Actually, that’s good advice year-round, though it sounds like some folks can’t even manage that minimal amount of effort, as related by pal Shane on his Twitter.

Speaking of stores, Diamond Comics has regular Best Business Practice awards, and this year I put my shop in for Best Free Comic Book Day 2016. Only Diamond accounts can vote, so I can’t push the Progressive Ruin Army to my bidding here, but I figure I was the only comic shop with Jaime Hernandez, Batman, and my dad in-store for FCBD this year, so surely I have a chance at claiming this honor. (And if Jaime, Batman and my dad did all show up at another store without my knowing…well, wouldn’t that have been something.)

Oh, and I did another Back Issue of the Week at the store site, too. These are fun to do! Maybe I should start a comic book blog.

And one more bit of Turok Dinosaur Hunter first issue follow-up from last week: read this account of the dreaded fate that befell approximately 5,000 copies of said comic, if you dare.

And now, my favorite character from the near-conclusion of a comic book car chase.

§ September 21st, 2016 § Filed under atlas § 7 Comments


Just look at this guy:

This artist sought the perfect depiction of “dude inconvenienced by the regular goings-on of the star of the comic book” and he achieved it. What is this guy’s story? Where did he come from? Where was he headed? How did the actions of the main characters prevent him from achieving his goals? Why is he so quick to the threat of violence? Alas, with no Atlas/Seaboard equivalent of Astro City to follow the lives of these incidental supporting figures, we may never know.

from Police Action #1 (February 1975) by “Jack Younger” (Russ Jones), Mike Sekowsky and Al McWilliams

So it was probably about time to add a “Turok” category to my site.

§ September 19th, 2016 § Filed under retailing, turok § 5 Comments

Because you demanded it…TUROK DINOSAUR HUNTER FOLLOW-UP:

So after my post on Friday, I was going through a bunch of boxes at home and found my stash of planned eBay fodder that predated opening my store. In that box was my personal collection of the Valiant Comics Turok run, up through about issue 30. I think that was about the time I’d stopped reading Valiant Comics anyway, after losing interest in what had been an entertaining/exciting line of shared universe books, but that’s probably a subject for another post. But I still have my very own copy of the embossed foil chromium-carded cover, which I’m oddly pleased by.

Speaking of which, Aaron said in response to Friday’s post:

“Pretty sure it was solicited as a chromium cover similar to Bloodshot #1 which also was basically just a glued on card. The solicits made a huge deal about X-O Manowar #0 being a full chromium wraparound cover which was way better (and cooler) than either the Bloodshot or Turok…”

That sounds likely. I mean, it’s possible it was originally solicited one way but released as we know it if it turned out the full chromium cover wasn’t feasible. But, if that happened, that would have been a pretty big deal, I’d imagine, and a sizeable egg in Valiant’s face that would have been noted somewhere in something more Google-able than anything I’m finding now.

Jer said:

“So Turok #1 goes for $2.25 these days, huh? It used to be one of the comics that I would regularly see in large blocks in dollar bins – just sitting there sadly hoping some child would pay a dollar for the shiny cover.”

Well, that particular copy in the shape that it’s in, I have priced at $2.25. I think it guides for…$4, maybe? Now at the previous place of employment, we had…more than plenty, shall we say, so we thought nothing of dumping ’em in the old bargain bin. Okay, maybe not “nothing” — I’m sure we sighed a little as we tossed in there alongside Wolfpacks and Semper Fis — but their familiarity in the storage room bred some contempt out in the front of the shop, so away they went, hoping someone would take pity on us and haul them away a copy at a time.

At my shop, I think I have just that one copy currently in stock. And I’ve sold a few since opening, none of which were out of the bargain bin. Twenty-something years on, it may not necessarily be as widely available as it once was. Stores that were around then that are still around now are few and far between, and stocks from old now-closed shops may be languishing in garages or storage units or landfills somewhere, effectively off the market. I mean, this is just me throwing a wild guess out there — you know where to debate me — but barring warehouse finds (or an E.T. Atari game-style archeological dig) newer stores, like mine, probably won’t have Turok #1s in depth. And like I said in that post on my store site, fancy covers are getting rediscovered by newer generations who weren’t make sick of them back in the ’90s, so there is a market slowly building for them again!

Wayne answers my question about what was under that chromium card on Turok‘s cover:

“…It was just blank white space beneath the glued on chromium. I’d forgotten about how many issues of this comic our store had left over. Our real death knell came when the four different covers for DEATHMATE came out.”

Thanks for that info, Wayne! And as for the overstock on Turok, a look back at my review of the animated Turok movie reminded me that in the extra feature, it was revealed that 1.7 million copies were shipped to stores. So, yeah, like i said in answer to the previous question, they’re likely out there, somewhere, waiting for their moment to strike, but as for now they’re probably not as widespread as they used to be. There are some larger shops still around now that were around back then, who may have Turok wings in their storage buildings, but like I said, newer shops may not have built up a stock on these yet. (As opposed to the 1992 X-Men #1, where I haven’t been actively buying them and yet I seem to have, out of nowhere, built up a pretty good supply of them, somehow.)

There’s also the “SHAZAM! Effect,” as described here in yet another post where I talk about Turok #1, where copies are dumped in bargain bins and generally mistreated for decades when suddenly, whoops, near mint copies are suddenly hard to find now. Okay, 1.7 million copies are quite a few to work through, but there may be a point, someday, where nice copies of this comic are the exception, not the norm. We may all be giant-headed cyborgs with spindly bodies in floating chairs by then, but, you know, it’s theoretically possible.

One other thing that can contribute to the attrition of nice copies of this comic (or any popular, way overprinted comic of the ’90s) came up in a Twitter chat I was having with pal Brandon. He was asking about the black-bagged Superman #75, and I noted that while there were a lot of copies sold of this, it seems like a lot of the copies I’ve seen come through the shop over the years were not kept in any kind of decent condition. This happens a lot: I direct you to this (gasp) 10-year-old post about an attempted investment collection where said investor did nothing to protect this investment. A lot of the people who bought comics in the ’90s are not buying comics now, and their collections have largely been discarded, shoved away in the garage, or otherwise no longer being stored properly since their owners have lost interest. A good portion of collections I see from this era are just straight-up unsellable. You’d think with all the bags and boards and top-loaders and high-end fancy-pants protectors we sold throughout the decade, more comics would have survived the trip.

Just to be clear: I don’t think near mint copies of Turok Dinosaur Hunter #1 are rare in the slightest. But they may not be as easy to find as they once were.

As for Deathmate…man, I may have to gather my thoughts on that turkey for future discussion, but I think it’s cute how hard folks tried to make Deathmate: Black a hot comic because Gen13 made an early appearance in it. Frankly, I think even typing the word “Deathmate” made all comics in my immediate area lose 20% of their value.

If my cunning scheme works, I’ll pull in a whole $2.25 on this comic.

§ September 16th, 2016 § Filed under self-promotion, sterling silver comics, turok § 3 Comments

So I decided to put more of my hard-earned blogging skills to use and start a new feature on my store’s website: Back Issue of the Week. Now, I don’t expect to be quite so verbose in future installments, but I certainly picked a comic with a lot of historical industry significance behind it that needed some ‘splaining. I tried really hard to not go too heavy on the “remember when the comics business was really dire?” aspects of it since, you know, it is a store webpage and I want people to be happy and want to buy comics. But on the other hand, a little history lesson about a bit of the comics industry that a significant percentage of my customer base isn’t even old enough to remember might not be unwelcome.

Plus, that particular comic is pretty neat-looking, and, believe it or not, still sells. They keep showing up in collections, I keep buying them, and they keep selling. Whether it’s the persistent Valiant back issue market that’s been kind of lurking in the background ever since Valiant Version One went away*, or it’s the fact that (as noted in my store post) people are snapping up gimmick-covered comics again as interesting novelties…whatever the reason, they’re still moving.

One question I still have about that issue of Turok, and one I brought up before on this site, years ago, is whether or not it was originally solicited as having a full chromium cover, instead of just the glued-on chromium card. I have a vague memory that this was the case, though when I last mentioned it someone dropped into the comments and basically said I was a dummy for even thinking it, of course it wasn’t originally solicited with a full chromium cover. I remain unconvinced, though the fact that if such a change was made at the last second, this issue would have been made returnable…unless the change was announced way ahead of time and we were given opportunity to alter our orders, and we didn’t. Anyway, I don’t have access to the 23+ year-old appropriate distributor materials from which I may glean this information, so What Can You Do?

Another question I had, and one I was very tempted to determine for myself: is there anything under that chromium sheet? Is it just a blank rectangle, like I suspect, or is the border image continued beneath, just unembossed? Will it be the same poisonous and/or explosive material we were told we’d find at the center of a golf ball? One of these days I’ll get a crummy, unsellable copy of this comic in and I’ll find out for myself.

Anyway, enough about me, here’s more about me: I once again contributed to the Trouble with Comics Question Time, this time addressing “Comic Numbering: Is It Good? Should It Be Replaced?? Let’s Find Out!” You won’t be surprised to discover that I just go on and on and on.

* I’m considering the Nintendo comics-era Valiant to be Version Zero.

You don’t actually need to remind me…I’m thinking about it already.

§ September 14th, 2016 § Filed under pal plugging § 1 Comment


  • So you folks remember Batman paying a visit to my shop during Free Comic Book Day? Sure you do. Anyway, here’s the Facebook cosplay page for customer Mark, who may or may not have had something to do with that particular occurrence.
  • Pal Andrew looks back at a few Nobody’s Favorites from the 1980s Superman reboot. One of these days I need to do a post about this particular event, how it was both sort of necessary and sort of a symptom of the End Times…someone remind me. …Though come to think of it, it would probably be 1,500 words basically getting to the same point Andrew arrives at in a single short and elegant paragraph. Well, we’ll see.
  • Surely you’ve been following along with A Month of Board Games, as presented by Bully the Little Pop-O-Matic Bull?
  • Pal Shane, one of the Old Timey Comics Bloggers who was there with us back in the days when people read comic blogs, has returned and is now posting at Near-Mint Hero. Hi Shane!

What if my dad had bought me Son of Satan #8 (Feb 1977) instead?

§ September 12th, 2016 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 11 Comments

This is a scan of the cover to the first issue of What If, dated February 1977. In fact, this is my personal copy. When this comic was released, I was seven years old, and I was at home, sick, suffering one of my several bouts with bronchitis. My dad, about to go grocery shopping, asked if there was anything I wanted while he was out, and I asked him to buy a comic book for me. Didn’t specify which one…pretty much anything would have been good to seven-year-old me.

And What If #1, the very copy pictured above, is the one he picked out for me. Now, as a seven-year-old Mikester, I don’t really recall just how familiar I was with either Spider-Man or the Fantastic Four. I mean, sure, I suppose I knew Spider-Man from the cartoons, at least, and I’m pretty sure I’d seen FF comics once or twice…my cousin had a copy or two I remember perusing, and I know I inexplicably had a copy of this terrifying comic from just a few months prior, so I had some passing familiarity with the concept. And though I don’t specifically recall watching any, I’m sure I’d probably caught an FF cartoon or two along the way.

As such, this comic was more or less one of, if not the, earliest Spider-Man and/or Fantastic Four comic of My Very Own, and naturally it’s one that played with the established continuity of the characters.

I got the concept, I’m reasonably certain. Repeated exposure to the old Land of the Lost TV show and its heady-for-’70s-kid-vid sci-fi concepts of parallel universes and time paradoxes and whatever probably helped prime me for the premise of this comic. The Watcher, the bald fella what lived on the Moon and watched things, would present to us, the bronchitis-afflicted seven-year-old readers, what could have happened if things just went a wee bit different in the Marvel Universe that we knew. Or, in my case, only barely knew, though this issue did a good job of explaining “here’s what really happened, and now here’s what we propose might have happened” and even my young illness-addled mind could grasp it. Helping matters is a one-page catch-up on the origins of the characters, which I’m sure I appreciated.

Also helping was a two-page spread where the Watcher goes into detail about what he means by “parallel realities” and “alternate times” and all that other hoohar, providing examples from previously-published Marvel comics. Amusingly enough, the spread also includes this bit of business referencing the company’s recent crossover with DC Comics, in which ol’ Web-head meets Superman:

…and of course plays coy as to whether or not this actually took place in another universe or not. I hadn’t read that particular crossover yet when I first read this first issue of What If, but I knew about it from ads I’d seen, and even then I knew that a character from Marvel Comics meeting a character from DC Comics was a Big Deal. I felt at the time like somebody was getting away with something by sneaking Superman’s blue-sleeved arm into this comic…and you know, decades later, looking at it now, I still feel like that, and it makes me laugh.

Anyway, this comic sure packed in a lot of information about the Marvel Universe, introduced me to a lot of characters (like Namor and the Puppet Master), and through its emphasis on “this is different from what actually happened!” I was surprisingly not confused by what was regular Marvel continuity and what was alternate-continuity shenanigans. I ended up being mostly a DC Comics kid, as it turned out, but this issue of What If gave me at least a small level of comprehension of what to expect from the House of Ideas whenever I delved into their catalog.

Oh, and those copies of the Origins of Marvel Comics and Son of Origins books, reprinting classic early Marvel stories and that I would eventually discover on my local library’s shelves, helped a lot, too.

I didn’t end up following What If on a regular basis, but I would pick up the occasional issue as the whim struck me. I think a large part of the appeal was the sense of, perhaps, finality to some of the stories, or the idea that Big Things could happen here that couldn’t happen in regular continuity. Okay, “and then [x] dies at the end!” was a common theme, as was “What If [x] Never Became [Superhero Identity]” (answer: [x] becomes [Superhero Identity] anyway), but even still there was a sense of no one being safe, the threat of inevitable tragedy, the permanent change to the status quo, even if it’s just for that one-off story.

It’s probably my primary nostalgia-trigger for comics collecting. Seeing a stack of What Ifs (like I did over the weekend, prepping more back issues at my store) reminds me of that rush of discovery, long ago, from picking through that first issue over and over again. It also pulls the old comic book sales trick of asking a question on the front cover, a question that’ll compel the potential reader to plunk down his 50 cents (or more, adjusting for inflation). The question’s built into the title of the series, which is brilliant. “What if Spider-Man kept his cosmic powers?” I don’t know…what if he did keep his cosmic powers? I must pay whatever the cover price is for that particular issue to find out!

I’ve had a lot of comics from that time of my childhood fall to the wayside…read to pieces, thrown out, lost. But I held onto that What If, nearly forty years on. And it looks it: Comic Book Retailer Mike is aghast at the condition Young Comic Book Reader Mike let that comic fall into. Clearly, however, that was a comic that was read and loved, over and over again.

Loved it so much I put my name in it so none of you rotten thieves could claim it for yourself:

Probably the one time I got top billing over Stan Lee. Also, I apparently required many different pens to scribe my name into this comic. And just to let you know, I’ve since learned to spell my name correctly on the first try. Usually.

Though I have to admit I’m curious as to how a rebooted Spawn comic might sell.

§ September 9th, 2016 § Filed under pal plugging, promo, retailing § No Comments

Now here’s a thing I’d totally forgotten about: the 8-page Marvel Spotlight giveaways from the mid-1990s. I mean, I completely forgot this was even a thing. I remember the various iterations of the regular DC promo flyers, the Eclipse Comics one…but no memory at all of this one from Marvel. It’s got the usual features: the individual issue spotlights, the brief interviews with creators, the full checklist of every comic due out that month. I know we must have had carried these at the shop, and I’m sure I shoved them into the shopping bags of customers, but…nope, these have completely departed what’s left of my mind.

Anyway, this turned up in a box of comics that looked like it had been pretty much untouched since the 1990s…all the usual X-Men and Avengers comics that you see in every collection, plus a small stack of Wizards probably used to price said comics — RECREATION OF THEORETICAL PRICING EVENT PICTURED BELOW:

…And as usual with collections like these, there are a small handful of comics that are actually of use, and then there’s the pile that goes straight to the bargain boxes. Ah, well. But it was neat seeing that old Marvel Spotlight…makes me wish for the days of regular individual company “coming attractions” freebies again, though those have been mostly supplanted by the Comic Shop News weekly paper and by Diamond Previews and oh, maybe the internet too, I guess. I mean, yeah, there are occasional high end free preview comics from Marvel and DC, but that’s not quite the same as a regular newsletter. The things one can get nostalgic for….

• • •

In other news:

  • DanielT asked in response to my recent End of Civilization post:

    “…I presume Erik Larsen coming to Spawn did absolutely nothing? How does Spawn sell for you compared to Savage Dragon?”

    Well, despite my joke from that post, Spawn appears to be slowly crawling up in sales. Yes, it’s true that for the most part, this series sells pretty much at the same level, month after month, with the occasional fluctuation, and right now we seem to be in a slight upward trend. It seems unlikely that it’ll ever come close to its ’90s heights again, but what titles do? That it’s still selling at all is a success worth noting.

    Now Savage Dragon…it’s fine, more power to Larsen to keeping it going and staying true to his vision, but it’s bit of a hard sell around here, I’ve noticed. Well, at least on the rack…I have pull customers for it, but it’s not a title that people just sort of casually grab off the shelf anymore. Even at my previous place of employment it wasn’t a comic purchased by walk-ins…it mostly just went into hold boxes. Which is a shame, because it is a solid and weird superhero comic. Hopefully our area is just an oddball one, and that it sells just fine elsewhere.

    And you know what? Good on both McFarlane and Larsen for not relaunching/rebooting their respective series with new #1s!

  • Hey, after a long hiatus, Dr. Polite Scott has resuscitated his site and once again doing comics medically-related funnybook blogging! Encourage that man to stick around a bit…go, read!

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