The End of Civilization is postponed until tomorrow.

§ March 27th, 2014 § Filed under low content mode Comments Off

Sorry, pals. It needs to sit on the stove a little longer before I serve it up.

In the meantime, get a load of this.

Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones in Eyes of Alec Holland

§ March 26th, 2014 § Filed under swamp thing § 6 Comments

So they found a way to get me to buy those Robot Chicken photo-cover gag variants…GUESS HOW:


This, I realize, comes as a surprise to no one.

On a related note, I had a brief interchange with fellow Swamp Thing fan John regarding the possibility of the existence of color variations of House of Secrets #92, Swamp Thing’s first appearance. It seems that when I’ve posted panels from that original story in the past, Swamp Thing’s eyes were colored red:


…but when John got his own copy of HOS #92, the eyes were colored white-ish:


He wondered why there was an apparent difference between his copy of HOS92 and my own, if perhaps there was another print run of the original where the coloring was altered, purposefully or accidentally. And that had me wondering, too. Mostly along the lines of “how in God’s name am I going to track down this kind of variant for my own collection?”

Well, after a small amount of digging, actually it turns out my scans have been from one of the handful of reprints I have of that story, since I didn’t want to subject my own original House of Secrets #92 to the tender mercies of the flatbed scanner. In those reprints, the eyes have been recolored red from the original version’s white, which is a detail I hadn’t realized had been changed. So, no weird color variations in that original release of House of Secrets #92, I’m afraid. Sorry, price guides and eBay!

Also, I’d be lying if I said that didn’t come as some small bit of relief. Calling store to store asking them to check Swamp Thing’s eye coloring on their copies of House of Secrets #92…I’m not sure the human ear could endure that many hang-ups.

Airlock #2 & #3 (Eclectus Ltd., 1991).

§ March 24th, 2014 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 4 Comments


This wasn’t the first issue of this particular series that I’d purchased…it was #2, which had a Not-Safe-for-Work-ish cover I didn’t want to spring on you without warning.

Anyway, Airlock was a short-run black and white anthology series that I bought primarily because it contained “Taffy and the Pirates,” a humor-adventure strip by Cutey Bunny creator Joshua Quagmire:


There are other stories of note, too: issue 2 has “The Iluvlussey,” a funny and nicely-cartooned take on Greek myth by Tim Burgard, “Lost in The Jungle” by To Be Announced‘s Mike Bannon, and the Swamp Thing parody “Yuck Thing” by Jorge Pacheco:


It wasn’t all humor strips; there was an ongoing “Caligula” serial by Rod Underhill and Topper Helmers that was fairly elaborate and certainly mature reader-oriented, as you might imagine.

Issue three cover-features Panda Khan…or rather, “X-Khan,” as he’s known in the story within, and…well, I didn’t realize, or I’d forgotten, how science-fictiony these Panda Khan comics were, though looking now I see this cover of Mr. Khan on a meteor fighting a guy shooting a laser gun, so what do I know. I never read those comics, so beyond being vaguely aware of his ties to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, my knowledge of Panda Khan’s adventures is alarmingly deficient. This is also the most I’ve typed the words “Panda Khan” in my entire life.

The Taffy strips return and wrap up in this third issue as well. Quagmire (along with Dean Norton) also provides an illustrated prose short “Cyberfox,” which is some funny-animal sci-fi business.

There was a first issue, though I don’t recall having seen it, and that’s probably the sort of thing I should have checked for at the shop prior to writing this entry here. My usual sources don’t have any info on what was in the first issue, so I don’t know if I’m missing any Quagmire there. The “Taffy” story in the second issue pretty clearly starts there, and I’m also fairly certain the me of 1991 would have sought out that #1 if I’d known there was something in that issue I had to have.

I’m still going to check for it at the shop anyway.

I have multiple pals Andrew.

§ March 21st, 2014 § Filed under nancy, pal plugging, self-promotion, sir-links-a-lot, sluggo § 6 Comments

 

  • Crisis on Infinite Earths tie-ins were a hell of a thing.
  • Pal Andy is trying to raise funds on Kickstarter for his children’s book SpaceBear, so please help out if you are so inclined.
  • 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.
  • Humble Opinions…a new site offering comics and pop culture reviews and commentary. “Everything in Greece was on fire all the time” made me laugh.
  • 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.

I had one heck of a busy and crazy day at the shop on Tuesday…

§ March 19th, 2014 § Filed under low content mode, trading cards § 7 Comments

…with this being the least of it, so I’m just going to contemplate card #49 from my complete set of Superman III trading cards:


…and relax while basking in the glory of Richard Pryor.

Miscellaneous Cat-Head Comics (1987 – 1992).

§ March 17th, 2014 § Filed under doog boog, from the vast Mikester comic archives § 4 Comments

So I was looking at this little stack of Cat-Head Comics from the Vast Mikester Comic Archives, trying to decide which one to talk about, when I decided “ah, heck, let’s throw them all up there.”

Duck & Cover #1 (1988)

 

Duck & Cover #2 (1989)

Satire and poetry written by Stephen Beaupre and Steve Lafler, taking on politics, religion, big business, and more. A special appearance from Dog Boy in #1, putting the bite on Rupert Murdoch!
 

Femme Noire #1 (1989)

 

Femme Noire #2 (1989)

Mystical detective shenanigans by Lafler, with Maria (the title character) and her occasional love interest, Dog Boy’s pal BenB (the hollow-eyed fella on the cover of #1). Dog Boy makes appearances here and there over the course of the story.
 

Out the Next #1 (1987)

A Beaupre solo book, more or less, with “ART • DESIGN” and a cover by Lafler. Mostly text/poems by Beaupre with accompanying photos and drawings. The condition of this copy is a little rough, having found in a quarter box sometime in ’88/’89. You can see the tears at the top of the cover caused by careless box-thumbing. JUST SAY NO TO CARELESS BOX-THUMBING. No Dog Boy appearances aside from the back cover ad.
 

Prometheus’ Gift #1 (1992)

A couple of short stories, including the Jack Kirby-esque “Snakes!” Tiny Dog Boy cameos in a two-page art/text collage and on the cover, as well as two unpublished Dog Boy covers rounding out the book (as a “sleazy way to fill up space,” Lafler himself admits in the introduction).
 
Those Dog Boy appearances aren’t in the Doggie Style collection (unless I missed something), since that was primarily reprinting his solo stories from his own titles and Buzzard. Most of the above would have been out of place there.

Anyway, there’s some fine and strange comic-booking in the above publications, some of which I suspect are pretty difficult to find at this point (the indicia for Prometheus’ Gift includes the note “first printing October 1992, barely two thousand copies if we’re lucky”). Poking through all these again makes me want to go back and try Bughouse one more time, since that was the one Lafler project that never really grabbed me. I do own the first issue…I’ll give it another go and let you know what I think.

You can keep up with what Lafler is up to at his official site.

45.

§ March 13th, 2014 § Filed under old § 24 Comments


 
• • •

 

“Hi Father.”

 

“Listen, son…you were out all night. Where were ya?”

 

“Uh…out…partying?”

 

“That’s cool. Listen, do you want to smoke a doobie with your old man?”

 

“No thanks, Dad. It’s 10:15 in the morning!”

 

“Your loss.”

 

“I’ll split it with my lawyer!”

 


 
 
 
 

Source. Also, happy birthday to blogging brother pal Andrew, who is hip and cool despite not yet being 45.

This is the prettiest Sluggo has ever been.

§ March 12th, 2014 § Filed under sluggo, the eBay § 4 Comments


 
 

BEHOLD

ANIME SLUGGO

 
 
At least, this is the prettiest he’s been other than this, or maybe even this.
 
 

from this eBay auction

Trypto the Acid Dog! #1 (Renegade Press, 1988).

§ March 10th, 2014 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 4 Comments


This comic came out just before my entry into the funnybook-sellin’ life, and as such I managed to miss it when it hit what I would eventually be able to refer to as “our shelves.” I read about it in the fan press so some such thing, or maybe just saw ads in other indie books, but 1) the title sounded funny, and 2) it was written by that fella from Lost in Space and that fella from Robocop and drawn by Steve Leialoha and thus caught my comic-collecting eye. You know, not in a “my GOD my life is incomplete unless I have this comic!” but in more of a “yeah, if I see it, I’ll pick it up” and thus did it go on the mental want-list.

At some point shortly after its release, I was at a comic convention in the Los Angeles area where I spotted a dealer selling…some comic or ‘nother, I don’t recall which one, but he was trying to move copies of said comic by having them packaged with a free bonus comic. Somehow I managed to notice that one of the comics was packaged with a copy of Trypto the Acid Dog! #1, and (as I recall) the price wasn’t too far off the mark from what Trypto‘s cover price was, and that’s how I got my hands on this here comic book, my friends. Can’t remember for the life of me what the other comic was, since I gave it away or who knows what, but here’s hoping it wasn’t something stupidly expensive today. (“Pffft, Amazing Spider-Man #129…who cares?”)

Anyhoo, Trypto the Acid Dog! is about a pet who gains powers from exposure to illegally-dumped chemicals, and uses said powers to avenge his family’s deaths at the hands of evil industrialists. Sounds a bit heavy-handed, and…well, maybe just a little (the evil company is called “Toxicem,” whose owner rants about the interference of “those bleeding-heart environmentalist scumbags”) but that’s a feature, not a bug, and the whole comic is a weirdly-funny, weirdly-sad, almost Golden Age-ish tale of the Little Guy getting his vengeance against The Big Guys. Worth checking out if you can find it.

I was reminded of this comic the other day when a customer asked us for it, and I once again confused “what Mike has in his personal collection” with “what the store has available for sale”* and said “oh, sure, we’ve got those” before finding out “no, I don’ts gots those.”

Trypto’s made a couple of other appearances as well, as noted on Mr. Mumy’s own site. I have the A1 anthology mentioned there, but I think I forgot the multi-issue appearance in Dark Horse Presents, and, as usual, now that I know about that hole in the collection, I’ve got to fill it. It’s an oddball little comic, and I hope that, as mentioned on Mr. Mumy’s page, that more Trypto adventures will someday see print.

EDIT 3/11: It’s been pointed out to me that pal Nat has a complete Trypto collection available for sale over at About Comics!
 
 

* That goes the other way, too…I’m sure I have something in my collection, only to realize no, I’ve just seen it at the store every day for the last couple of decades.

“The Adventures of Myrwhydden” – coming to DC’s New 52!

§ March 7th, 2014 § Filed under this week's comics § 10 Comments


$5.99 is an awful lot to charge for a new comic book (see also), given that not too long ago six bucks got you a squarebound “prestige format” funnybook that was 48 pages, no ads, and this here annual is 48 pages with ads and a staplebound spine and why, I can remember when comics only cost a dime and you could buy a car with a five dollar bill and have change left over for a down payment on a house, ah yes.

This Batman/Superman annual, written by Greg Pak, is very good, however, with some interestingly appealing art from Jae Lee, Kenneth Rocafort and Philip Tan…in particular, I was discussing with a customer of mine the other day about how Lee seems to be leaps and bounds beyond what he was doing back in the ’90s, when it was all jagged edges and silhouettes.

And for a six buck comic, you do get a fairly dense reading experience…plenty of dialogue and action and several panels per page, but never feeling cramped for space. Batman/Superman is one of the better Superman-related books, at a time when the Superman books across the board seem to be improving, and this annual is a solid, if pricy, example of the “New 52″ Superman revamp actually working.


Not sure what I can say about this book that old chum Kevin didn’t already say. Nothing in this issue should come as a surprise to anybody who’s ever read, well, anything, but it’s all competently written and very pretty to look at, and I have to admit, the idea of “what if Flash Gordon came back to Earth to tell of his adventures and everyone thought he was nuts” is an interesting one. I suspect the relative simplicity of this initial installment will go away as Mark Millar delves more deeply into the “here’s a modern perspective/twist on 1930s space opera!” themes in future issues, but hey, maybe I’m wrong. I’m willing to be surprised. I very much expect Goran Parlov’s art will continue to look nice, regardless.


I was finally called out by a customer on my racking this comic in the general area of the other Archie comics, which I kind of wondered about doing myself, but kept them there anyway because that’s where I thought people were probably going to look for them. Hadn’t had any trouble yet, and we’re not selling them to kids, and even this customer wasn’t like angry or upset or anything…just mostly bemused.

This issue especially I can’t sell to kids, given the remarkably upsetting circumstances Archie finds himself in, and that subtext I’d mentioned before basically becoming straight up “text.”

Still very well done, however, and especially affecting given the characters starring in it. And Harvey? The jalopy makes an appearance.


This comic from the fringes of Mike Mignola’s “Hellboyverse” remains pulpy good fun as always, but I’ve noticed an upward bump on sales on this title (and Baltimore as well). After always selling the same amount of copies month in and month out, we’re suddenly experiencing sellouts and requests for back issues. I think readers generally like Mignola’s storytelling but are gravitating toward these series that are more episodic and easier to follow, versus the B.P.R.D. books that have mostly plateaued.


Speaking of sales, not long ago I had a brief interchange with Richard Neal, co-owner of Zeus Comics way out there in the far-flung wilds of Texas, regarding post-Geoff Johns Green Lantern sales. My comment, that sales were “withering away,” may have been overstating things slightly, which is unusual given the Twitter platform’s capacity for nuance, I realize. It was Johns’s strong direction for the franchise that kept the four titles selling as well as they did for as long as they did, and with DC’s huge emphasis on his departure, that was a pretty strong cue for readers to depart as well. The main GL title still does…okay, but not nearly as well as it did before, and the other titles, rather than withering away, have already withered away to much lower numbers and are now basically staying there. There’s the odd bump or two with cross-title tie-ins like the “Lights Out” storyline, but that’s about it.

The real test will be the new Sinestro title debuting soon. Comic fans like Sinestro…heck, I like Sinestro, but we’ll see if they’ll like him as the star of yet another monthly Green Lantern franchise book instead of just appearing in already existing series.

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