In which I turn a plug for Andrew into a plug for me.

§ February 10th, 2017 § Filed under atlas, collecting, pal plugging § 4 Comments

So I had a question or two in response to that long-ago post about the Flaming Carrot Comics magazine that I finally acquired. JRC and BobH asked about Flaming Carrot’s appearances in the Visions ‘zine/con program from about the same time period. This was an annual publication produced for the Atlanta Fantasy Fair, and the Carrot appeared in the first issue in 1979, and reappeared in the following issues up through 1987 (according to the Wikipedia article). This means at least a couple of FC’s appearances in Visions did predate the release of the magazine. Well, three, to be exact, since there’s an ad in the back of the mag for Visions #1-#3.

BobH specifically asks if the Visions material (and the 1981 mag) had ever been reprinted, or at least repurposed/retold, and to the best of my knowledge, they haven’t. The only reprintings I know of have been the Dark Horse collections (later partially reissued via a Kickstarter campaign, it appears) but those were just of the Aardvark-Vanaheim/Renegade Press era comics. One of the Visions issues listed in the back of the FC mag notes a story with the Artless Dodger, who appears later in the regular series, though I suspect the latter is a brand new story rather than a reworking of the original. I would love to see these comics from Visions collected someday, but frankly, if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s not going to, barring some unforeseen, but quite welcomed, Flaming Carrot renaissance. Or if someone just walks into my shop with them someday to sell to me. I’d gladly pay upwards of a dollar each for them.

• • •

Also from that same post, Chris G. asks how far along I am in my Atlas/Seaboard collecting. As you may recall, Atlas/Seaboard launched in the mid-1970s several color comics (and some black & white mags) by lots of top talent, with the intention of competing with Marvel and DC, and, for various reasons, all those titles went under just a few months later. It’s…interesting, if not always necessarily good stuff, and I decided a long time ago I was going to put together a full set of these. I sort of let it go for a while, but then I started getting large numbers of them in collections brought to my shop, and that restarted the ol’ collecting bug again.

Some of my most recent acquisitions were the first couple issues of the Archie Comics-a-like Vicki, which are among the harder-to-find comics from the Altas/Seaboard line. However, my old boss Ralph is currently holding for me two of the Atlas magazines (a Thrilling Adventure Stories #1 and a Weird Tales of the Macabre #1) so I’ll be a couple of comics closer to finishing the collection. I think I only have about a dozen or so to go. I suppose I could just hunt them down on the eBays, but the fella I bought a bunch from at the shop still has several more boxes to bring in to me, so we’ll see what happens there.

• • •

Hey, lemme thrown in a couple plugs for pals here:

Tegan has just added exclusive content for Patreon supporters that you can read about here.

Joe Hunter has a Patreon going for his cartooning, with exclusive content for contributors. He’s a swell and talented guy, so please check him out.

Andrew is doing Black Orchid Month, because why the heck not, you know? Black Orchid, As Seen on TV if You Watched the Recent Justice League Dark Animated Movie There, which I did just the other day, so I’ll probably have some thoughts on that posted here soon.

Hard-hitting social commentary from Wendy the Good Little Witch.

§ February 8th, 2017 § Filed under harvey § 3 Comments


from Casper TV Showtime #5 (October 1980)

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ February 6th, 2017 § Filed under End of Civilization § 10 Comments

Punxsutawney Phil has poked his nose into the newest Diamond Previews, and has determined that the End of Civilization is fully on its way! Poke your own nose into the pages of the February 2017 edition of that very mag, and follow along:

p. 49 – The Art of Splatoon HC:

Oh, sure, this gets published, but a collection of my life’s work, my extensive photograph collection “The Art of Spittoons,” is called “too appalling for publication.” I see how it is.
p. 57 – The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century [Second Edition] TP:

Now repackaged with the blurb “Enjoy the bright, optimistic alternate history of the 21st century!”
p. 82 – Batman #21:

Okay, you’re just going to have to deal with the fact that Watchmen was never going to reach its full potential until Batman got involved somehow. That’s just truth, friend, and you’re going to have to live with it.
p. 91 – Aquaman #20:

Eventually they’re going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for nautically-inspired villain names: “Aquaman in his final yawn-inducing battle with the Doldrums!”
p. 139 – Batman Zero Hour TP:

At last, all the stories you need under one cover, finally setting straight once and for all the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, pre-Flashpoint, pre-Infinite Crisis, pre-New 52, post-Legends, pre-Rebirth continuity of Batman!
p. 158 – Star Trek New Visions The Traveler:

Looking at the silhouette on the cover, maybe it’s a prequel featuring this guy before the male pattern space-baldness settled in?

p. 283 – Vader Raiders T-Shirt:

“So we can do a shirt for the ‘Charlotte Green Hornets.'”


“‘The Tennessee Teen Titans!'”

“Yeah, uh….”

“‘The Toronto Blue Jedis!'”

“I don’t….”

“‘The Pittsburgh Pirates of the Caribbean!'”

“Is there no one else in the office you can talk to?”
p. 416 – Doctor Who Ghost Stories #1:

No offense to the actual creative team, but if anyone was going to do a tie-in specifically to the 2016 Christmas Special, surely it should have been John Byrne.
p. 428 – Alien The Coloring Book:

“So what color is ichor, anyway?”

“Use your ‘vomitous viridescence’ crayon.”

“I already used that one up in my Lovecraft coloring book.”
p. 429 – The Art and Making of Alien Covenant:

Just page after page of storyboards of people sticking their faces stupidly close to obviously dangerous creatures.
p. 471 – Official DC Super Hero Joke Book: Why Did Batman Cross the Road? SC:

“Um…’for justice?'”


“‘To catch the Joker?'”

“No. I mean, that’s not even really funny.”

“‘Because his parents are dead?'”

“Look, that’s just mean.”
p. 473 – The Neil Gaiman Coloring Book SC:

Carton upon carton of black and grey crayons not included.
p. 474 – Harry Potter Talking Sorting Hat and Sticker Book:

“Hmmm, let me see here…yes, yes, it’s Barbie’s Dream House for you!”

Barbie: “YAAAAY I knew it!”
p. 475 – The Wild Adventures of King Kong Vs. Tarzan SC:

Tarzan: “This vine seems awfully…girthy.”

p. 475 – Star Trek Cats HC:

Surely she’ll be in there:

…And maybe even her:

…and of course this catperson, and Data’s cat Spot, and…well, the list goes on.
p. 476 – Star Wars Widevision The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume 1 HC:

Look, about three different jokes about Porkins and, y’know “Widevision” came immediately to mind, and I know that’s low-hanging and certainly non-PC material to grab at, so I’ll try to be the bigger man about this.
p. 490 – Jason Todd R.I.P. T-Shirt:

“No, seriously, it’s a comic book character! He was killed off in the comics, kinda! It’s referring to that!”

“Yeah, yeah, tell it to the judge. Get in the car.”
p. 522 – Arkham City Harley Quinn 1/1-Scale Foam Replica:

“Harold, just what is that weird squeaking sound coming out of Junior’s room?”

“Mildred…you don’t want to know.”

So I finally got my mitts on one of these.

§ February 3rd, 2017 § Filed under collecting, from the vast Mikester comic archives § 7 Comments

Actually, I acquired it last week, but, you know, other things popped up that kept me from telling you about it earlier than this. But here it is, the hard-to-find Kilian Barracks magazine-sized edition of Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot Comics #1 from 1981:

I didn’t realize (or had forgotten) these were serially-numbered, so my copy is #2171 out of 6,500 copies:

…or however many copies still exist today, after who knows how many have been lost/destroyed/tossed out over the years.

Now, I’ve actually read this at some point…someone I knew had a copy and I was able to read theirs, but this was years ago, and at this point, this is going to be a brand new reading experience for me.

I’ve said before I’m not really collecting a whole lot of old comics for myself at this point…I’m trying to finish out my collection of Seaboard/Atlas, there’s an issue or two of Inferior 5 I still need, and a handful of Three Mouseketeers, and I’m always on the lookout for fanzines. But this comic here, this Flaming Carrot mag, is one I’ve been wanting to own for a very long time, and when I saw one turn up for cheap on the eBays, I had to grab it. Most copies up there seem to be alleged “high grade” copies, or slabbed in those plastic tombs, and selling for hundreds of dollars. As you can probably see from the scans, this was a…well-loved copy, and actually priced at a reasonable amount. (An amount made even more reasonable by a 10 dollar “thanks for being a swell cat” discount code that eBay had sent me.)

Now all I need to do is get copies of the earliest Flaming Carrot appearances in those Visions mags. Well, I’m sure I’ll win the lottery any day now.

Dan and Bernie.

§ February 1st, 2017 § Filed under obituary § 3 Comments

Longtime comics artist Dan Spiegle has passed away, and his frequent creative partner Mark Evanier has an extended remembrance of the man and his work.

I met Dan Spiegle once. He had come into my previous place of employment a couple of decades back, trying (if I recall correctly) to find out if an art job of his that he’d completed for another publisher (which had gone under) had been published by someone else. I don’t remember the exact thing he was looking for, now, all these years later. My vague memory is that he had done something for Classics Illustrated, maybe, just prior to CI’s then-publisher First Comics going under, and was trying to see if someone else put it out. Not this issue, which was published, but, like, something much later in the run. Ah well, whatever it was, I don’t recall, but I did enjoy that brief time I got to speak with him and at least try to help him out.

What helped me recognize him right away was a couple of things: one, I’m pretty sure I’d seen a self-caricature or two of him around by that time, though trying to Google one up now didn’t turn up the picture I remember. Two, there was the then-recent “Famous Comic Creators” trading card set which featured the card pictured above. Those cards were handy mugshots for funnybook stars back in those pre-widespread common-use-of-the-Internet days.

Also, I should mention that Mr. Spiegle had a big, friendly smile. I can still picture just how happy a guy he seemed to be.

Anyway, I enjoyed Mr. Spiegle’s work over the years, as I’m sure many of you did as well. I think I first ran into his art in the back-up “Nemesis” stories from Brave and the Bold in the early 1980s, though I’m sure I’d seen it before. There was a strange one-shot story in the Omega Men run that still sticks with me after all this time. And should Mr. Evanier happen to read this, he can add me to the list of people who read Hollywood Superstars. The one series he worked on that I did not read extensively is his collaboration with Evanier on Blackhawk, which is one of those runs I always meant to get around to gathering and reading but never had the opportunity, unfortunately. I still intend to…the one or two stories I have read were great, and I certainly want to see more. I may have to wait for a reprinting, or a digital version, or for a full run to fall into my lap in a collection I purchase. Maybe someday!

So long, Dan…thanks for all the great comics, and I look forward to finally getting around to that work of yours I haven’t read.

• • •

In other comic creator news, as I’m sure you’ve heard, Swamp Thing cocreator Bernie Wrightson as retired due to health reasons, leaving him essentially unable to draw. You can read the announcement at his official site. That really is a shame that someone so talented is left unable to do what he does so well, and I very much hope that someday there’ll be improvement enough to let him back back to it. Best wishes to Mr. Wrightson and his family.

Comments are off because, y’know, there’s always somebody.

§ January 30th, 2017 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot Comments Off on Comments are off because, y’know, there’s always somebody.

I was going to post about some silly things today, but right now doesn’t seem like the time. Instead, let me post some links to the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations,the Trevor Project, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Planned Parenthood, the Ali Forney Center, NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the International Refugee Assistance Project, ProPublica, RAINN, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, all of whom can use some support right now.

And just so there’s some comic book content, let me direct you to my pal Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with Feistiness, who is presenting 365 Days of Defiance!

I’ll have some actual comic content in a day or two, I promise. But I really couldn’t bring myself to write anything light and fun without addressing the elephant in the room, and doing at least this very small thing will hopefully help somebody out.

And here come the requests to GIF that Adrienne Barbeau scene.

§ January 27th, 2017 § Filed under swamp thing § 3 Comments

So I’ve had a couple of late nights over the last two days, and, for some reason, before going to bed last night, I thought “you know, I really need to learn how to make GIFs.” You know, as rational people do. And of course, all it takes is downloading the right program to do it for you, and then suddenly I seem to have a handful of Swamp Thing GIFs on my hands. What a shock to everyone, I know.

I ended up posting them to the Twitterers, if you’d like to pop over there and see what madness I’ve conjured up, and also let Twitter take the bandwidth hit instead of me.

First off is this, a variation on the old “Swamp Thing Approves” still pic I’ve posted over there from time to time. I love the little off-camera nod he gives before throwing the thumbs-up.

Then there’s this bit of insanity, identifying pretty much the exact spot in the film where I began to think “hmmm, this movie may be a little off-model from the comics.”

More thumbs-up action, this time featuring the kids to whom Swampy was responding back in that first GIF. That kid on the right doesn’t know how a thumbs-up works…or he’s so excited that he’s lost control of said thumbs-up.

Here’s an example of nature’s eternal battle of Jogging Men with Guns versus Jogging Swamp Creature.

And lastly, some Animated Swampy comin’ right at you. Finally, some good use from this DVD.

Anyway, this is how I spend my free time now, I guess.

Yet another thing Wolverine has in common with the Three Mouseketeers…

§ January 25th, 2017 § Filed under three mouseketeers, wolverine § 4 Comments

…is the fact that they coexist in worlds with comic books based on them. For example, here’s ol’ Canucklehead holding an X-Men comic in the most recent Logan trailer:

…and here are the Three Mouseketeers reading a letter from a fan of the Three Mouseketeers comic wondering how mice are able to read and write:

…which begs the question, if Little Petey is so convinced of collective illiteracy of mice, then why did he address the letter to them? Unless of course Little Petey, as a big fan of the Mouseketeers, reluctantly buys into the premise that they can read and write, and is asking, in his somewhat rude way, for an explanation of their decidedly non-mouse-ical abilities. (The answer, of course, is that the mice went to school.)

Now Marvel Comics has long established that a version of Marvel Comics exists in the Marvel Universe, publishing semi-fictionalized accounts of the superheroes in their world, so seeing Wolverine holding a somewhat sloppily-manufactured X-Men comic in that trailer has precedence. But the idea that someone at DC Comics discovered a tiny community of talking, literate mice and decided “let’s make a comic book based on this!” instead of “let’s sell them to scientists who will dissect them and find out what’s wrong with them” or, more likely, “OH MY LORD KILL THEM, KILL THE MONSTERS” — well, that’s a bit weird.

Then again, it may be that Sheldon Mayer was a kind, gentle soul who believed in simply providing wholesome entertainment for kids and used the Mouseketeers as inspiration for his art. Though that wouldn’t stop someone else from tracking them down and exploiting them in more cynical ways. I mean, they’re getting mail…clearly they’re not hard to find.

from Three Mouseketeers #3 (Sept/Oct 1970, reprinted from Three Mouseketeers #6, Jan/Feb 1957) by Sheldon Mayer

Just throwing the phrase “comics blogosphere” out there like it’s still 2006.

§ January 23rd, 2017 § Filed under doog boog, harvey, pal plugging, richie rich, swamp thing § 2 Comments

Okay, so that was a couple of weeks of prediction coverage…hope you all enjoyed the last few posts while I took care of that. I’m still taking 2017 industry predictions in this post here, but we’re nearing the end of January, so I’m probably going to shut down comments there shortly. Get them in while you can! …I’m not sure if I’m going to take 2018 predictions after the next new year, but I still have some time to think about it. Your thoughts could sway this vital decision.

Let me catch up on a few things, here:

A couple or three weeks ago twitter pal Dan put up a picture of the cutest darn Swamp Thing that you ever did see, and one “uh, how much do you want for that?” DM later, I have it in my hot little hands:

Look at how adorable that is. …Dan also designed my Twitter icon, and you can see more of his swell art here.

Recently, I was pricing up a bunch of comics that, um, I may have acquired a while ago and am only getting around to processing now, when I came across this Richie Rich cover and the following thought got stuck in my head and I had to let it out:

…Well, I mean, he is hangin’ out with Casper and all. Also, I had to create the letters “T” and “H” by altering other letters in the same balloon. This is a dumb amount of effort, but now this exists so…um, there it is, I guess.

My blogging sister Tegan just celebrated her lucky thirteenth anniversary of her blog about a week ago, and I certainly wanted to point you in her direction for more of her great writing. Tegan said a few very kind words about me in said post, for which I am most appreciative and flattered. She’s always been one of the comics blogosphere’s (if I may still use the term) foremost essayists on the topic of funnybooks and the industry that mostly supports them, and is always worth reading. (And you can help fund her work via her Patreon.)

Speaking of Patreons, Dog Boy creator Steve Lafler just started one up to support a new series of political cartoons. I do like Steve Lafler comics, so I signed up, and maybe you can, too. I mean, yes, it is political in nature, so you may not see eye-to-eye with him, and that’s okay. However, if you do like his work, Patreon makes it easy to throw a dollar or two his way to directly support his efforts.

But one thing we can all agree on is that Nazis are terrible, and Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with Patriotism, brings us another of his Ten of a Kind posts featuring those lousy Ratzis getting what-for, and how.

Your 2016 Predictions, Epilogue: The Karate Killers.

§ January 20th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 6 Comments

Now I’m sure we all have other things on our mind today, but I’m still gonna wrap up my look back at your 2016 predictions, and if you’re just joining us, you can catch up on parts one, two, three, four and five at those handy links there. Also, I’m still taking your 2017 predictions for the time being, so drop ’em in there while you can.

Okay, I’ve covered all the actual predictions, but a few of you had some things to say in response to my last couple weeks’ worth of posts. First off, Andrew mentions in response to my assertion that no webcomics have been adapted into film/TV:

“No actual webcomics have made it to any screen yet, but the first season of SyFy’s Channel Zero is taken from the short story Candle Cove by Kris Straub. He’s the cartoonist behind Chainsawsuit, Broodhollow, Starslip, Checkerboard Nightmare, and a few other things here and there.”

I knew about the show, and the original story, but hadn’t realized its webcomic connection. Thanks for letting me know!

DanielT corrects me on my mistaken belief that no TV shows based on Image properties had cropped up:

“Outcast. Though I’m not surprised you forgot/didn’t know about it because I NEVER hear or read anything about it.”

Geez, you’re right. You could have pointed a gun at me and demanded I name an Image Comics-based show that wasn’t The Walking Dead and I would never have been able to come up with it. I seem vaguely to remember even…giving away promo postcards? Something like that? Anyway, yeah, you’re right, I totally forgot about it. Don’t think I’ve even seen frame one of the show, or who’s on it or even what channel it’s on. Can’t know everything!

A.J. comments

“I gotta say, the section intros are genius. ‘James kings me with’ is inspired.”

Yeah, I do that mostly for my own amusement, though I should note the irony of giving your intro the single most boring one. Sorry about that…it’s been a long day! Anyway, I try to do one for everyone, though sometimes I got nuthin’, and sometimes I make a reference that wouldn’t be obvious to the casual reader, but just to that person in question. (For example, the commenter from Thailand where I used the word “ties’ in his intro.) And that’s how the sausage is made, everyone!

Allan Hoffman clarifies, in response to my Miracleman comments:

“Neil Gaiman has said there are administrative/legal things (yes, still) that are holding things up. When that clears up is anyone’s guess.”

It seems shocking that would be the case, since I thought Marvel through money at whatever barriers there were until they went away. But, I guess it wouldn’t be Miracleman unless there were ridiculous delays of some sort. Now you modern-day kids know what we elderly folks went through when MM was still occasionally coming out through Eclipse!

David Alexander McDonald has more to say…! (I tease because I love!)

“The redemption of Jay Garrick was actually what I’d expected — the thing with the Man In The Mask was a gimme, especially when fake-Jay’s doppleganger on Earth-1 was named Hunter Zolomon.”

Yeah, sorry about that, I sorta read your prediction as “the guy who claims to be Jay Garrick will redeem himself,” because I couldn’t remember the timing of the episodes vis-à-vis the time of your initial prediction. But you’re right…as soon as the Man in the Mask showed up, it couldn’t have been more “LOOK THIS IS THE REAL JAY GARRICK” if it had a caption pop up every time he appeared reading “THIS IS THE REAL JAY GARRICK.”

David also says, as a follow-up to his prediction that he’s spend money with my store

“I never did buy anything from you, but that was because the Dawn figure got sold the day before I went to pull the trigger on it. Ah well. YOUR TIME WILL COME, MIKESTER.”


Thelonious_Nick notes that my Paper Girls/Stranger Things comparison was closer than I thought:

“Ha ha–I thought Stranger Things WAS pretty much Paper Girls, though they changed the girls to boys for some reason. I really irritated my wife by pointing out the parallels/ripped off ideas for each episode.”

Was it really that close? I haven’t read Paper Girls yet, and only have watched the first episode of Stranger Things, which didn’t really grab me. Is this another Invisibles/The Matrix bit of hoohar?

David Alexander McDonald (what, him again?) notes in regards to Defenders reprints

“There’s a number of other Defenders comics releases aside from the Masterworks digital collections. There’s been a Defenders Epic Collection (The Six-Fingered Hand), Doctor Strange And The Secret Defenders, and Deadpool And The Secret Defenders is coming out next month.”

Oh, there’s definitely plenty of Defenders goodies available or soon available. I was just going off the “omnibus” comment, assuming complete, sequential reprints of the original series was meant, which is why I only specifically pointed out the Masterworks volumes. (If I recall correctly, only one of the Defenders Masterworks is currently available, which is why I pointed out their availability via digital means.)

MrJM dares consider the following possibility

“I think a Tarzan/Alf comic would solve a̶l̶l̶ some of our nation’s woes!”

Alf could’ve eaten Sabor and saved Tarzan’s parents, which…well, would have nipped all this “King of the Jungle” business right in the bud, frankly.

philfromgermany says

“Instead of getting on Vertigo’s nuts, people might wanna read some of the titles they put out, like Sheriff of Babylon, Fables ever after, Unfollow or Astro City…
Is this still good natured ribbing or should some people just look for a new hobby if comics makes them so bitter?”

Now, in fairness, the person who made the initial comment about Vertigo is a longtime customer of mine who reads probably 95% of Vertigo’s output. His reaction was more “I can’t keep up!” than “I hate all this Vertigo stuff!” honest! But, without impugning the quality of any of the Vertigo output, I do have to note that it’s not quite generating the interest or excitement it once did. A lot of comics aren’t, nowadays, so it’s not all on Vertigo. There’s just no “gotta read it” book with more widespread appeal that would attract attention to the imprint as a whole, like Preacher or Sandman or even Fables once did. And frankly, I keep forgetting Astro City is under the Vertigo brand now.

Mike Loughlin sez, he sez

“I like that they put the Young Animal series in their own imprint as I think Vertigo should be creator-owned (or at least co-owned) comics vs. DC properties. Incidentally, would love to see what the Young Animal creators would do with Tim Hunter or Black Orchid.”

I’ve often said to customers that DC’s Young Animal imprint feels like early DC property-based Vertigo, which seems to help sell it to more than a few folks who miss that particular era. I think keeping creator-owned books and the DC-inspired “edgier” books in separate imprints is a good idea, too, but I can’t help but feel maybe a new Vertigo title based on an established DC property could bring more eyeballs in that direction.

And finally, Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with Just Plain Sugar, Honest cracks wise with

Hey, I’d buy an Angel Love hardcover treasury! that is, if I had enough money left over after buying my


Well said, Bully and Angel!

Thanks for sticking through all this, pals, and let’s do it again next year! Don’t forget to leave me your 2017 predictions…and I’ll see you on Monday with some non-prediction stuff, hopefully!

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