Let us all bask in the soothing glow of this Youngblood trading card featuring Cougar.

§ January 6th, 2017 § Filed under sick day, trading cards § 3 Comments

Ahhhh…just what the doctor ordered.

The post I almost titled “I don’t want to go on the cart” except I’d already used that on a previous entry.

§ January 4th, 2017 § Filed under low content mode, sick day § 3 Comments

Well, the intention was to start going over your predictions for 2016 today, but I’ve been trying to shake an illness that’s been hanging on since Christmas and perhaps I’d be better off resting than blogging. I am feeling better, but at this stage spending hours typing away my usual pages of text into the wee hours will likely be more harmful than helpful. Blogging and family stuff and the holidays and running a store and household chores all at once while sick results in not doing any of them well (particularly at work, where errors are interfering with making a living), so now that things have calmed down a bit on most fronts, I’m going to enter “low content mode” on the blog as well. Just for a few days, while I finally, hopefully, get over this bug.

Current plan is to start tackling those 2016 predictions next Monday. I may check in here with a smallish post before then, and you can always email me or catch me on the Twitters.

Also, in the meantime, don’t forget to submit your comic industry predictions for 2017, so I can write about them in excruciating length in early 2018!

Thanks for your patience, pals, and we’ll be back to full operation soon.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ January 2nd, 2017 § Filed under End of Civilization § 10 Comments

It’s 2017, and here comes the End of Civilization! …No, come back! I mean my regular journey through the new issue of Diamond Previews (the January 2017 edition, in this case)! Anyway, come along with me and we’ll see what the coming year has in store for us…and before you get mad about the crayon joke, I remind you it could be referring to the pantsuits.

p. 78 – He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: A Character Guide and World Compendium:

At last, a comprehensive listing of high tides, sunrises and sunsets in Eternia, as well as a copy of its constitution and all sporting event results. Skeletor may have tried to keep all this important information to himself, but no more, I say!
p. 123 – Dark Knight III The Master Race #8:

FINALLY, after all the delays the exciting conclusion is h–

p. 125 – Booster Gold/The Flintstones Annual #1:

Of course this paves the way for the Flintstones to go up against the menace of Vandal Savage, or for them to meet Bomba or Anthro…don’t tell me you don’t want to see that.
p. 162 – DC Designer Series The Joker by Brian Bolland Statue:

“It was at around this point of the development of civilization that humanity first started associating recording devices called ‘cameras’ with evil clowns, for reasons that now elude us,” declared the future clown-historians of the year 12,000.
p. 203 – Top 100 Comic Book Movies:

I’m going to have to warn you, there’s a huge drop-off in quality between the number one movie and number two.
p. 291 – Millennium Asteroids T-Shirt:

Okay, for a second there you almost had me, since in Previews it’s hard to see the detail of the Millennium Falcon in there. I’d probably wear actual (and licensed!) t-shirts of old Atari games. They’d probably sell a million of these. And surely you’d get plenty of irony-sales to computer programmers for this design. And who wouldn’t want to wear this? Just Boston fans alone….
p. 291 – Uncivil War Inaugural Edition Coloring Book:

MEANWHILE, AT CRAYOLA INDUSTRIES: “I don’t get it? Our orange crayon sales are through the roof!”
p. 310 – Bart Simpson Suckerpunch GN:

I don’t think anyone expected a Simpsons adaptation of this Zack Snyder film. You’ll never look at Agnes Skinner the same away again.
p. 319 – The March of the Crabs Vol. 2 HC:

I didn’t look very closely at this at first and I immediately thought “oh no, poor John Lewis.”
p. 348 – Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys The Big Lie #1:

Finally, a follow-up to this comic where our favorite junior detectives finally dig down to THE TRUTH.
p. 361 – The Badger Color Therapy for Adults Coloring Book:

In case you wanted to make up your own conclusion for the previous Badger mini-series, since the last issue was unfortunately cancelled and, far as I can tell, not resolicited.
p. 488 – Doctor Who T Is for TARDIS HC:

“D is for Dalek, the Doctor’s arch-foe
Who make us say ‘not THEM again, oh no'”

“R is for River, the Doctor’s Wife
Of whom we’ve seen enough in this life”
p. 489 – Marvel Spider-Man 1000 Dot-to-Dot Book:

“Wait…it’s his webbing again!? Gosh darn it!”
p. 493 – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Mad Libs:

“‘I am [name of giant plant member of the Guardians]!’ shouted [name of giant plant member of the Guardians].”
p. 554 – Squeezeez Donald Trump 3-Inch Rubber Toy:

Features authentic dialogue! Oh, wait, that’s not supposed to be a word balloon.
p. 595 – Table Museum The Scream:

Look, if they’re going to be doing figurines of classic paintings, I’m gonna hold out for the full “The Garden of Earthly Delights” playset.
p. 604 – Star Trek Titans 2016 New York Comic-Con Figures:

“Captain, the gravity on this planet is much too strong. We must depart immediately.”

“Ladies, please…not all of me is squished down to 4 1/2 inches.”
p. 614 – Jurassic World Inflatable T-Rex Costume:

Order now to receive just in time for the prom!


Finally, the official Sterling Silver Comics store uniform.


This Is A Fetish for Somebody.
Marvel Previews p. 109 – Color Your Own Guardians of the Galaxy:

Good, because I’m coloring Drax a solid green, with purple clothes, just as God and Jim Starlin intended.
Marvel Previews p. 111 – Classified Prelude TPB:

Written by CLASSIFIED, penciled by CLASSIFIED, cover by CLASSIFIED, and by complete coincidence, my orders on this will be CLASSIFIED, too, until I actually know something about this thing. (And by “CLASSIFIED,” I mean “diddly-squat.”)

Yappy Hew Nears!

§ January 1st, 2017 § Filed under happy new year § 2 Comments

Thanks for sticking with me through 2016, pals, and I look forward to providing you semi-daily entertainment (or “entertainment”) throughout 2017!

…Long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.

§ December 30th, 2016 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot § No Comments

Your pal Mike is a little under the weather, so I just have a few links for you today:

  • Longtime Mad stalwart Don Edwing has passed away. I remember taking more notice of his material (or, at least, his material becoming more prominent) near the end of my initial run of Mad reading, sometime in the early 1980s. I even bought an original Mad paperback or two of his, though as is noted in the linked article I probably read a lot of his work without realizing it was by him.
  • Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with the Force, says goodbye to Carrie Fisher with a couple of choice scans.
  • Pal Andrew speaks sagely about mortality.
  • And life, presumably, goes on into 2017…so I’m still asking for your comic industry predictions for the coming year. Hey, it gives us something to look forward to!

Carrie Fisher (1956 – 2016).

§ December 28th, 2016 § Filed under obituary § 2 Comments

I know Carrie Fisher was more than just Princess/General Leia. She was a gifted writer, a funny person, a mental health advocate, a dog lover, a heralded script doctor, a talented actor in roles beyond That Big One which made her famous, a survivor, and someone who just had no time at all for anyone’s horseshit.

She was something else, and I’m sure going to miss her.

So long, Carrie.

“When all else is lost, the future still remains.” – Christian Nestell Bovee

§ December 26th, 2016 § Filed under predictions § 44 Comments

Okay, unlike last time, I’m actually asking for your comic industry predictions for the next year before the next year begins, so if you have any ideas about where you think this crazy business is headed in 2017, feel free to pile them into the comments section for this post. Just please follow these simple rules:

1. Don’t read the other predictions before entering your own.

2. Don’t criticize other people’s predictions.

3. Don’t predict any real person’s death.

4. Limit of three predictions per person, please! Let me repeat that: THREE PREDICTIONS PER PERSON, PLEASE. Please don’t get carried away with the lengthy multi-part predictions per bullet point! I am grateful for the enthusiasm, however I am but a mortal man, and can only carry so much.

Starting after the first of the year, I’ll go back and look at your 2016 predictions, and thus I foretell testing your patience with about a million posts in the process.

Seriously, though, every year I do this, you folks definitely come through with a bunch of great responses, and it is always appreciated. I know that reader comments in social media gets a bad rap nowadays, and not without reason, but my readers have always been an essential and welcome part of this site and I greatly look forward to your participation. Thanks to you all in advance, and fire away!

image from Richie Rich #77 (January 1969)

That shouldn’t be a period…

§ December 25th, 2016 § Filed under Christmas § 2 Comments

…that should be more like “!!!!!!!!!!!” after a declaration to the effect of “THE DEAD ARE AMONG US DECORATING TREES!!!!!!!!!!! AIEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON SANTA CLAUS THERE!!!!!!!!!!!”

Anyway, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or even just Happy Sunday…whatever it is and however you like to celebrate it, I certainly hope it’s good for you.

It’s not always good to be bad.

§ December 23rd, 2016 § Filed under movie reviews, pal plugging § 2 Comments

So I finished watching Suicide Squad the other night while I was also wrapping Christmas presents, and thus I wasn’t completely wasting my time. I posted some brief reactions to the film on Twitter, and pal Andrew said in response to my negative review:

…And that’s fair enough. I admittedly am not the most critical of film-goers (“Frank Miller’s The Spirit!” everyone shouts at me in unison), and I usually can eke out some value from nearly any movie, even if as a whole I realize it’s kinda lousy. And I realize this may be the kind of out-there crazy talk that none of you will be willing to buy, but sometimes a bad movie can be fun, and you can immerse yourself in it and sympathize with the characters and be invested in the plot even as all the while the more rational part of your brain whispers to you “this ain’t good.”

Suicide Squad ain’t that kind of movie. It’s mostly just bad, with a jumble of characters and scenes and a whole lot of shouting and running around and you don’t really care about any of it. Like Avengers: Age of Ultron, the film depends on the concept of “here are a bunch of comic book characters on the screen together” to do the heavy lifting, without realizing that what was once novelty is now old hat, and you need a little more sauce than that to keep interest up.

Among the annoyances: characters develop some form of camaraderie not really through anything you see in the movie, but mostly because at one point it’s necessary to move the action along. The animated on-screen “bios” for the Squad members is supposed to come across as irreverent and wacky, but simply feel forced and pandering. And the Joker…now, everything I’ve heard prior to seeing the movie seemed to imply that there was a lot less Joker in the film than anyone expected. Frankly, I felt like there was too much Joker in the film…a little of him went a long way, and this much of him went too long.

Not to say there weren’t bits that I could have enjoyed. I thought Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn fit the roles well, and did what they could with what they were given. Jokes fell flat, emotional development fell flat, dialogue just kinda hung out there to dry…the one bit I’ll give ’em is the idea that Deadshot’s daughter is totally aware of what her dad does for a living, and just deals with it. I also liked the creepy visuals of the Enchantress, and at first thought she’d be my favorite character in the movie until the rest of the film dissuaded me from that particular notion by turning her into another Big Glowy Bad Guy for the “heroes” to defeat.

I also liked seeing Ben Affleck’s Batman again, and I even enjoyed the 3 seconds or so of the Flash that we got.

But overall…Suicide Squad didn’t do it for me. I understand there’s an Extended Cut (the Netflix rental I saw is, I think, just the theatrical version), but I don’t know if the extra material provides some of the necessary connective material to flesh out the film, or it’s just more stuff to pile onto the mess that’s already there. There are a lot of pieces present that could be beaten into a good, or at least watchable, film…we’ll see what happens when the sequel shows up.

• • •

So my pal has undergone her name change…she’s Tegan O’Neil now, and if you need a reminder, please start with this post to understand where she’s coming from and where she’s going. She could also use a bit of assistance as she completes her transition during the new year…of course she has a Patreon to support her writing, but for a little more immediate help please consider donating to her GoFundMe account. Not that it was a piece of cake before, but this kind of life change will likely be more of a challenge in the years ahead, so if you can support her, or anyone else in your lives going through something similar, I am positive they’ll be grateful for it.


§ December 21st, 2016 § Filed under cartoons, movie reviews, swamp thing § 10 Comments


I received a certain item in the mail this week…that item being the Blu-ray disc of the Suicide Squad movie from Netflix, which I never made it out to the theater for. Not sure when I’m going to make room in the schedule for it, what with Christmas looming in the very near future and me with shopping and wrapping to do still. (I haven’t even made it out to the new Star Wars movie, which makes the Ghost of 8-Year-Old Mike loom over me and shake his head in disapproval.) Anyway, I’ve been curious about the film, even though I’ve heard only generally negative things about it from other comic folks…but then again, I’m the Guy Who Liked Batman V Superman so maybe I’ll be more favorably inclined toward it. I will say that my initial reaction to trailers and stills is that it appears all dirty and grimy and sickly and yeccchh so the movie may have a struggle overcoming my visceral negative response to its looks.


Yes, I did watch the first episode of the new Justice League Action cartoon, and yes indeedy, it does contain the Swamp Thing/Plastic Man team-up the world has been clamoring for. Also featured: an all-ages appropriate John Constantine, who is more British than approximately 10 British men in, at least, this initial installment. There’s a story reason given for his particular style of dialogue, but I hope that’s how he’s portrayed consistently in the series because it’s hilarious…and probably can be read as a critique of how folks can kind of go overboard writing his dialogue in the comics.

Anyway, I had a hard time pulling a still of Swampy from any of the clips I saw online, so here’s a link to the trailer where the timestamp should take you directly to Swamp Thing getting clobbered by Solomon Grundy. Not his most dignified moment.


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