Another fifteen minute post.

§ July 29th, 2014 § Filed under retailing § 3 Comments

So I just threw a bunch of Avatar variant covers on the eBay, since I had a few sittin’ around the shop that hadn’t moved out just yet. The threshold to order these is actually pretty low, so it’s sometimes too easy to check those off on the order form. It can be a real guessing game on these variants, the Avatars in particular, in that I know there’s a chance I won’t sell them, but I can’t sell them if I don’t have them in the first place. They sell more often than not, but there are always leftovers. Especially now more than ever, since everybody’s cranking out variant covers as quickly as they’re able.

Some cases, it’s not so much a big deal. There’s that coming Deadpool variant with the 3D cover, in the style of DC’s event debacle from last year that, with any luck, will be less of a debacle this time around. Anyway, even as regular Deadpool sales seem to be dipping due to oversaturation (example: one of Deadpool’s every-three-weeks monthly issues, an issue of the weekly series, and Deadpool Vs. X-Force, all coming out last Wednesday), its variants still maintain strong demand, and that 3D cover will likely sell for crazy prices.

Oddly, more difficult is ordering DC’s latest variation (har) on variant covers, which unlike the usual method of operation in which the variants are tied to specific order plateaus (such as 1 for every 25 of the regular cover), DC’s recent “Bombshell” and “Batman 75th Anniversary” and the coming “Selfie” covers were orderable in any quantity. What makes this difficult is trying to predict if a) folks are going to buy both covers, or b) buy the variant instead of the regular cover (or vice versa), or c) buy just the variant because they’re collecting the variants on titles they don’t ordinarily buy, or…ugh. There’s no consistency across the board, as it turns out. Options A, B, and C all seem to apply, depending on which book it is, what the cover looks like, etc. Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman variants are easy sells regardless, but there’s a lot of looking at variant covers and comparing them to the regular covers and trying to decide what my customers were going to prefer months (or weeks, in the case of the Final Order Cutoffs adjustments I get to do after placing initial orders) from now. Sometimes comic ordering is an art, not a science, and alas I’m a bit sloppy with my paint sometimes. And my analogies, come to think of it.

And that’s fifteen minutes. Also, I’m doing this again which can get pretty dark. That’s a feature, not a bug.

And a special Eisner for making up the word “Groo-tinuity” goes to….

§ July 28th, 2014 § Filed under adam west, cheese dip, fantagraphics, swamp thing § 4 Comments

So I haven’t really sat down and just written about comics and related topics in a while, so I’m going to see what I can get out of my system in, oh, the next fifteen minutes or so and then crawl off to bed.

Glad to see that Groo Vs. Conan #1 has finally hit the stands…it’s certainly not your typical issue of Groo, not only mixing the world of Groo with the world of Conan, but the “real” world of Mark and Sergio as well. The conceit of the series is that Sergio takes a knock to the noggin, leading him to imagine a story in which the two characters (Groo and Conan, not Sergio and Mark) meet. Thus is an extra layer of fictional reality added to the proceeding, basically making this a Groo “What If” or “Elseworlds” or what-have-you, and not part of regular Groo-tinuity. The Official Handbook of the Groo Universe surely will make note of the story’s non-canonical status.


Ah, I’m just being silly, of course…it’s all a lot of fun, and it’s good to see Groo back on the stands. The Conan material by Tom Yeates and the regular Groo art by that other fellow mix together about as well as you’d expect; it’s jarring, but intentionally and humorously so, and I suspect once we actually get some Groo versus Conan action, it’ll be quite the hoot. Sadly, Stan Sakai didn’t contribute his usually fine lettering job to this issue, likely given current circumstances I believe, but Richard Starkings’s lettering is a reasonable substitute.

Completely changing the subject, the San Diego Con just came and went, which I can tell by the number of people who dropped by the store looking for back issue “keys” over the last few days, and I haven’t really gone out of my way just yet to see what, if any, comic news has emerged from that fire pit. Casual exposure via Internet news sites and YouTube and TV and so on reveals a whole lot of TV show and movie news, naturally, and of course everyone knows about the new Wonder Woman in that forthcoming Superman/Batman movie nobody likes already (I think she looks great, though I couldn’t avoid making the obvious joke because I enjoy being a problem).

Two bits of comic news I particularly enjoyed hearing…well this first one isn’t comics as such, but it’s about the ’60s Batman TV show’s home video release which is vitally important news as far as I’m concerned. The $200 or thereabouts price for the Blu-ray edition of the complete series is a bit dear, and while they’ve announced a stand-alone Season One on DVD, there doesn’t appear to be a Blu-ray equivalent. Can anyone point me in the direction of further information about individual Blu-ray releases for the seasons, or am I just going to have to bite the bullet and grab that complete set? BECAUSE I WILL.

The other big news is Fantagraphics republishing the work of Vaughn Bodé, starting with a big ol’ collection of Cheech Wizard. I do love me some Bodé, as I’ve noted in the past, but oddly enough I don’t have much Cheech Wizard represented in my collection. I definitely look forward to this release.

Oh, and the other news I heard this week was about a reference to a certain swampy friend of ours when you call John Constantine’s phone number. Haven’t done it yet, myself, but I guess I’d better or I’ll have to turn in my fanboy card.

There’s stuff about new Star Wars comics, too, but I’ll get to that later.

And that’s about fifteen minutes of typing (and virtually no proofreading), save for the minute or two scanning the pic. And don’t forget to go read my latest End of Civilization post…and remind me to post the one Diamond Previews listing I accidentally forgot to include this time around!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ July 25th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 7 Comments

Oh, sure, all those folks are down there in San Diego at the convention, experiencing their very own personal Ends of Civilization, but that won’t stop me from giving you all your regular frog-march through the latest installment of Previews! Grab your August 2014 edition of that esteemed publication and follow along with me:

p. 113 – Harley Quinn Annual #1:


Sure, a special “Scratch and Sniff” issue sounds like fun now, but should Scott Shaw! ever bring back his comic character The Turd, well….

p. 131 – Superman Unchained Deluxe Edition HC:


Hey, I wonder if DC will let us trade in all those #1s we ordered back when we thought this was an ongoing series as credit against orders on this book. That’d be pretty swell.

p. 146 – DC Comics Cover Girls Starfire Statue:


“Hi, Superman! I see you got your shorts back!”

p. 146 – Superman The Man of Steel Superman by Gary Frank Statue:


“Yes, and, oddly enough, I feel so free! Also, how come my statue isn’t called ‘DC Comics Cover Boys?’ I’ve been on covers!”

p. 163 – Edward Scissorhands #1:


Answering all those questions the original film didn’t address, like…c’mon, putting a vast array of unwieldy sharp blades at the ends of his arms? Vincent Price couldn’t put, like, rubber caps on the stumps ’til the hands were ready? Or maybe not activating Edward ’til he was finished? You know, stuff like that?

p. 252 – Rachel Rising #29:


Wow, Lady Death sure looks like she’s mellowed out a bit.

p. 260-1 – Antarctic Press Steampunk Month:


That’s like Aspen Comics advertising “New First Issue Month.”

p. 261 – JAWaS T-Shirt:


Oh, please, another mash-up? Do we really need yet another…um, another…well, okay, I kind of like this one. LOOK, I’M ONLY HUMAN

p. 375 – The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil:


Now what am I going to call my tell-all Alan Moore biography?

p. 434 – Modern Sci-Fi Films FAQ:


“So, do humans really only use 10% of their brains?”

“NO.”

“Was Prometheus any good?”

“NO.”

“Is R2-D2 the best character in the entire Star Wars saga?”

“YES.”

p. 437 – Push Start The Art of Video Games:


Hopefully it’ll include this rare Andy Warhol piece featuring the Hero from the Atari 2600’s Adventure:

p. 440 – DC Chess Collection #70 Constantine (White Pawn):


I wonder how John Constantine would feel about being a pawn. Too bad there’s no “Arrogant Bastard” piece…well, maybe the Knight.

p. 442 – Jack Kirby Collector #64:


In this issue: FORESHORTENING

p. 473 – Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back Cock-Knocker Retro Action Figure:


The barrier’s been breached, boys…you can totally use “cock” as a slang term for “penis” in the pages of Previews. What brave new world we have entered, my friends…what brave new world.

p. 522 – Doctor Who Tardis Spatula, Tardis Tray, “Bigger on the Inside” Welcome Mat:


Once Google Glass (or its competitors/successors) gets to be a little more prevalent, someone will develop an app that will digitally “skin” whatever you look at with whatever imagery you’d like.

These Doctor Who products will give you a little preview of that future.

p. 528 – Sherlock 1/6-Scale Figures:


Well, yeah, $230 bucks each seems a bit steep, but it’s so long between batches of episodes that you’ll be glad to have these figures around to act out your own episodes, fighting crime, solving mysteries, studying clues, kissing each other, racing after suspects, getting into disagreements but working it all out in the end, worrying about…what’s that? Yes, I said “getting into disagreements,” what about it?

p. 552 – Star Wars Millennium Falcon Chopping Board:


“Chewie, I hear a knocking sound from the top of the Falcon! Go check it out!”

“WRRRAAAARROROAAARH!”

“Get up there you big, furry oaf! I don’t care if it does smell like onions!”

Marvel Previews p. 12 et al. – Death of Wolverine The Logan Legacy #1, #2….:


Guys, they wouldn’t be putting out all these Death of Wolverine tie-in comics unless, as it says in the solicitations, he really was “now gone forever” and “permanently out of the picture.” There will never, ever be a “Return of Wolverine” event with a boatload of tie-ins, mark my words.

Holy hirsuteness, Batman!

§ July 24th, 2014 § Filed under employee aaron, pal plugging § 2 Comments

The End of Civilization post should be up tomorrow, but in the meantime, please enjoy this, the fifth anniversary installment of Nobody’s Favorites by pal Andrew, discussing a certain feathered hero of some note. (I will note that this series featuring the character is still a favorite of mine, and still holds up today…if only they’d stuck with that instead of endless rebooting.)

And speaking of pal Andrew, his other ongoing project You Chose Wrong (celebrating the tragic endings of Choose Your Own Adventure books and similar book series) recently featured one of my submissions taken from a book I’ve previously discussed.

By the way, in case you were wondering how the Batman Day event went at our shop…it went swell. Gave away lots of free comics and masks, had a successful sale on Batman comics and merchandise, got to see a very happy four-year-old girl in her Batman muscle costume, and we had this mysterious gentleman running about the store most of the day:


WHO WAS THAT MASKED MUSTACHIOED MAN?

Christmas Horror in July.

§ July 23rd, 2014 § Filed under freak out § 2 Comments


ALL WE HAVE TO DO

 
 

IS FOLLOW

 
 

MY NOSE

 
 
 

from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer #5 (1954)
reprinted in Limited Collectors’ Edition C-24 (1973) – art by Rube Grossman

No, it wasn’t me.

§ July 21st, 2014 § Filed under found art § 11 Comments

So here’s something that turned up in a collection recently:


…an ink illustration on a magazine-sized backing board, signed “Michael” and dated 1995:


We’re trying to determine if “Michael” was a comics pro, or if this was a piece of amateur art, or even who the character is, if it’s anyone in particular. (It kind of feels like a ’90s post-Image Comics redesign of an established character, but who knows, really.) If any of you folks out there can help a pal out and give me any clues, I’d appreciate it. And if the answers turn out to be totally obvious…well, I’ve had a long week, cut me some slack.

Speaking of which, I should be back on track, more or less, after this recent break, so posting should be back to whatever passes for my schedule here nowadays.

Hey.

§ July 15th, 2014 § Filed under pal plugging § No Comments

Pal Dave wrote this comic.

Pal Andrew is up to something.

Coby and his five-year-old son watch the 1978 Superman movie.

“Start? I’ve never stopped!”

§ July 14th, 2014 § Filed under low content mode, peanuts § 4 Comments


from Charlie Brown’s ‘Cyclopedia Vol. 15 (1981)

Hi pals…I realize posting and content on this here website thingie has been a little more slight than usual lately. I’ll be back up to speed soon, but I need a bit of time to recharge the ol’ batteries. Thanks for understanding!

Swampy P. Smythe.

§ July 10th, 2014 § Filed under jack kirby, pal plugging, sir-links-a-lot, swamp thing § 2 Comments

 

  • Siskoid presents his last, best hope for sci-fi TV blogging: “Your Daily Dose of Babylon 5,” where he plans to discuss every episode. The introduction is here, and as I write this the entries for the first two episodes are up, and you can keep up by following this convenient category.

    I enjoyed Babylon 5, though I haven’t rewatched the series since giving the DVD sets (and associated spin-offs) a once-through as I acquired them. It was an interesting experiment in long-form storytelling with the constraints of the vagaries of television production, it gave us the fascinating crisscrossing story arcs of Londo and G’Kar, and it brought us Walter Koenig in a great role that made most folks come to say “Chekov who?” It wasn’t perfect, but what in this fallen world is; I probably never need to hear the phrase “with all due respect” ever again, for example. But there was certainly more to enjoy than to not enjoy, and the occasional (“occasional?”) bit of labored dialogue and rough-edged acting isn’t that difficult to endure given the overall success of the venture.

    Hey, I liked it, and I look forward to enjoying Siskoid’s review of the series.

  • Here’s an article giving an overview of the Kirby family’s side of the battle against Marvel/Disney over the ultimate ownership of Jack’s creations. At the bottom of the article, under “Amicus Curiae Briefs,” are links to PDFs of the actual filings, each with plenty of historical and legal details that comic fans may find of interest. (Thanks to pal Jason for the link!)
  • In the latest Pal Andrew news, his latest “Nobody’s Favorite” is a comic I remember receiving at the shop, and I remember selling for the few months it was around, but couldn’t tell you anything else about it. Luckily, Andrew has stepped in and refreshed those memories for me.

    Andrew is also relaunching his Ultimate Powers Jam, in which he rolls up characters using the Marvel Super Heroes role playing game, and passes along the results to you to flesh out the character and do with what you will. A sample, if you will.

  • Best wishes to Swamp Thing’s cocreator Bernie Wrightson, who is currently dealing with some health issues but is reportedly doing well. Please keep yourself updated at his official Facebook page.
  • Speaking of Swamp Thing, old pal Batfatty has sent along this back cover by Bill Wray from Cracked Monster Party #7 (1989), featuring Cracked’s mascot Sylvester P. Smythe following the tragic explosion of his bio-restorative formula experiment:


    Hey, it’s purt’near the 25th anniversary of that drawing! EVERYONE CELEBRATE

A couple of updates.

§ July 8th, 2014 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin § No Comments

First, please go back and check out my Fourth of July post, as our pal Bully the Littlest Stuffed Bull of Them All provided a lovely animation to accompany that entry.

Second, some instances of the unwanted pop-up video ads and possibly the page-redirect ads may have been traced to a stat-tracker I’ve had on this site for years that seems to have just recently (like, within the last few months) been causing these problems for its users. I’ve removed that plug-in, and hopefully that’ll solve at least some issues. (Please note that similar problems can be caused by installs on your browsers as well, so keep an eye on all those Firefox/IE/Chrome add-ons!)

Third…well, there is no third. I said only a “couple” of updates, after all.

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