I just kinda gave up putting “cite” tags around “Watchmen” halfway through, I was typing it so much.

§ September 1st, 2017 § Filed under watchmen § 3 Comments

I know we’re all supposed to be outraged at DC continuing to repurpose Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, but man, I just laugh and laugh and laugh at this:


…partially for the chutzpah…well, okay, mostly for the chutzpah of DC to even do this, and partially out of my own curiosity over how it’s even going to work, and partially out of my own misguided love for weird permutations of the original story, like, say, this toaster.

And seeing this cover finally got me to put together a gag involving that title “Doomsday Clock” and its superficial similarity to a particular piece of dialogue from a page in Preacher:


Ever since Doomsday Clock was announced, I had this stupid idea in my head. And now here it is, in all of yours.

Anyway, I have no idea how I’m going to order this. Well, that’s not entirely true, I do know how I’m going to order this, I’m just not sure how it’s going to sell. With that Batman/Flash crossover “The Button” associating DC’s use of lenticular covers with “special Watchmen tie-in events,” using lenticular covers for the Mr. Oz storyline coming up in Action Comics, where the Watchmen tie-in may not be as strong as had been presumed*, may lessen the sales boost said covers may give to Doomsday Clock.

Or I’m just overthinking it. While that Mr. Oz storyline may or may not have solid ties to the overarching Watchmen thing, Doomsday Clock is totally being pushed as “SUPERMAN VERSUS DOCTOR MANHATTAN” which should drive sales to even those folks who feel like they weren’t getting enough Watchmen content in that Action story. Boy, I’m sure assuming a lot about that Action comic I haven’t read yet.

At any rate, I’m reasonably certain sales will start out strong, but 12 issues over presumably a year (or a year-and-a-half, if not more) is a long stretch to keep interest up, even in something as wildly out there as a Watchmen/DCU crossover. There’s gonna be some attrition unless there’s a big sales-driving surprise partway through, and even then, who knows. There’s the kind of comics marketplace insight that keeps my two or three readers coming back.

I was looking back at some of my old Watchmen posts on this site, and from this entry in 2010 I quoted an excerpt from a DC press release:

“However, DC comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said, ‘Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.’”

I don’t know what conversation DC had with Gibbons about this, but I’m sure any conversation with Moore probably ended with him slamming down his rotary phone after shouting “don’t call me again!”

I am curious as to what’s going to happen once DC no longer has this Watchmen subplot running through their series and special events. Will we finally get that epic multi-part storyline teaming up current Batman with Dark Knight Returns Batman? Then again, DC just wrapped Dark Knight III, and I think they’ve threatened a IV, so that franchise is still going on. Maybe…Rōnin joins the Titans? Angie Thriller becomes a…I don’t know, Indigo Lantern? Daniel from Sandman teams up with the Justice L…oh, wait.**
 
 

* I won’t “spoil” what Mr. Oz’s reveal might be, but you can Google around and see what people are assuming. Or look here on the Tweeters where I just straight up say it, back when it was still a crazy idea and not the likely correct one.

** Yes, I know they asked Neil Gaiman. Yes, I know Sandman is technically in the DC Universe. Let me have my little joke.

A little more Kirby-type stuff.

§ August 30th, 2017 § Filed under jack kirby § 2 Comments

The New York Times has a list of charitable organizations that can use your donations, if you are able, for victims of the Harvey storm. Best wishes to everyone affected, and here’s hoping they get the help they need.

• • •

Get more of your Kirby on:

You can download a nice Jack Kirby booklet in PDF format here.

Pal Andrew reminded us of this old post of his where he dives deep into the misty origins of one of Kirby’s more inexplicable characters: Flippa Dippa.

Bully, the King of Bulls, hasn’t put up a Kirby tribute post specifically for the Big Guy’s birthday, but what else is Bully’s “365 Days of Ben Grimm” but a tribute to the character that, as far as I’m concerned, is Jack’s greatest creation. (And speaking of the Thing, just look at this Mike Deodato drawing. JUST LOOK AT IT.)

And here’s Tom Spurgeon’s Kirby tribute…God help you if you’re still on dial-up!

It’s Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday.

§ August 28th, 2017 § Filed under jack kirby § 1 Comment


 
 
PREVIOUSLY, ON PROGRESSIVE RUIN:

I note Jack Kirby’s 88th birthday by mentioning my brief meeting with him at an early 1990s comics convention.

A jam drawing by Jack Kirby and a couple of other cartoonists of note.

Kirby’s immortality would have been assured even if he’d only invented this.

Black Racer – still awesome.

The fighting philosophy of the Black Panther (parts one and two).

KUNG-FU KIRBY.

I mark Kirby’s 92nd birthday with this cover to The Comic Reader #100.

The office adventures of Darkseid.

A hard to find display piece for one of Kirby’s projects.

Klarion the Witch Boy and his gender-switching cat.

Never, ever fails to make me laugh.

My pal Cully meets Jack and gets a Captain America sketch.

There were a handful of Swamp Thing/Jack Kirby tie-ins, of course, but this is my favorite one, and the creepiest!

Another Kirby birthday post, featuring Destroyer Duck!

Probably my favorite Jack Kirby creation that I’ve only heard about and never have actually seen.

…And, the pièce de résistanceevery appearance of the sound effect “POW!” in Kirby’s New Gods.
 
 

image from 2001: A Space Odyssey #6 (May 1977) by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer

And I mean, like, the Wonder Woman #1 from 1942, not the Pérez one, you wiseacres.

§ August 25th, 2017 § Filed under legion of super-heroes, retailing, the eBay § 4 Comments


So kind of the last thing I expected on the most recent New Comics Day was for someone to walk in with a shoebox containing about a dozen and a half comics, with that comic pictured above right on top of the stack. For the two people reading this site who don’t recognize the significance of that particular issue, that is Adventure Comics #247 from 1958, containing the first appearance of the long-running DC Comics team the Legion of Super-Heroes. And yes, that is a scan of the actual copy that I received in that collection.

I was particularly surprised because, at my previous place of employment, my old boss Ralph would often note that this comic is one that he never had show up in any collections. People would bring in runs of Adventure, but #247 was always skipped. Third or fourth appearances of the Legion, sure, but never this first one. In the time I worked for Ralph I’d seen multiple Amazing Fantasy #15s, and Amazing Spider-Man #1s, X-Men #1s, a Wonder Woman #1 here, a World’s Finest #2 there, but nope, never that elusive Adventure comic.

But there it is, at long last. In my hot little hands. Sure, it wasn’t in the best condition, but all the pages were there, and it was completely readable. The cover had seen better days, and the spine was about half-split, and the centerfold was loose. What I presume were the owner’s initials are right there on the front cover, as they were on some of the other comics in this collection…well, either initials or some elaborate hand-written arrival date scribbled on there by some newsstand operator. Not a great copy, but better than no copy.

Anyway, I put it on the eBays…I was planning to put it up for one price, thought “well, let me try for a slightly higher price,” and I guess I should have put it up for a much higher price because it was listed literally for about two minutes before someone bought it.

And that’s the tale of how I owned Adventure Comics #247 for all of about half an hour, forty-five minutes tops. Where was this comic a month ago, when I was talking about that exact story of the Legion’s first appearance? Ah, well…I probably would have been too afraid to scan that panel out of this comic anyway.

Here’s hoping whoever bought it doesn’t try to send it back…I’ve already spent that money on hooch, dice, and other sinful pleasures. Besides, I took a whole lot of pictures of the book’s problems to accompany the listing…I probably spent more time taking those pictures than the comic actually spent on eBay. There shouldn’t be any surprises.

Now I need to actually process the rest of the books in the collection: some late ’50s/early ’60s Detectives, a couple Brave and the Bold issues with Cave Carson, a beat-up Action #300, an even more beat-up Atom #4, a couple of other things. But this is one of the real perks of the job…getting to enjoy lots of old comics. Even if certain comics only stick around for about half an hour.

Since I don’t say it anywhere in the post itself…Ducktales was pretty good.

§ August 23rd, 2017 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 3 Comments


So I was poking through my enormous number of Gladstone/Gemstone/Whateverstone softcover albums of Carl Barks duck comics…you know, the ones that came shrinkwrapped with the trading cards, plus the handful that didn’t…the ones that came out one or two volumes a month for well over a decade…the ones where I occasionally add up how much those all cost me over the years and even with the employee discount I come up with a number that’s way higher than I care to think about…you know, those ones. Anyway, I was revisiting a volume or two after having watched the the premiere of the new Ducktales cartoon, which had put me in the mood for duck adventures of either a Barkians or Rosa-esque nature. And in there, tucked amongst the too-many slim albums, was the above Dynabrite comic.

Now, I’ve talked about Dynabrite comics on the website before, but for the 5% of my readers out there who don’t have my every utterance committed to memory, let me ‘splain again. This was a Whitman imprint from the late 1970s that reprinted comics from the Gold Key library on nice, bright paper with good coloring, no ads, and under thicker covers. The books were a little larger than the standard comic book size, and staplebound. They cost a little more than their regular newsstand cousins, but were very nice packages of comics.

This particular example, Gyro Gearloose and the Disney Ducks, is from 1979 and reprints several Gyro stories by Barks published in Dell’s Four Color series from the late ’50s/early ’60s. I don’t remember when exactly I bought this, but it must have been sometime between my reentry into reading Duck comics in 1987 (when I followed Don Rosa to his first Scrooge story) and before the entire Barks run of Gyro stories were reprinted in album form starting in 1993. I don’t imagine I would have bought this after getting the same stories reprinted in upscale form in those albums, but then again, I’ve been known to double-dip occasionally on some comics because I happen to like the cover or because I’m crazy.

Even as I look at this now, and I think “this is redundant, and I have a store, so I have someplace I can sell this,” I find myself not really wanting to. I mean, I could think about this in a weird collector sort of way, like “I should have at least one example of this particular publishing imprint in my collection,” though 1) I know full well what a Dynabrite comic is like, I don’t need reminding, and 2) who am i trying to impress, really? Well, sure, I’m trying to impress all of you, but now that I’ve blogged about this particular item, it’s served out that purpose.

I suppose the real reason is mostly sentimental, I guess. Some of my very earliest comic book memories, from when I was maybe five or even younger, come from Disney comics. Specifically, I remember being fascinated by Gyro’s little robotic friend Helper, and the background shenanigans he’d get up to:


Even though my ownership of this item doesn’t date from my childhood, the characters are still a definite memory from that time. So really, for no good reason beyond that, I’ll be hanging onto this for a while longer.

I honestly have nothing against the Syphons comic book.

§ August 21st, 2017 § Filed under retailing, self-promotion § 8 Comments

So the other day on Twitter I was reminiscing about the influx of comic book price guide periodicals that flooded…well, wait, hold on, let me back up.

A few days ago a customer told me in passing that he’d heard Wizard was coming back. For those of you who don’t recall, Wizard was a monthly comic news/interview magazine that featured a price guide in the back, with occasional investment recommendations, lists of new first issues, and that sort of thing. It ceased publication a number of years ago, but the Wizard brand still appears on conventions, and I regularly get folks in the shop asking me if the latest issue of Wizard is out. (Technically, the answer to this is “yes,” I suppose.)

A little bit of Googling later, I found this article saying that Wizard is being relaunched as a digital “service,” with a quarterly magazine and a daily video thingamajigger. No word here on whether a price guide is part of the quarterly release, which, judging by my retail experience selling the magazine for its entire existence, was the magazine’s primary attraction. Okay, I exaggerate, but really, not by much. I’ve heard more than once “Wizard‘s gone!? Then how do you price your comics?” But the magazine’s appearance and content skewed young-ish, appealing to the teen crowd of comic readers that were then heavily populating the marketplace during the industry’s boom years. Features on “hot” comics and creators, pack-in freebies like trading cards (also “hot” for a time), offers for special “limited edition” comics…there was a lot of material to attract fans of a certain type, and there was nothing else quite like it on the market…at least until Hero Illustrated showed up.

Anyway, to get back where I started, this got me to thinking about the many other price guides that suddenly turned up during the last time lots of people remembered that comic books existed as items they could purchase. I’ve already mentioned Hero Illustrated, which was basically the same thing as Wizard, with articles that perhaps aimed at a very slightly older reader, but still had that big ol’ price guide section in the back. As I recall, the major difference from Wizard was that Hero sometimes offered “ashcan editions” (i.e. digest sized previews of comics) as pack-ins, along with the usual trading cards, etc.

Going a slightly different route was the magazine pictured above, Comics Values Monthly, the title of which you can almost read, there. I actually have two issues of this magazine in the Semi-Vast Comic Archives…that one there, which I bought for perhaps obvious reasons (“Wha–!? A Syphons preview!?”), and the other one being a special issue about the Death of Superman, of course. This was a less fancy publication than Wizard and Hero: black and white interiors, few articles, focus is on the “price” part of the mag. There’s the occasional goodie (this issue had a folded bound-in poster of its cover), oh, and just flipping through it, there’s an interview with Garth Ennis, which wasn’t as important to cover-blurb as Syphons, I guess. This mag also had an annual price guide softcover.

There were other monthly (or semi-monthly) price guide magazines. Overstreet had their own Wizard-esque price-guide-with-some-articles slick covered mag Overstreet Fan. (Amusingly enough, Wizard started their own annual price guide book, competing with Oversteet’s annual guide. That only lasted a couple of years, as I recall.) I don’t really remember a lot about the quality of the articles, but I do know they sent us a pretty cool clock (with the “Fan” logo across its face) that, as far as I know, is still working and displayed on the wall at my previous place of employment.

The long-running Comic Buyers’ Guide had a regular (quarterly?) price guide sometimes sealed in a polybag along with their tabloid editions. When it shifted from a weekly to a monthly, it had a price guide in the back of every issue, I believe.

And there were others, probably many short-lived mags. I seem to remember one or two that tried to be all-purpose price guides (like the appropriately-named Combo magazine) with prices for comics, toys, cards, Fabergé eggs, collectable shoes, what have you. I’m trying to remember if Beckett, the primary publisher of sports card price guides, ever did a comics price guide during this magical period of the 1990s. If not, they missed a bet, because man oh man did I ever have lots of people asking for our “comic book Becketts” at the time. (That’s how I knew a bunch of people bailed out of the card market to seek their fortune in funnybooks.)

In practical use, we tended to stick with the Overstreet annual guide for general pricing, with reference to Wizard for any month-to-month trends that an annual guide might miss. Once other price guides proliferated, we’d occasionally use those for reference as well, but not nearly as frequently as the Overstreet annual/Wizard monthly power pair.

Nowadays, it’s mostly Overstreet I use, plus just general awareness of local market conditions. I’ll pop in on the eBay to see if anything unusual happens to stand out, though given how things are organized there, it’s easier to just look up specific issues rather than just browse and hope you see relevant data. And I know there are online price guides services…I haven’t signed up for any of those, but one I looked at had a page of “CURRENT HOT ISSUES!” that didn’t hold any surprises for me this time, but might be a handy reference for knowing which titles people are going to wanting multiple copies of.

Don’t know that I really have a point to this beyond “hey, remember when there were too many price guides?” There was another thing on Twitter that I brought up, regarding the discrepancies in prices we’d often find between price guides, which was surely just a matter of differences in surveyed retailers and their own pricing trends. However, I remember my comic shop cohorts and I speculating that perhaps some guides pushed certain prices a little higher than they should have been, in order to attract more buyers. “Hey, Comics Cash Weekly lists the comics I own at higher prices than The Old Price Guide Grandpas UseComics Cash Weekly, you’ve got my money!” …However, clearly this would require a level of sleaziness that could never occur in the comics industry. But I do wonder if anyone actually did decide on which guide to buy based on that criteria? I mean, people have done weirder things for less reason.

As for Wizard‘s new venture…all I know about it is what I read in that article, but I honestly don’t know if “quarterly” is often enough when most big comics news/entertainment sites are updated multiple times daily. Yeah, I know they have the daily video thing, and we keep getting told video is the way everything is going, but…maybe I’m just an olds, but I’d prefer to read information online at my own pace rather than have someone talk at me. I mean, you read all this, right? …Hello?

• • •

Speaking of too much to read, installment #7 of the Swamp Thing-a-Thon is up at my Patreon page, covering Swamp Thing #6 from 1973. Only one dollar a month gets you into my exclusive club, where we’re all talking about you, right now…if only you were there to defend yourself!

I looked through my Amazing Heroes Preview Specials for way too long trying to find that book’s original title.

§ August 18th, 2017 § Filed under pal plugging, publishing, self-promotion § 1 Comment

A couple of reactions to Wednesday’s post:

Eric L asks

“OK, but was Radioactive Adolescent Black Belt Hamsters any good? The title sounds like a blatant rip off, but it seems to have lasted a while so maybe it had something going for it?”

The fact that the title “Adolescent Radioactive Black-Belt Hamsters” was so on the nose was pretty much part of the joke, and folks kept putting out books with more tortured variations of that title format. Even Marvel was going to get in on the act, with a one-shot titled Grown-up [or Adult] Thermonuclear Samurai Elephants, but it took so long to come out that the fad had passed, and it was renamed Power Pachyderms prior to its eventual unleashing.

But Hamsters was the first out of the gate in the “‘borrowing the Turtles’ sauce” race, and…well, as these things go, it wasn’t bad. I only had one copy of the comic in the store for me to flip through and remind myself of the actual contents:

…and of course it was the 3D special, which was a small bit of a challenge to my aging eyes. But, you know, it was amusing enough, and professionally done…it did its job as a funnybook. Also as I recall, other issues featured work by Ty Templeton and Sam Keith, so there were some interesting art jobs on the series that you probably wouldn’t have expected. Yes, it will always be remembered as “The First Knock-off of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and it deserves some credit (or, more likely, blame) for leading the way for the [blank] [blank] [blank] [animal, maybe] titles that would follow, but as black and white boom comics go, it’s certainly nowhere near the bottom.

Dave Carter says

“The comic I remember most from the B&W boom was Mark Martin’s Gnatrat. I recall quite enjoying it at the time (though may tastes may have been less discerning in those days…)”

Trust your memories at least on Gnatrat and related titles, Dave…as I mentioned in this post about The Boom, Mark Martin’s comics were Quality Products by a talented cartoonist, definitely top echelon of the period. They are Batman/Daredevil/Frank Miller parodies, but they hold up. There was a complete Gnatrat trade paperback a few years back…out of print, but used copies are cheap on Amazon at that link.

• • •

In other news:

  • The next installment in the Swamp Thing-a-Thon at my Patreon should be up over the weekend, or Monday at the latest. Only one dollar gets you a extra giant wall of text from me twice a month!
  • Alan David Doane notes a recent David Letterman interview where the talk show host reflects on frequent guest (and comics legend) Harvey Pekar. I remember watching all of these as they aired all those years ago…usually funny but so uncomfortable. I think it was in that final appearance that Dave got pissed at Harvey and referred to American Splendor as “this Mickey Mouse thing.” I suppose I could go look this up on YouTube, but that’ll probably just make me agitated.
  • Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with SPF 300,000 sunscreen, looks directly at the Sun-Eaterwithout protective lenses! Bully, NO! Always be safe when observing solar events!

And somehow Mike gets another post out of the Death of Superman.

§ August 16th, 2017 § Filed under death of superman, retailing § 3 Comments

So the other day I ran a little thread on the Twitteringabob about how, in the last few days, I have had an excessive number of people popping in to ask about the direct market edition of Superman #75, the infamous (and much discussed on this site) “Death of Superman” issue. In fact, in one instance there were a couple of guys hanging just outside my shop’s door, with one encouraging the other to “just go in and ask him, he’ll know!” As that happened, I even thought to myself “ooh, he’s going to ask me about the Death of Superman issue,” which was probably 15% Mike’s Psychic Powers manifesting themselves again, 90% Mike Has Been Dealing with As He Said Many Questions about This Comic for Days Now, and 3% Mike’s Not Very Good at Math.

Anyway, all these folks come in, inquiring about how much that particular issue is going for (and occasionally simultaneously wondering where their own copies may have been stashed away). As it happens, I’m currently out of stock on that issue, having recently sold through all my copies, but I inform them that my most recent price on that comic, in the sealed bag, in new condition, was $30. If you looked at that Twitter thingie I linked above, you’d have seen that I noted the general reaction was a slightly disappointed surprise, apparently at the fact that the price wasn’t much higher. Frankly, I’m surprised I can still sell them at that price…for years, back at the previous place of employment, we had ’em at $15 a pop, and even that started to creep up a small bit as we neared the end of my reign of terror there.

I opined in my Twitter posts that the “Death of Superman” issue, despite being sold in great numbers to people purchasing them as investments, likely suffered a sizeable attrition in sellable copies over the intervening decades due to poor storage, the kids getting at them, being peed upon by pets, whathaveyou. I know I’ve had several copies pass through the store in collections offered to me, only to pass on them because they were obviously wrecked. I knew I wrote about this on the site before, and it wasn’t even a year ago if you want to go back and read about this very thing in even greater detail.

In my view, then, at least locally, those bagged Superman funnybooks are getting harder to find in mint condition, so I feel at least a little justified in going $30 on them. I mean, I’m not getting much resistance at the price, and I’m out, so I guess that’s what the market will bear. I’m probably going to wait a while before that price scoots up any higher, though.

Oh, and at this late date, let me respond to Joe S. Walker’s comment there:

“How did you get on with all those copies of Teen Titans, The Falcon and the rest? Still got any?”

He’s referring to this, and I’m pretty sure my old boss Ralph got rid of all those in a massive back issue sale he made to another dealer. They’re Somebody Else’s Problem now!

Another topic brought up on Twitter that was discussed here on this site not too long ago was the 1980s black and white boom, mostly inspired by this tweet about my having a full run of Mark Bode’s Miami Mice in the shop. My primary reason for pointing it out was that I very rarely see later issues of the more obscure b&w boom indies of the period (assuming they had later issues…most were one Highly Investable Issue and done). For example, issue #1 and #2 of Miami Mice were familiar sights, but I can’t recall the last time I saw either #3 or #4. Of course, that’s because most people ordered heaviest on the first issues then slashed orders on the follow-ups so they could spend more money on other new first issues.

Like I say here, I wish I had more of a retailer’s eye view of the boom as it happened, though 30 years of comics-slinging later (tied together with having kept up with the comics press at the time) I have a general idea of what was going on. I just don’t have the memories of the stress of having to plow through the order forms of the time, trying to discern between people actually making an effort (like Bode’s Miami Mice), and people just cranking out shit to play the collectible market for some of that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-style mad money (like titles I could mention here, but won’t). But then again, I’d probably trade ordering comics then with having to deal with variant covers now. It’s always something.

Anti-Hitler Comics #1 (Summer 1992).

§ August 14th, 2017 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 1 Comment

For a while there, New England Comics (the publishers of The Tick were releasing several reprint series of Golden Age-era stories…mostly forgotten, probably public domain, and almost entirely strange. The longest running, and, for my money, the best of the bunch was Tales Too Terrible to Tell, a fat ol’ comic stuffed with terrible stories that, despite the title, they were telling anyway. Most issues of this and the other reprint books included copious historical notes about the publishers and the stories themselves. The reprints are all black and white, and reproduction is usually pretty good, depending on the source material they’re using…there’s the occasional muddy page, but if you don’t like it, go buy your own copy of the color original, effendi!

There were other reprint titles along other themes, such as Extinct! (featuring the oddball not-horror comics of the period) and My Terrible Romance (you can probably guess), and then there was this:


That awful feller Hitler gets what’s coming to him in the stories within, generally involving him being in Hell, and, y’know, good riddance. My main memory of actually having this book on the new comics rack at the time was the fact that the blue “Anti-” in the logo didn’t immediately register with people on first glance. The first thing a customer would see upon browsing the shelves were the big bold ‘n’ black words “HITLER COMICS” which, as I recall, elicited a comment or two. I would respond “Anti-Hitler Comics, ANTI!” and they’d look again and go “ooooooh, okay.” The little yellow slash symbols over the swastikas didn’t really come across at first glance, either…maybe it’s the fault of the cover design, or maybe it’s just that things like swastikas and the name “Hitler” cut through whatever attempts you can make to, um, soften the blow, I guess.

There are only really two stories inside…”Futuro Kidnaps Hitler and Takes Him to Hades,” which is, well, what it says on the tin:


That’s a great splash page which was probably something to behold in color…and the rest of the story suffers a bit by not being in color. The small-ish panels are filled with highly detailed but somewhat confusing activity that could have used a little color to make the action a tad more clear. (I, an effendi, should apparently go buy my own color copy of the original!) Anyway, Hitler is shown being shuttled from one punishment to the next, while Futuro tries to stop Hitler and Satan from teaming up to defeat him…and, well, as the text pieces note, this was published right after America entered the war, and the creators apparently felt they couldn’t just outright kill off Hitler since in the real world he was going to continue being an ongoing problem. It was enough that the story promised its readers that Hitler would get the punishment he deserved someday, either in this world or the next.

The second untitled story (save for the name of the story’s hero, the Unknown Soldier…not the DC Comics guy) is a little more peculiar, in that Hitler is presented as being Satan himself, who pops up to offer a solider, George Smith, safety and heroism in battle now, in exchange for his soul later.

The Unknown Solider uses his supernatural powers to attempt to intervene, while Hitler/Satan allows George his moments of heroism, only to instill cowardice in him later after removing his soul to undermine the troops’ morale. Hitler/Satan of course gets his comeuppance, as George regains his bravery after speaking to spirits of fallen heroes, and sacrifices himself in battle…stopping a German advance and freeing his soul from Hitler’s grasp.

These are a couple of nice, little-seen examples of wartime propaganda comics, and it would have been interesting to see what more the editors of this series had available. Alas, though a second issue was promised on the back cover, it never appeared. But if you need more anti-Hitler (or just anti-Nazi in general) funnybookin’, let me direct you to this Twitter hashtag.

Apparently Twitter was celebrating some Cat Day or ‘nother recently…

§ August 11th, 2017 § Filed under pal plugging, retailing, scans, self-promotion, the thing § 2 Comments

…being one of the at least three Cat Days recognized by God and man. Alas, I missed the August event, but I’m ready for the ones in October and February with this little ol’ panel right here:


Yeah, that’s right, cats are doin’ it for themselves, standin’ on their little cat feet, and not taking any guff from the fella with the syringe. He totally had it coming. Anyway: Cat Day, everyone, Cat Day!

In other news:

  • I mentioned the new Mister Miracle #1 on Wednesday, and it was quite the hit apparently. My initial order on this was a little on the low side, since New Gods material that’s not by Kirby can be bit of a hard sell…but after having several customers ask about it and getting some additions to the pull lists, well, I was convinced to go a little higher. Not high enough, it seems, as they’re gone now, but I would have been out a lot more quickly otherwise. Oh, and Diamond seems to be out of stock on ’em as well, so look forward to that second printing announcement Any Day Now…if it hasn’t happened already. I don’t know, I was busy today.

    Now it remains to be seen if the right lessons are learned, two of which are of course 1) more Tom King/Mitch Gerads comics, and 2) more good Fourth World comics. The wrong lesson is 3) “better crank out more Fourth World comics as fast as possible by anyone we can get, it’s hot hot hot right now!” but let’s see what happens.

    I did have one person come in to grab the comics because, as this customer declared, “Mister Miracle is my favorite character!” I’m really curious about what her reaction was to the actual comic, since it’s quite a different take than what we’ve seen before. Depends how she liked Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers version, I guess.

    Fellow blogging machine Ryan has a few words to say about this here new Scott Free funnybook, so go see what he’s got to say.

  • NOT COMICS: pal Andrew talks about his brief obsession with slot car racing, one that I also shared for a short time in my long-ago youth. As I recall, the gimmick with the set I had was that the cars could change lanes, which I thought was pretty slick. The neighbor kid across the street and I whiled away some precious days goofin’ around with these things. …I’ve got no big reveal or life lesson here, just thought you should know I wasted my life doing stuff other than reading comics.
  • Don’t tell Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull Too Young to Know about Such Things, but that Amalgam-ated character’s name could have been truncated into much, much worse form. I mean, that had to be on purpose, right? …Anyway, I apologize in advance. (Oh, and I just looked at the comments there, and I guess Twitter pal Evan beat me to the same shameful conclusion.)
  • Hey, have I reminded you lately about my store‘s Instagram page? I set it up quite a while ago, but I’m trying to use it more frequently now…usually posting pics of goodies around the store and new acquisitions, with the occasional pic of Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew. Please, follow me there if you are so inclined!

 
 

image from Unexpected #197 (April 1980) by George Kashdan & Ruben Yandoc

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