That Bill Murray didn’t reprise his role as the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four radio show is our greatest shame.

§ July 10th, 2015 § Filed under retailing § 1 Comment

I wanted to thank you folks for helping out Fred with his GoFundMe campaign…especially one of you who made an especially generous contribution. Most kind of all of you. If anyone still has a spare dollar or two to pass his way, please do so if you can.

In other news…perhaps you’ve heard that the San Diego Comic Con is goin’ on at the moment. You know, that place where half the folks are all “gah, it’s not about comics any more!” and the other half are all “man, too many new comic book series are being announced!” and the other, other half are dressed as, I don’t know, “Steampunk Firefly” or something. But the one thing I was worried about was that, given my store’s relative proximity to the proceedings, I was wondering if business was going to take a hit this week. Sometimes at the previous place of employment things would take a little dip from the regulars who headed to the show, but then we’d have folks traveling through town on their way to the ‘con who would stop by and do a little shopping, and that would make up for it.

So far, I’m doing okay…in fact, business is up a little over previous weeks, so maybe I worried about nothing. And I say “maybe” because I still have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ahead. Let’s see how things go…but just in case, do you want to look at my eBay auctions, perhaps?

I’ve been keeping tabs on some of the stuff that’s going on down there, and yeah, there’s the typical Batman movie news, and a whole bunch of Vertigo titles headed our way, and, um, Bill Murray, apparently, but the only news worth reading is, of course, Jim Starlin doing a new Dreadstar comic. No publisher as yet, but with the possibility of a TV show, hopefully it won’t be too difficult to find someone to handle it.

I have been asked quite a bit if I was heading down to San Diego myself, and sadly, that’s not going to happen this year either. Previous years the Comic Con always seemed to come at a time that was inconvenient for me to go, and this year is no different…particularly if I’m there, no one will be at the shop to run it, and your pal Mike makes no coin of the realm in the process. Maybe next year, if I can find a sucker employee by then, I’ll make the trip. I’d better get my Slave Leia costume ready, just in case.

If you can help my friend, please do.

§ July 8th, 2015 § Filed under pal plugging § No Comments

My pal Fred, who worked with me for a while at my old place of employment, has found himself in bit of a financial bind and is asking for a little help. I know things are tough all over, but if you happen to have a buck or five to send his way, it would mean a lot to me and it would certainly mean a lot to him. Fred is a good guy with a wonderful family, and I’m sure we all know how hard it is to ask for help like this no matter how badly we need it.

Fred also has some books he’s written up on Amazon, if you’re so inclined as well.

Thanks, pals.

“This Gravitar comic book is too hard to read.”

§ July 7th, 2015 § Filed under pal plugging, swamp thing, video games § 9 Comments

Just announced: a few other minis or whatever, plus Swamp Thing, a mini-series written by Swampy’s cocreator Len Wein and illustrated by Kelley Jones. It’s the same creative team as the Convergence: Swamp Thing mini-series from a couple of months ago, which…uh, well, didn’t really do much for me, but that’s more the result, I think, of Wein writing to editorial edict, having to tie othe story into a half-baked crossover event. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of Wein and Jones on a standalone series.

Okay, I’m looking forward to Gerry Conway on Firestorm, too, and, as a longtime fan of Sugar & Spike, and also as a longtime fan of outright evil, this update of Sugar & Spike as grown-up detectives just seems downright amazing. Especially given that Keith Giffen is at the helm. Good thing this is a mini-series because as an ongoing it would have the stink of death all over it, but I honestly can’t wait to see what’s going on here.

You know, if feels like as if a couple of my ideas from this post from a while back are coming to fruition, or at least close enough for horseshoes. …C’MON SOLO ALFRED COMIC.

• • •

In other weird-ass news, Dynamite’s made a deal with Atari to not only create new works based on its properties, but to reprint old Atari-related comics as well. While I’m sure most of you are looking forward to the deluxe hardcover treatment of the Yar’s Revenge cartridge pack-in comic that is surely coming, I’m more intrigued by the possibility of a fancypants edition of the old Atari Force series. Yes, at long last, Tempest and his power-mullet on high grade paper with computer coloring. Oh, and also one of most fun and beautifully-illustrated newsstand comics of the ’80s, featuring the work of Gerry Conway, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Mike Baron and Eduardo Barreto, although good luck convincing anyone of that because it was named Atari Force, after all.

Part of me wants Conway and Garcia-Lopez to return and continue the story, but, well, “you can’t go home again, probably,” says the guy who was looking forward to the Swamp Thing comic just a few paragraphs ago. But boy, I sure did look forward to a new issue of Atari Force every month. That was one of my all-time favorites. …Ah, heck, I do want to see them back on the book. I can’t help it. We’re all fanboys about something.

Oh, and if you’re doing new graphic novels based on Atari properties, I volunteer to write this one.

• • •

So, hoo boy, how ’bout that Airboy thing, huh? I discussed the new Image series briefly on my site a little while back, and it seemed like most folks were into it, and then #2 came out and boy, did people turn on a dime. Twitter pal Charlotte took on the task of explaining just what went wrong and it’s definitely worth a read. And it’s good to see that the writer, James Robinson, released a heartfelt and thoughtful apology. A few folks have commented on Charlotte’s article not getting what the big deal is, not understanding that here, in what would ordinarily be the very future-sounding year of 2015, there are still human beings begging other human beings for the right to be treated as human beings, and maybe portrayals like in Airboy #2 aren’t helping the cause. A couple of the more egregious comments have been deleted since I last looked, thankfully.

Anyway, it’s certainly an unfortunate incident, but at least it’s resulted in good discussion such as Charlotte’s article. Hopefully some folks who need to will learn a little something from it.

• • •

Grant Morrison is the new editor of Heavy Metal, and blogging brother Tim O’Neil has just a few words about that particular development.

And Rerun’s older than many of you reading this right now.

§ July 6th, 2015 § Filed under peanuts § 3 Comments

While the designation of “my favorite individual Peanuts strip” will attach itself to a different entry depending on what Peanuts I’ve read most recently, currently this strip holds the honor for me:


Lucy’s panicked interruption is pretty amazing.

Anyway, I’m currently reading Fantagraphics’s The Complete Peanuts: 1993-1994 which is not the current volume, but the one previous to the 1995-1996 volume released just a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, I had missed the 1993-1994 volume as it had come out during that transitional period when I was leaving my old place of employment and beginning to establish my new criminal lair in the heart of Camarillo, and didn’t realize it until one of my regulars pointed out that he too was missing that book.

Rerun is fairly prominent in this volume:


…which reminds me of how I keep thinking that he’s a much later addition to the strip than he actually is. When I was a kid, I read a lot of Peanuts reprint books, mostly those oversized Holt, Rinehart and Winston-published trade paperbacks. Mostly I checked them out of the library, though once I managed to scrape together the $3.95 to get one of my own (And A Woodstock in a Birch Tree from 1979 — still on my bookshelf now!). My introduction to Rerun was about that time, and I understood then that, unlike the other more firmly established characters in the strip, he was a newer addition to the cast, and because I “discovered” him in the late 1970s, it just sort of lodged in my head that he dated from the late ’70s.

Of course, that’s not the case. He was first mentioned in 1972, and actually appeared in the strip in 1973, so Rerun’s been around about as long as I’ve been able to read. Or, to put it another way, for over half the life of the Peanuts strip itself. And yet, he still feels like “the new cast member,” probably because the character was put on the backburner for a very long time, only returning to prominence in the strip’s final years.

I always loved the self-awareness of the character’s name as well, with Schulz seemingly admitting (or just outright saying as such in that 1972 strip) that we were going to go through the aging-from-baby-to-peer-of-Charlie-Brown process again, one that had occurred with both of Rerun’s siblings, Lucy and Linus, as well as Schroeder and Charlie Brown’s sister Sally. Rerun’s sporadic use over the history of the strip did result in some “continuity” (as it were) errors, detailed in this Wiki entry. The accelerated aging process had a few bumps in the road, such as confusion as to whether he was able to walk or if he was still crawling.

Getting back to the 1993-4 edition of The Complete Peanuts, we see another one of Schulz’s crazy one-off kid characters:


…which always look so weird in contrast to the regular cast. It’s almost a literal depiction of the strangeness one feels as a child when first meeting someone outside of your immediate and familiar circle of friends. Yes, “as a child,” we adults don’t have awkward responses like that ever, nosirree. But anyway, someone should catalog all these one-off, usually nameless, characters. “The Forgotten Kids of Peanuts” — almost sounds like a spin-off strip, where children from summer camps and surrounding neighborhoods relate tales of a dog that walked like a human, of a boy with a blue blanket that almost seemed to have a mind of its own, of a swirling storm of dust and filth that may have contained a child within.

No, not the horse.

§ July 3rd, 2015 § Filed under cartoons, superman § 7 Comments

supermandestroyscomet

1. That’s some typesetting.

2. The Pope story is so big, they featured it twice. Unless the Pope is going somewhere after he goes to Zimbabwe, since the destination is cut off in that second article.

3. Well, that’s an unfortunate date. …Even the most innocuous of usage sticks out like a sore thumb now.

4. Honestly, that typesetting. But I’m grateful to this newfangled Digital Versatile Disc technology allowing us to freeze on frames like these for such important projects as, say, looking for injokes or poking some gentle fun.

 
 

still from “Superman and Wonder Woman vs. the Sorceress of Time” (1988)

Links in lieu of content.

§ July 2nd, 2015 § Filed under pal plugging § No Comments

 

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ June 29th, 2015 § Filed under End of Civilization § 8 Comments

Psst. Hey. Hey, you. Stop lookin’ around yourself like that, I’m talkin’ to you. Anyways, you know what I got here? Yeah, you know what this is. This is the good stuff. This is that End of Civilization you’ve been hearin’ all the other kids yakkin’ about. Here, take this July 2015 edition of the Diamond Previews and check it out. Yeah, it’s free. The first one’s always free:

p. 76 – BPRD Neon Sign:


“Uh…is that a long-necked bunny with a top hat and a monocle?”

“Oh, come now, you’re just stretching for a joke at this point.”

“Okay…uh, it’s Señor Wences with a lollipop, and…he’s running really fast, making those speedlines kind of at the top, there.”

“Señor Wences. Really.”
 
 
p. 150 – DC Comics Icons Harley Quinn Statue:


5200 what? 5200 separate Harley Quinn statue designs? “Here’s one of her playing badminton! Here’s one of her doing her taxes! Add on that new wing to the house, here comes a full set of her dressed as every Green Lantern!”

…There seem to be a lot of Harley Quinn statues, is what I’m saying.
 
 
p. 156 – Star Wars Artifact Edition HC:


Yup, going back to the comic’s original art firmly establishes that Camie shot Fixer first.
 
 
p. 165 – Star Trek New Visions The Survival Equation:


OH NO, BYRNE’S PHOTOSHOP CLONE STAMP HAS BROKEN LOOSE, EVERYBODY RUN
 
 
p. 186 – From Hell & The From Hell Companion Slipcase:


Finally, these two books are conveniently stored in one handy slipcase so you can continue to enjoy that one volume again and again.
 
 
p. 218 – Science Is The New Rock ‘n’ Roll:


…In that an uncomfortable number of parents think science is also from the devil? Or that Neil deGrasse Tyson once played a flaming guitar with his tongue before smashing it onstage? Or that if you play the Second Law of Thermodynamics backwards, you hear a mysterious warbling voice intoning “GOD DID IT?”
 
 
p. 268-9 – Jughead #1:


New interpretations of the Archie gang are beginning to pile up…we’re going to see some kind of “Crisis of Infinite Archies” or “Secret Archie Wars” or some darned thing pretty soon. New Look Archie versus The New Archies, “Death of Archie” Archies vs. To Riverdale and Back Again Archies — you know, like that.

Yeah, I’d totally buy that.
 
 
p. 318 – Aliens/Vampirella #1:


DO NOT REVEAL THE SHOCKING ENDING [the Alien Queen emerges from the shadows, wearing Vampi’s costume — unspeakable desires awaken across America].
 
 
p. 451 – The Ages of Iron Man SC:


Let’s see…Silver, Bronze, Copper…nope, no iron. Sorry.
 
 
p. 458 – The Big Bang Theory Kit:


Not pictured: a “Yes, This Store Is Just Like The Big Bang Theory” t-shirt for comic shop owners.
 
 
p. 458 – Ghostbusters The Ultimate Visual History HC:


A whole chapter devoted to close-ups of bro ‘Busters fans crying after finding out just how they’re getting Ghostbusters 3 finally? Delicious.
 
 
p. 478 – Swamp Thing “Flip Mask” Black T-Shirt:


Will be wearing this all day, every day at the shop. Just me, shirt pulled up over my head, silently standing behind the counter. Occasionally I’ll shift slightly in your direction if you speak or make a sound.
 
 
p. 495 – Back to the Future Monopoly Board Game:


Do not pass GO, do not make like a tree and get out of here.
 
 
p. 520 – Pop! Peanuts Vinyl Figures:


Oh, good, I was wondering when Peanuts Zombies would hit the shelves.
 
 
p. 528 – Legend of Zelda Link Deluxe Adult Kit:


“GASP! Master gave Dobby a windsock!”

You’d think my face would be used to egg by now.

§ June 25th, 2015 § Filed under superman, this week's comics § 8 Comments

superman41cvr

So it occurred to me a few days ago, in regards to all my griping about the order in which this “Truth” storyline in the Superman books is playing out, that what we’re getting in the forthcoming Superman #41 (the issue readers were referred to in Action #41, the actual first part of “Truth” to hit the stands) is backstory intentionally deferred until after the in media res chapters we’ve already seen. And now that I’ve seen the issue, that’s more or less what happened, though, well…here’s what the original solicitation says for Superman #41:

“The epic new storyline ‘TRUTH’ continues with the debut of the amazing new creative team of new writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and continuing artists John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson! What will happen when the big secret is revealed?”

Okay, the storyline continues, so I was wrong about this issue being delayed and thus “the first chapter” of this storyline being skipped with following chapters being released. The egg is in my face, as the saying goes. “The big secret is revealed” in a way, though not how we expected, in that someone knows, but it’s not the big “here’s how the world found out!” reveal everyone was assuming would happen in this issue. And you know what they say about assuming…it makes an “ass” out of “you,” and, um, somebody else, I think…slips my mind at the moment.

The editorial aside to Superman’s reference in Action #41 to having a couple of “crazy weeks,” asking readers to see the then-forthcoming Superman #41 for details, certainly gave me the impression that this would be the issue where the secret I.D. hits the fan, but I was wrong again. Instead, it looks like this will be the book where it catches us up on what happened, while the other Super-books give us the “current” adventures. Don’t know if my previous assumptions were from misdirection or outright being misled, but I’ve been enjoying this particular direction of the franchise so far, so I guess I’ll just have to deal with it.

I am curious, plotwise, how they’re going to get this particular genie back in the bottle without “magic” or “Brainiac wipes everyone’s memory” or some other similarly cheaty fashion. I know the general meandering direction of the genre has been kinda/sorta away from the secret identity concept, but it still holds firm in some parts. I doubt Superman, the archetypal example of this particular trope, will be left without his Clark Kent for long, but it’s interesting in the meantime.

Keeping it short because I have to be at the store at Stupid O’Clock in the morning.

§ June 24th, 2015 § Filed under pal plugging § 6 Comments

 

  • Pal Dave reports on his cosplay adventures at Heroescon.
  • Pal Andrew’s latest Nobody’s Favorites installment is on a comic I almost wrote about for that music magazine I worked for in the 1990s.
  • The Secret Wars tie-in none of you deserve.
  • So the other day I met my brother-in-blogging Tim O’Neil in person for the first time when he dropped by my shop. In the course of our conversation, it came up, much to Tim’s surprise, that I’d never read Frank Herbert’s Dune, nor could I make it through the movie.

    I believe this revelation deeply disturbed Tim, for arriving in the store’s mailbox a few days later:

    mikedune
    I’m guessing this is a friendly suggestion of some kind.

Angrier about the damaged product than he is afraid of the hideous infernal beast born of the pit roaming his aisles.

§ June 22nd, 2015 § Filed under archie, harvey § 3 Comments

In other news, Veronica has got herself some of that Spider-Man eyeliner:

“Here, try some of our other ‘eye fantasy’ styles, most of which will probably not result in any sort of permanent blindness. We recommend Style 4 in the bottom right corner, ‘Scrambled Eggs and Painted Fingernails.'”

Everyone say hello to Alphonse:


“HELLO, ALPHONSE.”
 
 

images from Hot Stuff The Little Devil #118 (September 1973) and Laugh #208 (June 1968)

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