And hey, how ’bout that nutty Star Wars bar / Can you forget all the creatures in there?

§ December 18th, 2015 § Filed under star wars § No Comments

You may have noticed the reduced schedule this week…a combination of still-recovering-from-illness and prepping-for-Christmas has brought about a dearth of content here, which…well, What Can You Do? But it’s almost a moot point anyway, since everyone is out Star Wars-ing it up and not doing dumb stuff like reading blogs or anything.

Speaking of which: I am pleased to see that reaction from pals of mine upon the Twitter seems to be generally positive to The Force Awakens. I mean, let’s be honest, even if everyone said “hoo boy, what a stinker,” I’d still go because Star Wars got a firm hold in my heart and my brain when I was eight years old and hasn’t let go yet, though the grasp loosed just a tad as I watched Anakin and Padmé roll around in the grassy fields on Naboo in Attack of the Clones. But, people seemed to like it, which makes me anxious to see it even more.

I said on the Twitters that I felt like I was somehow betraying younger me because I wasn’t going to be immediately at a theater the second the film entered general release. Alas, adult responsibility and just plain ol’ scheduling is probably keeping me from catching the film until early next week. In the meantime, the big keywords on social media right now is “NO SPOILERS!” and most decent folks seem to be adhering to that pretty strongly. I, of course, am in the prime danger zone for spoilage, what with running a funnybook store an’ all, but a few times in the recent past customers were discussing other movies, TV shows or comics or whatever that could have involved spoilers were usually preceded by inquiries as to whether or not I would be spoiled by their discussions. So, you know, that’s good. I’d hate to have to do what one store did and ban for life anyone spoiling the film.

The big point of discussion right now is “when are you seeing it?” assuming of course “it” doesn’t refer to the new Alvin and the Chimpmunks flick. I am curious if I’m going to see a “Star Wars dip” in my sales over the weekend, if enough of my clientele decide to head to a local Googol-plex and catch a viewing on one of its twenty-two screens featuring The Force Awakens. The other thing that one or two people asked about is if I think the Star Wars comics are going to hit the same sales wall that other comics with movie adaptations do once the film is actually in release. Like, when, say, Sin City sold really well until the film came out, and then it took years to start approaching its old sales levels again. In the case of Star Wars, I don’t think it’s going to go like that…I’m not the only one Star Wars got its grip on, and Star Wars is more of a widespread cultural thing anyway, not some niche item in which the masses briefly find interest until the film’s come and gone.

If there’s a danger of the Star Wars comics significantly dropping in sales, it’s going to come from oversaturation in the comics marketplace. And hey, when’s Marvel ever done that?

Anyway, I’ll probably have something substantial to say about the actual film once I go and see it. In the meantime, be sure to read blogging brother Tim’s quite-good post on the whole Star Warsian thing.

Tuesday is the new Monday.

§ December 15th, 2015 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, pal plugging, self-promotion, star wars § 1 Comment

Sorry for missing Monday again…I’m still recovering from a cold, and decided “turning in early” was the better strategy for Sunday evening than “generating website content.” Write in for your refunds, etc. etc. …But seriously, while I’ve been at the reduced schedule on this site for a few years now, I always like to have a Monday post, but sometimes it just can’t happen. Thanks for your patience!

In other news:

  • Last week I was interviewed about the 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Kit for an article that appeared yesterday over at Yahoo! Movies. For those of you who don’t know what the Early Bird Kit was, it’s explained thoroughly in the article, but in short, it was a gussied-up coupon for the first batch of Star Wars action figures that parents could put under the Christmas tree since Kenner wasn’t going to have the figures themselves ready for the first gift-giving season after the film’s release.

    As the article states, I was the recipient of one of these kits, and while I’m sure modern kids would think that would have been a completely ridiculous thing to receive in place of actual toys, I assure you, I was quite thrilled with it. I filled out that coupon and mailed it in right away, and probably not so patiently awaited the several months for the toys themselves to arrive.

    I mentioned this in my interview, but it didn’t make the article, so I’ll go ahead and share it here: the batch of figures was supposed to be Luke, Leia, R2-D2 and Chewbacca. However, when my package of Early Bird figures finally arrived, there was sadly an R2-shaped hole in my particular assortment. The plucky little astromech was accidentally left out of my box!

    Well, 8-or-possibly-at-this-point-9-year-old me wasn’t thrilled at this turn of events, as you might imagine. At my parents’ encouragement, I wrote a letter to Kenner apprising them of the situation, requesting a replacement R2 unit. I even drew a picture (or, ahem, three or four) of R2-D2 in my letter, just to make sure the folks at the toy company knew exactly which Star Wars figure I was specifically referencing.

    Eventually, Kenner did send me a replacement R2-D2. It took a while, or at least what passes in the head of a 8-or-9-year-old as “a while,” and while I was waiting, during a Star Wars-oriented visit to the local toy emporium, I had gone ahead and purchased another R2, among several other figures. Which of course meant that when that replacement from Kenner arrived, I had R2-D2 and R2-D2 starring in The ‘Droid Trap or whatever sort of Star Wars toy playing I was doing at the time.

    Sadly, several decades later many of my Star Wars toys are long gone, including both R2s. I do have a few figures left, including that original old Early Bird Chewbacca, and I currently have my original one of these sitting on top of my desk even as I type this, staring at me with its single eye.

    Sigh. Not that I need more stuff in my house, but I do still wish I had all my Star Wars figures. I have one of those books that has nice big color photos of every figure from the line, but it’s not quite the same.

  • This week’s Question Time over at Trouble with Comics was “name a favorite book by a creator new to comics this decade.” There are several good answers over there, including one or a dozen I wish I’d thought of, but I think my response isn’t a bad one.
  • Bully the Little Computerless Bull now has a new magic counting box in his barn so he’s back to busily tapping his little hooves on his keyboard generating content just for you! However, pal Andrew of Armagideon-Time fame stepped in for a number of guest-posts while Bully was down-and-out, and did his usual excellent job filling in with some great entries celebrating the fun of comics.

Still crossing my fingers for that Hex collection.

§ December 10th, 2015 § Filed under swamp thing § 8 Comments

chall83So Twitter pal BobH pointed this out to me just the other day…a listing for the forthcoming second Roots of the Swamp Thing hardcover (also on Amazon).

Now this hasn’t turned up in Diamond’s system yet, so I don’t have specific details, but from the description it sounds like it’ll be reprinting the balance of the original 1970s Swamp Thing series past the first thirteen issues presented in volume one. My dream reprint project (as noted here) a reality at last! Finally the rest of those great Nestor Redondo-illustrated issues (plus the oddball Ernie Chan/Fred Carrillo story at the end) presented with (hopefully) decent paper and printing.

Assuming the book just reprints the remaining 11 issues in that original Swamp Thing run, this will be a bit shorter than the previous volume. I don’t have an actual page count yet, but it would be nice if they could include whatever pages exist of the unpublished #25.

Less likely would be the inclusion of the interim Swampy stories between the end of the original series and the 1980s relaunch (which were only six years apart, which seems really weird to me). There weren’t really that many Swamp Thing stories in that period…a couple of Brave and the Bold appearances, the DC Comics Presents, those Challengers of the Unknown guest-starring Swampy and Deadman…. Actually, a third volume reprinting all these together wouldn’t be too bad, though the Challengers stories, while wrapping up a plotline or two from the end of the ’70s Swamp Thing comic, don’t quite have the legendary funnybook cachet of the Wein/Wrightson/Redondo era and are probably way low on the reprint priority list.

As I said at that Trouble with Comics link, maybe this will someday lead to a collection of the Marty Pasko/Tom Yeates collaboration in the early issues of the releaunch. That could also stand being on nice paper under one cover, not to mention the possibility of being discovered by a new audience after populating dollar boxes and whatnot for so long.

Pretty sure my house *is* the Old Bloggers Home.

§ December 7th, 2015 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, cap and the falcon, pal plugging § 1 Comment

So in case you missed it, the twelfth anniversary of this here website was this past Saturday, so be sure to go back and check out my crazy epic-length post. Thanks to everyone for your well-wishes, and let’s hope I can get a few more years out of this thing before I am forced to enter the Old Bloggers Home.

Particularly kind was this write-up from Twitter pal and fellow blogger Ryan. It’s nice when people remember that I’ve been at this…not blogging, but in the comics retail business in general…for a long, long time. I’ve seen some things, maaaaaan. And with any luck I’ll be around to share even more of those things that I’ve seen, even if I have to wait ’til certain involved parties 1) pass away or 2) are jailed. …But enough about pal Ian!

Really, though…thanks for reading and sticking with me all this time.

• • •

I had a small collection of old comics come into my shop the other day…well, not on their own, someone was carrying them…and I ended up purchasing about a dozen copies of 1970s Captain America, back when it had been retooled as Captain America and the Falcon. That reminded me an old feature on this site, which I last did in…2006? Good gravy, that long ago? But it was “And Now A Moment with Cap and the Falcon,” which always made me laugh if not anyone else. So, here we go, making its triumphant return to the virtual pages of Progressive Ruin after nearly ten years away:

And now a moment with…Cap and the Falcon:

capfalc191
I hope those two crazy mixed-up kids can learn to get along.

• • •

What’s THIS? Disaster strikes!? Bully, The Bull Who Is Stuffed, without a computer? But wait! Who’s this!? Pal Andrew, filling in with a swell post just in the nick of time! The day is saved!
 
 

image from Captain America #191 (November 1975) by Tony Isabella, Bill Mantlo, Frank Robbins and D. Bruce Berry

“Suddenly, twelve years later….”

§ December 5th, 2015 § Filed under suddenly... § 15 Comments

Twelve years? Why, it feels like no more than eleven years and a few months that I’ve been at this, writing a silly comics blog and trying to entertain those few people I don’t otherwise annoy. But here I remain, plugging away at it when time allows…I still enjoy doing it, and I hope you folks out there still enjoy reading it, and thank you for doing so.

Thanks also to my extremely patient girlfriend Nora, my parents, pal Dorian, my fellow bloggers, my customers, and of course Neilalien, First Among Comic Bloggers.

Speaking of customers, my store Sterling Silver Comics is still movin’ along as well, now having completed the first year and one month of its hopefully long life. It’s been long enough that I’ve now lost count of the number of people who have shouted “BIG BANG THEORY!” or “SHELDON!” in and outside of the premises. That’s okay, they mean well.

I also got to meet a handful of people that I’ve known primarily from the Internet, such as longtime reader of the site Walaka, who wrote up a very nice review of my store right here. Longtime blogging brother Tim O’Neil has been good enough to pop into the shop a couple of times. The amazing Karla Pacheco (creator of America’s most evil book Inspector Pancakes Helps the President of France Solve the White Orchid Murders) stopped in, and don’t tell anybody, but she’s a sweetheart! And then there was that time I met up with the artist Coop (link NSFW, probably!) at his Los Angeles studio to get my filthy capitalist mitts on his funnybooks. And several other folks who’ve been reading this goofy website came into my shop anyway, so thanks to them, too!

Despite the lighter posting schedule here caused by your pal Mike being at the shop seven days a week, I still threw in with the group comics blog Trouble with Comics. I’ve only been a participant in the weekly Question Time segment, but I find it a useful and entertaining writing exercise, occasionally forcing me to think about and write upon topics I wouldn’t necessarily address. …And hey, the rest of the site is good, too!

And of course, I’m still nattering away on the Twitters, where you can follow me at @mikesterling (literally “at at-mikesterling” but it looks funny without the second “at”). There, you can see me tweet about my day-to-day store happenings:

twitfart

twitalex

twitshirts

twitafter

twitpudding

Once in a while I get the best of compliments:

twitmagic

Sometimes I ponder the very nature of comics retailing:

twitcape

Then there are the reactions I receive to the very idea of a comic shop:

twitclerk

twitofall

twitcant

You can also catch my opinions on recognition by the public and my peers:

twitaward

Or you can see my insightful media commentary:

twitarrow

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And of course, my behind the scenes thoughts on comics blogging:

twitblog

Speaking of blogging, I did manage to do some this year. My End of Civilization posts have been curtailed somewhat, but they’ll be back someday. In the meantime, please enjoy some of these pseudo-highlights from the previous twelve months:

DECEMBER 2014

Still waiting for that Lego Superhero comic, Spawn: still no reboot, I’m still doing this, Swamp Thing’s new uniform, somehow I combine a newspaper article about my store with tales about shipping stuff to prisons, a Christmas gift from a little stuffed bull to me, rare! hot! l@@k! Malibu and Death of Superman variants!

JANUARY 2015

Will Tom Servo read Swamp Thing in the MST3K reboot, they never did fix Miracleman #14, I look at your predictions for 2014 (parts 1 2 c % Q #), hey Mike just opened a store let’s screw with his orders, forget what I wrote (particularly the bit where I held out some hope for the Fantastic Four movie) just ENJOY THE DANCING GROOTS.

FEBRUARY 2015

Dirty filthy dirty comics, an odd Hulk variant I hadn’t seen before, you don’t get characters named “Miss Bikini Luv” too much anymore, Superboy Vs. Man-Thing Vs. Swamp Thing, water-skiing superheroes of the 1970s, an unpublished Swamp Thing cover, I willed this art into being, so long Mr. Nimoy.

MARCH 2015

Star Trek between-movie continuity is weird, Curt Swan Spock, Spock visits the Next Generation in comics prior to the TV show, the Grand Comics Database now has a scan of this comic thanks to me (see?), the atomic number of palladium is 46 – geez do I have to explain everything, man I love these Dr. Fate comics, this is one beat up copy of Venus.

APRIL 2015

Not even the slightest bit of sympathy from Superman for comic book artists, who knows what evil lurks in these Shadow toys, Venom can really talk you guys, so long Herb, the day I broke my Swamp Thing collection, man I was really nervous about how Free Comic Book Day was going to go at my new store, only about 3/4th of a cover away from one of those blank sketch covers.

MAY 2015

Prepping for Free Comic Book Day at the new shop, Before, During and After FCBD, sometimes jokes force me to do them, always time to talk about DC’s logos, THIS MAN THIS WHALE, feel kinda bad for layin’ into Valiant this hard but c’mon, this is one of the earliest comic book “Easter Eggs” I remember spotting, hey I actually managed to sell this comic in the store a while back.

JUNE 2015

These hands have done terrible things, I complain about the whole Shazam thing again, I can’t believe I made it this far along on the blog without telling my story about The One, you will never be as amazing as Christopher Lee, turns out the latest issue of the series being discussed was a fill-in more or less, pretty sure I can do this entire opening monologue by memory, I discuss the current Superman storylines while apologizing for my misinterpretation of how they were being handled…hey, I’m allowed my yearly mistake.

JULY 2015

I love blowing up details from cartoons, I still have trouble dealing with the idea of Rerun, I talk about the then-forthcoming return of Bloom County like a whole day before it returned, people still ask if I take credit cards (and here’s a follow-up), that Comics Code stamp still cracks me up, a small review of Ant-Man appropriately enough.

AUGUST 2015

I sure have a lot to say about a movie I haven’t seen yet, in fact here’s some Dr. Doom talk inspired by the movie, oh Good Lord a third post, well Iron Man sales are a tiny bit higher than before but there was still a good-sized cut from #1 to #2, still trying to get a pull quote on any comic, I haven’t put the magazine back yet, Jack Kirby’s second greatest character, so long Wes.

SEPTEMBER 2015

Nearly sold all those Famous Monsters…except the one pictured of course, these are a couple of my favorite books, sometimes I’m sure a thing is worth money, the DC mini-implosion, my readers turn a throw-away gag into art, “Giant-Size Man-Thing” is the gift that just keeps on giving, Superman Vs. Cheerios, na na na na na na na na BAT-DAY.

OCT 2015

I answer your questions (parts 1 2 3 4 5 6), who doesn’t like a nice tall glass of Meat Nog, the anniversary of leaving my previous place of employment, compare and contrast two Swamp Thing figures, I never grow tired of Harvey Comics, the greatness of Curt Swan (and a follow-up).

NOVEMBER 2015

Hey my store made it a whole year somehow, I guess none of you know anything about this comic either, at long last the third glow-in-the-dark Swamp Thing figure the world needed, at this rate I’ll get around to reading this in 2018, but I did flip through it enough to write this semi-overview, just get Rob Liefeld to wrap up this series – you know he’d do it, America’s Greatest Comic Book, REBOOT TO THE HEAD.

DECEMBER 2015

Really the only post for this month prior to the anniversary – that’s what sickness does to you!

• • •

In all sincerity, thank you so much for reading my site, whether you’ve been with me from the beginning or just started today. I greatly appreciate it.

For reading all that, here’s a pic of me from several years ago, clearly having no time for your shenanigans:

tiredmike

Thanks again, everyone, and I’ll see you on Monday.

You see, it’s funny because Marvel Comics used to be Timely Comics.

§ December 3rd, 2015 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot § 2 Comments

Recovering from a nasty cold, so when I’m not struggling through work at my very own comic book shop, I’ve been in bed zipping through multiple episodes of Gotham on Netflix. As a result…not much going on here on this site this week. Sorry about that. But I am feeling a bit better now and should be back on my virtual feet around here soon…particularly by the 5th, where I should have something special posted here. But in the meantime:

By Her Cathy’s Special Request.

§ November 30th, 2015 § Filed under retailing § 13 Comments

So pal Cathy (AKA the mistress of medical mini-comics Metrokitty) complained upon the Twitters the other day about how she purchased issues #1 and #2 of the new Howard the Duck and, as it turned out, due to recent rebootery, they were two issues from two different series starring said Duck.

This caused Cathy to ask me:

cathystoring

And yes, this can be quite the boondoggle. I remember, as the New 52 relaunch over at DC Comics was looming, having to plan for new back issue dividers for all of these series. I decided that, to differentiate between the previous iteration of titles and the new New 52 versions, I would add “[NEW 52]” to the title dividers after the series name. This is a no-brainer, surely, but necessary for organizing the backstock so that an actual human could find what s/he is looking for.

When it comes to things like the Marvel relaunches, usually adding years to the dividers does the trick (like “UNCANNY X-MEN [2011 SERIES]”). And if the series is done, maybe altering the tag to “UNCANNY X-MEN [2011-2013 SERIES].” Sometimes, if there’s a real chance of confusing the multiple series, some kind of notation on the price tag may be necessary as well, particular with titles like, as Cathy noted, Howard the Duck, which has had two series launches in the same damn year. I’ll have to mark the tags on those “1st series” and “2nd series” — and even that isn’t technically correct since there was a prior color series in the 1970s of some note, but marking the tags for the two different 2015 series “2nd series” and “3rd series” is just going to confuse and WAAAAAUGH it’s enough to make one lose his tailfeathers.

Plus, do I really want to create a separate title divider for each of the new 2015 Howard the Duck series? Should I just file them in the same slot, so long as I have the price tag clearly marked as to what series it is? Having too many title dividers in your back issue bins, while certainly keeping things organized, can turn some folks off, especially for lots of tiny sections all crammed together. And those plastic title dividers do cost money, but there’s no real alternative…cardboard title dividers can get worn out right quick and start to look really ugly really fast.

To some extent, the back issue problem is sort of becoming a moot point, as the recent spate of relaunches tends toward cutting demand for previous iterations of the said title (a phenomenon I first discussed a while back). The goal now is to have as few left over comics from the new shelf as possible, especially on Big Two titles (and especially-especially on Marvel books), as who knows when the next relaunch will come along and kill demand for that particular back issue?

Don’t get me wrong…I still do some brisk business in back issues, and in recent back issues, not just, say, the old comics people always look for. But there is a definite difference in back issue sales of a book that is currently running and one that is over, even if just recently, unless the word “Batman” or “X-Men” appear in the title somewhere…and maybe not even then.

That’s probably a real “no duh” assumption, as defunct series don’t tend to sell as well as whatever’s new. But, let’s take America’s favorite romance comic book series Unicycle Tragedy Funnies. Now, if this series started in 2010, and continued to this day, I might still be selling copies of the early issues from 2010 to people picking up the new issue off the rack. But, if Volume One of Unicycle Tragedy Funnies ran 13 issues from 2010 to 2011, and then Volume Two ran 10 issues from 2011 to 2012, Volume Three 8 issues in 2013, and Volume Four from 2014 to present…most of those back issue sales are going to just be from the couple dozen issues for the most recent volume, since those stories from waaaaaay back in 2010 don’t have any direct bearing on the stories currently being offered in new issues.

And the frustrating thing about all those relaunches of Unicycle Tragedy Funnies is that there was no real reason to keep restarting it with new first issues. For one thing, that sales bump publishers and retailers hope for on the first issues grows less and less every time, as it becomes obvious that the sales bump is primarily retailer driven and doesn’t actually reflect the customer base for Unicycle Tragedy Funnies, which at best remains steady, or slightly declining. Attempts at tying in Unicycle Tragedy Funnies with line-wide publishing strategies, such as crossing over with the big Secret Velocipede Crisis event series, only serves to alienate the casual reader and drop sales even more, causing yet another relaunch to get sales back up, if only temporarily, again.

And so on.

In reply to Cathy (remember Cathy? It’s a song about Cathy) I suggested that the one way we can get around this is just by doing away with issue numbers altogether, and going to a straight Month/Year on the cover, since first issues are less of a market force now. Okay, I don’t seriously expect that to happen, but Bully, the Little Numbering Bull, suggested the European style of year/issue number (“2015-11”) which I like a lot. I also suggested doing nothing but number ones, a new one-shot for each character/franchise every month because sometimes I delight in being of no help at all.

So anyway, that’s my post on Stocking Back Issues for Constantly Rebooted Series. I hope that helps, or at least amusingly muddied the topic.

Of course the Atom would be in a mini-comic.

§ November 27th, 2015 § Filed under batman, pal plugging, retailing § 2 Comments

dkiiicvrSay what you will about Dark Knight III, and boy howdy you sure have, but it certainly brought customers into the store specifically for just that book. Now the real trick is “will they come back?” and of course I’ve had a customer or two ask the very astute question of whether or not this series will be released in a timely fashion (if it is, this would be the first Frank Miller-involved Dark Knight series in history to do so). And of course, there’s been some curiosity from parts hither and yon as to how involved Miller actually was in the series.

Having read it, I personally feel that this is definitely an interesting Brian Azzarello-written take on Miller’s Dark Knight-iverse, if not as quirky and strange as the previous installments. It lacks the wild shifts of tone in a lot of Miller’s work, from straight-up satire to dead seriousness, which is probably fine since trying to duplicate that particular balance is a chump’s game. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more, but I’m not feeling the Dark Knight-ishness of it quite yet. The inserted mini-comic with the Atom comes close.

As a retailer, I gotta complain about that cover, though. I’m trying to convince people they’re getting unique “FINGERPRINT SMUDGE” variants, but I think they’re beginning to catch on.

In other news:

  • Speaking of Miller’s Dark Knight, Alan over at Trouble with Comics has a somewhat more critical look at the Dark Knight Saga than I tend towards, but still an entertaining read nonetheless. All Star Batman is a saint, I tell you…a saint!
  • A wee bit of Star Wars comics history for you…here’s an old SW toy ad drawn by Rick Veitch.
  • Can you believe that I’ve had to explain to people just who the Star Wars rabbit is? Oh, how very soon they forget that minor character from a handful of Star Wars comics published nearly four decades ago.
  • First, read this Nobody’s Favorites post by pal Andrew about a certain superhero named Static…no, not the Static people like, the other one. Pay close attention to the lettering in those panels, and then look at this Twitter post I made a while back and tell me I’m wrong.

1963: The “Mystery of Edwin Drood” of Comics.

§ November 25th, 2015 § Filed under publishing § 13 Comments

In response to my having noted the inclusion of the previously-unpublished conclusion in the Puma Blues hardcover, reader bad wolf wrote

“[It] makes me wonder how many other series/runs could be completed with only an issue or two’s worth of material, that would add immeasurably to their interest/resale value?”

In particular, he (I’m assuming “he,” apologies if I’m wrong) specifies the Silver Age Marvel pastiche 1963 by Alan Moore and pals, and Rick Veitch’s run on Swamp Thing. Now, Veitch’s truncated Swamp Thing run, for better or worse, was picked up, continued, and wrapped up kinda/sorta by other hands, so likely as far as DC Comics is concerned, that specific period is packagable and marketable as a completed product, should they decide to release trades of that material. Not that it seems likely…they’ve only reprinted Veitch’s run up to issue #81, and that was in a trade paperback that was released in 2006. DC has since skipped ahead to reprinting the Mark Millar (with Grant Morrison on the earlier installments) that start at #140, skipping right over the end of the Veitch run and the conclusion by the replacement creative team. I would love to have a paperback with Veitch’s “alternate” (i.e. original) ending, but unless there’s a sudden explosion of Swamp Thing-mania, I’d be surprised if anyone would go through the trouble to make that happen.

Ultimately, in retrospect it seems so silly. DC objected to, and killed, a story in which a time-traveling Swamp Thing encounters Jesus in what, as far as I can tell, seemed a relatively reverent manner (well, as far as you can go with the Messiah hangin’ with a swamp monster, I guess), and then later publishes Preacher in which God is just straight-up the bad guy. Just goes to show you…well, something, I guess.

Now, the 1963 series was planned to run six regular issues, and then it would be wrapped up in the 1963 Annual, where the retro-styled heroes introduced in the main series would encounter the “Image Universe.” This Wiki entry pretty much sums up why it will probably never happen, even though being able to publish “THE COMPLETE 1963” in a fancy hardcover would probably sell…well, slightly more copies than the series is currently selling now out of quarter boxes in comic shops across the world. Not having that final annual doesn’t hurt the entertainment value of the other six issues, but once you reach that last issue with the cliffhanger ending, you can’t help but wonder what could have been.

Bad wolf wonders about other stories cut down before their conclusions, and other reader Touch-and-go Bullethead suggests a few good ones, especially that Sergio Aragones “T.C. Mars” serial from Sojourn. I’ve actually come across copies of Sojourn over the years, which was a tabloid-sized comics newspaper, so I have seen T.C. Mars (who’s also appeared on a cover, or back cover, of my favorite fanzine Comics Reader). I wouldn’t mind seeing Sergio returning to that.

A couple story endings I wouldn’t mind seeing, though these ships have sailed, sank, and been covered with silt long ago: the Andrew Helfer/Kyle Baker Shadow, which over Conde Nast’s dead body would that be allowed to happen, I’d suspect; and Sonic Distruptors, though after reading Andrew’s review, perhaps I’m better off leaving that in the past.

Oh, and I’d like to see the ending to Eye of Mongombo too, so long as I’m wishing.

Diminished responsibility.

§ November 23rd, 2015 § Filed under self-promotion § 1 Comment

Oh, hey, the new Trouble with Comics Question Time is up, and the query of the week is “who is your favorite Alan Moore-created character that ain’t that John Consta-teen feller.” There may be a subtle hint as to my response in the corner box of my site, here. Or even in the title of this post. Or perhaps the big ol’ pic that heads the article I’ve linked to. Anyway, there’s that.

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