Your 2018 Predictions, Part Three: The Lost Warrior.

§ January 18th, 2019 § Filed under predictions § No Comments

WHAT WE’RE DOING: going over your 2018 comic industry predictions.

WHAT HAVE WE ALREADY ONE: the first two parts are here and here.

HOW LONG IS ALL THIS GOING TO TAKE: probably forever, so let’s get started with today’s batch!

demoncat4 uses up his remaining 5 lives with

“after the disney fox deal is complete marvels first chance of using the ff and x-men characers will have the silver surfer pop up to help the guardians of the galaxy against galactus. with rocket trying to shove a bomb up the big purple guys butt.”

Alas, not yet…look, I want an actual big-helmet Galactus in a live action movie more than anything, and it that means he has to get a bomb in his butt, I am A-OK with that.

“tired of the delays with jl dark getting made warners will decide to just do a new swamp thing film that will lead to a new tv series and animated cartoon.”

As I’ve noted previously, we are getting a Swamp Thing TV show on DC’s streaming service, costarring Blue Devil, so all those crazy predictions that everyone laughed at about new Swampy media…TAKE THAT, HATERS.

“ragman will return to arrow and get his own tv spin off and comic at last with a guest apperance by swamp thing.”

Did Ragman come back? I Googled about and saw a lot of articles along the lines of “RAGMAN WILL BE BACK IN SEASON 6” but I can’t seem to pin down any episodes he may have been in. I even watched that season…I don’t recall him popping up. Could be wrong, and will allow correction…this time.

But no new Ragman series guest-starring Swamp Thing. Well, the last series ended mid-2018, but my Swamp Sense didn’t tingle when those latter issues came out, so I guess our favorite swamp monster wasn’t in there. …NO, NOT THE HEAP.

• • •

Brian blessed us with

“Marvel streamlines its books after the late-2017 wave of cancellations, returning to a model of sublines of a few titles anchored by a single core title (Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man. Sales go up as readers are able to buy entire lines (even at $3.99) instead of books cannibalizing each other.”

Sounds like a completely reasonable and rational response to an overburdened marketplace…so of course that didn’t happen. Ah well.

“AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR’s postcredit teaser will suggest the entry of the Fantastic Four into the fight in AVENGERS/4 (turns out that the discussions over regaining that license was what launched the Disney-Fox discussions). As plans for the Disney-Fox merger coalesce, it becomes clear that the Avengers etc. will remain in a separate universe from the X-Men etc., but the FF will showcase their exploratory nature by traveling between the characters’ different Earths in their new films.”

I saw the suggestion that a “4” would have been on Nick Fury’s little thingie at the end of Infinity War, and I would have been all for (get it, “for,” “four“) that. I do like that concept for the FF, though I think we don’t need to make the Marvel Cinematic Universe more complicated that it is! They could probably figure out ways to retrofit the newly-reacquired characters into their milieu. (Still think the FF should be from the ’60s, lost in space after their accident, returning to Earth with their powers in the modern day. HEY, I’M A FAN, I THINK ABOUT THIS STUFF TOO.)

“With the Arrowverse now so we’ll established and ARROW reaching the end of Stephen Amell’s seven year contract, the nature of the shows involved are going to start changing, beginning to crossover more, have multiple shorter-run shows sharing slots within the year, and having characters move between programs with greater frequency, as the ever-changing slate of programs becomes more and more like a live action version of a comic book universe.”

They certainly do emphasize the crossovers, as they’re big ratings grabbers, but I do wish they would shorten the seasons. I haven’t even started on the shows for this season yet, beyond the openings for Flash and Black Lightning. There’s just too much…I mean, Legends of Tomorrow has a shorter season tham the rest, but I suspect that show’s not long for this world anyway.

• • •

Jovian Jason Sandberg draws in the following

“DC will launch a “BAT-MAN and the OUTSIDERS” series featuring Firestorm, Gotham Girl, and a New Gods character.”

Almost! A revival of the series was planned to launch last December, but the project was returned for regrooving as DC continuity hijinks necessitated story changes, apparently.

“Marvel will announce a SPIDER-WOMAN OGN or Mini-Series written by Dennis Hopeless and pencilled by Steve Rude.”

Not that I’ve noticed, but I would totally read a Spider-book drawn by Steve Rude.

“HBO will acquire the rights to Jim Starlin’s dormant “DREADSTAR” film project. The resulting series will replace and eclipse ‘GAME of THRONES’ as a critical and pop culture phenomenon.”

Man, just imagine the Syzygy cosplay. But unfortunately, no Dreadstar on the TV horizon. C’mon, Netflix, while shooting money out of that firehose, aim a little in Jim Starlin’s way so we can get this show!

• • •

DavidG drops some large with

“DC will relaunch Legion of Superheroes, trying the ‘Lets make them all teenagers’ ploy again. It will be awful.”

Still waiting in the wings, unless you count Saturn Girl’s appearances in Doomsday Clock, about which I’ll let you decide if it’s awful or not!

“The new Avengers movie will outgross the Han Solo movie, despite it being incomprehensible unless you have seen all 18 previous Marvel movies. This will make Marvel the most favoured child at Disney, who will therefore start meddling more.”

Well, yeah, sure did outgross Solo, fairly famously. Don’t know if Marvel is “meddling more,” but Infinity War was surprisingly easy to follow and flowed well, all things considering. I’m as shocked as you are!

“No matter how good Jodie Whittaker is as the new Doctor, there will be a bunch of dicks complaining about her incessantly on the internet all year.”

We will never be rid of guys like that.

• • •

Michael Grabowski grasps at these

“The Thing will join the Avengers and Wolverine will take his place in the FF.”

Negatory, though I would have absolutely plotzed if Wolvie was a primary part of the FF relaunch. ..I mean, either comics or movies, whichever.

“DC will attempt the ‘villain secretly takes over the hero’s body/role for several months’ storyline with Dick Grayson.”

No “Superior Nightwing” from DC last year, far as I’ve noticed.

“Either Brian Michael Bendis or Tom King will write a new Jimmy Olsen series.”

Well, Bendis is writing the Superman books, sooo…maybe sort of, I guess? But I’m all for a “Superman’s Pal” standalone series.

• • •

Yestin doesn’t say no to

“The new movie helps Marvel realize the star power of Black Panther, causing him to guest star in a Wolverine/Deadpool degree.”

Oh boy, let’s hope not…let them be judicious with their use of Black Panther, not burning everybody out on him like Marvel did with, oh, say, Wolverine and Deadpool. …But on the other hand, Marvel’s gotta Marvel.

“A new Legion of Superheroes reboot is announced, possibly featuring a Supergirl TV inspired version of Mon-El.”

No new LSH, yet, but when they do, let us hope the creators were all conked on the heads just enough so that they forget the TV Mon-El ever existed.

“Frank Miller’s the Spirit is reappraised, taking its rightful place in the pantheon of movies. Egg will be on the face of its critics.”

This absolutely 100% happened. Good call!

• • •

googum googums

Some ‘alt-right’ book is going to come out, and be utter crap, yet everyone who points that out will be a ‘SJW.'”

I don’t think any of them have made it to stores yet, unless there’s a Kickstarter-distributed one I don’t recall…but the sample pages that are out there don’t appear to have been well-received, no.

“Marvel’s gonna…keep being Marvel. Launch a bunch of books, cancel ’em, repeat. The returns have more than diminished, but they don’t have another trick.”

Why, it’s as if you’ve been watching the comics industry for some years now!

“I don’t think Disney’s going to take Alien or Predator away from Dark Horse yet, but I suspect DH is going to back out of the licensed comics entirely. (Wait, did Disney get Buffy and Angel too? Well, whatever.)”

Still hanging in there with the licenses, though losing some big ones (Star Wars, Conan, and as you mention, Buffy) has got to hurt. Boom! is the company that got the Buffy books, however…those should be out soon, but Whedon’s Firefly did very well for me, so I’m hoping Buffy does, too. Been a long time sine Buffy comics sold good numbers for me.

• • •

And finally, not a prediction as such, but some Miracleman info from Damien, who puts the dog down long enough to say

“I know we’re meant to wait till the end of 2018 before we respond to the predictions but I think we can guarantee new Miracleman in 2018. I chatted to Mark Buckingham at London Super Comicon back in August and he said he was already drawing it. Apparently Neil Gaiman had scripted the whole of the Silver Age but Mark took 6 months off as he and his wife have a new baby and he made enough money off Fables to take an extended paternity leave.”

Uh…hate to tell you this, Damien….

However, that is interesting information about the much speculated-upon comic, and I appreciate you leaving it here!

Okay, enough for today…back next week with more predicticatin’! And I know we’re over halfway through January…but there’s still over 11 months of 2019 to come, I hope, so place your predictions for the rest of the year right here!

Oops.

§ January 17th, 2019 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin § 2 Comments

I messued up the formatting on Wednesday’s entry, and got William Burns’ chocolate mixed up with joecab’s peanut butter, accidentally merging their predictions together. It’s all straightened out now, so please revisit the post for the proper crediting of prediction to predictee. Thanks!

Your 2018 Predictions, Part Two: Lost Planet of the Gods.

§ January 16th, 2019 § Filed under predictions § 8 Comments

Okay, I’ve got a doctor’s appointment early tomorrow morning, so your pal Mike needs to turn in and get some beauty sleep…but before I do, let’s try to do a few more of your 2018 predictions. (Part One was Monday, in case you missed it.) Also, special note to Max T: reader Allan covered the extra two predictions I didn’t, because he’s a nice guy whilst I’m cruel and heartless.

Okay, off to the races:

Thom H. had this to say

“DC or Marvel will attempt a new floppy format that is more pages for a relatively inexpensive price point (with cheaper paper stock or something). It will fail almost immediately, even though I love it.”

Well, DC did those 100-pagers for Walmart at $5 a pop, I suppose that counts. I presume they’re still doing okay, though as far as I know they’re still not at any of the 38 local Walmarts here.

“Brian K. Vaughan will start writing a new series at Image that everyone will go crazy for. It’s been a while since the last one, right?”

I think he just has to be satisfied with the immensely-successful Saga and Paper Girls, unless there’s something I’m missing. Maybe there’s a secret Boof and the Bruise Crew revival he’s working on.

“DC will put Tom King on a Superman book. I will definitely buy it and feel happy.”

Tom King wrote a story in Action #1000! So, you know, half a point there!

• • •

jobcab pulls up to the curb with the following

“My predictions re lame, but then so am I …”

Hey, everyone who participates in my yearly prediction nonsense here is a champion…a champion, I say! Specifically, The Champion of the Universe.

“There will be the faintest wisp of a reference to the Fantastic Four made in the new Avengers movie.”

I wouldn’t have put it past Marvel, but…I don’t recall one. There’s this claim, but it appears to be bit of a..well, stretch.

“Doctor Aphra will actually be announced as a character in the next ‘off year’ Star Wars movie.”

That would be an interesting development, to be sure, for one of the characters developed for the comics making the jump to the screen. It’s happened before, with the Twi’lek Jedi Aayla Secura appearing in the prequel trilogy after being created for the Dark Horse Comics Expanded Universe stuff. In that case, that basically amounted to a cameo, versus a starring role, but still, interesting. Not sure how many more “off year” Star Wars movies we’re going ot get after Solo, though.

“We’ll finally see the first of those new Neil Gaiman Miracleman stories we were supposed to get (then didn’t) so long ago.”

A popular prediction! Alas, not yet…hopefully through the sheer combined force of will of my readers, we can make it happen!

• • •

William Burns comes in hot with

“Disney loses patience with Marvel Comics’s underperformance and kicks out the guys who came up in Marvel to replace them with Disney people.”

Surprisingly, no, but you gotta wonder about Disney on one hand, consolidating their streaming efforts under their own brand, while letting Marvel comics get licensed out to other publsihers.

“Brian Bendis’s first DC comic is a Batman comic and sells very well, but six months later the sales are about where they were pre-Bendis.”

He is writing a Batman story for those aforementioned Walmart giants, but as we all know now, he’s the Superman guy. I will note that Bendis Superman sales, after an initial high peak, are beginning to crawl back down to about where they were (at least for me).

“JH Williams returns to comics with either a Vertigo or Young Animal miniseries.”

Looks like he has a big project coming from Image called Echolands, but it’s not on the schedule just yet. He’s also worked on a couple of other things this year, such as contributing to the benefit book for victims of the Las Vegas shooting, and this illustrated Dracula book for Kindle readers.

• • •

ScienceGiant violates the square-cube law with

“Still no new issues of Miracleman.

Well, that’s one way to get a hit on a Miracleman prediction around these here parts.

“‘The Winds of Winter’ will finally be published. GRRM remains a critical darling, but the overall GoT cultural impact continues to collapse.”

Doesn’t seem like it…I don’t really keep up on Game of Thrones stuff, but I presume if it had come out, then my Amazon search for it would have basically blown a trumpet in my face declaring “HERE IT IS, BUY IT, BUY IT.” But the cultural influence seems to still be there…seems like I keep seeing it referenced and discussed all over the place. Oh, you kids and your dragons and your thrones and all that.

“Progressive Ruin continues to be THE stalwart site of funny books blogging! 3 cheers for Mike in 2018.”

Sadly, I ended the blog in early 2018. Sorry, everyone.

• • •

Hooray for Gooba celebrates the following

“The Disney-Fox deal will result in the return of the priginal Fantastic Four to the comic as they gear up for a new movie.”

I’m sure it didn’t hurt. But hey, at least FF is back on the shelves, it’s actually pretty good, and hey, it’s still selling for me (even with the occasional stupidly-high price points).

“Squirrel Girl continues to be the most delightful book on the shelves.”

I’m going to say “yes, this is correct.”

“Marvel will announce either a Great Lakes Avengers or Damage Control movie or tv show.”

A Damage Control TV show was announced as “in development” in 2015, but it doesn’t appear to have gone anywhere. However, a version of Damage Control is kinda/sorta in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, so I guess that’ll have to do.

Now, the Great Lakes Avengers…much as I’d love to see Flatman in live action, I don’t think we’ve got any movies or TV shows a’comin’. That’s just leaving money on the table, Marvel.

• • •

Okay, time for bed! For me, not you, unless it is bedtime for you when you’re reading this. Back Friday with more prediction coverage! And don’t forget to leave your 2019 predictions right here!

Your 2018 Predictions, Part One: Saga of a Star World.

§ January 14th, 2019 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

Hello, Chloe, whaddaya knowie? Well, it’s time once again for the hottest segment in comics blogging, Snack Situation that bit where I look at your predictions from the previous year and see how close some of you got. There’s a lot of them, so everyone hang in there as I get through them all over the next, oh, seven or eight months or so. And don’t forget, if you want to get in on the 2019 predictions fun, here’s where you go to do so!

Okay…knuckles: cracked, deep breath: taken, loins: girded — so let’s get down to business!

Adam Farrar sees far with

“The still unnamed DC streaming service will not only include their tv shows/movies but also old comics as DC’s answer to Marvel Unlimited.”

Indeed the now-named DC Universe does! It’s not a huge selection, and sometimes they rotate things in and out…no idea what Marvel’s selection is like, but there seems to be plenty to read on DC’s service. But there’s weird stuff like only having one issue of DC Comics Presents, which kind of disappointed me. And I keep hoping they’ll add the old Metal Men comics. I’ve been having fun reading the early Silver Age Green Lantern!

“Neil Gaiman & Mark Buckingham’s Miracleman comics start coming out again. (I’ll keep predicting this and some year it’s bound to come true… right?)”

Keep on predictin’, Adam…maybe someday!

“Legion season 2 will reveal that the character that captured David at the end of the first season is Nanny (the egg-shaped one, not Magneto’s robot). Six months later the character will return to comics in an attempt to capitalize on the show.”

I watched, like, part of the premiere episode way back when, but that’s about it. So, I had to do some deep, deep research (i.e. Googling) to discover, alas, no Nanny egg in the series, which would have had me catching up right quick. The Legion character does appear to have returned to the X-books however, so you get part credit!

• • •

Rich Handley apes my style with

“A fourth Watchmen miniseries will be announced, this time involving the actual Charlton characters on which they were based.”

Sadly, no such animal was announced, though maybe once DC starts Rorschach Team-Up after the conclusion of Doomsday Clock, maybe they can appear there.

“A Swamp Thing movie will be announced, and John Constantine will be in it.”

No movie, but a TV show for DC’s streaming service…and I don’t know if Constantine will be in it, but Blue Devil surely will!

“Scarlett Johansson will finally admit her love for me, and my wife will be fully in favor of the pairing”

I ain’t touchin’ this one.

• • •

Signal Watch chimes in with

“Marvel (Comics) will try a lot of things, but not quite get their act together in 2018. Maybe solicits for early 2019 will show promise.”

Well…I mean, this is a matter of opinion, I guess. A step forward for every step back, as it were. A lot of nice work and some good books, and then some questionable decisions (too many $5.99 and $7.99 comics for my taste).

“Someone, somewhere, in writing about comics will write legitimate criticism about the actual content in a comic in a reasoned, rational manner, and not at all about the industry and their personal grinding axe. Ha ha ha. Just kidding.”

Why start now? …Okay, okay, I know there’s some good comics criticism out there, some even not by me, so it’s out there if you look, amongst the listicles and the comic news about movies that have nothing to do with comics.

“Red shorts at 1000”

Detective #1000 hasn’t come out yet, so I have no idea if Batman will get red trunks or not.

• • •

Jeff R. rites

“A character from the Watchmen universe gets an ongoing title spinning out of Doomsday Clock.”

Not just yet, but I’m betting this will happen too. (Dare I type “Rorschach Team-Up” again?)

“Agents of SHIELD cancelled, replaced with a network TV Miles Morales:Spider-Man show.”

Surprisingly, not cancelled! And we got Miles in a movie, so I guess that’ll do. Bet there’s a cartoon show eventually, though.

“Something will go horribly wrong with the Vertigo 25th Anniversary hardcover, requiring pulped books and digital version airbrushing if not outright cancellation.”

When I read this a year ago, I was thinking “What could go wrong? They accidentally print the ‘Swamp Thing meets Jesus’ story?” Well, something went wrong, because it’s currently marked “CANCELLED” in its listing in the Diamond retailer site, with no resolicitation in the system. …A surprisingly good call!

• • •
Jerry Smith rigs the following

“Marvel will veer slightly away from political controversy in their comics under the new EIC, but sales will not drastically improve. They will not return to legacy characters.”

Hmm…the thing with Marvel is, despite what some too-online folks try to argue, Marvel tends to have at least a thin veneer of politics ingrained into its DNA. I mean, sure, some of it was “hey, the kids are into ‘the protesting,’ let’s put some protesters on our covers,” but there was a lot of heartfelt political expression going on as well, especially in Marvel’s ’70s books.

So…honestly, I don’t think there’s been much of a change so far, except maybe being a little less exploitative of current events. But as far as “controversy” goes…for some people out there, even just having a superhero comic starring a woman is “politically controversial,” so there’s always going to be some dudes out there with a vein throbbing in their forehead mashing at their keyboards.

But yes, some legacy characters have returned. The original Thor’s back, and Tony Stark is kicking around again, but that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

“DC will become more political and offer more controversial storylines. Neither company will appeal to long-term fans.”

Hadn’t really noticed too much of a change, at least with overt political themes. I mean, sure, there’s the inherently political idea of “man with power exerting influence over his inferiors” which, um, maybe you don’t want to really think about when trying to enjoy superhero comics. But mainly, the controversies at DC seem more to arise from things like Doomsday Clock, which is more from “is this trip really necessary?” versus the semi-political content it attempts to contain.

Both companies, however, do still struggle with readership issues, but I’d argue that’s a result the vagaries of their ‘NEW FIRST ISSUE!”/reboots/relaunches ahoy publishing strategies than anything else.

“The Black Panther movie will be awesome.”

You, my friend, are 110% correct.

• • •

Gordon pals around with

“Citing the popularity of its CW-themed shows, DC Entertainment will spin off at least one (ARROW) into its own theatrical release”

DC could do worse than trying this, but it hasn’t happened yet. I expect if this will ever happen, it’ll be after the show in question leaves the air. Arrow is a solid contender for this sort of thing, however!

“Marvel may ‘pull back’ with its movie efforts after INFINITY WAR, citing potential fatigue as well as internal turmoil”

I don’t think so…I feel like there’s still plenty comin’ down the pike. That money ain’t slowing down!

Speaking of the CW, we will see another SWAMP THING series in our lifetime. However, Swamp Thing will have a team of associates who help him fight the Parliament of Trees on a weekly basis.

As noted above, we are getting a Swamp Thing TV show, but on DC’s own streaming service, not the CW. And yes, like I said, Blue Devil will be there helping Swampy fight swamp crime!

• • •

Gareth Wilson menaces me with

“The X-Men comics will explicitly abandon the idea that mutants represent real-world opressed minorities. They’l become just superheroes with a common origin.”

Okay, to be honest, I haven’t read X-Men books in a while (is Beak still on the team?) but I don’t think this happened. I invite corrections…on this, nothing else, I’m right about everything else!

“To control the cast size, the 2018 crossover between the CW DC superhero shows will involve only female characters.”

While that’s a pretty great idea, not this year, alas! I think it’d be a hoot! But it’d probably be called, like, “LADIES NIGHT” and that Kool and the Gang song would play through it the whole ti–wait, hold on, I just made the idea more awesome.

“In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos will cure Bruce Banner, rendering him incapable of transforming into the Hulk.”

Something happened, to be sure, and it may have been caused by his interaction with Thanos, but probably not a “cure” per se. HALF POINT TO GARETHDOR

ª ª ª

Mike Neisen rates me with

“Still no new Showcase Presents volumes, and most importantly, no Showcase Presents Sugar and Spike.”

Don’t tell me you missed all 24 new volumes of Showcase Presents this year? Showcase Presents Scribbly, and Showcase Presents Spanner’s Galaxy, and Showcase Presents Claw the Unconquered, and Showcase Presents Inferior 5, and Showcase Presents Congo Bill and all those? But yeah, you’re right, still no Sugar and Spike.

• • •

Hassan Alamdari chops up the following

“A Shazam ongoing late in the year”

You, friend, are The Correct.

“half of the books spinning out of metal won’t last pass issues 10”

Most of them made it past #10, though a few are going away soon. Just so long as they don’t take away my Terrifics!

“over 5 books that I love will be cancelled too soon.”

If you loved New Super-Man, Gwenpool, Trinity, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, X-Men Gold and The Simpsons, I have bad news for you.

• • •

Max T has BROKEN APE LAW and gone over the 3-prediction limit! I will address three of them chosen completely at random, honest, no foolin’

“The Fantastic Four will come back to Marvel, but not before the very end of the year.”

They did come back, but it was more middle-ish of the year, kinda. Still, a good prediction!

“Valiant will still put out the best superhero comics not based on characters created to entertain children, but no new people will take notice.”

“The best,” of course, is a matter of opinion…if someone thinks they’re the best, then more power to ’em and we can call it a hit for you! But yeah, they’re not, shall we say, strong sellers, at least for me. They do have a loyal audience, though, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

“One of the long-running CW superhero shows will call it quits. I’m thinking ‘Arrow.’”

None of them are canned yet, I think, but I would suspect one of them isn’t long for this world.

• • •

Okay, that’s enough for now. Tune in next time, same Mike-time, same Mike-channel, for more of your 2018 predictions! And don’t forget to give me your 2019 predictions while there’s still some 2019 left!

Remember when I was the only person on the internet who liked Nancy and Sluggo?

§ January 11th, 2019 § Filed under Christmas, nancy, pal dorian, sluggo § 5 Comments

So pal Dorian gave me my Christmas gift last weekend…or should I say “gifts,” because he bestowed upon me the Nancy and Sluggo double-whammy.

First was the immortal “Sluggo Is Lit” image, the official print in a handsome frame that I shot at an awkward angle to minimize glare and to (mostly) keep myself from appearing in the reflection:

And second, a pin featuring America’s hardest-working wastrel, Sluggo Smith:


These are great items (inspired by the wonderful new version of the Nancy strip by Olivia James), and if you want to be as cool as I am, you can get your own N&S merch right here.

Anyway, in exchange I gave to Dorian a copy of this Tumbleweeds paperback wrapped in a Burger King bag.


That’s almost as good, right?

I now wish Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben had done their proposed “After Cerebus #300” comic.*

§ January 9th, 2019 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, cerebus § 2 Comments

So after my Cerebus post, I did poke around briefly on the eBays just getting the lay of the Cerebus-pricing land. Aside from the first handful of issues, plus any “pro-graded” comics stuck in their little plastic slabs, prices were generally pretty reasonable, particularly if you’re like me, and not necessarily looking for near mint copies or anything. Not that buying all these up are a huge priority for me right now or anything what with other expenses I need to worry about (unless I add that as a tier to my Patreon: “150 PATREONS: WILL USE MONEY TO COMPLETE MY CEREBUS COLLECTION”). Plus, my collection at home is still in some disarray after pillaging it for store stock, and I need to get it in some kind of order before I start fillin’ them holes.

But, it’s good to know that getting most of them won’t cost me an arm, a leg, and my remaining eye. I suspected as much, given that back issue demand for the series has dropped over the years since the title ended. Those early issues, though…I mean, it is still a major publication in the history of independent comics, and those initial comics are “key books,” if you’ll pardon my language, and will still command premium prices in the collectors market. Even the counterfeit #1 goes for a pretty penny nowadays, being itself a piece of historical significance.

Oh well, still, it’s something to think about. But speaking of Cerebus and demand thereof, reader Michael had a question in the comments there (seconded by Tom W):

“Mike, would you care to comment some time about how Cerebus does in your store in any of its forms?”

Michael is referring to, aside from the original comics, to the more recent comic collections of the “Cerebus in Hell” webcomic, which (aside from the earlier comics just straight up called Cerebus in Hell) usually feature parody covers like these:


They sold…okay, at first. At the previous place of employment, Cerebus itself was sort of petering out saleswise, at least until there was a slight bump upward with the last few installments. The follow-up items, like Glamourpuss and the Following Cerebus ‘zine started out with relatively good sales, but also eventually dipped until I was pretty sure I was the only person reading them at our store. The same has happened with the webcomic reprints…had some sales, then eventually dropped and dropped until, again, I was the lone holdout. I do have one fellow who occasionally requests an issue because the parody cover amuses him, but that’s about it.

I don’t know why that is…well, okay, at least one person told me that there were just too many coming out, he fell behind, and just decided to quit. I do suspect that there was at least a few readers hoping for actual new “serious” adventures of Cerebus in Hell. and not just Cerebus clipart pasted over Gustave Doré illustrations with gags.

Oh, almost forgot…the original Cerebus doesn’t really sell at all for me. I don’t have a huge stock of the issues, but I rarely have anyone ask for it. I did have a couple of those slabbed copies sell online, as I mentioned last time, but when I do sell Cerebus, it’s usually in the form of the trades.

Nik asks as a follow-up “what do you think of ’em” and “who’s buying these things,” and to answer the last part…um, me. I’m buying them, I admit it. As to what I think of them…I think they’re amusing. The repeated use of those, what, three poses of Cerebus mixed with the Doré art does tickle me, and the jokes can be funny, but it’s totally an acquired taste. Plus, I do like the covers.

I am way behind, though, but that’s only because I’m way behind on nearly all the comics I usually read due to my recent eye problems. Normally I’m a quick reader and would have no problem keeping up on the weekly releases, but of late it takes me a lot longer to absorb the text in any comic I’m perusing. Once things are finally corrected and I can get a proper pair of prescription eyeglasses instead of the reader glasses I’ve been depending upon, I’ll hopefully be able to catch up, assuming the giant to-read stack doesn’t crush me first.

• • •

Speaking of questions, no, don’t worry, i haven’t forgotten about the last time I took some from you kind readers out there. I will continue answering those as time and blog content necessity allows. And, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to give me your 2019 comic industry predictions so I have something to talk about in early 2020, aside from Iron Man 2020 and the Superman of 2020. I plan to start going over your 2018 predictions next week, so unsubscribe in your favorite blog reading programs right now! I should be able to get through those in, um, a couple of weeks, unless there’s another eye surgery that happens in there somewhere, but I’ll do my best!
 
 

* I don’t know if that was just a joking suggestion or not, of if even those guys made it or Sim himself did. But I still keep picturing what that would have been like! I mean, other than amazing.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ January 7th, 2019 § Filed under End of Civilization § 6 Comments

It’s a new year, which means all new signs of the End of Civilization that is surely coming soon, as foretold in that most mystical of tomes, the Diamond Previews catalog. Get out your copy of the January 2019 edition and follow along:

p. 85 – Hardcore #4:

Four issues in and still no George C. Scott.
 
 
p. 115 – William Gibson’s Alien 3 #5:

COMING SOON: Debbie Gibson’s ALIEN: Electric Xenomorph.
 
 
p. 122 – Hellboy The Art of the Motion Picture HC:


Phew, thank goodness they killed that previous underperforming series of del Toro Hellboy movies in favor of this billion-dollar blockbuster.
 
 
p. 135 – Disney Hamlet, Starring Donald Duck TP:


Oh for this to be animated, to hear Donald give the whole “To be or not to be” soliloquy in that voice, to see him fly into a rage as he’s killin’ folks. But I do hope in the comic that Yorick’s skull is Goofy’s.
 
 
p. 170 – Uncle Scrooge #43:


Boy, Dark Horse is doing Disney books, IDW is doing Disney comics, Fantagraphics has their Disney reprint series…Disney should really think about buying a comic book company.
 
 
p. 190 – The Six Million Dollar Man #1:


Someone at Dynamite looked into the feasibility of doing six miliion variant covers on this, I’m sure.
 
 
p. 304 – Star Wars Obi-Wan & Anakin A Choose Your Destiny Adventure SC:


“Ooh, yeah, maybe this time I’ll choose not to leap down at a guy holding a laser sword. Maybe that’ll work out better.”
 
 
p. 433 – Mister Miracle Escape God World Tour T-Shirt:


Thought this was some sort of pro-atheist slogan shirt at first.
 
 
p. M16 – Legends in 3D Movie Jack Sparrow Half-Scale Resin Bust:


Relive your enjoyment of the one and only Pirates of the Caribbean movie with this handsome piece…hmm? Yes, the only movie, that’s correct.
 
 
p. M124 – Star Wars Authentic Blind Autographed Photo Box:


But won’t the autographs be all crooked and sloppy? Because, you know, they can’t see what they’re…look, I took a month off from these, I’m still a bit rusty.
 
 
DC Previews p. 4 – Detective Comics #1000:


Okay, like Action #1000…does this include the #0 issue and the #1,000,000 issue? Because it’d be, like, #1002, right? I swear, this is the whole “the 21st century starts on January 1st, 2001” thing again.
 
 
DC Previews p. 12 – Second Coming #1:

“Witness the return of Jesus Christ, as He is sent on a most holy mission by God to learn what it takes to be the true messiah of mankind by becoming roommates with the world’s favorite savior: the all-powerful super hero Sun-Man, the Last Son of Krispex! But when Christ returns to Earth, he’s shocked to discover what has become of his gospel-and now, he aims to set the record straight.”

Okay, now can we get that Rick Veitch “Swamp Thing Meets Jesus” story in print already?
 
 
DC Previews p. 15 – American Carnage #5:


Enjoying this counterpoint to Marvel’s Commie pinko Carnage comics.
 
 
DC Previews p. 41 – Mad Magazine #7:


Please please please let this be bound into the magazine like the Mad comic reprints were in the old Mad Specials so that they’re nigh-impossible to remove without wrecking everything. Let a new generation suffer as we did.
 
 
DC Previews p. 77 – Zero Hour 25th Anniversary Omnibus:


Yes, it’s been 25 years of DC not fixing what they broke right after Crisis. I was going to make a joke about “oh I’m so old, this was so long ago, the grave looms before me” but I’m pretty sure I’ve been rebooted at some point, so I’m okay.
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 27 – Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #1:


Revealed at last, the reason marvel forgot Kirby even existed for most the 1980s.
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 42 – Incredible Hulk #181 Facsimile Edition:


Hopefully half of these will have the Marvel Value Stamp cut out for true authenticity.
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 61 – Old Man Quill #1:


Clearly the counter to this trend of “Old Man [Character]” comics is, like, “Young Man Vulture” or something. (Well, I guess Trouble was basically “Young Woman Aunt May.” Remember Trouble? You really shouldn’t.)
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 98 – Color Your Own Avengers 2:


I don’t know about this rebranding of Marvel’s “Essentials” line.
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 104 – Silver Surfer Parable 30th Anniversary Edition HC:


$40 for an 88-page hardcover? This book better have a cover that lights up with the “power cosmic” at the touch of a button to justify that price.

This isn’t just an elaborate pretense to link to one of my eBay listings.

§ January 4th, 2019 § Filed under cerebus, collecting § 8 Comments


So a long time ago, at the previous place of employment, we had two copies of Cerebus #1. One was an authentic copy, personally hauled by Dave Sim from his local printer to his home by the boxload, presumably. The other was one of those rotten, no-good, genuine counterfeit copies that some nefarious nogoodnik produced at the time, to take advantage of whatever secondary market was building up around this weird Canadian parody of Conan the Barbarian.

Frankly, I’m surprised this sort of thing didn’t happen more often, particularly on the, shall we say, not-so-slickly produced small press titles that somehow ended up with a surprising mark-up in value. Granted, it didn’t happen a whole lot, and prices qould have to be awfully to justify the cost of printing counterfeits…I mean, for the cost of printing “fake” copies of anther person’s comic, why not just put the resources into doing your own? Probably make just about as much money, when all is said and done. Anyway, I believe issue #2 of Cerebus was bootlegged as well, supposedly, and weren’t some of the early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles copied as well? Wouldn’t surprise me.

But, yes, at one time at the shop, as I was saying, we had both the real and the ersatz earth-pig debut issues. Can’t remember their prices now, but they weren’t very cheap, and we ended up selling them both to the same person (one of our regulars, and a huge Cerebus fan). For a time, though, it was pretty neat to have ’em in the shop, just to be appreciated as the physical objects they were. Yes, there were plenty of reprints of the contents, which I had, but there’s just something about having the actual item in your hand, the crudely-printed (oddly enough, the counterfeit slightly less crudely-printed) amateur publication that represented an individual’s imagination and triumph in getting it all down on paper and out into the world.

I’ve read all of Cerebus. The “High Society” sequence and (to a very slightly lesser extent) “Church & State” remain absolute pinnacles of comic book storytelling. Even as the series wore on and became…well, let’s say “less accessible,” the illustrative standards of Sim and partner Gerhard emained remarkably high (well, aside from those issues near the end that were mostly text). Even the handlettering was nearly unmatched by anyone in the business.

I’ve mentioned this on the site before, but some of you reading this may not have been born yet, so I’ll repeat it here. I was first exposed to Cerebus via an article in the old Starlog Press magazine Comics Scene. I thought it sounded pretty cool, but with newsstands being my source for comic books, I didn’t have access to the beginnings of the indie comics boom. That changed in the early ’80s, when I found out about the shop that would eventually become my job, and suddenly I had more indie comics than I knew what to do with.

I still didn’t get into Cerebus at that point, however, because I figured “well, it’s been going on a while, it’s too hard to catch up,” and that’s how it went until a couple of years later, a friend of mine brought a copy of #74 to school and let me read it. Aaaand that was it, I was pretty much hooked. I bought the latest issue next time I went to the store, and over the next few years (including some of my initial months working at the shop, beginning in ’88) I slowly acquired all the previous issues…

…Except for the first 25. At the time, there were the Swords of Cerebus collections, which reprinted all those issues. That was good enough for me, I thought then…the issues starting at #26 were already pricey enough, the earlier ones even more so, making the Swords books a sufficient alternative. Plus, they had short stories exclusive to them, which was a nice bonus.

The reason I bring all this up is that, after seeing a link or something on the Twitters, I got to thinking about those early issues again. I divested myself of a good portion of my collection when I opened my own store, but I kept my Cerebus…I mean, yes, sure, there’s no real back issue market for them anymore, but that wasn’t the main reason. It was because I liked those comics, I put a lot of effort into starting that collection. And even if the latter part of the series felt like a…I’m not quite sure how to put it. A divergence, maybe, from the promise and the storytelling of the first half of the series, but it still remains an achievement, for all its flaws. It’s Dave’s comic, he could do what he wanted with it, and who am I to judge, but I can’t help but feel what I got in the end was not what I was waiting for. That’s what art does, sometimes.

Okqy, I really wasn’t trying to delve into the criticism of the series…there’s plenty of that out there, and…yeah, they ain’t wrong. What I was thinking about recently, however…the thing that brought us all here today, was that old standby, the collector’s urge. The need to “fill the gaps,” as it were, to scratch those numbers off the ol’ creased and tattered checklist. Not that I’m been actively seeking the first 25 issues of Cerebus this whole time, but I got to thinking about them again, and about how I loved acquiring each new back issue to add to my run, how each individual issue felt like something special, with those great covers. Like, back to that #1 we had, it was a representation of someone’s dream put directly in my hand. Not a corporate character produced out of some huge, professional publishing house. It was like one of series of letters, from my Canadian pal Dave who wanted to tell me a story.

Realistically, I don’t know if I’m actually going to go through with trying to track these down. I don’t think I’ve had one of the early issues show up at my own shop yet in any collections. Well, there were the pro-graded copies of #8, #10 and #12 that a friend…actually, the very same friend who brought that #74 to school so long ago…had me sell on his behalf. I still have the #8, and there is a very small temptation to just keep it and pay my pal for it. I won’t, as Businessman Mike outvotes Fanboy Mike here, but I’m definitely keeping an eye out for reasonably priced copies now.

“Reasonably priced” is the trick, of course. A quick glace at the eBay reveals all kinds of prices on the earliest issues. Even the counterfeit #1, once listed with no value in the price guide, is selling for well over a grand (in one of those plastic slabs, of course). Quite a bit over whatever we sold ’em for at the old shop, I’m sure.

I do have the run of Cerebus Bi-Weekly, which reprinted all those early issues in their entirety, including editorial matter, letters pages, and ads, but it’s not quite the same. I realize it’s a fetishizing of those originals, when technically I already have everything that’s present inside them. I do really enjoy them, though, and while I may not love what Cerebus eventually became, I still have that strong nostalgic love for what it was, and how I felt as I slowly pieced it all together. Wanting my own copies of those initial almost-a-baker’s-two-dozen issues almost certainly stems from a desire to recapture that feeling, an old fan’s desire for when times were simpler, and the fun of collecting was at its peak.

Skating and shing-a-linging into the new year!

§ January 1st, 2019 § Filed under happy new year, teen titans § 5 Comments

Okay, this is hardly the most extreme example:


…but there’s nothing quite like Bob Haney’s “hip” and “with-it” dialogue from the 1960s Teen Titans comics, and just how overboard it can get. Wonder Girl constantly called “Wonder Chick,” Aqualad gettin’ hit with “Aqualaddio” (egads), and pretty much every panel is basically this:


I mean, seriously, they tried really hard.

But you know what? For all that wacky dialogue, this era of Teen Titans is still a lot of enjoyable fun, and not just for how the characters speak the lingo. How can you not love a comic that whips out a Nessie ex machina to rescue Aqualad from imprisonment in a Loch Ness tower?


Bless Bob Haney, and bless Nick Cardy for drawing it so beautifully.

Here’s to enjoying more comics in the new year, from older classics like these, to new efforts that some talented folks are writing and drawing even as we speak.
 
 

from Teen Titans #17 (Sept-Oct 1968) by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy

In which I have some minor spoilers for Teen Titans Go! To The Movies but don’t spoil the best joke.

§ December 31st, 2018 § Filed under cartoons, challs, swamp thing, teen titans § 1 Comment

So in my most recent attempt to make the money I’m spending on Netflix worthwhile, I’ve been getting a handful of discs…yes, actual physical media…from them a little more often than I have of late (for example, I finally watched and returned that copy of The Quick and The Dead I’d had in my possession since July), One of my recent borrowings was of Teen Titans Go! To The Movies. a nice, gentle skewering of the superhero movie trend with plenty of laughs…the biggest being Robin’s final line in the film, which still makes me sensibly chuckle even now. Won’t spoil it here, and while it is revealed in the Wikipedia entry on the film, without its context and delivery it’s not nearly as hilarious.

Some of the film’s humor was clearly “not a joke for you, a guy who’s about to turn 50 years old” but I thought most of it was pretty accessible, and to be fair, the Challengers of the Unknown jokes were totally for me, so take that, kids.

Speaking of being totally for me, there was no small amount of Swamp Thing guest-starring action, and a big thanks to fine human being Kevin Church for GIFing up this sequence on my behalf:


We can only hope this is what he looks like in that upcoming TV series on the DC streaming service.

A couple of more things about Teen Titans Go! To Mike’s Blu-Ray Player:

Not a fan of fart jokes generally, but I gotta say, that was a good one in this film.

And, the “mid-credits” bonus scene featuring the original, not entirely-gag driven version of the animated Teen Titans, setting up a Teen Titans Vs. Teen Titans Go movie that is apparently still A Thing That Is Happening: well, that should be weird. It’s the battle between the fans who hated that first Teen Titans cartoon and the fans that really hate the new Teen Titans Go! cartoon!

Also liked the handful of gags aimed at Marvel’s direction (especially the Big Cameo which I’m very glad was actually voiced by him and not someone doing an impression). Frankly, I was a bit surprised not more was make with the comparison between Deadpool’s real name “Wade” and Slade’s real name (“Slade”)…I can see why they avoided the topic of their identical last names, given certain story events.

Oh, which reminds me, I thought the repeated gag of everyone rolling Slade’s name around in their mouths to appreciate how evil it sounds was a solid one.

Of course, the darkest laugh is one I already sort of knew about, when the Titans are travelling through time to restore superhero origins they had undone for, you know, reasons, in which Robin…facilitates Batman’s origin. Hoo boy. All those people in the late ’80s/early ’90s who mimicked only the grim ‘n’ gritty parts of Dark Knight Returns only wished they were that dark.

So anyway, it’s a good bit of fun, worth a rental if you haven’t seen it already. Or if you have, it’s worth it just to freeze frame on some of the movie posters that pop up in the background here and there. Plus, if you’re a Swamp Thing fan…well, I already showed you why it’s worth your time.

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