§ June 13th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Say, can you guess who drew these two panels? Answer at the end of today’s post.

As I not-so-vaguely hinted yesterday, I am one of the contributors to Alan David Doane’s All-New Comic Book Galaxy, with my (hopefully) monthly column “Mike Sterling’s Behind the Counter.” There I’ll be discussing issues related to comics retailing…probably inspired by various things already discussed on this site of mine. Sooner or later, I’ll get around to putting together an expanded “Things Not to Say to A Comic Shop Employee,” I think….

So, why am I writing for ADD’s CBG, when I have a perfectly acceptable internet soapbox here?

Well, I was asked. I get along with ADD, I like what he’s done with his site so far, and that second shoebox filled with twenty-dollar bills finally convinced me. Plus, it gives me incentive to write something a little more weighty and thought-out than the goofy stuff I’m always posting here. Not that I’m intending on being Mr. Serious-Pants…I’m shooting for “somewhat amusing, yet informative,” and I hope I can achieve it.

At any rate, go visit the site…there’s a bunch of new content up today, and more swell stuff to come during the rest of the week. You at least have to see this mind-blowing contest…I’m considering hiring people to enter the contest for me, since I can’t!

Talking about comics retailing, after a fashion…now, since I sell things on the eBay, it would be hard cheese for me to criticize other people’s eBay auctions. “Boy, that auction is crappy…you should buy our stuff!” You know what I mean. But I swear, occasionally I’ll poke through eBay at work doing research on items that I’d like to list for the store (just to see if it’s worth my time, you know…honest!), and more than once I’ll say out loud something like “they’re calling that a Very Fine? Are they high?” (Ask pal Dorian, I did that a couple times on Saturday.)

However, I love finding weird comic book stuff on eBay and showing it to you…pal JP usually finds good stuff on there (like this adult Batman diaper I linked to a while back). I did find today this Death of Superman Neon Bar Sign. Of all things to make into a neon sign….

“It is a Great decor item for den, home bar, commercial bar, restaurant, game room, store or garage….”


So, I wonder if George Lucas read underground comic books? Here’s a cover detail from Jim Pinkoski’s Spaced #1 from 1974, three years before Star Wars (featuring a character with a similar hairstyle) was released:

The full cover (not work safe) can be seen here.

Saturday’s new episode of Justice League Unlimited featuring the Cartoon Network debut of Captain Marvel (but not his animated debut…well done, I thought, with a nice contrast between Cap’s cheerful attitude and the slightly more dour JL members. I know pal Dorian had expressed some concerns about the Big Red Cheese being so easily bamboozled, given that the “S” in “Shazam” represents the Wisdom of Solomon. Dor does have a point, but it may not be entirely inconsistent with Cap’s portrayal in the past. The Wisdom part of his power doesn’t always appear to be “on” — Cap’s been tricked and swindled in the comics, so it’s not terribly surprising that he didn’t access Solomon’s Wisdom to figure out what was going on with Luthor in the cartoon. Granted, he should have known enough to use his Wisdom when dealing with Luthor.

I particularly liked the speech Cap gives at the end, about believing in the inherent goodness of people and taking them at their word…even if he was wrong in this instance. And I don’t think I’ve seen an animated superhero battle quite like that (between Supes and Cap) in…well, ever. Can you picture something like that ever happening on The Super Friends? Kids’ brains would have exploded.

The ultimate result of this episode is that I now want to see a regular Shazam! cartoon. C’mon, you too, don’t deny it.

Just prior to that evening’s JLU, I caught a couple minutes of the new Batman cartoon, and it looked to me like they lifted a scene right out of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke. There’s a sequence in the cartoon where Batman grabs what appears to be the Joker and rubs make-up off the Joker’s face, leaving three pink streaks of revealed skin. Batman then shouts (well, growls) “where is he,” noting to this fake Joker (and the audience) that the Joker doesn’t wear make-up, since his skin is normally white.

That’s more or less right out of Killing Joke, and still sort of effective…if it weren’t for that terrible new Joker design. Gads.

Those two panels at the beginning of this post represent very early work from Jim Starlin, printed in Dolfin #1, a 1968 fanzine with a print-run of about 500 copies. Here, enjoy the cover.

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