In which Mike makes friends, looks at some new funnybooks, and ponders the End of Civilization.

§ August 25th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on In which Mike makes friends, looks at some new funnybooks, and ponders the End of Civilization.

“Everyone knows that people who like comics are unsuccessful losers who die alone.”

–Kid Chris

Okay, perhaps I should provide some context to that.

Pal Dorian, Kid Chris, and I were discussing all the contentiousness out there on the Comicsweblogosphere, with controversies seemingly breaking out at the drop of a hat, and how I personally would just as soon not get mired in them. Who needs the hassle, you know? I’ve got enough real problems to worry about (like landscaping the backyard, getting the curtains up….). Though, sez I, I’m occasionally tempted to put something on my site specifically designed to honk people off. That’s when Kid Chris chimed in with the above bon mot as something I should put on the site to…encourage discussion, as it were. Please note he said this as he was holding a handful of comic books he was planning to buy for himself.

So, relax, he wasn’t being serious about it, and neither am I. (And he didn’t say it around any customers, either, so don’t worry about that.) Besides, if I really wanted to irritate people, I’d say something along the lines of “why are orders on Peng so low? Maybe retailers saw Sharknife.” (Only a joke, only a joke! We ordered Peng, and regularly reorder Sharknife…it’s not my thing, as I’ve noted before, but it does sell for us.)

So I was strangely obsessed with Midori Days on Wednesday, a comic in which the right hand of the local tough kid is suddenly, magically replaced with…a cute girl. And not just any cute girl, but apparently a real girl who had a crush on our protagonist. This is one of those comics that makes me wonder just what the heck is going on over there in Japan. Man, they got some weird-ass ideas for comics…and good on them for it. (Though I wonder if this could be considered a romantic comedy version of Parasite, in which a fellow’s hand (or whole arm?) is replaced with an alien being. Unless Parasite was a romantic comedy, and I was just reading it wrong.)

The filing category noted on the back of the Arana paperback released by Marvel this week is “teen drama/superhero action,” so look for it near the sci-fi/role playing game books at your local big chain bookstore, kids!

On the cover of The Darkness Versus Mr. Hyde, the newest installment in the “Top Cow Characters Fight Public Domain Monsters” series, is the following quote from Paperback Reader: “It’s a crossover series that provides fun and adventure by combining the characters.” I guess the “fun” part counts as the positive review, as the rest of the quote is pretty much just defining what a “crossover” is. Granted, this is better than one of the review quotes they used in TV commercials for Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles: “Crocodile Dundee is back, and this time he’s in L.A.!” Yes, and…? I swear to God, that was the quote they used.

Teen Titans #27 by Gail Simone and Rob Liefeld – okay, gotta give them points for the self-aware cover blurb (“Come on – you know you want it!”), but, man, this is Liefeld at his Liefeldest, and while I love Simone’s deft touch with dialogue, I just couldn’t do it. And I wasn’t the only one…I saw a lot of customers struggling with indecision over it at the racks, and I had a couple of resigned sighs of “well, I’ve got the rest of them” as they made their decisions to purchase. I’ve said before that Liefeld can still sell X-books like crazy, but on anything else? Not as well, I’m afraid. (At first, I flipped open to a couple pages and thought “hey, this doesn’t look too bad,” and then I realized I was looking at the Bioncle ad.)

JSA Classified #2 – Power Girl explains to Superman why she has a big hole in her top exposing her cleavage. Still bound to tick someone off.

Spike: Old Times one-shot – Sold though all our copies on Wednesday. Okay, we didn’t order a lot (it’s seven and a half bucks, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer hadn’t been quite the hot comics commodity it used to be) but people like Spike, and they like Peter David, and they make a good combination on this book. The old fan speculation that Spike’s old crush was the same person as the vengeance demon he met over a century later (since they were played by the same actress on the TV show) is made explicit in this story. Likenesses are generally accurate throughout, courtesy artist Fernando Goni, though occasionally backgrounds suffer from a lack of detail. Still, a fun and quick read…not deep, but entertaining, with David’s signature touch of humor.

Little Lulu Vol. 5: Lulu in The Doghouse also came out this week…really, you need to buy this. It’s some of the most charming and funny cartooning you’ll ever read. And, to flog the dead (Dark) horse a little more, all the pages appear to be in order this time.

And now, what you’ve been waiting for…the End of Civilization, as revealed through the pages of the latest Diamond Previews catalog. Follow along in your own copies, won’t you? (Previous entries in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 6)

p. 251 – Offered again, the Shi 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Naginata:

“Wield the most infamous weapon of Japanese Antiquity, and the choice of Billy Tucci’s Warrior Heroine Shi. This Limited 10th Anniversary Naginata comes with [sic] engraved with the Shi Kanji, numbers and is limited to 99 editions. Originating over 1,000 years ago and due to its massive height, it was most successful in battle against horsemen and swords. Stretching over 5 feet tall with a 20″ carbon steel blade with intense blood grooves and blade cover. Comes complete with wooden stand.”

Only $199.99.

p. 391 – Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies: chapters include “Worshipping Satan,” “Who Buys The Pizza,” and “Friday Nights Are Always Open.” (DISCLAIMER FOR THE SENSITIVE: I played D&D too…I joke with love, with love!)

Also p. 391 – Garfield’s Book of Cat Names: sure, go ahead and laugh, but I bet it outsells any given issue of Ultimate Spider-Man.

p. 393 – Family Guy: The Ultimate Episode Guide: includes a one-page chapter discussing the episodes that were actually funny.

(A BRIEF INTERRUPTION: Please note on page 405 and 406, in the “International” section, are two new Jim Woodring Frank items – a 48-page book called “Lute String” ($5.95) and a DVD of Frank animations ($24.95). Turn back the fall of civilization by buying these items.)

p. 412 – UDA Tiger Woods Breaking Through Framed Photo: “features a raised 12″ by 20″ image of Tiger Woods with an actual Nike golf ball ‘breaking through’ the Plexiglass….” Yes, it’s a photo with a golf ball glued to it. If any sports fans give any of you comic fans grief over the stuff you buy, feel free to bring up this item.

p. 436 – Barbie as Elektra.



Where’s your messiah now?

p. 444 – How is it that the two-dimensional face decal on the Faith figure from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Palz” series has a better likeness of the actress than the three-dimensional Faith action figure?

p. 452 – Star Trek Riker & Worf core figures: “limited to one per case is the Lieutenant Thomas Riker figure,” which is the Riker figure with a yellow top instead of a red one. I explained to Dorian that Thomas was Riker’s transporter clone, and I literally stunned Dor speechless.

p. 454 – G.I. Joe Destro Mask Replica: 14 inches tall, made of metal, $350.00, and I swear, if I find out you bought this, I will find you and I will administer punishment.

p. 458 – 13-inch Man Thing statue…look, if I’m not going to buy this, then who is?

p. 486 – Zombie Outbreak Survival Kit for $14.95, includes “caution: zombie outbreak” warning tape, trading cards, signs, toe tags, a CD-ROM (with desktop themes and games), and other things that will make you wonder why you spent $14.95 on this.

p. 519 – Tripping the Rift Season One 2-Disc DVD Set: no one actually likes this show, do they?

p. 520 – Dungeons & Dragons 2: The Elemental Might DVD:

“When the evil sorcerer Damodar braves a perilous whirlwind vortex to steal the elemental black orb, he declares a sinister plan of vengeance against the kingdom of Ismir. Berek, a decorated warrior, and Melora, an amateur sorceress join four other heroes to battle against Damodar’s growing army of gruesome creatures and prevent him from summoning the sleeping black dragon whose omnipotent evil powers could lay waste to the entire kingdom!”

Based on the John Irving novel.

If you’ve read this far, you deserve a prize…and that prize is a Super Chicken fan site. Thanks to The Comic Treadmill for pointing it out!

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