mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, April 15, 2006

"Tell Mom and Dad that it's the gift you want!" 

Ad from Nutsy Squirrel #68 (Nov/Dec 1955)

Interestingly, the "Supergirl" in this ad precedes both the "trial run" Supergirl from 1958 and the debut of Superman's cousin in 1959 (but not Lois Lane as Superwoman, both in 1943 and 1951).

I should also note that those are some sensible shoes "Superman" is wearing.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Because pal JP loves "real" superheroes: 

"Terrifica, the Anti-Cupid"

"A young Brooklynite named Sarah got mercilessly dumped by her boyfriend and became Terrifica, a heroine whose mission is to prevent men from taking advantage of women. Men, she says, will use a deadly cocktail of 'lies and drinks' to get a woman into bed. So she patrols the city's parties, bars, and clubs, intervening when she spots a sketchy seduction in progress."

Here's a longer article which mentions her arch-nemesis:

"Terrifica has also become somewhat of a nemesis to one alleged Casanova in particular: A man who likes to dress in velvet and prefers to be called 'Fantastico.' He says that over the years, Terrifica has thwarted his attempts on numerous occasions to get to know women a little better."

Okay, these stories are a couple years old, and maybe you all know about these already...but knowing that there exists, or once existed, a real life conflict between a superheroine named Terrifica and a supervillain named Fantastico makes me deliriously happy.

Further internet searching brought me to World Superhero Registry, an online compendium of real-world superheroes (which, by the way, has an interview with Terrifica from earlier this year, so I guess she is still around.) That site brought me to the Earth Agents superhero team, with a swell rotating Earth animation on their homepage. And of course you all know about Doktor Discord and Mr. Silent, since they were all over the place on the nerdinet a few months ago.

Captain Sticky, rest his soul, still remains my favorite real-life superhero, however.

Additional linkage: the Wikipedia "real life superhero" article, with links a'plenty for more info on this alternative lifestyle.

And now a PROGRESSIVE RUIN disclaimer: don't dress up as a superhero and try to fight crime. There are easier ways to get yourself shot.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Another fine and dandy new comics day. 

So a couple weeks back I mentioned the fact that I enjoy seeing covers that are "pre-distressed" (in that case, the new issue of Savage Dragon). Well, one of the covers for this week's Shaolin Cowboy #5 has it beat...click that pic for a better look at it.

Other new comic day shenanigans:

Cavewoman Jungle Tales Special Edition #3 - a limited edition variant cover featuring the titular (har har) woman of caves, in her usual state of near-undress, surrounded by caricatures of the Beatles (with the slogan "reunited again" or some such). I don't read Cavewoman...do the Beatles have anything to do with the contents of this book?

Beginners Guide To Drawing Furry Art - Step One: Draw a human form. Step Two: Add fur and a tail. ...Well, that's what it looks like!

Toyfare #106 - I don't normally look inside Toyfare, but this issue did have a fairly amusing Alan Moore/Oscar Wilde battle. Yeah, what can I tell you.

Comics Journal #275 - Features some swell nigh-forgotten cartooning by Boody Rogers. Nutty, almost disturbing, work, and deserving of reissue. Also in this issue is R. Fiore's witty and informative comics year in review, which makes for fine reading.

And a bunch of superhero comics came out, but I don't really have much to say about them. Superman is vastly improved (it would have to be, with Kurt Busiek's involvement...nice art from Pete Woods, too), Firestorm continues to be a solid book (better when focused on the "soap opera" elements, less interesting when the actual super-villain battle kicks in at the end), and Hellboy-spinoff B.P.R.D. starts off a new storyline concerning the resurrection of Roger the friendly golem (very effectively creepy).

I would be remiss if I did not note that, this Wednesday, angels sang from on high, the rivers ran backwards, snakes and hamsters lived together in peace, and Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. actually managed to send us a shipment with no...I repeat, NO shortages or damages.

Well, there was one shorted item, but Diamond was already aware of it and included a note indicating that it had been entered into their system. BUT THAT'S CLOSE ENOUGH!

And now...this:

Find the other parts here. God bless these kids.

1. That kid playing Robin in a couple of the videos looks like he'd rather be doing anything else.

2. If you're gonna dance while dressed as Batman, sooner or later a little Batusi is gonna slip in.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

OFFICIAL: Marvel now does "2nd printings" 

From today's rerelease of Marvel Zombies #4:

As opposed to "variant editions:"

Or has that "2nd printing" logo popped up before, and I'm just not remembering?

Mostly Bat-talk. (Or "I love people talking about superheroes existing in the real world.") 

"Robin Williams Wants to be The Joker in Batman Begins sequel"

"When the interviewer asked Williams if he would consider taking the role of the Joker, Robin quickly replied 'Oh God Yeah!'"

I think this is just someone screwing around, but honestly, it's hard to tell:

"this is a serious topic the world needs a batman or batmen or woman or and other type of superhero (superman greenlantern ect) or even made up i have a idear i shall gather ppl but i need your help we are going to be batmen/woman or superheros we gather somewere with comstumes and we can be the darknights we shall be batmen/woman we can make it a gang of superheros we can all be what we dream of if u are interested e-mail me or add my msn and talk to me on there i will reply all e-mails my e-mail is [deleted for this guy's own good] live ur dream and join me"

And if you have other people on the Killer Movies forum making fun of you, you must have seriously gone wrong somewhere:

"I see this thread as the breading ground for some of the best insults ever seen on KMC."

Yeah, that guy is going to get totally breaded.

Didn't mean to turn this into "Bat-links," but here's another:

"If Batman lived on earth prime, would he do something?"

"I can't help wondering that if superheroes were real, would they allow the tyrant that we call a president do the things he has done [...] I normally don't use forums like this, but I watched a JLU episode and watched a semi arguement between Supergirl and Green Arrow, Grenn Arrow states that the Goverment should be for the people by the people, in this sad state of the world, nothing is further from the truth."

Uh, wow. It then proceeds into conspiracy theories and "9/11 was staged by the U.S."-type stuff, and people arguing against same, which become even more surreal when mixed in with comments like this:

"i dont like the fact that Alexander Luthor touched my planet(if it's true that Earth-Prime is OUR[the reader's] earth)... grrrrr"

Someone decides to go back to the original topic:

"I don't think this message board is about Batman living on Earth Prime...I will answer the real question. I think he would do something because he has no powers in the first place so there would be nothing stopping him on this world, too. He still would need to have his parents murdered tragically by a thug. But other than that everything else should fall into place."

I'm not even sure what this next statement even means:

"too bad Batman isn't real we should get real people to take care of this like The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

To sum up:

"This is the worst conversation about comics ever"

Not Bat-related: It says "Progressive Ruin," but IT ISN'T ME. (WARNING: Link contains guy in underwear pushing a mop...who ALSO ISN'T ME. Maybe.)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Yes, I've been going through old promo posters again. 

How many of these characters are going to make their reappearance in 52? (Well, aside from that version of Supergirl, which we'll probably never, ever see again.)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Early evening linking. 

Found via Fark...pick-up lines for girls to use on guys:

"'Don't you think Batman's cooler than Superman because he doesn't have super-powers to fall back on?' Let him be an expert. If a guy is reading something that you know about -- a newspaper story, a novel, or a comic book you remember fondly -- comment on it and let him show you how much he knows."

Um, yeah, don't hold your breath for anyone to use that specific line on you.

My favorite V for Vendetta review, via the very funny Weekly Blurb:

"V for Vantastic Entertainment!

"V (Hugo Weaving), a masked mystery man with a gift of gab, swirls and swaggers through the evil regime, blowing up things, slashing people's throats and appearing on television. Is he crazy? like a fox! A dashing, daring fox who likes to wear capes! V meets Evey (Natalie Portman), and falls in love with the 'v' in her name, even though it is small while his is capital.

"[...] V for Vendetta rises above the controversy that has engulfed it by creating the kind of serious complex and deeply symbolic characters that turn ordinary comic books into graphic novels."

"They called the battle the Ant-pocalypse." 

There's only one sound effect that adequately describes the sound made by Captain America, as a werewolf, busting out of a secret laboratory through a metal door, and that sound is:

Just in case you were wondering.

I just happened to be hip-deep in Captain America back issues over the weekend, and that got me to thinking: someone, somewhere, is the World's Biggest Red Skull Fan. I mean, he's really into the Red Skull. Has the action figures, had the posters, has all of his comic book appearance, dresses up as the Red Skull for Halloween...this person is just nuts for Cap's biggest Nazi villain.

Now, I'm not saying this theoretical World's Biggest Red Skull Fan is, in fact, sympathetic to the Red Skull's philosophies and policital leanings, by any means, though I suppose that's possible. I'm just saying that someone out there thinks he's a swell villain, and is compelled to acquire all materials related to this character.

So what Red Skull items are out there, you may be wondering. Or you may not be wondering, but I'm going to tell you anyway.

There's the Red Skull bust, of course, as well as the Red Skull statue (complete with Cosmic Cube). There have been a couple Red Skull action figures of late, including a chase figure from Marvel Legends Series 5, and a Captain America Vs. Red Skull diorama set. We also had the little Heroclix fella, and I'm sure there's a bunch more material out there that I've not been able to Google up. I wonder if there was any Red Skull merchandise from the '40s like, I don't know, decoder rings and such. Granted, that doesn't seem terribly likely, but you never know.

In my searches, I did find a customized Red Skull Mini-Mate on this page, some custom carded Secret Wars figures, and a custom Mego figure (complete with big Keane-esque eyes).

I hope my searches for "Red Skull" don't put me on a list somewhere.

So pal JP flipped through the new issue of Ant from Image Comics, and just couldn't stop laughing. Now, I'd never looked inside a copy, since I gathered from the covers of both the original Arcana series and the current run that it was a T'n'A fest. Yes, I judged a book by its cover, so sue me. However, prodded by pal JP's enjoyment of this issue, I decided to peruse it myself...flipping through, the first panel that jumped out at me was this one:

Okay, to be fair, there actually is a context for that panel -- the sleazy landlord is staring at the lead character's posterior and commenting upon it -- but it's still a panel featuring an extreme close-up of a lady's behind, with a word balloon.

And then there was this panel:


The story itself has the lead character looking into her connection to the Ant character, including picking up a copy of the Image comic book, and learning the history of the character from a comic store employee...a history that apparently includes creating world peace single-handedly following 9/11:

"The fight lasted for days. They called the battle the Ant-pocalypse."

Well, of course they did. What else would you call it?

While I'm on the topic of Ant, it's interesting to note that while the earlier issues from Arcana are allegedly "hot" and, in some cases, going for premium prices, it's not translating to sales, at least for us, on the current Image series. Maybe it's just local market conditions, but it may be another example of a comic desired by consumers primarily as a collectible, rather than as serialized entertainment.

I think I must have watched this video at least twice a day since I originally linked to it. I honestly can't get enough of it. These two brothers need to make more videos.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

And now, just in time for Palm Sunday, your "stealth Jesus reference in an issue of Captain America" for today:

from Captain America #105 (September 1968) by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dan Adkins

And since pal JP threatened to stop reading my weblog if I didn't post a certain image from an eBay auction he found...here you go:

From this day forward, I shall only accept hamburgers prepared in this fashion. LET THE WORD GO FORTH.

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