mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I had no idea such a thing even existed. 

Friday, January 12, 2007

It may be shameless... 

...but I'm falling for it anyway, because it's great:

Via the mighty Chris Karath (who supplies a great logo for the event), it's:


...courtesy the Adam and Comfort Sketch Blog. Enjoy, won't you?

"Swamp Thing is a god. Man Thing is what his name says, a man." 

Okay, first off, how'd I miss this: "Swamp-Thing vs. Man-Thing."

And let me get this out of the way: "Swamp Thing" does not have a hyphen in it (and please read that sentence aloud in your best Comic Book Guy voice for full effect).

Anyway, the debate is opened to that site's readers, and here is an excerpt or two of what they had to say:

"My vote goes to Swamp-Thing.He can control plants,regenerate,super strength, asuume differnt shapes with his body parts such as extending limbs or extra apendages and turn into sludge. His only weakness is pollution which Man-Thing has no accsess to. So my vote goes to Swamp-Thing."

"Swamp Thing calmly stares at Man-Thing, and the mindless being feels peace and a unity with all of Creation for the first time in its existence. It then goes back to its swamp, as happy as it can possibly get, having been briefly touched with the grace and favor of the nearest thing the DCU has to a God of Plants."

"Swamp Thing is a god. Man Thing is what his name says, a man. Swampy is gonna pulverise him."

"You know with two guys like Swamp and Man thing there is only one criteria babes! Swamp thing got Heather Locklear Man Thing got a skin condition that causes girls to burn if he touches them."

And some people voted for Man-Thing, too, but clearly they're mistaken.

So long as I'm wallowing in the pig-slop of my nerdiness...this theoretical fight is hosted on Electric Ferret, and one of the guys responsible for Alec Holland becoming Swamp Thing is named "Ferrett...?" COINCIDENCE?

Thanks to "Anonymous" for dropping the link in my comments section.

While I'm on the topic...hey, Gordon, regarding your request to see an image of Swamp Thing cuddling a kitten: while a pet kitten does join Swamp Thing, Abby, and Tefe in Swamp Thing #112, between that issue and the kitty's demise at Tefe's hands in #118, at no time does Swampy himself cuddle said cat. Well, at least not until it's dead (or as good as), and I doubt that's a pic you want to see. (For more context regarding this incident, this fella details events for this particular storyline.)

In other non-Swamp Thing news:
  • Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man, don'cha know) spotted on background newsstand in '60s TV show. (via)

  • As hard as it is to believe, there's some weird-ass stuff going on in old Wonder Woman comics.

  • Neilalien lays into X-Men: First Class #4, dissecting it thoroughly.

  • Returns not diminished enough: "Halle Berry to Fox: 'Bring On More X-Men films!'"
    "I want to thank Tom Rothman for allowing me to play Storm, and Brett Ratner for allowing Storm to finally use her cape and fly this year,' said Halle Berry at yesterday's People's Choice Awards.

    "'But I have something to ask you guys. You guys really love X-Men? Ok, here’s what you have to do. [...] Write a letter to Tom Rothman at Fox and tell him so and you will get another one, and I'll be there too.'"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What do French Swamp Thing, Ambush Bug, and Galactus have in common? * 

So pal Tom (not this pal Tom, but another one) was thinning out his bookshelves and gifted me with this fine volume from his collection: La Creature des Marais, from 1977, reprinting the first five issues of the original Len Wein 'n' Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing series in French. The art is in glorious, sharply-printed black and white, which really emphasizes Wrightson's fine linework (even though there's at least one instance that I've noticed where two or three panels appear to have been enlarged and redrawn to fill the page). The wraparound cover comes from the new image Wrightson drew for DC Special Series #2.

This book also includes the original Swamp Thing story from House of Secrets #92, which, for those of you keeping track, makes this copy #9 of this story in my possession.

And because it amused me, here's the publisher's logo from the back cover:

"Editions of Cheese?"

As long as I'm talkin' about Swamp Thing, here it is, by request - Swamp Thing meets Ambush Bug:

from Ambush Bug Nothing Special #1 (1992) by Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming & Al Gordon

Check this out, and tell me this isn't a bucketful of cool:

It's the new Marvel Legends Masterworks "Galactus Versus Everybody" plastic statue, generally available for under twenty bucks, and taken from this cover. (Some of the flying characters are attached to Galactus by clear plastic rods...which, alas, break easily, so check the item carefully prior to purchase.)

* This post, apparently.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

You know what you people need? 

You need Yogi, Boo Boo, Snagglepuss, Chopper, and Ranger Smith in a pie fight:

from Yogi Bear #20 (Oct. 1973) by Gwen Krause & Ray Dirgo

If events in current comics start to get you down...if dark, gritty Speedball or Earth-Prime Superboy punching continuity weigh down your soul...focus your thoughts upon this Hanna-Barbera pie fight, and let that simple joy lift your spirits and carry you through the day.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More MODOK talk, Wu-Peanuts, Wild Cards, and teaching graphic novels. 

A (hopefully) brief follow-up to yesterday's post:

1. After typing the name "MODOK" fifty times, it began to look really, really strange to me. Well, stranger, anyway.

2. The post is already in the Wikipedia entry (subject to change, of course, Wikipedia being what it is).

3. And although nobody asked, one of the reasons I do these character linkdumps (more here) is because, for whatever reason, I find myself occasionally obsessed with a particular character and need to do a linkdump like this to drive it out of my system. Since I've been using images of MODOK as wallpaper for the work computer, and I've been singing songs about him, a linkdump for everyone's favorite Mental Organism seemed necessary. MODOK fever...catch it!

In other news:
  • The Complete Wu-Peanuts Collection, which comes to me via pal Ian: "Your desktop PC is a trap to put a crick in the black man's neck and carpel tunnel his fingers." Probably not safe for work, if your boss doesn't like you reading dirty words on company time.

  • I'm currently reading volume 17 of the Wild Cards series, Death Draws Five by John J. Miller, released in hardcover in early 2006 by iBooks, which had also published volume 16 of the series a year or two previous. I only mention it here because there was a several year gap between volumes 15 and 16, and because these two new books are only in hardcover (with iBooks no longer an ongoing concern, following the untimely passing of founder Byron Preiss, softcover versions may not be immediately forthcoming), some of you old time Wild Cards fans out there may not even be aware there are new installments in the series. I didn't even know #17 was out until several months after its release, and that's only because I plugged "wild cards" into Amazon's search engine just on a whim.

    For those of you who don't know what Wild Cards is, Wildcardsonline.com details the history and background of the series. Short version: it's a long-running prose novel shared-universe series where people infected by an alien virus gain superpowers, unless the virus kills or deforms them instead. It's convoluted, improbable, uneven, and greatly entertaining...just like some of those funnybooks you folks are reading.

    And some good news...Tor Books has picked up where iBooks left off, and is committed to publishing three more novels in the series. You can read a sample from the next book on Wild Cards mastermind George R. R. Martin's official website.

  • "Comic relief for budding young graphic artists" - I like the idea, though hopefully the superhero focus is from the article's writer, and not from the actual workshop:

    "Comic super heroes have captured the imaginations of young people for generations.

    "Now a workshop at Penrith Library is helping youngsters not only enjoy the genre, but also encourages them to become comic book authors.

    "The first Graphic Novel writing workshop was lead by former Queen Elizabeth Grammar School student Owen Johnson."


    "'The main reason I wanted to do the workshop is to widen the understanding of what comic books and graphic novels can achieve and get more kids into reading them, but also making them. Comics have always had a stigma of either children or dusty old collectors as an audience. I’m working with teenagers in the area to show that they can be relevant and fun for them as well.'"

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mental Organism Designed Only for Linking. 

The inevitable Wikipedia entry on MODOK.

Another MODOK history, but with sound files from the character's cartoon appearances!

Here's a listing of MODOK's appearances.

A little more detail on MODOK's history with the Hulk can be found here.

And, from the same site, a small sampling of artists' renditions of MODOK.

Coming later this year from Marvel is MODOK's 11, and here's some cover art.


Ludickid explains the appeal of MODOK. "He has incredibly mental powers and is an asshole." Well said.

Jeff Parker presents the greatest Marvel cover for 2007.

"This is a wonderful Marvel Original Production cel of Mandarin and Modok from the Episode Title 'Data In, Chaos Out.' Comes with Original Hand Painted background."

The absolutely fantastic many moods of MODOK, as drawn by WadeFurlong.

And now: MODOK on a moped.

MODOK is no match for children...extra bonus drawing of MODOK by one of the children, which is really cool.

They're Out of Stock, but you can see the covers for The Journal of MODOK Studies right here, and you can read a review at the bottom of this page.

Mental Organism Designed Only for Knitting.

The Sensual MODOK looks at the ladies.

MODOK is on ComicsSpace, natch, and has a link to a great gallery of original art which includes, among other pieces, MODOK versus Vampirella. (MODOK in underpants...NOOOOOOOO!!!!)

At the bottom of this page lurks the custom MODOK Mini-Mate.

"Ask A Super-Villain: MODOK:"

"HJ: Would you tell us about your college band?

M: Depeche MODOK? Oh good lord. Do I have to?"

Flixens has a casting suggestion for a MODOK movie.

A few artists draw themselves as MODOK.

MODOK the Hutt, done as a commission.

Hoo'd win: MODOK or Chemo? With a follow-up post featuring a sample script of said confrontation.

Myspace MODOK "only listens to K.M.F.D.M [...] We Both Named Acronyms!!!!!!!!" He would also like to meet Robot Nixon. Hey, me too!

Barbelith loves MODOK.

A Tribe page extolling the virtues of a MODOK presidency.

Here's a review of Marvel Novel Series #6 - And Call My Killer...MODOK!, starring Iron Man and written by William Rotsler.

Iheartmodok.com - look at the page source for additional info.

Find a MODOK motivational print on this page, four down.

WARNING - SELF-LINK: Pal Dorian and I discuss the gratuitousness (or lack thereof) of MODOK.


Killer MODOK #1 mock-up cover can be found at Bob Layton's site.

The MODOK Marvel Value Stamp (six down).

Either the worst parallel Earth ever, or the best: it's Earth-MODOK-Had-An-Itch.

A look at the MODOK Marvel Battle Dice figure, and here's the Heroclix fig.

The MODOK Gallery of Fine Art.

Once seen, it cannot be unseen: the MODOK Halloween costume!

Here's the official ToyBiz page for the Marvel Legends Build-A-MODOK series (where, if you're unfamiliar, each figure in the series comes with a piece of MODOK, which you can assemble into the complete figure). The page has a link to an image of MODOK, which, apparently, has 32 points of articulation, somehow.

Here's an extended review of the Build-A-MODOK, and Chris Karath matches the figure with a background.

And here's a look at the original MODOK action figure.

Giorgio Comolo presents MODOK versus Arnim Zola in one of the Greatest Images Ever. (Thanks David C!)


"...With the moral realignment challenge, I try to figure out how a superhero and a supervillain might appear in the comics with their morality reversed." And here you go.

Scipio comes up with an unsettling love connection for MODOK.

MODOK makes the news.

Alas, the burden of the last name MODOK: "The most common hit on google for modok is a devilish cartoon figure. I would like to counteract this by creating a site where everybody can learn the attractive side of people carrying this surname."

Dave's Long Box takes a gander at MODOK's female counterpart MODAM.

images from Captain America #313 (January 1986) by Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary & Al Williamson

Sunday, January 07, 2007


from Four Color Comics #749 - "Secrets of Life" (1956)

  • Something I mentioned to pal Dorian in e-mail re: his commentary on Penance: in an odd sort of way, the concept of the Penance character is almost like a distillation of what makes a Marvel superhero a Marvel superhero. Marvel's original gimmick, the one that separated their output from DC's, was "superheroes with problems" -- they had money troubles, they caught colds, and they worried about their loved ones in a slightly more complex fashion than simply "I must protect my girlfriend from the supervillain!"

    Penance is "superheroes with problems" made drastically more literal. It's no longer professional or personal problems, it's "pain = superheroics." The very act of self-flagellation is what powers Penance's abilities.

    Interesting, if silly. And I don't think I need to be Dr. Polite Scott to figure out that if this stupid costume (with all the inward pointing spikes) were real, the person wearing it would probably be, if not dead, then at least severely impaired in short order. Presumably, as a superhero, he's gonna be doing a lot of fighting, which means a lot of motion and a lot of impacts, which means there's gonna be a lot of ripping and tearing of flesh inside that suit.

  • Another POSSIBLE SPOILER thought about Civil War #6, since I probably haven't mentioned it enough in the last week: I can't believe they're still pretending the two sides of the "war" are on some kind of equal ground, that each side has its points. One character states as such in this issue, and instead of underlining the supposed ethical balance between the two sides, as the scene is probably intended to do, it just paints that character as being really, really dumb.

  • I'm sorry I didn't get around to mentioning this earlier: the co-creator of my favorite funnybook character, Swamp Thing, has himself a weblog. Go visit Len Wein's Weinwords and say "hello." Tell him I sent you. ("Hey, Mike sent me!" "Um, who sent you?")

  • Just saw that pal Ian reviewed our store. Well, we never have Sugar and Spike comics (because I keep them all) and I'm not friendly in the slightest (I'm a big ol' grumpypants), but otherwise it's fairly accurate. Thanks, Ian!

  • Pal Dorian has a picture of my site as viewed through his Wii...and I first saw this picture on Employee Aaron's PSP. I'm going to assume you know what all that means, because I'm not sure I do. The only video games I'm familiar with come on cartridges and plug into one of these.

And here, for no good reason, is the cartoon from the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special; i.e. pretty much the only reason to suffer through the damned thing. Enjoy, won't you? (And yes, there are a few seconds of the live action part of the show at the beginning...AVERT YOUR EYES.)

EDIT: Oops, the video has left the building, apparently...but you can still learn more about George Lucas' secret shame (I mean, aside from Phantom Menace) at Starwarsholidayspecial.com.

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