mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"...Spidey's life takes it is most dramatic turn...!" 

Another ad detail from one of our recently-acquired EC comics:

"Enjoy our fine selection of crime novels while having a relaxing smoke!"

From this year's Free Comic Book Day edition of Amazing Spider-Man:

Sure, we all make typos (and pal Tom caught me with a bad one yesterday), but the whole "it's/its" thing drives me crazy, and it would have been nice if it had been caught, particularly in something that's going to be distributed to (hopefully) thousands upon thousands of people.

On the upside, the error probably won't even be noticed by most folks. On the downside...the error probably won't even be noticed by most folks.

Via pal JP, an eBay auction for a "Swamp Thing #31 Original Cover Art Key Printing Plate."

And speaking of pal JP, he has another Golden Age selection of fine wine and cheese (hold the wine)...Suicide Smith.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Some FCBD stuff. 

So I spent my Thursday afternoon unpacking and sorting the Free Comic Book Day books...approximately one quadrillion of them, give or take a trillion.

Okay, maybe I exaggerate slightly, but I was hip-deep in thousands of the things, and the whole time I was thinking about the other retailers I've read comments from, who balked at the fifty buck buy-in in order to participate. I mean, we got more than fifty bucks' worth of just the Gumby giveaway.

I haven't had much of a chance to look through this year's offerings, but Owly, as always, is a quality item, and the Nexus book is a sight for sore eyes, after being gone from the stands for too long. It's mostly reprints, catching readers up on the character, but features a few preview pages for the new series.

Unseen Peanuts from Fantagraphics is a fine package, not only featuring (as the title may imply) strips previously unreprinted until Fantagraphics' recent Complete Peanuts series, but also provides commentary for several of the strips. It sorta makes me wish there was a Complete Annotated Peanuts, but I think producing the Complete Peanuts just by itself is causing enough gray hair and headaches.

By the way, a quick look at the eBay once again reveals people selling this year's FCBD offerings. Someone's even selling a complete bag of the Star Wars Clone Wars miniature figures...they ordered the bag for FCBD, got it in from Diamond, and immediately tossed it on the eBay as is. Now that's just a shame.

For the first Spider-Man movie, I was informed in no uncertain terms by my girlfriend, whose favorite comic book character is ol' Web-head, that "penalties will ensue" if we did not see the film on opening night. After driving from theatre in theatre in a panic, desperately trying to find a showing that hadn't sold out, we managed to luck onto a 10:45 PM screening that still had a few seats left. And that's why I live to tell the tale today.

Anyway, I've learned my lesson, and for Spider-Man 2, I bought the tickets about a month ahead of time. For Spider-Man 3...I'd almost let it slip by me, but last Monday I swung by the theatre for tickets for a late evening showing on the film's May 4th debut.

I totally forgot that May 5th was Free Comic Book Day, which means I'm going to have to get to the store early to prep things for the event. I may be one tired funnybook salesman that day, it seems.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Progressive Ruin Presents...The End of Civilization. 

Once again, it's time to see what wonders and what horrors lurk within the latest Diamond Previews catalog...grab your copy of the May 2007 edition and follow along. And check the sidebar for 26 previous installments, if you're so inclined. And why wouldn't you be? Heck, it's not like you're doing anything else right now anyway.

p. 168-9 - Lost Series 2 Action Figures - Sun:

For those of you keeping track, two of the three female characters from Lost so far given action figures are in bikinis. Naked Desmond figure still pending.

p. 192 - Spider-Man 3 [spoiler removed] Eddie Brock Statue:

Remember that slight brouhaha a few years back, when the soundtrack for Star Wars Episode I was released ahead of the film, and one of the track titles gave away a major character development? Here's the Limited Collector's Statue version of that. Funny that there's a big ol' spoiler in the title, while the image of the statue is blacked out. If you want to see the full uncensored title, here you go. (And yeah, I know, it's not much of a spoiler, given how things usually work out in these films.)

p. 387, 390 - Pretty Face Volume 1 TP:

"He wanted to be her boyfriend...how did he end up as her twin sister?"

All right, that's it...Japan, what the hell is going on over there?

p. 439 - Countdown Ray Palmer T-Shirt:

Given that the other Countdown t-shirts ("Jimmy Olsen Must Die," "Seduction of the Innocent," and "Darkseid Rules") are a bit more on the confrontational/bizarrely amusing side, "The Search for Ray Palmer" seems a little out of place, a little less dynamic. "WHERE'S THE ATOM?" or "THE ATOM'S SPLIT" -- okay, those aren't so great, but you know what I mean. Hopefully.

p. 440 - Superman "Honor & Truth" Black T-Shirt:

Now that's just trying too hard.

p. 473 - Star Trek Deep Space Nine Series 1 Action Figures:

What's with the sudden push for DS9 merchandise? The trading cards I featured last month, these new action figures...there's not really that much demand for DS9 stuff, is there? (Okay, maybe more than for, say, Voyager, but still....)

EDIT: Full disclosure - I have one of the 1993 Morn figures.

p. 485 - Shaman Mini-Bust:


p. 485 - Banshee Mini-Bust:


p. 494 - Star Wars Classics Kit Fisto Bust:

The only possible use of this statue is to give your friends reason to make fun of you. For God's sake, don't tell 'em the character's name is "Fisto" -- you'll never hear the end of it.

p. 513 - The Art of Shunya Yamashita: Shion Fine Art Bust:

You know, usually these Japanese girly "fantasy hero" statues at least make a pretense at wearing some semblance of clothing.

p. 542 - 300 Dog Tags:

"The king has ordered for you to support the Spartan troops and the fight for freedom by proudly displaying these 300 epoxy dog tags around your neck."

Part of the 300 Anachronism Merchandising Line, along with the 300 Wall Clock, the 300 Shooters, the 300 Mail Bag, and the 300 Watch with Tin, all also offered this month.

p. 545 - Star Wars Wacky Wobblers:

That's enough. No more bobbleheads. Is that Darth Vader in his TIE fighter? Doe the TIE fighter bobble? Does Darth's head bobble? Do both the TIE fighter and Darth have bobble action? THAT'S TOO MUCH BOBBLING. We don't need any more bobblehead dolls of any kind, ever...except maybe for...

p. 551 - Black Jesus Bobblehead:


Marvel Previews p. 4 - Captain America #25 Director's Cut:

"The events in CAPTAIN AMERICA #25 have been covered in news outlets nationwide..."

"...And this new reprint is several months too late to take advantage of that days-long media-driven sales bump, as the general public has already forgotten about this 'event,' but we're going to bring up the media coverage again anyway in an effort to inflate sales!"

Marvel Previews p. 4 - Civil War Chronicles #1:

"Experience CIVIL WAR and it's [sic] major tie-ins from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, FANTASTIC FOUR, FRON [sic] LINE and more in chronological order!"

Maybe this go-around the Civil War event will come out on schedule. Second time's the charm!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Giant Fist of Exploding Purplish-Pink Justice! 

This is a detail from a back cover ad on one of the many EC Comics we acquired recently.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Locks, love, and a lady. 

So in a comment left on my Sunday evening entry featuring a previously-unknown-to-me Spidey promo comic, Phillip was good enough to point me in the direction of Master Lock Presents: The Incredible Hulk, apparently available only through a mail-away offer. Again, this comic is new to me, and again, I totally want a copy.

According to the Grand Comic Book Database entry, the story involves one of the Kingpin's men transporting some box locked by a Master Lock padlock, while encountering the Hulk and his super-pals (like Daredevil, Elektra, and Captain America) who all try to get this henchman to give up his criminal lifestyle. Having not seen the story in question, I am left wondering how the plugs for Master Lock's fine products are worked into the narrative. I picture the henchman occasionally wondering about what's in the box, except: "RATS! If only this weren't locked with a high-quality, 'tough under fire' padlock! There's no way I can cut through that hardened boron alloy!"

And I especially wonder how the Hulk fits into all this. "Hey, nice lock there, lemme see it...oops, I broke it, sorry." That would kind of defeat the purpose, I think.

Via Lady, That's My Skull...Who Does Mary Love?

Well, naturally.

Pal JP unloads more classic Golden Age cheese, featuring Lady Satan. Yes, that's right, "Lady Satan." Hey, kids, comics!

Monday, April 23, 2007

"A bad drawing of a mouse - flying!!" 

From Spooky Spooktown #58 (August 1975), Spooky, the Tuff Little Ghost, reveals a sensitive, artistic, but not terribly competent side:

Going outside for inspiration, Spooky discovers things have gone horribly awry in the Enchanted Forest:

Even the wildlife is affected:

Exploring further, Spooky runs across a rabbit, who points him in the direction of the culprit:

A man with working pencils for arms raises more questions than answers, but alas, there's no time for questions as Pencilman immediately goes on the offensive with a hastily-drawn porcupine:

Spooky flies off in pursuit of Pencilman, only to discover his full, nefarious, and slightly undecided, scheme:

Spooky turns invisible, flies over Pencilman while carrying two large, and apparently still visible, rocks, but still manages to pull off a surprise attack:

Pencilman runs off to, um, get his pencils sharpened, which presumably means his arms get progressively shorter with use:

Spooky pays a visit to Wilma Witch for help, and she puts the call out for the one person who can defeat Pencilman:

Apparently in all this time, Pencilman still hasn't finished drawing the firing device for his gun, but Eraserman takes the opportunity to turn the tables on the pencil-armed freak:

Eraserman then turns on Pencilman himself:

Having successfully executed Pencilman without any bothering with "due process" and "legal representation" and other time-wasters, Eraserman starts to clean up the damage done:

Though it begs the question...after Eraserman is done erasing, what's going to be left? Is the original Enchanted Forest simply underneath all the bad drawings, or will the forest's inhabitants be left floating in some white, empty, fully-erased void?

And Spooky's "old business" is going back to that bunny who clued him in on Pencilman in the first place. Why? So Spooky can scare him, the big jerk.

All this reminds me of an old Batman villain:

...who comprises both Eraserman, with his red, rubbery head, and Pencilman, with his pointy graphite monopod. A symbolic representation of a possible future, when Pencilmen and Erasermen may be able to live together in harmony?

Let us hope, friends...let us hope.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I love the title of this comic. 

Just happened to spot this comic on the Grand Comic Book Database while researching something, and now there's no Spider-Man comic I want more.

Amazing Spider-Man Battles Ignorance. Fantastic.

Peter Parker, penises, plugs, planning, and posters. 

After meeting Citizen Steel, Peter suddenly felt the need to correct his inadequacies.

For some context, see Chris and pal Dorian for reasoned, and heavily-illustrated, responses (and responses to responses) to this cover. OH NOES GENITALS.

And be sure to check out Tim for his response as well.

Which reminds me...the thought occurred to me the other day that I'd like to see, just for curiosity's sake, a porn comic drawn by Rob Liefeld. Y'know, just to see what he thinks that sort of thing would look like.

The specific title that jumped into my head was Rob Liefeld's Black Kiss.

Now you're all thinking about what that would be like, and I apologize.

Hey, Tom...you need to start doing this site again.

Regarding yesterday's post: I've been waiting for months to post that, I'll have you know.

And I've had a post ready for this coming Fourth of July since the end of last summer.

There's a fine line between "good planning" and "sad obsession."

So we received that humongous promo poster for DC Comics' next weekly series, Countdown:

It's 72 inches wide, features just about every major DC hero (and a villain or two), and it's a real bear to tape to the wall while precariously balancing oneself at the top of a ladder.

That image above is totally stolen from an eBay auction for this item. Yes, before the series is even out, people are unloading the promo for a few bucks on the eBay. Now, I've sold a few comic book promo posters online, but usually I wait until they're about 7 to 10 years old, and thus out of date, before trying to get rid of them. Selling a promo poster before the series even debuts...that sorta defeats the purpose, I think.

Though I'll have to admit...while I was perched on the ladder, trying to get that Countdown poster up, trying to keep it level, the thought did cross my mind that maybe it'd be simpler to just to sell the darned thing and be done with it.

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