mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lo, and there came to pass another Free Comic Book Day... 

...and the people did rejoice mightily, and they did journey from far and wide to visit their local funnybook emporiums, to partake of the glorious bounty that awaited them. They found Unseen Peanuts, and saw that it was good, and took them by the handful. They saw mounds of Owly: Helping Hands, and seeing that it too was good, their hands did help indeed themselves to it. They saw the Worlds of Aspen, and...um...and they did take that, too, for it was free and what the hell. Yea, verily.

In other words, get your hinders into our shop and get free comics, because I don't want to have to find a place to store the leftovers. And, um, you might find something you'll enjoy, too.

Yea, verily. And so on.

Since I'll be busy with the aforementioned event, and since (as I'm writing this) I just got back from seeing Spider-Man 3 and totally need to go to bed sometime soon so that I have more than five hours of sleep in me before going to work in the morning, I don't have much content for this post. Well, except for this next little thing. You know what happens when you're killing some time and you just happen to search on the word "nerd" on the eBay? You find this:

"Star Wars NAKED NERD photo set to raise money for C4 - Fanboy exploits own body to get the SW CELEBRATION IV"

"...My 'NAKED NERD Charity Drive' of sorts to gain funds to attend what could be the defining moment in any STAR WARS fan’s life: THE STAR WARS CELEBRATION IV, taking place in Los Angeles, CA, May 24-28, 2007 celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the start of GEORGE LUCAS’s opus Sextology(?) STAR WARS: Episode IV: A NEW HOPE!!!!!!!

"A life-long fan of the films, as many of you fine citizens may also be, I cannot bear the thought of missing out on this , the ultimate fan experience due to lack of funds. You see, I have recently relocated and as many of you know, the act of moving one’s self and possessions can be a taxing strain on one’s bank account. Try as I might I just can’t seem to raise the necasary fundage to finance such a journey…at least not though the traditional routes.

"Instead I have taken a page of wisdom from the 2nd greatest film of all time: DETROIT ROCK CITY starring Sir Edward Furlong and have decided to do what so many Sorority Girls and Single Mothers before me have done to get what they need and desire…….SHAKE WHAT THE GOOD LORD GAVE ME!!!!!!!!!!!"


"Let me give you potential bidders a little bit of info on what you will be bidding on:

"What I have for you is a set of nearly 40 digital photos of me stripped down to my underwear (Boxer Briefs) in various HIGHLY EROTIC poses designed to stimulate and titlulate everyone…including the deceased. These pictures are strictly cheesecake ABOLUTLEY NO ACTUAL NUDITY is contained within these photographic records of a desperate man.

"You will see photos of me in various states of undress striking HOT poses on the hood of my 1996 HONDA CIVIC…..WHITESNAKE STYLE!!!!! In The shower sudsing up for a night on the town. Relaxing on the couch……comfortably. Being caught UNAWARE whilst traversing the rooms and corridors of my palacial NERD ESTATE."

Friend, you had me at "WHITESNAKE STYLE!!!!!"

Sample photos at the link. Oh, yes indeedy. Safe for work, I guess.

Friday, May 04, 2007


from Nancy #172 (October 1958)

Follow tonight's two-fisted action right here...if you've got the guts.

"Being a fink is fun!" 


Okay, that's not really Swings-Both-Ways-Man, as you may have guessed, but rather Stilt Man, who confronted both Spider-Man and Spider-Woman is issue #47 of Spidey Super Stories (July 1980). He doesn't appear to have any formal connection to the regular Marvel Universe Stilt-Man we all know and love. However, the Spidey Super Stories version is a nattier dresser. Let's compare:

Old, tired Stilt-Man - all hard lines and cold technology:

Spidey Super Stories Stilt Man - retro charm, fashionable top hat with affixed comic book logo:

And, I mean, c'mon...he's committing crimes wearing these:

That's gotta take some measure of guts. (And by "these" I mean the wooden stilts, not the blue shoes, the pinstriped pants, or the tails, smart guy.)

He also takes great joy in his work:

So, along with the The Queen of the Runners, that's two, count 'em, two great Spidey Super Stories characters Marvel needs to revive. Surely these characters are more interesting than, say, Penance.

Sorry I've been sort of light on the content the last couple of days. I've not had much of a chance to do much computering at home lately...and the free time I did have, I was just too dog-tired to get anything together. Thanks for continuing to drop by and read and comment, anyway.

And I know I owe some folks some e-mails. They're a'comin', I promise.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #3 - Liked the first issue, the second issue a little less so, and found the third issue to be...well, let's be nice and call it "disjointed." The art was a little shakier, the "cleverness" of the dialogue a little less clever and a little more grating...I mean, it wasn't just me, was it?

You know, it's a real tragedy every time a bad drawing of the Thing makes it to print. 'Course, I don't know if that's really a bad drawing or just an example of "some characters don't work when viewed from certain angles."

I probably should say something about the last issue of DC's weekly 52 series, but I don't even know where to start. Short version: entertaining, mostly successful experiment. Kinda wish that the appearance of two certain dead characters at the end of the series didn't have "ONE EDITORIAL EDICT AWAY FROM BEING REVIVED" sorta written all over them. And that whole World War III tie-in mini-series debacle was just unfortunate. Otherwise...yeah, I think I got my money's worth out of it. And if the ultimate result of the series, as revealed in that last issue, is used wisely, I'll be especially pleased...if not just outright surprised.

Incredible Hulk #106 and World War Hulk: Prologue kicks off the World War Hulk crossover, which I've been looking forward to for quite a while. The recent "Planet Hulk" storyline has been a real high point, and the set-up for the new storyline, giving Hulk plenty of reason to be even angrier with the people who exiled him into space, is rife with possibilities. Yeah, I know, I've got apple-pie-in-the-sky hopes for this, but let a boy have his dreams. Plus, it helps that the characters the Hulk most wants to lay a beatdown on are the people who, over the course of the Civil War brouhaha, have been twisted and arguably mischaracterized into folks that you want to see beaten. Anyway, two issues in, so far so good.

You know what was a nice little mini-series? Thunderbolts: Zemo - Born Better. Fairly simple storyline...Zemo is bouncing through time, following the trail of his bloodline and witnessing the shenanigans and goings-on in his family's history, while in the present, someone with a nefarious purpose plots for his return. Straightforward old style Marvel comics, nice art by the always-welcome Tom Grummett...a good, solid read.


I don't know what pops up into my head, sometimes.


I know it's been everywhere already, but there's a person or two I know (hi, Cully!) who read only my site on a regular basis, so this is for them:

Iron Man armor for film revealed.

I'll be seeing the new Spider-Man 3 movie tonight, after an entire day of hearing customers ask me "So, did you see 'it,' yet?" My review of the film will hopefully follow shortly.


Big news is that Chris Sims guy finally weaned himself off the Blogspot teat and got himself some hot, registered domain action at The-Isb.com, AKA "Chris's Invincible Super-Blog." Adjust your stalking patterns accordingly.

Other big news is...well, I told you that pal Sean finally got off his hinder and started posting on his site again. Well, somehow he convinced the wife to jump into the deep end as well. I've known her longer than I've know pal Sean...since my long-ago BBS days, in fact...and she's a smart and funny person and an entertaining writer.

I'm posting the link nice 'n' big, because if I don't, she'll kick me:

The Feminine Miss Geek

And if you don't read her site, she'll kick you, too. Consider yourself warned. (Pssst, Tellura...write another post!)

Also just added is GayProf's Center of Gravitas, one of those sites I kept meaning to add. Well, there it is, finally. Good writer, smart guy, go check him out.

And another addition: the aptly-named Another Damn Comic Blog.

Another warning:

That's TOMORROW, pals, so get yourself to your local comics emporium and grab some freebies.

Somehow I managed to talk pal Dorian into returning to the store to help us out just for that day. Yes, that's right, we're reunited, and it feels so good. Like Kirk and Spock, Han Solo and Chewbacca, Cagney and Lacey, Holmes and...er, Yo-yo, Dor and I are together again, behind the counter and drinking heavily fighting the good comics retail fight.

One more bit of business from Spidey Super Stories #47...the inside front cover origin of Giant-Man:

Dude, when Henry Pym "got old?" When he was, what, thirty? Man, that's harsh.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Three reasons Turok, Son of Stone, is cool. 




Wednesday, May 02, 2007


In order: from Comics on Parade #72 (June-July 1950), Nancy #158 (Sept 1958), Tip Top #214 (Aug-Oct 1958), and Tip Top #213 (May-July 1958).

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"I had no one to chest bump - but I totally would have!" 

I don't know why I find this review of an advance screening of Transformers so amusing, but I keep looking at it, and it keeps not getting any better. It's not as soul-wrenchingly evil as AICN's Blade II review (which I keep linking to because 1) it's such a car wreck, and 2) I'm a bad, bad person), but this Transformers review has an entertainment value of its own.

"...A very studio looking guy stood up in front of the theater and told us that 'a lot of effects weren't done and the music was temp' blah blah. [...] He finally says we are the 'first audience to see TRANSFORMERS!'

"There was a loud cheer in the theater, I looked around and many of the older moms/dads didn't quite get it, but their kids seemed to know the score. I saw two 15ish year old fat kids do a chest bump…alas, I had no one to chest bump- but I totally would have!"


"'I've got a fever, and the only prescriptions is MORE STARSCREAM!!!!!!'"


"Optimus Prime- sword arm- fuckin sick! That's all im gonna say about that."


"...There are many many nods and references to the history of TF, it's clear that there was a lot of thought into adding some 'fan only' moments into the film that the general audience wont get, which was great."

I am tempted to agree with the reviewer, though, in that Michael Bay does seem ideally suited to this movie. The film appears as if it'll be Big, Loud, and Stupid, and I think from Mr. Bay's oeuvre we can see that he's completely in his element.

Anyway, assuming this person isn't yet another studio plant feeding glowing reviews to AICN (and a number of the folks leaving comments appear to believe he is...by the way, don't read the comments...Good Lord), and that the review is even true at all (another worry by the message boarders there), he appeared to enjoy it, so you Transformers fans may not need to worry.

One of the bones of contention is that the review mentions Optimus Prime's "lips" being in the film, a turn of events that, when originally discovered, was met with gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothes. However, according to the director's official site, the rumor started with some test footage featuring said lips, which do not appear in the film. I actually Googled "transformer lips" to research this. Thank goodness no Transformers porn turned up.

Of course, it's very possible that the film does feature robot lips...okay, you know what? I was going to say something about how "the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" in regards to the possible existence of robot lips in the movie (especially considering every time we hear about Galactus in the new Fantastic Four movie, we get a different story), but dear God in Heaven, I'm writing about robot lips. Is this what my life has come to? Okay, look...we learned to live with Spidey's organic web-shooters, we learned to live with Matt Cable being a woman (and how!), and if it turns out to be the case, you Transformers fans can live with rob...I can't even type it again.

Speaking of the coming FF movie, a new trailer is up...and I do have to say, the trailers we've seen so far look absolutely spectacular. They certainly make me want to see the film...of course, it could very well be another example of all the good stuff being in the trailer, and the film itself being a huge dud. But, as I've said before, I'm at least cautiously optimistic. I'm one of the few people that actually sorta liked the first film, even with all its flaws, so here's hoping they've learned from their mistakes. And here's hoping Galactus is in it. Not holding my breath on either count, mind you.

And, as noted, I'll be seeing Spider-Man 3 this Friday, so look for my review on that shortly after. My prediction: entertaining, but not as good as the second one...probably not enough Venom, too much evil Harry Osborne. (If you've seen it already, and I know some of you have...don't tell me if I'm right or wrong. I'll find out myself soon enough.)

In DVD news, a little bird tells me that a new Region 1 DVD release of the 1980 cheesy classic Flash Gordon will be gracing the shelves of our local video emporiums this summer. Alas, another little bird tells me that the special features will be lacking on this release. That means no commentary tracks. That means no commentary track from BRIAN FREAKIN' BLESSED, which, as previously reported, appears on the UK edition. I cannot express enough my disappointment in not getting to hear Mr. Blessed shout at me for ninety minutes while I'm watching this film. ...It's time for the region-free player, I think.

In some non-movie news, pal Sean is finally posting on his site again, and his most recent post is about...er, movies. Anyway, go read...encourage the man.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Lulu and friends freak the mundanes. 

One of my favorite recurring gags in Little Lulu is the shock and/or amused reactions of otherwise uninvolved onlookers to the kids' shenanigans. To wit:

BONUS: In any other story, this next panel would only be a prelude to absolute tragedy:

Oh, Lulu, no.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A vent, a gent, and an event. 

Dear every parent that came into the store with their children on Saturday, and then proceeded to let them do whatever they wanted without supervision:

1. The comics are in order in the back issue bins for a reason. Maybe I'd like to find that copy of Superman #173 again someday, which will be hard to do when it's shoved in the middle of the Avengers section.

2. It's hard for me to sell the trade paperbacks as new when the ones your children are reading (and, after I asked, you told me have no intention of buying) are pressed open flat on the ground, stressing (if not outright breaking) the spines.

3. We're not a playground -- footraces around the bookshelves are discouraged.

I know these are entirely unreasonable expectations. I guess that makes me the jerk.

And thanks for not spending any money. I was hoping we'd receive no compensation for cleaning up after your little darlings.

Love, Mike

And before anyone asks, no, neither I nor employee Aaron were rude or pushy to any of these folks. I politely asked if the comics were pulled out the bins, leave 'em out for us to put away, and to please go a little easier on the books, and so on.

You know, 99% of the time, parents and kids come in for comics, and everything goes swimmingly. But yesterday was our day for problems, I guess.

Why, if this keeps up, I might start getting gray hair or something.

The other day, I had a fellow claim that a comic in his possession was about to skyrocket in price when the summer movie season started. Why? Because the comic in question features not only the Transformers (who have a new Michael Bay tragedy movie opening soon), but it also guest-stars Spider-Man, who also has a movie opening Real Soon Now. And not only that, but the Spider-Man in this comic is wearing his black costume, which is (get this!) just like the black costume in the movie!

Okay, he was talking about Transformers #3 from the mid-1980s. When I hear stuff like this, I just sorta let it go in one ear and out the other. Yeah, sure, it's bound to increase in value, hope that works out for you.

But then again, as much as I'd like to discard this idea, someone trying to exploit this tenuous connection between two big Hollywood releases may be able to generate some excess coin of the realm out of it. A quick look at the eBay shows virtually no interest in the comic, so my faith in humanity is at least temporarily kept, but who knows what a few months' time will bring?

So my initial reaction, that this fella with the comic had some unrealistic expectations, was entirely undermined by the realization that his scenario could very well be possible. So I'll have my network of spies (i.e. me) keep close tabs on the pricing action of this item (i.e. I'll look on the eBay, occasionally, when I remember).

Your Free Comic Book Day update: spent all Saturday sorting out the freebies, preparing them for distribution next Saturday.

I'm going to be seeing giant piles of Pirates Vs. Ninjas and Gumby in my sleep for the next few days, I just know it.

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