mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Three bullet-riddled endings from Crime Does Not Pay #109 (April 1952). 

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Night Hippies. 

"Superman health food." 

Apparently, on Monday, when I was out of the shop, we had a customer who, excited as he was by our extensive stock and our low, low prices and our helpful and usually sober staff, was moved to exclaim "This store has got it goin' on!"

So there you have it. We've got it goin' on, and you other, lesser, stores do not. Take that, you.

Children react with open animal panic to "Superman's Hall of Trophies" - Clark, Lois and Jimmy are unmoved by the youngsters' fear:

from Amazing World of Superman, Metropolis Edition (1973),
reprinted from 1955

Pal Nat notes the passing of Disney Adventures, the long-running and widely-read comics (et al) digest and the lack of discussion of said passing in the comicsweblogosphere.

I saw it every time I was at the grocery store...between losing this and the Weekly World News, there are now two big holes left up there by the register. I doubt that space is going to be used by other comics publications (or, in the case of WWN, publications run by guys from the comics world).

Speaking of Nat, he and his little pal Licensable Bear™ have unleashed another informative video...watch and learn, friends:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The neighbor of the beast. 

Superman #666 - I can't wait for the more sensitive parents to see this cover:

I mean, if you're gonna have issue #666 of something, might as well play it up, right? I think the cover's a hoot, myself. Inside ain't too shabby, either...it's a full-on Walt Simonson tour de force, and it makes me wish he was on the book full time. Or any book, frankly...I don't get enough Simonson art in my monthly comics anymore. It's also a nice done-in-one story by Kurt Busiek, unburdened by any ongoing subplots or crossovers. Three thumbs up, sez I. Don't ask where the extra thumb came from.

EXTRA LINKAGE: The mighty BeaucoupKevin responds to negative online reaction to this issue's art with some sample panels.

EXTRA EXTRA LINKAGE: Actually, the evil number in question could be 616, but it lacks the marketing department that 666 has.

Chance in Hell - Since we're serviced by the Los Angeles Diamond Comics warehouse, the last in the line, we get some things later than everyone else. This week, it was Gilbert Hernandez's new graphic novel Chance in Hell, which the rest of the country apparently received last week:

Don't know a whole lot about it, but I'm buying it, and I know it'll be great, because it's by Gilbert and the man knows how to do some fine comic bookin'.

Rick Altergott provides the painted cover, perhaps because his style is more suited to the old fashioned lurid painted paperback cover design in use here. It's always nice to see work by Altergott, and it's interesting to see Gilbert's character designs filtered through someone else's artistic interpretation.

Speaking of Mr. Altergott, here's a Confidential Message to pal JP: hey, JP, the new Raisin Pie is out.

Perhaps that wasn't all that confidential.

Overall customer reaction to Rob Liefeld's Youngblood being on the cover of this week's Comic Shop News - outright derision.

And yet, Liefeld's Onslaught Reborn sells.

However, seeing Doc Rocket, from Alan Moore's too brief Youngblood run, on that CSN cover reminded me how much I liked that run, and made me wish there had been more.

Okay, for some reason, someone decided to take offense to my linking to a Wikipedia article yesterday. It's possible the person was joking, but I don't get that feeling from the two comments left...and it resulted in a lot of silliness, so ultimately it all worked out for the best anyway.

And I understand that some people have issues with how things are done on Wikipedia, and how some believe certain entries may have accuracy/bias problems, and that leaving anything open to editing by anybody is going to result in some shenanigans here and there. But for my purposes -- occasionally linking to a Wiki article about some character or 'nother -- Wikipedia's just fine.

And if you don't like it...well, go start WikipediagotmyfavoriteNsyncmemberseyecolorwrongandnowIhatesitforever.com and leave me the hell out of it.

Big Swamp Thing news...well, sorta: it's being reported that the live-action Swamp Thing TV series from the early '90s is headed to DVD early in '08.

Okay, this isn't a good TV show, by any means, but being the pathetic Swamp Thing completist that I am, I will shamefully put down my hard-earned coinage for this.


Nobody cares about this but me. And Rich. And this guy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Look like you belong in the emergency ward!" 

Posting the blown-up ad the other day got me in the mood to really sit down and examine other tiny ads like these a little more closely. Here are a few that caught my eye:

I'm reasonably certain the "Galactus" mentioned in the ad is unconnected to you-know-who. And I'm sure it's not a knock-off of a Star Wars item, like the definitely-not-a-TIE-Fighter pictured there.

"...And it's ready for immediate stovetop cooking!"

Good God. Why would you want to?

Now you too can look like a Jim Woodring drawing!

Not pictured: the much larger fan behind that little fan that's actually causing the woman's hair to do that.

I just like the drawing in this ad. I'm sure a lot of folks had an uncle or some other relative that looked like that.

Whoops, cut off the price. It only costs ninety-nine cents to have all that fun as described in the ad. "Weee, I appear terribly injured!"

Please tell me that was the actual shape of the glasses.

This is a fun toy for restaurants. (But really...ick.)

Oh, this is just asking for trouble. I admit I am curious about "The Wonder Touch." That sounds like a useful power. However, I'd worry that my Sense Extensions wouldn't work out any better than my hair extensions.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Viet Ham?"* 

The origin:

from the Peter Porker back-up stories in Marvel Tales #212 & #214 (Jun/Aug 1988)

by Michael Eury, Alan Kupperberg & Joe Albelo

* Beating Ultimate Spider-Ham to the joke by nearly 20 years.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hint: hold down the "reset" button when turning on the power for extra shots! 

There's no part of this ad that doesn't depress me. 

one of several copyright-dodging items in a novelty toy ad

from Ghost Rider #49 (Oct. 1980)

It's time once again for my semi-occasional, govenmentally-mandated post on "The Death of Superman." 

So here's another buried treasure from the depths of our backroom:

Straight from 1993 and right into all of our hearts is this commemorative poster by Dan Jurgen and Brett Breeding for that one time Superman died for a couple of months.

For you folks who only know the Vertigo Comics Swampy, proof that he used to hang with the DC Universe at large:

Deathstroke the Terminator puts in an appearance, one of the few villains to do so in this image:

This was about the time DC was pushing Deathstroke as a Punisher-esque "anti-hero" rather than the out-and-out villain he is now. I have a hard time imagining the current, post-Identity Crisis Deathstroke having his presence tolerated by the other heroes.

I'll take "more-or-less forgotten DC characters" for $100, Alex:

Yeah, I know you all recognize Agent Liberty, but really, that character didn't stick around too long, did he? (Has he put in an appearance anywhere, lately? Seems like he'd pop up in Checkmate or something.)

Here's the second villain appearance in this poster:

Okay, I can see Darkseid acknowledging the death of a respected foe, raising his chalice of sparkling cider in tribute, but at Casa de Darkseid back on Apokalips. I just can't see him marching along with everyone else in a funeral procession, particularly with a Dead Superman armband. I mean, c'mon, it's Darkseid. Just seems slightly out of character.

Here's another Vertigo headliner, Neil Gaiman's Sandman, staring at the back of the Ray's shiny, shiny helmet:

And, hey, it's Booster Gold, heading up the funeral procession, and one of the major focuses of the entire image:

Huh, wonder why Booster got such preferential treatme...

...oh, yeah.

Here are Elongated Man and Power Girl, in mourning not just for Superman, but for their costuming choices:

I actually kinda like these briefly-used costumes for the Hawk-folks:

Alas, they're from the period of the Hawkman reboot, so they also remind me of how the characters were nearly broken what with all of DC's continuity shenanigans.

While I liked Kelley Jones' redesign of Deadman, it's one of those designs that only works if Jones does it:

And I had a sneaking suspicion about this, and the Wikipedia article also notes it, so I guess I'm not imagining things...but I believe the Bloodwynd identity (at the lower left) was being assumed by the also-pictured Martian Manhunter at the time of "The Death of Superman."

Not pictured (mostly): an uncomfortable number of Team Titans and Darkstars. I always love how pieces of merchandise like this are such snapshots of comic book continuity of the time. In fact, I saw a fella at the store on Sunday wearing a Mullet Superman t-shirt. The storylines may be dead, but the merchandise lives on.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Many years ago I attended a comic book convention, where I came across a dealer selling a full run of Prez.

For a dollar.

Not as in "a dollar each." As in "one dollar for a full four-issue run of Prez, one of the most legendary 'bad' comics of the 20th Century."

I didn't buy it.


The admonishment line begins here.

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