mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"...So don't goof!" 

Dear Archie,

Don't promise me something fantastic:

...And then just present me with a simple subscription pitch:

No Archie, having taken the brown acid, tripping hard while Jughead tries to talk him down? How terribly disappointing.



Archie subscription ad (1970)

Friday, April 18, 2008

And now, for no good reason, two panels from Planet of the Apes #3. 


from Planet of the Apes #3 (Dec. 1974) by Doug Moench,
Mike Ploog & Frank Chiaramonte

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yes, yes, "it's all Greek to me," I know. 

So pal Tom (not that pal Tom, but the other pal Tom) brought in some comics from Greece for me to peruse, and, like the comics my girlfriend brought me from Mexico, the paper quality and printing are very nice, and generally superior to their American counterparts.

Here's one of them, an issue of Batman from Grant Morrison's run:

Here's a close up of the publisher's way cool logo:

Something about Batman shouting at you in Greek makes it even more menacing:

Even the house ads are nice...this one makes even that "Hush" storyline look almost interesting:

There are three pages of comics news in the back, including a short bit on the end of Y The Last Man, an article about 24 Hour Comics Day, and an article about Green Arrow, featuring a headline in English that we can all agree with:

Yes, he certainly is.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The poor man's CGC. 

Had issues #1 and #2 of Spawn show up in a collection, and this is how they were being kept:

Spawn, framed under glass. Seems like a bit of overkill to me.

Now, using those frames for a couple of my many copies of House of Secrets #92, on the other hand....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I hope the kid put that Donald Duck cut-out to good use. 

We recently acquired a large collection of early Disney comics, including a mostly full run of Walt Disney's Comics & Stories from #1 onward, the Firestone giveaways, and this copy of Four Color (first series) #4 (Feb 1940):

Regarding the odd outline around Donald that you may see there: at some point in this comic's past, the image of Mr. Duck had been cut out of the front cover...and eventually replaced by a color copy that had been carefully pasted in. Not professional restoration by any means, but, as this sort of thing goes, it doesn't look too bad, I think.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Some Watchmen stuff. 

This full-page ad appeared in Amazing Heroes #120 (July 1987)...and in the letters column of the very next issue, the publisher responsible for this ad apologized to both DC Comics and Mayfair Games (the company that held the DC role-playing game license) for any confusion this ad may have caused. Since Gateways was, I think, a role-playing game magazine, and that Mayfair was specifically mentioned in the apology, this "new Watchmen story" was probably an RPG adventure. I don't know if the apology was for accidentally making people think there was a new Watchmen comics story, or because the adventure wasn't authorized by DC, or whatever. I can't find any evidence this adventure was ever released...if anyone knows better, clue me in.

"Harlot's Curse" -- the phrase presumably comes from a William Blake poem. I wonder what this lost Watchmen "story" was about?

Related Watchmen info: I've been trying to research the actual release dates for the mini-series. Amazing Heroes appears to list DC's original intended release dates, as the on-sale dates are all exactly a month apart.

This helps a little, as the one issue of Watchmen I can personally tie to a specific time period is #11, which came out the same week I graduated high school (June '87). According to the AH listings, #11 was originally due to ship March 10th. So, by that point, the series was at least three months off.

Researching release dates for a twenty-year-old comic book series: this is what I call "taking it easy for a week," apparently.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Number two (in a series of two). 

Ghost Stories #1 (Sept/Nov 1962)

What demand, what query from beyond the grave does this ghastly vision of death have for us, the living?

Hmph. You'd think if he really cared, he would have spelled "Wheaties" correctly.

Anyway, assuming the kid that wrote on this cover (and the kid that wrote on the one from yesterday, if it's not the same kid) did this at least reasonably close to its release date...that kid would be in his fifties today. Huh.

Well, let me whip out some SITE NEWS on you folks, before I continue much farther here. I'm going to be entering LOW CONTENT MODE on the site for a week. It's not going to be as LOW a CONTENT MODE as the last time I did this, as the plan is to just have much shorter posts or scans for the next few days, rather than the novel-length adventures I'd been posting recently. I just need to recharge the batteries a bit...plus, I've been pretty sick for the last week and could use the extra time to recuperate.

I'll still continue to have new material every day...just not a whole lot of it. It'll be like the early, classic days of my site, before I totally sold out to the man, maaaan! So please, continue to drop by, comment, send e-mail, and (ahem) use my Amazon search box thingie. As always, I appreciate your readership.

A few things before I dim the lights and give the Progressive Ruin workforce their vacation:
  • Dave Carter has been discussing a subject near and dear to my heart: late comics. He's looking for contributions to his "Late Comics Hall of Shame," to which I of course suggested Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine...now at two years and two months since the last issue was released!

    Johanna has an ancillary discussion on the topic, mentioning the frequent invoking of Watchmen as a "late book" that nobody now cares if it was late or not because 1) it's a classic and 2) it sells incredibly well, even twenty years on. As Johanna says, it was never all that late...if memory serves, I think it started as a monthly, shifted to an every-six-weeks schedule, and may have been bimonthly at one point. I'm not entirely sure, but I know it was never really all that late. (It certainly wasn't Dark Knight-late, where DC put out promotional material to announce that the last damned issue finally came out.) The "well, Watchmen was late, so it's okay for our book to be late, too" argument seemed to pop up with Civil War, and...geez, I don't want to dig all that up again, but you can read what I wrote about it at the time as to why this is an apples versus oranges comparison.

    But that's getting off-topic a bit...go tell Dave what late comics you can think of, which...well, I guess it'll let you vent a little, which, sometimes, you just gotta do. I remember being particularly annoyed at the lateness of Firestorm during the early '80s, when the concluding chapter of a year and a half-long storyline was delayed for, I believe, at least a month or two. If a month-long delay bothered me that much, thank God I wasn't reading Camelot 3000 at the time! That "year between issues" thing woulda killed me.

    And then there was Ronin, and Miracleman....

  • Dr. Doom explains his recent behavior in Mighty Avengers.

  • Neilalien speaks about comic weblog update notifiers, and points us in the direction of a new update site. (To toot my own horn...I remain amused that my dubbing of the original update site as the "Comics Weblog Update-A-Tron 3000" over four years ago has had such staying power!)

  • Not comics, aside from having received this in a package of Forbidden Kingdom promo material at the shop:

    A closer look at the label:

    Not what I was expecting to receive in the mail that day.

Okay, that's it for the "big ol' updates" for the next week. Keep checking back for shorter updates and links and what have you for the next seven days. Again, thanks for reading, internet pals!

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