mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Another commercial announcement... 

...hot on the heels of the Arlo-fest in the last post, but I just discovered that four issues of Fantagraphics' Honk! mag that I listed on eBay were pulled, because they're "Mature Material" and need to be listed in the naughty section. Well, as "Mature Material" goes, they're pretty tame...considering at any given time, you can find Faust or Weirdo or even Eros Graphic Novels (EDIT: and even more aggravating, other copies of Honk! magazine) listed in the regular sections and eBay stores with nary a sign o'trouble.

So, fine, forget eBay...you folks wanna buy copies of Honk! magazine?

Click the thumbnails for larger pics...the majority of each issue's contents are listed on the cover. 2 and 4 contain text pieces by Alan Moore. All mags average VG to VG/F. 3 has a 1/8 spine split at the spine's top. 1 has a printing flaw causing some discolored spots along the spine. Each mag contains Big Laffs...only parting with 'em out of necessity, alas.

$5.00 each, plus $2.75 first class shipping. Two or more, it's bumped up to $4.80 shipping. International shipping: $7.50 for one mag, $11.95 (or $9.95 Canada/Mexico) for 2-4 mags. I take the PayPal, as well as checks or money orders. Checks will have to clear first.

I only have one copy of each, so first come, first served. If you want 'em, just drop me a line at mikester (at) progressiveruin (dot) com, and I'll send back details. Don't use the comments section to request 'em...let's save that for the folks rightfully taking me to task over this sales pitch.

(EDIT: They're bought! Thanks for your patience, internet pals. I'll leave this post up for the Honk! scans, in case anyone's interested, and for my eBay griping...because, really, there just aren't enough people complaining on the internet.)

Sorry again for the commercial announcement, but it was either this or me blowing my stack in an e-mail to eBay that'll just get a canned response. KEEP MIKE FROM GIVING HIMSELF AN ANEURYSM...buy his comics!

It's November, so you know what that means... 

...it means Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant being played every day at the shop until Thanksgiving!

That sound you hear off in the distance is the employees shouting for sheer joy!

And you can play Alice's Restaurant every day, too...if you don't have it already, here you go:

That's the original album on CD, the 30th anniversary rerecording of the album, the movie version (which I have to admit I haven't seen yet, but will soon!), and that last link is to the MP3 version.

And for you folks what want it for free, here's a performance on the YouTube from 2005. Enjoy, won't you?

By the way:

HALLOWEEN JOKER COSTUME COUNT: 1 (which I saw at the end of the evening, when I dropped by the grocery store on my way home and saw a Joker wandering around the jams and jellies section)

Also...should've linked to this earlier, and I'm going to hear about it when I see him...but Pal Dorian's been doing Dario Argento Week, starting here and continuing over the next few days. Grand stuff, not for the squeamish.

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Bienvenue au manoir du meurtre!" 

from Batman et Superman #6 (Sept/Oct 1977)

How badass is it that this haunted house has an octopus behind one of its doors?

Well, close enough, anyway.

Happy Halloween, where applicable.

Past Halloween posts: Pinkenstein and Stan Lee Presents Se7en.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Progressive Ruin presents...the End of Civilization. 

WHAT MANNER OF SORCERY IS THIS? Another End of Civilization, by Crom! Flip open your Diamond Previews November 2008 edition, you mangy curs, and follow along or else you'll taste my blade! Previous installments in the sidebar, if you're brave enough to make the journey!

p. 55 - Bettie Page Heat Sensitive Mug:

As per the description...as the mug heats up, so does Bettie's top fade away.

Has Dark Horse put out replicas of those old "Kiss Me in The Dark, Baby" glow in the dark ties yet? Seems to be up sorta the same alley.

p. 130 - Batman CosBaby Mini-Figures:

So this Joker is almost completely inappropriately cute:

...but dig this cute Batman. Batman is totally Bat-worried!

There's a "mystery figure" (shown only in silhouette), but if it's not Cute Superdeformed Alfred, I don't want to know.

p. 138 - American Jesus Vol. 1 Chosen TP:

First thought was "oh, man, 'volume 1' -- they're doing more." Second was, upon reading a description of the "bizarre plot twists" therein later in Previews, remembering when the first issue of this series originally arrived at the shop, and pal Dorian flipping through it, and (accurately, as it turned out) predicting the series' "twist" ending.

p. 148 - Wonderlost TP:

For just the briefest of moments, I thought this was an ad for a new Fast Times at Ridgemont High comic. No offense to Wonderlost, but I was totally disappointed. So I must put the call out to pal Ian, the only editor in this business hopelessly under my hypnotic thrall, and bid him...OBTAIN THE FAST TIMES LICENSE. DO IT NOW. THIS I COMMAND.

p. 372 - Star Wars Galaxy Series 4 Trading Cards:

Why Mike is a bad person, reason #whatever: there's a promo card inserted into this issue of Previews with the image just below, and when I saw it -

...I laughed and laughed and laughed, for no real good reason I can explain. Like, employees looking at me and wondering "what the hell?" kind of laughter. A reaction to retrofitting Episode III schmaltz into the original trilogy? Hard to say. Maybe I'm just losing my mind.

p. 377 - Jigsaw "Get On My Level" T-shirt:

This smacks just a little of "trying too hard." Also, I was going to say "why a Jigsaw shirt?" but he's the villain in the new might-as-well-be-direct-to-video Punisher sequel.

p. 390 - Barbie "Went with The Wind" Carol Burnett Doll:

No pic of the doll is ready, so there's a still from the show instead. But that doesn't matter, since a Barbie based on a decades-old comedy skit is exactly what little girls want, and I'm sure it'll sell itself.

(So, let's see how many different fan bases I've just annoyed....)

p. 415 - Mangog Mini-Bust:

I always think "wow, surely Marvel can't scrape the bottom of the barrel any further with their choices for busts," and I'm always wrong. I never thought, in my lifetime, I'd be typing the words "Mangog Mini-Bust."


Just say it to yourself, repeatedly, quietly, during the course of your day.

p. 415 - Marvel Zombies Wolverine Bust:

I "get" the comic. It's a dark-humored joke...it's probably gone on a bit too long, but I can see the appeal. The Marvel Zombie merchandise, however, having removed the characters from their original context...just seems a little...peculiar to me. Like "here's my favorite Marvel hero, miserable and suffering and, essentially, dead!"

p. 422 - Star Wars AT-AT Driver Mini-Bust:

I love this sculpt. It's like he's just casually posing for photos to send the folks back home in his Life Day cards. "Hi Mom! I made it through AT-AT Driving School!"

p. 439 - Captain America Winter Soldier Fine Art Statue:

There's only one thing you need to offer with each product to guarantee sales, and that thing is:

p. 441 - Death Note Plushes:

This must be the Previews for inappropriately cute things. "Hi! I'm a mass murderer, and I'm holding an apple for my Death God friend! Tee hee!"

p. 480 - Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition for Dummies:

Well, sure...who else would play 4th edition?


Marvel p. 57 - Sub-Mariner The Depths #4:

And now, my joke for old Saturday Night Live fans:

"You look like you need a massage!"

p. 58 - Thor #600:

And we wrap up this time pointing out that Marvel abandoned the "renumbering from #1" sales boost gimmick in favor of the "large 'milestone' issue number" sales boost...again.

Which reminds me...Amazing Spider-Man had an annual out this week, numbered "1," while also having the original numbering, "35," printed on the cover alongside the "1." First, the regular Amazing Spider-Man title doesn't have this double numbering scheme any more, so why still do it with the annual? And secondly...they're already putting out three ASMs a month, and Marvel ain't shy about upping the page count and the price on any of their regular titles at any given time. Not sure why an annual was entirely necessary, but I'm sure folks have their reasons.

Sorry, that's a decidedly non-silly way to wrap up the End of Civilization. Let's look at the AT-AT driver again:

I'm pretty sure this is the same pose I had in most of my elementary school pictures. But without the armor. Well, not that armor.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Late Wednesday night update, when I should be working on the End of Civilization. 

1. Just heard a local news broadcast on the radio, stating that the big holiday supply/costume place in our county is experiencing large demand for Supergirl and Poison Ivy ("from the popular Batman series of films") and other superhero costumes from little girls.

2. From Yahoo news:

Why wasn't this the "Daredevil race?" Why? WHY?

The forgotten faces of laughter. 

Title panels of one-page gag strips from Don Fortune #3 and #5 (1946):

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Can you tell that I really didn't have anything ready for today's post? 

  • I've not been in a Halloweenish mood this year, as I've mentioned previously, and I'm afraid that's getting reflected on my site with a lack of spooky posts and scary scans. (Though I think yesterday's YouTube link qualifies!) I have been trying to do banners that sorta fit into a Halloweeny theme, which is one of the reasons why I haven't yet switched over to the random banner rotator that I've been promising for months now.

    A couple of my blogging brethren have been picking up the slack, however: Dr. K has been doing his Halloween countdown (don't miss his great Solomon Grundy costume!), and as I've noted before, Armagideontime is doing a Halloween countdown as well, complete with MP3s.

    And I'd be remiss if I didn't point you in the direction of Plastic Pumpkins' celebration of all things All Hallows Eve-ish.

  • Speaking of Dr. K, he recently received a letter from a mother who wants to answer her 4 year old son's questions about Spider-Man and Superman, and Dr. K gives her the lowdown.

  • Big Bad BeaucoupKevin draws a comparison between Grant Morrison and David Mamet, and discusses storytelling in the comics medium. Good, interesting reading.

  • And since Kevin brought it up in that post:

    Really, Marvel. Rulk. That's what you're calling the Red Hulk.

    That's dumb. And given that this comic is profoundly stupid, that's saying something.

    I'm not saying I don't like the new Hulk series, mind you...it's big, loud and stupid in a way that I'm generally enjoying, even if I agree with Kevin's particular criticisms of this book. It ain't high art, it ain't deep, but it's nicely drawn and kinda fun in a dumb action movie sort of way.

    But I'm totally drawing the line at calling the character "Rulk." You folks stop that right now.

  • So I was thinking about a comic which would have a lead Catwoman story by Chuck Dixon and Jim Balent, and a back-up story starring the Ted Kord Blue Beetle, and it would be called Here You F'n Go. Pal Dorian suggested that every story begin with a shot of Spoiler's memorial in the Batcave, and that there be pages with blank word balloons and a note for readers to "write in your own dialogue, since you, the fans, are clearly better at it then those of us who are paid to do this." Dor's title: Quit Your F'n Bitching.

    Of course, we realized this thing wouldn't even sell Street Poet Ray numbers, since its target audience probably accounts for 0.001% of comic sales. But that didn't stop us from having some shrivel-hearted, mean-spirited fun.

  • Yes, I was trying to avoid using the word "fuck." I run a clean blog, here.

  • I also realize the irony of putting that bit of business right after my "Rulk is a stupid name" post, thank you.

  • Do you people even remember Street Poet Ray? Just kind of curious. How many of you have ever actually seen a copy of it? (Would you like to buy some from us? I'll make you a swell deal.) Here's a blog entry from a chap at Marvel discussing this publishing misstep.

  • You know, now that DC's started the "triangle number" system of keeping the multiple Superman comics in order again, they're not going to get me to buy the Supergirl book, too, since they'll be slapping that triangle on that book, too. I'm not going to buy Supergirl just to keep the triangle number run complete. I'm not. I'm not.


    I probably am. I hate myself.

  • We're getting in those McCain: The Comic Book and Obama: The Comic Book titles from Antarctic Press this Wednesday, so we've pretty much got a week to sell them. To be honest, that's a week more than I was expecting since I thought for sure they'd be out after the election.

    As for the IDW biographies of the candidates we received a few weeks ago...we sold out of Obama, have a couple remaining of McCain, and a couple remaining of the flip book. COMIC SHOPS: HOTBEDS OF LIBERALISM.

    Seriously, though, I thought J. Scott Campbell did a knockout job on the covers for those IDW books, which really helped sell them at our shop. Good caricatures, and the candidates' superheroic poses in front of the flag was perfect.

  • Somehow I missed that IDW actually registered presidentialcomics.com to advertise these books. Might be a dry spell on that site, though, for the next three years or so until the 2012 election gets going.

  • So, how many Halloween-themed books will we see arriving the first week of November? There's always one or two!

Monday, October 27, 2008

And now...some good ol' fashioned nightmare fuel. 

French Supergirl is embarrassed. 

This is from another recent store acquisition, a copy of Batman et Superman #6 from 1977:

As the title promises, it reprints U.S. Batman and Superman stories, along with Supergirl and Superboy adventures. The stories are presented in a mix of color pages and black and white, switching off within the same story, presumably as a cost-cutting measure. It's odd to be reading a story in color only to turn the page and have it suddenly in black and white, but it's not as distracting as you might think...the print quality is pretty high, with nice clear and crisp reproduction of the lines.

As promised on the cover, the two auto-collants (stickers) are still intact inside, one for Supes and the one shown here, for Bats:

"Me, I read Batman. You can keep your Camus and your Proust and your Hugo."

Several puzzle pages appear throughout this book, including these two accompanied by a couple of terrifying caricatures:

And there are some educational nature pages as well, apparently taken from the Mark Trail comic strip, since these are credited to Ed Dodd, creator of the character. And here's Mr. Trail himself getting up close and personal with a fuzzy caterpillar:

My God, that caterpillar is huge.

Anyway, there you go...yet another non-English superhero funnybook that turned up in our store. Not a bad little package, with generally high printing quality and a variety of stories and free gifts...well, just stickers, sure, but still pretty cool.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Educational Werewolf teaches you about the Notre Dame Cathedral. 

from Werewolf by Night #16 (April 1974)
by Mike Friedrich, Mike Ploog & Frank Chiaramonte

In other news:
  • Pal Ian has yet another story in Boom! Studios' Zombie Tales #6. It's a spooky one...those with delicate constitutions need not apply! Nurses will be posted in comic shops across the country in case of stress and/or injuries caused by fright! Buy lots of copies so I can guilt-trip Ian into buying stuff at our shop next time he stops by!

  • Matt Maxwell -- blogger, comics writer, and handsome fellow -- has announced the impending online serialization of Strangeways: Thirsty, a sequel to his excellent werewolf graphic novel Strangeways: Murder Moon. A print version will follow. Pages will be posted three days a week at Blog @ Newsarama, starting October 27th. Tell them Mike sent you! (And watch 'em reply "Mike who?")

  • Pal Dorian chats a bit about that time Captain Marvel fought ghost pirates. Oh, those ghost pirates...them guys is rascals.

  • Some Mystery Science Theatre 3000-related news:


    The 20th Anniversary boxed set, coming this week. Features four movies, a new documentary, and a Crow T. Robot figure. Already ordered mine...you'd better order yours. I was totally shaking my fist at the screen as I wrote that.

    And there was a new release from MST3K creator Joel Hodgson's Cinematic Titanic earlier in the month...Legacy of Blood, available on DVD or by download. I just received my copy on Saturday, and haven't had a chance to watch it yet...but the previous three installments were a blast, and I expect the same from the fourth.

  • Hey, I just realized...we're pretty close to, if not right on top of, the 20th anniversary of this comic:

    So, how are you gonna celebrate?

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