mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"They deserve their rightful place in magazines like Spin." 


January 27, 1986


Frank Miller continues to break new ground in the comics industry. He revolutionized the comic book when he wrote and illustrated the six issue mini-series RONIN*, published in 193-1984. Now, Frank's treatment of Batman* in the four issue DARK KNIGHT series will prove equally ground-breaking.

"We're always talking about how important it is to expand the market for comics," explains DC Comics Vice President-Executive Editor Dick Giordano. "We know comics aren't just for kids anymore, but it's difficult to convince people of that."

Miller's treatment of the Caped Crusader will prove revolutionary for both DC Comics and the comic industry overall. In feature stories schedules to run in upcoming issues of Rolling Stone and Spin, both available nationally and internationally through newsstands and subscription, Frank will discuss DARK KNIGHT and the comics industry. DC Comics plans to advertise the series in both rock music publications. Other national media coverage of the series is pending.

Notes Richard Gehr, editor at Spin, "I think comics and science fiction are once again on the cutting edge of popular culture. They deserve their rightful place in magazines like Spin."

The DARK KNIGHT series of four 48-page issues depicts Batman's last stand. The story takes place 10 years after Batman has retired, when he's pushing 50. Circumstances in Gotham City* combine with his personal life to put Bruce Wayne back into action for one final time. The series introduces a new, female Robin*; several classic Batman villains; and Batman paraphrenalia
[sic] updated and computerized. Superman* will appear in two of the four issues.

The series will be printed in a deluxe format comparable to the RONIN series. Art Director Richard Bruning describes it as "the best of the traditional format with the advantages of new technologies. DARK KNIGHT is more like a series of comic book-sized graphic novels than a comic book series."

In addition to the national media coverage, DARK KNIGHT will be supported by a four-color retail poster that sells for $4.95 in comic book specialty stores; and a unique three-dimensional 9" x 13" counter display card. A recent innovation for the printing world, the three-dimensional point-of-purchase poster has never been used in the comics industry before.

The DARK KNIGHT series reunited for the first time the penciller/writer, inker, and editor of Marvel Comics Group's DAREDEVIL: Miller, Klaus Janson, and Denny O'Neil, respectively. The series is colored by Lynn Varley. Each contributor has done his/her best artistic work to date.

DARK KNIGHT #1 ships on February 25, 1986, to comic book specialty stores nationwide. Each issue sells for $2.95.

*indicates trademark of DC Comics Inc.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Special Post-Thanksgiving Leftovers... 

...from this post, where I presented a few panels from the 1970s Dynapubs Flashback reprint of 1941's Special Comics #1. Here's a page of the Hangman in his civvies taking what he usually dishes out:

The nonchalance of this panel in particular, in contrast with the goings-on around it, makes me laugh:

What's Bob doing? Oh, he's just hanging ar -- no, no, I can't do it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Progressive Ruin presents...the End of Civilization. 

If you're enjoying Thanksgiving...here, take a break from putting up with the relatives and follow along in your December 2008 Diamond Previews to see a few of the goodies coming your way soon to a funnybook store near you. Friends in non-Thanksgiving areas are of course welcome as well.


p. 222 - Female Force Sarah Palin:

Just in time for the 2008 Presidental Elec...uh oh. I mean, I get the whole "educating the public about a political figure" thing, but I'm pretty sure the sales window has slammed shut on this comic for the time being. Unless she runs in 2012, of course.

p. 234 - Chucky Vol. 2 #3:

"The carnage hits the fan as Chucky's rampage through a reality television show continues."

I think I may have seen enough reality show settings for genre pieces to last me a while.

p. 264 - The Dreaming #1:

You'd think DC Comics would have something to say about that. Though Tokyopop apparently published something under this title during its onslaught of product over the last few years. So there you go.

p. 277 - Whatmen:

What is this, the late '80s? I guess we'd better brace ourselves for Watchmen parodies, whether we like it or not.

p. 355 - Jailbait Zombie SC:

"To kill an army of zombies run by gangsters, the vampire detective must team up with a precocious teen with clairvoyant powers. But, she demands something big in return: she wants to be undead, too!"

That's too much High Concept. TOO MUCH.

p. 375 - Justice League Unlimited Martian Hanhunter Symbol T-Shirt:

"Say, Chad, what's with the shirt with the empty Trivial Pursuit playing piece on it?"

"That's the symbol of the Martian Manhunter."

"The who now? You sure it's not a Trivial Purs...oh, wait, that's not supposed to be some kind of representation of a sphincter, is it?"

"WHAT? No!"

p. 414 - Star Wars Yoda Bronze Statue:

I don't really have a joke or comment or anything. Just wanted to point out that this is a $1,400 item, "limited to only 80 pieces worldwide." Only 80. You don't say.

p. 424 - Mr. Toast and Shaky Bacon Plush Toys:

I guess these would be the more sedate cousins of Milk 'n' Cheese. Something about plushie bacon does amuse me, I have to admit.

p. 428 - The Kotobukiya Collection Marvel Studios Iron Man Mark II Fine Art Statue:

"The Mark II features multiple LED lights," sez the solicitation info, and if one thing indicates "fine art" to me, it's LED lights. To wit:

Or perhaps even this:

And maybe even this, if I may be so bold:

p. 444 - Pac-Man Power Up Energy Drink:

Unless I can actually chase and eat frightened blue-colored ghosts after drinking this, I'm not interested. (Or unless it quadruples my size and allows me to pass through locked doors without keys, for you Super Pac-Man fans out there.)

p. 452 - A Bunch of Watchmen Stuff:

There's a bookmark set, a calendar, and this thing:

...which for a second there I thought was going to be a fleshed-out version of the brief "excerpt" we got in the actual Watchmen comic. But no, it's a blank-paged journal, so you can, I don't know, take notes on all the ways the Watchmen film got it wrong and how it should have been a 12-part mini-series on cable and how if they'd just asked you everything could have been fixed and we'd all have a proper movie boo hoo.

There's also this "Thermal Mug" which changes color when heated:

Apparently the phrase "Who Watches the Watchmen" also appears. I suspect we may be getting away a bit from Alan Moore's original intent for the series.

p. 464 - Munchkin Chibithulhu Pink Plush Previews Exclusive:

I know I say this every time, but surely by now we've crossed some kind of Cute Cthulhu event horizon, ensuring our destruction. I mean good gravy LOOK AT THAT THING. BIG PIC = MORE EXPOSURE TO PECULIAR CUTENESS.

Marvel p. 26 - Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk #1 & #2 All New Printings:

Looks like we might still get to celebrate the third annual Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk Day, after all.

But really, at this point just let it slide for a few more years, then repackage it as some kind of "nostalgic" special. "Remember this comic from when you were a kid? Well, at last, here's the long-awaited exciting conclusion!" Hey, they've done it before.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Today's post called on account of The Shield finale... 

...and I was too busy watching that last night to Generate Content™. Hey, after nearly five years' worth of daily blogging, I can let a day slide occasionally.

If you all want to talk about The Shield, feel free to use my comments section if you'd like. SPOILER WARNING in effect.

By the way, this is post number 2,500. How 'bout that!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"CAN IT?" 

Promo poster from 1984 - thought that the "color photo composite" note in the upper corner of the picture on the newspaper was a nice touch, a clever variation on the standard "here's a generic shot of the team" thing.

This wasn't a bad little series, actually. It's footnote-friendly Roy Thomas at his most footnote-iest, romping through the Justice Society's history...a good crash course on DC's Golden Age.

Hindsight is 20/20. 

From a mid-1980s distributor newsletter for retailers, giving suggestions on ordering levels and potential sales for forthcoming comics:

The artist on this issue? I'll let H at the Comic Treadmill clue you in, in case you don't already know.

Actually, I sorta preferred this period of this particular artist's work, come to think of it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Phrases that wouldn't make it to children's comic book merchandise today, Part One. 

"Hey, kids, ain't cigars great?"

Sunday, November 23, 2008


A nice take-off on another awesome Walt Simonson Thor promo I'd previously posted.

And then there's this poster:

"Watch the excitement build toward the double-size, double-team climax...!" This is the dirtiest Avengers adventure ever. I knew letting Starfox join would come to no good.


From Yahoo News' front page headline story thingie:

Goes to this story, in case you need to Read More About It.

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