The Progressive Ruin Questionnaire-Fest 2009, Part One: Let the Self-Indulgence Begin!

§ January 19th, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on The Progressive Ruin Questionnaire-Fest 2009, Part One: Let the Self-Indulgence Begin!

Yeah, I know…”begin?”

I asked for questions in this post, and you folks delivered, so let’s see what I can do for you.

I’ll just do ’em in order, aside from the couple I already addressed, and I’ll do a few a day ’til I get ’em all done.

  • M.A. Masterson asks

    “How deep is your love?”

    So you know the little puddles of dew that occasionally collect on your car in the morning, like on the hood or right there by the windshield wipers, or even on the roof? The puddles that are barely hanging together thanks to the surface tension?

    About half as deep as that.

  • Former employee Josh asks

    “best facial hair in comics?”

    Aside from me? Knowing you, the answer you’re fishing for is “Green Arrow,” which I’m probably going to have to agree with, if only because he had that beard and was able to maintain a secret identity at the same time. I mean, who was he fooling, really?

  • Lurkerwithout lurks

    “Could Nancy and/or Sluggo beat up those babies from Sugar & Spike everyone else thinks are funny?”

    Oh, come now. Nancy and Sluggo, beating up babies? That’s a pretty low thing to do…I think Nancy and Sluggo, despite their occasionally overwhelming self-centeredness, are generally ethical beings and would certainly draw the line at beating up babies.

    Now, those son-of-a-bitch Katzenjammer Kids…they’d beat up babies, I’m sure.

    “Is there a DARK HERBIE?”

    While Herbie has shown the occasional flash of anger, by and large he’s pretty unflappable, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in an uncontrollable and persistent state of rage and destruction, as per X-Men’s Dark Phoenix. Sure, he gives what-for to the folks who’ve got it coming, but he’s never, for example, blown up a planet full of plant people. But he totally could if he wanted to.

    In fact, if Herbie were to ever turn his powers to evil, who could stand against him? Who? Who?

    “When will Pogs be making their nostalgia driven triumphant comeback?”

    I’m honestly expecting this to happen, sort of. It may be too soon, and I’m expecting more of a limited “hey, I’m looking for that ‘Death of Superman’ pog set” type of nostalgic demand rather than the crazy “buy anything that looks kind of like a flat disc of cardboard” hording frenzy.

    “Does a tinfoil hat protect you from space aliens or government spy rays? Or both?”

    I seem to recall reading how a tinfoil hat would, if anything, amplify the rays being beamed into your head. Whoops!

  • Pal Sean dares to inquire

    “I’ve always had one for you: Who knows more about Spider-man: you or your lovely significant other? And does she read anything other than the Spidey titles?”

    I posed the Spider-Man question directly to Nora, and she told me in no uncertain terms that she knows more about Spider-Man than I do. So who am I to argue?

    She doesn’t read a whole lot of other comics, though she has an interest in the art of Alex Ross and read that Justice mini. Plus she wanted to know more about Darkseid, so she’s poked through some of my Fourth World funnybooks. Oh, and a while back she wanted me to give her the lowdown on Aquaman, so I let her read that Giffen/Fleming/Swan/Shanower special, which she really liked.

  • Here’s former employee Josh again, apparently having gotten into the cooking brandy and asking me

    “if a tree falls in the woods, and no one is around, does Swamp Thing hear it?”

    If no one is around, no one hears it, since the vibrations being caused by the falling tree reaches no ear drums. But Swamp Thing probably could sense it, through his connection to the Green.

  • Brian Smith quarks

    “I’d honestly never heard of the show ‘Quark’ before you posted its DVD cover art back in August…I wound up researching it and buying the thing. Did you get it? Do you know anyone else who did? (Coming into it without benefit of nostalgia, I thought the show started off terribly but had a lot of promise by the end.)”

    I haven’t bought it yet, though it’s on my short list of must-buys once I have that kind of money to start throwing around again. I (ahem) may have the episodes on videotape, so I have at least seen the shows relatively recently. It’s certainly silly humor, definitely dated, but there’s a kind of harmless, innocent charm to its goofiness and political incorrectness. I can see why I liked it as a young Mikester. Plus, dude, Richard Benjamin!

    I don’t know if anyone I know personally bought it, but I know I’ve sold a few whenever I posted the Amazon link for the DVD set, like I did right there.

  • The man with a new website, Dave Campbell, demands

    “How do you feel about Man Thing, aside from the obvious and belabored penis jokes? Pale imitation of Swamp Thing or archetypal monster? ANSWER ME STERLING!”

    Man-Thing penis jokes? Can’t say I’ve heard any.

    Well, I suppose I’d better get this out of the way…I can’t say Man-Thing is an imitation of Swamp Thing, because (cough) Man-Thing appeared first (cough), though it appears generally accepted that the proximity of their introductions was simply coincidence. But the two characters are certainly different enough that I don’t feel like they’re redundant.

    I do like the character…it was certainly at its best when written by Steve Gerber, who used it as a catalyst for stories of psychological horror, bizarre fantasy adventure, social satire, and just some plain whacked-out weird-ass shit.

    J.M. DeMatteis did some good work with the character (particularly in this issues of Marvel Fanfare), and this issue from Manny’s second series remains probably my favorite non-Gerber story with the character. And aside from some other brief moments in that second series, I haven’t cared much with what’s been done with the character since. None of the recent appearances have really grabbed me, unfortunately, though I keep looking at them whenever he pops up.

    And the less said about that movie, the better.

  • Aqualad Knox wants to know

    “How does your store stay successful through slump periods? I’ve seen a ton of comic shops come and go here in NJ, it’s kind of depressing.”

    Well, I don’t know that I’d use “successful” to describe some of those down times. There are times when it’s more like “by the skin of our teeth, a bunch of scrambling, and a hell of a lot of luck,” which is not a position anyone wants to be in. But a lot of it has to do with a large clientele, a diversity of product, and a good reputation, which keeps people coming back to us as opposed to going elsewhere.

    And then there’s taking on other product lines…like, I hate to say, the pogs thing, which brought in some much need revenue when the comic side of the business was down. And during the ’90s comic market slump, the games section of the store helped keep us afloat. There’s also the mail order business we do, which really took off once eBay popped up.

    So there are lots of ways to ride out the lean times. While we’d love to always be successful, when things get really rough you need to focus on simply surviving. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

  • Gordon divines

    “Is there any way to counteract the Satanic pact that allows Rob Liefeld to remain working in comics?”

    Alas, that deal was attached to the same pact that also brought about the reprinting of Herbie, the return of Beanworld, and the Complete Peanuts, so we’re stuck with it. Damn those Satanic congressional riders!

  • And to wrap things up for today, Dave Norman wants to know

    “Because you run a comic shop, do you feel the need to read EVERYTHING that comes out, to be in the most knowledgeable position possible for your job? Or was it something you used to do in your youth but have now realised the folly of it (and have left it to mad young turks like Sims)?You obviously keep abreast of current comic trends and are a fan, but do you skim through all books that come out each week? Do you do it in the occasionally quiet times in the shop, in between scanning old comics for the blog and Twittering?”

    What? Twitter at work? Why, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    But no, I don’t try to read everything that comes out. I don’t personally buy a whole lot of comics…for example, this coming week I’m picking up about a half-dozen DCs and no Marvels, and that’s usually typical for what I get from the Big Two, though some weeks I usually do get at least one Marvel. I do try to be aware of what’s going on, however, even if it’s just through solicits or what I read online or talking with the customers. And the other employees can pick up the slack if I happen to be lacking in specific knowledge of a book. New employee Tim reads a whole lot of Marvel, for example, so he can clue me in if I need it.

    If there’s something that’s causing a big hubbub, I’ll take a closer look at a title if it’s one I don’t normally read. And sometimes I’ll flip through a few of the new issues on Wednesday just to see what’s going on…not in any kind of detailed reading, just a quick pass through the pages. I will note that I’ve been perusing Walking Dead this way for a while, and I should really just knuckle down and get the trades and stop being a cheap bastard.

    So short answer: read everything, no. Try to at least be somewhat aware of what’s going on in the titles, even if in the most general of details, yes.

Okay…more questions answered tomorrow. Some of them even answered correctly, for no extra cost!

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