The Progressive Ruin Questionnaire-Fest 2009, Part Three: At World’s End.

§ January 22nd, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on The Progressive Ruin Questionnaire-Fest 2009, Part Three: At World’s End.

Boy, you people asked a lot of questions! Well, here we go….

  • Mike Nielsen asks

    “What is the strangest giveaway comic you’ve come across at the shop?”

    I think my favorite giveaway comic (though we certainly weren’t giving it away at the time!) was a copy of 1949’s Dagwood Splits The Atom. Alas, we sold it long before my blogging days, otherwise it would have made some good post fodder. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of other folks who have covered it, and you can actually read the whole comic right here.

  • Pal Mojo IV wonders

    “What is the most unsellable comic in your quarter bins?”

    It’s hard to pick out one item out of the bargain bins as being particularly unsellable. Even stuff like Turok #1 from Valiant, a dog of a title by most standards, tends to move out of the bargain boxes thanks to the fancy cover.

    In general, the stuff that moves the most is the familiar Marvel and DC books, and the stuff that kinda sits is the black and white boom stuff, or other forgotten indie titles. I wish I could just point to specific titles and say “Good Lord, I’m going to be buried with these issues of Wolfpack and Semper Fi,” but nothing really stands out.

  • Old Bull Lee asks

    “I was wondering if you would comment on Patrick McGoohan’s death and/or the upcoming Prisoner remake. I don’t know if I’ve read about it here or not, but it just SEEMS like you would be a fan of that show.”

    Unfortunately, I think I may have only seen the first episode of the series. I never did get around to seeing the rest, though thanks to the Netflix I can finally rectify this situation. (In fact, I took a break from composing this post to go add them to my queue. Good gravy, ten discs?)

    So alas, I have no particular opinion on the show, beyond acknowledging that folks really like it, and that it has a certain measure of influence. As far as the remake goes…I’ve no particular beef with the idea of remakes, so long as they’re reasonably well done. Some kind of condensed version of the series, like the film version of The Fugitive might not be too bad, and may very well introduce more people to the original. You never know.

    I remember reading someone’s comment somewhere that the real shame was that McGoohan died before the publicity machine went to work for the remake, as it’s likely he could have had a few more interviews, a little more attention thrown his way. Alas, it’s not to be.

  • Jon Cormier asks

    “Do you think well translated Euro-comics would sell well in today’s graphic novel market?

    “I guess I’m also asking if you know anything about comics on another continent and whether or not that approach could work where you are.”

    In today’s market? With the right shelving placement and the right material, sure. But it’s a tough marketplace right now, and material unfamiliar to a U.S. audience will have a hard time getting a toehold.

    Not to say we don’t carry European albums when available, but this is a very limited, select clientele that we have for it. Which is better than no clientele, so who am I to complain?

    I should note that I’m not very familiar with how comics are sold overseas…I did have one customer who used to live in Belgium explain to me how the stores back home worked. Just sounded like a standard bookstore situation to me, with less emphasis on periodical releases. If I have an incorrect perception, set me straight!

  • Someone who apparently received a check from Employee Aaron, K Kokoska, inquires

    “Always enjoyed your reported exchanges with Employee Aaron.
    Does Employee Aaron still work there?
    If yes, you need to give him a guest blogger spot for a week, or have him review your entries for a week, or have him draw for a week. More Aaron is what I am saying. Let’s make it employee Aaron’s progressive ruin for a week!
    If no, you need to explain yourself STERLING!!!”

    Employee Aaron does still work here, and I believe he was talking about starting his own blog sooner or later. In the meantime, you can get your most current Employee Aaron updates at his Twitter.

    But it has been a while since I’ve posted any in-store exchanges amongst the employees. I’ll see what I can do.

  • Jim Kingman barks right up my tree by wondering

    “Mike, if a representative from DC called you today and said they had decided you should write the ‘return’ of Swamp Thing to the DC Universe, and you accepted, what would the story be?”

    I’ve mentioned a few times to friends polite enough to put up with me that if I were to write a DCU Swamp Thing, I’d just need two pages at the beginning of the book to get everyone up to speed as to what happened in those long Vertigo years. Retell the origin, retell the “not really Alec Holland, but a plant that thinks its Holland” thing, the romance with Abby, the birth (et al) of Tefe, the whole ‘Swamp Thing takes over the world’ thing from Millar’s run…okay, it might be a lot of little, text-heavy panels, but I think I can do it. Basically, a “here’s what you missed, but we’re back to an elemental swamp creature and…oh, hey, here’s your team-up with Red Tornado! Yay!”

  • Ray Van Buskirk (aka The Guy I Replaced Here at The Shop When I Got This Job Lo These Many Years Ago…Yes, There Was Someone Pre-Mike) has a few requests:

    “How about an issue by issue analysis of Sonic Disruptors by DC?”

    Oh, goodness. I’m trying to remember the last time I read this series…probably close to 20 years now. Rereading it now would likely be a frustrating experience, given that the series was canceled prior to its conclusion (and I swear I remember seeing a news blurb in Amazing Heroes that a one-shot drawn by Mike Mignola was planned to wrap it up…was this just some fever dream? Can anyone confirm?).

    As for an issue by issue analysis…well, I’ll think about it!

    “Oh, and another vote for the facial hair thing…wait was that facial hair in comics or was that your facial hair?”

    My facial hair is an ongoing tragedy. And honestly, I don’t have anything more to really say about comic book character facial hair. Hey, remember when a lot of superheroes in the 1970s had sideburns? Like, even Superboy had some serious sideburns. How awesome was that?

    “A biography of Ralph H? (or at least Ralph Snart)”

    Well, I wrote a little about the store’s Ralph on our website (which still needs more content…I’m workin’ on it!), and as for Ralph Snart…. Well, it’s interesting that the most recent Ralph Snart comics have gotten away from “schlub who has whacked-out adventures in his overactive imagination” to “guy who has whacked-out adventures,” without the multiple “inside the mind” and “real world” plotlines. As far as tracking an actual throughline for all the comics’ events…that would take a braver man than I, sir.

    “I would love to see a post on underground comics or at the least more posts of Woodeye? Maybe a “where are they now” feature of the contributors to Woodeye? A “how it got started” to a “why did we break up” kinda thing? A reunion?….”

    Phew…more Wood-Eye posts. (Wood-Eye is the anthology mini-comics digest that some friends of mine and I did in the mid-90s.) It basically started since pal Rob had a bunch of friends who could draw but weren’t really doing anything with our scribblin’ skills at the time, so he created Wood-Eye as a place where we could put our etchings for the entertainment of others.

    There was no particular reason it ended, beyond everyone sort of moving on, or away, and just plain not having the time to do it anymore. But I’ve thought about a reunion or revival of the comic once or twice. Maybe someday.

    “Where Are They Now?” Well, here I am. And here’s pal Fred, a Xeric-award winner and very funny cartoonist, and here’s pal Scott, an award-winning author. All contributors to Wood-Eye, and all owe every single ounce of their success to their affiliation with our fine comics magazine.*

    * May not be entirely true.

    “GROO! You can never have too much…”

    Well, we haven’t had too much lately, other than a series about a year ago. Supposedly we still have Groo/Conan and Groo/Tarzan series in the works, which hopefully we’ll see someday soon. As soon as I have new Groo news, you’ll see it here!

  • Wrapping up for this post, it’s Mike P with

    “Care to comment on last night’s Legion-themed episode of ‘Smallville,’ and/or all things LSH in general?”

    Well, I just want to say I totally called it back in ’04. But I did like the episode, I thought the costumes were nicely done…very evocative of superhero outfits without being explicitly superhero outfits. I did have some trouble accepting that the Legion would go for the “kill the bad guy” option so quickly, even if it was just there to give Clark a reason to impart some good ol’ values to them.

    And the Legion in general…I’m just hoping this Legion of 3 Worlds mini wraps up once and for all which version of the Legion is going to be the “real” Legion. Well, I know that’s the purpose of the series…I’m more hoping that it sticks, and we don’t have to go through any more reboots. I’ve been a Legion fan for a long time, but frankly, it hasn’t been easy.

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