mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Photo taken by Kid Chris on the mean streets of Southern California:

Friday, February 06, 2009

For those of you demanding more Employee Aaron content, here's something from the last San Diego Comic Con. 

SCENE: Employee Aaron is walking through a hall at the San Diego Comic Con, where he runs into Edgar Wright of Hot Fuzz and Spaced fame.

Employee Aaron: "Hi, Mr. Wright!"

Edgar Wright: "Hello."

Employee Aaron: "I really enjoyed yo--"

ENTER: Three guys carrying shirts printed with marijuana leaf images. They surround Mr. Wright.

Three Guys: "Heeeeeey, man, the real convention is out in the parking lot! Chronic Con '08! WOOOOO!"

Edgar Wright: "Er...."

Employee Aaron: "Uh, nice to meet you, Mr. Wright. Goodbye!"

EXIT: Employee Aaron, leaving Mr. Wright to the tender mercies of the Chronic Con promoters. WOOOOO!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

No real post today... 

...other than to apologize for yesterday's site outage. My webhoster had a server go down, or some damned thing, which knocked this webpage offline for most of the day. Sorry about that!

Oh, and I did want to note the very good news that IDW will be publishing the complete Bloom County, which is something I've been wanting for years. Apparently the volumes will include "context pages," annotations for you folks too young to get the Casper Weinberger jokes.

Now all we need is the complete Rudy, and the complete Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy, and all my comic strip dreams will be answered.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

And now...things you don't tend to hear the Marvel Family say any more. 

from Shazam #35 (June 1978)
by E. Nelson Bridwell, Don Newton & Kurt Schaffenberger

I love the Don Newton-era Shazam! stuff, but darn if they weren't a bit peculiar. I mean, even by usual Captain Marvel standards.

In other news:
  • At one of my favorite blogs, Armagideon Time, Andrew has a few words to say about Final Crisis and the nature of event books. It's another thoughtful and critical take on FC that's well worth your time to read.

  • Two links to Kevin, not that the boy needs the traffic but hey, these made me laugh: first, seriously, I was in on the events that eventually resulted in this image, and Kevin's right...don't ask; second, the URL may not be work-safe, but I think it's safe to assume this was the subtext of pretty much every Star Trek episode.

  • Bubblegum Aesthetics has a few nice words to say about me and my site...THE BRIBES ARE WORKING:

    "Funny without feeling strained, snarky without being truly mean, and never letting hipster cool get in the way of genuine joy, Sterling's blog is the best virtual comics shop you could ever visit."

    Well, shucks. Thanks, Mr. Bubblegum!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Raw mutants in vicious nightgowns. 

So I'll occasionally search on the eBay for any Swamp Thing items that may have turned up and that I don't already own. Not that I have the money to blow on eBay at the moment, but I get a kick out of seeing what's out there.

Like, for example, this Belgian one-sheet for the first Swamp Thing movie:

Boy, the Swamp Thing on that poster sure raised some expectations that the Swamp Thing in the film couldn't meet.

Here's an Australian reprint of some issues from the first Swamp Thing series:

I had no idea what this was, though I recognized the scene on the cover from one of the Nestor Redondo issues of the series. Searching the intrawebs, I found one site with some details on the issue's contents, plus a better picture than the one above I ganked from the auction.

And then there's this:

Unlike the other two items mentioned above, I do own a copy of one of these posters. Just never got around to taking a picture of it to post here on the site, though I really should do it to get a better, larger scan of Heather Locklear's face -- she's mugging hard for the camera.

And by golly, those blurbs promise "vicious mutants," "raw terror," and "sheer nightgowns," and the movie delivered. Well, if by "vicious" you mean "kind of goofy," and by "raw" you mean "way undercooked," and by "sheer nightgowns," you mean...well, okay, the movie had sheer nightgowns, I have to give it that. But, seriously, those nightgowns did nothing to flatter Swamp Thing's figure.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Dr. K wants to know what Superman was singing at the end of Final Crisis... 

...and I think it was some Dead Kennedys:

Let Dr. K know what song you think it was.

The comic book store, idle hands, and Super Bowl Sunday. 

Kitty Pryde is bitten by a time-werewolf, causing her to switch ages from a 14 year old girl to a 21+ old woman as the sun sets (and back again when the sun rises). Altering her superhero career to match this curious circumstance, she fights crime as a schoolgirl ninja during the day, and as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D./bartender at night.

Coming this spring in The X-Men Present Kitty Pryde: Something for Everyone.


This is what Employee Tim and I came up with as we were waiting for customers to arrive at the shop on Sunday. Thankfully, after a slow start things picked up a bit and we were distracted by actual work, instead of spending our time coming up with things like "time-werewolves." I have no idea what a time-werewolf is, but it sounds cool. Kinda. Maybe. ...Perhaps you had to be there.

Also, since yet another Wolverine ongoing series (Wolverine: Weapon X) is on its way, I thought maybe Marvel should just go ahead and start doing as many ongoing Wolvie comics as possible. Like Wolverine: Patch, covering all those missing adventures in Madripoor they never got around to covering in the early issues of the '80s Wolverine regular series. Or Wolverine: Albert, the adventures of Wolvie's robot double.

I mean, why the hell not, right?

In other news:
  • Dr. K, a real-life honest-to-goodness college professor, begins his post mortem of Final Crisis in his typical thoughtful and insightful manner. It's a critical examination and appreciation of the series well worth reading, standing out among the general (and expected) reactions from readers here and there who found this essentially simplistic story difficult to understand, for some reason.

  • It's Neilalien's Doctor Strange awards! And since Mr. N. Alien linked to it, I should as well: more Doc Strange awards over at Sanctum Sanctorum.

    I'd love to do some Swamp Thing awards like this, but, well, you know.

  • AHOY, BATMAN CONTENT: Dave Campbell teaches you to kick drugs the Batman way, while pal Dorian shows you how the Waynes kept their fortune.

  • I'm a little late on posting a link to this, so most of you have probably seen it already...but my pal Cully may not have, so here it is: Jack Kirby's photo-montages from Fantastic Four.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Any excuse to post panels from Obnoxio the Clown

from Obnoxio the Clown Vs. The X-Men #1 (April 1983)
by Alan Kupperberg

I eluded the grasp of jury duty this past week...but whenever I'm reminded of jury duty, I remember the above comic book which I'd read as an impressionable 14-year-old. My civic responsibility (er, whether or not I actually had to perform it) is forever linked in my mind with Obnoxio the Clown.

Comic books are bad for you, kids.

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