mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sluggo Saturday #3. 



from Nancy and Sluggo #175 (March/April 1960)


Friday, May 22, 2009


Matt M., he of Strangeways fame, had this to say about yesterday's post:

"Wasn't a possessed Man-Thing on the cover of issue #98, which led into this story?"

Oh yes indeedy...as drawn by Marshall Rogers:

How's that for an awesome cover? I like Man-Thing's "hypnotic eyes" effect, and that he has little demonic root-horns sticking out of the top of his head.

Inside the book it's not quite as terrifying, but it's still lots of pages of the Defenders fighting a mystically-possessed giant-sized Man-Thing, and that's still fun.

Speaking of Man-Thing, I did pick up that Classic Marvel Figurine Collection: Man-Thing Special that I mentioned a couple of days ago. The figure itself is about 3 1/2 inches tall, and heavy! The details and paint job are nicely done, as they tend to be on these larger figurines from this particular line. The 20-page magazine contains a solid overview of the character's history and his supporting cast, as well as featuring an interview with co-creator Roy Thomas. Interesting factoid from the interview, which I hadn't known: according to Roy, Man-Thing was named by The Man himself, Stan Lee. And yes, DC's muck-monster counterpart Swamp Thing is mentioned briefly, mostly in the context of "Man-Thing was first! Nyah-nyah!"

The Man-Thing Special also comes with a two-sided poster with two pieces of Man-Thing art from the more recent interactions of the character, as well as a slipcase for the box in which the figurine was packaged. Generally I'm impressed with the quality of these Figurine Collection magazines. A lot of work goes into the accompanying booklets, and for the most part the figurines tend to be pretty nice (though there is the occasional clunker). I couldn't see buying each one of these as they came out, though I'm sure someone is somewhere...but if they put out one of these based on a character you happen to really like, it's worth giving it a look, I think.

In other swamp creature news:

Reader Paul sent along this snapshot he took of a sticker he spotted out in Washington, DC:

Paul described it as a "Swamp Thing Bear," which is about as good description as any. If you know any more about this sticker, feel free to let me know in the comments section. (Not that I'm expecting there really is that much more to know about it, really.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Okay, Doc, in this scene you're the most frustrated you've ever been...just fist-clenching, foot-stomping mad...." 


this fantastic Dr. Strange emotive experience brought to you by
Defenders #100 (Oct. '81) by J.M. DeMatteis, Don Perlin & Joe Sinnott

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And then there was that time Nick Fury and Ben ("The Thing") Grimm were arm-wrestling in a bar... 

...when they were both serving in the military during World War II:

...which of course would make the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing in his 80s or 90s, currently. Even at the time this particular comic came out (in 1981), it would have put his age around 60 or so.

However, at no time during the story are the wartime flashbacks ever explicitly described as taking place during World War II. (It is called as such in a cover blurb: "All this and World War II!") While Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos are known to most Marvel fans as an artifact of WWII, the setting for the flashbacks are only described as "The War." No countries are named, no enemy insignia are displayed, the enemy soldiers generic (though some seem to have German-esque helmets). There are enough clues (such as the helmet) to still place these flashbacks during WWII, for the longtime fans who still tie Fury to that war, but still non-specific enough to not age Mr. Grimm by tying him to a specific historical setting.

Another clue, perhaps: it looks to me as if "the war" in Fury's word balloon in this panel is a relettered addition, since those two words seem little outsized compared to the lettering around them. I wonder if that was a replacement for a usage of the term "WWII."

Okay, maybe so, maybe no...but still, I find this issue to be an interesting example of the sliding timelines for Marvel continuity, particularly in its seemingly deliberate attempts to free its characters from specific points in history. While Sgt. Fury may always be fighting in WWII (and ol' Nick can still appear in current Marvel continuity thanks to the life-extending Infinity Formula), Ben Grimm's military service is going to have to be more recent than that. I think they even put it during the first Gulf War at one point.

Anyway, that's just a bunch of itch-scratching re: Marvel's continuity. Don't mind me. ...Though I do wonder when DC's going to follow suit and bump the Justice Society's WWII origins to a more recent conflict. That'll be a trick, I think.

THING LINK, DO YOUR THING: For more Thing action, may I recommend Bully the Little Stuffed Bull's website, who has been celebrating "365 Days with Ben Grimm" since the beginning of the year? It's a lovely tribute to Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew, and well worth checking out.

images from Marvel Two-in-One #77 (July 1981) by Tom DeFalco, Ron Wilson & Chic Stone -- man, I do love me some Ron Wilson Thing comics

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Suggestions for comic book usage... 

..from this 1943 DC Comics house ad:

While hiding from the other children because
they keep making fun of your goofy red stockings

While keeping out of the factory

While prepping the demise of your no-good
cheating husband via your "Omelette Surprise"

While you should be paying attention

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weasels, statues, and fashion. 

  • Pal Nat was good enough to craft that swell banner from the much-endured Life with Snarky Parker, so I'd thought I'd return the favor and highly recommend a forthcoming project from his publishing company. BEHOLD:

    ...the Weasel Patrol trade paperback, collecting thirteen wonderfully wacky stories by Ken Macklin and Lela Dowling. It's very funny, very beautifully cartooned stuff, and I can't explain it any better than to tell you to head over to the site and download the PDF preview, which contains a full eight-page story. If you decide you want a copy, tell your retailers NOW, since they'll be placing orders for it this month.

  • Shambling into American funnybook stores this week:

    Yes, I'm likely getting one. This is the first of this little metal statue magazine thingies that I've bought for myself (I've previously bought a Spider-Man one for the girlfriend). I've been sorely tempted by a few (especially the Galactus one) but I've resisted, mostly because once I've justified buying one, then the second one becomes a little easier to justify, and then the third, etc. etc. Which of course means I'll be facing this problem now anyway. ("Say, a Werewolf by Night figure? That'll go great with the Man-Thing statue!")

    I've talked about these things before...they are neat little packages, which come with a 20-page full-color magazine detailing the character's history. And now there's a DC Comics version, but unless they start doing Vertigo characters I may be waiting a while before I get my Swamp Thing metal figurine. (But dig this crazy Gorilla Grodd figure!)

  • Pal Cully sent this along, from Fantastic Four #164 by Roy Thomas, George Perez and Joe Sinnott:

    Quite the fashion plate, that Johnny. Cully sez "you can shoot me if I ever show up wearing this and it's not Halloween." Hell, I've had people show up at the shop in bathrobes, in wrestling tights, and there was that one gal who was wearing a top made entirely of electrical tape. Someone dropping in dressed like a disco cowboy would almost be a welcome change.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In which I say something about Yul Brynner that I'd never thought I'd say. 

Okay, the other day I just dropped in the observation that this comic we recently received in a collection, Life with Snarky Parker (1950), was really terrible. Now, I just assumed you'd take my word for it, since thus far I have been correct in all things, but oh, how soon the people forget. So, here you go, here's a sample taste of Snarky Parker:

And here are a couple of smaller samples, with Snarky's girlfriend Butterbelle being menaced by a villain:

And here's a better look at their oversized and menacing eyes, along with Snarky just barely crossing the line there with inappropriate workplace conversation:

It's page after page of this, with badly caricatured puppet-esque homunculi prancing about and being grotesque at you. After a page or two you're simply appalled. After four or five pages you can feel the bile at the back of your throat. After an entire issue of this, you will begin to doubt in the existence of a merciful God.

And then there's this:

It's Snarky and his girlfriend apparently sharing a kiss while Paw looks on. But thanks to coloring and/or art errors, it simply looks like the three of them have melted together into some hideous tri-bodied conjoined freak. What the hell kind of puppet show was Yul Brynner running over there at CBS, anyway?

However, as I was trying to track down more info re: Mr. Brynner's work on the show, I discovered further discussion of the horrors within this funnybook over at Oddball Comics which, I suppose, I should have figured and, of course, didn't discover until after I wrote all this. Ah, well...I suppose there's enough terror to go around.

Here, to clear that nightmare fuel out of your head, have, from Captain Battle #3 (1942), a giant fly monster:

There, that should make everyone feel better.

This is an archive page for the old Blogger version of Progressive Ruin, kept around to maintain all the old permalinks. Please visit the main page for the current version of this site. Thanks for visiting, and sorry for the inconvenience!

Copyright © 2003-10 Mike Sterling. Some images used are copyright © their respective copyright owners.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?