mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sluggo Saturday #5. 



from Four Color Comics #1034 (Sept-Nov 1959)


Friday, June 05, 2009

In which Mike overuses the "in which" format for his post titles. 

  • Hey, Thursday at the shop I finally had someone inquire about the "Archie Gets Married" thing that'll be out in about three months. Woo hoo! Way to go, mainstream media attention!

  • Oh, and on Wednesday Greg Burgas from Comics Should Be Good stopped by our shop and said hello. He was a nice, friendly guy, and we had a good chat about comics retailing. Plus, he spent lots of money, and thus bought his way into my affections. 'Course, if any of you also wish to spend your way into my good graces, I happily accept PayPal.

    Seriously, though, it was very kind of him to drop in just to see me and our store. And it's always great to be able to put faces to names familiar to me from my online travels. Thanks for coming by, Greg!

  • So Batman and Robin #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely came out this week, and it was, as expected, a choice comics-reading experience. Now, I pretty much skipped the whole "Who'll Be the New Batman" hoo-har...the last Batman story I read was Morrison's last issue before this one, and I was able to jump into this new series just fine. The circumstances re: the new Batman and new Robin are explained, situations are set up, and personalities clearly defined...can't wait to read more.

    In fact, the line-wide revamp of the Bat-titles seems to be generating some excitement among our customers. And even for me, a person who generally doesn't read Batman comics unless something unusual grabs my attention (like, say, getting Morrison to write it), I'm finding myself interested in the run of Batwoman stories that'll be in Detective. A soft-reboot of the franchise like this is good for revitalizing the books...for something like Batman, a concept that's been around about 70 years, polishing off a bit of the rust isn't a bad idea once in a while.

    Of course, once Bruce! Wayne! Returns! in some big ol' multi-part crossover prior to the release of the next Batman movie, and the Bat-status quo is forced back upon the books, I'm sure a lot of that excitement will dissipate when we're back in the same ol' same ol'. Then again, the excitement will have died down a bit already, most likely, since it appears this New Batman/New Robin storyline will be going on for at least a year or so. But if it turns out these new revamped characters and titles and storylines are remarkably popular, how much disappointment will there be when the old status quo returns, as it must? (Well, I'm sure that anything in any of these books that's popular at all when Original Batman returns will be spun off into its own book.)

    Mostly, I just want to keep reading the adventures of you-know-who trying to fill the Bat-shoes, and the other you-know-who as a troublesome Robin, but it's hard to ignore the (as yet unknown) expiration date on this particular take on the franchise, and its eventual reversion to Just Another Monthly Batman Title. Though admittedly, it'd be nice to have something actually called Batman and Robin on the stands, regardless of who's starring in the title roles or who's writing or drawing, just to have to sell to kids and/or parents looking for comics with Batman and Robin in them.

  • Related: here's what it would take to get Kevin Church to watch a particular reality show.

  • Pal Dorian reveals his least favorite comic book character, and announces the winner of his contest. Personally, I guessed Kitty Pryde.

  • So, remember that Popeye and Environmental Careers comic I posted panels from a few days back? Well, let's pretend you do. Anyway, Dr. Polite Scott examines another Popeye career comic from the same series. (I wonder if any of the comics offered up "sailor" as a career choice? You know, what with Popeye an' all.)

  • Tim O'Neil looks at a few recent Marvel books (plus one DC), and in the process articulates my own feelings about Mark Millar's work on Wolverine and Fantastic Four much better than I would have.

  • New from Action Age Comics, it's Monster Plus #1, available for free readin', either via the website or via download. Full-on monster-fight action, in the mighty Action Age manner!

  • It's an ill wind that blows no one on eBay any good: the David Carradine Tribute Button.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


from Vic Verity #3 (March 1946)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

You comment, I respond. 

  • Mr. Garfield asks

    "Is that Cracky the Parrot or Cracky, Jr., Mike? Or am I mixing the Golden Magazine mascot up with some sort of Toucan Sam, Parrot Detective character?"

    Mr. Garfield is referring to the sidebar pic, and that is in fact Cracky, from The Wacky Adventures of Cracky, a title that can elicit a bit of a cynical giggle along the lines of "HA! That parrot is on the crack!" because, you know, "Cracky."

    Which reminds me of that one time I had copies of Crack Comics and Speed Comics which I displayed together in our store's glass case, because who doesn't love drug humor? Also, I'm pretty sure I've related that story here on the site before, but I don't care because I'm old and entitled to repeat myself.

  • GQ asks

    "...What do you make of this whole Captain-America-shipping-on-a-Monday thing that has some people so worked up?"

    Frankly, I've been trying not to think about it...I've got other things to worry about. (In short: Marvel is offering to release Captain America to retailers a couple of days earlier than the standard new comics day to take advantage of supposed media coverage re: Cap about the same time.) I know my sharp-dressed fellow funnybook slinger James Sime isn't thrilled about this is being handled, and you can read there for more details about it.

    Like I said the other day, I'm not really expecting a huge media-caused bump on this comic, since a character (presumably) returning isn't quite the draw that knocking off a character is, but we'll see. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, and I don't think we're going to bother with the early release.

  • I linked to this gentleman's Swamp Thing pic the other day, and he was good enough to let me know that he has the initial pencils for a Man-Thing drawing up. Not just Man-Thing...but Man-Thing Versus The Vision! The battle you demanded! Looks good so far, and am looking forward to the finished piece.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

DC Comics house ad, June 1941. 

Taken from a beat-up copy of All-American Comics #27...you can see the browning of the paper from the tape "repair" along the edges. Don't use tape on your comics, kids...it'll only lead to heartbreak and broken homes.

But, man, wouldn't you like to have seen a rack with all these original Golden Age books on it, starring "Super Man," "Bat Man," "Star Man," and "Green Lan Tern?" Brings a tear to your eye, it does.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Monday Monday, can't trust that day / Monday Monday, it just turns out that way. 

  • So the other day, in my most recent End of Civilization post I noted the forthcoming "someone's a'gettin' married" event forthcoming in the Archie comics, and I mentioned something about the possibility of this getting real-world news coverage. Well, I didn't realize this (having divested myself of cable television at the house recently), but this event is getting real-world news coverage, apparently.

    Yes, that's right, it's getting covered right now, a full three months before these comics even hit the stands. Usually when a comic gets its media push when it's solicited, versus when it's about to be released, we'll get a number of people pop into the shop looking for the item in question, and we have to explain ordering lead times and such. Well, okay, maybe we just say "it's not out yet..they've jumped the gun a bit."

    I don't think I've had anyone ask about this new Archie wedding thing. Maybe the news coverage mentioned the three-month lead time and all those potential customers actually listened. I mean, there's always a first time, I suppose. And it's not as if we won't sell them...we're one of the, what, ten?* direct market stores to carry any kind of Archie comic stock in depth, so we do have a clientele for it. But I'm not holding my breath for any kind of massive turnout for this particular stunt.

  • Speaking of which, there's still this whole Reborn thing coming from Marvel, which is maybe the beginning of the return of the currently assumed dead Captain America or something like that. And, we're supposed to be getting some kind of solicitation information at some point in the near future, since so far all we have is the creative team, all-black cover "images," and a promo shot of who I think is the female Bucky from that "Heroes Reborn" event from a few years back. Oh, and there's supposed to be "extensive media coverage" for this series in a couple of weeks, we're being told.

    Now, if it is the return of Cap, I can see this being like the Adventures of Superman #500, which was the beginning of the return of Superman following the enormous-selling "Death of Superman" storyline. Everybody bumped up orders, hoping for "Death of Superman" sales numbers...and they didn't materialize. And now you can find that comic in bargain bins pretty much everywhere. Not saying this is going to be the fate of Reborn, but...well, death sells, life not so much. Not sure anyone in the real world is going to care a whole lot about this...even assuming they get exposed to the promised media coverage, if it actually happens.

    So again...we'll order based on what we think we can sell, and not based on potential fluke media-driven sales which may or may not materialize. Assuming we ever get any more solicitation info.

  • Follow-up to my Swamp Thing links post...you know that one sketch I linked to, the one I compared to Mike Mignola's work? Have a colored version, why don't you? Very nice.

  • Pal Dorian is giving away a copy of the most-excellent Boody trade paperback, reprinting bizarrely wonderful comic stories by Boody Rogers, and all you have to do is tell him which character he hates more than Spider-Man, and why. Deadline's in a couple of days, so hurry up. And don't bother asking me for hints...I told him my guess, and he told me I was wrong. OH THE SHAME.

  • And now...Swamp Thing Jokes. Please don't shoot the messenger.

* I'm exaggerating. But not much, I think.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

In which Mike totally phones it in. 

Sorry about that. But have some Swamp Thing links. Everyone loves Swamp Thing links:
  • Ditko Stories presents the 1954 story "Doom in the Air" which, it is noted, has some coincidental similarity to a later Swamp Thing story by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben.

  • This person has a 17% chance of being seduced by Swamp Thing. Well, sure, who doesn't?

  • Well, come to think of it, Abby has about, oh, I don't know, an 80 to 100% chance, as seen in this page by Rick Veitch, as presented in Seduction of the Innocent Revisited. I'd forgotten that Seduction of the Innocent Revisited was even a thing. I bet it's awesome.

  • Monster Portraits brings you you know who as a pencil drawing on wood. I like it...that's not an expression you see Swampy make very often. (Not that you see him make any expressions, since his book's canceled, but I'M NOT BITTER.)

  • Another nice Swamp Thing sketch, a little moodier than the last. This one has bit of a Mike Mignola feel to it.

  • Okay, this isn't Swamp Thing, but it is a swamp creature, and it's a story by Basil Wolverton, and people have been mailing me the link, so here you go. Guaranteed great!

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?