mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sluggo Saturday #12. 



from Nancy and Sluggo #123 (June 1955)


Friday, July 24, 2009

But then again, there is a Wiki entry for Han Solo's pants

So as of 12:01 AM Friday morning, the winner of the "which is nerdier" poll is...Doctor Who, which beat out Star Trek by four votes! Not sure why it would have had such a strong showing, particularly against cradle-of-nerd-civilization Star Trek...but as the poll continued over the last couple of days, the two franchises were pretty much neck and neck, with each taking the lead briefly. If I'd continued the poll for another day or so, Star Trek may have taken the lead. I'd actually consider this more or less a tie, to be honest, but Who's on first in the lead as of my arbitrary deadline, so that's the victor, I guess.

I suppose its high percentage of the vote may have come from Who's relative obscurity in the U.S., where the majority of my voters presumably live, and the assumption that any ol' nerd could be a Wars or Trek fan, but it takes a special kind of nerd to be choosy enough to be a Who fan. Ultimately I'm more surprised at the low vote total for Star Wars, which only received about 25% as many votes as the other two franchises. There were some suggestions in the comments that the reason for this is perhaps that Star Wars is slightly more mainstreamed than the Trek, that there's more of an awareness of Star Wars as purely movies and TV shows, and not so much as a fan movement. Compare to Trek, where Trekkies and Trekkers and their attendant activities are as much a part of the public's perception of the franchise as, say, Shatner or Nimoy. Maybe if the poll were run during the lead-up to the release of Phantom Menace, when news stories about people waiting in line for weeks to see the film were commonplace, results may have been slightly different.

By the way, the folks who voted "none are nerdy" are entirely wrong. Sorry about that.

Anyway, thanks for participating in my silly poll, and for the fun discussion, which made it all worthwhile. I got bit of a late start on this post, otherwise I would have directly addressed some points made in the comments, but perhaps I can catch up over the weekend.

In other news:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I've met my exclamation point quota for the week. 

Employee Timmy has been whisked away to San Diego for some big funnybook to-do that I guess they're having down there, and all I have left to remember him is this All-American photo taken by pal Dorian during the trip.

Yes, as mentioned before, pal Dorian has taken employees Timmy and Aaron away to the convention, and he's started to photographically document the horror. Okay, so far it's mostly just pics of Aaron and Timmy goofing around and...um, snuggling? Er, okay. But I expect we'll see more pics from the convention proper soon. Stay tuned!

But will there be a photo that'll top this one of Aaron?

I think not. (Aaron has this thing for goggles, I should note.)

In other news:
  • The polls are still open! Tell me which long-running sci-fi franchise is the nerdiest. I suppose I'll have some kind of commentary on this tomorrow, so vote while the voting's good! (Two of the franchises are neck and neck, but it's not too late for third to pull ahead! And only some of you have voted so far! Go on, participate! It's free and relatively painless! And join the discussion!)

  • I know why you come to this site. You come here for all the latest Chris Sims news, don't you? Sure you do. Well, here's a biggie...the newest addition to Sims' Action Age Comics roster has been announced:

    Starting Wednesday, July 28th, the first issue of Woman of A.C.T.I.O.N. will begin to be serialized at the Action Age Comics website -- entirely for free! -- and having read a preview of the comic, I can promise that it'll be lots of fun. So save the date, comics fans!

  • No one drew a punch quite like Gil Kane, and Dr. K has been presenting and discussing samples of Kane-style fisticuffs for a while now. I'm proud to say that I helped a little with the most recent installment, as I contributed a double-punch from one of my all-time favorite Kane-illustrated comics. Go take a look, and say "hi" to Dr. K -- he's one of the good'uns.

  • I was pretty well gobsmacked by Wednesday Comics, DC Comics' Sunday funnies-esque tabloid. Though I didn't really do much of a review of it during the two days I discussed it (I tended to focus more on retail concerns), I did say I thought it was a solid package, through and through. However, internet pal Dave has a very thorough and thoughtful critique of the project that's well worth reading. Even though I've been unabashedly upbeat about Wednesday Comics, I can't really disagree with most the criticisms Dave offers (though we both agree, as most folks do, I think, that it's certainly a good effort and a positive experiment).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nerd the vote. 

So two discussions/debates broke out in the comments section for yesterday's post...one, regarding the Superman revamp of the mid-1980s, I plan to address at some point in the near future. The other is about, well...


Yes, I'm putting it up to a vote, which I'm sure will settle this subject once and for all and it will never be discussed upon the internet again. Feel free to engage in some (friendly!) debate and discuss your vote in the comments section here. (And yes, I threw Doctor Who into the mix, since pal Dorian brought it up.)

If your skin's feeling a little thin and you think I'm picking on nerds, keep in mind a couple of things:

1. It's all in fun...I'm a fan of all three of these properties.

2. I manage a comic book store and write a daily comics weblog. I should know from nerdiness.

So anyway, there you go. Let the mayhem begin.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I don't often get to say "Buttle." 

An item or two of note from the new DC Comics solicitations:
  • Batman: The Killing Joke is getting another comic-sized reprinted with the original coloring, as opposed to the recolored hardcover which had been the only way to obtain the story as of late. And that's good...I've had a handful of people ask for the story who didn't want to put out the cash for the deluxe hardcover. Having a cheap...well, cheaper version around is very welcome.

    On the topic...I know Killing Joke went through about a hundred different printings, most of which sold well, and yet the only copies that ever turn up in collections are first printings. I know the first print moved tons of copies, but you'd think we'd come across at least the occasional fifth printing or something. Ah, well.

  • DC Comics Classics Library: Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil HC - reprinting the classic C.C. Beck serial from the original Captain Marvel comics. This had been reprinted before, in a nice oversized slipcased hardcover, many years ago, and a friend let me borrow his copy so that I could read it. It'll be nice to be able to get my own copy of this story, finally.

  • Superman: Secret Origin #2 - So they're establishing Young Clark Kent was Superboy again, if only (I'm assuming) for his adventures with the Legion. BUT THAT CONTRADICTS A REVAMP FROM 23 YEARS AGO HOW DARE YOU.

    Okay, I'm only kidding. It's a little weird, if only because I still remember the big deal they were making about the changes to the official Superman continuity during the mid-'80s revamp, including the ousting of the whole Superboy thing. But as how I'm one of the, oh, maybe dozen of readers at the time who are still reading Superman today, there's no particular reason to be beholden to a continuity fix only a few of your readers really care about, or even remember, any more.

    And I'm sure the reintroduction of Superboy can still be explained even within the context of the '80s revamp...but, to reiterate, it doesn't bother me. I'm more interested in it as an example of the ongoing undoing of the '80s reboot...kinda like how "Contemporary Acquaintance of Clark in Smallville" Lex eventually supplanted "Contemporary Acquaintance of Perry White during the Depression" Lex.

  • Good Lord, are there enough Batman comics coming out? Maybe they should give a new ongoing series to...oh, I don't know, how 'bout Alfred. Sure, I'd go for a series about Alfred. "The Dark Knight Domestic in...I BUTTLE BY NIGHT." Would totally read it.

In other news:
  • Andrew is starting a new series of posts on this site entitled "Nobody's Favorites," in which he talks about those comic characters that are...well, you know, like it says in the title I just told you. First installment is here, and at the very least, this is a good way to find out if any of these characters have "#1 FANs" because they'll surely turn up in the comments sections.

  • Big, bold and brassy Chris Sims wrote an article called "The 40 Most Violent Comics Ever" which probably leaves out your favorite, so be sure to leave a comment that reads "um, actually, you forgot...." because Sims will love that. Also, it's one of those lists that make you click through multiple pages to see all the entries in order to present more ads, but it's Sims, and therefore worth it.

  • Pal Dorian is going to San Diego, the bastard, and he's taking along employees Aaron and Timmy, probably to sell for parts so he can afford parking and overpriced bottles of alleged water. Anyway, in the meantime he's got some amusing goodies arranged for his site, including this bingo card inspired by a particular sci-fi show message board.

  • Was informed by my girlfriend's niece that some television show she was watching was attempting to settle the question of which is nerdier: Star Wars or Star Trek.

    The nod was given to Star Trek, natch, since it is sort of the baseline standard for all things nerdy. And I'm saying this as someone who's been a lifelong fan, you realize.

    But then again, it's hard to top this, which may not be nerdy, but is certainly this side of terrifying.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In which Mike's mind works in mysterious, but mostly dumb, ways. 

So there I was, watching the trailers attached to the new Harry Potter movie, when this comes on:

And for just a few seconds, beyond all reason (since if such a thing existed I probably couldn't have avoided any discussion of it online), I thought that maybe what I was watching was the trailer for the Captain Marvel/SHAZAM! movie. You know, what with all the talk of gods and lightning and heroes and so forth. Okay, so he went into a building instead of a subway...I thought maybe they could have updated the origin.

Yes, I realize that I was being stupid. Again, if there was a Captain Marvel movie this far along in production to have a trailer, I'm sure I would have come across folks complaining about it on Twitter or something. But just for one brief, magical, deluded second...I thought I was going to get to hear the shout of "SHAZAM!" from the theatre speakers. Ah, well.

I guess that means I'm a fanboy. Because, you know, I wasn't sure before.

Oh, and the new Harry Potter film ended up being not too bad. Kinda talky, mostly just setting up the mayhem in the next installment, but still nice to see all the actors again. (Who rules? Alan Rickman rules.)

(Here's the official site for the Percy Jackson movie, in case the trailer is "disappeared" off the YouTube.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The weeks come, the weeks go. 

  • I'm happy to report that the "Guest Starring A Joss Whedon Character" strategy has worked much better for our in-stores sales of Fallen Angel: Reborn #1 than did the "Guest Starring Shi" strategy for the previous Fallen Angel series.* We've had a few Buffy/Angel fans pick it up specifically for the guest appearance of Illyria, who...well, I'll just let Wikipedia explain that one, but if you're not familiar with the character, enough is explained in the comic. Anyway, I hope some of these new readers stick around for the non-Buffy related adventures of the book, as it's a pretty good series and would like sales to stay up so I can continue to read it. Yes, that's a totally selfish reason. Hey, I'm entitled.

  • I've been putting tags on the shelves for Marvel's "Utopia" crossovers with the actual title and issue number, since at first glance the comics (such as this week's Dark Avengers #7) look like issues of Utopia due to the huge logo with that name, instead of issues of ongoing monthly series. The trade dress for the crossover seems to be detrimental, is what I'm saying. Dark Avengers is a strong seller for us, and disguising it as something else that isn't selling quite as well doesn't help.

  • I don't think we've sold a single issue of Iron Man Armored Adventures #1 so far. Well, except maybe to the folks who get every first issue.

  • Sold out of Dark Horse's Creepy #1, the revivial of the old Warren magazine. I'm sure this great Eric Powell cover didn't hurt.

  • Blackest Night #1 is still flying off the shelves, and everybody's thrilled to get their replica Black Lantern ring. Also, we apparently underordered the Tales of the Corps tie-in, as we sold out of that before the weekend. Ah, well, that's what reorders are for.

  • Okay, the 1970s variant for Amazing Spider-Man #599 is pretty awesome - a nice play on that Obama cover:

    This sample art does leave off the word balloon ("Face it, tiger...I am not a crook!") but you get the idea.

  • Nexus is over (or at least on extended hiatus) for now, with the latest double-issue...and there were so many plot elements, old characters, new characters, references to previous adventures, etc., that I felt a little bit like I was going crazy while I was reading this. Not in a bad way, I hasten to add. There's nothing quite like a Nexus comic, and I'm glad to have had it back, even for just a little while.

  • We received our second printings of Deadpool: Suicide Kings #2, which is a good thing since we were shorted our shipment of first printings, and replacements were not to be had. Our customers have been okay with it, especially when I explained what happened, but still...would have liked to have had those first printings. Especially at the momemt, since Deadpool comics seem to be like printing money.

  • Wednesday Comics #2 didn't have as strong of sales as the first ish, which was to be expected. But still doing well. A few people picking up #1 and #2, I've noticed.

  • Yes, yes, the last issue of Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds is coming out this week. At least, it's on our invoice, so we're getting charged for it, anyway.

  • Archie #599 - sorry, still not the marriage issue. Try again next month.

  • Lenore Volume 2 #1 - first issue from Lenore's new publisher Titan Books. Hopefully they'll be able to offer continual reorders on this comic like the title's previous publisher did, since the title is one of those that continually sells off the shelf over extended periods of time...we've kept stock of this title on the shelves (not in the back issue bins) for years, and it still sells. And it sells to teenage girls, a demographic generally foreign to funnybook stores (except during the Great Manga Scare** of '05 - '07).

  • Did someone say...Weasel Patrol? The trade paperback is due this week, and it's funny stuff. (And it's published by Pal Nat, who deserves your money because he's swell.)

  • The long-awaited Beanworld volume 2 is coming this week. I've tried to explain Beanworld before, and this wiki may confuse and frighten you, but trust me on this...Beanworld is brilliant, and you need to check it out. Nothing can really explain Beanworld except a Beanworld comic, so here's a brief sample.

  • Star Trek: Spock Reflections #1 - "Why, I remember when I was young and used to look like that guy from Heroes...."

  • Two...count 'em, two extra sized "#600" special issues from Marvel this week. And I have to get 'em both: Amazing Spider-Man #600 for the girlfriend, and Incredible Hulk #600 for me. ...A hundred years from now, the three comic collectors who are left are going to try and figure out Marvel's renumbering shenanigans, and all I can say is "Godspeed, future panelologists...godspeed."

  • Freddy Jason Ash: Nightmare Warriors #2 - not quite catching on this time around. The original series teaming these three horror icons had quite the following. Someone tell Fangoria to tell its readers that this new series is out.

  • The second printing of Muppet Robin Hood #1 is coming this week...not quite as excellent as the Muppet Show comic, but still amusing and well drawn.


* But still not as strong as the "maybe it's Supergirl, maybe it isn't" strategy at the series' very beginning.

** Just a joke. Relax.

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