mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sluggo Saturday #14. 



from Comics on Parade #72 (June-July 1950)


Friday, August 07, 2009

I wasn't sold until you promised "explosions." 

ad from Green Lantern Corps #204 (Sept 1986)

Some please tell me that they have a copy of this "Starship" album this is advertising, or, at the very least, have heard the one minute promo clip.

If there exists a rock 'n' roll battle adventure featuring the Star Trek crew (or reasonable facsimiles thereof), I would like to know.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ch'p off the old block. 





In other news:

images from Green Lantern #148 (Jan 1982) by Paul Kupperberg, Don Newton & Dan Adkins; Green Lantern Corps #203 (Aug 1986) by Steve Englehart, Joe Staton & Mark Farmer; Green Lantern: Mosaic #2 (July 1992) by Gerard Jones, Cully Hamner & Albert DeGuzman; Blackest Night #1 (Sept 2009) by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"Yeah, like a truck! I get it!" 

So I'm currently in the process of rereading the current Green Lantern series from the beginning, just because, you know, I'm on bit of a GL kick and I've been meaning to reread the whole Sinestro Corps War thing and I figured, what the heck, let's just start with the first issue. And, as I noted to someone who asked if I was going to blog about it when I mentioned I was doing this on the Twitter, I didn't intend to write about it on the site. I just wanted to reread some comics from my collection without having the thought of "must use this to generate content for Progressive Ruin" hanging over me.

Well, the fact that you're reading this means I haven't been entirely successful, but I found that I wanted to note some continuity/backstory changes regarding one of the characters. Thus, it's away from the reread of the current GL, and back to one of the previous series....

Now, I've gone on before about how Kilowog's upper arms bother me a bit. When he first appeared, he had spindly upper arms and bulky forearms, sorta like Popeye:

In later appearances (perhaps starting with the character's appearances in one of the Justice League books, I think), his arms started bulking up a bit, with his formerly pipecleaner-thin arms now bulging with muscle. And that's how he's been drawn ever since.

I know it's a dumb thing to focus on, but every time I see Kilowog in a new comic with those bulky arms, I can't help but think "they're doing it wrong," even though that's how they've been doing it for 20+ years now.

Anyway, that's my problem, not yours, and I'm sure they make some kind of medication for that. But here's the other thing I wanted to point out: when Kilowog was first introduced (way back in Green Lantern Corps #201, June 1986), he was a figure of mystery and suspicion. None of the other characters knew who he was, and there was some speculation as to his true intentions:

In more recent times, starting with (I believe) the Emerald Dawn mini-series retelling Hal Jordan's entry into the GL Corps, Kilowog was retconned into being a trainer of Green Lantern recruits, and thus was a Lantern that everyone supposedly knew. I thought that was an interesting repurposing of the character, and don't get me wrong: I like that current status. But occasionally I miss the seemingly simple, straightforwardly innocent personality of the Green Lantern Corps-era Kilowog, versus the tough-as-nails, no-time-for-your-crap, will-kick-your-ass Kilowog that we have now.

While I was looking that up, I was reminded of this fellow from Green Lantern Corps #202:

Okay, that's (SPOILER, I guess) another character in disguise, and brother, what a disguise. Poor Man's Transformer is a great idea for a costume.

images from Green Lantern Corps #201-2 (June-July 1986) by Steve Englehart, Joe Staton & Mark Farmer

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sadly, there was no Swamp Thing Quarterly

Been going through some Green Lantern comics at home...you know, I kinda miss having this old Green Lantern Corps Quarterly series on the stands:

Actually, come to think of it, I miss most of DC's quarterly anthologies. They had a good variety of short stories, by many creators...sure, a few stories weren't quite ready for prime time, but the good generally outweighed the not-so-good. So, what were the other quarterly titles? Justice League Quarterly, Ms. Tree Quarterly...keep feel like I'm forgetting one. Liked all of three of those, at any rate.

Here's something to annoy you: these extra-sized comics cost $2.95.

And hey, remember this redesign of the Golden Age Green Lantern?

Woo boy. That particular image was drawn by Jim "Tarot" Balent, by the way. "Get out of there, Alan...your ring is haunted!"*

Inside this issue is a brief reminder of which decade you were in, in case you forgot:

Oh, why, hello, the 1990s!

Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #4 (Spring 1993) - cover by Kirk Jarvinen & Terry Austin

Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #6 (Autumn 1993) - cover by Jim Balent

interior panel from Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #6 by Ruben Diaz, Travis Charest, Ray McCarthy & Agop Gemdjian

* Your Not Safe for Work context, sir.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The "naked eBay" link is probably Not Safe for Work. 

Had this item show up in a collection recently: a UK Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back hardcover annual from 1980, reprinting Marvel Comics' adaptation of the film.

However, turns out that across the top strip of the first page, three of the creators involved signed the book:

Well, I thought that was pretty neat.

And here's something that just now occurred to me as I was scanning this item: what is that reflected in Darth's eyes, there:

Are those reflections of the artist himself? Reflections of the Hoth landscape before him, even though he's only symbolically looming over Luke and his Taun Taun and isn't supposed to be literally there? Visions of Vader's life aboard the Death Star or some other Imperial vessel? Accidental naked eBay pictures? Who knows? I bet one of you clever people can clear this up.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Just a few words about a handful of this week's comics. 

Batman and Robin #1 3rd Printing - We probably still have enough 1st and 2nd printings to go around, but there's always someone who wants each and every variation, or perhaps wasn't attracted by a previous cover and likes the new image, or just plain didn't see it the first few times it was offered. Even the most unnecessary reprints (like, say, the recent spate of X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man 2nd prints) are usually good for a couple of sales.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #27 - Sales have been dropping very slightly on this series, and I've noticed a minor uptick in requests for the trade paperback collection from the folks who are just coming in specifically for four-color versions of Joss Whedon properties.

Captain America: Reborn #2 - Sales ended up being fairly strong on the first issue, after a slow start, but, as I've stated previously, it was mostly to the regular clientele. By and large the general public doesn't seem to be as interested in Captain America returning as they were by his apparently murder. Why, it's as if there's a preference for stories of death and tragedy. That's totally unlike human nature.

Doom Patrol #1 - Well, you know what they say - fifth time's the charm. Or is this the sixth? I've lost count. Anyway, I'm a sucker for all things Doom Patrollish, so I'll check it out. Hopefully some of our customers will as well. Mostly, though, I'm looking forward to the Metal Men back-up stories, which promise to be pretty entertaining.

Fallen Angel: Reborn #2 - Nearly sold out of the first issue, specifically because of the Buffy/Angel tie-in. Will those people be back for installment numero dos?

Greek Street #2 - Sold a good number of the first issue, thanks to the promotional $1 price tag. Not sure how #2 will do now that it's at the normal three bones...given that it's an ongoing Vertigo title that's not related to the Fables franchise, I don't expect too much, but we'll see. I hope it does do well...the line could use another strong monthly seller. (Hell, most lines of comics could use more strong monthly sellers, but let's not get into that!)

Green Lantern #43 - Okay, that's just a restock we're getting this week, but man, we're getting deluged with requests for Green Lantern and all things related to the GL-centric Blackest Night event. Had a few people even tell me that they got into these comics after seeing whatever BN-related set-up DC had at the San Diego convention. Customers are way excited about Green Lantern. There's a sentence I don't get to say often enough.

Irredeemable trade paperback and issue #5 - Having a low-cost trade and a promotionally priced 99-cent issue come out at the same time is a smart move on Boom Studios' part, I think.

Justice League: Cry for Justice #2 - Yeah, it's just this side of being kinda dopey, but I liked the first issue anyway. It entertained me, and really, that's all I ask from my superhero funnybooks. Also, the first issue sold really well for us, so hopefully those folks will be back for the new ish.

Solomon Grundy #6 - Ah, the series only Tim and I are reading. Hey, we think it's pretty good, right Tim? Right. Still not getting the "Swamp Thing" vibe that this series was allegedly going to be bringing to the DC Universe, but it's a good series nonetheless.

Star Trek Alien Spotlight: Q - This is one of those series that I think I like more in concept than in execution. I appreciate that there's a series of comics each focusing on a different alien race. As a Trek fan since apparently before birth (hey, my mom watched the original 3rd season when she was pregnant with me...what can I say), I can dig the effort, here. But the comics themselves have never really grabbed me. It could just be that I've read enough Star Trek comics in my lifetime to last me, is all. "It's not you, it's me, baby." But we've had plenty of customers like 'em just fine, so don't pay attention to ol' Downer McDownerson at the keyboard here.

Ultimatum: X-Men Requiem #1 and Ultimatum: Fantastic Four Requiem #1 - So every time a new issue of Ultimatum came out, I'd flip through it, and as far as I can tell it was about characters killing and occasionally eating each other. Not saying there's not an audience for that sort of thing, but.... Anyway, now in terms of resetting things in a franchise for an imminent relaunch, this sort of "scorched earth" approach seems a tad extreme. But then again, given that the Ultimate line exists apart from Marvel's main merchandise-and-media-tie-in driven "regular" Marvel Universe, there's more freedom to really shake up the status quo, especially since now the stated purpose of the Ultimate line (to provide a jumping-on point for new readers coming in from the movies) has been moot for years. Just kinda wish that revamping of the status quo was a bit less...nihilistic, maybe? Ah, well.

War Machine #8 - Whoa, totally forgot this was even a thing. Well, hold on there, little funnybook...Iron Man 2, guest-starring War Machine for what I'm sure will be a very exciting 5 or 6 minutes, will be out soon enough.

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