Saturday, August 22, 2009
Sluggo Saturday #16.
THE ENNUI OF MODERN LIVING
from Comics on Parade #57 (June 1947)
Labels: sluggo saturday
Friday, August 21, 2009
This post may contain spoilers for a 16-year-old Metal Men series that's been retconned away, anyway.
So remember that time Doc Magnus's human body was irreparably damaged and he became the Metal Man known as Veridium?
He may have been new to his robot body an' all, but he still had time to make a nerd joke/reference to old Gold Key comics:
I've some mixed feelings about this series, and I wasn't the only one since the "major changes/revelations" in this series have since been removed from the official DC Universe continuity. Like, for example, the big "twist" that the Metal Men were once living, breathing human beings: the foreshadowing for this revelation was presented in one of the Action Comics Superman team-up issues, where Doc Magnus is shown saying something along the lines of "I must never let the Metal Men learn the secret of Level 12!" I remember thinking at the time "oh, I bet the Metal Men were once human, and that's where their bodies are," and sure enough, it turns out in this mini-series that Level 12 was exactly that. Pretty sure no one had any problem interpreting that foreshadowing.
My other quibble with the series was too many cramped panels with too much dialogue, and that the dialogue we got wasn't all that great....very much a "the food was terrible, but at least the portions were huge" situation. But I will say the series had one of my all-time favorite covers, on the first issue:
"Borrowed" that scan from The Comic Book Database, since my own scan of the foil cover didn't turn out well. And this really is one of those cases where a gimmick cover enhancement really fits with the comic, with each Metal Man given the appropriately-colored "enchanced" treatment. It's an absolutely beautiful-looking image, and even the Comic Book Database scan doesn't really do it justice...try to see one in the wild, if you can.
Another thing I like about the cover: this great blurb on the first issue:
Makes the creative team on this comic sound like a group of super-villains, doesn't it? Well, then again, turning Doc Magnus into "Veridium" seems like a bit of a villainous act to me.
images from Metal Men #1 (Oct 1993) and #4 (Jan 1994) by Michael Carlin, Dan Jurgens & Brett Breeding
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I knew someday I would eventually post a link to a British aquarium-care magazine.
HOW A BLOG POST IS BORN:
Kid Chris: "Hey, Mike, post these on your site as a swipe file!"
Me: "Well, maybe later."
Kid Chris: "C'mon!"
Me: "Okay, fine."
And that's how yesterday happened. And just to be clear, no one thinks anyone was actually swiping anybody. We're just amused by the similar poses. So there.
Anyway, from New Comics Day:
Normally when new Archie comics come in, we rack them on the All-Ages-specific rack we have by the front of the store, across from the register, next to the All-Ages-specific book shelving. However, since we had some extra copies of Archie #600 (the special Marriage Issue) kicking around, I racked some along with the regular superhero and indies New Arrivals rack...and sure enough, we picked up some sales from folks who don't normally buy Archie books. Even had one fellow who'd been coming in for years declare that this was the very first Archie comic he'd ever read. Ultimately, however, it looks like we've got enough copies for the time being.
Also, I have to think about my orders on the forthcoming debut issue of Models Inc., which apparently got some media coverage about three or four months ago since it's going to feature some cable reality show guy. (Okay, fine...Tim Gunn, Project Runway, etc.) I guess that's all well and good, but I've heard exactly NOTHING from anyone looking for this comic. Usually, when something gets media coverage, I'll get some nibbles, even if it's months ahead of time. But...nada. Not a sausage.
Well, okay, Kid Chris told me one guy made a sarcastic "oh, I'm really looking forward to that" comment, but that's been pretty much it. However, Gunn apparently was on TV Wednesday plugging the book again, so I'll see if anyone says anything today about it before I have to turn in the final orders.
Regarding some previously-received comics, we've sold through yet again on the Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps mini-series, and general consensus among the employees is that displaying the three interconnecting covers on the rack side by side seemed to encourage sales. Fortunately, issues 2 and 3 are still available for reorder, and there's a second printing of #1 on the way, so I'll go ahead and order another batch.
And this is being reported to me by my faithful shop underlings: Marvel found a way to pick up sales on Amazing Spider-Man again, and that's with Mary Jane Watson covers. Folks like the sexy MJ, even this, um, really plastic-looking version that I made fun of in a previous End of Civilization post. (My rejected joke: "In this issue, Peter gets a Realdoll!" ...If you're lucky enough to not know what that is, don't Google it up.)
I don't have an ending to this post, so here: read about the Batman fish.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Swiped at Birth!
The Stand: American Nightmares #5 (Oct. 2009)
Herogasm #1 (a couple of months ago, 2009)
1. It's a joke. Relax. 2. It's Kid Chris's fault.
COMICS: A couple of brief items.
NOT COMICS: A few excerpts from The Beatles: Words Without Music (1968).
I came across this thin paperback as I was processing some material for eBay...it's a compilation of black & white photos and short interviews and quotes with the Fab Four, and I found a few of these Q&As a bit interesting:
Q: Do you like topless bathing suits?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Didn't we just get some new comics last week?
In other news:
Monday, August 17, 2009
This panel is weird.
No, seriously, it's freaking me out a bit:
I mean, beyond the fact this it just looks freakish having Reed stretch his neck out like that. Well, okay, it is mostly just that, but still, why is he sticking his head out way out in front of the Fantasticar when Johnny (the Human Torch), the person he is addressing, is all the way back there?
Okay, in context, Reed is stretching himself out like that to keep a lookout for a villain that had just made his escape, but still...man, that just looks odd.
from Iron Man #159 (June 1982) by Roger MacKenzie & Paul Smith, reprinted in Marvel Super-Heroes Megazine #4 (Jan 1995)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Yes, only one day late does make a difference.
A couple of conversations with customers:
I received an e-mail the other day from someone whose local shop ran into a bit of an inconvenience: turned out that the shop's copies of Blackest Night #2, which came out last Wednesday, had been shorted from their New Comics Day shipment. One of the hottest comics in recent memory -- one that, if that shop's experience was anything like ours, was generating an enormous amount of interest among the customers -- and they didn't get it for what is presumably the busiest day of the week for sellers of the funnybooks.
As you might imagine, they had some disappointing, if not outright irritated, customers that day, who had been looking forward to the new installment of this series. The distributor had shipped out replacement copies via next day air, so the store would have Blackest Night #2 the next day, but that likely didn't mollify everyone who was hoping for the book right then. Sure, most folks would be understanding, but some, especially those for whom the trip to the shop was out-of-the-way or some other kind of inconvenience, might be a bit miffed.
Now, that by itself is a pain in the ass for everyone, sure. But adding to the problem was the fact that there were two other comic shops in close proximity, and they got their copies of Blackest Night #2.
The person who wrote the e-mail asked what could be done in this situation, and, unfortunately, there's not a whole lot you can do. It's not as if the distributor can magically redo the day and have those books in the retailer's hands for Wednesday sales this time. Even the most loyal clientele will have a percentage of folks who'll stop by the other shops on the way home to get, you know, just the one comic, what harm will it do to my regular store?
The end result is, of course, that first shop selling fewer copies than expected, since those sales have been lost to other shops. Maybe only a small number, but still, especially in this marketplace and in this economy, every little bit hurts or helps accordingly. My suggestion to the writer was that his shop somehow get the distributor to accept returns on this issue, due to losing its main sale day. Also, that the shop maintain a high level of customer service to encourage customer loyalty, to make your clientele not want to shop at other stores, even if the current "hot" comic is a day late. Or (and this just occurred to me now), maybe offer some kind of "paid up in advance" raincheck. That's extra paperwork, sure, but you'd have the money for certain instead of hoping everyone would come back for that one comic.
Luckily for us we've not had this problem, at least not with a title that was the big "gotta have it NOW" flavor of the moment. Closest I can think of in recent memory was an issue of Civil War that was initially only available in short supply, but everyone else, at least in our area, was hit with the same shortage. We've had other smaller titles get missed in our shipment, but those usually aren't a big deal: even if sales dip a copy or two on those, it can't easily be determined if that's just normal issue to issue variance or if it's due to a customer getting a copy of that book elsewhere.
But I just picture myself in that store's situation, having to tell the dozens and dozens of people who came in expecting Blackest Night #2 that I'm terribly sorry, it'll be here tomorrow, no, honestly. Not something I'd enjoy dealing with, that's for sure.