mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sluggo Saturday #18. 



from Nancy and Sluggo #192 (October 1963)


Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday I'm in links. 

1. I've been getting a handful of submissions from some of you out there who have their own ideas about what Arisia was saying. I'm planning on running a few here on the site on Sunday, so tune in then for more Big Laffs. Or, of course, take the opportunity to send yours in right quick.

2. Reader Mike sent along a link to a fellow's custom-made statues, including one of Swamp Thing. The Ex Machina one is pretty cool, too. (And has Neilalien seen the Dr. Strange "Sanctum Sanctorum" diorama?)

3. Tom sent along a link to his site, Brand Man to the Rescue, which features his resume in a kinda-sorta Silver Age-y comic book format. Pretty neat, I thought. (And in case you're wondering...he is currently employed!)

4. While I've been enjoying Justice League: Cry for Justice for the most part, the third issue did have a bit or two where, perhaps, things weren't thought all the way through (I'll let Sims get into it), I did want to put in a good word for the book's text pages. This is some fun writing on comic book and character history, and even though I suspect the cover price had an extra buck tacked on for the privilege, the text pieces are a great addition to this series. It reminds me of what editors had to do to fill their letters pages for the first issue or two of a series, until they started getting letters to print.

4a. I had to go back and correct the previous bit, because I'd typed "Justice League: Cry for Dawn." Now there's a crossover I wouldn't hold my breath for.

5. Found a guy on a DC Comics message board attempting to claim Justice League of America #200 (1982) wasn't all that. Forget you, Message Board Guy: Justice League of America #200 is a saint!

6. Digging back that far into the Progressive Ruin archives turned up a link I'd posted that may be of interest again, now that Disney's back in the news (after, you know, all those decades of hardly hearing anything at all about the company): Die Duckomena, your one-stop shopping for Fine Art Disney. It's all entirely terrifying.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Arisia groks the local tongue. 

So in the Millennium trade paperback (by Steve Englehart, Joe Staton and Ian Gibson), there's a scene where alien Green Lantern Arisia comments on her own acclimation to life on Earth...well, specifically to one particular region of Earth:

Well, that seemed rife with possibilities, and while the original panel is Funny Because It's True (I mean, I'm an American, and I love my grub and drink), I suspected there were other folks Arisia could sound like.

So here you go...some pals of mine and I have cooked up a few alternatives:

From Andrew:

From Bully the Little Stuffed Bull:

From Dave:

From Pal Dorian:

From Ken:

From Shane:

From yours truly:

Oh, look, where did this come from?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New comics this week, and other exciting features. 

  • Astro Boy Movie Adaptation #3 - Not selling at all at our shop, and we've dropped our orders down to one copy, just so we have it in case someone wants it someday. The movie itself isn't due out 'til the end of October, and I haven't heard a single customer express any interest in it. Maybe once the film is a little closer to being in theatres, we'll start hearing some buzz.

  • Chew #1 (4th print), #2 (3rd print), #3 (2nd print) - It'll be nice to have copies of #1 again, since we got shorted on our orders of the previous reprint and they were never replaced. Lots of talk about this book online, and we've sold well on 1 and 2...though last I checked, we still have a few 3s left.

  • DC Library - JLA by George Perez HC - I got into the Justice League comics when these were coming out, and I sure picked a good time to do so because, man oh man, Perez on the book was something else. It'll be nice to have these on...well, slightly better paper than the paper they were originally printed on. This book includes the two-part Secret Origin of the Red Tornado, which is a particularly nostalgic favorite of mine.

  • Dead Romeo #6 - Surely somebody somewhere must have read this.

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #2 - The first issue of this Philip K. Dick adaptation had reasonably strong sales for us, the second issue not quite so much but still respectable. The series is getting a handful of folks though the door that don't normally buy the funnybooks, and with any luck they'll keep with it though the (good gravy) 24-issue run, unlike all the folks who bailed out on Marvel's Dark Tower series.

    Also, I just noticed pal Ian is editor on the book. Ian, dude, I'm telling you: DECKARD VS. CTHULHU. It'll sell itself.

  • Final Crisis Aftermath: Run #5 - This ended up being the only one of the FC Aftermath books I followed, though I hear Dance is pretty good, too. Look, I can't read everything. But something about the lead character in Run (Mike, the "Human Flame," who killed the Martian Manhunter in Final Crisis, and the depths to which this guy is sinking in his ongoing quest to become a major player...there's a dark, schadenfreude-ish humor to this series that I'm really enjoying in a horrible, sick way.

  • Iron Man: Armor Wars #2 - Not sure why this needed to be a separate mini-series, aside from making sure there are as many new Iron Man trades and hardcovers as possible on the shelves when the new movie is releas...oh, never mind, I think I know the reason. And isn't there an Ultimate Armor Wars about to come out, too? I was going to say something about retelling old superhero stories/events over and over again, but duh...that's not a bug, that's a feature, as they say.

  • Irredeemable #6 - Sold through multiple reorders of the trade collecting the first four issues, as well as plenty of the 99-cent fifth issue. Looking forward to possibly strong sales on #6. This series has been a good read, though each issue feels like it's too short...probably because you're left anxiously awaiting the next installment. Like the recent Battlestar Galactica series, it manages to be dark and almost fatalistic without being oppressive, which can be a thin line to walk.

  • Jonah Hex #47 - Ooooh, hang on, little buddy, the movie's almost here! Sales should pick up right before then, so enjoy 'em while you can!

  • Magog #1 - Not sure the world demanded a Magog series, but, you know, it is Keith Giffen writing, so it may end up being strangely entertaining.

  • Marvel Zombies Return #1 - Originally was going to be a series of one-shots, but Marvel wisely decided to present it as a sequentially numbered mini-series, which may help sales a bit. Also features the return of the Marvel Zombies from the earlier series (like Spider-Man, Hulk, and so on) which may turn around the franchise a bit after the not-quite-so-well-received Marvel Zombies 4.

    Sometimes I look at what I'm writing about, and I just shake my head.

  • Marvelman by Joe Quesada poster - Most of our posters at the shop tend to be bought by (or for) younger folks. I didn't order very heavily on the Marvelman poster.

  • Red Tornado #1 - Remember my mention of nostalgia for the Red Tornado origin story from JLA? That same nostalgia will probably drive me into at least looking at this series. "My name is Mike, and I have Red Tornado nostalgia." "Hi, Mike!"

  • Solomon Grundy #7 - Ended up being a pretty good little series, and though the last issue is a Blackest Night tie-in, Scott Kolins I think will make it all flow smoothly enough.

  • Star Wars Invasion #2 - Not that the Star Wars franchise hasn't done its share of backwards-looking, fill-in-the-gaps stories, but for some reason publishing a comic now that ties into one of the big Expanded Universe novel events that ended years ago feels a little peculiar.

  • Strange Tales #1 - Marvel characters by Peter Bagge, Nicholas Gurewitch, Paul Pope, Johnny Ryan, James Kochalka, Michael Kupperman, Junko Mizuno, and many, many others...this is going to be one spectacularly weird book. This means (more or less) that Johnny Ryan is officially drawing Disney characters. What a world, what a world. (Here's Johnny Ryan drawing a Disney character unofficially...don't worry, it's Safe for Work.)

In other news:
  • DAYS in the making! It's the second action-packed installment of The Variants, the video webseries about the gang what works at a comic book store. Highly recommended!

  • Pal Dorian asked for requests on what comics he should talk about, and he answers those requests right here with some thoughtful commentary and shocking opinions. (No, Dor, not The Killing Joke! Noooooo!)

  • Secret Supreme Leader of the comics blogosphere, Neilalien, has been gathering links related to the Disney/Marvel hoohar, and Tom Spurgeon has links to some analyses as well. Also, Tom has an old Spider-Mickey pic illustrating his post, taken from Spider-Man Annual #5. I should have remembered that, when I made my merchandise prediction the other day, as we used to have the original artwork for the pages that image came from hanging in our shop. (Before you ask...nope, sold 'em years ago.)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Mike's Lunchtime Update. 

Okay, I've been receiving some comments letting me know that my sidebar Twitter widget has been inexplicably presenting Twitter posts from another user, and I was able to duplicate the error here on the store computer (unsurprisingly, it seems to involve Internet Explorer).

I've switched to a different widget, which seems to work okay in both Firefox and IE, so hopefully it will work for you, too. Blogger is taking its sweet time updating the template on ALL my pages, so some archived pages may not feature the updated widget right away, but hopefully it should work at least on the most recent pages.

And as long as I have your attention, here are a couple of links that should have gone into this morning's post:

Yeah, I'm talkin' about the Disney thing, too. 

I'm guessing you've probably heard that Walt Disney is buying Marvel Comics for a cool four billion bucks. Not sure what the full impact of this will be yet, but 1) I'm pretty sure Disney's not shutting down the publishing end of it, so relax, your comics are probably safe; and 2) if you thought toy aisles were overflowing with Spider-Man and X-Men shit now, hold on to your Mickey ears.

There were jokes a'plenty online about this acquisition, as you might imagine (I saw plenty of references to Howard the Duck and Donald Duck teaming up, for example), but I think my favorite take is from The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats's Adam Koford. Though M.O.D.U.C.K. is pretty awesome, too. We'll see how prescient these drawings are once the actual Disney/Marvel mash-up merchandise hits the shelves. I'm fully predicting Spider-Mickey.

I am wondering if we'll see a story on a slow news day about "Disney publishing porn comics!" when they discover the existence of the MAX imprint. Not that Disney hasn't handled adult material before in some of their subsidiary studios, but c'mon, this is comics we're talking about. Everyone knows comics are solely children's entertainment, so it's not hard to imagine somebody making a stink about Disney property The Punisher saying "fuck" in a funnybook sold to Little Billy.

Yeah, it probably won't happen, but it could...and as I talked about yesterday, it doesn't take much for people looking for things to complain about to start complaining. Not that Disney's any stranger to people complaining about the company, I realize.

So anyway, let's see what happens. It'd be nice if the actual comics industry would see any benefit from this, but I'm not holding my breath. But I'd give anything to see this on our comic shelves.

In other news:
  • Another week, another brain-shattering installment of War Rocket Ajax, the podcast that puts the "kick" in "facekick." Chris Sims and Eugene Last-Name-Unknown-at-This-Time have another great interview, featuring that apotheosis of annotation Jess Nevins. Go, download, listen...it'll only take away an hour from what little time remains of your life, but let's face it, you probably wouldn't have been doing anything nearly as entertaining for that hour anyway.

  • Speaking of interviews, comics internet stalwart Alan David Doane just released a PDF book of interviews he's conducted with many, many comics creators over the years, including Kurt Busiek, Howard Chaykin, Colleen Coover, Mark Waid, Mike Wieringo, and oh, so many more. It's a free download, and I know you people like the free stuff, so go check it out.

  • Here, let me give you more stuff to read: the link to this PDF essay has been going around again over the last week or so, and given my particular love for the material discussed here, I feel I should present the link here as well. Ladies, gentlemen, others, I present to you - How to Read Nancy by Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik.

  • So last week was Jack Kirby's 92nd birthday, and most of us posted a picture or two on our sites to commemorate the event. However, Bully the Little Stuffed Bull posted his little stuffed heart out on that day, presenting a Jack Kirby tribute post every hour. It's an amazing feat, and well worth gazing upon in awe. Well done, my fuzzy friend.

  • Who's got the Previews for Gays? Pal Dorian's got the Previews for Gays!

  • Those of you who actually visit the site, versus reading me in a feed reader, may have noticed that I changed the Twitter thingie in the sidebar, there. This new widget is a little more interactive, and the links I post there are now clickable, so you don't have to go to my actual Twitter page to click on them.

    Sure, the new Twitter box is a bit larger and more obnoxious than the old one, but it has that improved functionality I mentioned, it's a little more readable, plus you get to see that little icon pic of me from when I was 13 years old, so things are better all around!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Here's a little something that's been bothering me for two decades. 

So here's one thing I was curious about regarding the forthcoming complete Bloom County collections from IDW Publishing:

During the strip's run, Berke Breathed had a storyline where Bill the Cat's heavy metal music career was derailed when it was discovered that he'd been secretly reading the Bible with a wholesome woman by the name of Edith Dreck. Well, a certain Reverend Donald Wildmon and his media-watchdog group took great offense at the word "dreck," and made a big stink about it.

The response from Breathed was basically "it was just a funny name, get over it," but when it came time for these strips to be reprinted in one of the collections (specifically, 1988's Tales to Ticklish to Tell), the name "Dreck" had been altered to "Drock," as seen in this sample panel:

I remember seeing "Drock" in the book when it came out, and feeling a little disappointed that they caved, even in this small way, to this complaint. According to that article/advertisment I read in a recent Comic Shop News, IDW will be printing strips from the original art and newspaper proofs, when possible, so my hope is that we'll be getting our dreck in all its unbowdlerized glory.

And yes, because someone out there will bring it up if I don't...Reverend Wildmon also claimed Mighty Mouse "snorted cocaine" in one of his cartoons. No, really, he actually claimed that.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

So I received about a million e-mails about this Swamp Thing 3-D movie. 

Hollywood producer Joel Silver was doing a press conference for the graphic novel-based film Whiteout, when he dropped this wee bit of information:

"I'm developing a picture now that I'd like to do," he said. "I'll hopefully do SWAMP THING, which is a movie we've had for a long time. We think that would be great to do in 3D."

I've been asked what my thoughts on this are, given my Swamp Thing fanboyism, and, honestly, I don't have a whole lot to say since I don't really have much to go on. Well, the 3D part makes me think of Creature from the Black Lagoon's original release in 3D, which in turn makes me think a Swamp Thing movie totally done up as a black and white '50s monster flick would be fantastic.

However, the main thing that comes to mind is that if a Swamp Thing movie does get greenlit, perhaps that'd be enough for DC to start up a new Swamp Thing comic book series to tie into it. And that'd be okay with me.

I am looking forward to the eventual Nancy and Sluggo movie as well. "ANGELINA JOLIE and VIN DIESEL are...NANCY AND SLUGGO in...THREE ROCKS. COMING SOON." Or perhaps going the other direction, in something like Sid and Nancy.

...I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I wish I was better at Photoshop.

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