mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sluggo Saturday #21. 



from Peanuts #12 (Feb-Apr 1962)


Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh, yeah, totally forgot about these. 

So a couple of months ago, we were joking about Dick Tracy villains at the store, and over the course of our discussion I knocked out a handful of super-quickie sketches to illustrate some of our ideas. And then I completely forgot about said drawings 'til I found a trio of scans of them on my little flash-memory-stick-thingie.

And here you go...three Dick Tracy villains that never quite made it. Or maybe they did, I don't know...I haven't read every single strip:




Okay, that middle panel is supposed to be a hand holding a gun. Look, I sketched out each of these very fast. Also, as I was putting this post together, I remembered one of the reasons why I held off posting these back when I originally drew them: I can't shake the feeling that someone's done that "Dick Tracy Strip Face" gag before, like in Mad Magazine or something. Or maybe I'm just thinking of the Kryptonian Thought Beast. However, if I inadvertently copied someone with any of these drawings...sorry!

Anyway, there you are, some quickly-done bad drawings by yours truly. Enjoy the horror!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dick Durock (1938 - 2009). 

Dick Durock, who portrayed Swamp Thing in two movies and the live-action TV series, has reportedly passed away.

The movies may have been of...varying quality, but they were certainly entertaining, thanks to Mr. Durock's sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, sometimes outright silly, but always watchable, performances of the big green guy.

So long, Dick.

"The gang'll cheer for the Jeeper!" 

ad from Peanuts #9 (May-July 1961)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sometimes I don't have anything more than "look at this neat thing I found in the back room." 

This is a retailer "shelf talker" for The Avengers from 1995:

This was supposed to just dangle off the edge of the comic shelf...here's a pic of the whole thing:

Never much cared for shelf talkers myself...at the time this one came out, we didn't really have the kind of comic racks that would accommodate them easily. Now that we do have racks that they'd work on, I still don't use them...I don't want them sticking out from the shelves, and I suspect they'd probably get very easily damaged anyway.

Anyway, that's not what I wanted to mention about this shelf talker in particular. Mostly, I was just amazed at how...dated, I guess, the imagery is on this item. It pretty much just screams "1990s" at you, in very much a "we actually were buying comics that looked like this" kind of way. ...Well, I shouldn't be too harsh, since this is somebody's childhood funnybook nostalgia, and I don't mean to come down on anyone's fond memories of this particular era. But still...wow. That's certainly something. It's certainly the most buff Quicksilver has ever been. Er, that is Quicksilver, right?

Hey, we won an award. 

So it's the time of year for the local weekly paper, VC Reporter, to list their Best of Ventura County awards...and we once again took the top spot for Best Comic Store:

Always happy to find out that people do appreciate what we try to do. What it is we do exactly, I'm not 100% sure, but thankfully folks seem to like it anyway. So thanks to all the local folks who voted, and hopefully we'll be worthy of the same recognition next year as well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hopefully the Treehouse of Horror comic doesn't measure 16 by 21 inches. 

Just a few words about some of this week's new comics:
  • Amazing Spider-Man #602 2nd Printing Variant - Is Amazing really selling out at enough locations to really warrant this many second printings? I mean, we order a couple of each just for those folks who want the different covers (and yes, those customers are out there), but I'm pretty sure we've enough stock on recent Spider-books to cover anticipated back issue demand.

    Okay, I probably answered my own question, there.

  • Bart Simpson and the Treehouse of Horror #15 - These Treehouse of Horror one-shots always do well, regardless of any special guest writers and/or artists. In fact, I can't even remember who's in this one...hold on, here we go:

    "Guest edited by Sammy Harkham, the award-winning creator of the popular Kramers Ergot anthology, this year's issue is jam-packed with some of the most idiosyncratic (and weirdest) takes on The Simpsons universe ever. Kevin Huizenga (Ganges) and Matthew Thurber (Kramers Ergot) collaborate on a story equal parts Lovecraftian eco-horror and Philip K. Dick identity comedy. Jeffrey Brown (Incredible Change-Bots) does a creepy story featuring Milhouse, murder, and crawl space living. Harkham and Ted May tell a tragic monster tale of unrequited love, bad karaoke, and body snatching at Moe's Bar. Ben Jones (Paper Rad) does the epic tale of how bootleg candy sold at the Kwik-E-Mart rapidly spirals out of control into an Invasion of The Body Snatchers-like nightmare of a Springfield filled with cheap bootleg versions of familiar characters."

    Well, that sounds pretty good. The Jeffrey Brown story sounds downright terrifying.

  • Batman and Robin #2 second printing - Now this we can use. This series has been like printing money so far, and we've been selling through, or close enough, our full orders.

  • Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #8 - Sold well for us when Mike Kunkel was writing and drawing it. Not really selling quite so well, now.

  • Dark Reign The List The X-Men one-shot - We ordered relatively low on these "The List" one-shot tie-ins to the company-wide Dark Reign crossover, based on sales of the previous one-shots and minis. I mean, some of those minis are selling in the single digits for us. But the first couple of these one-shots (Avengers and Daredevil) ended up acquiring a small level of demand, causing us to sell through our initial orders and, in the case of the Avengers, wait for an actually-needed second printing. (I read the writing on the wall early enough to get in a reorder on the DD one-shot prior to its sellout.)

    Guest that's what happens when you have one-shots featuring your marketable characters/franchises, and not, say, "The Hood." (Though I thought Sinister Spider-Man would have done better than it did. Ah, well.)

  • DC Library Batman A Death in the Family HC - Hey, remember when DC would do those cheap, quickie paperback reprints of the "hot" storylines...the Death of Superman, and this one, the Death of the 2nd Robin. $4.95 a pop, if I recall correctly, and a good deal it was. Not sure we need a forty dollar hardcover of this particular storylines, but 1) you do get some Jim Aparo art, and 2) it gives me an excuse to again whip out this old "Death in the Family" animated gif I made a couple of years ago:

    Hypnotic, ain't it?

  • Justice League Cry for Justice #1 & #2 2nd printings - For those of you who hated these the first time around, now's your chance to hate them again!

  • Liongate Films Leprechaun #4 - Hey, that's how it's invoiced. That way you don't confuse it with any other concurrently-running Leprechaun comics. Anyway, I'm really hoping for Leprechaun in Space or Leprechaun in the Hood comics based on those films from this franchise.

  • Superman: Secret Origin #1 - Now that the Siegel estate has the rights to the specific details of Superman's origin, this comic is all about how a scrawy scientist Dr. Bruce Kalel ran out into a testing field to save a trespassing Jimmy Olsen from the impending Krypton Bomb explosion, and got caught in the blast himself, giving him incredible super powers. That should hopefully clear up any copyright hassles for DC.

  • Wednesday Comics #12 - The last issue...the series' sales more or less kept consistent throughout the run, and I thought it looked great. And now I'm getting asked how DC's going to collect this into a trade or hardcover. My answer is usually "expensively."

In other news:
  • Pal Nat would like to correct some assumptions some of you may be making about the Kirby family's intentions regarding characters Jack created for Marvel.

  • SO IT'S COME TO THIS: The new War Rocket Ajax podcast is here! Join Chris Sims and Eugene Ahn as they rap their way into your hearts with their Jeff Parker interview! A nurse will be stationed in the lobby in case anyone listening to the podcast suffers heart failure caused by awesomeness.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Found on the eBay. 

A New York fire company patch, featuring a familiar fellow:

Another auction had this larger scan, which shows more clearly the actual detail on the patch's material:

Swamp Thing looks kinda like a Rankin Bass character. Swamp Thing Is Comin' to Town, The Year Without Swamp Thing, Mad Monster Party...oh, wait, that last one kinda works.

Anyway, I wonder who the Swamp Thing fan was in this particular company. And, more importantly, how he managed to convince everyone else to go for it. "Swamp Thing is awesome, he'll look great on the patch!" "Uh, wasn't Swamp Thing that one Adrienne Barbeau mov...." "SWAMP THING. IS. AWESOME." "Okay, okay, fine, we can have a Swamp Thing patch."

...Well, that's pretty much how I would have argued for it, anyway.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm probably not hiding in the bushes just outside Kevin Church's house. 

  • Sometimes I don't do a good job keeping up on all the Swamp Thing links like I should (even with a Google Alert set up for that particular topic) so I appreciate it when swell cats like Tom help me out a bit. In this case, Tom reminded me of this recent post by legendary Swamp Thing artist Steve Bissette in which he discusses the artwork done for the ST cartoon merchandise from the early '90s. You may remember that I'm the proud owner of several pieces of said merchandise (including the "fuzzy slippers" Bissette mentions in passing), so I found this article to be quite interesting. The particular focus of the article is on who did the actual artwork...the inker was obvious to anyone who'd read Swamp Thing, but the penciller, not so much. Read the article (and the comments!) for the discussion and the eventual solution to the mystery!

  • This is one of my favorite things that pal Dorian does, aside from the oil massages NO WAIT IGNORE THAT...er, it's Dor's movie trailer reviews. Always a hoot.

  • Another Dorian link: employee Aaron gave Dor a drawing.

  • Kevin Church and TJ Kirsch's new webcomic She Died in Terrebonne is well underway...the first five strips (1 2 3 4 5) were released over the last week, and new strips will come every Thursday from this point forward.

  • And Kevin's other strip (with cohort Benjamin Birdie) The Rack just had a wedding, and you can see the special moment right here, in full glorious color by El Gorgo's Tamas Jakab.

  • And to complete my triumvirate o'Kevin stalking, take a look at this thing here Mr. Church posted on the Twitter. EDIT: And, oh ho, what's this?

  • I can't think of any way to introduce or explain this better than just saying "Street Poet Ray versus Angel Love."

  • Behold the badass unicorn.

  • Pal Scott finished posting all the extant pieces of his aborted comics story Heartache Saloon, so go, enjoy. Seriously, I love his art style. If he ever gets tired of that book-writin' thing, surely the high-finance world of alternative comics awaits.

  • A big congratulations to Tom Spurgeon's five year anniversary of The Comics Reporter, an absolutely indispensable resource for anyone interested in the world of funnybookin'.

  • And now...ROM tribute art.


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