mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sluggo Saturday #23. 



from Peanuts #9 (May-July 1961)


Friday, October 09, 2009


drawn by Employee Aaron

Yes, I realize the "protest" was likely a publicity gimmick. 

Walt Disney's Comics & Stories #699 features the Disney characters in superhero drag, which is a bit peculiar but, okay, I'm game for a short run of stories done in this fashion. I realize it was a thing going on in the Italian Disney comics, but I suspect in the years to come, people might look back upon these issues as being as much an aberration as those "Mickey Mouse Super Secret Agent" stories where Mickey and Goofy were side-by-side with realistically-drawn humans in '60s style spy adventures.

But don't get me wrong...the comic is fun, with some dynamic cartooning, and it is of course nice to see Super Goof (a particular favorite of mine as a young Mikester) again. I've never seen so many footnote captions in a Disney comic, which, even though I realize it's part of the "superhero comic" gag, is a bit distracting. Plus, the comic does end a bit abruptly, with the story continuing into the next issue, but they could only fit so much of the comics they're reprinting into the page count provided by the $2.99 format, though I suppose that was as good a place as any to cut things off. But that we have Walt Disney's Comics & Stories (and the forthcoming Uncle Scrooge) at $2.99 now, as opposed to Gemstone's near $10 cover price on the same titles, is enough to let me forgive any such reprinting quirks.

In other "kids" comic news, apparently the media at large has finally twigged onto the fact that the "Archie gets married" hoohar is all an imaginary story (as opposed to all those real Archie stories)...something I even brought up the first time I mentioned the storyline on this site. And, as I said back then, I've had to explain the exact circumstances of the situation multiple times at the shop. But sales remain surprisingly strong on this storyline so far, and we'll see if increased awareness of the "reality" (er...you get my meaning) of the story hurts demand for future issues. Of course, you'd think anyone actually reading the book would know what's going on, but I've seen enough of this sort of thing to know that for some folks, reading the comics they're investing in is out of the question.

I wonder how that one guy who was selling his Archie #1 in protest felt when he realized he was all upset about nuthin'? (Yeah, I know, I know..."he felt about $30,000 richer." Assuming it was sold, I have no idea.)

A couple of stories from the shop:

1. Had a guy come in over the weekend ask us for Felix the Cat comics. We had a pretty good stack of 'em, ranging from some 1950s publications to Harvey's '90s revival to that most recent black and white series...and the customer bought them all, wiping us out of in-store Felix stock. And as soon as he left, another guy walked in (and I mean that literally...they passed each other in the shop's doorway), and asked for our Felix comics. Sadly, we had none to sell him.

Then, on Thursday, we had a lady looking around at stuff while she waited for her kid to finish shopping...when she suddenly asked us if we had any Felix comics for sale.

You know, I've gone a very long time without anyone asking us for Felix books, and then we get three more or less in a row. Is there some kind of Felix the Cat revival going on that I'm not aware of? Is there a live-action F3L1X movie coming out, with Seth Rogen in the title role and Michael Cera as his computer-hacker pal Poindexter? Because if so, I want in, baby!

2. I talked a customer out of a sale today...well, kind of, as she was going to buy the Superman Salutes the Bicentennial treasury for a relative who is a Superman fan, and I had to break the news that it was, in fact, mostly just Tomahawk reprints.

And when I said I "kind of" talked her out of a sale, I mean that I sold her another treasury comic (this one all Superman) instead.

Another exciting tale of disaster averted and monies earned, courtesy yours truly, Mike Sterling! No, no, please, your awed admiration is embarrassing me.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A little more Love and Rockets appreciation. 

Here's some equal time for Gilbert, after featuring Jaime's cover yesterday: here is one of my favorite things Gilbert has ever done, from Love and Rockets #49 Nov. 1995):

These three panels always make me laugh...especially that second one. Whenever I think of the Hernandez Bros. working on a new issue of Love and Rockets, I'm sure it is exactly like this, and I won't hear any different.

In other news:

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Sometimes you just need to pause and appreciate a wonderful Love and Rockets cover. 

I mean, just look at it:

It's purt'near perfect. Not a line wasted. So much expressiveness depicted so simply and beautifully. And to think this is how Jaime draws all the time.

I was processing some Love and Rockets issues at the shop the other day, and I just had to pause and admire this cover. It really is an attention-grabber, even among the typically-excellent covers both Jaime and Gilbert regularly provide for their works.

Speaking of Love and Rockets, I don't know that I ever shared this with you folks...in issue #40, Jaime 'n' Gilbert took a page to thank the readers and retailers and friends/family for their support of the magazine over the years...here's a little tiny scan of it to refresh your memory:

Here's a detail of one of the balloons from near the top of the page:

I'm in an issue of Love and Rockets! Okay, it's just my first name, but I know it's me, and that's good enough. I was very happy to see that when this issue first came out, and I'm still very pleased by it now. That was most kind of them.

Anyway, in conclusion: the Hernandez Bros. - great artists, and great guys.

Some new stuff due out in shops today:
  • The big release for the day is the long-awaited Bloom County Complete Library Vol. 1, beginning the complete reprinting of Berkeley Breathed's classic comic strip. I've been wanting something like this ever since I first discovered we weren't getting every strip in the paperback collections, and now, at last, here it is. Can't wait to see it.

  • Batman and Robin #5 - Glad to say that #4, even without the art by Frank Quitely, was still quite the good read, so #5 should be a lot of fun as well. The meshing between Morrison and Philip Tan isn't quite as seamless as Morrison's partnership with Quitely, but it'll do, it'll do.

  • Doom Patrol #3 - Still enjoying the Metal Men back-up more than the lead, which is a shame since normally I love reading Doom Patrol series.

  • Grimjack: Manx Cat #3 - Just finished my rereading of Grimjack (as noted here), so I'm totally primed for this new issue.

  • Haunt #1 - That Robert Kirkman/Todd McFarlane (and a couple of other artists) project is out this week. I kinda wonder how this will do saleswise.

  • Irredeemable #7 - So glad this is on a regular schedule (like all Boom! Studio titles), because I jones hard for the next issue once I reach the end of the current one. Haven't felt like that about a title since...Preacher, maybe? I mean, I do like all the comics I read, but I'm usually patient enough to wait the month (or, ahem, more) between issues. Irredeemable actually makes me want the month to pass faster, which, at my advanced age, I'm usually against.

  • Models, Inc. #2 - Didn't get a single person looking for the first issue (starring the host of some reality show) aside from our regulars. Sometimes the real world coverage pays off, and sometimes it doesn't.

  • Planetary #27 - Finally. Now get the trade out for the last part of the series so we can start selling those. (Though I'm guessing we're getting the deluxe hardcover volume 4 first...and DC should rerelease the other volumes in their hardcover editions, I think, since it's been so long since those have been on the market and being able to get a full set in HC may encourage sales on a HC volume 4.)

  • Rebels Annual #1 - I do like this series, but $4.99 on the annual is like daring people to buy it.

  • Strange Tales #2 - Marvel's "let the indie guys take on our characters" anthology was a surprise hit seller for us, so we upped the orders on #2 - and we're getting shorted on our order. Figures. We'll have replacements next week, but still a little annoying when it happens.

  • Superman: New World of Krypton #8 - I'm enjoying this comic, and not so much the currently (mostly) Supermanless Superman and Action titles.

  • Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #55 Glow-in-the-Dark edition - At last, Chris Sims can read his copy of Tarot under the covers without a flashlight!

  • Sweet Tooth #2 - Sold about one zillion copies of #1 at the $1 promo price. I'll be happy if a fraction of that zillion comes back for #2.

  • Walt Disney's Comics & Stories #699 - I liked the Mickey Mouse comic from last week, the first of the classic Disney character comics from Boom! Studios. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with this week's release. I'm probably not going to keep reading every Disney comic Boom! puts out (though I'll likely stick with Uncle Scrooge), but I do plan on sampling the early installments of all these series.

  • X-Babies #1 - Oddly enough, I'm curious to see just how they use Marvel's long-defunct characters from the Star Comics kids line.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"It's toasted!" 

  • So round, so firm, so fully-packed...so free and easy on the draw: it's Chris Sims and Eugene Ahn (and special "third chair" guest Kevin "The Crushinator" Church) with another fresh-tasting, doctor-recommended installment of the War Rocket Ajax podcast, and they're interviewing Benito Cereno, creator of Hector Plasm and Tales from the Bully Pulpit, and writer of the forthcoming new Tick series. Download it now, and don't forget: W.R.A.M.F.P. - "War Rocket Ajax means fine podcasting!"

  • Boy, here's a good "Nobody's Favorite" in Andrew's latest installment of that particular ongoing feature. "Good" relatively speaking, of course. I remember selling some copies of this particular series, at some point. I mean, we must have.

    I also wanted to point out this installment of Andrew's ongoing Halloween celebration, which focuses on one of my favorite old Atari 2600 games.

  • Pal Dorian reviews Lifeforce and The Company of Wolves...look forward to more spooky film reviews through the rest of the month.

  • Dave strikes again with another Space Cabby Sunday...someday your life may depend on the knowledge found therein.


Monday, October 05, 2009

"You need a fudgie." 

So I've been looking through some of my Dell Comics Peanuts issues recently (as you may have been able to tell from the last couple of Sluggo Saturdays and Sunday's post), and I've found myself strangely fascinated by these Kraft candy ads from the back covers:

And as hideous a chimera as the Beaverbear is, the magical chocolaty imp that is Frisky Fudgie is slightly more unnerving:

Now, the point of Frisky Fudgie is that, upon being consumed, his fudgy goodness provides that extra burst of energy that, in this particular case study, Billy requires to, quote, "shoot a long one" into the basket. So what we're seeing in that strip there is apparently the ghostly spirit of Frisky Fudgie flying around the court. While his physical body is currently being broken down by Billy's gastric acids, the soul of Frisky Fudgie, not yet gone on to its reward, tries to perform one last act of charity before having final judgment passed upon it by the Great Confectioner in the sky.

Though I suppose, looking at it another way, the poltergeist-ish altering of the game's outcome is at best interference, at worst cheating (as also noted here, where Frisky is performing similar antics at a baseball game*), so who knows how Fudgie's final act will tilt the scales.

* For simplicity's sake, I'm just going to assume there are multiple fudgy fellas named Frisky, and it's not all the same Frisky Fudgie being consumed and providing help from beyond the grave, because otherwise we start getting into candy reincarnation, and I'd hate for this discussion to descend into silliness.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

And then there was that time Linus suffered from the DTs due to security blanket withdrawal. 

from Four Color Comics #969 (1958)

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