The Progressive Ruin Questionnaire-Fest 2010 Part One: Only A Lad.

§ February 15th, 2010 § Filed under question time § 5 Comments

I asked you for questions, you folks questioned me, and now, let me offer up some answers for your perusal:

  • The possibly-pseudonymous Suckmaster Burstingfoam starts things off on a classy note with this quartet of queries:

    “When did you last masturbate?”

    If you include mental masturbation, then I do that pretty much every time I write a blog post.

    “When did you last masturbate to a comicbook?”

    Oh, good heavens, never. Though, I did briefly consider (to borrow a phrase from George Carlin) touching myself in an impure manner when I scored that VF+ copy of House of Secrets #92.

    “How much comicbook pornography do you own?”

    Well, depends on what you consider “pornography.” I’ve encountered some people over the years who think anything in the comic book format is pornographic. I’ve repeatedly mentioned that one lady who thought Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man comics were too graphically sexual. (I have no idea what she was finding in there. I don’t want to know.)

    And then there’s stuff like the underground books and indies and Vertigo comics…there is sexual content in some of those, and you know that’s enough for some folks to brand those as “pornographic” as well.

    But I know what you mean. You’re talkin’ the full-on sex books…the “insert turgid Tab A in supple Slot B” kind of thing. Not really a lot…I have Phil Foglio’s Xxxenophile comics, which are fun and imaginative and hilariously dirty, Gilbert Hernandez’s Birdland which is…well, it’s Gilbert Hernandez, of course I’m going to buy it, and Don Simpson’s Wendy Whitebread comics and Forbidden Frankenstein, for which there is no excuse other than I’m a Simpson fan but should still be ashamed of myself for owning these.

    “Have you ever masturbated while on a break at the comicbook shop?”

    “Breaks?” Oh, yeah, like I get those. No, I have to do it at the register between sales.

  • Old Bull Lee sez

    “Not necessarily a question but a request, hope that’s okay”

    Sure! I’m always open for requests.

    “more Smallville commentary. It seems like everything I hear about it is either snark or geek worship. Your even-handed opinions about the show are refreshing.”

    Thank you. I used to do a lot more Smallville commentary than I do, and…well, not sure why I fell out of it other than wanting to do something else, I suppose. I think part of the reason I don’t do it more than I do is because I don’t tend to watch them in a timely fashion, not that being late to the game has ever stopped me on this website before. And after this series of posts (occupying most of that archive page, beginning at the very bottom) I don’t know I have a whole lot more to say about it aside from any unusual events that may pop up (like that JSA episode).

    But who knows…maybe I’ll be inspired to comment on the show again, someday!

  • Old blogging pal H asks:

    “Who does Sluggo pick between:

    1) Betty and Veronica;”

    While Sluggo would be tempted by the riches and ritziness of Veronica, as often evidenced by Sluggo’s occasional wooing of new fancy rich girls in his neighborhood, I suspect he would find himself more compatible with the more down-to-earth Betty.

    “2) Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson”

    That’s really hard to say. I suspect Sluggo would find both of them intimidating. Probably Mary Jane…Gwen’s policeman father would be the dealbreaker.

    “3) Jean Loring and Enrichetta Negrini?”

    Well, one, Jean Loring’s nuttier than that fruitcake you still have leftover from Christmas, and two…dude, I’d go for Enrichetta Negrini! FOXY ITALIAN SCIENTIST IS GO

  • GQ wonders

    “So, Flash existed in the Smallville universe but when another super-speedster shows up, the press dub him ‘The red-blue blur.’ Really? They wouldn’t just call him ‘The New Flash?'”

    Yeah, that whole “red-blue blur” thing…that’s the best name they could come up with? I haven’t heard them use it in a while, that I’ve noticed, especially since Clark is now the “Black Blur.” That’s a slightly better nickname, anyway.

    “If you that baby’s father, where you bin at?”

    EMPLOYEE AARON IS NOT MY SON. I resent this line of questioning.

  • Nimbus has this to say:

    “Do you think Marvel and DC are somehow in cahoots when it comes to some of their recent major storylines? They both ‘killed’ one of their major characters (Cap America & Batman) and sent them tumbling through time. And DC is heading towards a Brightest Day whereas Marvel has the lighter Heroic Age on the horizon. Or is it all just coincidence?”

    I think it’s a fairly even mix of coincidence, following market trends, and Keeping up with The Joneses. The Cap/Batman thing is almost certainly a coincidence, the alleged “lightening of the superhero books” is simply a marketing tool / response to readers, and crossovers feeding into crossovers is mostly just Marvel and DC trying to outdo each other and eat up as much shelf space as possible.

    “What thoughts do you have on the upcoming Brightest Day and Heroic Age events? ‘About time’, ‘Not more events!’, ‘I’ll sure sell more at the store’, or something else?”

    As far as the actual quality of these go, we’ll see, but it certainly has customer interest up so I expect some strong sales at least initially. I am wondering if DC is pushing it with two weekly series and a biweekly series, though at least two of the three should do well. (The third, tying into a video game, I don’t have high hopes for.) And Marvel’s thing…”event fatigue” seems to be hitting Marvel a little harder than DC where our sales are concerned. Siege, Marvel’s latest event, is doing okay with its main series, but tie-in books mostly are dying the dog’s death. So how well “Heroic Age” goes depends on how many comics have the “Heroic Age Tie-In!” banner on them.

    “If Swamp Thing and Man-Thing somehow merged together to form one creature would it be called Swamp Man? Or Thing-Thing?”

    It would be called “a big slimy mess,” I’d imagine. (Or whatever Dave Sim called it when his Man-Thing and Swamp Thing parodies (nicknamed Fred and Ethyl) were merged together into that giant being with The Little Fellow with The Hair as they attempted their ascension to Tarim. Yes, I realize this makes no sense to a lot of you.)

  • Eric L wants to know

    “As a comic store manager what is your reply when a new customer asks you ‘Is this book any good’ when you in fact think this book is complete garbage? let’s say it’s ULTIMATES VOL. 3 which is a book I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say anything nice about. Do you pass up the sale and tell the customer it’s crap or do you knowingly sell the customer something you feel is crap and very few people have even enjoyed?”

    I’ve talked about this before on the site, and it’s a tricky thing. With a customer whose tastes I know, it’s a little easier to say “yay” or “nay” on something, and try to direct him to something else he might like if I gave him a “nay.” Individualized attention like this facilitates future sales, as the customer comes to trust my recommendations, and will perhaps try a new thing he wouldn’t have considered otherwise if not for my say-so. (A subtle distinction lost on those people who could not understand my disdain for a store newsletter that told essentially the entire customer base to “not buy” certain comics, if you remember that bit of foolishness from a year or so back.)

    A new customer, or a customer whose preferences I’m not familiar with, is a little harder. I’ll make an attempt to explain what the book is about, what characters are in it, maybe even other works by the same creator to give them a reference point, if that helps…I try not to say anything like “most people think this book sucks” because for all I know, this person I’m talking to may think this book will be great. You might get a “this isn’t really my thing” out of me, but I’ll try to find out if it would be this customer’s thing. And in the case of Ultimates 3, I had plenty of customers who liked it just fine, so there you go. It’s a matter of finding out what that customer wants from his funnybook reading, and trying to fill that need.

And that’s enough questions for today. Come back same Mike-time, same Mike-channel for more pulse pounding answers in the mighty Ruin manner!

• • •

In other news…that other project I’m involved in, Fake AP Stylebook, just broke 100,000 followers over there on the Twitter! And I’m pretty sure most of them are real people!

5 Responses to “The Progressive Ruin Questionnaire-Fest 2010 Part One: Only A Lad.”

  • stevews says:

    I know I’m kinda late but I have a question: Is this whole Q&A thing just a way to fill up a few days worth of blog posts?

    Also: Why can’t I enjoy things anymore?

  • GQ says:

    Hmmm… seems I touched a nerve. Excellent.

  • CW says:

    Mike, I have a question for you that I’ve been pondering for years:

    Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? ;)

  • Roger Green says:

    Swamp Thing and Man-Thing TOGETHER by Steve Bissette: thought you should know.

  • Kid Nicky says:

    I don’t think DC and Marvel are copying each other with Brightest Day/Heroic Age,I think that the vast majority of comics fans have been telling both companies for a couple years now that they need to lighten up,and they’re finally getting the message. And it’s about time,really. I don’t think I needed to see earth-1 Superboy punch someone’s arm off.