Behold my mastery of graphic manipulation.

§ September 16th, 2010 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, does mike ever shut up, employee aaron, market crash, retailing, siegel & shuster, sir-links-a-lot § 8 Comments

So anyway, I did this as a quickie gag for a couple of friends in email, and the files have been sitting on my desktop for a few days, so what the heck, here you go:



Just grabbed the pic via the Googling, so hopefully I didn’t offend anyone with my repurposing his/her scan. It was for the purpose of creating a better world, my friend.

Anyway, in other news:

  • Regarding that panel I posted yesterday…I felt a little funny picking out a panel by freakin’ Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, for a bit of good-natured mockery. I mean, it seems almost sacrilegious, doesn’t it? Anyway, that panel was from a strip called “Federal Men,” which ran for quite a while in the various iterations of early Adventure Comics. You can read descriptions of some of the stories here. A reprint collection of these stories would be interesting, but I’m not holding my breath.

    By the way, speaking of sacrilege: here’s reader Todd with his slight reworking of the panel:

  • Tom Spurgeon has some commentary from one of his readers about comic pricing and buying habits. In particular, there is some discussion about the likelihood of someone spending more than $20 a week on comics in the late 1980s. As someone who entered the high-finance world of funnybook retailing in the late ’80s, I thought I’d supply a brief bit of anecdotal…well, perhaps not “evidence,” but it may be of interest.

    Starting about the mid-’80s, and off and on through the late ’80s, our shop had a box of overstock and/or deadstock comics by the register with a sign on it that read “FREE COMIC WITH $20 PURCHASE.” And, it is my memory that the $20 level was originally picked because 1) it wasn’t a price level that was normally breached terribly often by the majority of customers, but 2) it was close enough to what a significant portion of customers were spending that the hope was that they’d plop another comic or two on the pile to hit $20 and qualify for their free comic.

    Now…and please consider, I’m working off decades-old memories here…I believe that we had some, but not a lot, of customers slapping on additional comics to get to twenty bucks, but that eventually we had enough people already buying twenty dollars’ worth of stuff without going back and grabbing an extra book or two that they got their free comic anyway. And, eventually still, sometime around the big Batman movie-fueled boom, we did away with it completely. (I suppose we could have just raised the price level to, say, $30 or $40 for the free book, but at the time rivers of cash were flowing through the direct market and thus, perhaps the need to encourage additional sales in that fashion was no longer as strong.)

    Later, we briefly did a “spend $50, get a free poster” thing along these same lines, which I’m pretty sure was in the post-market crash years of the mid ’90s. And that tells me that, even though the high-livin’ days of the boom were long gone, the customer base that remained was spending far more on average than they had pre-boom, so that $50 now seemed like the just-above-average typical sales level that seemed achievable.

    My memory was that was more about clearing out old poster stock than hoping people would hit $50, which, like what happened with the $20 level, is something people gradually started doing anyway.

    Wish I remembered more details about these things. Should’ve kept better notes.

  • Speaking of our retail past: Chris Sims recently concocted this Comics Alliance article about comic book bumper stickers, and in the comments section to it, someone mentioned our old “U.S. OUT OF LATVERIA” stickers that we had at the shop. [NOTE FOR MY DAD, WHO READS MY BLOG: Latveria is the fictional country that the Fantastic Four’s arch-nemesis, Dr. Doom, hails from.] Now, I tried to respond to said comment with a link to a post on my site featuring said sticker, but alas, the CA comment machine does not like linkity-links, so instead I’ll post that link here.

    And before you ask: no, I don’t have any more. Sorry, kids.

  • More Comico history: the transition to color printing, including some early and neat-looking coloring guides for a page from the original Mage series.
  • Pal Dorian does terrible things to an old DC subscription pitch. TERRIBLE THINGS.
  • Employee Aaron’s fiancée Kempo whips out her 2010 San Diego Comic-Con report, with lots of photos of the two of them eating meals.
  • I’d noted something on my Twitter the other day, and thought I’d repeat it here: you know what I’d like to see Christopher Nolan name the third Batman movie? The Caped Crusader. That’d be pretty awesome, right? Yeah, I knew you’d agree.

8 Responses to “Behold my mastery of graphic manipulation.”

  • You’ll be sad to learn that I didn’t live on this coast in the late 80s. I started reading comics in 1988, in high school. By 1989, I was budgeting $40 a week to comics – to the point where if I didn’t have many comics come in, I’d buy that expensive Grendel hardcover to pad out the week’s total. Such is the power of having a job at the Sears in the Mall.

  • Nimbus says:

    Of course, it doesn’t mean that people were (almost) spending $20 *per week*. Perhaps some weeks they may hit the $20 mark whilst other weeks they may only spend $5. Or, if they were like me, they’d only hit the comic store every fortnight or perhaps even only once a month.

    Not that I ever spent anything like $20 a time, not even fortnightly. Partly because I was a student in the late ’80s so didn’t have the money and partly because we don’t have dollars over here in the UK. :)

  • Not to get nit-picky (ah, who am I kidding,…. I am) Wouldn’t the Clark Kentmobile have NO Superman logos on it? Maybe just glasses and (for older fans) sporting a fedora.

  • Andres says:

    I like the idea of a “FREE COMIC WITH $20 PURCHASE” sign more than the current “BUY SOMETHING OR GET THE HELL OUT” sign you have up.

  • Rob March says:

    The “BUY SOMETHING OR GET THE HELL OUT” sign is supposed to be in the gaming section, I thought. A “SHOWER REGULARLY, WEAR DEODORANT AND SHAVE YOUR NECK” would be better.

  • m4 says:


  • Tom Mason says:

    And somewhere, the Lois LaneMobile is falling from a tall building trying to prove that Clark KentMobile is really Supermobile.

  • John Popa says:

    Whenever people talk about the price of comics my standard line is “I’ve been spending $20 a week on comics since 1989 and that hasn’t changed.”

    I was a bit of a speculator (nothing crazy) and read all the Image/Malibu/Valiant/Dark Horse stuff that I fancied and generally in the early 90’s I spent about twenty bucks a week on comics. I was a kid working in high school and then into college (graduated high school in ’91.)

    Of course, over time that twenty bucks has gotten me far fewer comics but, still, I’m only buying the stuff I really want. I think the main difference is in the old days what I really wanted was most anything, whereas today my tastes are far more particular. It was certainly easier to waste a buck on a crappy issue of “Guardians of the Galaxy” than it is dropping four bucks on a random forgettable super hero comic of today.