mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Sluggo Saturday #36. 



from Nancy #159 (Oct 1958)


Friday, January 08, 2010

Here are some things other people are doing. 

  • Pal Dorian's Paperback Book Club feature is approaching its 100th installment, and instead of showing off yet another book from his own shelf, he wants you to send in your own favorite paperbacks! A scan and maybe a brief bit of writing regarding said book, and you're in. Here are the details. I know which book I'm sending in!

  • Found via Kevin Church, a photoblog featuring very nicely-done photos of Star Wars action figures. This Hammerhead image is particularly striking.

  • Chris Sims celebrates five years of blogging! Five years of people telling him he forgot something in each of his posts! Five years of kicks to the face! Five years of thrown car batteries! Congratulations, Chris!

  • Pal Nat Gertler has moved his TV blog to a new address: natstv.wordpress.com. Update your links and bookmarks accordingly, like I will do when I finally get around to polishing up the sidebar there.

  • In the comments section for this post, there is some discussion as to the source of Mina Harker's (and Allen Quartermain's) apparent longevity. It is explained, between the lines (but just barely between them...Moore pretty much sledgehammers you with how subtle he's being about this particular plot twist) at the end of the text piece in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Series 2 #4.

    That'll keep you readin' the text pages! Also, at some point during the travelogue presented by this particular series of text pieces, mention is made of one of my favorite childhood books, The Shy Stegosaurus of Cripple Creek. See, you could have missed that!

  • Striking new black and white Swamp Thing sketch for you to enjoy, right here.

  • And speaking of Swamp Thing drawings, here's Rick Veitch's completed Swampy tryptych. ("Swamptych?")

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Progressive Ruin presents...the End of Civilization. 

It's a brand new year, and a brand new bunch of items in the latest Previews catalog! Bust out your January 2010 edition, and follow me into...the future...as I take a look at the swell items coming soon to your local comic book store:

p. 26 - Free Comic Book Day 2010 Eco-Friendly Shopping Bags:

Perfect for hauling around your dead-tree funnybooks!

p. 64 - Capsule Assortments Marvel Figurines:

I'm okay with most of these, I suppose, but there's something hideously wrong with the Thor one in the upper left. I don't even know what's going on there. Say, Thor, the giant helmet isn't helping to hide your macrocephalic head, there.

p. 179 - Marvel Select Cyclops Action Figure:

"Now Mr. Summers, just apply these strawberry compresses for a half-hour every evening before bed, and those unsightly dark circles should begin to fade."

p. 192 - Twi-Lit #1:

"When the vampires on campus would rather bake in their weed than drink blood, life is pretty mellow. Well, except for the occasional scraps with the werewolves, but as long as they vacuum up afterward, the vamps are cool with it. What's worse is the furry fan down the hall who's convinced he's a werewolf, but isn't. If the vampires didn't need him to handle the UV lights for growing their stash (vaporized limbs are a real downer), they'd drain his blood like that...if they weren't out getting more snack cakes for the munchies."

Sounds like it hews more closely to traditional vampire legends than the actual Twilight novels.

Also, please note the lit cigarette "L" in the logo. Fantastic.

p. 196 - The Archie Wedding: Will You Marry Me? TPB:

It sorta looks like he's looking out at the readers and asking them to marry him. "I'm totally done with Veronica and what's-her-name, the blond one...I'm a'fixin' to marry you!"

p. 316 - Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter HC:

I think my favorite part is when Spike and Angel are competing for Abe's love.

p. 316 - The World of Warcraft Guide to Winning at Life SC:

"Step 1: Turn off the World of Warcraft game, go outside."

p. 326 - Marvel 70th Anniversary Trading Cards:

This is probably just me, but when I come across the art cards drawn by Joe Pekar (as I have just recently processing some of them for the eBay) a small part of my mind keeps telling me they're by Harvey Pekar, and just the very idea of Harvey Pekar sitting at his dinner table drawing sketch after sketch of Marvel characters amused me.

It doesn't take much to amuse me, sometimes, I know.

p. 330 - Dark Knight at Heart t-shirt:

"Ma'am...I'm sorry, but I'm afraid the Batman bat emblem is sticking directly into his aorta. We must operate immediately."

"Doctor, didn't you do this exact same joke last time?"

"Ma'am, please...leave this to the experts."

p. 331 - Undead Jay & Silent Bob t-shirt:

I see the Pop Culture Mixmaster has struck again, randomly slapping together two slightly past their sale date fads into one brand new exciting product!

p. 333- Star Wars Greedo Blueberry t-shirt:

On the other hand, speaking of "past the sale date," this Greedo shirt has a charming simplicity to it. I can't remember ever seeing just a plain ol' Greedo shirt before. At long last, the Greedo fan base is being catered to.

p. 342 - The Smurfs Quick-Stepping Smurf Figure:

"Get down and funky with the grooviest Smurf ever - Quick-Steppin' Smurf! He's down with the lingo, he's got all the moves, and he'll smurf up the dance floor like no other Smurf!"

Okay, first...whose grandpa wrote that solicitation copy? And second, I'm assuming there's a sound chip involved somewhere, which has me hoping there's an option to have the Smurf sing the "la la lalala la la lala" bit from the cartoons. A whole room of these singing that Smurf refrain could quite possibly be the creepiest thing ever.

p. 346 - Obama 8-inch Plush:

I don't know, man...just sayin'.

p. 346 - Sleepy Joe the Egg:

That's almost like the barest minimum you'd require to make a brand new copyrightable character. I actually kind of admire that. "And here's our other new character, 'Finger Line Drawn in Sand!'"

p. 348 - Barbie Bond Girl Dolls:

Finally, my overly-airbushed fashion magazine cover model dolls have arrived!

p. 349 - Twilight New Moon Jacob Doll:

I'm assuming that they're not even bothering to include a shirt with this doll.

p. 362 - Star Wars Jango Fett Scaled Helmet Replica:

Severed Jango Fett head not included.

p. 364 - World of Warcraft Wearable Tabards:

So close to World of Warcraft Snuggies. So close.

(Chainmail not included, by the way.)

p. 372 - Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Be@rbrick Set:

Frankly, there's not enough Night of the Living Mickey merchandise out there.

p. 372 - Wolverine & The X-Men Wolverine 1/2-Scale Bust:

NOTE: Not a sex toy.

p. 380 - KISS Commemorative Knives:

Some of you may remember this story I told way back when about my inadvertent offending of a KISS fan. Here's how the story may have played out had KISS knives been available at the time:

...A customer brings up the newest issue of the "KISS" comic book and started talking to me about how great it is that there's all this new KISS stuff coming out. I replied, absolutely without any malice, that it was very interesting that a band that was once big and popular could fade away for several years then come back so strongly.

The customer then got very angry with me, shook his finger at me and proclaimed "KISS NEVER FADED AWAY! THEY WERE ALWAYS POPULAR!" (STAB STAB STAB)

p. 381 - Personality Pose Pooh Figurine:

I could have gone my whole life without seeing Winnie-the-Pooh in paisley underpants.



I mean, those are underpants, right? Otherwise Winnie-the-Pooh is smearing his nether regions with honey and oh God my childhood is ruined.

Also, they might have been more careful about hyphenating the word "figurines."

p. 385 - Giant Inflatable D20:

NOTE: Not a sex t...well, then again....

p. 391 - Cthulhu Dice:

I'm pretty sure this is exactly what H.P. Lovecraft hoped would result from his writings.

Marvel Previews p. 62 - Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way #1 & #2:

(Video not safe for work. Or maturity.)

Marvel Previews p. 108 - Avengers The Contest Premiere HC:

Oh, c'mon. I know there's other stuff in it, but if you're going to put out a hardcover edition of the Marvel Super-Hero Contest of Champions mini-series, an epic classic of incredibly dopey superhero comics, at least respect it enough to put the full name on the cover. I mean, honestly.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"iM TRiPPiN RiTE N0W! WH0O0O!" 

  • The Variants, the web-only short comedy film series set at a comic shop, has a new installment up, and I suggest you give it a peek. ...It's funny, because it's true.

  • Some cable channel or 'nother apparently decided that it had too many viewers, and thus is running the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film multiple times this week. And having caught it once or twice during those showings, I sort of realized something: I don't completely hate this film.

    Don't get me wrong -- it is a bad movie. But it's kind of fun, if you take it on its own entirely brainless, illogical, anachronistic terms. And if you can manage to forget, for a little while, that it was based on a comic that, at its worst, was still a million times better than any of this film's high points. Still, though, the Jekyll/Hyde business was nicely done, Dorian Gray made an interesting addition, and Captain Nemo looked good and imposing, if very shiny and blue.

    And yes, there are tons of problems with this movie and with dumbing-down of character concepts (Mina is a vampire woman? Oy.) and the fact the film both made Sean Connery retire and Alan Moore decide (I'm pretty sure) to no longer have a damned thing to do with any movies based on his work.

    But hell, I wasn't doing anything else, I'll watch it for free.

  • Employee Aaron has pointed me in the direction of Swamp Thing shoes, custom-painted in tribute to our favorite muck-encrusted mockery of a man. I think they're pretty neat looking, and if you don't believe me, try this reader testimonial from that site's comment section:

    "MAN diZS iSHH iZS 2 H0T f0R TV! iM TRiPPiN RiTE N0W! WH0O0O!"

    Well said!

  • So I was e-mailing some pals and for some reason Star Wars came up, as it tends to do every few weeks or so, and I happened to mention "hey, remember that aborted book series that would have tied Star Wars to Earth?" My pals said "er, no" so I showed them this Wookieepedia entry. I'm pretty sure I've discussed this before here on the site, where the idea was space colonists escape from Earth in the 25th century, get caught in a space/time riptide or some damned thing and end up a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

    Anyway, further Wookieepedia investigation revealed another attempt at connecting the Star Wars Universe to Earth, in this entry about the Star Wars galaxy, under "Behind the Scenes." I'll let you read it, but basically it involves E.T. The Extraterrestrial and just how far, far away said galaxy may actually be from our own.

    Eventually, I ended up on the R2-D2 page, where there's a mention of, well, not explicitly an Earth connection, but definitely a beloved bit of our world culture:

    "...There is a humorous scene in the Star Wars: Droids episode 'Tail of the Roon Comets' in which R2-D2 turns on a jukebox and begins to breakdance. This was likely intended by the writers as humor. However, some fans question the possibility of the moves R2-D2 performs in the episode. Nevertheless, the breakdance scene is assumed canonical until an official source confirms it is non-canon."

    There's an accompanying illustration of Artoo busting his droid moves here, but you haven't seen anything 'til you've seen the video. He moonwalks. MOONWALKING ASTROMECH IS GO.

    (Thanks to Adam Knave for telling me of the video's existence. ...That's who to blame, folks!)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sometimes I just feel like blowing up images from comic ads to a large size. 

I would totally wear the "Let's Boogie" shirt. And let's face it, the "Foxy" shirt would just be redundant on me.

This ad was from the back cover of a 1970s Archic Comics issue. I wonder if anyone's currently manufacturing these designs as a retro thing. And I wonder who originally drew these.

While you're pondering that...get a load of THIS, maaaaaaan:

Monday, January 04, 2010

I forgot that I'm a blogger, so I'd better blog! 

"Yipes! I forgot I'm a witch!"

"Oops! I, Sgt. Fury, forgot that I hate Nazis, and therefore I'd better start shooting them instead of sending them presents."

"Crap! I, the Human Torch, forgot I was on fire. Er...sorry about the couch, sis."

"D'oh! I, Batman, forgot I hate crime! Let me stop helping these criminals rob this bank and I shall instead punch them and throw car batteries at them!"

"Whoops! I, Spider-Man, forgot that I was married! No, really, that's what happened!"

"Well, shoot...I, Jonah Hex, forgot I was disfigured. I'll have to change which side of my face I present to the camera during my many portrait sittings."

"Ah, poop...I, the Thing, forgot I was big and rocky. These Speedos are going to look terrible."

"Darn...I, Wonder Woman, forgot that I am a wonderful woman, and had best get started on womaning up some wondrous womany-type woman stuff."

"Don't this beat all...I, Ant Man, forgot that I'm the size of an ant. You'd think that'd be sort of obvious to me."

"Well, duh...I, Man-Thing, forgot that I can't talk, therefore              "

images from Sabrina #40 (August 1977)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Laugh #197 (August 1967). 

1. The night prior to the test, Archie, instead of studying for his exam, spends his time constructing his protest sign. Thus does Archie become the very embodiment of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Ms. Grundy is aware of the irony inherent in his actions, but will Archie himself ever learn?

2. Archie carries protest sign materials in his school bag at all times, for occasions such as these. Ms. Grundy, supposedly proctoring the test, is in fact too easily distracted by her admiration and self-congratulation over her neatly-arranged books at the front of her desk to notice Archie's surreptitious assembly of his sign. It is not until he waves the sign above his head that Ms. Grundy realizes the true extent of Archie's inability to adhere to the curriculum.

3. Archie finds himself frustrated by the test and, seeking distraction, pokes through the contents of his desk. Within he finds the pieces of a protest sign, requiring only simple assembly, left by another student. Archie silently thanks the student's foresight, and pieces together the sign.

3a. Prior to algebra class, Reggie sneaks into the room and leaves the pieces of the sign in Archie's desk, knowing his rival will be unable to resist the temptation of presenting such a ridiculous display in the face of Archie's own inability to finish the test successfully. Archie will thus be diminished in Veronica's eyes, yet again, leaving the way open for Reggie's advances.

4. Archie sleeps, and sleeping, he imagines himself in algebra class, a class (he dreams) that he had missed attending all semester, only to find himself finally making it to a session just in time for the big test. Woefully unprepared, Archie feels the shame slowly burning up his dream-self's cheeks, stirring the real Archie ever so slightly from his sleep. He enters that state between dream-sleep and waking, a brief moment of lucid dreaming that allows Archie to alter the state of his subconscious imaginings. He has his dream-self whip out a funny protest sign out of nowhere, giving his uncomfortable nightmare a happy resolution.

Archie wakes, a light smile on his lips, until he realizes he actually does have a test today.

5. "Where's my sign?" thinks Jughead, having not yet looked to his right to see that his friend Archie had snagged it prior to the test.

6. "Archie's trying to be funny," thinks Moose, "but this exam really is hard. I don't belong in this class. I barely belong in this school." Moose's eyes tear up slightly, but he wipes them before anyone can notice. "Everybody thinks I'm just a big, dumb animal, and they're right. Why should I be anything else? Why pretend I can better myself?"

Moose ponders for a moment. "I'll beat up Archie after class. That'll make me feel better." And suddenly Moose does feel slightly better, but there's an undercurrent of sadness beneath that feeling that Moose tries, not entirely successfully, to ignore.

7. The apple is unconcerned with Archie's antics. It has its own problems.

This is an archive page for the old Blogger version of Progressive Ruin, kept around to maintain all the old permalinks. Please visit the main page for the current version of this site. Thanks for visiting, and sorry for the inconvenience!

Copyright © 2003-10 Mike Sterling. Some images used are copyright © their respective copyright owners.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?