mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Hey! New feeds for my site! 

With the change to Wordpress comes new feeds for your feed readers, so please resubscribe here:


Thanks, pals!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Blogging about Wordpress is a sin. 

Gang, I'm finally in the process of making that jump to Wordpress from Blogger, due to Blogger's impending removal of certain publishing tools that I use to produce this award-winning content day in and day out. (NOTE: No awards have actually been won by this site.)

As such, I spent most of my Tuesday evening transferring posts from one spot to another, messing around with templates, and not coming up with a post for today. So I apologize, and hopefully soon I can finish up and get at least a barebones Wordpress version of my site going. Not sure if my rotating "since 1969"/"what people are saying about PR" thingies will make the transition, but we'll see.

Another problem is the comments, which may not make the transfer and makes all that hoohar about the changing comments system sort of moot. I think there's a Wordpress install for the comments system I'm using, but I'll look into it this evening. (I'm writing this at past midnight Wednesday morning, by the way...say, don't I have to break down a new comics order in a few hours?)

One question I want to ask you folks...the Wordpress theme I plan on using (essentially the same one pal Dorian is using, but with one sidebar) has the option of an 800 pixel-wide display, or a 1024 pixel-wide one. I'm leaning towards 1024, but I want to hear what you folks think, so please let me know.

Thanks in advance for your patience over the next couple of days as I try to make this transition.

A handful of links:

  • It's episode 7 of The Variants! It's like your comic shop, but funnier!

  • War Rocket Ajax interviews the boys from El Gorgo! Stick around through the end of the interview to hear an awful, awful question I submitted to be asked of these poor guys.

  • Over at Coimcs Alliance, Chris Sims has a new installment of Chris Vs. Previews, which is kind of like my End of Civilization posts, except that son-of-a-bitch gets paid for it. Plus, he totally borrowed a joke from my Previews write-up for his article, which he asked if he could do, and I of course said yes, because why? Because Chris and I are BROTHERS IN COMICS, that's why.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Pied Piper Graphic Album #1: Hero Alliance - End of the Golden Age GN (Pied Piper Press, 1986). 

I remember an extensive preview in Amazing Heroes catching my attention for this graphic novel (by Kevin Juaire, David Campti, Ron Lim, Michael Whitherby, and others) and subsequent series. In a way, it was kind of a proto-Astro City, throwing the reader into a generational superhero saga with just a touch of poignancy and a focus on how superheroes and "the real world" interact. This initial installment focuses on Victor, one of the last original heroes still active, and his encounter with the villainous son of a former comrade. Here's a quick shorthand sequence of how Victor experienced the passage of time and changing attitudes:

This came out during the period of reimaginings of superheroes in "realistic" terms, trying to play out the implications of superheroic activity and relationships to their logical ends. Watchmen and Marvelman and even Mark Gruenwald's Squadron Supreme series were part of this movement, if not outright defining it, and Hero Alliance kind of falls within this spectrum. Maybe more toward Squadron Supreme's more "traditional superhero" end than the "dismantling of the genre" end of the Alan Moore works, but it's definitely an attempt at a more mature superhero story.

The follow-up monthly series from Innovation unfortunately didn't keep my interest for all of its short run (I only bought 11 of the 17 issues), and it did have maybe a few too many cheesecake-y covers, which wasn't unusual for this particular publisher. But for a while there, Hero Alliance was an interesting series, and a reasonably successful experiment in an alternate take on superheroic funnybooks. I wouldn't mind seeing this reprinted in a volume or two for modern audiences, someday.

Monday, February 01, 2010

This is pretty much exactly what Samuel Taylor Coleridge had in mind. 

from Batman #142 (September 1961)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

And you thought "Paste Pot Pete" was a terrible villain name. 

Not only does "Parade-Hater-Horace" have a remarkable name, get a load of his swank costume:

His mom so totally made that for him. "Oh, Horace, why must you be so negative? Why can't you like parades?" "Mooooom, just put what I told you on the sweater!"

This is the Iverson they're talking about...how could Parade-Hater-Horace hate a parade comprised of these fine pieces of modern engineering?

EDIT: Just been informed that the weblog Comics Make No Sense addressed the Parade-Hater-Horace situation just recently. You know, I swear I Googled it before I posted. Ah, well.

In other news:
  • Andrew Weiss has unleashed another installment of "Growing Up 2600" - his ongoing series about the classic and not-so-classic games of the Atari 2600 video game system. I'm proud to say this particular installment was inspired by yours truly, so I invite you to go check it out and find out just how cheap I can be.

  • FOLLOW-UP to the story of the mystery certificates/coins/dolls from last week: turns out these girls were somehow offended by Employee Timmy when he did not invite them to his birthday party, and thus formed the Anti-Timmy Force 4 (hence the ATF4), dedicated to...making out certificates for the store and, um, dropping coins outside our door, and...basically, having no impact on Timmy at all, since I'm the person cleaning all this up.

    Or, to sum all that up more succinctly: high schoolers. So there you go.

  • DC is offering Flash and Green Lantern rings to tie into the Brightest Day promotion connected to Flash #1 and Green Lantern #53. Seems odd to me that another green ring is being offered so shortly after the last one, and a small part of me (probably the pinkie toe) thinks that we're in fact getting a white ring in this promotion, and it's simply being advertised as a green ring for the time being to avoid spoilers for future issues of Blackest Night. If so, there would still be plenty of time for DC to go "hey, it's actually a white ring" and for retailers to adjust their final orders, after the point when spoilers are no longer a worry.

    Of course, this all assumes there's going to be a white ring to begin with, which may be sorta kinda implied by some of the Brightest Day ad art. But just so we're clear...I'm fully aware this is likely just a bunch of crazy talk on my part.

    ...This is what I think about instead of important things.

  • Here are some important things...some important Swamp Things, that is:

    1. Jim Kingman writes a brief history and appreciation of Swamp Thing supporting character The Patchwork Man.

    2. Comic book-themed wedding centerpieces...including a couple of...well, guess who.

  • Dear Superman: NEVER do this again:

    from World's Finest #241 (Oct. 1976) by Bob Haney, Pablo Marcos & John Calnan

    Not magically altered, not under the influence of Red Kryptonite...Superman here is revealing the superpower of being able to balloon up to enormous site after inhaling, well, in this case, a sizable amount of human-breathable atmosphere.

    Oh, Bob Haney, you nutty guy!

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