“Suddenly, twelve years later….”

§ December 5th, 2015 § Filed under suddenly... § 15 Comments

Twelve years? Why, it feels like no more than eleven years and a few months that I’ve been at this, writing a silly comics blog and trying to entertain those few people I don’t otherwise annoy. But here I remain, plugging away at it when time allows…I still enjoy doing it, and I hope you folks out there still enjoy reading it, and thank you for doing so.

Thanks also to my extremely patient girlfriend Nora, my parents, pal Dorian, my fellow bloggers, my customers, and of course Neilalien, First Among Comic Bloggers.

Speaking of customers, my store Sterling Silver Comics is still movin’ along as well, now having completed the first year and one month of its hopefully long life. It’s been long enough that I’ve now lost count of the number of people who have shouted “BIG BANG THEORY!” or “SHELDON!” in and outside of the premises. That’s okay, they mean well.

I also got to meet a handful of people that I’ve known primarily from the Internet, such as longtime reader of the site Walaka, who wrote up a very nice review of my store right here. Longtime blogging brother Tim O’Neil has been good enough to pop into the shop a couple of times. The amazing Karla Pacheco (creator of America’s most evil book Inspector Pancakes Helps the President of France Solve the White Orchid Murders) stopped in, and don’t tell anybody, but she’s a sweetheart! And then there was that time I met up with the artist Coop (link NSFW, probably!) at his Los Angeles studio to get my filthy capitalist mitts on his funnybooks. And several other folks who’ve been reading this goofy website came into my shop anyway, so thanks to them, too!

Despite the lighter posting schedule here caused by your pal Mike being at the shop seven days a week, I still threw in with the group comics blog Trouble with Comics. I’ve only been a participant in the weekly Question Time segment, but I find it a useful and entertaining writing exercise, occasionally forcing me to think about and write upon topics I wouldn’t necessarily address. …And hey, the rest of the site is good, too!

And of course, I’m still nattering away on the Twitters, where you can follow me at @mikesterling (literally “at at-mikesterling” but it looks funny without the second “at”). There, you can see me tweet about my day-to-day store happenings:






Once in a while I get the best of compliments:


Sometimes I ponder the very nature of comics retailing:


Then there are the reactions I receive to the very idea of a comic shop:




You can also catch my opinions on recognition by the public and my peers:


Or you can see my insightful media commentary:



And of course, my behind the scenes thoughts on comics blogging:


Speaking of blogging, I did manage to do some this year. My End of Civilization posts have been curtailed somewhat, but they’ll be back someday. In the meantime, please enjoy some of these pseudo-highlights from the previous twelve months:


Still waiting for that Lego Superhero comic, Spawn: still no reboot, I’m still doing this, Swamp Thing’s new uniform, somehow I combine a newspaper article about my store with tales about shipping stuff to prisons, a Christmas gift from a little stuffed bull to me, rare! hot! l@@k! Malibu and Death of Superman variants!


Will Tom Servo read Swamp Thing in the MST3K reboot, they never did fix Miracleman #14, I look at your predictions for 2014 (parts 1 2 c % Q #), hey Mike just opened a store let’s screw with his orders, forget what I wrote (particularly the bit where I held out some hope for the Fantastic Four movie) just ENJOY THE DANCING GROOTS.


Dirty filthy dirty comics, an odd Hulk variant I hadn’t seen before, you don’t get characters named “Miss Bikini Luv” too much anymore, Superboy Vs. Man-Thing Vs. Swamp Thing, water-skiing superheroes of the 1970s, an unpublished Swamp Thing cover, I willed this art into being, so long Mr. Nimoy.

MARCH 2015

Star Trek between-movie continuity is weird, Curt Swan Spock, Spock visits the Next Generation in comics prior to the TV show, the Grand Comics Database now has a scan of this comic thanks to me (see?), the atomic number of palladium is 46 – geez do I have to explain everything, man I love these Dr. Fate comics, this is one beat up copy of Venus.

APRIL 2015

Not even the slightest bit of sympathy from Superman for comic book artists, who knows what evil lurks in these Shadow toys, Venom can really talk you guys, so long Herb, the day I broke my Swamp Thing collection, man I was really nervous about how Free Comic Book Day was going to go at my new store, only about 3/4th of a cover away from one of those blank sketch covers.

MAY 2015

Prepping for Free Comic Book Day at the new shop, Before, During and After FCBD, sometimes jokes force me to do them, always time to talk about DC’s logos, THIS MAN THIS WHALE, feel kinda bad for layin’ into Valiant this hard but c’mon, this is one of the earliest comic book “Easter Eggs” I remember spotting, hey I actually managed to sell this comic in the store a while back.

JUNE 2015

These hands have done terrible things, I complain about the whole Shazam thing again, I can’t believe I made it this far along on the blog without telling my story about The One, you will never be as amazing as Christopher Lee, turns out the latest issue of the series being discussed was a fill-in more or less, pretty sure I can do this entire opening monologue by memory, I discuss the current Superman storylines while apologizing for my misinterpretation of how they were being handled…hey, I’m allowed my yearly mistake.

JULY 2015

I love blowing up details from cartoons, I still have trouble dealing with the idea of Rerun, I talk about the then-forthcoming return of Bloom County like a whole day before it returned, people still ask if I take credit cards (and here’s a follow-up), that Comics Code stamp still cracks me up, a small review of Ant-Man appropriately enough.


I sure have a lot to say about a movie I haven’t seen yet, in fact here’s some Dr. Doom talk inspired by the movie, oh Good Lord a third post, well Iron Man sales are a tiny bit higher than before but there was still a good-sized cut from #1 to #2, still trying to get a pull quote on any comic, I haven’t put the magazine back yet, Jack Kirby’s second greatest character, so long Wes.


Nearly sold all those Famous Monsters…except the one pictured of course, these are a couple of my favorite books, sometimes I’m sure a thing is worth money, the DC mini-implosion, my readers turn a throw-away gag into art, “Giant-Size Man-Thing” is the gift that just keeps on giving, Superman Vs. Cheerios, na na na na na na na na BAT-DAY.

OCT 2015

I answer your questions (parts 1 2 3 4 5 6), who doesn’t like a nice tall glass of Meat Nog, the anniversary of leaving my previous place of employment, compare and contrast two Swamp Thing figures, I never grow tired of Harvey Comics, the greatness of Curt Swan (and a follow-up).


Hey my store made it a whole year somehow, I guess none of you know anything about this comic either, at long last the third glow-in-the-dark Swamp Thing figure the world needed, at this rate I’ll get around to reading this in 2018, but I did flip through it enough to write this semi-overview, just get Rob Liefeld to wrap up this series – you know he’d do it, America’s Greatest Comic Book, REBOOT TO THE HEAD.


Really the only post for this month prior to the anniversary – that’s what sickness does to you!

• • •

In all sincerity, thank you so much for reading my site, whether you’ve been with me from the beginning or just started today. I greatly appreciate it.

For reading all that, here’s a pic of me from several years ago, clearly having no time for your shenanigans:


Thanks again, everyone, and I’ll see you on Monday.

15 Responses to ““Suddenly, twelve years later….””

  • Walaka says:

    Congratulations, Mike! Looks like we won’t be coming down to California for the holidays after all… I was hoping to start an annual pilgrimage to the store. Oh, well – I’ll just have to keep following the blog! All the best, pal!


    OR…Since you like lunch from the Chinese place next door, if
    “With SIX you get Eggroll”, then with
    12 you must get TWO!

    I have NO idea what that means.
    Just HAPPY DAY to you!


  • stavner says:

    Congratulations, Mike!

  • Yagr of Nar says:

    Congratulations on providing twelve years of entertainment. And you even survived the Daily Blogging experiment! Few artists manage a dozen consecutive years of such appealing work; you’re in rare company. I’m hoping to read a dozen more!

  • Susan says:

    Happy Anniversary, Mike!

  • Bruce Baugh says:

    Well, Mike, it’s like this. You keep writing stuff I like to read, and I’ll keep reading it.

    Happy anniversary! Just think, your blog’s about to hit puberty!

  • ScienceGiant says:

    La multi ani! Congratulations, Mr. Sterling. I wish just like there is a DJ Earworm to mix together all the top of the pop songs of the year, there was an MC to mix together all your best blog posts!

  • Nate A. says:

    I’ve said it on previous anniversaries, but I’ll say it again: This was one of the first comics blogs I read… I’m from Paso Robles, but by the time I found it I was in grad school in Pittsburgh. Somehow, the blog reminded me of being a kid in California’s Central Coast. To this day, I’m not sure exactly why, except that I spent a lot of times in Central Coast comic shops. Anyway, I continued to read, and will continue until you stop posting. Now I just need to make it into the new store. Congrats!

  • Cathy says:

    Congratulations!!! The world of comics is a better place with you in it.

  • Tom Cherry says:

    Happy anniversary and congratulations!

  • Casie says:

    You’re the greatest, Mike! Congratulations!

  • FxHx says:

    Michael. 12 years. Sheesh. We’re getting old, sir. Congratulations. Miss you, buddy.

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    I’ve been here for approximately 11 of those years. Like another poster above, this was my first comics blog. I picked up a few more, then whittled them back down and now this is my ONLY comics blog. If that doesn’t speak to quality, I don’t know what does.

  • philip says:

    Never leave us!

    Congrats, Mr. Sterling. It has been, and continues to be, loads of fun reading this here funny-book blog.

  • John says:

    Happy Anniversary Mike! Your site is my favorite and is one of the best comics reference tools out there. Many thanks and many more years of comics writing and selling to come.