“Suddenly, sixteen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2019 § Filed under suddenly... § 15 Comments

Somehow I’ve made it sixteen years doing this silly site here, and thanks to all of you who’ve bucked the trend, reading blogs long past that medium’s heyday. Thanks also to my friends and family, who support this endevour by not explicitly opposing it, to my girlfriend Nora who still seems okay with me doing this, to pal Dorian who was there at the beginning, and of course to Neilalien, the firstest and the bestest of the comicwebloggers.

The predominant theme for the past year as been “Mike’s eyeballs,” as I’ve undergone multiple issues and surgeries throughout the last several months…and at times even being pretty darn close to being entirely unable to see. I’m a lot closer to being done wtih all this now, but you may have noticed a relative paucity of posts over the past year as I had to take time off from the site due to assorted eye operations, or straight-up near-blindness, which prevented me from posting pictures of Swamp Thing or Sluggo or both. My End of Civilization posts even took bit of a hit of late.

Like I said, I am almost through all this, though I do have one more operation next week and we’ll see where I’m at after that. But I don’t plan on giving up the blog anytime soon…long as you guys will have me, I’ll be around.

Oh, and my store had its fifth anniversary this year, as I entered my 31st year of working in comics retail. I should probably get a real job at some point, but in the meantime…stop by my store! Say hi! Buy stuff! Buy lots of stuff! Maybe even pick up something off the eBays! I won’t mind!

Speaking of the store, I started posting a lot more on the shop’s Instagram this year. Lots of pics of stuff in and around the store, but I also realized “wait, I have sixteen years’ worth of pics I posted on my blog to pick from, too” so you may see some old ProgRuin favorites on there occasionally. No, I haven’t hit them with “Then…KOREA” yet…not sure they’re ready.

And as always, you can find me on Twitter usually commplaining about something or making stupid jokes, or you can follow my store there too. My store’s on Facebook if you are still putting up with that site.

So one of the side effects of my ongoing eyeball problems is that my ability to read stuff onscreen is hampered a little bit, though the recent acquisition of a much larger monitor seems to help a bit. Anyway, please excuse the occasional misspelling or whatnot as you peruse the archives of recent memory…try to collect them all! Just something I thought I’d mention before directing you to the following links of highlights and lowlights from the past twelve months of ProgRuin history:


I mark my first eye surgery in the most tasteful manner, the aftermath of said surgery, here’s the worst thing to do with a guy with one working eye, a Christmas post so great I don’t know if I can top it this year, I give you a beautiful GIF from Teen Titans Go! to the Movies.


Oh Bob Haney and your Teen Titans dialogue, still haven’t started on getting those early Cerebus (and a follow-up), I promise you I was only joking about the gift I gave pal Dorian, I look back at your predictions for 2018 which I’m linking to with just the post tag because I don’t want to link each individual post here, ffthe Penguin’s Harley Quinn.


Marvel’s guide to funnybook collecting, comic book “ages” – always a hilarious topic, I’m an easy mark for Nexus/Badger nostalgia, the very Dalgoda store signs that the other shop had on display before I even worked there, Fantastic Four #347 hype, I regret to inform you that someone did indeed register that domain name, we don’t talk enough about this horrible subject line (or about my Herman Melville joke in the comments).

MARCH 2019:

Oh don’t get me started on the whole “his name is Shazam” thing, I go on about online store reviews, someone somewhere is mad that the HBO series isn’t a direct adaptation of Doomsday Clock, I really really hate those Marvel Value Stamps, I celebrate my 50th birthday with 50 things I’ve learned about comics and comics retail, the comic strip reprints of my youth, ANIMATED HAGAR, Mad paperbacks and I namedrop Sergio, already filled that shelf.

APRIL 2019:

Gotta stop getting eye surgeries as I’m running out of punny post titles, I could use four or five more of these to sell right now, I pay pals to speak good about my store, it finally happened — I made a 420 joke, oh hi Walmart thanks for checking in, I go into far more detail than you’ve ever wanted about my eyeballs.

MAY 2019:

Oh wait here’s more about my eyeballs, I did more on Free Comic Book Day with one eye than most people do with two, Swaqmp Thing and the recontextualizing of superheroes, a reconsideration of that first Superman/Swamp Thing team-up, those fancy comic sleeves from the ’90s ain’t so fancy now are they, China needs to answer for this Superman statue, an overview of the DC Universe streaming shows, six weeks off from reading comics and this is what I jump back in with.

JUNE 2019:

Oh hey this Swamp Thing TV show is pretty good — I’m sure it’ll last forever, fitting that they’re white like an albatross too, I’ve never seen this Barbie and Ken comic before, didn’t expect to write this much about John Byrne on my blog ever again, your once-every-six-months comic news update, a weird Watchmen-inspired album cover.

JULY 2019:

Oh man I forgot about this swell version of the Phantom Stranger we’ll never see again, don’t know how many people I’ve had to tell “no Mad isn’t going away,” still kinda cheesed off about how the end of The Walking Dead was handled, more Swamp Thing TV talk, your Donny Osmond joke of the day, grading them there bagged comics, surely this can’t be more Swamp Thing TV talk, variant covers – friend or foe?

AUGUST 2019:

And goodbye to Swamp Thing TV talk, the salty tongues of the DC Universe shows, Groo reprints and the lack thereof, reprint #1,000,000 of House of Secrets #92 that I own,


the big change in B.C. ain’t as big as you think, watching back issues become scarce in real time, online reaction versus in-store sales, superpowers in the Watchmen universe, a really Super watch, good gravy I’m also collecting parodies of the House of Secrets #92 cover, on being a (somewhat former) Swamp Thing completist (2 3) 4, Thor #337 really was a huge change, at long last New Universe talk, more X-Force #1 talk.


NANCY BOOKS NANCY BOOKS NANCY BOOKS, New Universe sales back in the day, comics I never owned but loom large in memory, I may have invoked some kind of demon with this post, bad eyes won’t stop me from keeping you informed about Swamp Thing comics, the only Halloween ComicFest picture you need to see.


Post #5001 – all about Boris the Bear, Reader John sent me a full run of the Dark Horse Roachmill because of this post so I’ll be posting about the first year of Action Comics next, the last Hellboy movie wasn’t the abomination I feared, the what of super-who, so long Tom, even more Death of Superman stuff (and more!), Marvel making a sow’s ear out of the silk X-purse.


Only one post so far this month, and it’s about that Dark Multiverse thing.

Thanks for sticking with me, friends, whether you just started reading my site or if you followed me over from LiveJournal back in 2003, or if you were putting up with me in the local Oxnard BBS scene before that.

And for reading all that…well, usually I post some old personal picture or something to post at the end of these, but I didn’t have anything ready. So, instead, you get this picture I just took of myself right now as I’m working on this post. Yes, I look tired…hey, you post on a blog for 16 years and tell me you’re not tired!

See you all next week.

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

  • Congratulations, Mike. You keep it coming and we’ll keep reading. Continued good luck with the eyes and the store!

  • Thom H. says:

    Congratulations on your blogiversary and your store-iversary!

    Good luck with your latest surgery. Here’s hoping that it’s the last one you have to endure!

  • William Ko says:

    Best wishes for continued health and blogging. 16 years go by so fast when we’re having fun!

  • King of the Moon says:

    It’s my comments that give you those white hairs

  • John Lancaster says:

    Well Mike, You are now 1 year passed me in the retailing, and since the place I was at shut down 3 years ago I’ve had to adjust to just being a customer at someone else’s shop – which still feels weird. I’ll head out to my storage and see if I can rummage up that first year of Action for you….maybe strip the cover from a Treasury and pull one over on you. I can’t believe I’m not sick of you yet.

  • Chris G says:

    Happy anniversary, Mike, and thanks for all the blogging!

  • ExistentialMan says:

    Happy Sweet Sixteen Mr. Sterling! I’m hoping for at least twenty-five more years of your quick-witted bloggery!

  • @misterjayem says:

    Fun fact: When ‘Cocoon’ reached theaters on June 21, 1985, Wilford Brimley was 18,530 days old.

    Today, YOU are 18,530 days old!!

    Congrats Mike — you’ve reached the Brimley/Cocoon Line.

    — MrJM

  • Mikester says:

    MrJM – this is the worst thing you could have possibly done to me.

  • John Lancaster says:

    But on Mars you’d only be 26 years old – Live it up!

  • Allan Hoffman says:

    Happy Blogiversary, Mike! Thanks for all the nuttiness.

  • Jack says:

    I take then you’re waiting for a strategic deployment of “Then…KOREA!”

    Seven years, still my favorite thing from this blog. Belated anniversary wishes!

  • Tom Cherry says:

    Happy Anniversary, Mike! Thanks for everything!

  • Jaume Albertí says:

    Thank you for all your blogging! Cheers!

  • Dario Delfino says:

    When the intro for the Swamp Thing show (I guess I should put “old” or “original” as an adjective now) would play on each episode, I was so young that I swore to Swamp Thing (the TV) that I wouldn’t bring my evil to the swamp like other humans.

    Just thought I’d share that here, it felt appropriate.

    Happy 16th Anniversary, Mikester! I wish you at least 16 happy more years, be they blogging or what have you. Peace!