“Suddenly, seventeen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2020 § Filed under suddenly... § 12 Comments

Seventeen years of me…yes, it’s true, even though the way this past year has been it feels more like that number should be in the thirties, somewhere. But, I started this dumb thing in December 2003 and no one’s stopped me yet!

Of course, the thank yous: to my friends and family and girlfriend, who haven’t disowned me yet, and to you, the folks what keep reading blogs when all that cool kids are on their TikToks and whatnot, to pal Dorian who will still talk to me despite his best judgement, to all my other fellow bloggers active or fallen, and of course to Neilalien, Comics Blogger Number Uno.

Well, as we all know, this has been some year, but there have been a couple of upsides. A couple folks out there said “hey, there’s this guy who’s been selling comics for decades, let’s ask him questions about stuff he knows,” and that’s how I got a feature interview over at The Comics Journal, as well as being queried for this New York Times article.

My store is still doing well, despite everything…luckily with some hustling and some good customer support, I was able to ride out that two month shutdown. The shutdown also gave me time to start putting some of my recent back issue arrivals online…it’s just a spreadsheet, basically, but it’ll allow me to output the data in usable form should I decide to do something else with it.

Also this year, with my eyeball health situation going on and on and on, my resources were fairly drained and I still had some pricey treatments ahead. As such, I finally bit the bullet the did a GoFundMe…which was a lot more successful than I was expecting, and I really couldn’t thank you all enough for it. I haven’t closed it yet because I’ve still got more stuff down the pike, but I haven’t exactly gone out of my way to promote it lately either, since everyone was already so generous the first time. But, if things get really dire, as least it’s there if I need to push it again.

Sadly, we said goodbye to a little stuffed friend, Bully the Retired Bull, as he shuttered his website for good. Not to say he still isn’t out there, of course, doin’ what he does best. Being stuffed. And little.

In better news, November 5th was the sixth anniversary of my store, Sterling Silver Comics. This year was (and still is) a challenging one, but I’m hanging in there!

I did manage to get out a couple Ends of Civilization, as well as a couple of timely Sluggo Saturdays. So, you know, the old favorites haven’t been forgotten, just trotted out when the time is right.

And of course, I’m always doin’ something stupid on Twitter, the worst place, where…

…it’s never too late for a Death of Superman joke:

…I experience the joys of aging:

…I posit DC’s next R-rated animated film:

…I prepare to open the floodgates:

…I occasionally get political:

…I expand the cultural horizons of my customers:

…I discuss my comics pricing techniques:

…and of course I reflect on the fact that I’ve been doing this comics blog for seventeen years:

Speaking of blogging, here’s some of that very thing I got up to over the past year:

DECEMBER 2019

Well I’ve had some laser treatments but no full-on eyeball surgeries since then, Superman’s secret identity now with less secret, the Doomsday Clock postmortem with added “universe-changing events” context.

JANUARY 2020
I thought this was a pretty good panel with which to kick off 2020, trying to keep Superman current vis-à-vis his trunks, “Hulk Smash Hit Record” (and a follow-up).

FEBRUARY 2020

You mean I could have had this Nolan Ryan comic for only $2.50, Tumbleweeds dammit, oh yeah Alfred’s totally dead for sure, Funko-ous Cube, out: Bronze Age Superman – In: Disco Superman, frankly I need to be stuck on an island to catch up on comics, Mike vs. the new speculator market, pricin’ up those Elves with Guns, I have exactly one copy left of that cardstock cover for Batman #92.

MARCH 2020

My Blip collection has not progressed further, I’m still on the Bad Idea retailers list, COVID-19 business worries alleviated slightly by adrawing by Matt Digges, yet more COVID worries, and the shutdown begins, was pretty worried I’d have to close down for good there + FCBD talk, Diamond’s shutdown, the most timely of Sluggo Saturdays, still doin’ okay business during the plague times.

APRIL 2020

The likability or lack thereof of Jason Todd, new characters with possible staying power (nd follow-up), I still need to get all those Comic Book Galaxy posts up and linked again, distribution follies in the time of COVID, I retell yet again that story about the Star Wars treasury edition, New Comics Tuesday, ’90s hot comics and also the Omega Men.

MAY 2020

Deathmate talk, it’s all the fault of Star Wars. well we thought reopening would be okay, the oldest digital images I have that aren’t pictures of a certain MTV VJ, heck yeah 1990s Swamp Thing TV show, actually all things considered I’m doing okay business now (with follow-up), I stil have this dumb box just floatin’ around the store.

JUNE 2020

If you don’t like me being very slighlty overty political on occasion tough cookies, DC bails entirely on Diamond, leaving JLA/Avengers and thus piles of money on the table, intercompany crossovers 1 2 3 and more to come, Warren Ellis and supporting problematic creators, the most sinful of “blogging about blogging is a sin” posts, brought on by Bully’s retirement.

JULY 2020

Oh no more blogging talk, and even more old man shouts at clouds about blogging, negative space advertising, lazy cover design, I like this screengrab of Doom Patrol I got, The Walking Dead now in living Technicolor, more on comic book reprint series.

AUGUST 2020

I think ultimately I made money on Three Jokers and am still selling them even today, but it’s way easy to lose money trying to predict what’s “investible” (and follow-up), reading about the DC Implosion while another DC Implosion is going on (plus follow-up), have an online presence for your store for God’s sake, a COVID comic reading poll, the relative meaning of “old comics,” you all talk about old comics and what happened to them, Three Jokers #1 and the shocking Swamp Thing connection, look out it’s DC continuity!

SEPTEMBER 2020

Look, I’m just going to bring up Odd Bodkins every few years and we’re just going to have to deal with it, are we having comics blogging yet, I’m sure this ‘zine smelled great when it was fresh, the mid-ish ’80s comics industry and my beginnings in funnybook retail, finally got a Cerebus #1 sorta, DC Universe is dead — long live DC Universe, Aardvark-Vanaheim comics that aren’t Cerebus, oh hey there Three Jokers #2.

OCTOBER 2020

Yet another comics-related vinyl record I’ve scouted out, it’ll take longer to read this post than it will to read the Angriest Dog in the World book, too much Joker, my Piggly Wiggly lies exposed (also a comic I totally Silly-Puttied), be careful with your colored word balloons, the black vans haven’t come for me yet so I guess it’s okay to have this comic, “Omaha” the Cat Record, some Warlord love and dead stock, Big Bang Theory and the elusive Jughead (plus follow-up), Three Jokers #3 – the shocking conclusion.

NOVEMBER 2020

Weird comic pricing hijinks, still can’t believe it included a Tumbleweeds parody (plus what do I mean by “local market conditions”), someday I’ll finish reading all the DC Comics Presents, I go on about comic ages again (and again) and talk more about back issue pricing, the Archie comic that doesn’t exist but should, go to the comments for the link to that long-lost MP3 of me, Marvel movie talk.

DECEMBER 2020

DC movie talk, and here’s a long-lost article I wrote for another site in 2006.

And there you go. Again, thanks to everyone who’s ever found even the slightest bit of worth in reading my excessive, somewhat typo-ridden, ramblings, and then come back for more anyway. Your readership, your comments, your emails, your (hint hint) purchases from my store…it all reminds me about how much I love this business, this pasttime, and the people I’ve met doing it. Especially the purchases. Those BIG, BIG purchases.

For reading all that, you get this picture of me taking a brief break at work:

Thanks, and I’ll see you again in a couple of days.

12 Responses to ““Suddenly, seventeen years later….””

  • Brian says:

    As one of two actual comics blogs that I know still exist in a “still being updated” form, I salute you sir. Although realizing that I’ve been reading this thing for at least fifteen years makes me feel a bit Pre-Crisis…

  • Hey, Happy Anniversary! I “celebrated” 15 years earlier this year by pointing out that yours was one of the ones that inspired me to blog, so congratulations on that one. I enjoy reading, and I really do hope to visit the store one day. I don’t get out to Cali too often, unfortunately. Keep it up!

  • You are an inspiration! As a former C (maybe B) list conix blogger back in the day, and having seen some (and some very good) sites come and go, you have been as constant as the northern star. Thanks for all the good stuff.

    Of course, it’s hard to believe you’ve lasted this long when you misspell the name of your own store in an anniversary post…

    Congratulations, Mike!

  • Mikester says:

    Walter – that misspelling was just testing my true fans, to see if they caught it!

  • John Jakala says:

    Congratulations on the anniversary and milestone, Mike!

    Until this blog is rebooted as the grim-n’-gritty “Conservative Construction,” Make Mine Mikester!

  • Jack says:

    When I look at my bookmarks, yours is the only comics related blog left, and I have essentially stopped reading comics period. I buy the odd trade every now and again, but basically comics are in the past for me. Still hanging around because you’re a cool dude, Mike. Plus you’re the only other person I know who likes Frank Miller’s The Spirit, which counts for double.

    Here’s for another year of “THEN…KOREA!”

  • Thom H. says:

    Congratulations on both anniversaries, blog and store! I bet having one of the few still-published, well-written, and entertaining comic blogs helped get you that press coverage. Worth the effort, hopefully.

    I know I appreciate all the time and attention you give this blog. It’s one of the few bright spots in an otherwise stressful year. Thank you!

  • There has to be a way to a THEN…SLUGGO! panel.

    Peace out, Mike. Keep your eyes working. We’ll put this dumpster file out soon. (And I don’t mean your blog.)

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    I’ve been trying to remember when I started reading the blog. I’m pretty certain it was around 2005. No idea how I found it! Congratulations on 16 years!

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    Heh, 17 years! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention…yeah…that’s the ticket….

  • Snark Shark says:

    “I’m the Goddamn Batman!”

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