“Suddenly, nineteen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2022 § Filed under suddenly... § 22 Comments

Yes, you’ve been putting up with me for nearly 20 years (or a subset thereof), through all the comic scans, the retail talk, the ballyhooing of Frank Miller’s The Spirit and All-Star Batman and Robin, though health issues, through leaving one comic shop and opening another, through all the TV shows and movies, through all the fads and NFTs (but I repeat myself), through…well, through one more year of perpetuating this internetally-ancient blog.

Thanks as always to my family and friends, pal Dorian (alas, his site postmodernbarney is no more, but we’ll find a way to get an archive back up somewhere), and as always, to the Founding Father of Comics Blogging, Neilalien. And a special thank you to Bully, the Little Substitute Bull, who filled in for me during a week where I had other obligations. (Links to those posts below!) And yet more thanks to the boys Todd and Joe at Longbox Heroes who regularly plug this site on their podcast!

And of course big thanks to all of YOU, not just because you’re still out there reading comic blogs, but for all your wonderful comments and emails and such. In a world where online discourse has just swirled straight down the toilet, I’m very lucky that 99.9% of my interaction with readers has been very positive. Honestly, I appreciate it a great deal.

Speaking of podcasts, like I was just right up there a few lines back, I made my stunning return to the internet airwaves discussing the 1981 film Heavy Metal on the Vintage Video Podcast. You can find a link to my post describing the experience below…that’s right, I’m not linking it right here, you have to search for it! HAR HAR HAR! Anyway, hopefully I’ll be back on there eventually, when you least expect it!

Now, onto the regular feature of these anniversary posts…what I’ve been getting up to on Twitter. As you’ve probably heard, Twitter’s been taken over by someone whose actions thus far have…inspired less than a huge amount of confidence, and while I don’t expect that platform to immediately crash into an iceberg or anything, the actual user experience there coiuld very well degrade to the point where I’ll do my social media-ing elsewhere. Like, for example, on Mastodon or cohost or Tumblr or The Hive (no web access on the last one, look for user name “mikester”).

As a result of this online tumult, I’ve revamped the mikesterling.com site showing all the places I’d been and am currently at. And, new as of just a few weeks ago, mikester.net will take you there as well. (Mikester dot com, alas, is on some domain sale site for stupid amounts of money.)

Anyhoo, back to the Twitters. Here are a few (final?) bon mots from that service for your perusal, demonstrating, for example, my customer relations:

…as well as my incisive breakdown of DC’s publishing strategies:

…and my ability to hold a grudge:

…plus my love for things that are bad for me:

…as well as my remembrance of the good ol’ days of comics blogging:

…with a little room for recalling the halcyon days of my youth:

…along with my inability to take a compliment:

…and those excellent marketing skills that Marvel always keeps calling upon me for:

…not to mention that my eyeball stuff is still a thing:

…and my crushing self-awareness:

…or some of these people’s lack thereof:

…plus my occasional run-in with a colliqual conundrum:

…and my encounter with a gentlement with excellent taste:

…as well as my insightful pop culture commentary:

…with a tad of skepticism:

…wrapping up with not just a clear delination of my fate upon this Earth:

…but a mysterious message as well:

So there you go…will those all be screenshots from my Mastodon account next year? We’ll just have to see!

Now, let’s see just what I’ve been up to here on this very site over the last year:

DECEMBER 2021

Let’s get lenticular, an appreciation of George Pérez, the sneaky way Marvel made you decide you wanted more expensive comics, those bait ‘n’ switch-y LEGO variants, I thought I picked a pretty good Booster Gold cover for this vaccination post, I sold the majority of these within a matter of a week or two, hey somebody wrote in these comics, some words on authenticating signatures.

JANUARY 2022

Some talk about the original black bagged Death of Superman comic, speaking of autographs pal Ian totally ruined the value of this comic, uh oh it’s looking at 2021 predictions time (parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 EPILOGUE).

FEBRUARY 2022

Detroit-era Justice League, putting the Marvel back in the Man, [Homer Simpson voice] “Especially YOU,” my previous place of employment becomes a previous place, yes it’s true the new comics rack has no Tick, “don’t kill trees” says this comic made from trees, SPOILER: my allocation was 10%, dueling witches,

MARCH 2022

Still have this sign on display at my shop, meanwhile the clock is still on a shelf at my house, one of my more subdued birthday posts, some questions about that sign, on ordering those ratio variants, CUTE SWAMP THING, who could forget “Birthquake” with promos like these, autographed by the real Spawn, the Turok mystery is solved with help from Longbox Heroes, so long Garry Leach.

APRIL 2022

An old Matt Wagner Mage promo, I deserve an Eisner for the title of this post about the EC Comics counter dump; Solson Comics – I have, won’t you; slow days at the shop; printing errors and the worst comic; talking to me is always a mistake; the only good thing featuring Azrael; what’s Metron’s deal anyway.

MAY 2022

Goodbye Ivy and Neal; Goodbye George; this year’s Free Comic Book Day postmortem; lookin’ at Marvel and DC’s African benefit funnybooks; more Death of Superman talk with extra bonus offense of Canadians; Swamp Thing International; ordering suggestions from ye olden tymes (and part two).

JUNE 2022

(And part three and part four); BULLY THE LITTLE STUFFED BULL WEEK: introSuperwinksbullvertisingBatstripsMarvelous – c-c-c-colorsSluggoAngelEPILOGUE; hey someone let me on their podcast for some reason; comic collecting in the ’90s was its own weird thing; BEWARE THE TOAD; seriously I’d still be selling these #1s if they still had codes; H.P. Bushmiller; Cerebus and Sale; that Wonder Woman dot-to-dot is still funny; the implied question of “why is your store still around?”

JULY 2022

DC promo stickers; Swamp Thing vs. the Hot Comics App; this year’s Freak Out Post; still not sure what the point of Dark Crisis is; didn’t think it’d be Plastic Man that would get me to revive the “racial sensitivity” tag; decided against buying all these variants; a rough rough rough Superman joke; the best Megaton Man panels; important Gelatinous Cube news; the Wedding of Superman – no, not that one; the whole numbering-of-Marvel’s-Earth thing; the Marvel multiverse vs. the DC multiverse.

AUGUST 2022

Turned out this wasn’t the gangbuster success the original was; this toy is terrible; it used to be pretty easy to explain DC’s multiple Earths; the forgotten parallel Batman; a rare original drawing from my mini-comics days; the parallel Earth that wasn’t a parallel Earth; making plans for Power Girl; the Joker vs. Hot Comics Apps; the non-mystery of Bruce Wayne’s age in Dark Knight; the history of Earth-S (or is it 5?); comic-age talk again.

SEPTEMBER 2022

Nancy and Sluggo kid’s book; SLUGGO NO; JSA health and beauty tips; the Joker’s real name ’til the next time they reveal his real name; Fantastic Four error variant; fighting for your publishing rights in your satin tights; Thrasher Comics; original art from the Swamp Thing board game; Popeye and the Adventure of the Missing Numbers; Lex Luthor and hair; more super-villain motivations; noted ASS man Roy Thomas.

OCTOBER 2022

Featuring the second-best Superman theme; now entering the Swamp Thing Zone; that whole Supergirl mess; whatever the Joker’s deal is; Batman Beyond for your amusement; a Magic Mountain post just for me; the optimism of filling a whole Miracleman box; Big Peanuts vs. Little Peanuts; no really it almost scared me; more on Mixie-Plick or whatever it is.

NOVEMBER 2022

The only issue of 1963 people might actually want to buy; goodbye Kevin; the return of the Death of Superman (and also, goodbye another Kevin); surprise more Death of Superman talk; Wedding of Superman and Lois orders; this Hero Magazine video is somethin’ else; the Flash is smooooookin’; someone else’s video on variants and the death-question-mark of blogging; still working on this collection.

DECEMBER 2022

I wish I’d scanned the pic of the dentist getting on Doctor Octopus’s case about his oral hygiene.

• • •

And there we go, one more year down, the big 20th anniversary on its way at the end of 2023! Will I make it? Will some of YOU make it? That remains to be seen, but in the meantime I’ll keep blogging, hopefully you’ll keep reading. Thank you for spending a bit of your time with me, and I’ll be back later in the week with CONTENT™.

For reading all that, here’s a pic of me from many years ago, sitting at my computer desk late at night, University of CA Santa Barbara mug in hand, probably working on a post for this site:

I’ll see you here agian in a couple of days. Thanks, as always, for reading.

22 Responses to ““Suddenly, nineteen years later….””

  • Daniel says:

    Congratulations! Your site is one of my first online stops every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

  • Chris Gumprich says:

    Happy anniversary Mikester!

    I’ve been trying to figure out how long I’ve been following you. It was at least during the Livejournal years, but may have been even earlier — you weren’t on Usenet in the rec.arts.comics.misc days, were you?

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    I, too, have been in the position of being in a crowd of people, knowing far too much about the Legion.

    Congrats, Mike!

  • Johnny Bacardi says:

    I’m just amazed that you’re still at it, blogging that is. I wish I’d been able to keep it up, but I was never half as entertaining as yours has been year in and year out. Congrats… and…

    Appreciate you, Mike.

  • Chris G says:

    Happy anniversary, Mike!

  • Allan Hoffman says:

    Happy Anniversary, Mike! Thanks for another year of CONTENT(TM)!

  • Andrew says:

    Glad I found you on the Twitter – and then graduated to your blog (so much better).

    I too know way more of the secret identities of the Legion of Super Heroes than I should …. but that’s part of the fun of it all. :)

  • ExistentialMan says:

    Congrats Mr. Sterling! Appreciate the decades of laughter and fine entertainment!

  • Tom Cherry says:

    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary, Mike! Thank you for making the Intertubes a better place!

  • Andrew Davison says:

    Of course congratulations. 19 is a Prime number by the way, as in Amazon prime, a wonderful way to buy comics.

    Worried about the photo, and the devious way it excludes the top of your head. Probably means that all you hair has dropped out (from the stress of comic retailing), or has turned a luxurious white (call it silver if you prefer).

  • Snark Shark says:

    MY GAWD DO I HATE SAGE!!!

    And I will NEVER be convinced that Crisis On Infinite Earths was necessary. I LIKED the parallel Earths. I LIKED that there was a long history that I hadn’t been around for.

    Well, off to buy Reagan’s Raiders on ebay!

  • Snark Shark says:

    OMG! Someone CGC’d a Reagan’s Raiders #1! And it’s only a 7.5! That’s a Fine to VF isn’t it? A common enough condition for an 80’s comic book!

  • Thom H. says:

    Congratulations, Mike! You brighten my life and the lives of so many other people. Thank you for your blogging service!

  • Donald G says:

    Happy (belated) anniversary, Mike.

    I am glad that you are still here blogging when so many have abandoned the platform after parlaying their blogs into professional gigs for internet publications that were later shut down by their corporate owners, or moved all their activity to Twitter, or to podcasts, or have converted their blogs to glorified LinkedIn resume pages, or have just disappeared altogether.

  • MisterJayEm says:

    Happy Blog-iversary, Mike!

    — MrJM

    p.s. I too am befuddled by “appreciate you.” Doesn’t sound right to my aging ears, but I’m sure I’ll adjust to it eventually.

  • Bully says:

    A very, very happy blogiversary to you, Mike! From a very admirious stuffed fan.

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    Happy blogoversary, Mike! Thanks for continuing to post and provide an inviting space for comics conversation! Here’s to many more (posts about the Death of Superman)!

  • Max says:

    This blog is how I discovered comic book blogs! I’ve hardly ever commented here, but I must say that I have never been inside a more refined comic-book-centric blog! :)

  • Steven Gauthier says:

    I think I’ve commented about 4 times since 2006. Twice I’ve looked back and thought, jeez, I coulda done better.

    Hey, as long as people “appreciate”, it’s a good thing.

  • RossFavour says:

    I haven’t been reading for 19 years but close. Here’s to 19 more! Thanks Mike!

  • Pal Cully says:

    Some people just don’t know when to quit. Thanks for everything, including our friendship.

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