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Maybe I’d collect every copy of All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. You know which one.

§ September 23rd, 2019 § Filed under collecting § 15 Comments

So y’all left a lot of good comments on last week’s post about being a comic book completist (and I continued on a bit in a second post). Thank you for participating…sometimes I feel like we’re kind of past the heyday of people wanting to leave comments on small hobby blogs like this one, but every once in a while you folks come through and remind me “hey, sometimes people actually read my site!” So, thanks pals.

Anyway, let’s dig into some of those comments from that initial post and see how much typing I can do around them:

Thom, the fella what started all this in the first place, had this to say:

“For the record, I knew that completism was a thing, but I had no idea Swamp-Thing completism was being practiced by more than one person.”

Oh, sure, sorry about implying otherwise. But yeah, I’m not the only Swamp Thing completist out there. I’ve encounted a few through the years, online and in the respective shops I’ve worked at. Granted, not many completists have gone so far as to get Swamp Thing Chalk, but more have than you might think! But I gotta be one of the very few to have this.

• • •

Brad Walker strolls in with

“So have you ever talked about Richie Rich and Casper #1?”

Ah, you mean how Casper is clearly the departed spirit of Richie Rich, condemned to roam the mortal world until he has sufficiently counterbalanced his excessive avarice in life, therefor the two of them appearing together in one adventure is a blunt expression of Harvey Comics’ belief in the dualism of mind and body?

Or is it the “swamp creatures” thing in that first issue you linked? Yeah, on second thought, it’s probably that. Well, to be honest, while those monsters are clearly planning to eat Richie Rich and thus certainly have my sympathies, but that doesn’t really trigger the “swamp monster collector” instinct in me. I suppose I want something a little more…Swamp Thing-ish, I suppose, more green and humanoid and/or transoformed by science goine awry, as opposed to a couple of critters that just happen to live in a swamp. A fine line to draw, I understand, and probably exposes something disturbing about me psychologically,, but this issue just doesn’t float my airboat.

• • •

The infamous John Lancaster had more to say, but I wanted to focus on this bit:

“One that I may have mentioned here before; collecting every #1 issue of Spitfire and the Troubleshooters. As of my last count and based on publishing records, I own approximately 4% of the print run on this one. It’s not because I love that character or anything, I just want to wipe their existence off the earth. It’s basically a Scrooge McDuck gambit.”

Whoa nelly. Imagine finally getting all extant issues of this in one place. Just mountains of Spitfire, taking up every room in the house, filling the bathtub, falling out of the attic, stacked around the Ford Festiva in the garage, etc.

But even that’s an aspect of collecting I’ve come across once or thrice over the years, with folks trying to buy multiple copies of the same issue. I mean, aside from the investment side of things, I saw that a lot during the ’90s boom. Or, you know, whatever the hell was going on here. I mean, just got a wild hair to get, say, every copy of the “Spore” issue of Iron Man, as Mag ‘n’ H were trying to do at one point over at the Comic Treadmill. Or the customer I have now who’s way into Green Lantern, and wants as many copies as he can get of the 3-issue “Emerald Twilight” series.

I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to do that, myself. I mean, sure, I guess it would be a little funny if I bought every copy of Swamp Thing #24 I could find…just, like, corner the market on them, be the world’s ultimate collector of Thrudvang, but…yeah, nothing’s ever tickled my fancy that way. …I seem to remember former employee and old pal Rob decided he was going to get every copy of the Art Adams “Fin Fang Foom” trading card from the ’91 Marvel set. I helped him with that a bit, that’s probably as close as I’ve come.

• • •

Andrew Davison schools us on

“In the past I’ve used GCD to search for a character’s appearances.

“Any top tips for finding comics on a theme?”

That is admittedly a bit harder. Other than looking at hundreds of comic book covers nearly every day, like I do, perhaps you can plug in various keywords into the Grand Comics Database’s story title search function. Or if you’ve got time to kill (and who doesn’t, we’re all swimming in free time) you can just poke through the various cover galleries of likely titles there. Yeah, that’s kind of a crapshoot, but you never know.

Also, there are plenty of blogs and Tumblrs and, um, Myspaces, I guess, out there where folks have already done the work and pieced together their own lists of comics that cover their specific interests. That’s my guess, anyway…I don’t really know, I don’t go on the internet.

• • •

Paul Di Filippo (a fella who himself isn’t unfamiliar with swamp critters) wades in with

“What?!? No love for swamp monster Solomon Grundy?!?”

I ain’t got no beef with Mr. Grundy, no sir. It’s easy to forget that he fits right into the genre of “man transformed by science and/or magic into swamp beast” since he isn’t, y’know, green. OKay, he was getting a bit green in that one Swamp Thing story, but that was pretty much it. I talked about his first meeting with Swamp Thing not too long ago, and I’ve mentioned a couple of times how DC wanted Grundy to fill Swamp Thing’s niche in the DC Universe (as Swampy was tied up over at Vertigo) and put out a series to do just that.

But despite the connection to Swamp Thing, I never felt obligated to add “all appearances of Solomon Grundy” to the collection. That would being getting some pretty pricey early comics there. And I think I’ve bought ‘n’ read a sufficient numbers of more recent appearances so…I’m probably good on the guy for now. I won’t say no to future comics, but I’m probably not going to be dipping into back issues to fill holes in that particualar accumulation. Sorry Paul!

• • •

Eep, that’s a lot of typing. Okay, back soon with more. Leave more comments on that first post if you’d like, and of course read everything everyone has to say there. Lots of good comments…remember when comments were good? Now you can relive those halcyon days right here on Progressive Ruin Dot Com.

Thank goodness I caught the typo in “makeshift lab,” that would have been embarrassing.

§ May 13th, 2019 § Filed under superman, swamp thing § 9 Comments

So when last we met, I had a lot to say about Swamp Thing comics and their treatment of superheroes, which hopefully you all were able to appreciate amongst all the typos*. I was a tad dismissive, in particular, of the Supeman/Swamp Thing “team-up” in DC Comics Presents #8 from 1979, which I described as a typical Superman comic that Swamp Thing happened to be in, and not reflective of the tonal shift superheroes would receive in the post-Alan Moore era of Swampy’s title.

Anyway, thanks to the DC Universe streaming service (as I’m not really able to read print comics due to my eyeball stuff) I was able to reread that issue for the first time in…gosh, a decade, maybe? And it turns out my memory of that book was just a tiny bit wrong.

I’ll explain, but just so we’re on the same page, as it were, and because there was some minor confusion over this point when I posted about it last Friday, the DC Comics Presents issue I’m talking about is not this one from 1985 by Moore, Rick Veitch and Al Williamson that everyone remembers:


…but, rather, this one from, as I said, 1979, by Steve Englehart and Murphy Anderson:


Now it does, on the surface level, look like a typical Superman comic. Supes is drawn in the traditional way (both inside by Anderson and on that greaet cover by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez), he’s fighting a supervillain, it’s in Metropolis, there’s Janet Klyburn from S.T.A.R. Labs, there’s Lois, etc. Oh, and there’s Swamp Thing, drawn in a style that fits right in with Superman’s world, the one concession to his mystery book origins being the drippy caption boxes:

Okay, and let me get this out of the way. The thing that bothered me about this issue when I first read it sometime in the early 1980s, more than anything else, and way out of proportion to the actual offense, is that Swamp Thing’s thought balloons are colored incorrectly. They’re supposed to be yellow on the inside, with the white outline. His speech balloons (all two of ’em) in this issue are drawn and colored the same way, and not as the jagged orange word balloons from the original comics. …I’m bothered less by it now, as I’ve mellowed in my old age, so let’s move on.

The general plot of the story is that Swamp Thing (who at this point still believes himself to Dr. Alec Holland, transformed by a hideous mishap of science into this muck-encrusted mockery of a man) learns about another swamp creature, Solomon Grundy, running around in Metropolis and causin’ trouble. Swampy wants to get his hands on Grundy and run some tests, hoping to find a cure for his condition, which brings him into conflict with Superman, who would take Grundy away and out of his reach:


As it turns out, there is some chemical hoohar in the sewers of Metropolis that is spontaneously generating dupblicates of Grundy, who are running amuck in the streets, forcing Superman to take drastic measures.

Eventually, Swamp Thing’s tests (using a makeshift lab he somehow built in the sewer tunnels) revealed what Superman already know, that Solomon Grundy and these duplicates aren’t really alive, but are instead, well…


I believe that would be the scientic term for it, yes.

Thanks to Dr. Klyburn at S.T.A.R. Labs, Superman has something-or-other that will destroy all these Grundy duplicates on contact that he can just fly around at super-speed and apply to them, saving himself the trouble of any more destructive brawls with a creature nearly as strong as he is. But when Swamp Thing hears of this plan:


He rushes to stop Superman from enacting this plan:


…but his attempt at getting the Man of Steel’s attention is futile:


…and Superman flies off and does the ol’ scrubbing bubbles thing on the Grundy menace:


Ultimately, in its way, this story is a definite precursor to the reinterpretations of DC’s superheroes we begin to see in the previously discussed Saga of the Swamp Thing #24. The Superman comics have always made a a big deal out of his code against killing, while also giving him regular “outs” to allow him to, well, kill things when he needs to (“oh, it’s just a robot,” “oh, it’s just some imitation of life,” “oh, it’s distorted weirdness”).

Solomon Grundy not being “alive” seems to be a case of splitting hairs…he moves, he thinks, he demonstrates understanding of concepts like “friend” and “foe” — that panel above, Swamp Thing realizes that it may not be specifically life as we know it, but it’s something. When Superman flies off to do his thing and save the day, freed by his belief that he’s not really kiling anything, the reader is forced, via Swamp Thing’s perspective, to consider that he is possibly (or, rather, probably) doing the wrong thing, that Superman is just straight-up fundamentally misapplying his code against killing, The story is one of failure: failure of Swamp Thing to prevent the destruction of the Grundys, and Superman’s failure to consider the possibility the Grundys may have some form of existence worth preserving.

I put “team-up” in quotes earlier as, while DC Comics Presents is “the Superman team-up comic,” Superman and Swamp Thing’s inabilit to team up is what leads to, if not a tragedy, at least a highly ambiguous ending. Without Swamp Thing’s involvement, if it were just a Superman story where he was coping with the same Grundy problem, the reader would likely think nothing of Superman’s solution. With Swamp Thing’s presence, with his point of view added into the mix, we suddenly get a superhero story where the flaws in the genre are brought forward and examined in the comic itself. This is as much a part of the lineage of the “realistic” takes on superheroes we see throughout the eighties and later as anything Moore or Frank Miller or Steve Gerber et al. have done. My mistake in dismissing this issue as long as I have.

Okay, the thought balloon thing still bothers me just a little bit.
 
 

* While my vision is improving, large blocks of text are difficult for me to process at the moment, and the irony that I seem to love writing large blocks of text is not lost upon me. Anyway, I’m proofreading best I can, but it ain’t easy…even the little squiggly red lines that the browser helpfully provides are hard for me to spot, so please bear with me.

IT ME!

§ December 21st, 2016 § Filed under cartoons, movie reviews, swamp thing § 10 Comments

ITEM!

I received a certain item in the mail this week…that item being the Blu-ray disc of the Suicide Squad movie from Netflix, which I never made it out to the theater for. Not sure when I’m going to make room in the schedule for it, what with Christmas looming in the very near future and me with shopping and wrapping to do still. (I haven’t even made it out to the new Star Wars movie, which makes the Ghost of 8-Year-Old Mike loom over me and shake his head in disapproval.) Anyway, I’ve been curious about the film, even though I’ve heard only generally negative things about it from other comic folks…but then again, I’m the Guy Who Liked Batman V Superman so maybe I’ll be more favorably inclined toward it. I will say that my initial reaction to trailers and stills is that it appears all dirty and grimy and sickly and yeccchh so the movie may have a struggle overcoming my visceral negative response to its looks.

TIME!

Yes, I did watch the first episode of the new Justice League Action cartoon, and yes indeedy, it does contain the Swamp Thing/Plastic Man team-up the world has been clamoring for. Also featured: an all-ages appropriate John Constantine, who is more British than approximately 10 British men in, at least, this initial installment. There’s a story reason given for his particular style of dialogue, but I hope that’s how he’s portrayed consistently in the series because it’s hilarious…and probably can be read as a critique of how folks can kind of go overboard writing his dialogue in the comics.

Anyway, I had a hard time pulling a still of Swampy from any of the clips I saw online, so here’s a link to the trailer where the timestamp should take you directly to Swamp Thing getting clobbered by Solomon Grundy. Not his most dignified moment.

MITE!

Please let there be one of these about John Constantine’s pet tarantula.

§ July 30th, 2012 § Filed under batman, swamp thing § 7 Comments

So I finally picked up one of those DC Super Pets kids books for myself, and it should probably be obvious why:


Yup, it’s because I loves me some opossums. Also, Swamp Thing is in this book.

It’s a prose book, done in the classic kid book style with many colorful illustrations, giving me flashbacks to my long-ago tenure as a children’s librarian. There’s a section at the front of the book presenting an illustrated dramatis personae of the folks within, informing us that those four animals with Swampy on the cover are in fact his pets, the Down Home Critter gang (Mossy the Skunk, Merle the Possum, Loafers the Basset Hound, and Starlene the Raccoon).

The story involves Solomon Grundy and his own legion of evil pets attempting to raise up the dead pets from all the pet cemeteries around the world as his personal army…pretty gruesome for a kid’s book, I think as an adult in my forties, while realizing from personal library experience that kids would be perfectly okay with this. Anyway, Batman and Ace the Bathound are involved, because why not, and when Swamp Thing takes off with Batman in the Batplane to handle trouble elsewhere in the marshlands:


…that leaves the Down Home Critter Gang to deal with the menace for the majority of the story.

It’s all cute and funny, with Solomon’s pets being suitably gross, and it’s charmingly illustrated by Art Baltazar, which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his work from Tiny Titans or Superman Family. Plus, there are some nice shots of Swamp Thing throughout, including a full page image of him shaking hands with Batman, which is probably the last thing I ever expected to see in a children’s picture book. And at one point, Solomon Grundy stands in a graveyard and commands “rise, zombie pets, rise!” which reminds me of Blackest Night so I’m going to think of this as tie-in, just because.

It all eventually comes back to Swamp Thing.

§ February 7th, 2011 § Filed under retailing, swamp thing § 4 Comments

So here’s a thing that slipped past me: I was looking at our invoice for this week’s comics shipment, and noticed that Spawn #202 was on the list. “That’s funny,” I thought. “Didn’t #201 just come out a week or so ago?” And to the cycle sheets I went, and, yes…in just over a month, #200, #201, and #202 have (or are just about to) come out.

That’s not the thing that slipped past me. This is the thing that slipped past me…seeing on the cycle sheets that during 2010, only four issues of the regular Spawn series were released. And the reason that slipped by me is that…nobody complained. Not a single “when’s Spawn coming out?” that I can recall. Now, I know we have people who buy it at our shop…we don’t sell a lot of copies, not like in its heyday when it seemed like everyone was walkin’ up to the register with a Spawn in one hand, a Wizard in the other, and a copy of any given Valiant Comics title in their third hand. But we pretty consistently sell low but steady numbers on the book (with the extree-sized #200 moving about another 40% more copies than normal).

But it seems strange to me that a title that was once so prominent could fall out of notice, that it could be running so late and not attract my attention, or any customer complaints, by doing so.

On the other hand, I’m also not getting any complaints about the lateness of Image United, the “jam” book featuring most of the original Image artists, only because if this had come out on time, I’m pretty sure most everybody would have died from shock.

In other recent funnybook news, people sure have been commenting on the cover to Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1 at our shop:


You can see a larger pic if you go to DC’s page for this issue and click on the pic. But, yeah, that’s an eyegrabber (er, so to speak, given that’s the Emerald Empress and her Eye an’ all), with Keith Giffen and John Dell doing their Kirby-est on that image. No idea if that comic itself is any good, having unfortunately dropped Legion from the reading list after 25+ years of following the title, but, you know, it looks okay, just giving it the ol’ flip-through. It’s the old Legion creative team of Paul Levitz and Giffen together again, which I know might grab the interest of some of you folks.

Something I’ve been getting a lot of requests for in the last week or two is Weird Worlds #1, the premiere issue of DC’s new sci-fi/horror anthology. And I’m suspecting it has something to do with this: here is the cover to #1:


And here is the cover to #2:


Yeah, I know having Lobo on the cover should have been a clue, but sometimes when you’re scanning the rack, you need that logo to pop out at you, and, well, with DC’s white cover theme that month, the titles were all shoved into the corner and not exactly obvious. And so, there were quite a few people who didn’t even know #1 came out, and starting asking for copies when they spotted that logo on the rack on the cover of #2.

Of course, it’s not unusual for people to ask for copies of the first issue because they didn’t notice something was out ’til they saw the second issue. Happens all the time. But it seems to be happening a lot more with Weird Worlds.

And because folks have been asking: yes, I’ve read Aaron Lopestri’s “Garbageman” serial in these first two issues of Weird Worlds, which is very much in the vein of the “man becomes monster in accident, seeks to regain humanity” genre that Swamp Thing belongs to. And it’s fine…I liked Lopestri when he worked on that other title in this genre, Sludge, and while there’s not a whole lot new here, “Garbageman” is still entertaining.

However, it does have me wonder when DC will just put out a Swamp Thing comic, already. They keep trying to fill that niche with comics like “Garbageman” and that Solomon Grundy mini, but, man, I wish they’d quit dancing around Swampy and just throw him out there, already. Okay, I know word on the street is that he’s involved in this whole Brightest Day event hoohar, but we’ll see what happens.

…And that was my “I Demand That a Certain Comic Book Publisher Bend to My Will and Bring Back My Favorite Character” whiny complaint for the day. Hope you enjoyed it.

I guess I’d better mention it here…

§ June 2nd, 2010 § Filed under swamp thing § 11 Comments

…since I’ve been getting e-mailed, messaged, and otherwise contacted about the rumors of a possible reintegration of Swamp Thing into the main DC Universe, and away from the mature-readers Vertigo line. Given the story’s initial source, I’m going to wait for some confirmation before I get my hopes up, but I think it would be a nice change of pace after the last handful of attempted relaunches. Frankly, I was just a bit Vertigo-ed out on that particular interpretation of Swamp Thing. If you want to read a summary of what’s supposedly going on, I direct you to the main page of Roots of the Swamp Thing, where proprietor Rich H. has a few words on the matter, and Comics Alliance has further commentary on what this could mean for the Vertigo line in general.

Anyway, if true, I suppose having Solomon Grundy fill the Swamp Thing role didn’t work out as planned (even though that recent Grundy series was pretty good). Maybe we can get a couple of titles out of this…hey, if Deadpool can have, what, seventeen different series, we can have two Swamp Thing titles. A regular solo book and The Swamp and the Bold, with Swamp Thing teaming up with a different character every month. You’d totally read that, don’t you lie to me.

• • •

In other news: Bully the Little Stuffed Bull explains the Marvel Universe in a tour-de-force that must be seen to be believed.

Yet another item from the Back Room of Misfit Toys.

§ May 24th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 11 Comments


DC Direct’s Pocket Heroes were, it seems, a direct response to Marvel’s extensive Minimates line of eesny-weensy superhero figurines (which you can see here at this extensive Minimates review site). The Pocket Heroes line ended once DC got in on the Minimates action, but alas, some Pocket Heroes product still remains at the shop even today.

I suppose these were a cheap alternative to the larger and more elaborate DC Direct action figures, which retail for about $16 to $20 a pop. And I guess they look…okay, but they probably should have avoiding representing characters in their civvies:


Lois comes out fine, but poor Jimmy looks like he’s in his long johns. At least you get Superman’s JLA chair! “Includes awesome sitting action!”

It seemed like, from the get-go, that the Pocket Heroes were going to be hot items. Prior to the launch of this toy series, the deluxe Solomon Grundy action figure came with a promotional Golden Age Wonder Woman Pocket Hero figure, which we received many, many requests for, and which I suspect brought about the almost instant unavailability of the Grundy figure. And the first wave of Pocket Heroes sold very well for us. The next wave…not really so much, I’m afraid. I’m still listing and, sadly, not selling them on the eBay.

There were a couple of other boxed sets like the Superman one above, pictured on the back of the packaging, and which I do not recall ever carrying:


Ooh, that’s the Golden Age Green Lantern in his Sentinel costume, isn’t it? That’s a shame. Hmmm…come to think of it, maybe we did carry this, because I just now recall a conversation I had about how the Pocket Heroes line may be the only way to get every member of the Green Lantern Corps an action figure. “Collect all 3,600!”


More examples of folks in their civvies not looking quite right. “Why, Alfred, that spandex butler outfit fits snugly to your every curve!” “Why, thank you, Master Bruce. And may I compliment you on your spandex business attire?”

Ah, well, nice try, Pocket Super Heroes Superman Box Set, but nobody around our parts wanted you. Let us cast your fate to the eBay winds, and we shall see where they will take you. L@@K LONG JOHN JIMMY RARE H@T

Something good that came from Cry for Justice.

§ March 5th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 13 Comments

So Justice League: Cry for Justice #7 came out, and it was your typical over-the-top melodramatic dopey superhero comic, with the usual “this changes everything FOREVER” developments that will be undone sooner or later. Online reaction has been pretty heated, with even some folks suggesting writer James Robinson was going to lose his job because of online response. I mean, c’mon, really? Surely worse comics than this fluttered by this week. Anyway, the other day I was on the Twitter being a jerk about how people were reacting to this comic, because, while I am sympathetic to the objections, part of me still thinks fanguish can be really funny. During my little bout of dickishness, my pal Kevin and I and a special third party to be named later had the following exchange:

beaucoupkevin: “@mikesterling Man if that were Swamp Thing shooting people in the head you’d have a post called MIKE STERLING GOES BROKEN ARROW ON DC”

mikesterling: “@BeaucoupKevin: If Swamp Thing shot someone in the head, it’s because that person needed killin’.”

Dee2theBee: “@BeaucoupKevin @mikesterling @theisb ‘FOR JUSTICE!’ http://twitpic.com/16eunj

For those of you frightened, confused, or just plain annoyed by Twitter syntax, ProgRuin reader “Dee2theBee” gifted me with this fine illustration:


That’s quite possibly the last to-the-death battle I ever expected to see. Yet another reason why the regular DC Universe publishing line must reclaim Swamp Thing from the Vertigo division. If Dan DiDio is claiming that Solomon Grundy is filling the “Swamp Thing” role in the DCU, then Swamp Thing can fill the Punisher role there. Maybe James Robinson can write it.

New comics this week, and other exciting features.

§ September 2nd, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on New comics this week, and other exciting features.

  • Astro Boy Movie Adaptation #3 – Not selling at all at our shop, and we’ve dropped our orders down to one copy, just so we have it in case someone wants it someday. The movie itself isn’t due out ’til the end of October, and I haven’t heard a single customer express any interest in it. Maybe once the film is a little closer to being in theatres, we’ll start hearing some buzz.
  • Chew #1 (4th print), #2 (3rd print), #3 (2nd print) – It’ll be nice to have copies of #1 again, since we got shorted on our orders of the previous reprint and they were never replaced. Lots of talk about this book online, and we’ve sold well on 1 and 2…though last I checked, we still have a few 3s left.
  • DC Library – JLA by George Perez HC – I got into the Justice League comics when these were coming out, and I sure picked a good time to do so because, man oh man, Perez on the book was something else. It’ll be nice to have these on…well, slightly better paper than the paper they were originally printed on. This book includes the two-part Secret Origin of the Red Tornado, which is a particularly nostalgic favorite of mine.
  • Dead Romeo #6 – Surely somebody somewhere must have read this.
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #2 – The first issue of this Philip K. Dick adaptation had reasonably strong sales for us, the second issue not quite so much but still respectable. The series is getting a handful of folks though the door that don’t normally buy the funnybooks, and with any luck they’ll keep with it though the (good gravy) 24-issue run, unlike all the folks who bailed out on Marvel’s Dark Tower series.

    Also, I just noticed pal Ian is editor on the book. Ian, dude, I’m telling you: DECKARD VS. CTHULHU. It’ll sell itself.

  • Final Crisis Aftermath: Run #5 – This ended up being the only one of the FC Aftermath books I followed, though I hear Dance is pretty good, too. Look, I can’t read everything. But something about the lead character in Run (Mike, the “Human Flame,” who killed the Martian Manhunter in Final Crisis, and the depths to which this guy is sinking in his ongoing quest to become a major player…there’s a dark, schadenfreude-ish humor to this series that I’m really enjoying in a horrible, sick way.
  • Iron Man: Armor Wars #2 – Not sure why this needed to be a separate mini-series, aside from making sure there are as many new Iron Man trades and hardcovers as possible on the shelves when the new movie is releas…oh, never mind, I think I know the reason. And isn’t there an Ultimate Armor Wars about to come out, too? I was going to say something about retelling old superhero stories/events over and over again, but duh…that’s not a bug, that’s a feature, as they say.
  • Irredeemable #6 – Sold through multiple reorders of the trade collecting the first four issues, as well as plenty of the 99-cent fifth issue. Looking forward to possibly strong sales on #6. This series has been a good read, though each issue feels like it’s too short…probably because you’re left anxiously awaiting the next installment. Like the recent Battlestar Galactica series, it manages to be dark and almost fatalistic without being oppressive, which can be a thin line to walk.
  • Jonah Hex #47 – Ooooh, hang on, little buddy, the movie’s almost here! Sales should pick up right before then, so enjoy ’em while you can!
  • Magog #1 – Not sure the world demanded a Magog series, but, you know, it is Keith Giffen writing, so it may end up being strangely entertaining.
  • Marvel Zombies Return #1 – Originally was going to be a series of one-shots, but Marvel wisely decided to present it as a sequentially numbered mini-series, which may help sales a bit. Also features the return of the Marvel Zombies from the earlier series (like Spider-Man, Hulk, and so on) which may turn around the franchise a bit after the not-quite-so-well-received Marvel Zombies 4.

    Sometimes I look at what I’m writing about, and I just shake my head.

  • Marvelman by Joe Quesada poster – Most of our posters at the shop tend to be bought by (or for) younger folks. I didn’t order very heavily on the Marvelman poster.
  • Red Tornado #1 – Remember my mention of nostalgia for the Red Tornado origin story from JLA? That same nostalgia will probably drive me into at least looking at this series. “My name is Mike, and I have Red Tornado nostalgia.” “Hi, Mike!”
  • Solomon Grundy #7 – Ended up being a pretty good little series, and though the last issue is a Blackest Night tie-in, Scott Kolins I think will make it all flow smoothly enough.
  • Star Wars Invasion #2 – Not that the Star Wars franchise hasn’t done its share of backwards-looking, fill-in-the-gaps stories, but for some reason publishing a comic now that ties into one of the big Expanded Universe novel events that ended years ago feels a little peculiar.
  • Strange Tales #1 – Marvel characters by Peter Bagge, Nicholas Gurewitch, Paul Pope, Johnny Ryan, James Kochalka, Michael Kupperman, Junko Mizuno, and many, many others…this is going to be one spectacularly weird book. This means (more or less) that Johnny Ryan is officially drawing Disney characters. What a world, what a world. (Here’s Johnny Ryan drawing a Disney character unofficially…don’t worry, it’s Safe for Work.)


In other news:

  • DAYS in the making! It’s the second action-packed installment of The Variants, the video webseries about the gang what works at a comic book store. Highly recommended!
  • Pal Dorian asked for requests on what comics he should talk about, and he answers those requests right here with some thoughtful commentary and shocking opinions. (No, Dor, not The Killing Joke! Noooooo!)
  • Secret Supreme Leader of the comics blogosphere, Neilalien, has been gathering links related to the Disney/Marvel hoohar, and Tom Spurgeon has links to some analyses as well. Also, Tom has an old Spider-Mickey pic illustrating his post, taken from Spider-Man Annual #5. I should have remembered that, when I made my merchandise prediction the other day, as we used to have the original artwork for the pages that image came from hanging in our shop. (Before you ask…nope, sold ’em years ago.)

Just a few words about a handful of this week’s comics.

§ August 2nd, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Just a few words about a handful of this week’s comics.

Batman and Robin #1 3rd Printing – We probably still have enough 1st and 2nd printings to go around, but there’s always someone who wants each and every variation, or perhaps wasn’t attracted by a previous cover and likes the new image, or just plain didn’t see it the first few times it was offered. Even the most unnecessary reprints (like, say, the recent spate of X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man 2nd prints) are usually good for a couple of sales.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #27 – Sales have been dropping very slightly on this series, and I’ve noticed a minor uptick in requests for the trade paperback collection from the folks who are just coming in specifically for four-color versions of Joss Whedon properties.

Captain America: Reborn #2 – Sales ended up being fairly strong on the first issue, after a slow start, but, as I’ve stated previously, it was mostly to the regular clientele. By and large the general public doesn’t seem to be as interested in Captain America returning as they were by his apparently murder. Why, it’s as if there’s a preference for stories of death and tragedy. That’s totally unlike human nature.

Doom Patrol #1 – Well, you know what they say – fifth time’s the charm. Or is this the sixth? I’ve lost count. Anyway, I’m a sucker for all things Doom Patrollish, so I’ll check it out. Hopefully some of our customers will as well. Mostly, though, I’m looking forward to the Metal Men back-up stories, which promise to be pretty entertaining.

Fallen Angel: Reborn #2 – Nearly sold out of the first issue, specifically because of the Buffy/Angel tie-in. Will those people be back for installment numero dos?

Greek Street #2 – Sold a good number of the first issue, thanks to the promotional $1 price tag. Not sure how #2 will do now that it’s at the normal three bones…given that it’s an ongoing Vertigo title that’s not related to the Fables franchise, I don’t expect too much, but we’ll see. I hope it does do well…the line could use another strong monthly seller. (Hell, most lines of comics could use more strong monthly sellers, but let’s not get into that!)

Green Lantern #43 – Okay, that’s just a restock we’re getting this week, but man, we’re getting deluged with requests for Green Lantern and all things related to the GL-centric Blackest Night event. Had a few people even tell me that they got into these comics after seeing whatever BN-related set-up DC had at the San Diego convention. Customers are way excited about Green Lantern. There’s a sentence I don’t get to say often enough.

Irredeemable trade paperback and issue #5 – Having a low-cost trade and a promotionally priced 99-cent issue come out at the same time is a smart move on Boom Studios’ part, I think.

Justice League: Cry for Justice #2 – Yeah, it’s just this side of being kinda dopey, but I liked the first issue anyway. It entertained me, and really, that’s all I ask from my superhero funnybooks. Also, the first issue sold really well for us, so hopefully those folks will be back for the new ish.

Solomon Grundy #6 – Ah, the series only Tim and I are reading. Hey, we think it’s pretty good, right Tim? Right. Still not getting the “Swamp Thing” vibe that this series was allegedly going to be bringing to the DC Universe, but it’s a good series nonetheless.

Star Trek Alien Spotlight: Q – This is one of those series that I think I like more in concept than in execution. I appreciate that there’s a series of comics each focusing on a different alien race. As a Trek fan since apparently before birth (hey, my mom watched the original 3rd season when she was pregnant with me…what can I say), I can dig the effort, here. But the comics themselves have never really grabbed me. It could just be that I’ve read enough Star Trek comics in my lifetime to last me, is all. “It’s not you, it’s me, baby.” But we’ve had plenty of customers like ’em just fine, so don’t pay attention to ol’ Downer McDownerson at the keyboard here.

Ultimatum: X-Men Requiem #1 and Ultimatum: Fantastic Four Requiem #1 – So every time a new issue of Ultimatum came out, I’d flip through it, and as far as I can tell it was about characters killing and occasionally eating each other. Not saying there’s not an audience for that sort of thing, but…. Anyway, now in terms of resetting things in a franchise for an imminent relaunch, this sort of “scorched earth” approach seems a tad extreme. But then again, given that the Ultimate line exists apart from Marvel’s main merchandise-and-media-tie-in driven “regular” Marvel Universe, there’s more freedom to really shake up the status quo, especially since now the stated purpose of the Ultimate line (to provide a jumping-on point for new readers coming in from the movies) has been moot for years. Just kinda wish that revamping of the status quo was a bit less…nihilistic, maybe? Ah, well.

War Machine #8 – Whoa, totally forgot this was even a thing. Well, hold on there, little funnybook…Iron Man 2, guest-starring War Machine for what I’m sure will be a very exciting 5 or 6 minutes, will be out soon enough.

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