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The truest thing ever said in the streets of Tijuana.

§ December 24th, 2010 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, Christmas, does mike ever shut up § 7 Comments

So subscribers to Mike Sterling’s Progressive Ruin, Premium Edition may have seen an early release of yesterday’s post with a few embarrassing typos, for which I apologize. All I can say is “don’t write posts for your weblog when you’re really, really tired.” Anyway, thanks to an alert by a helpful reader, the errors were fixed by the time the Progressive Ruin Free Edition was distributed.

If you’d like to sign up for the Progressive Ruin Premium Edition, here’s what you get:

  • The secret phone number for the Mike Sterling Hotline, with prerecorded messages from me, just for you, about life, love, and dealing with the little problems that drive us all crazy!
  • All the latest news about UFO abductions, crop circles, and psychic predictions!
  • And this personalized and hand-signed color photograph, suitable for framing!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

• • •

In other news (assuming you’re still reading):

  • Thursday afternoon, I was gifted with two wonderful, wonderful things.

    First, from Kid Chris, this swell Blue Demon matchbox/refrigerator magnet purchased during his last visit to Tijuana:

    Kid Chris informed me that he had the following exchange with the little girl who was selling these:

    Kid Chris: “El Santo…es bueno?”

    Little girl: “El Santo es fabuloso!

    I think we can all agree on this.

  • Later in the day, pal Casie brought in a big plate of cookies with the following homemade and completely awesome Christmas tree ornament attached:

    Oh man, this makes me want to run out and chop down a tree so I’d have something to hang it on, which is, um, a tad ironic, considering. Plus, the picture is green and red, so it’s totally Christmas-y!

  • So anyway, read this article about the forthcoming “death” in the Fantastic Four comic, and then immediately follow that up by reading this post I wrote in 2007.

    I wonder if we’ll get any bump in sales on this comic from the general public. I suspect this gimmick’s been pulled often enough that even the non-fans are as jaded as the fans when it comes to the “in this issue [Big Name Superhero] dies!” hoohar.

  • Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my readers!

Behold my mastery of graphic manipulation.

§ September 16th, 2010 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, does mike ever shut up, employee aaron, market crash, retailing, siegel & shuster, sir-links-a-lot § 8 Comments

So anyway, I did this as a quickie gag for a couple of friends in email, and the files have been sitting on my desktop for a few days, so what the heck, here you go:



Just grabbed the pic via the Googling, so hopefully I didn’t offend anyone with my repurposing his/her scan. It was for the purpose of creating a better world, my friend.

Anyway, in other news:

  • Regarding that panel I posted yesterday…I felt a little funny picking out a panel by freakin’ Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, for a bit of good-natured mockery. I mean, it seems almost sacrilegious, doesn’t it? Anyway, that panel was from a strip called “Federal Men,” which ran for quite a while in the various iterations of early Adventure Comics. You can read descriptions of some of the stories here. A reprint collection of these stories would be interesting, but I’m not holding my breath.

    By the way, speaking of sacrilege: here’s reader Todd with his slight reworking of the panel:

  • Tom Spurgeon has some commentary from one of his readers about comic pricing and buying habits. In particular, there is some discussion about the likelihood of someone spending more than $20 a week on comics in the late 1980s. As someone who entered the high-finance world of funnybook retailing in the late ’80s, I thought I’d supply a brief bit of anecdotal…well, perhaps not “evidence,” but it may be of interest.

    Starting about the mid-’80s, and off and on through the late ’80s, our shop had a box of overstock and/or deadstock comics by the register with a sign on it that read “FREE COMIC WITH $20 PURCHASE.” And, it is my memory that the $20 level was originally picked because 1) it wasn’t a price level that was normally breached terribly often by the majority of customers, but 2) it was close enough to what a significant portion of customers were spending that the hope was that they’d plop another comic or two on the pile to hit $20 and qualify for their free comic.

    Now…and please consider, I’m working off decades-old memories here…I believe that we had some, but not a lot, of customers slapping on additional comics to get to twenty bucks, but that eventually we had enough people already buying twenty dollars’ worth of stuff without going back and grabbing an extra book or two that they got their free comic anyway. And, eventually still, sometime around the big Batman movie-fueled boom, we did away with it completely. (I suppose we could have just raised the price level to, say, $30 or $40 for the free book, but at the time rivers of cash were flowing through the direct market and thus, perhaps the need to encourage additional sales in that fashion was no longer as strong.)

    Later, we briefly did a “spend $50, get a free poster” thing along these same lines, which I’m pretty sure was in the post-market crash years of the mid ’90s. And that tells me that, even though the high-livin’ days of the boom were long gone, the customer base that remained was spending far more on average than they had pre-boom, so that $50 now seemed like the just-above-average typical sales level that seemed achievable.

    My memory was that was more about clearing out old poster stock than hoping people would hit $50, which, like what happened with the $20 level, is something people gradually started doing anyway.

    Wish I remembered more details about these things. Should’ve kept better notes.

  • Speaking of our retail past: Chris Sims recently concocted this Comics Alliance article about comic book bumper stickers, and in the comments section to it, someone mentioned our old “U.S. OUT OF LATVERIA” stickers that we had at the shop. [NOTE FOR MY DAD, WHO READS MY BLOG: Latveria is the fictional country that the Fantastic Four’s arch-nemesis, Dr. Doom, hails from.] Now, I tried to respond to said comment with a link to a post on my site featuring said sticker, but alas, the CA comment machine does not like linkity-links, so instead I’ll post that link here.

    And before you ask: no, I don’t have any more. Sorry, kids.

  • More Comico history: the transition to color printing, including some early and neat-looking coloring guides for a page from the original Mage series.
  • Pal Dorian does terrible things to an old DC subscription pitch. TERRIBLE THINGS.
  • Employee Aaron’s fiancée Kempo whips out her 2010 San Diego Comic-Con report, with lots of photos of the two of them eating meals.
  • I’d noted something on my Twitter the other day, and thought I’d repeat it here: you know what I’d like to see Christopher Nolan name the third Batman movie? The Caped Crusader. That’d be pretty awesome, right? Yeah, I knew you’d agree.

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