You are currently browsing the reader participation category

Hey, why not, couldn’t sell worse than Doomed.

§ September 22nd, 2015 § Filed under reader participation, swamp thing § 1 Comment

In response to my post mentioning a theoretical Swamp Thing’s Kung-Fu Force book come these entries from Twitter pal MrJM:


…who apologizes for conflating kung-fu with karate, and from longtime ProgRuin supporter Paul Di Filippo, who created a sequel of sorts to this issue of Master of Kung-Fu:


“I don’t try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.” – Ray Bradbury

§ January 5th, 2015 § Filed under predictions, reader participation § 51 Comments

It’s once again that time at the ol’ Progressive Ruin Dot Com Comics Discussion Parlor and Prognostication Palace for you to predict what waits for us in the funnybook industry in this, the Year of Jack Our Lord 2015. Please put your predictions in the comments section for this post, whilst following these most simple of rules:

1. Don’t read the other predictions before entering your own.

2. Don’t criticize other people’s predictions.

3. Don’t predict any real person’s death.

4. Limit of three predictions per person, please!

2015 is already underway, some of you may have noticed, so get your predictions in quick before they shockingly come to pass!

Of course, this also means I’m going to start covering your predictions from last time over the next, oh, say, three or four months, so you might want to prepare a meal or three to keep your energy up as you read all 500,000 words I’m about to dump on you.

Again, please put your forecasts into my comments section for this post, and after a few days I’ll lock everything away and see how we all did next year. Thanks in advance for what always turns out to be some very enthusiastic participation from you, my swell readers.

Back to the Future #4 (1992) – art by Gil Kane

So I haven’t done one of these in a while.

§ November 17th, 2014 § Filed under reader participation § 28 Comments

Ask me a question, preferably related to comics and the comics business, and I’ll do my best to answer it in a future post. If you give me a silly question, chances are about 50/50 I’ll give you a silly answer. If it’s too personal or if you’re obviously just trolling, I’ll ignore it…but otherwise, just throw ’em into this comments section and I’ll get cracking on them later in the week. Thanks, pals!

I particularly like Swamp Thing’s Popeye arms.

§ October 24th, 2014 § Filed under cranius, reader participation, sluggo, swamp thing § 2 Comments

So I received a letter at the shop yesterday from the possibly-pseudonymous “Sluggo Jr.” who, inspired by my most recent Swamp Thing/Sluggo mash-up post, sent along a page crammed on either side with pencil drawings, sometimes featuring best pals Swampy ‘n’ Sluggo teaming up, sometimes just Sluggo facing menaces on his own (like fighting a knife-wielding Charlie Brown and a bat-wielding Henry).

Here are a couple of samples:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do the “Cranius middle-finger” joke before. Well done.

I was only going to scan those two for now, due to time constraints — I’ve been working long hours, as you might imagine — but I just glanced again at the paper and have to present this one, too:

I could read about the adventures of Sluggo and Swamp Thing all day. Thank you, Sluggo Jr., for your fine contribution to the arts.

Here’s hoping none of you will be strangled by a green monster wearing an orange robe in the new year.

§ December 30th, 2013 § Filed under predictions, reader participation § 68 Comments

Well, here we are again. It’s the end of the year, and I’m asking you, yes, you, to give me your comic industry predictions for the nigh-imminent year of 2014. Please leave your predictions in the comments to this post, but please note New Rule #4 in the following bolded text:

1. Don’t read the other predictions before entering your own.

2. Don’t criticize other people’s predictions.

3. Don’t predict any real person’s death.


Sorry, gang, I need to streamline the process a bit so I don’t spend the entirety of 2015 responding to all of the 2014 predictions. Speaking of which…I’ll be going over your 2013 forecasts starting next week, so consider yourself warned.

Anyway, I always enjoy seeing what you have to say, so please, drop your ideas in my little ol’ comments section here, and I’ll sit on ’em ’til next year and see how everyone did then. Thanks, pals!

Adventures into the Unknown #12 (August/September 1950) – cover art by Ogden Whitney – image from the Grand Comics Database

“The future’s uncertain, and the end is always near.” – The Doors

§ January 7th, 2013 § Filed under predictions, reader participation § 49 Comments

So this week sometime I’m going to start going over your predictions for 2012 from last January, but first…let’s get your predictions for what’s coming for the comics industry in 2013! Please let me know what you see beyond the cloudy mists of time’s veil, or whatever, by dropping your predictions in the comments to this post.

As always, I have a rule or three I’d like people to stick to:

1. Don’t read the other predictions before entering your own.

2. Don’t criticize other people’s predictions.

3. Don’t predict any real person’s death.

We’ll see how y’all did next year, assuming I’ll still want to be talking about comics then and haven’t converted this site over to a deep sea fishing blog or something. Anyway, place your predictive bets and let’s see what happens.


image from Action Comics #276 (May 1961) by Jerry Siegel & Jim Mooney – reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1

I can only hope the Hernandez Brothers will forgive me.

§ October 2nd, 2012 § Filed under collecting, does mike ever shut up, reader participation § 4 Comments

So thanks for your responses to my question yesterday…I really wasn’t quite sure what I had to say on the topic, and I’m still not quite sure, but I think I can at least circle the runway even if I don’t land.

Anyway, this particular thought process was kicked off by a comment to my Saturday post, in which I claimed it took the return of the character of Doop to finally get me to pick up a copy of Wolverine and the X-Men. And reader Chance left his response, quite rightly chiding me slightly for not being moved to read said comic simply by the presence of writer Jason Aaron and artist Mike Allred, both of whom are quite formidable talents.

My reply to Chance was that, while there are plenty of creators out there whose work I do enjoy, I don’t necessarily have a desire to read every single project they do. I think Aaron, for example, did a swell job on Punishermax and I liked his run on Incredible Hulk. And Allred…I was a big fan of Madman and The Atomics for quite a while, though admittedly I kind of…I don’t know, burnt out on them, I suppose. It’s not you, baby, it’s me. But it takes a lot to get me to buy into the X-franchise nowaways, and the last time I regularly read any X-titles, it was New X-Men by Grant Morrison and his army of artists, and X-Force/X-Statix *starring Doop* by Peter Milligan and that Allred guy.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough that Allred and Aaron were on the book to get me to pick it up…but it didn’t hurt, either. Had it been just them and no Doop, probably no sale. But that it featured Doop, and it was illustrated by Doop’s original cocreator, and it was written by a writer whose work I have enjoyed…all those facts together got me to pull the trigger on grabbing this book. And even then, I still sorta hemmed and hawed over it for a couple of days. Well, it’s not like I tossed and turned in bed nights on end, drenched in sweat, haunted by the existence of this comic book, agonizing over my decision. But I’d see it on the rack at work, think “hmm, wonder if I should pick that up,” and then finally just decided “ah, what the hell.”

But Chance’s question did open me up to thinking about what creators I do follow without question, whose names I see on books and pick up without pausing to wonder if this was a project I’d be interested in. To use a couple of names that I mentioned in this category yesterday…let’s say someone like, oh, say, Fantagraphics has picked up the rights to that old Chaos Comics character Purgatori. (Okay, stop laughing, work with me here.) It’s been a while since I mentioned Purgatori around these parts, but…that’s a character I’ve never much cared for. I’ve often commented here that I think it’s a terrible character and a terrible comic, which…okay, I know the character has its fans, and I shouldn’t just harshly dismiss it like that, so let’s just say the Purgatori property has been firmly established as not being something in which I’d have any interest. Ever. For any reason.

So let’s say Fantagraphics gets the property, and they eventually announce at a San Diego Comic Con a new Purgatori graphic novel by Los Bros. Hernandez.

Would I buy it? Absolutely I would buy it. Are you kidding?

The Hernandez Brothers have, over the (gulp) decades I’ve been following their work, totally gained my trust. Everything they’ve been involved in, I have enjoyed. And I know enough about them and their creative talents to know that, if anyone could rehabilitate the character of Purgatori in my theoretical example to the point of making me want to read a comic with her, it would be these guys.

Reader philfromgermany noted in his comment, after listing the creators he always follows, that the indie artists and writers usually are working on projects they themselves developed, as opposed to some of the folks who frequent Marvel and DC books who might end up on established properties one might be indifferent to or outright dislike. And I think that’s an important distinction, and one I was sort of pondering when I was trying to write this post for Monday. Though that’s not to say there aren’t lines that can’t be crossed…one indie book comes to mind by a creator I almost always followed which promoted a bunch of previously-debunked conspiracy hoohar…a great disappointment.

But creators working on their own material does do away with some expectations a reader might have toward any given project, depending mostly on one’s appreciation of that creator and trust in his/her storytelling talents. A new original Dan Clowes graphic novel, sure. A Batman graphic novel by Dan Clowes…well, okay, that sounds amazing, but if you really, really hate Batman, even the most pure, unadulterated love you have for Mr. Clowes may not be enough to get you to pick it up. But I have picked up superhero books I’d had no previous interest in because of creators involved…like that run of Birds of Prey written by Gilbert Hernandez, which remain the only issues of that series in my collection.

I’m probably contradicting myself all over the place here, but what can I tell you. I have complicated feelings about funnybook buying. But outside of Aragones, the Hernandez Brothers…um, Clowes, and Chester Brown probably, and someone mentioned Jim Woodring in the comments, so I’m probably good with that too…there aren’t that many people who get a full, complete pass with me in the comics I buy.

Of course I simply can’t afford to read everything, but there are still plenty of names out there that grab my attention, if not necessarily my comic-reading dollar. You can get me to look, but not everything is going to be up my alley. (There’s at least one artist whose style I do really enjoy, but the only thing in recent memory he’s done that I actually wanted to read was, um, a while ago.) Picking and choosing what I read I think gives me a lot healthier relationship with this hobby than simply buying every single thing that comes out that may involve an artist or writer I’ve enjoyed in the past. Sometimes it does come down to a Doop appearance to get me to fish out that wallet.

Okay, I’m not sure if any conclusions are drawn, or if we learned anything today. But Chance’s question stirred up some thoughts that I tried to lay out here in my usual exceedingly verbose and sloppy fashion, and I certainly hope he doesn’t take this as an attack or an overly-defensive response. Thank you, Chance, for inspiring me to explore, just a little bit, some of the strategies some of use in making our comic-buying decisions…and giving some of us an opportunity to think about those creators whose work always gives us joy.

I’m still trying to hash out what I’m thinking about this topic, so I’ll buy some time by asking you folks about it.

§ October 1st, 2012 § Filed under reader participation § 50 Comments

Are there any comic creators out there whose new work you automatically pick up without question? Whose work you know, beyond even the faintest shadow of a doubt, will be worth both your time and your money, and that you will enjoy?

I don’t mean writers or artists whose presence in a project is enough to get you to take a look, or to pique your interest. We all have lots of names in that category. I mean creators who put out work and your response is “I don’t need to know word one about this comic, just take my money for it, goodly comic book store clerk.”

I’ll start by giving you the first three names that came to mind as I thought about who’d fit into this category for me: Sergio Aragones, Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez. I absolutely buy all of their work as it comes out, without hesitation. And I have never been disappointed. (Well, okay, that one issue of Jon Sable, Freelance was a bit…odd, but I liked it anyway!)

Anyway, like I said in the title of this post up there, I’ve been sort of pondering some other (likely shallow and obvious) thoughts on this topic over the weekend, but I want to hear what you think. If you’ve got a creator who’s an insta-buy for you, please let me know in the comments.

Just a little before Before Watchmen.

§ June 4th, 2012 § Filed under reader participation, retailing, watchmen § 44 Comments

So I was talking with pal Dorian the other day about the impending release this Wednesday of Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1, and how I thought it, and the Before Watchmen project as a whole, were going to sell.

I think it’s going to sell great, at least at first. As I noted before, there may be a bunch of online outrage about it, but Internet reaction =/= instore sales. Plus, some of those people complaining about Before Watchmen are still going to buy it anyway, because of course they will. (Yes, yes, I know, not you…you don’t need to tell me so in the comments.)

I have been receiving several requests for the Before Watchmen books, as well as a number of comic-saver folks adding it to their pull lists, so, like I said, it should have a strong start, at first. Once we’re a month or two in, and people begin to realize “oh, man, this is like a half-dozen or so new mini-series I have to follow, isn’t it,” then we’ll start to see the sales attrition as the picking-and-choosing begins. (Or maybe the, I don’t know, Ozymandias series will be the Greatest Thing Ever and a sales juggernaut.) Of course, having the “Crimson Corsair” back-ups run through all the minis is a clever way of encouraging readers to get the whole enchilada rather than have missing chapters of that particular serial…assuming of course “Crimson Corsair” is enough of a draw.

I don’t expect a flop. There is enough curiosity out there in this project, even if it’s just “what the hell is DC doing?” disbelief, to drive initial sales. And believe it or not, there are still people who go to the comic shops who spend little or no time online perusing the comic news sites or message boards and will have no idea there’s any brouhaha at all about this Before Watchmen situation. They’ll just see the logo on the stands, think “huh, I remember reading Watchmen, that wasn’t half-bad” and throw the comic in their piles.

Anyway, having mocked the value of online reaction, I am now seeking…your online reaction, via that most most scientific method of pinning down the public’s opinion, the blog poll. I have quite a few options there, but I’m sure it’s not 100% comprehensive…if you have a write-in choice, just drop it in the comments.

In which I risk undermining my 1960s/1970s rock street cred for all time.

§ March 2nd, 2012 § Filed under reader participation § 41 Comments

So here’s a thing I was wondering about the cover to Spoof #3 (January 1973):

Now, I recognize most of the caricatured celebrities on there:

…the Osmonds, the Jackson 5, the Beatles, Yoko, Mick, Elvis, David, those two politicians of some note. But who’s this guy:

No, not the baby. The dude with the sideburns. …Well, the baby sort of has sideburns, come to think of it. But anyway, I may just be having an Old Man Moment, and not placing the face, but it’s just not ringing any bells with me. I even showed this cover to a couple of folks who’d I’d expected to know right away, and even they were like “huh…who is that?” Even the Grand Comics Database entry doesn’t note who it is.

So, if you know, alleviate our embarrassing ignorance by revealing what is sure to be the forehead-smacking obvious answer in my comments here.

Of course, it may be possible that it’s not supposed to be anybody at all, but that hardly seems likely. The non-celeb types seem to be relegated to being background characters, or stuck behind word balloons:

YOU’LL PUT YOUR EYE OUT, KID. Also, get a haircut, hippie.

« Older Entries Newer Entries »