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And by “couple” I mean “three, more or less.”

§ December 27th, 2023 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot § 2 Comments

Okay, just a couple of things today:

1. Don’t forgot to contribute your 2024 comic industry predictions here, so long as you follow those important rules listed there!

One additional rule I’m going to have to add is to please keep extra non-prediction posts out of that comments section. I appreciate the enthusiasm, but let’s keep it uncluttered! Thanks, pals.

2. Look, if you haven’t gone to kwakk.info in a while, it’ll do you some good to pop back in. This is the fanzine text search index, including Amazing Heroes, Comics Journal, and many more! I hope this site is allowed to remain online by the various copyright holders, as it’s such a valuable resource.

I have many of these fanzines myself, but when I need to refer to an article from one of them I’ve had to depend on my slowly fading memory as well as just plain ol’ digging through them page by page. This site certain makes research easier.

3. I don’t think I even knew a Zatanna movie was even planned in the first place. Sounds like another casualty of the James Gunn DC Media regime, as the focus is on the projects under his purview, which the Zatanna flick was not. Ah well.

Still not convinced the Gunn films are going to fare any better in a movie marketplace that seems increasingly less impressed with superhero product. Particularly DC films, though Marvel seems to be having its own uphill battle with its properties (with a couple of notable exceptions, yes).

Related: I didn’t realize the Aquaman sequel opened last weekend. Not the strongest start, but the first didn’t come charging out of the gate, either. Seems unlikely it’s gonna hit the billion dollar mark too, though.

You don’t need to reference the Flash Gordon movie in the comments, I understand that you’ve seen it.

§ November 1st, 2023 § Filed under newspaper strips, pal plugging, sir-links-a-lot § 24 Comments


When you weren’t looking, someone took the moribund Flash Gordon newspaper strip, in reruns for decades, and revived it into something awesome. Dan Schkade started on the strip a couple of weeks ago, and has really been kicking butt and taking names. Fast-paced, beautifully illustrated, wittily dialogued, it’s a solid demonstration that just because something’s been around forever and left to basically rot, it doesn’t mean someone can’t come along and apply a little elbow grease and get things working again. It’s a great strip, and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier as the first couple of installments are behind a paywall now, but you can catch on to what’s going on easily enough.

Amusingly in the comments now and again are a tiny handful of people upset that Flash Gordon is suddenly new and interesting, wishing for the return of artists who have done them the disfavor of no longer being alive. Anyway, you have to kind of admire the commitment of the same four or five people who turn up at that site every day to click the “ANGRY” response button for each strip. But frankly, all things considered, they should be grateful anyone’s even bothering to maintain the comic at all.

• • •

Andrew Farago has written an excellent obituary for the late and, needless to say, great Keith Giffen for The Comics Journal. He rightly lists the accolades, while not ignoring one of the more…unfortunate periods of his career (to which I just barely alluded in my own barely-adequate remembrance).

So check out Andrew’s coverage of everything Giffen did for the comics industry over the last few decades. His influence is probably greater than you realize. Or even I realized…even though I read most of the stuff he worked on for the last thirty years as it was coming out, seeing it all assembled and quantified as to its importance to this medium (and its expansion into film) was a real eye-opener. Giffen was a giant, even if we didn’t always understand just how tall he was.

“Stop her! She’s got Mike’s keyboard!”

§ October 20th, 2023 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot § 14 Comments

I apologize for the interruption in service here, as my computer keyboard at home decided to stop working and it took a try or three to get a sufficient replacement with the features I required. (Those features being “button that posts stills from Frank Miller’s The Spirit” and, well, that’s pretty much it.)

Anyway, I’ve got a new keyboard that I kinda have to get used to, as it’s a slim, flatter style and my clumsy fingers are currently fumbling all over it. Thus, please excuse any typos. I mean, more so than usual.

So anyway, let’s just cover a couple of things of interest here:

First, I got this in the mail the other day:


It’s a piece of junk mail from a cable company sent to my store and addressed to “John Buscema or Current Business Owner.”

That’s…a little strange. I’ve received (and still receive) mail at this location for previous tenants, including one named “John,” but his last name is nowhere close to “Buscema.” And given that “John Buscema” is a legendary comics artist, the name being on this piece of mail is surely not random happenstance, but it eludes me how this could have happened. I’m sure someone out there might know some possibilities.

In other, Kickstarer-related, news, the campaign for the Thorn collection, Jeff Smith’s college newspaper strip that preceded Bone, is up and running and already blew well past its goal.


I was a big fan of the Bone comics as they were coming out, and after finding out there was a college strip, well, that caught my attention. I do love me some college strips, and collections thereof, so I kinda kept half an eye out for the original 1983 Thorn: Tales from the Lantern in case an affordable copy ever happened my way.

Well, “affordable” is the real trick, I guess, since it, you know, never was. One of the tiers in the Kickstarter would get you an original copy of that 1983 book along with the new collection, but at $10,000 a throw I’m afraid I’d have to decline. I’ll be satisfied with this nice softcover, thank you.

Of note are the already unlocked “stretch goals,” achieved when the campaign hits certain financial levels. In this case, we’ll be getting facsimiles of the original Fone Bone comic booklets Smith drew as a kid. Those sound amazing.

There’s also a Nexus Kickstarter, with Steve Rude re-releasing a trade paperback from a couple of years ago in a larger format with a signed bookplate. I like the idea of a larger book, easier on your pal Mike’s old eyes to enjoy Rude’s always beautiful artwork.

Okay, thanks for your patience, everyone, and hopefully I’ll be back to my regular schedule next week.

Some days I wish I could just go back to posting funny panels in my synopsis of some out-there 1960s Jimmy Olsen comic.

§ April 20th, 2020 § Filed under pal plugging, retailing, sir-links-a-lot, sterling silver comics § 4 Comments

Hot off last week’s presses, some news came down regarding funnybook distribution in our near future. First, Diamond Comics announced that it was looking at a mid-to-late May date to start shipping product out to whatever stores still remain. Nothing nailed down just yet, and I still think it’s really going to depend on the large comic markets like California and New York will be doing in regards to allowing regular retail to resume.

And if that’s not enough, DC Comics has decided not to wait on Diamond, and is instead going to send out at least three weeks of their new comics through a couple of alternative distribution points. It’s not a heavy load of books coming over these three weeks, which is good and bad, I guess. Good in that I’m not being asked to put out a lot of money when not a lot of money is currently coming in, and bad in that there’s not really enough here to goose immediately mail order shipping from customers wanting their new books. But then, you never know..maybe after all three weeks have come and gone there will be enough to get some folks to call in, I think.

Anyway, the books being shipped had their orders cancelled through Diamond, so I had to place new orders for everything. I had to think hard about those orders, given that I’m not going to have the off-the-rack sales as my store will still be closed to the public at least through all three of those weeks. BUT will they sell off the rack once I’m able to open again and people try to catch up? I don’t know…best to order conservatively for now and reorder if I need to.

It’s…a weird time to be a comics retailer. Or any kind of niche retail business, for that matter. The one advantage I have is that comics are escapism, and boy do people want escapism right now.

I’ve been doing…okay, as far as business goes. I’ve had several phone and email orders, and I’m at the post office pretty much every day gettting stuff sent out. I’m not making the money I was, but with Diamond’s invoices paid off, and my rent paid for the next month, I don’t have the same expenses either. (And my planned purchases of that new DC product won’t be very dear either.)

In an odd sort of way, aside from the weird existential dread of awareness that a plague roams the land, working along in my closed shop has been, well, relaxing. Processing mail order, typing old comics into this online spreadsheet for folks to pick from and buy, listening to podcasts as I work…it’s all a bit therapeutic. Which isn’t to say I’m not looking forward to being able to swing my doors wide open again.

So it looks like an interesting month up ahead for my shop, and every shop. Going to try to not let it stress me out too much. And if it does…I’ll just play around with piles of old comics, and all will be well again.

In the meantime:

Don’t forget, I’m still taking orders and want lists and whathaveyou, as well as still doing these packs of 30 random comics for $20 postpaid domestic! Help me clean out my backroom!

Also, over the weekend, one of my regular customers brought me a comics-themed facemask made by her mother! The downside is that you can’t see my quarantine beard that I’ve been growing for the last few weeks. But that’s the price I pay for high fashion!

And so long as I’m being Sir Links-A-Lot again, let me point you at my shop’s website, its Facebook, its Twitter, and its Instagram. News regarding my store’s status during our current situation can be found there…and here on this site, for that matter.

Thanks for reading pals, and stay safe out there. KEEP WEARING THOSE MASKS, even if they’re not as cool as mine!

Wobbling but not falling down since 1969.

§ June 16th, 2017 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot § 1 Comment

  • So longtime reader Roel has a Kickstarter going for his new graphic novel Deathface Rocker Crew that I encourage you to check out. You may recall me liking his Lightning Girl Loves Rocket Boy comic from a while ago, and I expect this new project will entertaining as well!
  • I don’t like the idea of a world without Mad Magazine. Okay, as Mr. Evanier says it’s probably not going away, as such, but that there’s even the rumor is a little worrying, given the state of most print magazines.
  • Not comics, but pal Andrew has a funny story about a children’s toy from our shared youth.

Comments are off because, y’know, there’s always somebody.

§ January 30th, 2017 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot Comments Off on Comments are off because, y’know, there’s always somebody.

I was going to post about some silly things today, but right now doesn’t seem like the time. Instead, let me post some links to the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations,the Trevor Project, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Planned Parenthood, the Ali Forney Center, NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the International Refugee Assistance Project, ProPublica, RAINN, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, all of whom can use some support right now.

And just so there’s some comic book content, let me direct you to my pal Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with Feistiness, who is presenting 365 Days of Defiance!

I’ll have some actual comic content in a day or two, I promise. But I really couldn’t bring myself to write anything light and fun without addressing the elephant in the room, and doing at least this very small thing will hopefully help somebody out.

…Long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.

§ December 30th, 2016 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot Comments Off on …Long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.

Your pal Mike is a little under the weather, so I just have a few links for you today:

  • Longtime Mad stalwart Don Edwing has passed away. I remember taking more notice of his material (or, at least, his material becoming more prominent) near the end of my initial run of Mad reading, sometime in the early 1980s. I even bought an original Mad paperback or two of his, though as is noted in the linked article I probably read a lot of his work without realizing it was by him.
  • Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with the Force, says goodbye to Carrie Fisher with a couple of choice scans.
  • Pal Andrew speaks sagely about mortality.
  • And life, presumably, goes on into 2017…so I’m still asking for your comic industry predictions for the coming year. Hey, it gives us something to look forward to!

And they weren’t happy about Thor being called the “God” of Thunder, either.

§ July 25th, 2016 § Filed under pal plugging, sir-links-a-lot § 1 Comment

Longtime reader Wayne passed these two screen shots my way, from an episode of the TV series Naked City. He apologizes for the time stamps, indicating that the images are from the year 2025, if man is still alive…oops, wait, wrong year. Anyway, Wayne was reminded of this after I pointed out another funnybook cameo in a moving picture entertainment, and here you can see Amazing Fantasy #15, with the first appearance of what’s-his-name:

…and Journey into Mystery #83, the debut of that other fella:

Okay, sure, this bit of TV trivia has made the rounds before, but hey, it’s neat, so why not put it here, too. Now if anyone has stills of that 1980s episode of the 700 Club where they go after comics, and are particularly unamused by crucified Professor X in the X-Men graphic novel, please feel free to send those my way, too!

• • •

And speaking of Elvira, which I was a few days ago and linked back to just a couple of paragraphs back, reader Paul directed me to this story of how Cassandra Peterson might be hanging up the ol wig ‘n’ dress for good. As Peterson herself says in the story, she’s been saying she was going to stop portraying Elvira for like three decades now, so I suspect the Mistress of the Dark will still be around a bit longer.

• • •

Reader Daniel, remembering that I featured Condorman on my site once or twice way back when, thought I would be interested in this Sunday newspaper strip adaptation as well. And sure, of course I would be. No idea it ran in the papers, though I do have memories as a young Mikester of various short-run strips tying into something-or-‘nother in the funnypages, and I suppose this is yet another example of that.

• • •

And finally…I helped Bully, the Little Bull What Don’t Need No Help, with a pancake post! Go, enjoy the yumminess!

Pamcakes!

§ July 6th, 2016 § Filed under batman, self-promotion, sir-links-a-lot § 1 Comment

I want to thank those of you who have pledged payments to my Patreon account, and I swear I’m not just saying that so I can link to my Patreon account again. I really am thankful for your generosity and willingness to spare a buck or three every month to my endeavors here. It’s very much appreciated. And like I said, there’s not going to be any special contributor-only content or anything, so everything I write for the site will be equally available to everybody. However, Patreon supporters will get to leave with me on my flying saucer to go live in my chocolate castle on Venus when the end times come, so just keep that in mind.

Meanwhile:

  • Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with Butter and Syrup, is a few days deep into A Month of Pancakes, which you should dig into immediately. I voted for Pancake Month, and got exactly what I was hoping for! Democracy works, sometimes!
  • Blogging brother Tim relates his own thoughts on the state of comics blogging (as I did myself, not too long ago). One day soon, it will be just Tim and I standing alone in a wasteland filled with the desiccated corpses of fallen comic blogs, squaring off against each other, HTML tags in hand, studying each other for the smallest sign of weakness.
  • Pal Andrew tells us about that one time the Jack of Hearts met the Incredible Hulk. Man, there’s nothing quite like 1970s Marvel comics.
  • The Trouble with Comics gang look at nationalistic superheroing and discuss its impact on the medium. …I’ve been “on hiatus” from TwC for the last few weeks due to scheduling issues, but hope to be back and contributing there again in the near future.
  • And now, for no real good reason, NEEDLEPOINT JOKER:

    needlepointjoker
    Someone brought in a couple of bins holding piles of ’90s Batman stuff, and this is one of three things I bought from them, just because it was so odd. (I bought it specifically to resell to a fella working at my previous place of employment, who is way into the character…and it is at that store the NEEDLEPOINT JOKER is currently on display.)

    The other two things I bought were a Catwoman bank and a replica of a ’60s Batman fan club pinback button. Oddly enough, I passed on the signed Batman #500 from one of those home shopping TV shows, even despite being in one of those collectible fold-out comic binders. …The ’90s were weird, man.

Following his bliss.

§ January 5th, 2016 § Filed under self-promotion, sir-links-a-lot Comments Off on Following his bliss.

Just another brief reminder to get your 2016 comic industry predictions in, so that, assuming the asteroid doesn’t finally strike and Trump doesn’t become president, we’ll all still be around to discuss them next year.

And over at Trouble with Comics, we discuss our favorite funnybook first issues. The character featured in my favorite may not be a surprise to most of you, but the specific first issue might.

I also wanted to note the passing of Thomas Bartkowiak. This isn’t someone from the comics industry…rather, this was a member (and de facto leader) of RadioTiki, a podcast from before, I believe, the term “podcast” even really existed. I stumbled across it in iTunes’ “Eclectic” category of streaming radio stations sometime in the early 2000s, and it was just a bunch of pals from the Chicago area, shooting the breeze and discussing pop culture and their own lives and being hilarious at it. It was a biweekly show early on, but in recent years it was on the “whenever we could find time to get together” schedule, but I appreciated whenever they could do it and never missed an episode. Tom was always energetic and funny and a delight to listen to. I didn’t interact directly too much with the show, but I did have a couple of my emails read “on the air,” as it were, and when I mentioned that I managed a comic shop, Tom asked what new Neil Gaiman comics were out. I happily sent him a set of the then-new Gaiman-written Eternals series, which he seemed pleased by. It was the least I could do for the hours of enjoyment RadioTiki had provided me by that point, and would continue to provide me long past that.

My condolences to his friends and family and fans. So long, Tom…thanks for all laughs!

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