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Not even a Holiday Special adaptation.

§ March 27th, 2024 § Filed under marvel, publishing, star wars § 15 Comments

So I spotted on the back of the newest Marvel Previews an add for the forthcoming Star Wars comic book Ahsoka, starring the character who came to prominence in animation and recently jumped into live action portrayed by Rosario Dawson. A “fan-favorite” in the classic sense, as folks do seem to genuinely like the character, and at least at my shop toys and comics based on her usually do quite well.

The text of the ad reads “Ahsoka Tano gets her her own miniseries adaptation” and I groaned a little bit, as I realized it’s not new stories, but comic book retellings of the story from the recent Disney+ TV show. Now my immediate response was of course mature and reasoned…posting a meme to Bluesky:

…and informing said response was the rather lackluster response I’ve had at the shop to other recent Star Wars comic book adaptations of other media. The recent Obi-Wan barely sells for me, I’ve had folks drop Thrawn because it’s adapting a novel, even The Mandalorian, the strongest selling of the bunch, has begun to flag. I’ve had multiple folks express their disappointment that they were just getting retellings of stories they’ve already enjoyed.

Way back in Ye Olden Tymes, before VCRs and various forms of disc players, a comic book adaptation of a movie was one of the few ways to relive the experience at your convenience. And TV shows…well, there weren’t many direct adaptations of TV episodes in comics, mostly focusing on new stories, but it was still a way to relive a program outside of its normal broadcast times, back in the days before you could pick up (or download) complete season sets.

While some of these were…utilitarian, shall we say, several did have some artistic merit and were completely enjoyable on their own terms. I still think Marvel’s Time Bandits comic is a classic, for example, and I enjoy looking at it even though I have the Criterion Blu-ray of the film just on the shelf over there. Evan Dorkin’s version of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey is another great movie-to-comic translation, with Dorkin’s wild cartooning creating an adaptation that arguably surpasses the source material.

Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Alien. Hook, featuring work by Charles Vess and Gray Morrow, among many others. The absolute infamous madness of the adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s 1941 by Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch. The beautiful Jerry Ordway art on the comic for the first Tim Burton Batman film.

I could keep going. I have a soft spot for many of the Star Trek movie comics DC produced (even with the occasional storytelling glitch).

But in this modern age, where everything is just a click away (legally or otherwise), the desire to relive cinematic experiences in funnybook form just isn’t there like it used to be. Even doing new stories based on films and TV isn’t quite the draw it used to be…but it seems for folks attracted to certain properties, if they had a choice, they’d want their comics to be new material rather than rehashing stories they’ve already experienced.

I’m not saying there isn’t an audience now for comics like Obi-Wan and Ahsoka. In fact, I expect Ahsoka #1 to sell quite well, just by virtue of being a Big First Issue for the popular character. I’m expecting a big dropoff on #2, however, as readers realize it’s just stories from the TV show, and as speculators stick with thier #1s and eschew later installments.

In addition, there will be the folks who don’t care it’s an adaptation, and want to enjoy a comic book version of the show. And there’s the simple fact that not everyone has Disney+, and this is their access to these particular adventures.

Now, I realize Marvel may have its hands tied in regards to what they can and can’t do with their licensed properties. I have no idea. All I know is the majority of my customers, when they hear “adaptation,” decide the comic is not for them, no matter how expertly it is artistically executed. While I’ll still sell copies, the number I’ll sell has been capped off.

I really do wish the. best for the creative team on this new Ahsoka comic. I hope it does well, not just for their sakes, but for my own store as well. Selling more comics is preferable to selling fewer, after all. And if Ahsoka does well, enough, maybe a follow-up with all-new stories will be in the offing. One can only hope.

I think the “Star Wars II” parody that ran in Cracked Magazine was just about as close.

§ September 8th, 2023 § Filed under star wars § 15 Comments

So one of the things that has haunted me since childhood was an article that I believe I’ve read in Dynamite Magazine, a pop culture publication aimed at schoolchildren. (COMICS CONNECTION: Dynamite was created, and the early issues edited, by Jenette Kahn, who would later become publisher of DC Comics.) It began in 1974, so it was just in time to ride the Star Wars bandwagon, running several articles and cover features on the franchise over the years.

Your pal Mike was 8 years old in 1977, the proper age for Star Warsing, and thus I glommed onto this mag right quick when I saw it was featuring related material. To be fair, I’m pretty sure I read the occasional issue prior to the release of that film (I seem to recall picking up a special 3D issue of the mag, though that might have come later), but if anything had Star Wars on it, I had to at least give it a look.

One memory I’ve carried all this time, exacerbated by the eventual completion, for good or ill, of Lucas’s plan for a nine film saga, is my having read an article in Dynamite back in ’78 or ’79 with their conjecture as to what those nine films might be. I’m unclear on the exact timeline, but Lucas stated at some point early on that he wanted to make nine movies, three before the current trilogy, and three after. Knowing what the movies are now, I wanted to see this supposed articles conjectures.

Just randonly poking through some Dynamites on the Internet Archive, I believe I may have found the source of that old memory of mine. In issue #44 from 1978, I found an article titled “Star Wars ’78 and Beyond,” which sounded as if this might be a likely suspect.

I remembered a list of multiple entries, each headed “STAR WARS II,”STAR WARS III” and so on, with a paragraph or two beneath giving a brief outline of the alleged events in each film. Kind of a proto-Supershadow, for you oldies out there.

This article…looks like what I was remembering, though with only two entries for Star Wars II and III. I mean, there could still be an article like the one I remembered, but more likely I saw this article and over the years remembered it was having addressed all nine flicks.

Anyway, here’s what Lucas(?) himself(?) said about what Star Wars II would be like:

In a way Lucas sort of predicts the Expanded Universe, what with other people coming to play within the framework he created via books, TV shows, role-playing games, other movies, etc. Everything else is kind of a nothingburger, as none of these origins are really addressed. But it’s interesting to see the “Vader kills Luke’s father” business is at this point still part of the narrative (and it’s pretty clear Lucas doesn’t mean “from a certain point of view” either). And the Ben/Vader fight over the volcanic pit was pretty firmly established at this time.

Elements from this barebones outline would show up in some form in the prequels, from the “midichlorians cause the Force” to that final lightsaber battle between Ben and Vader (and, I guess, the “death” of Luke’s father, more or less). I don’t know when this interview was conducted, but I feel like it had to be early on (or at least drawn from interviews fomr outside sources) if everything is still this nebulous. I mean, I wasn’t expecting major spoilers or anything, but it just sounds like Lucas ‘n’ pals are still working everything out. For example, we’re still at “several sequels” instead of nailing it down to The Nine.

Which brings up to LStar Wars III, where, uh:

Wow, George Lucas invented the Avatar movies, too! Anyway, I think we’d all be down with a Wookiee movie. And again, we’d sort of get this in the Prequel Trilogy, not to mention the Holiday Special.

And that was that. I’m beginning to think this was the origin of that old memory of mine, altered over time from covering a couple of sequels to the dream mag that I carried around in my brain all this time. Unless, of course, I do turn up that article I remembered. Then at last, I will be vindicated!

Basically I just say I’m behind on my reading but here’s a couple of things I do like reading.

§ February 8th, 2021 § Filed under collecting, eyeball, legion of super-heroes, star wars § 10 Comments

One thing I haven’t heard at the shop in a while is “wow, what a great job, you get to read comics all day!” Which is good, because that did get a little tiring to hear, and to explain (when I bothered to do so) that the one thing I really don’t have time for at the shop is reading comics. Particularly now, that I’ve opened my own shop, where the only hand on deck is me and spending the time to read a comic means less time pricing old comics or whathaveyou.

Does that mean I’ve never read comics in the shop? No, of course not…it’s just not something I’m normally inclined to do. The one time I can remember doing so at the new store was an issue of Doomsday Clock, I think. And, at the old store, back when DC and Marvel used to send out preview packs of full issues coming the following week, I’d make time to read Preacher whenever it showed up. However, beyond occasionally flipping through an issue to check for damage while grading or maybe briefly browse through one to find something for Instagram, and yes sometimes just to admire a page or two of art…I tend to leave the actual reading at home.

The big problem, of course, has been my eyeballs. At first, I just thought my vision was getting blurrier due to my encroaching decrepitude, causing my reading to slow down considerably (even with the assistance of progressively stronger dollar store reading glasses. And then once the actual problem was determined (“Oh hey the interiors of your eyeballs are bleeding.” “Wait, what”) and problems began to accelerate, clouding my vision or blacking it out entirely…well, “reading” became an activity that was off the table.

End result: huge backlog of reading. For nearly three years my reading habits have been impaired by my ongoing eyeball issues. For the first year, it was just “no reading,” as my eyes switched off being cloudy or dark or too blurry and so on. Then once my eyes stabilized a bit (with only occasional bouts of hampered vision)…I found I had fallen out of the habit of reading comics. Sure, I read one or two here and there (at least once using a giant glass lens as a magnifying glass) but mostly I just watched television.

Television, as it turned out, was a lot easier to enjoy with my sometimes not-clear vision, particularly with my TV’s large screen and the somewhat close proximity in which I sat. The bright colors tended to cut through whatever was in the way, and while things were still sorta blurry, at least I could make sense of what was happening. Ended up rewatching all of Babylon 5 during this period…it was all bright and colorful and those early CGI effects were crisp and clear and easy for me to see. (I do remember early on watching A Quiet Place on Amazon Prime, with one eye blacked out entirely, and the other essentially with rivulets of blood obscuring its vision…it was like looking through prison window bars.)

It wasn’t until relatively recently that I started making an effort at trying to keep up on the comics I like to read, to try to cut down some of the backlog. And I’ve made some headway…I’m still caught up on Immortal Hulk and the Superman books, for example. But it’s still slowish going, even with somewhat stable eyesight and real glasses. My vision isn’t what it was (my left eye being the strongest one, and my right eye, where all the problems began, being partially impaired and not able to easily read anything below a certain size), coupled with the fact that the backlog is…a little imposing, is still kind of putting me off a bit.

Plus, I’ve gotten into the habit of just watching TV instead, which is easier.

I’m working on it, though. I’m probably making it sound like I just have giant piles of comics teetering over me at home that I gingerly remove a single copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood from the top to peruse. I don’t actually pull aside a whole lot of comics for myself, but week after week after week of not reading them means to the “to-do” pile adds up faster than you’d expect.

THUS, THE CULLING BEGAN. I started going through the stuff I did pull for myself and deciding just what I can pass up for now. The big loser here, unfortunately, was Marvel’s many Star Wars titles. Not to say I didn’t enjoy them…I did, they were a lot of fun, but it’s just too much and with Marvel’s crazy publishing schedules, it just stacks up too quickly.

I am keeping one title around, however, even though I’m desperately behind on this title as well, is Doctor Aphra (which you may have been tipped off to by the inset pic here). I think of the new Star Wars series Marvel’s been cranking out, this is the one I’ve enjoyed the most. I believe I wrote on Twitter about the appeal of the character as filling the “morally ambiguous” role that Han Solo can no longer occupy after his turn in the original movie trilogy. It’s an exploration of this universe via a fresh yet cynical perspective, told with humor and the right amount of pathos. While there is some sort of redemption arc to her story, it’s a meandering one which means we get to see her be a space asshole, which is quite entertaining.

As I said, I’m way behind, so some of my above comments may no longer apply. The last issue I read was #26, which could mean I’m two years behind or six months behind, given Marvel’s aforementioned publishing schedules. But I’ve got ’em all stacked up here and ready to read, and all her previous appearances (in her own title and elsewhere) set aside for future reference. And all other Star Wars funnybooks…back to the shop with ’em. Hate to see you go, but what else can I do, really.

I plan on cutting other titles out of the backlog as well, though I haven’t quite decided what’s next. There are things I’ll always read, stuff I’ve followed for decades: any Hulk series, for example, or the main Superman books, or any Groo or Love and Rockets and related. But there’s the other stuff, the series maybe I just started, or comics I’ve been putting off reading for so long it’s pretty clear I’m not that interested in them. Or books I dipped back into reading, like Batman or Flash, decided “yeah, read enough of those” and stopped. Again, no critique implied of the books…they’re perfectly fine, I just don’t have time for everything anymore.

That said, I did pick up this book last week:

…continuing the complete reprinting of the Legion of Super-Heroes that began in the Legion Archives hardcovers and living on in these differently formatted, cheaper to produce hardcovers which picked up where the Archives left off.

This volume brings us up to Legion of Super-Heroes #271, plus the Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes mini-series. That means we’re in the very early ’80s, and just about to the point where I started picking LSH off the stands. I was bit of a late starter, sort of, to the Legion, but I was instantly a fan and kept reading the book ’til about the New 52 era, which was just one reboot too many for the comic that had pretty much become known for its incessant reboots and the hope the New, Improved Legion would get traction this time.

Anyway, I like these books, and I suspect I’ll likely continue picking them up even as they start to overlap with the Legion comics I do have. You know, just to get the Great Darkness Saga on paper that isn’t terrible. I may stop once they hit that initial “direct sales only” series, which already exists on nice paper!

Did want to note that Paul Levitz, one time DC president/publisher and writer of the Legion, provides the introduction. He says that the contents within may feel a little…disjointed, due to various creative team pressures and deadline issues and stuff, but honestly when has a Legion story not felt somewhat like some of the pipes are rattling a bit? But Levitz does make some space to say some nice stuff about longtime DC editor/writer E. Nelson Bridwell, a fella that, from some things I’ve heard, may not have been afforded much respect from other folks in the field. Well, Mr. Bridwell’s writing, whether for a comic story or his explanatory editorial pages, were eagerly enjoyed by a young me, so he’s got my respect for certain.

Also wanted to note the artists in this volume…Joe Staton (always great), Jimmy Janes and Jim Sherman (both wonderful draftsmen…Sherman’s got a great splash with Light Lass that’s a knockout), and, of course, Steve Ditko. I’ve read that Ditko story before (hence the link to the previous post) and it’s pretty well out there.

You know, for someone who’s been having a hard time reading, I sure wrote a lot for other people to read. There’s some form of base irony there somewhere. But thank you for putting up with my typing, and we’ll chat again shortly.

I just accidentally typed “Future Steve” — now there’s an event I want to read.

§ January 8th, 2021 § Filed under retailing, star wars, sterling silver comics § 5 Comments

So…some week, huh? Hope everyone out there is finding ways to keep sane and their anxiety levels down (when they were already up with this whole COVID thing). Hang in there, pals.

I plan on beginning my coverage of your predictions for the 2020 comics industry next week (did any of you guess “DC will split off with its own distributor after Diamond shuts down for two months?” I guess we’ll find out!) so let me take this time to remind you to get your 2021 predictions in before too much more of 2021 gets past us.

I’m just going to cover a couple of other things here before calling it a day. First, response to DC’s Future State event has been…mixed, so far. Granted, it’s only been on the shelves for a couple of days, but customers really are either “gotta get them all!” or “ugh, are you kidding me, no way.” As I noted on Wednesday, I suspect hearts and minds may change if, when the regular titles resume, references are made back to the Future State stories maybe the naysayers will become yaysayers, but who’s to say. Maybe that can be someone’s 2021 comics prediction.

But sales have been…okay on them, so far. Next Batman, even at the $7.99 price point, is selling the best, and Wonder Woman and Swamp Thing are close behind. Superman of Metropolis and the Flash are taking up the rear here. Not doing badly, but not setting the world on fire either. Hey, I’ll take “selling reasonably well” any day, c’mon.

The big hit of the week is Star Wars: High Republic, which I wanted to be about Teen Yoda selling bags of fresh Dagobah Green out of the back of his Ford Pinto in his school’s parking lot, but apparently is about Jedi shenanigans in the past of the Star Wars universe or something. Anyway, probably half the people who bought it will never know what it’s about because their copies are going straight to eBay, but I had some folks genuinely excited to read it. It’s certainly the best-selling Star Wars comic in a while, but I imagine sales are going to plummet once the series moves into the less-eBayable Not Issue #1s. Or until some loon with a YouTube show declares a later random issue hot for no damned reason, who can tell with those people, he said grumpy old man-ily.

Oh, and remember the whole Bad Idea Comics thing? The one where only select stores across the country are going to get them initially, and somehow I got in on the deal? Well, they’re about to take orders for their first regular release, Eniac #1, which I announced on my store site yesterday. After an extensive delay, due to waiting for the industry to kind of pull itself together again after the COVID shutdown, it’s finally starting up, so we’ll see how it goes! I’m not sure how I’m going to order yet, but I already have (and am getting more) preorders from customers, and I’m curious how many mail orders for these I’m going to receive, given the limited availability. Should be an interesting experiment, at the very least.

One final thing, to help you start your weekend right: my old pal Brook told me about a movie that, somehow, I’d never heard about before, despite looking entirely like My Thing that I would have adored as a child upon its late ’70s release. Brooke directed me to the trailer upon the YouTubes, , which I watched with him in the shop yesterday afternoon, and lo, did I have the widest smile on my face.

Are you quire ready for…STUNT ROCK:

If it’s one thing the people of this great nation can come together to agree upon, it’s that more rock band stage performances need fire-wielding wizards.

A big hit out of ’77.

§ May 4th, 2020 § Filed under star wars § 8 Comments

Why yes indeedy, it is May the 4th, the EDIT: observed anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars to theaters back in the long-ago mostly plague-free times of 1977. “May the Fourth Be With You” as the fans say in that attempted-to-be-legally-claimed-by-Disney catchphrase we all know in love.

Anyway, The Star Wars has been a big part of my life since I saw that first film back in 1977 at the age of 8. While I’d already been reading comics here and there prior to that (along with reading anything else I could get my hands on), it was Star Wars that got me attempting to purposefully follow a specific title issue by issue, month by month. I mean, I cheated a little, I got the first six issues (adapting the movie) in those three-packs, and I may have even bought 7-9 in a three-pack as well. But I was checking the spinner-racks and whathaveyou on a regular basis, looking for anything new that was Star Warsian. And of course, in the process, I started checking out other comics as well.

So anyway, it’s pretty safe to say that you can draw a straight line from that initial viewing of Big George’s Sci-Fi Puppet Show and Toy Rocket Extravaganza to me owning a comic shop and spending afternoons bagging up old issues of X-O Manowar. Everything I am now can pretty much be pinned on that movie, and possibly also my inability to get a real job, BUT MOSTLY THE MOVIE.

If you have the Disney+, I hope you’re watching the last season of The Clone Wars, probably one of the best bits of ancillary storytelling to arise out of the Star Wars merchandise-verse. I remember long ago on this blog writing that I not terribly impressed with the very first installment of this end of the franchise, the Clone Wars “movie” (actually several episodes glued together), and I was right to not be impressed because it wasn’t very good. But the series that followed really embraced the movie-serial origins of Star Wars and was enormous fun. Right now the series is coming to its conclusion, and is in fact overlapping events from Revenge of the Sith. Very dark and interesting and almost improves the Prequel Trilogy with its existence.

And of course there’s The Mandalorian on Disney+, surrounded by lots of “Baby Yoda” hype but is a very stripped-down, “earthy” (if you’ll pardon the expression) vision of the Star Wars universe. We’ve got that Obi-Wan series coming eventually, despite some apparent production troubles, and a proposed new film trilogy by Last Jedi‘s Rian Johnson, not to mention all the tie-i comics and novels and other storytelling sources. There is literally too much Star Wars media than I can consume, but don’t tell that 8-year-old me sitting in a theater in 1977 about to watch that film for the third time…he’d never believe that there would ever be such a thing as “Too Much Star Wars.”

ADDENDUM TO THE EDIT: Was informed that May 25th is in fact the actual release date for Star Wars in ’77, and “May the Fouth” became the observed date because, well, you know. Ah well, I apologize for my mistake. At least we’ll always have Greedo shooting first.

This post brought to you by Star Warsing.

§ December 27th, 2019 § Filed under low content mode, pal plugging, star wars Comments Off on This post brought to you by Star Warsing.

I was indeed Star Warsing last night…and into this morning, so I got home way too late and tired to put together a proper entry here on Progressive Ruin Online Punditry Magazine, so just a couple o’links and reminders today.

[On the topic of Rise of Skywalker: good, though I can understand some of the criticisms levied at it by rational, reliable film commentators. It does leave me wondering what George Lucas’ wrap-up to the saga would have been…I mean, completely bonkers, sure, but Star Wars needs to be a little bonkers.]

Anyway, LINKS:

My friends the Beckners still need a little more help to get through this month, so if you can give a bit to their GoFundMe, I’d appreciate it, and they would definitely appreciate it.

I’m still taking your predictions for the comics industry in 2020, so get ’em in already!

Thanks, pals, and I’ll see you on Monday.

I was but the learner, but now I am the master.

§ December 16th, 2016 § Filed under retailing, star trek, star wars § 10 Comments

…Well, okay, perhaps that quote from Star Wars Episode IV: Remember When There Was Just the One Movie is overstating things a bit, but it was kind of odd to have my former boss Ralph from the previous place of employment come to my shop and fill in for me for most of this Thursday. Yes, I was my old boss’s boss for part of a day, and yes, that seemed strange. But it was quite nice of him to step in, as I was attending funeral services for my girlfriend’s mother at that time. He reported that there were more than a few shocked faces after walking into my store that day and seeing him behind the counter…some folks hadn’t seen Ralph in years got to catch up with him again! (And he’s still selling comics, but just doesn’t own a store, so it’s not like I handed the keys over to a competing shop or anything.) (Or did I? Dun-dun-DUNNNN.)

Anyway, I’ve had a long Thursday, and a long week in general, I’m pretty wiped out, so I’m putting a cap on this week here at Progressive Ruin Industries. I’ll let the batteries refresh over the weekend and I’ll be back in fightin’ trim on Monday.

Though, just so there’s some actual Star Warsian content to justify the title of this post, there’s a couple of things that came up on Twitter last night that I’d been thinking about for a while, and wanted to pose to you folks.

1. It seems like (to me anyway) it’s only a matter of time before Marvel starts mixing the Star Wars license with the regular Marvel Universe. I mean, beyond special variant covers…I’m talking actual comic book stories like Super-Villain Team-up with Darth Vader and Magneto or a Vision/R2D2 crossover or something. How likely do you think that’ll happen?

2. I believe that within my lifetime, I will see an official Star Wars/Star Trek crossover of some sort…probably in the comics, maybe in a novel, almost certainly not in live action. Now, with Disney having dumped four billion smackers into the franchise, there’s almost certainly no need for Star Wars to “team up” with anything, as the films don’t need any sort of gimmicky sales boost, beyond the gimmicky sales boost of being a Star Wars movie. But I think all it takes is one or two or a half-dozen box office crashing turkeys to drive either property to such desperate measures. Star Trek certainly hasn’t been shy about crossing over with other company’s properties, so it feels like that side of the deal wouldn’t say “no.” Think this will happen? In my lifetime? In any of our lifetimes? In the far-flung fuuuuuture?

In which I continue to be inconsistent about using the “cite” tags on “Star Wars.”

§ November 18th, 2016 § Filed under star wars § 3 Comments

So I’ve had Star Wars on my mind a lot lately, mostly due to getting in this collection I told you about a couple of days ago (and also probably because I’ve been plowing through episodes of Star Wars Rebels via Netflix discs over the last two weeks). A while back I talked about getting the Early Bird Kit for that first post-Star Wars Christmas in 1977. During that what seemed like an insanely long gap of time between Star Wars and whatever Star Wars II was going to be called was where I did the bulk of my Star Warsian toy acquisition. After receiving the Early Bird Kit figures in the mail, I ended up getting most, if not all, of the regular figures available at the time, as well as some vehicles (the Landspeeder and the Tie Fighter) and a playset (the awesome Pie Wedge of the Death Star set). And yes, I collected Proofs-of-Purchase and sent away for (and received) the mail order Boba Fett.

And that was that, more or less. When Empire Strikes Back came out, the only figures I ended up getting for that film (aside from Boba, which technically was a Holiday Special character, don’t @ me) was Yoda (of course, that was an awesome figure) and, inexplicably, a Snowtrooper (which may be part of the reason I was so excited to see someone dressed as a Snowtrooper at that one Wizard World I attended). After that, though I’d been tempted by many different Star Wars figures that came down the pike, I’d only purchased two: this Queen Amidala figure from The Phantom Menace (hey, I liked the look of the character) and R2-Q5 (can’t say why, other than it looked cool). I keep thinking about pulling the trigger on a BB-8 of some kind, but I’ve resisted so far.

In discussions both online and actually face-to-face, I found myself discussing that period just after Return of the Jedi was released, where it seemed like Star Wars was pretty much done for good and the toys ended up in clearance bins. I remember seeing piles of these figures just gathering dust in the bargain barrels with series of price stickers with progressively-lower prices affixed to the packaging, and thinking “boy, if I was still into getting Star Wars toys, I’d be in hog heaven.” Of course, 1983 to 1986 or ’87 me was completely ignoring the time-traveling psychic communications from 21st century me extolling him to “BUY THEM, BUY THEM ALL AND SAVE THEM TO RESELL LATER ON EBAY — I’LL EXPLAIN WHAT ‘EBAY’ IS LATER, JUST DO IT!” Ah, well.

Not sure why I’m laying all this on you, other than to get these weird Star Wars collecting feelings of nostalgia out of my system, or at least share them while they persist during my ongoing processing of that collection. That figure pictured above was one of the few actual vintage figures in this collection, dating from 1983. Most of the rest of the figures date from the late ’90s revival and later. Amazing how primitive-looking but still strangely appealing that little R2-D2 toy is…the little chrome head, that paper sticker glued to its torso, which was probably much easier than actually modeling all the nooks and crannies on R2’s body. The 1983 R2 looks pretty much the same as the one I got in 1978…no need to mess with success, I guess, or to improve the sculpt so much that it no longer matches the look and feel of the rest of the line. This version does have an extendable “sensorscope,” which I’m sure if it had been available when I was 8 years old, I would have nagged my parents into buying it for me. “But Mom, this R2-D2 has the sensorscope! We have to get it!”

Instead, 47-year-old me put it on eBay and sold it for $115.97, plus shipping. I’m not sure what 8-year-old me would have thought about that.

Get this popcorn to Sickbay.

§ November 14th, 2016 § Filed under pal plugging, retailing, star trek, star wars § 4 Comments


So my pal Bully, the little bull stuffed with lovin’, is a bit down in the dumps at the moment, and he can use a little support. I posted that above image, made long ago and posted on this site before, to my Twitter account (with a link to Bully’s account), and have been asking people to retweet it. Hopefully, when Bully peeks in on his own Twitter feed, he’ll see all the support he’s been getting there. If you’ve got a Twitter account and can retweet that tweet, please do. You can “like” it, too, but definitely retweet so it gets around. Thanks!

• • •

In other news…this is a hell of thing:

Life goes on, and this weekend life brought me a whole lotta boxes of old Star Wars and (to a much lesser extent) Star Trek goodies…boxes shown here:

Mostly unopened action figures, with some other related items, like that Vanity Fair with the — Star Wars cover, I think? — peeking out the translucent plastic , there. And there are some TV Guides, with multiple covers for one issue featuring lenticular images of the Star Wars cast…can’t remember ever seeing those particular Guides before. Anyway, I’ll have plenty to look at and almost certainly post here once I figure out a strategy of how I’m going to deal with all these items. I mean, aside from keeping all the droid toys for myself. Oh, man, if there’s an intact Droid Factory playset in here, I’m closing for the day and just building droids ’til the wee hours.

Of course, the real trick here is determining prices, since it’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with Star Wars/Trek figures, with not much of an idea of the secondary market on some of these things. I have vague memories of there being some collector demand for certain figures with particular part/run numbers and so on, but I can see that driving me crazy in short order. But that’s just a matter of research…and frankly, both I and the person I’m selling these for are more interested in moving the majority of them out for bargain prices rather than trying to sell that one special Ugnaught w/Variant Purple Speckled Overalls for an extra dollar or two on eBay. But the plan is that some will go on eBay, most will go in the store for relatively inexpensive prices, what with the Christmas holiday coming up…though I’m not sure how many kids are going to want to find a Phantom Menace Ric Olié action figure under the tree, regardless if it’s the “closed-hand variant” or not.

And then there’s the problem of me wanting any of these for myself. For the most part I’ve been pretty good about not buying toys for myself (aside for those toys of a Swamp Thing-ish persuasion, of course) but the little droid figures are just so appealing to me. If I’d had my wits about me as a young Mikester, I could have restricted myself to just buying the droid figures from the Star Wars line all this time and amassed a tiny robot army. Alas, I can only collect so much, what with the comic books, buttons, and glow-in-the-dark novelty socks I’m already gathering. Despite all that, I bet I’ll probably keep something out of these boxes. I’m weak, I can’t help myself.

One thing I probably won’t be keeping is that sealed package of promotional Star Trek: Voyager popcorn, pictured above. From what I understand, while unpopped kernels can last indefinitely if stored in an airtight container and kept cool and dry, kernels in a microwave package can go bad relatively quickly. Don’t eat these at home, kids! I’m wondering if I can get away with selling this on the eBay as long as I put a bit warning in the listing: DO NOT POP OR CONSUME – BAG IT UP, PUT IT WITH YOUR OTHER STAR TREK STUFF. …Actually, between typing that last sentence and typing this one, I did check the eBays and found a couple packs of these for sale there, between $10 and $27. Guess I’ll be throwing my hat into the highly competitive Promotional Popcorn Packaging arena.

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Blogging pal Tim continues his series of essays with this latest installment, “Someday We Will All Be Free.” Maybe contribute to his Patreon. (ooh and maybe mine, too)

So I was going to write about…

§ June 23rd, 2016 § Filed under star wars, this week's comics § 2 Comments

…the fact that the Force Awakens comic book adaptation is coming out now, long after the theatrical release and the home video release, theorizing as to why, etc., but it turns out the answer is apparently just “hey, it happened when it happened.”

On the Twittererers, @bensonmic let me know that Jordan D. White, one of the folks behind Marvel’s Star Wars funnybooks, indicated on his own Twitter and/or Tumblr that it just wasn’t something they were prioritizing. I went on the endless scroll through Mr. White’s Tumblr, not finding that particular post but certainly appreciating the man’s nearly endless patience for some of the fan interactions he was…enjoying. But anyway, the aforementioned @bensonmic later sent me the link to the actual post in question, put up last Christmas:

“The comic book adaptations of movies have not been as big of a thing since the advent of home video. Back when, getting a comic was one of the only ways to reexperience the story of the film when it was out of theatres. Now, you can own the film relatively soon after, so it’s less imperative to get the adaptation out right away. If we do one, we can take the time to do the comic as accurately and awesomely as we can.”

Which of course makes complete sense. I even said the same thing on this site…guh, eleven years ago, which is a mindset I’m still in, and that’s why I’m always surprised when a new movie adaptation comes out. Mostly, it’s just Marvel adapting previous installments of their superhero films before the next film comes out (like the Captain America: Civil War Prelude from late 2015/early 2016, which adapted 2013’s Iron Man 3 and 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier).

But still, the Force Awakens comic feels like bit of an anomaly, but hey, what do I know, it came out this Wednesday and it sold just fine, so clearly there’s an audience for it. And, um, I got it too, since I’m pretty much in the bag for all things Star Warsian (at least as it pertains to the characters I grew up with, and not, say, novels set 10,000 years before A New Hope and featuring Jedi Master Tu Ma’nee Apos’troph’ez versus Darth Menacingname). And even though I know it’s a five-parter, it felt like the film’s story was so compressed in the opening pages I briefly wondered if this adaptation was a one-shot.

I mean, yeah, it’s probably an entirely unnecessary comic, given that most of us interested enough in actually buying it almost certainly owns the film itself in the format of one’s choice. But there are some nice illustrative moments, and the adaptation of the script is fine, and let’s face it, if there wasn’t a comic book version of Episode VII, it would certainly be noticeable by its absence. “Star Wars movie comic” is just one of those constants of the industry, present whether you want it or not.

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