You are currently browsing the sterling silver comics category

I realize the phrase “following up on my Swamp Thing post” doesn’t exactly narrow things down.

§ June 14th, 2019 § Filed under does mike ever shut up, sterling silver comics, swamp thing, undergrounds § 1 Comment

Following up on my Swamp Thing post, I should note that there are further reports about what may or may not have happened regarding the show’s cancellation. First it was “somebody messed up the tax credit,” then it was “they weren’t getting enough tax credit,” and now it’s “powers-that-be thought the show was a stinker and cut their losses.” The show’s getting plenty of good reviews now, but it’s probably too late for them to change their minds. Anyway, I have no idea what the full, real story is, but in the meantime, one of the My Little Ponies, a “community manager” at DC Universe, tries to keep things upbeat, as is the way of said ponies.

ª ª ª

More Swampy follow-up: after noting here and discussing further here that DC’s digital versions of certain Swamp Thing issues feature incomplete artwork or missing captions, BobH asked if the same problem was still in the print edtion. And yes, after getting Swamp Thing Book One TPB back in stock, I was able to check and…the color-hold image is missing from the reprint of #21, and the “and meet the sky” caption is still missing from the end of #24. Don’t worry, everyone, I’m sure they’ll have this fixed by ther time Swamp Thing Season Two shows up on DC Universe.

ª ª ª

Hey, look at this thing that showed up in a collection on Thursday:


And here’s the back cover, because why not:


I immediately recognized this as an Ods Bodkins book, featuring the work of Dan O’Neill, but quickly realized it was one I already had, albiet in the diffeof trent edition. It was, in fact the first edition, from 1969, of Hear The Sound of My Feet Walking..Drown The Sound of My Voice Talking. I discussed the book, or at least my edition of same, a couple of times on the site, including way super-early on, back when people read blogs. And I brought it up again a mere 12 years later when I decided my site needed a nice big scan of the cover.

It’s quite a bit larger than my copy (it’s about the size of one of those treasury edition comics) and there appears to be a page half covers in red ink. Not “oopsie we splashed some red ink on this page,” but literally “here, have a giant solid block of red for just that one page for some reason.” I’ll need to take a closer look and see what’s up with that…or just straight up keep the book, since I love “Ods Bodkins.” …Yes, I’m the guy.

• • •

So about the Will Eisner “Spirit of Comics Retailing” award my shop was nominated for…well, you can read the whole tragic tale here on my store’s Facebook page. If you eschew Facebook, and if so I salute you, the short version is: got the paperwork a while back, decided to hold off dealing iwth it ’til my eyes were a bit better, checked the due date, waited a bit, eyes are reasonably better, got out the paperwork again, realized I misread or misremembered the due date and now it’s too late to enter. Well, great.

On the other hand, if I tried to complete the paperwork and take the necessary photos and make the necessary video for the award application on time, I would have had to done with eyes that on a good day were barely adequate for my regular day-to-day stuff, and occasionally completely obscured leaving me with hardly any vision at all. So, let’s call this a “mixed blessing,” and should someone make the horrible mistake of nominating me again next year, hopefully my eyes will be back in business for good and I can give the award whatever attention I can manage.

And like I said in my Facebook post…my eyes are finally getting better. Both eyes. At the same time. Not “one eye’s mostly okay, the other completely blind” or anything like that. This is the first time I’ve had reasonable, though still a bit to go, vision in both eyes at the same time in over a year. Barring any more surprise sets (crossing my fingers ande my corneas) everything should be good sooner rather than later. Yes, I realize I’m jinxing it.

I can’t really call myself an “Eisner nominee” since I won’t be in the running, but it’s nice that someone thought well enough about me to throw my name into the hat. I’m not the biggest or most media-present store out there, but I am a guy who likes to sell comics, has a store full of them, and has done this for a long time. That I still get to do it is certainly an award in and of itself.

• • •

Don’t forget…I’m still taking your funnybook-related questions and post topics! I’ll probably start on them next, so be sure to tune in on your Internet Radio Box for that.

The only Free Comic Book Day t-shirt I can find in my closet is for the May 1st, 2010 event, which means I should clean out my closet more often.

§ May 3rd, 2019 § Filed under eyeball, free comic book day, sterling silver comics § 6 Comments

The Free Comic Book Day, she is coming tomorrow, so I hope you’re all ready to get out there and get your mitts on some free comics. Also, don’t forget to drop a dollar or two or a hundred while you’re there to support your local shop, as those free comics ain’t free to us, friends! I’ve been involved in the FCBD event every year since it started, and as a result, have written a whole lot about it, if you care to check out the Free Comic Book category on this here site.

I’m pretty much ready, though at the moment I am medically precluded from tossing boxes of comics around for the time being, so my job Friday night will be pointing at where I want stuff to go while others who are kindly devoting their time to help me do the actual labor. I mean, I can still unload comics out of the boxes and fill up the display tables, so I won’t be entirely useless. But still, kind of a bad time to be told “DON’T OVEREXERT YOURSELF, DON’T MOVE OR LIFT HEAVY STUFF” when one has to, you know, rearrange one’s entire store.

Speaking of my health, Chuck V. asked in response to Monday’s post:

“You know, I don’t want to get too personal and I realize it would take away from the supposed theme of the blog, but have you considered sharing a bit more about what caused this? Kind of a public service announcement.”

Well, if I had to sum up my problems in a public service announcement, it would be “Don’t Be Like Me — Don’t Be An Idiot about Your Health.” I wasn’t taking good care of myself, I wasn’t eating properly, I was drinking way too much soda, I had enormously high blood sugar and high blood pressure, I was overweight…I was a mess, basically. I felt fine, so of course I didn’t think there was any problem, until there was.

What’s causing the problem in my eyes is neovascularization, where new, weaker blood vessels started forming as a result of my poor health and circulation and blood sugar levels. Because the new vessels are so fragile, they can burst easily, especially when one’s blood pressure was crazy high.

Now, the good news is, I’ve basically been Scared Straight. I’ve lost weight, my blood pressure is normal, my blood sugar levels are where they’re supposed to be, I’ve changed my diet (no sodas for a year now!) and I’m doing a lot better than I was. But, the damage I did to my body is still there, especially in my eyes, and needs to be dealt with. Those injections in my eye I’ve mentioned over the last few months? Those were to keep those new vessels sealed and prevent new bleeding. The surgeries I’ve had in the right eye removed (or at least reduced) those vessels, so I shouldn’t have a recurrence of that problem there.

Now the left eye had been doing fine…there was no bleeding there, despite also having those weak vessls. A couple of injections were given to keep that situation stable while work was focused on saving the right eye. But, eventually, despite improvements in my overall health, the vessels in there burst as well. My eye doctor says it could have been just a random spike in my blood pressure that broke those vessels, like maybe exerting myself a little too much, or even just a bad dream could have done it. But whatever the reason, I got bleeding in my left eye now, and I am going back in or surgery on Monday to have that blood removed.

The overall health of my left eye is significantly better than my right, which had some tissue damage. As such, the surgery should be relatively easy and result in quick healing and restoration of my sight back to about as close to normal as we can hope for. And yes, those extra vessels will be expunged as well, and with any luck my new health regime will prevent them from coming back.

So that’s probably more than you wanted to know. I should probably add an “eyeball” category to my site here.

“It wasn’t bio-restorative formula, was it?”

After the last surgery, my right eye was about as red as Swamp Thing’s eyes, so you’re close!

Okay, enough Eyeball Talk….I hope everyone has a fun Free Comic Book Day! And remember, if anyone makes buying something a requirement to get a free comic, give ’em the ol’ bra’s d’honneur and march on outta there. Then come to my store, where I won’t make you buy anything to get your freebies…but I may make sad puppydog eyes at you until you do buy something. THAT’S MY PROMISE TO YOU.

And speaking of my store, I got some paperwork the other day regarding the nomination of my shop for the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. Clearly some kind of terrible mistake has been made. Anyway, more on that later.

Thanks for reading, and have a good Free Comic Book Day, pals!

It only seems like 29 years and 12 months.

§ September 1st, 2018 § Filed under self-promotion, sterling silver comics § 3 Comments

I started working in comics retail in September of 1988, so this marks my 30th anniversary slinging the ol’ funnybooks. I wrote a little thingie marking the occasion over at my store’s website.

That red arrow is pointing at Pal Dorian’s old car.

§ September 26th, 2016 § Filed under free comic book day, retailing, self-promotion, sterling silver comics § 4 Comments

Oops, sorry, I really was planning to have a post on Friday, and then when I missed that, a post on Saturday…but I have an excuse, honest. I was out car-shopping, and then, eventually, car-buying, over the last week, and was coming in awfully late and very tired in the evenings. Turns out that, if you’re running a shop seven days a week, that doesn’t leave you with a whole lot of time to do other things, like, oh, say, getting a new vehicle to replace the old about-to-die one.

Yes, buying a new car wasn’t something I wanted to do, but rather had to do, as my old pickup, immortalized in this Google Earth image from long ago (pointed at by the blue arrow):


…was well north of 200,000 miles on the odometer, and a visit for a smog check resulted in the mechanic telling me “I can’t test this thing,” so that, and several other issues, resulted in the need for a new Mikemobile. And thus, the 1994 Mazda B2300 is dead, long live the 2016 Hyundai Tuscon. …Actually, I tried to buy used, but it turned out there was nary a difference in price between a used 2015 Tuscon and a new 2016 one, and frankly, instead of driving a car that already had 20,000 miles on it, I’d rather put those 20,000 miles on it myself (or approximately 1,200+ trips back and forth between my home and the store).

So anyway, I have a new car, with all kinds of crazy electronic gadgetry I have to learn, as my previous vehicle was essentially a collection of levers and pulleys and this new car is like a more advanced version of KITT from Knight Rider. But now Caveman Mike have new magic machine to bang club on, and Blogging Mike should be back on schedule with his website. Thank you for your patience.

Oh, and by the way, on a completely unrelated note, now might be a good time to, say, come shop at my store, or maybe buy something from my eBay listings, or even patronize my Patreon. Or just overnight me a shoebox full of twenties, that’d be okay, too.

• • •

Okay, how ’bout some comic book-type stuff? I kept meaning to do a little write-up about DC’s Batman Day event, in which DC tries to get the word out about this crazy dude what dresses like a bat and fights crime. Yeah, okay, it’s the comic industry’s version of advertising Coca-Cola, but there’s usually a freebie of some kind involved (this year, a reprint of the recent Batman #1 from the Rebirth event), and it does get folks into the shop. I did the same thing I did last year, and set up a table filled with Bat-books and boxes of back issues and offered discounts on all the stuff, and did some pretty good business. Certainly there were people out enjoying Batman Day decked out in their Bat-regalia…shirts and dresses and the like, and I barely had to advertise it at all for the event to be considered a success.

Now, this is all part of trying to create Free Comic Book Day-esque events throughout the year to generate business for comic shops, like the still-forthcoming this year Halloween-Fest and Local Comic Shop Day. That’s fine, I won’t say no to stuff like this that’ll boost sales, especially when they don’t really require a whole lot of effort. Advertise, have the goodies ready for the day, and be a happy and polite retailer that welcomes everyone that comes into your shop. Actually, that’s good advice year-round, though it sounds like some folks can’t even manage that minimal amount of effort, as related by pal Shane on his Twitter.

Speaking of stores, Diamond Comics has regular Best Business Practice awards, and this year I put my shop in for Best Free Comic Book Day 2016. Only Diamond accounts can vote, so I can’t push the Progressive Ruin Army to my bidding here, but I figure I was the only comic shop with Jaime Hernandez, Batman, and my dad in-store for FCBD this year, so surely I have a chance at claiming this honor. (And if Jaime, Batman and my dad did all show up at another store without my knowing…well, wouldn’t that have been something.)

Oh, and I did another Back Issue of the Week at the store site, too. These are fun to do! Maybe I should start a comic book blog.

And one more bit of Turok Dinosaur Hunter first issue follow-up from last week: read this account of the dreaded fate that befell approximately 5,000 copies of said comic, if you dare.

If my cunning scheme works, I’ll pull in a whole $2.25 on this comic.

§ September 16th, 2016 § Filed under self-promotion, sterling silver comics, turok § 3 Comments

So I decided to put more of my hard-earned blogging skills to use and start a new feature on my store’s website: Back Issue of the Week. Now, I don’t expect to be quite so verbose in future installments, but I certainly picked a comic with a lot of historical industry significance behind it that needed some ‘splaining. I tried really hard to not go too heavy on the “remember when the comics business was really dire?” aspects of it since, you know, it is a store webpage and I want people to be happy and want to buy comics. But on the other hand, a little history lesson about a bit of the comics industry that a significant percentage of my customer base isn’t even old enough to remember might not be unwelcome.

Plus, that particular comic is pretty neat-looking, and, believe it or not, still sells. They keep showing up in collections, I keep buying them, and they keep selling. Whether it’s the persistent Valiant back issue market that’s been kind of lurking in the background ever since Valiant Version One went away*, or it’s the fact that (as noted in my store post) people are snapping up gimmick-covered comics again as interesting novelties…whatever the reason, they’re still moving.

One question I still have about that issue of Turok, and one I brought up before on this site, years ago, is whether or not it was originally solicited as having a full chromium cover, instead of just the glued-on chromium card. I have a vague memory that this was the case, though when I last mentioned it someone dropped into the comments and basically said I was a dummy for even thinking it, of course it wasn’t originally solicited with a full chromium cover. I remain unconvinced, though the fact that if such a change was made at the last second, this issue would have been made returnable…unless the change was announced way ahead of time and we were given opportunity to alter our orders, and we didn’t. Anyway, I don’t have access to the 23+ year-old appropriate distributor materials from which I may glean this information, so What Can You Do?

Another question I had, and one I was very tempted to determine for myself: is there anything under that chromium sheet? Is it just a blank rectangle, like I suspect, or is the border image continued beneath, just unembossed? Will it be the same poisonous and/or explosive material we were told we’d find at the center of a golf ball? One of these days I’ll get a crummy, unsellable copy of this comic in and I’ll find out for myself.

Anyway, enough about me, here’s more about me: I once again contributed to the Trouble with Comics Question Time, this time addressing “Comic Numbering: Is It Good? Should It Be Replaced?? Let’s Find Out!” You won’t be surprised to discover that I just go on and on and on.
 
 

* I’m considering the Nintendo comics-era Valiant to be Version Zero.

Also I would count how many different Richie Rich titles there were, and be amazed.

§ July 20th, 2016 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 6 Comments

So I finally achieved another milestone with my shop…I’m in the retailer directory listings for the 46th edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide:

overstreetad
Yeah, that’s only a scan of part of the listing…buy the Overstreet Guide, out today in your local funnybook store, to see the rest!

There don’t seem to be quite as many shops in the directory as there were when I first entered the comics business, way back when…or even before that, buying my first copy of the guide and flipping through it endlessly, looking at all the ancient comic titles that were mysteries to me unless they happened to be one of the tiny black and white cover reproductions included on that page. And peering through the pages and pages of comic book stores, with cool and/or odd names, and seeing what different categories of products each one offered.

But now, there I am, my own store, listed in the newest price guide. Yeah, I know, Small Business Owner Mike is thinking “geez, it’s just buying an ad and sending in your info,” but Comic Book Fan Mike can’t help but think I’m now a part of a grand old tradition, corny as that sounds. And before you get on me, yes, I’ve been doing this long enough to know the debates over price guides, the impact (good and bad) on collecting, their feasibility vis-à-vis the modern online marketplace, why isn’t Yummy Fur in there yet, etc. etc.

Can’t help but still think it’s pretty neat to be listed, though. Wonder what Young Mikester would have thought, looking through the directories in that long ago guide, had he known one day his store would be in there?

He probably would have thought “WOO HOO! I’d get free comics, whenever I wanted them!” and I wouldn’t have had the heart to set him straight.

Today’s short post brought to you by Mike’s recovery Thursday night from dental work earlier in the day.

§ May 20th, 2016 § Filed under self-promotion, sterling silver comics Comments Off on Today’s short post brought to you by Mike’s recovery Thursday night from dental work earlier in the day.

Hey gang, I’ll be back on Monday with real posting, but meanwhile please enjoy my contribution to the latest Trouble with Comics Question Time, in which we discuss moments we really like from comics we don’t like all that much. My response is a comic I’ve discussed on this site before, but it’s been, like, a decade, so maybe it’ll all seem fresh and new.

Speaking of fresh and new, don’t forget that The Biggest Bang and Amelia Cole writer D.J. Kirkbride is going to be at my store this Saturday (said store being Sterling Silver Comics, located in Camarillo, CA). I expect you all to be there. …Yes, even you, the fellow from Rhode Island. They have planes for a reason, you know.

I’m more of a non-graphic, G-rated designer.

§ April 1st, 2016 § Filed under free comic book day, self-promotion, sterling silver comics § 3 Comments

So I posted my Free Comic Book Day announcement in various places (such as my store’s site) yesterday, and thought I’d post it here, too (click to super-size):

fcbdflyer1
Yup, Jaime’s going to have to put up with my shenanigans for a few hours that day, but hopefully enough of you fine folks will drop by to balance out my behavior. Also, that wasn’t the first version of the flyer I posted…I originally posted my initial attempt on Twitter with the comment “I’M NOT A GRAPHIC DESIGNER,” but fortunately Twitter pal Robb stepped in and said “…BUT I AM!” and knocked everything into the decent shape you see above.

Also, I’ve contributed once again to Question Time over there at Trouble with Comics, answering the query regarding my favorite three deaths. In comics, that is. I don’t suppose any of my answers will be any surprise, though I feel bad that I forgot about the one that made fellow Troublemaker Joe’s #3.

Those of you who had “belly-up by month 11,” you’re out of the pool.

§ November 5th, 2015 § Filed under pal plugging, sterling silver comics § 15 Comments

Perhaps you’ve seen me make brief mention of my comic book store Sterling Silver Comics on this site once or twice over the last several months. Well, today is the one year anniversary of having opened that shop to the public, and I wanted to thank all of you folks, whether you bought something from me or offered moral support, for your encouragement of this sort of behavior. Many folks who’ve known me for years have commented on just how much…happier I’ve seemed now that I’m piloting my own retail ship, and you know, I really do think I am much happier. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before, but it bears repeating. At least, I like hearing it.

I’ve already talked about a lot of this back when I hit the one year anniversary of leaving the previous job, about the ups and downs of the first year, about the stress of starting up and the travails of keeping everything going. But here I am, at the first year anniversary, and if I could make it through the first year, I can make it through the second. And the third. And the tenth. And the…hundredth? I expect to see you all there for “Mike’s Brain-in-a-Jar Comics” at that anniversary.

Seriously though, thank you, my Internet pals and my real life pals who read this site and remain my pals anyway, for all of your support and kind words for this particular endeavor. It means a lot to me. I’ve been working the retail end of this business for twenty-seven years, and yet, in my own shop, it feels new and fresh again. That’s a good feeling.

• • •

In other news:

For Halloween, customer Mark popped by the shop in his great Batman costume:

bm-393x640

He’s entered himself in the Halloween ComicFest costume contest, and if you could pop over to Facebook and vote for him, I’d really appreciate it! Alternatively, you could go to the main site and search “sterling silver comics,” and his entry will show right up. Thanks!

I swear this wasn’t just an excuse to plug my eBay listings.

§ October 19th, 2015 § Filed under self-promotion, sterling silver comics § 4 Comments

One year ago today was my last day working for my previous place of employment, Ralph’s Comic Corner/Seth’s Games and Anime. Which of course means in a couple of weeks, it’ll be the one year anniversary of opening my shop, and it’s hard to believe that much time has flown by already.

Well, so far, so good, and I’m still reasonably certain I made the right choice opening up my own store. Around this time last year, I was in a fairly high-strung state, making sure all the right permits were filed, the proper licenses obtained, trying to get the inside of the store built while hoping my sign would get installed soon, placing my orders with Diamond and wondering if I had enough stock to keep customers coming back, and, and, and….

Of course, that’s all settled now, and everything’s working perfectly smoothly and I never have any problems ever, like all small businesses after nearly a year of being open. …Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. There are ups and downs, like all businesses, but I think back to a year ago and I am glad right now that the store set-up juggling I had to do is mostly behind me, and all I have to worry about at this point is making enough money to survive, ha ha! But I’ve survived so far, and while some weeks are tighter than others, overall I’m doing okay, and look forward to doing even better in the years ahead. (And, hey, if you wanna chip in….)

Thanks to all of you for your help and words of encouragement over the past year, and for sticking with this site when content got a little sparse. Turns out running a store can tire you out, and “sleep” won out over “writing for the blog” more than a few nights. I don’t plan to stop either this site or my store anytime soon, so you’re stuck with both for the foreseeable future!

• • •

In other news, over there at the ol’ Trouble with Comics website, the Question of the Week was “what trade paperback collection would you like to see?” and I bet my contribution isn’t surprising in the slightest.

« Older Entries