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“Suddenly, twenty years later….”

§ December 5th, 2023 § Filed under suddenly... § 41 Comments

So for approximately 36.3% percent of my life, I have been working on this website, since way back when I still had brown hair and properly-working eyes. And that also means of the 35 years I’ve been toiling in comics retail (and can currently be found at my own store), 57.14% of that time, more or less, has been spent relating the travails of the funnybook business.

Well, I’m still here. I’ve outlived many other comic shops, many other comics bloggers, mostly out of pure stubbornness, partially out of force of habit. But I’m hanging in there, even as the public’s desire and/or patience for both blogs and comic books wax and wane, and I appreciate you folks out there continuing to tolerate my presence.

As I like to remind folks, when I started this site, I didn’t even plan to bring up the fact I worked in a comic book store. Now it’s such an indelible part of this project of mine I can’t imagine doing without. I doubt I’d still be doing this blog if I weren’t so thoroughly mired in the comics industry.

Big thanks, of course, to my family and my girlfriend for putting up with this ridiculous hobby of mine for this long, to all my pals both online and (supposedly) real, the Longbox Heroes boys for plugging my site every episode, and of course to the Original Comics Blogger, Neilalien, for blazing this weird trail for the rest of us. And naturally to everyone out there still reading blogs and participating in my comments sections…you folks are a big reason why I’m still doing this. Thank you all.

Over the past year, I’ve been doing pretty well, actually. Despite a new but relatively minor issue cropping up, my eyeball problems have been on the mend, experiencing finally some real progress.

At the store, I’ve been having my best year of business yet, in no small part due to the acquisitions of some wild collections. Among those comics are many, many Silver Age Marvels, including a couple of very notable issues which you’ll see linked below.

Social media has been a real ride of late, necessitating the updating of my page showing where you can find me (which probably could still use a little more updating, frankly). By the way, you can also get to that page via, because I’m a raging egotist.

Twitter (or as I’ve been referring to it lately, Xwitter, per its new name nobody seriously uses, and that “X” looks like a collapsing “T”) is a platform I’ve been using far less lately. I’m still there, checking in and monitoring direct messages, but not participating nearly as much. Still, I have a few tweets to share from that platform, for perhaps the last time for one of these anniversary posts:

Marvel movies have taught kids at least one important thing:

Was finally able to form an opinion on The Flash movie based on an actual viewing:

And I can’t help but comment on other people being very wrong about superhero movies:

I address…assumptions made:

I experience the respect I deserve in my own store:

And maybe sometimes I get a little too much respect:

Finally, a fan-casting I can agree with:

And I at long last put my hard-earned English major to use by chiming with some literary criticism:

Now, if you want to find me on a Twitter-a-like social media platform, me ‘n’ many of my pals seem to have settled on Bluesky. Not open to non-members yet, but apparently there are plans to allow public access soon. You can find me here if you’d like (and my store here), where you can see bon mots such as these:

I make a promise I can absolutely keep:

I can’t take a compliment about my shop:

Honestly, I’m usually pretty laid back:


Stealing from Achewood since 1969:

Adulthood destroys many an illusion:

This happens more often than you’d think:

I feel my age somedays:

But overall, I understand my life and its position in the world:

Now to this site itself: for most of the year I’ve been discussing your picks for your favorite 1980s comics, and you can find all those posts under this category. I had hoped to be done with it all by the end of the year, but it’s not looking likely, especially since, surprise surprise, I tend to run off at the keyboard a bit so each entry is longer and more time-intensive than even I expected. But we’re almost done, with a couple of really good titles left to go. And you have yet to find out which 1980s title is my favorite!

But here, have some other highlights from throughout this past year:


I didn’t really need these Popeye action figures but honestly just look at them, more poop on Popeye, more than you ever wanted to know about Gold Key Champion.


My Few Omnibuses with new addition The Thing, and yet more reprints of Swamp Thing for me, and now looking at your predictions for 2022 (1 2 3 4 5 6), that Secret Six (not Blackhawk) story that takes place in my hometown of Oxnard, ass-free comics, arse-full comics and the first Code-approved use of “pissed off,” got pal Nat to sign an early comic of his for me.


I still have little confidence that James Gunn DC movies etc. plan are going to go anywhere, maybe I’ve already discovered the Most 1990s comic, Popeye sailing the Spanish seas, it’s never too late for another Death of Superman post, Cerebus meets Popeye plus some street dates talk, a thing that’s bugged me for years about these two Marvel comics, Zot! Talk, parts One and Two.

MARCH 2023

So long to Dilbert, Howard Chaykin did more American Flagg! than I thought, for some reason it’s getting harder for me to do these birthday posts, so long Rachel, where’s my Eisner for the title I came up with this post about Mars, I think the store I talked about here is long gone, “Hey, I like PC comics” “of course you’d like ‘woke’ comic” “what,” I should get my Eisner taken away for the title to this post about Az, I chat about a handful of 1980s indie companies, Jupiter the comic that dares include me.

APRIL 2023

I think there will be an awful lot of posts there it’s just me talking about miscellaneous ’80s indie companies, so long Al, terrifying comic book ad puppets vs. reality.

MAY 2023

Before Free Comic Book Day with bonus Freak Brothers talk, after Free Comic Book Day, these great Golden Age horror action figures sold great, PLANET OF THE APES BUTTS, God is unhappy with one of these comics, honestly I admire DC’s restraint in not reprinting this Batman book, ROM and Micronauts together again.

JUNE 2023

Have a little Epic Comics censorship won’t you, Void Indigo talk (plus a follow-up), so long Joshua and John, The Adventures of Tom Yeates, when is a signature not a signature, missing Marvel specials.

JULY 2023

I finally get some Guts, I tried to ask another question of the person who did this TikTok video but she mysteriously disappeared (or decided she’d heard enough from me), Hulk is honored, a couple of old images archived on old CD-ROMs, in which I bother Shannon Wheeler his own self about shooting Jab comics, by Jove it’s Jupiter, a small edit to Mad‘s Star Wars parody.


I’m #1 with a Jab bullet, an early review of the first issue of Mage: The Hero Discovered, the wild reasons this issue of Amazing Heroes is expensive, Mike gets yet more fanzines he has no time to read, and here’s another fanzine oh by the way is anyone actually reading this part of the post – please let me know, and more ‘zines, these Flash comics were a real trial (and a follow-up).


Mostly just bragging that I had Amazing Fantasy #15 and Amazing Spider-Man #1, those dollar store Disney comics, another exclusive dollar store exclusive comic with video, I may have finally tracked down a childhood Star Wars magazine memory, my initial likely-inaccurate reaction to the whole Bill Willingham/Fables/DC hoohar, and now a picture of me with those Amazing Fantasy #15 and Amazing Spider-Man #1 comics, so long Joe, just pure nostalgia for my young comic-collecting days, still trying to figure out a price for this German DC Comic.


In short buy everything Bill Griffith ever does because it will always be good, NANCY TALK with a cameo appearance by long-last pal Andres in the comments, it’s just ducky and very recommended, some new-to-me Curt Swan art, so long Keith, and let’s not forget Video Jack, some of you got the reference in the title, some minor reminiscing about “the dangers of comics,” some info on Comico and its newsstand/money woes.


“A bloo bloo this Flash Gordon strip is too vibrant and exciting and I don’t like it because it’s not old,” a sign of the end times, another ancient memory — this time involving Jon Sable — confirmed, another House of Secrets #92 homage and an old catalog, BROW THING OR NO BROW THING, but definitely NO TEETH THING with bonus movie ranting, what is the most 1990s comic, more old archived images this time from America Online, alternate timeline Howard the Duck movie, Wikipedia is wrong about Amazing Heroes, how many is too many Death’s Head II pins.


…And parts one and two of Our Most 1990s comics.

And I guess that is that…so endeth our 20th year, and on to year 21! Thanks to all of you for sticking around, and I’ll be back later in the week with even more comic talk. Even after two decades of doing this, I still have more to say, much to your delight and/or regret.

But for reading all that, please enjoy this brief video of some oddball’s weird face saying things at you:

“Suddenly, nineteen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2022 § Filed under suddenly... § 22 Comments

Yes, you’ve been putting up with me for nearly 20 years (or a subset thereof), through all the comic scans, the retail talk, the ballyhooing of Frank Miller’s The Spirit and All-Star Batman and Robin, though health issues, through leaving one comic shop and opening another, through all the TV shows and movies, through all the fads and NFTs (but I repeat myself), through…well, through one more year of perpetuating this internetally-ancient blog.

Thanks as always to my family and friends, pal Dorian (alas, his site postmodernbarney is no more, but we’ll find a way to get an archive back up somewhere), and as always, to the Founding Father of Comics Blogging, Neilalien. And a special thank you to Bully, the Little Substitute Bull, who filled in for me during a week where I had other obligations. (Links to those posts below!) And yet more thanks to the boys Todd and Joe at Longbox Heroes who regularly plug this site on their podcast!

And of course big thanks to all of YOU, not just because you’re still out there reading comic blogs, but for all your wonderful comments and emails and such. In a world where online discourse has just swirled straight down the toilet, I’m very lucky that 99.9% of my interaction with readers has been very positive. Honestly, I appreciate it a great deal.

Speaking of podcasts, like I was just right up there a few lines back, I made my stunning return to the internet airwaves discussing the 1981 film Heavy Metal on the Vintage Video Podcast. You can find a link to my post describing the experience below…that’s right, I’m not linking it right here, you have to search for it! HAR HAR HAR! Anyway, hopefully I’ll be back on there eventually, when you least expect it!

Now, onto the regular feature of these anniversary posts…what I’ve been getting up to on Twitter. As you’ve probably heard, Twitter’s been taken over by someone whose actions thus far have…inspired less than a huge amount of confidence, and while I don’t expect that platform to immediately crash into an iceberg or anything, the actual user experience there coiuld very well degrade to the point where I’ll do my social media-ing elsewhere. Like, for example, on Mastodon or cohost or Tumblr or The Hive (no web access on the last one, look for user name “mikester”).

As a result of this online tumult, I’ve revamped the site showing all the places I’d been and am currently at. And, new as of just a few weeks ago, will take you there as well. (Mikester dot com, alas, is on some domain sale site for stupid amounts of money.)

Anyhoo, back to the Twitters. Here are a few (final?) bon mots from that service for your perusal, demonstrating, for example, my customer relations:

…as well as my incisive breakdown of DC’s publishing strategies:

…and my ability to hold a grudge:

…plus my love for things that are bad for me:

…as well as my remembrance of the good ol’ days of comics blogging:

…with a little room for recalling the halcyon days of my youth:

…along with my inability to take a compliment:

…and those excellent marketing skills that Marvel always keeps calling upon me for:

…not to mention that my eyeball stuff is still a thing:

…and my crushing self-awareness:

…or some of these people’s lack thereof:

…plus my occasional run-in with a colliqual conundrum:

…and my encounter with a gentlement with excellent taste:

…as well as my insightful pop culture commentary:

…with a tad of skepticism:

…wrapping up with not just a clear delination of my fate upon this Earth:

…but a mysterious message as well:

So there you go…will those all be screenshots from my Mastodon account next year? We’ll just have to see!

Now, let’s see just what I’ve been up to here on this very site over the last year:


Let’s get lenticular, an appreciation of George Pérez, the sneaky way Marvel made you decide you wanted more expensive comics, those bait ‘n’ switch-y LEGO variants, I thought I picked a pretty good Booster Gold cover for this vaccination post, I sold the majority of these within a matter of a week or two, hey somebody wrote in these comics, some words on authenticating signatures.


Some talk about the original black bagged Death of Superman comic, speaking of autographs pal Ian totally ruined the value of this comic, uh oh it’s looking at 2021 predictions time (parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 EPILOGUE).


Detroit-era Justice League, putting the Marvel back in the Man, [Homer Simpson voice] “Especially YOU,” my previous place of employment becomes a previous place, yes it’s true the new comics rack has no Tick, “don’t kill trees” says this comic made from trees, SPOILER: my allocation was 10%, dueling witches,

MARCH 2022

Still have this sign on display at my shop, meanwhile the clock is still on a shelf at my house, one of my more subdued birthday posts, some questions about that sign, on ordering those ratio variants, CUTE SWAMP THING, who could forget “Birthquake” with promos like these, autographed by the real Spawn, the Turok mystery is solved with help from Longbox Heroes, so long Garry Leach.

APRIL 2022

An old Matt Wagner Mage promo, I deserve an Eisner for the title of this post about the EC Comics counter dump; Solson Comics – I have, won’t you; slow days at the shop; printing errors and the worst comic; talking to me is always a mistake; the only good thing featuring Azrael; what’s Metron’s deal anyway.

MAY 2022

Goodbye Ivy and Neal; Goodbye George; this year’s Free Comic Book Day postmortem; lookin’ at Marvel and DC’s African benefit funnybooks; more Death of Superman talk with extra bonus offense of Canadians; Swamp Thing International; ordering suggestions from ye olden tymes (and part two).

JUNE 2022

(And part three and part four); BULLY THE LITTLE STUFFED BULL WEEK: introSuperwinksbullvertisingBatstripsMarvelous – c-c-c-colorsSluggoAngelEPILOGUE; hey someone let me on their podcast for some reason; comic collecting in the ’90s was its own weird thing; BEWARE THE TOAD; seriously I’d still be selling these #1s if they still had codes; H.P. Bushmiller; Cerebus and Sale; that Wonder Woman dot-to-dot is still funny; the implied question of “why is your store still around?”

JULY 2022

DC promo stickers; Swamp Thing vs. the Hot Comics App; this year’s Freak Out Post; still not sure what the point of Dark Crisis is; didn’t think it’d be Plastic Man that would get me to revive the “racial sensitivity” tag; decided against buying all these variants; a rough rough rough Superman joke; the best Megaton Man panels; important Gelatinous Cube news; the Wedding of Superman – no, not that one; the whole numbering-of-Marvel’s-Earth thing; the Marvel multiverse vs. the DC multiverse.


Turned out this wasn’t the gangbuster success the original was; this toy is terrible; it used to be pretty easy to explain DC’s multiple Earths; the forgotten parallel Batman; a rare original drawing from my mini-comics days; the parallel Earth that wasn’t a parallel Earth; making plans for Power Girl; the Joker vs. Hot Comics Apps; the non-mystery of Bruce Wayne’s age in Dark Knight; the history of Earth-S (or is it 5?); comic-age talk again.


Nancy and Sluggo kid’s book; SLUGGO NO; JSA health and beauty tips; the Joker’s real name ’til the next time they reveal his real name; Fantastic Four error variant; fighting for your publishing rights in your satin tights; Thrasher Comics; original art from the Swamp Thing board game; Popeye and the Adventure of the Missing Numbers; Lex Luthor and hair; more super-villain motivations; noted ASS man Roy Thomas.


Featuring the second-best Superman theme; now entering the Swamp Thing Zone; that whole Supergirl mess; whatever the Joker’s deal is; Batman Beyond for your amusement; a Magic Mountain post just for me; the optimism of filling a whole Miracleman box; Big Peanuts vs. Little Peanuts; no really it almost scared me; more on Mixie-Plick or whatever it is.


The only issue of 1963 people might actually want to buy; goodbye Kevin; the return of the Death of Superman (and also, goodbye another Kevin); surprise more Death of Superman talk; Wedding of Superman and Lois orders; this Hero Magazine video is somethin’ else; the Flash is smooooookin’; someone else’s video on variants and the death-question-mark of blogging; still working on this collection.


I wish I’d scanned the pic of the dentist getting on Doctor Octopus’s case about his oral hygiene.

• • •

And there we go, one more year down, the big 20th anniversary on its way at the end of 2023! Will I make it? Will some of YOU make it? That remains to be seen, but in the meantime I’ll keep blogging, hopefully you’ll keep reading. Thank you for spending a bit of your time with me, and I’ll be back later in the week with CONTENT™.

For reading all that, here’s a pic of me from many years ago, sitting at my computer desk late at night, University of CA Santa Barbara mug in hand, probably working on a post for this site:

I’ll see you here agian in a couple of days. Thanks, as always, for reading.

“Suddenly, eighteen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2021 § Filed under suddenly... § 16 Comments

Sweet Mother Machree, it’s been eighteen years of this nonsense, of me writing about them funnybooks and the selling thereof multiple times a week (eyeballs permitting). What madness is this?

Thanks to all of you for sticking around, whether you started reading this site in 2003 or just started…I don’t know, today, maybe? What if this was the first time you ever read Progressive Ruin? If it is, here’s a FAQ:

“What is this site about?”

It’s about Mike Sterling’s progressive ruin, I mean it’s right there in the title.

“Why is there so much talk about comic books?”


Okay, anyway, thanks to you guys, thanks to my friends and family and customers who lightly cough and turn away when they discover what I’m up to here, and most of all thanks to Comics Blogging Pioneer Neilalien, to whom we must all pay homage.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about me. Or rather, this here site. This year was, as you probably noticed, unless you’re one of those “first day-ers” I was talking about, that it’s been The Year of the Variant in these parts. Waaaay back in the middle of April, I asked you guys about variant covers and how they affected your purchasing decisions. Now, the plan was to respond to your comments and move on, but somehow, someway, the thing I call “variant cover-age” and nobody else does launched from that initial post. As such, most every Monday since then I’ve written about the many…um, varieties of variant covers that have been released, and in most cases offering my personal collecting or retailing memories thereof.

While you can always click on the category link to read them all, I’ve provided this index listing to jump to the subject of your choice. Think of it as a precursor to the eventual article index page I plan to put on this site.

Man of Steel and Legends of the Dark Knight

Spider-Man‘s advantageous variants

X-Men #1

Robin‘s variant parade (plus this addendum)


DC’s “Superman Comics” market test

Valiant Comics

The issue of Jab what got shot with a bullet

Serial-numbered issues for MAD and Triumphant Comics

Variant interiors (for Team Titans, Fathom)

Retailer variants, focusing on Department of Truth

Superman and Spider-Man wedding comics

Double-covers and ad inserts

Whitman comics

That one issue of Lone Ranger

Marvel second issues

“All Ages” vs. “Mature Readers”

Image Comics newsstand variants

Superman’s Definitely Not Colorforms

Marvel’s 35-cent variants

“Platinum” editions

Naughty-covered variants

Old UK variants

TV Guide comic tie-ins plus a follow-up

Recolored reprints and sketch covers

Black and white New 52 variants

Sales impact of variants

DC’s MAD variants

DC’s “Robot Chicken” toy variants

Holy cow, that’s quite a few. And despite popular demand, I’m not done yet.

Other regular features haven’t had quite the same attention…I hadn’t realized, for example, I hadn’t done an End of Civiliation post all year. That’s mostly because it’s no longer as easy to flip through Previews (and other distributor catalogs) as quickly as I used to with my vision shenanigans. But, I promise, I’ll start doing them again. Those naked anime statues aren’t going to make fun of themselves.

Also, Sluggo Saturday only had one installment this year, but that’s kind of par for the course for that series. You can’t force Sluggo, you can only accept Sluggo as it comes. Plus, it’s kind of hard to top this sadly still-timely entry from 2020.

What else, what else…ah, well, I’m still running my Patreon, where all contributions go directly to maintaining my brain in this internet-connected jar, and I’m still doing occassional audio posts. And for some reason I started, based on a Twitter joke I made, where I do indeed tell you if a comic book has staples or not. Went on a brief hiatus, but it’s back, staplier than ever!

My store, Sterling Silver Comics, just celebrated its seventh year of occaionally getting undamaged new comics from my distributor(s), and you can follow my store on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There’s an eBay store, and I also just started selling on a new comics auction/store site called HipComic, and that’s been going swimmingly.

On more place you can find me is my personal account on the Twitterers, where you can find such delightful things as this:

Being pushed toward the grave at the shop:

Wishing for a beautiful piece of comic book storytelling:

Relating my support for a comic writer who could’ve saved a famed franchise from ongoing oblivion:

Pondering an occurrence that certainly had happened:

Exuding more grace and charm to the customers:

Kids saying the greatest things:

Jumping on the latest collectible trends:

Thinking about a business offer I surely can’t refuse:

Defending my honor as a comic book seller:

Demonstrating my skills as a buyer of old comics:

Interacting with my colleagues:

Commenting on, well, dummies:

And again:

And one more time:

Never escaping the chains I forged in life:

And, well, again:

And finally, revealing the secret benefits of comics dealing, posted on, appropriately enough, 4/20:

Now back to this site…what’s been going on here? Well, let me show you:


This Mego-style Swamp Thing figure is on my desk staring at me even as I write this, so long Richard Corben, who would I get to draw my Swamp Thing comic (and my Stanley and His Monster comic), in which I ponder art versus the artist, egads I forgot about Santa’s Secret Cave, which review of the latest Wonder Woman movie had the best title — why mine of course, what I think about Valiant Comics.


The greatest Man-Thing-centric crossover event of all time, I look back at your 2020 predictions (parts 1 2 3 4 5 Epilogue).


Have I got a boner to show you, the deep dive on boners continues, can you find the secret message in this post about Malibu and Ultraverse comics, what I’m reading and not reading (and some talk about Doctor Aphra and 1970s Legion of Super-Heroes), “Five Years Later” Legion talk, nobody needs to hear my opinions about the DC Cinematic Universe (and more, and more), the speculator market gets even more out of hand,

MARCH 2021

X-Force #1 and the Shazam! Effect, the pricing of unbagged pre-bagged comics, the beginning of the Bad Idea invasion (plus bonus video!), Overstreet pricing and more Bad Idea shenanigans, repricing those $50 X-Files #1s you still had in the bins from 20 years ago, they still show up from time to time, I beat the rush on the “10 years later” New 52 retrospective, is Crisis good, there were some good New 52 titles honest, post #5200 should have been the New 52 anniversary post but instead it’s more Crisis talk, the M.O.D.O.K. of Positivity, are reboots/relaunches good, well eventually there were fewer damages, I swear to God mentioning that writer’s name is like putting up the Bat-Signal, anyway here’s some follow-up on that Birthright talk.

APRIL 2021

Talkin’ about New Teen Titans, for some reason I bought this Cracked “Mork from Ork” special I had as a kid off eBay, oh hey it’s an In Pictopia reprint I wasn’t expecting, my old college newspaper and the comic strips therein, Swamp Thing art gifted to me by a customer, here’s where the whole “variant cover-age” began and I swear I’m going to address your specific responses eventually, as expected demand for these from speculators plummeted once retailers were able to order plenty, a Sluggo Saturday shot from an Ernie Busmiller original(!), and now I own some original Bushmiller too, Total Eclipse was worth it just for that panel of Miracleman holding Beanish.

MAY 2021

Super gross retailer behavior, in which I talk about not being a gross retailer, G.I. Joe speculation just out of nowhere, puttin’ dem photos on dem funnybooks, and speaking of which here’s an old Stan Lee photo cover, why I liked Firestorm the Nu-Klee-Ear Man, they should bring back Daredevil’s Punch of the Month.

JUNE 2021

It’s hard to be a Swamp Thing fan these days, I do love those ’70s Shazams, the Herbie/Swamp Thing mash-up you demanded, the whole ugly Warren Ellis thing.

JULY 2021

My early foray into digital comics, I may have “repurposed” a couple of gags from these local ‘zines in my own comics, how to store mini-cmics and ‘zines (or at least how I store ’em), more early mini-comics art by me, how I got this Captain Jack sketch, and here’s an Evan Dorkin drawing I own, still mad about greedy retailers determined to drag down this industry.


Pricing of G.I. Joe #1 and #2, the “how does your local comic shop toss the new bookson the shelves” poll, finally I can be an official fan of Tumbleweeds, why you shouldn’t be impressed by King Spawn #1 orders, Free Comic Book Day 2021 postmortem (with a bonus pic of me, my dad, and Pal Dorian).


What Buck Rogers was up to in the year 2021, my Flaming Carrot still flames, look I’m dumb and I read Swamp Thing, oh yeah Popeye action figures.


Me ‘n’ British comics, some goofy thing from an old Walking Dead issue plus that first week of Marvel’s new distributor, more distribution talk. the effect (or lack thereof) of media adaptations on comic sales, and a little more about that, at last one of my “Special Monster Friends” from my mini-comic, a great little domestic scene from a George Perez-drawn Justice League comic, honestly that Flash/Firestorm scene stuck with me for years, the greatest Bouncing Boy comic that never existed.


What old comics I’d like to see reprinted – the answers won’t surprise you, Superman vs. the Arbor Day Foundation, all the 1970s Stan you can stand, the Diamond Comics hack, honestly I have no real use for this Diamond CD-ROM, Speedy dealing with something worse than heroin, time usage when dealing with multiple distributors.


My favorite anniversary issues, ROM has a message for you antimaskers plus bonus “what is an anniversary issue?” content.

And that’s one more year stored away in the archives for future generations to “enjoy,” for as long as the site stays up after I’m dead. Thanks to all of you for reading, for particpating in the comments, for all your emails, and your business. I greatly appreciate all of it, and I still wouldn’t be doing this site if it weren’t for all of you. Yes, I’m passing the blame onto you people.

For reading all that, here’s a photograph of a koala I inexplicably have in my possession:

I’ve had this photo for decades. Where did it come from? I have no idea! But now, you can enjoy it too!

Thanks, and I’ll see you tomorrow to start the next year of this site. What awaits? More variants? Probably. More koalas? I’ll see what I can do.

“Suddenly, seventeen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2020 § Filed under suddenly... § 12 Comments

Seventeen years of me…yes, it’s true, even though the way this past year has been it feels more like that number should be in the thirties, somewhere. But, I started this dumb thing in December 2003 and no one’s stopped me yet!

Of course, the thank yous: to my friends and family and girlfriend, who haven’t disowned me yet, and to you, the folks what keep reading blogs when all that cool kids are on their TikToks and whatnot, to pal Dorian who will still talk to me despite his best judgement, to all my other fellow bloggers active or fallen, and of course to Neilalien, Comics Blogger Number Uno.

Well, as we all know, this has been some year, but there have been a couple of upsides. A couple folks out there said “hey, there’s this guy who’s been selling comics for decades, let’s ask him questions about stuff he knows,” and that’s how I got a feature interview over at The Comics Journal, as well as being queried for this New York Times article.

My store is still doing well, despite everything…luckily with some hustling and some good customer support, I was able to ride out that two month shutdown. The shutdown also gave me time to start putting some of my recent back issue arrivals online…it’s just a spreadsheet, basically, but it’ll allow me to output the data in usable form should I decide to do something else with it.

Also this year, with my eyeball health situation going on and on and on, my resources were fairly drained and I still had some pricey treatments ahead. As such, I finally bit the bullet the did a GoFundMe…which was a lot more successful than I was expecting, and I really couldn’t thank you all enough for it. I haven’t closed it yet because I’ve still got more stuff down the pike, but I haven’t exactly gone out of my way to promote it lately either, since everyone was already so generous the first time. But, if things get really dire, as least it’s there if I need to push it again.

Sadly, we said goodbye to a little stuffed friend, Bully the Retired Bull, as he shuttered his website for good. Not to say he still isn’t out there, of course, doin’ what he does best. Being stuffed. And little.

In better news, November 5th was the sixth anniversary of my store, Sterling Silver Comics. This year was (and still is) a challenging one, but I’m hanging in there!

I did manage to get out a couple Ends of Civilization, as well as a couple of timely Sluggo Saturdays. So, you know, the old favorites haven’t been forgotten, just trotted out when the time is right.

And of course, I’m always doin’ something stupid on Twitter, the worst place, where…

…it’s never too late for a Death of Superman joke:

…I experience the joys of aging:

…I posit DC’s next R-rated animated film:

…I prepare to open the floodgates:

…I occasionally get political:

…I expand the cultural horizons of my customers:

…I discuss my comics pricing techniques:

…and of course I reflect on the fact that I’ve been doing this comics blog for seventeen years:

Speaking of blogging, here’s some of that very thing I got up to over the past year:


Well I’ve had some laser treatments but no full-on eyeball surgeries since then, Superman’s secret identity now with less secret, the Doomsday Clock postmortem with added “universe-changing events” context.

I thought this was a pretty good panel with which to kick off 2020, trying to keep Superman current vis-à-vis his trunks, “Hulk Smash Hit Record” (and a follow-up).


You mean I could have had this Nolan Ryan comic for only $2.50, Tumbleweeds dammit, oh yeah Alfred’s totally dead for sure, Funko-ous Cube, out: Bronze Age Superman – In: Disco Superman, frankly I need to be stuck on an island to catch up on comics, Mike vs. the new speculator market, pricin’ up those Elves with Guns, I have exactly one copy left of that cardstock cover for Batman #92.

MARCH 2020

My Blip collection has not progressed further, I’m still on the Bad Idea retailers list, COVID-19 business worries alleviated slightly by adrawing by Matt Digges, yet more COVID worries, and the shutdown begins, was pretty worried I’d have to close down for good there + FCBD talk, Diamond’s shutdown, the most timely of Sluggo Saturdays, still doin’ okay business during the plague times.

APRIL 2020

The likability or lack thereof of Jason Todd, new characters with possible staying power (nd follow-up), I still need to get all those Comic Book Galaxy posts up and linked again, distribution follies in the time of COVID, I retell yet again that story about the Star Wars treasury edition, New Comics Tuesday, ’90s hot comics and also the Omega Men.

MAY 2020

Deathmate talk, it’s all the fault of Star Wars. well we thought reopening would be okay, the oldest digital images I have that aren’t pictures of a certain MTV VJ, heck yeah 1990s Swamp Thing TV show, actually all things considered I’m doing okay business now (with follow-up), I stil have this dumb box just floatin’ around the store.

JUNE 2020

If you don’t like me being very slighlty overty political on occasion tough cookies, DC bails entirely on Diamond, leaving JLA/Avengers and thus piles of money on the table, intercompany crossovers 1 2 3 and more to come, Warren Ellis and supporting problematic creators, the most sinful of “blogging about blogging is a sin” posts, brought on by Bully’s retirement.

JULY 2020

Oh no more blogging talk, and even more old man shouts at clouds about blogging, negative space advertising, lazy cover design, I like this screengrab of Doom Patrol I got, The Walking Dead now in living Technicolor, more on comic book reprint series.


I think ultimately I made money on Three Jokers and am still selling them even today, but it’s way easy to lose money trying to predict what’s “investible” (and follow-up), reading about the DC Implosion while another DC Implosion is going on (plus follow-up), have an online presence for your store for God’s sake, a COVID comic reading poll, the relative meaning of “old comics,” you all talk about old comics and what happened to them, Three Jokers #1 and the shocking Swamp Thing connection, look out it’s DC continuity!


Look, I’m just going to bring up Odd Bodkins every few years and we’re just going to have to deal with it, are we having comics blogging yet, I’m sure this ‘zine smelled great when it was fresh, the mid-ish ’80s comics industry and my beginnings in funnybook retail, finally got a Cerebus #1 sorta, DC Universe is dead — long live DC Universe, Aardvark-Vanaheim comics that aren’t Cerebus, oh hey there Three Jokers #2.


Yet another comics-related vinyl record I’ve scouted out, it’ll take longer to read this post than it will to read the Angriest Dog in the World book, too much Joker, my Piggly Wiggly lies exposed (also a comic I totally Silly-Puttied), be careful with your colored word balloons, the black vans haven’t come for me yet so I guess it’s okay to have this comic, “Omaha” the Cat Record, some Warlord love and dead stock, Big Bang Theory and the elusive Jughead (plus follow-up), Three Jokers #3 – the shocking conclusion.


Weird comic pricing hijinks, still can’t believe it included a Tumbleweeds parody (plus what do I mean by “local market conditions”), someday I’ll finish reading all the DC Comics Presents, I go on about comic ages again (and again) and talk more about back issue pricing, the Archie comic that doesn’t exist but should, go to the comments for the link to that long-lost MP3 of me, Marvel movie talk.


DC movie talk, and here’s a long-lost article I wrote for another site in 2006.

And there you go. Again, thanks to everyone who’s ever found even the slightest bit of worth in reading my excessive, somewhat typo-ridden, ramblings, and then come back for more anyway. Your readership, your comments, your emails, your (hint hint) purchases from my store…it all reminds me about how much I love this business, this pasttime, and the people I’ve met doing it. Especially the purchases. Those BIG, BIG purchases.

For reading all that, you get this picture of me taking a brief break at work:

Thanks, and I’ll see you again in a couple of days.

“Suddenly, sixteen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2019 § Filed under suddenly... § 15 Comments

Somehow I’ve made it sixteen years doing this silly site here, and thanks to all of you who’ve bucked the trend, reading blogs long past that medium’s heyday. Thanks also to my friends and family, who support this endevour by not explicitly opposing it, to my girlfriend Nora who still seems okay with me doing this, to pal Dorian who was there at the beginning, and of course to Neilalien, the firstest and the bestest of the comicwebloggers.

The predominant theme for the past year as been “Mike’s eyeballs,” as I’ve undergone multiple issues and surgeries throughout the last several months…and at times even being pretty darn close to being entirely unable to see. I’m a lot closer to being done wtih all this now, but you may have noticed a relative paucity of posts over the past year as I had to take time off from the site due to assorted eye operations, or straight-up near-blindness, which prevented me from posting pictures of Swamp Thing or Sluggo or both. My End of Civilization posts even took bit of a hit of late.

Like I said, I am almost through all this, though I do have one more operation next week and we’ll see where I’m at after that. But I don’t plan on giving up the blog anytime soon…long as you guys will have me, I’ll be around.

Oh, and my store had its fifth anniversary this year, as I entered my 31st year of working in comics retail. I should probably get a real job at some point, but in the meantime…stop by my store! Say hi! Buy stuff! Buy lots of stuff! Maybe even pick up something off the eBays! I won’t mind!

Speaking of the store, I started posting a lot more on the shop’s Instagram this year. Lots of pics of stuff in and around the store, but I also realized “wait, I have sixteen years’ worth of pics I posted on my blog to pick from, too” so you may see some old ProgRuin favorites on there occasionally. No, I haven’t hit them with “Then…KOREA” yet…not sure they’re ready.

And as always, you can find me on Twitter usually commplaining about something or making stupid jokes, or you can follow my store there too. My store’s on Facebook if you are still putting up with that site.

So one of the side effects of my ongoing eyeball problems is that my ability to read stuff onscreen is hampered a little bit, though the recent acquisition of a much larger monitor seems to help a bit. Anyway, please excuse the occasional misspelling or whatnot as you peruse the archives of recent memory…try to collect them all! Just something I thought I’d mention before directing you to the following links of highlights and lowlights from the past twelve months of ProgRuin history:


I mark my first eye surgery in the most tasteful manner, the aftermath of said surgery, here’s the worst thing to do with a guy with one working eye, a Christmas post so great I don’t know if I can top it this year, I give you a beautiful GIF from Teen Titans Go! to the Movies.


Oh Bob Haney and your Teen Titans dialogue, still haven’t started on getting those early Cerebus (and a follow-up), I promise you I was only joking about the gift I gave pal Dorian, I look back at your predictions for 2018 which I’m linking to with just the post tag because I don’t want to link each individual post here, ffthe Penguin’s Harley Quinn.


Marvel’s guide to funnybook collecting, comic book “ages” – always a hilarious topic, I’m an easy mark for Nexus/Badger nostalgia, the very Dalgoda store signs that the other shop had on display before I even worked there, Fantastic Four #347 hype, I regret to inform you that someone did indeed register that domain name, we don’t talk enough about this horrible subject line (or about my Herman Melville joke in the comments).

MARCH 2019:

Oh don’t get me started on the whole “his name is Shazam” thing, I go on about online store reviews, someone somewhere is mad that the HBO series isn’t a direct adaptation of Doomsday Clock, I really really hate those Marvel Value Stamps, I celebrate my 50th birthday with 50 things I’ve learned about comics and comics retail, the comic strip reprints of my youth, ANIMATED HAGAR, Mad paperbacks and I namedrop Sergio, already filled that shelf.

APRIL 2019:

Gotta stop getting eye surgeries as I’m running out of punny post titles, I could use four or five more of these to sell right now, I pay pals to speak good about my store, it finally happened — I made a 420 joke, oh hi Walmart thanks for checking in, I go into far more detail than you’ve ever wanted about my eyeballs.

MAY 2019:

Oh wait here’s more about my eyeballs, I did more on Free Comic Book Day with one eye than most people do with two, Swaqmp Thing and the recontextualizing of superheroes, a reconsideration of that first Superman/Swamp Thing team-up, those fancy comic sleeves from the ’90s ain’t so fancy now are they, China needs to answer for this Superman statue, an overview of the DC Universe streaming shows, six weeks off from reading comics and this is what I jump back in with.

JUNE 2019:

Oh hey this Swamp Thing TV show is pretty good — I’m sure it’ll last forever, fitting that they’re white like an albatross too, I’ve never seen this Barbie and Ken comic before, didn’t expect to write this much about John Byrne on my blog ever again, your once-every-six-months comic news update, a weird Watchmen-inspired album cover.

JULY 2019:

Oh man I forgot about this swell version of the Phantom Stranger we’ll never see again, don’t know how many people I’ve had to tell “no Mad isn’t going away,” still kinda cheesed off about how the end of The Walking Dead was handled, more Swamp Thing TV talk, your Donny Osmond joke of the day, grading them there bagged comics, surely this can’t be more Swamp Thing TV talk, variant covers – friend or foe?

AUGUST 2019:

And goodbye to Swamp Thing TV talk, the salty tongues of the DC Universe shows, Groo reprints and the lack thereof, reprint #1,000,000 of House of Secrets #92 that I own,


the big change in B.C. ain’t as big as you think, watching back issues become scarce in real time, online reaction versus in-store sales, superpowers in the Watchmen universe, a really Super watch, good gravy I’m also collecting parodies of the House of Secrets #92 cover, on being a (somewhat former) Swamp Thing completist (2 3) 4, Thor #337 really was a huge change, at long last New Universe talk, more X-Force #1 talk.


NANCY BOOKS NANCY BOOKS NANCY BOOKS, New Universe sales back in the day, comics I never owned but loom large in memory, I may have invoked some kind of demon with this post, bad eyes won’t stop me from keeping you informed about Swamp Thing comics, the only Halloween ComicFest picture you need to see.


Post #5001 – all about Boris the Bear, Reader John sent me a full run of the Dark Horse Roachmill because of this post so I’ll be posting about the first year of Action Comics next, the last Hellboy movie wasn’t the abomination I feared, the what of super-who, so long Tom, even more Death of Superman stuff (and more!), Marvel making a sow’s ear out of the silk X-purse.


Only one post so far this month, and it’s about that Dark Multiverse thing.

Thanks for sticking with me, friends, whether you just started reading my site or if you followed me over from LiveJournal back in 2003, or if you were putting up with me in the local Oxnard BBS scene before that.

And for reading all that…well, usually I post some old personal picture or something to post at the end of these, but I didn’t have anything ready. So, instead, you get this picture I just took of myself right now as I’m working on this post. Yes, I look tired…hey, you post on a blog for 16 years and tell me you’re not tired!

See you all next week.

“Suddenly, fifteen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2018 § Filed under suddenly... § 10 Comments

Yup, I have officially spent half of my comics retailing career blogging about comics in my free time, because clearly I wasn’t getting enough comics in my diet during regular business hours.

A big, big thanks to all of you folks out there in comics internet land who still read my site, even though there are more popular options than ol’ archaic blogging for wasting one’s time online pursuing funnybook material. But I’m still at it, and if you’re reading this, you’re still at it too, and for that I am very grateful.

Special thanks of course to my family, and my long-suffering girlfriend Nora, who have put up with the shame of not only having a blogger in their lives, but a blogger who owns a comic shop, too. OH, THE DISGRACE.

And as always, special thanks to my other pop culture blogging comrades-in-arms, both active and retired…and especially to Comics Blogger Numero Uno, Neilalien, but more about that character later.

So, this year…speaking of my store, it’s had its fourth anniversary, and I’m still open and selling comics and gaining and maintaining a customer base, and so that’s been working out pretty well for me, thankfully! This was also the year I marked my 30th anniversary of selling comic books for a living, which is about as startling to me as it probably is to you. Well, I guess it’s too late to enter that career as a deep sea diver…guess I’m stuck doing this.

The other big event this year was my ongoing issue with my health, where, after years of, well, not being very good to myself, everything finally started catching up to me. However, with some changes in diet and lifestyle, which were much easier than I expected they would be, I’ve managed to improve my health, lose weight, and just generally feel a heck of a lot better. I do have a lingering vision thing which is going to be directly addressed in just a few days (as I wrote about here) so with any luck that will be resolved (or well on its way to being resolved) soon, too.

Those changes in lifestyle don’t mean that I’ve slowed down in goofing off on the Twitters, where I talk about making sure my customers know where I stand on cinematic history:

…Or apparently puzzling them with my honesty:

Frankly, I think my idea here is brilliant and not at all disrespectful:

Sometimes my interactions with folks who walk in the door at my shop leave me wondering just where all the time has gone:

Of course, the passage of time has altered my involvement with my own passions:

The downside of owning a comic shop is, of course, that the collecting impulse never goes away:

My most popular (faved ‘n’ retweeted) tweet of the year was this one, where some people appeared to seriously think I was actually going to do this to my public-serving brothers and sisters:

But my favorite Twitter moment was getting my entry about watching Firestorm’s debut on the Super Friends cartoon retweeted by Firestorm cocreator Gerry Conway:

But it wasn’t just the Twitters where you could find my wit and wisdom…no friends, there was plenty of that right here, on this very web page you’re looking at right now. Amongst the usual Ends of Civilization and Sluggo Saturdays you could find the following entries for your education and delight:


I could have just rerun this same post a couple of weeks ago, I love blowing up background details like this, Cathy and Andrew – two great tastes that go great together, the ol’ “Photoshop this scan” thingie didn’t over like they used to do in ye olden blogging tymes but I still like it and it’s season appropriate again.


Naked on the cutting nude room floor, for the love of God pick up your comic pulls at your local shop, I mean seriously a Superman series by Todd McFarlane would make all the money, I’LL GET YOU GILBERT GOTTFRIED FANS!!!


Hey it’s the too-long Doomsday Clock review you were looking for, next best thing to a Sluggo Saturday is a Sluggo Valentine, they’re still drawing the cuffs but it’s almost totally an afterthought at this point, I dive deep on IDW’s Popeye variants, reboots and restarts and wedding specials oh my.

MARCH 2018

Sure here’s a page from the Pac-Man Activity Book, in which I totally solve the problem of comics numbering for all time…well okay I don’t, I still have plans for this site — BIG plans, my late birthday post (and oh crap I’m 50 next year…also I’m totally right about that jacket the dude in Krypton is wearing), oh yeah remember when we were all into trading cards, FOOLED BY A FAKE NO-PRIZE, Swampy toys and games, so they fixed the typo in the paperback but went and did the very same thing again.

APRIL 2018

Don’t forget my pal Kurt’s podcast, some prerelease Fantastic Four talk, Land of the Lost talk turns into the worst idea for a comic gimmick, the Secret Origin of Siri, really guys it was more than a thousand issues at that point, Sluggo has some words for people who don’t dig the new Nancy strip, more of that pog content you crave, I need a full run of this or a deluxe reprint hardcover right now.

MAY 2018

Your pre-Free Comic Book Day pep talk, and my pep talk after, and some more FCBD follow-up, so as it turns out that eye didn’t clear up on its own and I’m having surgery on it next week, some Magoos (1 2 3) and some doctors (1 2 3), Popeye’s terrible secret.

JUNE 2018

The scarcity of Miracleman #15 (and follow-up and more follow-up), the new Hulk comic is good, ordering comics then and now, s whole lotta war books, I give up pronounce “Constantine” however you’d like, good gravy back away from the camera Namor, a recent dive into DC animation, so long Harlan.

JULY 2018

The most patriotic Popeye ever, boy I sure was subtle with my Batman #50 commentary (and follow-up), so long Steve, those Walmart comics NOT DIGESTS (and what I thought of them once I actually had some in my hands), making the (comics) grade, boy this Titans show sure loves the f-word, I had a dumb Twitter joke go semi-viral (and also, more Batman #50 follow-up), MORE JUPITER COMICS HURRAH!


Kirby + Ditko + Abominable Snowman = awesome, yeah we’re never getting a new reprint of this story, thia Popeye comic wasn’t entirely what I expected but it was still pretty great anyway, and just how were we exposed to Popeye anyhoo, the origin of Mike the Comics Retailin’ Man, Brother Power the Plant Elemental, it’s more Death of Superman talk – how do I do it, and then I go on about Knightfall, the great Jon Bogdanove.


THIRTY YEARS OF BEING IN COMICS RETAIL, here we go with the Death of Superman again, I’m glad to see the rest of the world is catching up to my love of Nancy and Sluggo, more old comics promo stuff, and even more, DC Universe streaming is giving me a revised opinion of Super Friends cartoons – they’re actually good, more DC Universe talk, this is the worst title for a discussion about Batman: Damned, the unexpected Dennis the Menace Winchester Mystery House variant, so long Norm.


The only Doomsday Clock #7 review you’ll read where it says “a good year for penises at DC Comics,” the best West Coast Avengers cover, probably spent more time defining parameters than I did providing answers, the scintillating sounds of Swamp Thing, let your freak British flag fly, I secured the site so much that I broke images in feeds — still working on it!


Come for the Badger fan film, stay for MY GIANT HAND, catching up on comics I missed back in the ’80s, somehow I got away with writing an entire post about assembling comic boxes, so long Stan, MY GIANT HAND in exciting live video, I’m still getting a boatload of emails about this screen-used prop comic, if only I’d known I could have cornered the market on this rare catalog I assembled nearly decades ago, direct sales vs. newsstand variants talk.


Er, yeah, pretty much just my “eye problems” post.

Again, let me thank all of you for coming to this site of mine, whether you jumped on board today, or whether you were there on day one (and I know there’s a few of you still in that latter category). It’s been a lot of fun doing this, and I plan on continuing to do it as long as you’ll have me.

For reading all that, let me present to you Neilalien’s tribute to my 15th anniversary, including his funny tweet:

…the redesign of his profile page:

…and the redesign of his own website:

Well, shucks. That Neilalien is a swell cat.

Thanks, pals, and I’ll be back with more goodies in short order.

“Suddenly, fourteen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2017 § Filed under suddenly... § 7 Comments

Hey, remember blogging? That’s a thing this fellow you’re reading right now has done for fourteen years, long past anyone’s interest in actually reading blogs! That’s okay, I’ll probably soon switch over to that all-video format all the kids are into. Auto-playing video, of course…that’s what the people want.

But honestly, thank you to everyone who’s kept reading this site after all these years, and of course big thanks to my internet pals who continue to support this behavior. Special thanks to my girlfriend Nora, my family, and pal Dorian, who have all pretty much just accepted this is how I’m going to waste my free time. Big thanks to Neilalien, The Most-Firstest of Comics Bloggerers, for his longtime support.

This year, my store Sterling Silver Comics just had its third anniversary, and it’s still going strong. If you’re in the area, drop by and say hello! If you’re not in the area, feel free to give me a call. Oh, and buy something, if you’d like…I won’t stop you!

I still have a Patreon, though my planned regular reviews of Swamp Thing comics hit a snag when suddenly my extra blogging time disappeared. Still planning on keeping that going, though perhaps at a more reasonable pace…I keep saying the new installment should be up soon, but really, the new installment should be up soon. No, really, stop laughing.

Speaking of free time, I still chime in on the Twitterers once in a while, opining on your favorite comic book movies:

…or talking about my day-to-day delights running a funnybook store:

…or relating the vengeance Diamond Previews has exacted upon me for all my End of Civilization posts:

…or telling you about my exciting dream life:

…or remembering this especially-timely Brush with Greatness:

…or admitting this very specific personal problem:

…or just straight-up twittering about Twitter:

…and sometimes my friends pipe up with some True Facts:

Anyway, enough about me posting stuff online, now here’s more about me posting stuff online! Once again I’ve pointed out the highlights, the lowlights and a few of the middling-lights on this site from the past year for your perusal, entertainment, or reawakening of terrible memories. Enjoy, won’t you?


The Teen Titans are weird, the passing of my girlfriend’s mother, METRON VERSUS DISCO, some comic book lettercol funny business involving my home town, boy Suicide Squard was not a good movie, so long Carrie.


Unleash the Youngblood trading card, a nice Swamp Thing pic by a pal and a Richie Rich cover I messed around with, who else dares to draw a connection between Wolverine and the Three Mouseketeers.


So long Dan, at long last the Flaming Carrot one-shot is mine, Wendy the Good Little Witch versus the World, I end up talking a lot about Swamp Thing in this Justice League Dark movie review believe it or not, the award-winning (well, not really) story about Willie and the Bug comic, “The Arch” if you can believe it, BAMM-BAMM CAN SEE YOU.

MARCH 2017:

This is a terrible joke I’m totally proud of, I write a bunch about Don Rosa, I made a joke here about Dr. Manhattan stealing Superman’s red trunks that other people came up with independently and it turned into this whole Twitter thing and anyway I still think it’s funny, this birthday post worked out nicely, so long Bernie, DC’s “hardcover/softcover” plan (parts one and two and oh here’s three), Archie Vs. Swamp Thing, Archie Vs. Arcane, a brief discussion of DC’s Hanna Barbera books.

APRIL 2017:

A little about Logan, rating Swamp Thing creative teams (one and two), that is one fancy-pants leap, a look at the initial installment of “The Button,” what in the comics world has caught me by surprise of late, presenting a Halloween ad in April because why the heck not.

MAY 2017:

Oh my God Reggie, Free Comic Book Day before and after and after-er, we’re very close now to finding out how Nekkid Manhattan will actually be handled, so long Rich, the first freebie installment of the Swamp Thing-a-Thon which I will be getting back to soon I promise, yet another Howard the Duck movie post in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Seventeen.

JUNE 2017:

And here’s another Howard the Duck movie post, let me know when Riverdale shows Jughead doing this, so long Best Batman, the amazing Ing takes my ideas and makes them beautiful, the Zero Month video is both terrifying and beautiful, Brit buttons, JONAH HEX TALK, I sold this comic so it’ll be another 10 years before I see another one, on second thought maybe you’d better just shoot Charlie Brown, FOX AND THE CROW TALK.

JULY 2017:

The Spidery-Mans movie, JUGHEAD WANTED BY JOHN LAW, come to think of it Betty’s legs do seem awfully scrawny, that’s a weird use of dialogue I don’t think I’ve seen too often, who were those mystery Legionnaires (as to be seen soon on The CW, “Dare to Defy”).

AUGUST 2017:

The mystery of that specific issue of Saved by the Bell, always time for a little Garcia-Lopez Superman and Firestorm, you probably hadn’t heard how good this new Mister Miracle comic is so thank goodness I’m here for you, can you believe some dumbass got on my case about taking the apparently extreme position of not liking Hitler, I will be talking about the Death of Superman ’til the day I die, your guide to price guides, I think Helper was probably my earliest “what th–!?” moment in comics, I still can’t believe I had this comic in my hands even briefly, it’s no Google Doodle but here’s a Kirby tribute.


Where’s my Eisner…nay, my Pulitzer…for how I altered this Preacher page, let’s not do this again, a customer-made Swamp Thing drawing, so long Len, Batman ’89 retail and cultural memories and the market crash and a little Dark Knight thrown in (one and two and three and Bob and Ted and Carol and Alice).


Good Lord Batman CONTINUES (here and here and also here), the missing DC Comics event book, Comic Show News issues #1 and…#0, the Swamp Thing Omnibus and an old ad slick, the return of Maximortal, the end of the original New Teen Titans series.


Boris the Bear is here to teach you about variant covers, Marvel wasn’t quite sure what to do with this comic were they, the Classics Rack, more about variants (specifically those DC test covers), a promo for Swamp Thing #60, Valiant would like you to order more Valiant please, a follow the book plug with PAPER TALK, an old promo poster and some Xerox humor, the joy of Not Brand Echh.


However tangentially I still consider this a Death of Superman post.

• • •

A very sincere thanks to every one of you for sticking with me for all these years. I can’t say how much I appreciate it. I hope you come along with me as I work my way through year 15 of this silly ongoing project of mine.

For reading all that, here’s a pic of me taken literally moments ago, sitting at my store counter waiting for Godot my weekly Diamond Comics shipment to arrive:

Thanks again, and I’ll see you again in a couple of days.

“Suddenly, thirteen years later….”

§ December 5th, 2016 § Filed under suddenly... § 14 Comments

It’s the lucky 13th anniversary for this ridiculous website of mine, where I’m still blogging about comics after all this time, long past the point of everyone running out of patience for people who blog about comics. But here I am anyway, still doing it and not planning to stop anytime soon, at least until the meteor finally strikes or the medication kicks in, whichever comes first.

Seriously, though, thanks to all of you out there who are still finding enough value on my site to come back day after day and see what I’ve managed to type up this time. I really do appreciate your readership. And thanks of course to the usual suspects, like my family who supported my comic book habit (and later my comic-selling career), my girlfriend Nora, pal Dorian, my fellow comics bloggers both still standing and emeritus, and as always, thanks to Comics Blogger Supreme Neilalien for leading the way. I also wanted to give special notice to a couple of swell cats: Tim O’Neil, who’s a good pal and has been undergoing some significant life changes this year; and Bully the Little Bull Stuffed with Wonderment and his pal John, both of whom we are very fortunate to have around.

This past year has been going along mostly smoothly, despite losing my grandmother in January, which was very sad, but she did have 96 full years of life and was active and out and about up until nearly the very end. As I mentioned in that linked post, she was thrilled to pieces that I finally had a store of my own and loved telling me how happy she was she got to visit it.

Speaking of the store, Sterling Silver Comics had its second anniversary last month, with hopefully many more anniversaries to come in the future. The business is doing well, I’m paying myself and my bills and building stock and clientele, so I seem to be doing okay. I do tend to complain about the vagaries of the comics industry both here and on the Twitterers, but that’s just venting…I’m happy to be where I’m at, and only wish I’d made the move sooner.

Another big change this year is that I set up a Patreon account for this site, so if any of you happen to have a spare dollar or two a month that you’d care to contribute in support of the work I do here, I’d be most appreciative and it would help out a lot.

I also had to get a new vehicle this year as the old truck finally gave up the ghost, so have I mentioned my Patreon account, ha ha, you know, just asking for no reason.

Speaking of Twitter, as I was just prior to the above begging, I’ve been active there as I have every year since first joining back in 2007. Free free to follow me there if you’d like, but here are a few highlights (or lowlights, depending on your particular opinion of my “humor”) from the past few months:

Usually I’ll post about the comics retail life, such as when this realization set in:

Or when a most fortuitous event occurs:

Once in a while I have to remind myself to have some perspective:

But sometimes it’s hard when faced with a public that can hate and fear the very idea of funnybook sellin’:


Sometimes my perspective veers off in the opposite direction:

But there are still plenty of moments at the store that make it all worth it:


Then I’m pulled back down again:

And it wasn’t all just retail talk on the Twitters…sometimes I gave insightful film commentary:




And then I made everyone sad with this observation (though the way things are going, maybe we’ll get this as a comic book):

Once in a while I’ll talk about actual comics:

…And the people who make them:

…And once in a while, I’ll ruminate upon the very idea of comics blogging:


As evidence for that last tweet, here are some of the notable posts (i.e. about 95% of them) on Ye Olde Progressive Ruine from the past twelve months:


The return of “Another Moment with Cap and the Falcon,” my interview re: the Star Wars Early Bird Kit, remember back when we weren’t sick of too many Star Wars movies, how quickly the pre-Crisis DC Universe started returning post-Crisis, comics for Christmas.


I think I must have bumped my head before writing this New Year’s Day entry, the other RadioTiki guys read this entry on their show, “You Can’t Pin A Medal on a Gorilla” by request, my grandmother, we look back at your predictions for 2015 (1 2 3 4 5 6) (and oh Lordy that means it’s almost time for me to do it again).


As I write this the last issue of this series has been cancelled and not yet resolicited, just couldn’t make it through the original Supergirl movie, hey did you know people don’t like high comic prices, I’m about 99% sure this Superboy scene was homaged on the Supergirl TV show a few weeks back, I wonder how much longer we’re going to have the “Rebirth” banners on the covers, this is what I would do if I ran an EEEE-VIL comic book store.

MARCH 2016

The new Swamp Thing mini-series was okay I guess, that Deadpool card in X-Force #1 will never be worth anything, remember when Honey Bunny Mania raged across the country, I was a little disappointed I didn’t get 47 responses on my 47th birthday post, have some Captain America Logo you stinkin’ Ratzis, Behold Superman’s Brother, this whole “DC’s revealing Joker’s Real Name!?!?” post is pretty much moot, I know I’ve been at this too long when the comics start talking back to me.

APRIL 2016

Thank God I know people who actually know graphic design, THE HATE CUPIDS, Free Comic Book Day plans and a Batman/Superman movies – two tastes that go great together, there’s a sneaky joke for my older readers in the title there, he was a regular prince I tells ya, back in the day we’d ping your Veronica with my gopher and that’s how we liked it, one of the ways I helped Rich with that book (more on the book later), my shocking realizations about ordering the funnybooks, oh don’t mind me I’m just trolling along.

MAY 2016

The connection of the Marvel Handbook to my secret origin, Batman Vs. Jaime Hernandez Vs. My Dad on Free Comic Book Day, more FCBD pics and I disagree with a famous cartoonist, more post-FCBD talk, so long Darwyn, just what is up with the internet and comics anyways, what finally defeated the Legion of Super-Heroes (which inspired a pal and irritated a comics writer), boy people couldn’t wait to be the first to spoil this comic, still need to get a copy of Freaked for myself.

JUNE 2016

I always called them “comic subs” but apparently nobody else did, DC Rebirth sales are still driving me nuts, so long Champ, we talk about The Greatest Single Issue of a Comic Book of All Time, they finally got me reading Flash again and also BTW I was right about Wacky Raceland, the (oh Lordy) collectibilty of newstand vs. direct sales comics, there are some comics I could point out where the error was even doing them in the first place, pal Andrew discusses his favorite Swamp Thing story at my request, so anyway about those Charlton heroes, I’m still trying to single-handedly kill the comics blogosphere, speaking of — I see Marvel is listing a Guardians of the Galaxy movie adaptation in this month’s Previews, I love 1970s Popeye comic books, ELECTRO-ROBOT HAND, on anthologies and alternate Swamp Things.

JULY 2016

Needlepoint Joker, I’ve since decided this is now my favorite comic book, in a strange way I miss the black and white boom, more b&w boom comics, one more post on the topic, BREAST. JOKE. EVER, I finally make it into Overstreet, the fun of funnybook ordering, so long Jack, Richard and Jerry.


A brief appreciation of the current Superman titles, so long Gaspar, yet another follow-up to the b&w boom posts, big money out in the swamps these days, I’m finally dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, some BIG BIG SCANS of cover credits, the whole Watchmen-in-the-DC-Universe thing still tickles the hell outta me, I talk about a couple of direct-to-DVD Bat-cartoons, I go deep — almost too deep — into Swamp Thing Continuity Talk, I straight up review one of those Batman direct-to-DVD flicks, Ditko + Wrightson = AMAZING.


So long Tim, some nice 1970s Frank Thorne art, a hard 1990s Marvel retailing flashback, what if I went on too long about the What If comic, TUROK TALK parts one and two (and two-and-a-half courtesy commenter John), more fun 1970s Atlas Comics art, I am both proud and ashamed of this Superman cartoon gag, Googling up “skateboard tricks” sure came in handy for this post.


The missing Swamp Thing stories, my completely unbiased positive review for a book I helped with a little, so here’s the Thing, I may be cheap but I ain’t free, some comics are worth a lot but probably not yours, so long Steve, the weird and unfortunate legacy of Jack Chick.


This is a strange calendar, come to think of it I haven’t gone back to that DC game, I review the other Batman direct-to-home-video cartoon I mentioned a while back, here’s to you drive-by dude who dropped by the comments of this post to be offended and never actually read my site before or since, I’ve only made it partway through this mountain of Star Wars/Trek toys since this post, even more about old Star Wars toys, I’m the only person who thinks the subject line of this post about the Joker TPB is funny, try to remember the things you should be thankful for, somewhat related to a joke I made a long time ago about how skeptics would have a hard time in a universe where Aquaman is the King of Atlantis.


And just because of the way things were timed this month, all I have to list here is the latest End of Civilization post, which is as good of a place as any to remind you that I’m back to doing monthly EoCs after an extended break somehow caused by opening my store. Plus, I did some comics reviews over the past year, and I also threw in a couple Sluggo Saturdays, too.

Again, thanks to all of you for sticking with me all this time, for reading my site and leaving comments and even occasionally stopping by my store to say “hello” in person — that all means so very much to me, and I can’t tell you enough how greatly it’s appreciated.

For reading all that, here’s a picture of 13-year-old me with my grandparents’ tortoise while it’s eating a bunch of flowers:

That is some real “that kid from The Walking Dead” hair I’m sporting.

Thanks, and I’ll see you all again in a couple of days.

“Suddenly, twelve years later….”

§ December 5th, 2015 § Filed under suddenly... § 15 Comments

Twelve years? Why, it feels like no more than eleven years and a few months that I’ve been at this, writing a silly comics blog and trying to entertain those few people I don’t otherwise annoy. But here I remain, plugging away at it when time allows…I still enjoy doing it, and I hope you folks out there still enjoy reading it, and thank you for doing so.

Thanks also to my extremely patient girlfriend Nora, my parents, pal Dorian, my fellow bloggers, my customers, and of course Neilalien, First Among Comic Bloggers.

Speaking of customers, my store Sterling Silver Comics is still movin’ along as well, now having completed the first year and one month of its hopefully long life. It’s been long enough that I’ve now lost count of the number of people who have shouted “BIG BANG THEORY!” or “SHELDON!” in and outside of the premises. That’s okay, they mean well.

I also got to meet a handful of people that I’ve known primarily from the Internet, such as longtime reader of the site Walaka, who wrote up a very nice review of my store right here. Longtime blogging brother Tim O’Neil has been good enough to pop into the shop a couple of times. The amazing Karla Pacheco (creator of America’s most evil book Inspector Pancakes Helps the President of France Solve the White Orchid Murders) stopped in, and don’t tell anybody, but she’s a sweetheart! And then there was that time I met up with the artist Coop (link NSFW, probably!) at his Los Angeles studio to get my filthy capitalist mitts on his funnybooks. And several other folks who’ve been reading this goofy website came into my shop anyway, so thanks to them, too!

Despite the lighter posting schedule here caused by your pal Mike being at the shop seven days a week, I still threw in with the group comics blog Trouble with Comics. I’ve only been a participant in the weekly Question Time segment, but I find it a useful and entertaining writing exercise, occasionally forcing me to think about and write upon topics I wouldn’t necessarily address. …And hey, the rest of the site is good, too!

And of course, I’m still nattering away on the Twitters, where you can follow me at @mikesterling (literally “at at-mikesterling” but it looks funny without the second “at”). There, you can see me tweet about my day-to-day store happenings:






Once in a while I get the best of compliments:


Sometimes I ponder the very nature of comics retailing:


Then there are the reactions I receive to the very idea of a comic shop:




You can also catch my opinions on recognition by the public and my peers:


Or you can see my insightful media commentary:



And of course, my behind the scenes thoughts on comics blogging:


Speaking of blogging, I did manage to do some this year. My End of Civilization posts have been curtailed somewhat, but they’ll be back someday. In the meantime, please enjoy some of these pseudo-highlights from the previous twelve months:


Still waiting for that Lego Superhero comic, Spawn: still no reboot, I’m still doing this, Swamp Thing’s new uniform, somehow I combine a newspaper article about my store with tales about shipping stuff to prisons, a Christmas gift from a little stuffed bull to me, rare! hot! l@@k! Malibu and Death of Superman variants!


Will Tom Servo read Swamp Thing in the MST3K reboot, they never did fix Miracleman #14, I look at your predictions for 2014 (parts 1 2 c % Q #), hey Mike just opened a store let’s screw with his orders, forget what I wrote (particularly the bit where I held out some hope for the Fantastic Four movie) just ENJOY THE DANCING GROOTS.


Dirty filthy dirty comics, an odd Hulk variant I hadn’t seen before, you don’t get characters named “Miss Bikini Luv” too much anymore, Superboy Vs. Man-Thing Vs. Swamp Thing, water-skiing superheroes of the 1970s, an unpublished Swamp Thing cover, I willed this art into being, so long Mr. Nimoy.

MARCH 2015

Star Trek between-movie continuity is weird, Curt Swan Spock, Spock visits the Next Generation in comics prior to the TV show, the Grand Comics Database now has a scan of this comic thanks to me (see?), the atomic number of palladium is 46 – geez do I have to explain everything, man I love these Dr. Fate comics, this is one beat up copy of Venus.

APRIL 2015

Not even the slightest bit of sympathy from Superman for comic book artists, who knows what evil lurks in these Shadow toys, Venom can really talk you guys, so long Herb, the day I broke my Swamp Thing collection, man I was really nervous about how Free Comic Book Day was going to go at my new store, only about 3/4th of a cover away from one of those blank sketch covers.

MAY 2015

Prepping for Free Comic Book Day at the new shop, Before, During and After FCBD, sometimes jokes force me to do them, always time to talk about DC’s logos, THIS MAN THIS WHALE, feel kinda bad for layin’ into Valiant this hard but c’mon, this is one of the earliest comic book “Easter Eggs” I remember spotting, hey I actually managed to sell this comic in the store a while back.

JUNE 2015

These hands have done terrible things, I complain about the whole Shazam thing again, I can’t believe I made it this far along on the blog without telling my story about The One, you will never be as amazing as Christopher Lee, turns out the latest issue of the series being discussed was a fill-in more or less, pretty sure I can do this entire opening monologue by memory, I discuss the current Superman storylines while apologizing for my misinterpretation of how they were being handled…hey, I’m allowed my yearly mistake.

JULY 2015

I love blowing up details from cartoons, I still have trouble dealing with the idea of Rerun, I talk about the then-forthcoming return of Bloom County like a whole day before it returned, people still ask if I take credit cards (and here’s a follow-up), that Comics Code stamp still cracks me up, a small review of Ant-Man appropriately enough.


I sure have a lot to say about a movie I haven’t seen yet, in fact here’s some Dr. Doom talk inspired by the movie, oh Good Lord a third post, well Iron Man sales are a tiny bit higher than before but there was still a good-sized cut from #1 to #2, still trying to get a pull quote on any comic, I haven’t put the magazine back yet, Jack Kirby’s second greatest character, so long Wes.


Nearly sold all those Famous Monsters…except the one pictured of course, these are a couple of my favorite books, sometimes I’m sure a thing is worth money, the DC mini-implosion, my readers turn a throw-away gag into art, “Giant-Size Man-Thing” is the gift that just keeps on giving, Superman Vs. Cheerios, na na na na na na na na BAT-DAY.

OCT 2015

I answer your questions (parts 1 2 3 4 5 6), who doesn’t like a nice tall glass of Meat Nog, the anniversary of leaving my previous place of employment, compare and contrast two Swamp Thing figures, I never grow tired of Harvey Comics, the greatness of Curt Swan (and a follow-up).


Hey my store made it a whole year somehow, I guess none of you know anything about this comic either, at long last the third glow-in-the-dark Swamp Thing figure the world needed, at this rate I’ll get around to reading this in 2018, but I did flip through it enough to write this semi-overview, just get Rob Liefeld to wrap up this series – you know he’d do it, America’s Greatest Comic Book, REBOOT TO THE HEAD.


Really the only post for this month prior to the anniversary – that’s what sickness does to you!

• • •

In all sincerity, thank you so much for reading my site, whether you’ve been with me from the beginning or just started today. I greatly appreciate it.

For reading all that, here’s a pic of me from several years ago, clearly having no time for your shenanigans:


Thanks again, everyone, and I’ll see you on Monday.

“Suddenly, eleven years later….”

§ December 5th, 2014 § Filed under suddenly... § 9 Comments

So apparently the traditional eleventh anniversary gift is steel:

Is there a greater gift one could receive? I submit there is not.

It really is hard to believe that I’ve been doing this website for eleven years. It’s been long enough that I’ve had to contact my webhoster about giving me more database space because I’d filled up the amount I was originally allotted. It was bit of a panic that evening when I discovered I couldn’t save any posts or changes to the site or anything until I figured out what happened!

But I’m still here, I’m still doin’ it, even if not as frequently as I had at the start, but I’m not going anywhere yet! Even with the Big Change this year, quitting my previous job as Head Chimp at Seth’s Games and Anime/Ralph’s Comic Corner to go open my own shop, Sterling Silver Comics (for which today is the one month anniversary!), I’m still poking away on this here website, sharing my knowledge, my dumb jokes, the occasional photo, some Sluggo and Swamp Thing talk, and all that. And, of course, occasionally warning you about the forthcoming End of Civilization, which I’ve sort of slacked off doing lately since I’ve been busy, but I’m gettin’ back to it!

As always, thanks to my pals, online and off, for their continued support…to my girlfriend Nora, who continues to put up with me for inexplicable reasons, my parents, pal Dorian, all my customers (new and old), all of you, and, of course, Neilalien, Comics Blogger #1, in whose path we all follow.

I didn’t do a whole lot with my other online projects this year, but I can still be found goofing around on the Twitters so please feel free to follow me there if you’d like. Why, you might see such vital Twitter entries such as my usual complaining about certain types of comics not getting published:

Or you might see the worst Watchmen joke yet:

Or you could see me deliberately trolling people (or am I?):

Or you could see that which I would like to unsee:

Or you can get a small glimpse how your pal Mike runs a comic shop:

Or maybe you might get an off-color joke that your pal Mike is inordinately proud of:

And then there’s this site you’re reading right now: as I like to do every year, here are a list of what I will call “highlights” (for the lack of a better term) from the last twelve months, along with some brief commentary, explanations, or even more bad jokes. Please, enjoy:


This is way too much about X-Force and Deadpool, I ended up selling my personal copy of Batman Adventures #12 (the first comics appearance of Harley Quinn) for $250, the Superman “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style book which brought us this entry at You Chose Wrong, almost got a contact high from this many undergrounds in one place, for only the best-dressed Sluggo fan, the Swamp Thing adventure you didn’t know you wanted…’til now.


I go over your predictions for 2013 (1 2 3 4 and (whew) 5), “SWAMP JACKET / you make my heart…uh, ratchet,” so I joked in December about one of you folks out there buying this for me for a gift and good gravy you delivered (and say, on a totally unrelated subject, I sure could use a new car), how I marketed Miracleman to our customers since nobody else bothered, basically I have to order everything as if it were a mini-series, I review that weird Justice League direct-to-DVD cartoon (“weird” = “actually appropriate for children”), one man’s box of junk toys is another man’s blog post.


Surely this X-Files comic will be a valuable collectors item forever, this Star Trek comic had so many scare quotes I thought Kirby wrote it, I was hoping this would lead to huge sales on this particular Spider-Man annual, one of the few TV shows I made sure to keep up with during the set-up of my shop, bet you didn’t know I had this much to say about Conan the Barbarian comic book sales, they’re finally beginning to reprint more stuff from this series, I (ahem) may have sold my personal copy of Preacher #1 for a lot of money too.

MARCH 2014:

I could probably just order a copy of the new edition of this for the store (wink wink), Bill Mumy’s greatest creative endeavor, I think that actually was the real Bill Griffith who commented on this post about the pretty Sluggo doll, I’d had this post, planned out in my head since I was about 42, I love Steve Lafler comics, sometime I come across Swamp Thing parodies without even trying, all the boys think he’s a spy / he’s got Alec Holland eyes, I may have put this comic for sale in the shop at a ridiculous price.

APRIL 2014:

These two pages look like they were drawn in about ten minutes (ten seconds of which was researching what a guitar looked like, apparently), of course now it would be “Fifty-Two Who Made DC Great,” all that work pinning down the first appearance of Spidey’s black costume and people are still getting it wrong on eBay, oh good gravy I’m going to have to order FCBD books for my store next month, True Life Adventures from Mike’s College Days Comics, still haven’t read all those E-Man comics, yes my Easter was quite smashing thank you, “oh no our window paintings were attracting attention and customers what a terrible thing,” my house is just totally filled with random nonsense like this, the next plague will arise from the germs on this Batman whistle.

MAY 2014:

My postmortem for what’s turned out to be my last Free Comic Book Day at Seth’s/Ralph’s, a quick overview of some entertainment I absorbed while I was ill – which I ordinarily wouldn’t link to in one of these overviews but I gotta pad out May a bit, oh my God they cut Constantine‘s season short because I haven’t been watching it didn’t they, please enjoy this Swamp Thing animated GIF, CRANIUS, too much about me ordering DC’s latest 3D covers, if more Woody Woodpecker stories were like this maybe I’d actually like the character.

JUNE 2014:

They can’t possibly have 52 DC Universe titles on the stands right now do they, one thing about being at a new shop is I don’t have to worry about these “match-to-previous-order” variants for the time being, I wish Swamp Thing could be the new Robin, George Perez Superman is always fun, occasionally Groo was more than just cheese dip jokes, please make Robert Downey Jr. say this in a movie, “kids love shower-assault jokes” said whoever approved this sticker, surely this Lickitung postcard will deliver itself to you in your unquiet dreams, sometimes you just gotta combine discussion of Calvin and Lex Luthor into the same post, that postage stamp joke is super dirty no matter what decade you’re from.

JULY 2014:

I apologize to my Kindle-using readers for not being able to make my site readable for most of you, The Adventures of Off-Model Flintstones, the dude with the feather is obviously having some kind of fit, someone pointed out that the reverse of these cut-outs also show the characters’ backs and that creeps me out like a lot, that Cracked Magazine Swamp Thing drawing is just a little upsetting, still not 100% sure who this is or who drew it, the lead singer of the Dead Milkmen favorited this picture when I posted it on Twitter, that’s two Swamp Thing parodies-via-Powerpuff Girls I own now.

AUGUST 2014:

There is a greater-than-zero chance that if I talk about Star Wars I eventually get to a Lobot joke, I needed my dad to come with me to buy the comic but the book that comic used for photo reference was readily available to me at the library I worked at, I’m still trying to work out how to deal with the naughtier books at my new store, this scene from a Robin Williams movie really does make me crumble like a cookie every single time, Jughead – a monster in any decade, I actually remember to keep my promise to look at the market prices for last year’s 3D comics from DC, where are my promo Frisb…er, “flying discs” from current comic companies, just imagine me droning post after post at you instead of you being able to skim through all these walls of text I put up.


Not quite a Swamp Thing wax cylinder but close, for some reason I’m picturing monks transcribing and illuminating copies of Man-Thing tomes, I did…mostly okay on my orders of those 3D comics though I notice the old shop still has quite a few of some issues — oops, I can still sell lots of the initial Death of Wolverine series but not so much of the follow-ups, oh hey did you hear I was opening my own store, and speaking of which I have the good problem of business building faster than I can adjust my comic orders.


My store has a floor and a door and maybe a little more, Swamp Thing and Sluggo crossover art did not exist until I willed it into being, so I quit my job at Seth’s/Ralph’s, I’ve since received two more packages of drawings from Sluggo Jr. that I promise I’ll feature on this site soon, here’s my sign – what’s yours?


A report on my first day of business at the new shop (plus photos!), a great Peanuts reference for my shop, ah the simple pleasures of a Don Rosa fanzine cover, I’ve bought worse Swamp Thing comics, and I answer your questions (1 2 3 4).


I’ve been buying a lot of Harvey comics at the new shop of late.

• • •

I say this every year, and every year it’s just as true: I am extremely grateful and amazed that I have any readership at all, given my intended and expected audience was just a few friends. That I have as many kind, wonderful and funny readers as I do, as I’ve seen from my comments sections, from emails and from actual physical mail, is quite the pleasure. Even the folks who’ve never said or written one word to me, who come read what I have to say and leave the connection to me at that…thank you for spending at least a little bit of your day here. I hope I can always make the visit worthwhile, for all of you.

And for reading all that, here’s a blurry photo of me “working” in my store a few weeks before opening:

Once again, thanks for visiting my site, and I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

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