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Your 2020 Predictions, Part Four: Behemoth from the World Below.

§ January 18th, 2021 § Filed under predictions, Uncategorized § 7 Comments

So here’s another bucket full o’funnybook foresights from you, my friendly readers, left a year ago on this very internet web homepage. There have already been three parts to this year’s journal (one and a two and a three)

And like I keep reminding you, YOUR 2021 COMIC INDSTRY PREDICTIONS ARE WANTED…NAY, NEEDED! Get ’em in before, you know, February hits, at the very least.

Okay, let’s see what you characters have for me this time:

Rob S. steals my heart with

“1) Josh Williamson will move from Flash after issue 100 (or what would be issue 100, since they’re renumbering). It’ll be the longest run of a writer on a Rebirth title, surpassing King on Batman. He’ll move on to a JSA book.”

It looks like #762 (or “#101” by this volume’s original numbering) appears to have been his swan song on the title, so you did, you magnificent bastard. As for moving on to a Justice Society title…I could’ve sworn I’d seen news about a JSA comic coming soon-ish, but darned if I can track it down now. Thus, let me put a pin in that part of the prediction ’til I can jumpstart my head and figure out where I saw that, if in fact I did.

“2) The DC Walmart books will get another revamping sometime this year, as their schedules and plans become clearer. Also, the previously announced and canceled DC War Giant will arrive around May, for Memorial Day.”

Appears they were revamped into prepacks of 4 individual comics (with “collectible backing board.” DC seems to have put the kibosh on the giants for now, both through Walmart and in comic shops. At least the Our Fighting Forces giant did get released on May 27th…so, same week as Memorial Day, anyway!

“3) Adam Strange’s ‘mystery co-star’ in the Tom King/Mitch Gerads/Doc Shaner Strange Adventures book will be Deadman, another former star of the title.”

‘Twasn’t Deadman, alas, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this team do a Deadman mini, actually.

• • •

Dave Carter hauls in the following

“1) After the huge success of Action #1000 & Detective #1000, and to a lesser extent Wonder Woman #750 & Flash #750, DC’s 5G reboot will see a return to legacy numbering for many of the DCU titles.”

Would’ve been nice. Like, let’s get Justice League back to its original numbering. Who knows, with Bendis coming onto that title, maybe there’s a chance? We’ll see.

“2) Wonder Woman 1984 will be the highest grossing movie by a non-Disney studio.”

Well, all things considered…yes, actually, far as I can tell. I mean, in worldwide totals it, but just domestically The Croods, for which there was apparently a sequel, took in a bit more green. Anyway, who the hell is going to movie theaters right now. I mean, domestically, mostly.

“3) Someone publishes a comic featuring super-hero (or otherwise fantastical) versions of the Democratic & Republican presidential nominees fighting it out via fisticuffs.”

Seemed like, aside from the plethora of Donald Trump comics, we didn’t seem to get a whole lot of this sort of comic this time ’round, versus like how it was in the Obama era. THANKS, OBAMA. Anyway, there was an issue of Donald Who Laughs that looked like it had Trump versus Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and I think that was as close as we got. Look, we were all hoping Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente would have had his own comic book last year, because if any name needs to be logo on a cover….

• • •

googum googummed

“1. Some Black Label or such book is going to take off for DC; and they’ll of course take the wrong lessons from it and try to cram all sorts of titles in there.”

Did any of them really “take off” this year? I mean, they mostly all did well, and people seemed to like them, but nothing stands out as spurring on more of the same. I mean, aside from having multiple Joker titles in the imprint. Anyway, I thought I remember reading that some new overseer at DC ain’t thrilled about “mature reader” books, so who knows what’s gonna happen.

“2. After Iron Man 2020, Marvel will follow-up with some of their other futures between then and 2099; like Deathlok and Killraven.”

If those characters (and related timeframes) did make an appearance, I don’t think it was anything major. I didn’t read many Marvel titles (or much of anything) this past year, but I can’t say I’d seen much along those lines.

“3. This would be late 2020 at best, but assuming some orange clown doesn’t win re-election, Marvel is going to have some comics that assumed he did, or that a more conservative regime is in place. (I think Dark Reign did the same thing some time back? Like it didn’t fit under Obama.)”

It’s my sense Marvel didn’t do much in this vein, but again, like I said, I didn’t read much Marvel this year, so if anyone has a better clue to what googum has googummed, please drop it in the comments.

• • •

Jeff R. rites

“1. Kalel Kent, Superman III of 2020 will appear in continuity during his year.”

THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY in that I don’t think this happened. I miss the Superman of 2020!

“2. At the end of the year we still won’t know when Doomsday Clock is supposed to be happened with regard to DC continuity around Alfred, Superman,etc.”

Well, we sort of know it takes place before Death Metal, I think. I mean, kinda sorta.

“3. The legion will still be going at years end and will have a cw show announced.”

Well, yes, technically it was still going since #12 is out this week, but after the Future State mini the series doesn’t seem to be back on the schedule. …Would love to see a live-action LSH series outside of their guest appearances in Supergirl but not holding my breath.

• • •

Andrew-TLA ventures on with

“1. Dark Horse will lose another of their major properties, either creator-owned or licensed.”

Were the losses of Alien and Predator known by the end of 2019? You know, it was probably presumed but it was definitely a thing in 2020. Especially once Marvel started announcing Alien variant covers for their comics late in the year.

“2. Rumors will fly fast and furious on the alleged news sites about possible casting choices for Wolverine and the Thing. That one of them will eventually be proven right is down more to the fact that every possible name was listed rather than any sort of insider information.”

I don’t think there’s been any Real Announcements as per actual casting, so alas, we have to wait to find out if Daniel Dae Kim really will be Wolverine or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be the Thing. (Don’t lie, you know these are great choices.)

“3. Comic books will continue to be published in their traditional single-issue format.”

Despite my best efforts, yes.

• • •

@misterjayem “at”s me with

“2020 in review:

“1) It was the best of times,”

Well, I’m not so sure about that.

“2) It was the worst of times,”

But here, I think you might be onto something.

“3) J.A.K.E., the G.I. Robot”

Had to do a little Googling to check, and there was surprisingly a handful of appearances in recent years, but alas, not in 2020, when we needed G.I. Robot the most.

• • •

The King of the Moon waxes and wanes with the following

“The witch who put a curse on Mike’s eyeballs will finally be brought to justice”

Not yet, but definitely being held at bay. (And let’s be fair, it could be a warlock.)

“Disney+ announces a Power Pack cartoon”

Supposedly there’s a film in the works, but the fact that there’s no Disney+ cartoon could only mean Disney has decided they’ve made enough money and don’t need to make any more.

“Johnny Tremain – the motion comic”

Just no appreciation for the classics these days, what can I tell you.

• • •

Okay, we’re within spittin’ distance of the end here, and hopefully I can wrap it up next time! Thanks for reading pals, and I’ll see you soon.

whynotboth dot jpeg

§ October 9th, 2020 § Filed under comic strips, publishing, question time, Uncategorized § 10 Comments

So this got brought up in a discussion I happened to witness between Twitter pal Ben and another person, and decided it was something I needed to acquire for my own self. May I present to you, from the co-creator of Twin Peaks, the creator of Eraserhead, and the guy what did that one Dune movie…a collection of David Lynch’s comic strip The Angriest Dog in the World:


For those of you unfamiliar with the strip, each installment is a series of the same panels (an introductory caption box, three panels of the Angriest Dog growling and straining at the chain in a yard, and a final panel of the same scene at night. Only the dialogue balloons of someone speaking off-panel change. A look at the Wikipedia page will give you a sample strip.

Anyway, this book is not in any way a comprehensive collection of the strip, which had run for about ten years. This is a short book, presenting only a very few strips, each one separated by a page that’s black on one side and white on the other. It’s more of an art piece than anything else, purposefully strange in the way you’d probably expect from anything that would come from David Lynch. It’s a handsome looking item, measuring 11 inches wide by 5 inches tall, 36 pages plus covers. A neat curiosity, but if you’re waiting for the Definitive Compleat Angriest Dog Hardcover Set, I’m afraid that’s not yet a thing. There was a previous collection, now out of print, but I don’t really know anything about it. Strips were also reprinted in Dark Horse Comics’ Cheval Noir a couple of decades back.

You can find this new book at Rotland Press.

• • •

FROM THE QUESTION POST, Paul asks

“What is your reaction to Gerry Conway’s recent screed?”

What Paul is referencing is this message [WARNING: pop-up ads my blocker didn’t block, which locked up my machine for a minute] from longtime comic writer/editor Conway in regards to improving the comics industry. His idea is basically for Marvel/DC to cancel everything, repurpose properties into books aimed at a younger market and get ’em into bookstores/grocery stores/movie theaters/anywhere that’s not a comic shop, and cater to the older fans with occasional trade paperbacks with new material.

I mean, this isn’t a new idea, and the fact that the best-selling comics in the U.S. are in fact books aimed at kids. I mean, DC and Marvel both had their eyes pop out of their heads shaped like giant dollar signs when they saw how well Raina’s books were doing and immediately started their own line of reasonably successful young reader graphic novels.

Now my response is a bit biased, as I’d see this drastic of a plan as being the end of comic shops, or at least comic shops as we generally know them. Eventually DC/Marvel/etc. will have to come up with some kind of format for their regular titles that’s more cost effective in regards to size and cost and so on. Probably a shift away from the periodicals to a regular trade paperback format, but I don’t think the market is quite ready for that yet.

That doesn’t mean that Conway’s idea of getting comics into other retail spaces isn’t a good idea. Of course, you’d have to convince these other retail spaces to consider even carrying comics, assuming whatever format these will be in will be at a price point that’s profitable enough for these other venues to be worth the hassle. And frankly, I can’t see movie theaters wanting to deal with them…I’m picturing a few months of theater employees having to clean up The Book Corner because folks are just standing around reading grpahic novels while waiting for the movie to start, and tossing them back on the shelf haphazardly, if at all, when showtime starts.

But whatever they do I don’t see any real reason to “kill all the comics” in order to do this. Can’t see why there can’t be a parallel to get graphic novels into new places and getting the regular monthlies, or whatever they eventually become, into comic shops. Or everything just goes to digital, leaving print for eventual collections of that material, or throwback releases for a niche collectors market, which the comic book industry already kind of is but you get my meaning.

Basically, everyone has ideas on how to “save comics,” and Mr. Conway’s isn’t any better or worse or even that much different from what’s been proposed. The big trick is getting other industries to cooperate with any of these schemes.

Money on the table.

§ June 15th, 2020 § Filed under dc comics, marvel, Uncategorized § 6 Comments

Continuing from Friday’s post, where I was going on about intercompany crossovers…well, once again I ran out the clock on my blogging time, so let’s see what I can cover at least briefly here. I did want to mention a couple more favorites of mine…though, oddly enough, I ended up putting a couple of them on sale here at the shop, like a big dummy, but I suppose I can replace them someday.

The first two Marvel/DC ones I wanted to point out as being particular notable, and the first tow have one thing in common: John Byrne. Now, Byrne seems to be most in his wheelhouse when playing in Jack Kirby’s playground, and that’s definitely the case with Darkseid Vs. Galactus: The Hunger:

It helps that Galactus is a character I’d liked since I was a kid, and that Byrne’s Galactus is the one that I was really into, so it was nice to see Byrne returning to him. And pitting two of Kirby’s big baddies from either side of the publishing aisle is hard to resist. Sadly, it’s been a while since I’ve read this, so I forget most of the details (again, wish I hadn’t given up this comic) but the conclusion, as I recall, is a pretty good and clever defining moment for each character.

The other Byrne-produced crossover was Batman/Captain America, presented as a period piece with both characters in the World War II-era incarnations. You’ve likely seen the much-scanned-and-posted sequence from this book where the Joker, discovering that his partner in crime, the Red Skull, is a Nazi, turns on him, declaring himself an all-American criminal (shades of The Rocketeer movie). It’s a good scene, and the comic overall is a lot of fun…Byrne gets to play with Kirby’s Cap, and I’ve always liked his version of Batman.

Of note, I had a copy of this in the shop recently, and posted a pic on the store Instagram. I received a lot of requests for it (not just on Instagram, but in email, via Twitter DMs, etc.). Alas, had but the one to sell, but it certainly demonstrated the demand for these things.

Another book I wanted to mention was Incredible Hulk Vs. Superman, featuring beautiful art by Steve Rude (and honestly, would you expect any less from The Dude?). As was noted in the comments to my last post, it’s a nice retro-presentation for both characters, with the early ’60s version of the Hulk and the Golden Age-esque style of Superman, which nicely matches Roger Stern’s story placing this encounter early in the careers of both.

It’s a common thought I have about comic works of notes, but it’s a real shame material like this is out of print and difficult to come by. A nice, permanent edition of this (or any of thse intercompany crossovers) would be perennial sellers. I realize there are economic reasons that make it difficult to keep these in print, but still, what a waste and what a shame.

Was this ever in the New Super-Man series?

§ May 24th, 2019 § Filed under Uncategorized § 4 Comments

So customer Brook told me his brother Nick was currently visiting China, and whllst there he took pictures of this statue near his hotel:


I’m sure thre’s an explanation, and I can probably Google it up, or someone will send me a link, but for the time being I’m just going to appreciate the mystery.

“I’m a collectible!”

§ November 26th, 2018 § Filed under retailing, Uncategorized § 1 Comment

So anyway, I was just Googling around (“mike+handsomest+comic+shop+fella”) when I happened upon this:


Yes, that’s a back issue catalog that I put together and mailed out way back in ye olden tymes of my funnybook selling days at Ralph’s Comic Corner. And that’s all it was…despite being described as a “catalog/fanzine” in the list, and despite Bully’s wishes for inclusion of my Swamp Thing fan-fiction, it’s just titles, issue numbers, grades, prices, and where to contact us to purchase said items.

That had almost completely slipped my mind that we even did that. I am curious about the 1990 date on it, however…I seem to recall assembling this catalog from the files we used to list comics on our then-fledgling website, but 1990 seems awfully early, considering the World Wide Web was only available for surfing in 1989. Maybe I’m thinking of a second mail order catalog we put together? And assuming that seller there has the correct date listed, of course.

The actual domain name “ralphscomiccorner.com” was acquired in 1998, according to the WHOIS data, and that sounds about right. But prior to that, we just had our 5 megs or whatever of webspace with our local internet provider. I remember we were all pretty proud of securing our space online with that initial website, and had a big banner printed out with “http://www.fishnet.net/~ralphs” hanging in the store, extolling all our customers to go visit. I seem t remember we were one of the first comic shops to have a web page…Ralph has often said that at the time he went looking to see what other shops were doing, and he had trouble finding any, so we must have been up and running on the web quite early. Exactly how early, I can’t recall, though.

I’m sure I still have the original files for this catalog on a floppy disc somewhere…the problem here of course being “a floppy disc.” I did back up a bunch of floppy files to CDRs and DVD-Rs, but these didn’t seem to make it. It’s a bunch of documents for the old Mac desktop publishing program Ready Set Go, Version 4.5, so I’d probably have trouble opening ’em up anyway with whatever nonsense I have on my computer now. But I could at least look at the file creation dates and figure out just when I did this thing. Oh, if only I was blogging back in the early ’90s, but I was too busy being EXTREME.

Oh, and I keep meaning to mention the format of the catalog…at the time, old pal Rob and I were still doing the comics ‘zine thing, mostly in the format of 8 1/2 by 11 inch pieces of paper folded in half and stapled, with a thicker outer cover (as seen here). So, we were old hands at making up little booklets like this, and the catalog was essentially in the Wood-Eye format, only with fewer naughty jokes. Yes, I do believe some paste-up was involved…printing out the listings page by page, cutting ’em up, pasting them into our work copy, and then taking the whole shebang to the local printers and begging them to make it look purty.

So anyway, that’s that…I’m tempted to ask Ralph if he still has the mock-up so I could borrow it and print up a whole bunch more copies and make my fortune in the fanzine market. But I will ask him if he can remember when we first put up our earliest website…the online web archive only started saving webpages sometime in the mid 1990s or so. My own early website, Progressive Ruin 1.0, is archived starting in 1999, but my “What’s New” page (essentially a proto blog) started in ’96, so I’m still not sure how far back the store’s page went.

But there you go…if you want any early examples of my comics writing, it’s yours for around $50 at that link at the beginning of this post. A bargain at any price!

I think posting a picture of those glasses on my site about once a decade should be okay.

§ September 13th, 2018 § Filed under Uncategorized § 9 Comments

SO CONTINUETH THE PARADE OF OLD PROMO GOODIES THAT MAY OR NOT BE ON MY EBAYS AS I WRITE THIS:

“Prophet: The Quest Begins” poster from 1994:


…featuring the artwork of the Wizard Top Ten Artist (I’m presuming) Stephen Platt. His work always kinda reminded me of a slightly less goofy (and I mean “goofy” in a 100% positive way) Sam Kieth. He also has the perfect pen name: “SPLATT.”

Straight outta 1986, becaues when else, is this promo poster for New Wave from Eclipse Comics:


…a short lived experiment in a cheaper comics format…16 pages for 50 cents. It was a buck and a half by the end of its 13 issue run, well, that still sounds like a pretty good price to me nowadays. Anyhoo, check out pal Andrew’s write-up no this book, if you dare.

Here’s a particuilarly low-rent..er, I mean, “artistic” black and white poster for that new 1990 Marvel teen sensation, Darkhawk:


Well, okay, I shouldn’t tease. It’s actually a striking image, and really doesn’t need color, That logo could use a tad bit of work, however.

Now this next item isn’t a poster, but rather some store signage…an “OPEN/CLOSED” sign from Oni Press and View Askew (1999):


…with art by Michael Avon Oeming. Never did use it at the store…I mean, the “OPEN” part is okay, but the “CLOSED” part:


…seemed maybe just a tad too crass. Okay, look, that’s a feature, not a bug, I realize, but we weren’t sure how some of our clientele would take it seeing it in our front window.

Oh hey, here’s an Archer mousepad promoting season 2 of that show from 2011:


Never seen a single second of this show, though I understand it’s funny. The mousepad is approximately 1 micron thick. Do people even use mousepads anymore? Sure, I do, because I’m an elder, But I feel like that’s one of those things that’s becoming increasing obsolete, like CDs, phone books, and comic blogs.

This Eclipse 3D comics poster is undated, but c’mon, it’s from the 1980s:


I wonder how many more people we would have had coming into the shop asking just to straight-up buy our 3D glasses, had we had that in the window? We didn’t sell the glasses separately, of course…we had just enough to cover our back issue stock of 3D comics, and God forbid we didn’t have a pair to go with that 3D copy of BraveStarr should it have sold.

Didn’t keep me from claiming a pair of 3D SCRATCH AND SNIFF GORILLA GLASSES for myelf, however:

I swear this isn’t just a commercial for my eBay store, but if you happened to go there and buy something, I would not disapprove of your selfless behavior.

§ September 11th, 2018 § Filed under advertising, how the sausage is made, promo, self-promotion, Uncategorized § 3 Comments

So here’s the thing: I’m still planning on an End of Civilization post, but I just haven’t had the time to start putting it together yet. I’ve barely even cracked open the new Previews…I have no idea if that deluxe hardcover edition of Swamp Thing Meets Jesus is finally announced, or if the last issues of the Sonic Distruptors mini-series have finally been solicited. Could be in there, I have no idea.

But anyway…usually when I’m having a lunch break at work, I’ll buzz through the Previews and pick out some likely suspects for my EoC post, and then write up the “humorous” “gags” at home. Alas, this month my lunch breaks have been less leisurely and more “cram this food down my throat so I can get back to processing these huge collections I have to process” and “oh Lordy I gotta get all these things on eBay” and…well, you know, actual work. So, no Previews perusal has occurred as of yet. But soon…soooooooon. Hopefully before the DC Universe streaming service starts up next weekend and I suddenly disappar into binge-watching the Constantine series at long last.

Soooooo…let’s shoot for next Monday for the new End of Civilization. Agreed? Agreed! (I totally spoke for you there, I hope you don’t mind.)

In the meantime, let me tell you about some of the stuff I’ve been working on and processing (and may eventually get to my eBay store, if it’s not there already, and if it’s ite> already sold). Basically, former boss Ralph (I’m trying not to call him “old boss Ralph,” y’know) broght me more boxes of promotional funnybook items from the Good Ol’ Days, back when there was only one (or two) X-Men series, when many titles still had triple-digit numbering, when the only “-gate” we had to worry about had “Water” in front of it. I’ve been digging though them, and within I found:

Malibu Sun #13 from 1992:


…featuring a preview of Spawn #1, back when Image and Malibu Comics were briefly iinked together. As others have commented when I posted a pic of this on the Twitters…”that’s some logo.” Anyway, there are some black and white pin-ups by McFarlane inside, and a short (very short, since it had barely existed at this point) history of Image Comics and where it came from and why, and boy howdy do these things go for a pretty penny on the eBay.

Valiant Comics loved its chromium, as evidenced by this wee little “Ninjak on Sale” display piece from 1994 (I presume):


Measures about 5 by 8 inches, and is basically just a miniature version of the cover to the first ossie drawm by future Marvel head honcho Joe Quesada.

“Hey, where’s the new issue of Thor Corps?” “Why, right below the Thor Corps ‘New Arrivals’ sign, of course!”


Dated 1992. Odd choice to represent Marvel’s publishing line for All Time on a sign that’d be posted about the new comics and left there ’til it sunfaded into nothingness, but who am I to judge?

Speaking of odd choices, please enjoy this unopened pack of First Comics stickers from 1983:

And a closer look at said stickers:


Now, I read and enjoyed Mars as it was coming out, but even I’m like “…what would I do with a bunch of Mars cover stickers?” But stickers featuring First Comics mascot Teddy Q — well, those have no end of uses!

My favorite piece so far is the one that’s in the worst condition (a lot of dings and creases, but somehow never actually displayed!)…this promo poster for the second issue of the original magazine series of Nexus, from 1982:


Never did buy all those original mag-sized Nexus issues…got the third one for the flexidisc, but was otherwise satisfied with the trade collection First released years later. Also, that’s Paul Gulacy art on that nice-lookin’ cover, which I misidentified as “Steve Rude” in my rush to get this thing listed. Ah, well…fixed now.

You know, every time I’m reminded of Nexus, it makes me want to go back and reread all the comics. Man, I don’t have time for that…I’m behind on the new comics as it is. Anyway, Nexus is a good comic, is what I’m trying to say.

Next time…more stuff!

“BRIAAAAANNNNN!!!” [shakes fist]

§ August 13th, 2018 § Filed under collecting, Uncategorized § 4 Comments

So this Twitter discussion with Pal Andrew got me nostalgic, in a way, for my days of comic collecting just prior to my frequenting dens of iniquity, er, I mean, comic shops…well, okay, same difference. Anyway, I was thinking back to my comic buying progression, from occasional purchases from grocery stores and newsstands, to buying those three-packs of Star Wars comics at Toys ‘R’ Us, to digging through stacks of old comics at used bookstores, to making the rounds on my bicycle of all the local convenience stores and that one nearby grocery store.

It was one day in 1983, while going to one of those convenience stores that was a little farther afield trying to track down an issue of something or other, that I ran into a friend of mine from school. I told him what I was up to, and he said “oh, you should check out Ralph’s Comic Corner, it’s a comic book store in Ventura, they should have what you’re looking for,” and thus did my long association with that store begin, leading to my evenual employment there, and of course to opening up my own store. So, should anyone ever ask how I ended up in my current situation, you can blame old schoolmate Brian Lindquist, wherever he may be now.

Not to say that Ralph’s was my first-ever comic shop. I visited one in Simi Valley prior to that, after having seen an ad or a coupon or something cluing me into its existence. That was a slightly further trek to make than the relative closeness of Ventura, so we didn’t go to that store very often (I think ultimately only about a half-dozen times, at most, including that one time I met Chris Claremont).

But, as I was saying, before delving deep into the world of THE DIRECT MARKET and all its horrors, I had various places around town that I’d hit up for comics, some relatively close, some requiring a little more of a journey, and you’d have to check them most of them out on a pretty regular basis to make sure you were seeing all the newest releases. The aformentioned grocery store usually had a pretty good selection, and, especially during the summer, more than once I’d show up on New Arrival Day just a little too early only to see the uncut bundles of comics sitting in a cart, waiting for some probably overworked employee to finally find the time to open ’em up and toss them on the rack.

The one place that was more of a “last resort” was a convenience store that was a little farther away than the rest, so I didn’t go there too often, especially since they inexplicably charged tax on comics (something that periodicals weren’t subject to in Califoria at the time), and even worse, sometimes the comics would have a price sticker directly affixed to the front covers! Eep! On the other hand, that particular shop was the one place I ever saw the Superman Spectacular out in the wild, which is still one of my favorite Superman stories, so I can’t think of it with too much disdain.

The best place in town to get comics was a place deep in Oxnard called the Strand Newsstand, which had pretty much everything. Tons of magazines, lots of paperback books, the extensive porn wing, and, of course, multiple spinner racks of comical books. Once I started going there (and we went there weekly, both my dad and I), my need to circulate amongst the other convenience stories pretty much declined (though I’d still pop in once in a while to tide me over between Strand visits). The weird thing about this newsstand, which has me wondering about their distributor situation, is that they’d occasional get stuff that primarily would go through the comic shop direct market. PC Comics, such as Groo and the Berni Wrightson Master of the Macabre, I found there. Fanzines like The Comic Reader. The first issue of Don Rosa’s Comics & Stories. The Comics Journal. And they seemed to get things a little bit earlier than my other funnybook sources, too.

Whatever the reason for their comic stocking advantages, this store became the place for me to get my regular comics fix…even after discovering Ralph’s Comic Corner, this place was still closer to us and I split my purchases between both shops. Eventually, I did more or less fully migrate over to just buying from Ralph’s, especially once I started seeking out back issues.

A lot of those places I used to buy from have since closed up shop, or stopped carrying comics…presumably for reasons unrelated to my no longer visiting them. It’s certainly a lot easier for me now to stay on top of gathering the comics I want to read, since all I have to do is wait for them to show up at my store after I order them. (I mean, theoretically, given the usual vagaries of our supplier.) Definitely more convenient, but somewhat…lacking in the mystery and excitement I used to feel traveling from shop to shop wondering what will be there, what new comic will I discover, what new stories will I hardly be able to wait to get home to read.

§ July 21st, 2012 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on …

Our sorrow for the victims of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, and our sympathies for their family and friends.

Mike’s Lunchtime Update 3013.

§ March 1st, 2011 § Filed under Uncategorized § 1 Comment

  • Those Church ‘n’ Birdie cats, they pulled a fast one…America’s most beloved comic strip about a comic shop, The Rack, has returned! The cast is reintroduced here, and behold, the first “new look” strip! Characters live, characters die, nothing will ever be the same again!
  • And now, as part of an ongoing examination of the work of filmmaker Jim Wynorski, here’s an in-depth look at the cinematic classic The Return of Swamp Thing.

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