mike sterling's progressive ruin

Monday, February 04, 2008

More racial sensitivity in comic books, selling out, shameless shilling, on becoming a tool for big media, and the menace of Arcane's hair. 

From Detective Comics #355 (Sept. 1966):






Man, our Native American friends are always getting it in the shorts thanks to our old funnybooks. I'd like to think that, maybe, the comic is commenting on the short-sighted, stereotyping attitudes of some of the wrestling match's audience members, but since the story also gives the Arizona Apache an "AIEEEEE" battle cry, well....

On the other hand, maybe it's a subtle criticism of the usage of stereotypes within, not just the world of pro wrestling, but entertainment in general, which is a layer of metatext too great for some dumb mid-'60s Batman comic (which clearly just used these clich├ęs to sell the character's Indian-ness) to support without collapsing into a black hole of overanalysis.

Didn't stop me from trying, though, did it? Sigh...such is the burden of the comics blogger.



In other news:
  • I mentioned it here, and I gotta tell you, after the weekend, we're down to one copy of Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters. Okay, we didn't start with too many to begin with, but that we still managed to move copies of this book is just mildly stunning.

  • Also following up on that Wednesday post of mine, we sold through all our Captain America #34s, but solely to our regular comic buyers. In our area, at least, all that real world coverage just preached to the converted, if it influenced them at all. So it did sell a little better than normal, just not "crazy better" like the "death" issue did. So, basically, it sold like we thought it would.

    I've noticed that some of the real world coverage is still rolling out, here and there, so I suppose there's still the possibility of a new customer or two curious enough about this here new Cap fella to make it to the shop and inquire after copies. 'Course, they'll have to wait until the "variant cover" 2nd printing, or the dreaded "Director's Cut," if they're still interested.

  • With that Project Superpowers #0 priced at a buck, people are a little more willing to buy two copies in order to get both halves of that Alex Ross connecting cover (pictured at the top left right here. It would have been nice to have one wraparound cover instead, however.

  • If I may direct your attention to the sidebar for a little shameless shilling, I'd like to point out that due this week is the animated Turok Son of Stone DVD...I've only seen this trailer, which makes it look like it's sticking, more or less, with the original concept of the character, and none of the sci-fi "dinos with guns" trappings tacked on later. Well, maybe with a lot more blood, but close enough. No idea if it's any good, but thought some of you would like to know that it'll be unleashed this Tuesday.

    Also, I missed that the new Ms. Tree novel Deadly Beloved and the latest Wild Cards novel Inside Straight have been released. So, I thought I'd pass that info along (as well as Amazon store sidebar links, nudge wink) in case any of you missed that, too.

  • So at the store, we regularly get free merchadise bags from a promotional company that produces said bags advertising various movies and TV shows. We've had Torchwood bags, and South Park bags, and, currently, we have a bunch of bags advertising the Terminator TV show. The box they came in was getting a little ratty, so I decided to move our stock of these things into a new container...and in the process, I found this little doodad, packed in among the plastic sacks:


    It was a little Terminator flashlight keychain, which I thought was kind of a neat thing, so I threw it in my pocket and continued the repacking of the bags.

    When I got home later that evening, the porch of my house was pretty dark, and I remembered that I had the flashlight on my person. Instead of briefly fumbling with the keys, trying to get the right one into the keyhole, I thought I'd save myself that one whole extra second and shed a little light on the matter. And I was surprised to see this:


    I though it was just a plain ol' flashlight, but it instead projects an ad for the show. That pic's a little blurry, but you can see the Terminator skull and the logo. Cool!

    I know, it doesn't take much to amuse me. Also, it hasn't inspired me to start watching the show, so I guess as a TV show promoter, it makes a good dark porch illuminator.

  • For those of you that were wondering, and I bet you were...my copy of the Swamp Thing TV show DVD set came in the mail a couple days ago, containing two full seasons of wonder and beauty. Well, okay, actually it just contains the Swamp Thing TV show. There are a couple special features, interviews with the character's co-creator Len Wein, and with the actor under the rubber swamp outfit, Dick Durock.

    I only just started watching the episodes themselves, and I'd forgotten just how...metallic and gravelly, if you get my meaning, Swamp Thing's voice sounded on this show. Also, I have lots and lots of footage of Arcane's Dennis Miller-esque hairdo to look forward to.

    I hadn't seen the show in years, and for some reason, my brief exposures to the show left me with the impression that there were lots of shots of Swampy standing in bushes, behind walls, etc., all to save the cost of having to get poor Mr. Durock in the full get-up. I guess I'll be seeing if that impression was true.

    And remember, kids...do not bring your evil here, or face...


    THE WRATH OF SWAMP THING

Labels: , , ,


Thursday, September 15, 2005

In which Mike is all over the map. 

Pal Dorian told me about this cover for the third printing of Supergirl #1. It's an homage to the introduction of the original* Supergirl, it's charming as all get out, and it's a darn shame it's the exact opposite of the godawful mess that's actually inside the book. Ah, well.



Hey, there's some kind of giant orange lizard creature on the cover of the new Marvel Knights: 4. I hope the Thing fights it inside.



YOUR EMBARRASSING STORY OF THE DAY: Several years ago, I had a customer who, as it happened, was blind in one eye, and was wearing a patch over said eye. He asked me if we had a particular item in stock. I told him that, no, we were out of that item at the moment. He asked if we could ever get it back in stock, and if so, if I could let him know when it does show up.

I told him that I'd keep an eye out for it.

Even as I was saying it, I was thinking "maybe this isn't the best way to say this to this particular customer," but too late...it was out of my mouth.

Luckily, he wasn't offended...and maybe I was worrying just a tad too much, but boy, to this day I can't believe I said that to him.



Congratulations to Will Pfeifer on hitting his weblog's one year mark! Go visit his site, and give him some well-wishing along with the Duke!

And vaya con pollos to weblogging mainstay Franklin Harris, who's putting an end to his site, for good this time. We'll miss ya, Mr. Harris!



Someone, somewhere, at this very moment, is having a heart attack over how Batman is portrayed in All Star Batman and Robin #2. But man, I couldn't stop laughing, not so much as to the actual content of the story, but to Frank Miller's hearty "screw you" to the fans who want their Batman deadly serious. (And yeah, I know Batman's behavior was, mostly, supposed to be an act to get reactions out of Dick Grayson. Still damned funny.)



Okay, just when you've thought you've heard the last of this...so, about the early '90s comic crash....

Now stop that groaning, this'll only take a minute or two.

Anyway, we were trying to pin down if Superman #75 (the dreaded "Death of Superman" issue) came out at the same time as Turok #1 (the dreaded "Death of the Comics Market for All Time" issue). Some folks said "yay," others, like commenter Gardner said "nay," and, lacking easy access to our invoices of the time, I sought an answer elsewhere.

And that elsewhere was Comiclist, which not only has current new releases, but new release lists dating back to '91, complete with a search engine. Looking there, Superman #75 was scheduled for release in mid-November 1992, and Turok #1 was due April of '93.

Now, there were a lot of #1s coming out at the same time as that Turok, but the only really big one was Marvel's Infinity Crusade. However, with Marvel having gone to that "Infinity" well a few too many times over too short a period, it didn't do so well. So, basically, Turok wasn't facing much competition from other titles that week. However, looking at these lists, I see quite a few things that most stores (including our own...we're not innocent in this) probably way overordered. Sigh...this much "nostalgia" isn't healthy, I'm sure.



On a (mostly) non-comic-related note, pal Scott (who is also secretly pal JP's brother) has had his book turned into a movie directed by Harold Ramis and starring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, and freakin' Randy Quaid. Hey, pretty cool.

And in other movie news: "The Legend of Cabin Boy."

* Freudian slip alert: as I was typing this sentence, I was intending to type "original," but somehow I typed "real." I see what the deepest, darkest recesses of my fanboy brain is thinking....

Labels: , ,


This is an archive page for the old Blogger version of Progressive Ruin, kept around to maintain all the old permalinks. Please visit the main page for the current version of this site. Thanks for visiting, and sorry for the inconvenience!

Copyright © 2003-10 Mike Sterling. Some images used are copyright © their respective copyright owners.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?