mike sterling's progressive ruin

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Greetings from the land of linkings! 

Some things happening in the online world of comics and love:


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"It's toasted!" 

  • So round, so firm, so fully-packed...so free and easy on the draw: it's Chris Sims and Eugene Ahn (and special "third chair" guest Kevin "The Crushinator" Church) with another fresh-tasting, doctor-recommended installment of the War Rocket Ajax podcast, and they're interviewing Benito Cereno, creator of Hector Plasm and Tales from the Bully Pulpit, and writer of the forthcoming new Tick series. Download it now, and don't forget: W.R.A.M.F.P. - "War Rocket Ajax means fine podcasting!"

  • Boy, here's a good "Nobody's Favorite" in Andrew's latest installment of that particular ongoing feature. "Good" relatively speaking, of course. I remember selling some copies of this particular series, at some point. I mean, we must have.

    I also wanted to point out this installment of Andrew's ongoing Halloween celebration, which focuses on one of my favorite old Atari 2600 games.

  • Pal Dorian reviews Lifeforce and The Company of Wolves...look forward to more spooky film reviews through the rest of the month.

  • Dave strikes again with another Space Cabby Sunday...someday your life may depend on the knowledge found therein.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm probably not hiding in the bushes just outside Kevin Church's house. 

  • Sometimes I don't do a good job keeping up on all the Swamp Thing links like I should (even with a Google Alert set up for that particular topic) so I appreciate it when swell cats like Tom help me out a bit. In this case, Tom reminded me of this recent post by legendary Swamp Thing artist Steve Bissette in which he discusses the artwork done for the ST cartoon merchandise from the early '90s. You may remember that I'm the proud owner of several pieces of said merchandise (including the "fuzzy slippers" Bissette mentions in passing), so I found this article to be quite interesting. The particular focus of the article is on who did the actual artwork...the inker was obvious to anyone who'd read Swamp Thing, but the penciller, not so much. Read the article (and the comments!) for the discussion and the eventual solution to the mystery!

  • This is one of my favorite things that pal Dorian does, aside from the oil massages NO WAIT IGNORE THAT...er, it's Dor's movie trailer reviews. Always a hoot.

  • Another Dorian link: employee Aaron gave Dor a drawing.

  • Kevin Church and TJ Kirsch's new webcomic She Died in Terrebonne is well underway...the first five strips (1 2 3 4 5) were released over the last week, and new strips will come every Thursday from this point forward.

  • And Kevin's other strip (with cohort Benjamin Birdie) The Rack just had a wedding, and you can see the special moment right here, in full glorious color by El Gorgo's Tamas Jakab.

  • And to complete my triumvirate o'Kevin stalking, take a look at this thing here Mr. Church posted on the Twitter. EDIT: And, oh ho, what's this?

  • I can't think of any way to introduce or explain this better than just saying "Street Poet Ray versus Angel Love."

  • Behold the badass unicorn.

  • Pal Scott finished posting all the extant pieces of his aborted comics story Heartache Saloon, so go, enjoy. Seriously, I love his art style. If he ever gets tired of that book-writin' thing, surely the high-finance world of alternative comics awaits.

  • A big congratulations to Tom Spurgeon's five year anniversary of The Comics Reporter, an absolutely indispensable resource for anyone interested in the world of funnybookin'.

  • And now...ROM tribute art.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


So in response to my post from the other day talking about "anti-sign" superhero logos, Adam noted that '80s Superman supporting character Gangbuster had such a logo:

Yes, that's right, Gangbuster just hated fists:

So look out, Kit Fisto! Look out, Iron Fist! Look out, Fist of the North Star! Look out, Fisto! Look out, F.I.S.T.! Gangbuster will find you, and defeat you with...er, well, fisticuffs. OH THE IRONY.

  • Men weep, women swoon, and children cry out in terrified delight, for the new War Rocket Ajax podcast has been unleashed. Join Chris Sims and Eugene Whose-Last-Name-Is-Ahn as they toe that restraining order line with classy cartoonist Colleen Coover! Delete all those other lousy podcasts from your iZune, and put this on instead. You won't regret it.

  • Related: take a look at these Man-Thing sketches by Coover and studio-mate Jeff Parker. WARNING: cutest Man-Thing drawing ever at link.

  • So that guy Kevin Church just started a new year-long webcomic project with artist T.J. Kirsch: She Died In Terrebone: A Sam Kimimura Mystery. Promises to be good 'n' moody...kicks off with daily strips introducing the cast, then moves to a once-a-week schedule.

  • There's a new group comics blog in town, this one masterminded by Alan David Doane: it's Trouble with Comics, featuring a heapload of established funnybook bloggers. It's just starting out, so we're just barely past the introductions, but let's see where it goes. Good luck, guys!

  • Andrew has a new installment in his Nobody's Favorites series, and it's a good'un. It's a character that even made it onto Smallville, somehow...though to be honest, the character feels more like it belonged on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, which is a weird distinction I'm not sure I'm up to explaining. Probably something about the character's particular motivation fitting more with the goofy romantic soap opera elements of the older TV show than the running-in-place "will Clark ever learn to be a hero?" elements of the newer show.

    That's a lot of evading any clues as to whom Andrew is discussing, I realize. Though I imagine some of you guessed already, if you haven't clicked the link.

  • I sold pal Dorian a bunch of cheap black-and-white-boom era funnybooks, and Dor just started to have some fun with them.

  • Which reminds me: I've been joking about how Boom! Studios should start a special black and white imprint and call it "The Black and White BOOM!" I've been bothering the employees with this, and now it's on the site and out of my system. Also, I'm the only one who's amused by this, so I apologize.

  • Via Neilalien: half-n-half Peter Parker/Spider-Man "Spider-sense...tingling!" costume. It's damn near perfect.

  • So I always link to Dave's Space Cabby Sunday posts, which you should be reading because, well, look at you -- you're clearly not getting your required allotment of Space Cabby intake. But dig this: Ken Lowery was doing $1 Terrible Sketches at a convention in support of his project The Variants, and Dave picked up a Terrible Space Cabby Sketch, which is awesome.

  • I too mail-ordered a Terrible Sketch from Mr. Lowery, and friends, I got my money's worth:

    He's saying "Just as I suspected. POGs."

    This drawing is Terrible, and I love it.

  • A special thanks to Reader Sharon, who was nice enough to gift Progressive Ruin Headquarters with Volume 2 of the Swamp Thing TV show DVDs. That was very nice, and much appreciated!


Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday I'm in links. 

1. I've been getting a handful of submissions from some of you out there who have their own ideas about what Arisia was saying. I'm planning on running a few here on the site on Sunday, so tune in then for more Big Laffs. Or, of course, take the opportunity to send yours in right quick.

2. Reader Mike sent along a link to a fellow's custom-made statues, including one of Swamp Thing. The Ex Machina one is pretty cool, too. (And has Neilalien seen the Dr. Strange "Sanctum Sanctorum" diorama?)

3. Tom sent along a link to his site, Brand Man to the Rescue, which features his resume in a kinda-sorta Silver Age-y comic book format. Pretty neat, I thought. (And in case you're wondering...he is currently employed!)

4. While I've been enjoying Justice League: Cry for Justice for the most part, the third issue did have a bit or two where, perhaps, things weren't thought all the way through (I'll let Sims get into it), I did want to put in a good word for the book's text pages. This is some fun writing on comic book and character history, and even though I suspect the cover price had an extra buck tacked on for the privilege, the text pieces are a great addition to this series. It reminds me of what editors had to do to fill their letters pages for the first issue or two of a series, until they started getting letters to print.

4a. I had to go back and correct the previous bit, because I'd typed "Justice League: Cry for Dawn." Now there's a crossover I wouldn't hold my breath for.

5. Found a guy on a DC Comics message board attempting to claim Justice League of America #200 (1982) wasn't all that. Forget you, Message Board Guy: Justice League of America #200 is a saint!

6. Digging back that far into the Progressive Ruin archives turned up a link I'd posted that may be of interest again, now that Disney's back in the news (after, you know, all those decades of hardly hearing anything at all about the company): Die Duckomena, your one-stop shopping for Fine Art Disney. It's all entirely terrifying.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Didn't we just get some new comics last week? 

  • Archie #600 - This is the infamous "Archie Marries Veronica" issue that probably would have sold like gangbusters had it come out during that initial burst of publicity a few months ago, when the comic was originally solicited. But as it is, we bumped up the orders on this just a smidgen, since we do have a few people still interested in the storyline. I am interested in seeing how sales on subsequent installments fare, once people realize this is in fact a story that takes place in "the future," and not a permanent status quo change for the franchise.

  • Blackest Night: Superman #1 - Had DC gone for the $3.99 price point on these tie-in mini-series, I imagine sales wouldn't have been nearly as strong. People are really digging this event, but I'm hoping once the tie-ins and crossovers begin to pile on, interest won't wane. The most recent DC solicitations reveal "Blackest Night" tie-ins virtually across the board in DC's superhero titles, and I'd prefer that folks pick and choose the tie-ins that look interesting to them, rather than decide it's all too much and avoid the event altogether.

    Okay, I'd actually prefer our customers buy one of each -- well, two of each -- because I'm just a poor funnybook seller and would like to keep a roof over my head.

  • Hellblazer #258 - Geez, our sales on this have really bottomed out. Not really sure why...Hellblazer is one of those titles that's usually pretty good, regardless of who's working on the title (though that "Empathy Is The Enemy" story a couple of years back was rough going). Perhaps now that we're approaching 300 issues on this series, maybe people have read enough Hellblazer stories? The three-digit issue number dissuading new readers? A somewhat haphazard trade paperback program (with unnumbered volumes, and several issues as yet unreprinted)?

  • Punisher #8, Punisher: Frank Castle #73, Punisher: Noir #1 - Hey, remember just a few years ago when we had just one Punisher title on the stands, and it sold really well? Yeah, that was nice.

    Now, Marvel publishing, what, two dozen, three dozen Deadpool monthlies? I can understand that, since Deadpool comics are like money-making machines at the moment. But multiple Punisher titles? The primary reason Punisher comics sold this time around was Garth Ennis's involvement, but even sales on Ennis-written issues began to decline near the end, there. Multiple titles for a franchise in decline is just a quick way to kill it off even more quickly, it seems to me.

    Don't get me wrong...I do like the idea of having the more adult-oriented Punisher and a Marvel Universe-centric Punisher available for readers. But it doesn't seem as if the market can support them both right now.

  • Red Circle: The Web #1 - Okay, I've been liking these, even though they're selling about how I expected them to sell. Don't know that I need a bunch of regular series and mini-series dumped on me, but as one-shots, they've been fun. I realize the strategy this time around is to tie the Red Circle characters into the DC Universe, and whether that gives a sales boost to the titles, I don't know. I hope so, since I happen to like these characters, but I have a feeling that readers don't want yet another set of superheroes to follow at the moment.

  • Stand: American Nightmares #5 - Not surprisingly, sales on The Stand have remained consistent while Dark Tower comics have dropped quite a bit, given how much more accessible the former is. I will note that we've seen a small upswing in sales on the hardcover collections, since the non-comic-reading King fans who've given up on the monthly books are catching on to the hardcovers' existence.

In other news:
  • Hey, that Kevin Church cat has somehow survived for another year! Happy birthday, pal!

  • Need some more overviews of the latest Diamond Previews? Here's Dave's look at some goodies and not-so-goodies, and pal Dorian presents another Previews for Gays.

  • Speaking of Dave, you have been reading his Space Cabbie Sundays, haven't you?

  • Chris Sims isn't busy enough hoarding all the comics blog readers for himself...he's also going to steal your ears with his new, spectacularly-named podcast War Rocket Ajax, created with Eugene from People You Don't Know. Check out the first episode here, guest-starring a clearly-abducted and forced-to-participate Matt Fraction!

  • Andrew unveils another installment of "Nobody's Favorites," this time featuring a character/brand name that DC keeps throwing at the wall, but never quite gets it to stick.

  • And now...the most amazing thing you're going to see today: DC's mostly forgotten Angel Love series gets mixed with Eric Clapton...with astounding results!

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