In which Mike makes a brief post to let folks know he’s not dead.

§ June 11th, 2013 § Filed under retailing, swamp thing § 6 Comments

Sorry for the extended outage…I’ve been ill, and have been trying to stay away from Internetting for a few days while I recovered. I even skipped out of most of a Saturday at the shop, which I never do, and apparently that was good planning on my part as a Cardfight Vanguard event we were apparently expecting a couple dozen people for ended up attracting, like, a hundred people, and as I was at home in bed that ended up having to be Someone Else’s Problem, for which I apologize.

A portion of the crown outside our shop – photo by long-suffering Employee Timmy

Anyway, since we last spoke, while flopped on my bed like a big ol’ lump of nothin’, I watched, via Netflix streaming, the entirety of the BBC sitcom Hyperdrive, a very funny spoof on Star Trek-ian type programming.

I also read all about the new Swamp Thing action figure due at the end of the year, or rather watched all about it since I’ve only really looked at the video at that link. I think everyone I know sent me some link or another about this figure…a figure which, by the way, is going to cost about fifty bones. Good gravy, thank goodness for buying things at wholesale. I remember saying something a while back that, on one hand, not having Swamp Thing around meant less tie-in merchandise I’d have to track down and buy (yes, “have to”), while on the other hand, having Swamp Thing comics around means more merchandise, which is great but, you know, I still have to pay for it. There’s been in the last couple of years, what, three t-shirts, a statue, a Squinkie, I don’t even remember what else. Oh, yeah, and a comic book series. Man, comics, did you know they still make those?

In addition, I read more about DC Comics’ latest plan to kill me. My guess is that throwing a Justice League logo onto a Shadow Thief comic isn’t going to increase sales that much, but I have, oh, another month and half to think about that before I send in my orders. I am totally down with a Mongul comic written by Jim Starlin, however.

Oh, and this week, Superman Unchained #1 is out, so I’ll be unboxing loads of those Tuesday afternoon at the shop and sorting out the dozen or so different variant covers. I’ll probably have something to say about that comic later in the week.

So…um…how are you?

And now, three panels from Adventures into Darkness #9 (1953)…

§ June 6th, 2013 § Filed under scans § 7 Comments

…that may or may not be from the same story, I don’t recall, as I scanned these panels a while back, and we’ve since sold the comic so I can’t double check. But they kinda sorta tell a story when placed together like this anyway…at least, it makes about as much sense as some of those old horror comics did:

But what if the mackerel in question was dead, too? “This man is exactly as dead as a dead mackerel!” “Oh no!”

I probably haven’t even read this comic since 1992.

§ June 4th, 2013 § Filed under collecting, dc comics, retailing § 12 Comments

So in response to the recent news about DC’s lenticular covers for their Villains Month special event, Twitter pal Joe and I had the following back ‘n’ forth:

This is the Eclipso: The Darkness Within cover in question, by the way, straight outta my collection:

And here’s a close-up of the gem:

Geez, I should have looked a little more closely, and picked one that didn’t still have that bit of flash by the top corner, there. Ah, well. Way to go, younger me.

Now it’s been a while…like “over twenty years” a while, so my memory was that there were two versions of the Eclipso comic, one with a plastic gem and without sans gem…well, that bit is right, anyway, but I thought that you paid a little extra for the privilege of having a big lump on the front of your comic that would dent the comic ahead of it in the box. Turns out I was wrong, thankfully, because I didn’t want to think I dished out an extra fifty cents for that. I do notice that the drawing of the gem is actually removed from the cover that had the plastic gem glued to it, which is nice attention to detail, I think.

Anyway, after a close investigation of the comics surrounding that issue of Eclipso in my storage box, I can determine no damage caused by said gem to any of the comics in front of it. The box was not tightly packed, however, whether by accident or by subconscious desire to avoid pressing anything too heavily against that Eclipso, because like I said in that Twitter post up there, it did occasionally cross my mind that storing that comic was going to terrible, terrible things to other innocent comics. I didn’t worry enough about it to put a backing board or something in front of it as other Twitter pal Christopher suggested, but it was just one of those comic related things floating around in my head, like “which issue of X-Men did snowy Iceman become icy Iceman” and “hold on, I didn’t actually buy X-Force #1, did I?”

Of course, writing about this has me wondering about how our backstock of this Eclipso comic is being stored at the shop. I sure hope we packed the box properly way back when.

Anyway, back to that DC Villains event…I don’t know about the rest of those comics, but we’re gonna sell a billion of those Jokers.

In which Mike rambles on about comic sales, and also simultaneously laments and looks forward to new Superman comics.

§ June 3rd, 2013 § Filed under dc comics, retailing, superman § 10 Comments

So I noticed that All Star Western received a slight bump in sales over the last couple of issues, thanks to Booster Gold’s guest-appearances. I suppose this currently storyline may put out a Jonah Hex purist or two, but let’s face it, Jonah Hex is part of the DC Universe, and if the occasional crossover from that universe helps to keep a DC title on the stands that isn’t yet another variation of a Batman, Superman or Green Lantern title, then crossover-away, sez I. Plus, if you’re a fan of a certain age, the certainly deliberate evocation of the mid-1980s Hex series may inspire a nostalgic twinge or two…assuming you were a fan of that Hex series in the first place, but of course, why wouldn’t you be?

An interesting note about my old post that I linked there…I make a brief aside that we never learn how Jonah Hex returned to his own time from that future, that maybe it’ll be a plot point in some future Booster Gold story or something. Well, given that Gold is in the current Jonah Hex comics now, and that we know that Hex ends up in the present day DC Universe at least briefly…so maybe I kinda sorta foretold the future there. Well, not that it’s the same continuity or anything, but that’s close enough for me to toot my own horn for a few dozen words in a blog post.

Speaking of Green Lantern, in that I wrote the words “Green Lantern” in the first paragraph, I’ve noted that the special extra-sized “so long to Geoff Johns”/”so long to Geoff Johns’ storylines” Green Lantern #20 is being taken as a good jumping-off point for a few of our customers, which has me wondering about future sales on the franchise. DC did it to itself, really…it was able to grow its Green Lantern line into four heavily-linked core titles so long as interest in the ongoing storyline in those titles was strong. It was a rare case of reader reluctance to pick up yet another related series being overwhelmed by desire to keep up with the franchise. Not that there was a one-to-one correlation in sales…the main GL book usually outsold the others by about 2 to 1, but there were still some customers buying all the titles. However, now that the story, or at least Geoff Johns’ iteration of the story, is “done,” as much as an ongoing superhero comic can be done, the impetus to follow all the GL franchise books is diminished, particularly with the turnover of creative teams on all the books occurring simultaneously.

Okay, it’s not like Green Lantern sales are going to dry up overnight, but I am expecting some dropoff as folks reconsider whether they need to follow four ongoing GL titles a month.

On the topic of franchise books, there’s that Superman Unchained comic that’s headed our way soon…a comic being ordered in such hideously large numbers I actually had one of our distributor reps ask me “why are people getting so many of these?” The answer is…well, a bazillion variants based on sales plateaus (a Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez one for me, thank you!), plus the fact it’s written by Scott Snyder, who’s had some success with that Batman series, and illustrated by Jim Lee, which is kind of a big deal, but yeah, there’s going to be a lot of copies out there in the marketplace, making this the 1991 X-Men #1 of the 21st century (or the Shazam! #1 of the 21st century, for those of you old enough to get that implication).

I am looking forward to the book, and I do suspect it will sell well, though probably not at the numbers everyone is ordering. I have enough interest locally in the variant covers to help subsidize the order I placed, but still…sheesh. DC cast out the line, they successfully reeled me in. But Scott Snyder and Jim Lee on a Superman book…I think this will be the series that gives us a New 52 Superman that actually feels like a big ol’ Superman comic, unlike most of the attempts at trying (with varying success) to reestablish Superman since the whole New 52 relaunch was dropped on us. And that Greg Pak/Jae Lee Batman/Superman series feels promising, too. We’ll see soon enough.

Anyway, what your pal Mike is saying is that he wants to enjoy good, new Superman comics. Like that Adventures of Superman…it’s not New 52 Superman, which I imagine is a selling point for a lot of you, but it’s swell to boot, so thankfully the hoohar around that title all worked out for the best.

The sarcasti-quotes tell a different story.

§ May 31st, 2013 § Filed under advertising § 5 Comments

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ May 30th, 2013 § Filed under End of Civilization § 14 Comments

Hey there, crazy kids and kool kats! Here’s another dollop of dorkiness from the pages of your favorite comic book catalog, Diamond Previews…grab your copy of the June 2013 edition, and do try to keep up…!

p. 87 – Action Comics #23:

“…In the backup story, Joer-El and Lara try to save the Science Council from the colonel who seeks to make all of Krypton kneel before him!”

If you’re not yet tired to “kneel before me!” call-backs to Superman II…you will be. You will be.

p. 148-9 – T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1:

Surely this will be the revival of a nearly-forgotten decades-old com…wait. Hold on. This feels familiar.

Oh, yeah, right.

p. 171 – Star Trek #24:

Guys, c’mon, seriously. WHY IS THAT THE VARIANT COVER, and not the regular, easily-available-and-purchasable cover? Are you afraid of money?

p. 229 – Night of the ’80s Undead #2:

Not to be confused with…

p. 230 – Rogues #5:

Not to be confused with….

p. 232 – Detroit Lion-Os T-Shirt:

Well, I’m certain the NFL will have a fine sense of humor about this. They’re an easy-going bunch of guys.

p. 246 – Betty & Veronica #267:

In this issue, Archie learns about the genital papilla, much to his dismay.

p. 387 – Star Wars Lightsaber Thumb Wrestling:

“Enact your favorite lightsaber battles from all six Star Wars films! Simply attach the two plastic lightsabers – one blue and one red – to dueling thumbs with Velcro…”


“…and enact your favorite battle scenes. Each of the seven spreads acts as a ‘game board,’ or a stage for battle.”


Also, presumably unrelated to this.

p. 395 – My Little Pony “Team Pony” Silver T-Shirt:

If only Catherine the Great was still around to enjoy all these fine “Team Pony” products.

p. 404 – My Little Pony “Big Face Dash” Juniors Tunic Tank T-Shirt:

I searched and searched for an online video of that Kirstie Alley Saturday Night Live sketch where the lady aliens explain that their eyes ended up on their breasts via evolutionary pressure from their men always looking there instead of at their faces, but no dice, so here’s a still and a cast list from the sketch instead.

Just came to mind for some reason.

p. 423 – Marvel Labbit:

So now they’re just straight up manufacturing toys based directly on my nightmares. That’s good to know.

p. 445 – Rocky Championship Belt Replica:

“The most iconic and instantly recognizable collectible from the Rocky movies, this intricately detailed Championship belt is accurate to the one seen throughout the Rocky series. Made from heavyweight cast metal with a high quality gold plated finish, genuine leather and layers of ruffled satin, just like the original! The four metal picture frames feature images of the various champions in Rocky movie history – Clubber Lang, Apollo Creed, Ivan Drago, and, of course, Rocky Balboa. This beautifully crafted replica has been crafted with pride from the finest materials available, and is a faithful copy of the original Prop that will be the centerpiece of anyone’s Rocky collection.”

Okay, I was with you up until “anyone’s Rocky collection.” I have a hard time believing anyone whose name doesn’t rhyme with Mylvester Mallone has a Rocky collection.

p. 447 – Frankenstein VFX 1/1-Scale Bust:

“No, Frankie, no…the iPod buds go in your ears.”

p. 463 – Star Trek Mister Spock Maxi-Bust:

Hey, remember that time a penguin accidentally got beamed up with Mr. Spock and their molecules got all mixed up and so for the rest of the episode the crew had to deal with Mr. Spenguin?

ALTERNATE JOKE: This close to being a piece of Bloom County merchandise.

p. 464 – Star Trek Captain Kirk Tinned Candies:

“Each Tribble-shaped candy tastes just like confident swagger and limitless charm.”

p. 466 – Senran Kagura Hibari “Sukumizu Version” PVC Figure:

“…From the popular Senran Kagura video game….” Hmmm, wonder why it was so popular?

p. 484 – Iron Man 3 Iron Man Mark 42 Adult Helmet:

“Hey, this mask is pretty neat, and it opens up, too…OH GOD THERE’S A HUMAN HEAD INSIDE, CALL 911”

p. 492 – Words with Zombies Previews Exclusive Magnet Set:

Not all that different from the Words with Sex Magnet Set.

…What? You don’t shout “BRRRAAIINNSSSSS” when…um. Okay. Forget I said anything.


§ May 29th, 2013 § Filed under scans, this calls for hyperspeed § 1 Comment

Not to be confused, of course, with Vooper from Nexus:

…though the resemblance to our esteemed former Presidential candidate was not quite as pronounced in Vooper’s first appearance in Nexus #11 back in 1985:

…or in this pic of the character. But then, why would it be? I do remember being — well, even “slightly startled” is too strong a description, maybe “bemused” — at the early ’90s Vooper redesign, because I was the kind of person who worried about that sort of thing suddenly changing in an ongoing series I’m reading. Not like today, where I hardly ever go on at length about costume changes and continuity tweakings. Oh, no.

images from Troll Patrol #1 (January 1993), Nexus: The Wages of Sin #1 (March 1995) and Nexus #11 (August 1985)

So here’s a comic I’ve been trying to track down for a while.

§ May 27th, 2013 § Filed under collecting, pal plugging, swamp thing § 10 Comments

I talked before about how I’m not really looking for any more old comics for my collection, outside of an issue of Dog Boy or two, or ’60s and ’70s fanzines. I mean, sure, if something cool comes along I might snap it up for myself, but by and large there’s not a whole lot of specific back issues I’m actively looking for. This comic I acquired a few months back, for example, was the big one, a comic I’d spent years trying to find.

But there is this one comic that I’d been half-interested in buying, one featuring the debut of a character that’s appeared on and off over the decades, that I’d never seen in the shop in all the time I’ve worked here. I’ve always liked its quite striking cover, however, since I first saw it in a long-ago issue of Amazing Heroes, and decided then I’d buy a copy should I ever get the opportunity.

And then, this weekend, there it was in a collection (the same collection where I found the comic with this page, in fact):

Showcase #79, December 1968, featuring the debut of Dolphin as written and illustrated by her creator, J. Scott Pike.

Now I suppose I could have gone online and bought a copy from someone, but it’s not something I was absolutely going crazy from not owning…I just figured that sooner or later, a copy would come by the shop, and hopefully it would be in halfway decent shape (i.e. Dolphin didn’t have a mustache drawn on her). As it turns out, it was far more “later” than “sooner,” but, hey, good enough. And now I own a copy of this comic, and the cover looks just as great in real life as it did in that magazine article and on comic cover gallery websites.

Also in the comic is a reprint of the first appearance of Aqualad, and a one-page text piece explaining the idea of fanzines as well as promoting a couple…which is certainly an added bonus for me, given my appreciation for ‘zines.

In conclusion: just what I needed, another comic…but it is always nice to finally find that one elusive item you’ve been searching for, the long itch that finally gets scratched.

• • •

In other news:


§ May 25th, 2013 § Filed under scans § 6 Comments


from Horror from the Tomb #1 (September 1954)

Here are some folks who, unlike me, are doing interesting things.

§ May 24th, 2013 § Filed under pal plugging Comments Off on Here are some folks who, unlike me, are doing interesting things.


  • So close personal friend Chris Sims has created a new comic with some pals of his, in that digital format that’s all the rage with the young people these days. It’s Subatomic Party Girls, costing you only a mere 99 cents. If you don’t want to make such a large investment sight unseen, then check out the promo Tumblr.
  • Pal Andrew’s latest Nobody’s Favorites entry is about a character that first encountered as a young Mikester, and hadn’t quite yet grasped the whole multiverse thing that was the required backstory for this characters’s raison d’être.
  • Pal Dave talks about magically appearing bras, and offers an intriguing alternative. May be slightly not safe for work, unless you work at Bras A’Plenty at the mall.
  • Bully, the Little Scientific Bull, brings you SCIENCE!

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