“Not to be morbid,” he says.

§ November 28th, 2018 § Filed under question time § 5 Comments

So I need to get back to your questions, but first, let me address the one left for me recently by JohnJ on this post:

“The two versions of Sgt.Rock #400 cover prompt me to ask you this question, have you ever had a customer who preferred newsstand covers versus direct market? Someone who thought that what was in the UPC box made a substantial difference to the comic?
I know one retailer who thinks newsstand covers triple the price on back issues and wondered how you stood on that difference.”

By and large, I don’t think there’s a significant difference. If there is a difference in price and collectability, it’s generally the result of something other than just the UPC code or lack thereof. Like, cover image differences (such as the Spider-Man/Mary Jane wedding issue, though honestly I haven’t looked at compared prices/demand on those in a while). I think some of the early Image releaes had newsstand editions that were a little harder to find in the direct market (like Spawn and WildC.A.T.s ) with UPC codes and, I believe, different paper stock on the covers. There was a little demand for those once upon a time (particularly the non-foil covered newsstand edition of WildC.A.T.s #2) but I haven’t had anyone ask about those lately.

I mean, I don’t know…it hasn’t really come up too much, and I’ve sold a lot of back issues to a lot of people over the last three decades. Aside from situations like the above, where there’s an actual difference between the two versions, I haven’t had anyone just wanting the covers with Spidey’s face in the little white box instead of a bunch of lines and numbers. But, you know, to each his own.

Okay, back to the salt mines! ExistentialMan gets existential, man, with this:

“So, you’ve been doing this comicbookin’ retail thing for quite a while now. Although it’s clearly kept you virile, young-looking, and famously wealthy, I’m curious about your plans for the future and, eventually, retirement. I’ve ssen a number of retailers retire over the years (most of them very successfully). Do you envision calling it quits at a certain age?”

Well, I don’t know if I’ll ever straight up retire, unless my business suddenly becomes The One Comic Book Store Left Standing and I’m suddenly carrying away buckets of cash to the bank. Instead, I suspect I’ll keep my hand in, turning over day-to-day operations to a trusted employee, or robot, while still drawing income as the evil taskmaster of the business. I can’t imagine I’ll be behind the counter forever and ever until…well, not to be morbid, but I want to go off to that great Comic Book Convention in the, um, let’s say Sky in the comfort of my own bed, not sprawled out over a pile of X-O Manowars I was in the process of bagging.

• • •

Dave Carter asks Yet Another question:

“As a comic shop owner, what do you see as the biggest challenge for your retail establishment over the next year? Over the next five years?”

The biggest thing is just trying to maintain sales in the face of publisher shenanigans, as relaunch after reboot after renumbering erodes consumer confidence. Plus, the rising prices of the periodical format is always going to be an issue…I don’t think the periodical comic is going away, or even really on the verge of changing that much, but I feel like folks are really at their limit as to how much they’re willing to spend for a single issue. And I don’t think the Big Two, especially Marvel, are ready for a trade-only model. Whatever change that’ll happen is going to be a rough one to ride out.

Aside from that, there are the more practical concerns…rising costs of simply running the business (rent and utilities ain’t goin’ down), increased competition from new shops, an economy that’s all over the map, the fragility of my own human body…you know, cheery stuff like that.

• • •

Patrick Gaffney pours out

“Who can drink more? Thor or Hulk?”

We know, from our studies at Stan Lee University, that the madder Hulk gets, the stronger he gets, so there’s some sort of energy source that exists within him to fuel this increase in his capabilities. Like, there’s this giant radioactive engine inside him, powered by that long-ago Gamma Bomb burst, that flares hotter with Hulk’s emotions. I believe the Official Marvel Universe Handbook has noted that “there could be no upper limit” to this rise in strength. So, as his anger increase, the radiation-borne effects in his body increase, generating more energy, and presumably anything the Hulk would have consumed would probably go toward feeding this upward output. Thus, assuming Hulk is in an agitated enough state, I could see any drink he imbibed being immediately converted to bolster his physical abilities.

But then again, Thor is magic, which could supersede my 100& entirely scientific explanation. So let me go to the fallback answer…”depends on whose comic the drinking contest appears in.”

“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 mean, technically this would be graded…what, Fair? Poor? It’s certainly not coverless.

§ November 22nd, 2018 § Filed under retailing § 5 Comments

So on Wednesdat a gentleman came to my store to show me this comic which he’d acquired from an estate sale:


He had no luck identifying it, or finding it in a price guide, or in online auctions. Asking around, he was advised to take it to me, which was nice to hear, frankly, and boy, it puzzled me, too. You can follow my progress in this Twitter thread, where I put the word out to my online pals if they had any info on the item, but let me present to you in slightly less confused fashion what I observed about this item.

First, that’s a Mike Vosburg image, which I’ll give you a better look at here:


I wasn’t a watcher of the Tales of the Crypt HBO show, but I learned that Mr. Vosburg worked on the program, providing ersatz Tales from the Crypt comic book covers for use in the episodes which would reflect that installment’s story.

Next, I noticed that the cover image was in fact a separate piece of paper glued over the cover of the comic, which was a copy of Vault of Horror from the Russ Cochran reprint line (#4 from 1993, specifically…thanks, still visible copyright info on the inside front cover!).

The most curious thing about the comic was that, affixed into the middle of the book, was an extra page featuring a sequence of panels that clearly were not in the style of the classic EC comics:

Now, my initial thought was that the comic was some kind of print sample used by the publisher, maybe, or a prop from the TV show. However, looking at some of the episodes online, Vosburg’s cover illustrations were usually presented as being pages in a dusty tome the Crypt Keeper would open and show the audience, and not as an actual comic book.

Posing this observation to my Twitter feed, it was pal Plastic Soul what gave the fateful clue in his response, suggesting that it was used in Demon Knight, the Tales from the Crypt spin-off feature film. And sure enough, looking at a not-great copy of the opening sequence on the YouTubes, I determined that, in all likelihood, this comic I’m holding in my gentle and dainty hands is the very same one used in the movie:

Freeze-framing the video, the comic pages definitely match up between the film and the item in my possession, with the clincher being the end bit where the extra page of art is shown leading directly into the film’s story.

Now, I suppose some EC Comics superfan may have cobbled this together on his own, printing out the pic from Mr. Vosburg’s website abd doing his/her own mock-up, but that seems unlikely. Also, given what details I know about where the comic was obtained, I’m pretty sure this is The Real Thing. The current owner of this comic should be forwarding some documentation to me regarding his purchase of the item, so I should have more details shortly. Which I’ll need, since we’ve come to an agreement that I’ll be selling this for him. So watch the eBay skies!

One interesting note: the extra page of art is attached to and covering up another page of extra art. It seems to show more ore less the same sequence of events, just with some different staging. Wish I could get a good picture of it without tearing pages, becase I guess in a weird kinda-squint-right way this is a previously undiscovered alternate take for the film! Okay, it’s just production art, but hey, you didn’t know about it!

Anyway, this is one oddball item to have just fall into my lap like this. Definitely a unique piece of EC Comics history.

ADDENDUM 11/22/18: I received a comment elsewhere from someone who’s confused two different prop comics that are featured in the film. The comic in my possession is the one that appears in the first few minutes…as pictured in the GIF above, the pages are flipped, landing on the newly inserted artwork which then leads into the movie proper. There is a second, different, prop comic that appears much later in the film, featuring other inserted Vosburg pages, which you can see at the bottom of this page. I don’t have that second comic…it’s probably being held by my evil alternate universe counterpart, the one with the goatee.

ADDENDUM 2: Oh, and the comic apparently came from this estate sale.

Yes, I know the URL for the video ends in “Jerk” — I’m trying not to take it personally.

§ November 19th, 2018 § Filed under video § 3 Comments


Gee, it only took me eleven years to do another one.

Anyway, the other day I was showing the niece and nephew the “Dancing Groots” video (WARNING: OBNOXIOUS) on my phone, and after it was over my niece immediately swiped or touched or whatevered the app to see what other videos I had. And, lo and behold, there were the first two Half-Minute Mikester vids.

After watching those (and kind of cringing at the reference to the long-ago crotch-roversy over this Alex Ross cover that maybe my niece and nephew shouldn’t have heard), I thought “well, you know, maybe it’ll be fun to try doing that again, only maybe in my store and not in the laundry room at my house.” And, thus, there you go, “Half-Minute Mikester #2,” the third installment in the series because I thought I’d be cute and start with #0, just like the big funnybook publishers.

Nowadays the process seems a lot less involved in actually getting the videos out into the world…before I had to download the video from the digital camera, upload it to YouTube, wait for it to be processed, blah blah. Now on my phone, with just a little clicky-clicky, you get my dynamic action and mellifluous voice coming right at you directly out of your devices in your very own home and/or office. Yes, Old Man Mike is excited about this newfangled technology all you kids are into.

Another plus side to using the phone: the reason they were “Half-Minute” was because that the was limit of the digital camera I was using. I think maybe 40 seconds tops. Now I guess I’m just limited to however many gigabytes are this phone…and seems weird just calling it “a phone,” but I suppose “tricorder” is taken. I don’t know if that means you’ll be seeing two-hour widescreen comics-reviewing epics from me at some point in the future, since about 30 to 40 seconds is about as long as I can talk in one burst without tripping over my tongue (and it’s not like it didn’t take me a dozen tries just to get through the thing).

But at the very least I do plan on doing more videos, not just for blogging purposes but as a promotional thing for my store (that store being Sterling Silver Comics in beautiful Camarillo, CA). Maybe I’ll even show my face in one or two of them, so consider that your fair warning.

That X-Men cover never fails to make me laugh, because I’m a bad person.

§ November 16th, 2018 § Filed under question time § 8 Comments

Sorry, was too pooped to post these last few nights, but here I am again, still alive and mostly aware. Let’s dip back into your questions from a little while ago:

Hooper Triplett doubles down on

“Outside of nostalgia and/or habit, why should I buy single printed issues instead of digital or print collections?”

Well…yeah, sure, that’s a good question. It all comes down to personal preference, I suppose, though there had been the economic reason of a periodical not lasting long enough to get a trade because of the perception that people were waiting for the trade and thus didn’t get enough sales to keep going. That was a tricky balance (Fables always stood out to me as one of comics that seems to maintain the right measure of “people reading the monthlies” vs. “waiting for the collections”). I don’t know how much digital downloads have affected that particular division, if those sales would be enough to subsidize the continued printing of physical copies of a title underperforming in the direct market.

Anyway, trying to pick one format over the other strictly for economic reasons (both the publishers’ and your own) is beside the point: you need to read comics in whatever way is preferable and convenient to you, naturally. I personally prefer having the monthly (or biweekly, or semi-annual) magazines in hand, as they’re just easier for me to read and enjoy in smaller doses, versus waiting for an eventual collection to plow through (though I don’t mind those for older material). And my brief dabblings in digital make for a novel experience, but I just like having the actual comic in hand when I have a choice.

So read ’em however you like, Hooper! Just be sure to buy plenty of them from me.

• • •

Kirk beams in the following

“Where did your love of Swampy & Sluggo begin & do you also love Sgt. Rock ( please say yes )?”

I shared the origin of my Sluggo love way back when, back when I thought I was going to end my Sluggo Saturday posts. In short: a friend turned me on to Nancy and Sluggo in particular, and I hope over the years I turned some of you on to them as well.

My love of Swamp Thing came about through a combination of finding a couple of issues of the original series in a used book store (oddly enough, not Wein ‘n’ Wrightson issues, but these two), and this very early Nickelodeon program I discussed here about five years ago (which did feature Wein ‘n’ Wrightson). That’s pretty much where it all began!

And yes, don’t you worry…I do love Sgt. Rock comics as well. Didn’t read nearly as many of those as I should, but I did have a few scattered issues and a digest reprint and that one team-up with Superman. I specifically remember buying this issue and this one off the racks at the local convenience markets.

Always found Sgt. Rock comics to be well-illustrated, usually short, punchy self-contained stories, that ran the gamut from tragic to heroic to sometimes a tad preachy but generally just preachy enough. They were essentially the Platonic ideal of A War Comic, and it’s a shame that specific kind of book is missing from the stands.

King of the Moon crowns me with

“Greatest hero who got their powers from a space wizard horse:
Alex Power, Julie Power, Jack Power or Katie Power?”

I’m gonna have to say Katie, because she’s the Power Pack member featured on this, the greatest X-Men cover of all time:

Stan Lee (1922 – 2018).

§ November 12th, 2018 § Filed under obituary § 5 Comments


As I recall, The Comic Reader got in a few letters of comment regarding this cover from 1980, where some folks didn’t appreciate the April Fool’s shenanigans. But I’ll tell you, the second I heard the news today, this was the very first thing that came to mind.

Well, we had Stan around a few decades longer than that gag image above would have had you believe, and I know there’s some discussion within the fandom and the industry about what exactly his legacy is. But, for the public at large, he was comics, and generally a positive representative for the medium. People liked Stan, and they liked to see him, and by extension that improved the perception of comics as a whole, I think. That’s not a bad thing.

And, in collaboration with spectacular artistic talent like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he wrote some of the best comic books ever published, and helped redefine just what a comic book was and what it could do. I’ve said before that the Thing isn’t just one of the greatest characters in comics, but straight-up one of the greatest characters in fiction, and it was Stan’s voice in combination with Jack’s pen that brought that ol’ bashful Benji to life. For that alone, Stan (and of course Jack) would deserve immortality.

I wish his final years had been a bit easier on him, but at the very least I think he knew how many people loved him and his creations.

So long, Stan.

“Knowing which flaps to fold in, in which order” is pretty much advice for everything in life.

§ November 12th, 2018 § Filed under retailing § 6 Comments

So I was putting together some of those fancypants comic book short boxes for display…you know, the ones with the graphics printed on them as opposed to just the plain white boxes you normally see…when I got to thinking.

I’ve noticed over the years, the many, many years I’ve been at this, that when someone first comes across a comic box for the first time in its flattened form, it can be a little puzzling to figure out just how to assemble it. I mean, okay, it’s not like the Hodge conjecture or anything, but it can be easy to start folding the wrong bits first during a first attempt at putting one of these boxes together.

Anyway, the thing I was thinking about, beyond “I wonder how many hundreds, if not thousands, of these boxes I’ver personally assembled over the years,” was “how did people out there first learn how to make one of these?” And thus, I attempted to discover the answer using that most solid of statistical tools, the Twitter poll:


As you can see (or maybe not see, as I’m still trying to fix the images-not-loading-in-RSS-feeds thing…will be working again soon, I hope!), the majority of respondents openly lied informed me that they puzzled out these cardboard contraptions on their own. Only a third as many had to have somebody show ’em, and a just a bit less than that don’t know how to do it at all (more on that later).

Like I said, putting these boxes together isn’t enormously difficult, so it doesn’t really surprise me that the first option was the one that received the most votes. But I’m still surprised that the “someone showed me” result was so relatively small. Just from my experience selling comics and related accessories for decades, the next question after someone asks to buy their first comic box is usually “how do you make this thing work?” And that’s not a criticism or a comment on their skills or anything…I perfectly understand that a person may decide from the get-go “rather than waste time trying to figure out how it works myself, I’ll save the effort and just have this nice young gentleman with the flowing mane of beautiful blond hair show me how to do it properly right off.”

And really, it’s no problem. It’s just a matter of knowing which flaps to fold in, and in which order. Someone responded to my poll, noting they learned from the box itself, which had printed instructions, something I forgot to consider since I hadn’t seen one of those in years. I don’t know…for some reason, I was picturing this as arcane nerd knowledge, passed down in oral tradition from learned experts to the gathered supplicants, who would then teach the skill to the generations that follow.

That last option, about still not knowing, isn’t a huge deal. Some people may not store their comics in boxes, or don’t have enough comics to even fill a box, or may not be comic collectors at all, and just answered my poll because they follow me on the Twitterers and decided to show me a kindness. I mean, the poll’s range was largely biased toward comic fans, as most of the people on Twitter that follow me and aren’t Russian spy-bots are also people who are into comics.

Which of course doesn’t mean there aren’t collectors who don’t know what to do with these boxes. I noted to someone on Twitter that I’d seen my fair share of boxes where whoever tried to assemble it started off with the wrong fold or flap or whatever and just decided to give up and duct-tape the thing into a box-like shape. And someone working for another comic shop on Twitter verified that they’ve also seen the dreaded “held together by tape and probably a lot of cursing,” so it’s likely a widespread phenomenon.

Anyway, just one of those thoughts that goes through my head when I’m at the shop putting together my one millionth comic box. …Okay, maybe “one millionth” is exaggerating a little, but not by much.

I know about the images-in-the-feed issue.

§ November 9th, 2018 § Filed under how the sausage is made § No Comments

I’ve been informed that since I’ve secured the site, my images aren’t making it through on the RSS feeds. I’m aware of the issue, and will try to get it corrected shortly. Thank you for your patience!

If it’s one thing I need, it’s more “to read” piles of comics at home.

§ November 9th, 2018 § Filed under collecting § 3 Comments

So I’ve been going through box after box after box of comics at the store, just piles of ’em from collections acquired over the last few years, and finally making some headway in getting the processed and put out for you, the people, to come and buy.

I’ve been pretty good about not pulling from said boxes to fill my own collection…plenty of stuff I’d love to have, but I’d love to make money on selling it even more. By and large I just keep to filling holes in the ol’ want list on things I’ve been seeking out for years, like some of the Atlas/Seaboard comics from the ’70s, and fanzines of pretty much any period. Oh, and the occasional Charlton Popeye.

Jumping back a bit, to back when I was but a mere non-comics-retail-working mortal, like most of you common folk out there, I was pretty good about picking up comics I was interested in. Particularly throughout the 1980s, when DC and Marvel discovered he idea of “mini-series” and put out a boatload of purposefully short-run titles, many of which caught my eye and were dutifully snatched off the racks by my young allowance-stretching self.

However, there were a couple of series that I wanted to pick up, but, for reasons long forgotten by God and man (but probably related to “that allowance can only stretch so far”) I never did get around to acquiring. One such as Sword of the Atom, basically “The Atom as Tiny Conan the Barbarian,” featuring some of that great 1980s-style Gil Kane art that the Kane purists may have pooh-poohed at the time but that I really enjoyed.

As it turned out, a run of that original Sword of the Atom was present in the stacks upon stacks of comics I was processing, and set it aside for myself. It did inspire me to check the ol’ Diamond Comics database to see if a trade paperback existed, collecting this mini-series and the three subsequent specials (which I did not have in the piles here at the shop, far as I could tell). There was a trade, published in 2007, and apparently long out of print, and going for some not-terribly-high but more-than-Mike-wanted-to-pay prices on your eBays and your Amazons and such.

Mentioning my quest for the remainder of this series did bring pal Nat into the shop with the first special for me, which was very nice of him. However, a Twitter pal picked up a copy of the trade in the clearance bin at his local shop for dirt cheap, and it is now winging its way to me via the tender mercies of the post office. Thus, with its eventual arrival, that will be one less missing comics experience from my youth. And I’ll be able to put those issues of the mini-series back out for sale…though I’m not sure what to do with the special, since Nat gave that to me as a gift. I’ll have to ask if he wants it back!

Now another comic that I inexplicably passed on during its original run was Night Force by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. I was reading New Teen Titans at the time, and in issue #21 there was a special 16-page free insert previewing the forthcoming Night Force title.

Now, I liked that preview. I was into Gene Colan’s super-moody art, and I was enjoying Wolfman’s work on Teen Titans, and I was a fan of horror comics…or at least the weird, creepy off-on-the-distant-edges-of-the-main-fictional-universe books like, oh, say, Swamp Thing. But, again, like with Sword of the Atom, and for probably similar reasons, I did not pick up with series.

Not much later, the main character of Night Force, Baron Winters, plays briefly into one of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing storylines, which just sort of added to the “well darn, should have picked up that series” feeling I had. But I still didn’t. Even working at the other comic shop which had no end of full runs of Night Force (only 14 issues long, mind you) didn’t get me off my duff to pull a set aside for myself.

Many years later, a collected hardcover edition of that series was announced, and I sort hemmed and hawed over getting one for myself at the time. I did wait, however, and not too long ago I did finally get my hands on a new copy of the book for a bargain price. And I’m glad I waited…the printing on the original comics wasn’t awful, but seeing Colan’s art recolored on nice paper is a real treat.

Its title of “The Complete Collection” is bit of a misnomer, in that there were two follow-up series (in 1996 and 2012)…these were also written by Wolfman, but drawn by Brent Anderson (2nd series) and Tom Mandrake (3rd series). Not collected, and probably harder to find in the back issue bins. If only I’d bought that first series at the time, then I would have bought series 2 and 3 as they were coming out, and I wouldn’t be in this mess now.

And there’s your little bit of insight into what your pal Mike still gets for himself. I mean, I even bought the full run of Spanner’s Galaxy at the time, I have idea why I passed up those two series.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ November 5th, 2018 § Filed under End of Civilization § 6 Comments

Neither sleet nor snow nor, um, minor fender-bender will keep me from fulfilling my End of Civilization duties! Run out and buy yourself a copy of the November 2018 edition of Previews, while being very careful when backing your car out of the driveway, so you can follow along with me:

p. 92 – Avatar Tsu’Tey’s Path #1:


Oh, these characters had names?
 
 
p. 114 – Disney Don Quixote, Starring Goofy and Mickey Mouse TP:


I can’t wait for Disney Terry Gilliam’s movie of this!
 
 
p. 170 – Swamp Monsters:


Ah, a new release from the Specifically for Mike Sterling Publishing Company.
 
 
p. 171 – Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Everything Is Connected & The X-Files Conspiracy Theory Everything Is Connected:


I did a little…well, very little…research, and as far as I can tell, the two games aren’t connected to each other. No Dirk Gently aggravating the Cigarette-Smoking Man here, which would be a darn shame.
 
 
p. 306 – Star Trek I Am Mr. Spock Little Golden Book:


Market testing revealed that the Little Golden Book based on I Am Not Spock was too upsetting.
 
 
p. 331 – Sartre HC:


“There’s no exit from the greatness of this comic! Why, I feel nausea at how unprepared I was for how good it was. Anyone of the age of reason should love this!”

“Okay, Mike, that’s enough reviewing for you.”

“C’mon, can’t I have the reprieve I deserve?”
 
 
p. M22 – DC Comic Gallery Dark Nights Metal Drowned PVC Diorama:


Repurposing those old Kryptonite Pet Rocks as statue bases, I see:


 
 
p. M48 – Harry Potter Die Cast Wands Series 1:


Look, I read all the books, saw all the movies, and if you put a gun to my head, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you which wand belonged to whom. …This is getting dangerously close to me, a collector and seller of comic books, saying fans of something else are too…whatever, so I’d better stop now.
 
 
p. M49 – The Nun 18-Inch Rotocast Plush Doll:


So when Warrior Nun Areala was a thing back in the ’90s, we would have the occasional purchase of a copy of the comic or action figure for…or even sometimes by…a nun, who would be amused by the very idea.

Just saying I’m not seeing history happen again, here.
 
 
p. M50 – Living Dead Dolls Friday the 13th Part II Jason Voorhees Doll with Sound:


KI KI KI “Math is hard!” MA MA MA
 
 
p. M68 – Pop! Rocks Metallica Lady Justice Vinyl Figure:


Looking forward to the Throbbing Gristle “Hamburger Lady” Pop.
 
 
p. M72 – Halloween Michael Myers Bishoujo Statue:


Okay, add my name to the petition for the sexy girl version of Belial from Basket Case.


 
 
p. M99 – Garfield 1000% Be@rbrick:


I can’t even say anything about it. Just look at it. Just look at its tail. And this is 1000% of whatever it is. JUST BEHOLD ITS GLORY AND ITS HORROR
 
 
p. M115 – IT 3-Piece Lapel Pin Set:


What kind of terrible rebus is this, anyway?
 
 
p. M116 – Justice League PVC Bust Banks:


Just in time to build anticipation for Justice League 2!
 
 
p. M124 – Star Trek Discovery Black Badge:


“Wait, what department are you in again?”

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m black on the right side. All of those lower ranks are black on the left side.”
 
 
p. M131 – Monopoly Fortnite Edition Game:


Do not pass GO, do not play those ding-dang video games that all you kids waste your time on, I don’t even know what the heck this Fortcraft thing is anyway.”
 
 
p. M132 -Star Trek Fluxx:


I bet Kirk would be really good at this g–ooooh, you said “fluxx.”
 
 
p. DC80 – The DC Universe by Len Wein HC:


Finally, issues #27-#29 of DC Comics Presents, containing the entire story that introduced Mongul, under one cover and hopefully unedited/free of production errors! You know, unlike the previous Superman trade paperback that only had parts one and two, and the UK hardcover that altered some of the caption boxes and, um, left out God’s Word.

‘Course, maybe this book will have the pages of the story printed upside down, or with the colors reversed…something. SUCH IS THE CURSE OF MONGUL.

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