mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, October 23, 2004

"Only $3.95 per call" 

Mr. T And The T-Force promotional poster (Now Entertainment, 1993)

"Now you can call Mr. T, star of the MR. T AND THE T-FORCE monthly comic, on his own phone line. Call and hear his motivational message - you can even leave him your own message in return!

"Message changes frequently."

Friday, October 22, 2004

Tim points out the arrival of a Composite Superman weblog, riding that wave of Composite Superman-mania that's sweeping the internet. File this with the Hulk weblog and the Green Arrow weblog.

The first comment on the Composite Superman weblog is from "Composite Jimmy Olson," who must actually be the Bizarro Composite Jimmy Olson, since the last name is spelled incorrectly.

On a related subject, there's still no Archie Andrews weblog. Surely Archie would have something to say? ("Dear Blog - Jughead eats and eats and eats, and I think he has a problem. I hope it's not a tapeworm.") On the other hand, given Archie Comics' sense of humor about this sort of thing, maybe it's not such a good idea.

On a totally unrelated subject, pal Andy links to what he very accurately calls a "joke roundup" being held by Defective Yeti. I had contributed two jokes to the list yesterday, and they're about 50 posts down. A note to people who know me personally...no need to go look. You know which two jokes they are.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

This is post #500, more or less. 

Will Pfeifer, inspired by the forthcoming action figure I pointed out here, details the glory that is...the Composite Superman. (He also gives me a nice "shout-out," as the kids say, in the process. Thanks!)

And Tim points out that the action figure in question is "the Nerdiest Object Ever Discovered." He makes a good argument...but it could be nerdier. It could an action figure of the imposter Composite Superman from World's Finest #283 and #284.

However, when you get right down to it, this is truly the Nerdiest Object Ever.

And so the time has come to update the Weblogroll of Doom. Just added:

Talk to My Face - "Comics & Other Media from A Woman's Perspective" is her own description...anyone who titles a post "Reading Elfquest Makes Me Feel Weird" is jake with me.

The Pickytarian - lots of good comics reviews.

Trusty Plinko Stick - occasional comics posts, other fun stuff mixed in as well.

Chipped Ham - comics and TV news and reviews.

Repent Sinners! - probably my favorite weblog name ever. Nice colorful layout, with discussions of comics and other related things.

Plus, I added the site of swell cat Mr. Dan Kelly, which I was reminded of when pal Dorian added the link to his own site.

Also, since Sean Collin's weblog is no more, so I've moved his All Too Flat site to the "Also of Note" section. Go check it out...lots of neat things going on there.

And though Grotesque Anatomy is no longer a going concern, I can't quite bring myself to drop it off the list. So John Jakala gets a little "(ret.)" next to his weblog...as does the much-missed Flat Earth.


Pal Corey has been under the weather the past few days, and his health needs to take precedence over his weblog. I'm sure you all join me in wishing him well...he'll be back soon.

And this guy...he's got himself some impending nuptials to prepare for, which also must take precedence over the weblogging. I'm sure he'll be back shortly as well, so let's wish the poor bastard the happy guy the best of luck!

* As always, the Associated Comics And Pop Culture Webloggers of Ventura County, CA And Outlying Environs for sho...er, long.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

New funnybook day! Spoilers may be afoot, so watch your step (or, um, something like that):

  • Essential Tomb of Dracula Vol. 3 - man, this is a fat, fat book. It's gonna take me forever to plow through this thing...given I just finished the Essential Monster of Frankenstein, I'm not sure I'm ready to start another marathon Marvel monster session. Yeah, I know, "boo hoo, I've got too many comics to read!" But it looks good, like the previous volumes...one of the stories from the Tomb of Dracula magazines reprinted herein is by Steve Ditko, so you Ditko fans take note!

  • Ocean #1 - this is the first of the mini-series by Warren Ellis and Chris Sprouse which, while it had my interest, I had pondered waiting for the eventual book release (because that's just the kind of killing-the-comic-industry guy I am). Pal Dorian had a compelling argument for not waiting, in that it's a six issue series and bimonthly, so it's well over a year wait for a trade...thus convinced, I went ahead and grabbed it. And it's good -- all set-up (Inspector Kane is a prototypical Ellis bastard/hero on his way to investigate shenanigans on Europa), and it got a nice cynical chuckle out of me regarding a reaction to a book Kane is carrying.

  • Plastic Man #11 - Didn't spot Plas on the cover right away, which made me feel very silly a little later when I did notice him. Which is okay, since this is a very silly issue...DC continuity freaks stay away, as this issue will give you heart palpatations. Baker gets in some good jokes regarding the whole Luthor-as-President storyline, Smallville, and our own real-life President. Edwina, the vampire's daughter from last issue, is surprisingly still around. The art style is slightly different as well, it seems to me...a little simpler, with machine-lettering instead of Baker's hand-lettering. Anyway, another great issue, and I hope Plastic Man sticks around for a while longer. (EDIT: I'm told that Baker does all his lettering by "machine" - or, rather, computer...which makes sense...so let me amend my statement to "machine-like lettering." I still like its look.)

  • Identity Crisis #5 and Firestorm #6 - okay, read Firestorm after IC. Not that there are any major spoilers or anything, but it's probably better for both stories if you do so. In IC, a lot of theories some of us had about the identity of the killer(s) may be thrown out after this issue, and...well, I want to say more, but I really don't want to spoil anything. And Firestorm is still quite interesting, as the "hero" of the book continues his apparent moral decline. He goes through some of the superhero motions, but keeps makng increasingly selfish decisions...he gets called on it by a couple of superhero Big Guns, but one gets the feeling the new Firestorm doesn't really take the hint.

  • Madrox #2 - Peter David's mutant-detective comic continues, with some revelations about the nature of Madrox's duplicating powers, particularly the slight personalities differences among his duplicates. (I'm not a regular X-comic reader, so I could be wrong that this is new.)

  • Other new arrivals: Luba #9 (more goodness from Beto, with a shock ending!), JSA: Strange Adventures #3 (Johnny Thunder proves why he gets to hang out with the Justice Society -- it's a scene we've all seen a hundred times before, but still effective), Fantastic Four #519 (I'm a sucker for Galactus stories; the only reason this is an Avengers: Disassembled crossover is apparently to explain why the Avengers aren't also facing this threat to New York, it appears), 1000 Steps to World Domination (trade collection of Rob Osborne's mini-comics...I particularly like when Rob reveals to his wife that he's making a list of things to do in order to dominate the world, and her response is "I don't want anything like that in the house"), and Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #10 (the Pat Boone-scripted story is hysterical!).

  • That new printing of Identity Crisis #1, the one with the original Turner pencils printed in a "negative"-style reversed black and white, is terribly unappealing. Not that the image was all that great to begin with, in my opinion, but doing this to it didn't do it any favors.

  • Jimmy Olsen Adventures Vol. 2 by Jack Kirby - another fine full-color trade paperback reprinting Kirby's nuttiest DC work. If only we could get a good color reprinting of the other Fourth World comics (those black and white volumes just didn't do it for me).

  • Dorian pointed this one out to me: Neferu the Cat, a hardcover album from Safcomics...didn't get much of a chance to flip through it, but the cartooning is top-notch from what I've seen, and the plot (Neferu and his cat-friends stuggle to protect themselves from the encroaching dominion of the dogs) may not sound like much, but it really looks entertaining.

  • Archie #552 - am I the only person who saw this particular word balloon (located to the right), and pictured Archie keeping Dilton Doiley in a pit, telling him to rub its lotion on its skin? No cover gag Archie Comics could come up with could compare, surely.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

We received our
autographed Fallen Angel signature plates today, and they are very nice. David even sent me one more than I had asked for, which was very nice of him. And these aren't cheap, either...they're good 'n' sturdy, black and white with red spot color on the Angel herself. David's signature is in red on the left hand side, and presumably the right hand side is left open in case you track down artist David Lopez at a convention. So, a big thank you goes out to Peter David for this generous offer!

I'd also like to send out a "thanks" to Augie De Blieck Jr. for the nice mention in his Pipeline column on Comic Book Resources. (I'm not really that obsessive about Swamp Thing, am I? Not about my precious, my preciousssss.)


Ed at The Low Road is giving away a copy of Adam Sacks' Salmon Doubts, and all you have to do to enter is send him something "fishy." You have until October 31st to enter...details

The Peiratikos are offering up copies of Scott Pilgrim, with a Scott Pilgrim T-shirt as an additional grand prize. Just tell them why you think you would enjoy Scott Pilgrim. People who enter illustrated entries are eligible to win an original watercolor by Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O䴜Malley. Deadline is November 5th...details here. By the way, how many more times can I fit the title Scott Pilgrim into one paragraph?

And let us not forget Shane at Near Mint Heroes, offering up a copy of the Walking Dead trade, as well as the 24 Hour Comics volume. Just send a man a zombie story by October 31st...details here.

I should be offering up a contest of my own, soon...probably after these other contests conclude, so keep watching this space!

Monday, October 18, 2004

1. Because I love you:
Comic Book Bondage Cover of The Day. New to me, though one fast Google search later, I see the mysterious as he is ubiquitous Neilalien has it on his links list.

2. The more I think about Big Sir, the more he bothers me. Especially that bit where the other Flash villains use a dead mouse to...well, just go read the entry.

3. The new DC solicitations are up, and while I might have something to say about them later, I do have a couple things I'd like to note. First, while I have no complaints about a Seven Soldiers of Victory Archive, I really have to wonder if DC actually thought there'd be more demand for that, rather than a Sugar & Spike volume. I mean, c'mon DC, you're killing me here.

And second, there's going to be a Composite Superman action figure. DC can't decide if it hates me or if it loves me. It doesn't give me the Sugar & Spike, and yet it gives me this:

DC, don't play with my affections!

3a. For more DC solicitation fun, visit pal Ian. How one man can be so bitter about comics and never have actually worked in a comic book store is beyond me.*

* I'm not really bitter about comics. It's a joke, son.

Hold on...I almost forgot about these.... 

To think you almost missed the delights of...Swamp Thing Puffy Stickers:

Produced by Noteworthy during that golden age for Swamp Thing merchandise, 1991, each package contains six stickers each. As far as I know, only two assortments were ever released. Here's the other one:

If you've been following along with my previous Swamp Thing merchandise posts, you'll notice that the licensors got a lot a mileage out of the same art (particularly if you look at the Presto Magix set). For example, the piece used in the bottom right of the first sticker sheet appeared to be the standard Swamp Thing image used to represent the entire line.

If I were a crude man, I'd say that this sticker makes Swampy look like he's...um, doing his business:

Giant Swamp Thing threatens to crush the Earth if you don't do rhyming things:

Sunday, October 17, 2004

1. Pal Bugfish has gone and got himself one of those weblog type things that's popular with all the kids these days...it's
Nat Pike's Wired for Sound, where he discusses music. So go take a look, you.

2. (Here be SPOILERS) Finished Marvel's Essential Monster of Frankenstein volume, finally...the earlier chapters, drawn by the always-excellent Mike Ploog, are the highlight of the book, though later chapters get points just for sheer weirdness (the Monster teams up with a robot and they wander off to find peace? Wha--?). The transformation of the Monster from being fairly erudite to being a Hulk-esque "AARRRR! Fire...hate fire!" type of fellow is a little disappointing. Well, it makes sense within the context of the story, but the novelty of a monster that can speak and express itself clearly was welcomed. Also disappointing the brief mention, and discarding, of the idea of attempting to determine just whose brain Dr. Frankenstein ended up using in the Monster. Maybe someone more familiar with Frankenstein lore can correct me, but I think that's a unique idea, and it's a shame no one followed up on it. I mean, that brain had to come from somewhere...is any trace of the old personality still in that brain? What if the old mind attempted to reestablish itself over the new mind in residence? Well, I think that's compelling, anyway.

The book is wrapped up with several stories from Marvel's black and white magazine line...and boy, those are plenty weird as well. The "mind-transference" storyline involving the scientist, the trapeze artist(!), the Monster, and a mouse, with the end result of the mouse's mind getting control of the Monster's body, is really something else. There's also an odd continuity glitch in this storyline...the mouse with the scientist's brain survives being destroyed by the mouse-brained Monster at the end of one chapter, but a flashback in the very next chapter shows the Monster most definitely killing the mouse. Suppose it's too late for a No-Prize.

Anyway, like I've mentioned in previous posts, I hope Marvel continues to reprint their horror titles in this format...as well as other titles from their black and white magazine line. Wouldn't you like to see a Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu Essentials volume? I know I would.

3. Speaking of which, the next volume of Essential Tomb of Dracula is due this week, wrapping up the reprints of the color series, and including stories from the first four issues of the Tomb of Dracula magazine. The first two volumes were great stuff for good value, and the third should be more of the same. This new volume kicks off with issue #50, guest-starring, oddly enough, the Silver Surfer. I've come across this issue several times over the years, and each time I flip through it and just sorta shake my head. It'll be interesting to see how the story now fits in context, now that I've read the majority of the series.

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