Saturday, December 25, 2004
from Sugar and Spike #32 (January 1961) - art by Sheldon Mayer
Friday, December 24, 2004
"It's beginning to look a lot like Elfquest...."
Just a quick note to, well, note that after several months of moribund sales on the new Elfquest archival and paperback releases by DC Comics, we suddenly sold a heaping load of them over the last two days. I would make some kind of tortured allegedly-humorous play on words between "Elfquest" and Santa's elves, but I've had a long day, and I've got a long night ahead of me.
Anyway, everyone have a pleasant Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Good Winter Solstice...I hope you all appreciate the sentiment, regardless of its wording.
1. At the store yesterday:
Kid Chris: "I don't know what to get you for Christmas, Mike. What do you get for the man who has everything?"
Me: "A screen door for my submarine?"
2. Today's Foxtrot Christmas gag rubs some LiveJournalers the wrong way.
3. In my contest plug-fest last night, I forgot about Beaucoup Kevin's Julius giveaway. You have until Dec. 30th to enter.
4. Yes, our store is open today, and I plan on being there through to our regular closing time since there's almost always somebody who shows up at the last second for some panic gift-shopping. So, if you're in the neighborhood, drop by!
Thursday, December 23, 2004
1. I know other people have pointed to the article that's going around regarding J'onn J'onzz' lack of media attention...but it was sort of startling to see this on Yahoo's little news box on its front page:
2. Johanna's Owly contest ends tomorrow, so go enter already. What do you want, an engraved invitation?
3. Dave reports that his Comic Book Legal Defense Fund drive has been successfully completed...but someone else has offered to continue matching funds on donations through tomorrow! Go to that link for details!
4. Need I mention my contest for free Swamp Thing: Bad Seed trades again? I do want to thank Logan for plugging the contest on his House of the Ded site.
5. I also wanted to remind people of the ongoing Christmas-themed comic cover displays at Polite Dissent, Yet Another Comics Blog, and Viper Comics Raw Feed, and that pal Dorian has been posting seasonal covers in his own charmingly curmudgeonly style.
6. Run, don't walk, to Fearless Fred Hembeck's horrifying display of Santa Heads! Not for the lily-livered!
7. Why did no one ever tell me that my link to Trickle of Consciousness in my sidebar was horribly out of alphabetical order? How embarrassing. (Fixed now...it was between "W" and "Y.")
New funnybooks, yes? New funnybooks - yes! SPOILERS, okay?
Green Lantern: Rebirth #3 - Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver zip along with their ongoing rehabilitation of Hal Jordan, with a focus on the exact nature of the GL Corps' weakness against the color yellow (how many explanations have we had for this, over the years?), and what it has to do with Jordan's current situation. The groundwork is being set for Jordan being absolved of blame of all the evil he was getting up 10 years ago. If this has to be done, at least Johns and Van Sciver are doing it with a little flair. Van Sciver's terrifying rendition of the alien GL Kilowog on the first couple pages is something else. This is, at the very least, an attractively illustrated book.
JLA Classified is more of Grant Morrison's crazy superhero shenanigans, ably illustrated by Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines. The many and varied storylines from the first issue begin to gain a little more cohesion in part two, as we begin to see how Gorilla Grodd's (him again!) attacks related to the JLA's adventure in the "infant universe." I was also going to note the possible relation between Jack and his reality-rewriting "Keyboard of Being" and "The Writer" from Suicide Squad, John Ostrander's parody of Morrison as he appeared in his last issue of Animal Man, but other people have beaten me to it.
New Thunderbolts #3 - not much to say about this comic, other than this is probably the most pure fun superhero comic book Marvel publishes.* Entertainingly written, clearly illustrated, lots of Marvel-style subplots and carrying-on...it feels like a 1960s Marvel book, without any kind of fakey "retro" stylizing.
Uncle Scrooge #337 - contains a new (well, new in the U.S., anyway) story by Don Rosa, in which Donald gets Uncle Scrooge to finally clean out some of his junk from the office. Of course, one of the discarded items turns out to be valuable, and Donald and Scrooge spend the story chasing after their "trash," with all the attendant sight-gags and Beagle Boys and so forth. It's short and slight, but it's fun, and according to this issue's editorial, this story apparently "prefigures events" in a forthcoming Rosa adventure.
Following Cerebus #2 - haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it does have plenty of art by Dave Sim, including a great cover (Cerebus climbing a ladder in the rain), a back cover photo of Sim interviewing Barry Windsor-Smith in 1973 (said interview included within), and, for some reason, a full-page reproduction of "Dave Sim's Favorite Buffy [The Vampire Slayer] Pic This Month." That's the one that made me go "wha-HUH?" There's also a 6-page Cerebus story from the old fan newsletter. There's plenty of content here for the Cerebus fan, even for those that abandoned ship several years ago (like most people did).
Other new arrivals:
Black Hole #12 - Charles Burns' long-running mini-series has come to an end...bring on the collection! I bought it at first, but, well, I'm not sure what happened. I love Burns' work, and have read other projects of his over the years, but I think I may have stopped buying it at some point when I was trying to cut back my funnybook consumption. I regret dropping it now, but since the trade paperback is inevitable, I think I'll live.
TMNT #19 - it's been years since I've read a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic (probably not since one of Mark Martin's issues in the original series), but I just happen to really like that cover, over there to the right. It's just the hand of one of the turtles, with a crab crawling on one of the fingers. Painted by Michael Dooney, it's very understated, and really stands out on the rack.
We received the new printing of The Incredibles #1 from Dark Horse...but as far as I can tell, there is no difference between this edition and the first printing. It doesn't really matter to me, but I just know someone eventually is going to care. There's nothing inside indicating that it's a reprint, and I don't have a copy of the first printing floating around to compare, just in case the ads or logo colors or anything else is different. Can anyone set me straight?
Space Ghost #2 - now to see if the good sales on the first issue will continue on the second. A brief glance through the book shows that the art is still nicely done, though the story itself looks bone-dry serious.
* As opposed to all the non-superhero comics Marvel publishes.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
I was thinking about the forthcoming All-Star line from DC Comics, where they're ballyhooing top-flight creators on the books, with characters done the way you want to see them! So are they saying they're sorry for giving us lesser creators on the books in the past, and giving us the characters the way we didn't want to see them?*
Okay, I know that's not what they meant, but the "All-Star" name, along with Marvel's "Ultimate" line, sorta contains a slight implication that the previous versions of the books, and the people who work on them, are old news, or at least not quite up to snuff. Wasn't one of the reasons Kurt Busiek left The Avengers, pal Dorian reminded me earlier, was that there was no real point to working on the book once there was an Ultimate Avengers (or, rather, The Ultimates) on the shelves?** Why read the boring old Avengers, when you can have the brand-new super-cool "Ultimate" version?
Then again, Marvel's finding a way around this, by plugging the word "NEW" in front of their regular non-Ultimized Marvel Universe titles: New Avengers, New Invaders, New Thunderbolts, and perhaps even a New Thor.
I'm not criticizing, or even making a particularly new observation...I for one can't wait to see Superman stories by Morrison and Quitely...and I honestly don't have anything against the idea of the "All-Star" or "Ultimate" lines. I just thought the terminology being used was interesting.
In other news:
Bill at Trusty Plinko Stick adds to the fray by linking to my mighty Swamp Thing: Bad Seed TPB giveaway. Don't forget that, due to the generous contribution of Ringwood's Ken Lowery, I now have three volumes as prizes.
Everytime I see Rob Liefeld draw Cable in this pose (this particular variation from the cover of X-Force #5):
...I can't help but think Cable has one heck of a tummy ache.
*Dorian recalls my thoughts on this topic from earlier today. I don't remember the "eff you" part...but Dorian's final reaction to my thoughts was pretty much word-for-word!