mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, March 26, 2005

1. Reviews are beginning to creep in on the
Rotten Tomatoes Sin City page, and so far it's overwhelmingly positive. Here's hoping that translates to sales on the graphic novels after the movie is released, rather than just selling right up until just before the movie comes out and then dying completely, as usual for comics films.

2. On this page, not only are there two different Bizarro homebrewed beer labels (one about halfway down, the other near the bottom), but there is a recipe for one of them as well. "Drink it! It am awful!"

3. Until last night, I had no idea there even was a character called "Super Lopez" until a random Google search brought him to my attention. Now I think he's my new favorite superhero. Here's the official site.

4. Via pal Andy, just in time for Easter...Netdisaster! Hurl meteors at my website! Fry eggs on Ringwood! Flood out Tom the Dog!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Just when I lost all faith in humanity, along comes this. 


Read more about it here.

Additional linkage:

The Marvel Directory entry for Lockjaw.

Lockjaw stats for the Champions role playing game.

Is Lockjaw a dog or an extremely deformed Inhuman?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sorry, no rundown of every comic title this week. I'm still recovering from the
last four weeks' worth of commentary!

To build on something my esteemed weblogging colleague pal Ian noted...I posted something* quite a while ago about how the "Giant-Size Man-Thing" jokes should probably be given a rest now that the joke has come full circle and actually been used in a published issue of Man-Thing. So, now that one of the Big Two has actually published a comic with the slightly unwieldy title of DC Countdown to Infinite Crisis, all those jokes, like the one Ian mentions, about crossovers with ridiculous names like "Atlantis Attacks the Secret Crisis of the Millennial Genesis of Champions,"** should hopefully come to a rest as well. Though, to be fair, the actual indicia of the comic reads DC Countdown.

Yes, that means I've read next week's DC Countdown, since DC surprisingly included it in the retailer preview pack this week. Well, I can say that I enjoyed it for what it was: a semi-tour of current events in the DC Universe, and a lead-in to forthcoming events in various books. "To be continued throughout the DC Universe," it says at the end. It's certain to royally piss off people who were already pissed off by Identity Crisis, so keep that in mind before you buy it.


Yesterday morning, after the new comics order has been broken down and counted, and I'm taking a moment to flip through the new Overstreet Price Guide:

Me: "I'm going to poke though the glossary and see if Overstreet has officially accepted the term 'Bronze Age'...whoa, hold on."***

Dor: "What?"

Me: "Not only does the definition appear without any disclaimers, they say the Bronze Age runs from '70 to 1984!"

Dor: "What about the other ages?"

[brief discussion follows about the other comics ages, until....]

Me: "Lemme look up 'Modern Age' -- huh? It's '92 to present?"

Dor: "What's '85 to '91? [makes wild, sarcastic guess] 'Copper Age?'"

Me: [after looking it up] "Holy crap, it is Copper Age!"

Conversation devolves into laughter and swearing shortly afterwards. Tape ends.

Later, poking through Overstreet, Dorian discovers an article about "Pioneer Age" comics, from the 1500s into the early 1800s. Oh dear.

I'm assuming "Bronze Age" ends at '84 because of Crisis on Infinite Earths, probably as clear a demarcation between "eras" as you're going to get in the early '80s. And presumably 1992 is the start of the "Modern Age" as that's the year Image was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.

I'm not sure what was different enough about '85-'91 to keep it from being listed as "Modern Age" as well...the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the subsequent black and white boom? The release of stuff like Miracleman and Watchmen and Dark Knight? The proliferation and success of certain indie companies, some of which were dead or dying in '91 (like, say, First Comics)? Well, okay, I guess in retrospect, it was quite a different period from the Image/Wizard/speculator boom that followed...but still, "Copper Age?"****

Oh, and on the topic of actual prices in Overstreet...every time a new edition comes in, the first thing I look at is the House of Secrets listing to see how #92 (the first Swamp Thing) is doing. Looks like my copy is in the $600 range now. Cool. Er, not that I'm selling.


Instead of a semi-accurate, partially-fictionalized transcript, I'm just going to tell you that pal Corey and Kid Chris had a discussion about Booster Gold as a Christ figure, and leave it at that.

Oh, yeah, new comics yesterday. The Manhattan Guardian, the newest Seven Soldiers of Victory spin-off, is quite good. And, well, I'm trying to keep current DC events out of my mind as I read about the adventures of the Giffen-era league in Justice League Classified, but, well, as I've said before, it's kind of rough to see jokes about Sue Dibny's pregnancy.

Ah, and I see what took New Avengers #4 so long to come out...they were busy constructing extra butt for this cover. And what's up with the trade dress on the new issue of Rogue? The stripe across the top of the comic, with the little Comics Code Authority-esque stamp at the right hand side with Spidey's face? A portent of things to come? Or did I just miss one of Marvel's many press releases somewhere along the way? EDIT: Well, duh. Commenter Craig points out what should have been obvious to me. What's odd is that I had two separate thoughts about this cover during new comics day: "hey, what's with the trade dress" and "oh, look, it's based on the cover to Uncanny X-Men #173." Had the two thoughts ever encountered each other in my head at any point, I would have answered my own question. See what new comics day does to comic shop employees?

All you Jhonen Vasquez fans should note that there's a new issue of Filler Bunny this week as well. Now with extra offensiveness! (We're sure to sell a ton of 'em.)

The last part of the second Simpsons/Futurama crossover is out...and, well, the first series was better, I think, though not to say this series was bad by any means. Hopefully now they have enough pages to put both series into a much-needed trade paperback.

If any of you picked up the James Bond Casino Royale book this week, Dorian noticed that one of our copies was missing several pages, so you might want to check yours as well.

We also got our Free Comic Book Day shirts today, so it's time to turn ourselves into walking billboards. Well, Kid Chris and I got ours...Dorian sprang for the tasteful polo shirt, which apparently hasn't shipped yet.

* It's at the bottom of the page...you may have to scroll down a bit. I hadn't quite worked out the whole image-posting thing at the time.

** Actually, that was kinda fun, making up that title!

*** In retrospect, I think I already did know that Overstreet had accepted the Bronze Age term...I just have the old price guide caveat of "Bronze Age is an informal definition" stuck in my head.

**** Yes, I realize how nerdy and obsessive this all sounds. Honestly, I don't worry that much about it...my time's better spent keeping track of all that obscure Swamp Thing trivia.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Things we don't see Daredevil do anymore... 

...and that's a darn shame:

from Daredevil #120 (April 1975) by Tony Isabella, Bob Brown & Vince Colletta

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Concrete links. 

The essential site: The Paul Chadwick Web Comicography.

A concise description of the character, and a slightly more detailed overview may be found here.

Sketchbook stuff: Concrete and Hellboy by their respective creators.

Another artist's interpretation of Concrete at Webskinz.com.

The Concrete statue - "production cancelled," it says.

An assembled and painted model kit - Concrete is referred to as being a former "stuntman." That would have made for a different series!

Concrete fan art.

A nice Concrete sketch from an Italian comics site.

A Chadwick Concrete drawing on a pair of jeans, accompanied by many other sketches (including a cute Groo drawing by Sergio Aragones).

Unpublished excerpts from a Comics Journal interview with Chadwick.

Old news tidbits about a Concrete movie. (Am I remembering right that Bill Murray was attached to a possible Concrete project, or was that just wishful thinking on someone's part?)

(Why, yes, I have been rereading my Concrete comics...why do you ask?)

Monday, March 21, 2005

It's been brought to my attention by
commenter C. Elam that he had posted a scan of this panel several months ago...boy, it's a good'un, isn't it? Anyway, like I've said, I'm pretty sure I've seen this panel discussed somewhere before, but it was in a magazine or something, not online. Ah, well, I'm sure I'll come across where I saw it someday.

Fellow comic shop employee Kid Chris got to see an advance screening of Sin City over the weekend...said he mostly enjoyed it, but had some qualms with the film's staggered timeline and found the "spot-coloring" a little distracting. This makes three reviews (from Greg and Ken) I've encountered so far, all mostly positive with some caveats. I see Ain't It Cool News has a review up as well, which I haven't read...but after the sheer horror that was Harry Knowles' review of Blade II, you can understand why I'm a little gunshy. (Actually, despite my better judgement, I looked at that AICN Sin City review...Good Lord.)

Here's the Rotten Tomatoes page for Sin City...no reviews as yet, but plenty of links and news items.

I'm sure you all have already read the news about the forthcoming Absolute Watchmen edition, which will include the extra material from the legendary Graphitti Designs hardcover. As someone who actually held in my hands that Graphitti book and couldn't afford it at the time, due to my being a poverty-stricken college student (as opposed to the poverty-stricken comic shop manager I am today), I can't wait for this to come out. Like pal Ian notes, it's sure to be incredibly expensive, but, man, if any book deserved this format....

In the meantime, enjoy the Watchmen characters...in Lego form!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Don't ask. 

from Action Comics #337 (May 1966) by Otto Binder & Jim Mooney

Yeah, I know, I know, but this panel just kills pal JP, and he's been wanting to see it on this site for a while now. Unfortunately, I hadn't had this comic in the store or in the vast Mikester Comic Archives...but luckily, JP managed to track a copy down at this weekend's Wizard World event. (Also, I can't shake the feeling that I've seen this panel discussed, or at least mocked, somewhere before...perhaps in an issue of Comic Book Heaven by this fine fellow?)

Speaking of the Wizard World...although it was just a hop, skip, a jump, and a traffic snarl or two away from my neck of the woods, I just couldn't bring myself to go. I suppose if I'd thought about it ahead of time, I could have planned to go for at least a day. But, really, I haven't been to a comic convention in years and I don't have any real gumption to return. Several hours of walking around a crowded room being alternately appalled and dismayed at what I see...my grey hair is coming in fast enough as it is, no need to encourage it.

Oh, and about that "RUIN" box I've been putting in my scans lately...a scan or two of mine have been popping up here and there without any credit, so I thought putting that little bug in there might remind people who use those images to give a little linking love back to me. Okay, I realize it's not as if I own the copyright on those images or anything, but I'm the one who went through the trouble of scanning the darn things. And, yes, I was inspired by pal Dorian's slightly more elegant tag on his images. I thought about putting a giant "WWW.PROGRESSIVERUIN.COM" across the bottom of the scans, sorta like what Mile High does...but maybe that would have been a bit much.

So, anyway, if you're coming home from the Wizard World convention and you happen to be passing though Ventura, stop by the shop and say hello! Kid Chris and I* will be glad to see you...at least until we close at 5 PM, at which point we'll toss you out!

* Pal Dorian will be glad to see you in abstentia, as he's slipped his chains and taken the day off.

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