Saturday, January 21, 2006
"I've only an eighth grade education. Will Mystic Chants work for me?"
Friday, January 20, 2006
"There's a black Green Lantern now."
A fellow on a UFO message board laments the preponderance of conspiracy-minded and just plain loopy folks in the flying saucer biz, and in a less than serious response, another poster leaves his parody of a typical paranoiac rant:
"Do you remember Green Lantern, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, AquaMan, Hawkman, the Atom, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, The Green Arrow, Snapper Carr, the original Justice League? If you remember they used to fly in outerspace in their undergarments in the 60's with no visible means of support. Suddenly one day they came back with breasts and sex organs and there uniforms got all bulgy and supergirl suddenly became a babe although lately they have her looking anorexic with her belly button showing. They have taken away her muscles and made her look a lot like a waif model.But even Super Girl has breasts now although she has moved to the Amazon island to be with Wonder Woman and get away from men. You see just about that same time they came back from space and got bulges some superheroes suddenly became black or Asian. There's a black Green Lantern now."
You can see the second half of the "rant" at the above link.
Hey, pal Dorian has started a "meme." By accident. Honest.
Speaking of pal Dorian...at the shop Thursday night, we were discussing this message board exchange where the person's request for a non-superhero comic recommendation was met with the immediate suggestion of X-Men. In Dorian's words:
"The answer to any comics recommendation request is never X-Men."
And yeah, that's usually true enough. With very, very rare exceptions, the X-books are not the best example of the comics medium as an artistic means of expression, particularly for someone new to the comics world. It's comics specifically for comics fans, insular and self-referential. If someone new does come in expressing a specific interest in X-Men books, I explain that they're essentially soap operas, with very few clean starting points...just jump in and hang on, and hopefully anything you don't get will get covered eventually.
But that got me to thinking...is there a single issue (or short-run storyline) from the X-books that shows these comics in their best light? Something that you could show a new comics reader and have them not throw the book down in disgust...a single X-book that might make them think, if only briefly, "say, these colorful pamphlets of mutant adventures may actually be not half bad!" Yes, I know everyone wants to say the stuff from 94 to 144 (or whatever those issues of Uncanny were)...what would you say aside from that particular run?
Thursday, January 19, 2006
New comic daze.
With apologies to pal Dorian:
So it seems our customers, having been trained by the recent Diamond Comics shipping delays caused by Christmas and New Year's Day, assumed Martin Luther King Day would do the same and either 1) didn't drop by on New Comics Day or 2) placed many, many calls asking if the week's shipment had come in yet.
Just can't win, sometimes.
Speaking of Diamond, our shipment was shorted about a bazillion random things, including a replacement for an item that we had been shorted on the previous week. Oy.
By the way, I haven't been on the internet much lately, so I haven't noticed...has there been any other coverage of the missing material from the new DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore trade paperback?
For reading this far...I give you Celebrities with Phones!
* That may not be how it was originally intended, but, at least to me, that's how it reads now.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
No wonder Jean Loring went insane.
So Ray Palmer, in his superhero identity of the Atom, has acquired a mynah bird (by the name of Major Mynah, which makes me want to slap someone...or give someone one of those Gil Kane-patented head-over-heels roundhouse punches) who has an unfortunate habit of repeating things other people say. Oh, and the bird also has artificial Thanagarian wings provided by Hawkman, but that's beside the point. Anyway, after the day's adventure is concluded, Ray and the Major show up at Jean's for dinner, and the bird goes and flaps his big mouth...er, beak:
from The Atom #37 (June/July 1968) by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane & Sid Greene
Ray's big excuse:
"I have an explanation as far as I'm concerned -- but Atom will have to do his own explaining!
And Ray's explanation of "oh, it's just a big conincidence that both the Atom and I now have pet mynah birds" gets this response from Jean:
What th--she bought that? And dig Ray's solution to avoiding this problem in the future...in the great tradition of Ace the Bat-hound (under Jan. 14th) and Krypto the Superdog, AKA Skippy, Major Mynah will have to wear a disguise.
Quite frankly, I think Jean and Ray are both nuts. The bird's the only sane one.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
As some of you may recall, I recently moved to a new house here in lovely Ventura County, CA. And, when you move to a new house, you suddenly get a whole lot of gardening and window treatment flyers left on your doorstep. I received one such flyer today:
It's a custom drapery treatment
You can have it all with...
WINDOW WONDER WOMAN"
Now, it seems to me I recall the DC Comics lawyers going after a -- oh, I don't recall, a car dealership or something? -- that was using the phrase "Dynamic Duo," which, it turns out, is copyrighted by the good folks at DC. I wonder how "Window Wonder Woman" (which, according to the flyer, has been around for 40 years) managed to slip past the DC radar? Was adding "Window" enough to keep this person from being harassed by The Man?
In the "thanks but no thanks" department:
"I am looking for a recommendation for something that might get me interested. To give some parameters, I would rule out *standard* super hero or horror stuff (but am open to something different) In general I am a science fiction/space opera fan. Long Epics with good characters. I would be looking more for story than for art. Any direction would be appreciated."
"X-MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, that's the only comics I ever read, I used to have a spiderman comic with kull in it, and it was great."
Yeah, these forums posts are a few years old, but it made me laugh. And the guy looking for good comics ended up with the Invisibles, so at least there's a happy ending.
The tragic death* of "Nutsy" Dave.
from New Beginning #4 (1992) by Terry Kalkanian & Bruce White
*If it makes you feel any better, Dave survives. "Tragic near-death" isn't as catchy.
Monday, January 16, 2006
"Death of Aquababy" and other phrases I thought I'd never say.
"So, Mike, what'd you do at work today?"
"Oh, looked for the death of Aquababy."
"That's ni...uh, what?"
For some reason, that subject was brought up over the weekend, which had me turn to the Overstreet Price Guide to track down the exact issue in which this happened. (I suppose I could have e-mailed Laura, keeper of all Aqua-knowledge, but why make things easy on myself?)
Anyway, I don't bring this up to talk about the death of Aquababy (which the mighty Dave's Long Box has already covered quite well), but to talk about Overstreet's guide notations. You'd think, given Overstreet's predilection for the lurid, they'd be all over a character death like this. But, no, here's how it's listed:
Adding insult to Aquababy's injury, issue 443 is pointed out for special attention:
I'm guessing, since, as Dave mentions, Aquababy's death is remarkably underplayed, and not even cover-featured, it's just been missed by whoever it is that decides what gets notated and what doesn't.
Just poking through the Adventure listings, I see notations that would be of use to fans, like "Death Earth-2 Batman," and "Unpubbed G.A. Black Canary story," but then you see something like "Intro. Mighty Girl" in #453. One, I think this is the one and only appearance of "Mighty Girl," and two, given who Mighty Girl really is, fans may be more interested in knowing that this issue actually features a young Barbara (Batgirl) Gordon (er...SPOILER, I guess).
Now, I've heard anecdotal evidence of comic dealers putting crazy notations on some of the comics they'd list in ads, just as a goof, only to see those same notations show up in subsequent price guides. I'm guessing this is the result of price guide researchers scouring comic listings and actual sales seeing these notations, thinking "hey, people must be looking for 'Mighty Girl' appearances," and adding that info to their guides.
I need to start doing that in our ads. "Silver Surfer #59: 1st hatless Thanos - $99.95."
Hey, as a result of those House of M/X-Men: The 198 shenanigans, did the Sub-Mariner, as "Marvel's first mutant," lose his powers? Or is he a different kind of mutant from all those X-folks runnin' around, and thus unaffected? (The things I wonder about at work, sometimes.)
"Graphic novel is enjoyable"
"The comic book genre has evolved quite a bit over the past few years, though, resulting in a new incarnation called 'graphic novels.'"
Actually, it's a positive review of Paul Has A Summer Job, so I shouldn't make fun. I'd rather have a well-meaning positive article (or an open-minded critical appraisal) than something like this (found via The Comics Reporter):
"I used to be crazy about comic books. But I really can't figure out why anyone would pay good money for such supposed 'adult' versions of the stuff I read back then, or why reams of words have been wasted explicating such 'books.'"
Ouch. (EDIT: Just noticed that same quote had been posted on the Great Curve's "Heroes & Villains" entry earlier today. Didn't mean to step on any toes, there!)
Sunday, January 15, 2006
And now...a romantic moment with Douglas and Naomi.
And now...romantic moments with Shag and Sue.
And now...a romantic moment with David and Eileen.