mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A little violence never hurt anybody. 


from The Comic Reader #109 (August 1974) - art by Alan Hanley



from an ad in The Comic Reader #136 (October 1976) - art by Don Rosa

Friday, May 26, 2006

"His bird-morphing abilities would definitely amaze and dazzle the audience!" 

From MSNBC: "Readers reveal their favorite 'X-Men'"
"Nightcrawler. What an amazing cat-like X-Man! You'd want this guy on your team, trust me. My girlfriend, Deb, sometimes even calls me this because of my combination of speed and balance (as if Bear wasn't good enough for her!). Jeesh. Bear"

"Mr. Sinister is by far the best. He's actually Cyclops' father so that adds a whole new edition. Even more stunning is his ability to morph into any bird, whether it be a parrot/eagle/canary. And last but not least is the undisclosed comic book secret that he is actually Magneto's fraternal twin. I think it would be great if they brought this evil mutant to life on the big screen. His bird-morphing abilities would definitely amaze and dazzle the audience!"

"Phoenix was and is my favorite character in X-Men. I like to own her power to create and to destroy anything. So that she can protect the world from war. And to destroy any human that harms harmless animals like cats all. Also to make peace in this country!"

"Storm, because she control the weather."

You can add your own suggestions at the end of page 2 of the article. AND YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO. Show Caliban the love!

MSNBC also has a neat photo guide to the X-movie characters.



Comingsoon.net runs a reasonable, if mixed, review of X-Men: The Last Stand - and these folks don't care for said review:

"THIS GUY MUST NOT LIKE XMEN VERY MUCH PLUS EVERY MOVIE HE CRITICS TURNS OUT JUST FINE..."

"Enough of crappy comments.People can talk shit..just ignore it! It's X-men and I trust that it's great!I don't care what people think..the tastes are different!"

And then there was this comment in the thread, which, um, speaks for itself:

"Iunno why but singer to me was never the right guy for x-men...iunno if u all feel the same way as me,i just feel like he left out too much stuff from the get go...he shoulda had gambit,beast,jubylie(or however u spell it),juggernaut,so on ,so on...it made the x-men franchise so un-well done lollll....i mean look at spider-man,it stayed true to the comic book,no changes...exept for the web out of his hand.....but that put aside its perfect,they shoulda stuck to the original look n original story n original everything n everything woulda been perfect...can u imagine if this x-men movie is the last???beast is only in 1 movie???like come on!!!!!!!!n cyclops was always the leader to me,it was never wolverine..anyways im out i have stuff to do,think about it"



On the eBay: "X-MEN ROGUE SCHOOLGIRL COLOR PINUP ART" - maybe not safe for work.

This is safe for work, but perhaps not SAFE FOR YOUR BRAIN: "Wolverine claws, become your favorite mutant"


"Make your own Wolverine claws

Everything is here for you to look like your favourite mutant. All you need to do is finish them to your liking. As they are in the movies, or a all new idea. Your to create.

The Claws are made of solid Aluminum, the blocks as well, and the wires are made of steel.

What you get in this package is,

6 Claws

2 blocks

6 wires

12 set screws

1 wrench

1 Set of Instructions"


This is actually a pretty clever design, which hides the claws' base in your closed fist...but I wouldn't, you know, walk around the mall or try to enter a courthouse with them. But still...fantastic. (EDIT: Ack! The auction! She is cancelled! Now I wish I'd saved more of the images....)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Progressive Ruin Presents...The End of Civilization. 

Well, those oddball items in the new issue of Diamond Previews (the June 2006 ish) won't make fun of themselves, so let's get started, shall we? (Previous installments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15...I've been doing this for 16 months? Oh Lordy.)

p. 192 - Wizard Magazine #179: Apparently this issue is going to include an article titled "100 Worst Things Ever to Happen to Comics." I wonder if the early '90s debut of a certain colorful price guide mag and its encouragement of the speculator market of that time is on the list? (Oh SNAP.)

p. 243 - Lady Death: Fetishes 2006 - "Special Mistress Cover": Sometimes the Lady Death comics just hurt my brain. There's also a gold foil edition available on page 253.

p. 245 - Teenage Murder Bait One-Shot Special Edition:
"Wasted youth, teen corruption, drugs, sex and horny teenage girls - tales of all can be found within these pages!"

SCIENCE HAS CREATED THE PERFECT COMIC BOOK.

p. 260 - Darkman Vs. The Army of Darkness #1:
"Dynamite presents the crossover no one thought they would ever see...."

I'll say. I was all ready to make fun of this comic, but Kurt Busiek, Roger Stern, and James Fry comprise the creative team, and George Perez is providing one of the covers, so, you know, what the heck, could be fun. And you all like the Darkman, don't you? Don't you?

p. 333 - Tokyopop is releasing a classic Star Trek manga, just in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of what's left of the franchise. Includes a "collectible cover exclusive to Diamond customers."

p. 399 - How not to sell your Superman shirt:


Oh my goodness, that's some unfortunate phrasing. (EDIT: Joe Rice noted it as well.)

p. 438 - Star Wars Yoda Back Buddy:


The needle's goin' back and forth between "Cute" and "Creepy" on this item.

p. 450-2 - Urn of Osiris Buffy the Vampire Slayer Prop Replica: Limited to 1000 pieces, hand-painted, and comes with a certificate of authenticity, acrylic display case, and "care instructions" ("Don't let your significant other find out you spent 90 bucks on this, or you're gonna end up wearing it").

p. 452 - Harry Potter: Hermione Granger Mini-Bust: Attention, dirty old men....

p. 468 - The Freak Brothers Resin Statues: Includes all three brothers, plus Fat Freddy's Cat. Alas, it's 500 bones for the whole set, but man, they are pretty cool. So, in case any of you out there who had been wondering what to buy me for Christmas....

p. 469-70 - Pullip Fashion Dolls: GAZE INTO THE EYES OF YOUR DOOM:


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

How to start a political flame war on a comic book message board in one easy step:

"Bill Clinton, Lex Luthor, and Adolf Hitler"
"Which do you think was a better leader? I think Lex would be the best, followed by Hitler, and then Clinton taking up the rear."



"So, does anyone know what Supergirl's tattoo says?"
"I looked up Kryptonian translations, and the symbol Kara has on her back now kinda looks like the word 'HOME' inside the pentagon, but I'm not sure. Anyone else have any other ideas?"

"'I went to the bottle city of Kandor, and all I got was this lousy tat!'"

"she got a tramp stamp? what's next, dancing for tips in a kid rock video?"

"A tatoo does not make a girl a tramp."

"It says I have loose morals and I'm undeserving of wearing the 'S'."

"No, greed and intolerance are loose morals (or rather poor morals), getting a tattoo has no moral basis whatsover."

"Guys, guys, enough alread. It's not like she got it on her LOWER back. That WOULD have been much hotter though."

"It is funny that people are so freaked out about what a tattoo says about her morals, but forget about nearly heat-vision-blasting a guy in the FACE! [...] Id tend to avoid people who where prone to lasering people in the face."

"I'd rather have a friend who lasered people in the face. Tattoos are a sign of easiness. Kara will be getting some soon."

"its not on the small of her back, its between her shoulder-blades, u wouldn't even see it unless u got her naked(well, tanktop but i doubt she'll be drawn with one), its just a tatoo she got to make her feel cool."

"Kara was not acting embarrassed when she showed herself to the tattooist who is a stranger. She didn't cover herself as she talked to him. So what does that tell you?"

"And what's undisputable is that it's the height of lameness for Supergirl to be getting a tatoo; talk about the most conformist form of a rebellion ever to connect to the hip sensibilities of todays's readers: the various citizens of the worlds, stunted adolescents, or geezers living in the 60s who find sophistication in moronic posturing in children fantasy characters."

"Jeeze next you'll be complaining about the 'devil' music youngsters play today and how kids have no respect for there elders. Tattoo's are part of the modern belief that your body can be shaped to how you desire it. Dieting, Body Building, Yoga, Piercing, Tattooing and Cosmetic Surgery; it's all part of the same social paradigm."

"It says 'Kara Zor-el LITE'. The name's the same, but it sure leaves a nasty aftertaste in my mouth..lol."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Archie versus the Internets. 

Presenting Reggie Mantle, early Myspace adopter:


I realize that tempus is fugiting and all that, and I understand that Archie Comics is keeping up with the times in an attempt to appeal to today's children, but there's still a small part of me that, despite myself, finds references to current technology in these comics slightly jarring.


Maybe it's just that I personally prefer the Archie books from these decades, but it always seems to me that the Archie gang's adventures are perpetually set in the '50s or '60s. (Some of the jokes are, certainly...okay, cheap shot.) You know, much in the same way that I always think of the Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comics as being set in the '40s or '50s, mostly because those were the years of Disney comics master Carl Barks' prime work. Seeing references to today's gadgetry in more recent Duck stories seems equally out of place to me.


I suppose there is some small bit of comfort in knowing that no matter what the future will bring us, Archie and friends will probably be there to make silly jokes about it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

"You guys ever throw anything away?" - Chalk 

No, Chalk, we don't throw away nearly enough...things get stored away in boxes and forgotten about, until I dig them out and share them here with you, the Progressive Ruin reader.

So, here we go, more shelf-talkers:

This one for the debut of the still-running Robin solo series (from 1993) is a nice-looking item:


The "ALONE AT LAST" bit makes me smirk a little, though. "NO LONGER BEING BOTHERED BY BATMAN!" "NOW HE'S HANGING OUT, AND DOING WHATEVER!"

The promo image for the 1994 Superman/Milestone crossover series (drawn by Tony Harris) is a very attractive illustration...you can almost feel the giant stone logos smacking into each other:


Generally, 99% of the time you're not going to see the cool image on the face of the shelf talker, assuming one exists (this one being a Mike Allred illo for Vertigo Visions: The Geek from 1993):


Here's a good'un from the X-Men Inferno crossover (1988):


The Fall of the Mutants crossover (1987) shelf-talker is somewhat less inspiring:


DC saved some paper by using one shelf-talker for multiple titles, such as the one they did for the series inspired by various TSR gaming properties (from 1988)...you had a general TSR logo:


And one for Gammarauders, which is a title I haven't thought about...well, probably since it came out:


Here's a slightly more recent combined shelf-talker (1997)...having the eyes of the characters just poke over the tops of the books is a real attention-grabber:


I used to joke about DC just going on and on and on with their Batman: Year 1 series, and 2, and 3, and 14, and 55...but then Batman Year 100 came out and put an end to that:



Remember when this series (from 1997) was red hot? They even went to at least a second printing on the first issue, as I recall:



I'm trying to remember the last time I sold one of these Shadowline Saga books (from 1988) as a back issue, and aside from selling a bunch as part of our huge bulk stock sale, I can't think of any:


I do like that static-effect, though.

This last shelf-talker is filled with advice for the retailer:


When the issues of Suspira fly off the shelves, the message "Time to increase orders on the book?" appears as a friendly reminder. And at the bottom of the card, in tiny print, is the note "Please use this header card to highlight the latest Chaos! Comics release. Thanks!" Hey, you're welcome!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

If you look at only one weblog with a sexy Woody Allen pin-up today, LET IT BE THIS ONE. 


So there's the "full color centerfold pinup" of Amy Fisher mentioned in the He Said/She Said ad I posted yesterday. Please note 1) the ghostly images of Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco in the clouds, and 2) the tasteful addition of the handgun.

T-shirts were also advertised to commemorate the release of this funnybook:


That's a two-sided shirt, featuring both covers of this flip-book comic.

Alas, I had no actual copy of this comic in either the vast Mikester Comic Archives or the store stock, but I did have a copy of #2 featuring the above images in a house ad. This second issue, by the way, was the Woody Allen/Mia Farrow issue, with, yes, a full-color Soon-Yi pin-up:


Also included is this charming Woody Allen pin-up:


We also have issue #5, with O.J. Simpson/Nicole Simpson, and I was praying, praying, that there was no "sexy" centerfold in this one. There is a color poster, but it's Mr. Simpson's mug shot.

And for completeness' sake, the other two issues in the series featured Bill Clinton/Gennifer Flowers and Tonya Harding/Jeff Gillooly. Collect 'em all.

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