mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, March 13, 2004

You say it's your birthday...it's my birthday too, yeah. 

from Har Har Comics #2 (Fantagraphics, 1992) by Mike Kazaleh

...so I'm taking the day off from weblogging. See you tomorrow!

Friday, March 12, 2004

There have been a couple announcements from DC Comics lately that have got some fans a little agitated - that
Superman: Birthright is now the official origin of Superman, and that John Byrne's Doom Patrol represents the first in-continuity appearance of the team (despite the previous series, including one that just ended a few months ago).

And you know what? Despite having been a Superman fan for about three decades, despite owning the all the original My Greatest Adventures and 60s Doom Patrols, not to mention the brilliant Grant Morrison issues...

...I have absolutely no problem with this "meddling" with comics continuity. With regards to Superman, even Byrne (who was responsible for the last major revamping of the character) had stated on his message board that we were about due for another revamping of Superman anyway, since it seems to happen about every 15 to 20 years or so. Besides, how many people out there are really all that put off by this? There can't be that many people who have been reading the Super-titles nonstop since Byrne's mid-80s reboot, are there? I mean, I have, but then there's something wrong with me.

I have to admit, the Doom Patrol business made me laugh out loud...I admire the sheer gall of rendering previous Doom Patrol appearances null and void. I mean, Beast Boy/Changeling alone is completely screwed by it! Again, I have no real problem with it...aside from supplying Beast Boy for the New Teen Titans, it's not like the Doom Patrol were central to the DC Universe or anything. It does mess with Swamp Thing continuity, though, gosh darn it!

Really, if it bothers anyone that much...just chalk it up to Hypertime!

The Mark Waid interview, linked above, mentions the influence of one of my favorite Supeman writers, Elliot S! Maggin. Here's a page devoted to the man's Super-work - I very highly recommend his two Superman novels.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Howard the Duck: The Special Edition and other horror stories. 

1. I have one of those feed-type things, finally...it's located here. If you're on LiveJournal, you can pick up the feed here. No images will load, unfortunately, but feel free to pop back in here for a looksee if you want.

2. One of the signs of the apocalypse, Howard the Duck on DVD, was apparently discussed by George Lucas recently, and he mentioned something about a CG-Howard! Aiiiee! Take a look here for the sound file from the actual interview. (Not a permalink...it's under 3/11/04.)

2a. I think I've mentioned it before, but you know all those Howard the Duck DVDs on eBay? Bootlegs ahoy, my friends.

2b. Two things would make me buy a Howard the Duck DVD...the original trailer (done like an Entertainment Tonight behind-the-scenes show, with the actors and crew talking about working with that Howard guy), and commentary by Howard's creator, Steve Gerber.

3. Apparently a comics publisher complained about the quality of comics weblogs on his...um, on his comics weblog, actually. Well, most of the comics weblogs I frequent (take a look to the right, there) are pretty good, I think. Maybe this publisher is actually thinking of Newsarama forums.

4. Yes, it's the official novelization of Garfield: The Movie. I'm sure you've all seen it this by now, as I was inundated by links to it on darn near every weblog I've come across. However, my favorite comment was this one from Metafilter: "Experience the pending awfulness first hand, then the relief of knowing you didn't have to write it."

4a. "Id like to thank the A-cat-emy." Oh dear Lord.

4b. How long before Garfield: The Movie is the top Google search for "worst movie of 2004?" Most references to this film usually include "worst movie of 2004" nearby somewhere (you know, like this post).

4c. I know you shouldn't judge a film before it's out, but honestly.

5. Just so that this entry isn't all complaining and cattiness, here's someone's in-depth look at Tomahawk's greatest nemesis - Frontier Frankenstein! (The main page links to some other comics articles...including a look at Dick Briefer's Frankenstein!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Okay, it's time for the first JLA by Claremont and Byrne update, as per
this post of mine:

1. No "friends of yours, Bats" crack was made, and...

2. No heroine turned evil and suddenly started wearing lingerie.


However, "Bats" did show up in dialogue.

Okay, that said...I did enjoy the first issue of this storyline. It sure looks nice (the Byrne/Ordway combo is a winner), and the writing is...well, it sure looks nice. Ah, that's not fair...it's standard superhero adventure-type writing, which does its job. At least you feel like stuff is happening and a plot is moving forward, which is more than a lot of superhero comics nowadays.

Also, I did pick up Street Angel from Slave Labor...mostly because several other comics webloggers, starting with Alan David Doane, kept going on about it, and I was curious. No chance to read it yet (I'm typing this instead, you lucky people), but it looks like a lot of fun. I'm reminded of My Monkey's Name Is Jennifer for no good reason. It sorta has a similar feel at first glance. Heck, there's no justifying that comparison. Just get your own copy and read it yourself.

Oh, and JSA was good, too. God bless Geoff Johns for bringing back Per Degaton.

The many and varied crimes of Cicero Pig. 

I first began to suspect something was up here on the back cover of Bugs Bunny Trick or Treat Halloween Fun Giant #4 (Dell Comics 1955):

Now, I was willing to give Cicero Pig, the nephew of Porky Pig, the benefit of a doubt. That hot dog he's cooking isn't necessarily made from pork products...it could very well be a turkey dog, or even some kind of soy dog.

But then I saw this:

Cicero's innocent expression seems to imply that he was merely trying to scale a hill like his uncle but misaimed his pick, but look closely...there's no rock face anywhere near where Cicero plunged his weapon. If that pick was jammed into Porky's pack, it could only have been put there on purpose. Look at Porky's expression...even he looks worried that Cicero has designs on his life.

Now, granted, Cicero is nowhere to be found at this next crime scene:

However, I don't care how heavy Porky supposedly is...it's something of a coincidence that both ropes were to split at more or less the same position at the same time. Almost as if they were...cut.

Darn you, Cicero Pig! Darn you and your murderous ways!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Unless it's another one of those "cunning plans" to throw off the rumormongers, John Byrne's "Title Withheld" is indeed
Doom Patrol.

Can't wait to see what he does with the Brotherhood of Dada and Crazy Jane! (Okay, okay, I'm just kidding.) Actually, I don't have any problem with this...I've said before that I enjoy Byrne's superhero comics, so I'm pretty sure this should be fun.

1. Here, in this link totally stolen from
Mark Evanier, you can find a chronological history of National Periodical Publications, AKA DC Comics, as well as related events. There's plenty of good information at this site...the start page is here.

2. The official page of "everyone's favorite stick figure hero" (bet Cynicalman would have something to say about that) - Stikman! There's naughty language, so avert your eyes if you're the sensitive sort.

3. A parody of the comic strip stamps issued by the United States Post Office several years ago. Yeah, I know, I'm really timely with this link.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Yikes! A drunk driver slammed into the
Slave Labor Graphics offices, causing much property carnage but no personal injury, thank goodness. Take a look at the photos here.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Here are a few DC characters (and a Marvel character) done in the Batman/Superman/Justice League animated style. The Swamp Thing seems a little light on the details (which is realistic, if it were to actually be animated), and the very existence of an animated-style King Mob hurts my head. The other pages on this site have some nice convention sketches as well. Look for the Swamp Thing sketch by Mark Millar!

Also, Swamp Things are apparently endangered.

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