mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Friday, June 25, 2004

As I'd mentioned earlier in the week, we've received our
Free Comic Book Day swag this week...well, most of it, anyway, so hopefully the couple of titles that are still AWOL will arrive next Wednesday. We spent a good chunk of the afternoon sorting out the books and deciding what funnybooks go in what package -- what we've done for the last FCBDs is divide the comics up into three different assortments intended for different age groups. We have an All Ages bag, a Teen bag, and an Adult bag, and we plant someone at a table by the front door to distribute these goodies to all interested parties. It's worked fine so far.

I took a few home with me today, and pal Dorian took one of each home, so you can expect him to post a pretty thorough overview of the titles sometime next week, prior to the actual Free Comic Book Day event itself. Since he's gonna do that, I'll just make some brief notes:

  • Okay, so Jim Valentino is no longer publisher of Image Comics -- is that any reason to misspell his name on the Image freebie's normalman back cover ad? ("Vanlentino.")
  • On the other hand, the Image book does have a new Invincible story, so that's nice.
  • The Sore Thumbs Election Special digest from Keenspot was a pleasant surprise...cute, and very entertaining, though probably not recommended for those of you who prefer Dennis Miller's political humor over David Cross'.
  • Wild About Comics! from About Comics is worth picking up just for the Licensable Bear story alone. (The rest of the book is pretty good, too.)
  • Keenspot Spotlight 2004 is a nice package...digest-sized like the Sore Thumbs Election Special, and it's 112 pages long with over a couple dozen different series represented. You're bound to find something in here to enjoy. And heck, it's free, don't complain.
  • James Kochalka (Superstar) is in two, count 'em, two FCBD comics this time around -- Alternative Comics and Top Shelf Tales. His Peanut Butter and Jeremy comic was one of the break-out hits of FCBD past for us (Queen and Country and Courtney Crumrin being a couple others), so it's nice to see him participate again.

So, here's hoping the rest of our FCBD books show up next week...the Slave Labor Stories issue is being greatly looked forward to by our customers, and that's one of the missing ones, so it better come in with our next shipment!

EDIT: Glad to see no one (as I post this, anyway) is trying to sell the new FCBD books on eBay (just the ones from previous years), but some people are trying to sell the FCBD Catwoman movie promo cards. Hmm.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

1. Pal Ian has started his own comics weblog (it's all the rage, you know) over at
Brill Building. It's small now, but treat it with love and soon it will blossom.

2. Everyone's seen that redialogued Spider-Man comic strip page that Warren Ellis linked on his site, so I'm not even gonna link it, even though I think it's really funny in an extremely rude sort of way. So there.

3. Speaking of dirty words, Ringwood is back! Go visit the poor lad and drive his traffic stats back up.

4. This is the greatest Shadow comic book ever published:

The Shadow #19 (Jan 1989) - art by Kyle Baker

...so of course it got cancelled too soon. I think it was something about the Shadow's owners objecting to their character's treatment...can't see why.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Funnybooks, ahoy! I didn't get a whole lot this week (unless you count the Simpsons Season 4 DVD set, which finally shipped from Diamond), but I did get the new issue of Flash, with a nice Michael Turner cover, for a change; Luba's Comics & Stories #4 by Gilbert Hernandez...remember, Los Bros Hernandez = quality entertainment; The Stuff of Dreams #2 by one of my favorite cartoonists, Kim Deitch...more insane faux comic strip/Waldo/old film history as found via eBay; Superman #206 (I am enjoying it, but it's paced even slower than a Brian Michael Bendis comic, if you can believe it); Hellblazer #197 (homeless amnesiac John Constantine finds himself in the clutches of a religous cult...hasn't this happened in Hellblazer before?); and Batman Adventures #15 (a story that's sympathetic to the villain, and doesn't show Batman in much of a good light).

I'm also trying out The Gray Area...I like John Romita Jr.'s art, but usually he isn't drawing anything I want to read. However, this story (about a policeman stuck in an afterlife limbo) seems like
it might be interesting...I would have preferred that they lost the gratuitous sketchbook pages and the prestige squarebound format and dropped the price a couple bucks, but What Can You Do? (Yeah, yeah, I know, "not buy it.")

Also bought Mark Evanier's latest collection of essays, Superheroes in My Pants -- illustrated as usual by the always excellent Sergio Aragones. There's a lot of space devoted to the late Julius Schwartz, which is understandable. I'm a big fan of Evanier's writing...light and enjoyable and very informative...so I'm looking forward to this book.

In other news:

Totally stolen from pal Reid: a comic strip adaptation of Douglas Adams' first Dirk Gently novel. Enjoy it before the lawyers find out!

Pointed out to me today by pal Dorian: an object of pure horror.

Only a couple days left to send in your entries to The Street Angel Squid Contest. Get crackin' there, Sparky!

EDIT: Forgot to mention that the Alan Moore action figure came out today.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

My weblog had the highest amount of traffic ever over the last week...thanks to all you readers out there! I've come a long way from ten hits a day, half of which were me.

Anyway...I forget who linked to this first (I think I found it over at
Fanboy Rampage), but John Byrne is posting a page a day from You Go, Ghoul on his site...the title is absolutely shameless, but the comic itself is pretty amusing. Warning: takes a while to load, even if you have that newfangled DSL-type connection.

Tomorrow we'll be receiving our Free Comic Book Day stock...that'll be a lot of funnybooks, given that we're carrying every single darn free item that's gonna be available. I hope next year if Marvel pitches a fit about the timing of FCBD, every other participating publisher tells them to take a hike. It's not like Marvel's free comic is ever all that good anyway. Like pal Dorian said, we had an awful lot of people ask about FCBD back in May...not so many now, even with the huge FCBD logo painted in the window.

Also, he said with no transitional flow whatsoever, I've added a couple new links to the weblogroll over there. Two of them I blatantly stole from Cognitive Dissonance -- The Comic Queen and Precocious Curmudgeon -- and another is the oft-mentioned pal Corey, who can be found at Captain Corey. And then there's Thrillmer, an adventure strip weblog that I was pointed to by my Great White Northern twin, Flat Earth.

And, then, suddenly, this:

Lawbreakers Suspense Stories #15 (1953)

Monday, June 21, 2004

The Bionic Woman #1 (October 1977)

So Jamie Sommers, AKA The Bionic Woman (with some of her bionic parts exposed, above) is, when she's not kicking butt for the O.S.I., a school teacher in Southern California.

Jamie decides to call Rico's mother about his schoolwork, and tells Rico as such...Rico then relates to his teacher, just out of the blue, that his grandfather wants to take him away from his widowed mother. However, this plot becomes important as a fella tries to snatch Rico after school lets out:

(That bit about Rico's dad being a professional car racer has no bearing on the plot whatsoever, by the way.) Jamie stops the car, and puts the bionic squeeze on the kidnapper's hand, telling Rico to get out of the car. Once he's safe, Jamie apparently decides the smart thing to do is to let the kidnapper go, telling the boy that the man just wanted to take him to his grandfather, even though there's absolutely no evidence presented in the story thus far to draw this conclusion.

Taking Rico to his beach house, Jamie is greeted by Rico's mother Anita, who tells Jamie that the grandfather had disowned his son, her husband, and didn't help him when he needed it. Now that he's dead, Grandpa is trying to worm his way into Rico and Anita's life, and she won't have it. Anyway, apparently unconcerned about the attempted kidnapping, Anita and Rico dress for the beach as Jamie excuses herself.

However, Jamie doesn't make it far before discovering that the house was being monitored by (we're meant to assume) the grandfather's minions:

Why it was important to note that Rico is in swim trunks is a mystery for the ages. Perhaps we've just learned something important about Harvey. So, Harvey, in green, and his pal, in blue, approach Anita and Rico on the beach. Jamie rushes into action and lays the bionic whammy on Harvey:

Jamie is shot with a "medicated wax pellet" gun, which knocks her out, and Anita, Rico, and Jamie are taken to the grandfather's home in "the hills above the Ventura Air Force Base." Now, I work in Ventura...I lived in Ventura for a few years...I'm pretty sure that there's no Ventura Air Force Base. Anyway, once at Grandpa's house, Rico makes a break for it, and ends up dangerously close to a cliff. Jamie, awake by now, sees another threat:

Jamie picks up a rock, and pegs the snake...which then shocks Rico into falling off the cliff:

Luckily he fell onto the one lone branch that just happened to be right below:

Having failed in her previous attempt to kill the kid, Jamie decides to jump down to the branch:

Jamie grabs Rico just in time, and his grandfather, having rushed out with a rope, rescues his grandson. Rico rightfully reveals that he feared for his life at Jamie's hands:

After being pulled to safety, Jamie wonders at the incredible feat of strength she managed with her non-bionic arm, having pulled up Rico who weighs, what, 35, 40 pounds?

Anyway, everything ends well, with Anita, Grandpa, and Rico back together as a happy family, despite all the criminal charges Grandpa is going to face for sending armed men to kidnap his grandson.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Crossgen files for bankruptcy...somewhere, Bill Jemas is laughing.

1a. Crud...Crossgen books sold very well at our store, and we had several people who hadn't been reading Crossgen books beginning to sample their wares (beginning with Abadazad).

2. Overheard at the store today: "Hey, it's Luthor...that guy from Smallville!"

3. Grotesque Anatomy is holding a Street Angel Squid Contest which I'll let him explain.

4. Swamp Thing animated series to be released on DVD...I'm the only person you know who's excited about this. (via pal Ian)

5. Here's a treasure trove of scanned comics, including several 1930s White Boy Sunday strips, a collection of Abner Dean comic strips that may or may not be safe for work, depending on how uptight your workplace is, a 1951 Strange Adventures story by Edmond Hamilton and Alex Toth, and many more goodies. (via pal JP)

6. Happy Father's Day! My dad turned me on to The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and he's read every issue of Groo the Wanderer and Preacher, plus a good chunk of Ennis' Punisher. I also let him borrow my copy of Last of the Independents, but I don't know if he's read it yet. And, he reads this website every night. Hi, Dad!

This is an archive page for the old Blogger version of Progressive Ruin, kept around to maintain all the old permalinks. Please visit the main page for the current version of this site. Thanks for visiting, and sorry for the inconvenience!

Copyright © 2003-10 Mike Sterling. Some images used are copyright © their respective copyright owners.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?