mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Friday, August 20, 2004

Okay, so there's been a rumor or two either about
cast members of Smallville appearing in the forever-forthcoming Superman movie or that Smallville's team being asked not to step on the toes of the film's team (in particular, regarding any meetings between Lois and Lex on the TV show - near the bottom of the page).

The way I figure it...they might as well wait to make the movie until after the Smallville series has completed its run. Then, you can make a big screen version of the Smallville show, complete with the original cast...which would in effect be a Superman movie. I mean, what the heck. You'll have a built-in audience attached to that particular group of actors, and the show has proven to be extremely popular. Of course, a couple years down the road the superhero movie bubble may* have burst, and the producers of the Superman movie are probably anxious to get their film out before that happens.

But, still...having Tom Welling as Superman would be a nice payoff for the Smallville fans, don't you think?

* By "may" I mean "will almost certainly."

Thursday, August 19, 2004

So long, Sean...come back and visit us once in a while, y'hear?

Brian Hibbs also makes the "red skies" reference to Fantastic Four #517. I'm glad I'm not the only one making that comparison. (Those of you who don't know what's meant by "red skies," I have a brief explanation in the Comments section of yesterday's post.)

Please go look at the picture pal Ian posted of The Batman Squirt Gun.

Recently added to my weblog listing:
Fortress of Soliloquies...as it says at the top of the page, it's "All Superman All The Time!" Go take a look, won't you?

Also added recently: Blog This, Pal, Psychbloke, and Yet Another Comics Blog. (Well, that's what it's called.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

New comics day. Wheeeee.

*I'm only joking. Relax.

** Boy, did I show my age or what?

"Green Lantern, lend me your comb." 

from Justice League of America #17 (Feb 1963)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

In which I take a look at things everyone else has already looked at. 

I was going to make a more-extensive post about the recently-released X-Force #1, but Paul O'Brien has pretty much got it covered. I will say that we've sold well over half the copies we've ordered since it came in last Wednesday, and I'm fairly certain we'll have a sell-through on it. It's a comic everyone makes fun of by an artist everyone makes fun of, and yet it sells. A thought I had today as we were doing cycle sheets for the store was that maybe people are buying it in the (probably accurate) belief that Liefeld won't be on the book for long, but they don't want to start buying the book with issue #4 (or whatever). I suppose that falls under O'Brien's category of "completists."

I would survey our customers myself, but it may seem a little unnecessarily confrontational to ask each person who picks up the book "WHY ARE YOU BUYING THIS???"

Anyhoo, let's take a peek at those new DC solicits, shall we?

  • Now that they've cancelled the one Batman-family book I was reading (Batman Adventures) I can skip right past that section. Wheeee!
  • Everyone's talking about the Superman: Secret Identity trade (see, Dor, I told you it'd be $19.95!), and I second everyone else's recommendation that you buy it. Good stuff, and deserving of a wider audience than it received (though it sold pretty darn well at our shop).
  • Re: the Jim Lee run on Superman - I think maybe a similar approach to Lee's run on Batman may have been more widely accepted by fans...where Lee gets to draw Every Superman Villain Ever. Just a thought.
  • JLA Classified #1 - Grant Morrison. Gorilla Grodd. A match made in heaven.
  • Now that we're done with the stupid vampire stories, Doom Patrol appears to be on the upswing. (You: "Dogpile on the John Byrne fan!" Me: "NOOOOO!")
  • Please read Fallen Angel. I like this comic, and I want to see more issues of it. It's good. Honest. You can trust me.
  • Dave Gibbons drawing JSA? Jumpin' Judas on a pogo stick!
  • Rick Veitch writing The Question - Veitch superhero comics are always incredibly bizarre, and I expect this title to be no exception.
  • I'm a little more favorably inclined toward the Space Ghost comic than my respected coworker is.
  • Wild Girl by Alan Moore's daughter Leah Moore should be interesting...I liked her work in the Tom Strong's Terrific Tales book, and it has art by Shawn McManus, which I always enjoy.
  • Everyone seems to be taking the loss of writer Will Pfeifer as an excuse to drop Swamp Thing. But not me! I'll always read you, Swamp Thing. You're my special friend...no one else understands me like y...er, I wasn't just using my out-loud voice, was I?

And regarding pal Dorian's comments on my complaining about how they get Kilowog's arms wrong on the new action figure. Well, they do! Look at the cover scan here (sorry, the scan's pretty small)...there's Kilowog in the background, with little tiny upper arms (sorta like Popeye), which is how we was drawn for the several issues following. Soon, however, he was being drawn with "normal" upper arms, which is how he's drawn to this day. Hey, this isn't silly stuff like "Jack Black as Green Lantern" or "misogyny in Identity Crisis" -- this is important!

Monday, August 16, 2004

More Harvey Hits. 

I realize that I've been on some kind of weird Harvey Comics trip lately, but when you get right down to it, that's really the only kind of Harvey Comics trip you can be on, given how downright peculiar Harvey strips can be. So, for today's funnybook follies, I'm taking a brief look at some odd things in Harvey books that have caught my eye lately.

First off is this Richie Rich story, where a burglar fixes it that the Riches' robot maid Irona appears "sick," and while she's away recuperating, the burglar will arrange to have his own robot maid accomplice take her place. Anyway, the robot is rushed off to a hospital, apparently owned by the Rich family (and not just intended for rich people, though that probably can be inferred):

However, it's not just a hospital, mind you! It's a towering hospital...just for robots!

Now here, in this Little Dot story, we have Dot being given a tour of a large department store by her aunt. At the beginning of the story, Dot spots a sign warning shoplifters that they will indeed be prosecuted. However, thoughout the tour, Dot's aunt keeps taking items, eating snacks, etc etc without paying a cent. A sample:

It all turns out okay in the end, though, as Dot's aunt is in fact the owner of the department store! Setting aside that Dot probably should have known that from the start, there is still the ethical question of the aunt's behavior. Yes, she does own the store, but isn't stealing from your own store still stealing? At the very least, isn't it a bad example for the employees? It certainly must be confusing the issue for poor, impressionable Litte Dot.

Back to Richie Rich -- the one thing that really bugged me about Richie Rich, aside from his obviously untreated case of macrocephaly, is how he lords his wealth over his poor country friends Freckles and Pee Wee:

Someday the proletariat will rise up and overthrow their capitalist oppressors.

Harvey has an important lesson for kids in this next Richie Rich story, in which Richie's dad Mr. Rich is replaced by an evil duplicate. However, Richie has a cunning plan as to how to tell them apart:

Yes, only the morally just can handle smoking.

And lastly, the origin of Dr. Manhattan from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, as reenacted by Baby Huey in Harvey Hits Comics #3 (March 1987):

For comparison, selected panels from Watchmen #4 (December 1986):

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Okay, so I was rewatching the Justice League Unlimited cartoon from last night, and got to thinking -- if the wording of Mordred's spell is to be taken at face value ("I don't want to see anyone older than me ever again!") and given that Morgaine Le Fay reveals to the heroes that she's been taking care of Mordred for "millennia," wouldn't that mean the spell would only affect Morgaine, maybe the Demon, and any other immortals that happen to be around? Or am I overthinking it? (Yes, I know, I probably am.)

So, a couple nights ago pals
Ian, Dorian, Tom, and I headed for the local sports bar to discuss the forthcoming domination of the comicsweblogosphere by the Associated Comics And Pop Culture Webloggers of Ventura County, CA And Outlying Environs (which is, as always, ACAPCWOVCCAOE for short). Well, okay, we really weren't discussing that...anyway, Corey was in parts unknown, and Fleshhead was, I don't know, probably in jail or something, so it wasn't a full meeting. (And I had to part ways with them early on as it was, given my health has been pretty spotty lately.) But I was thinking...this was the second time I had been in this particular bar. The last time was when I was hanging out with a comics artist that we had at the shop for a signing. He needed a ride back to the airport, which I was giving him, but he wanted to stop at ye olde local sports bar to watch that day's Big Game. So, yes, I spent the rest of that work day drinking Cokes and watching TV and getting paid for it. That, my friends, is the American dream.

Speaking of work, today I had a customer tell me a couple reasons why he comes to our shop. Reason one was the large back issue selection. Reason two: "the guys behind the counter aren't creepy." High praise, indeed.

Well, last night we had another new episode of
Justice League Unlimited, featuring...Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. Rats. I was looking forward to seeing new characters, but I guess we have to wait 'til next week. According to the episode guide on the Cartoon Network site, we were supposed to get episode #3 last night, but instead it was episode #5 that was shown. Ah, well. At least we got to see Baby Demon...cute to the point of being appalling.

Speaking of the Demon, it appears that John Byrne's new title for DC Comics is Blood of the Demon, discussed in detail here (and also mentioned at Franklin's Findings and Highway 62). The discussion that follows (which, like most Newsarama discussions, should have a sign posted at the start that reads "Abandon hope, all ye" etc. etc.) quickly descends into, as Franklin notes, a battle between the Byrne lovers and the people with slightly more realistic expectations (i.e. "Byrne haters").

I also noticed a lot of talk about the decision to do away with the Demon's rhyming dialogue. That should come as no surprise to anyone who's read Byrne's take on the Demon in recent years, as Byrne would do whatever he can to get around writing it, probably because 1) that's not how the Demon's creator, Jack Kirby, would have done it, and 2) because rhyming dialogue is a pain in the butt to write. For this series, since Will Pfeifer is on dialogue chores, it wouldn't be Byrne's problem, but given the "back to basics" take on the character, the rhyming dialogue was probably the first thing to go.

And, you know, that's fine. Alan Moore (who introduced this particular variation on the Demon during his run on Swamp Thing) and Matt Wagner did the dialogue the best, though Alan Grant should get some kind of award just for doing it for so darn long on the previous Demon monthly series. But, after so many years, I think I'm kind of burnt out on the rhyming-Demon thing. And Byrne seems to be at his best when playing with Kirby's toys anyway, so I'm willing to give this Blood of the Demon series a shot.

In other news:

Precocious Curmudgeon takes on Identity Crisis criticism. Hey, it made me laugh.

Pal Dorian goes through some search terms used to find his site. ("Mallard Fillmore subtext?")

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