mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Friday, August 27, 2004

H explains the reason why Mag mail-ordered a copy of Iron Man #157 from me a few weeks ago.

First thing I'm gonna do when I go into the shop tomorrow...dig out a copy of Iron Man #157 and see if it's as glorious as they claim.

Found via
pal Andy, Acclaim files for bankruptcy. Do they still have any control over the old Valiant Comics properties? I honestly have no idea. I do know Magnus Robot Fighter is being published elsewhere.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

1. Customer buys something that ends up costing $10.83. Pulls 72 dollars out of his pocket. Hands me a ten dollar bill, and asks his friend if he has eighty-three cents in change. Friend dutifully counts out and hands over eighty-three cents. I wonder this whole time why the friend didn't tell the customer "what, would it kill you to just give him another dollar?"

2. I noticed on the cover of one of the science fiction magazines we carry a small blurb ballyhooing an article about behind-the-scenes stuff on the original Star Trek TV series. Okay, really, at this point is there anything else we need to know about the original Star Trek series? Haven't we all seen interviews with every actor, actress, extra, scriptwriter, director, production designer, key grip, lighting tech, make-up artist, "red-shirt," tribble-wrangler, and their spouses by now? I suppose if you went to one of those "celebrity" autograph conventions you might get an actor who played Romulan Guard #3 to tell you some unsavory story from the show that never saw print due to fear of legal action, but that's probably about it.

Besides, shouldn't we all just move on to the vastly superior
Space: 1999?

3. Okay, so the Hulk has his own weblog, which appears to have inspired a similar Green Arrow weblog (though the Hulk appears to have a better grasp of capitalization). I was half-tempted to add to the fray with my own Archie Andrews weblog ("Dear 'blog: I didn't get laid again today") but I spend enough time just doing this site. So, for any of you enterprising individuals out there, that's a free idea, and this address still appears to be available. Archie.blogspot.com is taken, though not updated in three years.

Alleged Batman Begins cast sheet, featuring a certain "T. Welling" as "Kent." (via TV Tattle)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Once again, new comics day:

  • Since pal Dorian and I started our respective weblogs, one of the regular Wednesday morning rituals we have while we're breaking down the comics shipment, is the calling of "DIBS!" on various discussion topics for our websites that are inspired by items in said shipment. It's sorta funny, and by "funny" I mean "remarkably sad." Anyway, I wasn't really thinking about the weblog this morning, so Dorian was dibsing things left and right, leaving me to dibs talking about dibsing. Sigh.

  • The new Wizard has an article about Batman's mistreatment of Robin, including that one Justice League of America panel that was making the rounds a few months ago, as well as that one Batman cover I showed you. Interesting.

  • That Scott Pilgrim book everyone's been talking about still hasn't arrived at the shop...I've been curious about it, but we were shorted on our initial order, and apparently when reported the shortage to Diamond, the report ended up getting lost, deleted, whatever. So yes, we are trying to carry the book, honest!

  • As I had thought (hoped?), Doom Patrol, with its third issue, has improved slightly now that it's extricated itself from that vampire storyline we were all pretty tired of halfway through Claremont and Byrne's JLA issues. This new issue (dealing with what appears to be Lovecraftian Antarctic critters) is a little less confused than the first two issues, and the new members of the team seem to be at least circling around personalities, if not quite landing on any yet. It's just plain old-fashioned superhero stuff, which is fine...but it hasn't even begun to approach the bizarre campy weirdness of the original '60s series.

  • WE3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Very good. Sure to baffle and irritate those people that require baffling and irritation.

  • The Weird Secret Origins 80 Page Giant has been unleashed from DC Comics today, and I was all set to pick it up...until I realized that I have, in one form or another, most of the stories within. The reproduction is nice, though.

  • Atomeka A1 Big Issue #0 is also out today, reprinting selected stories from the original A1 anthologies from...Good Lord, 15 years ago? Anyway, this issue does include the must-read "Survivor" by Dave Gibbons and Ted McKeever, as well as one of the "Bojefferies Saga" chapters by Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse (which I think may have actually first run as a back-up in the Dalgoda Flesh & Bones mini-series). Unfortunately, the art for the "Bojefferies" story is printed in such a way that the sides of the panels are trimmed off at the edges of the page, which is a little distracting. There are also multiple covers on this item, including a Flaming Carrot cover (yes, there's a FC story in this comic as well, also reprinted from the original A1) and a Bojefferies cover. Good stuff, if you don't already own it.

  • The last of the Julius Schwartz tribute comics is out today, DC Comics Presents the Justice League of America, and thankfully this series goes out with a bang, given that the last couple of issues were only sorta okay. The Harlan Ellison/Peter David story is entertaining, with Julie battling the JLA, and interspersed with Ellisonesque humorous asides and personal touches (such as Julie bemoaning that his superhero "family" seem more real than his own, and Julie's revenge on a complaining parent). The Marv Wolfman story is a nice wrap-up to the whole series, eschewing explicit references to Julie (except maybe an implied reference at the very end), and instead focusing on the differences between the Silver Age and the modern JLA. The art by Dustin Nguyen and Richard Friend is just a tad shaky, particularly during the parts where it appears he's trying to ape a Silver-Agey style, but it's serviceable. The cover by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez is very nice, though...we don't see nearly enough work from him.

  • Did anyone else reading the new Flash get the impression that the Turtle has somehow developed some...unnatural tastes? Ick.

  • Also: Promethea #31 (probably a bad issue with which to start reading the series...felt like the very last issue, but there's another to go it apppears); X-Statix #26 (last issue...a shame, and I guess that's it for my X-book needs until Madrox comes out); Dreadstar Vol. 1 TPB (is there any difference between the two editions that anyone's aware of? I haven't had a chance to thoroughly check, but a brief look tells me "no" - same with the hardcover editions); Green Lantern #180 (next-to-last issue - boy, are people not going to like what happens in here).

In other news:

EDIT: Apparently pal Dorian dibbed (dibsed? I have no idea) the Wizard article when I wasn't looking, since he posted about it, too. Rats!

EDIT AGAIN: This is my 400th post. If only I'd spent all that time doing something productive.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Oh, dear...first pal Andy links me regarding my Seven Deadly Harveys post, then Boing Boing picks up on it...I'm sure my bandwidth is going to go through the roof.

Not that I'm complaining. If you're new to my weblog...hi! How are you? Don't worry, I don't talk about Harvey Comics all the time. But I think I have a thing or two more to say before I put the subject to rest.

First, about the Seven Deadly Harveys themselves...that's something I came up with a long time ago, and had been joking about with pal Sean and pal Dorian for quite some time now. In fact, I'm fairly certain one or the other came up with the idea of Spooky as "Wrath," which I thought was just perfect.

My original intention was to have the Richie Rich antagonist Mayda Munny as "Lust," assuming that she was in pursuit of Richie, but alas, I could come up with neither textual support for that idea, nor even a good image of her...and besides, having Richie's cousin Reggie as "Envy" was probably as obscure as I wanted to get. Anyway, I decided to go with Wendy the Good Little Witch because 1) as we all know, red is the color o' sinnin', and 2) that panel I found was too good to pass up. (I was flipping through the issue with Dorian, and we both immediately spotted and pointed at that panel at the exact same time.)

My search turned up a revamped image of Wendy that I had forgotten about:

Wendy and The New Kids on The Block #2 (1990)

Looking marginally like Little Audrey, I don't know if this new look Wendy was supposed to make her "cool" or "modern" or what, but the look clearly didn't last very long. And, yes, I suppose I should mention that the New Kids on The Block turned up in Harvey Comics with alarming frequency at about this time.

Harvey still exists as a company, but not as a comic publisher (the last comics hurrah being, if memory serves, a newsstand magazine from a few years ago). Mostly they license their characters out for merchandise (if there's a List of Top Merchandisable Characters, surely Hot Stuff would be in the top 5) or for direct-to-video movies (the most terrifying of which is the Baby Huey movie which pal Dorian had first brought to my attention some months back...you have to click on the "preview" link...and just look at that cast).

Of the various titles that make up our Harvey back issue stock, Hot Stuff remains the most requested...though about half the time it's by people looking for tattoo ideas. There was a bump of interest when Alter Ego ran an article about Stumbo the Giant, which was a back-up in one of the Hot Stuff series.

It's a shame Harvey is out of the comics business. The industry could always use more children's titles, and half the battle in getting comics into the hands of kids is presenting parents with characters that they themselves might remember.

For more Harvey info, I recommend The Harveyville Fun Times.

Monday, August 23, 2004










Sunday, August 22, 2004

So, last night's
Justice League Unlimited featured the animated debut of Steve Ditko's characters Hawk and Dove. I am glad that the producers of the show don't appear to feel any obligation to give us origin sequences for each new character they introduce in the series...that could bog down after a while, I imagine. I also appreciated that Hawk and Dove are introduced in a fight caused by Dove supposedly being "unpatriotic" - it's not much of a leap to assume the offscreen argument that caused this fight was war-related, especially given the Vietnam War-era origins of these characters. Even with all that, though...Hawk and Dove do look just sorta goofy, don't they?

In other news:

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