mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Friday, September 03, 2004

At the shop today, as we're doing some restocking of back issues,
pal Dorian sez to me, he sez "so why do people think Spawn is any good?" I think my response was something along the lines of "well, you know, at the heart of it, it really isn't a bad idea...." In fact, I thought it was a great idea, especially back when it was called The Grim Ghost.

Anyway, that reminded me of when it was first announced, waaaaay back in the early '90s, that Marvel's most popular artists were going to split off and form their own company, Image Comics. For a brief moment, I thought about what a great opportunity this would be. Hugely popular artists, at a time when comics sales were skyrocketing, going off do to their own thing, without the constraints of a big company making them work on superhero properties. Why, this would be a great way to expose all those superhero readers to new genres! McFarlane fans would have followed him to, say, a Western comic (which I think McFarlane's art would have been well-suited for, actually), or Jim Lee to a sci-fi pulp adventure book, or Valentino to a detective comic, and so on.

Ah, if only I were that young and foolish optimistic again.

My conversation with Dorian at work yesterday. 

M: "Hey, you stole one of my observations."

D: "Which one?"

M: "The one about parents that bring their kids into our store for the express purpose of torturing them with things they can't have."

D: "So? You weren't going to use it."

M: "I might have."

D: "No, you weren't."

M: "Well, fine then. I'm going to write about gay-themed comics and Wildcat. How 'bout them apples?"

D: "Ha! Go ahead!"

M: "Damn! My bluff's been called!"

As I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted.... 

So it has to be the day that Big Larry mentions my site in his article on comics weblogs that my webhoster has a day-long outage. Aaaaargh!

Anyway, things appear to be back to normal, so to anyone visiting from Comic Book Resources -- hi! How ya doin'? I usually have real content on this site, I swear. Go look at my archives!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

When I don't have the content, you get the linkage. 

Well, rats: Grotesque Anatomy is closing up shop. Good luck to you, John!

AiT/Planetlar's Big Larry revives his Loose Cannon column at Comic Book Resources to talk about the comicsweblogosphere. Even includes a quote or two from me, but don't let that scare you off.

A reminder: go enter Johanna's Fallen Angel contest.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

1. Added to the weblogroll:
Ed Cunard's The Low Road.

2. Of these two conversations held in our store today, which is geekier: pal Ian and pal Corey wondering what they would do if they ever met their Earth-2 counterparts; or me telling pal Sean that Bullseye's girlfriend must really be happy with him since, due to his power of perfect aim, he never pees on the toilet seat?

3. New funnybooks today: slim pickins for me, as I only bought four:

  • Firestorm #5 - continues to be very intriguing, and brings up a moral issue to the character's power that he's trying to deny

  • Street Angel #3 - this issue reminded me, oddly enough, of a more action-oriented Chester Brown

  • Swamp Thing #7 - read the preview issue last week...always weird to see Richard Corben doing ground-level comics. Do people even still say "ground-level" in reference to modern comics? I think I'll start using that instead of "mainstream"

  • ...And, my low-brow pick of the week, Hulk/Thing: Hard Knocks #1 - actually, not bad...all set-up, but it has me curious as to what the Thing's goal is

Normally, when I'm only getting a small number of comics like this, I'd try something else out, but given that last week I had a ton of stuff come in, I thought I'd better give myself a break this week.

4. We finally got our copies of Scott Pilgrim in...but once again, we were shorted our DC Comics Preview Pack. Grrrr.

5. Also, courtesy of a store run by a friend of ours who ordered a few too many, we were able to get a couple more cases of those Dark Knight Returns figures based on the Frank Miller designs. Batman, Superman, and the Joker fly off the shelves...Robin continues to be the very definition of "pegwarmer." Anyone else noticing that problem in other areas?

6. I brought in that album of Neil Hefti Batman music that I mentioned a couple days ago, but played it before we were open, while we were breaking down the order. I think playing the Batman theme song in a comic shop while we're open and the customers can hear it may be...gilding the lily a bit, don't you think?


...when we as a culture feared the Great Guitar-Playing Prehistoric Space Hippie/Beatnik-Hybrid Menace?

The Great Gazoo #17 (July 1976)

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

There's nothing quite like pestering clerks at local video stores and explaining to them that you're looking for
a DVD of Swamp Thing cartoons. Yes, they all looked at me like I was a crazy person. And no, I didn't have any luck, so I had to order it online.

Anyway, it's out today, so if you want to see how not to make a Swamp Thing cartoon, this DVD has five 20-minute lessons on that very subject.

Johanna is running
a swell contest where you, yes, you, Sir and/or Ma'am, can win yourself some free copies of Peter David's equally-swell-though-underappreciated series Fallen Angel.

What the heck, it's free, and you might get some good readin' out of it.

Monday, August 30, 2004

"Holy Download, Batman!" 

If you're a member of Emusic, and you're a fan of the all-time greatest live-action version of Batman, you can download an album's worth of Neil Hefti's music from the series.

"I will pick up your dirty bird!" 

1. Finally, after months (well, days) of me badgering him, pal Dorian has posted photographic proof of the Baby Huey movie.

2. All I have to say about the most recent episode of Justice League Unlimited - God bless you, Paul Dini, for giving us an animated version of B'wana Beast. I even got a kick out of his "surfer" accent (and somewhere, The World's Biggest B'wana Beast Fan is writing a letter of protest). The episode as a whole was a lot of fun, and very much played for laughs...that was original Not Ready for Prime Time Player Laraine Newman as Medusa! Also, they're still playing with the romantic connection between Batman and Wonder Woman...when did this whole Batman/WW romance Zeitgeist start going around? It's been popping up in the comics over the last couple of years, now it's in the cartoons...somehow, this is all Grant Morrison's fault, I'm sure.

3. That panel to the right is from the infamous Iron Man #157, as described in detail over on the Comic Treadmill. And yes, having now perused said funnybook, it's as incredibly average as H says. Really, the most you can say about it is that yes, it fills 20 (or however many) pages, thus allowing Marvel to publish an Iron Man comic that month.

3a. And yes, H and Mag, I do indeed have more copies of this comic available.

3b. Speaking of the Treadmill, did you see this panel Mag posted? If you like out-of-context comic panels, like I know I do, then you really need to check it out.

4. For those of you who had a hard time believing that people treat our store like a day-care center like Dorian said, let me relate a story from Sunday: so I was working at the back counter, putting together some reorders, when I spotted a couple of little girls (about 3 and 4, maybe) wandering around unattended. They were running (which I had to put a stop to before they fell and got hurt), they were spinning one of the comic racks around as fast as they could (I had to put a stop to that too, being the mean old man that I am), they were coming to the counter I was working at and grabbing papers, tape dispensers, what have you, off that counter, and just generally getting underfoot (particularly in employees-only areas). No parents in sight, mind you. After a few minutes of trying to be patient with them, I finally had to draw the line when the older girl grabbed one of my pencils and attempted to write on some of the comic boxes.

Well, that was enough. I finally tracked down their parents, who up to this point had made no attempt to keep tabs on their kids, on the other side of the store (we have a fairly sizable shop) and informed them that they'll have to supervise their children. The mom's response? "But I've been supervising them all day." Yes, I swear to you, she actually said that. I'm sorry if asking you to do your job as a parent is an inconvenience, but unless you're going to pay me some babysitting money, I'm not going to take care of your children for you.

5. And here's something incredibly immature of me to post, but you know kids were giggling over these panels 35 years ago:

from Huckleberry Hound #38 (July 1969)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

No time for love, Dr. Jones. 

Alas, the real world encroaches on my weblogging time today, so all I'll probably be able to post for you is another comic cover:

A1 #94 (1953)

That comic is wall-to-wall Frank Frazetta, mister. Well, except for the cover, which is Bob Powell, according to Overstreet.

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