mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Funny, disturbing, and probably better than the movie we're actually getting:
Bil Keane's Sin City.

Coming eventually: Bernie Wrightson䴜s FRANKENSTEIN: THE ULTIMATE EDITION. Your first thought might be the same as mine - "what, again?" - but read the info page. This project sounds like it'll be quite the must-have (and incredibly expensive) item. It's a very long term project, as they're still looking for some of Wrightson's original art to scan. If you happen to be holding some of these originals, please get in contact with the publishers through the e-mail addresses on the aforementioned info page. (Via, God help me, Ain't It Cool News)

Friday, March 11, 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005

1. If I were to answer with "it's because
this scene is from a JLA/JSA crossover and both the Earth-One Superman and the Earth-Two Superman are at the funeral," would that be too nerdy of me?

2. Oops...it was pal Corey who said that the new Demon comic looked like Jason Blood was doing the Angel thing, not pal Dorian like I said somewhere in this big freakin' post.

3. Speaking of pal Dorian:

D: "Hey, you should do an all-manga week on your weblog. It'd be funny."

M: "What would I do?" 'Hey, what the heck's going on in this comic? What's with all the pantie-shots?'"

D: "See? It'll be great."

4. Spider Jerusalem's cat born in Florida. (via Fark)

Okay, I've decided that I'll do try to do this at least one more time next week (after doing it for the previous
two weeks), since after that I'll start getting back to titles I discussed when I started. I don't want to start repeating myself (well, more) on titles that I don't read on a regular basis.

So, like before...here's a list of every comic book (not magazine, nor graphic novel, nor manga) that came in this week, ripped directly from our invoice and into your hearts. Due to distribution shenanigans, some indie titles may have arrived in your area and not in ours, and vice versa.

ACTION COMICS #825 - okay, I know this comic isn't "good" in any kind of traditional sense, but by God, that logo says "Action" and that's what this comic delivers. It's sound, it's fury, it's signifying nothing, but it's still a fun read (and I use the word "read" loosely).

ADAM STRANGE #6 - I've noted a minor Adam Strange backlash in various places online, from people who are irritated at the idea of this series leading into the Rann/Thanagar War mini. However, sales just keep going up, up, up on this series. And Dave Gibbons writing Rann/Thanagar War...can't wait to see it.

AMAZING JOY BUZZARDS #3 - I know all those folks out there in comicsweblogosphereland were really into this comic, but, well, it just didn't do anything for me. Keep in mind that I'm old and no longer hep to what you youngsters are into.

AQUAMAN #28 - You know, I read Aquaman for years and years...and then after Eric Larsen took over the series a few years back, I tried to hang with it, but just couldn't. I tried again when Rick Veitch started writing this current series, but again, I think I'm just all Aquamaned out. Sorry...so I think I'll defer to the expert in regards to this title!

ARMOR X #1 - Yet another variation on the "guy accidentally acquires superpowered armor" genre of super-comics. Not bad looking, but I wonder what else there is to say on this subject.

ATOMIKA #1 - We had a number of customers anticipating this title prior to its release, and now that I've seen it...what was it about this title that captured their attention? I'm not complaining, and I know how it sounds, but honestly, I'm not trying to slam this comic. What made this particular funnybook stand out, I wonder?

BATMAN LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #189 - We're never going to see this version of the Riddler again after this storyline, are we?

BETTY #145 - That's a swell '60s Jack Kirby-esque pose the grocer is in on the cover (pictured to the right).

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #99 - Actually, I'm surprised Dark Horse is still publishing this in the monthly format.

BLOOD OF THE DEMON #1 - I've been a big Demon fan for quite a while, and even just picked up a Demon Heroclix from the latest set. This relaunch...well, so far so good. Surprisingly violent, given who's drawin' 'n' plottin'. And, hey, Will Pfeifer is scripting! It was pal Corey who mentioned that it looks like they're turning Jason Blood into Angel, which I thought was an amusing observation.

BLOODHOUND #9 - I've yet to read an issue, even when it crossed over with Firestorm, I title I do read. I know pal Dorian likes it, but...I don't know, just wasn't compelled to give it a try.

BLUE MONDAY PAINTED MOON #4 - This is yet another comic that has a solid following...in the trade paperback form. The single issues sell, but people prefer the books. Even people who buy the singles get the trades as well.

BREACH #3 - Barely sells at all at our store.

BRIAN PULIDOS MEDIEVAL LADY DEATH #1 - Okay, when the Crossgen series started, all the Lady Death fans were pissed off because LD was no longer in the skimpy bikini costume. Now that Avatar has the series and has put her back in the costume people want...well, so far, the Avatar Lady Deaths have been hard-sells. We still have some die-hard fans picking it up, but rack sales have petered out.

BRIAN PULIDOS MEDIEVAL LADY DEATH INCENTIVE #1 - Have I mentioned that Lady Death has a strong following among our female customers? They're the ones who didn't like the Crossgen version.

BRIAN PULIDOS MEDIEVAL LADY DEATH PREMIUM CVR #1 - You gotta wonder if this excess of covers can damage sales by causing consumer confusion, when customers can't tell which comic is which at first glance. It doesn't take much for a potential reader to decide it isn't worth the effort to figure out what variant of what comic goes with what series. (See also: the plethora of Doctor Octopus comics from Marvel last year...people couldn't keep them straight.)

BRIAN PULIDOS MEDIEVAL LADY DEATH WRAPAROUND #1 - Don't worry...we're not overordering on this series. Lady Death sales sometimes can be cyclical...the fans will go away for a while, then return to pick up the back issues they missed.

BUGTOWN #3 - I do like Matt Howarth's comics, in small doses...they can be an acquired taste.

CHICKASAW ADVENTURES #1 - a new adventure comic with a basis in Native American culture. Looks like fun, actually.

CLASSIC ILLUS JR #504 PIED PIPER - I like the fact that someone is reprinting these old Classics Illustrated Junior comics...no, they're not setting sales records or anything, but it's nice to have them around.

COMIC BOOK DIGEST FEB 05 #5 - We have yet to move a single issue of this series. It looks like a good deal, being a thick ol' magazine with lotsa comics for cheap, but no one is biting.

CONCRETE HUMAN DILEMMA #3 - Jog dug up a Comics Journal interview with Paul Chadwick from several years ago where he discusses the storyline of this mini-series...complete with spoilers! Having Maureen and Concrete as a "couple" is...well, it's darn strange, quite frankly. And Larry's behavior just makes you smack your head.

CRYPTOZOO CREW #2 - Cute idea for a comic...people investigating mysterious animals. This issue: the Skunk Ape! Nicely cartooned, with a good sense of silliness.


DAWN THREE TIERS #5 - Another comic, like Lady Death, which has a strong female audience. Putting Dawn into an actual narrative doesn't really do anything for me...I liked her better as the "Crypt Keeper" style host of short horror stories. Which reminds me of a story: when Cry for Dawn #1 originally came out, we blew through all of our (admittedly small) order immediately. We called to place a reorder, and were told that getting said reorder was unlikely unless our distributor received a certain minimum plateau (like 50 or 75 or thereabouts). Well, we said "what the heck" and ordered enough copies to reach that plateau...and when they arrived, we sold every gosh darn copy. Those were the days....

DILDO #8 - "Say, Dorian, can you hand me that pile of Dildos?" "Uh, what?"

DISTRICT X #11 - This comic is unusual in that it's one of the very few post-Morrison X-titles that has garnered some positive acclaim. And, surprise surprise, someone else has found a way to use Bishop in an interesting fashion.

DOGWITCH #16 - It's nicely drawn, but there's a level of...ickiness to it that's hard to explain. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as it seems to fit the mood of the comic.

DOROTHY #2 - I'm mentioned before that I have little-to-no patience for photofunnies (outside of National Lampoon), but this comic is so beautifully done it's hard to resist. And did you notice that pal Dorian got a quote in the Dorothy Previews ad?

ECLIPSE AND VEGA THE BEDS WE MAKE #1 - Apparently the big sales pitch on this issue is that the gals that star in this comic kiss each other at some point. Lots of "gags" to that effect on the cover: "Yowza! The girls make out?" it questioningly declares.

FABLES #35 - Phew...this was a surprising story, with apparently permanent repurcussions given that this was a standalone story outside of the regular plots and subplots. I can't say much else without being Mr. Spoily McSpoilerpants.

FURRLOUGH #145 - Have absolutely no interest these anthropomorphic comics, but I'm glad this anthology is still running after all this time.

GAMBIT #8 - I'm surprised Marvel hasn't decided to combine this comic with their Rogue series into, I don't know, The Mutant Misadventures of Gambit 'n' Rogue or something.

GIANT SHANDA ANIMAL #9 - Okay, I know the "Animal" part of the title is supposed to be a play on the word "Annual," and it works, sort of, when you actually see it on the cover. But in cold, hard print, like on the invoice...well, the pun becomes more strained than even before.

GIRL + GIRL #2 - "Girl + girl = big laffs!" Well, maybe not.

GLOOMCOOKIE #23 - Another long-running "gothity-goth" comic...always a consistent seller for us.

GOTHAM CENTRAL #29 - This is a hard comic to figure out...sometimes it sells great, sometimes it just sits there on the rack, forlorn, lonely, looking back at me with its wide, teary eyes, driving wedges of guilt right into my heart.

GREEN ARROW #48 - Judd Winick is a blessed man, for one reason alone: bringing back the Duke of Oil.

JSA #71 - This issue's cover has a nice callback to this cover, I thought.

MAJESTIC #3 - The previous mini-series did okay for us, but this one seems to have lost a bit of steam. I haven't checked inside...it's no longer in the DC Univese, is it?

MARVEL MUST HAVES NEW AVENGERS #1-3 - Hey, it's the rare Marvel Must Haves that I can actually use.

MARY JANE HOMECOMING #1 - Are these Mary Jane titles actually selling anywhere? Maybe the digest reprints are selling enough to subsidize the comics.

MILK #45 - I always thought "Milk" was a slightly disturbing title for an adult comic. Now, had this been published by Fantagraphics' Eros division, the title would probably be taken literally. Erg.

NEW THUNDERBOLTS #6 - I just rack this under "T" when I put it on the shelf. I'm a rebel. Oh, and this comic is darn good, by the way...very evocative of '60s Marvel without necessarily imitating it. And any title that gets Tom Grummett to put a pen to paper is fine by me.

NIGHTMARES AND FAIRY TALES #12 - Another consistently selling "goth"-type comic. These types of comics sell quite well for us, though none as well as Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Lenore.

NIGHTWING #105 - Yet another appearance of Jason Todd, the "dead Robin." Is continually bringing up Batman's deceased kid partner really a good idea? I mean, why Batman's fellow JLA members haven't dragged him in for child endangerment....

SAMURAI HEAVEN & EARTH #3 - Not much to say about this here funnybook, but it has anticipated by quite a few of our customers prior to release, and still sells moderately well for a new Dark Horse title.

SCOOBY DOO #94 - Kudos to DC for keeping this comic on the stands for so long. And it still sells well for us.

SEVEN SOLDIERS SHINING KNIGHT #1 - If I can't have an ongoing monthly Grant Morrison Presents title, where the good Mr. Morrison can just go nuts with whatever DC property he wants...well, actually, Seven Soliders is basically it, isn't it? This issue is beautifully illustrated, and filled with Morrison's usual overflow of ideas. I had comic-nitpicker type questions like "well, what about the previous version of Shining Knight? Is he still around, or has he been supplanted by this new version?" but then I realized I don't care one way or the other.

SPIDER GIRL #84 - More kudos, this time to Marvel, for keeping this title running...one of the few kid-friendly comics they publish that kids actually want to read, as opposed to all those Marvel Age Adventure titles.

SPIDER-MAN TEAM UP SPECIAL - Here's a quote from Marvel.com's description for this comic: "Just in time for Earth Day comes this magnificent Marvel masterpiece of a message!" What could I add to that?

STAN LEE'S ALEXA VOL 1 GN - Okay, it's invoiced as a "graphic novel," but it just looks like a prestige format comic to me. Anyway, even if he just did plot and not script, any Stan Lee comic that talks about things being passed via sexual transmission makes me exceedingly uncomfortable. "Grandpa, no!"

STARGATE SG1 DANIELS SONG GLOW IN DARK CVR #1 - Sweet holy mother...$19.95? Seems a little steep to me...but not only did I sell the copy we got in, but I had to order a second copy for someone else!

STOKERS DRACULA #4 - I hope Marvel collects this into a trade. No, I'm not being a smart aleck...this would probably do well as a single volume. It's a handsomely illustrated series. Unfortunately, most of our copies arrived damaged. Well, rats.

STREET ANGEL #5 - Another wild tone shift, and another great issue of Street Angel. I don't even want to say what happens...I just want you to be surprised when you look inside.

SUPERMAN #214 - Wake me when it's over.

TALES OF THE THING #1 - This Marvel Age version of the Thing just isn't doin' it for me. Sorry.

TERRA OBSCURA VOL 2 #6 - I'm enjoying this revamp of this particular batch of Golden Age characters...though it's a shame we seem to no longer have Black Terror and Tim, the "proto-Punishers."

THE GRIMOIRE #1 - I hate when Diamond invoices titles under "The." Anyway, this comic has some nice fantasy-style artwork.

THE PUNISHER #18 - Yes, Diamond invoices The Punisher under "T," too. That drives me crazy. Anyway, I do enjoy this series, but this particular storyline, like too many Marvel storylines of late, has gone on an issue too long. Not saying it's bad, mind you, just maybe a little padded. That's okay, though, since Ennis' story-padding is more palatable than that of other writers I could mention. And this version of Nick Fury just cracks me up every time I read it. So, so wrong.

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #16 - Always happy to see Annihilus, a character that should be a lot more creepy that he's usually portrayed, but this comic does a good job with him. I also like some of Ellis' ideas about the Negative Zone in this issue.

VIMANARAMA #2 - We're two issues into a three issue mini-series, and already I want to see this as a regular series.

WESTERN TALES OF TERROR #3 - I'm beginning to get a slight upswell of interest in this title.

WITCHBLADE & TOMB RAIDER #1 - Oh, for the love of...is this like the tenth Witchblade/Tomb Raider comic?

WOLVERINE SOULTAKER #1 - Okay, the last thing in the world we need is yet another Wolvie mini-series...but this one actually doesn't look too bad. Zombie ninjas!

X-MEN AGE OF APOCALYPSE #2 - Well, the one-shot and the first issue of this series sold like...like...something that sells really well, thankfully. I don't know if this is still going to be selling as a back issue ten years down the road, like the original AoA stuff is, but at least it's moving now.

X-MEN THE END HEROES AND MARTYRS #1 - Is this the second or third series? I've lost track. At any rate, I'm afraid this overkill will kill interest in Marvel's "The End" line.

YENNY COMICS #1 - Not badly done girlie-toons, if that's what you're into.


Okay, one more time next week!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

From next week's Space Ghost #5...
it looks like Mr. Ghostal better prepare for his polyp exam from Dr. Zorak. (Maybe a spoiler image...I don't know, I'm not reading this.)

Anyway, sorry about that. Here, have some contest updates:

Dave at Yet Another Comic Blog is still giving away copies of the Spider-Girl trade -- ending in a couple days, so get your entries in.

Rick is giving away the Daisy Kutter trade - a fine book that I enjoyed quite a bit, actually.

Ferret Press' latest monthly contest is for copies of Kinetic, the new Question #1, and Arrowsmith #1.

Go enter, already...what, you're going to say no to free funnybooks?

EDIT: Maybe I should mention some eBay auctions while I'm at it.

Well, there are our store auctions, where you should spend lots and lots and lots of money, and then some more money on top of that.

Then there's Milo George and his auctions to fund the ongoing fight against Endemic Treponematosis.

And let's not forget Scott Saavedra and his swell fake Superman Annual cover.

Should you have any pocket change left over, why don't you try our store auctions again?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sin City stats for your Dark Champions role playing game. Includes a list of characters (plus stats for specific ones), locations, and a timeline. Wow.

And yes, I've seen the new Sin City trailer. Well, at least there's more Miho in it. Here's hoping they don't keep the camera trained on Mickey Rourke's Marv make-up for too long.

I know, I know, I shouldn't be so negative...but I tend to approach every new movie as if it's going to be awful. Too often, I'm right.

I do like this image from the new trailer, though:

EDIT: Couldn't resist:

Comic book word balloon 'n' caption stencil. (upper left hand corner)

"Seven Mistakes Superheroines Make" - "4. Do wear trendy clothes. Don't wear fetish clothes."

"His strength rivals that of volcanoes."

"City of Heroes Gets Its Own Comic Book" - no mention is made of the comic book it already has.

"From Comics to Crap" - a look at comics-to-movies translations. Pegs what's wrong with the forthcoming V for Vendetta movie.

I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of people dressed as Stormtroopers at conventions. All images from the official site of the Golden Gate Garrison, the 501st Stormtrooper Legion: "available for appearances at any variety of public or private events."

Monday, March 07, 2005

this cartoon I posted earlier today: I swear I'm a well-adjusted, emotionally-stable human being. Just my cartoons are pure evil, I promise. A lot of my comic strips from the Wood-Eye family o'comics digests were very, very dark-humored...why, I'm practically "goth," I am.

The Doonesbury tribute to Hunter S. Thompson.

Via This is Pop, All The Rage discusses the dropping sales of the current Doom Patrol series and the possibility that its "reboot" of the team will be eventually reverted after the series' cancellation. The idea noted in the column that this series may be considered to be a "Doom Patrol" TV series within the DC Universe reminds me of how Marvel explained away the stories in the Hulk black and white magazine as movies made by an alien filmmaker. Or how Steve Gerber planned, in this unpublished script, to retcon the Howard the Duck stories he didn't write.

Like All The Rage, I don't think DC needs to bother, should things come to this. It doesn't appear anyone was paying any attention to the team's rebooted status, anyway, given the throwaway gag in Identity Crisis referring to old DP continuity, not to mention Geoff Johns' "revamp" of Beast Boy's origin (which, from my brief glance at the story, just looks like he retold the origin without mentioning the DP's involvement). In other words, the Doom Patrol's reboot status has had little or no impact anywhere outside the Doom Patrol title itself, so, you know, big whoop.

There is no official news about cancellation of the title, but sales at least at our store have dropped quite a bit. The first issue sold quite well, but essentially continuing plotlines from the critically-slammed JLA story was a mistake, crippling the comic from the get-go. The book improved shortly after that initial two-parter, but too late to get the readers back, I'm afraid.

An old article about Archie toys that has a nice shot of a vintage action figure. (The possessive version of "it" is "its" - its!)

Reshoots on Fantastic Four planned for later this week. Insert your own joke/snarky comment here.

(click here for page two)
from Wood-Eye #7 (December 1995) - "cartooned" by yours truly

Sunday, March 06, 2005

1. Sell-outs, baby! We actually blew through our copies of the first issue of Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, selling more copies than we normally do of Adventures of Superman and Action. We also sold out of Firestorm #11, which makes it like the second or third issue of this series in a row to sell out on the rack. (I'm pretty sure we'd adjusted orders, so we should have enough of the next issue.) Also, surprisingly and/or annoyingly, G.I. Joe Reloaded has sold out...the G.I. Joe comics as a whole slowed down, we cut orders, and now sales are suddenly back up. I hate when that happens. Um, not the "increased sales" part, the "trying to guess customers' random buying patterns two to three months ahead of time" part. There are just some things cycle sheets can't predict.

1a. Not that I cared for this comic at all, but I could use a reprint or something of Space Ghost #1. Of course, this late in the series we're not likely to see one, but I still have people asking us for copies all the time.

2. On Wednesday...it only took two people asking me if the new Age of Apocalypse one-shot and mini-series were reprints of the original '90s series to make me to put up "ALL-NEW!" tags with those comics.

3. Bjorn hits us with his
100 Things He Loves About Comics, German-style. He was good enough to list members of the ACAPCWOVCCAOE as some of his favorites, which we all appreciate. Thanks, Bjorn!

3a. Speaking of which, I need to add several more links to my list of other Top 100 lists, but I'm still pondering what direction to go with the sentence o'links...I'm running out of ideas! In the meantime, Fearless Fred Hembeck is keeping track here, just past the halfway point on the page. (More like the 5/8ths point.)

4. So we currently have the Casper photo clip thingie in stock, and I've had more than one customer refer to it as, um, the Casper "roach clip." Complete nonsense, of course. However, it does look great on our shelves next to the Hot Stuff "birdseed scale," the Baby Huey "indoor greenhouse," and the Little Lotta "novelty water pipe."

4a. (It's a sad world that makes this necessary.) I'm only joking.

4b. Everything I know about "drug culture" I learned from The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Does it show?

5. Last yesterday afternoon I started swapping around some of the promo posters we have above the new comics shelves...one of the new posters was for the forthcoming event comic DC Countdown. Boy, they didn't do any favors to this image by blowing it up to poster size, did they? Get a good look at it the next time you're in your local comics emporium.

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