mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Friday, August 05, 2005

So apparently the covers on
Justice make it invisible, since I'd had several people over the last couple of days look right at it on the rack while asking me where it is. I've had to resort to making a shelftag to draw people's attention to it.

So pal Dorian and I were discussing the other day how the appeal of Scott Pilgrim and Sharkknife, widely praised on the internet, seems to be lost on us. I can sorta see how people would like them, but they really don't seem to engage me on any level. Of course, the target audience for both books appears to be about twenty years younger than me, which may be part of the problem. I don't like the idea that I may be too old for the "new cool" comics, but, well, tempus has fugited and all that.

Yeah, I know, "go to bed, old man!"

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Not a comic, but don't you wish it were? 

From the back cover:


This is a book like no other you have ever read - a new and altogether unprecedented initiation into the deepest, darkest sources of Evil Incarnate - the most primitive urges and primeval passions of man..

It is a supreme reading experience in the realm of occult fascinaction, temptation and torment - a work of terrifying beauty and exultant horror - not meant for the faint of heart of the immature of mind..

Can't you just see a "COMING FROM AVATAR PRESS THIS CHRISTMAS" on this?

Don't worry, I don't have any more Howard the Duck movie talk in me.


Pal Dorian: "Why did Marvel release this new New Avengers: Breakout book in hardcover?"

Me: "Because that's what DC does."

Dor: "And why did they put that recent Captain America storyline in a hardcover?"

Me: "Because that's what DC does."

And then I started going on a rant about how DC seems to go into things with some forethought and planning, whereas Marvel just does whatever seems to be making money for DC. For example, DC tends to reprint recent comics for which there is some measure of demand, such as Wonder Woman #219 (the end of the Superman "Sacrifice" storyline, and a tie-in to Omac Project). Marvel just seems to reprint books just to get retailers to order more of the same book, regardless of demand...why did we need a "variant cover edition" reprint of that one issue of Captain America, for example? Was there really a huge demand for it? And why not a reprint for Strange #1, which we probably could have used, and might have helped us sell later issues in the series (some of which ended up stinking up the shelves).

And then there's DC's recent deluge of crossover mini-series, all of which are in service to a particular editorial direction, with the apparent goal of creating a more cohesive DC universe. (Whether any of you actually like what DC is doing is another matter entirely.) Marvel's House of M appears to be leading into another mini-series, and then, if I recall correctly, into another mini-series after that, and I'm not sure what the purpose is other than to get Spider-Man and Wolverine into more comics. Oh, and bring back Hawkeye, I guess. And "break the internet in half," to repeat the phrase we're all tired of by now.

And let's not get started on the respective trade paperback programs (DC releases books in a particular order, on a particular schedule, whereas Marvel cranks out the trades before the ink is even dry on the last issue the book is reprinting, and I swear for a while, Marvel was just numbering their trades at random).

So things haven't changed much since Martin Goodman told Stan Lee to make up a new superhero comic, like that Justice League of America book DC was doing...I guess that's the completely new and original point I'm making. At any rate, that sort of gives you an idea of what goes through my head as I'm breaking down the Diamond shipment for new comics day. Hatred and contempt, mostly.

Not that DC is perfect...I really could have used a quick reprint of Space Ghost #1. That might have helped move the later shelf-warming issues to people who didn't want to buy the rest of the series unless they could get the beginning.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Probably not what Steve Gerber had in mind. 

from Howard the Duck: The Movie #3 (Feb 1987) by Danny Fingeroth & Kyle Baker

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Speaking of the Howard the Duck movie... 

I saw Howard the Duck on opening night with my pal Matt...the theatre we were at had a kiosk of HTD t-shirts for sale in the lobby (and perhaps other merchandise as well...it's been a while, and I don't recall, and I only remember the t-shirt because, well, I'm not saying I bought one....).

I figured it was a bad sign when I noticed that my pal Matt and I comprised about 1/4 of the audience in attendance at that particular showing. I left the theatre thinking, somewhat surprisingly I suppose, that it wasn't all bad. The first half of the film, with Howard adjusting to this new world and developing his friendship with Beverly, wasn't terrible. There was the very occasional flash of a slip of a shadow of a wisp of the comics version of Howard, at least, though that disappeared entirely in the film's "chase scene/exploding things" second half.

Upon watching the film again, I was most taken with the number of scenes that left me wondering how the actors were willing to put up with the dialogue they were given (other than "the check cleared" and "I'm working on a George Lucas movie!")

The only real tragedy of this film is that it's now an uphill battle to convince people the original comics were actually very good. It's been less of a battle lately, judging by the extremely positive response to Marvel's Essential Howard the Duck reprint volume, but still, I bet we have quite a while to go before the Howard comics shake the ghost of the Howard movie.

Additional linkage:

Space.com: "Howard the Duck, Really That Fowl?"

The Howard the Duck movie poster.

I must have this soundtrack.

Get your copy of the novelization starting at only $0.01! The novelization isn't that bad, as I recall...better than the movie, anyway.

Every single one of these HTD DVDs is a bootleg. But what I wouldn't give for an official release, with the original trailer (sort of a "behind the scenes"-type preview, with actors talking about what is was like working with Howard).

The Badmovieplanet.com review. (Why did the police arrest Phil?)

"Lucas Working on Howard the Duck Begins." Oh, if only it were true...but if you were to go to this Digital Bits archive page and look under 3/11/04, you would find a zipped sound file of George Lucas semi-joking with Robin Williams about a Howard the Duck: Special Edition!

Some enterprising individual has put together a video game based on the film.

And never forget: Steve Gerber - the one, true creator of Howard the Duck.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Just under the wire! 

It's still a quarter past 11 in the evening where I'm at, so this counts as a daily post, gosh darn it! I've been moving furniture, appliances, clothing, comics, and who knows what else all day...not to mention waiting around for the cable guy to arrive and fix the one cable outlet in the house that didn't seem to work, the one that (of course) I wanted the most. And, sometime during the day, I found myself watching the Howard the Duck movie in its entirety. Boy, that's not a good movie. But it does have Lea Thompson at her most 80s-licious, so it ain't all bad.

Oh, and despite being extraordinarily careful while transporting my computer, somehow I managed to bump something the wrong way, and it took me most of the day to get it working. I'm still afraid to shut it down in case I have to go through the whole voodoo ritual I needed to do to get it running again.

Anyway, enough about me...let's talk about me! The latest installment of "Mike Sterling's Behind the Counter" is up at the new Comic Book Galaxy. Enjoy, won't you?

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Okay, remember how a few days ago
I said I'd have some shorter daily posts? Here's one of them. I'm nearly moved in, and soon everything should be back to normal, despite some of the usual (and not so usual) new house problems that are turning up (like, for example, a switch in the downstairs bedroom working lights both in that bedroom and in the master bedroom upstairs...wha--?). Plus, I still need to transfer the vast Mikester Comic Archives to its new home, and I'll need to supervise the fleet of cargo trucks necessary to accomplish this task.

So, since I haven't had much internet access lately (save for me mooching off the store's account, like I'm doin' now)...what's been going on? I mean, aside from folks suddenly getting excited over that "quiet or papa spank" panel that pal Dorian had shown us over a year ago.

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