mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The greatest image from an original art auction on the eBay ever. 

I found this piece of art being auctioned on the eBay almost exactly three years ago...Bob Marley and Yoda, together as Jah intended. I don't know who painted it (I can't make out that signature), but God bless whoever is responsible for bringing such a thing of beauty into the world.

(Some of you may recognize the image from my wall o'previous icons. It has the privilege of being my only icon that is not comics-related.)

Friday, November 11, 2005

I only read eBay for the articles, honest. 

[NOTE: Some of the following links are Not Safe for Work, so don't blame me if you get fired.]

[ALSO NOTE: The links in this post are certain to self-destruct in a few months, so if you're looking at this in, say, May '06...sorry, you should have read my site sooner!]

So I was poking through old auctions on the eBay, and, as I'm sure some of you eBay addicts out there have discovered, there is a pretty good market for amateur drawings of your favorite superheroines, usually in the altogether or in so little clothing you wonder why they bothered. Unsurprisingly, Power Girl is a popular subject, such as in this somewhat disturbing topless anime version.

Sometimes you'd only know that the illustration is of a particular superheroine because the listing says it is (like the "Bunnygirl Supergirl" -- cute drawing, but what makes this gal Supergirl, really?).

It's a little easier to tell who's who in the very accurately titled "Supergirl/Wonder Woman Kissing" auction. Good Lord, what are you people getting up to? You know there are plenty of free dirty pictures of real live women on the internet, right?

I like this one: "Sexy Babs - Batgirl on Computer" - this one's safe for work, if you want to peek.

This is a little more naughty, and a little more nerdy...it's the Silver Age Batgirl and the original Bat-girl, for you folks who want some comics history with your nekkid girl pics.

There's also the occasional commissioned piece from a real, live comic book artist, like this piece by Jim Mooney of Batgirl, Supergirl, Catwoman, and plenty of nuditivity. I don't know...I would have been embarrassed to ask Jim Mooney for nekkid pictures of superheroines.

I fully endorse the Zatanna/Black Canary Fishnet Fight drawing. It's as if the artist reached into my brain and pulled out this image.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit's Jessica Rabbit is a popular subject as well, which I'm sure thrills Disney to no end. Here's a typical NSFW example.

I knew I was asking for trouble typing "Kitty Pryde" into the eBay search, but I had no idea. I warn you, this one will break your brain...and remember the NOT SAFE FOR WORK notice I gave you: "PHOENIX Jean Grey Rachel Kitty Pryde Spank XMEN Art." I'm very, very sorry.

Well, if I've learned anything from this, it's how to make some quick scratch on the eBay. I wonder how much I'd get selling my naked Swamp Thing drawings?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Whining, new comics, the future, and eBay. 

I hate it when we have a rainy new comics day, mostly because we're scrambling to unload the funnybook-filled cardboard boxes out of the truck without getting them too wet. Yeah, I know, "boo hoo, try dealing with three feet of snow, you pansy." What can I tell you, I'm in Southern California and thus not used to the inconvenience of this "weather" you speak of.

Anyway, we got ourselves some new comical-type books yesterday, and, well, insert your own clever transition here, because I sure can't think of one at the moment:

Infinite Crisis #2 - I just want to comment on my surprise at seeing the extremely negative terms used within the story to describe recent events in the DC Universe. Like pal Dorian said when I pointed it out, "I wonder if they used any quotes from comic 'blogs?"

America's Best Comics A-Z: Greyshirt & Cobweb #1 - Okay, first, why is each installment of the ABC A-Z series considered to be a stand-alone one-shot? Why isn't this issue ABC A-Z #2? (That's rhetorical - I already know the answer.) Second, if at some point of your story you make reference to a character's "ice blue eyes," maybe you shouldn't have an extreme close-up of that selfsame character's brown eyes. Oops. Anyway, that Greyshirt story is by Rick Veitch, who is a very, very bad man, and I hope he never changes. Those poor apes....

House of M Decimation Day After One-Shot Hey Wolverine's Probably in It Whatever It's Called #1 - Is anyone genuinely interested in this storyline? It seems like most of my customers that are buying this series are sort of doing so grudgingly. "Oh, the X-Men are in it, I suppose I'd better get it. (Sigh)." And not one of them seems terribly convinced that the "permanent" results of this series are any such thing...nor should they be. (I liked pal Corey's comment: "These people don't know how good they had it when Grant Morrison was writing X-Men.")

Men of Mystery Blockbuster Special - Okay, that is a lot of pages for this item, and I realize that the costs involved in producing this small-press item are probably astronomical. But still...$24.95 for a staple-bound comic book? I know there are solid economic reasons for this, but still it stopped me a bit short. Holy cow.

Friday the 13th: Bloodbath #1 - Here is the list of variants for this item, copied 'n' pasted from this site:

Friday The 13th Bloodbath #1
Friday The 13th Bloodbath Foil Incentive Cvr #1
Friday The 13th Bloodbath Gore Cvr #1
Friday The 13th Bloodbath Leather Cvr #1
Friday The 13th Bloodbath Red Con Foil Cvr #1
Friday The 13th Bloodbath Terror Cvr #1
Friday The 13th Bloodbath Wraparound Cvr #1
Friday The 13th Sp Surprise Cvr #1

I'm sorry, I don't remember what the "surprise" is...beyond the number of covers, that is, but I don't know if that counts as a surprise, anymore.

Corpse Bride action figures - Now, normally, we wouldn't have bothered to order these, but we had sufficient interest in this action figure series that we went ahead and ordered a case. In July. It finally showed up this week, several weeks after the movie's opening. Hopefully the interested parties are still as such. Ah, well. Plus, I can't shake the feeling the primary reason for this film's existence is to sell more and different merchandise to the same crowd that had been eating up the Nightmare Before Christmas goodies.

I had a young man looking for #2 of a particular Marvel comic series. I thought he meant the actual issue #2, but eventually I figured out that he meant the second trade paperback. In fact, he was confused by the very idea of individual, monthly comic books being reprinted under one cover. Such is the way of the future, I suppose.

"THE SIMPSONS Homer as Deathstroke"

"Just imagine Bart as Robin, Lisa as Raven and Milhouse as Beast Boy taking on Homer as Slade Wilson."

I've imagined it, and now I can't get it out of my head.

EDIT: Since this auction will be deleted from the eBay's servers eventually, I thought I'd steal the image and put it up here for posterity:

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Comic Reader #216 (February 1984) - art by Stan Goldberg

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Here's a phrase I bet you weren't expecting to read today. 

Today, for work, I found it necessary to type the phrase "Margot Kidder's Pants."

"Margot Kidder's Pants."

"Margot Kidder's Pants."

You can see Margot Kidder's Pants, or at least a small piece of them, right here, in this auction I put up today on the eBay.

In case you're unfamiliar with these things, "Pieceworks" cards (or "Memorabilia cards," or something similar) are trading cards that contain little bits of costumes or props from movies and TV shows that have been cut up and pieced out in trading card form. It may seem a bit odd, but we've had some of these cards in the past go for several hundred dollars in auction, so somebody out there likes 'em. And they can be kind of neat, having even a tiny portion of something from your favorite show.

However, I can't shake the vision of someone desperately trying to get the entire press run of a particular costume card in an attempt to reconstruct the original item. ("I only need 47 more pieces, and Buffy's Homecoming Dress is mine, mine!")

Press releases are fun. 

So Liberality for All was featured on the Fox News Channel, which should come as a surprise to no one:

"Immediately after the airing, ACCStudios.com was inundated with visitors placing orders for issue #1. Several panicked emails were also received from comic shop owners who had apparently failed to order, or did not order enough of, the first issue."

We've managed to sell one copy...to employee Pope Nathan, who was amused enough by the synopsis I linked to last week that he felt compelled to pick it up. The debate rages on (well, between Nate and me) whether or not this is all being done completely straight-faced or if it's a spoof of conservative attitudes. Either way...absolute genius.

Hey, Zen Intergalactic Ninja is still around:

"For the past 18 years, Zen has only had one facial feature: a pair of large, almond-shaped eyes. But now he also has a nose and a mouth.

"'Zen wakes up to find he's sprouted some new orifices,' says writer/creator Steve Stern, 'and anyone can witness the transformation for free by visiting www.ssscomics.com. It䴜s all logically explained䴊in comic-book terms, naturally.'"


C'mon, a press release to announce that your character now has new orifices? I call that 100% fan-tastic.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Your Monday post of random stuff. 

Here's an ad I found in Reggie and Me #75 (Dec '74):

Okay, first, "America's Most Beautiful Doll" is a pretty high standard to live up to. And second, yeah, that's some tan.

This doll suddenly became more interesting to me when I saw the top part of one of the panels in the ad:

...but once I took in the rest of the panel, disappointment set in:

Hey, I have a new installment of Behind the Counter at the new Comic Book Galaxy, in which I have some tips for the new employees. ("I've got wanderin' hands, and you're just gonna have to get used to 'em.")

We recently acquired a sizeable collection of Archie comics, mostly from the last decade or so..."acquired" as in "we just wanted to buy the Archie digests, but the beat-up comic books we didn't want got dumped on us anyway," which of course means plenty o'website fodder here.

Anyway, in this collection was a particular cover I'd been wanting to address for a while, but haven't had access to the issue almost since it originally came out. It's Betty #8 (Sept. 1993), and while the Archie gals have always been drawn in an attractive fashion, this cover has Betty being drawn in a little more prurient style than usual. Or maybe I just have some kind of "upside down diving bikini girls" fetish I was previously unaware of. But it does feel a lot racier than most modern Archies tend to be.

And I don't have a larger scan of that, since the original I was scanning from is completely thrashed and that's about as large an image I can manage and still have it look passable.

I do like the coloring on that cover quite a bit...it's actually quite pretty, though this Betty cover (#28, Aug '95):

...is even more attractive, I think. Quite a switch from the flat-colored/cluttered covers Archies usually have nowadays.

Hey, Kid Chris finally posted again, finally, since he was too busy having a life and all to goof around on the internet. I'm disappointed he didn't mention running into The Nelsons at a record store. That lucky bastard.

So finally I took home my copy of the Comic Book Guy's Book of Pop Culture, and, as I feared, it's made my site redundant. That's okay, though, since the book kicks off with a reference to famed letterhack T.M. Maple, so they start off in my good graces. They cover some of the same ground I've covered here over the last couple years, such as the various types of customers, but they're funnier about it, and they have illustrations, so they've pretty much got me beat. (I totally forgot about our own "Stinky Money Boy"-type customers...though it's more likely to be "Wet Money Boy," given our proximity to the beach.) There is lots and lots and lots of nerd humor packed into this tiny hardcover...well worth the price.

I should note that every comic shop owner and/or manager secretly envies the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy. Every one. They might deny it, but they're lying. If the owner of your local store denies it, badger him day and night until he owns up. Don't badger me, though, because I freely admit it. Oh, to be that freely superior in my full-on nerdiness....

Oh, and for you interested parties, our store's Midnight Madness sale is on Saturday, November 19th, from 7 PM until midnight (natch), or even later if demand warrants it. 2379 E. Main Street in Ventura, CA...drive on down. Or up. Or take a plane. Come visit, you.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I'm running a little behind today, so I'm knocking out this post fast like the bunny. I'll fix typos, logical gaps, etc., later.

With pal Dorian having made good his escape from the wonderful world of comics retailing, I find myself having to be a bit more aware of what books have come out when, and whether we have them in stock. Not that I was totally unaware, but whatever I couldn't remember off the top of my head, I could usually ask Dor and he'd remember. So now I must expand my brain power to remember everything, everything...soon I'm gonna look like this guy. I've already got the green skin.

It's been a few years since our last "Midnight Madness" sale, and I finally got around to arranging for a new one in a couple weeks. I've printed up the flyers, started handing them out...and what's the reaction I get from a bunch of our customers? "Oh, I'm out of town that week...can't make it!"

Well, crud.

So last I checked, Absolute Watchmen is still out of stock at Diamond, as is Complete Bone...and guess which two items I'm constantly asked about?

And, about four months ago, I had a customer order a copy of volume 8 of the Fruits Basket manga...I checked Diamond's stock list every week since then, and finally, two weeks ago, it showed up again. Every other volume was generally available, but #8? Pffft. Nada. (I'm guessing every Borders and Barnes & Noble in the country had as many copies of #8 as they could stand.)

This one isn't Diamond's fault, but it's annoying that I can get every issue of the Green Lantern: Rebirth series from Diamond except #3, which is of course the one I'm out of stock on at the store. Rebirth is still selling as a back issue, but it could probably sell better if I had a full run to offer to the customers.

Speaking of back issues...the various Batman comics based on the animated series (the good animated series, not the new one they're running now) are selling insane amounts for us right now. I have one young person who comes in every week and buys a pile of them, which is driving the majority of the sales, but there are several other kids buying them as well. I was wondering what was driving these sales, and for a moment I thought it was perhaps kids rejecting the regular continuity-heavy Bat-comics in favor of the simpler TV-inspired series, but it's probably simpler than that. It may just be that the Batman in the comics based on the cartoon is the Batman they're familiar with, since that's the one they grew up watching. Or maybe it's just because the animated series comics are just better than the other Bat-books. That's why I read them.

Redboots.net...your Lois 'n' Clark reference site. Includes an article decrying "Clana" sex. ("Clana?")

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