mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Well, they do say "quickly." 

"How to Write a Comic Quickly"

"Writing a comic can only be achieved with a great idea, some spirit and ambition! It may take more than an hour as well to create.

1. Think of a plot for your story.

2. Once you have a solid idea, write an outline with characters, plot, twists and anything and everything that happens.

3. Take your story and form it into a script format in which the artist (or you if you're the artist) can easily read from it and know how to draw it.

4. Continue to write out the story until it's done."

EDIT: Um, it appears that, given the nature of this Wiki "edit it yourself" site, the article in question has since undergone some...enhancements, shall we say, since my original post.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Speaking of DVDs.... 

So I'm terribly excited about that complete Planet of the Apes collection that comes with APE-HEAD PACKAGING (see the photo at the end of yesterday morning's post), to which the mighty Milo George responded with a mention of the Godzilla Final Box set:

Alas, the Godzilla head isn't the packaging itself, but just an extra that comes with the DVDs. And, as Milo noted, this isn't available in a Region 1 (as far as I know)...and neither is my all-time favorite DVD collectors' box:

I had believed this was Japan-only, but apparently there was a UK edition as well. But, really, just look at it...the DVDs are stored beneath the Alien's clear skull top. Does it get any better than that? I suggest that no, it does not, sir.

Oh, and don't forget the apparently forthcoming fourteen-disc Superman DVD set, which includes a new cut (with previously unseen footage) of Superman II. If there's any justice in the world, these DVDs would come in a box in the shape of Marlon Brando's head:

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It's pal Dorian's birthday today... 

...and I totally forgot, so all I have for him is a picture of Rick Jones in little swimtrunks and a vest:

from Marvel Comics Presents #52 (1990) by Richard Howell

Hope he likes it!

I'm just going to quote from the bad reviews, since those are more fun. 

From the Amazon.com user reviews for Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, out on DVD this week:

"This is yet another attempt for Marvel comics to sell their toy line. the weak stary and sub par animation left this movie wanting more time for action and less on everything else they did."

"this movie was weak.
i was looking at it at home fell asleep on it.
i've seen better marval catoon movie's.
the fact that it seemd to old.
i was hopeing they put spider man in it.
thor looks like an women in the movie
rent it if i was you.
i'll give you my copy if yah'll want lol'"

"Apparently, Thor just THINKS he's the Son of Odin? AND he's a bleeding heart hippie with a mad-on for professional fishermen? I won't insert here the obscenities I unleashed at the TV when I saw that bit."

"This movie really needed to be rated R to do justice to the source material."

"And what's up with Hulk picking up Mjollnir and using it against Thor?? WRONG!!!! NO ONE ELSE CAN PICK UP HIS HAMMER!!!!!!! Thor should have been kicking major butt, but not here. Thor is the GOD OF THUNDER, show him that way!"

"The Ultimates comic was skillfully written, socially relevant and brilliantly illustrated. The movie is a watered down, Saturday morning cartoon adaptation, probably aimed at people under 12."

"Oh and as far as all you Amazonian's out there giving this a good review and telling others to ignore the bad ones, you're exactly the people Lions Gate is banking on rushing right out to buy this without first reading reviews."

Top hats, old people, new comics, and the End of Civilization. 

So for new comics day, the decision was made that the store must change its name to "Top Hat & Monocle Comics" -- with top hats and, yes, monocles being the required store uniform.

That would be reason #14 not to drink on the job.

We also started the day off breaking down the Diamond order by listening to "Deteriorata" from one of the CDs out of the Classic National Lampoon 4-CD boxed set. If you don't know what "Deteriorata" is, or the original song it's parodying, go find someone old and him or her about it. I mean, someone other than me.

Anyway, as for some of the new comics themselves:

The three best things out this week: the new Zippy the Pinhead book Type Z Personality, Luba's Comics & Stories #7 (focusing on Fritz), and Superman Chronicles, reprinting the early Superman stories from the beginning in chronological order. I loves me some Joe Shuster art.

Amazing Spider-Man #529 - The debut of the new costume was met by our customers with, well, not the usual "Oh no, something's different! We must react with fear and anger" that you generally get from some comic fans, but rather with eye-rolling and a sort of a "give me a break" attitude. Now, Spider-Man has had costume changes before, but this time appears to be just one time too many, I guess.

Zombie Tales: Death Valley Days #2 concludes the story, the first part of which I discussed way back when. I don't really have much to add to my original review, as Andrew Crosby, Johanna Stokes, and Rhoald Marcellus bring a satisfying ending to this undemanding but entertaining light-horror comic.

Astonishing X-Men #13 - I only mention it because I keep getting asked if it's out yet or not. Yes, it's out. Come buy it already.

Also of note: Original Adventures Of Cholly And Flytrap #1 (reprinting the violent and dark-humored Arthur Suydam strips from Epic Illustrated), Thing #4 (now with 100% more Lockjaw, and thus officially great), Swamp Thing Vol. 3: Healing The Breach (reprinting issues 15-20 of the current series), and Following Cerebus #7, which has this cover:

I find it interesting that Cerebus is dressed as Babylon 5's Londo Mollari, as both characters began their stories as sympathetic and humorous, and ended as tragic and pitiable.

But perhaps I've said too much. I don't want you people to think I'm a big ol' nerd or nuthin'.

Speaking of Cerebus, pal Tom and I were discussing Dave Sim, and how I believed that in a few years, once Cerebus trade paperback sales ran their course, we'd be seeing "Uncanny X-Men, now written by Dave Sim!" in the Marvel solicitations.

Once again, now that I've said it, I want to see it. I'd want him to draw it (with Gerhard, of course), too.

And now, the lucky 13th installment of Progressive Ruin Presents...The End of Civilization. Flip open that copy of the Diamond Previews catalog and follow along. (Previous installments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)

p. 122 - Superman Returns Kryptonite Prop Replica: Now, it used to be if you wanted yourself some glowing green rocks you could pretend were made of Kryptonite, you could drop a couple bucks and satisfy that urge. It was packaged in a little cardboard box with a colorful pic of Supes, the rocks would glow in the dark, and you were happy. Now, if you want the Kryptonite, you have to drop 200 bones...granted, it does come with a glass cover and a Certificate of Authenticity, because you don't want people to think you got a fake piece of fake Kryptonite.

p. 169 - Dracula Deluxe Boxed Set:

"This is the first action figure licensed granted by Sony Consumer Products for Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece."

Okay, now I thought this movie was okay, certainly entertaining, but calling it a "masterpiece" may be overstating it a little, I think. (Please don't fill my comments section telling me why I'm wrong.) And judging by the figures chosen, I'm guessing "no likeness rights."

p. 181 - Marvel Universe X23 Bust: I can't look at the "character" of X23 without thinking of pal Dorian's post on the subject.

p. 182-5 - Lots of X-Men 3 toys and busts, illustrated with close-up photos of the cast rather than pictures of the actual items. Oh, dear.

p. 187 - Marvel Universe Pirate Nightcrawler Bust: Any proceeds going to Dave Cockrum, I wonder?

p. 247 - Those are some large, large breasts in that full page Tarot Witch of the Black Rose ad. I mean, they're even large by usual Tarot standards. Invariably the page Mom flips to when she's poking through Previews while waiting for Little Billy to finish shopping for comics.

p. 248 - Elric/Cadillacs & Dinosaurs Two Book Set - Good Lord, that Elric of Melnibone hardcover from First Comics must have been overprinted like nobody's business, because these things have turned up as "warehouse finds" I don't know how many times. Anyway, depending on your Michael Moorcock tolerance, $14.99 for this handsome-looking book is a bargain, even without the extra Xenozoic Tales volume.

p. 414 - Freddy Mercury 18" Action Figure - Fantastic.

p. 416 - Spider Plush-Slippers:

There's nothing I can add to that.

p. 434 - Superman Returns "Krazy Kryptonite" Compound:

"The Krazy Kryptonite Compound can be molded, thrown, bounced, or stretched!"

I'm not sure that I like the fact that my only commercial alternative to the two hundred buck prop Kryptonite is the Silly Putty Kryptonite.

p. 438 - Transformers Matrix of Leadership Replica: I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THIS IS, I'M TOO OLD. It's also $175.

p. 444 - Scarlet Spider Mini-Bust: Relive the storyline that almost killed off Spider-Man comics for good with this high quality bust.

p. 476-7 - Two more pages of Superman Returns crap merchandise. Lots of mugs and keychains...the Binocular Keyrings are my favorite. "See with the accuracy of Superman with these Binocular Keyrings, adorned with the classic Superman logo."

p. 499 - Planet of the Apes Ultimate Widescreen DVD Collection Limited Edition: Includes all the movies (including the Tim Burton one), all the bonus discs, all episodes of the TV series, and all of the animated series. And it comes in ape-head packaging:

Ape-head packaging.



We don't deserve beauty such as this.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Found in one of our store's back room boxes...somehow this mistrimmed copy of Spider-Man (#26, from 1992) managed to sneak past us and not get reported in as a damage. Oops.

That's okay...I think we've had our $3.50's (minus the wholesale discount) worth of entertainment out of this comic, just as a conversation piece. And the unusual shape actually makes the contents seem interesting, in an odd sort of way, since goodness knows they weren't before.

"Colossus is bisexual in X-Men 3"

I don't know why this is on the DC boards, either...but the tone seems to fit right in:

"I wanna see how they show its a romantic crush on Wolverine and not just platonic admiration."

"In the comics he is bisexual and in the ultimate universe he is gay, his boyfriend is northstar. what a sick way to ruin a great character"

"Why is it sick? Colossuss is bisexual, so what? [...] What's he going to do? cop a feel during a fastball special?"

"I'm not implying that it's sick,because a person's sexual orientation does not bother me, but I don't like when people change a character. I'm a purest."

"I hope this is a damn joke.Colossus isn't gay,aside from the horrendous Ultimate title.Homosexuals want a gay character ? Create one,and leave traditional characters the hell alone."

"I for one don't care what someone's sexual orientation is, and I sure don't want them to assign any orientation to any comic book character, especially since my kids want to see these movies."

"Liberal Hollywood Attacks Again!!! You know I dont have anything against changing some characters here and there,but I am getting tired of Hollywoods agenda."

"For Storm and Black Panther, it's my big fat superhero wedding"

"Although [Eric Jerome] Dickey is comfortable writing erotic scenes for his novels, Storm fans won't be seeing anything explicit.

"'What I love about comics is that you still have that modesty,' Dickey said. "You still fade to black.'"

Didn't see Avengers #71, I guess.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Comic book titles I don't want to see. 

Wolverine's True Bride Romance

G.I. Joe Versus Transformers Versus Voltron Versus Battle of The Planets Versus Micronauts Versus Masters of The Universe: Battle of The Fading Licensed Properties

Fantastic Foursome

The New Ultimates

New New Warriors

Li'l Vampirella

Sin City: The Dark Knight Strikes Again at al-Qaida (guest-starring Elektra)

Sgt. Fury And His "Going Commando"

Pa Kent: Manhunter

Power Pack Swimsuit Special

Extreme Justice: The Absolute Edition Hardcover

Betty & Veronica & Tarot Witch of the Black Rose

Sandman: Another Spin-off Series Not Written by Neil Gaiman And Not Starring Death; Sorry, Goths

Richie Rich Junk Bonds


Millie The Nude Model

Aquaman And The Ravers

Pantha: Rebirth

Todd McFarlane's Miracleman

Lady Death 2005 Bikini Special Prism Foil Cover (oops, sorry, that one's real)

Spider-Man: Yet Another Mini-Series That Could Instead Have Run in One of The Four Or Five Regular Monthly Spider-Man Titles (applies also to Batman, X-Men, Superman....)

Giant-Size Throbbing, Rigid And Penetrating Man-Thing

Another Amateurish Dark-Humored Black And White Comic Trying for Some of That Johnny The Homicidal Maniac Money

Superman's Girlfriend, Paris Hilton (that's for you, pal Tom!)

The Comic Where We Spent All Our Budget on Advertising Even Though The Comic Itself Is Crap, But It Doesn't Matter Since We're Just Hoping for A Movie/Animation Deal Anyway

Batman And The Supply-Siders

Hawkman: A New Beginning (NOOOOOOOOOOO!)

Deathmate II

Jim Henson Presents Swamp Thing Babies

Mary Jane & Speedball Versus Doctor Bong

Okay, maybe I'd want to see those last two.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Waiting for the repairman, or someone like him. 

So, remember those repairmen that I was waiting for last Monday? Well, for one reason or another, they weren't able to come by that day...so allegedly they will be arriving at some point today. Well, we'll see...but in the meantime, here, have some stuff, links, random thoughts, follow-ups, you know....

Comic-booky stuff on the You Tube:

Pete reads from the Malibu Comics Mortal Combat spin-off Goro Prince of Pain

JSA fan film trailer

The nigh-legendary Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special

Kids, don't try this at home: Superman action figure is set on fire. I enjoy the combination of the television in the background and the heavy breathing of the person doing the burning, for that extra-creepy flavor.

Batman, Robocop, a ninja(?), Jason from Friday the 13th, someone's garage...excellence.


I just realized I alphabetized "Vaughn Bode" under "Vaughn" in my Valentine's Day post. No, I'm not going to fix it. Let my error stand for future generations to mock.

So at the store, I'm nearing the end of what has felt like The Task That Would Not End...the gathering together of 100,000 comics for an impending bulk sale. That works out to about 285 long boxes, in case you're wondering. Now, a lot of these are coming from the glory days of the late '80s/early '90s (which I've spoken about before here and here), when we are all ordering tons of comics, and selling tons of comics, and ordering more than what would sell on the rack since we were selling tons of back issues, too...then the market crashed, and that was that.

So goodbye Brigade, so long Second Life of Dr. Mirage, bon voyage Semper Fi, arrivederci Spider-Man Unlimited #1...you all had your day in the sun -- well maybe not Semper Fi -- but I'm glad to see the back end of y'all.

One series I'm slashing the backstock down to the bone on is Marvel Comics Presents, the biweekly anthology series. Now, sure, most of it wasn't all that good, but it did have some high points. The Barry Windsor-Smith "Weapon X" series, a Wolverine story by Peter David and Sam Keith, Hercules by Bob Layton...there's some wheat in the chaff there. Granted, it'll take some searching to find it...can any of you folks remember any other good stories out of this series?

The Hulk boots ad and the Cyclops connect-the-dots puzzle I posted last week were from The Uncanny X-Men at the State Fair of Texas, a freebie comic distributed with copies of the Dallas Times Herald newspaper, almost certainly alarming and disturbing the citizenry. Pal JP had bought one of our copies a couple weeks back, and when next I saw him, he insisted I check it out for myself. I would have scanned more stuff out of it, like the several ads for, I don't know, appliances and whatnot that just have Spider-Man pasted into the ad, but I sold our remaining copy over the weekend. I had to choose between entertaining you folks or collecting five bucks, and sorry man, but baby needs shoes.

BeaucoupKevin helped Cyclops, by the way.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Franklin Harris is back, and he's weblogging about the funnybooks. Go check him out, tell him Mikester sent you.

So the other day I received an invitation to an advance screening for the V for Vendetta film, which includes a question and answer session with folks involved with the film...in New York, the opposite side of the country from me, alas. Despite some of the misgivings I've had about the film, it's a shame the screening is a tad bit out of my way...I'm always up for a free flick. And hey, that would have been a day's content for this weblog, at the very least. Ah, well.

"X3 Wiil Be Last in X-Men Film Series"

In the "we meant to do that" department:

"'Well, it seems to be the last of the series,'" says [director Brett] Ratner of the title for X3. "'We wanted to make sure the audiences knew that this was a trilogy. Even though they weren't made together like Lord of the Rings, this is really closure for the X-Men series...This is the last stand for sure.'"

"'Sgt. Rock' heads back to war zone"

A nice, positive "real world" review for Joe Kubert's new Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy series, which includes this amusing comparison:

"Marvel's competition for Rock was 'Nick Fury and His Howling Commandos,' who went everywhere in the European theater in WWII, blowing trumpets and yelping 'YAAAaaaAAAAggggGGGHHHhHHHHhhh!!!' Fury was formed by the wink-wink fatalism of the '60s, when killing was done with style and attitude. Rock, on the other hand, would have ducked behind some rubble and waited for Fury to get his keester blown off."

I still think that puppy's going to meet some terrible fate.

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