mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, March 18, 2006

"...In tough, unbreakable RUBBER." 

from The Phantom #267 (Frew, 1964)

Friday, March 17, 2006

The second greatest movie of all time.* 

I know I've brought it up before, but suddenly Snakes on a Plane-fever is running rampant on the internet again, and I gotta be a part of it.

The trailer is here, at the bottom of the page...will automatically start playing, so make sure your volume is turned up really loud, especially if you're at work. I mean, what's the boss gonna do? It's Snakes on a Freakin' Plane, for God's sake.

* After Cabin Boy, of course.


Totally stolen from Comics Worth Reading...a comic publisher does his best to make sure no one ever wants to help him with publicity ever again.

"And, Nat, I have news for you, buddy...You are the reason I'm independent...so I don't have to listen to or put up with know-it-all's like you! Actually, like most know-it-all's, you only think you know it all...you don't. I'm not 'looking to work with any editors'...or publishers or any dimwitted know-it-all's either, pal. Especially ones that can't read. I'm an independent, underground artist."

A Conversation with One Guy on a Weblog OR A New Model of the Comicsblogiverse. 

Okay, his, shall we say, unusual scientific theories aside, Neal Adams is clearly very important to the comics industry, particularly in relation to creator's rights. Any opportunity to tell people who may not have already heard about Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's travails as the creators of Superman, as Mr. Adams did on Coast to Coast AM, is one that needs to be taken.

Listening for the first 45 minutes or so as Mr. Adams discussed comics history, and his own personal history, was actually fairly interesting. He's got a good radio voice, and he's a natural storyteller (Skateman notwithstanding)...but listening to his comic talk while knowing his "new world model" is coming is like waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Though, now that he's talking about his theory (as I am currently typing this)...I still don't buy it in the slightest, but he sure has a way of making it sound interesting.

However, I could have done without Neal and George (the show's host) talking about how old comics are worth lots of money. I'm going to get an influx of fortune-seekers with coverless copies of Youngblood in store over the next few days because of this, I'm sure.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Somebody please put me out of my misery. 

Today at work:

Employee Nathan: "Hey, who would win in a fight...Goku or Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet?"

Me: "What if Thanos took the Infinity Gems on said Gauntlet and used them to power lightsabers?"

EN: "How many gems are there?"

Me: "Six, I believe."

EN: "Okay, one gem can each go into one lightsaber, and, um, the six-armed Spider-Man can wield one in each hand!"

And then the discussion began of what each gem would do to each lightsaber, given the gems' special abilities, and it was at that point that I decided we were too nerdy to live.

Every week, it's another New Comics Day. 

So a couple weeks ago we had some severe shortages on our comics order, which I had dutifully called in to Diamond in the hopes of receiving replacements. Well, I guess we can kiss the latest issue of Spider-Girl goodbye, since our shortage on that particular comic was put into the system as a normal reorder, and not as a priority shortage replacement...and since we didn't find this out until yesterday, no copies are left to be had, apparently.

Also, I had placed an immediate reorder on the new Batman Annual, the one that explains the whole Jason Todd thing (and was also a stealth Infinite Crisis tie-in), as soon as that issue had come in. We were invoiced for that reorder this week...but the comics were shorted from our shipment. And, yes, as you may have heard, that Batman Annual has gone to a second printing...so because someone screwed up, we're out our first printings of this funnybook.

I've said it before, I'll say it again...I hate comics.

With that in mind, let's look at a few things that came in this week:

Infinite Crisis Secret Files 2006 - Unlike most in the Secret Files series, this comic is actually nearly all story, with only four pin-up/profile pages at the end. It's effectively Infinite Crisis #...5 1/2? 4 1/2? God help us, #0? At any rate, if you're enjoying IC, you'll probably dig this comic, too...lots of nice art by Jerry Ordway and Dan Jurgens, and it's good to see Marv Wolfman writing these characters again.

Dorothy #5 - Okay, it actually came out last week, but I've been lazy and didn't get around to it 'til yesterday. I've been enjoying this dark take on the Oz-iverse quite a bit, and its only downside is the length of time between issues. This issue is a bit talky...mostly Dorothy arguing with the munchkins about wanting to go home and wanting nothing to do with the internal doings of Oz...but it's as visually appealing as ever. It's a rare example of a "fumetti"-type comic that is actually on par with a more traditionally-illustrated funnybook, and highly recommended. (See the official site for some samples...I've found that issue #4, the origin of the Scarecrow, really grabs new readers. If you want to try an issue out, I suggest that one.)

Planetary Brigade #2 - Okay, I know, it's yet another example of "hey, it's a fat guy, and he runs a comic book store, and he's unappealing to women! Hoo hah!" But this particular fat guy is, in fact, the Brigade's own Mr. Brilliant...a bit put-upon, a bit arrogant, a bit cowardly, and more of a fully fleshed-out, somewhat sympathetic character than the cliche he appears to be at first glance. His banter with his sexy teammate, Pussycat (whom he lets live rent-free in the apartment above the store), is amusing, and hints at a somewhat deeper friendship than either are willing to admit. But, as a fat guy who runs a comic book store, perhaps that's just wishful thinking on my part. Anyway, the J.M. DeMatteis/Keith Giffen team successfully manage that balance between wacky humor, witty dialogue, and genuine emotion, as they did in the best of their '80s Justice League run. Even though we all know the team's tragic end (the superhero team, not DeMatteis/Giffen...see Hero Squared), it doesn't color the enjoyment of their antics, which will hopefully continue for some time to come. The art, like in the first issue, is provided by a number of different contributors...and Fabio Moon's work on the lead chapter is particularly exceptional. Humorous, highly detailed, and emotive...the rest of the book doesn't look too shabby, either.

Okay, enough of the longer reviews none of you read anyway...let's have some quickies:

Showcase Presents Superman Family Vol. 1 - Nearly 600 pages of Silver Age Jimmy Olsen stories...Heaven looks a little bit like this. There's more imagination on one page of this book than you'd find in an entire issue of something like Red Sonja/Claw: Devil's Hands.

Painkiller Jane #1 - "Hey, is this based on the Sci-Fi Channel movie?" No, nobody actually asked that...that would imply people saw the Sci-Fi Channel movie.

Spike Versus Dracula #1 - A vast improvement over the appalling Spike: Old Wounds...this comic looks like it was actually illustrated, rather than traced. Peter David brings us the origin of the Spike/Dracula conflict (explaining a throwaway gag from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series in the process). Fun stuff.

Flaming Carrot Comics Photo Comic Special #1 - Must be seen to be believed. So see it. Absolutely 100% fantastic.

Conan: Book of Thoth - Not a Conan fan, really, but was almost tempted by the Kelley Jones art. A nice looking book.

Aspen Swimsuit Special #1 - Isn't this almost redundant?

Four #28 - I know this is supposed to be Marvel's more "mature" Fantastic Four title, but it still seems a little strange to read a story about the Invisible Woman fighting domestic violence. There's a weird disconnect between a Kirby character that fought monsters and aliens, and that same character addressing a serious real world issue. Not saying it shouldn't be done, just saying...well, it's odd, is all.

Back Issue #15 - Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez interview, unused 'Mazing Man script (complete with "20 year reunion" sketch by Stephen DeStefano), Art Adams Werewolf cover, proposed Gorilla Grodd series...how many more things do I have to list before you buy this magazine, already?

Toyfare #105 - Employee Nathan was inordinately amused by the Care Bear on the cover declaring "I'm delicious!" I worry about that boy.

I know some of you may already spotted this on Mark Evanier's site, but I know of at least one person who's gonna want to know this: Neal Adams will be on Coast to Coast AM Thursday night discussing his "new model of the universe." How this will be anything less than absolutely brilliant, I can't imagine.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Employee Nathan inadvertently defines the internet. 

"It would be impressive, if it wasn't such a colossal waste of time."

Best. Horror Comic Host. Ever. 

from Ghost Manor #17 (March 1971)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

"Single white Vulcan seeks Bolian, non-smoking, no freaks." 

Trekpassions.com: "online dating for sci-fi fans."

(via TV Tattle)

I can't believe I didn't think of this yesterday

From Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

King Arthur: "Old woman!"

Dennis: "'Man!'"

King Arthur: "'Man,' sorry...what knight lives in that castle over there?"

Dennis: "I'm 37."

King Arthur: "What?"

Dennis: "I'm 37, I'm not old."

Me neither, Dennis, me neither.

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday...they were much appreciated. My sister's birthday is today, so please think some good birthday thoughts for her as well!

Just like your average radio "comedy" talk show host, I've stolen a story from FARK: "School Adopts Superhero Mascot" - yeah, I don't imagine that state of affairs will last terribly long.

A quick look at the new DC solicitations:

A series of one-shots bridging the gap between the first two Superman movies and the forthcoming Superman Returns are coming, with director Bryan Singer's apparent involvement. Sadly, the fates of Gus Gorman and Lex Luthor's nephew Lenny will remain unrevealed. (Four words: "MA KENT ONE SHOT." Fantastic.)

Superman/Doomsday Omnibus TP - I expect this to sell very well, given the low price point for the amount of material you're getting. The Death of Superman trade is still a regular seller for us after all these years, and the follow-up Doomsday material still moves from the back issue bins...yeah, this will be a good stock item.

I like Mogo (the planet Green Lantern), but not enough to read Ion #3. Given the last time this writer handled Kyle Rayner, I think I can safely avoid this return performance.


Solo #11 - Will probably be the best issue of Solo yet, featuring big heaping piles of Sergio Aragones. Did you like DC Super Stars #13? Then you'll like this.

Sloth - A new longform graphic novel from Gilbert Hernandez is always welcome. 128 black and white pages in a hardcover for $19.99? By Gilbert? That's value, friends.

"Chief O'Hara to be Named Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security"

"O'Hara, who worked as a private security consultant from 1984 until his retirement in 1998, served as police chief in Gotham while the city was being overrun by ludicrous costumed villains, absurdly eccentric criminals, and dangerous maniacs. He developed a close working relationship with police commissioner James Gordon, as well as Gotham's famed superhero, Batman."

Monday, March 13, 2006


March 13, 1781 - Sir William Herschel discovers Uranus - grade school comedians are forever in his debt.

March 13, 1911 - Noted fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard born.

March 13, 1916 - Krazy Kat, Bugologist animated short (based on the George Herriman comic strip) released.

March 13, 1921 - Mad Magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee is born.

March 13, 1930 - Bunny Yeager, photographer of Bettie Page, born.

March 13, 1939 - Neil Sedaka born.

March 13, 1942(?) - Charo born! Cuchi-cuchi!

March 13, 1950 - William H. Macy, star of Mystery Men, is born.

March 13, 1964 - Kitty Genovese's murder is witnessed by several people, none of whom attempted to help her or call the police. Alan Moore would use this incident in Watchmen...an article reprinting all the related panels may be found here (though it notes the date as the 14th, which contradicts most other sources).

March 13, 1969 - Mike Sterling is born. The world trembles in fear.

March 13, 1969 - Amazing Spider-Man #73 is released to newsstands (see here for details).

March 13, 1983 - Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell marries Christine Deveau.

March 13, 1988 - Assumed birthdate of Irma Lair, from Walt Disney's W.I.T.C.H.

March 13, 1992 - Shakes the Clown, Bobcat Goldthwait's finest cinematic achievement, released in the U.S.

March 13, 1992 - This fellow from Mike Kazaleh's Har Har #2 celebrates his birthday in funnybook form.

March 13, 1997 - The "Phoenix Lights" are witnessed over Phoenix, Arizona.

March 13, 1999 - Lee Falk, creator of The Phantom, dies.

March 13, 2006 - Mike Sterling celebrates his 37th birthday. The world trembles in pity.

* It's my party and I'll pi if I want to.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Super quick update explosion. 

1. Tried to watch Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's Mirrormask the other night. Fell asleep. I'm chalking it up to being probably too old tired to watch it when I did, but there not being a whole lot of "there" there to keep me interested may have been part of it, too. Very pretty, but not compelling. I'll try again later.

2. This story (which Franklin Harris pointed out a few days back), about a murder suspect with several aliases taken from comic book characters, currently dominates the Google news search for "comic book." As I write this, the first few pages of results are primarily this particular news item. Now there's your positive view of comics, just in time for several big budget blockbuster funnybook movies.

3. How to linkblog: do it like Neilalien. That's quality linkage, sir.

4. Just found this Spanish weblog post which says some nice things about my Bat-Week posts from a few weeks ago. (Bat-Week started here...and would it be tooting my own horn too much if I were to say that this post is probably my single favorite thing I've done on this site?)

5. Confidential to Kid Chris: your damned Aquaman shirt should be in this week.

"...This is the final touch that will set you apart from everyone." 

Ladies and gentlemen...Hellboy Pants:

"All real leather Hellboy pants. Just like those worn by Ron Perlman in the sensational 2004 movie.

"These beautiful heavy black leather pants are highly detailed and come in all sizes.

"If you are looking for quality and authenticity to complete your look this is the final touch that will set you apart from everyone."

Employee Aaron's reaction to that eBay listing:

Me: "Hey, these pants come in all sizes!"

Aaron: "Wow, I come in all sizes!"

I so don't want to know, you have no idea.

Yesterday at work, I was talking about Marvel action figures with one of our customers, and the MODOK action figure was mentioned. This is how that part of the conversation went:

Customer: "I have the old MODOK figure, but it doesn't have a lot of articulation."

Me: "Oh, just like the real MODOK then."


"Just like the real MODOK then."


I hate me.

In other MODOK action figure news, I was under the assumption that the new MODOK figure (shown here) was going to be available in an upcoming Marvel Legends series. And, well, it is, but it's going to be distributed like that Galactus figure...each figure in the series will come with a piece of MODOK, so you'll have to buy them all in order to assemble your own villainous floating head. Rats.

Oh, and at that Galactus link, he's described as "the gargantuan archenemy of the Avengers" instead of the Fantastic Four. Well, I guess that's technically true, since Galactus was always trying to eat the Earth, and thus making himself the enemy of all the folks living here...including the Avengers, presumably.

Thank God I was here to set that straight.

So there's this comic shop about an hour's drive north of us that we've been doing business with for years. We're always contacting each other trying to track down goodies for customers and whatnot, we post their flyers, they post ours...we get along swimmingly. Well, as it turns out, a young lady employed there, with whom I've spoken on the phone a handful of times, just happens to be a comics weblogger her own self. I just figured that out yesterday, when she gave me her name on the phone, and I finally pieced that together with some of the things she's said about her job and locale on her site, along with the name she's left in my comments sections. Yeah, I'm a real Miss Marple, but I still forced myself to double-check her site before I just blurted out "AM YOU COMICS BLOGGER ALSO?"

You can see her own reaction to finding out about my semi-secret double 'blogging life here. And read her site...good reviews and commentary there.

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