mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Under (re)construction. 

I'm doing some webhosting-plan upgrading, so if my site suddenly gets replaced with some holder "this domain is now ready!" page, don't be alarmed. Believe me, I'll be plenty alarmed for the both of us.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I really like that Batman one. 

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Here's hoping nobody's already discussed the Runaways thing. 

Here's an interesting glitch: one of my regular readers sent an e-mail asking if I knew what was up with the loose arrow on the cover of this week's Runaways #21 (visible on the truck's grill):

It does seem a little out of place, and my initial thought was that it was a computer mouse arrow, accidentally captured in the image somehow. But, closer inspection reveals that it's actually the arrow from the top of the "R" in the logo:

Here's what it's supposed to look like, as seen on a previous issue:

Clearly the impact of the truck knocked the arrow loose.

What Were They Thinking: Monster Mash-Up is the latest installment of Boom! Studios' "redialoguing classic comics" series, and it's funny as always...if you liked the previous issues, here's more of it! Standing out, though, are a couple contributions from that guy Kevin Church, who plays with the format of the series a bit. One story written as a Creature from the Black Lagoon-type's online emo-journal, and another short strip where...well, I hesitate to give away the joke. It's the one with the "Astro Alien Dog" in the "Space-year 1998" - Church makes it into a very self-referential gag about the nature of the What Were They Thinking series, and it's very funny.

The bastard.

Just in case you didn't get enough Nancy last week (and how can anyone ever get enough Nancy?), Glyph Jockey has posted an entire Nancy and Sluggo comic (Comics on Parade #93, 1954) starting right here.

I know it's been posted everywhere already, but my pal Cully hadn't seen this yet, so I'm putting the link up just for him: hey, Cully, EVERYONE'S MODOK.

This is going to be the best-selling issue of any Marvel Adventures title ever.

Okay, for about 30 seconds, it's just strangely creepy...and then, suddenly, it gets worse:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The return of Sir Links-a-Lot. 


Bow before the return of BATFATTY and his Bat folk-art.

Pal Ian ponders reader resistance to manga, and the lack of manga in used book stores.

The last thing Kid Chris posted was a Dora the Explorer belt buckle. You know, the Kid has an unusual belt buckle or two himself...er, not that I make a habit of studying his belt buckles, you understand. Um, moving along....

I think something terrible has happened to former employee Nathan. Last post: August 23. If you see this man, please mail him back to us.

Pal Tom sees that the producers of the Heroes TV show have trouble with numbers. You know, I finally saw an episode of Heroes and...eh, not bad. I want to see more of that Hiro fella.

Pal Dorian posts beefcake pics of Wildcat. TRY TO CONTAIN YOUR SHOCK.

Captain Corey and pal Sean: currently resting.


Hey, you know the mighty Chris Butcher has changed domains recently, right? Anyway, he looks at a Tokyopop ad-mail that was sent to funnybook stores recently...hey, Chris, I thought the Ally McBeal reference seemed a little odd to me, too, when I got that e-mail. "Great for fans of Ally McBeal!" So, no one, then?

Fortress of Fortitude says Bouncing Boy is cool. (For you readers new to my site, I had a question about Bouncing Boy's powers that you might enjoy.)

Have you been reading Tim O'Neil's "The Fate of the Critic?" You really should be: parts one, two, and three are up so far.

Kalinara ponders Christianity in comics, and whether it is really underrepresented.

The first appearance of Wildfire of the Legion of Super-Heroes is dissected over at Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge.

I always enjoy it when Chris Karath takes pictures of his action figures.

Daniel85 finds that Power Pack panels are especially creepy when taken out of context.

Tangognat offers up some manga recommendations.

Thought Balloon looks at Justice League of America #185 and the bad-assery of Big Barda.

The fate of the Thunderbolts comic (one of my favorite Marvel books, as I've noted before) is pondered over at Nobody Laughs at Mister Fish.

Bill examines some of the new TV season's offerings...hey, he likes Hiro, too!

H posts his Sad Sack tribute, and Mag reminds us that it's the Comic Treadmill's third anniversary! Huzzah!

'Tis the season for Halloween costumes, and Booksteve wants to show you some of his.

I love Eliza humor.

Daredevil is what?

See here for more of Amanda Waller's missions.

* Associated Comics And Pop Culture Webloggers of Ventura County, CA And Outlying Environs, in case you'd forgotten.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Now I'm already in the Peanuts reprint thing for the long haul. We've got six of the twenty-five volumes down, and I fully intend to buy them 'til the end. Things may get a tad dire as we slog through the volumes that cover the '80s, which was the period, I seem to recall, some folks feel the strip began to decline, though perhaps we'll all get to reconsider that assumption once we get all those particular strips in bulk. Of course, this reconsideration may just confirm everyone's opinion, but, you know, even just merely average Peanuts is better than, say, Tumbleweeds, and surely still worth reading.

The other strip reprint series I will buy is Fantagraphics' forthcoming Popeye set. I noted before that I had regretted missing Fantagraphics' original volumes reprinting the classic E.C. Segar era of this strip, but Bully tells me that this new edition was worth missing that previous set, and Bully hasn't lied to me yet...that I know of.

Another reprint series I'm very, very tempted by, but haven't quite decided upon yet, is IDW's Dick Tracy. I love the look of the book (the characteristic yellow color and the sewn-in bookmark) but there have been no shortage of Dick Tracy reprints over the last few years, from Gladstone's short run, to the "new" ACG's avalanche of comic books of varying quality, to the hardcover books focusing on the famous villains, and so on. It'd be nice to have all the strips, unedited, in chronological order, but I may be a little burnt out on Dick Tracy right now. There are a couple ACG issues that I think I still haven't gotten around to reading, in fact, and those reprints stopped coming out, what, two, three years ago? (To get an idea of ACG's commitment to the quality of their reprints, here's R.C. Harvey's review (about halfway down the page) of a book focusing on a DT supporting character, where they manage to misspell the character's name in the book's title).

There have been a couple of other high-end reprint series that I skipped...while I do like Dennis the Menace, quite frankly, I just had to draw the line somewhere. These are handsome volumes, however...squat, square books reprinting each panel on a page of its own, at a nice, large size. And there's no denying the sheer beauty of Drawn & Quarterly's Gasoline Alley volume, which I'll occasionally pick up and flip through it at the shop, trying to talk myself into bringing it home...but I have to admit my fascination with the strip is mostly restricted to the more peculiar recent strips.

I don't know what other strip reprint projects like these would compel me to buy them. I suppose it may come as no surprise that I'd love to see a complete Nancy, but I'm not quite sure the world is ready for such beauty. And would you start with just the Nancy strips, or with the Fritzi Ritz strip that preceded it? And would you pick up the Fritzi strips from when Ernie Bushmiller took over, or would you start with the comics by the strip's originator, Larry Whittington? (In fact, have the original Whittington strips ever been reprinted? My Google-fu turned nothing up.)

Bloom County is another strip I'd love to see in a complete run, as I've said before, since there are a large number of those strips that have never been reprinted. And I'd like to see a run of the early B.C.s and Wizard of IDs as well...hey, I liked them.

Just so long as I see a complete Bloom County before I see a complete Tumbleweeds. Or Marmaduke.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"All you need is a pencil and some crayons, Spider-Man artist!" 

"You're kinda super yourself! ...In a teenagey sort of way!" 

So, in Betty #6 (June 1993), Betty had passed a note to Archie during class, and Archie, apparently unable to do anything on the sly, got caught with the note by the teacher, the ever-present Miss Grundy. Thus, Archie is kept after school for detention, while Betty, practicing outside for a forthcoming gymnastics competition, feels guilty for letting Arch take the rap.

Desperate to tell Archie she's sorry, Betty comes up with a cunning plan: she moves a trampoline to just below Miss Grundy's second story window and, after preparing a few handwritten signs, puts her plan into action:

Archie, having the memory of a goldfish, forgives her immediately, and writes his own sign in response: "I THINK YOU'RE SUPER!" He flashes the sign at the window during Betty's next bounce, but it's then Miss Grundy decides to look up from her desk:

Flattered, Miss Grundy lets Archie out of detention early, but as Archie tries to get while the getting's good, Miss Grundy calls him back with an "Oh, Archie...."

"Why, Miss Grundy, are you trying to seduce me?" AWK-WARD.

I wish I could say the next panel is Grundy pushing Archie up against the wall and giving him a freckle-bath, but...no, actually, I don't wish I could say that. I wish I could un-think it.

Speaking of awkward, sometimes the Betty and Veronica pin-up pages are a little worrisome. Yeah, I know, it's a long-standing tradition in the funnybooks to have B 'n' V in cheesecakey pin-ups, either inside the books or on the covers, but every once in a while you'll come across one of these pin-ups and think...

...aren't these supposed to be high school girls? I seem to recall Jughead's age being pinned down at 16 at some point, so presumably Betty and Veronica are about the same age (not that Archie comics are real bastions of consistency or anything). Well, okay, I can see Veronica maybe being held back a grade once or twice. But still, something about that image in particular just seems a little more...prurient that usual, like Betty picked "stripper" for Career Day.

But, then, given how often the gals show up in the comics in the altogether, at least Betty's wearing something in that pin-up.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


1. The creator of this video featuring the floating Sluggo (as seen in my Nancy linkdump) has a fine weblog, with interesting photos, amusing videos, and classic (or, at least, old) comics. Currently featured: Little Roquefort comics here and here.

2. Another great site I've encountered over the weekend is Plastic Pumpkins, a Halloween-themed site with toys, comics, photos, and whatnot. I do loves me the Halloween, so hopefully this site will be able to keep that Halloween spirit going year-round.

3. Folks are drawing their own Hulk faces and posting them in the comments section for yesterday's post...even former employee Kid Chris participated, so grab the blank and draw your own! Or blow it up, print it, cut out that white space, and vee-ola, your very own Hulk mask!

4. More puzzle fun for everyone:

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