mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, November 11, 2006

"ppl who classify ppl by their hobbies wat they like/ dnt like doin are saddos!" 

From Yahoo! Answers: "Is reading comic books a geeky thing to do?"

"no they're feckin great!! Batman rules!"

"Probably, even though I do it myself. I think it'll always be viewed as geeky by society at large."


"Who cares? If you enjoy them, read them! I know people are getting into graphic novels now, too."

"Well what ever tickles your fancy.....my son does but he's only 7"

"I like romance novels and I'm sure people think that's geeky, too. But, you know what? They can alll bite me because I enjoy them. Read your comic books if you like them and tell everyone who gives your crap about it to p*ss off!!"

"yes it is kind of Geeky but i think geeky is Sexy !!! "

"depends on how old u are !"

"kind of. it seems that geeky things are becoming more popular though. i also consider (chronic) video game playing to be geeky."

"no i read comics all the time. [...] i actually started a collection when i was 15 a couple yrs ago becuz im in love with the things."

"Not any more Geeky then reading a book or magazine. Some of the best story's i have read have been Graphic Novels! People who claim it is Geeky probably don't like to read or have never bothered to find a Comic that they can enjoy."

"if someone enjoys to read comic books thats fine, dont worry about what anyone else things...if you like it -do it :) ! some people even class reading a book full stop as geeky ! oh well their loss!"

"Comic books has evolved as a popular medium for everyone to read. Step into any book store and odds are you'll find graphic novels and manga have it's own section. Reading expands the mind in terms of vocabulary as well as one of the cheapest ways to escape from reality. For those who think reading comic books is a 'geeky thing' cease to amaze how many close minded people are still out there. Read on true believers. 'Nuff Said."

AND NE1 who judges u is stupid!
for example, seth i.e. adam brody's character reads comics he is an addict he has a comic book club n everything! and he is SUPER CUTE and he gets summer!! (aww)
readin comic books isnt 'geeky' or 'nerdy' - ppl who classify ppl by their hobbies wat they like/ dnt like doin are saddos!"

"i love the sin city series, y:the last man, preacher, hellblazer, and more, and i'm totally rad and hip."

"Can't stand all airy fairy poncy 'be who you want to be' answers. Of course its Geeky. More than Geeky. A word of advice, bin the comics, get a girlfriend (or boyfriend if that is your thing) and get down the footy or the pub with your mates. Do it now 'cause if you keep reading comics you wont have any mates left."

"If you enjoy reading comics, that's your choice, it's your preference. We are all allowed to have our own preferences, as long as they don't harm ourselves or our environment and have negative influences. Besides, there are lots of genres and types of comics. Don't forget about the people who read hentai manga/porn comics. They are not considered 'geeks', are they now? No, on the contrary, they seem to be highly appreciated by teens...."


"In conclusion, reading comics is not a geeky thing to do... (the idea actually makes me laugh). But it may be a childish thing to do if you are an adult (or even a teen) and you're discarding all responsabilities and dedicating your whole time to this hobby. Geeky, no, childish, yes, but only in those conditions."

"hell no!! the punisher rules!"

"I still marvel that there are people out there who can produce work of such a high standard on a monthly basis. Most of all, I think it's our society's equivalent of myth. Heroes and villains with great powers; the age old battle of good and evil. Are the stories of the gods of ancient Greece or India, say, so different? Seems like the same stories with different names."

"Personaly no matter what sort of hobby a person does there will always be another who will think its strange or 'geeky'."

Friday, November 10, 2006

"Soon though, came the comic book, starting up with old classics like Superman and Batman...." 

"Good or Evil? Comic Books and Their Influence on Kids"

Warning: random capitalization, questionable apostrophe usage, poor spelling, and just plain bad writing ahead:

"Comic books gained early popularity in 1930's. Originally, Comics were funny squibs in the paper, intended for the whole family's enjoyment. Soon though, came the comic book, starting up with old classics like Superman and Batman, targeted in particular for younger people. This trend continues even today, and those old classics have grown, had many offshoots, and even been made into movies.

"The comic book's first step up from book was to Television. Cartoon's made from Comic books became popular in the 1970's-1980's, such as X-Men, SpiderMan, and Batman. These cartoons were fun for all ages, and became classics instantly.

"The next step came when D.C. took the leap, and made one of it's most popular characters into a movie on the silver screen. Superman was only a pioneer in this case, eventually having four movies to his name, and a wealth of fans. Batman came out in 1989, and the idea immediately latched on, spurring the creation of Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, and in 2005, Batman Begins.

"The idea of turning comic books into movies was picked up by Marvel in the late 1990's, and they countered D.C. with a multitude of block busters like SpiderMan, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk and Dardevil. Action figures, stuffed toys, coloring books, full length novels, and other merchandise were then added to the tally of things touched by comic books.

"The next question is though, is it for you?

"Comic books have their place, for a certainty. They are easy reading, and fun reading. The characters and plots are memerable, and the illustrations are unforgettable.

"How much though, is too far?

"In some comics, the violence and blatant sexual advances rival that of infamous video games like Grand Theft Auto and the Resident Evil series. Some persue practices or customs that are tied to the occult, whereas others dabble in matters of society, like homosexuality, and drug abuse.

"The real question is, who do you want teaching your kids about those things, you or the comic book?

"True, not all comic books are bad, and some are quite benefitial, but constant vigilance is necessary to keep your kids from being expossed to these things.

"Another common problem is this: Kids don't recognize the amount of imagination [make believe] in comics. Some become so involved with the ideas that they forget that crime fighting is a job for the police, and that death is permanent.

"Why not talk to your kids about it? Making sure they understand that imitating what they see in comic books is not a good idea is the first step in keeping it 'good, honest fun.'

"Comic books, and indeed, books and movies of all kinds, are intended to be fun, family enjoyment. Keeping in mind these few points, can help you keep it that way.


If that's too much to read, there's a convenient "Takeaways" section which summarizes the important points:

"Comic books have been around since the 1930's.

"Some comic books are not suitable for children.

"Make sure your kids understand 'pretend' and 'real'."

Some amazing trivia is related as well:

"Did you know? Comic books used to be known as 'comic strips,' because of their shape."

I hope you all found this as "benefitial" as I did.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

This is more beauty than you deserve. 



HOW TO VIOLATE THE LAWS OF PHYSICS: Buy the new Dilbert book and the new Zippy the Pinhead book at the same time. It's...it's unnatural.

Yeah, so I like Dilbert...wanna fight about it?

I SHOULD PROBABLY TAKE THIS AS A SIGN: I hadn't read the last couple issues of JLA Classified, and thus it is the latest victim in my ongoing quest to thin the pull list a tad.

HOLY CATS, IT'S HUGE: I have now seen Fantagraphics Popeye book, and for some reason I was picturing something similar to their Peanuts volumes. But, no, this is a large-sized hardcover, complete with a die-cut hole in the front. I haven't bought it yet...I'm supposed to be receiving a gift copy of this item, but, boy howdy, I'm gonna have a hard time resisting this book. It's downright stunning.

FANTAGRAPHICS WANTS MORE OF MY MONEY: In addition to the Popeye and Zippy books already mentioned, there's a new Kim Deitch book (Shadowland, reprinting previous comics I mostly already own but with enough material I don't have which will justify th...oh, right, I already own all the other Deitch books, of course I'm gonna get this one, too) and Luba by Gilbert Hernandez, which includes several previously unpublished short pieces.

THAT'S AN AWFUL LOT OF MASTURBATION: So, Joe Matt's Peep Show #14 finally made it out...I just read a comic, which was very behind schedule, about a cartoonist whose book is really behind schedule due to his porn addition getting in the way. It's a comic about the delays in production of this comic. IT'S FREAKING ME OUT MAN.

"DYING ON THE STANDS," YOU MEAN: CSI: Dying in the Gutters #4 came out, and based on sales on the first issue or two, we've slashed orders on this thing. I mean, it's not just us, is it?

"NOT THE JEDI! NOT THE JEDI:" That headline is a reference to the TV show Dinosaurs! where the baby dinosaur repeatedly hit the daddy dinosaur on the head while chanting "Not the momma!" That was my joke in reference to the dinosaur aliens prominently featured in the new Star Wars: Dark Times #1 that came out this week. Employee Aaron's joke was "Star Wars: Dinotopia." EDGE: AARON.

I THINK I MAY ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS: We sold through all our copies of the Secret War trade paperback in the first day. I wonder if sitting and reading all these chapters in a short period of time (rather than spacing out the five issues over the better part of two years) improves the reading experience of the series.

NOT ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE: Now as funny as the very idea of a Punisher: Very Special Holiday trade paperback is, collecting Christmas stories starring our favorite mass-murdering crazed vigilante, it pales, pales, in comparison to the Punisher: Back to School Special series. Wha-huh?

"...EXCEPT NOT REALLY:" So the reprint of Civil War #3 has a big blurb on the cover reading "THE RETURN OF THOR," which I suppose reads better than "YEAH, YOU THINK IT'S COOL NOW, BUT WAIT 'TIL YOU READ THE NEXT ISSUE, CHUMP."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I don't care how tough you think you are... 

...you're not as tough as this opening bit from a story in Danger #8 (March 1954):

Alas, the rest of the tale doesn't quite measure up...mostly it's Duke running around, disguising himself as Russian guards and stabbing people, which isn't as exciting as it sounds. However, during his stabbing spree, he does end up shanking a particular person of note, as detailed in the story's last panel:

Yeah...as in "Josef." Holy crap.

And now, another visit with Sir Links-A-Lot:

Spotted on this Comics Journal message board thread that there's a Print-on-Demand collection of Dick Briefer's Frankenstein...in black and white, and just the horror stuff. Stolen from that discussion thread are links to some online Frankenstein comics by Briefer: three of the "funny era" stories (1 2 3) and an issue from the "horror era."

More free comics: Glyph Jockey has a complete issue of Little Lulu. If you like it, remember that Dark Horse is currently reprinting the series.

Bully took it upon himself to convert a sound effect from of the panels I posted on Monday to make it a little more politically correct.

Dave is having a contest to give away a copy of Teaching Baby Paranoia. You've got 'til the 20th to enter, so get crackin', slackers.

Laura is reading, and commenting upon, all the Aquaman comics, in chronological order. Good Lord a'mighty. Starting with Aquaman's first appearance in More Fun #73, Laura has, as I write this, gone on to cover #74, #75, #76, #77, #78, and #79. Perhaps someday I'll steal borrow this idea for the Swamp Thing comics.

Chris Karath compares and contrasts the Batman, Batgirl, Superman and Clark Kent action figures from the DC Superhero line with their DC Direct counterparts.

Pal Tom is trying to get onto a game show, and it looks like he's got a pretty good shot at it. Here are parts one and two of his escapades.

Here, have another panel from Danger #8..."Nils" is the fella who is decidedly not rescuing this poor sap from the shark:

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Some more random Starlog ramblings. 

So as you may have surmised from some recent postings, our store recently acquired a collection of early Starlog magazines in, shall we say, previously well-loved condition. My eventual plan was to do some kind of extended analysis of these Starlogs, in regards to their reflection of fan concerns of the mid-'70s, the occasionally off-the-mark speculation for forthcoming projects, the magazine's increasing obsolescence to modern internet-savvy fandom...well, I don't have much to say beyond what was typed there, really.

But, at least, I do want to quote from a couple issues. First up is an interview from issue #23 (June '79) with Dave Prowse, the man inside Darth Vader's costume:

"STARLOG: Have they signed you up for any of the future Star Wars sequels?

"PROWSE: They've offered me Star Wars II and III. As you probably know, Star Wars I, II and III are actually the fourth, fifth and sixth in the Empire's chronology. And then they're going back to do the first three. I'll do the fifth and sixth, but I'll probably miss the first because they'll be going back in Empire history. Then I'll likely do the second and third. So I could be Star Warsing for the next...ten years?

"STARLOG: Will the first film show us the young Darth Vader?

"PROWSE: No, I think two and three will. They might show Vader as he really was and I may get to be seen without my mask. [...] ...You'll probably only see either the back of my head or my face hidden by breathing tubes.

"STARLOG: And is the face disfigured?

"PROWSE: Yes."

I find that interesting if only for reflecting the expectations fans (and, apparently, the actors) had for the future of the Star Wars franchise and their places in it. Of course, George Lucas took twenty years to finally get around to the prequels, and Prowse had no part in those films.

That last bit about Vader's face is a reminder about the mystery of the character's true appearance beneath the mask...what was once a topic of interest and speculation is now just another memorable image from a fondly remembered movie of the past. Plus, it made me laugh that an interview would seriously include the question "Is the face disfigured?" Yeah, I realize people wanted to know, but still.

Issue #63 (October 1982) featured a lengthy editorial from the publisher, complaining that Steven Spielberg's publicity department held back materials for E.T. The Extraterrestrial from Starlog, despite virtually every mainstream publication having access to those same materials:

"Spielberg gave an interview, photo shooting and E.T. photo to Andy Warhol's Interview, a hip tabloid aimed at the 'in' creative crowd. He gave an interview to Film Comment, an excellent magazine that uses words like 'cinema' instead of 'movies.' Spielberg approved materials for People, Rolling Stone, Discover, Us, Time, Newsweek and countless other publications - even the Star (gasp!) had an interview with young Henry Thomas, which we were flatly denied."

My guess is that the publicity department's issue was the avoidance of pigeonholing E.T. as a "sci-fi" movie, trying to focus on getting eyeballs in more mainstream press rather than wasting time on some niche market genre 'zine. To be honest, I don't know what harm it would have done to throw Starlog a bone as long as the Spielberg people were getting plenty of publicity elsewhere. But, hey, Starlog eventually got their materials and, judging by the E.T. cover and feature article, I guess all was forgiven. Being allowed into the big boys' club tends to gloss over any grudges.

From Starlog #7 (August '77), a question about R2D2 and C3PO:

"Do the Lucas robots conform to Isaac Asimov's famous laws of robotics?

"'As George [Lucas] says,' conveys [Lucas associate Charlie] Lippincott, 'anybody who's going to do robots nowadays is into science fiction and is going to be aware of Asimov's laws. George was certainly aware of them, but he was determined to work around them. [...] What is the case in Star Wars is humanoid robots with individual quirks, just like human beings have quirks. Both of our robots have their own ideas as to who their masters are and what their responsibilities are. So there can be conflicts between the two robots."

"Determined to work around them?" How much work was necessary to say "I'm creating a story different from Asimov's, therefore I'm not restricted by whatever concepts he created?" Was anyone really worried about this, aside from...um, Starlog's target audience?

Monday, November 06, 2006

"...Step right up, and see how your snake is!" 

And now, the many sound effects of Captain America #181:

from Captain America #181 (January 1975) by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema & Vince Colletta

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"It's not a carpool. It's a starpool!" 

(A family of comic fans have picked out their comics at our store and are ready to check out. The little girl of the family, about 5 or so, wants a comic book too, so the other family members try to help out)

Older sister/aunt/whatever: "So look, there's Action, there's Cable/Deadpool, there's X-Men..."

Little girl: "Oooh, there's Krypto! I like Krypto, I've seen him on TV!"

Older sis/aunt/whatever: "Krypto? Really? Nah, you don't want that. Look, here's Martian Manhunter, Witchblade...."

Okay, when I heard "Witchblade" I had to step in and gently suggest that, really, you should probably get the little girl the COMIC SHE'S ACTUALLY INTERESTED IN. It's a good read, perfect for her age group, and (I didn't say this next part, though I really should have) a lot more appropriate than freakin' Witchblade, for God's sake.

And, thankfully, they did buy her Krypto, grudgingly, but made the little girl very happy. So disaster has been temporarily averted, as I'm sure the family is going to continue to give her grief over picking Krypto over something "cool" like Captain America or Outsiders or some darn thing.

So we recently bought a good-sized collection...well, we bought a small portion of it, and the rest of it ended up getting dumped on us anyway (which is where a lot of my recent Starlog scans and quotes are coming from, but more on that later in the week). Anyway, in one of the old Famous Monsters of Filmland mags we found a folded-up Playboy poster featuring nekkid Bo Derek from Tarzan the Ape Man (the one with how much Keeffe? "Miles O'Keeffe!"*).

Another item in this collection was a copy of the Kitchen Sink Press 'zine Weird Trips, which cover-featured an article on the infamous murderer Ed Gein:

However, the previous owner of this comic added a special bonus feature to this mag: a period newspaper clipping featuring the obituary of Mr. Gein:

I wonder what other surprise bonuses are hiding in the pages of the books in this collection?

Speaking of stuff from old Starlog mags:

"Join the Starpool fleet and cruise the galaxy with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock at your side. Whatever your mission - school, work, or around the block, you're part of the Federation with Spock and Kirk in the back seat of your car. It's not a carpool. It's a starpool!

"Here's how it works!

"Starpool kinetic passengers move as your car moves. Face and hand mechanism attach easily to back seat car windows. Spring-action hands wave any time the car is in motion. Spock gives his famous Vulcan salute. Kirk delivers an important command on his communicator."

* Totally stolen from Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

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