Wednesday, December 12, 2007

There's a reference to an old punk band hidden in this post

-Man, Peter Bagge is my Jack Kirby. Well, actually Jack Kirby is my Jack Kirby, but you probably get what I'm saying. Hate Annual #7 = best "floppy" of the year.

I recently said that the MMA blogosphere is worse than the comics blogosphere. Here's a pretty strong example of this in action. Fightlinker, one of the few MMA blogs I actually enjoy (I don't endorse every little bit of it, but I like his general approach quite a bit), called out a couple of blogs for blatant hypocrisy. A little background: mixed martial arts is still a pretty controversial sport (you might remember that Heidi MacDonald got a little grief for covering it, but you might also chalk that up to either (a) straight male comics fans' displeasure at being forced to think about men grappling in their underwear or (b) comics fans' ceaseless complaining about anything and everything, no matter how minor). These days it's as well-regulated as boxing, but there's still a popular misconception that it involves the ritual removal of internal organs as a way of taunting defeated opponents. That really only depends on the ref.

So anyway, there's some promotion out of Brazil which is marketing itself as a genuine vale tudo experience--limited rules (no biting, eye gouging, or nut shots (that's the technical term, I assure you)), no time limit, no gloves. Exactly the image which legitimate MMA promoters are trying to work against, really. Fightlinker points out that one blog (Five Ounces of Pain) which had published editorials condemning this approach is now running advertisements for the company. One of the writers for Five Ounces of Pain shows up to say I don't care as long as we get paid cause my kids' Christmas presents have to come from somewhere (I'm totally not kidding). But there still seems to be a general spirit of collegiality among the bloggers. Not so much the quasi-anonymous comment-leavers, but this is the internet.

So, in what way does this situation most differ from the comics blogosphere?

a. No one in the comics blogosphere would ever think of running banner ads for such a sleazy operation
b. You can run banner ads for sleazy operations (like, say, Platinum), but it's not such an ethical pratfall cause at least they're not promising grievous bodily harm in their ads
c. The people leaving comments on popular MMA blogs are even dumber than the ones who leave comments on popular comics blogs
d. The MMA bloggers disagree with each other, but things don't deteriorate into a tedious snarkfest
e. There aren't enough money marks in comics for anyone to sell out.

Answer at the end of today's post!


-I didn't expect three packs to be such a popular topic, but then again the ones I encountered in rural South Carolina were pretty lame. Anyone interested in learning more about three bags should check out Mark Evanier's article on the subject.

Hearing so many of you talking about your memories of three packs reminded me of a really bizarre experience from my youth. I was on vacation with my family in Beaufort, SC, probably around 1989 or 1990 or so. I was in the toy section of a K-Mart, looking at some three packs in the children's books section. Some of the packs were ripped open, leaving a few single issues lying around on the shelf. One of them was, believe it or not, a comic by Matt Feazell. I was already familiar with Feazell from his backup strips in Zot! (I wasn't a regular reader, but Eclipse had provided some copies as a giveaway for a convention I'd attended when I was pretty young). But I have no idea how a copy of his comic got on the shelf at K-Mart. Maybe someone was reading it in the store and was accused of shoplifting when he/she tried to leave with it. Maybe it was pre-internet viral marketing. Maybe it really did end up in a three pack somehow!

The problem is, I'm not sure if Feazell ever did a standard sized comic; his website suggests that he's only had "paperback" and minicomic collections. But I remember this being a regular old comic book. So now I'm especially confused. Maybe it was all a dream....

-ANSWER TO BRAIN TEASER: In descending order of correctness: (e), (c) + (d) (TIE), (b), (a)


Devlin Thompson said...

Eclipse put out THE AMAZING CYNICAL-MAN and a ZOT! one-shot in full-size (as well as ZOT! #10 1/2, an offset-printed mini), and Steeldragon Press did 2 or 3 issues of ANT BOY. Feazell also shows up in GIANT-SIZE MINI-COMICS, and a few other places around that time period.
On the subject of three-packs: around 1980, when I was first trying to seriously organize my comics, I had no idea where to get comic bags (the nearest source would turn out to be 30 miles away, in Greenville), so my grandfather called a friend of his at the local newsstand distributor. He couldn't help us with what we were hunting for, but he gave me a box of unused Whitman 3-pack bags. There was a little tin storage shed at my grandparents house that I used as a playhouse, so my grandfather helped me install pegboard and gave me the leftover hooks from his old convenience store, and for the next few years, I stored my comics on the wall,sorted alphanumerically, three to a bag.
Here's a different sort of clearly-illegal 3-pack from the same era at my Flickr page: No idea what part of the country these were sold in

Dick Hyacinth said...

Is this Greenville, SC? I'm from Spartanburg myself.

My father stored his collection of Silver Age comics in cardboard boxes, the issues stacked vertically. They're still not all bagged and boarded, though my brother has announced his intentions of doing this himself at some point.

Chrismidweeker said...

As far as how the Feazell comic got in there, it's quite likely that whoever packaged the packs had bought out a defunct distributor, comic shop or newstand to get the stock. Some Eclipse books received limited newstand distribution in the mid-eighties, so that might be it.
You do sometimes find odd comics in multi-pack and remainder bookstores over here in the UK too . There are an awful lot of Now, Comico & Continuity comics floating around (I believe all had short newstand distribution deals with DC), and I've even seen issues of Eightball in one remainder store!

Joel Bryan said...

Peter Bagge is one of my all-time faves, somewhere south of Kirby but up there.

Keep up the MMA stuff too.

Joel Bryan said...

Oh... and Jack Kirby would be very disappointed in my friends and me, but back in the days of the 3-pack, we used to tear them open and just steal the good comics and leave the dross.

I'm not proud of it all these years later, but thinking about 3-packs brings back these memories.

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