AMERICAN ENTERTAINMENT DOOMSDAY AD

Anyone that lived through collecting comics in the early ’90s (or listened to the Knightquest coverage over at Hey Kids, Comics! hosted by Andrew and Micheal Leyland) will be familiar with the mail order ad that appeared in just about every super-hero book I have ever seen from that era.  The company’s name changed over the years but by the time Doomsday rolled around it was called American Entertainment and its “job” was to get you to buy the latest “hot” comic.

The Superman books hardly ever appeared in this ad.  For the bulk of 1989 the company promoted the Batman titles and then moved on to the X-Men and Spider-Man when Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane soared to near rock star status.  By the time this particular ad saw print American Entertainment was still big on the X-Men but were promoting Image and Valiant Comics as well because those were the previously mentioned “hot” comics and by “hot” comics they really meant, “these are comics that will (supposedly) be worth money some day so you really should buy them now because you can then sell them later for a huge mark up like we plan on doing!”

Ah the speculators.  One part of why the comics industry crashed in 1993.  Not the sole reason but an important ingredient in that messed up stew.

It took Superman dying for him to actually make it into an ad and here is what that looked like.

With the exception of Superman: The Man of Steel #17 those prices aren’t that bad.  Two of them are fifty cents above cover price while the others are only twenty-five cents more than you would pay on the stands, which isn’t much of a mark-up.  Also you get twenty percent off, so they are slightly less than cover price.  Then again you have to factor in shipping costs so the final price goes back above what you would pay at the shops or on the newsstands

Wow, I just talked myself out of thinking that these prices were decent.  And you got to see it happen.

Whatever the case the prices, now that I really look at them, are not unreasonable and if you lived in an area that didn’t have a comic shop close by this may be the only way you would be able to get any of these comics.  Then again I remember Chase, former co-host of 2 in 1 Showcase, telling a story about his experiences with American Entertainment, which you can here all the way back in their fourth episode.

Be warned…the story is a bit heart breaking.

Next time: Something really cool.  Actually the start of something really cool because it is going to take me a few days to post everything.  It is awesome though so stay tuned.

More to follow…

SUPERMAN SEGA GENESIS AD (WITH VIDEOS!)

Of all the Superman related ads that were run during the Doomsday story arc this one always made me curious.

I never had a Sega Genesis and the one guy I knew that owned one never got this game, so it has always eluded me.  Not as much as the Nintendo Superman game, which Sears always advertised but never, ever had no matter how many times my parents would try to order it but that is beside the point.  Thanks to the wonders of YouTube and a few people willing to post videos about the Sega game I was finally able to see what it was like.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrefUgijedY

And once again Superman gets shafted in the video game department.

Don’t get me wrong.  The graphics aren’t bad.  I especially like the Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez looking Superman flying out of the phone booth.  It is the game play that looks utterly disappointing.  Not only is it a typical side-scroller but once again we have a game where the lead character is invulnerable but still can be “hurt” by things that should not be able to hurt him.  On a more positive note I liked the shot of the ’90s era Brainiac in the Game Over screen.  That was cool.

Here’s another video with commentary and more game play.  The reviewer does drop a few expletives so be warned if you are sensitive to such things, checking this blog out at work or have little ones around.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAvYn65JSV4

So it looks like Superman fights the Prankster at the end of that first level.  Again, that’s cool but not enough to save the game.  I do plan to track down a copy at some point but that’s because I like collecting Superman merchandise.  To be fair if I had a working Sega Genesis I would even pop the game in just to see how it plays even if I know it would be extremely disappointing. 

It could be worse, though.  It could be this…

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U94CPpM-flo

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9t_tAGKKkQ

Or this…

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7U2TFIayos

At least I will always have Superman: Shadow of Apokolips to play on our Playstation 2.  While the final boss battle was disappointing that was one fun Superman game.

Next time: Some more fun with house ads as we head closer and closer to Superman #75.

More  follow…

MORE SUPERMAN HOUSE ADS 1990/1991

The house ads I posted the other day went over better than I thought they would so here are some more going back to 1990/1991.

This is not only an interesting re-coloring of the cover to Superman (Vol. 2) #40 but a solid way to tease/advertise a storyline.  You have a guy that looks like Superman wearing a strange looking outfit in front of a funky looking alien wearing the Superman symbol with the words, “SUPERMAN OF TOMORROW?” floating above them.  I have no idea how effective this ad was but it looks very cool.  I hope it did bring in some readers.  The Day of the Krypton Man story arc was a solid read.

This is a pretty basic ad but Superman looks good.  I wish he was a little larger in the image but I guess the point of the whole thing is to promote Earth Day and not Superman.  Superman is an interesting choice for an ad like this.  I guess they were going for a recognizable character.  Personally I would have put in Swamp Thing but maybe that’s just me.

I like the Atlas feel this ad has going for it.  The story wasn’t my favorite but it featured some gorgeous Kerry Gammill art in it.  There were even some echoes of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, which Jeffrey and I poked a little fun at when we covered this special on From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast.

Next time: A bit of YouTube fun.

More to follow…

FCTC EPISODE 121: DOOMSDAY PART 3

Episode 121: Doomsday Part 3

Welcome to the one hundred and twenty-first episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast!  This podcast has a simple premise; examine just about every Superman comic published between Man of Steel #1 in 1986 to Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006 in an informative and hopefully entertaining format.

Part index.  Part commentary.  Part history lesson.  All podcast.

The epic coverage of the Death and Return of Superman continues this week with the fourth and fifth parts of Doomsday.  Mike and Jeff kick things off with what was supposed to be a brief history lesson that turned out to be not so brief at all.  In any case they go over the real world origin of the death of Superman and how word of the story hit the media and caused a sensation.  After that the action continues in Adventures of Superman #497 where Superman and eventually Maxima battle against Doomsday in a small town with explosive results.  This is followed by Action Comics #684 where there is more fighting and Doomsday gets sucked into professional wrestling.  Finally the boys go over the ads that appeared in this month’s batch of issues and tell you what other titles were on the stands when these comics were published.

You can subscribe to the show in two ways. First there is the RSS Feed and there is also the iTunes link.

If you want to comment on the show or contact the hosts you can always private message Mike and Jeff, at the Superman Homepage, leave comments here or at the Homepage or here or email them by clicking this link.  All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome.

Next time: Nothing of consequence happens in either Superman: The Man of Steel #19 or Superman #75.

Nope.  Nothing special about those books at all.

Except for the fact that a major character dies.

Other than that these issues have no historical value whatsoever.

CHRISTMAS 2011: THE HAUL

(We interrupt our regular programming to bring you pictures that prove that my wife is amazing and knows me all to well.  The Doomsday coverage continues in the next post.  For now sit back, relax and check out the awesome stuff I got for Christmas this year.)

Gong back to our very first Christmas together (when she bought me a bunch of the Kay-Bee exclusive JLA action figures) my wife Rachel has managed to find me cool comic book related presents.  Last year she tracked down a lot of neat stuff that were equal parts stuff I wanted and stuff I didn’t even know existed.  This year…this year she outdid herself.

Bring on the pictures!

At Rachel’s suggestion we have recently “gone green” at least in terms of carrying our own shopping bags when we head to the store.  Rachel recently bought some pagan and witchy related bags for herself so she decided to get me some of my own by decorating and/or making them.

That last one is very impressive.  It is a small backpack that she made out of a Superman bed sheet.  Because she’s talented like that.

Go below the cut for more pictures.

Continue reading CHRISTMAS 2011: THE HAUL

SUPERMAN HOUSE ADS CIRCA 1991/1992

I hope that everyone that celebrates the holiday had a very merry Christmas yesterday.  As I type this I am about an hour or so away from opening presents and if I get any cool Superman related gifts I will take pictures and post them here.  My wife did wrap the bulk of my gifts in the Superman Returns wrapping paper we bought several rolls of back in 2006 when then movie came out because finding Superman wrapping paper is often…difficult.  Every year there are rolls and rolls of Spider-Man wrapping paper at Wal-Mart and Target but Superman continually gets the shaft.  I guess we’ll be stocking up again in 2013 unless the merchandising people suddenly think it would be a good idea to get Superman out there in the public consciousness before the movie hits.

A man can dream.

Anyway, today I thought it would be fun to post some of the DC House ads for the Superman books that started popping up around 1991 or so when the fourth title, Superman: The Man of Steel was added to the publishing roster.  Technically they aren’t related to Doomsday but they do reflect the evolution of the Superman titles from four separate comic books to what could be considered a weekly Superman series., which is one of the elements that made the Death and Return of Superman so special.  Also, Superman didn’t get many house ads during this time period so it was neat to see them when they showed up.

Enjoy, comment and if you like what you see share this post through Facebook and Twitter!

More to follow…

MERRY NON-DOOMSDAY CHRISTMAS!

Back in 2008 I made a post around Christmas time pertaining to this plate.  It is a bit…raw in terms of humor but it is now a tradition so here we go.

Enjoy and know that I am probably going to Hell for his.

Superman has a rather pleasant look on his face and is inviting Batman to come in.  Secretly he’s thinking, “Great Rao, Bruce, stop being such a mopey S.O.B and join the party.”

Why is Plastic Man giving Hal Jordan a back rub?

Plastic Man is also checking out Superman’s behind.  It’s why he wears the sunglasses, by the way.  That way he can just stare and stare and no one will notice.

Hawkman is not having a good time because Hawkman NEVER has a good time.  (Apologies to my friend Luke on this one.)

Hawkgirl is about five seconds from telling Carter that he needs to get the mace out of his ass and have a good time or so help her Ra she is leaving him and shaking up with Green Arrow.  She doesn’t care that Green Arrow is with Dinah because secretly Dinah’s into that kind of thing and Hawkgirl knows this.

Wonder Woman is enjoying herself because the pagan nature of the Christmas tree appeals to her upbringing.

Aquaman really wants to ask Zatana out.  Zatana doesn’t even know he’s alive.

Zatana…I really have nothing here.  Zatana is just having a good time and misses her Dad.  I mean he’s dead, right?  Has DC retconned that yet?

Captain Marvel doesn’t get any of the jokes that Ollie tells, but he laughs anyway so he doesn’t look like a dork.

Barry so wants to call him out on that.

Ollie is secretly thinking how awesome it would be to bag Hawkgirl and Black Canary at the same time and be part of a Pretty Bird Sandwich.

Dinah wants to leave Ollie for Hawkgirl.

What…in the hell…is Red Tornado drinking?

J’onn is on his fifth Manhattan and is getting to be a bit of a jerk.

Batman is thinking about how he is an orphan at Christmas time.  Because Batman is ALWAYS thinking about the fact that he is an orphan and everyone wants to tell him to knock that crap off but he has those files on how to kill them so they keep quiet and Batman really, really likes that.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

ANOTHER DEATH OF SUPERMAN ANNOUNCEMENT ARTICLE

As usual…the bullet points:

  • Once again we get a pretty crass opening.  This isn’t surprising but man is it getting annoying.  Yes it is odd to be annoyed by something that happened nearly twenty years ago but I have been reading a lot of these articles for the first time so my reactions are fresh even if the material is not.  It makes me sad that we really haven’t gotten past this sort of patronizing subtext to any national story about the Man of Steel.
  • Hey, a reference to the old Batman series.  That was surprising to see in a story about comic books from this time period and when I write, “surprising” I mean surprising in that not at all sort of way.
  • Once again we get the Mike Carlin, “We don’t know what death means to a Kryptonian,” quote.  It is getting to be comforting at this point.
  • This article was from the Springfield News-Leader, a paper out of Spingfield, Missouri.  J. David Weter (host of PADSMASH: An Incredible Hulk Podcast and co-host of Superman in the Bronze Age with Charlie Niemeyer as well as Green Lantern’s Light with Michael Bradley and some guy named Jeffrey Taylor.) sent this to me.  David is a great guy, a huge Superman fan and a good friend.  Thanks, David!

Next week: More Doomsday related “fun”.

I am starting to feel uncomfortable calling it fun because Superman died and all but the responses I have been getting to these posts have been amazing (so keep them coming) and it has been a real treat to take this trip down memory lane.  So it is fun in a weird way.

More to follow…

NEWSDAY ARTICLE ABOUT THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN – ALTERNATE VERSION

Here, just for grins, is a few scans of another version of the Newsday article that broke the Death of Superman story, this time with Dan Jurgens artwork.

I guess this would be considered an abridged version of the article since it doesn’t have the quotes from Glenn Fischette.  Interesting.

Next time: More media coverage.

More to follow…

HEADLINE NEWS COVERAGE OF THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN

Here is another one of those things that reminds me how much the world has changed.  Today if you wanted to watch a national news station here in the United States you have a lot of options.  MSNBC, Fox News and CNN are all competing for viewers but back in 1992 it was pretty much CNN.  There were two versions of CNN at the time; normal CNN and CNN Headline News (or just plain old Headline News at times) which featured thirty minute loops of the most popular national and international headlines.  Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the Headline News piece on the death of Superman.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O34eASFp_KM

Some thoughts as piece played out:

  • The reporter handling the bulk of the piece (I heard her name but am not even going to try to spell it here) was really crass about the whole thing.  The “it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a corpse” thing really put me off right from the start.
  • It was weird to see the poster that was in the bagged version of Superman #75.  I am curious as to how they got a shot of that so early.
  • There were a lot of George Reeves and Kirk Alyn clips in this piece, which surprised me.  I figured there would be more Christopher Reeve.  Weird.
  • On a similar note it was interesting to see Jack Larsen in there.  Maybe the person putting the piece together really liked the old stuff.
  • I liked seeing the receptionist at DC Comics.
  • Hey, it’s Mike Carlin!
  • Jeffrey and I just covered the Superman Special and Superman #73 on From Crisis to Crisis, so it was cool to see those covers.
  • Could they find a single comic book reader in that store that liked Superman?  I know it was 1992 when the X-Men and Image Comics were the “hot” books but someone there must have liked Superman.  Either that or they just didn’t care to find one because it wouldn’t fit the tone of the story.
  • I was unaware that Infinity War was a dark super-hero.  Sloppy reporting there.
  • So that’s why they kept using the older footage.  To make Superman seem old.  It is all so clear to me now.
  • The sound bites from the other people in the comic shop they visited, including the owner, makes me realize that things really haven’t changed all that much in terms of how fans talk when they come to pick up their books.
  • Wow, they actually referenced the death of the Phantom Zone villains.  Wish they could have done so without making it seem as if Superman choosing not to kill was a bad thing.
  • More to the point Superman was pretty ruthless in his early days, but why do research?
  • Not to pick on a little kid, but there is something amusing about a young boy with his shirt buttoned all the way to the top calling someone else a dork.
  • Wow, the Blaze/Satanus War sure got some love there at the end.

Honestly this is the sort of reporting I expect to see about comic books, not only today but back then as well.  I know that not every news piece on television, the Internet and in print treats the subject of comics as being kind of silly but this one sure did.  Then again this is probably what they thought the general public wanted to see, so I really don’t know who to be annoyed at.

It was interesting to find, though.  I will say that.

Next time: More articles announcing Superman’s death.

More to follow…