Just Read … Howard the Duck #3


This is the conclusion to the first story of this new series, and I’m happy to say I have enjoyed it quite a bit.

It isn’t the original Howard. But it is funny satirical and sometimes sweet — which is at least somewhat like the original.

This Howard is rooted in the Marvel Universe more than he used to be. The fires he faces are familiar to readers of other books, but maybe in a lighter tone. That’s actually an welcome change.

The Gwen-pool back up story was good but a little to short.

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Walking dead #150 variant covers announced

BIG NEWS FOR WALKING DEAD FANS! This week, Image Comics has decided that Walking Dead #150 will have 3 additional variant covers (A variant cover is the same issue with a different cover than the standard one).

This means that in addition to the already solicited Walking Dead #150 Adlard cover (standard) and the blank varia nt there will be a cover by Tony Moore, Ryan Ottley and Jason Latour. You can see them all here: http://www.thewalkingdead.com/the-walking-dead-150-variants/
If you have an account with us we can add these books to your list if you email me at rubbermalletcomics@gmail.com (include your full name in the email). 

If you don’t have an account with us, why not start one?

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Just read … Paper Girls 3

This story just gets better and crazier. Set in the 80s, our heroes are a group of newspaper delivering teen girls. Aliens? Dinosaurs? Robots? Time travelers? At this point it could be all that or something else completely…

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Just read … I Hate Fairyland #2

  Unyielding carnage perpetrated by a little girl trapped in a fantasy wonderland for 37 years drawn by one of the best “cartoony” artists out there today. What’s not to love?

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Just read… Batman & Robin Eternal #9

Going to try to make this blog more active by posting my thoughts on books I just finished reading. No spoilers, just a short reflective comment.

I did NOT see that last page coming. So far I think Batman & Robin Eternal is superior to Batman Eternal.

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So this is our fourth Free Comic Book Day (FCBD), and the third anniversary of our grand opening! Time is flying, folks!

For those of you who are unaware, FCBD is a nationwide (worldwide, maybe?) event that comic shops everywhere give away specially marked comics to anyone who comes to the store on that day. It’s always the first Saturday of May.


Rubber Mallet Comics will be opening at 10AM that morning. That’s when the Free Comics will be made available (3 per person, only 1 copy of any particular title). If the weather is good, they will be outside, along with our Clearance Back Issues, Collections & Graphic Novels. Folks who purchase anything on FCBD will get to choose an additional 3 FCBD books.

FCBD Book supplies are limited and when they are gone, they are gone.

Prior to FCBD, we will give all our customers who have a standing order for Marvel’s “Secret Wars” a copy of the FCBD “Secret Wars 0”. We will give all of our Convergence, Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman subscribers a copy of DC Comic’s FCBD “Divergence”. A copy of Marvel Comics FCBD“All New All Different Avengers” will be given to people with standing orders for Avengers. The same goes for “Fight Club”, “Goon”, “Transformers” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” subscribers, as they also have FCBD books. Those books will be in their pull file for pickup any time after 10AM Saturday. These issues do not count to your 3 book limit on FCBD, but we do ask that you don’t double up on them.

FCBD/3rd Anniversary SALE!

While FCBD is a fun and exciting day, the Sales we plan will start on Wednesday, April 29, and end whenever we close on Saturday, May 2. After all, we know not all of you can get here on Saturday. This is what we have planned:

  • Half Price All New Graphic Novels in the store!
  • $2 for any back issues in the back issue, vintage & Variant boxes!
  • Huge savings on Action Figures and statues and games (It’ll be about 30%, but I’m just going to mark the prices on them to make it easier)
  • The Clearance Back Issues will be 10 cents each.
  • The Clearance Graphic Novels and collections will be $5 each, or BUY TWO GET ONE FREE!


As a lucky coincidence here at Rubber Mallet, the first Saturday of May is also the beginning of West Pittston’s Cherry Blossom Festival – an annual celebration of spring with awesome food and music set on the banks of the Susquehanna River.

But that isn’t the best part. The best part is that to kick off the Cherry Blossom Festival, they have a Cherry Blossom Parade – and we like to be a part of that. But to do that we need you!

If you are interested in marching with us in the Cherry Blossom Parade (in a costume, t-shirt or just a great pro-comic book attitude), let us know. Even if you decide last minute to join us, that’s cool too.

The parade is approximately 2 miles long and starts at Cenera Auto on Exeter Avenue and ends near the green bridge along Susquehanna Avenue. The parade starts up at noon, and the lineup starts 45 minutes before that (11:15 AM). If you decide to go right to the lineup location, we might be a tad late. Just look for the superhero costumes and join us!


We just don’t have the resources to shuttle people from the parade back to their cars, but maybe if we all work together, no one will be left behind without a ride. What I’d like to do is meet up in the parking lot near the store (the old CVS Store lot on the other side of Boston) before 11:00 AM so that anyone marching with us can work with others to arrange a ride after the parade.

If you have worked out a ride with others without our help – that’s great!


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I’ve added an option on the homepage of http://www.rmcomics.com that is called “NEW THIS WEEK” … I am pretty sure it will update with everything that is coming into the store on Wednesdays. If you go there on a Wednesday, it might be for next week … which means I’ll have to edit some text.

You can go to the webpage directly here: http://www.rmcomics.com/NewThisWeek.html


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Superman: Earth One, Volume 3 … That’s my Superman!

se1v3So, my favorite character from the super-hero world is Howard the Duck. My second is Plastic Man. After that, it goes mainstream with Superman followed closely by Spider-Man.

It’s a good thing I like some mainstream heroes, because stories of my favorites are few and far betwen (though as we’ve discussed, Howard is on his way back … and the “Convergence” story will give us a two part Plastic Man story! Yay!”)

One of the books that consistently has been knocking it out of the park as far as what I want to see in my hero books is J. Michael Straczynski’s “Superman: Earth One” series. And his latest volume (released last week) is no exception.

“Superman: Earth One” is a re-imagining of the Superman story for modern times, which is something they are doing in the “New 52” line with I reluctantly have to say a bit less success.

If you’ve never tried the Earth One series of books, they’re all actually quite fun. Batman has one volume so far (by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank!), with another scheduled for this year. Wonder Woman will have one before the end of the year (by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette!) and Teen Titans had their first volume published only a few months ago (by Jeff Lemire and Terry Dodson!). The hardcover format is very appealing if you like the way your books look as well as read (the paperbacks have the same cover art, but they don’t feel as cool — plus only Batman v1 and Superman v1 & v2 are available), and the art and the writers are always top knotch.

Straczynski is no newcomer to Superman, of course, but he has modernized his version of Superman without losing the essence of who Clark Kent/Cal El/Supeman has always been. Some tweaking of Martha’s personality, some adjustments to his relationships and his enemies … it’s not all that different, and yet it’s all new!

So far, we are very early in Superman’s career. He has been working in costume for only a few years at best and he has made some missteps (but only by doing too much to help by himself). He has friends but he’s still finding his footing around the Daily Planet. The world’s governments are getting concerned … and things go from there.

But even for a Superman still figuring out where he belongs in this world, there’s a faint whiff of the big blue boy scout, a solid core of the certainty of what is right and wrong from his honest Kansas upbringing and almost none of the darkness and fear that surrounds most of today’s heroes. Even when he is at his lowest – betrayed and lied to by the powers that be – at his core he believes that the people of his adopted home are good and can learn to trust him like he trusts them.

It’s corny and optimistic and bright and charming – everything I’ve always loved about Superman.

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Howard the Duck monthly again at Marvel Comics

Starting in March, Howard the Duck will once again be a monthly comic at Marvel. As some of you may know, Howard is one of my favorite characters (my favorite Marvel character by far. Plastic Man is my favorite DC character). I would prefer that Steve Gerber write his stories, but Gerber is unavailable until the zombie uprising, so I will accept that someone else has to do it to keep the little guy going.

I think the new writer, Chip Zdarsky , has a good feel for his character and it is my hope that some of the flavor of the original series can be captured. The art looks really great, that’s for sure!

Howard the Duck – a la 2015

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Dave Sim Called to say “Happy Birthday”


So, I’m getting super old tomorrow, and my buddy Matt Edwards arranged for Dave Sim to call me and wish me a happy birthday.

If you don’t know who Dave Sim is, well, then we need to talk. Dave Sim started a comic book called “Cerebus” in the golden age of independent comics — and kept going with a phenomenal 300 issues for the entire series.

The book was black and white with color covers, and what makes him different from independent creators of comics like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is that he did it all by himself. Well, he had help with the backgrounds from a guy called Gehard, but he didn’t just write and draw the bulk of the book, he took care of the whole printing and distribution business.

And he did most of it on time and he NEVER compromised quality.

He kept the whole story his. And while his book may not be for everyone, it was a treat and inspiration for me.

Nowadays, he has his hands in quite a few projects and will do a bit of work on covers or what-have-you. He is working on a new work that is a few years away (he just told me that! Scoop!) that could be artistically one of the biggest challenges of his life.

Dave Sim also was the first guy to pay me for my art. Back in the 90s, he was reprinting his books and was offering cash for a single page comic story (called “The Single Page”) and asked for submissions from all over. I did a very horrible little vanity strip about comic wish fulfillment and lo and behold I got a check in the mail. A few weeks later, I got a pile of Cerebus Church & State #25 WITH MY HORRIBLE COMIC STRIP IN IT!

Thus bolstered in artistic competence, I sent a comic strip idea to a local paper – AND THEY WENT FOR IT. For a pittance a week, I published “Drawing From Life” – a not as horrible vanity strip I drew for a year and a half. By that time, I got a job as Ad Compositor for the newpaper, and was eventually able to build that into a Technical Illustrator – a job I had for 14 years before starting the shop.

Anyway, I thought it was awesome! Thanks Dave! And Matt!

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