So, you see, I have been reading Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin blog for, well, a decade or so. OK, almost fifteen years. Anyhow. Mike is owner of Sterling Silver Comics in Camarillo, California, and his business was not so much affected by the COVID-19 restrictions as it was Diamond distributors not providing new comics to sell. (Makes sense, as some states were closing places up, and so many stores would be affected by long-time customers deciding to buy from some online place. Mike's a cool guy, he has an affection for Swamp Thing (as do we all), and he is always willing to let me ramble on the phone with him while he's trying to help other customers. So here's the thing, he's selling store items the sort of old-fashioned way, only more like garage sales of the future. Think of Instagram as The Pennysaver. He's also selling 30 comics for $20.00 and considering the average comic now is $3.99, well, you do the math. Because I can't. That's why I became a writer. So I went and ordered me some mystery books. I also, for good measure, had Mike send my buddy (and long ago SFWAO editor) Mike Olson a copy of the Watchmen trade.
Going back to the title of this post, I'm being a good consumer and giving money to a store owner who needs it, instead of blowing the $20 on Amazon. And every day, Mike also pays it forward by doing his blog. He's very witty, and often talks about his early days working at another comic shop in Ventura called Ralph's. We are about a decade apart in age, and so his posts often remind me of my days working at a comic shop on Archer and Ridgeway in the early 90s, also known as the decade of the Extreme. I took photos, just because some of you might enjoy the covers and such. And if you are looking to give a gift to some neighbor kid or one of your own, think about Sterling Silver's great deal in this scary time.