dc_twix_adWhile it might not be the biggest comics-related news of the week, it was an item that particularly infuriated us: the confirmation that DC Comics would be running half-page ads on two comic pages in their June comics.

While the news isn’t as dire as the original rumor made things out to be, putting advertising on comic pages even for just a month is potentially a slippery slope. So we talk about not just being enraged by more and more intrusive advertising, but the effect that accepting half-page ads could have on comic storytelling, story length, creator compensation, the secondary comics art market, and worst of all: people thinking that Twix is an acceptable candy choice.

This week also brought us the end of DC’s Convergence event. Which, as promised, seems to have opened up the entirety of DC’s history to modern storytellers… but at what cost? We talk about Brainiac’s passive characterization at the end of the story, and more importantly, DC’s seeming off-camera utter nullification of one of the biggest and arguably most important comic stories of all time.

We also talk about:

  • Fight Club 2 #1, written by Chuck Palahniuk with art by Cameron Stewart,
  • Grindhouse #5: Lady Danger: Agent of B.O.O.T.I, written by Alex De Campi with art by Mulele Jarvis, and:
  • Where Monsters Dwell #1, written by Garth Ennis with art by Russ Braun!

And now the standard disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like Rob’s discussion with beloved and abused parts of his anatomy.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we are not following the first rule of Fight Club.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to hear about some slightly shadier (and made up) Twix products? Trust me, you do not. Get some headphones.
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secret_wars_teaser_alex_rossIt is Mother’s Day today, which means a somewhat shorter and truncated show this week. Because when you’re a son or a daughter, you need to honor your mother on Mother’s Day. And it turns out that you need to do that whether you remember she’s visiting that day, or whether they need blind telephone technical support for several hours. Because she’s the woman who gave birth to you, and saying, “But we have a podcast to record!” isn’t a good excuse. Particularly when you don’t want Mom to know that you have a podcast.

So this week, we take advantage of the fact that Convergence is half over to discuss the previews of post-Convergence books, both new and old, that DC has released this week. The books run the gamut from humor to sci-fi to action to apparent political horror, so we talk about Doomed, Red Hood and Arsenal, Starfire, Midnighter, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Omega Men, Detective Comics, Section Eight, and Prez.

But the big deal in this week’s comics was the first issue of Marvel’s Secret Wars, where Jonathan Hickman spits on his hands and takes Marvel the whole Crisis route. However, Secret Wars #1 isn’t Crisis. So we talk about how Hickman has put Marvel through it’s own Kobayashi Maru test, and given us a superhero story where nobody acts like a superhero, everyone seems to act in their own self-interest, and heroes act like they never have before in order to make sure everyone’s in the right place to service the plot. Ultimately, we talk about how this is a story that is very consistent with Hickman’s general style… and how that might not be the best thing for some of these characters.

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like speculation about the musky flavor profile of Dead Guy Whiskey.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that you are going to learn exactly why Reed Richards is a d**k.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to learn our new cocktails based on Dead Guy Whiskey, get some headphones.
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c2e2_logoWe conclude our coverage of C2E2 2015 with a recap of the Caped Crusaders, Dynamic Duos and Darkest Knight panel (or just the Batman panel when it’s at home), featuring Batman writer Scott Snyder as moderator, with Batman Eternal writer James Tynion IV, Detective Comics writer Brian Buccallato, Gotham by Midnight writer Ray Fawkes, and the upcoming Robin: Son of Batman writer / artist Patrick Gleason.

So in this episode, we bring you a ton of audio clips of these guys (well, mostly Scott Snyder) talking about upcoming storylines in Detective Comics, Gotham by Midnight and Robin: Son of Batman… but at the time of this panel, we were only four days away from the conclusion of Batman: Endgame in the core Batman title, and only a week away from the debut of the new “RoboBunny” Batman in DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering, Divergence. So we feature a bunch of clips of Snyder and company talking about the new Batman, the process in creating him, the reasoning behind the new direction, and a few new tidbits about him that you might not have heard elsewhere, all from the mouths of the creators!

And, since Batman #40 has been released since this panel, we not only feature several clips of Snyder talking about what Batman: Endgame means to him, but we review and discuss the issue!

Thanks for listening to our C2E2 coverage. We return to our normal weekly schedule on Sunday, May 3rd, with an episode about Avengers: Age of Ultron, featuring a couple of very cool guests!

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c2e2_logoWe are back in Boston after attending day two of C2E2 2015, and let me tell you: Saturday at that convention is a very different experience than Friday. The crowds are much, much bigger, the cosplayers are everywhere (you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Deadpool… note to self: try to sell Deadpool’s Pet: Dead Cat idea to Marvel), and the drunken rubberneckers began to rear their ugly heads.

But there were also cool creators to meet, awesome purchases to make (unless the purchase you want to make is, completely by accident, related to a major Hollywood announcement, in which case you were all out of luck), and some solid panels to attend. So we talk a little bit about the C2E2 Saturday experience in general, the Secret Wars: Last Days and Batman panels specifically, and why a certain Chicago restaurant will never be visited again in unfortunate detail.

Again, this is just another brief recap show. We will publish a detailed recap of the convention, including a lot of panel audio, tomorrow or Tuesday.

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convergence_supermanDC’s Convergence event is almost upon us, so news about the soft reboot is coming fast and furious. And this week, that news included pictures of new costumes destined to be worn by Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. And there’s just something about a costume redesign that drives comics fans into screeching frenzies of either hate or excitement, isn’t there?

So we discuss not only the new costumes (and speculate on the circumstances that make them necessary), but superhero costume changes in general, including when they have and haven’t worked, and which ones have spun us up the most in our 40 years of reading comics (hi, Fall From Grace armored Daredevil!)

We also discuss:

  • Howard The Duck #1, written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Joe Quinones, and:
  • Southern Cross #1, written by Becky Cloonan and drawn by Andy Belanger!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning the definition of “Batman’s Old Fashioned Texas Love Tubes.”
  • This show has a lot of spoilers. While we make an effort to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we could ruin certain plot points. Like whether or not Howard is, in fact, a duck.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to hear speculation about where Wi-Fi Barbie keeps her antenna? of course not. Get some headphones.
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dc_comics_logo_2013After another week of snow in Boston, we are half-insane from seeing the same four walls, but we have braved rolling blizzards, loud workmen and sporadic Internet outages to bring you a discussion about DC’s new publishing strategy!

It’s not quite a reboot, and it’s not quite an Implosion, but it seems like an attempt to step back from three years of tightly-enforced continuity, to roll back a few missteps introduced in the 2011 reboot (Hi, Starfire!), and to welcome new readers of demographics other than middle-aged white people. However, considering we are both middle-aged white people, this move means different things to each of us, so we try to hash out how we feel about the idea.

We also discuss:

  • Miracleman #15, written by Alan Moore (we’ll call you “The Original Writer” once your check clears, Alan) with art by John Totleben, and:
  • The Goon: Once Upon A Hard Time #1, written and drawn by Eric Powell!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show love to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also mean that anything can happen. Like an intense discussion about scotch that has been sent into space.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that at the very least, we will be spoiling a story that was originally published in 1988 (and seriously, you should buy and read Miracleman #15).
  • This show contains profane, explicit language, and is therefore not safe for work. Blame it on the Space Scotch and cabin fever if you must, but get some headphones.
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holy_fck_1_coverPicture, if you will, a comic book about a world where old gods hide in the shadows. They have amassed monetary wealth and earthly power, and they plan to use it to force humanity to worship them again… by fomenting Armageddon on Earth, and then saving the last surviving dregs of humanity, who will worship the Old Ones while envying the dead. A world where the only one who can save us is a simple nun. Oh, yeah: and Jesus. Who rides a Harley. And carries a machine gun. And enjoys the use of stimulants and prostitutes. Oh, and I forgot: Satan’s there, too. And he and Jesus have a history. In the Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel sense of the word.

Sound like a fun comic? Well, it actually exists, and this week, we’re excited to have as our special guests: Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa, the co-creators of Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint’s newest comic: Holy F*ck!

Nick and Daniel spent a little time with us to talk about the book, its origins, how they came to collaborate on the book, how it found a home at Action Lab, and what you can expect from this story of Jesus and Satan against the old gods (hint: there are no helicopters). We also extensively discuss the use of specialty hairpieces in the pursuit of comics work. It’s a damn fun interview.

In addition, Amanda and I talk about:

  • Dan DiDio’s ongoing series of Facebook posts recapping his 13-year history at DC Comics,
  • Star Wars #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by John Cassaday, and:
  • Constantine #21, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Jeremy Haun!

And the obligatory disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape (although we recorded our interview with Nick and Daniel separately, and then cut it into the remainder of the show). As such, it might be a little looser than other comics podcasts you are used to, but it also means that anything can happen. Like a detailed description of Zeus’s man-nipples.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout warnings ahead of time, just assume we’re going to ruin every ending you ever cared about.
  • This show contains adult, profane languange, and is therefore not safe for work. We interview guys who created a book called Holy F*ck, guys; unless you want your boss to hear a discussion about Jesus’s and Satan’s special relationship, get some headphones.

A few other things we want to point out:

Nick and Daniel did a few short comics about what Jesus has been up to between Good Friday and Holy F*ck, if you want to get a taste of the book:

The first two issues are available at Comixology, and:

While we were talking, Nick put together and sent us a drawing that is relevant to our discussion, the comic and the title of this show:

clownmerkin

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batman_37_variant_coverIt’s the week before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… including anyone who might generate much in the way of comics news.

However! DC sneaked a bunch of cancellations into their March solicitations, including a few books that have been around since the start of the New 52. And since it is a slow news week, and since March is the last month before the Convergence event brings all of DC’s eras into the spotlight, and since we are comic geeks who like to speculate, we take the opportunity to review the cancellations and talk about what DC might have in mind post-Convergence.

And since Christmas is right around the corner, we take the opportunity to reminisce about the geek and genre-related toys that we were given as children back in the 70s and the 80s. We hit some of the biggies, like Maskatron, the Millennium Falcon playset, Energized Spider-Man, Magnetic Batman and Robin… and in Amanda’s case, everything a child might need for a life on the Hobo Trail.

And finally, we discuss:

  • Justice League #37, written by Geoff Johns with art by Jason Fabok, and:
  • Batman #37, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo!

And the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While that mean a looser show than you are used to from other comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen. Like an unexpected reminiscence about a shattered childhood.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout a warning ahead of time, proceed with caution.
  • This show contains adult, explicit language, and is therefore not safe for work. However, there’s every chance you’re on vacation for Christmas this week, and if not, maybe Santa will bring you a new set of headphones.
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Oh, and here’s that sweet, sweet Rob Liefeld jeans ad from the early 90s:

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star_wars_logoThe first Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens teaser trailer dropped on Friday. It’s 88 seconds long, it features less than half of that in new footage, it gives us almost no story context… and it’s enough to get the geek world shrieking like teenagers at a One Direction concert.

So we talk about the trailer: why it was so effective, the smart choices director J. J. Abrams made to turn Generation X’ers all giddy like, well, teenagers at a One Direction concert, and how 88 seconds was all it took to change our opinions about the upcoming movie from ambivalence to legitimate anticipation.

We also discuss the solicits for week three of DC’s Convergence event. This round, which drops on April 22nd, seems to feature versions of DC heroes from before Crisis On Infinite Earths, with antagonists from the Tangent Universe. So sit back, relax, and hear about a week designed to somehow simultaneously appeal to 50-year-olds and Millennials!

We also talk about:

  • Gotham By Midnight #1, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Ben Templesmith, and:
  • Spider-Man 2099 #6, written by Peter David with art by Will Sliney!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics than you might be used to, it also means anything can happen. Like comparing Teen Titan Jericho to a specific form of intestinal distress.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout warnings ahead of time, consider this your master caution alarm.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Don’t be a filthy Jericho; get yourself some headphones.
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multiversity_pax_americana_1_coverThe world of comics is big, complex, and sometimes even literary… and we are not. So we open this show talking about the return of Underoos. Which might sound frivolous, but when you consider that those underwear packs were the only place we middle-aged geeks could get a decent superhero t-shirt in the late 70s, it means something to us.

In addition, we also talk about the radical change in Batgirl to appeal to younger readers, we talk about whether that re-imagining of the character was the right way to go, and what other efforts the Big Two publishers might use to attract readers who aren’t middle-aged white guys with massive disposable incomes. We cover reboots like Batgirl’s, new characters in old costumes like Ms. Marvel, and the good old days, when Avengers and Justice League were places where new and B-List characters could get a fair shake at building a fanbase that could maybe carry a solo title for them.

We also go over the recently announced week two books of DC’s Convergence event, speculate on which titles seem most likely to hold hints about the permanence of this event, and again despair why some creators are on books that don’t seem like the best possible fit (why is Keith Giffen not writing Justice League International, for the love of God?).

And finally, we talk about:

  • Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, written by Grant Morrison with art by Frank Quitely, and:
  • Spider-Verse #2, written by Dan Slott with art by Olivier Coipel!

And now the disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape (There is one edit in this week’s episode to cover when I nearly revealed my secret identity). While this might mean a looser show than other comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen. Like mangling the name of a classic comic to make it sound like Green Arrow is a gentleman of leisure who favors baseball bats.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to yell out warnings ahead of time, be aware that they can come at any time.
  • We use adult, profane language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. Unless you, like Green Arrow, are a gentleman of leisure, consider wearing headphones.
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