american_psycho_coverIt has been a weird couple of weeks here in the United States. Any week where the honest-to-God news in your local newspaper is more contentious, rancorous and secret identity-obsessed than your average comic book is one where talking about what comic creators are skipping what conventions in which American states, and which writers are retiring from what social networks feels redundant at best and depressing at worst.

But the good news is that, here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, we learned long ago that’s it’s an unwise decision to publicly discuss religion, politics, or inappropriate self-love over Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. The bad news is that we forgot one of those truisms during this episode. The answer will (probably not) surprise you!

Either way, we decided this would be a good time to take the long view and just talk about this week’s comics. Well, about this week’s comics, about how very different stories can come from similar ideas, and about unreliable narrators. So we discuss:

  • Spider-Man #9, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by NIco Leon,
  • Batman #11, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin,
  • Demonic #4, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Niko Walter, and:
  • Kill or Be Killed #4, written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know if Dylan from Kill or Be Killed kills or is killed, then skip this show (and next month’s Image Comics solicitations).
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Do you think your mom wants to know what happens to a Daisy Buchanan when she’s bitten by a radioactive Gatsby (Spoilers: she gets greedy and whiny)? Then get some headphones.

And please note: from here on out, we will be publishing the podcast on Mondays, rather than Sundays. Thanks for sticking with us!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

guardians_of_the_galaxy_movie_posterWe have safely returned from San Diego Comic-Con 2014, so Amanda and I do a final postmortem of the experience… as we prepare to turn right back around to attend and cover Boston Comic Con next weekend.

We also discuss:

  • The new Guardians of The Galaxy movie and how it is one of Marvel Studios best… while still not being perfect,
  • Guardians of The Galaxy #17, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Nick Bradshaw and Michael Avon Oeming, and
  • Fatale #24, written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips!

And now, the legalese:

  • This podcast is recorded live to tape. This might mean more pauses and rough spots than you might be used to in a comics podcast, but it also means that anything can happen.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to warn before dropping them, be aware that they might come at any time.
  • Amanda and I use adult, profane language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. Dr. Dre didn’t spend 18 bucks on research and development for you to listen to podcasts on speakers.

As an aside, this episode is our first show as a member of the Comics Podcast Network. It’s a cool site that features nothing but podcasts about comics and comic culture. We’ve found a few killer shows there that we like listening to, and we’re excited to be joining their ranks. Check them out to find other viewpoints about our favorite hobby!

Enjoy the show, suckers!

fatale_11_cover_2013Most of the time, there’s only really two reasons that I can give people to pick up Fatale, written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips, on an issue-by-issue basis rather than the trades. The first is that, even though up until now the stories in Fatale have been hugely decompressed, and arguably best read in one sitting as in a trade paperback reprint, buying individuals comics helps keep titles going and give you the chance to actually get a trade. But the second is the backmatter: essays by Jess Nevens- the guy who does the annotations for Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volumes – about the pulp horror stories, authors and magazines that form the influence of Fatale.

Yeah, well, forget all that shit, because neither one of them is true about Fatale #11. There is no backmatter in this issue, due to the vagaries of the holiday publishing schedule, and this issue isn’t really part of a long arc. Oh sure, the story features Josephine, the haunted femme fatale who makes men do anything she wants for some as-yet unknown reasons (although that rack probably helps, am I right, fellas? Hello? Is this thing on?), and we get to see Alfred Ravenscroft, the H. P. Lovecraft-inspired author of Elder Gods-style tales who has been a presence throughout the book until now, but for the most part, this issue is a one-and-done about how those two characters meet for the first time. And while it helps to know who these characters in order to fully enjoy the story, for once, it’s not utterly necessary. If you’ve been missing Fatale, this issue is a reasonable place to jump in for short money and get to know Josephine, her power and how she effects people, and some of the underpinnings of the greater story at large.

So if you’ve had any interest in checking out Fatale but haven’t gotten in on the ground floor, this is as good a place to give it a shot as any… but does that mean it’s any good?

Promo cover for Fatale #1, written by Ed Brubaker with pencils by Sean PhillipsI am probably not the best person in the world to review Ed Brubaker’s and Sean Phillips’s Fatale, because I’ve spent the past several months, on my wretched morning commute, plowing through old crime and detective novels. Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Richard Stark; basically anything with a meaty crime in the middle of it that isn’t a comic book, if only so I dont have to attract a conversation with a comic book fan on a city bus. Have you seen us? We can be… awkward. But I digress.

The point is that someone like me would be the prime audience for Fatale, which if distilled down to its elevator pitch would be: “Philip Marlowe vs. the Cult of Cthulhu and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, provided Brigid’s powers of seduction were somehow supernatural in nature as opposed to the half-decent set of jugs that women need to seduce dudes in real life, by which I mean it’s okay if she only has one.”

So in short, I generally liked this book a lot… but someone like me is supposed to.

Promo cover for Fatale #1, written by Ed Brubaker with pencils by Sean PhillipsAt Friday’s Creator-Owned Comics panel at the New York Comic Con, hosted by Robert Kirkman, who is arguably the poster boy for creator-owned books what with his walking away from Marvel at the height of his popularity and his 427 bazillion dollars of Walking Dead TV money, announced that Image Comics will be producing Fatale, a supernatural crime book by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, the creative team behind Criminal, Sleeper and Incognito.

Tell us about the book, Ed!

“I’ve been wanting for a while to do something with a more supernatural element to it… ‘Fatale’ mixes what [Sean and I] do and all the ways we’ve poked fun at the noir genre. If ‘Incognito’ was us doing ‘What if Doc Savage, Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler had all existed in the same universe?’ then this is a weird combo of James M. Cain and Lovecraft…

The story involves all these characters that spin around a woman who may or may not be the living incarnation of the femme fatale. Parts of the story are told from her point of view.

I’m gonna let you insert your own Cthuhlu / tentacle porn joke here. Because I am one classy motherfucker.