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.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

eric_powell_201372640893Editor’s Note: This article was written last night at around midnight Pacific time. It is only being uploaded now because the Internet access I paid my hotel $14 for was unable to keep a connection, what with everyone being back from the convention and presumably watching the hell out of Netflix on their iPads. The annual San Diego WiFi drought has begun in earnest.

I have attended San Diego Comic-Con for the past eight years, and today I saw cracks occur that I never remember seeing at previous conventions. First, there were the trains. The railroad tracks run right down the middle of the road in front of the San Diego Convention Center, and you learn pretty quickly to hear, then grow annoyed by, and then ignore the constant clanging of the trolley bells. The air horn of the freight trains, not so much, but the point is that generally, the trains are a loud and short term annoyance.

Generally, but not today. Both at lunchtime and at at 7 p.m. – prime time for people to be leaving the convention center – long-ass freight trains pulled up in front of the convention center and just fucking stopped. Thus blocking off the primary route between the center and the Gaslamp Village, where all the restaurants and half the hotels are, and turning the area in front of the intersection into a human clusterfuck so bumbling and useless that, if any of the local cosplayers were actually aliens, they would report to their overlords that the human race deserved to be wiped out like a termite nest.

Now I am not under any illusions that the people behind SDCC have any control over the schedule or driving of freight trains. But they do have some control over the clearing of rooms and the start times of panels, and of the three we attended today, two of them started late. With the earlier Avatar Comics panel (which I will likely write about tomorrow), the volunteer line wrangler told us that the panelists were delayed and at least kept us informed… while still preventing us from entering the room so we could sit the hell down.

But with the panel regarding the Kickstarter work on the proposed movie version of The Goon, no one told us a Goddamned thing. They lined us up in a weird accordion pattern, and when they realized that it was a much larger crowd than anyone anticipated (which seems a little odd; the project pulled in nearly half a million dollars on Kickstarter, which, since The Goon is a little indie comic, should indicate that the movie version has a little interest behind it), one of the volunteers tried to get people who intended to stay through the Goon panel into the following panel to split off into a different line, which is truly unprecedented in my SDCC experience… or at least it would have been if anyone paid any Goddamned attention at all to the poor, deluded dingbat. After all, Comic-Con runs on the ability of the truly obsessed to park in a panel room all day if they want to to see something in particular. Had someone implied that people waiting for a particular panel wait in a separate line until that particular panel started say, last year outside of Hall H, they would have found the guy floating face-down in the bay with his volunteer badge choked around his nuts and “Team Jacob” hammered into the flesh of his forehead.

So instead, we all waited in the same line until someone’s shit was finally gotten together at about 6:10 p.m. – ten minutes after the scheduled panel start time. Once inside, we waited another five minutes (my notes read, “Fifteen minutes late – this is not the Superman movie panel, motherfucker”) until The Goon creator Eric Powell, computer animation studio Blur Studios co-owner Tim Miller, and Blur Studios Animator / Director Jeff Fowler took the stage, to the side of a screen showing the world’s most simplistic Samsung DVD player main menu screen.

And where most movie panels open with some hype guy whipping the crowd into a frenzy, this one opened with Powell saying, “Since this is a Goon movie…” and cracking open a can of beer, “That Kickstarter is a hell of a drug.”

Yeah, this panel was not your average SDCC movie hype machine. Which makes sense, considering it is drumming up publicity for a movie that has been in development for five years, and still exists only as a dream that was given life support by a crowdfunding drive only strong enough to create a black and white animatic story reel, all in the hopes of attracting a real movie studio’s attention.

Shit, I’d be drinking, too.

new_years_ballIt is New Year’s Eve of the first complete year of the existence of Crisis On Infinite Midlives. We have all the comics we’re going to get in 2012, so it is time to publish my list of the best comics of the year… mostly because with no new comics, there isn’t much to review, and the biggest comics news we’re likely to get between now and Wednesday is likely to be “Frank Miller Publicly Intoxicated, Yells At ‘Hippies.’ Must Be Tuesday.”

So here’s my list; Amanda’s will appear later today. It is in no particular order, it encompasses everything from single issues to multi-issue story arcs to series that started in 2011 and ended this year. And I know what you’re thinking: “Rob,” you’re thinking, “Why don’t you organize things a little more? And use some consistent criteria for your list?” Well, because fuck you, that’s why. Look: it’s New Year’s Eve, and I intend to be recklessly intoxicated within about 90 minutes from the time I press the “publish” button.

So without further (or any) ado: here’s my list!

Update, 12/19/2012, 10:05 p.m.: Part 2 is now available after the jump…

It is the time of year when the days grow shorter, your neighbors put on their holiday finery, and you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to decide how many airings of Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses is enough to constitute an affirmative defense for either Justifiable Homicide or a Not Responsible verdict for the arson of your local oldies station, which went All Christmas All The Time sometime around Memorial Day, as far as you can now remember.

All the lights and the TV commercials and the guys in Santa suits ringing a sanity-piercing bell and begging for change outside your local liquor store like the common winos those Santas actually are the other 11 and a half months a year might be enough to make you throw in the Christmas towel and shout “Bah, humbug!” (or, “Allahu Akbar!” if you were actually able to synthesize explosives without blowing up your basement). But before you turn your company holiday party into some kind of sordid little hostage situation, take a deep breath and enjoy this excellent, well-produced, and most importantly: funny little motion comics adaptation of The Goon #10: The Goon Presents: Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics and Geek and Sundry.

It is a (semi) faithful adaptation of the Dickens classic, assuming that Bob Cratchit wanted Christmas Day off to spend with Tiny Tim… assuming that “Tiny Tim” is a small-batch bourbon, and that Scrooge is more willing to accept that the appearance of Marley’s Ghost is more to do with a small bit of a childhood beating from his mother’s tack hammer than the supernatural.

So remove that Santa mask, lay down that chainsaw, relax and enjoy part one of the show, which you can see right after the jump.

Some readers have privately wondered, after we reported earlier this year that there was still hope to see a movie version of The Goon by creator Eric Powell, Producer David Fincher, and Blur Studios, why we hadn’t made any mention of the Kickstarter project started by Blur in October to fund the $400,000 creation of a story reel to shop the project around again to investors in the hopes of getting the full movie (estimated to cost tens of millions of dollars) made.

Well, the answer to that is simple: we like to at least pretend that there is some kernel of journalism behind what we do here, and it would be impossible for us to be objective about the Goon Kickstarter because, in short, I contributed to it.

At greater explanatory length, I contributed a lot to it.

At even greater explanatory length, my pledge was enough to obtain one of the higher-end rewards offered for the project, which didn’t go for what you’d call short money. And it would have felt wrong to skew opinions on a story that, depending on how it went, would lead to me either obtaining something for which I have lusted for since I started reading The Goon, or to my ability to have the pledge be returned upon failure of the Kickstarter and therefore making me able to afford heat for the winter.*

However, it is now safe to discuss this story, because Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time, The Goon Kickstarter surpassed its goals by more than ten percent, meaning that a full length, animated storyboard, with Clancy Brown voicing The Goon and Paul Giamatti as Franky, will be produced.

Does this mean the movie’s been greenlit? Well, not exactly.

The Goon #39 makes a savage mockery of just about every major superhero comic, and superhero comic creator, of the past five years. It skewers everything from DC Comics’s New 52, to Geoff Johns’s Blackest Night arc in Green Lantern, to Spider-Man’s constant sad-sack internal monologues, and it kicks the shit out of every major – and minor – comics artist that had put pencil to paper (or, apparently, mouse to pixel) since 1986. In short, it denigrates every trope of the superhero comics that I have loved since I was five years old.

And it is fucking awesome.

You might notice that this review doesn’t contain a spoiler warning. That’s because there is no story here to ruin. This is one of writer / artist Eric Powell’s one-off issues that serves no story nor history of The Goon. It is simply a brutal takedown of superhero universe reboots and the tricks that the Big Two Publishers use to whip fanboys like me into a frenzy, and to sleaze mainstream media interest in comics (Example: The Goon is killed, and brought back to like, three times in this issue. On one page. Your move, Matt Fraction).

We’ve discussed the possibility of Eric Powell’s The Goon as a feature length film here before.

This past Thursday, Powell updated his blog to clarify the status of the project and quell any rumors that the movie was dead in the water:

David Fincher and Blur still have the option for the Goon film and are still actively looking for funding. Recently some sites have been saying the Goon film has been nixed based on comments from Paul Giamatti saying he didn’t know where the film was at and we must have ran out of money. Let me assure you we have not run out of money… because we never had any money to run out of…Trust me, when someone steps up and we get this slated I will be screaming it from the rooftops. And if Fincher and Blur decide to pass, I will also let you know by posting something on thegoon.com. But there is zero change right now. We all remain dedicated and confident that we’ll get this thing done.

Fincher passed along to Powell that he is working to get the movie through the Hollywood development process and “emerge with our dignity and YOUR (Powell’s) hard fought independent voice intact.” So, what more could be done to help move this process along?

How about signing a petition?

More on the petition after the jump!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This review contains spoilers. Such as the fact that burlesque dancers will apparently show off their tits. This review also ruins at least one of the best jokes in the book. Such as how burlesque dancers can sometimes drive men to try to write their names on the elderly. Plus, it spoils earlier Goon stories. Like how Franky has a knife. Which I guess we spoiled with this review’s title. Ah, nuts. 

In 2009, Eric Powell announced Goon Year: a year when he upped his production schedule to once per month to tell the epic tale of The Return of Labrazio, which featured The Goon learning that he was literally doomed to unhappiness, followed by watching the love of his life die while we readers learned of a son that The Goon would never know he had.

It’s 2011. This month’s Goon features Franky wearing a fake moustache while peeing on an old woman’s head.

I love The Goon.

It is Wednesday, as occurs every week, and as with every other Wednesday, this…

…means the end of our broadcast day.

And if I were you, I might complain, but if you’re a regular reader of Crisis On Infinite Midlives, you too went to the comic store, and therefore also have a new issue of The Goon! Plus Action Comics #3, and The Goon! And the first issue of the rebooted (But Marvel doesn’t reboot! Or publish The Goon!) Uncanny X-Men, not to mention The Goon! Plus a parody of Fear Itself! And the Red Lantern blood shower girl, underneath The Goon! Not to mention new The Goon!

Hard to say what we’re looking most forward to reading, but we must take the time to read them so we can review them for you, and – holy shit! Is that a new issue of The Goon?

See you tomorrow, suckers!

Eric Powell just put up some early test footage of the long awaited, but still frustratingly far away movie of The Goon. If the movie ever sees the light of day, David Fincher is supposed to direct. Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti provide the voice work, as they did in the clip Powell showed at Comic Con in 2010.

What is it going to take to just get this thing made?