Deconstructing Comics #614: Rick Parker: An Energetic Interview

Rick Parker

While the majority of Rick Parker‘s comics jobs have been lettering, he’s also known as an artist and writer, including on Marvel’s Beavis and Butt-Head comics in the 1990s and Papercutz’ Tales from the Crypt. In this episode, Koom asks Rick about the experience of working at Marvel in the ’70s (including that time he was in a physical altercation in the office!), working as a New York taxi driver pre-Marvel, what was involved in old-school hand lettering of comics, and more.

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Critiquing Comics #145: “Lords of the Cosmos” and “North Bend”

Lords of the Cosmos, by Dennis Fallon, Jason Lenox, and Jason Palmatier, presents us with a lot of standard-issue baddies who are out to destroy the peaceful planet of Aiden. But what’s the bad guys’ motivation? Who is the hero who will set things right? And, is the material mismatched to the art?

If Lords keeps the camera lens too wide, North Bend, by Ryan Ellsworth and Rob Carey, keeps it very focused on a personal level, even though it deals with a future U.S. war with Russia and a powerful drug that the CIA wants tested. The art is beautiful, but are the players in this story competent in their respective jobs?

Tim and Mulele critique.

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Deconstructing Comics #613: “My Favorite Thing is Monsters”

My Favorite Thing is Monsters

My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a horror-movie-influenced graphic novel set against the tumult of the U.S. in the 1960s. What’s stunning is that it’s the first published work for Emil Ferris, but it’s very accomplished. Kumar and Emmet review.

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Deconstructing Comics #612: RIP Stan Lee

Stan Lee

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics writer, art director, publisher, promoter, and icon, died November 12 at age 95. While he is loved by many, and undoubtedly had a hand in some of the greatest stories of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and more, he was also known to aggravate disputes over story credit and art ownership with the likes of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. In this episode, Tim, Kumar, and Tom Spurgeon wrestle with the legacy of Stan the Man.

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Critiquing Comics #144: Chad in Amsterdam

Chad in Amsterdam

Chad Bilyeu sent us his autobio comic Chad in Amsterdam. As fellow expat Americans, how could we say no? And it turns out to be quite good! Tim and Mulele discuss.

Then, Tim explains why his why he won’t have much podcasting time for the next few months, and whether or not to keep Deconstructing Comics and Critiquing Comics going, and how. What say you?

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Deconstructing Comics #611: “Infidel”

Infidel

Infidel, by Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, and Jose Villarubia, has drawn comparisons to the film Get Out for its mixing of horror with social issues. In this episode, Kumar and Dana discuss what they enjoyed in the comic and what they were irritated by, and brave the minefield of talking about this book on a podcast!

Also, Tim reads the lengthy response from Derf Backderf to our recent review of the film version of My Friend Dahmer.

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Critiquing Comics #143: “Radio Silence” and “1000 Nightmares”

"Radio Silence" and "1000 Nighmares"

In this episode, Tim and Mulele discuss these comics, submitted by their creators:

  • The members of a rock band in the UK cope with interpersonal issues and the problems of fame in Vanessa Stefaniuk’s Radio Silence.
  • Horror, from the fantastical, and maybe even a little humorous, to the totally factual, in writer Bill Richardson’s 1000 Nightmares (with various artists).

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Deconstructing Comics #610: Michael Kupperman gives us “All the Answers”

All the Answers

Michael Kupperman, best known for the likes of Snake ‘n’ Bacon and Tales Designed to Thrizzle, decided to go with a more serious and narrative-driven approach with his latest work, All the Answers. It’s the true story of how his father, Joel Kupperman, became famous on the radio and TV show Quiz Kids during and after World War II, an experience which not only scarred him for life, but had implications for Michael’s life as well.

In this episode, Michael Kupperman talks about his use of silhouette, the pointers he took from reading Grant Morrison’s work, and the common graphic-novel misfires that he tried hard to avoid. Then, Tim and Kumar review All the Answers, and identify other potential book topics hiding in its narrative!

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Critiquing Comics #142: “The World of Tomorrow” and “Possession”

World of Tomorrow - Possession

In this episode, Tim and Mulele tackle these comics, submitted by their creators:

  • Craig Barstow is playing the lead in a TV show about space exploration. He faces accusations of being a drunk, and finds that the show is getting cancelled. And this is just the beginning of his precipitous fall in the first issue of The World of Tomorrow, by Giles Clarke, Kenan Halilovic, Felipe Obando, and Deron Bennett. Is this comic going in the direction its creators intended?
  • An overweight woman who takes photos of cats. A pair of adulterous Greek gods. A wife who is being cheated on but has secrets of her own. The cheating husband’s mistress who gets work advice from a ghost. A punk music club where… wait, why is all of this in one first issue? We have some strong words of caution for the Michael Norwitz, Enrico Carnevale, Andrea Blanco, and HdE, the creators of Possession #1.

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Deconstructing Comics #609: “Saga” (a non-gushing review)

Saga

Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, has been a bestselling book for Image Comics for years, and fawned over by critics and readers alike. While Emmet finds a fair number of things to like about it, hardly anything about it is to Kumar’s taste. For this episode, both of them have read all the issues published to date — 54 of them!– and present this somewhat out-of-the-mainstream review.

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Critiquing Comics #141: “Henshin Man” and “Guano Guy”

This time Tim and Mulele critique two superhero comics submitted by their creators:

  • Henshin Man, by Cameron Kerkau, Ben Matsuya, and CJ Standal is just getting started, but it introduces one Japanese hero filling the shoes of another.
  • Guano Guy, by Mark Darden and Nick Hoffman, features a hero who is all about leveraging his being a hero as a way to make a buck.

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Deconstructing Comics #608: JH Williams III talks “Promethea”

Promethea

A few months back, Kumar and Emmet discussed Alan Moore and JH WilliamsPromethea on the show, which led to a Twitter contact with Williams. In this episode, Emmet talks with Williams about the process of making Promethea with Moore in the early 2000s and the definition of “the end of the world”, as well as getting Williams’ thoughts on how DC has brought back the Promethea character.

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Critiquing Comics #140: “The Incapable Trump” and “Empress”

Trump and Empress

Two more comics submitted by their creators for Tim and Mulele’s comments:

The Incapable Trump, by Omar Mirza and Alex Genaro gives us a Trump who changes into the Incredible Hulk! it looks great, but is this the best approach to take as a commentary on Trump?

Empress, by Brian Barr, Chuck Amadori, Marcelo Salaza, and Matheus Bronca, a comic about multiple generations of women haunted by green monsters. Which parts look good, and which parts lose us?

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Deconstructing Comics #607: “Dahmer” on film

Dahmer movie

Last year saw the release of Marc Meyers’ film adaptation of Derf Backderf’s My Friend Dahmer, starring Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts, Alex Wolff, and Vincent Kartheiser. How is the film different from the book, and how do we account for the differences considering Derf’s close involvement in the movie? Did the film’s budget hold it back? Kumar and Emmet discuss.

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Deconstructing Comics #606: Marvelman, Miracleman, and Moore

Marvelman

Strap in for one of the wildest stories in comics – on the creator and publisher side of things! Miracleman, originally known as Marvelman, has been through two hiatuses of 20+ years each and a battle over rights to the character, plus the previously-mentioned name change. And that’s not to mention the dark, dark turn his fictional world took when Alan Moore got ahold of it. Now new stories from Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham still lie ahead. Kumar and Koom try to piece it all together.

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