Then, veteran comics artist Ron Randall on the right and wrong ways to use photo reference, his experience pencilling from an Alan Moore Swamp Thing script; his creator-owned project from the ‘80s, Trekker, and why he’s reviving it now; attending the nerd Mardi Gras; and why we’re living in a golden age of comics!
V for Vendetta, the classic story by Alan Moore that deals with anarchy and facism in a near future England. Topics include characters, setting, politics, and how it relates to our current political climate
Government has too many characters (15:07)
Moore wants the best of both worlds (17:08)
Random things that either didn’t make sense or were not followed up on (22:48)
Dedication to Country vs. Shared Idealism (1:27:54)
Can the anarchist philosophy lead to a self-governing society? (1:39:19)
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For the past several decades there have been a lot of comics, movies, and other fiction involving “bad futures”, with lots of poverty, violence, environmental destruction, and the like. Why has this genre been so appealing to so many?
In this episode, Emmet O’Cuana talks with Mark Hobby about why this genre endures and how Mark has approached it in his own comic, Job Dun: Fat Assassin. They also discuss why British writers have led the pack on bad future stories, how Watchmen and the X-Men fit into the discussion, why sex in media seems to upset some people more than violence, and more.
UK creator Bryan Talbot (The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Heart of Empire, Grandville series) talks with Koom about co-founding the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, the difference between a “comicon” and a “festival”, working with Alan Moore on “Nightjar”, and much more.
At London Super Comicon last month, Koom got to sit down with Paul Gravett, a comics journalist and exhibition curator. Gravett is currently preparing the touring Asian comics show Mangasia, which will debut in Rome next month. This is a guy who’s read a lot of comics; do they all become a blur after a while? Koom asks him about avoiding burnout, the amount of progress comics have (or haven’t) made toward being accepted by the “art world”, and much more.
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, with a result that many found unexpected and disturbing, Emmet and John discuss various comics that have commented on politics and on government gone bad, including V for Vendetta; X-men: God Loves, Man Kills; Ex Machina; Prez; Transmetropolitan; Nemesis the Warlock; American Flagg; Congressman John Lewis’ March; and more.
Join Kumar and Koom as they discuss Alan Moore’s run on the palladium paragon, the alabaster avenger, the archetypical archetype: Rob Liefeld’s Supreme. Kumar tries not to lose it over the Image era ‘artwork’ while Koom attempts to reconcile supremium with revisionist theory. Supreme was Moore’s last outing with a true blue superhero in the classical mould. Both postmodern and nostalgic for lost comic values at the same time, this run sits Janus-like between Moore’s early work and his modern period.
There’s no doubt that Superman is one of the most significant characters in the history of American comics. He ended up setting the template for what would be the dominant genre in American comics after the Comics Code came into effect. Of course, the types of stories told in those comics, and their tone, has varied wildly over the years, which makes it difficult to try to determine which stories are the best of the lot, but naturally people make the attempt, including DC Comics itself.
This week Kumar and Tim look at the 1980s collection “The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told”, as well as Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened To the Man of Tomorrow”, which is currently being published in a collection with two other Moore Superman stories. Are these actually the greatest Superman stories?
Featuring Batman’s superior party prep skills, swimming the interplanetary water spout, and the symbolism of the ads in the original printing of “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow”! *Choke*
Reviews: Atomic Robo And The Ring Of Fire #1, Head Lopper #1, Journey To Star Wars Force Awakens Shattered Empire #1, Tet #1, Tyson Hesses Diesel #1, Cooties
Emmy Potter returns after a long absence to co-host! She brings all of her Whovian love with her. They chat about Doctor Who, Kit Harington, and more. News includes: DC cancels several titles, Joe Kelly’s I Kill Giants will be a movie starring Zoe Saldana, Jessica Jones will debut on Netflix on November 20th, Rachel McAdams will star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in upcoming Doctor Strange film, and New York Comic Con extends panels to Hammerstein Ballroom. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!
Artist Stephen Bissette is best-known for his work on Swamp Thing in the ’80s with Alan Moore and John Totleben, as well as 1963 and his solo project Tyrant. Currently he’s teaching at the Center for Cartoon Studies, and this week he joins Tim and Kumar for a wide-ranging discussion, including:
The difference between comics schools in the ‘70s vs today
What it was like growing up as the first Fantastic Four and Spider-Man comics were hitting the stands and why he liked the new FF movie
Is the current state of Image Comics a new paradigm in creator rights, or is it more of the same?
Making things scary in comics vs. media that include movement and sound
His original plan for “Tyrant”, which ceased with the ‘90s comics industry implosion. Will we ever see more of Tyrant?
Originally created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, THE SAGA OF SWAMP-THING is the story of Alec Holland. A scientist working in Louisiana, Holland is working on a magical formula to restore the forest when a bomb planted by his supposed friend gives him an intense chemical burn. Holland falls into the swamp and instead of dying he becomes the Swamp-Thing bent on revenge. However, while this beginning leaves a lot of room for thrilling horror stories and situations the premise was never revealed to be as meaningful as it could be until Alan Moore got his grimy hands on it. I point this out because we did not read the first 20 issues of THE SAGA OF SWAMP-THING for the podcast about origin stories. Instead we read the entirety of Alan Moore’s run because the origin I have related is re-imagined in dare I say it, a more meaningful and thematically valuable way by Moore.
From psychedelic panels that depict the forbidden love shared between the Swamp-Thing and Abby to heartbreaking stories of exile to a planet far far away, Moore found a way to reinvigorate this property in ways that still resonate today. THE SAGA OF SWAMP-THING is so impressive and complex that in our typical attempt to analyze characters using Susan Batson’s TRUTH, we found ourselves arguing that we may never be able to understand the Swamp-Thing’s motivation, need, public persona, and tragic flaw because we couldn’t even decide how human he was.
If you love tough questions that lead to more questions than answers then you’re totally gonna love this; So pop a bottle and sit bit back with your favorite swamp creature for an hour or two of debate on ComicVerse’s 50th podcast about the origin of the THE SAGA OF SWAMP-THING.
The following members of the ComicsVerse family were a part of the panel for this podcast:
Justin Gilbert Alba, Kathy Wisneski, Jamie Rice, Kay Honda, Brian Delpozo and Nolan Bensen
This week, Derek and Andy W. — fresh from their trip to HeroesCon — return with a discussion of three new, fascinating, and…well, whacked out comics. But they’re all whacked out in their own, unique ways. They begin with the release of Gilbert Hernandez’s Grip: The Strange World of Men (Dark Horse Books). This is not really a new work from Hernandez, as Grip was originally published in color as a five-issue limited series from Vertigo in 2002. (The new book contains only black and white art.) But the recent Dark Horse release marks the first time that the entire story has been collected. What’s more, Hernandez provides four new pages that function as the setup of this strange narrative. And what a weird and twisted story it is, but it’s one that distinctively bares the mark of Gilbert Hernandez. The guys attempt to follow the various narrative threads, however, making sense of this story is beside the point. What matters is Hernandez’s imagination and the fun to be had slipping into his narrative world. Derek even argues that the story comes at a curious time in Hernandez’s career, several years after the end of the first Love and Rockets series, the beginning of the second series, and at a time when Gilbert is reaching beyond the more realistic confines of his Palomar stories. Next, the Two Guys turn to Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez’s Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland (IDW Publishing). Andy admits that, at first, he was a little hesitant about this book, thinking that it might be nothing more than a mere retread of Windsor McCay’s newsprint classic. But Shanower and Rodriguez — known largely for their Wizard of Oz and Locke and Key comics, respectively — are up to much more than that. Their Little Nemo uses McCay’s as a springboard into an entirely new narrative, pulling in some elements of the earlier comic, yet at the same time bringing in new ideas to present a long-form story. Readers may recognize similarities to McCay’s pacing, his humor, and his innovation, but this project easily stands on its own. Finally, the guys look at the first issue of a new twelve-part series from Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows. Providence (Avatar Press) is another Lovecraftian tale similar to the team’s earlier Neonomiconand The Courtyard, yet this one has been described by the publisher as “the Watchmen of horror.” That’s a lot to live up to, as both Andy and Derek discuss in their coverage of this first issue. But the guys point out that if the inaugural installment is any indication, this may not be mere hype. While nothing much seems to happen in this issue, there are actually multiple stories being told, with Moore setting the stage for a larger, disturbing narrative. Much like the allusive Cthulhu, there is an unsettling presence lying just beneath the surface of what unfolds in this first issue.
Fancy that! There is a whole bunch of comic talk this episode, and when Doc and Shepherd aren’t trying to figure out if Kieron Gillen is more like one of two bearded comic masterminds, they are answering your Fanquisition questions and drawing the WINNER of a new batch of goodies!
We polish off the proceedings with an offering or two each for our master, who is probably pretty darn hungry because somebody forgot to feed him last week. Enjoy!
To submit FANQUISITION topics for our weekly panel to address, submit via twitter with #FICquiz, comment on the episode page (recommended) or email@example.com. You will be entered to win seriously cool comics.
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This week Derek and Andy discuss three recent titles, each of which is part of a larger series. First, they review the third in Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s Nemo trilogy, Nemo: River of Ghosts (Top Shelf). The guys begin their discussion by looking at the series as a whole — even placing the trilogy within the larger context of Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemenuniverse — and then exploring the accessibility of the text as a singular narrative. River of Ghosts certainly needs to stand alongside the first two Nemo volumes, Heart of Ice and The Roses of Berlin, but the intertextual demands imbedded in the story (and in the Nemo trilogyas a whole) are far fewer than they are in the League books. Indeed, the three-part story of Janni Dakkar, beginning in 1925 (in Heart of Ice) and wrapping up in 1987, where River of Ghosts concludes, reads more as an adventure tale to be enjoyed than as a literary text to be deciphered. Yet, the Nemo trilogy is still part of Moore’s larger narrative tapestry, and its picaresque quality adds even further dimension to the already substantive League universe. Next, the Two Guys turn to the latest series from Brian Wood, Rebels (Dark Horse). In this inaugural issue, with art by Andrea Mutti, we get a good dose of historical fiction — the New Hampshire Grants become pivotal, and Ethan Allen even makes an appearance — but in many ways it’s familiar territory to Wood. This first narrative arc’s subtitle, “A Well-Regulated Militia,” as well as the introductory premise embedded on the first page, suggest that this series may be similar to Wood’s long-running DMZ in political and cultural tone. Although that one of his favorite series from the past decade, Derek hopes that the allegorical messaging found in DMZ doesn’t become too heavy in Rebels. And Andy observes that perhaps the series will stick more closely to the kind of historically based fiction we find in Northlanders. Yet, despite a little confusion generated by the issue’s central confrontation, a class between colonials and redcoats at the village courthouse, the guys found Rebels #1 a solid read and anticipate the series to come. Andy and Derek wrap up this week’s show with a review of No Mercy #1 (Image), the new series from Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil. What begins as a potentially light or trendy look at youth culture turns darker and more complex as the story develops. As de Campi makes clear in her comments at the end of this first issue, the lives and interactions of young adults are rich enough with drama without the usual genre-bendings or twists found in many contemporary narratives. There are no vampires, no otherworldly visitations, no anthropomorphic engagements. In No Mercy, we can expect to get real people from real contexts, and the story will be driven by their all-too-real desires and limitations. And in this first issue, we see de Campi and McNeil play out this premise to an uncertain, and unexpected, crescendo.