Tim and Kumar meet in person for the first time! This calls for a podcast, but… what to review? We discuss the movie Crumb, which features not only the expected discussion of R. Crumb’s work (including an objective look at the question of whether some of the … discomfiting subjects of his work should really have been published as “art”), but also a fascinating portrait of the dysfunctional family he grew up in.
Then, Tim and Brandon clash over Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus, in which a former Irish Republican Army member acts as a bodyguard in a reality show claiming to be creating the clone of Jesus Christ. Is it objective and well-written, or a promo brochure for atheism?
This week the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics explore four new titles, each quite different one from the other. They begin with the new graphic novel from New Zealand creator Ant Sang, The Dharma Punks (Conundrum Press). On the surface it is a story about coming to terms with death, but there’s much more going on in this 415-page book. In fact, this is one of the most ambitious narratives the guys have encountered so far this year, and certainly the most philosophical. Its protagonist, Chopstick, tries to comes to grips with the suicide of a close friend and what that loss means in his own life, while at the same time participating in an anarchist act against a corporate franchise. The events in the book take place roughly over a two-day period, but one of strengths of this narrative is how Sang manipulates time in a Faulkner-like manner, making the past ever-present. This is a rich and complex text, and at times Gene and Derek feel at a loss trying to put the gist of The Dharma Punks into words for an audio podcast. Next, the guys take on a much more constrained narrative, but one that is nonetheless multifaceted in its own ways, Noah Van Sciver’s My Hot Date (Kilgore Books). This is an autobiographical comic, and as the title suggests, it’s about a date that the fourteen-year-old Noah has with someone he met via America Online. Van Sciver has written short memoir-inspired stories in the past, but this is the longest, and definitely the most humorously self-deprecating, that he’s produced to date. This is just one of the many comics that Van Sciver has released over the past year, many of which are published through Kilgore Books…a growing presences in the Two Guys’ arsenal of go-to small publishers. After that, Derek and Gene turn their attention to the first issue in Rick Remender and Sean Murphy’s new series from Image Comics, Tokyo Ghost. This is a futuristic story that takes as its premise the overriding and ever-present impact of on-demand digital culture in our lives. This inaugural issue does a fine job of setting up this narrative world, but Gene wonders if the nonstop action and complex visuals may be too much at times. Lastly, the guys take a brief look at an issue of an online zine they have just discovered, Jackie Batey’s FutureFantasteek! Issue #16 was released at the beginning of 2015, and while the latest installment can stand on its own, Derek and Gene suggest that the title can best be appreciated when read over the course of its run. For those with a diverse taste in comics, this episode is definitely for you!
This week the Two Guys with PhDs (talking about comics) are back for another review episode, and this one is jam-packed with nougaty comics goodness. They begin with Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s deluxe edition of The Wake (DC/Vertigo). They had discussed the first couple installments of the ten-issue series on last year’s publisher spotlight on recent Vertigo titles, but now they are able to plunge into the the complete story…and they do so with relish. Both Andy and Derek love the way the narrative unfolds — it’s the kind of work they have come to expect from both Snyder and Murphy — although they do have their quibbles, e.g., unexpected/unlikely surprises in character development and occasional ambiguous transitions. But overall, the guys feel this is an outstanding story, an example of what Vertigo does best. Next, they turn to Derf Backderf’s True Stories, Vol. 1 (Alternative Comics), the first of four — or is it five? — collections of the “True Stories” pieces culled from Backderf’s comic strip, The City, between 1990 and 2014. While there are a few vignettes in this title that verge on belittlement, the collection as a whole is a discerning, satirical, and hilarious look at the state of our contemporary culture. Finally, Derek and Andy look at one of the new #1s coming out of Image Comics this month, Matt Fraction and Christian Ward’s ODY-C. This is an inverted retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, where genders are switched and the high seas become the far reaches of space. This is a dense, immersive narrative that requires multiple readings. Knowledge of The Odyssey isn’t necessary, but it wouldn’t hurt for readers to have their copies of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology (or perhaps have Wikipedia) readily at hand when turning through Fraction’s narrative. And Ward’s art is what makes this first issue truly stand out, visually stunning and almost surreal, a nice pairing with one of the guys’ favorite comics storytellers. All in all, this was a fun week of reading!
Straight from the convention booth of Publishers Weekly at New York Comic Con, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of insider comics publishing news, discussion and controversy. Starring Heidi MacDonald, the Eisner-nominated blogger of ComicsBeat.com, Calvin Reid, Senior News Editor of Publishers Weekly and Kate Fitzsimons, More To Come’s intrepid producer!
In part two of our New York Comic Con interview special, Calvin speaks with Laurence Maslon creator of Superheroes! – both book and PBS documentary, Heidi interviews Mariah Huehner of Emily and the Strangers and Womanthology, Kate talks to Dallas Middaugh of Kodansha USA, as well as Greg Pak of Code Monkey Save World and Batman/Superman, guest host Matt White talks with Colleen Doran of A Distant Soil, Brian Wood of X-Men, Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurt of The Sixth Gun, Sean Murphy of Punk Rock Jesus and author Tom King on PWCW’s More to Come.
Stay tuned for the next installment of our NYCC interview coverage!
This week on the punchiest punk rock LIVE radio show about comics and pop culture, we welcome multi talented comics creator Sean Murphy to the Monster Cave. You’ve seen Sean’s work on such books as American Vampire and Joe the Barbarian. His latest work is Punk Rock Jesus from Vertigo, which he writes and draws (issue #2 just came out last week so run to your local retailer and pick it up!) Sean will be entertaining our questions but if you’ve got a question for Sean, , feel free to post it on our Facebook wall or give us a call at 506-453-4949.
And, as our usual ‘Shit Comics Reviewers Say’; This week we picked up Archer and Armstrong #1 and Venom #22 from Strange Adventures.
The First Annual Prestigious Cammy Awards! I present you with the winners in the following categories: Best Writer, Best Artist, Best Cover Artist, Best Series, Best Miniseries, Best Single Issue, and Best Graphic Novel.
A day late due to technical difficulties (*cough LIBSYN cough*), but I still have plenty to review for you! Pick Of The Week goes to Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy for American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest #5 (Vertigo). Fast Five picks include Orchid #1 (Dark Horse), Frankenstein: Agent Of S.H.A.D.E. #2 (DC), PunisherMAX #18 (Marvel), Deathstroke #2 (DC), and Who Is Jake Ellis? #5 (Image). Spoilers!
The key to the selections this week; a fun time. Pick Of The Week goes to Jeff Lemire & Alberto Ponticelli for Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE #1 (DC). Fast Five picks include Batman & Robin #1 (DC), American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest #4 (Vertigo), PunisherMAX #17 (MAX), Batwoman #1 (DC), and Scalped #52 (Vertigo).
In this action-packed episode the Pick Of The Week goes to Scott Snyder, Jock & Francesco Francavilla for Detective Comics #881 (DC)! Fast Five picks include Baltimore: The Curse Bells #1 (Dark Horse), Fear Itself #5 (Marvel), American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #3 (Vertigo), PunisherMAX #16 (Marvel), and Hellboy: The Fury #3 (Dark Horse).
Only 2 video reviews remain until the switch to audio!
Jam-packed episode this week! Pick Of The Week goes to Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy for American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2 (Vertigo)! Fast Five picks include Amazing Spider-Man #665 (Marvel), The Red Wing #1 (Image), Hellboy: The Fury #2 (Dark Horse), X-Men: Schism #1 (Marvel), and Green Lantern #67 (DC).
Quite the impressive week for comics! Pick Of The Week goes to Jason Aaron & R.M. Guera for Scalped #49 (Vertigo). Fast Five picks include Deathstroke: The Curse of the Ravager #1 (DC), Journey Into Mystery #624 (Marvel), American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1 (Vertigo), PunisherMAX #14 (Marvel), and Citizen Cold #1 (DC).
This episode of Cammy’s Comic Corner has been brought to you by, THE SQUEEG!