Reviews: Archie Christmas Spectacular #1, Christmas Eve #1, DC Holiday Special 2017, Die Kitty Die Christmas Special One Shot, Faith’s Winter Wonderland Special, Gold Digger Christmas Special #9, Klaus and the Crisis in Xmasville, The Spirit: Christmas Spirit of 1948, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Jon Hoche returns to co-host and add to the Christmas cheer! The guys talk about keeping up the Christmas spirit and share some of their favorite movies and songs. And since it’s Christmas time, they review a whole slew of Christmas comic books. Jimmy gives a somewhat quick solo review of that little indie film Star Wars: The Last Jedi. News includes: that big Disney/Fox merger, DC Comics will hold a big event in D.C., Action Comics #1000 is pushed back to April and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!
Every year for Will Eisner Week, always the first seven days in March, the Two Guys with PhDs like to do something special and Eisner-related for the podcast. This year is no different, and for the current episode Andy and Derek have decided to discuss the many uses of The Spirit since Will Eisner’s passing on January 3, 2005. And there are a lot more manifestations of The Spirit than you might think. The guys compare and contrast the various uses of this seminal crimefighter, highlighting those examples that attempt to capture the original tone of The Spirit, that deviate from the original in curious ways, and that cross over into other narrative worlds. The many titles and creators they discuss include:
and Joe Staton and Mike Curtis’s current Dick Tracy strip and its team-up with The Spirit (Tribune Company).
There is a lot packed into this episode — you’ll hear plenty about Ebony White, Commissioner and Ellen Dolan, Silk Satin, Mister Carrion, Sand Serif, The Octopus, and, of course, P’Gell — but, thankfully, almost no mention of the disastrous 2008 film. It’s all about the comics.
Check out the various The Spirit titles discussed in this special episode:
On this week’s episode, Andy and Derek take a look at two very different titles. They begin with a long, extensive look at Will Eisner’s The Spirit: A Celebration of 75 Years (DC Comics). In fact, their discussion of the new Spirit collection takes up the vast majority of the show, lasting for almost and hour and forty-five minutes! So there’s a lot of ground that the guys cover with this book, although in many ways they only just scratch the surface. Both Derek and Andy are huge fans of Will Eisner, and The Spirit in particular, so the conversation never flags. They highlight a variety of the stories that are collected in this volume, pointing out why they are important in The Spirit‘s history. But they also mention some of the notable Spirit strips that aren’t included in the book, wondering why a few were excluded. They also speculate on why, and lament the fact that, there wasn’t a new introduction (or even a new afterword) written for this anniversary volume. The Neil Gaiman piece that is included in the book was originally written for 2005’s much shorter The Best of The Spirit. Derek, in particular, feels that this important collection would have benefited from a new introductory essay that would have provided more context, especially for those unfamiliar with Eisner’s legendary figure. Still, the 75th anniversary volume is one of the guys’ highlights of the year so far and deserves a place on every comics reader’s shelf. Next, they shift gears for a completely different kind of book, William Keops Ibañez’s minicomic Blazing Quantum. This is a collection of short stories created between 2005 and 2011, at times (apparently) autobiographical and at times historical, that lead to an unlikely and potentially fantastical ending. Most of the pieces revolve around a young high-school student named Billy and his everyday interactions, and frustrations, with family and friends. This is a promising self-published title that has both Andy and Derek anticipating the next installment. And they are sure to keep visiting Ibañez’s’s website for the latest updates on his art and when they can expect a new issue of Blazing Quantum.
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This week on the podcast, the Two Guys with PhDs take a close look at a few #1 issues and one minicomic series. However, before they get into the nitty gritty of their reviews, they share some of the listener mail and attention they’ve been receiving — including a very cool call-out from the Kyle and Drew at Comics for Fun and Profit — and then go into some news out of SDCC. In particular, they discuss this year’s Eisner Award winners, most of which the guys are familiar with and/or had expected (or hoped) to win. However, there were some surprises as well as some disappointments in this year’s Eisners, but such is the game of awards systems such as this. After highlighting a little more news out of San Diego — e.g., the announcement of new Vertigo titles, the return of Lady Killer, Fantagraphics to publish the next Kramers Ergot — Andy and Derek plunge into the titles that they’re discussing this week. First, they look at Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce’s We Stand on Guard #1 (Image Comics). This is one of the most anticipated new series of the year, and the guys waste no time in underscoring not only BKV’s storytelling abilities, but Skroce’s meticulous art. Next, they look at the latest attempt to bring The Spirit back to reading audiences. With Will Eisner’s The Spirit#1 (Dynamite Entertainment), Matt Wagner and Dan Schkade capture not only the spirit — bad pun intended — of the original, but also introduce Eisner’s crime-fighting world in such a way that brand new readers can easily get on board, even without much knowledge of the original. The same can be said of Mark Waid and Fiona Staples’s Archie#1 (Archie Comics). The creators’ take on the comics icon appears both fresh and reverential, making this new series accessible, yet in a familiar way. Still, the guys wonder who exactly the audience might be — or might end up being — for these new spins on Archie Andrews and Denny Colt. Finally, Derek and Andy turn to a minicomic series from Tim Comrie, Leisure. This is an autobiographical, very personal, series with three issues so far. Comrie lays bare both his pleasures and his turmoils, and in a genuine manner that never comes across as calculated or discomforting. The guys also bring in a discussion of Comrie’s other series (along with Mike Heneghan), Five Hour Comics, and compare its style and tone to Leisure. If you’re not familiar with Tim Comrie’s work, then now is the time to check it out!
Reviews: Adventure Hour Presents Sparks Nevada Marshal On Mars #1, Pirate Eye Exiled From Exile #1, Secret Identities #1, Stray #1
The podcast wife Erica Schultz returns! She and Jimmy chat briefly about the nerdy bits from the Oscars, the Jason Momoa as Aquaman picture and Spielberg being on board for Chris Pratt to play Indiana Jones. News includes: Dynamite announces Swords of Sorrow series and The Spirit revival, Invader Zim is back in comic book form, Archie Comics to end with issue #666, a man is dressed as Green Lantern at his wake and lots of TV/film casting news. 5 stars and nothing but love!
Reviews: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1, Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1, Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International San Diego #1, Life With Archie #36, Squidder #1, Snowpiercer
Producer Joe joins Jimmy before he heads off to San Diego Comic Con! They chat about what Jimmy will be covering in the show and the madness that will ensue all week. News includes: Thor will be female, Sam Wilson aka Falcon will be Captain America, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Powers and The Flash TV shows get casting, Duane “The Rock” Johnson may have let slip that he’s playing Shazam, Dynamite gets The Spirit, Valiant’s Archer & Armstrong heading to big screen, Archie’s Dark Circle Comics annunces first titles, Geoff Johns confirms that the DC film and TV universes will remains separate, and the Harvey Awards nominations are out! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
This week on the Undecideables Dan and Jimmy are missing their regular news girl, but have found a replacement on short order. Also, the guys give you their top 5 for this month, as well as talk about Moon Knight, Detective Comics and all sorts of nonsense!