#809 Pidge interview: “Fiction is a way to tell the truth”

Pidge - Infinite Wheatpaste

Sure, comics are great for fantastical stories, but they can tell intimate, personal stories as well — or sometimes the personal and the fantastical mix well. Artist and writer Pidge is the creator of the series Infinite Wheatpaste, which employs this method. Avery Hill has just published a collection of the series, called Infinite Wheatpaste vol 1: Catalytic Conversions. This week Pidge talks with Emmet about her attraction to the comics medium, but concern that it doesn’t cover all the aspects of life that it could: “Having coffee with your friend is worth putting in a comic.”

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#808 Jack Kirby’s “The Eternals” 1-4: Chariots of the Superheroes?

Eternals 1So many Jack Kirby creations focus on gods, from The Mighty Thor to New Gods; he picked up concepts from myth or elsewhere and made them his. Kirby’s The Eternals makes no bones about where its inspiration came from: Erich von Däniken’s 1968 book Chariots of the Gods?. This week Tim and Emmet discuss the first four issues, from 1976. And play along with Emmet in the ongoing game “Did someone lift this idea from Kirby?”

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Critiquing Comics #236: “Clover and Cutlass” and “Coiled to Strike”

"Clover and Cutlass" and "Coiled to Strike"

Clover and Cutlass is a Dungeons and Dragons-inspired fantasy YA comedy web comic by Toby Boyd. Adam joins Tim to discuss. Coiled to Strike is an anthology book from Wildstar Press, featuring numerous artists and writers, focused on the adventures of legendary wild west antihero Emory Graves. Jason joins Tim to critique.

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#807 Reviews: “Fiendish” and “Safer Places”

FiendishFriend of the show Irene Strychalski, former artist of such Marvel titles as Gwenpool and Silk, has been focused on her original title Fiendish, a lushly drawn (and colored, by Carlos Nicolas Zamudio) fantasy story. This week, Tim and Patrick discuss the first two volumes.

Safer PlacesAlso, Tim presents a mini-review of Safer Places by Kit Anderson, another book from our friends at Avery Hill.

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#806 “Berserk” v. 13 & 14: Is this scene necessary?

Berserk 14

Berserk volume 12 left us at a crucial point: The Band of the Hawk were to be sacrificed so that Griffith can join the Godhand. Horrified, Tim and Kumar moved quickly on to volume 13, which left us… horrified, in a less fun way. Casca is raped, in an unnecessarily long, confusing, and (ick) titillating scene (and we have to talk about it, so be warned).

The rest of 13 and the start of 14 finally bring us up to the status quo of the first 2 1/2 volumes, and get us started on a new story of Guts and Puck which…. doesn’t seem to move the story forward at all. While there are good points, our feelings about Kentaro Miura‘s series have become more complicated. And, by the way, how necessary was this 11-volume flashback?

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#805 “Feeding Ghosts”: a story of Chinese history and family trauma

Feeding Ghosts

This week, an interview with Tessa Hulls, author of the graphic memoir Feeding Ghosts. It’s about her Chinese grandmother’s persecution by Chairman Mao’s government, the mental illness that resulted, the effect that had on Tessa’s mother and then on Tessa herself. It’s about Chinese history, trauma, psychology, family relationships, and more. Tim interviews Tessa about the book and how she learned to make comics, and then Emmet joins Tim to review the book.

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#167 “City of Glass”: Adapting a Novel to Comics

City of Glass RIP Paul Auster

FLASHBACK! Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli’s comics version of City of Glass, a 1985 novel by Paul Auster, is an amazing adaptation of an unfilmable novel. Tim and Kumar assess the herculean task of adapting it, in probably the only medium capable of doing so: comics! We re-present this episode in observance of Auster’s passing on April 30 at age 77. Originally published February 16, 2009.

#804 “Berserk” v. 11 & 12: Cartoonish violence, epic horror

Berserk v 12 cover

Kentaro Miura’s Berserk can be upsetting, fascinating, offputting, incredible, and even sometimes a bit comedic, as Tim and Kumar have found over the past several months. All those qualities appear again in volumes 11 and 12, as the story of the extended flashback reaches its climax with Griffith’s horrific accession to the God Hand. Join us as we discuss the cartoonish violence of volume 11 and the epic horror of volume 12.

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#803 Jack Kirby’s “2001” #6-10: Machine Man Begins

Machine Man

What did Marvel expect Jack Kirby to do with a 2001: A Space Odyssey series? Especially when they told him not to create any ongoing characters? What we got included the Monolith and the Star Child, but with unmistakable Kirby bombast. After concluding his story of superhero-obsessed Harvey Norton in issue 6, and a one-shot exploration of what happens after becoming a star child in issue 7, for the final three issues Kirby seems to have abandoned not only his instructions to create no ongoing characters, but also nearly any references to the 2001 world of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick! The story went all-the-way Kirby with the introduction of a new superhero, Mister Machine, later known as Machine Man! Tim and Emmet look at 2001‘s concluding five issues.

“The Crazy Legacy of Jack Kirby’s Forgotten 2001: A Space Odyssey (Wired.com)

Read the 2001 series on Archive.org

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#802 Jack Kirby’s “2001” #1-5: An Interesting Failure

2001 issue 1

As Jack Kirby’s adaptation of the movie/novel 2001: A Space Odyssey sold well, Marvel asked him to turn it into a series — but then tied one hand behind his back by asking that he not create ongoing characters for fear they’d become property of MGM rather than Marvel. As Tim and Emmet see in the first half of the series, it starts out as theme and variations on Dave Bowman’s transformation into a Star Child, but the variations become more elaborate and interesting as he goes.

“The Crazy Legacy of Jack Kirby’s Forgotten 2001: A Space Odyssey (Wired.com)

Read the 2001 series on Archive.org

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