#751 Rachel Pollack’s “Doom Patrol”

Doom Patrol

In the mid-’90s, Grant Morrison’s innovative run on Doom Patrol was followed by that of Rachel Pollack, who took advantage of Morrison’s legacy, the greatest variety of sexual minority characters of any mainstream comic at the time, to express her feelings about being trans and a lesbian herself. Her run also examines a number of standard comic book tropes. This run, which was far ahead of its time, has been unavailable in a collection for some time, but these issues (64 to 87) are finally to be made available this month in an omnibus. Kumar and Emmet discuss this gender-bending run.

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#750 Jack Kirby’s “The Demon”

The DemonAfter leaving DC’s Jimmy Olsen book, Jack Kirby needed something else to keep his monthly page count up to the level he had contracted for. One of the books he came up with was The Demon, the result of his being asked to do a “monsters and mystery” book. But Kirby didn’t have a lot of interest in that genre; was that to the disadvantage of the book, or to its advantage? Tim and Emmet discuss this 16-issue series.

The Bebop Bao Kickstarter

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Critiquing Comics #221: “Steamgear Inc.”

Steamgear Inc.

Alexandra (her friends call her “Ax”) is trying to get in touch with hero team Steamgear Defenders; she wants to become a member. But will they turn out to be all they’re cracked up to be? Will she even get there, with so many people getting in her way? The comic is Steamgear Inc. by Snuffy Sam, with the most unusual art Tim or Adam have ever seen. Does that mean it’s good? We discuss.

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#749 Marta Chudolinska: “An insider and an outsider”

babcia

Marta Chudolinska (who-doh-lean-ska), the child of Polish immigrants to Canada, makes comics and other art in Toronto. Koom talks with her about her ongoing project Babcia, about her grandmother and her family’s history in Poland.

Marta Chudolinska babcia2 babcia1

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Critiquing Comics #220: “Amazing Tales” #5

Amazing Tales 5

This time, we critique the fifth installment in David Dye‘s “Amazing Tales” anthology series. In the main story, we again join the troops of Dropship Fifteen, in a story that gets a bit harrowing… but not without some humor. Adam joins Tim to talk through the issue.

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#748 Elizabeth Sandifer on Netflix’s “Sandman”

Sandman

While Netflix’s Sandman series has gone over well with many fans, not everyone is pleased. This week Emmet talks with comics commentator Elizabeth Sandifer, who has found the series to be vastly inferior to the original comics, and gives us her reasons in a very entertaining and informative way.

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#747 “Suzanne: The Jazz Age Goddess of Tennis”

Suzanne

Suzanne Lenglen was a trendsetting tennis star in the 1920s, among the first to challenge the notion that tennis players had to be amateurs, running themselves into debt to keep competing, in order to participate in tournaments. Tom Humberstone‘s first full-length graphic novel Suzanne: The Jazz Age Goddess of Tennis, soon to be released, is a finely honed work of historical fiction on her life and influence. Tim and Jason review the book in this episode; then, Tim interviews Humberstone about the process of making the book, why he was inspired to focus on Lenglen, and what he hopes to do next.

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#746 Manga Mermaid Madness!

Merfolk

Patrick Ijima-Washburn (a.k.a. “Patrick W.”) has been doing some deep research on certain themes used in manga. Last year, he told us about scary cats in manga; this time it’s (mostly scary) mermaids — or, to be gender neutral, “merfolk.” Thinking it would be a topic easily covered, he was soon caught in a tsunami of manga fish-people, from adaptations of “The Little Mermaid,” to creepy human-like creatures that live in the water, Creature of the Black Lagoon style. He shares his findings here, focusing on merfolk in the works of (clockwise from left) Kazuo Umezu, Rumiko Takahashi, and Osamu Tezuka.

Patrick’s video about mermaids in manga

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#745 Noah Van Sciver and “Joseph Smith and the Mormons”

Joseph Smith and the Mormons

Joseph Smith and the Mormons is an objective look at the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Author and artist Noah Van Sciver took a bit of heat from the church for not portraying things in line with church teaching. Adam interviews Noah in this episode, as they compare notes on moving on from their respective religious upbringings, plus Noah describes his process and tools, adjusting to fatherhood, and what kind of comics work to do next.

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#744 “Fist of the North Star”

Fist of the North Star

If you’re looking for over-the-top — way, way over — action and violence, then Fist of the North Star, by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara, is the comic for you! Kumar and Jordan breathlessly recount their experience reading the comic, which — despite the ridiculousness of the story — is done sincerely, not cynically.

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