#796 Stan Mack and “Real Life Funnies”

Stan Mack Real Life Funnies

If you read New York’s Village Voice newspaper between 1974 and 1995, you are probably familiar with Stan Mack‘s Real Life Funnies. If not, hold on to your hat! A forthcoming book from Fantagraphics collects many of the strips, all ripped from real life, and taking full advantage of the Voice‘s lack of content guardrails. In this episode, Tim gets the scoop from Mack about what went into making the strip, and into choosing the strips for the book. But first, friend of the show and New Yorker cartoonist Joe Dator, a native New Yorker who read the strip in the Voice, and experienced first-hand some of the events it covers, sets the context for understanding what the strip is and how it encapsulates a time in the city’s history that’s gone forever.

See the book on Fantagraphics’ site

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#479 Some of the greatest Superman stories (or not)

Superman death in issue 149
FLASHBACK! 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* (Originally published December 28, 2015.)

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#219 “Asterios Polyp”

Asterios Polyp

FLASHBACK! Reviews of Asterios Polyp blanket the Internet; why need we pile on? Well, for starters, to counteract all the reviewers who think that giving a story synoposis = explaining what the book’s about. That approach falls far short with Polyp, so Tim and Kumar are here to explain what they feel David Mazzucchelli’s masterwork graphic novel is really about! (Originally published February 15, 2010)

Stumptown annotations of Polyp

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#795 Jack Kirby’s “Capt. America and the Falcon” #198-200: Bicentennial Madness

Capt America and the Falcon 199Cap and the Falcon have found the underground bunker of the aristocratic forces hoping to take over America on the Bicentennial, but the location of their secret weapon, the Mad Bomb, is still a mystery. What next? How about a love story? But wait a minute – this love story between Cap and a sick young woman seems to be here for symbolism. Tim and Emmet follow our heroes to the explosive conclusion of the Mad Bomb storyline in Captain America and the Falcon 198-200!

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#794 “The Ballad of Halo Jones” – in color!

Halo Jones
To mark the recent passing of artist Ian Gibson, Kumar and Dana dive into a long-overdue discussion of his masterpiece with writer Alan Moore, The Ballad of Halo Jones. Halo Jones is an early work by Moore that was never completed, but it is rich, immersive, and fully developed at every turn, from the characters to the world-building, largely due to the influence of Gibson himself on the creative process. But is there something familiar about it all…?

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Buy The Ballad of Halo Jones on Amazon.com

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#793 “Berserk” v 7-8: The Battle for Doldrey

Berserk

While Kentaro Miura’s Berserk is meant to feature the swordsman character Guts, in volumes 7 and 8 the focus is on Griffith and the progress made – at ANY cost – toward his dream of having his own kingdom, a machine in which Guts is just a major cog. Casca is the other major figure, as Tim and Kumar wonder just what her real feelings for Griffith – and for Guts – might be; why this lengthy flashback has so much less magic in it than the pre-flashback story did; and how Griffith gets from this point into the Godhand.

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“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)

Tim continues to catch up with the MCU! This film is awkward to review nearly two years after it came out, with Tim going through the speculation about how this story will play out in Avengers: End Game that those who are already caught up, including Mulele, already know the answers to. Listen to relive your reaction to the first time you watched it! (Originally published on Patreon January 18, 2020)

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#792 Jack Kirby’s “Capt. America and the Falcon” #195-197: “Kill-Derby”

Cap and Falcon 196

Cap and Falcon are trapped in an underground bunker where elites plot to destroy the Bicentennial celebrations and take away Americans’ freedoms. In Captain America and the Falcon 195-197, they participate in the “Kill-Derby” to retrieve Cap’s stolen shield break up the bad guys’ underground civilization. Tim and Emmet continue their look at Jack Kirby‘s 1970s work at Marvel!

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#791 Daniel Clowes’ “Monica”

Monica

Monica is Dan Clowes’s richest and most rewarding book in years, combining the surrealism of early works like Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron with the multi-genre anthology approach of his more recent books. What does it all mean though? Kumar and Dana try to come to an understanding of it, spoiling almost every page in the process, and, yet, even after several readings they’re still not quite sure. But does that actually matter?

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#790 “Social Fiction” by Chantal Montellier

Social Fiction

Chantal Montellier‘s Social Fiction, published by New York Review Comics with a translation by Geoffrey Brock, is a collection of comics fueled by political anger, hauntingly farsighted satire and attacks on consumer culture.

Emmet and Kumar review the collection, which still feels vibrant and at the same time prophetic, given the original publications dates of the stories from the 1970s and 1980s. Montellier’s work collected here uses science fiction to discuss white supremacist movements, body autonomy – oh, and talking cats.

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