#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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Critiquing Comics #235: “Rebirth of the Gangster” and “Toe & So Long”

Rebirth of the Gangster, Toe and So Long

Critiquing Comics returns, with a comic that we just couldn’t put down, and one that we couldn’t quite pick up on! Jason joins Tim to discuss Rebirth of the Gangster: The Complete Collection, a crime novel with incredible forward momentum by Writer CJ Standal and Artist Juan Romera. Then Adam and Tim critique Toe & So Long, a rather cosmicky, rather AdventureTimey comic created by Jacob Michael Campbell with art by Alexis Vivallo.

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#801 Swamp Thing Begins: Issues 1-13 reviewed

Swamp Thing

The character of Swamp Thing originated in House of Secrets #92 in 1971, drawn by Berni Wrightson and written by Len Wein. That story served as a first draft for the real origin story in Swamp Thing #1, with the same creative pairing. This week, Tim is joined by writer for CBR and Screen Rant Ashley Land to discuss the collection Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age vol. 1!

Crowdfunding campaign for Ashley’s comic The Unbreakable Argonauts #1

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#800 “Batman and the Outsiders” vol. 2 review

BATO v 2

Batman and the Outsiders was one of DC’s top sellers in the 1980s. This time, Tim is joined by John Trumbull to take a close look at the second volume of the series, which includes the reveal of Halo’s origin, exploration of Metamorpho’s, the 1984 L.A. Olympics, time travel, and more. Don’t forget the Mike W. Barr wordplay and great Jim Aparo art!

Tim and John discussed the first volume of the series here.

John writes for Back Issue magazine (and is an admin on their Facebook group) and co-hosts the SNL Nerds podcast.

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#799 “Berserk” v. 9 & 10 deep dive: Genre hopping

Berserk 9-10

Kentaro Miura’s Berserk can be confounding. Reading volumes 9 and 10 prompts us to ask “Just what genre IS this comic, anyway?” While it still has plenty of over-the-top action and violence, it also has gratuitous sex, comedy, and even some horror elements. And now we finally have hints toward why the “present” of volumes 1-3 had so many magical elements that have been mostly missing from the ongoing flashback. Tim and Kumar ask “Could it be the magic at last?”

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