For the past several decades there have been a lot of comics, movies, and other fiction involving “bad futures”, with lots of poverty, violence, environmental destruction, and the like. Why has this genre been so appealing to so many?
In this episode, Emmet O’Cuana talks with Mark Hobby about why this genre endures and how Mark has approached it in his own comic, Job Dun: Fat Assassin. They also discuss why British writers have led the pack on bad future stories, how Watchmen and the X-Men fit into the discussion, why sex in media seems to upset some people more than violence, and more.
UK creator Bryan Talbot (The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Heart of Empire, Grandville series) talks with Koom about co-founding the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, the difference between a “comicon” and a “festival”, working with Alan Moore on “Nightjar”, and much more.
At London Super Comicon last month, Koom got to sit down with Paul Gravett, a comics journalist and exhibition curator. Gravett is currently preparing the touring Asian comics show Mangasia, which will debut in Rome next month. This is a guy who’s read a lot of comics; do they all become a blur after a while? Koom asks him about avoiding burnout, the amount of progress comics have (or haven’t) made toward being accepted by the “art world”, and much more.
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, with a result that many found unexpected and disturbing, Emmet and John discuss various comics that have commented on politics and on government gone bad, including V for Vendetta; X-men: God Loves, Man Kills; Ex Machina; Prez; Transmetropolitan; Nemesis the Warlock; American Flagg; Congressman John Lewis’ March; and more.
Join Kumar and Koom as they discuss Alan Moore’s run on the palladium paragon, the alabaster avenger, the archetypical archetype: Rob Liefeld’s Supreme. Kumar tries not to lose it over the Image era ‘artwork’ while Koom attempts to reconcile supremium with revisionist theory. Supreme was Moore’s last outing with a true blue superhero in the classical mould. Both postmodern and nostalgic for lost comic values at the same time, this run sits Janus-like between Moore’s early work and his modern period.
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*
Artist Stephen Bissette is best-known for his work on Swamp Thing in the ’80s with Alan Moore and John Totleben, as well as 1963 and his solo project Tyrant. Currently he’s teaching at the Center for Cartoon Studies, and this week he joins Tim and Kumar for a wide-ranging discussion, including:
The difference between comics schools in the ‘70s vs today
What it was like growing up as the first Fantastic Four and Spider-Man comics were hitting the stands and why he liked the new FF movie
Is the current state of Image Comics a new paradigm in creator rights, or is it more of the same?
Making things scary in comics vs. media that include movement and sound
His original plan for “Tyrant”, which ceased with the ‘90s comics industry implosion. Will we ever see more of Tyrant?
It’s one thing to have sex with a robot. What if you actually started having feelings for your A.I. S.O.? What if you started preferring the robot to your actual human partner? That’s the situation in Jess Fink‘s sexual, but also romantic and even moving, graphic novel Chester 5000 xyv. Jess discusses the book with Tim in this episode, as well as her sci-fi autobiographical story We Can Fix It, getting a book-jacket blurb from Alan Moore, making comics for kids, and more.
It’s been over 25 years since DC published the completed story (which had been left hanging several years earlier when the title it appeared in in Britain was cancelled), and (can you believe it?) nearly a decade since the film came out. How does Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta look now? Is there any tension to this story, or does the fact that every step of V’s plan seems to go off without a hitch make it a boring read? Tim and Kumar discuss this, the pivotal prison sequence, the well-developed supporting cast, and much more.