#628 Two viewpoints on “The Killing Joke”

The Killing Joke

Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke is a favorite of many, but also a tough read more many others. And perhaps there’s some overlap.

In this episode we meet two who both spoke on this book at recent Batman in Popular Culture conference in Bowling Green, Ohio:

  • William Weaver on the book’s portrayal of people reacting to trauma, something that Batman and the Joker have in common with virtually every hero and villain; and
  • Tricia Ennis on how a book reviled by many as a prime example of the “women in refrigerators” trope — where a woman is harmed solely to get at a man in her life, not because of who she is — led to the much-loved heroine Oracle. How can something you hate be the cause of something you love?

#617 Swamp Thing meets the monsters

Swamp Thing 40

After, well, a slight delay, Deconstructing Comics continues its look at Alan Moore’s 1980s run on Swamp Thing— a run in which the title character met werewolves and vampires (as Moore and co. found a new way to use these old tropes), as well as new character John Constantine. Moore was aided by artists Stephen Bissette, John Totleben, and Alfredo Acala, among others. Koom and newcomer Darrell Epp discuss.

#608 JH Williams III talks “Promethea”

Promethea

A few months back, Kumar and Emmet discussed Alan Moore and JH WilliamsPromethea on the show, which led to a Twitter contact with Williams. In this episode, Emmet talks with Williams about the process of making Promethea with Moore in the early 2000s and the definition of “the end of the world”, as well as getting Williams’ thoughts on how DC has brought back the Promethea character.

#591 “Promethea”: A mind-bending, life-changing comic

While Alan Moore and J.H. Williams’ Promethea, published from 1999 to 2005, is not one of Moore’s most remembered works, it’s not because the author wasn’t at the top of his game. Kumar and Emmet find it to be entrancing, even if you don’t buy into the various magical and spiritual elements that Moore built into it.

Also, inevitably, the incorporation of Promethea and other Moore creations into the DC Universe comes up; is it really just a business decision, or is the publisher singling out Moore’s work out of spite?

#575 Helioscope: Karl Kesel and Dylan Meconis

This week we begin our visit with the creators at Helioscope, a comics studio in Portland, Oregon!

Karl Kesel has been in mainstream comics for 30 years and has worked on some of the most popular characters from the Big Two. How has the industry changed in that time, for good and bad? Why is his fingernail always broken? How is inking therapeutic for him?

 

 

 

Then graphic novelist Dylan Meconis (Bite Me!: A Vampire Farce; Family Man; Outfoxed) gives us a lot of thoughts and tips for promoting a comic online, as well as why foxes are thought of as tricksters in numerous cultures, and how we’ll know when comics have really “arrived”.

 

 

#565 “Mister Miracle” and comics journalism hype

Mister Miracle

DC recently launched a new Mister Miracle series, by Tom King and Mitch Gerads. Well and good, thought Emmet, but then he saw a certain CBR headline that set him off. “King and Gerads have redefined comics”? Hyperbolic much?

So Emmet recruited Kumar to review both Mister Miracle #1 and the hype surrounding it. Is the use of suicide in the story meaningful? Hackneyed? How accessible is this comic to readers who don’t know the character? And, why does everything in comics have to be super-hyped nowadays?

Donate to the Ed Siemienkowicz Memorial Scholarship (Choose it from the pulldown menu)

#562 Christopher Jones and Lucid

Chris Jones and Lucid

More Minneapolis comics creators!

Christopher Jones has done a variety of work for DC Comics (including The Batman Strikes and one story in Batman ’66) and other animation adaptations), a few things for Marvel, and Dr. Who comics for Titan. How did he break in, and why is so much of his work of a more “cartoony” nature?
Lucid is making her living from crowdfunding in support of her webcomic, Avialae, a “boy’s love” story with an emphasis on consensual couplings. She talks about how “living the dream” can sometimes be a double-edged sword.

#558 “Transmetropolitan”

Spider Jerusalem

Transmetropolitan, by Warren Ellis and Darrick Robertson, was a 60-issue series that covered potential issues of the future as well as political issues for any era. Tim and Kumar have read the whole series, and now they’re here with an analysis. How does the series’ take on the future stack up, fifteen years later? How does it seem prescient, and how does it feel a bit off-base? What are the politics of the series? Why does it appropriate a couple of iconic images?

#555 Steve Pugh takes on “The Flintstones”

The Flintstones

One breakout hit comic of the past year is DC’s The Flintstones, by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh. This week, Tim and John Roberson talk with Pugh about the challenges of adapting the 1960s characters to a slightly more serious art style and discuss writer Russell’s decidedly different take on this classic Hanna-Barbera property.

Patrons can hear a bonus review of Flintstones #12 on Patreon!

#539 “Captain Marvel and the Art of Nostalgia”

Captain Marvel

Brian W. Cremins, author of Captain Marvel and the Art of Nostalgia, discusses the Big Red Cheese as a symbol for the innocence of childhood and how creators Otto Binder and C.C. Beck expressly used the character we know as “Shazam” to explores these themes.

Cremins also discusses with Emmet O’Cuana the use of nostalgia, both in the original Fawcett comic books and in our remembering of the series, drawing on the theories of Svetlana Bohm and the writing of W.G. Sebald. In this wide-ranging discussion, Cremins addresses the Fawcett v National trial, Binder’s science fiction career, Alan Moore’s “Marvelman”, and the casting of The Rock in the upcoming “Shazam” movie.