#809 Pidge interview: “Fiction is a way to tell the truth”

Pidge - Infinite Wheatpaste

Sure, comics are great for fantastical stories, but they can tell intimate, personal stories as well — or sometimes the personal and the fantastical mix well. Artist and writer Pidge is the creator of the series Infinite Wheatpaste, which employs this method. Avery Hill has just published a collection of the series, called Infinite Wheatpaste vol 1: Catalytic Conversions. This week Pidge talks with Emmet about her attraction to the comics medium, but concern that it doesn’t cover all the aspects of life that it could: “Having coffee with your friend is worth putting in a comic.”

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#808 Jack Kirby’s “The Eternals” 1-4: Chariots of the Superheroes?

Eternals 1So many Jack Kirby creations focus on gods, from The Mighty Thor to New Gods; he picked up concepts from myth or elsewhere and made them his. Kirby’s The Eternals makes no bones about where its inspiration came from: Erich von Däniken’s 1968 book Chariots of the Gods?. This week Tim and Emmet discuss the first four issues, from 1976. And play along with Emmet in the ongoing game “Did someone lift this idea from Kirby?”

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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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#797 Jack Kirby’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”

2001: A Space Odyssey

Jack Kirby’s 1976 adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey is an odd combination of the Stanley Kubrick movie, the Arthur C. Clarke novel, and Kirby’s own research and dramatic inclinations, which sometimes were pretty out-of-step with the tone of the film! This week, Tim and Emmet discuss this out-of-print treasury edition comic, where it borrows from one or both of the other versions, and where Kirby goes off on his own tangents!

“The Crazy Legacy of Jack Kirby’s Forgotten 2001: A Space Odyssey (Wired.com)

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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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#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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#789 Jack Kirby’s “Capt. America and the Falcon” #193-194: “Madbomb”

Captain America and the Falcon

When Jack Kirby returned to Marvel in 1975, the first series he worked on starred the character that was one of Kirby’s earliest claims to fame: Captain America, created in 1940 by Kirby and writer Joe Simon. Before Kirby returned, Cap’s book became Captain America and the Falcon. As Kirby begins his run, he deftly uses the African-American Falcon to show that Cap’s optimistic view of America (“This country’s grown up!”) isn’t always accurate (“Jive! It’s still trying, friend!”). This time, Tim and Emmet discuss Captain America and the Falcon #193-194.

Waxing and Waning: Essays on Moon Knight, containing an essay by Emmet

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#787 Jack Kirby’s “OMAC”: The World That’s Going

The run of Jack Kirby’s OMAC: One Man Army Corps was bright but short, lasting only through eight bi-monthly issues. This time Tim and Emmet discuss issues 5 through eight, covering a shocking, brilliant two-parter, another two-parter that brings the series to a crashing halt, and more evidence that Kirby was great at wild ideas, but naming the characters might have been better left to someone else!

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#786 Jack Kirby’s “OMAC”: The World That’s Coming

One of Kirby’s late efforts at DC was OMAC: One-Man Army Corps, which focuses on “the world that’s coming”: what miracles, and horrors, technology would bring. Of course, some of it seems ridiculous, but other parts seem prescient. Tim and Emmet discuss the book’s crazy Kirby concepts — or are they crazy?

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