Roger Casement is known in the UK and Ireland as a British diplomat who joined the Irish Nationalists and, in 1916, was convicted of treason and executed. But the rest of the world is less familiar with his name. Enter Fionnuala Doran, who has released a graphic novel about him called The Trial of Roger Casement. In this episode, she talks with Emmet about the book, its protagonist, and the issues surrounding him, as well as some chat about Preacher and the new status quo in the X-men books.
Ed Piskor‘s comics work has been characterized by deep dives on big topics that the creator is really into: hip hop music and the X-Men. In this episode, Kumar and Dana dig into Piskor’s “Hip Hop Family Tree” and “X-Men: Grand Design.”
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.
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.
As John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew passes the 3/4 point, major characters (including badass galline fan favorites) get maimed and even killed — yet the story somehow retains a lighthearted tone! This week, John Layman (who’s also writing Cyclops for Marvel) talks with Tim about nonsequential storytelling, the one thing Rob Guillory can’t draw, Tiger Beat posters of Robert Kirkman, and much more.
In the world of corporate comics, creators are challenged to put together a run on a given book that will stand out against everything that’s come before in that book, and leave a mark on the series that will last well beyond their run. Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, from 2001 to 2004, met that challenge. In the ten years since he left the book, several characters and situations he set up have endured, including Fantomex, the Stepford Cuckoos, and Scott Summers’ relationship with Emma Frost. Morrison had a good handle on all his characters, old and new, and introduced the new ones in a way that made us care about them, something that certain comics writers have failed to do.
Of course, it’s not perfect. The X-men going public seemed to be the biggest event of the run — somehow overshadowing the slaughter of six million mutants on Genosha. The art was inconsistent — great when Frank Quitely was on it, but questionable some other times. This week Tim and Kumar examine Morrison’s run, particularly the initial “Cassandra Nova” arc.
Last December 5 was our eighth anniversary. This week, we celebrate a bit late, by bringing together the three founders of Deconstructing Comics: Tim, Mulele, and Brandon. We talk about where we are comics-wise (reading and/or creating) and, well, whatever comes to mind…
Yet again, Kumar and Dana go all nationalistic to discuss another Canadian icon: the best there is at what he does, th’ ol’ Canucklehead, Wolverine, bub. First on the chopping block is Wolverine (1982) by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, a comic which tries to not be paint-by-numbers, but ends up being little else. And, Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X, which was apparently spawned from a universe in which neither paint nor numbers exist.
FLASHBACK! Chris Bachlo’s art has long had a compelling style to it, and yet it was sometimes very difficult to decipher just what was happening on some of his pages. This was perhaps particularly pronounced in his work on Steam Punk with Joe Kelly, back at the turn of the millennium. But his recent work on such Marvel titles as Amazing Spider-Man and New Avengers has been completely clear and easy to understand. What did he change to clear things up? And, by the way — will Steam Punk ever be completed?! (Originally published October 26, 2009)