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All posts for the month February, 2014

RASL

This week on??View from the Gutters??our topic work is RASL, by Jeff Smith. It is the story of a reality hopping art-thief and scientist, on the run from government agents who want to turn his research into weapons.

Smith is a master cartoonist who effortlessly blends action, mystery, fantasy, and humor. Readers may be familiar with his prior work, the fantasy epic Bone, and RASL lives up to whatever expectations that previous work may have set for it, albeit in a much shorter form, and aimed at a more adult audience.

The artwork is incredibly compelling, as Smith once again demonstrates his skill at rendering action on the page, supplemented with great design work and an expert eye for panel layouts. Although the series clocks in at a modest 15 issues, it reads fast as you are immediately drawn into the story and world that Smith creates.

In our recommendation section, our hosts nominated Green Arrow: Quiver, Rat Queens, The Sword, and Fell for discussion on the next episode, and our selected title is The Sword.

Our hosts for this episode were Andrew Chard, Joe Preti, Tobiah Panshin, and Cade Reynolds.

This weeks Top of the Stack is up now! Guess who still hasn’t read Invincible…

Info: Top of the Stack is a weekly show presented by View from the Gutters that highlights single issue comics that were released that day.

This episode we discuss: Rat Queens #5, Umbral #4, Batman Superman #8, Worlds Finest #20, Adventures of Superman #10, Fantastic Four #1, Guardians of the Galaxy #12, Revenge #1, One Hit Wonder #1, Vandroid #1, King Conan #1, Black Science #4, Dead Body Road #3, Deadly Class #2, Tenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #31, Tenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utron Empire #2, Indestructible Hulk #19, Superior Spider-Man #28, Hawkeye #15,Hactivist #2

Collected Editions: Walter Simonson Thor vol 4, Superior foes of Spider-Man vol 1, Invincible vol 19, X-force Complete Collection vol 1

Top Picks: Adventures of Superman #10, King Conan #1

Hosts: Andrew Chard, Eric Manix

mouseguard

This week on??View from the Gutters??our topic work is??Mouse Guard, the??Eisner Award-winning comic??lovingly hand-crafted by David Peterson. Set in the year 1152,??Mouse Guard??is the story of the eponymous guard, as they encounter and overcome various threats???both external and from within???to the mice of the land.

It’s an excellent all ages tale, and a great introduction to comic books for a young reader. The artwork is lavish and adorable, but conveys emotion and action well. It has a great cast of characters and an imaginative, robust world with lots of interesting set pieces. In volume 1, Fall, the mice of the guard must contend with a shadow threat that looms over the country: The Black Axe.

In our recommendation section, our hosts nominated Green Lantern: Willworld, Batman/Superman: Supergirl, RASL, and Earth 2 for discussion on the next episode, and our selected title is RASL.

Our hosts for this episode were Andrew Chard, Joe Preti, Tobiah Panshin, and Cade Reynolds as Himself.

This week on the podcast we???re reading Warren Ellis???s Planetary, which is one of my very favorite comic books. I highly recommend it to you if you???ve never read it, because I find that every time I read it I get a little bit more out of it, or that I notice some new additional nugget that I???d missed before. In particular I found a much deeper appreciation for it on this read through, having read and recorded long discussions about comics in the past year, and one panel stuck out to me in a way it never had before.

The protagonist of Planetary, Elijah Snow, is speaking to Sherlock Holmes circa 1920. Holmes is detailing to him the ideals???and failure of those ideals???of his generation of “the extraordinary.” The conversation ends with Holmes agreeing to instruct Snow in his methods, because “this is??your century, and it needs you.”

This conversation stuck out to me because here we are in 2014???not quite a century from that fictional meeting, but close???and we are still largely dealing with the extraordinary of the 20th Century???its heroes and villains. They are characters with their own identities and lives, yes. But more than that they are fictional characters, designed and built as allegories for the woes of their time. Continue Reading

planetary

This week on??View from the Gutters??our topic work is Planetary, by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday. Release between 1999 and 2009 and running for a staggering 27 issues,??Planetary??is one of Ellis’ master works. Nominally set in the Wildstorm comics universe, it is the story of Elijah Snow???one of the Century Babies: a group of apparently immortal superhumans all born on January 1, 1900???and the Planetary Organization, a group of crypto-archeologists dedicated to uncovering the secret history of the 20th Century.

Planetary is in many ways an attempt to make sense of a century of popular media. It makes frequent references to other works, including numerous characters from DC and Marvel, as well as Kaiju films, 50s B-movies, various stories and characters from the pulp magazines, and many more. It is also an exemplary supers story in and of itself, and expands upon the ideas Ellis presented in his two other notable Wildstorm works,??Stormwatch and??The Authority.

We encourage our listeners to share your own thoughts and discuss this week’s book either as a comment on our website, or on our Facebook page.

In our recommendation section our hosts nominated Luthor Strode Vol. 1 & 2, Boba Fett: Death, Lies, and Treachery, Superman/Shazam: First Thunder, Mouse Guard, and Samurai Cat #1-3 for discussion, and our selected title is??Mouse Guard. We will be reading the collected volumes of Fall, Winter, and The Black Axe, as well as the Spring one-shot issue.

Our hosts for this episode were Andrew Chard, Joe Preti, Matt McGinnis, Tobiah Panshin, and Cade Reynolds.

There was an absolutely great article posted to reddit today drilling down into an issue of Morrison’s Animal Man. If you listened to our episode on Animal Man and are interested in a more in-depth look, I high recommend this:

The Foucault Gospel:??Grant Morrison, French Philosophy, and One Mangy Coyote

Now many of you have probably read ???The Coyote Gospel.??? ??It???s one of the most famous single issues in comics history, and for good reason.?? For me, it marks the moment when Grant Morrison truly found his voice as a writer???the moment he went from simply writing clever and skillful comics to producing something far more profound.