Comments for View from the Gutters A Roundtable Comic Book Club Podcast Mon, 27 May 2019 20:38:20 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Journey into Mystery #88-93 (May 1963) by Tobiah Mon, 27 May 2019 20:38:20 +0000 In reply to Cory Panshin.

Thank you for the correction. ????

Comment on Journey into Mystery #88-93 (May 1963) by Cory Panshin Mon, 27 May 2019 14:15:34 +0000 Yeah, you got it wrong. It was the Boston Common, where the police had been ruthlessly enforcing the “stay off the grass” laws for months as an anti-hippie measure. And your father and I went over there one Saturday and suddenly the grass was covered with picnicking middle class families, not a cop in sight, and almost no hippies either. So we walked over to the only three hippies in the area and asked, “Hey, where is everybody.” And the answer was, “Oh, they’re all over at that big music festival in New York State.” That taught me a lot about cops and the rule of law.

Comment on Bonus Episode ??? Avengers Fantasy Draft by Mike Appears Again on the View from the Gutters podcast! | Radio vs. the Martians! Fri, 17 May 2019 06:54:24 +0000 […] In honor of the release of Avengers: Endgame, Mike is back on the temporarily-out-of-retirement View from the Gutters podcast, to participate in their first ever, Avengers Fantasy Draft! […]

Comment on Tales of Suspense #39-43 (March 1963) by Cory Panshin Tue, 23 Apr 2019 03:35:03 +0000 I’ve got to say that newspaper strike was a bummer for me personally. It was my senior year of high school. I tied for the highest score in the New York State Regents Scholarship Exam (kind of a statewide version of the Merit Scholarships exam), and I lost my big chance to have my name in the New York Times. There was a story in the Amsterdam News (a black paper up in Harlem) and one in another small local paper, but those were the only ones in the city not hit by the strike.

Though if anybody cares, that Amsterdam News story can be found online under the headline “Queens Girl Scores 292.”

Comment on Incredible Hulk #5-6, Tales to Astonish #39-43 (Jan. 1963) by Tobiah Tue, 26 Mar 2019 13:26:45 +0000 In reply to Cory Panshin.

Yes, we mentioned Telstar a few episodes ago.

Comment on Incredible Hulk #5-6, Tales to Astonish #39-43 (Jan. 1963) by Cory Panshin Tue, 26 Mar 2019 06:26:40 +0000 JFK Airport was Idlewild before it was JFK.

You played “Telstar” as the intro, but the real Telstar was incredibly important. (Did you cover it on one of your 1962 episodes?)

Comment on Strange Tales #101-103 (Nov. 1962) by Cory Panshin Tue, 26 Feb 2019 07:08:48 +0000 A few historical comments.
1) It was the popularity of foreign films in the early 60s that helped break the stranglehold of the Hays code. (Hey, you didn’t think all those college students were suddenly fascinated by French philosophy, did you?)
2) They were starting to tiptoe around the Comics Code by 1968, when someone showed me an issue of Sgt. Fury in which he’s starting to get it on with his girlfriend — then the next panel, where the sex would be if they could show you the sex, is just a rose — and then the panel after that is something innocuous again.
3) Eleanor Roosevelt also died in November 1962. It was the day after the election, and my only consolation was that we’d never be bothered by Richard Nixon again. Yeah, right. You can’t trust a supervillain when they try to tell you they’re gone for good. They always pop back up again.

Comment on Tales to Astonish #35-37 (Oct. 1962) by Cory Panshin Mon, 11 Feb 2019 18:01:40 +0000 You’re throwing me back into my childhood. I saw Dr. No with my dad when it came to the US. And then I read the book. And then I summarized it at length in my diary. But James Bond didn’t come out of nowhere. When Kennedy was elected president, it was widely reported that he was a James Bond fan. (In related news, JFK was also fascinated by the CIA and gave them far too much leeway, but that’s another story.) And there was definitely a spy genre before then, because I read a ton of spy novels around 1960, just before I got onto science fiction. But those were mostly pretty realistic and grim and cynical in a kind of film noir-ish way. James Bond was much pulpier and closer to the comic books you’ve been covering, with plenty of room for mad scientists and other outrageous stuff. And the movies just ran with that stuff, plus lots of sex and violence played for laughs. It was all very Swinging Sixties in a way that fit the dominant mood of those years, c. 1962-66, between the decline of the beatniks and the rise of the hippies.

Comment on Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962) by Cory Panshin Mon, 24 Dec 2018 16:21:05 +0000 You’re bringing back memories. In August 1962, I was off having college interviews and stewing about Congress handing over the communication satellites to private corporations. (Telstar, launched in July 1962, really belongs in your story, since it changed the way we conceive of the world.) Then, a little over a year later, I’d started college and the word filtered down in my dorm that there was this weird girl on the third flood who had comics pasted on her door. So I went to have a look and she’d taped up a single strip from a Spider-Man comic in which Spider-Man is walking home in the rain and his Spidey-suit is sopping wet because it isn’t made of super-duper alien fabric, and he has a running nose, and he’s brooding about how this sort of thing never happens to other super-heroes. And I was instantly hooked.

That was the start of a chain of events. My roommate and I became friends with the girl who was putting up the comics. A few months later, she lured us both off to get involved with science fiction fandom — which was how I eventually met Toby’s father. So it’s absolutely fair to say that Toby wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Spider-Man and his runny nose.

Comment on 191 – Kill Six Billion Demons by Tobiah Wed, 12 Jul 2017 19:34:44 +0000 In reply to Cory Panshin.

I linked it in the show notes.

Comment on 191 – Kill Six Billion Demons by Cory Panshin Wed, 12 Jul 2017 15:21:24 +0000 The Land of Make-Believe

Comment on 184 – Injection by Mike Gillis Fri, 23 Dec 2016 19:21:32 +0000 It was a privilege to be be a guest on the show! Thanks for having me on!

Comment on 184 – Injection by Mike Makes an Appearance on the View from the Gutters Podcast! | Radio vs. the Martians! Mon, 19 Dec 2016 21:02:43 +0000 […] Check it out! […]

Comment on 180 ??? Star Wars by Cory Panshin Mon, 17 Oct 2016 19:59:45 +0000 Easy-peasy. Define a straight line as the shortest distance between two points. On a flat surface, given a straight line and a point outside that line, it is possible to construct one and only one straight line through that point that will never intersect with the original line. That’s Euclid. (Think train tracks.) On a sphere, where every straight line is an arc of a great circle, all straight lines must eventually converge. (Think lines of longitude meeting at the poles.) And if space is saddle-shaped, straight lines are more like parabolas that follow the curve of the saddle, so it’s possible to construct an infinite number of those through a point, none of which will ever meet the original line because they all curve away from it with differing degrees of steepness. Three types, just like Joe said.

Comment on Back Matter #23 ??? Comment Response, and DC Comics by Cory Panshin Mon, 10 Oct 2016 17:48:09 +0000 There are any number of things that fantastic literature can do and realistic literature can’t. But in the specific case of characters like Kamala Khan or Luke Cage, the greatest impact may lie in taking someone from a group that is normally at the bottom of the social pecking order and turning them into a superhero. That immediately inverts all our expectations about relative power and status and forces us to completely rethink our attitudes towards the group in question. And there’s no way you could do that in realistic fiction.

Comment on Back Matter #22 ??? Comics and Film Criticism by Dennis Thu, 06 Oct 2016 17:43:42 +0000 Well, this sounds like a conversation between three very intelligent and educated guys who like to think about stuff. It is not a lecture, so of course it is not organized or presented in a highly structured way. People aren’t “ass wholes” because they like to think and discuss their thoughts. It is a very interesting discussion. I expect to disagree with some content in a good discussion. It makes it more interesting for me, not less.

Comment on Back Matter #22 ??? Comics and Film Criticism by Barry Wed, 05 Oct 2016 08:29:56 +0000 In reply to Brandon Noel.

I agree. Listening to this episode was like intellectual whiplash because every other minute somebody (Usually Jason S.) would say something that was cringworthy and dismissive in an otherwise interesting discussion. I want to maybe listen to the beginning of the episode again because it seems like these guys probably had started the conversation before the recording started because the main thesis of what their point was was never made clear in the beginning. The listener is implored to stop consuming any media that they like or that has any recognizable structure at all but it was never made clear WHY this should be done. Its taken as a given that popular media that has any linear story structure needs to be avoided for really no given reason, its just assumed. The treatment of Kamala Khan is also was frustrating because it was clear that one of the guests, maybe both I’m not sure, used it as an example of telling the same story just with a different gender and ethnicity hero but then goes on to say that he hasn’t read the book and it would be so much better if Ms. Marvel were just a slice of life docudrama about a Pakistani immigrant family living in New Jersey. For those of us listening who have actually read that book, it is very far from just another superhero book with a color swapped hero, its not at all an example of what they are talking about. If Kamala Khan was brown Carol Danvers then the story would not be worth telling and the book would not be so successful as it is. I also noticed that the word “consume” was used only to refer to the consumption of media the guests didn’t like. As though people mindlessly consume Captain America and they meditate, interpret, or reflect on A Contract With God. Popular media, even if you don’t like it, can still be an excellent example of its archetype. The 1960’s Batman tv show isn’t a “textual deconstruction of metanarratives that examines the reification of post war ideology”. Its a really good show about a goofy guy dressed like a bat that winks at its audience. Sometimes I want to read Adorno (complain about Jazz), and thats fine. Other at other occasions I’ll read Supergirl. They are both so qualitatively different experiences that criticizing one for not meeting the specific standard set by the other is pointless. This is not me advocating the “Just turn your brain off” argument that people use to defend the merits of blatantly bad media like the recent DC films. You should be activly engaged with popular media, and appreciate it for the niche it fulfills instead of bemoaning media as bad because it has ads on buses.

That is not to say that I disagree with the larger message of the discussion which is that we should seek out media that challenges us, or when we do consume mainstream media that we should engage with that media critically. I liked the discussion on the comic book industry as a whole and why some books last 75 years and others are cancelled after a few issues. Joe did a good job of jumping in and filling in a knowledge gap between him and the guests about Diamond. My main issue with this episode is how disorganized the ideas are and how they are not well presented from start to finish. If you say that the walking dead is an adolescent fantasy, then explain why and give an argument as to why that should concern us or not. As a listener I really really hope that these topics are brought up again in a future episode because whether or not I agree with a guest or panelist discussions on these topics are valuable and View From The Gutters is doing a great service by taking part in it.

Comment on Back Matter #22 ??? Comics and Film Criticism by Brandon Noel Wed, 05 Oct 2016 01:44:30 +0000 I love different points of view. It’s why I’ve been listening to you guys for close to three years. But some of the coments reminded me of frederick wortham. As you guys pointed out in a passed episode it’s a fine gaul to get ones PHD, as long as one dusen’t become an ass whole. Love you guys.

Comment on Back Matter #22 ??? Comics and Film Criticism by Tobiah Wed, 05 Oct 2016 00:55:42 +0000 In reply to Brandon Noel.

Not gonna lie Brandon; while I think that Kevin and Jason made a lot of insightful comments, I don’t disagree with you. Had I been present for this episode I would have raised strenuous objection to some of their???let’s call them more “navel gazing”???positions.

However, if nothing else View from the Gutters is an exercise in sharing different perspectives. And while I may personally disagree with them on some points, I’m always glad to add additional points of view to our discussions.

Comment on Back Matter #22 ??? Comics and Film Criticism by Brandon Noel Wed, 05 Oct 2016 00:15:08 +0000 I have listened to every episode of back matter. This episode is intellectual superiority at its worst. At one point one of the guest refers to all superhero stories as childish. That 90% of you back catalog, gentleman. I was very disappointed in this discussion. I felt like a fly on the ivy tower.

Comment on Episode 176 – Brass Sun: The Wheel of Worlds by Tobiah Fri, 12 Aug 2016 14:04:29 +0000 In reply to OLeg89.

Thanks for the info. That didn’t turn up in any of my searches about the book, but it’s great news to hear. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it.

And thanks for listening. If you need to be mad at us, blame Joe.

Comment on Episode 176 – Brass Sun: The Wheel of Worlds by OLeg89 Fri, 12 Aug 2016 12:16:47 +0000 On the subject of continuation: new chapter of Brass Sun was already published in September-December 2015 issues of 2000 AD, slightly more than a year after previous one (where this collection stops). It looks like that they’ve kept to the yearly schedule through the whole run and next one should be starting around that time this year.

Also I’d like to thank you for your work. I only recently started listening to the podcast and it’s already sucking me in. And doing terrible thing to my TBR pile so maybe I should be angry?

Comment on 173 ??? Rice Boy by Dylan Mon, 11 Jul 2016 21:26:02 +0000 We are all burrito.

Comment on Episode 159 ??? Enigma by Matt Mon, 21 Mar 2016 22:05:17 +0000 Extremely excited to see this pop into my iTunes feed! Not sure why, maybe you guys will be able to explain, but I love this story. I’m actually looking forward to my 90 minutes commute to work tomorrow so I can listen. Great choice and I’m sure the show will be great as always.

Comment on Episode 150 ??? Top 10 by Tobiah Sun, 17 Jan 2016 20:37:00 +0000 In reply to Joseph Lark-Riley.

I haven’t personally read Promethea, Joseph. But I can readily believe that if anyone is an exception it’s JH Williams III. Truly an extraordinary artist.

But I think the larger point stands, insofar as when Moore is writing a book it is most often the case that the writing takes center stage with the art serving a more supporting role. I don’t think anyone this side of Chris Claremont can fill a page with walls of text quite like Alan Moore.

This might be a good topic to revisit in our next comment response section.

Comment on Episode 150 ??? Top 10 by Joseph Lark-Riley Sun, 17 Jan 2016 15:07:11 +0000 In your recent discussion of Top 10 you all seem to agree that books by Alan Moore often minimize the work of the artist. I’m not sure I agree, but most certainly disagree in the case of Promethea. You did acknowledge the art in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but I found myself silently screaming out J.H. Williams III! His work on Promethea is the best of his that I have seen (Batwoman being a close second and Sandman: Overture a distant third). His varying styles and compositional feats firmly ground Moore’s shifting layers of reality and make his treatise on Cabalistic mysticism not only comprehensible but fun and interesting (unlike in Sandman, where I feel the too-busy art only serves to further muddy Gaiman’s esoterically fluid lyricism – it’s beautiful, but also kind of hard to look at.) I feel Williams deserves recognition for pulling off the rare achievement of making a Moore book visually stunning while at the same time enhancing the communicative power of each page.

Comment on Episode 150 ??? Top 10 by Brant Eddy Wed, 13 Jan 2016 23:18:09 +0000 In reply to Joe Linton.

Hey Joe thanks for the comment.

For my part (and who knows if I came close to being eloquent about it in the podcast) what I was trying to drive at was the happy medium between references that enhance a work versus references that are required to understand a work.

I personally feel at that Moore (both in his public comments and artistic choices) is, at times, sometimes crossing over into a form reference that can make a work difficult to understand. Now, I think Top 10 actually doesn’t have that problem overly much but I wonder if sometimes a reader might be put off by the density of his references and feel like what he is trying to do is inaccessible.

What I think we were trying to work through is whether or not that is “bad”. I ultimately don’t think so but I dislike the culture that can sometimes arise in literature where if one does not get all the layers of a work one is somehow not literate or intelligent or “good” enough to be a reader or part of the “club”. I DO think that Moore can be that way but as an intellectual and as a public persona and I don’t really understand it. Then again, maybe I am missing something about him and his work and am feeling alienated in a way that has nothing to do with him.

We live in an age where we are often forced to grapple with the art and the artist together, to consider a work and know the mind behind in a much more visceral way than ages past. Maybe I am revealing my issue with the artist rather than his work. I’ll let the other hosts offer their thoughts.


Comment on Episode 150 ??? Top 10 by Joe Linton Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:51:33 +0000 I am a big Alan Moore fan. I found it a little off-putting that the pod was critical of Moore for using references, but then praiseful of references in other works – from nine-fox-tailed creatures to Finnegan’s Wake, etc. I think that great art works on various levels, and I think all art draws (consciously and subconsciously) on earlier references. Readers/viewers can enjoy the surface story, and can return to work repeatedly and often spot additional nuances that weren’t noticed on early readings. I’d say that Top Ten is Moore’s second most referential work (right behind League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) – chock-full of references to comics, from early pulp to 90s Image… and yet, as your hosts stated, on an initial reading, the surface of plot, characters, and setting work just fine – without necessitating getting all the references. I don’t think Moore is putting anyone down who can’t spot the references on their first read-through – he just included lots of fun detail to enhance future readings.

Comment on Episode 148 ??? The Sixth Gun by Cory Panshin Mon, 28 Dec 2015 21:57:34 +0000 And one more that I couldn’t come up with earlier. Gary Urton’s At the Crossroads of the Earth and the Sky: An Andean Cosmology, which attests to the importance of crossroads imagery in Peru. See review here.

Comment on Episode 148 ??? The Sixth Gun by Cory Panshin Mon, 28 Dec 2015 19:18:09 +0000 I dug out a couple more links concerning underworld sites for anyone who’s interested. One in Israel that was associated with Demeter and the other in Sicily.

Comment on Episode 148 ??? The Sixth Gun by Cory Panshin Mon, 28 Dec 2015 16:36:37 +0000 The original mythic crossroads is in the skies. It’s the place where the plane of the ecliptic — the band of the constellations which is the celestial “Earth” — crosses either the Milky Way or the imaginary lines of the equinoxes and gives the mythic traveler access to the heavens above or the underworld below. (It is, for example, the location on the shore of the world-circling Ocean where Odysseus summons the spirits of the dead.)

Also, as a note to Adam, seeing caves as a route to the underworld was not just a thing in the Americas. The best known Western example is the Greco-Roman site of “Pluto’s Gate” in Turkey, but it was far from the only one. There’s a more comprehensive roundup here.

And there were certainly ley lines in the Americas — of which the Nazca Lines are only the best known. All these things are remnants of a single, prehistoric, globe-spanning system of belief.

Comment on Singles Club #7 ??? AdSVENtures by Chris P Fri, 30 Oct 2015 05:19:19 +0000 Hey, thanks so much for saying so many nice things about my comics. Just to clarify, the octopus thing was very much a coincidence. The second comic I sent, Bait, well… I don’t script the comics beforehand, I sort of just go off the cuff. I got to a part in the comic where a little octopus jumps in Sven’s boat and someone who was watching me live on my Twitch stream suggested that perhaps Sven could have a new sidekick for the rest of the adventure, and I ran with it. So what would have been a solo adventure into the bowels of a big fish became a team effort.

I like the idea of Sven making friends as he goes. My most recent comic, Space Cadet Sven #2, a lot of the characters he encounters aren’t what they seem. I don’t really have a mandate or moral or anything, but a lot of the comics kind of have them pop up organically, just in trying to make Sven a “pleasant” and “positive” character.

Again, thanks so much for the kind words. This is a hobby for me and it’s really encouraging to see people react positively.

Comment on Episode 139 ??? Elric of Melnibone by Cory Panshin Tue, 13 Oct 2015 02:57:55 +0000 The damsel in distress trope is part of an incredibly ancient cluster of themes that go back to the Paleolithic. The oldest version may be stories in which a woman marries a spirit-animal — most often a bear. Sometimes everything works out well. Sometimes she has to tame him in some way and bring him into the human world (Tamlin, Beauty and the Beast). Sometimes there is a taboo and when it is violated the animal/spirit spouse vanishes (Cupid and Psyche — but also variants where the animal spouse is female, generally a selkie or a goose.) Sometimes the spouse turns out to be a monster or ogre from whom the woman has to escape (the demon lover theme, particularly common in Africa but also in traditional Appalachian murder ballads.) Sometimes the woman has to be rescued from her perilous situation — in the oldest versions generally by her brothers, but eventually in more heroic cultures by her husband or betrothed. And it’s only then that it turns into damseling, where the woman has no agency and no ability to fend for herself.

There are also other offshoots. Sometimes the woman is the ogre’s daughter and she and the hero run off with the ogre’s treasure, using her magical powers to evade pursuit. That one leads to the trope of the mad scientist’s beautiful daughter who falls in love with the hero and helps him fight her father. And then there’s the Little Mermaid, which is kind of the selkie story told from the point of view of the magical spouse. Probably even Romeo and Juliet fits in somewhere on the extended family tree.

Comment on Youtube Annoucement by Tobiah Fri, 04 Sep 2015 06:16:08 +0000 In reply to OnlyComicBooks.

Thanks, we have some ideas for more video projects, but as always finding the extra time is a hurdle.

Comment on Youtube Annoucement by OnlyComicBooks Fri, 04 Sep 2015 01:51:05 +0000 Would love to see more YouTube content. Been listening to you guys for a long time and I think you would do well on there!

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Comment on The Long Run #11.NOW ??? And One More Thing… by Tobiah Fri, 29 May 2015 01:15:06 +0000 In reply to Brandon.

Interesting. I have a few collected volumes that are older than that, but certainly the practice of collecting every issue into a bound paperback is relatively more recent.

Comment on The Long Run #11.NOW ??? And One More Thing… by Brandon Thu, 28 May 2015 01:14:24 +0000 Were y’all aware that Sandman was the first comic to be collected in a trade format? Rocking Stone came to Neil because the comic was so popular and Neil had to go to DC to let them know they wanted reprints. And Bam. They made the trade for Rolling Stone to sell.

Comment on Episode 114 ??? Avengers: Rage of Ultron by Tobiah Sat, 18 Apr 2015 21:05:22 +0000 In reply to JaredMithrandir.

Apparently that adapts “Superman: Brainiac”.

Comment on Episode 114 ??? Avengers: Rage of Ultron by JaredMithrandir Sat, 18 Apr 2015 21:03:59 +0000 Is Superman Unchained similar to Superman Unbound?

Comment on Episode 105 ?????Captain Marvel by Tim H Tue, 17 Feb 2015 13:41:13 +0000 And great comments from Kayleigh!

I haven’t finished the podcast yet–in issue 1 of the first Captain Marvel (2012 or whenever), didn’t Captain American acknowledge that Carol is a Colonel in the air force? In the Guardians of the Galaxy annual earlier this year, the writer (not Kelly Sue) and editor forget this detail… and Carol is addressed as an air force captain by the SHIELD robots……

It’s not a big deal, except that colonel is a very high rank in the air force (one level below general) while captain is very low (one level above lieutenant). Kind of makes me wish she’d use a different “Marvel” name… “Colonel Marvel” sounds too militant, though…

Comment on Episode 105 ?????Captain Marvel by Tim H Tue, 17 Feb 2015 13:30:44 +0000 Great show! It is fun to listen to!

On the subject of old un-reprinted titles…

Bill Mantlo’s great “Micronauts” run has never been collected (and may never be due to the license…) ????

I collected up the original George Perez Wonder Woman run… and with the back issues averaging about $1.50 each, I got a better deal buying the print issues (which I preferred) over Comixology in the first place (WW 21-63 hasn’t been collected by DC).

Comment on Special Announcement Mini-Sode by bobzenub Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:28:30 +0000 I would like to comment on Back Matter #8.NOW ??? Art vs. Artist, where Joe made snark remarks regarding anti-SJWs.

Look, I live in a post-communist country, Hungary. The trends I see currently dominating social and cultural fields in Western academia share the same roots with the political and economic foundations of the Marxist-Leninist regime that kept my people oppressed for almost 50 years and we still haven’t recovered from the transition to a liberal democracy yet as demonstrated by our current populist quasi-dictator Viktor Orb??n (tiny Putin as some of us call him). It all goes back to the Frankfurt school, which cleverly turned the liberation of the proletariat narrative into the emancipation of the oppressed, when they realized that there is no chance mobilizing the lower classes of American society against the bourgeois, since technically every American of the lower- to upper-middle classes still qualify as bourgeois compared to the European population of the early 20th century, regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity and so on and so forth. The Frankfurt School of thought is the basis of human sciences as thought in universites in the States (and in Europe as well, mostly). Yet, you still have your Wall Street cronies, your economical fascists described as lobbyists in Washington and media moguls essentially setting cultural trends for a better profit. All this cultural and social post-marxism (AKA the majority of the so called social justice movement) amounts to is dividing the society into conflicting subcultures arguing about pointless bullshit and semantics while actual social progress is at a complete halt as it has been for 25 fucking years now globally. And anti-SJWs are the second biggest problem when it comes to assholes like Woody Allen, Bill Cosby and other multi-millionare celebrities with sexual predator tendencies who take advantage of their status and fame? Really?

BTW, I pledged to your Patreon, because even though we have our differences, you guys still make the best comic related podcast show on the internet.

Take care.

Comment on Episode 100.NOW ??? Watchmen, The Movie by Tobiah Fri, 16 Jan 2015 22:01:56 +0000 In reply to Michael S,.

I’m responding to this against my better judgement, but what the hell.

1) I have decried all violence, by or towards men and women alike, on more than one occasion. We did a Back Matter episode recently that was significantly dominated by that topic, as was a significant portion of our recent episode on Lazarus.

2) When you’re a superhero who is apparently capable of incapacitating people non-lethally at will???as both Dan and Laurie do at other times throughout the movie???and you then turn around an stab someone in the neck, that’s murder in my book. Yeah he got shot in the back by another gang member, but he was already a dead man at that point.

3) I’m not sure what moral distinction you think there is between “rape” and “attempted rape.” At the point that you’ve committed to the action, you’re a rapist, regardless of whether or not someone physically stops you from going through with it.

4) If you’re seriously making a “what about the men?” argument, you need to seriously and honestly examine your presuppositions about the treatment of women in our society. If you can earnestly make a statement like that with a straight face, you’re not paying attention.

5) I really am astounded that this has to be a thing that is argued, but the mere existence of violence in society is not a justification for said violence, nor does it necessitate its continuance. Honestly.

Comment on Episode 100.NOW ??? Watchmen, The Movie by Michael S, Fri, 16 Jan 2015 17:16:47 +0000 I find it funny how your all sitting around lamenting the violence against women, but where is your outrage when their is violence against men? I’m sure that you have all sat around talking about what a cool fight it would be to see either two superheroes or a super villain and a superhero go at it. The sound of smugness in your voices was grating to me as you made yourselves sound so morally superior and harbingers of peace. We should clear up some things first off we live in a violent society people, always have, always will. This cold fact is just human nature, see for yourself by watching your local or world news. Also Laurie and Dan didn’t “murder” anyone from what I had seen and read they both entered an alleyway and where “attacked” by a gang that where going to physically harm them. You see when you fight back against this type of attack it’s called self defense. Also Dan and Laurie didn’t shoot anybody during the attack in the movie, I believe that it was another gang member that fired the gun the victim just moved the other attacker to take the bullet shots. Last but certainly not least what happened between the comedian and the silk specter is what one would call an “attempted” rape. their was no penetration, the comedian was interrupted before it could go that far. Don’t get me wrong rape and attempted rape is very wrong, but you should get the facts straight before you use your pulpet to preach to the masses. Violence is bad, but the world has never been a safe place, whether your a man or a women. Just think about how much you rallied against violence towards women the next time your favorite superhero hits a bad guy and you are enjoying it on a certain level. Just my two cents

Comment on Episode 101 ??? Flashpoint by Bobzenub Thu, 15 Jan 2015 15:31:38 +0000 In reply to Tobiah.

Less homework for me then. Thank you!

Comment on Episode 101 ??? Flashpoint by Tobiah Thu, 15 Jan 2015 00:28:31 +0000 In reply to Bobzenub.

The only book you need to read is Flashpoint, which collects issues #1-5. A few of us read some or all of the side material, but it’s extraneous to both the story and our conversation if you just want to read the core book.

Comment on Episode 101 ??? Flashpoint by Bobzenub Wed, 14 Jan 2015 23:18:32 +0000 What collections have you actually read for this episode? I still haven’t got around to episode 100, I guess you specified it there.

Comment on Episode 99 ??? Lazarus, Vol. 1 & 2 by Tobiah Fri, 02 Jan 2015 04:08:52 +0000 In reply to Brandon.

Shoddy bindings are perhaps my #1 complaint about cheap collections. And I’ve had my share of even hardcovers fall apart on me. I’d much rather pay an extra 5-10% and have a product that’s high quality.

But increasingly I find my preference is to get stuff first digitally???whether it be movies, comics, music, whatever???and then if it’s something I like and care about purchasing a physical copy. In which case I want that copy to be as well made as possible, because I don’t want to have to buy it again.

Comment on Episode 99 ??? Lazarus, Vol. 1 & 2 by Cory Panshin Thu, 01 Jan 2015 20:01:23 +0000 1) Is it possible that Rucka thinks strong female protagonists have to prove their ability to survive in a man’s world by getting the shit kicked out of them and coming back for more?

2) You can blame space empires with beautiful princesses on the stuff Jack Williamson was writing in the 1930s. And you can trace the trope of corporate feudalism directly to L. Sprague de Camp’s 1941 short novel The Stolen Dormouse. Both Williamson and de Camp were basically rationalists with a romantic streak, which they tried to satisfy by bringing fantasy elements into their science fiction and vice versa. The result has been highly influential on subsequent science fiction (among other things — at one point rocket scientist and occultist Jack Parsons was so obsessed with Williamson’s Darker Than You Think that Aleister Crowley started to worry about him), but none of it was ever plausible, and it’s probably past due to be reevaluated.

Comment on Episode 99 ??? Lazarus, Vol. 1 & 2 by Brandon Thu, 01 Jan 2015 11:16:12 +0000 On the back matter thing. I am a trade waiter. I would say I go a step further and am a deluxe hard cover waiter. Saga, for instance, I waited for that super gorgeous hard cover before I read it. I knew I’d love it from the things I had heard so I was willing to buy it. Usually I’ll read the first trade some where then wait for that deluxe version to buy it. My prized possession is my deluxe 2nd volume of the Umbrella Academy. It has amazing back matter and letters from Gerard Way. I can’t tell you how hard it is to wait for Invincible. But I have been super burned by trades. Well, by a trade. The first Hellboy trade. It was horribly binded. I opened it and pages fell out. Bought another one after returning it and it happened again. Not to say hardcovers can’t be horribly binded but I trust hard bindings better. How do you guys feel about binding and the lose of the art for a cheaper price?

Comment on Episode 97 ?????Strong Female Protagonist by Tobiah Sat, 20 Dec 2014 16:31:55 +0000 In reply to John.

Yeah, I sure butchered the hell out of that one.

Comment on Episode 97 ?????Strong Female Protagonist by John Fri, 19 Dec 2014 23:05:03 +0000 Day-clan Shave-ly? Huh? How do you get that from Declan Shalvey. SHAVELY??

Great episode, I’d love to hear a deep dive into Cerebus.

Comment on Episode 96 ??? Sovereign by Caleb Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:05:52 +0000 Oh man, Kinski was one of my favorite releases this year. I would have loved to hear what your opinions were on it. Drama books don’t get enough press IMO

Comment on Back Matter #11 ?????Spawn and the Birth of Image by Jon Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:19:12 +0000 I just happened to be going back and reading Spawn all the way from the beginning, so this episode was really timely for me, I thought I was maybe the only person reading Spawn at this point in time. I really like the acknowledgement of Alan Moore’s issue #8, this was the first issue of Spawn I had bought as a kid, it completely creeped me out, but it was great re-reading this issue after having become a fan of Watchmen and Tom Strong. Also really liked how someone mentioned how Spawn was really just an amalgamation of everything that was currently selling in comics at the time, that had never actually occurred to me before but completely makes sense in retrospect.

Keep up the good work, I’m afraid I can’t say I’m a regular listener, but I go back and pick certain episodes to listen to based on whether or not I’ve read the book being discussed, and all the episodes I’ve listened to so far have been great.

Comment on Episode 95 ?????Four Eyes by Brandon Hill Fri, 05 Dec 2014 06:30:55 +0000 In reply to Joe.

You should bring it. Need more TenNapel on the show.

Comment on Episode 95 ?????Four Eyes by Joe Thu, 04 Dec 2014 20:28:46 +0000 In reply to Bobzenub.

I haven’t read iZombie, but I’d be happy to check it out and try and tackle this question.

Comment on Episode 95 ?????Four Eyes by Joe Thu, 04 Dec 2014 20:27:33 +0000 In reply to Brandon Hill.

I really like Creature Tech and have been debating whether or not to bring it in as a pitch, despite Chard’s dominion over all things image. I didn’t know that it was originally intended to be a pitch for an animated film though. That is pretty neat.

Comment on Episode 95 ?????Four Eyes by Bobzenub Thu, 04 Dec 2014 11:50:03 +0000 Question(s) for the next episode regarding the author, Chris Roberson:

One of the comic books I remember being the most torn if I actually liked it or not is iZombie. I remember the storyline very vividly but at the same time I feel like it never reached its full potential neither in its parts neither as a whole. The latter can be easily explained by how the book has been cut short due to cancellation. Have any of you read the comic and if so, what’s your opinion about it?

Also: have you read any of the other more recent works of Roberson at Dynamite Entertainment? How do they hold up?

Comment on Episode 95 ?????Four Eyes by Brandon Hill Thu, 04 Dec 2014 11:25:32 +0000 Towards writing a comic as a pitch and such. I think Doug TenNapel is a great way to explain this. In his book Creature Tech (Image rec drop here. Rec on the show Chard) he says in a letter that he had the intention of having Creature Tech as an animated movie because things like Iron Giant blew his mind. He wrote Creature Tech as he saw all the animation writing boards he had been working with. He never got the movie deal but he had all the story boards down. He then turned it into a comic because he wanted this idea of his out, and I think it worked out amazingly well. The book has so many ideas that I think would have worked well in both mediums but I love the comic. I would have loved to see an animated space eel in a movie though.

Comment on Episode 95 ?????Four Eyes by Tobiah Thu, 04 Dec 2014 05:02:33 +0000 In reply to Cory Panshin.

We really ought to have you on speed dial for these questions.

Comment on Episode 95 ?????Four Eyes by Cory Panshin Thu, 04 Dec 2014 04:05:21 +0000 Protip: Aladdin was originally set in China — which was an exotic, far-off, magical place for people living in Baghdad.

Comment on Back Matter #9 ?????Evolution of Superheroes by Trogholm » Blog Archive » What’s the Matter with Matter? Sun, 30 Nov 2014 18:28:57 +0000 […] (Note: The interview is now up and can be accessed here.) […]

Comment on Back Matter #8.NOW ?????Art vs. Artist by Brandon Hill Sun, 30 Nov 2014 09:56:56 +0000 I have to open with the bias that I am a very forgiving person and that I was an English major with 3 years of courses under my belt and that it will color my opinion of this subject. I haven’t listened to all of the episode yet (still listening now) But the thing I’m thinking at the moment goes side and side with the Bill Cosby thing. To me I grew up watching 7th Heaven. I still watch it when it’s on with my girl friend. The first few seasons are better, but that’s besides the point. Recently it’s been brought up that the actor who plays the dad on the show has been charged as a child molester. Then I thought to myself “what would it be like if my favorite comic creator (Gerard Way) did something on this level?” And you guys are right. The question is really hard. I would like to think that art is separate from the creator. With all of the English classes I have taken it is something that has been drilled into my head. I’d like to think that the art says something else separate from the artist. But I keep saying “I’d like to think”. With the case of 7th Heaven I still love the show. But I’m not a huge fan of the actor in the first place. I just love the show. But in the case of Gerard Way I fuckin love the guy. I love his work. All of his art is my favorite. Could I love the Umbrella Academy as much if I didn’t love Gerard Way as much as I do? I think I would. As soon as he had UA printed it became something of its own. I feel that’s how it is with all art. Once the artist puts there art into the world, it is no longer theirs. It’s the people’s art. Art is nothing without people enjoying it. Art is personal. I love UA because it’s weird. It has a dysfunctional family. It has national monuments being beaten up by children. (I’m now getting to the part in the podcast where you talk about separating art from artist). Art is different to everyone and exists in as many different forms as people. I’m going to wrap this up saying that most people will remember the art more than the artist. I can tell you ton of comics I love. But I can only tell you what Kirkman, Way, and Mignola has done. I can tell you my favorite movie is Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but I can’t tell you a single person associated with it. I want to give artists more credit, but that doesn’t stop that I will remember the art more. Long story short. I think art should be separate.

Comment on Back Matter #8.NOW ?????Art vs. Artist by Joe Fri, 28 Nov 2014 04:26:16 +0000 These are the same questions I ask myself. I think these days the area in which I really obsess over, which unfortunately I didn’t get to on this episode, is the area of stand up comedy. I used to be very firmly of the opinion that comedy could have no strictures put on it. That it had to be this bastion of free speech and free ideas and if you didn’t find someone funny then you were under no obligation to listen to their jokes. I know much more now though. I know that rape jokes told at the expense of the victim normalize the act to those that think it is okay. Racist and sexist comedy that make light of these issues exacerbate an already overloaded cultural system that silently condones these modes of thought. The problem for me is, I don’t know where you draw the line. It is an issue that stymies me.

Comment on Back Matter #8.NOW ?????Art vs. Artist by Cory Panshin Fri, 28 Nov 2014 03:03:31 +0000 Two questions:

1 – When people are alive, you can talk about remorse or paying their debt to society. But what about people who are dead? My impression is that the majority of the male artists and writers of the first half of the twentieth century were total shits towards women. Picasso is a particularly notorious example, and so are the Beats, but very few of them were exempt. So what attitude do you take towards them and their art?

2 – What about people whose behavior may be or have been exemplary in person but whose art encourages bad attitudes? This goes well beyond misogyny — there’s a current controversy over whether the World Fantasy Award should no longer be named for Lovecraft because of the racism in his stories. For that matter, the implicit racism in The Lord of the Rings has sometimes given me pause, as does the fact that European fascists have often embraced Tolkien because they sense an affinity to their own nativism and militarism.

This isn’t a new issue. Every era erects its own moral standards and then retroactively applies them to the past. But if you take this too far, you get to be like the Victorians who edited all the dirty jokes out of Shakespeare (except for the ones they didn’t get because they were Victorians.) So where do you draw the lines? And do you draw them on a personal basis or a society-wide basis? And what degree of censorship do you condone in the process?

Comment on Episode 94 ??? Ms. Marvel by Tobiah Thu, 27 Nov 2014 22:22:39 +0000 In reply to DevilsOnMyShoulders.

Good mentions, all. It’s a shame that DC has either white-washed or banished them to the nether.

Comment on Episode 94 ??? Ms. Marvel by DevilsOnMyShoulders Thu, 27 Nov 2014 20:59:32 +0000 Nice episode. I’m a big fan of Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel as well. The series is fun and really how super hero comics should be.

I’m surpised and sad though, that there is no mention of Connor Hawke, Cassandra Cain or Renee Montoya when you mention legacies who are PoC. I am happy you mention Ryan Choi as Atom.

Comment on Episode 93 ?????Three by Tobiah Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:10:18 +0000 In reply to Cory Panshin.

My bad.

Comment on Episode 93 ?????Three by Cory Panshin Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:50:51 +0000 Not Roosevelt.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Wade Tue, 11 Nov 2014 01:40:01 +0000 (Sorry, accidentally pressed ENTER)

…The Flash and Wonder Woman, who were also in creator-driven solo series, and Cyborg, who was already serving one token role at the time, discounting how developed he may have become later on.

But, the point you bring up, Adam, about Scott’s change of sexual preferences not noticeably affecting him much is actually as legitimate an approach to take as Kamala Khan. Khan has religious and cultural traditions that affect her family and social life, and it was the books goal from the start to showcase how that bled into her costumed one as well. However, apart from being unequally treated by society, what unequivocally makes a gay characters noticeably different from a straight one. I wish this approach was more frequently used so terms, like “strong female character” would go away and so there wouldn’t be such an uproar over Johnny Storm being played by a black actor.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Wade Tue, 11 Nov 2014 01:06:48 +0000 In reply to Adam.

Well, in this case, I understand that they couldn’t alter Batman or Hal Jordan, since their New 52 storylines and supporting casts practically carried over from the previous Morrison/Snyder and Johns runs–yet another result of DC’s lack of proper coordination and planning during the reboot. Obviously Morrison and Johns weren’t going to alter their respective plans for Action Comics and Aquaman (especially with Mera being a major player in Johns’ sacred quest to convince everyone that there was nothing square .) So, that pretty much leaves

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Adam Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:41:09 +0000 In reply to Tobiah.

There’s a quotation that’s stuck with me. “A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.” Google tells me it’s from William James, which means nothing to me, but it’s a very useful line.

The sexual orientation of the Nu52 Earth 2 Alan Scott was a difference that made no difference. It didn’t seem to impact his dress, behavior, or attitudes. He was still the same old white bread Alan Scott. Maybe the differences were there, and the series was just too focused on punching things for it to show, but that’s hardly a justification.

Compare that to Kamala Khan. Who and what her family are has a huge impact on her aspirations towards heroism and the problems she faces in her daily life. If you gave someone else with a different background her costume and power set it’d be a completely different story. Those are important elements of her character that shape who she is as a person.

That’s why I’m willing to call out Alan Scott as tokenism. Robinson might have had the best of intentions towards increasing cast diversity, but attaching a minority label to a character isn’t the same as the character thinking and acting like someone with that background.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Tobiah Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:39:32 +0000 In reply to Wade.

In response to your last note, this has been an excellent conversation, so I absolutely encourage you to contribute more of your thoughts on future episodes.

In response to Alan Scott, I haven’t yet read Earth 2 beyond the first issue. As I recall it was being launched right about the time I gave up on reading New-52. But my reaction at the time was that it was a shameless attention grab, because it was a safe move.

Alan Scott is a character whose name is well known enough to be easily recognized, but not so popular as to have a cadre of fans who might have been loudly upset by such a retcon. If they had recast a marquee character like Batman or Superman in that way???even Hal Jordan???it would have been a bold move, if still a little ham-fisted. As it was it seemed to me to be a disingenuous calculation, a way to get credit with no risk. Especially given that they immediately killed off his lover. Exactly the concern we were discussing in regard to Marvel.

Now perhaps that’s unfair and it was in fact an attempt by Robinson to salvage some representation in a venue with less editorial meddling???which seems to be epidemic at DC in recent years. But that brings us back around to Adam’s point regarding execution and substance. It also raises the question of what attributes are critical to the core of a character. But that’s a whole other discussion (and perhaps a good one for a future Back Matter).

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Wade Mon, 10 Nov 2014 07:26:19 +0000 and even that resulted in a commendably visceral Reis/Prado cover for issue 3. Obsidian was actually written more problematically when Marc Andreyko cast him as the gay best friend in Manhunter. I wouldn't say he was entirely defined by his sexual preferences in-costume, but nearly all of his scenes in plainclothes had a joke referencing them (Gay Bechdel test fail!) Don't even get me started on Cameron Chase, who was also a fully defined character in her own series before Andreyko reduced her to her "quirky" relationship with Manhunter's tech guy (and by "quirky," I mean being extremely vocal in her repulsion toward him until she needed sex.) Both situations really stain a series that I champion with having some of the best-executed single issues I'd read in '00s.]]> In reply to Adam.

Very true, all of your points. Now that Marvel’s put its handling of diversity in superhero comics front and center, even if they hadn’t already earned the benefit of the doubt from you and other readers, they’ve boldly opened themselves up well beyond their established fan-base for criticism should this not pan out. I guess the worry for me comes from Marvel doling out all these changes in one wave, which reads “experimental phase” to me, at least until Marvel announces Anthony Mackie as Chris Evans’s successor (which seems unlikely with Sebastian Stan’s nine-picture contract revealed earlier this year) or some similar announcement with the films that shows their commitment to re-branding their mainstays with new faces behind the masks. After all, apart from the Marvel Legends toy line, which medium gets spotlighted by merchandising? Until then, especially with this giant multiversal event in the works, Marvel has several opportunities to reset things back to status quo.

They already seem to be faltering a little with their fourth issue solicitation for Thor, which is “THOR vs. THOR!!!” Although I don’t see the rightfulness matter being resolved so soon, I really wish Marvel had left old Thor’s story for a separate mini-series. After all, he’s already been front and center for the past fifty-two years; I’m sure he could sell books on his own even without the mantle. Marvel was so adamant about claiming she is Thor now. The most mature way of showing that is to give her her due space so she can prove herself as such–and as someone readers should care about–not just in comparison to her predecessor.

On a last note, as I don’t want to you guys to dread my commenting on future episodes by pigeonholing myself into a topic we’re virtually in total agreement on, I’m a little surprised by your citation of Alan Scott as an example of DC’s miscalculated approach on this issue. I read the first couple arcs of Earth 2 in trades, so I missed out on whether DC editorial campaigned on Scott’s change of sexual preferences the same way Quesada did recently on the Colbert Report (which I found similarly problematic to the Colbert interview about that “gate” that shan’t be discussed.) But, apart from his lover’s abrupt death looking worse in retrospective following the Batwoman marriage controversy, it read as inoffensive to me (at least their kiss wasn’t drawn as a splash page.)

The Daily News article that came up first in my search quoted James Robinson as the seeming shot-caller in that he wanted some LGBT representation since his own Obsidian was written out of the DCU with the reboot. One could argue, if DC did milk the change in the press, that it was ultimately minor, but it’s not Robinson’s fault he was assigned to or felt better suited to an alternate universe title…or maybe it is, given the performance of his JLA run. The only problem I found was that the death, while shocking, was cheaply produced from DC’s Tragic Motivation Generator??? and even that resulted in a commendably visceral Reis/Prado cover for issue 3.

Obsidian was actually written more problematically when Marc Andreyko cast him as the gay best friend in Manhunter. I wouldn’t say he was entirely defined by his sexual preferences in-costume, but nearly all of his scenes in plainclothes had a joke referencing them (Gay Bechdel test fail!) Don’t even get me started on Cameron Chase, who was also a fully defined character in her own series before Andreyko reduced her to her “quirky” relationship with Manhunter’s tech guy (and by “quirky,” I mean being extremely vocal in her repulsion toward him until she needed sex.) Both situations really stain a series that I champion with having some of the best-executed single issues I’d read in ’00s.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Adam Mon, 10 Nov 2014 04:34:47 +0000 In reply to Wade.

No, you weren’t coming across that way. I’m just spinning the conversation into a broader one. And you’re right to be cautious. But context matters, and for me the context right now is that the Marvel of recent years has earned the benefit of the doubt, just like the DC of recent years has lost it.

Tangenting onto the issue you raise, I think one of the key factors is which comes first, the story idea or the marketing gimmick. The Death of Superman was cooked up first as a marketing gimmick, and they figured out how to get there second. All those insane Silver Age covers, the cover came first, and then the writer had to script a way to justify it.

I’m not saying that Marvel is running these big events and mantle passes without the intention of getting attention with them. Gathering an audience is every author’s goal. It’s a question of what the core of the idea is. One with no substance beyond being the most attention grabbing headline is in a much worse starting place than one that’s actually about the characters.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Wade Mon, 10 Nov 2014 04:23:22 +0000 In reply to Wade.

Edit: I’m aware that, with the cancellation of titles, like Mighty Avengers and She-Hulk, Marvel is still struggling with how to generate press into actual sales. I wish I had a solution to the problem of finicky media so that we get to the point that diversity just exists and isn’t a selling point (after all, treating a property as ‘alternative’ from the on-set isn’t the way to garner a sustainable mainstream readership) but I don’t. However, thanks to the New 52, Marvel is winning as an alternative to DC current staleness and line-wide dysfunction, so I’m hoping they continue using that advantage to set the standard going forward, albeit in a less self-congratulatory way.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Wade Mon, 10 Nov 2014 04:04:56 +0000 I’d totally be on-board with that, Tobiah. I haven’t followed Morrison’s Batman epic into the New 52, but Tomasi and Gleason’s Batman & Robin at all successful in that vein of pushing the status quo once they had new team-ups every month?

And, thanks, Adam, for correcting me on the Wein/Cockrum credit. Cockrum, along with Zeck and Wrightson, is among my favorite Bronze Age pencillers, so I certainly didn’t mean to overlook him. I feel terrible that my brain somehow completely skipped over Wein, though.

As far as which choice was braver between All-New X-Men and the recent Avengers relaunch, I don’t follow sales charts enough to know whether the latter case of film franchise fans picking up a comic and not recognizing any characters under the masks affects whether they buy it. I’ve actually wondered since hearing the news how people who’re jumping on in the wake of all the positive publicity are reacting.

Does having a new Cap or Thor who’s struggling with all the baggage of the previous mantle-bearer have the same effect as heavy continuity often does to newcomers? I wondered the same thing when reading Cap after Bucky took over. Brubaker would keep hammering the idea of Bucky having to measure up to the shield and I would think, Does this mean anything to people who jumped on after the Death of… controversy? Are they actually going to be encouraged to pick up back issues of Cap to see what Bucky is whining about?

Also, I was hoping that by saying that this direction was more beneficial than harmful that my position didn’t come across as wanting “the fruit to wither before it has a chance to grow.” As you mentioned, what Marvel is doing is an old and widely-used trick. That’s exactly why, as beneficial as it is, I want Marvel to be above the strategies that merely generate that most press. Maybe that’s unrealistic for a multibillion dollar corporation. But, if we’re predicting the future, I agree with your comment that the “why” matters execution-wise because character choices born from headline-chasing run more risk of dating or merely becoming a footnote in the next Dorling-Kindersley ultimate character guide, which is the last thing I’d want.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Adam Mon, 10 Nov 2014 01:21:19 +0000 In reply to Wade.

Re-reading your first post, there’s something I feel I needs to put in context. You call out the All New X-Men team as a good example for diversity. (Created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, then immediately handed off to Claremont who quickly adjusted the roster to suit himself.) We have to remember that at that point, Uncanny X-Men was a failed series.

The original run was 1963-70. From 1970-75 Uncanny was running repacked reprints. During that time Beast turned furry and joined the Avengers, while the rest of the team was limited to occasional appearances in Marvel Team-Up. So the All New X-Men wasn’t a bold new direction for a flagship title It was a long shot gamble to revive a minor series that had been effectively canceled for five years.

Compared to that, passing the mantle of Captain America or Thor is a far braver thing to do. Especially when those characters are staring in a multi-billion dollar movie franchise. Maybe these are temporary moves; as the guys said on the podcast, it’s a game we play to pretend that anything in comics will have lasting consequence. But we can still hope the characters themselves become lasting ones.

Establishing new characters and getting the audience invested in them is a difficult and imprecise art. Any long term comic fan can tell you about their favorite under appreciated character, the one who just never established a wide enough appeal to sustain a high profile. Attaching a new character to an already established one is an old and widely used trick, be it superhero comics or Pro Wrestling or whatever you please.

Maybe it will all end in tears. Maybe the push for diversity will trail away as soon as the heat is off, maybe these new characters will end up as forgotten as Sleepwalker and Thunderstrike. Or maybe not. Maybe they establish a following, maybe a more diverse range of creators gets hungry to come to Marvel for a chance to write those characters, maybe this is the first step down a long but fruitful path.

I really don’t know which it is, but I try not to let cynicism cause the fruit to wither before it has a chance to grow.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Tobiah Sun, 09 Nov 2014 22:45:43 +0000 In reply to Wade.

Man, now I wish they’d relaunch What If… in the style of Edge of Spider-Verse, where each issue re-imagines a classic character in a new genre, or a new setting, or in some way twists the status quo. That would be amazing.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Wade Sun, 09 Nov 2014 06:21:45 +0000 In reply to Wade.

*75th Anniversary

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Wade Sun, 09 Nov 2014 06:20:01 +0000 In reply to Adam.

Well, once you invoke the tragedy that was Young Justice’s cancellation, it’s hard for me to disagree with any of your points, Tobiah. Also, Adam makes me regret using Kamala Khan as an example, for at least it encouraged Marvel to actually hire a Muslim woman to write her (I’m glad to hear Wilson’s taking over X-Men soon as well.)

The lack of diversity in the bullpen tends to be a side-effect of the passing of the torch trend because it’s understandably difficult to hand off, say, Sam Wilson Cap over to a newly-hired black writer when Cap’s the lead character in several events Marvel’s orchestrating in a given year. Maybe event fatigue will be the catalyst for Marvel taking that next important step. (Realistically, I see the experimental showcase series, like Spider-verse and 7th Anniversary increasing demand from fans for more unique creator voices. What I’d give to have DC revisit similar experiments, like Solo and Wednesday’s Comics…)

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Adam Sun, 09 Nov 2014 04:36:07 +0000 In reply to Tobiah.

I think the “why” matters to the degree that it effects the execution. You call out the Allen Scott one as a bad example. It’s bad because it’s a pro forma gesture; half-hearted and lacking in depth or authenticity.

It might be cold business logic that drives Marvel to diversify their roster, both in the bullpen and on the page. That doesn’t automatically reduce that diversity to tokenism. So long as the creators are afforded equal creative freedom and the characters given strong voice, I don’t feel the need to demand exceptionally altruistic motives from their corporate sponsors. Not when we can so easily find examples of transparently artificial diversity, the sort that justifiably merits condemnation.

A starving artist has the ability to create art for purely art’s sake. A business has bills to pay. If they figure out a way to make their profit while simultaneously creating good art, I’m not going to be too upset.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Tobiah Sun, 09 Nov 2014 04:02:35 +0000 In reply to Wade.

First Wade, let me say thank you for the very verbose, well composed, and well thought out comment. And thanks for listening.

You???re absolutely correct in that the Mighty Avengers and Mr. Terrific???taken as statements on our evolving racial politics???are much better than simply putting minority or female characters into names or identities previously held by white men, as with Sam Wilson as Cap and the new female Thor. And way better than ham-fisted retcons of existing characters, al a Allen Scott. There???s a fine line between representation and tokenism.

So I at least do not blame you for having qualms about it. If you???re not pleased, that???s an entirely valid opinion. But my counter-point to it???and I???m hesitant of coming off as a Marvel apologist here???is that it???s easy to let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

As you say, we???re talking about corporate comics here. These characters are far more valuable as intellectual properties than the individual issues Marvel and DC sell. This is, after all, the era in which a brilliant cartoon???Young Justice???was cancelled because it was attracting the wrong demographic for the toy line they wanted to sell.

On that level, launching a brand-new character without any sort of connection to a known entity is hard, if not borderline impossible. I???m scouring my brain to try to think off a break-out superhero character created in the past 15 years that was a wholly original creation, and I???m not coming up with much.

It would definitely be better if we had more Static Shocks (who debuted in 1993, and only became a DC character later) versus Miles Moraleses (Miles Morali?) or Kamala Khans. But every character we get who isn???t another Barry Allen, Steve Rogers, Hank Pym, or Clint Barton ???blue-eyed blond-haired white guy??? is at least a step in the right direction. Every time we get a Black Spider-Man or a Girl Thor it moves the ball down the field a couple of yards.

So I give Marvel points for at least trying to make their universe more diverse. Not *all* the points, but some. Yes, that increase in diversity might be a reactionary ass-covering move by a corporate entity looking to solicit some cheap good will. But at the end of the day does it really matter WHY they???re doing it, or THAT they???re doing it?

I don???t blame you for not being 100% on board with the Marvel-love fest. For me, I feel that progress is progress, and positive reinforcement is better than negative. The fact that Ms. Marvel was the #1 trade last month says a hundred times more to Marvel than a mountain of negative comments on reddit ever could.

It would have been better, perhaps, if she was her own character away from any reference to the blue-eyed blonde-haired white girl who used that name before her, or the white guy who she was named for. But I???ll take the little win.

Comment on Back Matter #7 ??? Marvel/DC Events by Wade Sun, 09 Nov 2014 00:26:20 +0000 Hi, guys. I’m a fairly new listener to your podcast, but have devoured more than half of your episode archive over the past couple months. I really love how you’ve rekindled my interest in reading stories, like All-Star Superman in preparation for an episode…and get me excited to re-read them again after I’ve listened to it. That’s powerful work, and I hope you continue the show for a long time

But, great power come with great responsibility. And, as a minority comics reader, I’m at a crossroads with the argument that I should feel ashamed for not exactly being pleased with the ‘representation for representation’s sake’ marketing strategy Marvel’s taken recently. For clarity’s sake, I’m not someone who agrees with political stances/decisions such as eliminating Affirmative Action or overturning the Voting Rights Act, as the mere fact that so much attention is called to racial and gender representation today proves we are not over racism. Obviously, what Marvel is doing, which is giving minority/female a chance to step into the costumes previously worn by white male characters or finding them side roles in previously established franchises/worlds, is more beneficial than harmful.

But, that’s all they’re doing. Falcon is the leader of the Avengers because he’s wearing Captain America’s costume. Ms. Marvel, while being a massive step forward in terms of diversifying the Marvel heroes culturally (as well as being a non-panderingly written teenager for change), dons the namesake of a white female character who herself was last in a line of mostly white male characters. I don’t feel like NOW!-era Marvel has yet surpassed their previous benchmarks of simply letting Luke Cage lead the Avengers or pulling a Claremont by simply introducing a new international cast of strong characters and announcing, “This is your new X-Men team.” Similarly, DC’s pinnacles were pre-New 52 (Mr. Terrific as chairman and big brain of the JSA and John Stewart and Hawkgirl being established as default/mainstay JL members in the animated series.)

Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but it’s hard not to see recent decisions at Marvel as reactionary and temporary. I don’t necessarily blame them, as negative reactions toward things like the Milo Manara cover, while legitimate in context, are often overblown out of context by a media that other wouldn’t give the industry a second thought. Why wouldn’t Marvel redirect that spin by announcing a female Thor? I think representation for representation’s sake is essential in comics geared toward younger readers who would actually be inspired by seeing someone of his/her/their background kicking ass *ahem* butt (sorry, kids.) But how many of Marvel or DC’s main titles are under T+ these days? As an adult, I expect a little more than just passing the torch. However, I understand that the blame perhaps lie more in our franchise-oriented corporate comics culture than any racial factor.

Thank you for reading.

Comment on Episode 89 ??? Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia by Tim Hammack Sat, 25 Oct 2014 16:07:47 +0000 Hi Guys, I’m only 14 minutes into the show, so pardon if this gets answered later on.

The role of the Erinyes is to torture oath breakers, taboo breakers, and so on (roughly they are the personification of a guilty conscience).

So the Erinyes are hovering around Diana to see if she breaks her vow.

Comment on Episode 88 ??? Swamp Thing by Tobiah Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:54:26 +0000 A reader on reddit commented that Joe gave something of a… let’s say muddled account of Copra, and that Michel Fiffe has the first issue up on his website for all to read.

Comment on The Modern Age(s) by Tobiah Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:11:19 +0000 In reply to Piperson.

I hesitate to pick, mostly because I haven’t read Powers. Yes, I know it’s a major oversight on my part. I don’t know if it’s his “masterpiece”, but if I had to level a guess I would say he’ll be most remembered for Ultimate Spider-Man.

Comment on The Modern Age(s) by Piperson Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:25:27 +0000 In reply to Tobiah.

“Bendis has definitely been a core writer that people will remember from the past decade in comics, but I see him more as a writer whose greatest influence will be felt 10 or 15 years from now, as a generation of readers who grew up reading Ultimate Spider-Man mature and start creating their own comics.”

Yes because that’s how it always works as was the case with Frank Miller and Alan Moore. Though people appreciated them in their time, no one had sufficiently assimilated their work until last decade in people like Bendis, Brubaker and Rucka. So, yes, it will probably take another 15 years for people to be able to assimilate them into their work. What in your opinion is his masterpiece?

Comment on The Modern Age(s) by Tobiah Tue, 14 Oct 2014 05:14:04 +0000 In reply to Piperson.

Thanks for commenting. I think you make an excellent point. I agree that comic eras seem to naturally trend more towards 10-12 years than 15. In fact in early drafts of this post I was trying to describe something more like what you talk about in the post you linked. I let it go in order to focus more on the post-crisis periods which were my primary topic, because honestly I felt like I was getting lost down a rat hole talking at too much length about periods in comics that I’m not as familiar with as I’d like to be.

It’s a topic I’m going to have to revisit in more depth in the future.

Bendis has definitely been a core writer that people will remember from the past decade in comics, but I see him more as a writer whose greatest influence will be felt 10 or 15 years from now, as a generation of readers who grew up reading Ultimate Spider-Man mature and start creating their own comics.

Comment on The Modern Age(s) by Piperson Tue, 14 Oct 2014 03:22:52 +0000 I love your post. Your thoughts on the subject are clear, well thought out and well articulated. I’ve often thought about this subject but I don’t have the insight to the modern age of comics that you do. As much as I enjoyed what you have said about the modern age, I would disagree with what you have said about the past ages. I’ve written about the copper age (and bronze age) in my blog –
I believe that the ages are misunderstood and misrepresented by most of our comics historians. I believe that we go through a new age every 10 years or so starting with Action Comics #1 in 1938. Your ideas about the modern age wonderfully coincide with this theory I have. There was a very big break in the comics of the 90’s with that of the new millennia, the bankruptcy of Marvel (and the Heroes Reborn storyline) where all of Marvel’s titles were farmed out to Image Comics. In 1998 the titles were started over again like Busiek/Perez Avengers, which started in 1998. So I would say that the Iron Age happened from 1987 (with Moore and Miller largely leaving mainstream comics after they finished their masterpieces, the Watchmen an Dark Knight) to 1997 to the restarting of all of Marvel’s titles In 1998.
Your insights into the modern age are very valuable and well thought out and I appreciate them. To add to your theory, I’d say that one of the driving forces in comics in the last decade has been Bendis, starting with his run on the hugely popular Ultimate Spider-Man, continuing with his run on Daredevil and then going on into his reenvisioning the Avengers into the new Avengers. DC on their side did Infinite Crisis to Dark Reign.
So while I really appreciate your thoughts on the modern age, I would suggest you rethink the previous ages a bit instead of relying on outdated ideas of the ages.

Comment on Back Matter #6 ??? Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose and Objectification by Cory Panshin Tue, 07 Oct 2014 16:14:16 +0000 Listening to your discussion, I get the impression that this comic is wrestling with an extremely ancient complex of ideas having to do with male physical strength, female sexuality, and witchcraft — but not coming up with quite the right answers.

Some of the most ancient myths — found in Africa, Australia, and the Americas, which means they’re really, really old — say that originally women held all the spiritual power but the men stole it from them through brute force. In one typical Brazilian myth, men originally had no culture, while the women lived in a village, wore male ornaments, and made the first flute. (Flutes represented both spiritual power and fertility, and in one version of the myth the women also had clitorises as long as penises.) Then the men stole the ornaments and flutes, raped the women, and set up the first men’s lodge, where the flutes were kept and played to appease the chief spirit. The women were forbidden to enter the lodge or so much as glimpse the ritual objects on penalty of gang rape.

Those are the basic terms of the problem to this day. Men still keep women under control by threat of rape (or keep other men under control by the threat of raping their womenfolk.) Even short of rape, women are controlled by slut shaming and being handed a reputation of being easy. Those threats greatly restrict women’s options, keeping them from dressing as they like, walking alone at night, or entering certain male-dominated professions.

There are simple fantasy solutions to this problem — which is where this comic goes astray. “If I was as strong as a man and could kick ass, no one would dare attack me.” “If I was as casual about sex as men seem to be, they wouldn’t have a hold over me.” “If men realized they were as vulnerable to rape as women, they wouldn’t be able to maintain the same threat level.”

And then there are the difficult, real-world solutions, which have to do with status and respect and creating situations of genuine equality. They may also begin with addressing what goes on among men when women aren’t around — the bullying by the strongest and most aggressive that makes even the weak, nerdy guys dream of having somebody still weaker to boss around, because that’s easier than fighting back.

But to present those solutions in story form, you need to change the social context in which your characters exist — and the brawn-based power structures of typical superhero comics are never going to provide a context in which genuine female empowerment is possible. So you get the fantasy answers instead, because that’s the only way women can survive in a male-dominated fantasy universe.

Comment on Back Matter #5.NOW ??? Rose City Comic Con by Tobiah Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:04:57 +0000 In reply to bobzenub.

Sorry you didn’t care for our discussion, Bob. It’s a subject we take very seriously here at VftG, given the direct and visceral way in which it affects our close friends and co-hosts. You are of course welcome to your own perspective. If this sort of conversation offends your palette, you’re welcome to stick to our regular episodes where comics are the primary focus.

Comment on Back Matter #5.NOW ??? Rose City Comic Con by bobzenub Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:23:13 +0000 15 minutes in and nothing but awkward SJW pandering. First episode I had to turn off. Sorry, but I come here for discussions about comic books and not politics.

Comment on Back Matter #5.NOW ??? Rose City Comic Con by Cory Panshin Fri, 26 Sep 2014 23:16:59 +0000 Your discussion with Patrick of distribution issues was fascinating to me — not least because it seems the comic book industry is running into many of the same roadblocks as the SF magazines did. Most notable, the liquidation of the American News Company in 1957 was what spelled the doom of the pulp magazines. By then the most respectable of the SF magazines were appearing in digest format, and they (plus a couple of crime magazines) managed to keep going on that basis for a few more decades. But digests were never very visible on the newsstands, and in the 1970s even regular SF readers started buying paperback anthologies instead of magazines, figuring that the paperbacks either got better stories to begin with (because their rates were higher) or that the best of the magazine stories would be reprinted in paperbacks.

Could the same thing happen to comics? Could the graphic novel format completely squeeze out the monthly issues? And how stupid is it for an entire industry to be dependent on its distribution model?

And there was also the previous pulp magazine bust, which was a result of World War II paper shortages. Could something equivalent happen again? If we stop clear-cutting our forests, will dead tree books become economically nonviable? Will electronic distribution be the only option — and where would that leave the up-close-and-personal model of comic stores?

Too damn many questions, but somebody needs to start thinking about them.

Comment on Episode 84 ??? The Transformers by Cory Panshin Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:17:20 +0000 In all fairness to the Gobots, the original toys were more interesting and had more character than the original Transformers. It was only with the cartoons that the positions flipped. (And then there were the picture books, which were bad for the Transformers but ludicrous beyond compare for the Gobots. Toby and Adam have probably forgotten those completely, but as the person who had to read them out loud as bedtime stories, I haven’t.)

Comment on Episode 84 ??? The Transformers by Tobiah Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:07:50 +0000 For Jim Shooter’s thoughts on the genesis of this series, check out:

Secret Origin of the Transformers, Part 1
Secret Origin of the Transformers, Part 2

Comment on Bonus Episode 3 ??? The Worst by Tobiah Fri, 15 Aug 2014 18:02:17 +0000 I know we touch on this later in the episode, but ever since we recorded it I???ve been agonizing a bit over my references to ???gay nude hot tubbing.??? It may be a case of my being overly sensitive, but I don???t think I adequately explained myself. I wanted to stress that I???m a-ok with any combination of the words ???gay???, ???nude???, and ???hot-tubbing??? that you???d like to make.

Rather, my problem was with the hyper-macho implications of the scene in question. It???s not a question of the characters’ sexuality, but rather the expression of straight male power dominance by dressing two straight male characters as women and having them perform sex acts on two other (presumably) straight male characters that I found irksome. Maybe there???s a word for that which I???m not coming up with.

Anyway, talking about that comic gets me all riled up, and I wanted to be sure my point was clear, lest anyone take offense.

Comment on Back Matter #5 ??? August 13, 2014 by Tobiah Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:34:22 +0000 In reply to Cory Panshin.

Sure. That works.

Comment on Back Matter #5 ??? August 13, 2014 by Cory Panshin Thu, 14 Aug 2014 18:34:40 +0000 So if I have this right, Toby sees Guardians of the Galaxy as phase 2.5 of a sinister, multi-stage plan to undermine the norms of Western civilization and convert the youth of America to Jack Kirby-style cosmic gnosticism. Is that more or less it?

Comment on Episode 79 ??? Hawaiian Dick, Vol. 1 by Tobiah Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:41:04 +0000 In reply to B. Clay Moore.

Thank you for taking the time to listen and respond, and for the clarifications. As readers it can be hard to tell what’s authorial intent versus what is a product of editorial or publisher constraints.

One of the limitations our weekly show is that we try to limit the amount of reading to one or two volumes, and we don’t always have the space to examine a work in its entirety. So we’re all definitely acquainted with the idea of needing more room. Hopefully we’ll have opportunity to read one of your more recent works in the future.

Comment on Episode 79 ??? Hawaiian Dick, Vol. 1 by B. Clay Moore Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:15:36 +0000 First, I appreciate you crate digging for Dick.

Couple of notes: Steven Griffin is actually the artist on three of the four issues contained in the second trade (Nick Derington did the other), and he did most of the backup stories in the third series, which has yet to be collected (and you can see his growth as a digital artist there). The second trade (The Last Resort) is different tonally, by design.

The third series (Screaming Black Thunder) was primarily drawn by Scott Chantler and colored by Steven, with Steven doing backups in most of the five issues.

The fourth series is drawn by Jacob Wyatt, and will be five issues. My WordPress blog is almost current, and somewhere in there is information on ALOHA, HAWAIIAN DICK (as well as other stuff I’ve done and do):

It’s always a difficult to hear people dissect your first “real” work in comics, but it’s nice to hear that people are still discovering the book. The observation about “abrupt” transitions are spot-on. That’s something I realized after seeing the book in print (in fact, the transitions in the second issue are better than in the first issue).

We pitched three issues because we (incorrectly) assumed it would be easier to get a shorter series approved. There’s no doubt we could have used more room to breathe. That’s one reason the trade has fifty bonus pages.

And, yeah, we had definitely planned to come out more regularly. The third series was even intended as a monthly. Circumstances kept knocking us out, but I hope you guys do check out the other books, and the last one, upcoming.

Comment on Episode 76 ??? Hellboy, Vol. 1 & 2 by Cory Panshin Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:51:39 +0000 Also this:

The governor turned toward Conan and stared at him thoughtfully.

“The soldiers, who do not believe in ghosts or devils,” he said, “are almost in a panic of fear. You, who believe in ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and all manner of uncanny things, do not seem to fear any of the things in which you believe.”

“There’s nothing in the universe cold steel won’t cut,” answered Conan.

Comment on Episode 76 ??? Hellboy, Vol. 1 & 2 by Cory Panshin Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:23:46 +0000 Some of Howard’s pre-Conan stories have explicit Lovecraft references — like The Children of the Night or The Black Stone or The Thing on the Roof. I don’t believe any of the Conan stories do, and though some of the earliest ones have a Lovecraftian feel, they increasingly took on an air of heroic fantasy rather than Lovecraftian horror.

Comment on The Long Run #7 ?????X-Statix by excello Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:12:16 +0000 I think what this book did well was the characters faking their persona until they became this persona. For example Guy Smith changes from an empathetic to a coldhearted leader due to the popularity of x-statix. It is not a deconstruction, merely being postmodern as anarchist stated it in one specific panel which I forgot. This is one of peter milligan best work for hire books. The other is Human Target, which was all about identity.

Comment on Episode 70 ??? Persepolis by Tobiah Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:00:06 +0000 In reply to Cory Panshin.


Comment on Episode 70 ??? Persepolis by Cory Panshin Wed, 04 Jun 2014 19:57:54 +0000

Comment on The Long Run #6 ??? Invincible by Jon Mon, 05 May 2014 22:35:51 +0000 Saw that Astonishing X-Men and Daredevil MWOF have both already been recommended. Also noticed that Darkwing Duck was listed as a recommend, was that based on my previous comment? If so, thanks, I’m flattered ????

Comment on The Long Run #6 ??? Invincible by Jon Mon, 05 May 2014 22:32:41 +0000 Actually did not listen to this one since I haven’t caught up with Invincible (similarly holding onto the Planetary, Uncanny X-Force, and Scud episodes until I’m fully caught up), but just wanted to post some wants/recommendations for future episodes!

– Ninjak/Bloodshot (original Valiant, reprinted in hardcover)
– Global Frequency by Warren Ellis
– Stormwatch, Warren Ellis run
– Sin City (maybe for the Long Run podcasts)
– Daredevil: the Man Without Fear
– Any of Mark Waid’s current Daredevil run
– Astonishing X-Men (first 12 issues, or basically anything from Whedon’s run)
– X-Factor, Peter David run (first 12 issues)
– Tom Strong by Alan Moore
– Elephantmen
– Spawn series in general
– Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank
– the Griffin

Wall of text ends here. Would love to hear any of the above discussed in future casting of pods. Keep up the good work!

Comment on Episode 65 ??? The Adventures of Superhero Girl by john Thu, 01 May 2014 04:34:47 +0000 MIND MGMT FUCK YEAH!!!!

Guys better bring some notes for this one. Shits complex yo.

Comment on The Digital Future of Comics by Jon Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:37:24 +0000 Pretty interesting material. I like the idea that digital comics are more or less unrestrained by the size of a page. However, won’t comics and all digital entertainment still be constrained by the size of the device that you try to view it on? I think if there’s always going to be devices of limited size, comics with that visual grammar to guide you along efficiently within the space that is being used will never go out of style.

Thanks for mentioning Homestuck too, I’ll have to go check that out.

Comment on Episode 63 ?????Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Matt McGinnis Sat, 19 Apr 2014 23:15:53 +0000 In reply to Tobiah.

Ziggy Marley???s Marijuana Man
Created By: Ziggy Marley
Written By: Joe Casey
Art & Lettering: Jim Mahfood

Comment on Episode 63 ?????Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Tobiah Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:37:42 +0000 In reply to Jon.

Thanks Jon!

Covering animated shows is a good idea. I think we talked about it at one point, so it’s definitely an idea we’re interested in. I feel like we talked at one point about possibly doing a rifftrax-style voice over, versus a traditional review? Anyway we’ve got it in mind, although probably not in the immediate future.

As for the 20th, as proud Washingtonians we take the high holiday very seriously. Bluntman and Chronic aside though, I’m not coming up with a lot of stoner comics off the top of my head. If you (or anyone else) would like to email us some recommendations, maybe we can come up with something though.

The Darkwing cover is pretty dope. I’m going to forward that to Manix, who pitched DD on the show at one point. The comic was awesome, it’s a shame the Marvel purchase killed it and Ducktales.

Comment on Episode 63 ?????Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Jon Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:25:32 +0000 In reply to Jon.

Also wanted to share the following cover with you guys:

I had actually come across this while looking up other stuff about TDKR, and at the time it re-ignited my Darkwing Duck fandom. I picked up the first trade, and it is hilarious, full of homages to all sorts of comics and pop culture. Definitely more written for people who had grown up with the show than for kids, worth looking at if you remember this show in the least.

Comment on Episode 63 ?????Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Jon Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:21:54 +0000 Once again, great podcast! This one came at a pretty good time for me too since I just recently picked up TDKR with both parts on blu-ray. Have you guys ever thought of doing a show discussing some animated adaptations of specific stories, or just discussing some of the better or well-made animated features from Marvel or DC (or whomever)?

Also, considering April 20 is coming up and you’re all living in a very forward-thinking state, ever thought of maybe doing a discussion of something 420-friendly like Bluntman and Chronic (or an even better stoner-ish recommendation)?

Comment on The Digital Future of Comics by Cory Panshin Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:39:56 +0000 You got me wondering about where the grammar of comics came from in the first place — so I started poking around a bit, and it seems to have a long and complicated history that goes back well before comics themselves. Word balloons appear in 14th century woodcuts and were used extensively in political cartoons by the early 19th century. Panels go back to 1603. Hogarth contributed to the story-telling aspect in the 1700s, and Dore added certain techniques that make for greater dramatic effect in the mid 1800s. And comic strips evolved together with motion pictures from the 1890s and picked up pointers from cinematography. There’s a lot going on within a comic page, and it’s more complex than just visual shorthand elements.

Comment on Back Matter #2 ?????March 23, 2014 by AliJafferyTheHunk Fri, 28 Mar 2014 05:58:02 +0000 hahaha it was abit more fan art of myself, wasn’t it?

You guys should do a long run of Starman

Comment on The Long Run #5 ??? Elfquest by Cade Thu, 27 Mar 2014 03:05:23 +0000 In reply to David Miz.

Hey there! Thanks for leaving the reply.

I wanted to clarify that I (Cade Reynolds) did not know it was originally printed in Black and White, however my first experience of Elfquest was in the digest size editions from Dark Horse (I think that’s who published it). I had thought at the time that it was only in black and white to be cheaper to print, but its great to see that the intent of the black and white was because that is how it was originally published. I am looking forward to this new edition and cant wait to experience it how it was intended.

When the Final Quest is finished, I will absolutely recommend we read it to discuss on the podcast if Tobiah doesn’t beat me to it. Thanks again for the comment and listening. This is why we do it in the first place and love to get people’s reactions and comments. Discussion is always good for the industry as a whole, regardless if the topic is well known or not.

Comment on The Long Run #5 ??? Elfquest by David Miz Tue, 25 Mar 2014 21:17:50 +0000 Hey Guys – Great podcast! Elfquest is amazing. A few bits of reaction:

–Dark Horse is republishing the first three story arcs (Original Quest, Siege, Kings) in big fat, graphic novels in the original black and white — which you should totally give a try, because Wendy’s inking is stupendous. The first 720-page book is slated to be out in August 2014. You can pre-order it at

–Totally agree with all your comments about character and clothing design. Wendy is the one of the best of all time when it comes to this.

–Also totally agree that Wendy’s page and panel design and genius.

–The coloring of the Original Quest on the Elfquest website was done digitally by Wendy in the mid 2000s under DC for the 4 archive books they published. The Siege and Kings coloring is from the mid 80s printed books and done in a flat animation style, not by Wendy (and suffers for it IMO).

–DEFINITELY ask Wendy about her experience reading manga and watching anime as a kid in the 60s when you see her at Emerald City.

–You can read Wendy’s “Stormbringer: Law and Chaos” art book about her attempt to create an animated film from Michael Moorcock’s Elric stories at

–Would LOVE for you to do a podcast on the Final Quest, currently being published by Dark Horse. Issue #2 comes out this week and it’s off to an amazing start.

Comment on Cade’s Corner by Cade Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:45:05 +0000 If you would like to respond to this, but do not wish to publicly, you can always contact me at

Comment on We Need to Have a Talk About Bruce (Why Everything You Know About Batman Is Wrong). by Bryan Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:04:36 +0000 So, I’m not against the basic premise of this post (which seems to be that the Nolan-verse Batman is a bit… off, shall we say), but there’s a larger subtext which I think bugs me just a bit. It seems to be that you’re proposing that there is a “correct” way to portray Batman, a One True Batman (OTB) if you will.

Now, I’m not a heavy stickler for continuity in the slightest. In fact, I am actively interested in new, different takes on characters that have existed for decades and decades. Though I agree that What If God Was One of Us Batman (WIGWOoUB) is a bit silly and leads to incredibly boring and uninteresting stories, I don’t think he is inherently incorrect. I think this Batman can serve a purpose in a story designed around this purpose. I have a hard to buying that any premise can be outright dismissed because almost any premise can worked if written correctly.

Now, WIGWOoUB is particularly boring when it comes to storytelling and a story that could actually show off his particular skillset in an interesting light seems difficult. Asshole Batman, on the other hand, can be used to great effect. Regardless of your feelings on Asshole Batman, I find that Asshole Batman makes a wonderful foil especially in team up stories. Granted, this does throw a wrench into a few concepts. It especially makes Batman seem a bit like an idiot for not utilizing every weapon he has available, like, say, another superhero.

And at the very least, Asshole Batman still uses his brain. So, there’s that.

While the Nolan-verse Batman is bad, I think it has more to do with the fact that there are countless plot holes that result from the characterization he chose, rather than the characterization itself. It might feel wrong as a devoted fan of the character, but I’m of the opinion that no take on a character is inherently wrong. It all depends on if they can pull if off or not, and Nolan most certainly did not.

Comment on Episode 56 ??? RASL by Tobiah Sat, 01 Mar 2014 23:53:58 +0000 Thanks for the suggestion, John. I haven’t read anything by Kindt myself, but I’ll pass the suggestion along. It’s always good to expand our horizons and talk about things we’re not familiar with.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed the New-52 is a point of some contention, but I know that Court of Owls was pitched before. I have a feeling that we might be edging up to one, and if no one else does, I may pitch Wonder Woman once Azzarello’s run finally concludes. So stay tuned on that front.

Comment on Episode 56 ??? RASL by john Sat, 01 Mar 2014 22:04:42 +0000 Hey guys love the podcast. Just a suggestion for future reads… How about sonething by Matt Kindt? Maybe the first two trades of Mind MGMT or his OGN Red Handed? Might be interesting to hear you talk about some of the good New 52 stuff like Batman or Soule’s Swamp Thing?

Comment on I Think Every Superhero You Love Should Be Dead (or, On the Nature of Time) by Speed Reading « Speed Force Sat, 22 Feb 2014 19:42:57 +0000 […] exist back in the Golden and Silver Age of comics). And then View from the Gutters writes??I Think Every Superhero You Love Should Be Dead (or, On the Nature of Time)??and reinventing new heroes for new generations of readers. They both make interesting points, but […]

Comment on I Think Every Superhero You Love Should Be Dead (or, On the Nature of Time) by I Think Every Superhero You Love Should Die and Come Back to Life: A Response to VIew from the Gutters | Copper and Chrome Wed, 19 Feb 2014 01:45:13 +0000 […] from Tobiah???s op-ed here, but his is quite a nuanced argument – really worth reading. So, go read it, before you hear what I have to […]

Comment on I Think Every Superhero You Love Should Be Dead (or, On the Nature of Time) by Brant Eddy Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:17:27 +0000 It occurs to me…

With the strength of video and film it may be that comics will be forced to more notions of legacy building. I don’t think movie-goers will tolerate constant “re-boots” of the same character and I think the companies will see value in transitioning to other actors as different people in the suit…Marvel at least might do that in their own cinematic universe (Such as the rumours that Vision will, in fact, be Jarvis in an Iron Man suit as Tony exits the stage or that War Machine may take his place)

Comment on I Think Every Superhero You Love Should Be Dead (or, On the Nature of Time) by Brant Eddy Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:14:03 +0000 The vice and the virtue of comics as they stand is that you could honestly do *both* and I don’t know why they don’t.

One pool of books is “on the clock” always ticking, always moving. People stay dead. things happen and cannot change. The “Ultimate” universe for Marvel has done this relatively well.

Other books, written only in limited formats or runs are either “What-Ifs” or, with a high level of editorial sign off, are the “untold” stories of previous characters. Every generation someone might have an amazing Bruce Wayne story, and they should tell it but let time march on in the timeline otherwise.

I’m not even wholesale against resurrection of characters, I think there are fascinating ways to do it, but I think it needs to stick and not be done unless the story is especially compelling…but a moratorium of some time probably needs to be laid down to make it work.

Barry Allen is the perfect example of this. He is diluted by his return and his sacrifice minimized where as I would argue Hal Jordan’s return was done “better” and ultimately helps redefine the character for the positive. (I make no such assertions about what has happened in the universe SINCE his return, however) Funny that those returns were at the hand of the same architect.

The success of Wally West, Miles Morales, the Young Avengers, Stephanie Brown all show that legacy building not only makes sense but makes for a richer history. (Batman Beyond? Hello?) But it takes editorial risk that multi-million dollar properties for film/video maybe can’t stomach.

That said don’t discredit some of the strides that have been made to recast characters for modern sensibilities. Before New 52 at least Dick Grayson was adopted. Iron Man has been recast as a combination of “technology for the betterment of man” and as an allegory for the failure and struggle of American style power in a complex world. The challenge is separating character from icons.

Superman is Kal-El period. His persona is as much who the character is but pre New 52 there was a solid exploration of the fact that there are “Batman” stories and then there are stories about the person who is in the suit. {Batman Beyond AGAIN?} and that is the key. I agree that committing to the notion of time, and let legacy help define the difference between the “mythic” and the character stories that are told would only strengthen comics. Steve Roger’s basic immortality (or Wolverine’s or Kal-El’s or Martian Manhunters) have little value as true aspects of character in a world where time stands still just as the mortality of the rest has little value in a world where no one truly dies.

Comment on Episode 53 ??? The Infinity Gauntlet by View from the Gutters #53 ??? The Infinity Gauntlet | ComicBookRAW Sun, 09 Feb 2014 16:40:55 +0000 […] week on View from the Gutters our topic work is The Infinity Gauntlet, by Jim Starlin, with art by George Perez and Ron Lim. Released in 1991, The Infinity […]

Comment on The Long Run 4 ??? Pluto by View from the Gutters ??? The Long Run 4: Pluto | ComicBookRAW Wed, 05 Feb 2014 03:09:48 +0000 […] of episodes, and features table discussion of an entire work or long selection of a series. In the fourth episode of this bonus series, we talk about Pluto, by Naoki Urasawa, adapted from the original story by Osamu Tezuka. […]

Comment on Episode 52 ??? Hopeless Savages by View from the Gutters #52 ??? Hopeless Savages | ComicBookRAW Sat, 01 Feb 2014 02:45:35 +0000 […] week on View from the Gutters our topic work is Hopeless Savages, by Jen Van Meter and various artists. It's the story of the Hopeless-Savage family, as […]

Comment on Episode 51 ??? The Manhattan Projects by View from the Gutters #51 ??? The Manhattan Projects | ComicBookRAW Fri, 24 Jan 2014 16:26:35 +0000 […] week on View from the Gutters our topic work is The Manhattan Projects, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra. It is an altera-universe action science comic in […]

Comment on Episode 50.3 ??? Infinite Crisis by Tobiah Fri, 24 Jan 2014 06:23:44 +0000 Hey Bryan, thanks for the comments. Excellent points. It’s totally my fault for not creating a reddit thread this past week. A lot of stuff was happening and it just kind of got away from me. I’ll make sure to have one up tomorrow though.

If I can help it, we WILL talk about Final Crisis at some point, and 52 I’m sure will come around in due time.

Comment on Episode 50.3 ??? Infinite Crisis by Bryan Fri, 24 Jan 2014 06:14:11 +0000 Hey guys! You didn???t post a reddit thread this week. What gives?

Instead of making one of these posts for each of these books, I???m just going to make a blanket post about DC Comics I guess.

I have not re-read any of these books in a few years, but I have very clear memories of each of them as they were very definitive comics to me. Coming into superhero comics for the first time in 2007, Identity Crisis was still the flavor of the day and Infinite Crisis had ended only two summers previously. I made a conscious decision to pretty much ignore all pre-Crisis DC Comic books and only focused on the current continuity. After diving into Identity Crisis (I???m almost positive this is one the first superhero books I???ve ever read), I jumped into Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The volume is dense, like you guys said, very text heavy, but with a lot of movement. I don???t think that the text aged terribly well, but the scope and size of the story was phenomenal. As an early introduction to comic books, Infinite Earths made me eager to learn about a lot of DC heroes that were less prominent than the Justice League standards. Marv Wolfman and George Perez were no doubt titans in their day.

Identity Crisis hit hard when I first read it. It spoke a lot about the comics of the era: violent, ???mature???, destroying old continuity. I was blown away when I was younger. It was my first moment of ???superheroes aren???t supposed to have to deal with that!??? Quite refreshing at the time. Now, I think the story in much of the same terms that Joe does. I find it emotional manipulative with too many cheap moments spread throughout the book. As a mystery, the book works well. Though the continuity is flimsy, there were a good number of character moments that made lasting impression on me.

Infinite Crisis is a beast. A horrid, wretched hellbeast that haunts the nightmares of casual readers. There are moments, small parts, where I was entertained, but it is ultimately a boring, ridiculous event. (Though, guys, c???mon, Chemo bombing Bludhaven is hilarious! He???s just a giant blob!) I???ve read all the buildup and all the fall out. It was cool at the time, but putting that much effort ruined recommending it to anyone. It affects a lot of really great runs from the era. (I???m looking at you Greg Rucka???s Wonder Woman.) Geoff Johns is rather atrocious, save for a few comics. I think it says a lot that he???s the biggest writer I can think of without a significant creator owned book underneath him. He???s a team player. And if that???s what DC wants, man, fuck, I???m out at this point.

I think it???s a shame you guys won???t do Final Crisis as well. Sure, it???s absolutely batshit insane, but doesn???t that merit conversation? It???s one of my favorite crossover events I???ve ever read. Though I think that speaks more to the weaknesses of crossover events rather than the strengths of Final Crisis as a work. Either way, I think there are a ton of clever moments in FC, but I also understand that not everybody as fanatic about Morrison as I am.

Oh god, guys, please do 52 at some point.

Comment on DC and the Evolution of Superheroes by Cory Panshin Tue, 21 Jan 2014 00:35:33 +0000 I was in the library today and I overheard a little girl who might have been six or seven telling her father, “I like Spider-Man. Some girls do like Spider-Man.” He then seemed to be asking her if she knew who Batman and Superman were, and she said she did but she didn’t sound nearly as interested.

It struck me as sad that little girls have to be defensive about liking any superheroes — but also interesting that Spider-Man would be her preference.

Comment on Episode 50.1 ??? Crisis on Infinite Earths by View from the Gutters #50 ??? Crisis on Infinite Podcasts Special | ComicBookRAW Sat, 18 Jan 2014 01:25:10 +0000 […] topic work is our 3-part 50th Episode Special! In part 1 we discuss the ur-event book, Crisis on Infinite Earths, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Released in 1985-6, the Crisis was one of the first great event […]

Comment on DC and the Evolution of Superheroes by Rich Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:57:30 +0000 Great post, I can’t agree more with what you said. I find it really hard now to read any title distributed by DC. For years before this shift into flashpoint all I ever did was talk up DC and how it’s stories have towered over Marvel’s books. Due to the shift that Flashpoint brought to the DCU, I feel like I’ve been spit in the face for all the years I spent $200-300 dollars a month on titles that mean nothing now. It’s honestly sad to see what DC established from years of building of great characters like Cassandra Cain and Conner Kent is washed away due to the desire to transition to books that will easily translate to film. I feel as the last 13 years of Comic book movies have ruined Comics in a whole. Which is unfortunate due to as a fan wanting to see my favorite books brought to the silver screen has become its biggest downfall. Hopefully like you said with the reemergence of Wally West and Stephanie Brown will show some familiarity of the old universe. (Also apologize if my grammar and punctation is off.)

Comment on Episode 49 ??? Uncanny X-Force, Vol. 1-4 by View from the Gutters #49 ??? Uncanny X-Force | ComicBookRAW Sat, 11 Jan 2014 01:41:46 +0000 […] week on View from the Gutters our topic work is Uncanny X-Force, Vol. 1-4, by Rick Remender, with art by Jerome Opena, Esad Ribic, Brad White, and others. This series […]

Comment on Elfquest, and Conceptual Space by dr. Equivalent the Incredible Thu, 09 Jan 2014 14:41:39 +0000 In reply to dr. Equivalent the Incredible.

tl:dr: contrary to the common opinion, in order to become classic you have to break the rules, not follow them. You just have to figure out a smart way to break them.

Comment on Elfquest, and Conceptual Space by dr. Equivalent the Incredible Thu, 09 Jan 2014 14:31:25 +0000 In reply to Tobiah.

Whoa, it looks like I’m preaching to the choir here. Which makes me really glad.
And yeah, the gigapause got me gnawing on my elbows, hoping beyond hope, that the ending will be as epic and insane as the rest of the story. Then it will be just perfect. It will become a (post-)modern classic of stroytelling.
Oh wait. Classic? I said this word, didn’t I?
Ironically enough, everyone use this word to denote something that is stuck to some hard and old set of rules, which may be not really true definition of the word.
In my view, “classic” is not something that falls into some class, it’s what creates and/or defines and/or codifies a new class of objects, be it the stories, the theories, the schools of thought, or music or freaking soda water. They refuse to fit into existing classes (genres, categories, call them what you will), so we just can’t help but create new ones just for them. Which is exactly the thing you are talking about in this post.

Comment on Elfquest, and Conceptual Space by Tobiah Thu, 09 Jan 2014 01:59:39 +0000 In reply to dr. Equivalent the Incredible.

Let me tell you about my trollsona…

Actually, let me don’t. But I will say that Homestuck is an excellent example of just the sort of thing I’m talking about. A super recommendation that I’ll echo to anyone unfamiliar with it. Waiting for the end of the gigapause has been agony.

Comment on Elfquest, and Conceptual Space by Tobiah Thu, 09 Jan 2014 01:56:13 +0000 In reply to Anastasia.

Thanks for the recommendation! I’m not familiar with that series, but I’ll add them to my reading list.

Comment on Elfquest, and Conceptual Space by dr. Equivalent the Incredible Thu, 09 Jan 2014 00:14:23 +0000 As an old ElfQuest affictionado and just the guy who generally likes seriously weird stuff, I have to suggest you to try and read Andrew Hussie’s Homestuck. It blew my mind as much as ElfQuest did, may be even more.
Just one warning – the first two acts may seem boring and dull, but that’s just how the complex and utterly amazing (for the lack of better words) story begins.
It is so weird and complex, it’s very hard to explain what it even exactly is: it’s neither a webcomic, neither a game, neither an illustrated book, neither exactly fantasy, neither exactly sci-fi. If you try to analyse it, you end up with ~200-something page book.
Much like ElfQuest it is not complete yet, and intends to end this year.

Comment on Elfquest, and Conceptual Space by Anastasia Wed, 08 Jan 2014 20:17:30 +0000 May I suggest another alien universe for you to try (not graphic novel, it just occurred to me that you might like this since you like Elfquest): M.C.A. Hogarth’s Kherishdar series.

You can find all three on Amazon: I suggest starting with Aphorisms, then move to Admonishments, and finally, Black Blossom.

Comment on Episode 48 ??? Superior Foes of Spider-Man by Jack Mon, 06 Jan 2014 12:57:11 +0000 Nice podcast, but one of you needs to not grunt, heavy breathe and clear his throat into the mic.

Comment on Episode 48 ??? Superior Foes of Spider-Man by View from the Gutters #48 ??? Superior Foes of Spider-Man | ComicBookRAW Sat, 04 Jan 2014 02:01:31 +0000 […] week on View from the Gutters our topic work is Superior Foes of Spider-Man, #1-6 by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber. One of the more recent comics we've […]

Comment on Episode 47: The Animal Man Omnibus by Steve Mon, 30 Dec 2013 20:00:51 +0000 Just wanted to say thanks for keeping this time, I’ve made sure to listen to all of your episodes and have enjoyed them enough to re-listen on occasion. I was out of comics for a long time so it’s been great to have a good reference to get started again. Keep up the great work guys!

Comment on Episode 46: JLA: Tower of Babel by View from the Gutters #46 ??? JLA: Tower of Babel | ComicBookRAW Sat, 28 Dec 2013 09:00:07 +0000 […] week on View from the Gutters, our topic work is JLA: Tower of Babel, by Mark Waid and Howard Porter. Following Grant Morrison's revival of the "Big 7" […]

Comment on Episode 47: The Animal Man Omnibus by View from the Gutters #47 ??? The Animal Man Omnibus | ComicBookRAW Sat, 28 Dec 2013 07:52:06 +0000 […] week on View from the Gutters our topic work is Animal Man, written by Grant Morrison with art by Chas Truog and Doug Hazlewood. Prior to the events […]

Comment on Episode 46: JLA: Tower of Babel by Cory Panshin Sat, 21 Dec 2013 14:55:41 +0000 Toby —
You’re welcome.
— Mom

(But don’t blame Swamp Thing for your nightmares. When I was a little kid, I had nightmares based on Margaret Wise Brown’s “The Color Kittens.” In one of them, Superman had to show up to rescue me from dissolving into the primal ooze. There’s always something.)

Comment on Episode 44: Scud: The Disposable Assassin by Cory Panshin Sat, 07 Dec 2013 16:15:48 +0000 I found the fridging discussion the most interesting part of the episode — but wanted to throw in a few additional considerations.

1 – Our own society is very weak when it comes to motivating characters through altruistic reasons, so it tends to fall back on revenge. This first struck me with the 1991 Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie, where they had him come back to England to find his castle burned and his father murdered rather than just noticing the peasants were getting screwed over and wanting to do something about it. So that trope exists independently of sexism — though it also plays into it.

2 – I’m also reminded of the arguments that went on about the sitcom Thirtysomething (also c. 1990) when they decided it would improve the comedy to give one of the characters a life-threatening disease — and that even though the producers insisted they’d just pulled a name out of the hat, fans were very aware that it just happened to be the most dynamic of the female characters. I wasn’t a viewer of the show, so I can’t confirm that they were right, but it did seem like this was a case of “kill off the strong woman” syndrome.

3 – Whatever sexism is involved in killing off female characters now, it was probably worse a generation or two ago. It was an early 20th century pulp trope (that also made its way into movies) to have the hero in love with both a “bad girl” and a “good girl” and to kill off the more interesting one (often by having her take a bullet meant for the hero) so that he could ride off into the sunset with the insipid but virginal blond. That happily faded by the 1950s, but it was replaced by a tendency to end one movie with the hero getting the girl and start the sequel by killing her off so that he could be freed up to go out on more adventures.

4 – In story terms, there are actually very few legitimate reasons for killing off major characters, and it almost always has to do with what can only be referred to in such archaic terms as “sacrifice” and “the expiation of sin.” A character who has committed great crimes may redeem themself by dying nobly — or may be redeemed by somebody else dying in their stead. In other cases, an aging warrior may get one last chance at a heroic death (eg, Theoden) or someone whose life has become hollow and meaningless may sacrifice themself to save those with more to live for.. And that about exhausts the list. Anything else is likely to be merely sentimental and exploitative.