Episode 29 – Make Comics Great Again

“Magic’s just when you trick the universe into believing some incredibly outrageous lie.”

Mike and Casey hop into Chas’ cab for a journey to the realm of Dreams, because it’s time to go on a road trip across America. Our traveling companions, librarian Kit DeForge and Joe Preti from the View from the Gutters podcast.

This month we dig into the Vertigo line of mature-readers comics from DC. From its inception with Karen Berger’s editorial work with Alan Moore on Swamp Thing in the 1980s through massive hits like Sandman, Preacher, Fables and 100 Bullets, we dissect some of the most influential, critically acclaimed and popular comic books of the past thirty years.

Is Vertigo dead, even if its spirit for creator innovation and quality live on at other publishers?

Music: 
“Main Theme” from Constantine (2014) by Bear McCreary

Mike Makes an Appearance on the View from the Gutters Podcast!

Mike sits in with the folks from the View from the Gutters comic book podcast to dig into the first two volumes of Image Comics’ latest series by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire: Injection.

When a secret think tank made up of two scientists, a detective, a super spy and a wizard-in-denial crunch the numbers and see that imagination, innovation and human advancement is heading toward stagnation, they take a radical step to fix it, and in their hubris, may have irrevocably broken the universe.

It’s got super science, malevolent pixies, ancient folklore, feral artificial intelligences, human ham sandwiches, gun battles and some of the most wonderfully biting and funny dialogue around.

Check it out!

Fun Size Episode 13 – A Digital Effects Orgasma-Ganza

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The bad news is that due to a technical snafu, we won’t be able to share a new full episode with you this month. The good news is that we were joined in the studio by Sam Mulvey for a wide ranging conversation about random goodness — and badness.

We dive into a talk about why we’d like to see filmmaker Quentin Tarantino tackle a science fiction film, and the recent wrongful framing of Pepe the Frog as a racist icon. We also talk about why it’s just weird to pull your pants all the way down to pee at a urinal, and  we compare the highs and lows of Zack Snyder and Frank Miller.

Plus, Sam hates movies! We look at the state of current Hollywood blockbusters and ask: does every theatrically-released movie in the world have to be so damned big?

Fun Size Episode 7 – Chickens. They Are a Taciturn Bunch

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Mike and Casey continue their chat with Rebecca Friedman and Joe Preti, and they chew the fat about porno Mahjong, how the weirdest things end up at used bookstores, and why we just can’t stop thinking about nunchucks.

We also dig into the contrast of Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves, why Mike really really really doesn’t like the new Ghostbusters trailer, and why people keep getting Superman wrong.

Episode 25 – There Will Be No Second Disney

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“…There are no cats in America!…”

Mike and Casey manage to escape dog heaven and set out for the Great Valley. Their traveling companions? Ask an Atheist‘s Rebecca Friedman and Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast. This month we’re talking about America animator, Don Bluth.

From his apprenticeship at the Walt Disney company, to striking out on his own with critical darling in the Secret of NIMH, to conquering the box office alongside Steven Spielberg with An American Tail and the Land Before Time.

We dig into Bluth’s trademark darker tone, his craftsmanship and attention to detail, his move into the world of video games, and how for a brief period of time…he managed to beat Disney at their own game.

Music: 
“End Credits” from the Land Before Time by James Horner

Episode 24.5 – Not Everybody is You, Grant Morrison!

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In the shadow of our Batman discussion, Mike and Casey continue their discussion with Joe Preti and Pól Rua. We dig into the weapons-grade weirdness of comic book writer Grant Morrison, and why his work probably shouldn’t be your introduction to the medium.

We get into the contrast of revolutionary artistic experimentation vs. conventional competence that doesn’t reinvent the wheel.

We dive into the stick and meta-textual question of comic book continuity, and whether it’s better to hold a Crisis on Infinite Earths-style event to get rid of story elements you don’t want to keep, or whether it’s better to simply ignore them without explanation.

And finally, how exactly did the Ewoks perceive the Battle of Endor at the end of the Return of the Jedi?

Episode 24 – Batman, Motherfucker!

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“It’s an omen. I shall become a bat!”

Criminals are superstitious and cowardly lot, so Mike and Casey are joined in the Batcave to compare case notes with our friend Pól Rua, and first-time panelist, Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters podcast. Our topic, DC Comics’ Caped Crusader, Batman.

We dig into the character’s ridiculous versatility and unique ability to upend the normal rules for the suspension of disbelief. From the campy do-goodery of Adam West to Frank Miller’s dark avenger of the night, we discuss the wide range of tone and genre that the character has had in his seven decades of publication.

This is the podcast you deserve, but maybe not the one you need right now.

Music: 
“The Batman Theme” from Batman by Danny Elfman