This is our Tenth Issue of Comics Squee. Squee! Each podcast our panel of sequential art lovers discuss the comic books they love in order to lure you into reading them.
I’m your host, Chriss Cornish. Joining me in my mighty robot is a squad of squee-sters specially trained and sent by The Alliance! In the red lion is John Oliver, a dark fantasy author online at JohnWOliver.com. Piloting the green lion is April Taie, leader of the Geek Girls Meetup in San Diego. AND in the revolving 4th chair of the blue lion we have comics writer, manga adapter, and leader of the Carol Corp Kelly Sue DeConnick – known far and wide for her fabulous runs on Captain Marvel and Avengers Alliance, plus her creator owned title Pretty Deadly.
Let’s go Comics Squee Force!!
This show we have: tales of Japanese orphans and their old Nissan; faith in the fish with an undersea family adventure in Greenland ; a substandard English monster learning to be a proper horror ; and the undead rise in Riverdale.
Let’s roll off to see who goes first. Usually we roll two six sided dice BUT in celebration of our move into double digit issue numbers, we’re going to break out a TEN sided die.
John: Afterlife with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (writer) & Francesco Francavilla (artist)
John has never read an Archie comic before this. Because it’s never appealed to him and no one shoved it under his nose and said, “Read this!” Both Kelly Sue and Chriss read Archie as kids, buying the digests at the grocery store. Neither could recommend a jumping on point as the stories aren’t really sequential. So if you’ve got a place John should start reading let us know.
Anyway, when John saw that they were doing a zombie apocalypse story drawn by Francesco Francavilla he decided to hope on. And he’s glad he did because he’s thoroughly enjoyed Afterlife With Archie.
The art is great and thematic and the color is beautiful. It’s a very clean B-movie.
2a) Tangent 1: Batman 1972 project by Francesco Francavilla
We spend a good while talking about how great, skilled, and friendly artist Francesco Francavilla is. Kelly Sue tells us about his for-fun Batman 1972 project and we ooh and ahh over them, which makes slightly better radio than it sounds.
Kelly Sue DeConnick: Sunny by Taiyo Matsumoto
This is the story of kids who are in a sort of foster/orphanage place. There’s an old Nissan Sunny car out front that they use like a clubhouse. The kids treat it like a muscle car but it’s really just a beat up old sedan.
This is the one comic where Kelly Sue thinks, “Oh am I going to have time to read tonight. I’ll read THIS.” Taiyo Matsumoto is really good at doing stories about boys and their relationships with each other. They feel genuine, unadorned, and literary all at the same time. It is heartbreaking and sweet. It is simple and evocative. And just really, really lovely. She’s really lovin’ it.
You can see the European influence on Taiyo, as well. And we talk about what we’ve read about Sunny being semi-autobiographical.
And we explore how characters are pieces of their writers and how readers find themselves in the characters as well.
Kelly Sue also recommended people check out the other works of Taiyo Matsumoto as well; he’s her favorite creator in any language.
Chriss: The Deep: Here There Be Dragons by Tom Taylor (writer) & James Brouwer (artist)
This is a family friendly adventure story. The Nektons are a multiethnic family of aquanauts on a hightech submarine named after the main character in 20,000 Leagues. There are great subtle ways they communicate the family-ness of the group, like giving the father and the son the same wide grin when talking about dragons.
The Deep also has great moments of humor releasing the tension. And the boy in the family has a pet fish he’s teaching to fetch, which comes back up later in the story.
And there are tentacles in the family’s logo, which made April very happy.
Kelly Sue added The Deep to her to-buy list.
April: Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell
The story is set in a sort of alternative England 1780s where each town has their own monster that acts like a tourist attraction. A wonderful idea. But the monster in the book, Rayburn, has self-esteem issues so he hasn’t attacked the town in awhile and they’re loosing tourist dollars. So they send a disgraced scientist who looks like Freud up to talk to him and a plucky orphan tags along. And then it turns in to a road trip to cheer up the monster.
The humor comes a lot from the anachronism if the jokes and the sly references things. April found it a good all ages book and a cute read that gives the reader someone to root for. And it has little plant monsters like something out of Mario Brothers. Monster on the Hill is a kids book, but has a little something for everyone. It does have mild bad language like “hell”.
4a) Tangent 2: Afterlife With Archie Revisted
John’s squee resurfaces and we discuss the fairness of being banished as punishment during the zombie apocolypse.
Question Time: What’s Your Favorite Giant Monster Title?
- Kelly Sue:
The movie The Iron Giant. It’s the, “I am not a gun” idea.
- < John:
The anime Gasaraki, is more large power armor than giant robot. It’s got international intrigue and incorporates noh theater. Oh, and painting War Machine miniatures.
The cartoon series Transformers: Beast Wars, which was superbly written and had a beginning and an end with emotional depth. And we agree that there’s nothing as magical as Optimus Prime when you are the age of the target demographic.
The anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, partly because it was the first anime she saw. It’s monster of the week but it’s got good characters, gets metaphysical, and is full of explody fun.
What We’re Looking Forward to Reading Next
- Kelly Sue:
The LEGO movie is a thing in her house. She’s also looking forward to next Sex Criminals, because she doesn’t know any better than anyone else what’s going to happen.
- < April:
Also looking forward to Sex Criminals, which isn’t about what you’d think from the title; the main characters can stop time by having sex and they commit crimes. The first trade is coming out soon and she’s excited for that.
Reading the next volumes of Mark Wade’s run on Daredevil.
Looking forward to her backer copy of The Leaning Girl coming out.