Chriss has a bit of sultry/scratchy ’30s film star voice this podcast thanks to a head cold.
Welcome, lovely listeners, to Issue 25 of Comics Squee. Airing on the 25th (at 10:25 PST). It’s a magical podcast.The stars have aligned.
Each podcast our panelists, Sorcerers Supreme of their home dimensions, discuss the comic books, graphic novels, and general sequential art geekery that excites them.
I’m your host, Chriss Cornish. Joining me is regular squeester April Taie, leader of the Geek Girls Meetup in San Diego; and John Oliver, a dark fantasy author.
Piloting the revolving 4th chair this issue is fan guest Tamahome0200; sometime Sffaudio podcaster, frequenter of Twitter and Goodreads.
In this issue of Comics Squee we have: hijinks with Poe’s skull ; a pandemic of serial killers ; everyone’s favorite private police ; and a tale of space travel and intrigue.
a reminder that this podcast has chapter images (if your player supports m4a). You can also pause the podcast at any time to search the internet for books we’re squeeing about so you can look at pictures of the art whilst, at the same time, we talk about it.
April: Sam and Max by Steve Purcell (starts at 00:03:14.625)
Everyone’s favorite private police. These guys are hilarious; weird, surrealist, slapstick comedy. Sam is a 6′ tall dog who wears a suit with fedora. And Max is a 3′ tall bunny rabbit thing who never wears clothes.
Sam and Max have Tin Tin style adventures, though not in that art style. Like the Mayor calls them up and says there’s trouble on the moon. There’s always a deus ex machina or someone catches on fire, they never actually get out of anything themselves; their problems are basically solved by acts of god or sudden immolation.
And there’s the war on Earth and the Moon between the cockroaches and the rats. The rats control one side of the moon, and the roaches the other. The roach side is all giant cereal boxes and kitchen appliances and they capture the rats to use in things like their non-dairy creamer.
It’s a fun, rompey book.
- 1a) Tangent 1: Creamy creamer (starts at 00:12:01.287)
Tamahome02000: Letter 44 by Charles Soule (writer) and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque (artist) (starts at 00:13:12.725)
Tama picked Letter 44 over the weekend and didn’t expect to like it as much as he did. The comic is sort of half political, half science fiction. In the same vain as Ex Machina. A new President has just taken office and he’s found out that there’s some sort of alien construct out in space and the last administration sent astronauts out to investigate.
The art style has a manga influence to it; the people are a bit angular, blockey and elongated. Tama didn’t take to the art right away but it grew on him. And there’s some real science in this fiction, as well as tributes to sci-fi greats (the spaceship is named Clark after author Arthur C. Clark).
Letter 44 is more of an adult comic. As Tama said, “liberal” things happen on the space ship headed out to investigate the alien construct.
- 2a) Tangent 2: Adèle Blanc-Sec by Jaques Tardi (starts at 00:16:20.800)
John: Empty Man by Cullen Bunn (writer) and Vanesa R. Del Rey (aritst) (starts at 00:21:12.200)
This is a limited series from Boom! comics. The story follows this thing called The Empty Name. And it’s hard to classify what it is; whether it’s a serial killer, other worldly parasite, virus, or what. It either sends people into a catatonic state or makes them crazed killers.
The Empty Man is being investigated by a joint venture by the CDC and FBI. The FBI agent is a tough, hard-boiled African-American female detective who is starting to have weird visions despite passing the Agency’s test for assignment to prove she’s not psychic or a sensitive. The CDC agent, meanwhile, is dying of cancer.
The story is great and the Vanesa’s art really sells it. She’s not afraid to give us panels that are totally dark except for some slashes of color that outline something scary. The colors are great, with sickly greens and purples. And of course Cullen’s horror writing really pulls you in and builds suspense.
- 3a) Tangent 3: Southern Bastards comic (starts at 00:27:03.875)
- 3b) Tangent 4: Drowning in Books (starts at 00:28:22.000)
Chriss: Mystery Society by Steve Niles (writer) and Fiona Staples (artist) (starts at 00:29:18.625)
Mystery Society is another fun book with great storytelling, engaging and diverse characters, and beautiful art. Chriss read this on the train down from LA and had a blast.
This comic is a pulpy adventure tale that gives you supernatural, spy thriller, espionage, and humor. The main characters are Nick and Anastasia Mystery (they legally changed their name after winning the lottery – they used to run an occult bookstore). In the first issue they rescue a pair of African-American girls that were experimented on in the 1950s and then put in cold-storage.
Then there’s Secret Skull. She’s dead and wears a skull mask. And Jules Verne, who is literally the sci-fi author’s brain in a steampunk/Jules Verne type robot body.
Question Time: What are good ghost story comics? (starts at 00:36:41.719)
It’s air-date October 25. Meer days before Halloween. So what are good ghost story comics?
- Beasts of Burden
- Night in the Lonesome October, a novel by Roger Zelazny
- First volume of Locke and Key
- “1140 Rue Royale” (third volume in the Nightmares & Fairytales series from SLG)
- Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service
- Glister and the Haunted Tea Pot
- Skeleton Key
- Neonomicon (warning, NC-17 type rating – not for kids – has tentacles in the Japanese style if you follow us)
What We’re Looking Forward to Reading Next (starts at 00:41:11.725)
Next installment of Southern Bastards
Gotham Academy, the new Batgirl, and The Sculptor (by Scott McCloud – author of Zot, Trillium, Understanding Comics and more).
All of the things she got in Top Shelf’s sale, but especially Essex County
A Korean comic called Goong
- Tangent 6: a brief interlude about The Goon by Eric Powell (starts at 00:16:20.800)