This is Issue 18 of Comics Squee. Each podcast our panelists, with wings of silver and nerves
of steel, discuss the comic books, graphic novels, and general sequential art geekery that
I’m your host, Chriss Cornish. Joining me in our regularly scheduled squee-fest are: John
Oliver, a dark fantasy author online at JohnWOliver.com ; April Taie, leader of the Geek Girls
Meetup in San Diego; and, once again piloting our revolving 4th chair, is comics writer and
creator Alex de Campi. We squeed about her titles Smoke and Grindhouse: Doors Open at
Midnight back in podcast 15.
Last time Alex joined us, back in issue 8, we recommended ALL THE THINGS. So I hope
you’re sitting comfortably, dear listeners.
In this issue of Comics Squee we have: a Kill Bill style samurai western built for digital
delivery ; a space opera epic about family, love, and parenthood ; classic horror tales to chill
the spine ; and an assassin school in 1980s San Francisco.
- Tangent 1: Mark Wade’s Daredevil run (starts at 00:01:10.017)
- Tangent 2: Great 2nd-hand book sources that aren’t evil (starts at 00:02:09.326)
- Abe Books
- Better World
John: Creepy magazine archive (starts at 00:04:15.875)
John took an excursion into the Library’s database, looking for names like “Steve Ditko” and “Frank Frazetta”, and he came across volumes of Creepy. These volumes collect the archives of the Warren publishing horror comics series. John had heard of it, but had never read any of these comics. So he picked up volume 1, which collects the first 8 issues.
Note that Creepy was able to skirt the Comics Code’s ban on horror comics by publishing as an anthology magazine – NOT a comic (so the rules didn’t apply). Sneaky. And they
Dark Horse has revived Creepy magazine. Alex herself has had a story in the February 2014 issue.
And, to tie back to one of our earlier tangents, the volumes are available at public libraries, as well as the 2nd hand book sources we mentioned.
- 1a) Tangent 3: Vampirella (starts at 00:07:59.025)
Alex de Campi: Deadly Class and Rick Remender (starts at 00:12:46.862)
Alex wanted to squee about Rick Remender a bit first before starting on his work, Deadly Class. This segued well from Creepy, since Rick started off as a write horror. His character development is solid. Not only are his bad guys really unsettling in places, he has very strong and well defined character arcs for his characters. Remender was even able to give Deadpool a character arc in his X-Force run. He’s also a master of the cliff-hanger ending. Render has a real gift for serialized fiction.
Deadly Class is Rick Remender’s new work out from Image. At the time of recording there were just 4 issues out. The school-for-assasins premise has been done before, but it’s being done really, really well. In such a way that Deadly Class will be the defining assasin-spy school story for a long time.
Deadly Class is written by Rick Remender, drawn by Wes Craig, colored by Lee Loughridge, and lettered by Rus Wooton. The book has beautiful design and is gorgeous. Both the line and color art is stunning. Rus has been doing innovative and subtle things with the letters. And Renders characters are excellent; you feel like they’re real people.
And then we get very tangential with other great teenager book recs:
- 2a) Tangent 4: The Wicked and Divine by Gillen & McKelvie (great teen book) (starts at 00:18:04.392)
- 2b) Tangent 5: Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell by Paul Dini (writer) and Joe Quinones (artist) (starts at 00:18:55.650)
- 2c) Tangent 6: Young Avengers run by Gillen & McKelvie (great teen book) (starts at 00:20:07.924)
- 2d) a return to Tangent 5: The Fishnet Brigade (starts at 00:20:35.283)
- 2e) Tangent 7: Ms. Marvel is Chriss’ unicorn< (starts at 00:21:19.100)/li>
April: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Fiona Staples (artist) (starts at 00:23:02.250)
April would like to send Brian K. Vaughan a personal message: “I know. I know what you’re doing. And I’m totally going to cry; just like I did for Y and Pride of Baghdad (and everything you’ve ever written). I kind of hate you, but keep doing it.”
Yes, Saga is a space opera. And you probably think you know how that’s going to go. But you totally don’t. Vaughan has this way of taking these epic, ridiculous (to handle) themes of the tragedies of war, and what it does to people, and driving home the personal aspects of it. Saga, really, is about family, love, and parenthood. In space. And it’s fabulous, as well as creative and different.
Brian K. Vaughan’s writing and world building is fantastic, but it’s Fiona Staples’ art that really builds and sells it. Saga just wouldn’t be the story it is without her design, colors, and sequential story telling. They’re a great team.
Chriss: Motorcycle Samurai by Chris Sheridan (starts at 00:32:34.000)
This is a ‘digital native’; Motorcycle Samurai is written, drawn, and designed to be read on tablets and other digital platforms. This makes it more dynamic and easy to read digitally than print comics that have been scanned and set with transfer points to move you around the page.
This is a great comic that combines that post-apocalyptic feel of a gritty western, with that Kill Bill sensibility where everyone has a samurai sword and there are women biker gangs. The main character is The White Bolt, who wears a grey and silver motorcycle suite, helmet with a skull, and two white feathers that make her look like a bunny from a distance. She carries one of the great swords of the west buy has not drawn it once in 3 issues; she fights with that Japanese style where you block and parry with the sheath. She even gives her opponents the opportunity to not fight.
The dialog is fabulous and ‘appears’ as the characters are talking. The overall ‘flow’ of the comic is well timed and enjoyable to experience on a digital device. Motorcycle Samurai is also both ethnic and gender diverse, which is a great thing to see.
- 4a) Tangent 8: Comics are supposed to be fun and turning off the lights does not equate to fun (starts at 00:37:16.060)
- 4b) Tangent 9: PX! A Girl and Her Panda by Anderaon & Trembley (starts at 00:41:06.000)
- 4c) You just can’t help ninjas (Young Avengers proves that) (starts at 00:41:41.569)
- 4d) Tangent 10: Evil Incorporated by Brad Guigar (starts at 00:42:24.417)
- 4e) Tangent 11: Moth City by Tim Gibson (starts at 00:43:05.400)
Question Time: What are the best spy stories (starts at 00:43:15.575)
Back on topic…we get to discussing great spy comics and such.
- Casanova by Mat Fraction (writer) and artists Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon
- Velvet by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting
- Winter Soldier: The Bitter March tie-in comic by Rick Remender (writer) and Roland Boschi (artist)
- Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV show (available now on iTunes), particularly the “Project Strygas Affair” episode guest starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy
- Super Spy by Matt Kindt
- Mind Management by Matt Kindt
- X-9 by Archie Goodwin (writer) and Al Williamson (artist)
- 5a) Tangent 12: Arrow TV show (starts at 00:43:19.608)
- 5b) Tangent 13: Attack on Titan (starts at 00:44:11.083)
- 5c) Tangent 14: Alex de Campi’s plans for her two spy comics (starts at 00:50:15.611)
- 5d) Tangent 15: Black Panther by Jack Kirby (starts at 00:54:31.046)
What We’re Looking Forward to Reading Next (starts at 00:56:21.125)
- Alex de Campi:
The Wicked and Divine by Gillen & McKelvie, out June 18 of 2014
Shutter by Joe Keatinge (writer) and Leila del Duca (artist), and third volume of Hawkeye trade focusing on Kate Bishop in LA.
The Property by Rutu Modan
The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker (writer) and Sean Phillips (artist)