March 29, 2010

ABC Podcast, Episode #86, plus visual aids

This very special episode of the Awesomed by Comics Podcast is brought to you by Mysterius the Unfathomable, which we actually spend very little time discussing, despite the fact that the book's creators, Tom Fowler and Jeff Parker (collectively: "Forker!") join us for a full two hours. Power Girl, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, Regular Spider-Man, and the return of a certain Kitty (Hint: Not Honey Boy) all win big, as do a few Marvel Premieres from 1977, because they're AS GOOD AS THREE COMICS. And Tom can probably forget about pencilling next summer's 480-issue "Image United II featuring Deadpool."

Download/subscribe to the show here or in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review! Tell us what you think in the comments, or visit our show forum.

Cover(s) of the Week

Aaron's Pick, from Uncanny X-Men #522, Variant Cover by Mark Brooks

Evie's Pick, from Power Girl #10, Cover by Amanda Conner

Tom's Pick, from Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk #3, Cover by John Romita Jr.

Jeff's Pick, from Joe the Barbarian #3, Cover by Sean Murphy

March 28, 2010

ABC Podcast with Jeff Parker and Tom Fowler! Coming tomorrow!

Hey dudes! So we just did something new and awesome, which was have two of our favorite creators join us on the podcast and share their picks for all our categories! But of course our conversation with Mysterius: the Unfathomable creators Jeff Parker and Tom Fowler was so hilarious and entertaining that it dragged on for fucking ever, and editing will take a little longer than normal. So, please check back here no later than tomorrow evening for Awesomed By Comics Episode #86, which will be way worth the wait.

March 22, 2010

ABC Podcast, Episode #85 plus visual aids

This episode of Awesomed By Comics is brought to you by half of the War Rocket Ajax, which was kind enough to lend us one gently used Chris Sims for the episode. Chris sits in for Evie and takes issue with our dislike of Batman and Robin #10, and my love of most things Joe Kelly. Hercules: Death of an Avenger wins multiple awards, Archie comics are discussed on the show for the first time ever, and despite decades of comics reading between the two hosts, nobody can remember whether Thanos has ever had eye beams or not.

Download/subscribe to the show here or in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review! Tell us what you think in the comments, or visit our show forum.

Cover(s) of the Week

Aaron's pick, from Guardians of the Galaxy #24, cover by Alex Garner:

(Note: This image from Marvel's website - I can't get my Photoshop to work, or else I could screencap this here preview - which you can click on if you want to see the awesome throwbacky text.)

Chris's pick, from Hercules: Death of an Avenger #1 of 2, cover by Ariel Olivetti:

Cover(s) of the Week

Again, no Photoshop, so no scanner for my pick (which is the hilarious Northstar panel from Hercules) but you can see Chris's pick here.

March 21, 2010

ABC Podcast, Episode #8......

......ehhhh, not quite yet.

See, it's done and all - and in fact, features our second-ever special guest host, the always hilarious Chris Sims from the Invincible Super Blog and War Rocket Ajax sitting in for Evie, who is right now in Austin watching skinny dudes in ladies' pants with hipster beards play 'electro-pop.'

And there's the problem.

See, I've forgotten our password for the service that hosts our podcasts, and I seem to have deleted the e-mail in which Evie sent it to me. Not a problem, you say? They have a "lost password" feature, you say? They'll either email my password to me, or they'll email instructions on how to reset it, you say? Well right you are! However, our email forwards to Evie's personal account.

Which (as you'll hear about on the show, once I manage to post it) means I can't get at it.

So the show's "in the can" as they say, but our password is "in Texas" which shouldn't be in quotes because that's really where it is.

It'll be here soon though. Promise.

March 14, 2010

ABC Podcast, Episode #84 plus visual aids

This episode of Awesomed By Comics is brought to you by Sausage or Death Metal Band? Feel free to play along at home, Google probably won't help you. A wonderful last issue wraps up Kieron Gillen and Steven Sanders' tragically abandoned S.W.O.R.D., Criminal finishes another tense arc, Pet Avengers starts a delightful new one, and the Unwritten and Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man continue to rule. Also, Bruce Wayne is not the effing Riddler. Note that Evie will be away for SXSW next week, so Aaron may or may not have special surprises planned in her absence. Stay tuned.

Download/subscribe to the show here or in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review! Tell us what you think in the comments, or visit our show forum.

TECHNICAL NOTE: I (Aaron) accidentally used my bass compressor on my voice while recording, so you will want to turn the bass WAAAAAAYY down on your player. (Either that or put your headphones in your pocket and enjoy.)

Cover(s) of the Week

Aaron's pick, from S.W.O.R.D. #5, cover by Mike Del Mundo:

Evie's pick, from Pet Avengers: Unleashed #1, variant cover by Roger Langridge and Jean-Francois Beaulieu:

Panel(s) of the Week

Evie's pick, from Secret Six #19, by Gail Simone and J. Calafiore:

Aaron's pick, from the Mystic Hands of Dr. Strange #1, story and art by Ted McKeever:

March 7, 2010

ABC Podcast, Episode #83 and visual aids

This episode of Awesomed By Comics is brought to you by tonight's actual Oscars, which as you may know, our show is a little bit like, if it were quite a bit different. Boys and a Man show what they're made of, Underground wraps up on high, and ladies step up in Girl Comics. We also detail our pitch for Marvel Horses, and swoon over the newest incarnation of animated Bruce Wayne.

Download/subscribe to the show here or in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review! Tell us what you think in the comments, or visit our show forum.

Cover(s) of the Week

Evie's pick, from Girl Comics #1, cover by Amanda Conner:

Aaron's pick, from Astro City, the Dark Ages: Book Four #2, cover by Alex Ross:

Panel(s) of the Week

Aaron's pick, from Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love #5, by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus:

Evie's pick, from Invincible Iron Man #24, by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca:

March 2, 2010


Thanks to alert listener/reader Albertosaurus R3X, we saw that on March 2nd, the website Superhero Hype posted the news that Iron Man, Armored Adventures, has been given the greenlight for a second season. This show was both Evie's and my comic-related non-comic item of the year last year. Despite efforts to each pick something or someone different, neither of us could bring ourselves to choose anything other than this amazing show.

The computer animation did get a bit clunky at times, but that was the only slight on an otherwise perfect season. From design, to plot, to script, the show was masterfully crafted. Iron Man, Armored Adventures is a reimagining of the Iron Man legend, with all of the comic's major players recast as high school classmates. And as far as execution goes, this show has some of the best voice acting I've ever heard in animation, and I've seen a LOT of animation. But above all, this show was flat-out, balls-to-the-wall FUN.

Yes. Balls-to-the-wall. That is what I typed.

Rhodey, Tony, Pepper

I haven't heard a lot of other comic book people talk about this show, either on podcasts or on blogs, so scrolled down to the comments to see what people had to say, expecting a lot of HOORAY!s or EXCELSIOR!s. Instead, I saw this.

Posted by: Animatorz!! on March 2, 2010 at 12:10:30 Renewed.....uh, why? The show largely sucks(and this is coming from an Iron Man fan). I wanted Iron Man done more in the flavor of the 90's Batman or Superman TAS's(you know, a really good show that's pretty faithful). Not Peter Parker as Iron Man.

Posted by: Marvelfanwithgoodtaste on March 2, 2010 at 13:25:52 OMG why? The whole series is like Spiderman New TAS but without good script!!! We want Wolverine & The X-Men Season 2 NOW!!!!!! We don't give a damn about Armored Adventures and yes, they are as good as Spectacular Spidey is. Not-good! Extremely childish, even for a child!!!

That second comment goes so far as to insult Spectacular Spider-Man - which was, for its two seasons, possibly the best adaptation of the Spider-Man mythos into ANY non-comic medium, ever. Like IMAA, Specacular Spider-Man was bright, it was fast, it was colorful, and it was FUN.

And yet, it is rejected by comics fans.

In January, Amazing Spider-Man #617 - the fantastic Rhino story by Joe Kelly and Max Fiamura - sold 76,730 copies. (#618 sold 61,969, and #619 sold 56,837.) To contrast, Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #59 sold 4,315 copies to comic shops, despite this awesome Skottie Young cover.

And it's not just the fact that it's not the "real" Spidey - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man sold 43,622 copies. The Marvel Adventures version of Spidey is absolutely the equal of the Ultimate Comics version, which is to say they're both fantastic. But it too is rejected by comics fans.

We at Awesomed By Comics have long been fascinated by the need for most comics fans to pointedly and usually blindly reject anything related to their beloved funnybooks that's ... you know, too funny.

Or fun. Or that could in any way be interpreted as being aimed at, or even appreciated BY, younger people.

Is it something that has seeped in from the 'cartoonists' scene, where great lengths are taken to shun whimsy (...unless you consider tragic melancholy to be whimsical.Read Douglas Wolk's chapter on Chris Ware in 'Reading Comics.')

Is it a cost/benefit analysis thing? Does a $3.99 crossover story with a ton of decompression that takes 15-20 minutes to read but only moves the story ahead by a few minutes feel intuitively like a better investment than a $2.99 Marvel Adventures book that takes 5-10 minutes to read, but is relatively self-contained? Does an hour spent watching two episodes of Iron Man Armored Adventures feel more wasted than an hour watching Smallville or Lost?

Or is it the pure stigma of comics having been traditionally viewed as FOR children that forces fanboys - and it is generally only the boys that have this problem - to PROVE (to themselves?) that comics are legitimate by rejecting anything a child could enjoy? Comix R Serius Bizness, etc.

Is it all this ... AND MORE?

Probably, yes. So I am going to say this, right here, in print, so that we are actually forced to follow through with it. (We've been talking about it for more than a year)

We're going to put together a panel discussion with some of our favorite critics and creators from the comics world to explore where this loathing of fun comes from - and whether it's killing off any chance of superhero comic books (not the characters, the books themselves) regaining a cultural foothold among young people.

There. I said it. Now let's see if we can actually do it.

Also I'm hiding this picture of Mr. Kotter here, because I'll probably need it for a joke next January.