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:


Sandy said...

Tom Fowler + Jeff Parker = Forker.

Evie said...

Sandy: OMG yes. Will Twitter.

Bill D. said...

I've been trade-waiting on Batman and Robin, so that whole "Bruce leaving clues through time" thing is news to me but... yeah, that sounds a little too clever by half for even Batman. It'd be a great plot device for a Doctor Who episode - one that Steven Moffat actually kinda-sorta used in the episode "Blink," come to think of it - but that's a bit much for Batman.

Anonymous said...

Woo-Hoo! :)

*but sad Evie will be away next time*

Ethan Hoddes said...

I'd say the commentary on Batman & Robin from this show helped me follow my instincts and drop the damn book. I seem to be in a tiny minority, whether compared to Morrison zombies or people who haven't liked his Batman work, in that I actually kind of liked RIP (though the ending was hack), but Batman & Robin does nothing for me. Just to further wreck my credibility, I'd take the Knight trilogy from the 90s to this storyline any day. Say what you will about it, but there was at least some sense of what the point of having Jean-Paul as Batman was, whereas I really get zero sense of what the point of making Dick Batman for a couple of years was. I haven't been reading much of the Bat-line, but none of Morrison's stuff gives me any idea why he wanted to write it with Dick instead of Bruce.

Anonymous said...

You know, I've been thinking about the comment/rant that Aaron went on about with the superhero comics losing fans and all...and I have to say that I have a different perspective of the whole thing. In regard to the fans, while yes, some of the old-guard fans may have left/been leaving over the years, comic book fans have picked up the loss in other ways.

I mean, in terms of fandom, I love hearing stories about people like, well, even Evie, who is fairly new. And more and more different people from many backgrounds who have picked up comics, whether from their older brothers' collection or in other ways, like knowing about the movies and all. But I am not sad when certain sites report how the superhero top comics are so low compared to earlier years. I just think the diversity is greater nowadays, and I like that. Overall, I think there's a more diverse comic book selection AND fandom out there and obviously, not everyone is solely into the superhero comics.

The old timers who merely collect the sueprhero comics, yet don't read them, are an odd bunch to me. I mean, that's a problem, no? When people are soo into collecting that they may not even read the things they are buying? I'd happily trade 5 of them for 1 or 2 new fans who may only buy 1/2 of what the old time collector bought. Because it's nice knowing that someone actually gets some pleasure from something instead of someone who just gets comics to finish off a collection regardless of how much they enjoyed them.

Plus, the new category of graphic novels is pretty strong. I mean, I'd never venture as to how many people read and buy comics, and surely those who go into an lcs every week for the serials, has lowered, BUT, overall, I think many more people are exposed to comics than any other time. Worldwide even.

It may take some time for the numbers to come back and with the age of digital comics soon upon us, I think, with some strong publishing, as has been, the numbers will eventually come back as people are definitely interested in them and they are more widely recognized as an art and literature form nowadays.

Of course, world populations rise and more interest simply for the increase there, but it's up to the books to provide the entertainment and I think that will always be there.

Sorry for this rant, but it's something I think had to be addressed since you seemed so strong in your opinion on the subject.

Jesse Ewiak said...

I guess the only argument I'd make against the "no new ideas" in superhero comics is that maybe there aren't that many new ideas left as far as characters in a superhero universe.

I mean, is there a new type of superhero character that's simply not being published anywhere? It's certainly possible that I'm just not that creative as far as creating new characters go, but I just don't see the large gap here.

Now, as far as storytelling styles, actual plots, etc, I think that sometimes gets stuck into a certain mode and I have no problems with criticism of that but when it comes down to it, I think blaming Marvel/DC/etc. for not creating new characters lately is sort of silly.

aaron said...

I'm not bemoaning the lack of new characters, I'm talking about what's DONE with those characters. There have been a handful of new approaches over the last few decades, and those should be praised. As we mentioned on the show, BKV has done a fantastic job with Runaways, Ex Machina, and The Escapists. Bendis also deserves a lot of credit for popularizing the "focus squarely on relationships" approach to superhero comics (although Niecieza had been doing that on New Warriors in the 90s.) But Bendis had already established his style, and honestly, has watered it down for his 616 universe stuff.

There's an extreme reluctance (bordering on inability) to take risks at the big two when it comes to bringing in new writers. And that makes perfect sense from a RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW economic sense. But by forcing writers to go through their paces on other books at other companies, Marvel and DC are getting "Tutu" Miles Davis, not "Birth of the Cool" Miles Davis. There's a freshness and modernity to the NON-big-two works of Bendis, Fraction, Rucka, even Millar - that had been watered down by the time they got to play in the big kids toybox.

As a result, we're seeing some amazing otherworldly fiction stuff at Vertigo, Image, Boom!, Oni and others. But like you said, Anonymous, the new readers are Evies - starting in their late 20s and early 30s - and not Aarons - starting at 7 or 8 and developing a lifetime affinity.

Brambo said...

I thought that the complex Riddler-style clues were a bit much, too. But they would have to be very complex and DaVinci-code like, or Bruce or Dick or Tim would have already figured everything out years ago. Did Bruce know that Alfred would only re-arrange the pictures after his death, or was it a coincidence? That all depends on how he is jumping around in time and how much he remembers.

While this may not be enough for you to "un-crap" Batman & Robin, I hope that it can help you enjoy the story a bit more.

Eric Lyden said...

Since neither Aaron nor Evie heard of them-