August 8, 2010

ABC Podcast Episode #104, plus visual aids.

This episode of the Awesomed By Comics Podcast is brought to you by a question from Aaron: What do you do when you don't feel like reading comics that week? Secret Six inexplicably (and unexplainedly) visits the old west and hijinx ensue, while Sparta and Spidey frustrate, Sweet Tooth hits a soft spot, and The Boys shine even when nothing really happens. Also, what's a 'Reshef?'

Download/subscribe to the show here or in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review! Tell us what you think in the comments, suggest your own winners for our categories, and ANSWER THE SUPER SPECIAL QUESTION OF THE WEEK!

Cover(s) of the Week:

Evie's pick, from The Red Hood: The Lost Days #3, cover by Billy Tucci

Aaron's pick, from Sweet Tooth #12, cover by Jeff Lemire

Panel(s) o' the Week:

Aaron's Pick, from Sweet Tooth #12, story and art by Jeff Lemire

Evie's pick, from S.H.I.E.L.D. #3, story by Jonathan Hickman, art by Dustin Weaver


Ethan Hoddes said...

Carolina didn't come out until the second series, but it was obvious to anyone who was paying attention. That was clearly what Vaughan was going for with her angst about being 'different'. Also, she told Topher the Vampire that she had a crush on someone on the team, he said "Chase?" she said no, he said "Alex?" she said no, and count up the rest of the team.

Anonymous said...

There was also a stickshift joke.

Nick Jones said...

Listener answer: I only buy comics that I actually want to read, and regularly scold the people I know who buy stuff they dislike out of habit or just to keep up with what Marvel/DC says is important. So, because I do not have any firsthand experience for what to do when getting reader's block, my advice is to not read that week's comics and instead do the entire show on the subject of Pokemon, cats, and cat Pokemon.

Karolina: She kissed the teenage vampire boy waaay back near the beginning of the first Runaways series, but as I recall she was just doing it because she figured he was supposed to be attractive and she wanted to see if she'd feel anything. As for her remaining a lesbian in the movie, I know that Disney has been boycotted by religious fundamentalists for having some corporate policies that are pro- (or at least not anti-) gay rights. I have no idea if that would extend to how characters are depicted in their films, though.

dmcd said...

Re: unmasking -- they have gone into it a bit before, but it was a while back and quite stupid, so it's understandable if you don't recall. Basically, he did unmask, and everyone vaguely remembers him unmasking, but no one actually remembers who he was revealed to be (or thinks it's odd that they don't remember). Also, people who knew his identity prior to the unmasking don't remember knowing. And when he re-reveals his identity to someone now, who used to know, they suddenly do remember knowing all along. So, not convoluted at all!! I'm assuming Dr. Strange just did a big magic mindwipe.

As of this latest issue, all Mephisto has apparently done is turn into a Rube Goldberg pigeon to stop the wedding, and had Peter do a little extra CPR on Aunt May to get her heart beating again.

The only thing I still don't get is how Peter not wearing a wedding ring stopped him from evolving organic webshooters -- but hopefully we won't have to sit through another Quesadafest explaining why.

You should totally watch Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

Danny said...

I actually liked Doom Patrol too this week. It's a series that I always wanted to like, but have been on the verge of dropping when it never seemed to make much sense. If it continues with focusing on one character at a time, then I think it works.

Also, I liked Aaron's rant, and I'd have to admit that if you find a week without a Crap of the Week, it's a sign of a pretty good week. It makes for funnier podcasts if you have stuff to complain about, though :)

As for the Spider-Man, my reading was that the unmasking was ALWAYS supposed to be a separate "story," same with the return of Harry Osborn. It was as if the creators said that, as long as they were going to make a change with the un-wedding as status quo, they might as well re-status quo everything at the same time. My only disappointment is that all the revelations about this OMIT have been so.. underwhelming. I'd like a little more earth-shattering in my stories, thank you very much.

Evie said...

Re: the unmasking, you're right, dmcd--I remember an issue of the Fantastic Four (or maybe it was a Spider-Man that starred the Fantastic Four?) where they can't figure out why they can't remember who he is. So yeah, I guess that has been explained. But also, whu.

Ethan Hoddes said...

Maybe what MJ whispered to Mephisto was "Make it make no sense so it will all eventually fall apart." I actually almost wish that they'd done the whole thing cleanly, just so that there wouldn't be a distraction from the juvenile nature of the continuity change.

Patricio said...

RE: non-comic item of the week: I really wanted to love *The Kids Are All Right*. I liked *High Art* and had high hopes for this movie, particualrly since lesbians get short-changed when it comes to representations in television and Hollywood film.

That said, I have to side with the ladies at the Lesbian Mafia (both the podcast and the broader online community) and give it a BIG thumbs down. Despite the excellent performances, I'm really tired of seeing every high-profile representation of lesbians dovetail with the same, tired, cliched heterosexual fantasy that about half of the lesbian community would gladly screw a guy--repeatedly--if the right dick came along. Despite what this movie, the L Word, Queer as Folk, etc. would have us believe, lesbians aren't secretly harboring desires to sleep with a magical penis.

I know this movie tried to be a little more nuanced, both about why JM's character strays in the way he does and about human sexuality, but in the wider context I think it fails.

It fails in a particularly spectacular way for the inclusion of that scene where JM's character pulls down MR's pants and giggles excitedly and uncontrollably, staring at his member with wide-eyed glee. I guess the magic of the phallus was just too much for her, huh? Give me a break. Every time I think about it, it makes me angrier and angrier. It felt like a made-for-tv movie more concerned with appealing to its heterosexual audience than a gay-themed movie that could powerfully communicate the difficulties of gay life and parenting to all viewers, gay and straight.

Lesbians do cheat, obviously, but the inordinate majority of the time they do so with other women. Why gay-friendly TV and movie producers feel compelled to keep pairing gay women with straight men is beyond me, but I understand the outrage with which it has been met in the online lesbian community. Sexuality is complex, yes, but that's not what gets played out in this movie. I also suspect its success in the mainstream press is based on a deep investment in this fantasy.

Patricio said...

BTW, I was *not* trying to impugn your enjoyment of the movie! I know you folks are thoughtful about gay issues, just offering up my thoughts...

MVBrady said...

Did my comment get deleted or eaten or something? Or did I actually have a dream rthat I'd posted a comment here? If so, no offense to Evie and Aaron, who are awesome, but that's a pretty lame dream. Step up your game, subconcious.

Anyway, my answer to the listener question is pretty simple and not particulalrly original. I just follow creators that I like, pretty much the same way I do in most other entertainment mediums. For instance; Jonathan Hickman, or Kieron Gillen, or Rick Remender. It isn't foolproof, because nobody has a 100% success rate, and I still take a chance on new things if they look interesting, but it works for me. If one of my favourites starts a run on something I'm unfamiliar with, and I need to get caught up on the story, there's always online summaries. Managed to avoid most of Secret Invasion that way.

Gary Moe the Buffaloe said...

Sometimes I give a comic series way too many chances before tossing it. Then it becomes "ah, I'm six issues in might aswell finish it " -- sad trombone.

Mark said...

Listener Question: I have a weird type of system for reading my books. I make sure to spread out what I know will be good reads in between issues I may be concerned or series that have started to fall flat.
It goes... 1 Good issue
2 decent issues
2 issues I am uncertain about

It helps me get through the occasional bad reads, as the incentive becomes "Well, the faster I read this issue, the faster I can read the comic I really want to see". Plus, it makes that good comic all the more better since I have to kind of work for it.

Also, taking a break from new comics to read old favorites always helps.

Ethan Hoddes said...

I've been pretty systematically killing off comics that I don't like from my reading list. One handy trick is the way you deal with crossovers. I kept up with X-Factor through Second Genesis, because it was only a tie in. but even though I love New Mutants and it was the same creative team, they were doing chapters of the story and I wasn't reading Uncanny, Legacy or X-Force, so I dropped it for the length of the crossover.

Since the last comment mentioned read order, I might as well answer that question from a previous episode, since I never got around to it. I order first by position, so I'll read concluding issues of arcs first, then middle issues, then first issues, then one-shots. Within that I sometimes clump them by type, so X-books or bat-books go together.

ericmci said...

To answer Aaron's question:

The reason I like listening to ABC is the in depth emotional discussion and a fairly informed review.

I don't tune in here for the giant drag net review of everything that came out that week. I'll go to ifanboy for that- with all the benefits and pitfalls that come with that.

I think that when it becomes a burden just to cover the ground then it's ok to pull back-

I would rather hear about an enthusiastic panel of the week that you picked even if you only read three books than feel it was a chore just so you didn't miss the big party.

Obne more thing-
Maybe it's time for a seperate pokemon podcast.

Not hating- but I couldn't care less about pokemon and would be happy to not hear about it here-

Just saying.

Keep up the good work.

Eldron said...

re Crap of the Week: This idea of going back to the 'angry Thor vs his father' is something Marvel have touched on a few times since the JMS relaunch. There were 3 one-shots from 2008 called Thor: Ages of Thunder, Thor: Reign of Blood and Thor: Man of War, written by Matt Fraction, that dealt with the arrogant, lack-of-humility Thor, showing why Odin took the decision to banish his son to Earth. This comic felt very much like a continuation of this. Yeah, it wasn't that great, certainly not to the standard of the Fraction issues, but there was precedent for this rather than being a tie-in for a movie that is a year away.

Evie said...

Eldron: Oh I know that's a big part of Thor's history--I guess it's just that it has nothing to do with what's going on in the main book right now, so publishing a separate title to get back at that story line just seemed like it had an ulterior motive. I don't even really care that much, it was just like "oh, well, ok".

ericmci: We'd talk less about Pokemon, if we didn't have just as many people tell us "I love when you talk about Pokemon, do more!" So, you can't please everyone all the time. :)

Eric Lyden said...

Aaron, since you brought up Monkess comic books a week or so ago, here's a Monkees story drawn by Jim Apaaro-

And here's an article about the Dell Monkees comic-

which judging by the pages posted here is something I would totally buy if they ever reprinted them in trades.

As for what to do when you don't feel like reading comics- I just don't read them. Then again I don't do a weekly podcast about the comics I read so no one really cares. I think we've all fallen into the trap of buying comics we don't much care for anymore just out of habit. It's dumb, but sometimes it takes a few months to realize how little you care about a book. In a way I'm thankful for price increases because it gives me pause when I'm just blindly grabbing a book just because I read it every month. It causes me to look at it and think "Captain America isn't really worth $4 to me, is it?" This week I only got 5 books, but they're 5 books I'm really eager to read which is better than getting 10 books, half of which you're barely invested in.

Ethan Hoddes said...

re: Eldron and Evie's comments. I've got a soft spot for the emo Thor from the early- and mid-sixties. Because let's face it, it wasn't "angry Thor vs. Odin" it was "emo Thor vs. Odin," with Odin repeatedly yelling "stay the hell away from that Foster girl!"

My personal favourite line from that period: "Even the god of Thunder has a LOVE!" That should be on t-shirts.

David Henion said...

Another fun podcast as always. But as I tend to get my comics late I was a bit surprised that either my ears blacked out, or you just didn't want to mention Shield #3 showing Sir Isaac Newton's O-face.

Martin Gray said...

Sorry I'm a week late with this, I was on me jollies last time.

I can't remember the last time I wasn't excited about getting a batch of comics, there's always something especially intriguing - a new series, creative team, character abomination ... If an empty week does come along, it'll be a great chance to catch up on stuff, or take a punt on something new.

I enjoy my books even more since I started doing my review blog (I'll resist plugging myself for once, mustn't hijack). Thursday nights now are comics, Chinese takeaway and a few hours of posting my obnoxious opinions and looking forward to hearing back from a few lovely folk. It brings the hobby to life, as do podcasts such as ABC.

In other news, have you ever noticed that the firsts few bars of your great opening sound like the beginning of House of Fun by Madness? Or am I tin-eared?

e said...

In (late) reference to your question about dealing with growing apathy in comics, I wish I had a good answer, but I'm really wrestling with the same thing right now. Every series I read is getting canceled (or is a miniseries) except for one - Justice League, which I buy every month even though I've never enjoyed it once.

The last time I felt disillusioned with comics I took a year off, but I guess you can't do that and keep producing the podcast, so that's out. Now, the only real answer I have it to keep a few series I know are going to be good unread in a "in case of emergency" kind of thing.

I've also explored manga more. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Pluto, Black Lagoon, Ikigami, and Dead Man Wonderland are what I've been enjoying lately. I can't say if that's anything you'd enjoy though.