Podcast - Episode 111: Favourite Single Issues (Part 1)


This week we tasked ourselves with each choosing five of our favourite single comic book issues. It was not easy, but between us we have a pretty solid list of ten comics. Because it was so challenging to get it down to so few, we are probably going to make this a recurring episode theme. Maybe monthly? I dunno.

Here are the lists, so you can head to your local shop and hunt them down:


Avengers #154
GI Joe #21
Doom Patrol #19
Tom Strong #1
Eightball #22


Jonah Hex #50
Captain America (and Bucky) #620
All-Star Superman #5
Wolverine Weapon X #11
Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #125

And here's that very important Jeremy Renner Instagram post:

Good stuff. 

Alright, we will see you next week! Thanks for listening!

Podcast - Episode 62: Unrealized Projects

This week Dave and I discuss some unrealized superhero projects. Pitches and scripts that, for whatever reason, never made it to fruition. It's a Dave-heavy episode (ladies).

I'll let you decide, but I think you can hear how eagerly Dave wants to wrap things up so he can eat dinner.

Here are some links to more info on some of those projects:

First, here's the full script for Tom Mankiewicz's Batman movie.

And here's the AV Club article about it that revealed that John Lithgow would have been cast as The Joker.

Here is the archived full text of Alan Moore's Twilight of the Superheroes pitch for DC.

And here are the details of Grant Morrison and Mark Millar's Superman 2000 pitch.

And some info on their Apocalypse 2099 pitch for Marvel.

And here's that awesome Winter Soldier drawing that Mike Henderson posted:

Yeah. That's good Bucky.

Alright! That's it for this week! Thanks for listening! Follow us on Instagram!

Podcast - Episode 28: Great Writing/Bad Art & Great Art/Bad Writing

This week we totally talk about actual comic books! We talk about books that had such great writing that we were (almost) able to overlook the not-so-great art. And then books that had art that was so great that we bought them even though the writing was just terrible. It gets kinda mean, not gonna lie.

And the panel at the top of this post is, of course, from JLA (great writing by Grant Morrison, just dreadful art by Howard Porter). Here are a few more of the comics we mention:

1. Animal Man with great writing by Grant Morrison, not-so-great art by Chas Truog:

2. Miracle Man with great writing by Alan Moore, not-so-great art by Chuck Beckum:

3. Godland with great art by Tom Scioli and not-so-great writing by Joe Casey:

4. Doom Patrol with great writing by Grant Morrison, not-so-great art by Richard Case:

5. Our favourite example: Superman/Batman with great art by Ed McGuinness, terrible writing by Jeph Loeb:

Hey, if you want to watch the entire Captain America: Civil War panel from Wizard World New Orleans, you can!!! Right here.

And if you want to see how extremely handsome and snugly Chris Evans looked while doing that panel, here's some visual reference:

I'll finish this with a picture of that Winter Soldier Dorbz toy that is coming out and is adorable. And some very funny fan art inspired by it.

Nah, I lied. I'm gonna end this with a selfie of Sebastian Stan in a tux on Golden Globes night:

The Best of 2009: A Last-Minute Addendum

 Way back in late summer 2009, I was thinking ahead to the inevitable Year’s Best list we at LBW would be working on (it was convention season, and at the time, we were being inundated with major releases). I knew that, when the time came to write them up, I would have a difficult time remembering stuff that came out earlier in the year--this is, after all, why the movie studios save their award hopefuls until December—and that I should start compiling an ongoing list of things to write about when the time came. I only got around to one entry (so much for ongoing), and most everything I jotted down (Batman & Robin, Tales Designed To Thrizzle, Parker, Asterios Polyp, Wednesday Comics) got at least a mention from my fellow bloggers or myself in last week’s “Best Of 2009” entries. However, despite all my smug boasting about how useful this list would prove to be, I never actually consulted the danged thing, relying instead on my memory. And this reliance on my increasingly faulty brain, dear readers, is how I ended up ignoring a pretty obvious contender for any “Best Of” list…League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. III: Century Book One. 


I favorably reviewed LOEG: Century when it was first released, added it to my preliminary “Best Of” list when the time came, then…promptly forgot it when I was assembling my final list. An argument could be made that, since I didn’t remember it in December, then it wasn’t all that memorable to begin with. While I may not have enjoyed it as much as previous installments—a lot of the characters and references were lost on me this time around—I still dug it a lot more than most of the superhero books from the Big Two in 2009, and more than a lot of indie titles besides. I love the rejiggered format being tried out by new publisher Top Shelf (three self-contained 80-page albums, roughly a year apart, comprising one big, century-spanning adventures), I love the continuation of Captain Nemo’s career through his mysterious daughter, I love Kevin O’Neill’s fastidiously detailed and grotesquely populated artwork, and I love how Alan Moore, as he’s done so well in V For Vendetta and Top Ten, perfectly incorporates musical numbers into his narrative (not too many writers in this particular field have mastered this one—I’m actually hard pressed to think of any, but I feel like there’s a really obvious one that came out this year that I just can’t recall right now).

 So, I messed up. I blame all the holiday turkey and holiday booze, ‘cause, man, there was a lot of both going around as I was assembling my list. I also would like to say in my defense that, for me to forget about an Alan Moore comic at year’s end means that 2009 was a particularly great year in the funnybook field. Great job, everybody!

Herbie vs. Rorschach

I’ve been reading Dark Horse’s Herbie Archives recently, which collect  the exploits of lollipop-sucking, time-traveling weirdo kid Herbie Popnecker. It’s pretty strange stuff—the so-called “Fat Fury” is seemingly omnipotent and indestructible, not to mention irresistible to any number of beautiful ladies. Herbie travels to other planets, rubs elbows with Gregory Peck and Santa Claus, and helps Christopher Columbus discover America. The whole thing is made even more bizarre by Ogden Whitney’s classic illustrative style, which is kind of at odds with how wacky the stories are. Alan Moore is reportedly a huge fan of the series, and much has been made of the fact that both Herbie and Watchmen protagonist Rorschach share a similar speech pattern, a sort of lazy, disaffected monotone where they skip lots of words. However, I submit to you that the two characters have several more traits in common as well. For instance, both subscribe to a similarly unapologetic, uncompromising personal ethic: 


Not to mention, Herbie and Rorschach share a belief in enhanced methods of interrogation and intimidation:


Of course, their similar personalities might be a product of childhood trauma—both characters suffered at the hands of tyrannical, abusive parents:


No word on whether Herbie enjoys cold beans right out of the can, though. Or whether Rorschach enjoys a nice lollipop once in a while.

A Bit of a 90s Palate-Cleanser.

Welcome to 90s Week at Living Between Wednesdays! This whole idea was inspired by a collection we acquired recently at Strange Adventures, where a guy who had been buying comics at another store for over twenty years had picked up his comics faithfully every week or so, read them once, then stored them back in the bags he brought them home in, receipts and all. Each of us picked a bag at random to review, which we’ll be doing later this week in lieu of reviewing new stuff.  Until then, we’ll be talking about all things 90s, so feel free to put on a Full House rerun, rock out to the Stone Temple PilotsCore, and strut your stuff in your HyperColour T-shirt. 

For my introductory 90s Week post, I’m going to discuss five titles that may have slipped under some fans’ radar, as the creators of these books were generally known for more famous works. Obviously, it’s more fun to have a go at the crappier offerings of the decade, but we’ll get to that in due time, and I thought it might be nice to start things off on a more positive note. So, in no particular order…

Captain America by Mark Waid and Ron Garney: Taking the reins from longtime writer Mark Gruenwald, the new creative team hit the Star-Spangled Avenger like a much-needed shot of Super-Soldier Serum. Cap’s new adventures were tightly plotted and fast paced, reducing the character’s penchant for patriotic speeches and returning him to the frantic action he was originally known for. First, in Operation Rebirth, Cap and his back-from-the-dead love interest Sharon Carter were forced to team up with the Red Skull to stop a group of Nazis from using a Cosmic Cube to reshape reality to their purposes. In the second storyline, Man Without A Country, Cap was exiled from American soil for teaming up with the Skull, but he still had to find a way to stop robotic villain Machinesmith from assassinating Bill Clinton. Unfortunately, the poorly-timed and thoroughly godawful Heroes Reborn relaunch of Captain America derailed the Waid/Garney express just as it was building up renewed fan interest in the title. The duo returned to the book when Heroes Reborn ended, but the book never quite regained its momentum. The full run is once again available in the Operation Rebirth collection, and if you’re one of the many fans of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s current Cap adventures, you owe it to yourself to check out the best the previous decade had to offer.

1963 by Alan Moore and Friends: If Supreme was Alan Moore’s tribute to the Silver Age of DC, then 1963 was his salute to the Mighty Marvel Age of Comics. Published as six separate issues with different protagonists taking part in a larger, interconnected plot, 1963 had a little something for everyone who loved the classic Marvel archetypes. Mystery Incorporated was his homage to the Fantastic Four, The Fury was an acrobatic wisecracker a la Spider-Man or Daredevil, and Horus: Lord of Light riffed on Thor and his godly supporting cast…you get the idea. The art chores were handled by a who’s who of past Moore collaborators, like Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch, and John Totleben. Presented as highlights from the fictional Image Comics published thirty years earlier, 1963 was to eventually contrast the heroes of a more innocent decade with the ultraviolent Image heroes of 1993 in a concluding chapter—the 1963 Double Image Annual. Image founders like Todd MacFarlane and Jim Lee were on tap to provide art for the issue, which sadly never saw print for a variety of reasons, including Moore’s falling-out with co-creator Bissette. Damn shame, though, since any one of these issues provides enough material for a dozen lesser writers to crank out stories for years to come…much like anything Moore writes, really.

Unknown Soldier by Garth Ennis and Killian Plunkett: While he and artist Steve Dillon were creating the most entertaining blasphemy ever seen month after month in Preacher, Garth Ennis still found time to revisit one of DC’s classic World War II heroes in this gritty, suspenseful four-parter. A lonely, Mulderesque FBI agent is put on the trail of Codename Unknown Soldier, a shady operative who vanished into obscurity following the end of WWII, becoming a covert assassin who took part in pretty much all of the US’s dirty dealings from 1946 to the present (the present being 1997, of course). It’s sort of like Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Shadowplay—The Secret Team in Brought To Light crossed with a particularly great X-Files episode. Ennis adds a final twist to the mystery of the Soldier’s identity that is somehow both satisfying and maddening at the same time.

Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual #1 by Kurt Busiek and Mike Allred: For a good stretch in the 90s, UTOS was the only remotely readable Spidey title. The stories were sandwiched between existing continuity from Spidey’s early years, and made for a good antidote to the Clone Saga and all the foolishness that came with it. However, everything awesome about the title was on full display in this double-sized issue, drawn by Allred and inked by Marvel vet Joe Sinnott. The story dealt with Webhead’s rivalry with the Human Torch, resulting in Spidey asking Susan Storm out on a date (mostly to piss off her brother). Sue, feeling neglected by Reed and not married yet, agrees to join the Wall-crawler at a local pizza joint. Meanwhile, the Torch summons Sue’s super-stalker, Namor, and tells him that Spider-Man has kidnapped her. Good old-fashioned misunderstandings and mayhem ensue. It’s pretty tough to read this issue without a big goofy grin plastered across your mug. 

The Copybook Tales, by J. Torres and Tim Levins: Back before 80s nostalgia, fanboy humour, and nonstop pop culture references were commonplace, Canadian creators Torres and Levins indulged in all of the above with this charming black-and-white series from Slave Labor Graphics (now available in one volume from Oni Press). The series followed the semi-fictionalized misadventures of two would-be comic creators, Jamie and Thatcher, caught between their desire to grow up once and for all and the relentless pull of nostalgia. Told both in flashbacks to the guys’ misspent youth scouring back-issue bins and agonizing over girls, and in the present, where they struggle with the perils of responsibility, The Copybook Tales wonderfully balanced nerdy humour, twentysomething angst, and a very relatable coming-of-age story.