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 71: Favourite Comic Book Creative Teams

This week on the podcast we list some of our all-time favourite comic book creative teams! Because, just like Dave and me, sometimes it takes two awesome people coming together to create magic.

I should mention that we are aware that the Buckaroo Banzai news is now irrelevant now that Kevin Smith has removed himself from the project. That happened right after we recorded this episode.

Oh, and also, I can now confirm that it's Jeff Le-MEER, not Jeff Le-MYER, so I have been wrong all these years. Also, he is very nice.

Do I have anything to link to this week? Not really. 

Here's the link to that little Mark Waid/Chris Samnee interview about Black Widow and Winter Soldier, I guess.


Here's a picture of Sebastian Stan at a spin class?

Oh, to be on that bike behind him.

(Oh, to be that bike? Nah. That's weird.)

Thanks for listening!

Podcast - Episode 56: Suicide Squad and Copra

Dave and I saw Suicide Squad and it was not painless!

Quite the opposite.

We laughed a lot, though. Not at the jokes. At other parts. And we fell in love with Slipknot, the lovable scamp who can climb ANYTHING! With a grappling gun. Um...and he actually can't even do that.

To wash the taste of that movie out of our mouths (tastes like one of the weird extreme Mountain Dew flavours), we read Michel Fiffe's Copra: Round One for the latest instalment of our summer book club. It was a much better "Suicide Squad" story.

I have been looking but I could not verify what Diablo spells with fire, so Dave and I will have to agree to disagree until we get a gif. Or until we forget all about it.

So, to recap, here is the line-up that I think the Suicide Squad movie should have had:

Captain Boomerang
Harley Quinn (but NO JOKER. POST JOKER!)
Poison Ivy
Dr. Light

Better, right? And much smaller, which is important.

Also, I forgot to mention this, but the whole point of the Suicide Squad is to do jobs that super heroes can't/won't do. This particular "mission" was something that normal super heroes totally could have done. A Suicide Squad movie should be like Ocean's 11 with comic book villains. It should have been a heist, like having to break into the Batcave to steal something for Waller. Or something. This movie made no goddamn sense.

And it needed way more Slipknot. WAY MORE.

We hardly knew ye, rope guy.

Some photos have hit the internet since we recorded of Sebastian Stan filming his mystery movie in Ireland. Still nothing on his IMDB page, but the working title at least seems to be We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Which is clearly code for 1960s-era Star Wars Sequel:

Nah. It's actually a thriller based on a Shirley Jackson story. I hope it's not too scary for meeeeeee!!!!

This is my favourite image from the set so far:

What's he going to do with that hammer?! What's in that bag?! A head??!! A GHOST??!! Eeeeeek!!!!

Here's that Super Hero Beat Down: Nightwing vs Winter Soldier video. It's...something else.

If you want to read my live tweeting of the Captain America gay porn parody, you can read them here. Nothing too explicit, I promise:

And if you're in the Halifax/Dartmouth area this weekend, definitely come check out DCAF! It's going to be awesome! Check it out:

Podcast - Episode 47: Comics in the Age of Social Media

Hi guys!

Whoosh! What a week! I'm releasing this episode a day early!

I don't even have that much to write this week because I've pretty much said it all in this blog post I wrote last week:

A Defence of Nick Spencer From Someone Who Loves Captain America and Hates Hate

And if I didn't say it there, I certainly said it in the comments section of that post, or on Twitter, or in this episode of the podcast. Dave and I just talk for 90 minutes straight about all of this (with some actual thoughts on the actual content of the comics at the end).

But I did just want to clearly state a few things here in list format that I believe (not gonna speak for Dave, but he probably agrees):

  1. Fan entitlement and outrage is a real problem that does, and has always, existed as long as there have been things to be fans of;
  2. This does not mean that fictional characters aren't important, or that people cannot have strong feelings about them and what they do in fictional stories;
  3. The non-white, non-straight, and non-male population is still VERY underrepresented in pop culture and that does need to be addressed by the creators of entertainment, and fans have every right to get loud about that;
  4. BUT this does not mean that writers/directors/publishers/studios are not allowed to tell the stories they want to tell with the characters they own;
  5. Difficult subject matter is absolutely allowed to exist in fiction and SHOULD exist;
  6. BUT it's ok for someone to be offended or uncomfortable about it, or to choose not to consume that particular story/show/movie. It's ok for that person to explain why they feel that way without being dismissed. Everyone has valid points in any argument;
  7. BUT those fans who are upset about something that is happening in a fictional story can't dismiss that a lot of other fans are not bothered by it, and may even love it, and that this doesn't mean those fans who like it are bad people;
  8. Loudly judging a long-format, serialized story based on the first chapter doesn't make a lot of sense;
  9. Threats are always, always bad. So are false accusations and willful ignorance. Less yelling and more listening/discussion is a good idea;
  10. Nick Spencer is a good writer and has earned the right to tell this story.

Enjoy the episode! I think it's a good one. Dave and I had a really great discussion that covered a lot of issues. And if you don't know what happened last week, I open with a timeline to bring people up to speed.

As always, I welcome questions on this blog, or you can Tweet at us or hit us up on Facebook!

Podcast - Episode 11: Epic Runs, Grand Finales, and Forgettable Fade-outs

This week saw the end of Mark Waid's five-year run on Daredevil, with Chris Samnee on art for almost that entire run. It's sad, but the ending was satisfying, and that got us thinking about long runs by creators and how very few of them actually have solid endings.

So that's what the podcast is about this week.

But first!

Well, honestly, we don't have much to talk about this week.

I mention the creepy Captain America doll that my son picked out for me as a birthday gift. Here's a photo:

And I also mention that Chris Evans was at the premier of his directorial debut, Before We Go, on my birthday, looking super fine. Here's a picture of that:

Please keep in mind that the man in that picture and the doll in the picture above are supposed to look the same.

There was no Renner Report this week. And basically no This Week in Winter Soldier because there is nothing to talk about. But I am pretty distracted imagining that the next Waid/Samnee project is a Winter Soldier comic. Or a Winter Soldier and Black Widow comic. WHAT IF?! #BringBuckyHome

Here's that VERY romantic/horrifying preview image from Planet Hulk #5, which comes out today unless your comics are held up by Labour Day.

Interlaced fingers!!!! If the final issue of this comic isn't at least 80% a hardcore Steve/Bucky make-out session, I am going to be a little disappointed.

I will do whatever I have to to read this comic today, even if it means buying a digital version today, and the hard copy tomorrow. And then the trade whenever that comes out. And then the rights to the movie. I am going to miss these sexy gladiators.

And if you want to see a candid (pap) shot of my boy Sebastian strolling around Manhattan in the least incognito hat he could possibly choose, here you go:

What book is he carrying??!! What's he listening to?! THIS PODCAST?! That's a really big phone in his pocket! He has a pen in his other pocket! For autographs? I love him!

Anyway, these blog posts are very one-sided. I should get Dave to help write them before they just turn into straight Tumblr posts.

We did mention the Moondancers this week when we were talking about Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man. I did a post about those awesome ladies awhile back. You can read it here.

Oh, and that Cerise character Dave mentions? I guess she was in Excalibur a bit or something. You can read about her here, if you like. Or don't.

And, hey! Here's that slow news day front page Dave was talking about at the end of the episode:

Pretty great.

I also want to be clear, when I was talking about Catwoman deciding to give up her baby, what I actually meant is she gave up her 1-year-old daughter, Helena. Like, she had been raising that kid for a year or so. The kid was toddling around and could talk a little. I mean...

So a VERY heart wrenching and difficult decision. And one that...never came up again? And like I said, a few issues later she decides to quit being Catwoman, so the decision to give up her daughter, who she loves, so she could keep being Catwoman is PRETTY DUMB.

Man, I have been wanting to get that off my chest. One of the best series (81 issues!) about a female hero ever and they just throw the whole damn thing in the garbage by the end. Fuck you, DC.

What else did we talk about? Comics...movies...books...Chris Evans? Kind of a lot about Chris Evans this week, I feel (and yet, never enough). Anyway, here he is playing a very physically fit street musician in the movie he directed:

For real I want to see it. Send us a review copy, Chris Evans!

Lord, I'd better just wrap this post up right here. Just know this: we managed to fill an hour because we are the best there is at what we do.

Criminal: Last Of The Innocent #1

It’s been a over week since Criminal: Last Of The Innocent #1 hit the stands at better comic shops everywhere, so I feel justified in discussing it freely—the high concept of this latest in Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ series-of-miniseries is one of its best selling points, but the reveal of it definitely merits a spoiler warning. So, if you just want to take my word for it that it was the best comic I read last week and proceed from there, then by all means, go buy it and then come back to read my thoughts on it. Otherwise, read on while I try to make a point about its greater relevance, both sudden and ongoing.

 Still with me? Or back after reading it? Okay, good. Criminal: Last Of The Innocent is about a guy named Riley Richards, once a fun-loving, all-American teen, returning to his hometown of Brookview to deal with his father’s terminal illness. In the years since he passed on the girl next door, Lizzie, to marry her rich rival, Felicity, Riley’s life has gone down the toilet—he’s in hock to the mob, and Felicity is cheating on him with another one of his childhood friends, Teddy. By the issue’s end, Riley is convinced that the only way to reclaim his fun-loving youth is to murder his cheating wife. Any of these characters sound familiar? Even if you don’t pick up on it right away, the cartoony flashbacks to the gang’s wayward youths spell it out for you pretty quickly—Last Of The Innocent is about what happens after Archie grows up and marries Veronica. If you have never read a Criminal comic before, it doesn’t matter; each of Brubaker and Phillips’ crime series stands alone, even if some of the characters have connections to the protagonists in the preceding series. All you need to enjoy Last Of The Innocent #1 is a love of a good story—particularly a good crime noir story—and a passing knowledge of Archie comics (a little familiarity with Richie Rich and Josie & The Pussycats doesn’t hurt either, but it’s far from essential).

 Last Of The Innocent #1 works on more than one level, as every good story should. As said, it works as a hard-boiled crime story, one where some poor sap who’s had a bad go of things decides that one unforgivable, irreversible act of violence will turn his life around. It also works on a postmodern level, examining what might have become of a group of beloved cartoon archetypes after they all graduated from high school and moved out of their parents’ houses (even if this took them over half a century, in publishing terms). And finally, it works on the level of satire—specifically, a satire of our current preoccupation with, and the inherent dangers of, nostalgia. Riley is so convinced that his childhood was wonderful and perfect that he’s willing to kill it to get it back, even though a) he can’t ever get it back, not really, and b) his childhood maybe wasn’t as wonderful as he thought—the cartoony flashback sequences always seem to have some kind of danger and/or general unwholesomeness lurking around (sex, drugs, and murder were a lot more common in Brookview than in Riverdale, it turns out).

 This is an especially relevant theme, these days. Woody Allen’s latest movie, Midnight In Paris, wrestles with the notion that the good old days were, in fact, highly overrated, and that nostalgia is something of a tender trap. This week, J.J. Abrams’ new film, Super 8 opens—a loving homage to late 1970s/early 1980s sci-fi films like E.T. and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind—and some critics have already accused it of being an empty exercise in Spielberg worship (the legendary director executive-produced Super 8). And, last week’s bombshell announcement that DC Comics plans to relaunch their entire superhero publishing line in September speaks to both the need to let go of the past (70-plus years of continuity will be largely ignored to provide a fresh start for potential new readers, or so we were told at first), while also confirming that, in fact, nostalgia is an inescapable strand of the DNA of comics fans (after early reports of a total reboot, DC’s steady stream of title announcements for the September relaunch reveal that most of these series maintain the previous continuity pretty much intact, despite the requisite costume redesigns and creative team rotations). Even for comic book publishers, it’s tough to let go of the good old days.

 Last Of The Innocent isn’t one of those wretched re-examinations of beloved comics characters that wallows in postmodernism by simply recasting old favourites as drug addicts, wife beaters, and fascists (although one of the thinly-veiled Riverdale gang is now saddled with a substance abuse problem). Brubaker and Phillips actually have something to say about the dangers of viewing the past through rose-coloured glasses, and their Archie pastiche provides an entertaining and insightful storytelling device with which to deliver it.