There are certain comics that for various reasons are tainted. Maybe the book was late. Maybe the story is controversial. Maybe the idea behind the book was wrongheaded. Maybe the book was that freaking bad. Whatever the case comics fandom declares the series to be terrible and forevermore the series is considered to be terrible. Sometimes the hivemind of fandom is right. Sometimes they’re wrong.
This time out my permanent semi-regular co-host Andy Leyland (of Hey Kids Comics, The Palace of Glittering Delights, The Fantasticast and Listen to the Prophets fame) and I look at one such book. Spider-Man: Chapter One hit in late 1998 and was heralded as new beginning for the wall crawler. Writer/artist John Byrne was going to take the first 18 issues of the original Amazing Spider-Man and streamline them in a larger effort to fix what he and others saw as a broken character. Reaction to the series was mixed and over the years it has gotten a pretty bad reputation. Andy and I spend this episode talking about this era of Spider-Man in general and then looking at the first few issues of the series. Do they hold up? Is the hivemind of fandom right? Was all of this even necessary? We answer all of those questions and more.
Next Time: Andy and I finish up Spider-Man: Chapter One.
This time out my semi-regular co-host The Irredeemable Shag joins me to not only commemorate the fact that this show has been around for eight years but also talk about the fact that I recently got an iPad and how it has fundamentally changed the way I read and look at comics. We also follow up a previous conversation where Shag and I talked about how we were finding our joy in a world where modern comics aren’t speaking to us the way we used to. After that we look at the comics that came out in June of 2005, 2000, 1995 and 1990 and discuss what we were reading back then which is another way of saying we discuss the way we used to spend money we didn’t have to buy comics.
Back in Episode 102 I sat down with Van Allen Plexico to discuss the Avengers. It’s kind of fitting that one hundred episodes later I once again talk about that team. It’s also a sign that I have been really lazy about doing this show because episode 102 was released about five years ago. That works out to about twenty episodes a year.
Anyway, Avengers: Age of Ultron has hit theaters and as I was really excited to see it my wife Rachel and I went opening night. A day or two later we sat down to talk about what we thought about the flick. Actually we kicked things off by talking about the trailers we saw for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Fantastic Four and Ant Man, which led to a few tangents about those films and characters. Then we get into the movie by talking about the stories and the characters involved. Rachel asks a lot of questions that I just didn’t have the answers to but it was a fun conversation anyway. The language gets a little blue so if you’re at work you might want to throw on some headphones.
Next Time: An episode recorded months ago that I haven’t gotten around to editing yet.
Back in episode 101 I waxed philosophical about the direction I wanted to take the show in for the then foreseeable future. For this one I wanted to do something a bit different. In October of 2014 my wife and I traveled from Georgia to my homelands in Pennsylvania. The reason; my twenty year high school reunion. It was an incredibly emotional trip for me so I thought I would spend an hour and a half or so talking about it. Comics are mentioned so I don’t deviate too far from the show’s mandate but the bulk of it chronicles our trip there and back again. Here all about our stopovers in Virginia, hanging out with old friends, an awesome Batman video game, the reunion itself, the trip back and the horrible hotel we stayed in for a night that had a cheap rate for a reason.
Check out below the cut for some pictures from the trip.
Another milestone has been achieved! Episode 200 is here!
Sure it’s not the 200th episode of the show. That happened awhile go and was a lot of fun but as far as the numbering goes this is episode 200 and I thought it was something worth celebrating. Joining me this time out is my permanent semi-regular co-host Andy Leyland (of Hey Kids Comics, The Palace of Glittering Delights, The Fantasticast and Listen to the Prophets fame) and we get to do something we’ve been kicking around for some time now. See, Andy and I talk a lot over Facebook and in between talking about The Greatest American Hero and how awesome Leverage is and what we are currently reading we discuss ideas for podcasts that because both of us are rather busy will probably never happen, at least in an ongoing fashion. Andy, being the smart guy that he is, suggested we take some of those ideas and do them as episodes of Views and thus this episode was born.
One of the ideas we kicked around was called The Red and The Blue, which was nothing more complicated than Andy and I picking a Superman comic and a Spider-Man comic and talking about them. We gave this idea a test drive by talking about Superman (Vol. 1) #200 and Amazing Spider-Man #200 and boy did we have a lot of fun doing it. Superman #200 was an imaginary tale where Jor-El and Lara and all of Kryptonoplois are spared the destruction of Krypton by a kinder, gentler Brainiac. They have a second son and through a series of events come to Earth. One of those sons will be Earth’s Superman…but which one? Then over in Amazing Spider-Man #200 Peter confronts the man that made him who he is today…the burglar that shot Uncle Ben!
Next Time: A solo show that is completely devoid of notes and barely has anything to do with comics but was something I wanted to do anyway.
Prevailing wisdom tells us that you don’t talk about politics or religion in polite company. Given how things have gone down since June of 2013 I think it is fair to say that you could add the film Man of Steel to that list as well. Contentious is one of the more benign words you could use to describe the reaction to this movie and it seems that for the most part you can’t have a conversation about Man of Steel without having a street fight break out. It’s not a given but at the same time I have seen it happen enough to shy away from most conversations about the project.
Back in 2013 I was fortunate enough to be part of a roundtable discussion of the 1950’s Adventures of Superman television series over at Two True Freaks. It was a lot of fun and the four of us that were on that episode were itching to get together to talk about something else Superman related. We all agreed that there was a civil conversation to be had about Man of Steel and several months ago we all got together to prove that such a thing could happen.
Quick note: the audio quality gets a little dodgy in places. Apparently Skype didn’t like us talking about this and there are places where words drop out. It might be slightly distracting but I don’t think it ruins the episode. I just wanted to let you know.
I like Star Wars. I am not the Star Wars fan some of my friends are but holy crap do I love that franchise. Back in October of 2014 I went through one of my periodic check ins with the property and started watching the moves and reading the books and generally having a good time reconnecting with an old friend. Andy Leyland (of Hey Kids Comics, The Palace of Glittering Delights, The Fantasticast and Listen to the Prophets fame) picked up on this and since he likes him some Star Wars too we sat down and spent nearly three hours putting our thoughts on digital paper. Through those two plus hours we go through our personal histories with Star Wars, what toys we had, our thoughts on all six movies and the expanded universe.
Special thanks to Andy for not only coming on to the show again but also for tracking down the graphic you see above. One of the things we talked about was how Star Wars was presented in the UK and I thought this made a fitting episode graphic.
Next Time: Andy Leyland. Bob Fisher. Paul Spataro. Me. Man of Steel.
For the final episode of 2014 I wanted to talk some Superman.
I know…shocking. Why would I ever want to talk about Superman? It’s happened so rarely on this show.
All kidding aside I have, for some time now, been wanting to get Trentus Magnus (he of Trentus Magnus Punches Reality fame) on Views to talk about Superman and considering he has had me on his show twice now to talk about imaginary Superman stories it seemed fitting to ask him to come on over and sit a spell. The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman Blue is quite possibly the greatest of all the Silver Age imaginary Man of Steel stories and Trentus and I spend a good hour talking about why that is. Sure I am a tad snarky in my synopsis but the love Trentus and I feel for this story comes through.
After that we get into a conversation about, for the lack of a better way to describe it, the state of Superman fandom. This talk was inspired by an e-mail Trentus sent me some time ago so it seemed like a good idea to address it while he was in the room, so to speak. What is with Superman fans these days? Why can’t we seem to get along? Why do we hurl such vitriol at each other? Trentus and I have a very even tempered discussion about the subject and I hope you enjoy it.
Next Time: To kick off 2015 Andy Leyland is back and the subject is one that is near and dear to both of our hearts. Star Wars!
This time out I conclude my series containing the audio from the various panels I was on at the 2014 DragonCon. The subject? G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. This panel took place on the last day of con, which was September 1, 2014. I was lucky enough to be part of a great group of Joe fans including track director Joe Crowe (one of the directors of the American Sci-Fi Classic track at DragonCon and high muckity muck at RevolutionsSF), Noel Wood (who is part of some kind of podcast but I cannot find the info on it but man is he an awesome G.I. Joe cosplayer), Will Price (of the Shauncastic podcast) and Jonathan Williams (of the Wrestling With Pop Culture website). Gary Mitchel also makes a brief appearance right there at the end.
The panel was primarily about the 1980’s version of G.I. Joe and we cover a good bit of ground. The toys are discussed. The cartoons are discussed. Favorite characters are discussed. Joe learns about the Viper episode. Things get silly. Things get deep. There’s even a musical number right there at the end. All in all it was a fun celebration and I want to thank Gary and Joe once again for asking me to be a part of it.
During the course of the panel I mentioned a fan vid of the opening to the animated G.I. Joe: The Movie set to Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.” A few years back I was a guest Geek Out Loud where Big Honkin’ Steve and I talked G.I. Joe. During the course of that episode I talked about how I wanted to see the opening to the animated movie set to that Toby Keith song. Someone went out and did it. I don’t know if this is that exact video but I do know that at one point there was a version that attributed the idea to Geek Out Loud.
Next Time: Trentus Magnus and I get together to talk about a classic Superman imaginary story.
Thanks to the very awesome Joe Crowe and Gary Mitchel I was on another American Sci-Fi Classics panel! This time out the subject was Marvel movies, but not the more recent ones. No, on Sunday night a bunch of us took to the stage to extoll the virtues and…not virtues of the many television and handful of theatrical Marvel live action productions. From The Incredible Hulk to the two Captain America pilots to the Dr. Strange pilot to Howard The Duck to The Punisher to the Amazing Spider-Man to Nick Fury and everything in between. If it was live action and it was Marvel and it was before 1998 we at least touched on it.
The panel was made up of some pretty cool people. Joe acted as moderator to me, author and podcaster in his own right Keith DeCandido, co-host of The Flopcast Kevin Eldridge, Philip Schweier of ComicBookBin and Batman 66 Bat-Probe writer Geena Phillips. They were a great group of people and I had a lot of fun. Be sure to check out what everyone does online and in the real world and everywhere in between!