Episode 30 – Book Club – Hawkeye 1-5 by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Javier Pulido

Listen to Episode 30!

Jeff and Russell talk about the first five issues of the newest incarnation of Marvel’s Hawkeye, written by Matt Fraction with art by David Aja and Javier Pulido. We talk a bit about covers and how much control creators have over “B-list” vs. “A-list” characters, as well as other diversions.

I did want to mention that we are horribly butchering the pronunciation of “Aja” It should be something like A-ha… not Aya, but oh well. Hopefully you will forgive us. Maybe Jeff thought he was Scandinavian…

We again mention Do the Gods Wear Capes. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend you do so.

Before we get to some images I just want to mention that starting now I will be trying to post updates every two weeks. I was crazy busy the last couple months and wasn’t able to edit anything, hopefully things have settled down enough so that I can keep to a somewhat reduced schedule. This will probably not matter to most of you, but if there is anyone who is “caught up” for now you will be waiting a little longer for new episodes to go up.

I mention I really like the cover for Issue 2:


The “Really?” scene, Issue 3 page 12:


KGlass! Issue 5 Page 13:


Issue 3, page 17:


The “technical term” that I couldn’t think of for comic book symbols denoting profanity is gralix (or gralixes). The term was created by Mort Walker and you can read more about that (and more crazy words for comic book “shorthand”) here.

All images copyright Marvel Comics. First, second, and fourth images art by David Aja, third image art by Javier Pulido. Scripts by Matt Fraction, colours by Matt Hollingsworth.

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Episode 29 – Book Club – Parker: the Hunter

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On this episode we talk about Parker the Hunter by Darwyn Cooke, published by IDW. Our conversation meanders into a more general discussion about character, celebrity, and morality.

Jeff mentions Parker’s face on page 103.

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Episode 28 – Book Club – Superman Earth One

Listen to Episode 28!

Me and Jeff talk about Superman Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis. Our assessment of this particular work is quite harsh, our final judgement is that you probably shouldn’t go out of your way to read it. We talk about why this book didn’t work for us and the conditions that allowed this book to not only be published but to even be quite popular.

We mention It’s a Bird by Steven T. Seagle, art by  Teddy Kristiansen. It’s worth a look if you get a chance.

I decided to cut about five minutes that we spend talking about the “definitive” Superman story. If you’re interested in listening to those five extra minutes, click here!

This was the one example of copy pasting that we found. It does make some sense in context and isn’t completely blatant, obviously he did have to create the background.


Holy crap, it’s an evil mime blowing Superman away with his chest or something!


I’m not exactly sure, but I feel like Superman’s proportions aren’t quite human… I guess he is an alien.


The flash doesn’t really help, but the lighting just seems weird here.


All images by Shane Davis, written by J. Michael Straczynski, copyright and published by DC Comics.

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From the Vault Episode 9 – Book Club – Memorial

Listen to From the Vault Episode 9!

On this Episode we discuss Memorial by Chris Roberson and Rich Ellis, published by IDW. A Mythic Fiction comic for all ages, it’s thoroughly enjoyable with few flaws. This episode was recorded on August 8th 2012.

I mention Starstruck by Elaine Lee with art by Michael Kaluta (who does the covers for Memorial) at some point. We’re sure to talk about it eventually so get ahead of the game and go out and grab yourself a copy! You seriously cannot go wrong with Mike Carey’s favorite comic.

Jeff also mentions The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, you can check out the Wikipedia link for more information.

Here’s the cover for issue 5 by Michael Kaluta. The keyhole motif is a recurring theme for the covers, the snake and apple are obviously biblical themes the Roberson is using in his version of original sin.

Memorial 6 Kaluta Cover

Here’s the final page of issue 1. Em pretty obviously has a shadow.

Issue 1 Page 22

First image by Michael Kaluta, second image by Rich Ellis, written by Chris Roberson, published by IDW. All images copyright Chris Roberson, Rich Ellis, and IDW.

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From the Vault Episode 8 – Book Club – Incognito

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Jeff and Russell talk about Incognito by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. This is two trade paperbacks worth of material, the first miniseries followed by Bad Influences. We talk about the treatment of female characters in this book, pulp, and superhero books generally as well as in the context of cultural morality. We recorded this episode on March 15th of 2011 and we’ve said some of it better in other episodes but there’s some good stuff here nonetheless.

Just look at this cover. Great composition and amazing colors, it gets across everything pulp. Zack’s clothing, the crazy mad scientist machines behind him, the light coming off the explosion… glorious stuff. (Incognito Bad Influences #3 Cover)


Just one of the many examples of Sean Phillip’s sense of action and weight. You can feel Doc Lester looming over Zack and Ava Destruction swinging the wrench at his head. He’s capturing a heck of a lot of story in a single panel. (Page 15, Incognito #6)


An example of Sean Phillips page layouts. In the first example (Page 21, Incognito Bad Influences #3) we see the action of firing a gun broken into three panels moving down the page with the background providing context. That’s somewhat unusual, more often there’s an establishing shot at the top of the page as in the second image (Page 22, Incognito Bad Influences #3) and then action following, but there’s lots of variation. Each page is simple enough to not distract the reader and complex enough to keep things interesting.

Example 1Example 2

All art by and copyright Sean Phillips, written by Ed Brubaker, published by Marvel Comics.

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Episode 27 – Book Club – Madwoman of the Sacred Heart

Click here to hear Episode 27!

Jeff and Russell talk about Moebius and Jodorowsky’s Madwoman of the Sacred Heart. It was released in three volumes in French as Le Cœur couronné from 1992-98. The translation we’re working with is a new version from Humanoids publishing released in 2011. We also use this particular book to talk a bit about Moebius and Jodorowsky’s other work, although they’re both so prolific it’s hard to be comprehensive in the amount of time we have.

You can quickly see that part one is characterized by much larger panels of three tiers.


Part three has at least four tiers and smaller panels, just packing the story in there.


The Eccumenical conference, where each religion answers a basically unanswerable question differently.


Here’s an example of how Moebius is working in Blueberry. You can see a lot of similar elements, Moebius is really focusing on details and realism in Blueberry whereas I think in Madwoman it’s a lot more about being evocative, but you can see quite a bit of realism in Madwoman as well.


We talk about how the panel in the upper right feels a bit like a cell from an animation. It just works so well in context with the entire page.


We talk about Diosamante briefly and I wanted to just showcase this particular page. Every page is truly amazing, Jean-Claude Gal is a master artist.


All images from Madwoman of the Sacred Heart are by and copyright Jean Giraud/Moebius, written by Alejandro Jodorowsky, translated and published by Humanoids publishing.

Image from Blueberry by and copyright Jean Giraud/Moebius, written by Jean-Michel Charlier, translated and published by Marvel Comics.

Image from Diosamante by and copyright Jean-Claude Gal, written by Alejandro Jodorowsky, translated and published by Humanoids publishing.

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Episode 26.2 – Marvel Now Part Two

Listen to the second (and final) part of our Marvel Now roundup!

In the second half of our mass review of Marvel Now titles up until the end of January we discuss Thunderbolts, Deapool, Avengers Arena, Indestructible Hulk, A+X, Cable and X-Force, Fantastic Four, FF, X-Men Legacy, All-New X-Men, and Red She Hulk.

We talk about Steve Dillon’s “recycled art,” and this is the best example I could find, but it’s obviously not recycled wholesale. I think part of it is just the idea of decompression in comics, which in general leads to a much slower pace of storytelling. Dillon is definitely the kind of artist whose art supports slow pacing.


Michael Allred’s She Hulk. We talk about the treatment of Allred’s characters briefly, it’s probably best if he speaks for himself. Click the link for an interview on Comic Book Resources.


Image from Thunderbolts #1 copyright Marvel Comics and is by Steve Dillon, from the review on Comics Alliance: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/12/05/way-and-dillons-thunderbolts-brings-a-max-flavor-to-marvel-no/

Image of She Hulk copyright Marvel Comics and is by Michael Allred, from an interview on Comic Book Resources: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=42755

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