PODCAST OF THE DAY : Sirens of Scream

PODCAST OF THE DAY :

SIRENS OF SCREAM – I really enjoy how informative this podcast is. I have listened to two episodes so far, the latest, episode #56 I believe, and their first episode from two years ago, and am amazed how chock full of fantastic recommendations both episodes were, This trio of cool horror fans, of the female variety, are just great.

It is cool to get a slightly varied perspective on a medium that can be viewed, and sometimes covered one dimensionally. From IT FOLLOWS film to Beksinski artbooks to SLEEP NO MORE installation events to OXENFREE video games to LORE podcats to HARROW COUNTY comic books and Jordan Peele TWILIGHT ZONE/CANDY MAN news.

it is like they were listing off much of my favorite things, as well as many things completely new to me. Such as THE RADIUM GIRLS. i knew about radium, shortly after its discovery in 1898, being used, as a new miracle ingredient in the Edwardian age, particularly in makeup, and watch dials, but the specific, and horrific story of THE RADIUM GIRLS is a new discovery.  (You can hear them discuss it in Episode 22, their FOUND FOOTAGE episode. Currently listening to it.)

A binge-worthy podcast. I think after listening to one, you will think so too.

Link Below:

 

https://sirensofscream.simplecast.fm/

Advertisements

An early contender for one of the BEST podcasts of the year! Larry Lieber on Stan Lee!

 

 

 

 

 

A simply stupendous interview with Larry Lieber, brother to the great Stan Lee, and unsung hero/creator in his own right.

A vocal few people like to praise Kirby, and then feel they can’t do that, without also taking shots at Stan Lee. A very diseased American either/or idea, that you can’t praise something without tearing something else down.

I’ll have no truck with that.

Stan Lee was (is? I think genius is a fleeting time frame for the best of us. It is an alchemic time that is short lived for the best of us) a genius… Full Stop. And his greatest genius besides his enthusiasm and invention and superlative imagination and ideas, and great writing, was he knew how to find and cheer-lead talent. And inspire talent and appreciation in and for others.

I don’t care how talented you are, either as an artist or writer, what you need is someone to champion that talent and get the masses excited. This is what Stan Lee did, he took a denigrated kids medium, and moved it from the corner store into the College campuses. And from the College campuses to the larger mainstream culture of television, music, merchandising and finally Movies.

Stan Lee did that.

Not alone at the end, but alone at the beginning, he was the visionary who saw a future for these four colored mythologies, beyond the recycling bin. He believed in outrageous ideas like a life for these four color concepts beyond their newsprint origins. He believed in a bookstore life for these books, when that was as much a thing of fiction as the stories in the books themselves.

And he did this by finding and celebrating talent.Like Kirby, like Ditko, Like Romito, Like Heck, Like Buscema, like Roy Thomas.And like his Brother Steve Lieber. Absolutely fantastic interview, I say again. I found myself tearing up during it. And my appreciation for Stan Lee is already immense, him helping train and teach his brother, only increased it. And my appreciation for Larry Lieber has skyrocketed. I’m on a mission now to pick up all his work as writer and artist.
Listen now, true Believer!

 

 

 

Podcast of the Day : Episode 286: The July Previews Catalog & Bendis Trojan Horse!?!

Podcast of the Day : Episode 286: The July Previews Catalog & Bendis Trojan Horse!?!

http://comicsalternative.com/episode-286-the-july-previews-catalog/

Great podcast, around the 30 to 40 minute mark you’ll find a nice bit on how everything  thoughtful is somewhat political. Give a listen.

It is a nice overview of items you can find in this Month’s Previews.

Previews for those uninitiated is a prE-ordering system for comic books. Especially with the outrageous cover prices Marvel and now DC are charging (I’m telling you, Brian Bendis was a Trojan horse for Marvel 🙂 , jumping ship to eff up DC’s lower, and more successful $2.99 pricing structure. I was picking up a good # of DC $2.99 books, but suddenly Bendis defects to DC, after defending Marvel’s awful business practices and price points for years, and now DC’s books (with a couple welcome holdouts) have shifted to the higher; and in my view, too expensive, Marvel price point of $3.99 minimum).

Pre-Ordering comics allows you to save (depending on the service you use) between 30% and 50% off cover price.

A sizable savings off the no-discount you would receive if you wait to  get the books off-the racks at your local retailer, when they come out.

The deadline to order upcoming comics at a sizeable discount, this month is 25 july. So in a few days at the time of this writing.

Thankfully there are several online retailers that allow you to preorder your comics and have them mailed to you. I’ve tried them all, Milehigh, Westfield, DCBS, to name a few, and while not the cheapest, the one I find to be the best, with the best packing, best customer service, and best quality of service and ease of use… is MY COMIC SHOP.

Order them here:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/subscriptionservice/previews?AffID=200301P01

Come back in a little bit and I’ll have up my list of must buys! I will give you a hint, fire marvel and dc (the movies are much better than the books anyhow. case in point, in the comics they moronically feel the need to both ride off the coattails of the movie version of nick fury, and diminish him at the same time, Black nick fury as white nick fury’s son??? that is just stupid.

what moronic writer came up with that lame, and more than a bit wasp centric idea?

Oh nick spencer. 

yeah, why am i not surprised. 🙂

I KID because i love! Unlike the moronic anti social justice warrior crowD, [basically any idiot who thinkS he is so witty for having a new short hand derogatory label, ‘SJW’, to try and diminish something that scares them, and they don’t quite understand. if they weren’t attacking sjw, they would be burning crosses no doubt. :). if you are subscribed to these clickbait morons on youtube or etc, stop being part of the problem and unsubscribe from them.

] i do not give an eff about cap being a hydra agent for two minutes. i just didm’t buy them.but it enforces a precedent of spencer perhaps not having the greatest ideas. 🙂

here’s an idea. marvel has a multiverse. why can’t the sam jackson nick fury, be his own man. from that splendid multiverse, where he is called nick fury and he is black, and his dad was black, and his mom was black, and his grand parents were black, like the sam jackson nick fury would have to be with a complexion that dark. 🙂

and that should be a great and fine thing! we have some mixed, melting pot families. that’s fine. but we have a lot that are not, and that should be fine too!

why does he have to be a junior to the wwii version of nick fury. it is worse than being blindly bigoted, which a lot of supposedly liberal people are… it is just stupid.

that is why the movies are better than the comics, they have better writers, and other creative people. and don’t get me started on tom king’s batman. talk about the emperor not having any clothes.

tom king is a fantastic writer. his ‘vision’ is i think, without argument, a masterpiece. However there is a repetition to king’s writing, and having the suicidal, deranged, falling apart protagonist that worked so well for the vision, as his goto archetype for every subsequent story is a failing.

it worked less well for the omega men, jury is out on on mister miracle, and it absolutely does not fit with batman. i am suicide? as the definition of batman? it is  the absolute oposite of everything it would take to endure, which is the definition of batman that rings the truest.

I took the trouble of getting and reading the five volumes of his batman run from the library, it is not good. i think he has one voice for all his male protaginists, and it is a voice that doesn’t fit his batman run. that said, when he gets away from his ‘not working’ longer storyline, and sticks to self contained stories, that’s when you see the genius of tom king.

HIS BATMAN ANNUAL 2 is case in point. forget trying to weave this long form story, and delivering issue after issue that underwhelms, give me a 100 stand alone stories of the quality of batman annual 2.

unfortunately he took the wrong thing from the success of that annual. he thought it was about milking that one storyline for a hundred issues, the strength of that issue is it was complete onto itself. king is trying to do doug moench, when he should be trying to do frank robbins. self contained over long form

 

How is that for an aside?! :))

so all that to say fire the over-priced, variant and gimmick saturated marvel and dc comics , and get periodical comics from people who respect their readers and just want to tell good stories in the periodical format. marvel and dc, do have fantastic creators, but they are being sabotaged by $4 to $8 ‘high way robbery’ price points. i absolutely want to read coates’ captain america and black panther, priests’ deathstroke, same for many other books. i refuse to pay their price gouging amounts. rather do what i do, wait for them to be collected and either read it for free from the library or buy it at a discount at your local bookstore or online store.

marvel and dc, are pridefully ignorant, a catching disease as our political landscape shows too well. such ignorance can not be reasoned with, it must be actively chastised the only way the pridefully ignorant understand, in dollars and cents.

stop buying them in periodical form. job done.

and instead buy periodicals from companies that are still excited by that format and price point. buy from the new marvel and the new dc for the 21st century.

 

I’m talking of the Canadian company CHAPTER HOUSE, AND THE AMERICAN COMPANY ALTERNA. AT LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE OF MARVEL AND DC, I BUY EVERYTHING THESE GUYS PUT OUT. THESE GUYS MAY JUST BE THE NEW, AND GOOD, MARVEL AND DC. 🙂

 

***********

Why Marvel Studios is Successful and Marvel Comics is Suffering! The Last word on Diversity!

Marvel Studios under the brilliant leadership of Kevin Feige has become an unparalleled success because of amazing producers, writers, directors, casting agents, and actors, who take material made often for a juvenile audience and made it work for an adult and non-comics audience, while also satisfying comic die-hards like myself.

And as movies from the 1st film (IRON MAN) to the 18th film (BLACK PANTHER) show, the reason for this is Kevin Feige’s willingness to embrace Diversity. Diversity is not just the makeup of America, contrary to the Trumpian and XM hate radio mob  who who would preach dissension. and hate, it is the makeup of the world. And when you stop running and hiding and sticking your head in the sand, trying to wind back the clock to a Jim Crow America, you realize it is also the makeup to success.

Marvel Comics however has floundered for decades now and continues to flounder with diminishing sales. And while the vocal minority of morons and closet Nazis and talk show radio supporters would blame diversity.

The truth, that common sense and reason would tell you is, appealing only to existing readership has led to a diminishing readership, that can barely get a hundred thousand people, to buy even their most popular book. The people who grew up in the news-stand and comicshop and subscription model of comics,, is an aging and diminishing audience. We are picking up new readers, in large part due to the diversity initiatives and book store and libraries, MS MARVEL and MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR being some of Marvel’s biggest books in collected format. Doing HUGE in Libraries. However while we are picking up new readers in book format, the periodical format continues to lose across the board, for all comics Marvel is producing, whether they put a White, Black, Asian or other character in the comics, and I would argue Marvel is making quality comics across the board, what they suffer from is pricing.

They have in an age of growing options for entertainment dollars, with options of tv, streaming, video games, virtual, and regular books and magazines, priced themselves out of the market. $4 retail for a 20 page comic, that typically is filled with ads and does not give you a full story… it is for most of us an insupportable expense.

Even Die-hards like me have to pick and choose, and generally speaking, the choice is to not support Marvel in the monthly format, not at their $4 and up retail price point. I have not bought a Marvel Comics in years, only their recent diversity push, a good thing rather than the curse word Rush Limbaugh morons would make it, when they finally had Black writers and artists on staff, got me to buy their monthly books again.

I’m speaking of BLACK PANTHER and the short lived POWER MAN AND IRON FIST which was a relatively self-contained title, by dream creative team of David Walker and Sanford Greene. But I stopped getting it when Marvel decided to try to screw with the success of that book by making it into three books. Trying to over-milk their audience. With BLACK PANTHER they quickly started additional titles and crossovers that you had to get to get the whole story. Better and cheaper to just get the collected edition. And when Power Man and Ironfist ended, so did my buying Marvel Comics.

So Marvel’s floundering sales, is a relatively steady study in decline, and has notching to do with diversity. That they have not floundered more is due to their talented and diverse creators and characters. If someone on Youtube or a blog or the media is blaming diversity, you are dealing with an idiot and a bigot and a liar. And you should unsubscribe from their channel and or feed, because stupid people are a waste of time.

Diversity is not Marvel Comics problem. Their problem #1 is pricing. $4 they charge per issue, or $3.99 as they like to call it, you have gone past the threshold the market will bear, or that even your die-hard already converted audience. Particularly when in comparison to other publishers who give you more for that same $4. Other publishers give you less obtrusive ads, letters pages, back matter. And some like CHAPTER HOUSE comics and even DC COMICS (prior to Bendis, hopefully Bendis doesn’t support the same price hike that he supported at Marvel) realize that $2.99 retail is the breaking point for comic book adoption and growth.

Marvel Comics is also big enough that they can support a price of $2.99 retail for their comics. That would take care of their major problem. their second problem,relying on Diamond totally for their periodical distribution. Marvel used to offer mail order subscriptions at a nice discount, that’s how I got some of my books, you would use the ad in the magazine and subscribe to get your comics in the mail. I loved this model as a kid. I used it in addition to the comic book stores.  I think it is a great model unfamiliar with dealing with the Diamond pre-order model. And the third and most important thing, if a title is successful as a single, standalone title, don’t break it by being greedy and stupid. See previous comment on POWERMAN AND IRON FIST.

All those three points come down to Marvel Comics being better managed and better run, if not, no amount of crossovers or character changes or fabricate storyline outrage, will correct Marvel Comics dwindling sales.

 

Here endeth the Diversity Discussion.

:).

 

Best & Favorite of 2017!!!

This is a bit belated but I think you will find a nice overview to 2017 and pointers to 2018 in the ramblings below.

Favorite movies seen in the Theater in 2017:

KONG:SKULL ISLAND

LOGAN

 

I only saw two movies in the theater in 2017, so looking to improve on that in 2018. Nothing in January had me jazzed to pay theater prices for, however I am looking forward to the following in 2018:

click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable)

EQUALIZER 2

click for larger (if applicable)

 

FAVORITE TV SHOWS IN 2017:

  • LEGION
  • TAKEN
  • POWER
  • AMERICAN NINJA
  • CHOPPED
  • AMERICAN PICKERS
  • LOVE IT OR LIST IT
  • LETHAL WEAPON
  • THE GRAND TOUR
  • GODLESS
  • RUNAWAYS

FAVORITE STREAMING TV CHANNEL IN 2017

The one two punch of AMAZON PRIME and HULU gets this award. NETFLIX that was riding high in 2016 with LUKE CAGE and other shows, had a disappointing 2017. With a non user friendly interface compared to Amazon Prime and a selection of shows and movies that weren’t as interesting or well curated as either HULU or AMAZON PRIME, I cancelled my membership at the end of 2017. The last straw being the overhyped and ultimately lackluster PUNISHER series, as well as news of the studios pulling their content from Netflix.

In 2018 the TV shows that I am or will be watching are:

CASTLE ROCK

GRAND TOUR

TAKEN (I think the new showrunner made a mistake getting rid of most of the cast from season 1, but hopefully he can course correct and fix it)

STRIKE BACK and ELEMENTARY return after long hiatuses

LONGMEYER went out with a bit of a whimper, so looking forward to YELLOWSTONE

JACK RYAN

LETHAL WEAPON

CHOPPED

IZOMBIE

BLACK LIGHTNING

AMERICANS

And lastly looking forward to Season 2 of what, without question, was the best, most inventive TV show of 2017, Noah Hawley’s LEGION.

And for those keeping score… LUKE CAGE tied with FARGO Season 2 (Also by Noah Hawley) were the best TV shows of 2015, and DAREDEVIL Season 1 was the best TV show of 2014.

 

BEST MUSIC OF 2017

I loved everything binaural in 2017, adding many great CDs to my collection. THE HEAVY and GREGORY PORTER remained in heavy rotation. Gregory Porter being my favorite live performance of 2017. And I added new interests RAG N BONE MAN, Andra day and Brian Ferneyhough. With Spotify to allow me to try before I buy, I’m looking forward in 2018 to discovering more great music, both old and new.

BEST READS OF 2017

I didn’t read as many novels, or listen to as many audio books in 2017 as I did in previous years, so I definitely hope to turn that around in 2018.

I did do substantially better with Art Books, Graphic Novels, Reference Books, and comics in 2017. Some of the standouts:

 

MATT BAKER THE ART OF GLAMOUR

CREEPING DEATH FROM NEPTUNE

THE WOLVERTON BIBLE

ARTIST EDITION BASIL WOLVERTON (This and the other two previous books having to do with Basil Wolverton, I went all in on him in 2017. Still absorbing these three books here in 2018)

JACKIE ORMES

THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIANSTELFREEZE

SEX AND HORROR THE ART OF ALESSANDRO BIFFIGNANDI

In 2018 writers I intend to go all in on are Percival Everett, Victor Lavalle, Colin Whitehead and Walter Mosley, as well as revisiting work by Ligotti, Lebbon, Ellison, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Bennett.

 

In 2017 Marvel had a great POWER MAN AND IRON FIST series I was reading, the only thing I was buying monthly from Marvel Comics. And Marvel letting greed get in the way of common sense, killed a series everyone was loving, with a creative team everyone was loving, David Walker and Brian Stelfreeze, to instead both dilute audience attention and oversaturate the market with multiple books, almost all of which are ready to be canceled. So going into 2018, with Marvel sticking to their insane $3.99 price point per book, there are no titles I pick up from Marvel Comics.

 

In 2017 DEATHSTROKE by Christopher Priest was the only DC Comic I was getting on a monthly base. It’s arguably the one series that you can just pick up and enjoy without having to read any other title, or care about any other title. Priest has been able to just do… what he does best, create a fantastic read; month in and month out. So it is the only DC book I’m reading in 2018. However, greed rears its ugly heads and the idiots who get paid to make stupid decisions have decided to add DEATHSTROKE to their floundering team book… JLA,  basically gutting the standalone nature of the comic that allows Priest, to do his magic. Basically the same poor decision making that happened last year with POWER MAN AND IRON FIST.

 

I figure the conversation went like this… ‘man everyone is talking about this book, let’s put the characters in multiple other books, and then they will be talking about all those other books too.’ No, you EFFING morons! The reason people are enjoying POWER MAN AND INRON FIST or DEATHSTROKE is because it is well drawn and well written and not part of your insipid crossover infested universe. Your very attempts to duplicate that success, without understanding it, will kill the character in the new book, and kill interest in the character in the original book.

So yeah here’s hoping someone with brains over at DC, vetoes the horrible idea to put DEATHSTROKE in the JLA, because I’m not going to read the JLA, and you’re editorial interference will create a character that no longer works in his solo book. You have therefore killed the golden goose and have nothing to show for it.

 

The good news is when you get sick of the stupid decisions and overpriced ad laden product at DC and MARVEL, you have great content from other publishers to enjoy. Publishers that give you more for your money. Publishers such as IMAGE, AFTERSHOCK, DARK HORSE and many more.

As far as where to buy new comics from, a lot of people will steer you to DCBS. I personally in terms of pure customer service and ease or ordering prefer LONE STAR COMICS. You can order comics in advance from the at http://www.mycomicshop.com at a discount.

 

They are highly recommended, and I use them myself, and this is an unpaid recommendation. Tell them Heroic Times sent you.

 

And wrapping this up, favorite podcasts of 2017:

 

11OCLOCK COMICS

COMIC GEEK SPEAK

WTF with Marc Maron

BLACK TAPES

GEEK SYNDICATE

 

To name a few. Okay that is it for my 2017 Pop Culture overview. Thanks for bearing with it and if you enjoy, spread the word. Enjoy WEEK #6 of 2018!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast of the Day : The Best Doug Moench Interview!

THE BEST DOUG MOENCH INTERVIEW!

I just discovered this COMIC SHENANIGANS interview with Doug Moench.

From April 2017 this interview is FANTASTIC! Doug Moench (pronounced mensh) is a legendary comic writer, but arguably not as legendary as he should be. While names like Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Chris Claremont and John Byrne are known to even peripheral fans of comics, the name Doug Moench  arguably doesn’t get the praise he deserves.

His work in the 70s and 80s brought a sophistication to comics, that tends to get attributed to the year 1986 and the one two punch of Frank Miller’s DARK KNIGHT and Alan Moore’ s WATCHMEN, but those iconic books didn’t get born in a vacuum.  It came in stages through creators, by fits and starts, progressing the medium.  Creators such as…

The phenomenal work of Stan Lee in the 1960s creating stories that talked to the audience, rather than at the audience. His stories, his dialog, was snappy and fun patter which sung for the first time to a college audience, rather than strictly to the kid audience, and really separated Marvel from everyone else.

Stan Lee gets credit, but I think too many people in a rush to praise the artists, and address any slights,  such as Jack Kirby and Ditko and Romita etc (men deserving of praise) , they stumble into a very trumpian conceit of feeling that in order to praise the artists they have to tear down the writer, namely Stan Lee.  And quite frankly that is just insipid. You can praise them both, and should praise them both.

Beacause all that beautiful FF art, if married to insipid dialog/writing you have underwhelming stories. Or if you have stories that don’t hype/excite the audience, all the art is not going to save it. The silver age series SHIELD (pre and even some of the early Steranko) is an example of this.  Interesting Kirby art, but pretty boring , uninteresting writing.

Stan was writing the whole Marvel Universe at the time, and I don’t think war and spy books was his strength, so this series is pretty poorly written/dialoged, and all Kirby’s art couldn’t save it. The same thing could have happened to FF, but for Stan’s love for those characters and stories. The FF stories are great because Stan is at the top of his game as ideaman/writer, and Kirby is at the top of his game as storyteller/artist.  It is the collaboration of words and images that make those early FF stories work.

Stan Lee as ideaman, as writer, as editor, as cheerleader, as salesman, as enthusiastic fount of energy is unequaled. He put Marvel Comics  on his back and he carried it with a smile, onto the road that it is on now. With his passion to identify his creators and sell them to his audience, something no other publisher was doing, he gave birth to a generation of future writers and artists. As well as his more experimental work, allowing the competition (DC) to likewise let their writers off the leash. You get some of the best late 60s /early 70s Kanigher, Giordano, ONeil, Haney stories as a reaction to Marvel’s inroads to the college audience.

So you get a bunch of writers in the wake of Stan, growing the medium.

Among them being Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Steranko, David Kraft, Keith Giffen, ONeil, Claremont, and arguably one of the most innovative of them… Doug Moench.

Doug Moench is known to a younger generation mostly for his later Batman work, however thanks to a new bunch of collections coming out from Marvel; the work that put him on the map (to even other comicbook creators) THE MASTER OF KUNG FU and MOON KNIGHT is finally readily available. Its availability allowing old and new to revisit these groundbreaking works, and put in clearer perspective this pivotal creator.

His MOKF, while of its age was more sophisticated than anything else coming out in comics, and looking back on it, now nearly 4 decades later, those stories are still incredibly entertaining. Particularly the issues with his long time collaborator, Paul Gulacy, are a phenomenal marriage of words and pictures.

Arguably 4 decades later, their ‘CAT’ story from issue #38 of the MASTER OF KUNG FU SERIES (and now available in Volume II of the MASTER OF KUNG FU Omnibus) is one of the greatest single issues of a comic. And fellow collaborators Mike Zeck, and the late great Gene Day also brought wonderful life to the words of Moench.

Likewise his MOON KNIGHT series with Bill Sienkiewicz was month in and month out one of the most sophisticated and daring and heartfelt books being put out; and opened the door for the success of the comic shop, and the rise of the Independent publishers. It gave a generation of writers a broader perspective on what can be done in a comic book. Many talented writers and artists have tried their hands at the character of Moon Knight since Moench’s departure, a few have been good, Warren Ellis and Jeff Lemire come to mind, most have been awful, and none have been the equal of Moench and Sienkiewicz’s run. That is something, when 4 decades of writers, cannot equal or surpass what you did.

Add to that three of the most haunting Batman stories, a trilogy of one shot issues done with Pat Broderick, and phenomenal creator owned work SIX FROM SIRIUS with Paul Gulacy, as well as his work in the Black and White mags,  and you have some of what makes Doug Moench one of the best writers in the history of comics.

Now with my 2 cents out of the way, go listen to the interview from the man himself:

https://comicshenanigans.podbean.com/category/doug-moench/

Podcast of the Day : LEVAR BURTON READS

How you begin a work week I’ve found is important.

I began this day and this week with a new pocast LEVAR BURTON READS. and what a wonderful way to begin, especially the episode I chose, the lyric and insightful Levar Burton reading a short story from one of my favorite writers, cherished satirist, frontiersman, and Americanist (in the charming Mark Twain definition of such a word) Percival Everett.

Levar Burton reads ‘Graham Greene’ by Percival Everett.

http://www.levarburtonpodcast.com

https://art19.com/shows/b8dbdce1-2c32-42d2-ad58-6956a0c6b31c/embed?playlist_type=playlist#

A great podcast and a great read!