Robots From Tomorrow! (book discussion)

This episode originally aired December 11, 2014.

P. Craig Russell has spent the better part of his career finding ways to make the operas he love truly sing as sequential art. In that regard, his 2002 adaptation of Wagner's Ring cycle is his magnum opus. Fourteen issues, over 400 pages, newly collected in one hardcover by Dark Horse, "The Ring of the Nibelung" shows Russell at his best adapting the four operas to comics' strengths while avoiding its weaknesses. Mike & Greg take a look at not only "The Ring" but Russell's career in general, and particularly the influence of his days inking Mike Mignola. Find out what common ground is shared by diehard opera and anime fans, which Marvel story Russell drew twice, why the days of inkers are most likely numbered, who adapted the Ring cycle to comics before Russell, how he was able to so successfully translate Wagner from the stage to the page, and a lot more. 

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. This episode is brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_149_rebroadcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 9:04am EST

This episode originally aired May 27, 2015.

The Man Without Fear is riding a new wave of popularity thanks to having a hit Netflix show under his belt, so Mike & Greg turn their heightened comic senses on one of, if not THE, seminal story about Matt Murdock: Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli's 'Born Again'. From singles to digital to trade paperback to Artist Edition, this story is a comic booking master class no matter the format you experience it in. Process is dissected, context is given, praise is assigned and heaped, and hearts are broken when one host describes the Artist Edition to the other. But the Hornhead talk doesn't end there! The Netflix show gets its due! Not a complete love fest, but pretty close! Listen on to find out the boys' theories on Madame Gao, what we could look forward to in Seasons 2 & 3, how seeing the show affects reading the comic, which Miller comics make the Holy Trinity of his bibliography (and why), who hears who in their head for which character, why 'Born Again'-type stories rarely work as well with other characters, and more.

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. This episode is brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_196_rebroadcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EST

This episode originally aired March 26, 2014.

After months of threatening and a few near-misses, we finally take a look at the manga/anime juggernaut that is Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira. But not just one version; all three! The B&W manga, the color Epic run from the late 1980’s, and the anime. 4200+ pages of comics (over the two versions) plus over 2 hours of anime have lead up to this discussion. We guarantee that you’ll come away from this episode having learned something about this work that you never knew. How do the different translations affect Otomo’s overall message? How can the anime be an entirely faithful adaptation and yet leave out vast chunks of story? What are the bosozoku? Who is the main character? Does color help or hurt this manga masterpiece? All this and so much more is waiting for you in our latest episode!

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. This episode is brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_21_rebroadcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 6:32pm EST

They say nobody’s perfect, and that is certainly the case with Jaime Hernandez’s most popular creation Maggie. Over the last 30-plus years, he has shown us how flawed, and yet perfectly realized, a character she is. Mike and Greg catch up with Maggie in Hernandez’s latest graphic novel “The Love Bunglers” as she tries to find happiness with her on-again, off-again love interest Ray. The amount of story, craft, and emotion packed into this 110-page work is astounding, and the only thing keeping the guys from still talking about it is the fear of spoiling too much of this (or any other) year’s best comics. Whether you are a complete newcomer to Hernandez and his work, or have been following Maggie, Ray, Hopey, and the rest of the Love and Rockets cast for decades, this is a must-own book.

 

This episode originally aired June 2014.

 

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. Music is John Hughes by Anamanaguchi. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_31_rebroadcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 6:25pm EST

Sam Teer drops by this week to help Greg make heads or tails of Steve Gerber & Jack Kirby's "Destroyer Duck". Published by Eclipse Comics in the early 1980's, "Destroyer Duck" was a 5-issue satirical onslaught hatched to fund Gerber's legal dispute with Marvel Comics over the rights to Howard the Duck. Duke Duck takes up arms against Godcorp when the monolithic megacorporation kills his only-seen-in-shadow-but-obviously-Howard friend The Little Guy. But do these comics exact satisfying satirical revenge in a mighty marvelous manner? Or does too much creator bitterness make this work a lame duck in both creators' careers? And did Greg really just side with Marvel Comics??? All that and more as opinions and observations run amok in this week's episode!

(Supplemental reading for this episode: All Quacked Up: Steve Gerber, Marvel Comics, and Howard the Duck)

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. This episode is brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_428_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The book club discussions return after a year-long hiatus with this look at two similar but divergent Elseworld tales from DC Comics. Featuring powerhouse art teams (Mignola/Russell and Jones/Jones III) with undeniably appealing high concepts (Batman vs Jack the Ripper & Batman vs Dracula), both books stand as templates for how to do Elsewhere stories right...but take completely different paths getting there. Throw in a mystery third book and you have a talk covering such topics as the lasting impact of Zorro on Batman, Elseworlds vs ‘What Ifs?’, scary sexy body horror heroics, the refreshing naïveté of Bruce Wayne, red herrings & red sons, 19th century Gotham newspapers running front page stories in Kryptonese, and more.

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. This episode is brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_405_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EST

Our month-long look at Dark Horse Comics continues, both over at Multiversity Comics and here on this show with today's overview of the publisher’s various anthology offerings. Yes, we’ve all heard of “Dark Horse Presents”...but what about “Mayhem”? Or “Deadline USA”? Or “Cheval Noir”? The lads dig deep on this one to give credit where credit is due for Dark Horse’s commitment to delivering many different kinds of comics in single-issue packages. Why was there no manga anthology? Who was Toren Smith? What made Dark Horse Comics publish “Dark Horse Comics”? Which Alan Moore collaborator did Greg think made an appearance in ‘Sin City’ during its initial serialization in “DHP”? When did Ed Brubaker share shelf space with… Dr. Giggles? How did ‘The Masque’ wind up with a spelling change and a new lease on life? The answers to all those questions and more on today’s episode!

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. This episode is brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_306_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:59pm EST

The lads celebrate 300 episodes by finally talking about a creator never before mentioned on the show: Mike Mignola! All kidding aside, this episode finds Mike & Greg in immediate post-”Hellboy in Hell” #10 territory, as the final issue hit stands mere hours before the tape started rolling. After 23 years and 66 issues in various iterations, Mignola brings his story of a demon raised as a man to a close, possibly forever. Mike & Greg talk about not only what happens in the last installment, but preface that deep-dive with a healthy back&forth of Mignola's work & career in general. What is it about his work that invites so much discussion? How have the years honed the Mignola/Stewart collaboration? When did Hellboy first zig where every one of his imitators zag, and which direction did that point to Mignola’s creative voice going? All that and more, plus Greg’s final answer on the “curve” Mignola vs “straight” Mignola debate, as Robots From Tomorrow celebrates its 300th episode!

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. This episode is brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_300_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 1:33am EST

Four issues into a five-issue story, Ted McKeever’s “Pencil Head” sprinkles surrealist happenings on top of a barely disguised look at McKeever’s journey through the mainstream American comics industry from 1990 to 2004(ish). Names are fudged to placate the lawyers, but you don’t need a crystal ball to see the obvious on this one (Crank Filler? Schmal Plevitz?). But even so, picking out ALL the references can be tricky. But luckily, Greg’s area of expertise is just that era of comics, so listen to he & Mike walk you through the ins & outs of this sharp-witted ‘bande desinee a clef’. Afterwards, the focus shifts to over to manga, as Mike digs into a Japanese print copy of “Weekly Shonen Jump.” How different is it from what we get digitally in the US? What cultural similarities and differences do the two comics bring to mind? All that, plus the name of the Silver Age artist banned from Marvel offices for nocturnal activities and much, much more on this episode!

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. This episode is brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_295_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 9:01pm EST

Mike & Greg focus on a work that took home two 2015 Ignatz Awards (for Outstanding Graphic Novel and Outstanding Comic) AND made Publishers Weekly’s list of the best books of 2015: “The Oven” by Sophie Goldstein! When Syd & Eric leave their sheltered, regulated lives in a domed city to start a family off-the-grid, circumstances quickly become more than they anticipated. Have they escaped one dead-end only to find themselves in another? Is a fresh start possible under these demanding conditions? In only 80 pages, Golstein manages to tell a story both concise & expansive simultaneously, giving the lads a lot of material to consider. And you know they can't discuss an Adhouse Books release without getting into the particulars of the book’s presentation, especially one as striking as “The Oven”. Mike flexes some printing knowledge muscles as he breaks down how Goldstein & Adhouse were able to make this book look like nothing else on the shelf. All that and more on this episode!

Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at RobotsFromTomorrow.com. You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. This episode is brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_277_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:48pm EST