Robots From Tomorrow! (book discussion)

This episode was originally broadcast on May 14, 2015.

When you think about cartoonist journalists, the first (and probably only) name that comes to mind is almost always Joe Sacco. And for good reason, because the man has been using his cartoonist skills in the service of in-depth reporting for over 20 years. This week, Mike & Greg take a look at “Journalism”, a collection of his shorter reports over a 10-year period from such assignments as Iraq, The Hague, Gaza, India, Malta, and the Caucasus. It’s a 200-page hardcover that provokes more thought and questions in that page count than most OGNs at twice the size. The lads try and come at them from a few different angles, ranging from Sacco’s cartooning chops, how objective a reporter like Sacco can (or should) be, what advantages cartooning has over more naturalistic means of capturing information, why color should or shouldn’t be used in Sacco’s work, who influenced him, and much much more on this week’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_192rebroadcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

As Marvel's First Family returns to your LCS shelves, so to does this show's book discussions return to your earbuds! Mike and Greg dive deep into the first issue of Slott & Pichelli's run on "Fantastic Four", taking its measure both as a single issue but also its place in the grander FF tapestry. Does Slott have the chops to handle The World's Greatest Comic Magazine? What particular aspect of Pichelli's work really made an impression on the lads? Should this really have been an issue of "Marvel Two-in-One"? Which of the other "Fantastic Four" #1's does this share the closest resemblance to? All that, plus favorite issues of the past, how hothead is too hothead for Johnny, series blindspots, 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_521_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:52pm EDT

This episode originally aired June 17, 2017.

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_405rebroadcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

This episode originally aired February 19th, 2015.

Although 1993 was not far into the decade, the year "Marvels" was published in some ways saw the peak of its legendary excess: gimmick covers, spinoff glut, character assassinating revamps, and enough grit & grime to block out the sun. But in the middle of all that came a small 4-issue period piece miniseries, from a writer no one cared about and an artist no one knew, with a clarity that rang through the clamor. Mike & Greg take a long look at that Busiek/Ross work, as well as the 2007 followup "Eye of the Camera", to see if it still holds up over 20 years later. What makes that miniseries so unique, even among other stories like "Kingdom Come" or "Earth X"? What does Alex Ross not get enough credit for? What happened to the originally planned "Marvels II"? If someone ripped a gash in the Rocky Mountains the size of the Grand Canyon, and then fixed it on live TV, would anybody care? What simple suggestion did Tom DeFalco make to Busiek that crystallized the whole story for him? All that and more in this week'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_167rebroadcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

This episode originally aired March 19, 2015.

Can we ever go home again? It's a question so many creators ask themselves when they revisit work from their earlier days. Mike & Greg take a look at how Toriyama has cracked that particular code with "Jaco", a book that touches on several themes and tones from the manga-ka's early "Dragon Ball" days while still letting him bring his mastery of craft to bear. A funny, adventurous romp, the titular Jaco is a super elite Galactic Patrolman sent to Earth to await the coming of a terrible monster… but he manages to sideswipe the Moon on his way in and crashes next to a small island. Maybe 'super elite' is supposed to be ironic? Find out why "Jaco" is a wonderful standalone manga story with subtle ties to Toriyama's later works, what manga tropes the cartoonist manages to celebrate and subvert simultaneously, how 'adorable' is a perfect descriptive for this book, which Neal Adams work gets compared to "Jaco", and a whole lot more in this week'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.

Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

This episode originally aired on November 17, 2014.

Earl Tubb may not speak particularly softly, but the main character of the new Image series Southern Bastards ends up brandishing one hell of a stick after returning to his Alabama hometown to put family affairs in order. Jasons Latour and Aaron make this book one part Southern Gothic, one part Walking Tall (the Joe Don Baker version), one part Lone Star, and all parts fantastic. Mike & Greg take swings, between talk of fried apple pie and confectionary delights, at trying to do justice to this book and its look at a Southern lifestyle at once mundane and terrifying. Find out what themes and traits this book shares with Aaron's classic series Scalped, as well as how to look at the work fourth-dimensionally, the benefits of uncluttered plot progression, the differences between Europeans and Americans when looking at America, and what US town was nuked back in the 1960's (albeit ineptly).

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_140_rebroadcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

This episode originally aired September 17, 2015.

Desire, thought, and action. In the followup to his acclaimed 1998 graphic novel "Hicksville," cartoonist Dylan Horrocks uses one of that book's supporting characters' encounter with a magic drawing implement to not only tell an engaging story, but also engage with those three components of the human experience. "Magic Pen" may have been 10 years in the making, but it still showcases one of comics' best thinkers trying to reconcile with themes very much at the forefront of today's comics culture: the power of fantasy, the ease comics can express those creators' desires (both positive & negative) to the audience, the effect they have on a growing audience of different-minded or impressionable readers. There's a lot to unpack and some sensitive subject matter, and Mike & Greg try their best to do it without offending anyone. There might be a few more pauses than usual, but that's just because words are being extra-parsed. Find out if they succeed in avoiding any hot-rail catastrophes in 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_228_rebroadcast_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

With Mike on assignment this week for some big Multiversity Comics happenings, Greg brings in not one, but TWO guests to help fill the void. ROBOTS and Multiversity Comics contributor Paul Lai is joined by his comic-reading younger brother Sonny as the three lads discuss one of the more interesting miniseries of 2015: "Oh, Killstrike". This BOOM! Studios book tells a tale steeped in comics history meta-text and gargantuan-sized vengeance, as the fanboy-and-new-father protagonist is teamed up with a living, breathing version of the main character from "The Worst Comic Book Ever Created": Killstrike! Written by Max Bemis and drawn by Logan Faerber, "Oh, Killstrike" is chock-a-block with the type of in-jokes, commentary, and story that we love to dissect here at ROBOTS...no matter who's behind the mic! So all that and tons more is just a single mouse click away!

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_263_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 11:13pm EDT

In the future, humanity has spread throughout the solar system...but carried all its faults and flaws with it. Bajram’s “Universal War One” (recently collected in hardcover by Titan Comics) follows a civil war between the United Earth Forces and the Colonisation Industrial Companies spiraling out of control, racking up an incredible (human and celestial) body count. What is ‘The Wall’? How does time travel fit into everything, and does Bajram play that side of things fast & loose? Which version offers the better translation: the Titan hardcover or the Marvel/Soleil comics from 2008? Who’s leading this fight: Bajram the artist or Bajram the writer? When does localization come into play? All that and more as Mike & Greg wade into this conflict to see who’s still standing when the space-dust settles!

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_249_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Desire, thought, and action. In the followup to his acclaimed 1998 graphic novel "Hicksville," cartoonist Dylan Horrocks uses one of that book's supporting characters' encounter with a magic drawing implement to not only tell an engaging story, but also engage with those three components of the human experience. "Magic Pen" may have been 10 years in the making, but it still showcases one of comics' best thinkers trying to reconcile with themes very much at the forefront of today's comics culture: the power of fantasy, the ease comics can express those creators' desires (both positive & negative) to the audience, the effect they have on a growing audience of different-minded or impressionable readers. There's a lot to unpack and some sensitive subject matter, and Mike & Greg try their best to do it without offending anyone. There might be a few more pauses than usual, but that's just because words are being extra-parsed. Find out if they succeed in avoiding any hot-rail catastrophes in 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_228_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 9:26pm EDT

Black Ops Sports Team. That was the pitch for "X-Force" as part of the spring 2001 relaunch of the X-Men line, stuck somewhere between Claremont's "X-Treme" and Casey's "Uncanny." A Vertigo mainstay and an indie cartoonist doing an X-Book? How crazy was that? But "X-Force" turned out to be the little book that could, grabbing critical praise and the attention of comic fans old and new with its bold combination of satire, commentary, and characterization. Mike & Greg look back at the first 14 issues of the Allred/Milligan collaboration and see how it holds up almost 15 years later. How reader-friendly was the title BEFORE the revamp? What part did that first issue play in getting Marvel to finally drop the Comics Code for good? Which recurring Allred archetypes show up in "X-Force" and why? When does the series go off the rail (and why)? Who comes in to pinch-hit for Allred on art, and do they strike out or hit a home run? All that, plus a head-to-head matchup between X-Force and Morrison's New X-Men over the hosts' affections. Which book will reign supreme? Find out the answer to that question 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_226_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

How do you follow up a juggernaut like "Scott Pilgrim?" Six volumes, a major motion picture, tons of awards… the task of coming up with the next thing after that has to be a daunting one. But after 4 years, O’Malley answered that question with “Seconds,” an OGN about a young restaurateur given the chance to fix the mistakes of the past with the help of some magic mushrooms. Sounds like just the thing you’d expect from O’Malley, right? It is...and it isn’t. Mike & Greg take a look at the latest work from this cartoonist and his assembled team to find out if this book, like any great meal, is worth coming back to for 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_222_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

In 1970, DC proclaimed, “The Great One Is Coming!” And they were right! Jack “The King” Kirby went across the street from Marvel to the Distinguished Competition and hit their publishing line like an atomic bomb. The New Gods! Mister Miracle! The Forever People! The Demon! Omac! But few of them had the specific impact & influence as today’s subject: Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! Mike & Greg focus on the earlier issues of The King’s 37-issue full-creator run, but as with all things Kirby, there’s so much other stuff to consider. Is this the best work of his career? What drove him to DC in the first place, and then back to Marvel? How much microfilm did Kamandi read? Why is Kirby Sheen more signature than Kirby Krackle? When did you first GET Kirby? All that, plus looks at the 70’s DC “Bullpen Bulletins”, Kirby inkers compared and rated, and exactly what speed were these comics were intended to be read at?

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_214_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 7:50pm EDT

Between self-publishing and small-press publishing is a place where a lot of talented cartoonists are finding themselves. Too big for one but not big enough for another, they can find themselves without a solid foundation to send their work off from to the larger readership. But luckily, one of those cartoonists decided it was time to do something about that. Mike & Greg take a look at several 2015 releases from Box Brown’s Retrofit Comics (“An Entity Observes All Things”, “Ink for Beginners”, and “Mowgli’s Mirror”) as they shine the RFT spotlight on Retrofit Comics as a publisher. What’s their angle? How can you find their books? Why was their release of “Prison Planet” #7 so controversial? Given their size and roster, what can they give you that Marvel or DC can’t? All that, plus what it’s like to have a timeshare in independent comics, just how likely Greg is to get a tattoo, 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_202_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

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_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

When you think about cartoonist journalists, the first (and probably only) name that comes to mind is almost always Joe Sacco. And for good reason, because the man has been using his cartoonist skills in the service of in-depth reporting for over 20 years. This week, Mike & Greg take a look at “Journalism”, a collection of his shorter reports over a 10-year period from such assignments as Iraq, The Hague, Gaza, India, Malta, and the Caucasus. It’s a 200-page hardcover that provokes more thought and questions in that page count than most OGNs at twice the size. The lads try and come at them from a few different angles, ranging from Sacco’s cartooning chops, how objective a reporter like Sacco can (or should) be, what advantages cartooning has over more naturalistic means of capturing information, why color should or shouldn’t be used in Sacco’s work, who influenced him, and much much more on this week’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_192_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

“The death-stench creeps.” “There’s something rotten in Okinawa.” These cover blurbs from today’s book discussion subject should tell you that we’re not talking sweetness and light this week. Mike & Greg go fishing with horror master Junji Ito and the brand-new hardcover collection of his 2001-2002 horror story “Gyo”. How terrifying can a horror story about fish be if 99% of it takes place on land? Ito’s got that covered. Serving up a tale equal parts dread and nihilism, Ito knows what buttons to push in his readers to be effective as a horror master, and he jams them hard here. Find out who Ito took cues from and used as a benchmark to surpass in his story, what the difference is between shonen and seinen manga, how similar “Gyo”’s adaptation into other media is to “Watchmen”’s translation, why a circus can be scarier than a great white shark, which things make the human mind flash ‘DOES NOT COMPUTE’, and much more in this week’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_187_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

It wasn't their first creative partnership, or even their first long-form work together, but when comic fans think of the book they first noticed how good Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips worked together, they almost always think of "Criminal". With the series now at Image Comics and being rereleased in new trade paperback collections, Mike & Greg take this opportunity to look at the duo's opening storyline: 'Coward'. What does it and the series as a whole know about crime fiction that so many imitators seem to miss? How does it stack up against the Eisner-winning sixth volume "The Last of the Innocent"? Where did the Brubaker/Archie connection first pop up? Why did the duo announce their exclusivity to Image? Who's the best colorist in their crew: Val Staples, Dave Stewart, or Elizabeth Breitweiser? All that and much much more about the whole world of Phillips and Brubaker is ready for your ears on this week'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_183_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Terry Gilliam calls him a god. Entire generations were taught the importance and power of satire by his examples. The highest honor FOR comics professional voted on exclusively BY comics professionals takes its name from him. His name was Harvey Kurtzman, and in 1959 he published “Harvey Kurtzman’s Jungle Book”, a collection of short comic tales intended for the mainstream adult readership almost 15 years before Will Eisner did likewise with “A Contract With God”. Unlike “Contract”, “Jungle Book” landed with a thud of epic proportions. So why are Mike & Greg talking about it today? Why is pure Kurtzman the best Kurtzman when you have artists like Wally Wood, Will Elder, and the like to bring his ideas to life? With all the accolades he achieved, is Kurtzman still underrated? Does “Jungle Book” still hold up almost 60 years later? Learn what brought Kurtzman from EC Comics to Ballantine Books, what did Frank Miller admitted helped him shamelessly steal from Will Eisner in his “Daredevil” run, how does “Jungle Book” stack up against “Comic Book Comix”, an earlier Dark Horse/Kitchen Sink release, and tons more in this week’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_179_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

Can we ever go home again? It's a question so many creators ask themselves when they revisit work from their earlier days. Mike & Greg take a look at how Toriyama has cracked that particular code with "Jaco", a book that touches on several themes and tones from the manga-ka's early "Dragon Ball" days while still letting him bring his mastery of craft to bear. A funny, adventurous romp, the titular Jaco is a super elite Galactic Patrolman sent to Earth to await the coming of a terrible monster… but he manages to sideswipe the Moon on his way in and crashes next to a small island. Maybe 'super elite' is supposed to be ironic? Find out why "Jaco" is a wonderful standalone manga story with subtle ties to Toriyama's later works, what manga tropes the cartoonist manages to celebrate and subvert simultaneously, how 'adorable' is a perfect descriptive for this book, which Neal Adams work gets compared to "Jaco", and a whole lot more in this week'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_175_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

Thirty-eight years of continuous weekly publication has given Judge Dredd fans a huge back catalog of stories to choose from. Mike & Greg flex some Multiver-City One muscles in this episode and take an in-depth look at 'America', the shattering tale by Dredd co-creator John Wagner and artist Colin MacNeil that makes absolutely clear what separates Dredd from other comics action heroes. What makes it Wagner's personal favorite and the top of so many "Best of Dredd" lists? How accessible is it to new readers? Are the sequels (1996's 'Fading of the Light' and 2006's 'Cadet') any good? Why isn't Colin MacNeil a bigger name? Who was Victor Jara? What does an apology from Judge Dredd sound like, and what do you have to do to get one? All that and tons more in this week'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_171_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Although 1993 was not far into the decade, the year "Marvels" was published in some ways saw the peak of its legendary excess: gimmick covers, spinoff glut, character assassinating revamps, and enough grit & grime to block out the sun. But in the middle of all that came a small 4-issue period piece miniseries, from a writer no one cared about and an artist no one knew, with a clarity that rang through the clamor. Mike & Greg take a long look at that Busiek/Ross work, as well as the 2007 followup "Eye of the Camera", to see if it still holds up over 20 years later. What makes that miniseries so unique, even among other stories like "Kingdom Come" or "Earth X"? What does Alex Ross not get enough credit for? What happened to the originally planned "Marvels II"? If someone ripped a gash in the Rocky Mountains the size of the Grand Canyon, and then fixed it on live TV, would anybody care? What simple suggestion did Tom DeFalco make to Busiek that crystallized the whole story for him? All that and more in this week'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_167_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

This week's episode swings the pendulum back in a more mainstream direction by taking aim at a Jim Starlin Big Two cosmic event book with an oddball collection of heroes and a Machiavellian manipulator at the center of things. "Infinity Gauntlet"? Nope! "Cosmic Odyssey"! To make things even better, Mike and Greg are joined on this journey into mystery by Multiversity Comics' own DC expert Brian Salvatore! The lads leave few, if any, stones unturned in this look back at the Prestige Format miniseries from 1988. Come for the Starlin talk, stay for the Mignola discussion and tons of other interesting tidbits, like what are each of our #fourcomics picks, which artist showed Brian that superheroes didn't have to fit a certain artistic mold, why Batman plays the whole "don't use guns" and "don't kill" things pretty fast and loose in this series, how his relationship with Superman should be handled, and who turns out to be the character most affected by this series.

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_161_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

People often say there is a single line between fantasy and reality. But in Farel Dalrymple's "The Wrenchies", there are just as many lines between different realities as there are on the pages themselves. Described by Multiversity Comics' own Matthew Meylikhov as a book "about how damn great and powerful comic books are", Dalrymple's graphic novel is one part post-apocalyptic children's adventure, one part existential adult apocalypse, one part semiautobio, one part love letter to four-color stories, and one part alchemical x-factor. Each new reading brings as many questions as answers, but Mike and Greg take a stab at what Dalrymple is trying to say with Sherwood, Hollis, and the rest of the cast. Background is given, techniques are discussed, knowledge is dropped, and the unforgiving mistress that is watercolor is name-checked in this attempt to try and encapsulate what one of 2014's strongest OGN's means to its characters, its creator, and its audience.

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_157_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

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_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Straight from the pages of Eightball, or the 10th Anniversary Hardcover, or The Daniel Clowes Reader, or the silver screen, or a digital media device of your choosing is Daniel Clowes's Ghost World. This 80-page graphic novella (and film adaptation) succinctly captures two girls' transition from the certainty of sarcastic adolescence to the unforgiving uncertainty of young adulthood. Mike and Greg talk about Ghost World in both forms, touching on topics like how the work can be so specifically in one time but not feel slaved to it, why Zwigoff and Clowes made such a perfect partnership in getting this story to the screen, what chapter almost made Greg check out ot the book entirely, whether Christina Ricci was ever cast as Enid, the power of first influences and how they shape your perceptions going forward, Clowes' distillation of story into absolute essential bits, and much more. (No animals were or are ever harmed during the making of this podcast)

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_143_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Earl Tubb may not speak particularly softly, but the main character of the new Image series Southern Bastards ends up brandishing one hell of a stick after returning to his Alabama hometown to put family affairs in order. Jasons Latour and Aaron make this book one part Southern Gothic, one part Walking Tall (Joe Don Baker version), one part Lone Star, and all parts fantastic. Mike & Greg take swings, between talk of fried apple pie and confectionary delights, at trying to do justice to this book and its look at a Southern lifestyle at once mundane and terrifying. Find out what themes and traits this book shares with Aaron's classic series Scalped, as well as how to look at the work fourth dimensionally, the benefits of uncluttered plot progression, the differences between Europeans and Americans when looking at America, and what US town was nuked back in the 1960's (albeit ineptly).

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_140_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Unofficially labeled ‘The Nitnit Trilogy’, Charles Burns’ latest comics work finished this year with the publication of “Sugar Skull” following the release of “X’ed Out” in 2010 and “The Hive” in 2012. With all three volumes in hand, Mike and Greg take a look at the story both as a whole and as a collection of pieces from other sources. Burns’ inspiration for these books ranges from Herge’s TinTin to Silver Age romance comics with a healthy dosage of Burrough’s cut-up technique thrown in, and these factors plus many, many others come into play in this discussion. Find out who else besides Burns is carved onto Mike’s alt-cartoonist Mount Rushmore, what Greg thought the skeleton of the story was, where David Lynch fits into all this, what the fourth book in the trilogy is and where you can or can’t find it, and so much 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_132_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

In an RFT first, Mike & Greg follow up their talk about District 14 Season 1 with a new discussion about its sequel (Season 2) and companion book (The Fantastic Voyage of Lady Rozenbilt), also by the creative team of Pierre Gabus and Rommald Reutimann. But this time, mindful of the dangers of retreading old conversation, the boys add a new voice to the mix: Multiversity Comics Editor-in-Chief Matthew Meylikhov! Spoiler alert: if you liked the first book, you’ll love these new volumes. The trio talk about the necessity of showing unseen plot points, which D14 characters they would love to see in a Lady Rozenbilt-style spinoff, whether color helps or hurts the D14 universe, POV characters versus ensemble pieces, and tons 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_124_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Mike leads this week’s subterranean expedition as he takes Greg and you through the twists and turns of NBM’s Dungeon series’ first volume. Created by the cartoonists Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim, Dungeon serves up a slice of sword-and-sorcery that is one part humor, one part satire, and all parts awesome. If it's good enough to help inspire Pendleton Ward's approach to Adventure Time, then it may just be worth your time! With its anthropomorphic duck protagonist, his skull-as-cod-piece-wearing dragon companion, and his sarcastic-and-demeaning talking belt Dungeon is a whirlwind of fantasy fantasticness. The conversation takes many twists and turns, including talk of Jonathan Hickman, Larry Marder, and Image Comics. Hidden treasure of a comic book nature is just one mouse click away in 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_113_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

They say life is stranger than fiction, which is good because when cartoonists turn their attentions to telling stories about real life people and events, they have a lot of competition with all the universes of imaginary characters crowding the shelves. On today’s episode, the boys eschew the usual single-title spotlight to take a look at some OGNs that tell real stories in ways just as entertaining as their fictional counterparts:

     -SHACKLETON: ANTARCTIC ODYSSEY by Nick Bertozzi

     -THE HYPO by Noah Van Sciver

     -FEYNMAN by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

     -BOXERS & SAINTS by Gene Luen Yang

     -WOMAN REBEL: THE MARGARET SANGER STORY by Peter Bagge

All those works plus some other non-fiction favorites show up in this discussion-slash-rumination on the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges comics creators face when trying to bring real life to the printed page.

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. Today's episode id brought to you by Third Eye Comics. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_107_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

The publisher of this week’s book, Adhouse, suggests that book, Street Angel, be filed under these categories: comedy, poverty, hero, and kung fu. Those terms both entirely describe and woefully undersell the breadth of pure comic booking contained in this 10th anniversary hardcover reprinting of Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca's breakout hit. The title character is homeless teenage girl Jesse Sanchez; she sleeps in abandoned buildings and prowls the streets of Wilkesborough on her skateboard, keeping it safe from ninjas, mad scientists, demons, time-displaced Spanish conquerors, more ninjas, and (with the help of an aged but still bad motherSHUT YOUR MOUTH Afrodisiac) racist gun-toting rednecks. This book may be Rugg's first but it still hits like a 100-megaton bomb of experimentation in the name of homage and homage in the name of truth. Listen to Mike and Greg talk about how many ways Street Angel is a little slice of comic book heaven for anyone who picks it up.

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. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_103_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

The lads throw tradition to the wind by taking an in-depth look at a comic currently hitting shelves every other week: Brian Michael Bendis’ X-Men. Following his 8-year Avengers run, Bendis took a quick trip to 1964, picked up a few passengers, and showed up for All-New X-Men #1 with the original five Xavier students (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, and Angel) in tow. This juxtaposition kicks off his X-Men tenure and is the gift that keeps on giving, both in terms of story momentum and reader guessing. See what side of the issues raised the hosts fall on in this sprawling free-form discussion of both All-New and Uncanny X-men up through Battle of the Atom, where the Marvel Mutantverse finds itself decades after the foundational Claremont issues, and how good a pair of hands it finds itself in with Bendis.

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. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_35_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

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.

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_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Every once in a while, a comic comes along that looks to stir things up. Pop the balloons. Kick over the table. Show everyone that the emperor has no clothes. Sometimes this is done for shock value, sometimes for sales, and sometimes because the creators have that contrarian streak inside them that just needs to come out. Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill are in that last category, and their Marshal Law series is the most visceral, scathing, and on-point satire of superheroes and their tropes that we have ever seen. Mike and Greg take a trip to San Futuro via the recently released oversized DC Deluxe Edition, check in on the masked lawman, and come back with this report on how the hero-hunter is doing 25 years after first walking the beat.

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_29_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

The term “all ages” tends to be used as a shorthand for kid’s books in comics, but on this episode, Mike and Greg take a look at a book that truly has something for readers of every age: KOMA by Swiss cartoonists Pierre Wazem and Frederik Peeters. Published by Humanoids in 2012, KOMA follows a young girl named Addidas (but not like the shoe) as she and her chimney-sweep widower father Julius try and stay one step ahead of their competition, all the while suffering mysterious blackouts. While on a job, Addidas follows one of the endless tunnels into an underground place where gigantic creatures operate machines that seem to control everyone on the surface. But that only gives you a hint of the wide range of things Wazem & Peeters touch on, as reality and metaphysics collide with heart-tugging simplicity in this amazing work.

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_27_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

The book that launched the black & white boom of the 1980's, spawned a thousand imitators, spun off into every conceivable media, and taught millions of kids the names of four Renaissance artists is the subject of this week's episode. Mike and Greg look at the "Return to New York" arc of the Mirage-era Turtles, but like everything else Turtles-related, the talk mutates into a green-skinned juggernaut. Find out how the IDW continuity tracks with the original Mirage series, which creator did what on any issue, what prompted the "Guest Creator" era, why some issues IDW can't reprint, and just how much Eastman & Laird were making during their heyday. Straight from the sewers to your ears via our recording studio deep beneath the Earth's surface, the Turtle goodness is just a click away!

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_25_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 9:22pm EDT

Counterculture and Madison Avenue collide in the topic of this week's episode: the Denis Kitchen/Stan Lee-conceived Comix Book! Greg and Mike take a look at the recent collection of the best of that magazine's six issues, from 1974 to 1976, put out by the Kitchen Sink Books imprint of Dark Horse. What was Stan thinking in courting the underground scene? Which artists were thought to be selling out to "The Man" (literally, in this case) and what was the going rate? Why we're mainstream artists angry about it as well? Were the comics any good? Is the book worth getting, or is it just a mild curiosity piece? All that and more is waiting for you in this 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. Music is John Hughes by Anamanaguchi. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_23_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

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. Music is John Hughes by Anamanaguchi. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_21_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Twelve cartoonists. Twelve issues. One astounding collection. This week, Greg and Mike team up to take on DC’s Solo hardcover. Two-on-one doesn’t sound like a fair fight, but when that one draws on the talents of Darwyn Cooke, Teddy Kristiansen, Scott Hampton, Sergio Aragones, Tim Sale, Howard Chaykin, Paul Pope, Brendan McCarthy, Jordi Bernet, Mike Allred, Damion Scott, and Richard Corben? Not to worry. The lads talk about their favorite moments, who would be in a 2014 run of Solo, the keen eye of Mark Chiarello, a publisher’s responsibility to their audience, good Chaykin and bad Chaykin (you know what we mean), and Sergio Aragones with a ukelele? That’s right. All that and more is waiting for you in this week’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. Music is John Hughes by Anamanaguchi. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_19_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 7:25pm EDT

We go right from one in-depth look episode to another this week, as we set our sights on Paul Pope’s 100%. Published by Vertigo Comics in late 2002, this miniseries marked the end of one phase of Pope’s career and the beginning of the next. What brought about that transition, and how well does Pope’s future-tinged sci-fi hold up after almost 12 years? Just how bad-ass is John Workman, and why does his collaboration with Pope here show why he is a letterer of the first order? What part of the creation stage does Pope consider the most joyful? Find out all that and more as we try and wring 100% of the awesomeness from a work that has fighters, strippers, busboys, artists, first dates on orbiting satellites, and much much 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. Music is John Hughes by Anamanaguchi. Enjoy your funny books.

Direct download: rft_17_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:09am EDT

When you’ve collected tons of awards and loads of critical acclaim for an all-ages adventure series like Bone, where do you go for a followup? If you’re Jeff Smith, you pop over to the next parallel world and come back with a hard-boiled sci-noir story like RASL. His 2008 series tells the story of Robert Johnson, ex-scientist and current dimension-hopping art thief, and is the subject of this week’s book club episode. We take an in-depth look at Smith’s career coming out of Bone, how the different iterations of RASL (original B&W or restored one-volume color HC) affect one’s possible enjoyment of the work, and what it means to be a cartoonist, something we have surprisingly different takes on. Oh, and we talk about the book itself, too. So slap on your t-suits and dial over to our specific parallel dimension for over an hour of talk on Jeff Smith’s RASL!

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_16_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:39pm EDT

For today's episode the guys dive headfirst into Brandon Graham's King City. Set in a world of Cat Masters, alien races and mythic demons, King City is Graham's first long form comics work. It's a title that nearly fell victim to the Tokyo Pop implosion, but after a time in limbo, was revived and completed at Image Comics. The collected edition is as thick as a phonebook, with plenty of back-ups and back matter to sweeten the pot. Mike and Greg agree that this is a must read, and woth a place on any comic reader's shelf.

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_13_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

Everything old is new again! Mike and Greg decide to tackle Bob Fingerman's 90's alt-comic fave from Fantagraphics, recently re-released in oversized hardcover form from Image Comics. Greg went new school and read the HC, while Mike went old school and busted out the FB trades. But it's all the same stories, right? Ummmm.... yes and no. For the new release, Fingerman (by his own admission) pulled a "Lucas" and re-worked the old material to bring it all up to his current standards. Did that help? Hurt? How does this series stand against the test of time, and what about Fingerman's new MINIMUM WAGE series debuting this month? And what's it like for two people to talk about a book they've both read and not read at the same time? Give a listen and find out!

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_11_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT

This week the guys dive into a work that, courtesy of the good folks at Humanoids, was translated and released in English earlier this year. From the incredibly inventive minds of Pierre Gabus and Romuald Reutimann, District 14 is a comic that pushes convention and genre into all sorts of new places. Part noir, part sci-fi epic, and with a cast of both humans and funny animals, District 14 is the tale of an elephant named Michael who has recently immigrated to Distict 14 and is confronted with all the drama and absurdity contained within its walls. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, especially when it comes to Michael and his newly minted friend Hector McKeagh, a beaver who is also the most notorious reporter in town. District 14 is a comic that can work on a purely fantasy level, while also smartly commenting on some of today's social issues. Wealth, corruption, fame, and the press are just a few examples of the topics reflected on in this work. This volume, the first in a series, is well worth every comics fan's time. The concept and writing is exceptional, and the art is gorgeous. It's available digitally as well as in hardcover, and it comes with the RFT gold seal of approval.

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_9_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 11:49am EDT

We end up talking about street gangs from both sides of the Atlantic in this episode. An off-air chat about Katsuhiro Otomo’s masterpiece spills onto the show as a prelude to our upcoming Akira talk. The 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray with DVDs included and all possible language combinations available is out, and you should buy it! Start reading and watching now, because our Akira talk is coming! But before that happens, we go from Neo-Toyko to New York/Jersey with Brendan Leach’s Pterodactyl Hunters in the Gilded City and Iron Bound. Both stories were given high marks by each host, but does Greg think Iron Bound is a step forward for Leach, or backwards? Does Mike convince him that a creator of Leach’s caliber does nothing without consideration, and therefore everything is intentional? That passion making squiggles of straight lines should be embraced? That Leach is a creator to keep an eye on right now and moving forward? (Spoiler for the last question: yes). 

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_8_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 2:19pm EDT

Before continuing the Marvel streak with a look at the original Wolverine limited series from 1982, Greg takes a minute to ask the listeners to consider helping out Stan (Usagi Yojimbo) Sakai and his wife Sharon in their time of need by contributing to the CAPS campaign/art auction set up for their benefit. That said, he and Mike launch into a discussion about the Claremont/Miller mini-series, having just revisited the work for the first time in years. Does it still hold up? What works? What doesn’t? Is Logan dancing a jig in a bar while holding a man five times his size over his head? It goes without saying that these four issues cemented in the eyes of an entire generation of readers what was cool about Wolverine, Marvel, and comics in general. But what unholy terror of shortcuts did this work unleash upon the superstar artists of the “future”? Plus, we compare/contrast Miller’s issues with the Paul Smith X-Men issues that immediately follow them. Why did Storm go punk so quickly? What did Claremont and Miller do completely backwards that worked out so well? And why did a series literally built on evolution stop evolving so long ago, and who’s to blame?

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_ep_7_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 9:31pm EDT

Having not yet reached his breaking point, THE HOUR COSMIC’s Brian Salvatore returns to the show and, like any good guest, brings with him a gift. Lo, there shall come a topic! Jonathan Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four: great comic magazine or The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine? Is it too soon to call for this series? What works and what doesn’t? And did Marvel drop the ball in continuing the title’s greatest (if you agree it’s there) with the run that followed Hickman’s? Brian throws down the (Infinity) gauntlet he got from the Council of Reeds for Mike and Greg. Are they up to the challenge?

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_6_mixdown.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:02pm EDT

A podcasting first: this episode debuts on October 31st and yet makes absolutely no mention to the accompanying holiday! Not how we roll. But what we do talk about is Battling Boy, the new OGN from writer/artist Paul Pope with colors by Hilary Sycamore. Greg and Mike rave and rave about this...wait a minute…Greg didn’t like it? Are you serious? Is that even allowed in comics podcasting? Is this the last episode of Robots From Tomorrow? No, but this episode does feature some real-time opinion-evolution. Give it a spin to see if you agree with where the duo start this conversation and where it ends up. Also, a quick shout-out to Steve Niles and how you can give Steve a hand and get some cool comics in the process!

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_4.m4a
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 7:56pm EDT

In a time when so much attention is paid to 'heroes' who seem less and less deserving of the phrase, Mike and Greg take a look at a graphic novel telling the beginnings of a real-life crusader for truth and justice. March, the first in a planned trilogy from Top Shelf Productions, tells the story of civil rights activist and current U.S. Congressman John Lewis in his own words, aided by writer Andrew Aydin and adapted into sequential storytelling by Nate Powell. Easily one of the best graphic novels of 2013, March pulls the reader right into one man's journey from bystander to activist, and shows with uncanny skill an America we are long past and yet still frightening close to.

Direct download: rft_1.mp3
Category:Book Discussion -- posted at: 8:06pm EDT

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