Robots From Tomorrow! (book discussion)

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