Robots From Tomorrow! (book discussion)

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