Robots From Tomorrow! (book discussion)

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST