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.

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