Robots From Tomorrow! (book discussion)

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST