The Handmaid’s Tale S2E2: “Unwomen” Hot Take Recap

  • “There probably is no out”. And there it is kids. Season over!
  • This is like Walter White’s vacation in the great white north. Except Robert Forster is just an old handyman. And June isn’t a meth kingpin. OK, this is nothing like Breaking Bad. Shut up.
  • OK, the Handyman’s “After a while, crocodile” sold me. He’s my new god.
  • Seriously. Are all college classes in TV and Movies either COMPLETELY CHOCKED FULL or sparsely filled by nerds and assholes?
  • ACK! TWISTY THE CLOWN! Err. Wait. No… Just another railroaded liberal. And a GAY one to boot!
  • A lot of world building this episode. Figuratively and literally.
  • A requiem for a newspaper. A 1 act play wherein June mourns the written word, the dead, and decides to publish her own zine. (If I don’t make my own jokes here, I’m going to go insane of sadness.)
  • “You and our baby”. Vomit, Nick. But hey. He gave her a gun!
  • I’m sorry. Two guns. I’m starting to feel bad for actual husband. Sorta. He’s a bit of a dweeb. I’m stalling while the dead-eyed weirdo boinks the pregnant chick. I’m hella-uncomfortable.
  • Sweet Christmas. That’s enough with the freeing sex, kids!
  • It’s just my Hulu, but the first ad after all that sex was for White Castle, and I seriously vurped.
  • So how does one get to be a cattle prodder? “Well, in my other life, I worked at the DMV.” SOLD!
  • An MFA in interior design? It’s JUST as useful working in the wasteland.
  • Somewhere, a Trump supporter watching this show has a hard-on when they deny the marriage license of a gay couple that is “no longer recognized”. And I’d like THAT person to be sent to the wasteland.
  • OH DAYUM, GINA. College Prof gots lady balls. Suck it, house frau!
  • If I lived in this world, and had faith previously? It hath been smoted by meow.

Handmaid’s Tale S2E1 “June” Hot Take Recap

(all these thoughts are made chronologically as I “enjoy” the episode)

  • I just made myself a bowl of ice cream prior to hitting play, because I’m going to occasionally need to be reminded that joy does indeed exist in the world still.
  • I just finished the recap. I’m glad I added cookies to my ice cream. Also “Trust me.” No, Nick. I do not trust you. You were an out of work loser ass-bag in the before-time. So, no.
  • They KNOW she’s preggers, right? That should give us SOME feeling of safety for June, right?
  • STOPPED at 6:56 to take a breath. I mean, I get it. They have work to do, and apparently fast. But, like, wouldn’t it be just as easy to march down the handmaids who are going to be hung in a neat and orderly line, without all the rush-rush-rush? Time is money, sure. But Gilead don’t have no money! ALSO… They have folks hung like ornaments all over the place. If they need to murder you, they literally have rifles. This seems like WWE levels of idiocy.
  • OH FUCK YOU, SHOW.
  • Die Aunt Lydia. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. (Each ‘Die’ comes for a separate bit during the show.)
  • Why did we have another kid? Cause Fuck the Patriarchy! Great reason, millennials.
  • “How did Ofmike get such beefy biceps? That bitch-bag made her stand outside with a rock in her hand for 3 hours, and she’s got 24″ pythons now, brother!”
  • I’m glad I finished my ice cream ahead of the live burning. Aunt Lydia needs to be murdered. By an army of savage children all singing “Our God is an Awesome God.”
  • I don’t know who this nurse/social worker is, but I think Aunt Lydia must have been cloned. Also? I hate her.
  • I know that silhouette anywhere. Hello Mrs. Twatface! Also? “Don’t get so mad, Serena. It’d be bad for the baby?” Cue that gif of the kids all going OH!!!!!”
  • Nice try show. I’m not going to believe June’s getting out of this hospital! I bet this is just more theatrics! (He says, silently praying Mayday is gonna get her out of this, and full well knowing NOT on episode 1 of the 2nd season).
  • WAIT! WHAT!? Don’t make me have hope, show. I still don’t trust Nick!
  • Haha! Fuck you, red frock! Also… SWEET CHRISTMAS, WOULDN’T NICK KNOW AN EASIER WAY TO REMOVE THE TAG!? I’m going to be sick.
Working Title #008: The Man

Working Title #008: The Man

So there I was, working on finishing up this week’s column, when I heard the news. Stan Lee had died.

I can’t say it was unexpected. The Man was 95, his health wasn’t great, but still – Stan the Man.

I never actually met him to say hello or shake his hand. The closest I came was at a convention; Kim and I were having dinner in the hotel restaurant and it turned out Stan was having dinner at a table near us. I could’ve said hello but he was eating and talking with someone. I got the shys and didn’t feel I could break in on his dinner.

However, in a way I did know him in a manner that all of us could and still can. Through his work.

It was in high school, my sophomore or junior year, when I first met him. I was idly looking at a comic book spinner rack in a train station. (Note to younger readers: there was no comic book stores in those days. It was spinner racks or nothing and you couldn’t always be sure that the next issue was going to show up or when.)  I was already a comic book fan. I came across a comic I had never seen before from a company I didn’t know. It was Spiderman 49; on the cover, Spiderman was being towed through the air, arms bound and mask ripped off by his enemy, a grotesque character I would come to know as the Green Goblin.

This was serious. I could tell. Nothing like that ever happened to Batman or any of the other DC stalwarts. The image grabbed me and I grabbed the comic. I knew nothing about Spiderman and yet I had no trouble keying into the story and the breathless climax where the real identity of the Green Goblin was revealed. That didn’t really mean much to me although I would later learn it had been a secret for years. Still I was hooked and haunted that spinner rack until Spiderman 50 came out.

Marvel comics used to have “house ads” on the interior of the books, pointing the reader to other characters and other books that the company sold. I sought them out on spinner racks and newsstands. Almost all of them were written by Stan (the Man) Lee. Look, I know that Stan would give a few sentences of plot to the artist assigned to the book who then worked it out and drew it. Stan would then dialogue it. How else was he going to write all those books in the time he had? It still makes my head spin.

I learned things from Stan. One issue started with Spidey in the middle of a pitched battle with a brand new character called the Rhino. In a caption, Stan told the reader not to worry, effendi, and that he would catch us up as the fight went on. He did, too. That taught me you could do exposition without boring the crap out of everyone.

In the same issue, Rhino tries to stomp Spiderman who is on the ground, rolling out of the way. As Spidey went, he admonished Rhino, “Uh uh! Kickies no fair!” I laughed out loud. You know how everyone loves how Deadshot motormouths his way through battles? Started here, folks.

In an issue of Fantastic Four, the team was trapped in the Negative Zone, heading to the exploding center of that dimension. Three of them got out safe but their leader, Reed Richards, was sacrificing himself so the other three could make it. They can’t reach him and that issue ended with Reed heading towards certain death with no way the others can save him.

I wanted that next issue RIGHT THEN and it taught me how you want the reader to feel when you did a cliffhanger.

His characters were more complex than DC’s, having real life problems and neuroses. There were themes and a greater depth to the stories. And, of course, there’s that single sentence that has transcended comics and has become pop culture wisdom: “With great power comes great responsibility.” It has been quoted and used by many folks outside of our comic book realm.

That’s how I know Stan Lee and that is why I think of him as still living. His work, the characters that he created, still speaks to people. There are living people in your everyday life who don’t do that. So long as his words are read and his characters survive, Stan lives on.

Excelsior.

I had to do that.

Preview Review for the week of 11/21/2018: Middlewest #1

Preview Review for the week of 11/21/2018: Middlewest #1

Hey there!  Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

A reminder for you. Here at PopCultureSquad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for these books.

This week’s preview comic is Middlewest from Skottie Young and Jorge Corona, published by Image Comics.

Continue reading “Preview Review for the week of 11/21/2018: Middlewest #1”

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS Release Date Revealed

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS Release Date Revealed

Via a teaser video, DC Universe has revealed the launch date of the next season of the Young Justice animated series. According to the teaser, it will debut on January 4. 2018.

Along with the Titans live action series, this was one of the early enticing pieces of original content that the the fledgling streaming service touted. The new season, which is the third for the series,  of this fan favorite is subtitled “Outsiders”.  The labeling of the season with a tag is in keeping with the previous season which was titled “Invasion”.

We here at PCS are looking forward to this series, which is continuing to be shepherded by the original showrunning team of Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman.

You can see the teaser trailer below.

 

Everything We Read This Week – 11/15/2018

Everything We Read This Week – 11/15/2018

Welcome back as we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

There are a lot of very good books out this week. Make sure you go find some. There are some new number ones out this week and new creative teams. Hopefully, you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. This is a big list again this week but still not all that we have on our list.

DISCLAIMER: 

There is a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously as everyone gets their own impressions of art. These ratings are just to give our readers an idea of what we thought of the book, and they will be on the generous side normally. So don’t expect to see a lot of 1 Stars. After all, it’s not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.

The rating system is as follows:

Great

 Good

 OK

 Not Good

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 11/15/2018”

So Long And Thanks For the Fish, Man #017: An Oral History Of My Career In Comedy

So Long And Thanks For the Fish, Man #017: An Oral History Of My Career In Comedy

10 years ago – give or take a year – I toyed with the idea of doing a little stand-up comedy. I knew from the notion itself, it would never be more than a hobby interest, but I figured it would be a good way to determine if I was (as many a friend and coworker would denote) a funny guy. Ultimately, I wound up doing a handful of shows, and called it a day. Why so suddenly serious? I didn’t want to pay for parking in the city, and it turns out I’m hella uncomfortable around drunks. LOL.

Beyond that though, I recognized that to be truly great at stand-up comedy, there is a level of commitment that I wholly accept is beyond my desire to dedicate to the craft. But let me not get ahead of myself. Cue the flashback machine!

My very first set of comedy was performed in the back of a comic book shop, as dared to do by the shop owners. We were all friends at Stand Up Comics in Lansing, IL, and every Wednesday when I’d pick up my books… the shop keep(s) and I would go back and forth about the fake worlds of which we partook. After weeks upon weeks of weekly weak knees… the idea was thrown into the wind: Why didn’t Stand Up Comics have a Stand Up Comedy Night? And with that, I was asked to join a few other shop patrons at an open mic competition.

My first set was short, sarcastic, and overly stuffed full of Jewish jokes and schmaltz. I adopted a “wise guy” persona – easy enough to do in a room full of similarly-minded nerds – and apparently did well enough to be asked to do another set. A far longer set. That set is still available on YouTube (search for it if you dare, cause lord, I ain’t promotin’ it!). I did my best to prepare a wealth of material. Cereal Box Mascots. My problem with the homeless in Chicago. My parents. My Jewishness. I covered it all. And for the most part? I felt like a million bucks afterwards. Enough so that I sought out actual open-mic nights soon thereafter to see if I actually had any chops.  Continue reading “So Long And Thanks For the Fish, Man #017: An Oral History Of My Career In Comedy”

Breaking: Top Cow Teams with Humble Bundle to Aid California Wildfire Victims

Breaking: Top Cow Teams with Humble Bundle to Aid California Wildfire Victims

Top Cow has just announced a new program that allows people to get access to digital comics and donate to humanitarian causes at the same time.  When you purchase a Humble Bundle of new and classic Top Cow titles, you can designate funds to go to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization is that is helping California residents affected by the deadly wildfires in meaningful ways.

These comics can be downloaded in multiple formats to be viewed on multiple platforms. Donations range from $1 to $15, and you can get access to up to $760 worth of comics. There is a sliding scale that gives you more comic goodness for the more you donate.

Continue reading “Breaking: Top Cow Teams with Humble Bundle to Aid California Wildfire Victims”

With Further Ado #015: Cat Scratch Fever

With Further Ado #015: Cat Scratch Fever

A Conversation with Stuart Moore

AHOY Comics has burst onto the scene and is quickly becoming known as the comic company that’s a welcome breath of fresh air. And comic shops are increasing their orders for AHOY titles, so they must be doing something right. I caught up with Stuart Moore, who’s an integral part of the AHOY team to learn more.

ED CATTO: How’d you ever get involved with AHOY Comics? Given the initial critical support and comic shop reordering, what’s it been like?

STUART MOORE: Well, I got involved because Tom Peyer called me up. Initially he asked if I would edit his titles, High Heaven and Wrong Earth. The company evolved a bit differently, with each of us basically editing our own titles and providing backup for each other as needed. Tom is editor-in-chief, and he’s also editor of all the books that AREN’T written by him or me.

When we lost a crucial member of the initial team—Sven Larsen, who’s currently doing great things at Marvel—I stepped into the Publishing Ops position on a freelance basis. Wrong Earth has been quite a hit—AHOY has just gone to a second printing on issue #2—so we’ve all been scrambling to deal with success. Which is nerve-wracking, but a hell of a lot better than scrambling to deal with failure.

EC: What do you think is the secret sauce for a new comic company to thrive, or just survive, in today’s difficult publishing landscape?

SM:  I think every new company has to find its own way, its own voice. For AHOY, it’s a combination of engaging lead stories and a wealth of backup features—giving the reader as much value as possible for their $3.99. Tom is also very determined that every book have elements of humor to it.

This is just my guess, but I suspect AHOY is appealing somewhat to lapsed comic readers—without pandering overtly to nostalgia or fanboy trivia. If you have fond memories of the early Vertigo titles or of 1963 (the comic, not the year), you’ll probably want to check out these books. Whatever we’re doing, it seems to be working so far.

Also, of course, we’re hoping to attract cat fans.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #015: Cat Scratch Fever”

Preview Review for the week of 11/14/2018: Bitter Root #1

Preview Review for the week of 11/14/2018: Bitter Root #1

Hey there!  Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

A reminder for you. Here at PopCultureSquad, we are decidedly anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for these books.

This week’s preview comic is Bitter Root from David Walker, Chuck Brown and Sanford Greene, published by Image Comics.  PCS had the opportunity to talk to Brown and Greene at Baltimore ComicCon this year, and they were very excited about this new endeavor. Needless to say we were eagerly looking forward to getting our hands on this book.  Continue reading below to find out what we thought of it.

Continue reading “Preview Review for the week of 11/14/2018: Bitter Root #1”