“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #051: Why Can’t I Care About Disney+?

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #051: Why Can’t I Care About Disney+?

My name is Marc Alan Fishman, and I have a solemn confession: I don’t love Disney. I barely like it, in fact. The House of Mouse has come to own basically over half of all known creative content within my personal wheelhouse — that of the nerdy variety. It seems suspect that my head tells me I should have been coocoo-bananas for the recently launched Disney+ steaming service, yet my heart makes a wet fart noise and I move on.

And trust me, it feels like a rare feat. My social media feeds are nearly choked with baby Yoda (not Yoda)  memes, and genuine gushing goo-goo’ing over all the content on the service. Yet, no matter how many trusted friends stamp The Mandalorian with their recommendation, nor posting about reruns of Darkwing Duck… the excitement bounces off of me much like I assume elation over a new BTS album dropping does to a hipster. And let’s be clear as day kiddos: I ain’t hip. Continue reading ““So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #051: Why Can’t I Care About Disney+?”

Spotlight on Butcher of Paris: A Review and Interview with Stephanie Phillips

Spotlight on Butcher of Paris: A Review and Interview with Stephanie Phillips

Coming Soon to comic shops is The Butcher of Paris from Dark Horse Comics. It is based on true events from World War II, and it is spectacular.

We reached out to the writer of the book, Stephanie Phillips, and she was gracious enough to talk with us. Stephanie is coming on strong in the comic scene. She has written Devil Within for Black Mask Comics, Descendent for AfterShock Comics, and just recently her first story for DC Comics was announced. She will be contributing to the February Valentine’s Day special Crimes of Passion.

We are big fans of her storytelling style and execution, and we were thrilled with the first issue of The Butcher of Paris. Check below to see our advance review of the book and our interview with Stephanie.

The Butcher of Paris #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Dean Kotz
Colors by Jason Wordie
Letters by Troy Peteri
Cover Art by Dave Johnson

Original Solicitation:

In 1944, as Swastikas flew over Paris, one of the most notorious and prolific serial killers in history turned the occupied city into his personal hunting ground.

Under the guise of opportunity and freedom, a killer preys on those desperate to flee . . . until a gruesome discovery alerts the police. In a city on the brink of war, the hunt for a serial killer begins as a French detective races to catch the villain before the Nazis beat him to it.

Written by Stephanie Phillips with art by Dean Kotz, The Butcher of Paris is a historical, true crime thriller about a killer wanted by both the Nazis and allied forces for the death of nearly two hundred victims.

PCS Review: Continue reading “Spotlight on Butcher of Paris: A Review and Interview with Stephanie Phillips”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #066: Has It Come To This?

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #066: Has It Come To This?

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

Here’s the latest sign of the apocalypse. Yes, it has come down to this – I, Mike Gold, whose Twitter handle is “@creepymikegold,” am the one lecturing on manners. Don’t start reading any continued stories, folks. Obviously, the end is nigh.

I totally understand why the Trumpublicans put their xenophobic, racist, sexist, narcissistic, treasonous habitual liar ahead of the security of the United States of America and its people. Most of us who aren’t them are the prodigy of immigrants and similar ne’er-do-wells, and some of us are poor, old, in lousy health and/or unwilling to work for fifty cents an hour. But does the Rabid Right have to be so damn rude about it?

Marie Yovanovitch

These numbnuts are trying to belittle, on national television, those who have honored this country by putting their bodies between the legions of evil and the Americans of great wealth. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and top West Point graduate / Vietnam War vet / Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor testified before the impeachment hearings this past week, along with other valiant witnesses including (to name but two) Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and National Security Council official Fiona Hill. These genuine heroes put it all on the line for truth, justice and the American way… and I mean that sincerely, without a shred of sarcasm.

But are the maniacal Trumpublicans grateful? Of course not. The patriots who have earned their chops the hard way in order to keep America great – and to keep America in business – have been maligned as prevaricators: dishonest “never-Trumpers” who are acting relentlessly against the desires and prattling fabrications uttered by the xenophobic, racist, sexist, narcissistic, treasonous habitual liar-in-chief, the one person who best symbolizes all that is wrong and likely could ever be wrong about humanity. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #066: Has It Come To This?”

Spotlight Interview with Comic Artist and Colorist, Christopher Sotomayor

Spotlight Interview with Comic Artist and Colorist, Christopher Sotomayor

Art by Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor

Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to sit down and talk comic with comic artist and colorist Chris Sotomayor. You have been seeing his “Soto” signature on comics from many different publishers for a couple of decades now. He is a native New Yorker who has made his mark in the field that fuels his passion.

He has worked for Marvel and DC quite a bit. Most recently he was doing the colors on Batman Beyond, Supergirl, and The Wailing Blade among other things.

He is also currently doing the colors on the recently release DC Black Label mini-series The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage. It is written by Jeff Lemire with art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz. Issue #1 comes out today, so go get it after you read this interview.

Chris is part of the faculty of Comics Experience and teaches online courses in comic coloring, for beginners and pros.

In this interview, we talk about how he got his start, his process, and his heroes.

Pop Culture Squad: Did you always know you wanted to work in comics?

Chris Sotomayor: Oh yeah! Since I was about five years old and watching the old 1966 Batman reruns on Channel 11. I just used to watch that all the time, and I loved Robin. I thought he was badass because he was younger like me. So, I really got into it.

Since that show, I used to draw Batman, and my parents used to buy me a comic book every once in awhile. I knew I wanted to be comics, and I was hoping to draw them especially when I found out that people drew them. Then, I found out that people drew them and made a living. I was like, “Wow! That is the awesomest thing ever.” Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comic Artist and Colorist, Christopher Sotomayor”

With Further Ado #069: The Forgotten All-Star

With Further Ado #069: The Forgotten All-Star

I’ve been reading stories by Gardner Fox all my life. And thoroughly enjoying them. His “upstanding citizen” version of iconic heroes may have, in some ways, fallen out favor today. But to so many fans, his work is the bedrock upon which superhero comics are built upon. Upon reflection, his version of herodom may also be what other comic innovators pivoted from.  For example, Marvel introduced flawed heroes with human shortcomings as an alternative to the Gardner Fox style of heroes. Indy heroes of the 80s introduced non-traditional protagonists as something new. Even DC comics, where Gardner Fox did so much of his writing, would, by the 80s, showcase heroes with dark histories or motivations, in stark contrast to their Golden Age and Silver Age heroes. 

I loved his stories. I loved his heroes and his twisty plots. His scientific explanations and extrapolations always made me think that much harder. And in the worlds that Gardner Fox created, friendships really meant something.

But I didn’t know much about Gardner Fox himself. I was enthralled when John Siuntres, in his excellent Word Balloon Podcast, interviewed Jennifer DeRoss  who just wrote the biography of Gardner Fox.  Forgotten All-Star: A Biography of Gardner Fox is a winner, and I had to reach out to the author.  Here’s what she had to say:

Ed Catto : I understand you had a family member who was very pro-comics when you were growing up. What’s the whole story behind that?

Jennifer DeRoss: Many people in my family read comics, but my grandmother was my biggest   literacy advocate. She is primarily a fan of the Sunday Funnies and would even clip out the strips she thought I would enjoy and mail them to me because I lived outside of any newspaper circulation areas. Garfield has always been her favorite and she still has quite the collection of Garfield related merchandise. She is also fond of Silver Age DC and when I took an interest in the superhero genre, she was more than happy to support that love.

My grandma would buy me comics right alongside her soap opera magazines every time we went grocery shopping together. She also exposed me to some of the older superhero cartoons, although she would eventually regret that a little after I began obsessively watching the Aquaman VHS every day.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #069: The Forgotten All-Star”

Brainiac On Banjo #061: Charlton Comics Goes To War!!

Brainiac On Banjo #061: Charlton Comics Goes To War!!

The Unknown Anti-War Comics!, by Steve Ditko, Ross Andru, Joe Gill, Denny O’Neil, Pat Boyette and others, edited by Craig Yoe • Yoe Books!-IDW • $29.95, 226 pages

Back when the three of us were laboring over at the DC Comics factory, I was blessed with having my office between those of Denny O’Neil and Archie Goodwin, two of the finest comics practitioners in American history. If they were to be branded A-listers, we would need to invent a new first letter for our alphabet. I’m going to start with Archie, but don’t worry. Denny comes into this story later.

Back around 1992 and 1993, Archie and I started frequenting a swell midtown restaurant where New York Times executives often brought advertising clients. Remember, this was about 16 years before Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau put our beloved medium on the legit. Usually, our passionate conversations revolved around two subjects: frighteningly radical politics, and comic books; particularly EC Comics. To the chagrin of the over-wrought suits sitting within eavesdropping distance, we would conflate the two.

Of all of Archie’s massive achievements as a writer and an editor, my personal favorite is the four-issue run of Blazing Combat, the black-and-white war comic published by Jim Warren with the Frazetta covers and interiors drawn by Alex Toth, John Severin, Reed Crandall, Joe Orlando, Gene Colan, Wally Wood… you get the point. The series was influenced by Harvey Kurtzman’s Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat for EC Comics, and all the above-mentioned artists had drawn stories for Kurtzman. Archie was too young to have written for them, but he was a member of the EC Fan-Addict Club (fan-addict > fanatic, get it?). Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #061: Charlton Comics Goes To War!!”

Everything We Read This Week – 11/13/2019

Everything We Read This Week – 11/13/2019

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week. This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

This week we read a bunch of great comics. Go out and find the comics you like, and remember, Read More Comics!!

We reviewed books from DC Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Mad Cave Studios, Boom! Studios, Lion Forge, and Image Comics this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. Don’t forget we welcome comments on these and any other comics that you read. Feel free to leave a comment and get the conversation moving.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here. You will see books that we were looking forward to with the designation Hot #1 by them. There are a few of them out this week, and they are really good.

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 – 11/13/2019”

Revisiting Mutant-X: The Video SquadCast from Baltimore Comic-Con

Revisiting Mutant-X: The Video SquadCast from Baltimore Comic-Con

Hey Everyone!!

Welcome to the Video SquadCast! This is the recording of the panel we hosted at Baltimore Comic-Con on October 19, 2019. The panelists are Howard Mackie and Andrew Pepoy.  The video is hosted on our YouTube Channel and the audio version of the SquadCast can be found at the bottom of this post.

Be sure to check out this great conversation where we reminisce about the Mutant-X comic book from Marvel.  We talk about the origins of the book, what went in to character design, what made it successful, and ultimately the end. This was a really fun time and is worth the time for fans of the comic or comic making in general.

Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Continue reading “Revisiting Mutant-X: The Video SquadCast from Baltimore Comic-Con”

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #050: All Elite? All Better than WWE

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #050: All Elite? All Better than WWE

A while back — long enough that I no longer feel guilty for writing too much wrestling content — I’d written up some thoughts about the potential that Cody Rhodes’ All Elite Wrestling had to disrupt the professional wrestling landscape.

Well, a few months into their debut, I’m ready to say this much: if they continue to listen and learn? AEW will change that landscape enough Vince McMahon should invest in new trousers.

If I can clarify upfront though: the WWE may suffer in their ratings, ticket sales, and merchandise movement as AEW continues to gradually cement their base in the industry… but it will remain the leader in profit, size, and scope due to it’s sheer volume of talent and foothold in the zeitgeist.

What AEW has done better than any other lesser company in the space (NWA, TNA / Impact Wrestling, New Japan, etc.) is to clearly present itself as an alternative to specifically counter the programming of the McMahon empire — and doing so similar in scope. This means in essence they are attempting to zig wherever Stamford zags. They’re targeting medium sized arenas, and being judicious in their talent’s schedules. The company is being run behind the scenes by working talent, and as such, it more apt to make decisions with said talent in mind. See also: NXT under the WWE umbrella — as run (for the most part) by Paul Leveque (aka the WWE’s Triple H). But put a pin in that. Continue reading ““So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #050: All Elite? All Better than WWE”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #065: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #065: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

I’ll move myself and my family aside / If we happen to be left half alive / I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky / For I know that the hypnotized never lie / DO YA? – Pete Townshend, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Why are we doing this? Well, I believe there is one very good reason.

The impeachment process formally started yesterday. Over the next couple weeks, a slew of highly respectable and well-credentialed witnesses will put their life savings, their careers and their family’s safety on the line in the esteemed names of truth and patriotism. The professional ass-lickers will call them a bunch of names and give shade to snark. Um tut sut.

When all is said and done, what will happen next will be what we all knew would happen. The House, under near-exclusive party line votes, will vote to impeach the traitor in the White House. Then the Senate, under near-exclusive party line votes, will vote to acquit. There’s no “vote to exonerate” option, so nobody on either side will get to score a rhetorical victory – although, unfortunately, that won’t stop anyone from proselytizing. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #065: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss”