Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #078: Shoes For Defense!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #078: Shoes For Defense!

There’s been a swell mantra going around for about six months now, and it goes something like this: Trump is going down in defeat, unless the Democratic Party screws it up – again.

Well, another phrase for “swell mantra” is “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Recently, we have seen two very strong examples of this redundant behavior.

The first is “Yup. The Democratic Party is screwing it up again.

For evidence, you don’t have to go any further than last Tuesday’s “debate.” These things have never, ever been a debate. Ideas are rarely offered and never questioned but always confronted. So, it was to the surprise of only the terminally optimistic that once the field was whittled down to a half-dozen viable candidates (and a couple who hang in there just because of their lack of reality testing) these TeeVee follies have devolved into screaming sessions – with most everybody screaming at the same time as the moderators drown in flop-sweat. To the viewer, who has yet to select among the survivors, such a display evokes our “why bother” reflex. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #078: Shoes For Defense!”

With Further Ado #83: Shiver My Timbers, Matey

With Further Ado #83: Shiver My Timbers, Matey

There’s a truism in comics that “everybody knows”. Pirate comics don’t sell.  However. every piece of common wisdom needs to be shattered at one time or another, and we were just the scurvy knaves to do it. Sit back, sip your rum, and let me tell you the true tale of how we made a pirate comic!

Last year, I had a brilliant student in one of my classes. Naomi Hanson had many different interests and passions, and one of them was the history of real-life pirates. She was quite the expert and delivered lectures at academic conferences nationwide on the subject.

Naomi was also in the ITHACON class, where we teach students about creating and managing trade shows, and then have them run an actual convention: ITHACON.

After hearing about her lectures – shiver my timbers – I thought about how to take it to the next level. I explained to Naomi that I had vision of a Pirate Panel at San Diego Comic-Con. I knew it would be a long shot making that happen, but she was game to try.

The ideas were accepted by the panel committee at San Diego Comic-Con. I knew she’d be great onstage. I recruited another panelist, renowned library science expert Krista Rozanski.  I would be moderator.  The mizzen masts were about to be hoisted, and we were ready.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #83: Shiver My Timbers, Matey”

Everything We Read This Week – 2/19/2020

Everything We Read This Week – 2/19/2020

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 so many great comics. The storytelling and craftspersonship that we encountered was impressive. We tackled multiple genres and each of these offerings were superb. We encourage you to go out and find the comics you like, and remember, Read More Comics!!

We reviewed books from DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Action Lab Studios, Oni-Lion Forge Publications, Image Comics, and Abstract Studios 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. We didn’t have any new series come out this week on our pull list, but next week will be a different story.

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 2/19/2020”

Brainiac On Banjo #074: Weed Thrills – The Stunning Conclusion!

Brainiac On Banjo #074: Weed Thrills – The Stunning Conclusion!

Previously… On Brainiac On Banjo: 52 years ago, a Chicago police sergeant coerced your writer, at the time not quite 18 years old, into purchasing a nickel bag of the Demon Weed marijuana at an anteroom of an L train station, upon pain of arrest for possession of same. This led your writer to a life of lawbreaking, senior delinquency and sarcasm. In describing the event, your writer indulged in dropping the names of architect Andrea Palladio and musician Rick Nielsen, so we should add “pretension” to that list as well. We now reenter our WABAC machine, throw an ancient knife-switch and flow up the timesteam to… 2019… starting with a song lyric from 1968.

The future’s comin’ in, now / Sweet and strong / Ain’t no-one gonna hold it back for long / There are new dreams / Crowdin’ out old realities / There’s revolution / Sweepin’ in like a fresh new breeze / Let the old world make believe / It’s blind and deaf and dumb, but / Nothing can change the shape of things to come • written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil

You can only imagine the magnificent confusion I felt fifty-one years later when my daughter and I made our post-legalization visit to Massachusetts. Yes, I brought my daughter to a legal weed shop. I don’t tell you how to raise your kids, do I? And, besides, she’s a full-fledged adult, easily more adult than I am.

It’s about a seventy-five minute drive to Northampton, MA, which is no big deal to me. I routinely drive much further for great barbecue, and, besides, Northampton has some great barbecue. It’s a wonderful town, home to Smith College, and sort of a flashback to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The town is littered with bookstores, cafes, good restaurants that are slightly underpriced, amusing earthy tchotchkes shops, and politically active and socially aware humans. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #074: Weed Thrills – The Stunning Conclusion!”

New Number Ones For the Week of 2/19/20

New Number Ones For the Week of 2/19/20

Hey There Folks!! This column is designed to bring you reviews of new comic book series that came out this week. We will try to focus on independent and original series for the most part. This week we have four series for you. They are from AfterShock Comics, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Valiant Entertainment, and Image Comics.

You will usually find the books that we review in this space on our month list of New Number Ones. You might want to check over there to see what you can expect for the rest of the month.

This week we will bring you our thoughts on four books: Bang #1, Doctor Tomorrow #1, Godkillers #1, On the Stump #1, Plunge #1 and Wolverine #1 

Check out the reviews below in alphabetical order: Continue reading “New Number Ones For the Week of 2/19/20”

On the Changes in DC Comics Management – Dan DiDio No Longer at DC

The news of major changes in the upper management of DC Comics began to break on the afternoon of Friday February 21st. “Dan DiDio is no longer employed at the company.” All of the standard straight comics news outlets have covered it.  We are not here to do that.

The basics details are this. Dan DiDio has been at DC for eighteen years and has served as co-publisher, with Jim Lee, since 2010. As of yesterday he is no longer with DC.

This news was a surprise to everyone I have reached out to. “Comics Twitter” exploded at the news, and many people who worked with him expressed their thanks for his support over the years. A common thread that you will find is that Dan was fiercely supportive of creators and loves comics like nobody’s business. He is also responsible for recruiting and empowering some of the best new voices in comics.


Continue reading “On the Changes in DC Comics Management – Dan DiDio No Longer at DC”

Continued After the Next Page #012: Finding a Stray When Missing Your Nightwing

Continued After the Next Page #012: Finding a Stray When Missing Your Nightwing

For many people, Robin, the Boy Wonder was the first super hero that they identified with. Whether it was from the Batman live-action TV show, or from Super-Friends cartoons, or on the pages of comic books, there was something enticing about the young sidekick to the cool and powerful superhero, Batman. I was very much that person.

Art by George Perez

My affinity for Robin became specific. I am a fan of Dick Grayson, the original Robin and also Nightwing.  As a pre-teen and teen, The New Teen Titans, by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, was my jam, to use a term I am far too old to use. As Dick Grayson grew past the Teen Wonder persona in the comics, I was growing, and while other youngsters took up the mantle of Robin, I remained committed to my Grayson fandom.

Over the decades, my passion for the character only grew. Many of my comic creator friends, and anyone who has read previous episodes of this column, know how much Nightwing/Dick Grayson means to me. However, that character has been effectively removed from the current DC Comics Universe for the past eighteen months. Continue reading “Continued After the Next Page #012: Finding a Stray When Missing Your Nightwing”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #077: Dope Frees Fool

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #077: Dope Frees Fool

Courtesy PUTIN – Pigeons United To Interfere Now.

Hey now, baby / Get into my big black car / Hey now, baby / Get into my big black car / I want to just show you/ What my politics are • Politician, written by Jack Bruce & Pete Brown

If you think Donald Trump’s commuting of impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich after serving a little over half of his 14-year sentence has anything to do with correcting a grave miscarriage of justice, then I’ve got a bridge strutting across New York’s East River to sell you.

Rod was convicted of attempting to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat when the latter became president. He also was convicted of shaking down the local horse racing industry and the Lurie Children’s Hospital (a.k.a. Children’s Memorial), both for “pay for play” campaign contributions.

Before you get even more bent out of shape over this one, let me correct a common misconception. My Prairie State brethren need not fear being seating next to this felon when their next jury duty demand comes in the mail. Trump did not pardon Blago, he merely commuted his sentence. There’s a difference – according to the Springfield Illinois State Journal-Register (Springfield is the capital of Illinois): “A commutation is a reduction in a prison term but the conviction remains on a person’s record.” He cannot be elected to state office. He’s now an ex-convict. He’s still a felon. He remains a fool. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #077: Dope Frees Fool”

With Further Ado #82: Contemplating with Kirk

With Further Ado #82: Contemplating with Kirk

There are so many great Christmas comics. As a kid, I always loved those “very special issues” where the adventure would take place during the Yuletide season.  I still do. I always read a few Christmas comics on Christmas Eve, and I’m always careful to finish them and turn out the light before Santa comes.

In comics, celebrating other holidays has always been a little hit or miss.  Oh, sure, there’re lots of creepy Halloween stories. Superhero teams always seem to gather together at Thanksgiving, but I’m not sure if I have ever a had a favorite St. Valentine’s Day comic story.

I do now. IDW’s Star Trek Year Five: Valentine’s Day Special is a mouthful of a comic title, but it’s a wonderful Star Trek story, that – like all the best Trek tales – is about more than just spaceships and phaser blasts.

Paul Cornell is a gifted writer, and here he deftly uses the long history of Star Trek: TOS, and Captain Kirk in particular, to tell a tale of lost love, in a fresh and mature way.  This isn’t another story of Jim Kirk romancing some hot babe in the middle of danger and adventure. Instead, Kirk meets his equal: a woman of similar drive and passions. They are drawn together through the years. Continue reading “With Further Ado #82: Contemplating with Kirk”

Preview Review for the Week of 2/20/2020: On the Stump #1

Preview Review for the Week of 2/20/2020: On the Stump #1

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 Pop Culture Squad, 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 we feature a new book from Image Comics. It is On the Stump #1 by Chuck Brown and Prenzy with Clayton Cowles. This book was featured in our New Number Ones column for February. You might want to see what else we are looking forward to there.

You can find On the Stump at your LCS on February 20, 2020.

On the Stump #1
Image Comics
Written by Chuck Brown
Art by Prenzy
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Prenzy

Original Solicitation

SERIES PREMIERE!  The campaign trail is paved with blood and broken bones. History diverged in 1868 when a pivotal presidential debate turned violent. Today, elections are decided by highly publicized hand-to-hand combat in arenas called Stumps. Unfortunately, the violence doesn’t end in the ring, and powerful people can still get away with murder. Senator Jack Hammer and FBI Agent Anna Bell Lister are teaming up to bring it all down. Eisner-nominated writer CHUCK BROWN joins forces with Italian artist PRENZY and letterer CLAYTON COWLES to create a hyper-violent tale full of countless injustices-and people who have to fight for their place in it.

PCS Review: Continue reading “Preview Review for the Week of 2/20/2020: On the Stump #1”