Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #057: Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #057: Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be

“These are the times that try men’s souls / In the course of our nation’s history the people of Boston have rallied bravely whenever the rights of men have been threatened / Today, a new crisis has arisen” – M.T.A., written by Bess Hawes and Jacqueline Steine.

Spats. Ethyl gas. Municipal steam baths. Mom’s Eats. Necco Wafers. Interurban trains. Screaming Yellow Zonkers. Montgomery Wards. Buggy whips. Magazines and newspapers. Yeah, I’m yelling at the clouds again.

Wait a minute. Magazines and newspapers? They’re still around. Sorta. Kinda. Almost. They’re coughing up blood, but they’re still around… if you know where to look. And while you’re doing that, say hello to Dr. Livingstone for me, will you? Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #057: Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be”

Brainiac On Banjo #051: The Challenge of Ideas

Brainiac On Banjo #051: The Challenge of Ideas

I just checked and I’ve decided I’ve got too many friends. Let’s see who I can offend today. But, first, a couple of disclaimers.

One: For decades I have been uttering I am a first amendment absolutist. There should be no roadblocks in the world of free expression. Yes, people need to stand behind what they say and I’m not at all opposed to laws that hold people responsible for malicious defamation. But there should be no roadblocks between the thought and its delivery. That’s free expression.

Two: I am a fan of Walter Mosley’s. I would have read every novel he’s ever written but for a couple decades he’s been in a Smith-Corona destruction derby with Stephen King. Had I been editing Fantastic Four, I would have found a way to get Mosley to write it. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #051: The Challenge of Ideas”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: DEATH TRAP (Interview with Matt Miner AND Laura Palmer)

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: DEATH TRAP (Interview with Matt Miner AND Laura Palmer)

This is a special edition of our Kickstarter boost posts. We were able to speak with the writer of the latest campaign and the musician behind the video theme. This is the perfect combination of what we are about here at Pop Culture Squad.

This week we are spotlighting Death Trap. It is a comic story that will be released digitally in four individual issues and then printed in a collected edition.

What is Death Trap?

According to the Kickstarter campaign page:

Death Trap is the story of a young woman named Ollie who grew up in the Strongin Circus crime family, surrounded by sideshow freaks and weird clowns and a huge albino dancing bear named Wojtek.  Her Dad’s killed by a rival crime family at Davenport Amusements, and ends up haunting his old Mercury Cougar muscle car.  So Ollie and her dad’s ghost team up for some sweet, sweet, revenge.

It sounds super cool and the various reward tiers are full of excellent material. We are stoked to see this project get funded.  At three days into the campaign, they are at about 20% of their goal.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: DEATH TRAP (Interview with Matt Miner AND Laura Palmer)”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #055: Mass Murders? It’s the Damn Monkeys!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #055: Mass Murders? It’s the Damn Monkeys!

God, am I dumb. And when I say “god,” I mean that literally. It turns out there’s a viable, meaningful, and always successful way to end our onslaught of mass murders.

Our old pal Tony Perkins – the one who runs the ultra-right-wing Family Research Council, and possibly not the one who wore his mother’s skin in the movies – told Fox News (of course) “It’s time we talk about the result of the left’s systematic march through our institutions, driving religious expression from the public square… It’s tragic and at some point we have to realize we have a problem as a nation, and the problem is not the absence of laws, it’s an absence of morality – really, the result of a decades-long march through the institutions of America, driving religion and God from the public square.”

So, evidently Tony Perkins’ god is a mean bastard who is so pissed that society is not obsessed with his every fart that he enlightens his true believers to shoot up a bunch of heathens and those who happen to be near them. No more pillars of salt, no more floods – well, maybe floods – nope, Tony’s god has gone high-tech. How many people can you slay in 30 seconds, when god is on your side? Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #055: Mass Murders? It’s the Damn Monkeys!”

With Further Ado #058: Discoveries beyond Discovery

With Further Ado #058: Discoveries beyond Discovery

Back in the day, when we had no idea that the Star Trek mythology would become so expansive, there was always a hint of untold stories about the folks on the Enterprise before Uhura, Scotty and the gang.   We were briefly introduced to Captain Kirk’s predecessor, Captain Pike, and shown the tragic ending to his career.  Little fanboys watching the show via 70s reruns (like me) couldn’t help but wonder what adventures that guy had in the earlier part of his career.

Over the years, I read a few paperback books focusing on Captain Pike. Marvel published a series called Early Voyages (that didn’t really do it for me) and more recently John Byrne took a crack at it again at IDW.

With all that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised by IDW’s new series Star Trek: Discovery – Aftermath. This series spins out of the recent Star Trek Discovery mythology.  As is the case for many longtime fans, this new reboot seemed to have so many troublesome issues for me that I’ve kind of drifted away from it.  Oh, I’m not shaking my fists with fan rage. Like a party that isn’t that great, or meant for me, I found myself slinking out the back door when no one was looking.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #058: Discoveries beyond Discovery”

Spotlight Interview with Dean Haspiel

Spotlight Interview with Dean Haspiel

One of the earlier interviews that we had in this series on Pop Culture Squad was with cartoonist and auteur Dean Haspiel. He was talking last year about his collected edition of The Red Hook for Image Comics. This year his second volume in that universe, War Cry, is about to hit stores October 9th.

War Cry is the continuing adventures of Sam Brosia and the characters created in The Red Hook. We have seen the story on Line Webtoon, but we have also seen a preview of the collected print edition, and it is fabulous.

We were able to have a conversation with Dean, and, as usual, it went far afield into storytelling techniques, comic making process, the anatomy of a sentient city, and his mom.

Below is a transcript of the majority of our interview.

Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Dean Haspiel”

Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Frank Gogol

Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Frank Gogol

Frank Gogol is a budding comic writer who has produced some impressive work in his short career so far. He is an alumnus of the Comic Experience program, and has displayed a lot of maturity in his writing. We met Frank last year on the con circuit and were immediately impressed.

His collection of short stories, Grief,  was printed by Source Point Press last year and has recently been nominated in the Best Anthology category for the 2018 Ringo Awards. Voting for industry professionals is still open.

Frank’s latest work is Dead End Kids. It is a three issue mini-series on which he is working with Nenad Cvitcanin and Sean Rinehart. It is also being published by Source Point Press. Issue #2 came out last week, and issue #3 is due on September 25th.

We spoke to Frank earlier this summer and below is the result of that conversation. Before we got started in the question and answer portion of this discussion, Frank and I were talking about the Final Order Cutoff, or FOC for those in the trade, for issue #1. He stated that people would still be able to order the issue past the FOC until the print run was gone. Low and behold, since we spoke the first issue sold out at the distributor. So, it is good.

Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Frank Gogol”

Brainiac On Banjo #050: Comics and the Cost of Doing Business

Brainiac On Banjo #050: Comics and the Cost of Doing Business

The price of a comic book jumped 267% during the 1970s, from 15 cents to 40. The pace slowed down by half between 2009 and 2018, from $2.99 to $3.99. It’s that last number I am going to discuss, and I’ll start with Stan Lee.

(For the record, price points differ between publishers and, sometimes, titles so the above reflects the “typical” Marvel/DC title. Your statistical analysis may vary.)

Back in the 1970s, Stan was making a signing appearance at my buddy Larry Charet’s iconic comic book store on Devon Avenue in Chicago. It was cool, as seeing Stan at a store back then was rare – so rare that it was long before people started charging for autographs and selfies. One fan asked the question “Why are comic books so expensive all of a sudden?” Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #050: Comics and the Cost of Doing Business”

Preview Reviews for the week of 9/4/2019: Battlepug #1 and Going to the Chapel #1

Preview Reviews for the week of 9/4/2019: Battlepug #1 and Going to the Chapel #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 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 we have TWO preview comics. The first is the debut of Battlepug by Mike Norton and Allen Passalaqua, published by Image Comics. The second book is the premiere issue of Going to the Chapel by David Pepose and Gavin Guidry from Action Lab. Both of these books have been eagerly anticipated and are featured in our New Number Ones column for September.

You can find Battlepug and Going to the Chapel at your LCS on August 28, 2019. Continue reading “Preview Reviews for the week of 9/4/2019: Battlepug #1 and Going to the Chapel #1”

Everything We Read Special: Marvel Comics #1000

Everything We Read Special: Marvel Comics #1000

MAIN COVER BY ALEX ROSS

Normally we use this space to do quick spoiler-free reviews of all the comics we read for the current week. Today we are bringing you a special review of just one book. It is the 80-page giant publication of Marvel Comics #1000.

I know what you are thinking. There haven’t been one thousand issues of Marvel Comics. Yeah. You are right. In an effort to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of Marvel Comics, Marvel has put together a special book. The folks at Marvel did not even try to engage in the creative accounting that their counterparts at DC Comics did in terms of getting to the number that they did with Action Comics #1000 and Detective Comics #1000. They have said that the number is merely “symbolic”.

The narrative idea behind the book, which is the brainchild of writer Al Ewing, is interesting. The book is a collection of one-page stories. Each story is produced by a different creative team and is meant to highlight or recall a particular event from Marvel Comics history for a particular year in the past eighty. While there are plenty of interesting one offs in the homages, what really makes the book interesting is a narrative thread that Ewing ties through several pages to explore the history of the Marvel Universe. Continue reading “Everything We Read Special: Marvel Comics #1000”