VFCast Episode 9: Spacemen… From Space!

Stare at the Doctor's ass! Stare you fools and be lost!

Episode 9: Spacemen … From Space

So creepy!  

 

Next Week:

Vestrymen From The Future is produced under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. “The Future Soon” and “Mandelbrot Set” are owned by Jonathan Coulton and are used under the Creative Commons license. 

VFCast Episode 8: Pamphlet Roulette

Episode 8: Pamphlet roulette


The Snakeeyes thing is literally just this scene over and over

  • Our feature is Gold Digger 127. Its like The Twilight Saga, but way more fun! We liked it, sorta!

 

Next Week!

  • All Doctor Who all the time. What more could you want?


Police Procedurals and Why They Make Awesome COMICS

So Lee and I have been watching lots of Bones. Its a good show with lots of SCIENCE! and interesting and dynamic characters. Its a great police procedural full of pathos drama, interesting turns and great character moments and development. Because I have a comic podcast and comic blog I often try to connect what is happening in my everyday life to comics. This has lead me to think about good police procedurals in comics. There is no reason comics can’t do these kinds of stories well, and they have.

Gotham Central

What It Is

We’ve talked about Gotham Central before. Its a GREAT procedural. There are stories about evidence gathering, people’s hidden natures, canvassing for witnesses,  and interdepartmental politics. Also every once and a while Batman shows up and glares at people until they give him what he wants.

Why it works

Gotham Central reads a lot like the more intimate cop shows on TV. It gets close to its characters, but never too close. We are always following professionals, and their stories would not be out of place in a Nolan film in terms of their focus on their jobs above all else. By letting cops and cop work be the center of the stories he tells Brubaker gets to play a coy game of hide and seek with the oddness of the DC Universe that his beat cops inhabit. Often its easy to forget that these cops are doing anything besides run down normal leads. And then all of the sudden, out of no where, suddenly Firefly’s suit is shooting at our cops, and Batman is fighting the stranger in it. It manages to deal with huge changes in tone, not by trying to escape the tension, but by embracing it. The brutal changes in tone let us get nice character moments, letting Brubaker and Rucka put extreme and sudden stress on their characters without upsetting the world they live in.

Where it runs into problems

Gotham Central balances on a razors edge between the extreme humanness of Brubaker’s characters and the oddness of the supehero genre that this book exists. When it tips too far one way or another it looses a ton of its magic. Like Brubaker’s lesser works it becomes predictable, uninteresting, and without any emotional hook. Instead of telling a paint-by-numbers superhero story, our friend Ed, tells a paint by numbers Law and Order plot.  In fairness the problem is with the setting and the the shared genre conventions more than with the genre as a whole.

Daredevil, the ed Brubaker run

I’d forgotten that the super-procedural run on Daredevil was written by Ed Brubaker. Had I payed more attention at the beginning of this post I could have just called it, “Brubaker: Law and Order: Superhero Version.”

Why it works

This specific Daredevil run features the Man in Red as a supporting character to Matt Murdock and the Murdock law offices. All the supporting characters are members of Nelson & Murdock’s legal team and most stories are focused on some sort of legal battle. Murdock mostly puts on his tights to give the defense a little illegal boost here and there. The plots are tightly and interestingly conceived, the writing is spot on, and the characters are interesting, conflicted and fully fleshed out. Its a great read.

When it doesn’t

Near the end of this run, leading up to the Shadowland event all the interesting legal and character work gets left behind in the face an event neither conceived or penned by the Bru. The whole event is muddled, overwritten and just plain unfun. It takes Daredevil in a direction that undersells his strengths and is an almost exact rehash of a story told just 30 issues ago. Again, the conceit of a superhero inspired procedural works really well when the book is allowed to pull equally from both sides of its heritage. When either becomes too dominant the books loose their charm.

Closing thoughts

I’d really like to track down some of this work that is no indebted to the massively interesting and creative mind of Mr. Brubaker and see how they read. He is the unchallenged master of the sub-genre at this point, but it would be nice to see someone else give themselves a shot. Still I loved both books and I hope to see more like them.

VFcast Episode 7: We Buy Whatever the Hell the People at the Comic Book Store Tell Us To

Power rings are for chumps, use your ghost key!

 


  • Locke & Key is a lot of creepy fun. It might be too creepy for you. You should probably buy Volume 2 and then send it to us.


Next week:  We poll the Comics Warehouse staff about their favorite new releases, buy those books, and read them!

I danced with one girl and flirting, relentlessly with another.

But it did get me thinking about comics. Comics really have no romance in the true sense of the word. Romance is about seeking something; searching for something that is just out of reach. It is dancing with the women in the bar from Catcher in the Rye, who float like butterflies in your arms. It’s smiling at a pretty girl who passes you in the street not knowing what may come of it. It’s going to dinner with someone completely in love with their boyfriend.  It’s making bad choices for love.

Comic romances always seem predetermined. Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris where in some sort of romance since the first Green Lantern appearance, Superman rescues Lois Lane in Action Comics #1, Barry Allen and Iris  seem to be dating from the word :run.” Where is the tension? Where is the give and take between two competing intrests? Where is the fight to establish everlasing love?It not like non-mainstream books do any better Spider doesn’t have it (that horny bastard), Lucifer doesn’t have anything worth calling romance, and The Authority, from what I hear, are sex caized muther fuckers.

So who is hiding the True Romance stories? The stories where partners have to fight to find, learn about, like, and eventually fall in love with each other. In the real world people don’t fall in love before their stories are written, so why can we get some stories about people struggling to find each other? Where is the battle in the romance?

Just to annoy Lee, (I think its true too, so thats a plus) I’m going to provide the following theory. One of the best examples of comic book romance? Spider-man! This dude’s love life is MESSY, yo! His first love is reasonablly afraid that his second love is going to steal him away. He kills his first love, and never quite gets over her. He sells his second love affair to The Devil for even bigger concerns. They are still in love, but its far to complicaed. Spider-man is True Romance. He fights for the Women he is in love with. He looses sometimes. He cares about them, because of their flaws, not in spite of them. He seeks them past the temptations of others. He dates other women, only to (prediction here) come back to his true love. All hail the new exemplar of romance: Spider-man.

The Women in 'fridges people have a point. I could have choosen from literally hundreds of panels of MJ and Peter being terrible to each other

Well Perhaps Not…

Blankets does do a good job, though…

VFcast Episode 6: Escalating Amounts of Weird

We do that thing we do

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



  • Freakshow might have zombies, used to have superman and has awesome art. We review it.


  • We discuss X-men: Age of X: Alpha. We hate it so much we almost like it, except that we really, really hate it.

Next Week