VFCast! Season 5 Episode 2 : Low Hanging Fruit

Title: Chew Volume 1 : Taster’s Choice
Author: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: December 8, 2009

It is strange to really dislike something so universally beloved. It is also strange to talk to your buddies, with very similar tastes about it. You start out really gentle, like… “Dude, what did you think of, Chew? Did you like it?”

And he doesn’t want to ruin your good vibes, if you dug on it, so he is all like “Well I thought it had …. problems…”

And then you feel a gush of relief. “Yeah, some. I think i  can name a large number, actually.’”

There are podcasts out there that love to hate the books they read. We do not. We have more fun-loving on something than hating on it. The podcast is a lot of fun. It is worth the effort. We have thought about only podcasting on things we can give a positive review to.

We don’t. Somehow it feels dishonest to do that. I can’t quite put my finger on it….

Still, there is a sense of relief when you realize your friends hate the same things you do, rest of the world be damned.

But Agent Chu digs me, don’t you, Chu?

Chew 003 p19

VF Cast Season 4 Episode 6: Thank you Joe Eisma!

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Title: Morning Glories Vol. 1 
Author: Nick Spencer 
Artist: Joe Eisma
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 1, 2011

Leland and I could spend infinity time making fun of strange conspiracy theories on the Interwebs! Seriously, guys, there is a whole group of people who are 100% convinced that we had a cultural exchange program with the aliens from a planet called Serpo. The whole damn brunt of this theory seems to go like this. “

Dude 1: “Hey Dude 2! I read a great book today. It scribed by da ACC, yo! What if Aliens visited us, man?”

Dude 2: “I am totally not about to fuck with you, Dude 1! That totally happened. Arthur Cdawg totes has an inside man in the gover’mint!”

Dude 1: *Mind Blown*

Dude 1: *Relaxes for a minute and then founds serpo.org*

Oh! If you are a Serpo believer, and you think the facts stand for themselves, email us, ask to join a podcast, or post a comment on the blog. Convince me, and I’ll convince Leland for you. It is well known that so goes Leland so goes the legitimacy of your conspiracy theory. [Your conspiracy theory is irrelevant. -L]

If you feel like we shorted you on Nick Spencer research listed to our last podcast. If you feel like we shorted you on Joe Eisma research, than you can suck it, you got great humor in its place!

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Secret Boyfriend – “Jamaica Berlin” and Hunter Gatherer – “Junior Atlas”. Intro music is “Action Figures” used by permission from Masai.

VFCast Season 3 Episode 20: Jedi Mind Tricks and More Slasher Movies

HackSlash cover

Title: Hack/Slash: Volume 1: First Cut
Author: 
Tim Seeley Artist: Various 
Publisher: Image Comics (Previously Devil’s Due Publishing) 
Release Date: Various

Even after after podcasting and more thought about Hack/Slash I’m just not sure that one can identify as a feminist and enjoy this book as much as I do. Its just … exploitative. Perhaps it is problematic for models of female sexual awakening to be written and imagined by male authors, but I really don’t think that male authors have to constrain themselves to male protagonists.  but something about the sexy, sexy, girl in danger upsets me, in a sexy and dangerous way. Then again, perhaps that is just the rectification of the chattel norm as perpetuated by the heteronormative power structure I am so subconsciously comfortable with. Perhaps Seeley’s examination of violence, de-sexualized, for the most part, stands as a criticism of the “violence against is always rape” script of mainstream superhero comics. Perhaps it is just fun to watch pretty girls hit monsters with bats!

Being a feminist comic book fan is hard, ya all! If you care about feminism and comics, read this one and tell me what you think?

[For those of you who noticed that this podcast posted late, you can blame Alan Kunts, our errant Vestrymen blonde correspondent. Homey got married last weekend, I was in the wedding, whole think sort of murdered my productivity.-lwebb]

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Jack Ruby – “ Hit and Run”, The Humberts – “Charlene”, and Whore Paint – “This Body”. Intro music is “Action Figures” used by permission from Masai.

VFCast Season 3 Episode 18: Ed Brubaker vs, Italian Cinema, Fight!

Fatale-creeps-out-with-a-mix-of-noir-horror-51PS5PF-x-large

Fatale might be more than Leland and I gave it credit for. Perhaps it is an examination of evil. It is just possible that in each chapter the kind of evil Brubaker is examining becomes more abstract, less driven by understandable human desires. By the last act we have an evil that totally sublimates human reasoning, replacing them with elemental evil.

I often think that when others like something more than we do that we are missing something, not catching a key part of the book. Perhaps we missed some subtle joke, some intense moment of character exposition, some dark sorcery driving the whole book from “good” to “great.”

Perhaps we are just bastards who hate fun. Who knows?

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Youth Avoiders – “ Run”, and Crown the Invisible – “The Spaniard that Blighted My Life”. Intro music is “Action Figure” used by permission from Masai.

A hot mess

My favorite comics blog calls the current age of comics the Platinum Age. Scipio is not wrong, not but I think it is clear that there is more going in the current age of comics than he has accounted for. It is fair to note that it has been four years since he wrote the linked piece and the landscape has changed significantly. Who wants to be fair really?. I’d rather 328936-118779-justice-league-of-am_superwrite about where the industry is today.

The New 52, Marvel Now, and The Avengers move have all come out since 2009, proving Scripo’s analysis of the superhero genre is on the nose.  Superhero comics are currently in something that would fairly be called “The Platinum Age.”

Something interesting is happening around the edges, though. Comic books have broadened themselves out again. The comics code authority’s rise in the mid 50s ended horror, noir crime and any sexually explicit comics. Starting in the 80s we saw some of these genres returning to publication, but to me, looking back, many of those works feel juvenile; like a 15-year-old trying so hard to prove they could be an adult. At their worst The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen feel like shock media, though never for long, and 250px-Youngblood_01_covernever in the same way The Youngbloods do.

I just interrupted my reading of Ed Bubaker and Sean Phillips moody Fatale to write this. We read and loved Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth Stumptown recently. Though neither Leland or I love Multiple Warheads or Saga as much as the zeitgeist seems to they are works of substance and value. Fantasy comics, which have always had a slow, reliable market seem to be bursting out of their corner with Mice Templar and Amethyst. Soft and hard sci-fi comics litter the shelves, from a surprisingly good Star Wars title to the delightfuly whimsical Lost Vegas. Valliant comics is insuring that the Dark Age is forgotten, publishing a grip of well reviewed anti-heroes.

Though Scripo’s analysis is shiny, it is important to include the revitalization of neglected and abandoned genres that is a part of today’s landscape. Today’s creators throwing together the gold, silver, bronze, iron, platinum, and the metals forgotten between the ages, churning them together, distilling their mistakes, their creative brilliance, and their pure joy to create something new. The current age of comics is pushing at the edges of what you expect, forcing us to consider what is possible, what it means to be a creator, a reader, a fan, or an admirer. It is an exciting time to be a part of the comic book industry, even only as a fan and commenter in the Age of Alloys.

VFCast Season 3 Episode 17: Saga: Star Wars for Perverts!

No part of me is ever ‘safe for work.’ I am an unsafe worker, bitches. I got fired by OSHA! This podcast is, however, less safe for work than our normal podcast.

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Title: Saga Volume 1 
Author: Brian K. Vaugn
Artist: Fiona Staples   
Publisher: Image Comics    
Release Date: October 10, 2012

So for the next month or so we are gonna be catching up with the hip kids. Every time someone says to me “Wait you are not reading x” we are gonna buy that ‘x’ thing and read it. You can imagine how quickly our reading queue is filling up. We are starting with Saga.

What do you want me to say about Saga? You are surprised that we haven’t been reading 545_-_1024x768_amalgam_comics_batman_cape_claws_comic_darkclaw_fusion_marvel_comics_moon_rooftop_skin_tight_wallpaper_wolverineit? So are we. You want me to tell you how awesome it is? Listen to the podcast if you want to know what we think about it! You wanna it to be more Batman-y? Just read the parts with The Will and ignore everything else [Wait… since when is Batman an amoral bounty hunter? -L]. Same thing if you want it to be more Wolverine-y, actually. You could also read Dark Claw in that case. I think you might enjoy reading Saga more, though.

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Eaters – “Ginger Ninja”, and Long Hair – “Ye’ Vessel”. Intro music is “Action Figure” used by permission from Masai.

Reviews from the Future: Mice Templar Volume IV: Legend #1

You want world-building of in simpler, more elegant prose than Brian Michael Bendis is capable of on his best day? You want stories painted with a broader brush told in a more epic tone than Neil Gaiman’s worst day? You want to listen to an interview with Bryan JL Glass? For the first two things pick up The Mice Templar Volume IV: Legend #1; For the last thing go check out our bddies The Astroboys’ Mice Templar podcast!

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Title: Mice Templar Volume IV: Legend #1
Author: Bryan JL Glass
Artist: Victor Santos 
Publisher: Image Comics  
Release Date: 3/27/2013

Are you still here after that bombastic intro? Well then I guess you deserve a proper review. Mice Templar Volume IV: Legend #1: The Long Title left me wanting more and honestly what else could you want from a 30 page comic book?

Mice Templar is a story of war, the cost of betrayal,  fluffy ears, and revenge. Glass is, as noted above, painting with broad strokes. Things move right along, even when the first half of the book is dedicated to ex positional storytelling. Every character choice has an immediate, direct, and meaningful impact on the world around them. Nothing is left on the table and nothing is held back. The immediacy and directness of story had me gritting my teeth and anxiously anticipating the next panel and page.

Victor Santos’ art somehow manages to simultaneously humanize and otherize Glass’ woodland protagonists, letting us empathize with their struggles and the bitterness that is at the core of the story while still reminding us that mouse culture is as alien to a modern American Klingon culture.

At its worst this book is trying just a little too hard. The language can get a little florid at times and the close-ups of a mice with a single tear flowing across their face fur can feel gratuitous after a third or fourth time.

An enjoyable read, a must have for fans of the series, and a decent jumping point if you are for some reason allergic to buying trade paperbacks or starting from the beginning.

Vestrymen Grade: For Fans

VFCast! Season 3 Episode 11: [Insert long and awkward Mormon joke here]

Orson Scott Card is in the news and so we read the only OSC book we had floating around! Get ready for Indians, Folk Magic, Mormon Overtones, and a model of the compassionate hero in Red Prophet.

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[Begin interjection by Leland:]

Wet dog, yo.

First and foremost, we apologize a trillion times for the lateness of this podcast. My vacation, combined with the unexpected death of my puppy, led to a series of unfortunate events that pushed publishing the podcast back further than anticipated from when we recorded it on Friday. We hope you still enjoy it, late as it may be. Here is a picture of my late dog, because we know you all love pictures of dogs almost as much as you love videos of sleepy kittens. We’re sorry, we are for real.

[End of interjection. Carry on, Cabel.]

Whatever you think about Orson Scott Card’s politics or social beliefs I always find his creative voice to be unique. Card is geeky without being too self-aware, and is thoughtful while avoiding the descent into pseudo-intellectual profundity. Card’s heroes are deeply committed to kindness without the feeling like OSC is cheating for them; He never oversimplifies the worlds he creates in order to give ‘softies’ an artificial advantage. Card’s characters are always aware of intersectionality, race, and gender politics without often making me feel like I’m being preached to. Card is not either of The Vestrymens’ favorite author, but he generally spins a good yarn, and I loved Ender’s Game.

Red Prophet is a unique experience, both as a comic book, and as story archtype. I wonder what OSC’s Superman story would have been about.

You can download this podcast here: Vestrymen Season 3 Episode 11

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Crete Boom– “Evil Brother”, Lucey Foley – “Making Circles”, and Bell X1 – “The Great Defector”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Reviews for 3/6/2013

A heist, an epic battle of wills, a HUGE plot twist and dark musings all await in this week’s quick reviews! We’ll tell you all about SSM #5, Detective Comics #18, Lost Vegas #1, and SEX #1! We also have a New Review Metric!

LVegas_Cover_1

Detective Comics #18

DTC_Cv18_ds_02WRITTEN BY: John Layman
ART BY: Jason Fabok
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: March 6, 2013

Did you ever think, “God I am so tried of writers like Morrison, Slott, Fraction, and McCann? Writers who take risks, challenge me, and force me to re-engage their work, and by extension the world around me?!? I just want The Goddam Batman all the time!” Well now you have what you wanted and I had to read it. I hope you are happy!  #redskycrossover #dramaticbatmanpose

Vestrymen Grade: Don’t Buy

Sex #1

Sex 001 (2013) (Digital) (Darkness-Empire) 01WRITTEN BY: Joe Casey
ART BY: Piotr Kowalski
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: March 6, 2013

SEX! Rebellion! Also remember DKR #2? Not really? *Spoiler Alert* I’ve felt a little trolly this week! Sex is trolling me harder then I’m trolling Sex though. I don’t know how to engage this work.

Vestrymen Grade: Buy this Book

The Superior Spider-Man #5

Superior-Spider-Man-5-DC21_LR-1WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ART BY: Giuseppe Camuncoli
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: March 6, 2013

You mad fanboyzzz? The Superior Spider-Man is a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker every could hope to be. He is smarter, faster, darker, and more Batmanarific!

Vestrymen Grade: Put It On Your Pull List!

Lost Vegas #1

lost-vegas-1-coverWRITTEN BY: Jim McCann
ART BY: Jane Lee
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: March 6, 2013

Remember Han Solo? What if he was a prisoner of Space Vegas?

Vestrymen Grade: Buy This Book

 

You can download this podcast and consume it later here: Reviews from the Future! 3-6-2013

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.

Audio Quick Reviews for 2/27/2013

The Vestrymen sit down for a Morrison-y quick review session. Batman Inc #8, Happy #4, Action Comics #17, and Hawkeye #8. A lot of great runs started about eight months ago, I guess.

Action Comics #17

AC_Cv17WRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Brad Walker & Rags Morales
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2013

We like trade paperbacks. We are certain that Morrison, who is co-hosting our podcast with us this week, is better in TPB format than in pamphlets. If go back and read Action Comics 1-18 and still think Superman is boring, I command you to tell me why!

Vestrymen Grade: A-

Happy #4

Happy_41-300x461WRITTEN BY:  Grant Morrison
ART BY: Darick Robertson
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2013

Did you expect Happy! to get LESS insane as its run went on? Well its likely you are winning lots of money in your office comic book pool. Happy! was a delightful read, and it is too bad Morrison isn’t writing anything else of note right now.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Batman Incorporated #8

robin-batman-inc-8-variantWRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Chris Burnham
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 27, 2013

If you miss Batman & Robin the way I do reading this book will feel a little bit like your favorite TV show had a reunion and you where invited. And then something else happens. No spoilers in quick reviews.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Hawkeye #8

detailWRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: David Aja
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 27, 2013

Every month we give this comic a great review and every month it seems to get better than the month before. I might be just a little in love with every woman that David Aja draws. They don’t even have to say one word and already I’ve fallen for an imaginary woman, which is good, ‘cuz I should be in love on Valentine’s Day.

Vestrymen Grade: A+

You can download this podcast if you desire: Reviews from the Future! 2-27-2013

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.