MARVELLOUS DEBUT: A quick check-in with the toxic male comics fandom to start the show. A few weeks ago, Andrew and D. Bethel talked about how proponents for ComicsGate and their robot army were trying to tank Captain Marvel well before it released into theaters with negative scores on Rotten Tomatoes. The hosts just wanted to recognize that Marvel Studios’ newest movie debuted to record-breaking ticket sales, thoroughly debunking and neutering the latest efforts by those who try to gatekeep and, honestly, destroy comics fandom and its associated medium.
A LOT OF GREY AREA: A new trailer for the live-action adaptation of the classic Disney animate feature, Aladdin, went live this week and while the first trailer made Andrew and D. cautiously optimistic, this new one got both of them fully on-board. They talk about adaptations again, specifically from medium to medium (like, in this case, animation to live-action) and why it’s a good thing for adapters (is that the word?) to break with tradition and say something unique even with a beloved property.
Shortcast 74 – Texas the Rabbit: Where Andrew and D. Bethel talked about ComicsGate’s first attempt to show how comics should be made (and fail at doing so). Also, the RELEVANT EPISODES in the show notes have a comprehensive bibliography of other episodes where ComicsGate was discussed.
21st Century Mouse (22 Feb. 2019): Where D. Bethel discussed the live-action adaptation of Battle Angel, focusing on the choices the filmmakers made to bring the story of the manga and anime to a live-action film.
“Boasts of Bethel: Getting to the Point“: Going into the wayback machine, D. Bethel wrote down his thoughts about adapting stories from one medium to another, using the relationship between A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones as a reference point (spoiler free).
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew goes back to the wasteland for the first time as he plays Fantasy Flight’s board game version of Fallout, while D. Bethel does a postmortem on the X-Men-based Fox television show, The Gifted, after its second (and final?) season finale [SPOILER ALERT].
HIGHER, FURTHER, FASTER (THAN THE TROLLS CAN FOLLOW): As with many nerdy movies lately that have been labeled as being damaging to the field, Marvel’s upcoming tent-pole film, Captain Marvel (the first from Marvel Studios to have a woman in the lead role), aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes have been targeted by these organized hate campaigns by getting “review bombed.” This means people have taken the steps to make sure sites like Rotten Tomatoes––a site many people visit to see how upcoming movies are trending and reviewing––show a low anticipation or review score with the hope of scaring off potential viewers and condemning the film to low box office receipts. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was victim to this as was 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot and, in possibly in a successful campaign, Solo: A Star Wars Story got hit hard. However, Captain Marvel is on track to break records with ticket presales and be a big smash at theaters.
Andrew and D. Bethel investigate this continuing trend, how Rotten Tomatoes is actually, finally, doing something about this habit, and discuss how and why Captain Marvel seems to be beating the odds.
A brief overview from Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics‘ episode about Milestone Comics:
WEEK IN GEEK: Both Andrew and D. went to see new movies over the last few weeks, so they can enter the incredibly potent world of hot takes as Andrew discusses how The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part delivers on the promise of the first one and D. tries to figure out what he thinks of Alita: Battle Angel and if he can separate nostalgia and snobbery from cinematic compromise.
Bethel, D. “The Year — 2018: Comics.” Long John. 28 Dec. 2018.
D. Bethel summarizes his experiences reading through the entirety of the original BattleAngel manga by Yukito Kishiro (and published by Kodansha Comics).
THE CLIPS EPISODE: Due to a distortion of the space-time continuum, Andrew ended up on his own to record an episode. Instead of 50 minutes of dead air, he decided to throw together a clips episode featuring past segments on Star Trek!
The lauded limited podcast series returns with a new episode as well as a fan-favorite co-host, Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics as he and D. Bethel (check out his webcomic, Long John, and his podcast, A Podcast [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes) pair up to take on the first StocktonCon Winter show. This episode focuses on the strange space that indie creators inhabit, that realm between fan and professional and how those waters can get muddied, especially when it comes to reading and respecting creators from your childhood (there is a lot of Rob Liefeld talk in these conversations) to meeting your heroes as a creator in your own right.
CORRECTION: D. Bethel said that one of the Uncanny X-Men issues he had Jim Lee sign was #249; he meant to say it was #248. All apologies.
Con Artists #01 – StocktonCon, pt. 1 : The drive home from the first day of the show. Kyrun and D. discuss making sales, confidence, and the comics they grew up reading and enjoying.
Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2 : The drive to StocktonCon to start Day 2 of the show. They discuss the importance of continuity, the level of fan engagement and ownership over continuity, and Dan’s strange reading habits growing up.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew and D. finally return to video games for their Weeks in Geek. Andrew gets lost (in a good way) playing Subnautica by Unknown Worlds Entertainment while D. Bethel explores the mysterious labyrinthine world found in Team Cherry‘s Hollow Knight.
Part 1 of D. Bethel’s playthrough of Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon:
MIRA DEL MAHER: Bill Maher redoubles his “complaints” against adult comic book fans on a recent episode of his show, Real Time with Bill Maher, in an editorial titled, “Grow Up” (from the “New Rules” segment he does at the end of his show). Andrew and D. examine less the content of his argument and more the ideas it intersects, discussing the need for fandom self-reflection, literature and literary history, the Western canon, and the invented division between “high” and “low” art.
Though linked above, here is the segment in question:
Wikipedia article about one of the earliest examples of this thing called “comics”, The Yellow Kid.
Comics writer, Peter David, responds to the segment:
Cat Valente’s Response to Maher’s comments on Twitter (click on the tweet to read the entire thread):
Last night, Bill Maher went on a rant about comic books & those who love them & the generation (it rhymes with Schmelennials!) that uses words like #adulting & doesn’t want to give up the things they loved as kids or grow up
Well my name is Miss Valente & I got something to say
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew takes dives into season three of Netflix’s The Travelers and ponders how it continually plays with time travel in interesting ways while D. Bethel gets educated and affected by the Netflix documentary, Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski––a documentary about artist Stanisław Szukalski and his time trying to create a national artistic identity for Poland, his brush with nationalism, his loss of everything due to Nazi occupation, and his rediscovery by a bunch of scraggly Los Angeles underground comix makers.
Here’s the trailer for Travelers, season 3:
And here’s the trailer for Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski:
NERD LAW, 2019: Two unrelated but intriguingly similar trademark cases have made the rounds in the news this last week. Chooseco, the owner of the Choose Your Own Adventure franchise has brought a lawsuit to Netflix over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and the tenuous if not honorific connections that movie has to the classic children’s book series. In the world of video games, the Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations has sued Take Two––owners of Rockstar Games––for the apparent vilification of the company in the developer’s highly successful late-2018 release, Red Dead Redemption 2. Andrew and D. Bethel sound the Nerd Law alarm and discuss these two cases in depth.
Dan will be tabling at Stocktoncon Winter this Sunday, January 20, with Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics yet again (which hints at a return of the Con Artists limited podcast series)! If you’re in the area, please stop by. For more information, read this post at Long John or go straight to the source at Stocktoncon.com. Hope to see you there!