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Con Artists #05 – No Con 2020

Con Artists #05 – No Con 2020

Everything has changed in the wake of COVID-19. This applies, of course, to indie comic creators, for whom the pandemic hit especially hard in terms of income. With gatherings of people not likely to happen in any safe capacity for awhile, it has many creators asking, “What do we do in a world without comic conventions?”

D. Bethel and Taurus Comics’ Kyrun Silva sit down to talk about creating comics during a pandemic. While a dour topic generally, they manage to find the laughs amid the serious discussion of the future of indie comics and the conventions they hold so dear.

RELEVANT LINKS:

OTHER EPISODES:

REFERENCES:

  • The infamous “Sweet Justice” poster:
art by D. Bethel.
  • The YouTube playlist of the short videos D. Bethel made for Chapter 4 of his webcomic (the music changes regularly after the fourth or so video; he was playing catch-up):

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Road Music” by D. Bethel
-“Bounce” by D. Bethel

2019: Reigniting Geekdom

2019: Reigniting Geekdom

This year we are hosting a variety of looks back at 2019 as hosts and friends-of-the-show offer up the things that defined the year for them. Today we hear from indie comic creator, friend-of-the-show, and Con Artists co-host, Kyrun Silva (from Taurus Comics), talk about what 2019 meant to him.


2019 was an interesting year of nerd and geek culture for me. The year came with a lot of highs and lows, but for the sake of this retrospective I’ve decided to stick with the highs. This year brought a lot of change for me and my family when it came to our geekdom. I continued to find that my love for comics keeps changing; in a sense, I was reintroduced to a medium that had been almost forgotten to me for awhile and my childhood dreams finally were able to come true and assemble.

INDIE COMICS

Though it started in 2018, in 2019 I really started to notice that my love for comics had started to shift. This year I noticed my tastes for books going away from the mainstream things that Marvel and DC brought to the table and turning more towards indie publishers. This change solidified in the trimming of my saver list at my local comic book shop. Where once I had fifteen to twenty books that my shop saved for me each month, I now maybe five are saved.

A sampling of Taurus Comics characters: (clockwise from top left) Starcore, Malik from Shaman’s Destiny, Xob the Lightning Wielder, and Ruby. Art by Michael Dorman (lines) and Anthony D. Lee (colors).

Part of this is the ability to watch Marvel and DC’s characters on the big and small screen. The ability to regularly see the Flash, X-Men, and others took away a bit for my need to read their ongoing comic book exploits. The major reason, though, is that I’m so engrossed in the indie comic book culture. I know and follow so many amazing creators that I want to support and buy their books as much as possible. This has left me with little funds to support big name publishers.

I enjoy indie books so much that I find myself supporting and advocating for them when someone asks me about comics; I even mention indie books before I mention any from the big publishers. With books that range from standard superhero lore to horror comics to anything and everything else, the indie community truly has something for everyone. Yes, you will find some duds here and there, but overall the indie community produces hit after hit at every turn.

ANIME

2019 also brought back an old friend to me and my family: anime.

Though I have been watching anime since the ’80s and ’90s, I haven’t been able to appreciate all the available books, shows, and movies. With comic books, sports, and family obligations, I just haven’t been able to watch anime like I had before. That seemed to change in 2019, not just for me but for my family.

It actually started with the series One Punch Man. My oldest son had been watching the series before any of us and asked if we could watch it while we ate dinner one night. From that point on, my family was hooked. My wife, my 3 boys and I watched One Punch Man every week when new episodes came out. But we had a problem, we had binged all the episodes and the next season wasn’t out yet. We needed a fix and fast.

(R-L) One Punch Man, My Hero Academia, Naruto, and Demon Slayer Source: (L-R) Viz Media, Funimation, Viz Media, Aniplex of America.

In came My Hero Academia, and it blew our minds. The action, the storylines, the character development. It was everything we had wanted and more. So, again as a family, we started binging another series.

But that wasn’t enough for us.

My wife and other son started watching Naruto and it’s 600+ episodes and I started getting into the series, Demon Slayer. Anime had become so important to us, we started contemplating if we should dress up as anime characters for Halloween––that is still up in the air. However, it is nice to have something that we all enjoy, something that we can talk about and look forward to as a family of fans.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME

Avengers: Endgame was not only a milestone for 2019, but for the last ten years of Marvel movies. Source: Marvel Studios

“AVENGERS…..ASSEMBLE!” Those two words, exclaimed by Chris Evans playing Captain America in Avengers: Endgame was the highlight of 2019 for me.

As the culmination of 10 years of Marvel movies, I’m sure I’m not the only person to think this was one of the highlights of 2019, but for me it was a dream that 13 year old Kyrun never would have imagined possible. The idea that theatres would be packed to see a comic book movie was unthinkable in the ’80s and ’90s, but today it’s the norm. With what Marvel has done we almost expect them to be massive hits.

‘Nuff Said. Source: Marvel Studios

Endgame also brought an end to an era. Seeing these heroes come to life and die was like watching a friend leave. I’m not going to lie, I shed a couple tears during Endgame the first few times I saw it. I for sure screamed and cheered when Cap wielded Mjolnir. I cheered when Thanos was defeated. I was there when Iron Man first donned his suit on the big screen in 2008, and I’ll be there for whatever they bring in the future.

So, that’s my 2019. It was a great year. There are more I could have mentioned, but I felt these were the biggest ones for me.


Sacramento native, Kyrun Silva, broke onto the comic creation scene in 2015 launching his first independent title, Shaman’s Destiny. 2017 saw the beginning of Taurus Comics, a new solo small press line dedicated to the many worlds Kyrun is bringing to life, including Shaman’s Destiny, Xob the Lightning Wielder, Ruby From Planet Oz, Pathfinders, Starcore, Donner Lane, and more to come. Kyrun has also been the co-host to the spin-off podcast, Con Artists, with D. Bethel.

Con Artists #04 – StocktonCon Winter 2019

Con Artists #04 – StocktonCon Winter 2019

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.

OTHER EPISODES:

  • 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.
  • Con Artists #03 – StocktonCon, pt. 3 : Where Kyrun and D. talk about the breadth of indie comics, writing comics, and dive headfirst into personal nostalgia.

REFERENCES:

Art by Kyrun Silva.

  • The panel from Frank Miller’s Rōnin that Rob Liefeld homaged in New Mutants #100:

Top: Frank Miller’s Ronin (source: DC Comics)/ Bottom: Rob Liefeld’s New Mutants #100 (source: Marvel Comics)

  • And, for what it’s worth, here is a photograph of a 13 year-old D. Bethel at 1994’s San Diego Comic Con showing Jim Lee the mysterious foil card in its snug plastic case:

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Special thanks to Kyrun Silva for agreeing to being recorded and for driving us to and from the convention.

FEATURED GUEST:

-Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics

FEATURED RECORDING EQUIPMENT:

-Tascam DR-40

FEATURED EXISTENTIAL WESTERN WEBCOMIC:

Long John

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Road Music” by D. Bethel
-“Bounce” by D. Bethel

Con Artists #03 – StocktonCon, pt. 3

Con Artists #03 – StocktonCon, pt. 3

In the final episode of this initial experimental run of Con Artists, the second and final day of StocktonCon has come to a close and rather than have an exhausted (which they were) drive home, Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics and D. Bethel again probe into different aspects of reading, making, and selling comics. They probe the circumstances that would have to occur to go pro, the processes of writing and editing comics, the different facets of indie comics, and dive deep into nostalgia to close out the weekend.

Creating this podcast ended up being a very enlightening process, shining light on angles of creativity previously hidden by ignorance, willful or otherwise. We hope you’ve enjoyed Con Artists and, with luck, there will be more in the future!

OTHER EPISODES:

  • 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.

REFERENCES:

  • Kyrun’s favorite cover from his favorite run of Darkhawk:

Cover to Darkhawk #22 (1992). Art by Mike Manley.

  • D. Bethel’s favorite cover from his favorite run of X-Men:

Cover X-Men #7 (1992). Art by Jim Lee.

––––––––––––––––––

Special thanks to Kyrun Silva for agreeing to this experiment (and for driving us to and from the convention). Thanks to Ben Schwartz of Empire’s Comics Vault for hosting the table.

FEATURED GUEST:

-Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics

FEATURED RECORDING EQUIPMENT:

-Tascam DR-40

FEATURED LOCAL COMIC SHOP:

Empire’s Comics Vault

FEATURED EXISTENTIAL WESTERN WEBCOMIC:

Long John

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Road Music” by D. Bethel

Shortcast 31 – The Secret Was the Clap

Shortcast 31 – The Secret Was the Clap

WEEK IN GEEK: D. Bethel doubles up this time to talk about a personally exciting moment he experienced while at this year’s Alternative Press Expo in San Jose, CA, as well as seeing the new cinematic version of (half of) the Stephen King classic, It, while Andrew discusses playing SteamWorld Heist.

D. Bethel’s comprehensive recap of his time at APE 2017:

RELATED EPISODES:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Thunder Busters” by Wax Audio

Shortcast 25 – The First Second Time

Shortcast 25 – The First Second Time

Summer break is back with a vengeance, so the Shortcast run returns!

After a slight tangent discussing The Transformers and nostalgia, Dan and Andrew share their weeks in geek.

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew plays Bioshock from the Bioshock: The Collection released to PC and consoles last year. Dan actually finishes a book before discussing it. This time, it’s the Kickstartered Wild Times: An Oral History of Wildstorm Studios by Joseph Hedges (now available for purchase).

WORKS REFERENCED:

LINKS:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Thunder Busters” by Wax Audio

*audio clip sourced from The Transformers: The Movie

Episode 135 – Pure Chaos

Episode 135 – Pure Chaos

WEEK IN GEEK: Fueled by the emotions generated by the recently released trailer for Star Trek: Discovery, Andrew slipped back into the Star Trek pool by spinning up Star Trek Online and Star Trek Timelines while D. reads the first trade collection of Eric Powell’s (formerly of The Goon) newest comic series, Hillbilly, from Albatross Funnybooks.

EXHAUSTED DESPAIR: D. Bethel saw the newest entry into the venerated Alien/Aliens franchise, Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, and definitely had feelings about it. Fueled by an online discussion generated by The Hollywood Reporter article, “‘Why Alien: Covenant’ Is Actually a ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel in Disguise” by Josh Spiegel (and because Andrew hasn’t seen the new movie yet), it seemed only right to bring on friend of the show and Alien enthusiast, Taylor Katcher, to talk what worked and what didn’t work in this new movie.

Isle of the Dead” (fifth version, 1886) by Arnold Böcklin. This is homaged in Alien: Covenant.

To bring it back around, H. R. Giger painted an “Isle of the Dead” homage titled, “Hommage à Boecklin” (1977) whose art book, Necronomicon, directly inspired Ridley Scott’s first Alien film (and to hire Giger to design the creature).

UPDATE: Thanks to listener, Johnny Flores, for pointing out the tweet that has the shot from Alien: Covenant that recreates Bocklin’s painting.

David’s Garden, from Alien: Covenant. You can see why D. Bethel audibly gasped when he saw it in theaters.

WORKS CITED:

Spiegel, Josh. “Why ‘Alien: Covenant’ Is Actually a ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel in Disguise.” The Hollywood Reporter. 20 May 2017.

WORKS CONSULTED:

Couch, Aaron. “‘Alien: Covenant’ Screenwriter on the Michael Fassbender Scene That ‘Easily Could Have Gone Wrong.’The Hollywood Reporter. 21 May 2017.

LINKS:

  • Visit our website at forallintents.net and leave your thoughts as comments on the page for this episode.
  • Join our Facebook page
  • E-mail: Andrew – andrew@forallintents.net, D. Bethel – dbethel@forallintents.net
  • Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
  • Subscribe to and review the show on the iTunes store.

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“Alien Nation” by Scorpions