Episode 46 - iZombie volume’s 3 & 4

May 5, 2016

Aaron is joined by returning guest Luke Thompson-Moritz for this much belated episode discussing iZombie, books 3 & 4 by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred. First published by Vertigo in 2012.  In this episode, we talk about the final two books and wrap up our discussion of the series.  The plot builds to its climax as Gwen and the other monsters have to figure out how to deal with the ultimate monster, a Lovecraftian being from another dimension!  We also spend a fair amount of time lamenting the fact that this wonderful horror/comedy comic only ran for 28 issues.

Also, Luke and Aaron were both suffering from colds so you'll have to excuse the sore throats and coughing.
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Episode 45 - Nausicaa

March 17, 2016

Aaron is joined by his good friends and super husband and wife team, Alex Harner and Taryn Trousdale to discuss Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Hayo Miyazaki.  First published by Tokuma Shoten in 1982.  Nausicaa is the brainchild of the acclaimed animator and founder of Studio Ghibli and remains his largest and most complex work of his career.  This post apocalyptic comics blends science fiction and fantasy to create a world overrun by deadly fungus and gigantic insects, rendering much of it uninhabitable.  Nausicaa is the young princess of a small nation that has been drafted into a world war between the two largest empires.  She seeks to understand the nature of the poisonous plant life while simultaneously stopping the war that threatens to wipe out the remaining humans surviving on the desolated Earth. 

Aaron, Alex, and Taryn enthusiastically discuss why this book truly is a masterpiece of the comics form, Miyazaki's environmentalism and anti-war themes, as well as his frequent use of female main characters, and the role that female characters often play in genre fiction.
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Episode 44 - Blankets

February 3, 2016

Aaron is joined by three guests, Alex Harner, Gabriel Dunston, and Cole Phillips to discuss Blankets by Craig Thompson.  First published by Top Shelf Productions in 2003.  Blankets is Thompson's epic autobiography about his early childhood in an overbearing evangelical Christian home and growing into adolescence and experiencing his first love and loss.  The discussion revolves around the artistic care given to how this story is told and the different and similar ways we all identify with Thompson's experiences.

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Episode 43 - Alias

January 6, 2016

Aaron is joined by three special guests, artistic collaborator Chris McJunkin, writer Jordan Alsaqa, and editor and writer Steve Higgins to talk about Alias, by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos.  First published by Marvel Comics in 2001.  Alias was Marvel's first "R" rated comic book and came out at a time when the mainstream superhero landscape was in a great, creative shift.  It tells the story of Jessica Jones, an ex-superhero turned private eye who takes odd and difficult cases that hover around the fringes of Marvel continuity.  They also discuss the recent Netfilx series adaptation of the comic.

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Episode 42 - Daredevil Born Again

December 9, 2015

Aaron is joined by first time guest, Jordan Alsaqa, to discuss the classic Daredevil story Born Again, written by Frank Miller and drawn by David Mazzucchelli.  Considered one of the greatest Daredevil comics ever made, Born Again details the Kingpin's efforts to systematically ruin Daredevil's life and ultimately drive him to a mental breaking point.  This comic is Frank Miller at his finest, effortlessly indulging in gritty, pulp, crime drama archetypes that would ultimately set the standard for Daredevil and his ongoing mythology.  

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Episode 41 - Supreme

November 25, 2015

Aaron is joined by returning guests Anthony Mathenia and Tim Albaugh to discuss Supreme by Alan Moore and Rick Veitch.  First published (sort of) by Image Comics in 1996.  With a beautiful sense of irony, Alan Moore reboots Rob Liefeld's violent Superman archetype as a loving tribute to the classic Superman comics of the Golden and Silver Age.  Supreme returns to Earth after a long absence only to find that reality is changing around him.  He soon discovers that he is at the beginning of a "reboot" and meets all the previous versions of himself that used to exist until they were revised.  In typical Alan Moore fashion, the story takes on a meta narrative as it simultaneously satirizes and pays homage to Superman and the greater comic book industry as a whole.  Moore proves that comic books can be written to deal with contemporary adult subject matter and still maintain the sense of fun and adventure without resorting to being dark and gritty.

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Episode 40 - Asterios Polyp

November 12, 2015

Aaron is joined by two friends and talented artists, Kevin Bandt and Alex Harner, to discuss Asterios Polyp by David Mazzuchelli.  First printed by Pantheon Books in 2009.  Asterios Polyp is a fascinating example of comics as literature.  It tells the story of an professor of architecture, the titular Asterios Polyp, whose entire life is wiped away in a fire.  With nothing but the clothes on his back, he travels to a random rural town and attempts to restart his life while reflecting on his failed marriage and career.  Mazzucchelli weaves this story through a complex display of symbolism, artistic design, and narrative structure.  Aaron, Kevin, and Alex all push their tiny brains to the limit as they try to absorb, understand, and explain the depth of Asterios Polyp.

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Episode 39 - Lumberjanes

October 21, 2015

Aaron is joined the Sara Rude to discuss her favorite comic, Lumberjanes, by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Walters, and Brooke A. Allen.  First published by Boom! Studios in 2014.  Lumberjanes is an all ages comic that follows a scout troop at an all girls summer camp.  When the girls notice strange and magical animals infesting the surrounding forest, they decide to investigate the mysteries surrounding the camp.  Aaron and Sara discuss the storytelling style of this comic, whether or not it is strictly a "girls comic", and highlight some of their favorite jokes.  

Be sure to check out Sara's comic, How We Stay Sane @ Work, and her tumblr, Project Shiro.
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Episode 38 - X-Men Days of Future Past

October 8, 2015

Aaron is joined by returning guests Alex Harner and true crime author Seth Ferranti to talk about the classic X-Men story Days of Future Past by Chris Claremont and John Byrne.  First published by Marvel Comics in 1981.  Days of Future Past is one of the most influential X-Men stories ever published and tells the story of Kitty Pryde going back in time to prevent a dystopian future where Sentinels have overthrown the government and mutants are hunted and enslaved.  In addition to the comic series, Aaron, Alex, and Seth talk about the recent film adaptation.

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Episode 37 - izombie volume 2

September 30, 2015

Luke Thompson-Moritz returns to talk with Aaron about izombie, written by Chris Roberson and illustrated by Mike Allred, with colors by Laura Allred.  Published by Vertigo in 2011.  The second volume of the comic expands to scope of the ongoing plot, as well as delving deeper into the back stories of our beloved supporting cast.  In addition to discussing the comic, Luke and Aaron also talk about the recent, well received television adaptation of the same name.  The show differs drastically from the comic, so needless to say, there is much to discuss.

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