CBABIH 0.4 - Show Notes

Being a series of comments on Episode 0.4 of Comic Books Are Burning In Hell, a podcast by Matt Seneca, Tucker Stone and myself.

00:00: You might have noticed that Satan sounds different this week. That's because it's a completely different person! Specifically, this is the Satan of Chautauqua County, NY, whereas last week's Satan was Hamblen County, TN; it's an elected office typically established on the constitutional level, and the only explicitly evil function in American local governance. Explicitly

00:14: This episode's material was culled from the same May 31, 2012 session as last week; I am still in my mother's basement, though the serious audio dropouts (much like the comedy value) had ceased, leaving only an occasional stuttering quality in aggravation of my Shatneresque tendencies. For the completists among you, my mother didn't know what a podcast was, so I told her I was on Internet Radio. We're on between SILENCE! and Wait, What? on Total Irrelevance FM.

00:53: I wouldn't be so bold to ascribe a fixed motive to Comic Books Are Burning In Hell on behalf of my colleagues, but my personal opinion is that we should present differing aspects of the comics form in conversation, so that the idea of 'following' superhero comic book characters might segue into essayistic graphic novel considerations of the financial dimension of those corporate-owned properties, which themselves are primarily comprised of pictorial compositions which can be analyzed as still images or elements in a quasi-cinematographic arrangement. The idea is not to draw borders around different types of comics -- or different approaches to comics criticism -- but to leave exposed the fiber the connects them in the normal act of reading as many comics as we do. We probably won't be quite so cute again in following an 'art' episode with a bunch of superhero stuff, because what's ever cuter than infancy?

02:06: Carmine Infantino also figured prominently into Matt's comic Flash Roughs/In A Hole; he discussed the artist's run on The Flash in detail here.

05:43: Actually -- and boy, there's no way not to sound like a dick doing this -- the 1990 Adam Strange miniseries was drawn by Andy Kubert though Adam was indeed the colorist. The writer was Richard Bruning, a longtime visual designer and eventual executive at DC; he served as Senior Vice President & Creative Director for much of the '00s. I believe it was his only longform comics scripting work, although I kinda liked his rocket pack story in Vertigo's Flinch #1, aka Jim Lee's one and only Mature Readers comic.

06:51: On the other hand, Matt (and Tucker) are correct here - Jim Starlin's 2009 Strange Adventures series concerned Adam Strange, while his 2006-07 Mystery in Space revival starred Captain Comet, another all-time favorite I'm sure we'll get to in our next solid gold superheroes mega-special.

07:42: Interestingly enough, Scott McDaniel also worked on Strange Adventures with Starlin! This is how you know divinity itself is erupting from our mouths, even when I'm citing to all-time masterworks like Fall from Grace (and imagining chains on Daredevil's costume).

08:44: Specifically, I started out with Mickey Mouse #235; I was six years old. Or, rather, while somebody might have shown me comics outside of the newspaper funny pages beforehand -- six is kind of old -- that's the one I imprinted on as my first. Floyd Gottfredson, my sexy werewolf. Watchmen had, in fact, ended a few months prior.

09:42: I can most immediately recall telling this story to Chris Mautner on the Newsarama blog in 2007, back when the Newsarama blog was basically what Robot 6 is today at Comic Book Resources. I'm specifically referring to The Spectacular Spider-Man #143, written by Punisher co-creator Gerry Conway and drawn by Sal Buscema. Really, I couldn't have read this more than eight or nine months after that Mickey Mouse, but I was seven by then and ready for some proper fucking action.

12:23: I am, of course, aware that Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko is not Jewish, but I like my metaphors as I like my audio quality. MOM'S BASEMENT.

12:33: While I did understand all this stuff prior to the gala opening of the Clone Saga -- and like many then-high school aged kids, that was the straw that broke the camel's back of my weekly interface with the comics form for a bunch of years -- it took a good deal of later, '00s reading of Grant Morrison-scripted comics to solidify my attitudes about superhero universes; many of those works were in part about the function of superheroes as evolutionary potentials in the chaotic society of a shared universe molded by many hands. My conclusions are certainly not those drawn by Morrison in Supergods, his own key explanatory superhero text -- he's very big on the idea of superheroes spurring us to greatness, while I read the genre as a prolonged study of principled endurance -- but I can't deny the effect his works have had on my thinking.

13:01: On the off-chance that you need a whole lot of my Ditko writing in your life -- including sampled from the apparently hard-to-name Mysterious Suspense #1 (1968) -- I tried to describe the form-as-function of his recent art at Comics Comics last year. Internet Ditko fan #1 Neilalien called it a "massive missive," which made me so happy I almost burst. I'd recommend The Comics Journal #258 for further reading, particularly Mariko Wood's close reading of the Question story we're discussing.

22:44: Tucker is referring to the 2001 Hulk Smash miniseries by Garth Ennis, John McCrea and inker Klaus Janson, whom I find much more interesting with McCrea than Keith Burns, his co-artist on The Boys. There was also a crazy serial McCrea drew in 2000 AD last year (#1740-42) where the colorist, Andrew Elder, seemed to devour his lines to somewhat interesting effect.

28:58: The Lovely Horrible Stuff, by Eddie Campbell. No, it's not in stores just yet.

29:53: The earliest pertinent writing of Campbell's I can find online actually dates to 2001, on his prior website - a link a found via this text version of the anecdote from his comic. My own first exposure to his take on the subject would have been through Egomania #1 (also 2001), where he interviewed Lew Sayre Schwartz. Some blog posts are here. Campbell wrote two other Batman works I can recall: a short piece in (again) 2001's Bizarro Comics anthology (w' Hunt Emerson art), and 2006's Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #200 (Daren "not Dan" White, co-writer; Bart Sears, artist).

32:15: Oh god, why the fuck am I talking about Tropical Malady? To set up the walking through the jungle gag, like, three minutes later? Don't take me too seriously as a cinema snob, gang, if I really knew anything I wouldn't have faked the pronunciation of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's given name. On the other hand, I have it good authority that Tucker has a portrait of Michael Haneke literally hanging on his wall.

34:37: It's After the Snooter. Love, Show Notes XOXOXOXO

(I think that's my Jimmy Durante...?)

42:01: Your one-stop Nicholas Roerich source.

43:04: Unfortunately, Fantagraphics' 2007 edition of The Comic Strip Art of Lyonel Feininger -- a comprehensive collection of the artist's newspaper strip work originally published by Kitchen Sink in 1994 -- appears to be sold out. A number of samples, however, are viewable here, or you can hit the second-hand circuit... or shell out the $125.00 cover price for Sunday Press Books' Feininger-heavy, 16" x 21" Forgotten Fantasy: Sunday Comics 1900-1915, a veritable SWAT shield of whimsy.

48:35: Ex: (From Two-Fisted Tales #23)

49:35: "The entire drama of a situation must be contained in each and every panel within the sequence depicting it."

- Campbell, interviewed by Dirk Deppey, from The Comics Journal #273. 

53:19: I elaborated on this idea of 'drawn' reality at comiXology a couple years ago, in comparing the comic/movie Parker adaptations of Darwyn Cooke and Jean-Luc Godard, the former folding nostalgic design elements into a thematically fitting display while the latter marshals 'comic book' elements to distancing ends. I hope to later compare Cooke's segments of Before Watchmen to Godard's own Watchmen adaptation, directed under his "Zack Snyder" pseudonym in 2009.

01:04:34: That's right, "keep on burnin'." We'll never tell. Was Nina singing the theme song the whole time? We'll never tell. And who's "Chris Mautner"? We'll... I guess I did identify him above, though. I... hang on...