85 episodes

Each week Steve and Mike share our weekly pulls and discuss what we liked and didn't like from that week. We conduct interviews with readers and creatives in the comic book industry and have deep dive discussions on existing work! 

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Each week Steve and Mike share our weekly pulls and discuss what we liked and didn't like from that week. We conduct interviews with readers and creatives in the comic book industry and have deep dive discussions on existing work! 

    Weekly Pulls - Pick of the Week | Episode 32

    Weekly Pulls - Pick of the Week | Episode 32

     Embark on a journey to the heart of storytelling with us as we investigate the final beats of 'Blood Commandment' and debate whether its characters deserved a deeper dive. Revelations abound in 'Kill Your Darlings' issue six, where Mike and I grapple with the dark turns and narrative risks that keep us eagerly flipping the pages. From the unexpected twists in the devilish crime empire of 'Infernals' to the historical intrigue of "Blue Book," we cover a spectrum of comics that challenge the status quo and ask: Can rich artwork compensate for a story's shortcomings? 

    Step into our comic book lounge where we dissect the visual feast of 'Spawn 350' and 'Alien Descendant', pondering if the latter's narrative choices might lead us to part ways with the franchise. The episode highlights the power of sequential art to captivate and surprise, as exemplified by my newfound adoration for the UFO-centric 'Blue Book'. Whether you're a die-hard fan or a curious newcomer, this episode promises a deep appreciation for the craft and a lively discussion that celebrates the trailblazers and milestones of the comics world. 
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    • 41 min
    Navigating the Dark and Twisted Paths of Berserk: Dissecting Volumes 35-37

    Navigating the Dark and Twisted Paths of Berserk: Dissecting Volumes 35-37

     Venture through the shadowed and twisted labyrinth of "Berserk" as we dissect volumes 35 to 37 with sharp-witted Joe and analytical minds Varsha and Dan. Feel the weight of the long-standing loyalty of the fan base as we dissect the intricate layers of Casca's arc, the motif of "world change," and reflect on two decades since the series' harrowing eclipse event. This episode promises to leave no stone unturned as we examine the evolution of characters and themes that have captivated us for years.

    Stepping into the darker corners of "Berserk," we confront the complexities of Guts's relationship with the Berserker armor, ponder the future of the series post-Miura, and analyze less-documented timelines such as Guts's early mercenary days. Our conversation becomes a tribute to character development, delving into the humanity amid the monstrous and the significance of the fantastical elements that shape the narrative. Join us as we explore the delicate balance between darkness and light that Berserk masterfully portrays through its rich character tapestry.

    Finally, we scrutinize the narrative paths leading to Elf Island and the potential pitfalls in storytelling as the series forges ahead without its creator. Speculation abounds over the fates of Rickert and the Apostles, as well as the overarching design of Falconia in the Berserk universe. Tune in for a comprehensive discussion that navigates the nuances of translation, publication, and the anticipation for what lies ahead on Elf Island, ensuring that every "Berserk" enthusiast is primed for the tale's next formidable chapter. 
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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Uncovering the Darkness of Hollywood's Golden Age with 'The Fade Out' – A Graphic Novel Deep Dive

    Uncovering the Darkness of Hollywood's Golden Age with 'The Fade Out' – A Graphic Novel Deep Dive

     Step back into the smoky shadows of Hollywood's golden age with us, as we, alongside graphic novel novices and aficionados alike, explore the gritty narrative of "The Fade Out," crafted by the illustrious duo Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Sit in on a riveting discussion with Robin, who's eyes have been newly opened to the graphic novel form, Chris, who draws parallels to other storytelling masterpieces, and Jared, whose seasoned insights into Brubaker and Phillips' work, especially the added richness of reading in single-issue format, bring depth to our conversation. Prepare to be astonished by the emotional potency packed within the pages, as we dissect key scenes and character developments that leave you entangled in the mystery and drama of this noir classic.

    Witness how the art of Sean Phillips speaks volumes in the subtlest of strokes, as we break down the visual storytelling that sets "The Fade Out" apart. The conversation gets personal, revealing the raw connections we feel with characters like Charlie, grappling with his past and creative blockages, and Gil, whose open marriage and battles with demons paint a vivid picture of post-war Hollywood. As the plot twists through high stakes and heartbreaks, we ponder the impacts of these nuanced relationships and the harsh realities that the industry's bright lights can't always outshine.

    By the time the credits roll on our foray into this beautifully bleak landscape, you'll have traversed the complex interplay of power, ambition, and exploitation that defined an era. We scrutinize the parallels to real-life luminaries and their struggles, seeing through the lens of time how Hollywood's heyday reflected broader societal traumas. Our collective journey doesn't end here, as we tease future discussions on other works by Brubaker and Phillips, inviting you to continue unraveling the enigma of human experience with us, frame by fascinating frame. 
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    • 52 min
    Weekly Pulls - Pick of the Week | Episode 31

    Weekly Pulls - Pick of the Week | Episode 31

     Unlock the secrets of the "Blood Commandment" finale with us, where the unexpected becomes the norm. We dissect the controversial choices of its characters, examining the fine line between grief and vengeance. Steve, our insightful guest, doesn't hold back his thoughts on the artwork's divergence from expectation, and we engage in a vivid debate that could change how you see comic illustrations. The caped crusader isn't safe from our scrutiny either, as we take on Chip Zdarsky's "Batman 143" and the thorny task of reimagining the Joker's twisted beginnings.

    Prepare for a comic book roller coaster, where "The Ministry of Compliance" gets called out for its promising cover that masks a tumultuous tale, while "Batman City of Madness" #3 swoops in with its Gotham-infused charm, tipping a hat to Scott Snyder's legacy. In the throes of our discussion, an action-packed narrative inspired by John Wick emerges from the shadows, winning us over with its dark humor and humanized protagonist. From the depths of despair to the peaks of action, this episode is a testament to the complex world of comic book storytelling. Join us and be part of a conversation that's as unpredictable as the comics we love. 
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    • 43 min
    The Fade Out Issues 1 - 4: Echoes of Blacklisting and Betrayal in Classic Hollywood

    The Fade Out Issues 1 - 4: Echoes of Blacklisting and Betrayal in Classic Hollywood

     Peek behind the glamor of post-war Hollywood with us as we dissect the noir world of "The Fadeout" by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. On a journey through the dark alleys of the film industry, we explore how the narrative—rich with deceit, paranoia, and the haunting effects of McCarthyism—mirrors the chilling reality of its time. Through the lens of the troubled protagonist Charlie, we witness a Hollywood awash with hidden agendas and the devastating impact of the blacklist era on personal lives and careers.

    We analyze the psyche of "The Fadeout's" characters, where unreliable narration and haunting illustrations blur the line between truth and memory. We scrutinize Charlie's fragmented recollections, wrestling with PTSD and alcoholism, questioning the purity of Valerie Summers' memory and the sincerity of Hollywood's glittering façade. The discussion uncovers the eerie relevance of the series' themes to current industry issues, tracing the historical mistreatment of actresses and the murky web of relationships that bind these tragically flawed characters.

    We venture into the story's more bizarre elements, exploring the role of cults within the Hollywood narrative. Together with Robin, we delve into real-life parallels, from Sean Connery's scandalous past encounters to the peculiar peak of the studio head's life within a cult, against the hollow glamour that followed. Weaving through the dark tapestry of "The Fadeout," this episode promises a captivating blend of true crime anecdotes and the stark realities of a bygone Hollywood, all while spotlighting the nuanced artistry of Brubaker and Phillips. 
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Weekly Pulls - Pick of the Week | Episode 30

    Weekly Pulls - Pick of the Week | Episode 30

    Ever wonder what it's like to return to the dizzying world of comics and manga after some time away? We have dusted off our reading glasses and are ready to guide you through the latest and greatest in the comic universe. Listen to our latest picks and pans, including an honest look at "Ghost Machine" by Image, where we wrestle with whether its fragmented narrative and stunning visuals are enough to keep us hooked. We'll also share our strategies for jumping back into comic book universes, ensuring you won't need a PhD in superhero lore to find your next great read.

    Is the allure of "Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances" worth its hefty price tag and complex plot? We tackle this and more, including a lively debate on the merits of another "Joker Year One" origin tale in Batman Issue 142. Marvel at how art and story weave together to shape our experience, and get the inside scoop on what it takes to stick with a series when the narrative takes a backseat to the visuals. Plus, we'll offer some sage advice for newcomers to the comic scene, aiming to make sense of older series without getting lost in the web of continuity.

    Finally, we turn the spotlight to the minimalist magic in Crave issue 3, discussing how themes of technology and relationships resonate in our digital age. We'll unpack the emotional intricacies revealed through its saucy artwork and how a simple app can weave a complex story of desire and connection. The discussion invites you to join in and share your thoughts on the evolving comic landscape and the stories that matter to you. So, charge your headphones and prepare for a journey through the pages that captures the imagination and the zeitgeist of our times. 
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    • 57 min

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