Comics aren't just about superheroes in capes. Each week we'll discuss, debate, and nerd out on some of the medium's greatest, latest, and strangest works. From Alan Moore to Uzumaki, to everything in-between, we aim to smash, and talk for far too long on the books we love.
Hosted by reporter/podcaster Ryan Joe and recovering marketer Raman Sehgal. We're setting phasers to...fun?
VISION ...a synthezoid tragedy, or just poor decision-making?
V is for... VISION, 2016's Eisner award winning series by writer Tom King and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta. King should be a familiar name to you by now, as we've read more than a few of his works on this podcast, including Mister Miracle and the Human Target, two stories about troubled superheroes. And this book is no different. The Vision actually debuted in the Avengers way back when in 1968, when he was first designed to kill Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but soon became one of them...falling in love with the Scarlet Witch along the way. This same story arc also played out on the big screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the Vision was played by Tom Bettany...and pretty much had his girlfriend rip his brain out of his head...
But this isn't really a story about WandaVision, in THIS comic Vision just wants an ordinary life ― with a wife and two children, a home in the suburbs, perhaps even a dog. So he built them. Sound familiar? Only this time Vision literally built his wife, kids, and dog. As in they are sentient robots. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
UZUMAKI (revisited) ...Junji Ito's still scary manga treat
do you want to hear a scary story? well have we got a Halloween treat for you! U is for...Uzumaki. Uzumaki is manga legend's Junji Ito's seminal horror series from 1998. The entire populace of a small seaside town becomes obsessed with spirals. If you're into bodily, psychological, and cosmic horror, then step into the fog-shrouded streets of Kurozu-cho and see how long you can hold your mind - and your body - together.
this is an oldie but a goodie — a replay of one of our very FIRST episodes from the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. what's even scarier? how new we were to podcasting about comics we love — before i knew better than to trust Ryan to NOT freak me out. but this would be the first of many comics we'd come to love from Junji Ito. and boy is this a creepy one. make sure you read - and listen - with the lights turned on...
TOMINE ...the Modern Minorities conversation
T...is for Tomine! that is Adrian Tomine, one of our all time favorite graphic novelists, who we've covered on this podcast before (The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, etc). We recently had the privilege of sitting down with Adrian Tomine on Raman's OTHER podcast, Modern Minorities, where superfan Ryan tagged along for a chat...
SABRINA... murder in a post-truth world
In today's world, solving a crime often isn't the end. Everyone has their own version of events and the means to amplify that version, whether true or not. Nick Drnaso's eerie graphic novel "Sabrina" takes place in mundane environments: offices, homes, restaurants, but beneath it all is this feeling of incredible insecruity and of a world in upheaval. "Sabrina" is perhaps one of the most unconventional murder mysteries ever written.
ROAMING... helping us feel both very old and very young
This week, Raman and I look at "Roaming," the latest graphic novel from our favorite comic creator cousins: Jillian and Mariko Tamaki. We previously reviewed their coming-of-age collaborations "Skim" and "This One Summer."
"Roaming" is in fact three coming-of-age stories in one. Three young women take a trip together to New York City in 2009 (we say 2005 in the podcast. We are wrong). Two of these women, Danny and Zoe, are old friends who have planned this trip for a long time. The third, Fiona, is Danny's mercurial friend whose presence soon disrupts the entire trip.
QUEENIE ...Harlem mobsters of questionable character
Q is also for QUEENIE, GODMOTHER OF HARLEM, Elizabeth Colomba and Aurelie Levy's historical graphic novel inspired by the life of Harlem's legendary mobster, Stephanie Saint-Clair. Queenie follows the life of Stephanie Saint-Clair—the infamous criminal who made herself a legend in Harlem in the 1930s. Born on a plantation in the French colony of Martinique, Saint-Clair left the island in 1912 and headed for the United States, eager to make a new life for herself. In New York she found success, rising up through poverty and battling extreme racism to become the ruthless queen of Harlem’s mafia and a fierce defender of the Black community. A racketeer and a bootlegger, Saint-Clair dedicated her wealth and compassion to the struggling masses of Harlem, giving loans and paying debts to those around her. But with Prohibition ending, and under threat by Italian mobsters seeking to take control of her operation, she launched a merciless war to save her territory and her skin. In an America still swollen by depression and segregation, Saint-Clair understood that her image was a tool she could use to establish her power and wield as a weapon against her opponents. With meticulous details—in both story and art Saint-Clair’s story is brought to life in a tense narrative, against a sometimes bloody backdrop of jazz and voodoo. The story tackles the themes of colonization, corruption, police violence, and racial identity, but above all, Queenie celebrates the genius of a woman forgotten by history...
The Best We Could Do
I’m enjoying every single episode of QTD Comics — just listening to the repartee between Ryan and Raman as they dissect each book and interweave their own stories and perspectives about life, family, history, America is totally fascinating. Most of the time it’s simply rollicking fun! But their discussion about Thị Bui’s illustrated memoir was, for me, among the best. Why isn’t everyone listening to QTD Comics?!
The best show about comics?
What’s great is not just the commentary on comics, but the love and empathy the hosts convey. Who are these masked strangers, and are they here to save us? Just maybe...
One weird trick Superman uses to beat Racism
Hey Ryan and Raman. Thanks for having me on the show. I really wish Superman was here right now. But I guess a comic book that makes a serious effort at addressing the topic is also heroic.