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CSBG Archive

3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 062

Hey! It’s our 62nd Episode 3 Chicks Blue Brown Final2sized


Inside this episode! A review of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s new book from Image – Sex Criminals #1 as well as a review of the triumphant return of The Powerpuff Girls #1 from IDW by Troy Little. There’s no guest this week (schedules!! amirite?!) We discuss some of our “comfort comics” that we return to time and time again over the years – feel free to sound off in the comments about some of your comfort comics! Also on deck is a discussion of Superheroines on film in general and a surprisingly in-depth spontaneous Kickstarter/self-publishing conversation. After the credits stay tuned for a small peek at Sue’s and my third (is that right?) Batfight. I didn’t include the whole fight cause frankly, we sounded like assholes and I couldn’t bear to publish the whole thing…but I figured you guys deserved a peek at least. And I don’t know why the only the thing we fight about are things related to Batman…that probably is deserving of further analysis. Enjoy, kids!

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue.  Special thanks to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

*As always beware of spoilers if you haven’t read the books in question!

3 Chicks ep 62 covers



So glad to have you guys back!

Picked up both Sex Criminals #1 (went to the launch party too, that was an experience) and Powerpuff Girls #1 and I agree with both of your reviews. I’m actually afraid to read Sex Criminals again because Matt Fraction signed my copy.

Secret Identity and Hiketeia are on my comfort comics list too Sue but I’ll have to pick up League of One soon, it’s been on my to-read list for a while. Batgirl: Year One, Elegy, Stumptown, Alias, the first Gotham Central trade are also on my list of comics that I always go back to when I need to escape the stupidity of certain publishers’ actions. On the non-superhero, non-detective side of graphic novels, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Lost At Sea is my go-to pick-me-up when I’m having a horrible existential crisis.

Thanks for another excellent installment! Hope to hear more soon :D

Hey Nikki
Thanks! We’re glad to be back as well (Batfight be damned).
Those are great comfort reads. I haven’t actually read Lost At Sea, but since I’m a fan of Scott Pilgrim I’ll check it out. Thanks for the recommend!

@Kelly @Sue Only 40 min in (it takes me a good week to finish). So that will help keep this short (really). I am not spending money on comics for myself or my daughter right now. But if I were I would pick up both those comics.

So happy “mainstream” is reaching out to you two on this topic (we have been been ranting about forever). I am excited the topic has traction, but annoyed by lack of informed “big” voices. You two would be my choice to counter act that. So thanks.

Snyder is terrible…so I am now going back to my site rant why.


@Kelly @Sue Back from absurdist ranting. 1:03 in:

SHE-HULK: I still feel She-Hulk is Marvel’s best answer to Wonder Women. As I have said before, I am encouraged by talk of Kitty Pryde played by Ellen Page (my favorite character and one of my favorite actors), Phoenix and Captain Marvel. I am with you on not getting the hold up on a Black Widow film. If any of these women or Wonder Women (not done by Snyder or Nolan) is done, GREAT. My preference would be Wonder Women by right, She-Hulk by logic & Kitty by personal preference.

The reason I love John Byrne is because of his take on She-Hulk (which was formed during puberty…so there is a bit of weird boy nostalgia involved). What Jennifer Walters provided to Byrne as a character was the opportunity to present a fish out of water story, which cleverly and humorously deconstructed comics at that moment. She is depicted as a capable hero, who is returning to her roots as a lawyer. There is some obvious use of sexuality, but it is only part of the character and is incorporated basically appropriately into the deconstructed commentary. As an adult I much prefer FF and the Aldred’s take for her fun sensual and practical form secondarily to theirs and Fraction’s ability to capture my favorite aspects of She-Hulk in a small number of panels. She is depicted as an icon, as a lawyer, a teacher and women who has fun dates…also as a leader and hero. I find all of these aspects to be compelling. She deserves her own title and there is reasonable probability it will be a good comic…not Hawkguy level…which is a shame, because she is a far better character then those two archers.


Big Book of Frank by Jim Woodring ; goes well with Mr. Bungle’s Disco Volante, Moonshine and Sushi

D.P.7 by Mark Gruenwald & Paul Ryan; goes well with Fishbone’s In Your Face, Squirt & Turkey on Sourdough Roll

Longshot Limited Series by Ann Nocenti & Art Adams; goes well with Midnight Oil’s Diesel And Dust, a Milk Shake, Burger & Fries

Adventure’s of Tintin Prisoners of the Sun by Herge; goes well with Esquivel’s Cabaret Manana, Cerveza & a Fish Taco

Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson; goes well with Stereolab’s Emperor Tomato Ketchup, Coffee & Fruit Loops


@Kelly @Sue I finished listening. I am really getting annoyed by how right on you are with some things. Was close to launching my Kickstarter this year (still plausible…its good work and I had a good plan…but the “you get one shot” gave me a pause)…seriously considering not…So thanks a lot. ;)

Love the passion in the epic fight at the end. I tend to side with Kelly on that one. It inspired me to do some statisics!:

Page 1: http://25.media.tumblr.com/9abef1ebc018d656d43ae6ec43627b12/tumblr_mu2dbkfCfj1r6z87mo1_1280.png
Page 2: http://24.media.tumblr.com/3c5797b45a53f9f5f8f0852379eb179a/tumblr_mu2dbkfCfj1r6z87mo2_1280.png
Page 3: http://31.media.tumblr.com/878b62af6505b7fd2db076e35d396eab/tumblr_mu2dbkfCfj1r6z87mo3_1280.png

The stats resolve the issue of Inflationary value. However, I was not able to find consistent objective data on Marketing, Personal Copies (Digital, Blue Ray ect.) and Merchandizing, so this is as unscientific as anything else. What I was attempting was to get to the root of the investment value. I was able to at least create one snap shot. I also wrote some quick notes on how I value the work artistically, per its intent and what form the film had in its care of female characters and treatment of the cartoonists who actually came up with the original IP. If I had no clue I said so or left the question open.

A couple of things stand out. As a kid the summer Batman came out changed everything. I remember it doing so. But I had no data to prove it. Before it, us Comic fans in my lifetime were minor cultural participant. After we started being major players. You can see why by the stats. With 300 we can see why there is so much faith in Snyder (as my comments on his film show…I find this reality super disturbing). Avengers was huge, so were a number of others. As for Man of Steel, it has been respectable (well I question that in quality), but being less successful then Thor, Popeye, Tintin, Wolverine and Iron Man 2 and just edging out Blade is not good business. It has done better then Batman Begins and Captain America as an investment. But American Splendor would have been a better investment, by the percentages. Which makes me happy. I do concede that my favorite comics adaptation did terrible. Worse than Elektra, but whipped Catwomen and edged out Annie and Green Lantern. As for Superman Returns…it was profitable, but didn’t do so well; surprise. The winners are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman & Buck Rogers. The losers are Tank Girl (sniff) Steel and Brenda Starr. Who had made 0.4% of their budget back.

Enjoy again…leaving y’all alone now.

That bit about superheroines in movies is pretty much what I wanted to talk with you two about in my interview! I’m so sorry to be that guy that never gives up and may end up being a nuisance, but if you both want to revisit that idea I would love to actually do it. We’ve got the Rome Film Festival coming up so I’m gonna be rather busy since I cover that for the webmagazine I work for, but any time before that (it starts in November) or after that would be lovely.

Btw, to answer your question about comfort comics: I rarely re-read stuff, but the whole No Man’s Land arc is something I find myself checking out again and again and it’s pretty much the reason why I fell in love with the Batfamily. There are also certain Disney stories that I re-read and make me feel good about comics, especially stuff by Carl Barks and Don Rosa and some stories from Italian Disney creators.

Also, about that batfight (which I loved): I think you both have your reasons. I’m with Sue that it’s unfair to compare Man of Steel with Avengers, since Avengers had a built-in audience coming from three different and successful franchises, but at the same time comparing MoS to the first Iron Man is more than fair and it makes it quite obvious that MoS was definitely not the huge success that a superhero movie relaunching or launching a new franchise could be. That comparison also makes certain choices about Batman vs. Superman extremely obvious in the way DC is trying to draw in a different audience, that same audience that is not into comics but that went to Iron Man because it was THE movie to see that season: not only is DC offering a new Batman, a character that audiences associate with quality film-making thanks to Nolan, they even cast a likable actor who’s coming off a best picture win at the Oscars for one of those rare Oscar-winning films that a lot of people actually have seen and loved, and which gave Affleck a lot of credibility and likeability because of his best director snub. DC is desperately trying to find its Robert Downey Jr.

I agree mostly with Kelly about MoS. They spent a ton of money on the movie and even though they got a lot of product placement deals, they also spent about an equal amount to market the film. Of course, it made plenty of money but it was a pretty polarizing film and the reviews were very mixed. Even though Batman Begins probably wasn’t as financially successful, it was almost universally praised, earned a lot of goodwill, and it really helped change people’s perceptions of superhero films. So the fact that Batman Begins had a bigger cultural impact is pretty significant.

Another thing stacked against MoS is that right now, WB does not have a big money making franchise. When Batman Begins came out, WB still had Harry Potter. Now, both the Harry Potter and Batman series are over and WB is looking for the next big money making franchise. They’re definitely hoping that MoS would be the beginning of one. I don’t know if they’re scared but I think they’re concerned that MoS did not receive the kind of reception as Iron Man or Batman Begins.


When you said Snyder was the worst for some reason I was thinking you were talking Scott Snyder, not Zack Snyder and I was going to say we needed to throw down. :)

Good comfort comics list! I love the Watterson stuff and can never get enough of it – good call!

“My preference would be Wonder Women by right, She-Hulk by logic & Kitty by personal preference.”

This is a great statement – I appreciate that it acknowledges everything from “right” to personal preference.

Don’t let me discourage you too much on your KS!

You read my two pieces about my KS experiences right? They’re by no means all you need to know and I’m STILL learning a ton, but they’re a good start.


Your breakdown pages are awesome and fascinating. As you said, a lot of factors you can’t/don’t have on there and so it’s not “law,” but is a very interesting look at the bigger picture – which was of course what I was trying (and apparently failing) to get across – the idea that there are a lot of factors and domestic box office gross compared to budget is one of the many factors to consider. It’s good to see that point holds up on your breakdowns – even with the understanding that it’s obviously only one factor.

I particularly enjoyed your “subjective and objective cultural impact” – very funny (and relevant).


I wouldn’t be surprised if a ton of people had No Man’s Land on their comfort comics list – good pick!

I’m still interested in talking superheroines (I don’t want to throw Sue under the bus – SUE! – but I think we left scheduling with her – but she’s been very busy and I’ve been difficult). That said, given our inability to talk about movies on this cast makes me think maybe we’d be a terrible interview! Still, I’m open to it!


Yeah, you and I sound like we’re of a similar mind on these things. Go us! ;)

@kingofmeadows The discussion Kelly and I had centered on the benchmark of success for a movie. In this case it was the assertion that in order for a film to be successful the movie needed to do twice its budget domestically. Batman Begins had a budget of $150M and did $206M 0r about 72% of budget at the domestic box office. MOS had a production budget of $225 and did $291M or about 77% of budget at the box office. In other words Man of Steel did better. This does not include that the fact the WB front loaded their profit with marketing.

In other words, Batman Begins did worse at the domestic box office than MOS. Yet WB went forward with a sequel that did not include another superhero and, in fact, avoided casting a big name as the co-star (the, at the time, highly controversial Heath Ledger)

As far as reviews, yes Batman Begins did score higher in reviews than MOS but given the criticism for MOS was mostly thrown at the director and writer it would have been smarter to get rid of them than just add Batman, no?

I don’t disagree with the fact the WB lost in knowing how to build franchises out of anyone but Batman. But I think in this case the theory that throwing Batman into the mix was driving by the performance at the domestic box office. Instead I think it is like what my mother used to cover up her bad cooking. Instead of just figuring out she wasn’t that good a good cook, she just put what she was good at – gravy – on everything.

Batman is the gravy of WB.

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