House to Astonish
It’s a podcast weekend, and Paul and I have got an hour and a half of discussion of DC’s chaotic creative assignments, Keith Giffen’s potential departure from Legion of Super-Heroes, Kyle Baker’s free graphic novels, Marvel NOW!’s free digital collections and the Doctor Strange movie, as well as a look at April’s solicitations. We’ve also got reviews of Uncanny X-Force, The Answer and Threshold, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is full of beans. All that, plus a slim gorilla, Lamp and Plinth and how to hijack an aeroplane with a graphic novel.
As always, we want to know what you think of the things we’ve talked about, which this time round would include (but not be limited to):
- Do DC’s quick-changes of creative teams make you less enthusiastic about their books?
- Who would you want to see play the lead in a Doctor Strange movie?
- What comics have done really distinctive and memorable science fiction/outer space settings?
Or just listen to it right here!
Paul and I are back with a new episode for the new year, and we’ve got a nice little hour and a quarter of comicy chat for you this time out, with discussion of Titan’s new comics line, the Phoenix going digital, the proposed DC “dark” movie, the SHIELD and Hulk TV shows and the Superman appeal decision. We’ve also got reviews of The End Times of Bram & Ben, Superior Spider-Man and Mara, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is suffering from an inferiority complex. All this plus Batman’s successful plastic surgery, an epidemic of constipation and a small cat caught in the middle of a war between estate agents and bacon.
As always, we don’t just want to tell you what we think – we want to know what you think, on anything we’ve talked about in this episode, including (but not limited to):
- What do you make of the Superman/Siegel decision?
- Did the last page of Superior Spider-Man take you by surprise?
- Can DC’s “dark” characters translate well to the big screen?
Or you can play it right here:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the time when comics pundits online post their picks of what stuff they thought was great and/or rubbish!
Paul and I are no exceptions to this tendency, and this year we’re attending the glittering night of the stars that is the Homies awards. Live from the green room of a very unusual venue, we’re rounding up our choices in a variety of categories, and going across to the main award ceremony where a dazzling cast of comics creators and personalities will be awarding the prizes to the comics, publishers and creators that won the listener vote, as chosen by YOU here, on the House to Astonish blog and via email.
Or just play it right here:
Have a happy new year, and we’ll see you in 2013.
As we’re about to hit the end of the year, Paul and I are thinking about the next episode of House to Astonish, which will be our end-of-year wrap-up. As part of this, we’re going to be inaugurating House to Astonish’s own awards – the Homies – where we’re going to hand out gongs in eight categories. The best part is, we want YOU to help – Paul and I are each going to select our winners in the following categories, but we’re also going to read out what our listeners think on the next episode. So check out the categories below, and let us know who or what you’d award each glittering prize to if you were us!
BEST NEW SERIES
This one’s pretty self-explanatory – any comic whose first issue was published between 1 January 2012 and the date of broadcast (likely to be the 29th or 30th of December) is eligible. What new series got your attention the most this year?
BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES
This one’s a little less self-explanatory – what series, again first published between 1 January and date of broadcast, did you think was best, with the proviso that it has to be something where the property wasn’t in existence prior to the start of 2012. We’re counting re-use of titles as well as concepts, so Prophet, X-Men Legacy or Dial H wouldn’t be eligible, but (for example) Saga would.
This is for the comic, series or graphic novel that saw print this year which you’d want to see more of, whether that be a book that was cancelled before its time, a one-shot or mini that just begs for a follow-up, or an OGN that you’d love to see a sequel to.
MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE
It may have seemed unappealing when you read about it online, and those preview pages may have looked unremarkable, but when you finally got the winner of this category in your hands you were ready to eat your words. What comic, series or graphic novel did you find yourself enjoying much more than you thought you would?
STIFF DRINK AWARD
This award will go to the comic or graphic novel that most made us gasp with surprise – an unexpected plot twist, a daring cliffhanger or a shocking denouement will stand a book in good stead here.
THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS
Here we’re looking for the most egregious example of bad gender relations in the comics world, whether that’s a disservice done to female characters or to a female creator(s) or participant(s) in comics fandom.
THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING
What move did a comics company or creator make this calendar year that had the effect of most making you want not to read a particular book or buy a particular company’s comics? We’re looking for abrasive interviews, ridiculous variants and counterproductive advertising here.
This is exactly what it says – which creator, creative team or publisher really knocked it out of the park this year?
Let us have your picks in the comments thread below, along with your thinking on each one – we’ll read out a range of the responses on our big end-of-year show. Happy nominating!
After far too long away, Paul and I are back! We’ve got a solid hour and a half of jabbering for you about Karen Berger and Gail Simone’s departures from DC (and what this means for the Vertigo imprint and the company as a whole), the November sales figures, the cancellation of Creator-Owned Heroes and Marvel and DC’s March solicitations. We’ve also got reviews of Hellboy In Hell, Blackacre and Avengers, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe cracks open a cold one. All this plus Cherry Wolverine, Fairtrade comics and the action escapades of a man called Boise.
We’d like to hear what you think about the issues of the day, including (but not limited to):
- What do you think of the current state and direction of Vertigo? Can the imprint survive without Karen Berger?
- How important is the creator- or corporate-owned status of a book to you when you’re making your purchasing choices?
- Are there books out there that you think have continued past the natural end point of their stories, and should just wrap up gracefully?
Or just listen to it right here!
It’s our one-year anniversary with Comics Should Be Good, and in celebration Paul and I have got an absolute epic of an episode this time round, with two hours of chat for you – we’ve got news on MCM Scotland, the cancellation of Hellblazer and the launch of Constantine, the Marvel Now! radio ads, the Age of Ultron, the latest Marvel teasers and Tony Harris’s cosplayer rant. We’ve also got reviews of Great Pacific and X-Men Legacy, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe gets the chop.
On top of that we’ve got interviews with Mark Waid and Kieron Gillen (the latter of which is an epic taking in Uncanny X-Men, Iron Man, Journey Into Mystery, Young Avengers and Death’s Head). All this plus the Valkyrior Territorial Army, the dorkiest state in the US and a special guest comics creator… who’s topless.
We don’t just want to talk at you guys, though, we want to hear what you think too, about anything we’ve raised in this episode – including, but not limited to:
- Is there a problem in the world of comics fans and cosplayers? Should cosplayers need to know the ins and outs of the characters they dress as, or is that just precious clubhouse-ism from insecure fans?
- Are there certain stories that could only be done in Hellblazer that can’t be done in Constantine? Should DC have kept John Constantine out of the DCU?
- What Marvel Now! books have impressed you so far?
You can just use the player right here, if you’d like:
We’re also available via Stitcher.com or their free iOS and Android apps. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter (I’m @housetoastonish and Paul’s @ifdestroyed), via email or on our Facebook fan page.
Thanks for listening, and here’s to the next year!
Join Paul and I as we celebrate the four-year anniversary of House to Astonish, with discussion of the effect of Hurricane Sandy, the purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney, Bryan Singer on X-Men: Days of Future Past, the next two Marvel Now! teasers and Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill. We’re also reviewing Joe Kubert Presents, Multiple Warheads? and Bedlam, and answering questions we’ve solicited at the last minute on Twitter. All this plus the Maniac Consumer, utopian futuristic fly-y people and the most unexpected Ant-Man villain of them all.
As usual, we’ve got lots of chat on the questions of the day, but we want to know what you think. Please do dive in with your views on any of the things we’ve talked about or answered questions on in the show itself – some you might like to think about:
- What series of the past four years have you felt have been deserving of wider attention then they’ve received?
- What books have you been saddest to see get cancelled since November 2008?
- What do you think was the most disappointing comics storyline of the past four years?
Or you can play it right here…
It’s also available via Stitcher.com or their free iOS or Android apps. Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, on Twitter (I’m @housetoastonish and Paul is @ifdestroyed), via email (we’re at email@example.com) or on our Facebook fan page.
Thanks for listening, and here’s to the next four years.
Another episode that’s a few days late, but there’s plenty of chat from Paul and I in there, with a discussion of an enormous number of stories out of NYCC (really, we get through a lot. Like, about 30 or so). We’ve also got reviews of Uncanny Avengers, the Zaucer of Zilk and Cyber Force and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot. All this plus Avengers On Ice! On Fire!, gambling with a jetpack and an equal opportunities dingathon.
As is our normal modus operandi, we want to know what you think about any of the things we’ve discussed, including (but not limited to):
- What was the biggest story out of NYCC for you? A new JLA series from Geoff Johns, a new Superman book from Jim Lee, a pilot order for The Sixth Gun?
- Is a Kickstarter appeal really the kind of way in which established comic book companies should be launching new series?
- Next episode’s our four-year anniversary as a podcast – what do you want to hear us do? Q&A? Karaoke? More regionally-accented comics creators?
Or you can listen to it right here:
Let us know what you think, in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.
A couple of days late, but better late than never, Paul and I have got just over an hour and ten minutes of chat for you on Marvel’s latest wave of teasers, Mark Millar’s new role at Fox, the expanded line-up of the Avengers, IDW’s latest mega-crossover and David Lloyd’s Aces Weekly. We’ve also got reviews of Non-Humans, Uncanny X-Men and Detective Comics , and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is the new Buzz Lightyear. All this plus the Avengers’ five-a-side football tournament, boob claws and the Secret Invasion point-and-click adventure.
We’re looking for your input too – let us know what you think of any of the things we’ve talked about on this podcast, including (but certainly not limited to):
- Who are your hopes for the unannounced remaining members of the Avengers? Who should return, and who should get their first shot at the big leagues?
- What have been the high points of the New 52 for you, a year into the relaunch? What books have surprised you, either by being better than they sounded on paper or by being disappointments?
- What creators do you think have made big improvements in their output over the years, getting better from a shaky start (or recovering from a quality dip)?
Or you can listen to it right here:
Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or through our Facebook fan page.
We’re back with another episode of House to Astonish, where we’re discussing Greg Rucka’s views of Marvel and DC, Marvel’s “Superior” teaser, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Jerry Ordway’s ?Human Bomb?, Ultimate Captain America as US President and the ?Dredd? UK box office success, as well as taking a run through December’s solicitations. We’re also reviewing Team Seven, Ghost and Sword of Sorcery, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook is close to ending it all. All this plus people who sound like Crayola crayons, the optimum way to not watch ?Arrow? and the return of a certain vaguely London-y comics creator impression.
As always, we want to know what you think – particularly this time round, we want to hear your thoughts on:
- Are comics creators sensible to create new characters on a work-for-hire basis rather than retain creator ownership?
- Does the upcoming Arrow series have you interested?
- Are there certain types of stories in which certain types of violence are inappropriate in mainstream Big Two comics?
Please be aware that there was something very strange about the audio this time round which we didn’t discover until after we recorded, which makes us sound like we’re sitting about ten feet away from the microphone, so you might have to turn this one right up. C’est la vie.
The episode is here, or here on Mixcloud. Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or through our Facebook fan page. We’re also available on Stitcher.com or through their free iOS or Android apps.
Or you can listen to it right here:
For those of you who make it through to the end, What The Fox can be found here. Enjoy.
It’s been a relatively quiet couple of weeks for comics news, but Paul and I have still got plenty of discussion on the second month of Marvel NOW! teasers, the upcoming Morbius series, Jim Starlin’s possible rapprochement with Marvel, the CW’s new Wonder Woman pilot, the return of Elfquest, the new creative team on X-Men and the newly-unveiled Avengers roster. We’ve also got reviews of Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt, Steed & Mrs Peel and Phantom Stranger, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is so sad, so very very sad.
As usual, we want to know what you think of the things we’ve been discussing on the podcast, particularly (but not limited to):
- If Jim Starlin were to get to make a return to Marvel, how should other creators’ Thanos stories be treated? Is it right that only Starlin’s stories should be “real” Thanos stories?
- Are the CW sensible to be trading off the camp associations of the last Wonder Woman TV show against the brand value of the character’s name?
- In honour of one of our reviewed books this week, what’s the single worst issue you’ve read this year?
Or use the player here:
It’s been a really, really long time since our last episode, but Paul and I are back, with an incredibly echoey, extra-long and tasty episode. We’re talking about the sad deaths of Joe Kubert and Sergio Toppi, the cancellation of the Dandy, Rob Liefeld leaving DC, the ends of Defenders and Avengers Academy, the changes to Marvel titles like Journey Into Mystery and Red She-Hulk in the wake of Marvel NOW!, Superman and Wonder Woman’s hookup, the cancellation of the Premiere Classic line, Ed Brubaker leaving Winter Soldier and a blast through the November solicitations. We’ve also got reviews of Hawkeye, Archer & Armstrong and Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe walks with a zombie. All this plus Dennis the Menace’s amazing modern hat, an anthropomorphic masterless Scottish indie band, the Crossover Bell, driving an issue of Grifter into a wall, the octopus that makes Marvel’s editorial decisions, countercultural cows on mopeds, John Merrick as Iron Man and Swastikabucks.
As always, we want to know what you think about the burning issues of the day, including but not limited to:
- Is the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship a story worth telling, whether in the short term or as an intended ongoing status quo?
- What long-running series would have been better off calling it a day after a set period of time, Locke & Key-style?
- Is there still a place for kids’ comics like the Dandy in the modern comics landscape?
Or you can watch it here:
It’s our last podcast before Paul gets wed and heads off on his honeymoon, so we’ve made it an extra-long one, with nearly 90 minutes of discussion on news out of San Diego, including Marvel’s current teaser images, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man movies, the new Sandman mini, Minimum Carnage, Red She-Hulk, all the titles announced at the Image panel and Daniel Way leaving Deadpool. We’ve also got a run through the October solicitations, there are reviews of Captain Marvel, Bandette and Punk Rock Jesus and the esrevinU levraM eht fo koobdnaH laiciffO eht fo koobdnaH laiciffO gets confusing. All this plus the invention of time, Marvel WHEN? and the latest in our series of regionally accented comic book creator impressions.
As is our regular practice, we want to know what you think of the things we’ve discussed on the podcast, including but not limited to:
- What has caught your eye from the wave of titles Image announced at San Diego?
- Is Top Cow’s Cyber Force Kickstarter something other publishers would do well to try to emulate?
- Who would you like to see take on the roles in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man movies?
Or listen to the player right here.
Well, we did say we’d be a little late last time round, but hey, it’s better than never, right? Right? I do hope it’s right…
We’re talking – a lot – about Marvel NOW and Marvel’s publishing plans in general, Monkeybrain Comics, the Amazing Spider-Man opening day box office, Marvel’s future movie plans and the Harvey Award nominations. We’ve also got reviews of Infernal Man-Thing, Atomic Robo: Flying She-Devils of the Pacific and The Hypernaturals, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe can keep its hat on (except it can’t seem to keep its hat on). All this plus a taste-test of Hershey’s chocolate, pants with Spider-Man on them and the Legion of Super-Heroes with a moustache.
As usual, we’re looking for your input too! Let us know what you make of anything we’ve talked about in this episode (or anything else that takes your fancy) including, but naturally not limited to, any of the following:
- Is Marvel putting too many eggs in one basket by concentrating so heavily on the Avengers and X-Men franchises? Does the line need to diversify more, or are they just giving fans what they vote for with their dollars?
- So, didja see that Spidey movie? Good? Bad? Web-sticky? Was another telling of the origin really necessary?
- What did the Harvey nomination body get right? What did they get wrong? What’s a shoo-in to win, and what was overlooked?
Or just use the player right here to listen to it right now:
Paul and I are a couple of days late due to super-busy schedules, but we’re back (albeit slightly late) and we’ve got discussion of Chris Roberson’s Monkeybrain Comics, Grant Morrison’s MBE, the DC cancellations and launches, Carlos Pacheco being honoured by Getafe and a canter through the solicits. We’ve also got reviews of ?The Massive, Spider-Men and ?Extermination?, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe takes tea with the vicar. All this plus the Phantom Stranger’s business card, the embroidered teacosies of Amanda Conner and a knighthood for services to disco.
We’re still looking for your input as ever, on a multitude of topics not limited to the following:
- Is DC’s one-in, one-out system of comics launches something that makes sense? Are they best off keeping the line at 52, or should the stories dictate the number of comics published?
- How much “writing for the trade” still really happens in superhero comics? Is decompression still a problem?
- With books like The Massive ending up at Dark Horse, what is the future like for Vertigo?
Or use the Mixcloud player right here: