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Deconstructing Comics

A podcast about the craft of comics

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#609 “Saga” (a non-gushing review)

FLASHBACK! Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, has been a bestselling book for Image Comics for years, and fawned over by critics and readers alike. While Emmet finds a fair number of things to like about it, hardly anything about it is to Kumar’s taste. For this episode, both of them have read all the issues published to date — 54 of them!– and present this somewhat out-of-the-mainstream review. (Originally published October 1, 2018) Brought to you by: The Superman Fan podcast Our supporters on Patreon

1hr 7mins

17 Oct 2021

Rank #1

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#711 Tom Scioli’s “Kirby”

Tom Scioli’s Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics is a bio in comics form and written in the first person, from Kirby’s perspective. Why did Scioli handle it that way, and does it work? Why does Kirby look like a Tezuka character surrounded by normal humans? Was the tension between Lee and Kirby a case of Stan messing up Jack’s story, or modifying it to better connect with the reader? Tim and Emmet discuss those questions, some of the many revelations this book brought us, and more. Brought to you by: The Superman Fan podcast Our supporters on Patreon

1hr 1min

13 Oct 2021

Rank #2

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Critiquing Comics #207: “Texas Tracts”

Texas Tracts, by Rachelle Meyer, is a series of three short comics, modeled in format after the Christian evangelical “Chick Tracts” by Jack Chick. Rachelle’s well-drawn comics, in contrast, reflect doubts about things she was taught in Catholic school as a kid in Texas. Tim and Mulele discussed part one, Holy Diver, back in January; this time, Tim is joined by Ryan Cecil Smith in discussing the series overall, including the latter two volumes Joy Ride and Rainbow Collie. Rachelle’s Kickstarter Brought to you by: Wayne Manor Memoirs podcast Our supporters on Patreon

41mins

6 Oct 2021

Rank #3

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“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)

In this episode of “Tim Catches Up with the MCU”, Tim and Mulele discuss the political thriller “The Winter Soldier”. Brought to you by: The Quarter-Bin podcast Our supporters on Patreon

51mins

29 Sep 2021

Rank #4

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#710 Naoki Urasawa’s “Pluto”

You’re probably aware of the Osamu Tezuka character Astro Boy (called Tetsuwon Atom in Japan). Starting in 2003, Naoki Urasawa (the creator of Monster) began his own take on a particular Astro Boy story in his series Pluto, as a murder mystery of sorts. The story includes plenty of robots, but is more concerned with portraying emotion and making a statement about war than any Asimovian rules about robot behavior. Does that approach doom the project? Kumar and Jordan review. Brought to you by: To the Batpoles! podcast Our supporters on Patreon

1hr 11mins

22 Sep 2021

Rank #5

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Critiquing Comics #206: “Root and Branch”

Root and Branch is a comic that flirts with the fantasy genre, but is more concerned about a clash of cultures: a traveling elf meeting humans for the first time. This is a web comic, created by Pink Pitcher, that’s still going strong in its seventh year, and currently has a Kickstarter going. Tim and Adam critique.

30mins

18 Sep 2021

Rank #6

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#709 “Air Gear”

Shonen manga are known for putting their protagonists in systems that they must work their way up through in a series of competitions. In Air Gear, by Ito Ougure under the name Oh! Great, the competitions are races on gravity-defying inline skates. While this manga also includes some aspects that could be judged age-inappropriate, there is fun to be had here, too. DCP Patreon supporter Coleton joins Tim to discuss this manga, focusing on the first three volumes. Brought to you by: The Law of Equivalent Exchange: A Fullmetal Alchemist manga podcast Our supporters on Patreon

28mins

15 Sep 2021

Rank #7

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Critiquing Comics #205: “Honeymoon in the Afterlife”

Is Matt Canning‘s Honeymoon in the Afterlife about dying? Is it about life? Unlike some inscrutable comics we’ve discussed recently, this one isn’t frustrating; it’s intriguing, layered, and nuanced, and stands up to — no, demands — repeat readings. Tim and Ryan C. (who wrote a review of the book last fall) discuss. The In Common review of Honeymoon Order from Birdcage Bottom Books

29mins

11 Sep 2021

Rank #8

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#708 Aaack! “Cathy” is still relevant!

Cathy Guisewite‘s longrunning comic strip Cathy is still a topic of discussion, 11 years after it ended. While it may sometimes seem as if topics like sexual harassment and body image are new fields discovered in the last five or ten years, Cathy was bringing them up in the ’80s and ’90s. Comedian Jamie Loftus wanted to dig in and have a discussion about this classic strip, so she started a podcast miniseries, Aack Cast, in which she talks with Cathy readers, other cartoonists, and even Guisewite herself about many of the issues raised in the strip. Emmet talks with Jamie in this episode. Brought to you by: Wayne Manor Memoirs podcast Our supporters on Patreon

56mins

8 Sep 2021

Rank #9

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Critiquing Comics #204: “Purgatory”

Purgatory, by Don Juan Mancha III, anubisazp, and nikokosi, is an unusual comic in that most of the character in it claim to be dead. But in most cases, it’s unclear if they really are. Or is it a way of talking about schizophrenia? Unclear. What’s the plot of this comic? Also unclear. At least, to Tim and Graeme it is. In this episode, they try to put the pieces together.

24mins

4 Sep 2021

Rank #10