Pick of the Week Podcast

05.27.2012 – Episode #336 – Cobra #13

Show Notes

Total Running Time: 00:59:00

May 27, 2012 – A technical SNAFU cripples Conor Kilpatrick’s microphone… Ron Richards has gone mysteriously missing… who will step in to save the day and join Conor and Josh Flanagan to talk about the week that was in comic books? Super scientist Ryan Haupt to the rescue!

Comics:
00:01:27 – Cobra #13 is the Pick of the Week! Yo Joe!
00:08:25 – Irredeemable #37 wraps up on of iFanboy’s favorite series.
00:12:02 – Grant Morrison returns to Gotham with Batman, Incorporated #1.
00:15:47 – Ryan loves the throwbacky action in Hulk Smash The Avengers #4.
00:17:53 – Jeff Lemire joins the Vertigo-esque Justice League Dark #9.
00:22:13 – Tim Drake was in Batman: The Dark Knight #9… or was he?
00:23:23 – The Unwritten #37 continues the excellent series.
00:24:43 – Prophet #25 caused more than the usual head scratching.
00:26:31 – Chew #26 almost has us caught up to last year’s future issue.

User Reviews:
00:28:36 – The Top 5 Community Picks of the Week.
00:29:18 – Timmdrums wanted a different artist on Mind MGMT #1.
00:31:28 – dix really enjoyed Green Lantern: New Guardians #9.

E-Mail:
00:33:03 – Andy just doesn’t understand why more people don’t read comic books.
00:39:38 – Alex wants to know everyone’s “double dip” philosophy.

Voicemail:
00:45:47 – John from Albuquerque, NM has a question about “Biff! Bam! Pow! Comics Aren’t For Kids Anymore!”
00:49:00 – Dave from Washington, DC wants to know which will be better: The Amazing Spider-Man or The Dark Knight Rises.

Music:
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, To Be High)
Ryan Adams

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Comments

  1. Cobra got my pick of the week as well. Thanks for getting me back into this book!

    I double dip on the Hellboy and BPRD stuff. Nice to hear those beautiful hardcovers getting a nod. And I’m with ya on Preacher – easily my favorite comic series of all time.

  2. edward says:

    In terms of Andy’s question about why people don’t read comics; what about the quality of a single issue of mainstream stuff. A random reader is not going to be excited to read more after picking up issue 9 of Green Lantern: The New Guardians

    That’s got to be a huge factor for new readers

    • iroberts007 iroberts007 says:

      Is that what people do with movies too? Oh shit the movie was a snoozefest .. so.. ill just stop going to the theater. Its just like any other medium.. theres the crap.. and the boring.. and the mildly entertaining .. and so on and so on untill you get to art. Im not sure everything can be made to be good. The best we can expect for blindly choosing anything is an average experience. Thats why you gravitate to Guy Pierce movies (guessing) and Grant Morrison comics (guessing) .. proven talent.. Same with me… but every now and then you gotta try out something youve never tryed ( and by “you” i mean random human beings).. It will probably suck but.. its worth it in the long run. Man i saw that gijoe movie and like now i cant even step foot into a theater..

    • edward says:

      I specifically said single issue. Movies are a complete story, single issues are one part of one act of one story which may or may not be part of one event which may or may not be part of one series of events.

      Every household has a device that delivers movies and television directly to the consumer. For Free.

      The consumer doesn’t have to actively seek out televison like comics. If they are after films, there’s usually millions of dollars spent on advertising to inform them. Not to mention an entire industry based on film criticism and journalism.

      @iroberts007: Your analogy doesn’t hold up to any thought at all.

    • Thanks for replying to the email question guys. I think @edward is on to something with the single issue access problem. But the rebuttal to that is with any serialized content has tough jumping on problems. That never stopped people from watching soap operas or TV shows.

      I think all the answers the guys gave are right but I think Conor’s point was the best eg the diffusion of so much other entertainment options. I think that’s the answer I’ll go with. Maybe people would rather enjoy a lot of things in a more superficial way than invest more deeply in fewer things.

    • iroberts007 iroberts007 says:

      “Every household has a device that delivers movies and television directly to the consumer for free”? What you can get for free is very limited. Replace a breaking bad episode or an episode of always sunny in philly with a green lantern comic.. then it holds up. I used movies because it made for a more interesting comment.. Ill make sure my next half assed comment to you has been thoroughly analyzed word for word.
      And if we are making sure our points are 100 percent correct (if people cant infer what we mean by movie.. as in movie= any media besides comics) then i would have to say that the majority of human beings on the planet have no access to devices that deliver music and television to them.. or even a house to begin with. Oh you didnt mean actually “every” like you said.. Oh i get it now.

    • Josh Flanagan Josh Flanagan (@jaflanagan) says:

      Play nice, or we can’t play at all.

    • edward says:

      @iroberts007: Well, you can argue semantics or you can argue the point. I guess you choose the former

  3. As someone who works for a newspaper and writes headlines for a living, I share your contempt for the Zap! Pow! headline. I hate, hate, hate those headlines, and even though I’ve never written one myself, I see them everywhere. There are several interrelated reasons for this.

    Copy editors tend toward clichés because a) clichés are easy to write, b) clichés, like puns, are space-efficient, conveying multiple layers of meaning with as few words as possible, and c) clichés are deemed to be accessible to a general audience. The point of a headline is to distill the meaning of a story and inject it straight into the reader’s hindbrain, piquing their interest so they want to read the whole story. You need a phrase that’s clever, has universal appeal and conveys the subject matter of the story instantly. Not every clever headline can be the same, of course, or you risk devolving into cliché — I, for instance, am on a lifelong quest to abolish the “From Russia with [noun]” construction from all headlines about Russia. Those may have been cool in 1963, but they’re long since past their prime. (Part of me wishes the Cold War had never ended so we could still use “In Soviet Russia, [noun] [verb] you” headlines. At least that would give us more than one outdated cliché to choose from.)

    The problem arises when you write headlines about a subject you don’t know much about, and useful metaphors aren’t readily available. Most copy editors don’t read comics, and can’t think of comic-related metaphors to spice up the headline. Even if copy editors are knowledgeable about comics, they can’t presume that their audience is too. Not everyone is going to get your bitchin’ “Crisis on infinite [plural noun]” headline, no matter how bitchin’ you may think it is.

    It’s the same reason you can’t write a headline based on a song that’s less than 15 years old or more than 50 years old. If it’s too recent, older readers won’t get the reference, and if it’s too old, twentysomethings and kids won’t get it. Have you ever noticed that almost every newspaper headline based on a song title is derived from classic rock? It’s not because all newspaper copy editors are over 50 and grew up on that music (although many are); it’s because everyone is exposed to those songs, at the mall, in the dentist’s office, on their drive home from work. It’s part of the idiom of everyday North American thought and speech in a way that comics aren’t, and might never be.

    That’s why headline writers (even the ones who read comics) struggle to find popularly accessible metaphors and turns of phrase when talking about comics — and, inevitably, most are willing to settle on references to the Batman TV sound effects. “Zap! Pow! Comics aren’t for kids anymore.” Over time we can expand the vocabulary of comics clichés, but it’s going to take time.

  4. jackal87 jackal87 says:

    I lol’d on Ryan’s MATES references. XD “STOP IT!!!!”

  5. Jeff Reid Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    Normally, I don’t buy stories twice. In the last ten years, the only double dipping I’ve done has been the Starman series. I owned the trades and those things were missing random issues including Shade’s miniseries. I wanted the whole story so I bought those omnibi. Aside from that, I tend to not have a preference over one kind of collected format over another. Hardcover, softcover, omnibus, deluxe, etc doesn’t really matter to me. I’m really only concerned about how much I’ll pay for a story. I don’t mind issues if I’m reading them in a chunk but I hate reading them month-to-month.

  6. I double dip all the time.

    I don’t collect issues though I buy anywhere from 10-30 a month over the last few years.

    If I read something in issue that I want to keep, I buy it in hardcover.

    It is rare I will double buy a collected edition, but that happens as well once in awhile.

  7. powerdad powerdad says:

    Josh,

    I very much understand what you were saying about the Dark Knight Rises movie. (You said about The Dark Knight, “…it’s depressing, and I don’t want to feel like that again…”)

    I have a similar (not exactly the same) feeling about the upcoming movie. I’m not eager to subject myself to the depressing downer this movie looks like it’s going to be. And again, don’t get me wrong, The Dark Knight is a fantastic film, it’s just a little too heavy for me right now; and the new movie is probably going to be excellent as well.

    This is in fact one of those rare times in which I what to see it in a theater, but almost dread going. It reminds me of when I make myself watch a depressing documentary about some real like horror which I need to watch to stay informed, but dread every moment of it. The documentary Darwin’s NIghtmare ( http://www.darwinsnightmare.com/ ) comes to mind; a powerful, and meaningful film which is so depressing that you just want to curl up into a fetal position and block out the world for a while.

    Where I’m guessing we differ is I’m also dreading Prometheus. It looks cool, but the whole horror thing with melting faces and bursting aliens is just too much for me right now.

    The Avengers I was very eager to see, and enjoyed it immensely. I would like to see Men in Black 3 (I’ve heard good things, and it always has a lot of silliness which I like). I’m mildly interested in Amazing Spider-Man, but chiefly to see how they interpret the whole Spider-Man story (as well as web shooters).

    In the end, I’ll see The Dark Knight Rises, but I’ll bring along a bag full of Tiny Titan comics so I can give myself an emergency infusion of levity and brightness as needed.

    -jeff

    • powerdad powerdad says:

      Although the Fuzzy Typewriter retrospectives on the first four Alien movies are very enjoyable, and will probably be the chief reason I’ll see Prometheus in a theater…in the dark…away from home…OH NO THE ALIEN HAS ME!!! Oh, that was just my shadow, never mind.

  8. tunk27 tunk27 says:

    As to why more people don’t want to read comics. I think there’s a pretty good percentage of the population just don’t want to read anything. At all. They just wait for the movie.

  9. MaxPower MaxPower says:

    Thanks for answering my question guys, appreciated the insight on your double dipping philosophies! Also, my girlfriend is definitely in the “no idea how to read panels” camp. I guess having read comics since I was a kid, panels flowing into each other is something I take for granted.

  10. Cool episode as always.

    I will say, on one of the subject mentioned of Josh’s peeve where he doesn’t want comics associated with lonely nerds. Now while I don’t consider myself a lonely nerd, let’s just say I can identify with that, and personally I’d rather be associated with lonely nerds than have to be “mainstream”.

    I understand that you want something you like to be mainstream so that it sells better or is looked at more favorably by the masses or something like that, but personally I salute everyone in basement’s everywhere. Not everything has mass appeal, and these niche things and subcultures are great.

  11. Urthona Urthona says:

    I think people who like comics for some reason appreciate the art of illustration more than others

  12. boomergirl boomergirl says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard during any other podcast than I have at this one. I think what made it even better was the fact that I was listening to it on my Zune which I had Conor and Ron sign at the first C2E2 because I had nothing for them to sign. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an Ebay listing to create.

  13. randall4000 randall4000 says:

    Josh, Loved your final comments in this podcast! Outstanding!

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