Special Edition Podcast

Booksplode #42 – Avengers West Coast: Vision Quest

Show Notes

Thanks to our awesome Patrons, we’re proud to present another Booksplode!

This month, Josh Flanagan and Conor Kilpatrick take a look at…

Avengers West Coast: Vision Quest by John Byrne, Mike Machlan, Paul Becton, Bob Sharen, Bill Oakley!

What’s a Booksplode? It’s a bi-monthly special edition show in which we take a look at a single graphic novel or collected edition, something we really just don’t have time to do on the regular show.

Running Time: 00:45:53

Tom Petty


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  1. I literally just finished this trade two weeks ago. It reminds me why Byrne has always been my favorite creator. This was a time though that he was inking himself, and that was a big weakness. I never liked him inking over his own pencils.

    Great storytelling, great art. I loved everything about it.

  2. The comment Conor made about the captions talking directly to you in a Stan Lee like voice is exactly it. I was just thinking about it the other day. What is the feeling I am missing that made me a dedicated Marvel reader back then. It was that voice that talked directly to you throughout the book and then into the letter page. As a kid it gave you such a feel of someone reading along with you. Over your shoulder explaining stuff and commenting on the story. Man I miss that style. Would it work for a modern reader? I don’t know but i agree with Josh that it would be nice to see it more somewhere in the industry. I’m no business man. So i have no idea if that is a smart idea but i think the art form loses something when these trappings where carved off to modernize it.

    Also when you want to really drill down to what Stan’s value was in contrast to Jack it was this exactly. it was establishing that voice for the books. It was very welcoming and exciting. There was a real marriage of that voice and those visuals. It was electric.

  3. I didn’t notice that the actual book was just Vision Quest, and I bought the book that Josh mentioned at the end their Epic version. Twice as long, but worth every penny. I am a little younger than you all, just turned 40, but almost all the comics I buy now are large books with a year or more’s worth of comics from the 90’s or before. This is pure escapism, and it is glorious.

  4. stingpin (@deconcomics) says:

    I was a regular Marvel reader from about 1978 to the mid-80s, when I fell off comics entirely during college, and I didn’t come back until the mid-90s, so I had totally missed this until now. I put off listening to your podcast until after I had a chance to read the book.

    As you guys said, this was such a fun, absorbing read – “didn’t want it to end”, as Conor said – and yes, I felt like I totally knew what was going on without having read any of the previous issues, and without a recap page. The modern recap page is a crutch so the writers don’t have to work at filling in new readers — and probably also a symptom of the stories becoming less compressed and having fewer pages. No space to have characters standing around giving exposition.

    I’d love to read more of this – disappointed to hear that Byrne didn’t do much more than this on the title, but presumably the other writers did pretty well on it, too?

    Anyway, this is WAY up on the “GOSH” scale – glad you guys drew my attention to it!

    (And yes, I was born in 1965. You guys think YOU’RE old! 😅)

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