Sep 24, 2020

Watch: Paul Gilligan Interview - Pooch Cafe, Return of the Mole People

 Paul Gilligan visits the Cube today and talks to Duy about his cult hit comic strip, Pooch Cafe, and also talks about his books, King of the Mole People!


Read Pooch Cafe on a daily basis here: https://www.gocomics.com/poochcafe

Sep 23, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #15

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and Wednesday, Ben and Duy will look at a Spider-Man issue from the very beginning, in chronological order, and answer questions for various categories, inspired in large part by one of our favorite podcasts, The Rewatchables by The Ringer. Our goal is to make it to Amazing Spider-Man #200. Will we make it? Grab your Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus or crank up your tablet to Marvel Unlimited, and then tune in every Wednesday to find out!

MARVEL TEAM-UP #15
by Len Wein, Ross Andru, and Don Perlin

Spider-Man and Ghost Rider vs. The Orb!


POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: First appearance and origin of the freaking Orb!



DUY: In other news, whether he's Peter or Spidey, Spider-Man remains the only guy in the universe capable of making riding a motorcycle uncool.



WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: Not only does this comic have the best co-star yet, one of Marvel’s greatest characters the Ghost Rider, but it has the Orb. The Orb!



DUY: Peter having unconscious sexist biases is a thing even in Into the Spider-Verse. Why is there SJW propaganda in my modern comics.... in the 1970s???




BEN: Plus, the Orb!

DUY: I'm surprised they didn't call him The Eyeball.

BEN: That's racist.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: Johnny performs in his stunt show as the Ghost Rider?

DUY: Is mind control a thing? I feel we saw it once in Stan's entire run (the Ringmaster) and now we've seen like 10 of it.

BEN: I wonder what was in the zeitgeist about mind control.

NITPICKS

DUY: The cover. His name is Ghost Rider, Peter, he's not going to "die".

BEN: Yet another cover that doesn’t reflect anything from inside.

DUY: I'm really getting annoyed at how quickly the endings come in these issues.

BEN: I’m guessing not a lot of time was spent on them, in any capacity.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: I don’t know why Mary Jane is standing like that but I find it appealing:



DUY: The image of Ghost Rider holding a contract is hilarious.


BEN: Sign here for termite insurance.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

BEN: All of us, because of the greatness of this comic. Pure unfiltered greatness.

DUY: Ross Andru, whose art I think is starting to come together.

BEN: You accidentally forgot to mention how great it all was.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Sep 21, 2020

Watch: The Death and Return of Superman

 Paul, Duy, and LaMar look back at one of the greatest comic events in history: The Death and Return of Superman! How did we feel as kids reading it? Was he really dead? Who was our favorite replacement Superman? How do we feel about it now?


Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #126

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and Wednesday, Ben and Duy will look at a Spider-Man issue from the very beginning, in chronological order, and answer questions for various categories, inspired in large part by one of our favorite podcasts, The Rewatchables by The Ringer. Our goal is to make it to Amazing Spider-Man #200. Will we make it? Grab your Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus or crank up your tablet to Marvel Unlimited, and then tune in every Wednesday to find out!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #126
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, and Jim Mooney

Jonas Harrow gives the Kangaroo a power-up.




POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 15
  • Green Goblin: 13
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • Kraven the Hunter: 8
  • The Vulture: 7
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Sandman: 4
  • Hammerhead: 3
  • Electro: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • Man Mountain Marko: 3
  • Silvermane: 3
  • The Chameleon: 3
  • The Schemer/Richard Fisk: 3
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
  • The Gibbon: 2
  • The Man-Wolf: 2
  • Jonas Harrow: 2
  • The Kangaroo: 2
BEN: In a weird coincidence, Jonas Harrow and the Kangaroo, the only two villains who have only appeared once, get their second appearances.

DUY: I'm in shock, SHOCK, that Harry Osborn is revealed to be the shadowy figure that took the Goblin costume off his father, Norman. It was so unobvious.


BEN: Was it, or have we just always known it so it seems so?

DUY: So it's a weird thing about serial comics. Under conventional storytelling, between 122 and now, it could have only been Harry, because he's the one whose behavior totally changed. No one else made sense. But in serial storytelling, you could have randomly said it was, say, Mysterio, and just make sense of it after.



DUY: Also, The Kangaroo dies. Not counting Richard Raleigh, this is now the second villain death (after Norman) in Conway's run.

BEN: It's like he, as a former fan, wanted to make sure the Kangaroo never appeared again.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: Spider-Man is hired by Corona Motors to build a Spider-Mobile. I believe they are modeled after Stan Lee and Roy Thomas.



DUY: Spider-Man has learned from the incident in ASM#1 when he tried cashing a check. This is how you can tell Gerry was a fan of the book before writing it.



BEN: The first wave of fans turned writers tried to make sense of things, while Stan and the artists were just focused on making new stuff every month. Professor Warren is about to become more important.




WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: Here:


NITPICKS

DUY: It's always bugged me when stuff like this happened. In my experience, people WILL notice footwear when it's out of the ordinary.


BEN: Especially if it’s up to your knees.

DUY: If Jonas Harrow can build anything, why would he just help the Kangaroo jump higher? Why doesn't he build him.... armor? Or other things?


FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:


DUY: I love the perspective on this.


BEN: I bet you do.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Conway again, for the second issue in a row. Masterfully balancing out everyone, working the Torch in there, getting rid of the Kangaroo.

BEN: I like the way Conway almost immediately brought back Spider-Man’s supporting cast on a much more regular basis.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Sep 19, 2020

Watch: Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman Are Engaged

On June 14, 2019, Ashley Van Sickle and Deanna Mascia broke comics internet when Ashley as Captain Marvel publicly proposed to Deanna as Wonder Woman. How did it feel taking the internet by storm? When's the wedding? And how, just how, can a DC fan and a Marvel fan possibly stay together???

Sep 18, 2020

Watch: Roger Langridge Interview on Bill and Ted, Popeye, Thor, and Fred the Clown

 Roger Langridge talks to Duy about drawing Bill and Ted Are Doomed with Evan Dorkin, his creator-owned Fred the Clown, why he loves Popeye, Thor: The Mighty Avenger with Chris Samnee, and other books he'd love to work on! (Give him Plastic Man, DC!)


Support Roger Langridge heRoger Langridge talks to Duy about drawing Bill and Ted Are Doomed with Evan Dorkin, his creator-owned Fred the Clown, why he loves Popeye, Thor: The Mighty Avenger with Chris Samnee, and other books he'd love to work on! (Give him Plastic Man, DC!) Support Roger Langridge here: http://www.hotelfred.com http://www.patreon.com/hotelfred And you can get some of his books here: Fred the Clown: https://amzn.to/33iTsmY Fred the Clown: The Iron Duchess: https://amzn.to/33AV0cb Thor: The Mighty Avenger: https://amzn.to/2GU9QCM Popeye: https://amzn.to/3kdgFxo re:

http://www.hotelfred.com

http://www.patreon.com/hotelfred


And you can get some of his books here:

Fred the Clown: https://amzn.to/33iTsmY

Fred the Clown: The Iron Duchess: https://amzn.to/33AV0cb

Thor: The Mighty Avenger: https://amzn.to/2GU9QCM

Popeye: https://amzn.to/3kdgFxo


Sep 11, 2020

Watch: Leah Moore Interview on The Doors and Alan Moore

Leah Moore talks about her new anthology on The Doors: Morrison Hotel (out November 10, 2020: https://amzn.to/3h7nvmn), Wild Girl (31:19), Sherlock Holmes (39:53), and setting the record straight on her dad, Alan Moore (50:15). 

Sep 10, 2020

Tell Me I'm Wrong About the X-Men

Duy hasn't read many X-Men comics. Not a big fan! Joe, Justin, and Ben have - and they're here to tell Duy he's wrong about the X-Men.

Here are some classic X-Men stories:


Sep 9, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #14

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and Wednesday, Ben and Duy will look at a Spider-Man issue from the very beginning, in chronological order, and answer questions for various categories, inspired in large part by one of our favorite podcasts, The Rewatchables by The Ringer. Our goal is to make it to Amazing Spider-Man #200. Will we make it? Grab your Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus or crank up your tablet to Marvel Unlimited, and then tune in every Wednesday to find out!

MARVEL TEAM-UP #14
by Len Wein and Gil Kane

Spider-Man meets Namor the Sub-Mariner, who is not the Man-Fish this cover calls out, for some reason!



POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: So they completely switched Kane and Andru on the titles, huh?

DUY: It doesn't really matter. Amazing is going to look better as long as Romita is the inker.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: A villain named Dorcas is all I’ve ever wanted from life.



BEN: I love diagram-like pictures.


BEN: I don’t know where to put the Men-Fish. So bad they’re good, or just bad?


DUY: Star Trek references.


BEN: Early Trek references too.

DUY: Look at this Watchmen-like panel transition.




BEN: That’s the first and only time Marvel Team-Up will be compared to Watchmen.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: Nope, too easy.



DUY: Namor's face is looking like he actually enjoyed getting punched.




NITPICKS

BEN: The cover says Man-Fish, but the title page says Men-Fish.



DUY: Seems like the people in charge of the cover copy thought Namor was the Man-Fish. Anyway, look at this really rushed attempt to add poignancy out of nowhere in the last panel.

BEN: The ending really sneaks up on the writers in this series.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:


DUY: Immediately after. Spidey looks so sad.




WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Namor's head, apparently.

BEN: Namor is one of my favorite guest-stars. I don’t like him enough to read his comics, but he’s a perfect side piece.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Sep 7, 2020

Watch: Denys Cowan Interview

Denys Cowan, Milestone co-founder, partner, producer, and artist, talks to Duy about the origins of Milestone, creating Icon and Rocket and Hardware and Static, producing the Static Shock animated series, the return of Milestone, working with Reginald Hudlin and Dwayne McDuffie, adapting Aaron McGruder's The Boondocks to animation, The Question, being inked by Bill Sienkiewicz, some stories about growing up in the comics scene in the 70s, and collaborating with Stan Lee.

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #125

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and Wednesday, Ben and Duy will look at a Spider-Man issue from the very beginning, in chronological order, and answer questions for various categories, inspired in large part by one of our favorite podcasts, The Rewatchables by The Ringer. Our goal is to make it to Amazing Spider-Man #200. Will we make it? Grab your Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus or crank up your tablet to Marvel Unlimited, and then tune in every Wednesday to find out!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #125
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, John Romita Sr, and Tony Mortellaro

Spider-Man vs. the Man-Wolf, who is John Jameson, JJJ's son!



POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 15
  • Green Goblin: 13
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • Kraven the Hunter: 8
  • The Vulture: 7
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Sandman: 4
  • Hammerhead: 3
  • Electro: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • Man Mountain Marko: 3
  • Silvermane: 3
  • The Chameleon: 3
  • The Schemer/Richard Fisk: 3
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
  • The Gibbon: 2
  • The Man-Wolf: 2
DUY: Time is slowing down: we're four issues past the deaths of Gwen and Norman, and it's only been a week. Given this and all the stuff in Marvel Team-Up, that's a lot of stuff.

BEN: Gil Kane and Andru seem to be switching off between Amazing and Team-Up.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: Peter noticing a friend’s pain is personal growth from him.



BEN: And "That's really helping" made me chuckle.


DUY: Mary Jane wanting to help but then stopping herself is in line with her eventual retconned characterization. A retcon that was written by Conway, to be clear.



BEN: So maybe it’s just her characterization.

DUY: It's hard to say any of her personality is retconned this early on, because we've barely actually seen anything of her. Any appeal she had was projected on by the reader.

BEN: Do you think she is looking to be with Peter in the future?

DUY: She doesn't strike me as anyone who wants to commit to anyone, actually.

BEN: Conway is definitely planning it, and he’s trying to get Peter through this grieving process as fast as possible.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: Oh Flash, no.


DUY: Don't just randomly tell women to smile, kids.

BEN: John should really stop going into space.


DUY: I don't know if you should call Robbie "Boy Editor."


BEN: His son is as old as you.

DUY: .....Also yeah, you probably shouldn't call Robbie "Boy."

BEN: If you’re out there reading this, that term of address is racially charged. Now you know.

NITPICKS

BEN: I’m no expert, but that moon doesn’t look close to setting.


FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:


DUY: There's a poignancy to the way this story ends. The hero has won, but there's an overall feeling of loss. It's only ruined by the end copy. Also, a lesser writer would have Spidey going "This blond girl reminds me of Gwen."

BEN: The cover did that.

DUY: I learned just yesterday that the cover copy a lot of the time is the domain of the editors, so I'll give Gerry a pass.


BEN: I like how “over it” Spider-Man is in that exchange.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Gerry Conway, I think, has written a really good issue here.

BEN: Conway gets remembered mostly for The Death of Gwen Stacy, but his entire run is really good. The best the comic has been since early Romita.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Sep 5, 2020

Watch: Jamal Igle Interview on The Wrong Earth and Black

Jamal Igle stops by the Cube to talk about the sequels to the multiversal adventure The Wrong Earth (with Tom Peyer) and the world where only black people get superpowers, Black (with Kwanza Osajeyfo). Also, will Molly Danger continue? And what's it like being the guy who put shorts on Supergirl?

Sep 3, 2020

Watch: Emma Kubert on Growing Up Amongst Legends, and Inkblot

 Emma Kubert — daughter of Andy Kubert, niece of Adam Kubert, and granddaughter of the legendary Joe Kubert — talks to Duy about being a third-generation artist, growing up among greatness, the X-Men, Superman, influences, and her new Image comic, Inkblot, done with her partner Rusty Gladd!





Sep 2, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #13

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and Wednesday, Ben and Duy will look at a Spider-Man issue from the very beginning, in chronological order, and answer questions for various categories, inspired in large part by one of our favorite podcasts, The Rewatchables by The Ringer. Our goal is to make it to Amazing Spider-Man #200. Will we make it? Grab your Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus or crank up your tablet to Marvel Unlimited, and then tune in every Wednesday to find out!

MARVEL TEAM-UP #13
by Len Wein, Gil Kane, and Frank Giacoia

Spider-Man and Captain America vs. The Grey Gargoyle!



POINTLESS TRIVIA

DUY: Cap and a Thor villain. It's really like they draw these things out of a hat.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: A.I.M. costumes really shouldn’t be in this category, but I’m doing it.



WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: Nick Fury’s dialogue. Was him saying “just” as “jest” a thing? Now that I think about it, classic Fury altogether. Never liked him.

DUY: Anyone trying to do the dialects Stan was doing immediately afterwards almost always failed.

BEN: I’d like to take this moment to point out Wein, Wolfman, and Roy Thomas are some of my least favorite writers ever. I know I’m in the minority, they did important stuff, I don’t like most of it personally. There’s a fine line writing Captain America where he can veer into annoyingly rigid and judgemental, and Wein veered there.

NITPICKS

BEN: They really couldn’t even keep Spider-Man’s head position consistent on the same page?



DUY: How do two of the world's greatest heroes win against the Grey frickin' Gargoyle? Blind luck.



FAVORITE PANEL

DUY: Mine:



WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Jim Mooney is incredible.

BEN: Jim Mooney, because it’s clear Romita’s art never looked better than it did with Mooney finishing it.

DUY: That's it for Spider-Rama this week.

BEN: Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko—

DUY: —for telling us we aren't the only ones.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Did you catch our 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time and 10 Greatest Spider-Man Writers of All Time? How about our Spider-Man Fantasy Draft? Go watch it!


Watch: Chadwick Boseman Tribute: True of Voice

Justin, LaMar, and Duy take the time to talk about Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther, his legacy, and what he means to the world. Rest in Power.

Interview with Todd Klein, America's Best Letterer

Todd Klein is an 18-time winner of the Eisner Award for Best Letterer and a 9-time winner of the corresponding Harvey Award. But to me, he was both the letterer and overall designer of America's Best Comics, the Wildstorm imprint headed by Alan Moore from 1999 to 2007. With my interview with Scott Dunbier up on YouTube, I thought I'd also reach out to Todd  Klein and ask him a few questions over email. And since today is National Letterer Day, I'm putting this up today.


You're usually credited as a letterer, but Alan Moore asked you to do the design work for ABC, really tying those books together. Do you feel that design is an understated skill of yours?

When I was hired by DC to work in their production department in 1977, design work was part of the job, and continued to be for the ten years I was on staff. After that, when I was freelancing full-time, design played a smaller role, but was still used at times. Such work is often not credited, and when it is, fans pay even less attention to it than they to do to lettering. This is all fine with me. It helped that once I was working on my own desktop computer I could do almost any kind of design work for comics myself if asked, and I had the experience to know what was needed from my time doing everything by hand on staff. Most letterers these days are also designers on their computers, and letterers have largely replaced designers at small companies or self-publishers. Such skills are only understated by fans, other professionals understand and appreciate them.

What was the collaboration process like with the artists on the covers? Did you help them with the interiors as well?

It was somewhat different on each book and with each artist. On Promethea, J.H. Williams III the was the most involved in the design of the covers, and we discussed each one beforehand, exchanging ideas with each other and Alan. Sometimes Alan had an idea that we carried through, sometimes the idea came from J.H. or myself. It was a collaborative process. On Tom Strong, I usually worked out an approach with Alan first, then presented it to the artist. On Top 10 I worked with Gene Ha from Alan’s suggestions or came up with an idea myself and presented it to Gene and Alan. On Tomorrow Stories and Terrific Tales the artist often presented an idea and we worked with that. Everything began with Alan, of course, and his scripts are always full of visual ideas.

Which of the artists did you see most visibly grow skillwise the time you worked with them on the ABC books, from beginning to end?

That would be J.H. Williams III. He kept pushing his own skills as we went on and never failed to rise to any challenge he was given.

Any memorable/funny stories of working with Alan Moore?

Can’t think of any. I talked to Alan on the phone about once a month, otherwise I was just following his scripts. I rarely had any questions that weren’t addressed in the scripts.

Are there plans for more prints like Alphabets of Desire, Klein's Compendium of Calligraphic Knowledge, and Joyride?

You can buy this print here.


I originally thought I might do enough prints to have one for each letter of the alphabet, but after Knowledge I decided there were enough, and I had plenty of inventory to sell, so I have no plans to do more. They sell slowly but steadily.

Finally, how would you feel if they just made you ineligible for the Best Letterer Eisner Award and just named it after you moving forward? 

I’d be fine with that. I don’t expect to be nominated again in any case, as I’m doing very little new lettering work now. I’ve always felt it best not to get involved in any awards process other than trying to be there for the ceremony if I was nominated.

Sep 1, 2020

Watch: Danny Fingeroth Interview: On Stan Lee, A Marvelous Life

I talked to Danny Fingeroth, author of Stan Lee: A Marvelous Life, on Stan'scollaborations with Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby on Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Thor, and the rest of the Marvel Age of Comics.