Podcast Episode 107: Top 5 Magic Characters

Direct Download (2:01:34)

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Just in time for Halloween, Travis joins me to discuss our favorite magical comic book characters. Who will make the cut? Dr. Fate or Dr. Strange? Etrigan or Hellboy? Listen to find out! But first we briefly talk about the passing of Steve Dillon and then chat about the fantastic artist who’s coming to the 2017 Emerald City Comicon: José Luis García-López!

Who are your favorite magical characters? Let us know!

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via iTunes.

Thanks for listening!



International Podcast Day

Today is International Podcast Day, and because I am a podcaster, I wanted to help spread the word. In case you don’t know, a podcast is like an on-demand radio talk show, usually about a very specific subject.  The IPD website has a more detailed explanation. Perhaps you recently heard about the Serial podcast, detailing the murder of a young woman and examining the evidence against the former boyfriend who was convicted of the crime? It made national news and brought podcasting to the forefront of pop culture. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

I first heard about these things called podcasts back in late 2005, and I began listening to shows that talked about subjects that I loved, such as comic books (via Comic Geek Speak) or TV series like Buffy or Star Trek. In the last ten years, listening to podcasts has become my primary source of entertainment. In 2010, I became a podcaster myself, starting my own show (which of course you know about, right? ;) ).

Besides my show, there are many other great podcasts out there–I am confident that you can find one that’s right for you. To get started, try this overview, or you can ask me. :)

SDCC 2015 News, Part 2

As I write this, it is Sunday morning of the biggest weekend in comics. Since Friday’s post, there were many more announcements from the San Diego Comic-Con that I found interesting. There’s a lot of news, so please bear with me.

The Eisner Awards were handed out on Friday. Here’s a link listing all the nominees and the winners, but highlights for me include:

  • Saga won for Best Continuing Series, which is no surprise, but I often think that once an amazing series gets over a year or so issues, people tend to think of it as “Yeah, it’s great, but oh look! New Shiny Thing over there!” In other words, it really does deserve the win, and you should be reading it. Also, artist Fiona Staples won for Best Penciller/Inker.
  • The Best New Series AND Best Publication for Teens is Lumberjanes, which means I should buy the first trade and check it out. However, I already came to that conclusion before the Eisner win based on word of mouth, mostly from the YouTube community that I monitor.
  • The Private Eye won Best Digital/Slash Web Comic. I bought that first “issue”, but for some reason didn’t continue buying the other releases. I think it has to do with my antiquated attitude about print comics being what I want. I also, perhaps cynically, thought that eventually it would be released in print (which I still think it will be), but that’s not how it was conceived or designed, so maybe I should meet this comic on its terms, rather than mine.
  • Best Writer and Best Writer/Artists awards went to Gene Luen Yang and Raina Telgemeier, respectively. These are new names to me, and I’ve long been a comic book reader that tends to be more focused on the writer, so I should check out their work.
  • J. H. Williams III won the Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art) for is work on Sandman: Overture, which is well-deserved. Considering what I just wrote about being a “writer guy”, I read Sandman: Overture more for Williams III’s art than I do Neil Gaiman’s words, so to this guy, that means something.
  • Darwyn Cooke won Best Cover Artist for his DC Comics variants, and I am once again kicking myself for not picking up some of those comics. His Teen Titans variant is now on my comic Wish List.
  • Favorite color artist Dave Stewart won Best Coloring, which is a good choice.
  • Stan Sakai won for Best Lettering over Todd Klein. That’s not a knock against Sakai, but now I’m very curious about Sakai’s work because I consider Todd Klein to be a master letterer.

Comic Book news:

  • DC’s Convergence will continue in the form of some spin-off titles, three of which have been announced: Superman: Lois and Clark, Telos, and Titans Hunt. I was really disappointed with the Convergence event as a whole, but I still find myself wanting to read the Superman and Titans books.
  • Joss Whedon is bringing a six-issue “Victorian, female Batman” comic called Twist to Dark Horse. The Julian Totino Tedesco (not the series artist) cover image looks pretty cool, though evokes the Shadow quite a bit with that red scarf.
  • The previously announced return of the Milestone characters will be through DC Comics again, but apparently as a part of DC’s multiverse (Earth-M). I never read the original Milestone stuff (and I’m apparently the poorer for it, based on everything I’ve read about the various series), but I will definitely be paying attention this time.
  • I’m very excited that Grant Morrison is not done (yet) with the DC universe because he will be doing a Multiversity Too series of books exploring characters in the multi-multiverse. He also plans to do more Batman stories with various artists. Finally, he is also doing a digital first comic called Avatarex with Graphic India and artist Jeevan J. Kang as part of a Humble Bundle.
  • J Michael Straczynski will be doing another Earth One OGN and it will focus on Barry Allen Flash.
  • Francis Manapul will be working on an Aquaman: Earth One book. (It would be nice for the Wonder Woman: Earth One book to come out before either of these.)

Movie/TV news:

  • There were some photos revealed from the upcoming Jessica Jones Netflix/Marvel series. I’m really looking forward to this series, not in any small part due to Luke Cage being a part of it. I do have to wonder how … raunchy the tv show will be compared to the comic book.
  • Another Green Lantern movie is heading our way, but will feature the Corps, which could be very cool. One of the things about Green Lantern in general is all of the aliens in the Corps. This is expected (as of now) in 2020. Chris Pine is reportedly going to be Hal Jordan. Given that I have a bit of a man-crush on Pine, I hope the rumor turns out to be true.
  • The Internet went ape-shit bonkers over the news that Bruce Timm would be adapting The Killing Joke as an animated movie. I read tweets saying how disgusting this was and that DC was misogynistic. Others talked about corporate greed overcoming good judgement. It’s a good thing that Twitter has Mute. My objection to this story being adapted has nothing to do with the three pages involving Barbara Gordon, rather, it’s that the Batman part of the story is not that good, especially that joke at the end that Joker tells. The movie is bound to sell very well, I’m sure.
  • Another problem I have with the TKJ announcement is that it overshadowed the other two animated movie announcements: Batman: Bad Blood, which will introduce Batwoman to the animated universe, and Justice League vs. Titans, which has me superexcited to see some version of the Teen Titans (I’m assuming) in an animated movie. It doesn’t quite make up for the previously announced and then cancelled New Teen Titans animated movie, but it should still prove to be fun to watch.
  • There was also a trailer for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie that I saw (really, someone recording the trailer and posted it on Facebook), and I’m looking forward to this as well. Sometimes it’s hard for me as a long-time comic book reader so entrenched in these characters (and certain versions of them) to understand why anyone who is not a DC Comics reader would want to see this movie, but the trailer made me go, hmm, I think I can see why now.
  • Finally, the newest Batman v. Superman trailer was revealed, and where I was trepidatious about this movie, I am now excited to see it in part because Zach Snyder said that while he is channeling Frank Miller, this movie is not The Dark Knight Returns (and to that I say good). Affleck looks good as Wayne, especially in the scenes during the events of Man of Steel. Holy Hunter’s character talks about holding Superman accountable for what happened (as does Wayne), but it’s countered by Jeremy Iron’s Alfred suggesting that Superman is not the enemy, but fear is. This is good moral ground to dig up and sift through, and that’s what I like to experience in comic books and their media adaptations involving these beloved superheroes, not just slugfests and wanton destruction. Enjoy!

SDCC 2015 News

The biggest comicon in the world enters its second full day of programming today in San Diego, but here’s a quick listing of news from SDCC as of Thursday that I found interesting.

It appears that Ben Affleck is going all-in with Batman. It was reported that he will not only star in a solo Batman film, but is working on the script with Geoff Johns and will direct the movie. Given that Deadline is citing “studio sources,” I imagine that we’ll be hearing more definitive news soon. Regardless, what do you think of Affleck taking on such a leadership role in regards to the Caped Crusader?

BBC unveiled the new Season 9 Doctor Who trailer, and we get more of the female version of the Master, which is good, but also more of the same old classic villains, which might be good. Plus Arya Stark (aka Maisie Williams) comes for a visit that looks promising.

Finally in moving pictures news is the SDCC trailer debut of Alan Tudyk’s webseries Con Man. This looks like a lot of snarky fun, in part because of all the people that Tudyk hired/asked/cajoled into being in the series, including Nathan Fillion, Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Tricia Helfer, Gina Torres, Sean Maher, Seth Green, Michael Dorn, Joss Whedon, et al. Also, who doesn’t love a bit of fun being poked at your expense? I will be buying the DVD when it’s released, but the on demand viewing begins at Vimeo on September 30.

As far as comics news, Jim Starlin will be returning to Dreadstar to write and draw a mini-series to debut via some publisher after he finishes with it. Dreadstar was a series that I only got into a little bit (actually, the six-issue Dreadstar and Company from 1985), but knew it was a big deal at the time. I’m curious why Starlin wants to come back to the character and the universe after nearly 30 years.

Dark Horse and Joëlle Jones announced a sequel to Lady Killer, possibly coming in 2016. The first miniseries is one I had wanted to get, but decided to wait for the trade, and I’ve regretted that decision based on reader reaction. Without having read more than preview samples, I already plan on buying this sequel as well.

IDW will also be debuting a new mini-series, but for the Star Trek line, called Star Trek: Starfleet Academy by Mike Johnson, Ryan Parrot, and Derek Charm. It’ll chronicle new characters as they attend the academy, as well as reveal in flashbacks more of the Enterprise crew’s time there. I’ve really been enjoying the main Star Trek series (heading its way to issue 50 come October), so I will probably be getting this mini.

Finally, Vertigo announced 12 new series to debut October through December, 2015:

  • The Twilight Children by Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke
  • Survivors’ Club by Lauren Beukes, Dale Halvorsen and Ryan Kelly
  • Clean Room #1 by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt
  • Art Ops by Shaun Simon and Michael Allred
  • Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling
  • Slash & Burn by Si Spencer, Max Dunbar and Ande Parks
  • Red Thorn by David Baillie and Meghan Hetrick
  • Jacked by Eric Kripke and John Higgins
  • Sheriff of Baghdad by Tom King and Mitch Gerads
  • New Romancer by Peter Milligan and Brett Parson
  • Lucifer by Holly Black and Lee Garbett
  • Last Gang in Town by Simon Oliver and Rufus Dayglo

Just based on name talent alone, I’ll be looking intently at The Twilight Children (Hernandez and Cooke?!), Clean Room (Gail Simone; this was debuted at Emerald City Comicon earlier this year and it looks like fun), Art Ops (Michael Allred), Sheriff of Badhdad (Tom King), New Romancer (Peter Milligan), and Lucifer (both for the character and Lee Garbett). And, of course, I’m looking forward to finding out more about the rest.

What SDCC news piqued your interest?

All-New, All-Different Marvel Comics Line Up

Marvel Comics has officially released the creative teams on their post-Secret Wars books (45 in all) coming in October (I won’t get into the comments that some at Marvel made when DC did the same thing a few years ago–let’s just focus on the product). Here are the list of books that grabbed my attention:

  • Ultimates #1 by Al Ewing & Kenneth Rocafort: I like the characters in this line up, and Al Ewing did a bang up job on Mighty Avengers, but I’m not a big fan of Rocafort’s art. I’ll want to know more about the premise of the book before deciding to get it.
  • Daredevil #1 by Charles Soule & Ron Garney: It’s DD written by Mr. Soule, so I am predisposed to getting it.
  • Spider-Man #1 by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli: After reading the Spider-Men miniseries and the first issue of Miles’s comic, I want to know more about this guy. Plus, Sara Pichelli’s art doesn’t hurt. It’s also interesting that I am more interested in the spin-off spider characters than I am the original guy.
  • Ms. Marvel #1 by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, & Adrian Alphona: Ok, I missed out on the previous volume of this reportedly fantastic series, so I’ll try this new volume out.
  • Squadron Supreme #1 by James Robinson & Leonard Kirk (with Alex Ross covers): I love the characters, and when James Robinson is on, he’s so very good. I’ve also seen some character designs from Kirk that look pretty nice.
  • The Mighty Thor #1 by Jason Aaron & Russell Dauterman: Umm, no brainer. Best Marvel comic being published since Aaron took over the character. Buy it!
  • Vision #1 by Tom King & Gabriel H. Walta: One of my favorite Marvel characters written by Grayson‘s writer? Ok.
  • All-New All-Different Avengers #1 by Mark Waid, Adam Kubert, & Mahmud Asrar: It’s Mark Waid, plus a few of my favorite Marvel characters on the team. Not crazy about Kubert’s involvement, but I’ll try it out.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Web Warriors #1 by Mike Costa & David Baldeon: Just the idea of a bunch of multiversal spider characters teaming up sounds like fun, plus the cover shows Spider-Girl and I love her. I probably won’t get it, however.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott & Giuseppe Camuncoli (with covers by Alex Ross): I only wanted to mention this because of that funky spider emblem. What is up with that?
  • Illuminati #1 by Josh Williamson & Shawn Crystal: I just love the idea of the Illuminati in the Marvel Universe, but I need to know more about this book.
  • New Avengers #1: by Al Ewing & Gerardo Sandoval: Only interested because of Mr. Ewing, but the characters don’t have enough of a pull for me.
  • Doctor Strange #1 by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo: I have zero interest in Dr. Strange, but Mr. Aaron is writing it ….

Wow, that’s probably 8 new books I’ll be adding to my pull list come October. What about you? What all-new, all-different Marvel books are you interested in?