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May 31, 2014 @ 10:11 am

Episode 44 - School’s Out

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Comics Therapy. No Reviews. Just Analysis.

Three comics from Wednesday, May 28, 2014. Plus your Nerd Confessions (about the comics you think should be taught in schools). 

Show Notes:

In honor of the holiday weekend marking the unofficial start to summer, we’re talking about school. Well, not really, because school sucks. And you know why? It’s not because of the work, it’s because of the kids. If hell is other people, then high school is the ninth circle. So this week we’re looking at teen superheroes and what they do outside of school and schools for young assassins and kids sent to space because they’re too smart for school. You know how adolescence and school cliques are portrayed in stories written by adults in many cases for adults but featuring kids? It’s totally fine. Because being a teenager really does suck for a lot of reasons, and that’s no different in comics.

Trying to fit in at school, at home and within one's community is already a challenge during adolescence. Surprise super powers totally complicate everything.


Pariah #4 34:45

Teenagers think they know everything. This group of kids actually does. 

Or at least enough to stay alive, so far.


Sex, drugs, rock 'n roll. Cliques, classes and clowns. Teenage angst and philosophical musing. 

And 1987 is a beautiful place.

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May 23, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

Episode 43 - Since The World’s Been Turning

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Comics Therapy. No Reviews. Just Analysis.

Two comics from Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Plus your Nerd Confessions (about your favorite historical comics).

Show Notes:

This week we’re looking at historical fiction, with a twist. From biographies like Box Brown’s Andre the Giant graphic novel to adaptations and re-interpretations like Steve Niles and Damien Worm’s Monster & Madmen to contemporary investigations of decades-old mysteries like Andre Sirangelo and Gabriel Lumazark’s Last Broadcast, comics creators - and readers - love their history. It doesn’t have to be true - and in the case of the two comics we’re analyzing, neither are.  We talked about the manipulation of time last week, but we’re talking today about honoring time. Telling the stories of the past to help us better understand today.


A nineteenth century mashup of fictional (and monstrous) horror with a series of true unsolved murders in London.


Magic and mystery in 21st century San Francisco meets magic and mystery in 20th century San Francisco.


The Couch - Box Brown 42:25

Box Brown's graphic novel biography Andre the Giant: Life and Legend was published this month by First Second. He also wrote and drew Everything Dies, a series about religions around the world and the webcomic Bellen!, the story of Ben and Ellen. Several years ago, he successfully kickstarted Retrofit Comics, dedicated to publishing mini comics from some of the best alternative comics creators working today. Last year, Retrofit announced a partnership with Big Planet Comics to help with distribution as well as a monthly subscription deal for 2014. You can also find some of Retrofit’s comics, including Box Brown’s Beach Girls via Comixology Submit and other digital comics providers.

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May 17, 2014 @ 9:01 pm

Episode 42 - Back in Time

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Comics Therapy. No Reviews. Just Analysis.


Two books from Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Plus your Nerd Confessions (about favorite time travel stories).

On The Couch: writer Joe Keatinge.


Show Notes:

This week’s theme is time travel, because why not. It’s probably the most common theoretical exercise, right? A daydream that starts at a young age and gets more and more complicated as we’re exposed to the rules and parameters of countless stories, movies, television shows and comics that use traveling through time as a catalyst, solution or problem to be solved.

Remember that time the original X-Men came to the current Marvel time line and in doing so ripped apart the entire time space continuum so it will never be the same again?! Again. (Yeeaaaah.) 

The Field #2 32:15

Remember that time a guy traveled through time and seemingly relived the same events over and over again but still had no idea what was going on? Again. 


The Couch - Joe Keatinge

Joe is a Harvey and Eisner-winning editor. Over the years he's also been a writer, artist, colorist and even publicist. These days, he’s probably best known for his work as a writer with Marvel Comics and Image Comics,including his new creator-owned series Shutter, with Leila DelDuca, published by Image and What If? Age of Ultron, published by Marvel. His upcoming Adventures of Superman story was recently announced by DC Comics.

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May 10, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

Episode 41 - Workin’ For A Livin’

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Comics Therapy. No Reviews. Just Analysis.


Two books from Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Plus your Nerd Confessions (about the best day jobs in comics).


Show Notes:

Don’t quit your day job. No, really. That’s the theme. We’re looking at two comics where the character’s jobs are an integral part of their identities in very different ways. For most of us that’s true in real life, too. The question is, do we define our jobs or do our jobs define us?


We are also looking at this through the lens of predominantly female characters, bringing up all sorts of interesting things about empowerment, gender roles and stereotype. Some of which makes us uncomfortable to discuss.


She Hulk #4 10:45

What do you want to be when you grow up? What's your major? Who do you work for? Tracing the point at which our jobs and our identities are first inextricably linked, in the hopes of understanding why a hero would still want to practice law after she became super.

Rat Queens #6 25:52

Four female characters in the traditional male role of adventurers for hire.Sounds great. Equal rights for everyone. Or are there? Turns out defining the personality traits of a female mercenary are even more difficult than we thought.

Allison is a film and political media producer and Chris is a prolific writer of both prose and comics. He’s the co-creator of the Eisner-nominated comics series iZombie, currently in development for television by the CW and he writes a great many other things including Edison Rex, drawn by Dennis Culver who we talked to back in Episode 35. Allison handles the day to to day operations of Monkeybrain and her column Allison Types appears on ComicBookResources.com. They are both awesome in vastly different yet compatible ways, which is probably why they’re content to both live and work together.

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May 2, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

Episode 40 - Dreams To Remember

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Comics Therapy. New Reviews. Just Analysis.

Two books from April 30, 2014. Plus your Nerd Confessions (about your creator dream teams).

On The Couch: writer Joe Harris.

Show Notes:

The theme this week is sleep. Specifically the kind of sleep where dreaming is possible, if not inevitable. Everybody dreams. But through thousands of years of speculation and study, we’re no closer to really understanding why we do or what they mean. Dreams in fiction have a special power all their own, often exploring the more surreal aspects of this shared experience we have no control over. It all comes down to how much you trust your ability to stay safe within your own subconscious.

Dream Police #1 22:05

Part Inception, part Dragnet. 

Bad Dreams #1 34:55

An all-ages blend of Wizard of OzLabyrinth, and maybe even a bit of Harold and the Purple Crayon.

The Couch - Joe Harris 47:20

Joe has written for all the major publishing companies, including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Dynamite. He published two creator-owned miniseries, Ghost Projekt and Spontaneous, and a graphic novel, Wars in Toyland, with Oni Press. He is, of course, currently writing his creator-owned series Great Pacific, published by Image Comics, which we talked about two weeks ago in episode 37 and X-Files Season 10, published by IDW, which we talked about way back in September in episode 9.

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