Fire & Water #212 – Geek Talk


For the first time in a long while, Shag and Rob engage in a little Geek Talk!

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Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave! 

31 responses to “Fire & Water #212 – Geek Talk

  1. Thanks for mentioning BGSU’s upcoming Batman in Popular Culture conference in April 2019! We’re seeking participation from both academics & fandom. You need not be a professional teacher to send in a proposal. We’ve even had some proposals come in from Batman-related podcasters. We will have panel discussions with approx 3 presenters each (who will each talk for about 20 min). It’s a great chance to visit our famed Browne Popular Culture Library on campus. It’s free to attend and all are welcome!

    I’m happy you’re happy with the Aquaman book Rob. You deserve it. If I had to send you a dollar for all the hrs of infotainment that you guys have given me = I’d owe you in the high thousands a long time ago.

  2. Great show guys, a sort of catch-all. My comments.

    My In-Stock trade recommendation is The Shadow: Blood and Judgment by Howard Chaykin. This was just as Chaykin was becoming a big thing and Harlan Ellison *HATED* his take on The Shadow. Now Ellison was known to be a gadfly and to argue but I think he really got under Chaykin’s skin. Decades later, in interviews about the Shadow, Chaykin still talks about it.

    I’ll echo the recommendation for Waid’s Daredevil. Matt had become too dark, heading the Hand at one point. So seeing him smile and have adventures was a welcome relief. I’ll say that Waid does now and then dip his toe into the historical darkness. So it isn’t like he ignored what came before.

    Like Rob, I always hope the real Ambersons footage will be found. Hoping ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ gets big screen treatment in the Boston area.

  3. a few notes:

    Shag downplayed the amazingness that is Big Finish’s audio dramas. I don’t get a check from them, but they are delivering some of the best Who adventures of all time. Especially those with the greatest Doctor, the Eighth Doctor. In fact, did you know Me and Shag bent his ear a couple of times at Gallifrey One? Also, he played the greatest Beatle in a stage play once – one George Harold Harrison. SO of course he’s the greatest Doctor of All Space and Time!

    Some new or newish titles to check out (and most not of the super-hero ilk):
    Thief of Thieves
    Slots (a BEAUTIFUL comic)
    The Prisoner (based on the TV series)
    Southern Bastards
    Jason Aaron’s Thor run (the Lady Thor)
    anything by Brubaker/Phillips

    As for TV: I just watched the second season of GLOW. Not as good as the first, but still pretty good. Counterpart is pretty good. I also recommend a show on Acorn TV, UNFORGOTTEN, starring Nicola Walker – who happens to be one the 8th Doctor’s companions! Also, THE DEUCE on HBO was so damn good. Finally, a series showing NY in all its gritty 70s glory before it became a neon vomit parade.

    Oh, the Magnificent Ambersons. The movie that took me three viewings to complete. And this was in college when I hand endless energy that could only be curbed by gin and women. Trust me, an extra half hour would be an extra night’s sleep.

    Don’t sweat speaking ill of the late Harlan Ellison. He made impressions, both good and bad, so one’s mileage may vary when recounting encounters with him. Most of what I’ve heard is negative, and if that’s his legacy so be it. When Shag passes (i’m convinced he’s the last of us in the ground) I’m sure most people’s recollections will involve some sort of harassment charges, stiffing people on a bill, knocking a bab over, or syphoning their cable. It’s life, fellas.

    Good show, guys.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyable conversation, guys!

    I was one who laughed at your Classic Doctor Who joke, Shag – FYI, NOBODY really wants to see Episode 4 of Doctor Who’s “Dragonfire” on any given Tuesday. (Or any other day of the week come to think of it!) But if it were ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’… well, now you’re talking! McCoy’s tenure is still something of a blindspot for me, one I plan to rectify imminently.

    When is the F&W network going to get it’s Doctor Who show? It seems well overdue by now. Feel free to hit me up if you need guests!

    I’d also give a shout out to the Big Finish audio dramas – they can capture in the listeners’ imagination a range of alien worlds, effects and situations that would have been well beyond the scope of the show in the 1970s & 1980s (and perhaps even today).
    Given my love for comics and for Doctor Who, it’s weird that I never quite got into the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip – not sure why, but it never quite grabbed me. Perhaps if I tried out a full story in a trade, I might get into it more easily.

    I share your love for the flawed but fantastic “Lost in Space” movie – such silly fun! I still can’t get my head around the dishevelled Older Will Robinson becoming the buttoned up Lane Pryce in ‘Mad Men’ just a few years later. Jared Harris is so utterly different in the two roles – such acting skill.

  5. FYI: According to IMDB, The Other Side of the Wind includes STAFFORD REPP (Chief O’Hara) in the cast. His last official credit is an episode of MASH that aired after his death in 1974.

    1. My feeling is that while the original Watchmen is justly praised as a genre milestone, the characters aren’t sacrosanct. They are fictional characters owned by a comic book company/major conglomerate and are, therefore, free to use by other creators. They should not be sealed off in amber. I understand this is a heretical view to some fans. I enjoyed some of the Before Watchmen series and would highly recommend the Darwyn Cooke stories. I never agreed with the view that only certain people can play with certain toys. It’s a shame we’ve not seen Jack Knight again after James Robinson left him behind. If you want to avoid the new interpretations – that’s cool too. Personally, I’m looking forward to the new HBO series in the same spirit.

      Is Doomsday Clock an industry landmark? Of course not. I see it as an interesting take on some old characters. Just like Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. I hope I didn’t start some rigmarole.

      On another note: I did like Solo more than the Last Jedi. I’m not one of those guys whose life ended with Luke’s but, honestly, I saw the film and barely recall it now.

    2. I’m unqualified to comment on the merits of Doomsday Clock, as I not only haven’t read it, but I’m not really reading any current DC (nor Marvel) at the moment, but I will confess to surprise that Shag didn’t take the opportunity to comment on Firestorm’s dual-edged appearance, not only in the traditional form, but also in the Elemental incarnation (which has now been given to previous-continuity Firestorm colleague Mikhail Arkadin/Pozhar).

  6. I am ready to be shunned but I bought the Silk Spectre Before Watchmen mini-series and enjoyed it. I felt everyone else’s story was complete in Watchmen but Laurie’s early career was not explored. Plus Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner.

    But I am finding Doomsday Clock to be painfully ponderous. A lot has happened and nothing has happened. And I have been too lulled into stupor from the main story that, at best, I gloss the back matter which I am sure add a lot to the overall story.

  7. Just to follow up on some of Rob’s comments regarding digital comics: I wasn’t a fan of digital comics either until I bought an iPad and found them much easier to read on that device than on my laptop. That said, I totally agree that comics are much more enjoyable when you can hold the physical copy in your hands. The nearest comic shop is about an 8 hour drive away for me, so the only way for me to read comics normally is to read them digitally or wait for the trade. It’s much more fun to go to a comic shop (which I only get out to once a year, usually around Christmas time) and be able to browse through new comics or even back issues. I could spend $100 at a comic shop easily but when I’m reading comics digitally I tend to be a bit more careful with my money for some reason. Right now I’m only reading 6 comics : Batwoman (soon to be cancelled), Doom Patrol (delayed until God knows when), the new Justice League book (which I might drop soon), The Terrifics, Hawkman and Plastic Man (mini-series). I think if I lived near a comic shop I’d probably buy more books just to try them out or at least I could flip through them at the store to see if I wanted to pick them up. I wish convenience stores/drug stores still sold comics off the spinner rack like they used to as I think it would bring in more fans (particulary younger fans) from towns that don’t have a comic shop.

    1. Another reason for not avoiding digital… For a great many titles, I’m curious to read them *once,* but owning a copy isn’t really all that important. My public library makes an impressive number of titles (mostly trades, but some individual issues, as well) available after a several-month delay. I can then “check them out” digitally, read them, and then “return” them once I’m done. I get my fix, I save money, and if I’m *really* impressed by a story, I can always go back and buy the hardcopy later.

  8. Hey in fairness to Dragonfire we get Ace and get rid of Mel. I would sit through part 4 in celebration for that. That being said

  9. I’m starting a two-day road trip tomorrow, and I’ve got the Graphic Audio presentation of KINGDOM COME to keep me occupied.

  10. It was great listening to a good old fashion Geek Talk episode, once again.

    Like Rob, I found myself enjoying Avengers: Infinity War much more than I thought I would. I was even inspired to go back and revisit the original Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, and Infinity Crusade stories, which were the first big comic crossover events I ever followed. For me, that was pure joy topped with an extra helping of nostalgia.

    I’m also eagerly anticipating two upcoming Aquaman-related films: LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman – Rage of Atlantis, due out at the end of the month, and DC Super Hero Girls: Legends of Atlantis, which comes out in October. I enjoy watching movies from both of these franchises with my daughter, and I can’t wait to see their takes on Aquaman and Mera. Of course, I’m also looking forward to the live-action Aquaman movie, but I’m much less certain about whether or not I’ll be able to watch that one with my daughter.

  11. Hypernaturals is the best Legion comic that’s been published in a long time, in the same sense that Mark Waid’s Irredeemable is the best Superman story that isn’t Astro City related.

  12. I don’t have the luxury of space anymore for comics, so I have tumbled into the digital realm as well. Wish that DC would open up on an offer similar to Marvel’s for older comics.

    Been enjoying the Future Quest stuff as well; it’s fun seeing another comic book universe come alive when before they were really just separate series.

    You know, I don’t think I’ve listened to a Geek Talk episode before! Don’t know how I missed it; I was totally focused on the Who’s Who podcasts, and was just starting into the Fire & Water backlog when you opened up the network. Ah, those halcyon days when Ryan Daly still had time to do one million podcasts, each one with guest hosts…

  13. I’m still listening to the episode, but I’d like to throw in my two cents about Doomsday Clock, if I may:

    When I first heard about the series, I was excited because it was going to answer what’s been going on in the DCU as of late. They’ve been building it up since Rebirth and dropping hints, but now that we’re at the maxi-series all I can think is…meh.

    I have a couple of problems with this story. First, like many of you, I feel like nothing has happened. We’re five issues in and I feel like not much has happened that couldn’t have been told in two-to-three issues. It’s padding. Also, wasn’t Superman suppsoed to be a big part of this? Because from what I’ve seen so far, it’s Johns doing what he normally does: focuses on the characters he wants to focus on (Batman, Lex Luthor, etc)

    My other problem, and I know I’m gonna get flak for this but…I just don’t find the Watchmen stuff that interesting anymore. I don’t care about the new Rorschach, I could care less about Mime and Marionette and we keep wasting pages with them. Ozymandias and The Comedian…they’re okay but again, nothing we couldn’t have been told in two issues.

    What really gets me about Doomsday Clock is what I was afraid was going to happen…the delays. I love when Johns and Frank get together. They do some amazing comics. But dear god, never buy their stuff monthly! You’re just asking for trouble. I went through this with Superman: Secret Origin and here I am again. The comic went from monthly to bi-monthly and now it looks like issue six isn’t coming out until late August. For a book that had so much hype around it when Rebirth came out, it ground to a halt the moment the issues of Doomsday Clock got delayed. The “It” book everyone should be talking about is forgotten and will probably be remembered better in trade.

    And yet, I’m the dumbass who keeps buying the issues, hoping we’re gonna get a Doctor Manhattan/Superman conversation sooner rather than later.

    I’m still listening to the episode but wanted to vent here about Doomsday Clock. Thank you!

  14. Future Quest Presents has been some good comics. It makes me hungry to read more of the DC/Hanna-Barbera books, just haven’t gotten around to them.

    I’ve bought Champions since the beginning, and I love these kids. It is indeed reminiscent of Young Justice as they’re all legacy heroes of one form or another. Even young Cyclops, who’s really original Cyclops brought to the present from the past. Oh, those wacky X-Men.

    I have no LCS, but get some books mailed from a college buddy who runs his own shop, and I like to support him. But I’m hopelessly addicted to Marvel Unlimited. The list of old/new comics I binge is huge. Reading digital was “ok” when I first started, and then 2 years ago, I bought a refurbished Galaxy Tab A with a 9 inch screen size! It’s freaking great! It’s *almost* the same size as comic pages, and still light enough to carry around and read anywhere! And being secondhand, it didn’t cost a lot!

    Another thumbs up on this periodic feature. A fun listen, guys!

  15. This is the first “Geek Talk” I’ve ever heard, and I gotta say: I liked it! I, for one, am an avid audiobook listener, with an account and everything. However, I have never bitten the bullet for the DC Graphic Audio content. For one, it’s not on Audible, and I’m already paying for that. For two, I was never all that sure of the production quality, as the few samples I’ve clicked have been mostly the “movie trailer” style promos, with bombastic voiceover describing the plot, and only snippets of actual performance. I did, however just read the plain-old-printed-paer novelization of “Countdown,” which I did not enjoy at in comic form, but really dug as a novel.

    As far as good, new comics, there have been many suggested here already, but I’ll throw my hat in for the heck of it:

    Descender, Paper Girls, Black Hammer (and related spin off mini-series), Elsewhere, The Realm, Rat Queens, Analog, Flavor, and many more independent titles (and truly small press independents like Matt Bowers’ Memphis have been fun, but I think that’s screen-readin’ only?)

    As far as DC goes, I have heard good things about the “No Justice” mini-series, and the following new Justice League series, as well as “The Terrifics,” and of course, the HB books, like FQP and Scooby Apocalypse. “Scooby-Doo Team-Up” is actually my favorite currently published version of the DC Universe, in fact.

    For Marvel, I have not tried these yet, but the new Iron Man series by Dan Slott has my attention, as well as the utter craziness of “Cosmic Ghost Rider,” and the upcoming new Spider-Man series by Nick Spencer (cautious optimism for me there, as it is Nick Spencer we’re talking about). I actually read the recent “No Surrender” storyline in the Avengers title (that should be on right about now!) and loved it, having not touched an Avengers book in like 10 years. I haven’t followed on to the new Avengers book by Jason Aaron, but we shall see.

    Okay, any-hoo: Geek Talk was great! Fan the flame and ride the wave!

    1. Hey Max! I saw your thoughts on GraphicAudio and thought I’d add something. I was a little wary, too when I first saw they were doing DC stories. But one year for my birthday I got the Infinite Crisis one and decided to give it a listen. I can say without a doubt they’re outstanding in terms of voice acting, music and sound effects. Prior to that my only experience with things like this were the Kingdom Come audio book (which I also highly recommend) and the Doctor Who Big Finish audio dramas. Graphic Audio is kind of a mix between the two’s best parts. I’d say find a story that you enjoy and try a sample, if possible.

  16. I went to the store locator for Ollie’s Bargain Outlet when I saw a marker in downtown Houston… only to realize it was randomly assigned based on my being in Houston & the nearest Ollie’s being in Louisiana. Anyway, the presence of all that Zenescope makes me think they ended up with a bunch of Borders/Hastings remains, as they had made a big push through bookstores earlier in the decade. Zenescope is not “porn,” and in fact once benefited from what I call “The Chaos! Convergence.” Basically, a side effect of the “bad girl” fad was that you had a lot of books featuring powerful, sexualized female characters drawn by very appealing artists targeting libidinous males that also attract women readers look for their own power fantasies. In my retailing days, it always vexed me how many women bought Balent Catwoman, Lady Death and Witchblade who had no use for Wonder Woman, but I understood and supported their buying choices. Plus, Wonder Woman comics sucked, because Wonder Woman comics usually suck. Better to read Purgatori at her best self than Diana as a cardboard cut-out with mediocre art. Anyway, Zenescope once had a disproportionately large female fan base, but I notice they’ve gotten into the relaunch game lately, which may indicate diminishing returns.

    I bought exactly one Graphic Audio set, Last Sons, because it featured Martian Manhunter in prominent supporting role. Unfortunately, the lead character was Lobo, and he was so loathsome it tainted my interest in undertaking any more such adaptations. Plus, they usually dramatize novelizations of crap like Knightfall that I didn’t like the first time around.

    The first half of The Toys That Made Us was swell and the second half was mostly sad trombone. At least the girlfriend enjoyed the Lego one, but we both felt ending on Hello Kitty was a sour note. Even Star Trek was a weak sister after Star Wars in the first half, so only Transformers came at full strength.

    I’m not much of a Watchmen fan. It’s an Orson Welles/Stanley Kubrick kinda thing and I didn’t like Citizen Kane or The Shining either. I do some ethical tsk-tsking over DC exploiting a loophole in their contract with Alan Moore to crank out more work featuring his characters, but more importantly, why would I want additional servings of a dish I didn’t find particularly tasty in its best regarded preparation? They’re just grimdark knock-off Charlton characters that I like better who are owned by the same company. I’d seriously consider reading an Action Heroes book by Johns & Frank, but the Watchpersons can go pound sand.

    Haven’t seen Solo. Pretty much only want to for Donald Glover’s Lando, but I can easily wait for cable. I didn’t hate The Last Jedi, but it made it clear to me that I haven’t truly loved a Star Wars movie since 1983. I should probably stop acting like I need to keep up with these things, especially since I already sidestepped Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and only see about 1 in 3 Trek movies. I’m too old to be compelled by the ghost of fandoms past.

    I’m okay with digital comics for review purposes, but when I read for pleasure, it needs to be a physical copy. And panel view is tedious and suffocating. It’s forcing comics into being a slideshow that imitates bad TV. Podcasting/research has gutted my pleasure reading time, but I can still recommend recent volumes of Descender, Birthright, Paper Girls, Low, and Motor Crush.

  17. Late to the game, but I just want to say I just love hearing you guys chew the fat on random stuff like this. Nice Ollie’s haul Shag. Since Cindy and I bought the initial “forklift-full” (nice one Rob), I’ve gone back and picked up a few more books here and there. I need to stop by Ollie’s again soon and see if anything new trickled in. I also need to visit other stores within driving distance, since they spread the buyout amongst the entire chain, so different stores have different stock.

    You know who else loves soft pretzels Rob? Clark Kent. At least the Post-Infinite Crisis version of Clark did, per Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek. So you are in good company! Of course his Super-metabolism means he doesn’t have to run five miles to work one off!


  18. I’m back with more time to comment!

    Solo made me angry with every formative accumulation of a spaceship, gun, dice, pilot-reputation, surname and wookie from Han’s past occurring in this one outing. Plus he was shown to be a rebellion helper with a heart of gold, despite that being a major character pivot in A New Hope. Undermining surprises in the original trilogy should have been a thing that ended with the prequels.

    Conversely, I quite enjoy the slow burn of Doomsday Clock. And the art is superb!

  19. I have enough trouble trying to keep up with the Legion of Super Bloggers, and I’m more than a month behind, sorry Anj and Siskoid, and I often just skim the pages reprinted there. Not only do I prefer the look and feel of a comic book, but with old ones (and all I have are old ones!), I also like the smell! Anyone else think that Marvels, Dells, and DCs all have distinct smells? (Not including story content!)

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this on the drive to the Shore Leave convention. It’s always a delight when both of you get together to chat.

  21. This was a great show! I very much enjoyed it. Thank you for putting it together. It was like we were all in a comic book store.

    Rob when the “Other Side of the Wind” comes out we should all attend a screening in the city. I’ll bring the gummy sharks.

    Regarding – Doomsday Clock- I think Shag really hot a good point that not a lot has happened thus far.

    As far as new comics: Catwoman #1 is great, done by an artist/writer Joelle Jones. I really like the art style. Marvel’s “Domino” has a promising start.

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