I tried to put this off because as long as the last ones weren’t out there, there wouldn’t be an end. But it’s past time, so here are your last two episodes of THE MEAN GEEK-COMICS PODCASTING ON THE EDGE OF CIVILITY.
We had a lot of fun over the last eight years; lots of cons, lots of new pals, lots of really shitty comic books. We expanded horizons and learned difficult things, (well, I did-Rev just sat there drinking. Lazy fuck.) Spent a lot of money and made none. Learned new things about con culture, understood a wider variety of geek culture, and gained a great understanding of the variety of people that count themselves geeks. I still think a lot of our entertainment sub culture choices are goddamned ridiculous, but you be you, motherfuckers!
Thanks to everyone who’s contributed to our experiences; Regina and the gang at https://www.facebook.com/thegeekembassycommunity/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf , Andrew, our official photographer and market research analyst (twitter @PicByAndrew ) Dante, Jeff, Ian Levenstein of Comic Timing ( http://www.speakgeekspeak.com/comictiming/ ) The fine gentlemen At RAGING BULLETS (even though we don’t understand how they’ve handled N52 and Rebirth like, at all) ( http://ragingbullets.com/ ) Cobra North, (https://www.facebook.com/CobraNorth/) The WombMates ( thewombmates.com ) Well Watchers, Jon and Owen at @ , Mike Lepine, Dani, Josh @POIpodcast, The Ever Supportive pals at @comicsnoobshow, Cbat, Chris Gaida (Johnson loves you!) @SpaceChief75, Rue, Peter Rios (https://twitter.com/peterjrios) our inimitable UK Connection ( https://twitter.com/ravenmews ) and quite a few more others tha made making the show tolerable in the later months. We appreciate all your interactions and support.
The site will stay up for roughly a year, or as long as I don’t mind paying for it. I still think we had some relevant things to say so I’ll repost a couple episodes a week on twitter, but in just a little while, https://twitter.com/TMG_Cast will switch to SuperMachoJediKnight, featuring parody vignettes and original content featuring TROOPER JOHNSON, FETT, DUMB, AND UGLY, one offs, concepts, mood pieces, and action figure photography that everyone else already does better.
Thank you very much, everyone.
BLESS YOU, FUCKERS!
Adrian TechJedi Hunter
Bill Rev MadDuck McGuinness
The rev opens noting his requirement of person entertainment. We watch Christmas Horror Story, with The Shat as a radio DJ. Tech notes he got the new BD Star Trek vault set. Eventually we get to the September Indies and talk ALIENS: DEFIANCE 5.Mutiny has turned to murder as Zula has to shoot down a drop ship of marines. We debate the practicality of weyland constantly sending missions for aliens. We debut HADRIAN’S WALL, and goddammit, PROOF READ YOUR STUFF, image creators! Outloand was 30x better, go read the marvel adaptation of that, kids. ROM 3 introduces D’Rge wraith sorcerer, and worthy opponent to Rom, but i don’t care. DESCENDER 15 is a beautiful story. I can’t put it better than that. Read the origin of Andy and Effie. SAGA 38 has the family still on the comet, Petrichor provides security and racism. Izabel might be in trouble….REVIVAL 42 has 5 things happening, and they can’t be isolated in one summary. Just read it. MERCURY HEAT 11 reveals the grand plan from Vika, and it’s both dumb and amazing.
SUPER ZERO 1 involves a ridiculous plan by a half insane teen girl likes superheroes. BRITANNIA 1 is the one Peter Milligan book TechJedi likes, involving supernatural missions to the eventual UK sponsored by the Vestal virgins. EMPRESS 6 has the kids blowed up good. Almost. The daughter betrays mom by calling dad….SHADOW: DEATH OF MARGO LANE 4 Cranston’s agent, Dr. Tan, is worried about Shadow’s state of mind over Margo. Shadow pulls a parachute drop on the red Empresses Sanctum Ship, and finds she is…well, read it. HILLBILLY 3 pleases me to no end-trolls, hoodoo witch cat chicks, trailing murderers, it’s just executed so damn well. HARROW COUNTY 16 has the family revealing their master plan, and it’s a doozy. Emmie takes care of it all though. It’s damned amazing. MANIFEST DESTINY 23 is all the crazy-pants and a fight rages to determine the representative of Navath, avatar of evil in the west.Lewis and Clarke meet the Tetons who hate them already. Some Marlboroughs cover it nicely though.
We finish up with the 100th anniversary issue of TAROT, WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE, which really, is nothing you want in softcore porn and comics.
We watch PERNICIOUS, the story of three dumb people drinking in thailand. Rev reads some L. Sprague DeCamp, and TechJedi goes back to Blue Chicks. We kick off with October’s Marvels. MS. MARVEL 12 gives us a cool little story with Kamala going back to Karachi and meeting new heroes and family. It’s nice. SORCERERS SUPREME 1 bores me terribly as wizards just wander around from different time periods. Bleh. CAPTAIN STEVIE 6 brings us the specter of impending death that oh look, doesn’t happen. eh. DAREDEVIL 12 Matt faces the terror of …VINCENT VAN GORE! I don’t need to tell you anymore. SPIDER WOMAN 12 is BEACH DAY! YAY! If you didn’t guess Sandman is the villain and Roger kicks his ass, you shouldn’t read comics. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 10 and 20-and it’s all round about double talk about clones and the dying Jay Jameson and Pete fucking up…it’s spidey and clones. Bye. DR. STRANGE 12 face the terror of Mister Misery, which is only a shade better than mr sinister. Mordo is back, Dormammus’ back, and Nightmare is there. It’s old fuckin’ home week. SILVER SURFER 7 has Dawn mad at Surfer for keeping things safe, if a shitload of fun. She takes him to task and it’s time to gamble-with The Collector! INFAMOUS IRON MAN 1 is a great start, with Victor turning a new leaf and fucking up Diablo in a great sequence-after which he steals an Iron Suit to become heroic. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN 14 is a small, personal book we like, but there’s alwauys arguments. GREAT LAKES AVENGERS is funny but really there for nostalgia.
We move on to the Star Wars section of the Marvels, starting with POE DAMERON 7-Poe meets with an old pal turned journalist, lookin for scoops on the Resistance. There’s a chase, and it’s fun. STAR WARS 24 returns us to the Cool Squad of Cool Bad Guys with Scar Squadron-tasked with taking back the ISD Harbinger the heroes stole. HAN SOLO 4 presets us with murder, racing, dead rathtars, and surprise Imperials. DARTH VADER 25 finishes the series, Vader mind tricking a living ship. Think about that shit. Mind Tricks A Living Ship. He spaces Aphra, who is rescued by 000, and Vader receives the SSD Executor and becomes worshiped by the Tuskens.
We don’t have many episodes left, but we invite you to enjoy them all and our complete 270+ backlog at TMGCAST.COM
We’re moving forward on other creative projects like TROOPER JOHNSON at http://supermachojediknight.com
I pretty much live my life by Cinema Sins-everyone knows what the fuck that is so I won’t bother beating around the bush as to what we’re talking about. I laugh my ass off at a lot of things in movies that I completely agree are sins-although they’ve moved from flat out mistakes to plot inconsistencies, bad logic, and excessive exaggeration to get a laugh.
When it comes to the Holy Septology however (and yes, either they’re all part of it or none are. Debate the quality all you want, but they are one very long story broken into parts, so “HOLY TRILOGY” is just elitist fucking posturing) I can’t sit too still when you’re tearing it apart. So here goes the TechJedi Rebuttal of Cinema Sins “Everything wrong with (all) Star Wars Movies”
All these commentaries should be read while watching along with the given Cinema Sins, cause otherwise these posts would take six weeks to get through.
A NEW HOPE
The first problem with the video is that fat assed blowhard and self styled mouthpiece of a lost and whiny generation Kevin Smith throws his 2 cents in, and they’re not even close to funny.
Stormtroopers are bad shots cliche is cliche.
They’re integral to the plot, you can’t kill them. (maiming is fine)
Who gives a fuck how Vader chokes someone Kevin, he’s being intimidating. Be funnier. First of never ending sex jokes that just ain’t fuckin funny.
You have to disable a ship before you can capture it. He asks for passengers, not military personnel. Not a sin.
Prometheus school is Prometheus.
Droids don’t really count as passengers. Half a thought when realizing there’s no continuing fire either makes you think they were stray shots. Not as Sinny as you think.
Good point about the escape pod, but who cares?
Kevin, there’s a military concept called “fire discipline”. I’m sure your wife is disappointed by yours all the time.
Escape pod dialog is a valid sin regarding how many.
Only if they were actually tracked on the way down.
Plot convenience is convenient. It’s not JJ convenient, so who cares.
“…dump off loads of Jawas to hide…” Well sure. It fucking worked, didn’t it?
CGI Riding-Lizard is Lizard. I mean superfluous. Fine.
An actual technical sin for once. Yes, someone skipped the tracks. Good Call.
Droid-crumbs. Who cares? Not a Sin.
Robot Roll Call works fine. It’s funny. I like it.
Owen got caught up. He needed a translator anyway, so he kept talking to 3PO. What’s the big deal? not a Sin.
Kevin Smith is only there to talk about dicks and run Gay Jokes. Yes the acting is poor. That’s a sin. Arcturian joke is forced.
R5’s convenient break down is convenient-a mild tension building moment.
So if you buy something from a flea market you don’t get mad if you’ve been fleeced? You just walk away with a hearty “Oh those marketeers!” Not a Sin.
T-16s weren’t for sale for 20 full years. What, you never fucking fiddled with something idly?
More crappy sex jokes. C’mon Kevin. Choose life.
You make a lot of assumptions about what a whiny teenager in “the farthest part of the galaxy” knows about Galactic Politics. All he knows is he hates the Empire.
C’mon Kevin. How the fuck do you know “Kenobi” isn’t just “Smith”? And what’s the real problem here?
Why is that even remotely a problem? It’s a simple story telling device. There’s nothing wrong to hit there.
The apparent light should probably be higher, yeah, but the rest is made up unfunny garbage.
Ok, fine. Silence is golden.
Racism is bad.
Plot convenience is convenient. I’ll hand it to you, I never thought a landspeeder would need a copilot.
Ok, That’s funny with the no life forms.
Reverse job is terrible, I grant you. You’re pushing it with the knock out job though. The one end can clearly be turned for a blunt blow.
Half truths are True.
You didn’t really add anything to it all by reiterating the last comment and just being unfunny, Kev. Enough with the sex jokes.
You’re pushing it Kev. It’s clear where the sabre was pointed. Unfunny.
It’s pointless for Obi-Wan to mention midi chlorians-even setting aside that they wouldn’t be invented for 20 years real time. Just pointless. Why would it help, and therefor, why is this a sin?
Pushing a little with the sex offender joke, but it actually matches the dialog better than anything Kevin Smith has said so far.
Sigh. Keep hitting that sister motif. We’ll get it into our heads one day.
Vader doesn’t actually HAVE a position in the Imperial military that’s made clear. Why wouldn’t a General challenge him? It wouldn’t be established that Vader straight up murders motherfuckers on his own side out of hand till next movie.
“Left one minute after the droids” exaggeration is exaggerated.
The framing comment is straight up not thinking. A military that didn’t have a database of indigenous peoples wouldn’t be much fucking good, and hey, let’s keep the secret mission to recover the secret plans to the secret battlestation secret, mmkay?
Stormtrooper accuracy cliche is cliche. At this point in the flick, there’s nothing to dispute it.
You have one point, Kev. It’s a good point. Why wouldn’t the Stormtroopers stay and apprehend Luke and the droids? It’s never clear. It’s a good plot hole, so to speak. But the rest of this lunacy? It’s idiotic and unfunny.
What’s the point of the similarity between the interrogation droid and the DS? Pointless. Why bother? How’s it a sin?
Leia has a particularly strong will, obviously. She’s the Martin Riggs of fucking SPACE, MAN.
Scavengers. Disease. You got time to go find a bunch of Jawas and explain the whole thing? No? Whatevs.
What options? All he owns is in that speeder. There’s nothing there says he has any dough in the bank or anything. You’re just making up this other options routine.
He did cry on the way. What’s blubbering on screen gonna do?
I have to trust you on Gary Indiana.
“Phantom Menace in my New Hope” is valid.
3PO is racist. I agree. At very least Classist.
No Lap Dance is Valid.
Satan and “That’s Bassist” are valid.
Racist comeuppance is comeuppance.
Extra CGI is valid.
Be funnier Kev. It’s valid, but you really, really are not adding a goddamned thing here.
Jabba’s tail is valid.
Backseat driver is valid, but a sin?
Also, your mom joke.
Exaggerated firing sequence is exaggerated.
Chess figure is defeated. It’s chess, not an RPG.
Hey, bright boy, is it that complex? The Force obeys your commands-if your command is to make your arm faster in a block, it’s gonna do that. What’s so difficult here? No Sin.
Bad judgments made solely on visual evidence don’t help. Get used to thinking about things and letting the Force augment your perceptions. No Sin.
He is, look at the screen.
Luke blocked three times. Once might be lucky. Twice would be extraordinarily Powerball Winning Lucky. 3x times is The Force.
Bad dubbing is bad. Sin validated.
Unwarranted delay in execution is unwarranted. Sin Validated.
Eh. So it’s lucky. Big deal. No Sin.
Yes, plot convenience is convenient. Sin validated with caveat. Where was the DS gonna go?
Range is a sin.
You’re skipping an important detail-They *DIDN’T* expect to find her in the Death Star. They expected Alderaan. No mention of the DS’ location or existence has been made to them. Vader never says rescue her, he says return the plans-which would fit with going to Alderaan. You’re pushing it for the sake of just having a sin here.
You just really aren’t thinking Kev. Han and Chewie wouldn’t be very good smugglers if the compartments weren’t scan shielded right? Thinking for half a damn second says the compartments are shielded somehow. The how itself is irrelevant. It’s obvious. Do Something Funny.
“Since…” when is irrelevant. People let sentences drop off in everyday conversations all the time. No Sin.
Timing for the Stormtroopers leaving the Falcon and unhiding the group is valid.
You’re half valid, Kev. Being boarded is a lot more likely to get you caught doing something then simply giving a ship the once over. Stop going back to the dick joke well. Also, try just one more motherfucking time with the “first day on the job” jokes. I’m sure it will get funny at some point. Repetition is the soul of comedy, right?
Eww, fan fiction joke. Eww. Additionally, it’s pretty obvious the droids were with Obi Wan.
Stormtrooper critique is half valid. They would have been useful, but believe me, a soldier doesn’t hang around anywhere when he could be fucking off somewhere else.
Back to the shielding on the compartments. Which is easily defeatable with your “technology we have in 2015. ”
Blaster fire is validated. Stormtrooper armor size convenience is convenient.
Can’t debate Luke’s ability to Sin.
Ugh. More dick jokes. Yes, it’s convenient. But think for half a minute-USB, MOTHERFUCKER.
Pronoun game is irritating. Sin Validated.
Boner power is all-power. Sin Validated, with caveat. Otherwise, movie ends here.
Jovial seems to be speculation. No Sin.
Stormtrooper accuracy cliche is inverted, but there’s a lot of stuff to hit, so exaggerated. No Sin.
Silly Sin. Not a Sin.
Bad tactics are bad. Sin Validated.
Compactor sin is sinful. Validated. Drop a thermal detonator down there-and end the movie here.
Stretching credulity is not a sin.
Timing Sin is sinful. Kevin Smith attempt at humor Sinful.
Speculation is speculating. The scene clearly features the sound of a hatch the Dianoga leaves by. Lost in 18 inches of water sin is sinful. Validated.
Standard movie mistake not reshot mistake sin is validated.
Stormtroopers are gullible. Sin Validated-with Caveat-Stormtroopers sent to find the Droids would have been from the Star Destroyer, and there is no valid reason to think Death Star ST’s would ever know there were droids to look for.
Compactor speed sin is sinful. Validated.
Scared Stormtroopers are a sin-kinda. The see 4 ppl all with weapons and in 1 second they lose a guy. Tactical withdrawal is not necessarily a sin.
Wil-Storm-Helm-Trooper is funny as fuck.
Badassery is valid.
A gesture of compassion is reduced to simply environmental concern. No Sin.
She was in the pilot seat. At very least she monitored systems, maybe even adjusted them. Reaching for a sin is reaching!
Exaggerating for a sin is exaggerating. No “everyone on the Death Star” needed to be coordinated. Just the teams from the general area. It would make even less sense to waste time informing squads from several dozen decks away as to what’s happening near a random docking bay. No Sin.
Han’s overconfidence is noted-but why would he think a homing beacon could have a range of several, if not hundreds, of star systems? Seems reasonable, if ill-informed on his part. No Sin.
Mispronunciation of established name is Sinful.
Sin Validated jinxing the mission.
Tractor beam Sin may be valid-easily hand waved by fighters being too fast to lock onto, especially during dogfghting. Sin INCONCLUSIVE.
Porkins’ name sin VALIDATED. Just call him BIG FAT GUY THAT BARELY FITS IN THE COCKPIT.
Overconfidence sin on Tarkin is Validated.
TIE Fighter cannon tracking is Sinful.
Redundant sin validates previous sin. Going back to the well is Sinful.
Pointless sin is pointless.
Kevin Smith just can’t pass up a jizz joke-and it’s seriously disgusting.
Why is the sin not a sin though? Parallel shots are parallel-concurrent-not sequential. Typical movie storytelling method. The firing sequence is happening *as* Luke is sighting in the final time. Not before.
Oh Look, a blowjob joke about Mewes. Oh That Smith.
I’ve seen this scene more than a hundred times. I’ve never heard it as “Carrie”. It could be. Sin aceptable.
Letting Smith get in the Last Sin is Sinful. I agree that Chewie needs his medal, but GODDAMN IT SMITH, SAY ONE FUCKING FUNNY THING IN THIS VIDEO YOU FAT FUCK.
Also, so you read an old book at one point. Nice way to make yourself seem brighter than you come off.
Stay tuned for all the other Sins, Sinned.
We watch American Poltergeist 2, and it has no boobies. We complain and complain and complain. Also, I severely hate Greg Grundberg. Jelly donuts make an appearance. Eventually it’s down to the August Indies with ALIENS DEFIANCE 3 and 4, which features self hacking, acupuncture, and exposition city. We get Zula’s origin so to speak, and it’s ok. That’s about it-ok. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA BY CULLEN BUNN 1 is decent old school Galactica, but despite the spirituality of the original show, mind trips don’t seem to work. AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE 10 brings us their take on Interview With a Vampire, except it’s Josie, so it’s pretty neat. ROM 2 shoudl just be titled “Yeah, we’re all Wraiths”. Leave it at that. DESCENDER 14 brings us the adorable and slightly touching Bandit’s Story, and I could have read three more issues of that. SAGA 37 brings us the new locale of a comet that’s one giant fuel resource, Sophie wants to be a bounty hunter, and we’re treated to alien meerkats. EMPRESS 5 Fertility Sacrifices, that is all. WAR STORIES 19 start Vampire Squadron, Night Fliers that strike from the sky. It’s great. CONANA THE SLAYER 2 continues on with Conan recovering, having an ambush, and Sea Giants! ATOMIC ROBO and the TEMPLE OF OD 1 follows the quest for Odic energy, interrupted by Japanese super soldiers. JAMES BOND 8-9-EIDOLON continues the jurisdictional dick waving between MI 5 and 6; leading to the discovery of a plot using the “reserve fleet” of trains. MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL 3 just kinda trudges along and is a little too Chaykin for it’s own good. It’s shooting for noir, and it falls flat. SHADOW: DEATH OF MARGO LANE 3 Has the trail leading to China town, the Mayor trying to improve relations with the region, infiltration, power outages, man, good stuff. HILLBILLY 2 recalls the tale of the Hangin’ Tree, leading to a double crossing husband and sister, and the breaking of a curse. MANIFEST DESTINY 22 is Helm and Flewelling’s trek to the coast, everyone else dead, and the selection of the avatar on earth of the demaon Navath. We end it all with HARROW COUNTY 15; builds the backstories and reasons of all of Harrow county, Emmy, Hester, and everything. It’s amazing.
Tonight’s episode is all about Marvels. Before that however Tech talks about his experiences with Flash Season 2. We get on to comics with INVINCIBLE IRON MAN 12, featuring Riri, Victor, moms and school. It’s OK. INTERNATIONAL IRON MAN 6 Is all about stuff we don’t care about, and frankly, the whole adoption thing adds precisely dick all to the character. DAREDEVIL 10 still has DD eating crap from coworkers and that’s appropriate. BLACK PANTHER 5 features a mind blowingly bad decision T’challa makes that bites him in his ass later, to no one’s fuckin surprise. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 16 and 18 has developments moving fast toward a new clone saga, which frankly I can do without. But it’s could and well paced. It also features a skanky super villainness junkie, so there’s that. DR. STRANGE 10 has a hell of a fight with the Empirikul and the future Mr Misery. HOWARD THE DUCK 10 is just Batshit. work from that. Ms. MARVEL 10 brings us the unlikley fight between Basic Becky in armor, from where the hell anyone knows, and a guest shot from a vaguely reassuring but always wrong Carol. CAPTAIN STEVE AMERICA 4 needs Maria to account for Pleasant Hill will Steve gives Selvig the lab he stole from Red Ghost. CAPTAIN MARVEL 8 is just, 22 pages of CAROL IS WRONG. Hell with it. SILVER SURFER 200 has the most serious twists you won’t expect, and sigh, SPOILER FUCKIN FREE, i was truly shocked. formula inverted. SPIDER WOMAN 10 has Jess and Rogetr vetting Ulysses visions, a theory that is really not as good as it might sound-and there’s another villain bar. We like villain bars.THOR 10-Sir Ivory Honeyshot. Wow. OK, Golden Thor, minotaur, book’s got it all. We complete the show with BLACK WIDOW 6; with Nat telling Tony that she was the one brought Yinsen to Chu. This angers him, and it’s a good scene.
Rev introduces his latest POP, Lemmy. If you don’t know who that is, then it’s just as well we’re quitting cause we don’t care about you. Tech brings us up to speed hahah with his viewing of the Flash show. We eventually get to the pointless fucking morass that are DC comics from August. We start with SUPERMAN 4 and 5 and the burning question of how soulds are weigned and what their energy is measured in. Bibbo’s back and that’s probably the saving grace of the new series. Batcave on the moon. Fuck You. WONDER WOMAN 4 and 5 is still the origin we just can’t get rid of. It’s fine, it’s not new. Diana commiserating in the middle of a jungle, although in character, seems like the wrong time. Steve’s dying, ’cause that’s really all he does. DETECTIVE 938 and 939 have the bat fam in a tight spot, Robin has a a tete-a-tete with a hacked, and that seriously bores me. Kate is nice, Jacob’s an asshole, and eventually Bruce just calls the President to get a good ole’ fuck you to Colonel Kane from him. ACTION COMICS 961 and 962 While Luthor and Supes handle Doomsday, sigh, again. Eventually DD gets sent to the phantom zone, and that’s probably the best place for him. Although that is already being set up and not worthwhile. LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN 9 was probably the single best DC book this month, with loose Titans, and Gaia herself providing Diana the kick she needs to end the threat. It’s great. We end it all (and after these books, we really wish we could end it all…) with BATMAN 4and 5. The scenes with Duke and Gotham Girl are really good, but this numerological stuff is straight outta Encyclopedia Brown, and that’s shit. Gotham Girl starts fighting through the Psycho Pirate’s influence, and I liked that. Anyway, that’s the end of this ep but you don’t care, lolwhut.
See, here’s the deal: I love comics. I got into comics when I was 14-relatively late for most people my age, I know; but it ended up to be perfect timing-Miller’s DKR was mere months away, Crisis On Infinite Earths was just wrapping up, and both OHOTMU Deluxe and Marvel Saga had just kicked off, with DC Who’s Who running. Those two right there were so valuable in learning about the comics world of late 1985. I couldn’t, honestly, have understood a goddamned thing about comics without those. In younger years, I knew super heroes existed; there was The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Batman and Wonder-Woman all on tv, live action, with corresponding cartoons all over the place. But you all know this.
What I never dreamed in 1985 was that I’d find comics not a crutch for life, not straight up escapism, (and yo, hand to god, I hate that fucking phrase) but a part of my entertainment taste I’d keep (so far) the rest of my life. We didn’t have a lot of outlets for comics in 1985 Connecticut. There was literally the General Store, Kenny’s, which had a lot, and 35 years later I’m no longer scared to admit-I stole a lot of issues from; there was the Madison bookstore, it’s proper name lost to the mists of time, (and yeah, it was probably Madison Bookstore) and, if we were really adventurous or a mother was particularly gracious with her time and gas, Arrow’s Attic in Essex-a good 22 mile round trip on bicycles. So anyway, all through high school I was able to indulge myself on Claremont, Byrne, Miller, Romitas, Zeck, Maguire, Simonson, Colan, oh god, so many amazing artists and writers because of my job at the restaurant, and under the table pay, and incredibly unethical time-keeping practices kept me in comics-dough.
Invariably I amassed probably 6 long boxes in those years; 1/4 of what I have now, but it was only 4 years, what can I say. Also invariably, I started learning about the industry-through the amazing resource that was Comics Buyer’s Guide. For years before Hero and Wizard, long, long before internet, this was the single reliable, frequent way to get the inside shit to comics. And here’s the kicker about that-it was honest and they considered themselves the old school version of journalists. None of this Bleeding Cool crap. But that’s for another time.
What I’m trying to get across is that I’ve been involved for a very long time and I’ve indulged differing levels of involvement. After a more than 8 year forced-financial hiatus from comics, 2007 came, and I heard there was a new comic shop just a couple miles away-and it all re-ignited. I couldn’t get enough. The ridiculousness and over the top horseshit from the 90s was gone-there was Bendis and Brubaker and Phillips and Maleev; and honestly, comics in the last ten years are better than any I’ve ever read. Spidey is kicking so much ass, Captain America has proven a viable property again, Ms Marvel is the goddamned Arkenstone-and the Image books-my god, if you told us in 1996 that we’d be buying almost as many Image books as Marvel, we’d have laughed you out of the room. So comics…goddamn, I love them.
But here’s the real point. Eventually at cons like NYCC, I noticed another outlet for comics opinion, news and analysis-podcasts. For a long time I had heard about the existence of podcasts, but I frankly wrote them off as…I don’t even know what I wrote them off as, ’cause I thought they were for Ipod owners, and I thought those guys were pretentious jerks. I didn’t that know anyone could produce or listen to a podcast just because they were mp3s. Had no idea. I talked to podcasts like Ian Levenstein and the guys from Raging Bullets; wonderful guys, listen to their shows, seriously. So since my best friend is too goddamned lazy to help a guy out with his vision of a Star Wars fan film, I pressed him into service as the *ahem* “talent” of a podcast. Podcasting is funny. Making a show seems easy, and all the people claiming to know how to promote one all say the same stuff-but I’m here to tell you, you also have to have pretty amazing content, and you have to have such insane luck. So that right there is the crux. There’s a prevailing attitude that all you have to do is “put yourself out there” and you’ll get the attention you “deserve”. When we started, the consensus was that there were probably around 200 comics podcasts. Easy to make a mark. Now, there’s almost that just as a part of Comics Podcast Network. It’s nearly uncountable. After seven full years releasing podcasts, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve hit just that-the attention we deserve.
I’ve come across a piece of log-reading software that finally gives me a proper view of our download activity, page visits, and bot activity, and boy howdy, we must suck! In previous years I was misled as to downloads by poor charting and logging presentation-and simple arithmetic to divide total bandwidth by size of latest episode. That gave me a rosier and more positive view than could reasonably be expected of our popularity.
I loved podcasting. I loved getting together as often as possible with my best pal and talking about comics in “real” ways-complaining. Now, I was a soldier and generally my attitude was one of “it’s a soldiers’ God-given right to complain”. So that’s what I did on my podcast. People don’t want that shit, no matter how funny you make it, or what bits of ethical and moral hoo-ha and comics history you intersperse with it. And after a while, realizing who the most probable listeners to our bitching were-man, I don’t want to appeal to those people anymore. We started as The Mean Geek-which we ourselves perceived more as Howard Stern than random assholes. Our marketing guy suggested, rightly, that modifying the name would help-and it sorta did, as we became TMG_Cast. But on an absolute level, the bump in listenership did not equate to bumps in feedback. And that bump turned out to be transient at best. We straight up don’t know if more than eight people like anything we have to say. And that’s not even exaggerating. Regular feedback for us is right about eight people. We can’t even generate enough ire to get a hearty “go fuck yourself, Brett Blevins is the greatest artist going!”
There’s a tremendous amount of effort to be placed in the creation, distribution, and promotion of a podcast. You can just sit around a shitty mic at the kitchen table, with some ridiculous echo overriding anything you say, have some half assed cousin of the guy that only shows up every twelve episodes make you music, and you can only set yourself up on Libsyn and hope. You can do all that-but you’re never going to be noticed.
So you end up spending all kinds of money on websites; on lots of different microphones; on mixing equipment; on software; on Skype numbers. You spend a lot of money on website memberships; on promotional materials; on gigantic vinyl signs; on scaffolding to support those signs; on booths at cons, on flights to get to those cons, on promotional materials to show people at those cons. You talk to a lot of people you’ll never see again, you talk till you’re blue in the face. You’ll interview and interview and interview. You’ll buy stuff you don’t want anything to do with so you can make the appearance that you don’t *just* want filler time for your con episode. You’ll spend postage sending out hundreds of (albeit bad) comics from your own collection because you know someone wants to read those and will love them.
And you know what happens after that?
Podcasting and the promotion of podcasting has taken up so much time that now reading comics is a chore. Literally. Reading the comics I love is now an actual job task in the service of the show. It’s secondary, even tertiary, to getting people to notice what you’re fucking saying about those books. I get a shipment of 50-60 books the last week of the month. Under optimal circumstances, it might take 2-3 days to read them. But notes and analyses and opinions have to be written and formed on each and every one of them; drawing things out to a week or more. It’s work. And I don’t want reading comics to be fucking work. The practical solution to that is to cut back books, or to cut back the books we talk about. Which seems the right way to go, but listening to other shows go through one book an episode, sometimes page by page and panel by panel is annoying and ridiculous and stupid. So the shotgun/machine gun approach suited us. But I’ve come to dread the summaries; come to dread the writing. Come to dread the interminable process. Merely knocking it down in scale would no longer be sufficient.
I’ve had to learn Apache, php, and WordPress. I’ve had to buy storage and bandwidth. I’ve had to learn Skype, Sandra, and xml. I’ve paid for avatars to put on websites and badges; we’ve stood in front of, after all these cons, probably 150,000 people. Not once in seven years has anyone come up to us and said “oh, yeah, I heard of you guys!” Not once have I handed out a card and gotten an email or tweet back. Not once.
We appreciate you eight. We really do. It’s a bit of a thrill to have someone come back and say “that was some funny shit about Power Girl 12”. It opened up some connectivity and Chris, Jon, Mike, Josh, James, John, Spacechief, Dani-we consider you pals. Honestly. But I have to weigh all the effort above versus all the other things there is to be done in life. I want to make more Trooper Johnson. I want to read novels again. I want to build Lego and play Arkham Origins and I want to build fucking Macross VF-1S models. I want to up my investing. Also, and this is really the single biggest goddamned thing-I want to spend time with my best friend talking about SOMETHING BESIDES COMICS AND A SHOW FOR ONCE, GODDAMMIT.
I could say a lot more, and I have, actually-I’ve deleted 3 paragraphs devolving into whiney assed lists of things I do to no point to get the show out. But nah, there’s no purpose to that either. The final point is that getting recognized in podcasting has taken up so much time that it’s now an overriding concern for my whole life-and I don’t want that. I’m going back to just reading comics. Maybe making some. At least when I put out a page of Trooper Johnson on Instagram, someone has something to say about it. I actually got a “goddamn that’s cool!” this week.
So goodbye, kids. It’s been fun. It’s been a pretty amazing experience, but it’s time has come and gone. We will finish out episodes for books released through 2016, hopefully with all eps published no later than 5 March 2017-our eighth anniversary.
Bless you, Fuckers….and Away!
Adrian TechJedi Hunter
With Bill Reverend Mad Duck McGuinness
Since there are so fewer Star Wars books now, this is the last time we do them all at once. After this, we’ll mix them with DC to fill out that dwindling episode. Rev reveals the Wookie story book from 1979, and I’m close to mutilating him to get it. We get down to STAR WARS 22 and 23, bringing a spectacular space battle for the Harbinger. 23 reveals the reason 21 happened, setting up the situation on Tureen, and the plan to steal this ISD. After theorizing about Sgt Kreel’s Bad Assed Squad of Badasses we jump to DARTH VADER 24. It’s pure “I am Vader, and Fuck This”. That’s all you need. POE DAMERON 5 and 6 has Poe trying to deal with Grakkus, and Terex makes double cross deals with crime bosses. BB8 throwqs down like a champ on a security droid, and disengages the prison’s artificial gravity, winning the day. Terex has to eat some shit from Phasma, but resolves to strike off on his own to pursue Poe. We finish off with HAN SOLO 3-The Imperials pull some weight and threaten the race-and the race admin threaten to cut off fuel to the Empire. It all works out. Turnabout is spare play as Ace helps out Han, and that’s where we call it even.
TJ missed the premiere of Supergirl, and wonders about why Lex has to be there. Mentions S2 of Gotham; all while watching “Pod”, about a freakazoid living in the woods. It’s better we don’t have the sound up. July Marvels eventually come into play, starting with BLACK PANTHER 4, whihc is hugely dense, incredibly talky, and unplumbably deep. BLACK WIDOW 5 completes the backfiring of doublecrossing and blackmailing, with the Weeping Lion releasing private info-starting with Tony. INTERNATIONAL IRON MAN 5 features Howard’s funeral, where Fury fails to convince tony Howard loved him. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN 11 goes corporate, as the board hires Ghost to break into Tony’s lab, whom they have declared dead. SPIDER-WOMAN 9 is the All Wendigo All The Time until Carol interferes and becomes a giant ass to her best friend issue. SILVER SURFER 5 has a planet grateful enough to SS that they shower him with privileges, titles, and gifts. It freaks him out, and Uatu2 confirms he’s wiped all of Zenn-La from all memory. DAREDEVIL 9 is a team up book we like with Spidey making an appearance, but Pete doesn’t trust him anymore because of the mystical whozwhatsis re-hiding his identity. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 15 Iron Spider-MJ to the rescue. That’s where I’ll leave that. HOWARD 9 reveals that Mojo has been kidnapping Lea Thompson, and that’s goddamned genius. STEVE-CAP 3 is incredibly convoluted and Rick Jones is a hacker elite and that drives me nuts. CAPTAIN MARVEL 7 is the trial of Carol Danvers number 14. the whole book is just a long exposition of “Carol is right!” THOR 9 has 14 different things happening, as Oubliette tortures Agger, the SHIELD agents serve Cul with warrants, and the Agger Imperative is in effect. We end it all with MS. MARVEL 9, where the overzealous Carolteens apprehend Josh-and their complete lack of understanding civil rights send Kamala to talk to Carol. The teens’ out of nowhere uniforms are a tad on the nose, we think as well.