Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Comics Commentary: Wonder Woman Comics


This is a Media Diet Comics Commentary video review of Wonder Woman #763 and #765 (DC, November-December 2020), and Wonder Woman #1 1987 Facsimile Edition (DC, December 2020). Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Comics Commentary: Dollar Comics (DC, February 2020-January 2021)


This is a Media Diet Comics Commentary video review of three DC Dollar Comics: Batman #663 (June 2020), Birds of Prey #1 (February 2020), and Sandman #23 (January 2021). Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Transcript below...

Monday, November 30, 2020

Comics Commentary: Introduction to Previews and Recommendations for January 2021


This is a Media Diet Comics Commentary video introduction to Previews, as well as my recommendations for comics to be released in January 2021. Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Recommendations for January 2021

Find a comic shop near you, and ask for the following titles by name!


Batvark XXXXX One-Shot second printing (Dave Sim)

Cerebus in Hell 2021 Preview One-Shot (Dave Sim)

Ablaze The Cimmerian: The Frost-Giant’s Daughter #2

Abstract Studios Serial #1 (Terry Moore)

Albatross Funnybooks ‘King Tank Girl #4

AWA Studios American Ronin #4-5 (Peter Milligan)

Behemoth Comics The Strange Disappearance of Barnabas Jones GN

Boom Dune: House Atreides #4 Girlsplaining HC

Comicmix Whisper Omnibus Vol. 2 TP

Dark Horse Barbalien: Red Planet #3 (Jeff Lemire) Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #4 (Jeff Lemire) Dark Horse Face Masks ElfQuest: Stargazer’s Hunt TP (Wendy and Richard Pini) Spy Island TP (Chelsea Cain) Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons #3 The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem #4 (Gerard Way)

Drawn & Quarterly Everything. Seriously.

Dynamite Red Sonja #23 Red Sonja:The  Superpowers #1 Vampirella: The Dark Powers #2

Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. ERB Universe Book 1: Carson of Venus: The Edge of All Worlds (novel)

Fantagraphics Peepers HC Psychodrama #4 (Gilbert Hernandez)

Hermes Press The Dark Shadows Paperback Library #18: Barnabas, Quentin, and the Nightmare Assassin SC (novel)

IDW Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World #4 Korgi Book 5 (a Top Shelf joint!) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Best of Leonardo Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #3

Image Family Tree #12 (Jeff Lemire) Rain Like Hammers #1 (Brandon Graham, ex-Meathaus!) Savage Dragon #256 (Erik Larsen) Spawn #314 (Todd McFarlane) Undiscovered Country #12 (Charles Soule)

It’s Alive Breathers #5 Kona #1-2

Kenzer & Company Knights of the Dinner Table #284

NBM The Silent Invasion Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3 GN's

Silver Sprocket The Cruising Diaries One-Shot (Brontez Purnell)

Titan Sunday’s Fun Day Charlie Brown TP

TwoMorrows Comic Book Creator #25 magazine (Barry Windsor-Smith!)

Warrant Publishing Company The Creeps #29 magazine


Fanfare Presents Ponent Mon A Distant Neighborhood Complete HC

Square Enix Manga A Man and His Cat Vol. 3 GN

Viz Media Asadora! Vol. 1

Transcript below...

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Comics Commentary: Last Song #3 (Black Mask, 2020)

This is a Media Diet Comics Commentary video review of Last Song #3 (Black Mask, 2020). Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Transcript below...

Friday, November 27, 2020

Comics Commentary: Science Fiction Tie-In Comics


(Part One)

(Part Two)

This is a Media Diet Comics Commentary video review of Star Trek: Voyager—Seven's Reckoning #1 (IDW, November 2020), Doctor Who #1 (Titan, December 2020), and Dune: House Atreides #1-2 (Boom, October-November 2020). Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only (Part One). Audio only (Part Two).

Transcript below...

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Comics Commentary: Juggernaut #1-3 (Marvel, November 2020-January 2021)


This is a Media Diet Comics Commentary video review of Juggernaut #1-3 (Marvel, November 2020-January 2021). Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Transcript below...

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Comics Commentary: Conan the Barbarian Comics


This is a Media Diet Comics Commentary video review of Conan the Barbarian #14-15 (Marvel, May and December 2020) and The Cimmerian: People of the Black Circle (Ablaze, 2020). Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Transcript below...

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Comics Commentary: Holler #2


This is a Media Diet Comics Commentary video review of Holler #2 (It's Alive, October 2020). Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Transcript below...

Monday, November 23, 2020

Comics Commentary: Vacation Grab Bag


This is a Media Diet Comics Commentary video review of Action Comics #1025 (DC, November 2020), The Amazing Spider-Man #42 (Marvel, May 2020), Avengers #36 (Marvel, November 2020), and Detective Comics #1028 (DC, December 2020). Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Transcript below...

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Comics Commentary: Bill & Ted Are Doomed #3


Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Transcript below...

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Comics Commentary: Red Sonja Vol. 5 #16-21


Unscripted, unedited. Just a guy talking about comics.

Audio only.

Transcript below...

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Comics Commentary: Dungeons & Dragons tie-in comics

We'll see what we think of this little experiment! Little video comics reviews, unscripted, unedited.

Transcript below...

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Stay On, Target

This morning, I went out to run errands and to run the car a little. I didn't really have any errands I needed to run, but I wanted to get out of the house, into another neighborhood, and do something that involved other people—other than my immediate family and coworkers. Such are my needs occasionally, at this stage in the pandemic. It seems that going out into the world is a source of comfort, because this hour sojourn was just that, a search for comfort.

First stop, Burger King, for two egg and cheese croissanwiches and a large coffee. This is total comfort food, and a standby. I've enjoyed them since the early '90s, when you could still get them on "bagels" at the Burger King on the edge of campus in Evanston. I'd do my early morning radio show, go to Burger King afterward before going home, and then start my day—all before 8 a.m. as a college student. Back then, I preferred the "bagels"—and I use the term advisedly—but today they don't offer "bagels" any more, and I quite like the croissanwich itself. Usually, it's an early-morning breakfast before mustering for a Scout outdoor activity with the troop, but since the pandemic, I've popped out maybe two or three times to indulge myself on my own. Secret, silly breakfast eating in the car.

Then I went to Target. This stop had a purpose of sorts. I wanted to send a birthday card to a relative for her sixteenth birthday. We do have birthday cards at home, but this need was my excuse to get out of the house. I trawled the trading card aisle by the checkouts (sparse pickings, but some Ikoria and Zendikar Rising Magic cards), then hit the greeting cards. I tend to like getting superhero license cards when I can to help support such licensing—and thereby, comic books—but there weren't many options for women. Luckily, there was one Wonder Woman birthday card that shared a pleasant sentiment: We are all born to change the world. Happy birthday, Becca! The card is in the mail.

When I go to Target to just walk around—something I sometimes do as an adult, a form of retail pedestrianism, having done something similar with my parents growing up; we'd all go to Shopko or the mall as a family, not really needing anything in particular, just to walk around and browse—I usually spend most of my time in the games section on the edge of toys, and in the CD, DVD, and book section. For the last few years, the games section has been improving immensely, with the inclusion of card games such as Cards Against Humanity, stocking Eurogames and adjacent options such as Catan, Pandemic, and Ticket to Ride.

Meanwhile, the CDs are fewer and farther between. Now down to maybe 15-20 titles, and with LPs now, as well, for the people who like "vinyls," rather than records, I suppose. Today's options included the new live Eagles record, Roger Waters's latest, Bon Jovi 2020, and records by Deftones and Linkin Park. Middle aged man rock and nu metal, with the occasional K-Pop like BTS. But the book section was rocking—and that even with the magazine section no longer existing! 

There are maybe three aisles of books now, mostly focusing on children's books, but with an OK mix of recent notable genre and tie-in fiction, including the Game of Thrones prequel, a Star Wars novelization, and a couple of Stephen King recents. But the coolest thing to see in the book section was the wide range of antiracist writing, including Ibram X. Kendi's book. Given the heightened racial tensions leading up to and following the recent election—and our country's systematic inequality and still largely unaddressed widespread racism—I am pleased that a retail chain like Target is stocking such books. Right on.

I was also pleased to see Dungeons & Dragons in public. Not only did they have the D&D Starter Set and Essentials Kit in the game section, they had the Player's Handbook in the book section! They also had The World of Critical Role: The History Behind the Epic Fantasy. I've never watched Critical Role. I love playing roleplaying games, but the idea of watching other people play roleplaying games for four hours isn't interesting to me. (Although the involvement of voice actors makes it slightly more compelling—like RPG radio; alert, Big Finish!) I don't even really like playing on Roll20 (sorry, gang!)—I'd rather play on RPOL. But the idea of a book about people playing D&D, making their own world, preparing for their own game sessions... that's a book I can get behind. I look forward to reading it.

And it's inspired me to start a new game on RPOL: Darwell's Tower. (I'm also currently running a Conan game, but it'll be wrapping up soon.) This new game will be for four to six characters levels levels 3-4—let's say 5E just for simplicity's sake. If you'd like to join in, I'd love to play online—text only, folks!—with some Media Dieticians. Just request to join on RPOL, and I'll see you there!

Monday, August 03, 2020

Daddy Issues and Tampering with Time

Action Comics #962, 984, 989, 991-997 (October 2016 to April 2018)
#962: "Path of Doom: Conclusion" Writer: Dan Jurgens, Penciller: Stephen Segovia, Inker: Art Thibert, Letterer: Rob Leigh, Colorist: Ulises Arreola.
Lois and her son Jon are safely sequestered on the Watchtower with Wonder Woman while Superman struggles to contain Doomsday. During the battle, Superman lures Doomsday to a fortress similar to the Kryptonian one, but is hard pressed to defeat his foe until Wonder Woman intervenes. Together, they succeed in sending Doomsday to the Phantom Zone.

Part of Rebirth, this comic includes multiple supermen: Clark Kent out of costume, the Superman with Lois and their son Jon, and a super Lex Luthor. There's also a cloaked scythe-wielding stranger who somehow "intercepted the projection" and captured Doomsday en route to the Phantom Zone.

The issue includes ads for Snickers (Woman Woman is as cranky as Doomsday when she gets hungry!), Midtown Comics, DCBS, action figures, and NC Comicon. There are also several house ads: Doom Patrol, Shade the Changing Girl, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, Mother Panic, Blue Beetle, Teen Titans, and Cyborg, as well as a checklist of comics on sale Sept. 7-28, 2016.

Friday, May 29, 2020

The Comic Reader #92 (December 1972)

I really miss fanzines and newszines like this. The Internet and Web sites just aren't the same, and the kind of research required to compile an issue like this is far beyond what goes into most Web writing. When reading this issue last night, I was struck by two things. At the time of this issue's publication, editor Paul Levitz was 16 years old. And this specific issue was published in the very month in which Levitz got his first freelance work at DC—when Joe Orlando hired him to write text and letter pages. Working on the zine helped him not just become known by the DC staff, but also to develop relationships with them. That in turn led to a career in comics; Levitz eventually became editor, vice president, executive vice president, and president of DC.

This zine is awesome in and of itself, regardless of what kind of career it led to. In a digest with relatively small typesetting, Levitz collects and compiles a snapshot of what was going on in comics in late '72. The news columns include items about new and planned titles, staff assignment changes, creative assignments, lineup changes, promotions, cancellations, and health concerns. "Coming Comics" details—and in some cases speculates on—the contents of upcoming comics, including storylines, writing and art assignments, and cover art reproductions courtesy of the publishers. And "Late News and Corrections" announces Howard Chaykin's nuptials, new books of note, and recent newspaper coverage of comics—with fans offering photocopies at cost.

"Et Al" offers a slighter wider range of fandom-related news and notes, addressing media, fan deaths, zines, conventions, and books. Liam O'Connor reviews relevant fanzines, including Fandom Spectacular 1972, Comic Crusader #13, Funnyworld #14, and The Comic Detective #2, as well as other items. Steve Utley reviews Southwesterncon; Manny Maris reports on National Lampoon, Lancer Books, Swank, Ace, Ballantine, and other related markets and publishers; Tom Greeniones reports on the state of comics in Rumania; and Paul Hugli reports on the first ever Fantasy Film Con—given that that took place in Los Angeles, I might have to recreate its lineup while quarantined!

I cannot think of a single periodical or Web site today that captures the breadth, depth, range, or energy of this 36-page digest. And it wasn't produced by a staff or a company, but by a teenager. Such a good zine, with plenty of rabbit holes to explore.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Creeps #24 (June 2020)

Editor: Rich Sala; Associate Editor: Don Glut; Cover: Jeff Easley; Artists: Nik Poliwko, Benito Gallego, Santos Zaballos, Reno Maniquis, Martin Peniche, and Mansyur Daman; Writers: Don Glut, Nicola Cuti, Billy Grim, and Artie Goodwin.

I was relatively late to arrive at the joys and wonders of magazines such as Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, and even Famous Monsters. When I was younger, I was much more interested in the humor magazines—perhaps edging into the Conan and Marvel magazines—but didn't spend much time on the spooky side of the street. Now that I'm older, I realize what I was missing... though I wouldn't trade my youthful reading for a single minute.

This magazine, published by Yucca Valley-based Warrant Publishing, is a modern-day appreciation of those older horror black and whites... and it's amazing. Drawing on the still vibrant talents of artists and writers who actually worked on the original Warren publications, this is a loving modern take on a very comfortable and creative magazine approach to comics. More than an homage, it's a direct descendent of those magazines—and a lively force of its own. (And, it seems that Warrant plans to launch a Vampi homage of sorts later this year: Vampiress Carmilla.)

Conan Saga #20 (December 1988)

Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco, Editor: Craig Anderson, Assistant Editor: Sue Flaxman, Traffic/Production Coordinator: Virginia Komita, Technical Advisor: Glenn Lord, Cover: Earl Norem, Frontispiece: Dave Simons, Soul and Inspiration: Robert E. Howard

P. 4: "Jewels of Gwahlur," Script: Roy Thomas, Art: Dick Giordano, Adapted from the story by Robert E. Howard. The original Conan short story "Jewels of Gwahlur" appeared in the March 1935 issue of Weird Tales and was originally titled "The Servants of Bit-Yakin." This comics adaptation first appeared in Savage Sword of Conan #25 in 1977 and is reprinted here.

Cracked #146 (November 1977)

Editor and Publisher: Robert C. Sproul; Associate Editor: Bill Sproul; Writers: Joe Catalano, George Gladir, Eugene Parnell, Elaine Ozimok, and Peter Hansen; Artists: Howard Nostrand, Sururi Gumen, Don Orehek, and Warren Sattler; Preuf Reider: Errin Spelin; Janitor: Sylvester P. Smythe.

P. 4: "Lettuce from Our Readers," 12 letters of comment from readers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia,  Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia; and Manitoba, Canada. The best letter was sent in by Mrs. Elenore Palmer, of Old Lyme, Conn.: "I believe I am your oldest reader. I will be celebrating my 86th birthday in November and have enjoyed your magazine for many years. ... Grey power and my love to you all!"

P. 6: "Star Warz," film parody drawn by John Severin. Highlight includes comic strip- and science fiction-related graffiti throughout: "Sally Forth was here," "Wilma—I miss you! Buck," and "Dale, come home—love, Flash."