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Issue #73: Sex Vs. Violence, Captain Marvel Vs. JLA and Batman and Robin

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The past few weeks have been jam packed with comic book news and we start things off this week with discussing some of the bigger items to hit the frequencies since our last show.

Of course we then jump into our regular Book of the Week segment which include such books as: Batman and Robin #18, Brian K. Vaughn’s The Private Eye, Fearless Defenders, Greg Rucka’s Punisher, Wolverine #1 and more!

We also let you, the listener choose our topic, as we talk Sex vs. Violence in comics, what stories have influenced the most, and whether or not piracy is an acceptable way to consume your books.

Annnnnnnnnnd… we say it on the show, but just in case you missed it, the Talking Comics crew on Twitter are:

Bobby: @bobbyshortle
Steve: @dead_anchoress
Stephanie: @hellocookie
And Bob’s email is bobreyer@talkingcomicbooks.com

FYI: the crew have gone all superhero on the world, thanks to the wonderful Hanie Mohd. Like them? Make sure to follow her and let us know what you think of our new superhero pictures.

The Comic Book Podcast is brought to you by Talking Comics (www.talkingcomicbooks.com), a blog dedicated to covering the latest and greatest in comic book releases. The editorial staff is composed of Editor-in-Chief Bobby Shortle (Fanboy Remix, Doctor Whocast), Stephanie Cooke (Misfortune Cookie) and Steve Seigh (JoBlo.com contributor) who weekly dissect the releases and give you, the consumer, a simple Roman yay or nay regarding them. Our Twitter handle is @TalkingComics and you can email us at info@talkingcomicbooks.com.

14 Responses

  1. Christopher

    How dare Bob say everyone hates him?! He’s such an integral part of the show! I’ve always loved his insight, but my admiration sky-rocketed way back when he mentioned Denny O’ Neil as his favorite Batman writer.

    I know most people my age would single out Miller as the best, but O’Neil’s take on Bruce as a guy in some state of arrested development living out a child’s revenge fantasy is so much more interesting and tragic.

    But I digress. The point is Bob is awesome and appreciated – and let him never doubt otherwise.

    Great episode. And I have to agree, Batman & Robin #18 might be a perfect comic.

    • Steve Seigh

      Right on, man! It’s my mission to beat it into Bob just how valued and important he is to this project. Not only is he a wealth of knowledge but he’s also our cherished friend.

      • Sean Lamont

        If only he had a Twitter account so we could all regale him with our comments of his awesomeness. 😛

        Bob’s my favorite debating buddy here on the site! We are of diametrically opposed opinion, but common in our goals for enjoyment of the medium. And its his focus on that facet that makes Bob a joy to discuss items with!

  2. aithon

    on the subject of sex and violence in american stories and media, don’t forget two major factors that we have in our history that other countries do not: the film code of the 30s and the comics code. While both had some clauses that were anti-violence, most of the film code in particular was put in place to combat the more risque films that were being made in the late 20s. i personally think that the codes set us back in terms of sexual maturity in our media by several decades. i can only hope that one day we will outgrow our fear.

  3. thisjohnd

    Piracy is a tricky, tricky issue. I tend to agree with Bobby that it’s stealing, but then in Steve’s instance of buying the item that he pirates if he likes it and wants to support it, does that truly justify the piracy? If you stole something from a store but then went to the store and bought the same item, you’d still get arrested for stealing. Unfortunately we live in a world where piracy is a viable option for a lot of people that don’t want to jump through hoops to get what they want. I know plenty of friends that pirate Game of Thrones because they can’t get HBO without having to pay for cable. That doesn’t make it right by any means, but realistically we live in a world in which most people pirate in some form.

    Even Bob’s method of reading a book inside a store could be considered piracy. I know you’re giving the LCS plenty of money elsewhere, but think about this totally hypothetical situation: Joe Comic Reader, with his stack of three dozen X-Men and Avengers titles, decides that since he puts down all that money each week, he can just read Captain Marvel or Daredevil in the store and never pick up a single issue. Isn’t that taking money away from those creators? Now I know that if Bob were reading something he loved he would buy it even after reading, but unfortunately not everyone has those kinds of morals.

    I suppose I’m just stirring the pot in Stephanie’s absence this week, so this was just a little devil’s advocate to brew up some discussion on the matter.

    • Bob Reyer

      John,

      I agree that even my “reading in-store scheme” keeps money from creators! The grey area in this scenario is that as your LCS is on a no-return basis with the distributor, the comic has already been “bought” by the store, so any royalties are determined on that sale to the retailer. Of course, you could make this same argument for just stealing the furshlugginger thing from the store, too…forget I mentioned it!

      Bob

  4. Christian

    I picked up a couple comics, less than I can count on my hand, through less than normal channels. But, I have since dropped that line of getting my books and I support my local store.

    Now I have Marvel Unlimited which has been really really really awesome. I have been able to catch up on some events from when I was first reading comics, Thanos Quest, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade. Wow. Those are great books and Thanos is a mad Titan. It is well worth the cost and I have already paid for it in just the few titles I have already read.

  5. Walt

    First, a big thanks to Bob for getting me to pick up The High Ways 2 last month and to stick with it. Book 3 shakes things up again – I like that I can’t really tell where it’s going next.

    I really enjoyed the “influences” section of the podcast – great to hear what (and who) was influential to each of you. I slot in a generation between Bob and Bobby/Steve so it was interesting listening. I too had a very “not by the books” English teacher (in high school) that influenced me into getting my BA in English.

    Great podcast.

    • Bob Reyer

      Walt,

      The High Ways has been such a fun ride! I thought I had the mystery figured out, but I surrender completely to Mr. Byrne’s imagination at this point!

      Thanks for the “thanks”,
      Bob

  6. RepStones

    Hi guys, great show as always. first off, Bobby your description of Rucka’s The Punisher has finally forced my hand into buying it. I was just outbid on Ebay by 50p for the first volume, so i took Steve’s advice and headed over to Amazon whereupon i got it for a reasonable enough price. Its now winging its way to Belfast as we speak (hopefully) and can i expect a refund of you bobby if its crap? 😉
    but im sure it won’t be as it sounds kinda like Brubaker and Rucka’s Gotham Central, in that the main character isn’t actually the main character. I love that series.

    As regards the piracy issue, can’t say ive ever pirated comic books. Movies and music are another issue entirely. but even then i have my standards. For instance, anything with actors i really like, such as Kurt Russell (who seems to have retired with Goldie Hawn) or Mr T Cruise, i’ll gladly pay my money for their effort. Directors such as John Carpenter (im a total carpenter fanboy) or Spielberg i’ll give my money gladly. i use to feel the same way about Mel Gibson, but that was before he went off in his crazy antisemitic hot air balloon. Now, well, i wouldn’t pay for his stuff. Same goes music wise, artists i really like, i’ll fork over the cash, stuff im not sure i’ll like, well…

    As regards actors i love who are dead, like John Cassavetes or Bob Mitchum, well they’re dead, so im not putting them out of pocket through piracy, same with musicians like Elvis (is he dead…i mean really?)

    I have pirated books before, but they were expensive academic stuff. I’m more than happy to give James Lee Burke and Elmore Leonard my cash.
    Which brings me to another issue, Bob i heard you mention Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men – great, great book. Have you read his Cannery Row? it’s prob my favourite work of fiction. Beautiful tale about layabouts trying to throw a party for a friend in Depression era Monterey. Just a gorgeous lazy little tale.

    Ive forgotten something else i wanted to mention, but thats typical of me. Hope you’re all having a great weekend, including you guys who also commented. We’re snowed in here in Belfast, so its red wine and comics time 🙂

    • Bob Reyer

      Patrick,

      I have never read Canary Row, as I didn’t think that a book about budgies would be very interesting.

      Robert dear, it’s Cannery Row, and as Patrick describes it, you can see that it isn’t about birds. @udrey

      (Thanks for the correction, Audrey)

      I will add that to my reading list; the problem is that things sometimes take a long time to actually get read! I pulled out my copy of A Night to Remember in order to peruse it for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and all I ever got to was the first chapter! I’m nearly done with Dr. Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent for the umpteenth time though! (It’s not nearly as much fun this time, since the new revelations about his research!)

      Best to all in snowy Belfast,
      Bob
      ps) …who now is thinking about Hitchhiker’s Guide. as “snowy Belfast” has morphed into “Slartibartfast”!

      Bob

  7. Ethan

    Hi Guys,

    Fist, I want to thank you not only for reading my email on the podcast, but for having such a lively discussion around it. Steve, I just want to say that I definitely did not intend to imply that there should only be certain art in certain comics, and I apologize for leaving that impression. My point was just that the art in Captain Marvel is not what I want from a super-hero book.

    That said, I did pick up Captain Marvel #11, read it and dropped the title from my pull-list at my local comic-shop. On the one-hand, I was tempted to see if I would like later issues more, on the other, that would mean not buying other comics that I know I would like better (like JLA). Let me be clear, however, that I am glad that Captain Marvel is there and I hope it continues on. There are a lot of people who absolutely love the book and the direction its taken, and it should be there for them. It’s just not for me.

    Just to follow on that, I think it’s interesting that both Steve and Yale Stewart (in the next interview podcast) were quite vocal in their dislike for the unified “DC style” of art, whereas, for me, that is one of the reasons why I love DC comics. I love that style of art, and I love the fact that if I pick up a Green Lantern or a Justice League comic, Hal Jordan will pretty much look the same. At the same time, my pull-list for Marvel is very short (down to two comics, now) in large part because recently, half the time when I pick up a Marvel book, I don’t like the art. Ultimately, though, as was pointed out in the podcast, whether someone likes or dislikes art is a very personal thing. I’m glad that the two major publishers have very different approaches because it gives room for different people to buy major comics that they love. I know that if DC took more of a Marvel route, I would pare down my pull-list considerably.

    Second – I loved your segment on violence and sex in comics. There is definitely a tendency to focus more on sex than violence as being objectionable, but I think that is something that has always existed in American society. Furthermore, it’s not just comics, but almost all media. For those who remember, back in the early 90s there was a controversy over NYPD Blue on TV because it showed two naked people in the shower.

    Third – In the segment on piracy, you mentioned places where people could legitimately purchase comics for less money, thus avoiding piracy, and I would just like to add one more. I have had great luck finding recent books (2-3 years old) relatively cheap at comic-book conventions. There are lots of smaller conventions all over the country. They are not as well known as ComicCon or WonderCon, but often they are great for people who love comics.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Ethan

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