What do you mean you missed the most recent episode of The Hour Cosmic, your favorite comics game show podcast? It was our second ever live show (recorded at Heroescon in Charlotte, NC) and featured guests Tom Scioli, Jim Rugg, and Ming Doyle.
Reverse engineer that shame into joy by listening to it below:
Okay, well, while you’re listening to it, here’re co-hosts Chad Bowers and Greg Matiasevich with their take on this week’s discussion question: Imagine you’ve been given a chance to put together a comics “gift bag” for someone who just saw one of this Summer’s major blockbusters — what do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?
Curse you, Tom Scioli! Transformers comics are right there in my wheelhouse, but, as you’ll no doubt hear, Tom does a stellar job on this week’s show suggesting some fine Transformers comics — including his own Transformers vs. G.I. Joe — to those poor souls stumbling out of Transformers 4 Age of Extinction. That being the case, I’ll be ambushing the folks who’ve just seen the new Godzilla. So, if you’re someone whose interest was piqued by the Summer’s literal biggest blockbuster, but could’ve used a little more monster smashing, here’s a few comics I bet you’ll really enjoy!
“Essential Godzilla” (Marvel)
In the late 1970s, Marvel, though a almost unbelievable licensing deal with Toho, published 24 issues of a Godzilla ongoing series that was set firmly in the grand ol’ Marvel U. Written by Doug Moench with art by Herb Trimpe (some of his best work), “Godzilla” saw the King of the Monsters going toe-to-toe with the likes of SHIELD, the Fantastic Four, and Devil Dinosaur (more on him in just a minute). Like Rom and a number of other licensed projects, it’s exactly the kind of comic we’ll probably never see again, making the whole experience that much more surreal when Godzilla takes a couple swats at the Thing. The issues aren’t very expensive, and typically are pretty easy to find, but I suggest springing for the now out of print, but still affordably priced Essential Godzilla. It collects the entire series in one package, and yeah, I know folks sometimes hate the Essentials B&W newsprint format, but trust me, it works nicely with Godzilla. Trimpe’s uncolored art really sings, but even more than that, the lack of color suits Godzilla’s b&w origins.
“Devil Dinosaur Omnibus” (Marvel)
Devil Dinosaur’s not Godzilla. In fact, he’s almost better. But I won’t waste my breath defending that statement, or spend a paragraph telling you why Devil Dinosaur will knock your socks off. I’ll just show you this:
“Godzilla: The Half Century War” (IDW)
Maybe the best Godzilla comic of all time, James Stokoe’s Half Century War tells the story of one man’s obsession with Godzilla, following him and his associates as they interact with Godzilla across five decades. Stokoe’s art and storytelling are just amazing, and there are several scenes that are guaranteed to leave you speechless. And this one’s got more Toho monsters than you can shake a stick at, so keep your Giant Monster Field Guide within arms reach.
“Godzilla: Past Present and Future” (Dark Horse)
Dark Horse held the Godzilla license for most of the 90s, and did some fun comics which too often get overlooked. My favorite story arc is collected in Godzilla: Past, Present, and Future, and features an insane scientist traveling in time with Godzilla, and using Big G to create some of history’s biggest disasters. Think you know what happened to the Titanic? Think again!
I took a little liberty with this question and my answer (which isn’t the only time this was done, if you’ve listened to the episode already). The film I picked was Jodorowsky’s Dune; a summer blockbuster only in the sense that the Blu-Ray will be released this summer and it will completely blockbust your mind. With that out of the way, here’s what’s in my “gift bag”:
Bill Sienkiewicz’s “Dune” (Marvel)
In the 1980’s, Marvel was all about doing movie tie-ins. Raiders of the Lost Ark, 2010, The Dark Crystal, Blade Runner, Return of the Jedi… The House of Ideas put their stamp on all these and more. But one of the mindblowing combinations they put together was “New Mutants”-era Bill Sienkiewicz and David Lynch’s Dune. I say Lynch instead of Herbert because Sienkiewicz was drawing from that version instead of reimagining the original text. So it’s not as crazy as it could have been, and certainly not a substitute for Jodorowsky’s imagination. But as a wonderful curiosity, it’s great. For the grab-bag, I would include the Marvel Super Special version (#36) instead of the three-issue mini because it’s magazine sized and on better paper.
“The Incal” (Humanoids)
While we didn’t get Jodorowsky’s Dune, that whole endeavor didn’t go to waste. Aside from the multitude of science fiction films it spawned, that project also gave us Jodorowsky/Moebius comics collaborations. The best and most famous of which is The Incal, in all its varied forms. Cosmic and comedic at the same time, this is a work that launched a thousand imitations, like so much of Moebius’ output, because it is that singular of vision. Humanoids has a selection of hardcovers that might still be in print at the time I’m writing this, but I would definitely have one for the gift bag.
Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” Omnibus Vol. 1 (DC)
The first of two Kirby books on here. Jodorowsky is known for his unfettered creativity, and one of the few comics creators I can think of with a similar inclination and drive to just keep following their muse is Jack Kirby. This collects the beginning of his New Gods saga at DC in 1971 following his first stint at Marvel. It may be rough around the edges and not as polished as the Stan Lee-edited work that preceded it, but you can’t say he wasn’t giving it his all. A real high point in the man’s career and a main jewel in the crown of The King.
“2001, A Space Odyssey” (Treasury Edition, Marvel)
The other Kirby book, which is like a cover version of the Kubrick film but done in a completely different musical style. Kubrick austerity is shattered by Kirby Krackle, and I for one am thrilled he got the opportunity to do this. It isn’t better or worse than the original, but a wonderful companion piece and one of the best film-to-comics adaptations of all time. You’ll have to go aftermarket on this one, but it is so worth it.
On this week’s show, we have the artist on the Image Comics book “The Saviors,” J. Bone!
J. did this awesome Hellboy pin up for us a few months ago, and we’ve been trying to get him onto the show since then.
In our second ever bonus episode, Neil Slorance joins Matt to talk about:
– The Wii U!
Let’s meet our guest, shall we?
Neil Slorance is the SICBA-nominated artist of “Jonbot vs Martha” and “Dungeon Fun” with Colin Bell. Neil has also done a number of self-released mini-comics, such as “The Amateur Astronomers Journal”, “How To Be A Ghost” and “Seven Days in Berlin. You can find Neil on Tumblr, on Twitter (@osmart) and on his website.
You can directly download the episode here.
Thanks for checking out both our gift bags and the bonus episode, and we’ll see you back here for the J. Bone episode on Monday!