Continued Hiatus

Leland and I are both working a lot, and are planning on getting back to podcasting in the next two weeks or so. For now here are something completely un-comic book related that I’ve found amusing:

Here are the last 3 Spotify Playlists I created:

Frank – Amy Winehouse

New Moon Shine – James Taylor

Rhino Hi-Five: Waren Zevon

Here is a video with Nathan Fillion! Internets love Natan Fillion!

Why I am the worst comics blogger:

*Spoiler Alert*

I have yet to see either Iron Man 3!

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Late Podcasts and Glass Candy


So, Cabel is dying (not really) of old-person problems, and that’s why we’ve been a bit behind on getting a podcast out to you. We have new content coming at you later this week, but in the meantime, listen to this song, watch this music video, and be merry.


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VFCast Season 3 Episode 20: Jedi Mind Tricks and More Slasher Movies

HackSlash cover

Title: Hack/Slash: Volume 1: First Cut
Tim Seeley Artist: Various 
Publisher: Image Comics (Previously Devil’s Due Publishing) 
Release Date: Various

Even after after podcasting and more thought about Hack/Slash I’m just not sure that one can identify as a feminist and enjoy this book as much as I do. Its just … exploitative. Perhaps it is problematic for models of female sexual awakening to be written and imagined by male authors, but I really don’t think that male authors have to constrain themselves to male protagonists.  but something about the sexy, sexy, girl in danger upsets me, in a sexy and dangerous way. Then again, perhaps that is just the rectification of the chattel norm as perpetuated by the heteronormative power structure I am so subconsciously comfortable with. Perhaps Seeley’s examination of violence, de-sexualized, for the most part, stands as a criticism of the “violence against is always rape” script of mainstream superhero comics. Perhaps it is just fun to watch pretty girls hit monsters with bats!

Being a feminist comic book fan is hard, ya all! If you care about feminism and comics, read this one and tell me what you think?

[For those of you who noticed that this podcast posted late, you can blame Alan Kunts, our errant Vestrymen blonde correspondent. Homey got married last weekend, I was in the wedding, whole think sort of murdered my productivity.-lwebb]

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Jack Ruby – “ Hit and Run”, The Humberts – “Charlene”, and Whore Paint – “This Body”. Intro music is “Action Figures” used by permission from Masai.

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VFCast Season 3 Episode 19: Junk Science Follies of the Wu Tang Band


So it has been a while since we podcasted. My tire blew out on the way to work last week and that kinda threw everything into chaos. Fortunately Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry are having a great year.

Archer and Armstrong’s art walks that line between cartoony, hyper realistic, and just plain fun better than a Dick Grayson fighting a polar bear on a tightrope. Perhaps there is a pit of lava under them, but that might be reaching too far.

Also we touch on this in the ‘cast above, but having a martial artist named Archer use a crossbow seems a little on the nose. His name is Archer, that doesn’t mean he has to be an archer. He could just be a badass with a name that makes him sound like another badass. He seems to prefer kicking people to shooting them. Krav Maga! [I’m pretty sure he uses his ‘signature’ crossbow exactly once in this volume. -L]

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature You Say Party! We Say Die! – “ Laura Palmer’s Prom”, and Steve Mackay – “The Prisoner”. Intro music is “Action Figures” used by permission from Masai.

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VFCast Season 3 Episode 18: Ed Brubaker vs, Italian Cinema, Fight!


Fatale might be more than Leland and I gave it credit for. Perhaps it is an examination of evil. It is just possible that in each chapter the kind of evil Brubaker is examining becomes more abstract, less driven by understandable human desires. By the last act we have an evil that totally sublimates human reasoning, replacing them with elemental evil.

I often think that when others like something more than we do that we are missing something, not catching a key part of the book. Perhaps we missed some subtle joke, some intense moment of character exposition, some dark sorcery driving the whole book from “good” to “great.”

Perhaps we are just bastards who hate fun. Who knows?

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Youth Avoiders – “ Run”, and Crown the Invisible – “The Spaniard that Blighted My Life”. Intro music is “Action Figure” used by permission from Masai.

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A hot mess

My favorite comics blog calls the current age of comics the Platinum Age. Scipio is not wrong, not but I think it is clear that there is more going in the current age of comics than he has accounted for. It is fair to note that it has been four years since he wrote the linked piece and the landscape has changed significantly. Who wants to be fair really?. I’d rather 328936-118779-justice-league-of-am_superwrite about where the industry is today.

The New 52, Marvel Now, and The Avengers move have all come out since 2009, proving Scripo’s analysis of the superhero genre is on the nose.  Superhero comics are currently in something that would fairly be called “The Platinum Age.”

Something interesting is happening around the edges, though. Comic books have broadened themselves out again. The comics code authority’s rise in the mid 50s ended horror, noir crime and any sexually explicit comics. Starting in the 80s we saw some of these genres returning to publication, but to me, looking back, many of those works feel juvenile; like a 15-year-old trying so hard to prove they could be an adult. At their worst The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen feel like shock media, though never for long, and 250px-Youngblood_01_covernever in the same way The Youngbloods do.

I just interrupted my reading of Ed Bubaker and Sean Phillips moody Fatale to write this. We read and loved Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth Stumptown recently. Though neither Leland or I love Multiple Warheads or Saga as much as the zeitgeist seems to they are works of substance and value. Fantasy comics, which have always had a slow, reliable market seem to be bursting out of their corner with Mice Templar and Amethyst. Soft and hard sci-fi comics litter the shelves, from a surprisingly good Star Wars title to the delightfuly whimsical Lost Vegas. Valliant comics is insuring that the Dark Age is forgotten, publishing a grip of well reviewed anti-heroes.

Though Scripo’s analysis is shiny, it is important to include the revitalization of neglected and abandoned genres that is a part of today’s landscape. Today’s creators throwing together the gold, silver, bronze, iron, platinum, and the metals forgotten between the ages, churning them together, distilling their mistakes, their creative brilliance, and their pure joy to create something new. The current age of comics is pushing at the edges of what you expect, forcing us to consider what is possible, what it means to be a creator, a reader, a fan, or an admirer. It is an exciting time to be a part of the comic book industry, even only as a fan and commenter in the Age of Alloys.

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VFCast Season 3 Episode 17: Saga: Star Wars for Perverts!

No part of me is ever ‘safe for work.’ I am an unsafe worker, bitches. I got fired by OSHA! This podcast is, however, less safe for work than our normal podcast.


Title: Saga Volume 1 
Author: Brian K. Vaugn
Artist: Fiona Staples   
Publisher: Image Comics    
Release Date: October 10, 2012

So for the next month or so we are gonna be catching up with the hip kids. Every time someone says to me “Wait you are not reading x” we are gonna buy that ‘x’ thing and read it. You can imagine how quickly our reading queue is filling up. We are starting with Saga.

What do you want me to say about Saga? You are surprised that we haven’t been reading 545_-_1024x768_amalgam_comics_batman_cape_claws_comic_darkclaw_fusion_marvel_comics_moon_rooftop_skin_tight_wallpaper_wolverineit? So are we. You want me to tell you how awesome it is? Listen to the podcast if you want to know what we think about it! You wanna it to be more Batman-y? Just read the parts with The Will and ignore everything else [Wait… since when is Batman an amoral bounty hunter? -L]. Same thing if you want it to be more Wolverine-y, actually. You could also read Dark Claw in that case. I think you might enjoy reading Saga more, though.

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Eaters – “Ginger Ninja”, and Long Hair – “Ye’ Vessel”. Intro music is “Action Figure” used by permission from Masai.

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VFCast Season 3 Episode 16: Huge UnChanges to the Status Quo!

NAZI robots! Cap with Thor’s Hammer. That one dude from Broxton being awesome! The UnDeReCaptaining of Steve Rogers! All this and more!

Say what you will about Fear itself, and Leland and I have tons to say in this podcast, but we both left the book with more smiles to be counted to our lives than when we came. As I am writing this a second round of explosions is going off in and/or near Boston. I am actually really happy that we read this book this week. It feels like emotional armor against the onslaught of tragedy and pain. Fraction’s message of optimism, hope, brave leadership, and a dedicated populace is helping to shape how I view the current tragedies. I go to sleep tonight, just about midnight on 4/18/2013 thinking of my friends in Boston and praying they are all safe. I hope that our leaders and first responders are efficient, effective and safe. Somewhere out there I hope that a first responder, or someone from Boston has the same response to this book as I do. I hope it helps…

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Gillicuddy – “Thinking of You”, and Karsten Pflum – “Coil Up Swedish Pony Riding”. Intro music is “Action Figure” used by permission from Masai Andrews.

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VFCast Season 3 Episode 15: Albuquerque Has Comic’s Creepiest Dentist

It’s and eat or be eaten, whether you’re homo neanderthalensis or homo sapiens superior. Don’t blink, food your mogwai after midnight, and don’t forget that the enemy is in your own mind as we extoll the virtues of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men!


Title: New X-Men Vol. 1
Author: Grant Morrison
Artist: Frank Quitely  
Publisher: Marvel Comics   
Release Date: May 28, 2008

I fucking love Xorn. Xorn is awesome, and I will fight you if you disagree. Yes terrible, strange, and confusing things happened to Xorn following the end of Morrison’s run on New X-Men but I want to forget about that and just remember how fucking likable and awesome Xorn the healer is. Morrison writes likeable outcasts better than almost anyone writing comics today. I suppose that is why Xorn works, both at the beginning and end of this arc. I love Xorn, so his betrayals, his compassion, and all his choices really hit home. We really liked this book! You should buy it! [Xorn has maybe 6 lines of dialogue in this entire book. -L]

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Albuquerque locals A Hawk and a Hacksaw– “Hora Pa Bataie”, and Candlegravity – “Wanting Some”. Intro music is “Action Figure” used by permission from Masai Andrews.

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“I didn’t know rap was for that!”

A friend of mine is having a absolutely heartbreaking family health crisis. To help her cope I sent her Tnmmd of Almost Home by Masai. In the midst of her parents both being simultaneously hospitalized, for different reasons, a song from a genre she is fairly unfamiliar with made her cry cathartic, soul cleaning tears. The next time I talked to her she said to me “I didn’t know rap was for that!”

We are using Masai’s music on our podcast these days because we like it, of course. There is another reason too though. His music shares one of our favorite traits; it transcends it’s perceived genre limitations.  Rap doesn’t help you deal with grief, comic books are for kids, and classical music is boring and hard to understand.

Like so much of how we interact with each other, perceive one another, and how we engage the world, our beliefs about what a specific kind of art should and can be are shaped by cultural biases. Even the creators who are aware of the prejudice and who attempt to live free from it are aware of the assumptions that drive mainstream understanding of whatever part of the world is being lensed by social norms. Some would say that the weight of these assumptions is even heavier on them.

The Vestrymen tend to love art that works to transcend its genre e expectations. The Sentry reminded us that superhero comics can deal with addiction, loss, pain, and alienation in staggeringly honest and difficult metaphors. Blankets reminds us that faith, sexuality, and intimacy can be addressed through panels and speech. Almost Home lets us know that race, grief, and humor are not the anthemia of spoken word set to beat.  The Absorbascon’s and The Astroboys humor and warmth reminds us that not all comic book bloggers and podcasters can be a positive way to talk about and promote the medium that we all love.

As artists transcend the expectations they force us to transcend ourselves. The surprise and pleasant elation that we feel when we are confronted with something better than expected mirrors the surprise that Huck Finn feels as Jim constantly upends his racial expectations.

I know artists struggle with the belief that in order to be successful they must make the art that is expected of them. I don’t think that Almost Home or The Sentry will ever sell as well as Detective Comics #18 or Who Let the Dogs Out. I can only hope that making the world a slightly better place is enough of a consolation prize for Masai and Paul Jenkins.

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