Doctor Whooch // Episode 062 // The Doctor Fights A Satan

In which The Doctor and Rose end up on a space station, and absolutely nothing goes wrong.

On this week’s episode, Brandon and Danica head back to their roots, and fix a part of Brandon that’s broken. Mainly, the fact that he seemingly skipped an entire disc of David Tennant’s run on Doctor Who. To that end, they watch episodes 8 and 9 of Series 2: “The Impossible Planet” and “The Satan Pit” and now Brandon is almost whole again. All he needs to do is see “Love and Monsters” which he has been warned will be a thing. So there’s that.

Also? Some Bojack Horseman talk, because that show is stunningly good, and gives us all the feels. ALL OF THEM. Enjoy!

Outro Music is “5,000 Candles In The Wind” by Mouserat

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Morning

Spending some time before the drive to work doing something other than endlessly scrolling through social media feeds. I’m afraid I’ve become a bit of an addict, and that’s one of the prime reasons why my productivity is far lower than I would like. I could blame it all on work, but I should be accounting for my downtime as well.

Cloudy out today, which should be good for a bit of reflection. I’m staring at a stack of unread comics, and man, some week sits just the most daunting thing. I love the medium, and I always will, but my capacity for intake seems to be narrowing. I still check out as much as I can each week, but I find hate volume is getting to be a bit much – and with comic companies continuing to ramp up production on volume, that doesn’t look like it will end any time soon. Over the next week, I’ll be adding more subscription titles to the Variant Edition website. Last month there were roughly 80 new selections. This month looks like more of the same.

What I really want to do is take a day or two off just to decompress and read some comics on my own terms. I want to read this week’s issue of Island and write that article about its format that has been stewing in my brain for a full month now. I want to catch up with Copra and see what madness Michel Fiffe is dropping on everyone now. So much to do and… Let’s face it, lots of time to get it all done in. I just need to buckle down and stop mindlessly floating through tweets.

More to come.

Briefly // Secret Wars: Secret Love #1

Submet is now my home for capsulized thoughts on the comics and the comics industry – because you really shouldn’t post things like this on your comic shop’s blog. A warning: these are random and typed in a flurry between working, eating, and passing out. So. Yay.

Secret Wars Secret Love

Marvel has put out a lot of anthology content during it’s big Secret Wars event – and while usually this format leaves me cold, they have been using the format and the event to push through amazing stories from amazing creators that many people wouldn’t have read otherwise.

The issue starts off with a decidedly indie vibe with Copra creator Michel Fiffe providing words and art for a Daredevil story – and while Marvel has been pushing the boundaries in terms of their house art style, this probably wouldn’t have made it into an ongoing without a minor riot from the more traditional core audience. This story is paired up with some other brilliant selections such as a Kamala Khan/Robbie Reyes story that ends in a surprising and awesome way, and a Misty Knight and Iron Fist yarn from Princeless creator Jeremy Whitley (with the very talented Gurihiru on art). The series ends with a very cute Ant-Man story from Katie Cook, but not before Marguerite Bennett and Kris Anka deliver the unbeatable Squirrel Girl Wins A Date With Thor.

It’s a beautiful, strange mix that I think a lot of people out there will enjoy. It’s about a hair away from what I think will be the future of the printed serialized comic… but more on that another day.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 061 // David Tennant Sex Habits

They’re not what you think.

On this week’s show, things are happening. TERRIBLE THINGS! Or I guess more accurately, drunk things. First, Danica and Brandon watch “The Idiot’s Lantern” (Series 2, Episode 7) where the Doctor and Rose fight an HBO show, I guess? Then it’s straight onto “The Doctor’s Daughter” (Series 4, Episode 6) where we contemplate the meta story and almost break our pickled brains.

Sex stuff will happen.

Nothing In Particular

The goal, of course, is to write something every day (that isn’t posted at or for Variant Edition) but that probably won’t happen for a while. So instead, I am starting at “post three times a week”, and going from there.

I’ve nearly missed my second self-imposed deadline. These are how these things tend to go, honestly.

01. There’s a brand new episode of Doctor Whooch out tomorrow, which will almost definitely not be safe for the family to listen to. I mean, it never is, but just putting that out there for whatever reason.

Quite recently, Danica and I (but mostly Danica, because girl is organized) plotted out the rest of the year’s shows and realized we should be putting a game plan together for episode 075. I may or may not have committed myself to writing some Doctor Who fan fiction. This is my life now. It seems to be pretty strange and utterly wonderful.

02. Obviously, the store has been taking up quite a bandwidth lately. A quick look at our brand new events page will show you that we’ve been quietly putting together quite a few things together, and that… that takes time. Don’t get me wrong: I’m loving every second of it, but man, there’s so many things to do when you actually own the shop. I didn’t quite realize it because the owners of the store I used to work for didn’t seem to do much of anything. I’m still not exactly sure how they get away with that, because I’m roughly 100% sure they’re not doing that work at home. So.

03. Danica and I will be moving back into Oliver after taking some time to not pay rent while the store got up on its feet – and honestly, I can’t wait. Our current commute is a solid hour one way, which eats up a lot of time – especially when you’re working every day of the week. Getting into a better rhythm a lot closer to the store is September’s goal. The remainder of August is trying to get some habits formed, so that I can start September with a solid base. We’re going to see how that goes.

04. I really, really, really need to write Comics Beat articles again. I’m still getting two or more ideas a week, but then I just putter around when free time emerges. Because hey – did you guys know Marvel’s upcoming Invincible Iron Man #1 already has pre-sales of over 300,000? Well it does, off the back of several initiatives that are surely going to over extend a few comic shops. I’m genuinely concerned about how sustainable these initiatives are, and there’s a lot of meat on that issue. But time. TIME, you guys. You might be sensing a theme here.

05. Finally – the 15th episode of Yegs & Bacon has gone up over at Variant Edition. If we’re very lucky, and nothing explodes, there should be a nice landing page for Y&B by this time next week… but no promises. Anyway, listen if you want to hear us make pretend a morning show in the podcast medium, like real adults with a business. Because you guys. We are real adults with a business.

Until next time, gentle readers.

Really?

Written to the tune of Thirteen by Big Star for some reason or another.

As I attempt to beat this keyboard into submission, I’m greasing the wheels by hitting up some easy fodder – specifically, a pet peeve about how certain people conduct their business. There’s a story, of course. There’s always a story.

The following happened an undetermined number of days ago, and is paraphrased due to my inability to remember specifics.

So.

A man walks through the front door of the store. Danica and I smile and greet the man. We ask him if there’s anything he’s looking for in particular. He is not (he is). After spending a bit of time wandering, I decide to see if the man is in the mood to chat. I attempt to talk to him about comics while he peruses our $1 comics sundae bar. He reacts positively, and there’s a bit of a back and forth. And then:

“So how’s the store doing?” the man asks.

“Pretty great, actually,” I say. And it’s true. The store is doing far better than we had originally predicted, and I’m glad, because it means I get to sleep at night instead of living in a world of terribly night sweats.

His face scrunches up with confusion upon taking in this information, “Really?”

The word is positively dripping with disbelief. My face shifts from a mask of actual happiness to one that merely appears to be smiling. I spend the next few minutes talking vaguely about business specifics while he casually retorts with scepticism – after all, how could you possibly make money selling comics?

Eventually, he leaves empty handed. As it turns out, he was never interested in checking out comics, but wanted to know why such a store existed and decided to ask in one of the worst ways possible.

Danica and I ended up having a quick conversation after his departure in which we are both amused and enraged. To this day, I remain flabbergasted by the whole ordeal. And the worst part? It will happen again. It won’t be the same person, but someone will still ask with the expectation of doom and gloom. All I can really do is run the best god damn comic store that I possibly can alongside my dearest companion, and our intrepid business partner. Because the best revenge is always living well.

Elsewhere: Sense8 and Humanity in Storytelling

Over at the Something Different blogI finally found an excuse to talk about Sense8 – because I’ve been waiting quite a while to try and dig through my feelings on the show. Turns out, I liked it.

The show is about eight people, coming from vastly different circumstances, learning that they might be quite a bit different from other humans in a very significant way. Working with that basic concept, there’s a shadowy organization that seems bent on tracking down and eliminating this “other” for whatever reason. Those are the broad strokes. The fine detail comes when the show dips into the lives of these characters, and pulls out some wonderful stories. I will note: the show doesn’t invent the wheel by any stretch of the imagination. All eight stories are filled to the brim with story progressions that you expect to find in each style of story being told. A thief pulls a big score and ends up having to settle a perceived debt. A cop attempts to take the law into his own hands and finds himself pushing up against the organization that has defined his life. A safe romance becomes boring, and a new, exciting prospect seems promising, but a little scary – and so forth. But what the show lacks in raw originality, it makes up for by being one of the most humane look at life that has appeared in almost any form of media in years.

For more, just head over to the full post. And hey, if you’ve watched Sense8 and have some thoughts, I’d love to hear them too. Comment below or hit up my Twitter or something.

30.

  1. Day two of being 30 and I’m already exhausted. This is life now. Everything is crumbling. Tell Danica that I always loved her.
  2. But of course, it’s not as bad as all of that. Yesterday, we worked at the shop (because of course we did) and then Danica took me for eats at Canteen – one of our favourite places in the city. The food was brilliant as always (any place that can prepare lamb well for a reasonable price is aces in my book) and the company was dazzling so… all in all, a great birthday.
  3. As the store enters it’s fourth full month of being open, Danica and I are making another big change – we’re heading back into the city into a brand new apartment. We’re both really excited about this – and will be right back in the Oliver neighbourhood, right close to the store. It’s going to be so nice to do away with the hour long commute that we currently have going. It’s nice living out of the city, but the lack of free time has been taking it’s toll.
  4. Had a visit from my mom and sister on Saturday, and they brought with them six boxes of books and comics that I still had left at my mom’s place. We had been meaning to go back and clean them out for a while, so it was nice for them to arrive – though a little strange to get a box of memories delivered to you on your 30th birthday. I’m pretty excited to go through some of them and relive some memories from my youth.
  5. The month will be filled with writing. Have a new task app that seems to be pushing me forward in all the right directions, so hoping I can stick with that and keep things moving. With any luck, I’ll nab enough free time to talk about that this week – but I also want to write up roughly 6 retail posts for Comics Beat as well, so there’s that. Hopefully something will get done this week. We’ll see… we’ll see…

5…

So I guess I’m turning 30 in 5 days. Which is a thing. And so like clockwork, here comes the pledge to start blogging more.

I know. This will all end in tears. Or more accurately, inactivity. But look: there are a few things that I still want to do. In my first 30 years, I got myself born, graduated high school, quit college when I realized it would lead to a pile of debt and unhappiness, built my life to the point where I own a comic shop and write for a reputable comic book news and commentary site, and managed to trick the most beautiful woman in the world into marrying me. So uh… that was pretty great. Now all I need to do is to accomplish something with my writing, and that’s gotta start somewhere. So why not from the wad of fear that’s welling up in my chest as I near a weird milestone on the road to my inevitable demise?

Fuck you, death. Shit is about the get real.

Let’s fucking do this.

Hashtag yolo