You Read These With Your Eyes // January 18th, 2017

On some weeks (here’s hoping most weeks) Brandon goes through everything that came in at Variant Edition and pulls out his picks for great introductory reads. Your milage may vary.

This week, there are dystopian futures, wizards, and grime-covered bible stories mixed in with some more straight forward superhero fare. Enjoy!

Continue reading You Read These With Your Eyes // January 18th, 2017

You Read These With Your Eyes // January 11th, 2017

On some weeks (here’s hoping most weeks) Brandon goes through everything that came in at Variant Edition and pulls out his picks for great introductory reads. Your milage may vary.

01. OCTAVIA BUTLER’S KINDRED GN (Abrams Comicarts)
by Octavia Butler, Damian Duffy & John Jennings

This classic sci-fi novel is adapted into a beautiful graphic novel. A couple of notes: I have yet to read the original novel, and I’m only halfway through this book, but if you do a quick search, you’ll be able to find unending articles about this book’s importance to the world of pop culture. From my experience so far (as though that particularly matters) there’s good reason for this. Whether you’re a fan of the original novel, or want to experience a particularly powerful and poignant piece of fiction, give this book a read.

(I’ll be sure to give my full thoughts on the book later. Stay tuned.)

02. GRAVE LILIES #1 (Z2 Comics)
by Cullen Bunn & George Kambadais

Cullen Bunn is one of the most prolific writers in the industry today, and for good reason. He’s one of the best, especially when it comes to creator owned content, which brings us to Grave Lilies. Along with co-creator George Kambadais, Bunn tells the story for four young women who are awoken to discover they don’t know where they are, what powers they have, and why they are being hunted. The first issue sets up an intriguing plot that will be very interesting to see play out. Keep in mind: this series comes out from Z2 Comics, a great small publisher – but as it comes from a small publisher, many stores will not stock this book, or if they do, will need to know if you’re interested in continuing with the series, as orders from smaller companies are difficult to adjust orders for.

03. DETECTIVE COMICS #948 (DC Comics)
By James Tynion IV, Marguerite Bennett, Ben Oliver & Marilyn Patrizio w/ Dave Wielgosz, Chris Conroy & Mark Doyle

Batwoman Begins here in the highly anticipated prologue to her own ongoing series. This story welcomes Batwoman writer Marguerite Bennett to the creative team to help set up the new series, and introduce a great new character to Gotham. As is typical with Batwoman stories, the art is gorgeous, with Ben Oliver turning in some of the best work of his career as the story pulls on some threads from previous Detective stories to kick off something exciting and new.

04. UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #16 (Marvel Comics)
By Ryan North, Will Murray, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi & Travis Lanham w/ Charles Beecham and Wil Moss

It’s Squirrel Girl’s 15th Anniversary, and Marvel has put together an amazing issue to celebrate the occasion. Not only do you get an amazing new story from the usual creative team, but Squirrel Girl co-creator Will Murray swings by for a sequence, with a cameo from Steve Ditko. Also, the story itself is a great one-off story that runs through various eras of Doreen’s life. Heartfelt and kind, like all issues of Squirrel Girl, this is a book to check out if you’re looking for a pick me up, or if you’ve always wanted a good spot to check the book out.

05. JUSTICE LEAGUE / POWER RANGERS #1 (DC Comics / Boom! Studios)
By Tom Taylor, Stephen Byrne & Deron Bennett w/ Kristy Quinn and Dafna Pleban

In full on insane news, this series exists, and it’s a ton of fun. The story begins in the Power Rangers’ world as things suddenly and swiftly go awry, bringing in… Batman? Wait, what? Yeah. So this is bonkers, but in the best ways possible. If the team-up intrigues you in any way, I highly suggest you try the book.

For a complete list of what’s out this week, you can check out our shop’s weekly Incoming post where we list everything that we’re getting.

Hopeful and Empowering Comics (Or) Take That, Patriarchy!

I’m making this list because… last year was really, really hard. I think it was hard for most people – and I wanted to share the comics that helped me push through all of the muck in 2016.

These are some books that allowed me find some power within myself.

MOCKINGBIRD (Marvel)

by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk & Various

Elevator Pitch: Bobbi Morse is living her own life, and men try to ruin it. Something something corgis something something Bobbi saves the queen.

Recommended Because: It’s a book that emphatically states that women can and should be the stars of their own story. Bobbi is in charge of her life and makes her own story, and the comic’s reality often reflects that. Also there are so many corgis.


FAITH (Valiant)

by Jody Houser, Francis Portela, Marguerite Sauvage & More

Elevator Pitch: Nerdy blogger who can fly, saves puppies and fights for the greater good.

Recommended Because: Faith is a superhero that’s like me and a lot of my friends – and while she’s not all powerful, she still tries her very best – an important lesson to remember.


PRINCELESS: RAVEN – THE PIRATE PRINCESS (Action Lab)

by Jeremy Whitley, Rosy Higgins & Ted Brandt

Elevator Pitch: Group of women create their own pirate crew and seek vengeance, while learning about each other a long the way.

Recommended Because: It features a group of women who fight for what they believe in within a world that tells them they shouldn’t. Very empowering.


GIANT DAYS (Boom!Box)

by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Max Sarin & More

Elevator Pitch: Four women in university, living through school and boy drama, and having silly adventures together.

Recommended Because: This series provides a comforting place to live. When you’re with the characters, it feels like you’re visiting friends. Not only  is it the only comic that still makes me laugh out loud during every issue, it provides a good reminder to appreciate the friendships that we build into our lives.


GROOT (Marvel)

by Jeff Loveness and Brian Kesinger

Elevator Pitch: Groot goes on a journey to find Rocket; finds a group of misfits along the way.

Recommended Because: It’s relentlessly positive. The main character might not be able to talk, but he more than makes up for it through his ability to empathize. It’s a story that’s pure and innocent, providing a reminder of just how good we can all be.

These comics are full of hope and resilience – and they provide bravery when you think you don’t have any. They helped me get through the year, and if you’re looking to be uplifted, they might help you too.

Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
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Whatever Became of the Douglas Adams Project

Time to come clean regarding an old promise.

In February of last year, I set myself a challenge: read all of the Douglas Adams penned Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books in 2016. Five books in twelve months. Easy right? Right?

Well, I couldn’t manage it. Didn’t even make it close, really.

As it stands, I’m part of the way through the third book in the series which I think means I accomplished a little under half of my goal. There were a lot of reasons for this, which can fairly easily be gleaned from reading some of the posts on this site from the past year. I also became a little weary of pushing onwards with the series after a friend of mine privately noted that Douglas Adams himself hit a bit of a depression during the course of writing the series, and that it might not be a good idea to press on too far into the books considering where my mind was at this year. So… I didn’t. But… I will continue onwards.

I’m… trying to be better with goats this year. Part of that involves actually completing more of them, and the other part involves not beating myself up if I don’t cross the finish line – especially when it comes to matters of pop culture consumption. Anyway, I really did enjoy what I’ve read so far from the series, and I want to continue to explore that world, at least through to the end of what Adams wrote. Afterwards, I might attempt what I called “stretch goals” from the original challenge, such as digging into the Dirk Gently series and then hitting up some other bits and bobs like the sixth Hitchhiker’s book (And Another Thing…), The Salmon of Doubt, and the novelization of Adams’ unproduced Doctor Who script Shana. It’s more than likely I’ll struggle to get done the original five, let alone any of the others, but… hey, whatever. All in good time, right? I’ll keep you updated on how things are going.

Oh, and keep an eye out for our thoughts on the Dirk Gently television series, which will be popping up here when we finish watching those episodes.

What a strange, strange show.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook 

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
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Doctor Whooch in 2017

Hello everyone, and welcome to a brand new year of Doctor Whooch.

Kind of.

Sort of.

Good-Bye 2016

We somehow managed to put out 34 episodes… which was a bit of a feat when you consider how our 2016 went. Attempting to maintain a regular schedule on a podcast that requires quite a bit of alcohol intake is hard enough. When you throw in moving a business and dealing with depression, it becomes a very delicate juggling act that was extremely hard to maintain. Obviously the last thing that we wanted was for this podcast to become a point of stress… and by the end of this past year, it was starting to feel more and more like hard work.

So we’re changing some things.

The 2017 Schedule

Going forward, Doctor Whooch will exist in two forms. While a season is airing, we’ll be right there (or just slightly behind), slurring our opinions about Steven Moffat and generally being terrible people on a regular, if not weekly schedule. While the show is off, we’ll be putting the call out to friends and the internet to see who wants to be on the show – and once we have around 6 of those ready to go, you’ll get a “season” of folks getting drunk and talking about what they love about Doctor Who.

With this schedule, we hope to re-capture the point of this whole endeavour – to eat, drink and be merry while talking about a show that means a lot to us both. Some of our very best (and most drunkingest) episodes have come from having guests on to add to the conversation and take things in crazy new directions, so having off-season episodes revolve around that just seems like a great idea.

#ThirstyThursday

Oh, and also in the downtime, we’ve been coming up with ways to keep your Thursdays thirsty while we build up episodes. This includes running some of Brandon’s old Drunk Comic Recaps, re-running “classic” episodes of Doctor Whooch, and posting pictures of some hot-as-shit people… because here at Submet Industries, we’re looking to take care of all of your thirsts.

So.

Replay // Doctor Whooch and a Fist Full of Husbands

This week, we’re representing the episode where we watched last year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Husbands of River Song.

Not only would it be River Song’s swan song, it would be the last episode of Doctor Who we would get for an entire calendar year, which sucked. Anyway, take a trip back! If we remember this episode properly (and let’s face it, we probably don’t), it was rompy as hell and we didn’t totally hate everything Steven Moffat did, which is different for us.

We’ll talk with you all again soon!

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter
Doctor Whooch // Twitter

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
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You Read These With Your Eyes // January 4th, 2017

On some weeks (here’s hoping most weeks) Brandon goes through everything that came in at Variant Edition and pulls out his picks for great introductory reads. Your milage may vary.

01. THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP #1 (Marvel Comics)
by Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier, Megan Wilson & VC’s Joe Caramagna w/ Alanna Smith & Tom Brevoort

If you’re going to try one comic book this week, let it be this. The Unstoppable Wasp is explosively good. Jeremy Whitley does a fantastic job putting all the introductory elements you want into play as Nadia flies through her first solo adventure. Giant robots and brilliant imagery fill this book, which promises science adventures for all… and includes back matter that promises to regularly feature amazing women in various fields of science talking about their passions.

02. GREEN ARROW VOL 01: THE LIFE & DEATH OF OLIVER QUEEN (DC Comics)
by Ben Percy, Otto Schmidt, & Juan Ferreyra

One of the biggest surprises (for me) from DC’s big Rebirth relaunch was this Green Arrow series. Normally I’m not one for the emerald archer, but the creative team put together an extremely compelling read. While I personally had a bit of trouble getting in with the first issue that’s collected here, once the story gets moving, it tells a high octane story that doesn’t forget to have fun. It also takes Ollie and asks what happens when a white dude who is used to throwing money at problems to make them go away is forced to find ways to do those good deeds without access to all of that green. A very compelling hook for the hero, IMO.

03. U.S.AVENGERS #1 (Marvel Comics)
By Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Aburtov & VC’s Chris Eliopoulos w/ Alanna Smith & Tom Brevoort

Pure insanity in 20 pages. Al Ewing is the king of hilarious over-the-top action comics, and this is no exception. Combined with the powers of an amazing art team, Ewing builds something wonderful that not only takes a winking, satirical jab at the frankly insane state of America right now, but does so in a very heartfelt manner… while things continue to explode. Also, there’s a volcano.

04. A IS FOR AWFUL – A GRUMPY CAT ABC LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK
By Christy Webster & Steph Laberis

Exactly as it reads on the tin. Teach ABC’s to your precious youths with Grumpy Cat.

05. JLA REBIRTH – THE ATOM #1
By Steve Orlando, Andy MacDonald, John Raush & Clayton Cowles w/ Brian Cunningham, Amedeo Turturro & Jessica Chen

You wouldn’t think that a prelude comic to an ongoing titles spinning out of an event series would be a great first read… but then, you might not know of the considerable scripting powers of Steve Orlando. Orlando is on the cusp of being one of the next big names in the comic book industry, and his work on this title is an example of why. In the small amount of space he’s given, he and Andy MacDonald introduce The Atom to the DC Rebirth Universe, and present a heartfelt story about science and thinking small in order to do big things.

For a complete list of what’s out this week, you can check out our shop’s weekly Incoming post where we list everything that we’re getting.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
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Submet’s 2017 Goats

 

This year’s life goat.

This year’s business goat.

This year’s squad goat.

This year’s relationship goats.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
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Sub-Pop // In A Mirror, Darkly

This year, more to prove to myself that I can do it rather than saying anything of great importance, I’m taking the opportunity to write about our experiences in pop culture. The hope is to get a little better and pull more ideas out of my head – all the while hopefully helping those around us discuss or discover great corners of pop culture along the way.

IN A MIRROR, DARKLY

To wrap 2016 on a very appropriate note, Danica and I took the opportunity to finally watch some episodes of Black Mirror, which so many people had told us to watch. It was often described to me as The Twilight Zone by way of modern technology which… I’ll admit was a reference that was pretty much lost on me. I have yet to see an episode of The Twilight Zone beyond the opening credits which is something I might remedy this year (any suggestions as to episodes to watch or forms of access?).

Anyway, specific pop culture touch points aside, Black Mirror is a show that has a whole lot to say with our reliance on public opinion and social media. It’s also a show that I think will continue to become more and more relevant (if not outright prescient) as the years go by. The show uses the anthology format well to explore different end-points to our fascination with the opinions of a large cloud, so to speak, some edging towards an hour’s worth of fast moving thrill, while others act like putting a frog in water that you’re slowly moving to a boil. Each ask you to confront your attachments to various ideas. It’s a well done show, and while we’ve only made our way through to the first episode of the third season (we’ve been told San Junipero is a particularly strong episode that’s on our horizon), I doubt we’ll be let down by anything to come.

MEANWHILE…

If you’ve completed Black Mirror, or are the kind of person who doesn’t feel comfortable exploring the ideas of The Terrifying Future through the medium of television, I’d like to suggest the novel Normal by Warren Ellis.

Ellis has always been fascinated by The Future, so much so that the bulk of his production focuses squarely on the constant, distant humming of the world that is to come. Normal is no acceptation. The story follows a Futurist who has been deposited at a remote site where broken Futurists go to hopefully cure themselves after gazing into the abyss for too long. Ellis essentially posits the idea that we’re already doomed due to our actions, and the people who this affects the most are those who can already see or are paid to discover the curve of what’s to come. He combines this with a locked room mystery that… well that pays off almost exactly as it should.

Both of these suggestions won’t exactly make you feel good, but they sure will make you feel something. I know they’ve (briefly) caused me to stop mindlessly scrolling through my various feeds as often, with an eye towards producing more content, helpful or otherwise.

Here’s the the terrifying squall of what’s to come.

Happy New Year.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
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Doctor Whooch // Episode 108 // Yelling At Tropes

In which we are human monsters.

Check it nerds: it’s our season finalé. We have seasons now. DEAL WITH IT DOT GIF.

On this week’s show: it’s THE RETURN OF DOCTOR MYSTERIO or us, as we see it, a show for FRIGGEN NERDS. Like us. We’re the nerds. So yeah. We discuss this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special in which folks unzip their heads and also there is a lot of Superman references that Steven Moffat googled a bit. Over the course of the show, we tear into silver age comics and introduce to you the French Doctor and it is not offensive. So don’t worry about it.

We said don’t worry about it.

Outro music is “Thoughts on Fire” by Ria Mae