MonthJune 2014

Doctor Whooch // Episode 027 // Christmas Feels

In which Torchwood treats us to a nice holiday tale of assisted suicide.

We’re back with Captain Jack in this week and things get… happy? No, no, this is Torchwood, so things gets sad and sexy and sadnsexy. It’s like schadenfreunde, but less German. Anyway, we watched “Out of Time” (Series One, Episode Ten) and “Combat” (Series One, Episode Eleven) and drank and laughed until we cried and cried and cried.

Outro music is “September” by Sisqo and Vitamin C. Yeah, you read that right.


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Anger and Other Junk

Well that was a day. How about we get this over with?


You ever have one of those days where people just seem to keep coming at you? Today felt a lot like that. I’m mostly just minding my business, attempting to do my various jobs, paying or otherwise, and then it starts happening, all at once. An asshole on the internet tells me I’m being a dick to his kids because I except some actual god damn journalism from a so called journalist – and he didn’t fact check an article before clicking the send button. Did I mention his kids? Shit no. Although maybe I did say a good slogan for his site would be “It Feels Right”, because hey, if it feels like the truth, that’s good enough, right? Whatever. That got me in a bad mood. Then shittier things started happening on the internet, but look, trolls are trolls, and you shouldn’t feed them, right? And all of this is feeding on a bit of anger that popped up yesterday when someone saw fit to talk shit about me and my ordering in the store to a co-worker. The person in question is one of those types who squirrels things away, putting aside five books a week and picking up three. They’re the type who asks for items to be ordered and then hmms and haws when they come in and never, ever buys them. The talking shit about the ordering got to me for other reasons that I won’t go into, but suffice to say, in this case, it was amusing to hear them say that.

What I’m getting at is the fact that I’m a bit frustrated at this point, and nothing seems to be calming me down. I’m just lucky I have people in my life like Danica and James and a pretty good boss in Heidi, who went to the mat for me in the comment section of an article today, otherwise I’m pretty sure I’d be a ball of anger, and this post would have had a lot more swears. Anyway.


  • Yesterday, Danica and I started our First Whoochiversay for our podcast, Doctor Whooch. In celebration, we drank a lot, watched the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, and made fun of Eric Roberts. A lot. It was some of the most fun I’ve had recording the podcast.
  • Dark Horse announced new printings of New York Four/Five and Demo from Brian Wood, and while I still have opinions on him, I’m glad those books will be available for purchase once more. Demo was what sold me on the concept of comics outside of the Big Two, and I love the idea of it doing something similar for someone else.


We might be seeing a Rat Queens cartoon at some point! That has me pretty jazzed. I could see it as a nice addition to Fox’ current line-up (in a weird way). I would watch the hell out of that.


This weekend is the New York Comic Con – Special Edition, and I’m going to be covering news for Comics Beat as it happens… ish. There’s the small matter of also interviewing Kieron Gillen in advance of Wednesday’s release of The Wicked & The Divine. So there’s that, which is nice.


His shaking, calloused hands reach for the keys.

“A little bit of Louie tonight, I think,” he says.

Music // Thirteen by Big Star

So I’m a little late to Big Star. There’s a reason for this, kind of, sort of. About five years ago, after trying to be the guy who knew everything about everything, I made a conscious decision to pare down and focus on something that I knew I loved instead of trying to master things I thought would net me bits of nerd cred. It was there that I decided to focus down on comics, my true pop culture passion, and as a direct result, all other parts of my consumption has suffered. I stopped seeking our new music (or at least music that was new to me), stopped watching as much TV and buying as many movies. Inevitably, gaps formed and widened. Big Star was one of those gaps.

My buddies James and Scott have gone on at length about how great Big Star is, but until very recently, I hadn’t gone out and tracked them down. Then, for whatever serendipitous reason, I kept hearing this one song over and over in bits of different media: “Thirteen”. You all probably know it, but… whatever. This is my blog, is it not? I can talk about whatever the hell I want to, yeah? Yeah.

“Thirteen” is a wonderful song that shouldn’t be as good as it is. It takes the sheer ridiculous importance of being thirteen, and plies it to music, ascribing a certain importance to the events as listed by the narrator.

“Won’t you let me walk you home from school?” opens the song. The first verse then trundles through a bit of an awkward ask-out. It should be cloying, but the music and the lyrics swirl in a heady mix of pure nostalgia, turning the song into a fond memory even as it documents the life-and-death importance of teenage drama. I’ve listened to this song on repeat quite a bit lately, I just can’t get over it.

Do you have any gaps in media that you know of? Have you stumbled across something you know you “should have” experienced sooner, but are just starting to get around to? Hit the comments if you wish, and let me know. Let’s talk this out, friends. This is a safe place.


Building a Rocket

Another day goes, and with it we’re all one step closer to the inevitable void. How was your day?


I’ve been digging my hands into more of the history of the medium lately. Between the discount that I get from the store, and the volume of historical volumes coming out lately, the process is getting quite easy – but I still need to make more of an effort to sit down and really get my hands into it. One day I’d love to write a history book myself, but I’ve always had to push myself to do anything that involves heat research. First, I figure, I’m going to get a hold of my deadlines (hello, daily posts), and then I can work on the more in depth stuff. Baby steps.

Anyway, this week I brought home the gorgeous witzend collection Fantagraphics put out, featuring the entirety of Wally Wood’s self published magazine series, and as always with the books from Fantagraphics, there’s a ton of contextual pieces to go along with the contents. So great.

Another thing that made it’s way home was Comics – A Global History, 1968 to the Present, which you can find a bit more about here. It’s gonna fill the international gap that I have in my collection a little bit. I should really find more things along that line, as I doubt it covers EVERYTHING in just over 300 pages.


Last week, Marvel announced that Rocket Raccoon #1 had managed to garner over 300,000 initial orders, which is a thing that’s happening. I did a commentary piece on how that number was a reflection of Marvel’s amazing marketing over at Comics Beat just before the news broke that roughly half the order came from a single source. Naturally, the comment section was fun. Turns out the orders don’t count if the comics were ordered by a service designed to get nerdy product into the hands of people who would probably enjoy said nerdy product? At the end of it all, I came out of it realizing my first article still stood – Marvel’s current marketing is dynamite, and the results are evident.


My lovely girlfriend Danica has been having a great week over at her Live Within Your Space blog. I’m usually astounded by the breadth of her knowledge when it comes to design and layout and organizing and all that, and the best part? She’s still growing and exploring. The blog is all process and it’s really, really cool – and I’d say that even if we weren’t living together. I particularly recommend Tuesday’s post about styling objects, but you should definitely check out her whole blog.


Future projects? For next week, I think there’s a piece in me about trying to work with comic publishers as a retailer, and how the industry really shouldn’t be the “us vs. them” thing that so many people keep pushing for. We’re all going to sell a lot more books working together, are we not? That, and I really, really, really need to re-read Casanova and get on writing those Pa-Zow! articles I promised back when Comics! The Blog started. Hopefully a few will be ready by the time the official on-sale date for the next volume is announced.


Smiling, she turns, expecting him beside her. He’s not there, she notes. Not there. Not really. Yet still, a memory lingers, with a lopsided grin of crooked teeth, and sweet, adoring eyes.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 026 // Eric Roberts, No!

In this week’s episode, we are above dick jokes.

It’s the show’s one year Whoochiversary! To celebrate, we drank some Buttle Ripple Schnapps and went crazy with the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, and attempt to hold an intervention for Eric Roberts, who is probably an actual villain right now. Also, one of our cats is a jerk. Huzzah!

Outro music is “November Rain” by Anakelly


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Good job on those daily posts, champ

She closes her eyes and lets her fingers float along the keys. It’s been a while since she’s played. He had taught her. They always played together.

A Beginning of Sorts

Willkommen wondrous patrons! I’m going to be trying out a weird format for the daily posts going up straight through to the weekend. Gaze upon it’s spender and weep.


Another Tuesday, another shipment to process so that all the good folks of Edmonton can get their hands on brand new comics tomorrow. This week, I’m going broke having pre-ordered a copy of the witzend collection from Fantagraphics – a beautiful two volume set collecting Wally Wood’s self published magazine of the same name. The book is brimming with beautiful art from brilliant cartoonists, and I can’t wait to dive into that chunk of comics history.

In a few short minutes, I’ll be talking about more of this week’s releases over at Comics! The Blog where you’ll be able to find out more about this week’s signature releases, including my pick of the week.


Yesterday my post about Brain Wood taking over Moon Knight with artist Greg Smallwood went up over at Comics Beat. As the unofficial comics retail correspondent over there, it doesn’t concern itself too much with straight marketing efforts, and tackles the question of how to order comics when, say, one of the creators has allegedly done something you find a bit repellant. It was a tough piece to write, but that’s the gig!

Also of note? Monday’s Um, Actually column went up at C!TB wherein James and I talked weddings and lesser known creative gems from established greats in the comic book industry – among other things.


Patreon is a thing that I’m definitely going to explore in the next little while, both as a patron and maybe one day, as a creator. I’ve yet to do a ton of digging into it, but what I’m loving the most about it is the idea that web comic creators can suddenly get paid for their work regularly, having a fund to work from instead of living so close to the bone. Again, I’ll have to do a bit more digging to hit on all the exact ins and outs, but until then, I’m going to direct you to the Patreon that Canaan Grall is running for Max Overacts – a well deserving project and creator.


I’m stretching a bit with that title placard. I need something short and comic book-y that works to describe what’s to come. In the days to come, I’m hoping to drop a bit of fiction on this website. That’s a promise I’ve made several times to myself and others, but have yet to keep – so I’m forcing my own hand. One story, told in fragments of 100 words or less, over however many days. At the end of the story, I’m going to collect the whole thing, and publish two versions – the daily exercise, and a polished, finished version. This may fall apart completely.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this:


Eleanor sits at the piano and places her fingers on the keys. She can still feel his bones in the old piano.

The Short Break and The Long Haul

Of course, I missed updating this site for almost the whole of last week. The goal – one I never said out pound until this point – is to have a hub where you can always find me. My work might be scattered everywhere, but if you come to this place, you should be able to find nearly all of it – or at least the pieces of note. Eventually, I’d like to run a bit of original fiction here as well, but… well, deadlines sure are fun, aren’t they? We’ll see. As for what happened last week…

  • I wrote a couple of pieces for Comics Beat last week, but only one of them saw print, as we continue to push through the part where the training wheels are required. As soon as I’m all up on the ins-and-outs, things should be happening like clockwork.
  • Oh, the piece? It’s a take on those Fantastic Four rumours – the ones that say Marvel is going to cancel the ongoing just to spite Fox, who owns the movie rights for the team. My supposition is that there’s a lot of truth in the team disappearing from the Marvel landscape for a while – but I can bet you anything it’s in service of a big return the month before the new movie hits.
  • Over at Comics! The Blog, we talked to writer Curt Pires about Pop, a brand new mini-series he has coming out from Dark Horse this August. It’s an interview that takes several dark turns, so if you’re not into laughing at soul-shattering horribleness, then… maybe skip the podcast and buy Pop anyway. I’ve already given the first issue a read, and damn, it is worth it. But more on that later.
  • This weekend, Danica and I went to Edmonton’s first ever International Cat Fest and… well, it was a ton of fun! Danica volunteered for the day, while I just hung out and drank in ALL THE CATS COMMA CONSUMING THEIR POWER ALL THE POWER and it was a lot of fun. All told, over 600 people made their way through the door, and well over $8000 was raised for the Humane Society.

And that’s all I’m in the mood for this lovely Monday morning. With any luck, you’ll be seeing my next Comics Beat piece today – a little ditty about Brian Wood, Moon Knight, and the morality of comic purchasing when you’re a business.

Where You’re From, Where You’re Going.

Hello Monday. You are dumb. Just the dumbest. Let’s hit the bullet points.

  • Last night, I finally started parsing out my feelings on Southern Bastards. It’s a brilliant book that’s a joy and a pain to read for the reasons I talk about here. The piece got some great response, which is weird. Maybe one day, I’ll learn to take a compliment.
  • Today’s Um, Actually featured Scott Williams asking a us questions about the X-Men, which we gladly answered. James was even cordial!
  • Oh, the thing I told my family I didn’t have time to do? I ended up doing it. It was… fun. Chances of them reading this? Eh, probably one in a million. BLOG ANGST!
  • In the next day or two, I should have another article up at Comics Beat, this time about the dumb Fantastic Four rumours that have been going around, and what they might really mean.

Aaaaand that’s about it for this round. Stay tuned for some interesting information about The Future later this week.

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