All posts by Brandon Schatz

The Cutting Room // It’s Always the End of the World Somewhere

For those who don’t know (partly because I am particularly terrible at self promotion), I do an irregular column over at a site call The Beat about comic book retail. As you can probably guess, it is usually filled to the brim with finger-wagging at backwards looking comic shops and fans who would drag this industry backwards rather than forwards.

Whelp, I finally wrote a new column – this time about a lot of the big moves that DC Comics has been making lately – and it went over as well as you’d expect.

I’m not 100% sure, but this person was probably mad about lines like this:

There’s a toxic idea that the direct market is owed something for it’s place in history and… I don’t know. Maybe there is. Maybe I’m too new that I can’t see it. I didn’t work in those trenches. But from where I stand, the direct market is owed nothing. As a retailer, I would laugh in the face of Marvel if they told me I owed it to the X-Men to place more orders for their books because they once helped float comic shops. All ideas have their time. All delivery methods do as well.

It’s as though the business is constantly evolving or something. Wild!

Anyway. Instead of just cross-posting these and walking away, I’ll be tossing a few “extras” your way in these posts, in the form of ideas that were either cut for space, or didn’t quite fit the narrative I was going for. Which is to say, for every article I write, there’s anywhere from 500-5000 extra words I wrote and discarded, depending on the day.

Writing is fun, and I am tired. Let’s get to it.

  • Comics have the power to change your life: I wanted to hit this idea a lot harder. As a medium and a force for change, comics can do so much. In terms of this article, it crystallized how I looked at the outside world, and at comic book retail. Comics made me who I am today.
  • It’s always the end of the world: If you take a look at the history of the comics industry, you’ll find doom around every corner. Portents of the medium’s demise occur frequently, but they’re usually stymied by a shift in how comics get into the hands of readers. When I say “the direct market is doomed”, I don’t mean that the comics industry is doomed – I just mean the current system has been dying for a long time, and delivery system needs to change. Retailers equating the death of the direct market to the death of the industry as a whole seem to forget that they are not the industry, they are a delivery method. 
  • It’s about respect – or so I’ve been told: I can not count the amount of times I’ve been told that I do not respect where this industry has been, because I want to build for it’s future. Asking for change doesn’t mean I’m discounting the importance of structures that once saved an industry – it just means I want you all to be around for the next phase, and digging your heels into the past is just going to leave you there.
  • Out for blood: What is really gross about the retailer reaction is the fact that if Catwoman had been murdered in the final pages, nobody would be complaining about a lack of a wedding. As it happens, Batman #50 ends with Selina making a conscious choice on her own volition. She is in charge of her destiny, and has agency. Let’s not pretend this outrage is about the story – it is about that cheap event money that retailers would have be just as fine earning with blood.

 

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Doctor Whooch // Episode 137 // The World Is a Vampire (Moleman)

In which we bid Devin adieu as we send him into the SEA…

…of our gratitude. Also, it is his last episode for now. Sad faces all around!

Well, it has come to this. The last episode of Miracle Day, and the last episode of Torchwood. It has been a ride. As Danica and Brandon bid a fond farewell to their season long guest, they all endure and episode where there is a lot of blood, and the world has two buttholes. And if you control the buttholes, you control the world, but only if you have special blood? Torchwood is wild, y’all. And there wasn’t even a lizard people conspiracy!

Outro music is “Deeper Than Beauty” by Sloan

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Doctor Whooch // Episode 136 // Cat Butt in the Middle of the World

Well, THAT took a turn. And that’s saying something… seeing how we’re still watching Torchwood.

Folks, Brandon, Danica, and Devin are almost done with this run. It’s the home stretch! The second last episode – Torchwood: The Gathering. In which a bunch of nerds meet up at the centre of the earth to cast spells or something? Who knows at this point. All we REALLY know is that there’s a thing with blood and possibly vampire mole men.

What. It could be a thing.

Outro music is “Explode” by Balthrop, Alabama

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Doctor Whooch // Episode 135 // Return to Bananatown

More Torchwood! Will Devin ever forgive us for making him watch these? WHO KNOWS.

Torchwood keeps being Torchwood in the eighth episode of Miracle Day. Apparently, three old white dudes wanted to live forever and so now things are really bad because people are dumb and horrible. But don’t worry! This can be solved with a dead lover, and fancy floor paneling.

So that’s what WE’VE been up to. Howsabout you?

Outro music is “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Doctor Whooch // Episode 134 // Maintain the Thrust

Thrust is a very important part of Torchwood.

Very important.

Danica, Brandon and Devin are still trying to make their way through Torchwood’s “Miracle Day”, and have arrived at episode seven, “Immortal Sins”.

While Torchwood is usually a catalyst for (entertaining) trash, this week it actually opens up a good conversation about bi-sexuality in popular media. The perfect thing to discuss while drunk! Anyway, it’s not bad, because the flashbacks are good, but then it gets back to the plot, and that’s a horrible mistake, just like this season.

There. We said it.

Outro music is “Alejandro” by Lady Gaga

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Doctor Whooch // Episode 131 // Bitches Get Snitches

In which Devin has to moderate a domestic dispute.

Welcome back to (WHY ARE WE DOING THIS) a full on, deep dive into Torchwood: Miracle Day, with your regular hosts, Danica and Brandon, and our irregular host, Devin R. Bruce. On this week’s show: “Escape to L.A.”! It’s… interesting. At almost all times, at least one of us can’t remember the names of the Americans on the show, which is fun. Also, there’s a lot of yelling. TORCHWOOD.

Outro music is “Drinking In L.A.” by Bran Van 3000

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Doctor Whooch // Episode 130 // Getting Jacked

In which FINALLY, all the weird sex and terrible relationships we’ve come to expect from Torchwood arrive!

Welcome back to the sex house, babies! And the first and only episode we go out of our way to name check the man who put a seamless scene of butts together. Congrats, Michael N Knue – you did it! Anyway, Brandon, Danica and Devin are still trying to get through Miracle Day, and something terrible is coming. But in this episode, it’s just folks who are coming. Do… do you get it? Oh, you get it.

Outro music is “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gay

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Doctor Whooch // Episode 129 // Forget it Rex. It’s Banana Town.

In which the world still has flip phones because OF COURSE THEY DO.

Danica, Brandon and Devin are back for more Torchwood for some reason. In THIS episode (entitled “Rendition”) we attempt to remember Rex’s basic-ass American name, with diminishing results. Also! Evil instructions are related through triangle, and Bill Pullman is not dead. Bill Paxton is. We checked. Like… the internet, not… not any bodies or anything. Oh god just stop typing.

Outro music is “American Girl” by Elle King

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Doctor Whooch // Episode 128 // 8 Shotguns and a Baby

Hello ladies. Hello laddies. We’re BACK.

Welcome to a very special season of Doctor Whooch, in which we dig into the final season of Torchwood (Miracle Day!) with a very special guest… Devin R. Bruce! He’s going to be here for all ten episodes and he’s very uncomfortable about it which means he’s perfect for the job. (He’s great.)

On this episode – we’re talking about Episode One entitled “The New World”. Inside: Danica kills English professors! Everyone has VERY LEGITIMATELY AMERICAN NAMES. There’s a baby with a shotgun? Probably! It’s Torchwood. And also, Rhys still isn’t dead, and Brandon can not handle it.

Friggen Rhys.

Outro music is “I Sat By The Ocean” covered by Gaba Kulka

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY