All posts by Brandon Schatz

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


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


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



The corners of my brain were itchy.

The corners of my brain were itchy, and I was staring at the many blank pages of my 2017 agenda.

Every year, I buy a new one, the blank pages filled with promise, and every year I end up staring at those very same pages, all too few with notes and tasks written on them as intended, even fewer with those notes and tasks fully executed.

As I flip through, I remember all my great plans. The burst of energy at the start of the year giving away to… giving away to another sea of nothing. Then very suddenly, the pages fill up once more, this time far more meticulous as everything falls apart and I cling to any kind of structure that I can find.

“Please remember to eat”, it reminds me.

“Water will stop you from dying, maybe.”

Many of these too, are left unchecked, which means I couldn’t even save myself when I needed saving the most.

The rest of the year gets better and worse, months of rebuilding, days of regret, weeks of half-hearted work giving away to nothing once again.



The corners of my brain were itchy, and filling with regret. And hope.

I look at the calendar for 2018, and hatch a plan. I will get another agenda. I will do better, not just on those pages, but in general. I will hold myself accountable, and I will make and write and do.

I will be a better husband.

I will be a better me.

I won’t spend another December looking through an agenda filled with regrets, and think to myself, “another year wasted”.

I can’t.

As I get to the end of January, I’m already a little behind where I want to be. I was sick for a bit and it threw me for a loop, but… but that can’t be an excuse, because there’s always an excuse. Always. That’s why the agendas stay to empty.

And so, there’s this. A note from the middle of the night. A signal flare saying something… anything… selfishly for me. For today, it’s enough. It will calm my brain and let me push on to tomorrow which… will be better.


And so here’s to 2018. The year where it all happens, partly because I need it to, but mostly because I’ve always wanted it to. Every year. This is the one where it happens. Whatever “it” is.

The Line Is Drawn // They Cry Moore, Moore, Moore

The Line Is Drawn features floating thoughts on recent comic book happenings. They may be gathered for a more substantial meal at a later date.


Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably experienced something co-created by the reclusive wizard Alan Moore. He’s the writer behind comics such as Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and a myriad of others. To many, he’s a god made mortal, spinning tales that are filled to the brim with craft. To others, he’s a dude who is way to into his own shit, building to please himself rather than satisfy with story. Regardless, he’s one of the big names in comics, and his influence can not be denied.

Because of this, and because of the way this industry runs, his ideas are coming back, without Moore at the helm. People are upset by this which… I understand. There are very few projects in media that seem to spring into life, and are left alone when the initial story and purpose is laid to rest. For most of Alan Moore’s career, he’s focused almost exclusively on ideas with with more of a finite being – in direct contrast to the bulk of the content in the comic book industry. Now, there’s Before Watchmen, a series Watchmen prequels. There’s Doomsday Clock, which brings many of the characters from Watchmen explicitly into the DC universe. And now, Tom Strong and Promethea (two characters from his America’s Best Comics line at DC) are popping up in comics that are about to hit the stands.

Naturally, there’s a debate raging on if the use of all of these characters are appropriate. Honestly? It’s something that I’m not sure of myself. As a person, I like a good finite story – one with purpose and meaning. On the other hand, I’ve helped build a business that thrives off of the never ending narrative… and quite honestly, built on the bones of a lot of poor creators. Some days, I have a harder time balancing all of that than others, but at the end of the day, I am in the business of selling this product to folks who really enjoy it – and I have yet to let the morality of, say, the creation of Superman or the Fantastic Four stop me. Which is where my disconnect lies.

I can’t quite reconcile all of the fervour that the use of Alan Moore’s co-creations get with the machinations of the rest of the industry. I understand that people can be many things, and have many opinions… but it always seemed weird to me that a line be drawn at Moore with sure passion, while everything else… just is. I can definitely appreciate the concern with which they bring up Moore’s contributions and wishes, just like I do when folks bring up Jack Kirby. I ache at the thought of where comics left Jack, and he wanted the industry’s respect. Moore almost clearly doesn’t – or at least he’s resigned himself to the fact that it won’t. If resignation involves kicking dirt when prompted.

It’s a tough thing. But at the end of the day… I’m excited to see what Jeff Lemire and Ivan Ries will do with Tom Strong and his family, and curious as to what the future has in store for Promethea in the pages of Steve Orlando’s Justice League run (which has many artists). I like those ideas, and I’m genuinely curious as to what another voice has to say about them. That might make me a bad person. Or at least a thoughtless one. But hey, I guess we’re still also reading Mister Miracle and I’ve heard significantly less hand-wringing about that book. So.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

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

Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Doctor Whooch // Episode 127 // Best Space Friend Chad

In which we say good-bye… and good riddance.

Danica and Brandon are back to finally give their tipsy opinions on “Twice Upon A Time”, the final Moffat era Doctor Who episode. And while it ALSO sadly marks the end of Peter Capaldi’s time as the Doctor, they pull no punches.

And sure, some might say we should have put this episode out before now, but here at Doctor Whooch, we like our takes like we like our drinks: on ice.

So there.

Outro music is: “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Riot of Color


5 Things: Maximum Derek

Five Things is an occasional check in on what’s been and what might be. I refuse to set a regularity for it, because life is some bullshit, you know?

01. So I learned something about myself last year: I find it a whole hell of a lot easier to write when I am angry or feeling depressed.

You can actually track my production level on Submetropolitan as shit hits the fan in my personal life, or when the comic book industry (and by extension, my professional life) blows itself up. That’s… something I want to get away from this year. So I’ve done two things. First? I’ve promised myself to try and make things when I don’t feel like trash. And two? I built myself a schedule. One that’s ambitious, but contains several breaks to maintain sanity. We’ll… see how that all goes.

02. Folks who have been popping into Variant Edition lately have probably noticed a bit of a change – mainly that Danica is around a lot more often, and I seem to be out and about a whole lot more. For the past two years, Danica has really been holding things down for us financially, and… well, things have shifted. First, the store is doing really well. I mean, it’s always done well under the circumstances, but when you don’t have to pay a lawyer to figure out how to get yourself properly split from a garbage old business partner, and your roof stops flooding, things tend to run a bit smoother.

Anyway, Danica has drastically scaled back her out-of-shop work, and I’ve picked up some of the slack by helping out the liquor shop that’s just down the road from our store. It’s been nice to have a job where all I have to do is a set amount of tasks, and then walk away when the clock hits a certain time. Almost relaxing in a way.

03. Tomorrow is the long-awaited return of Doctor Whooch where we tell you all of our opinions about the last episode of the Stephen Moffat era. It gets a little spicy. After that? We have plans to revisit another show in the Doctor Who universe that was practically made for a drunk podcast to talk about, as we wait for Jodie Whittaker to pop in again.

04. Some upcoming content to keep an eye out for:

  • Several articles about DC’s brilliant Young Animal line.
  • A 2017 year in review in comics retail for Comics Beat.
  • Some reconstituted pieces from the past, including some Drunk Comic Recaps that will start appearing as a part of Thirsty Thursdays when there isn’t a Doctor Whooch to post.
  • Cat pictures.
  • Terrible motivational words.
  • Definitely some words about Tom King and his amazing work in comics and prose.
  • More? Sure. Whatever.

05. I am tired. I shall die now.

But Seriously

2017 was quite a mixed bag.

Danica has spoken about where we were and where we are quite a bit more than I have this year, and there’s good reason for this. I’ve always considered myself a writer, but I never write. I will take almost any excuse not to, thinking in my head “but I should be writing” while reaching for the remote to let the next episode of Bob’s Burgers play.

This year, like most years, I’m pledging to be better. And not just when it comes to writing. When I look inwards, and when Danica looks at me, we both see someone who is avoiding his problems. I put off going to the doctor, I put off talking about my problems, I push back and back and back, attempting to find comfort in my discomfort instead of trying to… be better.


In 2018… I just… I want to be able to confront myself. And to do that, I think I’ll be confronting others a little less. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be quiet about bullshit, but as Danica and I have talked about personally a lot lately, I need to stop worrying so much about everyone else, and really take a look at the things that are making me feel like garbage. I need to stop avoiding how my brain perceives myself.


I hope last year has treated you well, and I hope the new year is good for you. We’re both going to be here, talking and listening.

Thank you all.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Submetropolitan is powered by Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Edmonton’s best source for comics, used books + mindful pop culture.
Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Let’s try this again

At the end of last year, I do what I always do, and made myself a work schedule to get a decent amount of content out in 2018.

So I guess what I’m saying is, I’ll see you all back here in a few weeks when I explain how everything went horribly wrong. Or who knows, this time, things might work out. I might actually accomplish a goal.

Psh. Sure sure.


Happy New Year!

Edmonton has not been reduced to a crater just yet, so it’s time for another spin around the sun.

Danica and I would like to thank you all for the support that you’ve shown us this year, both emotionally and through Variant EditionWithout you, we would be lost, as we are wee depressive baby ducks, often wondering off the path into the jaws of certain danger. Or something like that.

Metaphors are fun.

Thank you and we love you and we’ll hopefully talk with you soon.