Sunday, January 31, 2010

Splash Page Podcast 2.1: Greg Rucka, Punisher

This week, Chad recorded the podcast on his end, which made for a far better episode -- actually several episodes, delivered a few times this week in bite-size chunks of 30-45 minutes each -- and superior sound quality. My mic is too loud, but at least you can hear everything this time, as we talk about Greg Rucka's Batwoman, and a whole bunch of other stuff like, um, the Punisher? And more!

The Splash Page, Episode 2.1, Podcast-style!


Chad Nevett said...

I even did some fancy editing on a part where your mic faded in and out for a few seconds.

Timothy Callahan said...


Chad Nevett said...

I know... it's like we're a real podcast or something.

In the second one, I edited out something I said at one point, because it was literally like this:

Tim says something.

Chad chimes in.

Tim is silent for a couple of beats and then continues saying what he was saying totally unimpressed with what Chad chimed in with.


Timothy Callahan said...


Zyargeikunn said...

You use the word 'wanted' very often when talking about Wanted. I kinda liked the first issue, too, but with the decreasing quality of the issues I started to dislike the whole concept and approach (and the last page made it clear to me that I was right), and it feels to me that Kick-ass is just accidentally a good comic (haven't read #8 yet). Or maybe there was another level that I didn't get.

Timothy Callahan said...

You want us to use the word "Wanted" less when we talk about "Wanted" the comic book which we wanted to talk about whether your wanted us to or not?

Rick said...

I liked your bit on the morality of killing, and when I listened to it my mind jumped to this scene from JLA Confidential

Although the Joker and Batman are a much different case all together, at this point its pretty much impossible for the Joker to ever be killed because of how popular he has become and that is part of the industry we love to read but would it be better to have your hero have a code, or actually kill them and have them come back whenever a new writer would like to use the character (re. Magneto)

Anonymous said...

Good podcast. Maybe it's just a problem for me (because I had to listen to this podcast in a noisy work area), but I find that Chad's voice was much lower than Tim's.

I agree with a lot of what you guys said. I too thought that Rucka was being shortchanged for his contributions to the JH Williams issues. For one thing, Rucka divvied up how much story was supposed to go on each page. The contents of the gorgeous pages of those issues were basically commissioned by Rucka ("I want this, this and this to happen in this order in the next page/painting, JH!"). The plotting had also been pretty great.

The most recent issue shows some of Rucka's weaknesses, though. Like you guys said, the serial killer stuff is sooooo bland and typical. It's such a cliche that it's embarrassing to read certain glowing reviews of it (i*ahem*Fan*cough*boy) that seem totally oblivious to how much of a predictable routine the story is. Like you guys said, there wasn't one "new" or interesting scene in the whole book. I would still give it a 3/5--because it does what it does very competently--but what it does is completely unoriginal. It's a good little comic--but nothing more.

To make a big pompous statement, I just think most readers are too comforted by stereotypes and tropes, on the one hand, and too entertained by wild-crazy-random-violent things on the other (like your example "Hit-Monkey!"). In general both tendencies are part of the continued lack of adventure on the part of most aging comics readers. (Disclaimer: I'm not a total poo-pooer here. I liked Kick-Ass alright. I like Johns' Green Lantern stuff quite a bit, despite the narrative tricks having gotten very very predictable by now, issue-to-issue.) I'm just noting the tendencies I see.

There are two very clear clear formulas to ensure a high rate of positive (though shallow) fan response these days. Either: (1) Have people punching, blasting and bashing each other for the five-thousandth time in every issue (this includes everything from Siege, to Blackest Night, to another catch-and-beat-the-serial-killer crime story), providing routine "hoo-rah!" heroic moments along the way, or (2) Go the hyper-random krazy route ("Cowboy Ninja Viking!" "Wolverine as an old pacifist in a wacky future that makes no coherent sense!" "PET Avengers!").

The OTHER path, where a comic writer actually has to forge something new, has become very dangerous, as it leaves the creators open to a million ready-made prejudgments from fans: "Batman wouldn't act that way!" "Uh, what is this story supposed to be??? I don't understand, and that's the writer's fault." "I don't know from the get-go what the writer's trying to 'SAY', therefore this comic is BAD."

Bill Reed said...

Batman is *totally* the world's best marksman. He just chooses not to use guns on moral grounds and due to childhood vows. It doesn't mean he *can't* use them.