Comic Relief Podcast – Issue #34 – Surviving San Diego Comic Con 2019

Another San Diego Comic Con in the bucket! My best friend, who I’ve known since the beginning of time, Charles Stevens and I hit San Diego Comic Con last month and had a really good time. Typically, we’re (maybe more me) am not able to stand the crowds more than two hours at the most; but this year we were there four or five hours, which says something about how they did things this year. Somehow the people volume seemed more manageable. I will say the one thing they do need to fix is places to eat. You have your establishments inside the Convention Center (the “cafes” that charge you an arm and a leg for a hot dog), but the problem is there’s nowhere to sit and eat your food. The tables in front of the cafe are typically packed with a mixture of people eating and people simply giving their feet a rest. And they have a policy with Convention Police patrolling, that you can’t stop and lean (or sit against) the walls. So it makes eating quite difficult at times. If they could figure something out for that (say like food trucks behind the convention center area) that people could go get food and have a place to sit, it’d be pretty epic. (WonderCon has started doing this and it makes a world of difference!) But all of that said, not once (I don’t think!) do I talk about the food situation in the podcast. I saved that for this!

I’ve been wanting to do this podcast since the day after it was done; but work kept me busy with plenty of overtime and flying out of town, that life got away from me! So I will stop rambling and let you give it a listen! You can always download it here or stream it below or give it about an hour and it will be available on iTunes! If you have an iTunes account I’d love if you swung by there and dropped a comment and a rating for the show!

Much love,
Tawmis

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Dungeons & Dragons.

Question: Were you like me and grew up on the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon?

Well, if you love me – and I know you do – you can always buy these things for me!

Although, what I saw at Sideshow Collectibles this year was a mounted Venger which I think looks better.

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Everything you need to know about the future of the X-Men, or Tawmis’ Cynicism.

The folks of Marvel had this to say

  1. HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X are going to change everything for Mutantkind.
  2. HOUSE OF X focuses on the big changes happening in the present; POWERS OF X explores the past, present, and future.
  3. HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X tell an interwoven story that reads best as a weekly one-two punch.
  4. HOUSE OF X #1 reveals Professor X’s long-term plan to establish a mutant homeworld on Krakoa…
  5. POWERS OF X unveils how Professor X set up that plan, and how it changes the course of mutant existence.
  6. Modern Marvel master Jonathan Hickman is writing both series, artist Pepe Larraz is pencilling HOUSE OF X, artist R.B. Silva is pencilling POWERS OF X, and Marte Gracia is coloring each book.
  7. Groundshaking surprises are coming to the series, and once everything settles, these two books will form the bedrock of everything X-Men for years to come.
  8. Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva are establishing the core aesthetic of the X-Men for every new series and X-Men story coming from the House of Ideas.
  9. These series capture what makes the X-Men so great, but redefines the team and character in a way that makes it feel completely new.
  10. After HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X, the Dawn of X begins with six new series emerging to carry on the story of the new status quo set for Mutantkind.

So let’s talk about this…

  1. Of course they are. That’s the easiest way to avoid continuity.
  2. It’s always great when a book shows the future… which never comes true, because the book never lasts that long, or it shows too far into the future. Who here thinks that the stuff Jason Aaron showed as Thor’s future is going to be considered for future writers of Thor? Anyone? Anyone?
  3. Yeah. A punch to the wallet.
  4. Professor Xavier’s long term plan to move mutants to Krakoa… the island last seen ejected into space, right? Same island that tried to feed off of the X-Men? Same island that killed some of your students, and you were so guilty about that you literally took years erasing people’s memories of them. That same island? That seems like a brilliant plan from one of the most powerful minds in the Marvel Universe.
  5. See Point #4.
  6. No Comment, other than to say No Comment.
  7. Of course it’s “groundbreaking” – we do love our corporate buzzwords to get our fans excited about these “groundbreaking” events Marvel does every few years. How many times have we heard about a “groundbreaking” event that will “rock the Marvel Universe”… I feel like Neo in the Matrix, because this is all Deja Vu…
  8. See Point #6.
  9. This series is not capturing what makes X-Men great. Not the X-Men I remember and grew up with, anyway.
  10. All of which, I will be surprised if they last more than 3 years.



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It’s an Alternate Reality or Reality Altered (House of X / Powers of X)

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First, let me start by saying I am not even reading the book. So you’re first thought might be, “What right do you have to even talk about it then?”

Well, as someone who has been collecting Uncanny X-Men since Uncanny X-Men #121, who stopped just before Uncanny X-Men #600… then brought back in the fold when it rebooted with Cullen Bunn at the helm for writing, trying to endure through Astonishing X-Men, then making it through X-Men Blue & Gold and then X-Men Red for their brief run, the train wreck that was All New X-Men; and I am sure that’s all out of order, but that’s part of the problem. I can’t remember when any of this comes in what order because there seems to be no regard for continuity. After the latest run of Uncanny X-Men, which I powered through (it saw a character – sometimes more than one – die in every single issue, it feels like). I already knew by the fifth issue this would all be undone somehow; whether it all turned out to be a dream or some altered, twisted reality made by Legion.

So when that run of Uncanny X-Men came to an end (thankfully) and I saw the solicits for Hickman’s Power of X and House of X and spotted several dead X-Men (either killed in this run of Uncanny X-Men or previously killed), I was not the least bit surprised (admittedly, somewhat thankful also, since some of the deaths in that last run of Uncanny X-Men seemed utterly pointless; but I wonder if they knew that it would all be undone by Hickman anyway; so they were just killing mutants because they could, treating Uncanny X-Men as a What If…? knowing nothing they did was going to stick anyway. Now this run of Uncanny X-Men wasn’t all bad; like everything else it had it’s good moments; I think it was the best Cyclops I’ve seen written in a very, very long time. But I knew this would be the end for me and my desire to collect X-Men comics. The constant reboots, the constant renumbering, the constant relaunching, had finally worn me down. Some might say I am getting old, out growing comics, whatever; and to that I laugh, because I still read the old issues of Uncanny X-Men, Avengers, New Mutants, New Warriors, Thor, Captain America, and the list goes on and on.

So, a wonderful soul who runs the Daily X-Men Facts Twitter account (and you should go follow them; seriously!) had posted something about the House of X or Powers of X and I replied something (in jest … at the time), something like, “I can’t wait for this to be rebooted, and revealed that this was all some altered state of reality from Proteus!”

Now, I admit, at first, I was kidding. But then, despite no longer collecting X-Men, I am still interested to see what’s going on in the pages of X-Men; because who knows, something might drag me back to collect them again, if it sounds interesting. Not giving a damn about spoilers obviously, I started reading reviews and synopsis stuff about what’s happened so far in Hickman’s House of X and Powers of X books. If you’re reading it; you may wish to stop here as I may unintentionally mention some kind of spoiler (since I am not reading it, I don’t know when the stuff I might mention happens/happened), and despite my dislike of modern comics, I do not want to spoil someone else’s enjoyment.

That said, potentially spoiler warning said; let’s take a look at what I’ve read about so far.

First, we have the X-Men back on Krakoa. Now, I realize that there’s been a million different X-Men titles, and I’ve never been able to keep track of them all, especially post the year 2000 (the last 19 years, there’s been so many various X-Books and reboots)… but as far as I knew, the stuff from Giant Size X-Men still stood; that Krakoa was blasted into space. I know that a “son of Krakoa” appeared and there was a student (might be the same person?) who was a part of Krakoa or something… but Krakoa itself was still… spaced… So, apparently, in this House of X / Powers of X … the new base is located on Krakoa? I am assuming… which might be wrong… but it’s on Earth? Not floating space somewhere? Because from the research I’ve done, including checking the X-Men fandom page, their last update shows that it had been captured by The Stranger and freed by Quasar. But that doesn’t mean it somehow hurled itself back to Earth and landed peacefully back in the ocean somewhere? So I am not entirely sure how they’re even on Krakoa, other than potentially a disregard of continuity? (Which, Marvel would never do that right?) So that right there is kind of a “mystery” we will call it…

Then you have what’s “believed” to be Professor Xavier just walking around, with a really dumb “mask” which is apparently Cerebro on his head, raising X-Men (who are nude) out of “pods” on Krakoa. Now when have you ever seen it as a good thing that people are “reborn” in pods?

Then there’s all these X-Men related characters that we know died (either in the previous run of Uncanny X-Men or even before that), who are suddenly popping up, alive and well. No one else questions this? No one thinks this is weird? Everyone’s just accepting this?

To further made things strange, we have some of the X-Men appearing in their old costumes. For example, Jean Grey, who went from being Marvel Girl, to Jean Grey, to Phoenix, to being Dark Phoenix, to being Jean Grey, to being Phoenix, to being – I don’t know – I can’t keep track. Well, apparently she’s back to Marvel Girl and even sporting that original Marvel Girl costume.

So I started thinking about these unusual pieces of information… the X-Men on Krakoa (when it should be in space), X-Men reborn in pods, dead X-Men coming back as if nothing happened, X-Men in their old costumes… all of this does actually sounds like it’s an altered state of reality… I started wondering if my Proteus theory might be right… and that three years down the line this is all some mind #$%^ from Proteus… because we did see Proteus make a “come back” from the dead in Astonishing X-Men not too long ago… or imagine, if Proteus possessed Legion…

Just putting that out there. #Proteus #Legion #LegionProteus #ProteusLegion #AlteredStatesOfX

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San Diego Comic Con 2019

I did it. I survived going to Comic Con this year. As you would expect, it was jam packed with people. Everywhere you went it was an ocean of people, but this year the folks of San Diego Comic Con seemed to be a little more organized. They still had the unusual badge out of one door, just to come in at the door next to it, to access certain areas; but they also made it so a lot of the exclusives were lottery based, which cuts down on major lines and such around various vendors (though not all of them agreed to these terms, so you would still run into a random long line of people where the traffic of people would suddenly choke).

One of the people I got to see (she’s been there the last few years) is Colleen of Wyng’d Lyon Creations, who is a good friend whom I love dearly. She was rock a wonderful and amazing Bat Woman costume that she made herself. She’s extremely talented and very passionate about what she does – so if you like what you see, you really should check out her webpage, and follow her on her business page and Instagram while you’re at it. She does commissions, so if you’re looking for a costume to be made and lack what we call the “skills” to make it happen – she just might be the person you’re looking for! (I admit I don’t know what her currently schedule is with costume making; but she’s one of the kindest folks you can meet and she can work with you!)

Now, next month I am going to Power-Con which is all He-Man related, but I was glad to see that Mattel brought their He-Man stuff with them to San Diego Comic Con. There was a lot of stuff I wanted to buy that I saw in regards to He-Man stuff, but sadly Mattel wasn’t selling anything (my wife is probably very thankful for that), they were simply displaying things. I do love that for some reason, He-Man has made some kind of resurgence in popularity these last few years. There’s constant whispers of a new, updated, movie in the works. I am looking forward to seeing what’s at Power-Con and how much money my wife is going to let me spend at Power-Con…

Sideshow Collectables, as always, had some great displays. (My only issue is some of the costs for their status… I got an R5-D4 from them that was a touch over $100, but made of plastic) and had another R5-D4, roughly the same size (not as “brushed up”) from Target that was $20. So I am always a little leery purchasing Sideshow stuff unless I can get my hands on it first, as I had thought that the R5 would be resin and not plastic for the cost I was paying. But they did have an incredible Gambit statue (along with many of the other X-Men represented… the Colossus and Juggernaut are both massive and mind blowing). But the Gambit one made me think of my podcaster co-host, Maico, as that’s one of – if not his favorite – character of all time. The Sabretooth was incredible as well.

One of the cool things they had was a Venger piece… Last year at San Diego Comic Con they had previewed all of the other characters from the Saturday Morning Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. I am not going to lie… I would probably drop money to own Venger and the others, because that cartoon was pretty fundamental to my childhood, and as I said, despite the sometimes steep prices for Sideshow Collectables, there are exceptions to the rule and sometimes you just gotta pay for it…

And this one – this one is for my mother. I see these two I think every year at San Diego Comic Con, and I think I’ve got their picture at WonderCon too.. Do you know the name of the show where the guy is from? To my memory, I don’t remember a female dressed as the character – but I love that he got his wife/daughter/neice/whoever she might be to get dressed up for the part also!

A pretty big one for me was finally getting to meet “Uncle” Walt Simonson. I never realized how much Walt Simonson had done before I became familiar with him. I “first became” aware of Walt’s work when he came aboard Thor. Thor was always a favorite of mine… but when Walt came onboard as both the writer and artist he launched Thor into such an amazing direction of mixing Norse mythology lore, with Marvel comics lore, plus creating his own characters (Malekith and Kurse, to name a few) who fit so perfectly into the Thor mythos, that they became staples to me. I knew Walt was going to be there, but by the time Comic Con rolled around I had completely forgotten… I have a 30 pound version of Beta Ray Bill‘s hammer that would have been epic to have Walt sign the front face of. But I did get him to sign the newest issue of Ragnarok #1 and picked up the 2014 Comic Con (yes, 2014) exclusive, which he also signed.

Next, per tradition, I got to see and get Marc Silvestri’s signature. Marc is one of the coolest cats you can meet, and one of the most down to Earth and humble guys. The only complaint I would have had this time is that he was doing art commissions at his booth (he was there from 12pm to 7pm) so myself and others had lined up in hopes of a quick signature; and waited, and waited, and waited, while he drew this absolutely amazing piece for this gentleman. Now, I say we were “waiting, and waiting and waiting” like I expected anything else… Ideally, it’d be easy to pause the drawing and knock out a few signatures, but as someone who writes; to stop and do something else, and lose that focus can impact the work that you’re doing. So what I ended up doing is visiting Marc’s booth three times, and on the third time he had escaped quickly to use the restroom and when he got back he knocked out a few signatures before starting the next art commission. So when I say “only thing I’d complain about” – I meant in that moment, standing in line, I was being selfish and not considering Marc’s thought process of drawing. As always, he was able to knock out some signatures, snap a picture and keep going. I absolutely appreciate Marc’s dedicate to his craft, but also his fans.

Upstairs, I ran into Ming from Comic Book Men and asked if I could snap a picture with him. He stood up and said, “Only if you tell me about your podcast.” (I had worn my Comic Relief Podcast shirt to promote it, but honestly forgot beyond the morning after I put it on that I was wearing it). So he and I talked about the podcast for a bit, then he asked if I brought a mic, and I said I hadn’t – then he said, “Let’s use your iPhone and knock something out!” I was totally floored he was willing to do an on the spot interview and even did a bumper for the show! I am on travel at the moment, but when I get back, I plan to sit down and do a podcast about San Diego Comic Con.

And one other cool thing was running into these ladies – dressed up as Jubilee and Storm from the X-Men: The Animated Series which was also a very big part of my childhood. The X-Men theme song for that cartoon is so iconic and the cartoon has been closer than any and every attempt by FOX and their movies… I wish FOX would have taken notes from the cartoon and how it worked… especially the Phoenix storyline… Granted nothing is exactly like the comics, because the comics have been running for so long, and the Phoenix story took some serious building up – but I feel like FOX was always just going for the “money shot” rather than giving us the foreplay we wanted to see the Phoenix movie done right.

Anyway… There’s more photos on our Facebook page.

Here’s a few of them, just to lick them chops..

  • Tawmis
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ElfQuest: Stargazer’s Hunt.

ElfQuest is coming back! A new series (limited series?) by Wendy & Richard Pini returns in November, with ElfQuest: Stargazer’s Hunt.

The story will center Skywise and his quest, after what happened to Cutter, his best friend… Wait… You don’t know what happened to Cutter? You’re going to want to check out ElfQuest: Final Quest … because… after 40 years, Wendy and Richard dared to do something I would not have thought they’d ever do.

I am looking forward to Stargazer’s Hunt – I am hoping that everyone has a little more meat on their bones (Skywise on the cover looks perfectly drawn!) – because I feel like in Final Quest, everyone was drawn very thin. Even Leetah and Nightfall, who were drawn with traditionally wider hips and more meat on their bones, were looking pretty thin! (I feel like they’d all adopted Dewshine’s frame, who was also very thin). But who am I kidding? It’s ElfQuest – and it’s Wendy Pini on the book. I’m going to enjoy it!

Be sure to swing by your local comic book shop and order ElfQuest: Stargazer’s Hunt available in November, from Dark Horse Comics.

  • Tawmis
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Comic Relief Podcast – Issue #33 – The Stark Phoenix

The wife and I got back from seeing X-Men: Dark Phoenix on Sunday, and I spent the last few days cleaning up the episode.

Finally done with the episode; really pleased with how the episode came out… as for how pleased I was with the movie, you’re going to have to listen to the podcast! Rumor has it, if you disagree with Amiee and I, there’s some trick in the podcast, where it will magically change our opinion to match yours – but to unlock it, you have to share it to 100 people, who have to then also listen to it! Really, I heard this is a thing. And there’s only one way to see if it’s true – and that is, of course, to share it with 100 people. Go on. Do it. I will wait right here.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Adam Johnson, who granted us permission to use his freaking epic Heavy Metal version of the classic X-Men cartoon theme song! You can check out Adam Johnson on Youtube, Bandcamp, iTunes, Google+, Facebook and finally on Twitter!

As always – you can download the episode if you’d like to cherish the sweet sound of my voice (and well, I guess my wife’s voice too!) The episode typically appears on iTunes within 24 hours (usually within a few hours, to be honest). If you are one of our iTunes listeners – can I ask a favor of you? Please look us up, Rate Us, leave a comment – and let us know how we’re doing! And as always, you can just stream it from our site, down below.

Much love,
– Tawmis

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Well, what was old is new again -… again? It seems Marvel is really going after those nostalgia comics and fans! Another one shot has been announced, to celebrate Marvel’s 80th birthday – this time it’s The Amazing Spider-Man: Going Big #1.

So whose on the creative team? Looks like they got Erik Larsen (who did Spider-Man in the past, but really established himself with the launch of his Image book – Savage Dragon – which, if you didn’t know, is still going!), Gerry Conway, Mark Bagley (who has done a ton of Spider-Man, but I love his work in New Warriors).

From the release it states it will be written by Conway and Larsen, with art by Larsen, Bagley and more.

This will probably be, yet another, one shot I will pick up. Marvel’s been peaking inside my mind, I think…

– Tawmis

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Alpha Flight: True North #1

All right, Marvel. You have my attention.

Apparently, this September, we’re getting – what I assume to be a one shot, called Alpha Flight: True North #1.

From what I’ve read on Marvel’s site, the story will feature: Puck, Snowbird (although they wrote her name as Snow-bird, sigh), Talisman, Northstar, Marrina, Guardian and Vindicator. If the image to the left, also featured on their site, is any indication; it also has Shaman, Sasquatch and Aurora on the cover; but does not have Talisman or Guardian (assuming Heather is going by Guardian, and Mac is Vindicator still?). I mean, Shaman did briefly go by the moniker of Talisman when he took on the Talisman headpiece – but he also changed his costume… and it seems like it’d be a bad idea to shift him over to Talisman, and take out Elizabeth (his daughter) as Talisman.

Like I said, I assume this is a one shot – and not a limited series (or even an ongoing series) – but something Chris Robinson (the editor, I am guessing?) said was:

To celebrate the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA Championship, we’re bringing back the greatest of the Great White North, Canada’s premiere super-team Alpha Flight! And we’ve assembled a super-team of Canadian talent behind the scenes for extra authenticity. Trust me, these guys are going deep into the Department H files to tie-up those loose Alpha Flight story threads that have been keeping you all up at night. You wanted dip with the chips? Here it is!

The “these guys are going deep into Department H files to tie up those loose Alpha Flight story threads”… There’s probably one (or two) that they’re actually going to focus on, because Alpha Flight (in their original run) changed hands quite a few times, which resulted in different writers starting things that never got resolved. So this is why I don’t think they’re really going to deep dive into everything. I assume this one shot is going to pick up some dangling thread, that they got a cool idea to do a story on.

So who is behind the book? Well, if you thought it was one writer and one artist – you’d be wrong (which also makes this unusual) – so here’s what we know! It’s written by: Jim Zub, Jed MacKay, and Ed Brisson. Art is by: Max Dunbar, Djibril Morissette-Phan, and Scott Hepburn, with the cover by Nick Bradshaw. (The cool – perhaps odd? – twist is – they’re all apparently Canadian? How fitting, if true!)

Regardless, I will be picking this up and hoping for the best!

  • Tawmis
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Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim

When I was a young lad, and first got into comics, Thor was one of my staple comics after getting into Avengers. And the run of Thor had some amazing writers and amazing artists, throughout it’s history. But there was one – to me – who stuck out above the rest. That was Walter Simonson.

Walter had this amazing ability, in his story telling, to bring a great mixture of mythology and super hero. Thor had, until Walt came along, pretty much focused solely on the super hero side of things. Walter came in and brought in Surtur, not just as a villain – but as a part of the Ragnarok story in the pages of Thor. He also made some of Thor’s background characters stand out – Odin, Loki, The Warriors Three (Volstagg, Hogun, Fandral), Sif, Enchantress, and on and on. He also gave the world Beta Ray Bill, who would go on to become one of my favorite characters. And that’s just his writing. Walter also happened to be the artist – and without a doubt – one of my favorite artists. His run of Thor was phenomenal in every regard.

He would eventually go on to IDW, and create a comic called Ragnarok (unrelated to Thor, from Marvel obviously; but his own version of a character named Thor, from the Norse Mythology), that has more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Francisco. It is strictly a mythology type story (not a super hero story, at all). It was a limited series; but news broke, that at San Diego Comic Con, Walter would be releasing a new Ragnarok story entitled: Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim. If you’ve not checked out the other Ragnarok series – do yourself a favor – go back and read it – and get ready for The Breaking of Helheim.

  • Tawmis
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