Friday, October 23, 2015

Suggestions Unboxed -- Free-for-All Friday!

Doug: Because Fridays can be somewhat slower than the beginning of the week, I am taking the liberty of tossing together a cornucopia of suggestions from several of our comments. Anything below is fair fodder for rumination today, friends!

Colin Bray: Perhaps the golden age of comics podcasting has passed, but there is still a lot of great existing material to explore. How about favourite comics podcast together with favourite comics podcast episode complete with links?

David B: Best original cast SNL character(s).., again from 1975-1980? And with 'Star Wars' fever raging back in 1978, helmed by the still-hot comic genius of Buck Henry along with notable movie star Richard Benjamin fresh off Westworld, why was 'Quark' so miserably terrible..?

Redartz: Comic creators' work in other media (such as Kirby and Gerber in animation, for instance), and how about Dungeons and Dragons/role playing games... or even favorite board games?


Anonymous said...

My favourite board games were Monopoly and Cluedo (I think it's called Clue in America) - did anybody have the Planet Of The Apes or Star Wars board games ?

J.A. Morris said...

Favorite SNL character:Roseanne Roseannadanna.
Quark:I haven't seen it since it first aired, but I liked it. Of course I was 7 at the time.
Comic podcasts:I'm not sure I understand this question. Are you asking for our favorite comic podcasts? Or podcasts we'd like to see happen?

I listen to Rachel and Miles X-plain the X-men regularly. They're always entertaining, even if I'm not interested in the stories they cover that week:

Amazing Spider-Talk is a good one:

Marvel Star Wars was a fun podcast that covered, well, Marvel Star Wars comics. It only got as far as issue #21, but you can still listen to the old episodes:

Redartz said...

Our topics in order:

Afraid I don't really have much on comics podcasts; I've caught some interesting interviews with creators on YouTube (and some clips of treasure hunters showing off their comics finds), but nothing specific.

Favorite SNL original: Dan Aykroyd. Love his great array of characters, and his occasional lunatic edge (Bass-O-Matic!}. Second choice: Gilda Radner. Lisa Loopner, we still miss you...

Quark: a bit hard to remember as I haven't seen it since it was originally broadcast. I recall liking it at the time, particularly Richard Kelton's Ficus; and Richard Benjamin is usually entertaining. Why the show was so short-lived; perhaps it was too 'genre' for popular tastes. This calls for a little youtube research...

Comic creators in animation: quite a bit to cover here. I mentioned Jack Kirby and Steve Gerber in the original question. Perhaps my first subject would be Doug Wildey- a truly great artist known for many western comics , but mostly known for designing Jonny Quest. His influence can be seen everywhere on the show. The detailed backgrounds, the dramatic use of dark tones, the authenticity of the planes in the "Shadow of the Condor" episode. I had the fortune to pick up an old issue of "Restless Gun" from Dell which featured Wildey's artwork. It showed the same visual power I was used to seeing on JQ.

Incidentally, a couple of my favorite modern comics creators have animation backgrounds: Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. Absolutely love their work, both animated and printed.

Games: Colin, never had either PoTA or Star Wars games, but my sons picked up "Star Wars Life", a version of the game of "Life" that finds you selecting either the Jedi way or the Dark Side. Fun to play, but the Jedi side seems to have a bit of an advantage.

My favorite board game is "Talisman", a kind of "Dungeons and Dragons" but played on a board with cards that determine the action. Back in college, we had a regular group who played D&D, but when we wanted a break (dungeon masters need a rest from working up adventures, sometimes} or nobody had an adventure ready, we would break out Talisman and have much the same fun.

Otherwise, I too enjoyed Monopoly (a game which, like Talisman, can take quite a while to play). Also big on Scrabble...

Edo Bosnar said...

On the subject of podcasts, I have to say I've become a big fan of the form a few years ago, and listen to quite a few now, both serious ones, like Radiolab to the more fun (and often quite funny) pop culture stuff.
And I don't necessarily agree with Colin (Bray) that the golden age of comics podcasting is over; there's still quite a few comics podcasters still putting out great stuff. My absolute favorite pop culture podcast, which often touches on comics occasionally, is the wonderful Radio vs. the Martians. New episodes come out every month, and the format is like a panel discussion on a specific topic, like, e.g., Superman, Star Trek or role-playing games. The discussions are actually quite intelligent, and always entertaining and funny. Also, the guys who put out this one just launched a new, occasional subsidiary podcast called "Podcasta la Vista, Baby!" in which they pick a single Schwarzenegger film and do a whole show about it (the episodes are posted on the main website I linked).
A really good, but unfortunately defunct comics podcast is Mike & Pol Save the Universe. One of the hosts, Mike Gillis, is the co-host of the Radio vs. the Martians podcast above. This is basically two guys picking a specific character, genre, etc. of comics and talking about it for an hour, and it's always quite engrossing. Although they stopped recording them over a year ago, their entire archive of episodes is still available at the address I linked. Well worth the listen.
The Fire and Water Podcast, run by a pair of Firestorm and Aquaman fans, is also still going strong.
Another good comics podcast I've been listening to recently is The Lonely Hearts Romance Comics Podcast, in which four comics guys who normally like superhero comics get together to discuss romance comics, and also comic romances (like Lois Lane and Superman). Also very fun, and an additional aspect I find amusing is that most of the guys are French Canadians, so I get a kick out of their accents.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention Travelling through the Bronze Age, even though it's currently on hiatus. This is a pretty good one as well (Osvaldo is also a fan if I recall correctly); mainly they review single issues of Bronze Age comics, with a focus on Rom in particular. One of the guys that worked on this one is now co-hosting another podcast dedicated to the first iteration of the Teen Titans, called Teen Titans Wasteland.

On the other topics, for board games I think I'd have to say my favorite is Monopoly, just because I played it more than any other, and longer (even participated in a few marathon games in college). The only other one I remember enjoying enough for it to stick in my memory is Trivial Pursuit (before passing through all of the question cards).
As for favorite original-cast SNL characters, I agree about Radner's Roseanne Roseannadanna and Lisa Loopner (as well as Bill Murray's Todd from that same skit). Also liked the Coneheads quite a bit - the one when guest-host Frank Zappa came by to pick up their daughter Connie for a date is particularly hilarious.
And Quark, by the way, was/is not 'miserably terrible.' Like I said in the comments last week, I re-watched all 8 episodes a few years ago, and found them quite funny. Dated at places and campy (which was quite intentional), but not at all terrible...

ColinBray said...

JA - I’m keen to get new comic podcast recommendations, especially any themed around the history of comics.

Over the years I have got much joy from Comic Geek Speak, especially their ‘Spotlight’ episodes looking at character histories in great detail including whole episodes on the Bronze Age.

With over 1,500 episodes in the bank the recording pace is finally slowing but it is still great. For a full episode list -

Other favourites:

Collected Comics Library for info about forthcoming collected editions -

Word Balloon for comic creator interviews, especially the older interviews with Bronze Age creators -

Comic Book Page for the Mayo Report and other conversations between two hugely experienced comic readers -

But Comic Geek Speak is the prince of comics podcasts.

The institution that is SNL never found its way to the UK which is a real shame. By reputation I think of it as ‘Mad’ magazine on television but no idea if that’s correct!

Not being a follower of comics and comic creators in other media I really don’t have anything to offer on that.

Edit: thanks for the podcast recommendations, Edo. I do hope podcasting is alive and well, it may just be that I haven't been looking in the right places!

david_b said...

Thanks all for the comments thus far, fellow BABsters.. The podcasts sound quite interesting. Love the new links to check out.

I'm just roving through Season 3 of the original SNL, where some of the characters are starting to jell nicely (yes, I was referring to characters, not the players themselves..).

Bill Murray's lounge singer putting words to 'Star Wars'...?

Roseanne Roseannadanna..?

I still think the best Samarai was 'TV Repairman' or BMOC (Big Man On Campus, for you more 'seasoned folks'...).

Dan Aykroyd did such memorable stints as both Nixon and Jimmy Carter. I just watched a clip of Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo on SNL circa 1983 (it's on my facebook page..), and it's a huge shame the Dick Ebersol years won't be released for a while, probably over copyrights, and of course, Eddie Murphy.

Here's Al Franken's quasi-funny explanation about the initially-lousy post-Lorne years..:

And he's a politician now...? Sheesh. And the show got much better.

david_b said...

As for my beloved 'Quark'..., the subtle-humorous scenes with Benjamin and Kelton (Quark and Ficus) were typically the best for me, but I'm just taken back that, with the supposed prime 'comic genius' brought to the table with both Buck Henry and Benjamin, addled with further ripe imagination following the industry-opening splendor of Star Wars, that we could have had some more genuine humor than the cross-gendered Gene/Jean and the two Bettys, of course satisfying the also-then-obligatory jiggle-TV factor firmly in place.

Favorite episodes..? The two-part Quasinorm episode with Ross Martin and Joan Van Ark playing his daughter Princess 'Libido'.


Looks like they yanked all the episodes off youtube, but here's an excerpt for those who missed this beloved 'All We Had Back Then' entry.


Redartz said...

Characters not players; doh!! That' s what I get for trying to rush in the morning...

Oh well, let me second Edo in praise of the Coneheads. It's been a treat seeing them on some recent commercials.

Anonymous said...

As for SNL, I agree with Redartz and david_b...any character done by Dan Aykroyd was hilarious: Fred Garvin, E. Buzz Miller, Jimmy Carter, the alphabet-spouting guy...the list goes on.

For board games, I always liked the Game of Life. RPGs on the other hand...D&D is a classic, of course. I haven't played 5th Edition, but I've read the Rulebooks and it looks pretty good. Reminds me of the early editions and the mechanics have been cleaned up a lot. As for other RPGs, Call of Cthulhu is fun (if you like weirdness) and I love GURPS; I haven't played a lot, but I love reading the supplements...they always have lots of well-researched info and I've gotten tons of ideas from them.

I don't listen to too many podcasts, but there are two or three that I like: Edo already mentioned the Fire and Water Podcast (I haven't listened to every episode, just the ones where they go through issues of DC's Who's Who page by page). I also listen to Trekker Talk (which will be meaningless to anyone not reading Ron Randall's Trekker), and last but not least, I love the Two True Freaks Tales of the Justice Society podcast; they've done episodes on everything related to the JSA in (basically) chronological order, including All-Star Squadron and Infinity Inc. Right now they're covering Crisis, but when that's done I assume they'll get back to All-Star Squadron and Infinity least, I hope so!

Mike Wilson

Dr. Oyola said...

I definitely highly recommend Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men. While they are 90s kids whose relation to the X-Men comes from a different place than mine (and most of us here), their deep knowledge going back to the Silver Age, different sensibilities, sense of fun and honest critique makes it the podcast I look forward to the most each week -and they cover ALL the X-books. They have reached 1987, which means currently they are covering Uncanny, New Mutants and X-Factor, along with most of the mini-series of the era (like they just covered the original X-Men vs. Avengers). If you start from the beginning it takes a few episodes to hit its stride, but not too long - so stick with it.

I also recommend Teen Titan Wasteland. The production values are not as high and the research is not as deep, but Hub and his brother Corey, drink booze and talk Zany Bob Haney. Good stuff.

I sometimes listen to Fan Bros (the voice of the Urban Geek), but that one is a little more uneven - which based on the sheer amount of material they put out isn't surprising - but when they have a good guest and/or a compelling topic, it is great. I highly recommend the Junot Diaz episode.

I really want to start my own podcast to go along with my blog. I even have someone who is willing to produce it, but I am still looking for a partner in crime. I think it'd be too borrowing to be just my voice, nor do I have enough of a network of people to do the me and a new guest format each week.

Dr. Oyola said...

The above should read "boring" not "borrowing" :/

Humanbelly said...

Welp-- I'm the loser kid sittin' outside of the circle of the cool people on this one. Cripes, and on multiple topics, too--
(Someday HB, too, will go to the ball. . . )

This will sound just awful, but I don't seem to have any tolerance for comics-related podcasts-- they tend to bore me to death (says the guy with the, heh, 5000 word maximum mandate!). Maybe I just haven't sampled the right ones. And it may not be a comics thing, either. There are a few theater-centric podcasts out there as well, and I tend to give up on them in about 2 minutes-- and I'm a flippin' theater person, for pete's sake. The only podcast I enjoy (which I'm not very far through-- but I bet would be enjoyed by a lot of you folks 'round here) is WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE-- which is a whole fictional parody/satire pan-genre (horror/supernatural/fantasy/sci-fi/conspiracy) civic radio station broadcast thingy. Sooooo-- let me at least offer that as an alternative, eh?

I. . . I never watched Saturday Night Live during those classic early seasons-- and have never fully caught up to them since. Generally familiar, sure-- but am otherwise a Vegan at a Meat House, y'know?

Quark-- I wanted to like it, but only watched the first couple of episodes when they originally aired. Trying. Too. Hard. That was what turned me off. The tone, the speed, the writing-- it was all turned up about 1 point to high, which made it seem even shallower and cheaper (?) than it was maybe intended too be. Lacked heart, perhaps?

Never played D&D, though I lived in the "misfit/oddball" dorm in college, so lots o' me mates there were bigtime into it. Had a pretty fun foray into a related game called MONSTERS! MONSTERS!-- created a character named Timm the Troll who took an arrow through the head in the second round of turns, and had to be carried around for the rest of the game. That whole type of gaming, though, just moves too glacially slow for me-- and I saw more than a few guys really get faaaaar too immersed in it.

Scrabble's definitely my game now. HeroScape was a few years ago, but *sniff* HBLad outgrew it. There were lots of childhood favorites, though. Yes, Monopoly, Life, Stratego (really addicting game), Battleship, Clue (although it's actually a pretty darned dull game), RISK was HUUUUGE in our neighborhood for awhile-- massive games with multiple, connected boards, but a big ol' go-to favorite for a wild good time was Battling Tops-! Man, we somehow kept that set going for years. Didn't lose any pieces or break anything-- but it was surely worn out by the time high school diminished its interest. Ha! Loved that game!


MikeS said...

Thanks to the Barnstable twins and raging teenage hormones, I never realized Quark was that terrible. I was convinced I was in love with both of them :)

The Prowler said...

I haven't caught many of the podcasts. I plan on trying the links for sure. We have a local show on Saturdays, 6 and reairs at 10 but they are way too into wrestling for my tastes. That's where I heard about an Aunt May prequel in the works. I work the early morning shift now so I usually catch the last hour of Coast to Coast. That's good enough for my "out there" daily quota!!!

My favorite (or favourite) SNL character was one of Gilda Radner's. I don't know if she ever had a name but she would be in therapy with her parents. She would be asked to pick something to represent her dad, usually a boy doll, her mom, a girl doll, and then herself. She would pick a stapler or tape dispenser or some other "common household object". I still pull that out when we have to do "team building" exercises at work.

As for board games. I was blessed with friends growing up that played each and every game exactly as the rules stated in the box. You couldn't get $200 until you "PASSED" go, Free Parking was just that, no money from the middle. That just sat there for the whole game. THE WHOLE GAME!!!

And then we tried to play D&D. First couple of times was okay and then it just got weirder and weirder......and weirder.

And weirder.......

(The world is a vampire, sent to drain
Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
And what do I get, for my pain?
Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game).

pfgavigan said...


I'm sorry to relay the news that Murphy Anderson, Golden, Silver and Bronze Age inker and artist has passed away. Details are sketchy, but the gentleman was eighty-nine years of age and reportedly in declining health.

I use the word gentleman with great appropriateness, in our several meetings at different conventions he was never anything less.



Anonymous said...

Hm OK now - I'm not into comics podcasts, but Edo and Colin Bray really mentioned some good sites! I'll definitely check those out in the future.

As for SNL, the most memorable characters were Eddie Murphy, Dan Ackroyd and Jim Belushi. Spoiler alert - I was never a fan of SNL.

Favourite board game? In my little bubble world it's chess. Heck, I even have books by the great World Champions like Capablanca, Alekhine, Petrosian, Tal and Karpov (but none from Fischer!). It's only when going through those games that I realized why these guys were world champions - some of the combinations they played were mind boggling; it's at that point when I realized I had extremely limited chess talent so I just play for fun!

Sorry to hear about Murphy Anderson.

- Mike 'sticking to tic tac toe from now on' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

Sad news about Murphy Anderson. He was one of the best "slick" inkers of all time, and I enjoyed his Alex Raymond-esque pencilling. I particularly love the Starman/ Black Canary team-up he drew. I was privileged to meet him at a convention once and got to talk to him briefly.

As for SNL, John Belushi doing his Joe Cocker impression is one of the funniest things ever.

Board games... We played a lot of Monopoly, Life, & Sorry growing up. I had a Transformers board game that I liked; you played as Optimus Prime and had to rescue other Autobots. My favorite was probably a Ghostbusters board game that had a really detailed 3D pop up board.

Comic book artists in animation: Alex Toth. Even if Superfriends & Space Ghost weren't especially good, the designs were fantastic.

Comic book podcasts: Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men is one of my two favorites. The other is Wait, What? ( The hosts, Graeme & Jeff, talk about contemporary and older comics. They have a lot to say about Steve Englehart. It's long (usually 2 hrs), which works for my commute.

- Mike Loughlin

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