Archive for September, 2011

Ep. 03 – Sooo Tireeeeed!

September 24, 2011

Episode 3 of the Thwipping Boys podcast is now a go, this week Jon is tired, Chris is angry and Simon vehemently defends the history of comics, all the while discussing the latest new #1’s from DC’s relaunch… Sit back, have a listen and hopefully enjoy!

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Show Notes

10.50 – BATMAN by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo was arguably the best title of the relaunch to date. Greg where have you been all our lives?
25.12 – BIRDS OF PREY causes mainstream comics newbie Chris to ask the question: Why don’t Superheroes kill?
34.48 – BLUE BEETLE went for USM-esque decompressed origin storytelling, but it couldn’t have been too gripping, since the boys seem to spend more time discussing Guyver and Transformers: The Movie.
44.23 – CAPTAIN ATOM is a little bit of a redemption for JT Krul, but Freddie Williams II was the real star of the book.
52.40 – At least two of the Thwipping Boys attempt to tear CATWOMAN a new arsehole. Unfortunately Batman might have beaten them to it.
57.50 – And then they read DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS. And then they read this other book. And then they read that book. And then…yeah this one went on a bit.
66.12 – GREEN LANTERN CORPS makes it clear that Peter Tomasi is one of the stars of the DCnU so far.
72.54 – THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES is more palatable than LEGION LOST was. But not by very much. Colossal Boy, your Giant Growth is needed on Rimbor!
82.14 – NIGHTWING makes massive Dick fan Simon very happy. And makes Chris wish he had a billy club.
89.00 – RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS gets a thumbs up for great artwork and for its awful, completely unfunny, pathetic sense of humour. Which was hilarious.
102.30 – We’re impressed with the art and storytelling in SUPERGIRL. Chris applauds a different type of take on a female character but struggles to understand the whole cape situation and the monotard and that.
111.10 – Two books in a row with two positive female role models! WONDER WOMAN had wonderful artwork and great storytelling from Cliff Chiang while Brian Azzarello proves that in terms of script, less can definitely be more.

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Good News!

September 24, 2011

Good news on the posting front, we are back on iTunes! This should not affect those who have already downloaded and subscribed, if you have, but find you are missing episode 3 once it is online, please delete your current iteration of our podcasts and resubscribe, incredibly sorry for the inconvenience!

Good News/Bad News

September 23, 2011

OK, a little sad update on the news front…

Podomatic, which is the hosting service for our podcasts that we use for our direct downloads and itunes downloads has unfortunately emailed us informing us that our monthly bandwidth limit has been exceeded! Obviously in one way this is brilliant news, we never expected the listenership we have gained in such short a time, unfortunately this has left us slightly unprepared.

We were given no advanced warning for this, and unfortunately all you will hear is a short advert asking for donations. WE DO NOT WANT DONATIONS OURSELVES that is podomatic talking, but we do ask you stick with us until it is updated properly, we will keep you informed on Twitter.

If anyone has any hosting suggestions (we are going to use the WordPress for now, but it is not ideal) then please email us, comment on this post or twitter.

How you listen to our podcasts is changing!

September 23, 2011

Just thought I would write a little something to discuss how you can listen to our podcasts. Unfortunately us Thwipping Boys are’t the wealthiest bunch of geeks, and so we have to rely on free hosting avenues this means –

Soundcloud – Due to Soundclouds time limit for free users we will only be hosting the latest podcast on Soundcloud, this is due to the ease of adding the Soundcloud player to our blog.

Podomatic – We currently use this to host the download links as well as alternative player versions, due to limited storage space for free users we will only be able to host the latest 3 or 4 podcasts, this will be ok for this week and possibly next week, but after that older ones will be removed, so we apologise profusely to subscribers through that site.

Luckily WordPress has a lovely and sizeable storage facility, which means we will be able to host a number of forthcoming for downloads on this very site, so straight downloads will not be disappearing.

And finally, WE ARE ON ITUNES! WOOP! All episodes are there and ready to subscribe to, all you ned to do is search Thwipping Boys, comics, or… to be honest, pretty much any of DC’s main heroes and we’ll come up.

Hope this does not affect people too much, and enjoy listening!

Why DC? A Superman Perspective

September 23, 2011

I am a self confessed DC fan, anyone who has taken the time to listen to our podcasts would know that for sure. Well, I just stumbled upon something I wrote last year, mainly for myself, and decided that with the DC new 52 and discussions on changes to characters I felt now would be as good a time as any to release it on to the world. I am not a scholar, a journalist or author, so I apologise profusely if this reads like it is written by a 4 year old, but I hope you enjoy!

Ok, so here I am, sitting in my room, it is 1.15am and I’m flicking through issue 2 of “The Man of Steel” the fantastic 1986 reboot of the Superman character, just reading the words, looking at the pictures, it makes me appreciate the importance of the character.

It reminded me of a discussion I had with Jon (now Jonny Thwipping) not long ago about comics, it was the standard Marvel vs. DC fare that usually crops up at one point or another between comic fans… See, I’m a DC fan, I read pretty much anything from any company, but DC is my home, I just love the characters and the stories. My brother disagreed, he said that outside the big 4 or 5 (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and maybe Green Lantern) there was nothing even remotely interesting about DC, and that even then those characters were so powerful that no problem would be too big.

It got me thinking about why I love the characters so much, what they provide that characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men etc. lack, sure I enjoy reading their comics, but they lack the passion of DC. After a hell of a lot of rambling, that is the purpose of this entry… Just what is it I love so much?

At his highest

If you went out on the street, people would know the name Superman, he is a cultural icon, recognised the world over as perfection, the perennial Übermensch, this, sadly, is his biggest strength, but also his weakness, because he is all-powerful people just lose interest, say he is boring, which is reflected in the writing. Lazy and unoriginal, some of these apparent pros just seem to fall in to a rut when writing him “Oh Superman, well he is so powerful nothing can be done, so lets just have him smacking a big bastard around a little bit”, which, frankly, is pretty piss poor reading… Pay a couple of quid to see Supes brawl with someone for 20-odd pages, no thanks! But man, when some writers actually pull their fingers out and think about what they’re writing, he can go from stale to intriguing in the blink of an eye.

I’ve always seen Superman as more of a tragic character than he has generally been portrayed, maybe it is my pessimism, my cynicism, and general outlook on life but I’ve always seen the reliance of a world’s population on one man as a burden, one to bear in unfortunate silence. Here is a god, rising above not only every citizen on the planet, but also the superhero community also, he catches people, stops bad guys, saves the world… Hell saves the universe… But sometimes, just sometimes, he fails and people die. Were he true to his alien origins (to tie back to The Man of Steel) he would be cold, emotionless, but this is a man, a farm boy, raised to know compassion and love. A fireman failing to save a girl from a burning building will feel the weight of that death on his shoulders for the rest of his life, imagine that feeling, that guilt, only amplified by hundreds, thousands, and in some cases millions, and you, a man who can fly across the world in seconds were powerless.

Never has this been more apparent than in the seminal work ‘Kingdom Come’, written by Mark Waid. Following an attack on the Daily Planet which resulted in the deaths of Perry White, Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane, the man responsible, The Joker is unlawfully executed before he can be properly charged by the leading light of a new radical and anarchic group of Superheroes, named Magog. Superman, despite being distraught by the death of his wife and closest friends, still strives for correct justice to be enacted, only to find the public rallying behind Magog’s actions.

Disillusioned by what he see’s society becoming, and seeing his only human connections stolen from him, he retreats to his Fortress of Solitude where he stays for over a decade.
When Wonder Woman seeks him out after these 10 years he is a changed man, he has re-embraced his farm life, created a fictitious world around him, a reflection of his simple and safe childhood. Wonder Woman is there for a purpose, there to coax him back in to the role of protector following a tragic accident that cost millions of people their lives and wiped out his home of Kansas, caused by the rash actions of this new wave of violent heroes, eventually she succeeds, and the Man of Steel is back… Or is he? No, what we are instead given is a flawed character, a man fallen from grace, his physical strength remains, but his belief shattered, this is summed up brilliantly in the painted interiors by Alex Ross, single panels showing a morose man, a drawn face, hope lost.

And alternatively his lowest.

This is when I love DC, when they take a character so steadfast in his beliefs, and test them, when it shows you their failings, their humanity. With this version of Superman they have taken the status quo opinion of the character and haven’t changed it a bit, all they have done is approach it from different angles. Superman was still portrayed as the beacon of hope, the strongest of everyone, the moral compass of the DC universe, they took a classic idea of who Superman is and simply asked the question “What happens to a god when they fail”.

Some would question this as a reason for why I love DC so much, they would say “Yeah but Marvel have been creating and writing about flawed characters since the beginning. Tony Stark an alcoholic, Spider-Man going through the trials of a normal life, Hulk struggling with the monster inside”, but these characters do not resonate with me because these flawed characteristics are so ingrained that it is standard to have them face these issues.

In short, DC’s characters are just fine the way they are, in a time when über-violence is not only common but praised, there is such a wish for these characters to change to ‘get with the times’. You need look no further than with opinion on the new Man of Steel film directed by Zack Snyder, in which people say Superman should be as dark and gritty as Batman was in Begins and The Dark Knight. No Superman and Batman represent two sides of the coin; Superman should be as bright and hopeful, as Batman is dark and hopeless, it is how the character is and always will be.

You do not need to change a character, or compromise the core ideals they represent in order to make a character interesting, you just need a damn good writer who wants to push himself and the character to the limits of what they represent.

Signing off.

Ep. 02 – Round 2! Ding!

September 19, 2011

Welcome to the second edition of the Thwipping Boys podcast in which we continue our discussions on the various DC titles relaunching this month. This week we focus on Deathstroke, Demon Knights, Batwoman, Superboy and more.

Listen Now!

 

 

 

 

Show Notes

3.55 – Batman & Robin: A return to form for the title, thanks to Tomasi and Gleason. Buddabuddabuddabuddabuddabuddabudda.
13.15 – Batwoman by Sir Jarvis Hunter Williams the Third and Lord Winthrop Haden Blackman has been very highly acclaimed, but only connected with 33.3% of the Thwipping Boys.
25.25 – Everyone was pleasantly surprised by Deathstroke, but the boys aren’t sure how long this can be entertaining – despite the character’s taste in baby names.
36.50 – My cods say that Paul Cornell’s Demon Knights was clearly one of the best books of the week!
53.45 – Once you see what is on the final page of Jeff Lemire’s Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. you will never un-see it.
61.55 – Jon knew that Simon was pronouncing Green Lantern artist Doug Mahnke’s name wrong but didn’t bother to correct him.
68.00 – Grifter was pretty cool but we were confused about the timeline of this issue, while Simon has a theory about who the bad guys are. Also: What the fuck is that noise?
76.15 – The worst segue ever takes us into what might possibly be the worst comic ever – Legion Lost.
83.00 – He might be the third most intelligent person on the planet but we’re guessing the writer isn’t, and we could do without the clunky, borderline racist dialogue too thanks very much. Mr. Terrific joins Green Arrow in the list of characters who were fine before the reboot, and already need a reboot again.
92.25 – Simon has a convincing theory for why Lord Evillo – sorry, Atrocitus, was naked in the flashback in Red Lanterns.
100.45 – Who else noticed that the monster involved in yet another rumble on a ‘plane during Resurrection Man was obviously an angel? At least one of the Thwipping Boys didn’t.
112.00 – Suicide Squad proved you can make a character likeable with a vocabularly of one word. Also, Simon has perhaps the most insightful reaction to Wallergate we have yet heard.
122.00 – As the drinking really starts to kick in, Chris liked Superboy but has some trouble getting his head around the concept of stupid teen versions of marquee heroes. He also asks the eternal question – are the Teen Titans…fools?

Ep. 01 – The Inaugural Thwipping Boys Podcast is Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!

September 13, 2011

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Thwipping Boys. Every Week your hosts Jon, Chris and Simon will be giving their frank reviews and opinions on the comic world. This week we look at the first batch of #1’s from DC’s historic relaunch…. So… Enjoy, and if you like it, hate it, or have anything we wish to discuss, feel free to drop us a line.

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