Archive for January, 2012

Ep. 20 – AAAIIIEEEEE!!

January 28, 2012

This week we review the latest batch of DCnU titles with Aquaman #5, The Flash #5, I, Vampire #5 and Justice League Dark #5, plus Simon takes a look back at another classic Batman comic, Batman #420.

Finally we jump onto Jonathan Hickman’s Ultimate Comics Ultimate Avenging Ultimates #6, just because of the cover. Nobody said we ain’t easily swayed.

Please note: Chris suffers from some minor sound issues this week, don’t worry it’s not you, it’s us.

Listen Now!

 

 

 

 

iTunes

Ep. 20 - Ultimate

Show Notes for Episode 20: AAAIIIEEEEE!!  to follow
03:18 – ULTIMATE COMICS: ULTIMATES #6
29:04 –
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #5
35:43 –
I,VAMPIRE #5
50:18 –
BATMAN #420
62:28 –
THE FLASH #5
72:27 –
AQUAMAN #5

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Digital Disorientation in Batman #5

January 21, 2012

Batman #5There’s been a lot spoken about the way Batman #5 played with the comics form, but before I really get into this I will state that even if the panel layout had been completely conventional, this was the best single issue of a comic I’ve read in my life. If you’re not reading this amazing Batman run from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, I don’t have any way to express how sorry I feel for you. Sort it out!

As you will know if you follow our podcast, we’re steadfast converts to digital in terms of single issues – which in my particular case is quite fortuitous since there’s no comic shops around here. So I was quite perturbed when I read the following tweet from iFanboy’s Josh Flanagan:

joshtweet

And he’s not the only one who thought so.

This thread on the DC boards says that the digital comic has “Unacceptable Orientation Problems”.

This one seems to indicate ComiXology has actually been refunding people.

And there are many similar sentiments to be found all over the place.

Well I would like to say: Au contraire, Internet! You are wrong on this one.

When I first read that tweet, I messaged Snyder and Capullo saying that I don’t know what all this was about yet but that I hoped they hadn’t forgotten that for many, visiting a comic shop isn’t actually an option. Capullo immediately replied:

capullo

Cut to my experience reading it, and as you turned the tablet around, the swipe controls for Guided View would become confused and you’d find yourself swiping the wrong way a few times, causing immersion, confusion and disorientation at the moments when Bruce was feeling most lost.

I found myself thinking “Woah, hang on. I’m lost. Have I gone back on myself? What’s going on? Where was I? Where am I? I’m going round in circles, damn you, tormentors!” just like Batman was, with Snyder and Capullo playing the part of the Court of Owls themselves.

Indeed, the stuff the guys did with the way it reads digitially is far more impressive than “turning the comic around while you read it” which has been done before and when you think about it, isn’t really that impressive.

I then had a thought. Pity the poor desktop readers! They can’t turn their monitors around. They’d actually have to read it upside down. Suckers! But while recording our podcast the other night, I tried it and realised that not only are comics just as easy to read sideways or upside down as they are right way round, but that this was another spin on providing the disorientation that was different to tablet but still superior to the paper experience.

If anything, this shows the limitations of the paper form, rather than making a case for it. Contrary to what I have read everywhere else, I believe the guys were actually making a stronger case for digital and that tablet specifically was the superior way to read the book. There’s no way that the tablet experience was just an unexpected side-effect of what they did on paper.

Batman crazy!

What’s really clever is that they accommodated every format. Whether you read on paper, tablet, smartphone or desktop, it disorientated in a different way.

If you think the whole thing was a gimmick that you didn’t need, that’s fair enough. But saying the disorientation added a layer to it only, or more effectively on paper is nonsense. The only possible criticism I have is that the rotation lock business should have been explained somehow at the front of the book itself. As an iPad user for 6 months, I didn’t even know I could do that, and if I wasn’t lucky enough to have one of the creators explain this I probably wouldn’t have been able to get the most out of it, or I would have had to come out of the story halfway through to fiddle with the settings.

I would assume Mr. Flanagan hadn’t read the digital version when he tweeted. Indeed, I haven’t read it on paper, but I’d suggest it’s far easier to imagine the paper experience without having done it, than the other way around.

I hope ComiXology doesn’t reorient the panels like some people are asking them to, or at least that users are given the option to do so without the update being forced on us. This might be the most perfect comic of all time just the way it is thanks very much. The idea that ComiXology might be issuing refunds for selling this masterpiece to people makes me sad.

To hear us talk about Batman #5 in more depth, check out Ep. 19 of our podcast.

Want to add to the debate? Email thwippingboys@gmail.com or find us on Twitter at @thwippingboys

JonnyJon

Underground Comics Challenge – Red Angel

January 21, 2012

redangelIt’s the return of our Underground Comics Challenge! We reviewed Red Angel #1 from WhatTheFlux Comics on our latest podcast this week, and while our review was certainly balanced, we rather enjoyed this intriguing and imaginative tale.

If you love steampunk, robots, cool character design, imaginative world-building and protagonists with awesome names, we’d recommend you check out Red Angel.

Learn more at the website for WhatTheFlux.

Check out the review in Ep. 19 of our podcast. In the meantime, if you’re a creator who would like us to review your comic on a future podcast, email thwippingboys@gmail.com or find us on Twitter at @thwippingboys

Ep. 19 – Segue Police!

January 20, 2012

We’ve chucked in all kinds of stuff this week! We jump on JonnyJon’s all-time favourite comic Ultimate Spider-Man, grab the first issue of Joshua Fialkov’s Doctor Who arc, bring back our Underground Comics Challenge for Red Angel and check out Prophet #21, which involved us giving money to Rob Liefeld. That wasn’t easy, but do we regret it?

We check in with the DCnU titles Wonder Woman #5, Supergirl #5, Green Lantern Corps #5 and the sublime Batman #5.

Finally, Simon learns he shares a very important link with his favourite character Nightwing, and Chris pushes things a step too far…

Listen Now!

 

 

 

Episode 19 Reviews

 

 

Show Notes for Episode 19: Segue Police!
06:24 – We take a look at ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1-6 and shock! Horror! Jonny comes to the defence of Ultimatum.
29:49 – 
WONDER WOMAN #5 was great but we ended up digressing into the awesomeness that Chris is capable of frying up for breakfast.
38:37 – 
DR. WHO #13 turned out to be a little disappointing.
46:44 –
Have we mentioned we love Guy Gardner? As usual he’s awesome in GREEN LANTERN CORPS #5.
54:40 – 
PROPHET #21 is actually really damn cool.
64:54 –
Our Underground Comics Challenge returns with intriguing steampunk indie book RED ANGEL #1.
85:16 –
We randomly check out BATMAN #408 and Simon learns something quite sweet. Awww.
93:48 –
Jon was “floored” by how good SUPERGIRL #5 was. It’s about time he caught up!
100:40
– BATMAN #5. Well, what can we say? Devastingly good would only begin to describe it.

Ep. 18 – Hump the Bunk

January 13, 2012

It’s time for the 18th awesome episode of the Thwipping Boys podcast, discussing an especially strong showing from the DCnU. This week we have fire, death, Darwyn, destruction, betrayal most foul, and someone getting smacked with a submarine.

So grab a cuppa and relax as we review Batman and Robin #5, Deathstroke #5, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #5, Demon Knights #5, Suicide Squad #5, Green Lantern #5, Resurrection Man #5 and The Shade #4 with that unique Thwipping Boys mixture of nonsense chat and erudite insight.

Listen Now!

 

 

 

Episode 18 Comics

Show notes for Episode 18: Hump the Bunk
09:58 – DEMON KNIGHTS has been a brilliant series so far, if you aren’t reading it WHY NOT?!
19:28 – Sinestrooooo! We think GREEN LANTERN is about the wrong character.
29:45 – FRANKENSTEIN is growing on us, but the art is still causing trouble.
41:21 – Darwyn Cooke was on THE SHADE! How did we not know this?
56:21 – I’m trying to summon up the enthusiasm for DEATHSTROKE but I just heard today that there’s an creative team change approaching and that make me a sad panda.
63:45 – Mitch Shelly was an utter shit?! Whowouldathunkit!?!?
71:17 – Tomasi and Gleason continue to provide us one of our favourite comics with BATMAN & ROBIN.
78:41 – The fact that The Rot is confusing us doesn’t stop SUICIDE SQUAD being its usual fucking-awesome self.

Simon’s Comic Art Colouring – A Time Lapse Video

January 12, 2012

So, as I’ve mentioned a few times before, I love to colour comic art, it’s just a hobby, and so just use photoshop, I am by no means some crazy pro who does it with watercolours or something, but I thought it might be pretty fun to create a time lapse video of my latest colouring, 3 hours of comic colouring condensed in to 6 minutes. So sit back, enjoy, once watched check out the final piece just below! And most importantly of all, let us know what you think on @ThwippingBoys

Pencils – Paulo Siqueira

Music – @Chris_Thwipping

 

Jon’s Best of 2011 Awards – Podcasts

January 10, 2012

In my round up of 2011’s Television, I gave the caveat that I hadn’t watched as much TV last year as I normally would, and there’s a reason for that. During 2011, I listened to podcasts almost constantly, getting in around half a dozen a day on average.

Having never been one for the radio (apart from Radio 4 – obviously) I would have called you crazy if you’d told me five years ago I would be sacrificing valuable TV hours in favour of listening to nerds talking to each other.

The ones I mention below are only a few of those I’ve enjoyed during 2011, so honourable mentions must also go to The Nerdist, Comedy Bang Bang, The SideKickCast, 20 Minute Longbox, Mike and Tom Eat Snacks, We Talk Comics and too many more to name.

Best Comics Podcasts (apart from ours, obviously!)

3 – Fuzzy Typrewriter

Fuzzy TypewriterFuzzy Typewriter is a podcast started by iFanboy writer Paul Montgomery, digging into the nitty-gritty of “Story and Storytelling, Art and Artists” in the world of comics, movies and novels with a regular cast of revolving co-hosts.

Soft-spoken Montgomery has a great voice for podcasting and is fiercely intelligent and passionate about the subjects he covers – I particularly enjoyed listening to him review all 52 of the DCnU #1 books, especially since we did the same.

It’s not [meant to be] the funniest or the slickest podcast in the world, but it’s always immensely listenable and once you hit play you can just feel yourself becoming more cultured by the minute.

2 – Word Balloon

Word BalloonI just pointed out that Paul Montgomery has a great podcasting voice, but John Siuntres is how all podcasters want to sound when they grow up. Hell, all MEN wish they sounded like this guy.

This isn’t meant to come across as mean, but  he really does sound like he comes from a different time, conducting ultra-classy, insightful and often hilarious interviews with…well, everybody in comics. Everybody. His Bendis Tapes are a particular gem.

Unlike other podcasts mentioned here, I don’t listen to every episode. It’s not a downside – Siuntres’ range of guests are so diverse, that due to time constraints I pick and choose which interviews to listen to, but that does mean there’s something for everyone and it’s testament to the quality that I’ve been totally gripped when I’ve found myself listening to interviews with people I’ve never heard of, who write things I’m not interested in.

Plus he’s got a great taste in films (crime and noir in particular) and you’ll always come away from a podcast with a couple of new recommendations to check out.

1 –iFanboy

iFanboyI like that iFanboy is such a reliable constant in the comics universe. Every Sunday like clockwork you get a one hour Pick of the Week Podcast which follows a tight format and gives you a strong overview of the week’s comics. The guys that present it are smart and funny, and they have honed this podcasting thing down to a fine art by putting out hundreds of hours of quality comics chat.

I have listened to every episode of the PotW Podcast, and have found myself thinking in 2011 that it’s been lacking something it once had. If I could put my finger on it, I would elucidate. But I’ve found that it’s still the only podcast I download and listen to as soon as it appears on my feed.

iFanboy earns this spot on the strength of the PotW podcast alone, when you take into account the numerous other weekly shows they put out, including an always-entertaining video show, they’re clear winners in this category and if you could only listen to one comics podcast, it would have to be this (apart from ours, obviously!).

But not even they come close to the:

Podcast of The Year – Adam and Joe

Adam and Joe

Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish have been one of the UK’s funniest and most subversive comedy acts since they burst onto the TV scene with their unique brand of ramshackle nonsense in the late ’90s, and their podcasts are even better than the show was, especially since moving from XFM to BBC 6 Music.

Edited down from their Big British Castle radio show with extra content added, the podcast’s mixture of chat, brilliant homemade jingles and audience participation has gone from strength to strength over the years and 2011 bought us such gems as the G6 Lizard, Taffin, Nonsense!, Blah Boobidy Baya 2, Travellin’ Tales and another batch of awesome Song Wars episodes. And yes, I realise that just seems like a list of made up phrases.

The only real downside to their podcast is that stingy (well, strapped) BBC6 Music only offers a small selection of their shows on iTunes, meaning new fans may have to resort to other means to get hold of their back-catalogue.

If you’re not from the UK you probably haven’t heard of Adam and Joe – and even if you are, they aren’t that well known outside of their fanbase. Do yourself a favour and join Black Squadron (the elite listening force) today. Why be Denny Different? Why?

As an aside, if the name Joe Cornish rings a bell, he wrote and directed Attack The Block, which I named my Movie of 2011. Go Joe!

JonnyJon

Ep. 17 – Timeslide!

January 8, 2012

We mix things up this week by jumping aboard the precursor to Avengers Vs. X-Men and picking up a book we had all previously agreed to drop. We discuss an initiative which has the potential to bring a lot of new readers into comics in the UK. Plus, we check out some DCnU #5s!

Listen Now!

Episode 17 Reviews

Show Notes for Ep. 17 – Timeslide!
14:14  –
About the most interesting thing we discovered about AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #1 was that it looked like it had been drawn by Beryl Cook.
30:46 – After dropping the book with issue 3 we decided we missed Slade Wilson, so we picked up DEATHSTROKE #4.
42:07 – The story is finally starting to come together with STORMWATCH #5.
58:36 – SWAMP THING #5 continues to be an excellent series, despite some uncharachteristically clunky dialogue.
70:53 – ANIMAL MAN #5 sees the first arc of Jeff Lemire’s run come to a spectacular end.
84:45 – After reading ACTION COMICS #5 we’re still not completely convinced of why we’re hanging around.

Special Edition – A Marvelous Christmas by Thwipping Boys

January 8, 2012

What happens when a force that for millennia has brought joy to the children of the world is taken over by a sinister power that threatens to spoil Christmas for everyone? Who can possibly save Christmas?

Originally released as five acts in our Christmas Special, we now present our radio play “A Marvelous Christmas” as one piece.

If you enjoy this, check out The Horror in Pripyat

Listen Now!

 

Jon’s Best of 2011 Awards – Movies

January 8, 2012

Welcome back to the round-up of my favourite things in 2011. I previously covered Television, and I’ve got Podcasts and Comics coming soon, but for now, these are the Movies I rated most highly last year.

Don’t agree with my picks? Maybe Simon’s Awards will be more to your taste.

Best Comedy – Bridesmaids

BridesmaidsBridesmaids was billed as a female counterpart to The Hangover, which had the opposite of the intended effect with me – although I was eventually talked into seeing it. While The Hangover was not much more than a vaguely amusing retread of the plot from Dude, Where’s My Car?, Bridesmaids is intelligently written and brilliantly directed with a series of standout performances.

As much as Kristen Wiig deserves the plaudits heaped on her for for outstanding portrayal of Annie in the film, both Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne also turn in some of the best comedy performances anywhere in 2011.

Throw in a likeable but weirdly out-of-place love interest played by The IT Crowd‘s Chris O’Dowd and you’re left with something unexpectedly special.

Best Comic Book Adaptation – Thor

Coming into 2011’s Summer of Superheroes, Thor looked like it could be the weak link, but for me it far surpassed Captain America, Green Lantern and X-Men: First Class.

There comes a time in adapting a superhero for the screen where the people behind it need to make a call on what aspects of the comic mythology are kept, and which are ditched for being too cheesy, silly or simply unsuitable for the screen.

Well it looks like Kennth Branagh said “screw that, we’re keeping ALL of it, ‘cos it’s ALL awesome” and as a result we get Frost Giants, Jotunheim, The Rainbow Bridge, Yggdrasil – all of it.

Best of all, between Hemsworth’s performance and the spot-on depiction of Mjolnir, Thor comes across like he’s stepped straight out of the pages of the comic.

Best Film – Attack The Block

Attack The Block

Both a loving homage to John Carpenter’s late 70s output and yet fiercely original in its own right, Attack The Block is a massively assured debut from British comedian, podcaster and writer Joe Cornish.

For me this is probably the ultimate movie – dramatic, funny and action-packed with fantastically-realised monsters, but it’s also very thoughtful, with some beautifully understated performances (many from local kids with no prior acting experience), a watertight plot and a hugely impressive script.

Cornish is currently co-writing Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man screenplay, which must bode well for the Avenger’s introduction, but personally I’m much more excited for the day that Joe himself gets back behind the camera.

JonnyJon