“There's Nothing WRONG WITH YOU That I Can't Fix..WITH MY TENTACLES!" COMICS! Sometimes Comics Are Like The Sponge And Must Go Porous!

In which I unwisely blurt out some words about a Spongebob comic. If yesterday's ridiculous farrago is any indication it will in fact really be about Tarot's chest and largely entail me shouting like a crazy person about people misusing the land in front of my house. Or maybe I got my boat to float this time out. Altogether now, Kids..!  photo SpongeWindowB_zps086cdd0f.jpgBy Chabot, Kochalka, HiFi & Comicraft

Anyway this...

SPONGEBOB COMICS ANNUAL-SIZE SUPER-GIANT SWIMTACULAR #2 Art by Israel Sanchez, Robert Leighton, Rick Neilsen, Jacob Chabot, Jose Delbo, Jay Lender, Nate Neal, R Sikoryak Written by James Kochalka, Mark Martin, Derek Drymon, Israel Sanchez, Jay Lender, Paul Karasik Coloured by HiFi, Glenn Whitmore, Mike DeVito Lettered by Comicraft United Plankton Pictures, $4.99 (2014) Spongebob created by Stephen Hillenburg

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Cover by Israel Sanchez, logo by David Coulson

Comedy, like death, is no respecter of age and so like most comics, or water logged sponges, aimed squarely at the faces of children this also spatters adults; yes, both I and The Boy liked it Now, admittedly, I could be overestimating this comic’s worth for it was Spongebob Squarepants which finally dislodged such luminaries as Mr Tumble, The Wiggles and Bear in The Big Blue House from their positions of dominance in The Boy’s (and thus mine also, alas) televisual diet. As well intentioned and big hearted as infants’ television may be it is a fact that it soon reduces any adult mind to gruel. But once Spongebob Squarepants was on it was a mere hop, skip and a jump to Chowder and Flapjack before our minds finally slid to a stop in our current HD addled state of awe before Regular Show and Adventure Time. Me, I’m of a mind that such programmes seem to shame most adult shows but then my mind is probably still more than a little viscous. I have a lot of time for Spongebob Squarepants is what I’m getting at there. Even so this was still a neat little comic.

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By Lender & DeVito

It’s a neat little comic because it’s made by people who know how to make comics and who clearly love comics. From the Super-Friends homage cover to the parodies of tropes and tat peddling ads inside there’s no doubt about a lack of love of the form on anyone's part. There is no such lack.The comic takes the form of a series of shorts set up by an intro in which the genially clear art by Jacob Chabot prevents the usual cloying nonsensicality of James Kochalka curdling on the page. Basically you’re reading a comic Spongebob is reading and although this illusion is somewhat spottily applied it is still applied well enough for you to get the gist. There’s a Mermaid Man tale in which Barnacle Boy swaps minds with a seahorse due to their both having been struck by Undersea Lightning (The rarest Lightning of all!) and confusion ensues. Should you not find the idea of underwater lightning, or even just the words Mermaid Man, slightly amusing then Jose Delbo and Derek Drymon’s well-turned tale will leave you as cold as the corpse you clearly are. There’s an Imaginary Story (because after all…) in which the grim’n’gritty is lampooned ludicrously and Jay Lender pushes comedy invention really hard in the small of its back by giving Spongebob a different costumed get-up in every panel. Alas, Israel Sanchez' effort revolving largely around excesses of ooze and gloop was more to The Boy’s taste than mine but it was to someone’s taste and even I liked it fine, it just didn’t shine. And then the book ends so strong it could well juggle boulders.

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By Sikoryak & Karasik

Because get this, this comic, a children’s comic, ends with a mash up of Spongebob Squarepants and Fletcher Hanks’ Stardust executed by R Sikoryak and Paul Karasik. that’s right, R SIKORYAK! It is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, to steal from Keats (because I’m sure he’d agree were he to have read this comic.) Ah, it’s crazy and it’s beautiful is what it is. Obviously, and also tragically, you are not me so you might disagree on the merits of each of the episodes but even so humours remain high throughout thanks to Robert Leighton & Mark Martin. They scatter throughout a series of fake adverts which successfully riff on all those near illegally misleading exhortations for ridiculous junk you spent a Hell of a lot longer daydreaming about than you ever did revising for the exams which would shape your future. And by you I mean me. And those misplaced priorities more than anything might explain why a middle aged man is sitting here extolling the virtues of a comic about an exuberantly stupid talking sponge. However, I prefer to think it is because Spongebob Comics Annual-Size Super-Giant Spectacular #2 is VERY GOOD! Well, I would prefer to think that wouldn’t I?

 photo SpongeOfferB_zps1f9ec62b.jpgBy Martin & Leighton

And remember: Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? COMICS!!!

Wait, What? Ep. 93: Thrill Power Overboard

PhotobucketAbove: The Chocolate Waffle, which is a liege waffle covered in dark chocolate, from The Waffle Window, Portland, OR

Yup, Episode 93.  I would say more but I'm slightly overwhelmed with the amount of shite multitasking I'm currently doing (kinda dashing back and forth between two computers at opposite ends of the room at the moment, which neither makes me feel like a mad scientist or a keyboardist in Journey but just someone who is old, Internet, so terribly old).

On the other hand (and behind the jump):  show notes!

0:00-7:51: Greetings; getting schooled by Graeme on Tharg and the mascots of 2000AD and other British comics, with a half-hearted attempt by Jeff to pitch Mascot Wars [working title] 7:51-11:37:  By contrast, Jeff guiltily admits he's been reading the first volume of the Vampirella Archives 11:37-13:37:  Somehow this leads to a discussion of the fascinating copyright information found in Dynamite Books 13:37-15:51: Bless him, Jeff is not giving up so easily on his Mascot Wars idea 15:51-18:55: Jeff gripes about getting back into the routine after his Portland trip, Graeme gripes a bit about getting back into his routine after the 4th of July holiday 18:55-20:52:And so, finally, we start talking comic news--the announcement of Marvel NOW! and the launch of Monkeybrain comics. 20:52-24:35:  Graeme has a thing about the Uncanny Avengers cover and I really cannot blame him; 24:35-25:57: And since we are on the subject, Graeme has a few things to say about that Marvel NOW! image by Joe Quesada, too. 25:57-38:25: And so we talk about Monkeybrain instead, including Amelia Cole by friend of the podcast Adam Knave, Bandette by Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin, the other launch titles, and what we would like to see from the line in the future; 38:25-41:54:  Speaking of fantastic digital comics, the second issue of Double Barrel is out!  And neither of us have read it. But it is out!  And you should consider getting it.  Because it is also Top Shelf and also coming out in digital, we talk James Kochalka's American Elf. 41:54-49:57: Jeff talks about League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 2009. Here there be spoilers! 49:57-1:06:42:Graeme's interesting rebuttal concerns whether bad art can be forgiven if it is suitably ambitious. We have a tussle of sorts and then move on to discuss when does the creator develop that "not so fresh" feeling.  (Bonus: Graeme does a pretty great job of justifying our existence, pretty much). 1:06:42-1:15:37: Incentivizing the singles? Does it work?  Brian Wood's The Massive, Ed Brubaker's Fatale, and more discussion of the Monkeybrain publishing plan and a discussion of what works in the direct market. 1:15:37-1:29:48:  Who is stronger, Watchmen or Walking Dead?  Fight! 1:29:48-1:38:32:The possible Thief of Thieves TV show and the need to keep creating new IP for Hollywood; and when or if the Big Two will come around on that. 1:38:32-1:42:37: Uncanny Avengers.  We are a little fixated. Also, Graeme sings the ballad of Cafe Gratitude (except he doesn't sing and it's not a ballad).  And then some clever Brass Eye jokes that Graeme has to explain to Jeff.  Again. 1:42:37-1:47:36: On the other hand, Jeff did get to the comic store that week so he has that going on for him.  His quickie reviews while Graeme listens on helplessly:  Batman, Inc. #2, Fatale #6, The New Deadwardians #3 and 4; Mind MGMT #2; Prophet #26; Popeye #3 (which is awesome and must-have-ish); Tom Neely's Doppelganger; Flash #10; and Action Comics #11. 1:47:36-2:04:08: San Diego Comic Con! Graeme has two questions about it.  Crazy predictions are made and anxiety dream stories are exchanged. [brrt! brrt! David Brothers alert! brrt! brrt!]  Also, Jeff once again tries to coin the term "Nerd Vietnam" to describe SDCC. 2:04:082:09:20-: Closing comments, and a few reviews of waffles from the Waffle Window.  And then....sign off!

If you are of an iTunesian inclination, you may have already chanced upon us.  But if not, we offer you the chance to give a listen right here and now:

Wait, What?, Episode 93: Thrill Power Overboard

And as always, we hope you enjoy--and thanks for listening!