I got to 'live the dream' (sort of) these past two weeks by guest-hosting on two of my favorite comic book podcasts: The Two Headed Nerd Comicast and Panel Culture. As much as I would like to host my own podcast or fill-in on a semi-regular basis … it's a lot of damn work.
In my experience, a successful broadcaster (especially in radio) needs two things: the skill to never run out of things to say and a sense of amity. Silence is the killer and so too is insincerity. If you can't fill the space or if you show any sense of phoniness, you're dead. Neither of these 'casts have to worry about such puny problems. So, my thanks go to Joe and Matt and Charles, Owen and George for the opportunity for this ink-stained scribbler to be both 'internet famous' and 'BIG in Canada' in the span of about seven days.
As if podcasting isn't enough of a collaborative act, I also spent time last week in an attempt to one-up Daniel Elkin and Justin Giampaoli on an essay about Eel Mansions by Derek Van Gieson. I've tried to avoid small press publications if only because I know if I give in I won't be able to stop myself. Small press comics may be more hit-and-miss, however, when they hit, watch out. At (only) thirty-eight pages, Eel Mansions is a monster. We wrote almost five thousand words about this black and white beauty of non sequiturs, in-jokes and out-and-out weirdness and there is still more we could have talked about. Eel Mansions is a giver and for $7 shipped it's a steal.
Last, but not least, my bi-monthly contribution to 'Shotgun Blurbs'-- Justin's column on Thirteen Minutes dedicated to creator-owned work -- went up this week. I wrote about Storm Dogs from Image Comics by creators David Hine, Doug Braithwaite, and Ulises Arreola. David Hine is a thinker. (re)Reading Storm Dogs gave me insights into how far Hine has gone to think about the setting and characters he and Braithwaite have created. He backdoors the world-building in the same ways Lucas did with 'Star Wars' with offhand mentions to past events which only further the reader's imagination.
And do yourself a kindness, huh? Go to Uncivilized Books and buy a couple of copies of Eel Mansions.