March 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
Although it doesn’t bode well for my hopes of posting weekly essays on this blog again, I’m excited to share my new podcast with y’all. For almost a year now, Film Strip Heroes has been disseminating and discussing the latest news related to super-hero movies, TV shows, and the comics that inspire them, and due to some recent moves, Josh Wodarz, the show-runner and a friend from our MFA days, invited me to fill a co-host spot. We recorded my first episode earlier in the week, and it was even more fun than I thought it would be, talking funny-books with Josh and Robert Algeo, the other co-host. Hopefully it is fun to listen to, as well: you can find out if it is here and check out www.csicon.net for future episodes and lots of other great, geeky podcasts.
Despite all the fun, there is a bit of work involved, and adding another commitment will only make it harder for me to get back to regular posts on this blog, at least until I get the last episode of Slash all set for publication later this year. That said, I think a lot of my views on humor will come out in my views on comics.
For example, this first week, we got to talking a bit about my preference for Marvel over DC, a distinction that is lost on a lot of laymen, but one that I feel can be most easily felt by contrasting two companies’ use of humor. While there are certainly over-serious Marvel heroes (and plenty that try, but just aren’t funny), I feel they mostly capture that symbiosis between humor and drama, one feeding and sharpening the other, that I look for in stories.
Even if you’ve never read a comic, just think about the contrast between DC’s flagship hero Batman—dark, depressed, and revengeful; only cracking wise if it seems like it will make his punch more punishing—and your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man—always joking, even when all seems lost; more interested in helping the little guy than exacting some sort of conservative justice—and you’ll get a sense of the different spirits driving the two universes. And if you need any further proof, consider who the biggest villain in the DC universe is, and you’ll get a sense of the esteem they hold for humor.