So here it is - part two!!
What's the worst ending to a comic book series ever? Including mini, maxi, and open-ended series?
JC: Civil War #7. Like that was the first time Cap noticed collateral fucking damage? Christ.
DS: Civil War #7. Captain America gave up because the civil service turned against him, my ass.
BH: Again, it is hard to come up with a something terrible. I will say that I was wholly disappointed with the recent Action Comics Annual. With the series having progressed so far and Chris Kent back in his adoptive parents’ arms, the ending felt out of place and lame. They should have just left it in the can.
MP: Countdown. It wasn't counting down to anything.
DS: Are we talking about “What happened, happened?”
I'm going to remain a gentleman and simply say that things didn't work out. I would have liked to stay but it wasn't meant to be. Hindsight being what it is, I'm grateful for the experience. I have a quality of life now I couldn't have had had I stayed. Others may have gotten the house but in a sense, I got to keep the kids.
BH: First, my Mom and my Dad met because she was my older brother’s teacher. Hmm, this could take a while. So let’s fast forward. Now I am sitting in my boxers writing answers to these questions.
JC: Devon beat a nun to death on the steps of a church, I don't know.
MP: I wouldn't know. I'm kind of an A-Hole.
DC's recent handling of Kirby: Homage or Hubris?
MP: Homage. Even if the writing hasn't been great, the intent is to honor, not to defame. Besides, Morrison's Seven Soldiers was pretty awesome, and that excuses a lot.
BH: You know what homage sounds like? Fromage – man, I love cheese.
DS: Morrison on New Gods is a definite homage. That is what he does, after all.
JC: I stopped reading Countdown and all attached to it a long time gone; I gather they killed the New Gods so as to replace them with Morrison versions thereof - that's probably an okay idea. Digging up Kamandi and OMAC is more silly than anything. It'd be an homage if they didn't, like, own all the stuff he did and hubris if... actually, I'm not a hundred percent on what they could do with it so as to constitute hubris.
This last year of comics... what's up with that?
BH: When I was in sixth grade I hit myself in the face with a metal pole. You know, gripped it like a baseball bat and cracked it into my forehead. As joke, I might add. That was what the last year of comics has been like.
JC: DC totally lost me and Marvel either got way more interesting or I got way more desperate.
DS: Somewhere along the line the companies realized they can keep getting your money through weekly comics and big, dumb events that go nowhere. As the numbers bear out, we let them and they continued to do so. We have no one but ourselves to blame.
MP: The good has been good and the bad has been bad. But if you'd asked me a year ago what my favorite books would be in a year, I never would've said "Blue Beetle" and "Booster Gold."
This next year of comics... will it make up for it?
DS: I truly don't know. Comics themselves seem to be going to this place where there can be no middle ground. Either you're with it or against it. I'm anxious to see what Final Crisis brings as I think it'll truly be a defining moment in a lot of customers' future comics buying habits.
JC: Secret Invasion's been fun so far. Final Crisis will more than likely be... frequently late, I guess, but it should be an interesting ride. I'm too much of a cynic to guess right now, but DC's going to have to throw me up a Hail Mary to get me back on their boat. That was a massively mixed metaphor.
MP: I know everybody's on about Invasion and Crisis. But Terry Moore's Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane mini has me giddy like a schoolperson.
BH: In this year we have already had Blue Beetle #25, Immortal Iron Fist #13, Checkmate #25, some really great tie-ins for Secret Invasion, and one month of amazing lead-ups to Final Crisis. I am not big on counting chickens but I am going to say yes.
Which of the big two is doing it better as of this writing?
JC: Well, Hell; should've read 'em all before answering. Marvel.
DS: Marvel. From the films to the comics, they just seem to know exactly what their fanbase wants, whether know they even it themselves. DC has more diversity with Vertigo, Minx & Jonny DC lines but the output from there hasn't been exactly burning the roof off the mothersucker lately. And, as far as the movies go, well... enjoy The Dark Knight 'cause that's all you're getting for a while.
BH: Can my answer be neither? I think for the best writing you have to turn to the smaller presses like Oni. It is the smaller presses that don’t have years of expectations and millions and millions of dollars riding on a comic that allow them the freedom to tell truly inspiring stories. Not that you can’t great writing from the big two, it is just more of good writing within a standard as opposed to just great writing within the comic medium.
I guess that doesn’t really answer the question. So I am going to say DC because I am a loyalist.
MP: DC... they may have hung themselves with Countdown, but they have so many books that fly under the radar that are really solid right now (see also: Birds of Prey, Supergirl).
When is the Second Printing Podcast starting? When it happens will you get use than one microphone?
MP: That reminds me of the time we were podcasting, and Jon Carey was like "Here's the microphone" and I put my hand around it and then I was like "Whoa, that's not the microphone," and then Carey was like "I know..." and then... what was the question?
BH: A Second Printing Podcast is not in the works. Frankly, we can’t afford the equipment. I know we could do it for super cheap but we’ve tried that before and it sounded terrible. The idea of buying the stuff has been batted but we are not ready to make a full swing yet. Let’s get a couple of months of good blog work under our belts.
JC: Buy us some recording equipment, and we'll talk.
DS: I know where there's a $300 mixing board collecting dust. So...
Which character in Fiction do you most identify with?
DS: Hawkman. I'm smart, shirtless a lot and like to hit things.
BH: Flounder from The Little Mermaid. I am a stout, short, and sort of a moron. I have no beef with it though.
JC: John Yossarian, probably.
MP: Probably the annoying redheaded kid from the Mighty Ducks.
Which do you wish you were more like?
BH: Mary Anne from "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel". That steam shovel might not have been the fastest or the most modern but she had gumption and just kept digging. That’s all I aspire to – just keep going.
MP: Hulk. I've always wanted to smash.
DS: Superman. One of his greatest gifts is patience. I have none.
JC: Captain America. Why not?
What's your superhero name?
MP: Hmmm... I think it would be fun to be called Dough Boy, but I don't know what my powers would be.
BH: I was going to say The Amazing All-You-Can-Eat but then my wife said that made me, “Sound like a huge comic nerd.” So I am going to say The Narcoleptic.
JC: I once had a dream that I was a speedster named The Pedestrian. We'll go with that.
DS: I think I was born with one, actually. “Agent of S.H.E. I. L.D” sounds pretty good behind Devon Sanders, don't you think?
Most improved character of recent history?
DS: Immortal Iron Fist. Proof positive that every character, no matter how worn or dated, has stories left to tell.
Most tarnished character of recent history?
BH: Bishop. That is the thorn in my paw right now.
DS: Nightwing, the fact that writers and editors don't know what to do with arguably, the fourth most important hero in the DC Universe, just disgusts me. Although, current writer Peter Tomasi is definitely on the right track.
JC: Iron Man was getting pretty hosed in every book but his own for a while, there, but they've been making him less Satan-y of late.
MP: Not a character so much but I think the overall brand of the Justice League is in the tubes thanks to the weak sauce they put out after Infinite Crisis and One Year Later.
How do you each combat the so-called "humans" among us who try to persuade you that only small children and the deeply retarded read comic books?
JC: Christ, dude, I watch pro wrestling. Comics are the least of my problems.
BH: Dress nicely and stay well groomed. For real, I mean it. It is hard for anyone to talk shit about your pastimes and hobbies if you are decked out to the nines and your hair and stuff isn’t all jacked up. As I sport jeans with holes in them and stained T-shirts I can’t speak from it personally. But I have seen the look of, “Huh, maybe I am wrong” on people’s faces when one of my styling friends admits they read comics to non-readers.
DS: I don't. I honestly think most people aren't sophisticated enough for comics. Comics asks of you contemplation of an idea, then asks you to hold it for a month or longer, re-examine it and move on. Comics reading takes thought, commitment, patience and above all else, an appreciation of art and the written word, things we don't encourage enough in today's society.
MP: I remind them of the rich and important history of comics and the pivotal role that comics and comic book characters have played in the overarching American narrative. And if that doesn't work, I hand them Scott Pilgrim.
So that's it. I hope you guys have had fun reading these answers and have learned a little bit about each of us.