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Feb 5

House to Astonish Episode 152

Posted on Sunday, February 5, 2017 by Al in Podcast

Hot on the heels of our chat with Mike Quackenbush, we’re back with another regular House to Astonish, talking about the New York Times dropping its comics bestseller charts, the lack of an Image Expo in 2017, December’s sales estimates, the retirement of Bernie Wrightson, the relaunching of Rocket Raccoon, Valiant’s upcoming Secret Weapons miniseries and the casting of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger and Runaways TV series. We’ve also got reviews of Bullseye and The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is a poor workman. All this plus the re-dubbed American House to Astonish, Scott Lobdell killing and eating a homeless person and a potter in a Jacobean tragedy.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, via Twitter, by email or on our Facebook fan page. And hey, it’s February, the month of love – and you know what else we love? How good the t-shirts from our Redbubble store look on you!

Jan 28

Holds to Astonish – Mike Quackenbush

Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2017 by Al in Podcast, Wrestling

As mentioned on our last episode, Paul and I sat down this week to talk with Mike Quackenbush, the creative mind behind the heavily comic book influenced independent wrestling promotion Chikara Pro. We had a great discussion, taking in the upcoming National Pro Wrestling Day; the shifts Mike’s seen in Chikara over the past few years both in terms of the wrestlers they’ve trained and the business and distribution models independent promotions have adopted; the crossover between wrestling and comic books; the 2015 and 2016 Chikara UK tours; their 2013/2014 shutdown angle and accompanying ARG; the ins and outs of IDW’s Revolution and much more besides.

The episode is here, or here on Mixcloud, or you can stream it through the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page. We’ll be back with a regular episode of House to Astonish next week (probably), so keep an eye out for that. And remember, a dog is for life, not just for Christmas, and one of our t-shirts is for a good couple of years at least.

 

Dec 30

House to Astonish Episode 151

Posted on Friday, December 30, 2016 by Al in Podcast

It’s the end of the year, and as always, we’re running through the results of the Homies awards, with Paul’s picks, my picks, and the winners of the listener vote. We’ve got unexpectedly good books, predictably good creators, astonishingly close votes, and shambolically tabulated results. Come hear what we enjoyed this year, and what the voting Housemates plumped for. All this plus a wooden piece of wood, a beautiful leather briefcase, and a perfunctory log fire.
The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. As always, let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, by email or on our Facebook fan page. And hey, it’s nearly a new year, so time for a new look – why not treat yourself to a House to Astonish shirt from our Redbubble store?

Dec 21

The Homies 2016

Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 by Al in Podcast

It’s that time of the year again, where comics blogs and podcasts do their obligatory look-back best-ofs, and that means it’s time for the House to Astonish Homies Awards!

As always, Paul and I will individually be choosing a winner for each category, but there’s the usual proviso – we want YOU to help, so you all name your picks in the comments, and Paul and I each choose our own, and we talk a bit about each of the three on our awards show.

We’re likely to be recording on the 30th of December, so we’re giving you until 8pm UK time (3pm Eastern, noon Pacific) on December 29 to make your choice. When you list your picks, don’t just name names either, because we’ll be reading out the best comments on the show, so let us know your thinking!

BEST NEW SERIES

This one’s pretty self-explanatory – any comic whose first issue was published between 1 January 2016 and the close of nominations (29th December) is eligible. What new series got your attention the most this year?

BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

This one’s a little less self-explanatory – what series, again first published between 1 January and date of broadcast, did you think was best, with the proviso that it has to be something where the property wasn’t in existence prior to the start of 2012. We’re counting re-use of titles as well as concepts, so Lost Light or Doom Patrol wouldn’t be eligible, but (for example) Animosity or Another Castle would.

BEST CONTINUING SERIES

The counterpart to the categories above, which covers books whose first issue was published in 2015 or before. They’ve been around the block, but they’ve still got what it takes.

BEST MINI, ONE-SHOT OR OGN

These are explaining themselves by this point, right? We’re looking for OGNs, one-shots and minis published in 2016 (or partially in 2016, in the case of minis).

FAVOURITE WRITER

FAVOURITE ARTIST

FAVOURITE COLOURIST

Each of these three is pretty self-explanatory – whose name on the cover or credits box of a book makes you want to pick it up? Whose work do you most look forward to seeing?

MOST WANTED

This is for the comic, series or graphic novel that saw print this year which you’d want to see more of, whether that be a book that was cancelled before its time, a one-shot or mini that just begs for a follow-up, or an OGN that you’d love to see a sequel to.

MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

It may have seemed unappealing when you read about it online, and those preview pages may have looked unremarkable, but when you finally got the winner of this category in your hands you were ready to eat your words. What comic, series or graphic novel did you find yourself enjoying much more than you thought you would?

STIFF DRINK AWARD

This award will go to the comic or graphic novel that most made us gasp with surprise – an unexpected plot twist, a daring cliffhanger or a shocking denouement will stand a book in good stead here.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

This is exactly what it says – which creator, creative team, publisher or other contributor to the world of comics really knocked it out of the park this year?

Let us have your picks in the comments thread below, along with your thinking on each one – we’ll read out a range of the responses on our big end-of-year show. Happy nominating!

Nov 13

House to Astonish Episode 150

Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2016 by Al in Podcast

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here – House to Astonish episode 150, commemorating eight years of chat and waffle about comics. This time round, we’re not doing our usual news-reviews-handbook format, but instead tackling questions about what current books we’d recommend, what the most ridiculous stories are that we’ve ever read, the Transformers: Earthforce stories, our secret origin, the concept of the “Reverse OHOTOHOTMU”, our greatest hits, and how we’d remake crossover events. Plus our most punsome Amalgam characters, a spot of House to Astonish Theatre and a feature which we straight-up ripped off from another podcast. As a bonus, we’ve also got the entirety of the House to Astonish vs SILENCE! panel from Thought Bubble 2016, featuring Ryan North, Brenden Fletcher, Emi Lenox and John Allison, for anyone who missed that. All this plus Magazine and Magazine Collecting (the magazine for people who love magazines), fifth-dimensional imp Paul F Tompkins and the Super-Beard.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

Our Redbubble store (with its wonderful shirts, so cosy, such perfect Christmas presents) is here. You can find our friends from SILENCE! here, and the boys of Bit Socket here.

 

Oct 16

House to Astonish Episode 149

Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2016 by Al in Podcast

We’re gearing up for our big 150th episode, with discussion of Charlie Adlard becoming the UK’s Comics Laureate; more details on Marvel’s Monsters Unlimited event; Scott Snyder reteaming with Greg Capullo; Kieron Gillen and Kev Walker’s upcoming Doctor Aphra series; the impending relaunches of Nova and Batwoman; Warren Ellis’s revamp of the Wildstorm universe; America Chavez’s 2017 ongoing; Thunderbolts anniversary stories and LionForge’s new superhero universe. We’ve also got reviews of Reborn and Mosaic, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe has eight arms to hold you (even if it actually only has six). All this plus Jeff’s Sandwich Shack, hand-whittled comics and the difference between a ghost and a g-g-g-ghost.

The podcast is here, and here on Mixcloud, and available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, through the comments below, on Twitter, via email, or on our Facebook fan page.

We’ve got some fab shirts on sale on our Redbubble store, of course, and if you don’t have one yet, you should buy one, and if you do have one yet, you should buy another one.

As mentioned on the show, we’re no longer syndicated at Comics Should Be Good, but we are now over at Atomic Junk Shop, which also features many of the excellent columnists and regular features that CSBG used to host.

If you’re in the UK and attending Thought Bubble on the 5th and 6th of November, then come and see the House to Astonish/SILENCE! panel at 11.50 on Saturday the 5th. It’s going to be the usual collection of shambolic absurdity, daft games, barely logical Q&A, singing, costumes, all that kind of thing. Thought Bubble show tickets are available from their website.

Sep 10

House to Astonish Episode 148

Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2016 by Al in Podcast

Because we finally remembered that we actually do a podcast, here’s a podcast! Paul and I take a canter through the comics news of the past week or so, including the renaming of Death of Hawkman; the announcement of the Justice League/Suicide Squad event and Steve Orlando as Justice League of America writer; the suggested new optimistic direction for the DC Cinematic Universe; Marvel’s teases for Ressurexion and Monsters Unleashed; the mooted New Warriors sitcom; Alan Moore’s retirement from comics; Image’s cross-country move; and Warren Ellis and Coleen Doran’s forthcoming webcoming Finality.

We’ve also got reviews of Night’s Dominion and Supergirl, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe means Brexit. All this plus the Bottled City of Candor, Stonehenge with a false beard and glasses and Tillicoultry, near Stirling.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available through the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

(If your comment is along the lines of “Hey, wow, I can’t believe House to Astonish has been going for nearly nine years!” then yes, you’re right, I got it wrong on the podcast – we launched in 2008, so we’ll be eight in November.)

And hey, the nights may be drawing in, but just think how much warmer you’d be if you were wearing one of our super-awesome t-shirts!

Jul 17

House to Astonish Episode 147

Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2016 by Al in Podcast

There’s absolutely loads to get through this episode, as we run through the Marvel NOW! announcements, take a look at the most recent Direct Market sales figures, look at Spell on Wheels, Ether, Hawkman and Adam Strange: Out of Time and the Lost Boys sequel comic, have a quick chat about the new artist on Black Panther, discuss Plutona‘s potential move to the big screen, dig into the upcoming Marvel/Fox co-produced TV show and sigh wearily at the Wonder Woman cover thing. We’ve also got reviews of Horizon and New Super-Man, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is a real gem. All this plus Mhor Thor, Superman with an elephant head for an arm and the brief return of a much-missed cockney.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

Don’t forget that we’ve got some fab shirts for sale on our Redbubble store – just the thing for the summer months.

And if you want to check out my appearance on Into It with Elle Collins, talking about ChikaraPro, it’s here, and if you want to revisit the anguished screams that were our Phantom Stranger review, well, then that episode can be found here.

Jun 13

House to Astonish Episode 146

Posted on Monday, June 13, 2016 by Al in Podcast

In which Paul and I promise not to spend time chewing over the massively-masticated topics of Captain America’s Hydra cliffhanger and DC Rebirth’s unexpected additions to the DCU, then proceed to spend 15 minutes doing exactly that. We also chat through the Cinemax-optioned Scarlet; the Civil War II #3 midnight openings (and the candidates for the “big surprising death”); the director of the Flash movie and Superman’s upcoming guest spot on Supergirl. We’ve also got reviews of Detective Comics: Rebirth and Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe has bad gas. All this plus Piemaker pasty variant covers, Mark Millar suplexing Dan DiDio through a table and how they choose the Pope in the Marvel Universe.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available through the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

Remember we have a Redbubble page, where you can avail yourself of this summer’s hottest fashion items (our shirts), and as I mentioned on the show, I made a SPECIAL GUEST mini-crossover appearance on SILENCE! issue 190 and The Winter Palace episode 34, so feel free to check those out too.

May 15

House to Astonish Episode 145

Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2016 by Al in Podcast

After our diversion into the world of professional wrestling, we’re back to our regular comics chat this time out, with news of the sad and untimely death of Darwyn Cooke; the cancellation of Agent Carter; the renewal of Supergirl; the woes of Marvel’s Most Wanted; a bit of movie chat around Black Panther, Civil War, Suicide Squad and BvS; the end of Darth Vader; the upcoming Section 8 mini; and DC’s anti-sexual harassment measures. We’ve also got reviews of Punisher and Satellite Falling, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is showing real growth potential. All this plus artisanal badger-baiting, the Muppet Babies of Star Trek and a man tap-dancing next to a kitten.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page. And remember (even though we forgot on the actual podcast itself), we’ve got fab t-shirts available through our Redbubble store, which is perfect because it’s nearly summer and you have such nice arms.