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Nov 21

House to Astonish Episode 50

Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2010 by Al in Podcast

A week late, but worth the wait – it’s our special anniversary 50th episode, marking not just 50 or so hours of chat about comics but just over two years of House to Astonish. This time out we’re talking about the cancellations of Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Deadpool Corps and Deadpool Team-Up, Marvel’s new website, the movie of Dan Clowes’ Wilson, the relaunched Dandy, Wizard’s new convention acquisition, J Michael Straczynski’s career moves and the Walking Dead renewal, along with a look at February’s solicitations and interviews from the Thought Bubble convention with Antony Johnston, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, reviews of Batman Incorporated, Spider-Girl and Marineman,  and a special listener Q&A. It’s all go, as you can imagine, but we still manage to fit in all this plus a talking schoolgirl beaver, three mince pies for dinner, a cosmic Yes, Minister, an elected upper chamber of super-villains, sentient podcasts and Karl Marx’s wrestling career.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud – let us know what you think, either in the comments below, on Twitter, on our Facebook fan page, by email or by retiring a running joke that has reached the end of its natural lifespan.

Sadly, because of the amount of space we have on our podcast hosting plan, we’ve had to take down the very first episode, and we’re going to have to take them down on a one-in, one-out basis from now on, but what we’re going to do is pop them up on Mixcloud where you can listen to them at your leisure, should two-year-old news and reviews be your thing.

Thanks from both Paul and me for listening over the past two years, and here’s to the next two.

Bring on the comments

  1. Sam says:

    Love listening and have since the beginning .. Thanks to you both

  2. Weblaus says:

    For everyone who feel they do want to get episode one now that it’s gone from its real home, I found it archived here (along with another dozen of the earliest episodes):

    http://beemp3.com/download.php?file=6583282&song=House+to+Astonish+-+Episode+One

    It’s 96 kbps, but I guess Al and Paul raised it to 128 with the scond episode.

  3. Weblaus says:

    Aaand.. forget what I wrote, the link is there, but the file isn’t. Because I didn’t notice it was just a referral to the podomatic URL. Doh.

  4. Baines says:

    Thanks for the take-down warning. I’m a bit of a pack rat and tend to keep copies of such things that I download, but I’ve yet to get episodes 6 through 34. (I had neither the connection nor the time to indulge in podcasts when they were newly posted, and hadn’t gotten around to downloading them since.)

    While I can’t say that I will ever listen to one a second time, I can’t rule out that possibility either, and having them readily available at least gives me the option.

  5. That was a great 50th episode guys, especially the Q+A. But Paul, Madcap isn’t obscure, really?

  6. AJ says:

    WHERE IS THE DELUXE GATEFOLD HOLOGRAM COVER?

  7. odessasteps says:

    The way Paul explained it, Madcap really sounds like a weird riff on the Joker. Not sure I ever put all the pieces together before.

  8. Si says:

    Batman Inc. reminds me of the Wiggles, where they recruited groups from around the world, starting with the Taiwanese Wiggles, exactly the same in every way except they’re Taiwanese.

    One of the major problems they faced was what would happen to the brand if one of the Wiggles franchisees turned out to be an ice addict or really liked prostitutes or something. I’m wondering if Bruce Wayne has thought about that.

    Of course, one thing the Wiggles don’t have to worry about is the inevitable event where somebody is going around murdering the franchisees one by one.

  9. robniles says:

    Madcap as a one-man Brotherhood of Dada? I could get behind that.

  10. >Of course, one thing the Wiggles don’t have to worry about is the inevitable event where somebody is going around murdering the franchisees one by one.

    Well, I wouldn’t so sure about that.

  11. Regarding Bendis’s handling of existing characters . . .

    . . . it’s generally terrible.

    It’s not that he’s interested in those characters, it’s that he goes, “I need an existing character to fill this role. Tom, you know about all these characters. Give me one that no one’s using.” And so he picks some character and changes it to suit the purpose of the story he wants to write, rather than let the story grow naturally out of the characters he’s already using.

    Is it better that these characters get used but given entirely different characterizations rather than leave them and their classic stories alone?

    I’d say just look at the Sentry and come to your own conclusion.

  12. HubrisRanger says:

    For the record, the Onslaught Unleashed stuff was NOT the next storyline to appear in Young Allies.

    That story was solicited as to delve into Toro’s past and introduce El Dragón, Benito’s buddy from his genetic experimentation/child soldier days. According to McKeever’s twitter, it was still in the scripting phases when the plug was pulled, which makes it sound like they may have been a tad behind schedule; one more reason to cancel it, I suppose.

    Onslaught Unleashed was always going to be its own separate mini as a crossover between Secret Avengers and Young Allies…as well as, y’know, Onslaught.

    In retrospect, between the Spider-Girl launch and the Feb solicits, it looks like the Young Allies was coming up for a rather hard push in the coming months. Makes it that much more of a shame that the book was taken back and shot in the head so quickly.

  13. Congrats for the big 5-0, guys. And thank you for the podcasts, they are always fun to hear.

    About the solicitations, I strongly recommend at DC the tpb of “Gotham Central: In the line of duty”, written by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka, art by Michael Lark. Yes, it’s police procedurals and whodunnits, with a dash of superheroics in it, but both writers are at the top of their game and Lark’s artwork is just perfect.

    Speaking of which, where is Michael Lark? I haven’t seen his name for a while now.

  14. Blair says:

    “or by retiring a running joke that has reached the end of its natural lifespan.”

    Say it ain’t so! I love these and look forward to them every other week.

  15. JD says:

    Michael Lark was last seen as part of the gaggle of artists on the Amazing Spider-Man rotation (he drew most of the Grim Hunt storyline, for example).

    I have no clue what his next project will be, though.

  16. Oh no, Onslaught’s coming back again?

    Why?

  17. Valhallahan says:

    God, they just say everything’s a big ironic joke if it’s to do with Deadpool. Sadly joke’s on the fans.
    “Hahaha, see what we did? we got you to buy loads of shit books every month haha that must’ve cost you loads, hahaha… What, you’re not laughing?”

  18. JD says:

    By the way, Ian Churchill first used his “new” style on a fill-in arc for the Loeb/McGuinness Hulk. Perfectly fine artwork (and miles better than anything else I’ve seen from him).

    But, well, at the end of the day it’s still Loeb’s Hulk, so…

  19. I do recall one Avengers recap page in the past couple of years which brought the reader up to speed in quite a comprehensive fashion, the only problem being that it kept on getting the name of the team wrong.

    Agreed about Jeff Parker. Why he’s not writing the Avengers, I don’t know.

    Captain America Incorporated is an amazing idea.

    Kieron Gillen? Use of a question mark? New Death’s Head series? Yes?

    Great indulgent podcast chaps! Thanks for putting in all the time and effort to do this for us.

  20. Danny says:

    Hulk #27 featured a “previously” page that was a collection of panels from the story so far. I would LOVE to see that continue rather than the text dump we get currently (which is better than nothing, of course.)

    Congratulations on the podcast milestone, guys. I think you’ve always done quality reviews even since the X-axis days and I always trust your opinions and appreciate your insight. Thanks!

  21. Paul O'Regan says:

    “Hulk #27 featured a “previously” page that was a collection of panels from the story so far. I would LOVE to see that continue rather than the text dump we get currently (which is better than nothing, of course.) ”

    Nathan Cosby, when he was still at Marvel, did that a lot (in the Thor TMA recap pages for example).

    He goes through it here: http://natecosboom.tumblr.com/post/968126480/recaps-be-my-passion-i-like-giving-a-new-reader

  22. Mike Eidson says:

    Anybody got a link to the dos-and-donts list Al mentioned, regarding the basic ways female characters should be written (eg two women having a conversation about anything other than a man)?

    Great show as always. Glad to read you won’t be ending the show anytime soon.

  23. JD says:

    Here’s the original version of the Bechdel Test :
    http://alisonbechdel.blogspot.com/2005/08/rule.html

  24. Jonny K says:

    Just after watching The Social Network, my ex and I both said that although said film passed the test (arguably, and easily), it really felt like it shouldn’t…

  25. lambnesio says:

    This website is pretty cool. A list of movies and a Bechdel test rating, as well as discussion.

    http://bechdeltest.com/

  26. Reboot says:

    20/Danny> Hulk #27 featured a “previously” page that was a collection of panels from the story so far. I would LOVE to see that continue rather than the text dump we get currently (which is better than nothing, of course.)

    The Hulk(s) books have been doing that for over a year now.

    24/Jonny K> Just after watching The Social Network, my ex and I both said that although said film passed the test (arguably, and easily), it really felt like it shouldn’t…

    Well, it’s a very crude test. If an action movie did a cold open with two 50s housewives talking about how to make the fluffiest, lightest cake – only to have a monster break through the wall and kill them within a minute, it would technically “pass” even if there were no female speaking roles in the rest of the movie.

  27. Mike Eidson says:

    Thanks for the links, Jonny K and lambnesio.

  28. Mike Eidson says:

    Meant to say thanks to JD instead of Jonny. I’ll just thank everybody.

  29. Paul C says:

    Just got finished through the show earlier and it was a great listen. Really enjoyed the interviews as well, so nice job there. Thanks for the shows and here’s to many more!

    I fell into the exact same scenario Al did with ‘Young Allies’ (as well as ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Hawkeye & Mockingbird’), and it’s becoming an increasingly frustrating situation,. You want to support the individual issues (even though our European sales aren’t taken into account on the monthly sales figures), but it is getting increasingly easier to just wait on the (cheaper) trades for titles that are pretty much DOA.

  30. I Grok Spock says:

    Great show as always Al & Paul. Thanks and hats off to you both for producing such a fun and informative podcast(and blog). I always look forward your opinions on solicitations, the reviews, and of course TOHOTHOTMU.

    The only comics podcast that matters!

  31. Jonny K says:

    Thaks for 50 wonderful episodes and again pronouncing my name correctly. Here’s to fifty more.

    And it;s only just occured to me how much TOHOTOHOTMU sounds like a KLF lyric.

    [And I thought the social network’s treatment of women wasn’t bad (as opposed to the characters’ treatment of women), although the treatment of mental illness was. And it was wonderfully Aaron Sorkinly scripted.]

  32. clay says:

    Regarding the opening music: I heard it on a TV program. It was one of those home-selling shows, or home-fixing shows, or home-full-of-junk-that-people-are-cleaning-out shows. My wife watches those, and I only heard it from the other room.

  33. Dave says:

    alright lads? Quick question – i’m gutted that the X-axis is no more so I’ve started an archive x-axis review blog to repost your posts in roughly date order from the usenet days (roughly mar ,97) onwards. It has just occured to me that i should have sought your permisson with this (sorree), so can you let me know if i’m to kill it or continue? Personally, I think there would be lot of interest as I haven’t read these old reviews and they’re like time capsules!

  34. lambnesio says:

    Reboot- technically, the rule isn’t just that two women need to talk about something other than men; it’s that two named female characters need to talk about something other than men. So in the scenario you just described, the movie probably wouldn’t pass.

    Ultimately though, this isn’t really a sexism test- it definitely falls short of that. The idea is to highlight the reality that woman are frequently not given the same autonomy in movies as men are. Characters are often only female if there needs to be a love interest for a man, or a mother, or a sister, or a secretary, etc… The idea that so many major films don’t actually have more than one female character is kind of insane, isn’t it?

  35. Justice says:

    The real problem that Batman Inc has is that the idea amazingly similar to the idea in DC’s short-lived “The Web” series which was canceled this year I think. The lead character, while investigating the death of his brother, takes on his brother’s super-hero identity and creates a franchise out of it. He even gives away suits with abilities and a user agreement for those that want in. All free.
    Did they just not notice this or are they simply hoping readers don’t? I know they want to tout this as some fantastic and new thing, but it’s really something the company just did recently.

  36. Ethan Hoddes says:

    I literally lol’d at the Karl Marx wrestling gimmick.

  37. Paul O'Regan says:

    “Did they just not notice this or are they simply hoping readers don’t? I know they want to tout this as some fantastic and new thing, but it’s really something the company just did recently.”

    I’ve never even heard of The Web, and I’m guessing DC figure no-one else did either.

  38. Isaac P. says:

    Thanks for all the great listening, guys.

    Paul’s pitch for Madcap puts me in mind of the role played by Peter Sellers in The Magic Christian, except his point is that people will forsake sense and meaning if there is enough money involved, rather than that there is no meaning to life at all.

  39. VersasoVantare says:

    Maybe I’m a bit late, but is Paul and Al’s discussion/argument about Milestone available online anywhere?
    Was it in a podcast, or was it in a regular post or what?

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