MonthJanuary 2020

Doctor Whooch // Episode 162 // We’re Jacked!

In which I’M SORRY WHAT

On this week’s show, we’re talking about “Fugitive of the Judoon” and um… so look, how do we even TALK about spoilers here? This episode was a lot, and got us right in our Russell T Davis’ Feels and we’re SO FRIGGIN EXCITED! YES!

Outro music is “Til I Am Myself Again” by Blue Rodeo

Doctor Whooch // Episode 161 // Edison Always Was A Turd

In which we discuss facts – FACTS – about how Edison was a stupid dink and the absolute worst. And by facts, we mean drunk yelling.

On this week’s show, we’re talking about “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror” and folks? Edison can eat several butts. That’s really all we have to say about that.

Enjoy the episode?

You Read This With Your Eyes // Daytripper

“What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.”

T.S. Elliot

We meet Brás de Oliva Domingos on his birthday. He’s sitting at a bar, wearing a tuxedo, on his way to celebrate the life of his father, who has recently passed away. There is blood on his tuxedo. He is 32.

Death looms large in the life of Brás – a fact we are made privy to very early in the time we spend with him. He writes obituaries for a newspaper, describing lives through fondly sculpted memories. His work, though prolific in its own small way, is brimming with character. He describes the life of a famous painter, who had been in love with 274 different women in his life, proof of this being found in the portraits he would make of each lover, every painting carrying the name “Lola”. You know this painter for a fleeting moment, and yet a life has been spread before you, rife with nuance.

He is a master of words – a talent handed down to him from his father – though neither would openly admit this. Brás’ father was a famous writer and in his death, he was to be celebrated – though as cruel fate would have it, this celebration would occur on Brás’ own birthday. As he reads the paper detailing the soiree, he attempts to believe that his father would’ve balked at the suggestion of having the event occur as his son would begin another year of life. Reality says otherwise, however, and Brás is given a rough start to his 32nd birthday.

In short order, we see our hero struggling to stay above water, awash in a sea of memory. His typewriter was a gift from his father. A bad habit picked up from his mother bares his father’s fingerprints, the smoke coming from his favourite brand of cigarette. Throughout our inaugural trip with Brás, these themes of death, family and the attempt to live with and without both swirl until an ending. There is blood on his tuxedo. There is a gun in his face.

Brás dies on the date of his birth – and his story begins.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF YOUR LIFE?

Do you remember your first kiss? Your first love? Your one and only love? How about first loss? Your first personal failure? Your first death? In Daytripper, recounted in stunning clarity, we see the most important days of a man’s life. We see the lessons he learns from these moments, and the way his old life dies – only to be reborn anew inside of a new phase – an ending making way for a new beginning.

Each chapter is told without an effort made towards linear chronology – in its stead, events enfold in such a way that themes bleed from one story to the next – love, leading to loss, leading to love, leading to life, and over and over and over. Viewing a life in such a way is far and away out of the ordinary, but much more fulfilling and hearty. Each note hits at just the right frequency, resonating in your bones before ebbing and transforming into a fresh one, lyrics dancing beautifully atop the music you don’t so much as hear, but feel. The tune is familiar, but surprising in parts. You live alongside Brás. You die with him over and over and over. You heart aches and your heart breaks. You are haunted.

STORYTELLING

“I guess everyone that likes comics and likes to draw has this kind of notion that the drawings are the most important thing. And we were like that in the beginning. Now we care much more about the overall story. We don’t make too much effort to determine who is doing what, because in the end all that matter is the whole thing, the story we create and put out so people can read it. We don’t care who’s drawing. The artist doesn’t matter; the story is what matters.”

Fábio Moon from The Comics Journal No. 298, May 2009

The twins Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are phenomenal storytellers – though most people only know them from working with writers such as Matt Fraction on Casanova and Gerard Way on The Umbrella Academy. And while their art styles are certainly very accomplished and evocative, their greatest strength lies in the way they tell a story. In their projects with other writers, this storytelling aspect is limited, in a sense, to what they can convey using other people’s words. In such cases, their art works as a bit of a mixtape, using the poetry of others and infusing it with your own deliberate choices, in order to make something different than what would’ve been through one voice alone. Inside the pages of Daytripper – as well as other works where they act both as writers and artists, the twins are left to tell stories with their own words.

In describing what they attempted to accomplish with this story in the back of its collected volume, Fábio Moon stated, “We wanted that feeling that life was happening right there, in front of every one of us, and we were living it. And we did. And sometimes, we die to prove that we lived.”

The words sum up the work as a whole more beautifully than I could ever hope to capture it – present in every page is a life well lived – one perfectly realized and captured using the drapes of small moments, dressing the bones of large, personal events. While adding their own measure of the fantastic to the regular events in a life, the twins manage to allow this story to become larger in the readers minds. Really, the story of Brás is no different than the story of mine or yours – but by adding the aspect of death, these everyday occurrences gain meaning. As Moon said, “We die to prove that we lived.” Death gives all moments meaning.

Without thinking about the story first, and letting the art really become a part of that, to be in service of that, rather than the driving force, this point is made with a subtle touch, staying at the fringes of your mind as you continue through one man’s life. And then, of course, there’s an ending – just as there must be with everything.

BEGINNING

There’s a magic present inside Daytripper that I can’t even hope to capture. I could go on for hours, for days attempting to parse every nuance, but the would be an exercise in fruitlessness. The book is much better experienced as it was always intended – through the medium of comics, wherein words can inform pictures, and pictures can carry words. It would do your heart good to go out and experience this book. Do it soon – because before long, something new will have to begin.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook

You can support Submetropolitan by purchasing this book, and many more, at Variant Edition Comics + Culture – Canada’s best source for comics, used book + mindful pop culture.

Variant Edition // Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Press Play, Etc Etc

Clearly it’s the time of year where I confront my goals, and realize I’m a sham. Which is one hell of a thing to say from someone who co-won a national award last year but here we are.

As always, I want to be a writer. As always, I never write. As always, the new year arrives, or my birthday comes up, and suddenly, here it is! The gumption! This is the year it happens!

But it won’t be. It never is. But what the hell. Let’s see how long this burst lasts.

The Reading Pile // Lois Lane #6

In the future, you’ll be hearing more about Greg Rucka and Mike Perkins’ run on Lois Lane from me – but today’s post isn’t about that.

I just finished reading issue 6 of the series – and issue that focuses on the aftermath of (mild spoilers for general DCU happenings) Lois’ father’s death.

The issue itself is emotional fallout. The through line is the funeral itself, but the flavour comes in the form of quick jumps into the past, showing the push and pull between Lois and her father at various stages of their life.

In every scene, there is no doubt that a love is present. Their interactions dig into the soul, illustrating perfectly the kind of love and frustration only family can provide. The overwhelming sense of wanting the other to see reason, if only because it would make interacting with this human you love just a bit easier.

It is a heartbreaker of an issue, in a run of brilliant comics.

I’m sad this series is set to run a scant 12 issues. Here’s hoping they talk everyone into another batch somewhere down the line.

The Reading Pile // Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Batman

I’ve wanted to go through the wild Just Imagine books for quite some time, and a collection that arrived at the store gave me the perfect opportunity to do so.

For those unfamiliar, in the early 2000s, DC backed a money truck up to Stan Lee’s door and had him and several huge artists reimagine the DC Universe as though Stan had come up with the characters.

For the Batman instalment, Stan teamed with the incomparable Joe Kubert to produce something I thought was a brilliant funhouse mirror of a story. The plot focuses on a young black man by the name of Wayne Williams who’s circumstances leave a lot to be desired. Through the course of the story, he’s made to take the fall for a crime he hasn’t committed, and by the time he gets out of jail, all the family he has left is dead.

Upset that he’ll never be able to prove his innocence to his family, Wayne sets about dismantling the web of crime that put him in jail by making a ton of money as a professional wrestler – which definitely pulls in strange elements of Spider-Man’s origin.

The result is something very strange and unique – two classic creators reinventing history and flipping Spider-Man’s story of hard luck. With Spider-Man, you get the story of a kid realizing his privilege and spending it on those less fortunate, and with this version of Batman, you get Wayne Williams realizing that his lack of privilege has left him vulnerable, so he has to fight tooth and nail to obtain it – and once he does, he can help the world.

I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy this book, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised – and I look forward to digging through more.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 160 // Hammer Time

In which WOW HA HA FEELINGS

On this week’s episode Danica and Brandon dig into the Series 12 episode “Orphan 55” and folks, we’re not gonna lie, the world is on fire and boy are we happy and terrified there’s a show out there not pulling their sci-fi punches.

Anyhow, get ready for A LOT, and also nonsense from Brandon.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 159 // Nazis Are Bad

In which we have theories. THEORIES!

On this week’s show, Danica and Brandon are talking about SPYFALL PART TWO and wouldn’t you know it? They liked it. And may or may not have found some bits and bobs that remind us of the modern internet. Say, did you hear that Nazis are back? You’d think the world would have learned the first time, but NOPE.

Outro music (we HAVE it this time!) is Skyfall by Adele

Doctor Whooch // Episode 158 // Masterful

In which, we’re back! And worse than ever?

After (checks notes) six months away? Wow. Um… Brandon and Danica are back, because Doctor Who is also back! And holy HECK was it exciting. Anyhow, Spyfall is dope, and you can listen to us fight a timer in order to describe what the sweet hell just happened. Also, we won an award for being the best comic store in Canada, so EAT BUTTS other comic shops! Shut up, YOU’RE drunk.

(Also, apologies for the lack of even the BARE MINIMUM of editing we usually do: GarageBand keeps freezing. Delightful.)

© 2020 Submet Industries

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑