Thursday, June 25, 2020

Reggie and Me - Real Comics History


Today I'm going to shine a bit of a light on a series of episodes that I feel like most of our listeners aren't even aware of.

Real Comics History sort of started out of necessity.  This was around the time where Reggie and I were contributing the Young Animal Segment for the Weird Science DC Comics Podcast... which I spoke a little bit about a few weeks back.  Now, here's the thing... the DC Comics' Young Animal imprint was (and is) curated by a buffoon who didn't prioritize getting his comics out on time.  The sort of fella who was more interested in getting the Young Animal logo onto t-shirts to be sold at Hot Topic than actually getting words down on the page.  That said... there were many weeks where we didn't have a Young Animal book to discuss on the show.

So, what could we do to fill our segment?  Well... I suppose we could've just sat out those weeks.  I know many a Weird Science listener probably would have preferred that we did... but, no.  We still wanted to contribute... something.  But, what?

Reggie and I talked a lot about "theories of fandom"... which is probably apparent.  One of our "go-to" concepts was a well-trodden theory that pop-culture (well, everything... but "pop-culture" for our purposes) is at its best when you're twelve years old.



From there, I thought it might be cool for us to actually evaluate that theory on a person-by-person basis... starting with myself.  Now, for me... I was twelve in 1992, so I'm pretty sure as far as comics are concerned... I win.  I mean, the Image launch, Death of Superman... how couldja beat that?  Well, I'm guessing if you were twelve during a different year... you might feel differently.  And that is what we wanted to find out.

And so, playing off our Weird Comics History series... we decided to call this one Real Comics History, as it sought to analyze and evaluate the "real world" around comics.  A fan's perspective.  And, again... we started with 1992.


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You might note that this is listed as "Episode 2" of the series... but, that's only because it was the second episode to be moved to the Chris and Reggie feed.  The first one we shifted over was an episode discussing 1985, so we could slot it in during our six-part Crisis on Infinite Earths series of shows.

Not only did I feel like this could lead to some decent discussion... I also saw Real Comics History as an opportunity or us (well, me) to show a little bit more personality.  Up until this point, my contributions to both Weird Science and our own feed were... I dunno, maybe a little bit "dry".  Maybe notsomuch "dry", but... impersonal?  Impersonal is probably a better word to use.  Listeners wouldn't actually know a lot about me from my output... and I wanted to change that a bit.  Give folks (those who were interested, anyway) a little bit of insight about me, my life, my preferences... just sorta flesh myself out a little bit as a content creator.

I think Real Comics History was where I sorta found myself... being myself.  These shows weren't heavily scripted... and were, just fun discussions that we just so happened to be recording.  These felt less like we were lecturing... and more like we were sharing.

Real Comics History was slated for a return this Summer, as Reggie and I both agreed it would be a topic we could slide into pretty easily... without Reggie having to read a whole lot from a script.  We figured I could "pitch", he could "bat"... and we'd get some good stuff.  The more "off the cuff" nature of this program would have made it a lot easier for him... and would have brought more fun content to the channel.

The show didn't run all that long... and we dropped the "when you were twelve" trappings pretty much right away.  There were a lot of "Comics Years" we wanted to discuss... even if we didn't personally know anyone who was twelve during them.  I do still feel like the "When You Were Twelve" concept is a darn good one, and one I'd love to further explore with folks.  Maybe one of these days I'll actually get around to doing it!

3 comments:

  1. I liked these "Year" reviews. I think they were some of the first episodes I listened to when I was going through your back catalog.

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  2. I turned 12 in 1984. That was the year that the ORIGINAL Secret Wars started. Plus Simonson on Thor, Moore on Swamp Thing, and Byrne on FF & Alpha Flight.
    Spider-Man got his NEW black costume and we had the entire original alien costume saga play out in that one year.
    Storm got a mohawk, lost her powers, and got Barry Windsor Smith to draw Lifedeath.
    The Teen Titans learned "Who is Donna Troy?", and were betrayed by Terra in the Judas Contract.
    Dick Grayson gave up being Robin and took up the mantle of Nightwing.
    Jason Todd became the NEW Robin. (The red headed pre-Crisis kid who stole Grayson's origin.
    You know the good one.)
    The Transformers started their first 4 issue limited series....that would run for 80 issues.
    G.I. Joe gave us the legendary silent issue.
    We got #1 issues for Blue Devil, Infinity INC, and the Baxter paper volumes of Legion of Super-Heroes and New Teen Titans.
    The New Mutants fought The Demon Bear Saga.
    The West Coast Avengers had their first 4 issue limited series.
    The Justice League Detroit was founded in JLA annual #2.
    She-Hulk joined the FF.
    And we got the first wave of action figures from both the Secret Wars and Super Powers.

    You may have something with this the best things happen when you are 12 thing.

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  3. Haven't listened to this one yet, but gonna have to!

    As we've talked before, you've got a few months on me; I turned 12 a couple weeks after the Death of Superman.

    But thinking back to 12...it was December 1992-end of November 1993. Death of Superman, Knightfall, Spider-Man 2099, Vengeance of Bane and Sword of Azrael, Return of Superman, Bloodlines, X-Men: Fatal Attractions; the X-Men animated series, Batman TAS...

    Image, Comics' Greatest World, X-O Manowar #0, the start of the Ultraverse...

    Mirage's 'City at War' stuff with TMNT, and the Archie TMNT series was gearing into the heart of its epicness.

    Of course, I have plenty of fondness for 13, 14, and 15 as well.

    Along with the idea of "when you were 12," I know there's a good bit on the idea of whatever the status quo was when one was introduced to it being the "best."

    I missed Byrne by about a year, but that foundation he'd laid with the Superman titles was key. I came in during Exile. I came in on Batman less than a year after Jason, as Tim came in; and all that entails. Wally's always been "my" Flash, Peter and MJ were always married, the FF always had Franklin. I came into X-Men via the animated series and Uncanny #300 and into Fatal Attractions.

    I largely do NOT find the same enjoyment of comics as when I was 12; with added dissatisfaction often--ultimately--being if not traceable, definitely a strong link to the fact of not being recognizable to what whatever the property was when I was introduced to it.

    -----

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm enjoying this current format you've got going. I appreciate getting your thoughts about "whatever" in comics; as well as the behind the scenes peeks/"commentary" on stuff, and new attention called to podcasts I'd missed.

    Also great to still get to hear you and Reggie like this, all things considered!

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