Chris is on Infinite Earths, Episode 35: Crimson Avenger #1 (1988)

Picking up where we left off yesterday, Episode 35 of Chris is on Infinite Earths was sort of another “proof of concept” recording to see whether or not this could serve as the new (temporary) normal for future installments of the Cosmic Treadmill.

This was actually an episode that I’d really wanted to do with Reggie, as I feel the story-behind-the-story isn’t one that gets as much discussion as it warrants.  Maybe it’s just me, but there’s a lot of sinister weirdness behind this one.  I thought this was right up the alley of a Weird Comics History X Cosmic Treadmill hybrid.

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I felt like doing this episode “solo” was kind of a waste.  The actual flagship show on the Chris and Reggie Channel is the one that gets the most listens… and, I thought just doing it as a Chris is on Infinite Earths was sort of doing the story a disservice as fewer people would listen… so, I really dragged my feet on actually pushing forward with it.

I was excited… but kinda nervous as well.  I had to use my own judgment and be very careful with my words, lest I make any undue allusions… and wind up getting the Channel into hot water with a prominent creator or two.  If none of this is making sense, maybe give the episode a listen… or, take a look at this piece I’d written about the True Crime aspects of this tale right here.

I was extremely excited for Reggie to hear this one in particular.  First, when I “pitched” this as an episode, he didn’t know about Greg Brooks and what he’d done… which, lemme tell ya, it wasn’t often I’d get to teach him something.  Also, once this recording was done… I had convinced myself that this was the right path/format for us to use for the immediate future of the show(s).

The day this episode went live… was also the day that everything changed.

On days where I’d release an episode, I’d usually do the social media “rounds” very early in the day.  I’m usually up by around 5-5:30am Arizona Voodoo Time… so, these are bright and early notifications.  Then, I wait a couple of hours and “check in” to see if there are any comments/likes/shares/problems.

When I checked on Facebook during my second “sweep”, I had a couple of direct messages.  I very seldom use Facebook for anything other than dropping links, so this was quite weird.  The first message was from a friend, who said he was so sorry to hear about Reggie.

Now, me… being either far too dense, or uncharacteristically optimistic… just assumed they’d heard Reggie was back in the hospital with pneumonia.  I’d spoken to Reggie less than 24-hours earlier, and the last thing I knew was his pneumonia diagnosis (the doctors told him he’d be able to go home the next day).

The second message was similar, but with added anger toward 2020 (the year).  The clouds were starting to part for me at this point… but still, my knee-jerk thought was maybe… while pneumonia put him in hospital, maybe now he’d tested positive for COVID-19 on top of that… or something?

That, unfortunately, was not the case.  I popped over to his Facebook Page and found out what had actually happened.  The rest of that day (and morning especially) is a blur.  I know I was doing a few sets while doing this second social sweep… and I dropped one of my dumbbells, chipping the hell out of a tile in my living room floor.

I didn’t tell very many people, at least initially… just a few close friends, as I thought they had a right to know.  I wasn’t planning on making a “public” statement regarding his passing… mostly, as I didn’t think it was my place, and I didn’t want to do anything that put the focus on me.  Then, as they always do… the Twitter karma-farmers came, and tried making his passing all about them.  I had to make a statement at that point… because I felt it would’ve been weird if I didn’t.

This episode of Chris is on Infinite Earths was pretty well received… and, it was just so weird getting likes and comments on it… in between receiving condolences.  It was such a strange disconnected sort of feeling.  Like, I dunno… a switch flipped in my head, and I thought about just removing the episode, and that day’s blog post… just to make sure the focus was where I felt it needed to be.

I dunno.  I’m not good at this sort of thing… emotions, coping, and what-not.  Just a very surreal and sad day… that, will always sort of be connected with this Crimson Avenger “pilot” episode, which was supposed to inform the future of our recording process.

Welp, that’s another weird stream of conscious piece… that I appreciate you reading.

Before we go, last night I was a guest on the Source Material Live Podcast on the Radulich in Broadcasting Network at W2M.  Mark and I discussed The Old Guard (2017) by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez from Image Comics.  If you’re interested in checking that out, you can find it right here.

I’ll be guesting on a few shows in the near future… an extended run on Source Material, Bill Bere’s Bat-Pod, and WIZARDS over at the Retro Network.  I’m really looking forward to getting my “pod-legs” back under me again.  If anyone out there has a show that’s needing a marble-mouthed Brooklynite to garble up the airwaves, hit me up.

2 thoughts on “Chris is on Infinite Earths, Episode 35: Crimson Avenger #1 (1988)

  • This was an excellent story. I read the blog post and listened to the podcast. I love reading about the behind the scenes stories of the people making the comics. Sometimes the real life stories are better than the ones that are made up.

  • I find that as I've got older (although at 44, I'm not exactly old) I often enjoy the stories behind the comics more than the four-colour mags themselves, and this episode was a good 'un, very interesting.

    Thanks Chris, hope you are keeping well.


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