Baltimore ComicCon 2016

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Spencer: Sitting in a prominent position on my desk is a copy of Saves the Day’s self-titled album, signed by all four members of the band. It’s one of my most cherished possessions, not because “oh man, it’s my favorite band’s autograph!,” but because it’s a physical reminder of my first meeting them, of my role in getting that album created, and of some of the best shows of my life. I think that’s the true power of autographs (or selfies with celebrities, which are quickly replacing them); they’re more than just scribbles on paper, they’re a permanent reminder of celebrity encounters and of all the reasons why those encounters mean so much to us in the first place.

I had a lot of time to ponder the significance of autographs while at Baltimore ComicCon this past Sunday, mainly because I got a lot of them. Baltimore ComicCon is an intensely creator-focused con, to the point where I couldn’t even fit all the comics I wanted to get signed into one bag, and had to skip a few creators because I just couldn’t carry any more books. I’m not complaining, though: every one of these autographs will remind me of cherished memories for years to come. Continue reading

Deadpool 8

deadpool 8

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Deadpool 8, originally released March 2, 2016 

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Patrick: Every couple years, Drew and I end up having a conversation about the “death of irony” or the “death of sincerity” and every time we have it, we’re basically blowing smoke out our asses. Concepts like “irony” and “sincerity” need not be mutually exclusive – in fact that’s where most genre fiction rest: comfortably in both camps. A superhero comic in 2016 wears the trappings of a superhero comic because its creators and its audience simultaneously love and are bored by those trappings. That puts a character like Deadpool in a tricky spot, when it seems like his mission statement is to subvert what is gradually becoming the insubvertible. Deadpool’s popularity almost works against him in this regard – how can you continue to classify him as a misfit underdog if everyone loves him? And then there’s the wildly successful Deadpool film, catapulting audiences acceptance of the Merc with the Mouth to meteoric heights. Writer Gerry Duggan and editor Jordan D. White act as Deadpool’s tonal shepherds in this series, keeping the character’s aims purely subversive, the key difference is that the subject they’re subverting is no longer as broad as “comics” or “superheroes” or “the 90s” – the subject is Deadpool.

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Deadpool 3

deadpool 3

Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Deadpool 3, originally released December 9th, 2015. 

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Patrick: The book responsible for shaping most modern improvised comedy is titled, simply Truth in Comedy. The title comes from the idea that the most honest reactions to unusual stimulus are going to be the funniest – essentially espousing that the truth is the ultimate punchline. That’s surprisingly poignant in a medium that could so easily be — and so frequently is — desperate performers mugging for a laugh. Real, sustainably funny scenes can only come from emotionally honest performances. But the title of the book actually implies something else: that the greatest truths can be found through the vehicle of comedy. I have yet to really come to a meaningful conclusion about why that is, but laughing with a character for long enough makes me sympathetic to them, and forges a connection between them and the audience. Deadpool is a fine case study of this phenomenon – through thousands of gags, and a handful of vulnerable turns, the audience is trained to trust and love him in a way we simply cannot extend to his facsimiles in the Mercs for Money. Continue reading