Some Unfortunate News

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Listeners,

When Pól and I started this podcast almost a year and a half ago, I had no idea how much  of an impact this show would have on me.

I’ve loved comic book my entire life. I can’t remember a time in my life when comics weren’t my favorite storytelling medium. But doing this show, I’ve somehow found a way of loving them even more. Doing this show has broadened my tastes, introduced me to excellent stories, series, and to some very talented artists and writers.

Much of this due to my partnership with the irreplaceable Pól Rua. Without him, this podcast would not have been possible. Of all of the people I’ve ever met, no one matches Pól’s enthusiasm, passion and knowledge about comics, their history and their potential.

So  many of my favorite comics were first recommended to me by Pól. And  because of my partnership with him through this podcast, I have a far greater appreciation for the comics that I was already enjoying.

That makes this next part extremely difficult to say.

Three months ago, I got a new job and have been working full time hours for the first time in years. And the constraint on my time make recording and editing multiple podcasts a month impossible. And I’m heartbroken to say that Mike and Pól Save the Universe! is ending.

This was not an easy decision, and one I have not taken lightly.

Rest assured that our archived episodes will remain online, should you want to re-listen to them.

To our listeners, it has been a pleasure and and honor to know that so many of you have discovered some great new comics because of our show. For the past year, one of my (and Pól’s) greatest joys has been hearing that you’d tried and loved something we’d mentioned on one of our episodes. And I will miss hearing your feedback and thank you for sticking with us!

To Pól, I want to say thank you for one of the best working relationships of my life and your friendship. I know that we’ll continue to work together on other projects for years to come.

It’s been a great year and we’ll miss you guys!

– Mike Gillis

May 22, 2014

Episode 14 – Pulp Heroes, Disney Ducks, and Punching Robots to Death

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In a very special episode of the podcast, Mike and Pól are broadcasting for the first time in same room, in the aftermath of the Emerald City Comic Con!

They exchange notes on the Con, their respective weekend comic hauls, and how the Con represents the best and most exciting parts of the comics medium!

Also, they talk about Matt Kindt’s compelling psychic conspiracy series Mind MGMT. They thrill over the Valiant Comics relaunch and reminisce about Archer and Armstrong and Magnus: Robot Fighter. They drool over the latest output by Archaia Press. They discuss classic pulp heroes like the Shadow and Doc Savage. And finally, they anticipate the upcoming Don Rosa Disney Duck collections from Fantagraphics Books.

Episode 13 – Unconventional Awesomeness

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This month, Mike and Pól dive into some excellent comics that defy easy classification!

They talk up some of DC Comics’ unusual outliers like Solo, Wednesday Comics, and the Judas Coin, that proves the versatility of their characters and the medium as a whole! They discuss how the evolution of comics, the growth of independent companies and the growing accessibility of the medium has changed what comics do, and what we expect them to do. They heartily recommend Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Lovecraftian horror-by-way-of-crime-noir epic, Fatale, while eagerly awaiting the duo’s upcoming works. And finally, we rave about new and upcoming releases in the Parker and Blacksad series’.

Episode 12 – Magic Guns, Battling Boys and Clobberin’ Time!

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Mike and Pól come out of hibernation to dive into another month of comic book goodness! It’s the opposite of a revoltin’ development!

They rave about Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt’s epic western/dark fantasy/horror amalgam, the Sixth Gun. They look back on the collected works of late, great masters of the medium like Joe Kubert, Jack Kirby and Carl Barks. They explore Paul Pope’s new mythic tale of coming-of-age heroism in Battling Boy. They anticipate the upcoming Fantagraphics Books collections of Don Rosa’s Uncle Scrooge comics. And finally, they dive into worlds of super-science, time travel, deep space and familial bonds for a look at what makes Marvel’s the Fantastic Four so damned awesome.

Episode 11 – Space Opera, Cat Masters and Jughead

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While comics fans will find a lot to complain about, we’re actually living in a beautiful, new golden age of comic book joy. Mike and Pól dive into that joy like happy porpoises!

Never has there been such diversity of tone, voice, genre, audience or social acceptability for sequential illustrated storytelling.

We dig into Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ brilliant science fiction series Saga. We give our thumbs up to Marvel and DC’s more imaginative offerings from Batman ’66 to Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye. We pay homage to Archie Comics’ recent artistic ambition in Archie: the Married Life, and their zombie horror series, Afterlife with Archie. And finally, we drool over Brandon Graham’s multi-genre masterpiece, King City.

These are comics so good, you’ll run to buy them like you’re being chased by a crocodile with a claw hammer!

This month’s recommendations:

Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris.

Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover.

Episode 10 – Shocking Tales of Bone Chilling Terror!

Man-ThingGS04-00Rotting corpses! Serial killers! Ghosts! Monsters under your bed!

Mike and Pól are talking about the long tradition of horror comic books! And only a month late for Halloween! We dig up the grave of comics’ first wave of comic titles from EC Comics that prompted the Comics Code Authority. We look at 1970s horror comics revival under Warren Publishing, and the current wave of popularity for the genre in today’s comics. From the Walking Dead to Marvel and DC’s dueling swamp monsters…we love the bejeezus out of horror comics!

Please forgive us for some sound issues in this episode. Apologies!

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Episode 9 – Alan Moore is Full of Beard and Awesome

012 001This month, Mike and Pól have a double-sized podcast! We’re diving into the written works of one of our favorite comic book scribes — and one of the most critically acclaimed. That’s right, we’re talking about Northampton’s favorite snake-worshiping magician , Alan Moore!

From Watchmen to V for Vendetta, from Swamp Thing to Promethea, and from Captain Britain to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen… few creators have pushed the boundaries of what comics are and could be like Alan Moore. We talk about his lyrical writing style, his battles with DC Comics for creators’ rights, and his terrifyingly dense scripts.

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Episode 8 – Comics Roundtable

BatHexThis month, Mike and Pól break the usual topic-based format for our first — of potentially many — Comics Roundtable episodes, where we talk about the comics we’ve been reading, the comics we’ve loved, and the things on our “to-read” piles that really excite us.

This time, we chat about Mike’s transition from buying monthly issues, to primary buying comics in trade paperback collections. We extoll comics’ uniqueness as an inexpensive, limitless and experimental storytelling medium. We discuss a number of brilliant titles from Image Comics like East of West and Chew.  We drool over the Fantagraphics hardcover reprint collections of the EC Comics and Carl Barks Libraries. We dive into the history and comic library of our favorite Western anti-hero, Jonah Hex. And we look back at the insanely fun work from creators like Bob Haney and Jim Aparo on the 1970s Batman team-up title, the Brave and the Bold.

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Mike and Pól Talk Superman!

SupermanPól recently joined the panel discussion on Mike’s other podcast, Radio vs. the Martians! about the world’s most recognizable super hero, Superman.

Given that this episode covers comics’ most recognizable hero, and includes both of this podcast’s stalwart protagonists, we feel it appropriate to share it here.

Join us for a fun, irreverant and profanity laden tribute to the Man of Steel, his media adaptations, Jimmy Olsen, Silver Age insanity and dogs wearing capes!

Episode 7 – I Shall Become a Bat!

untold batmanBecause criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot, this month, Mike and Pól are talking about Batman!

From his pulpy beginnings in 1939′s Detective Comics #27, Batman has undeniably become the most popular superhero in the world, dominating comics, television, animation, merchandise and the silver screen.

We explore the Dark Knight’s enduring popularity, his versatility, and how his very name has become synonymous with awesome. We dig into the controversies of his creation, giant typewriters, and the darkening of the character over the past couple of decades.

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Episode 6 – Zombies, Plagues, and Apes with Rifles

COUNTDOWN_SPECIAL_-_KAMANDI_THE_LAST_BOY_ON_EARTHCrumbling cities! Walking corpses! Mushroom Clouds in the distance! Apes evolving from men!

This month, Mike and Pól look at the range of comics that take place in the post-apocalypse! From the Walking Dead to Adventure Time…from Y – the Last Man to Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth!, we explore fictional comic book worlds in the aftermath of natural disasters, nuclear wars, plagues, and uprisings of apes, zombies, robots or aliens!

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Episode 5 – Gangsters, Guns and Private Eyes

crimeIn our new episode, Mike and Pól are prowling the back alleys and seedy bars of crime comics! From noir-ish tales of mystery, to hard boiled detective stories, elaborate gangster epics or true tales of real life scofflaws, we love crime comics!

Also, we discuss the history of the crime genre in comics, how industry censorship nearly killed it, and its current resurgence.

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Episode 4 – “Hey Kids! Comics!” – the Fall and Rise of All-Ages Comic Books

Shazam_and_Bone_by_Jeff_SmithMike and Pól are back, and this time we’re looking at comics for readers of all ages! We explore how the comic books industry has gradually excluded kids from being able to enjoy mainstream comics, and we take a look at the companies, creators and titles that are doing it right.

From Bone to Darkwing Duck….from Snarked! to the Adventures of Superman…. We want to help you find great all-ages comics that you can share with the young readers in your life!

[Apologies about the sound quality on this episode, folks! My headset wire kept hitting the mic without me realizing it. It will not happen again! -- Mike]

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“Zee – Zee – Zee – Zee!”

939497-signal_watch.gifWe would very much like to hear from you guys. There’s a lot we’d really like to address,

but we’re kinda keen to hear what you’d LIKE to hear us cover.
If you’re interested in recommendations, or are looking for something to read,
If there’s a topic within the comics scene you’d like to hear our take on,
If there’s a series YOU think WE should look at,
If you think we’re totally talking out our arses on a topic,
If you sampled one of the titles we recommended and liked it… or hated it,

We’re Really interested in your thoughts and opinions.
This helps us to know what we’re doing right, so we can do more of it… and what we’re doing wrong, so we can take a bloody good hard look at ourselves and think about what we’ve done.

The best way to get in touch is via our Facebook page. I’m on the bloody thing almost constantly, so you can guarantee a pretty prompt response. It lives here.

We’ve just started a Twitter account (which is BLOODY Modern!), which lives here.

And, of course, right here at MikeandPol.com.

Episode 3 – Vertigo: the HBO of Comic Books

swampthing3In their third episode, Mike and Pól look at Vertigo, DC’s critically-acclaimed “comics for grown-ups” imprint. From Sandman to Preacher, and from Transmetropolitan to Hellblazer, Vertigo has produced some of the best comic book series over the past thirty years.  We look at Vertigo’s origins, its present, and speculate about its future!

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Episode 2 – Absurdity and Sincerity: Why We Love Superheroes.

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Mike and Pól look back to their childhoods and explain why we love superheroes so damned much! We examine why those magical costumed avengers still strike a chord with us as adults, and talk about how the insecurity of comics’ creators often risk undermining the things that make superheroes special in the first place.

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An Update… where we’re at.

logo3Thanks so much to everyone who listened to our first podcast, and for all the really amazing feedback we got. Both Mike and I are utterly chuffed with how well the whole thing’s been received, but mostly, we’re super-chuffed with the great feedback we’ve been getting.

Anyway, enough palaver, here’s an update.
The second installment is in the can. Mike’s editing it now (we have SIX HOURS, and he’s gotta cut it down to an hour and a half… though to be fair, a LOT of that was just us talking bollocks).
The second episode should be out in about a week. Stay tuned…

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Episode 1 – We Love the Bejeezus Out of Comics!

comicsIn our premiere episode, Mike and Pól discuss why we love comic books so much as a storytelling medium. We explore their strengths and potential, as well as the barriers that keep them from becoming as popular a medium as film or television.

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