Funnybook Babylon

November 12, 2008

FBBP #79 – Tomorrow Never Lies

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 12:40 pm

This week’s two man show brings you another Jeph Loeb Happy Hour and a look at some of the recent spate of Mod comics. We’ve only got Joseph and Chris for this episode, as Pedro was in Boston checking to see racism is really over while Jamaal got an application ready for these guys.

And while last week’s historic election marked the end of Senator John McCain’s quest to become President, we here at FBB would like to offer Senator McCain a new position: the visual representation of our comic reviews.

The Man of At Least Six Faces

This week we looked at Dave Gibbons’s The Originals, Chynna Clugston’s Scooter Girl and Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie’s Phonogram.

Plus, Chris presented another Jeph Loeb Happy Hour about the debut issue of his Marvel event, Ultimatum. The JLHH is slowly moving into Barfly range.

Warning: the talk devolves into a James Bond theme song discussion 107 minutes in. Yes, the podcast is that grotesquely long and rambling.


  1. On another tangent: Have any of you guys considered going a “rock and roll” theme? I’d love to see what you guys think of Red Rocket 7 (which is, basically, Forrest Gump as David Bowie in the Man who fell to Earth with Mormonism). Rock and Roll comics are this weird sort of subset to comics. Evan Dorkin’s Hectic Planet (or Bill and Ted), Mark Andrew Smith’s Amazing Joy Buzzards, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim, and Jaimie Hewlett’s Tank Girl (or his later work with the Gorillaz) are all interesting youth-oriented works that display a weird sort of rock and roll band ethos.

    On Chynna Clugston’s Scooter Girl: While I appreciated Scooter Girl, I don’t think I like it because it attempted to emulate the John Hughes-like formula. Chynna works better when she does the whole “Archie Comics Meets Mods” in Blue Monday. Archie relies on short pay offs and quick release viginettes. Even when they do more than 15 pages, no real story goes beyond 30 pages. I haven’t read Queen Bee, but it seems like Chynna’s strength is the short release.

    On Punk and Phonogram: I think you hit on why I didn’t quite get Phonogram…it relied too much on mythologizing something without either discussing the mystical aspects or the culture behind brit pop. And even the overall story didn’t quite work as just a story. Red Rocket 7 works better as sort of a survey of music while also giving a compelling story. But I LOOOVE the design of Phonogram. From the promotionals to the ocvers, it still looks great. But the story still doesn’t work for me. Hopefully his newer work, The Singles Club, would be interesting to read when we go away from the Magic and the Phonomancer aspects and just go with a weird sort of David Lynch meets the club scene that deals with people rather than the music.

    Final Thoughts: I noticed that you guys like hip hop. Are there any good hip hop comics? I’d love to see a Wu Tang comic that isn’t drawn Image-style. Heck, I’d love to see someone really tackle hip hop in the style of Phonogram or The Originals, where we see the love for Wu Tang or the 4 elements without the trappings of a straight autobiography or a superhero-style.

    Comment by gary ancheta — November 14, 2008 @ 1:12 am

  2. (this goes before the first post)

    I love your discussion on the Mods group. I’m a DJ by hobbie, and I love iterations of how comics talk about youth culture and clubs. I was a big fan of SLC punk and how comics sort of show the youth culture in a similar way. Phonogram, Scooter Girl, and the Originals are great little snapshots of the mod youth culture.

    After hearing the podcast, I forgot to mention the highly underated but really really good Mark Rickett’s “Night Trippers” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets IT Girl Mods) which have their own spins on the mod culture. Mark Ricketts works, especially, would be a good writer to focus on because he came up with David Mack and Brian Michael Bendis from Caliber, but he hasn’t hit mainstream because he focuses on original trades that are either really good explorations of 50s/60s subculture (Night Trippers, Nowheresville, Lazurous Jack) or misses (Whiskey Diskel, Dioramas, and his run on Iron Man). If you ever decide to look at underrated American writers/illustrators, Mark Ricketts would be an interesting character study as someone who is just as capable (if not more capable) as Bendis or Mack, but hasn’t broke out with a signature comic.

    Comment by gary ancheta — November 14, 2008 @ 1:13 am

  3. The usual female masturbation slang you’ll hear is “jilling off” to balance “jacking off”. In case this ever somehow comes up again on the podcast. (I will be shocked if it does in any fashion, but eh.)

    Comment by Syrg — November 14, 2008 @ 4:56 am

  4. I’ve never heard “Jilling off”, I like the sound of it though. I’ve always heard “diddling” though.

    Comment by Joseph Mastantuono — November 14, 2008 @ 11:20 am

  5. In defense of Phonogram:

    Gillen fucking hates Echobelly. When Kohl actually “enjoys” Echobelly, it’s about him being gradually corrupted and tainted by the “zombification of Brit Pop.” Not actually enjoying it.

    And the Magic aspect is pretty much about taking everything people say about music as literal occurences. So the ghost of an ex-girlfriend becomes an actual ghost, remembering a night and a mood by listening to music becomes actually experiencing it again in some sort of shamanistic sense.

    And Gillen did live through the Brit Pop movement; He’s 33. And Kohl is very much a pisstake off of himself. He’s a music journalist, and he even looks like him.

    Comment by Christian Otholm — November 14, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

  6. Luke Haines broke his legs during the tour for “Now I’m A Cowboy”, and wrote “After Murder Park” in a wheelchair, which is why he’s in one in the memory kingdom thingie.

    Comment by Sören Höglund — November 14, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

  7. Christian, I don’t recall specifically what I said about Echobelly on the podcast, though I’m willing to believe that I mischaracterized Gillen and/or Kohl’s belief.

    I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that Gillen didn’t “live through” Britpop, only that he seemed to be falling into a weird Klosterman-esque “man, what kind of assholes believe in a Canon? How can they tell people what it was REALLY LIKE in a given cultural moment? That’s so presumptuous and arrogant! Here, let ME tell you what it was REALLY LIKE.”

    Plus no Super Furry Animals Tank cameo means the book is objectively WRONG.

    Also Soren, thanks. I didn’t know about Haines in a wheelchair.

    Comment by Chris Eckert — November 14, 2008 @ 2:28 pm

  8. Thanks to the Loveline radio, whenever I hear “diddling”, I think of molestation. Sorry Joe.

    Comment by ATOM HOTEP — November 14, 2008 @ 5:04 pm

  9. No, no, no! Garbage did TWINE; TND was Sheryl Crow in the front, and the ending titles theme was k.d. lang (and was titled “surrender” although she kept yelling “TOMORROW NEVER DIES”.)

    Comment by DensityDuck — November 14, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

  10. Damn DensityDuck. I can’t believe I got that wrong. The Sheryl Crow song left my memory despite that it wasn’t bad at all.

    Comment by Joseph — November 14, 2008 @ 8:03 pm

  11. Joe’s right about all the best bond movies, especially about from Russia with love.

    Comment by Cactrot — November 14, 2008 @ 10:52 pm

  12. Concerning the whole “What it was REALLY LIKE:”

    I think he’s taking the piss out of himself there. The book is just as much about subjectivity, when it comes to music, as it is about the entire subculture of Britpop. I strongly suggest checking out the next ones; It looks gorgeous, full-colour and is actually about contemporary music (which pleases me, because I was 11, when Brit Pop died.)

    Comment by Christian Otholm — November 15, 2008 @ 7:41 am

  13. “I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that Gillen didn’t “live through” Britpop, only that he seemed to be falling into a weird Klosterman-esque “man, what kind of assholes believe in a Canon? How can they tell people what it was REALLY LIKE in a given cultural moment? That’s so presumptuous and arrogant! Here, let ME tell you what it was REALLY LIKE.””

    While I’d agree that Phonogram argues that the canon of a period will be reductionist and thus false, I wouldn’t take Phonogram as intended to be a definite statement on britpop. It’s one character’s intensely lived memories of the period.

    There’s a pretty big difference between “this is what it was like for *me*” and “THIS IS THE WHOLE TRUTH”.

    Rue Britannia’s main theme is the connection between memory and identity. Any other period, be it punk or grunge or whatever would’ve done just as well, Britpop’s just the one Gillen lived through.

    Comment by Sören Höglund — November 15, 2008 @ 3:10 pm

  14. A few fun details that got left out of the Ultimatum #1 discussion:

    1) Reed almost-proposing to Sue out of nowhere
    2) Ben being offended at being called “Ben”
    3) all of the signs in New York advertising companies based out of Southern California
    4) the blue goddamn whale and Ben’s appropriate “WHAT THE FUCK?!” response
    5) Ben scaling the exterior of the Baxter Building in about five minutes

    PS: In Ultimates 3 #5, it’s clearly Hawkeye who kills Quicksilver; it’s not at all ambiguous. And the art in Ultimatum #1 clearly shows that Latveria has been covered in snow and ice; it’s definitely not glass. I figure there’re so many things to make fun of Loeb for that there’s no sense in [however unintentionally] making up more.

    Comment by Rand — November 16, 2008 @ 2:55 am

  15. […] is called Rue Britannia and is well worth a look. The Babylonians chat about it here – a good listen, so strange to hear Americans grousing about whether Sleeper are better than […]

    Pingback by ‘All the hip kids have been in buying Phonogram this week’… « Mindless Ones — December 23, 2008 @ 6:02 am

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