Funnybook Babylon

June 5, 2009

FBBP #100 – March at 100, Company Halt

Filed under: Podcasts — Joseph Mastantuono @ 2:10 pm

Despite the title Joseph gave this podcast, WE ARE NOT PODFADING. It’s just a joke. This week, we dig deep into the mail pile to answer all your important questions, such as:

  • What comics do we actually like?
  • Whatever Happened to Downcounting
  • Do you guys like Grant Morrison?
  • Who would be the greatest Black Lantern?

And others! Tune in next week for our March on 300, and say hello if you see any of us at MOCCA this weekend. Thanks for listening, everyone!


  1. Great podcast guys, thank you very much for taking the time to answer some of my questions. I would second Jamaal’s suggestion about taking questions again down the line, I thought it actually made for an interesting and informative discussion.

    To add my two cents to a couple of the discussions, a real spine-tingling emotional comic for me was Warren Ellis’ Orbiter (which is also a good example of non-cynical Ellis – although there is plenty of that out there). The open ending left me with a great sense of wonder and hope and optimism that is rather rare in my regular comic reading experience. Another one that just came to mind is Three Shadows which, as a parent, just ate me up inside thinking about confronting the loss of any of my children. Good question whoever submitted that one!

    I will also echo not being able to connect with Hellboy. Even though it is obviously beloved and well-regarded throughout the industry (and popular enough to spawn two movies) it’s never moved past good, disposable entertainment for me. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t jumped into the BPRD stuff, even though I hear great things about it as well. For those of you that didn’t really connect with Hellboy, have you tried BPRD and had the same problems?

    Comment by Justin B. — June 5, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

  2. Thanks, Chris, for answering my question about the possibility of more Downcounting-style articles in the future, and thanks for being so thorough about it. Sorry for making my request sound like such an “ultimatum”, as Pedro put it.

    In case you guys are interested, here are some of my answers to the other questions that you were addressing. Maybe these will give you some idea of who I am beyond, y’know, “that one whiny bro who cried about Downcounting”.

    I agree with Pedro completely about Romita Jr on Spider-Man. If JRJR drew an issue, I love it, no matter how badly it’s written. With that said, “One More Day” was horrendous enough for me to drop ASM and not pick it up again even after JRJR’s return to the title.

    I also agree with Jamaal about Jimmy Corrigan being one of the least likeable books on the market… no matter how well-crafted it is!

    Although Podcast #100 certainly didn’t do anything to change my opinion that you guys often can’t slide GM’s e-pickle out of your mouths long enough to speak three positive words about comics written by anyone else, let me say for the record that I don’t hate Morrison at all. I’ve read and loved every title that he’s worked on with Quitely, and although it’s a little early to be making a judgment call like this, All-Star Superman will probably go down as one of my favorite books of all time.

    As for comics that have sent a chill up my spine, the most recent example comes from Ennis’s long run on The Punisher. The last issue of his “Slavers” arc – especially that issue’s last page – is one that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

    While I’m at it, allow me to recommend The Coffin by Phil Hester and Mike Huddleston. Hester has called the book probably the most rewarding project in his writing career. I’ll say simply that it’s as terrific as it is haunting.

    Anyway, I look forward to the next Jeph Loeb Happy Hour. Thanks again.

    Comment by Rand — June 5, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

  3. “Pan” is the Japanese word for bread, borrowed from European traders.

    Comment by Mike Barrett — June 5, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

  4. Loved it, been listening for a while. Two points, I really do hope you folks get back to a weekly schedule, and two, if you do, do questions again, what do y’all think of current Green lantern, dumb as hell, or awesome.

    Comment by Asteele — June 6, 2009 @ 4:10 am

  5. Justin,

    I haven’t read BPRD, but I’ll definitely check it out. I just need to find the time to seriously tackle Mignola’s work. And Orbiter’s a great example of non-cynical Ellis.


    Thanks for listening. I’ll definitely check out the Coffin. I find it very difficult to discuss Morrison’s work without talking about how brilliant he is.


    We will try to adhere to a weekly schedule. As far as Green Lantern goes, I think the main title is a perfectly acceptable mainstream superhero comic book (Uzumeri likes/respects Johns way more than I do), and I think Green Lantern Corps is pretty entertaining.

    Comment by Jamaal Thomas — June 6, 2009 @ 7:09 am

  6. Rand,

    I hated most of One More Day, finding it be the worst parts of JMS’s comic writing and not really caring in the story direction they were going for.

    But, Amazing Spider-Man has been the best it’s been since I started reading the title. It’s taught me that for the last 15 years, I been reading mediocre to good Spider-Man books and been okay with it. I highly suggest that you consider the book again. It’s been on a great run since New Ways to Die (#568) and the writing team is pretty much Mark Waid, Joe Kelly, and a solid Marc Guggenheim.

    I’m also a big Hester fan (Firebreather, The Atheist, and Golly) so I’ll check Coffin out. I think Coffin once won an award from Wizard for best future character, so you know it’s got to be good. It’s Wizard Award Winning.

    Comment by Pedro Tejeda — June 6, 2009 @ 8:08 am

  7. Whoah, you got my last name right, amazing!

    Ordered the first 2 volumes of Yakikate Japan, the concept sounds so ludicrous that I just have to see it for myself.

    Comment by Michael Jusenius — June 6, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

  8. Hi guys. I hate to bring this up again, but you need to do something about the download. I’m not sure why, but your podcast keeps on “dropping out” whenever I try to download. It will download just a little bit, and then it will stop. I’ve tried various podcatchers and just downloading from the rss from different locations and I still have this problem.

    Comment by gary — June 7, 2009 @ 9:44 am

  9. Anyone else out there having gary’s problem?

    I can’t seem to replicate it, and I haven’t heard of anyone else having issues.

    Comment by Joseph from FBB — June 7, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

  10. More of my specs: I’m running windows vista on a laptop using wireless and I’m running windows xp on my desktop at my house. I’ve tried both my school’s internet and my at-home desktop and both will download just snippets of dialogue or the show. I’ve downloaded JJGo with no problem on both machines, just to see if I can still download. I’ve downloaded past programs and that seems to be okay with no drop out.

    I’ve even tried listening to the program on the website and it seems to only download a little bit and then cut out.

    Comment by gary — June 8, 2009 @ 7:09 am

  11. Thanks Joseph. Whatever you did, it works now and I love the latest podcast. I’ve missed you guys and now I have things to put on my pull list.

    Comment by gary — June 8, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

  12. Some feedback on the Podcast:

    I truly enjoy your podcast. There is something truly wonderful about funnybook babylon that I’m just not getting from other podcasts. It feels like a breath of fresh air, when you consider my alternatives are something like “fanboy radio” that seems to like everything or something like “Flash vs…” which seems to just recap verbally what I just read in the comic book. I listen to your podcast in the same way I used to read Ninthart or The Comics Journal. Keep up the good work and I’ll follow you guys for the next 100.

    Comment by gary — June 8, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  13. My run of “crappy” comics is ongoing right now. I like the World’s End stuff from Wildstorm. As usual, the concept isn’t really being exploited to its fullest potential, but I like the setting, so I’ll keep waiting for Abnett and Lanning to really work it.

    Comment by Brian Taylor — June 8, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

  14. Thanks for the podcast and brief attention to my questions. I was surprised no one answered What are DC doing right now? with the fact that they are letting Grant Morrison have free reign. I’ll put up with a Countdown anyday if it means I get an All Star Superman and Seaguy. Other smart moves are making a very welcoming home for Rucka, Giffen and Robinson.

    Comment by Paul Hicks — June 8, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

  15. I want to find good pop music. Help me please.

    Comment by Kalebarkab — June 9, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

  16. i didn’t mean to offend you with the podfading comment gosh :c

    Comment by Mike F. — June 10, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

  17. I only just got to listen to this on my flight to Thailand. Very choice indeed. And Pedro, not a pudding fan; really?

    Comment by Vivek — June 11, 2009 @ 9:04 am

  18. I’m surprised people asked why you stopped Downcounting. It was pretty clear to me you were suffering and running out of things to say.

    Comment by Dan Coyle — June 11, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

  19. I respect and appreciate your humility, Jamaal, but you guys are on the (very) shortlist of comics podcasts that are even remotely palatable. You must be doing something right!

    Comment by ATOM HOTEP — June 12, 2009 @ 8:32 am

  20. Hey guys. I agree: FB seems to be a rarity in the world of comics podcasting. I haven’t listened to a ton, but yours is the only one that I’ve listened to multiple episodes of. (The others have lasted anywhere from 1-3 eps.) I don’t get around to listening to them promptly — I commute largely via bike, not el or bus, so I don’t have a lot of downtime to listen.

    Which brings me to one of my (gentle) criticisms: The length of the episodes is a little long. I appreciate that you edit them, but oftentimes I feel like I don’t have 45-60 minutes to listen. If you tightened up your banter, you might have an even better podcast. (Or maybe I’ve just got a case of 21st Century-inflicted ADD.)

    Anyway, I definitely enjoyed this milestone podcast, which I just listened to about 10 days ago. I’m not sure why it was so hard to answer reader questions, but the result was a good one. You should try it more often. (Quarterly?) It gets you out of your own agenda/comfort zone a bit, and made for some interesting discussion.

    Now, off topic: I’m actually visiting New York right now, staying part of the time in Brooklyn and partly in Manhattan. What comic shop(s) should I visit? I can’t wait 8 days to grab “Wednesday Comics” and “Green Lantern” … I’ve read good things about Rocketship. Any other stores you recommend? Where do you guys shop? And are there any cool comics-related events in the next week I should know about? (I’ll have to look up the MOCCA info, for sure.) Thanks!

    Comment by Rebis — July 8, 2009 @ 10:25 am

  21. Rocketship runs a very cool shop that is worth checking out to see a nice comic shop in action. If you want deals, Midtown Comics in the city always has a nice 50-70% off pile with many dregs but the occasional gem. They also have a good back issue catalog, but I feel like the one at Jim Hanley’s is better.

    Forbidden is always worth a visit since it’s near Union Square, but for my dollar I would walk down the block to strand. On the second floor of strand is one of the best places to get discounted comics.

    Here is where book reviewers dump early copies of pantheon and first second books. Here is where you can get most of dc’s recent trade library for half off or a decently discounted price of Marvel Hardcovers.

    I personally hit the Galaxy Comics in Brooklyn, specifically the one in Bay Ridge near my house. There is one near sunset park that I think Chris has gone too. The staff is friendly there but it’s pretty much standard traditional comic book shop, Punisher shirts on the wall and Yugioh cards behind the shelf. I’m not sure if they still do this for new customers, but they give a 10% discount if you spend over 15 bucks. It leads me to get 5 books when I only have 4 on my pool.

    I can’t stand St. Marks Comics in Brooklyn or Manhattan. There is nothing about either store that’s even remotely enticing.

    Comment by Pedro Tejeda — July 8, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

  22. Hey Pedro — my (very) belated thanks for all this info. I did go to Rocketship, where they were sold out of Wednesday Comics #1 (this was a couple weeks back). Amusingly, the clerk didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked about it, after I didn’t see it on the shelves. (I think I was there on a Friday, so two days after it came out.) When I described it in detail, she then figured it out and told me they’d sold it. (She was a new employee, and otherwise very helpful.) I was encouraged that a nifty experiment like “WC” had sold out, though of course I don’t know how many they ordered to begin with.

    I also hit Midtown Comics, briefly, and MoCCA, to enjoy that amazing Mazzucchelli exhibit. Lots of comics goodness in New York!

    Comment by Rebis — July 27, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

  23. […] you enjoy the Listener Questions segment of our hundredth episode? Did you hate it because we didn’t answer your question? Do […]

    Pingback by Funnybook Babylon · Archives · Call for Listener Questions — October 27, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

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