Funnybook Babylon

November 22, 2009

FBBP #120 – Love & Shame

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 12:55 pm

This episode, we discuss changes over at the Comics Journal and what that means for the blogosphere, plus answer your questions about love, shame, professional wrestling and enabling habits!

If you have questions or topics you’d like to see addressed in future podcasts, write us at editors AT funnybookbabylon DOT com, or take advantage of our new phone service:


That’s right, New York’s own May Parker has taken time out of her busy schedule of working at a soup kitchen and fretting about her nephew Peter to collect questions for us. Treat her well, she’s a great ol’ gal!


  1. I read comics at work, and loan stuff to a few other co-workers, and while I don’t think I’ve ever loaned a Batman book to anyone, I still get “what’s up with Batman being dead?” Generally I’m able to gage the difference between people who want to actually hear about time travel and cave drawings, and the people who just want to hear “Oh, they’ve already made it clear they’re bringing him back. They just want to do stories without him for a while.”

    Comment by Ian Adams — November 23, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  2. This was the best episode in a long time, dudes. Great work.

    Comment by Matt Jett — November 23, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

  3. Thanks for fielding my question about Loeb. I think it’s clear that some of the elements from Long Halloween make for a helluva story in the hands of a master storyteller (e.g., Christopher Nolan) but I wish a book of its length — and particularly a murder mystery in Gotham — rewards rereading a lot more than it does. I still have a soft spot for the book, in part for sentimental reasons, but y’all are right the glaring issues with Hush (for instance) are there in Long Halloween, if not as pronounced.

    About Walking Dead, I’m surprised at the strong criticism. The title’s earned a lot of good will with me because Kirkman uses it to plug other creator-owned work (Criminal, Chew), but I borrowed and read the first hardcover collection, and it didn’t grab me. I thought it was because of the zombie genre, and I know guys who rave over it, but I hadn’t heard serious dislike from voices whose opinion I respect even when I don’t always agree.

    Comment by Bubba — November 24, 2009 @ 1:21 am

  4. The Long Halloween really does confirm my long held belief that good editing (read creative criticism and an ability to guide the narrative in the service of the story not continuity) is crucial for good comics. In retrospect, it’s Loeb’s best work primarily because of Archie Goodwin’s editing skills, proving that the praise heaped upon him over the years is thoroughly deserved. See James Robinson for a further example, as none of his work crated outside the auspices of Goodwin has matched up to those that were (even the last half of Starman, produced after Goodwin’s premature death, didn’t hit the levels of the first half).

    I agree with Chris’ views on the faults with Ambush Bug: it’s always been hit and miss, but seems it revel in a seat of the pants approach to its creation. I genuinely think that the real reason for the delay of the final issue is far more banal than most believe. If you look at Giffen’s out put over the last year it strikes me that he was just too busy to finish it off, hence the need for a co-artist to fit a framing device around any pages he did have time to complete.

    For all the fourth wall breaking from Ambush Bug, it pales into comparison with Adventure Comics number 4 released this week though. A comic published by DC that satirises it’s own output written by the man mainly responsible for it. Whatever else you may say about Geoff Johns, you’ve got to admire his pluck.

    Comment by Lee — November 24, 2009 @ 4:38 am

  5. Sorry about the typos from the previous post, and a very unclear line: it’s Goodwin and his editing skills that are deservedly praised, not Loeb’s writing. Oops. Why isn’t there a preview button on these comments!

    Comment by Lee — November 24, 2009 @ 4:40 am

  6. If you look at Giffen’s out put over the last year it strikes me that he was just too busy to finish it off

    Actually, this was basically the reason given FOR the delay. Didio said he wanted a couple of changes made, but didn’t want to shove the script for a middling-sales miniseries back onto Giffen’s plate when he was working on so many higher-profile books. The end result, I suppose, is he just tossed it onto someone else’s.

    Comment by Syrg — November 24, 2009 @ 5:49 am

  7. I agree with Pedro that Civil War: Front Line was mind-bogglingly bad. I take issue with Jamaal’s criticism of Preacher (as he’d broadly predicted), since it’s my all-time favorite comic. And like Chris, I can’t defend The Boys, even though I can’t wait to learn what’ll happen next.

    PS: I laughed so hard at Chris’s deadpan “no” reply to “Have you ever liked anything produced by Jeph Loeb?” that I had to rewind to hear Jamaal’s similar “no”, which only made me laugh out loud again.

    Comment by Rand — November 24, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

  8. Great podcast as always, guys, although I too would like Chris to expound upon his Walking Dead hate. I enjoy the series quite a bit and don’t begrudge Chris his opinion, I am just interested in more specifics about why he thinks it is so horrible.

    Jenkins’ work on The Inhumans with Jae Lee was amazing and made me a die-hard fan of the characters to this day. I was sure Jenkins was the next big thing. The Sentry was good, and I remember his Incredible Hulk and Peter Parker: Spider-Man runs being pretty good, but after that he fell hard and fast. The real tipping point for me was the incomprehensible Spectacular Spider-Man #1 with Humberto Ramos. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever, which one might attribute simply to Ramos’ art, but I read the issue a few times thinking I had to be missing something but it just plain didn’t make sense. His Flogging a Dead Horse columns are still funny at least.

    Comment by Justin B. — November 24, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

  9. Completely agree with Jamaal that good writing encourages those of us who care, and if I was to point to one piece of great writing in the last few months I would undoubtedly point to that particular Jog penned review/overview.

    Comment by Zom — November 26, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

  10. I’m pretty sure that the COMPLETE PEANUTS is what has fueled the fiscal resurgence of Fantagraphics over the last 5 years.

    Comment by Patrick — November 27, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

  11. Don’t worry everyone, I’ll explain my hatred of Walking Dead in an upcoming podcast and throw myself at the mercy of the Internet.

    Lee: Regarding Ambush Bug, colorist Tom Smith and letterer Pat Brousseau stated back in April that they’d completed ABYN #6 “a long time ago”, and ABYN #7 was colored by Guy Major. Unless this is a bizarre low-key prank, this suggests that Giffen (and Fleming/Milgrom/Smith/Brousseau) finished an actual Ambush Bug Year None #6 in late 2007/early 2008.

    I still have no idea what caused the controversy, and Giffen’s workload *may* have been a contributing factor to him not sticking around to rework the issue, but it’s pretty obviously not simply a creator falling behind schedule that led to such massive delays.

    Also: Patrick is right, the Eros comment was outdated and almost certainly untrue in recent years, given the success of Complete Peanuts and other excursions into the book market. Even when it was true in the 1990s, I never really begrudged their porno sideline, but it was a good needle for the Fantagraphics balloon now and again.

    Comment by Chris Eckert — November 29, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

  12. OH C’MON! Avengers Forever is wicked. I’m still waiting for Songbird to join the Avengers.

    Comment by Zebtron A. Rama — December 4, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

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