Paul’s Top 10 Comics of 2014 (and AJ’s Lament)

'Saga' art by Fiona Staples.

‘Saga’ art by Fiona Staples.

Last week, we brought you our top 10 films of the year. It was different from past years in that while I still wrote words and words and words, Paul presented his list without comment. He continues that trend with his top 10 comics of 2014. Meanwhile, I’m getting into some unusual territory by admitting that I don’t have a list. Sure, I could have scraped something together, but it wouldn’t have felt right.

I adore comic books–look no further than the year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman we just wrapped in December–but this was the year they unfortunately fell by the wayside of my pop culture habits. There are a few reasons: comics are expensive, often going for $2.99, $3.99, or even more for a bundle of 20-25 sheets of paper; reading is a solitary, time-consuming activity which requires laser focus, unlike a lot of movies and TV (I’ll probably get in trouble for that), and this year I chose to devote much more of my reading time to prose; and lately, I’ve grown to prefer sitting down with one-and-done graphic novels or trade paperback collections to only getting a single hit of a story each month.

Then there’s the fact that 2014 was the year I (and Paul, and frenemy of the show Eric Sipple) published a book. I’ve always considered myself a creative person, but actually putting blood, sweat, and tears into finishing a real product available for purchase left me with a lot less free time. Video games were the first casualty–I played the very comics-oriented LEGO Marvel Superheroes for a few days, but that was about it–and then, completely by chance, I noticed comics becoming the second. Which is ironic, considering how heavily indebted The Deli Counter of Justice is to superhero comics.

Continue reading

Listen to Episode 211, “The Sandman: Vol. X – The Wake (feat. Eric Sipple, Greg Sahadachny, K. Dale Koontz & Ensley F. Guffey)”

Art from 'The Sandman' #72 by Michael Zulli and Daniel Vozzo.

Art from ‘The Sandman’ #72 by Michael Zulli and Daniel Vozzo.

Gobbledygeek episode 211, “The Sandman: Vol. X – The Wake (feat. Eric Sipple, Greg Sahadachny, K. Dale Koontz & Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mark the end of our year-long Four-Color Flashback discussion of Neil Gaiman’s epic fantasy series The Sandman. On hand to discuss Vol. X: The Wake with Paul and AJ are all of their past Sandman guests: Broken Magic author/The Deli Counter of Justice cohort Eric Sipple; The Debatable Podcast host Greg Sahadachny; and Wanna Cook? authors K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey. The six of them discuss Morpheus’ wake, its many attendees, Daniel’s ascendance as the Dream King, and the series’ three epilogues. This episode? Well, it’s the stuff dreams are made of.

Next: for the final episode of 2014, you’ll get to hear Paul, AJ, Eric, Thomas Dorton, and Alyssa Herron doing a Deli Counter of Justice reading at Rickert & Beagle Books in Pittsburgh, PA.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. X – The Wake.”)

Listen to Episode 209, “The Sandman: Vol IX – The Kindly Ones”

Art from 'The Sandman' #68 by Marc Hempel, Richard Case, and Daniel Vozzo.

Art from ‘The Sandman’ #68 by Marc Hempel, Richard Case, and Daniel Vozzo.

Gobbledygeek episode 209, “The Sandman: Vol IX – The Kindly Ones,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

All good things got to finish some time. Paul and AJ have reached the climax of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, in its penultimate installment, Vol IX: The Kindly Ones. As Morpheus’ strict adherence to rules proves to be a cage of his own making, the Furies come down upon his head, wreaking havoc in the Dreaming and tying together many of this epic series’ loose ends. Meanwhile, Lucifer plays piano, Rose meets Jack (non-Titanic edition), Matthew lacks pennies, and Lyta’s hair drinks most of the water. It’s been a hell of a ride.

Next: the boys get in the twisted Christmas spirit with a look back at Scrooged.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol IX – The Kindly Ones.”)

Listen to ‘The Deli Podcast of Justice’ Interview with Paul Smith (Plus Meet His Character!)

crashtest

The Deli Podcast of Justice interview with Paul Smith is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

The Deli Counter of Justice drops in less than a week, on Wednesday, November 5, and thus we have reached our final author interview. Paul Smith, part of the collection’s braintrust alongside AJ and Eric, talks about his story “…A Hero Only One,” which concerns Piecemaker’s former sidekick Crashtest. Paul discusses the fact that this is the first piece of writing he’s finished, which he claims led to plenty of self-flagellation, banging his head into hard surfaces, and lots of alcohol; the decades he’s spent reading comics, superheroic and otherwise; and his storytelling start as an RPG game master.

Next: no more interviews, but there will be one more podcast before the book’s release!

(Show notes for The Deli Podcast of Justice #11.)

Continue after the jump for an introduction to the main character from Paul’s story, which Eric challenged him to.

Continue reading

Listen to ‘The Deli Podcast of Justice’ Interview with Arlo J. Wiley (Plus Meet His Character!)

docbattery

The Deli Podcast of Justice interview with Arlo J. Wiley is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

As our author interviews for The Deli Counter of Justice continue, editor-in-chief Arlo J. Wiley (or AJ when he’s not being pretentious) finds himself in the hot seat. AJ discusses his short story “Innovation,” about a D-list supervillain who starts frequenting the deli he doesn’t realize is owned by his former archnemesis. Other points of discussion are AJ’s history with screenwriting, how he learned to read in part from ’70s and ’80s superhero comics, and about his desire to take superheroes in a new direction.

Next: Paul and Eric chat with “Delilah by Proxy” author Alyssa Herron on Tuesday, October 28.

(Show notes for The Deli Podcast of Justice #9.)

Continue after the jump for an introduction to the main character from AJ’s story, which Eric challenged him to.

Continue reading

Listen to Episode 202, “The Sandman: Vol. VIII – Worlds’ End (feat. Ensley F. Guffey)”

sandman8

Art from ‘The Sandman’ #54 by Michael Allred and Daniel Vozzo.

Gobbledygeek episode 202, “The Sandman: Vol. VIII – Worlds’ End (feat. Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

After scaling the high point of The Sandman last week with Brief Lives, Paul and AJ fall a little closer to earth with a discussion of Vol. VIII – Worlds’ End. Joining them is Wanna Cook? author Ensley F. Guffey…and they all agree it’s likely the series’ weakest collection. But weak Sandman is still better than most comics, so there’s plenty to say about Neil Gaiman’s final attempt at telling short stories in the Endless’ domain. There’s the return of Hob Gadling, a look at the mythic side of American politics, and a funeral procession passing by the inn at the end of all worlds. Plus, the gang grouses about Gotham and discusses Marvel’s settlement with the Jack Kirby estate.

Next: Gobbledyween 2014 gets off to a slashing start with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. The boys will be joined by Mike Brooks.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. VIII – Worlds’ End.”)

Listen to ‘The Deli Podcast of Justice’ Interview with Eric Sipple

The Deli Podcast of Justice interview with Eric Sipple is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

For their first interview with authors from The Deli Counter of Justice, Paul and AJ talk to the other man who makes up the Deli braintrust: Eric Sipple. Eric discusses his start writing SeaQuest fan fiction, his introduction to the world of superheroes via Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film, how he created Carl Cook’s daughter Tabitha for his story “Pixelated” (who may wind up becoming the anthology’s Wolverine), and much more.

Next: Paul and AJ sit down with Rahne Ehtar, the author of “Without Masks.”

(Show notes for The Deli Podcast of Justice #3.)