Comic Books

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: The Tick creator Ben Edlund

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Ben Edlund

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

Ben Edlund reflects on the origins of 'The Tick' and the revival of the cult comic book character

The Tick is one of the strangest, most compelling superheroes ever. Creator Ben Edlund has lived with the character for over 30 years now. The Tick has been a comic book series, an animated TV show, a video game, and a live action TV show. Now, The Tick is back with another live-action TV show on Amazon.

The Tick is kind of this giant man in a blue suit with antennas on his head. He's got all the classic trappings of a superhero: strength, speed, invincibility. But he's also kind of a dope.He doesn't know where he came from… isn't particularly concerned with money, or jobs, or anything beyond justice and destiny. In this newest show, The Tick is played by previous Bullseye guest Peter Serafinowicz. When he was on last year he talked about playing the superhero.

It's a show that's both preposterous and plausible. The villains are bizarre and goofy - men with chairs for heads, giant trenchcoat wearing lobsters. But there's also people who act like real people. Actions have consequences. And even superheroes aren't immune to government oversight.

Edlund joins us to discuss how his relationship with the character has changed over three decades. Plus, why he feels the latest revival nails the strange, odd tone in ways the other projects haven't. Writing compelling and grounded superhero stories is hard to pull off in a post-Dark Knight world … if you haven't met The Tick by now you're in for a treat!

Note: This interview was recorded before it was announced "The Tick" would not be returning to Amazon.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Mark Alan Stamaty

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: New York Review Comics

Cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty on 'MacDoodle Street,' 'Who Needs Donuts?,' and more

We're thrilled to share our conversation with cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty. We're huge fans of his children's book – "Who Needs Donuts?" Mark's wonderfully illustrated book tells the story of a kid in a cowboy suit who's bored with his family. He hitches up his wagon and heads out for the big city in search of donuts. After a wild adventure he realizes there are things far greater than donuts. It's a charming and hilarious book for kids. And, trust us, adults will love it, too!

Mark Alan Stamaty got his start working at a handful of New York papers, with a few regular comic strips. There's Washingtoon, a political strip. A few regular comics in the New York Review of Books. And MacDoodle Street, which he published for the Village Voice in the late '70s.

MacDoodle Street was just released as an anthology collection. In MacDoodle Street, you see New York kind of the way a kid from outside the city might: a wild, bizarre and kind of fantastic place. Overwhelming, but endlessly interesting and stimulating. This new edition features a brand-new, twenty-page autobiographical comic by Stamaty on why the short-lived but treasured MacDoodle Street never returned to the Village Voice. It's a unique, funny, and poignant look at the struggles and joys of being an artist.

We're thrilled to share this conversation with Mark Alan Stamaty. He'll give us the scoop on his new anthology collection, and how his childhood influenced his work. Both of his parents had the same profession as him. Plus, where he gets the silly ideas for his stories and illustrations. Rhinos on the subway wearing fancy hats! Shark-shaped cars!

Tights and Fights Ep. 127: NXT TakeOver: Phoenix & The Royal Rumble w/ Vita Ayala

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Guests: 
Vita Ayala

This week Hal, Danielle and Lindsey are joined by Vita Ayala. They’re a comic book writer whose work has been published by Marvel, DC Comics and Valiant. Before getting into the news, Vita will explain how they getting into wrestling led to them to some rough sleeping arrangements growing up.

For a limited time, from Thursday, January 31st to Sunday, February 10,Tights and Fights listeners can go to Comixology and put LIVEWIRE #1 in their cart and enter the code LIVEWIREFIGHTS at checkout to access it for free!

NXT TakeOver: Phoenix

Like most of the last few TakeOvers, this show was built around the ongoing drama between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. Now both of these two are on the same page and are champions. What’s the future hold for Dark-DIY?

And while those two are fixtures of TakeOvers, Bianca Belair had her first showing at the event, coming up short against Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s championship. But no one on the panel is ready for this feud to be over any time soon.

Plus, how the War Raiders finally won us over as the top tag team on RAW, who the ashiest NXT star may be and why Matt Riddle has gotta wear some shoes (a controversial take, to be sure).

The Royal Rumble

For the second consecutive year, WWE succeeded in giving us two great Royal Rumble winners. Seth Rollins won the men’s contest and is in line to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal title and Becky Lynch was a late entrant in the women’s Rumble and will finally have her match against Ronda Rousey.

But that doesn’t mean we’re on board with everything that happened on Sunday. Was it the best move to have Asuka tap Becky out in the opening match of the night? And why didn’t WWE ever address why Finn Balor didn’t use his Demon persona in his match against Lesnar?

All of that, plus all of the fallout on RAW and Smackdown and our favorite moments from one of the most chaotic matches in all of WWE.

Hosted by Hal Lublin, Danielle Radford, Lindsey Kelk and Vita Ayala.

Produced by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

If you want to talk about more wrestling throughout the week be sure to join us on Facebook and @TightsFights on Twitter and Instagram.

If you liked the show, please share it with your friends and be sure to leave us a quick review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get podcasts.

Ep 72 - Scary Halloween Comics with Ben Blacker

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Tights and Fights Ep. 113: We’re in WWE’s robot car w/ Dan Sinker

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Guests: 
Dan Sinker
Guests: 
Danielle Radford
Guests: 
Lindsey Kelk

This week, Danielle and Lindsey are joined by Dan Sinker Dan Sinker. He’s the host of the creator of tons of things on the internet including the Says Who? podcast and The Hitch podcast.

But his presence on the internet pales in comparison to his greatest accomplishment: Getting his wife and kids into professional wrestling. Which segment does he credit for helping him do this successfully? None other than the Festival of Friendship.

The panel has plenty of things to get into this week, including the ongoing International drama surrounding WWE’s planned show in Saudi Arabia, the lack of build towards Evolution and why the Bellas vs. Ronda Rousey already feels like it’s off on the wrong foot.

Main Event

Last week Shawn Michaels, one of the WWE’s all-time greatest performers announced that he was officially coming out of retirement for a match against The Brothers of Destruction alongside his partner Triple H. Retirement rarely ever sticks in WWE, especially when it’s by choice. And while we never want to deny someone the right to do what they do well for money, where do we draw the line between nostalgia and an over-reliance on legacy?

The Three Count

Dan put over Austin Creed and Xavier Woods’ Battle of the Brands series on YouTube.

Lindsey put over John Oliver on Last Week tonight discussing WWE’s business with Saudi Arabia.

Danielle put over put over indie wrestler Effy using YouTube to get his name out to potential bookers.

Hosted by Danielle Radford and Lindsey Kelk and Dan Sinker.

Produced by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

If you want to talk about more wrestling throughout the week be sure to join us on Facebook and @TightsFights on Twitter and Instagram.

If you liked the show, please share it with your friends and be sure to leave us a quick review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get podcasts.

Tights and Fights Ep. 112: Wrestling conversations with Marty the Moth, Aubrey Sitterson and Chris Moreno

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Guests: 
Aubrey Sitterson
Guests: 
Chris Moreno

This week, we’ve got two conversations with people who have made big waves in the world of wrestling in the past few weeks.

First, Mike Eagle speaks with Aubrey Sitterson and Chris Moreno. They’re the creators of The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling. The two go deep on the book and what it was like creating the first major historical record of the art form that is wrestling.

Then, in a conversation recorded live at San Diego Comic-Con courtesy of Gamma Ray TV, Danielle and Hal sit down with Marty the Moth. These days he’s known for being the Lucha Underground Champion. But there was a time that he was just trying to get the attention of WWE for a chance to live his dream as a professional wrestler. Marty will detail his journey from watching wrestling for the first time to WWE’s reality show Tough Enough all the way to the temple of Lucha Underground.

Hosted by Danielle Radford and Mike Eagle and Hal Lublin.

Produced by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

If you want to talk about more wrestling throughout the week be sure to join us on Facebook and @TightsFights on Twitter and Instagram.

If you liked the show, please share it with your friends and be sure to leave us a quick review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get podcasts.

Story Break: Avengers: Infinity War 2

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Story Break

Warning: Infinity War spoilers abound! But if you want to know how the next Avengers will end, look no further as we crack the story for Avengers: Infinity War 2! Marvel Babies! Maybe. We're working on that title still.

We get deep into the MCU and Infinity War on this one!

Pop Rocket: Episode 127 Wonder Woman with April Wolfe

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
April Wolfe

Margaret takes over hosting duties this week and is joined by film critic/Pop Rocket's Fifth Beatle April Wolfe to talk about Wonder Woman! What did the film do so right? Is this record-breaking film a sign that DC is finally turning around? Plus, the gang takes some of your questions from the official Pop Rocket Facebook group. Don't worry, Rocketeers, this discussion is SPOILER FREE!

By the way, Pop Rocket's Summer Book club is underway! If you still need to buy a copy of Parable of the Sower, click HERE to get it on Amazon.

With Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, and guest April Wolfe.

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - Marika Hackman - My Lover Cindy
Karen Tongson - k.d. lang - Summerfling
Wynter Mitchell - Missy Elliott - 4 My People
April Wolfe - Look Blue Go Purple - I Don't Want You Anyway

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Kathryn Hahn and David Letterman biographer Jason Zinoman

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Kathryn Hahn
Guests: 
Jason Zinoman

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer / Stringer

Kathryn Hahn on her new Amazon series, I Love Dick

Kathryn Hahn is an actor and has been in comedy films like Step Brothers, the Anchorman movies, and a bunch more. She's also starred in the NBC series Crossing Jordan and was also on Parks and Recreation, playing Jennifer Barkley, the political consultant.

Lately, she's been working a lot with the writer and director Jill Soloway. She was in her 2013 film Afternoon Delight, she plays Raquel the rabbi on Amazon's Transparent, and now she's starring in another Amazon series called I Love Dick, based on the Chris Klaus book by the same name.

Hahn and Jesse talk about the inherently feminist space that I Love Dick inhabits, and the deeply complex character that Kathryn plays on the show. She talks about working with Jill Soloway on many of her most recent projects, and the special and deeply creative environment that Soloway creates on her sets.

You can catch Hahn in I Love Dick on Amazon now.

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Jason Zinoman on "The Last Giant of Late Night", David Letterman

Jason Zinoman is a writer and a critic covering comedy over at the New York Times. He also writes for Slate and Vanity Fair. He's got a new book out - it's called Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night. More than a biography of David Letterman, it is about one of the funniest TV hosts of all time and why so many people are fascinated with him.

Jason and Jesse talk about the span of David Letterman's career, from parodying regional radio on his college radio station, to his time working as the weekend television weatherman, to his late night show segments that appealed to really basic comedic instincts in the audience (i.e. "Dropping Stuff off a 5 Story Tower" and "Stupid Pet Tricks" and "How many Guys in Spider-Man Suits Can Fit Into a Jamba Juice").

Jason's book Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night is out now.

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The Outshot: Concrete the Superhero

Jesse tells us about Concrete, one of the saddest and most honest superhero comics he's ever read.

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