Hey everyone, this week at work has been a KILLER for your old pal Devin so this column’s going to be a short one. The good news is that because there will only be a few sentences per item. the concentration of enthusiasm will be explosive BECAUSE I WILL WRITE IN ALL CAPS AND USE MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!
Okay, I won’t torture any of us with that nonsense. But still: short and to the point! Explosively exciting! Packed with Vitamin D! Let’s go!
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The 1970s was a weird time for mainstream comic books, with the two big publishers trying to supplement their traditional superhero offerings with titles inspired by a variety of other genres: kung-fu movies, exploitation, horror, and sci-fi. One of my favourite weird titles from Marvel at that time was Killraven, a sequel to The War Of The Worlds where the Martians had enslaved Earth and entertained themselves by watching human gladiator matches. Killraven was a gladiator-turned-freedom-fighter who, with the help of his fellow escaped gladiators, fought for freedom in this post-apocalyptic world wearing only a navy blue speedo and attached suspenders. It was a great littl series, but a very 1970s concept. That’s why Alan Davis & Mark Farmer’s 2002 Killraven miniseries was such a delight; the script felt like a slightly updated version of the swashbuckling adventures from thirty years earlier, but with Davis & Farmer’s glorious art giving it that much more of a stylistic punch. There were even panels that echoed some of the work that the great P. Craig Russell did on the original series in the 70s, but with the clean and muscular Davis/Farmer touch. The smile on my face grew with each issue I read, and by the end of the series my heart honestly felt a little lighter than when I started. It’s adventure and heroics and swordfighting and also robots and martians and gladiators in very little clothing. What’s not to like?
The Season Six finale of Bob’s Burgers “Glued, Where’s My Bob?” was so good it honestly brought a tear to my eye. One of the things I love the most about that show is that no matter how terrible the choices some of the characters make, at the end of the day, they all care about each other, and they all want each other to succeed. Unlike some other animated sitcom families, there is never any doubt that the Belcher family loves each other and will do whatever they can to help each other succeed. The finale had that heart in spades, plus a crew of fantastic guest stars and a song that I’m still singing to myself five days after watching it. The episode is basically standalone — continuity in Bob’s Burgers is more character-specific than plot-specific — and if there was any single episode of the show that would turn a lukewarm viewer into a fan for life, I think it would be this one. Or the one where Gene befriends a robot toilet with the voice of Jon Hamm. That’s a good one too.
The Adventure Zone is a podcast where the McElroy brothers from My Brother My Brother and Me play Dungeons & Dragons with their dad. It’s full of incredibly silly jokes and high adventure and I like it a lot. This week I started listening to the show again from the beginning to prepare for the launch of their latest storyline, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the early stories hold up. It’s been giving me some much-needed laughs lately, and I thought I’d mention it here because apparently I’m going to mention everything that the McElroys do in this column and I guess it’s The Adventure Zone‘s turn?
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That’s going to be it for me this week! If you made it this far: thanks for reading. I don’t say that enough. Until next time, seriously, watch that episode of Bob’s Burgers. It’s really great. I’ll see you in seven days.