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CGS in review

This thread may be just be a note taking for myself but I am starting to go back through the CGS episodes from the beginning to take a trip down comic book memory lane. I doubt I will listen to all the episodes but who knows??

Episode #1 from March 7, 2005

Bryan and Peter just have a quick comics talk. Bryan was excited about Robert Kirkman’s run on “Marvel Team-Up” which I forgot even existed. Peter is hearing good things about Kirkman’s “Invincibles”.

It was nice to hear how they got started reading comics.

Waiting for the trade instead of buying monthly was really starting to take off and it is kind of weird to hear Bryan so excited about it. It is so common to me now.

A good episode and beginning.



  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,879
  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78
    edited May 24

    Episode #2 from March 8, 2005

    This episode is a continuation of the comic and movie talk from episode #1


    1. They share their love for “Identity Crisis”. I wonder if time has changed their opinion? Has that story held up?
    2. From DC, they are looking forward to Infinite Crisis (or as it was known then as Crisis 2), All Star Superman (they already think this could be on if the best Superman stories of all time ✅) and All Star Batman (❌).
    3. From Marvel, they are looking forward to Griffin and DeMatis on Defenders (which I think they believe is going to be more than the mini series it turned out to be), the last story arc from Bendis on Daredevil, House of M - Bendis has not let me down yet says Deemer 👀.
    4. In movies, they are excited for Sin City and Fantastic Four. I am already looking forward to the review episode for that. Constantine was positively reviewed. From the trailers, they are not sold on Batman Begins but they are hopeful.
    5. First mention of their friend “Kevin”
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 4,385

    I feel like the top 5 writer list still hold up really well.

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78


    I wonder if Bendis, Johns, and Morrison still would rank so high on lists now as they did in 2005? Would recent names like Jason Aaron, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Jonathan Hickman, etc. steal some of those Top 5 spots?

    And only in my opinion in the artist category, John Romita Jr would not make a top 50 list.

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78
    edited May 24

    The post for episode #3 disappeared while I was editing it. Reposting it. If the original reappears, I will edit.

    Episode #3 from March 12th, 2005.


    *First Appearance of Shane!

    *First Top 5 List – Writer & Artists:


    Peter: Tom Grummett, Gil Kane, Phil Jimenez, Jose Luis-Garcia Lopez, George Perez

    Shane: Neil Adams, Jim Lee, Bryan Hitch, George Perez, Kevin McGuire

    Bryan:  John Romita Jr. (he never lets me down says Deemer 👀 ), Walt Simonson, Chris Bachalo, Barry Windsor-Smith, Carlos Pacheco


    Peter: Kurt Busiek, Christopher Priest, Marv Wolfman, Keith Giffen, Grant Morrison

    Shane: Keith Giffen, Marv Wolfman, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Geoff Johns

    Bryan: Geoff Johns, Peter Milligan, Bryan K. Vaughn, Brian M. Bendis, Frank Miller

    *Bryan buries Salvador Larroca art. 

    *World of Toys with a Alex Ross “Super Grover” figure and Marvel Legends series 9 build a figure with Galactus. What series the Marvel Legends is on in 2021? 

    I wonder if @ShaneKelly stands by his Top 5 picks 16 years later? A lot of new names have appeared in the business since 2005.

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78
    edited May 26

    Episode #4 from 18 March 2005


    *First appearance of Kevin

    *Kevin's Top 5 writers & artists

    Writers: Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Brian M. Bendis

    Artists: Gil Kane, Carlos Pacheco, George Perez, John Romita Jr, Neal Adams.

    *2nd Episode in a row with random Speedball comics jokes

    *Topic of discussion - late books. The group thinking was that if a person cannot complete a monthly book on time, then the publisher should find someone who can. For events & mini series, the publisher should have the creative team have several issues ready to go before the book is even solicited.

    I am surprised that have four Top 5 lists of writers that nobody said Chris Claremont or John Byrne. I do believe this will change though with the first appearance of someone in Episode 5.

    As someone who has collected 100% in trade for years, late books are not so much of an issue. I do remembering waiting forever for Brubaker to finish "Velvet", Matt Fraction's Hawkeye delay issues, and various events being late.

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78
    edited May 26

    Episode #5 from 26 March 2005


    * First appearance of Jamie D

    * Jamie D’s Top 5 writers & artists

    Writers: Neil Gaiman, Peter David, Geoff Johns, James Robinson, Alan Moore

    Artists: Alan Davis, Mike McCone, Kevin McGuire, Tom Grummett, Art Adams

    * Discussion on John Byrne - how Byrne cut corners by not drawing backgrounds in every panel. Is it now an expectation to have a background in every panel? Byrne probably did this so that he could actually complete a book (sometimes multiple) books on time every month. Jamie also was in agreement on creators needing to be able to do a monthly book on time.

    Bonus Top 5 from Jamie D – Top 5 writers who also draw (or artist who also write)

    George Perez, Walt Simonson, Howard Chaykin, Will Eisner, John Byrne

    I have still surprised that after five Top 5 lists, No Chris Claremont in the writers list.  Jamie did add some variety to the list though with some of his choices.  It was good to hear Jamie's voice again.

  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 6,585

    Re: Byrne not always drawing backgrounds, quite often a panel simply is more effective when there is no background to distract the eye. It's no different than taking a photograph, or filming a shot, with a long lens so that the focus is on the subject, and the background is blurred—it's meant to make the subject pop and keep all your attention there. And then the colorist is able to use specific colors to help build the mood/tone of the action.

    That said, if you don't draw enough panels with backgrounds, then you'll lose the effectiveness of the pop effect. Plus you need backgrounds, particularly when a scene changes, to establish the setting, and to inform something about the characters who reside in those settings.

    So, for me, whether to draw detailed backgrounds, simple backgrounds, or no backgrounds at all, should be a storytelling decision. They shouldn't be drawn simply to look impressive, but rather to help make the story as interesting an engaging as possible.

    One last thing, on the subject of artists not staying on a monthly schedule, one thing that wasn't mentioned here is that up until the late '70s/early '80s, comics were viewed by the publishers as one-off entertainment, not unlike the Sunday newspaper comics section. They were meant to be read once and then tossed out. And it wasn't until the early '90s when artists (with a few exceptions) started seeing their work reprinted in book form, with the sense of permanence that comes along with that. I mean, artists always want to do the best work they can, but when they know their work is going to be sitting around forever for anyone to see, it's going to make them much more critical about what they turn in, what's expected of them, what’s good enough. And that's a huge part of why so many artists don't draw 12 issues a year anymore.

  • MattMatt Posts: 4,457

    Episode 5 was Jamie’s first appearance? Wow. A lot of number connections here to remember:

    • Jamie liked Doctor Doom (who I always think of with FF talk: 4+1)
    • 2005...he passed on 5/2 (or 52!)
    • his Eagles beat my Pats in Super Bowl 52
    • his first appearance was in the same month as my son (whose birthday is very close to the 5th), whose name is a little nod to Jamie
  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78
    edited May 28

    Episode #6 from March 29, 2005: A Bryan & Peter only episode


    * The Incredibles just came out on DVD and Bryan loves it.

    *Listener email on the lack of new characters in comics (in 2005) leading to a short discussion of Machine Teen, X-23, Arana, Shanna, Jessica Jones, and the Sentry.   Besides Jessica Jones and X-23, are any of these characters being used in 2021?

    *The main topic for discussion is buying comics at the LCS versus online stores. DCBS being their store of choice. They love it because of the discounts they can buy more comics.

    I place my first order with DCBS in Feb of 2012. For the most part, I have placed an order every month until Spring of 2020.  I resumed ordering in July 2020. I have missed a couple of months since then simply due to not buying any comics at all that month.

    The DCBS pros for me are

    1. The discounts
    2. The packaging has always been excellent.   
    3. Easy to place orders.

    The DCBS cons for me are:

    1. Communication has always been an issue. For many years, I believe they only answered emails on Tuesday.
    2. Related to communication, if a title is not officially cancelled/resolicited but just delayed, your book/order will just set there for months and they will not give you an update unless you specifically ask. I had a trade sit for a year past the expected release date.
    3. Over the last couple of years, I have never understood their shipping process. All I buy is trades. Somethings I will have stuff pending from multiple orders in the “Next shipment” que for 3 months or longer when I should be getting monthly shipments.

    I also use Amazon to buy books especially if I did not order it in time with DCBS. The discounts are not as good with Amazon, but the shipping speed is amazing.  Also with Amazon, you pay when the item ships, which if you order a lot of trades can make it easier on the budget by spreading the costs across months rather than the one big payment to DCBS.

    I have gone to my local LCS twice this year. Before that, I think it had been two or three years since I had been in a shop.

    * Who is the better Bruce Wayne – Val Kilmer or Michael Keaton. Wizard (and Deemer) picked Kilmer. Rios seemed to be more a Keaton guy. 

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78
    edited May 28

    Episode #7 from April 2nd, 2005 - Bryan, Peter, Shane, Jamie D, Matt. 

    Sin City Movie Review episode


    * First appearance of @Matt .

    For the movie:

    * The best comic book movie of all time (as of 2005). “As close to a perfect movie as I have seen” - Deemer.

    * According to Jamie D – “lots of breasts”

    * The casting is dead on with the book. 

    I have never read the book or seen the movie so I cannot add much to this. Does the movie still hold up? 

  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 4,385

    Jamie was right about the boobies

  • MattMatt Posts: 4,457

    Ugh. I have to be honest, I’ve listened to a couple episodes from the initial run of show. I can’t stand my appearances. So naive & narrowminded. There’s a couple specific episodes I really can’t stand. If I was a ‘somebody,’ most of my contributions would’ve prevented me from hosting the Oscars.

    Damn Jamie & @ShaneKelly for writing that character for the show! I should’ve pushed for a higher pay per episode.

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78

    Episode #8 from April 6th, 2005 – a Bryan, Peter, and Kevin episode


    * The podcast is up to 100 downloads a day.

    * The forums were created!

    * Main topic for discussion. Flag Ship Titles

    For the DC Universe: JSA by Geoff Johns. They all love the generational characters and story telling.

    Prior to that, Peters thinks the flagship title was first few issues of the Jeph Loeb Superman/Batman. When they reintroduced Supergirl, that title however started to slip.

    For Marvel: New Avengers by Brian M. Bendis

    Admittedly, I am not too knowledgeable on current DC and Marvel titles, but I am not sure that either of them have a flag ship book that the universe somewhat revolves around. DC tries to make Batman their flag ship “character” by publishing a dozen or more books a month related to him (either in monthly issues or in collected editions) but I am not sure if the main Batman or Detective title is the narrative backbone of the universe. 

    For Marvel, I would guess that the Hickman X Men would have the closest claim to be the flag ship title since there has been about 10 other X titles that rotate around its basic narrative.

    If I was going off quality and trying to determine which book was the flag ship book by which title has been generally good the longest – for Marvel, I would have to say either Daredevil or Thor. For DC, I would not have a clue.

    * Countdown to Infinite Crisis discussion:  Supposedly we are at the 70% mark through Dan Dido’s current (as of 2005) master plan. The book is controversial story telling but not done just for shock value. It does not have a cross over feel. That will come with the actual Infinite Crisis. Peter likes the risk the company is taking with the story. 

  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 4,385

    Let me know when they get on iTunes. I think I started either at episode 25 or 50 and listened back to episode 25.i jumped on so many comic podcasts at the time.

    I remember it felt like I missed out on something at the time. Now it seems like so long ago. I still listen to word ballon, crankcast, and CGS.

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78

    Episode #9 from 8 April, 2005 – A Bryan, Peter, Kevin, and Shane episode


    * Mark Waid’s last issue of FF came out

    * The Flash Rogue War has started

    * Moon Knight is starting to reemerge as a character. This too shall pass but Kevin has a “Moon Knight” yahoo group. Is this group still active?  

    Main Topic for Discussion!

    * Shane talks about Toys.  Shane had bought so many Muppet toys that the company put his name on the back of some of boxes.

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78

    Episode #10 from 12 April, 2005 – A Bryan & Peter episode

    The first “Previews” Episode!


    * The podcast is now up to 150 downloads a day.

    * Previews – Top upcoming books for June 2005 (DC has so much good stuff right now says Deemer but they are slow with their trades coming out)

      - DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #1 for 75cents!

      - JSA “Black Reign” tpb

      - G.I. Joe #0 for 21cents!

      - Superman/Batman HC vol 3 by Jeph Loeb and Carlos Pacheco

      - Absolute version of Batman “Hush”

      - House of M issues #1 and #2. 

      - Astro City “Dark Age” begins

       - Fantastic Four Visionaries – George Perez vol. 1

      - Modern Masters – Jose Luis Garcia Lopez

    *Marvel raises the price for most books to $2.50 with Kirkman’s “Marvel Team-Up” the highest at $2.99.

    *Marvel’s Monthly double shipping of books is counterproductive.  If everything was shipped once a monthly, the guys would buy more titles.

    * Book/Series Recommendation – Cerebus by Dave Sims.  (I made it through the 1st two phone books and that was enough for me)

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78

    Episode #11 from April 15th, 2005 – a Bryan & Peter episode


    *The guys hate spoilers. The only thing they want to know is if you think the book is good or bad. No surprises. Peter went away from messages boards (like the Bendis board) because of spoilers.

    Main Topic for Discussion – Comic Book Stores!

    They give us a brief overview of stores in the Philadelphia area, Midtown Comics in NYC, and a store they visited in Pottstown PA. Then it shifts into what they like in stores:

    • Make customers walk through the whole store to get to new books so they see everything
    • Put something different in the store like Japanese Candy.
    • A 50cent or dollar box for back issues
    • A store that looks visually appealing.
    • Things that make you want to stay longer in the store – like comfy chairs with issues of previews.

    Just speaking from experience going to stores between Colorado Springs to Denver area, the best stores I have been at have been well lit, with reasonable open space to walk around the store.  On the bad experience side, There is one store in Colorado Springs that I use to go to somewhat regularly that had too much stuff for the space available and it was a chore to look for anything or just move in the store and it made me not really want to go anymore. Another store in the suburbs of Denver just looked sketchy. Minimal light, not a lot of organization, and hardly no decoration. 

  • CagedEyeCagedEye Posts: 20

    I rather enjoy this thread. I remember Peter Rios had a website where he was doing the same thing. I think you got farther than he did.

  • @CagedEye I am enjoying it as well so far. II try to listen to podcasts at work but the last week or so at work was really busy and the podcast episodes are getting longer now which has slowed me down a little.

    There will some episodes I skip though. Just looking at some future episodes, I have no interest in listening to an interview with the (at least then) head of Wizard or the episode about a Star Wars Fan Film.

    The best part for me so far is just hearing people excited for books that probably nobody has thought of for over a decade.

  • Episode #12 from 12 April, 2005 – A Bryan, Peter, Jamie D, Kevin, and Shane Episode


    * What are a few trades for new readers who have little knowledge of comics/characters

    Jamie - Marvel’s by Busiek, George Perez Avengers, Kingdom Come, DC Archives, Marvel Masterworks

    Kevin – Marvel Essential collections, John Byrne FF, Superman For All Seasons, Green Lantern Emerald Dawn, Mark Waid Flash, Starman

    Bryan – Secret Wars (1980’s), Walt Simonson Thor, Frank Miller Daredevil, Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, Batman Year One

    Shane – X Men Extinction Agenda, DC New Frontier, JLA The Nail, History of the DC Universe, Justice League New Beginnings.

    Peter – George Perez Wonder Woman, Batman Chronicles, John Byrne Superman, JLA Year One

    This is interesting to me. All of these stories are great but do any of them now have any basis on what the characters are like today? Also, several of these book series (like the DC Archives, Marvel Essentials) have been out of production for a long time.


    Podcast Crossover with a question from Los Comics Geekos:

    * What are the worst comics you have ever read?

    Jamie – Superman, The Secret Years. Secret Wars II. 

    Kevin – Anything by Ron Zimmerman

    Bryan – the entire run of Youngblood, Shadow Hawk, JL Ape

    Shane – Spiderman Clone Saga, Batman’s back being broken

    Peter – Any book from Rob Liefield, The JLA issue right after the end of Morrison’s JLA run, X Men Extinction Agenda.

    My answer to this would be the DC Showcase edition of Silver Age Aquaman vol 1.  The art was great but the stories were just awful. Eventually in later volumes, Mera shows up and adds a spark to the book but these stories in the first volume were terrible. In most of them, Aquaman did not even throw a punch. 

    My runner up would be JSA Liberty Files: The Whistling Skull. This has more to due with dashed expectations than anything else. I really thought this was going to a true follow up to the Liberty File and Unholy Three (which were great) but it really wasn’t. By the time I got the first issue and realized that it was not for me, I had already pre ordered the next 3 issues.  

  • Episode #13 from 22 April, 2005 – A Bryan, Peter, Jamie D, Kevin, and Shane Episode

    Back in 2000, the group (along with several other friends) make a comic book serial film called “Crusaders”. They created their own costumes, stories, etc.

    They decided to enter the film to a contest at Wizard World’s Chicago.  Everything was saved on VHS (which was a process) and they made thousands of copies (Sold maybe 20 copies – including one to Joe Quesado and another was gifted to Kevin Smith. They lost the contest to a film featuring a pole dancing Hulk but they did get an indy wrestling match out of the deal.  

  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 4,385

    Worst comics I have read...

    Hmm.... Most comics that are bad enough for me to put on a worst list I won't waste my time to finish. Unless I have a financial investment in the books or it was before the this sucks I'm not finishing policy went into affect.

    Daredevil Redemption - This is a bigoted piece of garbage. There is a good chance I would have punched David Hines in the mouth for about 3 years after I read that story.

    Street Poet Ray 1-4 - Going into this book I knew I was going to hate it, but it is still the lowest selling Marvel book ever created and pure 100% garbage. It has zero redeeming qualities and is completely devoid of any positive qualities.

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78
    edited June 22

    Episode #14 from 24 April, 2005 – A Bryan, Peter, Jamie D, and Kevin episode.


    * Jamie D’s history with comics – started out with Richie Rich and Archie comics.  Got into collecting heavy around 1984. 

    * A discussion on how comics are literature. 

    * DCBS is about to launch “Instock Trades”.   

    Main Topic for Discussion: Comic Book Conventions

    2005 is the first San Diego Comic Con for some of the group – which Kevin notes has become more “Hollywood” than in the past. They are excited because they think the Fantastic Four movie cast will be there.  

    For conventions in general:

    Wear comfortable shoes.

    Wear appropriate pants

    The best day to buy comics is Sunday.

    Don’t buy a book the first time you see it at a con. Check everywhere because prices can vary.

    Go through Artist Alley and buy a couple of books from people

    Don’t be “that guy” who brings 30 books to get signed by one creator

  • RedRight88RedRight88 Posts: 1,985


    Coincidently, the person who beat the CGS guys in that fan-film contest (with a short about the Hulk working as a Chippendales dancer) was Zeb Wells who currently writes the Hellions for Marvel and re-launched the New Warriors series with the reality TV angle they had at the beginning of Civil War.

  • @RedRight88 that is some great info.

    I just got the first Hellions trade a couple of weeks ago.

  • We have reached the first episode that I am going to skip over. Episode #15 is an interview with the creator of a Star Wars fan film which I have no interest in so on to….

    Episode #16 from 28 April, 2005 – A Bryan & Peter Episode


    * The first appearance of Bryan’s wife Tasha.

    - Her first comic book experience was reading the entire Preacher series in trade.

    - Her second book was Ultimate Spider man followed by other Ultimate Titles (Bryan introduced those books to her because there was no history/continuity to worry about)

    - Currently (as of 2005) she is reading Y: The Last Man, Runaways, Amazing Spiderman, Daredevil

    * The first listener submitted “Stump the Rios” questions which Peter aced.

    * The first stump the audience contest – The questions were:

    1. In Amazing Spiderman #400 (April of 1995), Peter Parker recites what quote to Aunt May as she passes away?
    2. Which early Oliver Stone film did Barry Windsor Smith provide on screen illustrations?
    3. Before his 1980’s DC series moved him to Chicago, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) operated in the fictional city known as what? 

  • CaptShazam_JrCaptShazam_Jr Posts: 78
    edited June 23

    Episode #17 from 2 May, 2005 – A Bryan, Peter, Jamie D, and Matt Episode


    • This is Matt’s 2nd appearance but his 1st time really talking into the microphone.
    • Rob Liefeld will be drawing 2 issues of Teen Titans causing angst among the group especially Jamie D and  Teen Titan’s superfan Peter. 

    Main Topic for Discussion – the Eisner Award Nominees for Work done in 2004

    • Most creator nominations – Bryan K. Vaugh with 7 nominations - best single issue/one shot – Ex Machia #1, two nominations for Best serialized story – Ex Machia 2-5 and Y: The Last Man #18-20, Two nominations for best continuing series – Ex Machia and Y: The Last Man, Best New Series – Ex Machia, Best Writer – Y: The Last Man, Runaways, Ex Machia)
    • Nominations for Joss Whedon's Astonishing X Men #1-6 for Best New Series, Best Serialized Story, Best Writer, and Best Penciller for John Cassidy.
    • Best Limited Series nominations for DC’s The New Frontier, We Three by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly, Wanted by Mark Millar and JG Jones,
    • Best Archival Collection nomination for the Complete Peanuts (I have most of these and they are great)
    • Best Graphic Album Reprint nomination for Jeff Smith’s Bone - I have never read this but it may be one of the most evergreen comics ever. I hear about it all the time and it is constantly being solicited in Previews. 
    • Best Cover Artist nominations for James Jean (Fables), Frank Quietly (We Three), and Michael Turner (Identity Crisis),

  • CagedEyeCagedEye Posts: 20
    edited June 24

    Episode #15 from April 25, 2005 - A Bryan and Peter Episode


    First interview

    First mention of Tom Martinek

    It's cute how excited Bryan is that they acually interviewed someone

  • Episode #18 from 4 May, 2005 – A Bryan, Peter, Jamie D, and Matt episode


    • July Previews episode! – Books solicited include: Absolute edition of Batman Hush,  the first trade of the Brubaker Captain America, The Essential Killraven, New printing of Secret Wars, All Star Batman #1, Batgirl Year One, JSA classified #1, Justice League companion by TwoMorrows,
    • A brief discussion on J. Michael Straczynski and how his works usually starts out great and finishes poorly.
    • How @Matt got started in comics – starts out with Amazing Spiderman around the time of the Hobgoblin saga, gets out of comics for a while and comes back in with Batman during the Knightfall event.  Saw the 1st Spiderman movie 10 times in the theater. His why are you (even) in comics list for creator includes – Kelly Jones (draws huge foreheads), Damon Scott (his characters look like stick figures), Chuck Dixon, J. Michael Straczynski, Dave Lapham (was so bored by his writing that he wanted to beat himself with his own arms).

    Main Topic for Discussion – What Indy Comics to read as explained by Jamie D

    IDW with books 30 days of Night, Grimjack, and licensed books like CSI, Angel, 24, etc.

    Burly man – with books like Doc Frankenstein, Matrix licensed books, Shaolin Cowboy (this company has not aged well over time). 

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