Apr 18, 2014

The Melancholy Tale of Charlie Brown and Violet Gray


Anybody who knows Peanuts knows that Charlie Brown is forever pining after the Little Redhead Girl, an unseen character who he never works up the courage to speak with. The earliest years of the strip, however, featured Charlie Brown in an on-again, off-again relationship with another character - a girl named Violet, who was the first major addition to the initial cast after the strip's start. 1953 would give her the surname Gray, a move I can only assume was intended to underscore a parallel between her and Charlie Brown by giving them both color-related last names. (Mind you, it's only ever mentioned once, but feels significant to me in light of very few recurring characters in Peanuts actually having surnames.)

Throughout the rest of the 1950s, the two became less and less friendly. I can't imagine there was any kind of real continuity intended by Schulz, but reading the strips in The Complete Peanuts in sequence as I have been, it becomes painfully apparent that Charlie Brown becomes more desperate to have Violet's approval - to have her as a friend - as time wore on. In a vacuum, you wouldn't really think anything of the individual strips, but looking for whenever the series came back to just the two of them... you feel like you're seeing their relations fall apart piece by piece, like a seaside cliff as it is slowly eroded by the waves of the pounding surf. It might be one of the most subtly depressing things I've seen in comic strips.

(The pink panels come from separate strips - in chronological order, IIRC, but I didn't think to save the dates - while the purple ones are a complete strip from 1952.)

They're playing our song...

Apr 8, 2014

80-Pagecast 27: God Bless America, Captain

Another fortnight goes by and another Marvel movie comes out. So naturally we talk about Captain America: Winter Soldier. Spoilers: we spoil the heck out of the movie. But only after we go through some news and briefly mention Silver Surfer #1, Ghost Rider #1, and Inhuman #1. Of course we wander off topic alot, including talk of Don Glut's odd hobby.

Mar 25, 2014

80-Pagecast 26: We Know Robots

We dig giant robots. So the gang talks about robots, news, cyborgs, Jem, artificial intelligence, Revolutionary War: Motormouth, androids, Transformers: Regeneration One #100, Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #27, Transformers: Robots In Disguise #27, Transformers Dark Cybertron Chapter 12, robot shipping, and that we're still surprised by how much we love Alex Milne. The topic is all robots all the time.

Mar 11, 2014

80-Pagecast 25: Lightning Round

The boys are back to blather on about books and bobs. Chatting about more comics than usual at a break neck pace including Mighty Avengers, Superior Foes, X-Files: Conspiracy: Transformers, Fantastic Four, FF, Revolutionary War: Super Soldiers, Judge Dredd, Archie: The Married Life, Zombo, Moon Knight, Loki: Agent of Asgard, and Hawkeye. We have a topic again, when not having Transformers based digressions. The topic of crazy comics turned into movies because holy crow Rocket Raccoon and Groot are in a movie coming out this year what could be next?

Feb 25, 2014

80-Pagecast 24: Hooked on Feels

The Olympics are over but this Galaxy still needs Guarding. We're doing our best by talking about New Warriors, Judge Dredd, more (surprise) Transformers talk, Amazing X-men, She-Hulk, Death's Head, and many meandering topics along the way such as our love of toys, toys, toys. Don't forget to show some love to Bill Mantlo the creator of Rocket Raccoon. Also share with Jen if you have some left over.

Feb 11, 2014

80-Pagecast 23: Here Comes a New Challenger

The Big Game delayed us, but the Olympics will not stop us. We're back to blather on about this, that, and the other thing with our new old friend Matt. Specifically more on Transformers: Dark Cybertron, touching on Beast Hunters, the new Ms Marvel, and the nude in a shower scene Loki: Agent of Asgard. Also we talk about sports and cassette tapes for some reason. We do so enjoy going off topic.

Jan 27, 2014

Phantom's not good enough for my Granddaughter.

The Phantom was both a daily comic strip and a weekly Sunday strip. The Sunday strips were originally presented in glorious full colour. But they also get printed in black and white. The strip I wanna look at today is from 1955, and it's called A Proper Husband.

The Phantom comic strips had two driving forces for drama back in the day. There were the adventure plots that the Phantom was involved in. Fighting pirates -- that sort of thing. But there was also his romance with Diana Palmer. In fact the romance with Diana was often front and centre as the spur that got him INTO adventures and strips quite often barely had the Phantom in it, for weeks on end, as we followed Diana.

So let's do that. Let's follow Diana for a few weeks, waiting for the Phantom to show up.


Hooo boy. I can already tell this is gunna be good!

Jan 21, 2014

80-Pagecast 22: Rising like a Pheonix

This fortnight we reflect upon comics such as Deadpool Gauntlet, Superior Spider-man (again), Superior Foes (again), Afterlife with Archie (smell), Revolutionary War (UK flashback), Dark Cybertron & Transformers breaking news, Young Avengers (joyously gay), Harley Quinn (girl Deadpool), and 7 Billion Needles (read right to left). Then ramble on some about our favorite & most hated comicbook character resurrections.

Jan 7, 2014

80-Pagecast 21: 2013: A Year That Happened

The Year of the Snake is ending, it was filled with Spider-mans anyway. The Year of the Horse is coming, but Dark Horse won't have Star Wars much longer. We look back at what we read and saw in the last year. The good. The bad. Take them both and there you have this episode. Plus we talk about the Windblade kerfuffle because we are massive Transformers fans.

Dec 10, 2013

80-Pagecast 20: The Island of Misfit Comics

How long will Superman wait for Gadot? Will Amazing Spider-man 2 turn Manhattan into the island of the Sinister Six? All this and more as we talk about those odd little forgotten comics we like to read and wish would get more love. Also we yammer on and get sidetracked about Transformers: Robots in Disguise & More than Meets the Eye in Cyber Monda--- err DARK CYBERTRON, Amazing Spider-man 700.1, and Godzilla: Rules of the Earth.