Funny Books After Hours: Coconut Comic Shop

In our Funnybooks podcast, we focus on current events, and usually large events.  Most times, the conversations are constrained so that we can fit everything into an hour or so, but here at Funnybooks After Hours the discussion continues to topics not covered, greater questions of events in comic past or whatever else strikes our fancy.

Walking up the alley, you are unsure if this is the right place.  A non-descript door halfway down the alley catches your eye and after a brief scan of the area, you see the marker that indicates that this is in fact the place.  Etched into a brick above the building is a bat symbol with an ‘X’ through the middle and a lightning bolt below it.

Knocking on the door, you hear a grating sound as a man with a luchador mask and vampire fangs opens the door, “What’s the password?” he asks.  “Beak is lame” you reply, nodding as he steps aside.  Visibility is limited, but as you look around you realize that you found the place.  Stepping up to the microphone, the five recliners are set up on a small stage in the back, as the crew eagerly awaits the question that drove you all the way here, to this secret place.

This week’s question:

You’ve been stranded on a deserted island.  You can get only one comic book series at your P.O. box by the coconut tree.  What one comic do you get still and why?

Paul  responds very quickly, “Ya know, at first I tried to approach this from a practical viewpoint – as in, what is one comic out there, published on time every month (so I have that to look forward to on the deserted island on time, every time) in which I could enjoy a self-contained storyline?  Not in each issue, but I mean something that never crossed over, or that I’d have to lose half of the story (or more) because I could only get one comic on this deserted island.  Sadly, I couldn’t think of a SINGLE superhero comic series at first that fit that mold.  And no, X-Men Forever doesn’t count because it’s done in seasons, not monthly.  I’d be pissed if I had to wait 3-4 months between mini series.”

“So ultimately I came to three options – the two that are bang for my buck, Justice League of America or Avengers, so I get all of my favorite heroes in one book, even though the quality is questionable.  Or do I go with quality, which brought me to The Flash or Deadpool.  Though they have something to do with larger storylines (Brightest Day/Heroic Age) and will probably cross over with other titles, I’d forgive all of that because of quality and because they’re just pure fun.  Ultimately, though, I ended up on The Unwritten.  It’s well written, always on time, and actually has all of the criteria I previously set – it’s self-contained, so I don’t have to worry about other books crossing over.  Plus, each issue takes a little while to read – always a plus.”

Wayne nods thoughtfully, “Paul makes some good points.  I wouldn’t want anything that is likely to cross over and leave me with only part of the story.  That in mind all the big Marvel and DC titles are out.  I also don’t want something that is just going to get canceled so anything that doesn’t have a pretty solid track record is also out.  Sorry Irredeemable you are just too new to be in the running.  I also don’t want to pick something that frequently changes writers\artists because I could easily end up hating my only title.  So all this in mind I’m left wondering what book is consistently high quality, comes out on time every month, won’t crossover, and has at least 70 or so issues worth of history with the same creative team.  The only title that meets all those for me is Invincible.”

Tim shakes his head as if crossing stuff off his mental list, “I did not even think of crossovers!  Argh!  That makes this a harder decision.  I know for a fact that if this happened, I would pick Knights of the Dinner Table.  I love getting this every month, and I re-read these things dozens of times.  It’s not about art for sure, but it’s like hanging out with your old gaming group, even with all their flaws brought to light for all to see every single issue.  A ton of laughs, and for sure what I’d want forwarded to Lost Island.”

“However, if you consider that a gaming magazine (and it does have other content) that makes this much harder.  What If would have been my choice but that isn’t a comic that is currently in circulation.  You get two things from a What If, you get an explanation of what really happened, and you get a done in one story tying to it.”

“So with those options gone, I’ll go with Thor.  Yes, I might miss out on parts of stories on crossovers, but typically the Thor arc has been very much told in it’s own books, with only small hints of what is going on in the rest of the Marvel Universe.  This is easy when you’re in Asgard trouncing Ulik and what have you.”

“I always think about these things too practically.” Paul continues, “It’s like…well, if I can get comics, why don’t I just climb onto the comic-delivering boat and get the hell off the island?  I like to think of it more as ‘You’ve been locked up in prison, and because the prison guard has taken a liking to you, he’s promised to bring you one comic a month and slip it under your cell door for you to read.’ Ah…just re-wording the question like that sets my inner nitpicker at ease…”

Wayne turns to Tim, What If would have been a great choice if it were running.  I’s a shame all we get from What If now are yearly one-shots that are not very good.  When will Marvel learn that two stories are not better than one when they are not giving room for either of them to be fleshed out?”

Paul turns to Aron’s chair to find Aron missing, and Jonathan sitting in it, feet over the armrest, “This was an easy choice for me. X-Men: Forever, of course. If Second Coming wasn’t going on right now, this would be the best series in my pulls.  #1 – It’s not set in regular Marvel continuity, so I wouldn’t have to worry about crossovers with books I can’t get.  #2 – It strokes my nostalgia for the early 90’s X-Men in art and story.  #3 – It comes out twice a month (not including Annuals, Giant-Size, etc.)”

“If X-Factor Forever had not been a miniseries I might have picked it for similar reasons.  Damn Marvel again for being a tease.  They just had to dangle the carrot out in front of us and then hit us with a great big stick labeled ‘mini-series’” Wayne bemoans, taking a tug of his drink.

All eyes from the group turn towards the shady characters sitting in the area commonly referred to as ‘The Peanut Gallery’. “Anyone have a different opinion?  Any other questions tonight?”

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