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Announcing www.TheFantasticast.com

Posted in Uncategorized on February 5, 2016 by quizlacey

Announcing The Fantasticast.com, the new home of The Fantasticast.

This blog has served its purpose, but the time has now come for this content to move over to our brand new website. Thanks to our Patreon supporters, we’ve been able to purchase a new website and domain name, and we’ve migrated all the content from here over to there.

So, please join us at our new home, and bid farewell to this site’s horrendous orange-and-black colour scheme!

The Fantasticast: 2015 In Review – Part I

Posted in Podcast, Uncategorized with tags on December 28, 2015 by quizlacey

We’ve got a handful of days between now and the end of the year, so this felt like a good time to stop and reflect on what has been a crazy year for The Fantasticast. Over the next few days, we’ll be looking back at 2015. The comics, the episodes, the guest-hosts, the ripping-off-of other podcasts!

January

FF 113 CoverIt seems like such a long time ago, but at the start of 2015, we were still covering Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s classic run on The Fantastic Four. We started January with Fantastic Four #98 – Mystery On The Moon. Produced to celebrate the 1969 moon landing, this issue wilfully ignores established continuity, and earned Marvel a letter from NASA pointing out that they were perfectly capable of landing on the moon without any fancy-schmancy superheroes lending a hand, thank you very much. Did I say NASA? I must have meant J. Jonah Jameson…

FF 114 coverThe last few issue of Stan and Jack’s collaboration on the Fantastic Four were not their best work together, and Fantastic Four #99 – The Torch Goes Wild is a particularly strong example of how out-of-sync the two creators were. We also took a brief peek at Silver Surfer #17, and had some fun answering the 1970 Marvel Readers’ Survey. Most likely because we really didn’t want to talk about this comic…

The Fantasticast Episode 115 (300)We our first major milestone with Fantastic Four #100 – The Long Journey Home. This was the first big Marvel anniversary celebration. I think it’s fair to say that they learned a few lessons from this one, such as ‘how not to do an anniversary celebration comic’. We learned, after the recording, that this comic had originally been planed to be an annual-sixed issue, which accounts for some of the problems with this one. But not all…

Late January saw the release of the first full-length Fantastic Four trailer, and we sat down to give our thoughts on it for a Midweek Minisode. It’s worth remembering that there was a point when one of us still hoped that this film wouldn’t be terrible…

FF Episode 116 image

Finally, we finished January with a late resurgence of quality, when we covered Fantastic Four #101 – Bedlam In The Baxter Building. This issue features The Maggia, the organised crime syndicate who definitely aren’t the Mafia, and a real sense of danger and fun, which is more than can be said for the Inhumans feature in Amazing Adventures #1, which we also covered.

February

The Fantasticast Episode 117 (300)February saw us welcome our first guest-host as Micheal Leyland of Heykids Comics joined us to bid farewell to Jack Kirby. Together, we covered Fantastic Four #102 – The Strength Of The Sub-Mariner, the first of a three-part story that would require some significant help to finish off. We also took a look at the Inhumans feature in Amazing Adventures #2.

The-Fantasticast-Episode-118Things took a brief diversion, as we took an episode to review the achievements of one of the greatest runs of comics – Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four. As well as our own thoughts and critiques, we also solicited feedback from our listeners for a bumper episode. And, to wrap things up, we also took a look at the 2008 one-shot Fantastic Four – The Lost Adventure, which recreated a rejected Fantastic Four comic from Jack Kirby’s incomplete artwork.

The Fantasticast Episode 119 (300)Fantastic Four #103 – At War With Atlantis saw the first appearance of short-term Fantastic Four penciler John Romita Sr. Picking up another artist’s plot and running with it is not a great situation, but Romita managed to bring focus, pace, and Richard M. Nixon to the story. We also took a brief look at Sub-Mariner #30 and Fantastic Four Annual #8, for those keeping track of Namor’s solo title, or reprints.

The Fantasticast Episode 120 (300)Stan Lee and John Romita concluded the first continuing FF story in over a year with Fantastic Four #104 – Our World — Enslaved! Handily, Roy Thomas mirrored this invasion of New York with one of his own in Avengers #82, which afforded us the opportunity to compare Lee and Thomas’s approaches to similar plots. We also had a look at Sub-Mariner #31.

March
The Fantasticast Episode 121 (300)March kicked off with our coverage of Fantastic Four #105 – The Monster In The Streets, the first post-Kirby issue and the first signs that the book would be able to continue without one of the major creative forces that brought the title into being. Despite the editorial shenanigans that suddenly removed Crystal from the book, this was a surprisingly strong issue, considering that it came at a time of great change.

The Fantasticast Episode 122 (300)

The post Lee/Kirby era continued with Fantastic Four #106 – The Monster’s Secret. I recall rather enjoying this issue at the time, but details of what happened or why I enjoyed it escape me eight months later. The show-notes suggest that Andy and I had a disagreement during the recording, but again, I forget about what. I suspect Andy hasn’t, though – he tells me he’s tattooed my transgression on his arm so that he will always be reminded of it. Unless he’s wearing a jumper.

The Fantasticast Episode 123 (300)Fantastic Four #107 – And Now – The Thing! marked the debut of regular Fantastic Four penciller John Buscema. Unfortunately, it was also the first of four issues to feature the villain Janus, one of the more underwhelming adversaries of the Fantastic Four that we would encounter this year. Come for the artwork, stay for the spelling mistakes and the consequences of said spelling mistakes.

We’ll be back tomorrow to take a look at what happened to the show in April, May and June!

Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11, 2015 by quizlacey
Art by Brandon Graham

Art by Brandon Graham

Announcing (sort-of, it’s been out there for a few days) Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts!

As mentioned on this weekend’s Fantasticast, a whole slew of amazing podcasts are coming together from October 29th for a massive podcast crossover. We’re very pleased to signal-boost this event for a number of reasons. First, it sounds amazing. Secondly, one of the podcasts taking part is the excellent Rachel And Miles X-Plain The X-Men, who have taken the time on their show to give us some promotion, and we are more than happy to return the favour. Thirdly, one of the podcasts taking part is the excellent House To Astonish, and Al Kennedy joined us last summer for our coverage of Fantastic Four Annual #6.

So, without any further ado, here are the full details of the crossover:

The Event

Mark your calendars for 29 October – nine of the top podcasts in the world of comic books, including The Fan Bros Show, Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men and War Rocket Ajax, are coming together for a blockbuster crossover series of round-table discussions.

The event, titled “Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts”, will feature each show in the line-up hosting one episode, with guests from the eight other shows making special appearances to chew over the weighty questions (and some not-so-weighty ones too).

The crossover will see the Beyonder transport the podcasters behind The Fan Bros Show, Into It with Elle Collins, SILENCE!, Less than Live with Kate or Die, Journey into Misery, Wait, What?, House to Astonish, War Rocket Ajax and Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men to the podcast arena of Battlepod, to help him better understand the worlds of comic books and comics culture. If they succeed, all they desire will be theirs…

Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts features specially-commissioned art by top comics creators Brandon Graham and James Stokoe.

The Plans

It all starts on 29 October with Episode One (Fan Bros), which sees host DJ BenHameen welcome Graeme McMillan, Rachel Edidin and Chris Sims to finally answer the question of Who Would Win In A Fight?

Episode Two (Into It with Elle Collins) features host Elle Collins alongside Helena Hart, Rachel Edidin and Matt Wilson and consideration of the best of Comic Book Movies.

Episode Three (SILENCE!) has host Gary Lactus accompanied by Al Kennedy, Chico Leo and Kieran Shiach as they mull over Are Things Better Or Worse?

In Episode Four (Less Than Live with Kate or Die) we join host Kate Leth as she talks The Comics We Sharewith The Beast Must Die, Elle Collins and Al Kennedy.

Episode Five (Wait, What?) brings together host Jeff Lester and guests Paul O’Brien, Chico Leo and Gary Lactus to talk about Characters We Used To Love (Or Hate).

Episode Six (Journey into Misery) gives host Kieran Shiach and his guests Graeme McMillan, Rachel Edidin and The Beast Must Die the chance to name their favourite D-List Good Eggs and Bad Eggs

Episode Seven (House to Astonish) sees host Al Kennedy discussing comic book Guilty Pleasures with Helena Hart, Jeff Lester and Elle Collins.

Episode Eight (War Rocket Ajax) features hosts Chris Sims and Matt Wilson and guests Elle Collins and DJ BenHameen going in-depth on the topic of Comics Characters We Identify With.

And Episode Nine (Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men) assembles a formidably knowledgeable team, as hosts Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes are joined by Paul O’Brien and Kieran Shiach to discuss matters of Complex Continuity.

The Shows

The Fan Bros Show is the “Voice of the Urban Geek”. Fan Bros discusses the week in geek while keeping an ear to the street for the topics and controversies that affect the world of fandom. Hosted by DJ BenHameen, Chico Leo and Tatiana King-Jones. http://fanbros.com

Into It with Elle Collins is a weekly podcast about pop culture by Elle Collins. In each episode, Elle talks to a guest about their pop culture obsession.  http://intoitpodcast.com

SILENCE! is a podcast featuring cosmic comic book discussion and songs from Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die of Mindlessones.comhttp://mindlessones.podomatic.com

Less Than Live with Kate or Die is a bi-weekly podcast about comics from all angles, hosted by New York Times best-selling comic creator Kate Leth. http://villagesoundcast.com/less-than-live-with-kate-or-die/

Wait, What? is a podcast ostensibly about comic books and graphic novels, in which hosts Graeme McMillan and Jeff Lester swap stories, theories, and jokes about all aspects of pop culture…but especially comics. http://waitwhatpodcast.com

Journey into Misery is a podcast that seeks to unravel the continuity mess that comics have wrought upon themselves, with Kieran Shiach explaining the worst offenders to comics beginner Helena Hart. http://kingimpulse.com/journey-into-misery/

House to Astonish is a bi-weekly podcast about comics hosted by Al Kennedy and Paul O’Brien, covering super-hero and non-super-hero books alike, with a round-up of comics news, reviews of new books and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, which is where things get silly. http://housetoastonish.com

War Rocket Ajax is a podcast about comics and pop culture, destructive in its awesomeness, hosted by Chris Sims and Matt Wilson. http://warrocketajax.com

Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men is a weekly podcast where hosts Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes walk you through the convoluted continuity of our favorite superhero soap opera (because it’s about time someone did). It was recently named “The One Podcast To Start With” for comic books by Vulture.com http://rachelandmiles.com

Further details can be found at http://secretconvergence.tumblr.com or by following @scoipodcasts on twitter

Nine Worlds GeekFest 2015 – Find Steve

Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2015 by quizlacey

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Hey folks, Steve here.

The Nine Worlds GeekFest 2015 will be taking place this weekend at the Radisson Blu Heathrow Hotel. If you’re there, then there’s a good chance of tracking me down for the purposes of making me really embarrassed and awkward. Also, nice things as well, but I can definitely guarantee the awkwardness! I’ll be working as a full-time steward during the days and evenings of the convention, and as the evening becomes the night, you’ll probably find me in or near a bar.

On Saturday 8th August, I’ll be taking part in three panels as part of the podcasting and comics tracks of programming.

First up, at 10am, I’ll be taking part in:

Show, Don’t Tell: Wordless Comics – Why make wordless comics? What do they represent?
Connaught A, 10:00am – 11:15am (Comics)
Tracks: Comics
Sally Jane Thompson, Sarah Gordon, Kieron Gillen, Howard Hardiman, Steve Lacey

From sign-language to space to animal speech, why make wordless comics and why are they so effective?

Yes, that’s Kieron Gillen on the panel. Of Phonogram, Journey Into Mystery, Young Avengers and The Wicked + The Divine fame. And Howard Hardiman of The Lengths fame. And Sally Jane Thompson of several awesome UK small press comics. And Sarah Gordon, who is, admittedly, a creator I’ve not yet experienced. If you’re wondering if I’m feeling a little out of place and under qualified to be on this panel, then you’re a little right. But, having spent the past few weeks reading comics without dialogue (including more comics from Marvel’s ‘Nuff Said event than I’d really like to have done), I’m looking forward to seeing what the discussion turns up.

At 11.45am, I’ll be pulling on my podcaster hat and participating in:

The Second Annual Podcaster Games – The ultimate geek quiz
Room 32, 11:45am – 1:00pm (Podcasting)
Tracks: Podcasting
Simon Potthast, Anne Louise, Alasdair Stuart, Dan Marshall, Barry Nugent, Gavin Jones, Marguerite Kenner, Steve Lacey

Come see Dan and Gavin from the Sidekickcast preside over the second annual podcaster games, and see which of our teams are worthy of winning the coveted ‘Golden Mic’.

I’m not sure what to expect from this panel, other than that I’ll probably either do really well or really terribly. Either way, I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun!

Finally, at 8.30pm, it’ll be an evening of discussion on space and comics, with the wonderfully-titled:

Laika biting Thanos: Galactic Comics – Five ten-minute talks on SPACE and AWESOME Updated!
Connaught A, 8:30pm – 9:45pm (Comics)
Tracks: Comics
Ed Fortune, Hazel Southwell, Natalie Wilkinson, Steve Lacey

Four speakers present different aspects of cosmic comics: from whether tech leads comics or the other way around, to why we can’t stop thinking about Soviet Space Dogs, via a whole lot of prog headgear.

I’ll be talking about the first comics I read which took me into space, how they influenced me, and why they’re amazing comics that genuinely transcend the medium. As for what these comics are… well, I don’t want to give too much away just yet. But don’t worry – all will be revealed on this weekend’s Fantasticast.

I hope that some of you (admittedly, it’s going to be a very small portion of our audience) are heading over to the convention, and I look forward to meeting you there!

The Fantasticast Episode 136: Fantastic Four #120 – The Horror That Walks On Air

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 11, 2015 by quizlacey

The-Fantasticast-Episode-136

Andy’s Astonishing Agatha Adoration

Hello, and welcome to episode 136 of The Fantasticast. Each week, Steve Lacey and Andy Leyland guide you through every issue, guest-appearance and cameo of The Fantastic Four.

This week, it’s the return of our fearless leader to the Fantastic Four. Face front,, frantic one – Stan Lee’s back to write Fantastic Four #120. And he’s brought with him a whole load of original ideas, and definitely hasn’t written a story with more than a few parallels with a classic issue of the Fantastic Four. Gabriel The Air Walker has arrived to… er… and the Fantastic Four have to… er… It’s time for Plant T – T for Taunt!

As well as this, we have one of Steve’s favourite number one singles of all time, and after weeks of teasing, we reveal exactly what we’ll be doing in our special episodes across the rest of July and early August.

We are eligible for nomination in the first UK Podcasters Award, in the Games & Hobbies category. Across the month of July, you can visit http://ukpodcasters.com/directory/podcast/the-fantasticast/ and click the nominate button. You can nominate us once per day between now and the end of the month, and we would be very grateful if you would be able to do this.

Click on this link to go to the libsyn page for this episode, or listen below.

Send in your feedback to fantastic4podcast@gmail.com, leave your comments at the libsyn site, or at fantasticflameon.wordpress.com. Follow us on twitter, where we are @fantasticast

Original artwork by Michael Georgiou. Check out his work at mikedraws.co.uk

Episode cover design by Samuel Savage.

Elemental Micah by Michael Georgiou

Posted in Uncategorized on June 21, 2015 by quizlacey

Michael Georgiou is one of my closest friends, and the man behind the wonderful Fantasticast artwork. I first met Mike at my first Thought Bubble Festical in 2012, where he was sharing a table with Fantasticast guest-host David Wynne. We quickly become good friends and, for my 30th birthday, he presented me the artwork for use in the show. We decided to thank him by having him join us as guest-host for episodes 64 and 65, featuring the first appearance of the Kree, their Sentry, and the Supreme Intelligence.

Mike’s creator-owned comic series is Elemental Micah, published through Orang-Utan Comics:

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When you lost your virginity, did you feel like a God? Micah did.
For a guy who is overweight, slobby, gay with very poor eyesight, a very broken nose and a name people never seem to get right, you wonder whether the Fates were on the ale when they were choosing him.
Or did the Fates choose him?
How did he gain these powers? Did he earn them mystically, inherit them from his family or was he in contact with a radioactive animal of sorts?
And what’s the purpose of having these powers? There aren’t any super villains around, so who does he really have to fight? Is there actually a need for a person with such luxuries if, as it is believed, he is the only one?
Until he finds out, he’ll keep having his misadventures with Dana, Simon, and his dog Alfonzo, and hopefully he’ll discover the meaning of his existence.

This weekend, he’s redesigned and relaunched the website for Elemental Micah, and to celebrate, the first four issues are available on a pay-what-you-want basis. Please do head over and give the series a read, and throw some money in the direction of one of our guest-hosts and of someone who has done some wonderful work for our show!

Fantastic Four #29: Property Damage 26

Posted in Property Damage, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2015 by quizlacey
Fantastic Four #29, page page 4, panel 4

Fantastic Four #29, page page 4, panel 4

Fantastic Four #29: Property Damage 26

Written with a dash of greatness by: Stan Lee

Drawn with a hint of glory by: Jack Kirby

Inked with a touch of drama by: Chic Stone

Lettered with a bottle of india ink by: S. Rosen

Does the Fantastic Four get more classic than this? An angry, emotionally fraught Ben Grimm causes unintentional property damage in a pique of self-pity. The drama crosses the line into melodrama, but it’s broadly drawn emotional dilemmas like this that encapsulate the appeal of Marvel Comics in the 1960s.

Talking of broadly drawn… the standard convention is draw The Thing with many small rocky elements. The larger plates, as seen across his back here, are a great example of how he was envisioned by Kirby before he settled on the greater detail a couple of years down the line. I rather like it, as it plays to the strengths of Chic Stone, allowing for some great detail on the shading to suggest variations in depth.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #29 on our thirty-second episode: Now With Genuine People Personalities

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_32.mp3]
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