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How much sin must a man commit in a single lifetime to end up with two Return of Swamp Thing enamel pins?

§ January 31st, 2024 § Filed under pal plugging, podcast, swamp thing § 2 Comments

So a while back, I was a Kickstarter backer for the Rifftrax-ed version of the 1989 cinematic classic The Return of Swamp Thing, now currently available here. As part of my Kickstartering package, I received the following enamel pin:

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Brook (the same one who turned me on to this piece of Nancy art I bought, as well as this “Nobody Loves the Hulk” record) came back from a trip to Georgia, where he visited the Graveface Museum. While there, he picked up for me…a Return of Swamp Thing enamel pin:

Both clearly inspired by the film’s classy and sedate movie posters:

…of which that’s one, and you can see others here (where you can see which posters provided inspiration for which pin). Do I have a Return of Swamp Thing poster? You bet! Do I have the one that has the words “Sheer Nightgowns!” in a balloon burst? I’m afraid so.

And is that all the new Swamp Thing stuff your pal Mike has in his hands? Why no, of course not, thanks to my little envelope-stuffing bull pal, Bully, who mailed me this sticker designed by comics superstar Kyle Starks:

The real mystery here, of course, is how did Bully hold the pen with his little hooves when addressing the letter? Anyway, a big thanks to Bully for this surprise gift!

AND WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Longtime pals Matt and Chris have reached episode #666 of their longrunning podcast War Rocket Ajax! To celebrate this most diabolically evil of achievements, the Bits Boys called for contributions to their regular “Thursday Night Raw” segment revolving around Hell, demons, and all sorts of other deviltry. For those unfamiliar, this segment seeks to find and rank the “rawest” moments in comics.

I had an entry ready to submit for a while now, but never got around to it…but this seemed like the opportune time given the theme. My entry, of course, being from Swamp Thing Annual #2 (1985) by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben, in which Swamp Thing, having journeyed to Hell to rescue Abby, encounters his old nemesis Arcane:

Perhaps…too raw? What do Matt & Chris think of my submission? Other than probably being glad I didn’t make another Frank Miller’s The Spirit joke? You’ll have to listen to find out!

(Also, for the benefit of the boys who appear to have forgotten…I have been a sponsor of the show! Granted, it’s been five years…probably about time to do so again!)

Just a bunch of dorks, hanging out.

§ June 13th, 2022 § Filed under podcast Comments Off on Just a bunch of dorks, hanging out.

So I’ve been on podcasts before…I was on an episode of the long-running Star Trek podcast Look at His Butt (Kirk’s butt, not mine) way back in 2009, and I was on Kid Chris and Dafna’s Bispectacult podcast in 2007 (available here on the Internet Archive). (Don’t ask for part 2…it was never uploaded and long lost.)

And that’s it, right? I never appeared on a podcast again, and all was right with the world.

WRONG, SUCKER, because I was invited to participate in the swell Vintage Video podcast, a show devoted to discussing all the major films of the 1980s in chronological order. I first found out about it when I was going on about the Stunt Rock movie earlier this year, and a longtime customer of mine turned me on to an episode of the podcast discussing that film. While the hosts of the show were not quite as…enamored with Stunt Rock as I was, I enjoyed the show and continued listening, randomly picking out past episodes from their sizeable catalog while keeping up with the new ones.

And here I am, a few short months later, actually on an episode of the show., discussing the 1981 animated cult classic Heavy Metal!

How I came to connect with the show is explained in the podcast itself, right near the beginning, so please give it a listen as I stammer out the story.

Anyway, host Patrick offered to have me on, and I thought Heavy Metal might be a good choice given my background in comic bookery. And having listened to the episode, I think I did…better than I expected to. Granted, Patrick did some heavy editorial lifting, cutting and adjusting and discarding the parts where I sound dumb…more than once I started a comment, paused and said “whoa, I need to try that again” and everyone was very patient with me. I am not a natural extemporaneous speaker, prone to stuttering and misspeaking, and probably something that can be worked out if I did more than three podcast recordings over 15 years, but I think overall I did okay.

One of the things I didn’t get too much into (despite Patrick straight up asking me near the beginning) was my experience with the film itself. I mean, I suppose I was probably old enough to have gone to the movies and seen it during its original theatrical run, though I imagine as a 12-year-old it might have been a trick to manage without a parent taking me. Thus, my viewings of the film were relegated to catching it on cable TV occasionally, probably bits at a time and never the whole thing in one sitting. I know I eventually watched it all properly once it hit VHS, though the circumstances around that are long forgotten. Probably a friend owned or rented it.

In more recent years I borrowed a DVD of it from Netfilx, and just a few months ago I found myself watching it on the Pluto TV streaming service. And now, needing prepfor the podcast, I purchased a Blu-ray for cheap off that Big Internet Store. I officially own my very own personal copy of Heavy Metal that I can watch at my leisure. Though, to be honest, I watched it fairly intently a couple times over the last two weeks while taking notes, so I’m probably good for a bit.

For Look at My Butt, we recorded over Skype. For Bispectacult, we just sat in my previous place of employment after hours, with Kid Chris and Dafna on one side of the table, me on the other, the minirecorder between us. But for Vintage Video…well, I don’t know if they’d want me to go into their full set-up, but there was definitely a table with professional microphones and pop filters that we all sat at. And there we were, Patrick to my left, cohosts Richard and Jesse to my right, and I was feeling just a little gunshy once the actual recording was about to take place.

Everyone made me feel very welcome, however, and my initial nervousness as the actual recording began (you may be able to hear a little warble in my voice right at the start…I certainly felt it!) turned into a genial chat with pals talking about this nutty film. The folks with whom I was recording are well versed in the movie industry, and in fact work in it, and I hope my comics nerdiness kept up with their showbiz nerdiness. It got to be so fun and casual that I would occasionally almost drift away from the microphone before reminding myself “oh, right, we’re recording this.”

I was trying to think of material we didn’t go into that I could cover here, like the name of Sternn’s little floating robot (Beezer…I choked and forgot it!), but I think I hit a lot of the points I wanted to make, that I printed out on notepaper at just slightly too small a font for me to comfortably read. Edited out of the final recording were a couple instances of me saying “hold on, let me look at this.”

It was an enjoyable experience with some great people, and I recommend that you all check out the Vintage Video podcast, even the episodes I didn’t do. It provides a nice overview of each movie, dives deep into the credits of the cast and crew, offers up trivia and commentary along with a synopsis of the film, and makes for an fun and oddly relaxing listen.

I will tell you it was strange to play the final product and have this permanent reminder of a discussion I had a few days ago. Only, y’know, better, with all my weird tics and pauses cut out. Wish I could do that in real life! Anyway, tune in to find out what my favorite line reads of the film were, which segment was my favorite and how I finally realized the story’s connecting element doesn’t really matter except as a red herring, and which segment I never really cared for before but discovered a newfound appreciation! And did I mention a certain other movie during this podcast? Mmmmmmmmaybe.

Thanks again to Patrick, Jesse and Richard for having me.