[SFX: Intro Music]
DOOM DELUISE: Hello and welcome to the latest Podcast of Doom. I’m your co-host Doom DeLuise, and with me as usual is my fellow co-host Jim Doom. What’s on your mind, Jimmy? Can I call you Jimmy?
JIM DOOM: So I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on a steady course of not being very excited about comics anymore. I bought two today. In fairness, I would’ve bought three, but you took the last X-Factor.
[sound of audience saying, “oooh,” in unison]
I wonder if there isn’t a direct relationship between how much extra money I have to throw around and how much I enjoy my comics. When the first variable declines, I become a little more aware of how much joy I’m getting per dollar spent. So that direct relationship is based on an indirect one, that sees scrutiny of entertainment cost effectiveness rise as enjoyment falls. I should make a graph.
I remember back in the early days of grad school when I was working two jobs, taking in a monthly stipend and living in a $300 apartment. I would buy like 10-12 books a week. And I thought comics were awesome.
DOOM DELUISE: I remember back when I was making a [bleep]-ton of money, and I lived in an apartment that was costing me $175 a month with all utilities paid, I was buying about thirty to forty dollars worth of comics a week, and I probably hated most of what I was reading, but I still felt really excited to sit down every week and tackle my new pile. I haven’t felt that way in a long time.
Now that I’m only buying two to three issues a week, I’m finding that I’m not even getting through all of them until my Tuesday afternoon crap.
[sound of audience laughter]
JIM DOOM: Is it due to not enjoying them, or does the declining quantity make you want to save them so you don’t run out of stuff to read? Quality versus quantity, I guess.
DOOM DELUISE: For me, I think it’s just a complete lack of caring about what’s going on, month to month, in my comics. I still buy them because I want to know what’s going on, but it’s not entertaining enough for me to really enjoy it.
Take Captain America, for example. Perfectly good comic. Regularly one of my favorites. But, for the past three to four months, I haven’t really cared about it at all. It’s really boring.
JIM DOOM: I think I subconsciously tend to avoid conflict, and when I sit and read a comic book, that angry part of my brain wants to pick a fight. “You paid $3 for THIS?” So if I put off reading it, I put off that shame.
Not that this was your point, but I’ve actually enjoyed Captain America quite a bit over the past few months. But even with that, I don’t really care what happens next.
One of us should get a really good job and then report back in a few months about how awesome comics are.
[sound of audience applause]
Are there any stories going on that you’re excited about now?
DOOM DELUISE: Even though I haven’t been entertained by it in the least, and have found each successive storyline to be predictable and stupid, I really want to know what happens with Batman. Not the Neil Gaiman one, though. I’m in the very small minority of thinking that was a stupid and boring issue. I just want to know the results of Battle for the Cowl.
JIM DOOM: Do you feel there’s a sense that what is going to happen is going to be somehow relevant or lasting?
DOOM DELUISE: Nope.
JIM DOOM: Yeah, me neither, which is why I don’t care. I think I would’ve cared about Battle for the Cowl a lot more if DC seemed to be taking it more seriously. But they seem to just be taking it as a marketing opportunity to sell a bunch of tie-ins. And they had Tony Daniel write it. And they let us know before it started that Batman is still alive.
DOOM DELUISE: I think Final Crisis went a long way in trivializing the idea of superheroes dying, what with Martian Manhunter’s eulogy asking for a speedy resurrection and Batman dying but not really. If you take away the threat of death or specifically point out that the most dramatic thing you can do in a story is only temporary, you’re just hurting your product in the long run, and I think Final Crisis, with Grant Morrison’s high concept genius behind it, really hurt their entire company.
JIM DOOM: I want to shift the focus a bit. It’s going to be really easy for us to just complain about the stuff we don’t like, and that’s not where I want to go. I don’t think our apathy right now is as simple as “The stories aren’t good,” because I would be willing to assume that if you compare the quality of books coming out now versus even several years ago, reasonable people could conclude that we’re getting better stories now.
So I guess what I’m wondering is if the reason for our apathy is based in the books we’re reading or more in the people who are reading them.
Have we outgrown comics? By “we,” I mean just you and me. I don’t think there’s anything unreasonable in people enjoying comics well into their older years if that’s their thing. But I just got a whole bundle of indie comics in the mail the other day from some publisher whose name I forgot, and I couldn’t help but feel completely underwhelmed by all of them.
Arby’s is hiring Managers and Assistant Managers. We should work at Arby’s together.
DOOM DELUISE: Well, I suppose, in defense of comics, I’ve grown quite apathetic toward most forms of entertainment that I’ve enjoyed in the past. I think the new season of Lost, for example, has been boring as hell. Also, a movie like Watchmen, which is based on my favorite book of all time, which is probably the most faithful adaptation I’ve ever seen, made me want to take a nap, I was so bored by it.
I want to go eat at Arby’s now. Man alive, that sounds good.
JIM DOOM: Is this going to be a good podcast or is this just going to be completely depressing?
[sound of audience booing]
DOOM DELUISE: Tonight’s Lost is co-written by Brian K. Vaughn, so maybe that’s why I hate Lost now. It’s written by a comic writer.
JIM DOOM: Or the fact that every episode he writes is really dumb.
[sound of audience cheering]
I think I want to get a job I hate so then I’ll feel motivated to create in my spare time. Instead, I have a job that requires me to create so that I’ve been conditioned to believe creativity is work and doing nothing is rewarding.
DOOM DELUISE: I think if we get jobs at Arby’s we might start disliking the food, and that would suck.
JIM DOOM: Ooh good point.
I ate at this Brazilian steakhouse on the Plaza in Kansas City last weekend, and it was super amazing, like some of the best meat I’ve ever eaten, but the servers walk around with the 15 different types of meat on these skewers, cutting some off onto your plate whenever you’re ready for more, and it made me wonder if these guys hate the idea of meat by the end of the night.
Maybe I’ll start this paid welder training.
DOOM DELUISE: Washing dishes at Old Chicago made me hate nachos. Can you imagine hating nachos? They used to make me so happy. Now I can’t eat them.
JIM DOOM: Maybe someday you’ll get that loving feeling back.
DOOM DELUISE: I ate nachos in Costa Rica that were advertised as “Nachos as big as your ass!” Those were really good.
JIM DOOM: So you had a period last year when it was okay to eat nachos again?
DOOM DELUISE: Just that once, though. And only because I thought the advertising slogan was funny.
If they’d been advertised as “Nachos as big as our plates,” I don’t think I would’ve liked them.
[sound of audience laughing]
JIM DOOM: Nachos as big as a soup bowl!
Nachos roughly 10 inches in diameter!
[audience laughter stops]
Holy crap, there is actually an ad in the paper for bean walking and detassling. That’s what I did during summers in middle school and high school.
DOOM DELUISE: I should get a job bagging groceries and delivering newspapers and then write a book about how pointless a college degree is.
JIM DOOM: I hope Wolverine #71 is good!
[sound of audience laughter and applause]
DOOM DELUISE: Or I could be a really lazy sack of worthless [bleep] and get a job as a [bleep]ing missionary in Costa Rica, spend every weekend at the [bleep]ing beach, and [bleep] a bunch of locals.
JIM DOOM: Go around peddling superstitions to people. We should go on missionary trips just telling poor, malnourished, underprivileged and thus susceptible people whatever crap we imagine on the spot.
DOOM DELUISE: And then condescend to people who are actually working hard at their jobs and tell them that they don’t have a future and lack ambition to the point where I couldn’t date them.
JIM DOOM: Hold on, I’m starting to think this isn’t just a hypothetical scenario anymore!
[sound of audience laughter]
DOOM DELUISE: I hope Azrael is good so that you feel bad about not buying it. Even if it sucks, I’m going to write a glowing review to make you feel like you missed out.
JIM DOOM: Go for it. I’ll live vicariously through your joy.
DOOM DELUISE: Well, that’s all the time we have for this week. Join us again next time, when we hopefully won’t be such downers. And if you know of any places that are hiring, send us an e-mail!
[SFX: Music Fade Out]