It is Jon’s birthday today (wish him a happy one), I gave him the opportunity to pick what ever comic related item he wanted to cover for the podcast. He kept the Dystopian Futures theme going by picking Akira – the anime movie to review.
For those that are not familiar with Akira, here is a little background on the material. It is based on a 1982 Manga series by Katsuhiro Otomo. As it was published in Japan, Marvel picked up the rights to distribute it in America under their Epic imprint. In 1988, Katsuhiro Otomo directed the anime version of the movie. At the time, it cost $5 million dollars to make and was the most expensive animated movie to date. Akira is an epic tale about teen angst, political corruption, family and friendship that ends in a giant psychic battle.
This may be one of the most influential movies of all time. You can see elements of the movie being emulated in other animated shows. Here is a quick clip of Kaneda sliding on his bike how many other shows pay homage to it.
There was talk of an American live action version of Akira in early 2000s but this never happened. Here is what it would have looked like…
Akira is a great movie (and even greater manga) but it does get a little convoluted in the end. I have seen the movie multiple times but still cannot figure out the ending. Jon and I still highly recommend watching it because it still holds up.
We will be doing Dystopian Futures for the near future because in comics, there are hundreds of dystopian future comics and we want to talk about most of them.
This week, we are talking about an Epic Comic that is not really well known called The Last American. It was written by John Wagner and Alan Grant with art from Mike (Mick) McMahon. All 3 creators are based in the UK and created a comic that is an American Cautionary Tale.
The Last American is a 4 issue miniseries originally released by Marvel’s Epic Imprint but it has been reprinted in Trade Paperback by Com.X and 2000 AD Press. It tells the story of soldier, Ulysses Pilgrim who happens to be the last American after a nuclear war. It graphically depicts what the world would look like if there was an actual nuclear war. Is Pilgrim the actual last American or are there others?
It is a fast and frightening read that was really relevant in 1990 which was the height of the Cold War but the story still is relevant today to show you this is what could happen if we were to stockpile nuclear weapons.
If you are a fan of books like The Road and movies like The Moon, then you will really like The Last American.
We’re back with another podcast covering comics and this week, we will be talking about a favorite of mine. A 6 issue miniseries called The One written and art by Rick Veitch.
The One was published under Marvel’s imprint called Epic Comics. Epic Comics was a creator owned comic that had the publishing support of Marvel Comics. We did a 2 part podcast on Epic Comics – they were known for telling mature, thought provoking stories that were different than the main stream superhero comics.
Here are some of the covers to The One…
I was a teenage in 1985 and I remember seeing the cover for issue #1 of the One (It’s a Tide parody) and wanting to know what this comic was all about.
Jon and I are reviewing the trade paperback that was self published through Rick Veitch under his imprint King Hell Publishing. The trade is in black and white but the original Epic Comics were in color.
The One is full of commentary on superhero comics, politics and religion. It was published before Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns and I think most of Miracle Man. Rick explored what would our world really be like if governments really created superheroes. It is a fun story that Jon and I only scratch the surf of reviewing.
If you are interested in reading this comic, you can buy it digitally here through IDW Publishing. We highly recommend checking it out.