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Hugh Likes Comics: Atomic Robo and the Dawn of the New Era

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Atomic Robo and the Dawn of the New Era #1
Written by Brian Clevenger
Drawn by Scott Wegener
Colored by Shannon Murphy
Published by IDW

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The Skinny: Atomic Robo returns with the most perilous action science adventure yet – Fatherhood.

I’m a sucker for mad science. Arcing Tesla coils, doomsday devices, snappy lab-wear and villainous monologues, give me the whole bit. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always found Clevenger and Wegener’s Atomic Robo so interesting. Being the robot son of Tesla himself, he is the very essence of pulp weirdness, but he constantly struggles to make sense of the world, be it through rigorously mapping non-euclidean spaces or just punching out his velociraptor arch-nemesis, Dr. Dinosaur. He’s the product of mad science, but for the most part he is trying to straighten the field back into something sensible.
This is very much the case in the latest issue, which starts a new story arc, and is a great place for new readers to jump on. Throughout his adventures, Robo has gone from pulp-style adventurer to solider to scientist to tech mogul. But this story puts him in a very different role, that of a father. Through a series of events, he is now the caretaker of ALAN, a networked AI from the 1950’s that has lost its memory, and is effectively a new person. The original ALAN was willing to destroy the world, but Robo has a chance to give it an education, and hopefully a different future.
Clevenger’s writing is as spot-on as it’s ever been, and Wegener’s art remains appealingly chunky. Fans of the character will find plenty to enjoy, and this is a great issue for new readers to pick up. You can find Atomic Robo and the Dawn of the New Era on Comixology or at your local comics shop. And if you like it, there are plenty of back issues to pick through for free over at Atomic-Robo.com.

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Fiction: The Highwayman’s Trial

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“What’s the catch?” The highwayman asked, suspiciously eyeing the fine horse presented to him.
“The trail is simple,” The judge replied. “Just ride through these woods, and you are free to go.”
“What’s in there, then?” He looked out at the dark forrest. It must’ve been a trap, but all the villagers were here, he thought.
“Only the ghosts you take with you, sir.”
The highwayman mounted up, thinking only of how much gold he could get for such a horse and thanking God for superstitious backwaters.
The next day, the horse was found wandering the other side. Riderless, naturally.

This story first appeared as a part of my project Everyday Drabbles! Visit the link for a new free hundred-word short story every day!

Podcast – Nostalgia Pilots 30: Relena’s Smile

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Welcome to Nostalgia Pilots! This week, Hugh, Jurd, Jason, and Spence tackle Gundam Wing Episode 30: The Reunion With Relena!

Click HERE to listen online!

In this episode: Dorothy is kind of a stalker, Quatre has a chance encounter with a kindly apple seller, and Noin’s epaulette game is strong. Plus, the Nostalgia Pilots share some fan theories, and reminisce about the days of Toonami.
Thanks for listening!

 

Podcast: CCR46 – Mickey’s Christmas Carol

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The holidays may be over, but join the Chrononauts Jurd, Rich the Time Traveler, Opopinax, and Hugh for a last bit of cheer as we watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

Click HERE to listen to the commentary track!

And Click HERE to watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol online: Fair warning, this isn’t the file we watched, so caveat viewer!

Chrononaut Cinema Reviews is presented by http://skinner.fm and http://hughjodonnell.com, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Fiction: The Last Tree

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The Last Tree stood in the center of the massive temple complex. Under a searingly bright dome of artificial blue sky, It seemed to glow from darkened entryway.
Julissa approached silently, as reverent as a nun, and knelt among the twisting roots of the towering oak. Its leaves, gold as autumn, made a soft carpet for her. She bent her head, reached out one hand to the rough bark, and murmured a prayer to the last living thing that had ever known the Earth.
A long time later, Julissa stood, and wept as she unhooked the axe from her belt.

This story was originally written as a part of Everyday Drabbles, a new free short fiction project I’m doing over on Wattpad. Each day in 2019 I will be writing and publishing a new free hundred-word short story. Please check it out, and let me know what you think!

Hugh Likes Comics: Conan the Barbarian #1

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Conan the Barbarian #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Drawn by Mahmud Asrar
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Published by Marvel Comics

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The Skinny: A perfectly CROMulent return to comics for the archetypal antihero.

With much fanfare, Conan the Barbarian has returned to Marvel Comics, and his first effort back is pretty good, I think? I should begin this review by saying that I’m not very familiar with the Marvel run that began in the 70’s and added so much to the character’s mythos. I am more well-read on Robert E. Howard’s original short stories, however.
And this comic, to me at least, is good. Aaron tells a nice little Conan story that doesn’t stray from the path of a Conan story. Conan kills a dude for reasons, meets a sexy lady that ALSO kills people and is super into him. Conan sleeps with her even though it is a SUPER OBVIOUS TRAP, and cuts his way out of trouble after the trap is sprung. Aaron’s signature here is in tying King Conan and Barbarian Conan together. It is reminiscent of writing on Thor, contrasting the brash youth with his scarred older self. It works well, and I’m onboard to see where he goes with it.
Asrar’s art is downright gorgeous, all rippling muscle and larger than life figures that can’t be contained by their panels. Matthew Wilson’s coloring is also outstanding, bringing a brightness that echoes the 70’s origins of the comic. The art team has big shoes to fill here, as the comic opens with a double-page collage of Smith and Buscema art.
The comic also includes a serialized prose novella as backup material, written by John C. Hocking, which feels very much in the vein of the original, but it is a bit too early to tell.
Conan the Barbarian #1 is a return to good old fashioned sword and sorcery, with a simple plot and bold and bloody art that leaps off the page. It knows exactly what it is and doesn’t push too far beyond it, but if you’re looking for a simple fantasy adventure for adults, you can find it at your local comics shop or in digital from Comixology.

Podcast: CCRC45-Fraggle Rock S3E22

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Tonight your hosts, Hugh, Rich the Time Traveler, Jurd, and Opop, take in some sweet Henson joy.

Click HERE to listen to the podcast!

And HERE to watch the episode “The Bells of Fraggle Rock” online! This isn’t the same link as we watched, so Caveat Viewer!

Thanks for listening, and happy new year!

Chrononaut Cinema Reviews is presented by http://skinner.fm and http://hughjodonnell.com, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

This post originally posted at Skinner.FM on Sunday, December 30, 2018.

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