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Thirty minutes of feisty dialogue a la Siskel and Ebert between 30-ish comic book enthusiasts Seth Thomson and Cory Tadlock.

Target Demographic

Males, postcollegiate, pre-Propecia.

Thematic Considerations

Hosts demonstrate a concern for purity, truth, and the clear delineation between good and evil. They disdain promiscuous use of morphing stories and schlocky art and encourage readers to protest such vulgarities with their pocketbooks.

Representative Excerpt

Seth: Let's move on to some more crap--X-Men.

Cory: This is another great cover that went to hell.

S: Incredible cover.

C: All the X-Men have great covers and nothing came of it.

S: OK. X-Men is basically right now about going into a psycho-wonderland where we can see what-if type things happen all over the place.

C: They used to do this all the time, but it was always [called] "Arcade."

S: They still do it all the time! It's called a "Dream Sequence Issue"!

C: True.

S: It's the same damn thing.

C: But "Arcade" used to do it.

S: "Arcade" did it, right!

C: Yeah.

S: This is a dream sequence--it doesn't count. It's an alternate-reality dream sequence, whatever! Professor X touches Wolverine and suddenly gets his claws and his viciousness and gets an insight into his animal nature.

C: The really odd part was Professor X being like, "Oh, I had no idea you were so visceral, Wolverine!" You've been living with the guy for ten years, how could you be around Wolverine and . . .

S: Uh-hunh.

C: How can Professor X be like, "Oh my gosh, you're an animal ooohhh! Get me back to my wheelchair!"

S: Spawn: The Dark Ages was horrible. This is a perfect example of why we don't need spin-offs.

C: I liked it more than regular Spawn though, because I don't know enough yet about this Spawn character.

S: I don't want to know. I don't care. I don't need alternate Spawns. I don't need alternate Green Lanterns. I don't need alternate Magneto clones. I just want to watch my superheroes and watch my supervillains, watch them all fight it out, maybe learn something about themselves, and prove their powers . . . fight in interesting ways.

C: You want to take it back to the good old days, don't you?

S: No. I want new good old days. That are now . . .

C: OK.

S: That are set now and have continuity and are enjoyable to read and have separate lines for kids and adults.

C: All right. Keep dreaming.

Peek Into Psyche

Cory (lamenting the proliferation of female-centered subplots):

It's because everybody who's really buying comics is lusty old men. We're all over our teens, we're happily married--but we've gotten past all the thrill of lust and youth. So we want to see spandex chicks.

Seth: I'm not going to accept that. Let's move on.

Comics Explored airs Sundays at 7 pm and Mondays at 2 pm

on cable access channel 19.

--Joy Bergmann

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