“The X-Files” has returned to FOX with the much awaited season 10. Join Mieke Zamora-Mackay as she recaps episode 2, “The Founder’s Mutation.”
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that we here at Biff Bam Pop! love our monsters, our aliens, our paranormal and our conspiracy theories. These topics just seem to root, enjoyably so, deep in our pop-culture love lives. And that’s why we’re enamoured with the comic book series Hoax Hunters, published monthly from Image Comics.
Hoax Hunters scratches that deep-rooted itch in a firm, sharp-nailed, and oh-so satisfying manner. It tells the story of the eccentric hosts of the Hoax Hunters television series – a program dedicated to de-bunking all of those Moth Man, Sasquatch, Chupacabra, Nessie, ghost and witch stories that we’ve all heard while growing up (or when listening to Coast to Coast each evening). Heck, every once in a while these legends still make the mainstream news!
The most recent story arc (issue #’s 0-5 of the series) has just wrapped up and last month saw the release of the first Hoax Hunters trade paperback, compiling them. That book comes highly recommended – exciting times, indeed! But best of all, this week sees the release of issue #6, which starts up a brand new storyline and makes for a great “jumping on” point for new readers.
Find out why below…
I was out with a good friend of mine the other night, who got to talking about one of his co-workers who he labeled a right-wing conspiracy nut.
“This guy talks about UFOs and the Illuminati, all that stuff,” my friend told me. I smiled at him.
“Hey man, I listen to conspiracy theory radio everyday at work. Don’t get me started on the moon landing.” My buddy gave me a once over and started laughing.
“I didn’t know that about you!”
Yup, I love me a good conspiracy. Makes sense then, that I loved the first issue of Hoax Hunters, the new Image comic from Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley.
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Exclusive Interview: Matt Kindt On The Mind, The Artistic Process And His New Monthly Series, MIND MGMT
Last month, the first issue of MIND MGMT, Matt Kindt’s new monthly series published by Dark Horse Comics, hit comic book store shelves with high praise. Of course, it also made our weekly Wednesday Run column! Those with great expectations surrounding the series were not left disappointed.
In MIND MGMT, Matt Kindt, acclaimed artist and author of Revolver, 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man and Super Spy, weaves a blend of sci-fi, speculative fiction and government conspiracy story, that is both action-packed and engrossing. Multiple (and absolutely fun and rewarding!) readings of each issue seem to be the order of the day. He spoke with JP Fallavollita via email about the series, its’ beginnings, his creative process, and the pleasures of monthly comic book storytelling.
JP Fallavollita: Congratulations on a thrilling first issue, Matt! MIND MGMT immediately evokes many different aspects of pop culture and speculative fiction: the stories of Philip K. Dick, the television show Lost and late-night conspiracy radio shows spring to <a-hem> mind. And it’s got a government black-ops twist, of course! What can you tell us about the genesis of the series?
Matt Kindt: It started with the title – I loved those words together – and then started to build something around it. It really just seemed to suggest itself. And I liked the idea of revisiting a sort of “Super Spy” world but in the present day (most of the time) and adding an extra crazy element that I haven’t really played with before with the sort-of-sci-fi mind powers.
Then it’s just a matter of thinking of what kind of people would be in this organization and what would it be like for them? The scenarios and stories then just sort of suggested themselves as well.
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Hoax Hunters, Mad Men, Swamp Thing And The Art Of The Origin Story With Guest Blogger Michael Moreci
All this month at Biff Bam Pop we’re looking at Origin stories – from films and comics and debut albums, to authors and their work. As part of this, writer Michael Moreci has written about the origin of his new series Hoax Hunters (you can read our previous interview with Michael here). For all you aspiring comic book creators out there, this is great insight into one artists’ creative process. Without further adieu, take it away Michael:
Origin stories are boring.
There, I got that off my chest (and I even mean it, in a way).
The necessity of origins stories is an unusual thing, I think, because it’s so exclusive to comics. Not to say other mediums don’t incorporate origins into their narratives (they do), they just don’t have the same level of devotion as comics do. Let’s face it: Comics are obsessed with origins. Year One, Earth One, Season One, reboots, secret origins, on and on. It never stops.
Now, before getting any further, let me preface what I’m about to say with a simple disclosure: I will never, ever be the creator who tracks down reviewers and confronts them about a bad review. Unless the critic gets something egregiously wrong or insults a member of my family, I won’t dissuade—or worse, bully—them from holding whatever opinion they have. So there. That said, I can express some frustration I had over a few reviews of Hoax Hunters #0 in a general way for the sake of this topic.
The Comic Stop Exclusive Interview: Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley and JM Ringuet on Story, Art, Cryptoids And A Comic Book Called Hoax Hunters
A few weeks ago, the Hoax Hunters introductory issue #0, published by Image Comics, made the Biff Bam Pop! Wednesday Run as the hot comic to pick up. You can read that particular column here. Inspired by conspiracy television shows such as Ancient Aliens, Brad Meltzer’s Decoded and Destination Truth, Hoax Hunters turns the genre on its head as the comic book’s protagonists attempt to disprove life’s oddities in front of the camera –while covering up dark mysteries behind it. Writers Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley and artist JM Ringuet were kind enough to talk to Andy Burns and JP Fallavollita via email about the series, the creative process, monsters, cryptoids, television and much, much more.
You probably hear the word thrown out offhandedly; maybe you played a board game when you were in high school; maybe you listen to the wrong radio stations. Maybe it just got shouted down the bar from you the other night in the middle of a heated political discussion after someone’s fifth cheap whisky.
Why is there an eye on a pyramid on the American dollar bill?
Who killed Marilyn Monroe?
What is “Fnord”?
Wait, forget that last one.
What are the dolphins up to?
Why does nobody talk about George Washington’s past as a hemp farmer?
What is the connection between Atlantis and the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine”?
Who are the Illuminati?
And finally… what is the significance of the number five in so many suspicious places?
If nothing else, John Carpenter’s 1988 film They Live, which celebrated its 23 birthday this past weekend, will be remembered for two memorable moments. The first is this:
The second would be one of the longest fight scenes I’ve ever seen, and that apparently found both Piper and Keith David pulling few punches. Sit back and relax for a few minutes and check this out – I’ll be here when you’re done.
Believe it or not, there is actually more to They Live than either of those legendary cinematic moments. What may have been thought of as a simple sci-fi story back in November of 1988 has managed to age nicely, thanks to its overt commentary on consumerism and mind control.
If you didn’t see it back in the day or haven’t caught it in the ensuing 23 years, They Live folows out of work drifter John Nada, who unknowingly uncovers the truth behind the advertising and television we consume. Nada discovers that when he puts on sunglasses he discovers in a church formerly used by rebels, he can see subliminal messages such as “consume”, “marry and reproduce” and, when he spies a few dollar bills, “this is your god”. The sunglasses also reveal that the wealthy elite on Earth are actually aliens who have taken over the planet. Nada manages to convince his new friend Frank of the truth, and the two attempt to reveal it to the rest of the planet. If you’ve got a Netflix subscription, you can watch it here.
Like a lot of John Carpenter’s later work, They Live isn’t as well regarded as films like The Thing or Halloween. It didn’t do huge business at the box office, but it has managed to retain a life, thanks in part to the great performance by Roddy Piper. They Live was Piper’s first big film following his departure from the wrestling business, and he managed to do a great job, playing quiet when he has to and turning it up as the film progresses.
But for fans of conspiracy theories, there are other strengths to They Live, which come from Carpenter’s script (which he wrote under the alias Frank Armitage, a character from an H.P. Lovecraft story). Having grown frustrated with the obsessive consumerism of the 1980’s, Carpenter wanted to clearly attack and demonize big business and corporate monopolies, the wealthy elite looking to take control of our world. He uses aliens among us as the reason North American culture had become so materialistic and devoted to acquiring more and more, but in They Live those aliens are in line with the power hungry people of Earth looking to get rich quick. They Live may have been released back in 1988, but it sure feels like it could be set in Los Angeles circa: right now.
I think it’s pretty fair to say that, as a culture, we can all be influenced a little too easily. Definitely more than we’d care to admit. I don’t know, maybe it’s mass hysteria or something in the water, but I have no doubt there are subliminal messages in the commercials on our tv screens. Probably our movies and music too. How else can you explain the popularity of the Twilight films or Nickleback?
23 years later, They Live continues to live on. What I wouldn’t give for a pair of those sunglasses. How about you?