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War Rocket Ajax #130: The Listener Questions Special

Instead of our usual format of comics reviews, recommendations and interviews, this week’s episode of the War Rocket Ajax podcast opens up the floor for a listener question special! Chris and Matt answer everything our listeners have to ask — and you can listen to the whole show right here at ComicsAlliance!War Rocket Ajax #130: Church On Time Listener Question Special
(WARNING: Contains NSFW language)

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This week, it’s straight heat as we tackle questions about our history with Heroes Reborn:

CHRIS: Have I talked on the show about when I was fourteen and I had to choose a subject for a five-paragraph essay, and I wrote a refutation of Kevin Smith’s televised 30-second review of the Rob Liefeld/Jeph Loeb Captain America #1? Have I talked about that?

MATT: I don’t think so.

CHRIS: There was a show on the Sci Fi Channel called The Anti Gravity Room that was a comic and video game review show, and on one of them, they had Kevin Smith at a mall, and one of the things he did was a bunch of short reviews for some comics. At the time, I was really into Kevin Smith, but I thought he was super wrong to say that this Rob Liefeld Captain America comic wasn’t good. So I wrote about it. I defended Liefeld Cap #1, and then my teacher said “Hey, this essay is good, but you really need to stop writing about comic books and grow up.”

MATT: Oh wow.

CHRIS: So f*** you, buddy!

We also define the term “high concept,” which we like throwing around:

CHRIS: As I understand it, “high concept” just means that the concept is of utmost importance in the story. The concept is the selling point and what it’s built around, and generally it’s something that you can describe very succinctly that gets you everything you need to know to build that framework around. Like, Die Hard would be a high concept movie for me. It’s a guy trapped in one building with terrorists. “The Punisher becomes a Frankenstein’s monster” is everything you need to know to know if you want to read that story or not. That’s how I interpret “high concept.” It’s putting the premise of the thing above everything else. It’s not character-driven or dialogue-driven, it’s concept-driven.

MATT: I think you have to separate the term “high concept” as a noun. The high concept of a story is different from a story being “a high concept story” as an adjective. The high concept of a story is that premise.

CHRIS: If the title explains it, like Snakes on a Plane?

MATT: The point I was making is that “high concept” the noun is the thing that’s the main premise, like a hospital that is awesome and has all these characters that play off a particular gimmick, or “it’s a noir story, but there are robots!” Those are the high concepts. What makes a story high concept is being one where how you would describe it is like that twist on the idea. It doesn’t fall into predictable genre tropes. Like “this is a romantic comedy,” and that’s all you need to know about it. “This is an action movie,” and that’s all you need to know about it. It’s more like “this is a romantic comedy that does certain things that are different from other romantic comedies” or “this is an action movie where helicopters get into fistfights.” Something like that.

Plus, find out about our first crushes, and way more embarrassing details that you requested!

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