Speaking of the new stuff, if you’re reading this, it means that we are now at our fancy new URL, xplainthexmen.com! (We almost went with JayandMiles.com, but someone pointed out that we’d have to change it again in a dozen or so years when the Littlest X-Perts come of age and take over, so that just redirects here.) In theory, all of the old links will keep working, but here’s a quick-reference list of where to find what:
iTunes should be showing the correct title now or within the next few days; and your feeds should update automatically.
We’re still working on getting Patreon and Redbubble updated; we’ll let you know as soon as those are moved over (for now, they’re right where they’ve always been).
Obviously, this is a big shift, and it’s involved a lot of coordination, so please pardon any hiccoughs in the days ahead; and let us know if anything’s running wrong, or if you notice the wrong name anywhere!
We were going to wait to announce this until November proper, but we were so excited waiting for the beginning of Secret Convergence that we decided to jump the gun and launch a couple days early.
November’s shirt of the month is… ALL OF THEM. Every shirt of the month ever, back in our store. Check out the designs below–and then read on for a big announcement about the future of the Shirts of the Month!
616 OR BUST – The multiverse is waiting! Design by Katie Moody and J. Rachel Edidin
SO, HERE’S THE BIG NEWS:
When we started doing shirts of the month, we were really excited; and over the last ten months, we’ve had a lot of fun and put out some rad shirts. But we’ve noticed two problems:
FIRST: The nature of the Shirt of the Month program means that either we have to pull some of our favorite designs after just a month; or we swamp the store.
SECOND: Because of the first problem, there are designs–ones we really want to do and suspect you’ll really want to wear–that we’ve been sitting on for ages, both because we don’t want them to disappear and because we’re swamped with the monthly stuff.
Fortunately, one of the nice things about being our own bosses is that we get to make the big calls. To that end, here’s what’s going to happen:
Beginning in JANUARY, we’ll be adding some of those shirts to our permanent selection and phasing others out. We’re not yet sure which; so if there’s one you’ve got your heart set on, NOW IS THE TIME TO GET IT.
From January on, there will be no more shirts of the month. Instead, we’ll be adding new designs–and sometimes phasing out old ones–as we come up with ideas we want to do.
THAT DOESN’T MEAN THE END OF LIMITED-EDITION SHIRTS.
One of the things we want to start doing in 2016 is collaborating with local printers to do limited-edition shirts, probably on a pre-order system. They won’t be monthly–but they also won’t be constrained by Redbubble options, which means things like full-bleed designs and a larger size range on limited editions.
EDITED TO ADD: Yes, all our other shirts are still up, too! You can find the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle at the shop home, or just the shirts of the month over here.
We’ll be doing two panels–including our second live episode! For those of you who caught the Rose City show, this one’s going to be a little different–more continuity, for one–so we really hope you’ll come out and join us! We’ll also be tabling all day, with t-shirts, buttons, the second printing (!) of the zine, and more!
VVCBF seems like a really cool show: free, library-run, with an awesome guest lineup. If you’re in the Vegas area, come out and say hi!!
This is big, y’all. This is really big. We’re talking plot. The Beyonder. Original art by Brandon Graham (above) and James Stokoe (to be revealed). A guest star (also to be revealed).
To follow along with Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts, follow the Convergence on Twitter at @scoipodcasts; on Tumblr at secretconvergence.tumblr.com, and in the hashtag #SCOIP on both–and look for regular updates from all of the participating podcasts.
Will we die? Emerge with new costumes? LEARN TO POOP?
A whole lot of you have been writing in to ask what we think of the recent revelation that the Terrigen Mists are gradually killing off the mutant population of the Marvel Universe. The popular theory of choice seems to be that Marvel has it in for the X-Men: that this is at best a pointless rehash of the M-Day storyline, and at worst a corporate grudge-fueled fictional genocide.
And look: Is Marvel putting more time, energy, and resources into the properties whose entertainment rights they control, and moving those lines front and center in shared-universe stuff? Yeah. But that has been happening roughly forever. In fact, it’s what made the X-Men so prominent in the first place: putting more resources into a line that was at the time tied significantly to the company’s financial success.
This is one of the main liabilities of investing emotionally in a company-owned superhero property: narrative resonance is often going to take a backseat to business. (To an extent, this is one of the main liabilities of investing emotionally in anything that someone else owns or creates: its development will ultimately be informed by priorities other than yours.)
Is Marvel actively sabotaging the X-line? Probably not. Occam’s Razor, y’all: I seriously doubt anyone there has the time–or the imperative–to plan a major arm of a publishing program based on sheer malice. That would be a baffling business move and a phenomenal waste of resources–and it really doesn’t jive with the creative attention that seems to have gone into the post-Secret Wars X-line we’ve seen so far. If Marvel wanted to destroy the X-line, they’d quietly back-burner it, whittle it down to one or two titles–or absorb the headlining characters entirely into other books–and walk away. That’s obviously not happening.
There have been five ongoing X-books announced post-Secret Wars, and we know of at least one other that’s going to be joining them (shhh, don’t tell)–and that’s entirely discounting the many X-affiliated characters who are part of other lineups. You may not like the direction the line is taking–which is fine; again, not every story or arc will appeal to every reader–but the line itself? Probably not going anywhere.
Okay? Okay. So, let’s talk about story.
A lot of the “Marvel is trying to destroy the X-Men” arguments are based on a few preview pages from Extraordinary X-Men, in which it’s revealed that the Terrigen Mists are killing and sterilizing mutants. Which, yes, sucks for mutants, and certainly bodes ill: remember the time Marvel introduced an incurable mutant-targeted virus that devastated the mutant population, destroying the X-line and permanently removing every mutant character from circulation?
Adversity is the bread and butter of good stories, especially good superhero stories. Two of the all-time best–and best loved–Daredevil runs are Born Again and The Devil in Cellblock D, and both of them are framed around horrible things happening nonstop to Matt Murdock. This did not happen because Frank Miller and Ed Brubaker hate Daredevil: it happened because adversity makes for good stories. As a writer, the more you love a character or group of characters, the higher the chances that you will throw them to the tigers just to watch them fight their way out. When you love a character, you give them challenges worthy of their narrative potential–and the X-Men, in particular, are a team and a line that historically have shined brightest with their backs to the wall.
The X-Men have been around for more than 50 years. They’re not going anywhere. The quality–and lineup–and the quality of individual titles will ebb and flow, as will their personal resonance for any given reader. (Remember the ‘90s? We do.) You’ll drift away, or you won’t; and you’ll come back, or you won’t; and either way, odds are good that the X-Men will still be around.
Rachel here! ICYMI, they’ve just announced the casting for the three new kids in X-Men: Apocalypse. Let’s take a look:
Sophie Turner as Jean Grey:
Sophie Turner is the only one of the three I’ve seen in anything, ever; and I could not be happier to see her step into Jean Grey’s bright yellow boots. Turner’s a fantastic actress, and Sansa Stark is basically the Jean Grey of Game of Thrones: completely awesome and chronically thrown under the bus by both canon and audience. (Incidentally: talk shit about Sansa stark in the comments, and we will cut you. Sansa rules.)
Alexandra Shipp as Storm:
Totally unfamiliar with Shipp, but she looks like a baby Storm, and she’s not Halle Berry, so that’s two points in her favor.
Tye Sheridan as Cyclops:
With the caveat that I’m no more familiar with this kid than I am with Shipp, can we take a moment to agree that the correct casting for teen Cyclops is and always will be Swing Kids-era Robert Sean Leonard?