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Welcome to our newest feature: I&N the Gutter with Scott and Derek, where we go all Siskel and Ebert on some poor, unsuspecting comic book. What you’ll find here are brief snippets of (mostly) unedited transcripts from our never-ending conversations about comics; the raw, unfiltered stuff from which the rest of our writing on the site springs. What it may lack in eloquence we hope it makes up for in spontaneity. Please let us know your thoughts and feel free to chime in!

Our first victim, I mean, entry is:

Sheltered #6

Sheltered #6. Writer: Ed Brisson. Artist: Johnnie Christmas. Colorist: Shari Chankhamma. Editor: Paul Allor. Publisher: Image Comics 

Backstory: Safe Haven is a survivalist camp, stockpiling supplies for what they believe is the imminent apocalypse. It’s a mentality the children of the camp absorbed all too well: convinced that the greatest threat to their survival are their own parents, they slaughter them. Lucas, their leader, tries to hold them all together, but tensions are growing, secrets leaking, and further blood has been shed. All very Lord of the Flies. We join events after issue 5, when the outside world has come a-knockin’.

Discussed: patricide, letters pages, narcolepsy

Derek Mainhart: So, I have to disgree with you about Sheltered.

Scott Carney: Really?

DM: I quite enjoyed it. I thought it was the strongest issue they’ve had since the first one. I really liked it cause its the beginning, the creators set something up and then they blow it up, which is what they did in the first issue. In this case they’re bringing in this guy from the outside world. And I liked his backstory. I enjoyed getting to know him and his loser friends. And then, you know, the sort of expected happens, and now he’s on the run.

SC: I found myself not caring. I fall asleep when I read comics.

DM: Never a good sign.

SC: It doesnt always mean something. Sometimes I’m just reading and I recline and I just pass out. I did fall asleep a couple of times here though, and I do think it was because I wasn’t so terribly engaged. I don’t really care about any of the characters at this point. I understand why he brought in the new characters. I mean after having gone through five issues of developing this little kid-run society after slaughtering the adults and whatnot, and all the conflicts that are extant there, and now to step out of that for a moment and bring in the adult world a little bit more – a very innocent adult world too if you compare it to where the kids are –

DM:  – Right. the guys basically an idiot. –

SC: – yeah – “hey I could use some help over here!” kinda thing. But I think if we look at it in terms of the innocence/experience thing then it starts to take on a role. But do I care about it? And if I’m measuring it that way, I didnt really care about it.

DM: Well if you don’t care about it then you don’t care about it. It’s time to drop it.

SC: Well I dont know about that.

DM: One of the things I liked about the most recent Manifest Destiny, in the letters column – it’s great, funny – but they also talk about their comic reading habits; how they stack their books and what they read first and what the read last; y’know the crap we talk about all the time. And one of them says something like “as soon as it becomes a chore, I’m done”. And I completely agree.

SC: I’ve been saying that with All-New X-Men for 21 issues.

(laughter)

DM: But I liked the switch. The way it ended last issue with the adults coming in shining lights on the camp, they seemed like a threat. But Brisson did a nice job this issue showing that they’re really not a threat at all. And now he’s going to be tracked down by, yknow, kids.

SC: True.

DM: I hope it doesnt become a five issue arc of them tracking this guy, going all Shaolin Cowboy on us yknow, five issues of them just running around in the woods.

SC: That would be awful.

DM: That would be enough to turn me off. I can deal with one issue of that. What I’m hoping happens is that somehow this will complicate things. Like, does this whole series have to be these kids in a bunker? Where does it go? If it ends up, they shoot the guy, status quo, yeah thats not good. Then theyre just spinning their wheels.

SC: Yeah, what’s the point?

DM: Like Revival

SC: Top Ten book!

(chuckle)

DM: So, the big question: Will you pick up the next issue? I’m def still in.

SC: Sure. After that, who knows?

Turning Pages,

Scott & Derek

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