Talking about comic books, TV shows, movies, sports, and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Friday, December 2, 2022

The Week That Was 120222

Twitter tumult, trading cards, shameless plugs

Twitter Tumult

If you're on social media and/or paying even a little attention to the news, you know things on Twitter are...not great. Amidst massive layoffs and resignations involving, reportedly, critical engineers and technicians that know how to keep key functionality running and some questionable management decisions regarding security, bots, trolls, and hate speech, there's plenty of reason to abandon ship outright and/or prepare for the imminent collapse of the platform. 

I'm still there (@AustinGorton), doing my thing, but I've also branched out onto a few other platforms, mostly to stake a claim now ahead of Twitter's demise as we wait to see which site, if any, rises up to take its place. Hive seems like a pretty close comp and a lot of Star Wars and comics Twitter has setup there, but it currently lacks a desktop application and is reportedly being kept running by just a couple guys (which, to be clear, is an impressive feat given the influx of new users), if it's running at all (they shut down their servers to deal with some security issues and haven't fired them back up, as far as I know). Mastodon is basically a slightly more complex Twitter with stronger infrastructure than Hive (thanks in part to being crowd-sourced). In my experience, it seems like it's the preference of the more tech savvy and political Twitter evacuees.  

I have accounts on both, and update both frequently but irregularly (right now, I'm still using Twitter most of all). I also jumped onto Instagram (more on that below), a move I long resisted because it's emphasis on pictures didn't really appeal to me (I'm a words guy) and because it always seemed like the hip social media platform of the youths at a time when I was not one. Now, I'm even less of one, but the youths have moved to stuff like TikTok (and other platforms my old ears probably haven't even heard of). 

At any rate, feel free to look me up on any of those platforms and hang out while we watch Twitter burn. 

Hive: @AustinGorton
Instagram: @AustinXGorton

I'm also on Letterboxd. And have a link tree setup with all this stuff and am doing my best to keep it updated. 

Trading Cards

This week, I started tweeting out a trading card a day from Marvel Universe Series 3. I will continue to do so for as long as Twitter is around, but beginning with the first card of this set, I also started double posting on Instagram. Should Twitter disappear out from under us, Instagram is where I'll continue posting trading cards, and will at least have the full extent of Series 3 available there (vs. starting at some random point). 

Despite my Instragram misgivings, I went with that as my Trading Card A Day backup in part because it is so image-focused (and what are the trading cards if not a collection of little pictures?). But also, because neither Hive nor Mastodon appear to be integrated with any third-party posting apps, which I need to use to schedule the posts in advance so I don't have to do them twice or every day.  

So follow along on either or both, and just know that if we wake up one day and Twitter is gone, the trading cards will still continue on Instagram (I'm also thinking of some ideas to celebrate the 60th anniversaries of both the X-Men and Avengers next year, and whatever I come up with, will be featured on both sites for as long as there are two sites). 

Shameless Plugs

Just ahead of the Andor finale, for Polygon I wrote about the show's depiction of the Empire and what it means for future Star Wars stories. 

Over at Shelf Dust, I wrote about Avengers #197, a seemingly-innocuous downtime issue featuring some classic Bronze Age Avengers bits (Beast and Wonder Man palling it up! Bureaucracy!) that masks a fairly regressive view of women and motherhood as it starts the buildup to the terrible Ms. Marvel story in Avengers #200

Also, I wrote up a Game of Thrones watch order for Popverse. 

What Else?  

What I'm Reading
Shelf Dust began unveiling their list of the top fifty comic book events of all time this week, compiled from the top 10 lists submitted by over 150 critics (including me). At some point I'll probably post the ten I submitted. 

The first two issues of IDW's new Star Trek series have been a blast (issue #2 came out this week). As a big DS9 fan, I love seeing the return of Sisko (it is set three years after the end of that series, and opens with Sisko returning from his time with the Prophets), and the main cast is a great mix of characters from across the franchise. 

What I'm Playing 
I managed Marvel Snap last week; if you're playing (or thinking about playing), check out this article from my friends at Comics XF (I didn't contribute to this one, as I hadn't started playing the game yet. 

The last couple of years my oldest son and I have done duel Lego advent calendars, him the City one and me the Star Wars. I've been tweeting/Instagramming each day's pull as well. 

What I'm Watching 
I enjoyed the first two episodes of the new Willow series; it felt good to revisit that world and those characters, and to have a fantasy series that is first and foremost fun to watch. It is making some stylistic choices I'm not sure are working terribly well, but I do at least appreciate that they're making them, as it helps set the show apart from all the other fantasy stuff that's been streaming of late. 

And, of course, with the Christmas music comes Christmas movies; I'm a Christmas Story guy, but we watched Home Alone last weekend and are doing Muppet Christmas Carol (easily my favorite Muppet movie) with my oldest son this weekend. What are some of your Christmas must-watches? 


  1. forgot how enjoyable a card without 3D gimmicks could be - wish i had some in hand.

    die hard. it's a christmas movie by any sane standard. prancer too, for innocent eyes.

  2. Not a movie, but the Muppet Family Christmas TV special is my all-time favorite (the Fraggles part is a bit of a drag but nonetheless):

  3. For all the Die Hard Christmas movie talk (I don't disagree, it just seems to still be a thing), I'm always surprised that Gremlins doesn't get the same kind of attention. Contrasting to Die Hard, there's at least a gift exchange in Gremlins ;-)

    1. Die Hard is a movie set around Christmas, and I agree that counts as a Christmas movie. But Gremlins is a movie with Christmas woven into its setting, characters, and narrative. It's a movie that's about Christmas, not just during Christmas.

      Also it kicks ass, so that helps.

  4. Mainly Christmas animation for me, though I do like the original HOME ALONE. I always try to squeeze in B:TAS "Christmas With the Joker" when I can find the twenty minutes to spare -- and of course, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, which I plan to watch with my son (and I think there's a new holiday-themed episode of THE SNOOPY SHOW on Apple TV+ this year, too).

    I forgot to respond when you mentioned Marvel Snap last week! If you ever find yourself up against an opponent named Threeve, that's me! (Yes, that is an SNL "Celebrity Jeopardy" reference.)

    For some reason, I've always had trouble getting into STAR TREK comics. It's my own hang-up; I just feel like the series doesn't lend itself well to the format. Glad to hear Sisko is back, though. They brought him back in the novels as well many years ago, but I didn't really like how that panned out.

    (I was all-in on the "DS9 continuation" books when they started way back in , but they lost me fairly quickly with a ton of plot/character developments I didn't particularly enjoy. Nonetheless, I kept reading them for about three or four years before I finally threw in the towel. I haven't really touched any licensed TREK material since!)

  5. My LCS managed to buy a few cases of Marvel Universe Series II and III cards back at the beginning of the summer. I bought a pack for nostalgia and then kind of kept grabbing more every time I went in. I wasn't able to complete either series before the stock ran out but I did get a pretty close on Series III. I even managed to get a Thing and Wolverine hologram chase cards.

    My own Christmas movies are A Christmas Story, Home Alone, Jingle All the Way and I always watch Scrooged when I get around to watching presents.

  6. Hi Austin, it's smart that you're adapting to the changing times. I've never heard of Mastodon or Hive until now, but I've been loving your retro card reviews on Twitter. I feel Instagram lends itself better to image distribution, so I'll gladly follow you there too.
    I comment occasionally on your blog and wanted to say thanks for the X-cellent reviews! Your updates have definitely been a help to me when I need a break at work or if I'm procrastinating. They've really been a great stress-reliever when I'm facing a deadline at work. Your observations and attention to detail in your reviews are both remarkable and funny. It's been a joy to follow your blog for the last few years.
    Since you're into superheroes and comics, you might be interested in following the progress of my TV show I'm pitching to producers, which you can learn more about by clicking the link in my bio.
    Thanks for the reviews and keep up the good work!


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