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Dollar Bin Discoveries: Wild Thing and Lola XOXO

Jessika: M oh, my God. I'm not clever right now. This is horrendous. I'm so sorry. Oh, my God. Hello. Welcome to Tencent Takes, the podcast where we dig into those dollar bins one issue at a time. My name is Jessica Frazier, and I'm joined by my co host, the rabid researcher Mike Thompson.

Mike: Look, we've been over this before. I literally had to go to the Er for Rabies, but was covered by your insurance. That's a loaded question, and it's too fucking.

Jessika: Oh, my goodness.

Mike: Dear listeners, if you ever want to hear about how broken the medical system is, just ask me about the time I had to go to the Er for Ravies and the ensuing year of legal billing drama that I had to go through.

Jessika: And Mike, remind us. Because of what animal?

Mike: Because some fucking bat landed on me in the middle of the day.

Jessika: Uh, I'm sorry, is this the start here? Are you a billionaire?

Mike: No, I am not.

Jessika: I'm hearing the, like, Batman Animated Series music in the background right now.

Mike: That's not how Batman's origin happened, and you know it.

Jessika: You're right. We all miss Uncle Ben. Oh, my God. If anybody's listening for the first time, they're like, I don't know what podcast I'm on, but it's not the right one. Well, you have reached one of our Zany Dollar Bin Discovery Minisodes. And if this is your first time joining us for one of these mini episodes, these are meant to provide you with some weekly content between our more in depth discussions about the weirder and interesting moments of comic book history. We had one two weeks ago. It was a ton of fun. Check it out. It's our newest series under the, uh, collective Tencent Takes Universe, as it were. Everything is canon so far.

Mike: There's no retcon yet.

Jessika: Not yet. Well, I can't say I'm not a big fan of Red conning. Now I'm imagining what I could retcon about our show anyhow. Huh. So, Mike, what have you been discovering in those dollar bins? Those dollar dollar bins.

Mike: So the one I'm talking about this week is actually one that you picked up for me at Outer Plains in Santa Rosa when they were having their giant moving sale. It is Wild Thing One. Or, uh hold on. So the title on it is a little bit strange. It's either Wild Thing all one word, wild Thing two words. Or it is. Nikki Doyle wild thing. It's a little mysterious, but whatever. So this was published in 93 by Marvel UK. It was written by Simon Jowett, the art was done by Duke Mighton, it was colored by Steve Whitaker and lettered by Elita Fell, as well as edited by Michael W. Bennett. And this is part of that exciting era, uh, for Marvel UK in the early 90s where they had lightning strike and they were suddenly doing all this really weird, interesting Sci-Fi fantasy stuff before Marvel just kind of milked that cow beyond dry. It's set in this dystopian cyberpunk version of 2020 New York and mightn't art makes it look super grimy, which is kind of great. Like, it's not all neon. Uh, it looks pretty gross. And basically, in the storyline, VR has come to pass, and it's generally viewed as this form of kids entertainment that people grow out of, but some people get addicted to it, and then they start seeking out, like, hot programs is what they call it, that let them immerse their brains in more and more thrilling programs. But you eventually need these programs that are effectively illegal because they deliver such a VR high. And then also, some of these might be illegal because they're allowing you to take in illegal fantasies. It's not really explained well, but it's interesting. The first thing that we see is there's some guy who his fantasy is like, he's murdering all of the Marvel superheroes, and then he winds up getting fried in the VR program. And then after that, this former VR addict named Nikki Doyle, who, like, vanished for six months, returns to this den of, uh, VR vice that she used to frequent. And then it turns out she's actually working for the NYPD. She helps them raid the establishment after they let her in. And then after the raid, as they're, like, getting ready to shut everything down, they realize that there's one addict still inside the machine and they can't disconnect them because if they just basically remove the helmet, it'll kill him. So what they have to do is they have to pull them out. Like, they have to pull its consciousness out or he'll die. And that's when she heads into the program to save this last person. But something goes wrong and she's confronted by VR versions of Carnage and Venom, and that's basically where the issue ends. It's noted that she has the ability to manipulate VR realities on her own. Like, she can do that just with the power of her mind, which is, like, totally unique, but we don't get to see it really in action. It's not really displayed, but it's interesting, it's weird. It's one of those things where I don't know, I just kind of dug it. The general vibe felt similar to a lot of the other stuff that Marvel UK was doing at that time, where it just felt really unique and taking an approach that was just, like, genuinely thought provoking and kind of cool. And they're introducing all these original characters, and then they've got a couple of Marvel characters showing up. And it's funny because at the time, marvel was weirdly protective about the stuff that could appear in Marvel UK books. So usually it was like, well, you can only have them appear for like, ten pages or something like that. So there's several Marvel UK books for the like, and the X Men are in here, but then they kind of keep on popping in and out of the story. And then you count it up and you're like, oh, that's ten pages. Okay.

Jessika: Uh, it's kind of like opening the door to the X Men's mansion.

Mike: Or it's like the X Men are in their mansion and they're like, oh, we've detected this thing in the UK. I suppose it's going to take us a little while to fly the blackbird over there. All right.

Jessika: Thank you.

Mike: I literally have two other series where that happens with like, we've detected the spike in energy and we're going to fly over there now. And then they show up like two thirds of the way through the issue. It's like, all right.

Jessika: Goodness. Uh, what a Captain Marvel move.

Mike: Oh, yeah, totally. But yeah, to be honest, I enjoyed it. It's not bad. I want to track down the rest of the series and see how they hold up. Or maybe they don't, but we'll, uh, find out.

Jessika: Yeah, maybe that one's worth going down to rabbit hole for.

Mike: Yeah. Uh, it definitely delivered more than I was expecting based on the COVID which feels extremely male. Gazy.

Jessika: Oh. M. Yeah. Ah, we love that.

Mike: Yeah. But anyway, so what about you? What are you bringing to the table this time?

Jessika: Well, I found this fun comic called Lola XO x O. Have you heard of this?

Mike: Um, not this one specifically, but I remember early on when comixology didn't have like, Marvel and DC books. I think it was like in the early days of comixology, and I was just kind of checking out a lot of stuff they had. And there was a Lola it wasn't Lola Xoxo, I don't think, but it was like some associated kind of alternate universe version of her, maybe, or something like that. It was really pretty art, but I didn't understand what was going on at all.

Jessika: Yeah, that's kind of how I felt. Yeah, no, it was really pretty. But unfortunately it was volume two, issue number one again. Here I am. I did that two weeks ago. I didn't even know I saw number one. And I felt real confident I can't keep doing that to myself. So it's by Aspen Comics, mhm, and it was published in July 2017 and created by CIA Oom. Um, and I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly. And edited by Vince Hernandez, Frank Master Morrow and Gabe Carrasco. Designed and produced by Mark Roslin and Peter Stigerwald. Again, I didn't really get it, but it's neat. Like, it was fun. And from what I ascertained, it seems to be about a woman in a kind of steampunk western land, but like, add a two headed deer.

Mike: Mhm.

Jessika: That was interesting. The deer literally had two heads, and one was male and one was female.

Mike: I think the one I read was like retrofuturism Sci-Fi. But I can't remember it's been over a decade.

Jessika: Totally. Yeah, it seemed like it was a little like it had like a Sci-Fi, like, either a Sci-Fi vibe or, like, a fantasy steampunk vibe. And I couldn't really tell just because from this one, because there wasn't magic in it necessarily. It's just like a weird ass, like, two headed deer. We get to see the main character, Lola, see a large city for the first time, and she gets to bask in all the amenities inside that she was unable to experience, where I assume she was in the desert. That's kind of what was implied. And she's gifted a dress, uh, and assuming it's from someone in her party, wears it to the feast they're headed to that evening, chaos ensues, and Lola comes face to face with the person from her past and one she didn't necessarily want to run into. One I had no idea who he was, but it seemed very relevant. We get assassins, child, runaways, bribes, and a great dose of violence, all in this one action packed issue. So, like you said, the art is beautiful.

Mike: Is it, like, a regular length issue, or is it, like a double size or anything?

Jessika: It's a regular length. Yeah.

Mike: Okay.

Jessika: Glossy pages. It's beautiful. It's gorgeous. The comic itself is gorgeous.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: And I don't know if this was your experience with the one you read, but it had this great mix of realism and details and kind of, like, flowy almost watercolor, like a blended style to it.

Mike: So I have very little memory of this comic. I just remember the name sticking out at me. I just remember walking away from it going like, I don't understand what was going on in that comic, but at the same time, the art was beautiful. The fact that I can't even remember she has blond hair is that she does.

Jessika: Yes.

Mike: Okay. I vaguely remember that. I don't know. I've also read so many comics that I might have just been blending together at that time in terms of the style. And maybe it was that kind of steampunk thing that you were talking about. I don't know.

Jessika: She had this very, like and this was my takeaway, and maybe I'm wrong, but she has this very naive everyone thinks I'm pretty, but I don't know how pretty I am. Kind of like which I hate that. Um, and maybe I was not reading that correctly. I don't know. Um, but that's just kind of the way it felt.

Mike: Interesting. I'll have to check it out. I'll have to see if it's on hoopla, and maybe, uh, we can reread it at some point and do a deeper dive into the series.

Jessika: Yeah. Because I actually am interested in going back and reading more of this. I, um, want to see some of the instances they referenced during the issues, because they were really good about leaving editors notes about different situations that they'd been referencing within the action or the dialogue of the comic.

Mike: Okay, cool.

Jessika: Yeah. But I'd read it just for the art if we're being honest.

Mike: Yeah, I do remember just walking away and thinking that the art was spectacular, even though I can't remember it now.

Jessika: And I don't know if the whole comics like this, but the heavy gloss page is very satisfying to turn. Just saying.

Mike: Oh, yeah, they always are. Cool.

Jessika: Yeah. Well, that's our episode for today. Thank you all for joining us. Next week we will have another episode, but it will be one of our regular episodes, but until then, we'll see you in the stacks. Thanks for listening to Tencent Takes. Accessibility is important to us, so text transcriptions of each of our published episodes can be found on our website.

Mike: This Episode was Hosted By Jessica Fraser and Mike Thompson and edited By Mike Thompson. Our intro theme was written and performed by Jared Emerson Johnson of Bay Area Sound. Our credits in transition music is Pursuit of Life by Evan McDonald and was purchased with Stanford license from Premium Beat. Our banner graphics were designed by Sarah Frank, who you can

Jessika: If you'd like to get in touch with us, ask us questions, or tell us about how we got something wrong, please head over to Tencent or shoot an email to Tencenttakes at You can also find us on Twitter. The official podcast account is ten cent takes. Jessica is Jessica with a and Jessica spelled with a K and Mike is Vansau. V-A-N-S-A-U.

Mike: If you'd like to support us, be sure to download, rate and review wherever you listen. Stay safe out there and support your local comic shop. See.

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