Awesomeversary Special: The Fourth Annual 30 Second Recap Contest!

Every year, when I preserve my sanity with a week of drinking rest away from the daily grind of blogging, I turn the spotlight to my loyal haters readers, inviting them to recreate a comic book story that can be read quickly in a style that mimics my own complete lack of artistic talent. And every year, I am thoroughly pleased with the entries.

So here we go! The entrants to this year’s contest!



Brian Smith always makes a strong showing, and this year was no exception as he recapped a strange, strange arc in Fantastic Four #293-295!

Das Ubernerd, always a fan-favorite, puts Neil before Zod as he brings us Sandman: A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

perpet_fic puts the “action” in “Fraction” (but not, oddly enough, “satisfaction”) with a stick-figure retelling of Iron Man: World’s Most Wanted!

Jared has done a lot for the blue skins and a lot for the orange skins, but what’s he done for Green Lantern/Green Arrow: Hard Travelin’ Heroes?

guayec gives you a pretty accurate condensed Crossed.

heimp left out the part where I was crushingly disappointed to find there was no Tokyo Drifting in The Drifting Classroom.

Caleb‘s Battle for the Cowl was short and hilarious, unlike the original, which was neither.

sakuuya makes me wonder if everyone has a hard time figuring out Lilandra’s hair, or if it was just me with a recap of Uncanny X-Men #200.

Jason breaks the rules with a recap of Blackest Night, but his Deadshot’s cute so here it is anyway.

notintheface loves two things: head trauma and comics blogger in-jokes, and they’re both in The History of Hal Jordan!

Wil gets exactly what’s so awesome about the low-fi VHS Punisher stories of the ’90s in Punisher: The Prize!

Erich recaps the greatest Marvel comic ever printed, Amazing Spider-Man #33.

Jon offers up a special guest star in his version of Manhunter: Trial By Fire!

Jason brings you an even more shocking new ending for Watchmen than the one I did!

Adam Ford only needed one panel for Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter!

Jules joined up with the Black Parade for Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite!

Jonathan from Living Between Wednesdays brings you another adorable recounting of Battle for the Cowl. Rachelle would’ve entered but–as you might expect–she was watching hockey. Seriously.

Jack Hare has been waiting all week for me to ask if he’s dense or retarded with a recap of All-Star Batman!

Andy S! (no relation to Eliot S! Maggin) recounts the story of Blue Devil lawyerin’ for his soul in the pages of Shadowpact!

MC Alcock gets a little Edward Gorey with a ballpoint pen for Birds of Prey!

PJ Perez gives you two panels, number two, and Secret Wars 2.

Michelle, who only blogs to enter this contest every year, would’ve totally won if she’d included KGBeast in her recap of Blackest Night: Batman!

Michael from Jamaica NY (who’s at the Pizza Hut and at the Taco Bell) kaijus it up for Godzilla!

Zeke goes back to the old school ’cause he’s an old fool for Marvel Comics #1!

John Smith offers up a–no joke–beautiful watercolor version of the Phoenix Saga!


There were some phenomenal entries this year, and as usual, it was tough to pick a winner. Here are the ones that I especially loved:



Brandon Bragg – The History of DC Comics
This year’s very first entry was one of my favorites, and it gave us the first of two Batman-Quotes-Lethal-Weapon moments of the contest. Brandon Bragg doesn’t blog nearly as much as he should, and this entry shows why I’m always after him to do so. Excellent work.


Ephriam – Every Herbie Story Ever
I’m a well-known fan of the adventures of Herbie Popnecker, and while it’s tough to make a comedic version of something that’s already hilarious, Ephriam does a bang-up job translating the Herbie formula into crayons.


Ross Hayes – Emerald Knights
The other day I had lunch with my pal Chad and saw his brand-new baby for the first time, and we still talked about this entry more than the new kid. Between “Oh no! A story arc!” and the appearance of Ron Marz and a displeased Jack Kirby in the bonus panel, this one was a treat.


Tim C – Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Former winner Tim C. always makes a strong showing, but this is hands down the best he’s ever done for the contest, and not just because it has me in a Snuggieâ„¢. It’s a testament to the tough competition this year that he didn’t immediately walk away with the win, but if there’s ever an ISB Hall of Fame, he’s in it.


Phil Oldham – Legion of 3 Worlds
The cameo page alone, where Phil managed to throw in Pikachu, Cobra Commander, Hello Kitty, Chun Li and Torrance Shipman of the Rancho Carne High School Toros Cheerleaders, was enough to make this one one of the all-time best 30 Second recaps. Puts my own work to shame, seriously.


Elijah Fly – Final Crisis
Elijah not only did the unthinkable and included the concept of perspective in his recap, he also cracked me up twice. His version of “Awesome Crisis” truly lives up to its name.


Any one of those is an entry I would’ve been proud to have as the winner of my contest, but unfortunately, I had to narrow it down to one. So now, at long last…




Jake – Batman: Cacophony

The only reason I thought about not giving this one the win was the fact that Jake’s got a .uk email address and I am not looking forward to international shipping when it comes time to mail out the prizes. The rest of it is just perfect, hitting the high points of exactly what’s so awful with Cacophony in a way that takes the terrible and makes it great. It’s exactly what I try to do with my own stuff, but as Jake can actually draw, it’s not only better than mine, but might be one of the few contest entries that’s actually better than the original work.

So congratulations, Jake, and to everyone else who participated, thank you guys for giving me something so fun to read while I took a week off. You’re all winners in my book.

Well, not winners, but, well, you know.

28 thoughts on “Awesomeversary Special: The Fourth Annual 30 Second Recap Contest!

  1. Okay, I totally didn’t read the part about not doing a story that didn’t finish. I guess that after my recap of The All-New Atom two years ago, I thought it would be okay to do. Besides, I actually think I’ve improved. Sure, I still suck at hands, but Black Lantern Ralph Dibny copping a bit of a feel on Sue? I call that progress. Anyway, thanks for not disqualifying me.

  2. I actually like Onomatopoeia. In Green Arrow’s “Sounds of Violence,” he came off as totally creepy and awesome.

    Cacophony, on the other hand, was a seven-foot pile of pig shit and awful.

  3. I was going to say Tim was robbed but I realized for some reason that Jake’s entry wouldn’t open for me earlier and I didn’t see it till now.

    Well done sir. I believe they “spot on” over there?

  4. Tough competition is right!! Fantastic entries everyone, and Bravo to Jake! Far and away the winner! Your recap made me feel like the time I spent reading Smith’s Cacophany was not a total waste of my life, and brother that is saying something.

    I’m glad people liked my entry too, thanks for the kind words. And I’m really glad this contest exists because it gives ISB readers a chance every year to tell Sims “thanks for all the laughs” without actually giving him any money. So Happy Awesomeversary, Chris! Many happy returns!

  5. yeah, why DONT they just force-feed the Joker those drugs all the time?

    Kudos to everyone, solid stuff all around, and congratulations, Jake!

  6. I for one am honored just to take part in a tiny bit of ISB history. I also can’t believe you remember my call-in to Sharpling so well. I even forgot.

    But mark my words, someday I will make a crayon drawing so awesome, I will win the kind of stuff lying around Chris’ place that Jake won.
    Wait a minute, what did Jake win exactly?

    Also, look what your contest did to my hand.

  7. And I thought Tim C’s Nick Fury had it sown up.

    Oh, and thanks for describing mine as ‘the low-fi VHS Punisher’, that’s exactly what I was going for. I’ve got Punisher: No Escape lined up for next year, guest starring USAgent and Paladin and other early 90s awesomeness

  8. I meant ‘sewn up’ as in I thought he should have won, not sown, which an online dictionary has just informed me means sprinkled with seed; “a seeded lawn”

  9. Wow, thanks a lot, this almost makes up for having to read Cacophony again.

    Last year I did the Dark Knight Returns, maybe my favourite Batman story and it was hard to make fun of it, this year I did my least favourite and there were too many crap bits to even mention. Like the Joker DJing, or Maxie Zeus speaking.

    Mostly I just hate the way it gets the Joker totally wrong – first by setting up the new guy as being more dangerous, then by saying things like he is the 16th worst villain or that he is predictable, or that Batman can’t believe the Joker once managed to kill Robin.

    Argh, I hate it. And I can’t see why some people like it – IGN say “Much like Grant Morrison, Smith manages to find a fresh voice for one of the industry’s most heavily exposed characters.” which is why I don’t read comic book reviews there anymore.

    PS. I loved Awesome Crisis.

  10. How you ever made the choice between all those for 1 winner

    I will never be able to understand

  11. My new goal in life is to prospect snakes from the ground in an eruption-like manner. Thanks Re-Cap contest

  12. Congrats to Jake. Yea, if anything we’ve learned from Cacophony, it’s this.

    Writing detective stories when you’re stoned off your butt is a REALLY bad idea.

  13. Now I know I was right to pass up on Cacophony. Of course, they lost me the minute the put Deadshot through the Worf Effect.

    Kevin Smith is simultaneously living every fanboy’s dream (“I get to write comics!”) and nightmare (“My comics suck!”) I kind of feel bad for him. Kind of.

  14. I was reading through this and I was like “Aw man, I didn’t even get a mention”. And then I read further and find not only did I get a mention, but an honourable one! Muchas gracias, Senor Sims! And a hearty congratulations to Mr. Jake, I shall have to show your entry to my Cacophony-loving friend.

    Wil-Naw, naw, we should totally sprinkle him with seed. Then when it rains, he’ll be able to bring vegetables to the starving homeless people. And thus shall we usher in a Golden Age of Mankind!

  15. The bad thing is, that made Final Crisis awesome! And I want to read this Cacophony story now, really.

    Already loved Secret Warriors, that just made me want to do drugs.

  16. and as for tawky tawny, if you had approached me ten years ago and told me i’d fist pump the air and jump with glee over something tawky tawny did, i would:

    1) say, “who the fuck is Tawky Tawny?”


    2) call you a filthy liar

    but Final Crisis is the greatest comic book ever for that moment alone, and that wondrous moment has a dapper Tiger in a suit SAVING THE WORLD. in a jetpack.

  17. One of these years I’m going to enter this thing. I just have to choose which story I want to do, and find the time to do it during the busiest month of the year.

  18. BOOOOO Johnathan’s Battle for the Cowl was the clear winner BOOOOO Just kidding (not really). Oh all right, Jake’s Cacophony is really very good.

    Congrats to all the entries, great jobs all round, and BOOOO Johnathan had this sewn up!

  19. I usually avoid internet slang, but that Nick Fury parody deserves it. OMGWTF.

    That was a thing of pure undiluted beauty. The bit with Angelina Jolie and the ending had me in stitches. Nick’s own comic only WISHES it were that good.

    Honestly – the Cacophony parody was good, but the Nick Fury parody was monumental.