Anthony: Hello and welcome back to Capes on the Couch, where comics get counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko.
Doc Issues: And I’m Dr. Issues.
Anthony: It is good to be back. Officially, formally, we have missed all of you. I hope you missed us.
Doc Issues: You know what that reminds me of? Every time we come back from hiatus, I can’t help but think, because Eminem has done this a few times, but he always does it the same way. It feels so good to be back! You know, like just, ah, wonderful.
Anthony: Yep. Hope everybody had a wonderful summer. For those of you who didn’t listen, we dropped a little mini episode last week, kind of explaining some of the changes, long story short, we’re going bi weekly to allow us some more time to not only edit and write and research, but also come up with some additional content for the show.
And you will be seeing that in the off weeks, so to speak. And it just gives us a different outlet. It gives us some additional opportunities to engage with folks. And frankly, I think this is going to ultimately make for a better overall show. But if not, you’ll certainly let us know because we do love and appreciate all the feedback that we get from you fine folks.
And you know, you are not shy at all about reaching out to us. Special shout out to Chrissa for sending us the email while we were on hiatus requesting an episode on Mayday Parker with a fantastic write up. So thank you, Chrissa appreciate the feedback and Mayday will definitely be looked at for a future episode.
And I believe I said in the email to you that when that third Spider Verse film comes around, we might just do an entire month. Maybe that month we’ll do like four episodes. We’ll squeeze them all in to To do a whole bunch of spider characters, because honestly we could do an entire year on spider characters.
Doc Issues: Yeah. Yeah. And you know, don’t worry, we, we won’t continuously space it out and just keep make you waiting and then say to be continued, you know, just to, just to bait you into more content. I can’t tell just a little bit that I’m bitter about how they did that with. The second Spider Verse movie. I’m sorry.
Anthony: Yeah. Now they’re making us wait for the third one. And I don’t know when it’s going to come out because of the strikes and all that jazz. But anyway, this episode is actually going to be the PuchiCon panel that we recorded earlier this year at PuchiCon Atlantic city talking Vash the stampede. And we’d like to take this opportunity to also announce that we will be returning to PuchiCon in the Poconos.
In October, October 22nd, we will be doing a panel it’s a Sunday afternoon and we will be returning to Poochacon this time aboard the ship Bebop to talk about Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop.
Doc Issues: Yeah, we had a lot of a lot of people give feedback. No, this is, this is just me. I wanted to do this.
Anthony: Yeah, this was once again, me saying, well, doc, we got approved or we’re applying for another PuchiCon panel. Let’s pick another anime character. And he did that exact thing. Well, you know, there’s a lot of characters I could do. We could do this or we’re doing Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop. There it is. He goes, I’ve had that one in my back pocket for a while. So there you have it. So. Go to puchicon. com p u c h i c o n. com and get your tickets for the Poconos. It’s at Camelback Resort in Pennsylvania. And very much looking forward to that one. And I know that they’ll be coming back to New Jersey in the spring or summer of 2024. This one will be in Teaneck. So we’ll continue to get well, you know, so I’m sure we’ll apply for a panel there and they liked us the first two times, I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t have us back a third time, but let’s, let’s get through Poconos first.
In any case. What you’re about to hear was previously recorded, so the audio quality is a little different because the microphone was basically sitting on the table with me and doc. I tried to edit the sound as best I could. I apologize if there’s some sound of rustling papers, but otherwise it’s the panel that we previously recorded on Vash the Stampede.
So without any further ado, here it is.
Anthony: Good morning and welcome to Capes on the Couch where comics get counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko.
Doc Issues: And I’m Dr. Issues..
Anthony: This is our very first comic convention panel. We are here at PuchiCon in Atlantic City. We’re very excited and this episode is going to be recorded for release at a later date as an episode of our podcast. So thank you to everybody for attending. For those of you who are unaware of who we are, I’m just gonna give you a brief rundown. My name is Anthony and he, him, and I am a comic book aficionado, and this is my best friend and brother.
Doc Issues: Doctor issues. I actually am a board certified psychiatrist. I am still actively practicing and random fact, I just came from work at about oh four o’clock this morning when they called me in. So this is the type of stuff that I deal with on a regular basis. But I needed to stretch out my mind and, you know, talk about people besides real people.
I love talking about characters. Usually we do main characters in Comic book universes, but I get the chance to talk about a little anime.
Anthony: Yes. For, for those long time listeners of the show, everybody knows I am much more of a. Western Comic Aficionado. Doc does obviously read a lot of comic books, but he is much more into the anime manga scene than I am.
So when we were applying for the PuchiCon panel, I said, well, it’s a very anime, manga focused con. Is there a character that you think we should cover?
Doc Issues: So, to be honest with you, because I had just. Introduced Trigun to my daughter. She’s like, oh, you gotta do Millie. I’m like we need to hit a little harder than that. So we did Vash instead.
Anthony: Yes. So this is the, the first anime that I’ve ever seen. Not because I didn’t like it or whatever, it’s just it was never something that I was introduced to. So it’s, it’s very interesting coming from a perspective of somebody who grew up watching a lot of Western animation.
The, the tropes that are different, the presentation, the styles and things of that nature. But enough about that. We do have a timer, so Let’s get into the background. For those of you that that don’t know our show, we do a brief rundown on the background of the character.
Then we cover three issues that the character deals with on a regular basis. Then we will discuss some treatment options, both in universe for the character themselves, and then for a real person dealing with those types of issues, what that treatment would look like. And then at the end, we will role play and we have a little fun with this.
What a actual therapy session with the character would look like, so you’re going to hear what it would sound like if vash the Stampede was in a therapist’s office.
Doc Issues: And just to make it clear, this is for entertainment purposes only. So if anybody’s thinking like, oh my God, my therapist will never say that. Well, yeah, that’s true. The same way. I wouldn’t say it to the person that way, but we love having fun with this, so let’s go.
Anthony: Yes, it is. We are an edutainment podcast, as we like to say. So. So real quick rundown, and again, I know I’m gonna end up glossing over a lot of the stuff, but we are kind of pressed per time.
So Vash the Stampede, created by Yasuhiro Nightow in Trigun chapter number one, the 60 billion Double Dollar Man May, 1995. That was the release of the original manga, which was then adapted into an anime series in, I want to say 96. 90.
Doc Issues: Yeah, you got me man. I’m not gonna pretend to know the exact, okay.
Anthony: I I didn’t write it down here. Apologies. So, again, for purposes of this panel, we’re gonna be focusing on the anime version, not so much the manga version because the story is a lot more streamlined in the anime. So Vash is an alien with decelerated aging known as plants who is raised by Rem alongside his twin brother,
millions of knives and so knives through a whole host of things, and again, we’re really condensing here. Knives grows to hate humanity and attempts to crash their spaceship into a planet. REM puts the boys in an escape pod to protect them before the ship explodes. So knives and vash battle when they land on no man’s land, the planet.
Doc Issues: Well, just to, yeah. Just to clarify a little bit. I mean, basically they’re kids and the way they grow up is just at a way different pace than everybody else. They’re super smart, have all these other things that they can do, and. Basically knives is developing ways to destroy humanity. Vash doesn’t really like that, and that’s where the conflict always happens.
So go ahead, keep going again.
Anthony: So knives in Vash battle and knives cuts off Vash’s arm, and this triggers a latent power inside vash called the angel arm. And then the explosion destroys the town of July. Although all the people in were spared this incident is what triggers the $60 billion bounty. So Vash becomes a drifter who’s followed by Merrill and Millie, who are insurance agents who are documenting the destruction left in his wake.
More accurately the wake of those trying to kill or capture him for the bounty. Vash himself is a pacifist who refuses to kill anyone despite being incredibly proficient in weapons. So knives hires a gang of assassins, the gungho guns to hunt his brother down and cause him copious amounts of pain and suffering because he feels only then will Vash understand why humanity needs to end. So after several run-ins with the Gungho gangs, including being forced to kill the leader Lagado, which really kind of snaps vash he and knives have a climactic battle resulting in Vash seriously wounding knives, but he refuses to kill him because he’s honoring Rems. Last request, take care of knives.
So I think that was about as tight as I could squeeze it in about three minutes.
Doc Issues: There are plenty of other characters that are really fun. I was debating doing Wolfwood instead, but I was gonna say, we didn’t,
Anthony: we didn’t get into Wolfwood and the, the giant crucifix that he carries around and Yeah. Yeah.
The whole host of characters that they encounter along the way.
Doc Issues: Yeah, it’s, it’s very rich. I really appreciate it. It’s. It’s something that I think everybody should experience. If you can watch it and there is a different version of it that’s more updated, kind of tells the same thing, but in a different way.
I haven’t had a chance to look at that entire thing, but either way, it’s definitely worth the time.
Anthony: Yeah. So if you have Hulu, it’s all streaming on Hulu, both in the dubbed and in the subtitled versions. I, I watched the dubbed versions. So with that being said, we’re gonna get into the issues now.
So, as I said, we cover three issues about the character and sort of discuss how they, they impact him. So the first one is very obviously his direct traumatic relationship with knives, his, his twin brother. They are incredibly diametrically opposed. And this has a major impact on, on vash, especially from childhood growing to an adult.
Doc Issues: Yeah. So how many people here have siblings? I know I do. Okay. Yep. Look, you love ’em. I hope. Obviously if people have had negative experiences, I’m not trying to bring that up, but the point is, life isn’t perfect. Life will never be perfect, and everybody has their own opinions about things. You don’t have to agree all the time, but what happens if you actually have a shared traumatic experience?
In this case, knives and Vash both had people on that ship that clearly didn’t like them, to the point that. It’s actually shown that they are not handled very well. You know, not always. And so there are many ways a person can react to that. They can build resilience. They can think, oh yeah, things are gonna get better.
I can fight through this. They can think I’m going to kill that MFer. Okay. That’s another way to look at it. And they can say, I’m going to just run away. I don’t want to deal with this anymore. I don’t want anybody around. Or they can flee to the people that actually do care about them. That’s where REM comes in.
Either way. The point is all of these things are normal human reactions. It’s how we deal with the idea that our lives are in danger. The fact that knives went so far to say that not only is this person an example of bad, everybody else is going to be an example of that from now on, and vash basically.
Saying that really doesn’t make sense, dude. Don’t do that, please. Well, that’s really narrowing it. But the point is it’s incredibly tough to separate the fact that this person that is causing so much trouble is also someone that I’m supposed to naturally love. How do you come to some sort of agreement with that?
Does that mean that you limit your contact to where it’s like, I don’t know. Let’s, let’s bring it to our world. Yeah. I’m only gonna see them on holidays and if there’s like a special occasion outside of that, that’s it. I won’t deal with them any other way. And yet, you know, that’s gonna be awkward because other family members might say, Hey, what’s going on with your sibling?
How’s it going? Yeah, I haven’t heard from them in a while. And you’re just thinking, please don’t bring that up. I really don’t want to think about it. Then again, you might want to keep working on it, and you might call them and you might go over their, you know, their house. You might wanna do other things, and they aren’t reciprocating and it’s still awkward.
Or you have knockdown, drag out fights and you never talk again. I’m saying these are all possibilities when it comes to real life. In this case it, it plays out very dramatically. You know, knives basically wants to make VA’s life a living hell. And Vash just wants to live his life at times without even thinking about him, but, Since it keeps coming up.
Eventually he does have to have that type of confrontation, you know? And maybe not in a gun fight like this one was, but it could be at a funeral. It could be when, you know you have to divide things in a will. It may be you guys actually work in the same business, you know, whatever it is. There’s always opportunities to resolve conflict and it doesn’t have to get to this point, but at the same time, sometimes the best resolution is that neutrality.
So all things are on the table.
Anthony: Yeah, it’s definitely a situation where, we’re never going to. Demand that you keep someone in your life just because they’re related to you by blood, that’s not necessarily a requirement that you associate yourself with them. There’s plenty of opportunities and, and instances where folks have had to go no contact with family members for one reason or another.
Vash has certainly tried to do that in this situation. He’s tried to avoid knives as much as possible. He said, I don’t want anything to do with you. And the problem comes because knives won’t let it go. Knives won’t, won’t let him walk away because he says, I’m hurting. You need to feel the same pain as me because we went through it the same way.
So that’s, that’s really, I think the, the heart of the conflict there is because vash, I think is taking at least. Not always, but, but a healthier coping mechanism to, to the strain of the relationship, which is to say, I’m just going to disengage from this. And knives saying, I’m going to drag you down with, I’m here at the bottom.
I’m going to drag you down here with me because if I’m suffering, I’m not going to be the only one. So I think that’s definitely not a, a mature coping mechanism. Certainly on, on the part of knives. And, you know, maybe at a later time we’ll do a, another episode on knives so we can kind of. View things from his perspective.
So the second issue is idealism to the extreme. Again Vash being a pacifist saying, I’m not going to to kill anyone. I’m going to do minimal damage necessary to, to rescue people, to get myself out of these situations. And it comes back to hurt him, you know, in horrible ways. His body is covered with scars.
He wears. The damage from this, this battle and these ideals that he has. And it, it really is a very powerful moment.
Doc Issues: Yeah. Well, not just that, I mean, there’s one episode literally for the sake of saving the people around him. He denigrates himself to barking like a dog and seeing things like that and the idea that you’re trying to be the lamb instead of the lion.
And, and I can understand that. I can appreciate that. But the idea that the world is not a perfect place, I know I started with that, that still stands and Vash is willing to put all of his effort, his entire mind, body, and soul into the idea that. All living things are important. All living things have a right to exist and everything else.
And yet when the conflicts come up, even when they were little kids, the idea that, you know, a butterfly gets caught in a spider’s web spider comes along, well what’s gonna happen? Spider’s gonna eat it. So Vash’s main thing was like, I need to save both. I need to make sure the spider lives, I need to make sure the butterfly lives and knives comes along and just kills the spider and says, well, that’s how you handle that.
Now I’m not taking knives aside, but the point being there is not always the perfect answer to every situation and Vash. Bless his soul. He really tries hard day after day just to make sure he finds that perfect way. And when it doesn’t happen, it causes him even more anguish, and that’s the part that I think needs, you know, needs something to be worked on.
It’s great to have something that you’re striving for, but also enjoy the fact that you’re getting closer and closer to the things that you’re striving for, rather than thinking that each step is agony. There’s a big difference in terms of mindset there. And if you don’t have it, then yeah, you’re not going to enjoy things and you’re going to actually develop more anxiety, more depression.
You might actually start to isolate yourself because you start to wonder, well, I’m just gonna wait for the perfect time. And he actually does that when he stays with the family for a long time. Mind you, he was recovering cuz there was a lot of stuff that happened to him, but he basically at one point just said like, you know what?
I’m just gonna not even. You know, engage with anything. Forget the situation with knives itself. Just saying, I’m, I don’t want any of this. And you really can’t live your life that way, at least not in a way that is going to be truly thriving. So there you go. There’s nothing wrong with having the things that you want out of the world, and you should fight for the things that are important, but that doesn’t mean that you should fight at the expense of everything else that’s going to replenish you.
Anthony: You can’t let perfection be the enemy of the good. And I think that’s one of Vash’s big things is he is constantly striving for that perfection. And everyone has to live, everyone needs to, needs to be healthy and everything needs to live. And to that point, you know, with the, the spider and the the butterfly, you can’t have both of them survive.
That’s just nature. And I mean, we can go on a, separate tangent about imputing human morality on. Non sentient beings and things of that nature, which we’re, we’re certainly not gonna get into that. But again, Vash’s big thing is that if it’s not perfect, if it’s not this flawless idea where everyone is, is safe, then he really has difficulty coping with that.
And it’s, it’s very difficult for him to process how to move forward with that. Which leads to the third thing that we want to discuss, which is humor as an immature defense mechanism. Now, This is not to say that the use of humor is in and of itself an immature defense mechanism.
Doc Issues: Yeah. Cuz if it were, we wouldn’t have this podcast to begin with. That’s what we lean on heavily.
Anthony: We wouldn’t be friends if we wouldn’t be best friends, if, you know, if that were the case. So humor is absolutely a, a, a mature defense mechanism. The problem is much like his idealism. Vash takes it to the nth degree.
Doc Issues: Yeah. It’s the idea of. We’ve all met this person, or if you are this person, this isn’t a judgment thing.
We’ve all met the class clown. We, dude, you don’t have to call yourself out in front of strangers. It’s okay. Yes, yes, I do. All right. I’m just being honest. Yeah, I, I know, I know. I, I didn’t plan on you doing that. But anyway, what I was going to say without targeting him was, you know, you don’t have to automatically be the center of attention, class clown things like that to get what you want.
But for some people, just having that reaction feels so good that they realize I can manipulate just about any situation I want as long as people are laughing at me. And when people do that, it in a way it kind of, it kind of denigrates whatever messages that you’re trying to say because some people think that it’s going to be less important because it’s like, you know what, you’re just the comic relief.
You’re not the main event. You’re the one that makes everybody feel good until the serious people in the room start talking. That is not fair, and that doesn’t have to be that way. But at the same time, that’s the risk that you take if you use it too much. Now, the beauty of Trigun as a whole, I think as a series is that you do get to see the other sides, and I’m not claiming that Vash doesn’t have a serious side.
He makes it very clear that he has a serious side. But the point being, the times that he picks and chooses to use humor can really fall flat. Wolfwood calls him out really well on this. At one point, he basically says the the empty smile and empty laugh that you had, it really hurt me inside. And you could see Vash’s demeanor just changed.
Somebody’s actually calling him out on this. You know, it’s one thing to make things lighthearted. It’s one thing to make things entertaining for people, but if you really are hurting, it is okay to say, sometimes I’m hurting. And you don’t have to put on that extra mask on top. It’s great to do it if you’ve gotta get through the day.
And for many people that is how they get through the day and that’s fine. I’m not knocking it. Anytime you can survive, one more day is a good day, but that doesn’t mean it has to be every day.
Anthony: Very well stated. I will just in response to that, I will say that yes, and I, I was. Facetiously calling myself out for a lot of those things, but, but you know, we’ve known each other 25 years, you know, it’s definitely the case.
But if there are plenty of times that I don’t have it in me to wear the mask, to be the funny guy, I don’t always admittedly have the the humorous one liner. Then I get people go, you’re awfully quiet, are you okay? Sometimes I just don’t feel like joking, but it’s expected of me because there’s that perception.
So then I feel I have to keep up the mask because it’s a complicated dynamic. And so I think Vash, to some extent, deals with that as well, is that struggle of when to be serious, when to be funny and, you know, whether it’s dealing with, with Wolfwood and milli Merrill, there’s, there’s a lot of really tender moments there with, with the two of them where they kind of.
See through the facade because that’s, that’s really the whole point of the beginning of the series is the first like four episodes, they’re looking for vash to stampede and they go, this guy’s an idiot. He can’t possibly be this total goofball. Yeah, absolutely. This, this, this gunman, he’s a clown.
He’s a goofball. He’s not coordinated this, that and the other. No, he can’t possibly be the Vash the Stampede, not until the fifth episode when he actually fires the bullet. And there’s that moment where Merrill’s like, Huh okay. He is vash the stampede. I don’t know how to process this now. Yeah, and she kind of blue screens for a moment
cuz she’s like,
Doc Issues: And then later on, once they actually do get to know him, and they do have that type of connection, there is one point where he’s trying to turn the mask back on.
He’s like, you know, well, huh, we’ve had a great time. I guess that’s all. And he’s walking away and, you know, they’re actually going to follow him. And and while he is walking away, he says, stay back. He literally yells at them like, no, this is not the time. Do not come near me. I’m really, I, I tried to put it on.
I can’t do it. So there is that other side too, where, where regardless of if you’re trying to put it back on, you just cannot turn on that humor button.
Anthony: Yep. I can tell you, at least from personal experience, I’ve definitely been there. And it hasn’t always worked out for the other people, so not to the extent that it, anybody gets hurt or buildings get blown up. I, I do not have a bounty on my head. At least not that I’m aware of. So we’re gonna transition to treatment now. And so the way we do things is we discuss first what treatment would look like in universe for that character, dealing with whatever world they inhabit, with any of the technology, magic, anything.
And then out of universe what a real person with a lot of the, these trauma and issues would, would go through. So in universe doc. Has come up with the idea and the, the idea is the ultimate NPC escort mission.
Doc Issues: Yeah. Basically, for people that don’t know what that means, cause I know now I’m mixing things in with video games and stuff like that.
Npc not playable character, but the point is, Vash has made it very clear that he wants to save people when they’re in trouble. He doesn’t mind the ego of it, of being a hero and everything else. I have to have a certain level of trust. So basically, if I’m one of those people that happens to be around, Similar to if anybody has actually watched a show, the Black Cat that’s always there.
That actually is so incredibly cute. If I could be similar to that where I’m not really important, but I’m always there and therefore I’m always at risk, and therefore he would’ve to have some interaction to save me, now I can actually talk to the guy in a way that hopefully I could really start to address the things that are on his mind, not in a way where similar to what he’s doing with Wolfwood and everything else, I’m not trying to develop that kind of relationship.
It’s more like, look, I’m an outsider looking in and I’m, I’m seeing some things that, you know, you might wanna just clear up for your own wellbeing, so that gives me that opportunity. Or I get stabbed shot blown up or something else, but, hey, I’m an mpc so nobody cares. Right? Haha ha ha, ha, ha, ha. Boy, maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
Anthony: Yeah. Sometimes the, the in-universe treatment options don’t always work out well for Doc, but in this particular case, it’s a crapshoot. Crapshoot didn’t work out so well for me last night at the tables, but, you know, maybe, maybe you’ll fare a little better. We’re an ac. I gotta gamble at some point.
So out of universe then if we’re, if we’re talking about a real person, this is someone who has significant childhood trauma, they have a complicated ongoing relationship with family and a perfectionistic self-drive that is also self-sabotaging. So, you know, no big deal, right? It ain’t no thing.
Doc Issues: Yeah, I mean, honestly, you could handle that in about, I don’t know, 10, 15 minutes or so and you know, one time fee and no.
No. Depending on what the person is going through, this is the type of thing that could, you know, be several sessions and, and more importantly, it’s what has it done. In other words, there may be many positive defense mechanisms that have been developed. We already mentioned the self-drive. Great. That means that you start things
for yourself, you’re able to, you know, get things going and I’m sure you’re productive because that’s, you know, one of the things that you get to do. You distract yourself from all the other emotional stuff. Great. I’m glad that’s true. How much are you doing that? Is it impacting your sleep? Is it impacting your ability to develop new relationships?
All those things. If that’s the case, then well, let’s set some boundaries. Let’s set some limits. When do you actually sleep? Boy, now I’m calling myself out here. So besides that, if you want to, and, and it’s also establishing what the goal is with those relationships. If you want to have a relationship, for example, with someone in your family that is not working out, you can do a little role play.
You can actually just point out, you know, Moment to moment what’s going on each session, like when’s the last time you contacted them and setting boundaries there? Is it a five minute phone call? Is it having lunch or coffee or whatever? Whatever it is, give some feedback to the therapist. If it’s a matter of significant trauma, we’ve done many episodes on this, but for the sake of the audience, I understand, I I can’t rely on that.
The point being, it’s not necessarily that you’re going to dive into everything that’s ever happened in your life, but it is about what your responses are when similar emotions arise, and if they are productive or destructive. If they’re productive, don’t worry about it as much. If they’re destructive, you might need something more physical.
What do I mean by that? If you do need a therapy that, for example, is emdr, that actually addresses a lot of the physiological things that happen in your body when it comes to trauma. Great. If it’s C B T, I know we’ve talked about that many times. How do your thoughts impact your behavior and impact your emotions?
Or is it something where you need some assistance with medication? I’m biased. I’m a psychiatrist. It’s how I make money. Although I don’t get paid by pharmaceutical companies or things like that. It is something that’s a tool in the toolbox. So you just bring all those things out, you put ’em together, and you want the person to have a better experience than when they came in your office.
This might be a matter of days, it might be a matter of weeks, however long it is, we are there for the long haul. We’re not there to abandon you, and if there’s not a proper fit. Then there are always other people that can pick it up, but we don’t just stop when someone is having a little bit of trouble.
We make sure that we see them through. And obviously for anybody who’s going through something like this, please recognize that there is always help out there and we’re always looking to assist in whatever way we can in the moment.
Anthony: Yeah, I mean we, we say that at the starting end of every show, you know that you are not alone and help is out there.
There are definitely options, and we’ve spoken countless times on the show about the importance of finding an appropriate fit with the therapist to make sure that you are getting out of the therapy sessions what you need. And that may be a different person because the therapist, and we’ve said this all the time, that the therapists are people too.
And just like you can have a personality conflict with someone in a, in a personal relationship. The same thing can happen in a professional relationship. That there can just be a difference in personalities. The therapist is coming in it from a particular place. They have their own biases there.
World viewpoints. And obviously the, the person seeking therapy has their own, so they may not always be in concert with each other, but the important thing is to not catastrophize it and say, oh, this didn’t work out with this therapist, and therefore, you know, I, therapy doesn’t work. And I, I’m just gonna give up on it.
You know, I hope that if, if you’re in that situation, that you find the strength to keep going and maybe just find someone different.
Doc Issues: I can give an example of that type of relationship though, because I did have a patient say to me one time, and mind you, things were going well. Otherwise, patient said to me, you know, you remind me of my brother.
I said, oh, okay. I hate my brother. Alrighty then. I can’t change who I am. So we, we clearly had to come to a, a, you know, there’s a just set of differences and they found someone else. But sometimes it simply can be that, just that interaction, it happens. Nobody’s fault. Just recognizing it and moving forward.
Anthony: Well, at least it, it worked out. You know, safely for you. I know you’ve, we’ve had discussions where you tell stories of patients that may not always necessarily react in a healthy way. So we, we broke down the issues. We broke down the treatment, and now as I said, we’re going to role play. What would happen if we get Vash the stampede on DR. Issues’ couch.
Doc Issues: All right? Now for the sake of the conference, usually he has to get into some sort of mindset to do a voice, but you know,
Anthony: I’m a serious actor and I will take my role appropriately. No.
Doc Issues: All right. All right, so
Anthony: whenever you’re ready.
Doc Issues: Okay. Hello, Vash. I’m Dr. Issues.
Anthony: Oh well. Hello there. How are you?
Doc Issues: I’m doing well. Thank you for asking.
Anthony: So I noticed there’s a plate of donuts out there. Are those for someone specific or?
Doc Issues: Well, those are for anyone in the waiting room.
Anthony: Oh, but I’m in your office now. Can I have one anyway?
Doc Issues: Sure. But
Anthony: Oh, oh, man. I’ve loved apple cider ones the most.
Doc Issues: I’m glad you like them now. What can I do for you?
Anthony: Huh? Oh, I’m, I’m good with the donuts. Thank you.
Doc Issues: No, no. What? I mean, I, I wanna know, what do you want to talk about?
Anthony: Oh I think you could use a bit more variety, Al, although I did see some with the sprinkles. You know, then again, those are a little too artificial for my taste. Nature knows how to provide your best flavors you know.
Doc Issues: I appreciate your interest in natural health, but I must admit your reputation precedes you.
Anthony: Gosh, I’m, I’m just some wander, you know, searching for the elusive mayfly of love.
Doc Issues: Not all who wander are lost.
Anthony: I’ll bet. You meet the most interesting people along the way. Insurance agents outlaws, homesteaders, outlaws beautiful women. Outlaws. I said outlaws right?
Doc Issues: I, I got the hint. Sounds dangerous.
Anthony: Well, sure, if you’re not as careful as I am.
Doc Issues: c careful? From the triage report, you sound fairly reckless.
Anthony: Yeah, I should pay more attention to the beauties. Am I right or am I right? You’re not laughing.
Doc Issues: Not a fan of sexism.
Anthony: Oh, I didn’t mean to offend you. Sometimes I get a one track mind. I, I, I should really examine what’s, what’s actually important. THESE DONUTS! Hahahahahaha.
You, you’re still not laughing.
Doc Issues: Vash, Vash, Vash.. I’m going to try and keep some level of decorum as I say this. Please, I’m begging you just take my questions as seriously as you take your appetite. All right?
Anthony: Sir? Yes, sir. You don’t have to get so cranky.
Doc Issues: Why are you deflecting before we even get to any topics? What’s so bad that you won’t do the most basic of introductions and interactions?
Anthony: I said, hello.
Doc Issues: If you keep this up, I’m willing to say goodbye. Trust me. The bill that you keep footing based on the reported damages in the first place won’t be wiped out unless you have a complete psychiatric evaluation.
Anthony: If you say so.
Doc Issues: Thank you. Now since we’re short on time, tell me the biggest concern you have in life.
Anthony: Oh wow, that’s heavy. Life. I guess?
Doc Issues: Your biggest worry is life itself.
Anthony: I just want everything to live. Is that so wrong?
Doc Issues: That’s unique. Can you narrow it down?
Doc Issues: Okay. Oh boy. And what do you do about life as a whole?
Anthony: Save it. Cherish it no matter what. That’s what, that’s what she would’ve wanted.
Doc Issues: She who?
Anthony: Rem. She was, she taught me everything I needed to know.
Doc Issues: OK, she definitely sounds special. I mean, based on the tenses, I’m guessing something happens.
Anthony: Well, you know, sometimes bad things happen, you know, so I just keep on going, but as long as I don’t think about it too much and how nice she was, and everyone deserves to live because she said so, and I don’t wanna let her down. But I don’t know why everyone hates me sometimes, but I mean, I still love the minute it, it always happens to me.
Doc Issues: I didn’t quite expect that. In my line of work, we’d call your emotions labile. You’re, you’re kind of on a roller coaster here.
Anthony: I’m sorry. I, I’ll, I’ll try to keep calm. I’m not so bad once you get to know me.
Doc Issues: Well, it took us this long for you to stop deflecting, and then the real emotions came out like a fire hose. That’s really not the best way to handle things. Plus, the only time I got the sense you were actually serious was when you mentioned the sanctity of life. I mean, maybe such a heady philosophy is really starting to crack you.
Anthony: No way. It grounds me, it’s my core. You probably understand me more than you think. Don’t you fight against suicide?
Doc Issues: Absolutely.
Anthony: But why?
Doc Issues: Well, okay. There’s a myth out there that taking your own life is a way to eliminate pain, but from what I’ve seen is the opposite. The person becomes a pain bomb that spreads that sorrow to every person that ever had a positive thought about them, especially now that they’re gone. So basically, I’m willing to see through that lie.
Anthony: And what if it wasn’t a metaphor for emotion? What if there were real bombs involved and bullets and weapons, you couldn’t even dream of? What then? What if someone is so bent on hurting others that the only thing you can do is stop it? But that person has a value too, don’t they?
Doc Issues: Yes. Yes.
Anthony: So, where am I wrong? Why do so many people fight me when I don’t want to fight them?
Doc Issues: Hmm. Sometimes I chance a mantra to myself, magnets draw metal because they’re strong. Think about that. You’re a target. I mean that’s, that’s for sure. But not many of those who are as istic as you are willing to fight in the unique way that you do at this rate, you’re begging to become a martyr.
Anthony: Don’t say that. Don’t say that. I just want a fun life, a simple life. But I’m not going to run from anyone who needs saving. Trouble finds me. I’ve, I’ve had way too much dealing with knives,
Doc Issues: knives and swords, and bullets and lasers and rockets, blah, blah, blah.
Anthony: No, you fool. I’m talking about my brother. You know, it’s really hard to love someone when they want you to be someone you’re not.
Doc Issues: That’s true. Can you deal with the imperfect?
Anthony: What’s that mean?
Doc Issues: You, your brother, rem, whoever that is, the people you save, the people you, they’re trying to kill you. It’s one giant imperfect mess. And yet I get the sense that you’ll never be satisfied. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. You have passion.
I can see that. But no one can promise you peace. Maybe what I can do is help you mold your purpose. Life itself sometimes may be a zero sum game if you look at just the end of it, but the value is infinite if you find a way to enjoy all the things in between.
Anthony: Wow, that’s That’s really sweet.
Doc Issues: Thank you.
Anthony: But not as sweet as these donuts. Ha.
Doc Issues: Oh man. I thought I was getting through to you.
Anthony: Well, you know what they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Doc Issues: They don’t say that in a therapy session.
Anthony: Well, I just gave you a new technique. You’re welcome. Gotta go, doc. Thanks for the
comfort food. All right.
It’s always fun trying to, to write these because we, we try and stay fairly true to the character and, and we, we do spend an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with how the character would actually react and then what would Doc do? And so it’s, it’s a very collaborative thing because obviously he’s trying to write from his, Lived experience and his situation and, and professional expertise as a mental health professional.
And then, One or both of us tried to write from the perspective of the character and what would they say and, and how would they react. And sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re really emotionally wraught. Sometimes we, we walk that line and there’s a bit of both. I think this one was a little more tightrope back and forth.
Sometimes they’re really wacky and zany and sometimes, you know, we, we’ve cried writing and recording. So it all kind of depends on the character. But any case, well, obviously if you’re here, you’re a fan of, of Vash and, and Trigun. And it was just like I said, again, for me, my first real experience with an anime.
And it’s definitely something, it’s a genre that I’m not gonna like dive head first and, and become a otaku or anything like that. But I will definitely start. You know, watching a little bit more and saying, okay, cuz I, I, I like branching out. I like experiencing things that I hadn’t before. I don’t know where I’m gonna find the time to do this.
Doc Issues: Well, I’m disappointed in you. You didn’t wear a red trench coat, you didn’t spike your hair, you didn’t do a darn thing. Man, I, I can’t
Anthony: What hair? I, I can’t spike what’s not there.
Doc Issues: Okay. Remember, this is a podcast. Not everybody knows what you look like.
Anthony: That’s fair. That’s fair. The people listening don’t know what I look like, but well, they do if they follow us on social media.
Which is a, a brilliant segue. Thank you very much. So Thank you everybody for coming out. All of our episodes are on our website, capes on the couch.com. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at capes on the couch. We’re a member of the Gonna Geek Network, so you can go to Gonna geek network.com and find other awesome fantastically geeky shows that, that cover that.
But I want to again, thank you everybody for coming out. Thank you to PuchiCon. And I know that there is another PuchiCon that is going to be in Pennsylvania in October. Mm-hmm. I wanna say October, November. So we will definitely be. Applying to that one. So hopefully if you came out to this one you can check us out there and maybe, maybe there will do knives, you know, at that one.
Doc Issues: So, or maybe we’ll go with a completely different show or that Oh, oh, don’t worry.
Anthony: I, I know you’ve got ideas. You’ve, you’ve got a whole host of ideas. Matt, our, one of our President level patrons, he said, oh, if, if you guys are doing anime and manga now, have I got suggestions for you? So I have a feeling that we’re, we’re gonna be doing a lot more eastern entertainment in the future.
So before we wrap up, doc, I know you usually elect to end us with a pun.
Doc Issues: You really think I have a pun for, you know, like a convention like this? Really?
Anthony: Yes. Yes I do. You’ve had it in your back pocket since we determined what we were going to be doing.
Doc Issues: So see now, now you’re gonna leave them disappointed cuz I really don’t.
All I’ll say is when you talk about things like Vash the stampede, a stampede indicating, you know, an unexpected event that triggers a lot of things to interact in a way that potentially could be destructive. And when you call someone a humanoid typhoon, typhoon being a natural disaster, that actually destroys all the things around it.
I would like to say more that it’s a gathering of people that care and are responsible for the winds of change.
Anthony: Well, there you have it. So for doc issues, I’m Anthony Sytko. Thank you for listening, and thank you for coming out to this fantastic panel. We hope everybody here enjoys the rest of the convention and we will see you next time.
Well, that was a lot of fun. And again, appreciate everybody who came out to see us. In Atlantic City, and I hope that even more of you come out to see us in the Poconos. I believe it’s going to be a little better attended this time because we’re getting an afternoon panel. One of the downsides for this panel was that it was the first slot of the day.
So if you weren’t there when the con opened, or you were specifically targeting us, like the one girl said, she made a beeline and made sure she got in right when the con opened because she wanted to be there for the Vash panel. I’m also assuming that since Cowboy Bebop is more well known than Trigun and it’s no disrespect to Trigun fans, but before doing the episode, I never heard of Trigun.
I’ve heard of Cowboy Bebop long before doing this podcast. So I’m assuming we’re probably going to draw a bigger crowd.
Doc Issues: Now, having said that in hindsight, and I think we learned our lesson with this, the interaction after the official recording was great.
Anthony: And it absolutely was. We got great feedback from fans and frankly, we should have been recording that as well because there were just some, some excellent questions that were raised and, and a discussion with, with myself and doc and the fans.
That we didn’t get on, on tape. So in a way that’s kind of cool, cause it’s also like special. But there were some good stuff there that I think our fans really would appreciate it in terms of insight to the character, but yeah, we’ll, we’ll do that for next time. Yep. Maybe, maybe that one will be like a little patron exclusive.
Doc Issues: Right, right. And just as a, as a heads up. This is true for the podcast in general. I know for myself, I’ll never claim to be the expert on a character. So if someone comes to me with something that I didn’t know, that’s wonderful. And then if they want my immediate opinion on it, may not be as well formed, may not be as articulate, but doggone it, you’re going to get a gut reaction.
So please, please, it’s an opportunity in a very beautiful area of the country. If you’ve never been to Camelback, it’s, it’s a great opportunity.
Anthony: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, like I said come and check us out. We’ll have some swag there. We gave away some buttons last time. I’m pretty sure we still have quite a few buttons left over as long as I can find the box that they’re in somewhere in this office, I’ll find it eventually.
So upcoming episodes, and again, these will be spaced out every other week. But our next episode formally will be Mr. Sinister, Nathaniel Essex, and then Ventriloquist and then Bigby Wolf from the fables. And a side note, cause as I was. Looking through the characters and starting to do my research.
I was reading fables and going, this is awfully familiar to me. We did the trade paperback review of the first arc of fables for the Patreon. So if you’re not already subscribed to the Patreon, you can head on over to patreon. com slash capes on the couch and subscribe. One of the other announcements that we made is that due to the Shifting and dropping down to bi weekly as we’ve eliminated the president tier level of the patron.
So it’s capped at five bucks, but you still get all the other stuff from there. And so the episodes for season 10 are basically the remnants of what our present level patrons had previously requested. So we’re going to burn through those and honor their requests before getting into some new stuff, which will probably happen probably the early part of 2024 by the time we get through the last bits of the episodes that had already been requested.
But like I said, many thanks to all of our present level patrons who have provided us with not just obviously the financial support, but these incredible requests. And episode suggestions over the past five years every single present level patron that we’ve had is just again, so we’re so grateful to everyone for that.
But it was just like I said, a matter of dropping back for our own mental health because we were getting, I don’t want to say burned out, but it’s, it’s hard to do this every week with the level of care that we want to give you. But I discussed all that in the mini episode, so I don’t want to continue to belabor that point.
So as always, you can find all of our episodes on our website, capesonthecouch. com. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Threads. Or is it Twitter or X now? I’m still calling it Twitter. I don’t care what. Muskrat has to say about it. It’s still Twitter. And capes on the couch for all of those places.
We’re also proud members of the Gonna Geek Network, so you can check out gonnageeknetwork. com and find other awesomely geeky shows that Doc and I have. So thanks to everybody over there, it’s good to be back and good to continue promoting the network shows. So as I said check us out on the other social media pages.
We’re probably going to have maybe a blog post and a lot of stuff is going to be up on the website. It’s good. We’re going to be a lot more active in those other areas now that we’re not doing the show every week. So all that being said doc, before we wrap up .
Doc Issues: See, I got to admit this happened, so, you know, I’m Such a different time.
I can’t just pull in any, any puns. So I’ll just say, thank you so much for sticking with us. And if you’re joining us believe me, it’s worth going back and looking at what we’ve done already, and you’re going to continue to get great content in the future.
Anthony: Absolutely. Appreciate every single one of you. So for Doc Issues, I’m Anthony Sytko saying thanks for listening. We’ll see you in two weeks.