0:00-14:31: Greetings!  Hopefully, it hasn’t been as long for you as it’s been for us.  Yes, we pre-recorded some episodes to make sure you wouldn’t be cheated out of your just due of comic book blabbity-blab, so it’s been….a LONG time since we’ve talked.  A month, maybe?  So keep in mind that: (a) we have a lot to catch up on, and (b) there is a lot in here that is not very comic book related (or related at all, in fact).  But let’s ease you in with our humble admissions that we barely remember how to do this, being photo-shy, our perceived lack of charisma.  Come for the D and D talk, stay for the Goblin’s Lair (spoiler: it’s not what you’d think).


[The cartoon above is by the ever-amazing Tom Bolling but I seem to have really screwed up my ability to add captions to my images so I have to tell you down here instead of up there…]

14:31-1:12:18:  And from here, we have to talk about the recent election because, well, come on, we just have to.  If you listen to us, you already know that we are lefties to varying degrees.  So if you might be offended by people like us talking about the election, pull the chute now and I’ll try to let you know when we start talking about stuff you might want to hear us talk about again.  (Oh, but at one point, I talk about how, before the election, I got a lot of much-needed insight from this article.  And then Graeme mentions this article.)

1:12:18-1:24:00: Okay, now that that particular discussion is over, we can move on to comic-related cruise stories, starting with Jeff’s surprise fellow cruising compatriot.  If you need to pitch a comic book related remake of Vertigo set on the Love Boat, you may want to check this out.
1:24:00-1:52:25: Jeff also read over a hundred comic books and 3.5 novels on the cruise.  He’d like to tell you about some of them. Discussed: Alan Moore’s Jerusalem (not one of the 3.5 novels); music biographies; Barbarian Days; A Surfing Life by William Finnegan; I Am Providence by Nick Mamatas; Machine Man by Kirby and Ditko: The Complete Collection; Fury: My War Gone By by Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov; issue #3 of The Flintstones by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh, and Chris Chuckry; The Vision by Tom King, Gabriel Walta and Jordie Bellaire; Batman: The Cult by Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson; Kill Them All by Kyle Starks; and more.
1:52:25-2:07:23: Aww, Jeff talked too much, damn it, forcing Graeme to run too quickly through the stuff he’s been reading and thinking about lately.  Discussed:  Walt Simonson’s Ragnarok from IDW and his Star Slammers from Epic way back when; We Told You So: Comics as Art by Tom Spurgeon and Michael Dean; early Strontium Dog stories by John Wagner as well as the pending rerelease of One-Eyed Jack; volumes of Mega-City Undercover; the third issue of Doom Patrol by Gerard Way and Nick Derington; and six amazing pages of Super Powers by Tom Scioli in the first two issues of Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye.
2:07:23-end: Closing comments! Next week will be a Q&A session so please feel free to tweet or email us your questions. Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
Next week:  We will be here for you with another episode of Wait, What?  Please join us, won’t you?

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14 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 212: All Shook Down

  1. Jeff Lester Nov 20, 2016

    Want that link for your cutting and pasting pleasure?

  2. Dasbender Nov 21, 2016

    I hope to slog through this election talk to make it to COMICS! but so far it’s been tough going. You both sound pretty eager to characterize Portland and San Francisco compared to the Midwest using vast generalizations. 30-40% of your next door neighbors voted for Trump. He only won my state by 2%, and in my specific county he LOST by almost a 40% margin, yet you make assumptions about what ALL us red state people are like versus where you live? People making assumptions about other classifications of people is one of the greatest problems we need to overcome as a society (and all of humanity). It’s gonna be a tough 4 years if even the self-labeled “liberals” are doing it. Open your minds, guys.

    • Jeff Lester Nov 21, 2016

      That’s an excellent point, Das, and I genuinely appreciate both your patience and with taking the time to comment and knock us on the head about this.

      On the one hand, I was aware of how badly I was playing up the misapprehension you note and tried saying, “I mean, I could get in my car and drive 40 minutes east…” but I also hadn’t thought in advance about how to solve one of the essential problems of talking about this, and I really should’ve. Even the old rhetoric of red and blue states is misguided, which is why I kept grasping for a different term and settled on “the midwest,” which was even worse. I do believe that the split occurs much more between “water” areas and “landlocked” areas, but I don’t even have good terms for those (much less really knowing if it’s accurate).

      But, again, I apologize and appreciate the comment and your patience with us. I also apologize if you think I was assigning blame: like I said (or hope I said), I feel like there were a lot of chickens coming home to roost on this one and the frustrations on all sides are understandable. The trick going forward is figuring out how best to avoid the worst case scenarios now before us, and hopefully that does indeed require us opening our minds.

      • Dasbender Nov 22, 2016

        Thank you for your thoughtful and heartfelt response. I regretted commenting in anger immediately as I hit “post comment” and very much respect that you did not retort in kind. We are all purple states, and anything we can do to stop demonizing The Other will be critical to surviving this mess and healing this cracked society before it breaks.

      • daustin Nov 22, 2016

        The real blue-red split is is less coastal/landlocked than “urban” vs “rural.” Look at the state maps broken by area, like at Ohio or Pennsylvania, and it’s stark.

        Terrifying week – I feel like people forced to choose between a mediocre candidate with lots of shady issues and an authoritarian demagogue opted for the demagogue because at least he offered the courtesy of lying to them and pretending he would make their lives better. And now we have Orange Mussolini in charge of the country.

        And I try to empathize with the motivation of Trump voters and the argument that it wasn’t all about racism and fear, but rather economics. But a pretty high percentage of the people I know who voted for Trump are people I considered to be racists to a greater or lesser degree well before the election (ranging from a Midwestern friend who says ignorant shit but fundamentally means well, to my virulently racist and hateful father and stepsister). Makes it hard not to just say the hell with all of them.

  3. Perry Taliaferro Nov 22, 2016

    So glad to have you guys back. I needed you, yet you were gone. But now, hopefully, you both are here to make everything all right. ;-)

  4. I’ve always steered clear of reading music auto/biographies for pretty well the same reasons Jeff states in the podcast. But if you are in the mood, could I suggest Simon Price’s ‘Everything (A book about the Manic Street Preachers)’ and Julian Cope’s ‘Head On/Repossed?’

    Both are great for pretty well the same reason: they focus as much on the banality of working your way up in the music industry (far from being hotel smashers, the Manic Street Preachers have a greta tale of how when they first came to London they were put up by their then manager, and felt so beholden he’d come back everyday to find they’d done the house work) and then the costs. And Cope is brilliant at describing just how boring acid trips can be from an out sider while describing them from the partaker. His rescuing fellow band member David Balfe from a pint of milk that was looking suspicious one breakfast time is hilarious.

    And (keeping with the Cope connection) the greatest book on music ever written is Bill Drummond and Jimmy Caunty’s ‘The Manual: How to have a Number One Hit the Easy Way (Or your money back)’

    Sage advice includes: “Firstly, you must be skint and on the dole. Anybody with a proper job or tied up with full time education will not have the time to devote to see it through… Being on the dole gives you a clearer perspective on how much of society is run… having no money sharpens the wits. Forces you never to make the wrong decision. There is no safety net to catch you when you fall.” and “If you are already a musician stop playing your instrument. Even better, sell the junk.”

    They’re also well aware of their own impermanence with the following: “The emotional appetite that chart pop satisfies is constant. The hunger is forever. What does change is the technology (…) For the time being we have our Top 10 and Number 1, and while science marches to the beat that will finally destroy it, it also comes up with the goods that will satisfy our other endless appetite, that of apparent change. All records in the Top 10 (especially those that get to Number One) have far more in common with each other than with whatever genre they have developed or sprung out of.”


  5. Mike Loughlin Nov 22, 2016

    My personal dumb comic book/ election analogy is “Dark Reign.” I think the tag line was something like “They lost. He [Norman Osborn] won.” The Dark Avengers replaced the dysfunctional but decent standard Avengers. DR was more of an era than a story. The comparison is both apt and ridiculously reductive.

  6. daustin Nov 23, 2016

    Also read Ten Nights of the Beast for the first time recently. That stuff is definitely super fun, in a trashy “Commando” kind of way. And I agree on Coates’s Black Panther – just not doing anything for me. The whole thing feels very removed and unengaging – insufficient character work.

    Ragnarok has definitely grown on me since the first few issues as the characters (particularly Thor) have developed personality, but I have a very specific problem with it. I think the coloring is really well done, but the over-consistent use of blue, purple and gray tones I think is keeping the book from really popping visually. Laura Martin is incredibly talented, but I think that aesthetic decision is holding the book back. Unlike say, David Aja’s work, I think Simonson benefits from more old fashioned bold coloring choices. Maybe I’m wrong and it’s just nostalgia – back when I was a kid starting in comics (primarily Marvel) and paid zero attention to who was writing and drawing my comics, I think Simonson, along with JRJR and Alan Davis, was one of the first artists whose style really started to stand out to me, and made me begin to focus on the credit lines. Curious what you think.

  7. Jensen Nov 23, 2016

    One of you is politically informed by freaking, and the other one cites a blog dedicated to LARPing like it’s 1930s Germany when it just isn’t. (It really isn’t.) You should seriously be questioning the intellectual rigor of the media you digest. You know, the same media that said Hillary had over a 90% chance of winning, because maybe these goofballs are totally wrong about other stuff too. Your media has turned you so neurotic that it isn’t funny. It really isn’t funny. I’m not sure people even seriously believe this stuff. I think it’s just LARPing, whether you realize it or not. If you really believe “literally Hitler” is taking over, you should be organizing real (i.e. armed) resistance, not doing group therapy and staging pointless riots.

    No, I didn’t vote for Trump. He’s a blowhard whose politics are just as utopian and laughable as anything the far left as ever offered. Yes, I am concerned about the same things you are in regards to race relations. The difference is you guys are being paranoided-out by pundits who are totally out of touch with reality. No one cared when the Communist Party America endorsed Obama and Hillary — as well they shouldn’t. But under equal treatment from the anti-Trump media, Obama and Hillary would have been characterized as Stalin-worshipers who definitely want all dissidents in gulags. The “white supremacist” label has lost all meaning. Trump just nominated a woman of Indian descent as UN ambassador, btw. All his oldest childrens’ spouses are all Jewish or part Jewish. All his grandchildren are Jewish. A decade ago Jesse Jackson was giving Trump the same big-up nonsense awards all the lefty politicians get from African American “community leaders”. Jeff Sessions desegregated Alabama schools and gave a KKK leader the death penalty… but somehow he’s a “white supremacist”.

    You guys have cried wolf too many times now. The only people who believe you are the people who react to “literally Hitler” by signing petitions.

    Thanks for giving the time stamp for when the comic talk starts.

    You guys should sue the media for scaring you so much. I’m serious. And I don’t mean any of this as like an insult. I’m saying, Please recognize how weak and distraught your media has made you.

    • Take that alt-media “the real problem is liberals complaining” nonsense elsewhere. Part of your argument resembles the classic “How can he be racist?! Some of his best friends are Black!” Mother fucker has literally called for an indefinite ban on any Muslims entering the country. Check the tapes. On a televised debate with 80 million viewers, he promised to heal race relations by implementing unconstitutional stop and frisk in the inner cities. He has told his supporters in the Philadelphia suburbs, “Watch your polling booths. I hear too many bad stories about Pennsylvania, certain areas. You know what I’m talking about. So vote and then go over and watch and watch carefully.” How else can that be interpreted? Dude is a bigot and wants to put bigotry into policy.

      You may not be a Trump voter, but you’re speaking their language. You propose a false position where somebody is claiming “literally Hitler” will take office, which no one said. Then say people should act on this false position by staging an armed rebellion instead of having faith in our checks and balances and acting within the law (armed rebellion – now who was saying that a few weeks ago?). Then you suggest instead that liberals waste time staging “pointless riots,” when the overwhelming majority of the PROTESTS (correct word) were peaceful.

      The “cry wolf” stuff, look I get it. Some of the articles on Vox, HuffPo, and others are clickbait, exaggeration, and fearmongering. It’s annoying, and they should hold themselves to higher standards. But at the same time, to circle back to your “literally Hitler” point, some comparisons are cause for legitimate concern.

      Take for instance Michiko Kakutani’s NYT book review of a recent Hitler biography. She never mentions Trump’s name once, and yet the parallels leap off the page. That should worry you. The U.S. has vastly more power than 1930s Germany. Even if Trump is only one one hundredth as bad as the actual, “literal” Hitler, that is cause for great concern.

      And the “cry wolf” analogy may not be the best for the point you’re trying to make. At the end of that story, the wolf is real, and it eats the sheep and the boy.

  8. So Jeff, you didn’t know Brian Bendis does a mean Manchester accent?

    Anyway, I took my first cruise in October 2015 and have now been on three so this Brit, at least, likes being on a ship. But I jolly well didn’t vote for Brexit.

    I’m genuinely impressed by how caring Jeff’s firm is in providing counselling for folk upset by the rise of Trump, while surprised by the need. It makes people sound like delicate little flowers. I’m appalled by the result, and feel for you guys over there, but being unable to sleep, or to work? That’s one troubling psychic stain. Where’s the cynicism, the sense of humour, the fighting spirit?