Previously on Drokk!: If there was one thing we learned from the last episode, it’s that Jeff and I are more responsive to the Dredds we’re reading right now when they’re building something towards the larger continuity, rather than the one-off comedy strips that we’ve been reading for more than 30 volumes at this point. So what happens when we hit a volume that’s almost all one-off strips…?

0:00:00-0:02:33: So here we are, reading Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 33, reprinting and collecting material from 2001’s 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Megazine; in short order, we introduce ourselves, the book, and I make a Block reference that is really just obscure and dumb in how it relates to this volume. I should be ashamed.

0:02:34-0:06:22: One of the things that’s notable about this volume — one of the few things; we spend time here talking about that this is another volume that is just fine,” even if that actually means “of high quality, but unremarkable in that because so many of these volumes are of such high quality” — is that it sees Gordon Rennie and Robbie Morrison installed as the new back-up writers to John Wagner, and it’s a good thing as both get Dredd in a way that we’ve not seen other writers manage before. In fact, two of Jeff’s favorite stories in the volume — “Relentless” and “Hell Bent” — are Morrison’s; my favorites are “The Runner,” “The Chief Judge’s Man,” “Bodies of Evidence,” and “Lawcon,” with Jeff sharing some admiration for the latter, as well.

0:06:23-0:20:24: We talk about what does and doesn’t work about “The Chief Judge’s Man,” and actually tend to agree on most of it, even though I rate it far more highly than Jeff due to a complete critical blindspot with regards to nostalgia around Will Simpson’s artwork. (I should have added in the podcast, but didn’t: this blindspot is a late onset thing, and only really exists with his Dredd work. I still dislike both his Hellblazer and Rogue Trooper work, oddly enough.) Nonetheless: we like the paranoia, we like the antagonist, but Jeff thinks that it’s just a little too on the nose and obvious, especially with the name of one particular character. He’s probably right! We also talk about “Relentless,” which has the opposite problem to “Chief Judge’s Man,” in that the art ends up elevating the writing, with Colin Wilson drawing the shit out of what, to me at least, is a relatively run-of-the-mill Cursed Earth adventure. (That said, it’s “run of the mill” to a Wagner degree, which is pretty fucking amazing for a neophyte Dredd writer like Robbie Morrison.) Also under very brief discussion, “The Moby,” a one-off story notable mostly because it’s an example of Jeff’s beloved trope of “Dredd versus an out of control vehicle.”

0:20:25-0:40:07: “The Runner” is one of my favorite stories in this volume by far, but Jeff is not convinced because of the fact that it breaks a fourth wall too far by nature of featuring a Black man shot by police. We go back and forth about what works and doesn’t work for each of us in this one-off — I can’t get over that last line, but Jeff makes a particularly interesting argument in favor of it, surprisingly — and why it might feel out of place surrounded by comedy strips and not expanded outwards. (Jeff also mentions two changes he thinks would have made the strip better, at least one of which I think is entirely there in the comic itself.) Also: Duncan Fegredo’s a really good artist, everyone.

0:40:08-0:51:46: We run through another couple of my favorite stories: “Bodies of Evidence,” a ridiculous romp that distinguishes itself through Cam Kennedy artwork and some great character names — Ivana Freebie is an all-time classic, let’s be honest — and “Lawcon,” which answers that question on everyone’s lips: “What if John Carpenter’s The Thing, but Judge Dredd?” If that doesn’t sound like a good time to you — even with the art of Richard Elson, which could best be described as “too pedestrian for Dredd, but not bad per se.” (He’s done some other work for 2000 AD that I actually like a bunch; his stuff here isn’t particularly great, though.)

0:51:47-1:19:11: We return to a subject we’ve touched on a bunch in recent episodes… namely, how difficult it is to find something new to say about work that is good, but itself not really saying anything new. Is the problem us, or the comics? (I think it’s the former, Jeff seems to believe otherwise.) It’s not just navel gazing, though; Jeff has a theory about the lack of psychological depth in the supporting characters of Dredd as written by John Wagner, and we also talk about whether “Foot Patrol” or “Kicking the Habit” is the worst story in the volume. Spoilers: it all comes down to art in the end, at least for Jeff. Siku might be an evocative painter, but he’s really not big (or good, for that matter) on narrative work. Meanwhile, I’m still struggling with Wagner actually naming a character “Judge Hitler,” because what the ever-living fuck. All this, and Jeff making a casino metaphor about the tightness of slots that I’m still not entirely sure I understand.

1:19:12-end: We’ve already gone through favorite stories and least favorite stories, so there’s only one last thing to get up to: Drokk or Dross? After sorting that question out, it’s time to wrap things up, mention the Twitter and the Patreon, and look to the future with hopeful hearts and a dream that we’re going to get some more continuity heavy material. (If nothing else, there is a sequel to “The Chief Judge’s Man” with art by Colin MacNeil.) As always, thank you for listening and reading.


00:00-13:04: Greetings!  After a rocky opening on Jeff’s part (and not by which we mean he goes the distance for the Champion of the World title), we are on to talking about the big cinematic news of the week, coyly alluded to our references to one another as “Pattinson” and “Wright.” Yes, of course, as you would expect of a comic book podcast during the week of a new Batman movie premiere, we are going to spend *a lot* of time talking….West Side Story! But only after Graeme tries to figure out when the last Batman movie was released and who was writing Superman at that time…(Have you ever considered we’re not really doing this whole comic book podcasting thing correctly? I hadn’t…but typing the sentence certainly gave me pause, I admit.) But anyway, there is a bit of The Batman talk (or, to use the comedy staple, what I’d call “The ‘The Batman‘ talk,” which now that I think of it maybe it’s just funnier to say “The Batman talk” as it sounds like that kind of euphemism for the talk you have when you tell kids where babies come from? (“Well, son, when a man and a woman love each other very much, they get gunned down after leaving a movie theater, leaving their only son behind, vowing to fight crime….”) and it’s spoiler-free. (Also, kind of blatantly uninformed, but eh, what can you do?)

13:04-25:44: Okay, but seriously…the remake of West Side Story! Graeme has seen it; Jeff will soon but has not yet; and we talk *a lot* about it as well as some Stephen Spielberg related stuff as one would expect. Also discussed: crying at movies, catharsis, and more.[
25:44-48:05: So here’s some comic book talk: Graeme was pretty surprised when Jeff mentioned being pretty depressed about digital comics this week in part due to…manga?! What? Find out the scoop here, True Believer! Discussed: Amazon and its lousy search and sort for comics on sale, Temple Grandin’s cattle, Conan (of course), MangaPlaza, Crunchyroll and Funimation, moving cookies around on a plate, Shonen Jump and MangaPlus, Azuki, Manga Planet, and more.
48:05-1:21:40: By contrast—and certainly not without its own frustrations (certainly for those outside the U.S. who have no access to it)—Graeme has had a fine ol’ time with DC Universe Infinite. It has personalized reading lists! And decades of Legion of Super-Heroes comics! So you can just imagine what Graeme has done with just those two things! (And if he figures out a way to export or get a link for the former, I’ll include it here!). So, yeah, buckle up and get ready for Graeme to walk you through LOSH and Legionaries in the 90s, but only after he walks Jeff through the storied history of its reboots, offshoots, and, uh……cahoots, or something? (Sorry, riffed my way into a corner on that one…)
1:21:40-1:41:48: Jeff wants to talk about the latest issue of The Nice House on the Lake by James Tynion IV and Álvaro Martínez Bueno (with exquisite coloring by Jordie Bellaire!) So if you haven’t read the first volume (issues #1-6) or the latest issue, there are SPOILERS here for both. A bit of back and forth with Graeme and Jeff as to where Jeff thinks things might be heading. BTW, at one point, Jeff gets frustrated at waving his hands in frustration trying to sum up “The Disney situation,” and this is what he was going on about.
1:41:48-1:51:40: According to Graeme, Jeff wasn’t so down with earlier issues of Nice House…. (which is not how Jeff remembers it) but true or not that’s a great segue for Jeff talking about Jason Aaron and Avengers Forever: Jeff *hated* issue #2, but enjoyed issue #3 that just came out. Graeme is, understandably, suspicious (especially after reading the recent run of King Conan to report on the recent controversy) and we talk about Jason Aaron and what his deal is, exactly?
1:51:40-2:00:27: Jeff running from strands from Aaron’s work to Scott Snyder’s work sparks Graeme into pulling attention over to Justice League Incarnate, Deathstroke, Inc., and the material Josh Williamson (with Dennis Culver) has been drawing connections between while shaping their big storyline. Multiversity? Saga of Swamp Thing #50? The Great Darkness Saga? Eclipso?! Sign me up!
2:00:27-2:06:59: And finally, *very* quickly (at least by Jeff standards), Jeff wants to talk about the kinda amazing shoutout to a Steve Ditko character that David Anthony Kraft and Mike Vosburg drop into issue #12 of The Savage She-Hulk. It’s really kind of a thing!
2:06:59-end:  Closing stuff!  Graeme’s newsletter (!  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.
NEXT WEEK:  Time to bust some creeps! Read vol. 33 of Judge Dredd: the Complete Case Files, and join us next week for Drokk!!

Hey there, Whatnauts!

A bit of bonus content to wrap up your month with—join us as we play another round of “My Four Manga,” or as Graeme referred to it the other week: “Who’s a bigger pervert, Jeff or the people who make manga?”

this is a super-short 18 minute episode and sadly it took longer to try and get the rss feed to load than it did to record it, so I’m just going to leave it here for your enjoyment and get on with my weekend before this eats up wayyyyy too much of my life.

We hope you enjoy it, however!  And we hope you join us next week for another full-length episode of Wait, What?


00:00-7:30: Greetings! We are off and running with a rather…potentially offensive line of greetings? Or at least Jeff is potentially offended; Graeme seems quite pleased with himself! But admittedly Jeff is a bit unsettled generally, what with all of his tech gadgets disappearing for hours on end because he had the audacity to clean…fortunately, some of his picayune complaints uncover hints of a time travel paradox with him and Graeme (you know, as you do)…
7:30-57:31: But from there, we go right into the news, and the news this week is the Comixology “upgrade” to 4.0, with the storefront going away, smart lists going away, and a tremendous amount of customer goodwill going away! (and props, by the way, to the fabulous Matt Digges for the perfect image above.)  Jeff and Graeme talk about what a shitshow it is, what it’s meant for Jeff—and for a guy who insists he’s pretty okay with it, Jeff has *a lot* to say about the transition—and what we think it might mean for the future of digital comics. (By the way, Jeff has some good intel in this segment and some very *bad* intel—for example, Marvel does indeed still have an app running on pre-4.0 Comixology that allows reading and purchasing, but DC’s app is long gone—so cave canem, and my apologies!
57:31-1:18:30: Also, in the “noteworthy news” category: JLA/Avengers is coming back into print with a *very* small print run to benefit The Hero Initiative and to pay tribute to George Perez while he’s still alive to see it! And you’d think that would make everyone happy, right? Welllllll….. By the way, if you haven’t signed up for Graeme’s newsletter (still?! really?!), he did some excellent work reporting on this which we rely on quite heavily during this talk…well, that and Jeff’s absolute fear at the demonic menace that is, y’know, Ike Perlmutter.
1:18:30-1:21:36: Okay, that’s the news! (Or at least Jeff’s demolition of all the careful news and facts that Graeme is reading.) Before we move on, though, let us have our mouths write a check I pray our asses will keep: a special skip week edition of My Four Manga is forthcoming! We hope.

1:21:36-1:43:39: Season 1 of Peacemaker just wrapped on HBOMax and Jeff is pretty sure (kinda sure?) we hadn’t discussed the show on here yet so….here you go. We also talk about Gunn’s approach to superhero movies and the recurring theme in most of the work, the Aquaman: King of Atlantis cartoon on HBO that Jeff had no idea was even a thing, The Doom Patrol TV show, The Virgin Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Chad DCU, and more.
1:43:39-1:49:01: Jeff tries to ask Graeme what he thinks of Grant Morrison’s Substack annotations about Superman and the Authority and—to put the best spin on this possible—only manages to misgender Morrison, not Morrison *and* Graeme, in the process.
1:49:01-2:05:46: Jeff wants to talk about some comics he’s read! (Too much so, unfortunately.) And doubly unfortunately, those comics happen to be those contained in The Savage She-Hulk Marvel Masterworks, Vol. 1, almost entirely written by David Anthony Kraft (RIP) and Mike Vosburg (but also Stan Lee and John Buscema pitching an episode of TV’s Incredible Hulk). Also discussed: The Complete Man-Wolf largely by DAK and George Perez and some comments about Ghost Rider Marvel Masterworks Vol. 2 and the work of Tony Isabella.
2:05:46-end: Jeff ran long (and was also a ninny) so Graeme steps in for…. Closing stuff!  Graeme’s newsletter (!  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graemeand JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.
NEXT WEEK:  Skip week…but keep your ears open just in case?

Previously on Drokk!: When we last checked in with Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files, we were surprisingly disappointed with the ways in which it felt… underwhelming and, at times, lesser than the history of the strip, perhaps? We put much of that down to the presence of Alan Grant in the writing credits, so what should we make of Vol. 32, which is predominantly the work of one John Wagner…?

Unusual Audio Note: Try as I might, I couldn’t get rid of a strange Doppler effect at times when I’m talking; it comes and goes seemingly without rhyme or reason, and isn’t present just on my audio track at all, but Jeff’s. I outright muted his audio in places, but it still shows up in places. Sorry; I hope it’s not too distracting.

0:00:00-0:03:01: A speedy introduction lets the listener know two very important things. Firstly, that we’re covering Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 32, which covers material from 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Magazine in 2000 and 2001, and secondly, that I’ve just had a chocolate bar before we started recording. Spoilers: only one of those facts is actually important to the podcast as a whole.

0:03:02-0:27:11: We get started pretty quickly, by talking about the “Sector House” storyline, and the “Blood Cadets” story that preceded it and set it up, as Jeff asks what my definition of “Mega-Epic” is — does an eight-part story count, especially if it’s by Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra? (No.) Before too long, Jeff is sharing his dislike of Simon Fraser’s art, his enjoyment of the retcon of Rico Dredd and potential reasons for his off-screen villainy, and we talk about what it might mean for John Wagner to finally be telling origin stories for Joe Dredd this far into the strip’s run. (I also mistakenly refer to the strip as having run for 13 years at this point, instead of 23 years; it’s not the only time I make that mistake this episode.) Also! Just how great is Carlos Ezquerra? We’ve already counted some of the ways, but here’s another one: his skill at making Rico look like a younger Dredd, yet still differentiating the two in simple, subtle ways so that it remains very clear who we’re looking at. He’s so good, everyone.

0:27:12-1:05:36: From the sublime to the… less sublime but still enjoyable, I guess? We spend a little more than half an hour talking about a bunch of other stories in the collection, and why we like them so much. The short version is, “John Wagner is very good at what he does.” This, of course, includes discussions on the art that we don’t like in the volume (Pete Doherty, Siku, we’re sorry), including a request for you, dear Whatnauts, to leave comments about whether Simon Fraser or Patrick Goddard’s art is most similar to 1990s Fantastic Four stalwart Paul Ryan. (It’s Goddard.) It also includes commentary on the nature of the Magazine stories, the return of P.J. Maybe, the fact that Alan Grant actually outperformed John Wagner on one particular trope this time around (and Jeff interrupting me to get to my point before I could, in a surprise turnaround on tradition), whether or not one story is a backdoor pilot for a series that never ended up happening, and much, much more. Most importantly, we finally learn what it takes to get Jeff to accept sentimentality in a Dredd story. Who knew dinosaur kids were his one weakness?

1:05:37-1:26:56: Things get meta for a period, as we discuss how difficult it is to talk about Dredd 36 episodes in, especially when a volume is good, but also filled with one-off stories that don’t contribute to larger plots or themes. Are we repeating ourselves when we say, as Jeff literally does here, “Fucking Wagner’s the GOAT”? Also: was Dredd as a property essentially self-sufficient and self-run by this point, because Wagner does so much of the heavy lifting and quality control by himself? Jeff references Thrill Power Overload, and I once again mix up 13 and 23 years, although Jeff does thankfully correct me this time around.

1:26:57-end: We wrap things up by mentioning our favorite stories — “Blood Cadets” and “Sector House” for both of us — and our least favorite (“Ghost in the Machine,” as Jeff rightfully points out, although “Ten Years” came very close for me), before teasing a less certain future for the strip as Wagner begins to withdraw slowly, and then mentioning the Twitters and the Patreon, as is our tradition. (We didn’t say it at this point, but had already established: this volume is Drokk, by the way, rather than Dross.) Be back next month for the worst cover of the entire Case Files series; as Jeff would — and indeed, does — say, “Bazinga!”


00:00-8:35: Greetings! We start off this episode with a declaration of love—fitting considering we will soon be talking romance comics. Yes, Graeme loves comics and he is not afraid to say it on this, the three hundred and thirty-sixth episode of this comic book podcast (with close to another 100 episodes of other interrelated podocasts specifically diving into just two titles). Shocker, eh? And yet, it was very great to hear Graeme all hepped up and ready to was enthusiastic about Monkey Prince #1 by Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang, a fun book that for Graeme recalls the heyday of Blue Devil (a very high level of praise for a specific set of superhero comic book reader): “There’s some Spider-Man in there, there’s some Static in there […] but it’s just done really well.”
8:35-24:52: And from there (where’s the talk about the weather? Or sense of imminent catastrophe? we just really dove right into the deep end this episode!), we talk about a book both of us have read: Love Everlasting #1 by Tom King and Elsa Charretier, their new ongoing [?] series currently available for free on Substack. King can be a contentious subject in the W,W? household but we both liked this dark and funny subversion of the romance comic. Jeff spends a bit more time both picking nits and speculating as to some of the influences on the book (but isn’t that what Jeff does?). Graeme just goes on to talk about how good it is and why. According to King here, all the issues are available for free (with a lot of paying tiers to get awesome extras and to help underwrite Substack’s underwriting of it). So ya know, if you want free comics (and if you can overlook some of the very heinous people Substack is platforming, like Jeff and Graeme seemingly find it all-too-easy to do), definitely check it out!
24:52-42:16: There were six new Substacks announced this week (during “comics day on Substack“) including one of interest to us: Xanaduum by Grant Morrison. This is very much Graeme’s jam, and so he talks about it, Bible John, and more. By contrast, Jeff talks about Mangasplaining Extra, the substack spinning out of the incredible Mangasplaining podcast that will not only send out the showcasts from that extremely awesome show but will also being sending out a chapter of manga each week! (p.s. as long as we’re talking newsletters, don’ t forget that one of us has one that’s currently very free.)
42:16-51:46: It’s rare that Jeff takes the lead on talking news, but he does have a personal connection to this one: on what is quite probably the penultimate week before Comixology goes away and comic shopping for the Comixology app has to be done on Amazon’s own comics page, someone put up a bootleg copy of hot-in-the-news-not-available-in-digital Maus and Amazon promoted it as a new release…for over two days. Despite people telling them. A whole new way to get scammed by comics? Delightful!
51:46-1:02:31: “Shall we talk about the other news story that for my money still isn’t a story yet but is, at the same time, a really big story?” asks Graeme and so leads us down the hallway to a door marked “Image Comics under investigation by the federal National Labor Relations Board for engaging in unfair labor practices.” yow.
1:02:31-1:27:22: How do we get from there to talking about The Official Image Timeline, the embarrassing and slipshod book from Jim Valentino he has the audacity to charge eight god-damn dollars for? Tune in, and hear what we have to say about it. [I’ll give you a hint: I personally thought it an embarrassing and slipshod book from Jim Valentino that he had the audacity to charge eight god-damn dollars for.] I say: ditch the zero and get with the hero: try out Alin Răuțoiu’s Image Timeline: an amazing data visualization of the publication timeline, complete with a search by series field. You wouldn’t think that Official Image Timeline book could get more embarrassing, but it just did.
1:27:22-1:29:47: But on the flip side of the Image coin, Graeme read and really appreciated Made in Korea, Vol. 1 by Jeremy Holt and George Schall. (“On balance, it’s really very good.”)
1:29:47-1:57:14: But Image is not off the hook yet! Graeme and Jeff also read Geiger 80 Page Giant #1 by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Brian Hitch, Sterling Gates, Kelley Jones, Pete Tomasi, Peter Snejberg, and more! After grousing about volume 1 of Geiger, what did we think of the one-off letting us in on the secret origins of “Who?” and “Oh yeah, I think I remember that guy being mentioned in passing.” And as a bonus—which is code for “Jeff is tired of checking the time stamps and making new paragraph breaks”—we discuss Nocterra by Scott Snyder and Tony Daniel which Graeme read after Jeff talked about its extreme similarities to Geiger, which leads to a discussion about a possible rut for Snyder and Jeff’s theory about what’s behind it.
1:57:14-end: Jeff suddenly realizes we’re closing in on two hours, panics, and so… Closing stuff!  We do not mention it on the podcast but sign up for Graeme’s newsletter (!) and:look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.
NEXT WEEK:  Just say “Drokk it!!” and join us next week as we read Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 32.

00:00-5:44: Greetings! What’s happening? No, seriously—what *is* happening? And then, you know, we can talk about being devilish if you want to, we can leave your world behind…and then Jeff’s teases his big topic for the podcast, one which he quickly tries to pivot away from because it’s one he finds potentially emotionally fraught (and Graeme comically less so).
5:44-46:14: And so instead we talk about Geiger, Vol 1, the collection of the first six issues of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s post-apocalyptic sorta-superhero story with sorta-but-not-really-at-all-Kirby and sorta-suddenly-at-the-end-but-also-not-really-at-all-Morrison elements! A lot of unpacking here (with “unpacking” being my 2022 euphemism for “complaining”) from us as we look at how Johns engineered this title without engineering any real entertainment factor to it. Also discussed: Johns’ “Killing Zone” imprint for DC that never showed; G.I. Robot vs. Junkyard Joe (and god bless Graeme for having this more recently and being able to summarize plot points and provide names and all that semi-crucial info); compare & contrast Geiger with Nocterra; Nocterra’s plot description, as read by Will Arnett; the deleterious effect of Doomsday Clock on Geoff Johns’ comics; the “fun” promised by the comic and what “fun” might be delivered and how.

46:14-1:21:08: And but so here we are finally with the topic Jeff wants to talk about but is also afraid to talk about—how much he spent on comics in 2021, how much he read, and (crucially) how much he didn’t! A lot less shaming from Graeme than I was expecting, I have to say, but I’m hoping this segment still provides some interest to “process junkies,” if you define that in a weird fiscal sense. TRIGGER WARNING for, I don’t know, specific dollar amounts and unwise spending, I guess? Also discussed: HumbleBundles; streaming services; Conan The Barbarian reprints from Marvel; hoarding; a bit of info about platforms, and, of course, Usher.
1:21:08-1:38:33: Time for comics news? Wellllll, kind of? I mean, if you mean that Jeff gets Daniel Cherry III’s name wrong and we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about Don Cherry and Neneh Cherry (but barely have any time for Eagle-Eye Cherry?!? We are monsters, it must be said.) But in fact, we skip over the news of issue #1 of X Lives of Wolverine being released day and date on Marvel Unlimited, and dig right in to our reviews of X Lives of Wolverine #1 which are, uh, not favorable. SPOILERS for the end of Inferno starting at the 1:28:39 mark, as Jeff and Graeme discuss whether using super-old continuity is a bit of a cheat (or, as Jeff suspects without having read it, kind of awesome?).
1:38:33-1:46:44: Graeme also talks about the new status quo coming Spider-Man’s way via Spider-Man Beyond, and how much it too feels tired and underwhelming. What does it mean when your story arc is the return of a fan favorite that not only has returned several times in the past few years but is a supporting character in another title and has been for over a year?
1:46:44-1:55:31: A bit of talk about Dr. Strange leads us to Extrano, leads us to…the first three issues of The New Guardians, now dropping weekly on DCUI! But why is the lead-in crossover Millennium not on the service yet? (Also, why can’t I ever spell millennium right on the first try?) We talk about this delightfully weird book and the sad but unavoidable fact that the books definitely takes a hit in both the delightful and weird sections the farther away Englehart gets from the book.
1:55:31-2:13:24: We both realize it’s coming up on 2 hours and you think that means we’re getting close to wrapping things up, but Graeme wants to talk a bit about the current Milestone reboot which is hitting DCUI day and date with print and how some of the choices the new series make are surprising and smart (with our discussion mostly focusing on Static, and Icon & Rocket). But there’s also a little bit of talk about….Conan? Hawk The Slayer? The hell?
2:13:24-end: Closing stuff! We do not mention it on the podcast but sign up for Graeme’s newsletter (!) and:look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast. AND THEN! Graeme has some amazing Real Housewives of Salt Lake City information for us…and it’s all David Wolkin’s fault?! (I’ll be honest, I was not prepared for this closer.)
NEXT WEEK:  Skip week ahoy! Join us in two weeks for our next thrilling episode!

Previously on Drokk!: Last time out, we took a break from the regular grind to read some Strontium Dog, under the basis that it’s created by Dredd’s John Wagner, Alan Grant, and Carlos Ezquerra, as well as simply wanting a nice holiday episode. Now, though, we return to Mega-City One and the antics of one Judge Joseph Dredd, esq. Sure hope it’s going to be a fun, easy volume we’re dealing with this time out!

0:00:00-0:03:39: As is only customary, we introduce ourselves and the volume we’re reading this time out: Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 31, which collects material from 1999 and 2000, something we really didn’t make enough out of in the episode itself. They finally got to the year the comic was named for! That was a bigger deal than, honestly, it felt like in this volume — but then, we do talk about the two special strips that resulted from the big issue celebrating the fact, so maybe not.

0:03:40-0:11:31: Okay, here’s the thing: this volume is extremely hit-and-miss, with a lot of the latter — in no small part due to the heavy presence of Alan Grant as writer; he’s responsible for two-thirds of the 2000 AD material in here, and it’s for the most part sloppy and obvious in a way that John Wagner’s work just isn’t. We talk about that, and the ways in which Grant disappoints far more than his former collaborator.

0:11:32-0:29:12: Our joined Grant rant is interrupted by what might be my primary opposition to this volume: the failure on multiple fronts of the visuals on this book, as personified by Siku, whose work is particularly disappointing and destructive towards the final product. I also complain about the coloring work of Chris Blythe in this volume, though, comparing it to Malibu Comics’ early computer coloring, which in retrospect might be a little unfair. (I still think that the colors aren’t serving the art well, mind you.) If it helps, we also talk about how good Steve Parkhouse and Mick McMahon are, though, and Jeff appreciates the ways in which John Wagner dips in to move the larger continuity of Dredd along in between the shorter strips.

0:29:13-0:51:43: While we’re appreciating artists, we talk about the greatness that is Henry Flint, especially his work on the genuinely incredible “J.D. Megson: A Near-Death Experience,” which appears in this volume. I reveal the subtext/meta-text of the story to Jeff, and suggest that the fact that he enjoyed it without even knowing that subtext existed demonstrates that this is proof of meta-text done well. We also discuss another of the volume’s highlights, “I, Jovis” — a story that swerves away from expectations in two major ways, and is all the better for it. Also under discussion: Is there such a thing as “authentic cynicism,” or am I just talking out of my ass? (Answers on a postcard, please.) What’s the difference between “Good Dredd” and “Bad Dredd,” and do these two stories demonstrate it? And, does Dredd’s openness to the potential for religious faith in “I, Jovis” trigger Jeff’s dislike of what he’s started to call “Judge Dad” moments?

0:51:44-1:12:07: We continue singing the praises of John Wagner in a roundabout way, as we first discuss the two anniversary issue stories — “Future Crimes” and “Old Pal’s Act,” one of which is written by Wagner and one is about Wagner — as well as “Voltface,” and the way it advances the mythology of Mega-City One and the Justice Department. Hershey is now Chief Judge, but what does that mean, especially considering Wagner clearly favors Hershey as something close to Dredd’s level of honor and decency? What does it mean to be the acceptable face of something unacceptable, and is this Wagner merely planting seeds for future development, or his attempt to put the readers’ suspicion of the Judges to bed for a while? But, really, though: that flying bathtub in “Old Pal’s Act” is just amazing. We should have talked about that some more.

1:12:08-1:28:47: Jeff leads us briefly through the remaining Magazine stories that we hadn’t already discussed, including my refusal to give any more mental space to “Stan Lee,” the martial arts hero nonsense by Alan Grant (and, in this volume, artist Ben Willsher), before we get to “Dead Ringer,” a short-run story that manages to basically act as a tribute to and perhaps parody of “The Judge Child Quest” in miniature, written by John Wagner, who wrote the original story it’s obliquely referencing. What was going on there, and just why are some of the art choices in the story quite so bad?

1:28:48-1:34:20: Is this volume Drokk or Dross? In a surprise decision, we both plump for Dross, because the stink of Alan Grant’s contributions couldn’t be ignored. I’d mentioned my favorite stories in this volume earlier (They’re “Volt Face,” “Future Crimes,” “Old Pal’s Act,” and “J.D. Megson,” with the latter probably being my favorite), but Jeff ultimately plumps for the equally deserving “I, Jovis,” based on the art of Steve Parkhouse as much as anything else.

1:34:21-end: We speed towards the close of the episode by talking briefly about what’s to come — less Alan Grant! More John Smith! — and then the traditional mention of Twitter and Patreon before wrapping things up with one of Jeff’s best Dredd voices yet and my badmouthing an upcoming comics project. As always, thank you for listening and reading; we’ll be back next month with, I hope, a better volume.


00:00-7:51: Greetings from the distant year 2022! You are catching Jeff and Graeme In Media Fuckery with it being the *third* time we have had to restart due to technical glitches but we are firing through it! So much so that instead of us commiserating about our rough week, you instead get Jeff’s impassioned New Year’s Resolution to, essentially, not open up the podcast each time complaining about his tough week! Yes, truly a treatise-hammering Martin Luther Jeff is.
7:51-20:37: Fortunately, Jeff is generous with a segue and so we can get to the truly important news: GRAEME McMILLAN HAS STARTED A NEWSLETTER! Not even a week old, two letters have already been sent out and there are more to come. Before I get to my traditional superfast summary of our discussion about it, please go to and sign up if you’re so inclined. (Or even if you’re not inclined! You can drop it when Graeme starts asking for money, after all.) As for the superfast summary: I am excited Graeme is getting to write about comics news in-depth again; Graeme is excited Graeme is getting to write about comics news in-depth again; and if you know somebody who you tried to turn on to the podcast but they couldn’t hack it because they prefer to read instead of listen, let them know so they can get excited Graeme is getting to write about comics news in-depth again! As for our discussion here, what’s great is even without subscribing you can read the installment in question here and then hear us talk about Graeme’s process for the stories covered therein. Whattabargain!
20:37-40:30: One of the topics covered in the newsletter installment—the main topic if you go by wordcount, certainly—is Marvel once again seemingly making a go at making Miracleman *a thing*. Graeme, both understandably and probably foolhardily is curious how Jeff, an old school Original-Writer-and-Miracleman-man, feels about that? And if after reading that sentence, you thought to yourself: “Hmmm, I wonder if they’re gonna fight about Miracleman and Alan Moore?” well, you wouldn’t be 100% right but you’d be far from wrong as well! Listen as a guy-who-recently-read-Miracleman-and-doesn’t-much-like-Alan-Moore and a guy-who-does-like-Alan-Moore-but-has-not-read-the-material-in-a-very-long-time try to learn to live together in this heartwarming new sitcom, 8:30pm, Fridays on ABC!
40:30-1:07:07: Because Graeme has in fact revisited a lot of early (or earlier) Alan Moore recently (such as Moore’s Swamp Thing) and has developed more, as he puts it, generosity if not actual appreciation, Jeff is curious: what *are* the top five Alan Moore books, as far as Graeme is concerned? And in the course of talking about this, the duo uncover perhaps a wider philosophical chasm—is evincing a preference for a creator’s lesser works or the deep cuts of their back catalog kind of a dick way of ducking responsibility? (Also, I didn’t realize this until editing but although I do have, I think, a very good take on the frustrations of liking formalist creators and revisiting their works, I don’t actually provide Graeme with a list when asked? Hmmm.)
1:07:07-1:22:25: Moving away from Mr. Moore, we talk about the big chunks of books Graeme has been reading lately—the Marv Wolfman run on Teen Titans (with art by the mighty George Perez and Eduardo Barreto (and then George Perez again)); the Brand New Day era of Spider-Man, and the Nick Spencer-written run (skipping nimbly over the Dan Slott written run in-between); and the surprising pleasures found therein.
1:22:25-2:03:29: Jeff wants to talk about The Matrix Resurrections because he thought it would be a fast little topic to quickly blab about and move on and, uh, has he ever *listened* to his own podcast? It is kind of interesting as I think Graeme makes some excellent points—listening as I edit and I think his take of the Wachowskis as “technically excellent filmmakers with shitty taste” is both amusing and worthwhile—and I get 50% of the way there to a take on camp that I think is potentially quite good (I drop the ball by only talking about the first part of what I think defines camp and not the whole second part of it, the part that Sontag analyzes in her “Notes on Camp.” (And also I bumble the wall by using the term “breaking the fourth wall” at a crucial point in the conversation rather than continuing to use the original and more correct term “breaking the suspension of disbelief.”)
I also think, while hearing Graeme’s definition, if the British love and deeply held take on camp is, the queer love and deeply held take on camp, centered very heavily on the concept of knowledge of “passing” (either in a deeply classist or a deeply heterophilic/homophobic culture) such that camp does, as Graeme identifies it here, engages in the convention even while acknowledging its absurdity….which may explain why Jeff, a CIS hetero American, has a such a difficult time understanding or appreciating camp in a camp way, and rather has the explanation he engages with here which allows for a different in-road into the inclusive feeling of camp (and may also explain why he finds the camp Graeme talks about more exclusive than inclusive)? anyway, a lot of talk about camp, and also what the hell with the Matrix happened between movies as Jeff understands it and which Jeff trying to explain may well be, by Graeme’s definition, camp, possibly? Dunno.
2:03:29-end: Here is the part where we realize there are so many things we want to talk about—so many!—but we do not have world enough and time so we talk about what volume of Dredd: The Complete Case Files we are reading for next week’s Drokk (Vol. 31!), that website address again where you can sign up for Graeme’s newsletter (!) and:look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.
NEXT WEEK:  When Dredd returns to Drokk!! Vol. 31 of the Complete Case Files next week. Join us!

0:00:00-1:00:41: Just as this week’s episode — the final one of 2021! — is just a bit different than the norm due to circumstance, what with Jeff and I recording separately from across the aether and then editing it together, so are the show notes. With the holidays looming and things still needing to being done, I’m cutting to the chase and just listing the comics we’re talking about, even though I will point out that Jeff does a very good BYEEEEEE at the end of this hour.

Anyway, what has Jeff been reading this year? I’m glad you asked!

A Pantyhose like World
Action 2020 Special
[With Banned Issue]
Batman/Fortnite Zeropoint #1-6
Blue Flag Vol. 6-8
Chainsaw Man Chapters 1-68
Classic G.I. Joe Vol. 5
Conan The Barbarian Giant-Size #5
Creature Girls: A Hands-On Field Journal in Another World Vol. 1-3
Drowning Love Chapters 1-27
Enigma TPB
Fist of the North Star Vol. 1
The Green Lantern Season Two V2 TPB
Immortal Hulk #42-50
Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 24
Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 25
Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 27 (All 2000 AD material can be found here, I should point out.)
Look Back
Louise Sprouse Stole My Heart (And I Have Two Hours To Get It Back)! (You can get it here)
The Nice House on the Lake #1-6
Nocterra #1-6
Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon Chapter 1-4
Rorschach #1-8
Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #1-6
Steaming Sniper Vol. 1-16
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files Vol. 2
Superman and the Authority #1-4
Sweat and Soap 1-10
Untold Tales of the Punisher Max #2
Wasteland #1-13
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku Vol. 5

He also wanted to make sure that everyone had the following links:

Hoopla and Comixology Unlimited, for the Classic G.I. Joe Archives available for free. Bookwalker’s global site for more or less all the manga I picked in one easy place, and I guess the four comics streaming sites: DC Universe Infinite (still U.S. only), Marvel Unlimited (international), Azuki (international), Shonen Jump (semi-international).”

1:00:42-1:07:25: And then the mic is passed to myself and Chloe, although I should explain that the expensive mic I have previously used when it’s the two of us was discovered to be utterly broken just before we started recording, so we had to use the internal microphone in my MacBook — weirdly enough, I think the audio might actually be better than the last time Chloe guested, despite that…? Anyway, sorry for not sounding as good as Jeff in ways that go beyond just not being as smart as Jeff. Meanwhile, Chloe opens things up by talking about Strontium Dog, as Jeff and I suspected she might, having missed the Drokk/Sneck episode…

1:07:26-end: Okay, here’s our incomplete list:

Cyclopedia Exotica
Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, and others
Firekind and John Smith’s comics in general
Guardians of the Galaxy by Al Ewing, Juann Cabal, Marcio Takara, and others
Hewligan’s Haircut
Judge Dredd the Musical as serialized in 2000 AD Progs 2259-2261
The Many Deaths of Leila Starr #1-5
The Nice House on the Lake #1-6
Nightwing #78-83
Rorschach and Strange Adventures but also Human Target #1-2
Roy of the Rovers Vols. 1-7

I should add that I accidentally missed a bunch of things out that I loved, so I’ll refer you to a list I came up with for Variety earlier in the month for more titles. Even that misses out a bunch, however, and I frustratingly can’t remember more than a handful even now! Mea culpa.

We’re going to be taking a brief holiday break, but we’ll be back early in January with our first regular, Jeff-and-I-talking Wait, What? in over a month by that point. To everyone reading and listening, happy holidays and happy end of the year. Here’s to a better 2022, and good health and happiness to the lot of you.