Previously on Drokk!: Let’s all embrace the fact that we’re finally past the last Garth Ennis material we’ll be reading on this series of podcasts, and instead into a brand new era of Dredd, where things seem to be… working out quite well, actually, with John Wagner sharing writing duties alongside the new guard of Robbie Morrison and Gordon Rennie, as well as the return of the old guard of Alan Grant. I wonder how that’s going to work out this time around…

0:00:00-0:01:58: With great speed, we get into the fact that we’re covering Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 35, featuring material from 2002’s 2000 AD Progs 1276 through 1301, and Judge Dredd Megazine Vols. 4 #7 through 13, by a lot of different creators, including Alan Grant, which brings us to…

0:01:59-0:09:06: How bad are Alan Grant’s stories in this volume? Enough to get me starting the episode by complaining about his first two entries in the book, although my particular complaint that he’s trying to get some recurring threats going is deflected by Jeff pointing out quite appropriately that Gordon Rennie also seems to be trying something similar in his first story in the book. Could this be an editorially-led decision, and if so, are we properly entering the era of so-called “modern Dredd”?

0:09:07-0:17:40: In true Wait, What? fashion, we get derailed from our conversation about Judge Dredd to talk about two entirely different 2000 AD moments: first, the 1980s “behind the scenes” strips featuring fictional editor Tharg the Mighty and the relatively fictionalized “creator droids,” which are truly wonderful and deserve to be reprinted as soon as possible, and secondly, the early 1990s reboot of Rogue Trooper, and in particular, the Michael Fleisher-written, Ron Smith-drawn episodes that followed immediately after Dave Gibbons and Will Simpson rebooted the concept. Mistakes were made, and I’m not referred to me for bringing it up in the first place. (Seriously, though, why would editors go for Ron Smith?)

0:17:41-0:43:00: Jeff asks what I thought of the book, so I tell him. Thankfully, we both liked it a lot, and we start going through some of the reasons why, including John Wagner’s unexpectedly nostalgic run of three stories in the middle of the book, starting with “Leaving Rowdy,” a genuine pleasure with some great Carlos Ezquerra art. We talk about Ezquerra, and also about how we feel about Rico, Dredd’s recently-introduced younger clone — how does he compare to Kraken, and what does that say about Dredd himself, as well as where John Wagner’s mind is at when writing these stories, versus when he was leading up to Necropolis? Also! Jeff isn’t down with Dredd’s guilt over the death of Judge Lopez back during The Judge Child Quest, but is it because he also hates men with mustaches?

0:43:01-1:09:34: We work our way through much of the rest of the book in order, unusually, touching on such topics as: Ian Gibson, cheesecake artist or pervert? What is the correct way to draw a zipper on someone’s head? Why are some of these stories longer than they should be? Is Paul Marshall just too dull to make the most of “Escape from Atlantis”? What’s with the Don King reference that just doesn’t pay off, and did Alan Grant get Don King mixed up with Stan Lee somehow? Jeff’s pinball obsession finally pays off! And, of course, the all-important question of, “what subject is just too mean for Judge Dredd, at least according to Graeme and Jeff?” The answer to that last one may genuinely surprise you; to be honest, I think it surprised us as we were discussing it.

1:09:35-1:20:44: All of the last near half-hour leads us to a good place, though, as we get to talk about “Citizen Sump,” the highlight of the entire volume and the best Dredd story we’ve seen in a long time. How good is it? Well, Jeff suggests that he prefers it to Citizen Kane, the obvious (and clear) inspiration for the story, but he’s got good reason to: John Wagner delivers a blinder of a story with an absolutely heartbreaking climax, while John Higgins’ artwork channels Will Eisner’s The Spirit and film noir in ways that go beyond the cliches. It’s just really, really good stuff.

1:20:45-1:46:27: As I put it, from the sublime to the ridiculous, as we end by talking about “Sin City,” the longest story in the volume and the one that Jeff has arguably the most problems with. But is much of what he’s struggling with a bug or a feature? It depends on how willing you are to give John Wagner credit for thematic elements that might be entirely accidental, in practice. (Is he ripping off earlier stories to comment on Las Vegas recycling cultural landmarks? Or is he just ripping off old stories?) We also talk about Kev Walker’s art without my actually getting around to defending it — I really like his art here, I just didn’t say as such on the recording — and there’s a brief mention about the strange case of future echoing that happens here, too.

1:46:28-1:51:19: We’re beginning to close things up, so we talk about our favorite stories in the book — “Citizen Sump” for both of us — our favorite non-Wagner story (both of us plump for “Necrophage,” in which Gordon Rennie’s story is helped significantly by John Burns’ art), and our least favorite stories in the book, too. (Jeff putting “Block Court” on that list is still troubling to me.) In case you can’t tell by now, we also both plump for the Drokk side of Drokk or Dross, as well.

1:51:20-end: The end is near, which means it’s time to finally, properly promise that Dredd/Aliens crossover in the next episode — it’s in Case Files Vol. 36, even though I was convinced it came earlier — before we talk Twitter, Patreon, and I turn out to be entirely correct in suggesting that these show notes were going to be late on Monday. It’s been quite a day, that’s all I can say…! As always, thank you for reading and listening. We’ll be back in a month with some xenomorph action…


00:00-7:50: Greetings! Or as our new standard greeting for 2022 apparently goes: “so what ended up fixing [the tech problem] was…” I wish I could say you only hear Jeff make audible whining noises in the first minute thirty, but oh-ho-ho that certainly is not true!
7:50-1:00:06: We recorded this on Free Comic Book Day 2022 (something we talk about in more detail at the very *end* of the episode) and also on the day the Internet learned George Perez had passed away on Friday, May 6. Following on the heels of Neal Adams’ death the week prior, it is hard to imagine such a near-simultaneous loss. Here, we talk a bit about Perez, Adams, their work, and their legacy. Also discussed: reappraising Marv Wolfman, the recent two part oral history of JLA/Avengers over at The Beat (though Jeff only read the first part, and Graeme’s more sensible take is based on having read both parts); and more.
1:00:06-1:17:10: And then on to other topics, such as…The Batman! Jeff dug it. Sure it was too long, overstuffed, and tried to do too much (so many of the faults of most superhero movies Jeff rails against) but…worked for Jeff! Whereas that West Side Story remake?
1:17:10-1:23:48: Oh, and also: Jeff was thinking about it and he’s got *yet* another MCU theory stemming from the final episode of Loki! Spoilers for the final episode of Loki and, if Jeff had his way, the next big arc of the MCU but….nah. (For reasons that Graeme doesn’t elaborate on-air because they have “Dr. Strange: Multiverse of Madness” spoilers.) So sorry for the brief (?) injection of Fanfic Headcanon (which sounds like a Steve Gerber villain, bless him).
1:23:48-1:32:47: Actual comics! They were bound to show up eventually! Jeff bought the first issue of Jim Rugg’s Hulk: Grand Design – Monster #1 and…did not like it! Damn it! We also discuss Piskor’s and Rugg’s Grand Design projects and what a tightrope act they are, as a way (at least for Jeff) to find more empathy for Rugg.
1:32:47-1:48:35: Oh, and what’s an episode of Wait, What? without a jovial skirmish that threatens to turn deadly? Jeff finally quits his subscriptions to Avengers and Avengers Forever, Graeme has a question or two to ask about the process and bam, we are off to Skirmishville! (Population: Us.) How does The Great Gatsby come into it? You’ll just have to listen, I’m afraid.
1:48:35-2:08:05: “I’m going to pivot off all of that,” Graeme says tactfully and moves on to talk about Jed Mackay and the Death of Doctor Strange (with art by Lee Garbett)! Graeme was on the fence about Mackay’s work and talks about that for a bit before talking about how much he does enjoy the Mackay scripted event (minus the innumberable tie-in issues that add nothing (and probably are not written by Mackay I’d bet but don’t quote me either way). Also discussed: Beyond: Spider-Man, a thing I sort of had vaguely heard about but not really; Darkhold, a Steve Orlando scripted, uh, event?; and more.
2:00:17-2:08:05: As mentioned above, we are recording this on the FCBD, and Graeme had some recommendations in his recent newsletter, so Jeff asks him to recap those. Also included: some really impressive shenanigans from Diamond about Free Comic Book Day, and more.
2:08:05-2:16:59: Oh, I was wrong—the fight about Avengers kind of ends up here, because Jeff tried bottling up his emotions in the earlier segment, and it finally all comes cascading out here. Yeah, good times, my friend, good times. (Good times, and a *Great* Gatbsy!) Also, crammed in there at the corners: Chihayafuru!! It’s so good, you guys. It’s so good.
2:16:59-end: Closing comments (give or take a few minutes, but let’s say it comes in here)? But Graeme talks about reading the oral history of Mad Max: Fury Road and reprints of the British Transformers comics, and Jeff talks about the observation about Elon Musk buying Twitter that led him to…the first episode of Baxter Building? And also: Graeme’s newsletter (!  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff!  Tumblr, 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 get Drokked! Read Vol. 35 of Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files and join us here next week, citizen!


Hey, all: you may remember on a previous skip week, we did two rounds of My Four Manga, one for the podcast and one for our Patreon. This week, Jeff was a little too wiped out from a crazy workweek, so Graeme decided to step up and turn the tables on Jeff with…Four British Comics! Three are real; one is a fake! Can Jeff tell which is which? This is the first round—listen to Jeff flail!

00:00-12:30: Greetings from Graeme “anger averse” McMillan and Jeff “eyes bleeding with rage” Lester, just minutes after a technical problem! Follow up “anger” with a chaser of “fear” and we’ve got a reworking of a primo Yoda quote shoutout (that thank goodness is never made) as we discuss some of Jeff’s secret anxieties about our podcasting schedule and how all those fears inevitably lead to….Superman IV: The Quest for Peace? Discussed: teenagers; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; why the fifth Superman movie should’ve taken place on the Planet of the Apes; and more.
12:30-41:33: Talking about non-comics superhero media? Why, don’t mind if we do! Graeme rewatched the last episode of Loki and that most recent Spider-Man movie; Jeff watched the *first* two episodes of Loki. And so we have some things to compare and contrast with (yes) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Join us for a discussion of the Spider-Man movie and Loki (and Moon Knight!) that is pretty spoiler-free (I think)?
41:33-1:13:57: Jeff read an article in Variety about DC that leads him to make some connections about how Marvel’s success keeps tripping up DC in very weird ways; Graeme is a little more dubious about that article for reasons we go into, but it also gives us a bit of time to really dig into some of the other rumors that seem to be floating around about DC.
1:13:57-1:24:08: And from DC media to DC’s comic leadership to DC Comics….Jeff has a complaint about the digital trade of Infinite Frontier that leads to a rather surprising “Wait, What?” moment and/or scoop about the Infinite Frontier digital trade! You heard it here first, True Believer! (Unless you heard it somewhere else, that is. I don’t know—we’re not omnisicient! Cut us some slack!)
1:24:08-1:36:57: Comics! Graeme has recently read Telepaths by J. Michael Straczynski and Steve Epting. So why does Graeme spend so much time discussing The Resistance, The Resistance: Uprising, and The Resistance: Moths another series by Straczynski (and Mike Deodato, Jr., C.P. Smith, and Mike Choi)? There’s a lot of unpacking of The Resistance to help understand the surprising charms of Telepaths, believe you me! (Or “believe you, Graeme,” I guess.)
1:36:57-1:43:30: And of course, Jeff being Jeff, he’s not going to switch between talking about comics from the creator of Rising Stars to a one-shot from the creator of Chainsaw Man without paraphrasing a quote by James Baldwin (the thinking man’s Stan Lee, as I believe Baldwin’s been called). But pretensions aside, the point here really is that over on the Shonen Jump and MangaPluswebsites, Tatsuki Fujimoto dropped a 200 page one-shot, Goodbye, Eri, that is, quite frankly, fucking stellar. Pretty sure you can read it online for free currently without signing up for anything, and seriously—you should read it.
1:43:30-1:55:00: Apparently, during the last Wait, What. Jeff mentioned he was currently at an all-time high of seven manga titles he was reading in simulpub (though one of those has a *very* qualifier) but didn’t list them. He lists them here and talks about arguably the most mortifying one—yes, even more mortifying than Excuse Me Dentist, It’s Touching Me—Hokkakaido Gals Are Super Adorable! (May God have mercy on your soul, Jeff.) Also discussed: the joys of interlibrary loans!
1:55:00-2:08:00: Not currently under discussion, but apparently a bit of a teaser—Graeme has re-read a lot of John Smith and wants to talk about it a lot….but is not going to do so here because Chloe has also re-read a lot of John Smith and they both want to talk about it on here together. But to wet your whistle, here’s a small preview. And because I love you, in case you’re wondering the name Graeme is saying of the replacement writer for Smith on Indigo Prime when Smith disappears (for years!) mid-story, it is indeed Kek-W, and there is indeed an explanation for that, and a twitter account, and yes there is indeed a popular Twitch steam chat expression which made this search incredibly annoying so in addition to loving you, it can probably also be said that at this particular moment, I hate Graeme. Oh, but also, I’m not not going to split this out—in fact, I kinda wish I was going to edit this out but I’m not—but remember that opening talk about Loki? Jeff has a theory about the TVA that he’s curious about (only two episodes in) that he is hesitant to ask because, well, it’s kinda him showing his ass and highlights an uncomfortable bit of, uh, racist cracker-ness. But he’s going to go for it, and I’m not editing it out because honestly white people pretend like these little acts of racist supposition always happen to other people, not themselves, and maybe the world would be better if white people showed their ass, admitted it, and learned from it rather than edited it out of the podcast?
2:08:00-end: Closing stuff!  Graeme’s newsletter (!  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff!  Tumblr, 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.  (Plus, closing episode Showgirls-related fun fact courtesy of the inimitable Ian Brill.  Thanks, Ian!)
NEXT WEEK:  Not one but *two* skip weeks! Join us in the first full weekend of May for an all-new Wait, What?!

Previously on Drokk!: We’re firmly in what commenter Jared so suitably termed “the Golden Rut” of Dredd, where everything is technically going well with the strip in both its 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Megazine incarnations, and yet, it’s feeling increasingly difficult to say anything about it. If only, say, Garth Ennis would return as writer or something…

0:00:00-0:03:51: Welcome, dear friends, to the 2001-2002 revival that is Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 34, which reprints material from 2000 AD Progs 1250-1275, and Judge Dredd Megazine Vol. 4 #1-6. Jeff tries to pick a fight about the dates of the material, but I’m having none of it, for once. Don’t worry; I’ll have a lot of it soon enough.

0:03:52-0:24:48: We dive into things relatively quickly, talking about the 10-part “Helter Skelter,” which marked Garth Ennis’ return to Dredd after almost a decade, during which time he’s become the toast of the American comics industry, thanks to the success of Preacher. We talk about how the story relies entirely Ennis’ fanboyishness about Dredd, which overwhelms the skills (and detachment) he’s displaying elsewhere in his career at this time, the many ways in which it fails as a piece of writing and whether that’s down to laziness or Ennis’ unwavering fanboy nature concerning Dredd, and the fact that the serial features that rarest of things: disappointing Carlos Ezquerra art. There is, at least, an explanation for that, which we also get into.

0:24:49-0:42:29: I attempt to segue from “Helter Skelter” into better stories but get in my own way by mentioning the contributions made by writer Alan Grant to this volume, which include the shockingly bad stoner comedy “Leaves of Grass” — guess what? Even when stoned, Judge Dredd is the law! — which Jeff, nonetheless, feels has a lot more potential than I do. (He also liked “Helter Skelter,” so perhaps this is the episode where Jeff is the good cop to my bad cop, for once.) (Wait, is that every episode?) I also talk about “Terrorist!” — yes, it actually has an exclamation point in the title — which comes from a well-intentioned place, but feels as if it betrays some deep-set prejudices in the minds of its creators. That gets us onto a brief discussion of whether or not it reflects a post-9/11 sensitivity, as well as whether the Robbie Morrison-written “Born Under A Bad Sign” does the same, albeit from a different direction. Also! When did The Wire start? That important question, answered!

0:42:50-0:53:25: Surprisingly, we only spend 10 minutes on my favorite story in the volume, which is one that Jeff likes a lot, as well: “Bad Manners.” We discuss the ways in which it underscores the failure of the system, and succeeds at criticizing the Justice System of Dredd as a strip in a way that something like “The Runner” from last episode stumbled through. In a strip where ACAB is an unstated understanding, this is a story where the subtext pushes through to become the text.

0:53:26-1:13:26: What starts as an attempt to talk about how the newcomer writers deal with Dredd in this volume — Robbie Morrison disappoints, while Gordon Rennie does surprisingly well, with a couple of his efforts reading like Wagner in places — ends up being an appreciation of what the artists are up to this volume, courtesy of singing Frazer Irving’s praises on his one-off “Asylum.” Under particular discussion are Cam Kennedy and Colin MacNeil, both of whom get the chance to shine in Wagner-written stories. Kennedy is responsible for a few stories this time around, but it’s “The Bazooka,” a Fatties story that he draws for Wagner in the Megazine that really shows off his gift for cartooning and physical comedy, while MacNeil handles “On The Chief Judge’s Service,” which is by far superior to last volume’s “The Chief Judge’s Man” in large part because of some very smart choices on MacNeil’s part. Also having their praises sung: Cliff Robinson, who Jeff compares to Chris Weston…!

1:13:27-1:22:53: We talk a little about the context surrounding his volume — 2000 AD and related titles being bought by new publisher Rebellion, and Andy Diggle taking over as editor — as well as whether we’re ending the Golden Rut this time around. Also, Jeff brings up the “bonus story” in this volume, which leads to more Cam Kennedy appreciation.

1:22:53-1:29:25: What are Jeff’s favorite stories in the book? (I’d already mentioned mine earlier, when talking about “The Bazooka.”) And is this volume Drokk or Dross? Spoilers: we both think it’s a strong Drokk, especially considering the running order of the book — the fact that “Bad Manners” is essentially the end of the book — there are another couple of shorts that follow, including a particularly disappointing Alan Grant story, but still — means that the reader is still thinking about it by the time they’ve finished, which helps considerably.

1:29:26-end: As we head towards the end of the episode, we look forward to Case Files 35 next month, and I discover that Americans apparently didn’t know what a helter skelter was, which kind of blows my mind. (We also mention the Twitter and the Patreon, because that’s what we do.) As with every single one of these, thanks for reading and listening; it’s very much appreciated.


00:00-19:08: Greetings! These are our indigestion years, when we were green in face (or, really, Graeme’s indigestion years, or indigestion year, or, really, twice). Fortunately, indigestion makes for a lovely segue into Jared Leto’s Morbius, currently in movie theaters. Is it good? Is it bad? We haven’t seen it so we can’t really say for sure, but knowing as we do Morbius the Living Vampire, we are not hopeful. But! be warned Graeme more or less goes on to spoil the post-credits teaser for it, and Venom 2 and Spider-Man: No Way Home! Impressive, right?

19:08-41:41: Despite Graeme’s generous offer to spoil the first four episodes of Moon Knight, Jeff takes it upon himself to try and spoil The Eternals, which he’s just seen. But first! We also spoil Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (maybe? I can’t think of anything in there that’s really super-spoilery unless, I don’t know, you were expecting the movie to be faithful to the original ’70s run which it most definitely is not). I don’t know, maybe we don’t spoil it as much as just…”talk about it?” Is that what we used to call this kind of thing? Oh, but we also talk about Graeme’s nine year old trying to find good comics to read with Iron Man and Moon Knight in them. Are we getting to the point where the MCU is so different from the comics Marvel Universe that it’s difficult to convert movie watchers into comics readers? (But having said that: check out what his favorite Marvel character and comic is!)
41:41-1:07:02: Anyway, remember earlier when I promised Jeff was going to talk about and/or spoil The Eternals? That time has arrived…and Graeme still can’t believe Jeff watched it! He probably can’t believe Jeff is going to go on to compare the movie to ’80s Alan Moore either, but if you like to hear a movie damned with faint praise (Jeff) or just outright damned (Graeme), this may well be the discussion for you!
1:07:02-1:18:17: Bad but horny movie update! Graeme and Chloe have re-watched Videodrome, an experience that is a bit different for Graeme every time he watches it. But they also watched Benedetta (on Hulu) which Graeme insists is a *good* but horny movie? Sounds suspect, but we’ll allow it. There’s also light discussion of Critter Fixers (hopefully not a horny pick for Graeme), What If? (ditto), The Minx (maybe, though?), and Julia (quite probably).
1:18:17-1:32:07: Comics? Comics news? Comics stuff? Jeff thinks this happened during Drokk or our skip week but DC Universe Infinite is finally rolling out beyond the U.S. (Canada, Australia, and New Zealand now; the U.K. on April 28; Brazil and Mexico in “Summer 2022”) and we are here for it! Oh, but! It’s been a while since we’ve had a Tom King-related fight, so we do talk about Tom King’s recent Substack newsletter about if and where DC Black Label books fit in to DC continuity, and how that relates to the recent controversy (is it a controversy if Graeme doesn’t hear about it, though?) Also discussed: GNORT’S DEAD?!?
1:32:01-1:39:27: From that touching off point, we discuss Graeme’s latest newsletter entry about how so much of Marvel’s work feels incredibly homogenous and how DC’s been ending series not as relaunches, but as actual ways to keep the characters fresh and avoid them outwearing their welcome. As an example, Graeme talks a bit about the end of the current run of Suicide Squad, how it ties into The War For Earth 3, and how it puts the status quo of SS in a *very* interesting place. [SPOILERS for the end of The War For Earth 3 around the 1:33:08 mark]. Graeme also tries to (once again) point Jeff to Robin, the current series by Joshua Williamson and Gleb Melnikov, a book that mixes manga tropes and Batman mythos stuff and therefore seems to be very “right up Jeff’s alley.” (As opposed to “right up Crime Alley,” which God forgive me I thought of just now and could not talk myself out of typing.)
1:39:27-1:46:23: Jeff has checked a couple of recent DC trades off Hoopla, but that is kind of secondary to talking about Grant Morrison’s current series of annotations about season two of The Green Lantern and how readable Morrison makes discussing a second season always on the verge of ending up (as Morrison memorably puts it) “face down in a swimming pool of its own piss.” (By the way, if you can guess which one of us brings up Alan Moore’s Masterclass as something to sign up for, hat’s off to you!)
1:46:23-1:55:38: Jeff just realized (and is a little chuffed) that he’s now up to seven ongoing manga series that he’s reading simulpub fashion, a sign perhaps of how much he’s departed from the Big Two comics Industrial Complex (physically, if not mentally) and Graeme has some very smart and sensible questions about how that differs from reading them in tankōbon fashion.
1:55:38-2:01:48: Graeme (who only reads things he likes, like some kind of god-damned fancy boy) has been reading the very amazing-sounding Rok of the Reds, a “what if Doomlord possessed Jamie Tartt/what if The Brother From Another Planet took place inside Roy of the Rovers” alien invasion sports comic from John Wagner and Dan Cornwell (and Alan Grant!), self-published by Wagner! Incidentally, Graeme was turned on to the comic after hearing the extensive John Wagner interview conducted by Michael Molcher for the huge online convention celebrating 2000 AD’s 45th anniversary! Anyway, if you’re a fan of our Drokk! podcast, check out the interview…and if you’re a fan of Wagner’s work at its most oddball, help the guy break even and duck over to Rok of the Reds and buy copies of the two trades in either print or digital?
2:01:48-2:20:01: And a little closer to the 2000 AD beat, Graeme put all of the Dredd strips from 2021 into one PDF to read in a go. It sounds like an amazing experience (our author typed enviously) and Graeme unpacks how it informs our recent “consistently good, not great/feels a bit more directionless than directed” quandry over on Drokk (reading strips from two decades earlier).
2:20:01-end: Closing stuff!  Graeme’s newsletter (!  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff!  Tumblr, 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.  (Plus, closing episode Showgirls-related fun fact courtesy of the inimitable Ian Brill. Thanks, Ian!)
NEXT WEEK:  Drokk!!  Read vol. 34 of Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files and join us for more zarzaj scrotnig grixl patootie! (Please note: I made up two of those words but I’m not sure which ones.)


00:00-3:14: Greetings!  We have excitement for you right out of the gate: not only is Chloe Maveal here to talk with us, but Graeme was at a fish & chips shop and mistaken for an Irishman! By an Irishman! Truly this is the Wait, What age of craic!
3:14-42:20: Paul Verhoeven ends up introduced as a topic of conversation far earlier than I personally would’ve expected, but it makes sense as Chloe and Graeme have recently seen Showgirls (or “Tits!” as it was purportedly originally called, according to Graeme) and have been talking about it *a lot*. Right after, they watched Velvet Goldmine, then Boxing Helena, and are moving along to the remake of Cat People (why? because as Chloe herself puts it: “because I want to watch Malcolm McDowell hang dong again!”) Yes, Chloe is working her way through her “Bad, but Horny, Movies” list. Also discussed: Betty Blue, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Two Moon Junction, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls, plus find out the movie Jeff calls “Reefer Madness but for genitals.”
42:20-50:09: Both Chloe and Graeme are reading Bobby Gillespie’s memoir, Tenement Kid, and there are some surprising comics-related cameos and facts in a memoir by the Primal Scream frontman/Jesus & Mary Chain drummer. And then, of course, more discussion about what should be on the Bad, but Horny, Movie list. Also: Dog Day Afternoon!
50:09-01:39:19: Comic stuff? Yeah, sure, okay…but only if it’s going to be about stuff that sounds as amazing as The Art of Carlos Ezquerra! Then we each talk a bit about what we’ve been reading and enjoying lately:
Chloe: She’s been doing a lot of reading for pieces at her amazing NeoText Review—Eros Comics and Sam Kieth comics, in particular! And we apparently have a future piece from Chloe about DC’s Little Shop of Horrors adaptation of the 1986 musical remake, Little Shop of Horrors!? With script by Michael Fleisher and art by Gene Colan?! The mind, she does reel. Also, Both G and C have nothing but the highest praises for Mek Memoirs, the limited edition re-release by Dark and Golden Books of the self-published mini-comic by Chris Lowder and Kevin O’Neill originally published *before* 2000 AD.
Jeff: Jeff’s been reading a lot of manga which means—oh shit!—that Chloe gets to try her hand at My Four Manga! Sadly, Jeff didn’t prep anything new, but Chloe didn’t hear our bonus rounds from last month, so Jeff runs the public Wait, What? installment by her! And then after that, Jeff talks about Orochi: The Perfect Edition, Fist of the North Star, Vol. 4; and the first twenty-plus chapters of Chihayafuru. I apologize for tiredness and my slight dyslexia creeping out; Chihayafurucenters around the card game karuta, which I call Kataru (all the right letters, nearly all in the wrong place). I blame all the Wordle playing!)
Graeme: Graeme just finished the upcoming fourth volume of Lawless, his beloved sci-fi Western by Dan Abnett and Phil Winslade (out June 23, 2022) and he luuuuuuuurves it.. Also, for a work assignment, Graeme has read a whole ton of Moon Knight comics and can pretty much give opinions about all of the major creative teams and their runs on character. Also reading, not for a work assignment, Charles Soule’s most recent run on Star Wars (War of the Bounty Hunters,Crimson Reign).
01:39:19-2:06:09: Graeme has also read Out, Rob Williams and Will Conrad’s World War 2 Nazis vs. Vampires series from AWA Comics, which leads to talk about pacing and throw in some shout-outs to The Nice House on the Lake , Bermuda,Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters, and more. Jeff then tries to get everyone to complain about a comic (surprise!), but both Graeme and Chloe refuse (?!) leading Jeff to rant on alone about Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #1 by Mark Waid and Dan Mora. (Also, I just realized now! For two people who turn down an offer to complain about a comic, they sure have some choice words for Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee! Hmph!)
2:06:09-end:  Closing stuff!  Graeme’s newsletter (!  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! (and Chloe!) Tumblr, 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!! See you in two weeks with a new Wait, What?

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?