http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat253.mp3 0:01-10:49: Greetings! Graeme “Bad Chicken Sandwich” McMillan and Jeff “Really Bad Back” Lester have one of their most meta-openings ever, as we talk about…why our episodes open the way they do! Harbinger to come,…
00:00-19:04: Greetings from Graeme and Jeff! Graeme is in the basement avoiding the heat, Jeff is in the living room avoiding everything but the heat, Together, they are here to talk to you about comics! But first, here’s some chitchat about travel: come here about Graeme’s recent trip to Vancouver; Jeff’s less-than-recent trip to Buenos Aires; and an even-longer-ago trip by Graeme to the Venice Biennale….it’s like a special mini-podcast that is all about the untoppable form of stress that is travel-related stress, and the perhaps-untoppable form of kindness that is travel-related kindness.
19:04-23:12: This podcast was recorded during the week that Diamond’s comic shipment came in a day late, so Jeff has a lot of comics to talk about today that are only *kind of* recent? Whereas, Graeme being Graeme, he hasn’t been to the comic store but has been getting all the new DC You books sent right to his door, as well as reading a lot of old Showcases and trades of some New 52 titles he never got around to reading. So we start off with, of all things, Ann Nocenti’s run on Catwoman. This gives Jeff the clever idea of having DC reunite Nocenti and Romita Jr. on a title, but Graeme is enjoying too much the work JR Jr. is doing on Superman with Gene Yang to really be into that.
23:12-25:42: In fact, overall, Graeme has been very pleased with this month of DC: “There’s been some books that don’t work, definitely, and there’ve been some books that just leave me cold, but overall the line is way healthier than it’s been in years…and in ways that are surprising.” In terms of the visual variety on display, DC is catching up to what Marvel’s been doing…and maybe pushing it further? Jeff’s not too sure about that so we bandy about some of the styles we’ve seen on books that we think are outside the standard superhero spectrum, mentioning books like Gotham Academy, Batgirl, Squirrel Girl, Spider-Gwen, Bizarro, Bat-Mite, and more.
25:42-38:44: Graeme asks Jeff what exactly is he reading from Marvel these days, which turns into a very small discussion about the last issue of Spider-Gwen by Jason LaTour and Robbie Rodriguez, presented as the “last issue” despite having a very incomplete ending. We also talk about the announced relaunch of Spider-Gwen, the very odd announcements about for All-New, All-Different Marvel, and the upcoming Marvel Primer. And as long as we’re throwing the term around, the very odd similarities between Spider-Gwen #5 and Black Canary #1 by Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu. Even more very odd? Jeff insisting after many, many recorded hours of evidence to the contrary that he is not a nitpicker. Nice try, Jeff.
38:44-51:51: We discuss the first issue of Prez by Mark Russell and Ben Caldwell. Jeff and Graeme both like it, but Jeff finds some parts of the first issue very problematic. As a comparison/contrast, Graeme has read the first issue of Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 by Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, and Riley Rossmo. It’s intriguing for Graeme, especially in the way it doesn’t quite work (ditto for Dr. Fate #1) but in a way he can’t figure out why? Even more intriguing to Graeme is Doomed #1 by Scott Lobdell and Javier Fernandez which Graeme thinks is actually “a pretty fucking good Spider-Man comic.” [??!!]
51:51-58:30: Both Graeme and Jeff have read All-Star Section Eight #1 by Garth Ennis and Jonathan (!!) McCrea, which is (to use the episode’s special phrase) very odd. There’s some hilarious metafictional hijinks we’re trying to wrap our brains around that seem very intentional but there’s also something a bit awkward about the book. “It reads like somebody’s first comic book,” to paraphrase Graeme, who has a great take on the hijinks despite accurately pointing out that some of the humor seems very, very…lazy? Quite the headscratcher.
58:30-1:06:09: Also, a headscratcher: Robin, Son of Batman #1 written and drawn by Patrick Gleason. Graeme thinks it was “fine if scattered, and didn’t present a good enough reason for the book to exist.” Jeff, who has *adored* Gleason’s work on Batman & Robin, is forced to agree and also bemoans how there’s maybe a bit too much of Gleason the writer indulging Gleason the artist. Graeme suggests the book reads like Hellboy Lite which is a pretty solid take on Gleason’s artistic interests and the overall tone. But arguably the book could be more focused than the final year of Batman and Robin by Gleason and writer Peter Tomasi, which gives Graeme an in to fret about some of the current work Tomasi is doing for Superman/Wonder Woman that doesn’t seem to be to his usual standard.
1:06:09-1:13:39: Jeff feels like he did not really answer Graeme’s question from forty minutes earlier, but doesn’t get much farther than mentioning Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson before we are wringing our hands about the book’s likely demise. Sales figures are discussed, alternate covers are pondered. Jeff also read and enjoyed the first issue of Weirdworld #1 by Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo; and Ghost Racers #1 by Felipe Smith and Juan Gedeon, which Jeff didn’t love but also suspects Smith is playing a metacommentary long game that may be worth the time.
1:13:39-1:16:56: It’s not a Marvel book, but Jeff has also read The Fiction #1 by Curt Pire and David Rubin and dug it, in part because it hit his Stephen King sweet spot: if you can imagine It meets The Unwritten, then you’ve got an idea of what this first issue has lined up for you. Jeff also thought it was a very solid first issue in terms of putting everything on the table, keeping it interesting, and then changing things up for the final page.
1:16:56-1:37:42: Confession time! Both Jeff and Graeme have falled behind on the pop spectacle that is Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber, but Jeff sat down with issues #5, 6, and 7 and came out feeling very strongly that issue #7 is one that Graeme would really, really dig. SPOILERS for the issue as Jeff clumsily tries to make his case and SPOILERS for Jean-Paul Sartre’s writing style. Also discussed: Annihilator, forgetting about a series and then chain-reading previous issues; No Mercy by Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil; Zero issues #16 and #17 by Ales Kot, Stathis Tsemberlidis, Robert Sammelin, and others; Graeme’s impressions after reading the first issue of Surface; Terry Southern’s Magic Christian and Phil Dick’s VALIS; the worry of getting too old to track stuff from month-to-month; Afterlife with Archie #8; and more.
1:37:42-1:45:23: Graeme asks after another Archie book, The Black Hood, in part because that title by writer Duane Swierczynski is what Graeme digging through the the old New52 Birds of Prey title and also three of Swierczynski’s prose novels which Graeme talked about in this post and which he also goes into more detail about here. By contrast, Jeff tries to tease a strip he thinks Graeme would really dig: Santa Claus, Private Eye by Jeremy Bernstein and Michael Dorman, currently exclusively available on Thrillbent.
1:45:23-1:55:13: Also a book Jeff read and enjoyed: King Cat Comics #75 which is an issue-long tribute to John Porcellino’s cat. It is a truly touching and heartbreaking read, even by typical King Cat standards. Also mentioned: the Pixar movie Inside Out, Jeff’s recent post about movies [link?], Jeff’s Hulk, Jurassic World, and more.
We will see you in seven (or even sooner, if you come back for our individual posts)! And look to the first comment in this post if you just want a straight link for you to copy and paste into the player of your choice. Spa fon!
So Graeme is apparently doing weekly reviews of the new Convergence books and I’m apparently doing reviews of anything and everything else that isn’t new? What a balanced little website we’ve got here! DAREDEVIL: THE…
I can’t really say I’m looking forward to Netflix’s Daredevil TV miniseries, but I have a certain ghoulish anticipation for it. Or maybe I should say I had a ghoulish anticipation for it because after…
Thanks to Gar Berner for Bringing The Super-Awesome!
Damn it, next year we’re going to have a contest centered around Graeme’s first Prog Rock album, The Moog Goo of Guy Pan or something because it’s quite a bummer to have my mug staring out from this post exclusively.
Anyway. Once again, I have managed to go an entire night without sleep so let me apologize in advance for the dozens, if not thousands, of errors, typographical and otherwise, sure to pop up in this post. (Also I need to get better at screenshotting Avengers pages.) Things should improve scheduling-wise after this, and I can go back to make dozens, if not thousands, of errors, typographical and otherwise, for other reasons.
Ready for some show notes? Some serious no-fooling two and three-quarters of an hour bare-knuckle podcasting? Well, then. I have just the thing for you!
00:00-40:51: Greetings! Cue up your Lonely Man Theme but don’t be fooled: even though we start by talking about the Incredible Hulk TV show, it takes a certain amount of time to get around to the comic book. But instead we stick to the TV side of things, with discussion of Tales of the Gold Monkey, B.J. and The Bear, and most especially Twin Peaks (and its return!). I’m going to point you to Graeme’s thoughts on the topic, with a touch of Abhay’s since we reference them in the convo but they’re definitely worth being reading on their own. We also discuss the TV show Manhattan about the building of the atomic bomb, The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, and, of course, Gavin & Stacey and the current season of New Girl. And if that wasn’t enough non-comics talk for you, we also talk about Jeff’s strange relationship with iPhones, old and new. Also also discussed: hatewatching things, artisanal douches, and babies and, uhhhhhh, what else do we usually talk about? Hmm… 40:51-57:09: Comics books! That’s right we eventually remember to talk about comic books! In fact, first off we dig deep into Batgirl #35, by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr. Tossed out there in our discussion; Gail Simone, Bob Haney, the phrase “evil 4chan DJ,” target audiences, and more. It’s a bit of a tussle, this discussion. 57:09-1:09:55: Graeme received copies of Trinity of Sin #1 by J.M. DeMatteis, Yvel Guichet, Jason Gorder and Gabe Eltaeb; Earth 2: World’s End #1 and #2 by more people than I’m getting paid to type; and Klarion #1 by Ann Nocenti and Trevor McCarthy; we also tussle a bit on this one, too. Tussle! It’s one of the all-time great words.
Also great is how Graeme calls me out on my shitty handling of percentages. (Wait, is that great?) 1:09:55-1:24:01: Changing gears a bit, Jeff feels there’s been a certain maximalism in comic books lately, a serious commitment to spectacle and too much. And never is that more true than with Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe #3 by Tom Scioli and John Barber. (Please note that we also tussle briefly over the public reaction to Seven Soldiers #1.) This tremendous and overwhelming book pretty much blew our tiny minds. Discussed: Copra, Kirby, Steranko, outsider art, and more. 1:24:01-1:59:18:Avengers Talk!! It’s time for Avengers Talk! This time we are discussing issues #227-250 by (mostly) Roger Stern, Al Milgrom, and Joe Sinnott. It’s almost impossible to talk about this title and not also talk about Marvel in the early Eighties and the heyday of the Jim Shooter editorial era. A really great run of issues with some tremendous steps forward in its handling of female characters (as embodied by Monica Rambeau, the new Captain Marvel). In fact, it’s possible to see the two issue wrap up of Spider-Woman’s book (issues #240-241) as a non-fucked-up version of Avengers #200. And of course, since issues #228-229 has to do with the redemption of Hank Pym, we once again revisit the handling of Hank Pym, the issues and meta-issues, the rewriting of history (comic book history and real life history); a brilliant connection Graeme makes about “yes, and” improvisation and the work of Steve Englehart; Spider-Man, Wife Beater; Tony Stark, Super-Lush; Kirby’s Eternals and Starlin’s Titans; and then… 1:59:18-2:14:01: Something is happening at Jeff’s door so he has to run away for a moment, and comes back and terrifies Graeme. And then we’re back to talking about Maelstrom, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott, and much, much, MUCH more.
Oh, and remember how I said I was terrible about screenshots? Look at the stuff I thought was worth showing you guys:
Hawkeye namedropping Tom Stoppard!
Dr. Doom! Subpar rapper!
Al Milgrom: Prophet of Pop Culture to Come! (Shame about the spelling, though…)
2:14:01-2:33:41: So. Remember when we said we could wrap this up in under two hours?
Turns out, there’s still the overdue discussion of the winners of our “Are You Feeling The Feeling That I’m Feeling” giveaway! This has a lot of us reading entries and just laughing aloud—maybe not our most professionalmoment—but we wouldn’t have if the work wasn’t so awesome. Because we are laughing all over these amazing entries, you’ll probably get a better bang for your buck reading them all below. Thanks for everyone who entered! We are terrified by how much funnier you guys are than us, and yet we’re the ones talking on air.
The stunning entries by our amazing listeners:
“If You’re Not in the World That’s Coming, I Don’t Wanna Be There (Lila’s Song)”
“Milk for Midnight (for Oreos in Bed)”
1. Can’t Comb My Beard Without You Babe
2. Cold Waffles At Midnight
3. It’s Raining (In My Heart)
4. Tonight’s The Night, Unless It Isn’t, In Which Case Tomorrow Night May Be The Night
5. Rapping Intermission
6. Your Chicken And Tomatoes
7. Taxidermist of Love
8. Don’t Make Me Wrassle Your Heart
9. Snaky Woman
10. A Sexy Little Lady Called Sex
11. Greensleeves [traditional]
12. This Jazzy Sax Solo’s For You
Dave Clarke [the lost entry!]:
1. List heavy show notes
2. Love is a savoury waffle
3. Your chicken and tomatoes
4. Rapping Intermission
5. Portland (feat. DJ Ernie and MC Gus-Gus)
6. I don’t care what people say (I like me some Tony Daniel)
7. Is this thing recording?
8. By the miracle of the internet
9. Download code
10. Sing us out
3. Ghoulash – Little Bits in the Sauce
4. Babe, I’m Your One Man Army Corps
5. Gimme That Kenny G.
6. We Are Human … Like An Animal
7. Pinky Winehardt Goes to Washington
9. I Hear You In My Dreams (& it scares me)
10. Push and Pool
11. A Lonely Heart Gathers No Moss
12. Heart U 4Evah
Derek Moreland/Nathaniel Quietly/Voodoo Ben:
1. “Erotic Vampire LOVE Heist”
2. “You Wafflin’, Baby”
3. “The Cleanse”
5. “Your Chicken and Tomatoes”
6. “Rapping Intermission”
7. “Binging (Delillo) (feat. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez)
8. “U R My Malomar”
9. “MmHmm MmHmm MmHmm / Interesting”
11. “The Cleanse (Remix) (feat. Missy Elliot)
12. “Cinema Mortalis” (instrumental)
Baby Has Her Biscuits in The Oven And Her Buns In My Bed
She Feels Like A New Man Tonight
How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Leave Me
You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith Too
She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger
I Keep Forgettin’ I Forgot About You
The Pint of No Return
Please Bypass This Heart
The Wait What Waffle Window Wonton Watusi
1. Hot San Francisco Mornings
2. Am I Leavenworth Your Love?
3. Skip This Track (If You Ain’t Makin’ Love (Right Now))
4. Pause Like I Know You
5. R U Glad I Didn’t Say Banana? ft. Prince
6. Rapping Intermission
7. The World Through Rose Color Asses
8. I’ll Be the One to Be the One
9. Takes All Kinds
10. One at a Time
11. Take it All One at a Time
12. Your Chicken and Tomatoes
Hidden Track: No Stinky Fish
(Just a) Love-Struck Honky
Quiche for One
Ever-Approaching Grandpa of Love
Paul Kupperberg Blues
Bonus track from David Wolkin:
“Graeme unintentionally dropped the best entry on the podcast: ‘My Individual Issues’”
Bonus Show Notes only track from David Wolkin (because my phone lost his text for four days): “Also: ’She Beatboxes, I Drop a Few.’ You guys write this shit yourselves!”
And, as a bonus bonus, here’s Voodoo Ben’s transcript of that “Behind The Music” hatchet job they did on me. (They got most of it right, but man the stuff they got wrong still steams my clams):
In 1993, Jeff Lester was on top of the world. His soothing R&B rhythms and clever lyrical wordplay were providing a clear and contrasting antidote to the rising grunge movement, and frequent (so would say continuous) airplay of his smash hit single “Your Chicken and Tomatoes” dominated the nation’s airways. Anticipation for Lester’s debut album was so high, in fact, that he was invited to perform the hit on that year’s MTV VMAs.
It was a surprise to everyone when, instead of breaking out what would become his signature tune, Lester instead chose to perform the melodic, more soulful “Erotic Vampire LOVE Heist” that evening. The emotional, heartfelt performance was met with only muted applause by a confused audience. It would be the first of several missteps that would eventually torpedo the once promising musician’s career.
Can You Feel the Feeling That I’m Feeling? released at number 17 on the Billboard Music Charts, with “Your Chicken and Tomatoes” slipping out of the top 100 a month after the album debuted. Supporters praised the album’s deft mix of R&B sound with literary, food, and comic book references – but it was too little, too late. The VMA backlash proved more than Lester could bear. He became disenchanted with “the scene”, as he referred to the industry, and pushed for “Cinema Mortalis”, an instrumental track totally at odds with his R&B sound, to be released as the album’s second single. (His producer, Babyface, fought for the much catchier “MmHmm MmHmm MmHmm/Interesting”, but was overruled by the artist.) It proved the final nail in Lester’s musical career. “Cinema Mortalis” was soundly ignored by the audience, and Lester vowed never to record again – a rising R&B star whose flame burned out too quickly.
See? Not a single word about the debacle that was my cameo on Family Matters! Galling.
2:33:41-2:46:03: Graeme gives us a preview of the amazing work you can now see on our Tumblr, leading to an all-too-brief conversation about the genius that is Bob Haney, and some of the weirdness about Marvel’s NYCC announcements. 2:46:03-end: “We got so far away from saying goodbye.” No, it’s not a song from Jeff’s album, that’s something we actually said. (Wolkin’s right, we do write this shit ourselves!) And it’s a sign that we really do need to be going. But, let us not forget: Tote bags! Places to look for us at—Stitcher!iTunes!Twitter!Tumblr again! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 82 patrons make this whole thing possible. (And where our $10 and up patrons just got an exclusive video podcast from the Waffle Window!)
Okay, here’s the link. No idea if it’ll turn into a magical noise-playing thing so I’ll also add the link in a comment below all this nonsense so you can get to listening!