00:01-5:34: Greetings from Graeme “Happy New Year!” McMillan and Jeff “Yes, but is everything okay with Jim Lee?” Lester! Because Jeff is inexplicably concerned about Jim Lee (well, barely explicably), we get right off to…
0:01-3:38: Greetings from Graeme “Jeff Lester?” McMillan and Jeff “Graeme McMillan?” Lester let you know you’ve been robbed of perhaps the greatest opening in our history! (All that said, you probably didn’t miss much?) And, because we have a lot of qiuestions to get to, after a bit of talk about the previous week’s weather, we are off to the races!
3:38-08:00:John Kipling (from Patreon) wants to know:If the MCU makes a Fantastic Four movie who does Doom team up with to defeat Reed Richards? Namor? Mole Man and Fin Fang Foom? Galactus? (And if it is Fin Fang Foom should he wear athletic shorts?)
08:00-16:12:Ed (from Patreon) was wondering:First, Zenescope Comics and Aspen Comics seem to be popular (at least on Comixology). Do you have any sense who the audience for these are? To me, they seem like porn comics minus the porn. Am I missing something?
16:12-22:08:Second, I’ve tried to get into manga a few times but the only series that ever worked for me was Lone Wolf and Cub. I love the art style; the story was compelling, the action was clear; and it didn’t have much of the tropes that I associate with the manga that I don’t like: panty shots, high school, chibi characters, the little visual short hands (vampire teeth, bead of sweat, etc.). Do you have any manga recommendations that might work for me?
22:08-28:17: Steve Lacey asked via email: I’ll keep this brief as I’m on a phone at nearly 2am, under the influence of some very enjoyable birthday celebrations. I have never relied on autocorrect so much…
As fellow travellers on the Fantastic Four journey, I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the 10-or-so issues of the relaunched Fantastic Four so far. Are they any good? Where do they fit in the general FF rankings? And how do they compare to Slott’s other works?
28:17-30:16:In addition, what are your thoughts on the upcoming spinoff books – Invisible Woman, Future Foundation, and Yancy Street? Do the premises and creatives excite you enough, or are Marvel over saturating a limited market?
30:16-36:01: John Q(from email) wonders:In light of the ‘Drokk’ episodes, do either of you have any thoughts on the Marshal Law comic?
36:01-43:26:Jonathan Sapsed muses via email:My question is about creators ‘peaking’ in their careers. People say Chris Claremont peaked with the ’80s X-Men run or Bendis with Daredevil or Ultimate Spider-Man. But do creators really peak or is it that everybody gets used to their style? People are saying Bendis is peaking again after getting really ill and going to DC.
What about artists? Walt Simonson’s current Ragnarok seems as accomplished as his classic Thor. Bill Sienkiewicz is still innovating. I’ve heard Steve Rude say he peaked with Nexus #14. Is it that specific usually? Does anybody peak late in comics?
Is it the same with podcasts? When will Wait What peak? :)
43:26-46:44: Also when Jeff talks about ‘formalism’, usually with Alan Moore or Tom King, what does he mean exactly?
46:44-48:50:Eric Rupe, from email, wants to know: Has Jeff read enough sports manga to have an opinion on them as part of the action genre? Haikyuu in particular seems to work really well as an action story only instead of fights and chases it has volleyball matches. It is not something you see of a lot of in US media (TV, comics or otherwise) and was wonder if Jeff has had similar thoughts.
48:50-53:26:What is the most you’d be willing be spend on a comic because of nostalgia and nothing else?
53:26-1:06:49:Does the direct market inherently limit the possible success of certain types of genre material? Why the seeming lack of successful non-superhero based comedy, romance, slice-of-life, sports or similar types of comics in the traditional 20-ish page floppy format?
When people often talk about the current state of the direct market and various events that happened in the past they tend to a) blame the companies for publishing and marketing various bad ideas and/or b) blame the readers for buying said bad ideas but never seem to blame retailers for going along with it all. Do retailers deserve a certain amount of blame or are they innocent middlemen trying to make the best of a bad situation?
1:06:49-1:07:51:Who is more evil: Graeme, since he owns a Kindle, or Jeff, since he owns an iPad?
1:07:51-1:09:07:Kevin Donlan (from email) asks (but this gets booted to a future episode because it is too good a question to just dash off but we don’t have time and so here is the question for your future reference): So this should lead to a quick discussion if you were to recommend an introduction to comics to different age levels what would they be, they could either be funny books or even scholarly journals (Not Brand ‘Ecch comes to mind):8 and under /9-13 /13-15 /16-18 /19-25 /26-35 /36- fogies /”get off my lawn” to curmudgeon
Obviously there are some things that will overlap. Just curious what you think. [stay tuned, Kevin!]
1:09:07-1:11:52:Martin Gray arrives via Twitter and email to wonder:If Silver Age Marvel had done ‘Family’-style spin-offs a la Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, who do you think would have could have carried a book?
1:11:52-1:18:14:Douglas O’Keefe (via email) has a couple loaded in the chamber and ready to fire:What was the end of Mister Miracle all about? How do you feel about the series as a wholeYou guys talked a little about #12 when it came out, but your discussion was mostly about the continuity of the series with other DC stuff at the time.I started reading with a lot of enthusiasm but by the last issue I felt like I had learned that the pizza I’d been eating was made out of cardboard.
1:18:14-1:22:02: Tom Shapira from Twitter proposes this thought experiment:If you could have one never-completed work (Big Numbers, 1963 etc.) finished what would it be?
1:22:02-1:28:55:From Twitter, George Johnson wants to know:Has the walking dead peaked or did it earlier and we are in the decline now? [SPOILERS for issue #192, the latest issue of Walking Dead]
1:28:55-1:30:05:Art Lyon (@DarthErr on Twitter) queries:What failed comic book publisher do you miss?
1:30:05-1:35:02: From email, Eric Grill challenges: Given Marvel’s previous attempt at creating manga inspired work with (to be charitable) less than successful results, what Marvel or DC characters / concepts would work if done in the true manga style by Japanese writers and artists? The natural choice would be students at the Xavier Institute like Generation X in a slice of life manga, but given the Xmen’s propensity to play sports whenever they have downtime, a baseball manga with a team of mutants could be great.
1:35:02-1:43:23:Our good chum Adam P. Knave asks via email:What music do you think goes with your current favorite series and why?
Bonus: Best Englehart storyline ever? All books he wrote are up for grabs.
1:43:23-1:46:20:Flashhe (a.k.a. Roger Wilson) asks via the electromagnetic temporal communication field (a.k.a. email):In the wake of the Swamp Thing cancellation etc, and the forthcoming Warner streaming service, is DC Universe doomed? Certainly seems like Warner would want to save the original content for its new all-encompassing streaming service. I am worried about the future of Stargirl, which I really want to see. Maybe DCU will exist only as a platform for the comics? Can the two services co-exist and the original content would premiere on both at the same time? I know it’s all just speculation at this point, but you guys seem closer to the mouth of the Oracle than I am.
1:46:20-1:47:33:Also, who is your favorite Legionnaire? I guess mine is Phantom Girl. I always dug the bell-bottomed costume.
1:47:33-1:50:55: Leef Smith wanders in from email to wonder:Where do you see the comics industry in 10 years? And more specifically, what happens to Marvel Comics after it’s wrestled from Ike Perlmutter’s cold, dead hands? (Not to wish death on anyone, but… )
1:50:55-2:03:48:Good ol’ Dan Billings writes:My comic shop has an issue with pull lists because customers with extensive asks or specific graphic novels disappear. In addition, the number of large pull list customers has significantly declined. A few questions related to that:
1. Do you think pull lists are a positive or negative for shops?
2. From what you hear, is the same loss of large customers happening everywhere?
3. If so, what do you think could change that?
4. Is there something on your pull lists you seemed to never be able to drop – either in the past or today?
2:03:48-2:08:53: David M stymies us via email with:Who was Scott Free’s mum? Bearing in mind Izaya seems to have aged about 50 years since Avia was killed and it’s probably longer as he’s a god.
Has Graeme been reading John Allison online from early on? I started with the first issue of Giant Days and then started on Bad Machinery and have only recently been exploring Scary-Go-Round and found it’s all part of the same continuity. Some of it is pretty surprising and spoilerific.
Do you have favourite Kirby monster stories? ‘I Created The Colossus!’ is mine, both because he cuts loose on the art in a way that looks years ahead of the rest of the work he was doing then and as it’s the best of his ‘monster as golem’ stories.
What’s Graeme’s favourite manga and Jeff’s favourite Legion of Superheroes story?
2:08:53-2:15:02: Retired Podcasting King Chad Nevett asks us via twitter:With the Vertigo rumours this week and Wicked and Divine ending soon, I was wondering if it being at Image at all instead of Vertigo is a good measure of the imprint? Is WicDiv the first/best example of a post-Vertigo Vertigo type of series/run?
2:15:02-2:16:42:Tiny Skeffrn (via twitter) ponders:Is it time to put the FF out of it’s misery? (Again!) Or rather, should we have left the FF in cold storage? I love Dan Slott but it’s all feeling a bit stale…
2:16:42-2:18:02: Earl Stevens via Twitter twoots:Question: This has probably been spoken about – but as a long time listener I still don’t know how you two became pals?
2:18:02-2:22:02: Credible Hulk arrives from Twitter to smash us with:Which Marvel and DC heroes would host the best podcast and on what topic? Other than Blue Beetle and Booster Gold reviewing fast food restaurants, of course.
2:22:02-2:27:14: Phil Southern tweets to break Graeme’s brain with: In my mind, you guys have tens of thousands of loyal listeners; for lack of a better way of putting it, what are your ratings? Are you comfortable sharing that kind of information? Irrespective, thanks for 10 years of great podcasts! I like them a lot, especially “comics news” and old comic discussions.
2:27:14-2:30:47: Twitter’s very own ComicCruncher asks:In your time in and around the comics industry, are there any non-obvious changes that have had a big impact? (obvious changes = stuff that everyone talks about like Amazon, digital comics, diversity, etc) Love the show!
2:30:47-2:39:44: Here’s a little slice of fried gold from Thibaut Josse via email:Hey guys,Reponding to your call for questions, here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately : do you think the dc universe (the shared superhero universe, not the multimedia app which is still not available out of the States, damn it !) is instrisically more interesting than the marvel universe ?
What leads to this question is that I noticed that you were spending a great deal of time discussing the narrative and editorial implications and the overall mythology of the comics published by dc, something you rarely do about marvel (or at least about current marvel continuity). I thought it might be just because Graeme seems to be the most interested of you two in discussing the continuity and in reading the comic books in the context of a larger universe and he’s more invested in the dc universe. But maybe you also think there’s something that makes them more interesting from this point of view. I remember Jeff saying that after some time (20 years ?), every shared universe collapse under its own weight and I think he’s absolutely right about that. There not having been a real reboot in the marvel universe could have contributed in making the marvel universe flatter (Al Ewing’s Ultimates though !).
Anyway, sorry about my English, I hope I’m still understandable. Thank you for the podcast and thank you for making me read Judge Dredd, I really, really dig it!
2:39:44-2:50:47: Jonny Kiehlmann had a few things on his mind and he emailed to say:Image’s rise over the last ten years has been fascinating — from the Chew launch literally the same month as you guys, June 2009, through to Saga and the boom following it, with things like WicDiv, Sex Criminals etc. How this period is looked at will probably depend on how well Image manages to replace Saga and WicDiv, with a lot of delayed titles, as well as Luna and Chaykin type content issues. How do you think this time will be looked on?
2:50:47-2:53:56:I assume you’ve already had someone ask what your favourite comics of the last ten years are (I’m probably the only person who’ll say Daytripper), but more specifically, what have your favourite Image comics of the last ten years been?
2:53:56-2:58:28:You mentioned Rise of Arsenal as a nadir of bad comics. Is it the worst? What stands out as the worst comic ever?
2:58:28-3:08:18: Here comes John Wheaton from email to say :(1) I loved and miss Comics Alliance. How did you feel about the site? Was it just economics that undid it or do you think something about what they offered made their fall inevitable?
(2) What’s the best comic book site now? CBR? Newsarama? ComicsVerse? Bleeding Cool? (Please don’t say Bleeding Cool)
(3) What is the best character from the Big 2 created since your podcast started?
3:08:18-end: Closing comments…of a sort. Graeme is overjoyed we made it halfway through the questions (even after Jeff points out that we’re only a third of the way through the questions). By which I mean, we kinda can’t shut up, in part because Graeme wants to talk about reading Roger Stern’s run on Amazing Spider-Man and how good it is, and Jeff is Jeff. Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes!Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! 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. (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Drokk, Episode 5! Which is also our…400th Episode? Go get some cake, read some Dredd, and join us!
0:01-09:21: Greetings from Graeme “Wonders of Technology” McMillan and Jeff “How can that even be?” Lester, where we start off slow, with talk about Skype weirdness, Twilight Zone pitches, and (literally) the weather (although with a comic news twist!)
09:21-15:29: We’ve done well over three hundred episodes of this podcast (when you count in the Baxter Buildings). Have we ever talked about Garfield before? Well. Guess. What. Also discussed: kid’s comics; Doonesbury; vol. 2 of Nyankees, and more.
1:39:09-1:52:08: And we both read Year of The Villain, DC’s intro-on-the-cheap to their upcoming events that feature, well, villains. Also discussed: Batman: Last Knight on Earth; Scott Snyder’s interview about The Last Knight on Earth and the free preview running around in DC comics this week; incorrect prep materials and faking your way through interviews; Hickman’s Avengers; and more.
1:52:08-2:04:08: We talked about this a bit last time and we’re revisiting it again: Jeff has read DCeased #1 and can’t tell if it lands differently in a DC Universe where continuity feels out of joint, and how much that seems to be the standard these days. Also discussed: Female Furies #3 and #4; Savage Avengers #1; The Green Lantern #7; old issues of Detective Comics on the DC Universe app; six chapters of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (now available on the Shonen Jump app); Aoharu X Machinegun Vol. 1; and more.
2:04:08-2:17:54: Jeff is really enjoying the comic streaming services these days and so we return again to discussion of the DC Universe app in the wake of its first post-upgrade release of 12-months-ago comics and (thankfully!) a bunch of old Detective Comics and very old Teen Titans books. Also discussed: our first buggy experiences while using the app; Jeff’s preference for the old junk; Graeme’s rediscovery of Countdown to Adventure and DC’s forgotten Lady Styx-verse; notably missing work on the app (only 12 issues of Kirby’s The Demon?!); mixes of scans, refinished pages, and black and white material; the fate of Wildstorm; and more.
2:17:54-2:28:30: Since we’re recording this on Free Comic Book Day, Jeff feels compelled to plug his participation in Luke Herr’s FCBD bonus installment of the Exiled podcast, and the fun he had playing Stardust the Super-Wizard alongside Jean Adaser (Dr. Light); Madison Rowan (Mysterio); and Mr. Al Ewing (Kid Colt). Don’t ask, just….buy it? Also discussed: the crunchy sound of Hammond organs and why the Internet is a Beautiful Place.
2:28:30-end: Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes!Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! 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. (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Skip week! Time for Jeff’s semi-annual pilgrimage, so we will be back in two weeks for what will either be a Drokk! or another Wait, What? (Smart money is currently on the latter.)
0:01-6:15: Greetings! After a very long time, Jeff “Black Friday!” Lester and Graeme “Small Business Saturday!” McMillan are back with their non-Fantastic-Four-focused comics podcast that starts off being *especially* unfocused. Within the first few minutes, we’re debating what constitutes a device, what kind of liquor you’d find in a Molokov Cocktail, and more exciting not-comics-at-all-we-admit-it topics.
26:09-45:13: Speaking of what publishers can and can’t do, we look a bit at Marvel’s 2018, with an eye toward the strength of the books they’re publishing, which leads us to discuss The Immortal Hulk #9 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Martin Simmonds, Ruy José, and others; Mister Miracle #12 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads; Heroes in Crisis #3 by Tom King, Lee Weeks, and Clay Mann; and more.
45:13-1:03:07: Graeme mentions he’s seen Bohemian Rhapsody to make a larger point about how your experience of a work can be influenced by its reception but Jeff totally goes crazy with the interrupting because OH MY GOD he just saw Bohemian Rhapsody as well, and how can such a terrible movie be so damn enjoyable? Of course, we’re going to talk about that! Also discussed: Huey Lewis and The News; and more.
1:03:07-1:18:00: Comic books! Quickly discussed: The Green Lantern #1 by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp; Avengers #700 by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness; Superman #4 and #5 by Brian Bendis and Ivan Reis; and why Jeff gave up on Justice League.
1:18:00-1:36:10: Jeff wanted to Graeme to talk about Electric Warriors #1 by Steve Orlando, Travel Foreman and Hi-Fi. Also discussed: creators that don’t work for us and why; the last page of Electric Warriors #1 (which Jeff accidentally spoils at 1:32:27, so be warned).
1:36:10-1:45:58: Jeff mentioned seeing three movies in one day (one of which being Bohemian Rhapsody). What are the other two? Discussed: the second movie Jeff saw, plus Tom Scioli’s Go-Bots #1.
1:45:58-1:52:14: And rather than talk about the last movie he saw that day and have to work hard to slip another comic book review into it, Jeff just decides to openly talk about how much he enjoyed Outer Darkness #1 by John Layman and Afu Chan.
1:52:11=4-2:13:11: And what’s the third movie Jeff saw? The answer will surprise you! (Maybe? I mean…it’s not impossible, right?) Also discussed: pre-show “entertainment,” movie theaters we go to (or not) and why, a lot of other stuff very un-comic booky…
2:13:11-end: Closing comments! Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes!Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast. And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK: Baxter Building! Read Fantastic Four Annuals #24-27 and join us!
0:01-28:02: Greetings! We welcome one another—and by extension you—back from a week long break with some complaints about the heat, wifi, and NIMBYs, before moving on to talk about the Guardian’s weekly print edition and the struggle to handle the current state of affairs. How does that tie into the kind of thing we normally talk about? Weirdly enough, it all comes together around the 8:30 point. If you don’t like hearing us talk about the state of the United States these days, or just don’t want to hear about that particular topic altogether, why not skip to….
28:02-49:16: here, where we finally get to the funny book blabbity-blab? Although we start off kind of in media disagreement, as Graeme reports a comment about the upcoming Heroes In Crisis and a comment he found, as he puts, “speaks to a particular kind of entitlement in superhero fandom.” Discussed: Spider-Man; Uncanny X-Men; 52 (the comic series); how standards for stories change while stories stay the same; and, obviously, Heroes in Crisis.
49:16-1:07:05: Speaking of Tom King (since he’s going to be writing Heroes in Crisis), we’d been asked to discuss Batman #49 by “Fifth Beatle” Matt Terl. Discussed: Alan Moore, King and Gerard’s Mister Miracle, Dan Clowes’ Ice Haven, the challenge or writing the Joker, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and more.
1:07:05-1:30:47: Since the arc in Batman is building to a wedding, we talk about the X-Men Gold #30, a wedding issue that came out this week, where there was a wedding…but not the one promoted. Also discussed: Tom Taylor’s X-Men Red; Taylor’s Injustice and Wolverine runs; weird analogies about being a retired reader of X-Men; Chris Claremont as the protagonist of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo; plus two issues of Spidey: School’s Out as read by Jeff.
1:30:47-2:01:20: Still talking about comics, but maybe not as much with a focus on books that have been outgrown: we discuss Man of Steel #4 by Brian Bendis and Kevin Maguire; Justice League #2 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, and Alejandro Sanchez; Avengers #3 by Jason Aaron, Paco Medina,and Ed McGuinness; and Shanghai Red #1 by Joshua Hixson and Christopher Sebela.
2:01:20-2:21:36: Because Graeme has superpowers, he was able to read Joe Casey and Ian MacEwan’s MCMLXXV, and it sounds pretty great. Also discussed: what we are behind on reading; amazing material mentioned in old Marvel Age issues that never saw the light of day; Star Wars: Let’s Smooch In The Empire; the recalcitrance of Chris Claremont; Steve Gerber’s run on Cloak & Dagger; and more.
2:21:36-2:48:24: Remember those good old days when we would tell ourselves and you that we’d gotten to the end of the podcast and there was nothing else to say…and then we’d keep talking for an absurdly long period of time after that. WELL, THE GOOD TIMES HAVE RETURNED as we bermoan our failure to discuss recent comics news and then dig in to one piece of comics news: DC’s deal to stock 100 page giants in WalMarts. We discuss the line-up of books, the strategy behind the books, and more.
2:48:24-end: And finally: closing comments! Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
NEXT WEEK: Another skip week, as Jeff attends to some personal business (wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it!) But join us in a fortnight for Wait, What? Ep. 251!
I am in awe—literal, no-lie awe—of the wild disparity between Marvel Studios and Marvel Comics. While Marvel Comics flails around and tries one desperate rebooting after another so that a hypothetical new reader won’t be…
Hey there, friends. The government may have shut down but not your friendly neighborhood Wait, What? Yes, we have a terrifyingly-close-to-two-and-a-half-hour installment for you!
How many people we follow on Twitter(!);
Comics news round-up featuring: the return of the red trunks; Bendis in Action Comics #1000; Dan Slott leaving Spider-Man to take over Iron Man; Kelly Thompson is now Marvel Exclusive; and, as Graeme perfectly puts it, “Wolverine is back, in the most fucking confusing manner ever!”
The gap between Marvel’s sales and Marvel’s talent: Thompson on Hawkeye; Zdarsky on Spectacular Spider-Man; Al Ewing’s Ultimates and Ultimates2 (with Kenneth Rocafort, Aud Koch, Travel Foreman);
Jeff’s thoughts on Batman #39, and a discussion about Tom King and Mister Miracle and DC’s non-Kirby handling of The New Gods overall and a discussion of continuity and character investment as opposed to an investment on a creator’s “take” on a character, which leads in its way to:
discussions of American Vandal and the Netflix adaptation of Charles Forsman’s TEOTFW, and
a *very* long—and absolutely spoiler-rich—discussion about Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Back to news (kinda): a discussion of Marvel’s new publisher;
An all-too-brief discussion of the genius Bob Haney, George Tuska, and Vince Colletta story “Will of the Whisperer” from Worlds Finest #252, available on Comixology;
If you like (or don’t mind) reading comics electronically, see if your library has the Hoopla service, so you can check out and read The Bronze Age Batman Brave and the Bold OmnibusVol. 1 *for free*;
Closing comments! Featuring Graeme’s great recap of Justice League of America #123 over at the most excellent Steve Morris’s Shelf Dust; Jeff’s not-so-great job of his half of the closing comments; and a call for you to VOTE!
Next week is a skip week but join us in a mere fortnight for Wait, What? Ep. 242, won’t you?
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat220.mp3 First things first, make sure you don’t miss out Matt talking about that Logan movie right below this very entry, y’hear? Good stuff, right? And now, some show notes: 0:00-3:47: Greetings! This week’s opening…
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/BaxterBuildingEp18.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: It’s all gone wrong! Sue Richards has left Reed and the team! Reed has managed to zap his own son with a ray gun that might have saved his life,…
First, big thanks to Ed Corcoran for providing the perfect title for this episode!
Second, here we are! This episode is a little early due to: the holiday weekend, some weird scheduling, and the desire to get a jump on the coming week which promises to be a bit of a sledge hammer. So let us begin, shall we?
00:00-12:51: Greetings from Graeme “Cheers” McMillan and Jeff “Dora the Explorer” Lester, who are here once again for you! Not only do we mention those two TV shows in the first two minutes, we also talk about Spider-Gwen #1, as read recently on Marvel Unlimited (under threat of physical violence)! Although we both enjoyed the first issue, we talk about Jeff’s impressions of the book based on later issues, whether the book’s appeal rests solely with the creative team or not, whether or not the term “What-If’ing” is a thing or not, and more. And this is also a fine time for Jeff to gripe about the Spider-Verse hardcover he got for super-cheap during an Amazon pricing SNAFU. Did Marvel take passive-aggressive revenge on the advance order pilferers? Or is it just that a lot of the stories at least semi-terrible? Discuss!
12:51-45:06: Then, our whistles whetted, it’s time for us to Q our little A’s off, with part two of our Q&A ‘cast, answering questions submitted to us by our mighty squad of patrons! First up is Chris Carfora, who asks: “1. Discussion Point: Have we reached the end of the age of Superhero comics? Seems like superhero movies are going through a bit of a golden age but i can’t say the same for the comics. With the reboots coming every two years now it just feels like the creators are constantly going over old territory and rehashing old ideas. Is there just not anything left to say about Superheroes? With the rise of independent comics and the availability of self-published comics through comixology and the like, do you foresee a shift away from superhero comics? 2. What would be your dream creative collaboration on your dream comic? Just to clarify, it can be past creators or current, so if you want Grant Morrison and Jack Kirby on Challengers of the Unknown go for it. 3. What cancelled or lapsed title would you most like to see resurrected? 4. In what way has the rise of marvel unlimited, comixology and other digital platforms changed the industry? Is this change a good thing?”
(Whew!) Discussed: the Direct Market; Jim Lee’s 1:5000 variant for Dark Knight III; Marvel’s troll response with a Deadpool variant cover; creator participation; Starbrand and Nightmask; the illusion of change versus the illusion of the illusion of change; Irredeemable, Incorrigible, Incorruptible, Incontinent, and Insufferable; Graeme not understanding Jeff at all; crazy lists of dream teams for his dream comics including the Steve Gerber comic in heaven; Jason Aaron and Jason Latour on the amazing Marvel character, Razorback; Al Ewing and Henry Flint on Fantastic Four; the sequel to last year’s Judge Dredd epic, Titan, again by Rob Williams and Henry Flint; Aimee Bender and Pascal Ferry on Machine Man; Graeme summarizes the short but lively run of DC’s The Chosen; the crazy price discrepancies between some digital trades on both Marvel and Comixology (such as the Skull The Slayer and Weirdworld trades which are $10 cheaper on the Kindle); and more.
45:06-58:27: Carlos Aguilar asks: “1. Let’s say Image was formed in the 80s instead of the 90s, what 7 artists would you like to have seen leave Marvel (and if you want, DC) to form Image about ten years earlier? 2. Tons of Star Wars news coming out, so, Let’s say you got to pick creative teams for 4 different Star Wars books. What would the four titles be, and who would you have working on them? 3. Who would you like to see run the new incarnation of Heavy Metal instead of Grant Morrison?”Discussed: Miller, Byrne, Perez, Golden, Simonson, Chaykin, and Art Adams (or Dave Cockrum?; the WaP! newsletter and Creator Bill of Rights crowd; being burnt out on Star Wars on the eve of Force Friday; Marvel’s Darth Vader series by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca; Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba on Boba Fett; Jason Shiga on C-3PO and R2-D2; Richard Corben on Chewbacca; the return of Walt Simonson to Star Wars; Brandon Graham editing Heavy Metal; Douglas Wolk editing Heavy Metal; Warren Ellis editing Heavy Metal; and more.
58:27-1:04:09: Max Brown asks: “It’s been a little while since Jeff has posted or talked about Jason Shiga’s Demon- and since it was Jeff that got me and a bunch of others reading it, it would be great to hear his thoughts on how the book has gotten 10000000x more insane and awesome since then, and on the recent announcement that First Second will be publishing it in collections. Thanks!”Discussed:Jason Shiga’s Demon. [Please note: Jeff actually screws up his issue numbers by one. The amazing chase sequence is in issue #15 and the existential malaise is in issue #14.]
1:04:09-1:36:16: Kevin Moreau asks, “1. What other podcasts, comics-related or otherwise, do either/both of you listen to/recommend? (Aside from Rachel and Miles and Into It, although please feel free to plug those, as well.) 2. What are your go-to sites/publications for comics news, insight, etc., other than your own website and Graeme’s various employers? 3. What are Marvel’s biggest problems today, and what can be done to correct them 3a. Are Secret Wars/All-New-All-Different and the continuing push to make Inhumans happen signs of creative bankruptcy? 4. I know I’ve read (Wait What mascot/patron saint) Steve Englehart comics over the years, but what would you point to as his most important/must-read work, or where should someone start in order to gain a greater appreciation? 5. Would you ever consider a Wait What Facebook group as a place for fans of the show to gather together and talk comics and related interest?” Discussed: House to Astonish; Silence!; Comic Books Are Burning in Hell; Travis Bickle on the Riviera; the Nerdist Writer’s Room; the Guardian’s political podcast; 538’s What’s The Point; a Slate podcast called Working; Serial; Bleeding Cool and its recent trend for crazily biased news stories; The Outhousers; the terrific comics analysis columns by Paul O’Brien and Marc-Olivier Frisch; the surprising read that is comicbook.com; the surprisingly apt metaphor to describe DC’s new relationship to the Direct Market; the Steve Englehart stories you should start with; and more.
1:36:16-1:41:18: Paul Lai asks, “Seems we’ve thrown up our hands after Golden, Silver, Bronze, and the unfortunately named Modern Ages. Should we take for granted that comics are so diverse, diffuse, and mainstream now that maybe marking eras like that will be impossible/irrelevant? Or what about calling it a “Spectrum Age” where all that can really be taken for granted is the diversity?” (Paul actually had a long article he’d written about this that wasn’t accessible when Jeff tried to read it beforehand but it’s up now and it’s a pretty great read that makes a pretty compelling argument.)Discussed: Our less compelling arguments.
1:41:18-1:44:53: John Kim asks, “There are a lot of resets to the status quo in comic (Spiderman, Batman) after said comics try something different. Are the reasons for the resets mainly fan backlash and low sales? Here I am trying to sneak in another question… Are there any good legacy characters in comics?”Discussed: Wally West, Wally West, and Wally West; Batman: Year Zero; and more.
1:44:53-1:57:46: Lewis Smith asks, “Of all the aborted story-lines, new directions, and false starts you guys have read in superhero comics, what was the one you really wanted to see play out?”Discussed: Firestorm as a fire elemental; Steve Englehart’s Fantastic Four and West Coast Avengers runs; the Amazing Spider-Man and headcanon; does Marvel need a reboot; and more.
1:57:46-2:08:12: Ed Corcoran asks, “In a couple of previous episodes, you’ve mentioned the effect the library market has on how trade paperback collections are made and marketed. Can you talk a little more about the economics of that? What kind of comics rely so heavily on libraries? What do libraries look for? Also, are there any plans to collect the Avengers read-through into one big mega-episode?” We’ve tied this in with Drew Meger who asks, “It feels like every episode we hear a mention of some comic or other borrowed from your local library. As a librarian who buys comics for his library, I need to know: What comic titles would you want to see in your Ideal Library? Should we focus on the critical Top 10 list darlings and easy entry points for new readers or should we go obscure and get the titles readers might have been interested in, But not 30 dollar hardbound trade interested?”Discussed: how little we actually know about the economics of graphic novels and the library market; Kate Beaton, Vertical, Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly and Pantheon; a bad maritime metaphor from Jeff, and more.
2:08:12-2:15:48: Paul Spence asks, “Would the Whatnauts offer their views on Kirby’s Marvel series The Eternals. I read The Eternals for the first time this year courtesy of marvel Unlimited and it provoked a mixed response from me. The mythology appeared to be Fourth World Lite mashed up with some of the ideas from Kirby’s 2001, and a serving from Erich Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods. The Fourth World of the New Gods becomes the Fourth Host of the Eternals and DC’s Orion becomes Ikaris in The Eternals. This does appear to be a case where Kirby was recycling ideas. My second Kirby related question pertains to the Joe Casey penned Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers. You covered the early issues in the series on the podcast and expressed both hope, and some trepidation, that it could be a masterpiece, or it could become a train wreck. Now that the mini-series has finished what do you think of the entire run?”Discussed:The Eternals by Jack Kirby, and Joe Casey’s Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers; and not much more.
2:15:48-2:22:55: Louie Whitford asks, “Why didn’t Eclipse or First Comics survive? Or: What’s your favorite Eclipse series?”Discussed: quick shout-outs for books like Badger, Aztec Ace by Doug Moench and Dan Day; Alec by Eddie Campbell; Sabre by Don McGregor and Billy Graham; Destroyer Duck by Jack Kirby and Steve Gerber; the end of First and Eclipse; and so on.
2:22:55-2:33:01: Michael Loughlin asks, “1) In your opinion, what recent comics (2000s & 2010s) will be regarded as classics in the future? 2) Of all the writers who never worked with him, which writer would have made a good scripter for Jack Kirby? Feel free to choose one of his contemporaries or a current writer.”Discussed; our weird handwringing about the term “classic,” Al Ewing’s Loki and Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery; Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim; and more.
2:33:01-end: Closing comments! Due to some crazy real-life events, I’ve cut out our talk of upcoming episodes and gone straight to Graeme telling you where you can find us on the Internet. Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr! And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 109 patrons make this whole thing possible! Speaking of which, Jeff has an apology that, thanks to an incisive email from Steve H, we have been tardy in providing the “recommend a book for us to read” perk to long-time patrons. We are in the process of getting organized and it is coming….soon!
Whew! Okay, so we hope you enjoy this episode, keep an eye on this space for what’s coming next, and remember: keep reading those comic books—you never know when you’re going to spend two and a half hours talking about them!