I almost skipped Justice League, mainly because I expected to hate it. I was lukewarm on Man of Steel—liked it more than many people did, but found Zack Snyder’s whole worldview pervasive and unpleasant—and I loathed Batman vs….
Oh, man. I apologize right now if the audio file you get sounds weird, you guys: for some reason, the first ten seconds kept cutting out on me over and over and over so trying to solve that may have been too taxing for my limited skills. I was able to get it to work but now there’s a two second delay between when I finish introducing and Graeme & I start gabbing. You’ll forgive me, right?
Anyway, enough with the preemptive apologizing, let’s get to the purely emptive apologizing—show notes!
0:00-3:51: Greetings! And chores!
3:51-45:02:Batman v. Superman v. Jeff v. Graeme! And yet, that is not entirely true, whatnauts, as you’ll find out when we delve into the film. FULL SPOILERS in that we talk about all the “plot” twists and reveals in the movie. But us being us, we also talk about the three points where Graeme laughed inappropriately, the parts that he loved, why Jeff thought about the Avengers, why Graeme thought of Wile E. Coyote, the best joke in the movie, why does Bruce Wayne lose his shit during the apocalyptic car commercial, which one of us thought of the film as “flaming car wreck of a film, but totally enjoyable,” the most suspenseful moment of the film for Jeff, Wonder Woman, the crazy second week drop in box office earnings, how much of BvS:DoJ was a Zack Snyder movie, and how much of it was a Warners/DC movie; and more.
45:02-48:43: In fact, we’re still talking BvS:DoJ but I thought I’d throw in a break in the ol’ time stamp since we change topic to talk (briefly) about the Suicide Squad reshoot rumors, and whether all the positive response to Wonder Woman will mean to a lot more studio meddling in the Wonder Woman movie.
48:43-57:39: Back to BvS:DoJ. “Would you recommend [the movie] to people?” asks Graeme. Discussed: John Romita, Jr., Nabokov’s Lolita, Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor, the missing footnote from the movie, Luthor’s top-notch attention to folder logos, and more.
57:39-1:09:26: Graeme pivots away from BvS:DoJ to talk about the antidote to that film—the Flash/Supergirl crossover episode, but Jeff hasn’t seen it so the convo is pretty truncated and so we move on to some of Graeeme’s reservations about Captain America: Civil War. Discussed: when friends fight; when superheroes fight; when screenwriters fight; when wrestlers fight; when superhero movie trailers fight; and the last shot of BvS:DoJ (like I said FULL SPOILERS).
1:09:26-1:34:18: And with that, our Batman vs. Superman talk is done. Now it’s time to talk aboutI Hate The Internetby friend of the podcast Jarett Kobek. Discussed: how much we love the book; how we appear in the book; Kurt Vonnegut and Breakfast of Champions; Philip K. Dick; literature vs. the internet; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; the ghost of Jack Kirby; Jeff wound up by Jarett; books promising you one thing and giving you another (pros and cons); collapsing narratives and lessons to the reader; the “I Hate The Internet” bot on Twitter; and more.
1:34:18-1:57:09: “So, Graeme, should we talk about, like, comic book comic books?” asks Jeff and Graeme decides to meet him halfway by discussing the Rebirth press conference. Discussed: The bittersweet return of Greg Rucka; wondering about the whereabouts of Tom Taylor and Brendan Fletcher; a rumor about the previous Batgirl team with a countering rumor; Hope Larson on Batgirl; the non-announced team of The Super Sons, and some worries about the biweekly publishing schedule; DC taking pages from the Marvel playbook after the Marvel playbook has stopped working in the marketplace; Dan Jurgens on Action; Tom King on Batman; the pairing of art teams on the biweekly titles; the rumored creative team for The Super Sons; and more.
1:57:09-2:05:39: Almost a non-sequitur: Jeff liked the second issue of Power Man & Iron Fist by David Walker and Sanford Greene much more than the first issue. And Graeme has been reading the first two volumes of the JSA Omnibus by David Goyer, Geoff Johns, Stephen Sadowski, Leonard Kirk, Don Kramer and many more. Discussed: The Geoff Johns influence, the Scott Snyder influence, Graeme and Matt Terl being butts; Graeme reading every appearance of Captain Britain between his first appearance and Excalibur. Wow, right? Look for that as a Wait, What? essay appearing near you!
Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast, as well as our continuing special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 119 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
2:12:42-end: But! Before we leave—Graeme hunts down the description of this podcast from I Hate The Internet to share it with you all. Because, yes, we are exactly that vain, sadly enough.
NEXT WEEK: Uh, well, funny thing about that—because of ECCC (yay!) we’re going to have to take another skip week (booo!). But join us in two weeks for the next Baxter Building (yay!) where we discuss Fantastic Four issues #126-133 (booo! probably, though I admit I haven’t read them yet.)
0:00-3:41: Greetings! Catch up with us as we catch up with each other. But honestly it’s not that long before we move along to the comics talk, starting with…
3:41-40:26: Peter Milligan’s The Discipline! We talk about Milligan’s latest project with Leonardo Fernandez in light of their other projects together (Greek Street and The Names) and separately (Enigma, Shade The Changing Man, Bad Company, The Human Target, among others). And this leads to a larger discussion about erotic comics, and whether or not all too often erotic comics are, as Graeme says, “the worst of both worlds,” or whether, as Jeff suggests, the sensuousness of a cartoonist’s technique can mesh with the sensuousness of sex to create an odd area all its own.
Also discussed: Howard Chaykin’s Black Kiss, Barbarella, Guido Crepax, Necron by “Magus” (really, writer Mirka Martini and illustrator Roberto Raviola), Italian erotic comics, and a very long bit of blather from Jeff about Gilbert Hernandez and why Jeff doesn’t think that Beto’s obsession with big breasts is about erotic attraction. And that leads into a discussion about Twilight Children, Darwyn Cooke, whether one can do a “major” work with work-for-hire superheroes, and more.
40:26-46:25: And continuing on in our talk about creators who may be past their prime but are still working, Graeme asks Jeff if he’s read the first issue of Neal Adams’ Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #1? Jeff hasn’t, to which Graeme replies: “That Batman: Odyssey magic is alive.” Discussed: Neal Adams’ work, that magic age when a cartoonist goes batshit, the foundation for superhero comics, and more.
46:25-1:10:25: And on a related subject: Dark Knight III #3 by Azzarello, Miller, Kubert and Romita, Jr., which has us talking about The Dark Knight Strikes Again!, Dark Knight Returns, Miller’s original pitch for DKR, Miller’s underlying conservatism (on many levels) in Dark Knight Strikes Again!, how much DKIII really takes place in the future or the present, Miller’s use of satire, a great much-shared piece by Susana Polo, politics on the Internet, and more.
1:10:25-1:26:54: With Dawn of Justice on the horizon, Graeme rewatched Man of Steel. SPOILERS: he likes it! Jeff hasn’t seen it recently but…SPOILERS: he didn’t. There’s some tussle over that, Graeme recounts a capsule summation of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, we try to figure out how financially successful MoS was in its theatrical run, who should be cast as Darkseid and who we would cast as The New Gods, and more.
1:26:54-1:34:16: Because of all the new job craziness, Jeff has kind of been on an accidental vacation from the Internet and he’s kind of okay with it? Discussed: how to adjust one’s internet intake; times when the Internet feels stuck in a rut; Joss Whedon and John Cassaday writing a story for Captain America—a big story or not; and Jeff’s guess at the Whedon/Cassaday story.
1:34:16-1:52:24: “Jeff, tell me what you’ve read,” Graeme demands and what choice has Jeff but to comply? After our last discussion about Scott Snyder’s Batman #49 where Jeff expressed interest in reading Scott Snyder’s Justice League, and Graeme expresed the opposite after strongly disliking Superman Unchained, Jeff bought the digital version of Superman Unchained when it was on sale on Superman’s birthday. Why does the book not work? Scott Snyder’s thematic deconstruction of Superman? Jim Lee’s art? The New 52 incarnation of Superman which still doesn’t quite make sense? With so many culprits, it’s hard to settle on just one!
1:52:24-2:03:26: Jeff has also read a handful of Wonder Woman ’77 comics by Marc Andreyko and a variety of artists on which he has a few fast thoughts; and he’s also a read a bunch of issues of Batman and Detective Comics purchased in the Neal Adams Comixology sale, many of which have barely any Neal Adams work in them; Manhunter by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson; and more.
2:03:26-end: Closing comments with one more slight digression about our appearances in letter columns and comic books (inspired by Matt Terl’s awesome column from a few weeks ago)! Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr!
Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast, as well as our continuing special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 118 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
Next week: Baxter Building Ep. 15! Read Fantastic Four #119-126 with us!
0:00-48:32: Very quick greetings so we can move right to talking about the rumors of the June DC relaunch, the news of which literally broke the day after we last recorded. Graeme has written about it on the website but he is kind enough to bring us all up to speed about what’s going on, giving Jeff plenty of time to do nothing by speculate mindlessly. Also discussed: worries about DC’s leadership; the near-total failure of the DC You; theories about the Tumblr crowd and comics (SPOILERS: Jeff sounds like a nerdier Norman Schwartzkopf by repeatedly using the phrase “force of engagement” a lot]; is Rebirth pivoting toward Batman Vs. Superman, or is it pivoting toward Suicide Squad; the different reactions of creators leaving DC as opposed to leaving Marvel; and more.
48:32-1:01:58: A lot of retailers appear to be saying that All-New, All-Different Marvel is selling badly, with one book, Black Knight, already being announced as cancelled with four other books selling lower than it. Also discussed: seasons as opposed to series, and how long those seasons should be; where the bump in Image’s marketshare came from; and more.
1:01:58-1:13:30: And another bit of surprising news coming from DC: the revamp of some Hanna-Barbera properties by DC talent, such as Scooby Apocalypse co-written by Jim Lee and Keith Giffen; Future Quest by Jeff Parker and Evan “Doc” Shaner (woo!); Wacky Raceland featuring re-designs by Mark Sexton of Mad Max: Fury Road fame; and The Flinstones with redesigns by Amanda Conner and scripts by Mark Russell of Prez. Discussed: Keith Giffen doing Scooby Doo?; whether inspiration came from Marvel and Star Wars or Archie and Afterlife With Archie; and more.
This excellent comic yoinked from http://floccinaucinihilipilificationa.tumblr.com/image/101960092787
1:13:30-1:23:45: Jeff read 16 comics before the podcast, only four of which were superhero books…arguably, five if you factor in Scooby-Doo Team-Up which featured Aquaman (and us being us, we do argue about it, a little). And this somehow segues off Jeff’s point to talk about the third issue of Sheriff of Babylon and the fourth issue of The Vision, both written by Tom King (art by Mitch Gerads on the former and art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta); as well as wondering where the Harry Potter comics are, and why there might be more Sandman mythos comics overseen by Neil Gaiman; and more..
1:23:45-1:47:01: Speaking of Neil Gaiman, Graeme has looked at the Marvel books that are selling less than Black Knight, and one of those books is Neil Gaiman’s little-seen Miracleman material with Mark Buckingham. Why is this material selling around 15,000 copies? Does it have to do with the way Marvel packaged the material? With Gaiman’s fans and their responses to what looks like more straightforward superhero work? Discussed: 1602, which Kubert did the art for 1602, Richard Isanove and digital painting, and the standard of digital painting today, Steve Oliff’s colors of Marvel’s Akira reprints, and the miracle that is, was and will be Sherilyn Van Valkenburgh’s colors on Milligan and Fegredo’s Enigma, Milligan and McCarthy’s Sooner or Later, before moving back into Gaiman’s Miracleman material and more.
1:47:01-1:58:07: “Okay, so here’s a question,” sez Graeme to Jeff. “And talking to you as someone who (a) loves the classics, and (b) loves Alan Moore…is there really a next chapter after where Alan Moore left [Miracleman]?” And Jeff…well, Jeff has an answer for that. It’s an answer that involves a trip to Road-Not-Taken-ville, with a lengthy amount of time in Almost-Forgotten-Pitch-Town, but we hope it’ll be worth your time.
1:58:07-2:11:53: And that should be where we end things, since we are right on the cusp of two hours, but a quick opportunity for us to give quick picks of the week—Sheriff of Babylon and The Vision, High School Debut—leads to a long talk about Black Magick by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott. Discussed: emphasis in comic books, televisionetic comic books, Rucka and his plotting; and more.
2:11:53-end: Closing comments with one more slight digression about our appearances in letter columns and comic books (inspired by Matt Terl’s awesome column from a few weeks ago)! Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr!
Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast, as well as our continuing special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 115 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
NEXT WEEK: Baxter Building Ep. 14! The Fantastic Four without Kirby begins to find a focus again! Read up on issues #111-118 and join us!
The holidays are upon us, and we are working hard to make sure you have more than enough Wait, What? with which to ring in the new year. So I hope you’ll understand if I move right into the “shownotes” portion of this afternoon’s entertainment so I can hustle on to the next podcast-related project:
00:00-01:47: Greetings from Graeme “Making Tea” McMillan and Jeff “Making Lemonade” Lester who start off by talking about tech problems, and worrying about whether or not we’re going to have them (SPOILERS: we are.)
01:47-38:26: Before we get to the comic book talk, we thought it might be worth doing a bit of comic book media talk first—more specifically, the relatively recent first trailer for Captain America: Civil War, and the very recent new trailer for Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. We discuss, compare, and contrast both. The cameos! The dialogue! The course corrections! What Jeff’s wife lady thought! Head’s up: because BvS:DoJ was fresher in our memory, we discuss that one in far more detail, including intentionality, dream sequences, Stucky and the possibility of cleaner motivation for Cap in the film version of Civil War as opposed to the comic; Jeff’s not especially correct “Rule of Three” for Marvel trailers; and much more.
38:26-1:15:58: And from there we go to the Marvel/Netflix show, Jessica Jones, via the pivot of wondering if the show—which Jeff has seen all of, and Graeme turned off after the first episode—feel like it’s happening in the same place, the same shared universe, as Daredevil and the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Also discussed: Agents of SHIELD;Heroes; Girls; Mike Colter as Luke Cage; Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones; Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple; David Tennant as Killgrave; Veronica Mars; what they could do for Season Two; Jessica’s transition in the comics from main character to supporting character; the appearance of [VILLAIN] that seems certain to appear on Season Two of Daredevil; the cutesy little thing Jeph Loeb does that drives Jeff crazy; the appearance of Ernie and Gus-Gus in apparent defense of Jeph Loeb; Jessica Jones vs. The Flash; the very low standards of viewers of Agents of SHIELD; Jessica Jones vs. Supergirl; the slow development of different tones for superhero shows and movies; and more. (And if you’re interested, there’s a whole bunch of stuff Jeff didn’t get around to saying that he finally does just below this very post.)
1:15:58-1:29:28: “But, yes! Comic books! I would like to discuss those!” Jeff announces, a slight and subtle transition for us to move on to the four-colored side of things (although that phrase really isn’t applicable any more, is it?). First up: The Sheriff of Babylon #1 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, about a military contractor in Baghdad 2003 tasked with training a new Iraqi police force. Jeff utters words he never thought he’d ever say; Graeme admits to reading the first issue multiple times; the phrase “it’s not a perfect comic” utterly multiple times in multiple ways; the movie Green Zone is brought up in a less-than-fond way; and more.
1:29:28-1:35:14:The Vision #2, also by Tom King, with art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, also came out this week, so Jeff gets compare and contrast it a bit with The Sheriff of Babylon. Discussed: playing out the string; compelling arguments for trade-waiting; the heyday of Marvel decompression; a mix of Alan Moore and Brian Bendis; the second chapter in a trade versus the second issue of comic; which leads to…
1:35:14-1:42:47: The second issue of Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling! Graeme thought that Ravan was an utterly compelling lead for the second issue which turns the book into a ensemble book. Interestingly enough, we do our best to avoid spoiling the climax of the second issue which is a thing we do not usually even try to do. As Graeme points out, this is a sign we really like the book and want to encourage people to read it? Also discussed: the stunning art by Mike Dowling and colors by Quinton Winter; Jeff being more willing to tradewait; Graeme feeling like the second issue takes what we see in the first issue and twists it or challenges versus Jeff feeling eh, not so much; and Jeff’s weird feeling that maybe Unfollow #2 might’ve stood out more if he hadn’t already read The Sheriff of Babylon and This Damned Band #5 by Paul Cornell and Tony Parker.
1:42:47-1:50:26: “Where are you on Batman and Robin Eternal?” asks Graeme, and so the truth comes out: Jeff, Batman fanatic who had read all of Batman Eternal, hasn’t made it past issue #2 of the book yet (although continuing to buy and stockpile issues) while Graeme is completely up-to-date on the series and is still digging it. That said, Graeme has been worrying about the future of Batman and Robin Eternal’s satisfying single driving plot approach after getting and reading Earth Two: World’s End Vol. 2 (issues #12-26 of the weekly series) by Daniel Wilson, Marguerite Wilson, Cullen Bunn and, as is usually the case with weekly books, a veritable infantry of comic book artists; Jeff talks about getting in the weeds for weekly comics, the presence of James Tynion IV on both Batman Forever and Batman and Robin Forever, and its sequel; and more.
1:50:26-2:11:38: In discussing the recent Action Comics and Superman storyline, Graeme brings up a great point about how much depends on his mood when he’s reading. Among the topics discussed: underground fight clubs for mythical creatures; the return of Sand Superman; Robin War #1; mainlining Phonogram, The Wicked & the Divine, and Black Magick; an insightful Secret Convergence post about how podcasts are assembled and the risks of reading too many comics; Spidey #1 by Robbie Thompson and Nick Bradshaw; Spider-Man Chapter One by John Byrne; The Ship of Theseus paradox, as mentioned by both Matt Terl in our DK3 roundtable and Paul O’Connor’s review of Amazing Spider-Man #1 over at his terrific Longbox Graveyard website; and then Graeme starts cutting out in his spirited argument of Ms. Marvel as a great Spider-Man figure but then we do manage to more or less talk about what does make for a great Spider-Man figure and then…
2:11:38-end: Closing comments! Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast..as well as our special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 115 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.