https://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts4/BaxterBuildingEp51.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: Surprise! You thought that we brought this to an end two and a half years ago, but no! Baxter Building is back — for one episode only! 0:00:00-0:03:11: We introduce…
(literally impossible to figure out what’s going on in this trailer if you don’t know the characters, I think) https://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts4/WaitWhat301.mp3 0:01-5:30: Greetings! It’s Ep. 301 and we hope you can forgive us by starting off…
00:01-06:01: Greetings from Graeme “Whole Day” McMillan and Jeff “Poor Guy” Lester! Graeme is medical emergency adjacent; Jeff is Jeff; nevertheless, we decide to persist in the face of adversity and press on to discuss…attempted murder!!!!
6:01-41:33: Yes, at Graeme’s insistence, Jeff ended up watching the first season of DC Unscripted, the reality show on DC Universe that tracks ten contestants’ attempt to pitch a new reality show for DC Universe. (Suspiciously meta premise, that.) We discuss our reactions to the show, the actual winners, 360 activations, slide lines, ringers, and much more.
41:33-50:59: So, yes, after discussing how unlikely it would seem that someone would watch a DC Universe reality show, Graeme comes clean as “genuinely, non-ironically a fan of” Marvel’s Hero Project on Disney+! So, ya know, what do we know, really?
50:59-58:28: “At a certain point,” Jeff says, “we have to talk about Animal World.” And because Graeme has no idea what Jeff is talking about when he says that, that point becomes immediately after Jeff gets through saying it. Discussed: Animal World, Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji, Unlimited RPS, Deadpool, and much, much more.
58:28-1:23:40: Finally busting out the comics-as-comics talk, we discuss the first nine issues or so of Dan Slott’s run on Fantastic Four, since Jeff finally girded up his loins to read them and…oof. Discussed: A fascinating piece of pre-FF #1 fanfic concerning Sue and Ben’s relationship (in Fantastic Four #5), the FF as family, the appeal of inoffensive comics, functional families vs. dysfunctional families, and more.
1:23:40-1:52:50: Remember when we were talking about the reading list Jeff keeps, and Graeme went, “yeah, hey, I should do that,” and then was all, “hey, I did it!” and then was like, “no wait, it’s not complete I’ll read it to you next time?” THAT TIME IS NOW. (Jeff also reads his reading list, but more for a comedic contrast than anything.) Also discussed: Narrative exhaustion, working oneself sick, being young, a thought about old Rockstar Games video games that I don’t think I got to finish?, Jeff watching Graeme’s old cat, Luna, and more.
1:52:50-1:58:56: All the grousing about narrative aside, Jeff really wants to recommend An Invitation From A Crab, a manga from indie Japanese cartoonist Panpanya. Jeff busts out a lot of great creators—Kafka!, Woodring!, Miyazaki!—in his flailing around trying to convey what’s so great about this collection of stories. It’s very good!
1:58:56-2:14:59: And Graeme has spent a lot of time, when not reading Birds of Prey comics for work, reading Justice League comics from the late ‘80s, early ‘90s. Tune in for an analysis of the days of Giffen, DeMatteis, Jones, Jurgens, and more. Also discussed: the discrepancy between one title between runs; mutant orgies; and more.
2:14:59-end: Closing Comments! Well, it should be but somehow we go directly from giant robots to Bobbie Gentry? Look for us on 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. (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
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!
0:01-20:16: Greetings from Graeme “I’m In A Great Mood!” McMillan and Jeff “I Most Definitely Am Not!” Lester, where we start in with exactly that state of affairs. Jeff lays out the details and is especially annoyed at some of the comics he’s been reading; Graeme thinks that Jeff will be entertainingly cranky as a result. Jeff thinks he’s going to just be a crank. Good(?) News: you will definitely get a chance to decide for yourself with this episode, because Jeff goes all in on the grouchiness. Warning: ALL IN. But first: we talk a bit about the comics backlog pile; Jeff makes the case for Comixology adding a user-customizable smart list function; reception to the first episode of DROKK!, and more.
20:16-26:20: Is Jeff gaining no joy at all from the news that Conan will be a member of the Savage Avengers a sign that he is truly in a bad place? (Jeff, not Conan, although arguably the latter—especially if you think of the bad place being “Marvel”—is quite likely a more rewarding conversational topic.) Or is it that David Finch cover? Or is it just the common sense idea that you don’t garnish your salt with salt? Or you never put the Punisher on team? Or some other option I haven’t listened far enough into the discussion to list out?
26:20-43:46: Remember Jeff joking about Battling About Bendis, the new podcast (that actually turned out to be Drokk)? Get a bit of taste of that as an embittered Jeff “reviews” Superman #8 and Young Justice #2. Graeme has a great theory about what’s going on with Jon Kent, but does Mr. Let-It-All-Burn care? Also discussed: Sex Criminals; DeFalco & Ryan’s Fantastic Four; and more.
43:46-56:39: Jeff tries to apologize and mentions there are other people whose work he also was frustrated by this week but he won’t be shitting on their work…and then GRAEME DEMANDS THE RECEIPTS. (Look at me trying to blame it on Graeme even now! What a garbage person I am.) Anyway, discussed: Goddess Mode #3 by Zoe Quinn and Robbi Rodriguez; Wonder Twins #1 by Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne; moving past Tom King and the feedback on Heroes in Crisis; Fantastic Four #1 by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli.
56:39-1:08:38: Realizing he has unleashed a monster, Graeme tries desperately to pivot: “Here’s a question,” he asks, fear all but audible, “what have you read this week that you liked?” Discussed: Where does optimism end and self-torture begin?; West Side Story; a quick list of stuff Jeff did like; Criminal #2 by Brubaker and Phillips.
1:08:38-1:36:13: Jeff has read the first three issues of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Tempest (which, as Graeme points out, Jeff refers to as Tempest by The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which may or may not add an enlightening “senile and addled” sheen to all that has come before now this ep from Jeff). Thank goodness, Greg is there to help set him straight! Discussed: LOEG and the Nemo books, Black Dossier, Century, the ways in which Tempest! feels perhaps like a pivot in a number of ways, extra-temporality, the expectations of a artist’s final work, LOEG: The Tempest vs. Twin Peaks: The Return.
1:36:13-1:43:16: After a super quick visit to our safe space—by which I mean Immortal Hulk #13 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett Ruy José, Belardino Brabo and Rafael Fonteriz—Jeff goes on to talk about Outer Darkness #4 by John Layman and Afu Chan, and, in a similar Trek-based vein, the USS Callister episode of Black Mirror.
1:43:16-1:55:20: Please dear god, let us hear from Graeme! He wants to talk about the pilot of Doom Patrol now on DC Universe. What did he love? What drove him crazy? And what will keep him coming back? Is it lifting from Morrison as opposed to Morrisonian, and what’s the difference? (And what’s better?)
1:55:20-2:22:19: On a super-related topic, Graeme has reread Morrison and Case’s Doom Patrol and feels the run doesn’t hold up. Considering Graeme’s re-read of The Invisibles disappointed him, is Morrison someone whose work doesn’t hold up on a second readthrough? Graeme thinks not, but has a lot of culprits to attribute to those failures.
2:22:19-2:37:03: Static hits, so we call back, and although you would think we would go right to the closing comments, Jeff has a lot of apologizing to do to Graeme (a lot!), but also we feel we should do a very quick rundown of comics news: Second Coming not coming from Vertigo anymore; rumors about the number of books in DC’s line and where they might be published are discussed; aging up your avatar; and DC’s beautiful-looking Lucha Explosiva figures.
2:37:03-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 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: Skip week? Indeed! Enjoy the rest of you February and join us for a new Wait, What? in March!
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/BaxterBuildingEp50.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: It’s all been leading to this — literally; we’re at the final episode of the series, and have made it through 405 issues (and 27 annuals, and 4 Giant-Size special…
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/BaxterBuildingEp49.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: As Jeff and I prepare to finish up the series — the next episode of Baxter Building may be the final one! — we double back in time to take…
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/BaxterBuildingEp48.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: Was there ever life before Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan’s Fantastic Four run? By this point, it’s genuinely hard to remember what this comic used to be like, but I’m…
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