0:01-7:58: Greetings from Graeme “It’s Not Fucking Sweltering” McMillan and Jeff “Eschew Hyperbole” Lester! It’s been a while so even after we stop talking about the weather, we have questions—important questions!—to answer about the song Wooly Bully, pillow talk (though not in the way that term’s traditionally used), visual cues, and….
7:58-39:18:Doomsday Clock! Issue #11 is out, and while it’s too soon to discuss the limited series with any degree of finality, it is perhaps time for Graeme to talk about the arc of the series, the trend of issues #10 and #11, and some reflection on Watchmen and the career of one Geoff “Ozymandias” Johns. Kick off your shoes and settle in to your chair because this’ll take a while. (Though not nearly as long as the times between issues of Doomsday Clock.)
39:18-55:53: Pivoting: Tox Jox Blox HoxPox! Checking in about the weekly Jonathan Hickman x-event, we admit we are both….exhausted? We talk scheduling, characterization, the strengths of Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva (on House of X and Powers of X, respectively, the charms of Avengers: No Surrender, and books that we don’t read immediately and those we do.
55:53-1:12:41: Talking about pacing ourselves, we briefly discuss the stuff Graeme’s just recently caughtt up on and that leads in to a quick (spoiler-free!) chat about the upcoming issue of Batman by Tom King and Clay Mann and then really digging into the latest issue of The Green Lantern by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp. Graeme had wandered away from the book and wandered back to see the lead-in to the upcoming Green Lantern: Blackstars book. Jeff, who is hanging on to interest in the book by his fingernails wants to talk about, among other things, why? Why is Morrison doing what he’s choosing to do with this book?
1:12:41-1:30:14: Relatedly, a superhero book we are both loving is the current run of Daredevil. Jeff just read Daredevil: Know Fear, the trade collecting the first five issues by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, and Sunny Gho. Jeff thinks it’s a great book for fans of the Netflix show, and Graeme thinks it’s just a great book, period. Also discussed: Tom Taylor on Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man; Savage Avengers #5; Infinity Wars; and more.
1:30:14-1:41:23: Another book Jeff has greatly enjoyed—and without a superhero in sight—is My Pink is Overflowing by Yuki Minnou about a cafe waitress who needs to be loved and the uptight, scowly manager with whom she comes to an agreement. Some day Jeff will come up with a better description of volume 1 than “less of a story and more the equivalent of two nervous dogs trying to sniff each other’s butts for 300 pages,” but that day is not today. (Spoilers for vol. 3! Not that the plot is really the point of My Pink Is Overflowing.) Also discussed: Vinland Saga, manga vs. anime, and more.
1:41:23-1:52:04: The anime angle gives Jeff a chance to ask Graeme about what he’s watching these days. Discussed: Million Pound Menu, No Offence, the most current season of The Great British Baking Show which inspired this delightful thread by CalamityJon:
It’s a new season of The Great British Bak(ing Show)e-Off! Let’s meet some of the new contestants, freshly plucked from a clover lawn, like all British bakers! No spoilers ahead, but I probably make a mean joke about your current favorite: pic.twitter.com/HZ4PVcYbbf
— A Calamity Jon you will not hear about on the news (@calamityjon) September 4, 2019
0:01-10:36: Greetings from Graeme “Derry Girls” McMillan and Jeff “New Mic, Old Mac” Lester! We hope you like our occasional forays into non-comic book talk, because that is definitely how we start out episode 276! Like the smoothest of stones, we skip from Keyser Soze to Derry Girls to Hobbs & Shaw to one of your hosts moving to artisanal cobwebs in under two minutes.
10:36-22:26: But, hey, we do swerve back to comic news before too long, as we discuss a pretty interesting tidbit recently come to light: Rob Liefeld doesn’t own the rights to Youngblood! Weird, right? And yet somehow true? Also discussed: buying Comico, licensing Amazing Heroes, and more.
22:26-25:01: Back to Hobbs & Shaw! Did you know Drew Pearce, who wrote No Heroics and Iron Man 3, also wrote H&S? That’s pretty cool right?
25:01-1:03:59: But since neither of us have seen Hobbs & Shaw, Jeff goes on to talk about Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood. No spoilers, sorta? (Depending on how well you know Tarantino films, we probably give away by what you can infer from our discussion.) We talk about this problematic movie from this problematic auteur and Jeff’s thoughts and feelings about the movie being (surprise!) troubled (and probably problematic). Also discussed: Tarantino movies; feet; ER and X-Files; Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Joss Whedon’s new series, The Nevers; and Neil Gaiman’s work for Marvel.
1:03:59-1:18:49: Speaking of which, guess what Graeme just reread this last week? No joke, it’s The Eternals by Neil Gaiman and John Romita, Jr.! As you know, bagging on Neil Gaiman is like catnip for Jeff, but Graeme manages to get some good points in there. Discussed; the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and where The Eternals might help or hinder that; and more.
1:18:49-1:22:39: Hey, that Powers of X #1 came out this week from Jonathan Hickman and R. B. Silva and it sure was something, wasn’t it? We talk about how ambitious and crazy and impressive it was, and what ends up exciting comics readers, Paul O’Brien doing annotations for House of X and Powers of X (yay!!!); and more.
1:22:39-1:29:26:Batman: Last Knight on Earth #2 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo is out and Jeff is digging on it. But is he reading Justice League? And if not, why?
1:29:26-1:44:51: Two hits and then a stunning miss: The Green Lantern Annual #1 by Grant Morrison and Giuseppe Camuncoli. It’s not our cup of tea, in no small part because it’s terrible.
1:44:51-1:52:28: We circle back to Powers of X #1 because, as we were saying earlier, it sure was something! We talk more about what that something is, and we debate whether or not we can really talk full-on spoilers or not? Graeme talks a few things that may or may not be spoilers, depending on how things turn out. We kick in with this at theory at 1:49:01 and it only lasts for a few minutes and is really just spoilery theories, I guess?
1:52:28-1:56:46: Also impossible to spoil is Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-san, a very goofy little book by Shingo Honda about the trials and tribulations of working in the manga section of a Japanese bookstore and dealing with, among other things, westerners needing help finding their disquieting manga selections?
1:56:46-2:03:37: One of the ongoing joys of DC Universe for Jeff is that more often than not every week they upload an issue of Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #9, featuring Pat Boone.
2:03:37-2:07:44: Speaking of DCUniverse, Jeff has *finally* checked out Doom Patrol right? Well, wrong. Here more about his self-defeating TV choices. We also have a fast update about Graeme’s read of The Boys and how it reflects on the TV show.
2:07:44-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 her continuing support of this podcast. (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
0:01-18:33: Greetings from Graeme “Back From The Wars” McMillan and Jeff “Loverman” Lester! We only have time for the briefest of Billy Bragg references before we’re off to the coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, as only our embedded correspondent can provide! It was a very weird show, with some strange arrangements and a lot of off-kilter preparation. It’s not worth putting a time stamp but at one point, Graeme mentions that the combined DC/Warner Brothers booth was so big Jeff’s apartment could’ve fit in it four times. Well, in editing this, Jeff checked with Edi (who actually has an ability to remember numbers and understand spatial relationships), and ran the actual booth size—two floors of 6500 square feet total—and the actual answer? Jeff and Edi’s apartment could fit in that total square footage EIGHT TIMES. Also discussed: the Strange Adventures announcement from DC; the Undiscovered Country announcement from Image; the Hickman announcement panel at Marvel; the panels Graeme moderated; and more.
18:33-23:20: I don’t know if I can cleanly split this stuff up, but here’s where we started talking about Marvel Studio’s announcements for their upcoming film slate. Graeme lists them out, along with the Disney+ TV shows. And then we whipsaw back to the new X-Men titles announced at the Hickman reveal panel, along with some fun facts revealed there.
23:20-29:00: But here’s what Graeme thinks may have been the biggest story to come out SDCC and it seems like it’s been super-slept on: Comichub which does point of sales software in the retail market, has announced a partnership with NPD Group, and so sales will be entered into Bookscan. Retailers who use Comichub POS software will have their sales counted by Bookscan *and* will also have access to Bookscan data. This could be a huge boon for those retailers and help gain a better understanding of total sales for comics and graphic novels (which, as Hibbs will tell you, is pretty tricky stuff to try and even remotely guess at). For Jeff, there was the announcement of IDW collecting all of Steve Ditko’s Mr. A, and the disquieting acknowledgment (when someone asked) that Ditko quite specifically did not want the material reprinted. Discussed: It’s problematic.
BIG NEWS! I’ve been hired* to do the official HBO Watchmen tie-in comic, TALKING WATCHMEN. (“Hired” in the punk rock spirit of no one asking for this) pic.twitter.com/Vqouh1Oa1F
29:00-38:57: From out of the problematic frying pan and into the problematic fire, we talk about HBO’s Watchmen Comic-Con trailer and Damon Lindelof’s comments at the Television Critics Association about his relationship to Moore’s reaction to the show. (comic by Kenny Keil).
38:57-1:07:49: Here’s some good news from SDCC. Doom Patrol the TV show? It got a Season Two, and pretty much thanks to HBO Max. I for one welcome our corporate synergistic overlords! Also discussed: the Harley Quinn animated show trailer. Also discussed: The Great British Bake-Off; the secret behind Midsommar; the offsite Batman experience; the transition of SDCC from being a movie-based convention to a TV-based convention; the most popular cosplay of the show, maybe?; Kevin Huizenga’s The River At Night; new work by Adrian Tomine, Lisa Hannawalt, and more; what Graeme spent too much money on; the difference between New York Comic-Con and San Diego Comic Con; and much, much more.
1:07:49-1:28:16: Graeme has watched all eight episodes of The Boys on Amazon Prime, and he…liked it?! So much so that he went and got the omnibi off Hoopla and is re-reading them? UNEXPECTED! Discussed: how faithful the adaptation is, who seems to like and who doesn’t on social media, the differences made and their effects; Ennis and his thematic concerns, early Boys with Darick Robertson and later Boys with Russ Braun; the original pitch for The Boys. (And yet, this is mostly a spoiler-free review?)
1:28:16-1:32:54: As long as we’re talking about shows on Amazon Prime, also on Prime is Under The Silver Lake, the follow-up film from It Follows director David Robert Mitchell starring Andrew Garfield, a comedic L.A. noir that mulls over Mulholland Dr., Hitchcock films, Pynchon novels, conspiracy theories and cultural legacies. Jeff really wants to talk about it and talk about it and talk about it, but you guys all get off lucky.
1:32:54-1:42:24: However, all of that is probably the perfect prelude to talking about House of X #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia. It’s a big batch of comics in one (not cheap but still satisfying!) issue and we muse over its mysteries and finding that comic book sweet spot.
1:42:24-2:00:35: But Jeff may be fronting a bit on the superhero score. He loved House of X #1, he read and liked some other superhero books—here’s looking at you, Batman Universe #1—but what was really his jam these last few weeks was fourteen volumes of You’re My Pet by Yayoi Ogawa. Jeff adores the cartooning, the characterization and the storytelling and it’s all available to those who have a Comixology Unlimited subscription. Also discussed: the first volume of Mars, more of a Shojo manga (You’re My Pet seems to be much more Josei, for these keeping track at home) similarly available on CU by Fuyumi Soryo. Also discussed: Jimmy Olsen #1 by Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, and Nathan Fairbairn; Superman: Up In the Sky #1 by Tom King, Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, and Brad Anderson; Batman #75 by Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, Mitch Gerads, and Mitch Gerads; and Bad Weekend TPB by Ed Brubaker and Sean & Jacob Phillips. Also discussed: the end of Walking Dead and reaction about it at SDCC; the resurgence of Todd McFarlane; and more.
2:00:35-2:14:29: Graeme read the aforementioned Huizenga book; got a lot of print stuff from 2000 A.D.; and he runs Jeff through The Batman Who Laughs miniseries, a mini Graeme thought he was only an issue or two behind on but in fact hadn’t checked it out after issue #1. It’s…. a very strange little series?
2:14:29-2:20:25: Oh, and Jeff also tried to get his ass in gear and get out of the big two rut, and read The Wrong Earth #1 and #2 by Tom Peyer, Jamal Igle, Juan Castro, and Andy Troy; and Second Coming #1 by Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy, both published by Ahoy Comics. He liked one and loved the other. Care to wager which is which, Mr. Bond? (And for bonus points, Mr. Bond, can you tell us how Irredeemable ends? Oh wait, never mind, we’ve both checked Wikipedia by now.)
2:20:25-end: Closing comments, interspersed with apologies! 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!)
The fact that DC’s Robin War crossover and Marvel’s Secret Wars mega-event-crossover ended on the same day is one of those small ironies that people who write about stuff on the internet (i.e. me) really like. Whoa, these comics…
00:00-6:19: Greetings from Jeff “Cute Bree” Lester and Graeme “or could it be Bree Cute?” McMillan, who are here to tell you about the Patreon security breach in the most indirect way possible! Also, if you listen closely (okay, not that closely—you pretty much just have to listen), you can hear Graeme read the names from the Wait, What? Hall of Thank Yous, wherein the names of our contributing patrons have been inscribed. Thank you, patrons!
6:19-7:29: Are we having internet troubles, or is Jeff just an idiot? Hmm, tough call, tough call (no pun intended). So we spend a minute or two trying to figure out if we’ll need to skype one another back or not. (Spoilers: we do, though not quite yet.)
7:29-17:05: “Hey, Jeff!” sez Graeme. “Have you read new comics this week or, like me, have you just been reading old comics?” Jeff has run down the list of books that he’s read, most of which are new or newish, Thanks to the way Jeff presented it (as “that $30 issue of Scooby-Doo Team-Up”), Graeme wants a few more details about that book, about which you might already know (and Graeme did too). SPOILERS for the super-special guest stars of this issue. This in turn leads to a quick discussion of the launch of DC Superhero Girls, and the first webisode which doesn’t look especially easy to embed otherwise we’d be doing it here. Also mentioned more or less in passing: APE was happening just a few days after we recorded (and has wrapped by the time I write this) and New York Comic-Con is right around the corner. Jeff has a slightly muddled history of the Alternative Press Expo for you, we discuss why it’s so damn difficult to have a comic book convention in San Francisco, and then…
17:05-17:34: We decide to jump off the line and try again since one of us is cutting out a bit on the other (although we’re happy to say you can’t hear it in the recording at all) so that bring us to…
17:34-24:03: Greetings, part two! We’re back almost as soon as we left to talk discuss, well, how gullible is Jeff really? And this leads into a discussion of made-up technology and apps that clearly don’t exist in the real world but are just spoofs designed to satirize today’s culture, such as Qoopy, or Peeple or Snapchat or Ello.
24:03-48:02: “Graeme!” sez Jeff. “You’d asked me about comics I’d read. Do you want to tell me what comics you’ve read, and should we talk about, like, the comics?” And you think that would lead us into talking about exactly that—in no small part because Jeff wants to—but because Jeff hadn’t heard about the story by Janelle Asselin that broke over at Graphic Policy about Scott Allie’s history of alleged assault at comic conventions, Graeme recaps the story. So we talk about this situation, some of the other stories that have recently come to light in the comics industry, and about the struggle to find nuance without using that as a way to freeze out, ignore, or invalidate those who step forward. Also discussed: owning up to stuff, having to own up to stuff, apologizing to Ridley Scott, and more.
48:02-55:04: “Let’s see,” sez Graeme. “You asked what comics I’d read, didn’t you?” Graeme talks briefly about Sandman Overture #6 by Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III; we bemoan the change-up of Skull The Slayer by Steve Englehart and the wrap-up by Bill Mantlo; and we mention more or less in passing the Steve Englehart issues of JLA.
55:04-1:26:05: All of which leads Graeme to read (thanks to his magical library system) Time Runs Out, Jonathan Hickman’s closing arc to Avengers and New Avengers, which Graeme spends a certain amount of time dissecting and trying to wrap his brain around. Discussed: crazy dialogue, Mark Millar worship, Hickman’s concept of characterization, and how it pertains to his versions of Captain America and Iron Man; the appeal of ambition and the long game; a loosey-goosey comparison of Fraction’s Fear Itself and Hickman’s Secret Wars, as well as the Marvel work of Fraction and Hickman; the presence of irony; why it might not be the best idea to tie your event into a story that happened thirty years ago; and more.
1:26:05-1:37:19: “So what’s really interesting is comparing all of that to Remender in Rage of Ultron,” sez Graeme, and then vents a bit more about Avengers: Rage of Ultron by Rick Remender, Jerome Opena, Pepe Larraz, and Mark Morales. We discuss the characterization of Hank Pym, comics and wrestling with a great point from Graeme about wrestling; Sense and Sensible Rebooting starring The Vision; the new Daredevil series being written by Charles Soule; and more.
1:37:19-2:02:04: All this talk of continuity in comics and how long readers should be expected to remember things or creators should be expected to keep consistent with previous characterizations leads to a more personal revelation from Jeff: after years and years of reading comics series in print, it’s probably become time for him to make the transition to digital, thanks to experiences he’s had reading The Fade Out, Nameless, and The Walking Dead in digital as opposed to print. Why digital over floppies? Why digital over trades? Irresponsible reader? Irresponsible customer? Or just an old fart? YOU DECIDE.
2:02:04-end: Closing comments! Or it would be if we didn’t revisit the Scott Allie situation as his first statement had been released since the time we talked about the situation ninety minutes earlier! Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr! And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 109 patrons make this whole thing possible! We will be back next week!
Next week: A new Baxter Building! Read up on issues #82-87 and Annual #6 of the Fantastic Four and join us for a monthly dose of semi-historical comic analyses!
And, since the player is once again being overembeddy, check out the first comment in the thread if you need a direct link to the episode for your cutting and pasting purposes!