0:01-02:19: Greetings from Graeme “Master of Time and Space” McMillan and Jeff “Insert Suggestion Here” Lester! Because it’s been three (or four!) weeks since our last podcast, we really do make it a point to speed through the small talk and get to…
02:19-1:07:39: CCXP! Also known as Comic-Con Experience São Paolo! Also known as the comic convention that might’ve ruined Graeme for all North American comic shows! Pull up a chair and sit back as Graeme gives a very complete overview of the show he attended at the beginning of December in Brazil. It’s a very complete overview of a fantastic show, and gives us opportunity to discuss what makes it such a successful show, what American shows can learn from it (and if they will)! Also discussed: the 20+ minute Kevin Feige Experience; the rapture of Money Heist and the multimedia presentations; the Frank Quitely panel; whether cons “for” fans might be different from cons “for” pros; the joys of last minute and long-distance travel; going to war with Disney; freelancing duties while traveling; and much, much more in this hour-plus discussion.
1:07:39-1:33:03: Speaking of Graeme’s freelancing work, he’s been tasked with preparing both Best of the Year and Best of the Decade lists. In doing so, he realized there was a fatal shortcoming on his decade list—no manga! So he asked on Twitter for recommendations, checked a lot of stuff out, and these are his reactions to what he’s read. Discussed: Delicious in Dungeon; Tokyo Tarareba Girls; One Piece; Goodnight Punpun; and more!
1:33:03-1:52:13: From manga of the decade to American comics from last week: we both read Dark Knight: The Golden Child by Frank Miller, Rafael Grampá, and Jordie Bellaire (Jeff doing so after Graeme said good things about it on Twitter) and we both want to rave about it here. It’s a….surprising book for a lot of reasons that we unpack here. Discussed: Kirby, Mantlo, mugged liberals, and much more.
1:52:13-2:04:05: “I’m not going to say a lot about Doomsday Clock #12,” announces Graeme “Tease” McMillan, “but I am going to say this…” Don’t worry, it’s spoiler-free, but it is a tantalizing set of impressions from Graeme. Also discussed: the difference between Watchmen the HBO series (also spoiler-free in our discussion) and Doomsday Clock; and more.
2:04:05-2:13:53: “You know, Graeme,” Jeff sez, “the really sad thing is we can’t just talk for six hours.” Really, Jeff? REALLY? Well, anyway, here are some of the things we talk about talking about if we had the time to talk about them: CBR meets the outsourcing content mill; Brian Bendis’s Superman issue called “Truth” about Superman revealing his identity, and the Superman issue called “Truth” about Superman revealing his identity that happened all the way back in, uh, 2015; The Wonder Twins: Activate collection by Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne; and more.
2:13:53-end: Closing Comments!! 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!)
Next week: Drokk, it’s time for Drokk!! Join us next week as we discuss Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 10!
0:00-2:02: Greetings! Jeff’s asthma is acting up! Graeme has either forgotten or eschewed the word “example!” It’s another episode of your favorite comic podcast where the words “favorite” and “comic” are both suspect, and only “podcast” can be taken for granted. (Unless “podcast” implies some level of technical proficiency, in which case it’s *all* up for grabs!)
2:02-11:05: It seems to us like it’s been a million years since we’ve done one of these? (It’s only been two weeks if you’re keeping track?) Is that because Graeme has read so many Wonder Woman comics in the last week as a lead-up to the release of the new movie? It’s not clear, but it is a great excuse to talk about Wonder Woman comics, as Jeff asks Graeme to summarize his findings from reading that much Amazonian Princess in that short a time. Much discussion of Greg Rucka’s recent revision of the Wonder Woman origin ensues.
11:05-18:58: And then since Graeme has also seen Wonder Woman, the movie (but Jeff has not), there is a spoiler-free discussion wherein Graeme talks about the movie and what he thought.
18:58-39:57: And here is where Jeff’s ulterior motive makes itself known—what is the worst superhero movie? Can we agree on one? And if not, can we at least talk about how terrible Green Lantern is? Because talking about Green Lantern is like talking about that time you got horribly stomach-sick at your cousin’s wedding: painful and embarrassing at the time (almost to the point of genuine humiliation), but kind of hilarious to reminisce about. (hashtag I’m sorry Cousin Burt.)
39:57-47:42: Awkward segue here in that if you start on this segment you catch Graeme at the tail end of his thought about those superhero movies that were clearly compromised by reshoots, and then goes on to talk about the curious situation of the Justice League movie, now that Zach and Deborah Snyder have stepped away from the film for very good personal reasons. Is Justice League so messy that it will be in a way, critic proof? Will any good thing coming out of the movie now being credited to Joss Whedon?
47:42-1:00:16: And for a very different kind of DC superhero movie, Jeff recommends you check out Batman & Bill, a documentary available on Hulu about the crusade to get Bill Finger the recognition he deserves. Even if you know the contours of the story, it’s a documentary that has some very satisfying twists and turns in it. It’s well worth a watch, sez Jeff. But how exactly does that lead into us discussing the comic book career of Gene Simmons? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out, but we apologize nevertheless. (Also, as someone who has edited over two hundred of these damned things, I don’t think we’ve ever done what we do starting just scant milliseconds before the 54:47 mark!)
1:00:16-1:13:19: “Graeme McMillan, I have to say this is a very odd installment of our podcast,” announces Jeff, who is not just whistling Dixie (which is an expression us olds use and I am only now thinking I should google and ensure the saying’s origins weren’t something egregiously racist). (Still not sure!)
1:13:19-1:19:09: “When you said we haven’t even talked about Marvel,” Graeme more or less replies fifteen minutes later, “I thought you were going to talk about the revival of Runaways.” “Is that something you’re interested in, Graeme?” Jeff asks diplomatically. Discussed: the revival of Runaways.
1:19:09-1:40:24: Jeff wants to talk about the comics he has read. First up: Deadpool: Bad Blood by Rob Liefeld, Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, and Romulo Fajaroo, Jr. with a very special musical interlude! Also discussed: the first three issues of the current X-O Manowar run by Matt Kindt, Tomás Giorello, and Diego Rodriguez; the most recent few issues of Deathstroke by Priest, Hama, Pagulayan, Bennett, and others. Caution: includes SPOILERS for the wrap-up of the Lazarus Contract (in Teen Titans Annual #1, I want to say?).
1:40:24-1:44:29: Another book Jeff (re-) read recently and would like blab about for a spell: Punisher: Born by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Tom Palmer, and Paul Mounts. Frank Castle’s final days in Vietnam?! What’s not to like about that?
1:44:29-1:48:59: Also read! Spencer & Locke #1 by David Pepose, Jorge Santiago, Jr., and Jasen Smith! It’s Calvin & Hobbes meets Sin City!
1:48:59-1:52:10: The most recent issues of Moon Knight (#11-14) by Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, and Jordie Bellaire!
1:52:10-1:55:55:4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #4 by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Clare Dezutti! Jeff liked it, but you kind of can’t tell through all the complaining!
2:00:28-2:05:39: Graeme does a terrible thing! A cross-examination about what Graeme is like in bars! And then…
2:05:39-end: Closing comment! 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.
In two weeks: Baxter Building Ep. 30! Covering Fantastic Four issues #271-277 by John Byrne. Join us in 14!
00:00-29:40: Greetings from Graeme “Happy Holidays!” McMillan and Jeff “Who to the What Now?” Lester who start off by talking about 2016 right around the bend and all that will bring but also the oddness of recording on December 17: “Star Wars Day (Unofficially).” Yes, by the time you read these words, you probably will have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie and Graeme probably will have as well. We try our hands at fake spoilers, Graeme tells us when he will be seeing the film and, more importantly, what it was like to attend a press screening of Twilight with specially invited fans of the books. Discussed: the phrase “vocal fans,” the phrase “you’re not MY Grand Moff Tarkin,” Star Wars “line frenzy,” the career of Kenny Rogers, Graeme insisting that Jeff knows the plot of the The Force Awakens, and Jeff insisting he doesn’t, rumors from months ago about the third act reveals, the very strange rumor about Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the return of Jaxxon and the very first Marvel Star Wars comic arc after the adaptation of the original movie, learning to do Star Wars right, the career of Don F. Glut, Abhay’s interview with him, and more.
29:40-44:42: “Hey, Jeff!” sez Graeme. “Because this is the last episode we’re recording this year, I know I made a totally half-assed attempt at a ‘Best of/Favorites of 2015. Did you?” And Jeff did! HOWEVER, we also had promised to address certain other topics in this podcast before we got around to that. (We had? asks Graeme. We had, confirms Jeff.) Because Whatnaut Kris Peterson had requested it, we read The Horror of Loon Lake, an anthology of comics edited by Carl D. Smith. [EDIT: Ooo, really big oversight on our part as pointed out to us on Twitter: Smith wrote all the stories, which were drawn by different artists. A real mistake on our parts, but also maybe a good sign at how many different types of stories he undertook? You decide!] Discussed: Smell A Rat by Stan Chou; all-ages horror comics; House of Scary by Jeff Manley; Cartozia Tales; and more.
Batman and Robin Eternal #11 by Snyder, Tynion IV, Brisson, Blanco, Duce, Rauch
44:42-1:10:02: And as for our second “we promised we would do this last time (we think?”), we are discussing the first eleven issues of Batman and Robin Eternal, plotted by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, and executed by a fleet of talented writers and artists. We discussed it as part of our first issue roundtable on the website but here we dig in to discuss it length. FULL SPOILERS for the first eleven issues so, y’know, spoilers and all. Discussed: Genevieve Valentine, Alvaro Martinez Bueno, and Raul Fernandez; Valentine’s Catwoman; the first few issues of Robin War; more plot-heavy discussion of B&R Eternal; the possible character-breaking plot twist that might be coming; and more.
1:10:02-1:16:30: Graeme steers us back to our Best of 2015 lists, which we finally dig into. Our lists are kinda problematic, in that we didn’t necessarily try to read to keep up with everything, and also because so much of what we thought as the “best” reads of the year either existed before it was published this year or because we just finally got around to it. As we say in the podcast itself, the difference between ‘new’ and ‘new to you’ is almost meaningless these days.
That said: lists! Graeme’s pick for favorite book of the year is Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona (which was a webcomic before it was collected by First Second). Jeff’s only read a page or two but we still get a chance to talk about it for a bit.
1:16:30-1:18:22: Another pick by Graeme for his favorite thing he read this year is 2014’s This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, also published by First Second. “It’s so beautifully illustrated, so beautifully observed,” sez Graeme.
Giant Days by Allison, Tremain, and Cogar
1:18:22-1:24:16: Also on the list? Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Tremain, and Whitney Cogar about kids going off to college. It’s not as magically realist as Bad Machinery but it’s equally funny for Graeme, if not more so. In a similar vein, but more superhero-y is The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (which made both of our lists for best of the year). And even more superhero-y, and also on both our lists are the two issues of Convergence: Shazam! by Jeff Parker and Evan “Doc” Shaner which is, as Graeme so perfectly describes it, “another joyous superhero book that embraces the superhero.”
1:24:16-1:28:28: Graeme goes from that to almost the opposite with Martian Manhunter by Rob Williams and Eber Ferreira. Graeme’s review is kinda spoilery, but makes the book sound intriguing as hell. Not on Graeme’s list but definitely considered and most definitely discussed is Action Comics by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder.
The Omega Men by King and Bagenda
1:28:28-1:34:34: But on the list: The Omega Men by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda, and which Graeme refers to as “I think I’ve come to terms with it being my favorite Tom King.”
1:34:34-1:36:25: Another book from Graeme for which he has some complicated feels: Zero by Ales Kot and collaborators. With The Surface and Material as both runners-up and also of a piece.
1:36:25-1:37:54:Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber: it’s on both our lists (despite Jeff being four to five months behind).
Nameless by Morrison and Burnham
1:37:54-1:49:06: “Okay, I’m going to speed through the rest so you can do yours,” announces Graeme, so here goes: this year’s 2000AD Judge Dredd material from Rob Williams and Henry Flint, particularly their sequel to Titan(which Graeme actually talks about for longer than his last two picks put together); The Wicked and Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie; Multiversity by Grant Morrison and collaborators (also on both our lists), as well as other Morrison works this year: Annihilator with Frazier Irving, and Nameless with Chris Burnham; Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling (also on both of our lists); and finally Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, edited by Tom Devlin. With special runner-up status for two monthly books that are too early in their run to call the “best” of 2015 (but which both Graeme and I dig a lot): Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, and Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling.
1:49:06-2:17:55: Jeff’s turn! And since he wrote them all down and is the guy doing the show notes, you can get them in one big pile with notes as to how he read them, albeit one he divided up in a few different categories: manga, stuff that was published this year, stuff that was not published this year, and honorable mentions. (Please note Graeme thought to limit his list to roughly ten titles. Jeff wasn’t that organized.)
Night Nurse #1-4 (digitally, Marvel Comics via Comixology)
Revenger by Charles Forsman (print and digitally, Oily Comics via Comixology Submit)
(With the surprising conclusion that, although he dearly loves his Marvel Unlimited all-you-can-eat subscription, he probably read more comics digitally via Crunchyroll’s all-you-can-eat subscription and also via sales and subscriptions on Comixology…and both of these experiences are still being overshadowed by print. Huh!)
Fantastic Four, by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee
Oh yeah, and truth be told, Graeme and I both really enjoyed reading the first 102 issues of the Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee for the Baxter Building podcast. Good ol’ Reed Richards has a way of grating on a guy’s nerves, but it was also an *amazing* ride!
2:17:55-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.
I keep trying to write a review of The Surface #1, the first issue of the new Ales Kot/Langdon Foss/Jordie Bellaire/Clayton Cowles/Tom Muller series that is released tomorrow, but every single time I start, my…
Hoo boy, the more things change, the more they stay the same, am I right?
Hey, everybody! Here’s a laugh for you — Graeme and I have been racing around like lunatics to get this launch set up so it can go live on this day, setting up a Tumblr, setting up a Twitter, setting up a Patreon page so that people who want us to beat our previous record of 150+ episodes can help us do so, and, with the help of friends and family, getting this new website in place. Seriously, this WP theme we’ve got working can really kick out the jams: I can embed podcasts in their own entries, we can have a rotating series of entries on our top banner…
And I know how to work none of it. And since Graeme and Kate are offline for the night and I want this to get launched on the first day of June… I’m going to be kicking it old school. Which is to say: incompetently.
And to top things off, I didn’t even mean to bite Graeme’s opening entry by using the (kinda dinky?) image that I did…it’s just that Photobucket is acting broken and I can’t upload some lovely art from the new Flash Gordon series by Jeff Parker, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Jordie Bellaire and others. Or at least I can’t yet…maybe by tomorrow, we’ll have worked out the bugs?
Anyway, since we don’t have to worry about pushing aside other fine collaborators, how about we get straight into the show notes, yeah?
00:00-07:13: New greetings! Which are a lot like our old greetings except, comically, we are more awkward at them? As you can see, this new house of ours and newish venture has us a little off our game…at first. Presumably, we’ll get back into the swing of things sooner rather than later. But for the first few minutes, it’s us comparing ourselves to The Chevy Chase Show, which is not the most inspiring of comparisons, to be sure.
07:13-8:08: Oh, and also check out the Tumblr: for things like our reading lists, images we’ve plucked from those books, links to the show, and what-have-you. That’s got to be, like, a signficant percentage of what one posts on Tumblr, right? What-have-yous?
8:08-10:01: Speaking of which, it’s time to play the game that Jeff always loses: Let’s Talk About How Much We’ve Read (But May Not Get Around to Discussing). In Graeme’s corner: Trees #1 (ditto for Jeff); Saga #19 (ditto); Lumberjanes #1 and #2 (ditto for Jeff); Southern Bastards #2 (ditto); Forever Evil #7 and Justice League #30 and Justice League of America #15; the first five issues of DC New 52: Future’s End; the final issue of Nightwing; the first couple issues of Flash Gordon (ditto from Jeff, although listening to it now, I’m not sure if Graeme is being coy and actually has read issue #3 ahead of the rest of us plebes or not); the Gold Key books from Dynamite (Turok, Doctor Spektor (Regina Spektor’s older brother), Magnus Robot Fighter, and Solar, Man of the Atom); Original Sins #1; the most recent issues of 2000 A.D.; the pending ABC Warriors collection A.B.C. Warriors (Mek Files);The Banzai Batallion collection Banzai Battalion: Just Another Bug Hunt; the latest Devlin Waugh collection; Velvet #5; Zero issues #6, 7, and 8 (ditto for Jeff); Shutter #2 (ditto): Starlight #3 (ditto); Dead Letters #2; Petty Theft by Pascal Girard and Nobrow 9: It’s Oh So Quiet (Nobrow Magazine). 10:01-14:14: And in Jeff’s far more anemic corner (especially when he leaves out the ones Graeme’s mentioned above): the Free Comic Book Day edition of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe (ditto Graeme); Aquaman #31 (ditto); Batman #31; Afterlife with Archie #5 (ditto); Batman & Frankenstein #31; Tales From The Con #1; Walking Dead #127; Minimum Wage #5; Bee and Puppycat #1; Star Trek New Visions: The Mirror Crack’d (about which Graeme literally has to jump in and immediately ask questions, so excited is he by the prospect of John Byrne photoshopping a goatee onto images of Leonard Nimoy) (and, really, who can blame him?) (Graeme, I mean, not John Byrne—we blame John Byrne for *sooooo* much); Batman Eternal issues #6, 7, and 8; Crossed Badlands #53; The Fuse #4; and approximately 25 issues of Marvel’s Avengers (we say approximately because we were supposed to read up to issue #138 or so and Graeme, of course, read to issue #141 and Jeff made it to issue #132 (although he read the Giant Size Avengers issues, which means bupkis in the face of all that other amazing crap Graeme read while simultaneously writing for six other websites). And more (but less than Graeme)!
14:14-28:59: Jeff is about a month behind on his 2000 A.D. reading (and don’t even get him started on Shonen Jump Weekly, Whatnauts!) but that does mean that he did get to finish the stunning “Mega-City Confidential” by John Wagner, Colin MacNeil, Chris Blythe, and Annie Parkhouse. And so we talk about this fine piece of unsubtle, polemical, slow-burn storytelling, and what has been a very, very good year for Judge Dredd stories. Also mentioned: the Titan story, Shooter’s Night; the classic storyline Judge Dredd: America (of course); The Dark Knight Returns; The Wire; and more.
28:59-1:10:56: From new 2000 A.D. to very old 2000 A.D.: through 2000 A.D.’s iPad app, Jeff purchased The Ballad of Halo Jones (Alan Moore) by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson, a classic early Moore work that Jeff had never read. So, with a minimal amount of shaming from Graeme (thank goodness!), we talk about Halo Jones, the work of Ian Gibson, Miracleman, Mark Millar and the brilliant Shameless by Colin Smith; and The Last War in Albion by Philip Sandifer. Also mentioned: Graeme’s thought experiment about Alan Moore (at 35:44); From Hell; Alan Moore’s work for Image; Graeme’s ambivalence about (especially) Supreme; Jeff natters on about an essay he read talking about a Jim Starlin’s run on DC Comics Presents and how it provided some imagery for one of Alan Moore’s Supreme flashbacks (and because we love you, we can tell you that essay was written by the mighty Tom Scioli; Alan Moore, raconteur; Promethea; America’s Best Comics; and an unexpected compare/contrast that I think suprised both Graeme and me; the announcement of Electricomics; Moore’s stance about DC; the Clovis episode of Veep; comparisons to Thrillbent; Jeff’s reaction as a subscriber thereto, specifically to The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood; and (allen) more!
1:10:56-1:13:50: Graeme has interesting news about, believe it or not, Left Behind and Nicholas Cage. Come for the week-old movie news, stay for the creation of our new Patreon milestone: GET NICHOLAS CAGE ON OUR PODCAST. Other news worth mentioning: Shaft becoming a comic book; and Graeme and Jeff being old. So very old, you guys. So old.
1:13:50-1:27:44: From Nicholas Cage to Warren Ellis (but of course!), here we are talking about Trees #1 by Ellis and Jason Howard. Also discussed: Ellis and his mailing list; Ellis on Supreme; Ellis off Moon Knight; Ellis Doesn’t Live Here Any More; Ellis Sweet Ellis; Ellis in Chains; and maybe the last two or three of those are just things I threw in to keep myself entertained? But also, what is up with Marvel and their big-name writers leaving books within the first six issues (Aaron, Waid, Fraction, Wells, etc.)
1:27:44-1:30:43: “Starlight, why are you still reading it?” asks Graeme, in hopes of beginning our move toward a hastier discussion of the books we’ve read. First off, the third issue of this miniseries by Mark Millar and Goran Parlov.
1:30:43-1:36:32: Bouncing quite naturally off that, the second issue of Flash Gordon by Jeff Parker, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and Jordie Bellaire. TRIGGER WARNING: We use the word “fun” a lot. And we also discuss a great interview with Jordie Bellaire that also has an amazing anecdote detailing the difficulty of the freelancer’s life. Graeme also very much liked King’s Watch, the prequel miniseries to the Flash Gordon series.
1:36:32-1:44:27: Speaking of books edited and packaged by Nate Cosby, Graeme entreats Jeff to check out the Gold Key revival books at Dynamite (Turok, Phil Spektor Producer of the Occult, Magnus Robot RickRoller, and Solar Man of the Atom). And here’s a problem Jeff has been having—reading very good “superhero” books that don’t manage to *stick* as regulars on his reading list (the very good but frequently ignored Archer & Armstrong, for example).
1:44:27-1:48:33: Graeme talks about the last issue of Forever Evil, with some surprising news (at least to Jeff): against all odds, it almost worked! There will be spoilers in this very brief discussion of the last issue, including the last two pages of the miniseries. And because of Justice League #30, Graeme is also interested in the “Luthor Joins the Justice League” storyline that’s developing. Again, spoilers on all this stuff but worth checking out if you’re okay with that.
1:48:33-1:50:10: Jeff has peeked at the preview of Superman they’ve been running by Geoff Johns and John Romita, Jr., and wants to get Graeme’s take on it.
1:50:10-2:01:00: But to hell with that, because Graeme really wants to tell us about Nobrow 9: It’s Oh So Quiet (Nobrow Magazine) which he does briefly (but passionately!). Jeff, left to pick his one book to talk about, of course ambles all over the place, putting most of his passion into blaming Graeme for reading ahead on Avengers. But eventually he focuses on Saga #19, including his tin-hat conspiracy theory about one of the contributors to the issue’s letter column, and there’s a bit of hand-wringing to be had about Walking Dead #127.
2:01:00-end: Closing comments! If you’re reading these words, you’re probably on our website, so do check out our Patreon page and help Jeff’s Nicholas Cage dream come true!
Okay, so yeah. Man, I wish I could do this with all the high-falutin’ stuff this website can do, but I’ll just link to the episode again down here like I did up top? That’ll do for now, right? Hopefully, we can give you a bit more to work with very soon.