http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts3/WaitWhat271.mp3 0:01-7:38: Greetings from Graeme “Swallow At The Wrong Time” McMillan and Jeff “We Are Probably All Dying Faster Than Previously” Lester who are back for another bout of two-fisted audio comics fun! And we…
21:49-32:44: And from there, Graeme drops a pretty big spoiler bomb about Kong: Skull Island that blows Jeff’s tiny mind! And then Graeme drops a serious spoiler for The Lego Batman Movie! And then Jeff talks…waffles!
Also discussed: the best Twitter account still not on Twitter, the best Captain Beefheart album, etc.
37:26-49:24: But Jeff is part of the problem certainly, because he read those issues of IDW’s Rom Graeme recommended last episode and all he could think was: man, what a great TV show this would be! Also discussed: those damn Transformers movies, Anthony Hopkins, Shia LaBeouf, the best title for the most recent Indiana Jones movie, and more.
49:24-1:02:30: Graeme has a comic book question for Jeff. Marvel has Generations and the upcoming Make Mine Marvel initiatives. Could they make Jeff jump back on to Marvel’s bandwagon? Discussed: Marvel Unlimited acting up, the first four issues of Civil War II (but not really because there are all these other issues of Civil War II before you even get to the first issue), and then…TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES.
1:02:30-1:10:17: But then we are back, better than ever! So that Jeff can complain some more about Brian Bendis. Lucky you.
1:10:17-1:55:45: And then Graeme talks about the recently released solicits for the first three issues of Secret Empire, the upcoming Marvel event that is now apparently weekly? Also discussed: Marvel’s disappearing act, “the weird Marvel machismo,” the possible fall of the direct market and Jeff’s frustration at retailers not changing things up enough over the last few years, handselling people on Image titles and so on. But then, partway through this narrative, we kind of find ourselves thinking, “well, hmm, what about Image these days? Are they really that safe a bet for a retailer trying to keep his weekly customers happy?” We look at the publication schedules of several Image mainstays many retailers *did* handsell that have gone awry. It’s a potentially important story—is anyone talking about it?
1:55:45-2:00:09: So, yeah, now that it’s been about two hours, we should at least briefly talk about the comics we’ve been reading, don’t you think? Graeme starts by talking about something he’s read that’s excited him more than any comic he’s read recently—the new Nobrow catalog! Just check out the image at the top of the post and just above.
2:00:09-2:03:08: The other comic Graeme wants to talk about the 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Special, featuring a Zombo strip that Graeme says is “everything I wanted.”
2:03:08-2:22:22: And then it’s Jeff’s turn! Jeff speed-talks his way through the comics he’s read so you don’t have to! (Wha?) Also featuring additional additions from Graeme!
2:22:22-end: 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: Next week is a skip week! And then the week after that is a Baxter Building! Read issues #248-260 of The Fantastic Four and then come listen to us misunderstand them!
0:00-3:46: We get right into it, no kidding! There’s maybe twenty seconds of baffled recognition from your hosts, and then it’s right into answering questions. BUT! Before we get into the final round of questions from our Patreon supporters, Jeff has a few questions for Graeme. First up: how does Graeme feel about the CW shows (including shows like Flash and Arrow) leaving Hulu? Discussed: Seth Meyers monologues; late night TV; and just an eensy bit more before moving into a more substantive topic…
3:46-17:49: Earlier in the week, Jude Terror over at The Outhousers wrote a condemnatory piece on the Direct Market that stirred up a lot of reactions and support online. What did Graeme think about it? What did Jeff think about it? And what *is* wrong with the Direct Market? Discussed: Nighthawk; Omega Men; the direct market and cableization of TV; and more. So much more, in fact, that Graeme jumps the queue on our listeners’ questions to pivot to one related to the topic at hand, and so…
17:49-51:56:Comic Cruncher asks: floppies vs GNs/TBPs vs digital – how do you see the market developing and what are the implications for the future? Discussed: the sales numbers for DC Rebirth; the very strange side-effects of double-shipping; some finger-pointing from Jeff about the plateau/depression of digital comics; Graeme believes a Comixology comic was yanked from his collection (has anyone else had this happen?); Marvel’s reaction to freak hits; Angry Birds vs. DC Super Hero Girls; and more.
51:56-55:29:Maxy Bee asks: how startled are you that Levitz’s Doctor Fate is the last remaining DCYou title, and still kicking at that? Discussed: the DCYou book that outlived Doctor Fate; Jeff decided to turn cancelled DCYou books into codenames; and more.
55:29-1:07:23:Jeffrey Brown brings down the interrogation: what are your thoughts about the Recent Suicide Squad movie compared to Ostrander’s run on the comics post crisis? And The Films Depiction of Harley Quinn, The Joker, Captain Boomerang & the movie’s plot + Enchantress? and lastly what are your thoughts DC Young Animal titles : Doom Patrol, Shade, Cave Carson? Discussed: all of the above, plus a bit more.
1:07:23-1:22:23: Two Qs from Paul R Jaissle: (1) I recently reread Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! and was struck by how innovate and influential it really was (there’s definitely a lot more Chaykin in Tom Scioli’s Transformers vs GI Joe than I noticed at first). Why don’t you think it’s more regularly recognized or cited along with DKR and Watchmen as a seminal ’80s comic? (2) Given the success of DCU properties on TV (including Vertigo stuff like iZombie and Preacher) as well as the current popularity of “weird” shows like Stranger Things, how would you two cast and pitch a Doom Patrol TV series? Discussed: the challenges to establishing Chaykin’s legacy; our dream DC TV shows; Avatar; and more.
1:22:23-1:37:35: And the ever-welcome Brendan O’Hare drops by to ask two questions: (1) There’s a lot to hate about Superhero comics. What do you enjoy about the new ones coming out?; and (2) For Graeme: What was your favorite interview? Discussed: DC Rebirth; Flash; Deathstroke; Unbeatable Squirrel Girl; Mother Panic; D.C. Fontana; Geoff Johns; Maggie Q; and more.
1:37:35-1:47:55: Long-term pal o’ the podcast Miguel Corti has quite the question for us: Why do comics creators, fans, critics, and journalists (on the internet at least) like Archie comics so much? I’m not talking about “Afterlife with Archie” or the new series by Mark Waid, but the traditional Archie comics featuring high school hijinks that have been the staple of the comics for decades. Archie comics always struck me as a four-color version of “Leave It to Beaver” or “Father Knows Best.” They were also the only comics that church people and teachers seemed to approve of, which made me all the more suspect of them. Since my life felt like growing up in an ’80s version of “Leave It to Beaver,” Archie comics were the last comics I ever wanted to read, and, subsequently, the only comics I never saved. (I never bought them; always given them.) I never enjoyed their cookie-cutter stories, or their never-changing art style. I’d like to think this 21st-century internet love for Archie comics is some ironic hipster thing, but it feels more sincere than that (or I’m bad at perceiving ironic interest). I don’t want to denigrate anyone’s interests, but what am I missing? Are those old-school (or pre-reboot, if you will) Archie comics good by whatever definition you have for the word? After the years of accolades I’ve heard for “Afterlife with Archie” I’m sorely tempted to check it out, especially since I like zombies, but then I remember how much I dislike Archie comics and that stays my hand. When I was a kid, I wasn’t a Jack Kirby fan, but now I can really appreciate him and I rank him as one of my all-time favorite comics artists. Unfortunately, I can’t re-assess Archies comics favorably. Maybe I’m the only one, or maybe no one wants to say anything against Archie comics in public. Discussed: Riverdale; David Lynch; Dan DeCarlo; Bob Bolling; Jaime Hernandez; Love & Rockets; and more.
1:47:55-: Good ol’ Ed Corcoran asks: The subscription based all-you-can-consume model seems to be where most other media types and media companies are going (Spotify, Netflix, etc.). Comixology (or at least their Amazon bosses) seemed convinced enough that it’s the future for comics so they created Comixology Unlimited. Marvel Unlimited seems to be doing well for Marvel, but what if they went all-in on subscription and put all comics on there the day they were released? They would probably still sell floppies and trades and might sell single digital issues, too. But what do you think would be the effect on what comics they publish, what comics they emphasize, etc. if Marvel Unlimited became the primary method by which Marvel distributed its comics? Discussed: the Marvel BOGO sales; the direction Marvel Unlimited is taking now; and more.
1:54:19-2:07:54: Query from Cass, or to put it another way: QUESTION. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot, as I often do, about Spider-Man. I tried reading some of the later Dan Slott stuff, post renumbering, but I can’t get on board because I can’t recognize that character as Spider-Man. But then, I started thinking, who is the character of Spider-Man really? When Cap 3: Civil War came out, everyone said “That’s it; they finally got Spider-Man right.” But Civil War’s Spider-Man was in awe of the other heroes, whereas Stan and Steve’s Spider-Man was mistrustful and even hostile toward other super-types (the first issue of his series sees Spidey calling the FF “pikers”). The Tom Holland Spider-Man reminds me more of Bendis’s goofy, generally good-natured Ultimate Peter Parker. So I guess my questions are: (1) When people talk about “classic” teenage Spider-Man, do you think most really have Ultimate Spider-Man in mind? (2) What would you say are the essential characteristics of Spider-Man (or any comic hero) – what needs to be there in order for it to be Spider-Man? Is it just powers? Does the character have to have significant guilt? Anything else? Discussed: the various Spider-Man actors; Spider-Man and Civil War; Spider-Man and college; cosmic Spider-Man; understatedness; Dan Slott, Hannah Blumenreich, and Matt Fraction; etc.
2:07:54-2:16:45:Stephen Lacey of the fabulous Fantasticast asks: This is a question I posed to my listeners a couple of years ago, and I’m interested in your take on it. When it comes to the FF, pretty much everyone can agree that Lee/Kirby, Byrne, Simonsson, Waid/Wieringo and Hickman are the consistent peaks in the title’s history. But what are your underrated runs/stories, the gems that get lost in the gaps between these runs? Discussed: Steve Englehart’s run on the Fantastic Four; the Waid and ‘Ringo run; the Tom DeFalco and Ryan run; the Chris Claremont and Salvador LaRocca run; the run of Dwayne McDuffie and many artists including Paul Pelletier; Steve Gerber; and more.
2:16:45-end: Closing comments! Next week will be a Q&A session so please feel free to tweet or email us your questions. 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: Skip week! And then the week after that: Wait, What? Ep. 209! And that ep may be an all-review podcast? Catch up with us catching up two weeks from now!
0:00-19:00: Greetings! Welcome to our new, super-speedy show notes! As you may have picked up on by our subtle cues here and there on the podcast, Jeff’s schedule (and life) is changing up a bit. Until he catches up with it, or it catches up with him, welcome to our express show notes, now with 95% less lists, quotes and jokes. Take, for example, this opening patch where we talk about how this podcast was recorded during the first day of DC Rebirth announcements at the ComicsPro conference in Portland, Oregon. It’s also the day Jason Shiga’s last issue of Demon was released digitally to patrons of Shiga’s Patreon (and we got our hard copy in the mail too). So first, it’s Jeff talking about how much he enjoyed the final issues and Graeme talking about how he fell behind, and then it’s on to us talking about DC’s announced plan for Rebirth. Seventeen titles published biweekly? SEVENTEEN? Yup! We run down the list, and try to handicap the odds which is tough since the creative teams won’t be announced until Wondercon.
19:00-34:00: Then around the nineteen minute mark, with a bit of an aside for a few late breaking (and kind of fake) announcements, we talk about Wonder Woman’s various creative runs since the George Perez days—good runs, bad runs, and runs that, for whatever reason, never caught on with the reading public. Will (as rumored) Marguerite Bennett have a better luck on the title…biweekly? 34:00-54:10: The success of reboots in this marketplace can be tough to measure since the marketplace is so tough overall: Graeme has looked at some of the sales at All-New, All-Different Marvel and points out a book that is clearly dead in the water by its second issue. But we then Jeff drags Graeme back into listing the various biweekly titles so we can continue handicap them, in part because Jeff just can’t conceive of the idea of, say, Green Arrow biweekly or a Green Lantern title coming out every week. If you like your comic book speculation to be all about “Well, I don’t know if Peter Tomasi can sell two biweekly Superman titles” and less on the “hey, I flipped that first appearance of Harley Quinn on eBay for $50 last week”? This whole long section should be your jam.
54:10-1:13:30: Graeme, as I now suspect he meant to do earlier before Jeff dragged him back onto the DC Rebirth announcement train, goes on to talk about the Marvel sales numbers, and compare them to earlier renumbering of the same series to get a sense of whether or not renumbering gives more than a short-term bump to sales. The answer? Uh, no, maybe not! Fortunately, we do talk a lot about various Spider-Man titles along the way, including Graeme’s recommendation for Spider-Man and the X-Men by Elliot Kalan and Marco Failla, some strong Marvel Adventures Spider-Man featuring work by Paul Samnee. As for Jeff, he’s said it before and he’ll say it again: he’s been enjoying Spidey by Robbie Thompson and Nick Bradshaw, and Spider-Man/Deadpool by Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness.
1:13:30-1:30:54: In that vein, we talk about the first issue of Power Man & Iron Fist by David Walker and Sanford Greene. Amazingly enough, we haven’t talked enough about the original incarnation of that title, especially the long, excellent run by writer Jo Duffy from back in the ’80s: it really is amazing because it’s a favorite of both Jeff and Graeme. So how did they react to this new incarnation, one clearly written by an equally big fan? Listen in, I tell you! (Although SPOILERS: we spoil the first issue from page the first to page the last.) And we fit a lot of other stuff in there, don’t worry.
1:30:54-1:49:41:Sex Criminals #14 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky! Jeff read it and wants to talk about it, so he does. Those of us who remember our “glory” days of talking about Fraction may admire our newfound ability to talk about the writer without getting weirdly obsessive and personal about it…or maybe not? We hope so, anyway. 1:49:41-2:08:30:Batman #49 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette! Jeff also read this and wanted to talk about it, especially in light of our previous discussions about this current storyline, Superheavy. Jeff thinks this stuff is so strong he really wants to see more DC work from the Scott Snyder who can really own his influences the way Batman #49 does, and would be excited to see Snyder on Justice League. But Graeme? Well, Graeme has some pretty good reasons for why his feeling is, uh, not so much. And just as we had a big long talk about the post-Crisis creative teams of Wonder Woman, we do the same here about JLA.
2:08:30-2:12:06: Time for Jeff’s regular update on Radioactive Spider-Gwen, although the reason for this particular update is that even though the writing is by Jason Latour, the art on issue #5 is by Chris Visions, not Robbi Rodriguez and the storytelling is already a lot more assured and driven. (And the coloring by Ricco Renzi helps a huge amount.) 2:12:06-end: Closing comments! 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 117 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
Next week: It’s a skip week! Catch up on your Wait, What episodes! Do some early prep for the next Baxter Building, maybe? But whatever you do, please enjoy it! And we hope you also enjoy our next episode when it pops up on your feed, in your ears…and in your heart. Awwww.
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!
Following on from last week’s read of the entire Fraction/Bagley/Kesel/Ienco Fantastic Four, I spent part of this week re-reading of the companion title, the Fraction/All-Allred FF. The short version? Like many people pointed out in…
Because I (a) have Marvel Unlimited, (b) find myself drawn to Fantastic Four comics even when I strongly suspect that they’ll only disappoint me—I am one of the few people online who’ll admit to reading…