0:00-25:58: Greetings! We are right off to the races, thanks to the some very sub-standard Dr. Strange comics, in particular the Roy Thomas/Gene Colan issues the Dr. Strange Epic Collection: A Separate Reality. Although we bring it up immediately, we get around to talking to them only after discussing other topics like talking in the third person, buying comics in the PDX, bad math skills, and more.
25:58-30:46: And what did Jeff read before he read the sub-par Dr. Strange comics? The tail end of the Claremont/Cockrum run on Ms. Marvel! “Were you being masochistic as shit?” Graeme asks, and it’s a sensible question! Jeff has little more to say than, “save me from bad comics, Graeme!”
30:46-35:37: In the interests of trying to save Jeff, Graeme mentions the Kamandi Special that just came out collecting the last two issues of the original run that’d been produced but never published. Also, Graeme has been reading old comics but *loving* them! Loving them! Graeme has been re-reading old Legion of Super-Heroes issues, the Mr. Miracle Special from the ‘80s by Evanier and Rude, and Showcase #100, a comic from the ‘80s that Graeme and Jeff have been shown love for here on the broadcast and go on to do so again, and Batman and the Outsiders Annual #1, featuring The Force of July, right-wing superheroes who believe the left-wing media is controlling the media. As Graeme so aptly puts it: “Someone’s got to bring back the Force of July. They are primed for a comeback!”
35:37-1:40:32: And Graeme’s also read Cullen Bunn’s Aquaman run, a run Graeme is not as enthusiastic about. And that leads us to talk about the unevenness of Bunn’s work in terms of when he’s good, he’s very good, but when he’s off, he can be pretty terrible. We talk about him, Jeff Lemire, and writers who turn out Big Two comics that do little more than nod at other comics…which leads us to talk about X-Men comics, and what it would take for us to really come back to the title (or titles), how Marvel treats its writers these days, the upcoming third Black Panther related title, the current arc in Detective Comics with Batwoman, Kate reading the Rebirth trades, Monsters Unleashed, Wild Dog and the Wild Dog Special (and the lost storylines of Action Comics Weekly and Marvel Comics Presents), the diversity of DC Comics back in the ‘80s, and more tangents than you can tan an agent with.
1:40:32-2:25:24: And so, somehow, we come to briefly discuss the season finale of The Good Place (which Graeme loved and Jeff has not seen) and then, at some length, the finale of Sherlock (which we have both seen and both, uh, have many thoughts about). SPOILERS for the Sherlock finale (you are very, very safe with The Good Place). Also discussed: the previous season of Who, creator swagger, Crazyhead on Netflix, the three seasons of Line of Duty on Hulu, and the return of Nashville to CMT and Hulu. And then we return for a quick round of comic book shoutouts before…
2:25:24-end: Closing comments! But first: We make a plan for a January podcast episode! 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! Give your ears a well-deserved vacation, read issues #238-247 of Fantastic Four, and then join us in a fortnight for the next episode of Baxter Building!
0:00-7:06: Greetings! Because Jeff is an idiot, we lost the first hour and sixteen minutes of our recording. So today’s episode will be comparatively short and it starts up with us telling you what you missed. It’s a surprisingly complete summary of seventy-six minutes jammed into six. Discussion of what we discussed: Batman Day (which this episode was recorded on), Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice; Injection by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey; 2000 A.D. Prog. 2000; Suicide Squad #2 by Rob Williams, Jim Lee, and Ivan Reis; Jeff’s admiration for Superwoman #2 and Graeme’s for Supergirl; Detective Comics and Chris Claremont’s New Mutants; All-Star Batman #2; and Tom King’s Batman, which is where we catch up, since Graeme has to reiterate his point about…
7:06-32:23: Tom King and the connection between The Vision and Sheriff of Babylon (which King has described as being part of an unofficial trilogy with his Omega Men), and how it connects to the first six issues we’ve read of Batman. Also discussed: Alan Moore and Alan Moore’s Jerusalem; the promotional interviews with Alan Moore for Alan Moore’s Jerusalem; what would be the non-comic related questions we would ask Alan Moore; and mo(o)re.
32:23-36:13: Jeff wanted to talks about Moon Knight #6 by Jeff Lemire, Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla, and James Stokoe (!) where Lemire finally has a take on the character that really works for Jeff. 36:13-38:16: Jeff does a loose compare/contrast between Moon Knight and the first issue of Doom Patrol by Gerard Way, Nick Derington, and Tamra Bonvilliain. A good fun book with some absolutely lovely art by Derington and colors by Bonvillain.
38:16-57:25: Jeff also wants to give a shout-out to latest issue of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl with fill-in art by Jacob Chabot and another crazily strong script by Ryan North. And after that, we talk a bit about North’s first issue of Jughead (which sounds *amazing*), which leads us to a not-thrilled impression of Zdarsky’s Howard The Duck, Marvel and hip-hop and much more. 57:25-1:07:55: Also read and also (lightly) discussed: The Fix #5 by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber; Paper Girls #9 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Jared K. Fletcher; Saga by Vaughan and Staples; old issues of Ms. Marvel written by Chris Claremont; and more.
1:07:55-1:11:33: Sad to say, either Graeme did most of the talking in our lost hour, or maybe Jeff was out of control there too, but Jeff does too much talking this episode, even if it’s for a good cause like showing some love for the insane “Prisoners of Three Worlds” story from 1963’s Batman #153, by Bill Finger, Henry Boltinoff, Jack Schiff and Sheldon Moldoff, recently purchased during Comixology’s Road to Batman Day Sale. 1:11:33-1:15:02: I can’t adequately describe how we got to discussing Denny O’Neil’s career as writer and editor, a case Jeff tries to make by incorrectly assigning at least two Batman characters’ first appearances to the wrong era.
1:15:02-1:19:10: Graeeme has some wonderful stuff to tell us about Books With Pictures, a great little comic book store in Portland, Oregon with a back issue drawer curated by Douglas Wolk, as well as the back issues he, Graeme, picked up from said drawer. Mentioned: Heroes and Legends; the Legion of Substitute Heroes Special from 1995; Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane issue #115; Superman and Batman: Heroes Against Hunger; and the zines from our colleagues Jay and Miles.
1:19:10-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: Baxter Building Ep. 21! Read issues #184-200 of the first volume of The Fantastic Four and deconstruct them with us! We will see you then!
Welcome to the super-early, pre-surgical edition of Wait, What? Jeff is heading in to deal with a minor health condition (that rhymes with pygmy scones) which will kind of make our usual Monday mid-day drop time a bit on the impossible side. So pull up the player of choice, kick back with the following show notes, and try not to think of one of your hosts squirming in discomfort on a hospital gurney somewhere. (Cheery, right? Seriously, don’t worry about me: I’ll be drugged to the gills.) (I hope.) 00:00-9:19: Greetings from Jeff “Whoville” Lester and Graeme “The Graemetown Massacre” McMillan, who feel like they haven’t talked in a while…because they haven’t! It’s a fine jumping off point for a bit of pre-comics talk about human intimacy, Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, the atrophying of conversational muscles, Twitter changing from stars to hearts, Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon, The Journalist and the Murderer, and other potentially depressing ephemera.
9:19-26:43: Yes, ephemera! Not like good old live-forever-and-can-never-die comic books! Graeme has been thinking about the latter and he’s got stuff to blow our mind with. He’s been looking at sales figures and he’s got some very interesting insights to share with us, including how Star Wars comics are essentially the fourth largest comics publisher in the direct market, how much money DC is seeing from issues of Prez (with help from the info assembled by Alex De Campi, Printing costs and other behind-the-scenes info from Jim Zub). Discussed: DC You and profit, Snakes on a Plane, the Batgirl of Burnside, The Dark Knight Returns and the prestige format books, how to craft a book that is both safe and has the potential to go wide, and more.
26:43-55:46: In the course of talking about books from the Big Two that take some risks, Jeff brings up the first issue of Vision by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Jordie Bellaire. Graeme has thoughts about it too, some of them relating to the recent first issue roundtable we did with Matt Terl on the website, Impressively enough, we manage to keep the end of the issue unspoiled but otherwise consider it pretty much ALL SPOILERS, ALL THE TIME. but Discussed: tradewaiting, slow burns, second issues sales, a mission statement framed via a semantic argument, Mr. Spock in American Beauty, an almost comical reluctance by Jeff to bring up Alan Moore, the “return” to Marvel’s 70s diversity, our own struggles with comic book cynicism, and more.
55:46-1:03:52: Graeme wants to talk about Ms. Marvel #19 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, which was so satisfying for Graeme that he kind of feels…done with it? With everything happening at Marvel, there’s probably never been a better time to talk about Jumping Off Points (well, okay, except for maybe the New 52), and so that’s something we kick around the old sonic playing field. (I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but you may get a lot more out of the first two minutes of the conversation if you’re aware that Jeff is confused and thinks Graeme is talking about Captain Marvel but is trying to hide it.) Discussed: Alan Moore leaving Swamp Thing, the post-Morrison years of Animal Man, and more.
1:03:52-1:09:21: A mention of Al Ewing reminds Graeme that in approximately two months all of Mr. Ewing’s work on Loki will be available on Marvel Unlimited, and this is a seventeen issue run that Graeme very much recommends. Discussed: whether or not one should read Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery (and Young Avengers) before reading Ewing’s run, Mighty Avengers as a victim of Marvel Eventitis, and more.
1:09:21-1:19:00: “Marvel Unlimited is such an amazing resource,” says Jeff, before going on to talk about how his mad month-long buying spree on Comixology has him reading purchased stuff instead of all that (amazing!) all-you-can-eat stuff. Will Jeff disclose how much he spent? Can Graeme find a gentle way to tell his friend has a problem? Discussed: how much Graeme spent at the comic store; the first week of Jeff’s experiment of foregoing floppies (and his store discount) and buying digitally; the issues Jeff bought this week, which leads us to…
1:19:00-1:27:20: “Hey, so what’d you think of Unfollow, then?” Graeme asks, which gives us both a chance to talk about how much we enjoyed Unfollow #1 by Rob Williams, Michael Dowling, and Quinton Winter. Vertigo has had a pretty strong batch of first issue launches recently, but this is so far the strongest. Discussed: Survivors Club and Stephen King’s It; The Sheriff of Babylon and Jacked; Dowling’s beautiful art; Mark Millar and Grant Morrison; and more.
1:27:20-1:30:33: Jeff wants to talk about the first issue of Platinum End, by the Death Note/Bakuman team of Ohba and Obata and very much in the vein of the former than the latter. At the time of recording, it hadn’t seemed like a lot of people knew that you can buy each chapter digitally for ninety-nine cents at the same time as its Japanese release. You can get it at Viz; you can get it at Comixology; you can get it on Amazon for the Kindle. As Jeff puts it, “If you want to see what Mark Millar is going to be ripping off two years from now, check it out.”
1:30:33-1:35:11: Graeme wants to know if Jeff’s picked up Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. Is it, as Graeme calls it “the ultimate Image book?” We go on to discuss it, along with Sarah Horrocks’ piece on Bitch Planet, Graeme utters the phrase, “I don’t even like fantasy, and this book is stunning to me.” (At the time of recording Jeff hadn’t, but he did not long after based on what Graeme says here and was pretty impressed… as you can see here.) The first issue is 71 pages for $4.99, it looks beautiful, and as Graeme says (and I go on to agree with in my piece), “Marjorie Liu is bring some really impressive fucking chops to it.”
1:35:11-1:39:51: The other first issue? The new James Bond book, Vargr, by Warren Ellis and James Masters. SPOILERS: It sounds pretty good…certainly better than Jeff’s take on what might happen.
1:39:51-1:43:58: We’ve both read Klaus #1 by Grant Morrison and Dan Mora. Considering it’s a comic book about Santa Claus, you would think Graeme would love it, right? Did he? Didn’t he? You’ll find out but you’ll hear a lot more about it from Jeff who refers to it as The Game of Thrones Christmas Special. (Which it’s really not, but come on, that would be AMAZING.)
1:43:58-1:48:10: If you did read the first issue roundtable, you’ll know both Jeff and Greeme were pretty underwhelmed by the first issue of Paper Girls by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang. So along comes issue #2 and….we happily eat ourselves some crow. Discussed: Whether Brian K. Vaughan is doing Lost even though he worked on Lost, or whether Brian K. Vaughan is doing Under the Dome even though he worked on Under the Dome; FULL SPOILERS for plot developments in the issue; Jeff compares the second issue of Survivors Club versus the second issue of Paper Girls, and an eensy bit more.
1:48:10-2:11:16: Just to finish up talking about books we discussed on the roundtable…Jeff is a few issues behind on reading Batman and Robin Eternal, but Graeme is still reading it and, remarkably enough, is onboard! Discussed: the delight of a monoplot; how long this weekly book lasts; how long it takes before the “everything changes!” trick wears thin; Batman comics written by Scott Snyder’s clique and Batman comics written by people outside Scott Snyder’s clique; Pete Tomasi and the Curse of Pete Tomasi [Note: not officially referred to out loud as the Curse of Pete Tomasi], the Justice League Darkseid War one-shots, and issues #40-45 of Justice League which we revisit because Jeff picked them up after Graeme talked about them last time. (Seriously, we talk about them a lot.)
2:11:16-end: Closing comments! We try to figure out what’s coming up next…which is confusing in part because next episode is our Secret Convergence of Infinite Podcasts episode. Graeme won’t be here (he’s on episodes 1, 3, and 5 of the crossovers) but Jeff will be joined by Chico Leo, Gary Lactus, and Paul O’Brien, discussing “The Worm Turns: Characters, Comic Books, and Creators We Used to Love But Now Hate, and Vice-Versa.” 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 114 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible. Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr! And, of course, where, as of this count, 114 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Okay, so check out the first comment if you need a link to cut and paste into the player of your choice, and, hey, maybe even drop us a note if you want? That might be…nice? Either way, as always, thank you for listening!
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat165.mp3 It’s funny, the unintended consequences thing: the youtube video was supposed to be worked into our podcast conversation as per the request/behest of Mr. Graeme McMillan, but I wasn’t able to do that because…
Hey, hey, we’re the Wrenchies…people say we’ll wrench you around…
Hello, everyone! My computer is acting a wee bit erratically today—I’m thinking it’s the mistake of trying to upload 547 files to Dropbox all at a go, but who knows for sure—so I’m gonna get right to the show notes, if you don’t mind. Remember: if you just want the link to the podcast for your own downloading/making-a-secret-weapon purposes, just go to the VERY FIRST COMMENT.
(Note to self: DO NOT FORGET TO PUT LINK TO THE SHOW IN THE VERY FIRST COMMENT.)
And with that, we’re off!
00:00-2:52: Greetings! Oh, the weather outside is frightful (in Portland) but having an Internet kill switch makes Graeme delightful, so…uh, I don’t know the rest of the song? I think it’s something about having no particular place to go? Man, “Let It Snow” is a harsh, harsh song: men and women on the edge of homelessness trapped in a snow storm with their own choices being starvation or cannibalism! No wonder everyone likes that “conceal, don’t feel” song so much. Snow-related songs are grim. 2:52-12:02: Jeff’s been to the comic store for the first time in a few weeks and here’s a thing: we have trouble remembering all the stuff we meant to buy until we get home. Mentioned and discussed (and forgotten in a few cases): Gotham Academy #2, Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta; “Kirkmanitis,” and more. One of the things I realize now we should’ve talked about is when we decide to just hold off on getting the forgotten book until next time, and when we buy the book digitally. (As I did with that third Multiversity issue and I think Graeme’s also done? Like I said, we shoulda talked about it.)
Sort of a nice transition panel choice here, I think….
12:02-59:11: Here comes a stealth transition to talking about The Wrenchies, the truly noteworthy graphic novel from Farel Dalrymple published by First Second. One of us loved it, one of us did not, and yet both of us are telling you to read it: how does that work, exactly? Find out here as Graeme and Jeff dig in deep to this remarkable book. Discussed: Jonathan Lethem; Philip K. Dick; The Divine Invasion and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch; self-destructive narratives; Flex Mentallo; The Filth; Grant Morrison; Too Many Cooks (and yes, I just spent another 11:11 watching it again to get that link); our relationship to despair; late ‘80s X-Men; the inherent ambiguity of “comic book-y” material; The Rise of Aurora West; First Second Books; having things you say on the Internet taken the wrong way; and much, much more. Is this possibly our longest talk on a single book ever? It might be! 59:11-1:08:41: And then we go on to talk about Superior Iron Man #1 by Tom Taylor and Yildiray Cinar; Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #1 by Ales Kot and Marco Rudy; Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 by Al Ewing and Luke Ross, but none of them for nearly as long as The Wrenchies. 1:08:41-1:25:02: And, as long as we’re talking Marvel, we also decide to talk about Captain Marvel: success or social media success? We talk Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Girl, The Death of Wolverine, Inhumanity (and, more particularly, Inhumanity on Marvel Unlimited); and the nearly criminal lack of Marvel Two-In-One on Marvel Unlimited. (Seriously, it’s heart-breaking.) 1:25:02-1:52:12: “Okay, let’s talk about Avengers, then.” And with that, we continue our re-read of the first 300 issues of Avengers, this time covering Avengers #251-277 by (largely) Roger Stern, John Buscema, Tom Palmer and editor Mark Gruenwald. An amazing run…but why did Jeff find himself wishing he was reading Chris Claremont comics instead? Discussued: A Skrull saga in space (again), The Masters of Evil (again), In The Case of Change v. Illusion of Change; X-Men Forever (all on Marvel Unlimited!); a slam against the Justice League; and much more. 1:52:12-2:03:25: Jeff has just started reading The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore; a fascinating, intensely readable and yet also glib overview of the life of Charles Moulton Marston; and Graeme talks a bit about an upcoming article he’s writing about the Five Most Powerful Comic Book Writers in Hollywood, and about corresponding with Robert Kirkman, Brian Bendis, Mark Millar, Geoff Johns, and Chris Claremont. But also: Lemire! Jodorowsky! And as a bonus, a good review from Graeme about a very good Earth One title coming out from DC, and more. 2:03:25-end: Closing comments! Light applause! What’s on our website! What’s coming to our website! And, as always, our thanks and appreciation to everyone who’s contributed to us on Patreon (where, as of this count, 83 patrons make this whole thing possible.) It’s The Great Tote Bags, Charlie Brown!Places to look for us at—Stitcher!iTunes!Twitter and Tumblr!
Thanks for checking in and we’ll see you in (probably) another two weeks!