Greetings, Whatnauts! Welcome to the 181st (or so) episode of Wait, What? The 181st! It sounds like it should be a platoon or a squadron or something, right? “The Fighting 181st!”
Anyway, start listening, and join us behind the jump for show notes detailing our battles on the shores of Ant Man (The Motion Picture), revealing how we stormed the first issue of Strange Fruit, and pointing out there may have been some minor infringements of the Geneva Convention in our discussion of the first two volumes of My Love Story!!
Yup, here we are with another two hour episode! Somehow we managed to squeeze in right after Image Expo and right before SDCC, which I personally think is appropriate.
Anyway, yes: Grab the episode! Read the show notes! Trade with friends!
00:00-15:24: Salutations! Once again, Graeme is hiding from the heat in his basement (and by “the heat,” we don’t mean “the legal authorities,” we mean, you know, temperature and stuff) while Jeff is more than happy to gloat about the amazingly mild weather in San Francisco. Also discussed: movies and shows that make it a point to destroy San Francisco; what kind of earnings might we expect from Magic Mike XXL and will Channing Tatum see RDJ money; how Magic Mike XXL will win the holiday weekend (it didn’t); if Channing Tatum will become the next Will Smith (he didn’t); Graeme’s super-crazy week of preparation for San Diego Comic Con; and more.
15:24-38:19: Speaking of San Diego Comic Con, right around the time of recording this episode, the City of San Diego announced Comic Con would be there through 2018, a two year extension. Graeme and Jeff talk about that, then swap stories about what’s happened at previous Nerd Viet Nams, and what surprises it might hold for Graeme this year; Graeme’s confusion about the Fourth of July; our last attempt to podcast during SDCC; San Francisco being without a comic book convention; Graeme not-so-discreetly trying to get Portland to bully in on SF’s possible future; and more comics precursor conversation.
38:19-56:37: And so we finally get to…no, sorry, no comics conversation yet, we’re afraid. Instead Graeme has some thoughts about the first season of Fargo. Jeff hasn’t seen it, but he has seen Twin Peaks so when Graeme tries to talk about BOB on Twin Peaks being a cop-out (especially compared to Fargo), Jeff has some choice words. CHOICE. WORDS. And I thought about trying to balance the Twin Peaks clip above with a Fargo one below, but I wasn’t sure how spoilery they might ended up being. They had one clip on YouTube with Billy Bob Thornton pulling a kind of modified Takeshi Kitano gun fight thing that I liked, but there was a credit sequence at the end for some reason that went on wayyyyy too long. So I went with this bundle of show trailers:
56:37-1:06:34: Wait, when are they going to talk comics? Now….after a fashion. Which is to say, we talk about the All-New, All-Different Marvel announcements now that they’re finally out. Oh sure, Al Ewing has three books and Tom Taylor has one, which is good news but weren’t the announcements kind of…blah? Where is Jessica Jones? A solo queer lead? Where is fucking RED WOLF, a character shown in the ads?
1:06:34-1:10:28: Quick segue: Graeme read Action Comics #42 by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder and really liked it. And Graeme’s description sounds pretty great. And then after that, we talk about Omega Men #2 by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda and some of the formal playfulness therein.
1:10:28-1:18:18: Which is why Graeme thinks if any of the All-New, All-Different Marvel books are going to be the next Hawkeye, it’s probably going to be The Vision by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. And we’re back to discussing the other announcements, and Marvel’s different publishing pushes, and writers who have stepped away from writing Marvel titles, Kaare Andrews not being allowed in the Marvel offices; and more.
(Sorry; could not find a bigger version…)
1:18:18-1:46:16: And because that Kaare Andrews story came out of the Image Expo, it’s a fine time to pivot and talk about the Expo 2015. In the past, we’ve been underwhelmed by Expo announcements but we thought this was a pretty good year! Among the topics discussed: Bryan Lee O’Malley (!!) writing a regular ongoing; Brian K. Vaughn and what Jeff sees as an ongoing attempt to calibrate against Robert Kirkman; the return of Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay; Sunset Park and Slave Punk, both by Ronald Wimberly, and much, much more, along with an ongoing contrast of the announcements from Marvel and DC (is it just us, or do the X-Men plans look kinda super-weird?). Join us for a huge bowl of first impressions, idle guesses, rampant speculation, and anticipatory glee!
1:46:16-1:57:12: At some point, I decided to mark off another segment, since it’s arguable we run from the subject of new book announcements and have moved directly to talking about stuff we’ve read on the Internet, like Jeff Lemire being challenged to live up to adjectives, or a super-long “discussion” between John Byrne and Dan Slott that, depending on your age and/or outlook on life, will either depress you about the state of John Byrne or give you some hope about the state of Dan Slott.
1:57:12-2:03:49: It’s almost the end of the show! Graeme has read a chunk of the original Micronauts by Bill Mantlo and Pat Broderick and it’s very game and very, very shameless. He’s also read the last few issues of Steve Englehart’s West Coast Avengers, which are fascinating in the set-up for the new status quo, and then how the run gets wrapped up by Tom DeFalco and Ralph Macchio. Also included: the secret Simpsons reference Graeme didn’t get; more closure with Hank Pym.
Remember: next week—skip week! The week after that: Baxter Building Ep. 7, featuring issues #61-67 of the Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee! And then Wait, What, Ep. 181 right after that!
Also: if you want just a link to the podcast to copy and paste for your own nefarious ends, check out the very first comment to this post. If you’re going to SDCC, have a great convention: we’ll be here when you get back!
00:00-19:04: Greetings from Graeme and Jeff! Graeme is in the basement avoiding the heat, Jeff is in the living room avoiding everything but the heat, Together, they are here to talk to you about comics! But first, here’s some chitchat about travel: come here about Graeme’s recent trip to Vancouver; Jeff’s less-than-recent trip to Buenos Aires; and an even-longer-ago trip by Graeme to the Venice Biennale….it’s like a special mini-podcast that is all about the untoppable form of stress that is travel-related stress, and the perhaps-untoppable form of kindness that is travel-related kindness.
19:04-23:12: This podcast was recorded during the week that Diamond’s comic shipment came in a day late, so Jeff has a lot of comics to talk about today that are only *kind of* recent? Whereas, Graeme being Graeme, he hasn’t been to the comic store but has been getting all the new DC You books sent right to his door, as well as reading a lot of old Showcases and trades of some New 52 titles he never got around to reading. So we start off with, of all things, Ann Nocenti’s run on Catwoman. This gives Jeff the clever idea of having DC reunite Nocenti and Romita Jr. on a title, but Graeme is enjoying too much the work JR Jr. is doing on Superman with Gene Yang to really be into that.
23:12-25:42: In fact, overall, Graeme has been very pleased with this month of DC: “There’s been some books that don’t work, definitely, and there’ve been some books that just leave me cold, but overall the line is way healthier than it’s been in years…and in ways that are surprising.” In terms of the visual variety on display, DC is catching up to what Marvel’s been doing…and maybe pushing it further? Jeff’s not too sure about that so we bandy about some of the styles we’ve seen on books that we think are outside the standard superhero spectrum, mentioning books like Gotham Academy, Batgirl, Squirrel Girl, Spider-Gwen, Bizarro, Bat-Mite, and more.
25:42-38:44: Graeme asks Jeff what exactly is he reading from Marvel these days, which turns into a very small discussion about the last issue of Spider-Gwen by Jason LaTour and Robbie Rodriguez, presented as the “last issue” despite having a very incomplete ending. We also talk about the announced relaunch of Spider-Gwen, the very odd announcements about for All-New, All-Different Marvel, and the upcoming Marvel Primer. And as long as we’re throwing the term around, the very odd similarities between Spider-Gwen #5 and Black Canary #1 by Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu. Even more very odd? Jeff insisting after many, many recorded hours of evidence to the contrary that he is not a nitpicker. Nice try, Jeff.
38:44-51:51: We discuss the first issue of Prez by Mark Russell and Ben Caldwell. Jeff and Graeme both like it, but Jeff finds some parts of the first issue very problematic. As a comparison/contrast, Graeme has read the first issue of Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 by Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, and Riley Rossmo. It’s intriguing for Graeme, especially in the way it doesn’t quite work (ditto for Dr. Fate #1) but in a way he can’t figure out why? Even more intriguing to Graeme is Doomed #1 by Scott Lobdell and Javier Fernandez which Graeme thinks is actually “a pretty fucking good Spider-Man comic.” [??!!]
51:51-58:30: Both Graeme and Jeff have read All-Star Section Eight #1 by Garth Ennis and Jonathan (!!) McCrea, which is (to use the episode’s special phrase) very odd. There’s some hilarious metafictional hijinks we’re trying to wrap our brains around that seem very intentional but there’s also something a bit awkward about the book. “It reads like somebody’s first comic book,” to paraphrase Graeme, who has a great take on the hijinks despite accurately pointing out that some of the humor seems very, very…lazy? Quite the headscratcher.
58:30-1:06:09: Also, a headscratcher: Robin, Son of Batman #1 written and drawn by Patrick Gleason. Graeme thinks it was “fine if scattered, and didn’t present a good enough reason for the book to exist.” Jeff, who has *adored* Gleason’s work on Batman & Robin, is forced to agree and also bemoans how there’s maybe a bit too much of Gleason the writer indulging Gleason the artist. Graeme suggests the book reads like Hellboy Lite which is a pretty solid take on Gleason’s artistic interests and the overall tone. But arguably the book could be more focused than the final year of Batman and Robin by Gleason and writer Peter Tomasi, which gives Graeme an in to fret about some of the current work Tomasi is doing for Superman/Wonder Woman that doesn’t seem to be to his usual standard.
1:06:09-1:13:39: Jeff feels like he did not really answer Graeme’s question from forty minutes earlier, but doesn’t get much farther than mentioning Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson before we are wringing our hands about the book’s likely demise. Sales figures are discussed, alternate covers are pondered. Jeff also read and enjoyed the first issue of Weirdworld #1 by Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo; and Ghost Racers #1 by Felipe Smith and Juan Gedeon, which Jeff didn’t love but also suspects Smith is playing a metacommentary long game that may be worth the time.
1:13:39-1:16:56: It’s not a Marvel book, but Jeff has also read The Fiction #1 by Curt Pire and David Rubin and dug it, in part because it hit his Stephen King sweet spot: if you can imagine It meets The Unwritten, then you’ve got an idea of what this first issue has lined up for you. Jeff also thought it was a very solid first issue in terms of putting everything on the table, keeping it interesting, and then changing things up for the final page.
1:16:56-1:37:42: Confession time! Both Jeff and Graeme have falled behind on the pop spectacle that is Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber, but Jeff sat down with issues #5, 6, and 7 and came out feeling very strongly that issue #7 is one that Graeme would really, really dig. SPOILERS for the issue as Jeff clumsily tries to make his case and SPOILERS for Jean-Paul Sartre’s writing style. Also discussed: Annihilator, forgetting about a series and then chain-reading previous issues; No Mercy by Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil; Zero issues #16 and #17 by Ales Kot, Stathis Tsemberlidis, Robert Sammelin, and others; Graeme’s impressions after reading the first issue of Surface; Terry Southern’s Magic Christian and Phil Dick’s VALIS; the worry of getting too old to track stuff from month-to-month; Afterlife with Archie #8; and more.
1:37:42-1:45:23: Graeme asks after another Archie book, The Black Hood, in part because that title by writer Duane Swierczynski is what Graeme digging through the the old New52 Birds of Prey title and also three of Swierczynski’s prose novels which Graeme talked about in this post and which he also goes into more detail about here. By contrast, Jeff tries to tease a strip he thinks Graeme would really dig: Santa Claus, Private Eye by Jeremy Bernstein and Michael Dorman, currently exclusively available on Thrillbent.
1:45:23-1:55:13: Also a book Jeff read and enjoyed: King Cat Comics #75 which is an issue-long tribute to John Porcellino’s cat. It is a truly touching and heartbreaking read, even by typical King Cat standards. Also mentioned: the Pixar movie Inside Out, Jeff’s recent post about movies [link?], Jeff’s Hulk, Jurassic World, and more.
We will see you in seven (or even sooner, if you come back for our individual posts)! And look to the first comment in this post if you just want a straight link for you to copy and paste into the player of your choice. Spa fon!
It’s been a bumper crop for “holy shit, we’re all going to die!” superhero comics, hasn’t it? Hickman cracking the heads of his inaction figures together over on Avengers/New Avengers; the “oblivion machine” of Morrison’s…
Yup, here it is: our 174th episode (by one count, at least), just in time for you to snort some Hitler and celebrate Mary Jane Watson’s birthday!
Well, since I’m sure you’ve got a busy day ahead of you, allow me to present to you…without further ado…our show notes!
00:00-6:00: Greetings! Death threats! As Jeff says, “Listeners! Welcome to what may be the last episode of Wait, What?” Yes, it’s a bone-chilling opening for a podcast that jumps right in and barely looks back, with an introduction of what we’re going to be talking about length: a frank (and profanity-filled) discussion of Avengers #1-36, New Avengers #1-24, and Infinity #1-6, all written by Jonathan Hickman and a elite cadre of Marvel’s shock troops!
6:00-25:42: But first, before we do that, since this was recorded on the day the second Star Wars trailer dropped (embedded above), we have to talk about it first. Also discussed: Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek Into Darkness, the franchise that taught you not to trust franchises, class struggle in Star Wars, the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer (also embedded above), Terminator Genisys trailer, the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, the weird fragmented point trailers are at right now, the second Ant-Man trailer, and more. 25:42-1:11:05: And now we get back to Jonathan Hickman, Avengers #1-36, New Avengers #1-24, and Infinity #1-6, with liberty and spoilers for all. Because we are trying to be better with context, fasten your seatbelts as we try to describe everything that’s going on and break down our reactions. (And if you want to read along, all issues discussed are currently available on Marvel Unlimited). Discussed: plot hammering, what Jeff characterizes as the “contemporary American spirit” at the heart of Hickman’s story, the powers and drawback of repetition, a story about the inevitability of mortality as told in a story featuring characters who we know technically will not actually die; Marvel’s former series What If, #NotMyTonyStark, shared universes, D&D references, Stan Lee’s pubic hair, Secret Wars, the Nick Spencer train, the latest iPad update for the Marvel Unlimited app, the 500 Star Wars comics dropped on the app this week (seriously, if you find yourself hankering for the Dark Horse Expanded Universe, or you just want to re-read that issue where Michael Golden drew a really keen lightsaber fight, it is now exceptionally easy to get your hands on with a subscription to MU), and more.
Very, very, terrifyingly easy.
1:11:05-1:20:58: The mention of the iPad (and more specifically, Jeff’s not-subtle hint that Graeme should get one) leads to a story from Graeme about what he’s been up to since the last time we podcasted. (Spoiler: a lot of what he’s been up to involves sitting in the Apple Store.) Throw in a cameo from Ernie and Gus-Gus and you’ve got a lovely non-comic intermission!
(Did not crop after ganking; probably should’ve)
1:20:58-1:43:20: Returning from that intermission, patron Scott Ashworth requested that we read one of the oldest cult comics, Herbie the Fat Fury, by Richard Hughes and Ogden Whitney, which Graeme with his superior library skills (and superior library) is able to do! Discussed: Alan Moore, a certain type of “satire,” Groundhog Day (the movie, not the holiday), JFK (the person, not the airport), Stockholm Syndrome, Gold Key Star Trek comics, Daniel Pinkwater, pre- and post-war America, and coming up next on our to-read list: Opus by Satoshi Kon, as requested by Eric Rupe. Also, not mentioned in our discussion, but let me throw in a counterbalancing opinion about Herbie from Bill Reed, and an uncovered connection between Herbie and Watchmen. Those “Comics Should Be Good” guys are great, aren’t they?
1:43:20-1:55:21: Graeme also read the first week of Convergence titles from DC, which he wrote about for the website but also discusses at a bit more length here. Mentioned: Alisa Kwitney on Batgirl, Lee Weeks on Superman, Jeff Parker and Tim Truman on Hawkman (upcoming), someone’s butt talking to someone else’s boobs, editorial inconsistencies, Convergence as an event where you can read the crossover books without having to read the main event title; and more.
To quote Jackie Kennedy: Sigh.
1:55:21-2:06:51: Although he didn’t have anything special planned to say (or anything planned at all), Jeff nevertheless wanted to talk about the passing of Herb Trimpe, comic artist, writer, and teacher who managed to fuse the imperatives of a Marvel house style with his own more unique one, and gave us a lot of great comics along the way: the Incredible Hulk, Shogun Warriors, Godzilla, and G.I. Joe, a fill-in issue of Captain America written by Bill Mantlo (issue #291, which Jeff does an impressive job of partially misremembering here (and again, thanks to Marvel Unlimited, I dug up that issue, read it and screenshot it just now), the Phantom Eagle in Marvel Super-Heroes #16, issues of G.I. Joe Special Missions that he wrote, and more. Thank you, Herb.
2:06:51-end: Closing comments, a.k.a., “when the hell is our next episode, we honestly have no god-damned idea.” (Hint, it’s a skip week coming up, so look for us in a fortnight.) The Small Tote Bag! Places to look for us at—Stitcher!Itunes!Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 102 patrons make this whole thing possible.
Next Week: there is no next week! (As far as a podcast episode is concerned) but then come back the week after that! And the week after that! Etc., etc. And remember, if you need just a straight text-only link to cut and paste into your browser or program of choice, check out the first comment!
So sorry, chums! Time is really nipping at my heels today so I don’t have time to festoon the show notes with images and links and youtubes and subliminal acrostics (you have been keeping up with the subliminal acrostics, right)? I’ve got to—as Graeme always says—”hit and quit it,” so you can get these show notes in a timely manner and I can collapse on the divan like the bearded grungefop that I am. (And yes, look for The Bearded Grungefop to be getting his own Oni series in 2019.)
Please do not let me keep you from enjoying this episode though, oh mighty Whatnauts! It is a pretty good one, with the questions coming from our patrons from Patreon, and the answers coming from…well, us, of course. We are probably the weak link in that two-link chain but what are you gonna do? (If you have a beard and you answered “collapsed on the divan?” you are—to again quote Graeme—”biting my style,” and I’ll have none of it, damn you!)
As always, I’ll throw the text of the link in the first comment so you can copy, paste, spindle, mutilate or fold, as per your choices. [Note: do not ingest link. If link is swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Prepare and drink approximately eight ounces of a solution made from the following ingredients: two tablespoons sodium bicarbonate, two egg whites, one Bill Mantlo comic, three pogs, and one blatant untruth released from the publicity department of a major comic book company.]
And, lo, there shall come a:
00:00-5:17: Greetings! And almost immediately we are off and running because this episode is overdue. Yes, it’s the Q&A episode where the Qs come from our supporters on Patreon, and the As come from us! But first, in explaining that we find ourselves explaining where to find us on Patreon, and so at the beginning of the podcast for a change:
Under The Tote Bag! Places to look for us at—Stitcher!iTunes!Twitter!Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, an eye-popping 100 patrons make this whole thing possible! And then Graeme tells us how we have the order we have, and then we get right to it. Surprisingly, it seems like there are just as many questions about the state of the industry as there are questions of taste or critical acumen and, unsurprisingly, there are questions about waffles.
(I’m not sure if I should just list the questions or also things we mention in our answers or what…so let’s just see how that comes together, shall we?)
5:17-17:22: Eric Rupe asks: “With the years of dire predictions for the direct market and some of the major publishers therein, on the podcast and otherwhere and by many people not on the podcast, why have none of them ever really come true? A truly captive audience? Lack of better options for various players in the market, however you chose to define that? Something else?”
17:22-23:25: Eric Rupe asks: If Diamond put the Previews catalog together in a more egalitarian manner, such as getting rid of premier publisher section and listing all publishers alphabetically or doing a rotating spotlight, do you think that it would lead to an increase in sales for non-Premier publishers?
23:25-30:58: Eric Rupe asks: “Which is the more important decade for superhero comics, the 60s or 90s? What do you think is the most important decade for comics in general?”
30:58-41:21: Eric Rupe asks: “Are the intentions of the editors and writers on recent outreach titles like Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Thor and Captain Marvel comprised by the fact that Marvel, as a company, is horrible when it comes to things like ethics, morals and general human decency? Does the larger cultural situation with a general lack of diversity in things like blockbuster movies and the fact that most companies are just as bad if not worse than Marvel on an ethical level matter? Or is simply a matter of giving one set of values priority over another.”
41:21-52:14: Eric Rupe asks: “Is Image’s current success based around Eric Stephenson and, if so, do you think that continued success is possible if Stephenson left the company? Also, do you think Image will be able to continue with it’s current publishing strategies or will the founders will want to reassert their presence in some way and mess things up in some fashion or another?’
52:14-53:32: Eric Rupe asks: “If Jeff’s beard could be described as a kind of waffle, what kind of waffle would it be? If Jeff’s beard were sentient would it a) prefer Marvel or DC, b) be editorially mandated or creator driven, c)follow characters or follow creators and d) be a Grant Morrison fanboy or an Alan Moore fanboy? If Jeff’s beard fought Alan Moore’s beard, which would win? Does Jeff’s beard have plans for world conquest?”
53:32-55:17: Scott Ashworth asks: “Aside from the Wait, What Holy Trinity of Kirby, Engelhart, and Gerber, who are your choices for most consistently interesting writers at Marvel in the period between Lee and Shooter’s editorships?”
55:17-56:13: Dave Clarke asks: “At what Patreon tier do we get a monthly ‘Jeff tries to explain manga to Graeme’ podcast?”
56:13-56:34: Dave Clarke asks: “Have you guys seen the tv series Utopia? (the british thriller one that lasted 2 seasons, not the australian comedy one) If so talk about it. If not consider giving it a go, I think you guys would dig it and the first season revolves around hunting down a comic.”
[Note from Jeff: After recording this podcast, I just found out that Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) has gotten the assignment to write the scripts for the American remake of the show and now I am VERY EXCITED.]
56:34-1:03:23: Dave Clarke asks: “The cultural implications of the new Batgirl series being a magnet for internet controversy.”
1:03:23-1:08:47: Dave Clarke asks: “Isn’t it weird that comics are still pencilled, inked and coloured? Inking was originally developed to work around technical limitations of mass productions which dont really exist any more. Even though a tonne of illustration is done for the film and video game industry very very little of it is of the ‘black linework + colour added behind it’ variety. Thoughts on why its still going strong in comics? Predictions for the future?”
1:08:47-1:10:46: Adam P. Knave asks: “What breakfast foods are each of the classic avengers?”
1:10:46 -1:15:57: Paul Spence asks: “Could the Whatnauts give us an assessment of Brandon Graham’s Prophet. I believe that Jeff likes it, but Graeme does not. I really like Prophet and I believe that it is the most original and challenging of all the sci-fi titles that Image has launched over the last four years. A number of the Image sci-fi offerings seem the same to me. Too many of them are formulaic post-apocalyptic dystopias.”
1:15:57-1:21:23: Paul Spence asks: “Can you voice an opinion about Graham’s earlier magnum opus King City. I have been rereading it recently and I keep finding new layers in the work to enjoy. Graham’s art is stunning in its detail and it looks gorgeous in black & white. I love Graham’s off-center sensibilities and the way he embraces surrealism. He is not a creator that everyone can enjoy, but I appear to be on whatever quirky wavelength he is on and his work really speaks to me.”
1:21:23-1:30:35: Jeff Lang asks: “What did you guys think of the Captain Marvel/Warlock stuff when you first read it and why do you think the PTB behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe have embraced that particular sliver of the mid-1970s? Convenience? Fannish devotion? A mix of the two? Something else?”
1:30:35-1:43:20: Kevin McCandless asks: “A simple question but out of all the non-Big Two series you’ve reviewed in the last year, which one would you recommend to someone getting back into alternative comics after a long hiatus? By which I mean, upper middle-brow, appealing to NPR-listeners (which describes me to a T) stuff like Palookaville or Bone?”
1:43:20-1:47:11: Chris Jarzombek asks: “Given the Lee-Kirby tension in the FF stories (i.e., Kirby wants to go one way with the story, Lee wants to go another), would there be any value in re-scripting some (or all) of the pages so that they better match the ideal (which I would assume for you guys would be Kirby’s intention)? I’m thinking particularly of pages where the art suggests Sue wants to stay with Namor, but the script is pulling her toward Reed; or ones where the heroes appear weaker than Lee is willing to concede. Or put another way: Would theses stories be better if they were “fixed,” or is the tension part of the fun for you?”
1:47:11-2:08:54: J.D. Smith (that you, Smitty?) asks: “With Private Eye bowing at ten issues what do we take away from the model? What are you guys enjoying on the broader culture spectrum? Books? Music? Film? TV?”
[Please note. This response features the phrase: “Brian K. Vaughn is the Amanda Palmer of comics.”]
2:08:54-2:11:39: Chris Beckett asks: “With the upcoming Daredevil series on Netflix, what DD comics would you recommend, outside of Frank Miller’s work? (Personally, I love the Nocenti/JRJr run, which was my proper introduction to the character.)”
2:11:39-2:18:09: Roger Winston asks: “What are your feelings about DC’s “announcement” that they are no longer going to be slaves to continuity? (Assuming you believe it.) Apologies if you’ve already covered this in the podcast and I forgot. I’m interested in how important continuity is to you and if that has changed over the years. I know that in my younger days I was quite insistent that everything matches up, but these days I don’t care as much. How important is it to a company’s reputation (for lack of a better term) that they are consistent with what they’ve established or are trying to establish?”
2:18:09-2:18:32: Daniel Mackay asks: “What do you think of the original Batman TV series and should the Batman vs Superman film be a spiritual sequel to the series? I think we all want their fight to be Batman whipping out his Bat Superman Repellent Spray.”
2:18:32-2:26:07: Dan Billings asks: “Not sure if anyone has asked this before but a friend gave me a bunch of his 1970s comics which included Welcome Back Kotter comics and it made me think about recent non-animated sitcoms and if they would make decent comics. Any jump out at you? Who would write and draw them?”
2:26:07-2:27:35: Martin Gray asks: “Here’s a question, then. If DC and Marvel were waffle toppings, what would they be?”
2:27:35-2:29:42: And, finally, Graeme runs though a thank you of our patrons, because we said we would and also because you are awesome and deserve it:
Cass Andrew Sherman
Adam P Knave
Mairead Ryan (Ryan Mairead?)
2:29:42-end: Closing comments! At the time this was recorded we were wondering what we would do when we got to our 100th patron. We’ve since hit that milestone, and still don’t know what to do.
Reboot! And it’s pretty much also our “closing comments!” section, with us talking about how next week is *not* a skip week and how you’ll be getting Ep. 173 next week and *then* a skip week. And again: Under The Tote Bag! Places to look for us at—Stitcher!iTunes!Twitter!Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, we are grateful to our 100 patrons, and especially to those who asked questions for this very episode.
Okay, that divan is close. I will try to flesh out the tags later. Look to the skies! Look to our comments! Look to your longboxes!
Greetings, Groovy Star-Folk! We are back with more than two plus hours of 2-D space exploration, far past the safe, sea-shaded atmosphere of other comic book podcasts. Remember! Below, you can find the celestial safety chart so that you may pass securely through the cosmic ray hologram we call “Wait, What? Episode One Hundred and Seventy.” And remember, if you get lost you can always hitch a ride home on a moonbeam. (Also, that if you just want the link to the podcast to cut and paste into the browser or player of your choice, look to our first post in our comment threads below.)
00:00-03:53: Welcome to, as Graeme puts it, “possibly our doggiest episode ever,” as he tries to record with three dogs in his office.
03:53-25:57: But with that quick caveat in mind, we are pretty much off to the races as Graeme has read comp copies of Suiciders #1 by Lee Bermejo (which we punt on, since Jeff intends to read) and Black Hood #1 by Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos, which Graeme compares to Bendis and Maleev’s Daredevil saying, “If you like that, you’ll like this.” With the shadow of the Powers TV show looming overhead, Jeff is a bit more interested in talking about his frustration with Bendis: comparisons to Mark Millar are uttered, original content on emerging platforms are discussed, Netflix original programming is bandied about, watching habits about same are confessed, and traditional expectations are upended. Mentioned: Powers, Arrested Development, Orange is the New Black, and just where the hell does all the time go?
25:57-45:23: And on that last point, Jeff talks about reading manga on Crunchyroll, more specifically the experience of reading 50+ chapters of Fuuka by Kouji Seo over the course of four or so days. Jeff also talks about the rapturous experience of reading 100 chapters of Masakazu Ishiguoro’s Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, but really the focus here is Fuuka and how the storyline takes some, shall we say, *unconventional* turns. SPOILERS APLENTY for Fuuka,as Jeff pretty much gives up all the plot points up until now.
45:23-52:49: Jeff also bought and read all four issues of Marvel’s Night Nurse during the Marvel BOGO sale at Comixology. Since Jeff was in the process of writing about it, Graeme doesn’t ask him about the series but instead some rather tough questions. Questions like: “Now that you’re read them all, would you do that again?” and “how many Kindle versions of Watchmen do you own, Jeff?” “How many print versions do you own?” “I’m sorry, how many?” Yes, it’s time for INTERVENTION: THE WAIT, WHAT? EDITION as Graeme and Jeff talk about owning copies of multiple books and multiple options.
52:49-1:41:43: Fortunately, we don’t dwell too long on “The horror! The horror!” as the almighty Empress Audrey decreed that Graeme and I were to read the first year of Legion of Superheroes: Five Years Later by Keith Giffen, Tom and Mary Bierbaum, and Al Gordon (with editing by Mark Waid and Michael Eury). Semi-suspect subjects that we are, we managed to get the first six issues read in time to discuss for this episode. Graeme, who has previous history with this title, gives us the context in which he first read these issues.
Jeff, who only has the slightest history with the Legion, gives us his impressions as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on in those first few issues. Discussed: Giffen’s storytelling verve; the Five Years Later Legion as a reaction and development of a lot of influences in comics at the time; the FYL Legion as an early example of the flash-forward storytelling that grows in influence in late 20th and early 21st Century; the FYL Legion and Watchmen; 5YL era Giffen and modern day Kevin Huizenga; Jeff deciding that “maximialize” is a word, and is perfectly acceptable to use when making a point; issue #5 of 5YL and Mark Waid’s Empire; issues #6 of 5YL and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek; The bicycle as a surrealist version of a leg; science-fiction names; the legacy of Paul Levitz; and much, much (much!) more.
1:41:43-2:02:26: On a related note, Jeff talks about a single panel he saw in his recent read of the Superman Vs. Mongul trade that he thinks explains Paul Levitz’s legacy perfectly, and how it relates to Grant Morrison. Also discussed (perhaps inevitably): James Robinson and Starman; Steve Englehart; Jim Starlin; Marvel Unlimited; and much more.
2:02:26-2:13:35: Closing comments? Well, you would think so, and we thought so. But then Jeff remembers he really does have some questions he wishes to pepper Graeme about Multiversity: Mastermen by Grant Morrison and Jim Lee. So we talk about that for close to ten minutes.
2:13:35-end: Okay, no, really: Closing comments! Here’s our recording schedule (Baxter Building tip: read issues #25-36 plus Annual #2 if you want to be current for our next podcast.) Inherent Tote Bags! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 95 patrons make this whole thing possible.
We’ll talk again next week! Until then, we wish you safe re-entry!
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat169.mp3 Obviously, I’ve become hooked on embedding YouTube clips in our browser. Dunno why, and I think it’s arguable that it’s more than a little insulting to put video in a comics podcast blog but…eh. …
Okay, papa’s diving right in here because papa’s only got a few hours before he has to take his computer in to get looked at and hopefully fixed. Remember, if you just want a straight link to the podcast and don’t want to fuss with our player, or our RSS feed, or Stitcher or iTunes or anything, look to this post’s first comment where you can grab something to copy and paste to your preferences. Okay? Okay.
And I’m tucking the rest of this sucker behind the jump because this is a *heavy* image post.
Welcome to Marvel’s corporate structure, Avengers! Hope you survive the experience!
Holiday’s greetings, everyone! It’s next to next to the last day of the year, and Graeme and I are here to shut it down in style, with a two point five hour podcast of Avengersdissing, predictionmaking, shadethrowing hyphenignoreing adventure! We recorded this one the day after Christmas, I mixed it yesterday, I’m uploading it today, I’m having a quiet nervous breakdown tomorrow and then we are streets ahead into 2015! So join us for a very quick piece of shownoteisms, won’t you?
00:00-16:13: Holday greetings! As mentioned above, this podcast was recorded on Boxing Day, 12/26/14, so our opening is long on the holiday catch-up news and short on the comics news. Oh no, wait, I’m sorry: We’re actually talking about renowned Marvel supervillain, Swarm…
Image ganked from our fine friends at Comics Alliance.
within the first ninety seconds. How that leads into a big long discussion about Dr. Doom, I wish I could tell you. Well, I mean I could tell you, but wouldn’t you rather hear that for yourself? 16:13-49:37: Is Captain America Marvel’s Superman? Does Marvel have an aspirational hero the way DC has Superman? These are things that Graeme is wondering about—is there a lack of inherently good heroes in Marvel right now? This talk actually turns pretty quickly to Graeme filling Jeff in on the state of Superman right now especially in comparison to how Supes started off in the New52. Also discussed: the Charlton characters and which one would be most likely to end up in 2000 A.D. unchanged, and our appreciation for the ludicrously deep back catalog of DC characters, all of which culminates in our discussion of Showcase #100…
If you like reading about superheroes in bulk, this is the issue for you.
by Pauls Levitz and Kupperberg, Joe Staton and Dick Giordano, which in turn leads to a big description of Gardner F. Fox’s Justice League of America, the best reboot of Hawkman ever hatched, Green Arrows then and now, and more. 49:37-2:07:30: AVENGERS TALK! We had one job for this podcast…! One job!!
Fortunately, we do indeed get around to discussing issues #275-300 (after first talking shit about 2014) and talk about what it was like reading these 300 issues of Avengers, generally, where the high points were and why; the difference between Marvel in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, and writer Roger Stern and editor Mark Gruenwald as the embodiments of that last era; the last ten issues (#290-300) written by Walt Simonson and what a strange batch of issues they are;
Simonson giving G-Mo a run for his money…
the dialing down of the Marvel Universe; Nebula, Marinna, and (again) these amazingly weird issues by Walt Simonson; the next 50 issues as summarized by Graeme; the idea that The Avengers is a book that only works by accident: why is that? Also discussed: the retconning of the retconning of the retcon of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch; Jeff’s analogy about Jonathan Hickman’s work which he’s still somewhat pleased by; how many issues you can read until you get to have an opinion; Serial, fiction, and serial fiction; Twin Peaks (another story about a murder that first infatuated and then infuriated people), Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks; whether or not Jeff should jump ahead and read the Kurt Busiek issues; and much more. 2:07:30-2:17:06: You’d think this would be where our closing comments go, and it sorta/kinda starts that way, but instead we talk about what we expect and/or what we want from 2015, as summed up by the guy who knows nothing of what’ll be going on (that would be Jeff) and the guy who knows pretty much everything (that would be Graeme). Discussed: Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Butcherology; Star Wars; Secret Wars; Convergence; the article title that will make Graeme turn the Internet upside-down; the prices of comic books; and more. 2:17:06-end: Closing comments! The Crying of Tote Bag 49! Places to look for us at—Stitcher!Itunes!Twitter! Tumblr! And, of course, Patreon, where, as of this count, 89 patrons make this whole thing possible.
Happy New Year to one and all—we hope 2015 brings you everything you need and all that you might want! We will talk to you in the New Year!