00:01-5:34: Greetings from Graeme “Happy New Year!” McMillan and Jeff “Yes, but is everything okay with Jim Lee?” Lester! Because Jeff is inexplicably concerned about Jim Lee (well, barely explicably), we get right off to…
0:01-3:42: Greetings from Graeme “Recorded Saturday But Thought It Was Sunday” McMillan and Jeff “Edited Sunday But Thought It Was Monday” Lester! On this long holiday weekend, we are recovering from a busy week, mainly by listing all the things we are not doing to relax. Does that sound like we have a problem? It kind of does, doesn’t it?
3:42-14:31: While we’ve either been off-air or Drokking, things have been happening in the world of comics news. In fact, we are at the end of no less than two eras! And we start off by talking about the first one: the announcement that Mad Magazine will cease publishing new material. We talk about the amount of upset online despite not paying much attention to it online, the change in American humor, and much more.
14:31-1:06:28: Mad Magazine comes after the news that Vertigo is being shuttered (along with new imprints Zoom and Ink) and…did we even talk about that? We honestly can’t remember! So we tackle it (again, for the very first time?), and talk about what’s happening to the books scheduled to come out under Zoom and Ink, the Hill House imprint, their announcement of creator-owned titles, how the rollout could’ve been handled differently, why DC Black Label is going away as an imprint but staying on as an age group, Batman as brand, DC as a “distracted, nonsensical publisher,” DC before Vertigo, the current publication status of Second Coming and Safe Sex; AND MUCH MORE.
1:06:28-2:12:39: The other end of an era news? The Walking Dead has ended as a comic book. Abruptly. As in the most recent issue (#193) is the final issue, the issues already solicited to be published after that were apparently fakes, and Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s latest issue is now also the last. That is a surprising end to the largest independent comic of our era (and arguably any era, depending on how you want to quantify the success of things like TMNT) and we talk about how it ended, why it ended, and what it means for Image now that their three biggest comics (TWD, Saga, and WicDiv) are now, essentially, over. Although we try at first, this conversation is definitely a full-SPOILERS discussion of the final storyline and the final issue. Discussed: the final story arc for TWD; why sales collapsed for the series; how Jeff, long-term reader of TWD, feels now that it’s over; what caused the zombie apocalypse and the Star Trek finale feel to the end of the series; the last Image book that sells over 20k in the North American market; the new announcement from Image that came out ahead of SDCC; Kirkman’s other publishing strategies through Skybound; and speaking of SDCC, are DC and Image going into SDCC and being perceived as being in trouble; comic book marketing as compared to the marketing of other entertainment media; and a lot more.
2:24:40-end: Closing comments! Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes!Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast. (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
0:00-17:58: Greetings! Graeme is recovering from con crud. And a report from Emerald City Comic Con. Discussed: meetings with Hannah Blumenreich, Aud Koch, Evan Shaner, and more; a discussion of comics news around the Con that were not announced at the Con itself; the possible rebound of Marvel; and more.
17:58-33:33: One of those bits of news is the Erica Henderson is leaving The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, so we talk about what that will mean to the book, what we’ve appreciated about the North/Henderson run, and more.
33:33-58:47: The first issue of Oblivion Song by Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo De Felici is out, and with it comes the news that this is something that Kirkman has been planning for a long time. How’s the first issue? And what are Kirkman’s plans? Also discussed: Prism Stalker #1 by Sloane Leong; the Planet of the Apes scale to measuring good storytelling.
58:47-1:28:08: Thanks to a recent anniversary sale, Graeme has been mainlining fifteen hundred pages of Judge Dredd. Discussed: The Pit; Brothers of the Blood; Tour of Duty; and the newly re-available M.A.C.H. 1collection created by Pat Mills and Enio, Robert Flynn, Niles Allen, John Cooper, John Wagner, and others; One Eyed Jack by John Wagner and John Cooper; the upcoming Megazine; and others.
1:28:08-2:01:05: Milk Wars, the Young Animal/DCU crossover has ended, and we are here to mull it over, especially the last issue of the crossover: The Doom Patrol/JLA Special #1 by Gerard Way, Steve Orlando, Dale Eaglesham, and Nick Derington. Also: discussed Shade, The Changing Girl; Jeff Lemire doing The Terrifics at DC, but also returning to Marvel to write The Sentry; The Life of Captain Marvel miniseries by Margaret Stohl, and Carlos Pacheco; and more.
2:01:05-end: Closing comments! Along with Mark Thomas Gibson, Jeff is going to be a guest on the excellent We Eat Art podcast by John Mejias and Zak Smith to discuss the Black Panther! 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. 39! Read issues #342-349 of Fantastic Four by the might Walt Simonson and join us!
0:00-12:06: Greetings! Greetings and a long, perhaps too-detailed story about Jeff’s niece’s walkathon. So we discuss physical fitness for kids today, and what it was like back when we were kids. SPOILERS: Graeme’s story is a lot like this:
12:06-25:15: And from there, we get into the comic book discussion, with Jeff talking about downloading the first trade of Power Man/Iron Fist Vol 1 by David Walker and Sanford Greene from Comixology Unlimited, in part so he can give a special shout-out to the double-barrelled Kurosawa tribute in issue #5.
Also discussed: the fact that Marvel is now on Comixology Unlimited, which is a news story from this week that nobody really seems that excited by but is kind of a thing. We also discuss Marvel Unlimited, and the pros and cons there.
25:15-55:24: This was recorded on Free Comic Book Day, and so Graeme has a story about the differences between the print and digital copies of the FCBD books, as well as a review of his five favorite free issues this year. (As for Jeff, well, you probably saw the picture making the rounds of Twitter from this year’s Spongebob comic, but if not, it’s at the top of this post!) And then we go on to discuss, among other things, the Secret Empire FCBD issue and some of the confounding story choices that are made. Graeme also covers some speculation concerning future issues of the event, as well as reception, rumors and what-have-you. (Yes, the ever-fascinating *what-have-you*!)
55:24-1:16:01: Only tangentially related to Secret Empire (in that it involves the digital copies offered by SE #0), Jeff wants to talk about reading Mockingbird issue #6 by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk, and how that got Jeff to read the other two issues via Marvel Unlimited *and* about the unexpected retcon that messes with the West Coast Avengers story by our beloved Steve Englehart. Come for the trepidation, stay for Jeff’s clumsy re-read of Mockingbird #8.
1:16:01-1:26:46: In other “Jeff is kind of a terrible person” news, please overlook his failed attempt to tease Graeme for seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (not in a press screening, but at an actual damn screening!) I mean, Graeme was kind enough to overlook it, so you can too, right? (FWIW, Jeff still feels terrible about it.) But enough about Jeff! Graeme saw GOTG, Vol. 2, and so we discuss the film. There is a casting spoiler from 1:18:43 to 1:19:28, general spoilers about characterization from 1:19:28 to 1:19:52 or so, and then there’s a spoiler for one of the post-credit sequences we talk about at 1:20:44. So this section is pretty spoiler-heavy for a movie that just came out this weekend (which is generally unlike us, I hope?). Maybe skip over the whole thing and come back to it after you’ve seen the film, I guess? No plot spoilers, but we do not couch talking about the film much at all.
1:26:46-1:39:52: “But is it better than Suicide Squad?” asked nobody ever. And yet that is the road we sort of go down as Jeff admits he watched Suicide Squad recently (thanks to good ol’ HBO Now) and he wants to revisit what he understood to be some of Graeme’s statements about it. We discuss how the theatrical release was made, what things (no matter how slight) worked, all the many things that didn’t, and more.
1:39:52-1:55:29: Then, as a complete change-up to the way the conversation has been going, we finally get around to talking about a bit of excellent superhero stuff in a non-comic medium: the first season of Legion (currently on Hulu) which we both pretty much love the bejesus out of. Full spoilers for this one, right down to how Jeff thinks the cliffhanger at the end of S2 is going. So if you haven’t seen it yet, just go see it and then come back and listen to us talk about all the stuff we found truly fascinating about it. But for those of you who saw it (probably long ago), please hang out and listen to the blather.
1:55:29-2:08:23: Wow, has it been almost two hours already? It has! But we have barely talked about actual, you know, comic books, so we get a chance to chime in about a thing each we’ve read and loved, with Graeme being in the tank for the first two hardcover volumes of Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, and Jeff grooving on the first two omnibi of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order by Yukito Kishiro.
2:08:23-2:27:24: But we are just getting our second wind so Graeme jumps off of that to talk about the four collections of Strontium Dog by John Wagner, Alan Grant, and the amazing Carlos Ezquerra he has read recently and very much loves. And Jeff follows up that up with a spoiler-free review of Walking Dead #167 since it’s a pretty major issue and also because Jeff can’t figure out why he is still reading the damn book considering how much he dunks on it.
2:27:24-end: And so but finally: 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. PLUS: a beautiful little plug from Graeme which he quite appropriately calls, “a payoff for anyone who stayed with us two and a half hours.” Oh, and you can also check out Jeff role-playing the mysterious and glamorous Cha-Cha X on the FCBD Exiled podcast episode.
Next week: Baxter Building Ep. 29! Covering Fantastic Four Annuals #14-18 and What If? #36! Read them, then join us here, won’t you?
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!
Apparently the floor above me is being remodeled? Or my building is getting electrolysis? Either way, it’s a little distracting. OUTCAST #9: Technically, it’s Kirkman and Azaceta’s Outcast, but if I had my druthers it’d be…