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!
0:00-3:46: 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!
Whew! Hey, Whatnauts, Jeff here. My apologies for getting this up a bit later than usual: ironically, part of the reason is that I’m trying a new method for editing the podcast that should make it faster. (The other part of the reason is that I caught a double feature of Lady Snowblood movies at the New Mission Cinema and ate deviled eggs and drank milkshakes with booze in them and it was pretty god-damned great.)
And that said, I should warn you there is the growing likelihood that the responsibilities in my day job may be changing in the very near future and Graeme and I have been trying to figure out how to make sure we still manage to deliver Wait, What? quality in a timely way. I hope you remain patient with me as I go through the process of working all that out. Fortunately, you have lots of excellent, high quality writing from Graeme and Matt to keep you happy in the meantime.
Anyway, enough of that. Let’s get shownoting, shall we?
0:00-6:24: The greeting thing (this time with proper microphones); the Three Stages of Muppet; Muppets Most Wanted; Disney’s trifecta of the Muppets, Star Wars and Marvel.
6:24-17:10: Discussions of pop culture cocktails leads us to talk about Lego Dimensions, the video game IP orgy competitor to Disney Infinity. And this leads to a discussion about the crossovers you stage with your own toys as opposed to officially sanctioned IP crossover play. Also discussed: playing with action figures (in which Jeff accidentally mentions using Star Wars figures to fill in as SHIELD agents when he really meant using Star Wars figures); the scramble for new action figures for Return of the Jedi; which leads to discussing…
17:10-25:15: Jeff loves the fact that Star Wars fans love the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back even though, as Graeme points out, even Boba Fett doesn’t appear for more than ten minutes total in the films. Also discussed: George Lucas’s dislike of Boba Fett; Lucas’s official slogan for the making of the prequels; and the ballad of General Grievous.
25:15-49:18: We segue so organically it’s actually hard to chop it up, but if you want to hear Graeme and Jeff argue about whether Star Wars is an epic about redemption or an anti-redemption without a lot of action figure talk, you can start here. Please note we talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens just a teeny tad and, depending on your view, we either do not spoil a darn thing or we talk about stuff that can lead the overheated mind to make some suppositions it might consider spoiler-y? As Graeme points out, it’s probably not a big deal since everyone who’s wanted to see TFA by now already has BUT JUST IN CASE here’s your soft spoiler warning. Discussed: whether or not Star Wars is pro- or anti-redemption; the handling of Jedi in the prequels; Jeff is a big fan of the theory put forward by Chris Ready over at his awesome Disaster Year 20xx blog about Return of the Jedi, where Graeme has a different view about the film, and is armed with facts in hand from his recent read of J.W. Rinzler’s Making of Star Wars books; the Ewoks in Vietnam; and Jeff’s discussion of the real phantom behind The Phantom Menace.
49:18-1:04:48: “Whatnauts,” sez Graeme, “once again, this is a podcast about comic books where we’ve talked about Star Wars for the first forty-eight minutes.” And he’s got a point! So we change up to talk about Batman #48 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and the high strangeness that is “Superheavy,” the current arc. Discussed: the scene between two characters by the side of a lake; Mr. Bloom as DC Comics; Snyder’s metatext reaching the levels of Morrison’s Calvin Ellis issue of Action; Snyder’s take on Batman and Morrison’s take on Batman as it reflects their views on depression; and more.
1:04:48-1:19:18: Talking about Morrison’s darker works, we talk about Nameless #6 by Morrison and Burnham. FULL SPOILERS, I think we give it all away—in our vague sort of way—and I’ll tell you now one of us thought it was great, and another of us…did not.
1:19:18-1:34:17: And as long as we’re running through the hall of mirrors, let’s move from Snyder to Morrison to the first three issues of Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque’s Huck, which Graeme read all at a go, and he gets a chance to compare and contrast it a bit with Valiant’s Faith #1 by Jody Houser, Francis Portela & Marguerite Sauvage. Pop quiz: which book do you think Graeme described as “weirdly cynical for a comic that theoretically should be the opposite” and which got described as “utterly fucking delightful”? And this leads us to talk about other books that are working in the absurd and delightful parts of town, and how they differ from other previous, more self-conscious works.
1:34:17-1:54:05: And this leads us to a discussion about Spider-Gwen, particularly Radioactive Spider-Gwen #4 which Jeff has read. His take on the reasons for the book’s tone are quite different from Graeme’s and quite possibly far less generous. And from there we talk about which books we’re reading in All-New, All-Different Marvel and whether or not Marvel Unlimited actually raises the bar for books we’re willing to pay money for. Discussed: Star Wars, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat, Vision, Spidey, Spider-Man/Deadpool, The Ultimates, the upcoming Power Man and Iron Fist, and more.
1:54:05-2:10:28: And although we are just about out of time, Jeff cannot resist asking Graeme what he thinks about the IDW reboot of Judge Dredd by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Dan McDaid, in no small part because that and a ton of time spent playing the Judge Dredd pinball game, Jeff has a question he doesn’t know the answer to: What makes for “good” Judge Dredd?
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 113 of our supporters on Patreon who make our show possible.
Next week: There’s a break but we’ll back in two weeks with Wait, What? Ep. 194. The march to Episode 200 has begun! (Well, technically it started around episode one, but let’s not quibble.)
Howdy, chums! We’ve got a two and a half hour podcast for you today—we hope that’s okay?
A certain member of the team—I won’t name names but let’s just say it was neither Graeme nor Matt—overcommitted to a certain amount of family activity this weekend, so join us behind the jump for some thorough but speedy show notes, won’t you?
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…