[Please note: although we talk about so very many comics in this episode, I decided to pull images exclusively from the brilliant Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber. I accept full responsibility and apologize for any resulting cognitive dissonance.]
0:00-21:06: Greetings from your tech-confused team (or as Graeme suggests far too late for our actual opening, RiRi Lester and Victor Von McMillan), who are dealing with a strangely loud recording. Adjust your volume to taste, and buckle up, buttercup, as we start in on almost immediately on the exciting world of comic news (Marvel edition). We cover Marvel’s announcements for its forthcoming Marvel Now! launch (a new Invincible Iron Man, a new Infamous Iron Man, new Champions title, U.S. Avengers, etc.,), the timing of their information release, etc. Discussed: all of the above, plus: Jeff misunderstands Graeme’s use of the word singularity and so just parrots Graeme’s point; a casual invitation for a tech-talented Whatnaut to put the movie Interstellar to good use; Marvel has never had a black female writer ever; David Walker getting backing at Marvel; and more.
21:06-43:42: A bit more about Iron Man, which Jeff has not been following at all, but Graeme as a reader is a little concerned that the teases that Bendis made when starting the book less than a year ago are already set to either be truncated or abandoned. Discussed: abandoned storylines; Captain America: Agent of Hydra and Marvel editors and Marvel creators literally saying whatever they want, even if it bears no relation to reality, just to sell a book; Dr. Doom in name only; whether one of the characters in the Champions is a spoiler; and more.
43:42-50:11: After covering Marvel’s outwardly confident movement toward its next nonboot, and DC’s more conciliatory, albeit coded, approach to Rebirth, Graeme wonders if Marvel’s strangely rushed and off announcements have a lot in common with the DC You marketing blunders, which thank goodness at least gives us a little bit of time to talk about Midnighter by Steve Orlandao and ACO, which Graeme fully spoils but also makes sound very satisfying and great. Also discussed: Black Canary; liking books enough to stick around; Bourne Identity Aquaman; and more.
50:11-58:26: “You’re not reading the DC Rebirth books, right?” asks Graeme, gently, hoping to avoid a prime Jeff rant. And that almost kind of works? But Jeff has read the first two issues of Batman by Tom King and David Finch; but Graeme is really onboard with Aquaman after the events of the second issue. Also discussed: the second issue of Batman, Jeff’s frustration and Graeme’s theory about the last page reveal; and more.
58:26-1:10:46: Graeme went on a back-issue spree at his excellent local store Cloud Nine Comics where he purchased almost the entire run of Hawk and Dove by Barbara and Karl Kesel, so Graeme gets to recap the history of the original Hawk and Dove, the second team from the late ‘80s, the very, uh, offbeat conclusion to the series, and a lot of discussion about DC’s Armageddon 2001, an event DC does not seem particularly keen to reprint and which *dove*tails with the end of Hawk and Dove. Also discussed: Armageddon: The Alien Agenda; Zero Hour; and the punting of Captain Atom’s next series.
1:10:46-1:35:01: The other title Graeme of which bought a lot of back issues? Marvel Fanfare, the prestige paper anthology/inventory title edited by Al Milgrom; “Every issue is an oddity,” is how Graeme describes it quite nicely but wow, some of these oddities! An Angel story by Ann Nocenti and David Mazzuchelli, to name just one! Also discussed: 80s Marvel vs. 70s Marvel; the delight that is the art of Tony Salmons; Trevor Von Eeden in the ‘80s which, of course, makes it all but impossible to avoid bringing up Dick Giordano, Robert Loren Fleming, and Thriller; an amazing Jim Shooter anecdote about Bill Sienkiewicz; spitballing new and exciting Patreon extras; Jim Owsley’s promotional material for The Falcon; and, hoo boy, more.
1:35:01-1:40:39: And what’s Jeff been reading? He’s re-read and didn’t quite finish the remarkable Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber, having only made it up to issue #10 on this particular go round, but he has many positive things to say including the statement, “Transformers vs. G.I. Joe is the Paul’s Boutique of comic books.”
1:40:39-2:00:52: Unfortunately, Jeff was not nearly as impressed with Dark Night: A True Batman Story by Paul Dini and Eduardo Risso that he picked up on the long-ago recommendation of a certain nameless someone whose initials are Graeme McMillan. Part of the problem is clearly Jeff’s expectations for the book, which is not entirely fair to the book, but there are other problems at work, insists Jeff. Discussion ensues! (To the point of uncomfortable stridency on the part of Jeff.)
2:00:52-2:01:54: By contrast, Jeff read The Colonel Corps, the second issue of promotional DC/KFC (KFDC?) comics starring Colonel Sanders and the DC multiverse. He thought it was pretty good!
2:01:54-2:29:14: And finally, to wrap up this edition of “Jeff’s Bad Faith Adventures,” after railing about the way the launch of Comixology Umlimited treated creators, he…signs up for Comixology Unlimited? Jeff, what is up with that? But also: what’s the deal with Comixology Unlimited? Discussed: searching on Comixology Unlimited; Doc Savage Archives Vol. 1; As The Gods Will; the generosity of Chris Arrant; Hoopla (which, contrary to what Jeff says, will allow him to borrow graphic novels now); and more.
2:29:14-end: Closing comments, but with some bonus bits of commentary from Graeme about “Not Brand Echh”! 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! There are some crazy reasons but join us in two weeks for the next episode of Baxter Building, where we’ll be discussing issues #160 to #170 of the Fantastic Four!
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?
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!
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, everyone! Maybe you’re discovering this right in the thick of Cyber-Monday, busily hitting refresh for the opportunity to get a $1.99 DVD copy of Jonah Hex (confession: I did this) or maybe you’re ignoring all the folderol, and are busy hitting the web for what’s really important: podcasts of two grown men speaking in conspiratorial tones about comic books. Either way, we decided to give you the hook up almost a day early so you can re-sharpen those forks and knives and tuck in to our two hour and thirty minute episode! Remember: if you want just the straight link to the episode, check out OUR VERY FIRST COMMENT where I will give you the connect along with the bonus of MORE WORDS IN ALL-CAPS.
But first (for me, you can skip straight down there if you want): Show notes ahoy!
00:00-16:20: Greetings (of a sort)! Things are a bit wonky right at the beginning and, us being us, there’s even more conversational scratchings of the head than other podcasting teams might otherwise give you. And yet! We are talking about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer almost immediately out of the gate so…take that, competent podcasters! We talk the trailers for the prequel trilogy; exposition versus imagery; the Jurassic World trailer (which I thought about linking you to or even embedding and then went nahhh); the charms of Chris Pratt; and the secret appeal of Zack Snyder movies; all of which leads us into: 16:20-1:11:14: Movie talk! Jeff has seen some movies so…let’s talk about movies! Discussed: The Wolverine; Baz Luhrmann and “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)” the most terrible songs or musical artists we can confess to liking; Jesus Jones; The Jesus and Mary Chain; Hugh Jackman pooping in the woods; The Lego Movie; and the glory of Lego Batman; the movies we’ve seen the most (incomplete conversation due to Jeff’s curiosity about the commentary tracks on the Scott Pilgrim movie); Wim Wenders; 22 Jump Street; Tom Cruise’s movie Edge of Tomorrow (with a brilliant stealth retitling as Live, Die, Repeat); and more. By contrast, Graeme has been catching up with the TV series Helix, currently available on Netflix Streaming; Jeff forgot to mention Le Quattro Volte in his list of recent movies and somehow (don’t ask us how), that brings us around to:
1:11:14-1:55:11:Pax Americana! Yes, 70 minutes in and we finally start talking comics on our comic book podcast. The spoiler warning here is at Defcon Full Spoiler Jacket, because we discuss this remarkable Grant Morrison/Frank Quietly meditation on Watchmen from just about every possible angle including the stalker love letter angle; the critique of formalism angle; the hole in things angle; gnostic and Christian interpretation angle; the misremembering of Watchmen angle; the digressing about From Hell angle; the incomplete Bleeding Edge anecdote angle; the “but isn’t Alan Moore paranoid?” angle; the “where does Obama play into all this?” angle; and the “maybe Jeff talked too much and Graeme didn’t get to talk enough” angle; and then…
1:55:11-2:10:45:Annihilator! Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving’s strange twin to Multiversity. Graeme has a great take on the idea that Pax Americana is Morrison on Moore, and Annihilator is Morrison on Morrison. Jeff thinks maybe it’s Morrison on Morrison’s influence? (Spoiler: Graeme’s take is much, much better.) Also mentioned: Flex Mentallo; The Filth; Wanted; Change; Grayson: Future’s End; and more.
2:10:45-2:32:21: Graeme quick-reviews Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #4 by Tom Scioli and John Barber; Superman/Wonder Woman #13 by Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke; Supergirl #36 by Mike Johnson and K. Perkins with art by Emanuela Lupacchino; Dr. Spektor, Master of the Occult #4 by Mark Waid and Neil Edwards; and then there’s some talk about the holiday that might make you think we are getting ready to get to our closing comments, but don’t be fooled because Graeme also has a comment or two up his sleeve about the Flash Gordon Annual! And Jeff blurb-blabs The Fade Out #3 by Brubaker and Phillips; Southern Bastards #5 by Aaron and LaTour; Batman & Robin #36 by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray; Wytches #2 by Scott Snyder and Jock; and Justice League of America issues #139, 140, 141 by Steve Englehart, Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin. Also, why are gifs so hard to search for? There’s a related gif I’m having trouble finding. Oh, no wait, here it is!