0:00-15:10: Greetings and a sad update on the state of our Christmas spirit, with little more than mince pies to keep our holiday spirit aloft.  Discover our holiday plans and feel better about your own!
15:10-21:42:  Our best-of lists for the year!  Graeme gets to go first since he’s (a) made a professional list, and (b) actually read comics from 2016 this year!

adamandsteveGraeme’s list:

  1. The Flintstones by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh
  2. Giant Days by John Allison, Whitney Cogar, Max Sarin and Lissa Tremain
  3. Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden
  4. Tom King’s untitled trilogy (Omega Men, Sheriff of Babylon, and The Vision)
  5. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
  6. Doom Patrol by Gerard Way and Nick Derington
  7. Jason Shiga’s Demon
  8. Hot Dog Taste Test, by Lisa Hannawalt
  9. Panther by Brecht Evens
  10. The Wicked and The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
  11. We Told You So: Comics As Art by Tom Spurgeon with Michael Dean
  12. The DC line in general (by various)
21:42-1:23:43: Jeff starts out by mentioning the stuff our lists have in common:  The Flintstones, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Demon by Jason Shiga, and The Vision…but we talk about Sheriff of Babylon for a bit.  And then Jeff’s list(s):
Most improved digital service:
Digital service in decline:
Crunchyroll manga
Book Jeff’s Most glad he read (even though it’s not for him):
Shadoweyes by Sophie Campbell
Stuff Jeff missed reading the most:
MANGA. Definitely missed the manga but I did enjoy:
High School Debut by Kazune Kawahara
My Love Story!! by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko (though I fell behind)
My Neighbor Seki by Takuma Morishige
secret ending
Jeff’s Best of the year:
  1. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
  2. Batman: Superheavy by Snyder & Capullo
  3. The Vision by King and Gabriel Walta (completed)
  4. The Flintstones by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh
  5. individual issues of Sheriff of Babylon
  6. Southern Bastards by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour
  7. Jason Shiga’s Demo
  8. Spider-Man/Deadpool by Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinnes
  9. Spidey-zine by Hannah Blumenreich
  10. Kill or Be Killed by Brubaker and Phillips
  11. Transformers vs. GI Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber
  12. The Colonel Corps by Tony Bedard and  Tom Derenick and Trevor Scott (unavailable?)
  13. Super Powers by Tom Scioli (back-up within Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye)
  14. The Fade Out by Brubaker and Phillips
  15. Moon Knight by Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla, James Stokoe
The re-reads and old never-reads:
  1. Manhunter by Goodwin and Simonson
  2. Elektra Assassin by Miller and Sienkiewicz
  3. Madwoman of the Sacred Heart by Jodorowsky and Moebius
  4. Tales of the Batman by Carmine Infantino
  5. Batman #153:  The Prisoner of Three Worlds by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and others;
  6. Machine Man by Kirby and Ditko (but really Kirby)
  7. Fury: My War Gone By by Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov
  8. Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast by Starlin and Aparo
  9. Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles by Jack Kirby
  10. By The Numbers vols. 1 and 2 by Laurent Rullier, Stanislas Barthélémy, and Dominique Thomas
The most okay of 2016! (no links, sorry):
  1. Deathstroke by James Priest, Larry Hama and whoever else is in there
  2. Suicide Squad by Rob Williams, Jim Lee, and whoever else is in there
  3. Patience by Dan Clowes
  4. 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank by Taylor Boss and Matthew Rosenberg
  5. Sun Bakery by Corey Lewis
  6. Marvel’s Future Fight video game
  7. DC Rebirth #1by Geoff Johns and various
  8. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, and Cliff Rathburn
  9. The Fix by Steve Lieber, Nick Spencer, and Ryan Hill
  10. Cave Carson has a Cybernetic Eye by Jon Rivera, Gerard Way, and Michael Avon Oeming
  11. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack
  12. Kill Them All by Kyle Starks
  13. Red Team: Double Tap and Center Mass by Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak
  14. The Unbelievable Gwenpool by Christopher Hastings and Gurihiru
The Books Jeff Most regrets not reading in 2016:
  1. Kaijumax by Zander Cannon
  2. Ultimates by Al Ewing and Travel Foreman
  3. Spider-Woman by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez
  4. Superman by Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke
  5. Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart
1:23:43-1:34:45: Graeme recommends 2000 AD, as he is wont to do, and we discuss their 2016, and what they may have for us in 2017, and some of the great old material they’ve recently purchased. (They being 2000 AD and Rebellion, not Jeff & Graeme.)
1:34:45-1:54:46: A quick, spoiler-free discussion of Star Wars: Rogue One, unless what you really care about is, “will Jeff see Rogue One?” In which case:  FULL SPOILERS.  Plus: discussion about how engaged Jeff feels with nerd culture, possible topics for future podcasts, and more.
1:54:46-2:26:35: “Meanwhile, on the Internet, everyone’s like, “2017—the year comics will crash!” Jeff is talking about this story by Todd Allen over at the Beat and the ensuing fallout. We unpack the article’s premises, the feedback, Marvel’s upcoming X-Men relaunch and whether or not it is like DC Rebirthwhat we worry about for the market for 2017, …and what we don’t worry about.
2:26:35-end:  Closing comments! But first:  We make a plan for a January podcast episode!  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
Next week:  Next week is Christmas! The week after is New Year’s!  But join us after that in 2017 for our twenty-fifth episode of Baxter Building!

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14 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 215: Very, Merry, Harried

  1. Jeff Lester Dec 18, 2016

    And for all your cutting and pasting needs:

    Ho, ho, ho!

  2. Levi P Tompkins Dec 18, 2016

    Graeme, I seriously don’t see how you can hold up Resurexxion as even a mini rebirth. Despite the X-men book names, the books themselves don’t seem nearly as 90s nostalgic as you imply. The creative teams aren’t stellar, and once again you are more connected than I, but certainly my community of x-fans are at best skeptical.

    Am I missing something about this X-men relaunch?

  3. daustin Dec 19, 2016

    1. Transformers v G.I. Joe
    2. The Vision
    3. Prophet: Earth War
    4. Omega Men
    5. Providence

    Honorable mentions: Sheriff of Babylon, Head Lopper, Monstress, Island, 2000 AD, Deadly Class, Darth Vader, Clean Room, The Fix

    Two of my favorite sci-fi series reached highly anticipated conclusions this year – Transformers v G.I. Joe and Prophet: Earth War. Scioli is a mad man, and transcended himself in the finale. Meanwhile, Brandon Graham brought his space epic to an end without compromising his meandering, multi-creator diamond – I went back and re-read the entire series and it holds together remarkably well.

    Tom King had a banner year – haven’t read his Batman yet, but his “trilogy” was fantastic. Vison may be the best thing I read in comics all year, Omega Men was fantastic, and Sheriff of Babylon was only slightly behind those two. And his clear inspiration, Alan Moore, is doing really fascinating stuff in Providence, tying together years of disparate Lovecraft tales into a fascinating whole. I hated the beginning, but once I understood what he was doing, it clicked.

    I’m woefully behind on Demon (only read the first “half” so far), Squirrel Girl and Patsy Walker so they are not included, and generally it takes me longer to get to the artier stuff and manga, which I tend to get from the library. Kaijumax is fun but not quite as fun as I want it to be, and I say that as both a Godzilla fan and an Oz fan – I have similar feelings about Ragnarok.

    Not quite as into Doom Patrol, WicDiv, Giant Days, Fade Out, Southern Bastards, or Deathstroke, though I thought they all ranged from good to very good. Walking Dead, ugh, don’t know why I continue to read that. Downgraded from buying collections to buying only from Comixology when they are on $1 sale, and still feel like I’m paying too much just to satisfy my morbid curiosity about what happens next. I’m sick of Adlard’s art, and I’m sick of Kirkman’s inability to write dialogue other than rambling discursive monologues about exactly what moral lesson any given character is learning at that moment. Dude cannot write human beings to save his life.

    • Jeff Lester Dec 20, 2016

      Great list! I”m kicking myself for forgetting Monstress which was arguably the best first issue of the year…but I also trailed off after issue #3 for some reason? I’m definitely an unreliable critic this year (if not every year).

      And I have a friend who keeps at me to dig back into Providence. He feels it might be one of the best things Moore’s done…we’ll see if I follow his (and yours, in a way) advice in the new year.

    • I keep waiting for Moore to finish Providence, to read it in one exhausting and immensely satisfying go go, then bite at it again and again over time. It’s the only way I can get through Moore’s work.

      I really second Transformers vs G.I. Joe and Earth War.

  4. This podcast inspired a couple of thoughts from me. First of all, I forgot that you guys are the ones who got me into Demon. I binged on the archives last year while waiting for my wife to give birth and loved it to death.

    Second, I’ve got to say that I had a totally different reaction to Rogue One than Graeme did. I agree that the Dr. Evazan/Ponda Baba cameo was egregious — although no worse than The Force Awakens’ jokes about parsecs, etc. — but overall I thought the movie didn’t have as many blatantly obvious “this doesn’t serve the story” winking fanboy moments as The Force Awakens, and I really liked that.

    To me, Rogue One tries and succeeds to fit into the milieu of A New Hope. If not for some modern filmmaking conceits, much of the art design and other visual choices are trying to establish the film as “just another movie set in this universe” about something that was going on right before A New Hope. It might be comfort food for the fan, but it’s a film made lovingly that takes the Star Wars iconography and does new things with it, as opposed to TFA’s obsession with recreating the earlier films beat by beat. In particular, I was struck by Graeme’s criticism of the final battle being too reminiscent of the space battle from ANH and the forest battle from Jedi, considering that TFA ends with a bunch of X-wings flying into a trench and then into the core of Starkiller Base (a much more apt Death Star analogue than the shield gate) to blow it up, combining much more directly the elements of the space battles from ANH and Jedi.

    Ultimately, I thought TFA was a very cynical film (with some good performances by the new leads) about a supposedly optimistic concept, while Rogue One was a loving, optimistic film about something that ends up being very sad. I definitely prefer the latter approach.

  5. Zaragosa Dec 23, 2016

    Just wanted to second Gaeme’s effusive review of the Fantagraphics oral history, WE TOLD YOU SO. It is amazingly good. Exhaustively well researched and beautifully laid out. A rollicking, highly entertaining history lesson. And it’s truly essential reading for anyone who cares about non-corporate American comics.

    • Jeff Lester Dec 28, 2016

      Thanks for this! I’d already decided to grab a copy based on what Graeme said, but this made me pick it up a week or two sooner.

  6. Garrie Dec 29, 2016

    Thank you guys for another great year of listening. As a parting gift for your efforts I reveal to you the existence of this thing:

    Happy new year to you and yours…


  7. David Morris Dec 30, 2016

    I like a lot of books you both talk about and am jogged towards the ones I haven’t read. A couple I’d like to mention are ‘The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye’ by Sonny Liew and Yotsuba 13 by Kiyohiko Azuma. Maybe they don’t count if it’s only the first publication in the West in 2016? There was a 2015 edition of Liew’s book in Singapore, I don’t know when Yotsuba was first published in Japan. Anyway, enough of my fussy defensiveness, oh and SPOILERS! Liew’s book is an introduction to the history of Singapore from 1938 to the present through the life and work of a comics artist, who is unable to support himself through his comics. His interests in Singapore freeing itself from colonialism and it’s subsequent internal politics come out in his work. Ironically, while he is interested in Singapore achieving an identity of it’s own, we see him draw comics heavily influenced by Osama Tetsuka, Frank Hampson, Harvey Kurtzman, Carl Barks and Walt Kelly. I’d like to lend the book to someone less visually literate to see if it’s apparent that this is a fictious biography, because that understanding comes from being able to tell that Sonny Liew drawing in a variety of styles is still Sonny Liew. Apart from it’s technical accomplishment, what amazes me about this book is how touching and intimate it is when it seems like the layering of it’s reality would be distancing.
    Yotsuba? Well, her granny turns up and she’s my nomination for best new supporting character in an on-going narrative. Does Jeff read Yotsuba?

  8. Mike Murdock Jan 2, 2017

    Hey everyone, just started listening to the podcast (I’m starting way back with your Avengers read through, but I skipped ahead). I just wanted to comment briefly on Marvel diversity. One of the frustrating things is this and I’m not trying to take a shot at you, but it’s a common comment throughout. I think it’s entirely reasonable to say “I want my diverse characters to be new characters rather than taking the mantles of old characters.” The problem is you said this literally minutes after taking a shot at Mosaic because no one is interested in him. And, you know what, no one is interested in him. But they are interested in Ms. Marvel, Ironheart, Moongirl, Thor, etc. In other words, when Marvel introduces a brand new diverse character, it gets dismissed out of hand.

    I will say, the best thing is Mosaic’s art is beautiful. The book itself is mildly interesting at best. I wish Marvel’s attempt at creating a new, diverse character had a better story, but I think most people who dismiss it haven’t even read it. They have no idea what its quality is. Instead, people read new, diverse characters wearing the titles of old characters and then complain about how Marvel is only creating characters with the titles of old characters.

    • Jeff Lester Jan 15, 2017

      Mike: I am crazily sorry for having this comment wait in moderation forever! It somehow slipped by me that it hadn’t been approved.

      I think you make a really good point, by the way. Thanks for chiming in, and sorry again!