0:01-1:28: Greetings from Secret Comic-Con! Yes, you suckers enjoy your “ComicCon At Home” b.s., Graeme is living it up at the real Comic-Con and it sounds amazing!

1:28-37:44: No, just kidding. There isn’t a secret comic-con just, as Graeme puts it, “truly, truly terrible panels on Youtube.”  Fortunately, Graeme of course has watched them, and so can school Jeff—who of course has not—on why they’re…less than great, and what lessons we hope NYCC can take from them.  Discussed: NYCC; panel announcements; the legally mandated fond reminiscences of Comic Cons past; the Eisners Awards 2020; the SDCC At Home home page; Marvel’s Storyboards; and “more.”

37:44-54:33:  Comics news question:  how does Jeff feel about the Walking Dead being re-released in color?  Discussed: why the heck did Jeff like The Walking Dead so much?  [SPOILERS for the end of the series.]  narrative engines; revisiting stories; the joys of careless reading; and more.

54:33-1:03:35: Comics news question #2: What does Jeff think about the announcement of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw’s Crossover?  Discussed: Huh?  1985; Constantine; Battle Scars; “Cheese.”

1:03:35-1:15:43: Jeff has purchased and read Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics by Tom Scioli and he has…thoughts. Approximately twelve minutes of thoughts.
1:15:43-1:45:30: Here’s a curveball for Graeme—does living in Portland, Oregon, in 2020 during the midst or protests and ACAB and so much more affect how he is taking in escapist literature, especially escapist literature of the “punch the person who is wrong” variety? Discussed: The Monkees; The Music Man; hip-hop; Jodorowsky; Portland’s hero/superhero; the unreality of America; the unreality of Chips Ahoy!; can Jeff really come back to superhero comics and what would it take?; Empyre #1 (which Graeme enjoyed!); and more.

1:45:30-1:59:55: Due to a hard stop, we have to start wrapping up but Jeff wanted to talk to Graeme a little bit about Death Metal #2 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia.  And, since he’s one of the podcasters on this show, he gets to!
1:59:55-2:02:11: Remember that hard stop?  Graeme does!  But Jeff does have a quick point to make about Secret Invasion, Brian Michael Bendis, and DC very quickly.  (Maybe even…too quickly?  Is that even possible for Jeff?)
2:02:11-end:  Closing comments!  Watch The Doghouse on HBO Max! Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Dominic L. Franco, and 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!)
Next week: Skip week!  Come back in two weeks for EPISODE THREE HUNDRED. We think it’s going to be a Q&A, so tweet or email us your Qs and we’ll make As out of ourslves answering them!

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6 comments on “Wait, What? – At Home

  1. Jeff Lester Jul 26, 2020

    And for those of you who want that “real” Comic-Con experience, nothing says SDCC like cutting and pasting your podcast links by hand!

  2. Dan Billings Jul 31, 2020

    Incredibly entertaining episode! Thanks!
    I also watched The Music Man in the last few weeks. I hadn’t seen it for a very long time but I also wondered if Lin-Manual Miranda was influenced by it at all (especially since he did a Well-Fargo sketch on SNL) and found this article in Forbes about rap music and Broadway, including a mention of The Music Man. Yes, Forbes…

  3. Dan Coyle Aug 5, 2020

    Hey Jeff Lester!

    NOW do you think Abhay Khosla is working in good faith? That he’s on your side? You really think hat now?

    • Jeff Lester Aug 6, 2020

      Hi, Dan: Sorry for the delay in replying. A long, rough shitstorm of a day.

      Short answer: yes, I do.

      Longer answer: yes, I do. I think what a lot of people tack up to snark, I think is a very profound outrage addressed the way Abhay does. If Abhay had treated any of the victims with disrespect, then I might be inclined to think differently, to think it’s just for “the lulz” or the attention or whatever. Abhay has talked for years about not buying or supporting DC Comics because he thinks they refused to do anything to remove predators from positions of power. The fact he puts a bit of ha-ha in there with it doesn’t mean that he’s joking.

      For me—and I’m aware this does not appear to be the standard reaction—I do not mind that Abhay mocks DC, Warren Ellis, Dr. Nerdlove, all the people who profited professionally from their association with Warren Ellis and their time on the WEF and have done nothing other than made performatively vague comments like “believe women” or “comics companies need better HR” when it is very, very clear their mentor and friend was gaslighting them too, and is still using them as human shields to increase the chances he’ll still have a career (and female fans). Some of those people made it a point to come forward and talk about crazily litigious abusive creators so I know they care. I even believe they care enough to say something if there wasn’t so much for them to lose.

      I don’t mind if the jokes are shticky in a place or two, or that I won’t be able to look at that alarm gif (is that from Space 1999?) again in the same way. I guess I do worry a bit if the women who’ve come forward feel hurt or slighted by Abhay writing about terrible things in a jocular way…but I’m not too worried about them, because they already had something far worse happen: they’ve had people trusted betray them and learned later they should not have in fact trusted those people. They tried to warn the rest of us for a long time before all this and a lot of us didn’t listen, didn’t know, or didn’t care. They came forward and doubtlessly got people accusing them of wanting attention, of wanting to tear people down, or wanting to….whatever it is the shitheads say when someone comes forward and tries to do something for other people now. And they get to see, even if only on accident, how little any of us care about them except to figure out how to finesse a bit of convenience in order to feel good about ourselves. “Shit, what do I do about my issues of Seaguy? I loved Seaguy. Transmet meant so much to me; how the fuck can I keep those books in my house.” “Boy, I’m only going to read the trade of The Batman’s Grave on Hoopla—that’s a sacrifice.” I honestly doubt—even if they do think Abhay is clowning for the attention—they care nearly as much as they do about the fact that someone told them for years that they loved them and then just dropped them when that someon could no longer convince them to have cyber-hypno-sex.”

      I know there are genuinely good people who are report on comics, good people who work in comics, good people who read comics and write about comics and think about comics who are offended that Abhay writes as if we are all garbage people who care too much about stupid superhero comics and too little about other people. I know many of them would say they’re not offended, they’re just tired. They’re tired of Abhay’s shtick. They’re tired of the snark or they’re tired of how it seems like a ’90s message board blasting in their ears. Or they’re just tired of how Abhay acts above it all. Or they’re also tired of the way he acts like he’s nobody, not important, a tearful, lonely pornography watcher who himself is a terrible person. Or they just think it’s bad faith and inappropriate.

      But you know what? Those people are pretty good about talking about that on the internet. But I don’t hear them saying shit about how little nearly every person who contributed to that “wow, the WEF was amazing” article haven’t spent one second talking out loud about their own possible culpability. They don’t spend one second talking about how just about every publisher is making money with Warren Ellis collections, with trades with Cameron Stewart art in them, and what should be done if those books are no longer collected. They’ll talk about that amongst themselves, on chats, and in person, and on Skype calls…and there’s a lot of really understandable reasons why they wouldn’t say that shit out loud or online. Who wants to admit they were suckered? And who wants to admit they were being suckered and lose work, lose friends, lose anything for, for what? What’s gained by talking about that.

      We sure can talk about Abhay, though.

      And so I personally don’t mind if Abhay takes a few thousand words to savagely and satirically suggest this wouldn’t have happened in a good industry, and that anyone who hangs around this bad industry is either bad or a sucker or broken. I don’t mind it because I happen to believe part of the sad truth is this does happen in good industries. This happens in every industry. It just doesn’t happen as much in a lot of other industries because those industries had the bad luck to exist when labor unions and labor laws existed and were enacted. Any industry that treats its workers like disposable filth is just working from the comic grifter template, which is why there’s abhorrent shit leaking out of all kinds of industries nowdays. And if the people with the money had their way, it would just happen all the time in every industry, just predators drawing photos for young girls and sticking their tongues down the throats of strangers in bars and telling someone how incredibly talented they are and how great they are and how much they believe in them and you know, it’s a funny thing, well, no, I shouldn’t even really say this…

      I don’t mind because I do think if it sticks in people’s craw, if it’s not easily digestible, maybe something will change. Apparently, for a lot of people, that change is that Abhay isn’t funny anymore? Or Abhay has gone too far this time? Or the bit they spit up is the whole “I knew I never liked that guy for a good reason” thing.

      But maybe for someone they’ll just be unable to live with the situation the way it is and they’ll do something about it.

      Anyway, so long answer, Dan: yes. Yes I do believe Abhay Khosla is working in good faith. I do believe there are more ways to be on your side than to just swim with the current and hope it changes in the direction you hope it’d go. I think he cares, and I think he’s willing to go a lot further down the line and risk a little more than the rest of us for a lot of reasons, but mainly because he cares.

      And honestly, Dan, I think you do, too.

      I sure hope so, because otherwise you showing up and asking me about my feelings with Abhay feels a lot like you’re just trying to prove/score a point, and you care more about that (your point) than all the ugly shit Abhay’s talking about.

      I don’t pay much attention but I feel confident that you’ve posted elsewhere and extensively about how Stewart and Ellis did horrible shit to people who didn’t deserve it and how this industry needs a number of solutions, but especially a low tolerance threshold with those who enable such horribly inequal systems and those who enable those who abuse it. I’m sure you’ve posted that and not, I dunno, that you knew Ellis was up to no good because he’s been writing the same script since 1995 and that nobody’s going to miss Cameron Stewart as long as they can find a good colorist who’s willing to tidy up whatever a machine algorithm trained on Ty Templeton and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez can spit out. I’ll be honest—even if you did write something more along the lines of the latter, not the former doesn’t mean you don’t care. But maybe it means you should care a little more about some things and a little less about others. If so.

      Anyway: thanks for asking!

      • Nate A. Aug 8, 2020

        Until reading this exchange I didn’t realize how polarizing Abhay’s TCJ article was (at least in the Twitterverse).
        Generally, I’m of two minds on the piece. Like Jeff, I think Abhay is operating in good faith. I don’t think it’s possible to get as angry about an industry as he does unless you really love it, and I don’t think it’s possible to write an article of that length unless you’re legitimately angry about sexual predation and the industry’s failures to stop it.

        Then again, I think Abhay’s style undercuts his purpose in some significant ways. The jocularity is a tonal choice that given the subject matter is likely to alienate as many people as it amuses, and I don’t think the jokes throw new light on the incidents being discussed. Then there’s the self-deprecating autobiographical dimensions; jokes about one’s sexual hangups and comic convention gossip are maybe not the best jokes for an article about sexual harassment at comic conventions?

        (As an aside, the subject of one of the comic con rumors he repeats in the article expressed anger over his putting it into print. Thats seems like a big problem, ethically speaking.)

        A lot of this comes down to what we in the rhetoric business call ethos. If you’re a public writer, your prose is going to be basis by which most readers will evaluate your earnestness and authority. Sure, the content will play some role; Abhay stresses his first hand experience in comics, his years spent reading (and reading about) comics, and his profession to establish his credibility and to convey earnestness. But as noted earlier, the jokey presentation undercuts those gestures. And of course, reputation informs ethos, too. I’m sure a lot of people are dismissing or deriding the article because Abhay wrote it and they’ve decided they don’t like Abhay. But man, Abhay really turns into that skid, style-wise. If he cares as much about the issues being discussed, which I think he does, I don’t know if that was such a great idea.

        All that having been said, in a better world there would be so much writing about this topic that the tone of any single article wouldn’t be worth remarking on, and that’s maybe my big takeaway from all of this.

        I do want to thank Jeff for responding to Dan’s provocation… I think the exchange is evidence of concern about the issues at stake. And I hope the conversation continues in the comments section for as long as everyone can be nice about it.

        • Voord 99 Aug 8, 2020

          Nate A.’s comment makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t have much to add, but I wanted to chime in and agree. There’s absolutely no reason to question Mr. Khosla’s good faith, but his style may not be an ideal fit for this particular topic.

          I’m also a little uncomfortable with Mr. Lester’s argument that the responses of the relevant women to the article don’t matter much, because what they have already suffered is so much worse. I think that was the weakest part of his defense of his friend, and I do appreciate that he was defending a friend whom he felt was being unjustly accused. An apology to Lea Seidman and any of the other women affected by this who feel the same way as she does, for unintentionally having been insensitive — I think that would be appropriate, and it would not cost Mr. Khosla anything, or in any way weaken the very valid and important points that he is making.