Wait, What? Ep. 165: Very, Merry

December 15, 2014

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 San Francisco had some rain.

Yes, because San Francisco had rain, we had no internet access in our home over the weekend, and while I was perfectly able to mix our recorded podcast, I wasn’t able to quickly pull otherwise easily retrievable  information, music, pictures, right off the web.  So instead you get a very forthright intro from the Blind Boys of Alabama right here in the show notes!

But…not a lot of pictures, still, because once the Internet came back, I decided my time might be better spent trying to get links for a lot of the various books Graeme and I talked about since this is our “Best Of” episode, and part of the point of releasing a “Best Of” episode is that it gives you, the listener, time to actually score some of the “Best of” titles should you so choose.

So!  That said!  Let’s hit the ground running.  Oh, but before we do, remember:  if you just want a link of the episode without having to deal with our wacky player, just jump to the very first comment where I’ll provide you with that direct context-free link.  Okay? (S’alright.)

00:00-26:06: Greetings! And get off our lawn! Graeme is cranky; Jeff is cranky, and also overcaffeinated. Do you dare listen to our opening section and learn the secret of…. M.O.D.O.P.? Also discussed: is the term “professional podcaster” suspect? And: Youtube and Vine (not an updated Tom Waits album). And: blood pressure. And: TrollCon. See also: fandoms in revolt.
16:06-22:06: Here’s where we sort of segue into talking about comics (kinda?) as we talk a bit about the reaction to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet, and how fraught conversation can be in between the trolls, the boosters, and the naysayers.
22:06-28:36: And from there, Jeff starts talking about assembling his half-assed “Best of” comics list for this year, and we start talking about how ridiculously poorly read we are and therefore absurd that we are assembling these lists, our mainstream biases, the need for people to know these biases, and more.
28:36-45:36: All that in mind, with commentary and discussion, here comes Graeme’s Best of list for 2014! (But with Jeff butting and dropping some of his choices in the mix, too.) Mentioned: The Wrenchies! The Hospital Suite!Nijigahara Holograph! Lumberjanes (Boom!) by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen! Gotham Academy (DC) by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl! Boredom with the White Guy Narrative; a great post Jeff read about comics for queer ladies that Graeme thought was on Ellie Collins’ Tumblr, but was actually at Fantastic Fangirls; fiction as a kid reader vs. fiction as an adult reader; Lawless, the Dan Abnett/Phil Winslade strip from Judge Dredd Megazine; “Shooter’s Night,” “Titan,” and “Mega-City Confidential” from 2000 A.D..; and the year for 2000 A.D. generally (not to be confused with the year 2000 A.D. generally).
45:36-58:33: Just throwing a random line break to push these show notes out a little. We’re still on Graeme’s list but we do have a lot of titles that cross over for both of us such as: Wild’s End (Boom!) by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard; Transformers vs. G.I. Joe (IDW) by Thomas Scioli and John Barber; and Afterlife with Archie (Archie, natch) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacala and Francisco Francavilla . Also mentioned: The Wicked and the Divine (Image) by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (with spoilers for the end of the first arc); Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, with additional chat about the Wilson’s appearance at the Marvel Creative Retreat.
58:33-1:15:14: The New Batgirl (DC) by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr! Jeff didn’t put it on his list but he’s very, very glad it’s around; Graeme did put it on his list and can’t bring himself to discuss the latest issue since it would spoil it for Jeff who hasn’t read it. (So, if you haven’t read it yet, make sure you do before the next episode, because we will probably talk the crap about that. But if you have read it, you’ve probably already seen, or might like to see this). Also discussed: the Batman titles; Marc Silvestri on a Batman title; Dark Knight 3 and an extended chat on the discomfort of feeling bad for Frank Miller; the influence of Steranko; the two line review of Citizen Kane


and more.
1:15:14-1:18:41:  Graeme still can’t get through his list because Jeff keeps interrupting so Jeff promises to stop (and then keeps interrupting).  Discussed:  Flash Gordon by Jeff Parker, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and Jordie Bellaire  (Dynamite)!  Zero (Image) by Ales Kot and collaborators!  Saga (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples! The Private Eye (Panel Syndicate) by BKV, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente!
1:18:41-1:26:19:  TECHPOCALYPSE  (boy, that hasn’t happened to us in a while. I almost miss ‘em.)  And then we’re back to talk about scheduling, the potential snake in the garden of this current strong crop of indie books…or rather we’re back to talk about how we should talk about scheduling, the potential snake in the garden of the current super-strong crop of indie books, and then we get back to Graeme’s list.  Amelia Cole (Monkeybrain/IDW) by Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride and Nick Brokenshire; Multiversity (DC) by Grant Morrison and various; Nobrow #9: It’s Oh So Quiet (Nobrow) by various; (In A Sense) Lost and Found (Nobrow) by Roman Muradov; Over Easy (Drawn & Quarterly) by Mimi Pond; and Southern Bastards (Image) by Jason Aaron and Jason LaTour.
1:26:19-1:38:10:  Okay, Jeff’s turn!  Even though it has fiscally wounded him, he loves the collection of Jiro Kuwata’s Batmanga, whether in print or digitally for the Kindle or on Comixology; Sexcastle by Kyle Starks (self-published); Copra (self-published and distributed by Bergen Street Comics Publishers) by Michel Fiffe (as both a trade and an ongoing); Michael DeForge’s Lose #6 (Koyama Press) and his collection Very Casual (also by Koyama Press); Oglaf Book Two (Topataco) by Doug Bayne and Trudy Cooper; Transformers vs. G.I. Joe (as mentioned above); Grayson (DC) by Tom King, Tim Seeley, and Mikel Janin, Scooby Doo Team Up (DC) by Scholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela and varios; Annihilator (Legendary) by Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving; Multiversity, Saga, and Wild’s End (as mentioned above);  and Alan Moore’s story in God is Dead: The Book of Acts (Avatar), illustrated by Facundo Percio.
1:38:10-1:56:51:  Jeff also wants to give shout-outs to those books he wouldn’t really call “the best” of the year, but are part of the strong crop of titles he keeps talking about that keep him coming into the shop (almost) every week:  Mighty Avengers (Marvel) by Al Ewing and various; The Fuse (Image) by Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood; Sex Criminals (Image) by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (with an extended chat about the latest issue); Pretty Deadly (Image) by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, and Jordie Bellaire; Batman (DC) by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo; Batman & Robin by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason; Southern Bastards (as mentioned above); She-Hulk (Marvel) by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, and others; The Walking Dead (Skybound/Image) by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, and Cliff Rathburn; Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta (Skybound/Image) by (yes) Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta; That’s Because You’re a Robot (Image) by David Quantick and Shaky Kane; Judge Dredd Mega City Two: City of Courts (IDW) by Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farina; Snipe (Comixology Submit) by Kathryn and Stuart Immonen; Graeme remembers now that he wanted to mention Harbinger (Valiant)  and The Second Life of Doctor Mirage (Valiant?) which I should look up the creative teams for but I’m not going to because embedding this many links in one post has already made me want to lose my mind; Jeff has good things to say about the first few issues of Loki by Al Ewing, Lee Garbett and others; the lovely done-in-one goodness of Moon Knight by Warren Ellis, Declan Shelvey, and Jordie Bellaire; All-New Ghost Rider by Felipe Smith, Tradd Moore, and others; Hawkeye (Marvel) by Matt Fraction and collaborators (but most especially the epic of David Aja); and The Fade Out and the conclusion of Fatale (both Image) by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.
1:56:51-end: Closing comments!  Christmas cheer!  Apologies again for not having our Avengers talk but we promise we will finish our read-through of the first 300 issues in our very next podcast.  Also, next podcast:  a great giveaway!  And maybe some contributions from the wonderful people who’s contributed to us on Patreon where, as of this count, 87 patrons make this whole thing possible.) And don’t forget: A Charlie Brown Totebag Christmas!  Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr!

Keep an eye out for us since the final date of our podcast is up in the air (I’d peg it as being that last Monday in December, though), please have a safe and sane holiday season, and, as always, we thank you for listening!

EDIT:  Oh, crap.  I forgot I told Graeme to give me his Best of list so I could just reprint them right here at the end if you wanted an easy reference.  Check ’em out behind the jump!

So here’s Graeme:

Because you asked for it

Lawless (Judge Dredd Megazine)
Afterlife with Archie
Transformers vs GI Joe
Wild’s End
Wicked + Divine
Ms Marvel
Flash Gordon
Multiversity but esp. Pax Americana #1
Final issues of Harbinger
Nobrow 9: It’s Oh So Quiet
Amelia Cole
(In A Sense) Lost & Found
Over Easy
Southern Bastards

and here’s my monstrous looking list:

GNs, OGNs, Reprints, etc.:

Sexcastle (Kyle Starks, not yet in print?)
Wrenchies, Farel Dalrymple (First Second)
Hospital Suite, John Porcellino (D&Q)
Nijigahara Holgraph, Inio Asano (2013?, Fantagraphics)
Copra, Michel Fiffe (Bergen Street Comics Press)
Very Casual, Michael DeForge (Koyama Press)
Oglaf Book Two, Doug Bayne and Trudy Cooper (Topatoco) (Saga of the Funworm!)


Transformers vs. G.I. Joe (IDW)
Grayson (DC)
Scooby Doo Team-Up (DC)
Batmanga (must read although….) (DC)
Annihilator (Legend)
Multiversity (DC)
This year in Judge Dredd in 2000 A.D.: “Shooter’s Night” “Titan” and “Mega-City Confidential”
Zero (Image)
Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
Lose #6 (Koyama Press)
Flash Gordon (Dynamite)
Copra Michel Fiffe
Saga (Image)
Alan Moore’s story in God is Dead: The Book of Acts (Avatar)
Wild’s End (Boom!)

But really what’s amazing is when you’ve got a year with so many strong books. Not “best of” but books that come really close to being great:

Mighty Avengers (Marvel)
The Fuse (Image)
Sex Criminals (Image)
Pretty Deadly (Image)
Walking Dead (Image)
Batman (DC)
Batman & Robin (DC)
Southern Bastards
Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta
New Batgirl (DC)
That’s Because You’re A Robot
Judge Dredd Mega-City Two City of Courts
Snipe (self-pubbed, Comixology submit?)
Loki (Marvel)
Ghost Rider (Marvel)
Hawkeye (Marvel)
Moon Knight by Ellis, Shavley, Bellaire (Marvel)
The Fade Out and Fatale Brubaker and Phillips (Image)

Again, Happy Holidays!



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15 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 165: Very, Merry

  1. Jeff Lester Dec 15, 2014

    Here is your non-player-loading firsties link:


    Again, happy holidays to you!

  2. Zaragosa Dec 16, 2014

    Just over an hour into the episode, gents… Great, as always. One question occurs to me:

    Is Graeme the only person of his generation hosting a comics podcast who has never been a fan of Alan Moore or Frank Miller?

    Jeff repeating the word, “Wow,” after Grame said he never liked Miller was priceless.

    • I really, really hope that’s not the case. AM I ALONE IN THIS UNFORGIVING WORLD?

    • Jeff Lester Dec 16, 2014

      This is a great question and it’s never occurred to me. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was inded the case, however.

  3. Ian Brill Dec 16, 2014

    I.N. J. Culbard’s a fellow. The “I” stands for “Ian”.

    Wild’s End is great! I try to read every issue here in the office before they go to the printer.

  4. Eric R Dec 18, 2014

    Nijigahara Holograph came out in 2014, which was listed at the bottom on the paragraph with all of the publication information. The copyright date is the year the copyright was assigned not the year the product came out. For example, NH started in ’03 but the copyright is for ’06 when the collected version came out. This is also why NH has two copyright dates, one for the Japanese version and one for the English version.

    Anyway, lots of stuff I’m going to see if the local library has or hope they get in a some point. Also, I’m sure the differences in organizational styles between Jeff’s and Graeme’s list say something deeply profound about the podcast but I’m not sure what that is.

    If this is the last podcast for the year then I just want to say I’ve really enjoyed the podcast for the past year, and more, and have no problem continuing to support the site as long as you keep putting out excellent podcasts and posts. Definitely looking forward to the final Avengers podcast, a hopefully upcoming Q&A episode and whatever you guys come up with for however long you guys keep up with the site.

    • Jeff Lester Dec 20, 2014

      Eric: Thank you for the correction, and also all the super-kind words about the podcast. You and all our other listeners have really helped motivate us to try and step up our game and keep it high. We are incredibly grateful.

  5. I kept wondering why there isn’t more love for Amelia Cole, especially from the media outlets that periodically list a few Image comics and tout them as progressive and innovative and fun and whatnot. It might not be as polished as those books are, but it sure has a lot more heart and in the end it’s a more rewarding read.

    • Jeff Lester Dec 20, 2014

      It’s true that the book seems underdiscussed, which is why I’m glad Graeme continues to stump for it. Hopefully, that tide will turn at some point.

  6. On Ms. Marvel being good for superhero comics (in addition to being a good comic): I don’t know if you guys caught the Nerdist Comics Panel with G. Willow Wilson, but when they go to audience questions, you get a real sense of the effect this comic is having on the fan base. Like 5 out of 6 audience questions were from women, which has to be pretty rare at NYCC (worth noting that it was a general writers panel with several creators, not just Wilson). If you go to the 16 minute mark, you’ll hear one Pakistani-American fan crying tears of happiness as she talks about finally seeing herself represented in comics. It’s great.

  7. Mike Loughlin Dec 20, 2014

    Great lists, guys! I look forward to checking out several items on it, especially The Wrenchies.

    For my money the best comic of the year was Stray Bullets: Killers. It was just as good as the older stuff, bleak and funny and drawn with panache. In a perfect world, it would be selling at least 10 times what it does.

    Have a great holiday season!

    • Zaragosa Dec 22, 2014

      Could not agree more regarding STRAY BULLETS. It remains a stone cold masterpiece of crime fiction mashed-up with idiosyncratic, utterly batshit, comic-booky flights of fancy. It is without question my book of the year, as well. Not getting the sales (or the critical attention) it so richly deserves. Would LOVE to hear Graeme and Jeff’s thoughts on the series as a whole, the old run and the newer issues.

    • Jeff Lester Dec 28, 2014

      Thanks, Mike! I’ve been stockpiling issues of Stray Bullets, I should really tuck in and read it considering how much I loved it back in the day.

  8. David Morris Aug 25, 2016

    ‘Wild’s End’ is great, but it’s worth noting it wasn’t the only anthropomorphic War of the World’s mash-up in comics that year. Usagi Yojimbo had the ‘Senso’ story, which had the layers of Japanese culture actually having been forced to change by aliens with more advanced tech.
    I’d like to read more about what’s good about Amelia Cole, as I don’t get it. I enjoy the art (reminds me a bit of Scott McCloud on early Zot) and I like the golem. I’ve only read the first book, but the set up of the oppression of magic users in the world Amelia arrives in didn’t make sense to me and Amelia came off as too emotionally numb to understand. That would be OK if I was confident it was intentional, but I really wasn’t sure that having lost so much already, she pretty much just expects to be all alone was the story the authors intend.