Okay, papa’s diving right in here because papa’s only got a few hours before he has to take his computer in to get looked at and hopefully fixed. Remember, if you just want a straight link to the podcast and don’t want to fuss with our player, or our RSS feed, or Stitcher or iTunes or anything, look to this post’s first comment where you can grab something to copy and paste to your preferences. Okay? Okay.
And I’m tucking the rest of this sucker behind the jump because this is a *heavy* image post.
00:00-2:34: Introduction! Graeme has a message for the listeners! A strangely intimate message! A terrifying and strangely intimate message!
2:34-1:03:37: And then we are off to the races! Because we were recording this on the day the the #fourcomics meme was breaking across Twitter, Graeme and I brainstorm some lists of our own four comics, with maybe a bit more context than you would get if we were just tweeting them (kind of a shame in a way, since one of the things Graeme really appreciated about the #fourcomics meme was how little context or justification people gave. Hopefully we can make up for the overabundance of context with a matching superabundance of enthusiasm?)
Anyway, Graeme had three lists of four comics each:
Four Comics That Made Graeme Rethink What Comics Can Do
Doom Patrol #42 (the Flex Mentallo issue) by Grant Morrison, Mike Dringenberg, Doug Hazelwood, and Daniel Vozzo
Gloriana/Or Else #2/Gloriana by Kevin Huizenga
Graffiti Kitchen by Eddie Campbell
Four Comics That Got Graeme Hooked In The First Place
(all from different times—trust me, listen to Graeme’s explanation and it’ll make sense):
2000 A.D. Prog #228 (first appearance of Rogue Trooper!) by
Rogue Trooper – Rogue Trooper (Gerry Finley-Day – Dave Gibbons)
Nemesis the Warlock – book one (part 7) (Pat Mills – Kevin O’Neill)
Judge Dredd – Judge Death Lives (part 5 – final part) (John Wagner and Alan Grant – Brian Bolland)
The Mean Arena – The Penzance Riggers (part 3) (Tom Tully -Eric Bradbury)
Strontium Dog – The Kid Knee Caper (part 1) (Alan Grant – Carlos Ezquerra)
Superfriends #45 by E. Nelson Bridwell, Romeo Tanghal, and Vince Colletta
Uncanny X-Men #185 by Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Dan Green
Legends #1 by John Ostrander, Len Wein, John Byrne, and Karl Kesel
Four Comics That Got Graeme Back In When He Thought He Was Out
Zenith Phase #1 by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell
Deadline #5 with material by Nick Abadzis, Philip Bond, Jamie Hewlett, D’Israeli, Peter Miligan and others
The Invisibles #1 by Grant Morrison, Steve Yeowell, and Daniel Vozzo
Not a bad little set of comics, eh? And, in case you were wondering (and we hope you were because he’s also part of the podcast):
Four Comics That Got Jeff Hooked In The First Place
Amazing Spider-Man #129 by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia, and Dave Hunt
Uncanny X-Men #98 by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, Sam Grainger and Janice Cohen
Captain America #175 by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema, Vince Colletta and George Roussos
Jungle Action #7 by Don McGregor, Rich Buckler, Klaus Janson and Glynis Wein
(but because Jeff forgot he had fourissues he also much later lists:
Tintin in Tibet by Hergé (as serialized in Children’s Digest)
Four Comics That Made Jeff Rethink What Comics Can Do
Love & Rockets #4 by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez
Arcade #6 by R. Crumb (Bearzy Wearzies!), Ted Richards (Willy!) Bill Griffith (Toadettes!), S. Clay Wilson, Justin Green, Kim Deitch, Spain Rodriguez, and most especially Art Spiegelman (Nervous Rex!) (among many others)
Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezu
(but of course Jeff has since wondered if he should have instead picked Jim #3 (vol. 1) by Jim Woodring which is why you can see it up there at the top of the post…because Jeff’s a cheater)
Four Comics That Got Jeff Back In When He Thought He Was Out
Saga of the Swamp Thing #25 by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, John Totleben and Tatjana Wood
Weirdo #12 by J.R. Williams, Peter Bagge, Bill Griffith, B.N. Duncan, Brad Johnson, Ken Struck, Ken Weiner, Ashleigh Talbot, Josh Alan Friedman and Drew Friedman, Dennis Worden, J.D. King, Xno, Rory Hayes, Bob X, Jim Woodring, and of course Robert Crumb
2000 A.D., edited by Matt Smith (from prog. 1806 on, in Jeff’s case) so:
Judge Dredd – The Cold Deck (part 1) (Al Ewing – Henry Flint)
The Simping Detective – Jokers to the Right (part 3) (Simon Spurrier – Simon Coleby)
ABC Warriors – Return to Earth (part 7) (Pat Mills – Clint Langley)
Brass Sun – The Wheel of Worlds (part 7) (Ian Edginton – I.N.J.Culbard)
Low Life – Saudade (part 2) (Rob Williams – D’Israeli)
Also discussed: Kyle Baker and Evan Dorkin, “Lester Fenton and the Walking Dead,” Guido Crepax, Zombo by Al Ewing and Henry Flint, The Walking Dead (sans Lester Fenton), The Fuse, Jess’s Tricky Cad, Chester Gould, and, as you cn probably imagine, much, much more.
1:03:37-1:21:08: Okay, enough old stuff! How about (new) Secret Wars? How about Marvel’s (new) live press conference, available on YouTube? Should we call it a reboot? A stealthboot? A backboot? And would all press conferences improve if they were held in comic book shops? Where will Skull The Slayer pop up? We are here to ask the hard questions, and then make up the goofy answers!
1:21:08-1:49:37: Graeme has not made it to the comic store, so Jeff tries not to give too much stuff away when gabbing about Star Wars #1 by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday which he got via Lootcrate; but he spends more time worrying about the fate of Batman and Robin by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray after reading issue #38; and The Kitchen #1 and #2 by Oliver Masters and Ming Doyle. Also, Jeff worries about the feeling he gets from Batman Eternal, which is that the creators are both rushing and stalling at the same time, and of course that leads to us spending a lot of time talking about the origin, design, and cybernetic hairnet of Brainiac, which leads to a very long discussion about John Byrne and Superman and just how very bad Future’s End has become.
1:49:37-2:06:17: Jeff has spoken on several occasions about his frustration about an inability for so many people to tell a good Superman story. Graeme has been thinking about this and has come up with a theory as to why this is the case. (It’s around 1:56:00 that Ernie and Gus Gus decide they have a lot to say on the subject, too.) With a chunk of conversation on the need for good Superman villains, the need for good supervillains, and the modern day handling of supervillains, old and new. Bonus: Graeme talks about talking to The Riddler and Leslie Tompkins.
2:06:17-end: Closing comments! We’re trying to wrap it up so that you’re only been deluged with seven hours of podcasting this month. A few things worth mentioning before we go: Graeme briefly discusses the last issue of the Parker/Shaner Flash Gordon, as well as thanking everyone for the wonderful response to the first episode of Baxter Building, our Fantastic Four read-through; and a reminder to look out for: Against The Tote Bags! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! iTunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 94 patrons make this whole thing possible.
We’ve finally hit a skip week so check in with us the week after next for Wait, What? Ep. 169, and then the second episode of Baxter Building just a week later! (Which, if you’re reading along with us, will be covering issues #13-24 of vol. 1 of The Fantastic Four.)
Thanks for listening and we’ll see you then!
Remember, that number to call is:
Operators are standing by now!
The download link works better without the additional initials at the end of it…
Hmm, no idea how those got there. Thanks for pointing that out–I fixed it!
I still can’t right click it…what am I doing wrong?
Sorry for the delay in replying, Tim! It’s not right-clckable: it’s “copy and paste into a new browser window”-able. (I suspect we should start saving money and time to upgrade our WordPress template at some point, huh?)
I’m not on twitter, so I’ll do this here:
Four comics I vaguely recall from early childhood:
1) Super-Goof. (Probably a Dell comic? How many different Super-Goof comics were there?)
2) One of the Spire fake-Archie Christian comics. (My grandmother meant well.)
3) One of those Superboy and the LSH 80-page giants. A lead story with Mike Grell art and backup reprints with Swan art. (Or at least swiping Swan style.)
4) Galactus vs High Evolutionary blown up to Galactus-size. The FF were guest stars in their own comic.
Four comics that changed my view of comics. This probably doubles as my “pull me back in” list, since I never made it anywhere close to out of comics, but I have changed what kind of comics I read from decade to decade.
1) The New Teen Titans (Wolfman/Perez) insert in DC Comics Presents. Other than FF, I was never much of a Marvel reader. So applying the Marvel style to DC characters not only revived my interest there, but also convinced me to try some more of Marvel’s output.
2) New Mutants “Demon Bear” saga. This is fresh in my mind from Rachel&Miles: Sienkiewicz was such a burst of energy. That expansion of what I need from comic art leads through Epic (Stray Toasters, Electra Assassin) to getting away from DCU/MU to more creator-led stuff.
3) The Wolverroach covers of Cerebus. I’d been aware of Cerebus before then, but these were the first I bought. I managed to hunt down the High Society back issues, and the Swords collections of the earlier material (this was before the “phonebook” editions). Another step toward self-published and creator-led material.
4) Mai the Psychic Girl. The First translations of Lone Wolf and Cub (and maybe the Epic translation of Akira?) were earlier, but they were somehow “more American”. Maybe because I’d seen them filtered through Frank Miller. Mai put manga on my radar as a thing unto itself.
5, cheating) Doom Patrol, Crawling from the Wreckage. Got to reference a pre-Vertigo book somewhere in here. I back-filled on Swamp Thing after Doom Patrol and Animal Man pulled me into the (soon to be labeled) Vertigo orbit.
6, blatantly ignoring the format at this point) Phonogram. A precursor of the “new Image”, which now constitutes the largest chunk of my buying.
Nice list! And you’re the first person I’ve heard of for whom Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans commute worked in the direction of DC to Marvel.
They should replace the dictionary’s definition of cyborg with “half computer, half dude.”
This podcast is so good. Ya’ll are the best there is.
Alright here are four formative comics of mine, just off the top of my head:
Calvin and Hobbes; I read this growing up and carried one of the collected editions practically everywhere I went. I reread the 10th Anniversary collection with the Watterson commentary until it literally came apart at the seams. A wide vocabulary and a taste for wry insightful sarcasm or some such seems to have been imparted to me, cause of this shit.
Morrison’s JLA; I read this in like the sixth or seventh grade or something and it blew my brain wide the fuck open. I remember writing some stupid school paper on synchronicity and coincidence ’cause of that Julian September story. Finding out later that Morrison was high as shit writing it and that he was basically doing the same thing with The Invisibles just made the whole thing that much better.
Moebius; It was The Gardens of Aedena that got me of course. The common one that everyone reads. I was reading some euro stuff and while Pratt and Crepax were great, there was something about Moebius’s work that felt very different. There was a mystical sense of freedom, grandeur, scale, and majesty there that spoke to me deeply.
Frank Santoro’s Cold Heat; I got handed this in art school and didn’t know what to make of it for the longest time. It just sat in the background as this fascinating little object that I couldn’t explain. And that inexplicable quality was incredibly powerful. Looking back, it was the gestalt of novel color use, the entoptic lines and the drugs/music/sex story. And I still really love it, even if I can verbalize my way through it better now.
There’s more of course, but that’s just the stuff that jumps out with a quick backward glance.
And there will eventually be a Patreon level where you guys hotbox a podcast room and laugh about Legion of Superhero names for like two hours straight, right? BECAUSE I WILL PAY. (Alternatively, I will also pay for Jeff to do his Mojo Jojo voice for a whole episode. Or Alan Moore meets Mojo Jojo to review what Jeff’s read that week. I WILL PAY, GUYS.)
Lists! I love lists.
Comics That Got Me Into Comics:
1) Archie Comics Presents: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3. First comic I ever bought, which probably tells you a LOT about how old I am.
2) X-Men Classic #79: reprinted Uncanny X-Men #175; turned me into the Cyclips fan I am today.
3) X-Men #20: first comic I bought where I KNEW I had to come back to the comic store next month and get the next issue – no more “buying it on the spinner at 7-11 every once in a while” for me.
4) Infinity Gauntlet #3: showed me how big and awesome and crazy the Marvel Universe was, and made me a fan of Jim Starlin’s Thanos for life.
Comics That broke my Brain:
1) Saga of the Swamp Thing #21: I read this year’s and years and years after it came out, and I’d had the ending spoiled for me by Wizard long before I picked up the issue, and it STILL floored me.
2) Transmetropolitan #4: Hunter S. Thompson in the future, discovered when I was angry and in high school and had literally just discovered Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for the first time.
3) Y: The Last Man #3: the point where I decided I would follow this Brian K. Vaughan guy wherever he took me.
4) Box Office Poison: my first real exposure to indie comics, and the first time I felt like a comic had been written about me specifically. My early 20s could map over Sherman’s almost perfectly, which I both adored and felt terrified by.
Comics That Pulled Me Back In When I Thought I Was Out is a hard one for me, because I’ve never BEEN out, or even really close to it…I don’t think my pull bag has dipped below 10 monthly comics since I got a paying job. But there are Comics a That Kept Me Going, so I thought I’d post those:
1) Scott Pilgrim Grts it Together: I once had an ex-girlfriend who told me I reminded her of Scott Pilgrim, which I initially took as a compliment (we were on good terms). I’ve since come to realize I’m pretty sure she was saying I was getting too old to be a slacker and should get my shit together and do something with my life.
2) Uncanny X-Force #1: kept me from abandoning the X-Men (and Marvel) when I almost walked away from the company.
3) Ultimate Spider-Man #1: introduced me to Bendis and cemented a burgeoning love for the hero.
4) Johnny the Homicidal Maniac #6: This one almost went in the first category, but I was already a pretty established comics reader when I picked it up. It did, however, show me there was amazing, weird, funny material out there that wasn’t Marvel that I should be seeking out.
Comics that got me into comics:
Two stick out-
1) Incredible Hulk 372: I’d read comics before, but a Dale Keown’s awesome art and the return of the green Hulk (I was vaguely aware of a grey one, and did not approve @ age 12) got me interested. Peter David’s character-driven writing and snappy dialogue got me hooked.
2) X-Men Classic, the issue that reprinted X-Men 130. Steve Lightle’s cover was so cool; a team portrait done all in yellow & red with no black lines. I started buying back issues of the series and read the bulk of the Claremont/ Byrne material. Soon after, I was buying the then-current Claremont/Lee Uncanny X-Men, but I preferred the older stuff.
The above comics were my main entry points. I started reading other X-books and What If…? after those, as well as New Mutants back issues and other random comics.
Comics that pulled me back in: I was never out, but Vertigo books of the mid-’90s got me through the dark days. Sandman, Preacher, and Books of Magic were favorites. Through Wizard (!), I discovered Stray Bullets and Milk & Cheese as well.
Comics that changed my perception of the media:
1) Elektra Assassin: Bill Sienkiewicz went from “scratchy inker guy” to “HOLY SHIT” and my favorite artist in one series. I read this book in the early ’90s and had never seen comic book art like the gorgeous/ugly/surreal illustrations in this book.
2) Sandman 50: The first issue of Sandman was also the first non-super-hero or licensed property comic I’d ever read. I was a bit scared to go outside my comfort zone, but liked it. The mind-blowing part was the end. It was bittersweet and anticlimactic and not what I expected.
3) Kabuki: David Mack’s use of symbolism, scene transitions, multimedia experiments, control of time, and airy but relatable writing hit me hard in my late teens/ early 20s.
4) Palomar/ Heartbreak Soup stories by Gilbert Hernandez. Unlike anything I had ever read.
Nice lists here, Mike. I probably should’ve put in Elektra Assassin because that was one helluva book, especially as the issues went one and Miller and Sienkiewicz egged each other on to untoppable heights of lunacy.
Loved this episode even more than usual, guys. Stellar work!!!
OK, here are four comics that broke my heart and my brain, off-top… This is all I have the bandwidth to handle at the moment…
1) Grant Morrison’s “Coyote Gospel” issue of Animal Man (#5). Even as a kid, this felt like a revelation.
2) Alan Moore’s “Pog” story in Swamp Thing (#32). One of the most lovely pieces of short fiction Alan Moore has ever done. Just heart destroyingly good.
(Err… It would appear I have a thing for post-modern takes on cute anthropomorphic animals. Probably points to something rather deep and heavy in my childhood. Alright!! Moving right along…)
3) Bill Sienkiewicz Sketchbook, published by Fantagraphics. For some reason, I bought a limited edition signed hardcover of this when I was 12 and proceeded to carry it around everywhere like my own personal holy book. “What?? He ONLY sketches in pen?!! No pencils allowed!!!!!??” This made my head explode as a youngsta.
4) Stray Bullets. More often than not, this book has always just slayed me. If I had to go with just one issue, I’d pick #2 from the original run. Just staggering work, all around — visceral and gonzo violent as fuck, yet so weirdly touching and humanistic.
Just a snapshot. These could all change tmrw…
Great list, Zaragosa. Especially Stray Bullets and super-especially that second issue which was truly epic.
Thanks, Jeff. Cool to hear you dig Stray Bullets, as well. Have you ever talked about it at length on the show? Have I missed that episode?
We haven’t talked about it at length at all: I’ve had the omnibus sitting on my shelf for months now and I keep meaning to tuck into the damn thing but I keep finding myself immersed in something digital, probably because of weak little forearms. I’m hoping I’ll get to it soon, because there were so many really amazing accomplishments by Lapham on this title.
Sweet! I’ll look forward to yourdeep dive into SB one day. It still seems like a bizarrely under-appreciated masterpiece to me in the American comics scene.
Love the site love the podcast. Hate the audio player. It doesn’t work well on a phone or tablet. Just wanted to give some feedback been listening and enjoying the show since 2012.
I really can’t remember the individual issues that got me in, but the titles that got me were Ditko and Lee’s Spider-man, Kirby and Lee’s Fantastic Four, Frank Hampson’s Dan Dare and Frank Bellamy’s Thunderbirds.
Jimmy Olsen #135- When I truly understood it was creators and not characters that delighted me.
Feiffer by Jules Feiffer. His Nixon cartoons were being run in the Observer in Britain while Watergate progressed. I was stunned by this dissection of power and corruption.
Arzach by Moebius- you really don’t need words to tell a story.
Cerebus #36, ‘The Night Before’, a twenty page conversation can be absolutely gripping.
Can’t really do the comics that brought me back in. There’s always been something new to interest me somewhere in the world.