File Jun 08, 4 18 25 PM

(From Star Wars #4 by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday.)

Ho, ho, howdy, Whatnauts and True Believers of all stripes!  As you can see, Graeme just put in a lovely little contribution to our website, so I decided to make this post image-free so as to take up less room (and because I’m sweating a big deadline, so….you’ll forgive me this once, right?)
00:00-13:42: Greetings from your anxious friends, Jeff and Graeme, currently recovering from a hell of a week over at McMillan Manors. So of course, Jeff decides it’s the perfect time to interrogate Graeme about his reading habits: how does Graeme read so much?  And when the hell does he find time to do it?  It’s a hard-hitting investigation, Wait, What? style!  Graeme recommends a book to Jeff, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte, which is a book that Jeff really, really needs. Also discussed: why Jeff hasn’t seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet, why we like people except when they’re around, spontaneity as a counterpoint to planning, Jeff’s terrible work habits, how Graeme McMillan got his groove back, and we all learn just how accurate Graeme’s nickname as “The Hardest Working Man on the Internet,” and more.
13:42-23:24: Oh, but don’t worry we have comics to start talking about: in particular, we have Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, a book so big Graeme is worried it would turn out to be a dog-killing vanity project.  And yet, as it turns out, Graeme thinks it is is very, very good with excellent new comics from Kevin Huizenga, Adrian Tomine (or is that a reprint), Guy Delisle, Kate Beaton, and many more.  (Jeff, for his part, is so consumed with envy he can’t really speak.)  The book is costly but it’s about the price of ten copies of Secret Wars #3 and, according to Graeme, you will get more than ten times the amount of enjoyment.  Or, as Jeff asks, will you?  Certainly if you’re Graeme (or Jeff) but what about others?  Sadly, we aren’t able to render the perfect irreducible unit of comic book comparison  but for a second, we do consider giving it a go, but only after a certain amount of quasi-reviewing/quasi-gabbing from Jeff about Secret Wars #3.
23:24-25:18:  Graeme has also read all of the Swords of Sorrow crossover over at Dynamite, and has surprisingly positive things to say about the Swords of Sorrow: Chaos Special by Mairghread Scott and Mirka Andolfo.  But does he like them $3.99 worth? Hmm…
25:18-49:39:  And, on a related note (inspired by Jeff thinking that there’s a chance that people may not have to pay $3.99 for the book if it ends up on sale at Comixology, not that he ever bothers to say that aloud), Jeff asks Graeme to handicap the first three weeks of The New DC52 Universe sale happening over at Comixology.  Turns out Graeme has already read a big ol’ chunk of the New 52 titles:  what would he recommend?  And what books are DC offering to put on sale that don’t actually exist?  Although this will get posted just as the first week of the sale is ending, we have weeks two and three covered for you, wonder if there’s going to be a week four, brief reminiscing over the Dr. Fate run by J.M. DeMatteis and Shawn McManus; some love for the Jeff Lemire scripted issues of Justice League Dark; the Tom Taylor stuff from Earth-2; Prez #1-4 (YES, GOD, YES); the first 40 issues of Hitman; Graeme points out some flaws in Jeff’s compulsive buying tendencies; and the paradox of DC offering up a big sale of New52 issues to get us excited about the “DC You” launch when, frankly, the DC You launch is a corrective to titles that weren’t working under the New52.  It’s a little bit of “you like this? Well, great, here’s a bunch of stuff you *won’t* like!”  Although, as Graeme points out, the series does serve as an inexpensive way to fill in the backstory for DC You books people enjoy but are jumping in cold, and he follows this up with some discussion of The Batgirl of Burnside trade by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, and Maris Wicks.
49:39-1:05:58: But then there’s stuff like all those issues of Omega Men which are tonally inconsistent with the new first issue by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda, which Graeme has read about and also recommends.  In fact, Graeme read all of the DC You launches from the first week and is very, very positive about them overall.  (Jeff, for his part, dug the book he picked up: Bizarro #1 by Heath Corson, Gustavo Duarte, and Peter Pantazis.) But Graeme also has praise for Midnighter (which he says looks amazing), Action Comics, and (not a DC You title but still enjoyable) Justice League #41 by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok; and then we return to talking about the first issue of Omega Men some more, some parts of the discussion guided by the interview Graeme did with writer Tom King for Wired.
1:05:58-1:18:36: From one galactic rebellion to another, Jeff has read Star Wars issues #4-6 by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, and Laura Martin. WARNING: JEFF SPOILS THE BIG REVEAL IN ISSUE #6.  We discuss action figure fun, a very odd Watchmen shout-out, the difference between fan-service and suffocating nostalgia (if there is one), the embarrassment of mixing up Kyle Katarn and Dash Rendar, the Venn diagram of good superhero comic, and more.
1:18:36-1:44:22: Pivoting from that, we discuss the All-New, All-Different Marvel announcements and Marvel’s attempt to get publicity without actually announcing anything.  Graeme runs it down for us.  Also a discussion about Secret Wars running late leads to much rampant speculation on Jeff’s part about reasons for some of the odder delays in Marvel’s schedule.  Also discussed: the backsliding of diversity in mainstream comics; the company that won’t be reported on; taking the phrase how the sausage is made to ludicrously literal extremes; and more.
1:44:22-1:55:20:  But enough of that!  Let’s talk about comics!  Jeff has read the first issue of Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, is kinda coolish about it, but unpacks the first issue in detail for Graeme. Jeff has also read issue #5 of The Humans by Keenan Marshall Keller, Tom Neely, and Kristina Collantes, which he describes in less detail but frankly enjoyed much more than Providence; Bizarro #1 (as mentioned above); and Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions #1 and #2 by Bob Fingerman (also reviewed by Jeff here).
1:55:20-end: For the second time in two episodes, Jeff starts sounding weird on Graeme’s side so we decide to call it a day.  And so….closing comments!  Was this our most bifurcated podcast ever?  If so…we’re sorry?   Come back next week for a Baxter Building podcast, and feel free to read Fantastic Four issues #54-60 (plus Annual #4) to experience the episode in 5-D!   Mortality and Tote Bags in Vienna! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! ] Twitter together (t) and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr!  And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 104 patrons make this whole thing possible!

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6 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 178: All-New, All-Deferential

  1. I love Graeme’s reference to the 2nd All New All Different teaser. The black-suited DD elicited an eye roll from me, but Graeme’s reference to Dr. Strange’s “fucking axe” drew genuine laughter.

  2. Oh, and I’m totally with Jeff’s theory on why all those Marvel books are late. In financial/business operational speak, you are talking about “operational revenue” versus “revenue growth.”

    If you look at a 10K, you can kind of see the trend of a business by looking at how much it’s cut its operational costs versus how much its revenue has increased. And also consider how many titles Marvel is adding. Expanding that much has a direct impact to the bottom line.

    Also, keep in mind that Marvel is no longer an independent company. It has no stock independent of The Walt Disney Company. On Disney’s 10K, they break their numbers down by Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products, and Interactive–not Marvel, Star Wars, etc. So the other alternative is that they’re responding to pressure from Disney to reduce costs.

    • Jeff Lester Jun 16, 2015

      Thanks for the feedback, Chris. The traditional take on Marvel/Disney is that Marvel has been free from the traditional tight fist of Disney with regard to costs, but that Ike Perlmutter is even stingier than they could ever hope to be.

      I’ve always assumed those in the publishing division are always aware of their quarterly benchmarks and take as many steps to get there in the most creatively fulfilling ways possible and when that didn’t happen, they got very creative with their balance sheet instead. But I really do know nothing so your post was super-helpful.

  3. Jensen Jun 15, 2015


    Seriously, though, great show. I’m totally on board in regards to Marvel’s “diminished diversity” and many of your comments were so refreshing to hear as I’ve thought them myself many times over the last few years. These days it’s like we’re supposed to be over-the-moon happy about every single mediocre Kelly Sue Deconnick comic Marvel consigns to publish, but I remember when Louise Simonson and Ann Nocenti were doing higher-profile work and selling more copies. I’m supposed to care about Silk when Marvel already had long-running Spider-Woman and Silver Sable books decades ago. Storm was the leader of the X-Men for like 20 years; she was possibly the most admirable and developed character during Claremont’s tenure, and yet even during the Reagan years I didn’t have to suffer through any sort of “culture war” commentary about her, or on the other hand did I have to read op-eds from Marvel shills about how Storm’s beatdown of Cyclops in X-Men 201 was some kind of historic moment for real-life black women.

    These days it’s just ridiculous, what we’re reduced to celebrating and how we’re overcelebrating it. Spider-Gwen is cool and great, but Spider-Girl was a series of series for like 15 years already. Yes I like Spider-Gwen more, but pretending that this stuff is kind of unprecedented is silly. It’s like somehow we have collective amnesia because I’m supposed to act like 12 issues of a She-Hulk series is a heroic “step in the right direction” or whatever, when there have actually been critically acclaimed She-Hulk series before now (believe it or not, Brett White!) and what we just got was literally the least successful run in the character’s history. X-23 is “the new Wolverine”, in some dubious extent? That’s cool. But I doubt that the character will have another 24-issue series, and oh yeah the high-watermark of the character’s visibility will remain her cartoon version that aired over a decade ago (you know, back when Marvel let the X-Men have cartoons).

    The most ironic thing about Marvel’s “diversity” push is that they already had one quadrant of their universe that was more diverse than their entire “All-Different” line combined: The X-Men… which, they’re sidelining now, at this juncture.