Yup, here we are with another two hour episode!  Somehow we managed to squeeze in right after Image Expo and right before SDCC, which I personally think is appropriate.

Anyway, yes: Grab the episode!  Read the show notes!  Trade with friends!

00:00-15:24:  Salutations!  Once again, Graeme is hiding from the heat in his basement (and by “the heat,” we don’t mean “the legal authorities,” we mean, you know, temperature and stuff) while Jeff is more than happy to gloat about the amazingly mild weather in San Francisco.  Also discussed: movies and shows that make it a point to destroy San Francisco; what kind of earnings might we expect from Magic Mike XXL and will Channing Tatum see RDJ money; how Magic Mike XXL will win the holiday weekend (it didn’t); if Channing Tatum will become the next Will Smith (he didn’t); Graeme’s super-crazy week of preparation for San Diego Comic Con; and more.
15:24-38:19: Speaking of San Diego Comic Con, right around the time of recording this episode, the City of San Diego announced Comic Con would be there through 2018, a two year extension.  Graeme and Jeff talk about that, then swap stories about what’s happened at previous Nerd Viet Nams, and what surprises it might hold for Graeme this year; Graeme’s confusion about the Fourth of July; our last attempt to podcast during SDCC; San Francisco being without a comic book convention; Graeme not-so-discreetly trying to get Portland to bully in on SF’s possible future; and more comics precursor conversation.
38:19-56:37: And so we finally get to…no, sorry, no comics conversation yet, we’re afraid.  Instead Graeme has some thoughts about the first season of Fargo.  Jeff hasn’t seen it, but he has seen Twin Peaks so when Graeme tries to talk about BOB on Twin Peaks being a cop-out (especially compared to Fargo), Jeff has some choice words.  CHOICE. WORDS.  And I thought about trying to balance the Twin Peaks clip above with a Fargo one below, but I wasn’t sure how spoilery they might ended up being.  They had one clip on YouTube with Billy Bob Thornton pulling a kind of modified Takeshi Kitano gun fight thing that I liked, but there was a credit sequence at the end for some reason that went on wayyyyy too long.  So I went with this bundle of show trailers:

56:37-1:06:34:  Wait, when are they going to talk comics?  Now….after a fashion.  Which is to say, we talk about the All-New, All-Different Marvel announcements now that they’re finally out.  Oh sure, Al Ewing has three books and Tom Taylor has one, which is good news but weren’t the announcements kind of…blah?  Where is Jessica Jones? A solo queer lead?  Where is fucking RED WOLF, a character shown in the ads?
1:06:34-1:10:28: Quick segue: Graeme read Action Comics #42 by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder and really liked it.  And Graeme’s description sounds pretty great.  And then after that, we talk about Omega Men #2 by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda and some of the formal playfulness therein.
1:10:28-1:18:18: Which is why Graeme thinks if any of the All-New, All-Different Marvel books are going to be the next Hawkeye, it’s probably going to be The Vision by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. And we’re back to discussing the other announcements, and Marvel’s different publishing pushes, and writers who have stepped away from writing Marvel titles, Kaare Andrews not being allowed in the Marvel offices; and more.

(Sorry; could not find a bigger version…)

1:18:18-1:46:16: And because that Kaare Andrews story came out of the Image Expo, it’s a fine time to pivot and talk about the Expo 2015.  In the past, we’ve been underwhelmed by Expo announcements but we thought this was a pretty good year!  Among the topics discussed: Bryan Lee O’Malley (!!) writing a regular ongoing; Brian K. Vaughn and what Jeff sees as an ongoing attempt to calibrate against Robert Kirkman; the return of Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay; Sunset Park and Slave Punk, both by Ronald Wimberly, and much, much more, along with an ongoing contrast of the announcements from Marvel and DC (is it just us, or do the X-Men plans look kinda super-weird?).  Join us for a huge bowl of first impressions, idle guesses, rampant speculation, and anticipatory glee!

1:46:16-1:57:12: At some point, I decided to mark off another segment, since it’s arguable we run from the subject of new book announcements and have moved directly to talking about stuff we’ve read on the Internet, like Jeff Lemire being challenged to live up to adjectives, or a super-long “discussion” between John Byrne and Dan Slott that, depending on your age and/or outlook on life, will either depress you about the state of John Byrne or give you some hope about the state of Dan Slott.

1:57:12-2:03:49: It’s almost the end of the show!  Graeme has read a chunk of the original Micronauts by Bill Mantlo and Pat Broderick and it’s very game and very, very shameless.  He’s also read the last few issues of Steve Englehart’s West Coast Avengers, which are fascinating in the set-up for the new status quo, and then how the run gets  wrapped up by Tom DeFalco and Ralph Macchio.  Also included: the secret Simpsons reference Graeme didn’t get; more closure with Hank Pym.
2:03:49-end:  Opening comments! I mean: closing comments!  Gravity’s Totebag! Places to look for us at—Stitcher!  Itunes!  Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr )!  And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 106 patrons make this whole thing possible.
Remember: next week—skip week!  The week after that: Baxter Building Ep. 7, featuring issues #61-67 of the Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee!  And then Wait, What, Ep. 181 right after that!
Also: if you want just a link to the podcast to copy and paste for your own nefarious ends, check out the very first comment to this post.  If you’re going to SDCC, have a great convention: we’ll be here when you get back!

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19 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 180: Bombs Over Baghdad

  1. Jeff Lester Jul 6, 2015

    That number again:

    Operators are standing by now!

  2. Jeff Lester Jul 6, 2015

    Also, I almost posted as the first video a very long explanation of who the Grandmother and the Grandson were from Twin Peaks. That said, I think this description about the role of MIKE in relation to BOB makes a ton of sense:


    And also makes me think I might finally understand Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me after all these years!

  3. Fargo is Twin Peaks “done right”? Ohhh man. Nearly turned off right there and then Mr McMillan.

    • And surely Twin Peaks with all the supernatural elements taken out is Blue Velvet?

  4. John Q Jul 6, 2015

    It’s been so long since I’ve seen Twin Peaks that I can’t really compare the two, but I will agree with Graeme that Fargo is great. Definitely worth checking out.

  5. LAndrew Jul 7, 2015

    I think I missed the fill-in that set up Byrne’s WCA-era status quo. The last one I remember getting was the bizarre Mantis wrap-up, and then the next one I get Byrne’s here and the Vision’s the colour of sour milk.

    The perils of collecting off the newsstand, I reckon.

  6. I’m not sure, but I think that Bryan Lee O’Malley and Ronald Wimberly came to Image because of Brandon Graham. He’s friends with both, and is always talking up the freedom the company offers. Also, O’Malley seems to not like that his creative output takes so long to come out. Of course, this could just be me reading into things incorrectly on various Twitter/Instagram posts.
    I should also say that I didn’t mind Twin Peaks talk at all.

  7. Michael C. Jul 7, 2015

    So, thanks for sharing the info about Slott vs. Byrne. I perused it and holy fuck was that depressing. I am a huge fan of Byrne’s work from the Bronze Age through the early ’90s. His X-Men run with Claremont is my favorite of all time–I love it irrationally and I know this. His Sensational She-Hulk is one of my next favorite runs. What I’m getting at here is that as an unabashed fan of his classic work, every time I hear what a total jerk he is, I just cringe and a little bit more of the inner child in me dies slowly. It’s made me reassess how I feel about his classic work, even. And while there are several problematic points to his classic work, all in all they are still seminal and important comics work from the early direct market age. The man was a superstar for a reason. Still. This is stuff with Slott is tough to digest. I’ve never really visited the Byrne forum much, but tales of its insanity are legendary. This one has to be right up there with the best (or worst?) of those tales. Seriously, Slott did his best, praise goes to him. The sad part is that Byrne just couldn’t seem to engage with him on any meaningful level. The two of them could have had a nice spirited debate, even, if Byrne had just, you know, addressed some of Slott’s points like a regular person!! Instead, we got a bunch of nonsense. And it’s sad that he can’t even say that yes, for example, his run on Shulkie did indeed incorporate changes to the character that were, at the time, completely revolutionary for a character of that sort in a mainstream book, I’d say. I can’t even fathom why Bryne would NOT want to take credit for that! He’s an egomaniac, isn’t he?? Ugh. This is all making me tired.

    So now Byrne fits into that category with Frank Miller for me. Another of those creators from the 80s that had the deepest on this young comics reader back then who has seemingly gone out of his way to be as unlikable as possible in the years since, by basically ignoring the reality in which he took part in. Sad, indeed.

    Graeme: Micronauts! Yes, indeed! The finest uncollected work from Marvel, agreed. I’ve not read the entire first volume, not even close, but I owned a handful of issues as a kid and was really into them. In recent years I’ve picked up another bunch of issues in bargain bins here and there. Lord, what a fun series. Mantlo at the top of his game, and consistently great art too – Broderick, Michael Golden, Gil Kane!

    This Micronauts reminds me – did you all see that Atari Force will be coming back into print soon! From Dynamite, I believe. They’re going to reprint and Jose Louis Garcia Lopez series from the 80s. I’ve never read it and never seem to find back issues anywhere either, so this excites me to no end. I’ve been a real Bronze Age sci-fi/fantasy comics kick of late, so this is perfect news. I recently found all seven issues of DC’s late 70s series Starfire (their original Starfire, no the Teen Titan Starfire) at my LCS and scooped them for up for cheap. These are amazing! Have you guys read these? If not, please do. I think you’ll find them a ripping good time. Really unique for the time too, to star a kick ass female lead, too.

    • Michael C. Jul 7, 2015

      Sorry for all the typos in that post, yeesh. Micronauts talk gets me excited, what can I say.

    • Murray Jul 7, 2015

      DC’s *original* original Starfire was from Teen Titans. December 1968. Issue 18, I think. A Russian dude who has issues with Kid Flash. But the series you’re thinking about was definitely the first series to headline a character with that name. And a great series it is, too.

      • Michael C. Jul 7, 2015

        Ohhhh interesting. I should have said “first woman named Starfire in DC Comics.” Either way, a great series indeed.

    • daustin Jul 14, 2015

      Byrne, Miller and, of course, Dave Sim. Though if it’s any consolation, I get the sense that the offensive old cranks that these guys have curdled into are not necessarily a fair reflection of who they were when they were in their prime.

      And at least they didn’t retroactively taint their legacy the way Cosby did, so … perspective.

      • Jeff Lester Jul 16, 2015

        I really do wonder if there’s something to all the hours spent working on comics pages alone with only conservative talk radio to listen to that gives comic book artists a higher “offensive old crank” ratio than in other fields. Although if there was ever a line of work where you had to buy into brutal darwinism in order to just participate, it’s comic book artistry. So maybe it’s just something the system itself tends to skew which personalities can thrive.

        Whatever their politics (and it’s clear that Sim at least has come a long way from his original positions), the work in their prime certainly transcended it.

  8. Brendan Jul 7, 2015

    Wow, I did not expect Graeme’s enthusiastic reaction to the Image Expo, especially after saying their was going to be bitchiness last episode. BUT the O’Malley and other names that popped up were nice surprises. Other than that it was kinda usual suspects doing sic-fi again to me, and considering books I was excited about from 2 or 3 expos ago are just coming out now, I am prepared to bitch a bit. Also the expo confirmed Brian K. Vaughn is as full of s as he seems, but maybe he’s not ticking that many people off because people didn’t go for his digital platform? Kinda undermines and proves his Panel Syndicate/Private Eye mission at the same time. I guess I can’t blame the man for trying to make a hype train all by himself. The internet can be a big bad void sometimes.

  9. Zaragosa Jul 7, 2015

    I was also very surprised by Graeme’s enthusiastic reaction to the Image Expo. A more diverse line-up of creators, for sure, and that’s wonderful… but as to the actual books announced? Err… Strikes me as, by far, the most boring group yet: BKV writes zombies? Um, who cares. BKV and MM reprint their revolutionary online-only comic? Whoopee. Rucka writes *another* procedural with a female lead (on the heels of Q & C, Stumptown, etc)… only this time with magic! Oh, joy. And Scott Pilgrim dude dips his toe into pamphlets for a rather slight sounding book. Yippee. And yeah, Kaare Andrews draws beautufully, but as Graeme mentioned, Andrews may not be quite there yet as a writer. So, where does that leave us? I don’t mean to be too snarky here, but what exactly was EXCITING about this expo? I love Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera and Wimberley draws like a mofo… but what else do we have here? None of these books sound anywhere near as exciting as previous announcements for books like SAGA, SOUTHERN BASTARDS, INVISIBLE REPUBLIC. Even the STRAY BULLETS coming to Image announcement was way more shocking and amazing than anything we just heard (not sure if that happened at a previous Image Expo or not).

    • Zaragosa Jul 7, 2015

      Oh, yeah — and Jeff was right-on about the premise of that Gail Simone book sounding boring as heck, too. A hitman becomes a housewife and vice-versa! Sounds like a goofy 80s comedy/action film pitch. And… Warren Ellis does another mediocre scifi and/or supernatural story he’ll never finish, or if he does, have absolutely no ending for (see: OCEAN, ORBITER, DESOLATION JONES, et al). Yay, Image revolution!!!

  10. In answer to Graeme’s question about whether the storyline with Hank Pym’s first wife was resolved prior to his return to the WCA in Byrne’s run – it was, in the Hawkeye strip in Solo Avengers (issues 14-16 to be precise). The resolution (spoiler alert) was that it turned out to not really be Maria Pym, and ended up being SODAM, later MODAM, the short-lived female version of MODOK.

  11. A few thoughts:

    1) Graeme McMillan: Wrong on BOB, Wrong for America. (he’s too busy at SDCC to see this…right?) Also, FIRE WALK WITH ME blurs the line between BOB and his host in a way that doesn’t let the latter off the hook as much as the series proper seems to.

    2) I was less cynical about the Panel Syndicate news–if the cost of a PRIVATE EYE print run is Kirkman is letting BKV put an exclusive run of pop culture’s biggest comic phenomenon on his little pay-what-you-want digital service, and the ability to capture all those eyeballs (and email addresses) for his next Panel Syndicate launch, that seems like a fair trade. At the very least, it didn’t seem like BKV admitting defeat to me.

    3) I was surprised by the blandness of the Marvel announcements too, but after seeing the marketshare lost during DCYou’s launch, maybe Marvel has spent the last year quietly learning a lesson about the marketability of books with varying tones of quirk.

  12. David Morris Jul 10, 2015

    Ahh, digress away, guys. You’re pretty charming, even when I disagree with you. On which note… Micronauts best uncollected Marvel series? Sure, it’s good fun and I fill those gaps when I can (when it’s cheap, hem, hem), but where does Master of Kung Fu sit in this list? Started by Englehart and Starlin, with arguably Doug Moench’s best work and great runs on art from Gulacy, Zeck and Gene Day isn’t this in your house of wheel? Also, the truly tragic end, involving Day’s death shortly after and bitter accusations directed at Jim Shooter, is one of the really bad Marvel stories. Also, what’s your take on the racism of the series? One of the memorable bits of following these comics in my teens were Bill Wu’s on-going letters on depictions of Asians and his critique of Fu Manchu, especially. It was the letter column’s letter column in the 70’s.
    In these times, when both Marvel and DC are trying to use ‘diversity’ as a marketing tool, it’s also sobering to wonder if we’ve had a non-white character with a longer continuous run than Shang-Chi?