Greetings, Whatnauts! Welcome to the 181st (or so) episode of Wait, What? The 181st! It sounds like it should be a platoon or a squadron or something, right? “The Fighting 181st!”
Anyway, start listening, and join us behind the jump for show notes detailing our battles on the shores of Ant Man (The Motion Picture), revealing how we stormed the first issue of Strange Fruit, and pointing out there may have been some minor infringements of the Geneva Convention in our discussion of the first two volumes of My Love Story!!
00:00-30:25: Greetings from Jeff “What Day Is It?” Lester and Graeme “Human Soundboard” McMillan, where we are not talking about comics anytime soon. Although we start off with Jeff’s review of Ant Man, which Graeme thinks is a very ambivalent appreciation for the movie, and Jeff insists is more of an ambivalent appreciation for the current state of popcorn movies.
Also discussed: noir films, original stories, possible sour grapes, problematic characters, and more.
30:25-49:17: Unsurprisingly unable to clarify his ambivalence, Jeff turns things around by asking Graeme what he thought, by contrast, of the Christopher Nolan movie, Interstellar.
Included in the discussion: the relatively amazing set-up of Interstellar; the sliding scale these days for good movies; True Detective, Season One, Matthew McConaughey, multiplication, and the sliding scale for sanity; True Detective, Season Two; James Ellroy and Thomas Ligotti and Alan Moore; Jeff mistakenly using the phrase “well-read” for “well-known”; this article link: ; this article; once again, these car commercials, and this parody that we didn’t mention (but should have).
49:17-1:12:28: And so, as Graeme says, “Welcome, Whatnauts, to Wait, What?, a comic book podcast where we have just spent 48 minutes talking about not-comics.” And so we figure, what the hell, let’s talk about Strange Fruit #1 by J.G. Jones and Mark Waid; the idea of Strange Fruit as a political book; the idea of discussing Strange Fruit as an inherently political discussion; discussing the discussion of Strange Fruit as an inherently political discussion; Jeff, after much hand-wringing, making a few generalizations to move his point forward; a rebuttal from Graeme; a rebuttal from Jeff; congratulations from our debate coach, followed by a post-debate visit to Wienerschnitzel.
1:12:28-1:23:55: Jeff’s read the second issue of Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, and has more problems with the second issue, which he refers to as “Wikipedia: The Comic.”
Also discussed: collaboration vs. interpretation; comic art vs. singing; Eddie Campbell vs. Jacen Burrows; “a milk” vs. just “milk”; Crossed +100 vs. LOEG: Nemo; and (alan) more.
1:23:55-1:50:17: Jeff has also read the first two volumes of My Love Story!! by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko, thanks to the recommendation of a whatnaut whose name he wasn’t able to dig back up by the time this was recorded (but is, in fact, Josh Tabon. Thanks, Josh!). After much begging, Jeff manages to convince Graeme to describe what he thinks the plot is of a manga called My Love Story!! (which for me is the highlight of the episode). Spoilers for that first volume as Jeff discusses the actual plot.
Also discussed: Graeme wonders if Jeff is ashamed of the manga he reads; a rebuttal from Jeff; a rebuttal from Graeme; congratulations from our debate coach, followed by a post-debate visit to A&W.
1:50:17-end: Techpocalypse! Of a most minor sort, so we get right back into talking about nerd culture, the one thing we hope that catches on from this episode, who’s writing the show notes this week (spoiler: I AM), and finally moving into closing comments! Next week is a skip week for us, and then we’ll be back with another Wait, What?, followed in turn by a Baxter Building. The Crying of Totebag 49! 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, 111 patrons make this whole thing possible! Be sure and hang out to the very end so Graeme can give more props to Power Up (which I overlooked in my show notes because I am dumb) and also to the second issue of Prez (spoilers: Graeme is “loving it to bits,” that second issue). And there’s a bonus in there as well at the very end: one of us is going to be special-guest-starring on a very wonderful podcast and you’ll hear who and where (even if you don’t find out quite when, because we don’t know).
And then…that’s it. For now! Make sure to read some comics, catch up on our episodes, send us a skittish mash note or two on the emails, and keep an eye out for our weekly posts from us and the amazing Mr. Terl!
And so for those of you who just want a link to copy and paste for your own nefarious reasons:
Just had a listen to your review of the Ant-man movie. While I can agree with a lot of the things you mentioned, there’s one you left out that is a huge part of why Ant-man wasn’t everything it could have been… All the ants in the film are CGI!
Marvel’s behavior toward the ant community in this regard has been shameful. With ant unemployment at an all-time high, why would Marvel use CGI ants instead of real ants? Not only do we need jobs, but we’re practically super-powered as it is (I can lift 5,000 times my weight). No need for stunt-ants either, we’re more than capable of doing our own.
Please show your support for the ant community and tell Marvel that CGI Ants are NOT OK! Hire real ants, no more CGI! Not only will it put unemployed ants to work, but it will also make for a better film experience.
Compared to the spam I’ve had to filter recently, this was genuinely charming.
I’m told all the real ant actors walked off set midway into production.
Yup, they discovered that acting is no picnic.
NB: Abel Meeropol’s wife was not a black woman. I think maybe that was a case of wiki-reading-on-the-fly.
Another fine podcast Jazzbo
Is it wrong that I want “jazzbo” to catch on, but maybe not “hotchacha” (unless the speaker is able to make jazz hands while doing so, of course)?
Only if Jazzbo is Zombo’s not-too-clever alias from his short-lived lounge lizard phase.
for the record, I was totally making mental jazz hands when I typed that.
While stuff should aspire to be something that it is not intending to be that doesn’t lessen what it should be.
Popcorn movies can and have been great and in a summer with Fury Road being a blockbuster just there to fill 2+ hours feels hollow.
Re: Strange Fruit
I really don’t like the idea of everyone flipping the hell out about a poorly executed but well intentioned work that deals with issues of race. It discourages other creators from trying to engage with the subject because they might not get it perfect either. Obviously discussion and analysis are good, and genuinely racist material should be called out for what it is but the angry reaction to this book I’ve read online seems way out of proportion to the sins they’re saying it committed.
Jeff Lester give Crossed +100 a read until the end- its a slow start but theres intriguing stuff in the middle and the big reveal in 5 and 6 are really masterfully done!
It wouldn’t surprise me if Providence goes the same way…
I second Jon’s comments. For a work-for-hire project, Moore certainly put his usual amount of work (that is – a lot) into C+100. What seems to be diferent in Moore’s work of the recent past (from the League of Exraordinary Gentlemen: Century and Neonomicon through Providence) is a slower, deliberate pacing and mehodology as opposed to his throw-it-against-the-wall-to-see-if-it-sticks approach of the America’s Best Comics era.
C+100 and Providence for me have been rich reads. The issues tend to linger in my mind for days after. I’m not a fan or the “realistic” art (I prefer O’neil’s cartooniness on he League” but it works fine with the story Moore is telling. What I like about the Avatar series C+100 and Neonomicon is how far the characters are in over their heads without knowing it. I’m sure the same will ultimately be true for Providence. What I also like about Providence in particular is the protagonist is somewhat of an unreliable narrator as you read between the lines of his journal and compare them to the actual scenes in the story. I’m also interested in how Providence will loop back into the Neonomicon story as both prequel and sequil bast on the 4th dimentional/time theory laid out in Neonomicon.
Finally, I always spend quite a bit of time with an Alan Moore comic. I usually go pretty slowly through them the first time and revisit them often. He really gives me my money’s worth!
PS: Interstellar started to loose me at the git go when the pick- up truck they were in blew a rear tire (they couldn’t afford a new one) and they then proceeded to drive through a corn field at 50 mph to track the wayward drone. damn fine writing. DePalma’s Mission to Mars is looking better to me all the time! Matthew McConaughey is the unsophisticated man’s “smart man.”
Well, I’m about to comment on Ant-Man even though I haven’t seen the movie. I know, I shouldn’t do that. But I’m genuinely curious/confused by what you really thought of it, Jeff. You sounded pretty underwhelmed by it, but you didn’t seem to want to admit you were underwhelmed. I suppose I’m coming at this with my own agenda, though, and I fully realize that! I just can’t seem to care about this movie. Of all the Marvel movies so far, this is the one I’ve been least interested in seeing. Why? A few reasons. I don’t care for the character much. I enjoyed Lang in Fraction’s and Allred’s beautiful FF run. Other than that, I’ve never much cared for any other interpretation of him or Hank Pym. Now, I dig Janet as Wasp. Always have. But when I saw she would not be in the movie and that the Evangeline Lilly character Hope would not be Wasp (at least during this film), then I went “pffffff.” I’m just tired of Marvel being such a boys club on screen. They have a varied and deep roster of strong female characters and I’ve been disappointed in how few of them are used in the films, or if they are used, how few of them actually get to lead the movies, or lead the teams in the movies, or have agency, or…or…or…just tired of it, that’s all. Get your shit together, Marvel, please. You are 12 movies deep now. And Fiege sounds insensitive when he replies to questions or comments about this. That bothers me too.
So, basically I’ve loved the MCU for years but I”m starting to sour on it, clearly. I’m excited for the Phase 2 (or is it 3) films like Dr. Strange and Black Panther mostly because I think they can take the MCU in new directions, which I think they really need to do at this point before it all starts to feel way too similar and stagnant. I realize these movies do well at the box office so there is little need for Marvel to diversify their strategies but if they continue like this I think a time might come when viewers do tire of this formula.
I love Paul Rudd, by the way. And I still don’t care to see this movie. I’ll leave with this – Ant-Man is never a character anyone thought would or should get a solo movie. Never. And then you have a character like Black Widow who is already established in the Avengers and Cap films who might easily have been spun into a solo adventure movie. But have we gotten that yet? Nope. Instead we have gotten Ant-Man. Ant-Man!! My god.
I’m sure I’ll see this film at some point. Maybe I’ll be completely blown away by and change by opinions on all this. We shall see!
Listening I got the opposite impression, that Jeff really liked it and enjoyed himself, but couldn’t bring himself to admit that he enjoyed himself so in his Jeff way he sought to qualify it and make sure that everyone knew that he thought it had flaws.
That the movie actually seems like something Grame would have enjoyed and Jeff’s “defense” of it made it sound like something Grame would not seems pretty typical “Wait, What?” formula that keeps me coming back week after week and patiently waiting the day my medical bills are done so I can contribute to the Patreon.