00:00-9:21: Hello, hello, hello!  Today you’re in for something out of the ordinary, as Gary Lactus (from Silence!), Chico Leo (of Fan Bros), and Paul O’Brien of House To Astonish join Jeff Lester on Battlepod for an infinite secret podcast crossover!  Yes, Graeme was whisked away by the Beyonder to another part of the strange dimension known as Battlepod, leaving me to fend for myself against three of the sharpest knives in the comic book podcasting drawer. First up are speedy introductions to one another—punctuated by a lot of “Fer Sure! Fer Sure!” in what is a sudden thickening of my native Californian accent—and then more formal introductions of each of our esteemed guests so you know who they are, where they’re from, and why they’re awesome.

captainamerica-thumbsup9:21-18:41: Intros out of the way, it’s time for us to turn to this episode’s theme (yes, a themed Wait, What? episode—the stakes get higher by the minute!): “The Worm Turns:  Characters, Creators and Books that we used to hate but now love or vice-versa.”  First up:  Paul O’Brien and Captain America!  Discussed by the group: propaganda, the monarchy, Frank Miller and Ales Kot, Mark Millar, good ol’ John Walker, and more.
18:41-36:34: Next, Chico Leo is at plate to talk about…Spider-Man! Discussed by the group: how a simple concept has grown less simple over time, and how attempts to simplify have somehow only made it more complex in some ways; The Simpsons vs. Harry Potter; John Byrne’s take vs. Dan Slott’s comic; the grating gear change at the end of Claremont-infused X-Men stories; Marvel continuity versus the imaginary stories of the DC Silver Age; the idea of the crossover as “naughty universe touching;” and more.
36:34-48:41: Gary Lactus is up next to talk…Bloodstrike! After discussing the history of the 90s and running into the arms of Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge, and Dan Clowes, Mr. Lactus has come around to talk the charms of one Robert Liefeld.  Discussed: feet; penises in jars; the Inkstuds interview with Rob Liefeld; the first issue of Prophet; the road from sunday school to Black Mass; “he’s a one note creator but sometimes all you need is that one note;” Rob Liefeld’s The Covenant; a quick break as one of Gary Lactus’s former heralds shows up to cause disarray; when the phrase “remarkably sane” is disappointing; and more.
48:41-54:12: “We’re definitely in the realms of freeformville,” Jeff announces.  “Is there anyone else who maybe has a creator up their sleeve that they have switched on over time?”  And of course Paul chimes in with the name everyone was surely just about to say:  Bret Blevins.  Also discussed: BRET BLEVINS; Louise Simonson; New Mutants; Meltdown: Havok and Wolverine; the importance of watercolors to telling a serious story in the Nineties; and more.
54:12-1:00:36: For follow-up, Chico Leo talks about both a creator with whom he went from “hate” to “love”—the mighty José Luis García López—and from love to hate: Mr. Frank Miller.  Discussed:  “the goddamned Batman;” the term “mind enema;” Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, and the difference between the artist and the art; the secret career of JLGL; and more.
1:00:36-1:10:33: Gary Lactus gets another turn at the creator flip and this time he brings up an excellent choice: Mr. Joe Matt.  Discussed:  confessional comics as the big thing of the ‘90s and what happened; our ability to share and get instant affirmation; Jeff doing strange things to the word “reportage”; Chester Brown’s Paying for It; guys growing up isolated in smaller industrial cities; and more.
1:10:33-1:29:43:  The book round!  Paul has an excellent choice for this, just as Gary did for creator:  Cerebus The Aardvark.  Mentioned:  The gnostic heresy, the perfect phrase “one of the most technically competent pieces of outsider art ever made;” the literal disbelief with which the turn of Sim’s intentions was greeted by on the Internet; the idea of Cerebus as three different comics; Speakers’ Corner; Gary’s inability to get into Cerebus; The Strange Death of Alex Raymond; watching someone box a stump; Terry Zwigoff’s documentary Crumb; Steve Ditko and Alan Moore; and more.
 1:29:43-1:36:52:  Gary Lactus has one last worm to turn, and it’s in regards to the Golden Age hero, Mr. Terrific.  It’s a delightful tale well told by GL, one that’s well worth a listen and also a great way to wrap up our adventure.
1:36:52-1:41:28: Because the shimmering cosmic curtain that has gathered is about to dissipate, a call is put out for closing shots.  Chico Leo weighs in with the book he once loved that now he hates:  Mad Magazine.  You may get a glimpse into the time displacement involved in the recording of this episode by our discussion of contemporary politics at the moment…
1:41:28-closing: Closing comments, in no small part because our bladders are incredibly full: each of us tells you where you can find us next. Since I covered a lot of that up in the intro, let me just add the twitter accounts for Mr. Lactus, Mr. Leo, Mr. O’Brien and myself.
And look out for Episode 7 of the Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts over at House to Astonish.
NEXT WEEK:  Graeme returns in a brand new black costume for Baxter Building Episode 11!!

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12 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 189: The Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts Crossover!

  1. Jeff Lester Nov 16, 2015

    Just in case you need a link for your cutting and pasting adventures:



  2. LAndrew Nov 16, 2015

    I think every comic book crossover should now be referred to as “comic book naughty touching,” now.

  3. Walter Nov 17, 2015

    Is it just me or are the time stamps off?

    In terms of Spider-Man and continuity, I feel like they never really embraced the idea of Peter being a married superhero. I know the marriage aged Spider-Man and a lot of people think that aging Spider-Man is what ruined the comic, but I think if they had handled it right, a much older Spider-Man could have led to some amazing stories. Whenever I think of a creator drastically aging a character, I think of Goku from Dragonball. When DB started Goku was a small child, but as the series progressed he got married, became a father and when the series ended he was a grandfather. And it worked! Dragonball became much more popular after Goku had his first kid. I don’t know if that would have worked for Spider-Man, but it would have been worth a try.

    • In Dragon Ball Z (in the beginning of the Buu saga) they were trying to introduce Gohan (Goku’s first son) as the main character but it didn’t really work and they brought Goku back.
      Dragon Ball Z was followed by Dragon Ball GT, a series by a different creative team which involved Goku being changed back into a kid by magic, and is generally reguarded as terrible.

      Not to say that taking Goku from child to father isn’t impressive, but it also eventually fell back into wanting to recapture the glory days.

      I would have like to hear more about Judge Dredd in this talk of ongoing continuity.

      • Walter Nov 17, 2015

        I think the failure of GT, and relative failure of the Buu saga, kinda proves my point. They both failed because they tried to recapture the glory days instead of moving forward. That’s why Dragonball Super, for all its failing, is doing much better from a creative standpoint than GT. It’s moving the story forward instead of trying to go back to the early days the series.

        I also think Judge Dredd is an interesting example of onging continuity. Definitely worth further discussion.

    • Jensen Nov 18, 2015

      Maybe it’s just me but I feel like the Wait What timestamps are off like 2 out of every 3 times.

      • Jeff Lester Nov 18, 2015

        Ugh, I wish it was just you, but the fact is I’ve got to come up with a better method for the timestamps. I do them as I jot down the show notes and then, after recording the intro, I shift the stamps forward by the amount of the opening….but somewhere in there my math always goes sour.

        And in this one it might be possible I shifted the stamps forward twice?

        Anyway, I’m the problem and I’m going to figure out some better solutions going forward (I hope). Sorry!

  4. Jed Dougherty Nov 17, 2015

    Bret Blevins drew the Harley Quinn: Road Trip one shot earlier this year.

  5. daustin Nov 19, 2015

    Funny, the Louise Simonson/Bret Blevins New Mutants was my entrée to the X-books (circa Fall of the Mutants), so for me that was always the natural state and look for the characters. I had a similar experience when Liefeld took over and Cabled/X-Forced the book. Liefeld would actually be my choice for a creator that I totally flipped on. I was just the right age to love what he was doing and be really into Cable and the new direction, but within a quick couple of years I matured and the whole X-Force/Youngblood thing completely soured me on his work, and made me realize how much he ruined New Mutants.

    Actually, Sim would be my other choice. With Cerebus, I started reading just around the time Sim lost it (the Women and Reads segments), but I started from the beginning, finally buying the big phonebooks. The first phonebook (the Conan parody stuff) was a real slog, but I thought High Society, Church and State and Jaka’s Story were all completely brilliant, and for a while it became my favorite comic. Melmoth was a blip, not particularly interesting but I could appreciate where he was going with that tangent. At that point, I started picking up the individual issues with Flight. Then … the horrible spiral into insanity and misogyny. I made it through a couple more story arcs, increasingly disgusted, horrified and bored in equal measure, before dropping off completely during the “Cerebus hangs out in a bar” phase. I’ve revisited the story through “Jaka” a few times since and it still holds up, but I can’t bear to read the rest. As far as I’m concerned, the story ends there – the Sim who wrote the remaining stories is a completely different (and off-his-rocker) person. I simply don’t believe the man who wrote Astoria and Jaka in the early stories is fundamentally the same person. To me, Sim’s degeneration is one of the greatest tragedies in comics, far more so than Frank Miller’s.

    Sorry, that was crazy long.

  6. I could drone on for hours about the ups and downs of Cerebus, but one important point stands out right now: The last hundred issues are a real mixed bag and include “Going Home”, which was moving and has one of Sim’s most deeply observed* female characters, Mary Earnestway.

    *And, to my eye, sympathetic, though I’m sure others disagree.

    • Jeff Lester Nov 22, 2015

      I think Sim very much meant her to be unsympathetic, but I agree on all other points, Kevin. After several attempts at Cerebus, Going Home was the arc that hooked me on the book so strongly I ended up reading everything else.

  7. Stanley Lieber Nov 30, 2015

    Enjoyed the discussion of CEREBUS but almost all the fine details mentioned were factually incorrect. You got the gist but the arguments given are harmed by being launched from technically false premises.