Wait, What? Ep. 252: McInerney? Or Ellis?

July 29, 2018

Hey, everyone! Jeff here with a *huge* apology.  I knew this weekend was going to be busy because the missus and I were going to have a sleepover with the nieces, but boy howdy, did it eat up the time! And energy.  Oh god, the energy! They’re little adorable vampires, those two.

Anyway, so even though Graeme and I have a pretty thorough discussion of SDCC 2018, the news and the installations and the spectacle while also managing to have a far-ranging discussion of other matters…I did a terrible job capturing it in these show notes. I do have some quality links, but maybe not as many as we discussed.

So: my sincere apologies.  I hope you still give the episode a listen, and give me another chance next episode…which will be just next week!

0:01-5:12:  Greetings!  Graeme “Remarkably Warmer” McMillan and Jeff “Sounds Brutal” Lester with another weather report from Portland, Oregon.  We mention our continuing horror and awe with our inability to be brief and, of course, then proceed to go on entirely too long about it.  Some good things do come out of it however: for example, Graeme breaks the news he was a guest on the 2000 AD podcast discussing Arthur Ranson (last month).  There’s also a bit of scuttlebutt about the 2000AD panel, as well as the Treasury of British Comics panel Graeme sat in on this year at SDCC.
5:12-1:07:03:  And speaking of 2018 San Diego Comic Con, Jeff gets the deets from V.I.P. McMillan about this year’s convention, including this year’s Eisner Awards (of which Graeme was a judge); chats with Paul Levitz, Dave Gibbons, and Scott McCloud; the guided meditation on the DC Yacht; and other amazing experiences.  But we also talk about the news that came out of Comic-Con, most of which didn’t feel very big, and the one piece that rocked Comic-Con but didn’t come out of it (the firing of James Gunn by Disney/Marvel).  One of the best Patreons we support gets even better! Plus: the biggest installations (to sell stuff)! The hottest news (from more than a week ago)! And much, much, much more, including my favorite excerpt from a Brett Easton Ellis novel EVER.
1:07:03-1:27:28: And here’s Part 2 of our talk! Starting off with talk about DC’s Walmart books, covering pagecount, republication plans both about their original material (when will it hit the direct market?) and older material (how are they going to handle the runs being collected when it gets to the end of the New 52 material?), what’s the end game for Rebirth and the New 52 (Graeme refrains from sharing his educated guesses about where to look, whereas Jeff is happy to share his uneducated, gossip shit-talking version), and much more.
1:27:08-2:07:22: We try to transition from comics news, but fail and we go on to discuss the news of Annie Koyama shuttering Koyama Press, as well as a great profile of David Brothers by Alec Berry that also has some very big news folded into it.  Also discussed:  The Minx line of books; the successor to Archie Goodwin’s legacy; Joss Whedon on HBO(?!) and the very big news of the yearlong (or more!) hiatus of Saga; the career of Brian Fuller; and more.
2:07:22-end: Closing comments!!  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
NEXT WEEK:  Yet another Wait, What?, this time with more comics reviews than news (we hope)!  And if you read comics on digital and have Hoopla, check out a copy of DC’s Worlds Finest Omnibus as Jeff is dying to talk about 1952’s first official meeting of Batman and Superman in Superman #76.  Join us!!



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23 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 252: McInerney? Or Ellis?

  1. Jeff Lester Jul 29, 2018

    And for those of you who need just the link for your cutting and pasting necessities:


    • Martin Gray Jul 31, 2018

      I started out supporting The MNT (never knew it was ‘The Mint’, I assumed it was the initials of something) on Patreon but got frustrated by the annoying faff of accessing the thing.

      Interesting to hear about all the wasted space in the Walmart DC comics. I wonder if they were originally meant to be 80pp giants but went with the 100pp super-spectacular format at the last minute – in which case they may be adding another story soon.

  2. Zachary Adams Jul 29, 2018

    Personally, the biggest thing to come out of SDCC for me was Tom Scioli doing Go-Bots. After Transformers vs GI Joe and Super Powers, it’s gonna be interesting to see him leave his mark on something so cardboard-thin that his approach won’t have the subtle wrongness TF/GI and SP did for me. I loved those comics in part because they made me a little queasy with what they were doing with existing properties I loved. Nobody loves the Go-Bots, so what happens when you take that “how can you do this to X?” factor away?

    • When I was a little kid, I used to have a heap of Go-Bots, and I would use them as the cannon fodder of my Transformers wars.

  3. Bruce Baugh Jul 30, 2018

    Graeme, if you want to see what Seanan McGuire does, check out her novella Every Heart A Doorway ( https://www.amazon.com/Every-Heart-Doorway-Wayward-Children-ebook/dp/B00XHHV3YK/ ). It’s the first of a series, but complete in itself, not long, and very very McGuire-y. The setting is a halfway house for children who went off to various fantasylands, left or got kicked out, and are now trying to find a way to live in the real world again. It’s warm, humane, and threaded with some marvelous horror arising from the fact that deep, serious love doesn’t necessarily have anything moral about it at all. Read, enjoy, anticipate. :)

    • Seconded! That was my intro to her work as well and it is a very quick, delightful read. Between that and her ‘Indexing’ series, I’m fairly optimistic about what she can do with the Marvel Universe as her playground.

      • Voord 99 Aug 1, 2018

        I *really* hope that Marvel doesn’t add another entry to its list of mismanaging the contributions of female novelists with large followings outside traditional superhero comics readers whom they could bring with them. (See Tamora Pierce, Chelsea Cain.)

  4. Bengt Strand Jul 30, 2018

    The letters page of Saga says Papergirls are continuing. Also confirms what happens in the issue, so isn’t much of a cliffhanger.

  5. God knows why I feel compelled to defend the honor of 1990s Marvel, but they never actually said Sleepwalker was “Sandman done right.”

    They said it was “Sandman done Marvel style” – which, given that the Marvel style at the time was “put everybody in leather jackets and give them big guns,” is still pretty goddamn ridiculous, but at least shows a certain self-consciousness that’s completely absent from the popular version of this quote.

  6. Martin Gray Jul 31, 2018

    When you lads start a new segment with ‘hey, what did you think about Annie Someone closing her press?’, would you be sure to tell us who Annie is and what her press is? For all I know, she makes cider.

    I know there are off-the-record chats, but when Graeme says there are at least two stories in DC titles on the shelves right now that could lead out of the New 52 period, why be coy? The information is out there, so just mention them! I reckon that as well as Flash, JLA and Doomsday Clock, DiDio’s enjoyable Sideways could be a contender – the character can traverse realities, and Grant Morrison is co-writing the annual.

    • Dasbender Jul 31, 2018

      Maybe Heroes in Crisis? That would explain why Graeme doesn’t want to say anything. I agree, if they’re books on the shelves that he’s read there shouldn’t be any embargo on talking about them. But if he only has this insight because of interviews or advance reviews, I can understand his hesitation.

    • Nate A. Aug 1, 2018

      I was sort of surprised that neither Jeff nor Graeme were keeping track of Koyama (the owner-operator of Koyama Press, which publishes most of the best art comics cartoonists working (Michael DeForge, Jesse Jacobs, Eleanor Davis, to name a few)).

      That having been said, she’s always played the role of patron, at least in the sense that she doesn’t seem afraid to lose money on a risk. Nevertheless, my understanding is that the press is in the black, which isn’t surprising given Koyama’s presence on the convention and festival circuit and the names on her publishing roster.

      Related to the manga discussion, I’ve read interviews with artists who say that she sometimes plays the role of editor. It seems like she has a super light touch in that role, but you’d have to ask her.

      This sort of brings me around to something I’m loathe to admit, but the San Diego discussion really bummed me out. On record vs. off record, this promotional tie-in vs. that promotional tie-in, corporate yacht meditation as preamble to press conference, it all strikes me as totally gross and opposite of what anyone who cares about comics should actually care about. This made the brevity of the discussion about Borthers and Koyama frustrating. I don’t blame the hosts, of course. I usually enjoy the free wheeling character of the podcast and I realize that San Diego occupied a huge amount of head space for Graeme, (I appreciated the Eisners talk BTW). But yeah, bummer.

  7. Mike Loughlin Jul 31, 2018

    Re Berger Books:

    I totally forgot the line existed. I’m not as aware of industry output as you guys, but I keep up, more or less. I didn’t realize the comics had come out. My take-away:

    – Dark Horse dropped the ball. Where was the advertising, after the initial announcement?

    – The comics either took too long to come out (past the initial announcement), weren’t great, featured unknown or unpopular creators, or some combination of the above.

    – Has there ever been a successful line of comics based around the editor? The only one I can think of was Defiant, and that company folded after a year or so. I think non-insiders don’t care about the editors, by and large.

    • Dasbender Jul 31, 2018

      I’ve grown to really appreciate the editor much more as I’ve read enough books to see the difference between a creative team I love doing a book I love (under editor x) and that same team doing a completely incoherent mess (under editor y). Sure correlation doesn’t equal causation, but it’s happened enough I pay attention now.

    • David M Aug 4, 2018

      It’s arguable that 60s Marvel Comics was a successful line based around the editor. The creative base was Kirby, Ditko et al, but the commercial juggernaut was shaped by Stan’s taste and personality.

  8. Dasbender Jul 31, 2018

    Are retailers taking offense at the Marvel Digital Originals at all? I know they’re not huge sellers, but doing all the Netflix properties exclusively outside of the direct market seems like much more of an attempt to move readers to 100% digital than any of the day-and-date releases in the past. I’m torn because I’ve loved both Jessica Jones as a property and Kelly Thompson as a writer, and that art is indeed pretty. I even think I prefer reading digitally, as I usually redeem my codes to read on my tablet, or wait for Marvel Unlimited. But I haven’t quite made the jump to a regular practice of paying $5 for a digital file I don’t even own. If it were cheaper, there were other titles abandoning print that I cared about, or if it never turns up on Unlimited I expect I’ll start being a regular digital customer.

  9. Dasbender Jul 31, 2018

    Regarding the “hiatus” of Saga, I’ve said it before in these comments (ep 209) — BKV *never* has well planned endings for his stories. I’ve been that frog carrying the scorpion with Y the Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways, and even Saga for the first couple years.

    In general, I don’t believe that comics are only good if they have great endings. The very nature of perpetual serial comics means that we should be enjoying the ride rather than hinging our delight on whatever Batman’s final fate might be. But Vaughan has always been a writer whose most enjoyable quality is his cliffhanger and his tease of what’s to come. Knowing nothing is ever coming really kills my enjoyment of his teases.

    • Voord 99 Aug 2, 2018

      That’s an interesting observation. I wonder how much of it is because Vaughan does like to launch these huge “epic” stories that are meant to run for years. That arguably raises the stakes, because you have (or he has, really) to have a conclusion that feels appropriate to the scale.

      I’d defend Runaways, seeing as it was launched as a “throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks” Tsunami book, and there was no reason to have a plan past the opening arc. Hell, there was no reason to have a plan past the first few issues.

      • I’d also defend Runaways since ongoing superhero comics are by their very nature all set-up and middle. They don’t end. Whereas creator-driven epic dramas like Saga, Y, or Ex Machina are presented as though they’re entire stories with a journey to cover. They’re the Wire with intentional dramatic arcs, character journeys, and potent pay-offs, rather than the never-changing serials like The Simpsons which will just stop some day.

  10. Matt for Hire Aug 2, 2018

    Re: Saga: I’m struggling to think of a single Image comic that ever went on an extended hiatus, with plans to come back for a last arc or whatever, and I can’t think of even one. Unless you count Prophet. It’s why I’m not super-optimistic about it ever returning. (Also, when they mentioned that they had a big announcement in last month’s letters page, I thought they were going to announce that they had one more arc, as this arc is really seems like they’re about to wrap things up.)

    • Hey, at least Prophet came back and had a successful conclusion. Re Saga, I agree that not having a proper ending would probably kill the marketability. It’s not designed as a series of stories that are satisfying in and of themselves (like, say, Spiderman – stop publishing it tomorrow, fine, there are still plenty of stories with beginnings, middles, and ends), but rather as one long story which would be left incomplete.

    • Dan Coyle Aug 4, 2018

      Thief of Thieves just came back after a year long hiatus- Andy Diggle wrote in issue #37 he was done with the series and had no idea when or if it would come back, IIRC.

      But just this last month issue #38 came out with Brett Lewis writing what’s going to be the final arc.