0:01-7:55: Greetings from Graeme “Finger Guns” McMillan and Jeff “Were We Facetiming” Lester! Let us paint a picture for you—a picture painted of words—so you know where we’re at when we record that (because wanting you to know that is apparently where Graeme is at).
7:55-54:26: What could be even better than DC’s next big event, The Year of the Villain? Could it be…a dream Jeff had one feverish night for DC’s next big event? It probably couldn’t, but Jeff makes Graeme listen to it anyway, and we talk about Year of the Villain, the nature of crossover events, truffle oil, opt-in events, the upcoming Superman reveal, an excellent point by the ever-awesome Cheryl Lynn Eaton, Naomi, whether or not secret identities are out of favor, some of the details emerging from DC’s upcoming timeline, and much more.
54:26-1:15:13: Moving out of our discussion about DC and how to handle having characters age out, Graeme answers one of the burning questions on Jeff’s mind (no, really): what the hell happened to the New52 Superman? Also discussed: Forever Evil, postcreditsequenceitis (not one of Prince’s later albums, although it does look like that, doesn’t it?), Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel for Into The Spider-Verse and Jeff’s half-assed pitch for it; the terror that is Marvel’s Spider-Verse collection; and more.
1:15:13-1:36:45: Would you believe all of Jeff’s thoughts about secret identities came out of reading a bunch of manga—namely, Shuichi Shigeno’s Initial D? Strange, but true! Jeff was really impressed with a lot of the structure of this car racing manga and grew to love an unconventional art style. Here, Jeff definitely goes on at almost comedic length about a series he’s only eight volumes in.
1:36:45-1:44:53: And on the end of the spectrum, Graeme has been reading a lot of Nicolai Dante, a 2000AD series that he openly admits doesn’t work for him. “The art’s nice, but the writing’s overlooked,” sez Graeme after reading three volumes of the material. Discussed: Rogue Trooper, Chris Claremont, and “cringe” as an adjective.
1:44:53-2:13:17: To top things off, Graeme’s just purchased two classic late era Kirby comics: Destroyer Duck #1 by Steve Gerber, Jack Kirby and Alfred Alcala; and 2001: A Space Odyssey #5 by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer. Join us as Graeme walks us through these two amazing books with a lot of savage and incisive things to say about the company and industry where Kirby (and Gerber!) made his name. Also discussed: the next Frankenstein Comic Swap; the Secret Origin of Lightray (!) by Gerry Conway (!!) and Don Newton; Supertown/Soup Or Town and the appearance of either in Grant Morrison’s JLA; Adventure Comics #460; Tom Taylor’s excellent handling of Green Arrow in Deceased and more.
2:13:17-2:25:18: Closing comments? Well, kinda—we talk very briefly about Batman Annual #4; the pain of passing on Fantastic Four: Grand Design by Tom Scioli; the upcoming John Constantine: Hellblazer book by Si Spurrier and Aaron Campbell; and a possible mystery surrounding the first issue of Joe Hill’s Basket Full of Heads #1. (Thanks, Graeme!) And then…
2:25:18-end: Closing Comments!! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast. (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!) But does Graeme jam in even a few more last minute recommendations? Maybe!
Next week: W,W?, 283 4 u!
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I won’t finish listening to the podcast until tomorrow, but Jeff’s musings about secret identities struck an immediate chord with me, based on the experiences of my trans friends. They have to be really careful what they share about themselves, because they will (100% guaranteed) be harassed online, and the more they share about themselves, the more they’ll be harassed offline as well. Bigoted scumbags will try to get them fired, and kicked out of their homes, and denied access to their children and partners, and will in angering, distressing numbers try to kill them. There’s a tremendous amount of privileged status involved in putting your whole life online and not getting seriously harmed in response. A good creative crew could do something potent with that.
(Other kinds of queer people face comparable risks. As do people of colors, and people marked and marginalized in other ways. I happen to be thinking of it with regard to the recent experiences of several folks I like, is all.)
Yeah, as a trans person this reading of “Secret Gender Identity” is definitely something that drew me to and keeps me interested in the genre. I’m disappointed there hasn’t been a writer to really pick up this angle or try to do something new with secret identities besides getting rid of them
I’m chiming in here to also agree. As I mentioned to Bruce on Twitter, the secret identity analogies for trans people is something that continues to resonate for me. Like Skye, I also hope someone can explore the metaphor more in comics. It’s relevant, intriguing, and important.
You’d think Shazam type characters would be an excellent vehicle for that.
Re the DC event that Jeff’s subconscious conjured in a dream-state:
Was the idea that the characters hff fad to take on new secret identities because they now looked different? If not, why did they had cree to change secret identities? I want to understand the oyeyemi user before I add this to the pull-list of my dreams.
IIRC, the idea behind the event was that everyone had taken on new secret identities and although they knew why, the reader wasn’t let in on the secret. At the end of the event, an enemy with psychic powers revealed their new, fake identities. The heroes had been tipped off in advance that it would happen, and had allowed themselves to be mindwiped in advance. They defeated the enemy and went back to their old identities. Kinda Gardner Fox 101, but my subconscious dug it! (And again, the idea would be that any supporting characters that were popular could follow the heroes back into their old status quo…)
I was kind of hoping that Jeff was going to mention some new IDs that DC characters could come up with.
Also, in my mind one character decides not to go back to the old life but stays with their new identity. I don’t know who it would be though…
(And Happy Birthday Jeff!)
Regarding that Batman annual page up top, I can’t tell you how bored I am with the “action through narration” style that seems to be dominating superhero comics right now, especially at DC. It’s like the writers have forgotten that comics is supposed to be a visual medium; they jam all the visually dynamic stuff into pin-ups or even single panels and push the storytelling onto their godawful prose.
Not that the story described in the narration above looks like any great shakes, but I’d rather see a writer and artist try to dramatize that sequence instead of giving us more nine-panel grids of barely-changing head shots of Bruce Wayne grunting monosyllables at the reader, or whatever it is King is up to these days.
I totally see your point (and you described much of Batman Annual #4 pretty accurately).
But I also like aspects of the pin-up page approach–if the artist is really good, you get some dazzling art (and they get a piece they can sell on the original art market that probably helps cover all those boring nine panel pages that probably aren’t burning off the shelves) and I like the way it breaks up the panel rhythm.
RE: The Secret Year Idea.
I think it would work, but not only do you change their secret identity, but also their superhero identity. A psychic invasion takes over the United States and superheroes lose their ability to remember their secret identities/superhero identities as well as the people around them have forgotten their secret identities/superhero identities. That way you have the gimmick of not only new supporting cast, but new superheroes filling different roles in society. Maybe Superman becomes a mechanic, but he only things he has a “welding power” of heat vision through his eyes. So he takes on the name Red Lazer. That way your gimmick has a natural conclusion when the heroes figure out all of their super powers and their secret identities, reclaiming both in a sort of “People only remember Peter Parker as Spider-Man if he personally reveals it to them” sort of way.
RE: Superman revelation
I thought the trick of the whole “Superman reveals his identity” isn’t that he’s Clark Kent, but rather that Superman and Lois Lane are married with a child and that Clark is their friend. This makes more sense and adds more dramatic tension than Superman revealing that he’s Clark Kent. Because it doesn’t make sense if Lois Lane, wife of Clark Kent, goes off with Superman and their son into space. But it does make sense if Clark Kent is Lois’ beard so that she could go into space with her son and Superman. That way, it adds a different layer to the whole Lois/Clark/Superman triangle while allowing Lois to talk about her son.
If it’s STILL in your beard call that a Peanut Butter and Jeff
I think this comment may be why WordPress stopped notifying me when new comments were posted, and I have to say I’m glad!
As instructed, I am wishing Jeff Lester a happy birthday.
Glad to hear the criticisms of Nikolai Dante. When I got back into reading comics in the early 2000’s it was being pushed quite aggressively in the US market, as a big thing, a great 2000 AD strip that one couldn’t afford to miss. Having been a big 2000 AD reader when I was growing up, I checked out a couple of the collections, and really could not see what was supposed to be so amazing about it. The only thing I have to add to our hosts’ comments is that there’s a certain air of “writer really wants to do Flashman, but knows that he can’t be as very, very, racist as that.”
Happy birthday Jeff. May your dreams come true.
I’m stuck in traffic and listening to this episode.
The bdsm wine manga should be called Corkscrew. The girl’s name is Corkie.
Jeff mentions reading too many Chad Nevett columns. Does mr. Nevett still do those? I seem to find only places his wit has abandoned. Please point me in the right direction.
Laroshe, although this is material you may have already read, Chad’s collected his columns into kindle-available ebooks:
He also does a weekly TinyLetter called Thorsday Thoughts, about which you can probably guess the topic:
Hope that helps!
Yep, thank you! The TinyLetter is not linked on top of his twitter, so it’s easy to miss if you’re a bumpkin :)