0:01-02:19: Greetings from Graeme “Master of Time and Space” McMillan and Jeff “Insert Suggestion Here” Lester! Because it’s been three (or four!) weeks since our last podcast, we really do make it a point to speed through the small talk and get to…
02:19-1:07:39: CCXP! Also known as Comic-Con Experience São Paolo! Also known as the comic convention that might’ve ruined Graeme for all North American comic shows! Pull up a chair and sit back as Graeme gives a very complete overview of the show he attended at the beginning of December in Brazil. It’s a very complete overview of a fantastic show, and gives us opportunity to discuss what makes it such a successful show, what American shows can learn from it (and if they will)! Also discussed: the 20+ minute Kevin Feige Experience; the rapture of Money Heist and the multimedia presentations; the Frank Quitely panel; whether cons “for” fans might be different from cons “for” pros; the joys of last minute and long-distance travel; going to war with Disney; freelancing duties while traveling; and much, much more in this hour-plus discussion.
1:07:39-1:33:03: Speaking of Graeme’s freelancing work, he’s been tasked with preparing both Best of the Year and Best of the Decade lists. In doing so, he realized there was a fatal shortcoming on his decade list—no manga! So he asked on Twitter for recommendations, checked a lot of stuff out, and these are his reactions to what he’s read. Discussed: Delicious in Dungeon; Tokyo Tarareba Girls; One Piece; Goodnight Punpun; and more!
1:33:03-1:52:13: From manga of the decade to American comics from last week: we both read Dark Knight: The Golden Child by Frank Miller, Rafael Grampá, and Jordie Bellaire (Jeff doing so after Graeme said good things about it on Twitter) and we both want to rave about it here. It’s a….surprising book for a lot of reasons that we unpack here. Discussed: Kirby, Mantlo, mugged liberals, and much more.
1:52:13-2:04:05: “I’m not going to say a lot about Doomsday Clock #12,” announces Graeme “Tease” McMillan, “but I am going to say this…” Don’t worry, it’s spoiler-free, but it is a tantalizing set of impressions from Graeme. Also discussed: the difference between Watchmen the HBO series (also spoiler-free in our discussion) and Doomsday Clock; and more.
2:04:05-2:13:53: “You know, Graeme,” Jeff sez, “the really sad thing is we can’t just talk for six hours.” Really, Jeff? REALLY? Well, anyway, here are some of the things we talk about talking about if we had the time to talk about them: CBR meets the outsourcing content mill; Brian Bendis’s Superman issue called “Truth” about Superman revealing his identity, and the Superman issue called “Truth” about Superman revealing his identity that happened all the way back in, uh, 2015; The Wonder Twins: Activate collection by Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne; and more.
2:13:53-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!)
Next week: Drokk, it’s time for Drokk!! Join us next week as we discuss Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 10!
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It was a relief to hear that you guys liked The Golden Child, too. I could not resist the beautiful art, but expected to be annoyed by the script. I know it probably sounds like more of my snark, but I was a bit worried something was wrong with me .
I find reading One Piece oddly similar to reading Grant Morrison’s comics, I like them better the more times I read them. There’s something ‘choppy’ in how I read them, I don’t easily catch their rhythm.
I realise it’s probably a bit late for recommending manga to Graeme, but there have been volumes of Yotsuba published this decade. While characters continue and pop up again these are essentially collections of short stories. If I had to pick one of the volumes published this decade I’d go for Vol 13 which had my favourite new character of 2016, Yotsuba’s granny.
Jeff, if you’re wondering why One Piece wasn’t suggested for manga of the decade (putting aside that its awful, awful, awful to its female characters) One Piece did not start this century. If Pluto is not “of the decade”, then this surely can’t be either.
Being honest no matter how many good comics Frank Miller does I don’t think anything can break the truly miserable first impression that is “I know Holy Terror makes him seem like a racist but people love him because he did a book about Batman being a bitter fascist that fights Superman and he was really horny for Japan in the 80s”.
I am too late to provide a recommendation for Graeme in terms of best mangas of the decade, but I wanted to throw one out there anyway––if nothing else, the subject may not come up again here for a while! That recommendation would be Kaori Ozaki’s slim, single-volume story “The Gods Lie.” It follows an elementary–school–aged boy who discovers that one of his classmates is living without any supervision, abandoned with her little brother in her parents’ house. That secret is the driving force of the narrative, and there are a few interesting twists and turns that come out of this premise. It’s not a story with any sophisticated subtext I could find (though it does reveal economic insecurity and explore the emotional effect of it on families, I suppose), but I found it pretty nakedly emotional and moving. What the book does really well is pitch the action and observation in the story at the level of the children, without compromising any chance to make more adult observations of the characters and their different understandings of their situation. Ozaki does a great job keeping a very serious undertone at an arm’s length, and her art is simple and buoyant.
She has recently been publishing a more extended series, “The Golden Sheep,” which I think should also be a contender. It’s only two volumes in to an English translation, but it’s quite interesting, and the art is a bit tighter than in the previous book.
I really liked My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness, but felt that it lacked context to truly understand it. I realllly wanted editorial notes in the back similar to the ones that Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service had. If I, someone who has read a fair amount of manga and is at least a little knowledgeable of Japan, felt it didn’t have enough context I’d really struggle to put it on a “best of decade” list that might influence people who have no experience with Japan on any level to read it.
Of course, this does bring up the idea of “how much context does someone need to be able to enjoy/appreciate something”? It’s something I’ve talked to other librarians about in regards to the graphic novel lists that the American Library Association puts out. Can you read this volume of a Marvel/DC title and appreciate it if you have limited exposure to the characters? Does that matter?
Keeping in mind that I didn’t track things for the first few years of this decade (so don’t know what I read then) and ignoring titles that came out mostly in a previous decade (e.g. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Yotsuba&!) I think “My Brother’s Husband” would be the manga I’d put on a “best-of” the decade list.
Anyway, here’s the thread in which Graeme asked for manga recommendations: https://twitter.com/graemem/status/1204075036258250758
Manga I liked included Erased, Silver Spoon, Delicious in Dungeon, Witch Hat Atelier, Dimension W, Yowamushi Pedal, Batmanga, Wandering Island, The Girl from the Other Side, all the Junji Ito comics that were released, and Princess Jellyfish (until I found out the main character was only 18 and the guy trying to date her was 30).
I think one of the reasons Delicious in Dugeon came up so often is that it has reached a level of familiarity among people who have read it, but don’t read much contemporary manga. I say that as a person who counts it as one of their favorite manga, but does not read much contemporary manga. You can draw a lot of conclusions from a sample size of one, right?
Fun episode, as always. Enjoyed hearing Graeme’s Brazilian experiences. I am hoping that in the next episode, Graeme can fully, spoilery unpack his Doomsday Clock #12 thoughts? After reading it, I’m not entirely sure what he was getting at in the spoiler-free tease. Don’t leave us hanging please!