(literally impossible to figure out what’s going on in this trailer if you don’t know the characters, I think)
0:01-5:30: Greetings! It’s Ep. 301 and we hope you can forgive us by starting off discussing the weather because the weather for both of us is pretty darn extreme. (Graeme, as is typical, gets the worst of it, while Jeff complains the most, of course—but in his defense, he was woken up by thunder and heat lightning hours later at three in morning?) It is a topper on a heckuva week…which is probably best exemplifies by us having to discuss possible technical issues after the audio cutting out a few minutes in. Fortunately, we decide to push through.
5:30-42:15: “But it could be worse,” Graeme sagely concludes. “We could be at DC.” Which is an excellent segue to talk about the news we all-but-have-to-discuss: the laying off of one third of DC’s editorial, including a slew of senior editors (including Bob Harras) and what this might mean for the future of the company and the future of its comics as may or may not be inferred from an interview with Jim “Winner Takes It All” Lee. Discussed: an end to long-term series commitments, maybe; execs at WarnerMedia giving AT&T what they think AT&T wants; the shitting of the bed of Perry Mason and Run; Fleabag is wonderful and we won’t hear a word saying otherwise; and more.
42:15-56:33: Douglas O’Keefe starts us off with what the kids might’ve once called A Big Ask: I’m a teacher of 8-12th graders, ages 12-18, in San Francisco, and I’m trying to assemble a small set of comic books (single issue floppies) to have in my classroom, available for casual reading, and possibly for classroom lessons. A “small set” means about 20 different issues.
For most of the kids, these may be the only floppies they ever read; for some, maybe the only comics they ever read. So I want them to be really good, right? Not just an example of a good series, but a GREAT issue from that series. I also want as much variety as possible, to sell the kids on comics.
So, I was hoping you each might offer, say, four possibilities? Single issues you love.
I’ve got a pile of my own in progress. I’ve got a Barks’ Uncle Scrooge, Stanley’s Lulu, your beloved OMAC 1, and Daredevil 164. I’ve got a Marston-Peter Wonder Woman (reprint, of course), and Fraction’s Hawkeye #2, where Kate and Clint team up. I wanted Paper Girls #1 but those girls swear, damn them. My school of the moment is somewhat strict: the choices can’t have any sex or swearing in them. This being the USA, massive violence is fine, however. Also, please stick to American comics. Violence not required.
What I really don’t want is stuff that reads as pandering, or, conversely, overly didactic. Don’t worry about availability or cost, what with reprints and the cheapness of low-grade issues. I want my students to learn that comics are fun and cool to read: powerful or funny or astute or weird or wildly imaginative–good stuff like that!
56:33-1:07:02: This Charming Man Dan White queries: If you were to do a podcast about something other than comics, what would it be about? And would you be able to get 300 episodes out of it?
1:07:02-1:12:59: Paul Spence has a question one of us will surely be able to answer! What 2000AD characters and/or titles would you recommend to a newbie. I have been following along with the Judge Dredd case files and this has got me interested in exploring more of the 2000AD universe. They have numerous characters such as Rogue Trooper, Slaine, Nikolai Dante., etc. Can you make some suggestions about where a newbie should start.
1:12:59-1:18:26: Mikey Gesus emerges from the mist with riddle of the ages: After all this Ric Grayson stuff, will DC ever get back to Nightwing being any good? Why do they as a company struggle with an adult legacy character that is emotionally stable?
1:18:26-1:23:43: Richard Halfhide wonders: Which major character or characters are repeatedly botched by creators? Or, put another way, which characters are the great missed opportunities in comics?
1:23:43-1:25:34: Patrick Gaffney wants to know: If this was the last episode, what would be your highlight of the show? Besides 300 weeks of talking to your best friend.
1:25:34-1:27:24: Right! Said Ed: How do you store your physical comics? Bagged, boarded and in longboxes? Loose issues piled up in corners? Different for floppies vs. trade format?
1:27:24-1:35:24: Chris Tanforan breakts out the big guns! – In honor of the auspicious anniversary, what is your favorite 300th issue of an ongoing series? In that same vein, which ones leave the worst taste in your mouth?
– When you guys first started this way back when in an earlier, arguably more innocent, time, what were your expectations for the podcast? And what do you imagine episode 600, coming to us in the heady days of the ’30s, will be like?
– This one is for Jeff- it’s been a couple of years since you let go of the majority of your physical comics- is there anything you regret about the process? I ask this as someone who has accumulated an overly healthy number of long boxes over the years and am reaching the point in life where I wonder if I really need that many physical comics taking up space.
1:35:24-1:38:03: Eric Reehl’s question might as well be our mission statement: I usually follow comics creators more than characters, but that doesn’t always work out. Have you ever got burned out on a creator? You used to read all their work, but are now uninterested in their new projects?
Also are there characters who no creator can get you to read? For example, it doesn’t matter who writes Vampirella, I won’t be reading it.
1:38:03-1:38:44: Martin Gray tells us he wants, what he really really wants: Which character from Marvel or DC has the most untapped potential?
1:38:44-1:49:17: BadgerMushroom (not their real name!) has two, two, two q’s in one! Can I have two questions, please sirs? 1) For Graeme: How has the slow motion apocalypse affected the world of comics news and reporting? Are there any long term affects, do you think? 2) For Jeff: You have offhandedly mentioned your time in the comics world, but would you mind telling us what your actual comics career has been? Are there Jeff Lester written/drawn/edited comics we should be reading?
1:49:17-1:53:31: Isobel M falls right into the Graeme trap: I like Watchmen (doesn’t everybody?) I like the formalism and ambitious intellectualism. Can you recommend anything else that will satisfy that itch? I don’t actually care about superheroes very much. Bonus points for creators of color or women.
1:53:31-1:57:23: Jonathan Sapsed requests speculation: I sent a question already about Rebellion’s Treasury of British Comics imprint – which titles might attract a wider audience than nostalgic Brits of a certain age…?
1:57:23-1:58:43: Paul Jay-Slee has spoken from high, and lo, they said: if you could commission a comic biography of a pop culture figure by a creator of your choice, who would you pick and why?
1:58:43-2:05:58: Miguel Corti weighs in fast and he weighs in hard: 1. How would you compare and contrast your readthroughs of the Fantastic Four and Judge Dredd, either in terms of entertainment, relative quality, or the relationship of that material with the comics industry as a whole? For Jeff specifically, given that you’ve come to Dredd as an adult to you into the character in the way you will alway, for example, be into Batman regardless of if he is at a high or low, or do you feel you can only appreciate the character Dredd when handled by certain creators, Wagner in particular? (This second question came to mind after your discussion of feeling unfulfilled by superhero comics.)
2. Either of you mess with Alan Moore’s “Jerusalem,” and is it possible for humans to read that tiny font for a 1,000 pages without some form of visual aid?
2:05:58-2:09:42: Carlos Aguilar is probably owed an apology because we did this one wrong: Jeff what is a comic/series/manga (or two) that Graeme reads & enjoys that, to you, seems odd for him to enjoy? Graeme same question, but about Jeff. Also, any thoughts on Abhay’s new TCJ column?
2:09:42-2:14:14: Matt Digges has his finger on the zeitgeist: In your opinion, who/what is the most criminally underrated creator/character/property?
2:14:14-2:20:51: Thomas Williams goes all-in: Brubaker and Phillips going OGN only next year. Saga at the two year mark of its hiatus. Rucka taking monthly work from DC while his creator owned work is quarterly at best as his IP is being mined for TV and Film. What is the future of Image and creator owned work? Does creator owned work reach a plateau where it only makes sense to stop doing monthly comics and then take your work to other media? Image isn’t independent or alternative comics so has it just become where a creator auditions IP for other media, no one goes to Image to tell their heart felt personal tales right?
I’m so late in asking that question I bet it’s been asked already so I will ask a back-up
I recently took a look at Lobdell’s work on red hood after reading the news he was leaving the character. Since the start of the new 52 Lobdell has built this crazy back story and world of mystical presences and all of this is just ignored outside of the series lol. Have either of you ever taken a look at this series?
2:20:51-2:25:16: Garrie Burr sends us some softballs[??]:Here’s a couple of easy questions to celebrate your anniversary!
–What once-favored creators and their works have not aged well for you? What creators and their works did you once dislike but now seem absolutely wonderful? Any thoughts on the reasons for these changes in perception?
–Thinking about Archie Goodwin and Karen Berger and other editors from the past whose books were a guarantee of something at least quite-interesting and worth a read. Which editors working today turn out a similar consistently high quality of books?
2:25:16-2:26:47: Hix clix: Let’s assume there are 4 important aspects to a comic book event:
1. Quality of story
2. Quality of art/covers
3. Impact/legacy/launching pad for comics & concepts
4. Eventiness – scale, scope, cool/wow factor
With this in mind, what do you think are the best DC/Marvel events?
2:26:47-2:33:00: Matthew Murray is asking and we’re answering! Maybe building off of this, could you describe the major Marvel/DC event you’d do if for some reason you were given permission to do so. (Whether this is Jeff’s “everyone gets new secret identities” thing or something else.)
Favourite (intercompany) comic crossovers? Dream (intercompany) comic crossovers that haven’t happened yet?
And because Jeff is vain and excitable, here’s his list:
- One Piece/Teen Titans (Cartoon Network versions);
and probably my very favorite two big-dream, never gonna happen crossovers:
- Batman/Golgo 13.
2:33:00-:2:33:56: MatthewMurray is back from the dead! Or…to ask about the dead? One of the two! What do you think might have happened to DC as a company/universe if “dead meant dead” and they never brought back Oliver Queen/Hal Jordan/Barry Allen? (Have you answered this before? I can’t remember.)
2:33:56-2:42:01: Jason1749 dials the Wait, What? 4-1-1: Now that it’s a while in the rearview, what is each of your #1 takeaway from reading all those FF comics?
2:42:01-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 Dominic L. Franco, and 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: It was supposed to be a Drokk! but it instead is going to be a skip week. Graeme will be covering Fandome! Jeff will be finishing off those PBR Hard Coffees and staring intently at a wall! Join us in two weeks for Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 17 and the first Batman/Dredd crossover! Join us!!