Wait, What? Ep. 308 — One Bidet At A Time

December 6, 2020

0:01-23:25: Greetings!  Pardon us for sounding so chipper, but Graeme McMillan and Jeff Lester are in a pretty good mood because…they think they have a shot at surviving 2020? Because of Christmas? Because we exchange podcast editing tips?  Because Jeff finally gets corrected by Graeme about how to pronounce his name?! Because of SAD? We think it might be because we haven’t spoken in a while and we’re…glad to be talking to each other?? WEIRD.

23:25-39:47:  Anyway, remember that “because of Christmas” point just above? Graeme fleshes that out by discussing the Bing Holiday/Fred Astaire classic, Holiday Inn, and giving a list of Christmas movies he watches because, hey, tis the season!  I mean…I wish I could explain how we get from a Bing Crosby holiday movie to the Terminator franchise and what we would pick as the least awful of the non-Cameron directed movies, but believe it or not, it’s a buttery-smooth transition!  And then Graeme mentions The Thing prequel with Mary Elizabeth Winstead? To Jeff, who is the only person on earth (next to Eve Mavrakis) who is *not* in any way, shape, or form a fan of Mary Elizabeth Winstead?  Graeme is full of surprises, that one!  [Oh, and that clip above was supposed to the musical number in Holiday Inn that Graeme talks about but I started watching it on YouTube and…no.  Just no.]

56:54-1:03:07: From Warners to DC in a single bound! Graeme talks about the recent spate of DC creative team announcements and talks about some of the Future State books he’s read. Discussed:  Future State Swamp Thing; Future State Wonder Woman; the free Future State promo mag; and more.

1:03:07-1:08:51: By contrast, Jeff really wants to talk about trying to sell his used bidet on Nextdoor?

1:08:51-1:24:53: From used bidets to The King in Black #1 by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman?  That Graeme McMillan knows how to segue! Join us for some impressively dramatic recapping, featuring a bonus recap of Cates’ Guardians of the Galaxy run.

1:24:53-1:41:21: Jeff wants to talk about some recent comics he’s read, and tries to introduce them by talking about a recent tweet he made. (However, one of Jeff’s better tweets was about a dream he had about the latest novel by Don DeLillo which Graeme mentions but pronounces the name so that it sounds like Dan Didio and hoo boy is Jeff tickled by that mistake until Graeme sets him straight! Hoo. Boy.) But then when that’s cleared up Jeff talks about what he thinks might be one of the best first issues of a superhero comic ever published: The Flash by Mike Baron, Jackson Guice and Larry Mahlstedt. Also discussed: the first two issues of The Grackle; The Badger and Nexus; and more.

1:41:21-2:03:37: Graeme’s been starting to get ready for December and the preparation of his best-of list. In preparation for same, he reread the last year or so of Al Ewing and Joe Bennett’s Immortal Hulk and, to Jeff’s huge surprise, doesn’t think it’s as good as it’s been? Also discussed: some of the other titles being considered for Graeme’s list, including one Graeme thinks is similar to IH he’d rank more highly.

2:03:37-2:16:33: After a bit of talking about Santa and Jesus and their respective comic book appearances, we should easily segue into discussing Grant Morrison’s and Dan Mora’s Klaus, we instead swing over to the first trade of The Green Lantern: Season 2 by G-Mo and Liam Sharp. While nobody has even tried to argue Sharp’s work is anything but the bee’s knees, most have been more and more underwhelmed by Morrison’s side of things as time has gone on to the point where even the writer’s fiercest advocates have dismissed it. But Jeff just read this trade on Hoopla…and he kind of loves it? No spoilers, but let’s just his final characterization of the book gets a good laugh from Graeme which is probably the best any of Jeff’s critical arguments can hope for. Come for Jeff forgetting Mike Friedrich’s name (twice! once right after Graeme tells him!), stay for—you know what, come and stay for that bit because it’s humiliating.

2:16:33-2:23:53: Graeme mentioned on our last episode reading, enjoying, and being deeply amused by Andi Watson’s The Book Tour. On the recommendation, Jeff read it and enjoyed it, but also found it disquietingly nightmarish? As the professionals say: “let’s unpack that.” Also included: one or two other genuinely quick recommendations and reviews from Jeff.

2:23:53-end: Closing comments, after a quick rundown of our recording schedule for the month and some confusion as to what volume of Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files we’re reading for the next Drokk. (Volume 20, everyone. Read Volume 20.) Oh, and Jeff will also be appearing on DCOCD to talk about DC Rebirth, so keep your ears open for that, too.
And then!  Look for us on  Stitcher!Itunes!Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, 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: Drokk!!


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17 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 308 — One Bidet At A Time

  1. Bengt Dec 7, 2020

    So in Swedish knulla is a crude word for having sex, as a noun it becomes knull and calling a person that is equivalent to calling them a slut so I’m having a hard time taking the King in Black event very seriously. And then he also seems to be a 90s edge lord, so that doesn’t help. As for Donny Cates in general, the utter embarrassment that is cosmic ghost rider makes me never want to read a comic by him.

    The Christmas movie I watch somewhat regularly is “Tomten är far till alla barnen”, apparently it’s called “In bed with Santa” in English, it’s quite funny. No idea how easy it is to find legally but it’s on pirate bay with English subs. :)

  2. You guys talk about Donny Cates comics you hate in the same way you walk about Bob Haney comics you love.

  3. Walk? I mean talk! But of course, you guys always walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

  4. I’m always here for podcast editing talk. Or really more vicarious commiseration about podcast editing. (Why did those tracks become unsynced? How does this person end a sentence/word in such a way that it sounds like I’ve edited it poorly?)
    However, I still really like having made mine, despite my griping about editing.
    I’m impressed that the two of you have released so many (long) podcasts and done so as consistently as you have. Good job!

  5. Matthew Murray Dec 8, 2020

    A question for both of you, and I’d love to hear you answer this in your next episode, but what do you think year end “best of” lists are for? Who is your audience when making them?
    The way you talked about series that came out in single issues in 2019 but a collection in 2020 as “not counting” makes me think that you have a different reason for putting together lists than I would.
    Maybe this is the librarian in me and the related audiences I think of, but to me the point of a year end “best of” list is that they contain things that anyone can easily go out and purchase/access immediately (in a physical form). (Especially when they’re released in December and can act as guides for winter holiday shopping.)
    I wouldn’t recommend a series that only had single issues out because I wouldn’t expect your average person reading the list to be able to track down and read those issues. (Do comic fans even really look for slightly older issues?) But a collected edition can be borrowed from the library (or bought for a library), it can be bought on Amazon or at a book store or a comic shop, it can be given as a gift, etc. Is a list of things that aren’t collected designed to be “in anticipation” of the collections so people know to look for them next year?
    I dunno, what do other people think?

  6. Voord 99 Dec 9, 2020

    I have to admit that I think of “Best of” year-end lists as having a largely ritual function, to mark the passing of the year. Case in point: it’s fine in lists of the “Best Films of the Year” to include a film released in the autumn that is no longer in cinemas, but is not yet available via other media. (This case in point may already be a relic of a lost past, obviously.) Shared memory and so on.

  7. Matthew Murray Dec 9, 2020

    To expand a little on what I said, I think a “best of” list on this podcast has a different audience than one for THR.

  8. Jeff Lester Dec 9, 2020

    Our WordPress install has gone so screwy I can’t reply directly to comments any more so I apologize this is just floating in the void instead of being threaded under Matthew’s excellent post, but:

    Speaking only for myself—I pretend to be speaking for Graeme only when I’m forging his name on checks—I do think of a “best of” list here as being a bit different from a general “best of” list. For the most part, I think of our listeners as active comics consumers. (Lord knows I get plenty of baffled comments from general listeners who try the podcast out!) So I do think it makes more sense to list what’s the best of this year’s releases with the eye that someone passionate enough about the comics will make it a point to hunt it up in their preferred format, to an extent.

    But I also think one can actively pretend in a best of list that their picks for the ten best are *so good* that they transcend just my preferences and proclivities and attain a level of universal ten bestness. (I’ve always been a sucker for the theory—very misguided and very mired in the western conception of canon—that the best art is universal.). But undoubtedly there’s also a desire to be seen as either enough of a tastemaker or at least being enough of in the know that one’s picks for the best of a year are eminently knowledgeable picks. And maybe as such, there’s a dual role served by coming up with reasons why some things should qualify for a best of list and others shouldn’t—it reinforces that belief of one being a tastemaker who can set those rules, and (more importantly) it gives you a shorter list from which to draw. It also gives you an out later if someone shouts out a book you didn’t name and the oversight is so glaring as to impugn your judgment.

    As someone who tries to be really honest about their tastes and reading situation, I think the “having a shorter list from which to draw” would primarily be my main reason to restrict what does and doesn’t make it on the list. Because I read two-thirds of Superman Smashes the Klan in 2019, it makes it really hard for me to think of it as a 2020 volume, and it also clears a bit of space for something I read this year that I think should (also) make the list. And since I do think of the listeners as informed and active consumers, I’d expect more people to call me out for including it for that reason than leaving it off the list.

    Anyway, for myself, I do also try to separate out “what’s new” from “what’s new to me.” And over the years I’ve felt less and less compelled to weigh on the former, precisely because to do so is to be more and more misleading about how much I’ve read. I think my lists have tended to become overly specific so that you can make an informed choice about how much you might agree or how much you might not care….which is precisely why I joked with Graeme about my list being the “Top Ten Erotic manga I read this year.” (Although honestly, I know I’m under read in that category as well!)

  9. Matthew Murray Dec 11, 2020

    Jeff: Thanks for your comment! I appreciate you answering my question so thoroughly : )

  10. In response to Matthew’s question about year-end “best of” lists, my approach is probably close to what Voord described in their comment. It’s more a curation of what I read this year.

    Very few of the trades or manga I bought in 2020 actually came out in 2020, but as far as which I enjoyed most (because I basically define “best” as “what I liked best”, rather than as an amorphous artistic scale I’m probably not qualified to judge), they’re all in the running. Things I bought as single issues get compared against each other, rather than against things I bought as collected editions. I don’t even rank ongoing series I bought as single issues against mini-series I bought as single issues. They each get their own category (although it’s getting harder to decide what goes where).

    I don’t worry about whether the things I’m ranking are available in collections yet or not. I figure if I made it sound good enough for someone to want to get it, they’ll find it in one format or another. That’s their problem.

  11. David M Dec 13, 2020

    Jeff’s decision about ‘Superman Smashes the Klan’ makes me wonder if works that come out partly in one year and also the next appear less often than they might in these lists. ‘Incomplete’ one year, ‘Started last year’ the next. It would be unfair, inaccurate, cruel, but unfortunately irresistible to describe this as ‘stalling between two fools’. Definitely a comment that reflects badly on me, more than anyone else.

  12. Jeff Lester Dec 14, 2020

    There have been a lot of great responses and great replies in this thread. And it’s given me an idea
    Since there’s a week until the Best-Of episode, why not have everyone who’s interested put together and a Best of 2020 list and throw it in the comments?

    It’ll definitely be a nice counterbalance to the books that’ll probably end up on my list, a lot of which are looking like they weren’t even 2020 releases, but just old crap (or translated stuff) I finally read this year?

  13. Garrie Burr Dec 15, 2020

    I don’t remember Graeme being such a softie for Christmas and now I would really like to know his favorite filmed version of A Christmas Carol!

    Not sure what my Best of 2020 would be as this year saw me go almost entirely digital in my reading — a combination of Hoopla, DC Universe, and Marvel Unlimited — meaning I’m always several months behind the shops. I still ‘pick up’ and read new-to-me stuff on Wednesdays from the different apps. This allows me to retain -some- semblance of normality.

    Being COVID-stuck indoors this year I had the time to finally go through my 80-some long boxes of books. Marie Kondo would be proud AND horrified as I found joy in every single one of those damn boxes. Can’t believe all the good books I’d forgotten were there! It’s made me wonder if 2021 might see me ditch new comics reading entirely. I’m older than Jeff (by a few years or so, it seems) and starting to realize it may not be not possible for me to actually re-read everything in my collection. Not to sound too morbid, but time’s a-wasting!

    This year I took such great pleasure in re-reading my rediscoveries, from things like most of Don McGregor’s work, to all of Moench and Gulacy’s team-ups, along with Gary Panter’s Jimbo series from Zongo, Ann Nocenti’s Kid Eternity, Sienkewiecz’ Elektra Assassin and Stray Toasters, McKean’s Cages, so many books by Gilbert Hernandez. Milligan’s Shade is on-deck, followed by the old Arnold Drake/Bob Brown Challengers of the Unknown and Ed Herron’s Tomahawk and his Rangers. Who knows where it will go from there? I should’ve used the time to get into the Dredd stuff so I could read-along with you all on Drokk but…

    This new way of living the comics life unfortunately also made me delay listening to many of the Wait What podcasts so as not to get spoiled on certain titles. Though I was not much a fan of Bendis’ Marvel books, I really really love his Superman. And I’ve even dug Snyder’s Justice League and its Metal finales (both of which seem to have some great meta commentary on the politics of today.) And Al Ewing seems to have captured much of what early 70s Marvel meant to me back in the early 70s, somehow working in the spirit of Englehart AND Gerber at the same time.

    ANYhow, sorry to blather. Really, just wanted to say: Thank you both for the pod.

    Looking forward!


    • Jeff Lester Dec 15, 2020

      Thank you, Garrie!

      That sounds like a terrific batch of stuff to reread and rediscover—but you can only do so much considering we only have so little (in comparison, anyway). Whatever you do, as long as you’re enjoying yourself, it sounds like you’re doing it right!

      And thanks for you summary of what you’re digging that’s recent: good picks and great encapsulations!



  14. Great episode- I spaused midway through toread that Baron/Guice Flash issue and really enjoyed it! Looking forward to reading more.

    I really think you guys would like Nexus if you gave it a chance. I think a good way in for you might be the Bowl-Shaped World arc- it’s #6-8 and also features the Badger and Judah the Hammer. One of my favorite arcs of the series, it’s weird and a lot of fun. None of the self-serious tone of other parts of the series that might put you off

    • Jeff Lester Dec 17, 2020

      Thanks, Max! I may give that a shot. Looks like they’re on Hoopla so that may be my next end-of-the-month binge.

      And glad you dug the issue! I’m slowly making my way through the series and I can really appreciate its offbeat charms now. (The Annual is just a big long kung-fu comic?)