Wait, What?, Ep. 321 — Smizing With Pride

June 20, 2021

0:01-8:32: Greetings!  Graeme sounds a bit different here as you’ll probably be able to tell immediately—in fact, maybe you’ll catch on quicker than I did that once again we are being joined by Chloe Maveal, culture editor for NeoText Books and master comics opinion-haver! (But also due to Portland’s heat wave, they’re recording in a different, cooler part of their house than last time.). And we sort of apologize in advance for this episode in that there’s a lot of non-comics content covered in the first hour of this installment. For example, even though we’re talking about Todd McFarlane’s Spawn before the episode’s first two minutes are up, we are talking about Spawn in relationship to human fondue pots. (Also, I can’t believe it but put on the spot, Jeff screws up “imply” and “infer.” Arghhh! This will haunt me for weeks, I guarantee it.). And if that wasn’t enough for you, Chloe’s description of the prime era for Spawn—the nineties—may well leave you reeling. (Or rolling. Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, as the case may be.)
8:32-43:01: Hey, buddy—do you like dogs? Well, we sure do! In fact, Jeff just got himself a dog and he’s pretty happy about it. Really happy, in fact! So, you know, up top’s a picture of Jeff’s dog Remy trying to edit this podcast. He’s trying really hard and is such a good boy. Yes, he is! Anyway, if you’re interested in hearing how Jeff got his dog and the emotional rollercoaster he went through doing so, this next thirty-five minutes are for you! Also discussed: Chloe and Graeme’s pets! The secret of Ernie and Gus-Gus!
43:01-:46:04: Many of you remember last time Chloe was on, she and Graeme did a gruesomely good job getting the rest of us intrigued by the reality show, Below Decks. Do they have another trashy recommendation this time around?  The answer may surprise…Jeff?
46:04-1:02:21: Comic news time! (Kinda.) And we spend most of it mulling over the news that Substack has recruited comics writer Nick Spencer to…..? Join us for trying to make sense of the “Step 3: Profit!” maneuver of the 21st Century.
1:02:21-1:26:01: What have we been reading and what do we think of it? Graeme has been reading what he describes as “weird shit again” including collections of Rob Williams’ collections of Dredd and 2000AD material—and in fact he and Chloe both have just finished reading armfuls of John Smith comics (Tyranny Rex, Firekind, Indigo Prime, Revere, Devlin Waugh)—and a bunch of recent X-Men material which leads to us considering what the X-Men books are doing these days (SPOILERS for Planet-Size X-Men). Chloe talks about her read of John Smith’s material and what works for her with it 1:13:42, and Jeff chimes in with what’s he’s been reading lately at 1:21:08. Also discussed: trying to find and revisit Howard Cruse’s Gay Comix, Stuck Rubber Baby, the odd case of Wasteland #6, and more.
1:26:01-1:42:08: Springing out of what Jeff’s been reading is a brief discussion about Geiger issues #2 and #3 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Are they fun comics? Dumb comics? Or just shitty comics? And how exactly does one tell each from each?
1:42:08-2:57:01: After Graeme assigns Jeff some homework for next episode, we dig into this episode’s homework: because this is our Pride episode with our self-describe “two scoops of queer” guest, we decided to re-read the amazing Enigma by Peter Milligan, Duncan Fegredo, and Sherilyn Van Valkenburgh (soon to be released by Dark Horse and Berger Books in a “definitive edition“). We talk about how we first came to read it and when, what it was like to revisit, and Jeff asks Chloe a lot about her recent (excellent) NeoText piece about Enigma, how that tied into this assignment, and how it helped her come out…twice! Settle in, this is a long, long discussion about Enigma, about queerness, and much, much more.
2:57:01-end: Closing Comments!   Oh, but fortunately some things never change:  look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme! Chloe! And JeffTumblr, 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.
Next week: Skip Week! Rest your ears and join us in two weeks for another episode!

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9 comments on “Wait, What?, Ep. 321 — Smizing With Pride

  1. Jeff Lester Jun 20, 2021

    Here’s that cut! Here’s that paste!


  2. STUCK RUBBER BABY was just reprinted last year by First Second, so I’d be shocked if it was out of print already (and looking on-line it does appear to be available in print, as well as digitally). I think that edition was also significantly bigger than the old DC Paradox/Vertigo versions. Couldn’t tell from the discussion if you were aware, but a lot of Cruse’s shorter underground work is available on Comixology in the book FROM HEADRACK TO CLAUDE and in the Boom published THE OTHER SIDES OF HOWARD CRUSE. Unfortunately WENDEL appears to be long out of print,

    For the record, what happened with WASTELAND was
    1) #5 was somehow published with the cover for #6 (also cutting off the letter column mid-letter)
    2) it was immediately reprinted with the correct cover and full letter column
    3) #6 came out with the blank cover, “Real No. 6” notation and an editorial by Mike Gold explaining the mix-up and how they decided to handle it (the best bit being him asking his assistant “see if I can voucher for the cover”).
    More than a little odd not to include some version of #6 (with either the original cover or the blank cover or both) in the digital versions, especially since it has the first half of one of the few continued stories in the series. Though, looking at it now, i see that story does feature the n-word quite prominently, not sure what policy is on that now.

  3. CJ Kral Jun 21, 2021

    It’s very nice of you to have a LGBTQIA+ Special and spend the first half hour talking about your dog fucking a bed.

    Also I’m very mad that you’ve got me watching America’s next top model.

  4. Bengt Jun 21, 2021

    I don’t know how common it is (I haven’t perved on enough cats) but at least some tomcats bite the scruff of the neck of the female while fucking.

    When comics do stuff like the terraforming in Planetary X-Men I wonder if the writers have any sense of scale at all, Magneto supposedly brings enough mass from the Kuiper belt (which is really far away, 30 AU) to bring Mars gravity up close the that of Earth (Mars is only ~10% the mass of Earth).

  5. Garrie Burr Jun 23, 2021

    Way behind on podcast listening, per usual…. Some comments on most of your recent conversations:

    —I’d also just re-read Time Masters, along with Lewis Shiner’s second DC series, The Hacker Files. I still don’t really understand the purpose of the time travel rules set in ‘Masters’ except to make it more difficult, and more dramatically-intriguing, to make their trips. Or is that enough? Are these rules still used in the DCU? Hacker Files is an amazing look back at the early days of computing and social media. Lots I could talk about there, but for now, it makes me wish (again) that the digital reprints in DC Universe would include the letters columns and ads. Frequent letter hack Charles J. Sperling didn’t really care for Time Masters (mainly didn’t like the dark, less-heroic Rip), wrote to the book, and eventually dropped it, but he gave Shiner’s work another try in Hacker Files and had similar qualms about the heroism (among other things) in -that- series so after several issues he dropped that too. His back and forth with Shiner in the Time Masters and Hacker Files letter columns were (somewhat ironically) a more-civilized precursor to what we’d see in modern times on Twitter. Sperling stopped buying Hacker Files too, Shiner announcing that they wouldn’t have Sperling to kick around anymore.

    —Also just re-read Invasion after running across a forgotten copy of the Daily Planet tabloid Invasion issue, with the headline “Earth to Invaders: Drop Dead!” Did that get reprinted, too?

    Pretty amazing articles inside, with work by Clark Kent and Perry White, but also “Arthur Young’s Personality Parade” — a man on the street feature asking ‘ordinary’ folks “How has the Alliance Invasion affected your life?” The folks include Dr. Jenet Klyburn (with a headshot photo of Jeanette Kahn), Barbara Gordon (Barbara Kesel), and Abigail Cable (Karen Berger). Eric Strauss (Dr. Fate at the time), Funky Flashman, and Vanessa Kapatelis are also in that feature, but I don’t recognize those pictures, though Vanessa’s picture feels the most familiar.

    —Glad to see the love for Simonson’s Ragnarok! May be his best work. Hoping he’s allowed to finish it up. Somehow missed out on Truman’s Hawken — have to get a copy of that — though I’m looking forward to his final (?) chapter of Scout he’s been working on for Kickstarter.

    —Now that Wasteland’s digital reprint on the DC app is complete, what next? Really hoping they go deep into their stacks to show off the wide variety of comics they’ve had in the past and start reprinting the westerns, romance, humor, and combat titles. I see that a full-color reprint of Strange Adventures is up, now. I’ve still got questions about royalties to living creators for the digital reprints, though. Do Ostrander, Simpson, Messner-Loebs, and the others get a cut of some kind? What about the original editors, like Mike Gold? Anything for them?

    —Looking forward to checking out John Smith! Couldn’t find anything on Hoopla, but 2000AD’s app has his Revere and Indigo Prime available. ComiXology has his Dr. Fate-take, Scarab up for 1.99 a pop, though DC has yet to offer it on their own app.

    —I remember my gay friends going more for Milligan’s Shade and Enigma than Stuck Rubber Baby for some reason. One of them said that Cruse’s book was too much reality, and they preferred the fantasy elements of Milligan. It’s hard to describe accurately to you young whippersnappers what a jolt those books (and the Milestone titles) gave to the average comic book shop patron of the time. Comic book shops were so predominately white-heterosexual-male, and too many were very unwelcoming to folks who didn’t fit into that category, it seems crazy-brave for DC to have published such material. Where did they expect it to sell? Even at my very cool and welcoming-to-all shop there was some trash-talking customers complaining about these kinds of books being on the stands, and being surprised to find not everyone (including management) shared their beliefs, some of them even took their business elsewhere.

    ANYhow…. Take care out there, you all! Keep up the great work!

  6. Thank you for an eye/ear-opening podcast.

    Please take this in the best possible manner — it was a challenge to listen to. Not because I disagree with anyone speaking but rather because I come from the position of a 50-year-old married guy with 3 kids (and one dog who occasionally gets rowdy with his bed) in the suburbs of flyover country. I simply am not exposed to the culture, history, opinions and sheer temperature of what you presented in discussing Enigma. So I felt like I was drinking from a cultural firehose.

    A wise person once said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” You three provided me with plenty to understand, and I think I’m better for the experience.

  7. Voord 99 Jun 27, 2021

    So, I went to see The Sparks Brothers today. And Neil Gaiman is in it, not a lot but at least twice, maybe three times.

    And do you know what I thought of whenever Mr. Gaiman popped up onscreen?

  8. Just a quick heads-up because you were wishing for e new printing of Stuck Rubber Baby — First Second re-issued it in a gorgeous 25th Anniversary hardcover last year. Even if you have an earlier edition, you want this one. Also, thanks for talking a little about John Smith, one of the most under-appreciated talents in the history of the medium. And Enigma is the best thing DC ever publisfed.

  9. Shadavid Jul 11, 2021

    I enjoyed this one more than usual. Usual kind of unfocussed thoughts. I think it’s unlikely I’ll ever read Geiger, but the mention of Las Vegas left me wondering if One From the Heart is more Kirbyesque than that comic. Perhaps a kind, qualified person could advise.
    The mention of Headrack pulled the panel showing ‘…that’s when I paint another picture!’ to mind. The memory seems vivid, but it might be fun to sketch what I recall before I look it.
    Has Jeff read Blue Flag? It seems like this high school rom-com with significant queer content might have been mentioned. That there was 53 chapter story about this in Shonen Jump caught my attention. My main criticism would be that perhaps people were too earnestly talking about their feelings for too long at times. There’s also very little sexualisation of the female characters, the only exception I noticed was a chapter break illustration of three of the women in lingerie. Less sexualised than the X-Men, but something of a surprise in this story.
    Along with Headrack, I remembered I set up and ran a support group for bisexual people for several years in the 90s. it could be more than a decade since I thought of it. Thanks for the nudge.