Wait, What? Ep. 322: Sator Squares

July 4, 2021

0:01-4:27: Greetings!  Remember when talking about the weather was a pleasant form of inoffensive chitchat as opposed to a worried check-in to make sure the other person is safe and not boiled alive? Sadly, even if you do, get ready for the latter as we hear about Graeme’s two weeks in the boiling kettle of the Pacific Northwest!
4:27-18:58: Part of the challenge of the heat is working in it, and it’s especially two weeks when the last two weeks for Graeme have been: his story on Substack, and the announcement (and then un-announcement) of Image Comics intending to publish new issues of Fell by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith. Graeme brings us up to speed on the weirdness in front of—and behind—the scenes!
18:58-31:39: And Jeff has news to report, too! (Although please ignore him saying “showhorn” instead of “shoehorn.” Not quite sure what he was thinking there.). Azuki is a new streaming manga service that offer the latest chapters of officially licensed manga…and for a monthly fee of $4.99, you can get access to the previous chapters. Jeff talks more about it and his cautious hopes for the service.
31:39-37:00: And more news: with Nick Spencer departing, Amazing Spider-Man is bringing back Ben Reilly and the Brand New Day multiple creative teams/high publishing frequency approach with Spider-Man: Beyond, written by head writer Zeb Wells, Kelly Thompson, Saladin Ahmed, Cody Ziegler and Patrick Gleason (who is also doing double duty as artist, along with Sara Pichelli and Michael Dowling (with Art Adams on covers)).
37:00-56:30: Also discussed: the upcoming Avengers storyline World War She-Hulk? With the debut of…The Winter Hulk?! That leads us to talk about hopping off the preview train with a surprisingly long talk about our respective tenures writing preview copy for the Comix Experience newsletter back in the day…worth listening to for Graeme’s hilariously dead-on recreation of an Image solicit.
56:30-1:00:35: Numbers about the state of the comics industry are out at ICv2 and they are a welcome surprise!
1:00:35-1:19:01: But, you know, would a truly healthy comics industry produce Spawn’s Universe #1? And have it apparently sell hundreds of thousands of copies? Graeme reviewed it for Polygon and wants to lure Jeff into talking about it by pretending that Jeff is some kind of expert about the character (or likes Spawn, even) which is…a dicey proposition. Nonetheless, we do talk Spawn’s Universe #1!
1:19:01-1:38:14: What else have we been reading, you may wonder? Graeme talks about reading Steve McManus’s The Mighty One: My Life Inside The Nerve Centre, his memoirs that include editing 2000 A.D. during its golden age. Graeme has also read Geiger by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank and wants to revisit the topic with Jeff—it’s a big of a dog’s breakfast because it takes a while to determine we’ve both read issue #1, Graeme has read a preview of issue #4 (which Jeff hasn’t) while Jeff has read issues #2 and #3 (which Graeme hasn’t). Who says this isn’t the Wait, What? Age of Comic Book Befuddlement?
1:38:14-2:05:30: Jeff has read: The Mystery of The Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel by Ryan North and Derek Charm! Drowning Love by George Asakuara! Please Put Them On, Takamine-san by Yuichi Hiiragi! Can you guess which book Graeme refuses to exist before he does? Also discussed: Tenet, Below Decks, The Lady in the Van, The Kid Detective, and more.
2:05:30-end:  Closing Comments!    Oh, but fortunately some things never change:  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 Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.
Next week: ???

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8 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 322: Sator Squares

  1. Jeff Lester Jul 4, 2021

    If you are of the mind to cut and paste, be our guest!


  2. Nate A. Jul 5, 2021

    I understand why Graeme probably didn’t want to get into the weeds about the blow up over the Substack thing, but he totally left out the part where a certain ex editor from the Intercept accused an organization associated with commissioning the article of antisemitism and then misattributed the piece to Cully Hamner. It ended up being a self-own, as the the ex editor chided the writer for failing to perform due diligence while also misidentifying the writer. (The irony is multilayered, as this is a guy who basically quit his last job because he refused to be edited.) Anyway, the misattribution caused twitter havoc for the person named, and the former editor never offer a tagged clarification (natch). So that’s the story as I understood it… Graeme’s version was good too, of course. But I thought I’d add some color commentary.

  3. Who turns Tenet off 10 minutes in? A character literally says “don’t think too hard about this.” You just sit back, relax, and enjoy Aaron Taylor-Johnson say the sweetest three word phrase in the English language: “temporal pincer movement.”

  4. That manga about the young girl with the magical knickers… remember when CB Cebulski was pretending to be Japanese to write Marvel’s Asian characters? Are we sure Yuichi Hiirag isn’t really Gerard Jones? It sounds soooooo creepy.

    Remember when you lads used to dissect Tom King’s Batman and Strange Adventures? I really want to hear some Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow Talk!

  5. Every time you mention “Geiger” in the opening, I think you’re talking about H.R. Giger, the artist who designed the Alien. I know the name is pronounced differently, but still my mind conflates the two, so I get excited in anticipation of the conversation to come…and then disappointment. I guess it’s because Graeme discussed all the Aliens films from his rewatch on the show in the past year that I automatically assume you’re going to go down that road.

    I think it’s time you both did a comparative read-through of Spawn, Savage Dragon, and Jim Balent’s Tarot, because I’d love to hear the ensuing meltdown on this podcast. Am I missing any other ’90s artist that has had a rigid devotion to a single creator-owned property for the last few decades?

    • Before they started discussing it a few episodes ago, I too thought Giger would a biographical comic about H.R. Giger, creator of Alien. Strangely enough that seemed to me like a completely reasonable comic to be made by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

  6. Shadavid Jul 7, 2021

    Your discussion of PPTO,T brought ‘The Magic Boomerang’ to mind. Probably best not to revisit that. I enjoy your chats about Spawn and not only because I adapt the Spam song at some point, but that too. I am a man of a certain age.
    I am very glad of the good work Rebellion’s doing separating me from my money, but the Book Palace has some good work as well. Their reprints of Fleetway Library comics have some nice stuff. Some of their stuff is too pricey for me, but it’s good it’s getting preserved.

  7. Matthew Murray Jul 9, 2021

    In a future episode can you play “real or fake manga”? Have Jeff make up five titles and pick five other titles and have Graeme try to guess which are real and which aren’t.
    Miguel: They clearly need to follow up their readthrough of Dredd with the _other_ comic that has moved in real time for decades: Savage Dragon. Clearly a lot of parallels!