Wait, What?, Ep. 326—Hass Glalf-Full?

September 5, 2021

0:01-25:43: Greetings!  Graeme is a fine mood after a very eventful week, and Jeff is….Jeff and really what can any of us do about that? (I mean, look at how much Jeff has tried and see what little difference it makes!). Anyway, the slightly undercurrent of self-loathing felt by those who write about themselves in the omniscient third person is not really discussed here:  it’s largely about the difficult necessity of having uncomfortable conversations on the telephone, whether that being Graeme interviewing someone for his job or just trying to get a straight answer from his vet!  Kid update, dog update, Portland update—all this wrapped up in the time warp of “Chloe was just on the podcast *a week ago*?”  Whereas, Jeff barely survived his descent into the dangerous labyrinth the Elder Gods call….Ikea! Plus: a “pug on ‘roids” update!
25:43-45:43: Anyway, remember how Jeff kept threatening Graeme to play a game where Jeff described manga and Graeme had to figure out whether it was real or not?  Welcome to our first installment of “My Four Manga,” where Jeff names and describes four manga and Graeme has to guess which one isn’t real!  Discussed:  Steaming Sniper; A Pantyhose like World; Sweaty Garden Gacha Girls!; and Dick Fight Island.
45:43-1:42:20: And so to news—Comixology gave word that in the Fall they will be: (a) doing a huge upgrade to their app; and (b) redirecting Comixology.com to Amazon’s Kindle Comics/Comixology store (currently already up and running although please god let this still be in progress).  And this was followed by more news including that those who used Comixology Submit to publish their comics will have to re-upload to Kindle Comics, they will have to redo the Guided View approach, and Amazon’s cut goes up from 35% to 65% (unless the self-publisher pays the expensive uploading fees and then Amazon’s cut goes back down to 30%).  Check out this FAQ, this Comixology Submit related FAQ, and some wise words from friend of the podcast Todd Allen.  TL;DR? This is a really bad turn of events, no matter how jauntily the CEO wrote the email. We talk about it, how publishers might have received this news, how digital’s place in the market has evolved/devolved, comics on Kickstarter, Gumroad, what could happen with Substack (and what we hope happens!), Webtoons, Tapas (and the staffing behind the scenes) and more.
1:42:20-1:51:55:  Also, this week—Al Ewing tweeted a short thread on Twitter about an old drawing of Joe Bennett’s and apologizing for being so silent about it this and other problems with Bennett that have come up before. And there’s also news about Action Labs and their very poor handling of their books and their authors (there’s a lot you can turn up with a casual search on Twitter but here’s the one Graeme mentions that should have a content warning for likely suicide).
1:51:55-2:01:47: Comics! We keep on reading comics!  Graeme (soon to be guesting on the Voice of Latveria podcast) revisited some of Stan Lee/John Buscema Thor comics, has been rereading JSA, (the James Robinson/David Goyer/Geoff Johns scripted joint), which led him down a comics hideyhole to revisit JSA’s ur-text, Infinity, Inc.  Discussed: baby Todd McFarlane; Amy Reeder’s Amethyst; and more.
2:01:47-2:16:55:  Jeff, by contrast, reread 16 volumes of Steaming Sniper by Marley Caribu (a pseudonym for the writer of Old Boy) and Tadashi Matsumori.  What did Jeff take from 2,000+ pages of middle-aged man gentle fantasy? (A whole lot of comfort, but also a bit more as he talks about here.)
2:16:55-end:  Closing Comments! 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: Time to Drokk out!  Read vol. 28 of Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files and join us!

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15 comments on “Wait, What?, Ep. 326—Hass Glalf-Full?

  1. Jeff Lester Sep 5, 2021

    Cut and paste and paste and cut and cut and paste and:

  2. Shadavid Sep 6, 2021

    It’s entirely on me that I interpreted your opening in terms of national stereotypes- ‘It’s nice it’s not worse’ ‘We should expect better.’ I am old. Whenever anyone talks about Ikea, especially anyone connected to comics, I think of Lissa Treiman’s Minötaar. Jeff described it as a labyrinth. Then you talked about Shortbox. I have boasted in this arena about how I laugh in the face of Graeme’s ‘I know a thing I can’t tell you’, but people skating so close to saying what I expect, but not saying it- that is tantalising.
    Yes, another crossover with House to Astonish would be great. It’s where I first ‘met’ you. That may not be encouraging. I’ll look forward to Graeme guesting on Voice of Latveria, although mention of Lee and Buscema’s Thor has me shaking my fist at their transformation of Hela from a being of cosmic grandeur to a spoilt princess. Sif has recovered, but I don’t think Hela ever can.

  3. CJ Kral Sep 6, 2021

    I too read Dick Fight Island and very much enjoyed it. I was also very impressed by the level of world building in the comic since most hentai is just porn with poorly crafted characters and sets, but DFI is so well put together and it tells such a good and entertaining story that is didn’t get monotonous with the sex. I’m excited for future volumes as I didn’t think there was going to be more, because I looked up the author and she mostly does one volume mangas with a much more traditional plot. Anyway if anyone other than Graeme and Jeff is reading this I would whole heartly recommend Dick Fight Island, but keep in mind I am a bisexual non binary person. With that said I would like to recommend Thigh High Reiwa Hanamaru Academy for Jeff is not pornographic, but very queer and would love to hear Jeff’s review and Graeme’s reaction to it. One last thing, I have to ask is Jeff, how did you read DFI? Because we know both Comixology and Shonen jump wouldn’t have it. And I had to buy the physical volume to read it.

    • Jeff Lester Sep 18, 2021

      Thanks for the recommendation, CJ, I’ll check that out: the title commands attention! :-)

      As for DFI, amazingly enough it was available in Amazon’s Kindle Store? (But as you point out, Comixology does not.)

      And since that app has more or less adapted all of Comixology’s reading stuff, it was a pretty smooth reading experience. The Kindle store is weird in that it’ll definitely have a lot of manga (and things like the 2000 AD collections).

      The one thing with Amazon Kindle and manga is they’ll have more explicit material unless it crosses some amorphous line? (Usually if it looks like there’s any whiff of underage material, which as you know a lot of manga at least likes to take a half-hearted huff of.). So you can get vols. 2-4 of Gigant on the Kindle but Volume 1 is unavailable.

      I understand if you’re loathe to set up another reader or service to track, but I finally gave in and created an account on Bookwalker and as far as I can tell, if it’s legally available digitally, they’ll have it. And they do stuff with being able to build up discounts on future purchases. It’s not bad at all and allowed me to read stuff I just can’t get anywhere else. (Which may be an issue with future vols. of DFI, possibly.)

  4. I hope we’ll get more My Four Mangas, it was delightful, and I have to commend Jeff for coming up with Sweaty Garden Gacha Girls, which I actually thought sounded very real. Isekai and gacha games are both very popular now it seems, and so I thought it sounded like a plausible thing. And then Dick Fight Island sounded so insane and unreal that you couldn’t have made it up. I got a real chuckle out of the “gnome” discussion near the end of the episode.

    • Jeff Lester Sep 18, 2021

      Thanks, David! I also thought it was pretty well-done, to be honest, which is of course why I was so crabby about it being tagged as fake for the absolute silliest reason…Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I was offline most of last week so I missed out on the Comixology/Amazon news. As a Comixology Submit creator, there is a lot to think about whether or not to continue having my books posted on that platform or go another publishing route entirely. Thank you for the invaluable rundown of comic’s never-ending comic reset button. Todd Allen’s PW article is an incredible supplement to the segment!

  6. Voord 99 Sep 9, 2021

    Chiming in to agree the Todd Allen piece is excellent — thank you for the link.

    This perhaps makes me a horrible cynical person, but wasn’t everyone expecting, or rather assuming, that something like this was going to happen at some point, right from the moment that Amazon acquired Comixology? Maybe not as badly implemented, but basically this. I have to I admit that I’ve been taking it for granted.

  7. RE: creators offered Substack Pro deals. Ed Brubaker just mentioned in his newsletter that he was offered one, but turned it down. https://mailchi.mp/basementgang/tc06a2c0ve?e=5e2aea8026

  8. As much as I enjoyed Three Manga and a Lie, the gnome was the giveaway for me too. Don’t worry, Jeff. I think you can get Graeme next time!

    The Kindle/Comixology news is surprising and not. Surprising in that it took this long, and not surprising in how disorganized it is. Have you ever tried looking for a video on Amazon Prime? I can’t remember another user interface that has fought me so hard to share its content. I can totally see Amazon taking Kindle Comics and every time you search something, the top five results are sponsored content, just like when search for a book. No matter what happens, I think the end result will be bad for readers and back for comics publishers that aren’t Marvel or DC.

  9. Jeff, In regards to your adventures in Ikea, can I recommend the book Finna by Nino Cipri, which for me very much sums up the huge store shopping experience:

    “When an elderly customer at a Swedish big box furniture store — but not that one — slips through a portal to another dimension, it’s up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company’s bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but those two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago.

    To find the missing granny, Ava and Jules will brave carnivorous furniture, swarms of identical furniture spokespeople, and the deep resentment simmering between them.”

    • Jeff Lester Sep 20, 2021

      That sounds terrific—I’ll have to pick it up. Thank you!

  10. Max Brown Sep 20, 2021

    I’m currently on volume 12 of Steaming Sniper and is is a delight. Thank you, Jeff!

  11. Jonny Oct 16, 2021

    RE: “Why don’t Substack go for John Alisson”/other webcomics types:

    Possibly it’s either that they don’t want people with experience hosing material for free online who know they’ll be able to self-publish, either online or otherwise, the material post-exclusivity (or that those who do have that experience and platform see something in the contract indicating)?

    John could post, host, or print his stuff with little issue and has the infrastructure ready for it in a way that say, Tynion, doesn’t, not to mention potential as a Webcomic as offramp for a paid newsletter?