http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/BaxterBuildingEp30.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: Technically, last time we covered a few years’ worth of annuals, but in terms of the monthly comic book, John Byrne has settled into a comfortable rut of retro attitude…
00:00-55:05: Greetings! But then, in under thirty seconds, Jeff drags us into the state of Marvel Comics because he knows Graeme has some thoughts on the Marvel Legacy “comic book industry changing” announcement of Friday, which involved 51 comics announced across six different websites, the social media accounts of their PR people, the occasional PR mailing and via the game-changing, high-density-information tool of …animatedGIFs, you guys! Yes, what better way to communicate plans about your much-needed initiative than the very tool most of us on Twitter use to make our “I can’t even” tweets seem interesting? It’s a very big conversation that, if nothing else, feels like we’re a little more worried about Marvel’s future than Marvel is? Anyway, be prepared because, as Graeme puts it, “I apologize, because I’m about to complain *a lot*!” Also discussed: the 51 titles announced and the one missing title; our dim memories of Spirits of Vengeance; the “innocence” of Marvel Two-In-One and Marvel Team-Up; homework; whether or not anyone is really calling for Marvel management to leave; a related digression about the perception of digital comics, digital trades, and Marvel’s recent digital fire sale on Amazon; bewilderment; terror; suffering; etc.
55:05-1:00:54: But we got you through all that so we could get to this: comic books! Sweet, sweet comic books! First up: Graeme is very enthusiastic about The Complete Sabrina the Teenage Witch: 1962-1971 (Sabrina’s Spellbook), a book he describes in a way that reminds Old Man Jeff of a scene from The Big Chill that either isn’t on Youtube (because Jeff’s too old) or Jeff can’t find on Youtube (because Jeff’s too old). Too bad, Jeff! Graeme also likes the back-up story by Tony Bedard & Ben Caldwell back-up for the Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil one-shot. (The joke from the Bugs Bunny/LOSH joke also sounds pretty great.)
1:00:54-1:04:57: Speaking of DC’s “comic” books, Jeff wants to talk about the final issue of The Flintstones by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh. We’re going to miss this book.
1:04:57-1:22:55: And then….Jeff has more stuff he needs to get off his chest about Tom King’s Batman, Yes, those of you paying attention will not be surprised to see our podcast’s ongoing subplot of 2017 arise yet again! And yet this probably will be the very last take on it for some time (God willing!) as Jeff talks about reading the first two trades, “I Am Gotham” and “I Am Suicide,” looking at “The Brave and the Mold” issue, the Bat Hound storyline, and having a rough outline of an epiphany while reading those in light of his recent reading of Bob Haney’s Brave And The Bold issues.
1:22:55-1:43:41: And the flipside of this, but also related in Jeff’s mind is his very recent read of Doom Patrol: Brick by Brick Vol.1 by Gerard Way and Nick Derington. On the one hand, Jeff feels like Way is striking a great balance between being respectful of the characters and using them as a way to talk about and embody other experiences…but Jeff is also a little vexed by the way some of the more traditionally important tasks of fiction writing are handled. By contrast, Graeme has *a lot* of love for the book, and confesses to being unable to be objective about it at all. Leading to some metacritical talk about criticism, subjectivity, and objectivity.
1:43:41-2:06:10: And to drag in another layer to this, Jeff read Manga In Theory and Practice by Hirohiko Araki, creator of the *amazing* JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and wants to not only talk about some of the practices Araki discusses in that book, but also the conflict and challenge of reading in translation the works of a cartoonist from a very different culture.
2:06:10-2:11:21: And! Jeff has read volume 1 of Golden Kamuy by Satoru Noda and it was rad. (Even with the fucked up thing that keeps happening to Viz’s digital manga recently.) Is it possibly the best bear-punching comic ever? A controversial statement, we know….but Jeff loves this book.
2:11:21-2:22:49: And and! Jeff also really loved the book My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi. Also discussed: Jeff’s new iPad, Comixology, GoodReader, and The Leopard of Lime Street (a.k.a. an early British attempt to do Spider-Man)….which leads us into some preliminary comments about both the Clone Conspiracy trade and Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 by Chip Zdarsky, Adam Kubert, and (holy cow) Goran Parlov.
2:22:49-end: Closing comments, but first a big shout-out to the fine folk at 2000 A.D. for putting a pull-quote from Graeme from this very podcast on Judge Anderson: Year One! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
Next week: Wait, What?, Episode 228!!
0:00-2:02: Greetings! Jeff’s asthma is acting up! Graeme has either forgotten or eschewed the word “example!” It’s another episode of your favorite comic podcast where the words “favorite” and “comic” are both suspect, and only “podcast” can be taken for granted. (Unless “podcast” implies some level of technical proficiency, in which case it’s *all* up for grabs!)
2:02-11:05: It seems to us like it’s been a million years since we’ve done one of these? (It’s only been two weeks if you’re keeping track?) Is that because Graeme has read so many Wonder Woman comics in the last week as a lead-up to the release of the new movie? It’s not clear, but it is a great excuse to talk about Wonder Woman comics, as Jeff asks Graeme to summarize his findings from reading that much Amazonian Princess in that short a time. Much discussion of Greg Rucka’s recent revision of the Wonder Woman origin ensues.
11:05-18:58: And then since Graeme has also seen Wonder Woman, the movie (but Jeff has not), there is a spoiler-free discussion wherein Graeme talks about the movie and what he thought.
18:58-39:57: And here is where Jeff’s ulterior motive makes itself known—what is the worst superhero movie? Can we agree on one? And if not, can we at least talk about how terrible Green Lantern is? Because talking about Green Lantern is like talking about that time you got horribly stomach-sick at your cousin’s wedding: painful and embarrassing at the time (almost to the point of genuine humiliation), but kind of hilarious to reminisce about. (hashtag I’m sorry Cousin Burt.)
39:57-47:42: Awkward segue here in that if you start on this segment you catch Graeme at the tail end of his thought about those superhero movies that were clearly compromised by reshoots, and then goes on to talk about the curious situation of the Justice League movie, now that Zach and Deborah Snyder have stepped away from the film for very good personal reasons. Is Justice League so messy that it will be in a way, critic proof? Will any good thing coming out of the movie now being credited to Joss Whedon?
47:42-1:00:16: And for a very different kind of DC superhero movie, Jeff recommends you check out Batman & Bill, a documentary available on Hulu about the crusade to get Bill Finger the recognition he deserves. Even if you know the contours of the story, it’s a documentary that has some very satisfying twists and turns in it. It’s well worth a watch, sez Jeff. But how exactly does that lead into us discussing the comic book career of Gene Simmons? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out, but we apologize nevertheless. (Also, as someone who has edited over two hundred of these damned things, I don’t think we’ve ever done what we do starting just scant milliseconds before the 54:47 mark!)
1:00:16-1:13:19: “Graeme McMillan, I have to say this is a very odd installment of our podcast,” announces Jeff, who is not just whistling Dixie (which is an expression us olds use and I am only now thinking I should google and ensure the saying’s origins weren’t something egregiously racist). (Still not sure!)
Anyway, that’s beside the point which I guess is: what the fuck is Marvel doing with their sale on digital trade paperbacks on Amazon? (Apologies if that link isn’t active—it seems my Amazon links are a little sketchy when it comes to general sections, as opposed to specific products.) Discussed: Seriously, what the fuck?
1:13:19-1:19:09: “When you said we haven’t even talked about Marvel,” Graeme more or less replies fifteen minutes later, “I thought you were going to talk about the revival of Runaways.” “Is that something you’re interested in, Graeme?” Jeff asks diplomatically. Discussed: the revival of Runaways.
1:19:09-1:40:24: Jeff wants to talk about the comics he has read. First up: Deadpool: Bad Blood by Rob Liefeld, Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, and Romulo Fajaroo, Jr. with a very special musical interlude! Also discussed: the first three issues of the current X-O Manowar run by Matt Kindt, Tomás Giorello, and Diego Rodriguez; the most recent few issues of Deathstroke by Priest, Hama, Pagulayan, Bennett, and others. Caution: includes SPOILERS for the wrap-up of the Lazarus Contract (in Teen Titans Annual #1, I want to say?).
1:40:24-1:44:29: Another book Jeff (re-) read recently and would like blab about for a spell: Punisher: Born by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Tom Palmer, and Paul Mounts. Frank Castle’s final days in Vietnam?! What’s not to like about that?
1:44:29-1:48:59: Also read! Spencer & Locke #1 by David Pepose, Jorge Santiago, Jr., and Jasen Smith! It’s Calvin & Hobbes meets Sin City!
1:48:59-1:52:10: The most recent issues of Moon Knight (#11-14) by Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, and Jordie Bellaire!
1:52:10-1:55:55: 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #4 by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Clare Dezutti! Jeff liked it, but you kind of can’t tell through all the complaining!
1:55:55-2:00:28: Et cetera! Including this.
2:00:28-2:05:39: Graeme does a terrible thing! A cross-examination about what Graeme is like in bars! And then…
2:05:39-end: Closing comment! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
In two weeks: Baxter Building Ep. 30! Covering Fantastic Four issues #271-277 by John Byrne. Join us in 14!