http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts3/WaitWhat271.mp3 0:01-7:38: Greetings from Graeme “Swallow At The Wrong Time” McMillan and Jeff “We Are Probably All Dying Faster Than Previously” Lester who are back for another bout of two-fisted audio comics fun! And we…
0:01-3:38: Greetings from Graeme “Jeff Lester?” McMillan and Jeff “Graeme McMillan?” Lester let you know you’ve been robbed of perhaps the greatest opening in our history! (All that said, you probably didn’t miss much?) And, because we have a lot of qiuestions to get to, after a bit of talk about the previous week’s weather, we are off to the races!
3:38-08:00: John Kipling (from Patreon) wants to know:If the MCU makes a Fantastic Four movie who does Doom team up with to defeat Reed Richards? Namor? Mole Man and Fin Fang Foom? Galactus? (And if it is Fin Fang Foom should he wear athletic shorts?)
08:00-16:12: Ed (from Patreon) was wondering:First, Zenescope Comics and Aspen Comics seem to be popular (at least on Comixology). Do you have any sense who the audience for these are? To me, they seem like porn comics minus the porn. Am I missing something?
16:12-22:08: Second, I’ve tried to get into manga a few times but the only series that ever worked for me was Lone Wolf and Cub. I love the art style; the story was compelling, the action was clear; and it didn’t have much of the tropes that I associate with the manga that I don’t like: panty shots, high school, chibi characters, the little visual short hands (vampire teeth, bead of sweat, etc.). Do you have any manga recommendations that might work for me?
22:08-28:17: Steve Lacey asked via email: I’ll keep this brief as I’m on a phone at nearly 2am, under the influence of some very enjoyable birthday celebrations. I have never relied on autocorrect so much…
As fellow travellers on the Fantastic Four journey, I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the 10-or-so issues of the relaunched Fantastic Four so far. Are they any good? Where do they fit in the general FF rankings? And how do they compare to Slott’s other works?
28:17-30:16: In addition, what are your thoughts on the upcoming spinoff books – Invisible Woman, Future Foundation, and Yancy Street? Do the premises and creatives excite you enough, or are Marvel over saturating a limited market?
30:16-36:01: John Q (from email) wonders:In light of the ‘Drokk’ episodes, do either of you have any thoughts on the Marshal Law comic?
36:01-43:26: Jonathan Sapsed muses via email:My question is about creators ‘peaking’ in their careers. People say Chris Claremont peaked with the ’80s X-Men run or Bendis with Daredevil or Ultimate Spider-Man. But do creators really peak or is it that everybody gets used to their style? People are saying Bendis is peaking again after getting really ill and going to DC.
What about artists? Walt Simonson’s current Ragnarok seems as accomplished as his classic Thor. Bill Sienkiewicz is still innovating. I’ve heard Steve Rude say he peaked with Nexus #14. Is it that specific usually? Does anybody peak late in comics?
Is it the same with podcasts? When will Wait What peak? 🙂
43:26-46:44: Also when Jeff talks about ‘formalism’, usually with Alan Moore or Tom King, what does he mean exactly?
46:44-48:50: Eric Rupe, from email, wants to know: Has Jeff read enough sports manga to have an opinion on them as part of the action genre? Haikyuu in particular seems to work really well as an action story only instead of fights and chases it has volleyball matches. It is not something you see of a lot of in US media (TV, comics or otherwise) and was wonder if Jeff has had similar thoughts.
48:50-53:26: What is the most you’d be willing be spend on a comic because of nostalgia and nothing else?
53:26-1:06:49: Does the direct market inherently limit the possible success of certain types of genre material? Why the seeming lack of successful non-superhero based comedy, romance, slice-of-life, sports or similar types of comics in the traditional 20-ish page floppy format?
When people often talk about the current state of the direct market and various events that happened in the past they tend to a) blame the companies for publishing and marketing various bad ideas and/or b) blame the readers for buying said bad ideas but never seem to blame retailers for going along with it all. Do retailers deserve a certain amount of blame or are they innocent middlemen trying to make the best of a bad situation?
1:06:49-1:07:51: Who is more evil: Graeme, since he owns a Kindle, or Jeff, since he owns an iPad?
1:07:51-1:09:07: Kevin Donlan (from email) asks (but this gets booted to a future episode because it is too good a question to just dash off but we don’t have time and so here is the question for your future reference): So this should lead to a quick discussion if you were to recommend an introduction to comics to different age levels what would they be, they could either be funny books or even scholarly journals (Not Brand ‘Ecch comes to mind):8 and under /9-13 /13-15 /16-18 /19-25 /26-35 /36- fogies /”get off my lawn” to curmudgeon
Obviously there are some things that will overlap. Just curious what you think. [stay tuned, Kevin!]
1:09:07-1:11:52: Martin Gray arrives via Twitter and email to wonder: If Silver Age Marvel had done ‘Family’-style spin-offs a la Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, who do you think would have could have carried a book?
1:11:52-1:18:14: Douglas O’Keefe (via email) has a couple loaded in the chamber and ready to fire: What was the end of Mister Miracle all about? How do you feel about the series as a wholeYou guys talked a little about #12 when it came out, but your discussion was mostly about the continuity of the series with other DC stuff at the time.I started reading with a lot of enthusiasm but by the last issue I felt like I had learned that the pizza I’d been eating was made out of cardboard.
1:18:14-1:22:02: Tom Shapira from Twitter proposes this thought experiment: If you could have one never-completed work (Big Numbers, 1963 etc.) finished what would it be?
1:22:02-1:28:55: From Twitter, George Johnson wants to know: Has the walking dead peaked or did it earlier and we are in the decline now? [SPOILERS for issue #192, the latest issue of Walking Dead]
1:28:55-1:30:05: Art Lyon (@DarthErr on Twitter) queries: What failed comic book publisher do you miss?
1:30:05-1:35:02: From email, Eric Grill challenges: Given Marvel’s previous attempt at creating manga inspired work with (to be charitable) less than successful results, what Marvel or DC characters / concepts would work if done in the true manga style by Japanese writers and artists? The natural choice would be students at the Xavier Institute like Generation X in a slice of life manga, but given the Xmen’s propensity to play sports whenever they have downtime, a baseball manga with a team of mutants could be great.
1:35:02-1:43:23: Our good chum Adam P. Knave asks via email: What music do you think goes with your current favorite series and why?
Bonus: Best Englehart storyline ever? All books he wrote are up for grabs.
1:43:23-1:46:20: Flashhe (a.k.a. Roger Wilson) asks via the electromagnetic temporal communication field (a.k.a. email): In the wake of the Swamp Thing cancellation etc, and the forthcoming Warner streaming service, is DC Universe doomed? Certainly seems like Warner would want to save the original content for its new all-encompassing streaming service. I am worried about the future of Stargirl, which I really want to see. Maybe DCU will exist only as a platform for the comics? Can the two services co-exist and the original content would premiere on both at the same time? I know it’s all just speculation at this point, but you guys seem closer to the mouth of the Oracle than I am.
1:46:20-1:47:33: Also, who is your favorite Legionnaire? I guess mine is Phantom Girl. I always dug the bell-bottomed costume.
1:47:33-1:50:55: Leef Smith wanders in from email to wonder: Where do you see the comics industry in 10 years? And more specifically, what happens to Marvel Comics after it’s wrestled from Ike Perlmutter’s cold, dead hands? (Not to wish death on anyone, but… )
1:50:55-2:03:48: Good ol’ Dan Billings writes: My comic shop has an issue with pull lists because customers with extensive asks or specific graphic novels disappear. In addition, the number of large pull list customers has significantly declined. A few questions related to that:
1. Do you think pull lists are a positive or negative for shops?
2. From what you hear, is the same loss of large customers happening everywhere?
3. If so, what do you think could change that?
4. Is there something on your pull lists you seemed to never be able to drop – either in the past or today?
2:03:48-2:08:53: David M stymies us via email with: Who was Scott Free’s mum? Bearing in mind Izaya seems to have aged about 50 years since Avia was killed and it’s probably longer as he’s a god.
Has Graeme been reading John Allison online from early on? I started with the first issue of Giant Days and then started on Bad Machinery and have only recently been exploring Scary-Go-Round and found it’s all part of the same continuity. Some of it is pretty surprising and spoilerific.
Do you have favourite Kirby monster stories? ‘I Created The Colossus!’ is mine, both because he cuts loose on the art in a way that looks years ahead of the rest of the work he was doing then and as it’s the best of his ‘monster as golem’ stories.
What’s Graeme’s favourite manga and Jeff’s favourite Legion of Superheroes story?
2:08:53-2:15:02: Retired Podcasting King Chad Nevett asks us via twitter: With the Vertigo rumours this week and Wicked and Divine ending soon, I was wondering if it being at Image at all instead of Vertigo is a good measure of the imprint? Is WicDiv the first/best example of a post-Vertigo Vertigo type of series/run?
2:15:02-2:16:42: Tiny Skeffrn (via twitter) ponders: Is it time to put the FF out of it’s misery? (Again!) Or rather, should we have left the FF in cold storage? I love Dan Slott but it’s all feeling a bit stale…
2:16:42-2:18:02: Earl Stevens via Twitter twoots: Question: This has probably been spoken about – but as a long time listener I still don’t know how you two became pals?
2:18:02-2:22:02: Credible Hulk arrives from Twitter to smash us with: Which Marvel and DC heroes would host the best podcast and on what topic? Other than Blue Beetle and Booster Gold reviewing fast food restaurants, of course.
2:22:02-2:27:14: Phil Southern tweets to break Graeme’s brain with: In my mind, you guys have tens of thousands of loyal listeners; for lack of a better way of putting it, what are your ratings? Are you comfortable sharing that kind of information? Irrespective, thanks for 10 years of great podcasts! I like them a lot, especially “comics news” and old comic discussions.
2:27:14-2:30:47: Twitter’s very own ComicCruncher asks: In your time in and around the comics industry, are there any non-obvious changes that have had a big impact? (obvious changes = stuff that everyone talks about like Amazon, digital comics, diversity, etc) Love the show!
2:30:47-2:39:44: Here’s a little slice of fried gold from Thibaut Josse via email: Hey guys,Reponding to your call for questions, here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately : do you think the dc universe (the shared superhero universe, not the multimedia app which is still not available out of the States, damn it !) is instrisically more interesting than the marvel universe ?
What leads to this question is that I noticed that you were spending a great deal of time discussing the narrative and editorial implications and the overall mythology of the comics published by dc, something you rarely do about marvel (or at least about current marvel continuity). I thought it might be just because Graeme seems to be the most interested of you two in discussing the continuity and in reading the comic books in the context of a larger universe and he’s more invested in the dc universe. But maybe you also think there’s something that makes them more interesting from this point of view. I remember Jeff saying that after some time (20 years ?), every shared universe collapse under its own weight and I think he’s absolutely right about that. There not having been a real reboot in the marvel universe could have contributed in making the marvel universe flatter (Al Ewing’s Ultimates though !).
Anyway, sorry about my English, I hope I’m still understandable. Thank you for the podcast and thank you for making me read Judge Dredd, I really, really dig it!
2:39:44-2:50:47: Jonny Kiehlmann had a few things on his mind and he emailed to say: Image’s rise over the last ten years has been fascinating — from the Chew launch literally the same month as you guys, June 2009, through to Saga and the boom following it, with things like WicDiv, Sex Criminals etc. How this period is looked at will probably depend on how well Image manages to replace Saga and WicDiv, with a lot of delayed titles, as well as Luna and Chaykin type content issues. How do you think this time will be looked on?
2:50:47-2:53:56: I assume you’ve already had someone ask what your favourite comics of the last ten years are (I’m probably the only person who’ll say Daytripper), but more specifically, what have your favourite Image comics of the last ten years been?
2:53:56-2:58:28: You mentioned Rise of Arsenal as a nadir of bad comics. Is it the worst? What stands out as the worst comic ever?
2:58:28-3:08:18: Here comes John Wheaton from email to say :(1) I loved and miss Comics Alliance. How did you feel about the site? Was it just economics that undid it or do you think something about what they offered made their fall inevitable?
(2) What’s the best comic book site now? CBR? Newsarama? ComicsVerse? Bleeding Cool? (Please don’t say Bleeding Cool)
(3) What is the best character from the Big 2 created since your podcast started?
3:08:18-end: Closing comments…of a sort. Graeme is overjoyed we made it halfway through the questions (even after Jeff points out that we’re only a third of the way through the questions). By which I mean, we kinda can’t shut up, in part because Graeme wants to talk about reading Roger Stern’s run on Amazing Spider-Man and how good it is, and Jeff is Jeff. Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, 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. (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Drokk, Episode 5! Which is also our…400th Episode? Go get some cake, read some Dredd, and join us!
0:01-15:25: Greetings from Graeme “I Have To Share With The World” McMillan and Jeff “I’m A Little Worried” Lester dig into our ten year anniversary of this podcast with a deep dive Q &A episode. But, first, we’re sure you’re asking yourself: what was happening in the pages of Marvel Age magazine preview for 1992? Thank goodness for you Graeme has the answer. Also discussed: the second Nomad, the third Nomad, and what happened to the second Nomad and who was responsible; vagueness related to possible tenth anniversary celebrations; Graeme shocked that Jeff hasn’t been high during recordings; how many episodes we’ve actually posted (that to be clear, Jeff was *not* high for); how in-depth the following questions are, and more.
15:25-32:17: And we’re off to the races! Matthew and Anna (from Patreon) ask: I left this a comment on the last Drokk episode, but I’ll ask it again here. Do you think there have been any comics that have been effective at capturing the idea of “punk”? There have been a few titles in recent years that have been, at least on the surface (e.g. in the title), about punk, but none of them seem even remotely like the punk scene/community/ideas that I’m familiar with. Why do you think this might be? Could it be at least in part due to the idea of “punk” within the minds of the people writing these comics still being stuck in the ’60s and ‘70s?
32:17-54:27: Supercontext Ifrom Patreon) wonders: I’m curious what your take is on several newish comics publishers that have arisen in the last couple of years. I’m specifically thinking of companies like Action Lab, AfterShock, Black Mask, Lion Forge, TKO and Vault. The recent Lion Forge/Oni acquisition probably has a connection to this. While promoting creator-owned work, they seem to mainly be backed by venture capital investments, despite the small percentage of the market that remains for them to make a return on. I don’t often hear you guys talk about their books, so I’m curious if you are reading them. What do you think about their chances for success? How do you think they’re affecting the industry? And finally, what do you think differentiates them from one another? Thanks for the show. I look forward to listening every week.
54:27-1:02:58: Daniel Mckay (from Patreon): I’ve always been a bit curious about Jeff’s day job but I feel he’s been carefully quiet so barring any more details, I’ll just thank you guys for everything with words rather than just dosh. Thanks.
1:02:58-1:13:06: Dan White (from Patreon): my question is what value do you think there is in engaging with problematic work or problematic creators?
1:13:06-1:21:34: Ethanlj (from Patreon): I grew up a Marvel guy and didn’t start reading DC until post-Crisis with Legends and then JLI. I know there must be a ton of great stuff right before that time. What storylines or creator arcs from the first half of the 80’s really stand out? I’ve read and enjoyed Judas Contract and Great Darkness Saga but other than that it’s an unexplored world.
1:21:34-1:31:29: Follow up q from Ethanlj: Oh, another one (feel free to answer just one or none). With Fox’s X-men and Fantastic Four now dead and buried, how would you introduce these concepts into the MCU. Specifically, can you launch the Original X-Men (Scott, Jean, etc) in the year 2020, or does that really have to be in the Civil Rights Movement time in the 60’s? And same question for the FF… do you need a Space Race to make it work?
1:31:29-1:57:26: Patchen Mortimer via email: As I tweeted to Jeff, I’m currently going through your archives, and your Baxter Building and Star Brand re-reads were like getting two chapters of a psychobiography that now I cannot stop thinking about.
Like, when was he good? When was he great? When and why did he go wrong? And why did he hold such sway in the industry for so long, despite being—at least as a writer—manifestly hidebound, boring and bad?
Some background: As I think I’ve mentioned previously on Twitter, I always resented John Byrne for driving me off Iron Man, which was the title that got me interested in comics. I’d been reading comics for a year when he delivered the “Armor Wars II” storyline—a lifeless slog featuring neither Armor nor Wars. The supporting cast largely vanished; the Madam Masque subplot disappeared; there was a retelling of the origin. I held on for a year and then gave up mid-arc—7th-grade me had no patience for Fin Fang Foom (at least not Byrne’s version) and the X-titles had lured me away (coincidentally, just before the big 1991 X-summer shakeup that saw Claremont leave).
Being a middle-schooler, I didn’t think to blame the writer; I just knew things had Gone Wrong. But years later my grad school roommate and I would try X-Men: The Hidden Years and it was dreck. At the same time, we were re-reading my old comic collection, and lo and behold I suddenly connected the dots.
Then in the last year or so, I’ve been listening to podcasts like yours, and discovered he did this nonsense to COUNTLESS titles. For DECADES.
You guys have perspective and omnivorous habits I don’t. Any way you can take some time to shed some light on this? What drove him to be the way he was, what were his peaks and valleys, etc.? When you look at his career in total, is there a Unified Theory of Byrne beyond a guy who was envious of Claremont and who desperately wanted comics to go back to the way they were when he was 10? Is it that simple or is there more?
Anyway, just a thought, and thanks for the podcast!
1:57:26-2:10:15: Tomas Syrstad Ruud from email: Are the big two basically unable to make good Fantasy and Science-Fiction comics, because the creators are used to the character-focused Super-Hero genre, and take it for granted that they can make drastic changes to the underlying worldbuilding in a book when they take it over? See e.g. Wonder Woman, Legion of Super-Heroes.
I recently binge-read a lot of european (not british) comics. (Storm, Thorgal, Lanfeust). When listening to your latest episode it struck me that this is the one area of comics I can’t remember hearing you discuss. Do you have any interest in this section of comics? I don’t know how much is available in english.
2:10:15-2:14:35: Skye Adamczyk from email: A few episodes ago you [Jeff] mentioned your love of “incredibly well researched but batshit insane manga” and so you came to mind when I learned about Drops of God by Yuko and Shin Kibayashi.
To try and give an elevator pitch: it follows the formula of a lot of other battle manga, being about a young man who recieved brutal torturous training from his father to heighten his senses facing off against a rival who turns out to be a secret brother with the same training. The twist is, instead of fights its all about wine tasting.
Personally this is a field I know nothing about but the manga has a great reputation among the wine tasting community, effectively increasing the sales of each wine mentioned.
2:14:35-end: Closing comments…of a sort? Graeme is overjoyed we made it halfway through the questions (even after Jeff points out that we’re only a third of the way through the questions). By which I mean, we kinda can’t shut up, in part because Graeme wants to talk about reading Roger Stern’s run on Amazing Spider-Man and how good it is, and Jeff wants…to be Jeff, basically. Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, 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. (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Part 2 of Our Q & A episode! Why not ask us a question at waitwhatpodcast A T g mail.com?