As you know, Stan Lee passed this week, and it seemed impossible for us to overlook the event, since Stan had such a huge influence on the American comics market.

Stan was a complicated guy with a complicated legacy so maybe it’s not surprising our feelings about his passing—and how people handled his passing—are similarly complicated.  So join us if you want for a quick chat about the long life and amazing career of Stan Lee.   It’s only about 37 minutes or so?

Oh, and because we mentioned it in our discussion, I should at the very least link to Tegan O’Neil’s piece on Stan over at The Comics Journal. There are, as you probably know, a lot of pieces about Stan out there this week, but if you enjoy our mumblings, you’ll probably appreciate it as well.

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[Not actually the bear bathing image Jeff talks about in the episode,  but let’s roll with it] http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat258.mp3 0:01-15:53:  Greetings! After a very long time, Jeff “Japan!” Lester and Graeme “NYCC!” McMillan have returned after…

0:01-7:07:  Greetings from Jeff “Bottle Episode?” Lester and Graeme “Clip Show!” McMillan!  Yes, due to a very unique October for us, this is being recorded a week in advance!  We start off by discussing some tendered suggestions about follow-up episodes for Graeme’s more elliptical comments.
7:07-33:48: Graeme has a couple things to ask Jeff on the eve of NYCC:  Graeme knows about the end of Jeff’s convention going days….but what about the beginning?  What was the first con Jeff attended?  Discussed: Willie Ito; Terry Austin; the odd business of selling movie stills; comic book adaptations of movies; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; and more.
33:48-1:09:34: Jeff has a question for Graeme: since Graeme is familiar with both the 100 page Giants of the ‘70s, and the British Marvel anthology titles of the ‘80s, what would be his pick for titles for similar reprint books (with some new material) for DC, Marvel, and another publisher?  Discussed: Morrison and Porter’s JLA; Chip Zdarsky’s Spider-Man; Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey; The recent Titan Books reprint of The Prisoner by Kirby, Englehart, and Kane; comics that don’t age well; Finder by Carol Speed McNeil; and more.
1:09:34-1:24:04: Graeme mentions 2000 A.D. as a science fiction themed anthology, which leads Jeff to wonder about a horror anthology where there are recurring characters. So crazy it just might work? We talk about some of the big successes (and many, many failures) of horror comics with recurring characters. Discussed: The Ghost Rider; The 13th Floor; John Constantine; the Castle Rock TV show; fan service and the Gotham TV show; and more.
1:24:04-1:35:02: Jeff managed to get his wife to watch the Justice League movie with him.  Why would he do that to his spouse?! Why would he do that to himself!?! Discussed: Justice League; The Avengers; Guardians of the Galaxy 2; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; and more.
1:35:02-2:13:49: Since we’re talking superhero movies and which ones we found better or worse than others, Jeff asks Graeme: top five comic book superhero movies? Top five comic book movies?  Also discussed: upcoming untitled Deadpool film project for December; Dark Phoenix and the X-Men movies; the Spider-Man movies; and more.
2:13:49-2:23:58: And since we’re talking about the Spider-Man movies, we talk about…Spider-Man! But maybe not in the way you would expect.
2:23:58-end: Closing comments!  (But also: CheeWees!)  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr, 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.  And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK:  Baxter Building! Read issues #397-405 of Fantastic Four by Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan and join us!
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0:01-20:26:  Greetings from Jeff “We Must Talk About Batman’s Penis” Lester and Graeme “Really, Jeff?” McMillan!  We get right to the meat of it immediately, and talk about the appearance of “Lil Wayne” in Batman: Damned #1 by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, DC’s attempt to do a Mature Readers label featuring characters you can still buy underoos of.  How’d that turn out, you might wonder if you had no access to the Internet until now?  We are more than happy to enlighten you, even as we struggle to keep the double entendres to a minimum.  Also discussed: Dongtor Manhattan; DC’s decision to automatically censor the book; and more.
20:26-33:43: Jeff worries if between this, Ben Percy being yoinked from Nightwing, and the three month delay after the rejection of the art for Justice League Odyssey if DC is returning to some bad habits they had foresworn before Rebirth.  Discussed: all of the above, and Dan Didio getting a bad rap, the artist lineup on DC’s Age of Heroes book not even a year in; whether the Nightwing controversy would’ve landed harder without Marvel’s Vision controversy; what fans want from Nightwing and what DC gives us with Nightwing; and more.
33:43-1:10:35: On what Jeff suspects is a related note, Graeme has a quick spoiler-free bit of feedback about Heroes in Crisis #1 but not before  we discuss what’s going on with Nightwing these days, especially as presented in the pages of Batman #55 by Tom King and Tony Daniel. Then we turn back to Heroes in Crisis and the fates of midlevel heroes we’re roughly grouping here under Wolfman-era New Teen Titans.  From there we go on to discuss the return of Wally West in DC Rebirth #1, and to what extent that return is a signal of a need for “loose” continuity or “tight” continuity, to what extent the DCU “self corrects,” and with a bit of a comparison to what’s going on over at Marvel with regards to their continuity issues, especially with regards to the current Infinity Wars event.
1:10:35-1:21:08: And, relatedly, Jeff picked up Thanos Wins by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw, and Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 and #2 by Cates and Dylan Burnett, which he thinks ties in to some of these ideas about continuity, what works, and who it works for.
1:21:08-1:39:28: Don’t get him wrong, there are comics that Jeff really liked last week and he runs through them briefly here:  Immortal Hulk #6 by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett; Mister Miracle #11 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads; Avengers #8 by Jason Aaron and David Marquez; Batman #55 by Tom King and Tony Daniel; The Seeds #2 by Ann Nocenti and David Aja; and most of the first volume of Seto Utsumi by Kadzuya Konomoto.  And in celebration of the Killraven Masterworks arriving on Comixology and DC potentially completing the digitization of Kirby’s Kamandi, there’s a brief bit of comparison and contrast between the two.  They start off a little closer than you might think? Come for the comparison, stay for the re-creation of a McGregor-Russell Killraven issue.
1:39:28-1:47:39:  And while we’re comparing stuff, did you ever notice that Smokey & The Bandit is pretty much just a wacky remake of Vanishing Point? Also, Jeff saw Her and thinks Graeme would like it, but Graeme in inclined to disagree.
1:47:39-2:07:41: And as long as we’re talking movies—the footage from The Joker film! That Captain Marvel trailer!
2:07:41-2:12:13: Closing comments fakeout #1!! Graeme has a quick review of Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 2, by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette.
2:12:13-2:15:56: Closing comments fakeout #2! There is a direct sequel to Judge Dredd: Trifecta starting in 2000 AD prog #2100.
2:15:56-end: Closing comments!  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr, 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.  And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK:  We are…pretty sure we will be back next week?  Stay tuned!!
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0:01-27:04:  Greetings from Graeme “Self-Embargoed” McMillan and Jeff “Self-Impetigoed” Lester, who move relatively quickly into this news discussion dense episode, starting with the passing of Gary Friedrich and the mighty Marie Severin, two workers in comics with very different careers who nonetheless managed to pass away within a day of one another.  We start discussing the career of Gary Friedrich and his life and times, including his creation of Ghost Rider, his lawsuit with Marvel re same, his last comics credit, his long interview in Comic Artist, an on-point digression about the 90s Kirbyverse comics and Ultra comics, and much more.
27:04-37:21: And then we talk about Marie Severin, how absolutely amazing her work is, and how essential she was to Marvel in the Sixties and Seventies.  We coo in awe over the suppleness of her line, her amazing house ad work for Marvel, her flawless pastiche work for Not Brand Echh, her sense of design, and discuss her ties to both Marvel and E.C, and how that perhaps one to inherit the mantle of the latter.
37:21-41:05: And from there, we move from discussing dead comics creators to the crib death of a nascent fandom with an article over at Graphic Policy about David Wray, better known to Twitter followers of this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con as Tom King’s bodyguard.
41:05-1:20:15: So perhaps it’s unsurprising we move on from there to talk about Comicsgate, the topic (unfortunately) on social media’s mind.  Graeme wants to write about it, but is that just stoking the fires? Or does the industry need a definitive article that can prevent dozens of bad faith arguments? Also discussed: the lack of official statements from major comics publishers; other statements from Marvel; David Uzumeri’s article at Medium about the road to Comicsgate; and more.
1:30:25-1:40:54: And then…there were comics!  Graeme sat down with Marvel Unlimited and caught up with Charles Soule’s run with Ron Garney on Daredevil (“caught up” having that asterisk of Marvel Unlimited’s six month delay, of course).  Graeme also covers Letter 44, Poe Dameron, and Soule’s work on Lando.
1:40:54-2:00:05: By contrast, Jeff has made his way up to the mid-sixties of Master of Kung-Fu, and tries to sell Graeme on the book.  Moench! Gulacy! Marlon Brando! Fleetwood Mac!  It’s Seventies Marvel Comics at its Seventiest!  There’s also some talk about Marvel’s westerns, and the BOGO sale going on over at Comixology through September 6.
2:00:05-2:10:43: Sure, but what about more current comics? Well, we talk about wave 2 of the DC/Looney Tunes crossover books, with us recapping (to the point of spoiling, it should be said) Catwoman/Tweety & Sylvester; Joker/Daffy Duck; Harley Quinn/Goassmer; with a special focus on Lex Luthor/Porky Pig by Mark Russell, Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, and Andrew Dalhouse.
2:10:43-2:21:20: Jeff caught up with the latest issues of X-Men: Grand Design by Ed Piskor.  Are these recaps of the first several hundred issues of Uncanny X-Men a good introduction for someone wanting to get into the comics?  Jeff initially thinks so, but Graeme makes a pretty good case against.  Also discussed: TOM SCIOLI!
2:21:20-end: Closing comments!! Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr, 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:  Skip week due to travel! But join us in two weeks for Baxter Building! Read issues #382-388 of Fantastic Four by Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan and join us!
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0:01-11:45:  Greetings from Graeme “Jury Duty” McMillan and Jeff “Read a Tom King Comic About Jury Duty” Lester, for reasons those impromptu nicknames probably make clear, leap right in to discussing Batman #53 by Tom King, Lee Weeks and Elizabeth Breitweiser.  Like most of King’s Batman, the issue continues to hit Graeme in the feels, whereas Jeff is a little…more…uh, reserved in his praise, shall we say? Discussed: emotional pin-ups; Kirby immediacy plus Moore formalism equals…profit?  (I’m leaning pretty heavy here on the ellipses I’m noticing.); Batman: Year One; and more.
11:45-23:30:  Jeff, who admits to being crabbier than usual, cedes the ground to Graeme, which is a good thing for us all, as Graeme has read some upcoming graphic novels we should be on the lookout for, and talks about them in exciting (but non-spoilery) ways:  the amazing sounding Bastard by Max de Radiguès; Coyote Doggirl by Lisa Hanawalt; Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal; and the complete collection of Berlin by Jason Lutes (!!!).
23:30-31:18: Graeme has finally read all of Snagglepuss: Exit Stage Left by Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, and Sean Russell.  Remarkably, we manage to keep the discussion spoiler-free, despite Graeme talking about how much th ending really makes the whole work really that much stronger.
31:18-46:21: Speaking of Russell, Graeme mentions Russell’s recent appearance on the 2000AD podcast (in part, although not wholly, because of the work Russell is doing on Dredd for IDW), and that spurs us on to talk about Judge Dredd, the Simpsons, and the changing nature of satire and Mega City One.
46:21-1:05:21: Graeme spins off from all this to talk about something he did not love: the coming collection of Batman: White Knight by Sean Murphy. Also discussed: Mark Millar; Mark Millar and Grant Morrison’s Swamp Thing; Batman: The Damned; Batman: Hush; Legends of the Dark Knight; all those god-damned Batman books; and more.
1:05:21-1:22:38: Talking about who we might want to see about Batman leads, oddly, to a new theory Jeff has about the success of Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men and why they work better than the original Lee/Kirby X-Men.  And from there, we end up discussing the switch on the book’s focus from gay culture to (maybe?) Israel?
1:22:38-1:41:23: Turns out this is the right week to be talking about old X-Men stories and creators like John Byrne, because this is the week it was announced C.B. Cebulski/Akira Yoshida signed John Byrne to return to Marvel and do an X-Men book.  What the hell is going on?  We discuss, and that also leads us to talk a bit about sales of Superman under Bendis, Pearl #1 by Bendis and Alex Maleev, and more.
1:41:23-2:00:43: The wonderful Leef Smith of Mission: Comics and Art asked us to read Hey Kids Comics #1 by Howard Chaykin and share our thoughts.  Graeme didn’t read it, Jeff did, and…hoo boy.
2:00:43-2:06:36: Jeff also read Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun, Vol. 9 by Izumi Tsubaki.  He’s also read Prison School, Vol. 3 by Akira Hiramoto, and believe you me, you won’t mistake one series for the other anytime soon.
2:06:36-2:12:08: Graeme has a recommendation for Jeff:  the first two books of Brink by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard, a 2000 A.D. series that’s kind of a detective story, kind of not: Graeme mentions someone else’s description of it as “True Detective meets Outland.”
2:12:08-2:27:24: In “news,” Jeff wants to know if Graeme knows anything about this weird and more than slightly suspect TokyoPop sale on Comixology.  Selling digital versions of books currently available from other publishers? Licensed comics featuring characters they surely can’t still own the licenes for? What is up with this sale?  Graeme doesn’t have any answers, but he does point out some strange stuff about the Project Superpowers sale.  And we talk about some reading options currently available on Marvel Unlimited, including the entire run of Master of Kung-Fu, which leads Graeme to ask a question—“Jeff, I’ve never read Master of Kung-Fu.  Should I?”—Jeff has literally never thought of before.
2:27:24-end:  A classic closing comments fakeout!! Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr, 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. (And then! We talk about the sentencing of comics writer Gerard Jones to six years of prison, which is admittedly a very, very weird way to end the episode.)  And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK:  Skip week! Rest up and join us in September!
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http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat253.mp3 0:01-10:49:  Greetings!  Graeme “Bad Chicken Sandwich” McMillan and Jeff “Really Bad Back” Lester have one of their most meta-openings ever, as we talk about…why our episodes open the way they do!  Harbinger to come,…

http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat252.mp3 Hey, everyone! Jeff here with a *huge* apology.  I knew this weekend was going to be busy because the missus and I were going to have a sleepover with the nieces, but boy howdy,…

0:01-35:33:  Greetings!  Graeme “Remarkably Warm” McMillan and Jeff “Remarkably Convincing” Lester are here after a weeklong break to rap about comic books, and what better way to start than discussing the passing of Steve “Remarkably Important to American Comics” Ditko.  Graeme has a great handful of fun facts about Ditko you might not have known, and Jeff has some quality bloviation about the strength of Ditko’s plotting….plus a whole lot more!
35:33-1:13:54:  Pivoting from comics creators to comics, we discuss Batman #50 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, and a buttload of pinup artists.  It’s halfway through King’s hundred issue run, and the issue is, as Graeme put it, “primed for [Jeff] to dislike.”  True? Well… Once again, we are back in the arena pit of King’s Batman, with Graeme liking it much more than Jeff would honestly think possible, and Jeff disliking it not as much as Graeme seems to think.  Welcome to the Batman #50 Thunderdome! Two Podcasters walk in and….uh, two podcasters walk out.  (But thirty minutes do not!)
1:13:54-1:20:30:  Well, now that it’s been over an hour, maybe we can talk about a second comic? Well, all right, if you insist: Graeme has some choice words for Death of the Inhumans #1 by Donnie Cates and Ariel Olivetti.
1:20:30-1:29:21: And, picking up the pace, we also discuss Man of Steel #6 by Brian Michael Bendis and Jason Fabok.  So much to talk about in this issue, and yet how much do you want to bet Jeff just uses it as an opportunity to talk about how the bad guy looks like Anton Arcane from Bissette & Totelben’s Swamp Thing run?
1:29:21-1:32:19: A book that really rang both our chimes?  The Immortal Hulk #2 by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett.  The second issue has a lot going for it, including a vibe that heavily reminded us of classic Michael Fleisher/Jim Aparo Spectre comics—eerie and mean.
1:32:19-1:44:13: Not quite as successful for us on the Marvel front? The first issue of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on Captain America, with art by Leinil Francis Yu.  Was it the storytelling choices? Was it the squandering of one of the better writers about the myths of America squeezing himself into the idea of Captain America? Too on the nose? Not on the nose enough? Or was it just the whole post-Secret Empireness of it all?
1:44:13-1:55:17:  Hey, but don’t let us get you down—there’s a lot of great comics out there in the world, and thanks to Kodansha and Amazon/Comixology, we have access to the complete translated Beck by Harold Sukuishi, as well as his Seven Shakespeares series.  Beck was one of Jeff’s favorite reads back when Tokyopop reprinted it (under the title Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, which is how Jeff refers to it here) and is delighted to revisit it again.  If you’re in the U.S. and have Comixology Unlimited or Kindle Unlimited, you’re in for a treat.  (And if not, as Graeme points out, you can try Kindle Unlimited for the first month free!
1:55:17- 2:35:01: Jeff is ambivalent about Justice League #3 by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez, but Graeme is not, especially after rereading the first three issues.  After some more Old Man Grumpus comments from Jeff about Snyder’s recent work and his nonplussedness at issue #2 of The Unexpected by Cary Nord, Steve Orlando, and Wade von Grawbadger, Graeme tries to gently broach the topic:  maybe Jeff just doesn’t dig American superhero comics any more?  Includes a lot of talk about the comparison and contrast to manga, and what Jeff sees as manga doing better…and a long discussion of what Jeff wants his comics to be. (Plus: also some sales figure stuff there at the very end?  Because that’s who we roll.)
2:35:01-end:  Closing comments already?!  Sure, but first a very quick review from Graeme of Ant-Man And The Wasp? And then:   Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  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:  Baxter Building!  Join us for a discussion of Fantastic Four issues #362-370.
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0:01-28:02:  Greetings!  We welcome one another—and by extension you—back from a week long break with some complaints about the heat, wifi, and NIMBYs, before moving on to talk about the Guardian’s weekly print edition and the struggle to handle the current state of affairs.  How does that tie into the kind of thing we normally talk about?  Weirdly enough, it all comes together around the 8:30 point.  If you don’t like hearing us talk about the state of the United States these days, or just don’t want to hear about that particular topic altogether, why not skip to….
28:02-49:16:  here, where we finally get to the funny book blabbity-blab?  Although we start off kind of in media disagreement, as Graeme reports a comment about the upcoming Heroes In Crisis and a comment he found, as he puts, “speaks to a particular kind of entitlement in superhero fandom.”  Discussed: Spider-Man; Uncanny X-Men; 52 (the comic series); how standards for stories change while stories stay the same; and, obviously, Heroes in Crisis.
49:16-1:07:05: Speaking of Tom King (since he’s going to be writing Heroes in Crisis), we’d been asked to discuss Batman #49 by “Fifth Beatle” Matt Terl. Discussed: Alan Moore, King and Gerard’s Mister Miracle, Dan Clowes’ Ice Haven, the challenge or writing the Joker, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and more.
1:07:05-1:30:47: Since the arc in Batman is building to a wedding, we talk about the X-Men Gold #30, a wedding issue  that came out this week, where there was a wedding…but not the one promoted. Also discussed: Tom Taylor’s X-Men Red; Taylor’s Injustice and Wolverine runs; weird analogies about being a retired reader of X-Men; Chris Claremont as the protagonist of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo; plus two issues of Spidey: School’s Out as read by Jeff.
1:30:47-2:01:20: Still talking about comics, but maybe not as much with a focus on books that have been outgrown: we discuss Man of Steel #4 by Brian Bendis and Kevin Maguire; Justice League #2 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, and Alejandro Sanchez; Avengers #3 by Jason Aaron, Paco Medina,and Ed McGuinness; and Shanghai Red #1 by Joshua Hixson and Christopher Sebela.
2:01:20-2:21:36:  Because Graeme has superpowers, he was able to read Joe Casey and Ian MacEwan’s MCMLXXV, and it sounds pretty great.  Also discussed:  what we are behind on reading; amazing material mentioned in old Marvel Age issues that never saw the light of day; Star Wars: Let’s Smooch In The Empire; the recalcitrance of Chris Claremont; Steve Gerber’s run on Cloak & Dagger; and more.
2:21:36-2:48:24: Remember those good old days when we would tell ourselves and you that we’d gotten to the end of the podcast and there was nothing else to say…and then we’d keep talking for an absurdly long period of time after that.  WELL, THE GOOD TIMES HAVE RETURNED as we bermoan our failure to discuss recent comics news and then dig in to one piece of comics news: DC’s deal to stock 100 page giants in WalMarts.  We discuss the line-up of books, the strategy behind the books, and more.
2:48:24-end:  And finally: closing comments!   Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  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:  Another skip week, as Jeff attends to some personal business (wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it!)  But join us in a fortnight for Wait, What? Ep. 251!
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