0:01-9:56: Howdy! And, wouldn’t you know it, our opening topic is indeed an inquiry into the nature of the word “Howdy,” before moving on to more important topics like sarcasm which is only the most important topic ever.  And then it’s on to discussions of injuries, suffering, machismo, and cool.
9:56-56:01: Well, of course, if we’re talking about what’s cool, we have to discuss what it’s like to read all the issues of Countdown to Final Crisis, plus the various tie-ins.  I mean, that’s just common sense!  Anyway, since Graeme read them (and Jeff, thank god, did not), we get to hear from it about what it’s like to go down a bad comics hole, and to stay down there for so long. Discussed: the plotlines in Countdown; Countdown as the flip side of our earlier discussion of Dan Didio’s legacy at DC; gibberish; is 52 and Countdown analogous to Secret Wars and Secret Wars II; comic book universe status quos; the latest issues of First Issue Special on DC Universe (Warlord! The Outsiders!); DC’s second silver age; and much more for what is terrifyingly close to an hour?

56:01-1:21:47: Jeff *finally* saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker! But it’s been full four days since dong so—has he really had enough time to absorb it?  By which I mean: does he remember it?  Full-on spoilers for this movie, though if you have a social media account of almost any kind, the movie’s already been spoiled for you already?  That said: SPOILERS.  Discussed: Star Wars, give me those Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars, don’t let them end!
1:21:47-1:42:26: What Jeff has read and wants to talk about: Space is Awful: The Ballad of John Dennis #1 by Derek Moreland and Derrick Fleece; Friday #1 by Ed Brubaker, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente; Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Omnibus collection by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson; Cat Shit One by Motofumi Kobayashi; the first three volumes of From The New World by Toru Oikawa from the novel by Yusuke Kishi; Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku by Fujita; 1122 For A Happy Marriage by Peko Watanabe; and more.
1:42:26-2:04:40: Comics news!  Catching us up to speed, Graeme walks us through! The alternate distribution deal of DC! Daily digital content! BINC funding! The mystery of Marvel and the fate of John NEE!  Bonus: NoBrow!
2:04:40-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 Dominic L. Franco, and 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: More Waiting, and almost assuredly More Whatting!
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0:01-01:10:14: Greetings! Welcome to the Wait, What? rollercoaster (of love!).  There is so much going on in the world right now, and so much that has happened in the U.S. comics market in the last week, we should just hop right in and break it all down for you.  Which is to say, we *should* but thanks to a correspondence with Dominic L. Franco, Jeff sat down and power-re-read of a fourteen year old DC event miniseries: Infinite Crisis by Geoff Johns, Phil Jimenez, and a flotilla of artists, inkers, cover people, colors, and letters.  And we talk about it AT LENGTH. So if you don’t want to hear about a big turning point in the DCU and how it resonates with later work by Johns, you should probably skip ahead an…hour or so?  Discussed: The plot of Infinite Crisis and everything that leads up to it; the modified version of Infinite Crisis released as a trade (and which version is/isn’t available on DC Universe); the Marvel Universe reduction of wonder in the 80s; the New52’s alternate origin point; connections to DC’s Convergence event (complete with its “nightmarish” zero issue); the various characters arcs of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman; what does Geoff Johns believe in, really?  Graeme’s recent re-read of the twelve issue Ion miniseries written by Ron Marz around the time of Johns’ Sinestro War; DC event mad-libs; the good soldier who gets done the dirtiest by Infinite Crisis; and more.

01:10:14-1:35:00: Jeff tries to move on to the comics news as he’s all-too-horribly-aware how long the Infinite Crisis has become, but Graeme is not so easily swayed.  After all, Jeff opened up the whole discussion mentioning his thoughts about Infinite Crisis and a theory about the 1999 Julia Roberts/Hugh Grant movie Notting Hill. So what’s the connection, Graeme wonders?  Here’s your chance to find out discussed.  Discussed: Yesterday; Notting Hil;, the crimes-against-humanity atrocity that is Love, Actually; the other 1999 movie that is basically Notting Hill; and more.
1:35:00-2:08:43: Comic news! it’s time for comic news!  Well, I mean, actually it’s probably well-past time but here it is finally!  Graeme gives us the 411 on what he rightfully described as “a fucking weird week for comics.”  Discussed (although not necessarily in this order):  DC and Marvel not publishing new material digitally (unless, as in DC’s case, it was already scheduled as digital-first material); Diamond announcing, nine days after saying it would not be delivering new product to comic stores, that it has cashflow problems and is unable to pay vendors (nine days!); ComicHub is announced as the savior of the comics industry and will immediately begin distributing digital copies of physically purchased comics (despite Jeff calling it Comics Hub this entire time); DC gave a quarter of a million dollars to retailers in financial support; and Marvel Comics pausing publication of 15-20% of its titles, affecting up to a third of its output.

2:08:43-2:47:53: Unsurprisingly, we segue from the pencil’s down for a third of Marvel’s product to the slowdown and shutdown in other industries, including the ones that continue to pay us (for now).  If you wanted conversation between two friends about the pandemic, what and where it might go from here—both for themselves and for this industry—think of this as a bonus episode jammed onto your comic book podcast.  Plus, an update about where to watch The Prisoner! Plus, a recommendation from Graeme to watch: Mad Max: Fury Road.  And from Jeff: George Romero’s The Crazies.  (Yes, we are very too-on-the-nose these days.)
2:47:53-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 Dominic L. Franco, and 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 DROKK DROKK DROKK DROKK DROKK
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0:01-1:04:41: Greetings! And right from the get-go, we’re off and running as Graeme poses a “hypothetical’ question involving, oh, I don’t know, a P.R. person for a major company in an industry that is facing systemwide disruption that threatens to be cataclysmic. And from there, we dive right into the P.R. release that came out from DC mere hours before we recorded, and from there try to track the rapidly changing status quo for the direct market that includes things like the only comics distributor in the marketplace shutting down, smaller publishers putting their publications on hold, Free Comic Book Day becoming Free Comic Book May becoming Free Comic Book Nothing For Now, and much more. Ready for nearly an hour of analysis, fretting, and “game theory”? (Don’t worry, at no point do we say that.)

1:04:41-1:13:28: Okay, and here is part two of the podcast, and we’re talking about what we’re reading: we start off by talking about the tremendousness that is the current run of The Immortal Hulk. I’m sure you’re not sleeping on this book, but if you are: don’t.

1:13:28-1:18:39: The final volume (28!) of S and M by Mio Murao was finally released on Comixology, and Jeff talks about the final volume, the reading challenges, and the friends we made along the way (and by “friends,” we mean “depraved sex acts that happen as dramatic beats in the midst of a thriller melodrama). It hung around too long, but Jeff would be lying if he said he didn’t appreciate it as its “height.”


1:18:39-1:24:41: Much easier to praise is the first volume of Blissful Land by Ichimon Izumi, a story about a 13 year old doctor’s apprentice in 18th century Tibet surprised with an arranged bride-to-be. Don’t let our digression about horny Dr. Strange stories distract you from a heartwarming, low-stakes manga.

1:24:41-1:32:28: Jeff also read the first three issues of Undiscovered Country, which turns into a jumping off point about reading comics that are perfectly fine that don’t get revisited under normal circumstances. Will that change now that circumstances are pretty god-damn far from normal? It’s a good segue to the things Graeme has been reading starting with the early issues of Legionnaires, featuring some early work by Chris Sprouse. Other relaxing “perfectly fine” old comics Graeme’s been reading on DC Universe and Marvel Unlimited and Jeff mentions being mid-readthrough of the trade of DC’s Wanted: The World’s Most Dangerous Super-Villains (currently available on Hoopla, and popping up weekly on DC Universe).

1:32:28-1:47:38: Jeff and Edi have been fighting the Covid Blues by watching more movies than usual and, hey, why not give you a quick rundown on those? Discussed: Contagion, Knives Out, Robocop, Avenue 5, Judge Dredd contagion comics, Robocop being a Judge Dredd film, and more.


1:47:38-2:01:36: In the least surprising turn of events ever, Graeme has been rereading Justice League: The Detroit Era. What may be surprising is the incredibly candid way Graeme “recommends” these issues. Also discussed: licensed comics not on the streaming services; licensed comics that *are* on the streaming services; Gerard Jones reprints; the After Truth documentary on HBO; the Danny Kaye Show; Breeders and Dev, both on Hulu; and more.

2:01:36-2:12:16: Graeme: “Are you also going nuts in this time of social distancing, Jeff?” Jeff: [gif of T-1000 melting] Good thing to come out of this conversation? A renewed desire to rewatch The Prisoner! (Streaming on Amazon Prime, apparently…)
2:12:16-2:18:37: In conclusion, we’re doing fine. However, Jeff mentions the sympathy (or, as he puts it, “pity and awe”) he has for Graeme who has to monitor the news for his job. Graeme talks a little bit about that, the process, and the wear and tear on his psyche.
2:18:37-end: Closing Comments! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Dominic L. Franco, and 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: Another episode!

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0:01-54:21: Greetings! Crazy, exhausted greetings! Jeff is recovering from a visit from his nieces and Graeme is recovering from 2020, and I have a question for you: did you want our opening pre-comics pleasantries to cover the better part of an hour, but also touch on the coronavirus, infectiousness, self-diagnosed hypochondria, baseless medical speculation, and general feelings of frustration about the world in general and the timing of the cancelation of Emerald City Comic-Con 2020 in particular?  Because if so, I am impressed at the level of heightened awareness on your part about what you want from this podcast!  And also very relieved, because as things turn out… Also discussed: Watching a Pixar movie right where virus testing packages are being dropped via helicopter; accidental quarantines; what your body remembers; a visit to the comic shop turned quasi-nightmarish; and much more.
54:21-1:05:16: And as long as we’re talking about discomfort and pain, let’s talk about DC Universe All-Star Games, DCU’s first original unscripted gaming miniseries starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sam Witwer (among others)! Jeff tries to blame Graeme for making him watch this—despite Graeme  never mentioning anything about it—and tries to describe the experience of watching this “show” for “entertainment.”
1:05:16-1:13:44: Comics? Oh well, if you insist!  Graeme has reread all four phases of Zenith by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell.  FULL ON SPOILERS for a series that is, admittedly, thirty years old, so be warned.  Discussed: Final Crisis connections, underplayed conclusions versus full-fledged melodrama; and more.
1:13:44-1:28:20: Did I say “more”? I meant “Moore”!  After our discussion last time, Graeme sat down and read LOEG: The Tempest by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill! Discussed: Graeme’s impressions about the book and about Moore’s cautious self-positioning in this final work of comics creation.
1:28:20-1:41:26: Because Imaginary Graeme made him, Real Jeff has been reading Justice League of America: The Wedding of the Atom and Jean Loring, which reprints mid-70s comics written by Gerry Conway (among others, although not mentioned yet) and drawn by Arvell M. Jones, Alan Weiss, and others. Discussed: the real Ray Palmer, why comic book writers admire the silver age Atom, the “sweet” spot of why Gerry Conway comics from the 70s are weirdly readable, trying to fold Marvel characterization within DC tropes, and more.
1:41:26-1:47:31: And since he’s a harsh taskmaster, Imaginary Graeme also made Jeff read Adventures of Superman: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Vol. 2, which includes a lot of Elseworlds stuff, a collection of JLGL covers, at least one primo World’s Finest story by Bob Haney.
1:47:31-2:12:51: And on a more modern tip, both Brian Hibbs and Reality Graeme liked and generally recommended Strange Adventures #1, the Tom King/Mitch Gerads/Evan “Doc” Shaner miniseries with Adam Strange looking at heroism, egotism, science fiction, colonialism, and what King himself calls “the bloody gap between the myth and the reality.”  So Jeff read it and, um.  Is this the flip side of this episode’s LOEG: The Tempest discussion? Perhaps.
2:12:51-end: Closing Comments, featuring:  scheduling and info about our next episode in two weeks: it’s a Drokk and we’ll be reading Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 13 and the trade of The Dead Man! (Also, there’s a 50% off sale over at 2000AD Store on Judge Dredd collections until the day after this ep. goes live so that’s worth a look-see for your stockpiling needs!)  it’s a   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 Dominic L. Franco, and 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: Skip week! And then join us the week after for an all-new Drokk!!
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Shorter than usual show notes, in part because far fewer topics covered. My apologies, but I hope you understand—let’s get to it!
0:01-1:02:01: “How does it feel to be the new publisher of DC Comics?” asks Graeme McMillan of Jeff Lester, and if you’re wondering if that’s a reference of Dan Didio’s removal from DC, give yourself a cigar, and if you think that means we’re going to get into the comic company speculation, appraisal, and possible future ramifications of this very big (and very recent) piece of news, give yourself another cigar!  And then find yourself somewhere quiet and well-ventilated where you can smoke them because we are going to go on about this *for a while*. We start off with an overview of what Graeme’s workday—with Graeme doing the auditory equivalent of Japanese pornography’s blurring out all the overly revealing bits—on the day the music died.  (Hmm, I made two wildly inappropriate comparisons in one sentence—I’d like to think that’s a new record but I know better.)
1:02:01-1:07:53: Yes, and then after that? Jeff has two books up his sleeve that he really wanted to talk about, but first we talked about the “mixed bag” that is Graeme’s comics but he does have a great story about the enduring appeals of old Superman covers from the 70s.
1:07:53-1:12:57: Something else Graeme read and is able to break down in a bit more detail is Noelle Stevenson’s The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures, a collection that spans eight years of her life, collecting her autobio comics from Tumblr and expanding upon them. Graeme uses the phrase, “accidentally fearless” which definitely peaks my interest.
1:12:57-1:23:57:  As for Jeff, he wants to talk about Inio Asano’s Downfall, just published in English by Viz.   Is it an autobio confession of a middle-aged mangaka having a midlife crisis? A very wry parody of same? Whatever it happens to be, it’s beautiful to look at, subversive in its execution, and either very darkly humorous or very, very dark.  After you’ve listened to Jeff blab about it, go check out Joe “Jog” McCulloch’s excellent review and overview at TCJ.com.  It sounds like there’s a chance Graeme will read it and we’ll get a chance to discuss it again, so hop on the hype train early and check it out.
1:23:57-1:49:17: The other book is not nearly so new to the stands but what the hey—it is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill.  As you may recall, Jeff read the first three issues many years ago and here, thanks to Hoopla, he gets a chance to sit down and read the full six issue series.  And what he finds…may surprise you?  It certainly surprised him! And Graeme!  And maybe Grant Morrison!
1:49:17-1:58:58: You did hear that Mark Waid is the new publisher of Humanoids, right?  We still kinda can’t believe it!
1:58:58-2:00:59: Chris Samnee is great, and his upcoming new book, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters, seems like it’ll be super-great!
2:00:59-end:   Closing Comments! We’re not sponsored by Casper, but Graeme’s got a great story about them anyway!  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.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Skip week! Rest your ears and your hearts!

 

 

 

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00:01-06:01:  Greetings from Graeme “Whole Day” McMillan and Jeff “Poor Guy” Lester! Graeme is medical emergency adjacent; Jeff is Jeff; nevertheless, we decide to persist in the face of adversity and press on to discuss…attempted murder!!!!

6:01-41:33: Yes, at Graeme’s insistence, Jeff ended up watching the first season of DC Unscripted, the reality show on DC Universe that tracks ten contestants’ attempt to pitch a new reality show for DC Universe.  (Suspiciously meta premise, that.)  We discuss our reactions to the show, the actual winners, 360 activations, slide lines, ringers, and much more.
41:33-50:59: So, yes, after discussing how unlikely it would seem that someone would watch a DC Universe reality show, Graeme comes clean as “genuinely, non-ironically a fan of” Marvel’s Hero Project on Disney+!   So, ya know, what do we know, really?
50:59-58:28: “At a certain point,” Jeff says, “we have to talk about Animal World.” And because Graeme has no idea what Jeff is talking about when he says that, that point becomes immediately after Jeff gets through saying it. Discussed: Animal World, Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji, Unlimited RPS, Deadpool, and much, much more.
58:28-1:23:40: Finally busting out the comics-as-comics talk, we discuss the first nine issues or so of Dan Slott’s run on Fantastic Four, since Jeff finally girded up his loins to read them and…oof.  Discussed: A fascinating piece of pre-FF #1 fanfic concerning Sue and Ben’s relationship (in Fantastic Four #5), the FF as family, the appeal of inoffensive comics, functional families vs. dysfunctional families, and more.
1:23:40-1:52:50:  Remember when we were talking about the reading list Jeff keeps, and Graeme went, “yeah, hey, I should do that,” and then was all, “hey, I did it!” and then was like, “no wait, it’s not complete I’ll read it to you next time?”  THAT TIME IS NOW.  (Jeff also reads his reading list, but more for a comedic contrast than anything.)  Also discussed: Narrative exhaustion, working oneself sick, being young, a thought about old Rockstar Games video games that I don’t think I got to finish?, Jeff watching Graeme’s old cat, Luna, and more.
1:52:50-1:58:56: All the grousing about narrative aside, Jeff really wants to recommend An Invitation From A Crab, a manga from indie Japanese cartoonist Panpanya.  Jeff busts out a lot of great creators—Kafka!, Woodring!, Miyazaki!—in his flailing around trying to convey what’s so great about this collection of stories.  It’s very good!
1:58:56-2:14:59: And Graeme has spent a lot of time, when not reading Birds of Prey comics for work, reading Justice League comics from the late ‘80s, early ‘90s. Tune in for an analysis of the days of Giffen, DeMatteis, Jones, Jurgens, and more. Also discussed:  the discrepancy between one title between runs; mutant orgies; and more.
2:14:59-end:  Closing Comments! Well, it should be but somehow we go directly from giant robots to Bobbie Gentry? 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.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Drokk!! It’s time for Drokk!!

 

 

 

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00:01-5:34:  Greetings from Graeme “Happy New Year!” McMillan and Jeff “Yes, but is everything okay with Jim Lee?” Lester! Because Jeff is inexplicably concerned about Jim Lee (well, barely explicably), we get right off to…

0:01-02:19:  Greetings from Graeme “Master of Time and Space” McMillan and Jeff “Insert Suggestion Here” Lester! Because it’s been three (or four!) weeks since our last podcast, we really do make it a point to speed through the small talk and get to…

02:19-1:07:39: CCXP!  Also known as Comic-Con Experience São Paolo!  Also known as the comic convention that might’ve ruined Graeme for all North American comic shows!  Pull up a chair and sit back as Graeme gives a very complete overview of the show he attended at the beginning of December in Brazil.  It’s a very complete overview of a fantastic show, and gives us opportunity to discuss what makes it such a successful show, what American shows can learn from it (and if they will)!  Also discussed: the 20+ minute Kevin Feige Experience; the rapture of Money Heist and the multimedia presentations; the Frank Quitely panel; whether cons “for” fans might be different from cons “for” pros; the joys of last minute and long-distance travel; going to war with Disney; freelancing duties while traveling; and much, much more in this hour-plus discussion.
1:07:39-1:33:03: Speaking of Graeme’s freelancing work, he’s been tasked with preparing both Best of the Year and Best of the Decade lists.  In doing so, he realized there was a fatal shortcoming on his decade list—no manga!  So he asked on Twitter for recommendations, checked a lot of stuff out, and these are his reactions to what he’s read.  Discussed:  Delicious in Dungeon; Tokyo Tarareba Girls; One Piece; Goodnight Punpun; and more!
1:33:03-1:52:13: From manga of the decade to American comics from last week:  we both read Dark Knight: The Golden Child by Frank Miller, Rafael Grampá, and Jordie Bellaire (Jeff doing so after Graeme said good things about it on Twitter) and we both want to rave about it here.  It’s a….surprising book for a lot of reasons that we unpack here. Discussed: Kirby, Mantlo, mugged liberals, and much more.
1:52:13-2:04:05: “I’m not going to say a lot about Doomsday Clock #12,” announces Graeme “Tease” McMillan, “but I am going to say this…”  Don’t worry, it’s spoiler-free, but it is a tantalizing set of impressions from Graeme.  Also discussed: the difference  between Watchmen the HBO series (also spoiler-free in our discussion) and Doomsday Clock; and more.
2:04:05-2:13:53: “You know, Graeme,” Jeff sez, “the really sad thing is we can’t just talk for six hours.”  Really, Jeff?  REALLY? Well, anyway, here are some of the things we talk about talking about if we had the time to talk about them: CBR meets the outsourcing content mill; Brian Bendis’s Superman issue called “Truth” about Superman revealing his identity, and the Superman issue called “Truth” about Superman revealing his identity that happened all the way back in, uh, 2015; The Wonder Twins: Activate collection by Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne; and more.
2:13:53-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.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Drokk, it’s time for Drokk!! Join us next week as we discuss Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 10!
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