http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/BaxterBuildingEp44.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: The super-team that defined the 1960s has reached the 1990s, and it’s not necessarily the best combination; Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan are trying to bring Marvel’s First Family up…

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,…

http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/BaxterBuildingEp43.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: The beginning of the Tom DeFalco/Paul Ryan run took Jeff and I by surprise by being… not absolutely terrible…? By far the most traditional* take on the team in quite…

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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0:01-14:30:  Welcome back to part two of our sorta-annual “asked and answered” episode!  Jeff  is no longer in in Portland, Oregon, so we are once again “back on the cans,” as Graeme puts it.  Others (not nearly so generous) might say we are “back on our bullshit”, as not even two minutes go by before we are discussing this CBS news story about Marvel in which C.B. Cebulski and Sana Amanat are interviewed and…hoo boy.  We would say the story speaks for itself…but, really, what would be the point of us if it did?
14:30-37:45:   And now, on with the questions!  Cinema Strikes Back asks:  If you could install new leadership for Marvel and/or DC, who would you pick? With an cold eye towards improving sales and market relations while also trying to improve less tangible metrics like quality and diversity. Also, read the original Battle Angel Alita series yet?

37:45-40:16: Carlos Aguilar wants to know:  What are either of your thoughts/critiques on DEVILMAN (manga or anime)?  Thanks!
40:16-57:14: Jesse Morgan wonders:  How did DC manage to keep the quality up on Rebirth? What did they do different, and can they keep it up?
57:14-1:07:38:  Here’s Lee, who would like to find out:  As someone moving across coasts soon, how would you decide which (if any) physical comics to keep, especially given how cheap digital comics are nowadays?

1:07:38-1:17:08:  K. Jeffrey Petersen is curious:  What do you think of the numerous similarities between Stan Lee and Donald Trump? Would the world be better if Trump had gone into publishing and Lee into politics?
1:17:08-1:24:34:  Raphael Duffy asks:  Kind of a selfish question and I know you’ve answered it before but it’s quick: for people who have never read UK comics before what’s a good/fast to get into 2000AD since Graeme is raving about it?
1:24:34-1:35:44: Simon Russell queries:    Are most (all?) of superhero comics poorer fo the loss of thought bubbles? HINT: It means done-in-one stories are harder to do (less compact), character development is massively truncated, and everything is so bloomin’ SERIOUS all the time.
1:35:44-1:42:35:  Dan White says: Could you please fantasy cast the following 2000ad movies: Strontium Dog, Zenith, Nemesis, Rogue Trooper and Bad Company?

1:42:35-1:43:57:  Steve Morris asks:  Rabbits?
1:43:57-1:46:48:  Lee Carey wonders:  Graeme, which Jack Kirby character do you think Jeff most resembles, and visa versa?
1:46:48-1:53:11:  Tom Shapira would like to know:  if you had to staff 2000AD with American creators – who would work on what strips?
1:53:11-2:00:47: For half our semester grade, Jonathan Sapsed quizzes: Why did the ‘British Invasion’ happen in the 80s? Which country/culture is best positioned to ‘invade’ US comics now?
2:00:47-2:01:40:  Just when Dan Billings was settling down for the night, he realized he also wanted to ask:  What price do you think a single floppy will cost in 2025?
2:01:40-2:11:54:  Max Blanchard demands to know:  Waffle window?

2:04:33-2:11:54: Darth Selfie brings the noise!   What Marvel character do you hope they never adapt for the MCU? If you weren’t doing a podcast about comics, what would you be podcasting about? If you weren’t into comics, what fun/weird/stupid hobby would fill the vacuum in the lives of an alternate universe Jeff and Graeme?
2:11:54-2:15:25:  Tom Shapira returns with a bonus question for @Lazybastid – what mangaka would you take to work on 2000AD?
2:15:25-2:20:35: And to close us out, Scott asks:  Are either of you reading Kill or be Killed by Brubaker and Phillips? What do you think of it?
2:20:35-end:  No more questions so…. (eventually, after talking about Solo, You Are Deadpool, Deadpool 2    ): 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:  Baxter Building!  Join us for a discussion of Fantastic Four issues #356-361.

 

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First and foremost, a very big *thank you* to superhero Graeme McMillan, for throwing together the edit for this show after recording it in his house.  It’s like he gave me two vacations!

Second (and eightmost? Am I understanding the progression correctly?), I’m going to ride that vacation out to the very end, so the shownotes are complete but a bit truncated!  Nonetheless, all the questions are there in the right place, so you can skip to where you want as you choose or even listen to the full thing, if you like!

0:01-12:30:  Welcome to our sorta-annual “in-person” episode!  Jeff is in Portland, Oregon to vacation and talk with the mighty Graeme McMillan!  So, of course, we talk about some of the great Portland attractions: Salt & Straw ice cream!
The Waffle Window! Blue Star Donuts!  Some surprising disagreements about Voodoo Donuts!
12:30-38:39:  While on vacation, Jeff re-read 33 issues of Werewolf By Night, a book he loved dearly when he was young and returns to find it, uh, promising?  But what does it promise, and to whom does it deliver?
Also discussed:  “bro’s gold,” Christina Z vs. Christy Marx, an amazing scene from You Are Deadpool #4, and more!
38:39-1:07:46: Listener questions! Eric Rupe launches the first volley: Did Jeff ever finish reading the manga Fuuka? Did he watch the anime? Would he be interested in reading Fuuka: The Official Erotic Short Short Collection in full color?
Is Jeff still reading Prison School? It seems like a very Jeff comic and I’m curious about his opinions on the series.
Any thoughts on the current state of the Direct Market and it’s potential future? Doom and gloom? Rainbows and sunshine? Somewhere in between?
Does the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the failure basically every other attempt say anything in particular about doing a shared universe outside of comics and the Direct Market?
And for some just general podcast stuff, any chance of reading and discussing the Jim Lee/Wildstorm Fantastic Four run given the discussion you guys had about the retro-ness of the FF and Image at the end of the last Baxter Building?
1:07:46-1:14:18:  Matthew M asks:  What series do you find surprising that it  lasted as long as it did? For me, I’m always kind of shocked that the late ’80s Starman series lasted for 45 issues. (Though I’ve never read it, or heard anyone mention it, so maybe it’s a hidden gem.)
1:14:18-1:19:22:  DDT asks:  I always wondered why the 2000AD 8-page-or-so story format is so UK and never caught on in the US (I know it feels like I have to rewire my brain to appreciate that format’s tempo).
1:19:22-1:21:21: James Masente says:  Comics are shit nowdays vs. Comics are better than ever. Pick a side and pull no punches!
1:21:21-1:32:57:  Skye wonders:  Do you think Big 2 comics would be more successful at bringing in New readers if there were mail order subscriptions like magazines? If not, what distribution model would you want to see implemented?
1:32:57-1:42:52: Yonatan wants to know:  With an increasing number of big creators at DC being bringing things back from/being nostalgic for the post Zero Hour/Pre Infinite Crisis DCU, what characters/concepts/books would you like to see return from that era?
1:42:52-1:47:58:  Skye also wonders: If someone forced you to make a miniseries reboot or movie adaptation of Starbrand, what would your pitch be? And:  If you can’t work with this, give me a Micronauts pitch instead.
1:47:58-1:49:38:  And Yonatan also wants to know:  Also, question more for Graeme: a #LegionofSuperheroes collection is coming out in July that finally collects the Earthwar arc. (Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #241-245) Where does it fall on your top Legion stories list and would you recommend it for new readers?
1:49:38-1:51:03:  Chad Nevett asks:  With SHIELD finishing with the final two issues coming out, are there any other unfinished/cancelled too soon books you’d like to see have a chance at a proper ending?
1:51:03-1:54:26:  Troy Wilson drops by via Baxter Building:  Of all the FF issues you’ve read so far, which would you each consider to be your top five individual issues? (Or top ten, if you’re low on questions.)
1:54:26-2:01:11: Flasshe queries: Have you ever given up reading comics? If so, what was your longest inactive period, what made you stop, and what made you start back up again?
2:01:11-2:03:57:  Here’s one from the excellent Bill Reed:  If everything on Earth was destroyed except for one comic book issue, which comic book issue would best represent humanity for the alien archaeologists who find it?
2:03:57-end:  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: Wait, What? Ep. 249!  We answer more questions!  I’d love to say all but let’s just see how it goes, shall we?
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