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Oh, Pope Hats. Will we ever stop loving you?

So sorry, chums! Time is really nipping at my heels today so I don’t have time to festoon the show notes with images and links and youtubes and subliminal acrostics (you have been keeping up with the subliminal acrostics, right)?  I’ve got to—as Graeme always says—”hit and quit it,” so you can get these show notes in a timely manner and I can collapse on the divan like the bearded grungefop that I am.  (And yes, look for The Bearded Grungefop to be getting his own Oni series in 2019.)

Please do not let me keep you from enjoying this episode though, oh mighty Whatnauts!  It is a pretty good one, with the questions coming from our patrons from Patreon, and the answers coming from…well, us, of course.  We are probably the weak link in that two-link chain but what are you gonna do?  (If you have a beard and you answered “collapsed on the divan?” you are—to again quote Graeme—”biting my style,” and I’ll have none of it, damn you!)

As always, I’ll throw the text of the link in the first comment so you can copy, paste, spindle, mutilate or fold, as per your choices.  [Note: do not ingest link.  If link is swallowed, do not induce vomiting.  Prepare and drink approximately eight ounces of a solution made from the following ingredients: two tablespoons sodium bicarbonate, two egg whites, one Bill Mantlo comic, three pogs, and one blatant untruth released from the publicity department of a major comic book company.]

And, lo, there shall come a:

00:00-5:17: Greetings! And almost immediately we are off and running because this episode is overdue.  Yes, it’s the Q&A episode where the Qs come from our supporters on Patreon, and the As come from us!  But first, in explaining that we find ourselves explaining where to find us on Patreon, and so at the beginning of the podcast for a change:
Under The Tote Bag!  Places to look for us at—Stitcher! iTunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, an eye-popping 100 patrons make this whole thing possible!  And then Graeme tells us how we have the order we have, and then we get right to it. Surprisingly, it seems like there are just as many questions about the state of the industry as there are questions of taste or critical acumen and, unsurprisingly, there are questions about waffles.
(I’m not sure if I should just list the questions or also things we mention in our answers or what…so let’s just see how that comes together, shall we?)
5:17-17:22:  Eric Rupe asks:  “With the years of dire predictions for the direct market and some of the major publishers therein, on the podcast and otherwhere and by many people not on the podcast, why have none of them ever really come true? A truly captive audience? Lack of better options for various players in the market, however you chose to define that? Something else?”
(Discussed: captive audiences and the direct market, returnability and non-returnability, the New 52, the difference between how Marvel and DC incentivize ordering, (the last of which is very thoroughly covered by the Mighty Brian Hibbs over at CBR this month), the number of Secret Wars titles being launched by Marvel; an old conspiracy theory from the ‘80s; and more.)
17:22-23:25:  Eric Rupe asks:  If Diamond put the Previews catalog together in a more egalitarian manner, such as getting rid of premier publisher section and listing all publishers alphabetically or doing a rotating spotlight, do you think that it would lead to an increase in sales for non-Premier publishers?
23:25-30:58:  Eric Rupe asks:  “Which is the more important decade for superhero comics, the 60s or 90s? What do you think is the most important decade for comics in general?”
30:58-41:21:  Eric Rupe asks:  “Are the intentions of the editors and writers on recent outreach titles like Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Thor and Captain Marvel comprised by the fact that Marvel, as a company, is horrible when it comes to things like ethics, morals and general human decency? Does the larger cultural situation with a general lack of diversity in things like blockbuster movies and the fact that most companies are just as bad if not worse than Marvel on an ethical level matter? Or is simply a matter of giving one set of values priority over another.”
41:21-52:14:  Eric Rupe asks:  “Is Image’s current success based around Eric Stephenson and, if so, do you think that continued success is possible if Stephenson left the company? Also, do you think Image will be able to continue with it’s current publishing strategies or will the founders will want to reassert their presence in some way and mess things up in some fashion or another?’
52:14-53:32:  Eric Rupe asks:  “If Jeff’s beard could be described as a kind of waffle, what kind of waffle would it be? If Jeff’s beard were sentient would it a) prefer Marvel or DC, b) be editorially mandated or creator driven, c)follow characters or follow creators and d) be a Grant Morrison fanboy or an Alan Moore fanboy? If Jeff’s beard fought Alan Moore’s beard, which would win? Does Jeff’s beard have plans for world conquest?”
53:32-55:17:  Scott Ashworth asks:  “Aside from the Wait, What Holy Trinity of Kirby, Engelhart, and Gerber, who are your choices for most consistently interesting writers at Marvel in the period between Lee and Shooter’s editorships?”
55:17-56:13:  Dave Clarke asks:  “At what Patreon tier do we get a monthly ‘Jeff tries to explain manga to Graeme’ podcast?”
56:13-56:34:  Dave Clarke asks: “Have you guys seen the tv series Utopia? (the british thriller one that lasted 2 seasons, not the australian comedy one) If so talk about it. If not consider giving it a go, I think you guys would dig it and the first season revolves around hunting down a comic.”
[Note from Jeff:  After recording this podcast, I just found out that Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) has gotten the assignment to write the scripts for the American remake of the show and now I am VERY EXCITED.]
56:34-1:03:23:  Dave Clarke asks:  “The cultural implications of the new Batgirl series being a magnet for internet controversy.”
1:03:23-1:08:47:  Dave Clarke asks:  “Isn’t it weird that comics are still pencilled, inked and coloured? Inking was originally developed to work around technical limitations of mass productions which dont really exist any more. Even though a tonne of illustration is done for the film and video game industry very very little of it is of the ‘black linework + colour added behind it’ variety. Thoughts on why its still going strong in comics? Predictions for the future?”
1:08:47-1:10:46:  Adam P. Knave asks: “What breakfast foods are each of the classic avengers?”
1:10:46 -1:15:57:  Paul Spence asks: “Could the Whatnauts give us an assessment of Brandon Graham’s Prophet. I believe that Jeff likes it, but Graeme does not. I really like Prophet and I believe that it is the most original and challenging of all the sci-fi titles that Image has launched over the last four years. A number of the Image sci-fi offerings seem the same to me. Too many of them are formulaic post-apocalyptic dystopias.”
1:15:57-1:21:23:  Paul Spence asks:  “Can you voice an opinion about Graham’s earlier magnum opus King City. I have been rereading it recently and I keep finding new layers in the work to enjoy. Graham’s art is stunning in its detail and it looks gorgeous in black & white. I love Graham’s off-center sensibilities and the way he embraces surrealism. He is not a creator that everyone can enjoy, but I appear to be on whatever quirky wavelength he is on and his work really speaks to me.”
1:21:23-1:30:35:  Jeff Lang asks: “What did you guys think of the Captain Marvel/Warlock stuff when you first read it and why do you think the PTB behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe have embraced that particular sliver of the mid-1970s? Convenience? Fannish devotion? A mix of the two? Something else?”
1:30:35-1:43:20:  Kevin McCandless asks: “A simple question but out of all the non-Big Two series you’ve reviewed in the last year, which one would you recommend to someone getting back into alternative comics after a long hiatus?  By which I mean, upper middle-brow, appealing to NPR-listeners (which describes me to a T) stuff like Palookaville or Bone?”
1:43:20-1:47:11:  Chris Jarzombek asks: “Given the Lee-Kirby tension in the FF stories (i.e., Kirby wants to go one way with the story, Lee wants to go another), would there be any value in re-scripting some (or all) of the pages so that they better match the ideal (which I would assume for you guys would be Kirby’s intention)? I’m thinking particularly of pages where the art suggests Sue wants to stay with Namor, but the script is pulling her toward Reed; or ones where the heroes appear weaker than Lee is willing to concede. Or put another way: Would theses stories be better if they were “fixed,” or is the tension part of the fun for you?”
1:47:11-2:08:54:  J.D. Smith (that you, Smitty?) asks: “With Private Eye bowing at ten issues what do we take away from the model? What are you guys enjoying on the broader culture spectrum?  Books? Music? Film? TV?”
[Please note.  This response features the phrase: “Brian K. Vaughn is the Amanda Palmer of comics.”]
2:08:54-2:11:39:  Chris Beckett asks:  “With the upcoming Daredevil series on Netflix, what DD comics would you recommend, outside of Frank Miller’s work? (Personally, I love the Nocenti/JRJr run, which was my proper introduction to the character.)”
2:11:39-2:18:09:  Roger Winston asks: “What are your feelings about DC’s “announcement” that they are no longer going to be slaves to continuity? (Assuming you believe it.) Apologies if you’ve already covered this in the podcast and I forgot. I’m interested in how important continuity is to you and if that has changed over the years. I know that in my younger days I was quite insistent that everything matches up, but these days I don’t care as much. How important is it to a company’s reputation (for lack of a better term) that they are consistent with what they’ve established or are trying to establish?”
2:18:09-2:18:32:  Daniel Mackay asks: “What do you think of the original Batman TV series and should the Batman vs Superman film be a spiritual sequel to the series? I think we all want their fight to be Batman whipping out his Bat Superman Repellent Spray.”
2:18:32-2:26:07: Dan Billings asks: “Not sure if anyone has asked this before but a friend gave me a bunch of his 1970s comics which included Welcome Back Kotter comics and it made me think about recent non-animated sitcoms and if they would make decent comics. Any jump out at you? Who would write and draw them?”
2:26:07-2:27:35:  Martin Gray asks: “Here’s a question, then. If DC and Marvel were waffle toppings, what would they be?”
2:27:35-2:29:42: And, finally, Graeme runs though a thank you of our patrons, because we said we would and also because you are awesome and deserve it:
Andrew Bayer
J.D. Smith
Kristoffer Peterson
Chris Tanforan
Terrence Stasse
Neil Kapit
Lawrence Cruz
Carlos Aguilar
Paul Holmes
David Brown
Roy Rogers
timothy rifenburg
Leef Smith
Scott Ashworth
Stephen Williamson
Jeffrey Lang
John Kipling
Martin Gray
Robert Grzech
Dan Billings
Dan Turner
Ford Thomas
Derek Moreland
Max Brown
Leighton Connor
Stephen Andrews
Eric Phipps
Al Ewing
Chris Jarzombek
Heath Edwards
Steve Huang
Daniel Mackay
Jason Hopkins
Sean McTiernan
Eric Rupe
Roger Winston
Doug Aiton
Jesse Morgan
Steven Prince
Justin Harman
Aldin Baroza
Carla Hoffman
Matt Terl
Dominic Soria
Jon Copeland
Patrick Gaffney
Rick Vance
Mark Bender
Matt Digges
Matthew Johnson
Cass Andrew Sherman
Matt Miller
Chris Beckett
Ryan Watkins
Charles Forsman
Adam P Knave
Christian Sager
Corey Dvorkin
Anthony Casaldi
Ryan Fitzgerald
Luke Stacks
Brian Ruckley
Chris Bentley
Mairead Ryan (Ryan Mairead?)
Jose Maneira
Thomas Martin
Rich Barrett
Andrew Foley
Brendan O’Hare
Garrett Berner
Adam Polakoff
Dylan Todd
Jacob Shemkovitz
Jamaal Thomas
2:29:42-end: Closing comments!  At the time this was recorded we were wondering what we would do when we got to our 100th patron.  We’ve since hit that milestone, and still don’t know what to do.
Reboot!  And it’s pretty much also our “closing comments!” section, with us talking about how next week is *not* a skip week and how you’ll be getting Ep. 173 next week and *then* a skip week.  And again:  Under The Tote Bag!  Places to look for us at—Stitcher! iTunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, we are grateful to our 100 patrons, and especially to those who asked questions for this very episode.
Okay, that divan is close.  I will try to flesh out the tags later. Look to the skies! Look to our comments! Look to your longboxes!
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat173.mp3
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http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/RealWaitWhat172.mp3 Yup, here we go!  Remember, if you don’t dig the player and just want the link to the episode to cut and paste into your own player, another browser window, or whatever you prefer,…

Artwork-from-emZenith-Pha-001Greetings, Whatnauts!  We hope Episode 171 finds you well, since it found us on the edge of wellness (look for the DVD marketing of Edge of Wellness to confuse everybody into thinking it’s actually called “Cough, Mute, Repeat”).  Despite our professed love of the partially muted cough or sneeze, Jeff put a lot of work into editing that out so all you get are two hours and seven minutes of pure, unfiltered comic book opinionation!  Look at the show notes below and see!Rogue00:00-10:29:  Bonus musical opening!  And then we *finally* announce the winners of our Rogue Trooper Last Man Standing contest, where the contestants told us what they would rename us if we were biochips and what piece of equipment you put us on.  Listen in as we announce the winners and read their entries because they are, as Graeme so perfectly puts it, “harsh but fair but harsh.”  Congratulations to Eric Reehl, Brendan O’Hare, Michael Loughlin, and Matthew Murray, and big thanks to Last Man Standing author and Whatnaut Brian Ruckley for making it possible for us to share the love (no matter how belatedly).

Blight-design-by-Mikel-Janin10:29-36:13: Graeme has been catching up on a bunch of old comics recently and one of them is the collected edition of DC’s Forever Evil spinoffs, and tells us about Forever Evil: Blight, a sixteen issue sub-event that starts out great and then burned through so much of Graeme’s good will, it’s kind of a shame. Also discussed: Alan Moore and American Gothic and John Constantine (and Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice); J.M. DeMatteis; DeMatteis’ run on Defenders and Captain America; Ray Fawkes; shout outs to Jesus; Jamie Delano’s Hellblazer run; Gary Seven; the Star Trek: Vanguard series; and the phrase “come through my magical portal!” which Graeme says with such panache it really does deserve to become its own meme.

Suicide_Squad_002336:13-46:33: Also read by Graeme: five or so collections of New 52’s Suicide Squad, with runs by Adam Glass, Ales Kot, and Matt Kindt on writing.  Also discussed:  the Ostrander Suicide Squad run; Charles Soule’s Thunderbolts; Thunderbolts as being overdue for a big Marvel Unlimited readthrough on Jeff’s part; Warren Ellis as muse of Marvel Comics; and an appearance by everyone’s favorite set of barking dogs, Ernie and Gus!
46:33-1:23:28:  Continued from above, but perhaps worth breaking into its own time-stamp, we talk about the idea of Marvel as a particularly American narrative, and the influence of British writers like Millar and Ellis on that narrative; Marvel’s purported distrust of The Man and its not-so-secret love of The Man; the one story Marvel can’t stop telling about SHIELD; Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the direction of the Marvel universe; the Original Sin event from Marvel (with spoilers for the final issue); Comparisons to Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales; head-scratching about what events from are “successful” and what do we mean by success, anyway?; and us talking about AXIS, Battle of the Atom, Superman: Doomed, and of course much more.
7a626333cf7b46c2274fff3b56f20f481:23:28-1:27:31: “We’ve gone horribly off-topic; how did we even get onto this?” Unsure, we turn to another set of comics Graeme tackled this week: Valiant, which Graeme especially enjoys when tackling in big chunks, as he did with Rai and Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody, as well as new titles like Imperium and Ivar, Time Walker.
1:27:31-1:34:59: More recommendations from Graeme? “Get the fuck back into 2000 A.D.,” he advises Jeff (or perhaps it’s an oblique exorcism ritual? I didn’t realize Graeme had caught on to the fact that I was 2-D Prog demon made flesh!). And people in the U.K. he tells to go get the Judge Dredd Mega Collection by being published every fortnight by Hachette; finally, for all of us with access to a Kindle or a Kindle app, he exhorts us to purchase the omnibus of Judge Dredd: Year One novellas by Mike Carroll, Matt Smith, and Al Ewing.  So pushy, that Graeme McMillian fellow!
1:34:59-1:46:52: And, on the subject of 2000 A.D., Jeff finally got around to reading Zenith: Phase One by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell. So we talk about Morrison from way, way, way back in the day, what he’s doing then and what he’s doing now (such as Nameless #2 by G-Mo and Chris Burnham).
leia-1-aurebesh-1261041:46:52-1:51:55:  Jeff bought and read Princess Leia #1 by Mark Waid and Terry and Rachel Dodson and has a lot of ambivalent feelings about it (and Star Wars in general).  Listen here to find out why! (Ha, and I said Graeme was pushy.)
1:51:55-1:57:28:  Jeff also wanted to talk about Grayson #8 by Tom King, Tim Seeley, and Mikel Janin; and Scooby-Doo Team-Up #9 by Sholly Fisch and Dario Brizuela.
1:57:28-end: Shop talk! We got great feedback for our discussion on the last podcast about the first half-dozen issues of the Legion: Five Years Later.  We also wring our hands over our pace on Baxter Building, our FF readthrough podcast (protip: read issues #25-36 plus Annual #2, if you want to be prepped for our next ep!), and politely insist everyone to check out the revivified House to Astonish!  [link:  ]
and then it’s on to our closing comments! Against The Tote Bag! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 95 patrons make this whole thing possible.

Remember, if you do not like our audio player (and many of you do not), and you don’t like retrieving our podcast from the RSS feed or what have you, check out the very first comment for a plain text link for you to copy and paste freely!  As mentioned above, we will be back next week with Episode 3 of Baxter Building.  So if you excuse me, I have some crazy-ass Kirby/Lee comics to attend to…but, as always, thank you for listening!

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Greetings, Groovy Star-Folk!  We are back with more than two plus hours of 2-D space exploration, far past the safe, sea-shaded atmosphere of other comic book podcasts. Remember!  Below, you can find the celestial safety chart so that you may pass securely through the cosmic ray hologram we call “Wait, What? Episode One Hundred and Seventy.”  And remember, if you get lost you can always hitch a ride home on a moonbeam.  (Also, that if you just want the link to the podcast to cut and paste into the browser or player of your choice, look to our first post in our comment threads below.)

FIVE…FOUR…THREE…TWO….ONE….IGNITION…BLAST OFF:

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00:00-03:53: Welcome to, as Graeme puts it, “possibly our doggiest episode ever,” as he tries to record with three dogs in his office.

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03:53-25:57: But with that quick caveat in mind, we are pretty much off to the races as Graeme has read comp copies of Suiciders #1 by Lee Bermejo (which we punt on, since Jeff intends to read) and Black Hood #1 by Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos, which Graeme compares to Bendis and Maleev’s Daredevil saying, “If you like that, you’ll like this.” With the shadow of the Powers TV show looming overhead, Jeff is a bit more interested in talking about his frustration with Bendis: comparisons to Mark Millar are uttered, original content on emerging platforms are discussed, Netflix original programming is bandied about, watching habits about same are confessed, and traditional expectations are upended. Mentioned:  Powers, Arrested Development, Orange is the New Black, and just where the hell does all the time go?

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25:57-45:23: And on that last point, Jeff talks about reading manga on Crunchyroll, more specifically the experience of reading 50+ chapters of Fuuka by Kouji Seo over the course of four or so days. Jeff also talks about the rapturous experience of reading 100 chapters of Masakazu Ishiguoro’s Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, but really the focus here is Fuuka and how the storyline takes some, shall we say, *unconventional* turns.  SPOILERS APLENTY for Fuuka,as Jeff pretty much gives up all the plot points up until now.

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45:23-52:49: Jeff also bought and read all four issues of Marvel’s Night Nurse during the Marvel BOGO sale at Comixology.  Since Jeff was in the process of writing about it, Graeme doesn’t ask him about the series but instead some rather tough questions.  Questions like:  “Now that you’re read them all, would you do that again?” and “how many Kindle versions of Watchmen do you own, Jeff?” “How many print versions do you own?”  “I’m sorry, how many?”  Yes, it’s time for INTERVENTION: THE WAIT, WHAT? EDITION as Graeme and Jeff talk about owning copies of multiple books and multiple options.

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52:49-1:41:43: Fortunately, we don’t dwell too long on “The horror! The horror!” as the almighty Empress Audrey decreed that Graeme and I were to read the first year of Legion of Superheroes: Five Years Later by Keith Giffen, Tom and Mary Bierbaum, and Al Gordon (with editing by Mark Waid and Michael Eury).  Semi-suspect subjects that we are, we managed to get the first six issues read in time to discuss for this episode. Graeme, who has previous history with this title, gives us the context in which he first read these issues.

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Jeff, who only has the slightest history with the Legion, gives us his impressions as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on in those first few issues. Discussed: Giffen’s storytelling verve; the Five Years Later Legion as a reaction and development of a lot of influences in comics at the time; the FYL Legion as an early example of the flash-forward storytelling that grows in influence in late 20th and early 21st Century; the FYL Legion and Watchmen; 5YL era Giffen and modern day Kevin Huizenga; Jeff deciding that “maximialize” is a word, and is perfectly acceptable to use when making a point; issue #5 of 5YL and Mark Waid’s Empire; issues #6 of 5YL and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek; The bicycle as a surrealist version of a leg; science-fiction names; the legacy of Paul Levitz; and much, much (much!) more.

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1:41:43-2:02:26: On a related note, Jeff talks about a single panel he saw in his recent read of the Superman Vs. Mongul trade that he thinks explains Paul Levitz’s legacy perfectly, and how it relates to Grant Morrison. Also discussed (perhaps inevitably): James Robinson and Starman; Steve Englehart; Jim Starlin; Marvel Unlimited; and much more.
2:02:26-2:13:35:  Closing comments?  Well, you would think so, and we thought so.  But then Jeff remembers he really does have some questions he wishes to pepper Graeme about Multiversity: Mastermen by Grant Morrison and Jim Lee.  So we talk about that for close to ten minutes.
2:13:35-end:  Okay, no, really:  Closing comments!  Here’s our recording schedule (Baxter Building tip:  read issues #25-36 plus Annual #2 if you want to be current for our next podcast.) Inherent Tote Bags! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 95 patrons make this whole thing possible.

We’ll talk again next week!  Until then, we wish you safe re-entry!

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http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat169.mp3 Obviously, I’ve become hooked on embedding YouTube clips in our browser.  Dunno why, and I think it’s arguable that it’s more than a little insulting to put video in a comics podcast blog but…eh. …

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Your Little Glowing Friend

Okay, papa’s diving right in here because papa’s only got a few hours before he has to take his computer in to get looked at and hopefully fixed. Remember, if you just want a straight link to the podcast and don’t want to fuss with our player, or our RSS feed, or Stitcher or iTunes or anything, look to this post’s first comment where you can grab something to copy and paste to your preferences.  Okay?  Okay.

And I’m tucking the rest of this sucker behind the jump because this is a *heavy* image post.

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