0:01-6:31:  Greetings from Graeme “Burping” McMillan and Jeff “Probably Talking” Lester! It’s been a couple of weeks so we’re starting off slow(er than usual).  For example:  did you know Graeme rewatched Rocketman?  Could you have guessed Jeff would have some opinions about Rocketman?
6:31-19:21: Since Graeme admitted watching Rocketman on his flight back from New York Comic-Con, and Jeff, being an equal and opposite member of a comic book podcast, feels compelled to ask:  how was the flight?  (Just kidding, he asked about NYCC.)  Discussed:  NYCC, particularly from the point of view of an overworked entertainment industry reporter.
19:21-29:36: Arguably the big story to come out of NYCC is the news about DC’s timeline that came out at the DC Nation panel.  Graeme covers how that came about, and also touches on the other news stories to come out of the Con (such as Iron Man 2020, G. Willow Wilson taking over The Dreaming, Ruins of Ravencroft, etc.)
29:36-1:01:13: At a certain point, we segue from people being disappointed at how there weren’t more new X-titles announced at NYCC to talking about the end of House of X/Powers of X.  Spoilers?  Well, yes, I think that would be fair to assume…
1:01:13-1:13:08:  The Green Lantern also wrapped up its first season around the same time as HoxPox with issue #12, and Jeff was curious if Graeme had read it.  How the hell is a lovely book with an amazing artist and a superstar writer something so easily summed up by Graeme as “yeah, that’s a comic that happened?”  Also discussed: what happened to the spectrum lantern corps?
1:13:08-1:19:28:  How worried should we be when Jeff starts “worrying” about a comic writer? (It doesn’t always turn out well for Jeff, if nothing else!) Here, he worries about Geoff Johns’ legacy at DC?  Is it being ignored? Actively erased?  Discussed: Doomsday Clock and is it not a big deal anymore for DC?  And what does Siri think about it?
1:19:28-1:30:57: Speaking of Doomsday Clock, those of you interested in reading it without buying it *but* wanting to be legal and legit may want to check out Hoopla, where the first collection hit more or less on day of release.  And although this is the point where you think Jeff is mentioning this as a recommendation for more Whatnauts to look into Hoopla—and it is!—it is also a segue so that Jeff can talk about the Heroes In Crisis collection which he just read, in part based on Graeme’s recent post about it, and wishes to “discuss” it with Graeme (“discuss” apparently being code for “fight about”?)
1:30:57-1:40:41: “DC is all over the place,” Jeff declares, “I’m not paying really attention to Marvel except when they put Conan in something…which means I’m going to be paying a lot more attention to Marvel because apparently they’re putting Conan in everything.”  This leads Graeme to start talking about how Marvel has something for everyone considering they’re currently publishing 125 titles, but walking that back to point out Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl are getting canceled.  But at the same time they’ve announced deals with Scholastic for middle grade books.  They appear to be really upping the amount of titles they publish while at the same time narrowing the range of what they publish.  Also discussed: what is on Jeff’s comic subscription list?
1:40:41-1:45:53: Part of why we’re talking about Jeff’s sub list is because Jeff is trying *really* hard to put himself on a budget and how that works when it comes to comic books.  In theory, considering he subscribes to Marvel Unlimited, DC Universe, Comixology Unlimited, and has access to Hoopla, how hard does he really have to work to read good comics without spending any (more) money?  (Part of why this comes up is Jeff has been power-bingeing Giant Days off CU and *loving* it.)
1:45:53-1:54:33: And! Just as Jeff is bingeing Comixology Unlimited with Giant Days because of Graeme’s continued recommendations of it, Graeme read the first trade of Outer Darkness on Hoopla because of Jeff’s recommendation!
1:54:33-2:08:29: “I just love old Star Trek comics,” Graeme admits, before going on to talk about two very different graphic novels (different from Star Trek comics, anyway): Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, and The Hard Tomorrow by the mighty Eleanor Davis. Also discussed:  our pending top ten lists for 2019.
2:08:29-2:15:19: A discussion of what we’ve read recently on digital pivots away  from Jeff being unable to tell time (Major X #1 came out six months ago?) to, as Graeme brilliantly puts it, the “‘Rob Liefeld threatens to sue Marvel’ part of the news cycle.”  As tempting as it was to cut the “Graeme scrolls through Rob’s Twitter feed while complaining he can’t find the tweet” and save it for what doubtlessly would’ve become a coveted Patreon extra, we decided instead to just boil it down to its richest parts for everyone.  Take that, late stage capitalism!
2:15:19-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: Episode 281!!
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Hey, everyone—Jeff here.  My apologies for show notes on the truncated side of things this time around:  as alluded to in this ep., I’m kinda running around in all directions this week (hence the video above) for good reasons I hope to explain one day (before the end of the year?).  For now, I hope you’ll be able to get by on the shownotes below and your just-about-weekly dose of Graeme and me fussin’ and feudin’ comic book style!

0:01-13:49:  Greetings from Graeme “Sound of The Underground” McMillan and Jeff “Coasting” Lester! We’ve had a day, and Graeme has had a week, a week filled with situations like the one he goes on to describe involving some very good thoughts about working hard, and some very silly interjections from Jeff.
13:49-27:29:  Because we were engaging in some gossipy bitchery, Jeff felt compelled to mention how much he enjoyed Mr. Sinister in the latest issue of Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva and Marte Gracia. And Jeff also enjoyed Gwenpool Strikes Back #2 by Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Jesus Aburtov, and Batman #78 by Tom King, Clay Mann, and Tomeu Morey. There may or may not be spoilers for the City of Bane storyline, depending on how things go? And there’s definitely discussion about whether DC will have a reboot, and where it’ll come from.
27:29-35:29:  Remember last week’s discussion of Doomsday Clock?  It’s back, kinda, because Graeme re-read the first eleven issues of Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, and Brad Anderson.  Also discussed: landing the ending; how many copies of Watchmen Graeme owns; and more.
35:29-42:19:  To prove that we are lovers as well as haters, Jeff asks Graeme about Graeme’s tweet asking what Marvel and DC books are being slept on:

And there was also this lovely little thread by Gail Simone on Twitter re: 25 great things about being a comics professional:

42:19-51:07:  As long as we’re  talking about the good shit, both Jeff and Graeme read the five issue run on Mars Attacks by Kyle Starks, Chris Schweitzer, and Liz Trice Schweitzer.  Starks has said that this storyline is one of the best things he’s done and we’re compelled to second that. Jeff compares and contrasts it with Mars Attacks Popeye from a few years back with *tremendous* Popeye art by Terry Beatty.
51:07-57:09: Thanks to the tweets of the talented Sarah Horrocks, Jeff was turned on to the first issue of Ryuko by Eldo Yoshimizu.  Graeme likes what he sees from the previews, and Jeff loved the brio of the art and the expressionistic storytelling. Great stuff.
57:09-1:12:23: And speaking of great stuff, holy cow, Batman Universe #3 by Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Derington, and Dave Stewart.  The cartooning, the coloring, and the fun of BMB’s scripting of this makes this one of our DC faves.
1:12:23-1:17:07: Another book Jeff has all the feels for:  volume 2 of Blank Canvas: My So-Called Artist’s Journey by Akiko Higashimura, which was just released in English by Seven Seas.  Higashimura is better known as the creator of the popular Princess Jellyfish but the first two volumes rocked Jeff’s world and as he says here and elsewhere is fantastic reading for anyone who’s tried to become an artist.
1:17:07-1:20:18:  Graeme re-read the first two issues of  SFSX (Safe Sex) by Tina Horn and Michael Dowling, the book that was supposed to be launched as part of Vertigo’s legendary Last Wave but is now coming out soon from Image.  Graeme definitely recommends not just the book on the first issue alone as the one-two punch is part of what sold him, as did Tina Horn’s straight-up awesomeness and the fact that, as he puts it, “it feels like a book that needs to be out there.”
1:20:18-1:32:50: And Jeff is going to mention that he digs the second volume of romance novel turned manga, Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray and Yusaku Komiyama. He also talks about Star Wars in a Japanese context and how nicely Komiyama’s adaptation fits into that.  We also talk about the current crop of American Star Wars comics, and Kieron Gillen’s recent run with Salvador Larroca there.
1:32:50-2:05:00: Speaking of Marvel and licensed properties, Graeme has a question for Jeff—why is Marvel doing a Conan/Moon Knight event, called Serpent War.  (With Solomon Kane! And Dark Agnes!  And also…Dark Agnes?)  But in order to dig into that, we look briefly at the recent sales figures and trends in the marketplace.  Pick a side in the battle between Dear Justice League Truthers vs. Conan Truthers, cue up Pump Up The Volume, and wade into the melee!
2:05:00-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:  Skip week, but join us in two weeks for Drokk!!
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0:01-7:58:  Greetings from Graeme “It’s Not Fucking Sweltering” McMillan and Jeff “Eschew Hyperbole” Lester!  It’s been a while so even after we stop talking about the weather, we have questions—important questions!—to answer about the song Wooly Bully, pillow talk (though not in the way that term’s traditionally used), visual cues, and….
7:58-39:18: Doomsday Clock!  Issue #11 is out, and while it’s too soon to discuss the limited series with any degree of finality, it is perhaps time for Graeme to talk about the arc of the series, the trend of issues #10 and #11, and some reflection on Watchmen and the career of one Geoff “Ozymandias” Johns.  Kick off your shoes and settle in to your chair because this’ll take a while.  (Though not nearly as long as the times between issues of Doomsday Clock.)
39:18-55:53: Pivoting: Tox Jox Blox HoxPox!  Checking in about the weekly Jonathan Hickman x-event, we admit we are both….exhausted?  We talk scheduling, characterization, the strengths of Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva (on House of X and Powers of X, respectively, the charms of Avengers: No Surrender, and books that we don’t read immediately and those we do.
55:53-1:12:41: Talking about pacing ourselves, we briefly discuss the stuff Graeme’s just recently caughtt up on and that leads in to a quick (spoiler-free!) chat about the upcoming issue of Batman by Tom King and Clay Mann and then really digging into the latest issue of The Green Lantern by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp.  Graeme had wandered away from the book and wandered back to see the lead-in to the upcoming Green Lantern: Blackstars book.  Jeff, who is hanging on to interest in the book by his fingernails wants to talk about, among other things, why?  Why is Morrison doing what he’s choosing to do with this book?
1:12:41-1:30:14: Relatedly, a superhero book we are both loving is the current run of Daredevil. Jeff just read Daredevil: Know Fear, the trade collecting the first five issues by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, and Sunny Gho. Jeff thinks it’s a great book for fans of the Netflix show, and Graeme thinks it’s just a great book, period.  Also discussed: Tom Taylor on Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man; Savage Avengers #5; Infinity Wars; and more.
1:30:14-1:41:23: Another book Jeff has greatly enjoyed—and without a superhero in sight—is My Pink is Overflowing by Yuki Minnou about a cafe waitress who needs to be loved and the uptight, scowly manager with whom she comes to an agreement.  Some day Jeff will come up with a better description of volume 1 than “less of a story and more the equivalent of two nervous dogs trying to sniff each other’s butts for 300 pages,” but that day is not today.  (Spoilers for vol. 3!  Not that the plot is really the point of My Pink Is Overflowing.)  Also discussed: Vinland Saga, manga vs. anime, and more.
1:41:23-1:52:04: The anime angle gives Jeff a chance to ask Graeme about what he’s watching these days.  Discussed:  Million Pound Menu, No Offence, the most current season of The Great British Baking Show which inspired this delightful thread by CalamityJon:

[HQ]

1:52:04-2:02:27: As for what Graeme has been reading, he’s been reading a lot of prep stuff for work (though he’s quite enjoyed them).  Stuff like: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh; Sparrowhawk by Delilah Dawson, Matias Basla, and Rebecca Nalty; The Magicians: Alice’s Story by Lilah Sturges, Lev Grossman, and Pius Bak; The Blue Road: A Fable of Migration by Wayde Compton and April dela Noche Milne; The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television by Koren Shadmi; Battle Stations, the first volume in the upcoming Hugo Pratt War Picture Library series; the book design of The Batman Who Laughs; and more.
2:02:27-2:14:17: And, saving the best (?) for last (?), Graeme read Spawn #300!  Discussed: SPAWN!; Graeme teasing us about an hour long interview he conducted with Todd McFarlane; and more.
2:14:17-end: Closing comments?  Kind of!  I mean, sure, after we diss Gus Van Sant, news about The Joker gets the Golden Lion Award. And, well, okay, we also have to mention the mayor of Rio de Janeiro wanting to ban The Avengers: Children’s Crusade; and then finally… 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 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:  Episode 279! Join us, won’t you?
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0:01-10:36:  Greetings from Graeme “Derry Girls” McMillan and Jeff “New Mic, Old Mac” Lester!  We hope you like our occasional forays into non-comic book talk, because that is definitely how we start out episode 276!  Like the smoothest of stones, we skip from Keyser Soze to Derry Girls to Hobbs & Shaw to one of your hosts moving to artisanal cobwebs in under two minutes.
10:36-22:26: But, hey, we do swerve back to comic news before too long, as we discuss a pretty interesting tidbit recently come to light:  Rob Liefeld doesn’t own the rights to Youngblood!  Weird, right?  And yet somehow true?  Also discussed: buying Comico, licensing Amazing Heroes, and more.
22:26-25:01: Back to Hobbs & Shaw!  Did you know Drew Pearce, who wrote No Heroics and Iron Man 3, also wrote H&S?  That’s pretty cool right?
25:01-1:03:59: But since neither of us have seen Hobbs & Shaw, Jeff goes on to talk about Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood.  No spoilers, sorta?  (Depending on how well you know Tarantino films, we probably give away by what you can infer from our discussion.)  We talk about this problematic movie from this problematic auteur and Jeff’s thoughts and feelings about the movie being (surprise!) troubled (and probably problematic).  Also discussed:  Tarantino movies; feet; ER and X-Files; Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Joss Whedon’s new series, The Nevers; and Neil Gaiman’s work for Marvel.
1:03:59-1:18:49:  Speaking of which, guess what Graeme just reread this last week?  No joke, it’s The Eternals by Neil Gaiman and John Romita, Jr.!  As you know, bagging on Neil Gaiman is like catnip for Jeff, but Graeme manages to get some good points in there.  Discussed;  the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and where The Eternals might help or hinder that; and more.
1:18:49-1:22:39:  Hey, that Powers of X #1 came out this week from Jonathan Hickman and R. B. Silva and it sure was something, wasn’t it?  We talk about how ambitious and crazy and impressive it was, and what ends up exciting comics readers, Paul O’Brien doing annotations for House of X and Powers of X (yay!!!); and more.
1:22:39-1:29:26: Batman: Last Knight on Earth #2 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo is out and Jeff is digging on it.  But is he reading Justice League?  And if not, why?
1:29:26-1:44:51: Two hits and then a stunning miss:  The Green Lantern Annual #1 by Grant Morrison and Giuseppe Camuncoli. It’s not our cup of tea, in no small part because it’s terrible.
1:44:51-1:52:28: We circle back to Powers of X #1 because, as we were saying earlier, it sure was something!  We talk more about what that something is, and we debate whether or not we can really talk full-on spoilers or not?  Graeme talks a few things that may or may not be spoilers, depending on how things turn out.  We kick in with this at theory at 1:49:01 and it only lasts for a few minutes and is really just spoilery theories, I guess?
1:52:28-1:56:46:  Also impossible to  spoil is Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-san, a very goofy little book by Shingo Honda about the trials and tribulations of working in the manga section of a Japanese bookstore and dealing with, among other things, westerners needing help finding their disquieting manga selections?
1:56:46-2:03:37: One of the ongoing joys of DC Universe for Jeff is that more often than not every week they upload an issue of Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #9, featuring Pat Boone.
2:03:37-2:07:44: Speaking of DCUniverse, Jeff has *finally* checked out Doom Patrol right?  Well, wrong.  Here more about his self-defeating TV choices.  We also have a fast update about Graeme’s read of The Boys and how it reflects on the TV show.
2:07:44-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 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:  STEVE ENGLEHART
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0:01-18:33:  Greetings from Graeme “Back From The Wars” McMillan and Jeff “Loverman” Lester!  We only have time for the briefest of Billy Bragg references before we’re off to the coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, as only our embedded correspondent can provide!  It was a very weird show, with some strange arrangements and a lot of off-kilter preparation.  It’s not worth putting a time stamp but at one point, Graeme mentions that the combined DC/Warner Brothers booth was so big Jeff’s apartment could’ve fit in it four times.  Well, in editing this, Jeff checked with Edi (who actually has an ability to remember numbers and understand spatial relationships), and ran the actual booth size—two floors of 6500 square feet total—and the actual answer?  Jeff and Edi’s apartment could fit in that total square footage EIGHT TIMES. Also discussed: the Strange Adventures announcement from DC; the Undiscovered Country announcement from Image; the Hickman announcement panel at Marvel; the panels Graeme moderated; and more.
18:33-23:20: I don’t know if I can cleanly split this stuff up, but here’s where we started talking about Marvel Studio’s announcements for their upcoming film slate.  Graeme lists them out, along with the Disney+ TV shows.  And then we whipsaw back to the new X-Men titles announced at the Hickman reveal panel, along with some fun facts revealed there.
23:20-29:00: But here’s what Graeme thinks may have been the biggest story to come out SDCC and it seems like it’s been super-slept on:  Comichub which does point of sales software in the retail market, has announced a partnership with NPD Group, and so sales will be entered into Bookscan.  Retailers who use Comichub POS software will have their sales counted by Bookscan *and* will also have access to Bookscan data.  This could be a huge boon for those retailers and help gain a better understanding of total sales for comics and graphic novels (which, as Hibbs will tell you, is pretty tricky stuff to try and even remotely guess at).  For Jeff, there was the announcement of IDW collecting all of Steve Ditko’s Mr. A, and the disquieting acknowledgment (when someone asked) that Ditko quite specifically did not want the material reprinted.  Discussed: It’s problematic.

29:00-38:57:  From out of the problematic frying pan and into the problematic fire, we talk about HBO’s Watchmen Comic-Con trailer and Damon Lindelof’s comments at the Television Critics Association about his relationship to Moore’s reaction to the show. (comic by Kenny Keil).

38:57-1:07:49:  Here’s some good news from SDCC.  Doom Patrol the TV show?  It got a Season Two, and pretty much thanks to HBO Max.  I for one welcome our corporate synergistic overlords!  Also discussed:  the Harley Quinn animated show trailer.  Also discussed: The Great British Bake-Off; the secret behind Midsommar; the offsite Batman experience; the transition of SDCC from being a movie-based convention to a TV-based convention; the most popular cosplay of the show, maybe?; Kevin Huizenga’s The River At Night; new work by Adrian Tomine, Lisa Hannawalt, and more; what Graeme spent too much money on; the difference between New York Comic-Con and San Diego Comic Con; and much, much more.

1:07:49-1:28:16:  Graeme has watched all eight episodes of The Boys on Amazon Prime, and he…liked it?! So much so that he went and got the omnibi off Hoopla and is re-reading them?  UNEXPECTED! Discussed: how faithful the adaptation is, who seems to like and who doesn’t on social media, the differences made and their effects; Ennis and his thematic concerns, early Boys with Darick Robertson and later Boys with Russ Braun; the original pitch for The Boys.  (And yet, this is mostly a spoiler-free review?)

1:28:16-1:32:54: As long as we’re talking about shows on Amazon Prime, also on Prime is Under The Silver Lake, the follow-up film from It Follows director David Robert Mitchell starring Andrew Garfield, a comedic L.A. noir that mulls over Mulholland Dr., Hitchcock films, Pynchon novels, conspiracy theories and cultural legacies. Jeff really wants to talk about it and talk about it and talk about it, but you guys all get off lucky.
1:32:54-1:42:24:  However, all of that is probably the perfect prelude to talking about House of X #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia.  It’s a big batch of comics in one (not cheap but still satisfying!) issue and we muse over its mysteries and finding that comic book sweet spot.
1:42:24-2:00:35:  But Jeff may be fronting a bit on the superhero score.  He loved House of X #1, he read and liked some other superhero books—here’s looking at you, Batman Universe #1—but what was really his jam these last few weeks was fourteen volumes of You’re My Pet by Yayoi Ogawa.  Jeff adores the cartooning, the characterization and the storytelling and it’s all available to those who have a Comixology Unlimited subscription.  Also discussed: the first volume of Mars, more of a Shojo manga (You’re My Pet seems to be much more Josei, for these keeping track at home) similarly available on CU by Fuyumi Soryo.  Also discussed: Jimmy Olsen #1 by Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, and Nathan Fairbairn; Superman: Up In the Sky #1 by Tom King, Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, and Brad Anderson; Batman #75 by Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, Mitch Gerads, and Mitch Gerads; and Bad Weekend TPB by Ed Brubaker and Sean & Jacob Phillips.  Also discussed: the end of Walking Dead and reaction about it at SDCC; the resurgence of Todd McFarlane; and more.
2:00:35-2:14:29:  Graeme read the aforementioned Huizenga book; got a lot of print stuff from 2000 A.D.; and he runs Jeff through The Batman Who Laughs miniseries, a mini Graeme thought he was only an issue or two behind on but in fact hadn’t checked it out after issue #1.  It’s…. a very strange little series?
2:14:29-2:20:25: Oh, and Jeff also tried to get his ass in gear and get out of the big two rut, and read The Wrong Earth #1 and #2 by Tom Peyer, Jamal Igle, Juan Castro, and Andy Troy; and Second Coming #1 by Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy, both published by Ahoy Comics.  He liked one and loved the other.  Care to wager which is which, Mr. Bond? (And for bonus points, Mr. Bond, can you tell us how Irredeemable ends? Oh wait, never mind, we’ve both checked Wikipedia by now.)
2:20:25-end:  Closing comments, interspersed with apologies!  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 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:  Pretty sure it’ll be Episode 276!!
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0:01-3:42:  Greetings from Graeme “Recorded Saturday But Thought It Was Sunday” McMillan and Jeff “Edited Sunday But Thought It Was Monday” Lester!  On this long holiday weekend, we are recovering from a busy week, mainly by listing all the things we are not doing to relax.  Does that sound like we have a problem?  It kind of does, doesn’t it?
3:42-14:31:  While we’ve either been off-air or Drokking, things have been happening in the world of comics news.  In fact, we are at the end of no less than two eras!  And we start off by talking about the first one:  the announcement that Mad Magazine will cease publishing new material.  We talk about the amount of upset online despite not paying much attention to it online, the change in American humor, and much more.
14:31-1:06:28:  Mad Magazine comes after the news that Vertigo is being shuttered (along with new imprints Zoom and Ink) and…did we even talk about that?  We honestly can’t remember!  So we tackle it (again, for the very first time?), and talk about what’s happening to the books scheduled to come out under Zoom and Ink, the Hill House imprint, their announcement of creator-owned titles, how the rollout could’ve been handled differently, why DC Black Label is going away as an imprint but staying on as an age group, Batman as brand, DC as a “distracted, nonsensical publisher,” DC before Vertigo, the current publication status of Second Coming and Safe Sex; AND MUCH MORE.
1:06:28-2:12:39:  The other end of an era news?  The Walking Dead has ended as a comic book. Abruptly.  As in the most recent issue (#193) is the final issue, the issues already solicited to be published after that were apparently fakes, and Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s latest issue is now also the last.  That is a surprising end to the largest independent comic of our era (and arguably any era, depending on how you want to quantify the success of things like TMNT) and we talk about how it ended, why it ended, and what it means for Image now that their three biggest comics (TWD, Saga, and WicDiv) are now, essentially, over.  Although we try at first, this conversation is definitely a full-SPOILERS discussion of the final storyline and the final issue.  Discussed:  the final story arc for TWD; why sales collapsed for the series; how Jeff, long-term reader of TWD, feels now that it’s over; what caused the zombie apocalypse and the Star Trek finale feel to the end of the series; the last Image book that sells over 20k in the North American market; the new announcement from Image that came out ahead of SDCC; Kirkman’s other publishing strategies through Skybound; and speaking of SDCC, are DC and Image going into SDCC and being perceived as being in trouble; comic book marketing as compared to the marketing of other entertainment media; and a lot more.
2:12:39-2:24:40:  We are more or less aware that somehow the entire episode has flown by, Drokk!! Ep. 6 is next week, and we both think there’s something we’re forgetting to talk about?  Jeff suggests people go to Deb Aoki’s twitter which is normally filled with all kinds of goodness but is extra-full-to-bursting recently with Anime Expo news, such as the first episode of Vinland Saga appearing on Prime Video on July 8; the release of the Project Anime whitepaper about the status of manga in North America; and many, many other tidbits.
2:24:40-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 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!!  Next week!!
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0:01-3:38:  Greetings from Graeme “Jeff Lester?” McMillan and Jeff “Graeme McMillan?” Lester let you know you’ve been robbed of perhaps the greatest opening in our history!  (All that said, you probably didn’t miss much?)  And, because we have a lot of qiuestions to get to, after a bit of talk about the previous week’s weather, we are off to the races!
3:38-08:00:  John Kipling (from Patreon) wants to know:If the MCU makes a Fantastic Four movie who does Doom team up with to defeat Reed Richards? Namor? Mole Man and Fin Fang Foom? Galactus? (And if it is Fin Fang Foom should he wear athletic shorts?)
08:00-16:12: Ed (from Patreon) was wondering:First, Zenescope Comics and Aspen Comics seem to be popular (at least on Comixology). Do you have any sense who the audience for these are? To me, they seem like porn comics minus the porn. Am I missing something?
16:12-22:08: Second, I’ve tried to get into manga a few times but the only series that ever worked for me was Lone Wolf and Cub. I love the art style; the story was compelling, the action was clear; and it didn’t have much of the tropes that I associate with the manga that I don’t like: panty shots, high school, chibi characters, the little visual short hands (vampire teeth, bead of sweat, etc.). Do you have any manga recommendations that might work for me?
22:08-28:17: Steve Lacey asked via email: I’ll keep this brief as I’m on a phone at nearly 2am, under the influence of some very enjoyable birthday celebrations. I have never relied on autocorrect so much…
As fellow travellers on the Fantastic Four journey, I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the 10-or-so issues of the relaunched Fantastic Four so far. Are they any good? Where do they fit in the general FF rankings? And how do they compare to Slott’s other works?
28:17-30:16: In addition, what are your thoughts on the upcoming spinoff books – Invisible Woman, Future Foundation, and Yancy Street? Do the premises and creatives excite you enough, or are Marvel over saturating a limited market?
30:16-36:01: John Q (from email) wonders:In light of the ‘Drokk’ episodes, do either of you have any thoughts on the Marshal Law comic?
36:01-43:26: Jonathan Sapsed muses via email:My question is about creators ‘peaking’ in their careers. People say Chris Claremont peaked with the ’80s X-Men run or Bendis with Daredevil or Ultimate Spider-Man. But do creators really peak or is it that everybody gets used to their style? People are saying Bendis is peaking again after getting really ill and going to DC.
What about artists? Walt Simonson’s current Ragnarok seems as accomplished as his classic Thor. Bill Sienkiewicz is still innovating. I’ve heard Steve Rude say he peaked with Nexus #14. Is it that specific usually? Does anybody peak late in comics?
Is it the same with podcasts? When will Wait What peak? 🙂
43:26-46:44: Also when Jeff talks about ‘formalism’, usually with Alan Moore or Tom King, what does he mean exactly?
46:44-48:50: Eric Rupe, from email, wants to know: Has Jeff read enough sports manga to have an opinion on them as part of the action genre? Haikyuu in particular seems to work really well as an action story only instead of fights and chases it has volleyball matches. It is not something you see of a lot of in US media (TV, comics or otherwise) and was wonder if Jeff has had similar thoughts.
48:50-53:26: What is the most you’d be willing be spend on a comic because of nostalgia and nothing else?
53:26-1:06:49: Does the direct market inherently limit the possible success of certain types of genre material? Why the seeming lack of successful non-superhero based comedy, romance, slice-of-life, sports or similar types of comics in the traditional 20-ish page floppy format?
When people often talk about the current state of the direct market and various events that happened in the past they tend to a) blame the companies for publishing and marketing various bad ideas and/or b) blame the readers for buying said bad ideas but never seem to blame retailers for going along with it all. Do retailers deserve a certain amount of blame or are they innocent middlemen trying to make the best of a bad situation?
1:06:49-1:07:51: Who is more evil: Graeme, since he owns a Kindle, or Jeff, since he owns an iPad?
1:07:51-1:09:07: Kevin Donlan (from email) asks (but this gets booted to a future episode because it is too good a question to just dash off but we don’t have time and so here is the question for your future reference): So this should lead to a quick discussion if you were to recommend an introduction to comics to different age levels what would they be, they could either be funny books or even scholarly journals (Not Brand ‘Ecch comes to mind):8 and under /9-13 /13-15 /16-18 /19-25 /26-35 /36- fogies /”get off my lawn” to curmudgeon
Obviously there are some things that will overlap.  Just curious what you think. [stay tuned, Kevin!]
1:09:07-1:11:52: Martin Gray arrives via Twitter and email to wonder: If Silver Age Marvel had done ‘Family’-style spin-offs a la Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, who do you think would have could have carried a book?
1:11:52-1:18:14: Douglas O’Keefe (via email) has a couple loaded in the chamber and ready to fire: What was the end of Mister Miracle all about? How do you feel about the series as a wholeYou guys talked a little about #12 when it came out, but your discussion was mostly about the continuity of the series with other DC stuff at the time.I started reading with a lot of enthusiasm but by the last issue I felt like I had learned that the pizza I’d been eating was made out of cardboard.
1:18:14-1:22:02: Tom Shapira from Twitter proposes this thought experiment: If you could have one never-completed work (Big Numbers, 1963 etc.) finished what would it be?
1:22:02-1:28:55: From Twitter, George Johnson wants to know: Has the walking dead peaked or did it earlier and we are in the decline now? [SPOILERS for issue #192, the latest issue of Walking Dead]
1:28:55-1:30:05: Art Lyon (@DarthErr on Twitter) queries: What failed comic book publisher do you miss?
1:30:05-1:35:02: From email, Eric Grill challenges:  Given Marvel’s previous attempt at creating manga inspired work with (to be charitable) less than successful results, what Marvel or DC characters / concepts would work if done in the true manga style by Japanese writers and artists? The natural choice would be students at the Xavier Institute like Generation X in a slice of life manga, but given the Xmen’s propensity to play sports whenever they have downtime, a baseball manga with a team of mutants could be great.
1:35:02-1:43:23: Our good chum Adam P. Knave asks via email: What music do you think goes with your current favorite series and why?
Bonus: Best Englehart storyline ever? All books he wrote are up for grabs.
1:43:23-1:46:20: Flashhe (a.k.a. Roger Wilson) asks via the electromagnetic temporal communication field (a.k.a. email): In the wake of the Swamp Thing cancellation etc, and the forthcoming Warner streaming service, is DC Universe doomed? Certainly seems like Warner would want to save the original content for its new all-encompassing streaming service. I am worried about the future of Stargirl, which I really want to see. Maybe DCU will exist only as a platform for the comics? Can the two services co-exist and the original content would premiere on both at the same time? I know it’s all just speculation at this point, but you guys seem closer to the mouth of the Oracle than I am.
Wildfire
1:46:20-1:47:33: Also, who is your favorite Legionnaire? I guess mine is Phantom Girl. I always dug the bell-bottomed costume.
1:47:33-1:50:55: Leef Smith wanders in from email to wonder:  Where do you see the comics industry in 10 years? And more specifically, what happens to Marvel Comics after it’s wrestled from Ike Perlmutter’s cold, dead hands? (Not to wish death on anyone, but… )
1:50:55-2:03:48: Good ol’ Dan Billings writes: My comic shop has an issue with pull lists because customers with extensive asks or specific graphic novels disappear. In addition, the number of large pull list customers has significantly declined. A few questions related to that:
1. Do you think pull lists are a positive or negative for shops?
2. From what you hear, is the same loss of large customers happening everywhere?
3. If so, what do you think could change that?
4. Is there something on your pull lists you seemed to never be able to drop – either in the past or today?
2:03:48-2:08:53: David M stymies us via email with:  Who was Scott Free’s mum? Bearing in mind Izaya seems to have aged about 50 years since Avia was killed and it’s probably longer as he’s a god.
Has Graeme been reading John Allison online from early on? I started with the first issue of Giant Days and then started on Bad Machinery and have only recently been exploring Scary-Go-Round and found it’s all part of the same continuity. Some of it is pretty surprising and spoilerific.
Do you have favourite Kirby monster stories? ‘I Created The Colossus!’ is mine, both because he cuts loose on the art in a way that looks years ahead of the rest of the work he was doing then and as it’s the best of his ‘monster as golem’ stories.
What’s Graeme’s favourite manga and Jeff’s favourite Legion of Superheroes story?
2:08:53-2:15:02: Retired Podcasting King Chad Nevett asks us via twitter:  With the Vertigo rumours this week and Wicked and Divine ending soon, I was wondering if it being at Image at all instead of Vertigo is a good measure of the imprint? Is WicDiv the first/best example of a post-Vertigo Vertigo type of series/run?
2:15:02-2:16:42: Tiny Skeffrn (via twitter) ponders:  Is it time to put the FF out of it’s misery? (Again!) Or rather, should we have left the FF in cold storage? I love Dan Slott but it’s all feeling a bit stale…
2:16:42-2:18:02: Earl Stevens via Twitter  twoots: Question:  This has probably been spoken about – but as a long time listener I still don’t know how you two became pals?
2:18:02-2:22:02: Credible Hulk arrives from Twitter to smash us with:  Which Marvel and DC heroes would host the best podcast and on what topic? Other than Blue Beetle and Booster Gold reviewing fast food restaurants, of course.
2:22:02-2:27:14: Phil Southern tweets to break Graeme’s brain with:  In my mind, you guys have tens of thousands of loyal listeners; for lack of a better way of putting it, what are your ratings?  Are you comfortable sharing that kind of information? Irrespective, thanks for 10 years of great podcasts! I like them a lot, especially “comics news” and old comic discussions.
2:27:14-2:30:47:  Twitter’s very own ComicCruncher asks:  In your time in and around the comics industry, are there any non-obvious changes that have had a big impact? (obvious changes = stuff that everyone talks about like Amazon, digital comics, diversity, etc) Love the show!
2:30:47-2:39:44: Here’s a little slice of fried gold from Thibaut Josse via email:  Hey guys,Reponding to your call for questions, here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately : do you think the dc universe (the shared superhero universe, not the multimedia app which is still not available out of the States, damn it !) is instrisically more interesting than the marvel universe ?
What leads to this question is that I noticed that you were spending a great deal of time discussing the narrative and editorial implications and the overall mythology of the comics published by dc, something you rarely do about marvel (or at least about current marvel continuity). I thought it might be just because Graeme seems to be the most interested of you two in discussing the continuity and in reading the comic books in the context of a larger universe and he’s more invested in the dc universe. But maybe you also think there’s something that makes them more interesting from this point of view. I remember Jeff saying that after some time (20 years ?), every shared universe collapse under its own weight and I think he’s absolutely right about that. There not having been a real reboot in the marvel universe could have contributed in making the marvel universe flatter (Al Ewing’s Ultimates though !).
Anyway, sorry about my English, I hope I’m still understandable. Thank you for the podcast and thank you for making me read Judge Dredd, I really, really dig it!
2:39:44-2:50:47: Jonny Kiehlmann had a few things on his mind and he emailed to say: Image’s rise over the last ten years has been fascinating — from the Chew launch literally the same month as you guys, June 2009, through to Saga and the boom following it, with things like WicDiv, Sex Criminals etc. How this period is looked at will probably depend on how well Image manages to replace Saga and WicDiv, with a lot of delayed titles, as well as Luna and Chaykin type content issues. How do you think this time will be looked on?
2:50:47-2:53:56: I assume you’ve already had someone ask what your favourite comics of the last ten years are (I’m probably the only person who’ll say Daytripper), but more specifically, what have your favourite Image comics of the last ten years been?
2:53:56-2:58:28: You mentioned Rise of Arsenal as a nadir of bad comics. Is it the worst? What stands out as the worst comic ever?
2:58:28-3:08:18: Here comes John Wheaton from email to say :(1) I loved and miss Comics Alliance. How did you feel about the site? Was it just economics that undid it or do you think something about what they offered made their fall inevitable?
(2) What’s the best comic book site now? CBR? Newsarama? ComicsVerse? Bleeding Cool? (Please don’t say Bleeding Cool)
(3) What is the best character from the Big 2 created since your podcast started?
3:08:18-end:  Closing comments…of a sort.  Graeme is overjoyed we made it halfway through the questions (even after Jeff points out that we’re only a third of the way through the questions). By which I mean, we kinda can’t shut up, in part because Graeme wants to talk about reading Roger Stern’s run on Amazing Spider-Man and how good it is, and Jeff is Jeff.  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week:  Drokk, Episode 5!  Which is also our…400th Episode?  Go get some cake, read some Dredd, and join us!
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0:01-15:25:  Greetings from Graeme “I Have To Share With The World” McMillan and Jeff “I’m A Little Worried” Lester dig into our ten year anniversary of this podcast with a deep dive Q &A episode.  But, first, we’re sure you’re asking yourself:  what was happening in the pages of Marvel Age magazine preview for 1992?  Thank goodness for you Graeme has the answer.  Also discussed: the second Nomad, the third Nomad, and what happened to the second Nomad and who was responsible; vagueness related to possible tenth anniversary celebrations; Graeme shocked that Jeff hasn’t been high during recordings; how many episodes we’ve actually posted (that to be clear, Jeff was *not* high for); how in-depth the following questions are, and more.
15:25-32:17:  And we’re off to the races!  Matthew and Anna (from Patreon) ask:  I left this a comment on the last Drokk episode, but I’ll ask it again here. Do you think there have been any comics that have been effective at capturing the idea of “punk”? There have been a few titles in recent years that have been, at least on the surface (e.g. in the title), about punk, but none of them seem even remotely like the punk scene/community/ideas that I’m familiar with. Why do you think this might be? Could it be at least in part due to the idea of “punk” within the minds of the people writing these comics still being stuck in the ’60s and ‘70s?
32:17-54:27:  Supercontext  Ifrom Patreon) wonders:  I’m curious what your take is on several newish comics publishers that have arisen in the last couple of years. I’m specifically thinking of companies like Action Lab, AfterShock, Black Mask, Lion Forge, TKO and Vault. The recent Lion Forge/Oni acquisition probably has a connection to this. While promoting creator-owned work, they seem to mainly be backed by venture capital investments, despite the small percentage of the market that remains for them to make a return on. I don’t often hear you guys talk about their books, so I’m curious if you are reading them. What do you think about their chances for success? How do you think they’re affecting the industry? And finally, what do you think differentiates them from one another? Thanks for the show. I look forward to listening every week.
54:27-1:02:58: Daniel Mckay (from Patreon):  I’ve always been a bit curious about Jeff’s day job but I feel he’s been carefully quiet so barring any more details, I’ll just thank you guys for everything with words rather than just dosh. Thanks.
1:02:58-1:13:06: Dan White (from Patreon):  my question is what value do you think there is in engaging with problematic work or problematic creators?
1:13:06-1:21:34: Ethanlj (from Patreon):  I grew up a Marvel guy and didn’t start reading DC until post-Crisis with Legends and then JLI. I know there must be a ton of great stuff right before that time. What storylines or creator arcs from the first half of the 80’s really stand out? I’ve read and enjoyed Judas Contract and Great Darkness Saga but other than that it’s an unexplored world.
1:21:34-1:31:29:  Follow up q from Ethanlj:   Oh, another one (feel free to answer just one or none). With Fox’s X-men and Fantastic Four now dead and buried, how would you introduce these concepts into the MCU. Specifically, can you launch the Original X-Men (Scott, Jean, etc) in the year 2020, or does that really have to be in the Civil Rights Movement time in the 60’s? And same question for the FF… do you need a Space Race to make it work?
1:31:29-1:57:26:  Patchen Mortimer via email:   As I tweeted to Jeff, I’m currently going through your archives, and your Baxter Building and Star Brand re-reads were like getting two chapters of a psychobiography that now I cannot stop thinking about.
 
Like, when was he good?  When was he great?  When and why did he go wrong?  And why did he hold such sway in the industry for so long, despite being—at least as a writer—manifestly hidebound, boring and bad?
 
Some background: As I think I’ve mentioned previously on Twitter, I always resented John Byrne for driving me off Iron Man, which was the title that got me interested in comics. I’d been reading comics for a year when he delivered the “Armor Wars II” storyline—a lifeless slog featuring neither Armor nor Wars.  The supporting cast largely vanished; the Madam Masque subplot disappeared; there was a retelling of the origin. I held on for a year and then gave up mid-arc—7th-grade me had no patience for Fin Fang Foom (at least not Byrne’s version) and the X-titles had lured me away (coincidentally, just before the big 1991 X-summer shakeup that saw Claremont leave).
 
Being a middle-schooler, I didn’t think to blame the writer; I just knew things had Gone Wrong.  But years later my grad school roommate and I would try X-Men: The Hidden Years and it was dreck.  At the same time, we were re-reading my old comic collection, and lo and behold I suddenly connected the dots.
 
Then in the last year or so, I’ve been listening to podcasts like yours, and discovered he did this nonsense to COUNTLESS titles. For DECADES.
 
You guys have perspective and omnivorous habits I don’t. Any way you can take some time to shed some light on this? What drove him to be the way he was, what were his peaks and valleys, etc.?  When you look at his career in total, is there a Unified Theory of Byrne beyond a guy who was envious of Claremont and who desperately wanted comics to go back to the way they were when he was 10?  Is it that simple or is there more?
 
Anyway, just a thought, and thanks for the podcast!
1:57:26-2:10:15: Tomas Syrstad Ruud from email:  Are the big two basically unable to make good Fantasy and Science-Fiction comics, because the creators are used to the character-focused Super-Hero genre, and take it for granted that they can make drastic changes to the underlying worldbuilding in a book when they take it over? See e.g. Wonder Woman, Legion of Super-Heroes.
I recently binge-read a lot of european (not british) comics. (Storm, Thorgal, Lanfeust). When listening to your latest episode it struck me that this is the one area of comics I can’t remember hearing you discuss. Do you have any interest in this section of comics? I don’t know how much is available in english.
2:10:15-2:14:35:  Skye Adamczyk from email:  A few episodes ago you [Jeff] mentioned your love of “incredibly well researched but batshit insane manga” and so you came to mind when I learned about Drops of God by Yuko and Shin Kibayashi.
To try and give an elevator pitch: it follows the formula of a lot of other battle manga, being about a young man who recieved brutal torturous training from his father to heighten his senses facing off against a rival who turns out to be a secret brother with the same training. The twist is, instead of fights its all about wine tasting.
Personally this is a field I know nothing about but the manga has a great reputation among the wine tasting community, effectively increasing the sales of each wine mentioned.
2:14:35-end:  Closing comments…of a sort? Graeme is overjoyed we made it halfway through the questions (even after Jeff points out that we’re only a third of the way through the questions). By which I mean, we kinda can’t shut up, in part because Graeme wants to talk about reading Roger Stern’s run on Amazing Spider-Man and how good it is, and Jeff wants…to be Jeff, basically.  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week:  Part 2 of Our Q & A episode!  Why not ask us a question at waitwhatpodcast A T g mail.com?
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http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts3/WaitWhat271.mp3 0:01-7:38:  Greetings from Graeme “Swallow At The Wrong Time” McMillan and Jeff “We Are Probably All Dying Faster Than Previously” Lester who are back for another bout of two-fisted audio comics fun!  And we…

Hey, everyone!  Welcome to our non-episode episode, where Graeme and Jeff talk separately about hanging out together recently in Portland, Oregon.  Graeme is concise; Jeff is not; what else is new?  But at least you get to hear about Shazam! (the motion picture), DC Digests, Carmine Infantino and Don Heck, Deadpool Kills The Deadpool Universe #4, and what’s really going through the head of the person you’re bargain comics shopping with!

We’ll be back next week with a full episode of (we think) Drokk!

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