Previously on Baxter Building: After more than a year, the Fantastic Four is back together again, having defeated Doctor Doom once and for all (Spoilers: that “for all” part isn’t going to stick) and overcome all the interpersonal dramas that tore them apart in the first place. Now, the sky is the limit… literally. As the team heads into space, everything’s about to seem very limited indeed.
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0:00:00-0:03:39: Secrets behind the podcast! Because of Jeff’s vacation, this episode was actually recorded just hours after the last Baxter Building, and the cold open of this episode is my pre-episode suggestion to Jeff that we also try to do a Wait, What? episode (The one released last week; time is a strange thing) after recording this episode. Jeff vetoes it, and it’s a good thing, too; we get very punchy talking about Fantastic Four #201-214, fourteen issues that neither of us were particularly enamored with, as you’ll discover. Did Marv Wolfman only have one story to tell?
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0:03:40-0:13:56: Fantastic Four #201 is, at heart, an issue concerned with continuing to reset the status quo, which means returning to the Baxter Building — even though it’s trying to kill them! It’s not all bad, though; there’s a cutaway guide to the Building that gives Jeff and I the chance to complain about their planning, a discussion about whether lasers should or shouldn’t work against the Invisible Girl, and a second discussion of the disappointment of lever-pulling, and a climax that isn’t really earned by the issue itself.
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0:13:57-0:22:35: How great is Iron Man? Apparently so great that he’s more effective as a superhero when Tony Stark isn’t involved, judging by how well the remote-controlled armor does in FF #202, where it not only dispatches the team in record time, it also manages to steal the FF’s Baxter Building headquarters in the process. Sadly, it’s all downhill from there, thanks to a battle with a villain who can’t move except Marv Wolfman doesn’t understand what that means, and a conclusion that is a cliffhanger that’s not going to be picked up anytime soon.
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0:22:36-0:30:53: “And A Child Shall Slay Them!” (Fantastic Four #203) could not feel more like a fill-in if it tried, as the Fantastic Four deals with the African-American Franklin Richards, a fact that Jeff points out that I hadn’t even considered even so it’s so amazingly obvious. It’s a slight issue with little to recommend it beyond pointy eyebrows (although there is a return of omniscient Reed, because… well, I guess he had to) so we quickly move on to…
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0:30:54-0:41:26: This is where it all starts going downhill, as FF #204 starts a story-cycle that won’t end until #214, and it’s really not very good. Why is it so underwhelming? Well, for a start, it’s tying up loose ends from the soon-to-be-canceled title Nova, there’s a subplot about Johnny going back to school while demonstrating that he clearly needs to because he is an idiot, and it’s all done with the excitement and enthusiasm of a drugged sloth. “You think that it was… all the sweeping grandeur that you can fit into five to seven panels per page, over the course of, like, five pages. It’s just nothing,” as Jeff puts it. Seriously, buckle up, Whatnauts. It’s about to get really, really bad.
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0:41:27-0:56:29: When is a Star Destroyer like a woman’s genitals? When perspective gets weird on the splash page of Fantastic Four #205, just one of many problems with an utterly underwhelming comic that wants you to be impressed — there’s even a Watcher cameo to underscore the dramatic nature of what you’re reading! — but entirely fails to do anything that’s actually impressive. Still, at least we get to find out that Johnny’s really, really into being watched, and learn the secret about just how Johnny dries himself after a shower. Because you demanded it! Plus: Adora is really sad that her boyfriend’s asleep! The worst dialogue! Reed Richards losing his shit over a room filled with computers! (Jeff’s great Ben Grimm impression!) And the Skrulls and their dog-obsessed lingo! Marv Wolfman, where was your mind?
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0:56:30-1:05:52: As no less an authority than Jeff Lester puts it, “issue 206 is completely dull, again.” We’re only three issues into this horrendous storyline, and Jeff and I are struggling to come up with anything to say about this one. At least there are more references to dog-themed insults, and Jeff gets to remember just how much he loved the original Nova series, as even more cast members from that series show up here. Oh, and the F.F. apparently die. Maybe. Possibly.
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1:05:53-1:12:16: The best thing about Fantastic Four #207 is that, after Reed, Sue and Ben apparently getting blown up in the cliffhanger from the previous issue, they don’t appear, or even get referenced, in this issue. Instead, it’s a Marvel Team-Up issue where Spider-Man shows up to quickly — but not quickly enough — wrap-up the Johnny subplot. Well, “wrap up” in the sense of, “It frees Johnny up to join the rest of the team next issue, but it doesn’t really explain much of anything else.” Just one episode after we sang the praises of the Sal Buscema/Joe Sinnott art team, they turn in a surprisingly disappointing fill-in with a genuinely disappointing Spider-Man, but for the second time this episode, the issue ends with a cliffhanger that will not be followed up anytime soon. Who said this isn’t the era of Mighty Marvel Falling Apart-ness?
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1:12:17-1:17:41: How much does the Sphinx suck? Those who heard last episode think they know the answer to this question (“A lot,” in case you didn’t listen; shame on you, as well), but just wait until he completely steals this storyline in FF #208 by… growing really big and deciding that he’s going to destroy the Earth because… Marv Wolfman got bored…? Jeff gets excited about up-skirting for the second time this episode, but otherwise, both of us get mildly distraught about how underwhelming this issue — and this storyline — had become. Honestly, it’s not very good.
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1:17:42-1:26:25: It’s not a spoiler to reveal that the full title of the story — “The Fabulous FF Battle For Their Lives Even As They Find Themselves Trapped In The Sargasso of Space” — is by far the most entertaining thing about Fantastic Four #209. But we do get the first appearance of John Byrne in the series, as he takes over the role of penciler with Joe Sinnott still inking his heart out, and the first appearance of Herbie the Robot — the latter an event so exciting that it gets a cover blurb and some internal metatext. But as for the overall story itself, it’s so forgettable that Jeff and I both thought forget what it’s actually about, prompting me to complain about Wolfman’s misunderstanding of narrative scale and tension. “Nothing really matters,” Jeff comments, which is a problem when the fate of the series’ protagonists, their home planet and their surrounding galaxy theoretically hang in the balance.
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1:26:26-1:30:47: You might hope that the discovery of Galactus early on in FF #210 restores some narrative momentum, but you’d be wrong; I call it “an issue of filler that leads to a cliffhanger that is also filler,” and I’m entirely correct. Hey, guess what? Galactus has a space zoo! And the animals run amok! Because “honestly, it just feels like Marv Wolfman has read too many comic books,” as Jeff puts it. We get so carried away talking about how this issue is terrible that…
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1:30:48-1:35:31: “Have we moved into #211?” I ask, genuinely uncertain about where we are in the order at this point. (I told you this was a punchy one.) Hey, guess what? There’s a despot who’s secretly a coward but it’s not a cliche because he’s… in space…? Or something? The first appearance of Terrax is, in the words of Jeff, “ridiculous errand-fetching, all the most dull parts of video games jammed into one dull storyline,” but it’s okay: the Sphinx is really taking his time in destroying the Earth (or even getting there in the first place). It’s not all bad, though, because the early Byrne/Sinnott art provokes some John Byrne nostalgia in Mr. Lester. “I gotta take from this what I can,” he says, and if it has to be nostalgia for the glory days of someone who has since become one of comics’ grumpiest creators, then that’s what it is.
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1:35:32-1:40:25: You might think that Fantastic Four #212, which is actually titled “The Battle of the Titans!”, would feature… you know, a battle between titans. Especially when Galactus and the Sphinx are on the cover — by Walt Simonson, and the subject of much derision by Jeff — actually fighting, but guess what doesn’t actually happen in this issue. Yes, Marv Wolfman continues to play for time by recapping the Sphinx’s origin one more time, bringing in the Watcher to play for time and just generally taking far too long to get to the point. There is, meanwhile, some joy to be found in just how petty Terrax turns out to be, even when gifted with the Power Cosmic.
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1:40:26-1:51:17: We slide all-too-easily into FF #213, which I favorably call “a fascinating finale,” in part because of a coloring error that gives Galactus what Jeff calls “Felix the Cat eyes.” What should be an exciting issue ends up feeling as if it’s going through the motions in the least interesting way possible, to the point where we start talking about whether or not these are comics that are responsible for the overall bad reputation for Marvel’s late ’70s/early ’80s output. If nothing else, it devalues the very ideas and characters it’s playing with, and makes everything more hollow as a result. Oh, and there’s a denouement between Galactus and the Fantastic Four that kind of makes no sense, because… honestly, I suspect because no-one was really paying that much attention anymore.
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1:51:18-1:57:16: How do we sum up Fantastic Four #214, the (thank God) final chapter of this all-too-long epic? “What do you think of it, Jeff?” I ask. “Oh my God,” Jeff groans in pained tones. Sounds about right. There’s a robot Skrull and the second appearance of a strange wannabe-trope that ensures that the F.F. are back and better than ever in just over a year, but does any of that distract from the fact that the problem that launched the whole thing in the first place remains entirely unresolved? Not in the slightest.
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1:57:17-end: We take an overall look at the issues we covered for the episode and talk about low points in the Fantastic Four and what’s coming up soon — including, very soon, a Doug Moench/Bill Sienkiewicz run that Jeff didn’t even know existed. Was this run something that provoked Jim Shooter to do away with Marvel’s writer/editor role, and in the process create the Marvel comics of the 1980s, and was that era really as bad as people said? We touch on this briefly before reminding you to check out our Twitter, Tumblr and Patreon and telling you to read up on Fantastic Four #215-231 for the next episode, which will happen in a month. As always, thank you for listening and, this time around especially, making it through until the end.

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Despite the fact that Graeme insists at the end of every podcast that I’m the punctual one here, I’ve fallen woefully behind. I’m not just behind on writing and posting, though–I’m behind on actually reading the damned books. And given the lunatic velocity with which DC has been releasing issues of their Rebirth titles, that has created an enormous backlog. (Like, literally enormous. Like a three-foot tall stack of books on my bedside table.) 

In an effort to trim the to-read list and get some #content posted on this here site, I’m going to be writing more frequent, shorter posts while I try to get on top of this insane backlog. Today: Wonder Woman #3-9, written by Greg Rucka; drawn by Liam Sharp (3, 5, 7, 9), Nicola Scott (4, 6), and Bilquis Evely (8); and colored by Laura Martin (odd issues) and Romulo Fajardo Jr. (even issues).

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0:00:00-00:32:39: Hey, everyone! It’s Jeff Lester’s birthday today! (Or October 31st, if you’re reading this late.) And as you read these words — as long as you read them in the next couple of weeks — he’ll not be able to see them for himself because he’s abandoned us all for life on the open seas. Now you know why I’m doing these show notes. It’s not just Jeff Lester’s birthday, however; it’s actually Jeff Lester’s 50th birthday, which means that he was born in the same year as the Monkees, the Adam West Batman TV show and Star Trek, the coincidence of which we discuss in this opening segment, which also touching on unseasonably warm weather, 1980s Chernobyl nostalgia and the secret connection between Bob Haney and Saturday Night Live.
0:32:40-0:47:18: Talk of the 1960s Batman show leads us, in a very roundabout fashion, to our favorite superhero TV shows, which means that we reference the following:

Be warned: not all of these shows are our favorites.
0:47:19-0:51:46: For a brief second, we take a break to discuss different ways of marking childhood birthdays in Scotland and the U.S. Listen as Jeff is horrified by “the bumps!” Hear me being amused by schoolyard spankings and the way in which adolescent Jeff wrestled with the concept!

0:51:47-1:10:05: Moving from one area of nostalgia to another, Jeff wrestles with Marvel’s Luke Cage Netflix series (In his words, “It’s ambitious, but it’s not really good,”) and argues that it’s actually a mix of Batman, Star Trek and The Monkees, while I explain my dislike for its opening titles. But having opened those floodgates, we soon move on to…
1:10:06-1:22:53:Gotham, Daredevil and whether or not the second seasons of both are better shows because they’re of a more consistent quality throughout, as opposed to swerving wildly between peaks and troughs. Also, what value does camp have in a show like Gotham, and just how much more fun is Erin Richards having now that she’s allowed to play a fun (if evil) character in Gotham?

1:22:54-1:39:04: What makes a good superhero TV show, anyway? Jeff asks if the fact that I like DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash and dislike Jessica Jones and Daredevil comes from a bias against Marvel and towards DC, but I frame it more as enjoying upbeat trash more than pretentious scowling. We compare Legends to Doctor Who, and talk about why Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD‘s true consistency comes from disappointment. (Spoiler: Dollhouse is referenced. Remember Dollhouse?) Jeff works out what he wants from a superhero TV show, which then leads us to…
1:39:05-1:50:38: …What comic books would Jeff and I like to see on television? The answers might… actually, probably not surprise you that much. Angel & The Ape! Blackjack! The Spirit! Judge Dredd! Y: The Last Man! Challengers of the Unknown! All this, and the answer to the question you’ve often asked yourself: What does the CW stands for, anyway?

(This isn’t a TV show, but still; it’s Brad Bird’s 1980 pencil test animation for The Spirit…)

1:50:39-end: Closing comments, in which we remind you to look for us on Twitter, Tumblr and Patreon, where fine folks like the brave souls of American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy help us help you with this fine show.
Next week: It’s time for another Baxter Building! Episode 23, wherein we return to the regular series for #201-214 and wish that we hadn’t. Join us, won’t you?

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Despite the fact that Graeme insists at the end of every podcast that I’m the punctual one here, I’ve fallen woefully behind. I’m not just behind on writing and posting, though–I’m behind on actually reading the damned books. And given the lunatic velocity with which DC has been releasing issues of their Rebirth titles, that has created an enormous backlog. (Like, literally enormous. Like a three-foot tall stack of books on my bedside table.) 

In an effort to trim the to-read list and get some #content posted on this here site, I’m going to be writing more frequent, shorter posts while I try to get on top of this insane backlog. Today: Midnighter and Apollo #1, written by Steve Orlando, drawn by Fernando Blanco, and colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. 

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Despite the fact that Graeme insists at the end of every podcast that I’m the punctual one here, I’ve fallen woefully behind. I’m not just behind on writing and posting, though–I’m behind on actually reading the damned books. And given the lunatic velocity with which DC has been releasing issues of their Rebirth titles, that has created an enormous backlog. (Like, literally enormous. Like a three-foot tall stack of books on my bedside table.) 

In an effort to trim the to-read list and get some #content posted on this here site, I’m going to be writing more frequent, shorter posts while I try to get on top of this insane backlog. Today: Sixpack and Dogwelder: Hard-Travellin’ Heroz #1-3, written by Garth Ennis, drawn by Russ Braun, colored by John Kalisz, with covers by the late, already-much-missed Steve Dillon.

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Previously on Baxter Building: We made it to #200, only to discover — despite what either Jeff or I would’ve expected — that the series suddenly blossomed into the best shape it had been in for years, thanks in large part to Marv Wolfman, George Perez and Keith Pollard finally delivering on the promise the series had, but hadn’t been able to live up to, since the Kirby/Lee era. Will that quality extend past the anniversary issue? That’s a good question, but not one we’ll get around to addressing this time.
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0:00:00-0:05:24: As the cold open suggests, jumping off the monthly merry-go-round to take a look at the various special issues we’ve missed in our plunge forward through Fantastic Four to date means going all the way back to 1974 and discovering that the Giant-Size issues and Annuals from that period (Annuals #11-13 and the four non-reprint issues of Giant-Size Fantastic Four, the first of which was actually called Giant-Size Super-Stars Featuring Fantastic Four) are… not really that good, a fact we talk about as we try and steel ourselves for what’s to come.
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0:05:25-0:13:42: Giant-Size Super-Stars #1 is, indeed, a giant-size issue of Marvel Two-in-One in all but name, as the Thing and the Hulk swap bodies and a very long fight ensues. The highlight of what Jeff describes as the “least objectionable” of the issues we’re covering this episode — aside from a re-appearance of Thundra, because this dates from 1974, the era when Thundra was still a thing in the regular F.F. series — is seeing Rich Buckler and Joe Sinnott channel not just Kirby, but also, if you’re me, Herb Trimpe. I mean, doesn’t this look like Trimpe to you? (Although, when at the 9:28 mark, I say “when the Thing shows up, that Thing is Herb Trimpe,” I obviously mean the Hulk.) It’s not a comic that will change your life, but is that really such a bad thing, especially when compared with the next few books we’re about to cover. As Jeff points out, that’s a low bar, but it’s a bar nonetheless.
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0:13:43-0:26:57: “I have a huge debt of gratitude I owe to Giant-Size Fantastic Four #2, Jeff says, but it’s not because of the lead story of the issue. If ever there was an issue that should be good, it’s this one, because there’s a lot that’s genuinely charming to be found here. Not least of which is some fine artwork by John Buscema and Joe Sinnott, who just might make you wish they worked on a George Washington comic back in the day. And Willie Lumpkin returns (giving us the chance to briefly touch on the weird distorting nature of nostalgia and legacy comic creators)! Sadly, the attempt to recapture the magic of the early Lee/Kirby F.F. end up soured by a misjudged final chapter that none of the creators really seemed to care much about. As Jeff puts it, “it’s a crap comic.”
0:26:58-0:46:24: Despite the fact that Giant-Size Fantastic Four #3 is arguably the worst of the comics we’re covering in this episode, it might be the comic we most enjoy talking about — or, at least, quoting from. “It is the most hilariously pretentious comic I think you or I have ever read,” I say, but what should we expect from a story where the Fantastic Four face off against the actual Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who represent man’s inhumanity to man? No wonder Jeff calls it “the worst idea ever conceived.” Especially when it contains vague fictionalizations of the anti-apartheid movement in 1970s South Africa that look like this:
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Or Reed trying to force feed people by slamming their heads into bowls like this:
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Make no mistake, Whatnauts — this is the worst comic, despite Ben Grimm’s wonderful exclamation “Comb my toupee!”
0:46:25-0:58:29: Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4 features the first appearance of Madrox the Multiple Man — co-written by Chris Claremont! — in a relatively underwhelming issue that I love because of childhood memories and Jeff is (perhaps deservingly) more critical of. It does give us the opportunity for two particular joys, thankfully: my yelling Madrox impersonation (I don’t know what brought that on, I’m sorry) and Charles Xavier and the most amazing visual interpretation of him using his psychic powers that has ever existed in comics:
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We also get into whether or not the Fantastic Four are too particular to give us serviceable generic superhero comics without them being impossibly dull, or whether we’ve been spoiled by Lee and Kirby at their best.
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0:58:30-1:09:55: Roy Thomas gets his Roy Thomas on in Fantastic Four Annual #11, in which the F.F. are time-traveling yet again, this time back to 1942 because it’s a Roy Thomas-written comic so of course there are Golden Age heroes. Jeff likes it, but I find it pretty much a snore, not least because — as Jeff points out — there are some very odd choices in terms of pacing and action, and some pretty underwhelming villains for the combined seven superheroes to fight. Maybe we should’ve called this one “When Nazis aren’t enough.”
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1:09:56-1:30:50: Proving yet again that Jeff and I get exercised by amazingly shitty comics, FF Annual #12 — a comic described as “a drag” by no less an authority than me — lets us talk about failed attempts to merge Kirby mythologies with faux Fourth World characters facing off against the combined might of the Inhumans and the Fantastic Four, the utter disappointment that is the Sphinx, and how very off-brand it feels for a Fantastic Four comic. There’s also a weird, quasi-racist dig at the makers of the then-contemporary King Kong remake, and an extended Gong Show cameo, and Marv Wolfman not quite understanding how explosive decompression works. And an unexpected but entirely necessary Singing In The Rain reference, too, and Jeff wondering aloud what went wrong in transitioning the Inhumans into anchoring their own comic book. We really make the most out of what Jeff describes as a serious contender for “the worst comic. Just the worst.”
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1:30:51-1:46:47: Okay, so Fantastic Four Annual #13 doesn’t have a title for the overall story, it does have a coloring job by Françoise Mouly, so that kind of balances out. Oddly enough, we somewhat ignore the actual plot of the issue to discuss the combination of Sal Buscema and Joe Sinnott, the way that Buscema draws Sue as opposed to other artists, and why Bill Mantlo might be the best writer when it comes to delivering stories with a message, because he’s enough of a hack to keep from getting lost in prevention. Also, how important is it to ensure that the Fantastic Four aren’t mean-spirited?
1:46:48-end: We wrap everything up by looking back at the seven books we covered and trying to choose which was the best of a bad bunch, and then look ahead to the next episode, where we’ll be getting back into the regular series and covering Fantastic Four #201-214. (I am irritatingly vague about when that episode will be, because I didn’t know at the time; the answer is “two weeks from now,” I can now tell you; there’s a regular Wait, What? next week.) Until then, thank you as always for listening and reading along, feel free to look us up on Twitter, Tumblr and Patreon, and prepare yourself for much, much more Sphinx action next time around. Oh, yes.
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0:00-55:59: Greetings!  Did you miss us? We missed us.  And yet, rather than get too weepy about it, we quickly dive into a topic where we can get too weepy about it:  the selling of comic books!  Graeme let go of his collection before he left Scotland years ago, but Jeff only got rid of his entire collection of single issues in the last week, and the event looms large in his mind.  Join us as we talk big numbers (and not the Moore/Billy The Sink kind): a man turning 50 has 3 weeks to sell 8,000 books! Mentioned along the way: Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions; Neil Fucking Strauss’ The Game;  Birds of Prey; Donald Trump; collages; mortality; advertising; Luke Cage; pinkeye; and more.
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55:59-1:40:59: On the opposite end of the spectrum: Graeme McMillan!  Listen as he journeys between the in-laws to NYCC in a terrifying short time.  Hear about a relatively unique con experience from Graeme in that it was constant work but somehow not as exhausting as, say, SDCC.  Mentioned along the way: Luc Besson; Jill Pantozzi; Ryan North; Erica Henderson; Will Moss; Cameron Stewart; Dan Slott; cosplay; the news and non-news that came out of the show (Ms. America, Batwoman, Warren Ellis back at Stormwatch; DC’s Kamandi Challenge; Bleeding Cool crashing our browsers; the world’s laziest IT guy; The Blindtastic Four; depressing stuff about Paul Pope; #notmyspiderman, #whoareyourxmen, Kieron Gillen in discussion with Jonathan Hickman; The Star Slammers by Walt Simonson, and Swords of the Swashbucklers by Bill Mantlo and Jackson Guice; the disappearance of cheap back issues; and more.
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1:40:59-1:47:14: Getting back to the now de-singled Jeff Lester, Graeme wants to know: will this change the way Jeff reads comics?  As we all know, Jeff throws a lot of money at Comixology.  Will he know throw them more? Less?
1:47:14-1:53:51: “Should we talk about actual comics that we’ve read?” Jeff asks, “or no?”  And that’s pretty much our chance to more or less choose no, and then give callbacks to Graeme’s side of the conversation with discussion about what happened with Starslammers, Swords of the Swashbucklers, and Epic Comics, as opposed to Youngblood and Spawn, or Sex Criminals and WicDiv and Image Comics.
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1:53:51-1:57:37: Oh, but Graeme has read the latest Scooby-Doo Team-Up with Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and has very good things to say about this book about which Jeff has been a long-term booster. Bonus: a joke from The Flintstones #4!
1:57:37-end: Closing comments! Next week will be a Q&A session so please feel free to tweet or email us your questions. 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 Ep. 22! Read Giant-Size Super-Stars #1, Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4,  and FF Annuals 11-13 and check them out with us!
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I’ve been trying to write about Snotgirl for weeks months. Literally. I emailed Graeme and Jeff before the first issue was even released asking if either of them was covering it, and stated a firm plan to do a post about it. Then I emailed them just before the second issue was released and VERY CLEARLY explained that I would be writing about issues #1 AND #2. Since the I have written about writing about Snotgirl in a totally unrelated post here, and in a couple of tweets. I have sent poor Jeff and Graeme even more words of explanation and fillibustery.

What I have not done is “write about Snotgirl“.

Now, the usual things got in the way, of course, the litany of excuses that start every fifth blog post: the day job, life, kids, a lack of inspiration, that cruel black dog of depression or at least its smaller cousin, the dachshund of anxiety. Whatever. But part of the issue here is that I’m realizing that I have a harder time writing about Bryan Lee O’Malley than I do about almost any other creator, and especially about his post Scott Pilgrim work. This is partially because of my personal reaction to Scott Pilgrim, and partially because of something else, which it has taken me three months to realize.

I’ll get to that realization later, but let me start by heaping praise on Scott Pilgrim again.

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Previously on Baxter Building: Which was the more important event that happened in the previous episode: The arrival of George Perez as artist, or Reed Richards losing his super powers? Both cases can be made as we make our way through this mammoth episode, which will only take up a 157 minutes of your time. (We’re sorry. Kind of.)
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0:00-7:06: Greetings!  Because Jeff is an idiot, we lost the first hour and sixteen minutes of our recording.  So today’s episode will be comparatively short and it starts up with us telling you what you missed. It’s a surprisingly complete summary of seventy-six minutes jammed into six.  Discussion of what we discussed:  Batman Day (which this episode was recorded on), Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice; Injection by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey; 2000 A.D. Prog. 2000; Suicide Squad #2 by Rob Williams, Jim Lee, and Ivan Reis; Jeff’s admiration for Superwoman #2 and Graeme’s for Supergirl; Detective Comics and Chris Claremont’s New Mutants; All-Star Batman #2; and Tom King’s Batman, which is where we catch up, since Graeme has to reiterate his point about…

batmantomking7:06-32:23: Tom King and the connection between The Vision and Sheriff of Babylon (which King has described as being part of an unofficial trilogy with his Omega Men), and how it connects to the first six issues we’ve read of Batman.  Also discussed: Alan Moore and Alan Moore’s Jerusalem; the promotional interviews with Alan Moore for Alan Moore’s Jerusalem; what would be the non-comic related questions we would ask Alan Moore; and mo(o)re.

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32:23-36:13:  Jeff wanted to talks about Moon Knight #6 by Jeff Lemire, Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla, and James Stokoe (!) where Lemire finally has a take on the character that really works for Jeff.
36:13-38:16: Jeff does a loose compare/contrast between Moon Knight and the first issue of Doom Patrol by Gerard Way, Nick Derington, and Tamra Bonvilliain.  A good fun book with some absolutely lovely art by Derington and colors by Bonvillain.

countnefariavsquirrelgirl38:16-57:25: Jeff also wants to give a shout-out to latest issue of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl with fill-in art by Jacob Chabot and another crazily strong script by Ryan North.  And after that, we talk a bit about North’s first issue of Jughead (which sounds *amazing*), which leads us to a not-thrilled impression of Zdarsky’s Howard The Duck, Marvel and hip-hop and much more.
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57:25-1:07:55: Also read and also (lightly) discussed:  The Fix #5 by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber; Paper Girls #9 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Jared K. Fletcher; Saga by Vaughan and Staples; old issues of Ms. Marvel written by Chris Claremont; and more.

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1:07:55-1:11:33:  Sad to say, either Graeme did most of the talking in our lost hour, or maybe Jeff was out of control there too, but Jeff does too much talking this episode, even if it’s for a good cause like showing some love for the insane “Prisoners of Three Worlds” story from 1963’s Batman #153, by Bill Finger, Henry Boltinoff, Jack Schiff and Sheldon Moldoff, recently purchased during Comixology’s Road to Batman Day Sale.
1:11:33-1:15:02: I can’t adequately describe how we got to discussing Denny O’Neil’s career as writer and editor, a case Jeff tries to make by incorrectly assigning at least two Batman characters’ first appearances to the wrong era.
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1:15:02-1:19:10:
Graeeme has some wonderful stuff to tell us about Books With Pictures, a great little comic book store in Portland, Oregon with a back issue drawer curated by Douglas Wolk, as well as the back issues he, Graeme, picked up from said drawer.  Mentioned: Heroes and Legends; the Legion of Substitute Heroes Special from 1995; Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane issue #115; Superman and Batman: Heroes Against Hunger; and the zines from our colleagues Jay and Miles.
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1:19:10-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:  Baxter Building Ep. 21! Read issues #184-200 of the first volume of The Fantastic Four and deconstruct them with us!  We will see you then!
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