It’s A Wait, What?-Oily Comics Crossover Event!

Yes, now it can be revealed!  Graeme and I are thrilled to announce we’ve partnered up with the mighty Charles Forsman:  five lucky listeners are going to each receive a copy of the 2014 Summer Bundle being published by his indie imprint, Oily Comics.

Limited to 200 sets, the Oily 2014 Summer Bundle includes work by Daryl Seitchik, Aaron Cockle, Max de radigués, Alex Kim, and Sacha Georg, as well as prints by Warren Craghead and Billy Burkert, and, of course, work by Mr. Forsman himself, all in a gorgeous envelope designed by Julia Gfrörer.  (No joke, it is amazing.)

As long-time Whatnauts know, The End of The Fucking World made us huge fans of Chuck’s work, so we were gratified, terrified, and humbled that he listens to Wait, What?  In fact, it was his early support of our Patreon campaign (as well as supportive tweets on our behalf) that made Graeme and I think we should do something to thank him for his support, and also promote the inspiring work he’s doing with his Oily Comics imprint.  Also, as you know, we’re a big fan of getting good comics into the hands of good people, so we thought this would be a great way to do so.

Details of exactly how we’re going to get five lucky podcast listeners are still forthcoming, but we will say that although our Patreon supporters will get an early shot at the details, everyone will have a chance to win.  Needless to say, keep your ears open during our next podcast.

Anyway, all of this really was cooked up as a way to support and thank Chuck, but he suggested drawing a comic to promote the promotion, which is how I ended up having a dream I never knew I had fulfilled:  to be drawn as Robin and to have my terrifying arm hair shown to the world.  So now I’m scheming to figure out a new promotion to thank him for his promotion of this promotion…and ’round and ’round and ’round it goes.

So, yeah.  Listen to our podcast next week for more details, ready yourself to win, and pin the amazing cover envelope image by Julia Gfrörer to your vision board for inspiration.  Your Oily Summer starts now!

Julia Gfrörer, you are awesome.

Frankenstein is anything but harmless. Get it? Armless?

Frankenstein is anything but harmless. Get it? Armless?

There’s something very odd about the way that the various DC weekly books are paced. By necessity, they launch amazingly slowly — I re-read 52 recently, and was genuinely surprised at how poorly the opening issues read in retrospect, and how long the series takes to come into focus — because they have to juggle and sustain what are essentially disparate single plots for an impressively long time, meting out developments slowly enough so that they don’t exhaust material too quickly. They’re the ultimate “decompression” comics, even if they normally receive some kind of “Well, that’s different because they’re weekly comics” excuse from traditional complaints from readers.

All of which is to say, The New 52: Futures End #0-7 may feel like it’s dragging and a little directionless right now, but I still have this odd confidence in the series that, I’m worried, it may not actually deserve.

I said on the podcast that, in terms of the spectrum of DC weekly (or bi-weekly) series, this is far more 52 than Countdown to Final Crisis, and that’s still the case. The 2006 series definitely feels like the model for Futures End in almost every way, from the world-building, expansive cast of essentially b-listers or below with links to the Big Guns, almost comically-visible attempts to point to Grand Themes (By now, the “What Does It Mean To Be A Superhero” and “Technology Can Be Used to Dehumanize Us” signposts have been fairly well hammered into readers’ consciousnesses) and the asking of Big Questions that may or may not be answered before the series finishes. It’s also a model in terms of creative construction, with four writers contributing to each issue creating the fun guessing game where you can try and figure out who wrote what (I’m pretty sure Dan Jurgens is handling the Lois plot, and Brian Azzarello the Batman Beyond one, but beyond that, I have no real idea).

That clear connection to 52 creates a strange goodwill in me towards the series that I’m not sure I’d have otherwise; certainly, there are plots that I have almost no interest in whatsoever (The Frankenstein/Ray Palmer/Amethyst teaming leaves me cold, for example, despite the Phantom Zone jaunt in the last two issues) and there are moments that feel distinctly Countdown-esque in tone and execution (The villains planning the heist, the heavy-handedness of the Red Robin scenes). And yet, I’m in, I’m down with this series far more than I am for the arguably-superior Batman: Eternal, and I’m not quite sure why.

Well, that’s somewhat facetious; I prefer reading about Mr. Terrific and Firestorm than I do Batman and Batwing, for one. I also like the expansiveness of Futures End more than the relative claustrophobia of Eternal’s Gotham-centric focus.

Futures_End_Vol_1-3_Cover-1More than that, I like the feeling that Futures End is additive to its fictional world, however temporary those additions — Lois as the Perry White of the Internet, the clearly-not-going-to-last-past-this-series post-Earth War status quo, Mr. Terrific’s Steve Jobs-meets-Kanye empire — may end up being. There’re things being set up here that I appreciate as a longterm DC fan, things that I kind of wish would happen in the “mainstream” DCU, whether it’s Black Adam in the Phantom Zone, the new Firestorm situation (and definitely costume), or Cadmus Island patrolled by OMACs. It’s nothing new, per se, but it’s something different and potentially interesting, and that’s enough to keep my attention right now.

For those who haven’t been reading DC books for more than two decades at this point, though — I’m not sure there’s enough there there to keep them engaged. At only eight issues released (and DC, seriously: That zero issue was really issue one. Let’s stop with this “zero issue” bullshit, please — anyone who started the series with “issue one” would have been rightfully confused), we’re still at the point where things are being set in motion and put into place, and all plots are on a slow burn. I get that. For the good of the series and keeping the attention of those who don’t have irrational attachments to either the DCU as a historical narrative engine or 52 as a series, I do kind of wish that everyone involved could find a way to set everything in motion in a way that’s just a bit more fun and interesting in its own right.


Hey, so here are Jeff’s reviews! They have a common thread, I think! Click through to read them with your eyes, or don’t click through to read them with the power of your imagination.

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A hastily-written grab bag of reviews! Of things you wanted me (Graeme, because as pointed out in the comments, that’s not immediately obvious)  to write about, Whatnauts! You only have yourself to blame!

For people coming here to listen to the latest episode of the podcast: Scroll down one entry! It’s right there! Continue reading




Time, time, time…see what’s become of me…

(And the worst part is I have no doubt Graeme will read this and think of the Bangles cover, while I definitely have Simon & Garfunkel in mind.  Oh, the curse of being young at heart and old everywhere else.)

Jeff here with the latest episode for your enjoyment (see above).  And although “Hazy Shade of Winter” is really about, I dunno, the passage of time and how part of growing old enough to really appreciate life is pretty much exactly at the point you realize you are also going to die and life will proceed on without you just as it did before, I’m kind of using it for a quick catch-all for “Holy cow, we are so incredibly grateful for your Patreon support and for getting so much of it so soon, although because of that I am actually a little bit sandbagged with stuff to do!”



Graeme has a post coming up in the next day or two, I’m rushing to get something put together for later and then we have to do it all over again?  That’s amazingly great!

But, for whatever reason, this week’s show notes may end up feeling a little light, maybe?  I don’t know if that’s actually the reason why, though.  It may well have been the fact that, for whatever reason, Graeme and I didn’t jump all over the place topic-wise, so it’s not like there’s a lot of changed subjects to map out?  Or maybe I’m just getting used to changing gears and after we’ve had a few of these, I’ll be able to switch seamlessly between writing show notes, my weekly entries, and the other writing I’m trying to press forward on?

Anyway, after my really impressive bout of salesmanship, join me after the cut:  show notes!

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Batman Eternal 6-10 or something: Look, I’ve learned a lot of things about myself from doing the podcast with Graeme, things that I’m more than a little mortified by—and while I can’t say that learning what a complete and utter idiot I am for Batman is the most mortifying, it should probably be mentioned first because it is arguably the mouth of the river Nile: whenever I find myself picking up some irredeemably stupid shit, chances are good I’m doing it because of Batman.


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While Jeff does comic reviews, I’m apparently doing graphic novel reviews this week because that’s how… I… roll…? Okay, I admit it. I got nothing aside from this pairing of what the Internet used to call “OGN”s.

Petty Theft by Pascal Girard and Shoplifter by Michael Cho: In case the titles don’t give it away, there’s a kleptomaniac connection going on between these two books (I tried to write “kleptomaniac konnection,” like it was some kind of alliterative Kinks rip-off, but auto-correct pulled me up, thankfully). They’re hardly the same book: Girard’s book is a “heavily fictionalized memoir” that sees him investigating, and ultimately falling for, a woman he sees stealing one of his books in a store by chance, whereas Cho’s debut graphic novel is… I’m trying to think of a nice way to say “like an extended remix of a story Adrian Tomine would’ve written a decade ago, only the movie version that would star Zoe Kazan playing Asian” and utterly failing. Continue reading


You know, I totally volunteered to write this first post since I was completely unsure if I was going to have my act together enough next week, and there were some holes in this week’s schedule where I was, like, “Yeah, I can do that, I think?  Plus, you know, it’ll give me a chance to get a post in before Graeme raises the damn bar…”

But the idea of writing something that can really measure up to the importance of the first post on a site that is being underwritten by dozens of people who support the podcast and (I hope) our plans for this website has been a bit hobbling.  It’s like I volunteered to put my foot into the bear trap first?  (And keep in mind here the bear trap represents my own worries about perfection and import and all that other crap that somehow seems paradoxical stemming as it does from a lover of a disposable pop medium.  I don’t want you to infer I’m talking smack about the support we’ve received.  Far from it, I’m talking smack about the inside of my own head.)

All of which is to say: ignore that stump where my foot used to be!  Join me behind the jump, and let’s talk comics! Continue reading