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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0:01-18:33:  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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0:01-3:38:  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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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…

0:01-20:16:  Greetings from Graeme “I’m In A Great Mood!” McMillan and Jeff “I Most Definitely Am Not!” Lester, where we start in with exactly that state of affairs.  Jeff lays out the details and is especially annoyed at some of the comics he’s been reading; Graeme thinks that Jeff will be entertainingly cranky as a result.  Jeff thinks he’s going to just be a crank.  Good(?) News: you will definitely get a chance to decide for yourself with this episode, because Jeff goes all in on the grouchiness.  Warning:  ALL IN.  But first: we talk a bit about the comics backlog pile; Jeff makes the case for Comixology adding a user-customizable smart list function; reception to the first episode of DROKK!, and more.
20:16-26:20: Is Jeff gaining no joy at all from the news that Conan will be a member of the Savage Avengers a sign that he is truly in a bad place?  (Jeff, not Conan, although arguably the latter—especially if you think of the bad place being “Marvel”—is quite likely a more rewarding conversational topic.)  Or is it that David Finch cover? Or is it just the common sense idea that you don’t garnish your salt with salt? Or you never put the Punisher on team?  Or some other option I haven’t listened far enough into the discussion to list out?
26:20-43:46: Remember Jeff joking about Battling About Bendis, the new podcast (that actually turned out to be Drokk)?  Get a bit of taste of that as an embittered Jeff “reviews” Superman #8 and Young Justice #2.  Graeme has a great theory about what’s going on with Jon Kent, but does Mr. Let-It-All-Burn care?  Also discussed: Sex Criminals; DeFalco & Ryan’s Fantastic Four; and more.
43:46-56:39: Jeff tries to apologize and mentions there are other people whose work he also was frustrated by this week but he won’t be shitting on their work…and then GRAEME DEMANDS THE RECEIPTS.  (Look at me trying to blame it on Graeme even now! What a garbage person I am.)  Anyway, discussed: Goddess Mode #3 by Zoe Quinn and Robbi Rodriguez; Wonder Twins #1 by Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne; moving past Tom King and the feedback on Heroes in Crisis; Fantastic Four #1 by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli.
56:39-1:08:38: Realizing he has unleashed a monster, Graeme tries desperately to pivot:  “Here’s a question,” he asks, fear all but audible, “what have you read this week that you liked?”  Discussed:   Where does optimism end and self-torture begin?; West Side Story; a quick list of stuff Jeff did like; Criminal #2 by Brubaker and Phillips.
1:08:38-1:36:13: Jeff has read the first three issues of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Tempest (which, as Graeme points out, Jeff refers to as Tempest by The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which may or may not add an enlightening “senile and addled” sheen to all that has come before now this ep from Jeff).  Thank goodness, Greg is there to help set him straight!  Discussed: LOEG and the Nemo books, Black Dossier, Century, the ways in which Tempest! feels perhaps like a pivot in a number of ways, extra-temporality, the expectations of a artist’s final work, LOEG: The Tempest vs. Twin Peaks: The Return.
1:36:13-1:43:16: After a super quick visit to our safe space—by which I mean Immortal Hulk #13 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett Ruy José, Belardino Brabo and Rafael Fonteriz—Jeff goes on to talk about Outer Darkness #4 by John Layman and Afu Chan, and, in a similar Trek-based vein, the USS Callister episode of Black Mirror.
1:43:16-1:55:20: Please dear god, let us hear from Graeme!  He wants to talk about the pilot of Doom Patrol now on DC Universe.  What did he love? What drove him crazy? And what will keep him coming back? Is it lifting from Morrison as opposed to Morrisonian, and what’s the difference? (And what’s better?)
1:55:20-2:22:19: On a super-related topic, Graeme has reread Morrison and Case’s Doom Patrol and feels the run doesn’t hold up. Considering Graeme’s re-read of The Invisibles disappointed him, is Morrison someone whose work doesn’t hold up on a second readthrough?  Graeme thinks not, but has a lot of culprits to attribute to those failures.
2:22:19-2:37:03: Static hits, so we call back, and although you would think we would go right to the closing comments, Jeff has a lot of apologizing to do to Graeme (a lot!), but also we feel we should do a very quick rundown of comics news:  Second Coming not coming from Vertigo anymore; rumors about the number of books in DC’s line and where they might be published are discussed; aging up your avatar; and DC’s beautiful-looking Lucha Explosiva figures.
2:37:03-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 their continuing support of this podcast.  And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK:  Skip week? Indeed!  Enjoy the rest of you February and join us for a new Wait, What? in March!
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0:01-32:14:  Greetings from Graeme “Gradiated Purple” McMillan and Jeff “Privacy Tab” Lester, with an opening about the joys of Skype updates.  Also discussed: Superbowl Sunday, watching commercials as their own thing compared to watching movie trailers as their own thing; the Hobbs & Shaw trailer; the Harley Quinn teaser; James Gunn rumors; and more.
32:14-1:07:51: Remember all that great stuff Jeff was saying about Vinland Saga?  Well, Graeme has read the first volume and has his own take.  So we talk about that first volume and what we liked (and didn’t!) and why we are on different pages about Vinland Saga’s different pages.  Also discussed: contemporary colloquial historical language; Jackie Chan’s Police Story; the conclusion of the first arc of Action Comics and Young Justice #1; teasing our next podcast; reader buy-in; and more.

1:07:51-1:31:21: Jeff thinks he can tie in our talk about genre and medium conventions and audience buy-in by talking about the first two seasons of Netflix’s The Punisher.  Let’s…see how that goes for him?  Discussed:  The Punisher on TV vs. The Punisher in the Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher Vs. The Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher Max universe; and more.
1:31:21-2:17:26: As he’s discussed here recently, Graeme has been doing a pretty hefty read of the post-Kirby New Gods, and it’s only getting bigger and bigger as he goes on.  Join us for an update on his readthrough experience.  Discussed: the different takes on the mythology when written by Mark Evanier, Tom Peyer, and Jim Starlin; the upcoming Female Furies miniseries by Cecil Castellucci and Adriana Melo; what part of the New Gods mythos works best today; the very recent Justice League Annual #1 by Scott Snyder, James T Tynion IV, Juan Albarran, Daniel Sampere; and more.
2:17:26-2:30:31: And finally, we’re pleased to officially announce our next readthrough podcast now that Baxter Building, our Fantastic Four readthrough, is done.  Next week will be the first episode of Drokk!, our readthrough of the Judge Dredd Casefiles.  Here we talk about our decision to do this readthrough, what scares us and excites us about this new podcast, the monthly giveaways we hope we’ll be able to institute, and more.
2:30:31-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 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.  And then we’re out!

NEXT WEEK:  Drokk!

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0:01-6:54:  Greetings from Graeme “Has A Cold” McMillan and Jeff “Has Gone Vegan” Lester, here to talk about the charms of Nyquil and Theraflu.  And if that wasn’t exciting enough: weather talk! Exciting!
6:54-14:05: Fortunately, we remembered we’re ostensibly doing a comic book podcast, so Jeff breaks out one of the few topics on his brain:  talking about vol. 1 of Mad Bull 34 by Kazuo Koike and Yoshinara Inoue.  When is a lowbrow manga too lowbrow for Jeff? And why?  Tune in and find out.
14:05-37:06: And from there, what seems like a digression is probably a more interesting topic for discussion: the absurd amounts comics and manga available digitally for a very low price.  Also discussed: Vinland Saga; Graeme’s Year of Reading More Manga; After Hours; My Boyfriend Is A Bear; Goddess Mode by Zoe Quinn, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi; Action Comics #1000; and more.
37:06-1:04:39: After talking about a bunch of stuff that didn’t really float his boat, Jeff grows audibly relieved to be talking about something he did read and like Invincible: Justice and Fresh Vegetables by Pascal Jousselin. (Huge thanks to kotgb for the recommendation.) Also discussed: Kirkman and Ottley’s Invincible; Hobo Mom; Die #2; Avengers #12; Master of Kung-Fu the omnibus vs. MOKF the digital collection; double page spreads; Barrier #1 and the Marvelscope annuals; and more.  (Oh, and George Perez announced his retirement the day we recorded so we spend a lot fo time trying to figure out why he’d already retired?)
1:04:39-1:10:45:  Graeme has read the Target exclusive DC Primal Age 100 pg. giant, and has some thoughts about this eccentric (but not uncharming!) toy line tie-in!
1:10:45-1:28:10: What else has Graeme been reading? Why, the Secret Society of Super-Villains, Vols. 1 and 2, of course!  The reason why Graeme has been reading it might surprise you (unless you follow our tumblr, in which case you’ll already be in the know).  Come for Graeme’s strangely otherworldly echoey voice, stay for the amazing post-Kirby Fourth World shenanigans.
1:28:10-1:46:44: And as long as our eyes are turned to a four-color past, Back Issue Magazine #110 has a long article about the storylines Steve Englehart planned to write for Marvel in the ‘80s when he was canned.  (Thanks to Martin Gray for the tip!)
1:46:44-1:51:05: Talking about possibly subscribing digitally to the TwoMorrows books leads us back to the current digital glut and our growing backlog of material to catch up with.
1:51:05-1:58:14: Graeme read two first issues from Marvel he enjoyed a great deal: Black Widow #1 by Jen & Silvia Soska and Flaviano; and Invaders #1 by Chip Zdarsky, Butch Guice, and Carlos Magno.
1:58:14-2:14:47: We talk a bit about Diamond’s bestselling comics for 2018 as well as the top ten graphic novels.  Also discussed:  the power of Saga; the power of Paper Girls; the power of ongoing publication; the power of repeatedly typing “the power,” and much more.
2:14:47-2:28:50:  Symbiote Spider-Man #1—an attempt for Marvel to flood the the market, or a sign of the possible influence of C.B. Cebulski as E-I-C?  And related to that, a bit of comics news, Graeme remembers just now: Rob Liefeld returning to X-Men with Major X, a new series.! (That he’s writing, not arting.)  Also discussed: what is Jonathan Hickman up to these days?
2:28:50-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 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.  And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK:  Skip week!  But join us in two weeks for a new episode and maybe the official announcement of our next read-through!
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0:01-11:45:  Greetings from Graeme “Jury Duty” McMillan and Jeff “Read a Tom King Comic About Jury Duty” Lester, for reasons those impromptu nicknames probably make clear, leap right in to discussing Batman #53 by Tom King, Lee Weeks and Elizabeth Breitweiser.  Like most of King’s Batman, the issue continues to hit Graeme in the feels, whereas Jeff is a little…more…uh, reserved in his praise, shall we say? Discussed: emotional pin-ups; Kirby immediacy plus Moore formalism equals…profit?  (I’m leaning pretty heavy here on the ellipses I’m noticing.); Batman: Year One; and more.
11:45-23:30:  Jeff, who admits to being crabbier than usual, cedes the ground to Graeme, which is a good thing for us all, as Graeme has read some upcoming graphic novels we should be on the lookout for, and talks about them in exciting (but non-spoilery) ways:  the amazing sounding Bastard by Max de Radiguès; Coyote Doggirl by Lisa Hanawalt; Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal; and the complete collection of Berlin by Jason Lutes (!!!).
23:30-31:18: Graeme has finally read all of Snagglepuss: Exit Stage Left by Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, and Sean Russell.  Remarkably, we manage to keep the discussion spoiler-free, despite Graeme talking about how much th ending really makes the whole work really that much stronger.
31:18-46:21: Speaking of Russell, Graeme mentions Russell’s recent appearance on the 2000AD podcast (in part, although not wholly, because of the work Russell is doing on Dredd for IDW), and that spurs us on to talk about Judge Dredd, the Simpsons, and the changing nature of satire and Mega City One.
46:21-1:05:21: Graeme spins off from all this to talk about something he did not love: the coming collection of Batman: White Knight by Sean Murphy. Also discussed: Mark Millar; Mark Millar and Grant Morrison’s Swamp Thing; Batman: The Damned; Batman: Hush; Legends of the Dark Knight; all those god-damned Batman books; and more.
1:05:21-1:22:38: Talking about who we might want to see about Batman leads, oddly, to a new theory Jeff has about the success of Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men and why they work better than the original Lee/Kirby X-Men.  And from there, we end up discussing the switch on the book’s focus from gay culture to (maybe?) Israel?
1:22:38-1:41:23: Turns out this is the right week to be talking about old X-Men stories and creators like John Byrne, because this is the week it was announced C.B. Cebulski/Akira Yoshida signed John Byrne to return to Marvel and do an X-Men book.  What the hell is going on?  We discuss, and that also leads us to talk a bit about sales of Superman under Bendis, Pearl #1 by Bendis and Alex Maleev, and more.
1:41:23-2:00:43: The wonderful Leef Smith of Mission: Comics and Art asked us to read Hey Kids Comics #1 by Howard Chaykin and share our thoughts.  Graeme didn’t read it, Jeff did, and…hoo boy.
2:00:43-2:06:36: Jeff also read Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun, Vol. 9 by Izumi Tsubaki.  He’s also read Prison School, Vol. 3 by Akira Hiramoto, and believe you me, you won’t mistake one series for the other anytime soon.
2:06:36-2:12:08: Graeme has a recommendation for Jeff:  the first two books of Brink by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard, a 2000 A.D. series that’s kind of a detective story, kind of not: Graeme mentions someone else’s description of it as “True Detective meets Outland.”
2:12:08-2:27:24: In “news,” Jeff wants to know if Graeme knows anything about this weird and more than slightly suspect TokyoPop sale on Comixology.  Selling digital versions of books currently available from other publishers? Licensed comics featuring characters they surely can’t still own the licenes for? What is up with this sale?  Graeme doesn’t have any answers, but he does point out some strange stuff about the Project Superpowers sale.  And we talk about some reading options currently available on Marvel Unlimited, including the entire run of Master of Kung-Fu, which leads Graeme to ask a question—“Jeff, I’ve never read Master of Kung-Fu.  Should I?”—Jeff has literally never thought of before.
2:27:24-end:  A classic closing comments fakeout!! 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 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. (And then! We talk about the sentencing of comics writer Gerard Jones to six years of prison, which is admittedly a very, very weird way to end the episode.)  And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK:  Skip week! Rest up and join us in September!
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0:01-35:33:  Greetings!  Graeme “Remarkably Warm” McMillan and Jeff “Remarkably Convincing” Lester are here after a weeklong break to rap about comic books, and what better way to start than discussing the passing of Steve “Remarkably Important to American Comics” Ditko.  Graeme has a great handful of fun facts about Ditko you might not have known, and Jeff has some quality bloviation about the strength of Ditko’s plotting….plus a whole lot more!
35:33-1:13:54:  Pivoting from comics creators to comics, we discuss Batman #50 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, and a buttload of pinup artists.  It’s halfway through King’s hundred issue run, and the issue is, as Graeme put it, “primed for [Jeff] to dislike.”  True? Well… Once again, we are back in the arena pit of King’s Batman, with Graeme liking it much more than Jeff would honestly think possible, and Jeff disliking it not as much as Graeme seems to think.  Welcome to the Batman #50 Thunderdome! Two Podcasters walk in and….uh, two podcasters walk out.  (But thirty minutes do not!)
1:13:54-1:20:30:  Well, now that it’s been over an hour, maybe we can talk about a second comic? Well, all right, if you insist: Graeme has some choice words for Death of the Inhumans #1 by Donnie Cates and Ariel Olivetti.
1:20:30-1:29:21: And, picking up the pace, we also discuss Man of Steel #6 by Brian Michael Bendis and Jason Fabok.  So much to talk about in this issue, and yet how much do you want to bet Jeff just uses it as an opportunity to talk about how the bad guy looks like Anton Arcane from Bissette & Totelben’s Swamp Thing run?
1:29:21-1:32:19: A book that really rang both our chimes?  The Immortal Hulk #2 by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett.  The second issue has a lot going for it, including a vibe that heavily reminded us of classic Michael Fleisher/Jim Aparo Spectre comics—eerie and mean.
1:32:19-1:44:13: Not quite as successful for us on the Marvel front? The first issue of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on Captain America, with art by Leinil Francis Yu.  Was it the storytelling choices? Was it the squandering of one of the better writers about the myths of America squeezing himself into the idea of Captain America? Too on the nose? Not on the nose enough? Or was it just the whole post-Secret Empireness of it all?
1:44:13-1:55:17:  Hey, but don’t let us get you down—there’s a lot of great comics out there in the world, and thanks to Kodansha and Amazon/Comixology, we have access to the complete translated Beck by Harold Sukuishi, as well as his Seven Shakespeares series.  Beck was one of Jeff’s favorite reads back when Tokyopop reprinted it (under the title Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, which is how Jeff refers to it here) and is delighted to revisit it again.  If you’re in the U.S. and have Comixology Unlimited or Kindle Unlimited, you’re in for a treat.  (And if not, as Graeme points out, you can try Kindle Unlimited for the first month free!
1:55:17- 2:35:01: Jeff is ambivalent about Justice League #3 by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez, but Graeme is not, especially after rereading the first three issues.  After some more Old Man Grumpus comments from Jeff about Snyder’s recent work and his nonplussedness at issue #2 of The Unexpected by Cary Nord, Steve Orlando, and Wade von Grawbadger, Graeme tries to gently broach the topic:  maybe Jeff just doesn’t dig American superhero comics any more?  Includes a lot of talk about the comparison and contrast to manga, and what Jeff sees as manga doing better…and a long discussion of what Jeff wants his comics to be. (Plus: also some sales figure stuff there at the very end?  Because that’s who we roll.)
2:35:01-end:  Closing comments already?!  Sure, but first a very quick review from Graeme of Ant-Man And The Wasp? And then:   Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
NEXT WEEK:  Baxter Building!  Join us for a discussion of Fantastic Four issues #362-370.
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0:01-28:02:  Greetings!  We welcome one another—and by extension you—back from a week long break with some complaints about the heat, wifi, and NIMBYs, before moving on to talk about the Guardian’s weekly print edition and the struggle to handle the current state of affairs.  How does that tie into the kind of thing we normally talk about?  Weirdly enough, it all comes together around the 8:30 point.  If you don’t like hearing us talk about the state of the United States these days, or just don’t want to hear about that particular topic altogether, why not skip to….
28:02-49:16:  here, where we finally get to the funny book blabbity-blab?  Although we start off kind of in media disagreement, as Graeme reports a comment about the upcoming Heroes In Crisis and a comment he found, as he puts, “speaks to a particular kind of entitlement in superhero fandom.”  Discussed: Spider-Man; Uncanny X-Men; 52 (the comic series); how standards for stories change while stories stay the same; and, obviously, Heroes in Crisis.
49:16-1:07:05: Speaking of Tom King (since he’s going to be writing Heroes in Crisis), we’d been asked to discuss Batman #49 by “Fifth Beatle” Matt Terl. Discussed: Alan Moore, King and Gerard’s Mister Miracle, Dan Clowes’ Ice Haven, the challenge or writing the Joker, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and more.
1:07:05-1:30:47: Since the arc in Batman is building to a wedding, we talk about the X-Men Gold #30, a wedding issue  that came out this week, where there was a wedding…but not the one promoted. Also discussed: Tom Taylor’s X-Men Red; Taylor’s Injustice and Wolverine runs; weird analogies about being a retired reader of X-Men; Chris Claremont as the protagonist of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo; plus two issues of Spidey: School’s Out as read by Jeff.
1:30:47-2:01:20: Still talking about comics, but maybe not as much with a focus on books that have been outgrown: we discuss Man of Steel #4 by Brian Bendis and Kevin Maguire; Justice League #2 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, and Alejandro Sanchez; Avengers #3 by Jason Aaron, Paco Medina,and Ed McGuinness; and Shanghai Red #1 by Joshua Hixson and Christopher Sebela.
2:01:20-2:21:36:  Because Graeme has superpowers, he was able to read Joe Casey and Ian MacEwan’s MCMLXXV, and it sounds pretty great.  Also discussed:  what we are behind on reading; amazing material mentioned in old Marvel Age issues that never saw the light of day; Star Wars: Let’s Smooch In The Empire; the recalcitrance of Chris Claremont; Steve Gerber’s run on Cloak & Dagger; and more.
2:21:36-2:48:24: Remember those good old days when we would tell ourselves and you that we’d gotten to the end of the podcast and there was nothing else to say…and then we’d keep talking for an absurdly long period of time after that.  WELL, THE GOOD TIMES HAVE RETURNED as we bermoan our failure to discuss recent comics news and then dig in to one piece of comics news: DC’s deal to stock 100 page giants in WalMarts.  We discuss the line-up of books, the strategy behind the books, and more.
2:48:24-end:  And finally: closing comments!   Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
NEXT WEEK:  Another skip week, as Jeff attends to some personal business (wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it!)  But join us in a fortnight for Wait, What? Ep. 251!
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