0:00-3:46: We get right into it, no kidding! There’s maybe twenty seconds of baffled recognition from your hosts, and then it’s right into answering questions. BUT! Before we get into the final round of questions from our Patreon supporters, Jeff has a few questions for Graeme. First up: how does Graeme feel about the CW shows (including shows like Flash and Arrow) leaving Hulu? Discussed: Seth Meyers monologues; late night TV; and just an eensy bit more before moving into a more substantive topic…
00:00-55:05: Greetings! But then, in under thirty seconds, Jeff drags us into the state of Marvel Comics because he knows Graeme has some thoughts on the Marvel Legacy “comic book industry changing” announcement of Friday, which involved 51 comics announced across six different websites, the social media accounts of their PR people, the occasional PR mailing and via the game-changing, high-density-information tool of …animatedGIFs, you guys! Yes, what better way to communicate plans about your much-needed initiative than the very tool most of us on Twitter use to make our “I can’t even” tweets seem interesting? It’s a very big conversation that, if nothing else, feels like we’re a little more worried about Marvel’s future than Marvel is? Anyway, be prepared because, as Graeme puts it, “I apologize, because I’m about to complain *a lot*!” Also discussed: the 51 titles announced and the one missing title; our dim memories of Spirits of Vengeance; the “innocence” of Marvel Two-In-One and Marvel Team-Up; homework; whether or not anyone is really calling for Marvel management to leave; a related digression about the perception of digital comics, digital trades, and Marvel’s recent digital fire sale on Amazon; bewilderment; terror; suffering; etc.
55:05-1:00:54: But we got you through all that so we could get to this: comic books! Sweet, sweet comic books! First up: Graeme is very enthusiastic about The Complete Sabrina the Teenage Witch: 1962-1971 (Sabrina’s Spellbook), a book he describes in a way that reminds Old Man Jeff of a scene from The Big Chill that either isn’t on Youtube (because Jeff’s too old) or Jeff can’t find on Youtube (because Jeff’s too old). Too bad, Jeff! Graeme also likes the back-up story by Tony Bedard & Ben Caldwell back-up for the Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil one-shot. (The joke from the Bugs Bunny/LOSH joke also sounds pretty great.)
1:00:54-1:04:57: Speaking of DC’s “comic” books, Jeff wants to talk about the final issue of The Flintstones by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh. We’re going to miss this book.
1:04:57-1:22:55: And then….Jeff has more stuff he needs to get off his chest about Tom King’s Batman, Yes, those of you paying attention will not be surprised to see our podcast’s ongoing subplot of 2017 arise yet again! And yet this probably will be the very last take on it for some time (God willing!) as Jeff talks about reading the first two trades, “I Am Gotham” and “I Am Suicide,” looking at “The Brave and the Mold” issue, the Bat Hound storyline, and having a rough outline of an epiphany while reading those in light of his recent reading of Bob Haney’s Brave And The Bold issues.
1:22:55-1:43:41: And the flipside of this, but also related in Jeff’s mind is his very recent read of Doom Patrol: Brick by Brick Vol.1 by Gerard Way and Nick Derington. On the one hand, Jeff feels like Way is striking a great balance between being respectful of the characters and using them as a way to talk about and embody other experiences…but Jeff is also a little vexed by the way some of the more traditionally important tasks of fiction writing are handled. By contrast, Graeme has *a lot* of love for the book, and confesses to being unable to be objective about it at all. Leading to some metacritical talk about criticism, subjectivity, and objectivity.
1:43:41-2:06:10: And to drag in another layer to this, Jeff read Manga In Theory and Practice by Hirohiko Araki, creator of the *amazing* JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and wants to not only talk about some of the practices Araki discusses in that book, but also the conflict and challenge of reading in translation the works of a cartoonist from a very different culture.
2:06:10-2:11:21: And! Jeff has read volume 1 of Golden Kamuy by Satoru Noda and it was rad. (Even with the fucked up thing that keeps happening to Viz’s digital manga recently.) Is it possibly the best bear-punching comic ever? A controversial statement, we know….but Jeff loves this book.
2:11:21-2:22:49: And and! Jeff also really loved the book My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi. Also discussed: Jeff’s new iPad, Comixology, GoodReader, and The Leopard of Lime Street (a.k.a. an early British attempt to do Spider-Man)….which leads us into some preliminary comments about both the Clone Conspiracy trade and Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 by Chip Zdarsky, Adam Kubert, and (holy cow) Goran Parlov.
2:22:49-end: Closing comments, but first a big shout-out to the fine folk at 2000 A.D. for putting a pull-quote from Graeme from this very podcast on Judge Anderson: Year One! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, 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: Wait, What?, Episode 228!!
3:46-17:49: Earlier in the week, Jude Terror over at The Outhousers wrote a condemnatory piece on the Direct Market that stirred up a lot of reactions and support online. What did Graeme think about it? What did Jeff think about it? And what *is* wrong with the Direct Market? Discussed: Nighthawk; Omega Men; the direct market and cableization of TV; and more. So much more, in fact, that Graeme jumps the queue on our listeners’ questions to pivot to one related to the topic at hand, and so…
17:49-51:56: Comic Cruncher asks: floppies vs GNs/TBPs vs digital – how do you see the market developing and what are the implications for the future? Discussed: the sales numbers for DC Rebirth; the very strange side-effects of double-shipping; some finger-pointing from Jeff about the plateau/depression of digital comics; Graeme believes a Comixology comic was yanked from his collection (has anyone else had this happen?); Marvel’s reaction to freak hits; Angry Birds vs. DC Super Hero Girls; and more.
51:56-55:29: Maxy Bee asks: how startled are you that Levitz’s Doctor Fate is the last remaining DCYou title, and still kicking at that? Discussed: the DCYou book that outlived Doctor Fate; Jeff decided to turn cancelled DCYou books into codenames; and more.
55:29-1:07:23: Jeffrey Brown brings down the interrogation: what are your thoughts about the Recent Suicide Squad movie compared to Ostrander’s run on the comics post crisis? And The Films Depiction of Harley Quinn, The Joker, Captain Boomerang & the movie’s plot + Enchantress? and lastly what are your thoughts DC Young Animal titles : Doom Patrol, Shade, Cave Carson? Discussed: all of the above, plus a bit more.
1:07:23-1:22:23: Two Qs from Paul R Jaissle: (1) I recently reread Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! and was struck by how innovate and influential it really was (there’s definitely a lot more Chaykin in Tom Scioli’s Transformers vs GI Joe than I noticed at first). Why don’t you think it’s more regularly recognized or cited along with DKR and Watchmen as a seminal ’80s comic? (2) Given the success of DCU properties on TV (including Vertigo stuff like iZombie and Preacher) as well as the current popularity of “weird” shows like Stranger Things, how would you two cast and pitch a Doom Patrol TV series? Discussed: the challenges to establishing Chaykin’s legacy; our dream DC TV shows; Avatar; and more.
1:22:23-1:37:35: And the ever-welcome Brendan O’Hare drops by to ask two questions: (1) There’s a lot to hate about Superhero comics. What do you enjoy about the new ones coming out?; and (2) For Graeme: What was your favorite interview? Discussed: DC Rebirth; Flash; Deathstroke; Unbeatable Squirrel Girl; Mother Panic; D.C. Fontana; Geoff Johns; Maggie Q; and more.
1:37:35-1:47:55: Long-term pal o’ the podcast Miguel Corti has quite the question for us: Why do comics creators, fans, critics, and journalists (on the internet at least) like Archie comics so much? I’m not talking about “Afterlife with Archie” or the new series by Mark Waid, but the traditional Archie comics featuring high school hijinks that have been the staple of the comics for decades. Archie comics always struck me as a four-color version of “Leave It to Beaver” or “Father Knows Best.” They were also the only comics that church people and teachers seemed to approve of, which made me all the more suspect of them. Since my life felt like growing up in an ’80s version of “Leave It to Beaver,” Archie comics were the last comics I ever wanted to read, and, subsequently, the only comics I never saved. (I never bought them; always given them.) I never enjoyed their cookie-cutter stories, or their never-changing art style. I’d like to think this 21st-century internet love for Archie comics is some ironic hipster thing, but it feels more sincere than that (or I’m bad at perceiving ironic interest). I don’t want to denigrate anyone’s interests, but what am I missing? Are those old-school (or pre-reboot, if you will) Archie comics good by whatever definition you have for the word? After the years of accolades I’ve heard for “Afterlife with Archie” I’m sorely tempted to check it out, especially since I like zombies, but then I remember how much I dislike Archie comics and that stays my hand. When I was a kid, I wasn’t a Jack Kirby fan, but now I can really appreciate him and I rank him as one of my all-time favorite comics artists. Unfortunately, I can’t re-assess Archies comics favorably. Maybe I’m the only one, or maybe no one wants to say anything against Archie comics in public. Discussed: Riverdale; David Lynch; Dan DeCarlo; Bob Bolling; Jaime Hernandez; Love & Rockets; and more.
1:47:55-: Good ol’ Ed Corcoran asks: The subscription based all-you-can-consume model seems to be where most other media types and media companies are going (Spotify, Netflix, etc.). Comixology (or at least their Amazon bosses) seemed convinced enough that it’s the future for comics so they created Comixology Unlimited. Marvel Unlimited seems to be doing well for Marvel, but what if they went all-in on subscription and put all comics on there the day they were released? They would probably still sell floppies and trades and might sell single digital issues, too. But what do you think would be the effect on what comics they publish, what comics they emphasize, etc. if Marvel Unlimited became the primary method by which Marvel distributed its comics? Discussed: the Marvel BOGO sales; the direction Marvel Unlimited is taking now; and more.
1:54:19-2:07:54: Query from Cass, or to put it another way: QUESTION. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot, as I often do, about Spider-Man. I tried reading some of the later Dan Slott stuff, post renumbering, but I can’t get on board because I can’t recognize that character as Spider-Man. But then, I started thinking, who is the character of Spider-Man really? When Cap 3: Civil War came out, everyone said “That’s it; they finally got Spider-Man right.” But Civil War’s Spider-Man was in awe of the other heroes, whereas Stan and Steve’s Spider-Man was mistrustful and even hostile toward other super-types (the first issue of his series sees Spidey calling the FF “pikers”). The Tom Holland Spider-Man reminds me more of Bendis’s goofy, generally good-natured Ultimate Peter Parker. So I guess my questions are: (1) When people talk about “classic” teenage Spider-Man, do you think most really have Ultimate Spider-Man in mind? (2) What would you say are the essential characteristics of Spider-Man (or any comic hero) – what needs to be there in order for it to be Spider-Man? Is it just powers? Does the character have to have significant guilt? Anything else? Discussed: the various Spider-Man actors; Spider-Man and Civil War; Spider-Man and college; cosmic Spider-Man; understatedness; Dan Slott, Hannah Blumenreich, and Matt Fraction; etc.
2:07:54-2:16:45: Stephen Lacey of the fabulous Fantasticast asks: This is a question I posed to my listeners a couple of years ago, and I’m interested in your take on it. When it comes to the FF, pretty much everyone can agree that Lee/Kirby, Byrne, Simonsson, Waid/Wieringo and Hickman are the consistent peaks in the title’s history. But what are your underrated runs/stories, the gems that get lost in the gaps between these runs? Discussed: Steve Englehart’s run on the Fantastic Four; the Waid and ‘Ringo run; the Tom DeFalco and Ryan run; the Chris Claremont and Salvador LaRocca run; the run of Dwayne McDuffie and many artists including Paul Pelletier; Steve Gerber; and more.
2:16:45-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! Matt! Tumblr, 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: Skip week! And then the week after that: Wait, What? Ep. 209! And that ep may be an all-review podcast? Catch up with us catching up two weeks from now!