00:00-19:04:  Greetings from Graeme and Jeff!  Graeme is in the basement avoiding the heat, Jeff is in the living room avoiding everything but the heat, Together, they are here to talk to you about comics!  But first, here’s some chitchat about travel:  come here about Graeme’s recent trip to Vancouver; Jeff’s less-than-recent trip to Buenos Aires; and an even-longer-ago trip by Graeme to the Venice Biennale….it’s like a special mini-podcast that is all about the untoppable form of stress that is travel-related stress, and the perhaps-untoppable form of kindness that is travel-related kindness.
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19:04-23:12: This podcast was recorded during the week that Diamond’s comic shipment came in a day late, so Jeff has a lot of comics to talk about today that are only *kind of* recent?  Whereas, Graeme being Graeme, he hasn’t been to the comic store but has been getting all the new DC You books sent right to his door, as well as reading a lot of old Showcases and trades of some New 52 titles he never got around to reading.  So we start off with, of all things, Ann Nocenti’s run on Catwoman.  This gives Jeff the clever idea of having DC reunite Nocenti and Romita Jr. on a title, but Graeme is enjoying too much the work JR Jr. is doing on Superman with Gene Yang to really be into that.
SuperYang
23:12-25:42:  In fact, overall, Graeme has been very pleased with this month of DC:  “There’s been some books that don’t work, definitely, and there’ve been some books that just leave me cold, but overall the line is way healthier than it’s been in years…and in ways that are surprising.”  In terms of the visual variety on display, DC is catching up to what Marvel’s been doing…and maybe pushing it further?  Jeff’s not too sure about that so we bandy about some of the styles we’ve seen on books that we think are outside the standard superhero spectrum, mentioning books like Gotham Academy, Batgirl, Squirrel Girl, Spider-Gwen, Bizarro, Bat-Mite, and more.
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25:42-38:44:  Graeme asks Jeff what exactly is he reading from Marvel these days, which turns into a very small discussion about the last issue of Spider-Gwen by Jason LaTour and Robbie Rodriguez, presented as the “last issue” despite having a very incomplete ending. We also talk about the announced relaunch of Spider-Gwen, the very odd announcements about for All-New, All-Different Marvel, and the upcoming Marvel Primer. And as long as we’re throwing the term around, the very odd similarities between Spider-Gwen #5 and Black Canary #1 by Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu.  Even more very odd?  Jeff insisting after many, many recorded hours of evidence to the contrary that he is not a nitpicker.  Nice try, Jeff.
NewPrez

38:44-51:51: We discuss the first issue of Prez by Mark Russell and Ben Caldwell.  Jeff and Graeme both like it, but Jeff finds some parts of the first issue very problematic. As a comparison/contrast, Graeme has read the first issue of Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 by Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, and Riley Rossmo. It’s intriguing for Graeme, especially in the way it doesn’t quite work (ditto for Dr. Fate #1) but in a way he can’t figure out why?  Even more intriguing to Graeme is Doomed #1 by Scott Lobdell and Javier Fernandez which Graeme thinks is actually “a pretty fucking good Spider-Man comic.”  [??!!]

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51:51-58:30:  Both Graeme and Jeff have read All-Star Section Eight #1 by Garth Ennis and Jonathan (!!) McCrea, which is (to use the episode’s special phrase) very odd. There’s some hilarious metafictional hijinks we’re trying to wrap our brains around that seem very intentional but there’s also something a bit awkward about the book.  “It reads like somebody’s first comic book,” to paraphrase Graeme, who has a great take on the hijinks despite accurately pointing out that some of the humor seems very, very…lazy?  Quite the headscratcher.

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58:30-1:06:09: Also, a headscratcher:  Robin, Son of Batman #1 written and drawn by Patrick Gleason.  Graeme thinks it was “fine if scattered, and didn’t present a good enough reason for the book to exist.”  Jeff, who has *adored* Gleason’s work on Batman & Robin, is forced to agree and also bemoans how there’s maybe a bit too much of Gleason the writer indulging Gleason the artist.  Graeme suggests the book reads like Hellboy Lite which is a pretty solid take on Gleason’s artistic interests and the overall tone.  But arguably the book could be more focused than the final year of Batman and Robin by Gleason and writer Peter Tomasi, which gives Graeme an in to fret about some of the current work Tomasi is doing for Superman/Wonder Woman that doesn’t seem to be to his usual standard.
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1:06:09-1:13:39: Jeff feels like he did not really answer Graeme’s question from forty minutes earlier, but doesn’t get much farther than mentioning Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson before we are wringing our hands about the book’s likely demise.  Sales figures are discussed, alternate covers are pondered.  Jeff also read and enjoyed the first issue of Weirdworld #1 by Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo; and Ghost Racers #1 by Felipe Smith and Juan Gedeon, which Jeff didn’t love but also suspects Smith is playing a metacommentary long game that may be worth the  time.
1:13:39-1:16:56:  It’s not a Marvel book, but Jeff has also read The Fiction #1 by Curt Pire and David Rubin and dug it, in part because it hit his Stephen King sweet spot:  if you can imagine It meets The Unwritten, then you’ve got an idea of what this first issue has lined up for you.  Jeff also thought it was a very solid first issue in terms of putting everything on the table, keeping it interesting, and then changing things up for the final page.
1:16:56-1:37:42: Confession time!  Both Jeff and Graeme have falled behind on the pop spectacle that is Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber, but Jeff sat down with issues #5, 6, and 7 and came out feeling very strongly that issue #7 is one that Graeme would really, really dig.  SPOILERS for the issue as Jeff clumsily tries to make his case and SPOILERS for Jean-Paul Sartre’s writing style.  Also discussed:  Annihilator, forgetting about a series and then chain-reading previous issues; No Mercy by Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil; Zero issues #16 and #17 by Ales Kot, Stathis Tsemberlidis, Robert Sammelin, and others; Graeme’s impressions after reading the first issue of Surface; Terry Southern’s Magic Christian and Phil Dick’s VALIS; the worry of getting too old to track stuff from month-to-month; Afterlife with Archie #8; and more.
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1:37:42-1:45:23: Graeme asks after another Archie book, The Black Hood, in part because that title by writer Duane Swierczynski is what Graeme digging through the the old New52 Birds of Prey title and also three of Swierczynski’s prose novels which Graeme talked about in this post  and which he also goes into more detail about here.  By contrast, Jeff tries to tease a strip he thinks Graeme would really dig: Santa Claus, Private Eye by Jeremy Bernstein and Michael Dorman, currently exclusively available on Thrillbent.
KingCatUseIt1:45:23-1:55:13:  Also a book Jeff read and enjoyed: King Cat Comics #75 which is an issue-long tribute to John Porcellino’s cat.  It is a truly touching and heartbreaking read, even by typical King Cat standards. Also mentioned: the Pixar movie Inside Out, Jeff’s recent post about movies [link?], Jeff’s Hulk, Jurassic World, and more.
1:55:13-end:  Closing comments!  We tease what’s coming up next week when we record (a lot of bitching and news).  We do talk a bit about both with Evangeline Lilly’s shit-talking of recent Ant Man comics, as well as our befuddled acknowledgment of our the one year anniversary of our relaunch.  The Tote Bag Integration!  Places to look for us at—Stitcher!  Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr!  And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 105 patrons make this whole thing possible!

We will see you in seven (or even sooner, if you come back for our individual posts)!  And look to the first comment in this post if you just want a straight link for you to copy and paste into the player of your choice.  Spa fon!

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Photo May 19, 8 30 56 PM

(Not many people know this, but the enmity between Moondragon and Thanos started after the failure of the Disco album (cover pictured here) Mind-Warring You, Mind-Warring Me.)

Oh, good grief.  It looks like I will get this podcast posted today (well, technically tonight but I know you’re feeling me).  That is a tribute to something, I have to say.

Annnnnyway,  show notes are nasty, brutish and short (and, hey, can we get a rapper named Brutish so we can do Nasty, Brutish, and Too Short joke, please please please) but the podcast is a soothing and pleasing two hours.  That’s practically the soul of wit for us, amirite? So groove on behind the jump and dig it: Continue reading

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epitaph

In lieu of flowers, the families of the Marvel and Ultimate Universes request you instead consider donating to The Hero Initiative…

Hey, so, let’s get this underway, shall we?  Show notes are below; plain text link for copying and pasting purposes will be in the first comment, I still haven’t seen Age of Ultron yet, go, go, go GO!

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00:00-17:48: Greetings! We recorded this on election day for the U.K., and you’ll certainly be able to tell based on our first minute, but in an alarmingly short turn-about we are talking about Multiversity #2 by by Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Eber Ferreira, Jaime Mendoza, and the coloring team of Dan Brown, Jason Wright, and Blond! We talk about Graeme’s re-read and interpreting the comic as an inoculation against the Gentry’s infection. But how about that last page? asks Jeff. To Graeme, the whole thing seemed much more upbeat and fulfilling on the re-read. Jeff thinks Multiversity #2 is a very playful and light but not necessarily optimistic, but rather a meeting point between the pendulum swings of Morrison the optimist and Morrison the pessimist. Also discussed: the somewhat disturbing idea that you might have a better experience just reading Multiversity #1 and #2 (and maybe or maybe not the Multiversity Guidebook, depending on which one of us you ask) without all the one-shots in-between. Also discussed: The Atomic Knights of Justice and how far we should be unpacking the Arthurian motifs in the miniseries; the Seven Secret Earths; multiple multiverses; additive concepts versus reductive concepts; and more.

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17:48-28:37: As compare and contrast, Graeme mentions Convergence, the weekly book in the center of DC’s wackadoo event, and finds additive elements in it that have won him over. Also discussed: the second issues of the first batch of titles and happy endings; how DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering, Divergence, is available on Comixology along with a handful of free previews from upcoming titles like Prez; the War of Kings (Jeff King vs. Tom King vs. Tim Kring); and more.
28:37-31:40: Yes, Graeme highly recommends picking up that freebie Divergence preview, which he talks about briefly for Gene Yang’s Superman; the Omega Man preview by Tom King, Barnaby Bagenda, and Jose Marzan, Jr.; and the Prez preview by Mark Russell, Ben Caldwell, and John Lucas (see link above for where you can grab ’em for free from Comixology).

Hex in Full Effect

I kinda buried the lede here which is: SCUBA-DIVING CANNIBALS.

31:40-1:04:34: By contrast, Jeff has only read some weirdo not-especially-recent stuff he’s been reading during a relatively crazy week. Stuff like Hex #11-13 by Michael Fleisher, Mark Texeira, and Carlos Garzon, on sale digitally as part of one of DC’s Convergence sales (and the only three issues available on Comixology). Seriously, though: how can you not enjoy the 18 issues series from the mid-1980s where cowboy Jonah Hex is thrown into the post-apocalytpic future of 2050 and forced to road war and terminate and robot cop? Well, Jeff lays it out how such a scenario might be possible. Also discussed: Wayne Wayne, Dwayne Wayne, Batman Beyond, Future’s End, Scott Snyder’s story in Detective #27, The Dogs of War, how Jonah Hex got to the future in the first place, the crossover issue with the Legion of Super Heroes that of course Graeme has read (of course!), Michael Fleisher’s infamous run on 2000 AD, the first installment of our new quiz segment “was that a 2000 AD series or were you high on bath salts?” and more.

SpiderGwenCast

An Army of One…and and Audience of Two?

1:04:34-1:17:36: Another odd reading choice from Jeff: Spider-Gwen #1-3 by Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi. Discussed: Lois Lane, alternate earth stories, stylized art, whether to buy issues or wait for Marvel Unlimited, gimmicky comics vs. super-gimmicky comics, pre-Starlin Warlock, and things of that nature.

SecretWarsCast

Wherein the phrase “A Cast of Thousands” might become all-too-horribly accurate.

1:17:36-1:45:59: Secret Wars #1! By Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic! Discussed: Hickman’s Marvel plots as metaphors for fixing a toaster; humor vs. oh god we hope that’s humor vs. oh god that was supposed to be funny; a debate about whether or not a status quo at the beginning of an event signals there will be a return to that status quo; the pleasures of feeling up to speed about comics, even when you don’t enjoy them; “a billion dollars worth of crap”; the rumors of Planet X-Men [link?]; Onslaught, Heroes Reborn, The Age of Apocalypse and the holy shitness of line-ending events; and more.
1:45:59-1:47:59: On an indirectly related note, both Graeme and Jeff wanted to draw attention to Tim O’Neil’s essay on Stan Lee, Marvel Comics, and Hollywood, in part because it says some of the things we’ve been saying here on the podcast but says them better, and in part because it’s just a really damn brilliant piece of work.
1:47:59-1:52:50: Graeme has been catching up on Valiant and has picked up an appreciation for Matt Kindt’s work for them, especially Divinity, but also titles like Imperium as well. Nuff said?  Probably not, shownote-wise, but Poppa’s is staring down the barrel of a work deadline so…

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YES PLEASE

1:52:50-2:11:15: Jeff is still reading Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi, although he found himself in an ethical quandry (well, an even bigger ethical quandry than reading Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi is probably the more appropriate way to put it) due to a twenty-seven installment gap in Crunchyroll’s collection. Is it okay to read free manga online when it’s just to fill a (presumably accidental gap in a service one *is* paying for? Even if you look at it on a super-big high definition screen? And speaking of all-you-can-eat comic services, Graeme has some very exciting news about Marvel Unlimited. On the week we recorded (last week) Marvel added about another two hundred or so Star Wars comics and, more germane to our interests, approximately 15 issues of Marvel Two-In-One and 25 issues of Marvel Team-Up! Just think what they’ll add when Graeme and Jeff get that write-in campaign organized! (No, we haven’t forgotten.) (There’s also some Amazing Adventures issues featuring The Inhumans by the mighty Jack Kirby.) Will Micronauts ever return to print? Will Rom: Spaceknight? And why does Jeff continue to buy print if he soooooo loves digital? And many other topics! Most of these questions will probably not be definitively answered here!
2:11:15-end: Closing comments, a.k.a., “next week is a Baxter Building episode, REALLY IT IS” (no, seriously, it is).  Tote-Lands! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter ! Tumblr! (And secret bonus, Graeme lists the websites he’s currently writing for.)  And, of course, do look for us over on Patreon (http://www.patreon.com/waitwhatpodcast) where, as of this count, 105 patrons make this whole thing possible. 105! We are grateful.

Remember: next week—read Fantastic Four issues #48-54 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby along with us!  Look to the comments for that plain-text link!  And like that.

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http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat175.mp3 Oh my gosh, you guys.  On the one hand, this was kind of a nightmare, what with my computer’s monitor going kablooey on the day we were scheduled to podcast and with all the…

Yup, here it is: our 174th episode (by one count, at least), just in time for you to snort some Hitler and celebrate Mary Jane Watson’s birthday!

*coughs*

*taps mic*

Well, since I’m sure you’ve got a busy day ahead of you, allow me to present to you…without further ado…our show notes!

00:00-6:00: Greetings! Death threats! As Jeff says, “Listeners! Welcome to what may be the last episode of Wait, What?” Yes, it’s a bone-chilling opening for a podcast that jumps right in and barely looks back, with an introduction of what we’re going to be talking about length: a frank (and profanity-filled) discussion of Avengers #1-36, New Avengers #1-24, and Infinity #1-6, all written by Jonathan Hickman and a elite cadre of Marvel’s shock troops!


6:00-25:42: But first, before we do that, since this was recorded on the day the second Star Wars trailer dropped (embedded above), we have to talk about it first. Also discussed: Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek Into Darkness, the franchise that taught you not to trust franchises, class struggle in Star Wars, the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer (also embedded above), Terminator Genisys trailer, the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, the weird fragmented point trailers are at right now, the second Ant-Man trailer, and more.
25:42-1:11:05: And now we get back to Jonathan Hickman, Avengers #1-36, New Avengers #1-24, and Infinity #1-6, with liberty and spoilers for all.  Because we are trying to be better with context, fasten your seatbelts as we try to describe everything that’s going on and break down our reactions. (And if you want to read along, all issues discussed are currently available on Marvel Unlimited). Discussed: plot hammering, what Jeff characterizes as the “contemporary American spirit” at the heart of Hickman’s story, the powers and drawback of repetition, a story about the inevitability of mortality as told in a story featuring characters who we know technically will not actually die; Marvel’s former series What If, #NotMyTonyStark, shared universes, D&D references, Stan Lee’s pubic hair, Secret Wars, the Nick Spencer train, the latest iPad update for the Marvel Unlimited app, the 500 Star Wars comics dropped on the app this week (seriously, if you find yourself hankering for the Dark Horse Expanded Universe, or you just want to re-read that issue where Michael Golden drew a really keen lightsaber fight, it is now exceptionally easy to get your hands on with a subscription to MU), and more.

GoldenStar

Very, very, terrifyingly easy.

1:11:05-1:20:58: The mention of the iPad (and more specifically, Jeff’s not-subtle hint that Graeme should get one) leads to a story from Graeme about what he’s been up to since the last time we podcasted. (Spoiler: a lot of what he’s been up to involves sitting in the Apple Store.) Throw in a cameo from Ernie and Gus-Gus and you’ve got a lovely non-comic intermission!

Here is Herbie

(Did not crop after ganking; probably should’ve)

1:20:58-1:43:20: Returning from that intermission, patron Scott Ashworth requested that we read one of the oldest cult comics, Herbie the Fat Fury, by Richard Hughes and Ogden Whitney, which Graeme with his superior library skills (and superior library) is able to do! Discussed: Alan Moore, a certain type of “satire,” Groundhog Day (the movie, not the holiday), JFK (the person, not the airport), Stockholm Syndrome, Gold Key Star Trek comics, Daniel Pinkwater, pre- and post-war America, and coming up next on our to-read list: Opus by Satoshi Kon, as requested by Eric Rupe.  Also, not mentioned in our discussion, but let me throw in a counterbalancing opinion about Herbie from Bill Reed, and an uncovered connection between Herbie and Watchmen. Those “Comics Should Be Good” guys are great, aren’t they?

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1:43:20-1:55:21: Graeme also read the first week of Convergence titles from DC, which he wrote about for the website  but also discusses at a bit more length here. Mentioned: Alisa Kwitney on Batgirl, Lee Weeks on Superman, Jeff Parker and Tim Truman on Hawkman (upcoming), someone’s butt talking to someone else’s boobs, editorial inconsistencies, Convergence as an event where you can read the crossover books without having to read the main event title; and more.

TrimpeTumble

To quote Jackie Kennedy:  Sigh.

1:55:21-2:06:51: Although he didn’t have anything special planned to say (or anything planned at all), Jeff nevertheless wanted to talk about the passing of Herb Trimpe, comic artist, writer, and teacher who managed to fuse the imperatives of a Marvel house style with his own more unique one, and gave us a lot of great comics along the way: the Incredible Hulk, Shogun Warriors, Godzilla, and G.I. Joe, a fill-in issue of Captain America written by Bill Mantlo (issue #291, which Jeff does an impressive job of partially misremembering here (and again, thanks to Marvel Unlimited, I dug up that issue, read it and screenshot it just now), the Phantom Eagle in Marvel Super-Heroes #16, issues of G.I. Joe Special Missions that he wrote, and more. Thank you, Herb.


2:06:51-end: Closing comments, a.k.a., “when the hell is our next episode, we honestly have no god-damned idea.” (Hint, it’s a skip week coming up, so look for us in a fortnight.)  The Small Tote Bag! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 102 patrons make this whole thing possible.


Next Week: there is no next week!  (As far as a podcast episode is concerned) but then come back the week after that! And the week after that!  Etc., etc.  And remember, if you need just a straight text-only link to cut and paste into your browser or program of choice, check out the first comment!

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pope-hats-3-preview-00001

Oh, Pope Hats. Will we ever stop loving you?

So sorry, chums! Time is really nipping at my heels today so I don’t have time to festoon the show notes with images and links and youtubes and subliminal acrostics (you have been keeping up with the subliminal acrostics, right)?  I’ve got to—as Graeme always says—”hit and quit it,” so you can get these show notes in a timely manner and I can collapse on the divan like the bearded grungefop that I am.  (And yes, look for The Bearded Grungefop to be getting his own Oni series in 2019.)

Please do not let me keep you from enjoying this episode though, oh mighty Whatnauts!  It is a pretty good one, with the questions coming from our patrons from Patreon, and the answers coming from…well, us, of course.  We are probably the weak link in that two-link chain but what are you gonna do?  (If you have a beard and you answered “collapsed on the divan?” you are—to again quote Graeme—”biting my style,” and I’ll have none of it, damn you!)

As always, I’ll throw the text of the link in the first comment so you can copy, paste, spindle, mutilate or fold, as per your choices.  [Note: do not ingest link.  If link is swallowed, do not induce vomiting.  Prepare and drink approximately eight ounces of a solution made from the following ingredients: two tablespoons sodium bicarbonate, two egg whites, one Bill Mantlo comic, three pogs, and one blatant untruth released from the publicity department of a major comic book company.]

And, lo, there shall come a:

00:00-5:17: Greetings! And almost immediately we are off and running because this episode is overdue.  Yes, it’s the Q&A episode where the Qs come from our supporters on Patreon, and the As come from us!  But first, in explaining that we find ourselves explaining where to find us on Patreon, and so at the beginning of the podcast for a change:
Under The Tote Bag!  Places to look for us at—Stitcher! iTunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, an eye-popping 100 patrons make this whole thing possible!  And then Graeme tells us how we have the order we have, and then we get right to it. Surprisingly, it seems like there are just as many questions about the state of the industry as there are questions of taste or critical acumen and, unsurprisingly, there are questions about waffles.
(I’m not sure if I should just list the questions or also things we mention in our answers or what…so let’s just see how that comes together, shall we?)
5:17-17:22:  Eric Rupe asks:  “With the years of dire predictions for the direct market and some of the major publishers therein, on the podcast and otherwhere and by many people not on the podcast, why have none of them ever really come true? A truly captive audience? Lack of better options for various players in the market, however you chose to define that? Something else?”
(Discussed: captive audiences and the direct market, returnability and non-returnability, the New 52, the difference between how Marvel and DC incentivize ordering, (the last of which is very thoroughly covered by the Mighty Brian Hibbs over at CBR this month), the number of Secret Wars titles being launched by Marvel; an old conspiracy theory from the ‘80s; and more.)
17:22-23:25:  Eric Rupe asks:  If Diamond put the Previews catalog together in a more egalitarian manner, such as getting rid of premier publisher section and listing all publishers alphabetically or doing a rotating spotlight, do you think that it would lead to an increase in sales for non-Premier publishers?
23:25-30:58:  Eric Rupe asks:  “Which is the more important decade for superhero comics, the 60s or 90s? What do you think is the most important decade for comics in general?”
30:58-41:21:  Eric Rupe asks:  “Are the intentions of the editors and writers on recent outreach titles like Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Thor and Captain Marvel comprised by the fact that Marvel, as a company, is horrible when it comes to things like ethics, morals and general human decency? Does the larger cultural situation with a general lack of diversity in things like blockbuster movies and the fact that most companies are just as bad if not worse than Marvel on an ethical level matter? Or is simply a matter of giving one set of values priority over another.”
41:21-52:14:  Eric Rupe asks:  “Is Image’s current success based around Eric Stephenson and, if so, do you think that continued success is possible if Stephenson left the company? Also, do you think Image will be able to continue with it’s current publishing strategies or will the founders will want to reassert their presence in some way and mess things up in some fashion or another?’
52:14-53:32:  Eric Rupe asks:  “If Jeff’s beard could be described as a kind of waffle, what kind of waffle would it be? If Jeff’s beard were sentient would it a) prefer Marvel or DC, b) be editorially mandated or creator driven, c)follow characters or follow creators and d) be a Grant Morrison fanboy or an Alan Moore fanboy? If Jeff’s beard fought Alan Moore’s beard, which would win? Does Jeff’s beard have plans for world conquest?”
53:32-55:17:  Scott Ashworth asks:  “Aside from the Wait, What Holy Trinity of Kirby, Engelhart, and Gerber, who are your choices for most consistently interesting writers at Marvel in the period between Lee and Shooter’s editorships?”
55:17-56:13:  Dave Clarke asks:  “At what Patreon tier do we get a monthly ‘Jeff tries to explain manga to Graeme’ podcast?”
56:13-56:34:  Dave Clarke asks: “Have you guys seen the tv series Utopia? (the british thriller one that lasted 2 seasons, not the australian comedy one) If so talk about it. If not consider giving it a go, I think you guys would dig it and the first season revolves around hunting down a comic.”
[Note from Jeff:  After recording this podcast, I just found out that Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) has gotten the assignment to write the scripts for the American remake of the show and now I am VERY EXCITED.]
56:34-1:03:23:  Dave Clarke asks:  “The cultural implications of the new Batgirl series being a magnet for internet controversy.”
1:03:23-1:08:47:  Dave Clarke asks:  “Isn’t it weird that comics are still pencilled, inked and coloured? Inking was originally developed to work around technical limitations of mass productions which dont really exist any more. Even though a tonne of illustration is done for the film and video game industry very very little of it is of the ‘black linework + colour added behind it’ variety. Thoughts on why its still going strong in comics? Predictions for the future?”
1:08:47-1:10:46:  Adam P. Knave asks: “What breakfast foods are each of the classic avengers?”
1:10:46 -1:15:57:  Paul Spence asks: “Could the Whatnauts give us an assessment of Brandon Graham’s Prophet. I believe that Jeff likes it, but Graeme does not. I really like Prophet and I believe that it is the most original and challenging of all the sci-fi titles that Image has launched over the last four years. A number of the Image sci-fi offerings seem the same to me. Too many of them are formulaic post-apocalyptic dystopias.”
1:15:57-1:21:23:  Paul Spence asks:  “Can you voice an opinion about Graham’s earlier magnum opus King City. I have been rereading it recently and I keep finding new layers in the work to enjoy. Graham’s art is stunning in its detail and it looks gorgeous in black & white. I love Graham’s off-center sensibilities and the way he embraces surrealism. He is not a creator that everyone can enjoy, but I appear to be on whatever quirky wavelength he is on and his work really speaks to me.”
1:21:23-1:30:35:  Jeff Lang asks: “What did you guys think of the Captain Marvel/Warlock stuff when you first read it and why do you think the PTB behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe have embraced that particular sliver of the mid-1970s? Convenience? Fannish devotion? A mix of the two? Something else?”
1:30:35-1:43:20:  Kevin McCandless asks: “A simple question but out of all the non-Big Two series you’ve reviewed in the last year, which one would you recommend to someone getting back into alternative comics after a long hiatus?  By which I mean, upper middle-brow, appealing to NPR-listeners (which describes me to a T) stuff like Palookaville or Bone?”
1:43:20-1:47:11:  Chris Jarzombek asks: “Given the Lee-Kirby tension in the FF stories (i.e., Kirby wants to go one way with the story, Lee wants to go another), would there be any value in re-scripting some (or all) of the pages so that they better match the ideal (which I would assume for you guys would be Kirby’s intention)? I’m thinking particularly of pages where the art suggests Sue wants to stay with Namor, but the script is pulling her toward Reed; or ones where the heroes appear weaker than Lee is willing to concede. Or put another way: Would theses stories be better if they were “fixed,” or is the tension part of the fun for you?”
1:47:11-2:08:54:  J.D. Smith (that you, Smitty?) asks: “With Private Eye bowing at ten issues what do we take away from the model? What are you guys enjoying on the broader culture spectrum?  Books? Music? Film? TV?”
[Please note.  This response features the phrase: “Brian K. Vaughn is the Amanda Palmer of comics.”]
2:08:54-2:11:39:  Chris Beckett asks:  “With the upcoming Daredevil series on Netflix, what DD comics would you recommend, outside of Frank Miller’s work? (Personally, I love the Nocenti/JRJr run, which was my proper introduction to the character.)”
2:11:39-2:18:09:  Roger Winston asks: “What are your feelings about DC’s “announcement” that they are no longer going to be slaves to continuity? (Assuming you believe it.) Apologies if you’ve already covered this in the podcast and I forgot. I’m interested in how important continuity is to you and if that has changed over the years. I know that in my younger days I was quite insistent that everything matches up, but these days I don’t care as much. How important is it to a company’s reputation (for lack of a better term) that they are consistent with what they’ve established or are trying to establish?”
2:18:09-2:18:32:  Daniel Mackay asks: “What do you think of the original Batman TV series and should the Batman vs Superman film be a spiritual sequel to the series? I think we all want their fight to be Batman whipping out his Bat Superman Repellent Spray.”
2:18:32-2:26:07: Dan Billings asks: “Not sure if anyone has asked this before but a friend gave me a bunch of his 1970s comics which included Welcome Back Kotter comics and it made me think about recent non-animated sitcoms and if they would make decent comics. Any jump out at you? Who would write and draw them?”
2:26:07-2:27:35:  Martin Gray asks: “Here’s a question, then. If DC and Marvel were waffle toppings, what would they be?”
2:27:35-2:29:42: And, finally, Graeme runs though a thank you of our patrons, because we said we would and also because you are awesome and deserve it:
Andrew Bayer
J.D. Smith
Kristoffer Peterson
Chris Tanforan
Terrence Stasse
Neil Kapit
Lawrence Cruz
Carlos Aguilar
Paul Holmes
David Brown
Roy Rogers
timothy rifenburg
Leef Smith
Scott Ashworth
Stephen Williamson
Jeffrey Lang
John Kipling
Martin Gray
Robert Grzech
Dan Billings
Dan Turner
Ford Thomas
Derek Moreland
Max Brown
Leighton Connor
Stephen Andrews
Eric Phipps
Al Ewing
Chris Jarzombek
Heath Edwards
Steve Huang
Daniel Mackay
Jason Hopkins
Sean McTiernan
Eric Rupe
Roger Winston
Doug Aiton
Jesse Morgan
Steven Prince
Justin Harman
Aldin Baroza
Carla Hoffman
Matt Terl
Dominic Soria
Jon Copeland
Patrick Gaffney
Rick Vance
Mark Bender
Matt Digges
Matthew Johnson
Cass Andrew Sherman
Matt Miller
Chris Beckett
Ryan Watkins
Charles Forsman
Adam P Knave
Christian Sager
Corey Dvorkin
Anthony Casaldi
Ryan Fitzgerald
Luke Stacks
Brian Ruckley
Chris Bentley
Mairead Ryan (Ryan Mairead?)
Jose Maneira
Thomas Martin
Rich Barrett
Andrew Foley
Brendan O’Hare
Garrett Berner
Adam Polakoff
Dylan Todd
Jacob Shemkovitz
Jamaal Thomas
2:29:42-end: Closing comments!  At the time this was recorded we were wondering what we would do when we got to our 100th patron.  We’ve since hit that milestone, and still don’t know what to do.
Reboot!  And it’s pretty much also our “closing comments!” section, with us talking about how next week is *not* a skip week and how you’ll be getting Ep. 173 next week and *then* a skip week.  And again:  Under The Tote Bag!  Places to look for us at—Stitcher! iTunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, we are grateful to our 100 patrons, and especially to those who asked questions for this very episode.
Okay, that divan is close.  I will try to flesh out the tags later. Look to the skies! Look to our comments! Look to your longboxes!
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat173.mp3
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http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/RealWaitWhat172.mp3 Yup, here we go!  Remember, if you don’t dig the player and just want the link to the episode to cut and paste into your own player, another browser window, or whatever you prefer,…

Artwork-from-emZenith-Pha-001Greetings, Whatnauts!  We hope Episode 171 finds you well, since it found us on the edge of wellness (look for the DVD marketing of Edge of Wellness to confuse everybody into thinking it’s actually called “Cough, Mute, Repeat”).  Despite our professed love of the partially muted cough or sneeze, Jeff put a lot of work into editing that out so all you get are two hours and seven minutes of pure, unfiltered comic book opinionation!  Look at the show notes below and see!Rogue00:00-10:29:  Bonus musical opening!  And then we *finally* announce the winners of our Rogue Trooper Last Man Standing contest, where the contestants told us what they would rename us if we were biochips and what piece of equipment you put us on.  Listen in as we announce the winners and read their entries because they are, as Graeme so perfectly puts it, “harsh but fair but harsh.”  Congratulations to Eric Reehl, Brendan O’Hare, Michael Loughlin, and Matthew Murray, and big thanks to Last Man Standing author and Whatnaut Brian Ruckley for making it possible for us to share the love (no matter how belatedly).

Blight-design-by-Mikel-Janin10:29-36:13: Graeme has been catching up on a bunch of old comics recently and one of them is the collected edition of DC’s Forever Evil spinoffs, and tells us about Forever Evil: Blight, a sixteen issue sub-event that starts out great and then burned through so much of Graeme’s good will, it’s kind of a shame. Also discussed: Alan Moore and American Gothic and John Constantine (and Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice); J.M. DeMatteis; DeMatteis’ run on Defenders and Captain America; Ray Fawkes; shout outs to Jesus; Jamie Delano’s Hellblazer run; Gary Seven; the Star Trek: Vanguard series; and the phrase “come through my magical portal!” which Graeme says with such panache it really does deserve to become its own meme.

Suicide_Squad_002336:13-46:33: Also read by Graeme: five or so collections of New 52’s Suicide Squad, with runs by Adam Glass, Ales Kot, and Matt Kindt on writing.  Also discussed:  the Ostrander Suicide Squad run; Charles Soule’s Thunderbolts; Thunderbolts as being overdue for a big Marvel Unlimited readthrough on Jeff’s part; Warren Ellis as muse of Marvel Comics; and an appearance by everyone’s favorite set of barking dogs, Ernie and Gus!
46:33-1:23:28:  Continued from above, but perhaps worth breaking into its own time-stamp, we talk about the idea of Marvel as a particularly American narrative, and the influence of British writers like Millar and Ellis on that narrative; Marvel’s purported distrust of The Man and its not-so-secret love of The Man; the one story Marvel can’t stop telling about SHIELD; Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the direction of the Marvel universe; the Original Sin event from Marvel (with spoilers for the final issue); Comparisons to Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales; head-scratching about what events from are “successful” and what do we mean by success, anyway?; and us talking about AXIS, Battle of the Atom, Superman: Doomed, and of course much more.
7a626333cf7b46c2274fff3b56f20f481:23:28-1:27:31: “We’ve gone horribly off-topic; how did we even get onto this?” Unsure, we turn to another set of comics Graeme tackled this week: Valiant, which Graeme especially enjoys when tackling in big chunks, as he did with Rai and Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody, as well as new titles like Imperium and Ivar, Time Walker.
1:27:31-1:34:59: More recommendations from Graeme? “Get the fuck back into 2000 A.D.,” he advises Jeff (or perhaps it’s an oblique exorcism ritual? I didn’t realize Graeme had caught on to the fact that I was 2-D Prog demon made flesh!). And people in the U.K. he tells to go get the Judge Dredd Mega Collection by being published every fortnight by Hachette; finally, for all of us with access to a Kindle or a Kindle app, he exhorts us to purchase the omnibus of Judge Dredd: Year One novellas by Mike Carroll, Matt Smith, and Al Ewing.  So pushy, that Graeme McMillian fellow!
1:34:59-1:46:52: And, on the subject of 2000 A.D., Jeff finally got around to reading Zenith: Phase One by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell. So we talk about Morrison from way, way, way back in the day, what he’s doing then and what he’s doing now (such as Nameless #2 by G-Mo and Chris Burnham).
leia-1-aurebesh-1261041:46:52-1:51:55:  Jeff bought and read Princess Leia #1 by Mark Waid and Terry and Rachel Dodson and has a lot of ambivalent feelings about it (and Star Wars in general).  Listen here to find out why! (Ha, and I said Graeme was pushy.)
1:51:55-1:57:28:  Jeff also wanted to talk about Grayson #8 by Tom King, Tim Seeley, and Mikel Janin; and Scooby-Doo Team-Up #9 by Sholly Fisch and Dario Brizuela.
1:57:28-end: Shop talk! We got great feedback for our discussion on the last podcast about the first half-dozen issues of the Legion: Five Years Later.  We also wring our hands over our pace on Baxter Building, our FF readthrough podcast (protip: read issues #25-36 plus Annual #2, if you want to be prepped for our next ep!), and politely insist everyone to check out the revivified House to Astonish!  [link:  ]
and then it’s on to our closing comments! Against The Tote Bag! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 95 patrons make this whole thing possible.

Remember, if you do not like our audio player (and many of you do not), and you don’t like retrieving our podcast from the RSS feed or what have you, check out the very first comment for a plain text link for you to copy and paste freely!  As mentioned above, we will be back next week with Episode 3 of Baxter Building.  So if you excuse me, I have some crazy-ass Kirby/Lee comics to attend to…but, as always, thank you for listening!

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Greetings, Groovy Star-Folk!  We are back with more than two plus hours of 2-D space exploration, far past the safe, sea-shaded atmosphere of other comic book podcasts. Remember!  Below, you can find the celestial safety chart so that you may pass securely through the cosmic ray hologram we call “Wait, What? Episode One Hundred and Seventy.”  And remember, if you get lost you can always hitch a ride home on a moonbeam.  (Also, that if you just want the link to the podcast to cut and paste into the browser or player of your choice, look to our first post in our comment threads below.)

FIVE…FOUR…THREE…TWO….ONE….IGNITION…BLAST OFF:

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00:00-03:53: Welcome to, as Graeme puts it, “possibly our doggiest episode ever,” as he tries to record with three dogs in his office.

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03:53-25:57: But with that quick caveat in mind, we are pretty much off to the races as Graeme has read comp copies of Suiciders #1 by Lee Bermejo (which we punt on, since Jeff intends to read) and Black Hood #1 by Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos, which Graeme compares to Bendis and Maleev’s Daredevil saying, “If you like that, you’ll like this.” With the shadow of the Powers TV show looming overhead, Jeff is a bit more interested in talking about his frustration with Bendis: comparisons to Mark Millar are uttered, original content on emerging platforms are discussed, Netflix original programming is bandied about, watching habits about same are confessed, and traditional expectations are upended. Mentioned:  Powers, Arrested Development, Orange is the New Black, and just where the hell does all the time go?

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25:57-45:23: And on that last point, Jeff talks about reading manga on Crunchyroll, more specifically the experience of reading 50+ chapters of Fuuka by Kouji Seo over the course of four or so days. Jeff also talks about the rapturous experience of reading 100 chapters of Masakazu Ishiguoro’s Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, but really the focus here is Fuuka and how the storyline takes some, shall we say, *unconventional* turns.  SPOILERS APLENTY for Fuuka,as Jeff pretty much gives up all the plot points up until now.

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45:23-52:49: Jeff also bought and read all four issues of Marvel’s Night Nurse during the Marvel BOGO sale at Comixology.  Since Jeff was in the process of writing about it, Graeme doesn’t ask him about the series but instead some rather tough questions.  Questions like:  “Now that you’re read them all, would you do that again?” and “how many Kindle versions of Watchmen do you own, Jeff?” “How many print versions do you own?”  “I’m sorry, how many?”  Yes, it’s time for INTERVENTION: THE WAIT, WHAT? EDITION as Graeme and Jeff talk about owning copies of multiple books and multiple options.

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52:49-1:41:43: Fortunately, we don’t dwell too long on “The horror! The horror!” as the almighty Empress Audrey decreed that Graeme and I were to read the first year of Legion of Superheroes: Five Years Later by Keith Giffen, Tom and Mary Bierbaum, and Al Gordon (with editing by Mark Waid and Michael Eury).  Semi-suspect subjects that we are, we managed to get the first six issues read in time to discuss for this episode. Graeme, who has previous history with this title, gives us the context in which he first read these issues.

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Jeff, who only has the slightest history with the Legion, gives us his impressions as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on in those first few issues. Discussed: Giffen’s storytelling verve; the Five Years Later Legion as a reaction and development of a lot of influences in comics at the time; the FYL Legion as an early example of the flash-forward storytelling that grows in influence in late 20th and early 21st Century; the FYL Legion and Watchmen; 5YL era Giffen and modern day Kevin Huizenga; Jeff deciding that “maximialize” is a word, and is perfectly acceptable to use when making a point; issue #5 of 5YL and Mark Waid’s Empire; issues #6 of 5YL and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek; The bicycle as a surrealist version of a leg; science-fiction names; the legacy of Paul Levitz; and much, much (much!) more.

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1:41:43-2:02:26: On a related note, Jeff talks about a single panel he saw in his recent read of the Superman Vs. Mongul trade that he thinks explains Paul Levitz’s legacy perfectly, and how it relates to Grant Morrison. Also discussed (perhaps inevitably): James Robinson and Starman; Steve Englehart; Jim Starlin; Marvel Unlimited; and much more.
2:02:26-2:13:35:  Closing comments?  Well, you would think so, and we thought so.  But then Jeff remembers he really does have some questions he wishes to pepper Graeme about Multiversity: Mastermen by Grant Morrison and Jim Lee.  So we talk about that for close to ten minutes.
2:13:35-end:  Okay, no, really:  Closing comments!  Here’s our recording schedule (Baxter Building tip:  read issues #25-36 plus Annual #2 if you want to be current for our next podcast.) Inherent Tote Bags! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 95 patrons make this whole thing possible.

We’ll talk again next week!  Until then, we wish you safe re-entry!

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http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat169.mp3 Obviously, I’ve become hooked on embedding YouTube clips in our browser.  Dunno why, and I think it’s arguable that it’s more than a little insulting to put video in a comics podcast blog but…eh. …