dreddball

Whew!  Hey, Whatnauts, Jeff here.  My apologies for getting this up a bit later than usual: ironically, part of the reason is that I’m trying a new method for editing the podcast that should make it faster.  (The other part of the reason is that I caught a double feature of Lady Snowblood movies at the New Mission Cinema and ate deviled eggs and drank milkshakes with booze in them and it was pretty god-damned great.)
And that said, I should warn you there is the growing likelihood that the responsibilities in my day job may be changing in the very near future and Graeme and I have been trying to figure out how to make sure we still manage to deliver Wait, What? quality in a timely way. I hope you remain patient with me as I go through the process of working all that out.  Fortunately, you have lots of excellent, high quality writing from Graeme and Matt to keep you happy in the meantime.
Anyway, enough of that.  Let’s get shownoting, shall we?
0:00-6:24:  The greeting thing (this time with proper microphones); the Three Stages of Muppet; Muppets Most Wanted; Disney’s trifecta of the Muppets,  Star Wars and Marvel.

6:24-17:10:  Discussions of pop culture cocktails leads us to talk about Lego Dimensions, the video game IP orgy competitor to Disney Infinity.  And this leads to a discussion about the crossovers you stage with your own toys as opposed to officially sanctioned IP crossover play.  Also discussed: playing with action figures (in which Jeff accidentally mentions using Star Wars figures to fill in as SHIELD agents when he really meant using Star Wars figures); the scramble for new action figures for Return of the Jedi; which leads to discussing…

17:10-25:15: Jeff loves the fact that Star Wars fans love the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back even though, as Graeme points out, even Boba Fett doesn’t appear for more than ten minutes total in the films.  Also discussed: George Lucas’s dislike of Boba Fett; Lucas’s official slogan for the making of the prequels; and  the ballad of General Grievous.
25:15-49:18: We segue so organically it’s actually hard to chop it up, but if you want to hear Graeme and Jeff argue about whether Star Wars is an epic about redemption or an anti-redemption without a lot of action figure talk, you can start here.  Please note we talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens just a teeny tad and, depending on your view, we either do not spoil a darn thing or we talk about stuff that can lead the overheated mind to make some suppositions it might consider spoiler-y?  As Graeme points out, it’s probably not a big deal since everyone who’s wanted to see TFA by now already has BUT JUST IN CASE here’s your soft spoiler warning.  Discussed: whether or not Star Wars is pro- or anti-redemption; the handling of Jedi in the prequels; Jeff is a big fan of the theory put forward by Chris Ready over at his awesome Disaster Year 20xx blog about Return of the Jedi, where Graeme has a different view about the film, and is armed with facts in hand from his recent read of J.W. Rinzler’s Making of Star Wars books; the Ewoks in Vietnam; and Jeff’s discussion of the real phantom behind The Phantom Menace.
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49:18-1:04:48:  “Whatnauts,” sez Graeme, “once again, this is a podcast about comic books where we’ve talked about Star Wars for the first forty-eight minutes.”  And he’s got a point!  So we change up to talk about Batman #48 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and the high strangeness that is “Superheavy,” the current arc.  Discussed: the scene between two characters by the side of a lake; Mr. Bloom as DC Comics; Snyder’s metatext reaching the levels of Morrison’s Calvin Ellis issue of Action; Snyder’s take on Batman and Morrison’s take on Batman as it reflects their views on depression; and more.
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1:04:48-1:19:18:  Talking about Morrison’s darker works, we talk about Nameless #6 by Morrison and Burnham. FULL SPOILERS, I think we give it all away—in our vague sort of way—and I’ll tell you now one of us thought it was great, and another of us…did not.
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1:19:18-1:34:17: And as long as we’re running through the hall of mirrors, let’s move from Snyder to Morrison to the first three issues of Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque’s Huck, which Graeme read all at a go, and he gets a chance to compare and contrast it a bit with Valiant’s Faith #1 by Jody Houser, Francis Portela & Marguerite Sauvage. Pop quiz: which book do you think Graeme described as “weirdly cynical for a comic that theoretically should be the opposite” and which got described as “utterly fucking delightful”? And this leads us to talk about other books that are working in the absurd and delightful parts of town, and how they differ from other previous, more self-conscious works.
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1:34:17-1:54:05: And this leads us to a discussion about Spider-Gwen, particularly Radioactive Spider-Gwen #4 which Jeff has read.  His take on the reasons for the book’s tone are quite different from Graeme’s and quite possibly far less generous.  And from there we talk about which books we’re reading in All-New, All-Different Marvel and whether or not Marvel Unlimited actually raises the bar for books we’re willing to pay money for.  Discussed: Star Wars, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat, Vision, Spidey, Spider-Man/Deadpool, The Ultimates, the upcoming Power Man and Iron Fist, and more.
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1:54:05-2:10:28: And although we are just about out of time, Jeff cannot resist asking Graeme what he thinks about the IDW reboot of Judge Dredd by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Dan McDaid, in no small part because that and a ton of time spent playing the Judge Dredd pinball game, Jeff has a question he doesn’t know the answer to:  What makes for “good” Judge Dredd?
2:10:28-end: Closing comments! Look for us on  Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr!  And, of course, where, as of this count, 115 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast, as well as our continuing special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 113 of our supporters on Patreon who make our show possible.
Next week:  There’s a break but we’ll back in two weeks with Wait, What? Ep. 194.  The march to Episode 200 has begun!  (Well, technically it started around episode one, but let’s not quibble.)
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Nimona

                                                                          Nimona by Stevenson

00:00-29:40:  Greetings from Graeme “Happy Holidays!” McMillan and Jeff “Who to the What Now?” Lester who start off by talking about 2016 right around the bend and all that will bring but also the oddness of recording on December 17: “Star Wars Day (Unofficially).”  Yes, by the time you read these words, you probably will have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie and Graeme probably will have as well.  We try our hands at fake spoilers, Graeme tells us when he will be seeing the film and, more importantly, what it was like to attend a press screening of Twilight with specially invited fans of the books.  Discussed:  the phrase “vocal fans,” the phrase “you’re not MY Grand Moff Tarkin,” Star Wars “line frenzy,” the career of Kenny Rogers, Graeme insisting that Jeff knows the plot of the The Force Awakens, and Jeff insisting he doesn’t, rumors from months ago about the third act reveals, the very strange rumor about Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the return of Jaxxon and the very first Marvel Star Wars comic arc after the adaptation of the original movie, learning to do Star Wars right, the career of Don F. Glut, Abhay’s interview with him, and more.
29:40-44:42: “Hey, Jeff!” sez Graeme.  “Because this is the last episode we’re recording this year, I know I made a totally half-assed attempt at a ‘Best of/Favorites of 2015.  Did you?” And Jeff did!  HOWEVER, we also had promised to address certain other topics in this podcast before we got around to that.  (We had? asks Graeme.  We had, confirms Jeff.)  Because Whatnaut Kris Peterson had requested it, we read The Horror of Loon Lake, an anthology of comics edited by Carl D. Smith. [EDIT: Ooo, really big oversight on our part as pointed out to us on Twitter: Smith wrote all the stories, which were drawn by different artists. A real mistake on our parts, but also maybe a good sign at how many different types of stories he undertook?  You decide!]    Discussed:  Smell A Rat by Stan Chou; all-ages horror comics; House of Scary by Jeff Manley; Cartozia Tales; and more.
BatRobEter

Batman and Robin Eternal #11 by Snyder, Tynion IV, Brisson, Blanco, Duce, Rauch

 

44:42-1:10:02:  And as for our second “we promised we would do this last time (we think?”), we are discussing the first eleven issues of Batman and Robin Eternal, plotted by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, and executed by a fleet of talented writers and artists.  We discussed it as part of our first issue roundtable on the website but here we dig in to discuss it length.  FULL SPOILERS for the first eleven issues so, y’know, spoilers and all.  Discussed:  Genevieve Valentine, Alvaro Martinez Bueno, and Raul Fernandez; Valentine’s Catwoman; the first few issues of Robin War; more plot-heavy discussion of B&R Eternal; the possible character-breaking plot twist that might be coming; and more.
1:10:02-1:16:30:  Graeme steers us back to our Best of 2015 lists, which we finally dig into.  Our lists are kinda problematic, in that we didn’t necessarily try to read to keep up with everything, and also because so much of what we thought as the “best” reads of the year either existed before it was published this year or because we just finally got around to it. As we say in the podcast itself, the difference between ‘new’ and ‘new to you’ is almost meaningless these days.
That said: lists!  Graeme’s pick for favorite book of the year is Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona (which was a webcomic before it was collected by First Second).  Jeff’s only read a page or two but we still get a chance to talk about it for a bit.
1:16:30-1:18:22: Another pick by Graeme for his favorite thing he read this year is 2014’s This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, also published by First Second. “It’s so beautifully illustrated, so beautifully observed,” sez Graeme.
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                                              Giant Days by Allison, Tremain, and Cogar

1:18:22-1:24:16: Also on the list?  Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Tremain, and Whitney Cogar about kids going off to college. It’s not as magically realist as Bad Machinery but it’s equally funny for Graeme, if not more so.  In a similar vein, but more superhero-y is The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (which made both of our lists for best of the year). And even more superhero-y, and also on both our lists are the two issues of Convergence: Shazam! by Jeff Parker and Evan “Doc” Shaner which is, as Graeme so perfectly describes it, “another joyous superhero book that embraces the superhero.”

1:24:16-1:28:28: Graeme goes from that to almost the opposite with Martian Manhunter by Rob Williams and Eber Ferreira.  Graeme’s review is kinda spoilery, but makes the book sound intriguing as hell.  Not on Graeme’s list but definitely considered and most definitely discussed is Action Comics by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder.
OmegaMen

The Omega Men by King and Bagenda

 

1:28:28-1:34:34:  But on the list:  The Omega Men by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda, and which Graeme refers to as “I think I’ve come to terms with it being my favorite Tom King.”
1:34:34-1:36:25:  Another book from Graeme for which he has some complicated feels:  Zero by Ales Kot and collaborators.  With The Surface and Material as both runners-up and also of a piece.
1:36:25-1:37:54: Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber: it’s on both our lists (despite Jeff being four to five months behind).
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Nameless by Morrison and Burnham

1:37:54-1:49:06: “Okay, I’m going to speed through the rest so you can do yours,” announces Graeme, so here goes:  this year’s 2000AD Judge Dredd material from Rob Williams and Henry Flint, particularly their sequel to Titan (which Graeme actually talks about for longer than his last two picks put together); The Wicked and Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie; Multiversity by Grant Morrison and collaborators (also on both our lists), as well as other Morrison works this year: Annihilator with Frazier Irving, and Nameless with Chris Burnham; Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling (also on both of our lists); and finally Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, edited by Tom Devlin.  With special runner-up status for two monthly books that are too early in their run to call the “best” of 2015 (but which both Graeme and I dig a lot): Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, and Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling.
1:49:06-2:17:55:  Jeff’s turn!  And since he wrote them all down and is the guy doing the show notes, you can get them in one big pile with notes as to how he read them, albeit one he divided up in a few different categories: manga, stuff that was published this year, stuff that was not published this year, and honorable mentions. (Please note Graeme thought to limit his list to roughly ten titles.  Jeff wasn’t that organized.)
And Yet The Town Moves

And Yet the Town Moves by Ishiguro

 

Manga:
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru (And Yet The Town Moves) by Masakazu Ishiguro (digitally on Crunchyroll)
Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi (digitally on Crunchyroll)
My Neighbor Seki vols 1-5 by Takuma Morishige (print published by Vertical)
My Love Story!! by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko (print published by Viz: thanks, Josh Tabon!!)
Prison School Vol. 1 by Akira Hiramoto (print, by Yen Press)
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Demon by Shiga

Stuff Published This Year:

Demon by Jason Shiga (via PDF, by Jason Shiga and Shiga Books)
An Entity Observes All Things by Box Brown (digitally through Comixology Submit)
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (print, published by Marvel)
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber (print, published by Marvel)
Black Hood #1-5 by Duane Swyerzsinski and Michael Gaydos (print, published by Archie/Dark Circle)
Multiversity by Grant Morrison and various (print, DC); Nameless by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham (print, Image Comics);  Annihilator by Grant Morrison and Frazier Irving (print, Legendary Comics)
Batman ’66 #20 by Rob Williams and Ruben Procopio (print, DC Comics)
The Fade Out by Brubaker and Phillips (print and digital, Image Comics)
The Humans by Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely (print, Image Comics)
Monstress #1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (print, Image Comics)
KFC: The Colonel of Two Worlds by Shane Edwards and Tony Bedard, and artists Tom Derenick and Trevor Scott (digital, DC Comics)
File Oct 31, 12 44 02 PM

“Merry the Girl with a Thousand Gimmicks” from Adventure Comics #416

Stuff Not Published This Year:

Adventure Comics #416 for the silver age Supergirl story and Merry The Girl With A Thousand Gimmicks, but basically that run of reprints through issue #420 or so. (digital, DC Comics via Comixology)
Captain Marvel #35-39, the Trial of the Watcher by Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom (print, Marvel Comics)
Hawkeye #1-6 by by Fabian Nicieza and Stefano Raffaele (digital, via Marvel Unlimited)
The Brave and The Bold #140 “Death Aboard the Hellship” by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo (print, DC Comics)
The Adventures of Red Sonja Vol. 1 by Roy Thomas, Bruce Jones, and Frank Thorne (digital, Dynamite Comics via Comixology)
Daredevil #105-107 by Steve Gerber, Don Heck, Don Perlin and Sal Buscema (digital, Marvel Comics via Comixology in the Avengers vs. Thanos digital trade)
Astonishing Tales: Deathlok The Demolisher by Rich Buckler and Doug Moench (digital, Marvel Comics via Comixology)
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Convergence: Shazam! by Parker, Shaner, and Bellaire

Honorable mentions:
Dark Corridor by Rich Tomasso (print, Image Comics)
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, and Cliff Rathburn (print, Image Comics)
Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta (print, Image Comics)
Hookjaw #1 by Pat Mills and Ken Armstrong (digital, Egmon Comics) (read it before, love it still)
The Six Million Dollar Man, Season Six by Jim Khouric and others (digitally, Dynamite via Comixology)
King Cat Comics #75 by John Porcellino (print, via King Cat)
Convergence: Shazam! by Jeff Parker and Evan “Doc” Shaner (print, DC Comics)
Kaijumax by Zander Cannon (print, ONI comics)
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert Hack, and Jack Morelli
Night Nurse #1-4 (digitally, Marvel Comics via Comixology)
Revenger by Charles Forsman (print and digitally, Oily Comics via Comixology Submit)
(With the surprising conclusion that, although he dearly loves his Marvel Unlimited all-you-can-eat subscription, he probably read more comics digitally via Crunchyroll’s all-you-can-eat subscription and also via sales and subscriptions on Comixology…and both of these experiences are still being overshadowed by print.  Huh!)
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Fantastic Four, by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

Oh yeah, and truth be told, Graeme and I both really enjoyed reading the first 102 issues of the Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee for the Baxter Building podcast.  Good ol’ Reed Richards has a way of grating on a guy’s nerves, but it was also an *amazing* ride!
2:17:55-end: Closing comments! Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast..as well as our special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 115 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
Look for us on  Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr!  And, of course, where, as of this count, 112 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Next week:  Keep your ears open for perhaps a holiday stocking stuffer around you-know-when?  And then after that, we will be taking the last week of the year off and we’ll see you in 2016!
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Platinum1

Welcome to the super-early, pre-surgical edition of Wait, What?  Jeff is heading in to deal with a minor health condition (that rhymes with pygmy scones) which will kind of make our usual Monday mid-day drop time a bit on the impossible side.  So pull up the player of choice, kick back with the following show notes, and try not to think of one of your hosts squirming in discomfort on a hospital gurney somewhere.  (Cheery, right?  Seriously, don’t worry about me: I’ll be drugged to the gills.) (I hope.)
00:00-9:19:  Greetings from Jeff “Whoville” Lester and Graeme “The Graemetown Massacre” McMillan, who feel like they haven’t talked in a while…because they haven’t!  It’s a fine jumping off point for a bit of pre-comics talk about human intimacy, Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, the atrophying of conversational muscles, Twitter changing from stars to hearts, Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon, The Journalist and the Murderer, and other potentially depressing ephemera.

NewPrez
9:19-26:43: Yes, ephemera!  Not like good old live-forever-and-can-never-die comic books!  Graeme has been thinking about the latter and he’s got stuff to blow our mind with.  He’s been looking at sales figures and he’s got some very interesting insights to share with us, including how Star Wars comics are essentially the fourth largest comics publisher in the direct market, how much money DC is seeing from issues of Prez (with help from the info assembled by Alex De Campi, Printing costs and other behind-the-scenes info from Jim Zub).  Discussed:  DC You and profit, Snakes on a Plane, the Batgirl of Burnside, The Dark Knight Returns and the prestige format books, how to craft a book that is both safe and has the potential to go wide, and more.
Vision
26:43-55:46: In the course of talking about books from the Big Two that take some risks, Jeff brings up the first issue of Vision by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Jordie Bellaire.  Graeme has thoughts about it too, some of them relating to the recent first issue roundtable we did with Matt Terl on the website, Impressively enough, we manage to keep the end of the issue unspoiled but otherwise consider it pretty much ALL SPOILERS, ALL THE TIME. but Discussed: tradewaiting, slow burns, second issues sales, a mission statement framed via a semantic argument, Mr. Spock in American Beauty, an almost comical reluctance by Jeff to bring up Alan Moore, the “return” to Marvel’s 70s diversity, our own struggles with comic book cynicism, and more.
Marvel
55:46-1:03:52:  Graeme wants to talk about Ms. Marvel #19 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, which was so satisfying for Graeme that he kind of feels…done with it?  With everything happening at Marvel, there’s probably never been a better time to talk about Jumping Off Points (well, okay, except for maybe the New 52), and so that’s something we kick around the old sonic playing field. (I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but you may get a lot more out of the first two minutes of the conversation if you’re aware that Jeff is confused and thinks Graeme is talking about Captain Marvel but is trying to hide it.)  Discussed:  Alan Moore leaving Swamp Thing, the post-Morrison years of Animal Man, and more.
Loki1:03:52-1:09:21:  A mention of Al Ewing reminds Graeme that in approximately two months all of Mr. Ewing’s work on Loki will be available on Marvel Unlimited, and this is a seventeen issue run that Graeme very much recommends.  Discussed: whether or not one should read Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery (and Young Avengers) before reading Ewing’s run, Mighty Avengers as a victim of Marvel Eventitis, and more.
1:09:21-1:19:00: “Marvel Unlimited is such an amazing resource,” says Jeff, before going on to talk about how his mad month-long buying spree on Comixology has him reading purchased stuff instead of all that (amazing!) all-you-can-eat stuff.  Will Jeff disclose how much he spent? Can Graeme find a gentle way to tell his friend has a problem? Discussed: how much Graeme spent at the comic store; the first week of Jeff’s experiment of foregoing floppies (and his store discount) and buying digitally; the issues Jeff bought this week, which leads us to…
Unfollow
1:19:00-1:27:20:  “Hey, so what’d you think of Unfollow, then?” Graeme asks, which gives us both a chance to talk about how much we enjoyed Unfollow #1 by Rob Williams, Michael Dowling, and Quinton Winter.  Vertigo has had a pretty strong batch of first issue launches recently,  but this is so far the strongest.  Discussed:  Survivors Club and Stephen King’s It; The Sheriff of Babylon and Jacked; Dowling’s beautiful art; Mark Millar and Grant Morrison; and more.
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1:27:20-1:30:33: Jeff wants to talk about the first issue of Platinum End, by the Death Note/Bakuman team of Ohba and Obata and very much in the vein of the former than the latter.  At the time of recording, it hadn’t seemed like a lot of people knew that you can buy each chapter digitally for ninety-nine cents at the same time as its Japanese release. You can get it at Viz; you can get it at Comixology; you can get it on Amazon for the Kindle.  As Jeff puts it, “If you want to see what Mark Millar is going to be ripping off two years from now, check it out.”
mon lush
1:30:33-1:35:11:  Graeme wants to know if Jeff’s picked up Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda.   Is it, as Graeme calls it “the ultimate Image book?” We go on to discuss it, along with Sarah Horrocks’ piece on Bitch Planet, Graeme utters the phrase, “I don’t even like fantasy, and this book is stunning to me.” (At the time of recording Jeff hadn’t, but he did not long after based on what Graeme says here and was pretty impressed… as you can see here.) The first issue is 71 pages for $4.99, it looks beautiful, and as Graeme says (and I go on to agree with in my piece), “Marjorie Liu is bring some really impressive fucking chops to it.”
1:35:11-1:39:51:  The other first issue?  The new James Bond book, Vargr, by Warren Ellis and James Masters.  SPOILERS:  It sounds pretty good…certainly better than Jeff’s take on what might happen.
Klaus
1:39:51-1:43:58:  We’ve both read Klaus #1 by Grant Morrison and Dan Mora. Considering it’s a comic book about Santa Claus, you would think Graeme would love it, right?  Did he? Didn’t he?  You’ll find out but you’ll hear a lot more about it from Jeff who refers to it as The Game of Thrones Christmas Special.  (Which it’s really not, but come on, that would be AMAZING.)
1:43:58-1:48:10: If you did read the first issue roundtable, you’ll know both Jeff and Greeme were pretty underwhelmed by the first issue of Paper Girls by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang. So along comes issue #2 and….we happily eat ourselves some crow.  Discussed: Whether Brian K. Vaughan is doing Lost even though he worked on Lost, or whether Brian K. Vaughan is doing Under the Dome even though he worked on Under the Dome; FULL SPOILERS for plot developments in the issue; Jeff compares the second issue of Survivors Club versus the second issue of Paper Girls, and an eensy bit more.
Paper2
1:48:10-2:11:16: Just to finish up talking about books we discussed on the roundtable…Jeff is a few issues behind on reading Batman and Robin Eternal, but Graeme is still reading it and, remarkably enough, is onboard!  Discussed: the delight of a monoplot; how long this weekly book lasts; how long it takes before the “everything changes!” trick wears thin; Batman comics written by Scott Snyder’s clique and Batman comics written by people outside Scott Snyder’s clique; Pete Tomasi and the Curse of Pete Tomasi [Note: not officially referred to out loud as the Curse of Pete Tomasi], the Justice League Darkseid War one-shots, and issues #40-45 of Justice League which we revisit because Jeff picked them up after Graeme talked about them last time.  (Seriously, we talk about them a lot.)
2:11:16-end: Closing comments! We try to figure out what’s coming up next…which is confusing in part because next episode is our Secret Convergence of Infinite Podcasts episode.  Graeme won’t be here (he’s on episodes 1, 3, and 5 of the crossovers) but Jeff will be joined by Chico Leo, Gary Lactus, and Paul O’Brien, discussing “The Worm Turns:  Characters, Comic Books, and Creators We Used to Love But Now Hate, and Vice-Versa.” Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast..as well as our special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 114 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible. Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr!  And, of course, where, as of this count, 114 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Okay, so check out the first comment if you need a link to cut and paste into the player of your choice, and, hey, maybe even drop us a note if you want?  That might be…nice?  Either way, as always, thank you for listening!
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SGwen1

First, big thanks to Ed Corcoran for providing the perfect title for this episode!

Second, here we are!  This episode is a little early due to: the holiday weekend, some weird scheduling, and the desire to get a jump on the coming week which promises to be a bit of a sledge hammer.  So let us begin, shall we?

00:00-12:51: Greetings from Graeme “Cheers” McMillan and Jeff “Dora the Explorer” Lester, who are here once again for you!  Not only do we mention those two TV shows in the first two minutes, we also talk about Spider-Gwen #1, as read recently on Marvel Unlimited (under threat of physical violence)!  Although we both enjoyed the first issue, we talk about Jeff’s impressions of the book based on later issues, whether the book’s appeal rests solely with the creative team or not, whether or not the term “What-If’ing” is a thing or not, and more.  And this is also a fine time for Jeff to gripe about the Spider-Verse hardcover he got for super-cheap during an Amazon pricing SNAFU.  Did Marvel take passive-aggressive revenge on the advance order pilferers? Or is it just that a lot of the stories at least semi-terrible? Discuss!
Razorback
12:51-45:06: Then, our whistles whetted, it’s time for us to Q our little A’s off, with part two of our Q&A ‘cast, answering questions submitted to us by our mighty squad of patrons!  First up is Chris Carfora, who asks:  “1. Discussion Point: Have we reached the end of the age of Superhero comics? Seems like superhero movies are going through a bit of a golden age but i can’t say the same for the comics. With the reboots coming every two years now it just feels like the creators are constantly going over old territory and rehashing old ideas. Is there just not anything left to say about Superheroes? With the rise of independent comics and the availability of self-published comics through comixology and the like, do you foresee a shift away from superhero comics? 2. What would be your dream creative collaboration on your dream comic? Just to clarify, it can be past creators or current, so if you want Grant Morrison and Jack Kirby on Challengers of the Unknown go for it. 3. What cancelled or lapsed title would you most like to see resurrected? 4. In what way has the rise of marvel unlimited, comixology and other digital platforms changed the industry? Is this change a good thing?”
(Whew!) Discussed: the Direct Market; Jim Lee’s 1:5000 variant for Dark Knight III; Marvel’s troll response with a Deadpool variant cover; creator participation; Starbrand and Nightmask; the illusion of change versus the illusion of the illusion of change; Irredeemable, Incorrigible, Incorruptible, Incontinent, and Insufferable; Graeme not understanding Jeff at all;  crazy lists of dream teams for his dream comics including the Steve Gerber comic in heaven; Jason Aaron and Jason Latour on the amazing Marvel character, Razorback; Al Ewing and Henry Flint on Fantastic Four; the sequel to last year’s Judge Dredd epic, Titan, again by Rob Williams and Henry Flint; Aimee Bender and Pascal Ferry on Machine Man; Graeme summarizes the short but lively run of DC’s The Chosen; the crazy price discrepancies between some digital trades on both Marvel and Comixology (such as the Skull The Slayer and Weirdworld trades which are $10 cheaper on the Kindle); and more.
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45:06-58:27:  Carlos Aguilar asks: “1. Let’s say Image was formed in the 80s instead of the 90s, what 7 artists would you like to have seen leave Marvel (and if you want, DC) to form Image about ten years earlier? 2. Tons of Star Wars news coming out, so, Let’s say you got to pick creative teams for 4 different Star Wars books. What would the four titles be, and who would you have working on them? 3. Who would you like to see run the new incarnation of Heavy Metal instead of Grant Morrison?” Discussed:  Miller, Byrne, Perez, Golden, Simonson, Chaykin, and Art Adams (or Dave Cockrum?; the WaP! newsletter and Creator Bill of Rights crowd; being burnt out on Star Wars on the eve of Force Friday; Marvel’s Darth Vader series by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca; Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba on Boba Fett; Jason Shiga on C-3PO and R2-D2; Richard Corben on Chewbacca; the return of Walt Simonson to Star Wars; Brandon Graham editing Heavy Metal; Douglas Wolk editing Heavy Metal; Warren Ellis editing Heavy Metal; and more.
 Demon1558:27-1:04:09:  Max Brown asks: “It’s been a little while since Jeff has posted or talked about Jason Shiga’s Demon- and since it was Jeff that got me and a bunch of others reading it, it would be great to hear his thoughts on how the book has gotten 10000000x more insane and awesome since then, and on the recent announcement that First Second will be publishing it in collections. Thanks!” Discussed:  Jason Shiga’s Demon.  [Please note: Jeff actually screws up his issue numbers by one.  The amazing chase sequence is in issue #15 and the existential malaise is in issue #14.]
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1:04:09-1:36:16: Kevin Moreau asks, “1. What other podcasts, comics-related or otherwise, do either/both of you listen to/recommend? (Aside from Rachel and Miles and Into It, although please feel free to plug those, as well.) 2. What are your go-to sites/publications for comics news, insight, etc., other than your own website and Graeme’s various employers? 3. What are Marvel’s biggest problems today, and what can be done to correct them 3a. Are Secret Wars/All-New-All-Different and the continuing push to make Inhumans happen signs of creative bankruptcy? 4. I know I’ve read (Wait What mascot/patron saint) Steve Englehart comics over the years, but what would you point to as his most important/must-read work, or where should someone start in order to gain a greater appreciation? 5. Would you ever consider a Wait What Facebook group as a place for fans of the show to gather together and talk comics and related interest?Discussed:  House to Astonish; Silence!; Comic Books Are Burning in Hell; Travis Bickle on the Riviera; the Nerdist Writer’s Room; the Guardian’s political podcast; 538’s What’s The Point; a Slate podcast called Working; Serial; Bleeding Cool and its recent trend for crazily biased news stories; The Outhousers; the terrific comics analysis columns by Paul O’Brien and Marc-Olivier Frisch; the surprising read that is comicbook.com; the surprisingly apt metaphor to describe DC’s new relationship to the Direct Market; the Steve Englehart stories you should start with; and more.
 1:36:16-1:41:18:  Paul Lai asks, “Seems we’ve thrown up our hands after Golden, Silver, Bronze, and the unfortunately named Modern Ages. Should we take for granted that comics are so diverse, diffuse, and mainstream now that maybe marking eras like that will be impossible/irrelevant? Or what about calling it a “Spectrum Age” where all that can really be taken for granted is the diversity?” (Paul actually had a long article he’d written about this that wasn’t accessible when Jeff tried to read it beforehand but it’s up now and it’s a pretty great read that makes a pretty compelling argument.)  Discussed:  Our less compelling arguments.
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1:41:18-1:44:53:  John Kim asks, “There are a lot of resets to the status quo in comic (Spiderman, Batman) after said comics try something different. Are the reasons for the resets mainly fan backlash and low sales? Here I am trying to sneak in another question… Are there any good legacy characters in comics?”  Discussed:  Wally West, Wally West, and Wally West; Batman: Year Zero; and more.
1:44:53-1:57:46:  Lewis Smith asks, “Of all the aborted story-lines, new directions, and false starts you guys have read in superhero comics, what was the one you really wanted to see play out?”  Discussed:  Firestorm as a fire elemental; Steve Englehart’s Fantastic Four and West Coast Avengers runs; the Amazing Spider-Man and headcanon; does Marvel need a reboot; and more.
1:57:46-2:08:12:  Ed Corcoran asks, “In a couple of previous episodes, you’ve mentioned the effect the library market has on how trade paperback collections are made and marketed. Can you talk a little more about the economics of that? What kind of comics rely so heavily on libraries? What do libraries look for? Also, are there any plans to collect the Avengers read-through into one big mega-episode?” We’ve tied this in with Drew Meger who asks, “It feels like every episode we hear a mention of some comic or other borrowed from your local library. As a librarian who buys comics for his library, I need to know: What comic titles would you want to see in your Ideal Library? Should we focus on the critical Top 10 list darlings and easy entry points for new readers or should we go obscure and get the titles readers might have been interested in, But not 30 dollar hardbound trade interested?” Discussed: how little we actually know about the economics of graphic novels and the library market; Kate Beaton, Vertical, Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly and Pantheon; a bad maritime metaphor from Jeff, and more.
Celestials2:08:12-2:15:48:  Paul Spence asks, “Would the Whatnauts offer their views on Kirby’s Marvel series The Eternals. I read The Eternals for the first time this year courtesy of marvel Unlimited and it provoked a mixed response from me. The mythology appeared to be Fourth World Lite mashed up with some of the ideas from Kirby’s 2001, and a serving from Erich Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods. The Fourth World of the New Gods becomes the Fourth Host of the Eternals and DC’s Orion becomes Ikaris in The Eternals. This does appear to be a case where Kirby was recycling ideas. My second Kirby related question pertains to the Joe Casey penned Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers. You covered the early issues in the series on the podcast and expressed both hope, and some trepidation, that it could be a masterpiece, or it could become a train wreck. Now that the mini-series has finished what do you think of the entire run?”  Discussed:  The Eternals by Jack Kirby, and Joe Casey’s Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers; and not much more.
2:15:48-2:22:55: Louie Whitford asks, “Why didn’t Eclipse or First Comics survive? Or: What’s your favorite Eclipse series?”  Discussed:  quick shout-outs for books like Badger, Aztec Ace by Doug Moench and Dan Day; Alec by Eddie Campbell; Sabre by Don McGregor and Billy Graham; Destroyer Duck by Jack Kirby and Steve Gerber; the end of First and Eclipse; and so on.
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2:22:55-2:33:01:  Michael Loughlin asks, “1) In your opinion, what recent comics (2000s & 2010s) will be regarded as classics in the future? 2) Of all the writers who never worked with him, which writer would have made a good scripter for Jack Kirby? Feel free to choose one of his contemporaries or a current writer.”   Discussed;  our weird handwringing about the term “classic,” Al Ewing’s Loki and Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery; Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim; and more.
2:33:01-end: Closing comments!  Due to some crazy real-life events, I’ve cut out our talk of upcoming episodes and gone straight to Graeme telling you where you can find us on the Internet.  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr!  And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 109 patrons make this whole thing possible! Speaking of which, Jeff has an apology that, thanks to an incisive email from Steve H, we have been tardy in providing the “recommend a book for us to read” perk to long-time patrons. We are in the process of getting organized and it is coming….soon!
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat184.mp3
Whew!  Okay, so we hope you enjoy this episode, keep an eye on this space for what’s coming next, and remember: keep reading those comic books—you never know when you’re going to spend two and a half hours talking about them!
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untitled-2-1309279310

                                 Strong Female Characters, by the mighty Kate Beaton

It is almost the end of August.  IT IS ALMOST THE END OF AUGUST.  Sorry, but my brain is broken just a little bit by that fact.
But hey!  After the jump, why don’t you check out the show notes for Episode 183 of Wait, What? It’s a two-plus hour episode where Graeme McMillan and I answer questions posed to us by those wonderful people on Patreon who help keep us afloat.  (I’m not sure what that term means for Graeme, but for me “afloat” means, “oh god, Comixology has the entire run of Super-Villain Team-Up for $1.99 an issue, and some of those are by Englehart, hope I can hold out for the first of the month…”)
Join us, won’t you?

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the-unbeatable-squirrel-girl-1-fight

Howdy, chums!  We’ve got a two and a half hour podcast for you today—we hope that’s okay?

A certain member of the team—I won’t name names but let’s just say it was neither Graeme nor Matt—overcommitted to a certain amount of family activity this weekend, so join us behind the jump for some thorough but speedy show notes, won’t you?

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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.

OmegaMen
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…

TeamAndTwo

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…