The world is filled with cheap highs, and getting on a manga kick is arguably one of the best. For example, I finished reading Volume 7 of High School Debut last night on the ride home, and…
0:01-4:00: Greetings from Graeme “Gracious Winner” McMillan and Jeff “Suck It Up” Lester. Are we complaining less in 2019? It’s not just a potentially awesome American Voices topic, it’s also something we contemplate briefly before getting things underway.
4:00-47:51: “Look, I think this whole fight thing from last week was overrrated,” Gracious Winner declares. “Mmm-hmm,” agrees Suck It Up. And so we’re once again unified in our quest to talk comics, comics news, and comics media. So, first up: Aquaman! How has Jeff seen this but Graeme hasn’t? We can’t work that out but Jeff does have some “damning with faint praise/praising with faint damnation” thoughts about the movie. Yes, we have to admit upfront that it’s a shame that Aquaman is going to get much more mouth-time than Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (unless we turn that around next episode) but, well, Jeff has thoughts and you know what that means. (Cut to montage of calendar pages dropping to the ground one by one). Also discussed: superhero movies where the weakness on the page becomes a strength on film; *spoiler of post-credit sequence at 20:28* if that’s a thing you care about. Also discussed: Justice League 2, Ben Whishaw as Bruce Wayne, Wes Anderson’s Batman movie (and now that I think about it, it should be a remake of Batman Returns with Lea Seydoux as Catwoman, Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck (for double bonus in-joke points!) and Jason Schwartzbaum as the Penguin running amok in Gotham as The Kinks’ Father Christmas plays. Come on!); Riverdale; Legends of Tomorrow; Titans; Trolls; and more.
47:51-58:54: Hey!! Kids Comics! We talk about Aquaman #43 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Robson Rocha and Daniel Henriques; Wonder Woman issues #58-61 by G. Willow Wilson, Cary Nord, Mick Gray, and Xermanico; Superman #7 by Brian Michael Bendis, Brandon Peterson, and Ivan Reis.
58:54-1:16:40: (Had to start a few seconds earlier so I could get Graeme’s “Oh!” included in this. Speaking of DC Comics, there was a bit of news the other week about DC joining Comixology Unlimited (as well as bringing titles to Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading). We discuss that news which includes the 15% discount on digital titles; what’s available there as opposed to the DC Universe app; DC’s different approaches to its different readerships; the first volume of Immortal Hulk being on CU; Jeff’s pie-in-the-sky dreams for having these services as the openers of the way to readers and fans, and more.
1:16:40-1:18:42: Also in comics news: the passing of Ron Smith (Judge Dredd, 2000 AD) and Batton Lash
(Wolff & Byrdd Counselors of the Macabre, and Archie Meets The Punisher).
1:18:42-1:33:13: Since we were talking about 2000 AD, Jeff really wanted to talk about The Green Lantern #3 by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp, which is simultaneously a love letter to 2000 AD, DC Silver Age comic book covers, and, uh, more? Less? We’re still not quite sure, but it may have some big ramifications for Hal Jordan…or not.
1:33:13-1:49:55: We talk a bit about the most recent issues of Batman by Tom King, Mikel Janin and Jorge Fornes, Travis Moore, Mitch Gerads, and others, as well as Batman Annual #3 by Tom Taylor and Otto Schmidt. Also discusssed: Heroes in Crisis; ambition, politics, and Watchmen references; and more.
1:49:55-2:00:40: When is a comic we like not a comic that we like? Sadly, when it’s Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 by Tom Taylor, Juann Cabal, and Marcelo Ferreira. We pull apart what doesn’t work for us in a book we really wanted to work.
2:00:40-2:04:18: We point out (mentioned above in the notes but not actually in the podcast) that the first trade of Immortal Hulk is on Comixology Unlimited. We then go on to rave very briefly about the most recent issue, Immortal Hulk #11 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy José.
2:04:18-2:19:04: And from there, Graeme goes on to talk a bit about what he’s been reading, including: trades of Action Comics: Rebirth by Dan Jurgens, Patch Zircher, and Tyler Kirkham; Young Justice #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Patrick Gleason; Captain Marvel #1 by Kelly Thompson and Carmen Carnero; Uncanny X-Men by Ed Brisson, Matt Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson and Yildiray Cidar; the Shortbox releases of 2017; the Hilda graphic novels by Luke Pearson; the Asterix graphic novels by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo; and a brief discussion about what constitutes new on Hoopla.
2:19:04-2:45:00: Jeff’s turn! He’s read and wants to talk super-briefly about Die Wergelder Vol. 2 by Hiroaki Samura; Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura; Conan The Barbarian #1 by Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar; Criminal #1 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Jacob Phillip; Outer Darkness #3 by John Layman and Afu Chan; Gunning for Hits (Music Thriller) #1 by Jeff Rougvie and Moritat; Keeping His Whims In Check by PI; I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation by Natalie Nourigat; Go-Bots #2 by Thomas Scioli; and Man-Eaters #3 and 4 by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, and Lia Miternique; and from there we talk about Chelsea Cain’s very problematic tweet from the other week.
2:45:00- end: Closing comments! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast. And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK: Another episode of Wait, What? Yes, somehow!
0:00-18:02: Greetings from Graeme McMillan and Jeff Lester! It’s only a few seconds in when Graeme says, “Welcome to the Mellow Wait, What? Hour,” and although he’s only riffing on Jeff’s low-key opening…he’s kind of on the money! (Although, y’know, not an hour, of course.) Yes, *un*-strap your seatbelts as two semi-overworked dudes let down what’s left of their hair to talk comics with a certain je ne sais atténué. We move quickly on to talk about the world of comics news, but there is a certain indolence there as well because, as Graeme puts it, “a lot of people are, to be honest, shitting themselves before San Diego.” Discussed: supporting examples; the few announcements that have popped up, the lack of even embargoed news for Graeme to have up his sleeve; Previews Night; a thought experiment about what might have happened if DC had tried to do a prequel to Watchmen; and what happened to bookstore sales of Wonder Woman after being the biggest movie of the summer; and more.
18:02-29:27: By the way, if you’re Dan Coyle—and hopefully that is only applicable to one person and there’s not a small army of people using that monicker to snark at us in our website’s comments—our discussion of a conspiracy theory about Marvel’s role in keeping Wonder Woman from making any of the sales charts on Amazon leads to us both explicitly agreeing: Yes! Yes, we will talk about John Byrne’s run on Star Brand! And then us being us, we go on to talk a bit about our memories of John Byrne’s Star Brand, the end of the New Universe (and Graeme being Graeme, he admits to having already just read what he’s just agreed to read), a sly serving of three way mid-80s beef, and more. But first! We talk a bit about digital buffet fatigue, the reduction of prices in the 2000AD online store (which Jeff can’t even think about too much or he will lose his mind and most of his most recent paycheck), and other sundries. If you haven’t gotten the sense this is an even more meandering episode than usual, dear Whatnaut, hopefully the fact I just talked about stuff I remember us discussing before it even actually got mentioned in the logical order you would expect it in should give you a clue.
29:27-41:57: And here’s another clue: “Oh man, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe,” Graeme sighs,” what did you do to me?” If you think that means we are going to tread on the edges of sacred House to Astonish ground and discuss both the Handbook and Who’s Who in the DCU, give yourself a cigar! A thirty-plus year old cigar! One inked by Josef Rubenstein! And then was pressed in a Tuska-era issue of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes! (Don’t worry, it will all make sense if you listen.)
41:57-58:12: “Ah, Graeme, do you want to talk about recent comics that you’ve read?” Graeme admits (not entirely accurately, as it will turn out) the only recent comics he’s read is Dark Days: The Casting by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita, Jr., Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, and Danny Miki (with Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper on colors)! But should you be surprised when talk turns to which Super Powers action figures and which Secret Wars action figures each of us had? Probably not, no.
58:12-1:01:21: Want to hear Graeme recap the amazing “City of the Damned” storyline from Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files, Vol. 8? If not, skip the section but hoo boy you will be missing out. I *really* want to read this storyline now!
1:01:21-1:06:57: And then we’re back to talking about Dark Days: The Casting again!
1:06:57-2:01:02: And then Jeff wants to blab about the other recent comics he’s read because he thinks—possibly quite mistakenly—that would be something the listeners to this podcast might want to hear about: Discussed: Rocket #3 by Al Ewing and Adam Gorham; Suicide Squad #21 by Rob Williams and Gus Vasquez; Deathstroke #21 by Christopher Priest, Diogenes Neves, and Jason Paz; Batman #25 and #26 by Tom King and Mikel Janin; Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #7 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack, which leads to a very long discussion/disagreement between Graeme and Jeff about who would be on a list of the best-selling/most reliable creators of the current generation of Image creators, with a lot of Graeme looking up sales figures and dates; Kill or Be Killed #10 by Brubaker and Phillips (and Elizabeth Breitweiser!); Rock Candy Mountain #4 (so good!) by Kyle Starks and part of an ongoing underlying conversation across these titles—why aren’t more good comics discussed as they go along? Are we *all* addicted to dissecting the next new thing?
2:01:02-2:08:11: Also read by Jeff: Motor Girl #1 by Terry Moore (“as if Greg Rucka was writing Angel & The Ape?” Well, kinda!); Wave, Listen To Me!, Vol. 1 by Hiroaki Samura; and some preliminary comments on Manga Poverty by Sato Shuho (translated by Dan Luffey).
2:08:11-2:22:15: Closing comments? No, not quite! Jeff wanted to correct an earlier misstatement of his from a few weeks back when he said that all episodes of Wait, What? are currently available on iTunes. Turns out iTunes’ podcast lists top out at 300 so…happy tricentennial to us? And also, though we tried to avoid doing our quickly-becoming-a-standard-shtick of complaing about Marvel: you guys did you see that damn t-shirt variant cover thing? What the hell?!
2:22:15-end: “I have, I’ve got to admit, really enjoyed this meandering episode,” announces Graeme. “Because it really is so close to San Diego that this is exactly where my mind is at right now.” And with that—after some debate as to when we will return (spoilers: three weeks!), we move to..closing comments! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
In Three Weeks: Wait, What?, Ep. 230 (or three hundred and something, but who’s counting?) Have a nice little summer break and come back and join us here in August!