0:00-3:46: We get right into it, no kidding! There’s maybe twenty seconds of baffled recognition from your hosts, and then it’s right into answering questions. BUT! Before we get into the final round of questions from our Patreon supporters, Jeff has a few questions for Graeme. First up: how does Graeme feel about the CW shows (including shows like Flash and Arrow) leaving Hulu? Discussed: Seth Meyers monologues; late night TV; and just an eensy bit more before moving into a more substantive topic…
0:00-4:10: Greetings from Graeme “Nathan Detroit” McMillan and Jeff “Nicely-Nicely Johnson” Lester! Yes, you know you’re in for a weird one when the very first topic right out of the gate is Guys & Dolls, and who’s seen it and who hasn’t? But that’s only as an opening to Graeme’s desire to become a chicken farmer? We use our title catch phrase a little too often around these parts, but….huh?
4:10-12:20: From farming and growing chicken to comics and…Howard Chaykin? Yes. Graeme did that. And so we talk about the cover controversy to Divided States of Hysteria #4. And we move from that to talk about the XXX covers from Image, the upcoming “hardcore” cover to Savage Dragon #225 posted in censored version by Erik Larsen, about which Graeme so rightly says, “[Larsen] doing it at the same time as the Chaykin thing is amazing. Like, Image would not respond to comment, but the Image founder is like “You guys! Savage Dragon’s got his dick out!”
12:20-46:45: To which Jeff ruefully replies, “Oh man, it’s going to be our dick out episode. This is…really depressing.” (For a good laugh, play Graeme’s “is it?” at 12:25 and chortle at his obvious terror. Maybe it’s just me, but it gets progressively funnier the more you listen to it.) But this is because Jeff just read more or less side-by-side volume one of Stjepan Šejić’s Sunstone, and the first fifty pages of Volume 2 of The Complete Crepax…and so has two erotic comics with a similar lifestyle (BDSM) at their core but two very different ways of looking at same. Also discussed: Adam Warren’s very excellent Empowered, Menage a 3 and the brilliant cartooning of Gisele Lagace (with a very on-topic digression from Graeme about her excellent work on Archie Meets The Ramones); the *very explicit* Alfie by InCase, the classic Oh Joy Sex Toy by Erika Moen, and more.
46:45-1:01:05: It’s a little tough to explain from how we get from there to Jeff asking, “Where is the money in comics, Graeme? Is there money in comics? How will we ever know, essentially?” Discussed: Erika Moen’s Patreon posts (well, actually her husband Matt’s posts) about money, the very enlightening Patreon posts by Lucy Bellwood about money, Patrick Zircher’s Patreon, Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether by Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett; Kieron Gillen’s very enlightening post about making money at Image; Todd Allen’s observation that The Walking Dead is the #2 Bestselling Ongoing Title in All of Comics; and more but…
1:01:05-1:03:13: There’s a very ridiculous form of the patented Wait, What? Techpocalypse as Jeff accidentally tugs his headset out of the USB port with his big, ridiculous feet. This leads to figure out how many times we’ve had the dreaded “we were talking but Skype was not recording” nightmarish situation that has happened once or twice (three times, we think!). Fortunately, it did not happen this time!
1:03:13-1:17:00: Back to money, comics, and if the quite accomplished No Mercy by Alex De Campi and the brilliant Carla “Speed” McNeil ever charted on the Top 300 comics. Also discussed: the piteous working conditions in Anime; the sample work schedule of a manga artist; Fox Films buying a significant part of Boom! Entertainment; and more.
1:17:00-1:42:36: And from there, it’s time for what Graeme hilariously calls “an update on the Marvel Legacy grumping from last week.” Discussed: a retailer call with Marvel where retailers were stunned into silence by what Marvel Legacy is going to be; our attempt to try and figure out how many Marvel characters can actually return; the amazing Marvel Legacy bullet point list; Tom Brevoort making the argument that the only reason there’s no Fantastic Four book is because the FF don’t sell; and… Batman/Elmer Fudd #1 by Tom King and Lee Weeks? How’d thatget there?
1:42:36-2:24:36: Chip Zdarsky and Adam Kubert’s Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1! We said we’d talk about it. But first! Jeff was supposed to read all of John Byrne’s run on Alpha Flight. He only made it through the first ten. Listen to him complain about it here. And *then* we talk about Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1. Discussed: that first issue and the Goran Parlov back-up, change and the illusion of change, Marvel and DC and the cyclical nature of reboots and why that might be easier for DC to pull off than Marvel, and then….more complaining about John Byrne’s Alpha Flight! Oh, sweet, sweet complaining! And then one of us finally thinks to check the time and it’s….
2:24:36-end: 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.
Next week: Baxter Building Ep. 31! Covering Fantastic Four issues #278-284 by John Byrne. It’s just next week!
3:46-17:49: Earlier in the week, Jude Terror over at The Outhousers wrote a condemnatory piece on the Direct Market that stirred up a lot of reactions and support online. What did Graeme think about it? What did Jeff think about it? And what *is* wrong with the Direct Market? Discussed: Nighthawk; Omega Men; the direct market and cableization of TV; and more. So much more, in fact, that Graeme jumps the queue on our listeners’ questions to pivot to one related to the topic at hand, and so…
17:49-51:56: Comic Cruncher asks: floppies vs GNs/TBPs vs digital – how do you see the market developing and what are the implications for the future? Discussed: the sales numbers for DC Rebirth; the very strange side-effects of double-shipping; some finger-pointing from Jeff about the plateau/depression of digital comics; Graeme believes a Comixology comic was yanked from his collection (has anyone else had this happen?); Marvel’s reaction to freak hits; Angry Birds vs. DC Super Hero Girls; and more.
51:56-55:29: Maxy Bee asks: how startled are you that Levitz’s Doctor Fate is the last remaining DCYou title, and still kicking at that? Discussed: the DCYou book that outlived Doctor Fate; Jeff decided to turn cancelled DCYou books into codenames; and more.
55:29-1:07:23: Jeffrey Brown brings down the interrogation: what are your thoughts about the Recent Suicide Squad movie compared to Ostrander’s run on the comics post crisis? And The Films Depiction of Harley Quinn, The Joker, Captain Boomerang & the movie’s plot + Enchantress? and lastly what are your thoughts DC Young Animal titles : Doom Patrol, Shade, Cave Carson? Discussed: all of the above, plus a bit more.
1:07:23-1:22:23: Two Qs from Paul R Jaissle: (1) I recently reread Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! and was struck by how innovate and influential it really was (there’s definitely a lot more Chaykin in Tom Scioli’s Transformers vs GI Joe than I noticed at first). Why don’t you think it’s more regularly recognized or cited along with DKR and Watchmen as a seminal ’80s comic? (2) Given the success of DCU properties on TV (including Vertigo stuff like iZombie and Preacher) as well as the current popularity of “weird” shows like Stranger Things, how would you two cast and pitch a Doom Patrol TV series? Discussed: the challenges to establishing Chaykin’s legacy; our dream DC TV shows; Avatar; and more.
1:22:23-1:37:35: And the ever-welcome Brendan O’Hare drops by to ask two questions: (1) There’s a lot to hate about Superhero comics. What do you enjoy about the new ones coming out?; and (2) For Graeme: What was your favorite interview? Discussed: DC Rebirth; Flash; Deathstroke; Unbeatable Squirrel Girl; Mother Panic; D.C. Fontana; Geoff Johns; Maggie Q; and more.
1:37:35-1:47:55: Long-term pal o’ the podcast Miguel Corti has quite the question for us: Why do comics creators, fans, critics, and journalists (on the internet at least) like Archie comics so much? I’m not talking about “Afterlife with Archie” or the new series by Mark Waid, but the traditional Archie comics featuring high school hijinks that have been the staple of the comics for decades. Archie comics always struck me as a four-color version of “Leave It to Beaver” or “Father Knows Best.” They were also the only comics that church people and teachers seemed to approve of, which made me all the more suspect of them. Since my life felt like growing up in an ’80s version of “Leave It to Beaver,” Archie comics were the last comics I ever wanted to read, and, subsequently, the only comics I never saved. (I never bought them; always given them.) I never enjoyed their cookie-cutter stories, or their never-changing art style. I’d like to think this 21st-century internet love for Archie comics is some ironic hipster thing, but it feels more sincere than that (or I’m bad at perceiving ironic interest). I don’t want to denigrate anyone’s interests, but what am I missing? Are those old-school (or pre-reboot, if you will) Archie comics good by whatever definition you have for the word? After the years of accolades I’ve heard for “Afterlife with Archie” I’m sorely tempted to check it out, especially since I like zombies, but then I remember how much I dislike Archie comics and that stays my hand. When I was a kid, I wasn’t a Jack Kirby fan, but now I can really appreciate him and I rank him as one of my all-time favorite comics artists. Unfortunately, I can’t re-assess Archies comics favorably. Maybe I’m the only one, or maybe no one wants to say anything against Archie comics in public. Discussed: Riverdale; David Lynch; Dan DeCarlo; Bob Bolling; Jaime Hernandez; Love & Rockets; and more.
1:47:55-: Good ol’ Ed Corcoran asks: The subscription based all-you-can-consume model seems to be where most other media types and media companies are going (Spotify, Netflix, etc.). Comixology (or at least their Amazon bosses) seemed convinced enough that it’s the future for comics so they created Comixology Unlimited. Marvel Unlimited seems to be doing well for Marvel, but what if they went all-in on subscription and put all comics on there the day they were released? They would probably still sell floppies and trades and might sell single digital issues, too. But what do you think would be the effect on what comics they publish, what comics they emphasize, etc. if Marvel Unlimited became the primary method by which Marvel distributed its comics? Discussed: the Marvel BOGO sales; the direction Marvel Unlimited is taking now; and more.
1:54:19-2:07:54: Query from Cass, or to put it another way: QUESTION. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot, as I often do, about Spider-Man. I tried reading some of the later Dan Slott stuff, post renumbering, but I can’t get on board because I can’t recognize that character as Spider-Man. But then, I started thinking, who is the character of Spider-Man really? When Cap 3: Civil War came out, everyone said “That’s it; they finally got Spider-Man right.” But Civil War’s Spider-Man was in awe of the other heroes, whereas Stan and Steve’s Spider-Man was mistrustful and even hostile toward other super-types (the first issue of his series sees Spidey calling the FF “pikers”). The Tom Holland Spider-Man reminds me more of Bendis’s goofy, generally good-natured Ultimate Peter Parker. So I guess my questions are: (1) When people talk about “classic” teenage Spider-Man, do you think most really have Ultimate Spider-Man in mind? (2) What would you say are the essential characteristics of Spider-Man (or any comic hero) – what needs to be there in order for it to be Spider-Man? Is it just powers? Does the character have to have significant guilt? Anything else? Discussed: the various Spider-Man actors; Spider-Man and Civil War; Spider-Man and college; cosmic Spider-Man; understatedness; Dan Slott, Hannah Blumenreich, and Matt Fraction; etc.
2:07:54-2:16:45: Stephen Lacey of the fabulous Fantasticast asks: This is a question I posed to my listeners a couple of years ago, and I’m interested in your take on it. When it comes to the FF, pretty much everyone can agree that Lee/Kirby, Byrne, Simonsson, Waid/Wieringo and Hickman are the consistent peaks in the title’s history. But what are your underrated runs/stories, the gems that get lost in the gaps between these runs? Discussed: Steve Englehart’s run on the Fantastic Four; the Waid and ‘Ringo run; the Tom DeFalco and Ryan run; the Chris Claremont and Salvador LaRocca run; the run of Dwayne McDuffie and many artists including Paul Pelletier; Steve Gerber; and more.
2:16:45-end: Closing comments! Next week will be a Q&A session so please feel free to tweet or email us your questions. Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
Next week: Skip week! And then the week after that: Wait, What? Ep. 209! And that ep may be an all-review podcast? Catch up with us catching up two weeks from now!
0:00-3:41: Greetings! Catch up with us as we catch up with each other. But honestly it’s not that long before we move along to the comics talk, starting with…
3:41-40:26: Peter Milligan’s The Discipline! We talk about Milligan’s latest project with Leonardo Fernandez in light of their other projects together (Greek Street and The Names) and separately (Enigma, Shade The Changing Man, Bad Company, The Human Target, among others). And this leads to a larger discussion about erotic comics, and whether or not all too often erotic comics are, as Graeme says, “the worst of both worlds,” or whether, as Jeff suggests, the sensuousness of a cartoonist’s technique can mesh with the sensuousness of sex to create an odd area all its own.
Also discussed: Howard Chaykin’s Black Kiss, Barbarella, Guido Crepax, Necron by “Magus” (really, writer Mirka Martini and illustrator Roberto Raviola), Italian erotic comics, and a very long bit of blather from Jeff about Gilbert Hernandez and why Jeff doesn’t think that Beto’s obsession with big breasts is about erotic attraction. And that leads into a discussion about Twilight Children, Darwyn Cooke, whether one can do a “major” work with work-for-hire superheroes, and more.
40:26-46:25: And continuing on in our talk about creators who may be past their prime but are still working, Graeme asks Jeff if he’s read the first issue of Neal Adams’ Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #1? Jeff hasn’t, to which Graeme replies: “That Batman: Odyssey magic is alive.” Discussed: Neal Adams’ work, that magic age when a cartoonist goes batshit, the foundation for superhero comics, and more.
46:25-1:10:25: And on a related subject: Dark Knight III #3 by Azzarello, Miller, Kubert and Romita, Jr., which has us talking about The Dark Knight Strikes Again!, Dark Knight Returns, Miller’s original pitch for DKR, Miller’s underlying conservatism (on many levels) in Dark Knight Strikes Again!, how much DKIII really takes place in the future or the present, Miller’s use of satire, a great much-shared piece by Susana Polo, politics on the Internet, and more.
1:10:25-1:26:54: With Dawn of Justice on the horizon, Graeme rewatched Man of Steel. SPOILERS: he likes it! Jeff hasn’t seen it recently but…SPOILERS: he didn’t. There’s some tussle over that, Graeme recounts a capsule summation of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, we try to figure out how financially successful MoS was in its theatrical run, who should be cast as Darkseid and who we would cast as The New Gods, and more.
1:26:54-1:34:16: Because of all the new job craziness, Jeff has kind of been on an accidental vacation from the Internet and he’s kind of okay with it? Discussed: how to adjust one’s internet intake; times when the Internet feels stuck in a rut; Joss Whedon and John Cassaday writing a story for Captain America—a big story or not; and Jeff’s guess at the Whedon/Cassaday story.
1:34:16-1:52:24: “Jeff, tell me what you’ve read,” Graeme demands and what choice has Jeff but to comply? After our last discussion about Scott Snyder’s Batman #49 where Jeff expressed interest in reading Scott Snyder’s Justice League, and Graeme expresed the opposite after strongly disliking Superman Unchained, Jeff bought the digital version of Superman Unchained when it was on sale on Superman’s birthday. Why does the book not work? Scott Snyder’s thematic deconstruction of Superman? Jim Lee’s art? The New 52 incarnation of Superman which still doesn’t quite make sense? With so many culprits, it’s hard to settle on just one!
1:52:24-2:03:26: Jeff has also read a handful of Wonder Woman ’77 comics by Marc Andreyko and a variety of artists on which he has a few fast thoughts; and he’s also a read a bunch of issues of Batman and Detective Comics purchased in the Neal Adams Comixology sale, many of which have barely any Neal Adams work in them; Manhunter by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson; and more.
2:03:26-end: Closing comments with one more slight digression about our appearances in letter columns and comic books (inspired by Matt Terl’s awesome column from a few weeks ago)! Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr!
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 118 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
Next week: Baxter Building Ep. 15! Read Fantastic Four #119-126 with us!
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?