I’ve been looking at the DC Rebirth books monolithically, determined to catch up on entire runs before writing. It has been a slow, tedious process. At times, reading 12+ issues of a book has felt…

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).
Nameless2

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)
Demon15

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)
SHZMCONV-1-1-6f1a0

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!)
FF62-2

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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HELLO WHATNAUTS HOW ARE YOU

The holidays are upon us, and we are working hard to make sure you have more than enough Wait, What? with which to ring in the new year.  So I hope you’ll understand if I move right into the “shownotes” portion of this afternoon’s entertainment so I can hustle on to the next podcast-related project:

00:00-01:47:  Greetings from Graeme “Making Tea” McMillan and Jeff “Making Lemonade” Lester who start off by talking about tech problems, and worrying about whether or not we’re going to have them (SPOILERS: we are.)

01:47-38:26:  Before we get to the comic book talk, we thought it might be worth doing a bit of comic book media talk first—more specifically, the relatively recent first trailer for Captain America: Civil War, and the very recent new trailer for Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  We discuss, compare, and contrast both.  The cameos! The dialogue! The course corrections! What Jeff’s wife lady thought! Head’s up: because BvS:DoJ was fresher in our memory, we discuss that one in far more detail, including intentionality, dream sequences, Stucky and the possibility of cleaner motivation for Cap in the film version of Civil War as opposed to the comic; Jeff’s not especially correct “Rule of Three” for Marvel trailers; and much more.

38:26-1:15:58: And from there we go to the Marvel/Netflix show, Jessica Jones, via the pivot of wondering if the show—which Jeff has seen all of, and Graeme turned off after the first episode—feel like it’s happening in the same place, the same shared universe, as Daredevil and the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Also discussed: Agents of SHIELD; Heroes; Girls; Mike Colter as Luke Cage; Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones; Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple; David Tennant as Killgrave; Veronica Mars; what they could do for Season Two; Jessica’s transition in the comics from main character to supporting character; the appearance of [VILLAIN] that seems certain to appear on Season Two of Daredevil; the cutesy little thing Jeph Loeb does that drives Jeff crazy; the appearance of Ernie and Gus-Gus in apparent defense of Jeph Loeb; Jessica Jones vs. The Flash; the very low standards of viewers of Agents of SHIELD; Jessica Jones vs. Supergirl; the slow development of different tones for superhero shows and movies; and more. (And if you’re interested, there’s a whole bunch of stuff Jeff didn’t get around to saying that he finally does just below this very post.)
1:15:58-1:29:28: “But, yes! Comic books! I would like to discuss those!” Jeff announces, a slight and subtle transition for us to move on to the four-colored side of things (although that phrase really isn’t applicable any more, is it?).  First up:  The Sheriff of Babylon #1 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, about a military contractor in Baghdad 2003 tasked with training a new Iraqi police force. Jeff utters words he never thought he’d ever say; Graeme admits to reading the first issue multiple times; the phrase “it’s not a perfect comic” utterly multiple times in multiple ways; the movie Green Zone is brought up in a less-than-fond way; and more.
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1:29:28-1:35:14: The Vision #2, also by Tom King, with art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, also came out this week, so Jeff gets compare and contrast it a bit with The Sheriff of Babylon.  Discussed:  playing out the string; compelling arguments for trade-waiting; the heyday of Marvel decompression; a mix of Alan Moore and Brian Bendis; the second chapter in a trade versus the second issue of comic; which leads to…
1:35:14-1:42:47: The second issue of Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling! Graeme thought that Ravan was an utterly compelling lead for the second issue which turns the book into a ensemble book.  Interestingly enough, we do our best to avoid spoiling the climax of the second issue which is a thing we do not usually even try to do.  As Graeme points out, this is a sign we really like the book and want to encourage people to read it?  Also discussed:  the stunning art by Mike Dowling and colors by Quinton Winter; Jeff being more willing to tradewait; Graeme feeling like the second issue takes what we see in the first issue and twists it or challenges versus Jeff feeling eh, not so much; and Jeff’s weird feeling that maybe Unfollow #2 might’ve stood out more if he hadn’t already read The Sheriff of Babylon and This Damned Band #5 by Paul Cornell and Tony Parker.
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1:42:47-1:50:26: “Where are you on Batman and Robin Eternal?” asks Graeme, and so the truth comes out:  Jeff, Batman fanatic who had read all of Batman Eternal, hasn’t made it past issue #2 of the book yet (although continuing to buy and stockpile issues) while Graeme is completely up-to-date on the series and is still digging it.  That said, Graeme has been worrying about the future of Batman and Robin Eternal’s satisfying single driving plot approach after getting and reading Earth Two: World’s End Vol. 2 (issues #12-26 of the weekly series) by Daniel Wilson, Marguerite Wilson, Cullen Bunn and, as is usually the case with weekly books, a veritable infantry of comic book artists; Jeff talks about getting in the weeds for weekly comics, the presence of James Tynion IV on both Batman Forever and Batman and Robin Forever,  and its sequel; and more.
1:50:26-2:11:38:  In discussing the recent Action Comics and Superman storyline, Graeme brings up a great point about how much depends on his mood when he’s reading. Among the topics discussed: underground fight clubs for mythical creatures; the return of Sand Superman; Robin War #1; mainlining Phonogram, The Wicked & the Divine, and Black Magick; an insightful Secret Convergence post about how podcasts are assembled and the risks of reading too many comics; Spidey #1 by Robbie Thompson and Nick Bradshaw; Spider-Man Chapter One by John Byrne; The Ship of Theseus paradox, as mentioned by both Matt Terl in our DK3 roundtable and Paul O’Connor’s review of Amazing Spider-Man #1 over at his terrific Longbox Graveyard website; and then Graeme starts cutting out in his spirited argument of Ms. Marvel as a great Spider-Man figure but then we do manage to more or less talk about what does make for a great Spider-Man figure and then…
2:11:38-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, 115 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Next week:  Episode 12 of Baxter Building.  Read up on issues #95-102 of the Fantastic Four and join us for your monthly dose of semi-historical comic analyses!
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PREVIOUSLY, ON THE WAIT, WHAT? ROUNDTABLE. We have exhausted about a trillion words in a look at four recent first issues: Batman & Robin Eternal #1 (DC), written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with…

PREVIOUSLY, ON THE WAIT, WHAT? ROUNDTABLE. We started a look at four first issues: Batman & Robin Eternal #1 (DC), written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with art from Tony Daniel; Survivors’ Club…

Howdy, Whatnauts! Jeff here, welcoming you to the first Wait, What? roundtable—it’s like a podcast for your eyes! Graeme, Matt, and I were shooting the breeze over email about future entries for the website and…

Huh, Graeme does capsule reviews, and now I’m doing capsule reviews?  I guess my stalkery thing is showing through, that thing where I hang out in my room and talk in my Graeme voice and…