http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat238.mp3 Greetings!  Just in time to close out the first weekend of December is Wait, What? Ep. 238! Here’s a quick breakdown of what Graeme and Jeff talked about in their two and a half-hour…

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00:00-17:43:  Greetings and Happy New Year from Graeme “I Didn’t Lose Consciousness, I Just Blacked Out” McMillan and Jeff “No, That Is Exactly What Happens When You Lose Consciousness: You BLACK OUT” Lester, who have a very extended non-comics opening session that involves the Snowpocalypse, bicycles,  learning to ride bicycles, the delay some of us might’ve had in learning to ride bicycles, rude four year olds, growing up out in the middle of nowhere, and, yes, blacking out.
17:43-1:09:46: Okay, so yes comic books.  Don’t worry, we remember! (Or…do we?)  Following on the heels of his recent post here at the website, Graeme and I talk about DC’s Teen Titans. More specifically, DC’s comic book incarnation of the Teen Titans, and even more specifically, the revitalization of that title (which we could more honestly remove the “re-“ and call a vitalization) under Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, as well as what happened to it afterward.  Graeme has read a huge ton of the material recently—including Teen Titans Omnibus 1, 2, and 3, as well as the New 52 trades and the current Titans Hunt series by Dan Abnett, Paulo Siqueira, and Geraldo Borges—whereas Jeff has been out of the Titans loop for a very long time, but was a fan of the Wolfman/Pérez material back in the day. Discussed/referenced:  The Beatles, Chris Claremont, the Uncanny X-Men, the Dark Phoenix storyline, The Judas Contract, that “annoying blond guy,” the second big Trigon storyline and the secret theory about it that Jeff never gets to utter because there’s too much gabbing going on.

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(PODCAST BONUS:  That theory?  About a story Jeff never finished reading? The theory is that Raven was sexually abused by her demonic father and Wolfman thought he could make the icky subtextual link between icky sexual abuse and demonic evil into actual text in the direct market-only Baxter-approved book but then wasn’t able to for whatever reason and then had nowhere else to go…unless that is indeed what happened, in which case it’s just as well I didn’t mention it on-air anyway.)

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Also discussed:  Wolfman’s confession about his years-long creative block and subpar work; the importance of George Pérez as the detailed yang to Wolfman’s scattered yin; the gap between Paul Smith and John Romita, Jr., and between George Pérez and José Luis Garcia-Lopez; Bob McLeod, as penciller and inker; the artistic legacy of the New Mutants; Kurt Schaffenberger; Louise Simonson taking over New Mutants; Doug Ramsey as an example of the limitation of the superhero genre; slowly typing in those stupid programs onto the VIC-20 that never worked right; the movie War Games and The Hacker’s Handbook; Chris Claremont not being down with X-Factor; post-Tumblr DC; the three distinct eras of Teen Titans, including the Geoff Johns and Scott Lobdell’s eras; the Marvel template and the hot-headed feet of clay character; the above-referenced Titans Hunt by Dan Abnett, Paulo Siqueira, and Geraldo Borges (and Stephen Segovia); “racist” Aqualad; the return of Mr. Twister; how to avoid alienating new readers right after attacting them; and more.

TT WhoIs1:09:46-1:23:59: FINALLY, we put the Titans to rest and move on to a new timecode as we segue from how Titans Hunt handles its approach to a reboot with the new nonboot from All New All Different Marvel.  Discussed: Al Ewing’s work on the current incarnation of The Ultimates, and why he’d be the perfect writer for The Fantastic Four; Marvel winning truly new  comic readers and then losing them with a reboot;  the end of the first volume of Ms. Marvel; The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’s upcoming crossover with Howard The Duck; Chip Zdarsky on Howard The Duck vs. Chip Zdarsky on Jughead; what happens when sales targets are not met and how to measure those sales targets; and whether or not sales on Marvel’s Star Wars books are leveling or actually dropping.

1:23:59-1:37:59: And because Jeff has finally(!!) seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we move into moderate spoiler territory as we talk about the difficulty Marvel might have in doing Star Wars comics in The Force Awakens milieu, even though they absolutely should despite [SPOILERS] and [SPOILERS] and [SPOILERS].  Also discussed:  the awkward comic book shenanigans caused by the end of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Stars Wars: The Road to the Force Awakens—Look Out, Here Comes The Force Awakens;  iZombie, Lucifer, and the twelve recent Vertigo launches including by Slash And Burn by Si Spencer who is NOT Si Spurrier; and more.
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1:37:59-1:46:39: And that “more” lets Jeff steer the convo over to High School Debut, his newest manga crush from Kazune Kawahara who is the writer of other current manga crush object, My Love Story!!  High School Debut is Kawahara’s earlier project where she was both writer and artist, and Jeff may like it even more that MLS!!  Discussed: a comparison of buying for the Kindle and reading on Comixology to smuggling cigarettes; the hook for High School Debut; and an eensy bit more.
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1:46:39-1:50:58: “But let’s flip it back to you Graeme,” sez Jeff.  “what have you been reading recently, apart from a shit-ton of Teen Titans?” Although Graeme insists at first he’s been reading nothing but Teen Titans, in fact he’s also been catching up with the Valiant titles, in part after reading the CBR list of the Best 100 comics of 2015. Find out the books that Graeme would pay money to keep reading and which books had potential and lost momentum.
1:50:58-2:12:30: Graeme has also been reading a lot of prose, including Elvis Costello’s Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink.  Come for the book review, stay for Jeff’s encounter with Mr. C and, more importantly, something somone once said about the film classic Gregory’s Girl that he unconditionally believed for thirty years. And then…
2:12:30-end: *No* closing comments! That’s right, due to some miscommunication between Jeff and the wife lady, he has to leave Toot Sweet (which, no, does not mean he has his throat cut with a straight razor by Mickey Rourke).  And so, we do not get a chance to extend on-air 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 113 of our supporters on Patreon who make our show possible.
Fortunately, Graeme does have the time before we go to check out the Gregory’s Girl story and disprove it, crushing a three decade long belief by Jeff. Right. Into. The. Fucking. Dirt.  And maybe it’s just me, but Graeme seems actually pretty delighted to do so? I mean, Jeff was basically like this:

Anyway, 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 13 of Baxter Building!  Read up on issues #103-112 of the Fantastic Four and join us for your monthly dose of semi-historical comic analyses.  We’ll see you then!
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00:00-9:21: Hello, hello, hello!  Today you’re in for something out of the ordinary, as Gary Lactus (from Silence!), Chico Leo (of Fan Bros), and Paul O’Brien of House To Astonish join Jeff Lester on Battlepod for an infinite secret podcast crossover!  Yes, Graeme was whisked away by the Beyonder to another part of the strange dimension known as Battlepod, leaving me to fend for myself against three of the sharpest knives in the comic book podcasting drawer. First up are speedy introductions to one another—punctuated by a lot of “Fer Sure! Fer Sure!” in what is a sudden thickening of my native Californian accent—and then more formal introductions of each of our esteemed guests so you know who they are, where they’re from, and why they’re awesome.

captainamerica-thumbsup9:21-18:41: Intros out of the way, it’s time for us to turn to this episode’s theme (yes, a themed Wait, What? episode—the stakes get higher by the minute!): “The Worm Turns:  Characters, Creators and Books that we used to hate but now love or vice-versa.”  First up:  Paul O’Brien and Captain America!  Discussed by the group: propaganda, the monarchy, Frank Miller and Ales Kot, Mark Millar, good ol’ John Walker, and more.
18:41-36:34: Next, Chico Leo is at plate to talk about…Spider-Man! Discussed by the group: how a simple concept has grown less simple over time, and how attempts to simplify have somehow only made it more complex in some ways; The Simpsons vs. Harry Potter; John Byrne’s take vs. Dan Slott’s comic; the grating gear change at the end of Claremont-infused X-Men stories; Marvel continuity versus the imaginary stories of the DC Silver Age; the idea of the crossover as “naughty universe touching;” and more.
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36:34-48:41: Gary Lactus is up next to talk…Bloodstrike! After discussing the history of the 90s and running into the arms of Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge, and Dan Clowes, Mr. Lactus has come around to talk the charms of one Robert Liefeld.  Discussed: feet; penises in jars; the Inkstuds interview with Rob Liefeld; the first issue of Prophet; the road from sunday school to Black Mass; “he’s a one note creator but sometimes all you need is that one note;” Rob Liefeld’s The Covenant; a quick break as one of Gary Lactus’s former heralds shows up to cause disarray; when the phrase “remarkably sane” is disappointing; and more.
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48:41-54:12: “We’re definitely in the realms of freeformville,” Jeff announces.  “Is there anyone else who maybe has a creator up their sleeve that they have switched on over time?”  And of course Paul chimes in with the name everyone was surely just about to say:  Bret Blevins.  Also discussed: BRET BLEVINS; Louise Simonson; New Mutants; Meltdown: Havok and Wolverine; the importance of watercolors to telling a serious story in the Nineties; and more.
54:12-1:00:36: For follow-up, Chico Leo talks about both a creator with whom he went from “hate” to “love”—the mighty José Luis García López—and from love to hate: Mr. Frank Miller.  Discussed:  “the goddamned Batman;” the term “mind enema;” Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, and the difference between the artist and the art; the secret career of JLGL; and more.
1:00:36-1:10:33: Gary Lactus gets another turn at the creator flip and this time he brings up an excellent choice: Mr. Joe Matt.  Discussed:  confessional comics as the big thing of the ‘90s and what happened; our ability to share and get instant affirmation; Jeff doing strange things to the word “reportage”; Chester Brown’s Paying for It; guys growing up isolated in smaller industrial cities; and more.
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1:10:33-1:29:43:  The book round!  Paul has an excellent choice for this, just as Gary did for creator:  Cerebus The Aardvark.  Mentioned:  The gnostic heresy, the perfect phrase “one of the most technically competent pieces of outsider art ever made;” the literal disbelief with which the turn of Sim’s intentions was greeted by on the Internet; the idea of Cerebus as three different comics; Speakers’ Corner; Gary’s inability to get into Cerebus; The Strange Death of Alex Raymond; watching someone box a stump; Terry Zwigoff’s documentary Crumb; Steve Ditko and Alan Moore; and more.
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 1:29:43-1:36:52:  Gary Lactus has one last worm to turn, and it’s in regards to the Golden Age hero, Mr. Terrific.  It’s a delightful tale well told by GL, one that’s well worth a listen and also a great way to wrap up our adventure.
1:36:52-1:41:28: Because the shimmering cosmic curtain that has gathered is about to dissipate, a call is put out for closing shots.  Chico Leo weighs in with the book he once loved that now he hates:  Mad Magazine.  You may get a glimpse into the time displacement involved in the recording of this episode by our discussion of contemporary politics at the moment…
1:41:28-closing: Closing comments, in no small part because our bladders are incredibly full: each of us tells you where you can find us next. Since I covered a lot of that up in the intro, let me just add the twitter accounts for Mr. Lactus, Mr. Leo, Mr. O’Brien and myself.
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And look out for Episode 7 of the Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts over at House to Astonish.
NEXT WEEK:  Graeme returns in a brand new black costume for Baxter Building Episode 11!!
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