Here’s episode two hundred and thirty-nine for your yuletide ears! Due to some tech problems, the episode ran short (and turned out to be even shorter once you cut out the “Hello, Graeme, hello?” “Jeff?” “Graeme?” “Hello?” joshery). Nevertheless, it is our hope we will scratch that hard-to-reach comic book podcast itch.
Topics discussed in today’s episode:
Our statement about the upcoming changes to Patreon’s fee structure;
*An annotated readthrough of the lead story of World’s Finest #251, “Invasion of the Deathless Brain,” by Bob Haney, George Tuska, and Vince Colletta (oh, and good catch by Walter! Here’s that amazing fan-drawn facial hair on Speedy below);
*The roundtable by Matt and Graeme about Justice League #34 by Priest and Pete Woods, and Batman #36 by Tom King, Clay and Seth Mann, with some additional commentary here by Jeff;
*But Jeff also read and wanted to talk about three kinda recent first issues: John Wick #1 by Greg Pak, Giovanni Valletta, David Curiel and Inlight Studios; Fence #1 by C.S. Pascat, Johanna The Mad, Joana LaFuente; Ninja-K #1 by Christos Gage, Tomás Giorello, and Diego Rodriguez; and the (not a first issue by super-excellent) Rock Candy Mountain #6 by Kyle Starks, Chris Schweizer, and Dylan Todd.
*The 2000AD 2017 Christmas Special;
*Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave! 2000AD and Judge Dredd: The Secret History… by Pat Mills;
*The 2000AD Sale currently on their website (update: and thanks to editing this episode, Jeff now also has a digital copy of the Complete Harlem Heroes);
We will return in two weeks for the last Baxter Building of the year! Read Fantastic Four #s 322-327 and come join us!
His name is Rio! And he dances on the sand! My name is Jeff! I was not a fan of the meme!
Together, we are here to finish what we started, which is answering the questions of the beautiful benighted souls on Patreon!
First up is Tim Rifenburg:
Thanks for doing the question thing again.
- Question 1: Is there any character / company crossover you would like to see and who would write and draw it?
- Question 2: Are you ever sorry you started the FF read through? I enjoy listening to your thoughts but you sometimes seem like you are struggling through the books.
Then there’s Ethan Johnson:
There are two variations, I don’t care which one you answer.
- Marvel buys DC and moves existing Marvel creative teams intact to take over DC properties. Pair creative teams with books. I’ll allow recent iconic teams, because if you don’t put Hickman & Opeña on LSH, you’re crazypants.
- Same scenario, but no DC. Just shuffle existing intactcreative teams onto other properties, like when Byrne & Mantlo swapped Alpha Flight & Hulk!
(Psst! Because Jeff was so proud of his list, he insisted on including it here:)
- Okay. Hickman and Opena on LSH. Sure. But honestly I think a better take would be Gillen & McKelvie?
And, then, uh, in no particular order, other than how I think of ‘em:
- Al Ewing and Barry Kitson on JLA;
- Al Ewing and Elsa Charretier on The Flash;
- Al Ewing and John Cassaday on Forever People;
- Dan Slott turned Spider-Man into Batman; maybe if he wrote Batman, he’d turn him into Spider-Man? No, just kidding: I’d give Dan Slott and Sanford Greene Angel & The Ape. (Maybe Slott could have Batman, Inc?)
- Chip Zdarsky and Leonardo Romero doing Ambush Bug: Year Done;
Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Steelfreeze doing Superman (I should probably say Wonder Woman and then they can just lightly rewrite their issues?);
- And I guess Mark Waid and Chris Samnee on Action?
- Jason Aaron and Goran Parlov doing Jonah Hex as one title, Batman as the other (I guess I was kidding about Dan Slott?)
- Bendis doing Green Lantern (with Mike Deodato?), Aquaman (or maybe that’s Mike Deodato?), Green Arrow & Black Canary (with Dave Marquez), and Teen Titans (with Mark Bagley)
- Ryan North and Erica Henderson get the coveted The Brave & The Bold treatment
- Greg Pak and Chris Samnee/Stuart Immonen could take Wonder Woman?
- Felipe Smith writing and drawing Vibe;
- G. Willow Wilson and Tradd Moore on Teen Titans;
- Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood on The Rose & The Thorn;
- Ryan North (again!) and Gurihuru on Lois Lane;
- Becky Cloonan and Olivier Coipel on Nightwing;
- David Walker and Robbi Rodriguez on Batman and the Outsiders;
- Tom Taylor and Phil Noto on Catwoman;
- Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz on Freedom Fighters;
- Chris Hastings and Daniel Acuna on Metal Men;
- Mark Waid And Humberto Ramos on Impulse;
- Roxane Gay and Jackson “Butch” Guice on Suicide Squad;
- Jason Aaron and Alex Maleev on John Constantine;
- Matthew Rosenberg and Joe Quinones on Harley Quinn;
- Gerry Dugan and Jim Cheung on Secret Six;
- Jeff Lemire and Mike DelMundo on The Question;
- Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo on Thriller.
Thomas Williams is curious:
The past two years during either SDCC or NYCC, Valiant do a huge sale and I end up buying the entire past year of back issues and binging them. I always find that the comics are just great with solid story, characters and art. However once this sale is over I am back to forgetting these books in my weekly purchases. What can Valiant do to get people like me to remember them throughout the year?
Also Graeme, of VanLente’s Archer and Armstrong and Timewalker which do you prefer?
Evan Cass wants to know:
Are there artists that you used to adore aesthetically that you can’t stand anymore due to those same aesthetics? Two of my favorite artists as a teen were Art Adams & Ron Lim; I loved their work. Now as a 40something their work literally upsets my stomach; it repulses me. I’m curious if you’ve experienced similar with any former favorites, and why you think that might be. Thanks for the show.
Here comes good ol’ Badger Mushroom:
You asked your Patreon patrons (of which I am one) for questions to waffle about. So here’s one: what do you two think of the recent purchase of The Beat by Lion Forge? Any implications for comics journalism?
(I should note that I have great respect for Heidi MacDonald and the staff of The Beat. I just want to hear the experts weigh in. 😉 )
Thanks to you both for an entertaining and informative podcast, and thanks to Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, for bestowing her mercy on us all.
Brendan O’Hare has all the best questions!
For Jeff: Who did you wife/husband up on Stardew Valley?
For Graeme and Jeff: I know Jeff recently parted ways with most of his comic book collection, but are either of you still going through back issue bins to fill in a run? If so, which ones?
And finally, here’s our pal Roger Winston:
I totally missed submitting a question for the Q&A podcast, but I see you are extending it to a second episode. I know you are already full of questions, but here’s mine just in case you need another:
I sold off the bulk of my collection (~22k books) several years ago and stopped reading. But a few years after that, I discovered digital and got back in (mostly thanks to my iPad and Locke & Key). Now I am totally addicted to Comixology (and to a lesser extent, Marvel Unlimited) and spend way too much money there, buying a lot of books, most of which I will probably never read. I think I felt a need to replace my print collection with digital. At least it takes up less space.
Do you ever think there will come a time when we will lose the rights to the comics we have bought digitally? I don’t think I ever read the Comixology terms of condition, out of fear. But I worry about them going out of business or changing their model or dropping publishers or whatever. Although them being owned by Amazon does make me feel more secure. I have downloaded DRM-free whatever I can for backups, but that is limited to some indie publishers (mostly Image in my case) -Marvel & DC don’t allow that. So was I stupid to have sank so much money (most of it during sales, luckily) into something that could potentially go away before I have a chance to enjoy it? Oh, the hazards of being an obsessive collector, even when there’s no physical component.
Do you think DC will ever come out with a DC Unlimited type service? The bulk of the digital comics I have bought are DC. On one hand, I would love this, because then I could stop buying back issues. (I’ve bought very few Marvels since subscribing to MU.) OTOH, I would hate this because it means I spent a lot on things I could then read a lot cheaper. I have heard some suggestions that DC’s new TV streaming service might include a comics unlimited type service as well, which does make a certain amount of sense.
And that’s that! Again, our thanks to all of you for tuning in, and a super big thanks for those of you on Patreon for you generosity!
Join us next week for a Baxter Building! Issues #314-324 of The Fantastic Four!
0:00-7:32: Greetings from a very relaxed Graeme McMillan and a perhaps somewhat less relaxed Jeff Lester. But, relaxed though they may be, they are still reading some of the books they discussed last week: Graeme is still making his way through Hostage by Guy Delisle, and Jeff is still making his way through (deep breath) Abandoned Cars by Tim Lane, Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Saga Uncensored by Pat Mills, Mike McMahon and just about everybody, and although he finished vol. 1 of West Coast Avengers by Englehart, Milgrom, and Sinnott, he’s just barely dug into volume 2 (which actually starts seven issues after volume 1. Boo, Marvel!)
7:32-21:46: The discussion about 2000 A.D. pacing in the 70s leads fittingly into Rob Williams’ current writing on Suicide Squad with art first by Jim Lee and currently by John Romita, Jr. (and a plethora of artists for each issue’s back-up strips, such as Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreria in issue #14). Also discussed: the combat banter of Steve Englehart; the use of shtick and the back-up story structure in Suicide Squad; and more.
21:46-29:52: Jeff was a bit bummed to hear one of his favorite comics, DC’s The Flintstones, is ending after issue #12. And asking about this is a very fine way to get Graeme to talk about the upcoming DC/Hanna Barbera crossover annuals for which Graeme has read the review copies. Discussed: Flintstones/Booster Gold by Mark Russell and Rick Leonardi; the Snagglepuss back-up; the Batman/Top Cat crossover; and more.
29:52-35:28: This episode was recorded on the day the new Justice League trailer was released (see above), so it made sense to transition from talking about the latest DC comics to DC’s latest attempt to build a franchise. What’d we think?
35:28-59:47: And from the DC movie trailer, to the latest Marvel (non-Marvel Studios) movie, Logan. Please note this is a full spoilers discussion—pretty much every bit of it gets spoiled so stay away from this section if you still haven’t seen it.
59:47-1:02:46: From there we pivot to discusss…the other Wait, What? podcast! (Wait, what?) We are many, and we contain multitudes, apparently?
1:02:46-1:12:12: And hey, here we are discussing this Marvel retailer conference thing that’s happening kinda/sorta of the downlow. Jeff is wondering what Graeme has heard about, and if he thinks the Marvel Leopard can change its spots.
1:12:12-1:23:11: What should’ve been a discussion on what Graeme’s reading becomes a longer discussion about Tom King’s Batman—Graeme is enjoying it tremendously, but Jeff is so far behind, will he ever catch up? And if so, how?
1:23:11-1:35:50: Graeme is also very impressed with what Joshua Williamson (with a raft of artists such as Carmine Di Giandomenico, Jesus Merino, and others) is doing to reinvent Barry Allen for The Flash, by taking the TV Barry Allen and doing an even better job with it. And that gets us into a discussion of characters that we care enough about that we’ll check out no matter who is on the title.
1:35:50-1:57:08: Graeme had linked to an article on Medium by Meg Downey about fanfic and although Jeff still hasn’t read the piece (he fav’d it for later), we discuss a bit about fanfic’s ability to give audiences what they want on certain properties better than the corporate owners of the properties. And then there’s some more talk from Jeff about Englehart and West Coast Avengers because, hey, who can stop him?
1:57:08-2:02:05: Also, thanks to another A+ manga recommendation from a Whatnaut, Jeff just finished the first volume of Interviews with Monster Girls by Petos, and wants to talk about it.
2:02:05-2:09:43: And Graeme wants to talk a bit about Terms and Conditions by R. Sikoryak which he is, uh, coolish about. He also wants to discuss Boundless by Jillian Tomaki, which he loves. And then…
2:09:43-: 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. Oh, but before we go, Jeff has a theory about the Cursed Earth Saga, a certain creation of Pat Mills, and a certain creation of Jack Kirby.
0:00-7:06: Greetings! Because Jeff is an idiot, we lost the first hour and sixteen minutes of our recording. So today’s episode will be comparatively short and it starts up with us telling you what you missed. It’s a surprisingly complete summary of seventy-six minutes jammed into six. Discussion of what we discussed: Batman Day (which this episode was recorded on), Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice; Injection by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey; 2000 A.D. Prog. 2000; Suicide Squad #2 by Rob Williams, Jim Lee, and Ivan Reis; Jeff’s admiration for Superwoman #2 and Graeme’s for Supergirl; Detective Comics and Chris Claremont’s New Mutants; All-Star Batman #2; and Tom King’s Batman, which is where we catch up, since Graeme has to reiterate his point about…
7:06-32:23: Tom King and the connection between The Vision and Sheriff of Babylon (which King has described as being part of an unofficial trilogy with his Omega Men), and how it connects to the first six issues we’ve read of Batman. Also discussed: Alan Moore and Alan Moore’s Jerusalem; the promotional interviews with Alan Moore for Alan Moore’s Jerusalem; what would be the non-comic related questions we would ask Alan Moore; and mo(o)re.
32:23-36:13: Jeff wanted to talks about Moon Knight #6 by Jeff Lemire, Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla, and James Stokoe (!) where Lemire finally has a take on the character that really works for Jeff.
36:13-38:16: Jeff does a loose compare/contrast between Moon Knight and the first issue of Doom Patrol by Gerard Way, Nick Derington, and Tamra Bonvilliain. A good fun book with some absolutely lovely art by Derington and colors by Bonvillain.
38:16-57:25: Jeff also wants to give a shout-out to latest issue of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl with fill-in art by Jacob Chabot and another crazily strong script by Ryan North. And after that, we talk a bit about North’s first issue of Jughead (which sounds *amazing*), which leads us to a not-thrilled impression of Zdarsky’s Howard The Duck, Marvel and hip-hop and much more.
57:25-1:07:55: Also read and also (lightly) discussed: The Fix #5 by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber; Paper Girls #9 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Jared K. Fletcher; Saga by Vaughan and Staples; old issues of Ms. Marvel written by Chris Claremont; and more.
1:07:55-1:11:33: Sad to say, either Graeme did most of the talking in our lost hour, or maybe Jeff was out of control there too, but Jeff does too much talking this episode, even if it’s for a good cause like showing some love for the insane “Prisoners of Three Worlds” story from 1963’s Batman #153, by Bill Finger, Henry Boltinoff, Jack Schiff and Sheldon Moldoff, recently purchased during Comixology’s Road to Batman Day Sale.
1:11:33-1:15:02: I can’t adequately describe how we got to discussing Denny O’Neil’s career as writer and editor, a case Jeff tries to make by incorrectly assigning at least two Batman characters’ first appearances to the wrong era.
1:15:02-1:19:10: Graeeme has some wonderful stuff to tell us about Books With Pictures, a great little comic book store in Portland, Oregon with a back issue drawer curated by Douglas Wolk, as well as the back issues he, Graeme, picked up from said drawer. Mentioned: Heroes and Legends; the Legion of Substitute Heroes Special from 1995; Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane issue #115; Superman and Batman: Heroes Against Hunger; and the zines from our colleagues Jay and Miles.
1:19:10-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.
0:00-4:06: Greetings! How’s the weather, you ask? Well, Graeme McMillan and the rest of Portland, Oregon are boiling alive! Jeff’s fine, thanks for asking, but since he knows fine doesn’t carry well—podcasts being what Marshall McLuhan would call a “hot” medium—he moves us to the towering mountain of remaining listeners’ questions! Will he and Graeme get through all of the questions by the end of the podcast? Place your bets now!
4:06-16:24: Kevin Moreau asks: I have two questions that I hope you can find the time to answer as you’re patrolling Hub City to keep us all safe from crime. 1. It’s well known that Graeme is not a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Is there a comic-book movie (MCU, DC or otherwise) made since the dawn of the MCU (so since 2008) that you love or at least like, and what does it do right that the MCU movies largely don’t? (Primarily for Graeme, but Jeff please feel free to chime in as well.)
16:24-27:51: Kevin also wants to know: 2. Largely for Jeff, but if Graeme has any input, please feel free: I find manga largely impenetrable, but I want to give it a fair shake. What is it that appeals to you about the form, and what would you recommend for a newbie who finds it hard to get past the cartoon-y expressions and overall exaggerated nature of what little I’ve glimpsed?
27:51-35:51: Charles Forsman inquires: 1. Spawn/Batman or Batman/Spawn? 2. What’s the deal with all these comic books coming out every week?