0:01-35:33:  Greetings!  Graeme “Remarkably Warm” McMillan and Jeff “Remarkably Convincing” Lester are here after a weeklong break to rap about comic books, and what better way to start than discussing the passing of Steve “Remarkably Important to American Comics” Ditko.  Graeme has a great handful of fun facts about Ditko you might not have known, and Jeff has some quality bloviation about the strength of Ditko’s plotting….plus a whole lot more!
35:33-1:13:54:  Pivoting from comics creators to comics, we discuss Batman #50 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, and a buttload of pinup artists.  It’s halfway through King’s hundred issue run, and the issue is, as Graeme put it, “primed for [Jeff] to dislike.”  True? Well… Once again, we are back in the arena pit of King’s Batman, with Graeme liking it much more than Jeff would honestly think possible, and Jeff disliking it not as much as Graeme seems to think.  Welcome to the Batman #50 Thunderdome! Two Podcasters walk in and….uh, two podcasters walk out.  (But thirty minutes do not!)
1:13:54-1:20:30:  Well, now that it’s been over an hour, maybe we can talk about a second comic? Well, all right, if you insist: Graeme has some choice words for Death of the Inhumans #1 by Donnie Cates and Ariel Olivetti.
1:20:30-1:29:21: And, picking up the pace, we also discuss Man of Steel #6 by Brian Michael Bendis and Jason Fabok.  So much to talk about in this issue, and yet how much do you want to bet Jeff just uses it as an opportunity to talk about how the bad guy looks like Anton Arcane from Bissette & Totelben’s Swamp Thing run?
1:29:21-1:32:19: A book that really rang both our chimes?  The Immortal Hulk #2 by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett.  The second issue has a lot going for it, including a vibe that heavily reminded us of classic Michael Fleisher/Jim Aparo Spectre comics—eerie and mean.
1:32:19-1:44:13: Not quite as successful for us on the Marvel front? The first issue of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on Captain America, with art by Leinil Francis Yu.  Was it the storytelling choices? Was it the squandering of one of the better writers about the myths of America squeezing himself into the idea of Captain America? Too on the nose? Not on the nose enough? Or was it just the whole post-Secret Empireness of it all?
1:44:13-1:55:17:  Hey, but don’t let us get you down—there’s a lot of great comics out there in the world, and thanks to Kodansha and Amazon/Comixology, we have access to the complete translated Beck by Harold Sukuishi, as well as his Seven Shakespeares series.  Beck was one of Jeff’s favorite reads back when Tokyopop reprinted it (under the title Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, which is how Jeff refers to it here) and is delighted to revisit it again.  If you’re in the U.S. and have Comixology Unlimited or Kindle Unlimited, you’re in for a treat.  (And if not, as Graeme points out, you can try Kindle Unlimited for the first month free!
1:55:17- 2:35:01: Jeff is ambivalent about Justice League #3 by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez, but Graeme is not, especially after rereading the first three issues.  After some more Old Man Grumpus comments from Jeff about Snyder’s recent work and his nonplussedness at issue #2 of The Unexpected by Cary Nord, Steve Orlando, and Wade von Grawbadger, Graeme tries to gently broach the topic:  maybe Jeff just doesn’t dig American superhero comics any more?  Includes a lot of talk about the comparison and contrast to manga, and what Jeff sees as manga doing better…and a long discussion of what Jeff wants his comics to be. (Plus: also some sales figure stuff there at the very end?  Because that’s who we roll.)
2:35:01-end:  Closing comments already?!  Sure, but first a very quick review from Graeme of Ant-Man And The Wasp? And then:   Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  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!  Join us for a discussion of Fantastic Four issues #362-370.
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0:01-28:02:  Greetings!  We welcome one another—and by extension you—back from a week long break with some complaints about the heat, wifi, and NIMBYs, before moving on to talk about the Guardian’s weekly print edition and the struggle to handle the current state of affairs.  How does that tie into the kind of thing we normally talk about?  Weirdly enough, it all comes together around the 8:30 point.  If you don’t like hearing us talk about the state of the United States these days, or just don’t want to hear about that particular topic altogether, why not skip to….
28:02-49:16:  here, where we finally get to the funny book blabbity-blab?  Although we start off kind of in media disagreement, as Graeme reports a comment about the upcoming Heroes In Crisis and a comment he found, as he puts, “speaks to a particular kind of entitlement in superhero fandom.”  Discussed: Spider-Man; Uncanny X-Men; 52 (the comic series); how standards for stories change while stories stay the same; and, obviously, Heroes in Crisis.
49:16-1:07:05: Speaking of Tom King (since he’s going to be writing Heroes in Crisis), we’d been asked to discuss Batman #49 by “Fifth Beatle” Matt Terl. Discussed: Alan Moore, King and Gerard’s Mister Miracle, Dan Clowes’ Ice Haven, the challenge or writing the Joker, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and more.
1:07:05-1:30:47: Since the arc in Batman is building to a wedding, we talk about the X-Men Gold #30, a wedding issue  that came out this week, where there was a wedding…but not the one promoted. Also discussed: Tom Taylor’s X-Men Red; Taylor’s Injustice and Wolverine runs; weird analogies about being a retired reader of X-Men; Chris Claremont as the protagonist of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo; plus two issues of Spidey: School’s Out as read by Jeff.
1:30:47-2:01:20: Still talking about comics, but maybe not as much with a focus on books that have been outgrown: we discuss Man of Steel #4 by Brian Bendis and Kevin Maguire; Justice League #2 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, and Alejandro Sanchez; Avengers #3 by Jason Aaron, Paco Medina,and Ed McGuinness; and Shanghai Red #1 by Joshua Hixson and Christopher Sebela.
2:01:20-2:21:36:  Because Graeme has superpowers, he was able to read Joe Casey and Ian MacEwan’s MCMLXXV, and it sounds pretty great.  Also discussed:  what we are behind on reading; amazing material mentioned in old Marvel Age issues that never saw the light of day; Star Wars: Let’s Smooch In The Empire; the recalcitrance of Chris Claremont; Steve Gerber’s run on Cloak & Dagger; and more.
2:21:36-2:48:24: Remember those good old days when we would tell ourselves and you that we’d gotten to the end of the podcast and there was nothing else to say…and then we’d keep talking for an absurdly long period of time after that.  WELL, THE GOOD TIMES HAVE RETURNED as we bermoan our failure to discuss recent comics news and then dig in to one piece of comics news: DC’s deal to stock 100 page giants in WalMarts.  We discuss the line-up of books, the strategy behind the books, and more.
2:48:24-end:  And finally: closing comments!   Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  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:  Another skip week, as Jeff attends to some personal business (wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it!)  But join us in a fortnight for Wait, What? Ep. 251!
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Unchained Ghost

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…
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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.
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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.
MOS1
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.
Unchained Candle
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!
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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! MattTumblr!
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!
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