http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat206.mp3 0:00-4:22: Greetings from Lost Lake Loop—okay, it’s actually Portland and San Francisco but we swear LLL (a location that sounds like a love interest for Superman when I abbreviate it like that) is actually…

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First, big thanks to Ed Corcoran for providing the perfect title for this episode!

Second, here we are!  This episode is a little early due to: the holiday weekend, some weird scheduling, and the desire to get a jump on the coming week which promises to be a bit of a sledge hammer.  So let us begin, shall we?

00:00-12:51: Greetings from Graeme “Cheers” McMillan and Jeff “Dora the Explorer” Lester, who are here once again for you!  Not only do we mention those two TV shows in the first two minutes, we also talk about Spider-Gwen #1, as read recently on Marvel Unlimited (under threat of physical violence)!  Although we both enjoyed the first issue, we talk about Jeff’s impressions of the book based on later issues, whether the book’s appeal rests solely with the creative team or not, whether or not the term “What-If’ing” is a thing or not, and more.  And this is also a fine time for Jeff to gripe about the Spider-Verse hardcover he got for super-cheap during an Amazon pricing SNAFU.  Did Marvel take passive-aggressive revenge on the advance order pilferers? Or is it just that a lot of the stories at least semi-terrible? Discuss!
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12:51-45:06: Then, our whistles whetted, it’s time for us to Q our little A’s off, with part two of our Q&A ‘cast, answering questions submitted to us by our mighty squad of patrons!  First up is Chris Carfora, who asks:  “1. Discussion Point: Have we reached the end of the age of Superhero comics? Seems like superhero movies are going through a bit of a golden age but i can’t say the same for the comics. With the reboots coming every two years now it just feels like the creators are constantly going over old territory and rehashing old ideas. Is there just not anything left to say about Superheroes? With the rise of independent comics and the availability of self-published comics through comixology and the like, do you foresee a shift away from superhero comics? 2. What would be your dream creative collaboration on your dream comic? Just to clarify, it can be past creators or current, so if you want Grant Morrison and Jack Kirby on Challengers of the Unknown go for it. 3. What cancelled or lapsed title would you most like to see resurrected? 4. In what way has the rise of marvel unlimited, comixology and other digital platforms changed the industry? Is this change a good thing?”
(Whew!) Discussed: the Direct Market; Jim Lee’s 1:5000 variant for Dark Knight III; Marvel’s troll response with a Deadpool variant cover; creator participation; Starbrand and Nightmask; the illusion of change versus the illusion of the illusion of change; Irredeemable, Incorrigible, Incorruptible, Incontinent, and Insufferable; Graeme not understanding Jeff at all;  crazy lists of dream teams for his dream comics including the Steve Gerber comic in heaven; Jason Aaron and Jason Latour on the amazing Marvel character, Razorback; Al Ewing and Henry Flint on Fantastic Four; the sequel to last year’s Judge Dredd epic, Titan, again by Rob Williams and Henry Flint; Aimee Bender and Pascal Ferry on Machine Man; Graeme summarizes the short but lively run of DC’s The Chosen; the crazy price discrepancies between some digital trades on both Marvel and Comixology (such as the Skull The Slayer and Weirdworld trades which are $10 cheaper on the Kindle); and more.
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45:06-58:27:  Carlos Aguilar asks: “1. Let’s say Image was formed in the 80s instead of the 90s, what 7 artists would you like to have seen leave Marvel (and if you want, DC) to form Image about ten years earlier? 2. Tons of Star Wars news coming out, so, Let’s say you got to pick creative teams for 4 different Star Wars books. What would the four titles be, and who would you have working on them? 3. Who would you like to see run the new incarnation of Heavy Metal instead of Grant Morrison?” Discussed:  Miller, Byrne, Perez, Golden, Simonson, Chaykin, and Art Adams (or Dave Cockrum?; the WaP! newsletter and Creator Bill of Rights crowd; being burnt out on Star Wars on the eve of Force Friday; Marvel’s Darth Vader series by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca; Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba on Boba Fett; Jason Shiga on C-3PO and R2-D2; Richard Corben on Chewbacca; the return of Walt Simonson to Star Wars; Brandon Graham editing Heavy Metal; Douglas Wolk editing Heavy Metal; Warren Ellis editing Heavy Metal; and more.
 Demon1558:27-1:04:09:  Max Brown asks: “It’s been a little while since Jeff has posted or talked about Jason Shiga’s Demon- and since it was Jeff that got me and a bunch of others reading it, it would be great to hear his thoughts on how the book has gotten 10000000x more insane and awesome since then, and on the recent announcement that First Second will be publishing it in collections. Thanks!” Discussed:  Jason Shiga’s Demon.  [Please note: Jeff actually screws up his issue numbers by one.  The amazing chase sequence is in issue #15 and the existential malaise is in issue #14.]
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1:04:09-1:36:16: Kevin Moreau asks, “1. What other podcasts, comics-related or otherwise, do either/both of you listen to/recommend? (Aside from Rachel and Miles and Into It, although please feel free to plug those, as well.) 2. What are your go-to sites/publications for comics news, insight, etc., other than your own website and Graeme’s various employers? 3. What are Marvel’s biggest problems today, and what can be done to correct them 3a. Are Secret Wars/All-New-All-Different and the continuing push to make Inhumans happen signs of creative bankruptcy? 4. I know I’ve read (Wait What mascot/patron saint) Steve Englehart comics over the years, but what would you point to as his most important/must-read work, or where should someone start in order to gain a greater appreciation? 5. Would you ever consider a Wait What Facebook group as a place for fans of the show to gather together and talk comics and related interest?Discussed:  House to Astonish; Silence!; Comic Books Are Burning in Hell; Travis Bickle on the Riviera; the Nerdist Writer’s Room; the Guardian’s political podcast; 538’s What’s The Point; a Slate podcast called Working; Serial; Bleeding Cool and its recent trend for crazily biased news stories; The Outhousers; the terrific comics analysis columns by Paul O’Brien and Marc-Olivier Frisch; the surprising read that is comicbook.com; the surprisingly apt metaphor to describe DC’s new relationship to the Direct Market; the Steve Englehart stories you should start with; and more.
 1:36:16-1:41:18:  Paul Lai asks, “Seems we’ve thrown up our hands after Golden, Silver, Bronze, and the unfortunately named Modern Ages. Should we take for granted that comics are so diverse, diffuse, and mainstream now that maybe marking eras like that will be impossible/irrelevant? Or what about calling it a “Spectrum Age” where all that can really be taken for granted is the diversity?” (Paul actually had a long article he’d written about this that wasn’t accessible when Jeff tried to read it beforehand but it’s up now and it’s a pretty great read that makes a pretty compelling argument.)  Discussed:  Our less compelling arguments.
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1:41:18-1:44:53:  John Kim asks, “There are a lot of resets to the status quo in comic (Spiderman, Batman) after said comics try something different. Are the reasons for the resets mainly fan backlash and low sales? Here I am trying to sneak in another question… Are there any good legacy characters in comics?”  Discussed:  Wally West, Wally West, and Wally West; Batman: Year Zero; and more.
1:44:53-1:57:46:  Lewis Smith asks, “Of all the aborted story-lines, new directions, and false starts you guys have read in superhero comics, what was the one you really wanted to see play out?”  Discussed:  Firestorm as a fire elemental; Steve Englehart’s Fantastic Four and West Coast Avengers runs; the Amazing Spider-Man and headcanon; does Marvel need a reboot; and more.
1:57:46-2:08:12:  Ed Corcoran asks, “In a couple of previous episodes, you’ve mentioned the effect the library market has on how trade paperback collections are made and marketed. Can you talk a little more about the economics of that? What kind of comics rely so heavily on libraries? What do libraries look for? Also, are there any plans to collect the Avengers read-through into one big mega-episode?” We’ve tied this in with Drew Meger who asks, “It feels like every episode we hear a mention of some comic or other borrowed from your local library. As a librarian who buys comics for his library, I need to know: What comic titles would you want to see in your Ideal Library? Should we focus on the critical Top 10 list darlings and easy entry points for new readers or should we go obscure and get the titles readers might have been interested in, But not 30 dollar hardbound trade interested?” Discussed: how little we actually know about the economics of graphic novels and the library market; Kate Beaton, Vertical, Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly and Pantheon; a bad maritime metaphor from Jeff, and more.
Celestials2:08:12-2:15:48:  Paul Spence asks, “Would the Whatnauts offer their views on Kirby’s Marvel series The Eternals. I read The Eternals for the first time this year courtesy of marvel Unlimited and it provoked a mixed response from me. The mythology appeared to be Fourth World Lite mashed up with some of the ideas from Kirby’s 2001, and a serving from Erich Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods. The Fourth World of the New Gods becomes the Fourth Host of the Eternals and DC’s Orion becomes Ikaris in The Eternals. This does appear to be a case where Kirby was recycling ideas. My second Kirby related question pertains to the Joe Casey penned Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers. You covered the early issues in the series on the podcast and expressed both hope, and some trepidation, that it could be a masterpiece, or it could become a train wreck. Now that the mini-series has finished what do you think of the entire run?”  Discussed:  The Eternals by Jack Kirby, and Joe Casey’s Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers; and not much more.
2:15:48-2:22:55: Louie Whitford asks, “Why didn’t Eclipse or First Comics survive? Or: What’s your favorite Eclipse series?”  Discussed:  quick shout-outs for books like Badger, Aztec Ace by Doug Moench and Dan Day; Alec by Eddie Campbell; Sabre by Don McGregor and Billy Graham; Destroyer Duck by Jack Kirby and Steve Gerber; the end of First and Eclipse; and so on.
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2:22:55-2:33:01:  Michael Loughlin asks, “1) In your opinion, what recent comics (2000s & 2010s) will be regarded as classics in the future? 2) Of all the writers who never worked with him, which writer would have made a good scripter for Jack Kirby? Feel free to choose one of his contemporaries or a current writer.”   Discussed;  our weird handwringing about the term “classic,” Al Ewing’s Loki and Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery; Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim; and more.
2:33:01-end: Closing comments!  Due to some crazy real-life events, I’ve cut out our talk of upcoming episodes and gone straight to Graeme telling you where you can find us on the Internet.  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr!  And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 109 patrons make this whole thing possible! Speaking of which, Jeff has an apology that, thanks to an incisive email from Steve H, we have been tardy in providing the “recommend a book for us to read” perk to long-time patrons. We are in the process of getting organized and it is coming….soon!
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat184.mp3
Whew!  Okay, so we hope you enjoy this episode, keep an eye on this space for what’s coming next, and remember: keep reading those comic books—you never know when you’re going to spend two and a half hours talking about them!
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                                 Strong Female Characters, by the mighty Kate Beaton

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?

Continue reading

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Oh, Pope Hats. Will we ever stop loving you?

So sorry, chums! Time is really nipping at my heels today so I don’t have time to festoon the show notes with images and links and youtubes and subliminal acrostics (you have been keeping up with the subliminal acrostics, right)?  I’ve got to—as Graeme always says—”hit and quit it,” so you can get these show notes in a timely manner and I can collapse on the divan like the bearded grungefop that I am.  (And yes, look for The Bearded Grungefop to be getting his own Oni series in 2019.)

Please do not let me keep you from enjoying this episode though, oh mighty Whatnauts!  It is a pretty good one, with the questions coming from our patrons from Patreon, and the answers coming from…well, us, of course.  We are probably the weak link in that two-link chain but what are you gonna do?  (If you have a beard and you answered “collapsed on the divan?” you are—to again quote Graeme—”biting my style,” and I’ll have none of it, damn you!)

As always, I’ll throw the text of the link in the first comment so you can copy, paste, spindle, mutilate or fold, as per your choices.  [Note: do not ingest link.  If link is swallowed, do not induce vomiting.  Prepare and drink approximately eight ounces of a solution made from the following ingredients: two tablespoons sodium bicarbonate, two egg whites, one Bill Mantlo comic, three pogs, and one blatant untruth released from the publicity department of a major comic book company.]

And, lo, there shall come a:

00:00-5:17: Greetings! And almost immediately we are off and running because this episode is overdue.  Yes, it’s the Q&A episode where the Qs come from our supporters on Patreon, and the As come from us!  But first, in explaining that we find ourselves explaining where to find us on Patreon, and so at the beginning of the podcast for a change:
Under The Tote Bag!  Places to look for us at—Stitcher! iTunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, an eye-popping 100 patrons make this whole thing possible!  And then Graeme tells us how we have the order we have, and then we get right to it. Surprisingly, it seems like there are just as many questions about the state of the industry as there are questions of taste or critical acumen and, unsurprisingly, there are questions about waffles.
(I’m not sure if I should just list the questions or also things we mention in our answers or what…so let’s just see how that comes together, shall we?)
5:17-17:22:  Eric Rupe asks:  “With the years of dire predictions for the direct market and some of the major publishers therein, on the podcast and otherwhere and by many people not on the podcast, why have none of them ever really come true? A truly captive audience? Lack of better options for various players in the market, however you chose to define that? Something else?”
(Discussed: captive audiences and the direct market, returnability and non-returnability, the New 52, the difference between how Marvel and DC incentivize ordering, (the last of which is very thoroughly covered by the Mighty Brian Hibbs over at CBR this month), the number of Secret Wars titles being launched by Marvel; an old conspiracy theory from the ‘80s; and more.)
17:22-23:25:  Eric Rupe asks:  If Diamond put the Previews catalog together in a more egalitarian manner, such as getting rid of premier publisher section and listing all publishers alphabetically or doing a rotating spotlight, do you think that it would lead to an increase in sales for non-Premier publishers?
23:25-30:58:  Eric Rupe asks:  “Which is the more important decade for superhero comics, the 60s or 90s? What do you think is the most important decade for comics in general?”
30:58-41:21:  Eric Rupe asks:  “Are the intentions of the editors and writers on recent outreach titles like Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Thor and Captain Marvel comprised by the fact that Marvel, as a company, is horrible when it comes to things like ethics, morals and general human decency? Does the larger cultural situation with a general lack of diversity in things like blockbuster movies and the fact that most companies are just as bad if not worse than Marvel on an ethical level matter? Or is simply a matter of giving one set of values priority over another.”
41:21-52:14:  Eric Rupe asks:  “Is Image’s current success based around Eric Stephenson and, if so, do you think that continued success is possible if Stephenson left the company? Also, do you think Image will be able to continue with it’s current publishing strategies or will the founders will want to reassert their presence in some way and mess things up in some fashion or another?’
52:14-53:32:  Eric Rupe asks:  “If Jeff’s beard could be described as a kind of waffle, what kind of waffle would it be? If Jeff’s beard were sentient would it a) prefer Marvel or DC, b) be editorially mandated or creator driven, c)follow characters or follow creators and d) be a Grant Morrison fanboy or an Alan Moore fanboy? If Jeff’s beard fought Alan Moore’s beard, which would win? Does Jeff’s beard have plans for world conquest?”
53:32-55:17:  Scott Ashworth asks:  “Aside from the Wait, What Holy Trinity of Kirby, Engelhart, and Gerber, who are your choices for most consistently interesting writers at Marvel in the period between Lee and Shooter’s editorships?”
55:17-56:13:  Dave Clarke asks:  “At what Patreon tier do we get a monthly ‘Jeff tries to explain manga to Graeme’ podcast?”
56:13-56:34:  Dave Clarke asks: “Have you guys seen the tv series Utopia? (the british thriller one that lasted 2 seasons, not the australian comedy one) If so talk about it. If not consider giving it a go, I think you guys would dig it and the first season revolves around hunting down a comic.”
[Note from Jeff:  After recording this podcast, I just found out that Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) has gotten the assignment to write the scripts for the American remake of the show and now I am VERY EXCITED.]
56:34-1:03:23:  Dave Clarke asks:  “The cultural implications of the new Batgirl series being a magnet for internet controversy.”
1:03:23-1:08:47:  Dave Clarke asks:  “Isn’t it weird that comics are still pencilled, inked and coloured? Inking was originally developed to work around technical limitations of mass productions which dont really exist any more. Even though a tonne of illustration is done for the film and video game industry very very little of it is of the ‘black linework + colour added behind it’ variety. Thoughts on why its still going strong in comics? Predictions for the future?”
1:08:47-1:10:46:  Adam P. Knave asks: “What breakfast foods are each of the classic avengers?”
1:10:46 -1:15:57:  Paul Spence asks: “Could the Whatnauts give us an assessment of Brandon Graham’s Prophet. I believe that Jeff likes it, but Graeme does not. I really like Prophet and I believe that it is the most original and challenging of all the sci-fi titles that Image has launched over the last four years. A number of the Image sci-fi offerings seem the same to me. Too many of them are formulaic post-apocalyptic dystopias.”
1:15:57-1:21:23:  Paul Spence asks:  “Can you voice an opinion about Graham’s earlier magnum opus King City. I have been rereading it recently and I keep finding new layers in the work to enjoy. Graham’s art is stunning in its detail and it looks gorgeous in black & white. I love Graham’s off-center sensibilities and the way he embraces surrealism. He is not a creator that everyone can enjoy, but I appear to be on whatever quirky wavelength he is on and his work really speaks to me.”
1:21:23-1:30:35:  Jeff Lang asks: “What did you guys think of the Captain Marvel/Warlock stuff when you first read it and why do you think the PTB behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe have embraced that particular sliver of the mid-1970s? Convenience? Fannish devotion? A mix of the two? Something else?”
1:30:35-1:43:20:  Kevin McCandless asks: “A simple question but out of all the non-Big Two series you’ve reviewed in the last year, which one would you recommend to someone getting back into alternative comics after a long hiatus?  By which I mean, upper middle-brow, appealing to NPR-listeners (which describes me to a T) stuff like Palookaville or Bone?”
1:43:20-1:47:11:  Chris Jarzombek asks: “Given the Lee-Kirby tension in the FF stories (i.e., Kirby wants to go one way with the story, Lee wants to go another), would there be any value in re-scripting some (or all) of the pages so that they better match the ideal (which I would assume for you guys would be Kirby’s intention)? I’m thinking particularly of pages where the art suggests Sue wants to stay with Namor, but the script is pulling her toward Reed; or ones where the heroes appear weaker than Lee is willing to concede. Or put another way: Would theses stories be better if they were “fixed,” or is the tension part of the fun for you?”
1:47:11-2:08:54:  J.D. Smith (that you, Smitty?) asks: “With Private Eye bowing at ten issues what do we take away from the model? What are you guys enjoying on the broader culture spectrum?  Books? Music? Film? TV?”
[Please note.  This response features the phrase: “Brian K. Vaughn is the Amanda Palmer of comics.”]
2:08:54-2:11:39:  Chris Beckett asks:  “With the upcoming Daredevil series on Netflix, what DD comics would you recommend, outside of Frank Miller’s work? (Personally, I love the Nocenti/JRJr run, which was my proper introduction to the character.)”
2:11:39-2:18:09:  Roger Winston asks: “What are your feelings about DC’s “announcement” that they are no longer going to be slaves to continuity? (Assuming you believe it.) Apologies if you’ve already covered this in the podcast and I forgot. I’m interested in how important continuity is to you and if that has changed over the years. I know that in my younger days I was quite insistent that everything matches up, but these days I don’t care as much. How important is it to a company’s reputation (for lack of a better term) that they are consistent with what they’ve established or are trying to establish?”
2:18:09-2:18:32:  Daniel Mackay asks: “What do you think of the original Batman TV series and should the Batman vs Superman film be a spiritual sequel to the series? I think we all want their fight to be Batman whipping out his Bat Superman Repellent Spray.”
2:18:32-2:26:07: Dan Billings asks: “Not sure if anyone has asked this before but a friend gave me a bunch of his 1970s comics which included Welcome Back Kotter comics and it made me think about recent non-animated sitcoms and if they would make decent comics. Any jump out at you? Who would write and draw them?”
2:26:07-2:27:35:  Martin Gray asks: “Here’s a question, then. If DC and Marvel were waffle toppings, what would they be?”
2:27:35-2:29:42: And, finally, Graeme runs though a thank you of our patrons, because we said we would and also because you are awesome and deserve it:
Andrew Bayer
J.D. Smith
Kristoffer Peterson
Chris Tanforan
Terrence Stasse
Neil Kapit
Lawrence Cruz
Carlos Aguilar
Paul Holmes
David Brown
Roy Rogers
timothy rifenburg
Leef Smith
Scott Ashworth
Stephen Williamson
Jeffrey Lang
John Kipling
Martin Gray
Robert Grzech
Dan Billings
Dan Turner
Ford Thomas
Derek Moreland
Max Brown
Leighton Connor
Stephen Andrews
Eric Phipps
Al Ewing
Chris Jarzombek
Heath Edwards
Steve Huang
Daniel Mackay
Jason Hopkins
Sean McTiernan
Eric Rupe
Roger Winston
Doug Aiton
Jesse Morgan
Steven Prince
Justin Harman
Aldin Baroza
Carla Hoffman
Matt Terl
Dominic Soria
Jon Copeland
Patrick Gaffney
Rick Vance
Mark Bender
Matt Digges
Matthew Johnson
Cass Andrew Sherman
Matt Miller
Chris Beckett
Ryan Watkins
Charles Forsman
Adam P Knave
Christian Sager
Corey Dvorkin
Anthony Casaldi
Ryan Fitzgerald
Luke Stacks
Brian Ruckley
Chris Bentley
Mairead Ryan (Ryan Mairead?)
Jose Maneira
Thomas Martin
Rich Barrett
Andrew Foley
Brendan O’Hare
Garrett Berner
Adam Polakoff
Dylan Todd
Jacob Shemkovitz
Jamaal Thomas
2:29:42-end: Closing comments!  At the time this was recorded we were wondering what we would do when we got to our 100th patron.  We’ve since hit that milestone, and still don’t know what to do.
Reboot!  And it’s pretty much also our “closing comments!” section, with us talking about how next week is *not* a skip week and how you’ll be getting Ep. 173 next week and *then* a skip week.  And again:  Under The Tote Bag!  Places to look for us at—Stitcher! iTunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, we are grateful to our 100 patrons, and especially to those who asked questions for this very episode.
Okay, that divan is close.  I will try to flesh out the tags later. Look to the skies! Look to our comments! Look to your longboxes!
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat173.mp3
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You said it, Vandal.

You said it, Vandal. You said it all.

Hello, I must be going! 

To Portland!

(Oregon.)

Hmm, that required more clarification than I had planned.  Nonetheless, it is true.  So, you know, I’ve got to pack my special waffleware, my Graeme McMillan cosplay outfit, my map of the maze of secret passageways in Powell’s Books, that special shrug I only use when somebody mentions Voodoo Doughnuts, and more.

Thus, here are the show notes just the way Thomas Hobbes conceived of them: Nasty, Brutish, and Short.  (Also the name of the unsuccessful competitor to Bone Thugs-n- Harmony I was in back in the day.)  We hope you enjoy them, us, the accompanying podcast, and your place in the universe. (Oh, which reminds me, I gotta get the address of that floatation tank place near Graeme!)

OH, AND HOLY HELL, BEFORE I FORGET:  Graeme and I are BOTH guests on the only movie podcast that has ever existed or will exist in pan-dimensional spacetime:  Travis Bickle on the Riviera! Listen to Sean Witzke, Graeme, and Jeff talk Carrie, Funny Face, The Trip to Italy, and even a little bit of….superheroes!  We may not be on that link when you first click on it, but keep following up.  That sucker is going up today, giving you a double dose of Wait, What action!  (And only a single dose of Sean Witzke, but that’s okay, you only need a single dose of Sean to clear up that nasty infection, as well as most of the helpful bacteria in your GI tract.)

Where was…oh, right.  The notes for this show:

00:00-23:07: This podcast, as you will soon discover, was recorded on Jeff’s wedding anniversary and the day of Scotland’s historic vote for independence. We don’t talk so much about the former, but about the latter? We have some thoughts. And for those who would actually like some comic book talk with their comic book podcast, tune in around 10:28 to hear Jeff talk about the “insights” the debate over Scottish independence has given him about Mark Millar and Grant Morrison. Discussed: conservative liberals, liberal conservatives, lying liars, liberal opportunists, and many more permutations of same.
23:07-41:03: And here come some comics! More specifically, Grant Morrison comics. Super-specifically, Annihilator by Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving,G and Multiversity: Society of Super-Heroes, by Grant Morrison, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Walden Wong, and Dave McCraig. Graeme has yet to read Annihilator, so you get to hear a lot of Jeff, but we’ve both read Multiversity: SOS so there’s a lot of excited yapping and verbal scrambling around the furniture from both of us. Come for the Morrison talk, stay for the weary tone in Graeme’s voice when he talks about the Darkseid War!
41:03-47:18: Speaking of DC, a bit of discussion about Batman Future’s End #1 and Batman and Robin: Future’s End #1, and a dissection of how the two books work, as well as what the two titles do differently.
47:18-51:38: Batwoman: Future’s End #1 sounds pretty terrible, but almost appealingly so? Warning: Graeme spoils the whole issue for us (but….almost appealingly so?) necessitating a certain amount of covering your ears and going “la, la, la! can’t hear you! la, la, la!” if you want to go into it cold.
51:38-55:42: Graeme also goes full metal spoiler on the Wonder Woman/Superman & Wonder Woman Future’s End issues by Charles Soule and Co., which he touched on in an earlier W,W? post and develops a bit more here.
55:42-1:03:25: Zen koan: if you tell a story about playing superheroes with your nieces at a park playground…and if your story has a cameo from an award-winning cartoonist…and that cartoonist tells a story about that award and the difficulties it presents getting into the Smithsonian…are you still talking about comics? Jeff humbly attempts to answer this timeless riddle.
1:03:25-1:09:31: All of the above was an intro to Jeff quickly talking about talking two books he’s read in the last week or two including: Demon by Jason Shiga and Sirens #1 by George Perez.  (Don’t worry, he doesn’t confuse one for the other and then just pretend like he was talking about both the whole time.)

Yikes! Glad this is just a comic book...

Yikes! Glad this is just a comic book…

1:09:31-1:50:49: Which bring us to….Avengers time! Yes, Graeme and I read Avengers #201-225 for your sins (and for our sins, you have to hear us talk about it). Discussed: the betrayal of Bill Mantlo; Who Weathers The Weathermen; Graeme turns into a bowl of Rice Krispies at one point; The ghost of Jim Shooter; the destruction of Hank Pym; the handling of The Wasp; the romance of Tony Stark and Jan Van Dyne; whether we should keep paying for Marvel Unlimited; strange cameos; Beast and Wonder Man a la Infantino; Moondragon and the inversion of the Shooter narrative; how to make superheroes grow up; and more.  Here, have a screenshot or two!

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Yikes (again)!

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Yikes (the finale)!

1:50:49-2:06:01: Trying to figure out if there’s comic news we should be discussing, we turn our gaze to the wonder that is Alison Bechdel winning a MacArthur Genius Grant and ponder other cartoonists we’d love to see get the award. (Don’t worry: only one of us picks Jim Shooter.) [Disclaimer: neither of us pick Jim Shooter.]  [Further disclaimer: both of us talk like Ms. Bechdel is the first cartoonist to receive the Genius grant, completely overlooking Ben Katchor.  We regret the error.]
2:06:01-end: Moving toward closing comments! Graeme tells us what he’s got on his desk to read, what we hope to talk about in the future, and Jeff’s upcoming trip to the PDX. And then: closing comments! Including places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 78 patrons make this whole thing possible.

Okay, so here is a link to the podcast for those of you who don’t like the play button thing we have going on:

Wait, What? Ep. 159

And here’s a link to our actual RSS feed.  I know it says iTunes in the name, but believe me, it should work with any RSS feeder you might like.

http://theworkingdraft.com/ItunesRSS.xml

And, again, Stitcher!  iTunes! Patreon!  Waffle Window!  (Oh, Farm Fusion, how I’ve missed you!)

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Listen to us/Win them

Listen to us: Win them.

 

Oh, man.  I would not trade my chance for my wife and I to have a sleepover with our niece for anything, but  I look forward to the day when we can do it without me having to replace a few hundred dollars of electronics or visiting the doctor afterward.

All of which is to say:  the podcast is here!  And it is more or less timely, but the show notes are (as ever?) on the speedy side, the kind of thing that might make you snicker once or twice, and help you figure out which part of our show to avoid…but not much more than that.  (Yeah, that brilliant endnoted show note pastiche of Infinite Jest still sounds like a good idea to me, damn it.)

But enough of that.  Here’s this:

00:00-3:08: Greetings! Our greetings include talking about greetings so maybe it’s more appropriate to say: meta-greetings! But we get to the comic book talk PDQ (Bach).
3:08-8:05: See? Here we are with Graeme talking about post-WWII era The Spirit, by Will Freakin’ Eisner! Boom! Not even four minutes in and Graeme’s talking about SOME OF THE GREATEST COMICS EVER MADE.
8:05-9:41: Does Graeme compare The Spirit to Judge Dredd? Why, yes, he does! And does he shame Jeff for being behind on reading 2000 A.D.? Oh my yes, he certainly does that as well, by telling us about the stellar-sounding stuff currently going on in those pages.
9:41-21:20: People who’ve heard Jeff try and talk about “what’s in his future but will be your past by the time you listen to it” know that he would make a pretty terrible Time Lord, and here’s another piece of proof: mentioning his and Graeme’s guest appearance on the only movie podcast in the world, Travis Bickle on the Riviera, which he figured would be up by the time this podcast was completed but, uh, is not at all.
Anyway, what is the mysterious reason Jeff brings it up? Listen in and find out! (Hint: it does *not* involve Heat Vision and Jack…even though we end up talking about that a lot in this segment.) But all of it is basically a swerve to talk about The Spirit some more, so don’t be too fooled.

Watch that first page, it's a doozy.

Watch that first page, it’s a doozy.

21:20-47:59: Care to hear about some more recent comics: how about Grayson: Future’s End #1? Wow, what an amazing issue cooked up by Tom King, Tim Seeley and Stephen Mooney! Seriously, if you haven’t picked it up yet, it is a really amazing one-shot that you don’t need to know about the Future’s End weekly series in order to enjoy. (In fact, you really don’t even need to have been following the previous two issues of Grayson.) Graeme calls it an “amazingly finely-structured comic,” and he is not wrong, Whatnauts. He is not wrong. Graeme also walks through some of the other 5YL one-shots, like Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Action, Detective Comics—which is a transition for Jeff to gripe about the ongoing stylistic inconsistencies of Batman Eternal (which has a full spoiler alert on for the most recent two issues since Jeff blabs about one of the big villain reveal), for Graeme to talk about Future’s End, and for both to discuss the joys and pains of weekly superhero titles.
47:59-58:45: Speaking of weekly experiences, Batman characters, and DC—Graeme has seen the pilot for Gotham! The whole thing! And he imparts some of his initial impressions here, which gives us a bit of scoop since Graeme will be recapping this show and Agents of SHIELD for Hollywood Reporter this fall.

YESSSSSSSS.

YESSSSSSSS.

58:45-1:04:10: Back to comics! Jeff read and very much enjoyed Batman ’66  #14, “The Batrobot Takes Flight/Bat-Villains Unite,” by Jeff Parker, Paul Rivoche, and Craig Brousseau. Yeah, if you want a classic Silver Age DC story with a giant Batman robot involved? This is indeed the comic for you. Jeff is also loving the current digital series of Jiro Kuwata Bat-Manga stories. The Human Ball! (And Professor Gorilla!  Which Jeff didn’t mention in the podcast but is telling you here as he’s also fantastic.)
1:04:10-1:12:09: Because Excalibur Comics, Graeme’s local shop, was having a huge sale in celebration of its fortieth anniversary. And because Graeme picked up all the rest of Steve Englehart’s run on Justice League of America and tells us about it. The Secret Origin of the Justice League? The Construct is to Red Tornado as Ultron is to The Vision? Wonder Woman—mind-controlled feminist? All of it proudly proclaims: ENGLEHART
1:12:09-1:38:04: Fun, apologetic, shameless and incisive comics? In that case, it’s well past-time we talked about Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #2 by Tom Scioli and John Barber. Also mentioned as in the same neighborhood, if not more or less under the same roof: Copra by Michel Fiffe; Captain Victory by Casey & Crew; and Nightworld #2 by Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri; and we talk about Flash Gordon #5 which mixes up the art team for half an issue with surprising results. Also, thanks to Marvel Unlimited, Jeff has read the first issues of Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight which were very good, and the first two issues of She-Hulk by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido and Muntsa Vicente, which is *terrific*. Graeme talks about the second story arc of Ms. Marvel, we discuss the long shadow of the Inhumanity event, and more. Also discussed: Lumberjanes #5 (which Jeff has maybe turned around on); Scooby-Doo Team-Up #6 featuring the Super Friends and the Rainbow Ghosts; and that other fantastic all-ages book, Southern Bastards #4.
1:38:04-1:49:45: Saga #22, read and discussed by both Graeme and Jeff, and the Death-Defying Dr. Mirage, by Jen Van Meter and Roberto De la Torre, which Graeme has read and recommends. For his part, Jeff read and highly recommends Lose #6 by Michael DeForge. And Jeff has just started (still hasn’t finished) Finder: Third World by Carla Speed McNeil (with colors by Jenn Manley Lee and Bill Mudron) which is also pretty damn amazing.
1:49:45-1:59:17: Plug and a contest! PLUG: Graeme is moderating the Judge Dredd panel at Rose City Comic-Con in Portland Oregon, Saturday, September 20th, with guests Douglas Wolk, Arthur Wyatt, and Ulises Farinas. If you are in Portland, Oregon on that day, the Power of Dredd compels you to attend! CONTEST: We really liked “The Russia Shift,” that first arc of The Fuse, the crime procedural by Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood set on a space station in the near future. We liked it so much that we are giving away a trade paperback collecting that very same arc (see above), and that trade is furthermore signed by aforementioned artist Justin Greenwood. Want to win it? Listen in here to find out how! (Super-thanks to Justin Greenwood, of course, and the ever-awesome Leef Smith of the ever-awesome Mission Comics and Art.
1:59:17-2:04:56: Closing comments! (Part 1) Graeme realizes we haven’t given you any details about our upcoming crossover with Travis Bickle on the Riviera and fills you in on what it was like to record with me and Sean Witzke (the Internet’s most terrifyingly knowledgeable film expert). You should definitely be listening to that podcast if you like movies…but if you like us (and let’s say for the sake of argument that you do) and you like movies, you should definitely give that episode a listen (we will mention it when it goes live, don’t worry!)
2:04:56-end: Also super-worthy of mention—our first $20 patron over at Patreon, Kris Peterson! Check Kris (not Chris) and his buddy Chris (not Kris) as they blog and podcast about comics over at The Gravy Age!  He is a good egg, and we promise to do him proud. (And of course, we are grateful to our patrons who are keeping us fired up and productive!) Places to look for us at—iTunes! Stitcher! Twitter! Tumblr, Patreon! (where, as of this count, 77 patrons make this whole thing possible)  You are…our Super Friends!

Oh, and here it is below, acting a little bit different from previous entries, but…hopefully you can still right-click and download? And stuff?

In case that doesn’t work, I’m going to take supergodmasterforce’s advice and throw in the link to our RSS feed here.  It’s very easy to grab it there, I promise you!

http://theworkingdraft.com/itunesRSS.xml

in fact lemme try it this way as a hyperlink (duh!):

http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat158.mp3

As always, we hope you enjoy, and thank you for listening!

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The original Hurts Donut

The original Hurts Donut

Hey, everyone!  This is a big episode in more ways than one:  not only is it a two and a half hour episode for you, not only is it our epic conclusion to our discussion Steve Englehart’s amazing run on The Avengers, but it is also the episode to listen to if you want to win one of the five Oily Comics Summer Bundles!

It’s an episode so big, we…had to skimp a bit on the show notes?  Join us after the jump for notes, apologies, and your chance to win it big!

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