For your 300th episode bonus appreciation, here’s Graeme’s pick for the Youtube clip that best represents Graeme:
Although Chloe’s pick to represent Graeme is also very, very good:
And because Jeff is cursed, he can only find this very perfect clip that best represents Jeff by having you click the player inside this tweet:

And as a bonus pick for Jeff, here’s a picture of Randy Quaid:
And with all that said, here’s the episode!
0:01-28:07: Greetings from Episode 300!  We get right into it with exactly what people expect from a big landmark number like that—nostalgia, self-aggrandizement, and a sheepish acknowledgment that our numbering system is hilariously askew.  Also discussed: Battlestar Galactica! Smashing Pumpkins! The Batman Quadrology and related relationship (and music) confessions!

28:07-41:19: Three Questions from Galactic Protector Dominic L. Franco!  Question 1: Since you both at one time worked in retail comics, I wanted to ask your opinion about why comics don’t fully transition to the graphic novel format.  Floppies made a lot of sense when they were relatively cheap and when the only market was the direct market or the newsstand.  But now, there are bookstores and Amazon, Comixology, and even those direct market stores that all do their business off of trades and graphic novels.  When publishers are asking $9.99 for a “giant, special” issue, is cost really the boogeyman some would make it out to be.  Floppies also made a lot of sense when every floppy was a self-contained story.  But now, so many issues are just “writing for the trade”, why not cut out the middle portion and just put out the trade?  Is it because trades/graphic novels cost so much up front for something you don’t know anything about?  How is that any different from the hundreds of hardcover novels that get put out and picked up every year?  Are publishers worried about the upfront cost?  Again, why is that so different from the book market and the publishers that work there.  Every book publisher knows what authors will be bankable (in the short term) and what authors will be a risk or a possible loss; Marvel knows what kind of numbers a Mark Waid book is going to post; DC knows that Geoff Johns is going to cover the cost of putting his work out.  I just wanted to know your thoughts about transitioning fully to the trade format — arguments for and against.  I apologize if this feels like a subject that was covered before.

41:19-57:48:  Question 2! Why does Superman not seem to work anymore in pop culture at large?  Batman is thought of as “so cool”, has multiple cartoons and multiple movies that have worked and reworked his concept.  Superman is thought of as “everyone’s dad” but that’s just shorthand for saying he is old-fashioned and corny.  He’s put into films that play up the fact that he is an alien (not one of us), or that make him more violent and less heroic (in the try to save as many people as possible sense — “we can’t fight here — the people!”).  Even in the comics, different attempts are made to chip away at him — to give him angst or pathos.  Why can he not seem to work as the inspirational figure he is meant to be?  Why is his ethic of wanting to do good simply for the sake of doing good (because it is the right thing) sneered at?  Did we let Superman down or was he always just something for children?  I ask this as a Superman enthusiast and am just curious as to what kind of discussion this may stir.

57:48-1:02:55:  Question 3! You know I’ve tried to solicit from the both of you Wait, What? the Soundtrack.  Now I want to ask about Wait, What? the Movie: Jeff, in your opinion, who plays you and who plays Graeme?  Graeme, same question. 

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1:02:55-1:24:57: This was a long time coming!  Kevin Donlan asked: So…on the last Q&A (Ep 273) I had asked a question that got pushed because it was a bit deeper than time allowed, I’m still curious about your thoughts, especially with how the world has gone slightly more than sideways since then. If you were to recommend an introduction to comics to different age levels what would you recommend. I had put a bunch of age brackets in the question last time, but how about 10 and under, 11-15, 16-20, 21-30 and 31+. I know it’s kind of a hard question since you don’t know anything about the target audience other than age, but I think you are up to the challenge. Thanks for the podcast, I appreciate what you guys share with us.

1:24:57-1:38:08:  Michael Loughlin performs a flawless victory combo! On the last episode, you discussed the recent Lois Lane mini series, and that Superman explaining why he wouldn’t help immigrants imprisoned by the government was weak and didn’t fit his character. I’ve long maintained that bringing in too many real-world elements breaks Big 2 super-heroes.
Do you agree?
Should we see super-heroes solve real world problems in the pages of their comics, or does that cheapen real world problems?
Is it better to see super-heroes deal with an analogue to the real world problem? (e.g. “President  Universo is detaining undocumented Durlans on Takron-Galtos and using the Science Police to attack protesters! It’s up to the Legion of Superheroes to free the unjustly-imprisoned Durlans, but can Element Lad convince Officer Erin to stand up to his fellow officers?”) (why yes, I have been reading a ton of Legion lately, how did you know?)
Not counting out-of-continuity/alternate reality series like Watchmen or Squadron Supreme, can you think of a Big 2 super-hero comic that addressed real world concerns that was exceptionally good?

1:38:08-1:51:13:  David Austin inquires:  Question for podcast 300: I rarely hear you guys talk about eurocomics/Bandes dessinee compared to American, British, or Japanese comics, even though they’ve become a lot more accessible thanks to ComiXology, Titan, and other distribution mechanisms. Curious if you have some favorites or recent picks (I enjoyed the Elric adaptation from a few years ago). Also curious whether you think European genre comics – fantasy, sci-fi, crime, etc. – are smarter or more sophisticated on average than American genre comics, or do they just tend to present as such because of more sophisticated visuals and more “adult” themes?

1:51:13-2:04:30: Steven Bagatourian descended into the underworld to save his beloved and returned with this:  Speaking of desperate and dying, let’s talk about the state of mainstream comics! More specifically: the price of mainstream comics.
When I started reading comic books, they cost 65 cents at my local Circle K. Today, we live in the land of the $3.99 and $4.99 comic book — price points that are wildly out of whack with the cost of inflation and the cost of minimum wage in this country. No matter what index you choose, comic book prices are just insane and seem to doom this medium to cultural obscurity, particularly now, with the present economic horror show we’re living through. I realize the readership is shrinking dramatically, but to me, clearly, these absurdly escalating price points are a huge reason why this has happened — not the only reason, to be sure, but a pretty fucking big one.
Is the paper floppy really a dead format (NOOOOOOOOOOO!)? Would $2 floppies sell substantially higher than their $4 counterparts, enough to justify the price-drop? (I say “Yes” to that last one — at least, I would take a chance on a whole lot more books at two bucks.) Are we destined for comic book magazines in America that combine multiple issues in phonebook-style manga magazines?

2:04:30-2:07:16:  HEEEEEEEEEERE’S Ethan Johnson! What is DC doing?  It seems like a bunch of titles are “wrapping up” in a month or so.  Is this the “5G Reboot” thing, or is that off the schedule because of COVID and DiDio’s departure?

2:07:16-2:26:46:  Telegram from Tim Rifenburg!   Hey Guys, I already sent a question through Patreon but if you are feeling kind, here is a quick one. Favorite Anniversary Comic? (100th, 500th, 25th etc.) Mine is JLA 200.A fun throwback to early JLA with Gerry Conway, George Perez and a bunch of short chapters with classic team up / slugfest by a jam of artists.
2:16:54-2:26:46:  Podcast Protector and Comic Book Champion Adam Knave (whose name I think I talked over when Graeme said it? Sorry, Adam!!):  3 part question though, in honor or the 3-0-0 –
What is the GREATEST Avengers run?
What is the GREATEST JLA run?
Between the two – which is better than the other?
2:18:38-2:26:46:  We are always grateful to hear from Dan Billings—sorry we truncated your comments down to just the question, Dan!—who ponders:  What would you recommend to feel good about comics?

2:26:46-2:29:04: That imp CJ Kral inquires:  Would you rather see a 1920’s silent Batman film staring Buster Keaton or Spider-man staring Charlie Chaplin?  Super-exciting question for Jeff on so many levels!  It’s a reference to one of his tweets!  He gets to explain the joke to Graeme!  And his answer makes Graeme reconsider his.  WE HAVE A HAT TRICK, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

2:29:04-2:35:51: It’s the Flasshe of Two Worlds!  Roger Winston powers up the cosmic treadmill to ask:
Question 1: If DC’s 5G initiative had actually gone forward and was as rumored (legacies replacing originals), is that something you would’ve been in favor of? And for how long? I think I would’ve been okay with it, but for like 2 years max.
2:35:51-2:41:46:  Question 2: Is the pandemic NOT really going to be the nail in the coffin of the comics industry, or at least the direct market? I was sure it was, but now I’m wavering.
2:41:46-2:46:52: Question 3 (I guess he’s the Flasshe of Three Worlds?):   Has quarantining / self-isolating changed your eating habits for the better or worse or not at all? I am eating less, but also probably less nutritiously, and losing weight but not the “bad” weight since there is also less exercise.
2:46:52-2:50:00: And jumping the queue is Chad Nevett for our final question of the episode: which of you is which from below?  Robert Secundus quote: “Oh you two have a podcast? Which is the scholar and which is the clown?”
2:50:00-end:  Closing comments!  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Dominic L. Franco, and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: It was supposed to be a Drokk! but it instead is going to be the wrap-up of answering your questions! Woo, another longstanding Wait, What tradition survives!
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0:01-1:28: Greetings from Secret Comic-Con! Yes, you suckers enjoy your “ComicCon At Home” b.s., Graeme is living it up at the real Comic-Con and it sounds amazing!

1:28-37:44: No, just kidding. There isn’t a secret comic-con just, as Graeme puts it, “truly, truly terrible panels on Youtube.”  Fortunately, Graeme of course has watched them, and so can school Jeff—who of course has not—on why they’re…less than great, and what lessons we hope NYCC can take from them.  Discussed: NYCC; panel announcements; the legally mandated fond reminiscences of Comic Cons past; the Eisners Awards 2020; the SDCC At Home home page; Marvel’s Storyboards; and “more.”

37:44-54:33:  Comics news question:  how does Jeff feel about the Walking Dead being re-released in color?  Discussed: why the heck did Jeff like The Walking Dead so much?  [SPOILERS for the end of the series.]  narrative engines; revisiting stories; the joys of careless reading; and more.

54:33-1:03:35: Comics news question #2: What does Jeff think about the announcement of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw’s Crossover?  Discussed: Huh?  1985; Constantine; Battle Scars; “Cheese.”

1:03:35-1:15:43: Jeff has purchased and read Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics by Tom Scioli and he has…thoughts. Approximately twelve minutes of thoughts.
1:15:43-1:45:30: Here’s a curveball for Graeme—does living in Portland, Oregon, in 2020 during the midst or protests and ACAB and so much more affect how he is taking in escapist literature, especially escapist literature of the “punch the person who is wrong” variety? Discussed: The Monkees; The Music Man; hip-hop; Jodorowsky; Portland’s hero/superhero; the unreality of America; the unreality of Chips Ahoy!; can Jeff really come back to superhero comics and what would it take?; Empyre #1 (which Graeme enjoyed!); and more.

1:45:30-1:59:55: Due to a hard stop, we have to start wrapping up but Jeff wanted to talk to Graeme a little bit about Death Metal #2 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia.  And, since he’s one of the podcasters on this show, he gets to!
1:59:55-2:02:11: Remember that hard stop?  Graeme does!  But Jeff does have a quick point to make about Secret Invasion, Brian Michael Bendis, and DC very quickly.  (Maybe even…too quickly?  Is that even possible for Jeff?)
2:02:11-end:  Closing comments!  Watch The Doghouse on HBO Max! Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Dominic L. Franco, and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Skip week!  Come back in two weeks for EPISODE THREE HUNDRED. We think it’s going to be a Q&A, so tweet or email us your Qs and we’ll make As out of ourslves answering them!
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0:01-8:55 Greetings! If Frederic Wertham had written about comics from the Fifties featuring a terrifying “injury to the foot” motif instead of “injury to theeye,” hoo hoo, would we have a fitting comics-adjacent injury anecdote for you! But instead we just have to hear about Jeff’s stupid foot.
8:55-10:53: Jeff makes a clever segue into talking about comics news of the week which Graeme the opportunity to talk about all the comics news of the coming weeks he’s working on and so must pivot to mention things like next week’s Death Metal #2 (out next week) and Lisa Hanawalt’s I Want You (out August 18).
10:53-25:41: But there is a bit of comics news, kinda: Marvel has announced yet another event: King in Black, another Venom-related event from the masterminds of Absolute Carnage: Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman. It’s still a ways off, so Graeme talks a bit about the announcement video and Jeff talks about Incoming #1, which, uh, incame to Marvel Unlimited very recently and mentioned the King in Black as well as a host of other storylines to be…including Empyre, which allows us a bit of space to talk about Empyre #0: Avengers by Al Ewing and Pepe Larraz (a “new” comic from the end of June). And! Because we’re talking about Marvel events, Jeff talks about having read (for the first time) Secret Invasion by Brian Bendis and Leinil Yu.
25:41-41:25: Without giving anything away, Graeme talks about the upcoming second issue of Death Metal if only to add that the issue made him simultaneously better about the event and underscored the limitations of the story.  Hmm!
41:25-55:13: Graeme has also read the last issue of Lois Lane by Greg Rucka and Mike Perkins, and if, like Jeff, you haven’t been reading it and if, like Jeff, you didn’t think it would have anything to do with big events—specifically reboots—you’d be surprised.  (Which is to say: Jeff?  Was indeed surprised.)  Similarly: the final issue of Jimmy Olsen!
55:13-1:13:41: And on a related note, Graeme has read all of James Tynion IV’s run on Batman (with a team of various artists, including Guillem March and Rafael Albuquerque, it should be noted). What does that have to do with Tom Taylor’s work on Injustice and DCeased?  The answer may surprise you! (I mean…it’s possible, right?)
1:13:41-1:40:50: So, Greme (unsurprisingly) has been reading a lot of DC.  As for Jeff, he (unsurprisingly) has been reading a lot of manga, including: volume four of Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita; the first volume of Digital Manga Guild’s Kimagure Orange Road reprints by Izumi Matsumoto; the first two chapters of Hard-Boiled Cop and Dolphin by Ryuhei Tamura over on Shonen Jump—and then some non-manga: Perdy, Vols. 1 and 2 by Kickliy; and two great recent releases by Kyle Starks: Old Head (with Chris Schweizer) and Karate Prom.
Jeff also gave himself the goal of reading all the week’s releases on Marvel Unlimited—it was only 12 books!—and, uh, failed, but he talks about some of those including some grousing about Marvel’s latest Star Wars series.

1:40:50-1:51:46: Returning to that idea of comics news—was there anything?  Jeff points out the news of the Gotham PD show at HBOMax that’ll be set in the same world as Matt Reeves’ upcoming movie; and we talk about a subject we overlooked in our previous episode, the life and career of Denny O’Neil; we also have to punt discussion about Charles Brownstein and the CBLDF but if interested you should check out this excellent piece over The Comics Journal.  (And while I’m at it, another very strong piece of comics industry reporting came out over at The Daily Beast that is worth your time—I’m linking here even though it was published after the recording of this episode).
1:51:46-1:56:20: Graeme reread Doomsday Clock! Yes, that’s right.  And I could tell you more about that but I’m trying very hard to get my new nickname for him trending on Twitter so you’ll just have to listen to this segment without all the written description blabbity-blab and hear it for yourselves.
1:56:20-end:  Closing comments!  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Dominic L. Franco, and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Are you ready to Drokk?! I SAID: Are You Ready to Drokk?!?! Read Volume 16 of Judge Dredd: The Complete Casefiles and join us next week!
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0:01-7:27: Howdy! (And apologies for Call Recorder truncating Graeme’s greeting!)  Hours have become days, days have become weeks, and weeks have become years, so it feels like a long time since we have last spoken and need to spend a few minutes catching up—to the point, in fact, where we have to jump offline to check in.  How is Graeme? How is Jeff?  And you, Whatnaut—how are you?
7:27-18:20:  Okay, we’re back from discussing a thing for Graeme that may not come together and therefore should not be disclosed on air, and moving on to something Graeme is more than eager to talk about:  Adfrian Tomine’s The Loneliness of the Long Distance Cartoonist!  It is scheduled for release in July, and it is an autobio comic about being a cartoonist that is, as Graeme memorably puts it, “like Curb Your Enthusiasm starring Adrian Tomine.”  Like we said, Graeme is more than eager to talk about it, but does it sound like Jeff is…less than eager to talk about it?  Why would that be?
18:20-23:34: Jeff has had pretty bad luck with comics the last week or so.  Not like…Uncut Gems levels of bad luck? But, still, yeah,  Pretty bad with some exceptions—and one of those exceptions is the third and final issue of Superman Smashes The Klan by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihuru. Just a stellar wrap-up to the period piece minseries.  And the other good read he had recently also had lovely Gurihuru art;  Spider-Man and Venom: Double Trouble #1, recently available on Marvel Unlimited.
23:34-1:01:01:  But maybe the reason Jeff has had bad luck with comics has a lot—a whole lot—to do with the fact that Jeff has been reading comics starring Morbius, The Living Vampire, the trash fieriest of trash fire characters…and worse he’s been reading the Adventure Into Fear comics from the 70s starring ol’ Morb. How can comics crafted by faves of Jeff like Steve Gerber, Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy, Gil Kane, and P. Craig Russel go so horribly wrong?  Listen and learn, true believer, listen and learn. Also discussed: A Don McGregor top five; Rager of Ultron; The Melter; and more.
1:01:01-1:15:09:  So worked is Jeff in his eagerness to define and convey the scope of his frustration that he bungles the title of his next disappointing read, Action Comics Vol. 3: Leviathan Hunt by Brian Michael Bendis and Szymon Kudranski, as Adventure Comics Vol. 3.  (Thanks for catching, Graeme!)  Jeff loves the character interactions but loathes the story machinations and the book’s excerpt of Bendis’s script is just gasoline on top of this very conflicted fire.
1:15:09-1:58:36: By contrast with Jeff’s exasperation with Bendis’s sloppiness, Graeme has some conflicted feeling about the manifestation of what is more or less the exact opposite in Scott Snyder’s run on Justice League, which has just concluded as a lead-in to the upcoming Dark Metal event by Snyder and Greg Capullo.  Bendis had for many years at Marvel built the end of one crossover event into the beginning of the next, such that each event had a little less punch to it with one status quo leading to another more dramatic status quo, and that’s a pretty interesting contrast to what Graeme talks about here after reading Metal, Justice League: No Justice, Justice League Odyssey, and Justice League itself.  Snyder hits all the story points but…do they land?  And, y’know, why or why not? As you might imagine, SPOILERS for the conclusion of Snyder’s run and/or the various minseries and connected series along the way; and for those of you who gambled Jeff would still be second-guessing himself and consequently still screwing up James Tynion IV’s name this late in to Tynion’s career, pick up your winnings at window four!
1:58:36-2:07:06: If you follow the Wait, What? Tumblr, you’ll know Graeme has been reading Armor Wars/Stark Wars, the very enjoyable Iron Man comics by David Michelinei and Bob Layton, and can compare and contrast it with Iron Man, the launching point of the MCU that reworks the Armor Wars/Stark Wars and the Obadiah Stane arc from earlier.  So the movie, in a way Graeme didn’t realize before this rewatch, is written by people who grow up with the same Iron Man comics he grew up with. Also discussed: Armor Wars II, which Graeme accurately describes as “a sequel to a story that never existed.”
2:07:06-2:22:46: And then Graeme skips ahead to read Tom Taylor’s run on Superior Iron Man, followed by Kieron Gillen’s run, Bendis’s run, and Dan Slott’s run. Has Tony been done dirty by writers unable to leave a decent character hook alone?  Or has the influence of Marvel’s marketing department hold more sway in this era of Marvel comics than we normally acknowledge?
2:22:46-2:25:08: Comics news/Musical interlude
2:25:08-2:35:25: More comics news (non-musical version). With added TV and movie recommendations from Graeme!
2:35:25-end:  Closing Comments! Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Dominic L. Franco, and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Skip week! See you in two hundred years—which is to say, June 7—for our next episode!
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