Welcome to Marvel's Corporate Structure, Avengers! Hope you survive the experience!

Welcome to Marvel’s corporate structure, Avengers! Hope you survive the experience!

Holiday’s greetings, everyone!  It’s next to next to the last day of the year, and Graeme and I are here to shut it down in style, with  a two point five hour podcast of Avengersdissing, predictionmaking, shadethrowing hyphenignoreing adventure!  We recorded this one the day after Christmas, I mixed it yesterday, I’m uploading it today, I’m having a quiet nervous breakdown tomorrow and then we are streets ahead into 2015!  So join us for a very quick piece of shownoteisms, won’t you?

00:00-16:13: Holday greetings! As mentioned above, this podcast was recorded on Boxing Day, 12/26/14, so our opening is long on the holiday catch-up news and short on the comics news. Oh no, wait, I’m sorry: We’re actually talking about renowned Marvel supervillain, Swarm…

Image ganked from our fine friends at Comics Alliance.

Image ganked from our fine friends at Comics Alliance.

within the first ninety seconds. How that leads into a big long discussion about Dr. Doom, I wish I could tell you. Well, I mean I could tell you, but wouldn’t you rather hear that for yourself?
16:13-49:37: Is Captain America Marvel’s Superman? Does Marvel have an aspirational hero the way DC has Superman? These are things that Graeme is wondering about—is there a lack of inherently good heroes in Marvel right now? This talk actually turns pretty quickly to Graeme filling Jeff in on the state of Superman right now especially in comparison to how Supes started off in the New52. Also discussed: the Charlton characters and which one would be most likely to end up in 2000 A.D. unchanged, and our appreciation for the ludicrously deep back catalog of DC characters, all of which culminates in our discussion of Showcase #100…

If you like reading about superheroes in bulk, this is the issue for you.

If you like reading about superheroes in bulk, this is the issue for you.

by Pauls Levitz and Kupperberg, Joe Staton and Dick Giordano, which in turn leads to a big description of Gardner F. Fox’s Justice League of America, the best reboot of Hawkman ever hatched, Green Arrows then and now, and more.
49:37-2:07:30: AVENGERS TALK! We had one job for this podcast…! One job!!

Fortunately, we do indeed get around to discussing issues #275-300 (after first talking shit about 2014) and talk about what it was like reading these 300 issues of Avengers, generally, where the high points were and why; the difference between Marvel in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, and writer Roger Stern and editor Mark Gruenwald as the embodiments of that last era; the last ten issues (#290-300) written by Walt Simonson and what a strange batch of issues they are;

Simonson giving G-Mo a run for his money...

Simonson giving G-Mo a run for his money…

the dialing down of the Marvel Universe; Nebula, Marinna, and (again) these amazingly weird issues by Walt Simonson; the next 50 issues as summarized by Graeme; the idea that The Avengers is a book that only works by accident: why is that? Also discussed: the retconning of the retconning of the retcon of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch; Jeff’s analogy about Jonathan Hickman’s work which he’s still somewhat pleased by; how many issues you can read until you get to have an opinion; Serial, fiction, and serial fiction; Twin Peaks (another story about a murder that first infatuated and then infuriated people), Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks; whether or not Jeff should jump ahead and read the Kurt Busiek issues;  and much more.
2:07:30-2:17:06:  You’d think this would be where our closing comments go, and it sorta/kinda starts that way, but instead we talk about what we expect and/or what we want from 2015, as summed up by the guy who knows nothing of what’ll be going on (that would be Jeff) and the guy who knows pretty much everything (that would be Graeme).  Discussed:  Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Butcherology; Star Wars; Secret Wars; Convergence; the article title that will make Graeme turn the Internet upside-down; the prices of comic books; and more.
2:17:06-end: Closing comments!  The Crying of Tote Bag 49! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! And, of course, Patreon, where, as of this count, 89 patrons make this whole thing possible.

Happy New Year to one and all—we hope 2015 brings you everything you need and all that you might want!  We will talk to you in the New Year!

 

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Hey, hey, we're the wrenchies...

Hey, hey, we’re the Wrenchies…people say we’ll wrench you around…

Hello, everyone!  My computer is acting a wee bit erratically today—I’m thinking it’s the mistake of trying to upload 547 files to Dropbox all at a go, but who knows for sure—so I’m gonna get right to the show notes, if you don’t mind.  Remember:  if you just want the link to the podcast for your own downloading/making-a-secret-weapon purposes, just go to the VERY FIRST COMMENT.

(Note to self: DO NOT FORGET TO PUT LINK TO THE SHOW IN THE VERY FIRST COMMENT.)

And with that, we’re off!

00:00-2:52: Greetings! Oh, the weather outside is frightful (in Portland) but having an Internet kill switch makes Graeme delightful, so…uh, I don’t know the rest of the song? I think it’s something about having no particular place to go? Man, “Let It Snow” is a harsh, harsh song: men and women on the edge of homelessness trapped in a snow storm with their own choices being starvation or cannibalism! No wonder everyone likes that “conceal, don’t feel” song so much. Snow-related songs are grim.
2:52-12:02: Jeff’s been to the comic store for the first time in a few weeks and here’s a thing: we have trouble remembering all the stuff we meant to buy until we get home. Mentioned and discussed (and forgotten in a few cases): Gotham Academy #2, Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta; “Kirkmanitis,” and more. One of the things I realize now we should’ve talked about is when we decide to just hold off on getting the forgotten book until next time, and when we buy the book digitally.  (As I did with that third Multiversity issue and I think Graeme’s also done?  Like I said, we shoulda talked about it.)

dalrymple-wrenchies-2014

Sort of a nice transition panel choice here, I think….

12:02-59:11: Here comes a stealth transition to talking about The Wrenchies, the truly noteworthy graphic novel from Farel Dalrymple published by First Second. One of us loved it, one of us did not, and yet both of us are telling you to read it: how does that work, exactly? Find out here as Graeme and Jeff dig in deep to this remarkable book. Discussed: Jonathan Lethem; Philip K. Dick; The Divine Invasion and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch; self-destructive narratives; Flex Mentallo; The Filth; Grant Morrison; Too Many Cooks (and yes, I just spent another 11:11 watching it again to get that link); our relationship to despair; late ‘80s X-Men; the inherent ambiguity of “comic book-y” material; The Rise of Aurora West; First Second Books; having things you say on the Internet taken the wrong way; and much, much more. Is this possibly our longest talk on a single book ever? It might be!
59:11-1:08:41: And then we go on to talk about Superior Iron Man #1 by Tom Taylor and Yildiray Cinar; Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #1 by Ales Kot and Marco Rudy; Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 by Al Ewing and Luke Ross, but none of them for nearly as long as The Wrenchies.
1:08:41-1:25:02: And, as long as we’re talking Marvel, we also decide to talk about Captain Marvel: success or social media success? We talk Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Girl, The Death of Wolverine, Inhumanity (and, more particularly, Inhumanity on Marvel Unlimited); and the nearly criminal lack of Marvel Two-In-One on Marvel Unlimited.  (Seriously, it’s heart-breaking.)
1:25:02-1:52:12: “Okay, let’s talk about Avengers, then.” And with that, we continue our re-read of the first 300 issues of Avengers, this time covering Avengers #251-277 by (largely) Roger Stern, John Buscema, Tom Palmer and editor Mark Gruenwald. An amazing run…but why did Jeff find himself wishing he was reading Chris Claremont comics instead?  Discussued: A Skrull saga in space (again), The Masters of Evil (again), In The Case of Change v. Illusion of Change; X-Men Forever (all on Marvel Unlimited!); a slam against the Justice League; and much more.
1:52:12-2:03:25: Jeff has just started reading The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore; a fascinating, intensely readable and yet also glib overview of the life of Charles Moulton Marston; and Graeme talks a bit about an upcoming article he’s writing about the Five Most Powerful Comic Book Writers in Hollywood, and about corresponding with Robert Kirkman, Brian Bendis, Mark Millar, Geoff Johns, and Chris Claremont. But also: Lemire! Jodorowsky! And as a bonus, a good review from Graeme about a very good Earth One title coming out from DC, and more.
2:03:25-end: Closing comments! Light applause! What’s on our website! What’s coming to our website! And, as always, our thanks and appreciation to everyone who’s contributed to us on Patreon (where, as of this count, 83 patrons make this whole thing possible.) It’s The Great Tote Bags, Charlie Brown! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! iTunes! Twitter and Tumblr!

Thanks for checking in and we’ll see you in (probably) another two weeks!

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Thanks to Gar Berner for Bringing The Super-Awesome!

Thanks to Gar Berner for Bringing The Super-Awesome!

Damn it, next year we’re going to have a contest centered around Graeme’s first Prog Rock album, The Moog Goo of Guy Pan or something because it’s quite a bummer to have my mug staring out from this post exclusively.

Anyway.  Once again, I have managed to go an entire night without sleep so let me apologize in advance for the dozens, if not thousands, of errors, typographical and otherwise, sure to pop up in this post.  (Also I need to get better at screenshotting Avengers pages.)  Things should improve scheduling-wise after this, and I can go back to make dozens, if not thousands, of errors, typographical and otherwise, for other reasons.

Ready for some show notes?  Some serious no-fooling two and three-quarters of an hour bare-knuckle podcasting?  Well, then.  I have just the thing for you!

00:00-40:51: Greetings! Cue up your Lonely Man Theme but don’t be fooled: even though we start by talking about the Incredible Hulk TV show, it takes a certain amount of time to get around to the comic book. But instead we stick to the TV side of things, with discussion of Tales of the Gold Monkey, B.J. and The Bear, and most especially Twin Peaks (and its return!). I’m going to point you to Graeme’s thoughts on the topic, with a touch of Abhay’s since we reference them in the convo but they’re definitely worth being reading on their own. We also discuss the TV show Manhattan about the building of the atomic bomb, The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, and, of course, Gavin & Stacey and the current season of  New Girl. And if that wasn’t enough non-comics talk for you, we also talk about Jeff’s strange relationship with iPhones, old and new. Also also discussed: hatewatching things, artisanal douches, and babies and, uhhhhhh, what else do we usually talk about? Hmm…
40:51-57:09: Comics books! That’s right we eventually remember to talk about comic books! In fact, first off we dig deep into Batgirl #35, by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr. Tossed out there in our discussion; Gail Simone, Bob Haney, the phrase “evil 4chan DJ,” target audiences, and more. It’s a bit of a tussle, this discussion.
57:09-1:09:55: Graeme received copies of Trinity of Sin #1 by J.M. DeMatteis, Yvel Guichet, Jason Gorder and Gabe Eltaeb; Earth 2: World’s End #1 and #2 by more people than I’m getting paid to type; and Klarion #1 by Ann Nocenti and Trevor McCarthy; we also tussle a bit on this one, too. Tussle! It’s one of the all-time great words.

Also great is how Graeme calls me out on my shitty handling of percentages. (Wait, is that great?)
1:09:55-1:24:01: Changing gears a bit, Jeff feels there’s been a certain maximalism in comic books lately, a serious commitment to spectacle and too much. And never is that more true than with Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe #3 by Tom Scioli and John Barber. (Please note that we also tussle briefly over the public reaction to Seven Soldiers #1.) This tremendous and overwhelming book pretty much blew our tiny minds. Discussed: Copra, Kirby, Steranko, outsider art, and more.
1:24:01-1:59:18: Avengers Talk!! It’s time for Avengers Talk! This time we are discussing issues #227-250 by (mostly) Roger Stern, Al Milgrom, and Joe Sinnott. It’s almost impossible to talk about this title and not also talk about Marvel in the early Eighties and the heyday of the Jim Shooter editorial era. A really great run of issues with some tremendous steps forward in its handling of female characters (as embodied by Monica Rambeau, the new Captain Marvel). In fact, it’s possible to see the two issue wrap up of Spider-Woman’s book (issues #240-241) as a non-fucked-up version of Avengers #200. And of course, since issues #228-229 has to do with the redemption of Hank Pym, we once again revisit the handling of Hank Pym, the issues and meta-issues, the rewriting of history (comic book history and real life history); a brilliant connection Graeme makes about “yes, and” improvisation and the work of Steve Englehart; Spider-Man, Wife Beater; Tony Stark, Super-Lush; Kirby’s Eternals and Starlin’s Titans; and then…
1:59:18-2:14:01: Something is happening at Jeff’s door so he has to run away for a moment, and comes back and terrifies Graeme. And then we’re back to talking about Maelstrom, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott, and much, much, MUCH more.

Oh, and remember how I said I was terrible about screenshots?  Look at the stuff I thought was worth showing you guys:

FullSizeRender(2)

Hawkeye namedropping Tom Stoppard!

and

FullSizeRender(1)

Dr. Doom! Subpar rapper!

and:

Al Milgrom: Prophet of Pop Culture to Come! (Shame about the spelling, though...)

Al Milgrom: Prophet of Pop Culture to Come! (Shame about the spelling, though…)

2:14:01-2:33:41: So.  Remember when we said we could wrap this up in under two hours?

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Turns out, there’s still the overdue discussion of the winners of our “Are You Feeling The Feeling That I’m Feeling” giveaway! This has a lot of us reading entries and just laughing aloud—maybe not our most professionalmoment—but we wouldn’t have if the work wasn’t so awesome. Because we are laughing all over these amazing entries, you’ll probably get a better bang for your buck reading them all below. Thanks for everyone who entered! We are terrified by how much funnier you guys are than us, and yet we’re the ones talking on air.

The stunning entries by our amazing listeners:

Gar Berner:
“If You’re Not in the World That’s Coming, I Don’t Wanna Be There (Lila’s Song)”

Matt Sabonis:
“Milk for Midnight (for Oreos in Bed)”

Chris Mastrangelo:
1. Can’t Comb My Beard Without You Babe
2. Cold Waffles At Midnight
3. It’s Raining (In My Heart)
4. Tonight’s The Night, Unless It Isn’t, In Which Case Tomorrow Night May Be The Night
5. Rapping Intermission
6. Your Chicken And Tomatoes
7. Taxidermist of Love
8. Don’t Make Me Wrassle Your Heart
9. Snaky Woman
10. A Sexy Little Lady Called Sex
11. Greensleeves [traditional]
12. This Jazzy Sax Solo’s For You

Dave Clarke [the lost entry!]:
1. List heavy show notes
2. Love is a savoury waffle
3. Your chicken and tomatoes
4. Rapping Intermission
5. Portland (feat. DJ Ernie and MC Gus-Gus)
6. I don’t care what people say (I like me some Tony Daniel)
7. Is this thing recording?
8. By the miracle of the internet
9. Download code
10. Sing us out

Christopher Beckett:
3. Ghoulash – Little Bits in the Sauce
4. Babe, I’m Your One Man Army Corps
5. Gimme That Kenny G.
6. We Are Human … Like An Animal
7. Pinky Winehardt Goes to Washington
8. Smooooooooooth
9. I Hear You In My Dreams (& it scares me)
10. Push and Pool
11. A Lonely Heart Gathers No Moss
12. Heart U 4Evah

Derek Moreland/Nathaniel Quietly/Voodoo Ben:
1. “Erotic Vampire LOVE Heist”
2. “You Wafflin’, Baby”
3. “The Cleanse”
4. “FEELINGS!”
5. “Your Chicken and Tomatoes”
6. “Rapping Intermission”
7. “Binging (Delillo) (feat. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez)
8. “U R My Malomar”
9. “MmHmm MmHmm MmHmm / Interesting”
10. “Booty”
11. “The Cleanse (Remix) (feat. Missy Elliot)
12. “Cinema Mortalis” (instrumental)

Paul Spence:
Baby Has Her Biscuits in The Oven And Her Buns In My Bed
She Feels Like A New Man Tonight
How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Leave Me
You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith Too
She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger
I Keep Forgettin’ I Forgot About You
The Pint of No Return
Please Bypass This Heart
The Wait What Waffle Window Wonton Watusi

Brendan O’Hare:
1. Hot San Francisco Mornings
2. Am I Leavenworth Your Love?
3. Skip This Track (If You Ain’t Makin’ Love (Right Now))
4. Pause Like I Know You
5. R U Glad I Didn’t Say Banana? ft. Prince
6. Rapping Intermission
7. The World Through Rose Color Asses
8. I’ll Be the One to Be the One
9. Takes All Kinds
10. One at a Time
11. Take it All One at a Time
12. Your Chicken and Tomatoes
Hidden Track: No Stinky Fish
Stu West:
(Just a) Love-Struck Honky
Quiche for One
Ever-Approaching Grandpa of Love
Paul Kupperberg Blues

Bonus track from David Wolkin:

“Graeme unintentionally dropped the best entry on the podcast: ‘My Individual Issues’”

Bonus Show Notes only track from David Wolkin (because my phone lost his text for four days): “Also: ’She Beatboxes, I Drop a Few.’ You guys write this shit yourselves!”

And, as a bonus bonus, here’s Voodoo Ben’s transcript of that “Behind The Music” hatchet job they did on me.  (They got most of it right, but man the stuff they got wrong still steams my clams):

Welcome back.

In 1993, Jeff Lester was on top of the world. His soothing R&B rhythms and clever lyrical wordplay were providing a clear and contrasting antidote to the rising grunge movement, and frequent (so would say continuous) airplay of his smash hit single “Your Chicken and Tomatoes” dominated the nation’s airways. Anticipation for Lester’s debut album was so high, in fact, that he was invited to perform the hit on that year’s MTV VMAs.

It was a surprise to everyone when, instead of breaking out what would become his signature tune, Lester instead chose to perform the melodic, more soulful “Erotic Vampire LOVE Heist” that evening. The emotional, heartfelt performance was met with only muted applause by a confused audience. It would be the first of several missteps that would eventually torpedo the once promising musician’s career.

Can You Feel the Feeling That I’m Feeling? released at number 17 on the Billboard Music Charts, with “Your Chicken and Tomatoes” slipping out of the top 100 a month after the album debuted. Supporters praised the album’s deft mix of R&B sound with literary, food, and comic book references – but it was too little, too late. The VMA backlash proved more than Lester could bear. He became disenchanted with “the scene”, as he referred to the industry, and pushed for “Cinema Mortalis”, an instrumental track totally at odds with his R&B sound, to be released as the album’s second single. (His producer, Babyface, fought for the much catchier “MmHmm MmHmm MmHmm/Interesting”, but was overruled by the artist.) It proved the final nail in Lester’s musical career. “Cinema Mortalis” was soundly ignored by the audience, and Lester vowed never to record again – a rising R&B star whose flame burned out too quickly.

See?  Not a single word about the debacle that was my cameo on Family Matters!  Galling.

2:33:41-2:46:03: Graeme gives us a preview of the amazing work you can now see on our Tumblr, leading to an all-too-brief conversation about the genius that is Bob Haney, and some of the weirdness about Marvel’s NYCC announcements.
2:46:03-end: “We got so far away from saying goodbye.” No, it’s not a song from Jeff’s album, that’s something we actually said. (Wolkin’s right, we do write this shit ourselves!) And it’s a sign that we really do need to be going. But, let us not forget: Tote bags! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! iTunes! Twitter! Tumblr again! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 82 patrons make this whole thing possible.  (And where our $10 and up patrons just got an exclusive video podcast from the Waffle Window!)

Okay, here’s the link. No idea if it’ll turn into a magical noise-playing thing so I’ll also add the link in a comment below all this nonsense so you can get to listening!

Thanks, and, as always, we hope you enjoy!

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