0:00-7:06: Greetings! Because Jeff is an idiot, we lost the first hour and sixteen minutes of our recording. So today’s episode will be comparatively short and it starts up with us telling you what you missed. It’s a surprisingly complete summary of seventy-six minutes jammed into six. Discussion of what we discussed: Batman Day (which this episode was recorded on), Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice; Injection by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey; 2000 A.D. Prog. 2000; Suicide Squad #2 by Rob Williams, Jim Lee, and Ivan Reis; Jeff’s admiration for Superwoman #2 and Graeme’s for Supergirl; Detective Comics and Chris Claremont’s New Mutants; All-Star Batman #2; and Tom King’s Batman, which is where we catch up, since Graeme has to reiterate his point about…
7:06-32:23: Tom King and the connection between The Vision and Sheriff of Babylon (which King has described as being part of an unofficial trilogy with his Omega Men), and how it connects to the first six issues we’ve read of Batman. Also discussed: Alan Moore and Alan Moore’s Jerusalem; the promotional interviews with Alan Moore for Alan Moore’s Jerusalem; what would be the non-comic related questions we would ask Alan Moore; and mo(o)re.
32:23-36:13: Jeff wanted to talks about Moon Knight #6 by Jeff Lemire, Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla, and James Stokoe (!) where Lemire finally has a take on the character that really works for Jeff.
36:13-38:16: Jeff does a loose compare/contrast between Moon Knight and the first issue of Doom Patrol by Gerard Way, Nick Derington, and Tamra Bonvilliain. A good fun book with some absolutely lovely art by Derington and colors by Bonvillain.
38:16-57:25: Jeff also wants to give a shout-out to latest issue of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl with fill-in art by Jacob Chabot and another crazily strong script by Ryan North. And after that, we talk a bit about North’s first issue of Jughead (which sounds *amazing*), which leads us to a not-thrilled impression of Zdarsky’s Howard The Duck, Marvel and hip-hop and much more.
57:25-1:07:55: Also read and also (lightly) discussed: The Fix #5 by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber; Paper Girls #9 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Jared K. Fletcher; Saga by Vaughan and Staples; old issues of Ms. Marvel written by Chris Claremont; and more.
1:07:55-1:11:33: Sad to say, either Graeme did most of the talking in our lost hour, or maybe Jeff was out of control there too, but Jeff does too much talking this episode, even if it’s for a good cause like showing some love for the insane “Prisoners of Three Worlds” story from 1963’s Batman #153, by Bill Finger, Henry Boltinoff, Jack Schiff and Sheldon Moldoff, recently purchased during Comixology’s Road to Batman Day Sale.
1:11:33-1:15:02: I can’t adequately describe how we got to discussing Denny O’Neil’s career as writer and editor, a case Jeff tries to make by incorrectly assigning at least two Batman characters’ first appearances to the wrong era.
1:15:02-1:19:10: Graeeme has some wonderful stuff to tell us about Books With Pictures, a great little comic book store in Portland, Oregon with a back issue drawer curated by Douglas Wolk, as well as the back issues he, Graeme, picked up from said drawer. Mentioned: Heroes and Legends; the Legion of Substitute Heroes Special from 1995; Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane issue #115; Superman and Batman: Heroes Against Hunger; and the zines from our colleagues Jay and Miles.
1:19:10-end: Closing comments! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
Oh, man. I apologize right now if the audio file you get sounds weird, you guys: for some reason, the first ten seconds kept cutting out on me over and over and over so trying to solve that may have been too taxing for my limited skills. I was able to get it to work but now there’s a two second delay between when I finish introducing and Graeme & I start gabbing. You’ll forgive me, right?
Anyway, enough with the preemptive apologizing, let’s get to the purely emptive apologizing—show notes!
0:00-19:00: Greetings! Welcome to our new, super-speedy show notes! As you may have picked up on by our subtle cues here and there on the podcast, Jeff’s schedule (and life) is changing up a bit. Until he catches up with it, or it catches up with him, welcome to our express show notes, now with 95% less lists, quotes and jokes. Take, for example, this opening patch where we talk about how this podcast was recorded during the first day of DC Rebirth announcements at the ComicsPro conference in Portland, Oregon. It’s also the day Jason Shiga’s last issue of Demon was released digitally to patrons of Shiga’s Patreon (and we got our hard copy in the mail too). So first, it’s Jeff talking about how much he enjoyed the final issues and Graeme talking about how he fell behind, and then it’s on to us talking about DC’s announced plan for Rebirth. Seventeen titles published biweekly? SEVENTEEN? Yup! We run down the list, and try to handicap the odds which is tough since the creative teams won’t be announced until Wondercon.
19:00-34:00: Then around the nineteen minute mark, with a bit of an aside for a few late breaking (and kind of fake) announcements, we talk about Wonder Woman’s various creative runs since the George Perez days—good runs, bad runs, and runs that, for whatever reason, never caught on with the reading public. Will (as rumored) Marguerite Bennett have a better luck on the title…biweekly?
34:00-54:10: The success of reboots in this marketplace can be tough to measure since the marketplace is so tough overall: Graeme has looked at some of the sales at All-New, All-Different Marvel and points out a book that is clearly dead in the water by its second issue. But we then Jeff drags Graeme back into listing the various biweekly titles so we can continue handicap them, in part because Jeff just can’t conceive of the idea of, say, Green Arrow biweekly or a Green Lantern title coming out every week. If you like your comic book speculation to be all about “Well, I don’t know if Peter Tomasi can sell two biweekly Superman titles” and less on the “hey, I flipped that first appearance of Harley Quinn on eBay for $50 last week”? This whole long section should be your jam.
54:10-1:13:30: Graeme, as I now suspect he meant to do earlier before Jeff dragged him back onto the DC Rebirth announcement train, goes on to talk about the Marvel sales numbers, and compare them to earlier renumbering of the same series to get a sense of whether or not renumbering gives more than a short-term bump to sales. The answer? Uh, no, maybe not! Fortunately, we do talk a lot about various Spider-Man titles along the way, including Graeme’s recommendation for Spider-Man and the X-Men by Elliot Kalan and Marco Failla, some strong Marvel Adventures Spider-Man featuring work by Paul Samnee. As for Jeff, he’s said it before and he’ll say it again: he’s been enjoying Spidey by Robbie Thompson and Nick Bradshaw, and Spider-Man/Deadpool by Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness.
1:13:30-1:30:54: In that vein, we talk about the first issue of Power Man & Iron Fist by David Walker and Sanford Greene. Amazingly enough, we haven’t talked enough about the original incarnation of that title, especially the long, excellent run by writer Jo Duffy from back in the ’80s: it really is amazing because it’s a favorite of both Jeff and Graeme. So how did they react to this new incarnation, one clearly written by an equally big fan? Listen in, I tell you! (Although SPOILERS: we spoil the first issue from page the first to page the last.) And we fit a lot of other stuff in there, don’t worry.
1:30:54-1:49:41: Sex Criminals #14 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky! Jeff read it and wants to talk about it, so he does. Those of us who remember our “glory” days of talking about Fraction may admire our newfound ability to talk about the writer without getting weirdly obsessive and personal about it…or maybe not? We hope so, anyway.
1:49:41-2:08:30: Batman #49 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette! Jeff also read this and wanted to talk about it, especially in light of our previous discussions about this current storyline, Superheavy. Jeff thinks this stuff is so strong he really wants to see more DC work from the Scott Snyder who can really own his influences the way Batman #49 does, and would be excited to see Snyder on Justice League. But Graeme? Well, Graeme has some pretty good reasons for why his feeling is, uh, not so much. And just as we had a big long talk about the post-Crisis creative teams of Wonder Woman, we do the same here about JLA.
2:08:30-2:12:06: Time for Jeff’s regular update on Radioactive Spider-Gwen, although the reason for this particular update is that even though the writing is by Jason Latour, the art on issue #5 is by Chris Visions, not Robbi Rodriguez and the storytelling is already a lot more assured and driven. (And the coloring by Ricco Renzi helps a huge amount.)
2:12:06-end: Closing comments! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr! 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 117 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
Next week: It’s a skip week! Catch up on your Wait, What episodes! Do some early prep for the next Baxter Building, maybe? But whatever you do, please enjoy it! And we hope you also enjoy our next episode when it pops up on your feed, in your ears…and in your heart. Awwww.
1:18:22-1:24:16: Also on the list? Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Tremain, and Whitney Cogar about kids going off to college. It’s not as magically realist as Bad Machinery but it’s equally funny for Graeme, if not more so. In a similar vein, but more superhero-y is The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (which made both of our lists for best of the year). And even more superhero-y, and also on both our lists are the two issues of Convergence: Shazam! by Jeff Parker and Evan “Doc” Shaner which is, as Graeme so perfectly describes it, “another joyous superhero book that embraces the superhero.”
Stuff Published This Year:
Stuff Not Published This Year:
Welcome to the super-early, pre-surgical edition of Wait, What? Jeff is heading in to deal with a minor health condition (that rhymes with pygmy scones) which will kind of make our usual Monday mid-day drop time a bit on the impossible side. So pull up the player of choice, kick back with the following show notes, and try not to think of one of your hosts squirming in discomfort on a hospital gurney somewhere. (Cheery, right? Seriously, don’t worry about me: I’ll be drugged to the gills.) (I hope.)
00:00-9:19: Greetings from Jeff “Whoville” Lester and Graeme “The Graemetown Massacre” McMillan, who feel like they haven’t talked in a while…because they haven’t! It’s a fine jumping off point for a bit of pre-comics talk about human intimacy, Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, the atrophying of conversational muscles, Twitter changing from stars to hearts, Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon, The Journalist and the Murderer, and other potentially depressing ephemera.
PREVIOUSLY, ON THE WAIT, WHAT? ROUNDTABLE. We have exhausted about a trillion words in a look at four recent first issues: Batman & Robin Eternal #1 (DC), written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with…