0:00-10:43: Greetings! For the third time or so?! A lot of problems we talk about briefly and then move right into the horrifying heat wave that moved through San Francisco, Graeme’s sympathy (or lack thereof), Jeff’s grumpiness (and hyper-abundance thereof), and more.
10:43-39:49:  But let’s move on to comic book-related stuff, if your definition of such things is generous enough to include the Imax screenings of The Inhumans and even more carping about The Defenders TV show.  (Yes, really!)
39:49-59:53: Moving from that and the reaction to our Star Brand readthrough, Jeff wants to wax rhapsodic about the sublime My Pretty Vampire by Katie Skelly, and the absurd Werewolf by Night Omnibus by Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog (at least at the point Jeff is at, anyway).  But perhaps by discussing the two subjects too closely together, Jeff runs the risk of sounding like he’s doing the whole “these indy creators are terrific, but think how great they could be if only they were toiling away with no rights for corporate owned IP!”  (Which is not where he meant to go with that, at all.)  Also discussed:  Dastardly & Muttley #1, the end of Secret Empire, and the very delightful Spider-Gwen #23 by Hannah Blumenreich and Jordan Gibson.
59:53-1:26:41: Speaking of idiosyncratic Marvel titles, Graeme, the recommendation of Jeff and others, went and checked out the most recent issues of The Unbelievable Gwenpool by Christopher Hastings and Gurihiru.  And he’s got some questions for Jeff, first and foremost is: “why do you like this?”  Ulp.  Also discussed:  Gwenpool, Animal Man, The Punisher, plus a bit at the end about Spy Seal.
1:26:41-02:02:23: And then it’s time for a lively round of Graeme Has A Thought Experiment (That Jeff Reacts To Like It’s A Trap)!  This time out:  “How would you feel if 2000 A.D. gave Halo Jones to someone else?”  Discussed:  Marvelman/Miracleman, Watchmen, Doomsday Clock, Omega The Unknown, the late capitalism comfort matrix, and more.
2:02:23-02:18:32:  Jeff has been dying to say a few words about Metal #1 by Scotty Snyder and Greg Capullo—not just for the majority of this episode but for weeks.  RANT MODE ENGAGED (although it’s really more of a conversation because Graeme himself also has some things to say and some excellent points).
02:18:32-2:25:08: Other things we’ve been waiting to discuss and keep forgetting to:  Graeme really liked Fred Van Lente’s 10 Dead Comedians, a very witty and clever take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None!  Jeff is very grateful he took Graeme’s recommendation and read Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks by Brad Dukes, and is very sad he won’t be able to buy for Graeme the Men Drawstring Waist Twin Peaks Owl Cave Map Shorts for Men!
2:25:08-end: Closing comments! Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
Next week:  Wait, What? Ep. 233!  Due to Jeff’s semi-annual pilgrimage, it will be up later than usual—look for it by Thursday, September 14!

 

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0:00-05:25: Greetings! Graeme and I are still recovering from our version of Civil War—the DC Rebirth #1 roundtable from just a few days back.  Fortunately, Graeme knows just what it takes to heal the wounds of battle: a story about  his friendly nieghborhood Chatty Cat!  (Chatty Cat No. 2, no less!)

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05:25-12:51:  From Chatty Cat No. 2, to comics we’ve read this week.  Jeff has not read much—although he quite liked Revenger and the Fog #2—and Graeme has read a lot, but some of it is still under embargo (for those of you that are wondering, no, Graeme did not go on to tell Jeff about the books off-air).  So instead we kinda bitch a bit about the difficulty of keeping track of what you’ve read on Marvel Unlimited and Comixology.  Discussed: what percentage of Graeme’s Comixology In Progress list is for work; Jack Katz’s First Kingdom; and spending hours in school drawing barbarian arms.
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12:51-30:03:  Speaking of squandering precious time, Jeff has been playing Marvel Future’s Fight on his iPad, but before he can get to the point of something he finds quite sad, we have to get through a brief history of RPGs, Diablo, and free to play games.  Discussed:  who the hell is Singularity; all of the above, plus the absence of The Fantastic Four and The X-Men; and Graeme having read Contest of Champions and loving it but being art-blocked on New Avengers; all those teams featuring Johnny Storm; and a moment of lovely humanity, courtesy of Gene Yang.

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Cap sketch by Cameron Stewart, modified slightly on Twitter.

30:03-48:00: We have listener questions!  And we do want to answer them, we assure you, but Jeff also kinda wants to talk about Hydra Cap, the big reveal that somehow managed to outshine—or at least consume as much internet chatter—DC’s big reveal in DC Rebirth #1.  Discussed:  Old school Hydra; The MCU’s Hydra and people’s conception of the Marvel characters; Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run; what will happen to Alan Scott in post-Rebirth; and more.
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48:00-49:40: “Graeme, are we ever going to get to listener’s questions?” asks Jeff.  Fortunately, we are!  Thomas Williams asks: “I’ve always wanted to know what Graeme thought of the last page ending of Archer and Armstrong. I thought it’s one of the best last pages of a series.”
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49:40-59:55: Ahmed Bhuiyan says:  “You guys have come a long way, I remember back in the day when the first half hour of each episode seemed to be you guys comparing juice fasts/cleanses. I kind of miss those to be honest. Anyways, on to questions! Answer as many or as few as you like of course.
1. Is the concept of a shared universe hurting or helping comics these days?
2. What work of Jack Kirby wouldn’t you recommend? (Thanks to you all and the Baxter Building segments I have been trolling eBay for the Fourth World Omnibii…only volume 2 left!)
3. Why are you two so awesome? Seriously, funny, insightful, and pretty relatable, despite how pretty hardcore do you analyze the story/creator, love it!
Keep up the great work guys, stay well, and tell Graeme to relax more and send Jeff some waffles, we haven’t had a Waffle Window update in ages it feels!”
59:55-1:13:31:  Adam Knave throws us this hypothetical: “You need to put people on the dc rebirth books. You can’t change the titles themselves, only creative teams. What are a few of your choices? (Besides giving me Super Sons, obviously…)”
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1:13:31-1:23:59:  Gary Katselas (LeonK) asks : “Gentlemen, it seems I’m one of the few people who enjoyed ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Batman Vs Superman’ more than Marvel’s many film offerings, including the recently released ‘Civil War’ which has garnered widespread acclaim among mainstream critical circles. This irks me slightly because I am most assuredly a Marvel fanboy and I find their conservative production approach too constrictive to produce interesting results. I much prefer the operatic pretensions of ‘Batman vs Superman’ and the troubling uncertainty that was injected into the Superman mythos in ‘Man of Steel’ (as well as numerous moments of sheer filmmaking insanity). Which brings me to my question: having read very little in the way of DC comics, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on what comic series or storylines (Superman, Batman or otherwise) most closely match these films in tone and thematic concern?”

1:23:59-1:29:21:  Devin King asks:  “My question: Why is Watchmen a bad movie? I know its reputation but can’t find any critical responses to it. I know the common reaction was that it tries too hard to emulate the book but…isn’t that supposed to be a good thing?”

1:29:21-1:34:35:  Check this out from Heath Edwards:  “Hey fellas, super huge congratulations on getting the 200th episode! If I may suggest a topic for discussion:
mutants = minority groups
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Inhumans = generation hashtag
How do the different methods of the mutants /inhumans getting their powers inform today’s readers of their own methods of empowerment?
Mutants gain their powers genetically (internal), whereas the inhumans gain their powers from the terrigen mists (external).
The mutants have no choice in their empowerment: “I was born this way”
Though, I can’t remember if there hasn’t been a story about subconscious choice being a part of the empowerment of the inhumans: “I am shy, I shall be a window” type thing
How, if at all, do these ideas play into contemporary empowerment?”
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1:34:35-1:42:09:  Hey it’s Gar Berner!  And he asks: “I just wanted to wish you two continued success on the podcast and your other endeavors and that I’m looking forward to the next 200!
My probably late question is:
Which Legionnnaire (from the Legion of Super Heroes, not the French army) do you most identify with?
The lack of Legion support by DC Comics is sad. Granted, it’s a concept a bit past it’s prime as you both mentioned. There is some angle or 2016 twist that needs to be unlocked for the LSH to be the success that it should.”
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1:42:09-2:01:01:  Here comes Levi Tompkins, you guys!  Levi has four big questions for us:
Q1 You guys have talked a lot about some of the weirdness that guys like Englehart, Claremont, and even Shooter have brought to comics do to their own particular sexual ideals and hangups.  Do you think that modern big 2 comics has divorced itself from that sort of thing, and if so do you think its better off for it?
(As someone who has been rather warped by things read in Claremont comics and other places as a kid its one of those things I think about a lot)
Q2 What would Modern Marvel events be like under people like Englehart or Kirby.  What would a Kirby Event look like?
Q3  With the Gotham Academy Lumberjanes crossover coming, any other non big two books you think it would be interesting to have crossover with the Marvel or DC?
Q4 Who are your favorite new Big 2 characters.  I find myself really adoring some of the newer X-characters, or Gotham Academy kids, any people from the last 10 years you adore and think could last?”
2:01:01-2:01:55: Maybe not a question per se, but Bruce Baugh has a beautiful white-hot burn:
“What we need is a little Wait What app that would grab from a list of Jeff’s favorite favorite nouns, with audio of him saying them, and drop into sentences of the podcast as needed. So when Jeff says “It’s not just Kirby, though, so much as, well, his approach to, but not fully until the DC, yeah no, it also appears, or least I think it’s suggested in some of the coloring for, hmm, yes, him and also some of the others who were in…”, We’d get “”It’s not just Kirby, though, so much as, well, his approach to [recontextualization], but not fully until the DC [collection], yeah no, it also appears, or least I think it’s suggested in some of the coloring for [Don Heck], hmm, yes, him and also some of the others who were in [editorial]…”
2:01:55-2:06:29:  And here’s the matching “question” from long-time chum of the podcast Robert Grzech:
“In light of the critical failure of BvS and Graeme’s on-air lukewarm reception and off-air distaste for the latest Captain America movie, I’m truly curious as to what your opinions are as to what exactly makes for a good comic book movie?
What are your expectations? Graeme doesn’t like Marvel in general so he’s not exactly the audience for Marvel movies. This makes me wonder why Graeme even went to Captain America, especially if he knew what he was going to get and went into it with what sounds like a predisposition to hating the movie. And if Graeme didn’t like Captain America, what exactly would he have done differently?  What would have made the movie work for him? I thought the movie was far better than the comic book version of Civil War. I realize this is all subjective, but Graeme’s shock (shock, I say!) that any reasonable person would like Captain America was frankly insulting. All he had to say was he didn’t like it because he’s Graeme.
I paid $5.95 to watch Captain America at a Saturday matinee. $5.95 for a 2 hour movie!  I was highly entertained. I’ve bought floppies for almost that much, which I’ve read in 10 minutes before throwing them into the garbage can. And no, it’s not 2 hours out of my life. I don’t want those 2 hours back or I wouldn’t have gone in the first place. I look at these movies as comic books brought to life, and Marvel does a decent job of staying true to the characters. If the characterizations are to be criticized because they seem stilted or cartoonish or underdeveloped, that’s because these are comic book characters!
If they had made these movies back when we were kids, we would have gone crazy. Yeah, I know, the technology would have sucked and the early Captain America movie was an obvious example of that. These movies are comic books brought to life. That’s how I look at them. Some are harder to watch than others (Fantastic Four and Green Lantern, I’m looking at you), but generally they have met and at times, exceeded my expectations. I’m not looking for The Godfather or Annie Hall here. Just entertainment for a few dollars.
Why so serious?
Relax and enjoy them or stay home.”
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2:06:29-2:22:22:  Chad Nevett, here is your question!  (Also, I apologize for being an absolute idiot!):  “I just finished your 200th episode and have a question for episode 201: I don’t remember either of you ever saying much about John Constantine or Hellblazer (maybe you did and I forgot or didn’t hear it, because I rarely listen — not because I don’t enjoy the podcast, purely because wife, kid, job, sleep, and everything else gets in the way), but what are your thoughts on the character/comics?”
2:22:22-end: Closing Comments!  You can tell Jeff is tired when you hear him go straight to the closing without the comments!  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr,  and 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 our125 supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
NEXT WEEK:  is a skip week! Let your ears rest and recover, and then join us for Wait, What? Ep. 202!
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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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00:00-19:04:  Greetings from Graeme and Jeff!  Graeme is in the basement avoiding the heat, Jeff is in the living room avoiding everything but the heat, Together, they are here to talk to you about comics!  But first, here’s some chitchat about travel:  come here about Graeme’s recent trip to Vancouver; Jeff’s less-than-recent trip to Buenos Aires; and an even-longer-ago trip by Graeme to the Venice Biennale….it’s like a special mini-podcast that is all about the untoppable form of stress that is travel-related stress, and the perhaps-untoppable form of kindness that is travel-related kindness.
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19:04-23:12: This podcast was recorded during the week that Diamond’s comic shipment came in a day late, so Jeff has a lot of comics to talk about today that are only *kind of* recent?  Whereas, Graeme being Graeme, he hasn’t been to the comic store but has been getting all the new DC You books sent right to his door, as well as reading a lot of old Showcases and trades of some New 52 titles he never got around to reading.  So we start off with, of all things, Ann Nocenti’s run on Catwoman.  This gives Jeff the clever idea of having DC reunite Nocenti and Romita Jr. on a title, but Graeme is enjoying too much the work JR Jr. is doing on Superman with Gene Yang to really be into that.
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23:12-25:42:  In fact, overall, Graeme has been very pleased with this month of DC:  “There’s been some books that don’t work, definitely, and there’ve been some books that just leave me cold, but overall the line is way healthier than it’s been in years…and in ways that are surprising.”  In terms of the visual variety on display, DC is catching up to what Marvel’s been doing…and maybe pushing it further?  Jeff’s not too sure about that so we bandy about some of the styles we’ve seen on books that we think are outside the standard superhero spectrum, mentioning books like Gotham Academy, Batgirl, Squirrel Girl, Spider-Gwen, Bizarro, Bat-Mite, and more.
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25:42-38:44:  Graeme asks Jeff what exactly is he reading from Marvel these days, which turns into a very small discussion about the last issue of Spider-Gwen by Jason LaTour and Robbie Rodriguez, presented as the “last issue” despite having a very incomplete ending. We also talk about the announced relaunch of Spider-Gwen, the very odd announcements about for All-New, All-Different Marvel, and the upcoming Marvel Primer. And as long as we’re throwing the term around, the very odd similarities between Spider-Gwen #5 and Black Canary #1 by Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu.  Even more very odd?  Jeff insisting after many, many recorded hours of evidence to the contrary that he is not a nitpicker.  Nice try, Jeff.
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38:44-51:51: We discuss the first issue of Prez by Mark Russell and Ben Caldwell.  Jeff and Graeme both like it, but Jeff finds some parts of the first issue very problematic. As a comparison/contrast, Graeme has read the first issue of Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 by Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, and Riley Rossmo. It’s intriguing for Graeme, especially in the way it doesn’t quite work (ditto for Dr. Fate #1) but in a way he can’t figure out why?  Even more intriguing to Graeme is Doomed #1 by Scott Lobdell and Javier Fernandez which Graeme thinks is actually “a pretty fucking good Spider-Man comic.”  [??!!]

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51:51-58:30:  Both Graeme and Jeff have read All-Star Section Eight #1 by Garth Ennis and Jonathan (!!) McCrea, which is (to use the episode’s special phrase) very odd. There’s some hilarious metafictional hijinks we’re trying to wrap our brains around that seem very intentional but there’s also something a bit awkward about the book.  “It reads like somebody’s first comic book,” to paraphrase Graeme, who has a great take on the hijinks despite accurately pointing out that some of the humor seems very, very…lazy?  Quite the headscratcher.

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58:30-1:06:09: Also, a headscratcher:  Robin, Son of Batman #1 written and drawn by Patrick Gleason.  Graeme thinks it was “fine if scattered, and didn’t present a good enough reason for the book to exist.”  Jeff, who has *adored* Gleason’s work on Batman & Robin, is forced to agree and also bemoans how there’s maybe a bit too much of Gleason the writer indulging Gleason the artist.  Graeme suggests the book reads like Hellboy Lite which is a pretty solid take on Gleason’s artistic interests and the overall tone.  But arguably the book could be more focused than the final year of Batman and Robin by Gleason and writer Peter Tomasi, which gives Graeme an in to fret about some of the current work Tomasi is doing for Superman/Wonder Woman that doesn’t seem to be to his usual standard.
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1:06:09-1:13:39: Jeff feels like he did not really answer Graeme’s question from forty minutes earlier, but doesn’t get much farther than mentioning Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson before we are wringing our hands about the book’s likely demise.  Sales figures are discussed, alternate covers are pondered.  Jeff also read and enjoyed the first issue of Weirdworld #1 by Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo; and Ghost Racers #1 by Felipe Smith and Juan Gedeon, which Jeff didn’t love but also suspects Smith is playing a metacommentary long game that may be worth the  time.
1:13:39-1:16:56:  It’s not a Marvel book, but Jeff has also read The Fiction #1 by Curt Pire and David Rubin and dug it, in part because it hit his Stephen King sweet spot:  if you can imagine It meets The Unwritten, then you’ve got an idea of what this first issue has lined up for you.  Jeff also thought it was a very solid first issue in terms of putting everything on the table, keeping it interesting, and then changing things up for the final page.
1:16:56-1:37:42: Confession time!  Both Jeff and Graeme have falled behind on the pop spectacle that is Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber, but Jeff sat down with issues #5, 6, and 7 and came out feeling very strongly that issue #7 is one that Graeme would really, really dig.  SPOILERS for the issue as Jeff clumsily tries to make his case and SPOILERS for Jean-Paul Sartre’s writing style.  Also discussed:  Annihilator, forgetting about a series and then chain-reading previous issues; No Mercy by Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil; Zero issues #16 and #17 by Ales Kot, Stathis Tsemberlidis, Robert Sammelin, and others; Graeme’s impressions after reading the first issue of Surface; Terry Southern’s Magic Christian and Phil Dick’s VALIS; the worry of getting too old to track stuff from month-to-month; Afterlife with Archie #8; and more.
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1:37:42-1:45:23: Graeme asks after another Archie book, The Black Hood, in part because that title by writer Duane Swierczynski is what Graeme digging through the the old New52 Birds of Prey title and also three of Swierczynski’s prose novels which Graeme talked about in this post  and which he also goes into more detail about here.  By contrast, Jeff tries to tease a strip he thinks Graeme would really dig: Santa Claus, Private Eye by Jeremy Bernstein and Michael Dorman, currently exclusively available on Thrillbent.
KingCatUseIt1:45:23-1:55:13:  Also a book Jeff read and enjoyed: King Cat Comics #75 which is an issue-long tribute to John Porcellino’s cat.  It is a truly touching and heartbreaking read, even by typical King Cat standards. Also mentioned: the Pixar movie Inside Out, Jeff’s recent post about movies [link?], Jeff’s Hulk, Jurassic World, and more.
1:55:13-end:  Closing comments!  We tease what’s coming up next week when we record (a lot of bitching and news).  We do talk a bit about both with Evangeline Lilly’s shit-talking of recent Ant Man comics, as well as our befuddled acknowledgment of our the one year anniversary of our relaunch.  The Tote Bag Integration!  Places to look for us at—Stitcher!  Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr!  And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 105 patrons make this whole thing possible!

We will see you in seven (or even sooner, if you come back for our individual posts)!  And look to the first comment in this post if you just want a straight link for you to copy and paste into the player of your choice.  Spa fon!

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epitaph

In lieu of flowers, the families of the Marvel and Ultimate Universes request you instead consider donating to The Hero Initiative…

Hey, so, let’s get this underway, shall we?  Show notes are below; plain text link for copying and pasting purposes will be in the first comment, I still haven’t seen Age of Ultron yet, go, go, go GO!

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00:00-17:48: Greetings! We recorded this on election day for the U.K., and you’ll certainly be able to tell based on our first minute, but in an alarmingly short turn-about we are talking about Multiversity #2 by by Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Eber Ferreira, Jaime Mendoza, and the coloring team of Dan Brown, Jason Wright, and Blond! We talk about Graeme’s re-read and interpreting the comic as an inoculation against the Gentry’s infection. But how about that last page? asks Jeff. To Graeme, the whole thing seemed much more upbeat and fulfilling on the re-read. Jeff thinks Multiversity #2 is a very playful and light but not necessarily optimistic, but rather a meeting point between the pendulum swings of Morrison the optimist and Morrison the pessimist. Also discussed: the somewhat disturbing idea that you might have a better experience just reading Multiversity #1 and #2 (and maybe or maybe not the Multiversity Guidebook, depending on which one of us you ask) without all the one-shots in-between. Also discussed: The Atomic Knights of Justice and how far we should be unpacking the Arthurian motifs in the miniseries; the Seven Secret Earths; multiple multiverses; additive concepts versus reductive concepts; and more.

OmegaMen
17:48-28:37: As compare and contrast, Graeme mentions Convergence, the weekly book in the center of DC’s wackadoo event, and finds additive elements in it that have won him over. Also discussed: the second issues of the first batch of titles and happy endings; how DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering, Divergence, is available on Comixology along with a handful of free previews from upcoming titles like Prez; the War of Kings (Jeff King vs. Tom King vs. Tim Kring); and more.
28:37-31:40: Yes, Graeme highly recommends picking up that freebie Divergence preview, which he talks about briefly for Gene Yang’s Superman; the Omega Man preview by Tom King, Barnaby Bagenda, and Jose Marzan, Jr.; and the Prez preview by Mark Russell, Ben Caldwell, and John Lucas (see link above for where you can grab ’em for free from Comixology).

Hex in Full Effect

I kinda buried the lede here which is: SCUBA-DIVING CANNIBALS.

31:40-1:04:34: By contrast, Jeff has only read some weirdo not-especially-recent stuff he’s been reading during a relatively crazy week. Stuff like Hex #11-13 by Michael Fleisher, Mark Texeira, and Carlos Garzon, on sale digitally as part of one of DC’s Convergence sales (and the only three issues available on Comixology). Seriously, though: how can you not enjoy the 18 issues series from the mid-1980s where cowboy Jonah Hex is thrown into the post-apocalytpic future of 2050 and forced to road war and terminate and robot cop? Well, Jeff lays it out how such a scenario might be possible. Also discussed: Wayne Wayne, Dwayne Wayne, Batman Beyond, Future’s End, Scott Snyder’s story in Detective #27, The Dogs of War, how Jonah Hex got to the future in the first place, the crossover issue with the Legion of Super Heroes that of course Graeme has read (of course!), Michael Fleisher’s infamous run on 2000 AD, the first installment of our new quiz segment “was that a 2000 AD series or were you high on bath salts?” and more.

SpiderGwenCast

An Army of One…and and Audience of Two?

1:04:34-1:17:36: Another odd reading choice from Jeff: Spider-Gwen #1-3 by Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi. Discussed: Lois Lane, alternate earth stories, stylized art, whether to buy issues or wait for Marvel Unlimited, gimmicky comics vs. super-gimmicky comics, pre-Starlin Warlock, and things of that nature.

SecretWarsCast

Wherein the phrase “A Cast of Thousands” might become all-too-horribly accurate.

1:17:36-1:45:59: Secret Wars #1! By Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic! Discussed: Hickman’s Marvel plots as metaphors for fixing a toaster; humor vs. oh god we hope that’s humor vs. oh god that was supposed to be funny; a debate about whether or not a status quo at the beginning of an event signals there will be a return to that status quo; the pleasures of feeling up to speed about comics, even when you don’t enjoy them; “a billion dollars worth of crap”; the rumors of Planet X-Men [link?]; Onslaught, Heroes Reborn, The Age of Apocalypse and the holy shitness of line-ending events; and more.
1:45:59-1:47:59: On an indirectly related note, both Graeme and Jeff wanted to draw attention to Tim O’Neil’s essay on Stan Lee, Marvel Comics, and Hollywood, in part because it says some of the things we’ve been saying here on the podcast but says them better, and in part because it’s just a really damn brilliant piece of work.
1:47:59-1:52:50: Graeme has been catching up on Valiant and has picked up an appreciation for Matt Kindt’s work for them, especially Divinity, but also titles like Imperium as well. Nuff said?  Probably not, shownote-wise, but Poppa’s is staring down the barrel of a work deadline so…

TeamAndTwo

YES PLEASE

1:52:50-2:11:15: Jeff is still reading Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi, although he found himself in an ethical quandry (well, an even bigger ethical quandry than reading Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi is probably the more appropriate way to put it) due to a twenty-seven installment gap in Crunchyroll’s collection. Is it okay to read free manga online when it’s just to fill a (presumably accidental gap in a service one *is* paying for? Even if you look at it on a super-big high definition screen? And speaking of all-you-can-eat comic services, Graeme has some very exciting news about Marvel Unlimited. On the week we recorded (last week) Marvel added about another two hundred or so Star Wars comics and, more germane to our interests, approximately 15 issues of Marvel Two-In-One and 25 issues of Marvel Team-Up! Just think what they’ll add when Graeme and Jeff get that write-in campaign organized! (No, we haven’t forgotten.) (There’s also some Amazing Adventures issues featuring The Inhumans by the mighty Jack Kirby.) Will Micronauts ever return to print? Will Rom: Spaceknight? And why does Jeff continue to buy print if he soooooo loves digital? And many other topics! Most of these questions will probably not be definitively answered here!
2:11:15-end: Closing comments, a.k.a., “next week is a Baxter Building episode, REALLY IT IS” (no, seriously, it is).  Tote-Lands! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter ! Tumblr! (And secret bonus, Graeme lists the websites he’s currently writing for.)  And, of course, do look for us over on Patreon (http://www.patreon.com/waitwhatpodcast) where, as of this count, 105 patrons make this whole thing possible. 105! We are grateful.

Remember: next week—read Fantastic Four issues #48-54 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby along with us!  Look to the comments for that plain-text link!  And like that.

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