As you know, Stan Lee passed this week, and it seemed impossible for us to overlook the event, since Stan had such a huge influence on the American comics market.

Stan was a complicated guy with a complicated legacy so maybe it’s not surprising our feelings about his passing—and how people handled his passing—are similarly complicated.  So join us if you want for a quick chat about the long life and amazing career of Stan Lee.   It’s only about 37 minutes or so?

Oh, and because we mentioned it in our discussion, I should at the very least link to Tegan O’Neil’s piece on Stan over at The Comics Journal. There are, as you probably know, a lot of pieces about Stan out there this week, but if you enjoy our mumblings, you’ll probably appreciate it as well.

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0:01-14:30:  Welcome back to part two of our sorta-annual “asked and answered” episode!  Jeff  is no longer in in Portland, Oregon, so we are once again “back on the cans,” as Graeme puts it.  Others (not nearly so generous) might say we are “back on our bullshit”, as not even two minutes go by before we are discussing this CBS news story about Marvel in which C.B. Cebulski and Sana Amanat are interviewed and…hoo boy.  We would say the story speaks for itself…but, really, what would be the point of us if it did?
14:30-37:45:   And now, on with the questions!  Cinema Strikes Back asks:  If you could install new leadership for Marvel and/or DC, who would you pick? With an cold eye towards improving sales and market relations while also trying to improve less tangible metrics like quality and diversity. Also, read the original Battle Angel Alita series yet?

37:45-40:16: Carlos Aguilar wants to know:  What are either of your thoughts/critiques on DEVILMAN (manga or anime)?  Thanks!
40:16-57:14: Jesse Morgan wonders:  How did DC manage to keep the quality up on Rebirth? What did they do different, and can they keep it up?
57:14-1:07:38:  Here’s Lee, who would like to find out:  As someone moving across coasts soon, how would you decide which (if any) physical comics to keep, especially given how cheap digital comics are nowadays?

1:07:38-1:17:08:  K. Jeffrey Petersen is curious:  What do you think of the numerous similarities between Stan Lee and Donald Trump? Would the world be better if Trump had gone into publishing and Lee into politics?
1:17:08-1:24:34:  Raphael Duffy asks:  Kind of a selfish question and I know you’ve answered it before but it’s quick: for people who have never read UK comics before what’s a good/fast to get into 2000AD since Graeme is raving about it?
1:24:34-1:35:44: Simon Russell queries:    Are most (all?) of superhero comics poorer fo the loss of thought bubbles? HINT: It means done-in-one stories are harder to do (less compact), character development is massively truncated, and everything is so bloomin’ SERIOUS all the time.
1:35:44-1:42:35:  Dan White says: Could you please fantasy cast the following 2000ad movies: Strontium Dog, Zenith, Nemesis, Rogue Trooper and Bad Company?

1:42:35-1:43:57:  Steve Morris asks:  Rabbits?
1:43:57-1:46:48:  Lee Carey wonders:  Graeme, which Jack Kirby character do you think Jeff most resembles, and visa versa?
1:46:48-1:53:11:  Tom Shapira would like to know:  if you had to staff 2000AD with American creators – who would work on what strips?
1:53:11-2:00:47: For half our semester grade, Jonathan Sapsed quizzes: Why did the ‘British Invasion’ happen in the 80s? Which country/culture is best positioned to ‘invade’ US comics now?
2:00:47-2:01:40:  Just when Dan Billings was settling down for the night, he realized he also wanted to ask:  What price do you think a single floppy will cost in 2025?
2:01:40-2:11:54:  Max Blanchard demands to know:  Waffle window?

2:04:33-2:11:54: Darth Selfie brings the noise!   What Marvel character do you hope they never adapt for the MCU? If you weren’t doing a podcast about comics, what would you be podcasting about? If you weren’t into comics, what fun/weird/stupid hobby would fill the vacuum in the lives of an alternate universe Jeff and Graeme?
2:11:54-2:15:25:  Tom Shapira returns with a bonus question for @Lazybastid – what mangaka would you take to work on 2000AD?
2:15:25-2:20:35: And to close us out, Scott asks:  Are either of you reading Kill or be Killed by Brubaker and Phillips? What do you think of it?
2:20:35-end:  No more questions so…. (eventually, after talking about Solo, You Are Deadpool, Deadpool 2    ): 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:  Baxter Building!  Join us for a discussion of Fantastic Four issues #356-361.

 

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http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/BaxterBuildingEp33.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: The John Byrne era is over, with the writer/artist who, let’s be honest, left his stamp on the series more than anyone else aside from Lee and Kirby, departing after five…

http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/BaxterBuildingEp15.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: Just when all seemed lost, Archie Goodwin saved the day by stepping in as guest-writer on the series in mid-storyline and demonstrated that there was life in the Fantastic Four…

http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/BaxterBuildingEp13.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: After 102 issues (and six annuals), Jack Kirby has left Fantastic Four (and Marvel) midway through a storyline, leaving Stan Lee and the fictional foursome adrift while still having to…

Nimona

                                                                          Nimona by Stevenson

00:00-29:40:  Greetings from Graeme “Happy Holidays!” McMillan and Jeff “Who to the What Now?” Lester who start off by talking about 2016 right around the bend and all that will bring but also the oddness of recording on December 17: “Star Wars Day (Unofficially).”  Yes, by the time you read these words, you probably will have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie and Graeme probably will have as well.  We try our hands at fake spoilers, Graeme tells us when he will be seeing the film and, more importantly, what it was like to attend a press screening of Twilight with specially invited fans of the books.  Discussed:  the phrase “vocal fans,” the phrase “you’re not MY Grand Moff Tarkin,” Star Wars “line frenzy,” the career of Kenny Rogers, Graeme insisting that Jeff knows the plot of the The Force Awakens, and Jeff insisting he doesn’t, rumors from months ago about the third act reveals, the very strange rumor about Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the return of Jaxxon and the very first Marvel Star Wars comic arc after the adaptation of the original movie, learning to do Star Wars right, the career of Don F. Glut, Abhay’s interview with him, and more.
29:40-44:42: “Hey, Jeff!” sez Graeme.  “Because this is the last episode we’re recording this year, I know I made a totally half-assed attempt at a ‘Best of/Favorites of 2015.  Did you?” And Jeff did!  HOWEVER, we also had promised to address certain other topics in this podcast before we got around to that.  (We had? asks Graeme.  We had, confirms Jeff.)  Because Whatnaut Kris Peterson had requested it, we read The Horror of Loon Lake, an anthology of comics edited by Carl D. Smith. [EDIT: Ooo, really big oversight on our part as pointed out to us on Twitter: Smith wrote all the stories, which were drawn by different artists. A real mistake on our parts, but also maybe a good sign at how many different types of stories he undertook?  You decide!]    Discussed:  Smell A Rat by Stan Chou; all-ages horror comics; House of Scary by Jeff Manley; Cartozia Tales; and more.
BatRobEter

Batman and Robin Eternal #11 by Snyder, Tynion IV, Brisson, Blanco, Duce, Rauch

 

44:42-1:10:02:  And as for our second “we promised we would do this last time (we think?”), we are discussing the first eleven issues of Batman and Robin Eternal, plotted by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, and executed by a fleet of talented writers and artists.  We discussed it as part of our first issue roundtable on the website but here we dig in to discuss it length.  FULL SPOILERS for the first eleven issues so, y’know, spoilers and all.  Discussed:  Genevieve Valentine, Alvaro Martinez Bueno, and Raul Fernandez; Valentine’s Catwoman; the first few issues of Robin War; more plot-heavy discussion of B&R Eternal; the possible character-breaking plot twist that might be coming; and more.
1:10:02-1:16:30:  Graeme steers us back to our Best of 2015 lists, which we finally dig into.  Our lists are kinda problematic, in that we didn’t necessarily try to read to keep up with everything, and also because so much of what we thought as the “best” reads of the year either existed before it was published this year or because we just finally got around to it. As we say in the podcast itself, the difference between ‘new’ and ‘new to you’ is almost meaningless these days.
That said: lists!  Graeme’s pick for favorite book of the year is Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona (which was a webcomic before it was collected by First Second).  Jeff’s only read a page or two but we still get a chance to talk about it for a bit.
1:16:30-1:18:22: Another pick by Graeme for his favorite thing he read this year is 2014’s This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, also published by First Second. “It’s so beautifully illustrated, so beautifully observed,” sez Graeme.
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                                              Giant Days by Allison, Tremain, and Cogar

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.”

1:24:16-1:28:28: Graeme goes from that to almost the opposite with Martian Manhunter by Rob Williams and Eber Ferreira.  Graeme’s review is kinda spoilery, but makes the book sound intriguing as hell.  Not on Graeme’s list but definitely considered and most definitely discussed is Action Comics by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder.
OmegaMen

The Omega Men by King and Bagenda

 

1:28:28-1:34:34:  But on the list:  The Omega Men by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda, and which Graeme refers to as “I think I’ve come to terms with it being my favorite Tom King.”
1:34:34-1:36:25:  Another book from Graeme for which he has some complicated feels:  Zero by Ales Kot and collaborators.  With The Surface and Material as both runners-up and also of a piece.
1:36:25-1:37:54: Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber: it’s on both our lists (despite Jeff being four to five months behind).
Nameless2

Nameless by Morrison and Burnham

1:37:54-1:49:06: “Okay, I’m going to speed through the rest so you can do yours,” announces Graeme, so here goes:  this year’s 2000AD Judge Dredd material from Rob Williams and Henry Flint, particularly their sequel to Titan (which Graeme actually talks about for longer than his last two picks put together); The Wicked and Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie; Multiversity by Grant Morrison and collaborators (also on both our lists), as well as other Morrison works this year: Annihilator with Frazier Irving, and Nameless with Chris Burnham; Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling (also on both of our lists); and finally Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, edited by Tom Devlin.  With special runner-up status for two monthly books that are too early in their run to call the “best” of 2015 (but which both Graeme and I dig a lot): Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, and Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling.
1:49:06-2:17:55:  Jeff’s turn!  And since he wrote them all down and is the guy doing the show notes, you can get them in one big pile with notes as to how he read them, albeit one he divided up in a few different categories: manga, stuff that was published this year, stuff that was not published this year, and honorable mentions. (Please note Graeme thought to limit his list to roughly ten titles.  Jeff wasn’t that organized.)
And Yet The Town Moves

And Yet the Town Moves by Ishiguro

 

Manga:
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru (And Yet The Town Moves) by Masakazu Ishiguro (digitally on Crunchyroll)
Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi (digitally on Crunchyroll)
My Neighbor Seki vols 1-5 by Takuma Morishige (print published by Vertical)
My Love Story!! by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko (print published by Viz: thanks, Josh Tabon!!)
Prison School Vol. 1 by Akira Hiramoto (print, by Yen Press)
Demon15

Demon by Shiga

Stuff Published This Year:

Demon by Jason Shiga (via PDF, by Jason Shiga and Shiga Books)
An Entity Observes All Things by Box Brown (digitally through Comixology Submit)
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (print, published by Marvel)
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber (print, published by Marvel)
Black Hood #1-5 by Duane Swyerzsinski and Michael Gaydos (print, published by Archie/Dark Circle)
Multiversity by Grant Morrison and various (print, DC); Nameless by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham (print, Image Comics);  Annihilator by Grant Morrison and Frazier Irving (print, Legendary Comics)
Batman ’66 #20 by Rob Williams and Ruben Procopio (print, DC Comics)
The Fade Out by Brubaker and Phillips (print and digital, Image Comics)
The Humans by Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely (print, Image Comics)
Monstress #1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (print, Image Comics)
KFC: The Colonel of Two Worlds by Shane Edwards and Tony Bedard, and artists Tom Derenick and Trevor Scott (digital, DC Comics)
File Oct 31, 12 44 02 PM

“Merry the Girl with a Thousand Gimmicks” from Adventure Comics #416

Stuff Not Published This Year:

Adventure Comics #416 for the silver age Supergirl story and Merry The Girl With A Thousand Gimmicks, but basically that run of reprints through issue #420 or so. (digital, DC Comics via Comixology)
Captain Marvel #35-39, the Trial of the Watcher by Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom (print, Marvel Comics)
Hawkeye #1-6 by by Fabian Nicieza and Stefano Raffaele (digital, via Marvel Unlimited)
The Brave and The Bold #140 “Death Aboard the Hellship” by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo (print, DC Comics)
The Adventures of Red Sonja Vol. 1 by Roy Thomas, Bruce Jones, and Frank Thorne (digital, Dynamite Comics via Comixology)
Daredevil #105-107 by Steve Gerber, Don Heck, Don Perlin and Sal Buscema (digital, Marvel Comics via Comixology in the Avengers vs. Thanos digital trade)
Astonishing Tales: Deathlok The Demolisher by Rich Buckler and Doug Moench (digital, Marvel Comics via Comixology)
SHZMCONV-1-1-6f1a0

Convergence: Shazam! by Parker, Shaner, and Bellaire

Honorable mentions:
Dark Corridor by Rich Tomasso (print, Image Comics)
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, and Cliff Rathburn (print, Image Comics)
Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta (print, Image Comics)
Hookjaw #1 by Pat Mills and Ken Armstrong (digital, Egmon Comics) (read it before, love it still)
The Six Million Dollar Man, Season Six by Jim Khouric and others (digitally, Dynamite via Comixology)
King Cat Comics #75 by John Porcellino (print, via King Cat)
Convergence: Shazam! by Jeff Parker and Evan “Doc” Shaner (print, DC Comics)
Kaijumax by Zander Cannon (print, ONI comics)
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert Hack, and Jack Morelli
Night Nurse #1-4 (digitally, Marvel Comics via Comixology)
Revenger by Charles Forsman (print and digitally, Oily Comics via Comixology Submit)
(With the surprising conclusion that, although he dearly loves his Marvel Unlimited all-you-can-eat subscription, he probably read more comics digitally via Crunchyroll’s all-you-can-eat subscription and also via sales and subscriptions on Comixology…and both of these experiences are still being overshadowed by print.  Huh!)
FF62-2

Fantastic Four, by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

Oh yeah, and truth be told, Graeme and I both really enjoyed reading the first 102 issues of the Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee for the Baxter Building podcast.  Good ol’ Reed Richards has a way of grating on a guy’s nerves, but it was also an *amazing* ride!
2:17:55-end: Closing comments! Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast..as well as our special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 115 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
Look for us on  Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr!  And, of course, where, as of this count, 112 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Next week:  Keep your ears open for perhaps a holiday stocking stuffer around you-know-when?  And then after that, we will be taking the last week of the year off and we’ll see you in 2016!
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http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/BaxterBuildingEp12.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: Having built up a template for modern superhero comics — a template that still informs today’s comics, more than five decades later — Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s creative pairing…

http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/BaxterBuildingEp11real.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: As the legendary run of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby winds to a close, the quality of Fantastic Four begins to suffer, settling into a particular groove that’s less inventive…