dreddball

Whew!  Hey, Whatnauts, Jeff here.  My apologies for getting this up a bit later than usual: ironically, part of the reason is that I’m trying a new method for editing the podcast that should make it faster.  (The other part of the reason is that I caught a double feature of Lady Snowblood movies at the New Mission Cinema and ate deviled eggs and drank milkshakes with booze in them and it was pretty god-damned great.)
And that said, I should warn you there is the growing likelihood that the responsibilities in my day job may be changing in the very near future and Graeme and I have been trying to figure out how to make sure we still manage to deliver Wait, What? quality in a timely way. I hope you remain patient with me as I go through the process of working all that out.  Fortunately, you have lots of excellent, high quality writing from Graeme and Matt to keep you happy in the meantime.
Anyway, enough of that.  Let’s get shownoting, shall we?
0:00-6:24:  The greeting thing (this time with proper microphones); the Three Stages of Muppet; Muppets Most Wanted; Disney’s trifecta of the Muppets,  Star Wars and Marvel.

6:24-17:10:  Discussions of pop culture cocktails leads us to talk about Lego Dimensions, the video game IP orgy competitor to Disney Infinity.  And this leads to a discussion about the crossovers you stage with your own toys as opposed to officially sanctioned IP crossover play.  Also discussed: playing with action figures (in which Jeff accidentally mentions using Star Wars figures to fill in as SHIELD agents when he really meant using Star Wars figures); the scramble for new action figures for Return of the Jedi; which leads to discussing…

17:10-25:15: Jeff loves the fact that Star Wars fans love the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back even though, as Graeme points out, even Boba Fett doesn’t appear for more than ten minutes total in the films.  Also discussed: George Lucas’s dislike of Boba Fett; Lucas’s official slogan for the making of the prequels; and  the ballad of General Grievous.
25:15-49:18: We segue so organically it’s actually hard to chop it up, but if you want to hear Graeme and Jeff argue about whether Star Wars is an epic about redemption or an anti-redemption without a lot of action figure talk, you can start here.  Please note we talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens just a teeny tad and, depending on your view, we either do not spoil a darn thing or we talk about stuff that can lead the overheated mind to make some suppositions it might consider spoiler-y?  As Graeme points out, it’s probably not a big deal since everyone who’s wanted to see TFA by now already has BUT JUST IN CASE here’s your soft spoiler warning.  Discussed: whether or not Star Wars is pro- or anti-redemption; the handling of Jedi in the prequels; Jeff is a big fan of the theory put forward by Chris Ready over at his awesome Disaster Year 20xx blog about Return of the Jedi, where Graeme has a different view about the film, and is armed with facts in hand from his recent read of J.W. Rinzler’s Making of Star Wars books; the Ewoks in Vietnam; and Jeff’s discussion of the real phantom behind The Phantom Menace.
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49:18-1:04:48:  “Whatnauts,” sez Graeme, “once again, this is a podcast about comic books where we’ve talked about Star Wars for the first forty-eight minutes.”  And he’s got a point!  So we change up to talk about Batman #48 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and the high strangeness that is “Superheavy,” the current arc.  Discussed: the scene between two characters by the side of a lake; Mr. Bloom as DC Comics; Snyder’s metatext reaching the levels of Morrison’s Calvin Ellis issue of Action; Snyder’s take on Batman and Morrison’s take on Batman as it reflects their views on depression; and more.
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1:04:48-1:19:18:  Talking about Morrison’s darker works, we talk about Nameless #6 by Morrison and Burnham. FULL SPOILERS, I think we give it all away—in our vague sort of way—and I’ll tell you now one of us thought it was great, and another of us…did not.
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1:19:18-1:34:17: And as long as we’re running through the hall of mirrors, let’s move from Snyder to Morrison to the first three issues of Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque’s Huck, which Graeme read all at a go, and he gets a chance to compare and contrast it a bit with Valiant’s Faith #1 by Jody Houser, Francis Portela & Marguerite Sauvage. Pop quiz: which book do you think Graeme described as “weirdly cynical for a comic that theoretically should be the opposite” and which got described as “utterly fucking delightful”? And this leads us to talk about other books that are working in the absurd and delightful parts of town, and how they differ from other previous, more self-conscious works.
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1:34:17-1:54:05: And this leads us to a discussion about Spider-Gwen, particularly Radioactive Spider-Gwen #4 which Jeff has read.  His take on the reasons for the book’s tone are quite different from Graeme’s and quite possibly far less generous.  And from there we talk about which books we’re reading in All-New, All-Different Marvel and whether or not Marvel Unlimited actually raises the bar for books we’re willing to pay money for.  Discussed: Star Wars, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat, Vision, Spidey, Spider-Man/Deadpool, The Ultimates, the upcoming Power Man and Iron Fist, and more.
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1:54:05-2:10:28: And although we are just about out of time, Jeff cannot resist asking Graeme what he thinks about the IDW reboot of Judge Dredd by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Dan McDaid, in no small part because that and a ton of time spent playing the Judge Dredd pinball game, Jeff has a question he doesn’t know the answer to:  What makes for “good” Judge Dredd?
2:10:28-end: Closing comments! Look for us on  Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr!  And, of course, where, as of this count, 115 patrons make this whole thing possible!
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 113 of our supporters on Patreon who make our show possible.
Next week:  There’s a break but we’ll back in two weeks with Wait, What? Ep. 194.  The march to Episode 200 has begun!  (Well, technically it started around episode one, but let’s not quibble.)
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TT Debut

00:00-17:43:  Greetings and Happy New Year from Graeme “I Didn’t Lose Consciousness, I Just Blacked Out” McMillan and Jeff “No, That Is Exactly What Happens When You Lose Consciousness: You BLACK OUT” Lester, who have a very extended non-comics opening session that involves the Snowpocalypse, bicycles,  learning to ride bicycles, the delay some of us might’ve had in learning to ride bicycles, rude four year olds, growing up out in the middle of nowhere, and, yes, blacking out.
17:43-1:09:46: Okay, so yes comic books.  Don’t worry, we remember! (Or…do we?)  Following on the heels of his recent post here at the website, Graeme and I talk about DC’s Teen Titans. More specifically, DC’s comic book incarnation of the Teen Titans, and even more specifically, the revitalization of that title (which we could more honestly remove the “re-“ and call a vitalization) under Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, as well as what happened to it afterward.  Graeme has read a huge ton of the material recently—including Teen Titans Omnibus 1, 2, and 3, as well as the New 52 trades and the current Titans Hunt series by Dan Abnett, Paulo Siqueira, and Geraldo Borges—whereas Jeff has been out of the Titans loop for a very long time, but was a fan of the Wolfman/Pérez material back in the day. Discussed/referenced:  The Beatles, Chris Claremont, the Uncanny X-Men, the Dark Phoenix storyline, The Judas Contract, that “annoying blond guy,” the second big Trigon storyline and the secret theory about it that Jeff never gets to utter because there’s too much gabbing going on.

TT Nightwing

(PODCAST BONUS:  That theory?  About a story Jeff never finished reading? The theory is that Raven was sexually abused by her demonic father and Wolfman thought he could make the icky subtextual link between icky sexual abuse and demonic evil into actual text in the direct market-only Baxter-approved book but then wasn’t able to for whatever reason and then had nowhere else to go…unless that is indeed what happened, in which case it’s just as well I didn’t mention it on-air anyway.)

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Also discussed:  Wolfman’s confession about his years-long creative block and subpar work; the importance of George Pérez as the detailed yang to Wolfman’s scattered yin; the gap between Paul Smith and John Romita, Jr., and between George Pérez and José Luis Garcia-Lopez; Bob McLeod, as penciller and inker; the artistic legacy of the New Mutants; Kurt Schaffenberger; Louise Simonson taking over New Mutants; Doug Ramsey as an example of the limitation of the superhero genre; slowly typing in those stupid programs onto the VIC-20 that never worked right; the movie War Games and The Hacker’s Handbook; Chris Claremont not being down with X-Factor; post-Tumblr DC; the three distinct eras of Teen Titans, including the Geoff Johns and Scott Lobdell’s eras; the Marvel template and the hot-headed feet of clay character; the above-referenced Titans Hunt by Dan Abnett, Paulo Siqueira, and Geraldo Borges (and Stephen Segovia); “racist” Aqualad; the return of Mr. Twister; how to avoid alienating new readers right after attacting them; and more.

TT WhoIs1:09:46-1:23:59: FINALLY, we put the Titans to rest and move on to a new timecode as we segue from how Titans Hunt handles its approach to a reboot with the new nonboot from All New All Different Marvel.  Discussed: Al Ewing’s work on the current incarnation of The Ultimates, and why he’d be the perfect writer for The Fantastic Four; Marvel winning truly new  comic readers and then losing them with a reboot;  the end of the first volume of Ms. Marvel; The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’s upcoming crossover with Howard The Duck; Chip Zdarsky on Howard The Duck vs. Chip Zdarsky on Jughead; what happens when sales targets are not met and how to measure those sales targets; and whether or not sales on Marvel’s Star Wars books are leveling or actually dropping.

1:23:59-1:37:59: And because Jeff has finally(!!) seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we move into moderate spoiler territory as we talk about the difficulty Marvel might have in doing Star Wars comics in The Force Awakens milieu, even though they absolutely should despite [SPOILERS] and [SPOILERS] and [SPOILERS].  Also discussed:  the awkward comic book shenanigans caused by the end of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Stars Wars: The Road to the Force Awakens—Look Out, Here Comes The Force Awakens;  iZombie, Lucifer, and the twelve recent Vertigo launches including by Slash And Burn by Si Spencer who is NOT Si Spurrier; and more.
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1:37:59-1:46:39: And that “more” lets Jeff steer the convo over to High School Debut, his newest manga crush from Kazune Kawahara who is the writer of other current manga crush object, My Love Story!!  High School Debut is Kawahara’s earlier project where she was both writer and artist, and Jeff may like it even more that MLS!!  Discussed: a comparison of buying for the Kindle and reading on Comixology to smuggling cigarettes; the hook for High School Debut; and an eensy bit more.
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1:46:39-1:50:58: “But let’s flip it back to you Graeme,” sez Jeff.  “what have you been reading recently, apart from a shit-ton of Teen Titans?” Although Graeme insists at first he’s been reading nothing but Teen Titans, in fact he’s also been catching up with the Valiant titles, in part after reading the CBR list of the Best 100 comics of 2015. Find out the books that Graeme would pay money to keep reading and which books had potential and lost momentum.
1:50:58-2:12:30: Graeme has also been reading a lot of prose, including Elvis Costello’s Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink.  Come for the book review, stay for Jeff’s encounter with Mr. C and, more importantly, something somone once said about the film classic Gregory’s Girl that he unconditionally believed for thirty years. And then…
2:12:30-end: *No* closing comments! That’s right, due to some miscommunication between Jeff and the wife lady, he has to leave Toot Sweet (which, no, does not mean he has his throat cut with a straight razor by Mickey Rourke).  And so, we do not get a chance to extend on-air 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 113 of our supporters on Patreon who make our show possible.
Fortunately, Graeme does have the time before we go to check out the Gregory’s Girl story and disprove it, crushing a three decade long belief by Jeff. Right. Into. The. Fucking. Dirt.  And maybe it’s just me, but Graeme seems actually pretty delighted to do so? I mean, Jeff was basically like this:

Anyway, look for us on  Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr!  And, of course, where, as of this count, 115 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Next week:  episode 13 of Baxter Building!  Read up on issues #103-112 of the Fantastic Four and join us for your monthly dose of semi-historical comic analyses.  We’ll see you then!
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SGwen1

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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I’ve noticed something odd recently: I no longer care about the recency of the comics I’m reading, or reading about — or reviewing, for that matter. Once upon a time, I thought reviews that went up Sunday for…

File Jun 08, 4 18 25 PM

(From Star Wars #4 by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday.)

Ho, ho, howdy, Whatnauts and True Believers of all stripes!  As you can see, Graeme just put in a lovely little contribution to our website, so I decided to make this post image-free so as to take up less room (and because I’m sweating a big deadline, so….you’ll forgive me this once, right?)
00:00-13:42: Greetings from your anxious friends, Jeff and Graeme, currently recovering from a hell of a week over at McMillan Manors. So of course, Jeff decides it’s the perfect time to interrogate Graeme about his reading habits: how does Graeme read so much?  And when the hell does he find time to do it?  It’s a hard-hitting investigation, Wait, What? style!  Graeme recommends a book to Jeff, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte, which is a book that Jeff really, really needs. Also discussed: why Jeff hasn’t seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet, why we like people except when they’re around, spontaneity as a counterpoint to planning, Jeff’s terrible work habits, how Graeme McMillan got his groove back, and we all learn just how accurate Graeme’s nickname as “The Hardest Working Man on the Internet,” and more.
13:42-23:24: Oh, but don’t worry we have comics to start talking about: in particular, we have Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, a book so big Graeme is worried it would turn out to be a dog-killing vanity project.  And yet, as it turns out, Graeme thinks it is is very, very good with excellent new comics from Kevin Huizenga, Adrian Tomine (or is that a reprint), Guy Delisle, Kate Beaton, and many more.  (Jeff, for his part, is so consumed with envy he can’t really speak.)  The book is costly but it’s about the price of ten copies of Secret Wars #3 and, according to Graeme, you will get more than ten times the amount of enjoyment.  Or, as Jeff asks, will you?  Certainly if you’re Graeme (or Jeff) but what about others?  Sadly, we aren’t able to render the perfect irreducible unit of comic book comparison  but for a second, we do consider giving it a go, but only after a certain amount of quasi-reviewing/quasi-gabbing from Jeff about Secret Wars #3.
23:24-25:18:  Graeme has also read all of the Swords of Sorrow crossover over at Dynamite, and has surprisingly positive things to say about the Swords of Sorrow: Chaos Special by Mairghread Scott and Mirka Andolfo.  But does he like them $3.99 worth? Hmm…
25:18-49:39:  And, on a related note (inspired by Jeff thinking that there’s a chance that people may not have to pay $3.99 for the book if it ends up on sale at Comixology, not that he ever bothers to say that aloud), Jeff asks Graeme to handicap the first three weeks of The New DC52 Universe sale happening over at Comixology.  Turns out Graeme has already read a big ol’ chunk of the New 52 titles:  what would he recommend?  And what books are DC offering to put on sale that don’t actually exist?  Although this will get posted just as the first week of the sale is ending, we have weeks two and three covered for you, wonder if there’s going to be a week four, brief reminiscing over the Dr. Fate run by J.M. DeMatteis and Shawn McManus; some love for the Jeff Lemire scripted issues of Justice League Dark; the Tom Taylor stuff from Earth-2; Prez #1-4 (YES, GOD, YES); the first 40 issues of Hitman; Graeme points out some flaws in Jeff’s compulsive buying tendencies; and the paradox of DC offering up a big sale of New52 issues to get us excited about the “DC You” launch when, frankly, the DC You launch is a corrective to titles that weren’t working under the New52.  It’s a little bit of “you like this? Well, great, here’s a bunch of stuff you *won’t* like!”  Although, as Graeme points out, the series does serve as an inexpensive way to fill in the backstory for DC You books people enjoy but are jumping in cold, and he follows this up with some discussion of The Batgirl of Burnside trade by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, and Maris Wicks.
49:39-1:05:58: But then there’s stuff like all those issues of Omega Men which are tonally inconsistent with the new first issue by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda, which Graeme has read about and also recommends.  In fact, Graeme read all of the DC You launches from the first week and is very, very positive about them overall.  (Jeff, for his part, dug the book he picked up: Bizarro #1 by Heath Corson, Gustavo Duarte, and Peter Pantazis.) But Graeme also has praise for Midnighter (which he says looks amazing), Action Comics, and (not a DC You title but still enjoyable) Justice League #41 by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok; and then we return to talking about the first issue of Omega Men some more, some parts of the discussion guided by the interview Graeme did with writer Tom King for Wired.
1:05:58-1:18:36: From one galactic rebellion to another, Jeff has read Star Wars issues #4-6 by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, and Laura Martin. WARNING: JEFF SPOILS THE BIG REVEAL IN ISSUE #6.  We discuss action figure fun, a very odd Watchmen shout-out, the difference between fan-service and suffocating nostalgia (if there is one), the embarrassment of mixing up Kyle Katarn and Dash Rendar, the Venn diagram of good superhero comic, and more.
1:18:36-1:44:22: Pivoting from that, we discuss the All-New, All-Different Marvel announcements and Marvel’s attempt to get publicity without actually announcing anything.  Graeme runs it down for us.  Also a discussion about Secret Wars running late leads to much rampant speculation on Jeff’s part about reasons for some of the odder delays in Marvel’s schedule.  Also discussed: the backsliding of diversity in mainstream comics; the company that won’t be reported on; taking the phrase how the sausage is made to ludicrously literal extremes; and more.
1:44:22-1:55:20:  But enough of that!  Let’s talk about comics!  Jeff has read the first issue of Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, is kinda coolish about it, but unpacks the first issue in detail for Graeme. Jeff has also read issue #5 of The Humans by Keenan Marshall Keller, Tom Neely, and Kristina Collantes, which he describes in less detail but frankly enjoyed much more than Providence; Bizarro #1 (as mentioned above); and Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions #1 and #2 by Bob Fingerman (also reviewed by Jeff here).
1:55:20-end: For the second time in two episodes, Jeff starts sounding weird on Graeme’s side so we decide to call it a day.  And so….closing comments!  Was this our most bifurcated podcast ever?  If so…we’re sorry?   Come back next week for a Baxter Building podcast, and feel free to read Fantastic Four issues #54-60 (plus Annual #4) to experience the episode in 5-D!   Mortality and Tote Bags in Vienna! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! ] Twitter together (t) and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr!  And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 104 patrons make this whole thing possible!

Need a context-free link to cut and paste and make your very own—see this post’s first comment!

 

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Yup, here it is: our 174th episode (by one count, at least), just in time for you to snort some Hitler and celebrate Mary Jane Watson’s birthday!

*coughs*

*taps mic*

Well, since I’m sure you’ve got a busy day ahead of you, allow me to present to you…without further ado…our show notes!

00:00-6:00: Greetings! Death threats! As Jeff says, “Listeners! Welcome to what may be the last episode of Wait, What?” Yes, it’s a bone-chilling opening for a podcast that jumps right in and barely looks back, with an introduction of what we’re going to be talking about length: a frank (and profanity-filled) discussion of Avengers #1-36, New Avengers #1-24, and Infinity #1-6, all written by Jonathan Hickman and a elite cadre of Marvel’s shock troops!


6:00-25:42: But first, before we do that, since this was recorded on the day the second Star Wars trailer dropped (embedded above), we have to talk about it first. Also discussed: Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek Into Darkness, the franchise that taught you not to trust franchises, class struggle in Star Wars, the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer (also embedded above), Terminator Genisys trailer, the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, the weird fragmented point trailers are at right now, the second Ant-Man trailer, and more.
25:42-1:11:05: And now we get back to Jonathan Hickman, Avengers #1-36, New Avengers #1-24, and Infinity #1-6, with liberty and spoilers for all.  Because we are trying to be better with context, fasten your seatbelts as we try to describe everything that’s going on and break down our reactions. (And if you want to read along, all issues discussed are currently available on Marvel Unlimited). Discussed: plot hammering, what Jeff characterizes as the “contemporary American spirit” at the heart of Hickman’s story, the powers and drawback of repetition, a story about the inevitability of mortality as told in a story featuring characters who we know technically will not actually die; Marvel’s former series What If, #NotMyTonyStark, shared universes, D&D references, Stan Lee’s pubic hair, Secret Wars, the Nick Spencer train, the latest iPad update for the Marvel Unlimited app, the 500 Star Wars comics dropped on the app this week (seriously, if you find yourself hankering for the Dark Horse Expanded Universe, or you just want to re-read that issue where Michael Golden drew a really keen lightsaber fight, it is now exceptionally easy to get your hands on with a subscription to MU), and more.

GoldenStar

Very, very, terrifyingly easy.

1:11:05-1:20:58: The mention of the iPad (and more specifically, Jeff’s not-subtle hint that Graeme should get one) leads to a story from Graeme about what he’s been up to since the last time we podcasted. (Spoiler: a lot of what he’s been up to involves sitting in the Apple Store.) Throw in a cameo from Ernie and Gus-Gus and you’ve got a lovely non-comic intermission!

Here is Herbie

(Did not crop after ganking; probably should’ve)

1:20:58-1:43:20: Returning from that intermission, patron Scott Ashworth requested that we read one of the oldest cult comics, Herbie the Fat Fury, by Richard Hughes and Ogden Whitney, which Graeme with his superior library skills (and superior library) is able to do! Discussed: Alan Moore, a certain type of “satire,” Groundhog Day (the movie, not the holiday), JFK (the person, not the airport), Stockholm Syndrome, Gold Key Star Trek comics, Daniel Pinkwater, pre- and post-war America, and coming up next on our to-read list: Opus by Satoshi Kon, as requested by Eric Rupe.  Also, not mentioned in our discussion, but let me throw in a counterbalancing opinion about Herbie from Bill Reed, and an uncovered connection between Herbie and Watchmen. Those “Comics Should Be Good” guys are great, aren’t they?

HerbieJFK
1:43:20-1:55:21: Graeme also read the first week of Convergence titles from DC, which he wrote about for the website  but also discusses at a bit more length here. Mentioned: Alisa Kwitney on Batgirl, Lee Weeks on Superman, Jeff Parker and Tim Truman on Hawkman (upcoming), someone’s butt talking to someone else’s boobs, editorial inconsistencies, Convergence as an event where you can read the crossover books without having to read the main event title; and more.

TrimpeTumble

To quote Jackie Kennedy:  Sigh.

1:55:21-2:06:51: Although he didn’t have anything special planned to say (or anything planned at all), Jeff nevertheless wanted to talk about the passing of Herb Trimpe, comic artist, writer, and teacher who managed to fuse the imperatives of a Marvel house style with his own more unique one, and gave us a lot of great comics along the way: the Incredible Hulk, Shogun Warriors, Godzilla, and G.I. Joe, a fill-in issue of Captain America written by Bill Mantlo (issue #291, which Jeff does an impressive job of partially misremembering here (and again, thanks to Marvel Unlimited, I dug up that issue, read it and screenshot it just now), the Phantom Eagle in Marvel Super-Heroes #16, issues of G.I. Joe Special Missions that he wrote, and more. Thank you, Herb.


2:06:51-end: Closing comments, a.k.a., “when the hell is our next episode, we honestly have no god-damned idea.” (Hint, it’s a skip week coming up, so look for us in a fortnight.)  The Small Tote Bag! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 102 patrons make this whole thing possible.


Next Week: there is no next week!  (As far as a podcast episode is concerned) but then come back the week after that! And the week after that!  Etc., etc.  And remember, if you need just a straight text-only link to cut and paste into your browser or program of choice, check out the first comment!

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