0:01-18:33:  Greetings from Graeme “Back From The Wars” McMillan and Jeff “Loverman” Lester!  We only have time for the briefest of Billy Bragg references before we’re off to the coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, as only our embedded correspondent can provide!  It was a very weird show, with some strange arrangements and a lot of off-kilter preparation.  It’s not worth putting a time stamp but at one point, Graeme mentions that the combined DC/Warner Brothers booth was so big Jeff’s apartment could’ve fit in it four times.  Well, in editing this, Jeff checked with Edi (who actually has an ability to remember numbers and understand spatial relationships), and ran the actual booth size—two floors of 6500 square feet total—and the actual answer?  Jeff and Edi’s apartment could fit in that total square footage EIGHT TIMES. Also discussed: the Strange Adventures announcement from DC; the Undiscovered Country announcement from Image; the Hickman announcement panel at Marvel; the panels Graeme moderated; and more.
18:33-23:20: I don’t know if I can cleanly split this stuff up, but here’s where we started talking about Marvel Studio’s announcements for their upcoming film slate.  Graeme lists them out, along with the Disney+ TV shows.  And then we whipsaw back to the new X-Men titles announced at the Hickman reveal panel, along with some fun facts revealed there.
23:20-29:00: But here’s what Graeme thinks may have been the biggest story to come out SDCC and it seems like it’s been super-slept on:  Comichub which does point of sales software in the retail market, has announced a partnership with NPD Group, and so sales will be entered into Bookscan.  Retailers who use Comichub POS software will have their sales counted by Bookscan *and* will also have access to Bookscan data.  This could be a huge boon for those retailers and help gain a better understanding of total sales for comics and graphic novels (which, as Hibbs will tell you, is pretty tricky stuff to try and even remotely guess at).  For Jeff, there was the announcement of IDW collecting all of Steve Ditko’s Mr. A, and the disquieting acknowledgment (when someone asked) that Ditko quite specifically did not want the material reprinted.  Discussed: It’s problematic.

29:00-38:57:  From out of the problematic frying pan and into the problematic fire, we talk about HBO’s Watchmen Comic-Con trailer and Damon Lindelof’s comments at the Television Critics Association about his relationship to Moore’s reaction to the show. (comic by Kenny Keil).

38:57-1:07:49:  Here’s some good news from SDCC.  Doom Patrol the TV show?  It got a Season Two, and pretty much thanks to HBO Max.  I for one welcome our corporate synergistic overlords!  Also discussed:  the Harley Quinn animated show trailer.  Also discussed: The Great British Bake-Off; the secret behind Midsommar; the offsite Batman experience; the transition of SDCC from being a movie-based convention to a TV-based convention; the most popular cosplay of the show, maybe?; Kevin Huizenga’s The River At Night; new work by Adrian Tomine, Lisa Hannawalt, and more; what Graeme spent too much money on; the difference between New York Comic-Con and San Diego Comic Con; and much, much more.

1:07:49-1:28:16:  Graeme has watched all eight episodes of The Boys on Amazon Prime, and he…liked it?! So much so that he went and got the omnibi off Hoopla and is re-reading them?  UNEXPECTED! Discussed: how faithful the adaptation is, who seems to like and who doesn’t on social media, the differences made and their effects; Ennis and his thematic concerns, early Boys with Darick Robertson and later Boys with Russ Braun; the original pitch for The Boys.  (And yet, this is mostly a spoiler-free review?)

1:28:16-1:32:54: As long as we’re talking about shows on Amazon Prime, also on Prime is Under The Silver Lake, the follow-up film from It Follows director David Robert Mitchell starring Andrew Garfield, a comedic L.A. noir that mulls over Mulholland Dr., Hitchcock films, Pynchon novels, conspiracy theories and cultural legacies. Jeff really wants to talk about it and talk about it and talk about it, but you guys all get off lucky.
1:32:54-1:42:24:  However, all of that is probably the perfect prelude to talking about House of X #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia.  It’s a big batch of comics in one (not cheap but still satisfying!) issue and we muse over its mysteries and finding that comic book sweet spot.
1:42:24-2:00:35:  But Jeff may be fronting a bit on the superhero score.  He loved House of X #1, he read and liked some other superhero books—here’s looking at you, Batman Universe #1—but what was really his jam these last few weeks was fourteen volumes of You’re My Pet by Yayoi Ogawa.  Jeff adores the cartooning, the characterization and the storytelling and it’s all available to those who have a Comixology Unlimited subscription.  Also discussed: the first volume of Mars, more of a Shojo manga (You’re My Pet seems to be much more Josei, for these keeping track at home) similarly available on CU by Fuyumi Soryo.  Also discussed: Jimmy Olsen #1 by Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, and Nathan Fairbairn; Superman: Up In the Sky #1 by Tom King, Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, and Brad Anderson; Batman #75 by Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, Mitch Gerads, and Mitch Gerads; and Bad Weekend TPB by Ed Brubaker and Sean & Jacob Phillips.  Also discussed: the end of Walking Dead and reaction about it at SDCC; the resurgence of Todd McFarlane; and more.
2:00:35-2:14:29:  Graeme read the aforementioned Huizenga book; got a lot of print stuff from 2000 A.D.; and he runs Jeff through The Batman Who Laughs miniseries, a mini Graeme thought he was only an issue or two behind on but in fact hadn’t checked it out after issue #1.  It’s…. a very strange little series?
2:14:29-2:20:25: Oh, and Jeff also tried to get his ass in gear and get out of the big two rut, and read The Wrong Earth #1 and #2 by Tom Peyer, Jamal Igle, Juan Castro, and Andy Troy; and Second Coming #1 by Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy, both published by Ahoy Comics.  He liked one and loved the other.  Care to wager which is which, Mr. Bond? (And for bonus points, Mr. Bond, can you tell us how Irredeemable ends? Oh wait, never mind, we’ve both checked Wikipedia by now.)
2:20:25-end:  Closing comments, interspersed with apologies!  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week:  Pretty sure it’ll be Episode 276!!
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0:01-35:33:  Greetings!  Graeme “Remarkably Warm” McMillan and Jeff “Remarkably Convincing” Lester are here after a weeklong break to rap about comic books, and what better way to start than discussing the passing of Steve “Remarkably Important to American Comics” Ditko.  Graeme has a great handful of fun facts about Ditko you might not have known, and Jeff has some quality bloviation about the strength of Ditko’s plotting….plus a whole lot more!
35:33-1:13:54:  Pivoting from comics creators to comics, we discuss Batman #50 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, and a buttload of pinup artists.  It’s halfway through King’s hundred issue run, and the issue is, as Graeme put it, “primed for [Jeff] to dislike.”  True? Well… Once again, we are back in the arena pit of King’s Batman, with Graeme liking it much more than Jeff would honestly think possible, and Jeff disliking it not as much as Graeme seems to think.  Welcome to the Batman #50 Thunderdome! Two Podcasters walk in and….uh, two podcasters walk out.  (But thirty minutes do not!)
1:13:54-1:20:30:  Well, now that it’s been over an hour, maybe we can talk about a second comic? Well, all right, if you insist: Graeme has some choice words for Death of the Inhumans #1 by Donnie Cates and Ariel Olivetti.
1:20:30-1:29:21: And, picking up the pace, we also discuss Man of Steel #6 by Brian Michael Bendis and Jason Fabok.  So much to talk about in this issue, and yet how much do you want to bet Jeff just uses it as an opportunity to talk about how the bad guy looks like Anton Arcane from Bissette & Totelben’s Swamp Thing run?
1:29:21-1:32:19: A book that really rang both our chimes?  The Immortal Hulk #2 by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett.  The second issue has a lot going for it, including a vibe that heavily reminded us of classic Michael Fleisher/Jim Aparo Spectre comics—eerie and mean.
1:32:19-1:44:13: Not quite as successful for us on the Marvel front? The first issue of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on Captain America, with art by Leinil Francis Yu.  Was it the storytelling choices? Was it the squandering of one of the better writers about the myths of America squeezing himself into the idea of Captain America? Too on the nose? Not on the nose enough? Or was it just the whole post-Secret Empireness of it all?
1:44:13-1:55:17:  Hey, but don’t let us get you down—there’s a lot of great comics out there in the world, and thanks to Kodansha and Amazon/Comixology, we have access to the complete translated Beck by Harold Sukuishi, as well as his Seven Shakespeares series.  Beck was one of Jeff’s favorite reads back when Tokyopop reprinted it (under the title Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, which is how Jeff refers to it here) and is delighted to revisit it again.  If you’re in the U.S. and have Comixology Unlimited or Kindle Unlimited, you’re in for a treat.  (And if not, as Graeme points out, you can try Kindle Unlimited for the first month free!
1:55:17- 2:35:01: Jeff is ambivalent about Justice League #3 by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez, but Graeme is not, especially after rereading the first three issues.  After some more Old Man Grumpus comments from Jeff about Snyder’s recent work and his nonplussedness at issue #2 of The Unexpected by Cary Nord, Steve Orlando, and Wade von Grawbadger, Graeme tries to gently broach the topic:  maybe Jeff just doesn’t dig American superhero comics any more?  Includes a lot of talk about the comparison and contrast to manga, and what Jeff sees as manga doing better…and a long discussion of what Jeff wants his comics to be. (Plus: also some sales figure stuff there at the very end?  Because that’s who we roll.)
2:35:01-end:  Closing comments already?!  Sure, but first a very quick review from Graeme of Ant-Man And The Wasp? And then:   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 #362-370.
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0:00-4:06: Greetings!  How’s the weather, you ask?  Well, Graeme McMillan and the rest of Portland, Oregon are boiling alive!  Jeff’s fine, thanks for asking, but since he knows fine doesn’t carry well—podcasts being what Marshall McLuhan would call a “hot” medium—he moves us to the towering mountain of remaining listeners’ questions!  Will he and Graeme get through all of the questions by the end of the podcast?  Place your bets now!

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4:06-16:24:  Kevin Moreau asks:  I have two questions that I hope you can find the time to answer as you’re patrolling Hub City to keep us all safe from crime. 1.  It’s well known that Graeme is not a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Is there a comic-book movie (MCU, DC or otherwise) made since the dawn of the MCU (so since 2008) that you love or at least like, and what does it do right that the MCU movies largely don’t? (Primarily for Graeme, but Jeff please feel free to chime in as well.)

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16:24-27:51: Kevin also wants to know:  2. Largely for Jeff, but if Graeme has any input, please feel free: I find manga largely impenetrable, but I want to give it a fair shake. What is it that appeals to you about the form, and what would you recommend for a newbie who finds it hard to get past the cartoon-y expressions and overall exaggerated nature of what little I’ve glimpsed?
27:51-35:51:  Charles Forsman inquires:   1. Spawn/Batman or Batman/Spawn?  2. What’s the deal with all these comic books coming out every week?

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35:51-47:20: Tom Bondurant queries: DC/Warners are putting out an animated version of The Judas Contract, in which a spunky 16-year-old superheroine is (spoilers!) revealed to be a stone-cold sociopath who hates the Teen Titans, is probably sleeping with the much-older Deathstroke the Terminator, and dies after being literally buried by her own rage-spawned freakout. I still have a lot of affection for TJC, especially in the context of New Teen Titans generally, but a) does it seem that problematic to you and b) what changes, if any, do you expect the adaptation to make?
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47:20-55:50:  Matt Miller wonders:  Already asked one of my questions on Twitter, so here’s my 2nd: You two are starting a Crossgen-esque company dealing in popular (but non-superhero) genres. What two writer/artist teams (or cartoonists) would you recruit and what genre do you put them on?
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55:50-1:02:40:   Evan Harrison Cass interrogates:  Jeff, what is your current ethical stand regarding the purchase of Marvel product? I’ve lost track.  Also:  When Tim Seeley and Tom King were co-writing their critically acclaimed Grayson run, most critics – including you two – assumed Seeley’s contribution wasn’t as ‘key’ as King’s. I know for a fact that Tim felt frustrated that he wasn’t given fair credit for bits that were his that were critically celebrated. What shapes the impression that a Seeley type writer is B-list while a King type is A-list?
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1:02:40-1:11:46:  Ray Mescallado queries:   You get to greenlight a Legion of Super-Heroes movie. What era of Legion would you use (Grell 70s, Levitz/Giffen, Five Years After, reboot, threeboot, etc) and why? Would you connect it to the cinematic DCU and how? Which Legionnaires would you focus on, and who do you imagine playing their roles?
1:11:46-1:22:18:   Levi Tompkins ponders: Do you think the lack of lgbtqi characters in Marvel books now is a result of them worried about how to deal with presenting those characters in other mediums like cartoons and movies? What do you think of valiant’s plans to create a movie-verse, or valiant’s attempts at extending their brand into other media formats in general?
Celestials1:22:18-1:30:58:  Garrett asks:  My question(s) are: Could a Jack Kirby (creative output and brand new ideas) exist in today’s comic’s industry? Are there any writers, artists, or writer/artists currently working today that come close?
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1:30:58-1:41:52:   Adam Wolfe inquires: 1st question: I read the first Flintstones by Mark Russell and I have the same feeling about it that I usually do after reading a Thomas Pynchon book: amused, a little perplexed, not sure if I get everything the author put in, but ultimately this feeling that I read something intellectual that I should feel smart for having read. Ultimately I think I enjoyed it but I was wondering, what are your thoughts on this series and is Russell’s Prez going to see a second volume? 2nd question: Do you think that Grant Morrison steal his idea of transporting to different universe through a musical instrument in Multiversity from the Heman Masters of the Universe movie from the 80s? There’s a dwarf like creature in that movie that uses a type of flute if I recall to travel back and forth from our realm to that Eternia.
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1:41:52-1:52:48:   Roger Winston (Flasshe) cross-examines: 1) As a big time Legion of Super-Heroes fanboy from way back (Cockrum, Grell, Levitz/Giffen, beyond) I am incensed that DC doesn’t know what to do with the LSH these days. Why is that? Is the concept just not something that connects with modern audiences? Or have they just not found the correct approach or creators to make it work nowadays? What do you think DC should do with the property? (I’m counting all this as one question, though you are free to handle it as you see fit.)  (2) What is your preferred comic reading environment? For me, it’s iPad/recliner/beer/music on the headphones, usually after work and before dinner. If I try to read in bed at night, it’s snooze-land and no retention.
1:52:48-1:53:04:  Yonatan offers: when DC finally brings the Legion back, what creative team? 
1:53:04-1:56:18:  Dave Clarke requests: compare and contrast Judge Dredd big summer events with those of the big 2?
1:56:18-1:57:44:  Steven E. Chambers plays good cop:  easy one: have you two been keeping up with Rucka and Lark’s Lazarus?
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1:57:44-2:01:10:  Scott Rowland is bad cop:  I’m 100 episodes behind, so you may have covered, but any thoughts on Steve Ditko’s independent work over the years? And thoughts on Ditjko’s string of modest, but successful Kickstarters to publish new material? 
2:01:10-2:06:08: Art Lyon is dramatic reading cop:  What long-run title would u analyze a la your Baxter Building eps if u weren’t doing FF or – gasp! – *after* u finish FF?
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2:06:08-end: Closing comments! Next week will be a Q&A session so please feel free to tweet or email us your questions. 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 Episode #20!  Fantastic Four #171-184!  Join us!
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From The Dept. of “Act Now”:  I can’t tell you how surprised and immensely pleased I am that only two weeks after I sung the praises of Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja comics, Dynamite put them…

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