SVT Kiss

Super-Villains Unite, indeed…

Whew, what a quickly spinning world we live on.  As I write this, it was exactly a week ago that Edi and I touched down in Portland, Oregon for a whirlwind visit that, once again, had me missing Rose City Comic-Con by thisssss much. And now here I am typing up the notes for the second in-the-flesh Wait, What? podcast.  185 episodes, and only two of which were recorded with the participants in the same room?  Verily, this is the Mighty Wait, What? Age of Hikikomori, True Believer! (Sorry, I’ve been reading too many Roy Thomas introductions recently.)

Without further ado…let’s do, shall we?

00:00-08:41: Greetings from Graeme “On The Street Where You Live” McMillan and Jeff “The Call Is Coming From Inside the House” Lester who dare you to figure out the strange secret of this episode’s recording! [Hint: we recorded it live in the same space, which is why it sounds so different.] [Spoiler: that was really more of a spoiler than a hint.] [Addendum: And that was really more of a hint than a spoiler.] [Postscript: That was actually an addendum, though.]  Once again, we are recording live but this time there is no professional microphone to help us, just two men hunched around a single laptop, so we apologize for the slightly less great sound. But for now, settle in and relax as we try out introductions, Graeme tells a story from the recent Rose City Comic-Con, we try to determine how many people hate Graeme, and more.

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08:41-25:43: For example, here’s a story about the two of us shopping at Cloud Nine Comics in Portland, Oregon, where one of us was the very model of restraint, and the other one of us was Jeff.  Mentioned: Steve “The Stinker” Englehart; whether or not Englehart is still in Oakland, California; whether to eat the brain or the liver; sitting adjacent to Chris Claremont; Englehart’s Coyote and the last cover thereto; meeting pros at cons (wait…is that deliberate?), Graeme’s amazing and entirely accidental pantomime; the ideal price for back issues; Jeff’s visit to Cosmic Monkey Comics; comic t-shirts we have worn and are wearing including these amazing beauties; and more.
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25:43-48:02: Talking about Cosmic Monkey conjures memories for both Graeme and Jeff of Comic Relief in Berkeley, which leads us down the primrose path of memory about how intimidating it was for us to shop in Comic Relief in Berkeley and Comix Experience in San Francisco; being slagged off by comic store clerks; being slagged off by comic store customers; and then back to talking about all the comic book stores in Portland and San Francisco, and what it’s like to live in a city with only one comic book store; which one of us had a “quitting comics” phase and which one didn’t; how living close to a comic book store can help you transcend superhero comics; and more.
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Wait, Watch?

48:02-1:10:51: “Hey, why don’t you talk about your Steven Englehart comics?” Graeme asks, so of course we talk about the announcement of Ta-Nehisi Coates writing Black Panther for Marvel.  We also talk about the less-covered news of Frank Tieri writing The Black Knight (and Catwoman!); who’s more important to DC, what’s-her-name or what’s-his-name; the news from DC, including the cancellation of Doomed, the un-cancellation of Omega Men, and whether or not the Internet has as much faith in DC as DC has in the Internet.  Also discussed:  the first issue of Omega Men and whether or not it needed to be more clear; the first issue of Watchmen; the mastery of Dave Gibbons; and more.

Skull Saucer

1:10:51-1:22:29: Comics we’ve read recently!  Sure, we can talk about those!  But first let’s talk about reading said comics on the Kindle, because Jeff bought Graeme a copy of the Skull the Slayer collection for the Kindle and Graeme had….problems.  Is the Kindle really a digital comic book platform at all?  And what did Graeme think of Skull The Slayer? Also discussed is the Kindle version of Super-Villains Unite, Marvel’s collection of the old issues of Super-Villain Team-Up.
SVT Doom

It sounds like a weird braggy innuendo, doesn’t it?

1:22:29-1:41:34: In fact, here’s Jeff discussing those very same issues of Super-Villain Team-Up! Learn what you’re (probably not) missing from Victor Loves Namor, the romance comic about two characters who can’t stand each other, as written and drawn by creators who can’t stand them, either.  Also discussed:  Jim Shooter as writer and artist; Steve Englehart and the guest-star to end all guest-stars; the secret connection between Dr. Doom and Batman; Reed Richards eating his own hair; the crossover that points to a coup; the coup that leads to a new President of Ecuador; and more.
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1:41:34-1:52:45: Graeme has read Klang!: A Writer’s Commentary by Priest about the making of Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody from Valiant. Discussed: Bill Cosby and Mark Waid; transgender in the scripts but cis gendered in the art; dropped plotlines and characters; gossip and process; unreliable narrators; Power Man and Iron Fist, and more.
1:52:45-end: Graeme also quickly mentions the 2000 A.D. jumping-on issue (Prog 1950) that he read and reviewed here on the site, and then is kind enough to lead us into… Closing comments!  Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff!  MattTumblr!  And, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 109 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Since WordPress isn’t automatically converting all links into the audioplayer, we’re going to leave the first comment to you and allow anyone who needs to to cut and paste from directly below:
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat185.mp3
We will be back next week!
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Hey!  Remember that Hawkeye series where we saw what Clint Barton was up to when he wasn’t an Avenger? You know, the series that was more of a crime series with laughs but also a melancholic…

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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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Last week, I talked about the first three issues of Skull The Slayer by Marv Wolfman and Steve Gan about a Vietnam vet and three civilians transported, via the Bermuda Triangle, to a distant past jammed with…

Yup, here we are with another two hour episode!  Somehow we managed to squeeze in right after Image Expo and right before SDCC, which I personally think is appropriate.

Anyway, yes: Grab the episode!  Read the show notes!  Trade with friends!

00:00-15:24:  Salutations!  Once again, Graeme is hiding from the heat in his basement (and by “the heat,” we don’t mean “the legal authorities,” we mean, you know, temperature and stuff) while Jeff is more than happy to gloat about the amazingly mild weather in San Francisco.  Also discussed: movies and shows that make it a point to destroy San Francisco; what kind of earnings might we expect from Magic Mike XXL and will Channing Tatum see RDJ money; how Magic Mike XXL will win the holiday weekend (it didn’t); if Channing Tatum will become the next Will Smith (he didn’t); Graeme’s super-crazy week of preparation for San Diego Comic Con; and more.
15:24-38:19: Speaking of San Diego Comic Con, right around the time of recording this episode, the City of San Diego announced Comic Con would be there through 2018, a two year extension.  Graeme and Jeff talk about that, then swap stories about what’s happened at previous Nerd Viet Nams, and what surprises it might hold for Graeme this year; Graeme’s confusion about the Fourth of July; our last attempt to podcast during SDCC; San Francisco being without a comic book convention; Graeme not-so-discreetly trying to get Portland to bully in on SF’s possible future; and more comics precursor conversation.
38:19-56:37: And so we finally get to…no, sorry, no comics conversation yet, we’re afraid.  Instead Graeme has some thoughts about the first season of Fargo.  Jeff hasn’t seen it, but he has seen Twin Peaks so when Graeme tries to talk about BOB on Twin Peaks being a cop-out (especially compared to Fargo), Jeff has some choice words.  CHOICE. WORDS.  And I thought about trying to balance the Twin Peaks clip above with a Fargo one below, but I wasn’t sure how spoilery they might ended up being.  They had one clip on YouTube with Billy Bob Thornton pulling a kind of modified Takeshi Kitano gun fight thing that I liked, but there was a credit sequence at the end for some reason that went on wayyyyy too long.  So I went with this bundle of show trailers:

56:37-1:06:34:  Wait, when are they going to talk comics?  Now….after a fashion.  Which is to say, we talk about the All-New, All-Different Marvel announcements now that they’re finally out.  Oh sure, Al Ewing has three books and Tom Taylor has one, which is good news but weren’t the announcements kind of…blah?  Where is Jessica Jones? A solo queer lead?  Where is fucking RED WOLF, a character shown in the ads?
1:06:34-1:10:28: Quick segue: Graeme read Action Comics #42 by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder and really liked it.  And Graeme’s description sounds pretty great.  And then after that, we talk about Omega Men #2 by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda and some of the formal playfulness therein.
1:10:28-1:18:18: Which is why Graeme thinks if any of the All-New, All-Different Marvel books are going to be the next Hawkeye, it’s probably going to be The Vision by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. And we’re back to discussing the other announcements, and Marvel’s different publishing pushes, and writers who have stepped away from writing Marvel titles, Kaare Andrews not being allowed in the Marvel offices; and more.
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(Sorry; could not find a bigger version…)

1:18:18-1:46:16: And because that Kaare Andrews story came out of the Image Expo, it’s a fine time to pivot and talk about the Expo 2015.  In the past, we’ve been underwhelmed by Expo announcements but we thought this was a pretty good year!  Among the topics discussed: Bryan Lee O’Malley (!!) writing a regular ongoing; Brian K. Vaughn and what Jeff sees as an ongoing attempt to calibrate against Robert Kirkman; the return of Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay; Sunset Park and Slave Punk, both by Ronald Wimberly, and much, much more, along with an ongoing contrast of the announcements from Marvel and DC (is it just us, or do the X-Men plans look kinda super-weird?).  Join us for a huge bowl of first impressions, idle guesses, rampant speculation, and anticipatory glee!

1:46:16-1:57:12: At some point, I decided to mark off another segment, since it’s arguable we run from the subject of new book announcements and have moved directly to talking about stuff we’ve read on the Internet, like Jeff Lemire being challenged to live up to adjectives, or a super-long “discussion” between John Byrne and Dan Slott that, depending on your age and/or outlook on life, will either depress you about the state of John Byrne or give you some hope about the state of Dan Slott.

1:57:12-2:03:49: It’s almost the end of the show!  Graeme has read a chunk of the original Micronauts by Bill Mantlo and Pat Broderick and it’s very game and very, very shameless.  He’s also read the last few issues of Steve Englehart’s West Coast Avengers, which are fascinating in the set-up for the new status quo, and then how the run gets  wrapped up by Tom DeFalco and Ralph Macchio.  Also included: the secret Simpsons reference Graeme didn’t get; more closure with Hank Pym.
2:03:49-end:  Opening comments! I mean: closing comments!  Gravity’s Totebag! 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, 106 patrons make this whole thing possible.
Remember: next week—skip week!  The week after that: Baxter Building Ep. 7, featuring issues #61-67 of the Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee!  And then Wait, What, Ep. 181 right after that!
Also: if you want just a link to the podcast to copy and paste for your own nefarious ends, check out the very first comment to this post.  If you’re going to SDCC, have a great convention: we’ll be here when you get back!
 http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat180.mp3
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Capsule Reviews!  Time for Jeff to realize it’s Sunday and his larger review isn’t coming together at all and try instead to give you shorter, entertaining things instead! (Please note: there’s a chance some of…

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Your Little Glowing Friend

Okay, papa’s diving right in here because papa’s only got a few hours before he has to take his computer in to get looked at and hopefully fixed. Remember, if you just want a straight link to the podcast and don’t want to fuss with our player, or our RSS feed, or Stitcher or iTunes or anything, look to this post’s first comment where you can grab something to copy and paste to your preferences.  Okay?  Okay.

And I’m tucking the rest of this sucker behind the jump because this is a *heavy* image post.

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