0:00-2:01:14:  Greetings! We are talking face-to-face in Portland after eating at the very delicious Farmhouse in San Francisco.  Jeff, despite what Graeme insists, is not drunk. (Just a little tipsy.)  So in in the interest of getting this episode up without any more delay, I’m going to take a pass on the regular show notes, and just tell you:
  • This podcast is just a little over two hours, which is pretty amazing because we’d hung out all day talking and figured we’d have maybe 45 minutes left in us, tops;
  • Jeff is not drunk;
  • and a quick pile of topics discussed: how we attend cons; some of the stuff Jeff bought at Cosmic Monkey before the show; Bill Mantlo’s Micronauts; print vs. digital; Tom King’s interview on the Slate working podcast; Mister Miracle #2; Mark Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme; our ongoing obsession with Defenders; the new Captain Phasma comic; Jaws on the big screen, and more!
And that’s it!  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.
TWO WEEKS FROM NOW: Baxter Building A.B. (after Byrne).  Issues #296-302!  Read ’em and weep (with us)!
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16 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 233: Hardly Working

  1. Mike Loughlin Sep 14, 2017

    Great show as usual, guys!

    Re: Chief Brody’s scars- I always assumed the scar came from appendix surgery. Maybe it’s a bullet wound, but I thought the humor came from how un-macho his scar is.

    I like Squadron Supreme, but it has that Bronze Age writing that doesn’t always translate to modern readers. I am a huge fan of Gerber, Englehart, Claremont, Starlin, etc. but their writing styles are very of their time. Alan Moore’s writing is a bit more modern sounding. I’d be curious if Marvel Silver Age, Bronze, Age, and ’90s reprints sell to an audience outside of the Wednesday regulars.

    • Jeff Lester Sep 15, 2017

      Thanks, Mike! Glad you enjoyed the show!

      Also, I gotta say, based on your comment (and another Mike on Twitter…unless you’re running around with different names), I decided to do a bit of light research and here’s what Roy Scheider himself has to say: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-iorio/an-unpublished-interview-_1_b_7419224.html

      • Mike Loughlin Sep 15, 2017

        Thanks for sharing that interview! Jaws is such a weird, great movie- a studio blockbuster made by an auteur that succeeded because its main element kept breaking down. I love hearing behind the scenes stuff about older films.

        The other Mike was not me, incidentally. I’m not even on Twitter.

  2. Mike Murdock Sep 15, 2017

    I’ve given a lot of thought about how they handled Elektra. To me, Frank Miller essentially wrote two (or three) Elektras. There’s the original Elektra – beautiful, innocent girl falls in love with Matt Murdock, suffers tragedy, and becomes a hardened and heartless killer. However, the Elektra in The Man Without Fear was completely different. She was psychotic and always that way. Instead of the bad person (in present day) Matt is trying to reform (a noir trope), she’s a temptress trying to make Matt abandon his his desire to follow rules and give in to his passion and anger (which is an ongoing theme of that story – rules aren’t important because society needs rules as they were in the original run, rules are important because when Matt doesn’t follow them he kills a hooker). She was much more blood thirsty, tempting others into trying to rape her so she could murder them as well. There are people who accused Typhoid Mary of being an Elektra rip-off. I never understood that until I realized they’re talking about The Man Without Fear Elektra (the John Romita Jr. hair doesn’t help either).

    I would argue Elektra: Assassin is a third Elektra, but aside from her crazy psychic powers we never see again, she acts much like the Elektra from the original run. However, even then, it’s closer to the Man Without Fear version than you’d think. She doesn’t join with the Stick and the Chaste after her father is murdered, get kicked out due to her anger and sadness of her father’s death, and corrupted by the Hand, she was trained by Stick at an early age and kicked out due to her own demons (possibly because she was molested by her father), then she met Matt, then she joined the Hand. Once again, there is discussion of mental health issues from a child, self-harm, and reckless actions.

    The show’s Elektra is nothing like the Elektra from the original Miller run. However, she draws a lot of influence from The Man Without Fear. She’s the destructive force that helps draw Matt into his worst impulses. In a way, it makes the dynamic more interesting because it’s two-way. They’re both trying to influence the other. But it’s not the Elektra I love. That being said, I do think it’s entirely reasonable to be a fan of the comic book and end up with the character we got on the screen while trying to adapt the comic book version, as long as that version was created in The Man Without Fear.

  3. If you ever get the chance at a comic convention, pick up the Amazing Heroes issue 97 where they interview Gruenwald on what he thinks of the upcoming Watchmen compared to his Squadron Supreme and they interview Moore on the differences between Watchmen and Squadron Supreme. It was pretty interesting, but I don’t have the issue with me.

  4. Rick Vance Sep 16, 2017

    You guys circled around it in many ways but the Marvel book that is that prestige meditation on the Superhero while still in an incredibly Marvel way is Earth X. Which is also one of the very small list pf books that Marvel did right by in collections being a 13 issue all in one trade paperback.

  5. Voord 99 Sep 17, 2017

    Some scattered thoughts:-

    – Double-page spreads. I’ve wondered why these are still so common, when creators have to know that a significant amount of their audience will be buying their books digitally. It’s not even the annoyance of having to turn the device sideways. I don’t actually find that terribly bothersome.

    It’s the distancing effect of encountering something that you know is meant to be this big moment that makes this striking visual impression – an important part of how the comic that you’re reading is supposed to be paced as a reading experience – but for you is a bunch of tiny things that are hard to make out without zooming in. You become very aware of what effect the comic is trying to create and the fact that it’s not creating that effect for you.

    – I think that Squadron Supreme is not actually all that suitable to be a perennial like Watchmen. At best, it had the potential to be a perennial like Crisis on Infinite Earths (which does appear to have had some lifespan).

    Squadron Supreme has a lot of interesting ideas going on under the hood, as it were, but the surface is pure ’80s superhero-comics storytelling. And you kind of have to be used to that sort of thing in a having-grown-up-with-superhero-comics-of-the-period sort of way for the ideas to land. In fact, I’d say that part of what makes Squadron Supreme interesting at all is the contrast between the story it’s telling and the way that it’s telling it.

    Watchmen has a lot more formal interest (for me, it’s close to pure formal interest, since I don’t find the ideas and in particular Moore’s sense of character very compelling at all, with the partial exception of Rorschach, who I think is a good bit more interesting than the way in which many people seem to want to read him). And critically, Watchmen is very good at teaching people who don’t read comics how to read it and re-read it and re-read it.

    That being said, I do think that Squadron Supreme deserves attention as a the most important response to The Authority, just one that happens to have been written over a decade earlier.

    – I think part of what might be going on with Waid’s return to the same world in The Kingdom contradicting what he himself said about the ending to Kingdom Come is that The Kingdom is about Waid having fallen in love with Hypertime. And the point about Hypertime (or a point) is that you can always say “Yes! We can do that story! We can, we can, we can!” so that no story can ever close off future narrative possibilities in the way that Waid-1 felt Kingdom Come did.

    • David M Sep 20, 2017

      About the persistence of double page spreads, I’ve wondered if some creators think there is more financial reward in print and are creating comics which have something a bit better viewed in that form.

  6. David M Sep 18, 2017

    I’ll take the opportunity to encourage the Micronauts readthrough again. Both it and the Levitz Legion seem they would be lots more fun than the threatened HartByrne series. I think Mantlo’s standing suffered a lot because of the Harlan Ellison plagiarism story making such a big splash.
    Interesting to hear your thoughts on going to cons, as I’m off to Thoughtbubble in Leeds on Friday. I like it as it’s an opportunity to pick up books directly from creators I like such as John Allison, the Etherington Brothers, Robin Hoelzemann and Sammy Boras and find lots of indy goodness I don’t seem to see otherwise. I feel a bit awkward sometimes as one of the older attendees, but it’s seems a very friendly show.

  7. Matt for Hire Sep 18, 2017

    Re: Marvel’s evergreen: sad as it is to say, I feel like it’s Civil War. I work at a bookstore, and I promise, even outside of when the movie was coming out, that book sold more consistently than anything else. Civil War II might have mitigated that some, but it’s a little early to tell.

  8. Patrick Sep 19, 2017

    I don’t know if I should tell Jeff this or not, but Marvel books have gone back to insane prices on Amazon.

    • Jeff Lester Sep 19, 2017

      I already know, Patrick. God help me, I already know.

  9. Archibald Sep 21, 2017

    The one evergreen Marvel (12 issue mini) series that I could recommend to someone who doesn’t know anything (or care) about Marvel characters, that is continuity free, self contained, extremely readable and very good (at least I thought so) was the (Nick) FURY MAX: MY WAR GONE BY by Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov from a few years ago. Tucker Stone went on about this book (stupidly in two volumes) a few years ago. I was intrigued so I gave it a shot. It’s not really my thing (I don’t think it’s exactly you guy’s thing either) but I really enjoyed the hell out of it. It follows the same characters from 1954 to the recent past. It’s all about history, wars and the repercussions of lives badly lived. Not for the kiddies but it deserves an audience.

    My Self-contained, evergreen Runners up:
    ELECTRA: ASSASSIN and DAREDEVIL: LOVE AND WAR by Frank Miller and Bill Seinkiewicz – Some continuity references but essentially self contained. 30 years old but very readable. Absolutely should be in print.
    OMEGA THE UNKNOWN by Jonathan Lethem & Paul Hornschemeir – OK but way way overly complicated – not an easy read.

    I wish there were more but Marvel is a lot more continuity heavy than DC. I always thought that “DC characters had adventures while Marvel characters had lives.” It’s one of the main reasons stand alone evergreen Marvel books are elusive. There really can be no KILLING JOKE, ARKHAM ASYLUM or ALL-STAR SUPERMAN for Spider-Man. Not really.

    • Voord 99 Sep 21, 2017

      I think the most likely possibility for a Spider-Man evergreen would be Kraven’s Last Hunt.

    • Archibald Sep 21, 2017

      Oops. I would also add the SILVER SURFER GN by Stan and Jack from 1978. Outside continuity and completely self contained with an ending.

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