Hello, friends!  Skipping our way back after skip week, it is the Wait, What? Podcast, with much talk about comics and comics news for you.  As per our discussion in the comments of our previous show notes, there are some time annotations in the show notes below in order to help you skip spoilers you do not want to spoil you…but be forewarned I put most of them down guessing the intro would add a minute to the time and it was only a mere fifty-six seconds.  I adjusted things accordingly for the Silencer spoiler but everything else might hit four or five seconds sooner than indicated?  It’s not perfect, but on the other hand I might have this wrapped three fewer hours than when I used to do full show notes.

So, with that in mind, on with the show!

Topics discussed:
  • The Salt-N-Pepa Pedanticism Hour (fortunately not a full hour);

  • A lot of moving parts to the comics news: first up, the announced discount for Comixology Unlimited; the aftermath of Marvel’s latest absurd Amazon sale; the joys of Hoopla; the sumptuous art of Milk Wars: Doom Patrol/Justice League of America by Gerard Way, Steve Orlando, the amazing ACO, (with a backup strip by Magdalene Visaggio  and Sonny Liew) (with story spoilers right around the 45 minute mark to around the 47 minute mark or so);  Metal #5 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (pretty much the whole conversation is a spoiler, I guess?  To the extent we even understand what’s going on, which is part of the problem?  So I guess starting around the 48 minute mark to right around one hour and three  if you want to skip the majority of the convo?) Also discussed: Bendis’s plans for Superman and DC, the Scott Snyder weekly JLA event, and some understandably nervous retailers.

  • 1:15:10 (or so): We talk about the news of Dan Mintz’s DMG Group buying Valiant and the absolutely delightful typo that resulted in the reportage of that news (h/t Seth Rosenblatt), but then quickly return to our patented W,W? hand-wringing over possible DC/Marvel gamesmanship in Summer 2018 right when the market literally can’t afford it.
  • 1:29:00 (or so):  A *very* quick discussion about Ethan Van Sciver’s harassment of Darryl Ayo and the difficulty of nailing down an objective history of something happening 100% on social media;
  • 1:39:05: Moving into talking about comics we’ve read: Graeme has good things to say about Motherlands #1 by Si Spurrier, Jung Gi Kim, Eric Canete, and Rachel Stott; Jeff mentions West Coast Avengers: Zodiac Attack by Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom, and Joe Sinnott (but really doesn’t talk about how good it is—people, it’s really good); Silencer #1 by John Romita Jr. and Dan Abnett (with what Graeme points out is probably a significant spoiler mentioned at 1:53:52 to 1:54:08) and contrasted with Jennifer Blood, as well as the first issues of Abbott #1 by Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivela, and Black Dahlias #0 by Kristin Schwarz, Shad Clark, and Ari Syahrazad.  But, Jeff also read vols 1, 2, and 5 of Duet of Beautiful Goddesses by Yumi Hanakoji, so why should we listen to him, if you think about it?
  • 2:03:05-end: Closing comments that very quickly go off the rails because we talk about the continuity of John Byrne’s Superman and how much control a creator should have; and then back to closing comments, and then we are back off the rails a few more times.
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11 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 242: Limited Unlimited

  1. Jeff Lester Feb 4, 2018

    And for your cutting and pasting needs:

    http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat242.mp3

    • Graham,
      I’m sorry you have to deal with all that insanity that is twitter. My heart goes out to you, having to navigate it all.

  2. Zachary Adams Feb 4, 2018

    I’m a little surprised to see you guys coming down on the negative sied for Marvel’s Comixology Unlimited discount. I kind of understand it, but as someone who uses Comixology largely because getting to a comics shop is a 2.5 hour committment I’m thrilled that Amazon is offering me the same kind of discount I used to get from my small town shop for having a pull.

    Probably won’t get to the later parts of the podcast until tomorrow, but I’m interested to hear Jeff’s thoughts on Duet of Beautiful Goddesses. I picked up v1-2 after his talk of buying a ton of trashy manga in the MediaDo sale and I’m kind of embarrassed that I really enjoyed its thorough sleaze.

  3. Yup, I also thought we were getting a series called I Shit You Not. Dang.

    I’m a big Dan Abnett fan, he always produces something readable, occasionally inspired (he was a team member on Celebrity University Challenge at Christmas – that’s ‘College Bowl’ in American). And yet I couldn’t bring myself to buy Silencer after reading the preview – that art, yechh. John Romita Jr is one of those artists who began working in a generic Marvel House style, like Chaykin or Miller, and went on to develop his own distinctive mode. Sadly. Can’t we have him swamped by Bob Layton again?

    I was glad to hear a bit of your opinions of Bendis’ suitability as far as writing Superman goes. I’m dreading it. The only chance the character has is if he gets a really strong editor to sort out his usual carelessness with plotting, conclusions and sub-Mamet dialogue (I fear Superman will become Sup-uh… mmmm). Thanks so much for reminding me how great Busiek’s Superman was (he brought back microscopic vision!), now Bendis’ version will seem even worse.

  4. As a non-fan of Bendis and Superman, (it’s not that I dislike either, it’s just that I can count on two hands the number of Bendis and Superman stories that I actually liked), it seems like everyone’s best hope really is a tribute series in which he builds small interactions around big, iconic moments.

    The EVS dustup was pretty terrible and a long time coming. He’s part of a small(ish) group of creators currently playing footsie with the 4ch-n! right (for lack of a better descriptor). The tell, with all of these guys, is the aggressive performance of persecution at the hands of a liberal media culture. Some, like EVS, rant and rave, while others, like Ch-ck D-xon, calmly aid and abet the Brei-bart wing of the GOP. Many more are quietly just “liking” Tweets and linking to YouTube channels, but mark my words, once they let slip with some nonsense about how Dr. Doom was Marvel’s first SJW they’ll be participating in another round of harassment predicated on an imaginary aggression. In other words, I’m glad this flare up resolved as it did, but I’m less sanguine about the future.

  5. Mike Murdock Feb 6, 2018

    Jeff, I really would like to hear your thoughts on Panther’s Quest. I’d especially like to hear what you think about how the Marvel Comics Presents format worked (or didn’t work) with Don McGregor’s verbose style and Gene Colan’s often inconsistent pacing. So hopefully you’ll get a chance to read it by the next Wait, What.

  6. DJ_Convoy Feb 7, 2018

    Shame on bagging on Frank Springer, guys. Well, not shame, maybe, but c’mon. Much like pretty much everybody on the US Transformers series, Springer was a tremendous artist who was a bit miscast on superhero books in general and certainly miscast on Transformers. Check out Springer’s work with the late, great Michael O’donaghue in the Evergreen Review on their strip Phoebe Zeitgiest, which really opened my eyes to Springer’s work. A fantastic artist when he’s not just doing paycheck comics with a zillion characters.

    This is like when I see someone bagging on the extremely underrated Don Perlin or a guy like Jose Delbo who was an amazing fine artist, but was probably considered a bit of a hack on monthly whatever, I expect you guys, who know a bit more than the average bear, to know a little better.

    • Jeff Lester Feb 7, 2018

      DJ: Normally, I would agree with you–in fact, I guess I kind of do agree with you–but although I haven’t seen a lot, I wasn’t too crazy about what I saw of Phoebe Zeitgeist, either. Though checking out a few pages on Google what’s showing up was a lot more lovely than what I remember seeing. But the overwhelming majority of what I saw from Springer had very little to do with what he was working on–his Lois Lane stuff was just as flat and lifeless as his Transformers stuff. I’ve never found him to be anything other than technically competent (except for these few pages I’m looking at on Google) and usually I find his work for National Lampoon and such to be super-grating because he was used because his style was a shorthand for bad comics.

      But I do agree: it may just be that I haven’t found the right work that really made the guy’s style click for me, the way I’ve had happen for Don Heck or Don Perlin or Frank Robbins (whose work was astoundingly good at one point). I feel like I’ve seen a lot of Springer in my day, though, so it makes me wonder if it’s ever going to happen.

      Thanks for the feedback–I’ll try to be less dismissive, or at least dismiss with a few more caveats.

  7. Brendan Feb 8, 2018

    Damn I haven’t been buying comics on Amazon sales because I thought you could only read them on the Kindle app. Now I know!

  8. Rick Vance Feb 9, 2018

    The thing about the EVS stuff at least to me is how instrumental he was to help build the star of someone like Johns at the time and how silent Johns is with all this stuff happening especially given his promotions.

  9. Voord 99 Feb 10, 2018

    Having gotten about halfway through the podcast, I thought I would throw out a question about which I’m genuinely curious.

    Our hosts were interesting about the bind in which DC and Marvel were putting retailers by scheduling Big Items as counterprogramming against each other. But is that “counterprogramming”? I always think of that as where you schedule something different against a competitor: a movie studio putting its rom-com opposite the other studio’s explodey action movie, hoping to pick up a different audience.

    Maybe I’ve been using the term incorrectly, but it brings up a question for me. Why *aren’t* DC and Marvel more like the movie industry? Not in the above example (obviously, DC and Marvel specialize in one genre). That doesn’t apply. But movie studios don’t just run their expected big hits against one another. Sometimes they do that, but they also protect their expected big money-makers by moving them out of the way of another studio’s surefire hit. Hence the endless stream of stories about how Picture X has now been moved to Weekend Y in Month Z.

    I appreciate that superhero comics are a little different: you’re hoping to get people to keep coming back next month. But by that token, you’d think that you’d be looking to strike when the inevitable drop-off sets in on a title and people may be looking to add a new one to their list, not when its sales are at its highest. And they’re not that different, anyway. God knows, a lot of what Marvel and DC do is about getting that short-term sales spike at the expense of the long-term, and that’s not all that unlike positioning a blockbuster movie.

    What am I missing about the business side of this particular business?

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