0:00-7:47: Greetings; the Kurt Eichenwald/Diversity & Comics feud; and our next proposed Patreon tier;
7:47-47:49: Comics worth discussing (brought to you by Hoopla, and yes, the hyperlinks for the DC books are to the Hoopla pages):  Wired: Graeme is reading Batman And The Outsiders, Vol. 2 by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo  (and Trevor Von Eeden!) Tired: Jeff read Superman Vs. Darkseid by John Byrne, Mark Schultz, Jerry Ordway, Michael Turner, Jeph Loeb and many others.  Enmired: John Byrne, what the hell is wrong with you?
47:49-1:09:54: Wild: Jeff wants to talk about Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1 by Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke and Jamie Mendoza  (full spoilers on this one, I guess?)  Mild: how Geoff Johns sees the DCU, as reflected in current issues of Doomsday Clock and perhaps the event’s conclusion Unfiled: discussions of the DC Rebirth Special, Earth2 by Morrison and Quitely and much more.
1:09:54-1:28:48:  Jeff really thought we were going to get into a very deep, spoiler-filled discussion of the Black Panther movie, but instead…we just kind of lightly discuss it, spoil a chunk of it, but only after discussing Black Panther Annual #1 [Kindle/Comixology link: http://amzn.to/2CIpaL3 ] by Christopher Priest, Don McGregor, Reginald Hudlin, Mike Perkins, Daniel Acuña, and Ken Lashley.
 
1:28:48-2:24:09: I think we end our discussion of the movie here and move on to talk about some BP-related marketing from Marvel, including their pricing of the first three digital volumes of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run for $1.99, as well as some other Marvel tricks about which Jeff is his unsurprisingly hand-wringy self.  Also discussed: the class action suit against Funko; the Marvel presentation at ComicsPro; C.B. Cebulski; Marvel Fresh Start; the artist exodus from Marvel; the free digital graphic novel giveaway with Amazon; idle speculation about the future of Marvel Unlimited; and much more.
2:24:09-end: Closing comments!  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.
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27 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 243: Wild Hunts

  1. Jeff Lester Feb 25, 2018

    And here’s the link for your cut & paste needs:

    theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat243.mp3

    or

    theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat243.mp3

    • Douglas Feb 25, 2018

      The link doesn’t seem to work for me this time, for some reason.
      Also, there doesn’t seem to be any Bob Haney talk, which is presumably an oversight.

      • Jeff Lester Feb 25, 2018

        Ah yes! Bob Haney! and Image Expo! Just two of many things we didn’t get to this time around, darn it.

        BTW, thanks for the tip about the link (in the post, not in the comment, I’m assuming) but it does seem to work,at least for me—it just takes a long time to queue up for some reason. Let us know if it still continues to not work for you.

        • Usually the link is red, but this time it’s only a sad, dull, grey, and it won’t let me click to download.

          • Jeff Lester Feb 26, 2018

            Huh, very strange. Okay, I’ve got it as both now–hyperlink and copy and paste link.

          • Success. Thanks!

  2. CB Cebulski had an issue with his passport and couldn’t get into the country?
    Customs probably got wise to the fact that he really isn’t Akiro Yoshida.

  3. Eric R Feb 26, 2018

    After listening to the episode, I feel like Jeff should buy some Disney stock and then the next time Marvel does some kind of shenanigans (aka next week) he should launch a class action suit against them for fraud or something.

    • Take a look at Disney’s 10-Ks and 10-Qs – Marvel (at least the comics side – the movie side is substantial) barely rates a mention and there’s not even a breakdown of Marvel-related publishing P&L. Tricky to glean from that whether the overshipping is being accounted for properly or not.

      • Jeff Lester Feb 28, 2018

        Yeah, as I was mumbling about–if not on the podcast, then on Twitter–if Marvel was still its own entity, I think that kind of action is the only way Marvel would straighten up (which is supposedly the reason for short-sellers in the market, I guess?)

        But nestled within the folds of Disney, it’s absolutely too small potatoes for anyone to do anything about…unless this kind of poor oversight could be shown to permeate Disney overall which I suspect is not the case.

  4. Well, I learned today that not all libraries get the full selection of Hoopla books. I was mildly interested in the Outsiders one, since I’ve been getting a run of that book and am missing a few (which, admittedly, I could get fairly easily if I was willing to spend more than $2 an issue). Didn’t find it on Hoopla, turns out there are a handful of DC books they don’t carry, which I can only see if I go to their website without logging on. It’s not a lot, logged on I see 875 DC titles, logged out I see 913, so about 4% missing, looks like it’s mostly hardcovers (but they do carry other hardcovers) like the two Outsiders volumes and some of those Batman creator-themed books, including three all-Aparo volumes.

    Mildly annoying, but not a great loss. I only get 8 checkouts a month through TPL, so I try to spread them out at one per publisher per month, and really don’t always get around to reading all 8 every month, and I try not to take out anything that they have available in print. Still enough stuff that it would be a while before I’d get to the Outsiders.

    By the way, just checked and 243 of 250 Marvel titles available, although no easy way for me to check which are missing. Also, do you find it as annoying as I do that some publishers (including IDW, Archie, Titan & Valiant) put single issues as well as collections on Hoopla? Just causes a whole lotta clutter for no reason. Why would anyone take out #3 of a series when a collection of #1 to #6 is available? It makes me less likely to take out their books, rather than wade through the extra listings.

    By the way, you might also want to check if your library offers the Libby app, which also has a lot of comics (with a much better interface than the previous Overdrive app. It’s also much better for prose and audiobooks), offered on a slightly different scheme. Each library has a limited number of copies, so you might have to put on a hold and wait for a particular book to be available (several months for popular books), but the borrowing limit is much looser. I think for me it’s 30 books at a time, but the slots open once you return a book early, so if you read fast you can literally take out hundreds of books a month. I just wish there was a way to combine the best reading features of Libby, Hoopla and Comixology into one.

    • Jeff Lester Feb 28, 2018

      Thanks for this analysis, Bob (as well as the Libby app tip)! It’s very interesting to think that Hoopla may not offer everything across the board to each library–it’d be very interesting to see what is left out and why.

      As for the annoyance factor about single issues–I share a bit of your frustration because it clogs up the searching, but I think it’s actually a good idea as many of the issues that I’ve seen tend to be much more recent than the trade. Presumably, they’re good jumping on points for readers and a way to get them hooked in real time (or close to it) and maybe get them motivated to find a nearby shop. It’s more of an outreach than a service, but I think that’s good (though you clearly feel the opposite).

      • Checking around some, the delineation point for DC on Hoopla appears to be $35. Anything under that that goes on Hoopla the Toronto Public Library has available to me, anything above it doesn’t. I suspect that Hoopla charges a more for those books, and individual libraries can set a maximum per book price that kicks in for DC at $35. Other publishers might have different levels, I know the complete GUILD book I’m reading now from Dark Horse is $50. The only missing Marvel I’ve identified so far is the Priest run on BLACK PANTHER, where I oddly only have v4 available, while other people have all four, all of which were $34.99.

        This might also explain the single issues, those might have a very low per book rate, so a library can set it so that only those are available to their patrons. I just wish there was a way to separate them. Right now it’s like going to a comic book store and seeing a bookshelf with collections and back issues mixed together

        • Jeff Lester Mar 1, 2018

          Ah, very interesting! Interesting about that price-point, which is kind of shame because some of the really fun stuff has been being able to read the big silver age omnibi that DC is offering (precisely because they’re just a little too pricey and bulky to be worth picking up on their own).

          And I do agree that separating out single issues and collections would really great. I actually think the sorting and searching tools for Hoopla are frustratingly second-rate….but considering what I’m paying, I’m willing to make do.

          Thanks for the follow-up!

          • Actually, the Silver Age and Golden Age branded books from DC are available when the come out in paperback, split in half,, since those seem to top out at $30. The hardcovers ($75+) aren’t, but unless there’s a double secret level on Hoopla I can’t see even when logged out those aren’t offered to anyone. And besides, I’d probably be hard pressed to read 800+ pages of anything in 21 days, so it’s better to have the 400 page collections, since trim size doesn’t matter at all in digital.

            By the way, if you haven’t read it, check out THE ETERNAUT by Oesterheld/Lopez on Hoopla, from Fantagraphics. It’s a 1950s Argentinian sci-fi alien invasion comic strip, which starts off slow but becomes one of the best adventure strips I ever read.

  5. John Q Feb 27, 2018

    Enjoying the #Mike W. Barr love in this episode. I enjoyed his MAZE AGENCY series and might need to revisit it at some point. I have the 1st Batman & the Outsiders volume on my reading list already.

  6. David Morris Feb 27, 2018

    Good luck with the tantalising. It really used to annoy my daughter that ‘I know something you don’t know’ doesn’t work on me. Of course, everyone does.
    Darkseid, now that’ll always get my attention. Byrne did draw a good Darkseid in the Legends era, but his writing was weak. I seem to remember him threatening an underling in a temper. A master manipulator controls themselves first. The Englehart and Gerber Darkseid in the late 70s Mister Miracle was a good take on the character. While I basically agree that he should only actually fight sparingly, I have a fondness for how Levitz and Giffen pushed him over the edge when the Legion fought him. It felt earned.
    Your analysis that the contemporary US comic market may be triggered into major restructuring by the short term selfish interests of a relatively small number of people is chilling and all too plausible. For me it would be a blip in my entertainment, but that it would be genuine hard times for so many skilled individuals seems a poor reward for pursuing a passion.

  7. Mike Murdock Feb 27, 2018

    “John Byrne pulls out his little…”
    Did not expect that sentence to end with “checklist.”

    I would be pissed if Marvel Unlimited ends. Maybe they can push the time gap back – make it a year old or two years old, but I’m reading Englehart’s West Coast Avengers and 90s X-Men right now. It’s not anything that hurts current sales. I guess it affects really some trade collections, but I feel those are more for collectors and not those who just want to learn Marvel history.

  8. Nate A. Feb 27, 2018

    Seems like that Amazon giveaway was tied to black history month as much as anything. This in no way invalidates Jeff’s hypothesis, but it’s a simpler explanation.

    I

    • Jeff Lester Feb 28, 2018

      That’s an excellent point, although I don’t recall there being the slightest bit whisper of anything like that in the email or on the page itself. But I’m always a fan of an Ockam’s Razor solution, and it’s a good one.

  9. Dasbender Mar 1, 2018

    Jeff, how does Marvel unloading a ton of free digital comics goose their sales numbers at all? Quarterly earnings are based on dollars, not units, aren’t they? I could see it as shady if they were trying to pretend there’s extra interest in characters than there would’ve been otherwise. But their balance sheets aren’t going to look any better because of their “download one of these 6 TPBs for fee” promotion.

    • Miguel Corti Mar 28, 2018

      It depends on how the information is presented and to whom it is presented. Unlike physical copies, where sell in is sell through thanks to the exigencies of the direct market, a download could equal a “sale” in Marvel jargon. All the reports will show is how many “sales” an issue had, while neglecting to mention how much it was sold for. Other industries do similar types of accounting. A discounted game, DVD, or book that gets sold still registers as a sale, and is legitimate addition to the sales tally. The company is just coy on how much profit they’re making at that point. The people who need to know, i.e., NOT investors, usually are aware of the truth behind the number and how sustainable such goosing of the numbers will be in the long term.

  10. Genuine question: what’s so wrong with ‘dual numbering’?

    I’m pretty much exclusively a trade reader now so doesn’t make any difference to me either way, but it seems like a decent compromise to keep the diehards and the alleged ‘new’ fans happy. Hell, didn’t they do the same thing in the early ’00s? Don’t recall that being any kind of a big faux pas…

    The actual rollout/release schedule does sound bananas though. But that’s just Marvel, as far as I can tell

    • I tend to agree. Seems like they are bungling the launch of the concept, but I like the idea of acknowledging the miniseries or season concept with new number ones while keeping a separate overall numbering that people who want to keep track can use. It also should help with the trade paperbacks by allowing for an overall order.

  11. Garrie Mar 5, 2018

    Thanks for these memories of Barr’s Batman work, as well as those Outsiders! His Detective Comics run was an old school free-for-all that worked for me much better at the time than what was going on in the main Batman title — where Max Allen Collins, then Jim Starlin, as writers, tried to continue in the dark style of Miller’s then-recent Batman Year One story.

    The Jason Todd of Barr’s Detective was closer to the light-hearted imp we saw in the previous few years by Conway, then Moench, and had nothing in common with the dark troubled figure depicted by Collins and Starlin. Not sure how much the new editor Denny O’Neil had to do with this since he was overseeing Detective and Batman.

    There was a long feature in Amazing Heroes back in those days with Barr talking Batman with O’Neil — as fascinating a chat as what you described Morrison and Snyder having about the DC Universe. I remember it giving me confidence in how Barr would handle Detective. Though I couldn’t find any reprints of that online, I ran across a two-part Comics Alliance interview with Barr about his Bat days, which you might find interesting, at http://comicsalliance.com/mike-w-barr-on-batman-the-comicsalliance-interview-part-one/

    Anyhow, thanks again… looking forward to your next one…

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