Shorter than usual show notes, in part because far fewer topics covered. My apologies, but I hope you understand—let’s get to it!
0:01-1:02:01: “How does it feel to be the new publisher of DC Comics?” asks Graeme McMillan of Jeff Lester, and if you’re wondering if that’s a reference of Dan Didio’s removal from DC, give yourself a cigar, and if you think that means we’re going to get into the comic company speculation, appraisal, and possible future ramifications of this very big (and very recent) piece of news, give yourself another cigar!  And then find yourself somewhere quiet and well-ventilated where you can smoke them because we are going to go on about this *for a while*. We start off with an overview of what Graeme’s workday—with Graeme doing the auditory equivalent of Japanese pornography’s blurring out all the overly revealing bits—on the day the music died.  (Hmm, I made two wildly inappropriate comparisons in one sentence—I’d like to think that’s a new record but I know better.)
1:02:01-1:07:53: Yes, and then after that? Jeff has two books up his sleeve that he really wanted to talk about, but first we talked about the “mixed bag” that is Graeme’s comics but he does have a great story about the enduring appeals of old Superman covers from the 70s.
1:07:53-1:12:57: Something else Graeme read and is able to break down in a bit more detail is Noelle Stevenson’s The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures, a collection that spans eight years of her life, collecting her autobio comics from Tumblr and expanding upon them. Graeme uses the phrase, “accidentally fearless” which definitely peaks my interest.
1:12:57-1:23:57:  As for Jeff, he wants to talk about Inio Asano’s Downfall, just published in English by Viz.   Is it an autobio confession of a middle-aged mangaka having a midlife crisis? A very wry parody of same? Whatever it happens to be, it’s beautiful to look at, subversive in its execution, and either very darkly humorous or very, very dark.  After you’ve listened to Jeff blab about it, go check out Joe “Jog” McCulloch’s excellent review and overview at TCJ.com.  It sounds like there’s a chance Graeme will read it and we’ll get a chance to discuss it again, so hop on the hype train early and check it out.
1:23:57-1:49:17: The other book is not nearly so new to the stands but what the hey—it is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill.  As you may recall, Jeff read the first three issues many years ago and here, thanks to Hoopla, he gets a chance to sit down and read the full six issue series.  And what he finds…may surprise you?  It certainly surprised him! And Graeme!  And maybe Grant Morrison!
1:49:17-1:58:58: You did hear that Mark Waid is the new publisher of Humanoids, right?  We still kinda can’t believe it!
1:58:58-2:00:59: Chris Samnee is great, and his upcoming new book, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters, seems like it’ll be super-great!
2:00:59-end:   Closing Comments! We’re not sponsored by Casper, but Graeme’s got a great story about them anyway!  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, 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: Skip week! Rest your ears and your hearts!

 

 

 

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12 comments on “Wait, What? – Downfall

  1. Jeff Lester Feb 23, 2020

    Need that link for cutting and pasting reasons?

    https://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts3/WaitWhat289.mp3

  2. I was so exhausted by yelling at my computer speakers for the entirety of the first hour of Didio talk that when you said “Mark Waid writing a new Incal” just now– I can’t, what’s even, I guess I need to start breathing into a paper bag, head spinning. “Wait What: The Podcast that’s Trying to Kill Me, Specifically, Kill Me, Do It, I’m Here, What are you Waiting For?” New slogan, if you want it.

  3. Carey Feb 24, 2020

    I’ve just reached the end of the DiDio sentence and wanted to put my thoughts down. As others seem to have said, the only surprise in his dismissal is that it took so long. This isn’t necessarily said out of cruelty but because from a business perspective he has been in a position of creative power for almost 20 years with little long term to show improvement over sales during that time despite fluctuations. Similarly, in terms of corporate and IP synergy the current DC comics output is approaching unrecognisable when contrasted with other media. At a time when its most popular tv programme is Supergirl, what do the higher ups think when they pick up her comic only to see a character that bares no resemblance to the tv version, either narratively or visually? And why is there no Arrow, Batgirl or Black Lightning comic? As always, the question has to be asked, who exactly are comics currently aimed at? And as you indicated in the podcast, it appears that DiDio ‘s main idea was that they were aimed at readers like him. Which would be fine if his idea of comics weren’t so limited.

    In light of the only real publishing programme success in the last few years being the Young Adult/Pre-Teen comics, my suggestion is looking to YA publishers to take over as publisher of DC, and more thought put into developing that aspect of storytelling instead of appeasing white middle aged men (and I say this as a white middle aged man!).

    If DiDio’s departure means anything then it needs to reflect a change in approach. To continue as DC has for the last ten years would be a disaster in my opinion. The direct market in its present form is on its last legs- although it’s a UK perspective but the most successful comic shops here seem to be very much in the Comics Experience mould of catering to all ages graphic novels with the periodical comic books placed at the back of the shop taking up far less room.

    Of course, across the country Marvel are doing their level best to bury the direct market in a glut of comics, so that simply reinforces a change in attitude.

    • Carey Feb 24, 2020

      Sequence! the first line should read sequence, not sentence… although it does seem strangely apt

    • Seriously, when my young daughter was into Starfire because of the Teen Titans cartoons, and the only comic with Starfire on the stands had her as an eye candy nympho-fairy in a Scott Lobdell book, I was like, “What are these idiots doing? I have to actively discourage my kid from buying and reading a comic with her favorite character. Do they not understand the concept of synergy?”

  4. Matt M Feb 25, 2020

    LoEG talk! Late-period LoEG talk, at that!
    Re: the Prospero/Gloriana “007” thing, to Moore’s thinking, Shakespeare based Prospero on John Dee, occultist advisor to Elizabeth I (this seems to be a fairly widespread theory). Dee employed a code for communicating with the Queen, using a symbol he devised for indicating that it was for “her eyes only.” The symbol was “007.”

    Also, the Prospero/Gloriana “villainous” turn was set up as far back as the Black Dossier in 2007 (the beginning of the play that Mina and Jack watch is printed there, and features some ominous foreshadowing). That would lend a little credence to Jeff’s Seven Soldiers theory, as that would have come right on the heels of 7S, where Morrison very specifically spends the bulk of the Zatanna series shitting on Promethea.

    • Matt M Feb 25, 2020

      I also think a full accounting of Moore’s apocalypses is in order: Miracleman, Promethea, Jerusalem, Providence, LoEG–there’s an interesting throughline there.

      • Jeff Lester Feb 25, 2020

        There is! Don’t forget about the apocalypse in Saga of The Swamp Thing #50 as well.

        And thanks for your insights about the “007” stuff–I hadn’t realized that was an actual thing, and it makes it all the more awesome overall as I’m sure both G-Mo and Moore knew about it. (I also love how it really ties in with the strong tradition of British espionage and the occult, Dennis Wheatley and what have you.) I also had forgot to mention a possibility I’d considered about the faerie invasion–that both Moore and Morrison are riffing off an earlier central idea or source, as they did with Dee.

        Finally, I should have twigged to Shakespeare and The Black Dossier overall since we get to see a lot of the big events in Tempest only mentioned in the Dossier. I felt it was ringing a bell as I read it, but I just chalked it up to the scene’s similarities to the Jabobean revenge tragedy in The Crying of Lot 49.

  5. Can agree with the weight and excitement of a Casper mattress.
    I have nothing to add to the other topics 🙂
    Another great episode! Thanks, Graeme and Jeff!

  6. Matthew Feb 28, 2020

    In regards to Noelle Stevenson being really young, I just discovered that Tillie Walden (:Spinning” and “On a Sunbeam”) is 23 and won an Eisner two years ago. There are some super amazing young comics creators out there.

    Unrelated, but I feel like whoever owns the license for Casper the Friendly Ghost really missed out on an opportunity of releasing something and advertising it on podcasts.

  7. Other Chris Mar 6, 2020

    I very much enjoyed the LOEG chat, fellas; the later volumes don’t get enough attention. Matt M in the comments: brilliant!