00:00-7:22: Greetings from Jeff “Oklahoma” Lester and Graeme “The Music Man” McMillan, who although unable to complete an anecdote about the song “Geary, Indiana,” are able to answer the questions you have for us. In fact, this very episode is us handling the grenades of perceptiveness lobbed from our supporters on Patreon. But before the Q&A kicks in, Graeme has a quick story relating to someone trying to troll him about Marvel’s sixth Inhuman title…or maybe about Marvel trying to troll us by having six Inhuman titles, I’m still not sure. Either way, you should listen to this heart-warming story about two people trying to connect with one another on the Internet (that may also be about a company trying to connect with its upcoming cinematic IP).
7:22-26:20: Eric Phipps asks: “Your guiltiest of guilty pleasures in the world of comics. What it is, what you like about it and why you’re ashamed to like it. Or alternately, your biggest blind spots in comics. What haven’t you read and why?” Graeme takes the blind spot, I take the guilty pleasure and apparently all roads lead to…manga? Discussed: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Kate Beaton’s Strong Female Characters, American Flagg, Marvel Comics, The Invisibles, Bob Haney, Millennium, Walt Kelly, whether or not Dan Slott is old enough to buy beer, and the name one of us can barely bring to whisper aloud…Kazuo Koike.
26:20-35:52: Mathew Digges asks: “Do either of you have any rituals associated with reading comics? (ie picking books up every Wednesday, making yourself a savory snack to eat while you read them, cueing up some light jazz for background music)?” Discussed: Marvel Unlimited, visits to the comics store, that thing that’s not OCD that you want to describe as OCDish anyway, purchasing spreadsheets, couches, reading spreadsheets, Ernie and Gus-Gus, eating while reading, that damn park neither of us can think of the name of (Duboce Park); and more.
35:52-54:59: Matt Miller asks: “1. Has anybody polled creators (or even reported anecdotally) as to whether creator profits on their Comixology sales went up or down after the iOS storefront closed? 2. What creator known for their 70s/80s/90s work would you say is most likely to produce a late-period masterpiece?” Discussed: good old Jim Zub; the comics code… of silence; good old Steve Englehart; Peter Milligan vs. Peter B. Gillis; good old Ann Nocenti; Vertigo; comics that are born to die; good old Dave Sim; Jeff’s biases about what needs to constitute a “literary comeback”; The Strange Death of Alex Raymond (which I erroneously and repeatedly describe as an encounter between Alex Raymond and Milt Caniff, when in fact it’s Alex Raymond and Stan Drake); and more.
54:59-1:08:53: Mark “Das” Bender asks: “What do you guys do with your old, read comics? Recycle? Donate? Sell? Are you living in a house made of thousands of long boxes? As a follow up, when discarding paper, what criteria do you use to decide if you’ll keep it. I try to ask “will I ever read this again?” But there are favorite books that answer “probably not” that I still keep, e.g. Crisis or GIJoe. What do you know you should toss, but can’t bring yourself to do so? #hoarders” Discussed: Donating comics to p:ear; Frankenstein’s Comic Book Swap; and of course, Jeff’s option; ROM: Spaceknight; Millennium again; that magic dollar pricepoint; Steve Englehart Green Lanterns; Marvel Unlimited again, and more.
1:08:53-1:13:48: Roger Winston asks: “So my question is: Do you think the stories (and the early Marvel U in general) would’ve been better if Kirby had had more free reign and Stan hadn’t “rewritten” him so much? As seen with the DC Fourth World, Kirby was very capable of writing on his own with awesome results (appreciated more now than it was at the time), but I think his experiences in the Marvel Mill is perhaps what allowed him to get there.” Discussed: necessary evils. (Roger, your question was great; our answer was short only due to too much squirmy handwringing!)
1:13:48-1:26:46: Charles Forsman asks: “What legacy, if any, did Epic Comics leave behind on the industry? Were they just before their time? Were you sad when they went away? And tied into this, what were some of your favorite comics published by Epic?‘ Discussed: Jeff’s very accurate memories about the launch of Epic; Jeff’s disastrously inaccurate memories about the end of Epic; the return of the phrase ‘necessary evil’ again; books like Dreadstar, Elektra: Assassin, the first Starstruck graphic novel, Marshal Law, Moonshadow, Akira and the Airtight Garage, Metropol, Video Jack, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Coyote, Clive Barker’s books, Sachs & Violens, Elfquest, Groo The Wanderer, and how long until the first Marvel/Star Wars crossover hits the stand.
1:26:46-1:32:16: Tom Broadhead asks: “Are there any artists or writers who have done something so offensive to your preferences that you just can’t forgive them. For me it’s Leandro Fernandez who’s run in Queen and Country saw Tara Chase in a GODDAMN MESH TOP FOR NO REASON and generally drew her like a sex fetish. So angry. Probably 10 years ago but still angry. Also what ever happened to Sam Kieth? Did either of you read The Maxx when it came out or since – it was one of my first books when I started getting into comics. It was great and strange but the strange seemed to grow and great seemed to fade.” Discussed: Paul Gulacy on Catwoman; Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale; the Brendan McCarthy issue of Solo, and more (although we don’t cover Sam Kieth and maybe we’ll return to that next month, or something?).
1:32:16-1:33:44: Martin Gray asks: “Who was the worst FF substitute member?” Discussed: The worst substitute member of the Fantastic Four. (Sorry, Martin! We’ll probably have a more in-depth issue in a year or two!)
1:33:44-1:39:49: Patrick Gaffney asks: “The easy one: Besides the Byrne run, what is the thing you look the most forward to getting to in your quest to read all of Vol 1 of Fantastic Four. This question may be a little too much of a deep cut for the podcast, but I’ll throw it out there anyways. I remember reading Graeme back in the day, and I would like to ask him what stands out to him about doing that blog (I have memories of following the Waid/Ringo FF firing on there), how he thinks it lead him to his current career.” Discussed: Walt Simonson, all the stuff Jeff read up to about issue #200, and Fanboy Rampage, a.k.a., the internet origin story of Graeme McMillan.
1:39:49-1:47:23: Michael Tomasulo asks: “Have you guys talked about Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye by James Roberts, et al.? It is inexplicably excellent for a book about toy robots. I would very much recommend reading the first 3-issue storyline from 2012 if you haven’t.” Discussed: who the hell is Windcharger? A very hard working series that economically accomplishes a tremendous amount in three issues, and more.
1:47:23-1:48:39: We stop to look at how many more questions are left, how much time is left in the episode, and make the decision to break this into a two-parter BUT also opening up questions to everyone. So if you have a question you want us to answer when we return in two weeks, send them to us at ! But since we think we have time for one last question, let’s go with…
1:48:39-2:10:40: Tim Rifenburg asks: “I was curious if there was a run, a title or series that you have always wanted to read or try to get into that for various reasons you have not. G man’s post on Judge Dredd sparked the question. I have tried to get into it and it just leaves me cold. I can appreciate the art or a story point but overall I don’t engage with it. I was wondering if there was a particular title or character that you both do not get the buzz about. Thanks for considering the question and for the entertainment.” Discussed: Cerebus The Aardvark; Copra; recent issues of New Suicide Squad by Sean Ryan and Phil Briones; Gail Simone and the secret identity of Duke in The Secret Six; Valiant comics; American Flagg again; Give Me Liberty; Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary; Jim Starlin; Graeme’s review of The Hospital Suite; Guy Delisle; and more.
2:10:40-end: 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, 107 patrons make this whole thing possible! Next week is a week off so look for us in two weeks for the exciting finale in Wait, What? Ep. 184!