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Whew!  Hey, Whatnauts, Jeff here.  My apologies for getting this up a bit later than usual: ironically, part of the reason is that I’m trying a new method for editing the podcast that should make it faster.  (The other part of the reason is that I caught a double feature of Lady Snowblood movies at the New Mission Cinema and ate deviled eggs and drank milkshakes with booze in them and it was pretty god-damned great.)
And that said, I should warn you there is the growing likelihood that the responsibilities in my day job may be changing in the very near future and Graeme and I have been trying to figure out how to make sure we still manage to deliver Wait, What? quality in a timely way. I hope you remain patient with me as I go through the process of working all that out.  Fortunately, you have lots of excellent, high quality writing from Graeme and Matt to keep you happy in the meantime.
Anyway, enough of that.  Let’s get shownoting, shall we?
0:00-6:24:  The greeting thing (this time with proper microphones); the Three Stages of Muppet; Muppets Most Wanted; Disney’s trifecta of the Muppets,  Star Wars and Marvel.

6:24-17:10:  Discussions of pop culture cocktails leads us to talk about Lego Dimensions, the video game IP orgy competitor to Disney Infinity.  And this leads to a discussion about the crossovers you stage with your own toys as opposed to officially sanctioned IP crossover play.  Also discussed: playing with action figures (in which Jeff accidentally mentions using Star Wars figures to fill in as SHIELD agents when he really meant using Star Wars figures); the scramble for new action figures for Return of the Jedi; which leads to discussing…

17:10-25:15: Jeff loves the fact that Star Wars fans love the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back even though, as Graeme points out, even Boba Fett doesn’t appear for more than ten minutes total in the films.  Also discussed: George Lucas’s dislike of Boba Fett; Lucas’s official slogan for the making of the prequels; and  the ballad of General Grievous.
25:15-49:18: We segue so organically it’s actually hard to chop it up, but if you want to hear Graeme and Jeff argue about whether Star Wars is an epic about redemption or an anti-redemption without a lot of action figure talk, you can start here.  Please note we talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens just a teeny tad and, depending on your view, we either do not spoil a darn thing or we talk about stuff that can lead the overheated mind to make some suppositions it might consider spoiler-y?  As Graeme points out, it’s probably not a big deal since everyone who’s wanted to see TFA by now already has BUT JUST IN CASE here’s your soft spoiler warning.  Discussed: whether or not Star Wars is pro- or anti-redemption; the handling of Jedi in the prequels; Jeff is a big fan of the theory put forward by Chris Ready over at his awesome Disaster Year 20xx blog about Return of the Jedi, where Graeme has a different view about the film, and is armed with facts in hand from his recent read of J.W. Rinzler’s Making of Star Wars books; the Ewoks in Vietnam; and Jeff’s discussion of the real phantom behind The Phantom Menace.
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49:18-1:04:48:  “Whatnauts,” sez Graeme, “once again, this is a podcast about comic books where we’ve talked about Star Wars for the first forty-eight minutes.”  And he’s got a point!  So we change up to talk about Batman #48 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and the high strangeness that is “Superheavy,” the current arc.  Discussed: the scene between two characters by the side of a lake; Mr. Bloom as DC Comics; Snyder’s metatext reaching the levels of Morrison’s Calvin Ellis issue of Action; Snyder’s take on Batman and Morrison’s take on Batman as it reflects their views on depression; and more.
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1:04:48-1:19:18:  Talking about Morrison’s darker works, we talk about Nameless #6 by Morrison and Burnham. FULL SPOILERS, I think we give it all away—in our vague sort of way—and I’ll tell you now one of us thought it was great, and another of us…did not.
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1:19:18-1:34:17: And as long as we’re running through the hall of mirrors, let’s move from Snyder to Morrison to the first three issues of Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque’s Huck, which Graeme read all at a go, and he gets a chance to compare and contrast it a bit with Valiant’s Faith #1 by Jody Houser, Francis Portela & Marguerite Sauvage. Pop quiz: which book do you think Graeme described as “weirdly cynical for a comic that theoretically should be the opposite” and which got described as “utterly fucking delightful”? And this leads us to talk about other books that are working in the absurd and delightful parts of town, and how they differ from other previous, more self-conscious works.
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1:34:17-1:54:05: And this leads us to a discussion about Spider-Gwen, particularly Radioactive Spider-Gwen #4 which Jeff has read.  His take on the reasons for the book’s tone are quite different from Graeme’s and quite possibly far less generous.  And from there we talk about which books we’re reading in All-New, All-Different Marvel and whether or not Marvel Unlimited actually raises the bar for books we’re willing to pay money for.  Discussed: Star Wars, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat, Vision, Spidey, Spider-Man/Deadpool, The Ultimates, the upcoming Power Man and Iron Fist, and more.
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1:54:05-2:10:28: And although we are just about out of time, Jeff cannot resist asking Graeme what he thinks about the IDW reboot of Judge Dredd by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Dan McDaid, in no small part because that and a ton of time spent playing the Judge Dredd pinball game, Jeff has a question he doesn’t know the answer to:  What makes for “good” Judge Dredd?
2:10:28-end: Closing comments! Look for us on  Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr!  And, of course, where, as of this count, 115 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast, as well as our continuing special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 113 of our supporters on Patreon who make our show possible.
Next week:  There’s a break but we’ll back in two weeks with Wait, What? Ep. 194.  The march to Episode 200 has begun!  (Well, technically it started around episode one, but let’s not quibble.)
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10 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 193: Absurd and Delightful

  1. Jeff Lester Jan 25, 2016

    And in case you want that link for your own nefarious cutting-and-pasting reasons:

    http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/WaitWhat193.mp3

  2. Bruce Baugh Jan 25, 2016

    It seems clear to me that Jeff’s book about his subliterate existence should be illustrated with repurposed Max Ernst collages.

    I was interested in your comments on Nameless, which left me really conflicted – too many weaknesses to be fully satisfying, too many strengths to be straightforwardly disappointment. Usually I find with stories like these that either I’m hooked and basically sympathetic and happily excuse flaws, or I’m definitely not hooked and tend to downplay virtues. This time, though, the coin of judgment basically landed on edge.

    I’ve got to quarrel with your proposed slogan for 2016. After all, you put out episodes. Surely, in an inverse of the argument that God as most perfect being must exist because existing is better/more perfect than not existing, a podcast that routinely spend an hour on non-comics stuff that doesn’t actually come out would be worse than you guys.

  3. Other Chris Jan 26, 2016

    General Grievous in Attack of the Clones, huh? Hahaha, always nice to hear from the experts.

  4. Just reached the end of your Nameless discussion, and by pure coincidence I just finished a reread of the entire series a couple of nights ago and thought I had to add my two pennies worth to the conversation.

    The thing that struck me about Nameless when read together is that it’s Morrison’s Blackeyes. Blackeyes, famously, was Dennis Potter’s follow up to the Singing Detective in the late 80’s, and was his attempt to address sexism and feminism, but he did it in such a way that most critics thought he was guilty of the very things he was criticising.

    The most obvious thing about Nameless on reread is that it isn’t a Haunted House movie in space. It uses motifs from there, and in a very Potter-esque way, makes you believe that’s what you are watching, but Nameless fools you into believing the series main male character is the protagonist. He isn’t. The protagonist is Sophie, and Nameless is actually a slasher film, and Nameless is the villain. We are watching multiple levels of fantasy from the unreliable protagonist trying to continually make himself the hero, all the while reality is impinging on his vision and corrupting his fantasy. Turning the modern fairy tale (a space opera) into a horror story.

    The last issue is crucial, but only makes sense if read with the first issue in mind. All the characters represent those who dies in the haunted house seance, killed by the so called protagonist. And the last victim, killed directly in front of her, is Sophie’s father. The corruption of her face, as Sophie herself says, is the memory of the event Nameless is trying to repress, and the series ends with Sophie getting revenge on Nameless. In effect, the traditional female victim of slasher films (and I think the Nightmare on Elm Street may be the film Morrison has most in mind here) walks away from the villain having killed him. It’s actually a positive text, not a nihilistic one.

    It also seems to be a companion piece to Annihilator, which is similarly a story about a woman leaving the abusive genre she is trapped within, although the cathartic moment there is simply the decision to leave, as opposed to Nameless where the genre itself is killed.

    It’s a fascinating work, but one that really only works when read in one sitting.

    • Bruce Baugh Jan 27, 2016

      Interesting, Carey! That goes nicely with a tidbit that’s totally obvious to some readers (those of us who’ve wasted too much time reading gnostic stuff) and probably totally unobvious to others (those with more sensible reading choices): in a bunch of gnostic cosmologies, Sophia is the female counterpart to the Demiurge, the one who screwed everything up by making this botched material universe. Details vary, because gnostics were basically the who’d-win continuity nerds of their day, but she’s the force of uncorrupted wisdom, through which all other virtues become possible.

      • Zaragosa Jan 27, 2016

        Wow, thank you for the fascinating perspectives on NAMELESS, Carey and Bruce! Between your thoughts and the spirited discussion between Jeff and Graeme, I’m now really looking forward to reading NAMELESS “in a one’r” (is that how Graeme says it?)… For what it’s worth, my first impression of the series as it came out: I found the first issue to be depressingly meh, but felt like the last issue was surprisingly exhilarating and vital. Also, Burnham’s drawings are so damn ideal for Grant’s stories, perhaps even the perfect visual representation of GM’s wild, fuzzy, loopy-ass, brilliant scribblings. Frank Quietly is lovely as a collaborator, too, of course, but there’s a freakish perfection to Quietly’s idiosyncratic style that, while it’s still an awesome companion, is perhaps a fraction less analagous to Morrison’s “energy,” if you will. Burnham has a fizzy, effervescent, downright messy “making it up as I go along but it’s gonna be A-OK cos I’m one talented motherfucker!” quality to his work that feels very much in-step with Grant “Never met a potentially classic story whose ending I couldn’t fuck up cos I don’t believe in outlines, but I’m a mad genius, so what the hey!” Morrison. Shaping up to be quite a late-career renaissance for our boy, Grant (or is it late mid-career? Guess it depends on how long he keeps kicking)… Now I may even have to go read KLAUS.

  5. I too was underwhelmed by the new Hellcat book. I still hold out hope that Kathryn Immonen will get a shot at an ongoing Patsy series. (Her mini’s were SO good!)

  6. Your Avengers reread is from Episode 144 to 166.

    • Jeff Lester Feb 21, 2016

      Oh! Thank you for this, Paul! This could prove to be incredibly helpful!

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