0:01-7:07:  Greetings from Jeff “Bottle Episode?” Lester and Graeme “Clip Show!” McMillan!  Yes, due to a very unique October for us, this is being recorded a week in advance!  We start off by discussing some tendered suggestions about follow-up episodes for Graeme’s more elliptical comments.
7:07-33:48: Graeme has a couple things to ask Jeff on the eve of NYCC:  Graeme knows about the end of Jeff’s convention going days….but what about the beginning?  What was the first con Jeff attended?  Discussed: Willie Ito; Terry Austin; the odd business of selling movie stills; comic book adaptations of movies; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; and more.
33:48-1:09:34: Jeff has a question for Graeme: since Graeme is familiar with both the 100 page Giants of the ‘70s, and the British Marvel anthology titles of the ‘80s, what would be his pick for titles for similar reprint books (with some new material) for DC, Marvel, and another publisher?  Discussed: Morrison and Porter’s JLA; Chip Zdarsky’s Spider-Man; Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey; The recent Titan Books reprint of The Prisoner by Kirby, Englehart, and Kane; comics that don’t age well; Finder by Carol Speed McNeil; and more.
1:09:34-1:24:04: Graeme mentions 2000 A.D. as a science fiction themed anthology, which leads Jeff to wonder about a horror anthology where there are recurring characters. So crazy it just might work? We talk about some of the big successes (and many, many failures) of horror comics with recurring characters. Discussed: The Ghost Rider; The 13th Floor; John Constantine; the Castle Rock TV show; fan service and the Gotham TV show; and more.
1:24:04-1:35:02: Jeff managed to get his wife to watch the Justice League movie with him.  Why would he do that to his spouse?! Why would he do that to himself!?! Discussed: Justice League; The Avengers; Guardians of the Galaxy 2; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; and more.
1:35:02-2:13:49: Since we’re talking superhero movies and which ones we found better or worse than others, Jeff asks Graeme: top five comic book superhero movies? Top five comic book movies?  Also discussed: upcoming untitled Deadpool film project for December; Dark Phoenix and the X-Men movies; the Spider-Man movies; and more.
2:13:49-2:23:58: And since we’re talking about the Spider-Man movies, we talk about…Spider-Man! But maybe not in the way you would expect.
2:23:58-end: Closing comments!  (But also: CheeWees!)  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! 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.  And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK:  Baxter Building! Read issues #397-405 of Fantastic Four by Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan and join us!
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16 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 257: Bottle Clip

  1. Jeff Lester Oct 7, 2018

    And for the cutting and the pasting:

    http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat257.mp3

  2. David M Oct 7, 2018

    At the end of the last Baxter Building it said to read #389 to #396…it’s too late to try and spare us now.

  3. For the sake of strangeness, the Xanadu Comic book in all its glory: http://www.onlyolivia.com/visual/xanadu/marvel/ by Bill Sienkowitz and Al Milgrom (and others)

  4. Rob G Oct 9, 2018

    Not sure whether Spider-Man is too American, but pretty sure that Captain America is. Wink wink nudge nudge

  5. Bengt Strand Oct 9, 2018

    As a Swede I think all Marvel/DC characters are very American (including things like Excalibur who I guess is not supposed to be), Spider-Man doesn’t stand out to me. He is probably the second most prolific super hero published in Swedish, after the Phantom (who for some reason is massively popular), but I don’t particular like him (or dislike for that mater). I’ve never thought of him as obnoxious though, more like THE wangsty super hero.

    My top super hero movie would The Incredibles (2004), or does it have to be an adaption to count? For a top five I’ll add The Rocketeer (1991), Batman (1989), The Crow (1994), and Blade (1998).

  6. David M Oct 9, 2018

    I’d be interested in hearing Jeff talk about Eerie, a horror anthology with recurring characters. Admittedly, these were stories that eventually ended, but it had some of the qualities.
    I was a big Spider-Man guy, for about the first 100 issues. After that, as I hit my teens, I was too conscious of it being a remix of what I’d read already. I don’t know if in Northern Ireland in the 60s I’d have made much sense of the concept of something being too American.
    It was interesting listening to your discussion of superhero movies. I think I’m less critical, but more judgemental. I pretty much like the Marvel films, some a lot more than others, but miss a lot of the flaws you agree are pretty self-evident. At the same time I disliked ‘The Dark Knight’ so much I have never watched the 3rd Nolan Batman, I saw no Wolverine films until Logan and haven’t seen ‘Man of Steel’.
    Talking about movie adaptations, I can think of two I like more than the movies, Kaluta’s Shadow (practically cheating, I know) and Steranko’s Outland, which I assume is in some legal hell somewhere.
    Knowing of Jeff’s liking for alternative terms, do people in the US ever use the word ‘scallions’ for green onions? For that matter, I can’t recall hearing it used in Scotland. Graeme?

    • I’m in Scotland and I say ‘scallions’. But I’m English. I can never get my head around the ‘turnip/swede’ thing.

      I wouldn’t say Spidey was Too American, though I was constantly irritated by all the pop culture references. Gilligan’s What? Maury Who? That Saturday Night Live Marvel Team-Up is possibly the most tedious thing I’ve ever read. What gets wearing is the ‘Parker luck’ cliche and the very dull animal-themed villains.

      Please may I have a packet of those New Orleans Cheetos? Maybe we could have a contest!

      I’ve seen a lot of superhero films but never really think about them once I’ve left the cinema because we never get a compete story. Oh well, you never need to do another run-through. Which is nice.

      • I’ll weigh in on the scallions, as a native Scot I first discovered they were a thing a couple weeks ago when looking at a vegan jambalaya recipe. A quick google told me they were green onions, which I hadn’t heard of either. They look to me like spring onions with bigger bulbs but maybe I just don’t know my veg well enough.

        • Martin Gray Oct 10, 2018

          They’re definitely spring onions! You know your onions.

    • Voord 99 Oct 11, 2018

      I think the main objection to the claim that Spider-Man was *too* American is what Graeme McMillan pointed out – he was an absolute mainstay for Marvel UK. Other characters would cycle in and out, but Spider-Man was always there, his issues sliced into shorter chunks. That probably permanently wrecked my sense of pacing, but at any rate, it shows that Spider-Man had no problems appealing to a UK (and Ireland) audience, So, yes, Graeme McMillan is odd, I think.

      But is Spider-Man distinctively American? I think he has to be, because he’s so inextricably associated with New York City, which defines a certain kind of Americanness. In fact, I would say cautiously that makes Spider-Man American in a way that renders him especially American to at least some Europeans. For me growing up, when I thought of America, big cities, New York above all, were what I thought of. (That and Westerns, but those were in the past. When I thought of contemporary America, it had skyscrapers.)

      While in America itself, there’s a tradition of locating the “real” America in the small town and seeing big cities, especially New York, as somehow outside “normal” America. That really did not register with me growing up.

  7. Richard Halfhide Oct 9, 2018

    I beg to differ re. Graeme saying there wasn’t a UK reprint of Marvel’s Raiders of the Lost Ark; as a kid in the 80’s I had a hardcover ‘annual’ edition reprinting the series, published by Grandreams (a UK publisher who often did licensing deals with Marvel), sadly long since discarded. A year or so later some of the Indiana Jones ongoing series ran as a backup in Marvel UK’s Return of the Jedi weekly.

  8. Carey Oct 10, 2018

    On the subject of romance comics and why they no longer appear or are even that important in just superhero comics, never mind US comics in general, I think the problem is very few modern comics creators can approach it without smothering it in irony. And if there’s one thing that doesn’t work with romance stories, it’s any irony that isn’t as well written as Jane Austin (which automatically causes problems because Austin is the greatest English Language writer to put pen to paper). I seem to recall Vertigo having a shot at one shot romance anthologies in the 90’s and they were dire because pretty well every writer approached the stories they were telling as knowingly critical of the genre and/or pastiches. Oddly enough, the same creators don’t approach horror, crime or science fiction in the same manner.

    Possibly the best US romance comic currently being published is Snotgirl: it very much reads as Angel Love rewritten by Brett Easton Ellis.

    (Angel Love really was the best comic DC published in the 80’s, and if Thriller and her seven seconds don’t save the day in Doomsday Clock I’m hoping that Angel Love does.)

    As to Spiderman? If the Fantastic Four can be seen as the Great American Novel in comics form, then the first 150 issues of Spiderman are the Great American Coming of Age novel. Peter Parker is Holden Caulfield, and It’s a tragedy that the comics code would never have allowed Lee or Conway to show Spiderman swinging around New York exclaiming “Goddam phonies!”

    • Romance comics are definitely doable – the Japanese market is practically dripping in them. I think the recent Archie comics by Waid have been just as much romance comics as humor, especially compared to classic Archies.

  9. Thomas Williams Oct 12, 2018

    Guys, this might be my favorite episode. The state of comics news as it is and the blah of announcements to hear two comics fans I appreciate talk about things like first con and sundry other common experiences really was meaningful. My youth was spent with one of my parents taking me to the cons around Ohio. The big highlight was George Perez selling me a piece of original art from Wonder Woman for $20 and 10 year old me was just in heaven.
    Thanks and I would support “bottle episodes” more often.

  10. I’m shocked at Graeme’s characterization of Homecoming as the “good” Spider-Man movie. Sorry bruh, that movie is bad. Downey Jr. phones it in and his character arc makes no sense. After a lecture on civilan endangerment, Tony offers Peter a promotion for crashing a plane in the middle of New York, nearly causing a second 9/11 style event. Nice! That’s some quality heroing,

    All the fan service material sucked too. Childish Gambino and the reveal of Michelle as Mary Jane, total cringetown.

    Most readers have a skewed memory of what Spider-Man comics were good. Graeme recalls Amazing being pretty solid up to McFarlane. I regret to inform him that he is mistaken. Back half Stan Lee (from about #55 to #110) ranges from boring to terrible. These issues should be considered the prime example of the “illusion of change” concept.

    Wolfman’s run in the late 100s is also pretty bad. That’s followed up by a run so awful as to rival the nadir of 90s Spider-Man, Denny O’Neill’s justly forgotten 20 issues. O’Neill benefits from the utter banality of his comics. People don’t remember how terrible they were. But I do, Denny. I remember how you thought making Peter’s neighbor a country music singer would be a worthy 16 issue subplot. God help me, I remember.

    • I thought Homecoming was pretty solidly entertaining, better than the Maguire films at least. My 8yo son, however, LOVES Homecoming – it’s his favorite Marvel film by a wide margin.

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