0:01-3:38:  Greetings from Graeme “Jeff Lester?” McMillan and Jeff “Graeme McMillan?” Lester let you know you’ve been robbed of perhaps the greatest opening in our history!  (All that said, you probably didn’t miss much?)  And, because we have a lot of qiuestions to get to, after a bit of talk about the previous week’s weather, we are off to the races!
3:38-08:00:  John Kipling (from Patreon) wants to know:If the MCU makes a Fantastic Four movie who does Doom team up with to defeat Reed Richards? Namor? Mole Man and Fin Fang Foom? Galactus? (And if it is Fin Fang Foom should he wear athletic shorts?)
08:00-16:12: Ed (from Patreon) was wondering:First, Zenescope Comics and Aspen Comics seem to be popular (at least on Comixology). Do you have any sense who the audience for these are? To me, they seem like porn comics minus the porn. Am I missing something?
16:12-22:08: Second, I’ve tried to get into manga a few times but the only series that ever worked for me was Lone Wolf and Cub. I love the art style; the story was compelling, the action was clear; and it didn’t have much of the tropes that I associate with the manga that I don’t like: panty shots, high school, chibi characters, the little visual short hands (vampire teeth, bead of sweat, etc.). Do you have any manga recommendations that might work for me?
22:08-28:17: Steve Lacey asked via email: I’ll keep this brief as I’m on a phone at nearly 2am, under the influence of some very enjoyable birthday celebrations. I have never relied on autocorrect so much…
As fellow travellers on the Fantastic Four journey, I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the 10-or-so issues of the relaunched Fantastic Four so far. Are they any good? Where do they fit in the general FF rankings? And how do they compare to Slott’s other works?
28:17-30:16: In addition, what are your thoughts on the upcoming spinoff books – Invisible Woman, Future Foundation, and Yancy Street? Do the premises and creatives excite you enough, or are Marvel over saturating a limited market?
30:16-36:01: John Q (from email) wonders:In light of the ‘Drokk’ episodes, do either of you have any thoughts on the Marshal Law comic?
36:01-43:26: Jonathan Sapsed muses via email:My question is about creators ‘peaking’ in their careers. People say Chris Claremont peaked with the ’80s X-Men run or Bendis with Daredevil or Ultimate Spider-Man. But do creators really peak or is it that everybody gets used to their style? People are saying Bendis is peaking again after getting really ill and going to DC.
What about artists? Walt Simonson’s current Ragnarok seems as accomplished as his classic Thor. Bill Sienkiewicz is still innovating. I’ve heard Steve Rude say he peaked with Nexus #14. Is it that specific usually? Does anybody peak late in comics?
Is it the same with podcasts? When will Wait What peak? 🙂
43:26-46:44: Also when Jeff talks about ‘formalism’, usually with Alan Moore or Tom King, what does he mean exactly?
46:44-48:50: Eric Rupe, from email, wants to know: Has Jeff read enough sports manga to have an opinion on them as part of the action genre? Haikyuu in particular seems to work really well as an action story only instead of fights and chases it has volleyball matches. It is not something you see of a lot of in US media (TV, comics or otherwise) and was wonder if Jeff has had similar thoughts.
48:50-53:26: What is the most you’d be willing be spend on a comic because of nostalgia and nothing else?
53:26-1:06:49: Does the direct market inherently limit the possible success of certain types of genre material? Why the seeming lack of successful non-superhero based comedy, romance, slice-of-life, sports or similar types of comics in the traditional 20-ish page floppy format?
When people often talk about the current state of the direct market and various events that happened in the past they tend to a) blame the companies for publishing and marketing various bad ideas and/or b) blame the readers for buying said bad ideas but never seem to blame retailers for going along with it all. Do retailers deserve a certain amount of blame or are they innocent middlemen trying to make the best of a bad situation?
1:06:49-1:07:51: Who is more evil: Graeme, since he owns a Kindle, or Jeff, since he owns an iPad?
1:07:51-1:09:07: Kevin Donlan (from email) asks (but this gets booted to a future episode because it is too good a question to just dash off but we don’t have time and so here is the question for your future reference): So this should lead to a quick discussion if you were to recommend an introduction to comics to different age levels what would they be, they could either be funny books or even scholarly journals (Not Brand ‘Ecch comes to mind):8 and under /9-13 /13-15 /16-18 /19-25 /26-35 /36- fogies /”get off my lawn” to curmudgeon
Obviously there are some things that will overlap.  Just curious what you think. [stay tuned, Kevin!]
1:09:07-1:11:52: Martin Gray arrives via Twitter and email to wonder: If Silver Age Marvel had done ‘Family’-style spin-offs a la Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, who do you think would have could have carried a book?
1:11:52-1:18:14: Douglas O’Keefe (via email) has a couple loaded in the chamber and ready to fire: What was the end of Mister Miracle all about? How do you feel about the series as a wholeYou guys talked a little about #12 when it came out, but your discussion was mostly about the continuity of the series with other DC stuff at the time.I started reading with a lot of enthusiasm but by the last issue I felt like I had learned that the pizza I’d been eating was made out of cardboard.
1:18:14-1:22:02: Tom Shapira from Twitter proposes this thought experiment: If you could have one never-completed work (Big Numbers, 1963 etc.) finished what would it be?
1:22:02-1:28:55: From Twitter, George Johnson wants to know: Has the walking dead peaked or did it earlier and we are in the decline now? [SPOILERS for issue #192, the latest issue of Walking Dead]
1:28:55-1:30:05: Art Lyon (@DarthErr on Twitter) queries: What failed comic book publisher do you miss?
1:30:05-1:35:02: From email, Eric Grill challenges:  Given Marvel’s previous attempt at creating manga inspired work with (to be charitable) less than successful results, what Marvel or DC characters / concepts would work if done in the true manga style by Japanese writers and artists? The natural choice would be students at the Xavier Institute like Generation X in a slice of life manga, but given the Xmen’s propensity to play sports whenever they have downtime, a baseball manga with a team of mutants could be great.
1:35:02-1:43:23: Our good chum Adam P. Knave asks via email: What music do you think goes with your current favorite series and why?
Bonus: Best Englehart storyline ever? All books he wrote are up for grabs.
1:43:23-1:46:20: Flashhe (a.k.a. Roger Wilson) asks via the electromagnetic temporal communication field (a.k.a. email): In the wake of the Swamp Thing cancellation etc, and the forthcoming Warner streaming service, is DC Universe doomed? Certainly seems like Warner would want to save the original content for its new all-encompassing streaming service. I am worried about the future of Stargirl, which I really want to see. Maybe DCU will exist only as a platform for the comics? Can the two services co-exist and the original content would premiere on both at the same time? I know it’s all just speculation at this point, but you guys seem closer to the mouth of the Oracle than I am.
Wildfire
1:46:20-1:47:33: Also, who is your favorite Legionnaire? I guess mine is Phantom Girl. I always dug the bell-bottomed costume.
1:47:33-1:50:55: Leef Smith wanders in from email to wonder:  Where do you see the comics industry in 10 years? And more specifically, what happens to Marvel Comics after it’s wrestled from Ike Perlmutter’s cold, dead hands? (Not to wish death on anyone, but… )
1:50:55-2:03:48: Good ol’ Dan Billings writes: My comic shop has an issue with pull lists because customers with extensive asks or specific graphic novels disappear. In addition, the number of large pull list customers has significantly declined. A few questions related to that:
1. Do you think pull lists are a positive or negative for shops?
2. From what you hear, is the same loss of large customers happening everywhere?
3. If so, what do you think could change that?
4. Is there something on your pull lists you seemed to never be able to drop – either in the past or today?
2:03:48-2:08:53: David M stymies us via email with:  Who was Scott Free’s mum? Bearing in mind Izaya seems to have aged about 50 years since Avia was killed and it’s probably longer as he’s a god.
Has Graeme been reading John Allison online from early on? I started with the first issue of Giant Days and then started on Bad Machinery and have only recently been exploring Scary-Go-Round and found it’s all part of the same continuity. Some of it is pretty surprising and spoilerific.
Do you have favourite Kirby monster stories? ‘I Created The Colossus!’ is mine, both because he cuts loose on the art in a way that looks years ahead of the rest of the work he was doing then and as it’s the best of his ‘monster as golem’ stories.
What’s Graeme’s favourite manga and Jeff’s favourite Legion of Superheroes story?
2:08:53-2:15:02: Retired Podcasting King Chad Nevett asks us via twitter:  With the Vertigo rumours this week and Wicked and Divine ending soon, I was wondering if it being at Image at all instead of Vertigo is a good measure of the imprint? Is WicDiv the first/best example of a post-Vertigo Vertigo type of series/run?
2:15:02-2:16:42: Tiny Skeffrn (via twitter) ponders:  Is it time to put the FF out of it’s misery? (Again!) Or rather, should we have left the FF in cold storage? I love Dan Slott but it’s all feeling a bit stale…
2:16:42-2:18:02: Earl Stevens via Twitter  twoots: Question:  This has probably been spoken about – but as a long time listener I still don’t know how you two became pals?
2:18:02-2:22:02: Credible Hulk arrives from Twitter to smash us with:  Which Marvel and DC heroes would host the best podcast and on what topic? Other than Blue Beetle and Booster Gold reviewing fast food restaurants, of course.
2:22:02-2:27:14: Phil Southern tweets to break Graeme’s brain with:  In my mind, you guys have tens of thousands of loyal listeners; for lack of a better way of putting it, what are your ratings?  Are you comfortable sharing that kind of information? Irrespective, thanks for 10 years of great podcasts! I like them a lot, especially “comics news” and old comic discussions.
2:27:14-2:30:47:  Twitter’s very own ComicCruncher asks:  In your time in and around the comics industry, are there any non-obvious changes that have had a big impact? (obvious changes = stuff that everyone talks about like Amazon, digital comics, diversity, etc) Love the show!
2:30:47-2:39:44: Here’s a little slice of fried gold from Thibaut Josse via email:  Hey guys,Reponding to your call for questions, here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately : do you think the dc universe (the shared superhero universe, not the multimedia app which is still not available out of the States, damn it !) is instrisically more interesting than the marvel universe ?
What leads to this question is that I noticed that you were spending a great deal of time discussing the narrative and editorial implications and the overall mythology of the comics published by dc, something you rarely do about marvel (or at least about current marvel continuity). I thought it might be just because Graeme seems to be the most interested of you two in discussing the continuity and in reading the comic books in the context of a larger universe and he’s more invested in the dc universe. But maybe you also think there’s something that makes them more interesting from this point of view. I remember Jeff saying that after some time (20 years ?), every shared universe collapse under its own weight and I think he’s absolutely right about that. There not having been a real reboot in the marvel universe could have contributed in making the marvel universe flatter (Al Ewing’s Ultimates though !).
Anyway, sorry about my English, I hope I’m still understandable. Thank you for the podcast and thank you for making me read Judge Dredd, I really, really dig it!
2:39:44-2:50:47: Jonny Kiehlmann had a few things on his mind and he emailed to say: Image’s rise over the last ten years has been fascinating — from the Chew launch literally the same month as you guys, June 2009, through to Saga and the boom following it, with things like WicDiv, Sex Criminals etc. How this period is looked at will probably depend on how well Image manages to replace Saga and WicDiv, with a lot of delayed titles, as well as Luna and Chaykin type content issues. How do you think this time will be looked on?
2:50:47-2:53:56: I assume you’ve already had someone ask what your favourite comics of the last ten years are (I’m probably the only person who’ll say Daytripper), but more specifically, what have your favourite Image comics of the last ten years been?
2:53:56-2:58:28: You mentioned Rise of Arsenal as a nadir of bad comics. Is it the worst? What stands out as the worst comic ever?
2:58:28-3:08:18: Here comes John Wheaton from email to say :(1) I loved and miss Comics Alliance. How did you feel about the site? Was it just economics that undid it or do you think something about what they offered made their fall inevitable?
(2) What’s the best comic book site now? CBR? Newsarama? ComicsVerse? Bleeding Cool? (Please don’t say Bleeding Cool)
(3) What is the best character from the Big 2 created since your podcast started?
3:08:18-end:  Closing comments…of a sort.  Graeme is overjoyed we made it halfway through the questions (even after Jeff points out that we’re only a third of the way through the questions). By which I mean, we kinda can’t shut up, in part because Graeme wants to talk about reading Roger Stern’s run on Amazing Spider-Man and how good it is, and Jeff is Jeff.  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 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:  Drokk, Episode 5!  Which is also our…400th Episode?  Go get some cake, read some Dredd, and join us!
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16 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 273: Scott Free’s Mum

  1. Jeff Lester Jun 16, 2019
    • Voord 99 Jun 18, 2019

      If Jeff Lester can say that a question is a good question because it referenced one of his thoughts, I can say that Graeme McMillan might well be correct that the podcast peaked with the episode in which you read out my comment. Goes without saying, really. 🙂

      But I am really looking forward to next week’s Drokk! I read almost all of Case Files vol. 5 straight through on a transatlantic flight a little over a week ago and Graeme McMillan is 100% right about how great it is.

      I’d read all of it, or at least all the famous parts – can’t be quite sure about some of the minor stories – in one way or another back in the ‘80s. But this was the first time that I grasped how little time separated Judge Death Lives!, The Hot Dog Run, and Block Mania/The Apocalypse War — any one of which by itself would have been enough to call this a high point.

  2. Oh boy, time to comment before reading! I haven’t read Haikyu yet, but Eyeshield 21 read so incredibly like an action comic, and in some way specifically like a superhero comic (a friend and I used to joke it was our favorite Flash book) that I was entirely unsurprised that the artist ended up on superhero parody/reductio ad absurdum One Punch Man.

    (Incidentally, I feel like OPM, My Hero Academia, and Empowered are all kind of fellow travelers in loving the bombast and silliness of superhero comics while also turning a surprisingly jaded eye at the underpinnings of the genre)

    Congrats on the anniversary! Every episode is a treasure.

  3. God bless him for trying but Graeme talking about how the 3 manga he read weren’t that tropey feels like someone saying “I dont get why people associate DC with gorillas and time travel. After reading Watchmen and Batman Year One I…”

  4. Kevin Donlan Jun 18, 2019

    I totally need a sarcasm font- I didn’t think this would be quick. For clarification purposes- Fogies- run around thinking “Kids these days….*sigh*”, the get off my lawn types are the kind that tell the “kids these days” to in fact get off the lawn, and curmudgeon types are the kid peeking through their yellowed curtains out at the world for the “kids these days” to get on the lawn so they can call the local authorities to roust the hooligans about. Not sure if that helps any. 🙂

  5. Mike Murdock Jun 18, 2019

    Jeff, you called the “Celestial Madonna” story as the “Cosmic Madonna” story, which is perfectly fine, but I thought you said “Cosmic Banana” story, which makes me wish Steve Englehart wrote a Cosmic Banana story (or would that be more of a Steve Gerber story).

    I also have to say that I read Omega the Unknown for the first time and I thought it was great. I’m curious if you read the attempt to resolve the story in Defenders. I thought it was a bunch of nonsense, but I’m not sure anyone could have followed Gerber and made a coherent story. I’m not even convinced Gerber would have pulled off the ending, but it was great for what he did right.

  6. Tom Shapira Jun 19, 2019

    Re – the comedy question.
    The best answer, and one you mention later in the podcast, is Giant Days – more then five years of monthly publication (and, unlike Sex Criminals, with little fantasy/SF content which pushes towards more ‘traditional’ Direct Market genres).
    I do also note that Giant Days is not only good but very punctual. All of Nu-Image early success titles (Saga, Chew, Walking Dead, Manhattan Projects) came out in a very orderly fashion. Less and less titles are taking hold because less and less titles bother with the pacing of the single issues.

  7. Garrie Jun 19, 2019

    One never-completed work wish: Omega and New Guardians are great choices.
    I’d go with Englehart’s Mystical History of America in Dr. Strange, but I’m also dreaming of the never-realized next-chapters of (without interference) his original run of Avengers and Captain Marvel and FF.

    Or how about if DC allowed their late-60s cult classic titles to continue — Bat Lash, Anthro, Secret Six, Angel & The Ape? Or if DC didn’t cancel the 4th World books, but said to Jack Kirby to keep on with what he was doing? Or if, on second-thought, they let Rick Veitch complete his run on Swamp Thing which would be followed by Neil Gaiman’s take on the title?

    Speaking of Swamp Thing: I’m wondering if the news of its cancellation on DC Universe and the so-far non-renewal of Doom Patrol is signaling a recognition of the app’s inherent lack of focus.

    Could it be causing some concern for the powers-that-be that, unlike Netflix, which has a special ‘Children’s Section’, DC Universe has all of their wares upfront, without curation. They’re starting to recognize that not all of these things are entertainments easily-deemed as suitable for all-ages.

    A kid used to Teen Titans Go! sees a Titans logo and clicks on it and gets the live-action version and hears “F*** Batman’. I loved the live-action take, surprisingly. But I can see where there’d be some confusion and concern by having all these different versions so freely available in one space. Perhaps this caused problems for the Swamp Thing and Doom Patrol shows?

    Best Podcast: For DC, how about Vic Sage or a Point/Counterpoint featuring Don and Hank Hall? For Marvel, what about Richard Rory?

    Missed Failed Comic Book Publishers: Milestone, Comico, Eclipse.

    All for now… congrats on your ten years!

  8. Jonny K Jun 21, 2019

    I got the Mr Kipling thing and it was excellent

  9. My appreciation for the recent Miracle Man series dimmed noticeably when I found out that King was writing it as a metaphor for Trump, with Darkseid as the reason behind this disturbing normalization of horror and depression— not because I disagree that these are terrible times and Trump is terrible, but because it puts all the blame on a single figurehead and his administration— the “everything was fine before the orange guy showed up”— especially since Scott’s goal is to escape back to his heteronormative suburban American family.

    This may be reading too much politics into it, but given how King built his career on being ONE OF THE TROOOOOPS, the implications shouldn’t be ignored (see also: The Omega Men basically being the centrist rallying cry of “the resistance to imperialism is just as bad as imperialism”, Sherrif of Babylon being largely from the perspective of an American hero cop with nothing but good intentions to separate him from the Bad Individual Americans there)

  10. David M Jun 24, 2019

    While not being particularly my taste, George Perez’s incremental steady improvement is remarkable. Most artists seem to have a period, or periods, of rapid development. Perez’s improvement is hard to spot issue to issue, but for many years you could see him being able to draw a more definite example of a George Perez comic from one year to the next.
    I enjoyed you talking about cheap comics- I’m a bargain bin hound myself. I’m pretty pleased with myself for picking up a Challengers of the Unknown #83 and a Micronauts #56 yesterday for 50p each. Neither of them in great condition, but I’m not a collector.
    Finally, thanks for the show. I listen to quite a few podcasts and mostly, I just listen to them in the order they come. Yours is one of two (the other’s about politics) I usually skip ahead to.

    • Nate A. Jun 25, 2019

      This is a really good point about Perez. The quality of his art improved in increments. So although not to my tastes, either, it’s an impressive body of work.