Wait, What?, Ep. 283: FLEX MENTALLO

November 11, 2019

[Sorry, we didn’t get to discuss this on the episode, but Jeff read a couple of terrific “Superman has taken on a new secret identity stories” on DCU, courtesy of intel from Martin Gray and Doc Beechler. Thought those of you who enjoyed hearing about the Secret Year imaginary event might get a kick out of seeing this.  Thanks, Martin and Doc!]

0:01-7:14:  Greetings from Graeme “Excited Slash Cautious” McMillan and Jeff “manic chatterbox” Lester! Jeff is coming off a daylong manic tear, and Graeme is, well, Graeme, so we try to spend a bit of time setting up a safeword. Sadly/Happily, things get a lot more conventional from there but at the time we were pretty sure we would *all* be in for a very wild ride!
7:14-45:33: Comics news!  It’s the kind of thing we’ve been kinda/sorta veering away from for a while, but decide to officially start things off with the news of the upcoming 12 month limited series, The Best of 2000 A.D. launching in North America in 2020.  It’s an exciting announcement in a lot of ways, but there are a lot of factors that could help its chances of success.  Also discussed: comics anthologies; dreamcasting American creators on 2000 A.D.; British weekly anthologies, with a focus on the Marvel reprint titles in the U.K.; The Phoenix; Alan Grant and Action Comics Weekly; the awesomeness of Rick Burchett’s art generally and his work with Greg Rucka on Detective Comics in particular; and more.
[asterix]
45:33-1:03:25:  Other big “from overseas to the U.S.” news:  Papercutz has cut a deal to bring Asterix to North America in 2020!  Graeme, who is fluent in the ways of the small Gaul, fills in Jeff (who is not all).  And since Graeme is Graeme, our discussion about beloved-comics-international-treasure Asterix quickly becomes a discussiong about the-opposite-of-that: Doomlord!
1:03:25-1:10:05: Graeme talks about Prestige Plus, the title DC’s giving to their larger size Black Label titles, in particular the upcoming release Wonder Woman: Dead Earth by Daniel Warren Johnson.  It sounds terrific!
1:10:05-1:27:17: Something that also sounds terrific, according to Jeff?  Mark Bagley’s Wikipedia page!  Discussed: Mark Bagley’s Wikipedia page.
1:27:17-1:37:06: Mark Bagley drew the recent well-received Spider-Man: Life Story written by current fan favorite, Chip Zdarsky.  Graeme, however, did not like Life Story, and although it’s easy to assume that’s just because Graeme doesn’t much like either Spider-Man or Mark Bagley, listen in and you’ll discover that’s not the case.
1:37:06-1:56:16: Curious what Jeff’s been reading?  We hope so, because he’s going to tell you, especially about Immortal Hulk #26, Savage Avengers #7, Ryuko Vol. 2, and the second octet of Initial D volumes by Shuichi Shigeno.
1:56:16-2:04:21: Legion of Superheroes #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook came out this week, and Graeme not only read it and has a take—he has two takes!  And he also has some spoiler-free discussion of upcoming Bendis books, the latest issue of Superman and the finale of Event Leviathan.

2:04:21-2:22:50: And on the non-comics media tip, Jeff has very quick words about The End of the Fucking World Season 2, Terminator: Dark Fate, and a very quick easy/hard comic book movie pop quiz! Plus: talk about the MCU and the Disney+ shows; Star Wars: Resistance Reborn; and more.
2:22:50-end:   Closing Comments!!  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!)  But does Graeme also let us know that you should go to the Barnes & Noble in Clackamas, Oregon so you can hear him talk with Josh Williamson about Flash: Year One?  Maybe!
Next week: Drokk!  We’re reading Judge Dredd: The Restricted Case Files, volume 1.  Join us!
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32 comments on “Wait, What?, Ep. 283: FLEX MENTALLO

    • David M Nov 11, 2019

      Can’t see it on iTunes and trying to download the mp3 directly it’s been stuck at 37% for about 20 mts now.

      • Jeff Lester Nov 11, 2019

        Yeah, sorry! I posted on Twitter that the domain was having problems but I should’ve mentioned it here. Thanks for letting me know and I’ll get in touch with the provider.

  1. Jeff Lester Nov 11, 2019

    Hey, everyone: if you’re having trouble accessing the new episode you’re not alone (I had a hard time uploading it). Give it some time, and I’ll see about getting the provider to do something.

    Thanks for your patience, and sorry about the delays!

  2. Jeff Lester Nov 11, 2019

    TECH UPDATE: the server block hosting our audio went kablooey and the provider is having to bring everything back up online. According to the rep, give it about 5 hours (until 5:45pm PST or so) before trying to access the feed and esp. the episode? Sorry, y’all!

  3. Bruce Baugh Nov 11, 2019

    Two unrelated thoughts.

    #1. I devoured Asterix volumes from the Pasadena, CA, libraries as a kid in the 1970s. So did a lot of my friends. I would guess that American readership of Asterix is a lot of clusters around libraries like ours.

    #2. Graeme, I’m curious. If I’m doing the math right, at 3-4 pages per issues, weekly reprints would need a month and a half or so to reprint one issue of an American comic of the time. So who determined what selected highlights you’d get, do you know?

    • David M Nov 12, 2019

      When Fury! came out it was Neil Tennant, latterly of the Pet Shop Boys.

    • Voord 99 Nov 12, 2019

      On question #2, one complicating factor is that the US comics weren’t necessarily run as they were. Marvel UK made cuts. They also rearranged panels to correspond to denser British comics storytelling norms, and I imagine also just to compensate for the fact that the pages were physically larger and could fit more on them. The second type of editing job, rearranging the panels, must have been quite an art in itself, and I’d really like to see someone do a close study of some examples.

      • Bruce Baugh Nov 13, 2019

        Mmm, that makes a lot of sense, and I would also love to see some comparison and contrast.

        • David M Nov 14, 2019

          If you want to see some of this stuff, you could go to Lew Stringer’s blog, Blimey! which focuses on British comics, including the ones which reprinted Marvel comics. I searched under POW! a comic I asked my parents to get specially for me because of my love of Spider-Man. The examples Lew has up are comparatively elegant, you can see panels where part of a face or background are missing from the original in order to fit more panels to the page. I remember some where panels were extended by someone much less able than Ditko was doing the extending. Looking through I found a selection of Dare-A-Day Davy strips. Davy was drawn by Ken Reid, a great British comics artist best known for his grotesque children’s comics. If you scroll down on the page you’ll find something I’d forgotten: Nick Fury beating up a pre-teen. Probably it’ll turn out it was an LMD… https://lewstringer.blogspot.com/search?q=pow%21

          • Voord 99 Nov 14, 2019

            That’s a great link.

            Thank you, he said, having just spent ten minutes comparing the opening of ASM #22 on Marvel Unlimited with the recut British version — it’s interesting that the British version ends up with the more obvious and conventional choice for bottom right panel. I’ll have to hunt down more pages on Stringer’s blog to compare.

          • Bruce Baugh Nov 15, 2019

            Thank you, David!

  4. Zachary Adams Nov 11, 2019

    May have fuller comments after I finish, but Pulp (RIP) was definitely a monthly, and it sucks that we have never seen its like in the 15 years since it ended.

  5. As a Canadian, my experience with Asterix was identical to Graeme’s. The translated Asterix albums were everywhere when I was a kid – libraries, bookstores, grocery stores, you name it. And the translated Tintin albums were equally ubiquitous. For a brief patch of time, translated Lucky Luke albums were also around, but I guess they didn’t catch on to the same extent.

  6. David M Nov 12, 2019

    I was wrong about my mum for at least 55 years. She infuriated me like no one else. I could justify my resentment of her thoughtless and uncaring behaviour at length. It’s cheesey, but it turned out I didn’t like myself when I was around her and blamed her. I’m lucky she lived long enough for me to catch on.
    Onward- is Asterix really pronounced Astereeks in the US? I ejoyed the divergent ways of saying it you both employed. Guns were stuck to.
    On old British comics one of the (many, many) delights of being at Thoughtbubble in Harrogate at the weekend was getting an album sized 48 page collection of Janus Stark. Rebellion are going to do another two at least as part of their Treasury Of British Comics collections. Janus Stark is a Victorian escapologist with oddly flexible bones. He’s certainly the sweatiest hero I know of. If you’re curious what masters like Tom Tully and Francisco Solano Lopez can do in a three-page unit of story, take a look.
    Also, great to hear you talk up Rick Burchett. He’s so good and so under-rated.

    • Jeff Lester Nov 12, 2019

      I’m sure I’m pronouncing it entirely wrong and it should be Astereeks–though I’m pretty sure I’m saying it with a French accent, thanks to my years of High School French.

      • Bruce Baugh Nov 15, 2019

        I always said (and still do say) “AST-er-ix”, with the same short I I’d use for asterisk. But that’s how we did it as kids, and cluefulness is not a factor in it. 🙂

  7. My dad was military and he would bring me back Asterix volumes from whenever he had to go to Europe. My love of Asterix is so much so that when I was in London for my honeymoon last summer I made sure to hit up the The Jewish Museum London for their incredible René Goscinny exhibit https://jewishmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/rene-goscinny/

    As for other reprints from Action Comics Weekly a few years ago they published that The Fellowship (people who worshiped Supes as a god) storyline as The Power Within.

  8. Voord 99 Nov 12, 2019

    One thing about Asterix’s general lack of impact in the US is how Uderzo developed a different visual vocabulary for communicating superstrength to the one that Kirby and other developed in American superhero comics. In the US, the emphasis is on power, on communicating just how heavy the object is that’s being lifted, the impact of the blows. Uderzo emphasizes ease and speed, how little effort it is taking for Asterix to punch a Roman soldier straight up out of the panel leaving only his sandals and speed lines behind, and how rapidly Asterix’s arm moves when he does it. Going out on a crazy, crazy limb here, I wonder if there’s something in that as a depiction of strength that Americans don’t respond to, especially since Americans maybe tend to identify with the Romans more than the Gauls, anyway.

    • i think that Americans identify as the gauls while actually being the romans.
      one thing that was also missing from the podcast’s Asterix talk is that these will be new Americanized translations

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/arts/asterix-new-translated-editions.html
      “Terry Nantier, the publisher of Papercutz, said the translations were a chance to revise the text for an American audience. He noted that previous English versions — printed and distributed in Britain by Orion Books, a division of Hachette, and sold in the United States — were “very good translations,” but were more British.”
      Unless they’re just dropping the letter U from words like colour this is probably a hard pass from me

  9. Jeff, there’s another non-Marvel comic book movie featuring multiple MCU actors. THE LOSERS features Chris Evans, Idris Elba, and Zoe Saldana. Maybe this piece of trivia will earn the film a re-release and American consumers will finally get a blu-ray with the Andy Diggle and Jock commentary. Right now, that’s only available on British editions

  10. As for “are any actors from SIN CITY in the MCU?” Yes, quite a few! Mickey Rourke was the bad guy in IRON MAN 2. Powers Boothe was one of the World Security Council that Fury talks to at the end of AVENGERS. Benicio Del Toro is The Collector. Tommy Flanagan was one of the Ravagers in GotG v2. If the Netflix shows are still considered MCU (who knows at this point), Rosario Dawson was Claire Temple.

    And if we’re counting the SIN CITY sequel you got Josh Brolin who is of course, Thanos.

    • Nate A. Nov 13, 2019

      Scarlett Johansson was in Ghost World, but I don’t think Steve Buscemi has been in any MU movies. I guess we’ll have to wait for his star turn as Elf With A Gun.

      • Jeff Lester Nov 13, 2019

        Spent a long time trying to crack Ghost World as well, Nate. And I’m also assuming Buscemi entering the MCU seems kinda fait accompli as well.

        • Voord 99 Nov 15, 2019

          Just thought of another one. Road to Perdition has Stanley Tucci and Jude Law in it.

  11. daniel Nov 14, 2019

    There’s also CONSTANTINE, which has Swinton and Djimon Hounsou (he was in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and CAPTAIN MARVEL). And the US OLDBOY remake, with Brolin, Olsen, Sam Jackson, and Pom Klementieff.

    • Jeff Lester Nov 14, 2019

      Holy crap, Daniel. That’s some excellent MCU/comics property spotting. I knew there had to have been more, but those are both excellent: Constantine is the deep cut, but the US Oldboy is so recent it was staring me in the face. Excellent work.

  12. Dasbender Nov 19, 2019

    Michael Keaton (Vulture) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Wasp) count, right?

    • Dasbender Nov 19, 2019

      Oh, I forgot about V for Vendetta too. Portman (Jane Foster) and Hugo Weaving (Red Skull) count.

  13. Matthew Murray Nov 20, 2019

    A weekly American anthology was Wednesday Comics from DC. It was only 12 issues, but it did exist : )
    For manga anthologies published in English there was Raijin Comics in the early 2000s which lasted about 36 weekly issues.

    • Jeff Lester Nov 20, 2019

      Oh, hell, I should’ve remembered Wednesday Comics. My dumb brain. And I didn’t realize Raijin Comics was weekly (at least initially). That was one I bought the first issue of, and I’m now kicking myself for not continuing to buy.

      Thanks!