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Wait, What? Ep. 108: Frightful

Jeff Lester

I love, love, love that lonely little “beep.”

Man, the holiday season, amirite? Emerging from the primordial swamp of Black Friday, Cyber-Monday, Fat Tuesday and Sexting Sunday, it’s the show notes for Wait, What? Ep. 108…right behind the jump!

0:00-6:15:  Here we go!  Graeme is in a seasonal mood; Jeff is having tech problems again (the very expensive microphone he picked up?  Had to be sent back and repaired under warranty).  But we are both existential crisis free!  And if you’re upset that there aren’t any new episodes of “Let’s Complain About Our Deadlines and Schedules” podcast, this is the five minutes for you.
6:15-19:16: Here’s a dirty secret: I don’t usually edit a lot of our on-line talk out but this season I thought I’d try to give all of you the gift of brevity.  There was actually a ten minute conversation about the Angus T. Jones and the Two and a Half Men controversy that I decided to cut just….uh, I dunno?  It had a natural flow to it but it also seemed a little digressive–even by our notoriously loose standards.  So I just cut (clumsily) in to the next “celebrities–what were they thinking?” story we talked about–the recent controversy with James Gunn.  (Our conversation took place just a  few hours before his issued apology.)  Do you guys have a preference about this kind of thing?  Would you rather hear our conversations unfold naturally, or would you just prefer we try to keep the podcast focused on the pertinent parts?  Let us know in the comments…
19:16-35:04:  Anyway, from there, we segue smoothly into talking about whether or not comics culture is inherently misogynistic or not.  Appropriately enough for such a broad topic (uh, pun is not intended there), we cover a lot of ground, talking about Journey Into Mystery and Red She-Hulk, the first issue of Bleeding Cool Magazine, and more.
35:26-42:40:  All-New X-Men #2.  Graeme has read it; Jeff has not. So join us as Mr. Former fills in Mr. Latter on the story, the art, and  the overall not-as-terribleness of the first issue.
42:40-59:22: Jeff, oddly enough, has read Avengers #34 and New Avengers #34, Bendis’ last issues and gets to turn the tables on Mr. Former. It leads into a discussion about whether the art is serving the storytelling in Marvel’s current books with books like Indestructible Hulk #1 by Mark Waid and Leinil Yu.
59:22-1:14:40: Captain America #1 by Rick Remender and John Romita, Jr.: read by both, viewed skeptically by both (though more by one of us than the other).  For bonus points, we compare and contrast with Uncanny Avengers #2, and then sort of compare and contrast similar-seeming storylines running through the universe. Coincidence? Too much influence of one creator on another?  Not enough?
1:14:40-1:18:01: Also reviewed at the same time, FF #1 by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred by Mr. McMillan.
1:18:01-1:28:22: Amazing Spider-Man #698 by Dan Slott and Richard Elson is also discussed and *fully spoiled* by Graeme and Jeff.  Let the listener beware!
1:28:22-1:34:20: Iron Man #2 by Kieron Gillen and Greg Land, wherein Graeme coins the term “Greg Land face.” Can we see a cure for Greg Land face in our lifetime? Also, bonus points to Graeme for the unexpected shout out to Jack Kirby’s Silver Star.  God bless you, Graeme McMillan.
1:34:20-1:35:40: INTERMISSION TWO
1:35:40-1:48:45: Although Jeff wants to maneuver Graeme back into waters into which poor Graeme does not want to go–Grant Morrison’s annotations about Alan Moore’s opinions on Grant Morrison–we settle instead for discussing Batman Incorporated #5 by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham.  What can we say?  Sometimes we choose peace instead of war.  That said, Jeff thinks there may be some really interesting subtext in the issue but isn’t quite sure where.  Come, puzzle it out with us, won’t you?
1:48:45-1:52:39:  Also under discussion, because Jeff is wayyyyyy behind the times, a discussion of Action Comics #14 by G-Moz and Rags Morales.
1:52:39-1:59:27:  Flash #14!  And then some stuff about Judge Dredd because that’s what we do these days: talk about Judge Dredd.
1:59:27-2:02:30:  Hey Angel & Faith #16 is a book Graeme was impressed with.  Jeff drags the full spoilers out of Graeme so forewarned–do not listen unless you’ve read the issue (or, like Jeff, kinda don’t care).
2:02:30-2:07:33:  And continuing in the “Let Us Now Praise Non-Big Two Comics” section, Jeff really, really liked Witch Doctor: Mal Practice #1 and Multiple Warheads #2.  Alas, because Graeme had read also read Multiple Warheads, we spend the vast majority of the time talking about that very fine comic and Witch Doctor: Mal Practice #1 unfortunately gets short shrift by comparison. But they’re both great!
2:07:33-2:23:02:  Also, a book we both read and decide to chew the fat about:  Masks #1 by Chris Roberson and Alex Ross.  For those of you who play that drinking game where you do a shot every time Jeff gets some little detail utterly wrong, prepared to get snockered.
2:23:02-2:24:20:  Though he doesn’t go through them in anything like detail, Jeff read ten volumes of Hikaru No Go (vols. 7-17)  and totally loved it. That was some very enjoyable manga right there.
2:24:20-end: A super-super-super-short discussion about Shonen Jump Alpha going day and date with some stories in 2013. 2000AD online is also mentioned, as is Jeff’s wont these days. And then we are out of there…for another week.

This is a thing that is already out there, people, already haunting the diaphanous underworld that is iTunes.  But, of course, you are more than likely to gather around the seance table, join hands, and perform the secret spell of conjuration below:

Wait, What? Ep. 108: Frightful

As always, we hope you enjoy, and thank you for listening.

12 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 108: Frightful ”

  1. Re: people were freaking out about mutants in ANXM#1 but not freaking out in ANXM#2
    ANXM#1 happened on the Gold Coast in Australia right? I could buy that Americans would be used to mutants but Australians wouldn’t be.

    Re: Leinil Yu overselling emotion in scenes.
    I was at a talk by Colleen Doran (comic writer and artist on a bunch of things) who criticized the comics industry as a whole trending towards this, because of the impact of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. You guys are all about Kirby, do you think this is a fair comparison.

    Re: Damian becoming Batman in the future as a meta-commentary on how future writers will write Damian.
    That seems like a stretch guys. An easier meta-commentary to read into it is that Batman is Grant Morrison and Damian Wayne is future comic writers. Being Batman (mostly doing work-for-hire superhero comics) worked for him but if he just encourages the younger generation to do that it spells doom for the world (comics industry). Of course my reading says more about me than it does Morrison, but I think the same is true of your reading about the health of the DCU, something I think Grant gave up on long ago.

    Re: James Gunn, and the two Marvel NOW female books being about “women with power are crazy”
    This is also going to say a whole bunch of things about me (mostly that im a cynical terrible person) but I can’t muster the emotional energy to care about either of these issues. In a world where DC can announce “Before Watchmen”, the entire comics internet can throw a shit fit over it and everyone and they’re dog can write an op-ed piece about why its terrible and it doesn’t impact the sales of project at all, well then complaining about some terrible article James Gunn wrote seems even sillier.

    And on that merry note, great to have you guys back from the break, great podcast as always.

  2. Listening to Graeme discuss his concerns over “Red She-Hulk” (which I haven’t red–I mean, read), the thought I kept returning to was… does everyone in the comic actually call her Red She-Hulk? If they do, I will buy that comic. (It doesn’t take much, people.) I would love to see an Amanda Connor comic about Red She-Hulk and Green She-Hulk as a Betty and Veronica-style duo.

  3. Man, I finished reading “Masks” just now and Ross was in fine form here. I think the old hammer he gets pounded with by bloggers about his figures looking overly posed is lazy, to use a favorite word of the podcast. (Frankly, almost all internet criticism of comic book art seems lazy to me, but if I get started on that I’ll never stop.) Ross may be the best in the field when it comes to composition. The dynamism he brings to the talking head sequences like the club scene and the courtroom scene livens up what would otherwise be fairly rote exposition (and it couldn’t have been much fun to illustrate, either). If Bendis had guys telling his stories with that kind of panache, he would get kicked around a lot less.

  4. You guys started this topic last podcast but got derailed, but I’d love for you to finish discussing the 4 stock Bendis characters/”voices.”

  5. Ditto what T. said, re: finishing up on the 4 stock Bendis characters/”voices”. And any time you want to talk about other writers’ stock characters/”voices”, please do; I love that shit.

  6. I dunno, guys, it was a little bit painful to hear you dancing around the James Gunn thing — saying, as far as I could tell, “well, the sexism and homophobia is terrible, but on the other hand it’s not THAT bad and who are we to judge and probably everybody should stop making a big deal about it.” Especially Graeme who essentially accused The Mary Sue of “making it worse” by calling him out. If nobody calls this kind of shit out, how’s it ever going to get better?

    I think, in the end, it was right that he got called out, right that he apologized, and right that the issue was basically dropped at that point. To me that *does* make things better, quite a bit better than if the “enh, it sucks but whatcha gonna do” response had carried the day.

  7. On the James Gunn thing, maybe I’m not the best person to comment on this, because I’m not easily offended and generally, you give me a choice between Politically Correct and Freedom of Speech I will always side with the later but…this has been up for 2 years and in that time no one was offended by edgy, in-your-face indie director (or in less flattering terms, “maker of douchey entertainment”) James Gunn putting this up on his site, but all of a sudden arbiters of taste want to string up big Hollywood Marvel/Disney director James Gunn for his crimes against humanity, I feel like you have to call bullshit. If you read it, it is obviously meant to be funny (whether it is or not, well, there’s a lot of stuff people look at that is meant to be funny and maybe isn’t, like say, “Two and a Half Men”). It’s sexist, but at least it’s equal opportunity sexist, including both male and female superheroes and jokes in questionable taste about both, which gives it a leg up on any “Sexiest Women in Comics” list. And I really don’t think there’s anything hateful or misogynist or homophobic there. Is it satire? I think it is, to a point, but lengthy analysis is probably giving it too much credit: it’s like 90% of shit on the internet, a lark, a moments diversion from a busy day at the office, light entertainment. Points to Gunn for blurring the line between an obvious satire on the inarguable sexual objectification of superheroes in comics and making you believe that he wants to fuck superheroes. The problem with it is in his choice of illustrations for the “Superheroes You Want To Fuck”. If he had taken all his images from actual comics, you could argue satire. But a lot of it is other artwork, pinups with the supes in sexualized poses, which turns the whole thing into fan service.
    There’s other stuff from your podcast I really enjoyed, as always, but I blathered on too long about this. Looking forward, in a sad way, to your next podcast, where I’m sure you’ll talk about Karen Berger’s exit.

  8. Re: Jeff’s observation on Bendis listing his favorite Avengers moments mostly in terms of artists . . . Have you see Bendis’ Tumblr? It is all art-based, and has a very heavy presence of the 70s-80s artists he mentioned in that quote, guys like Perez, Byrne, Michael Golden, Neal Adams, et al. And the story he always tells is how when he came to Marvel, Quesada told him he was a great writer and a terrible artist. I wonder if, despite the enormous success he’s had as a writer, Bendis still would rather be an artist, or at least has a greater affinity for comics artists than writers. At any rate, I thought his art on Jinx and Torso and Goldfish and that stuff was pretty good. I’d be interested to see him do the art on one of his projects again sometime.

  9. I think the point of Wolverine’s attack in ANX is that he smelled Cyclops and attacked him (moving past the other x-men), not realizing it wasn’t current Crazyclops.

  10. This is one of those weeks where you’re mostly talking about the books that I’m reading, but I haven’t picked those books up yet so I haven’t listened to the podcast.

    BUT, I am in favor of letting a conversation unfold naturally. I understand that there will always be some editing, but I generally find that less editing is better.

  11. I wouldn’t worry too much about Batman Inc being a bit grim and dour and nihilistic. Morrison’s superhero comics often go to some incredibly dark places, but they always, always, end on a triumphant note.

    He’s been doing it for decades, ever since Zenith. I remember getting genuinely depressed when I read the last Zenith book in weekly format, because it started with the end of the world, and just got worse and worse every episode, with death and horror and futility, and then right at the end, it turns out the good guys won all along, and did it ages ago. And Batman is much smarter than Zenith.

  12. Re: Shonen Jump alpha day and date.
    The sad fact is it really won’t make much difference with the pirates. The core problem at present with the pirates is that they’re getting Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan as much as *six days* before they appear in shops(there’s a printing reason for this I think), and scans appear online soon after. so as much as day and date is a great step forward for Viz, and one I hope brings in more readers, this culture of hyper-efficient self-justifying(never mind they can never be in the right) piracy on the big titles of Weekly Shonen Jump will continue to be the same, with piraters not giving a damn, the readers thinking it’s okay somehow, and still getting the product about half a week before america.
    It’s a sad state of affairs that something so revolutionary can still be so futile in the face of arseholes, really.

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