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Wait, What? Ep. 119: Watching You

Jeff Lester

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Yup, we talk about Action Comics #18!  And I think…we even have stuff to say? Maybe, kinda?

Behind the jump: show notes annotating the podcast commenting on the industry having one of its craziest weeks ever!  Action verbs! Jazz hands! Psychedelic Superman!

Show notes are truncated again, in part because I am again behind the eight ball, schedule-wise, and in part because I could’ve puffed out the notes and given away some of the rather amusing twists and turns the convo took…but thought it better to just play as it lays.  On the plus side, at no point do I refer to Stevie Wonder as “Steve Wonder.” So, there’s that.
0:00-54:08: Right into it as we deal with one of the news-heaviest weeks for comics in a while.  (Indeed, one is surprised we weren’t actually taking a week off for a change.)  Andy Diggle officially off Action, Joshua Hale Fialkov exiting two Green Lantern titles, and the rumored death of John Stewart make for one eye-blackening week for DC.  In addition, we wonder about how superhero comics affect work relationships; Dr. Doom and the Internet; and if what we think of as DC is just one era and facet of a much bigger company; Jeff’s theory of the curse of comic books; the coming out of Orson Scott Card; and who we would pick to replace Bob Harras.
54:08-1:03:55: Action Comics #18!  The big finale of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales’ run on the title. Actions will undoubtedly vary but if nothing else, it gave Graeme and Jeff a lot to talk about.
1:03:55-1:04:15: INTERMISSION ONE!
1:04:15-1:08:30:  But first a salute to all the amazing and strong comics we were able to get our hands on last week!  Jennifer Blood! 2000 A.D.! Daredevil! Justice League!
1:08:30-1:15:08: On the other hand, there was also Constantine #1. Graeme gives Jeff the low-down and insprires some dynamite comic book pitches as a result.
1:15:08-1:38:59:  Neil Gaiman! Angela! Marvel!  (Or maybe more like: Neil Gaiman? Angela? Marvel?)  Plus, as a bonus, Graeme, being Graeme, expresses sympathy for a figure in the situation and Jeff, being Jeff, tries to talk him out of it.  And then there’s some talk about Neil Gaiman and Age of Ultron and yakkitah-yakkitah-yakkitah, and then hijinks ensue. I feel compelled to point out that Graeme is especially hilarious in this section.
1:38:59-1:52:35:  But the good news of the week?  The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin available for download here as a pay-what-you-want comic. We talk about it here, although perhaps more from an industry analysis angle and not nearly as much from a “what a damn fine comic” angle. And as if to punish us for our oversight…
1:52:35-end: Onslaught:  The Return of Techpocalypse! And also closing comments.  We don’t quite come out and say it in the closing moments so I should point out here:  next week is a skip week due to some bone-crushing deadlines on both our parts.

I got an email from Apple the other week letting me know how their podcast standards were changing and hoo-hoo, boy have I been too scared to even begin looking into that shit!  But hopefully this episode will be up there very soon (if not already).  And!  You can, as always, download from us right here in this very section of cyberspace:

Wait, What? Ep. 119: Watching You

As always, thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy.   We will see you in a fortnight!

35 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 119: Watching You ”

  1. I’m amused that the theoretical criticism of Saga never quite got stated.

  2. Oh Jeff!

    I feel like a right heel for not commenting earlier.

    – I also picked up Avengers Assemble Annual on your recommendation (last week’s pod?) and loved it ! So wonderful to see the real Vision and Sunturion again ! seriously the Sunturion !! The Vision written in-character for the first time in years! It made my life a little better and I wouldn’t have given it even a cursory glance were it not for you singing it’s praises. Thanks a McMillion !

  3. Just going to speculate here, but my reading of the Angela Gaiman/McFarlane thing.

    Following their court case, Gaiman and McFarlane probably co-owned Angela, Cogliostro and Medieval Spawn (or possibly, for Medieval Spawn at least, Gaiman had a creator equity interest without ownership as a derivative character. There was a bunch of stuff in the testimony about DC’s royalty rate for derivative characters versus original characters that McFarlane agreed to match or exceed). We don’t know the exact details.

    McFarlane’s probably tired of this whole thing, and isn’t interested in having to open up his books to Gaiman every few years to prove he’s fulfilling his financial obligations, or getting called back into court if he introduces King Arthur and the Spawns of the Round Table or Warrior Angel Crystal.

    Gaiman meanwhile has no real way to exploit his ownership, because no publisher wants non-exclusive rights and the possibility that they’ll have to open up their books to McFarlane someday to prove he’s getting his proper share.

    So they arrange a trade, Gaiman gets 100% of Angela, McFarlane gets 100% of Cogliostro and Medieval Spawn, there’s no future financial obligation between them (or at least a very simplified one), and they never have to talk to each other again.

    Gaiman figures letting Marvel have Angela is a good way to fulfill any outstanding commitments he has to Marvel (he did say once that he agreed to do three books for them, right?), plus it increases his profile with a segment of the market that doesn’t know he exists in time for SANDMAN ZERO.

    Which leaves the “whither Miracleman” issue. Lots of possibilities there. Could be a lost cause. Or this could be a way of kicking the can down the road. Or Gaiman realizes that doing it at Marvel won’t work, so he’s working out a way to do it elsewhere, and Angela is Marvel’s consolation prize. We’ll see. Either way, I don’t think we’ll see anything soon.

  4. Hey all, fun times as usual!

    Continuing from the previous WW thread I’ve got to think this pod specifically addresses T’s question better than I had. I would add only one thing to the retailer / publisher relationship:


    That’s a one to one relationship you don’t see between Marvel and anybody over the last 25-30 years. Whereas on the other hand you have Marvel pulling this:


    This move effectively created a monopoly, crippled the retailing base – folding many, many shops, and practically removed the checks and balances bargaining power of retailers.

    You tell me why Marvel should have a good rep.

    Re: DC EIC I was immediately on board with Graeme’s choice ONLY because I was also immediately thinking, “How do I get Mark Waid into the Chief Creative slot?”

    Re: Robert Kirkman. Again, wash your mouth out, Graeme! Kirkman learned all the lessons that crushed your heroes. All the pain heaped upon Kirby, Ditko, Engleheart, and Gerber resulted in Robert Kirkman understanding the power of, “No, this is mine. Once I say, ‘yes, ok, you’re the boss.’ I completely lose my leverage.”

    That he continues to get shit for it is just a testament to the very shortsightedness that lead to years and years of creator misery.

    Re: The Private Eye. Again, I think you might be surprised just how little trickles through the corporate pipeline. Every dollar and penny of from that 24% who actually paid for it goes into their pocket. Sure, you may never get a nice safe chunk of money upfront but jesus, if you think Vaughn doesn’t have some development deals in place you’re delusional. The Private Eye cable TV series is hilariously within reach.

  5. The return of Angela reminds me of Flashpoint when Grifter suddenly appears out of nowhere and was made out to be a “big thing.” It surprises me that 25+ years after Silvestri, Liefeld, Lee, and McFarlane left DC and Marvel to form their own company, their IP is traveling back to the places they rejected in the first place. I’m curious what founder’s IP will be next. Will we have a DC version of Youngblood? A Marvel version of Cyberforce?

    – G

  6. Re: Saga, Private Eye, and ongoing promotion
    Im kinda stuck on how you would go about doing ongoing promotion for series like this. You don’t have artist rotations you can toot your horn about, you cant do things like revamp old villains and put together a press release about it like you can with some M/DC books. I remember that Morning Glories tried something like that for issue 4, but I dont know how effective that was.
    I quietly like the idea that it only has its strength as a comic to fall back on.

    Re: Angela.
    The only reason I can think for people caring about this is getting to make jokes on twitter.

    Re: The people running DC are the people who grew up reading DC Comics.
    Very interesting discussion here guys. Couldn’t help but think of it in relation to anime and manga. The template I keep seeing pop up in them is that a protagonist wants to be really good at something (Martial Arts, Sports, Cooking, Making Manga, Pokemon) travels around with a bunch of friends who are also interested in the same thing and the drama comes from having really hard challenges that they overcome by studying/training/work hard. If nothing else it seems less sociopathic than the typical secret identity/assaulting criminals template is.

    Re: People reacting to plans to kill John Stewart
    I agree with Graeme that people are just looking for reasons to be upset, and if it has the veneer of moral superiority so much the better.
    A little disappointed where not going to have the inevitable jokes about John Stewart also being the name of the guy on The Daily Show.

  7. It was In Rainbows, not Hail to the Thief.

    And I love that Brevoort story. I think that’s more common and less gasp-worthy than you guys think. From my very limited exposure to interviews and podcasts, they give each other shit like this all the time. Bendis’s eventless storytelling style is clearly a foible, and one that everybody is well aware of — not least of all the man himself, who can self-deprecate on the topic with the best of us.

    Just sayin’: you make it sound like Brevoort made a stunning admission or betrayed some controversial opinion. He can poke fun at the pacing and still believe in the book.

  8. My choices for editor-and-chief if Harras is fired that are possible seeing as Mark Waid will never come back to DC as long as Didio is still around would be either Mike Marts or Pete Tomasi. They both are good with talent seeing as in Marts’s case that the batman line is the most successful commercially and critically for DC during the new 52 and before. Tomasi would be good and possible since he has good relationships with both Morrison and Johns plus he has been at since DC since the 90s so he has seniority.

  9. I’ve never read a comic with Angela in it – thanks for letting me know she’s an angel … It’s still a shite name for a comic book hero or villain. Is she any good? The Gaiman connection isn’t enough -1602 was pants.

    Jeff, Jeff, what IS the problem with a pizza place also delivering other stuff? If you like the people, it’s nearby and they can actually cook more than one dish – as most of us can – how is that not good? My local, Pierino’s in Bernard Street, Edinburgh, does fantastic pizzas. Also fantastic fish and chips. Kebabs. Burgers. Haggis. Sausage in batter …

    …OK, I admit the deep-fried Mars Bars are cack, but that’s the nature of the sugary beast.

  10. I’ve never read a comic with Angela in it – thanks for letting me know she’s an angel … It’s still a shite name for a comic book hero or villain. Is she any good? The Gaiman connection isn’t enough – as noted, 1602 was pants with a very stinky old codpiece attached

    Jeff, Jeff, what IS the problem with a pizza place also delivering other stuff? If you like the people, it’s nearby and they can actually cook more than one dish – as most of us can – how is that not good? My local, Pierino’s in Bernard Street, Edinburgh, does fantastic pizzas. Also fantastic fish and chips. Kebabs. Burgers. Haggis. Sausage in batter …

    …OK, I admit the deep-fried Mars Bars are cack, but that’s the nature of the sugary beast.

  11. By the way, thanks for noting that Angela is poised to be Marvel’s Pandora. When I heard they were going to feature her at the end of AGE OF ULTRON, and then in other books, my thought was I wish I had the time and photoshop skillz to create a mash-up of the 2-page spread in the last issue of FLASHPOINT and Marvel characters. Angela in Pandora’s place, various shots of Hank Pym in place of the the Flash figures, maybe the classic Marvel U, the Ultraverse and Squadron Supreme as the universes as the split timelines and some Marvel NOW! images as the merged timeline.

  12. I am going to disagree entirely on the Martin & Vaughn payment model. They will probably make so much more money on the pay what you want system compared to a flat rate.

    Yes a very large % of people who take part in F2P models don’t pay a dime, however those models are always built to take that into account. The upside is the lack of a concrete upper price lets people who really want to throw money to it to really throw money to it. (and I have a feeling that Vaughn is a creator who would engender those feelings in people)

    Not to mention opening up the bottom allows people who would never have paid for it in the first place take a look at it and pass it along. People often make the mistake of assuming that a pirated/free copy of your comic that goes out the door is the equivalent of a lost sale which is very rarely the case.

  13. Is there anyone out there who actually cares about/wants to see Miracleman/Marvelman introduced into the continuity of the Marvel Universe? What exactly would the point of that be? The interest in Miracleman is the prospect of getting to finally get a decent, reasonably-priced print collection of the Moore-era (and, to a lesser extent, Gaiman-era) material – and, to an even lesser extent, seeing the Gaiman-era material completed by Gaiman …although, really, I think wanting to see that stuff finished by 2013 Gaiman, rather than 1980s Gaiman, is kind of like wanting more Star Wars or Indiana Jones movies, or wanting to see your favorite broken-up-for-twenty-years band get together for another album – it’s an impulse I can understand, but would think that experience would rather strongly advise against following through on at this point.

    But wanting to see Miracleman – or Marvelman, or whatever he ends up being called for legal purposes – hang around in the Marvel Universe and do Marvel Universe things, like chat with Thor and play cards with Spider-man or what have you… who in their right minds wants to see that? At the end of the day, he’s a dark deconstruction of Superman (or Captain Marvel, if you want to get technical about it), and there are so many of those in the Marvel Universe already you can hit half a dozen by swinging a stick in lower Manhattan. What role can he play, narrative-wise, that the Sentry, multiple Hyperions, and god knows who else hasn’t already played, and played to death, at this point?

  14. I found Action Comics 18 to be a total waste. It’s a real shame, but this entire run is marred by Morrison cramming a thousand ideas into each page and not following through on any of them. He also introduces far too many characters in an issue and expects the reader to keep track. The Wanderers? Why should I care about them? They just filled space, acting all potent and arch.

  15. t’s a real shame, but this entire run is marred by Morrison cramming a thousand ideas into each page and not following through on any of them.

    More like, his entire career is marred by that tendency.

  16. I agree with you about Harras, but Didio was rubbing creators wrong before Harras showed up. Remember Waid, Shooter, Dixon, McKeever, and the brain trust of War Games discussing how bad editorial intervention was in the pre-Harras days? They were all driven away from Didio’s DC and had nothing good to say about the experience.

    I think the way to think about it is this: even when people say the problem is Harras, or specific editors, those types of attitudes and policies come from the top down. If Didio is willing to hire Harras and Chase, given their reputations from their times at Marvel, he obviously condones and encourages that type of micromanaging. Get rid of Harras, Didio will just hire someone else like him. And if someone good did get hired to run the line and work under Didio, I imagine he would be driven out of the job out of frustration.

  17. It might be true that 87% of the people who downloaded In Rainbows did so for free or practically nothing, but Radiohead claimed they made more money on the album than on Hail to the Thief. I think the model could work for Vaughan & Martin.

  18. In re: Gaiman – Jeff keeps using the phrase “stand-up guy” to describe what Gaiman’s doing, but wouldn’t most use the phrase “company man”?

  19. In the interview he did with The New York Times, Vaughan said that “more people paid us than didn’t.” Taken at face value, that would mean more than half.


    I also agree with T. that while Harras is a problem, Didio is setting the company tone for the current DC, just like you talked about Jeanette Kahn setting the tone for the old DC, and until he’s gone, things won’t change much.

    Didio and Lee are textbook example of failing upwards. Didio was responsible for putting DC in the state that led to the New52 and Lee has been driving Wildstorm into the ground for the past 20 years. Yet both keep getting promoted. It boggles the mind.

  20. I think you guys are being a bit naive in terms some of the negative aspects of the the comic book industry being adapted by the rest of businesses. The film industry has been abusive to its employees practically since its inception.

    I will say that comic books are unique in how prevalent work-for-hire contracts are. Still, that’s a side-effect of the dominance of superhero books owned by the big two. Imagine if Disney and Warner Bros. Cartoons ended up being what mostly dominated film. Imagine if 80% of the most popular films were either about Porky Pig or Donald Duck.

    The treatment of creative would be similar–operating on a work for hire model with the IP being more important than the producers of new material. Film however currently exists as one of the main means of entertainment while comics are more of a niche market.

    I’ll be honest. I love your show when you guys talk about old comics that you love or obscure comics that you find interesting. I just hate how much you guys devote to talking about the behind-the-scenes. Even much of your discussion of books seems to devolve into speculation and behind the scene drama.

    I’m not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing, but I find stuff like Jeff’s Marvel boycott indicative that you guys want to be more than Rich Johnston. I don’t think you guys want to be shittalkers, but it takes up as much time as you guys discussing your technical problems.

    I think your focus on the behind the scene drama devalues the medium. I think the comic culture becomes way too focused on behind the scene drama or predicting plot points or predicting how creative made a decision or reducing a story into its biggest plot points. DC and Marvel are a big part of that and they feed that culture, but you guys shouldn’t.

    The comics industry sucks. We’re all aware. I’ll be honest, you guys have never made an interesting point about it sucking. In fact, you guys are often naive in your cynicism about the modern industry. You want to believe that things have somehow gotten worse. This is often the thesis of many of your episodes. I don’t want to be an apologist for DC and Marvel, but I don’t think things have gotten worse. I think different things suck and different things are better, but in general it all sucks as much as it has ever sucked.

    I think that a lot of the reason that you guys want to believe that things are getting steadily worse is because you’re not very engaged in a lot of major comic books. I think that’s okay. Most of the Big Two books suck as they did five, ten, fifteen, and so on years ago. You guys talking about these books sucking and the deeper reasons for why they suck has become so repetitive and boring.

    For this episode you guys had an all-news episode. I want you to think of two things:

    A) Is your audience made up of people who did not get this news from another source?

    B) Are you presenting opinions or ideas that are unique or insightful on these topics.

    As far as the second question, the only time I was really interested was when you guys were talking about John Stewart. There were some interesting points about how that character works, and I think that was rooted in a general enthusiasm for Stewart. The rest of the episode outside of your short comic reviews didn’t really add much to the various topics you were discussing.

    Just please, talk about things you like guys. Talk about fucking Hulk. You guys talking about Hulk was the most engaged I’ve been in this podcast for forever, and you didn’t even get to the main point that was trying to be made.

    I think it would be a good exercise for you guys to just have a whole episode where you just talk about shit you like.

  21. As a quick counterpoint to Joe – I really enjoyed this episode, and like hearing what Jeff and Graeme have to say about behind-the-scenes stuff, even when I disagree with some or most of that stuff. We live in a time when discussion of cultural products is increasingly difficult to divorce from discussion of the circumstances under which those products are produced, and for Jeff and Graeme to turn around and ignore that – especially after months and months of showing clear interest in it themselves – would be weird.

    It would also be against the spirit of the podcast at this point. One of the things I love the most about Wait, What? is its freewheeling nature, the fact that discussion can jump from old 70s comics to rants about shitty action movies to debates about the state of the comic book industry to waffles, and do so in a way that seems pretty organic. What I’m saying is, keep doing what you’re doing – I like it.

  22. And to respond to this – “I think it would be a good exercise for you guys to just have a whole episode where you just talk about shit you like” – I think it’s clear at this point that Jeff and Graeme like talking both about comics, and about the reasons why comics are produced the way they’re produced. This is a podcast about shit they like. And I, at least, like listening to it.

  23. Yeah, I pretty enthusiastically disagree with Joe also. I don’t just want you guys to talk about “shit you like”. Talk about shit you feel like talking about.

    And as far as the two things that Joe patronizingly suggests you think about, I can only speak for myself when I say that A) I often don’t get my comics news from another source, and I frequently wish you guys would present a little more context and backstory for the folks like me.

    As far as B), I tend to enjoy your ideas and insights which is why I’ve listened for something like 270 hours or whatever. So … yeah. Keep up the good work, guys.

  24. Just to be clear, I’m not trying to be patronizing. I listen to this podcast every week, and I do find it engaging. I’ve just found some of the behind-the-scenes discussion to be repetitive and not the strong suit of the Jeff and Graeme even if it’s something that they’re very much interested in. Jeff’s ever evolving Marvel boycott for example is something that I think Jeff devotes a lot of mental energy to and is very important to him, but it’s also something that I think ends up taking up a bit too much time on the podcast because there isn’t always something to add to a dialogue on it even if it’s an ongoing eternal struggle. It often just leads to the same points being repeated.

    I’m not going to pretend that there wasn’t a tone of bitterness to my original post. I do often find Jeff and Graeme really frustrating. I think my overall issue that they really seem to be just exhausted and burned out on the majority of current big two output as well as their business practices while still devoting a lot of the podcast to this thing they don’t particularly enjoy.

    I get that it comes from genuine interest and a love for the medium, but it often makes the podcast feels tired and paints a sad picture of comics when there is a great wealth of innovation and an independent spirit that does exist outside of the Big Two along with a rich history that I believe these guys excel at discussing.

    As far as the rambling nature of the podcast, I agree that it can be endearing, but I might suggest that they should probably more fully commit to it. I think the guys still find themselves a bit tied to the notion that you need to discuss this week’s comics or you need to discuss this week’s big comics news. There have been a few podcasts where they’ve admitted they’ve not really been excited by anything at the store, and if that’s the case then they shouldn’t feel they need to talk about it. Talk about something more engaging.

    Listen, this might be just a long and meanspirited way of me saying I want them to devote an episode to the Hulk because that stuff was interesting.

  25. I’d just like to offer: I think Joe is onto something here.

    I’ve been VERY lightly beating a similar drum in these comments for some time, politely-as-I-can suggesting that maybe things could brighten up in the old podcast halls.

    I usually quite enjoy the show, but lately the negativity — Joe’s “naive cynicism” gets it perfectly, I think — has been so relentless, I feel like I’m listening to two grown men slowly learn to hate a passion they’ve held their whole lives. As I’ve said before, I think it severely hampers their ability to say anything insightful or critically meaningful about the comics they’re talking about, and inevitably rings a bit bitter after a while.

    I like gossip and dish and trash-talk and righteous indignation as much as the next guy, honest. But when the default position is sheer contempt, I end up pretty bummed about the medium as a whole.

    And just like the easy solution for me is to stop listening, I think Joe is suggesting that, in the same way, we all needn’t go down those dark roads every time out. We could talk about the GOOD SHIT once in a while. We could ignore Age of Ultron for a week.

    Because I just assume you guys are gonna hate stuff like Age of Ultron. Everybody who listens to this assumed that. That book ain’t for me either. It’s probably not really for anybody who listens to this thing.

    Bad comics can be interesting and instructive, sure. If there’s something to say about why you hate Age of Ultron, terrific. But if not, let’s move on. If it’s just five minutes of “appalling,” let’s skip ahead. To the Hulk. And that crazy shark comic. The good shit.

    The one exception is “food manga.” I’d rather not hear more about “food manga.” Even the phrase makes me a little queasy.

    “Food manga.” Ick.

  26. I’ve noticed RF lightly beating the similar drum, and this time Joe has joined in, beating louder, and I disagree with both of them. If you guys don’t like certain things about the podcast, that’s fine. But I don’t like the tone some commenters take where if something isn’t what they would prefer, it must somehow be broken. I totally support the idea that one should feel free to provide constructive criticism, but it should remain along the lines of “Hey, I really liked X aspect of the podcast. That’s really my cup of tea. I disliked Y aspect of the podcast, it wasn’t my cup of tea, and here are the reasons why.” If they’re good criticisms and the podcast makers want to take you up on the suggestions, that’s fine. If they don’t want to take you up on the suggestions and enjoy things as they are, that’s also fine. The constructive critic can then choose to stick around anyway or they can choose to vote with their feet and leave the podcast behind. But this idea that some people have where they must act like how they feel is how everyone in the audience or even most of the audience feels is really annoying to me. You should only presume to speak for yourself, or if there are a lot of commenters vocally agreeing with you, presume to speak for that group. Also, I get annoyed by people who keep complaining over and over that focusing on the psychological motivations of creators is off-limits and complaining about the cynicism over and over. If you keep mentioning this, and the podcast makers won’t change their focus despite your protestations, you either have to suck it up and deal with it or graciously move on. They have a right to focus on what they want to focus on. In general, I just really dislike when people take something that bothers them, and then acts like this annoyance is shared by the rest of the audience and is something that “needs” changing and “should” be done differently.

    I for one listen to this podcast and no others precisely because I like psychoanalyzing of Matt Fraction and others and I like the dissecting of behind the scenes stuff. Oftentimes I disagree with the conclusions Graeme and Jeff come to but when I do just point out where I disagree and why. But if they were to change formats and become more “positive,” I would be turned off and probably stop listening, just like I don’t listen to any other comics podcast. I think changing what makes them unique in order to fit in more with what’s universally acceptable will hurt more than help.

  27. As much as Im reluctant to, Im going to have to voice my agreement with Joe’s comment.

    Obviously the workings of Marvel and DC are a significant part of Graeme’s job, and he often finds an interesting way to turn frustration and apathy into a joke or two, but the episodes have been getting a little needlessly negative.

    Also, feel free to not just talk about comics guys. If Graeme wants to talk about all those weird Star Trek novels he read I’d be game to hear about them. They’re could easily be just as many listener who’ve read those then those who’ve read the old comics you’re talking about. And if Jeff has any more stories about Tiffany (still don’t know who that is but enjoyed the story) or the cleanse then bring it on :)

  28. Here’s a suggestion, Jeff and Graeme should talk about whatever the fuck they want on the show they provided for us FOR FREE.

  29. Ahem, “provide” for us. I accidentally used the past tense because I can imagine our Savage Gents hanging up the show due to you verbose ingrates. Seriously, anyone who listens to two-plus hours of time-shifted entertainment and have fucking SUGGESTIONS is worse than AIDS. Like, the type of AIDS that kills a child. Worse than that.

  30. T., I understand what you’re saying completely, so I’ll put an end to my low-key campaign. I never expected the hosts or even other commenters to take a word of it to heart, so it may even have been a little self-indugent to post such junk in the first place. But now it’s off my chest, and I’m sorry if it got in your soup.

    But you’re right. Clearly loads of people enjoy stuff like this, and they should continue to do so. For myself, I tune in to hear two smart fellas rap about a subject I’m interested in. If at times their attitudes bum me out, that’s a hazard I’ll have to risk.

    In other words, carry on you kooks!

    Also, Doctor Timebomb seems like a delightful guy.

  31. That was over-the-top and I do apologize (whatever an apology from an anonymous piece of shit like me is worth).

    This is not an excuse, but a clarification. When I see people criticize a free show, especially by saying “think about this before you say something,” I just wish they grasped the situation Jeff and Graeme are in. They do this show for free, through technical problems, and they work around Graeme’s crazy schedule to do so. No one has to pay to listen, you can listen whenever you want, and you can stop listening whenever you want. In that type of exchange, the content providers owe nothing to anybody. The arrogance and lack of empathy in these suggestions is galling. But saying someone is worse than AIDS is galling too.

  32. Well, at the risk of alienating *everyone*, let me just say…thank you.

    Graeme and I do appreciate feedback of all stripes and, no matter how vituperatively phrased, I for one think of it as coming from an engaged and passionate place. That’s a good thing.

    Also, Graeme and I greatly enjoy talking to one another (and I think we’d still be doing it almost as often even if it wasn’t being recorded and put out there) but we also do think of it as being more than just us. It’s also for the people who listen.

    That doesn’t mean we’re going to change things up (although we might!) nor does it mean we’re going to totally stay the course (although, again, we might!).

    What it does mean, however, is that if you all can communicate with one another with enough consideration and courtesy as you would treat us, it would be greatly appreciated. This *is* the Internet, and I think all of us know how to take a thrown elbow or two, and I don’t want to diminish the (relatively uncommon) ability for people here to actually *communicate* with one another…but I don’t see much reason to be talking about AIDS unless we’re discussing comics from Image in the ’90s.

    So Dr. Timebomb: your apology is appreciated. And RF, taking your foot off the gas pedal is also appreciated.

    But the feedback–positive and negative, serious and comical–is also appreciated, because that’s part of why we do this.

  33. 1) not alienated. Even when you guys hate comics I love.

    2) I like the behind the scenes stuff.

    3) I love the obscure history stuff.

    My only request is some context or history on some of it.

    Also, was this a skip week?


    (you’re welcome)

  35. First off, I absolutely LOVE the show. It has recently vaulted into my top three comics podcasts, along with “word balloon” and “11 o’clock comics.” Having said that, I gotta agree with Joe and the others. There is an aspect to this show that has started to feel to me almost comical in terms of the “everything sucks, we hate everything” vibe. Now I know that the guys do spend some time at least every episode saying something positive, but percentage-wise, it has seemed really lopsided to me toward the negative stuff. And as someone who grew up reading TCJ, I do indeed adore a good, scathing, well-reasoned critique fron time to time. But in terms of this show, my greater enjoyment has come from hearing you guys rave about the comics you love, whether it be a highbrow Lorenzo Matotti book or the Nao of Brown, or whether you’re waxing poetic on the joys of Englehart or Green Lantern: Mosaic or 2000 AD or man-eating shark comics or wacky manga.

    And yeah, I do feel it’s entirely fair to offer opinions on a free podcast, because free or not, this is a show that’s being offered to an audience, ostensibly for their enjoyment, as well as the hosts. And as Jeff stated above, as long as a critique is coming from a good place, I think it’s all cool.

    Last thought: I personally get a huge kick out of when you guys discuss the most random-ass old book that you got from the library or pulled off a shelf or whatever. Those reviews to me are like gold, because they are the sorts of discussions not easily heard anywhere else, whereas new comics are discussed every week on zillions of podcasts. Anyways, that’s my take on it all, as a fan, for what it’s worth.

    By the way, I just read one of the P. Craig Russell opera adaptation comics which I avoided like the plague as a whelp — Salome, which I found in a dollar box at a local shop — and HOLY SHIT, was it beautiful and actually quite powerful. Just had to throw that out there, cuz really, where else am I going to share a bit of knowledge like that? My girlfriend acted like she cared when I told her, but I’m not so sure.

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