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Wait, What? Ep. 123: Assault Monitors

Jeff Lester

 photo 056e8705-2df6-408f-a364-dbc9cee4a351_zps26378d3c.jpg
From the amazing Kirby-written, Kirby-drawn finale to the first Super Powers miniseries.

See, everyone? I don’t blow every deadline, just some of the deadlines.

Anyway, we’re back (although SPOILER: we’re off next week again) with not quite two hours of Kirby talk, Ewing talk, and…three year old niece talk?  Um, I’m afraid the answer to all of those is: YES.  Join us after the jump for show notes, why don’t you?

0:00-2:35:  Hello again!  It has only been about two weeks but we are confoundingly rusty.
2:35-19:01:  And yet, within the first three minutes we are talking comics.  More specifically, we are talking the terrific Ethan Rilly’s Pope Hats #3, which Graeme found on the cheap while we were at the comic store together up in Portland.  We talk about it, the work of Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian; the Paul books by Michel Rabagliati; how it feels to be in the elite cadre of CE newsletter writers; the difficulty of digging through long boxes as you get old; the food in Portland; Vegan Viking — Portland food or Jack Kirby character?; the hero of World War II, Ken Dynamo: and more.
19:01-21:16: After some problems with his 2000 A.D. app, Jeff managed to get his subscription ironed out and was up to his neck in 2000 A.D.  And so in Part One of “this week in Al Ewing,” we rant about the Zombo strip in 2000 A.D.’s Free Comic Book Day issue, or do until an unexpected tech snag sends us instead into….
21:16-21:52:  INTERMISSION ONE!
21:52-24:19:  And we are back, with a story from Graeme about some hold music that is all about listening to music while on hold.  Meta.  And then about a company that has put the Star Trek logo onto an arrangement of atoms. Terrifying.
24:19-29:33:  But, yes. Back Al Ewing and Henry Flint’s fantastic Zombo story for the 2000 A.D. Free Comic Book Day story.  Also, Graeme was in the store during Free Comic Book Day and saw some eye-opening things.  (I mean, apart from comics.)
29:33-34:54:  Hey, Whatnauts:  care to help a brother out?  Jeff is looking for ideal comic books for his three year old niece that are age appropriate and feature female action heroes.  This segment talks about the stuff he’s looked at, the stuff he’s looking for, and how you can help.
34:54-54:08: And somehow this leads into Justice League of America #3.  Graeme has read a bunch of recent DC titles and comes away with a good feeling about the variety in the New 52’s line-up…or does he?  Included in the discussion:  the latest issue of Swamp Thing, Suicide Squad #20 by Ales Kot and Patrick Zircher; Ann Nocenti doing her thing on Katana; Jeff Lemire’s Green ArrowBatman & Robin, and more.  By contrast, Jeff read The Movement #1 and Action Comics #20, and was maybe not so positive about it.
54:08-59:59:  Part Two of “this week in Al Ewing”:  Graeme sells Jeff on Avengers Assemble #15AU, and Mr. Ewing’s latest novel, The Fictional Man.
59:59-1:07:22:  Also under Graeme’s magnifying lens, Gilbert Hernandez’s Julio’s Day and Paul Pope’s The Death of Haggard West.
1:07:22-1:07:43: Intermission Two!
1:07:43-1:16:16: Can you withstand the onslaught of….The Graemebot! And Jeff has a story of frustration–dire funny book frustration.  Family are involved. 1:16:16-1:28:09: Jeff has seen Iron Man 3 and talks about that a bit.  What about Jeff’s boycott?  He talks about that, too, as well as the weirdness that appears to the Avengers 2 negotiations and Marvel Studios.
1:28:09-1:32:46:  Which brings us to Graeme’s tweet about Marvel and Jack Kirby that was retweeted 645 times. The figures in Graeme’s tweet comes from the first issue of Comic Book Creator from Two Morrows Press, which we also talk about for a bit.
1:32:46-1:55:56: Speaking of Kirby, we discuss The Jack Kirby Omnibus Vol. 2, as well as the amazing “White Zero” issue of 2001: A Space Odyssey #5.  We discuss the first Super Powers miniseries, especially the last issue written and drawn by Kirby.
1:55:56-end: Closing comments.  Next week we have a skip week thing going on (again) but we make pledges! We make vows!  We take oaths! To try and give a good run of episodes for a bit.

As for the episode itself, well, hmm.  It probably hasn’t hit iTunes yet (although that RSS feed does seem to synch up quite nicely to it these days) but, as always, you are more than welcome to listen to it here:

Wait, What? Ep. 123: Assault Monitors

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

27 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 123: Assault Monitors ”

  1. Good to hear you guys again. Graeme, it’s loaded FOR bear, not TO bear.

    Jeff, have you seen the Free Comic Book Day book from Action Lab, with Jamal Igle’s Molly Danger and Princeless? That may work for your niece. Also, how about Tiny Titans? There’s also a Supergirl Adventures in the 8th Grade comic by Landry Walker and Eric Jones.

    True or false, will most of the episode be about this awesome Jim Starlin story? http://comicbook.com/blog/2013/05/14/dc-comics-once-considered-having-jimmy-olsen-die-from-aids/

  2. I went through the same thing with my daughter when she was that age. She is now 8, and here are the comics she has enjoyed over the past few years.

    Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade
    Tiny Titans
    DC Superfriends (Including Wonder Woman)

    You could also try Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which is a team-up comic, and sometimes includes female super-heroes.

    You also might want to try Bone. I know it isn’t a superhero comic, but I read it to her when she was 4 and 5, and she loved it.

  3. Great to have you two back, gentlemen. Still working through the new episode, but wanted to second Ian’s recommendations from Action Lab.

    Princeless is really great. Not superheroes, but a strong, young female lead who doesn’t shy away from action.

    And Molly Danger looks amazing. Jamal Igle’s art is beautiful, and your niece is exactly the demographic Igle was thinking of with this project.


  4. Have you thought of showing her a few of the early Bone books? I know that some of the later volumes might be too dark, but she might like Thorn.

    There is also the Fiona and Cake book by Boom, but I do not know how age appropriate it is.

  5. Jeff,

    Cucumber Quest:
    Free online, but books available. Dual leads, a brother and sister. The brother is nominally the hero, but the sister is the adventurous one.

  6. Adjacent to the topic of Voltron boy bands: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMgsAD3D948

  7. @Jeff – Have not seen it in ages, but what about the Trina Robbins Wonder Woman mini from the 80’s as appropriate reading for your niece?

    @Graeme – D&Q published the bulk of the Paul books as well as some of the Mr Jean stuff in various forms in English. Not sure when and why but fellow Montreal publisher Conundrum seems to have picked up the Paul books.

    Great show as always.

  8. Jeff! You forgot to talk about Michael DeForge. I’ve been really enjoying his stuff lately and was looking forward to hearing you talk about him.

    Or did I miss it?

  9. @Dave! You’re right–I totally forgot to talk about him and was kicking myself when I edited this. Ant Comic totally killed me but there was a lot of stuff that ended up falling by the wayside this time. Next time for sure!

    @Traie: Right, that might be perfect in fact! Putting on my list of books to hunt for…

    @kag: work disables the youtubes but I will check that link out soonish.

    @Michael P: Never even heard of Cucumber Quest! Will check out, pronto.

    @Joe: Bone is probably a great choice in about a year or two. Heck, maybe it might even work now but since she’s only three, and has only been talking about a year or so, I’m trying to keep it simple. She likes the gaudy colors and the fistfights…but maybe I’ll see how one of those color Bone volumes go over…

    Chris & Ian: Thanks for the head’s up about Action Lab. I may be able to get a copy of the FCBD book and check that out. Also, I know they’ve got a Comixology presence if Hibbs doesn’t have anything….(though I don’t think she likes digital for her comics and currently prefers print).

    Thanks all for the suggetions–please keep them coming!

  10. Here’s an all ages comic that seems right up your alley, Batman: The Brave and The Bold #20, Batman teams-up with Big Barda.


  11. As far as suggestions for your niece, I’ll echo all the above posters who recommended Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade. Awesome sauce.
    Another idea I had was Spider-Girl by DeFalco and Frenz. It wasn’t “All Ages” but it was “Age Appropriate” in the way that (most) 70’s Marvel was. And if she has any inkling of who Spider-man is, she might be really jazzed to read a book where his teenage daughter grows up to be a superhero too.
    Good to have you guys back. You really got my inner Kirby rumbling to the point that I need to track down some 2001, which I’ve never read. I’m also incredibly curious how that even exists. I know mid-70’s Marvel got really license crazy, but 2001? Did they want it and then put Kirby on it, or was Kirby hot for it and they got it for him? I would hazard a guess that Kubrick and Clarke held some or all of the rights on the property, so they would have had to go through them, and maybe MGM? We need to get Sean Howe on this one pronto.
    And while we’re on Kirby, and since you mentioned it in passing, Silver Star. Would you recommend it to someone who finds Captain Victory not only bad, but sad, as in a sad reflection of a creator who’s past his prime and out of touch?

  12. Yes, Soule’s Swamp Thing has been a very pleasant surprise so far. I enjoyed the last two issues more than the last year’s worth of issues combined. I was anal-retentively buying that book for so long, just to close out the never-ending “Rot” rot, and was screaming “Thank God” when a new creative team came on, because I intended to drop it. But I picked up the last two issues on a whim, thinking “I’m gonna regret this…” but I didn’t. Great storytelling and art that (unlike ever non-Paquette issue of Snyder’s run) wasn’t muddy and ugly. It did remind me of an old DC Comics Presents tale, but it also used New 52 continuity in a way that made sense that was interesting (re: Alec’s lack of experience).

  13. When my son was 4, I read Batgirl: Year One to him. Granted, I edited some of the dialogue as I read it to him. It was plenty of action and GORGEOUS Marcos Martin artwork.

    The side effect is that it made my son a lifelong fan of Killer Moth.

  14. Did anyone mention Jeff Smith’s SHAZAM! MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL? It reads somewhat younger than BONE, and I suspect your niece would get a huge kick out of the versionof Mary Marvel in that story.

    (Also, if you can find any of the original ’40s Marvel Family stories without paying Archive prices… especially the C.C. Beck stuff — a lot of it is joyously, exuberantly silly and probably kid friendly.)

  15. Also on the Kirby front — a big YES on 2001. And having recently read THE ETERNALS, let me highly recommend it… it’s wildly uneven, but it’s a lot more than the NEW GODS’ goofy blonde-headed stepchild. And that bizarre poetry you talk about in 2001… that’s definitely here, especially any time the Celestials show up.

    And @James Woodward: I was not a huge fan of SILVER STAR, but it does have its moments — if you’re curious, check out the Twomorrows publishing site, which has a PDF preview of their “Graphite Edition” (reproducing Kirby’s pencils).

    And you don’t like CAPTAIN VICTORY? Did you read the whole thing? It starts off like a lame STAR WARS space-cop knock-off from Jacks’ animation career, but then it starts to find its groove with weird, dark undercurrents, gloriously bizarre concepts, and a late revelation that the whole thing is an unofficial sequel to the NEW GODS saga.

    Yeah, it’s hamstrung by his inclination towards tin-eared, downright goofy dialogue, and the decline in Kirby’s drawing prowess — though I think that gets overstated. (For all the crap that Vince Colletta catches, D. Bruce Berry gets off unscathed. You’d think that somebody would notice the sharp difference in quality between Kirby’s late work depending on inkers. Kirby’s Berry-inked pages often look childishly crude, while Royer and Theakston can still bring out the magic.)

    But a lot of CAPT. VICTORY looks great and this truly, maybe, is the Kirbiest of Kirby work — sometimes seemingly satirizing heroic motifs while innovating wildly and breathtakingly in the story of a character who dies a thousand deaths, yet never gives up the fight. (A suitable avatar for Jack, looking back on a career of laced with betrayals and disappointments.) To me, CAPTAIN VICTORY is f*cking GLORIOUS.

  16. Kid recomendation: two volumes of Zita the Spacegirl. Not true superhero, but has a kid in costume notgetting dismembered.

    I wouldn’t give the brilliant Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures to any kid before middle school. A key premise is that school sucks and must be endured, which all the kids I know under maybe 8 haven’t figured out yet. I don’t wanna be the one to break that to them.

  17. Here are some other Wonder Woman books for young kids:



  18. Oh, and POLLY AND THE PIRATES from the criminally underrated Ted Naifeh (from Oni Press; regretfully, B&W interiors).

    Great, tho’ nowhere near as good as his COURTNEY CRUMRIN titles, which are more appropriate for somewhat jaded, older children who have had quite enough of that Potter boy, thanks.

  19. Oh my god, I kind of desperately want there to be a real VEGAN VIKING now. It’s like JACK KIRBY’S S.A.N.T.A. all over again.

  20. @BrianMC
    Very, very good point.

  21. Yep, Supergirl Adventures in the 8th Grade is a really good one. Jeff Smith’s Shazam has some good Mary Marvel stuff in it and you can just skip to that part. Teen Titans Go with Raven and Starfire. Power Pack was a fav of my niece.

  22. While I was looking for Greg Rucka Wonder Woman trades the other day, I came across some picture books illustrated by Ben Caldwell. This was pre-Wednesday Comics. And while I know it’s not comics strictly speaking, they could serve a similar purpose as far as having appropriate Wonder Woman stories goes.

    Unfortunately, going back to Amazon to check them out, most are listed at $30 and above for $4 books. Still, something to keep a look out for at the used book stores.

  23. Jack Kirby Omnibus 2: Also disappointed in the inclusion of the Black Magic work. Would’ve made more sense in the Omnibus 1 collection.

    The real disappointments in Omnibus 2:

    –the missed opportunity to publish the original all-Kirby version of Kobra. Remember Martin Pasko and Gerry Conway took the original pages and with the help of Pablos Marcos changed it to be something they would use for their own continuing series. I might be mistaken, but recall the original pencilled, inked and dialogued pages are still out there, that Twomorrows printed some of them in the Jack Kirby Collector.

    –also a missed opportunity to publish the two or three other complete Dingbats of Danger Street stories (many pages of which have been seen in the Kirby Collector.)

    –are we ever going to see those Soul Love and True Divorce Stories he did around the same time as Spirit World and In the Days of the Mob?

    –the Justice Inc. stories written by Denny O’Neil were also missing, probably a licensing issue with Conde Nast.

    On the good news front: In the Days of the Mob is scheduled for release in August, with the previously otherwise unavailable stories for its second issue — so, after they get around to publishing the second (final?) volumes of Simon and Kirby Newsboy Legion and Boy Commandos stories, DC will (with the exceptions I note above) every single Kirby story in their library. Quite an accomplishment, and one I -never- thought I’d see occur.

    Even more encouraging is that the Kirby Estate receives something for these efforts. Congratulations to DC for that!

  24. Jeff,
    I second the batgirl year one recommendation. Marcos Martin is awesome in this.

  25. If I may, Jeff, I have no recommendations for your niece (everybody else has said what I was going to say), but I’d like to recommend a restaurant for you if you ever get to Chicago, and that’s The Bongo Room. It’s a place that specializes in breakfast concoctions until the mid- to late afternoon, and, while the atmosphere is very hipster-y, the food is excellent. I’m sure they have great waffle concoctions there!

  26. Just heard the podcast (I’m slow…) and since I don’t see it mentioned here, I’d recommend this book for Jeff’s niece:


    It’s bright, its all-ages and its in the style of the Batman: Animated series so she should be very comfortable with it. It’s also extremely fun – and you can’t go wrong with Dini and Timm!

  27. Drawn and Quarterly have some comics adaptations of Pippi Longstocking comics. They’re sort of old-fashioned, but Pippi is super strong, does all sorts and it’s age appropriate.

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