diflucan 2 doses

Wait, What? Ep. 124: Stare Trek

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The return of Vegan Viking! Courtesy of the brilliant Gar Berner

Yes, Vegan Viking (thanks to the supremely talented and kind Gar Berner) is back, and so are Graeme and I, with a close-to-two-hour episode filled with funny book kvetching and show notes right after the jump. Join us, won’t you?

0:00-12:21:  Salutations!  Graeme is sick and jet-lagged, having returned from his first visit to Scotland in five years.  Jeff, with his eyes on the prize, presses him for comic book and comic book store-related details.  Names dropped:  Plan B Comics and Forbidden Planet of Glasgow, Comixology as it aids and abets all-ages storytelling, and Grant Morrison.
12:21-27:01:  From there, we get to a discussion of the new Man of Steel trailer, and whether or not All-Star Superman is going to be the best fit for the upcoming movie..which leads to a difference of opinion about Morrison’s villains, camp vs. melodrama, etc. All I can say is: look out for that surprise edit!
27:01-33:08:  Which brings around to Batman Inc. #11, by Chris Burnham and Jorge Lucas.  It’s fun!  But is it the right time and place in the series to have fun, though?
33:08-49:07: And on the subject of potential Batman-related fun, we ponder the upcoming Batman Inc. Special, the writing talent of Dan Didio, and comics that are fun or “fun.”  Jeff’s example of how fun can fall short?  Green Team #1…although he’s quick to mention how he is not quite in comics’ tractor beam recently.  He’s underwhelmed by Batman and Robin #20, for instance, although it did lead to an interesting discussion in the Lester/Berton household recounted here.
49:07-57:26:  By contrast, Graeme read Monkeybrain’s Subatomic Party Girls by Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, and Erica Henderson, and loved it.  (By contrast, El Grumpus merely liked it.)  It certainly was better than Twelve Reasons to Die #1, which Jeff very much wanted to like but very much did not.
57:26-1:20:09:  Hey, everybody!  Graeme has stopped reading Age of Ultron, while Jeff thought he was still reading it so we could moan about it.  So his attempts to get Graeme to talk about it by dragging in the excellent essay by Colin Smith about the issue over at Too Busy Thinking About My Comics (now on sabbatical, which is entirely understandable but also a bit of  bummer).  We do contrast AoU with Flashpoint, Age of Apocalypse, Avengers vs. X-Men, and other events.  All of which leads up to….
1:20:09-1:21:06: Intermission Two!
1:21:06-1:40:30:  Star Trek Into Darkness!  Spoilers! (Although we tried not to!) Bitchiness! (Although we tried not to be!) Another story involving Jeff’s wife! And the curse of…sleep spoilers!
1:40:30-1:47:30: Then as the clock is running out, Jeff talks–all too horribly briefly–about the comic excellence that is Michel Fiffe’s Copra (and the Copra Compendium published by the mensches at Bergen Street Comics) and Ant Comic by Michael De Forge (which is currently online and which I cannot recommend highly enough.  (Fun fact/full disclosure: the cartoonist Jeff spends an absurd amount of time trying to remember the full name of, is Rory Hayes.)
1:47:30-end: Running out of time, Graeme and Jeff begin discussing Al Ewing’s novel, The Fictional Man.  Sadly, it ends up being a discussion we have to punt to the next podcast but we do drop a toe in about all the many things the book has to offer.

And that’s it until next week, when we’ll have ep. 125 ready for you along with far less illness and jet-lag.  (Although seeing as I’m writing this while utterly under the weather, and feeling like I have a bubble with a razor blade inside trapped in my throat,  really we can only guarantee a lack of jet lag.)  While the uploading end of the Internet has been very, very slow over at mi casa, the latest ep should be on iTunes very, very shortly.  And of course it’s also available for your delectation below:

Wait, What? Ep. 124: Stare Trek

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

16 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 124: Stare Trek ”

  1. The episode of Star Trek where Kirk is split into Good Kirk and Bad Kirk is “The Enemy within.” “Wolf in the Fold” is the one where Scotty is accused of being a serial killer.

  2. Hi lads, what a nice surprise – I thought it was another skop week … it’s May, two bank holidays leading to late comics, so I expect disappointment.

    Graeme, I need to know the Secret News – it’s the 28th, you can tell me.

    I never found Tiny Titans funny – couldn’t work out those random words that landed in the final panels in lieu of a punchline – but kids seemed to like it. Colourful and (apparently) easy to draw pictures from? I was never comfortable with the inclusion of Deathstroke and Terra, a bit ick for those of use who knew the ‘grown-up’ story. But overall, I liked it, and smiled a lot.

    Superman Family Adventures was more my cup of cocoa, but yes, I can’t imagine how it went down with the younger set. And boy, was that last issue a bit oover-stuffed … I’m all about blessing Art & Franco for trying to give great value, but WHAT COST COHERENCE”!!!

    (Sorry, I always wanted to speak in a Marvel splash page starburst.)

    If you ever fancy discussing worst final issues, please give a thought to DC’s Primal Force …

  3. Is anyone surprised that once Robin died, Batman & Robin started to slip? I still likish it. Always been forgiving of Tomasi though, even when he’s streaky. I’ll come back to this comic once Bruce gets a new partner and synthesizes himself some bat-seroquel off panel.

  4. Re: The Fictional Man, the fact the lead is actively openly laughable in a Conspiracy-of-Dunces meets Garth Marenghi fashion stopped me worrying about his likeability*. You’re meant to laugh at him, especially at the opening.

    *Not that I ever really worry about that, but in this case, the opening’s broad comic bent didn’t even register it was a thing. We’re not meant to like him at the start. We’re meant to laugh at him.

  5. @Kieron: Yeah, I get that, though I guess I’m a lot less clear on *why* we’re meant to laugh at the lead. As you say, it bypasses the idea of worrying about the character’s likeability. I think however it throws off the novel’s stakes as things progress: wringing an epiphany from a cartoonishly flat character didn’t end up seeming especially striking or moving to me.

    I mean, the Russian nesting doll approach to the novel makes me half-suspect I’m supposed to connect Ewing’s distancing from the character with the character’s distancing from Fictionals, and our ability to identify with Nolan is supposed to intensify as his ability to identify with others increases but…I’m not really sure that’s right.

    But I admit Confederacy of Dunces (I always refer to it as Conspiracy, too!) didn’t really work for me, either, and for many of the same reasons.

  6. @Ian: I knew I had it wrong, but for the life of me could not think of the right title. Thank you!

    @Martin: Yeah, I enjoyed Superman Family Adventures (although felt that last issue landed on the wrong beat, as you pointed out in your review) but enjoyed the book on my own, for the most part. Though the Green Team set me back a bit, appreciation-wise.

    @Brendan: Good point, though I wonder if the idea of doing single issue stories is what’s throwing Tomasi & Fraser off their game a bit? (And I say that even though the past two issues which have been single ishes have been pretty damn good.) I’ll be curious to see where the book ends up, certainly.

  7. My just-turned-five daughter loves “Tiny Titans” and “Superman Family Adventures.” Sample size 1 I know, but I thought I’d mention it. More telling is that my wife, who has an allergic reaction to superhero comics, really likes reading them to her, to the point where she suggested we get an “Aw Yeah” subscription. Me, I think there fine. I wonder if this isn’t a situation where older comics fans don’t get it but the kids do.

  8. PS:
    Hip us to that super-exciting press release already… Is it the Zenith news, or are you just super excited to see David Finch on the next DC event? Inquiring minds want to know.

  9. The press release for Zenith looks discouraging, and according to Wikipedia, the book will go for 100 GBP (which is like 170 USD?) with the whole series collected in one surely unreadable hardcover. The good news for me is that this probably means they’ll release a more reasonable collection in a few years time.

  10. Got up this morning with a fresh glass of Magic Blood and dialed up Wait, What…

    good times. Thanks for the listen, gents.

    Off to the LCS. Be well.

  11. In a lot of what you criticized in this episode, I think we could say that it’s a case of the idea of a comic overwhelming the actual content.

    I’ve never actually liked anything that the Tiny Titans guys have done (sorry!). Every time I look at their stuff, I think “Oh… that SHOULD be fairly good and I’m glad it exists, I guess…” but whenever I actually read any of it, it just seems, er, underwhelming and tedious in a way that kids comics from past decades never did.

    Same with Age of Apocalypse. For about a decade now I think people have just fallen in love with the idea that somehow this is the “exception that proves the rule” for how “’90s X-comics suck!” or whatever. But, no, this one wasn’t all that good either. I’d even take something like X-Cutioner’s Song or Fatal Attractions over AoA. AoA was a good idea — or at least an idea that seemed to suggest wild creativity — but very little of the content holds up at all. I’d rather reread basically any Joe Kelly, Steve Seagle or even Lobdell X-comic that wasn’t tied to an event rather than dip into the overwrought mess that was AoA.

    And as for Age of Ultron, here again I think that its fans are mostly people who just like the idea (or maybe even “the idea of the idea”) of what Bendis is doing here. Over the years I’ve definitely got a sense, with Marvel in particular, that the goal of mainstream comics is to make sure that nothing in the actual issue interferes with the instilled sense of hype that the fans have going in. Decompression and “nothing” storytelling have played into this, as do big “shocking” moments that leave the reader impressed as long as the reader doesn’t think about them. It’s almost like Marvel has trained their readers not to think. There’s a disincentive process going on here where Marvel readers of the Avengers/Bendis/BigEvent bent basically have to perform more and more double-think, telling themselves that the oodles of $4 comics I’ve purchased actually mean something and matter and are indeed thoughtful. They have to insist on this if only to ward off the crushing reality-check of realizing just how much they’ve literally and figuratively bought into so much emptiness, laziness, smoke-and-mirrors storytelling. They have no incentive to actually wake up and realize what b.s. they’ve been buying for years. Sure, waking up might save them $50 a month, but it would make them feel guilty about the thousands of dollars they’ve spent from 2005-present.

  12. If possible, I’m interested hearing our two hosts gab over some recent scuttles in the industry. One is Brandon Graham’s recent comments about Vertigo. The other is The Outhouser’s weird rivalry (one-sided rivalry I suppose) against DC. I’d love to hear Graeme’s take on the latter because it raises interesting points on journalism vs. advocacy, which may be something that comes up in his work (of course, I’d love to hear Jeff’s take as well).

  13. Even though the last time I encountered Watten online I told him to fuck off… he’s dead on here. Quoted for truth, dude. I can’t count how many awful Bendis comics I’ve bought waiting for the other shoe to drop, the thing he claims he keeps building to but NO HA HA MORE CLIFFHANGER.

    Unless it’s USM or his creator owned projects, it’s hard not to believe Bendis really hates his job. He’s bad, and we should feel bad.

  14. @Wattan: Great post. I would like to add that, logistically, in 2013, it is not possible for Bendis to devote a great deal of thought to any one series. It always amazes me to see a reviewer from one of the larger sites take on four or five Bendis comics in the same month and seem genuinely excited about the writer’s plans for all of them. Dude, there are no plans. You just read five books written full script by the same guy in a month, and he wrote five other full scripts that same month, when do you suppose he had time to plan?

    Some Facts:

    Brian Bendis is credited as scripter on 10 (nonreprint) Marvel comics in April 2013.

    He is a husband and father of four. One of his kids is still a baby.

    He is a regular at conventions and does frequent interviews, as well as other press for Marvel.

    He is a Marvel architect.

    He teaches a university-level course on comics.

    He is involved in numerous television projects, including scripting for the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon show and the much-publicized shopping around of the Powers and Alias pilots.

    I’m not trying to insist that everyone hate Bendis comics. I really dig a lot of his earlier work myself. But be realistic. The man is a workhorse pumping out pages to pay the mortgage, a modern day Walter B. Gibson. That stuff can be highly enjoyable and usually goes down pretty easy, but to pretend that all the various threads he’s laid in his MU comics are going to culminate in some Watchmen-esque feat of fastidious plotting is just delusional.

  15. On the subject of darkness in Morriosn’s work, I think that Grant really likes to find optimism from really dark places to heighten that optimism. Even in All-Star Superman, Lex isn’t just a sort of flawed person, he is compared to Stalin. He is arguably the worst person who ever existed, but that makes it even more wonderful when he finds redemption. I think it makes the optimistic messages of Morrison’s work ring a bit more true since he acknowledges that the world is sometimes a hard place to be optimistic, and as Hawkman says in Final Crisis, “Life is a struggle.”

    I think you guys have mentioned the duel feeling of The Dark Knight before, but man do I really disagree with it. The Dark Knight is about the choice of order vs. chaos, and the film isn’t that if you take Dent away.

  16. I don’t usually agree with you guys when it comes to movies (for whatever reason) but you were spot on about Star Trek Into Darkness. Mind you, I thought the first one was spectacularly poorly written.

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