Wait, What? Ep. 126: More of Everything

Jeff Lester

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Because it is Kirby and because it is…my heart.

Okay, tech problems resolved! (You know, as long as you’re talking about our recording problems, and not about how everyone has basically been hacked by the government without their consent for years…) So, behind the jump, show notes for our two-hour plus installment of the Show That Cannot Say Die (Without Skype Cutting Out On It)!

Oh, but before you do, make sure you check out posts by Hibbs and Smitty below — today is our semi-annual Salute to Content!

Anyway, yeah, embarrassing though it is to admit, I think maybe both Graeme and I using Macs now may have exacerbated some of our recording problems with Skype?  Hopefully, that will no longer be an issue as we’re trying a whole new workaround (Audio Hijack Pro of our Facetime calls, in case you’re interested).  It’s not quite perfect — I’ve gotta learn how to adjust my microphone levels before we talk and I pray to God that doesn’t mean going through Soundcloud because that shit baffles me — but it’s a start, I guess.

So: show notes!  They are short, in part because we were very focused in our chatty way this week and also because I kinda strained my back moving longboxes this weekend and so I’m loathe to spend too much time sitting in this damn uncomfortable desk chair of mine.

0:00-34:57:  Salutations: yup,  it’s the dawning of a brand-new era for Wait, What? as we dump Skype and go with a different recording method.  (To be fair, Skype dumped us first.)  We try to be mercifully brief talking tech shit so we can get down to our first minefield of the podcast discussing (again!) the fourth season of Arrested Development.  Wildly over-caffeinated, Jeff wants to talk about critical reception and how a person’s individual critical taste develops and (I guess when you get right down to it) how frustrating it is that all the smart sensible people disagree with him.  Graeme, for his part, is having–if not none, then certainly very little–of Jeff’s points, for better and worse.
34:57-1:11:05: Finally! Graeme and Jeff talk about Al Ewing’s The Fictional Man!  Unfortunately, it’s been long enough for Graeme and Jeff (and Jeff is over-caffeinated) that the opening of our discussion should be listened to *for comedic purposes only*.  There’s a tremendous amount of initial flailing about how to describe the book, especially when one of the contributors to the podcast has apparently had a stroke and cannot use his big boy words.
1:11:05-1:24:43:  Comics! We do in fact remember what they are.  Jeff read and enjoyed tremendously Faith Erin Hicks’ The Adventures of Superhero Girl, and also dug In the Kitchen With Alain Passard by Christophe Blain.  Thanks to a Whatnaut sharing their digital codes for Daredevil #26 and Superior Spider-Man #10, I read those and boy oh boy were they good.
1:24:43-1:38:45:  By contrast, Graeme has read Age of Ultron #9.  If you listen to it, you can hear Jeff rubbing his hands with glee as Graeme shares his feelings about the book, and Graeme also read Avengers Arena #10, which provides a bit of comparison and contrast with the Catwoman/Justice League controversy.  “Bonus:” Jeff’s not-very-good Hellblazer story pitch from around the time the Constantine movie came out.
1:38:45-1:39;21: Intermission!
1:39;21-1:43:53: We are back and, in relatively short order, we contemplate Paul Jenkins and his rather spectacular interview at Bleeding Cool  and, to a lesser extent, his open letter at Comic Book Resources.
1:43:53-2:07:01: Oh, but first before we do, here’s the first installment of “Graeme Says It Because You Said It” [working title].  Then it’s on to a consideration of what we’re currently buying from DC, whether Jeff should once again take the crazy train to Boycottville, more from the Jenkins article, and what have you.
2:07:01-end: Graeme didn’t much of a chance to talk about comics he’s read this week, so Jeff twists his arm and tries to get some quick opinions from him about Green Lantern, Angel and Faith, and a re-run of Pete Tomasi’s Batman and Robin. And then we end the podcast! Without it ending us first!

Chances are good the sucker will be up on iTunes by now, but even if so, you are welcome to get at it with the handy link provided below.  As always, we thank you for listening and we shall return next week with more…of everything.

Wait, What? Ep. 126: More of Everything

42 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 126: More of Everything ”

  1. I wish i had a stronger opinion on the fourth season of Arrested Development so I could contribute more, but I was surprisingly lukewarm overall…I liked it fine, but not enough to try to defend it in any real, significant way.

    I can certainly empathize with Jeff’s frustration, though – I had a similar issue with Season 4 of Community, which I thought was kind of a super well-meaning train wreck. Any time I tried to discuss the bits I didn’t think were working, I invariably got a “Well, I’m just in the tank for Community, because I’m loving it.” I was like, “no, I’m in the tank for Community too. I fucking love that show. And that’s why x, y, and z bother me.” My friends were refusing to engage in a conversation about the highs and lows of a problematic season because for them, it WASN’T a problematic season. Like I said, super frustrating.

  2. It’s interesting to me that your example is the limited screentime for Buster because … I didn’t rewatch the first three seasons before I watched four, like friends did, so my recollection of Buster is that he was always a limited supporting character, a purely comedic character with slightly more ridiculous storylines on the fringes of the main action of any episode. I’m not sure if I’m just forgetting episodes that he was the focal point, which is possible.

    So I’m not sure Buster could’ve held the weight a Gob or a Michael ever did because he’s not as complicated as they are, or as … dimensional (?). He’s not a real character as much as they are– he’s the Smiley Bone of that trinity. Granted, you could say the same for Tobias but … Tobias is more pathos-susceptible than Buster (and they always palpably loved writing for Tobias, is again my recollection, so). I think that’d have been exposed more if they’d given him more than the one episode.

    And I guess I went into his episode really excited because they’d landed Maebe so hard, and I thought the Lucille one had moments, so it felt like the ones where they had to land it in one, they were doing that more consistently than with the more spread out ones. Plus, he was second-to-last so it felt like his episode was really going to be more revelatory than the others so really, if anything, I was slightly disappointed by his not being more of a Rosetta stone for the season, maybe, and that it was more of a political episode instead.

    (To be honest, I like Tony Hale but he was never my favorite character).

  3. Abhay is overrated. His review of Arrested Development is meaningless. He speaks pretty, but there’s little behind his words. He knows less than he thinks he does.

    Graeme, West Wing sucks. Like Doctor Who. Get over it. Or not.

  4. Only because Abhay raped my childhood. Him and George Lucas are complicit.

  5. Nico Chase’s death is more gratuitous in her “Fridge Death.” Catwoman’s “Shot in the head” is like a Pulp Fiction death, where you are shocked and you wonder what happens next. Nico Chase’s death is a Saw death, where it wants you to revel in her death and get off on the fact that they’re killing young, female superheroes.

  6. Good point!

    Also, I think I most responded to season 4 when it was about characters acting a certain way no longer being cute or “funny” when it wasn’t in the context of the family anymore, or people around them didn’t know about their families. So I liked Gob or Maebe’s episodes the most because those were the episodes that I think most embodied that; there’s a part in Maebe’s episode where she’s still doing the “Marry Me” thing when someone tries to card her that I thought was just really a lovely little moment. I thought that was what made Michael so interesting especially near the end, in a way he hadn’t been to me before when he was more just the straight man…

    For me, while seasons 1-3 were funnier, I don’t think I’d say I emotionally connected with those episodes as much as I did with 4 (which I think was a function of just getting to spend as much time really soaking in each character’s failures). 1-3 were certainly funnier but I found myself caring more often with 4– even though thematically they all are covering the same ground of these people acting like children, the fact that without each other they’re doing it at methadone clinics and rehab clinics and on Hollywood Boulevard and… (the methadone clinic *really* struck me).

    Every sitcom may basically be about a character making the same mistakes over and over, but season 4 really seemed to be about those characters coming as close as possible to being aware of that and still not knowing how to change which… I guess was something I connected with.

  7. Re: fictional man. I totally think jeff is being over kind to writers. Some of us are really that shallow.

  8. Tune in next week when Jeff & Graeme compare the human dynamic of liking or disliking something to the battle between ego and super-ego!

    People, please, you’re spending so much time debating what basically boils down to “the heart knows no logic and loves what it loves.” But it seems either Graeme cannot say this or Jeff cannot hear this, or both. You don’t need to rationalize feelings, and you don’t need to figure out an angle where feelings are suddenly harmonious with objective critique.

    But please continue to explore both what you thought of a piece of work and how you felt about it. Contradiction is okay.

    “He’s a good man, officer — he didn’t mean me no harm” “I just fell asleep on the driveway and he runnover my head wit’da truck!”

  9. You guys are making me feel better about my choice to skip arrested development 4

  10. Jeff -

    “Graeme Says It Because You Said It” [working title].

    How about:

    “Dance for me you Scottish Monkey!” ? (too harsh?)

  11. The thing about Arena #10 is that the previous issues up till this point really have been a character-driven book, with the characters actively resisting hurting each other as much as they possibly could. There’s sort of been one genuinely dangerous, evil kid lurking around on the fringes, and in #9 and #10, we’ve finally gotten to the point where the threat is realized. I’m not sure how well I’m articulating things, but the shock moment is made less gratuitous by being a clear point of no return in the story.

    That said, I sort of was prepared to hate the series with issue #1, and pretty much every time Arcade is onscreen (which is pretty much issues #1 and #7, which I HATED) does take on the tone of gleefulness that Graeme describes. It’s weird and dissonant and it makes me still a bit unsure, even though I’ve really liked most of the stuff with the kids.

  12. Not sure if someone mentioned this, but the reason why AD still has “ad breaks” (as well as “bleeps”) is so the season’s episodes can be packaged and sold for syndication on actual television, particularly overseas.

  13. I’m actually going to add one more thing about Arrested Development! I haven’t sprayed enough of my feelings onto this comment section! (I’m also enjoying the Blain book but I’m not done yet). But, but. For me what was so annoying/amazing, is how people were referring to it as a “disappointment” before I’d watched it. *I watched it 7 days after it came out.* Websites had “What went wrong” articles up in 24 hours. The head of Netflix was getting asked questions about the “disappointing response” to it within the week after it came out.

    Which is the internet– it’s a hit-driven thing. But it’s 8-9 hours of dense comedy and somehow people just going “The episodes are too long” on twitter or wherever felt really gross. The whole “we write an essay about each episode” thing especially feels really bizarre to me with that show, for reasons I’m not even sure I can articulate– it just feels like a certain way to miss the forest for the trees.

    If a person can have a sophisticated critical response to a thing that messy that quickly, great– that’s pretty amazing. I sure couldn’t. It’s too much of a mess. Which I get is a reason why a huge fan of seasons 1 to 3 might not like it– but I thought it was a worthwhile mess.

    Plus, the thing is that in 3 months, no one is going to be talking about it. Everyone will talk about something else. And something else after it. With TV especially– there’s so much good TV. The speed of that just has its own disconnection to it. The idea of it being received like just any other TV when it was noticeably designed not to be that… It’s just off-putting.

  14. What’s worse, “If you liked that, you’re an idiot” or “If you didn’t like that, I feel sorry for you?”

    The debate continues…

  15. One (admittedly trivial) thing that strikes me about season 4 is that if they *didn’t* have bleeps, I feel like I would have been put off. Which, since I have no problem with cussin’ in my media, is kind of odd, I’d say.

  16. On Avengers Arena, I don’t really have a strong connection to the characters, so I’m not so much invested in what happens to them. That said, Nico’s death seemed sadistically cruel. I think the only way this book works is that all the characters are strapped to chairs somewhere, living this in their minds. In the last issue of the book, they all pop up, shout “We were kidding!” and escape. If not, this is an exploitive, sick book, even for Marvel. And in the end I hope they bring the Punisher in to deal with Arcade.

    On boycotting DC–Jeff, I’m not the biggest boycotting guy. Just buy what you like and don’t buy what you don’t like. Vote with your wallet. Does DC treat their talent badly? It sounds like they do, but these folks are adults and are making a decision to work there. The have perspective of past events, so if they choose to work there anyway, that’s on them.

  17. As a jaded youth who read the battle royale manga when he was 13 or 15, can I just say how disappointing avengers arena is in its level of sadism? Admittedly, reading the battle royale manga is a soul-crushing, life altering endeavor, but when I read avengers arena I expected something more.

    I remember an interview with j cakes mazzocco where he complained about before watchmen’s lack of balls. If you’re going to butcher something, revel in it! He suggested johnny Ryan takes on rorschach. why not avengers arena?

    I loved the runaways, but I really wanted this book to revel in hyperviolence and nihilism and sexual exploitation and really just make me feel like puking. The book it turned out to be is tepid. What do they even do? Cut off some limbs? In a superhero comic? Come on.

    This book had covers referencing hunger games, lord of the flies, and battle royale. its not as sadistic as royale, not as bleak as flies, and it doesn’t have the dumb shoujo fun of the celebrity stuff in hunger games. What does this book have to make it unique? Superheroes? Yawn.

  18. *j Caleb mazzocco

    I guess Im kinda annoyed by people’s complaints about the brutality of arena, since I find it so goddamned DULL.

  19. I can’t decide if “j cakes mazzocco” is the world’s worst Dick Tracy villain or the highlight of J Smitty’s new fall line of donuts.

  20. I agree with the selectively-voting-with-your-wallet strategy over the boycott-the-entire-line-on-principle strategy, personally. I don’t know if it’s SW working his magic or what, but I want to send a message to Marvel that I think Daredevil, Superior Spidey, and Hawkguy are seriously enjoyable books. “Do more of this and less of that other stuff.”

    I can’t do that if I boycott everything.

    Now if only DC published something I wanted them to do more of :(

  21. What Dasbender said, please, that’s enough Arrested Devleopment Season 4. Jeff, you were a fan of three series and didn’t like the fourth, other people did. These things happen. You don’t have to justify anything – this reminds me of when you get all chewed up over the Marvel boycott, and get stuck in some swamp of self-examination; dont worry, it’s OK to be you!

    Reading the earlier comments, it seems the boycott comes up later – I’m 27 minutes into the show and can’t believe we’ll EVER get off the Bluths. I love you to bits, but please, let go! Some of us haven’t even seen the latest episodes …

  22. To Jerry Smith: I don’t want this to come off as flippant, but would it really somehow be other than exploitative and sick if all the stuff having happened thus far was all nullified in one go? It’d leave a real sour taste in my mouth if all the loss and trauma the kids went through here was just “all a dream”ed away.

  23. To Alex – it’s also that bleeps are funnier than actually swearing. Maeve’s speech was fantastic and my favorite part of S4.

    As for the deconstruction of S4 by Jeff, I’d be okay with him not liking it if he’d stop calling it a failure because it wasn’t S2.

  24. Well, i think someone last week compared AD to DKR2, so let me throw this out there–is there some work to which the artist/team has returned after lo these many years which does hold up to the prior work? It seems through the internet, self-publishing, Kickstarter, or just Hollywood throwing money at the problem, a lot of things have finally come out after many years of waiting only to discover that the magic just wasn’t there anymore.

  25. @bad wolf: Well, I thought (so I am sure others thought not)all these were as good as/better than the originals by the same people:

    Starstruck (2011) by Elaine Lee and Michael William Kaluta
    Black Kiss 2 (2012)by Howard Victor Chaykin (Apparently, anyway)
    John Byrne’s Next Men (2010) by John Byrne
    Tor: A Prehistoric Odyssey (2009) by Joe Kubert
    The Fall of The House of Usher (2013) by Richard Corben
    Before Watchmen by my sense of humour! ho ho ho!

    (This should in no way be construed as throwing my hat in the ring on any side of the AD4 debate as I haven’t seen it. I like AD seasons 1 to 3 though.)

    Cheers!

  26. I think Graeme mentioned it in the podcast, but Futurama definitely came back swinging to fan acclaim.

  27. I’d be interested to see hear Jeff’s thoughts after reading Avenger: Arena. I think Hopeless has been crafting a genuine character book, so that if you’ve actually followed it rather than read an issue randomly, these deaths aren’t quite as callow and exploitative as Graeme’s making out. The cheesecake, soft-core bondage ‘death’ of Catwoman is far more cheap and nasty.

    AA is basically a very well crafted exploitation comic – if this was a strip in Action (the 1970s britsploitation boys weekly) would it be as dismissed? Sure AA is a cash grab for a Hunger Games audience but what’s great about it is that Hopeless and co have actually created something pacey, moving and pretty damn gripping. Sure the teens in peril thing is a bit tasteless but fuck it, I like plenty of blackhearted B-Movies that straddle the taste line with equal aplomb.

    Anyway Jeff – basically I think you should read a few and see what you think.

  28. I was going to say that I tuned in to here comics talk, not talk about something called “Arrested Development”. But actually hearing grown-ups talk about comic books goes hand in hand with arrested development, and those who live in glass houses…

  29. Yes!

  30. *CLANG!*

    a pretty weak joke, delivered pretty leadenly. Thanks for coming!

  31. By the way, lads, did you catch the Kamandi cameo (Kameo?) in the digital. 99 cents Adventures of Superman #5 last week?

    I reviewed it at my blog, but forget that, read the thing!

  32. Re: Boycotting DC–I think Jeff should just do what makes him feel alright. A friend of mine once told me something that I try to live by, “Do what you can until you can do better.” It’s not a big deal if a Kirby Omnibus is something that you feel is important enough that you’re compromising something else. Hell, I don’t think it’s a big deal if you buy Daredevil. Just do what makes you feel comfortable.

    Just please don’t spend too much time waffling back and forth on it on the show.

    I will say though, understand that most media you take in is pretty immoral in terms of how employees are treated. The film and television industry basically runs on freelancers who are expected to work like normal staff, but are given none of the benefits of being actual staff. I’ve worked unpaid internships with twelve hour days in which I was basically just a Production Assistant. There’s also the pretty common act of employers telling their staff to log half their overtime hours in order to avoid paying the actual overtime that is owed. If you make a stink then there is the threat that you will not find work in the industry again.

    These are not comic book problems. These are the entertainment industry problems.

  33. Trying to convince someone that something’s funny is like trying to convince them that strawberries taste good, either they do or they don’t. As a comedy writer and performer I’ve seen over and over that when people don’t like something that was meant to be funny they don’t just say, “well that wasn’t for me”. They need to let you know why it was bad. The next step is explaining why people laughed and claim to like this unfunny thing. If it’s Larry the Cable Guy it’s because they’re homophobes or not too bright. In this case you’re saying it’s because we’re fans and making excuses for the thing we love. You dismiss what we’re saying for what you think we must be doing because it would impossible to like something you didn’t.

    Nope, it was just funny to me. Not as a fan of the show, just as someone who likes comedy. As a comedy writer I was blown away by the technical skill and how packed it was. Every character had an arc that worked on its own and then worked even better when they revealed the truth about their situations. It was so generous with the amount of jokes though never at the expense of the characters. It’s the kind of show that makes me want to be a better writer.

    The first episode is the one most people slammed online. It’s tough to respond without spoiling jokes and revealing what happens later but just taking the first episode on its own. This had Kristen Wiig as a young Lucille which turned into a Grinch parody that lead to an anti Cinco De Mayo festival. A solid Michael and Gob scene. A Social Network parody about privacy layered with Michael invading his son’s, including showering with him. The British TV stations reporting on sex scandals as a reason for George Michael wanting the change his name. Who you don’t tip. “Showstealer Pro Trail Version”. The Crabshack courthouse to deal with maritime law cases. The tumbleweed. Altitude/Attitude magazine. The complicated voting out of Michael with the touching “DA” note. The return as the Captain Hook scene with a new joke added. The airport scene with empty bags and a cameo from the Workaholics. The mural on the wall (fanservice but in the background like good fanservice should be). The ostrich.

    I’m not making excuses, I’m letting you know what I laughed at. I loved the season and I want more. If you didn’t that’s fine but the people who liked it aren’t wrong and where it crosses the line is when you try to tell someone what their motivations are for liking the thing you didn’t. Telling people what’s in your head is fine, telling them what’s in theirs? That’s where you get into trouble.

  34. That said love the podcast and I’ve eaten a lot of sugar.

  35. When Arrested Development was tv, they bounced back and forth between the characters, keeping each of them fresh and leaving you wanting more. I think the new format suffered by isolating the characters into their own episodes, you just got too much of them and were always wondering what else was happening. That’s different to isolating them within the story, which showed us the value of their family unit – damage control. When they were together they limited the damage each could do to themselves and other people, often because they all focused on tripping each other up. I think it would have been stronger if we saw it play out chronologically – when any story started to slow down, and they all did, another would have been there to pick it up. And the bits of the new season that really worked were when the characters interacted with each other.
    Even then, that ending, and thus overall structure, was weak anyway. It was Bendis plotting – “it’ll all pay off in the end”, “c’mon, we’re building it up, it’ll be even better for it in the end” “ha, fooled ya! It doesn’t end here, it ends in the next season, (but wasn’t ‘one punch’ cool)?!”. It’d still have ended, unended, on an anti-climax.

    I’m a bit with Jeff in that I can’t help but feel it’s strong defenders aren’t being wholly honest – mainly because Abhay’s not yet convinced me it wasn’t mostly a miss, and he’s pretty good at swinging my mind on stuff. Well, comic/TV stuff. I’m not drinking his kool-aid just yet. Jeff’s criticisms rang very true to me. Echoed the comments between me and my girlfriend as it went on (and I like seeing them as selfish horrible people more than it sounds like he does).

    Graeme’s (devils advocate) argument to Jeff ‘should we let expectations get in the way’ falls apart for me, not only because it’s got the same name and is by the same people, but for the amount of Easter-egg like callbacks they did. That went well beyond the old-style callbacks, like Maebe using the marry me line then realising she didn’t need it, to shout-outs that only reminded you of the time that happened before.

    For all my whinging, there were hilarious moments throughout. And the second half much better than the first. I’ve always enjoyed that Michael has always been as horrible as everyone else, it’s only the way he’s been shown that makes him sympathetic, so seeing that play out was quite nice – he didn’t behave that much worse than he did in trying to win Martha.
    I feel the key flaw here is the key flaw I feel across a lot of modern media – it was decompressed, and invested too much time in set-up, not enough time paying off.

  36. Michelinie and Layton came back for a second stint on Iron Man (215-250 or so) that can be held up right next to their original run. That’s just about the only such example I can think of, though.

  37. Graeme. I can confirm that Avengers Arena really is a great character driven book. You just really did happen to come in at the wrong issue. It would have a completely different pay off if you’d read the previous issues.
    I’m a bit worried that you won’t be able to follow the books twists and turns with the same emotional impact as I am if you continue the random sample method and I would highly recommend you go back and read the previous issues. Now is actually a very good time to get on board as there’s some interesting twists coming up that have already been spoiled by previews.
    To try and convince you I won’t send any digital copies because I am a poor intern. However I’ll present you with three points that will hopefully suck you in

    1) Cammi is imo better written in AA than in any of her original appearances. In fact I was super disappointed when I went back to read Drax the Destroyer on the merit of liking her so much in AA

    2) Here’s one of my favorite character moments where the kids gauge on the fruit of a magical tree that Nico conjured up as a peace offering

    http://lets-superbrat.tumblr.com/post/51167877292/avengers-arena-by-dennis-hopeless-and-kev-walker

    3) The final page of issue 10 is deceptively clever. On the surface it can be read as torture porn but if you look at the script in which Nico is saying ‘help’ while she touches the staff you’ll see that it is the same script that is used whenever she casts. As I’m sure you know Nico’s powers are fueled by the staff of one and her own spilt blood. The latter is present in concentrations that we haven’t seen before… Aren’t you curious to know whether that last ‘help’ was an impotent death cry or something more? *Nudge nudge wink wink*

  38. Have to agree with Julian and Beast on AA. Popping in for one issue would not give the right impression – nor does the first issue which is also atypical. This really is a character-driven book, as better displayed in the 6th issue which pays off a number of threads developed among the British academy kids. Also, 10 lacks Kev Walker, who has done a tremendous job on the “acting” side of the equation by giving these kids real visual personalities and emotions. To me, the Catwoman affair is pure tasteless shock – the equivalent of throwing a cat at someone in a horror movie – where what happens to Nico (not that I like it) is the payoff of a number of threads and depressing, not meant to be “enjoyed” in a torture porn sense. Reading the book, you are definitely not rooting for people to be killed – just the opposite.

  39. I’m glad you guys steered me toward The Fictional Man. It’s a fantastic novel. It reminds me of Ian McEwan at his most enjoyable and transcendent, and it gets points for being more inventive too.

    One of the things The Fictional Man does best, is ridicule Hollywood. I would say it’s over the top, but it is too humorous not to enjoy, and it magnifies the truths about Hollywood as much as the fictions.

    One complaint I might have, is that the narrator, Niles, and the characters work together to give much of the point of the book away too early.

    I agree that Liz is not in the book enough, and she was also a brilliant character because she captured many of the nuances of the central theme without simply giving them up in narration or dialogue.

    Another thing that is a bit bothersome is that Britishisms sneak through during American characters’ dialogue, which removes me from the story a bit.

    Overall, Al Ewing wrote a beautiful and enjoyable study of the human experience, and one that left me laughing out loud many times.

    “What’s the pitch, bitch?”

  40. I ordered The Fictional Man because of you. BECAUSE OF YOU!

  41. Uh-oh, Ricardo. That doesn’t sound good….

  42. We’ll see. It’s taking forever to arrive…

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