diflucan 2 doses

Wait, What? Ep. 13.2: The Secret Ingredient is Dork!

Jeff Lester


Aw, man–why couldn’t I have remembered I had this image tucked away yesterday when it would’ve been at all applicable?

Anyway, part two of this week’s Wait, What? is up for your perusal, both over at Itunes and right here!  If nothing else, I think it’s worth listening to for one of the more offbeat “Who’s stronger…” conversations you’ll hear in a while.  It’s comics criticism lifted to a whole new level, all right.

Also, Graeme tries to collapse the Internet at least twice, so that’s probably worth a listen, right?

Wait, What? Episode 13.2

Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit questions to us, and, as always, thanks for listening!

22 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 13.2: The Secret Ingredient is Dork! ”

  1. not working

  2. The server is being a little glitchy, sep–I couldn’t connect to the hosting site at all for a few minutes there–but it’s working now. Lemme know if you continue to have problems.

  3. The Ellis/Johns dichotomy is a false one in many respects, but I was curious on your guys’ takes since Tim and I debated that one a few times. And because I’m too lazy a question asker to think up new ideas to debate.

    And, when you were talking about the ‘dickish genius with aspergers’ character type, my mind went immediately to Morrison’s Reed Richards in Fantastic Four 1234.

  4. Ellis would definitely defeat Geoff Johns in any of the man-approved forms of competition, which comes down to violence or drinking contests. And also writing. This might be because I go far out of my way to avoid reading or discussing Johns’ work (I learned my lesson), but, I mean, c’mon. When’s the last time Johns wrote a creator-owned work? I think he did, once, but I forget what it was. Meanwhile, Ellis is always thinking about comics’ evolution, trying new things with the periodical format, etc. Sometimes his stuff seems samey– one does not need to pick up each successive Marvel book from him– but I’d easily place him on the medal podium in terms of Top Three Working Comics Writers.

    I really like Fraction– and I sense him coming from the Ellis/Morrison school of comics rather than any other one– but he can’t get me to read X-Men. (If even Warren Ellis and Joss Whedon failed to entertain me on an X-book, nobody else has a chance.) I’ve switched to trades on his Iron Man, and it’s good, but slight. Casanova remains my favorite comic of the 21st century, I think (at least in the first three or five I’d spit out if needed, and one of the few not written by Grant Morrison)– I’ll buy the collection of the recolored reprints, even! And I’d normally never conceive of buying anything twice.

    Also: Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher is pretty solid, actually. It’s Omega Man, but with Punisher instead of Charlton Heston. Therefore, it’s not as awesome as The Omega Man, but the art is lovely, and the story is solid. And for some reason, I keep seeking out Punisher comics these days. I blame Ennis– but really, we’re in some weird Punisher revolution right now. Franken-Castle’s been surprisingly extraordinary, and I have it on good faith that Aaron is successfully following up Ennis’ MAX run (I’ve ordered the trade).

    The Milligan/Ryp one-shot– yeah. Milligan’s in it for the paycheck. And I really like Ryp’s work, but the coloring completely dilutes it.

  5. Oh, and the “dick genius” thing is probably due to everyone watching House. And the Machiavellian aspect surely comes from the post-Morrison JLA-Batman stuff, specifically the “I’ve plotted your dooms and I built a magic satellite!” plotlines.

  6. Thanks for trying that one question, chaps. I should have been clearer, maybe, but I got a bit lost when I suddenly remembered that Pepper Potts is an Iron Man, now (because that one scene with Bethany Cabe and her chapped nipples wasn’t enough, apparently).

    The question was really about future creators having to deal with so much extra baggage and chattel around these characters – everything from The Native (remember her? And her many Wolverine embryos?) to Larfleeze and the Vomcat.

    The question should have been, “How much of this stuff can you put on the backs of these concepts before they either collapse or go totally Buckaroo?”

    Because, you know, The Other was easy to ignore. The Hulky Bunch is going to be harder to deal with, as it pertains to the main themes of the character. You almost had me convinced over Wolverine with the “regretful Dad” idea, but the way they get to these things – X-23, e.g. – screws it up.

    Aside: the only Hal Jordan story I ever liked was the first part of a two-parter where the pink shark-man villain steals Hal’s life-force by grabbing his face, and it ends with Ha; lying dead on the ground, seen from above, with all this newspaper trash blowing around him. I bought that on holiday in Devon aged about six/seven, and never got to read the next part, so for all I knew, Hal Jordan died in 1982. Dave Gibbons art, I think.

    Aside 2: I never thought that Classic Hulk should have been able to copulate. He’s a baby, essentially, right? So why would he have a working cock and balls?

    You can answer that question, if you like, with special reference to the Dale Keown school of Hulk design, in which every single muscle and vein is, essentially, part of his penis.

    (and/or Ultimate Hulk, who I was disappointed to discover was not a more all-round expression of repressed emotion, outside of anger/The Horn.)

    Graeme, in your analysis of Johns vs. Ellis, you missed an equally tragic waste of talent, I think. I don’t want to patronise the man, too much, but Jim Lee? He could be so much more than a bad superhero tailor.

    Aside: that new belt, right? Is it me, or does it give Wonder Woman a tramp-stamp?

    And finally, because I’m supposed to be working: that last bit about indy/mainstream hits home quite hard. I mean, I make small press superhero comics. That’s not all I make, and it’s by no means all I’m interested in (o hai, romance comics. I like what you’ve done with your hair), but it’s so fucking hard, boo hoo, to compete with the little red rectangle or the big blue swish.

    I feel like I’m trapped between two worlds, a lot of the time. I go to zine fairs and comics shows with a heavy small-press presence, and it often seems like I’m the only one doing that sort of stuff (I’m not, but bear with me).

    I think the thing is, the “MAINSTREAM” is such a dominant force in comics that indy comicos automatically reject it – because they don’t want anything to do with it, sure, because their muse takes them in different directions, but also because it’s such a well-travelled road. I mean, you can understand it, right? If Batman already exists, why would you want to invent him?

    Ah, you know what? Fuck this. Fuck it. I want to make comics, I’m’a go make comics. Talk is cheap.


  7. WHAT.




    The Flash is in this? Ahhh…this must be the rooftop chat they have during “Trial of The Flash.” Did they do that twice, from both men’s perspectives?

    I went from a reprint of The Flash’s origin (which I think may be my second-favrit such story) to this rooftop chat, with the Flash facing trial for side-on murdering a dude. Thanks, Inconsistent Shipping And Distribution To British Newsagents (specifically wrt DC)!


  8. “I really like Fraction– and I sense him coming from the Ellis/Morrison school of comics rather than any other one– but he can’t get me to read X-Men.”

    There’s just been a crossover, which I haven’t read past, but for the first 3-4 (?) trades of his work, he’s picking up where Morrison left off.
    But instead of having mutants all over the globe, because there’s now less of them, he’s moved everyone to one city, and is now dealing with the exact same ‘if mutants were everywhere’ thing Morrison had going, just all set in a city.
    Quite a clever way of picking up from G-Mozz, whilst sticking to Marvel’s policy.

    Of course, in the last collection I read, after they’d established the city, everyone moved out to an island made from Asteroid M or some shit, so it’ll probably go totally off the rails from there.

  9. DAMN!

    McMillions is making the bold statements on this one!

    When it comes to reading superheroes, particularly the Marvel or DC one’s, 9 times out of 10 I’d prefer Johns.
    But that’s because Ellis doesn’t really put his all into any of the Marvel or DC characters he’s written, with the exception of Nextwave.
    And since he’s Wildstorm days, I’ve not really liked any of his non-Marvel or DC heroes either – I get the vibe it’s really not what he wants to be writing.

    That said, when he’s switched right on and firing, Ellis can top most others.

    As for Fraction, I enjoy his work, but I don’t think Marvel is letting him be all he can be – not necessarily that they are stopping him, but just from the nature of the beast.
    He’s got to fit into their plans, as opposed to being able to go as crazy as he wants.

    In Uncanny, I have trouble believing he wanted to shift the mutants to an island, after all the work he’d been doing setting them up in their ‘new’ (now old) base,
    and on Iron Man, I really loved that first arc, but by the end of that second arc with Tony running around the world losing his mind… it just outstayed it’s welcome (particularly as the omnibus ends on a cliffhanger, presumably leading into Siege).
    I kind of feel if he had a bit of a bigger name when he signed on, he’d have a bit more freedom to be the Fraction he can be!

    As for Casanova, I really think the colouring gets in the way (assuming that’s how McMillions has re-read it).
    It maybe that I’m used to seeing it as I was, and so it confuses my brain, but I don’t know that colouring art that wasn’t designed for it was the best way to go – I think it robs it of some of the break-neck speed it had before… it also worries me that he took it to Marvel – that makes me think he’s going to be there a lot longer than I necessarily want him to be, having hoped he’d make a name at Marvel, and then move back to image.

  10. Just re-read 1234 by Morrison for a thing I’m doing and I couldn’t disagree more with the “Dickish Genius” Reed Richards comment above. Everybody else is a right dick in that book (EVEN SUE!) but Reed doesn’t even appear with dialog until issue three. When he speaks on the last page of that issue it’s arguably one of the more pulse pounding cliffhangers I’ve read.

    I tend to think that while uber-Bat may have laid the corner stone of the movement – Jeff’s take of Civil War Reed being the detached ass hat scientist is more definitive and trans formative. It’s more directly influential of the following trend: “I’ve got all these genius level people but I don’t understand science or math so I’m going to set them apart as distant and other.” It points to a low brow take on scientific genius whereas Morrison elevated Richards in 1234. He out thought Doom, he outworked Doom, and he proved that science would always triumph over brute action.

    Science is rarely depicted as being an emotionally pretty act. Men slamming atoms together – disregarding hygiene and personal relationships – acting distracted. This upsets the low-brows and significant others. “Pay attention to me and my little emotional problems. Feed my melodrama. Water my soap opera.”

    Millar’s take (intentionally flawed or not) seems to deliberately go for a negative view of scientific genius. Emphasizing the “rightness” or “wrongness” of the respective causes was more important because it did just that. It advanced the melodrama. It’s always easier to reach for the emotional throat in compressed story-telling. Punching someone in the face is much more visually arresting than out-thinking someone and it tends to sell MUCH better…


    you really work at it. Unless you fill the page with Kirby machines. Unless you write a page of dialog between Alicia and Sue where the blind girl explains how love for humanity and Sue in particular guides Richards’ genius and sense of design. But you kinda have to work at it. You have to show the work that goes into it. You need to be able to explain it to the artist and have an artist who can actually pull it off.

    Finally, I also think Ellis (AHA!) and his depiction of The Four in Planetary has influenced these creators and nudged the needle more in the direction of “scientists as hoarders.” They’re better, smarter, and they are KEEPING THINGS FROM US. So, following that thinking they had better be BASTARDS or otherwise we don’t actually deserve all the best things. We’re pathetic and common. But…but…we can’t be pathetic!

    Can we?

  11. When Graeme started talking about dick geniuses, I too thought of Grant Morrison’s work. But not his Batman, rather his take on Chief in Doom Patrol. It seems like DC’s been writing Brianiac 5 as a dick in Legion for awhile now, so I don’t think it’s a Marvel-centric trend.

  12. Everyone is wrong, and like most things, the emotionally distant super genius can be levelled at the door of Alan Moore: think both Dr Manhattan and Ozymadias.

    And like most things following on from Watchmen, something others have picked up on, and totally failed to explore in interesting ways.

    This has made me want to reread Fantastic 4: 1234 though, especially to see Morrison going against the grain.


  13. Very cool to be listening to this podcast while I work and suddenly hear my name mentioned. Thanks for the shoutout, guys! Been enjoying this podcast a lot.

    By the way, Jeff, great to hear you mention Menage a 3. I’ve been reading that webcomic for a while now and LOVE the artwork as well. I think you are the first person I’ve ever read or heard discuss it (though I guess I must have found out about it from someone in the first place but can’t remember who). The artist, “Giz” seems mysteriously anonymous, which I guess is common in your more porny comics. I had no idea that Giz was a she. Whoever she is she has a very accomplished inking style.

  14. the emotionally distant super genius can be levelled at the door of Alan Moore…

    Well, you know, I think it’s probably even further back than that. And it’s not just Comics, but Culture.

    I want to say “Cold War” and “1970s and the general dissolution of the Respect Culture,” but really, it goes back even furtherer than that. Mary Shelley?

    The mistrust of Science and Scientists is ingrained in mainstream culture – never mind your alternative cultures, your homeopaths, your antivacc’ers. Two faces – Jetpacks and A-Bombs. Sometimes one is turned to the Sun, sometimes it’s the other. People fear what they don’t understand, or what might potentially threaten their otherwise well-constructed worldview (or profits, amirite, lidlbidapolitics?).

    (Fuck, I can’t remember how that line goes. Was it Gaiman? Moore? Fuckarama.)

    We’re taught, though, at Science School, that communication with the rest of the world is absolutely essential. Because everybody is meant to benefit from Science, either directly (cures) or indirectly (the edification of knowledge), because people have to know what they’re paying for, and because Science isn’t there to be hoarded (DOWLING) or dished out like bonbonbonbons by Daddy to his precious children (SNOW), but shared. Enjoyed. Embraced.

    (can someone approve my comment from last night, please?)


  15. Matthew: Thanks for the head’s up about your comment; I didn’t even know we had any say in these matters. And thanks for the links–those are some pretty awesome things that apparently really exist.

    And thanks everyone for so many thoughtful comments to mull over–I think Smitty’s inspired me to try and hunt up G-Mo’s 1234 mini…

  16. I remember really, really disliking 1234 until issue three – smitty is right on he nose, Reed’s final line was a DYNAMITE cliffhanger. And it led to an amazing final issue.

    So Jeff, Graeme – what’re your thoughts on Ellis’ SUPERGOD? More same old, same old, or is he trying something new?

  17. I think Graeme is dead on with identifying the JLA Batman as the starting gun for the “jerk genius” movement. (Whereas Carey is right that Alan Moore created the concept – he even used a jerk genius (Tao) in a team in WildCATs.) Morrison used genius as a superpower to justify putting Batman in the field against Superman level threats. In the process, an unexpected benefit popped up – that by becoming all mysterious about their motives and plans, these genius heroes could become Dangerous and Sexy Wildcard Heroes (which had all but disappeared after everyone finally got bored with claws.)

    Before this, smart heroes were great plot devices (“Oh, no I’ve created a supervillain!” –> “Hey, guys, I figured out how to beat the villain!”) but depended on the other characters for actual human interest. But by making their intellect a superpower and shrouding their motives in secrecy, creators could turn all these Wesley Crushers into Gaius Baltars.

    The only problem with this archtype is motivation decay; after creators hit the “there’s nothing he can’t/won’t do!” button once too often, they start losing track of what the character’s actual motives are. (And suddenly Batman inexplicably decides that he is the last line of defense against superhumans.) A good example is the Chief from the Doom Patrol, whose motivation has become so clouded in the years since the Morrison run that he now produces nothing but random misery for everybody else in the book.

    While I like the idea of the “jerk genius” being a sort of revenge of the non-nerds, I think the geniuses still too much based in wish fulfillment for that to be true. A lot of these geniuses get to substitute their super-intellect for actual martial arts skills these days (“If I calculate speed and trajectory, I’ll be able to coldcock the Hulk with my bowling ball!”) Stupid concept, but it is fun to imagine Hawking inducing Grand Mal seizures by running over his victims reflexology points.

    My favorite jerk genius, by the way, is Amadeus Cho from Incredible Hercules. Pak and Van Lente managed to salvage the concept of the super-intellect for me by balancing it against the emotional instability and immaturity of your average 13 year old, producing one of my favorite comic book runs of the last five years.

  18. Wow, wait a few days to listen to the podcast and the comments section explodes! Graeme collapsing the internet indeed.

    Just wanted to say, oh god Jeff, I am SO sorry about that, you know I meant it all in good fun! And Graeme if we’re ever at a con or something I need to buy you a beer, because you got it immediately :)

    Loved the discussions this episode, and just to contribute to the walls of text in the comments here… I thought the Johns VS Fraction VS Ellis talk was great, even if I think it shakes out more like Ellis > Johns > Fraction. Ellis has been getting a bit stale for years, sadly. His formula and approach are noticeable so often by this point that it can nearly kill any idea or character work he might be trying. Admittedly this is only a problem for people who have read the majority of his work and so have had the exposure needed to notice the pattern, but the pattern is still there.

    Johns does even less maneuvering within his own skill-set though. And Fraction EVEN LESS so. I’m not even really sure Fraction HAS a recognizable skill-set as a writer yet. He seems to have no real voice. Nothing to say yet, you know? When you pick up a Johns or an Ellis comic you fucking know it (for better or worse), but not with Fraction. He appears to write increasingly in the Generic Marvel House Style.

    And I think Graeme is entirely correct to lay a good deal of the blame for how these writers like Fraction and Bendis constantly play up their attempts at challenging themselves to being surrounded by worship. That plus a possible over-reliance on the Marvel method of scripting and massive story decompression mean that the work is just easier for them to churn out.

    The reason I think Graeme went with Johns though, it that because no matter how much Johns draws water from the same well over and over again, he does it with such genuine earnestness that the energy just comes though in a really… youthful and, well, manic and naive sort of way. Johns is like a kid on a perpetual sugar high. And Ellis and Fraction seem to both be aware of what they do in a way that Johns isn’t. Its a thing that kinda goes back to how Kirby told stories without being self-aware about it so his stories don’t have a self-consciousness to them.

    Johns does a bit of the same thing in a DC fanboy sort of way. And since Graeme is something of a DC fanboy (I think?) I’d be willing to bet the sheer love for the characters and world that Johns has was enough to make him Graeme’s choice.

    Eh, I could be totally wrong about any or all that though. I’m 23, what do I know?

  19. I was kind of surprised that Jeff hadn’t ever read American Flagg. I think you should. I’d like to hear you guys talk about Chaykin in general; maybe cover American Flagg, his Shadow and Blackhawk series and that one he did with Jose Luis Garcia Lopez with all of DC’s sci-fi characters.

  20. [I should really leave more substantive comments for everyone since you’re all awesome, but I’m just cherrypicking the last few since work is kinda killing me…]

    VoodooBen: I was half-tempted to check out Supergod after the whole spinal-chord belt thing that Rich leaked. (I’m thinking of the right book, yeah?) Maybe I’ll check it out now…

    Jesse: Really nice point, and very well-presented. I’m pretty convinced!

    Terrence: I did know, and no harm done whatsoever, really. And some great follow-up comments about Johns and Ellis and Fraction.

    CBrown: It’s one of my secret shames–I’ve read Shadow, Blackhawk, and Black Kiss, and that one issue of Marvel Premiere with Monark Starstalker, but not Flagg–so it’s not something I’ve owned up to previously. It’s clearly absurd that I haven’t, and I hope to get around to it…someday? Maybe sooner rather than later.

  21. Just in case you two have time for more questions next time:

    Which creator would you like to return to making comics? How likely is that to happen?

    My personal vote would be Christopher Priest, writer of Black Panther and Quantum and Woody. While his runs were always flawed, they were never dull and I still believe his best work could be ahead of him. Sadly, there’s almost no chance he and the comics business could stop hating each other long enough to make it work.

  22. I have another question, as well:

    Is the introduction of Chloe Sullivan into the DC Comics Universe the first example of the franchisement of non-superhero characters? I mean, ersatz-Supermen, ersatz-Wolverines and ersatz-Batmen is one thing, but ersatz-Lois Lane?

    Is Chloe Sullivan Lois Lane’s War Machine? Or is she Lois Lane’s Spidercide?


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