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Wait, What? Ep. 131: Linkpocalypse

Jeff Lester

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Motofumi Kobayashi’s Cat Shit One: Another great reason to love comics.

Yes, okay! As always, I have nothing clever to say in this space, but unlike always, I’m not going to waste your time saying it. I’ve got show notes with images! Links! Prizes! (There are no prizes!) Torrid confessions! (There probably will not be any torrid confessions.)

After the jump: Show Note Machine…Go!

0:00-25:22: Bemoaning the fact that we’re not nearly as organized as other podcasts, Graeme makes a prediction about we’ll be talking about this episode as a way of introducing this episode to listeners. This allows me to retool a favorite aphorism here in the show notes:  “If you want to make God laugh, introduce a podcast.” It leads right into our first order of business:  talking about the latest crazy developments in DC’s 3-D cover event.  If you’ve already read Hibbs’ post about this already, you’ll be a step ahead of most of the points Jeff makes here, although he does bring his own unique tin foil hat spin to the situation.  Also covered, the recent decision in Kirby v. Marvel,  what it means to “hamburger a muffin” and the opening of a  new Salt & Straw right near Graeme. Verily, this is the Mighty Wait, What? Age of Golden Epicureanism!
25:22-34:07:  Also on a non-comics tip, Stephen Colbert and Bryan Cranston, which famous people we’ve been compared to, the Adult BMI guidelines, Tarder Sauce, and more.
34:07-45:37:  Todd McFarlane, Len Wein and Gerry Conway discussing sexism and comic books! which we discuss without the context provided by some later tweets made by Conway.  And who is…. the Billy Joel of comics?  Find out here, along with a torrid confession from Jeff!  (Oh, okay, so there was one of those, after all.  Huh.)
45:37-58:05: And in this week’s installment of “Welcome to Jeff’s Big Basket of Sour Grapes,” Jeff talks about a Twitter exchange between Rob Liefeld and Erik Larsen and their consideration of comic book criticism.  Graeme, trying to bring the sense, just ends up bouncing the ball of generosity off Jeff’s ungenerous blockhead for an impressively long time.
58:05-1:04:00:  Also, under discussion, Mark Millar’s comments about rape.  You probably can imagine our reaction to that one but…maybe not?
1:04:00-1:21:40: And now it’s time to talk about some comics we’ve read — a little bit about AvX  (and the kindness and generosity of the Whatnauts), but also a lot about the genius that is Rogue Trooper and Cat Shit One. This leads to our we-might-as-well-make-it-official-and-call-it-weekly discussion about 2000 A.D., which in turn leads to discussion about comic book covers, which in turn leads to Velvet by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting,
1:21:40-1:26:08: Jack Kirby’s In The Days Of The Mob! It is available! It is…not cheap!  Not cheap at all!
1:26:08-1:27:21: Copra Compendium (which I can’t say aloud without thinking of Weird Al-esque lyrics set to “Copacabana” which is probably why I probably called it Copra Companion half the time) Vol. 2!  Jeff loves this like burning, worries that Graeme may not.  But either way, there is so much lovely stuff, including  the panel shown below and discussed in this podcast:

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1:27:21-1:31:33:  That inspires Graeme to talk about Lynn Varley, Trevor Von Eeden, and the Kickstarter the latter is running with Don McGregor for Sabre: The Early Future Years.
1:31:33-1:34:12:  Graeme has read Cartozia Tales, the shared fantasy universe featuring some outstanding work by Jen Vaughn, Jon Lewis, Dylan Horrocks, and more.
1:34:12-1:38:34: Trilium #1 by Jeff Lemire. We’ve both read it.  We both discuss it.
1:38:34-1:41:55: Jeff fumbles and bumbles through some display problems to try and convey how much he digs Jaco the Galactic Patrolman by Akira Toriyama, as well as Toriyama’s brilliantly dopey pre-Dragonball series, Dr. Slump.  One of the panels Jeff discusses super-briefly is this one:

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1:41:55-1:45:04: The first collection of Talon from DC!  Did Graeme like it almost as much as Jeff likes Toriyama…or even more than Jeff likes Toriyama?  Tune in and find out.
1:45:04-1:52:08: The final volume of Bakuman is out, which is very bittersweet for Jeff.  Despite the frustrations with how Viz has handled publication of this manga (and the generally anticlimactic nature of the last volume), man of man, Jeff is going to miss that series.
1:52:08-end: Closing comments! Graeme makes it sound like we won’t be back next week but we will!  (I think.)

See, look at all that. Links! Images! Torrid confessions. (Well, a torrid confession.)  Nice, eh?  So you should go hear it!  It is on iTunes — eventually — and it is here for your convenience:

Wait, What? Ep. 131: Linkpocalypse

As always, we thank you for listening and hope you enjoy!  (Now if you excuse me, I have a new chapter of Jaco The Galactic Patrolman to go read….)

39 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 131: Linkpocalypse ”

  1. Everyone knows Peter David is Billy Joel.

    (Oh, “of Comics”? Yeah, that too.)

  2. WE ONLY PLAY 80S JOEL.

  3. Wait, Jeff has never read AMERICAN FLAGG!? Wha-huh??? Zounds, man, you may die tomorrow!!! We are talking about one of THE books of the 80s. What exactly are you waiting for?? It’s staggeringly good. Best Chaykin ever, by a country mile.

    And btw, Liefeld is 5th rate (objectively awful, even by the “rules” of his own “style”)… Larsen is arguably 3rd rate (though that sounds needlessly mean)… But I do believe McFarlane, genuinely, is masterfully 2nd rate… There’s no way you can put prime McFarlane in the same category as Liefeld… McFarlane was never Kirby, granted… But he was not the same as Liefeld…

    I’m not saying McFarlane as a writer or as a professor of womens’ studies… I’m saying McFarlane as a guy who genuinely made the art style in mainstream comics WAY more exciting and paved the way for the lack of a “house style” that is a principal reason why some Marvel comics can crackle with unique visual energy today.

    Try looking at other comics being put out by Marvel when McFarlane became massive. By and large, THOSE were 3rd rate artists.

  4. That was a very enjoyable episode gentlemen.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

  5. Thanks so much for mentioning the Sabre Kickstarter on the podcast this week. It’s been an thrilling (pun intended) and sometimes bizarre journey driving this project to Kickstarter. Don and Trevor are amazing collaborators and I’m happy to say the new Sabre GN will have 100% less placenta than the original series. It’s got lots of action, adventure and romance but no placentas of any kind!

    We really appreciate your support.

    Did you see my series of columns about Trevor’s Thriller starting at http://comicsbulletin.com/columns/5541/the-full-run-thriller-1-by-robert-loren-fleming-and-trevor-von-eeden/ I hope I did justice to that wacky and underrated comic. I read it off the stands too (which means I’m an old man too… sigh.)

  6. So much manga. So little interest.

  7. So much willful ignorance!

  8. Larsen and Liefeld distorting and denigrating the role of critics makes it even sadder that David Brothers’ comics commentary is silenced by him taking a job at Image. To think that one of our best critics is now helping put out Mark Millar and JMS comics, while his bosses (at least, the upper management) laugh about his former profession is…would “tragic” be hyperbole? Maybe we never should have cared in the first place.

  9. Graeme, it’s not just Scots, these microphone composers are useless with Co Durham folk too. Let’s do the next bit of this post that way – a translation will follow if it seems necessary …
    ///////
    It’s weird, for some reason I always imagine Billy Joel and Billy Crystal as the same as you.

    It’s great to hear symbol for the art of Trevor on Eden stop Taylor was amazing and his clean animal first-rate. Just as Kirby was allowed to complete before the world saga, I would love to see for the Eden and Fleming call back and finish that as intended.

    My feeling is getting worse. As well as mishearing Tori Amos. And Sabrina I thought you said cat ship one And corporate, Indian.

    Did you ever see ahimsa was just a brother?

    //////////

    TRANSLATION

    It’s weird, for some reason I always imagine Billy Joel and Billy Crystal as the same person.

    It’s great to hear some love for the art of Trevor Von Eeden. Thriller was amazing and his Green Arrow first-rate. Just as Kirby was allowed to complete the Fourth World saga, I would love to see Von Eeden and Fleming go back and finish that as intended.

    My hearing is getting worse. As well as mishearing Tori Amos and Sabrina I thought you said Cat Ship One and Cobra Compendium.

    Did Graeme say Hibbs was Jeff’s brother?

  10. Glad you have finally discovered the joys of Rogue Trooper Jeff! I grew up with that strip and its still one of the best of 2000ad’s output…wait till Cam Kennedy takes over the art duties..it just gets better!

  11. Mart – Hibbs is Jeff’s brother only in the sense that we’re all brothers, man. Unless we’re sisters.

  12. Solid episode, guys. Thanks. I’ll have more coherent thoughts on it later, maybe, but right now I just wanted to note that based on the last few weeks of experimentation, Wait, What? is clearly my parakeets’ favorite podcast. (Their least favorite seems to be Comic Books Are Burning In Hell – Jog’s voice seems to send them into an eerie, paranoid silence.)

  13. When you were describing Cat Shit One, I remembered that I saw a trailer for an animated version at a film festival a few years back…had no idea it was a manga. Linking in case you didn’t already know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wncS6tO59M

    Definitely going to be looking for some Rogue Trooper based on your enthusiasm, familiar with the character, even (one of the few who) played the video game but never read the comic, even back in the day when they were first launched in the US for a mere buck(!) Gawd remember when those original Eclipse Miracle Man comics launched for 75 cents?!

    Again, thanks to you both for the podcast, definitely a bi weekly highlight

  14. Great work as always. But is there any way to adjust Graeme’s volume up a bit, so that it’s closer to Jeff’s levels in the mix? I’ve got to crank the volume to hear the former at times, only to have my ears blown out by the latter.

  15. Ah, Billy Joel. The source of my only drunken pull apart. I’ll say this for that habitual drunk driver. He’s polarizing.

    Jeff, buddy, ground hamburger (candied or not) is no way to go. You’ve got to have something with a higher salt content. Prosciutto or bacon, preferably. I have pictures.

    (Sigh)

    I had a whole huge thing done up about Larsen and Liefeld and just binned it. The only critical appraisal that really needs voiced is “not worth the time.”

    It’s charitable of Graeme to chalk it up to generational taste but Liefeld and Larsen’s buyers are down to the hardcore. Their “generation” burned out of comics based in large part on the weakness / misguided hubris of their stewardship.

    Len Wein’s contribution to the current comics dialogue is that painful mix of “Haha, oh Len you old goof, you.” and execrable glory days stories blasting out of his jukebox wherein he is ever the humble hero and everyone else is the shit heel.

    If you can make it through the Nerdist Comics Writer’s Panels without rolling your eyes at Wein at least twice per podcast you’re a stronger soul than I.

    Anyhow, lest I be a complete downer, thanks for all the great manga suggestions. I have to say the new recording apparatus is the best yet and I feel like you’ve really got the kinks out. Saaay, is that an anvil streaking out of the sky? Jeff! Watch out! I jinxed it!

  16. Yeah Len’s pretty bad on those podcasts. There was one with Ed Brubaker where he said all of Alan Moore’s stories were the same. On another he said he was the only Spider-Man writer to make New York City a substantial part of the book. It doesn’t help that his voice sounds like the dude just stuck a spoonful of peanut butter in his mouth before getting on the mic.

  17. The whole DC cover debacle strikes me as the result of neither iniquity nor ineptitude, but indifference.
    I suspect DC hedged its bets on the cover gimmick, printing just enough so that a sell-out would translate into dominating the charts that month, and figuring they’d deal with second prints and digital once they’d taken the temperature of the market. Sadly, the retailers were the anus to DC’s thermometer.

  18. Wat?! Len Wein is fantastic on the Nerdist podcast. He is no more full of shit than anyone else who worked in comics during that period, and his smack talk and glory days stories are actually interesting. I don’t really see why anyone would listen to that podcast if not for Wein.

  19. Cass,

    Not saying that Corson or Beechen light the world on fire but you kinda hit on my underlying point. That pod could and should be about a lot more. Acker is a GREAT interviewer but you can tell he’s trying to take a back seat and the rest of the table defers to Wein.

    My point is, if you’re not into the whole Wein thing then there’s no real “there, there” because Wein makes it as all about himself as he can. His “Len Wein Con” story being the most hilarious about face of them all.

    He rags on Morrison for having the hubris to promote his own convention then immediately brags about being the headline guest three years running through a series of hilarious happenstances. Of course, he only did it because people were in a pinch, and he really didn’t think he was worthy of it, but they just really needed him and “…just thinking back, trying to recapture, little of the glory-uh-uh.”

    We’ll have to disagree on the enjoyment / interest level but there’s no denying he monopolizes the discourse in the most self aggrandizing way.

    Different Strokes to move the world, brother/sister Cass. I’ll keep listening – despite the eye rolling – because every once in a while I hear something really informative.

    For example, Adam Beechen can’t think of a story he’s written where the stakes weren’t “life and death.” I mean that’s not a lot of variance in stakes setting.

    Issue 1 – Life and Death
    Issue 2 – Life and Death
    Issue 3 – Life and Death
    Iss…

    You get what I’m saying, right?

  20. I am not one of the guys who is obsessed with crap but calls it ‘genre’, I swear. But I fucking loved New Mutants and X-Force when Liefeld was on them.

    I have said this before somewhere, but I thought I was huge Fabian Nicieza fan. I kept buying his books for like a decade afterwards, then being totally confused when they blew. I didn’t find out Liefeld plotted/wrote them until quite recently.

    Cannonball was an X-ternal, remember? Cable had tracked him down because he was a secret subsect of mutant, one that became immortal when killed for the first time. It was great. I thought it was totally neat and made Cannonball cool and threatening.

    You know what I mean? There was 100 issues of Sam Guthrie being a wimpy non-entity, and then, there was this imminent future where Cannonball would become the grizzled warrior that was going to lead the Xmen into battle for centuries, even as they died all around him.

    That’s how I remember it anyway. I was 12.

  21. It seems I’ve missed a couple episodes, since I don’t remember any discussion of Morrison Con. But yeah, it’s definitely different strokes, because what you describe – Wein bashing Morrison for something only to later boast about doing the same thing – sounds very entertaining to me.

    One of my favorite moments on any podcast ever (sorry Graeme and Jeff) was hearing what I have to imagine was the sound of milk squirting out of Ed Brubaker’s nose as Wein complained about the middling quality of Alan Moore’s work. Without Wein, nothing that heretical ever gets said, and I appreciate his willingness to tell it like he feels it, even if he’s totally wrong.

    Blacker asks good questions, but he’s way too stiff, and I always get the sense that he’s not nearly as comfortable talking about comics as he is about television writing. (Also his NPR voice annoys me, sorry).

    One last thing I’ll say in defense of Wein before people can maybe read some commentary about the podcast they came here for, and that thing is this: Wein actually reads comic books TODAY.

    Stan Lee, Alan Moore, Howard Chaykin, Steve Ditko, etc, they’re all lifetimers like Wein, and they all have something to say about the modern comic book industry, but cmon, nobody believes these guys are regular readers. I doubt if Stan Lee has read a comic book since 1980. But on the Nerdist podcast, Wein will get into specifics. He will tell you exactly what he thought was stupid in this week’s Scott Snyder Batman or whatever. Maybe you would prefer if it was Keith Giffen or somebody else on the show, but as it stands, Wein on Nerdist is probably the best window into how somebody from that era views the industry today as an actual fan.

  22. Weird Thought: In a couple of weeks, when Dimension Z finally wraps up in Captain America, I will be down to five monthly titles. In contrast, I listen to five WEEKLY comic book podcasts (one pea-sling), as well as several others that come out more sporadically, and that number is growing. I have basically become a comic book podcast fan who occasionally reads comics to see what all the fuss is about.

    In the future, when each 20-page comic costs $13 (holding the line at $12.99), and free podcasts outnumber comics ten to one, we will all be podcast-fans who get our comic book fix vicariously through Graeme and Jeff, who themselves do not buy comics, but receive them in digital codes from a mysterious philanthropic benefactor who is later revealed to be Mark Millar. Dark times lie ahead.

  23. “mysterious philanthropic benefactor who is later revealed to be Mark Millar” is probably the most improbable turn of phrase I’ve read all month.

  24. Peaches are awesome!

  25. I agree with Matt M. Graeme’s volume needs to come up a bit. I listen on earbuds and if I crank up the volume enough to clearly hear him I’m deafened by Jeff’s bursts of maniacal laughter.

  26. Thanks for the kind words, guys!

    Re: Von Eden. It was TCJ, not Comics Interview, and -small world – I conducted it years ago.

    http://www.tcj.com/the-comics-journal-298-may-2009/

    Trevor was quite gracious all throughout, so I’m glad people are still discovering his work. Oh, and the history of Thriller was also fun to compile, especially when it resulted in Loren Fleming leaving comments.

    http://michelfiffe.com/?p=756

  27. OK, a newbie question here, and I’m really sorry if it’s old and boring – I couldn’t find an FAQ section anywhere…

    ANYway, ever since I started listening to this pdocast, a few months ago, I have seen the phrase “Wait, what!?” in a heck-ton of comics. Now, clearly it’s a pretty standard phrase, and I’m sure that’s how you chose the name of yopur show – but I can’t help but wonder if every time the phrase appears, it’s the author/editor’s way of saying “Hey, I listen to / ednorse the views of Jeff Lester and Graeme McMillan”. Just wondering.

    Most recent spot, by way of exmaple, Daredevil #28.

  28. @Alex: As much as we’d like to deceive you and say “yes,” I think it is much more likely it is not an endorsement/acknowledgment (in your particular example, for instance, although we’ve had nothing but praise for Daredevil, we’ve had our run-ins with the editor) but rather making use of the same fun audio tic we do.

    Although I have to compliment us on choosing it several years back before the expression blew up, someday soon Wendy’s will have a “Wait, Whattaburger!” or KFC will have a “a dozen chicken nuggets for only a dollar–wait, what?!” marketing campaign so that *nobody* will want to use it again, and we’ll be like the “Twenty-Three Skiddoo” podcast…

    Anyway, thanks for asking, and hope you’re enjoying the podcast!

  29. Well, I’m listening to my first Nerdist podcast and really enjoying the chat on Watchmen – and Len Wein sounds smart, and he’s generous about Alan Moore, despite not thinking much of some of his Swamp Thing stories … he’s allowed to have an opinion.

    But the title of the show that comes up on my phone for these round tables, ‘Writer’s Forum’ singular. Is that a joke?

  30. Great ep as always, guys. Just popping in to voice my agreement that Graeme’s volume probably oughtta come up a bit.

  31. Those BMI charts are bullshit, man. I came home one day and my wife was near tears because she’d looked up her BMI on WebMD and it told her that she was obese. Which she’s not. So I looked up my BMI and it told me that I was borderline obese. Which I’m not!!! Not even close, WebMD! Fuck that noise.

    Graeme, I didn’t read that Trevor Von Eden interview, but it sounds like if you liked that, you would love the podcast he did with the Sidebar Nation guys: http://sidebar.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/05/the-original-trevor-von-eeden.html#tp It is, as you would say, spectacular. Basically, Trevor Von Eden is the most important character in Frank Miller’s life and career, even if Miller doesn’t know it. Von Eden is like Zelig in the movie of Miller’s life. You will learn SO MUCH about Miller and Varley’s personal lives. Also, about racist Marvel staffers. It’s great.

  32. Grant Morrison did a follow up interview with Kevin Smith lately: http://smodcast.com/episodes/grant-morrison-bat-christ/ . I’d love to get your take on this. It is all the neat stuff you like about Morrison, but there’s something candid about this interview that seems to be brought out by having Kevin Smith interview him with a “gosh/wow” attitude.

    He also talks in the second interview, about his Wonder Woman ideas that make me interested on his take. The idea that WW is always on trial makes me interested in reading what he might want to say about Wonder Woman.

    – l.k.

  33. http://smodcast.com/episodes/more-with-morrison/ (sorry, here’s the second interview).

  34. I find it oddly comforting knowing I’m taller than both Jeff and Graeme.

    Also its not fair how everyone keeps raving about COPRA but it isnt available in this country :(

  35. Dave, does Bergen street not ship internationally?

  36. http://bergenstreetcomics.com/bergen-street-comics-press/

    Give ‘em a shout

  37. GLASS CURTAIN would be a pretty great name for a Billy Joel cover band, but here on Earth I think Mr. Lester meant either GLASS HOUSES or THE NYLON CURTAIN.

    Easy mistake!

  38. Hey, just catching up on the podcast and noticed that you guys said something towards the end about Prophet only having another 10 issues or so to go. Where did you hear that? I haven’t seen anything along those lines anywhere.

    Curious, because it is by far my favorite book at the moment.

  39. @daustin: Socked in at work and bad at Twitter so I can’t find the exact link but I heard it right from the Walrus Elephant’s mouth, Mr. Brandon Graham himself, back on June 28: “It’ll end around issue 45. but there’s some more plans for stuff after that –hopefully you’ll like.”

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