Wait, What? Ep. 138: Gone Galoshing

Jeff Lester

 photo nickfury5001_zpsb92b1d1e.jpg
Ahh, nostalgia. I used to love that cover….and I know I should crop out that border.  But.

Hey, Internet! My apologies in advance–things are rushed, except maybe a little more so! My Monday schedule changed around a bit so it’s gonna be a rush on my part to make sure they still happen before Tuesday morning.

All of which is to say: join me after the jump for some very hasty show notes, yes?

00:00-4:07:  Opening comments!  Greetings, statements, insinuations. But before the paint has even started to dry on our work-related complaints…comics!
4:07-13:54:  First off, Pretty Deadly.  Recorded just a few hours before “Rip-Up-A-Copy-of-Pretty-DeadlyGate,” we talk about our mixed feelings about this new Image title by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios. We talk westerns, manga, prologues, emotional investment, narrative baiting and switching, and other keen topics.
13:54-27:58: It’s a blurry line, since we’re still unpacking reactions to Pretty Deadly, but around here is where we also work in discussion  of the second book in the week’s trifecta from Image’s Portland Mafia, Velvet #1 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Included in the discussion: LeCarre, Bond, Val from Nick Fury, Paul Gulacy, Sandbaggers, Story X becoming Story Y, etc.
27:58-46:57: And finally, we work in the third book, Sex Criminals #2 by Fraction and Zdarsky.  In the mix: amazing colors, fantastic jokes, problematic jokes, sales figures, sex skittishness, and what have you.
46:57-56:39:  The first Justice League of America hardcover—Graeme has seen it, read it, and has some very good questions about it.  Also discussed: the Fortress of Solitude trade, the Death of the Family trade, the draw of missing issues, things of that nature.
56:39-1:14:30:  And Jeff has things to say about the Cross Manage one-shot that just ran in Shonen Jump Weekly digital.  What did a huge fan of KAITO’s high-school lacrosse fantasy think of the strip’s return?  Also mentioned: romance (of course), New Girl, Castle, Bones, and Deadwood.
1:14:30-1:27:33:  And this kind of crazy talk leads around to an overdue discussion about the DC policy that their heroes can’t have happy romantic relationships. Included in the discussion:  the many stages of Spider-Man; Earth One and the New 52; someone jumping up and down on Superman’s brain and causing him to get divorced; and the possible marital status of Iron Man.
1:27:33-1:35:05: The Secret Origin of Tony Stark over in Iron Man!  We spoil the ending, and talk about the story’s big swerve, narrative v. marketing, the Superman and Wonder Woman relationship (uh, somehow?) and a few additional things thrown in there I don’t quite remember at the moment.
1:35:05-1:43:15: Graeme has a rant about the Agents of SHIELD TV show.  Jeff wants to hear it!  Here’s the segment where we figure out how to make that happen.  There’s a slight tech glitch, but it doesn’t stop us from talking about the Military-Industrial Complex and Hollywood…and Marvel Entertainment, in particular.  This was recorded right around the time of the Captain America: Winter Soldier trailer which was an interesting compare/contrast.
1:43:15-end: “Speaking of Mighty Marvel Self-Critique…” Graeme also walks us through Marvel: Now What? Jeff tries to make up for his sour mood by talking about how much he’s still enjoying Yakitate!! Japan and the most excellent poop joke in Volume 8.  We also end up complaining about Agents of SHIELD some more.  Fortunately, Jeff thinks to ask Graeme about Halloween and this leads to a lively anecdote about “Galoshin’,” a list of costumes Graeme has worn, and we each pick comic book costumes for the other to wear.  IN THE COMMENTS: give us your picks for our Halloween costumes.  Best choices will be shamefacedly and resolutely ignored.

Itunes has been alerted, but the podcast should be below.  The stupid file came out stupidly big so I tried to compress it.  Hopefully, it’s still audible (it’s probably still stupidly big, I fear.)

Wait, What? Ep. 138: Gone Galoshing

Next week:  is a skip week!   We will be back in two weeks!

23 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 138: Gone Galoshing ”

  1. I come back after a month, as that was the time set for the “No Marvel discussion” lunacy ;-) and hey, we have Marvel talk!!! First off, and I hope to get back to more later, but in the short amount of time I have available right now …

    Jeff, how can you say Iron Man was a film that falls into your ” … most of Hollywood’s big films are way more pro-military, over the last 10, 12 years” rationale, when one of the sub-plots of Iron Man was Tony’s instance that the government stay out of his intellectual property because of how they would use it?

    You say both Cap and Iron Man “…are very heavily mired in the big government is good” and while I disagree with you on that idea or message being shown in Iron Man, I have to agree with you about it being in Cap … but isn’t that what it was suppose to show for the time that was being referenced? Wasn’t the “idea” of Uncle Sam and the U.S. military complex as a whole, a symbol of honesty and a high moral code for that time period? Wasn’t the military, as an organization, a group that you should be proud to be a part of, again, for that time period? (Not saying we didn’t do bad shit, just saying that was the American thought process and how the civilian population thought for the time).

    And how did Transformers show the military complex in anyway other than laughable? They were almost a joke of incompetency.

    I get what you are trying to convey, but I just don’t agree that Marvel (or indeed most major film companies), are involved in or trying to showcase the government as “good” or in a picturesque scene right out of an Olan Mills studio picture. All airbrushed to perfection.
    ;-)

    And Graeme, as for SHIELD (A show I struggle to watch and in fact only giving it one more episode to “wow me” or I am done), how is what they are saying in the show any different from the original comic? I may be remembering wrong, highly possible if not probable, but wasn’t the comic about the government being the hero? If not the U.S. Government than SHIELD at the very least. Right? Maybe I am wrong there, but if that is the case, shouldn’t they be saying that on the show? (Damn, I hate sounding like I am defending this horrible show)

    Okay guys, great to be back and I did, as usual, enjoy the show and I hope I am not coming across as too argumentative (honestly not my intent), because you guys are still a favorite of mine!
    Peace

  2. That’s what I get for rushing … that was suppose to be “Tony’s insistence that the government stay out …” Not his instance.
    HA

  3. Jeff explaining his problems with the attitudes of Brevoort and Wacker leading to his marvel boycott is a hell of a lot more understandable than the vague “business practices” he’s been throwing out for a year. I still think his boycott is useless, especially when contrasted with DC’s behavior, but I… I finally get it.

    There are things Brevoort and Wacker have said that have made me reach for a book on the racks and think, “Why bother? These people hate me.”

    Graeme’s ignoring a lot of nuance in that SHIELD episode, but I guess I’ll allow it.

  4. “There are things Brevoort and Wacker have said that have made me reach for a book on the racks and think, “Why bother? These people hate me.’”

    I was going to ask you for an example of this type of behavior, but I fear that would sound like I’m challenging the notion, and I think it’s rude to make people scour google to back up their claims when nothing’s really on the line. So I guess what I’d like to ask is this: which “you” — or which aspect of you — do you think these people hate?

    Because this is a sentiment you guys (meaning S-C comment-leavers) express pretty frequently and I always find it exceptionally curious.

  5. I should start by saying that the Wait, What? theme song absolutely makes my morning when I hear it. Listening to archive episodes, the Trent Reznor kinda put my day on edge. Ghosts is goof stuff, though.

    On the issue of unsustainable ongoings, Matt Fraction explained an interesting philosophy he has on the topic in a John Siuntres interview (Word Balloon 7/12/13 episode?). He basically said, regarding SATELLITE SAM, that he has no problem writing it until it gets cancelled, no matter what point in the story that may be. He enjoys writing his stories while they last. Listen to his interview or take what you will away from that. I kinda have a problem with it, but seeing as he’s putting out good interesting comics, and there’s no certainty that he’ll be rewarded for his interesting ideas with a longish run, it’s the most pragmatic approach I’ve heard.

    There is nothing romantic in the DC universe. It’s a weird, sterile, atheistic dystopia. Batman is the only character that works within the universe because he’s a millionaire playboy who has come back from death and when he looks out his window he sees the graves of the people he cared about.

    Superman and Wonder Woman should have an open relationship. I mean, they threw out all the Smallville farm boy, settle down, pussy shit right? And WW is an Amazon! And she doesn’t have time to go on dates. And if they did they should go dutch of course. Dinner for two on a reporter’s salary? I don’t think so. WONDER WOMAN/ STEVE/LOIS/SUPERMAN/MERA/AQUAMAN/BATWOMAN/MAGS/JOKER’S DAUGHTER/BATGIRL’S TRANSSEXUAL ROOMMATE and they just swap it up. (Note the chicks to dicks ratio, bro ;) )

    So guys that was a wonderful way to spend two hours. Thanks again.

    @Perry: Yeah, SHIELD’s always been a bunch of dickheads right?

  6. Gah, yeah, DC as a company seems to be doing its best to kill any good will (and purchasing) I’d like to have for it. I’ve had such great experiences with even the silly Bronze Age stuff (loved a compilation of Boring/etc. Superman comics when I was a kid) and as an adult so appreciated the resonance a history provided; I could always dig back and find more things to like, even when it didn’t all make sense. Despite Roy Thomas’ best efforts (and seriously, lots of the All-Star Squadron, such as the HQ in the Trylon&Perisphere, made my mid-century design heart go tapoketa-tapoketa). The trailer for the War movie is killing my love for the DCAU and any future engagement I have with it.

    Sigh. Now I’m cranky.

    Great podcast, as usual, and cosigned on the music making me happy. Though needs more beard and dildo stories (I heard that playing last week as I walked into a market in South Boston, which could not be more different if it was consciously trying.)

    Have a happy spooky birthday, Jeff!

  7. Oh, and also, too, regarding the divorce of Tony Stark:

    I’d so much prefer he and Pepper Potts had a working ex relationship, especially in the movie universe. Is it just me, or are they a really blah romantic pair (and it also seems to undermine Pepper as a character, much in the way mentioned for Wonder Woman). The Pepper I’d like to see lives in the (I know I’ve pimped it before) http://americancaptaincomic.tumblr.com

  8. last-minute Halloween costume idea for Jeff: FUNKY FLASHMAN

  9. Funky Flashman is probably a winner, but if Jeff wants to go high-concept, costume-wise: The Newsboy Legion, all of them, presumably after some teleportation accident has combined them into one grotesque body. Jeff has to alternate their accents every other sentence.

    But given Jeff’s beard, and his fantastic vocal impersonation, I think he has a moral obligation to go as Alan Moore – and take video evidence of it. “Oi! I’m Alan Moore, wot! Wot’s oll this about superheroes, guvnah! Magick! Oi!”

  10. @Brendan – Not at all what I was trying to convey. What I was saying was that the comic, again from what I can remember of it, was about a government organization feeling entitled to do anything they want “for the greater good”, regardless of ethical lines that were crossed or how many rights were glossed over because they got in the way. Which is what the show is doing, although with an additional nice, cute voice to brainwash the viewers into thinking that perhaps in real life, that is the way it should be, sure.

    Not saying I agree with that idea (of the all greater good government), but merely that the show is not really different than the comic in its practice. That is what I was saying. Not sure how you got I was implying they were dickheads, but … okay, I suppose that works, as the show is truly horrible and that is as good a reason as any to not watch it.

  11. @Perry: Didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. I think we are mostly of the same mind on SHIELD both as a fictional government organization and a group of characters. They are a good read, but a running joke, sometimes intentional, with SHIELD as of late is that they are overshadowed by the supers they employ, both in terms of ethic (and ethnic?) heroism and competence.

    A surface reading of SHIELD leaves me labeling them a group of dickheads.

    Happy Birthday Jeff, your present is an a topical and obscure Halloween costume idea:

    You should be former SF Giant and professional psychopath Brian Wilson. Get a Dodger blue baseball tee and hat and put a blue rubber band in your beard and you’re set.

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/08/brian-wilson-offered-1-million-to-shave-his-beard/

    The twist is you have to be dead Brian Wilson because otherwise you will be actually murdered on the streets of SF for wearing blue. Graeme can be the Beard Hunter who gave you your long overdue comeuppance. I mean, flaunting your beard like that on national TV? “Fear the beard?” You were asking for it.

    You can easily scrape together that costume in an hour. Ironically Graeme, apathetic toward Halloween as he is, would have to get sewing on a beard belt.

    http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Beard_Hunter

  12. I also started watching Deadwood for the first time a few weeks ago. Love the show, but I haven’t cared much for the Timothy Olyphant character or his will they / won’t they relationship with the widow Garrett. Not that they do a particularly bad job with it, just that, like Graeme, my thoughts are immediately drawn to writers’ room machinations when I see main characters on the verge of romantic happiness. I’m just waiting for the wrench in the works. Chalk it up to the trauma of watching seven seasons of House and Cuddy culminate in a fizzing out to nothing.

    On the other hand, I think the “rotten bastards” aspect of the show is carried off tremendously. What’s really impressive is the way you wind up rooting for Ian McShane’s Swearengen, who is not “morally compromised” or “anti-heroic,” but genuinely evil.

    The connection may be incidental – or for all I know, you can find this in any screenwriting manual – but I see a direct parallel between the depictions of Swearengen and Walter White and the ways in which the audience is made to root for villains, the main principles being:

    (1) The villain must be smarter than his heroic opponents.
    (2) The villain must have villainous opponents, who are more evil, if less intelligent, than he.
    (3) The villain must overcome tribulations unrelated to his villainy (I’m thinking specifically of Swearengen’s kidney stone and Walt’s cancer).

    By the way if you’re interested in hearing more such thoughts, enrollment will soon open for my screenwriting workshop at the North Carolina College of Circus Arts, off I-85 next to the Taco Bell. Act fast, as seats are limited.

  13. Haven’t listened to the podcast yet. (Waiting for the weekend when I can listen all at once.) Had to chime in regarding Halloween costumes for the guys. Given Jeff’s love of Kirby and his current beard – He should dress up as an Asgardian. (One of those that usually stood behind Thor or the hands.Warriors Three and looked menacing.) As for Graeme he should dress in silver spandex and attach colored foil patches all over and be Kirby Krackle. Yeah, I have too much time on my hands.

  14. Having not listened to you guys for several months or longer (for no reason in particular), I was reassured by the familiar presence of at least one technical problem.

  15. Just a quick note to say Happy Birthday to Jeff, and Happy Galoshing Day to Graeme. And while I wasn’t cool enough to buy Erotic Vampire Banking Heist today, I did buy it last week but have not had the time to read further than the free sample.
    On the subject of Velvet, I liked it quite a bit while not loving it, and I wonder if part of the problem isn’t that Brubaker at this point has such a distinctive narrative voice that his work kind of blurs together. I dropped off of Fatale because it wasn’t really doing it for me, not because it was bad, there’s certainly a high level of craft there, but there was a certain sameness to it in common with other Brubaker-Phillips stuff, even with the added horror trappings.

  16. SHIELD has changed over the years in that Americans used to blindly throw their support behind secret organizations if the public faces of the group were those of old grizzled WWII guys who were supposedly making the world safe for democracy. Now Americans are more likely to embrace a secretive quasi-military operation, which by its very existence basically violates the rights and privacy of everyone on earth, if its faces are those of goofy and ninnified men (Agent Coulson) or “strong women” with tight clothing and trendy haircuts (Maria Hill). The oppressive bullheadedness of the organization has not changed a bit, it’s just that the public relations is slicker and harder to second-guess.

    And, yes, over the last 12 years Hollywood has given us more and more movies and TV shows in which the military and any and all “peacekeeping” “anti-terrorism” operations are shown in a blindingly positive light.

  17. Graeme gets a no-prize for best Halloween costume for his John Lennon transition costume. Hands down best concept. Ever.

  18. I wonder if the diegetic disclaimer in Sex Criminal is really Fraction not trusting most of his audience to get that the views of his characters do not necessarily reflect his own, or his way of avoiding being taken under scrutiny by over-zealous social justice Tumblr user, who are the people that the comic seems marketed towards.

    Or it’s a set-up for something in the future.

  19. There’s just something so incredibly regressive about the “No Marriage” rule at DC. To me it implies that they still believe that marriage is this holy untouchable thing that can under no circumstances EVER be undone. Capulo even pointed out on Fatman the other day: THERE’S THIS THING CALLED DIVORCE.

    You know… that thing that happens to 50% of the people who get married?

    It makes me incredibly unhopeful for any progressive investigation of relationships in DC books. Haha writing that out even makes me feel dumb. But what about a polyamory hero, a hero in an open relationship, or even just different styles of relationships within the monogamous realm. If DC can’t even trust their writers with plain old wonderful MARRIAGE then I can conclusively say that there will be no interesting couple dynamics in DC until someone dumps Didio.

    I also agree with Graeme that it just demonstrates this ridiculous emotional stuntedness. It’s a mix to me of conservatism and a total lack of emotional intelligence. So I guess I should have expected it from mainstream comic books :/

  20. What do you guys think of this? http://imgur.com/VlmA8ig

  21. @Terry: Almost comically ignorant comments by McCarthy. It makes me wonder where his whimsy went.

  22. @ Terry

    Wait, wha-HUH?!!! IF that was truly him posting… Brendan McCarthy is politically conservative?! Again, allegedly…. But he’s also got a highly disturbing take on race relations?!! Kinda heartbreaking, if true, as he is one of my favorite “progressive” comics artists.

    Graeme and Jeff, PLEASE discuss, especially if you have any further insights as to what sort of a guy BM in fact is.

    Btw, assuming his views in the thread linked to are true, does that make him our generation’s Ditko? Crazy psychedelic far out “we are all cosmically connected as one entity” artist on paper who happens to be a crazy far right “screw the poor, every (white) man for himself” nutter in real life?

    (As an aside, props to Al Davison for actually being a human being with EMPATHY in that same discussion. Sad that this is even worthy of mentioning, but there it is. To paraphrase Chris Rock, “You’re SUPPOSED to empathize with people in pain, ya dummy!”)

  23. I don’t think you guys have to really wait for the Loki book to learn any lessons. I have a lot of friends who have read Hawkeye after seeing Avengers because it was getting good press and was seeming to offer a very clear and clean jumping on point. What’s funny is that Hawkeye is a book which clearly cashes in on the aesthetic of the films and tries to create an accessible story. Still, it doesn’t write off a character like Kate Bishop who is now a favorite of friends who picked up the book based on just seeing Avengers. Loki and the new Black Widow seem to be trying to present themselves as similar books.

    On the subject of Fraction though, I do kind of find it offputting when you guys travel too much in the direction of psychoanalyzing a creator which seems to happen often with Fraction. I’m of the mindset that it’s best to maintain a stance of the author-is-dead when discussing a book. Interestingly enough, I think Jeff is able to maintain this stance with David Sim’s work, someone who my distaste for really stops me from trading money for his work.

    The truth is that you can’t say how sex positive or how conservative Fraction is. All you can tell is how sex positive Sex Criminals is trying to be as a work. I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a friend who did not like Joss Whedon labeling himself as a feminist because she did not like how women were often treated in his work. I disagreed with this assessment of Whedon though because while I don’t regard his work as feminist, I don’t personally know the man. I don’t know if he gives a lot of money to planned parenthood and attends fundraisers for programs to get women involved in the arts and sciences. I can’t say how feminist he is or is not. I can only look at his work.

    In regards to Sex Criminals as being sex-positive or not, the appeal to me of the book so far is not as it being positive or negative, but rather frank. The first book’s depiction of masturbation as something that is both exciting and scary is a fair one to me. I think the first issue really exaggerated the notion of masturbation being this thing that adolescents secretly discover, unable to really discuss it with anyone and not fully understanding it because of that lack of discourse.

    I don’t think that a book is not sex positive for discussing insecurities or unpleasantness in sex or for making jokes about sex because that is what this book is about.

    It becomes sex positive in the same sense that Brian K. Vaughn’s work and Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie ends up being so sex positive, with its willingness to discuss sex or present sexuality in a way that does not feel seedy, forbidden, or dirty, but just as is.

    Regarding DC’s no marriage rule, I attended the DiDio panel at NYCC this year. Dan discussed how much of his push for DC Comics was to make it like the early years of Marvel comics. Then when addressing the marriage stuff, he talked about how nobody cares about the personal lives of superheroes and regarding that stuff as boring.

    I have no fucking clue how you can read 60s-70s Marvel and leave with the notion that the interpersonal relationships are the boring and unnecessary parts.

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