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Wait, What? Ep. 139: Minisodes

Jeff Lester

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HUH? With thanks to the always-excellent Miguel Corti.

Yes, we have returned! And as always, I am late, behind, and addled. Nonetheless, join me after the jump for show notes and our latest episode, won’t you?


00:00-5:18:  Opening comments!  Mutual flattery in the course of technological anxiety.  A quick recap of what we lost in the fire (and by ‘fire,’ we mean ‘hard drive crash’).
5:18-14:49: What comics have we read in the last week?  Graeme’s answer is much more impressive than Jeff’s.  (But Jeff’s excuses are *much* more extensive than Graeme’s!)  We discuss Torpedo Vol. 1 by Enrique Sánchez Abulí, Jordi Bernet, and Alex Toth; and a discussion of Terry Austin’s inking (one of us is Team Austin, and some are not).
14:49-41:52:  Quasi-related: Graeme has an observation about Mike Wieringo’s art that leads us down the branching pathway of influence and a discussion about artists who are ubiquitous vs. artists whose influence are ubiquitous.  Mentioned in detail and/or passing:  MIke Golden, Dan Jurgens, Jim Steranko, John Byrne, Jim Lee, Geoff Darrow, Sal Buscema, Jack Kirby, Paul Pope, Joe Sinnott, et al.  (Also, we recover a repressed memory from our lost episode about Al Milgrom!)
41:52-53:34: Talking about Mike Golden’s Batman Special leads to us talking about comics Graeme has picked up in languages he can’t read, and Jeff’s shameful inability to get into same.  Mentioned:  Projekt X, Dylan Dog, friend of the podcast Miguel Corti, Barbarella, Floyd Farland: Citizen of the Future, and Dave Eggers.
53:34-1:20:53:  We talk about the recent Dr. Who minisode ’The Night of the Doctor,’ not just because it came out the morning we recorded this, but also because it was pretty keen. Also discussed:  Stephen Moffat, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, farce, Jeff’s theory about Glory and Galactus, the first episode of the final season of Misfits.
1:20:53-1:24:22: Brendan McCarthy—old news (I guess?) but the news coverage of some of his posts broke while we were recording the lost episode so we hadn’t discussed it and finally get around to it now.  Jeff tries to craft a mission statement out of the whole situation which leads to…
1:24:22-end: The startling interstellar podcasting crossover Jeff didn’t even know was happening!  (Well, he knew, he just didn’t really know when it was.)  If you must listen to only one dumb American lost in a sea of discreet British communications, make it this one!  (And then check us out talking with the brilliant and hilarious Al Kennedy and Paul O’Brien over at House to Astonish.)  Yes, this episode is kind of like our prologue issue to the Avengers-Defenders War.  Actually, since our prologue has come out after our appearance on House to Astonish, I guess it’s like a more recent Marvel crossover event in that regard, Infinity or something.

So, yeah.  You can find us on iTunes soon if not right this very minute, but we are also below, right here:

Wait, What? 139: Minisodes

And also check us out over at House to Astonish!  And also be advised there is a 50/50 chance we might have a two week break since Jeff has two Thanksgivings to handle this year.  (On the other hand, we might have an ep. next week and then a skip after that — please stay tuned…)

Hope you are as glad to have us back as we are to be back!  And as always, thank you for listening!

24 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 139: Minisodes ”

  1. Thanks for doing the HtA podcast with Al and Paul.

    With your semi-frequent envy of the HtA guys organizational skills and disciplined format I was delighted to see you dragged them down into the chaos

    Well done chaps.

  2. what you guys neglected to mention is that

    the night of the doctor is just AWESOME

  3. Whoa, no Brian Wood talking “for fear of libel”? What can be said about him that hasn’t already been said? I would love to hear Graeme and Jeff’s take on this recent kerfuffle.

  4. Woo! HtA and Wait, What?, together at last! Chocolate in my peanut butter! Sweet cornbread in my milk! (What? I’m Southern.). All that PLUS a new Wait, What?

    It may LOOK like my ears are bleeding from nearly four hours of continuous podcast listening, but I like to think they’re crying tears of joy.

  5. Projekt X was the Danish X-Men reprint title.

  6. […] and Jeff Lester from “Wait, What?”, then it’s one post down – and check out their latest episode over at Savage Critic.  Many thanks to both of them – I think it’s a really good […]

  7. Honestly, if Brian Wood is brought up, I hope it’s more in line with what Fowler wants and what Laurda Hudson did today where we don’t scapegoat Wood for broader issues which he is only symptomatic of. Not that Wood is free of blame for his own actions.

    Good podcast! Funny enough, you guys talking about old artists was probably better than your opinions on Kickstarter which I imagine would have just made me mad.

  8. Jeff
    The weird manga strip you posted the photos of in your Tumblr of the cat with nipples:

    The kanji on the top left corner of the page is describing pretty much what you think is happening.

  9. I can vouch for Mr. Lester’s claim to not reading comics in other languages. I tried I unload some Spawn comics in Japanese on him once and he wasn’t having any of it

  10. I’ve only listened up to the 1 hour 20ish mark so far, so goodness awaits but…

    Geoff: you really should read Davies The Writers Tale for probably one of the most brutally honest depictions of the life of a show running writer. And for his attitudes to online fans (in a chapter entitled “Bastards”). The gist is that writing an ongoing series is seats of the pants stuff, with entire episodes being written in a week to meet the deadline/because of crippling self doubt (although he then adds that this is the physical act of writing, and the thinking about the story has been in his mind for the previous six months).

    Davies also reveals that he can only write the first draft in order, and says he’s physically unable to simply write a scene he’s been thinking about and then backtracking to the start of the story. Moffat is on record as being the same. Moffat is also on record as saying that he has a road map for seasons, but with areas left blank, and sometimes the story takes him in directions not originally planned.

    Interestingly enough for those who felt Moffat’s third season in charge was flabby, he recently revealed he had all the writers of Capaldi’s first season meet up and read through the stories (in whatever state they were in) in order to make sure that through story for the season works.

    And you’re all wrong about using the Whedon method as the basis of Doctor Who: in my mind they’ve been using Jim Starlin’s Warlock (seriously, think back to the climax of the last season: the only thing missing was the Inbetweener!)

    As to why the third season was flabby? I think writing seasons of tv programmes (and even comics, for that matter) is like recording albums. Your first is great because it is the distillation of all the ideas you’ve had before recording began, and that gives you enough time to filter out the bad ideas. But then comes the dreaded second album syndrome, where it’s being compared to the first, but being made after the reception of the first but too late to have those critiques addressed. And, of course, the new fear that “it won’t be as good as the first in the creators own mind. And this leads on to the less talked about third album syndrome, where the creator is answering criticisms of the previous two works, and ends up either compromising or going over the same ideas to a slightly more limited return.

    In regards to Buffy, iirc the problem with the fourth season is that the actress who was playing the scientist who was supposed to be the lead villain decided halfway through the season that she didn’t want to be in it anymore, leading to last minute rewrites and the creation of a new lead villain.

    Meanwhile, iirc, the fifth season was supposed to end with the Dark Willow storyline, who becomes that way after Tara is killed by Glory and who exacts revenge upon her– I think this was at a time when they were unsure of whether there’s be a sixth season, and when that was confirmed left that plot arc for it.

    Personally, my favourite seasons of Buffy were two and six. the later may have been as depressing as hell, and flawed in places, but both seasons were dominated by internal threats, whereas too many of the others (and this was the biggest fault in season seven) seemed to have threats that were too abstract or unconnected to the main cast. Series three got around this problem by casting an utterly charismatic actor as the lead villain (seres five did similar, although this time it was more down to the writing than acting).

    Okay– back to work and listening for the Wait, What?/House to Astonish team up. I don’t know, it’s the 90’s all over again. what next? Chrome covers to the podcast?

  11. Man, Jeff’s exquisite, midday-mention-triggered implosion, heralded by peals of Gaddis-esque, bitter, inchoate invective, at the vagaries of international miscommunication was the fucking shit.

    Also the usually-Graeme-prompted breakdowns of genre tv are the only tv-based entertainment I experience these days that isn’t Project Runway or BBQ Pitmasters, I appreciate them a lot.

    Oh and Jeff knows he’s kind of a character in recent video game Gone Home, right?

    Anyway, keep up the great work!

  12. @NoChorus: Thanks for the, um, compliment. I was gonna shoot you an email but maybe we’ve only talked over Twitter and, uh, maybe that doesn’t exist anymore? Or you blocked me or something? Or…?

    Anyway, drop me a note at pigDOTlatinAT9g9mail.com (ignore the 9s), will ya? (a) I’d been wondering why I hadn’t seen you on the twitterfeed and (b) Gone Home? I can haz context?

  13. The first time I remember noticing (and, more importantly, liking) a move from a very generic, stock-model art style to a more stylized art style was in Amazing Spider-Man. I seem to remember buying issues 297 and 298 off a spinner rack on the same day; 297 was ultra-generic (maybe Saviuk?) Spidey art, and 298 was McFarlane’s first issue. The contrast pretty much shattered my impressionable young mind.

  14. No Brian Wood talk for fear of libel? It would be slander not libel, and he would have little legal standing because he is a public figure and has made a public statement. Don’t let Brian Wood’s god-like eminence in comics silence your feminism, guys c’mon!

    On the McCarthy. Among LOTS of other things, his comments made me think oh yeah, this is why people get touchy over inflammatory language. It’s because terms like ‘brown shirts’ can somehow be used in defense of draconian law.

    And Jeff, you’re dead right on the conservative radio driving people crazy. This McCarthy thing smells like talk radio. E.g. my sweet as sugar little 90+ years Irish immigrant grandma grew up dirt poor and is now so anti-immigrant (tough titties for her, living in the South Bay) and anti-poor it’s crazy. AND she doesn’t even know that she is conservative to the point of reactionism. She thinks she is liberal as hell. She switches easily between KPFA and KGO and Michael Savage all day as if it’s all the same. Any argument comes back to “Just THINK about it. What are you THINKING? THINK for youself.” It’s not a conservative or liberal thing. It’s lack of rationale and ignorance and demonization. People who don’t get out much or don’t have many people to talk to are the most vulnerable. You guys really are doing a huge service by putting sensible voices in all the lonely people’s heads. Maybe file for 501(c)3 :)

    Too bad there’s no Thanksgiving in Britain for Brendan McCarthy. It’s really the proper time and place to vent your special brand of politics– in private, with people who love you no matter what. Maybe Rich Johnson will have him over. Anyways happy Thanksgiving lads. I’m thankful for you guys.

  15. Please PLEASE do a Milgrom episode.

    Another good example of Austin’s best is the Marshall Rogers’ Detective run. He brings it all together and as jagged as it can get, he can be smooth when he wants to be. Oh, and all those zip-a-tone patterns!

    You *have* to go through Art Adams to get to Image (especially Liefeld); Art was the thing that made Golden’s style seem doable, Art humanized that style. (Broderick isn’t even in the same family as Golden, he’s more like the weird. neighbor 5 houses down)

  16. Just a soupçon of moral support for Jeff: I got into a mess of confusion when dealing with some South Africans, for whom “just now” means “generally later”, not “just a tiny bit in the future from now”.

  17. I think Graeme was more on the money with Art Adams being the influence with Image guys. He was only five years before them, as Jeff said, but they were young when they started, and in Liefeld’s case I can’t imagine he wasn’t drawing his take of what he was into.
    Being of the 90’s generation of young fans, Adams was always pointed to as Lee’s inspiration, wether correct or not.

  18. hey Jeff !

    free (and legal) manga !


    It’s called Pupa and it’s all about love and cannibalism.

    Enjoy you Whatnauts !

  19. Not super relevant to this episode, but…

    Thank you, Thank you , Thank you for talking up Zombo! I just finished the new trade, and it is hilarious. Beautifully drawn too.

  20. If you want to see just how influential Art Adams was on Liefeld, read the X-Men Annual with Mojo & Longshot (Annual 10?). I remember reading it in the ’90s & being struck by just how badly the Rob had but Adams’s style.

    Off to listen to the podcast…

  21. “bit” Adams’s style, that is

  22. Seems worth noting that when Joe Madureira started out, he also debuted with some straight-up Art Adams clonework on a Dan Slott Mojo story in Marvel Comics Presents. (I leave it to wiser minds than mine to figure out WHY that would actually be worth noting, but it FEELS relevant.)

  23. Kinda late to the game here, since you’ve already got another podcast posted, but for some damn reason I had a thought about the Mike Golden-Art Adams-Image axis. At the time I listened it seemed perfectly reasonable that the Image boys had to go through Art Adams by way of Mike Golden first (except for Todd MacFarlane – you can argue that he’s a straight-up Golden guy from the get-go, and he appears a little too early to argue for Adams). But then it hit me that at least Liefeld and Larsen had been published in the semi-professional Megaton, and they look about the same, and that was about the time Art Adams was first getting published. So where did they get it? Yes, Golden is present in the style, but where did they get the obsession with lots of little lines? I think it’s from your and Graeme’s favorite superstar inker… Terry Austin! And I’m sure the influence is mostly based on the Byrne-Austin X-Men, but there ain’t so much Byrne but a lot of Austin on display. Anyway, that’s my theory.

  24. If you leave out the confident man bit, then someone who ‘knows what he wants and knows how to get it’ is clearly an antichrist, an anarchist and someone who wants to destroy waffles.

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