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Wait, What? Ep. 142: Out Like A Lamprey

Jeff Lester

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Not mentioned in any way in our podcast but I do love how it captures what’s most important about the holidays — conquering and invulnerability.

Ho, ho, ho! Hoist high the Jolly Roger and all that! It is Christmas, when boys become men and Boy II Men become headliners at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  (As always, I wish Graeme was doing this entry as the holiday spirit comes terrifyingly easy to him and is a much more uncomfortable fit for me.)

Oh, and before you read any of this, go read Abhay’s post first because it is undoubtedly a million times better.  Really, I can’t wait to stop writing this entry so I can go back to reading his…

After the jump, I leave coal in your stocking! And also show notes for our two and a half hour end-of-2013 episode!  Come, sit uncomfortably on my knee and realize you’re close enough to smell what I ate for lunch! And other holiday tradition-like things!

First, because the show notes are sooooo extensive (well, really my poorly formatted, hastily assembled best-of list as mentioned in the show), let me do you a holiday solid and put the link to the show first, okay?

Wait, What? Ep. 142: Out Like a Lamprey…

Okay, now that you’ve got that revving, you can dig into these, our show notes for the last episode of 2013. We gave you something like 32 episodes this year–that’s not so bad, right?  I don’t even think that counts our lost episode, our minicast, or the number of hours or whatever.  I mean, we gave you well over sixty hours of entertainment–that’s worth celebrating, right?  I mean, admittedly it may have been more like “entertainment” than entertainment but…

[Christ, I get needy during the holidays…]


00:00-3:21: Greetings! Graeme is happy that it’s almost Christmas; Jeff is happy he is one year closer to death!  So, yeah, we’ve got a lot of common ground there, as always.  Opening comments include: us talking about our lost episode, us trying to touch on the year on comics, but mainly doing a very good job talking about why we were so poorly prepared to talk about the year on comics.
3:21-39:05: We do, however, get around to talking about a certain Marvel editor’s move to a certain Marvel Animation on a certain West Coast. We also talk about the move of Will Moss to Marvel, the upcoming DC move, and more topics in which I can mindlessly use the word “move.” Unsurprisingly, discussions include the fates of Daredevil (and its relaunch), Captain Marvel, Hawkeye (and Hawkeye’s publication schedule), and Avengers: Endless Wartime (okay, maybe that last one is a little surprising).
39:05-58:53: On a related note, did Marvel in 2013 become DC in 2011 without anyone caring?  Graeme lays out the case.  Mentioned:  David Morell, Matt Fraction, Zeb Wells, roving feral gangs of art teams setting upon defenseless books and completing them, etc.  Also mentioned: a really good piece by The Outhousers, the importance of corporate narratives, and how those narratives change.
58:53-1:02:43: Graeme has read Harley Quinn #1 by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin and has hope for it as an outreach book, as well as good things to say about the Green Lantern books.  And yet he has nearly no faith in DC?  Explain, Graeme!
1:02:43-1:26:23:  Graeme starts to talk about the “Best of 2013” as refracted in part through his picks for Wired’s Best of list, but we quickly change topics to discuss the recently released Slayground, the latest adaptation by Darwyn Cooke of Richard Stark/Donald Westlake’s Parker novels. Spoilers ahoy, as we try to figure out why our reactions to the book are what they are (including spoilers for Lemons Never Lie, because we are crazy out of control that way).
1:26:23-1:40:52: What else did Jeff buy this week (actually, closer to a month since he hadn’t been to the store since before Thanksgiving)?  Jeff quickly runs down the list because, um, I don’t know, I guess I thought we were squeezed for time?  Discussed in at least a sentence or two (although sometimes at most):  Batman #26 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo; Batman & Two-Face #26 by Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray; Lazarus #5 by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark; Velvet #2 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting; Saga #16 and #17 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, the latest issues of The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard; Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #4 by Al Ewing and John McCrea; and issues #2 and #3 of Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios.
1:40:52-1:48:40:  Jeff’s very incomplete, incredibly biased Best of 2013 list, reprinted here only with the proviso that there was so much great stuff in 2013, I didn’t even know about a lot of it, much less read it.  But from what I read, here’s what I liked:

Bought at the store, loved in the home:
Works by G-Mo: Batman Inc. and Action Comics
Works by Al Ewing: Zombo, Jennifer Blood, Mars Attacks Judge Dredd, The Fictional Man. the Avengers Assemble one-shots I read
Works by BKV: The Private Eye (with Marcos Martin) and Saga (with Fiona Staples)
Works by Brandon Graham:  Multiple Warheads and Prophet (with Simon Roy, Giannis Milogiannis, and Farel Dalrymple)
Works by Adam Warren:  Empowered Animal Style (with John Staton), Empowered Nine Beers with Ninjette (with Takeshi Miyazawa)
2000 A.D. (Stickleback! Zombo!)
Copra by Michel Fiffe

Stuff I really dug on digital:

2000 A.D. and Judge Dredd Megazine, by various:  god, yes. Probably my most overall pleasurable reading experience of the year
Kikaider by Shotaro Ishinomori
Works by Akira Toriyama:  Sachie-Chan Good!! and Jaco the Galactic Patrolman.
Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
Batman ‘66 by Jeff Parker (and various including Jonathan Case although it was really that Joker story with Joe Quinones that rung my chimes)
Double Barrel by Zander Cannon, Kevin Cannon, and Tim Sievert (whose Clandestinauts was really a grotty shot of energy to the last third of the run)
Chris Weston’s story in The Adventures of Superman…boy, that looked amazing.
Jack Kirby’s Kamandi reprints (which looks as if they’ve finally been discontinued… which breaks my fragile heart)

Trade paperbacks or books or whatever:
My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hannawalt
TEOTFW by Charles Forsman
Zombo:  You Smell of Crime…And I”m The Deodorant, by Al Ewing and and Henry Flint
Sin Titulo by Cameron Stewart
Jack Kirby Omnibus Vol. 2 by Jack Kirby
Superman: The Phantom Zone by Steve Gerber, Gene Colan, and Rick Veitch

Least favorite comic book movie of the year:
Man of Steel (just saw it a few days ago and it bummed me out that the film had the best evocation of superpowers on film, but the worst evocation of Superman in just about any medium ever.  Jesus, that was depressing.)

Favorite comic book movie of the year:
Fast and the Furious 6  (not as good as 5, but it was still pretty great. Some of those actions only make sense if you believe in Jack Kirby physics, which of course is my baseline)

[Oh, and the above two are bonuses for show notes readers as I had them on the list and didn’t get a chance to mention to Graeme).

Weirdo one-shots:
Avengers Assemble Annual #1 by Christos Gage and Tomm Coker
Ant Comic by Michael DeForge
Supermag by Jim Rugg
Masters of the Universe: The Origin of Hordak by Keith Giffen in a Kirby homage that just felt oversized and stunning
Optic Nerve #13 by Adrian Tomine
Satan’s Soldier by Tom Scioli (thank you for not leaving comics, Tom!)

The solid b-level books that keep me on the hook:
Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Batman & Robin by Pete Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Batman by Snyder & Capullo
Archer and Armstrong by Fred Van Lente and…various?)
Afterlife with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla
Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios
Zero by Ales Kot and various, including Morgan Jeske
Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark
Superior Spider-Man by Dan Slott and various, whenever anyone would give me the code

Not this year but just the best:
Hook Jaw by Pat Mills, Ken Armstrong and Ramon Sola
Shako by Pat Mills, John Wagner, Roman Sola, and Juan Arancio
Rogue Trooper by Gerry Finley-Day, Dave Gibbons, Colin Wilson and others
Cat Shit One/Apocalypse Meow by Motofumi Kobayashi
Chronicles of Conan by Roy Thomas and various
The “White Zero” issue of 2001: A Space Odyssey (#5) by Jack Kirby
Steve Ditko Archives: Shade The Changing Man by Steve Ditko
The Boys by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, John McCrea and Russ Braun
Yakitate!! Japan by Takashi Hashiguchi
The Secret Society of SuperVilllains by a bunch of pitiful bastards including Gerry Conway, Bob Rozakis, Rich Buckler, Bob Layton & more
Torpedo Vol. 1 by Sanchez Abuli, Jordi Bernet and Alex Toth

Whew! So yeah, like I said, there’s a metric shit ton of great stuff that came out this year that I didn’t read.  But that was a list of stuff I did.

1:48:40-2:00:59:  Graeme embellishes upon the list with some Marvel stuff Jeff justifiably overlooked including:

Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Mighty Avengers by Al Ewing and Greg Land
Iron Man by Kieron Gillen and Greg Land (and others?)
Iron Man Final Frontier cowritten by Kieron Gillen and Al Ewing (digital)
All-New X-Men by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen (and others)
Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw (and others)

And non-Marvel stuff too:
Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps by Robert Venditti and others
Flash by Manapul and Brian Buccellatto
Bad Machinery by John Allison
American Barbarian reprints on Comixology by Tom Scioli (co-signed)
(and this is where Jeff finds out Scioli is writing and drawing a cosmic Transformers/G.I. Joe miniseries and makes a high-pitched noise incapable of being recorded)
various Valiant titles
Works by Chris Roberson:  Code Name: Action and The Shadow
Kings Watch by Jeff Parker and Marc Laming
(Graeme didn’t mention Amelia Cole by Adam Knave, D.J. Kirkbride and Nick Brokenshire but probably only because he didn’t have an actual list, and was mostly riffing off mine.)

2:00:59-2:07:46:  As mentioned above, it was a really good year for comics.  Jeff talks about the Comics Alliance Best of List which had stuff he is now eager to read. (In fact, I just grabbed that Ōoku: The Inner Chamber from the library just this afternoon.)  Graeme goes on to talk a bit about 2014 and titles he thinks are worth looking out for, including Action Comics by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Red Lanterns and more.
2:07:46-2:27:20:  Because you requested it!  We talk Matt Fraction being pulled from Inhumanity and the way Marvel addressed it,  Image books vs. Marvel books, what Grant Morrison is up to these days, the Affordable Care Act, and more.
2:27:20-closing: Closing comments!  With an important HEAD’S UP: we are transitioning to a fortnightly (week on/week off) schedule in 2014 in order to keep us a little more sane, fresh, and feisty as we head into another year of podcasting.  We are thinking of seeing if we can synchronize our schedule with House to Astonish, maybe?  Please watch this space for details!

Whew!  Okay, hopefully you won’t mind if I play fast and loose with the tags for now?  I’ve got my holiday shopping done but would not mind a chance to sit down and read a few comics after a busy day of running around crazy.

As we say in the podcast — thank you to everyone who listened to us, sent us emails, sent me comics, recommended things, argued with us and each other in the comment threads, and did so much more (or nothing more than just continuing to let us blab our ever-loving hearts out).  We look forward to doing it again in 2014.  Please have a wonderful holiday season, a happy new year, and, as always, thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy.


17 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 142: Out Like A Lamprey ”

  1. Does Daredevil literally drive in the new series?

  2. The happiest of holidays to all the Savage Critic crew! Looking ever forward to next year’s shows!!!

  3. I think one of my biggest problems with Slayground is the way that Parker doesn’t appear to be a character in this, just a machine. I know that Cooke’s talked recently about being most excited to so Butcher’s Moon, and feeling he really needed to do Slayground as a stepping stone, and I think that shows. That said, I liked the GN for what it was, despite the massive problems (part of this might have just been wanting to see more of Cooke’s Parker).

    I honestly think one of the strangest adaptations would be if Cooke decided to do Deadly Edge. It’s easily one of the most violent Parker novels, and it would clash with Cooke’s style, but it could do so in an interesting way.

  4. Happy Christmas – I’m at work and missing Dr Who, boo!

    Oh well, ta for another fun podcast. But please, Graeme, never EVER read out an Outhouse article again, that was painfully unfunny. The only vaguely amusing thing is the writer’s complete lack of perspective – so no one got upset about the Fraction Inhumans shake-out, could it be cos no one cares about the Inhumans event? Or could it be that we’re finally realising that outrage is best saved for outrageous situations?

  5. Great show. Nicely wrapped up a pretty damn good year in comics. That CA best of list is really nice and eclectic. This year’s and last’s in particular made me want to read every entry. I like your list too though. It sounded like a credits track on a rap cd.

    That whole thing about the corporate narrative is sadly true. With so much lazy (understandable) press, an friendly press release can go a long way to save your ass as a publisher. DC can’t let people draw their own conclusions.

    Pretty bleak stuff about the New 52 being the last chance for change and Affordable Care precariously determining the future of freelance. You guys take ‘going negative’ to new heights and it’s pretty great.

    I’ve got to check out Pretty Deadly. I don’t really care if a comic doesn’t make sense. Never stopped anyone from reading and liking Gaiman or Morrison. If Kelly Sue is going full weird I’m there with it.

    As great as is would be to have Wait, What? alternate with HtoA I don’t think you should stress about it. It’s going to get messy if there’s an emergency skip or something.

    @Martin Gray: I don’t know, outrage runs the comics internet, so if it’s the case of just no one cares then Marvel might have reason to worry.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  6. Co-signed on Martin Gray’s request to never feature The Outhouser’s work on this podcast again. Pointing out the article would be enough, hearing Graeme read the whole article was skin-crawling. We come to the show to listen to you guys, not to get the spoken-word version of site that’s coasted on a combative relationship with DC and has turned itself into a pale imitation of Bleeding Cool in the process.

  7. Forgot to say, I’m a bit bemused as to how you get from ‘Grant Morrison is off the radar’ to ‘let’s hope he’s not having a bipolar crisis’. Most likely, he’s just off working quietly, with nothing to promote. I find the speculation over comic folks’ mental state uncomfortable, whether it comes from ‘real world’ stuff or seems implicit on the comic pages. Imagine if Morrison began namedropping you in his comics, Jeff! and speculating on your life.

    Anyroadup, chums, have a wonderful Hogmanay!

  8. I’m with these guys, how dare thirty seconds of a 155 minute free podcast not be to my liking! A website….getting the oxygen of publicity… ON THE INTERNET? Next time that happens its free invites to the head-butt festival all round.

    Also great to see the Grant Morrison Internet Defence Force are keeping up with their worthy work. It’s not like he’s drawn explicit, repeated comparison between his mental state and his comics before or, indeed, that the speciousness of speculation about personal life based on work shit was directly highlighted in the above episode.

    Was hoping for a Torpedo/Alec comparison but great to hear them mentioned nonetheless. It was a good year for comics.

    Really interesting and kind of sadly expected to hear the Parker stuff. I never liked Cooke’s adaptations, bit too twee and gimmicky for how I imagined Parker in my head but that’s the probably the nature of adaptations. I need to see Deforge do the Factory Novels. They both feel a similar bitter distance from planet earth.

  9. The only thing that matters is that we get the final Seaguy mini.

  10. I think that something that wasn’t really touched on is that Marvel can get away with a lot more because they are consistently delivering better, mire exciting, fun and interesting comics than DC. Sure there’s the main line Hickman snoozefests but there’s also Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe, Mighty Avengers, Avengers Arena, Superior Foes of Spiderman, Young Avengers, the list goes on. What the hell has DC delivered thay is anywhere near that level recently? There is no Hawkeye at DC. There was Batman Inc which I read the shit out of, Dial H and for a bit there Suicide Squad. These have all either been cancelled or medelled with.

    So I think that while it’s an interestig observation, it is kind of unfair to put the companies on hypothetical equal footing as far as good will goes. Also, as someone who works in the communications industry I say good on Marvel’s PR team for doing a competent, profesional job of communicating with the public. It’s not JUST spin and lies. It’s about letting the public know what’s going on and keeping them in the loop.

  11. Wonder Woman was good since the beginning. A little bit slow, but I think than what mostly hurt it on the Internet was entitled geek/tumblr-pseudo-feminist(this might be a can of worms) rampage. DC’s Swamp Thing got really good since Soule came over. Red Lanterns became fun. Action Comics fleshes out to be a very good Superman comics. Animal Man became good again once it got over the crossover with Snyder’s Swamp Thing. I kinda like DeMatteis’ Justice League Dark and Phantom Stranger, although the Ray Fawkes parts from the humongous crossover are pretty bland. I think Larfleeze is a funny book with an interesting look. I also liked Hurwitz’s Dark Knight. At least while Maleev drew it.

    They are not great comics, but neither are Marvel’s. And while at the end of the day, the amount of readable material that Marvel produces might be slightly larger than DC’s, but at least some of the books DC puts out feel a lot less processed and Internet pandering and Frankenstein monster’s -like than a most of the books from Marvel. When they are good, they seem to be good on their own terms and not reminding me o a show or a movie or another good comic.

  12. Hm to be fair I haven’t read those titles. It probably comes down to taste but I guess I’m wondering would you put those titles on par with the books I mentioned? If so then I might need to go give them a read…

    I guess there’s also these DC books which just have extremely little appeal, like The Green Team and Katana (god I WANTED to like those books!)

  13. To be fair, the books you mentioned are not themselves on the same level. Other than that, yeah, you can find contenders for them among the DC comics.

    I think that the comics Internet is lately so bent on making DC be the Bad Guy and Marvel the Good Guy (ignoring the fact that both are pretty damn awful) that mediocre books from Marvel are overpraised and quite good ones from DC are ignored. Also, some the DC books started weak (some of the shakeups happened for a reason), got a lot better after a lineup change(Dark Knight, Phantom Stranger), but because of the initial blah, they didn’t have enough buzz around them.

  14. Thanks for another sterling podcast and though I’ll miss that extra five or six episodes, if biweekly preserves what little sanity is left in your red kryptonite-affected overgrown brains, I’m all for it.

    Happy holidays and hope your 2014 kicks 2013’s sorry ass.

  15. Our hosts’ incredibly shaky understanding of the Stark books aside, SLAYGROUND was always going to make for a bad comic. I’m kind of amazed he even attempted it — a part of me feels it has everything to do with that great visual gag with the painted circles in the hall of mirrors, which was not done terribly effectively in the adaptation anyway.

    But there’s just not enough meat on those bones. On the other hand, I too would very much enjoy a Cooke version of DEADLY EDGE. Not only is that book nuts (they rob a rock concert! and some acid freaks get mad!), but it would disabuse Jeff of the odd notion that the books get LESS personal for Parker as they go on.

  16. Agreed on the Outhousers thing being unfunny. Total lack of perspective, false equivalency, and just a miss for the most part.

  17. @Martin Gray, Greff McLester, and T.: Missing the point of the Outhousers’ thing… that’s how Marvel became DC in business practice without anyone noticing in 2013. Even in the face of it, it’s denied or ignored. Marvel has many better titles, but also has better damage control/coherent corporate narrative that people can believe. No one is ever going to see the months long event that Matt Fraction, darling of both fans and critics for both original and superhero comics, worked on, hyped, and junketed because a someone with corporate interests in mind said we couldn’t, and no one minds. Marvel even turned to DC’s favorite takeover writer to redo Inhumanity.

    If comparing murder to corporate comics shenanigans is just a false equivalency then that explains the sense of humor failure. I thought it was quite funny, especially in its zeal. Could have been in the pages of the Onion.

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