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Wait, What? Ep. 59.1: Only in Our Dreams

Jeff Lester


It’s true: this is indeed the podcast installment where you will hear Graeme and I talk about Debbie Gibson (or Deborah, if you prefer), Tiffany, and New Kids on the Block, along with Frank Miller’s Holy Terror and Grant Morrison’s Invisibles. I’d like to try and deny that Graeme and I came up with a marvelous piece of speculative audio fanfic showing how NKOTB were, in fact, an early ’90s Invisibles cell….but I can’t.

(That said? We didn’t, don’t worry.)

How does that saying go: sometimes we don’t get the podcast we want, we get the podcast we need? That’s not really applicable here but it’s a fun sentence to type, certainly.  And it’s not even one-tenth the fun you’ll have listening to Wait, What? Ep. 59.1, be it through the magic of iTunes, or the rheumy prestidigation of this site:

Wait, What? Ep. 58.1: Only In Our Dreams

Ep. 59.2 is right around the corner, don’t worry.  And, as always, thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy!

11 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 59.1: Only in Our Dreams ”

  1. Amazing stories at the beginning of that podcast. One of the most entertaining moments of the cast so far!

    About Holy Terror, what’s insane about Tim Callahan’s review of the book is not the fact that he liked it, but the fact that he calls it “apolitical.” It boggles the mind how a smart critic like him could say something so spectacularly stupid.

  2. I don’t think Morrison has ever thought his experience at Kathmandu was actual aliens coming down and actually abducting him – every time I’ve seen him talk about it, he’s pretty up front about the fact that it was a drug-induced hallucination.

    Besides, even if he was saying it didn’t really happen, that’s hardly the same as saying that The Invisibles wasn’t important to him.

  3. This seems like an excellent opportunity to post a link to The Pipettes’ excellent cover of I Think We’re Alone Now, so here’s that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dutX_su85k

  4. Maybe Morrison was stuck in kathmandu. Hell if i were there ever longer for a week id also call up some ETs to take me outta this horrible smog. (just walking around town feels like smoking a pack a day)

  5. Not having listened to it yet, I’d like to note there was a scene based around tiffany’s I think we’re alone now in the synopsis of the first series of Phonogram before I had to lose it (and Seth Bingo along with it) for space and narrative clarify issues.

    Simmered: He may have changes his tune, but historically speaking, you’re wrong. He explicit said he was drugs at the time but is aware if what hallucinations felt like, and this was something else. Was in various places, but one that I’m sure about is Writers on Comics Scriptwriting, Vol. 1.


  6. Simmered & Kieron: I think you’re both a bit right and both a bit wrong. He’s always been fully aware that it wan’t a drug trip, true, and he did hella romanticize it for a long long while, true, but he seems to have figured out exactly what it was long before The Invisibles is over and has fully processed the thing out by the end of The Filth.

    The Invisibles, V3 Karmageddon Part 2, Page 5:

    “Every nervous system makes it’s own model of the event: alien abduction, satanic abuse, shamanic trial, temporal lobe epilepsy.”

    It’s really that last one, of course. This same idea is brought up again not only in The Filth, but in the very next line on the same Karmageddon page:

    “…whatever. I don’t know if they’re time travelers or neural spasms.”

    It is, again, the latter. And you can kind of tell that he knows it, too.

    He (like others who are interested in this sort of thing) just was not able to reconcile the incredible archetypal similarity of experience that could occur in these altered states with the variety of people having them in different places and time periods. He thought (hoped?) that there was some higher thing informing the experiences across peoples and times.

    And really, there was. But that higher thing was just the (relative) shared brain chemistry of human beings, not gods, demons or ultra-terrestrial time travelers. Weird things can happen out on the fringes of human experience and neuro-chemistry and we’ve not yet the understanding of the wet mass between our ears to really, truly explain all of them.

    Basically, I don’t think the average person, let alone the average comics reader, is equipped with the information about the brain and its learning patterns and possible neuroses and such to be able to translate Morrison’s psuedo-science magicky jibber-jabber into something that would allow one to sort of maybe understand his weird-ass world-view.

    So in light of that, who wants to take the first hit of DMT or give the ol’ God Helmet a wear, hmm? Who wants to fuck about with their brain chemistry via chemical or electromagnetic stimulus and be an explorer on the edges of consciousness for no reason other than the truly idiotic sake of it?

    Eh, I just don’t understand this recent Morrison backlash at all. People bought into his persona more than he himself did, or are angry he ever had it, or something. Folks should have been reading their Grof and their Wilbur and their Strassman and everything else that Morrison was reading at the time and more, instead.

    In the end, he seems to be just a dude with a sort-of-fucked head who tried to romanticize and understand his experiences and did.

    I do wonder if he’d talked about them more in the vein of how Jim Woodring talks about his own edge-case neural experiences, whether they’d be more accepted by the community at large. Of course then his public persona wouldn’t be eccentric and sellable in quite the same way, so…

    I dunno and I’m just rambling by this point, so I thought I’d just apologize for the incredibly lengthy comment and be done with it.

    Sorry everyone! I loved the podcast and thought the anecdote at the beginning was the funniest thing in ages, so please do keep up the great work you guys!

  7. Excellent podcasts as always gents, keep up the good work.

    I do feel inclined to disagree with your comments about autodidactic cartoonists though. Addmittedly my knowledge of the history of the great cartoonists is limited but your comments ran completely against my own experience as a self-taught artist.

    When you said that these cartoonist never have a formal hand to tell them when they were fucking up and had a limited ability to accept criticism, well my experience has been the opposite. When approaching my work I have no formal structure for how the medium is suppose to work so Im insanely hungry for formal rules of how to approach it and over the years have assembled a patchwork quilt of a framework based on stray lines from interviews with creators and random tips I’ve picked up in books from related disciplines (such as cinematogry, painting, costume design, etc.).

    Im not sure I completely disagree with your statement that auto-didactic cartoonists become angry old men though. I imagine that years and years of trying to manage and maintain your technique which is built up of hundreds and hundreds of loose anecdotes, many of which contradict,would lead you to be incredibly dismissive any of new points which dont fit your current model. Add into the equation that guys like Miller have got praise for being at the top of the industry and it would make the whole situation so much worse.

  8. Terrence – I can agree with that. Especially since it’s the premise of Altered States, a movie that’s a been massively influential to Morrison’s Batman.

  9. Basque: your disappointment is predicated on the concept of Tim Callahan’s intelligence, the existence of which is in dispute.

  10. Mega-Python Vs. Gatoroid was actually pretty fun. The quality was exactly what you’d expect, but Tiffany and Debbie … I mean, Deborah … were totally in on the joke. I’m surprised Graeme didn’t watch it, since he’s always talking about the terrible TV shows he loves precisely because they’re awful, like that Brad Meltzer series.

  11. Thanks guys.

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