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Wait, What? Ep. 59.2: Nine 9 Nein

Jeff Lester


It was a tough call, deciding how to chop up Ep. 59 — it was one of those eps. where the cleanest transition between topics wasn’t very clean at all. So, really, if you’ve just listened to Ep. 59.1, you’ll handle the transition to 59.2 just fine–I literally just cut an inhalation between the end of that one and the start of this one.

So maybe when I launch into my thoughts on Craig Thompson’s Habibi, you’ll get a better sense of where I’m coming from if you’ve recently finished that.  (Or maybe not.  I never know.  Embarrassingly enough, I more or less have this conversation twice–once as a speaker, and once as a listener/editor — and I still can’t remember who said what.)  But we talk about Habibi, and then Graeme and I go on to give you reviews and opinionated blabbity-blab about the first issues of Voodoo, Superman, The Flash, and Brilliant; Bakuman vols. 5 and 6, and much more.  Dude, it’s like eighty minutes! You understand why I had to break it into parts, right?

Oh, and program notes!  I first jabbered about autodidacts in 59.1 so I probably should’ve linked to one of Tim O’Neil’s several great pieces about Dave Sim’s Cerebus last entry, but it is still pertinent here. Also pertinent to our discussion of Voodoo is the work of photographer Alicia Vera, particularly this and this (though Graeme was looking at this when we were talking).  I know squat about photography but I really think Ms. Vera is the real deal and she could go on to big things. Oh, and I guess those last few links are NSFW, maybe? Not very, but…

Okay, so all that said, here’s the podcast! You’ve probably already come across it on iTunes, but if not or if you would prefer to listen to it here, by all means do be our guest:

Wait, What? Ep. 59.2: Nine 9 Nein

As always, thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy!


11 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 59.2: Nine 9 Nein ”

  1. Very recently, in relation to Matt Fraction, Graeme said that he felt the work was “borne from pain, about pain, but unable to say anything meaningful or illuminating about pain.” (I’m paraphrasing) Perhaps that was the quote you had in mind when trying to paraphrase Graeme to describe Habibi.

    I think you may both be right about Craig Thompson. I don’t think that Thompson falls in love often, but rather falls into obsession often, and tends to mistake it for love because of its intensity. But unlike real love, obsession is more fetishistic, narcissistic, and similar to addiction. It’s a weird type of objectification, where he appreciates the physical and the image of who he wants the person to be. This is why he has nothing meaningful to say after the relationship is over.

    It’s too much to get into in a comments section, but if you ever read the work of Karen Horney or Donald Winnicott, he talks about false, idealized selves and true selves, and what you describe in Habibi seems to be a man whose false, idealized self falls in love with the false, idealized self he projects it on others.

  2. T: Thank you for this comment. That was indeed the quote I was badly riffing off of, and your points about Thompson very nicely sum up just about everything I was thinking about. The clarification is much appreciated!

  3. It seems, Jeff, that you feel Thompson did not write a convincing relationship. I think he gets love, but might not know how to portray a believable romantic connection that goes beyond the head-over-heels phase. I’ll have to reread the latter 1/3 of Habibi to get a better grasp on Dodola’ & Zam’s interactions.

    I maintain that the damage done to Dodola & Zam will always prevent them from having a mature love. I don’t necessarily think Thompson wrote them as such deliberately. It’s probably me projecting because of how strongly I reacted to their situation.

    Thanks for mentioning my email in the podcast.

  4. RE: 52 and nuDCU

    I feel exhausted about the new DCU, not because the comics are bad or because I dislike reinvention. I think its just because I came into comics around 1985 because I wanted something new that changed and grew up and now that’s over. I know that sounds so dramatic, but I remember following the DCU from 1985 and collecting all the Who’s Who and secret origins and getting the DC Heroes RPG to find out more information in the bios. Reading about DC took a lot of hunting and finding. I remember getting online and being so excited about finding fan-written information about DC Comics and DC Comics characters that I neglected to find because issues weren’t in Waldenbooks.

    It took work to be a fan of DC during those days and I just don’t have to energy to relearn DC Continuity again. I mean I liked that I knew that Batman’s favorite Woody Allen movie was Crimes and Misdemeanors or that Bruce Wayne was responsible for Sid and Nancy dying alone in their hotel room Post-Crisis. I liked that I could see and understand change over time of titles and characters.

    Now it feels like that I have to do that all over again. And the thought of going back to the time when I had all the time and nerd energy in the world to follow a comics line really tires me out.

  5. “And Yet- I STILL LIKED IT!”


  6. So after you guys made that comment about Bendis appropriating other peoples ‘things’ by destroying them I thought to myself that he doesn’t do it that much and then in the process of thinking that I made a list and realized it was quite extensive.

    -The Hood
    -Danny Rand
    -In some respects you could say that House of M was a sacrificial ritual to empower the Avengers to overtake the X-Men.

    Did I miss any?

  7. This goes out to everyone.

    Favorite all time one note characters?

    Favorite Character archetypes?

  8. Wow, Good list, Rick.

    You could probably argue Captain America being brought back into the Avengers family as the public face of Shield. That was Bendis, right?

  9. Thanks for the mention!

  10. The Craig Thompson conversation crystallized something for me w/r/t to my ongoing (and ever-less-interesting) thoughts on the Psychoanalysis Of Matt Fraction: basically, it turns out that my problem isn’t with the assumption that Fraction’s life as a human being affects the books he’s writing. My problem is that too many other creators are not broken down in the same level of detail. Because the Fraction stuff in the past and the Thompson stuff here are some of the most intriguing, interesting “reviews” you guys do.

    Which is all just a long and roundabout way of saying that I hope this week’s episode(s) are just 180 uninterrupted minutes discussing CASANOVA: AVARITIA #2.

  11. I haven’t read Glamourpuss, but I’d bet my lunch money that Dave Sims is talking about is STAN Drake, artist of The Heart of Juliet Jones, not Arnold Drake.

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