diflucan 2 doses

Wait, What? Ep. 61.2: Fat Kid Loves Cake


And here we are with part 2, just as promised: McMillan! Lester! Cassard! Acero! Questions! Answers! More after the jump!

I know what you’re thinking: “Really, Jeff? Again with the exclamation points?” But some of you are thinking: “Cassard and Acero? What are they doing in this brief-yet-already-overheated blogpost?”

And the answer to the latter is, “why, they are the winners to our second Wait, What? contest!”

That contest, announced right before we went on vacation, was to pick a Hitchcock movie to be adapted into an ongoing comic series, tell us who would work on it, and the most widely lauded part of the ongoing run.  We got a lot of really great responses for this and chose both Dylan Cassard and RJ Acero as our winners for coming up with some exceptionally thoughtful books we would both kill to read.  Graeme is mailing them each a copy of Marzena Sowa’s memoir Marzi, illustrated by Sylvain Savoia and published by Vertigo, and you can check out their award-winning entries below the podcast embed.

As for that embed, here is the second part of episode 61, concluding our discussion about Marvel, and moving on to some other topics including why Ed Brubaker‘s Fatale might have ended up over at Image; the secret of Mark Millar’s success, and questions from Twitter and our recent Savage Critic thread, with answers covering topics such as Wolverine And The X-Men #1, Shonen Jump Alpha, the revival of Rob Liefeld’s Awesome Studios (such as, for example, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy’s Prophet, which is where this post’s image comes from), X-Factor, and much more.

Wait, What? Ep. 61.2: Fat Kid Loves Cake

We didn’t quite have time to get to all the questions so if you don’t hear yours, don’t worry.  We’ll have it asked and answered in Ep. 62, we (mostly) promise!

And now for those winning entries!  Here’s Dylan’s, which he presented as a recent article he’d just read (and which had me fooled up to a certain point):

North by Northwest
“Getting There From Here”

In 1959, Martin Goodman managed to secure the rights to an adaptation of “North by Northwest” for Atlas in hopes of publishing something that didn’t have a funny animal or Jerry Lewis. Stan at the time, was in desperate need of an artist. Joe Maneely would have been his original choice for a project like this, but now Stan was at a loss. He hesitantly passed it to Jack Kirby who turned in a character sketch of Cary Grant, which Stan deemed “too ugly for human consumption.” On a lark, Jack passed the project off to Don Heck. Stan was so impressed with the way Don drew Cary Grant he later said in the letters column of issue #7, “Don Heck must be having lunch with Cary Grant on a regular basis, but I don’t know how he could with all the comics he’s drawing.” The reception to the book was lukewarm at best, and Stan Lee’s adjustments to the ending never sat right with Hitchcock. And it was canceled after issue 10. The adaptation rights lay dormant in the Marvel offices for over 20 years.

But all that changed one unseasonably warm day in the winter of 1974, Steve Engleheart marched into Stan’s office and demanded to write the continued adventures of Roger Thornhill. Stan was skeptical at the time and was still pretty ticked about the Dr. Strange/Sis-Eneg debacle, but as Stan put it, “Englehart had a way of pitching an idea as though I’d already thought of it.”

Engleheart’s following series (penciled by Frank Brunner) chronicled the journeys of Roger Thornhill through the Marvel universe as he was consistently mistaken for Kang the Conqueror, M.O.D.O.K., The Mindless Ones and even (at one point) Spider-Man by Peter Parker himself! The public loved it, and issue #9 (the Doctor Bong issue) was the top selling issue on the stands setting the all-time comics sales record of 2.5 million copies. Which was not overtaken until Spider-Man #1 in 1990.

After 11 issues, it seemed like the creative team had started to lose interest with the initial concept. After a prolonged and contrived battle with the entire Kree race landed Roger Thornhill in the Pacific Northwest, Roger smoked peyote with a Native American shaman and realized he had lost touch with America and “needed to find out WHERE it truly was.” (a lofty if vague goal to be sure) Englehart took Roger across the U.S. visiting every landmark and tourist trap that Steve had read about in a travel brochure he had picked up at a used bookstore one weekend. (Brunner has said that issue after issue he kept remarking, “I can’t believe they are paying me to do this!”)

Most die-hard NxNW fans site these 3 issues as when the series achieved transcendence and became something wholly different from anything the medium had offered before. And most likely would never return to again. Shortly after, Englehart left Marvel and the series was continued by Roy Thomas who wanted a “back to basics approach” with Roger being mistaken for different Marvel characters while trying to live his everyday life. A slew of fill-in writers plagued the book as Roy was busy with his EIC duties, and it was eventually canceled after issue 26.

Since then, there have been many attempts at revivals. Alan Moore penned a story in Daredevils that many Moore enthusiasts site as his best prose piece, and Todd McFarlane attempted to buy the rights from the Hitchcock estate in the late 90s but it amounted to little more than a toy of Roger Thornhill covered in thorns. Fan letters still drop in the Marvel office mailbox from time to time, and not a Comic-Con goes by that Joe Quesada doesn’t drop hints that there may be more new adventures from Roger Thornhill, but it is truly doubtful that any will recapture the magic of Brunner’s lovingly rendered sunsets casting a warm glow over Englehart’s conversations between Roger Thornhill and the waffle slinger at Louie’s Chicken Shack.

And here’s the entry from RJ Acero who, since we didn’t specify whether to use living or dead creators, stuck to the living:

Rebecca – written by G. Willow Wilson, art by Frazer Irving. I have to admit, the idea of Irving illustrating Manderley burning to the ground has me pining for this to happen. As an ongoing, I see this series as the travels of Mrs. Danvers (whom in our story, survives the fire) as she joins various households as a maid, leaving broken marriages in her wake. Think of her as a dour, older, feminine version of Tom Ripley. I think Ms. Wilson would be perfectly suited for writing the painful, surreal doubt that wives would face at the hands of Mrs. Danvers.

Rear Window – written by Greg Rucka, art by J.H. Williams III. The continuing adventures of Mr. & (now) Mrs. Jeffries. They travel the globe as Jeff is on assignment. Holing up in hotels in exotic locales. Jeff constantly in a different cast, and Lisa in the “latest” fashions. I would love to see the formalist flourishes that Williams could come up with for the inevitable “spying on the neighbors” scenes. Rucka seems capable of providing detailed assessments of Jeff’s assignments and certainly has the chops to interject some interesting plot twists. And most importantly, he would write a strong Lisa Jeffries.

The Wrong Man – written & illustrated by Steve Ditko. Henry Fonda as Job by way of Ditko. Practically writes itself. As an aside, this may be the saddest sad sack film ever. Don’t get me wrong, there’s great craft on display (obviously), but the plot just gets darker and
darker. The epilogue could not pull this one out of a nosedive.

Vertigo – drawn by Sam Kieth, written by Dave Sim. Two comic titans with diametrically (?) opposed views on women, working on an adaptation of a film that has some severe issues with how it portrays women. This would either be complete genius or a murder/suicide.

North by Northwest – written by Grant Morrison, art by Frank Quitely. I’m not quite sure why, but this makes sense to me. Think of All-Star Superman #3, where Lois is gifted Superman’s powers. There is something about the dynamics of Clark & Lois’ relationship that resonates with how I see Roger Thornhill and Eve Kendall. And I want to see Quitely draw people on top of different monuments every month.

The Birds – written by Warren Ellis, art by Jill Thompson. This would basically be an ongoing series where every arc tells of a different town (different time period?) that comes under siege by birds. I think Ellis could really drive a series where the only constant is an unspeaking antagonist, and the central mystery goes unexplained. After reading Beasts of Burden, there is no question in my mind that Thompson is a perfect fit here.

Psycho – written & drawn by Ba & Moon. This ongoing would be a
travelogue where at the conclusion of every story our protagonist(s) find themselves at the Bates Motel, and their demise.

Pretty great, right? Congratulations to RJ and Dylan, and our thanks to all our entrants!

22 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 61.2: Fat Kid Loves Cake ”

  1. “So I’m planning on 6 issues a year and we’re making the issues self contained but part of a big ongoing intergalactic so and so. Fucking future space Conan ish.”

    Done – and that’s six issues sold! I like that he’s direct and honest about the pace of the thing. Folks need to be serious about that because you see a comic and the lizard brain assumes “monthly.”

    And speaking to the “strength” of that original design I was immediately thinking, “Prophet? The guy with the forehead thing?”

  2. Oh my GOD, I really thought I was alone on Azzarello and his dialogue. I to this day can no longer enjoy Azarello for the exact reasons you said. He really does think his noir dialogue is much more clever than it actually is, with the sentence fragments, quips, etc.

  3. re: Azzarello’s work on 100 Bullets. I thoroughly enjoyed that series, but I too had trouble with his dialogue. It was overly “cute” at times (many times) and it did not flow as well through transitions as he might have thought. I found myself stopping short a lot of times with those clever word transitions and it would take me right out of the story.


  4. Thanks for answering my e-mail! I think you’re right that authors are just looking for sales when they over-indulge in continuity, but I can’t fathom why they think this would work. The books that take off are the books that only reference really recent continuity or just take a breezy a la carte attitude toward it.

    I mean, look at Daredevil. Waid wanted Captain America fighting Daredevil and he wanted Paolo Rivera to draw it. Does he bother explaining why Caps in costume and got the shield? No. Bendis also has a lot of success with this “salad bar” attitude to the Marvel Universe – so why do so many writers think that cluttering their narratives will help sales?

    Anyway thanks again and I hope you get a chance to look at the article. Posting the link so people know what we’re talking about:


    Funny to realize how much Priest’s original Panther storyline, The Client, outdid Bendis at his own decompressed, talky game. That was Priest – always one step ahead of the money train.

  5. Welcome back, gents! You were in fine form over both casts – and a bit precognizent to boot! A real pleasure, as always.

    Man, I wanted to love WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN, but I kind of fall in with Jeff’s line of thinking – I can’t support any more Marvel titles now, and I’m pulling back my Marvel singles purchases to DAREDEVIL (my desire to support quality superhero books supersedes my liberal angst in this case :) ). In fact, I found the whole Marvel discussion to be both facsinating and thought provoking. Thanks for the insight.

  6. The reason I didnt get Wolverine and the X-Men was because of the $3.99 price point (AUD$4.49 on comixology). What I’ve seen seems nice but that way too much for a comic for me.

    Reguarding the matter of human decency at the Marvel offices, I don’t really see an issue with buying their comics cos whichever way the sales go its not going to impact how the editorial staff are treated. Unless it gets to levels where Marvel is on its deathbed and that just try crazy shit, but if that happened at the moment wouldnt a large section of the comic market go down with it?

    Also, you mentioned that Quietly isnt a big artist, that hes only big on the internet, so who are the big name artists? I can only really think of Jim Lee as someone who would fit that bill

  7. You gentlemen should stick to commentary and analysis regarding comic books and things you are familiar with, not the economics and/or business practices involved in the industry. You profess sheer befuddlement that a company like Marvel would cut costs and terminate employees despite the fact that Marvel is “profitable.” This shows a basic lack of business knowledge and a complete lack of awareness and understanding of how large publicly traded corporations are operated in the United States in the 21st Century.

    To be profitable is simply not enough anymore. An investor needs to see a company grow and improve over time. Therefore, a company needs to have quarterly revenue growth, which is an increase of a company’s sales when compared to a previous quarter’s revenue performance. Therefore, if Marvel was profitable this quarter, it needs to exceed it’s profit margin next quarter, and the next, and the next. It’s unsustainable really.

    If sales are generally on the decline, in order to exceed the previous quarters profits, you do the following: raise prices and/or cut costs. You cut costs by cutting staff and increasing performance. Increasing performance is another term for making the employees you don’t fire work a little harder to make up for the work the people you just fired used to do. The employment line is a great motivator to make someone work harder. Like I said, it’s unsustainable.

    Since when is running a business about being loyal to your employee? It’s about the bottom line. Welcome to corporate America. This is capitalism. The thing that the Occupy Wall Street (99%) crowd is railing against.

  8. So in three paragraphs you say a system is unsustainable twice but still manage to tell these two they have no understanding of how a business is run in today’s scary modern world?

    “It’s all a shell game to mask lack of growth with cutbacks and price hikes blibitty blabbetty bloooooooo!”

    You are talking so far down to Graeme, Jeff, and the rest of us you have no idea.

    They skipped the business 101 lecture for everyone’s sanity. THANKFULLY YOU STEPPED IN!

    Insightful. Marvel’s decision makers have decided to slash and burn to look good for investors but the CONSUMERS of a product are typically the first to go – “Wait, this product is shitty.”

    The guy who owns stock doesn’t realize anything is wrong with the core product until his dividend comes back shitty or someone misses projections and changes the stock rating. Luckily for that guy he just tells his broker…”Hey asshole go invest me in something that doesn’t suck.”

    Unluckily for us and (long term) for all the fools running Marvel into the ground we’re involved with this product in a different and emotional way.

    Anywho, not being stock brokers the guys focus on what makes a company good not for the short term or unaware investor but for the poor schlubs (us) that line investors pockets. I’m still working through this but had to comment because…well…I almost choked reading your lecture. A great company runs in a fiscally responsible way wherein they set profit goals and meet or exceed those. A shitty company – which Marvel seems to be hurtling towards – takes the axe to the infrastructure when it should be strengthening itself and its resources. Go grow the comics market by making books that don’t just appeal to the dwindling rump of comics fandom.

    When Christos Gage asks Twitter “Got any good Gambit stories I should read?” before writing a book about the fucking guy it’s the comapny’s fault and whatever their stupid “modern business practices” that led to this place of fairy dust and wonderment they should be called on the carpet for it.

  9. “This is capitalism”

    And for the record NO. This is not capitalism.

    This is the gutless, smoking wreckage of a VERSION of capitalism which is principally cannibalism.

  10. Yes, my friend, this is capitalism. Sorry. This is what capitalism has unfortunately become. I wasn’t defending it, just stating reality. It is rotten to the fucking core. The investment class (i.e., the 1%), controls the means of production. Defend capitalism if that’s your bag, but I’m with Occupy Wall Street. Nothing short of revolution is going to change the status quo.

  11. By the way, where exactly have you been the last three decades? Investors don’t care about making a company “great”, they care about a return on their investment. Do you think corporations care about long term goals like a livable planet free from global warming? No. The proof is in the very air you breath. Capitalism is a parasite infecting the human race and the planet earth. Nice try though.

  12. If you really want to get schooled on corporations and their overarching powers (and be entertained), check out this Grant Morrison concept from Marvel Boy #3, “Hexus, The Living Corporation”:


  13. Okay, I’m as big a fan of an Internet punch-’em-up as the next guy, but I’d like to step in here and ask for things to cool down, if only because I think there are better targets for all this rhetorical windmilling.

    There *is* a difference between regulated and unregulated capitalism, even if that difference is just a lag in the time it takes for corruption to set in.

    You’re certainly right, Robert G, in that Graeme and I come off as pretty naive in our assumptions. Although I don’t have time to bust out where I got my information (I’ll admit it was either Rich’s articles on the subject over at Bleeding Cool, or Heidi’s take over at The Beat), the impression I got is that Isaac Perlmutter insists on Marvel showing increasing profits without investing in new business and calling for cuts when the margin of shortfall was less than 5%.

    (No, wait. Here it is:

    Arguably, Disney’s board could be understanding about such a shortfall considering the current state of the economy. I very much believe Heidi’s thesis that Perlmutter is doing this because he wants to be a heavier hitter on the Disney board, and that this stuff is quite traceable to *him*.

    Although I believe corporations, if left unchecked, will act like vile sociopaths, what is especially frustrating is that this seems to be a case where the majority of the butthurt is coming from an actual vile sociopath. And again, I know it’s naive but I think it’s a shame the people who spend so much time creating heroes won’t stop and be heroes.

    So instead of shoving one another about, maybe we can do our part to get this corporate personhood thing looked at, as well as our current limited liability laws, and make our politicians be more accountable. And, oh yeah, let’s see if we can make sure Marvel can get more than one bathroom, rather than taking pride in the fact we don’t find that shocking and sad. (Sorry. Some angry snark creeping in here at the end…)

    I mean, that sounds more productive, at the very least, than producing a 40 post thread, right?

  14. Jeff, I will cease and desist, good sir. Thank you for the link. I was vaguely aware of this Perlmutter character, in the way that I am vaguely aware of trichinosis, ringworm and other parasitic diseases that ultimately cause consternation and regret to the sad, unprepared bowels of humankind.

    I was merely trying to state that it is not a matter of one rogue individual such as Perlmutter being a sociopath or a misguided greed-head so much as that this is the culture that gets rewarded in this 21st century corporatocracy (oligarchy, etc). It is systemic. It is inherent in the system.

    And finally, for fucks sake, the hens have come home to roost.

    That is, it has come to the point that this corporatocracy (or oligarchy, take your pick), has finally affected something as basic and innocent an industry and refuge as comic books. I blame this on the financial success of the Spider-Man and X-Men movie franchises, which lifted up a rock and shined a bright light on the super hero universe. It uncovered some awesome beauty and some unmistakeable ugliness. Suddenly, the nerd reigns supreme, not unlike Iron Chef.

    While the comic book consumer relished the thought that the mainstream was finally coming to recognize them as something special, these avatars of brilliance, the opposite was true. Their objects of affection, these spandex clad heroes were merely pieces of turds, which could be de-spandexed, buffed and waxed enough for the silver screen to be capitalized upon.

    What everyone fails to understand is that the comic books are secondary to the movies, despite boasts of comic books being R&D for the movies. That’s laughable. No one but us on the fringes (the 1% of the 99%) actually gives a damn about these things.

    I am an attorney whose firm years ago “merged” with a larger law firm. I was told nothing would change. I knew better. Sure enough, after a grace period, I was required to bill more hours and increase my hourly rate. The following quarter, what was expected was more billable hours and more revenue brought into the firm. I had to count how many legal pads and paper clips I was using. I soon realized I would never make partner because the goal line kept changing, year after year. The choice came down to whether I would bill more hours or see less of my family. The choice was mine and I took it. For my sanity and the health of my family, I made the right choice. It was no choice really.

    Why is this suddenly hitting the comic book industry? The question is why it didn’t happen long ago? If not Ike Perlmutter, it would be someone else. It is the failing within the construct of capitalism that allows for an Ike Perlmuttter. Rail against the system, which is the demon. Not the demon’s messenger.

  15. Thanks for answering my questions! That Airtight Garage arcade thing sounds amazing. The current Humanoid releases are really nice, but as you said they aren’t really good for impulse buys. It would be nice if they would try a bit more of a mainstream push for Moebius material than the current “for collectors” approach. Also like you said, from what they’ve released so far, it seems like these collections are being released because they are Jodoworsky, not Moebius.

    I know you guys aren’t the biggest Stan Lee fans (I’m not either), but what is the stuff that you mentioned liking more than Parable? I would be interested in hearing what work of his you like.

  16. I’ll ease up but I HAVE to answer a few things –

    “By the way, where exactly have you been the last three decades? Investors don’t care about making a company “great”, they care about a return on their investment. Do you think corporations care about long term goals like a livable planet free from global warming? No. The proof is in the very air you breath. Capitalism is a parasite infecting the human race and the planet earth. Nice try though.”

    First, on a nerd to nerd level, Hexus was beaten via corporate espionage and competitive capitalism. Its secrets were stolen and given to competitors thereby robbing the entity of its power. Morrison was arguing against monopoly more than capitalism.

    And then on a philosophical front: Long before anything resembling a “corporation” there were people and they smashed each others brains out to get things they wanted.

    The problem is not “in capitalism” as much as you want it to be. The problem is in US. Capital U Capital S. Human beings do all this to each other and will continue to do so long after you and I and our children’s children are in the loam of the earth. I’m not saying all people are evil – I’m not saying most. I’m also not foolish enough to believe that by tearing down the world’s most advanced society we’ll somehow come closer to anything resembling Utopia.

    Where do you start? What can YOU change via some system of financial distribution about the evolution of the human species to seek ADVANTAGE?

    Capitalism works for me. I own a business. I’m not in debt. I employ five people. I make the best Donuts, in my opinion, in America. So yeah, defending Capitalism is kind of “my bag.” Then again, I’m willing to work 60 hours a week and make the time to keep my wife and son happy and provided for.

    The best thing that ever happened to this mudball is that somewhere along the way we were all gifted the ability to choose. Some options are limited by things out of our control but free will remains. It’s up to the people at Marvel to stand up for themselves…or not.

    That being said I am ending my part in this. You raised some points and I feel I’ve said all I need to say. Sorry if I toed or over-stepped the line.

  17. Robert G and j_smitty_: Thanks to both of you for thoughtful responses while also continuing to advocate considerately for your viewpoints.

    Robert: I feel for you, having worked around law for what is creeping up on a majority of my life. I’ve seen attorneys get worn down to burnt out nubs and then discarded for the next crop of new hires. (And I’ve seen attorneys who’ve made partners and had a huge chunk of casual decency burned off of them.) Glad you made the right choice for you and your family.

    As for your thesis about comic books and the comic book movies, unfortunately the films only accelerated things for Marvel. If you’re interested (and have the stomach for it), check out Dan Raviv’s Comic Wars: How Two Tycoons Battled Over the Marvel Comics Empire–And Both Lost:


    Smitty: I’m pretty much in awe of your ability to do all that and be such an engaged, intelligent comic book fan. Also, I got to get out to your neck of the woods and try your doughnuts!

  18. I recently read the entirety of 100 Bullets. I’d started to read the singles but fell off around the halfway point. It was both better and worse than I’d remembered. Some of the storylines held together a lot better than I’d remembered, and bits that had seemed random actually had payoffs. Worse, because, yeah, Azzarello’s dialogue. There were whole sequences that were so convoluted and tortured just to arrive at a point where a character could say a certain line, like Azzarello had thought up a single snappy line and worked his way backwards from there.

  19. @J_Smitty: Out of all of this, I’m most interested in the best donuts in America. WHERE WHERE WHERE

  20. Thanks for another great podcast, and I may have missed it way back when, but didn’t DC fire several editors with it’s DC Entertainment move last year? I remember some outrage, but not to the extent I have seen with the Marvel news. Isn’t this just the downward spiral of the publishing industry and not just a Marvel needs money issue?

  21. Columbus Ohio – Donut Factory

    Our FB page is set to public, check us out.

  22. Yes, years to late and the winners are truly worthy, but I’d definitely buy Darwyn Cooke’s ‘To Catch a Thief’ on-going. It’s another series that virtually writes itself.

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