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Wait, What? Ep. 73: Thicker Than Forget

Jeff Lester

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We didn’t even come close.

Don’t get me wrong–we certainly tried.  But give Graeme and I more than four dozen questions with an amorphous time deadline and you’re not going to get the bulk of those questions answered even with us putting in two and a half hours to get it done.  [Though we do so at the expense of Haruki Murakami's 1Q84: if you are currently reading that book, please skip over the 20-25 minute section of the podcast to avoid some ship-sinking spoilers.  (Sorry again, Luke.)]

So consider this Part 1 of our answers to your questions, with Part 2 to come next week.  If we go to Part 3, I give you permission to begin hunting us as the most dangerous game.  (Although, really we’re a far cry from that: I’d say I’m about on par with hunting sloths or maybe opposums, and Graeme might be at the level of a squirrel, though the squirrel might be rabid, maybe.)

The Ancient Prophecies foretold this episode would be found in the land of iTunes. But lo, also shall ye find it here:

Wait, What? Ep. 73: Thicker Than Forget

As always, we thank you for listening, and for your questions, and for your patience.  We hope you enjoy!

28 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 73: Thicker Than Forget ”

  1. Listening now. To clarify, I think the question somebody had about the Kindle Fire wasn’t about the exclusive DC collections, it’s that on the Fire’s version of the Comixology app, their New 52 issues aren’t very current (Batman is only up to #3 for instance).

    I just looked at the comixology support twitter account and they responded to somebody saying: “Hi, we’re working on getting those titles available on all platforms. Right now, you can buy on your iPhone & sync to the Fire!”

    (for anybody that didn’t know already, you can also buy through the web interface).

  2. You guys are the Egg McMuffin of pod-casters.

    Any Kirby “Fourth World” movie should be done Bollywood style. Duh! That would be nuts.

  3. I think you guys actually got through way more question than anyone could have expected.

  4. You mentioned that you’d love to see the writer of Crying Freeman do an American superhero book. Have you tried Death Note by the creators of Bakuman? I think they’d do a great Batman vs. Joker or Batman vs. Riddler story, especially because most Batman writers suck at writing mystery or doing real battles of the wits. Through the 90s and 00s most of Batman’s detective work consisted of beating information out of informants or suspending them upside down from gargoyles or Oracle finding info for Batman via hacking. The Death Note writer would really be good at writing the type of battle of wits and detective work Batman needs.

    Also, you say you want to see Crying Freeman writer do American superhero work. In a related note, the artist from Crying Freeman did a manga version of Spider-Man and it was wonderful:
    http://www.dtaweb.com/ryoichi_ikegami/manga_spiderman.php

  5. What’s the deal with Mr. Fraction? You know what I mean.

  6. Jack Black as Kalibak.

  7. I’d like to see Steven Soderbergh do the Fourth World in Schizopolis mode.

    GRANNY GOODNESS: Nose army?
    DARKSEID: (nods, smiles) Nose army.
    Naked parademon runs across the screen

  8. Discovering I can listen to yoru podcasts at work is both great and terrible. Great because I enjoy them. Terrible because it makes me miss being able to discuss stuff like this with people.

    Anyway, my far too many comments about what you said.

    1. The version of Star Wars you describe sounds pretty awesome.

    2. “The Walking Dead code”

    A. This sounds like an amazing/terrible/hilarious comic book themed version of the Da Vinci code. Kirkman is hiding secret directions to hidden treasure in his comics!

    B. Y the last man sold well as far as non superhero books went. It was pretty consistant at around 25,000 copies. You can find the estimates for the last year here: http://www.whenmonkeysattack.com/blog/2008/03/12/dc-mowoodnth-to-month-sales-january-2008/

    C. I think Chew indicates that what “indie” comics make it “big” are completely random.

    There seems to be about one book a year that gets “big”, and trying to realize which one it will be seems impossible.

    D. As of December 2010 (just over about a year ago) Chew was up to issue 16, and the third collection had just come out. To quote from my own piece on indie sales at the Beat: “In 2010 volume one of the [Chew] trade paperbacks sold 13,600 copies, volume two sold 11,100 copies, and volume three sold 6,400 copies according”
    Layman must have been making money off of sales like that right?

    E. Two quotes from an interview with Layman that I think relate to points C and D. (http://www.comicsbeat.com/2011/02/17/just-mostly-gross-funny-fun-an-interview-with-chew-writer-john-layman-2/)

    “I am too much of a pessimist. I regard Chew as a huge fluke and aberration, and just assume whatever I do next will flop, just like my previous stuff. And I have no desire to sink whatever profits I make into the sinkhole of a book that does not do well.”

    “With Chew, probably the best thing that happened to me is they [Vertigo] wouldn’t touch it, because it forced me to self-finance, and now that it is doing well, I control its destiny and reap its rewards. In retrospect, it is absolutely for the best. ”

    3. Creators for a waffle comic should be japanese surely? A shonen comic about someone’s quest to make/eat the best waffle ever!

    4. I would love to see DC Comics Prevents as a comic. It sounds like a Sergio Aragones or Frek Hembeck title at the very least, but I’m sure there’s more mileage to it. What would your DC Comics Prevents title be?

    5. I like buying physical comics because I can give them away to people afterwards. People are completely willing to read comics when they get them for free. Sometimes they’re really excited by the prospect!

    6. Where’s the post with the guy reprinting all the stuff that Marvel said about Miracleman?

    7. You forgot Wolverine: Snikt by Tsutomu (Biomega) Nihei for a western superhero comic by a manga creator. Though it seems even Marvel have forgotten they published this.

  9. @ moose n squirrel: OMG, thank you for pointing that out! I’m kind of in awe of JLB for giving that wonky a shout-out.

  10. ENTRY LEVEL KIRBY: I’d say probably the ESSENTIAL THOR VOL. 2, with an emphasis on issue #133.

    GOOD FOOD ARTIST: James Stokoe, as seen in WONTON SOUP. You may find yourself pouring syrup on the page.

  11. Still listening to the podcast, but had to break and ask-

    Jeff- What exactly about the “slow” (for lack of a better word) parts of Haywire didn’t you like? I ask b/c I had about the same perception of the movie as you, and just saw it yesterday. I liked it– the friend I was with loved it– but I can’t argue that it isn’t really an action movie. Or even a “Soderbergh action movie” (as if that’s a thing.) My best assessment is that it’s an action movie that tries to be a film, or a slower-paced (or 60s era?) action movie. And I did like that, even if only b/c it messed with expectations while still doing good fight scenes.

    I really do want to know what you think, b/c I think it gets into an interesting question of criticism- how much can we objectively say “this is a good choice or a bad choice” versus “I didn’t like that choice”, perhaps as where Jeff mentions he and Mr. Soderbergh should talk– maybe you’ve had a parting of the ways on some level? Or is it more of an internal genre disdain- rather than the disdain of the NYT had for the genre zombie novel, a fan disdain for not doing what we want/expect?

    And by asking, I’m in no way saying you’re wrong– the “Want to See” percentage for Haywire on Rotten Tomatoes was high, but dropped a LOT when it moved to the “Liked It” meter, indicating a high level of disappointment in the movie once people had seen it. I can easily see that I’m in the minority camp for liking it. (I just can’t point to anything particular that I could say was “wrong” with it.)

    Sorry to post so off topic (hey- the comments thread can drift too!) but these question of subjective & objective criticism really interest me, and your sage thoughts will really add to that. Btw, I thought the comments both of you made on Jackson’s King Kong were good/valid.

  12. With Kirby work, you need utter concentration and dialogue-chewing scenes with contemplative vistas. My pick is: Charlie Kauffman-written, Werner Herzog-directed, “Jack Kirby’s Orion”

  13. I think the disconnect for me on the HOward the Duck Talk (which was great!) is that the narcissism from Gerber that Jeff talks about is part of what makes that book so 70′s-ish to me, as that narcissism seems so much more of the times in an interesting way than mere Doctor Bong or whatever. He’s telling us about himself more than specifically reacting to, like, the latest Gerald Ford mishap but who he is and how he’s thinking about the world seems more reflective of his time than that.

    Otherwise, you just end up with Chevy Chase falling down stairs which doesn’t last as long as, like– that fake ad of Gilda Radner having a one-night stand, say…? If I can speak exclusively in season one SNL terms.

    There was a mostly terrible Martin Mull movie named Serial that had that same “I’m the only sane man and that’s what makes the world hate me” vibe that was around then. (Plus the same fascination with cults) (not a good movie though)(well, couple funny lines– I like Martin Mull). I don’t think that was specific to Gerber by any means. Maybe I’ve misunderstood though…

  14. I also screamed “Nooo!” to Peter Jackson as Graeme did, and as Mr. McMillan was describing his Fourth World movie, I was saying “Well, Soderbergh, obviously,” and lo, there was agreement. (Lady Gaga is pretty great for Desaad.)

    I would also enjoy Wes Anderson’s Fourth World.

    I did enjoy Moffat’s Jekyll, as it changes direction, genre, and scope with each passing episode.

    Now Jeff, shut up and watch Doctor Who, Jesus.

  15. “Where’s the post with the guy reprinting all the stuff that Marvel said about Miracleman?”

    http://blog.newsarama.com/2012/01/23/marvelman/ links to it.

    Also, I think it should be “From what movie does that quote originate?” So that you don’t end on a preposition.

  16. Thanks for reading my questions on the air :)

    Can’t believe you only went for sensible ideas as far as the next Avengers writer. What about something like Alan Moore, Brian K Vaugn, Abhey, Jeff Lester, Malachai Nicolle (Axe Cop), Warren Ellis or Stan Lee?

  17. I firmly believe Avengers was intended to be dropped into Nick Spencer’s lap.

    The big, splashy exclusive said “We have plans.”

    Then he kinda got exposed as weak sauce and people started looking at each other sideways.

    I think 2012 may not be the year of the creator so much as it will be definitely be the year of the advocate. With circulation numbers coming down and down the endorsing and championing of projects (via kickstarter, direct buys, direct appeals) will be more important than ever. With the line of worthwhile sales numbers being lower than ever and the creators of these products being a keyboard away via social media I see everyone more or less becoming a specifically scaled version of Mark Millar.

    In regard to Haywire I was fully in mind of older and more deliberately paced action flicks. The score of the movie had that jazzy Soderbergh thing going on and the locations used were as much characters as the mannequins walking through the scenes. I did feel that the manner in which they were going to implicate Carano’s character as a rogue agent practically broke my brain with its ham-fistedness. I mean, jeez.

    But still, her kicking ass all over that movie made my day.

    Sometimes it’s enough for Steve McQueen to show up in a movie and be Steve Fucking McQueen, you know?

  18. no seriously…. I REALLY want to know what Jeff was eating this week during recording.

    what’s the big secret? cover-up? If Jeff gets to eat while recording a podcast every week why doesn’t he bring enough for everyone ???

  19. I don’t want this to sound like an accusation. I blame myself.

    I was on page 29 of 1Q84 when Jeff started discussing it. You’re usually so diligent about avoiding spoilers, even about things that have been out for decades, so I continued listening, and then I could not shut it off in time. Rats.

    I don’t have a good sense of how major or minor the spoilers actually were, but anyone else reading the book might want to skip the section of the podcast 20-25 minutes in.

  20. Oh hell, Luke. I’m so sorry. Believe it or not, I didn’t spoil *everything* (although I think I took a lot of the joy of seeing puzzle pieces connect in the first few hundred pages)–there is a lot in there I didn’t mention.

    But-I am truly, truly sorry. Thank you for letting me and everyone know. I’ll change the intro post here to mention that for others.

    Gah.

  21. Regarding the ratio of good stories in 2000ad – I usually find there are two brilliant stories (and one of them is almost always Dredd); two completely average stories that are worth reading but never really excite me (something like Sinister Dexter); and one strip that is just rubbish. I think that’s a good enough ratio.

    And like Graeme says – when all five strips are firing, it really is the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

  22. I’ll be the one who tells Jeff he really isn’t missing anything by skipping Doctor Who. Bad dialogue, bad acting, effects that fall in that uncomfortable zone between too-expensive-to-be-a-joke and too-cheap-to-take-seriously, shouty garbage cans with plungers on their heads that are meant to be seriously considered to be the deadliest beings in the universe, all-too-frequently-delivered portentous monologues about just how important and awesome the main character is, frequently delivered by that character himself, showrunners that can’t decide whether they should take this stuff seriously or play up the camp value – this is the definition of eminently missable mediocrity.

  23. @Jeff Lester: Doctor Who, eh? Doctor Who is an essentially English phenomenon much like binge dinking, talking about the weather, cheeky misogyny, pining for The Empire, knife crime, and, best of all, resenting the few people who fleece the Welfare State so much that it would seem much more equitable to dismantle the whole thing and reduce great swathes of England and its inhabitants to the level of the Victorian Poor House. Oh, and boundless cheery optimism, that too.

    There’s a lot of Dr. Who as well, and I do mean a lot. A lot. Really. So at this stage I’d probably say give it a miss on the whole. What about SHERLOCK? That’s okay. A bit facile, I guess, but very polished and there’s only, what, 6 (approx 90 mins each)episodes so far? Or have you been watching that? Sorry but I’ve missed some poddery so maybe you have; my apologies I shall endeavour to rectify this situation at the earliest opportunity.

    If you do watch Doctor Who I believe it would be best if you refer to the lead character at all times as The Doctor and *never* Doctor Who. This the TV sci-fi equivalent of Uncut Evil much like saying “manga comics” is in the funnybook world. Or calling comics “funnybooks”. You would not believe how upset some people can get about those things.

    @RobertG: Bollywood Kirby – “YES”!!!

  24. Dear Jeff Lester: I just want to chime in too and say that you shouldn’t bother watching Doctor Who. Having said that, what you ought to do is start listening to Big Finish’s Doctor Who audioplays, there’s about two hundred or so out in the main range, probably another two hundred in their spin off ranges. I know it sounds daunting, but just space them out by reading Doctor Who comics and catching up on the classic Doctor Who series by reading the old novelisations.

    PS. If you start to feel worn out from all that Doctor Who, then watch some Torchwood. It’ll ease you out of feeling worn out and slowly into death (generally seen to be a better alternative to enduring the series).

  25. I just started watching the first season of the new Doctor. I’d wanted to for a while. I’d heard good things about it and I remember Graeme encouraging Jeff to check it out months ago. I also liked Moffat’s writing on COUPLING and SHERLOCK. I really hadn’t paid attention to WHO since the Tom Baker years (Sarah Jane through Tegan and Nyssa). I really don’t give a crap about DOCTOR WHO in general but this version intrigued me.

    So, I saw the first two episodes and I liked it. It’s DOCTOR WHO. It follows the formula. The episodes are one and two parters so you get in and get out. I like Matt Smith’s Doctor and I like Karen Gillian just fine so far. I am looking forward to Alex Kingston showing up as well as Daleks. Moffat’s work is solid and inventive and he keeps it moving along at a good pace. It’s a solid “good” for me. The big test is my wife who generally can’t stand SF or fantasy except in rare exceptions. She liked it especially the first episode.

    I’m a Yank and I liked it and my fantasy/sf hating wife liked it. I’m on board. I recommend checking out at least the first episode Jeff. It’s good cheezy crappy fun done very well (at least as far as I’ve seen).

  26. ‘Also, I think it should be “From what movie does that quote originate?” So that you don’t end on a preposition.’

    Abhay, you are correct. I don’t think it is in vogue anymore, but I used to love the art of diagramming a sentence.

  27. Just 90 minutes into it gents, and it is already a classic. You need to get those band names posted Mr. Lester!

    Aside from agreeing with Jeff on the Shteyngart, I was also quite taken with his description of “the 100 Best Horror Stories” as “bits of mental popcorn” you can munch a few at a time.

    Aside from the late lamented Slings & Arrows Guide, we actually *do* have a similar book in our field. “Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers!” edited by Sean Howe.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Give-Our-Regards-Atomsmashers-Writers/dp/0375422560/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1328302172&sr=8-3-fkmr0

    This book went remainder a year or so ago and I can’t imagine there are not copies around.

    A fun series of essays by writers, pop culture types or hipsters on their favorite comics. So there’s Lethem on Kirby vs Ditko, Steve Erickson on HVC’s “American Flagg!”, Aimee Bender on Chester Brown’s “Yummy Fur” and others.

    Star of the show is clearly the strange stirrings Brad Meltzer gets for Terra Markov in “The New Teen Titans”.

    I love this book, but have never seen it discussed in the comics blogosphere. Was I the only comic geek who has one? Worth looking for.

    (Now if only we could get a third volume of Slings and Arrows………)

  28. I..I can’t hold my tongue any more.

    I really hate the new theme tune.

    I miss the frosty electroid shimmer and low sense of menace of the old one. The new is part bad late-90′s Charlatan’s B-Side and part cheeseball talkshow house band jam.

    Make it die please.

    It’s a shame, cos I really do love the podcast an awful lot.

    Sorry.

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