buskupan

Wait, What? Ep. 79.2: Power of Ones

Jeff Lester

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Hey, guess who did it wrong?

Yeah, I had an incredibly busy Wednesday and it wasn’t until my head hit the pillow that I remembered I’d forgotten to upload this podcast.

And create this entry.

So, despite my fond reveries about providing extra content and blahblahblahblah, that will probably have to wait until next week because, well, I’m tired and dumb.

But I wasn’t (entirely) when Graeme and I talked now comics for our conclusion to Episode 79!  Nope, I was more or less lucid and we reviewed the latest issues of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Faith, Frankenstein, Agent of Shade, Batwoman, and a whole mess of first first issues including Saucer Country, Crossed Badlands, Saga, Avengers Assemble, and of course Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man (which I’m sure some of you were unfortunate enough to realize from the above excerpt).

“A candy-colored clown they call iTunes
tiptoes to your feed every night
just to sprinkle podcasts and to whisper
“Go to sleep, everything is all right.”

Alternately:

Wait, What? Ep. 79.2: The Power of Ones

As always, we hope you zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

19 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 79.2: Power of Ones ”

  1. I’ve only listened to the first section where you two are discussing the Monkees, which I always understood to be some cross between the Beatles and Monkey (a 70s Japanese that was dubbed and became something of a classic/cult show here in Australia). Why didn’t you warn us?
    I’m not quite sure how I feel about the two parters now, I feel that the movie length episodes have a more natural flow but I like getting two shows a week.
    Jeff mentioned in passing the thinking of how to monetize the show a few episodes back, maybe having an extra weekly episode behind a pay wall would suit. That way you’d have an arena to go town on creators with less chance of being overheard too…

  2. NO PAY WALL NOOOOOOOOOOO

  3. EULOGEIC!!!

    But seriously, thanks for another fun episode.

  4. Like syrup in mine ears as ever! Not literally that would be terrible. Speaking of terrible, in AVENGERS ASSEMBLING isn’t it Dumb Hulk because Dumb Hulk is in the movie? And all those *hundreds of thousands* of people who will run to their LCS after seeing the film will be buying this particular comic? Because, clearly, we need to remind these people as soon as possible that, yes, comics are as terrible, expensive and pointless as they had presumed them to be!

    I hope Mr. Jeff Lester will keep us informed if he does dip his toes into the cinema of Lindsey Anderson. But: best brace yourself as the humour is quite broad in that very special ’60s/’70s UK way. Wink! Wink! Knoworrimeanguv? Teribly, terribly fine stuff though. As Mr. McMillan can attest. And has.

    Thanks as ever!

  5. All right, I only just got to this place in the podcast, and ya’ll know I love you, but seriously neither of you guys have read A SINGLE MOEBIUS COMIC?!! I am disappointed. Sorely disappointed.

    Though from my understanding of your guys’ tastes your reactions would probably be along the lines of “the art is just lovely but the story didn’t grab me at all.”

    Stay beautiful you two mad bastards, I need something good to listen to come next week.

    Cheers, and apologies for my tone, but man… no Moebius comics… I just… I… guys, come on…

  6. My vote is for breaking the podcasts up into parts. I just think they’re more easily digestible, personally.

    I saw Saucer Country in the store and would have bypassed it, but then I remembered that Graeme liked it so I picked it up. Unfortunately, my reaction was closer to Jeff’s. I didn’t hate it, by any means, but I was pretty eh on it. A big sticking point was the character of Governor Alvarado herself. I kept wondering when this story takes place, now or in some near future? Because despite the election of Obama and the bit of enthusiasm generated by Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman, I think the U.S. is a long, long way from electing a divorced, Latina woman running on a platform of amnesty for illegal immigrants, especially one who travels with an entourage of goons in service to her family. Cornell doesn’t sell me on it. He has that Harry guy say that America is ready for it, “if it’s YOU,” but we don’t get any sense of what’s so great about her.

    I was also disappointed in Ryan Kelly’s art, which, like Jeff, I really enjoyed in Local. I’m not sure I can exactly pinpoint what I missed here, but it just seemed a lot more pedestrian.

    I don’t think I’ve read a Moebius comic either, except that Silver Surfer comic. I’ve seen plenty of his art, but never delved into his books. I’m pretty well read in comics, but there are some glaring holes. Like, I’ve never read any Carl Barks, or some classic Lee&Kirby stuff. That would be a good topic to chat about, perhaps, what “must read” comics have you just not ever read?

  7. The Hulk in the movie isn’t really Dumb Hulk, though. Dumb Hulk is the Hulk from the early classic comics who talks like a caveman or a very stupid child – “Hulk smash,” “Hulk strongest one there is,” etc. The Hulk in the movie acts much more like the Hulk from the old TV show (or, for that matter, the Hulk from the underrated Bruce Jones run) – he doesn’t actually talk, or even communicate in anything but the occasional guttural roar, and comes across less like a big dumb person than a monster or a wild animal or a force of nature, appearing somewhat alien and distant, operating on instinct. I know a lot of people lump these two portrayals together, but I think the distinction is important – I never took the “Hulk smash!” version seriously precisely because it seemed like the character was just a really stupid person in a very strong person’s body; the “green monster,” though, taps into something wilder and more primal, and I can respect that.

    Also, I think just about the only character whose dialogue Brian Bendis couldn’t fuck up is a character who doesn’t speak at all.

  8. Well… I liked Avengers Assemble : (
    Best issue of Avengers I’ve read by Bendis – it had two action scenes! That’s got be a record for him.
    Also, Graeme didn’t mention it had a funnier ad placement than the Thor slurpee in Fear Itself – the page after the Bryan Hitch costume credit is a full page ad of Hawkeye in his old costume. It’s a really good bit of superhero art as well, and shows up the new design.

    Also, I’m beginning to think Wacker is only trolling because he cares – last weeks Scarlet Spider #3 had a”Wait, What?” speech balloon, as did this weeks ASM #682. He’s not in it for the lulz, he just wants some love!

    Fun podcast as always!

  9. Once again, I totally enjoy the podcast. As far as how best to distribute, it should boil down to whatever’s easiest. You guys unleash the comics beast on your own time and between work commitments, waffles and spouses it must be difficult to record and edit the podcast too. Is there any time difference between the one-part and two-part episodes?

    The thing that drove me crazy in this week’s comics was ASM #682. Since when did Marvel start posting ads on page 2?!?

  10. So listening to this half of the podcast and reading the comments, I noticed something strange. Jeff and Graeme discussed in Pt. 1 their tendency to go too far with creators and whether they crossed the line in the past. The Matt Fraction stuff came up repeatedly.

    I personally didn’t get why the Fraction stuff made people so uncomfortable, as much literary criticism and film criticism, when it reaches a certain level, goes whole hog into the writer’s past, psychodynamics and neuroses. For example I recently read an analysis of Samuel Butler’s The Way of All Flesh that juxtaposed Butler’s real life dysfunctional relationship with his father throughout the piece. I’ve also read similar pieces and watched documentaries that went in depth about the Brontes and Dickens and James Joyce’s personal lives and psychological issues and how they affects the choices they made when writing their fiction. I’ve also seen film essays that discussed Woody Allen’s childhood and personal life to analyze his body of films. So seeing someone apply that type of meta-analysis in comic podcast form really excited me because it reminded me of those types of literary essays I love, which is why I enjoy Savage Critics.

    Yet the things said in this 2nd half of the podcast somehow struck me far more as potentially crossing the line than psychoanalyzing Fraction, yet based on these comments no one else seems to think the same. Going on and on about how “shitty” Bendis’s work was in this issue and laughing at Mark Bagley’s artwork…I dunno, it didn’t personally offend me, but it did feel somehow more potentially injurious to say that someone’s writing or art was shitty than to say “wow, this guy seems to have a lot of personal issues he’s bringing into this comic.”

    In my case at least, I’d feel far more injured and depressed at someone saying that something I created was incompetent and “shitty” but I seemed emotionally happy and psychologically undisturbed than by someone saying that my work was a brilliant piece of genius that reflected deep personal pain and self-loathing. But maybe that’s evidence that I’m way out of whack with normal sensibilities.

    It also makes me wonder, does much of it have to do with the sensibilities of comic fans? Maybe the people who are intensely attracted to works like Joyce, the Brontes, Butler, Woody Allen, they tend to be drawn to such works because they are fascinated by the human condition and what makes people tick. They like seeing characters and their pain under a microscope because they want to deconstruct people and their suffering and in doing so have light shed on their own personalities and suffering. So to an audience with such goals, going into the psychology of the author is fair game.

    Comic fans, especially of the superhero variety, maybe are far more invested in the escapist aspect of fiction than the introspective, emotionally deconstructing aspect of fiction. Maybe from childhood comics were all about getting away from the emotional pain that was inside them, a way to not think about dysfunction or real world problems. So for that reason, when someone goes deep into discussions of real-life psychological pain after reading a comic, it turns off the audience because it’s not the deal the audience signed up for as comic readers. They have traditionally read comics to avoid thinking of that stuff, or at least to think about it in a detached, shallow manner, not in a deep, probing way that exposes one to the dark aspects of one’s own psyche. I think this because as a kid, I think dissociation from the outside world and from my own turbulent inner world were the big draws of comics to me.

    So maybe that’s why it’s okay to call writing and art “shitty” to one’s heart’s content and that doesn’t seem very disturbing and uncomfortable, because as long as the criticism is kept at the superficial level of strictly commenting on what’s displayed on the page and doesn’t probe deeper personal issues that may provoke a reader to start probing his own inner world, that is keeping in line with the implicit, unspoken emotional contract people feel they signed when they became comic fans.

    Maybe the discomfort people feel is with a Fraction psychoanalysis is not due to a concern for creators, because to me if it was a concern for creators’ feelings the “shitty” comments about the creators’ work would offend also. Maybe seeing someone get so psychologically probed causes discomfort because it makes the readers feel like they themselves are getting probed by proxy, and comics attract a fanbase especially invested in not owning their own self-loathing? On the flip side I have the opposite problem, where I’m almost pathologically obsessed with just how deep my self-loathing goes and I’m always trying to probe myself psychologically to become aware of and own my dysfunctions and to find out just how screwed up I am. Maybe that’s why opposed to everyone else I have an unhealthy love for the Fraction probing? Because it’s exactly what I do to myself?

  11. T, there’s a big difference between “Bendis is a shitty writer” and the conversation in that Fraction podcast, which went from a discussion of the contents of a specific issue of Casanova to “I’m disappointed with Matt Fraction’s recent output” to “I think Matt Fraction is suicidally depressed and maybe he’s going to kill himself! Let’s speculate on this!” That kind of thing gets creepy, and it gets creepy because at some point the conversation is telling a lot less about Matt Fraction and Casanova than it does about Jeff and Graeme, and in a way that was super uncomfortable. So, yes: that was creepy. But still, forgivable.

  12. My vote goes for 2 split hour length podcasts. Not from any standpoint of what works better for the ‘cast, just selfish interests of being able to listen easier in the bite-sized hour-long chunks.

    RE: The Monkees, I read that when the pre-fab four originally auditioned/rehearsed to be in the show, they were put in a studio to bond and play music together, and that they decided that Davy was as good as or better a drummer than Micky, and that Micky had a unique vocal style that they wanted to get behind as a band, but the producers reversed this because they didn’t want to see (or not see) the cute little British guy buried behind a set of drums. So Davy had more musical talent than he gets credit for, but Micky still ended up singing the majority of Monkees songs that are still remembered. But Davy had one of the best scenes in “Head”, when Frank Zappa (walking a cow!) tells him that he needs to care more about his music.

    Saga was really wonderful, and a lot of that was the luxury of the extra length. I liked Saucer Country almost as much, but more for the potential inherent, and you’re right, it could have used more pages to get to the last beat.

    It was a couple podcasts back, but moose n squirrel brought it up so…with the blogosphere/twittersphere and especially, Matt Fraction’s very personal backmatter in Casanova, creators are kind of inviting this sort of personal critcal conjecture, but the sheer length that both of you went on about Fraction was perhaps uncomfortable. Cue Edward James Olmos: “This time, you’ve gone over the line.” Though I’m not sure which one of you is Crockett and which one is Starbuck.

  13. I don’t see any lines. You guys keep talking about what you want to talk about.

    I think you think it might be more personal than it is because 1)you actually do sort of know them and 2)comics involves like, what, 50,000-100,000 people? A million, tops? Thus individuals’ opinions can actually wind up pretty salient, and seem larger to their subjects, than they may really be, which is sort of interesting in itself.

    P.S.: T.–Samuel Butler’s way dead. That’s what they call a material difference. Anyway, my takeaway on that thing was that Marvel crossovers make you want to kill yourself, if you read them, and maybe especially if you write them. Did I misunderstand?

  14. So I was surfing online, toying with the purchase of either Headquarters or The Birds, The Bees & the Monkees, and settled for just downloading Circle Sky (live version from Head of course). I totally blame you for this, Graeme.

    This can’t entirely be laid at your feet, since the 1st album I ever bought was either a Monkees double-album hits compilation phone-ordered off the TV, or David Essex’s Rock On purchased at my 1st visit to a record store. Either way, I was about six, so I can’t quite remember.

  15. My vote is for the single, extra sized episode, but either is good.

    Reguarding going to far when discussing creators, the Fraction stuff was perhaps a bit far but I would rather that than have you guys censor yourself. Listening to Wait, What feels like being invited in to have a brandy next to a warm fire cos of how open you guys are about stuff, even when it doesnt makes you look particularly good.

    In a way it kinda evens out cos you give out enough material with which someone could psychoanalyise you. Perhaps on Earth-2 Bendis and Fraction have a podcast where they talk about what Graeme’s love of “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” says about his relationship with his dad :P

  16. My vote is for whatever is easier for you guys.

  17. I vote for whatever is easier for you guys as long as that’s “one really long podcast”.

    I also haven’t read any Moebius, but remember being blown away as a kid by his Marvel pinups (or maybe they were posters). Here’s two that someone posted online

    Iron Man: http://www.giantsizemarvel.com/2008/12/moebius-iron-man-poster.html

    Thing: http://www.giantsizemarvel.com/2008/12/thing-tuesdays-moebius-poster.html

  18. Ha! A million comics readers? I like to measure comics in how many millions they sell.

    Fear Itself sells an amazing .06 Million comics!

  19. P.S.: T.–Samuel Butler’s way dead. That’s what they call a material difference.

    Fair enough, so let’s use another example, like Frank Miller. He’s alive, but since DK2, latter installments of Sin City and ASSBAR I’ve seen more and more reviews delving into his psychology trying to figure out if his writing conveys that he’s mentally ill, a fascist, a racist, a right-wing demagogue, has serious misogyny issues, is batshit insane, etc. A lot of it is way more personal and inflammatory than anything I’ve seen Graeme or Jeff say about Fraction. Yet people seem to take it for the norm and don’t call it “creepy,” which I see people say over and over in reference to the Fraction analysis.

    What’s the difference? I think it goes back to what I said before: comics fans are made especially uncomfortable by the topic of intense self-loathing, as many grew up trying to suppress much of their own, and as a result find it uncomfortable seeing another person’s self-loathing issues laid out bare. But psychoanalyzing someone who comes off like a bully of others is fair game.

Leave a Reply


three × 6 =