viagra 24 hours delivery

Wait, What? Ep. 81: On Tact Cleanses

Jeff Lester

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

[Image above from the awesome Sharknife: Double Z by Corey Lewis, which we did not discuss in this episode, but believe me it was rad.]

Sorry, sorry, for reasons that will probably be apart for those who listen to the podcast, I’ve got to pull some serious Hello!, I Must Be Going shit because I’m on night nine of the ten day Flowers for Algernon diet.

So join poor old Graeme McMillan and I for two-plus hours of the jibberty that goes jabberty.  Our topics include The Silence of Our Friends by Nate Powell and Mark Long; Shooters by Steve Lieber, Brandon Jerwa and Eric S. Trautmann; Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks; digital comics and Infinite comics; Spaceman issues #4 and #5; the Wednesday Comics HC; Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, and Joe Casey; Jim Shooter’s Legion of Superheroes, New Deadwardians #1, Avengers Vs. X-Men #0, Scarlet by Bendis and Maleev, and the proverbial much, much more.

Nine out of ten dentists who choose Jif, etc., etc., iTunes, turn, heel, kick–jazz hands!

Wait, What?, Episode 81: On Tact Cleanses

P.S. please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard.

31 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 81: On Tact Cleanses ”

  1. Surely someone has suggested a drinking game where listeners drink every time you say “interesting”, right, Jeff? I know it would lead to many more people trying to get on the list for a donor liver, but the journey’d be worth it. ;)

    I kid because I love the podcast.

  2. Oh snap, you just gave me an idea for a 4 issue Image mini: Powers for Algernon.

  3. 100 panels of the same talking head, starting off with a thinly veiled Mamet pastiche monlogue, dribbling down to monosyllabic grunts.

  4. 100 panels of the same talking head, starting off with a thinly veiled Mamet pastiche monlogue, dribbling down to monsyllabic grunts.

  5. Kevin – I brought up in the comments a couple of podcasts ago that same point, that Jeff really needs to find some more words to replace “interesting!”

  6. @T. I’m not really trying to knock him for it, though. I enjoy it. Sometimes it is an exercise to determine, through his inflection, how he actually means the “interesting”. ;)

  7. Kevin, I’m not knocking him and I wasn’t under the impression you were either.

    It’s so weird, but I find Jeff’s pros and cons of Joe Casey are exactly the same pros and cons of Grant Morrison to a tee, yet for some reason he was celebrating Morrison just a podcast or two ago. I can’t figure out why he can see it so clearly with Casey and not with Morrison.

  8. Speaking of funny things that fanboy John Byrne obsessed over in pedantic fanboy manner in Spider-Man Chapter One is that he made Sandman and Norman Osborn distant relations, presumably as a way to explain why they both had that weird wavy Ditko hair.

  9. As someone who is indeed serializing a graphic novel into one-page-a-week installments, I can tell you that the argument/battle has already been won by the done-in-one gag a day format. Unless you have a established fanbase like Warren Ellis, it’s near impossible to get readers to stick it out in a longform webcomics format. Especially in my case, being an unknown creator working on a plot-light. Conversation-heavy romance drama with no narrative or comedy hooks to create that kind of week to week curiosity for the reader.

    That said, I do work cognizant of the fact that a reader will get my story in one-page-a-week chunks, so I try to provide a complete idea in every page, if that makes sense. But yeah, plot’s gonna suffer at that pace. It’s also tricky to manage story time; I tend to rely a lot on jump cuts between scenes so that things don’t completely get bogged down in decompression, kind of the way a TV show might. But still, watching a TV show in one-minute segments is too daunting for most people, unfortunately.

  10. I’m not sure if anyone had the same problem, but I had problems with the version of the ‘cast on iTunes. It displayed the full length, but then cut off abruptly at 1 hour 16 minutes. No worries; I got the full podcast here (and enjoyed it as always, even with the return of…the Cleanse!) but I thought you should know.

  11. I actually think Abhay nailed it on his tumblr when he talked about how the bit how the eye moves faster than the hand and the discrepancy between those two things is what creates problems for this.

    http://twiststreet.tumblr.com/post/18089127206

    Really this is probably the thing written about Digital comics that I agree with most at this point.

  12. As to the noticed coloring issues on your Spaceman copies, Jeff, I actually liked the throwback quality of the paper on that book.

    I think, though, that it had more to do with the style and line Risso employs. It’s a bit of a throwback to an older time so subconsciously it’s a good fit for me.

    On the other hand, and I’ve mentioned this a couple times, I feel like prophet really shows up even better digitally. The colors on the printed page just push so far that it feels like the contrast knob is busted.

    It may be that it’s just personal preference but keep in mind that a lot of artists who work digitally are constantly struggling to find programs and schemes that make sure the art as it shows on their screen is how it shows up when printed.

  13. Rick,

    The eye thing is an absolute disconnect. As trained readers we frequently and without knowing it scan anything in multiple directions and orientations.m it’s how the human mind understands what something is composed of and the space it occupies physically.

    When the throttle is turned way back on visual stimuli, as it is in these guided view experiments, our brains are bored – starved even – for information.

    Now, could this catch and hold young readers without established habits or perhaps even readers new to the comic medium? Those that lack years of page scanning experience might not feel as we do.

    Also, apologies if I’ve just parroted abhay’s article. Your comment struck like a bolt and I got into replying before checking it out.

  14. One of the ways to keep reader interest in a one page at a time serialization is to make sure that each page has one complete story point on it – a trick I learned from Will Eisner.

    Also, a lot of European comics were actually serialized at a rate of half a page per week and it’s very informative to see how those writers managed to sneak in two cliffhangers per page when reading the collected editions of, say, Asterix.

  15. “It’s so weird, but I find Jeff’s pros and cons of Joe Casey are exactly the same pros and cons of Grant Morrison to a tee, yet for some reason he was celebrating Morrison just a podcast or two ago. I can’t figure out why he can see it so clearly with Casey and not with Morrison.”

    Graeme and Jeff actually covered this when Butcher Baker #1 came out. If I remember correctly the idea was that there is an emotional component to Morrison’s comics that Casey’s lacks that makes Morrison’s stuff more satisfying or whatever than Casey’s.

    Also, any chance you guys can do another listener Q&A podcast soonish? I think those are some of the best podcasts you guys do since they always go into weird and fascinating directs and tangents.

  16. “It’s so weird, but I find Jeff’s pros and cons of Joe Casey are exactly the same pros and cons of Grant Morrison to a tee, yet for some reason he was celebrating Morrison just a podcast or two ago. I can’t figure out why he can see it so clearly with Casey and not with Morrison.”

    Graeme and Jeff actually covered this when Butcher Baker #1 came out. If I remember correctly the idea was that there is an emotional component to Morrison’s comics that Casey’s lacks that makes Morrison’s stuff more satisfying or whatever than Casey’s.

    Also, any chance you guys can do another listener Q&A podcast soonish? I think those are some of the best podcasts you guys do since they always go into weird and fascinating directs and tangents.

  17. Re: Casey, Morrison and Roy Thomas: I’m pretty sure Tim O’Neil has been saying for years that Morrison is the new Roy Thomas for exactly the same reasons Jeff cites Casey as such. Here, I shine the Timsignal, which summons him to rooftops and comment sections everywhere!

  18. (And I do have to say that while I was listening to the Casey discussion, I started mentally swapping out “Morrison” for “Casey” and it was a downright uncanny fit, down to the bits about being ahead of his time for comics but behind the times for anything else; about producing merely-okay-to-good work that gets praised as being spectacular; about cannily finding talented artists to partner with that greatly enhance his own projects; about his compulsive need to take every bit of old continuity from his childhood and string it together; about his outsized ambition failing to match up with his relatively pedestrian output; about his ceaseless self-promotion and hucksterism.)

  19. The shameless hucksterism is one of the things I love about Joe Casey. Those back matter pieces from Butcher Baker were more interesting than the featured story, and I couldn’t help but read them and think of the guy as a slightly vulgar, twenty-first century Stan Lee.

    And Robin Lefler? Holy shit, Graeme.

  20. The thing about web comics is that they’re closer to comic strips in newspapers than comics, so addressing them that way is a misnomer. It’s similar to the discussion you had on short-form work in 2000AD and manga with a 20 page story cut into 4 page pieces not being the same as a 4 page story.
    The Crossed web comic, where it’s a short serial of pages released every week is a better bridge between web and a traditional comic.

    As for the single panel not being a ‘real’ comic and wanting to view the whole page, well isn’t that what made Eisner so revolutionary? He made the whole page the work, and not just the panels on the page in a grid layout. For the collectors who like to buy the original pages, are they going for an individual panel or the whole page? Something like Batwoman is unreadable in a guided view format.

  21. I see something like Infinite Comics (god I hate that name) as being inevitable if digital comics are actually going to take off. Right now, Marvel, DC, et al are basically making pamphlet-format comics and trying to squeeze them into guided view on an iPad. That approach makes no more sense than making a pamphlet comic and publishing it one page at a time on the web and calling it a webcomic. If digital comics are going to be anything more than a novelty, artists are going to have to create comics specifically for that format, with that reading experience in mind. I agree with Jeff that such an experience would be markedly different – and from my perspective, at least, diminished – from the one we have with traditional paper comics, where panel layout on a full page allows the artist (and the reader) to play with time, space, and movement in ways that a single panel never could. But if digital comics are going to mean anything, they need to play to their strengths, which at this point don’t include giving full-page art its due. (An awesome new tablet might come along in the future that’s big enough to properly display the art of someone like J.H. Williams, but that doesn’t seem to be the trend.)

  22. Oh, and I’m totally happy with the idea of Jeff continuing to read and review occasional Marvel comics, so long as each review begins with “…aaaand, it sucks. The end, ta-daaaa!”

  23. When it comes to the webcomics issue, I tend to think about old newspaper adventure strips, a story being told in daily chunks of a few panels, with maybe a longer strip on a Sunday. Those strips do not read so well when read as whole, they are designed to be read spread across time, nestled within a much larger body of information. I think webcomics would be better suited to be closer to that; designed to be read as individual strips over a period of time. Were those strips to be collected in print, I think that rather than just repackaging them it would be better to revise them to suit a new format. The Al Williamson Star Wars strips were collected by Dark Horse in trades, and they had Williamson restructure the strips into comic pages. This involved drawing new panels and pages, as well as editing the dialogue and captions. Instead of trying to fit the same content into different forms, it may be better to adapt it.

  24. Graeme and Jeff actually covered this when Butcher Baker #1 came out. If I remember correctly the idea was that there is an emotional component to Morrison’s comics that Casey’s lacks that makes Morrison’s stuff more satisfying or whatever than Casey’s.

    Really? I don’t see it, although of course it’s one of those things that is so subjective it would come down to just arguing opinions, so I guess it doesn’t make much sense for me to try to convince anyone otherwise. I feel like Morrison might do a better job at aping emotion or creating a pseudoconnection, but it rings false, something someone called “nostalgia without nostalgia,” whereas Casey doesn’t even bother faking the emotional connection, which in a strange way makes his work more emotionally honest to me. Neither really seem interested in emotional connection or human relationships or empathy but Casey doesn’t even really bother pretending to be, while Morrison occasionally makes a token effort at it.

    (And I do have to say that while I was listening to the Casey discussion, I started mentally swapping out “Morrison” for “Casey” and it was a downright uncanny fit, down to the bits about being ahead of his time for comics but behind the times for anything else; about producing merely-okay-to-good work that gets praised as being spectacular; about cannily finding talented artists to partner with that greatly enhance his own projects; about his compulsive need to take every bit of old continuity from his childhood and string it together; about his outsized ambition failing to match up with his relatively pedestrian output; about his ceaseless self-promotion and hucksterism.)

    Exactly!!!! I did the same thing, and thought, “Wait, Jeff is the guy who said last week that the one type of book he would die to do is a celebration of Grant Morrison’s career, then he goes on to bash Joe Casey with criticisms that are arguably very valid when applied to Casey but also totally apply to Morrison as well. I found that ironic.

  25. The level of sentiment Grant Morrison puts in his work may be faked, but I’ve responded to it more than once (in We3, All-Star Superman, Doom Patrol, and others). He isn’t a writer whose work operates on emotion, but I don’t think it’s always missing. That said, his comics have left me cold plenty of times. When his work lacks coherence, I don’t have the patience to try to decipher it.

  26. “As someone who is indeed serializing a graphic novel into one-page-a-week installments, I can tell you that the argument/battle has already been won by the done-in-one gag a day format. Unless you have a established fanbase like Warren Ellis, it’s near impossible to get readers to stick it out in a longform webcomics format. Especially in my case, being an unknown creator working on a plot-light. Conversation-heavy romance drama with no narrative or comedy hooks to create that kind of week to week curiosity for the reader.”

    Your webcomic looks neat– neat colors at least, but have you thought about your formatting? e.g. have you thought about offering earlier chapters on long scrolls, or as CBZ files downloadable through, like, mediafire? Re: long scrolls, see, e.g., sex buzz (http://whitecomics.net/sxbz1.html), anders loves maria, rich tommaso’s work (http://richtommaso.com/), gianis milogiannis’s old city blues, etc.?

    Also, even setting aside format– like, I think you might be right that longform stories aren’t great for the internet. But then the interesting question is what is? If the question becomes what can you do in shorter spaces, I don’t thnk that’s the worst thing. Master Race was 8 pages, so nobody has any excuses, you know? Like, maybe you can’t be the Neal Gaiman who wrote Sandman, but can you be the Neal Gaiman who wrote Dream of a Thousand Cats or that Prez issue or that Lovecraft-Sherlock-Holmes mash-up story or …? You know? Short stories? People connect to Emily Carroll. People damn sure connected to Boulet. I don’t think you can compete with gags but I don’t think that’s a death sentence either… (Especially for younger creators who … I think a lot of people would benefit working in a short story mode…)

  27. Re: web-comic serialization.
    If you post a page at a time it should work if you read it one page at a time. Sounds obvious, but people don’t follow he same rule when it comes to single issues.
    But its kinda hard to have something non-comedic work on a page by page basis.
    I wonder if you could do a web comic where you released 4 pages every Sunday or something that work as a whole?

    Re: Joe Casey and his eye for talent
    How does Joe Casey’s eye for(/relying on others) talent stack up against:
    Grant Morrison?
    Mark Millar?
    Jeff Loeb?
    Stan Lee?
    *fingers crossed Jeff and Graeme will answer this on the next podcast*
    What I’ve read of his work makes me think hes not the sort of guy to just rely on his artists to carry the day, but then again I really like what Ive read of his WildCATS, so what do I know.

  28. Morrison is just too wildly hit and miss to me to make any kind of sweeping argument with him along the lines of “he makes an emotional connection where others don’t” or some such. I mean, some of the most transparently shallow, emotionally artificial comics I’ve ever read have been Grant Morrison comics. I mean, The Invisibles is little more than a convoluted morality play about how cool-looking people who strike cool-looking poses are invariably good because they look so fucking cool, and bad people are bad because they’re such fucking squares, man. There’s only one comic I’ve ever read that was shallower and stupider than The Invisibles, and it was Kill Your Boyfriend – also by Grant Morrison!

    That said, a handful of comics he’s been involved with – mostly Seaguy, New X-Men, and All-Star Superman – have been really incredible and had moments that were genuinely affecting. But I put that down to the art as much as anything else (which is where the whole cannily picking your collaborators thing comes in) – if All Star Superman had been drawn by Rags Morales, no one would have cared about it, because it would’ve looked like shit. This is a big part of why Action Comics really isn’t working for me at all at this point – the culmination of the whole Brainiac/Collector/Metallo story became impossible to follow, and this time not in an obscure “ho ho, Morrison’s pulling tricks” way, but in a very mundane “this art looks so shitty and the coloring is so muddy I can’t tell what the fuck’s going on” kind of way. The worst-illustrated issues of New X-Men had some of that, too, but Morrison’s writing was a lot stronger – strong enough to overcome some stretches of weak art, anyway. But here, the story isn’t interesting enough, the world isn’t that intriguing (being only a vaguely tweaked version of plain old Metropolis – how many times can you get thrilled at “oh look, Jimmy Olson is tweeting things”?), and the main character seems increasingly dull and unpleasant.

    Not that Morrison can’t sink a series with good art, too – look at the ending of Seven Soldiers, which devolves into panicky gibberish, and once again, not in the “ho ho, Morrison’s playing tricks” kind of way, but in the “holy shit, I only have thirty pages to wrap all of this up and I don’t know where to begin” kind of way.

  29. @Abhay:
    Hey, thanks for checking out Rose Madder. About long scrolls: personally, I’m not a fan of the format, mainly because I think it’s harder to find your place in a long scroll, as opposed to just clicking back and forth in an archive format, but it’s just my personal taste. Also, I structure the writing in one-page segments, which would be lost in a scroll–I like the idea of taking a breath after every page, and I think the act of “turning the page” is a part of the participatory reading experience of comics. It kind of gives agency to the reader, as Jeff and Graeme hit on in the podcast. That said, it is probably more satisfying for a reader to approach the story in chapter-long chunks. As for something like a CBR format, I’d probably offer it, collected, once the story is finished, maybe in an attempt to monetize it…? Each chapter is self-contained but probably not satisfying as stand-alone stories, so I’m hesitant about that.

    Re Dave Clarke’s suggestion: personally, I wish I could release more than a page a week, but my day job kind of prevents me from doing that. On the other hand, to release multiple pages at once would require a huge backlog of material before even committing to a first post. Those who could do that and maintain a regular release schedule, more power to them–I’d probably end up nitpicking over stuff and never generating the material, or just as bad, end up having huge irregular gaps between posts. Having a hard and fast weekly schedule works for my work habits, it keeps me producing the (time-intensive yet unpaid) work.

  30. Here’s a very late comment that no one will probably even read, but here it is anyways. When Graeme mentioned “The Silence Of Our Friends,” it reminded me that I actually had a copy that someone gave me for free somewhere in my stack of unread graphic novels. So I dug it out and it is indeed pretty good. I wasn’t quite as wowed by it as Graeme seemed to be, in particular I thought the ending was a bit weak. But it is definitely well worth your time and money.

  31. Adding my own orphan epilogue…Graeme had mentioned that he believed SCARLET had recently solicited a new issue and remained a going concern, avoiding scheduling hiccups, a la Spider Woman.

    Um no. According to my preorder list with the old LCS, SCARLET #6 has a Diamond code of APR11 0667, meaning it is effectively a YEAR late.

Leave a Reply


1 × four =