diflucan 2 doses

Wait, What? Ep. 85: Dashboard

Jeff Lester

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Okay, then. Slight delay but none of us are quite the worse for wear, right?

Unfortunately, I’m still kind of behind the gun, so lemme just block out the ep, aye?
For the first fifteen minutes, charming and talented Graeme McMillan and I shun the comic book talk and instead discuss Graceland, Video Games, and TV theme songs.  Those of you who show up just for the sequential gossip should probably skip over that.

But then we get on to the good stuff (at least as “good stuff” is defined and regulated by state law), talk Action #9, Earth Two #1, and Avengers Vs. X-Men #3.  
And finally, we start answering more of your questions from Twitter, with topics like level-ups in comics, Apocalypse Now,  John Romita Jr., today’s hottest artists, today’s favorite artists, cereal mascot deathmatch, Valiant Comics, Marvel trades, the big two’s history of strange, Disney and Marvel, Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird, Shonen Jump Alpha, Mad Magazine, Saucer Country, the New Deadwardians, suicide squad, sinestro war, blackest night, fear itself, civil war, and much more stuff  I neither bothered to italicize or capitalize.  But believe me, if you’re a fan of chiding, goading, apologizing or strange new recording levels, this is the episode for you!
It is very likely that by the time this posts, you will *not* have seen this on iTunes (because I am so very late, dontchasee) BUT it will be available very, very soon and, of course, you are more than invited to grab the file from here as well:
Wait, What? Ep. 85: Dashboard
And, as always, we hope you enjoy, and thank you for listening!

47 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 85: Dashboard ”

  1. Just listening to the latest Wait, What.

    I’d disagree slightly with your take on Robinson. I’d agree that there are two types of Robinson stories, but I’m not sure I’d divide them as “Robinson who is engaged in the story he’s telling” and “Robinson who isn’t engaged”.

    I’d probably go with “Robinson who is heavily edited” (as he was on the Superman and Justice League books) and “Robinson who has been given the freedom to tell the story that he wants to tell” (as he was on Starman and Golden Age and presumably, Earth 2).

    For sure, Robinson is a team player and knows what he’s getting into and he’s more than happy to try to make things work, even when the sands are shifting underneath him even as he’s writing a story (Cry For Justice). But if you’ve ever listened to him speak at conventions or signings about what he wanted to appear in those books versus what actually appeared, you totally get the sense that he’s a writer that maybe isn’t at his best when he’s heavily edited. Not that he was bad-mouthing DC. He certainly wasn’t doing that. But he was pretty clear about which direction he wanted to take some of his books, and how that wasn’t always possible, and so… changes had to be made.

    Which probably ties into your idea of being engaged or not. Because, obviously, he’s going to be more engaged in stories which are coming form his own ideas. But to say that he’s disengaged from some of his writing seems to imply a hack-iness that I don’t think is there… like he’s just in it for the pay cheque or just cranking out the story because that’s his job, when instead, I think he’s trying to write the best stories he can given the parameters in which he found himself. Which were sometimes changing on a weekly or daily basis.

    As always, I’m enjoying the podcast lots. And now, back to listen to the rest of it.

  2. re: The Superman #8 discussion, I’m not sure where Jeff is getting that “no one emerges unscathed” from the issue’s take on Superman/ownership of Superman (unless Jeff is arguing that it’s an especially weaselly take on Superman and ownership of Superman – which, granted, is exactly how I’d characterize “Supergods”). How, exactly, is this attacking those who advocate the rights of Siegel and Shuster (or their heirs), whose argument is essentially that the people who created one of the most lucrative characters in the history of comics were cheated and reduced to poverty and near-poverty in their old age while DC and its corporate parents made billions of dollars off their work? Morrison isn’t even attempting to address that – he’s just talking abstractly about the Idea Of Superman, which is all nice and fine, but means nothing to, say, Joe Shuster going blind in his old age while working as a delivery man to make ends meet.

    As an aside, what was up with that backup story where Obama Superman finds Saddam’s WMDs? I know Morrison didn’t write that one, but I mean, really… what the fuck?

  3. Oh man Graham. So wrong about Stokoe and Orc Stain. So wrong.

    And Jeff’s totally on the money about the Carla Speed McNeil and Gilbert connection.

  4. I’ll also chide Graeme for ignoring current Stokoe. Around ORC STAIN #3, he hits a new level, well on his way to transcending corporeality and becoming an ethereal ball of incandescence.

    Is Marcos Martin at the tipping point of “hot mainstream artist”, re: seizing a chunk of the audience wherever they’re bound? Jerome Opena? Both are probably wishful thinking on my part…

  5. Martin’s next project, I believe, is a Brian K. Vaughan book, so we’ll see about him finally being catapulted into a higher tier. Vaughan seems to have made Fiona Staples a name overnight.

  6. Re: big names artists in comics.

    Craig Thompson, David Mazzuchelli, Brian Lee O’Malley, Frank Miller, Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, Mike Mignola, etc.

    These are artist guys who can sell a comic book with just they’re name. Of coarse I’m cheating by listing writer/artists, but maybe I’m on to something. If you’ve been around long enough to have enough fans that your name on a book moves the needle, chances are you’ve thought about becoming a writer as well.
    Jim Lee seems to be the only major exception to this rule.

    Thoughts whatnauts?

  7. I assume Mr. McMillan is reffering to “Another One Bites the Dust.” The song’s debt to “Good Times” has been duly acknowledged by Queen and the cosmos.

  8. I had to raise an eyebrow at Jeff and Graeme’s initially dismissive response to the idea of artists writing comic books. Comics as an art form did not start out as the product of different craftsmen, working separately on the story, on the pencils, on the inks, on the coloring, and so on. Comics started out as the product of writer/artists – a tradition that began with the great classic comic strips and was only broken down into the specific tasks of writer, penciller, inker, etc. in order to speed up production and turn comic book production into a kind of assembly line for cranking out fast, cheap product.

    It was also somewhat strange to hear because while Jeff and Graeme listed Moore and Morrison – two people who might have sketched a couple doodles on napkins in ancient times but have spent most of their careers writing – neither of them mentioned Jack Goddamn Kirby, a guy who had spent decades doing “just” art before becoming a writer/artist, and whose name is otherwise one of the most commonly heard words on this podcast, after “the,” “waffles,” and “interesting.”

  9. Thanks for answering my question! I jumped on Shonen Jump Alpha at about the same time as Jeff. I definitely do not have a strong manga background (the only series I had bought beforehand were Slam Dunk, various Tezuka and Urasawa, and Bakuman).

    Bakuman and “the weekly experience on my iPad” were definitely the drawing points. US Comics still occasionally feel a little cramped on the iPad screen, but manga is actually bigger than print, which makes a huge positive difference in my enjoyment and comprehension (and is a decided advantage over trying scanlation sites on the ipad). Reading them serialized weekly is also interesting, because I get to speculate on what will happen next in a way that I never, ever do anymore with US Comics.

    I, too, cannot understand anything going on in Naruto and Bleach, and am turned off by Nura. Toriko has been very winning, though; it mashes a bunch of pleasure buttons at once without seeming too calculated. It’s a giant puppy of a series.

    I had the most positive reaction to One Piece; the sheer weirdness on display in the Punk Hazard story (samurai butts, croc-centaurs, a Biscuits Room)compelled me to check out every volume I could from the library, buy the rest, and read all the 600-odd chapters in about two weeks. It was made for me.

    Part of the fun I am having is learning Shonen manga tropes for the first time, figuring out what’s uncommon and what is routine, and, as I read more, constructing a mental map of which series and creators are most influential. However, as this stuff congeals in my head, there may be diminishing returns.

  10. Mr. Lester’s interpretation of “targeted directly toward you” is weirdsville. I mean, I know this podcast has a modicum of notoriety (and the phrase “Wait, what” appears now and again in a variety of media!), but to jump to the conclusion that the questioner was talking about “Schmeff Schmesters” is a little, uh, ODD.

    I don’t mean to pick on Mr. Lester; it was clearly a simple misinterpretation (or at least a different interpretation than what I think was intended). It just falls along the same lines as the “Brian Bendis will beat me up if he sees me in a comics shop” line of thinking that’s slightly off-putting.

  11. The power in comics has shifted back to the artists for me and I don’t think that will change anytime soon. The artists right now are the ones keeping me reading comics:

    Jerome Opena
    Francis Manapul
    Chris Burnham
    Javier Pulido
    Marcos Martin
    Paolo Rivera
    Cliff Chiang
    Tony Moore
    Fiona Staples

    To name a few. Most can’t carry a monthly book but I don’t care.

  12. Marvel was invested in “more than superheroes” when it let Archie Goodwin create the Epic imprint. They published Starlin’s Dreadstar, Six From Sirius and a slew of Moebius books (among others).

  13. Regarding Marvel in the 90’s – didn’t Shooter’s royalties-lite program include incentives for new IP? Did that get tossed out at some point? And speaking of Shooter, it’s strange that no one seems to be lining up behind the guy now that Valiant is getting rebooted without him. I guess I’m not on the same Internet as those legions of Valiant fans Jeff seems to be running into.

    And if anybody cares, the best artist level up is Bill Sienkiewicz on Moon Knight, once he started inking his own stuff and got a contact high from all that zipatone.

  14. My version of James Robinson: there’s the really good James Robinson and there’s the James Robinson who is juggling too many narrators in panel/page. Of course, I happen to have a less flattering opinion of the first part of Earth 2, as I feel the cutting between the trinity narrating is very clunky. ;)

  15. 23:26 “Every single time Superman uses Lex Luthor…”
    The most Freudian slip in the history of Wait, What?

  16. @moose n squirrel: HOLY FUCKING SHIT, you are so right and I am so embarrassed.

  17. “what was up with that backup story where Obama Superman finds Saddam’s WMDs? I know Morrison didn’t write that one, but I mean, really… what the fuck?”

    Yeah, that raised an eyebrow. Then again, this is the same writer who a couple months back had a wise black preacher tell Martha Kent that “everything is part of God’s plan” and reassure her that God had something wonderful in store for her, which might have been a little easier to take if the lead story in the same issue hadn’t reminded us that “God’s plan” included the destruction of Krypton and the death of billions of people. Sholly Fisch doesn’t strike me as a guy who thinks through the implications of his stories, is my point.

    Then again, I give him credit for pointing out all the troubling implications of Morrison’s President Superman on the last page of his story. Not only is the character a fantasy of righteous, unparalleled global power, but he’s lying to the public and violating the Constitution–I guess on Earth-23, the birthers are basically right. So I give him credit for starting to take that apart.

  18. Definitely would have preferred to spend 2.99 on just Morrison’s side of Action Comics (the first issue I’ve really, truly liked). The backup was completely unnecessary.

  19. Great podcast as ever, lads. I don’t think Good Times ever came to the UK, but we got a remake, The Fosters, with Lenny Henry.

    I’ve just listened to that Lana Del Ray record. I hear the craft, I appreciate the ideas, but boy, what a dirge.

    @Richard, surely Graeme wasn’t so much ignoring Stokoe so much as saying the project he’s working on currenly isn’t for him, Graeme not being a fantasy devotee?

    I tweeted this but will repeat it here – my Creator Turned To Gold is Bob Rozakis, who went from forgettable DC back-ups to the sublime ‘Mazing Man. Then there’s Jack C Harris, whose Ray revamp was light years above anything he’d previously produced; and Paul Kupperberg, whose modern day Arion mini-series was tonally very different to his previous work, and the better for it. Cary Grant went from Julius Schwartz pet to producing the mature superheroics of Captain Atom …

    I enjoyed the Action #10 back-up, it was interesting to see Superman forced to face his ethical no-nos. Mind, it may have been even better had it been Luthor, rather than Nubia, pointing them out. Sholly Fisch is a talented fella, his Brave and Bolds were little gems.

  20. Mike Parish beat me to the punch: Bill Sienkiewicz going from Neal Adams imitator to visionary on Moon Knight is my favorite level-up. I’ll go a step further and call Moon Knight 26 the issue that represented a quantum leap in his technique. Sienkiewicz incorporated collage and child-like crayon art into a story that combined music and child abuse. It’s like a proto- Stray Toasters.

    Neil Gaiman went from horror comic writer to the Neil Gaiman we know in Sandman 8.

    J.H. Williams III was already excellent when he started on Promethea. Somewhere during the course of that series he got even better, maybe during those interminable magic lecture issues. I think illustrating Moore’s non-traditional scripts opened him up to more experimentation with layouts and imagery.

  21. Yeah, One Piece has been kind of lackluster since the time skip

  22. Re: finding Saddam’s WMDs

    Unless I’m wrong, the character wasn’t named Saddam. A-doy, you say. To that I say: are you not aware of the issues regarding Iran and how the character was then likely an analog for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

  23. Kevin:

    Two things on that. First, the character is described as “president for life” of “Qurac”, and is shown in faux-military regalia – which is far more akin to Saddam than any representation of the leadership of Iran. For that matter, were one to represent the leader of Iran in a comic book, one would hope one would attempt to represent the actual leader of Iran – Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who dresses in formal religious attire – rather than Ahmadinejad, who’s essentially a glorified minister of the interior with various ceremonial duties.

    Second, I’m surely not the first to point out that all the rhetoric surrounding Iran’s cleverly hidden WMDs (we can’t find there, but they must be there, because we said they’d be there, so the fact that they AREN’T there makes them THAT MUCH MORE DEADLY!) is pretty fucking similar to the rhetoric surrounding Iraq’s phantom weapons in the runup to THAT particular clusterfuck?

  24. Moose:

    1. Pardon me for not thinking that a writer should have to invent a whole new fictional country in order to avoid people nitpicking its inconsistencies with the real world.

    2. Pardon me for not getting sucked into a debate about real world WMDs based on a nitpick of a work of fiction.

    :)

  25. Luthor’s claiming he’s not racist because he hates Obama-Superman was clearly a commentary on the current state of our own political discourse and criticism some Tea Partiers hate more than our black President’s policies.

  26. Oh…and add in that it is an alternate reality in a fictional universe, please. :)

  27. Here’s the thing: it’s kind of hard to avoid politics when you write a story in which Superman is the president of the United States, and he looks suspiciously like Barack Obama, and he flies around the world to take dangerous nuclear weapons out of the hands of treacherously sneaky foreigners.

    That right there is a pretty bald-faced nationalist power fantasy, and when you tack it at the end of an otherwise fairly apolitical Grant Morrison comic, you’re more or less daring your readers to engage with it politically one way or another – otherwise, what is it there for?

    As far as “real-world WMDs go,” of course, the United States currently has enough nukes to destroy life as we know it a couple times over. There’s no indication that President Superman has taken America’s nukes and tossed them into space, Miracleman-style, which is interesting to me, and reframes Superman not as a protector of all humanity but as the guardian of one government’s parochial interests.

  28. To reframe this a bit, if you’d like: if a Superman backup story appeared in which Superman, even Superman in “an alternate reality in a fictional universe,” decided he needed to kill or depose a President Shoshmama of the United Shmates, because he was a secret communist Muslim, and the story presented this as a generally awesome and righteous thing for him to do, I think readers would rightfully be somewhere between bewildered and horrified.

  29. Applying a real world geopolitical matrix to the reading of superhero comics (regardless of their proximity to such things) is probably about the most boring thing I can think of.

  30. I’m glad I could bore you enough for you to feel that you needed to protest that you were feeling bored.

  31. It wasn’t just you.

    But this post was for you. :)

  32. I’ll say one more thing on this, because why not: I feel like there’s an interesting and ironic connection – and contradiction – between the backup story in Action and Morrison’s main story. The main theme that emerges from Morrison’s story is that the idea of Superman is strong enough to overcome being corrupted – but it can and is corrupted at various points, by corporate ownership, by greed and fear, by the notion that it “belongs” to some people rather than everyone, etc.

    It’s interesting then that the backup story – featuring the character that Lois identifies at the end of the main story as “Superman done right” – represents another kind of that corruption: Superman reduced to a parochial, nationalist caricature, one that “belongs” to one country (and specifically, its government) rather than the world. It’s not too far from the jingoistic crusader for “the American way” who used to appear in propaganda cartoons fighting racist caricatures of the Japanese – and the bullying element inherent in that is what Morrison’s talking about when he introduces his monster Superman in the main story.

    That the juxtaposition between the main story and its backup is almost certainly accidental – a requirement demanded by padding out the length of the comic to justify its higher cost; not a demand of Superman’s storytellers but of his corporate owners – makes this even more poignant.

  33. Ha!, M n’ S @ 28.

    That reminds me of the Black Panther comic with the racist Presidential cabinet and military leadership talking about invading Wakanda for their oil, then going off on some racial slurs, making special expemption to black Secretary of State Dondi. Subtle! I think Wolverine later broke into the White House to kill Dondi.

    Marvel. Your Universe.

  34. Graeme, please don’t encourage moose n squirrel again.

  35. You’re encouraging me further just by going out of your way to complain about the notion of encouraging me!

  36. http://youtu.be/677yt5Pnsgs?t=3m15s

    Dondi Reese, Secretary of State.

  37. We remind everyone to please respect the Zoo’s rules regarding the feeding of the animals. Thank you.

  38. Well then, I officially apologize for talking about an issue of a comic book that was talked about at length on the podcast; I promise I won’t do it again.

  39. Are you guys joking or serious? Because I enjoyed MnS’s contributions to this comments thread.

  40. (Thanks for the reminder about the truly surreal “the neocons are plotting to steal T’Challa’s Kirbytech!” plot in Black Panther, Zory – Hudlin’s run was kind of epically bizarre.)

  41. Am posting because, as usual, I’m late to listening to the podcast (and I can’t wait to get to the discussion of the WTF — I mean, WMD backup Superman story), but TV theme songs!

    You guys need to watch some episodes of Barney Miller, currently out on DVD. Best funky bass line. But also, too: it’s amazing to see 1) the NYC of the early ’70s, even reflected in prime-time TV, as practically ungovernable, dirty, and remember Marvel’s NYC of the time, Suicide Slum, etc., and 2) in the first few episodes the words “whore”, “gay”, and “heroin” are used, again, on prime-time TV. And it’s a funny sitcom.

  42. I wanted to comment on the brief aside about the Marvel method. I can’t shake this feeling that while the Marvel method may be more conducive to creating a more, I don’t know cohesive(?) creative work, it kind of feels like a dodge. By not having clearly defined roles, doesn’t that muddy the waters a bit regarding authorship of a piece? Could that have been intended? It seems unlikely given Marvel’s execution of WFH contracts. Yet it still feels like a bit of IP flim-flammery (copyright Jeff Lester) to me.

    Its hard to imagine a point in time where the cases for Siegel, Shuster, Kirby, or Moore will reach anything close to detente. But there seems to be this unspoken belief that if Marvel/DC made the “necessary concessions” to them, that the larger issues of authorship in the industry would be solved. But even with the benefit of 40, 50 years of hindsight we have the squabbles of Gaiman v. McFarlane, Moore v. Kirkman, etc. These examples are even more frustrating given that they stem from works that are in spirit, if not letter, creator-owned comics. How is the greater creative comics community still repeating the mistakes of the Golden Age? I know that my comments are a bit reductive, and I apologize for that, but I am curious as to others opinions on the subject.

  43. Thing I learnt from this podcast: “Right Said Fred” is an actual band and not only a great song by Bernard Cribbins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5XX9LX2es4
    The more you know.

  44. @ddt

    Echo Barney Miller observations. Such a weird and subversive time in television. What kicked off this era? M.A.S.H. movie? All In The Family?

  45. Didn’t the original Marvel method evolve out of necessity, as Stan Lee was writing/editing an ever-growing number of books and didn’t have time to actually script them all? I agree with Jeff and Graeme that it makes for a far more collaborative relationship between artists and writers, and thus for more visually interesting work, but I think it’s also clear that that was only ever a beneficial side effect of a process that was chiefly designed to make comic production more efficient.

    And while that method may blur the lines of authorship a bit more obviously than the standard script-then-pencils system does, I’m not sure that they aren’t pretty thoroughly blurred already. Look at something like Prophet, for example, which is scripted by Brandon Graham, but which is very much dominated and driven by the art of Simon Roy and Farel Dalrymple, and is owned as a property by Rob Liefeld based on the fact that he created a wildly concept with the same name ages ago.

  46. Hey, I occasionally comment here under my first name Cass, so I just wanted to point out that I didn’t post the “Zoo” comment, and in fact I enjoy reading Moose’s mini-essays. Maybe there are two Cass’s or maybe it’s some crazy browser issue filling the form out with the wrong info (sometimes I get this myself).

    Anyway, just wanted to clear the air. If it keeps up, I guess I’ll add something to my posting name to make it clear who’s who.

  47. The best ‘level-up’ in comics was totally Jim Steranko on Strange Tales/ Nick Fury agent of SHIELD. He started as a Kirby Klone, but ended up being Steranko!

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