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Wait, What? Ep. 88: Starry-Eyed Cynics

Jeff Lester

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Yup, we continue to make headway on Operation: Q&A, with perhaps as many as *ten* full questions answered in this, Episode 88 of your friendly, neighborhood Wait, What? podcast.

The wolf is at my door (figuratively speaking) so allow me to fill you in on what to expect and then I’ll have to run (literally speaking–I don’t know, it gets complicated but you can figure it out):

For a hearty two hours and five minutes (with the first ten devoted strictly to music talk), Graeme McMillan and I gab about which Alan Moore’s universe we’d like to see continued; the recent first issues of Batman Inc., The Ravagers, and Superman Family Adventures; Erik Larsen and The Savage Dragon; digital content and comics as a niche market; who gets a bigger free pass–Marvel or DC; Greg Rucka and Brian Bendis’ discussion over at the Mulholland Books website; the degrees of freelancer success; Scott Kurtz and cynicism; Jim Lee and the role of creators in corporate comics; and really just so much oh my god you guys I cant even begin to tell you

Those with an Internet connection and our patented SynethesiaGoggles may have already watched the warp and woof of our mellifluous mouthtones on iTunes, but you can also have a grainier, more auditory, and some would even say more fulfilling (but that may be because they didn’t want to fork over the extra fiver for the goggles) experience below:

Wait, What? Ep. 88: Starry-Eyed Cynics

As ever, please secure your bags either below your seat or in the overhead bins before departure, and thank you for listening!

17 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 88: Starry-Eyed Cynics ”

  1. Just a quick thought ref: Batman Inc. #1

    I really enjoyed the issue and didn’t really have a problem with the obvious reveal or the potentially drawn-out resolution.

    That being said, I thought this was an AWFUL first issue. Unless you’ve been following Morrison’s Batman run, this was practically incomprehensible. In that respect, I think this really betrayed the point of “The New 52.” For one, there was little to no explanation about the other heroes–why were they faking their deaths? Why are they hiding? Again, I’ve read Leviathan Strikes, and the preceding run(s) so was aware, etc… but having tried to introduce a friend through this (silly me, assuming it would be an accessible first issue) she was left scratching her head. Ditto for the references to al Ghul. You get a hint of what’s happening, but nothing is explicitly stated. A very disappointing aspect of an otherwise great comic.

    Still, a brilliant issue (and oh so pretty), but not a good *first* issue.

  2. The other musician that died the same weekend as Robin Gibb and Donna Summer was Chuck Brown, the godfather of DC Go-Go – much more of a local hero than a national name. His viewing is today and is expected to draw 30,000 people.

  3. RIP Donna Summer (NOT Diana Ross, who is obviously very relieved to still be counted among the living).

    p.s., Here’s a beautiful version of the Bee Gees tune “I Started a Joke” as performed by Low: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZuJmbDL9q4

  4. Re: Eric Larsen and Savage Dragon

    How you guys feel about Eric Larsen is how I feel about Mike Mignola *waits for room to stop recoiling in shock*. Everything I hear about Hellboy and BPRD sounds incredibly awesome but when I pick it up it all kinda falls flat for me. :\
    Ive seen enough articles written about why its brilliant highlighting specific aspects (many of which Ive tried to steal for my own comics) so I think its a taste thing.

    Re: Comics stores like british tv.

    When you take Marvel and DC out of the picture you basically have this already. And having 55 volumes out hasnt seem to have hurt Naruto and other manga that much, why cant Walking Dead get around it?

  5. I just want to say I always enjoy the delightfully delirious introductory text Jeff provides each week.

  6. Has finite comics ever helped DC or Marvel’s bottom line in the long run? I keep thinking about how finite comics was profitable for DC for a while (especially Sandman, Y the Last Man, and Starman), but that the seriality of these comics ended up screwing up these finite stories in the end because of relaunches and revamps (like the weird Sandman spin-offs or the continuity-laden Starman trades that are irrelevant to the new 52). I don’t think comics fans want their favorite characters to end and the big two only want to give the fans what they want.

  7. Maybe if they just branded the different ‘periods’ in a comic run or line run (pre-Crisis, late Bronze Age, etc)… and accepted an every 5-years or so soft reboot… they could at least have runs of comics that were consistent and more sell-able. As it is putting Silver-age reprints, post-Crisis reprints and New 52 reprints in alphabetical order is just asking for confusion.

  8. For what it’s worth, I didn’t have any difficulty jumping onto Savage Dragon when Larsen did his “strange new world” stories. That was pretty much my first exposure to the character and I managed to follow the storyline just fine. I’m sure that there was stuff that I missed by not being a long-term reader, but for the most part, anything you needed to know about those supporting characters was right there in the story. As to whether that was enough information to make you care about them is debatable. I figured that the only character whose story really mattered was the Dragon’s and everyone else were just characters introduced to support that particular story. What did kill my interest in the book, however, was the lengthy amount of time between issues. Sometimes the series was monthly… sometimes it took a couple weeks break between issues. I never knew when to expect the next issue and eventually just stopped looking for it. But it’s a run that I pull out every now and again and reread just for the fun of it.

  9. Hey thanks for answering my questions (and taking questions generally). Graeme’s comparsion of Bulletproof Coffin to Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol was dead on the mark, but also sadly boner-harshing. No worries though, the Burroughs cutup issue still blows my mind, even if it is just the latest iteration of the Painting That Ate Paris.

    On another note, Jeff had some prescient commentary this week, considering when you guys record. Without even seeing it, he pretty much dismantled the recent Wall Street Journal article on cape comics. He nails it when he says that the medium itself has turned out to be the deterrent to wider consumption of superhero comics. As much as I’ve bagged on them recently, the quality of Big Two books has little to do with the difficulty in reaching a wider audience (how would this audience even know about the quality, if they aren’t even cracking the books open). There’s just something about comics that the average American, whether he says it or not, finds icky.

  10. Hey thanks for answering my questions (and taking questions generally). Graeme’s comparsion of Bulletproof Coffin to Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol was dead on the mark, but also sadly boner-harshing. No worries though, the Burroughs cutup issue still blows my mind, even if it is just the latest iteration of the Painting That Ate Paris.

    On another note, Jeff had some prescient commentary this week, considering when you guys record. Without even seeing it, he pretty much dismantled the recent Wall Street Journal article on cape comics. He nails it when he says that the medium itself has turned out to be the deterrent to wider consumption of superhero comics. As much as I’ve bagged on them recently, the quality of Big Two books has little to do with the difficulty in reaching a wider audience (how would this audience even know about the quality, if they aren’t even cracking the books open). There’s just something about comics that the average American, whether he says it or not, finds icky.

  11. I’m only 9 minutes in to the podcast, but Jeff, c’mon, go get the new Tom Waits album. It’s like, Swordfishtrombones/Rain Dogs good.

  12. 1) As someone who thoroughly loathes the pat response of “It is what it is,” I’m thrilled to have missed that particularly depressing pitch from Kurtz about status quo and cynicism. Things are what they are because you:

    a) participate in making them that way
    b) resist them being that way
    or
    c) don’t really give a rip in which case you’re “voting” with your general indifference.

    2) On the subject of authors that might make an interesting conversant for Rucka I’m not sure how I came to know this but Dan Abnett has written over 40 novels. The bulk of those are in the Warhammer license but he has full original novels as well. I think he’d bring an interesting perspective due to the real breadth of his experience.
    (2000AD, Marvel, DC, lots of collaborative work, licensed prose, and personal pieces.)

    3) One mini-comic you should be getting that was missed (or omitted) is Cindy $ Biscuit by Dan White aka The Beast Must Die. As one prominent Savage Critic has noted, “Super Charming.”

    4) JEFF – Favorite American Barbarian panel, page, sequence!

  13. Uhhh that Kurtz thing was so terrible that having it brought to mind again (not blaming you guys) reminded me of what was so wrong with it. The fact of his argument for Kirby not getting credit is that so many people have altered the Avengers to this point so instead of giving everyone credit and share, we should give no one the credit or share is just so frustrating it is almost beyond comprehension that someone could believe that.

  14. I can really understand why you guys wanted to avoid the Kurtz thing as much as possible, but, hell, I’d have gotten some popcorn to sit down to 30 minutes of savaging the faulty logic on display in his riff.

  15. Kurtz sells Jack Kirby t-shirts. They say something like keep your kirby hand strong or some lame meme shit like that. He wants to make money off Kirby, without that pesky business of caring about who Kirby was or what his life was about or what his work meant or who his family was– but that’s the default for people working in comics, so oh well.

  16. Chris Bird did an amazing take-down of Kurtz’s piece over on his blog.

    http://mightygodking.com/index.php/2012/05/22/scott-kurtz-is-still-scott-kurtz/

  17. From PVP online: http://store.pvponline.com/products/kirby-hand-teeif-youre-going-to-survive-in-the-world-of-comics-you-gotta-keep-your-kirby-hand-strong-some-times-the-man-needs-reminding-bitch-better-have-my-original-artwork-bitch-better-remember-to-split-profit-sharing-of-the-characters-i-co-created-yep

    “Kirby Hand Tee

    If you’re going to survive in the world of comics, you gotta keep your Kirby hand strong. Some times “the man” needs reminding. Bitch better have my original artwork. Bitch better remember to split profit sharing of the characters I co-created.

    Yep. You gotta krackle it up and keep that Kirby Hand strong.”

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