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Wait, What? Ep. 94: The Basement Japes

Jeff Lester

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Above: The Farm Fusion Waffle, which is a liege waffle topped with mushroom, spinach, roasted pepper, tomato and marinated chevre, from the Waffle Window, Portland, OR.

Yes, that is one mighty tasty waffle, let me tell you — although let me be honest, I do not tell you in episode 95, I merely mention it to you now. But!  Trust me, it’s darn good.

As for what we do discuss in this episode, join me behind the jump for… show notes!

1:20-3:24: The Basement Japes: an introduction
3:24-13:21: The front page of Time.com and how to get there; Jeff makes Graeme break down the process behind his recent Dark Knight Rises
13:21-22:03: Graeme has recently seen Transformers: Dark of the Moon on Netflix Watch Instantly  and would like to talk about it and a certain amount of contemplation transpires about the quote-unquote charms of Michael Bay.
22:03-32:02: By very sad contrast, Jeff has something to say about Melissa & Joey, which he mistakenly calls “Melissa Loves Joey” THE ENTIRE TIME.  Is Jeff really so damn old he would get the title confused with Joanie Loves Chachi?  The answer, sadly, is yes.  Fortunately, Graeme steers Jeff toward Sex House, instead.  Although that seems like a weird lead-in to mentioning Jarett Kobek’s new book, If You Won’t Read, Then Why Should I Write? (and yes, I also get that title wrong, too), it actually works quite well, honest.
32:02-32:22: This is the point where we acknowledge that we have not really talked about comics at all, yet.
32:22-34:18: So instead of talking about Transformer movies, we mention Transformers comics and GI Joe comics.  Woo!
34:18-40:51: Well, and so you can’t really talk about GI Joe Comics without discussing Top Shelf’s Double Barrel, can you? No, of course not.  Trust me when I say we speak glowingly of Double Barrel #2.
40:51-56:04: Jeff’s other major comic read of the week was catching up on three weeks of Shonen Jump Alpha. Can Jeff handle jumping into Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal on its ninth chapter?  (Spoiler: no.) The pros and cons of reading a mass of serialized information all at a go also gets a bit of the ol’ poke & prod.
55:04-1:00:24: This gets us talking about how jumping on points and story density can work both for and against a story’s accessibility with mentions of Morrison’s JLA in trade, Mark Waid’s interview at the AV Club, and whether Marvel’s recap pages work.
1:00:24-1:02:59: Kieron Gillen has his own podcast, DECOMPRESSED.  We haven’t listened to it, but we are very excited about it!  Check it out here!
1:02:59-1:14:09: Graeme tallks about Dark Avengers #177 by Jeff Parker and Kev Walker, and Wild Children, the recent Image book by Ales Kot and Riley Rossmo
1:14:09-1:16:28: Graeme picked up the new Eddie Campbell graphic novel, The Lovely Horrible Stuff, digitally (for only five dollars, and you can too, here at the SavCrit Digital Store) and tells us about it.  It sounds quite good.  (I admit it, I’ve picked it up since and can sign off on Graeme’s recommendation.  It really is quite good.)
1:16:28-1:29:00: Other books Graeme discusses:  Action Comics #11,which he likes more than Jeff did, Infernal Man-Thing; and Punk-Rock Jesus.
1:29:00-1:45:38: Were you still wondering why Graeme liked the first volume of the Greg Rucka Punisher trade even though he didn’t like the individual issues he tried?  He tells us here, and we get in to a bit of a tussle over the nature of The Punisher, and the differences between Rucka’s approach and Ennis’s approach.
1:45:36-1:58:34: Does that mean we end up talking about Rucka’s run on Elektra and his career at NuMarvel as well as his current webcomic, Lady Sabre?  Why yes, it does!
1:58:34-2:03:32: The end (of the episode) is nigh! Although promising earlier to spoil the hell out of Walking Dead #100, Jeff instead tells the comic book collection bet story from Bleeding Cool.
2:03:32-2:10:24: When we recorded this, Neil Gaiman doing Before Sandman was just a rumor.  Want to know what we thought of the announcement before it was announced?  We talk about it here!
…Oh, and also closing comments, which we are still not very good at doing.
If you’ve got iTunes, it may have already set the nose of your faithful RSS bloodhound stirring.  Alternately, you are welcome to have a listen to it here, and sniff at it dismissively at your leisure:
Wait, What? Ep. 95: The Basement Japes
Oh, and a word to the wise, we aren’t recording this week, which means we won’t have an episode for you next week — I’ve got a trip lined up for this week, and I realized it would actually benefit my life greatly if we baked this kind of thing into my schedule, so expect us to have one skip week a month from here on out.  (Think of it as an opportunity to catch up.)
As always, we thank you for listening and hope you enjoy!

40 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 94: The Basement Japes ”

  1. Your comments about Invisibles vs. Wild Children reminded me of this:
    I remember reading something on his site saying that one of the distinctions between a good and bad artist is a good artist steals from many things and a bad artist steals from 1 thing.

    My reaction upon hearing the Before Sandman news:
    “Oh wow! That really big”
    “holy shit, Gaiman is writing it! And JHW3 is drawing it!”
    “damn, maybe ill have to cave on my ‘no buying DC&M’ policy”
    “wait a minute…. I dont even like Sandman”
    “or Gaiman really for that matter”
    “oh shit, if people are talking about Before Sandman I may have to pretend I understand Sandman”
    “sigh…. thanks DC”

    So is DC officially just pillaging any IP they have lying around? Wonder how long it is before we get Before The Invisibles?

    And just so I can end on a positive note, I picked up Double Barrel on your recommendation and it was tops :) And Sex House is indeed awesome

  2. I haven’t started listening to this episode yet because I’m finishing up the Nerdist Writers Panel ep. with Len Wein, Ed Brubaker and Jackson Publick (of Venture Brothers fame). I’d be interested in hearing your reactions to this next week ( I know Graeme listens), especially when Wein essentially calls Alan Moore a one note writer. You can literally hear Brubaker’s jaw hit the floor when this happens.

  3. Ales Kot actually namedrops The Invisibles in Wild Children, but its still incredibly self-important.

  4. Brock – I LOVE that episode of the Writers’ Panel, in large part because Brubaker can clearly not believe Wein says that, and keeps bringing it up for the next hour. I always find it fascinating when you get Moore’s contemporaries talking about his work, as opposed to the rest of us; there’s a sense of “He’s not necessarily wrong” – at least in terms of plot – “but he’s also missing the point quite majorly.” I mean, Moore’s Swamp Thing is about so much more than plot, surely? I’d be tempted to say that plot is actually the LEAST interesting thing about Moore’s writing on that book, but because Wein comes from an old school mentality of Plot Uber Alles, that’s what he sees first.

    Also interesting about the podcast: Brubaker’s take on the current state of Marvel and DC. You can hear the tiredness in his voice about dealing with that world.

    (Considering we’re not doing a podcast this week, I figured I may as well respond to that question here in the comments.)

  5. Dave –

    Something that occurred to me post-announcement of Before Sandman is that DC has now, essentially, used up both of its IP trump cards in the space of a year. What does it have left after Watchmen and Sandman, really…? It’s not as if it’s having that much success creating new series that are as beloved and well-regarded as either of those series…

  6. Brock – Great nerdist panel. I thought Publick got in the line of the night when he busted Wein’s late night wrestling at the office story with the great “Why don’t we just measure each other’s dicks already?” callback.

    And yes, Bru’s jaw did make a very audible thudding noise. I only know for sure because mine hit the floor at the same time.

    Also, Graeme, not to nit or pick but in Punk Rock Jesus I was / am pretty certain she delivered twins. Not just a girl.

    I was also getting a little early incredulity – especially with the shroud being pretty well debunked – but then he explicitly mentions that in one of his “believer / non-believer” exchanges and THAT, for me, opened up a world of possibilities. The corporation knows it could be utter bullshit but they’re also aware that it doesn’t matter. The myth will overcome the details. I liked it a good bit.

  7. Jeff, I thought that the description of Netflix Instant as a Potemkin village was hilarious and spot on, but my favorite quote was from Graeme: “It’s a terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible comic. It looks nice.”

    Graeme, you were saying something about the influences on Casanova and I couldn’t quite make out what you said. It has me wondering if there’s a major work that you believe Fraction was influenced by that I’m unfamiliar with. I’ve always thought that Moorecock’s Jerry Cornelius books were a major inspiration for Fraction’s Casanova… Anyway, Graeme (and Jeff and anyone else that wants to chime in,) I’d like to hear what you think are the major influences on Casanova.


  8. Also, the way to write “Happy Punisher”: Deadpool. Right?

  9. J Smitty: I may go back and re-read; by the end of the issue, my disinterest was showing, and I may have ended up misunderstanding/skimming important plot stuff without realizing.

    Mike Walker: Now I have to go back and listen to what I said about Cass!

  10. It looks pretty obvious to me that DC told Gaiman that either he provides them with a blockbuster Sandman series, or they were going to interview others for an ongoing or whatever. I doubt that leaving Sandman in mothballs was an option anymore. It’s not like he is giving them 100k+ sellers and they want him happy. He’s been busy making money for himself, and I am sure DC was all “But what have you done for me lately?”

    One way or another, handshake deals are /dev/null at NuDC.

    It’s beginning to look like this IP thing might have a bit of money in it.

  11. I tend to be really cynical about the comics industry, but Gaiman said in the vid that he had wanted to tell this story, and I believed him, so I guess I must be a sucker.

    Also I seriously doubt Gaiman is gonna give in to threats. If he didn’t want to do another Sandman series, he wouldn’t suddenly go “oh you’re letting someone else do Sandman, oh ok I guess I have to do it then!”

    There have even been several Sandman things done by Gaiman after the original series, this isn’t at all unprecedented. Possibly it’s bad timing due to BW, but ultimately I feel the two are very very different.

  12. Graeme: I didn’t remember the connection until he started talking about later in the podcast, that Wein created and did the original run on Swamp Thing, so I think there may be some “dick measuring” going on there as well. Mr. Wein didn’t seem to be lacking in ego.

    I agree that Brubaker’s peek inside current Marvel was illuminating. It gives credence to some of the things you and Jeff have speculated upon in regards to why books like Fear Itself are a mess.

  13. The writer’s podcast was interesting, thanks for mentioning it again. But in listening to it I got more insight into how the sausage is made and didn’t like it. I guess I liked things better (The work) when I knew less about the egos (Wein did not come off well), the long term publishing plans, the previews which give away the story months in advance. I know you can’t go back in time but the less I knew (or know) the more enjoyable the comics are. The irony is that the more I know now, the more I appreciate your podcast.

    Also your comments on the Melissa / Joey show were interesting. Not my thing for sure but I believe in comfort tv (and comfort comics) that are entertaing and don’t ask or try to be anything else. One reason I like the USA stable of shows. They are more like the stuff I grew up on. Wish more comics were like that. One reason I really like Waid’s Daredevil, which Marvel then starts to muck up with putting DD in Avengers and having crossovers. I know that might be to get the book a higher profile but I liked it better when it was left alone. Wish more books were like it.

  14. Being really into Sandman as a (non-goth, if that matters) teenager in the late ’90s, I couldn’t help but be excited when I initially heard about the Before Sandman thing. And JH Williams is pretty near my favorite artist working today.

    But I haven’t REALLY liked anything Gaiman’s written in a decade or more. I don’t think he’s “sold out”, but I think he’s completely become a lazy parody of himself, and thereby turned his writing into a relatively generic commodity for palatable for mass audiences.

    Maybe a return to Sandman, if he really has had this particular prequel idea for a long time, will spur Gaiman to be a great writer again (in my opinion, at least; some thought his “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” story from a few years ago was good, but I thought it was maudlin rubbish). But still, I wish Gaiman wrote this story when he had the idea for it initially, rather than doing it now.

  15. Every problem you’ve had with Rucka? That’s pretty much all on display in Wolverine.

    Elektra was not cancelled after Rucka left; Rob Rodi wrote it for another year, resetting the character back to an assassin, and while it wasn’t as ambitious it also didn’t fetishize female suffering like Rucka does and was entertaining, unlike a lot of what Rucka does. Like Brubaker, I consider him spinach.

  16. Interesting discussion about violence and context! Yeah, that’s the big thing that forced me to take “Preacher” in myopic doses. When the topic is ro- or bro-mance, or the Troubles, or the issue with Arseface’s backstory, or the Pogues, it was lovely. But the dead stop for me was that I could not reconcile this macho “you’ve got to be one of the good guys” with characters who murdered men who rustled horses for money, or brutally crippled a bloke who was having a bad day at the pub and looked at them wrong.

    It’s almost sociopathic on Ennis’s part; any action, at any cost, is justified if _I_ do it, because _I’m_ the one who’s right(eous). No empathy for other humans. That may be my own morality piping up, but I can’t get past it; you abrogate your partnership in humanity, you’re no hero. (Aaaand we get to the Punisher!)

  17. “Something that occurred to me post-announcement of Before Sandman is that DC has now, essentially, used up both of its IP trump cards in the space of a year. What does it have left after Watchmen and Sandman, really…? It’s not as if it’s having that much success creating new series that are as beloved and well-regarded as either of those series…”

    Pretty well my opinion as well. That said, there is one thing left on the table as far as Warner Bros. utilising their available IP, and the connections of DC Entertainment’s Diane Nelson, that will bring them huge sales: Harry Potter, the Comic Book.

    However, from working in licensing I have to say I don’t know whether this is likely. JK Rowling has it in her licensing contract that if one line of text is used from one of her novels then the entirety of that novel has to be used.* It’s the reason there’s no abridged audiobook of any of the Harry Potter novels. But possibly Nelson could convince her otherwise. She did convince her to let the movies be made.

    So, my bet is that next years’ announcement will be that. And if they utilised the best artists working for them in the same way they have with Before Watchmen (say what you like about the morality and writing, they all look beautiful) then this would be the best selling comic of the decade, and line up a new range of perennial sellers in the TPB market.

    *It’s for this reason Alan Moore’s use of Potter and his relationship with contemporary popular culture in Century:2009 strike me as thoroughly flawed. Moore seems to hold up Harry Potter that’s all that’s wrong with present day culture, while ignoring the sheer power it’s (female) author has over their work and how it is exploited by multinational companies. Something Moore himself seems unable to do himself with his own creations…

  18. @ddt – You hit the nail on the head about Preacher, which is a comic I admittedly love, but since so much of it seems to be about morality, it’s hard to take “it ain’t right for a fella to hit a girl” stuff with scenes of them brutally murdering relatively innocent unwitting henchmen.
    @DanS – I always thought Gaiman was a killer short story writer, while his long form arcs in Sandman were at best messy, and at worst (“Brief Lives” I’m looking at you) not good at all. I got about 50 pages into “American Gods” before putting it down, never to return. On the subject of Gaiman…
    @David – I believe Gaiman said there were a few Sandman stories he’d like to tell someday. And he also explained their relationship as being a verbal handshake where Sandman is his baby and if they leave it alone until he wants to tell a story fine. And if they don’t he will never have anything to do with them again. So quite a different cup of peas than the Before Watchmen/Alan Moore situation.
    @JSmiity – My favorite line in the Nerdist Panel came when Len Wein was talking about the original Swamp Thing short story from House of Secrets, and that he thought it should stand on its on and rebuffed DC’s offer of spinning it into an original series on the basis of integrity. Then a year later he decided he could do an ongoing Swamp Thing which would start fresh and leave the original story alone, and Brubaker shuts out, “Why didn’t you do that with “Before Watchmen”? Touche, Brub.
    @Graeme – Brubaker’s jaw hitting the floor is very audible, but I actually thought Wein was making a bit of joke with his line “Every story’s exactly the same”. I mean, it’s somewhat true; name the major Alan Moore work from the 80’s that doesn’t have the “Everything You Knew About This Character Was WRONG!” sequence. It gets down to his 5 page Tales of the Green Lantern short where “Everything You Knew About Abin Sur Was WRONG!” It’s certainly okay to take the piss out of a guy who says that he doesn’t read modern comics because they’re all shit and that the only ideas they have are ones that he wrote 20 years ago. To say “he’s the last guy you want to be stuck in an elevator with” is a bit mean, Mr. Wein. Still, it was fun the number of times Brubaker totally geeks out on Wein: “You were one of the Crusty Bunkers? You created Brother Voodoo?” etc.
    Casanova has always seemed like a Laundry List comic to me: I’m gonna make a list of everything I think is cool and mash them all into one comic and it’ll be the coolest thing ever. And there’s certainly a lot to like in it, but for me as a whole it never quite works.
    Sex House was very funny. Thanks guys. Dark Avengers #177 sounds like something I need to get too.
    Despite all his dick measuring in Nerdist, I think Len Wein, to answer a previous Wait What question, is the 70’s comics writer who is underappreciated and deserving of reassessment.
    Wait, What? A skip week every month? OK, you guys certainly deserve a break and I’m sure you’ll come back better, stronger, faster. But still, I’ll miss you.

  19. @ Tim Rifenburg

    It’s interesting. I’ve been listening to a shit ton of those panels and I find them really great. I’ve also been reading a TON of TV scripts and what’s really cool to me is that TV scripts read like Marvel scripts from waaaay back. As in, The Method. In TV they kinda count on the combination of the directed camera and the actors to fill in the details much as scripters relied on the talented artist to tell a story. Insomuch as that’s seeing the sausage factory I am totally into it.

    Now, I’ve also been reading a good number of comic scripts and in many cases they’re damn near impenetrable.

    @ James

    Yes, to hear Brubaker practically do a spit take in order to get that line out was awesome.

    @ Jeff Lester

    What with all the Punisher talk have you since seen the Dirty Laundry short film? How did you feel about it? FX shots were a little over the top and as a burgeoning alcoholic (whoops) I can tell you that giant handle of Jack cannot be acquired for the $20 Frank put down. Outside of those minor quibbles, tonally, it took a VERY major misstep with me and I’m curious as to your thoughts.

    Justice Peace? The way Simonson drew the “emerging” Zaniac from those issues gave me nightmares as a kid. From time to time Marvel can bait a sweet, sweet, lure.

  20. @ Carey

    I don’t think Harry Potter is on the table and wouldn’t be big deal if it was. J.K. Rowling has been notoriously protective of Harry Potter and nothing she’s done so far would indicate an interest having a HP comic adaption or having another print product take away from the sales of the novels. Look that control she’s exerted over the audiobooks for an example.

    Also, at this point, a HP comic would be an afterthought, and wouldn’t make much of a splash. The core audience for HP has moved on. I have two kids and teach school and can tell you from firsthand experience that the kids who grew up with Harry Potter viewed that last movie as “the end of an era” and have moved on to stuff like The Hunger Games. The hardcore “wednesday warrior” comics audience doesn’t care about a HP comic. If it came out, it might do ok on a Steven King’s Dark Tower level, but I seriously doubt it would be the blockbuster you are implying.

  21. When Graeme was describing Wild Children, I actually thought he was describing the Invisibles. So when Graeme describes it as “amazingly self-satisfied, it’s amazingly convinced that it’s being shocking when it’s actually being boring and self-righteous,” I was nodding and saying to myself, “Yep, that’s The Invisibles, alright!” It was the first thing by Morrison I ever read, and it put me off reading him for years. It wasn’t until much later that I’d come to understand that with Grant Morrison, you get well-written, even understated work often coming out alongside the most sloppy, amateurish shit imaginable.

  22. The new Sandman comic is all about the money, and all about the story. Gaiman has been talking about wanting to do that particular story for almost two decades, ever since the regular series ended. He wanted to do it a couple of years ago, but – and he was shamelessly clear about this – he literally couldn’t afford to take six months off from his other work on the kind of deal DC were offering. Even superstar writers gotta pay the power bill.

    They’ve obviously worked it out somehow now. Sandman was a definite gateway comic for me, so I know I’m looking forward to a new comic…

    As for the Ennis and violence discussion, the thing I loved the most about the Punisher Max run were the parts where Frank Castle actually recognises that his life is a cold and empty thing, and that he really is a monster, and he’s actually horrified by it, but carries on anyway, because he has no other reason to exist.

    I really think Ennis is a total pacifist. All of his serious violence comics are kinda appalled by the effects of violence.

  23. I’m about halfway through the podcast, where you’re talking about jumping on points, and serialized storytelling. Graeme’s observations about the cliffhanger being the introduction to the next chapter makes me think of how well Walking Dead does it.

    You can jump into the issue, or just keep going from one issue to the next, and it’s seamless. Kirkman and Adlard write it so if there were no issue breaks, you’d never notice it. The scenes seem to continue on and that was something I noticed and compared in my mind to Lee/Romita Spider-Man and on, how you’d pretty much followed every day of Peter Parker’s life. If one issue ends with Spider-Man on a boat having just defeated Hydroman, the next issue starts with Spider-Man on that boat, in the same place, but just continues on with his life where he’s embroiled in a fight with the Kingpin the next day. That’s something I liked. And it’s one of the reasons I liked the 80’s Batman period, where Bruce Wayne’s life pretty much played out like a soap opera.

    I’m currently watching Twin Peaks on Netflix, and each episode takes place over one day, and we just follow ever day of these character’s lives. It invests you in the characters and their ongoing lives.

    It makes the characters more characters, and not just icons or IPs. I think they did that a bit with Batman in the 80’s. It something that sucked me into Claremont’s X-Men when I decided to read through it last year.

    As for Marvel/DC, they have to have every character in 80 books a month, and it’s lost. The characters aren’t characters anymore, just IPs that are everywhere doing everything at once with no effect besides very broad ideas.

  24. I remember when Joker would get sent to Arkham, then he’d be there until he escaped. Now he gets sent to Arkham, and the next time someone wants to use him in a story, he’s just magically out and doing his thing. Batman didn’t use to have the “revolving door of Arkham question,” because we’d actually see how things progressed in the story, instead of just being a reset.

  25. I liked Campbell’s THE LOVELY HORRIBLE STUFF, seemed like a very reasonable read for the $5 digital price, and picked up YEARS HAVE PANTS and THE PLAYRIGHT at the sale prices as well, though I already have both in print. I like Top Shelf’s digital pricing in general, they seem to start at half the print price as a base and go down from there (sometimes a lot), and have a $10 cap on pricing, which works great for me.

    Hm, toss in the DAPPER JOHN standalone app and about a third of the money I’ve spent on digital comics has been on Eddie Campbell books. And don’t think I’m not tempted by the digital FROM HELL. And if Top Shelf ever gets the BACCHUS books out and they’re under $10 that’s as near a guaranteed sale as you can get.

    Thanks for the recommendation on the Wein interview on the Nerdist site, which I’d initially skipped. Funny stuff. I figure Wein is entitled to a gratuitous shot on Moore’s writing skills, since Moore delivered one on Wein’s SWAMP THING in a recent interview (“it really wasn’t much more than a regurgitation of Hillman Comics’ The Heap with a bit of Rod Serling purple prose wrapped around it”). He’s totally misrepresenting Moore’s position on Before Watchmen, which he’s not entitled to. But, hey, he’s got a writing gig that makes him semi-relevant for the first time in decades, so that’s okay.

    Have Brubaker’s problems with Dan Didio ever been discussed openly anywhere, or is it always vague hints like he gave in this interview?

  26. “I really think Ennis is a total pacifist. All of his serious violence comics are kinda appalled by the effects of violence.”

    I think Ennis’s comics glorify the effects of violence too much for this to be a plausible reading. Yes, you get characters like his Punisher, whose lives have been rendered empty by their reliance on and even addiction to violence, but you also get a kind of macho romanticization of the imagined sacrifice of these characters. Ennis portrays the effects of violence as debilitating, but the violence itself as ultimately noble and laudable – the emptiness of his characters’ lives is a kind of manly burden they bear for the sake of brotherhood and country and vengeance and all kinds of other bullshit. The few times Ennis shows us actual pacifists, or others who refuse to engage in violence, he almost always portrays them with contempt.

  27. American comics wish they could introduce characters like Toriko did in the latest chapter, Jesus Christ that table scene was kinda unreal.

  28. Listening to your podcast, it made me realize that Greg Rucka is the American Warren Ellis.

  29. Jeff & Graeme:

    First of all, thanks for the review! I mean that.

    I always had a hard time figuring out how can a comic feel self-satisfied or convinced about something, unless we agree that ‘Wild Children’ is alive – and if it is, which you seem to suggest, then it works — even for you — as I intended it to, at least on one level.

    “Boring” – what can I do about that? Have a glass of wine and hope people will disagree with you, that’s what. Drinking it right now.

    “It’s ripping off the Invisibles.” No, it’s not. It’s using many ideas Morrison used, and people before & after him used, and so on. ‘Wild Children’ is following a tradition of sorts, and it’s trying to build upon it. That’s why I mention the Invisibles in the text. I grew up reading a lot of stuff that influenced Morrison, and I recognized that. I want people to go back and read ‘The Invisibles’, and I want them to discover other sources of inspiration as well. Lacan, Bey, Coil, Bjork, Jung, etc. – I knew their work before I read The Invisibles. Never seen “If”, by the way. Avoided it on purpose until after the comic came out. Is the comic also about the anxiety of influence? But of course.

    The next-gen Fraction thing – nah. I can see the influences. Also: remember Moorcock taking a dump on Morrison for ripping off Cornelius? Same shit, a different day. No sense of history? Nope.

    “Self-righteous” – I suspect you missed at least one possible reading of how things turn out. Some people got it, some people did not. To help: from (at least) one angle, ‘Wild Children’ is a horror story about dumb, popculture obsessed, self-righteous kids. You can make a case for the writer being one of them, I’m sure, but there’s more to it. For some.

    I hope you end up liking my upcoming comics (‘Change’, the Batman short, etc.) more, and I also hope that you find another angle on ‘Wild Children’. If this comment won’t help, feel free to email me, send me your copy & I’ll paypal you the $8 you might have spent on it. I’m serious.

    moose n squirrel: What I said above, basically.


  31. plz kill me: What’s wrong with that? I’m a writer; of course I want people to pay attention.

  32. maybe if you list enough things we’ll ignore the fact that you are a fax-intellectual conterfiet who wrote a copy of a Grant Morrison story that’s a copy of a previous Grant Morrison story that’s a copy of a movie that you haven’t even seen Lacan Bjork Smell Sign Nose Army

  33. plz kill me: Care to share your name? Hard to take you seriously when you’re so obviously hiding behind the internets, dear.

    If you won’t share, I don’t think I’ll respond to you again, simply because I won’t think that you have enough spine to stand behind what you said here.

  34. Really enjoyed the Rucka discussion.

  35. Way to go Graeme on the prediction about Morrison.

  36. Ales –

    Thanks for the comment; I’m not sure I necessarily agree with a lot of what you say in response – Considering the portrayal of the kids throughout Wild Children, I’m not sure that it’s ever suggested in the text (or even subtext) that they’re dumb at all; given the lack of any coherent argument against their viewpoint, I think such a reading would depend entirely on the existing biases of the reader, surely? – but the offer to reimburse me for the comic is both welcome and entirely unnecessary; I’ve spent more on worse, sadly.

    You should check out “If,” by the way. It’s pretty great.

  37. Graeme –


    To me, the “There were no bullets” juxtaposed with some of what happens on the next pages (the gruesome damage to the kids’ heads), and the last scene of the comic (in its cliched “it’s all good anyway” vibe), both work on a level that suggests that reading as one of the possible ones. I thought about adding another suggestion somewhere in the text, but it didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to go all ‘Brazil’ on it, I wanted to keep the ambiguity. I wish it worked better for you, I really do, and maybe I could have done something differently. It’s definitely food for thought.


    “If” – on my list for next month.

  38. Thought experiment: a group of comic-loving potential investors proposition you to establish a new comic company with the same market efficacy as Image or Dark Horse, but otherwise tell you that the mission, output, business structure, growth steategy, and talent held by the company are yours to determine. What kind of a company do you create? (Please respond respond separately.)

  39. Stephen Williamson
    -I don’t see how that is supposed to determine if Graeme or Jeff are replicants.

  40. I suppose I’m being the ‘old hippy’ Jeff and Graeme imagine (although ‘old punk’ is closer to my self conception…)in that I always saw ‘The Invisibles’ as being ‘The Illumnatus Trilogy’ (with other bits of Robert Anton Williams writing thrown in, especially ‘Cosmic Trigger’) starring Jerry Cornelius.

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