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Wait, What? Ep. 95: Flop Flips

Jeff Lester

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Above: Izzy’s Guac & Lox with extra red onion and sliced tomato, on an onion bagel, from Los Bagels in Arcata, CA.

Oh, man.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had the above but if you do–I highly recommend it.  It’s a little pricey, but the guacamole is great and the lox are fresh.  Just a fine old dining experience.

But you’re not here for the food talk, are you? (Wait…are you?)  You are here, in theory, for the latest installment of Wait, What? Ep. 95, so join me behind the jump for….show notes!

1:18-4:18: Vacation, all we ever wanted!  Graeme and I compare notes: I had one and it was fine.  Graeme hasn’t had one in YEARS.
4:18-7:28:  Comic Books Are Burning In Hell are totally dropping “the McMillion” in their new episode?  We should all listen! (Except Graeme, probably.) We tried to help them with their RSS feed, honest.
7:28-13:40:  Jeff racks his brain to see if he has a comic book related anecdote about his vacation, but he does.  Oh my, yes.  Probably skippable if you’re not a member of the family (or even if you are, I bet).
13:40-14:34:  “Congratulations, Detective!”  Graeme and I ponder the mystery of…Robo-Warrior? Judge Trooper? Don’t worry, we figure it out.
14:34-15:58:  Jonesing for 2000 AD, McMillan-style, which leads us into discussing…
15:58-37:10:  Zaucer for Zilk by Al Ewing and Brendan McCarthy, which Jeff has now read and we now discuss, along with Axe Cop: President of the World #1 and Prophet #27. Jeff draws a connective line between the three; Graeme is less sure of this.  A very big discussion about the difference between self-consciousness and self-awareness ensues.
37:10-41:57:  Returning to other 2000 AD-ish goodness, Graeme schools me on the difference between the progs and the Megazines and talks about what’s in the current issues of the latter, as well as recommendations for how and when to jump on to 2000 AD digitally
41:57-47:37:  For comparison/contrast sake, Jeff talks about the new title in Shonen Jump Alpha, how his digital subscription to Mad Magazine on the iPad is going,  and the awesome opportunity to get Charles Forsman’s The End of The Fucking World as a PDF over at OilyComics.com as well as his awesome subscription deal running through the end of July.  Yes, the future is here and we just gave you links to four very different and excellent types of comics experiences difficult to find in your average comic shop.  (Now, if I could only get Top Shelf to get Double Barrel onto the shelves of our digital store…)  I won’t give away the segue, but all of this does lead into:
47:37-1:19:50:  “Dark Knight Rises. Go.”  Jeff saw it very recently, Graeme saw it a few days previously, and we talk about it here lots and we pretty much spoil it everything so don’t listen if you haven’t seen it already.  (Note: my Bane imitation was done in-mic: no filters added.  I am inordinately proud of that.)  Around the 1:19:50 mark, Graeme makes a terrifying confession.
1:19:50-1:28:19: (Hint: It involves Batman Returns).
1:28:19-1:36:54:  New comics!  Graeme talks Captain Marvel #1 and National Comics: Eternity; Jeff talks Flash #11 and Detective Comics #11.
1:36:54-1:52:14:   Whoever had 1:36:54 as the time in the pool when we talk about Grant Morrison wrapping up his monthly book duties at DC, please collect your winnings.  We also talk about some amazing things said by Morrison at his recent CBR case.
1:52:14-1:59:26:  Closing comments, of a sort.  Graeme admits he read Extreme X-Men #1 and, as a Dazzler fan, he felt let down. Oh, and also All-Winner’s Squad over at Marvel.com.  And then we say goodbye!  No, really, that’s the end for now.
Because of some funky work scheduling, this is hitting the Net about 24 hours earlier than usual, and has perhaps already been seen cavorting with Bigfoot and a Chupacabra on iTunes.  But you are also invited to plunge into Savage Critic’s own personal Mystery Spot, and listen to it here and now:
Wait, What? Ep. 95: Flop Flips
And, as always, we thank you for listening and hope you enjoy!

64 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 95: Flop Flips ”

  1. I enjoy your blowhardyness mouse n squirrel, I look forward to dueling textwalls with you in the future :)

  2. In regards to the conversation about Zaucer of Zilk, Prophet, and Axe Cop, I think another important connection between the three is their idea buckshot. That is, tons of random ideas not necessarily given that much context or followed through. Morrison and Hickman both do this a lot, and (my impression regarding) the reason you guys enjoy Morrison and not Hickman is because Morrison both feels like a more organic storyteller and you feel that he could actually follow through on the ideas he introduces.

    Going back to those three titles, I think Graeme doesn’t like Axe Cop because the ideas aren’t focused. There’s no REASON for them to be there other than that’s what a 7 year old wrote, while on the other hand Zaucer of Zilk clearly has a point it’s trying to get across, on top of the whimsy. And without focus, all those ideas are just sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Also, I think what I personally wanted from Axe Cop was something could capture being a child. Fun and stupid, but also the nostalgia of knowing I’m not part of that world anymore, but that’s not something a kid could ever write.

    I feel like Prophet might actually lean closer to Axe Cop on this scale, because I feel like Brandon Graham makes mood pieces over focused critiques, but that’s just me, and I haven’t read too much of his stuff.

    I’ve gotten to a place where I’m not sure how much I’m repeating things you’ve said vs. my own opinions, so I’ll leave it at that.

  3. Err I had paused this podcast to write this all out, and have now realized you hadn’t even finished talking about those comics yet. It’s late.

  4. “the only Superman presented in the story as belonging to specific individuals or parties is transformed into a rampaging monster by dint of the fact that he belongs to specific individuals and parties”

    No, it’s by dint of the fact that his creators sell him to another party that’s interested in maximizing his value rather than promoting the original, humanistic concept.

    “and in fact, is ultimately destroyed by a better, purer Superman who does not, in fact, belong to any creator or corporation, and is hailed at the end as “Superman done right.””

    But that ending is laden with irony for a number of reasons. We know that this Superman isn’t the prime model, but just another variation no different from all the other variations Superdoom has already destroyed. (It’s telling that when he tries to claim “This is the real Superman” he gets his ass kicked and doesn’t finish the sentence.) We know that the real Superman–the comic book character and all his variants, including President Superman–is in an ownership situation very much like Superdoom’s. And the story throws in another twist entirely, orthogonal to the ownership question, which is that President Superman only beats Superdoom with the help of Lex Luthor, who delivers a speech accosting the character for his fascistic, bullying underpinnings. Perhaps Morrison threw in that scene as a symbolic killing of “the smug fascist bully boy” at the root of the character? In any case, it indicates that Superdoom has just as much claim to be the “real” Superman as any of these other variants.

    I think you can say the concept is larger and significant than the property without in any way diminishing the role of the creators. But this comic foregrounds the role of the creators and the story of Superman’s contested ownership in a way that few Superman stories do; it’s probably the worst possible case for claiming Morrison is robbing Siegel and Shuster of credit for their work.

    Also, moose, I’m pretty sure you know that opinions and subjective readings can be supported with examples and quotes, not “charts and graphs.” When somebody starts complaining that they can’t support their opinions and grousing that they’ve been asked to do so, that’s usually a sign that the argument is over.

  5. Dude, the “argument is over” because I’m tired of rehashing it, over and over again, in ever-smaller concentric circles, not because I haven’t “provided examples and quotes.” Congratulations, two idiots on the internet continue to disagree over something trivial! What do you want for that, a trophy?

  6. Slamming the door on the way out is a great way to end it, though.

  7. For what it’s worth, Nolan’s chase scenes are junk, too. They’re dynamic, but they’re incomprehensible.

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/IN_THE_CUT_The_Dark_Knight_by_Christopher_Nolan#

  8. MattM,

    I totally agree. I was mystified when Graeme and Jeff said that at least Nolan is good at chase scenes, because those to me are just as bad as his fight scenes. For example, I’m sure a vast majority of viewers could not quite figure out the logistics of how that truck flipped over in Dark Knight. I remember some cable being involved but it was very poorly conveyed.

  9. “It’s a dumb movie that thinks it’s smart” is endemic to Nolan’s latter films

    I’d take it one step further. Nolan’s latter films are dumb movies that think they’re smart, made for people who like dumb movies but are ashamed to like dumb movies and want to convince themselves and others that they actually like smart ones. They can’t take an openly dumb movie with gaping plot holes and inconsistent themes and badly shot action because it comes too close to admitting an uncomfortable truth, that they’re part of the unwashed masses and like dumb movies. Nolan does them a service by packaging a dumb movie in a shell of pretentious but utterly immature political commentary, “mature” cinematography and themes, a somber (pseudo)intellectual ambiance, dime store psychology and philosophy. Ffor such long meditations on fear in part 1 and chaos in part 2, it doesn’t really have much to say about them. In part 1 people just keep saying “fear” over and over again, then at the very end fear is just declared conquered in a rushed, unconvincing way that doesn’t feel earned..In part 2, it’s all about chaos over and over again, and nothing redeeming is shown about humanity, but at the end because it’s corporate and about superheroes and HAS to show good winning, we get a scene with two boats not blowing up to show that human nature isn’t just chaos and self-interest. None of those “turnarounds” feel earned, and it seems like part 3 did the exact same thing with class. Spend a whole two hours plus attacking something and pushing an uncomfortable viewpoint, only to turn it around with a conventional, optimistic viewpoint at the last minute that just ends up feeling unconvincing, unearned, and downright patronizing.

    But they did their job, which is it allowed people the ego-protecting guilty pleasure of watching a dumb movie while pretending to watch an intellectual one.

    (I want to add, I have NO problem with dumb movies, and watch them all the time. I just prefer an honestly dumb movie like say Waterboy to a pretentiously phony smart one).

  10. Going back to the previous podcast, I just saw the mascots for the 2012 Olympics (http://www.london2012.com/about-us/our-brand/making-of-the-mascot/) which is just too damn weird and Morrisonian/Moorian for words. Just the whole idea that they’re mascots made from the metal girders of industrial London and have cyclopian eyes that record everything you do. If Wenlock isn’t in the next League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or the next Seaguy, then something is wrong with Moore and Morrison. They’ve been replaced with body doubles.

    – l.k.

  11. As the age group ranged from 8 to 88 in the cinema I saw it in, I think people should probably re-consider criticizing Nolan for having on-the-nose political references/commentary in his films, and be happy that someone making a Hollywood blockbuster is putting them in there. Personally, I don’t think he be labored the point, he just drew parallels where he could to add more colour.
    “It’s a dumb movie that thinks it’s smart” is tripe. It’s a blockbuster, made for all ages, that added some commentary. It’s not made for political discourse, it’s made for entertainment. And it entertained – all ages seemed to enjoy it in the cinema I was at.

    To knock a few other criticisms on the head – I understood Bane throughout, I can follow Nolan’s action scenes, I guessed Talia was in it from the trailer and Marion not being seen in it but I don’t blame an adaptation for not being able to hide a twist from someone familiar with the source material, and I don’t think all of Gotham rioted for Bane – most people we saw were hiding, and it’s not out of the question that some would join, or that Bane would think they would, as every film in the trilogy has had the villain expecting the absolute worst from e people of Gotham whilst Batman inspires them to be better.

    My big problem with the film was that I think Batman should have been active from the start if we was going to be absent in the middle, but I was never bored so it’s a minor problem.

  12. My interpretation of Christopher Nolan’s films as being dumb or smart is that his films never make me feel like they are spoon-feeding things to me assuming that I am an idiot. His films also tend to make me feel like I’m seeing things play out in a way I’ve not seen before (Memento, The Prestige, Inception).

  13. I never read Axe Cop as cynical it just feels like having a kid tell you a story, which it is, so it should. Speaking of which, you’ve seen the Scary Smash video right? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef2wnLL1s00

  14. re: Anne Hathaway, I thought Devil Wears Prada was a good one. If you can sit and enjoy a lady movie. Meryl Streep’s fun, Stanley Tucci is as good as always (not Easy A good but good), and she’s a sympathetic lead. Her boyfriend’s that Entourage guy though so it’s hard to root for him.

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