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Wait, What? Ep. 96: Cool as Cooks

Jeff Lester

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Our first non-food podcast pic in a month and of course it’s David Aja from Marvel’s Hawkeye #1.

Graeme and I are getting dangerously close to the big #100. (Almost in time for Onomatopoeia #200!)  I feel like we should do something special but…God only knows what?

Anyway, join me behind the jump, won’t you, for show notes so you can discover what we did for this episode. (Hint: it rhymes with “balk a lout’s tonic schnooks…”)

Notes about the show:

1:00-21:09 : We jump *right* into the funny books. Seriously.  Our brains are broken by Howard Chaykin’s Black Kiss 2, and we have to talk about it.  (Spoilers: obviously). Lots of discussion ensues about discussions, genitals, and (of course) Eddie Campbell.
21:09-29:40: Talking about the possible digital sales of Black Kiss 2 leads to us talking about the No. 2 top selling comic on Comixology, Earth Two, the second wave of DC’s New 52–World’s Finest, Dial H for Hero, and G.I. Combat–as well as the upcoming third wave.
29:40-37:50:  Hawkeye #1! (see above) Graeme can and has read it; Jeff cannot and has not.  We talk about it anyway, as is our want. Graeme has some very good things to say,
37:50-58:19: Graeme has some, uh, less good things to say about Avengers Vs. X-Men #9.  We talk about the current plot, possible swerves, the nature of Emma Frost, and more.  Will Cyclops die? Should Cyclops die? And other rhetorical questions…plus proof that Jeff is bad at math.  (Among other things.)
58:19-1:35:18:  Mark Waid vs. Newsarama!  It starts as part of our conversation about the challenges of creating today (one of which is instant feedback) and then becomes its own thing about personal ethics, obligations, how malleable the Internet actually is, and understanding comics creators and commentators on the Net.  Sadly, neither of us think to pull a “Waid, What?” pun.
1:36:18-1:53:23:  And then…comics!  We discuss Darwyn Cooke’s Parker: The Score.  Graeme and I have similar reactions, but I feel like maybe we go in different directions with them.  Also, at some point, I think Graeme also coins the phrase “Princess TitsOut” while discussing European graphic albums and God do I want that phrase on a t-shirt.
1:53:23-2:07:21:   Back when I thought Black Kiss 2 would be working the crime vibe of the first series, I wanted to talk about it in relation to Cooke’s adaptation of Parker: The Score and an amazingly formatted paperback graphic novel adaptation of Donald Goines’ Daddy Cool by Donald F. Glut and Alfredo Alcala.  Fun fact: when I say on the podcast that Abhay interviewed him at a retrospective, it was actually during a promotional campaign for the book I mention on the ‘Cast–Brother Blood, the “African vampire on the Sunset Strip during the ’60s book” (That was written before Scream, Blacula, Scream).  Of course, we can’t help but being slightly sentimental about the horrible way comics ended up chopped into bits to fit into a standard paperback.
2:07:21-2:16:57: Action Comics #12.  Not really much like either The Score or Daddy Cool, but we talk about it anyway.
2:16:57-The End: Closing comments!  They come so suddenly.  Graeme mentions he has a Formspring account where he’s answering questions.  Oh, and remind me to ask Graeme about the Crackle and Frost which he doesn’t have time to tell us about this time.
You may have come across this episode hitching North on iTunes, or you may check it out here and now and right:
Wait, What? Ep. 96: Cool as Cooks
And, as always, thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy!

29 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 96: Cool as Cooks ”

  1. Re: Waid’s criticism of Newsarama.
    I didnt exactly follow the whole drama, but complaining about Newsarama being a lowest-common-denominator, pandering/trolling comics news source (Im assuming thats what people mean by ‘the new wizard’) strikes me a little like complaining that McDonalds isnt healthy.
    I mean, isnt that the point of Newsarama? I dont believe that anyone has any intentions to turn it into a hub for serious discussion. Or I am completely uninformed?

    Re: Art now has to be better.
    Its also a matter of what its competing against. Way back when an issue of Superman was only competing against other books out that month, all of which were produced under similar conditions.
    And then they had to compete with indie books. Which could have been worked on for several months.
    And with the advent of the trade paperback monthly issues needed to compete with the backlist, admittedly a trade is more expensive than a single issue.
    Nowadays, an issue of Supergirl or whatever needs to compete against the best digital has to offer, often which can be picked up for cheaper.

    Re: The Score
    Very interesting hearing the discussion about talent, ambition and its relationship to enjoyment. Would you have had a similar reaction if you didnt know Cooke spent a year on it?

  2. (Jeff don’t read this post. It’s a Marvel employee writing it!!! Boo!!)

    Just to get your and Graeme’s “the sky is always falling” motor revving: Javier Pulido is drawing issues 4 and 5.

    Also Spidey might appear at one point. A travesty!

    Marvel sucks!

    SW

  3. what a beautiful page.

  4. Speaking of trolling…er, “motor revving”?

    I thought Clark was doing the old Christopher Reeves-Superman bit where he checks to see if you’re a smoker by scanning your lungs? Of course, that still doesn’t make much sense, even in that context because presumably he’s wonders aloud if she’s been drinking or smoking because she’s acting abnormally to him. So what does he think she’s been smoking? Longbottom weed?

  5. Yes, Stephen, y’all do suck, as does your passive aggressive sarcasm, ya prick, ya.

  6. Really enjoyed the discussion of Daddy Cool. Enjoyed Alcala art and the story is wonderfully over the top, but agree the page layouts were terrible. I am pretty sure Halloway put this out, and even their straight prose books of Goines and Slim were riddled with typos and cheap paper quality.

    Fortunately, Daddy Cool and some other obscure African-American “street” fiction was reissued under Old School Books a few years back. My favorite title being “Giveadamn Brown” which has the following synopsis:

    “Unable to match firepower with the competition—Sonny, a coiffed millionaire; Baby Doll, a 300-pound Jesus freak; and Studs, a ruthless lesbian—Giveadamn devises a shrewd scheme. His secret weapon: the Golden Fleece, a fantastical machine that defies all known laws of chemistry and physics. When word of it leaks out, Harlem is never going to be the same . . . .”

    How can this not be awesome?

  7. You know, I think “Waid, What?” would be a great title for Mark’s one-man podcast.

    (Though yes, that was a bit inside for me, as one listener — but I was out on my bike on a lovely East Bay day.)

    Graeme, are you still interested in the academic research on trolling and flame wars in comments?

  8. Dan T – Definitely. Do you know of some treasure trove out there?

  9. Did you guys want Cooke to just jump ship and go with Grofield? I think Parker’s good for the first few books, but you kind of need a guy who gives a damn about stuff to keep a story going. And in this book he seemed like having so much more visual potential than Parker. Parker, when he’s not motivated by personal revenge, is pretty much just a lump in comparison.

  10. Hey Graeme,

    Thanks to the miracle of blogging software: http://www.twoangstroms.com/2012/08/07/for-graeme/

    And like I say, there’s been a lot of industry and academic interest, though I’m afraid the latter has been on very atomic aspects, and the former has been a lot of “what if” thinking and flailing. Some stuff has worked, some hasn’t, but nobody is sure of what’s generalizable. Check the paper’s footnotes for some of the big names in the field.

    Hope that helps!

  11. Gentlemen, thanks for the thoughtful and insightful discussion on Internet etiquette and civility. I can be polite and civil, but push my buttons and I can go south like Mark Waid. 9 times out of 10 I regret taking the bait. My solution has been abstinence, but that doesn’t always work, alas. Cheers!

  12. Re: Waid’s criticism of Newsarama

    Consider that Waid is investing himself heavily in Thrillbent. Consider that he just had a nice interview on NPR’s All Things Considered. He believes, rightly or wrongly, that this project is REALLY trying to move comics in a different direction visually and distribution wise. He is a “fighting revolutionary.”

    Some search stats from the ‘Rama’s internal engine:

    Thrillbent – 18 results (a good portion of these hits are ‘blurb’ stories)
    Monkeybrain – 20 results (also largely blurb stories – about one feature for both)
    Marvel – 36,600 results (this number – for whatever reason – was cut in half when I failed to capitalize it?)
    DC – 33,100 results

    Ok, so you say, “Duh. Of course this is how it is.” Yes, but it is so disproportionate that it fails to even pay some level of respect to the idea of a NEW format or frontier.

    I’m nearly certain that it enrages Waid to see day after day of Big 2 schlep all over the site. I mean, the ENTIRE background of the main page – for the longest time – was a paid ad for AvX.

    Then – thrown on top – was some backhanded trolling piece of shit multi-click slideshow that dogs a fine performance in an offhand way…of his favorite thing in history. That’s a flashpoint for a human being not MARK WAID – COMICS PROFESSIONAL.

    As the subtext of the argument became the full blast twitter fight more and more “and this always bothered me” cards get played so you can see it going downhill in that particular internet way but I think it came from a real place of frustration that a site is SEEMINGLY so content to be at the teat of the 2 and putting out hundreds of listicles while he’s struggling to go big with an idea that is very dearly held.

    As to the Cyclops thing I haven’t read any X-Men really since Whedon but I always thought Cyclops worked best as the dutiful son. And that hit for me because I was / am a dutiful son. Anything outside that has always felt a little false for me.

  13. “Then – thrown on top – was some backhanded trolling piece of shit multi-click slideshow that dogs a fine performance in an offhand way…of his favorite thing in history. That’s a flashpoint for a human being not MARK WAID – COMICS PROFESSIONAL.”

    Exactly.

  14. Hey gang,

    Enjoying the podcast, but where/when exactly did this Mark Waid thing happen?

    Also, as long as I’m here: I love Mr. Aja, but I couldn’t be happier that Mr. Pulido’s coming on board for some CLINT action as well. Everybody wins!

  15. Nevermind, everybody! I just waded(!) through 900 Waid tweets and found the kvetch-a-thon in question.

    Nobody wins!

  16. J_Smitty: I’m not sure I buy that, because ‘Rama was singled out for derision and CBR was singled out for praise; I think both are equally suckling at the teat of the Big Two (I think there’s actually a case to be made for CBR doing it far more for Marvel, in fact). I think this is where my “But that’s the INTERNET” response/frustration/defensiveness comes from, but I am as biased as anyone else, considering.

  17. Gentlemen,

    Just wanted to chime in and say that I really appreciated the conversation this week. I have no problem going “inside baseball” and liked that you two discussed the various topics in depth. Really great episode.

    Thank you,
    chris

  18. I don’t blame Mark Waid and I think we’re all on edge. Facebook, twitter, and most of the internet seem to invade near election season and everything becomes heightened. The whole Chick Fil A thing and the subsequently dumb misinformation of “Obama taking votes away from Ohio Soldiers” made me foam at the mouth a couple of times because I’m being bombarded with it via facebook when I just want to say pithy things and post pictures of kids.

    The internet is going to be a flashpoint for stupid and enraging things for a while. I think Newsarama caught the brunt end of it because it was probably the last straw in a long line of stupid things. Internet as therapy may feel fine for a while, but it is horrible when you sober up and realize it documents your bad days as well as good.

  19. In other words, I believe, because of the internet, we are all 5 internet posts/websites away from becoming Frank Grimes.

  20. And what’s wrong with Frank Grimes? His friends called him Grimey…

  21. In Mr. Wacker’s defense, he has been saying for a few weeks on twitter he’s got fill-in artists lined up for Hawkeye.

    Frank Grimes? I don’t need safety gloves, because I’m Daniel Co–

  22. @Graeme

    If you look at CBR’s search results for Thrillbent I think you’ll get an idea of why Waid takes a brighter view of that site. There are like 10 pages of mentions with multiple articles of depth.

    So, while CBR may very well play to the same tendencies as other major sites it’s clear – for Waid at least – they are much more receptive to his approach and his baby. They take him seriously whereas ‘Rama makes some internet website version of the “wank and toss” in his general direction while with the other hand they’re making traffic dragging top ten lists.

    Now, “But that’s the internet,” is definitely a coping mechanism I use to keep from wasting all my free time carping about shit. It is 100% valid. But consider that someone probably went to Waid via twitter (who likely had some level of conception as to what Newsarama is) and said, “Have you seen this fucking list dogging Chris Reeve as Superman?”

    Waid immediately starts from a place with a notion of what they are – how they’ve treated him and his work – sees how offhand and crappy that article is and IN THAT MOMENT makes a choice which seems small and (pardon the pun) BOOM!

    Pulildo’s issues of Shade recently were amazing. I really wish that those guys (Aja, Martin, Rivera, Cloonan, Staples, Graham, Stokoe, Pulido, Quitely) would go start Image 2.0 and do it European niche style. It’s gonna come out when it comes out and we’re gonna leverage social media and direct digital distribution. There may not be enough comic nerds to power the entire market but there are sure as hell enough to power that 20 – 30 person company.

  23. I recently stumbled across this article, http://www.tcj.com/a-modest-proposal-more-crap-is-what-we-need/, and was immediately reminded of Jeff and Graeme’s discussion about The Score.
    In the article Kim Thompson argues that well done genre comics are a necessary middle-ground between super highbrow stuff (Chris Ware, Peter Bagge) and super low brow stuff (most big two comics for the most part).
    Perhaps its part of how The Parker books are marketed. Whenever a new one comes out its heralded some of the best the medium has to offer. Perhaps if theyre were more book similar to it, we wouldnt hold it up to such an amazing standard and we could enjoy it for the very good book it is. :\

    @J_Smitty: personally I’d rather see Image be something that can facilitate those guys rather than them having to start their own company.

  24. Re: Waid Vs. Newsarama

    I definitely agree that he’s biased and that the “in the pocket” bit was silly, given how Marvel & CBR are just waiting for the right to marry. ;)

    But his point about how low Newsarama has sunk rings very true. The turn started just before Matt Brady left, as more of the day-to-day responsibilities began to change hands. More flash, less substance. More click-whoring, less of an effort to disguise it. There are still plenty of good contributions and good contributors (present company and my old friends on Best Shots, for instance), but the root of the problem starts far closer to the top. I’ve detailed my own problems about a site editor that killed negative reviews while pitching to that publisher and no one has relayed any similar experiences elsewhere.

  25. Well I I’ve been listening to this fine podcast for quite a while, and while there have been some topics I wanted to comment on my natural laziness coupled with my, still, unsure grasp of the English language, made me stay my hand. However, seen as Parker: The Martini Edition is probably the most beautiful thing on my shelves I feel necessary to “defend” its honor against your smack-talking ways (I have not yet read The Score, my comments are about The Parker adaptation as a whole and the nature of adoptive works and in general):

    It’s really really hard to make a great work of entertainment; about as hard as making a great piece of Art. Think of these rare moment in cinema in which something which is almost entirely bereft of any added value besides “fun” – your Indiana Jones, Star Wars (original), Robin Hood (Errol Flynn version), Die Hard… These works have no artistic merits in the way usually attributed by your average Lit professors, but by the sheer value of their craft, by sucking us from our world into theirs, by the momentum of their being – they transcend their place as “lowly” entertainment. It’s not easy – as evidenced by the many thousands of cheap clones and awful rip-offs; Sturgeon’s law may claim that 90 percent of everything is crap, but law for action / adventure movies seems to say that of the rest 10% nine are absolutely forgettable medium-range stuff, you’ve only got about one percent good stuff.

    … And this is the Parker comics for me. It is not just something which is fun, it is a totalizing experience, I read it and I get hooked in. Sure it has about as much artistic ambition as Status-Quo Man #764 (that is – Status Quo-Man is excepted to follow a character formula laid back 60 years ago and Parker to be loyal to the original books), but it is simply so much better at it.

    There is, also, the matter of perspective-Yesterday’s disposables is tomorrow’s treasure. Arthur Conan Doyle just wanted to make some quick money to help him succeed with his serious work, but it is Sherlock Holmes we remember and admire. Poe, Hitchcock, Kirby. All of them were considered at their time as cheap entertainers, they stories, at beast, as well made potboilers for the common man. I’m not saying that necessarily Cook is goanna be viewed on the same level as these people, but to say that his talent exceeds his reach simply because he’s not trying to be David Foster Wallace is, to me, to miss the wide variety that this world offers to us: I’ve got Infinite Jest sandwiched between the Complete Holms and The Illuminatus! Trilogy and I love them all for their own being: would I like more Infinite Jest-esq works? Sure, It’s probably my favorite book; but I wouldn’t want Jasper Fford to write one simply because he’s a writer that I like.

  26. I think the Dynamite Black Kiss hardcover is SUPPOSED to have the title on the spine. If you stare really hard at it, there’s a tiny white TM floating in the middle of the spine, just past the center, presumably at the end of where the title would have been. Looks like it dropped out at some point and no one noticed until it had been printed.

  27. Great episode as ever. Do I get a waffle for calling the Captain Comet thing with Action Comics #11?

    http://dangermart.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/action-comics-11-review.html

    Oh go on …

  28. @Mart: Yes, a great call! Your no-waffle is in the mail!

  29. As captivating a podcast as ever there was as usual!

    I don’t know though, I mean I’m probably misinterpreting the signals here or it’s some kind of cultural failure of communication but, and I could be wrong here, it sounded like, at the risk of leaping to conclusions, it appeared like neither of you enjoyed BLACK KISS 2! Bizarre!

    Cheers for the chattery!

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