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Wait, What? Ep. 97: How soon is NOW

Jeff Lester

Just listen.  Trust me.

Episode 97! We are getting very, very close to the triple digits!  And, as you can see with the show notes after the jump, we are still capable of bringing the high weirdness.

(After the jump: Hi, Weirdness!)

So, right.  Show notes.  You are still digging these, I hope?  Because they do add a bit of extra duty to my editing chores…

1:04-2:45: All apologies:  Jeff is late, Graeme is behind.
2:45-13:30: But we are once again quick to start talking comics–more particularly, The Essential Incredible Hulk volumes and the art of Herb Trimpe.  We also talk Hulk and the crucial Harvey character that Jeff can’t seem to remember.
13:30-38:39: And since we are talking old comics, Jeff brings up the curious case of Aquaman #56 (1971).  He was able to explode Graeme’s mind with this story; hopefully, he can explode yours as well.  (There’s also a harbinger of our tech problems to come in the middle of this.)  Also included: words of praise for the mighty Jim Aparo and frustrations about accessing reprints.
38:39-43:30:  On to other comics!  Jeff talks highly of Double Barrel #3 (Master of Feng-Shui!), Amelia Cole #2 (story by Adam Knave!), and Archie #635 (art by Gisele!).
43:30-48:08: Also discussed:  The 64 page 2000 AD sampler (partially read, partially too-completely discussed) and our hopes for their offerings as they leap into the digital marketplace.
48:08-55:34: Unsurprisingly, this leads to talk of Dredd as Graeme has recently read a span of Judge Dredd and tells us about it.  How is Judge Dredd like the silver-age Superman?
55:34-58:33:  And somehow I work in Spider-Man, X-Men, and the near-impossibility of reading every appearance of a superhero character. I assure you it organically flows into our discussion of…
58:33-1:04:34: Miss Thing and the Marvel NOW! announcements.  Graeme makes his picks; Jeff suggests that the Fantastic Four are done with.
1:04:34-1:10:49: And why should that be, exactly?  The answer might lie in a very different area than is typically discussed.  Belated props are given, btw, to Jonathan Hickman and we also mention the Waid and Wieringo run.
1:10:49-1:25:59: Speaking of which, Graeme has been re-reading Waid and Kitson’s Legion of Super-Heroes book. Also Waid-related: his recent Four Panels That Never Work  about which we (incorrectly, apparently) assume the worst.  But on the plus side, Jeff hypes vol. 13 of Bakuman which is god-damned delightful and highly recommended.
1:25:59-1:37:58: And then, even though Jeff tries to talk about the new Archer and Armstrong reboot from Valiant, we talk about the second Walking Dead lawsuit between Tony Moore and Robert Kirkman about which…hoo boy.
1:37:58-1:41:13: No, we weren’t done talking about the lawsuit, but Skype or Jeff’s microphone just up and gave up on us.  It takes a minute or two for us to get back into our groove.
1:41:13-1:49:10: Like, Joss Whedon and his exclusive deal with Marvel? Hell yes, we’ll talk about that!
1:49:10-1:52:39: Oh, and Archer and Armstrong?  Jeff does get around to talking about it.  Graeme has some good things to say about other books in the Valiant reboot: the new Harbinger and the new Bloodshot.
1:52:39-1:55:08: Also, Becky Cloonan on Batman #12 is a little bit of all right.
1:55:08-1:58:42: Also, Jeff picked up G0dland, Book Thirty-Six from the other week and found it (and we quote) “Kirby as fuck.”  Tom Scioli does tremendous work,Joe Casey ups his game, and Skype (or Jeff’s microphone) shits the bed.  (Due to the number of awesome double-page spreads in G0dland, Jeff recommends you do not pick this up in digital.)
1:58:42-end:  Graeme has a closing question!  Also, next week is our skip week…so we will be back two weeks from now.
And, well, there you have it, eh?  I’m a little exhausted at the moment so lemme just point you to  the direct link in case you don’t have access to our feed on iTunes:
Wait, What? Ep. 97: How Soon is NOW
And, as always, we hope you enjoy!

45 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 97: How soon is NOW ”

  1. Dude! Those show notes look like crazy amounts of work! Don’t put yourself through it. I don’t need the extra details… just gimme the highlights. It’s like reading a recap before actually listening to the episode instead of a tasty teaser. Unless, of course, you *love* doing the show notes because it satisfies some primal urge you have – in which case – have at it!

  2. I enjoyed the brainwire crossing that led to Mr. Lester confusing the horrific Little Lotta with stage legend and Rosa Klebb portrayer Lotte Lenya.

  3. I had a similar reaction to the MARVEL NOW (WELL, NOT QUITE “NOW” EXACTLY BUT HERE’S A PRESS RELEASE) announcement, digging the Allred Lil’ Miss Thing Armour Wars cosplay or whatever that is part of it but turned off by the new character being a one of those girls that still competes on that Toddlers in Tiaras show despite being in here 20s.
    I agree in part too with the assessment of the Fantastic Four books, even with Hickman’s relaunch bringing in the dollar-votes, the Fantastic Four has always seemed like this odd group that keeps turning up at the party and huddling in the corner before leaving early and rudely. I don’t really know what they are, Spider-man I get- there’s a damn strong concept going with him that has allowed Marvel to throw the character into the 1920s and the 2090s while remaining true to concept. I get Iron Man, I get the Hulk, I get Spidey and Cap. I don’t get the Fantastic Four and that the definitive run showing who these characters are and what they are about ended in 1970 does not say much for the last forty-two years of Fantastic Four issues.
    To me the situation with the Fantastic Four looks to similar to that of the Simpsons, where it launched right into a golden period that has not been replicated yet while the story becomes ever further removed from the original family dynamic only cutting back for yet another “Marge considers divorcing Homer but remembers that she’s still contracted to be in this marriage another twenty seasons” story. For both those franchises I think they just need to cut away at the excess, stop the stories about Moe and She Hulk finding love and get back to that family core. There’s a lot of material in everyday family life, and the Fantastic Four are a family whose everyday life is often out of this very dimension.

  4. The Dredd discussion echoed a lot of thoughts Ive had about ongoing serial characters. Doctor Who (at least the seasons Ive seen) seem to work similarly to the Silver-Age Superman model you guys talked about. I also just started reading Dredd and Dredd is awesome, I encourage you guys to talk about it more on the podcast.

    Funnily enough the first time I tried 2000ad I simply didnt get it. I bought 5 issues at once (thats how my store sells them) and I still got to the end and was cold on the lot of it. Didnt even occur to me to go back and read all the Dredd strips at once, then the Shakara strip, etc.
    But reading Judge Dredd Complete Case Files 5 made me an instant convert. Havn’t gone back to trying out singles of 2000ad yet though. Not that Ive read any other Dredd (outside of those 5 random issues) but I recommend this volume to anyone who wants to jump on the bus.

    Jeff describing that Aquaman issue actually felt like a complete story in itself. I actually got a little emotional when he started talking the cop who started to lose his vision. What the hell is wrong with me?! Also maybe Jeff should take over from Tom Katers on Tom vs. Aquaman?

  5. Dave shared my sentiments about the Crusader’s tragedy with that Aquaman issue.

    Not sure if you guys read this, but the Times posted an article on how Herb Trimpe was treated by Marvel in the ’90s. It’s such a depressing turn of events.

  6. Oh my god I need to read that Aquaman story.

  7. Mr. McMillan,

    As someone who has teased you (all in fun, of course) about the “depressing” thing in the past, it has more to do with thesaurus-related issues than there not being enough things in the world to get depressed about.

    Why, only a few moments ago I noticed the word appear in a blog@ thing about a Daredevil movie not getting made! Actually, no, it’s about it not getting made at a particular studio! I mean, however you feel about that, it’s nothing to get depressed about!

    There are other words, is my point. And I suspect the point of others.

    In other news, I enjoyed the podcast as always but thought the Fantastic Four talk was nonsense. I’m not sure what else to say about it, especially as I’ve been one of those people who has enjoyed fully and without reservation the Jonathan Hickman iteration, but I feel the series is more primed with possibilities now than it has ever been.

    Aside from Leekirbyblahblahduh.

  8. I hate to say it, but you guys are misreading the Moore/Kirkman lawsuit as far as what Image actually refused to turn over. It wasn’t the accounting for Moore’s work or about the tv series. Moore’s lawyers wanted all documentation about Kirkman’s involvement at Image, most of which has nothing to do with Moore and is likely confidential to the company. It’s called fishing.

    But it’s weird you guys assume Kirkman is in the wrong here simply because he’s successful. When issue 7 of Walking Dead came out, he sure wasn’t.

  9. @Ed: Wait, so you’re saying we’re misreading the lawsuit *deliberately* in order to assume Kirkman is in the wrong here?

    Because if we are misreading the lawsuit (and I’m just the guy who it’s being told to, mind you, so I’m literally not reading anything), then wouldn’t it make sense we were assuming Kirkman was in the wrong because of, you know, that stuff we were incorrect about?

    Because if someone is cheating someone else out of a contract then I think it’s commonly accepted that they’re in the wrong, whether or not they’re successful. Yeah?

  10. Commenting quickly on an early part of the podcast w/o listening through (though I don’t think this violates any Internet Traditions).

    Some early comments around the Aquaman in Detroit and Batman making eternal daylight for some reason gave me a vision to pitch: Peter Parker Goes to Miami.

    No, wait, hear me out. Peter has an elderly relative who may, as New Yorkers are known to do, get tired of the winters. So maybe Aunt May travels down to Miami to feel what it’d be like to be a snowbird. Peter, who’s never lived w/o May, goes with her, fretting how this might change his life and wondering how anyone can leave New York City.

    But here’s the kicker: it’s Carl Hiaasen’s Miami. (Though I know most writers would go for the stereotypical CSI or Miami Vice-style Miami.) Instead of villains, there are grifters, daily corruption, and just nuts. How would Peter deal with the lazy pace, compared to hustling NYC? How would Spiderman deal with no skyscrapers to swing from and wide streets (I’ve often wondered how Batman would patrol L.A.)? Peter could make professional visits to local papers and run into analogues for Dave Barry, Edna Buchanan.

    This is just for a visit, of course. Maybe an issue or three.

  11. Ed – You don’t have to hate to tell me I’m wrong; if I’m misreading, then I want to know (as much as I may hate knowing, etc.).

    As far as assuming that Kirkman’s in the wrong – for me, at least, it has far less to do with his success (although that does play into it, in some way – Maybe I am just a sucker for the underdog narrative?) than the countersuit and my general disbelief that Moore doesn’t deserve co-authorship credit in TWD and other properties. But I’ve not seen any Kirkman scripts ever, so for all I know they were hyper-detailed in terms of visual information, and Moore really was just translating very precise instructions onto the page – I’m just going on what little TWD and background material from the collected editions that I’ve seen, which seemed to suggest that Moore brought a lot to the finished product in terms of tone and atmosphere.

    Going on past experience, it’s likely I’m being led by my biases, but this is why I’m a loudmouth on the internet and not the kind of judge or jury who gets to decide these things in courts.

  12. Jeff – I didn’t say deliberately. But all the reporting on the new filing made it clear it was these additional documents they wanted. Kirkman couldn’t have counter sued for overpayment if he wasn’t willing to show his accounting.

  13. Hey Jeff!

    Mr. Brubaker never used the word “deliberately” (which makes it weird that you put those asterisks around it), and I feel like it’s disingenuous that you’re acting like you don’t know what he means. We tend to root for the underdog and lay the blame on the guys walking away with loads of cash. It’s a natural thing to do — particularly pinkos like yourself and myself and probably Ed’s self.

    But the whole “Why don’t millionaires just give away some of their millions?!?” argument is pretty naive, particularly with the byzantine contracts these guys tend to be involved in. There’s a reason why people hire lawyers, and those people include Mr. Moore.

    Point being, it’s fair game for Mr. Brubaker to suggest that it’s more complicated than your discussion with Graeme suggests.

  14. That’s exactly what I’m suggesting, that it’s a complicated issue based on decisions two young guys made around the time of Walking Dead #6 coming out, like 8 years ago, before either was wealthy (and they both are).

    I’ll be curious to see how this case turns out, but I’m not making assumptions about how deserves what, because I wasn’t there, and I haven’t read the contract they both agreed to and signed back then.

  15. Whenever a writer makes the claim that his artist isn’t a co-creator or equal partner, I always suggest this thought experiment: imagine what happens to The Walking Dead when Robert Kirkman tries to draw it, too.

    “In a way, MS Paint Squiggle, it’s almost like WE’RE the walking dead.”

  16. And I really don’t buy the whole “ehhhh, it’s complicated, and besides, TWD wasn’t a huge hit back then” line that’s sorta-kinda being advanced by Ed here. The degree to which TWD became successful after issue 6 is no more relevant to what role Tony Moore played in its creation than the degree to which the X-Men became successful after issue 11 is relevant to what role Kirby played in their creation. It’s a bizarre rhetorical feint, one that first relies on separating the artist – the one who does the vast majority of work in comic production – from the creation of a comic, and then plays a shell game involving subjective definitions of “success.” The bottom line is that these properties wouldn’t be what they are today – and quite possibly wouldn’t exist – without the input of their artistic co-creators, and those co-creators deserve a fair share of the profits.

  17. Before you put words in my mouth, why don’t you put them in their actual context? I took issue with what I felt was Jeff and Graeme’s assumption that Kirkman is automatically in the wrong because he’s rich, and I pointed out that when these contracts were signed, neither of these guys was rich. That was my entire point.

    And you’re making an assumption, too, that Moore isn’t getting a fair share. His own lawsuit states that he gets 60 percent of the profit from the best-selling GN since Watchmen, and 20 percent of the media.

  18. What does their being rich or not rich when the contracts were signed have to do with anything? And in making the suggestion that Jeff and Graeme assume that “Kirkman is automatically in the wrong because he’s rich,” you’re the one that’s putting words in people’s mouths.

    And of course Moore’s not getting a fair share. If he’s the co-creator of The Walking Dead – which he is – then he deserves a hell of a lot more than royalties from the first trade.

  19. Have you actually listened to the podcast? Because that’s pretty much exactly what they say. An incorrect reading of part of the new lawsuit, followed by an assumption that Kirkman and Image refused to show accounting documents (which isn’t the case) followed by a lot of “boy I guess when you get rich you just become a douche” comments.

    That was the sole reason I commented.

  20. “Have you actually listened to the podcast? Because that’s pretty much exactly what they say.”

    No, that’s not what they say. They talk about the lawsuit, they talk about how it sure seems like Robert Kirkman is acting like a douchebag, and as an afterthought, in what takes up about twenty seconds of a pretty lengthy conversation, they remark on how turning rich seems to turn people into dicks. That’s a pretty far fucking cry from “assuming that Kirkman is automatically in the wrong because he’s rich.”

  21. As an aside, there needs to be a term for describing when a complete stranger you used to assume was a normal human being swoops down upon the internet full of prickly defensiveness and misplaced outrage. I suggest “to wacker,” as in “I used to think that writer was a normal guy, but then he wackered all over the Wait, What? comment section, and it just weirded me out.”

  22. Dude, I’m actually friends with Jeff Lester, in real life.

    And sorry if I get prickly when you suggest I’m somehow not in favor of creators rights when that wasn’t what I was talking about.

  23. That’s right, you weren’t talking about creators’ rights, you were going off on a weird and pedantic tear in which you took the podcasters’ words out of context in order to turn this into a conversation about – what? I can’t even tell anymore. About whether Jeff and Graeme are being insufficiently respectful of rich people, and of Robert Kirkman, in his capacity as a rich person, in particular? And honestly, I don’t care if you’re Jeff’s long-lost twin brother, you’re misconstruing what they said in a way that seems pretty trollish to me.

    Anyway, there’s a very interesting conversation to be had here about what “creators’ rights” means at this point, when companies and creators who claim to support creators’ rights end up exploiting other creators in much the same fashion that the traditional creator-oppressing companies have done – it suggests to me, at the very least, that the standard definition of “creators’ rights,” or at the very least the definition that would allow a writer to claim full credit for creating a comic while forcing his artistic collaborator into the role of hired hand, is far too narrow to withstand any meaningful scrutiny.

  24. Actually, that’s not at all what I did. I pointed out, to a friend, a factual error on his part in his podcast, which I felt had led to some incorrect and weird assumptions.

    If my initial post looks like a pedantic tear to you somehow, I’m at a loss. It seems fairly reasonable and short to me.

  25. Kids, kids, as far as daddy’s concerned, you’re BOTH potential murderers.

  26. “But it’s weird you guys assume Kirkman is in the wrong here simply because he’s successful. When issue 7 of Walking Dead came out, he sure wasn’t.”

    “that it’s a complicated issue based on decisions two young guys made around the time of Walking Dead #6 coming out, like 8 years ago”

    Issue 6 and 7?

    Paragraph 2 of the most recent Moore lawsuit alleges Moore was fraudulently persuaded to enter into the Assignment and Release Agreement, assigning his copyright interests away to Kirkman, in September 2005. Walking Dead launched in, what, 2003 sometime– comicbookdb puts an August 2005 issue as issue #21.

    What am I missing?

    “It wasn’t the accounting for Moore’s work or about the tv series. Moore’s lawyers wanted all documentation about Kirkman’s involvement at Image, most of which has nothing to do with Moore and is likely confidential to the company. It’s called fishing”

    But see paragraph 36 of the initial filing which alleges that Kirkman allocated compensation as “3rd party services income for the sole and wrongful purpose of avoiding Royalty Obligations.” Image’s docs would potentially be relevant to those allegations– plus, the standard of relevance in discovery is anything that mighty lead to the discovery of admissible evidence; i.e. discovery is broadly favored.

    Hollywood Reporter suggests Image tried to limit its document production to only the comics drawn by Moore– that obviously seems overly narrow given the damage allegations, but … maybe that was misreported.

    Confidentiality concerns could be resolved by a routine protective order.

    And I surely don’t know why Tony Moore should trust a company which Robert Kirkman has a partnership interest in to define what constitutes “fishing.”

  27. The Walking Dead case is a tough one to talk about since so little of it is public except Moore’s two complaints and a few public statements. As far as I can tell, Kirkman’s countersuit was never even reported when it was filed, and the only information about it and the subpoena to Image available are the mentions in the Hollywood Reporter article.

    But baseless speculation can be fun…

    I think Brubaker is right, it is a fishing expedition. But I think it’s justified. From Moore’s lawyers’ perspective, this guy who isn’t properly reporting income to their client, and who they’re told is a “proud liar and fraudster” (I do love that line), became a partner and CEO of the publishing company a few years ago. Wouldn’t you be curious if his CEO position came with pay and bonuses related to income from Tony Moore’s work, which reduces the “net proceeds” used to calculate Moore’s share? Not saying that Kirkman is doing that, but it would be an obvious way to cook the books if he was so inclined. I’m sure they’re also curious if his fee for writing episodes of the TV show (which he keeps 100%) is out of line with industry standards, to compensate for lower than standard option fees for the rights (which he has to pay 20% to Moore).

    Regarding the idea of either the writer or artist as the sole creator of a collaborative comic book, I think there are cases where that makes sense, but the default is obviously a co-creation, and if that’s not the case then in this day and age everyone should know to get it in writing before the work starts. If Kirkman can’t produce a piece of paper signed before Moore began working on the series outlining what rights he was buying and what compensation he was offering (upfront and backend) than I don’t think he should be claiming to be the sole creator.

  28. You had me until you lost me with that podcast!
    I just don’t understand why you think Image looks so bad in the Moore/Kirkman lawsuits. Ed Brubaker seems to have done a fair explanation, but listening to it I couldn’t understand why you would think they should hand their books over to him. He signed a contract giving up ownership of the books to Kirkman, so any deal with Image would be with Kirkman – and thus, whether he is a partner or not, they are taking the pro-creator stance by refusing to hand accounting over. That’s not fucking Moore over, they just don’t have any business relationship with him, and he’s suing someone they do have one with.
    Imagine if Marvel sued, picking a creator at random, James Stokoe, and Image handed accounting over to help the Marvel case – you’d rightly scream bloody murder.

    I’m also going to jump on the ‘why do you assume Kirkman is wrong?’ bandwagon. He’s not the one going to Federal court to get out of a contract he willingly signed, because there’s more money involved than he originally thought (which following that thought leads you to “because Kirkman continued to develop the property after he signed the contracts”.) Don’t get me wrong, if Kirkman is cooking the books/hiding the books, fair play to Moore.
    On a gut level I guess I side with Kirkman, mainly due to the language in the second lawsuit – the whole “proud fraudster” thing seems juvenile, especially as he doesn’t have a rep for doing that, and it feels like Moore is trying to state that Kirkman has only “succeeded” because of him. (Mind you, choosing sides only happened for me whilst listening to this podcast).

    Following on, why shit on the Image partners so much? They’ve been right pricks at times, and they’ve had their share of dud books – but so has everyone else in comics.
    You say that anytime Image gets some steam, the partners want to revitalise their lines and kill it, but that’s not really true. Heck, the partners revitalising their lines has helped develop plenty of talent, by giving them paying jobs, and getting their names out there – Lee gave work to and introduced many top artists in the industry, plus he let Warren Ellis go wild (among many others), McFarlene gave work to and Bendis before he was anywhere else, Valentino doesn’t seem to do much except develop talent, Liefeld just relaunched his line – and that’s introduced a stella line up of talent into the comic readers consciousness – and you can talk about Kirkman being a money bags, but he does put it back into comics. Heck, I think Jason Aaron is the only one of the Marvel architects to have not made their name at Image in the past decade.
    Image didn’t have to become the company it is now – that took work on behalf of the partners. Kirkman was mocked for a vision of comics/image he had a few years ago, but now in 2012, it seems like it was inevitable.
    (Again, I’m only feeling this way about them due to the pile-on you guys had!)

    And this probably only irked me because I was in a hypercritical frame of mind after that, but what choice does Whedon have but to sign an exclusive with Marvel?
    He’s not Chris Nolan, he doesn’t really have buzz, nor a string of critical hits. His involvement in something doesn’t seem to guarantee it’s success. He’s been dicked over plenty of times, but he’s shown he is more than capable of flopping on his own. Fox screwed Firefly, but you can’t blame them for the film being bad and a flop. Is there anyone else to blame for Buffy limping by it’s latter seasons – and if that is someone else’s fault, Season 8 was on him. He complains about others screwing up Alien 4, but there’s nothing redeeming in his script – it’s as bad as every other element in the film. Dollhouse failed on it’s own. I was happy they signed him on to Avengers, and he did a top job, but he’s not solely responsible for it’s box office success, and the second film could do just as well without him
    I don’t see a shame in him signing with Marvel – it’s probably the best thing for his career.

  29. Oy, the vitriol.

    Alpha: As president of the Garcia-Lopez appreciation society (sister chapter to the HOWARD VICTOR CHAYKIN app soc.) I can only say – “Yes, Bravo, Atari Force in all our primary schools.”

    Beta: I will let more lawyer-ish heads be all paragraph seven. For my part, how you define authorship of a serialized property in which the co-creator workload is so one sided (Kirkman 94 Moore 6) is very, very tricky and susceptible to a lot of personal bias and perspective. That’s why “the law and society” but for my piece I think it’s bullshit to give even more credit to a guy who created six issues worth of content. When does anything become what it currently is? First issue? When Michonne shows up? The prison? The 70 or so best selling issues since then?

    In my mind, that’s why Kirkman counter-sued for over paying Moore. He wants to reduce – in the eyes of the courts and public opinion – Moore’s role to a dollar figure. What would the initial cut page rate be for six issues of a creator owned Image comic? There, that’s what you’re worth, man. I’m not saying I agree with that – especially if you’re going with the term co-creator from the jump – but there it is. Reduce it to a dollar figure that small and by contrast Kirkman’s previous settlement and signed agreement with Moore seems almost stupidly generous. So much so that I was slapping my head when you guys were talking about Kirkman as “greedy monopoly guy.” Tony Moore is probably getting more money (and more all the time) than you or I will ever make for spit balling a REALLY basic idea and drawing six issues of it. Who’s greedy?

    Gamma: I think it would be GREAT to shutter the Fantastic Four as an ongoing. Stick Ben in Guardians of the Galaxy. Partner Johnny with Spider-Man full time. Let Reed and Sue anchor the Future Foundation. Once a year you publish a Fantastic Four annual where you bring the family back together for a nice adventure, Christmas dinner, or something. The truth about families is that you grow up and leave them.

    Delta: Speaking of letting characters grow as Dredd has by involving them with different things?

    Epsilon: Joss’ deal is a good one because it’s three years. In these three years he can do pretty much no wrong and he can help a lot of friends while he helps hismelf. When you listen to people who work around Joss and for him it’s pretty uniformly glowing. “Why can’t people trot off with their millions and live happily?” Seems like he’s doing it and doing what he wants for a reasonable period of time.

    Zeta: Thanks, as ever for a good podcast. I don’t think you’re depressed Graeme, you’re just very surrounded by a business that’s flailing – succeeding wildly in some areas and failing miserably in others. Confusion and mixed feelings abound.

  30. Reading these responses is difficult for me since i hate both moose n’ squirrel and ed brubaker.

  31. OMEGA: J_Smitty_, you can sign me up for the Garcia-Lopez Appreciation Society. I think that DC Comics Presents #24 is about the best Superman story of the 80s, and I would buy the hell out of a model sheet/merchandise art book. CHIP KIDD ARE YOU LISTENING?!

    And Mister Jeff Lester: I was the nameless comment writer extolling the Englehart run on Hulk, especially the MODOK and ‘Betty as the Harpy’ run. I don’t bring that up to name-check myself, or because I love Herb Trimpe (and I do!), but because I read those issues (Hulk #167-170!) as part of Mavel Treasury #26 http://www.treasurycomics.com/gallery/galleryMARVELtreasury7781.htm#m26 which my parents got for me (wait for it…!) when I was home sick!

    So yes, I too got comics when I was sick, and each of those issues is seared into my brain. I also always got the offbeat stuff like Weird War of the remaining Charlton books of the day.

    Quick story: when I was about ten I ended up in the hospital for a couple weeks for reasons nobody explained to me. Not very calming to a terrified ten year old. I knew things were bad when the principal of me elementary school came by. And what did he bring me…? GHOSTS #82! http://www.comics.org/issue/33819/cover/4/ Freaked me the hell out. On the plus side, he also bought me FF #211 http://www.comics.org/issue/33760/cover/4/ so I’ve always had a soft spot for Terrax, and just about sprung for the Bowen bust a few years back.


  32. and thanks for The Smiths reference guys.

  33. “I couldn’t understand why you would think they should hand their books over to him”

    They’re resisting a legitimate-sounding subpoena in order to benefit one of their partners to the expense of a creator with whom they worked, and at least according to media reports, doing so by taking aggressive positions that disregard Moore’s claims and diminish his contributions. This wasn’t a favor Moore was asking– there’s a subpoena out there; third parties have to respond to those unless they have pretty great reasons.

    Here, the explanations provided here about why they’re resisting all sound extremely weak. Their relevancy arguments would seem to ignore the full extent of Moore’s damages claims; plus, keep in mind, the standards of discovery in California are extremely broad– anything that is “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence” is relevant; i.e. a document doesn’t have to be relevant– if it might LEAD to a relevant document, a person has to produce it. Confidentiality concerns are easily resolvable, in any number of ways.

    “contract he willingly signed”

    Moore is claiming he was fraudulently induced to sign one of the key agreements. You can’t “willingly sign” something after you’ve been defrauded– your ability to do anything willingly has been taken from you by the defrauder.

  34. @moose n squirrel: Dial back the indignation just a few notches there, sir – I really don’t feel as if Ed is trolling just because he disagrees with what Jeff and I said/thought; disagreement isn’t trolling, after all (Otherwise, the internet would be a much more ridiculous, uncomfortable place). By the time you’re describing his comments as “a pedantic tear,” I think you’re misrepresenting his words as much as you feel he was misrepresenting ours.

    (As to whether or not we were being misrepresented – I’m unsure, to be honest; at first I felt as much, but on reflection, I’m not sure. Argh, to have mental clarity, it would be a fine thing.)

    @Ed: I’ve possibly totally misread/misunderstood, but I thought that Moore was suing in part because his contract says that he gets the 60%/20% royalties but he has not actually been paid the full amount owed, which suggests to me that the financial records *aren’t* available in full. But, as ever, I’m on the sidelines/of weak mental capacity when it comes to legal stuff, so there’s every possibility I’m wrong here.

    @Everyone else suggesting that Jeff and I are jumping to conclusions in thinking Kirkman is in the wrong/Moore isn’t just being greedy: …Maybe? I don’t know. Abhay is doing a far better job of explaining why I feel that Kirkman isn’t in the right here than I could at the moment, TBH.

  35. Oh man. It seems to me that Kirkman’s lawyers are taking the very reasonable step of bullying the party with the least resources.
    The countersuit seems an obvious followthrough to promised reprisals, i.e. sue us and I will countersue be happy you’re getting paid at all yadda yadda yadda.

    Of course, as my wife (a lawyer) pointed out, the countersuit could turn out to bite them in the ass. The threat of a countersuit is one thing, but once it doesn’t work following through on the filing is another thing. Because now, both parties are officially on record as disagreeing with the language and payment structure. That would seem to indicate that a general re-opening of the agreement is warranted. And as everyone knows, that property has turned out to be worth many times what it was valued when the agreement was drafted. So it would seem to benefit Moore to have it revisited.

    There are protections against signing away of assets, even when done knowingly.People think that a contract is legally viable just because they have a signature. Many of these measures are done to keep employees from losing income after signing away damages or income through conditional signing. Like when marvel employees signed away rights on contracts attached to their paychecks. That likely wouldn’t stand in court. If Moore is attesting he was coerced or tricked in this manner, likely some of these protections could extend to him. I’d be interested to know the corporate structure of Kirkman’s holdings LLC, which was a very in vogue way of structuring IP holdings even then. Were they both employees of his company? We’ll see.

    In that spirit, discovery is, can I say it, pro forma. It is fishing, the legally allowed and often fruitful method. Hence, discovery. And resisting the subpoena seems like big business stalling of a very common sort, designed to prolong the experience and deplete the claimants resources.

    I’m sure I have said many things which make it quite clear I am not an attorney, gotta love having one in the comments already.

    I find it interesting on many levels what Ed had to say. There is plenty to think about given his position. But I think the knee-jerk defensiveness can only serve to deprive us of his perspective. I would like to hear Sean Phillip’s reaction, you know?

    I think it takes some balls to wander into our corner of the internet, we’re not very nice…

  36. @Abhay – If the subpoena is legit, doesn’t that mean they have to hand it over? It’s a legal risk not to, isn’t it? Are they definetly ignoring the subpoena because Kirkman is a partner, not because he is a creator they have worked with? From the way it looks, Moore didn’t have much contact with Image at all until this point.

    As for the fraud in the contract… that depends if there is. Was it mentioned in the first lawsuit, or has it come out since? Why do we jump to the conclusion it happened because Moroe says so – I’m unaware of Kirkman having a rep for being a fraudster, so it seems weird to accept it’s true because someone who was suing him says so.
    (As I said, I’ve no dog in this race, I was just shocked by the level of anti-Kirkman, anti-Image talk, because one person says they were lied to when they signed a contract. If Kirkman lied, then yeah, sod him, it just seems weird he’d commit fraud to get a property that wasn’t really worth anything at that point).

    @Graeme – I still don’t understand the pile on Kirkman. Abhay is making sense of the lawsuit and what it means, but it’s still all based on what one party is saying about the other. Has Kirkman been kicking kids at every con he goes to and I just haven’t heard about it? Why assume he is in the wrong, and so in the wrong at that?
    I’m all down for hating on the rich and cheering for the underdog, it’s just it’s hard to see Kirkman as ‘THE MAN’ – just because he’s had success doesn’t make him Marvel. He made any money he has through hard work across the past decade – he may have had the highest selling comic in a long time, but he’s not that big, it’s the market that got small!
    If Moore wins, will he become a bad guy once he has his own Walking Dead tv show, something his lawyer says is “a definite possibility”?
    Kirkman is counter-suing, but is that a sign he’s in the wrong? Maybe Moore is a pain-in-the-ass on a regular basis, so he’s taking his shot to get out of having to deal with him? Moore’s lawsuit certainly seems to imply that Kirkman has done very little to acheive his success, maybe he’s resentful? Contract or not, why would he want Moore getting money at this point?
    I don’t know, maybe he is just a big prick, defrauding people into signing contracts then refusing to honour those contracts, but I’m not seeing him as having done anything to deserve removing the benefit of the doubt.

  37. I’m sorry– I don’t really understand what you’re asking.

    “I’m unaware of Kirkman having a rep for being a fraudster”

    People’s reputations among their peers in any kind of “show business” industry, are usually obscured from the public, especially the more successful they become. (Recommended: the Onion’s interview with Bronson Pinchot).

  38. Please don’t feed the moose n squirrel.

  39. “People’s reputations among their peers in any kind of “show business” industry, are usually obscured from the public, especially the more successful they become. (Recommended: the Onion’s interview with Bronson Pinchot)”

    Good interview, Abhay but that feels very misplaced.

    While we’re kinda talking about what other people in the business say about Kirkman we’re really talking about what the combined perception of Kirkman’s reputation is at large.

    It’s like MacFarlane or Lee or Liefeld. Moore or Morrison for that matter. Everybody’s got an opinion on the big dogs built on interviews and bodies of “work.” Arguably, Kirkman’s had more success than any peer in the last 20 years or at least since the bust.

    So outside of this lawsuit from some guy jettisoned on issue 6 of a 100 issue series where’s the rest of the negative press so common to other big names in comics? Where are the horror stories about punching Dan Fraga in front of his 12 year old nephew or whatever?

    He’s had consistent artistic collaborators on two 100 issue series for the majority of those books…the same editors…he’s been pushed to the front of the leading alternative comics company by committing himself to deadlines and the grind of producing material in a very consistent way.

    These two dudes were friends as teenagers. They were like, “We’ll take on the world!”

    Then Kirkman said, “You can’t hit the deadlines so you can keep doing covers…well…you know…you may not be the best guy to take on the world with after all. I’ll see you later. By the by, here’s a pile of money not commensurate in any way to what you contributed. Additionally, that money and a percentage of the material that made that money is yours in perpetuity in exchange for you signing away certain considerations.”

    If Moore was “coerced” it was probably by the traditional method of “backing up the money truck.” Only now, in hindsight, it was a relatively small money truck. It’s like he decided to cash in his chips but after seeing where the roulette ball eventually landed he wants to go back and make the bet. I call bullshit on that.

    In closing, lest you think I’m a horrible person – Tony Moore is a human being and I’m a human being so I’m sorry he’s not happy with his current situation and hope he eventually feels “right” about it.

  40. “the negative press so common to other big names in comics?”

    I don’t think that actually exists.

    “consistent artistic collaborators”

    Those are his employees.

  41. “Those are his employees.”

    Ahahaha. Ok. I see what it is now.

  42. 30:05 Mind blown.

    I dig the show notes. Sometimes I have to shut down whatever device I’m using to listen to the show, and I’ll pick up the podcast again on something else entirely. If I forget to check the time when I stopped listening, which happens to me all the time with podcasts, the show notes are a huge help. Thanks.

  43. 30:05 is pretty great…

  44. Can someone explain exactly what makes Mark Waid entertaining? I have tried countless times to get in his stuff and it always comes across as the comics I would use as my mediocre line even when the art is really great his work never hits me.

  45. HAHAHA Oh wow. I just got around to reading the comments. So, um. Walking Dead. I read it for a while, then I stopped. True story.

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