Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

200 – Lightning in a Bottle, with Louise Simonson

Art by David Wynne. Wanna buy the original? Drop him a line!

In which we celebrate a major milestone with the coolest person ever to work on the X-books and look back at the last four-plus years of the podcast; and nobody ends up on trial at the Hague.

NEXT WEEK: Jay & Miles take a much-needed vacation.

NEXT EPISODE: The X-Men take the fight to Mojoworld!

Check out our blog for links to the stuff we discussed in this episode!

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  1. I looked forward to this interview all week and, well… amazing. Simply amazing. This is why you all are my favorite show, in any medium. Thank you for always being awesome, funny, informative and entertaining! And thanks to the glorious Louise Simonson… I am sure I am not alone in saying this interview has long been anticipated and wished for and it was just a total fucking treat that was well worth the wait. Thanks again and I hope you enjoy your break!

  2. I’m only 40 minutes in… curse you inconveniently short commute (A sentence I will NEVER type again) but can we just, y’know… adopt Louise Simonson? She doesn’t need to bring presents, or show up for the holidays if she doesn’t want to or anything, so no pressure, but darn it she’s so much fun!

    (Oh, and an M-Tech Warlock cold open that brings up Esperanza Ling? Truly I am among my people here!)

    1. They’ve done multiple episodes for that series, including Judgment War. You may remember them as the team that did not learn how to use doors.

  3. *Amazing episode, from “remember Hope?” to that last “Mojoworld”.
    *Louise, making her favorites characters suffer, made me laugh with pure joy.
    *Louise researching not comic book stuff for DC is the first (not Tom King related) thing that got me hyped since the beginning of the “rebirth” initiative.
    *Tabitha and/or/Vs Jubilee… I KNEW IT!!!
    *I miss Power Pack. The world needs more comics (with childs, and that can be read by childs) without fear of going into dark places.
    *About those Jay & Miles inspired podcast… I think I read something about a comics and science one inspired by the Meltdown episode. Anyone have some info about that?
    *And now I want to re-read Meltdown (the episode) and re-listen Meltdown (the comic). Cool.
    *I love the art for this episode, David (Wynne).

    1. I think it was _Louise_ laughing with pure joy when describing making her favourite characters suffer that sold me! 🙂

      1. Absolutely! Listening to her talk with such fondness for all the work of hers we’ve loved was such a great experience.

  4. Fantastic episode. Louise is such a delight and your questions for her were fantastic.

    Question for Jay: What do you mean about digital comics platforms that display 2-page spreads? Both the Comixology suite of apps and the Marvel Unlimited app preserve 2-page spreads, you just need to turn your tablet sideways in order to see them properly. Curious if there’s something I’m missing or if I just misunderstood what you’re saying.

    1. They don’t preserve the pagination; whether the spreads come up properly is largely luck; and there’s no way to look at them to scale and so no way to *read* a two-page spread at once.

      1. Got it. I wish there was a setting which, when you flip to a two page spread, showed the entire spread, and then you when you hit the button to flip the page forward, moved to a one page view of the first half of the spread (for better reading clarity) and then to the second half of the spread, or even just let you drag the spread around in a zoomed in view. I mostly read on Comixology and I can’t think of any issues where the spreads didn’t come up properly (I use the zoomed out view, not the guided view which hurts my brain), but I have had some issues with that on Marvel Unlimited. Their compression can also make 2-page spreads harder to read because it looks they apply the same file size limit they would to a single page, so the spreads are far more compressed and fuzzy.

        My boyfriend just got the new, slightly bigger iPad and even the little bit of extra space makes everything much easier to read. Another friend has the giant iPad and I’ve always wanted to bring up a comic on it. While I don’t think I’d ever want an iPad that big, I bet comics look GREAT!

        Thanks again for an awesome episode. I hope you guys both enjoy your well deserved break!

  5. Speaking of long-term, do you guys plan far ahead or is it more looking ahead short time? In other words, do you think you know roughly where you’ll be six months from now or is it rarely a good idea to look ahead that far.

  6. Man it’s hard to believe there have been 100 of these since I sat down to listen to the Claremont interview.

    Louise was great and you guys were great. I’ll never get tired of listening to pro’s talk about their experiences making things.

    Also hard agree on the ways to “fix” the industry from all of you.

    (I am also not a fan of the way double page spreads appear in digital)

  7. I remember being sad that Weezie didn’t get much opportunity to talk during the NYCC episode, so I’m really glad you brought her on to jam with for a full episode! I’ve always had a lot of love and respect for her work, and the utter joy she brought to the discussion was incredible.

    With the wishes, my initial instinct was the same as Jay’s first one, but the point about the direct market is also really REALLY true. If you could only have one, it’d be tough to pick between them.

    Love you guys, here’s to another 200 episodes and beyond!

    1. You hit the nail on the head exactly! I knew I wanted to hear so much more from her and this episode delivered so much

  8. I totally would be in support of Jay & Miles & Weezie XPlain the X-Men! Or at least another guest appearance if she ever has a chance.

    I’m so happy someone remembered to ask about her changes to X-Factor (I had thought of it a day before the episode released) – and thanks for folding in my question re: New Mutants Forever (it’s a shame she didn’t keep super detailed notes…ah well).

    Re: fixing comics – I really wish Marvel Unlimited were a bit better. Like, honestly, I’m currently paying for the year subscription, but would easily pay MUCH more if it were more current for comics (and therefore a more valid way of gauging fan interest…and, via the money, hopefully becomign the new model of consumption/paying creators). Essentially, it’s close to being Netflix/Hulu for comics…why not just make it that?

    Anyway, congrats you two on 200 eps! And, enjoy your week off!

  9. Congratulations on 200, guys. I’ve dropped in and out, and had to catch up, and I was only LISTENING to these. I cannot fathom the dedication and hours upon hours of work this takes. So, thank you.

    I used to write off both Exaclibur and New Mutants as boring, but the only versions of each I saw were waaaay later and nothing like their original concepts. (Did ANYone like Claremont’s “New Excalibur”? I sure didn’t.) I recently grabbed the Demon Bear saga on Comixology and would never have done so without your exuberance about it. You opened this old X-Fan’s eyes to something he was missing.

    Plus the whole being two awesome people I look forward to hanging out with for an hour each week. Thank you. And congrats.

  10. This is far and away my favorite guest so far. Louise’s laughter is so pure and infectious that I was grinning and laughing on a regular basis.

    Also, her love of torturing characters makes me want a Louise counterpart to the Angry Claremontian Narrator. Something like the Malevolent Louisian Puppeteer… 😀

    1. We don’t script episodes, except for the cold open and the cookie-cutter intro and outro text. Outline lengths vary considerably.

  11. Could you guys give more information regarding the exhibit Jay noted they helped set up?
    I’m going to find myself in NYC with a long layover next week and I’d love to chack it out.

      1. Ho well…
        Seems like an interesting exhibit, but I don’t think I’ll be in that part of the world while it is still up.

  12. Thank you thank you thank you for this ep, and for all these years together. Good to know that you guys & Louise are all doing it for the same reason… for fun! She even made torturing her friends sound lile a joy.
    I can’t agree more about the community aspect. Being in my 4th decade of X-fandom I’ve found that comic fans are comic fans but X-fans are family. The action-centric issues in other comics at the time VS the character driven soap opera touched a chord in, I think, all of us who are here today. Whether the subtext was formative to your development or, like me, it was a metaphor for different struggles, (growing up in the Friday Night Lights midwest and not being that, then knowing that my brother-from-another-mother Kevin would take up my Soul Sword if I should fall) the characters feel not only like real people but like real friends, and I love sitting & reminiscing about old friends with new ones. I don’t have much opportunity to have these conversations face to face, so glad you two have given us an outlet for this.

  13. Many moons ago, I posted here repeating statements that Walt Simonson made that Cyclops left his family as an editorial mandate from the X-Men office, not that Bob Layton and Butch Guice thought that it was ok for Cyclops to leave his family. And now Louise Simonson has confirmed it. That not only was it an editorial edict that Madelyne and Scott’s son would not be regulars in X-Factor, Louise said Chris Claremont said he “didn’t want Madelyne and the baby to be a part from the series he was mad at.” Contrary to what Louise said, Cyclops tried in issue 2 to contact his wife and the number was changed. Side note, Jean didn’t get to meet her parents again until 2 years after her return, despite her going home first right after she was freed from the cocoon. Tho, things would have been tough for Scott, but Layton seemed to be pushing Jean with Angel anyway.

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