Special Edition Podcast

Booksplode #2 – Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1

Show Notes

Queen and Country has been a long time favorite in the iFanboy offices — it was even Book of the Month last year! For this episode, we gathered up some of the staff for another in-depth discussion on the relative merits of Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1 by Greg Rucka, Steve Rolston, Brian Hurtt, and Leandro Fernandez.Β Join Josh Flanagan, Paul Montgomery, Sonia Harris, and Jim Mroczkowski as they talk about how good this story actually is, British euphemisms and their correct usage, and the relative size of breasts and noses.

Running Time: 00:51:36

Order Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1 from Amazon!

“Nobody Does It Better”


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  1. Awesome!

  2. I am reading this right now (my library just ILLed it for me).  I’ll listen to this as soon as I finish it.  I’m loving it.  Thank you for suggesting it enough times to make me listen.

    P.S. I don’t consider myself particularly shallow, but I prefer for my lady to have breasts that are slightly larger than her nose. I need at least a 1.5:1 ratio.

  3. I want to read this so badly. Cause it sounds everything I would love in a comic.

    Do these Definitive Editions collect everything? Or are there still stories to tell after the first four trades?

  4. @TNC – I’m roughly halfway through the first trade and am really enjoying it.  You should try your local library if you don’t have the cash for it.

  5. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Four definitive editions and two prose novels. Plus more on the way. 

  6. @stuclach: My library doesn’t have it -_-;. Although the B&N store has it, so I could read a good chunk of it there to see if it’s worth buying.

    @Paul: Thanks for the varification

  7. @TNC – I’m not a librarian, but I believe most libraries will allow you to request a book from other libraries in their system.  This is typically referred to as an Interlibrary Loan.  You should ask at the circulation desk (or Interlibrary Loan desk if they have one).

    I’m sure someone else on the site (JeffR, for example) can correct me if I’m wrong.

  8. @stuclach-Yup, they do that.  Typically, the bigger the library system, the bigger their ILL department is.  I worked at the library in college.  At the same time, you could put in request for books that they should buy.  That’s more of a longshot though, since most libraries don’t invest heavily in their comic book section.

    I’ve been waiting to get the definitive editions of this book.  I currently only have the 1st, 5th & 8th trades (that’s all this discount store had!!) and thought it best to just cough up the money for these bad boys.  Any extra goodies in these editions that the previous trades don’t have?

  9. @drakedangerz – Thank you for the clarification.

    @TNC – The current economic climate has resulted in slashes to many libraries’ budgets making the odds of the library purchasing the book nearly nil.  However, the sooner you request it the sooner they will consider it when funds become available.  

  10. How are the definitive editions vs. the previous trades?  I don’t own anything in digest size, how’s the art?

  11. They are making a one volume edition of this soon right? I have the def. edition vol 1 in my wishlist, should i get it or wait?

    I want to listen to the podcast but i hate spoilers with a passion. I wil listen after i buy it, i promise.

  12. I haven’t heard anything about a one volume edition.  I don’t think that’s true.

  13. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I don’t think me and my Monty Burns wrists could handle a one volume edition.  

    Although, if they did come out with one…."Queener and Countrier: The Definitivest Edition" 

  14. @Drake, Stuclach, TNC – Libraries’ policies for purchases really depend upon the system you’re talking about.  Direct requests by patrons usually hold a lot of weight, even with budget cutbacks.  Still, no guarantees.  ILLs are your best best right now.  There may be a small fee associated with it, but they’ll tell you about that if you ask.

    And thanks for the idea, Stuclach.  Looks like I’ve got an ILL of my own to submit. 

  15. Actually, I’m not sure there are any plot spoilers in this. Which is sort of remarkable.

    (Somebody might want to back me up on that before you take my word on it.)

  16. May I suggest for the next possible Booksplode, continuing with Greg Rucka-love fest: Gotham Central Vol. 1: In the Line of Duty?

  17. @josh oops i was thinking of essex county. I always get british spies and rural townfolk confused

  18. Thanks for all the responses with the library guys. (stuclach, drake, and JeffR especially) I’ll ask my library and see if they can order at least the first volume. If not, I can always buy it at my work and get it for a discount.

    I realize I haven’t listen to the podcast yet….getting on that.

  19. I just borrowed this from the library (Glendale central library, for those in L.A.), which seems to be expanding it’s graphic novel selection. Can’t wait to read it and listen to the podcast!


  20. Greg Rucka is the first comic writer who’s name I learned, when I started picking up comics again in the early part of this decade. I distincly remember going through my stack of random Bat-books and wondering why some of them were so much better than the others. Then I found the common thread, Greg Rucka. It was a revelation. Somehow I had neglected to ever think about who was writing these comics. "Aha, people write comics! And some of them write them well! Greg Rucka writes them well!" I think I’ve read everything he’s ever put out since then.

  21. You know what ?  Maybe it is me , but when you guys do a Booksplode it is kinda weird.  I mean I love this booksplode on one hand but on the other hand you guys didn’t really sell the book well. 

  22. Who’s trying to sell something?  We talked about our feelings towards the book. We’re not running a shop here.

  23. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Except for the shirts. Buy six. 

    I loved the book. 5 stars. We’re just trying to provide a balanced review. Bit of the good, bit of the bad.  

  24. FINE I’m going to buy it.

    It’s not at all to get back in your good graces, I swear.

  25. @JeffR – Thank you for the confirmation. 

    @gobo – Nice to see you succumbed to the intense Twitter pressure these gents hammered you with. 

  26. I haven’t read this yet but Josh, do you really like Queen and Country more than Gotham Central?

  27. Yes. Easy.

  28. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Apples and orangutans.  

  29. I prefer Apples, unless I’m feeling randy, then it’s a tossup.

  30. It’s funny to me all over again that I say, "I haven’t seen art like this anywhere, before or since" and then you all begin listing his credits in five other books I have in my house.

  31. @stuclach I got even more this morning, it’s like all of Twitter was telling me to read it, I think Fanexpo is going to be very expensive for me.

  32. I want a booksplode of the Bone Omnibus, mainly because that’d be ridiculous. 


    Good episode guys, it was interesting to see how much talk was done on the art side of things as opposed to story (where as when Starman was discussed it was heavy story talk), that was pretty interesting (Not a criticism, just interesting)

  33. Mmm… Bone.  Sooooo good.  I can’t wait for the new Bone stuff to come out.

  34. @gobo – Enjoy fanexpo. I would love to be there. At least I have Dragon*Con in two weeks.

  35. Bone’s not a bad idea.

    Now where to find a spare month or so to re-read it?

  36. That Bone omnibus is still sitting at my work. I plead for mother’s to pick it up cause their kids will love it. But of course they don’t want black and white…

    Is there any chance they’ll reprint it in color?

  37. I really enjoy these booksplodes, thanks for the good work boys and girl 


    and I also like the way sonia occasionally says something like "that’s stupid" because a lot of the time it is.

  38. @TNC

    Color is for pussies. Tell that to the kids. 

  39. The best part of these booksplodes is that it’s a discussion (a lively one), but it never degenerates into the panelist (?) ganging up on one another and shoving an opinion down someone’s throat. ALSO, this one is incredible in that it felt like an in depth look, but didn’t give anything major away…in fact, I bet knowing about the art change that was discussed will make the book that much easier to enjoy.  Thanks, iFanboy. 

  40. They’re not going to print the one volume edition in color because they make a metric shit ton of money from the color volumes. Those are sold through schools and bookstores, and they sell well.  There’s no incentive to do another.

  41. @miyamoto: I’ll remember to tell them "Never try" as well for a lesson. πŸ™‚

    @josh: I’d just like to see a color version of the omnibus. I understand economically it wouldn’t be a good idea. But like have a couple dozen reprinted in color and make fans win them in a contest…or what have you.

  42. So, sandbaggers, now the rockford files, here’s hoping Lou Grant is next.

  43. Actually I want him to surprise us and do his version of Encyclopedia Brown

  44. just to say… i agree with the larger point that Sonia makes about american writers attempting british dialogue.

     But  both ‘on yer bike’ and ‘store’ were commonly used in the sense Rucka uses them where i grew up.

    Sonia’s from a different part of the UK though, and one closer to the setting of Q&C, so fair enough.

  45. This is one of my favorite series/books.  If you’ve read the comics but not the prose novels, I highly recommend.  They are super awesome.

  46. As I told someone recently on their podcast, it’s occasionally hard to hear you guys, even with all my volumes turned up.  As it’s summer, I have in the background a fan or AC running.  Is there any way possible to record or talk into the mic louder?  O.o



  47. I didn’t notice there being a huge audio difference in this episode as compared with others. It sounds low with the volume turned all the way up? That’s odd because when I do that I worry about blowing my speakers out. Maybe your speakers are old?

    Everyone is connected via Skype so the various strengths of everyone’s internet connections effect the quality of the audio. There isn’t anything that can really be done about it.

  48. You could modify the audio levels of everyone in editing. Its tedious, but effective. 


    Great show guys. I love booksplode. Better than the normal shows. I prefer the longer in depth discussions. Kepe up the good work. 

  49. @TheMaestroX: We’re not recorded on different tracks. We have recorded over 500 podcasts, and we did go to school for this.  πŸ™‚

  50. (That should be "over 400 podcasts")

  51. @ Connor, yeah, I dunno.  It just seemed a bit lower than normal for me.  And I have a new HP, but the speakers are the integrated kind.  Still, even with everything way up, it’s hard to hear most of the show.  And listening to the next podcast, it’s kinda the same.  πŸ™

     But since nothing can be done, I’ll have to deal.  Thanks for the response though.

  52. I agree, MI-5 is  far superior than 24.  Queen and Country does make shows like 24 seem unrealistic and action/megablockbuster driven.  But MI-5, an awesome show.  Pretty damn expensive on DVD though… like all BBC DVD boxsets. 

  53. So after this Booksplode, I ordered the first volume "Definitive Edition" from amazon… and while I waited for that to be delivered, started reading the series on my laptop.  [I’m impatient that way.]

    The Def.Edition came from amazon, and— boy, does it read a lot better blown up on my laptop screen.  Maybe I’m old and my eyes are getting bad, but it’s very hard for me to read the letters on those small pages. Both the art and the lettering look a lot better on my laptop.

    That aside, I have enjoyed the series tremendously, although the radical change in the way the characters look with the artist in the 3rd arc is really jolting.  


  54. Wow, thanks for pointing out the speech bubble thing. I don’t think I can finish the series now due too all the talking knees and crotchs I am noticing.

    Well not really. Can’t wait to get hold of volume 3!

    Great podcast btw. Entertaining.

  55. Sonia’s point about US writers and British (or indeed other international) idioms is taken, but I think it’s a little oversensitive to use these as the fundamental critique if Rucka’s writing. His voice for the UK characters is pretty accurate, much more so than most other US entertainment writing. Plus, “American writers should NEVER be allowed to write British dialogue” is, I think, quite a dangerous precident to set. You replace those two with other cultural, social or racial groups, it’s a pretty unpleasant sentiment.

    The phrase “On your bike” is taken directly from The Sandbaggers, the UK TV series Rucka watched as a kid – it’s what the D-OPs says to his operatives when sending them out on operations. While I appreciate the presence of a British voice on these shows and often agree with Sonia, if she’s going to speak for our entire country on what is or isn’t said, I’ve got to ask her to check her facts.

  56. I praised Hellblazer’s American writers, so I wouldn’t have said it’s a rule. I also never purported to speak on behalf of all of Britain.

  57. I really wanted to like Queen and Country but I couldn’t get past the inauthentic use of the language. There are many mistakes which would be too boring to list. I’m generally an Americanophile and don’t want to be pedantic but unfortunately it just takes me out of the story. Perhaps British writers get it just as wrong and I wouldn’t blame an American for having the same reaction as me. However, I imagine that the British writers are exposed to much more American culture than vice versa and therefore might make less mistakes?

  58. Finally read this. This time, I was just a month late.

    Gotta say that although I didn’t love Leandro Fernandez’s take on the characters, the action sequence on pages 318-319 was top notch.  Those pages were really strong and flowed extremely well.  It kinda made up for his version of Tara.  Kinda.

    Thanks for recommending this.   Reading strongly defined characters is always a treat.  I’ll be sure to check out the next few volumes.

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