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Excalibur #88

“Dream Nails”

Writers: Warren Ellis

Pencils: Larry Stroman Darrick Gross, Ken Lashley & Jeff Moy

Inks: Cam Smith, Farrick Gross, Tom Wegrzyn, Philip Moy, Don Hudson & Kames Palmiotti

Colours: Joe Rosas and Digital Chameleon

Letters: Comicraft

Editors: Suzanne Gaffney & Bob Harras

Original publication date: August 1995

Welcome back to “Our Son Pete,” a monthly analysis of the best/worst/worst-best mutant on Marvel’s main Earth! Just kidding! Or are we…? We are! But only mostly, because we are joined to chat Excalibur #88, “Dream Nails,” by the man who does host that podcast, daring Dan Grote! Love Pete or hate him, here’s here to stay we’re here to reckon with it, talking what makes this broody super-spy him tick and how he’s actually pretty crushable…? (But we’d definitely warn you away from dating him!) Plus memories of X-Files past and praise for Larry Stroman.

On X-Men as soap opera:

“My mom was a big soap opera fan… Ultimately, I think I connected with the soap opera aspects of X-Men, and it made me better understand her fandom as I cultivated my own. Which is nice.” -Dan

On fonts:

“We’re in that period now where Comicraft is lettering everything and trying out all the fonts in their candy box—for good or ill.” -Dan

On homages:

“Parts of this really feel like someone watched X-Files and said—yeah, let’s just do that.” -Mav

On the appeal of Mr. Wisdom:

“Pete Wisdom is in that very ‘90s school of broody, snarky, wounded wolf archetype whose powers are largely there to assist in violence… But for some reason, he was the version of that archetype that spoke to me.” -Dan

On the benefits of banter:

“The banter gives me a better sense of Pete’s character in this issues, whereas in the previous issues, he’d just been brooding because trench coat guys brood.” -Mav

On fleshing out a context:

“Seeing Pete Wisdom’s friends and associates, seeing him interact effortlessly with people from different social registers, you get a sense of the bigness of his life and the complexity of his character.” -Anna

On the joys of Stroman:

“We are smack-dab in the era of hyperrealism, and Larry Stroman says to hell with that, I’m just going to be a graffiti artist.” -Mav

Want more Dan Grote?

Want more Dan Grote?

He’s a newspaper editor by day, a comics site editor by night, and in the temporal spaces between he co-hosts WMQ&A, a weekly comics creator interview podcast, with his longtime best friend Matt Lazorwitz. As part of the Patreon for that endeavor, he also hosts a monthly bonus podcast called “Our Son Pete,” in which he is going issue by issue through the comic appearances of one Peter Winston Wisdom. He’s been waiting for this moment since 1995.

You can find him on Twitter (@danielpgrote) and! He wrote a Pete Wisdom Primer for ComicsXF, which you can check out right here!

And as usual:

You can find Anna on Twitter (@peppard_anna) and at Sequential Scholars (@seqscholars). 

You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun) and at Sequential Scholars.

You can find Mav on Twitter (@chrismaverick) and on his podcast, VoxPopcast (@VoxPopcast).


-GGW Team