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Off Panel: A (Mostly) Comics Interview Podcast

Off Panel is a weekly interview show where host David Harper welcomes guests from comics and beyond to talk the stories behind what they do.
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An interview show getting the story behind the comics we love.

Aug 14, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, comic shop owner Brian Hibbs joins the show to talk about the state of comic retail. Hibbs discusses how his shops are performing in 2017, whether Marvel's downturn has impacted other publishers, the idea that trades can solve everything for a book that doesn't sell, how Rebirth is holding up in his stores, whether there's a cyclical relationship between Marvel and DC, customer interest in DC's Metal and Dark Matter endeavors, the trouble with lenticular covers, the grim outlook for Marvel Legacy, why some shops buy into variants, the gates and discounts of Legacy, the immense volume of titles these days, and more.

As a heads up, in the middle, there's a bit of wonky audio, but it cleans up pretty quick.

Aug 10, 2017

On this week's (second) episode of Off Panel, Image Comics' Branding Manager David Brothers joins the show to talk comics. Brothers' discusses his comic book origin story, why manga tackles so many more subjects than Western comics, why he got into writing about comics, whether working in comics has changed his relationship with them, the difference in approach he had on 4thLetter! and Comics Alliance, what helped him improved the most as a writer, what makes a good interview, how his job at Image came together, the evolution of Image+, the current state of writing about comics, and more, before diving into five questions about Brothers, the person.

Aug 7, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Si Spurrier joins the show to discuss his new Image Comics title, Angelic. Spurrier discusses what the book is all about, its lowkey all-ages nature, why the idea of genre bothers him, the book's origins, working with Caspar Wijngaard, Jim Campbell and Emma Price, how he works on this book compared to other projects, the difficulties of the comic distribution model and ongoings, why his works are typically shorter runs, the language of Angelic, and more.

Jul 31, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer/artist Declan Shalvey joins the show to talk about his upcoming graphic novel, Savage Town. Shalvey discusses the origins of the story, what made it one he wanted to tell, what made the rest of the creative team the best fits for the book, how it changed as it developed, finding the right balance with humor, the language of Ireland, the full creator-owned experience, how his upcoming Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan mini-series came together, the influence other writers have had on his own writing, whether becoming a "writer" has changed his perception as a creator, the impact of his Art Cred article in Image+, and more.

Jul 24, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Becky Cloonan joins the show to talk about her work and the rerelease of By Chance or Providence at Image. She talks that book's origin story, self-publishing, why she wanted to rerelease it AND color it, the updates to the new book, the story behind the dedications in both versions, whether she has crushes on her characters, her current projects, collaboration, working with Steve Dillon, the monthly comic format, finding her voice on The Punisher, her recent focus on writing, focusing on storytelling in art, and more, before diving into five questions about Cloonan the person.

Jul 17, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer/artist Chip Zdarsky joins the show to talk about the magic of comics and everything he's up to. Zdarsky discusses the first comic that attracted him to the medium, the Warren Ellis forums, the Brimper community, how Sex Criminals changed his life, the cyclical nature of comics, why he decided to handle every aspect of Sex Criminals' art, the human cost of creator-owned, expectations about him and his work because of his public persona, finding the right balance on Spider-Man, collaboration, his recent focus on writing, how much he had to change at Marvel, the unending serial, and a lot more.

Jul 10, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Stephen Mooney joins the show to discuss the return of his comic Half Past Danger. Mooney talks the appeal of working on an adventure comic, how the book came together, why IDW was the right fit for it, the origins of the Half Past Danger sequel's subtitle (Dead to Reichs), trying to handle everything himself on the book, the work he did at DC, the impact that work had on him and his career, why he decided to go back to Half Past Danger, how easy it was to jump back into that world, his process on HPD, photo reference, the Irish art community, and more, before closing with five questions about Mooney himself.

Jul 3, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Kelly Thompson joins the show to talk her work on Hawkeye at Marvel Comics. Thompson discusses her path to comics, the impact of studying art at SCAD has on her writing, how Jem and the Holograms changed her career, the pressure of working on a licensed book, co-writing at Marvel, the genesis of Hawkeye, the difficulty of following the Fraction/Aja/Wu run, how her scripting has evolved while working with Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire, managing fill-in artists, Julian Totino Tedesco's covers, working on the upcoming Captain Phasma book, before closing with five questions about Thompson.

Jun 26, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer and editor Sebastian Girner joins the show to talk his new books, Shirtless Bear Fighter and Scales & Scoundrels. Girner discusses his path into writing after starting his career as an editor, how editing impacted his writing approach (and vice versa), the development of both of his new books, what they're all about, the magic of Final Fantasy, what made telling an all-ages story something he wanted to do, how his writing approach depends on his collaborators, the influence of 80s action movies on Shirtless, Paolo Rivera's ncredible cover for Shirtless Bear Fighter #4, the SBF mobile game, why writing comics saved them for him, and more.

Jun 19, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, the co-creator, writer, and colorist of Image's Lake of Fire - Nathan Fairbairn - joins the show to talk the book and his experience bringing it to life. Fairbairn discusses how and why he first got into comics, why he didn't try and tackle more writing work for DC or Marvel, why he wanted to go creator-owned, the development of Lake of Fire, why faith was such an important part of the story for him, what made artist Matt Smith the right fit, why he didn't release it as a graphic novel, long-tail success, the marketing/PR side of creator-owned, what he learned during the experience, and more.

Jun 12, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Benjamin Dewey joins the show to talk his art on books like The Autumnlands. Dewey discusses his path to comics, pursuing other passions as an artist, finding yourself in your art, how much an artist's personality influences their work, comics and community, the convention experience, his art process, the importance of inking to his work, the overstated impact tools have on art, painting himself versus getting colored by someone else, taking on projects outside of The Autumnlands, before closing with five questions about Dewey himself.

Jun 5, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, the AV Club's comic critic - Oliver Sava - joins the show to not talk Marvel's problems, but solutions to those problems. Sava discusses his reaction to AV Club earning an Eisner nomination this year, his hype levels for the upcoming Runaways book, Marvel's current state, expectations for Legacy, and the cyclical nature of Marvel and DC, before Oliver and David share their recommendations on how Marvel could fix things and the books they'd publish if they ran Marvel (with creative teams).

May 29, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, the host of the comic book interview podcast Word Balloon - John Siuntres - joins the show to talk about his 12 years hosting the show. Siuntres talks the origins fo Word Balloon, his background before the show started, the impact of having so many comic book podcasts, how he developed Word Balloon's audience, monetizing podcasts, the evolution of his show, Secret Empire and the state of Marvel and fandom, getting personal with his guests, show regulars, whether he thinks its harder to develop a show now, Newsarama's impact on the show's growth, before the show comes to a close with five questions about the 12 years of Word Balloon.

May 22, 2017

On this week's special anniversary episode of Off Panel, friend of the show Brandon Burpee joins for a head-to-head question off where we talk everything comics from the past, present and future. Topics discussed include who won each decade for superhero comics - Marvel or DC, favorite comic anniversary gimmicks, what we'd do to get OG Wolverine back, how to help people who want to get into comics, favorite Off Panel guests, how social media impacts our buying habits, LaVar Ball-ing our favorite comics, Marvel's biggest problem right now, what we'd like to see from Legacy, the tradewaiting experience, the divisiveness of fandom, the state of the X-Men books, and more.

May 15, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Christopher Sebela joins the show to talk his currently being Kickstarted comic, Short Order Crooks. He talks the Kickstarter experience, what Short Order Crooks is all about, the origin of the project, the value of Two Headed Press, how the Kickstarter developed, how the crew on the book came together, the difficulty of creating Kickstarter rewards, whether he can be the same on for-hire jobs as creator-owned, the amount of food based research he did, what he'd sell at his own food cart, secondary revenue streams for comic creators, his recent experience working in retail, and more.

May 8, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, The Ringer writer Jason Concepcion joins the show to talk Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the 2017 slate of comic book movies. Concepcion talks Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (spoiler alert like crazy!) (00:51s), whether Guardians feels disconnected from the rest of the  Marvel universe (4:55), the stingers (8:27), what worked in the movie (12:34), whether it had the best Stan Lee cameo (14:53), what didn't work (16:37), then Guardians talk (and the spoilers ends) as we talk the comic movie Mount Rushmore (22:10), hype levels for 2017's remaining comic movies (25:30), the advent of rated R comic book movies (42:09), the state of the X-Men movies (47:00), Inhumans as a TV show (49:30), why comic adaptations work and video game adaptations don't (53:45), before closing with five questions about Concepcion (59:00).

May 4, 2017

On this week's bonus episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Peter Wartman joins the show to talk his webcomic Stonebreaker. Wartman discusses his path to comics, the comic that unlocked the medium for him, the influence of video game designer Fumito Ueda, how his webcomics Over the Wall and Stonebreaker developed, his art process, the evolution of his art, the impact of being colorblind on his art, the architecture of Stonebreaker, how webcomics have changed since he started, balancing comics and a day job, the Minneapolis comic book scene, and more.

Also, in case you missed it, Off Panel now has a Patreon. Support the show at Patreon.com/OffPanel and get fun rewards while unlocking bonus episodes each month.

May 1, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Mark Russell joins the show to talk his approach and work on comics like The Flintstones and Prez. He talks what he was doing before comics, how he was hired by DC, whether his approach might be different from other comic writers because of his lack of a comic background, his guiding principles for developing comics, the comic book learning curve, working with DC editorial, why he took The Flintstones gig, finding a new take on the classic cartoon, giving non-human characters humanity, collaborating on sequentials with Steve Pugh and Ben Caldwell, what he has in store for his Snagglepuss book, and more.

Apr 24, 2017

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Mike Norton joins the show to talk his epic workload in recent years. Norton talks what his life has been like since he wrapped Battlepug and Revival, how he balanced multiple projects at once, what he learned most from his recent workload, managing workflow, what he took away from his creator-owned work, studio life, the emotions of ending Revival, whether long runs by a single creative team are dying out, how the role of the comic artist has evolved, the changing landscape of comics, webcomics, the response to his webcomic Lil' Donnie, before coming to a close with five questions about Norton himself.

One quick note: I fully botched the money Check, Please! generated on Kickstarter. It wasn't $2.5 million, it was $400,000. Still a lot of money!

Apr 17, 2017

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Jen Bartel joins the show to talk about breaking into comics. She talks about her art background, the pros and cons of art school, her path to the world of comics, the importance of just making art, the power of the internet and social media, her advice for people looking to break in, why she's focused on covers over sequential art, the reason she prefers inking and coloring over the problem solving part of art, her affinity for neon colors, merchandising, valuing your work monetarily, before the podcast closes with five questions about Bartel herself.

Apr 10, 2017

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Hannah Blumenreich joins the show to talk her fan comic Spidey Zine and her work on Amazing Spider-Man #25. She talks her experience in art school, what her first foray into comics was, how she has seen her art grow as she's moved along, the origin story of Spidey Zine, the power of fan comics, the personhood of superheroes, what her process is, the restrictions of publishing on Twitter, making her way into working on Spider-Man for Marvel, how working with Jordan Gibson, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles changed things for her, and what's next for her, before closing with five random questions about her.

Apr 3, 2017

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Jim Rugg joins the show to talk his upcoming one-shot with writer Brian Maruca, Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special. He talks the origin story of Street Angel, why it's his home base book, how his art has evolved over the years, whether he thinks he has a core art style, why he likes to adventure with the format of comics so much, why he brought Street Angel to Image, the Pittsburgh comic scene, and more.

Mar 27, 2017

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Kyle Starks joins the show to talk his new comic at Image, Rock Candy Mountain. Starks discusses what appealed to him about the hobo treasure hunt genre, the tropes of rail travel, researching hobo culture, when the song "Big Rock Candy Mountain" came into play, world building, the realities of hobo life, the language in the book, the impact of colorist Chris Schweizer and designer Dylan Todd, overcoming the perceptions of his "cartoony" art style, his process for bringing an issue to life, before the episode comes to a close with serious basketball talk starting around the 52 minute mark.

Mar 20, 2017

In the last episode recorded at this year's Emerald City ComiCon, colorist and writer Jordie Bellaire joins the show to talk her new book at Image Comics, Redlands. She talks the experience of announcing Redlands, how announcements differ between personal projects and for-hire jobs, what Redlands is all about, what made Vanesa del Rey the perfect partner for the book, how del Rey changed the book, how Bellaire's color brain influences he writer brain, why she wanted to add being a writer to her busy schedule, how she ended up in Ireland after living in Florida, why the rep of colorists has improved in recent years, and more.

Mar 16, 2017

In the second episode of Off Panel from Emerald City ComiCon, the Oscar nominated writer of Arrival as well as the writer of the upcoming Secret Weapons at Valiant Comics, Eric Heisserer, joins the show. Heisserer talks his comic book origin story, the difference between screenwriting and working on comics, partnering with Raul Allen and Patricia Martin, what appealed to him about the Valiant universe, bringing Secret Weapons back, why Livewire is such a fascinating character to him, how writing film scripts differs from writing comics, humanizing island of misfit toys characters, why he loves writing comics so much, what compelled him to write Arrival, his reactions to Amy Adams not getting nominated and the Oscar mixup on Best Picture, and more.

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