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Off Panel: A 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.

Apr 22, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Vita Ayala joins the show to talk about their work. Ayala discusses old video game loves, their gateway characters, the power of spinner racks, the importance of representation, bringing your worldview into your work, The Wilds, Emily Pearson's art, adding depth to reads, working at Forb idden Planet, how that changed their perspective about comics, DC's Talent Workshop, doing fill-in work, telling Livewire's first solo story, working with varying publishers, the con experience, the glory of cats, and more.

Apr 15, 2019

In this week's landmark 200th episode of Off Panel, friend of the show Brandon Burpee returns for a look back on 10 years of writing about comics in the podcast's longest episode ever. Topics discussed include giving out some awards for the decade, including MVP, most improved, publisher of the decade, and more, answering listener questions, like our comic book origin stories, thoughts on the comics internet, where back issues fit in comics, and more, before we close with sharing our ten favorite comics from the past ten years.

Apr 15, 2019

In this week's landmark 200th episode of Off Panel, friend of the show Brandon Burpee returns for a look back on 10 years of writing about comics in the podcast's longest episode ever. Topics discussed include giving out some awards for the decade, including MVP, most improved, publisher of the decade, and more, answering listener questions, like our comic book origin stories, thoughts on the comics internet, where back issues fit in comics, and more, before we close with sharing our ten favorite comics from the past ten years.

Apr 8, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Lucy Knisley joins the show to talk about her work and recent graphic novel, Kid Gloves. Knisley discusses the appeal of telling her own story in comics, how that changes fan interactions, the Instagram Effect, reflecting on her art as an artist and a person, the origins of Kid Gloves, representing all facets of having kids, how her art has evolved, food comics, the expansion of the comic market, making picture books, living and creating in Chicago, and more, before closing with five questions about food.

Apr 1, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel from Emerald City Comic Con, writer Matthew Rosenberg joins the show to talk about his path to Marvel and the experience of writing the X-Men. Rosenberg discusses how his work experience in comic shops impacts him, the role his Black Mask work played in getting him on radars, the DC Writers Program, why Marvel has been a good fit for him, the Bendis vacuum, tying his early X-Men work into his Uncanny run, Peter David's X-Factor, his oddball Uncanny team, their strange mix of costumes, managing expectations, what the X-Men mean to people, and more.

Note: this was recorded before the announcement about Jonathan Hickman's pending arrival on the X-Books.

Mar 27, 2019

In a special episode of Off Panel recorded at Emerald City Comic Con, writer Jim Zub joins the show to discuss his freshly announced and released ComiXology Originals series with artist Max Dunbar, Stone Star. Zub discusses the art of con karaoke, the con experience, Stone Star's bold release strategy, experimenting with comics, accessing the larger Amazon umbrella, downsides, what Stone Star is all about, Dunbar's art, making comics for everyone, world building, the ideal format to work in, and more.

Mar 25, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Jamie McKelvie joins the show from Emerald City Comic Con for a chat about his art and The Wicked + The Divine. McKelvie discusses fandom, his partnership with Kieron Gillen, long running titles, cover design, the importance of highlighting other artists, formalistic experimentation, the faux cartoonist, what he's learned in the process of making The Wicked + The Divine, getting things right with your art, the physical toll of art, and more.

Mar 18, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Eric Powell joins the podcast to discuss the 20th anniversary of The Goon. Powell takes us into the origins of the series and its cast, the experience of building an independent success, what the look of The Goon and Franky says about them, concept books, the learning curve of making a comic all on your own, when the idea of Chinatown came together, why he's doing more of The Goon and going back to self publishing, whether he considered changing the format of the book, what his art process is, how he uses color, why he's bringing in other creators into The Goon, building and keeping an audience, and more.

Mar 11, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, BOOM! Studios' President of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik joins the show to discuss the world of BOOM! and his recent speech at ComicsPRO's annual meeting. Sablik discusses his time at Diamond Comic Distributors, his role at BOOM!, the value of licensed books, what's dictating their move towards younger readers and women, where they are seeing growth, their bold plan for Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora's Once and Future, why they did it, what makes it stand out, staying in favor with multiple markets, servicing different audiences, marketing comics, the greatness of Giant Days, and more.

Mar 4, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Garth Ennis joins the show to talk his love of war comics and his latest series from TKO Studios, Sara. Ennis discusses where his love of war stories came from, why they speak to him as a writer, fitting those types of tales into Marvel and DC, the importance of editorial allies, the origins of Sara, Russia's secret police, the Eastern Front of World War II in fiction, how Sara thinks about war, the pacing and structure of the story, Steve Epting's art, why he worked with TKO on this book, why he works with so many different publishers, the importance of realism in his stories, and more.

Feb 25, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, Random House Graphic Publishing Director Gina Gagliano joins the show to talk about the upcoming children and teenaged graphic novel readers imprint she's building. Gagliano discusses her comic book origin stories, how she got into marketing, the beginnings of First Second, the elongated release window of the book market, her podcast, Graphic Novel TK, how Random House Graphic first came together, where you start when you are opening an imprint, her curation strategy, her very positive Twitter feed, Lucy Knisley at RHG, whether other Random House releases impact her approach, the biggest surprise of launching Random House Graphic, and more, before we close with a new segment, as Skybound's Sr. Vice President of Business Development, Shawn Kirkham, joins the show to highlight our Beasts of the Week in the world of comics.

Feb 18, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Erica Henderson joins the podcast to talk her art and upcoming series, Assassin Nation. Henderson discusses her background in film, animation and video games, storytelling in art, why she decided to work in comics, how she works, how a prolonged run impacted her approach on Squirrel Girl, her rules for that series, visual humor, managing workloads, how Assassin Nation came together, the development of the book, her coloring herself, the cast of characters, developing their looks, and more.

Feb 11, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Tadd Galusha joins the show for a rare live episode about art and his upcoming graphic novel, Cretaceous. Galusha discusses how he got into comics, the magic of Capwolf, The Kubert School experience, interning at Heliscope, how he actually started working in comics, the artist grind, comics vs. other art fields, figuring out the work, the origins of Cretaceous, finding a home for the book, its silent nature, his research process, building an audience, creating comics in Alaska, and more.

Feb 4, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, the founder and CEO of ICv2, Milton Griepp, joins the show for a look at the state of the comic industry. Griepp discusses his time in comic book distribution, what it used to be like, the positives and negatives of Diamond being the sole distributor, whether he considered leaving comics after selling Capital City, the growth of geek culture, where the Direct Market is today, the biggest problem facing the Direct Market, reader diversification, Marvel and DC's latest moves, whether the book market fits, whether periodicals are dying, why digital has plateaued, the overall health of comics, and more.

Jan 28, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, the line art team from the Image series Crowded, Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, join the podcast to discuss their work. Stein and Brandt talk about their path to comics, how they met, Ro's interest in animation and its influence, their breaking in story, their process and how it evolved, Crowded's development, world building, bringing the characters to life, layering Easter eggs into the world, sound effects, animals in fiction, the power of inkers, cover work and a whole lot more.

Jan 21, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Mike Carey joins the show to talk about his changing comics workload and his latest series, The Highest House. Carey discusses what he's been doing in recent years, his X-Men run, how The Unwritten came to be, collaborating with artist Peter Gross, The Highest House's development, the politics and mythology of its world, the unique challenges its oversized format presents, story density, the complications of Peter Gross's work, balancing a giant cast, finding a market for the book, Yuko Shimizu's covers, where the book stands now, and more.

Jan 14, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Tze Chun joins the show to talk about the new comic company he's the co-publisher of, TKO Studios. Chun discusses his comic book origin story, how TKO and its team came together, binge releasing comics, why they decided to do things completely different than other publishers, where comic shops fits in their overall plans, the format of TKO's comics, why trades <em>and</em> single issues, attracting creators, distributing themselves, giving first issues away for free, competing for readers' time, developing an audience, and more.

Jan 7, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, comics retailer Patrick Brower (Chicago's Challengers Comics + Conversation) returns to the podcast for a look back on 2018 for his shop. Brower discusses how the year was for Challengers, how it compared to 2017, disappearing subscribers, their ineffective events, what worked for them, the surprising single issue boom, the Marvel/DC divide, graphic novels, Saga's disappearance, what isn't working, the impact of pricing, big retailers speaking up, how back issues are doing, what publishers could do to help retailers, and more.

Dec 17, 2018

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Chip Zdarsky returns to the show to discuss what's coming for him in 2019 and to dive deep into my favorite comic of the year, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310. Zdarsky chats about his Spider-Man origins, how the period when you grew up influences your writing, what formed his vision of Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson, the length of his run, how his approach and story on #310 came together, hot dog icing, what makes Spider-Man special, overcoming his rep as the funny guy, what's coming for him in 2019, tackling Daredevil, the appeal of Namor, and more.

Dec 10, 2018

In this week's episode of Off Panel, friend of the show Brandon Burpee returns for a deep dive look at 2018 in comics. We discuss what kind of year it was for comics, how our reading habits evolved, the biggest surprises and disappointments from the year, what we're looking forward to in 2019, where the X-Men are headed, favorites versus bests, the honorable mentions from our respective lists, before breaking down our 20 favorite comics of the year.

Dec 3, 2018

This week's episode of Off Panel is the debut of a new format that might be appearing the first week of each month, in weeks where we're not running our standard interviews. It's Off Panel Book Club, where a guest comes on the show to discuss the past month in comics.

And the first Book Club guest is Zach Jenkins, the man behind Xavier Files and the co-host of the Battle of the Atom podcast. Jenkins joins to share the story behind Xavier Files, the importance of having a niche, our five favorite comics of the month, Warren Ellis's approach, the visual storytelling from The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, slow burn comics, the small moments of Runaways, the most surprising and confusing comics of the month, the eternal return of Wolverine, before we dive into the Big Question of the month: What would it take for the X-Men to recapture an approximation of their past glory, and does that even matter?

Nov 26, 2018

In this week's episode of Off Panel, comics retailer Katie Proctor comes on to talk about the experience of running her comic shop, Books with Pictures. Proctor discusses why she wanted to open a comic shop, the influence of other stores, her store's layout, creating an inviting space, inclusivity, her unique product offerings, what sells for her, how 2018 has been for her shop, figuring out ordering, what's working and what isn't, the impact of Fresh Start at Marvel, the loss of Saga, what she's looking forward to in 2018, what someone looking to open a shop should know, and more.

Nov 19, 2018

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Jeff Lemire joins the show to talk about his work on titles like Black Hammer and Gideon Falls. Lemire discusses his organizational abilities, what getting ahead with your writing offers you, a day in his life, studio space, his connection to rural locations, Black Hammer's connection to his love of comics, the divide between independent and superhero comics, how Black Hammer evolved, his collaborators, expanding its universe, the appeal of horror, Gideon Falls's development, working with Andrea Sorrentino, the JH Williams III effect, creating tension, writing for others versus himself, him stepping back from for-hire work, and more.

Nov 12, 2018

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer and inker Jimmy Palmiotti joins for a deep dive discussion about the creation of the Marvel Knights imprint for its 20th anniversary. Palmiotti shares where he was before Marvel Knights started, personal branding, how the project came together, why Daredevil was their #1 draft pick, Marvel vs. DC, going for realism, Frank Castle punching a polar bear, why Marvel Knights focused on standalone stories, whether he considered sticking around at Marvel like his Marvel Knights partner Joe Quesada, whether this kind of project could happen again, its lasting impact, and more.

Nov 5, 2018

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer and comics newcomer Mat Groom joins the show to discuss his background and new Image series, Self/Made. Groom discusses when he first got int storytelling, regional comics, his comic making origin story, comic writers coming from other fields, his day job and its impact on his writing, the comic difficulties of living in Australia, Self/Made, his collaborators Eduardo Ferigato and Marcelo Costa, the difficulty in talking about his series, what inspired him to tell this story, how design factored in the comic, the struggles that come with gaining traction as a new creator, the biggest surprises about making comics, and more.

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