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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.

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.

Mar 13, 2017

In this week's episode of Off Panel, Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson joins the show in a special episode from Emerald City ComiCon. Stephenson talks Image's move to Portland, why there wasn't an Image Expo this year, the big announcements from ECCC, diversity in comics, finding different ways to tell stories in the medium, the devaluation of single issues, managing a publisher in uncertain times, the influx of variants at Image during its 25th anniversary, what he's most proud of from 25 years of Image, how it's changed the most since its launch, how Image's staff has helped drive its growth, and more.

Mar 6, 2017

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Daniel Kibblesmith joins the show to talk his new comic, Valiant High. Kibblesmith discusses his comic book origin story, whether he needed to dig into Valiant's history for the project, finding the right roles for each character, whether you can go too far in lampooning characters, the differences between writing for TV versus for comics, whether writing comics is a breath of fresh air given his day job, the impact of this presidency on late night, his long term view on writing comics, and more.

Feb 27, 2017

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Daniel Johnson Warren joins to talk his new book Extremity. He talks Extremity's development, world building, why he needed a little something more to make his lead character work, what makes a good villain, his creative process, the advantages of traditional art for him, colorist Mike Spicer's fit on the book, Extremity's rad logo, commissions, finding joy in art, and more.

Feb 20, 2017

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Joe Keatinge joins the show to talk 25 years of Image Comics from his perspective as a reader, creator and former employee. David and Joe talk when they discovered Image, what makes Image special, 90s comics revisionist history, what his experience was working at Image, how it's changed over the years, our ten-ish favorite comics from Image's 25 years, what the future looks like for Image, and more.

Feb 16, 2017

In the final Image founderscentric edition of Off Panel, Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane joins the show to share his perspective on the story of Image. McFarlane talks the appeal of the move away from Marvel, the story behind Image's creation, the meeting at Marvel and why they went to DC after it, why he stayed exclusive to Image, how the Image deal became more appealing to others, Robert Kirkman's fit as a partner, Eric Stephenson's impact, whether Image looks as he expected after 25 years, what the biggest difficulties were in figuring everything out, and more.

Feb 13, 2017

In another special edition of Off Panel, Image Comics co-founder Jim Valentino joins the show to share his perspective on the origins of Image. Valentino talks how everything came together, what the biggest motivator was to break away from Marvel, why Image worked and other similar ventures didn't, why expanding beyond superheroes was important, whether it was always their intent to offer the Image deal to others, how Robert Kirkman joined up, Eric Stephenson's influence, what Image's "i" means today, how Image's role in the industry has changed over the years, and more.

Feb 9, 2017

In a special edition of Off Panel, Image Comics co-founder Erik Larsen joins the show to share his perspective on the rise of Image. Larsen talks the Image's story from the beginning, whether it worked because of the numbers they brought to Image, whether he expected Savage Dragon to go as long as it has, what the response to them leaving was like, what influenced the wave of big creators to Image in recent years, what made Robert Kirkman a good fit for Image, how Image has changed over the years, and more.

Feb 6, 2017

In a special edition of Off Panel, Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld joins the show to talk about the publisher 25 years after it started. Liefeld talks the popularity of the Image founders, why it needed to be more than just himself who did it, how Image came together, why Robert Kirkman fits Image so well, Eric Stephenson's role in Image's rise, whether Image's developing surprised him over its 25 years, who the heart and soul of Image is, what Image's future looks like, and more.

You can read the article I wrote on Image's history and evolution, featuring Liefeld, on The Ringer.

Jan 30, 2017

Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn, the artist/writer team behind the recently wrapped The Sixth Gun and the soon-to-be revived The Damned at Oni Press, join the show this week to talk about their collaboration. The pair talks about how they first met, what appealed to them about working together, how they develop projects like The Sixth Gun, world building, getting invested in their characters, designing the world of The Sixth Gun, why they initially launched the book Free Comic Book Day, ending a longform story, where world building to go wrong, their return to The Damned, how market pressures has impacted longform storytelling, and more.

Jan 23, 2017

Comics lawyer Caitlin DiMotta joins Off Panel this week to talk about her role in helping some of the biggest names in comics do what they do. DiMotta shares her path to becoming a lawyer, how her background in ballet impacted her, how she first got involved with the comic industry, the importance of her role, creative transparency in deals between creators and publishers, the power of saying "no" in negotiations, whether comic creators should talk to a lawyer when making a deal, the next big frontier of comics, and more.

Jan 16, 2017

Writer Joshua Williamson returns to the show to talk about a little bit of everything, from the professional to the personal. Williamson talks about writing the biggest selling title in comics (Justice League vs. Suicide Squad), bringing his Image Comics series Nailbiter to a close, how the health of the comic industry impacts the way he plans his projects, revisiting Williamson's Applecart Theory because of Marvel's latest #1s, what he does with his free time, whether he gets hyped over his recent big news, his initial reaction to learning DC was bringing Watchmen into play, his take on Suicide Squad and comic adaptations overall, how his writing changes depends on the art he works with, his most impossible to resist vice or crutch, how the state of the country impacts as a writer, and more.

Jan 9, 2017

This week's first Off Panel of 2017 welcomes artist/writer Declan Shalvey back to the show to talk his first major moves into the world of writerdom and his return to his creator-owned project with Warren Ellis and Jordie Bellaire, Injection. Shalvey talks how the Nick Fury, Jr. story he was the writer/artist for in Civil War II: Choosing Sides came together, the excellence of Marvel editor Wil Moss, the challenges of writing and drawing his own project, the benefits of being a hyphenate, making such a short story work, the difference between scripting for himself versus someone else, how the return to Injection is going, his studio's previous intern getting his first gig, his perspective on Steve Dillon as an artist, and more.

Dec 19, 2016

On the 2016 finale for Off Panel, the co-owner of the Eisner Award winning comic shop Challengers Comics + Conversation, Patrick Brower, joins the show to talk about the year for his shop and the state of comic book retail as a whole. He shares how his shop did this year, what worked, what didn't, Rebirth, Civil War II, what he thinks is driving some of the retailer doom and gloom, whether he think it's different than the usual doom and gloom, what he's hearing from other shops, what he loved in comics in 2016, what he's excited for in 2017, and more.

Dec 12, 2016

On this week's special episode of Off Panel, frequent guest and friend of the show Brandon Burpee joins the show to talk the year in comics. Brandon and David discuss what worked for them, what didn't, what they're excited for in 2017, before breaking down their 20 favorite comics of the year.

Dec 5, 2016

Artist Charlie Adlard guests on Off Panel this week to talk about his work on The Walking Dead as well as his new role as the United Kingdom's Comics Laureate. Adlard talks his incredible (and expansive) run on The Walking Dead, staying engaged with such a long-running project, maintaining an ongoing schedule like he does, his layout phase (or lack thereof), how he and Robert Kirkman work together, working digitally on Vampire State Building, working with an inker after years of not, what exactly being a comics laureate entails, before closing with five questions about Star Wars, Legos, his band, and more.

Nov 28, 2016

On this week's Off Panel, artist John Paul Leon joins the show to talk art and his work on comic covers for books like The Sheriff of Babylon and DMZ. He talks his art background, giving fantastical worlds a sense of realism, his approach on covers, how he handled The Sheriff of Babylon, the power and importance of photo reference, the key to a quality cover, how he handles interiors, how color changes the way he approaches a piece, the freedom of comics, and more.

Nov 21, 2016

On this week's Off Panel, artist Ryan Stegman joins the show to talk his art and Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows. He discusses his famous stegosaurus signature, when he first realized he wanted to work in comics, the influence of the early 90s on him, why he wants to blow people's minds with his art, animation as an influence, his process, the trouble with layouts, Akira, his rare Spider-Man achievement, why Spidey is his jam, and more.

Nov 17, 2016

The owner of comic retailer Comics Conspiracy, Ryan Higgins, joins Off Panel this week to talk Marvel Now and where the publisher is these days. Higgins shares how he got into comics retail, what his customer base is like, his take on Marvel overall, how Marvel Now has performed at his shop, why he thinks Marvel is struggling in his store, why Rebirth has connected so well with his audience, the trouble with variants, the positives of Marvel Now, what he'd do if he ran Marvel Comics, the trouble with relaunches, how he feels about the current state of the comic industry, the perception of the direct market, and more.

Nov 14, 2016

Writer Vivek Tiwary joins Off Panel this week to talk the new edition of his graphic novel The Fifth Beatle. Tiwary talks his comic background, what the learning curve was like for writing comics after years in Broadway and beyond, why the story of Brian Epstein was so interesting to him, turning the story into a graphic novel and a TV series, why Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker were perfect fits for the art of the book, balancing historical accuracy and getting the right feel for the book, why The Fifth Beatle released a paperback edition, promoting his work, and more.

Nov 7, 2016

Artist Paolo Rivera joins Off Panel this week to talk how he works and what he's up to these days. He talks how sculpture changes his art, bringing characters to life with his art, what his process is, why he's dialed back on drawing interiors, maintaining cash flow without that, learning to loosen up on bringing scripts to life, why he wishes he left Daredevil later than he did, the importance of ownership, and more.

Oct 31, 2016

Writer Shea Serrano joins Off Panel this week to talk about writing and his work for The Ringer and in his New York Times Best Selling book The Rap Year Book. Serrano talks the learning curve of writing, how he refined it as he went along, why he marries his writing with original art, how he paired up with Arturo Torres, the intent of The Rap Year Book, the importance of creating a framework for the book, his process for conceptualizing articles, how he makes writing work for him, why writing for exposure is not the way to go, the FOH army (his massive group of fans), and some hoops talk before closing with five questions about a little of everything, including John Wick, who he's looking forward to watching this NBA season, HEB commercials, and more.

Oct 24, 2016

Writer Tom King joins Off Panel this week to talk his work on books like The Vision, The Sheriff of Babylon, The Omega Men and Batman. He talks his experience writing Batman, what appealed to him about comics as a storyteller, his career path, how he's refined his approach as he went along, the Trilogy of Best Intentions, the "Tom King" voice or lack thereof, why consistent artistic collaborators was so important for the trilogy, how his artistic collaborator changes how he writes, baking informational structure into his work, how he views continuity, and more.

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