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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.

Dec 11, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Kris Anka joins the show to discuss his art and work on Runaways. Anka discusses his path to comics (both as a reader and as a creator), fan art, character acting, his animation background, sound effects, his personal background with Runaways, whether the style of the cast appealed to him in particular, the Gert struggle, his art process, working with reference, collaborating with Matt Wilson, whether there is anything he finds hard to draw in particular, merchandising art, before closing with five questions about Kris Anka, the person.

Dec 4, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, Michael Oeming and Taki Soma join the show to discuss their new webcomic, The After Realm. Oeming and Soma discuss idea creation, the origin story and development of The After Realm, their background and experimention in webcomics, embracing fantasy, Patreon, managing workload, the process behind the comic, Soma's colors, how reader engagement changes approach, foods from yesteryear, their long-term goals for the comic, and more.

Nov 20, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Geof Darrow joins to talk his work on Shaolin Cowboy. Darrow discusses the impact of kung fu films on his work, the humor in Shaolin Cowboy, how his influences and background impacts his approach in his comics, his storytelling process, choreographing action sequences, creating stories within the story, why his pencils are so tight, Dave Stewart's impact on his art, how much Shaolin Cowboy reflects his own worldview, and more.

Nov 18, 2017

On this emergency episode of Off Panel, AV Club's Oliver Sava returns to discuss the big switch at the top at Marvel, as C.B. Cebulski replaced Axel Alonso as Editor-in-Chief. Subjects discussed include whether it was necessary, Marvel's aimlessness, the trouble with Legacy, the impact Alonso's comments about artists might have had, whether Cebulski is a good fit as EIC, David Gabriel's role in Marvel's struggles, the good things Alonso accomplished, risk taking at the top, our levels of concern with Marvel, before closing with a discussion about what we'd do if we were Cebulski.

Nov 13, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Alison Sampson joins the show to talk about her Image Comics series, Winnebago Graveyard. She discusses her architectural background, how her architecture background influences her comic art, panel layouts, her art process, backmatter, whether Winnebago Graveyard is more of a book market comic, women working on horror comics, whether she's gotten faster as an artist, getting bogged down in details, breaking in after an entirely different career, what Winnebago Graveyard taught her as a creator, Think of a City's present and future, and more.

Nov 8, 2017

It's emergency podcast time, as I just had to address the big news about writer Brian Michael Bendis leaving Marvel to sign exclusively with DC Comics. To do that, the AV Club's Oliver Sava joins the show, as we discuss how shocking the news was, what makes it so stunning, what books we'd most want to see him to take over at DC, what the deal means for DC, Bendis's ability to lure for other creatives, Marvel's other loss on the day, what losing Bendis means for Marvel, the silver lining of losing Bendis for Marvel, Marvel's need for a new architect, Hickman's reaction to all this, whether the next generation of superhero writers will be interested in shared universe stories, DC's momentum, and more.

Nov 6, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, Comichron's John Jackson Miller joins the show to discuss the comic market and his origins. Miller talks about his 25 years in comics, the origins of Comichron, what it's trying to accomplish, whether being estimates impacts Comichron's legitimacy, how people use the data, the myth of cancellation levels, the comic market today vs. the 90s, the importance of single issues, the trickiness of variant covers, Marvel's position in the market, the amount of comics in the market today, whether publisher gamesmanship impacts the legitimacy of sales numbers, doom and gloom, and more.

Oct 30, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Ed Piskor talks about his upcoming series X-Men: Grand Design. He discusses his comic book origin story, what a comic book collection says about a person, why the Byrne/Claremont run is so specifically his jam, hanging out with Chris Claremont at NYCC, how X-Men: Grand Design came together, the process of organizing and structuring the series, his process on the book, recoloring X-Men #1, making a Marvel comic as a cartoonist, style vs. storytelling, entering the world of superheroes, his Nike Air Force 1 project, and more.

Oct 23, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Jim Zub joins the show to talk the upcoming "No Surrender" story in Avengers and the business of comics. Zub discusses the influences of Dungeons & Dragons on his writing, dealing with internet trolls, the development of No Surrender, collaborating with multiple writers on one book, the playful competitiveness on the project, his Avengers fame, his write-ups on the business of comics, armchair quarterbacking comics sales, the appeal of Image Comics, and more, before talking Overwatch to close the show.

Oct 16, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Matt Fraction joins the show to discuss his work on comics like Sex Criminals, Casanova, and Solid State. Fraction talks the impact of the Warren Ellis Forums, the rise of the Brimpers, why so many connected deeply to Sex Criminals, the book's backmatter, following your gut in writing, accessibility, getting over the fear of writing, integrating Elizabeth Breitweiser into their creative routine, collaboration, Casanova's impact, the unique challenge of Solid State, the importance of a comic being of physical substance, the Milkfed newsletter, and more.

Oct 12, 2017

On this week's bonus episode of Off Panel, my pal Brandon Burpee joins the to talk the greatest event comics of all time and our thoughts on the Marvel Legacy one-shot. We share our take on the one-shot's quality (with the review portion ending 15 minutes in), whether it made us want to read more Marvel comics, Brandon's related conspiracy theories, the appeal of the upcoming Rogue & Gambit series, where we are with event comics these days, whether events are old hat, how the way comics news is handled has impacted events, what makes a good event, before we close with a discussion about our ten favorite event/weekly comics ever.

Oct 9, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, the owner of Big Bang Comics in Dublin, John Hendrick, returns to the show to talk the world of comics. Hendrick discusses his shop's perspective on Marvel, their comic market tweets, BookScan's plan to track sell-through of comics, the difference between Rebirth and Legacy, the lack of awareness amongst their customers in Legacy, DC's handling of Alan Moore properties, how his shop is doing this year, the impact of having a great staff and a good looking store, the controversial retailer meeting at NYCC, whether the direct market is killing print comics, the crew of people trolling Big Bang and varying people in comics, and more.

Oct 2, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, Vulture and New York Magazine's Abraham Riesman comes on the podcast to discuss his feature writing and recent massive piece on the change of approach at DC Entertainment. Riesman discusses his work through the prism of his Fantastic Four tattoo, the story of seeing Logan with Chris Claremont, how his feature writing develops, how much social media and corporate mergers have changed interviews with people in comics, the skills necessary to succeed in comics these days, how his big DC Entertainment feature developed, how The New 52 became The New 52, his upcoming Batman: The Animated Series oral history, the art of the interview, and more, before we dive into five questions about Riesman himself.

Sep 25, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Jason Aaron joins the show to talk his work and process. Aaron discusses how he balances his workload, his writing process, the difference between creator-owned and for-hire, the impact of a good editor, how far he planned out his Thor run, why the major story beats of his Thor run appealed to him, the Nick Fury mystery beat, whether he misses tackling smaller, more finite stories, turning the Legacy one-shot into a cohesive story, how his work differs (or doesn't) from artist to artist, his personal connection to Scalped, whether Southern Bastards feel like a different beast than his other creator-owned books, the community building of letters columns, growing up in a small town and its impact on his relationship with comics, Alabama football, and more.

Sep 18, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, Strip Panel Naked and PanelxPanel's Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou joins the show to discuss his work. Hass shares how he got into comics originally, his film background, how that all informed Strip Panel Naked, what made him want to start the show, how he works puts the show together, how he deals with the grind of creating, what made Patreon the right move for him, the origins of PanelxPanel, its monetization model, the niche he's filling in comics journalism, his Under the Hood podcast, and more.

Sep 11, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, The Beat's Heidi MacDonald returns to the show to talk the state of comics and comics journalism. MacDonald discusses where comics are creatively, the sheer volume of comics these days, how new opportunities have changed things for creators, what she's really enjoying in comics, the health of the comics industry, Marvel's arrogance, DC's bold moves, where comics journalism is these days, the Craig Yoe controversy, the niche-y nature of journalism, monetization models, how the journalism struggle goes beyond comics, and more.

Sep 4, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Caspar Wijngaard joins the show to talk his art and his upcoming Image comic with writer Si Spurrier, Angelic. Wijngaard discusses how his interest in comics and art developed, the influence video games had on him, the development of his career, why creator-owned appeals to him so much, how for-hire work prepared him for Angelic, the development of the book, meshing the natural and future looks of Angelic, the appeal of world building, the perks of working digitally, why he colors himself, and more.

Aug 28, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Paul Azaceta joins the show to discuss his work on the Image/Skybound title, Outcast. He discusses how he got started in comics, the Alex Toth influence, finding efficiencies in his art, his process on Outcast, the benefits of digital art, how his process has evolved, why he and colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser jive so well, Outcast's covers, whether he as trepidatious about signing onto the project, the value of working on an ongoing, the book's inset panels, and more.

Aug 21, 2017

On this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Zander Cannon joins the show to discuss his Oni Press comic, Kaijumax. He discusses how the book became more than a side project, why he went with a season model on the book, his trepidation diving into it without a safety net, whether his DC layout work prepared him for Kaijumax, problem solving on the page, handling everything himself on the book, his process, working with Oni and Charlie Chu, balancing tone in the book, the benefits of the season model, the appeal of studio life, and more.

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.

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