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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alert! Alert! Things have gotten weird for Marvel Comics lately, between the delayed Civil War II and the uninspiring Marvel Now line, and Off Panel's here to fix everything. To do that, recurring guest Brandon Burpee joins the show to put on co-publisher hats with David and create a whole new Marvel universe line. The show starts with a discussion as to where Marvel is now, how Civil War II has impacted their reading lists, the oddness of some of the Marvel Now titles, event related confusion, how the Rebirth strategy could work for Marvel, before the main event: the Marvel fantasy draft. Ground rules are laid out, and then Brandon and David team up to draft new creative teams for their line of comics, as well as sharing their vision for why these books are the right fit for this new Marvel universe.
Chris Samnee, the co-writer and artist of Marvel's Black Widow, joins Off Panel this week to talk his work on that book and his new Daredevil Artist's Edition from IDW Publishing. Samnee talks how that Artist's Edtion came together, his approach to art, why the inking process is so important to him, what makes working on Black Widow so special, how co-writing that book changes things for him, the superpowers of color artist Matt Wilson, character acting, and more. It's a great chat with one of the best in the biz these days.
On this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Brahm Revel joins the show to talk his Oni Press series Guerillas. Revel shares what the series is all about, how it developed, its long journey to completion, switching from single issues to graphic novels, how the marketplace has changed since it first launched in 2009, why the book took such a turn in the third volume, how the format and expanded timeline of the book has impacted his art, character acting, balancing Guerillas and paying gigs, and more.
Writer Sara Kenney and editor Karen Berger come onto the show this week to talk their new Image Comics title, Surgeon X. The pair shares what the book is all about, its origin story, how Berger joined up and what made it the one she wanted to return to comics with, the learning curve in going from film/TV to comics and from DC/Vertigo to Image, how the rest of the creative team - artist John Watkins, colorist James Devlin and letterer Jared K. Fletcher - joined the book, balancing realism with entertainment value, and a discussion about why having app for the comic was a move they wanted to do.
Cartoonist John Allison joins Off Panel for the first time this week to talk his work writing Giant Days and writing/drawing webcomics like Bad Machinery and Scary Go Round. It's a conversation that goes all over the place, as Allison discusses keeping the continuity of his webcomics work straight, how his DIY origins and page limits impacted his work on Giant Days, fostering a relationship between readers and characters, character acting in art, world building, properly handling humor, how the webcomic world has changed as the internet has, and much more.
Newsarama Editor Chris Arrant joins the show this week to talk writing about comics. Arrant discusses his comics journalism origin story, whether "comics journalism" is a proper term, the difference between his approach and that of his peers, how he made writing about comics his career, what makes for a good interview, how the landscape of writing about comics has changed over the years, recent redesigns and changes at comic sites, adapting to the changing nature of the internet, and more. As a special change of space, the five questions at the end? They're of Chris interviewing David, as opposed to the usual.
Cartoonist Andrew MacLean joins the show to talk about one of my favorite books, his Image Comics title Head Lopper. Maclean shares how the book came together, the quarterly format and doing things his way, his hyper DIY mentality, the Mike Mignola connection and influence, his creative process, making a good villain and action sequence, holding things back from readers, and more.
Writer Jim Zub joins the show this week to talk his brand new Image title that launches this week, Glitterbomb. Zub talks what Glitterbomb is all about, the horror of the reality of the story, how he works out hard storytelling beats, the amazing that is artist Djibril Morissette, how this book differs from the rest of his work, the motives of the book's lead, building hype without spoiling your own book, the incredible creative team, how important promoting your own work is in comics, before closing with five questions about poutine, Canada, Overwatch and more.
Important note: there were technical difficulties in recording this episode, so there are some issues in the sound quality.
Writer Kieron Gillen joins the show to talk a whole lot about The Wicked + The Divine, his Image comic with frequent collaborator Jamie McKelvie. The conversation actually starts with a bit about Darth Vader, before jumping into the concept of the faux cartoonist, how that idea has moved in Marvel and DC, how Team WicDiv works together, the importance of arc titles and taking risks, their Imperial Phase, and then a discussion about the recent survey they ran starting at 35:30 that touches on the makeup of their readership, variants, building a community and more. The episode closes with a quick chat about Warren Ellis' influence, before Gillen pulls back the curtain on what to expect from the Kevin Wada drawn 23rd issue of WicDiv at 1:04:00.
Writer Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Nailbiter, Birthright) comes back to the show for a special episode, as he walks listeners through the experience of developing, announcing, launching, promoting and maintaining a comic. They talk about the genesis of his upcoming book Vertigo book Frostbite with Jason Shawn Alexander, how it ended up at Vertigo, how he and his collaborators like artist Jason Shawn Alexander and letterer Steve Wands work together, Wands' contributions to The Flash and Frostbite, how the process differs between creator-owned and for-hire work, how much promotion factors in between rolling out in Previews and FOC, retailer outreach, what the week of The Flash launching was like, keeping momentum rolling in a series after launch, and more.
This week's Off Panel welcomes AV Club comic critic Oliver Sava back to the show to talk big changes at DC and Marvel as well as everything else that's going on in comics. David and Oliver talk the constant non-change change at Marvel and DC, why Rebirth is working and why it isn't, Marvel's season model and its impact, the appeal of Valiant Comics in today's era, digital coloring and art, the impact of collaboration on comics, Oliver's personal reading history, his writing approach, his freedom in writing, his current Mount Rushmore of comics, and more.
On the originally scheduled return episode of Off Panel, Oni Press Senior Editor Charlie Chu joins the show to talk his role and work on books like Kaijumax, Heartthrob and The Sixth Gun. Chu talks about how he got into comics, how his role differs books to book, his many hats in comics, balancing tone, working off reader expectations, comics and the current period of disruption, diversity in comics, the magic of Oni Press and more before diving into five random questions.
The Ringer's Jason Concepcion joins the show this week to talk about the pros and cons of the latest DC Entertainment movie - Suicide Squad. They talk how the movie reflects David Ayer's world view, its perceived badness versus actual badness, Jared Leto's Joker performance, where DC's movie universe stands, the potential impact of Geoff Johns on it, the movie's troubled development, Zack Snyder, buying or selling DC's film future, why Marvel excels at movies while DC struggles, Marvel vs. DC in fandom, before ending with five random questions about Overwatch, the Knicks and more.
On this week's Off Panel, Marvel editor Wil Moss guests on the show to talk about his work and experience in the world of editorial. They talk his expansive list of titles, how those books came together, his approach to casting the titles he works on, the excellence of Squirrel Girl, how difficult it is to peg The Vision with a single genre, the freedom he gives creators he works with, how he got into the editorial world, what a day in the life of a Marvel editor is like, how some specific issues come together, the artists and assistant editors he works with, where he goes to discover new creators, how his job changes depending on the experience level of the creators he's working with, how the season model changes his plans, and more.
Plus, stay tuned to the end for a special message at the end from David about the future of Off Panel and what's going on at SKTCHD.
On this week's episode of Off Panel, the owner of Big Bang Comics in Dublin, Ireland - John Hendrick - joins the show to talk comics and the world of retail. In a reversal, the show starts with five random questions about Sabretooth, Ireland, drinks of choice and more, before diving into the retail world. The pair talks Big Bang's recent move last year, what makes the retail world so rewarding, comic shops as an extension of the owner's personality, the proper balance in a comic shop, the Irish comics scene, the difference between marketing comics when Hendrick started in retail in the 90's vs. now, the trickiness of ordering comics, the timing of comic releases around movies and TV shows, Marvel's problems with trades and graphic novels, the power of signings, the darkness of Twitter, Big Bang's weekly comic sales analysis tweets, his ComicsPro experience, Rebirth vs. Civil War II, how the controversy impacted Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, a demonstration of his incredible abilities of picking books for readers, and more.
Want to skip straight to the retail talk? Jump to right around the 20 minute mark.
It's a big one, everybody. This week is Off Panel's double-sized holofoil, acetate edition 50th episode (with a Gambit hologram on the cover), and David's longest tenured comic friend Brandon Burpee joins the show to talk about a little bit of everything. They talk their favorite anniversary comics, what made them so awesome, why they went away, their thoughts on Captain America: Civil War, Geoff Johns' ascension at DC's film wing, their Rebirth and Civil War II excitement levels, the leak of the DC Universe Rebirth special, thoughts on major sites leaning into spoilers, how comic sites have changed in their seven years talking about comics, and then the show closes with Brandon turning the tables and interviewing David about a variety of subjects.
Today digital comics service ComiXology made a major announcement: ComiXology Unlimited is here, offering a wide variety of comics for $5.99 a month. Lots of information was getting out there and the conversation was all over the place, but what's real wasn't necessarily. So to change that, we got on the phone with ComiXology's CEO and co-founder David Steinberger to talk about Unlimited, why they named it that, their intent with this product, how it could help new and casual readers, peak comics, the selection on Unlimited, the tightrope walk of making this product a success without eating away at the rest of ComiXology, the behavior of ComiXology readers, the impact of in-app purchasing going away, how they're promoting the product, and what his hopes and dreams for Unlimited are.
Nick Dragotta, the artist and co-creator of East of West and one of the people behind the new comic creator grant Creators for Creators, joins the show this week to talk about what he's up to these days. Dragotta talks about the genesis of Creators for Creators, what the appeal of the project was for him, how East of West came together, how putting together a creator-owned book helped keep him in comics, the process he and Jonathan Hickman use on East of West, character acting, pace of storytelling, how the book's schedule works, the impact of Frank Martin and Rus Wooton on the book, character design, photo reference, where the book is headed, and more.