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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.

Jun 17, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, retailer Jacob Sareli joins to talk about his shop Comikaza, the first comic shop ever in Israel. Sareli discusses how he got into comics, the Israel comics scene, how he ended up taking over Comikaza, how the shop has evolved, what's working for his shop, the impact of manga and kids comics, how the past couple years have been, what he'd like to see more of, what doesn't work in his shop, Free Comic Book Day's impact, his shop's demographics, and more.

May 27, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, Andrea Demonakos joins the podcast to talk about the world of merchandising and White Squirrel, her company that's designed to help artists sell their products online. Demonakos discusses Toronto's part in her comic background, her varying roles in the comics and how they helped her better understand that world, running Vancouver Comic Arts Festival, the origins of White Squirrel, the evolution of cons, what merchandising does for creators, managing Kickstarters, where White Squirrel is headed, the future of merchandising, and more.

May 13, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Robbie Thompson joins the podcast to talk about his Marvel mini-series Meet the Skrulls. Thompson discusses shipping, fandom, why he wanted to write comics, the greatness of Javier Rodriguez, the origins of his current Marvel mini-series Meet the Skrulls, this being the most him Marvel project he's had, the themes of family and identity in the book, Niko Henrichon's art, the nuance of Skrulls, individuating shapeshifters, and more, before we close with five questions about Thompson, the person.

May 6, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Jody Leheup joins the podcast to talk about his Image series, The Weatherman. Leheup discusses the stories that made him, his time at Marvel editorial, what he learned during that time, spinning plates, the origins of The Weatherman, Nathan Fox's impact, Tom Muller's design, the complexity of series lead Nathan Bright, the troubling death from the first issue, our relationship with animals in fiction, the season model, what's coming next, marketing the book, 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.

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.

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 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.

Jul 30, 2018

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Daniel Warren Johnson returns to the show to talk the end of Extremity and the story behind his new comic, Murder Falcon. Johnson discusses his recent San Diego Comic Con experience, whether his cons have changed since Extremity, the personal connection people had with the book, the power of story, what he did after he wrapped that project, the key takeaways from tackling Extremity, the origins of Murder Falcon, putting so much of himself in a book, the importance of emotional throughlines, the sound and look of Murder Falcon, building a mythology, his collaborators, his manga influence, before a little baseball talk to close the podcast.

Jul 9, 2018

In this week's episode of Off Panel, former writer, artist and Marvel editor joins the show to talk his career, the Transformers, and more. Budiansky discusses having his life dramatized in The Toys That Made Us, the origins of The Transformers (and his part in it), how he ended up at Marvel, whether he viewed comics as a career at the time, what Marvel was like in the 80s, Mark Gruenwald, how he started writing The Transformers, his approach on the book, why he left it, whether his relationship with the property has changed, the Marvel Universe trading cards he was the architect of, the Marvel implosion in the 90s, why he never returned to comics, and more.

Mar 6, 2018

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Gerry Duggan joins the podcast to discuss his new Image series, Analog, and his views on writing. Duggan talks about the ComicsPRO experience, his comics retail past, comic naming conventions, working with the Allreds, his wave of creator-owned books, Analog vs. reality, whether he needed to mix things up, his time writing for television, the surprising script that helped him get Deadpool, why the lead of Analog is such a perfect gateway into its world, his collaborators on the book, working with John McCrea on Dead Rabbit, and more.

Mar 1, 2018

In a bonus episode of Off Panel, we have one recorded live last week from ComicsPRO's annual meeting in Portland, Oregon with two of the best retailers in comics - John Hendrick of Dublin's Big Bang Comics and Steve Anderson of Maryland's Third Eye Comics. It's a caffeine fueled discussion - at least on my end - where we talk about the origins of their shops, their affinity for retail, how they organize their comics, what 2017 was like for their shops, Rick & Morty, their hopes for 2018, Marvel's Fresh Start, customer behavior, the value of signings and events, and more.

Feb 22, 2018

In a special bonus episode, artist Nick Pitarra joins the show to talk his newly announced Image series with writer John Layman and colorist Mike Garland, Leviathan. Pitarra discusses what he's been up to since Manhattan Projects, his art philosophy, the origins of Leviathan, what it's all about, his preferred type of storytelling, his vision for the book, his vision for Leviathan, his approach on art, the importance of integrity in art, his view on art, how deadlines and schedules can impact art's integrity, his love of original art, his connection to Seth Fisher, and more.

Feb 19, 2018

This week on Off Panel, Dan Gearino, the author of Comic Shop: The Retail Mavericks Who Gave Us a New Geek Culture, joins the show to talk his new book about the world and history of comic shops. Gearino discusses his comic book origin story, when he first visited a comic shop, why he wanted to write a book about the direct market and comic shops, the origin of the book, the tenor of conversation with his interviewees, the research process for the book, the cyclical nature of comics, the essential nature of the women of the direct market, the difficulty of pinning down who Phil Seuling was, his ideal comic shop, how shops will need to evolve, barometer comics, how comic shops reflect personalities, the future of comics, 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Oct 3, 2016

On this week's episode of Off Panel, Skybound Entertainment Editorial Director Sean Mackiewicz joins the show to talk his work at the publisher on books like The Walking Dead and Invincible. He talks what his role at Skybound entails, how his role takes him into other mediums, how Skybound develops new titles and talent, their new title Green Valley, how sales viability factors into looking at Skybound pitches, how the editorial experience differs between Skybound and DC, the end of Invincible, and more.

Apr 27, 2016

In another Emerald City ComiCon edition of Off Panel, colorists Matt Wilson (The Wicked + The Divine, Black Widow) and Nathan Fairbairn (Wonder Woman: Earth One, the upcoming Lake of Fire) join the show to talk about the world of comic coloring. They talk the impact of being a colorist, how they got into that line of work, their breaking in stories, how many books they can handle at one time, how the project can impact their work, their approach to coloring comics, the evolution of color art, colorists as storytellers, colorists that stand out to them, the three jobs of a colorist, how they refine their work, colorists in the overall conversation of comics, and more. For those interested in color work, this is a great insight into the work colorists do.

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