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.
This week on Off Panel, artist Ryan Stegman returns to the show for a special episode breaking down his personal power rankings of varying subjects important to him. Stegman discusses his favorite artists growing up, his most surprising influences, the Malice in the Palace, his personal Mount Rushmore of comics, the artists he'd steal the powers of, the most important meals of the days, his favorite projects, and more. It's a bit different for Off Panel, but I hope you enjoy it.
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.
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.
This week on Off Panel, cartoonist Box Brown joins the show to discuss his new graphic novel, Is This Guy for Real?, a biocomic exploring the life of Andy Kaufman. Brown talks about his recent trip to France for Angoulême, the mindset as major projects are released, why Andy Kaufman was a subject of interest to him, whether his biocomic subjects were ones he had connections to, the impact of The Man on the Moon, who Kaufman really was, his process on biocomics like this one, the impact of First Second on his work, the new opportunities available to creators, how comics will look in the future, and more.
Jon Davis-Hunt, the artist of The Wild Storm at DC Comics, joins the show to talk his art and the development of the book. He discusses WildCATs/Aliens, what came first for him: comics or art, his background in video games, the impact that had on his art, being "the new guy," how the Wild Storm came together, coming up with the look of that universe, his art process, and more, before diving into five questions about Jon Davis-Hunt, the person.
Writer Tee Franklin joins Off Panel this week to talk her upcoming Image Comics graphic novella, Bingo Love. Franklin discusses her path into comics, her interest in writing comics before, figuring out how to write comics, the origins of Bingo Love, the impact of artist Jenn St. Onge, the Kickstarter experience, the downside of crowd-funding, what made Image the right fit for the comic, the importance of representation in comics, the marketing of independent comics, her personal and business mottos for 2018, and more.
The newly minted publisher of Oni Press, James Lucas Jones, joins the podcast to discuss 20 years of the publisher. Jones discusses his path to becoming publisher, Oni's evolution, the development of the comic industry, how competition has changed their approach, recent position changes at Oni, the power of libraries, why Oni moved from Diamond to Simon & Schuster for book distribution, deciding between publishing in single issues or graphic novels, before he talks about some of Oni's biggest books over the years and the 2017-18 NBA season.
Comic shop owner Patrick Brower returns to the podcast to talk about 2017 in comic book retail. Brower discusses why the last quarter of the year lagged so badly in his shop, what he thinks triggered the downturn in 2017, the volume of comics being produced, what worked in his shop, the Rickmobile, the impact of in-store events, what didn't work in his shop during the year, society's impact on sales, why pull list customers disappeared in December, his take on what's driving fans away, what's causing Marvel's struggles, the devaluation of artists at Marvel, the dip in graphic novel sales, the impact of comic book culture going mainstream, the lack of impactful marketing in the industry, the shop's plans for 2018, and more.
Artist Esad Ribić guests on this week's episode of Off Panel, as he joins to discuss his art and his upcoming Image series, VS. He discusses his path to making American comics, his influences outside of comics, the Croatian comics scene, his approach to comic art, why he's turned to creator-owned after a long stretch at Marvel, the appeal of VS, his line art getting painted by someone else, attribution of art storytelling choices, world building, the impact schedule has on his art, his Hawaii art book for Louis Vuitton, and more.
Writer Ivan Brandon visits Off Panel this week, as he joins the podcast to discuss his new Image series VS. Brandon chats about his own comics background, learning from David Mazzucchelli, how he first decided to work in comics, the stretch between the late 90s and early 00s in comics, the experience on Men of War in DC's New 52, longform projects, the difference between Western comics and manga, the development of VS, Nic Klein's painted colors on VS, how Esad Ribic realizes futuristic environments, familiarity's impact on collaboration, the level of collaboration necessary for VS, marketing comics in 2017, and more.
On this week's 2017 finale of Off Panel, my pal Brandon Burpee returns to the show to talk the year in comics. We discuss why 2017 was an improvement on 2016, parity in comics, the depth of the field, positive surprises and disappointments from the year, noticeable storytelling trends, our outlook for 2018, before closing with a countdown of our 20 favorite comics of the year.
Also, an FYI: Off Panel will return the first week of 2018!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.