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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.