Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks guests on this week's episode of Off Panel, as she joins the show to talk her new graphic novel, The Nameless City. She talks her insanely busy schedule, the long build to the release of the book, how it developed, why she wanted to create a trilogy of stories, visual storytelling, bringing action sequences to life, the diversity of her story, embracing fantasy elements, working with Jordie Bellaire on the book, working with First Second, the growing YA comic world, the power of Raina Telgemeier and Jeff Smith and much more.
This week's Off Panel is a rare double feature, as Christopher Sebela and Robert Wilson IV, the creative team behind the upcoming Heartthrob at Oni Press, join the show to talk their upcoming book. The pair talks how the book first came together, their creative process, Fleetwood Mac's fit on the book, researching the era of the book (and watching heart transplant YouTube videos), what they did to promote the project, what made Oni perfect partners for them, the story behind their Jamie McKelvie variant and much more. It's a great chat with an excellent upcoming book.
The team over at DC Entertainment is having a big weekend, so Brandon Burpee joins the show to break down all of the happenings. Things kick off with a discussion about today's Rebirth announcement, our initial thoughts, what books we're buying for sure, what's got them hyped, what doesn't, and then things get into the main event: a spoiler-filled discussion about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The pair talks what they liked, what they didn't, how they're feeling about DC's cinematic universe and much more. If you haven't watched the movie yet, you can cut out after the Rebirth talk, and there's a clear spoiler warning you can't and shouldn't miss if you haven't seen it yet.
Sina Grace, the hyphenate cartoonist behind the art of The Li'l Depressed Boy, the graphic novel Self-Obsessed and the star/writer behind a webseries based off that GN (which started yesterday!), joins the show this week to talk what's going on with him. They talk the webseries, how it came together, what the inspiration was for it, whether or not he got to diva up for it, the music of the series (and the lack of Jenny Lewis), how it was adapting his own book into a different medium, his growth as a cartoonist, what his experience as the editorial director of Skybound taught him, where he plans on taking his comics next, and much more.
Kate Leth, writer of Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat and Vampirella, joins the show this week to talk her work and the growing community of women who work in retail shops that she founded - The Valkyries. Leth talks how busy she's gotten these days, why she wanted to make that Hellcat a book anyone could enjoy, how comics have been changing recently, the freedom Marvel's given her on the book, how the character in Jessica Jones did (or didn't) impact her book, Patsy's history, gateway comics, finding your voice, Brittney Williams' prodigious gifts, how the Valkyries first came together, their growing reputation, how the retail world is changing, and then everything closes with five questions about Harry Potter, Zootopia and comics.
This week's guest is the former co-host of video show 4 Color News and Brews and podcast SKTCHD Out, Brandon Burpee, as he comes on the show to talk all things Rebirth. We talk about DC's plans, what our initial thoughts are, how they're going to handle things like "universes" and "legacy," and then we get into the main event. DC hasn't announced any of the 32 creative teams as of yet, but as with most things, Brandon and I have ideas. We split the 32 books and followed a few key rules - no writer could be on more than two books and no artist could be on more than one - and delivered the creative teams and ideas that we think would make for the best DC comics universe. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.
Artist Sanford Greene guests on Off Panel this week to talk his new Marvel book, Power Man and Iron Fist. He talks collaborating with David Walker and the rest of the team, the emotions tied to launching a new title, the internet's place in getting immediate feedback in your work, his personal connection to the title, the work of defining characters visually, his influences (including animation and Norman Rockwell (!!)), photo reference, the Carolina comic connection, the changing landscape in comics for artists, and much more. I could say this every time, but this is genuinely one of the best episodes of the show yet, especially if you're an art centric fan.
Marcos Martin, artist and co-creator of The Private Eye and Barrier as well as the artist on an upcoming Walking Dead special, joins the show this week to talk his art and the unique nature of his digital endeavor with Brian K. Vaughan, Panel Syndicate. Martin talks how the upcoming Walking Dead special came together, the serendipitous nature of that experience, what kind of oversight they've seen working with someone else's toys, how his hart changes with black and white and their horizontal format, the guerrilla nature of Panel Syndicate, the appeal of their release strategy, how he views print comics, Barrier and the complaints about the language barrier, challenging yourself creatively, and much more. It's a great chat with one of the best creators in comics.
Rich Johnston, the man behind Bleeding Cool, joins Off Panel this week to talk his site and the world of comics. The discussion goes all over the place, including how he first got into comics gossip, why he's an entertainer and not a journalist, how websites and news has changed, where his stories come from, breaking stories, his bar for substantiating stories, verifying and managing sources, his insane schedule, how Avatar influences his work, what's going on with DC's Rebirth, how he justifies running certain stories, and more. It's a really interesting listen with one of the most notable comic...entertainers around.
Steve Lieber, the artist of Superior Foes of Spider-Man and the upcoming The Fix, joins the show this week to talk his work, collaboration and more. Lieber shares what appeals to him about working with writer Steve Lieber, how his art had to change as humor became much more important in his work, what makes character work so interesting, the transition to digital art, the pleasure of making people laugh with his work, his Kubert School experience, the value of photo reference, Periscope Studios, whether or not he's comics' answer to Obi Wan Kenobi, Jeff Parker's badassery as an artist, the time he took on 4chan, and much more.
The team behind Shutter, Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca, join the show this week to talk their Image Comics book. The conversation is a sprawling one, as they talk the upcoming arc of their book, the evolution of their lead and work, their process, experimenting with story and form, standing out in today's industry, the focus on what's new, Periscope Studio, Joe's love of cats, and things close with five questions, Shutter style. It's a big talk with a phenomenal creative team, and well worth a listen for fans of comics, especially of Shutter itself.
Jason Latour, the writer of Spider-Gwen and artist/co-creator of Southern Bastards, joins Off Panel this week to talk about his work, career and collaboration. We talk the difference between writing and art for him, how those two roles inform each other, his working relationships with his creative partners like Jason Aaron, Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi, how growing up in the Charlotte area helped him, Coach Boss as Bill Belichick, challenging readers, Saturday morning cartoons, Spider-Gwen's success, the Carolina Panthers, barbecue, and much more.
Lazarus artist Michael Lark guests on this week's episode of Off Panel, as we talk about his Image Comics title with writer Greg Rucka. Lark discusses how the book's going, how he's handling the schedule, the depth the team goes to in the book, creator-owned comics, his process, the marriage of traditional and digital art, how his art is a happy accident, the fun of drawing comics, what appeals to him about Rucka's writing, and a whole lot more. It's a great conversation with one of the best in the business, with a ton of insight into how he works.
Comic retailer Brian Hibbs joins Off Panel this week to talk about his year at his shops Comix Experience and Comix Experience Outpost in San Francisco as a follow-up to our retailer year in review piece. Hibbs talks what 2015 was like for him, how his shops are evolving, the importance (or lack thereof) of pricing, the downturn of DC, Marvel’s mistakes, the value of handselling, the difference between his shops, whether or not there are too many comics today, his shop’s graphic novel club, and much more.
Injection's Declan Shalvey joins the show this week to talk his Image title with Warren Ellis, Jordie Bellaire and Fonografiks. The conversation goes all over the place, as the pair discusses what the experience has been like so far, where the book is headed next, how he's managed the workload, the greater control creator-owned provides, managing his schedule, the added work promotion brings to his life, putting up or shutting up in the artist credit discussion, why he does so many covers, his interest in writing comics, and then things come to a close with five random questions to help you get to know him a bit better.
Comic writer Michael Moreci (Roche Limit, Burning Fields) joins the show this week for a doozy of an episode, as the pair dives deep into Moreci's work, the comic industry, and...Star Wars? That's right. The pair talks about what's next for his sci-fi book Roche Limit, how film influences his writing, how to get and keep the attention of comic readers and retailers, the importance of being different in an increasingly large industry, personal branding, the struggle of quality of work versus name recognition when it comes to sales, sales vs. internet hype, why he and a bunch of collaborators made their own Star Wars comics, and then they close with a spoiler-rific discussion about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It's a big talk, but an entertaining and interesting one.
Andrew WK, the musician and King of Partying, is this week's guest on Off Panel as he joins to talk comics, music and fandom. WK comes on and talks why comic books are his kind of party, the communal experience of comics and music, why comic conventions are such special experiences, the positivity and power of fandom, embracing your passions, what he enjoys about comics, how he keeps his passion for live music, his pursuit of joy in all things, and more. It's a shorter episode, but it's a good one.
David's former SKTCHD Out and <a href="http://www.multiversitycomics.com/tag/4-color-news-and-brews/" target="_blank">4 Color News & Brews</a> co-host Brandon Burpee joins Off Panel this week to go proper fanboy and discuss the year in comics from their perspectives. While they kick things off with a very brief discussion about their thoughts on the X-Men Apocalypse trailer and how they're feeling right before Star Wars: The Force Awakens drops, the pair talks about where comics are in 2015, what Marvel and DC got right and wrong this year, how rising prices are impacting them, what they'd change in comics, what the biggest "HELL YES!" moment was in 2015, who their Most Valuable Creators were, what's been overhyped and underhyped, how their own reading habits have changed, and then they close with a discussion about their ten favorite comics of the year. It's a longer than usual episode, but for those listeners who've been wanting things to get a little bit more into the fan side of things on occasion, this is for you.
Shannon Watters - Editor at BOOM! Studios, heads of KaBOOM! and BOOM! Box, and co-writer/co-creator of Lumberjanes - joins the show to talk about her varying roles and what she looks for in comics. The conversation's a sprawling one, and leads to discussion about all kinds of subjects, including the importance in casting on her books, how much she reads for her job (and in life), the power of characters, the tone and sensibilities of the books she works on, the importance of aspirational characters, the truth of Katniss Everdeen, positive representation in comics, how they make Lumberjanes work, why she loves making comics for people of all ages, and much, much more. It's a great and random conversation, and one that is very interesting for comic fans of all varieties.
Jim Demonakos, the founder of Seattle's Emerald City ComiCon and the Director of Comic Talent at ReedPop, joins the show this week to talk all things cons. Demonakos takes us back to how ECCC first got started, how it's grown, the deal they made with ReedPop, how that relationship is (or isn't) changing ECCC going forward, how he works to keep conventions comic focused, dealing with the backlash to ECCC's growth, the future of cons, and much more. It's a big discussion on a subject not often talked about, and the seasoned vet of the con game gives great insight into that world.
The Beat's Heidi MacDonald guests on this week's episode of Off Panel, as she talks with David about her career as a comics journalist and beyond. They talk about how things have changed over her thirty years in the industry, the stigma surrounding comics, comics culture, her goals for The Beat, the state of things in internet and comics journalism, leading for the writers of tomorrow, and what has her the most excited about the future of comics. It's a great chat with one of the savviest people in the comic industry today.
Colorist Matt Wilson guests on this week's episode of Off Panel, as he joins David to talk the art of coloring comic. The pair talks the role of a colorist in a comic, how he works, what drives his choices, how he collaborates with his partners, what he does while he works, the increased visibility of colorists in today's industry, how his experience differs from project to project, the role of colorists as a tastemaker, the power of flatters, and much more.
Designer Tom Muller guests on this week's episode of Off Panel to talk the evolution of comic design. The pair talks Muller's background, how his role plays out on both creator-owned comics and on for-hire jobs, how comic design has grown in importance, the difference between creating covers himself and working with an artist, creating a holistic feel to a comic, the designers he enjoys, and much more. It's a chat that gives a lot of insight into the rarely looked at world of comic design, but beware, we had a little bit of a problem with Alaska's internet this week. There are some slight technical difficulties here.
Jim Zub joins Off Panel to talk the business of comics and his work on Wayward at Image Comics. Zub talks about the blogs he has put together about his work, career and financials successes, managing your brand online, how interacting with retailers has impacted his books, some of the tinkering he's done to develop the audience for his book Skullkickers, his teaching job, his collaborators on Wayward, where the book is going next, and a whole lot more. It's a really insightful chat about not just creating comics, but finding an audience for them once you do.
Writer Joe Kelly is the guest in this week's episode of Off Panel, and he joins the show to talk about his career in the past, present and future. We talk about how his animation work with Man of Action has changed his approach to comics, why he keeps coming back to them, the emotional appeal of I Kill Giants, the upcoming film adaptation of that comic, returning to Deadpool, what makes that character so very popular, his artistic partners, the resurrection of Four Eyes, and a whole lot more. It's a fantastic conversation with one of the real gems in comics.