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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.

Sep 14, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, The AV Club's comics critic Oliver Sava returns for the fifth annual Superhero State of the Union. Sava and I discuss the state of the X-Men, our five favorite X-Books, the connectivity of superhero stories, Al Ewing's elite nature, the importance of events, the general shape of Marvel, Donny Cates' position at Marvel, superhero titles that are keeping it fresh, what's working at DC, the greatness of Tom Taylor, Wonder Woman: Dead Earth, Black Label, DC's new focus, how DC can fix things, what a DC HoX/PoX could look like, the future of these publishers, and more.

Sep 7, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Scott Snyder joins the podcast to chat about his currently being Kickstarted series, Nocterra. Snyder discusses the origins of...everything involving that project, why he's going heavier on creator-owned and Kickstarter, his scripts, the importance of doing your own thing, the three pillars to his approach, the universality of fear, the power of darkness, his path to comics, the Kickstarter team, the importance of not being boring to yourself, finding your own answers, and more.

Aug 31, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer and TKO Studios editor-in-chief Sebastian Girner joins to chat about his new series The Devil's Red Bride at Vault and the world of TKO. Girner discusses the origins of The Devil's Red Bride, women samurai, scratching different itches, working with other editors, when the fear hits, the art on the book, samurai comics in America, the appeal of revenge stories, what's up with TKO, what happens between each wave, whether the editing process is different at TKO, editor brain vs. writer brain, and more.

Aug 24, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, general contrepreneur and the co-founder of Lightbox Expo Jim Demonakos returns to the show to talk the Expo and conventions. Demonakos discusses Lightbox Expo's origins, its educational side, what Artist Alley was like for it, what makes it work, the pandemic decision making process, its impact on the event, their virtual artist alley, paneling at the event, the event's artist database, the future of conventions, how online elements could factor in, what's missing without physical conventions, and more.

Aug 17, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, retailer Brandon Schatz joins the show to chat about the shop Variant Edition he co-owns (with his wife, Danica LeBlanc) in Edmonton, Alberta. Schatz discusses the origins of Variant Edition, opening on Free Comic Book Day, their product mix, the wider view of comic shops, delivery, what works in his shop, all-ages comics, the importance of production value, online sales, the power of back issues, how single issues are doing, comics with a purpose, and more.

Aug 10, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Jesse Lonergan joins to chat about making comics like his recent Image Comics one-shot, Hedra. Lonergan discusses his foundational comics, the impact his roots had on his work, the appeal of more visual comics, traditional inking, his approach to art, the origins of Hedra, the 5x7 grid in the book, story vs. feel, whether creative parameters makes the work more interesting, how Hedra made it to Image, digital vs. print for the comic, and more.

Aug 4, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Stephen Mooney joins the show to chat about crowdfunding and his upcoming Kickstarter for Half Past Danger Christmas Special. Mooney discusses the pandemic, how it has affected his thinking about comics, figuring out crowdfunding, the conversation amongst creators about what's next, Half Past Danger's story, the power of nostalgia, the guest list on Half Past Danger Christmas Special, why a Christmas special, the physicality of comics, rare covers, building rewards in crowdfunding, surprising parts of crowdfunding, his abilities in Star Trek: Bridge Crew, and more.

Jul 27, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Al Ewing returns to chat about his busy dance card at Marvel and beyond. Ewing discusses where he's at in Immortal Hulk, how Alex Ross' covers guide his work, the hammer issues, the political tones and anger of the book, continuity, what he's going for in Guardians of the Galaxy, unifying cosmic Marvel, structure in superhero comics, how different co-writing Empyre has been versus other co-writing projects, his upcoming BOOM! series We Only Find Them When They're Dead, why he wanted to go creator-owned, why BOOM!, karaoke faves, and more.

Jul 20, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, Comichron's John Jackson Miller joins to chat about his big yearly comic sales report he did in partnership with ICv2's Milton Griepp. Miller discusses whether the record setting year in comics surprised him, how the report comes together, back issues, whether single issue comics have hit their ceiling, collectibility, libraries, comics vs. graphic novels, misunderstandings of the data, pandemic projects, Diamond's health, the idea of a Dog Man bubble, his writing on projects like Star Trek: Discovery - Die Standing, and more.

Jul 13, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Robert Kirkman returns to the show to chat about Fire Power and Negan Lives. Kirkman discusses the story of Fire Power, working Chris Samnee, its first idea, the pressure of the Walking Dead, balancing his workload, his love of experimentation, what he's learned from it, why Negan Lives happened, how it came together, The Walking Dead's ending, format impacting story, how his own fandom impacts his comics, how the pandemic is affecting his thinking on comics, and more.

Jul 6, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Rob Guillory returns to the show to check in on Farmhand at the midway point and to chat about the state of comics. Guillory discusses Farmhand's hiatus, creator-owned comics as a business, how his creative process has evolved, how Farmhand has changed, the expansion or contraction of character roles and story beats, the importance of Riley and Abigail, the impact of story formats, the value of single issues, finding your audience, how the pandemic has affected how he thinks of comics, returning to Chew, and more.

Jun 29, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Caitlin Yarsky joins to chat about her path to comics and upcoming Image series, Bliss. Yarsky discusses her initial designs on becoming an illustrator, how work in non-comics fields affected her, the inspiration of Sandman, the expansiveness of comics, the value of freedom, her recent Buffy story, why she wanted to work in comics, learning curves, finding your style, photo reference, why she does everything in her work, the origins of Bliss, what she learned during Coyotes, why she inks traditionally, designing Feral City, her teaching experience, and more.

Jun 22, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, my pal Brandon Burpee returns for another quarantine question and answer session, at least partially driven by you, the listeners. Topics discussed include our love of collecting, QB equivalents in comics, whether we think sports should come back, the longevity of the New 52 and Rebirth, quarantine binges, Wizard Magazine in 2020, Last Dance-style documentaries, X of Swords, HOXPOXing Marvel's line, the value of creator social media accounts, deep cut Marvel Unlimited reads, the impact of the pandemic, desired time travel trips, DC's divorce from Diamond, the most promising comic markets, what comics we would Grand Design, and more.

Jun 15, 2020

In this week's fifth anniversary episode of Off Panel, writer/artist Liana Kangas joins the show to chat about her comic book story. Kangas discusses her early love of fine art, how working in a comic shop affected her, the importance of the people she met coming up, how anthologies helped her, the upside of longer stories, working with Vault, her continuing evolution as an artist, her upcoming TKO project, how it feels to co-write a comic, how her art brain affects her writing, helping the world while working, managing burn out, her upcoming podcasts, and more.

Jun 8, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Jeff Smith joins the show to chat about his immensely popular comic series, Bone. Smith discusses how he started on the path towards publishing Bone, fusing comic strips with comic books, the importance of freedom, how much he learned on the job, how the story expanded and contracted, respecting young readers, balancing tones, the value of taking risks, the evolution of comics, how the One Volume Edition of Bone changed things, multi-generational fandom, the Scholastic deal, leading off Graphix, revisiting Bone today, and more.

Jun 6, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Brian Michael Bendis makes his debut appearance on the show to discuss...well, really a little of everything from his entire career. Bendis discusses how his background in art affects how he thinks about comics, working with artists who are friends versus those who aren't, learning on the job, where Marvel was when he started, his uncertainty in telling superhero stories, the greatness of the aughts at Marvel, what he learned from Avengers Disassembled, longevity, the power of fear in creation, Miles Morales, the importance of change, the unique challenges of the X-Men, the importance of paying it forward, whether certain art styles fit his work better, openness to new ideas, the roots of Wonder Comics, balancing multiple projects, and more.

May 25, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Jeff Lemire returns to the show to discuss his currently being Kickstarted graphic novel Cosmic Detective and his approach to making comics. Lemire discusses the origins of Cosmic Detective (and other ideas), why he jives with Matt Kindt, the power of unscheduled creation, writing for David Rubin, why they Kickstarted the book, what guides Black Hammer's expansion, the greatness of Tonci Zonjic, the impact of collaboration, the appeal of experimentation, getting back to for-hire work, drawing the Legion, Andrea Sorrentino's productivity, Sweet Tooth's return, and more.

May 18, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, retailer Menachem Luchins joins the show for a chat about his shop Escape Pod Comics and retail in the time of a pandemic. Luchins discusses the origins of his shop, what his hopes were, the product lines that work for him, comics and community, the problem with single issues, where DC is, readers versus customers, comics retail in the coronavirus era, the divisiveness of retail, short term thinking, "new comics," change versus staying the same, Diamond's return, and more.

May 11, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Marcos Martin joins to chat about his new series Friday and the world of Panel Syndicate. Martin discusses why he approached Ed Brubaker to work together, the appeal of Ed's writing, the creative back and forth, character development, collaboration, bringing the 1970s to life, the length of Panel Syndicate comics, how they feel different, comic schedules, his influx of cover work, the fundamentals of Panel Syndicate, and more.

May 4, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Ngozi Ukazu joins the show to chat about her recently wrapped series, Check, Please! Ukazu discusses its origins, how the story expanded as it went along, comics and sports, our mutual love of the NBA, what fascinated her about hockey, why vlogging and baking, the value of hockey shit, comedy in comics, how her work grew during that time, her next big project, the Check, Please! community, and more.

Apr 27, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Ed Brubaker joins the show to chat about his new series Friday and his approach to storytelling. Brubaker discusses the appeal of Friday, the flexibility of Panel Syndicate, world building, working with Marcos Martin, how ideas come together, threads between projects, collaboration, comic communities, where comics are now, working in other formats, what's next for him and Sean, and more.

Apr 20, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, Heidi MacDonald from The Beat returns to the show for a chat about the state of comics during a pandemic, which, I should note, was recorded Thursday evening before the insanity of Friday (we did an addendum in the episode). MacDonald discusses how her world is, comics changing from the inside, conventions, whether Diamond would be the only direct market distributor at the end of this, comics' obsession with the new, DC's distribution solutions, DCBS and Midtown as retailers/distributors, doing this when shops can't even open, the William Schanes story, AWA and Bad Idea, the state of Image, the book market, ComicHub vs. retailer solutions, who she's concerned about, learning from this experience, the comics community, and more.

Apr 13, 2020

In this special anniversary episode of Off Panel, my pal Brandon Burpee returns for the 250th episode of the podcast. It's an all random episode, as Off Panel listeners and I generated a monster list of topics for us to discuss, and discuss we did. Subjects included the dumb characters we rep for, the quarantine life, the ComicHub situation, inventions we'd remove, comic bad boys, Maggott, most exciting/traumatic story beats, which comic character would solve the coronavirus crisis first, Dawn of X, Bill and Ted, best quarantine pals, varying sports topics, our ideal Pokemon squad, superheroes who would fail at social distancing, and a whole lot more. It's ridiculous.

Mar 30, 2020

In this week's episode of Off Panel, Iron Circus Comics' C. Spike Trotman joins the show to chat about her publisher and current Kickstarter for Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film. Trotman discusses how she and Iron Circus are handling the current crisis, being a multimedia company, why she started Iron Circus Comics, the power of Kickstarter, the story behind Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film, the rewards for the Kickstarter, what made this project appealing, the value of stretch goals, launching during a crisis, what she looks for in projects, the impact of production value, differentiating yourself, and more.

Mar 28, 2020

In this special episode of Off Panel, my good friend and talented natural sciences artist Amanda Jorgenson joins the show to talk about our friendship, her work, and how the coronavirus has affected the latter. Jorgenson discusses the origins of our friendship, lasting friends, how she became an artist, moving away from a narrative focus with her art, the art hustle, whether that required a personality shift, how she went towards natural sciences, comic conventions, always improving, being in Seattle during the rise of the coronavirus, adjusting to this new world order, what kind of work she has on sale on her site, what she wants for her career, and more.

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