In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Chip Zdarsky returns to the show to discuss what's coming for him in 2019 and to dive deep into my favorite comic of the year, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310. Zdarsky chats about his Spider-Man origins, how the period when you grew up influences your writing, what formed his vision of Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson, the length of his run, how his approach and story on #310 came together, hot dog icing, what makes Spider-Man special, overcoming his rep as the funny guy, what's coming for him in 2019, tackling Daredevil, the appeal of Namor, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, friend of the show Brandon Burpee returns for a deep dive look at 2018 in comics. We discuss what kind of year it was for comics, how our reading habits evolved, the biggest surprises and disappointments from the year, what we're looking forward to in 2019, where the X-Men are headed, favorites versus bests, the honorable mentions from our respective lists, before breaking down our 20 favorite comics of the year.
This week's episode of Off Panel is the debut of a new format that might be appearing the first week of each month, in weeks where we're not running our standard interviews. It's Off Panel Book Club, where a guest comes on the show to discuss the past month in comics.
And the first Book Club guest is Zach Jenkins, the man behind Xavier Files and the co-host of the Battle of the Atom podcast. Jenkins joins to share the story behind Xavier Files, the importance of having a niche, our five favorite comics of the month, Warren Ellis's approach, the visual storytelling from The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, slow burn comics, the small moments of Runaways, the most surprising and confusing comics of the month, the eternal return of Wolverine, before we dive into the Big Question of the month: What would it take for the X-Men to recapture an approximation of their past glory, and does that even matter?