Retailer and ComicsPRO President Jenn Haines joins the show to talk about the current state of things for her shops, The Dragon in Guelph, Ontario, and comics retail as a whole. Haines discusses The Dragon's 25th anniversary, welcoming families, Guelph Comics Jam, the year for her shops, the generally strange nature of this time, variance in her shops, what's working, single issues versus trades, the single issue space, price points, balancing her two roles, the direct market environment, a recent metadata project, one thing she wants in the direct market, what excites her about the job, and more.
Writer/artist Declan Shalvey joins the podcast to talk about his current Kickstarter for Old Dog: Dossier and the rest of his busy workload. Shalvey discusses his different roles, finding time to tell more stories, the origins of Old Dog: Dossier, Kickstarter stress levels, the social media situation, what Old Dog: Dossier includes, the other roles in a creator's job, managing a shifting environment, Time Before Time's graybeard nature, foundational projects, the current environment, Joe Palmer's return, his Alien run, finding the right answers, and more.
Writer Jed MacKay joins the podcast to talk about his path to comics and current titles in The Avengers, Doctor Strange, and Moon Knight. MacKay discusses problem solving, what guides his schedule, his earliest comics, his approach as a storyteller, following a big run, Steve McNiven's Moon Knight covers, learning comics on the job, Nick Lowe's impact, Black Cat #1's area of effect, his starting points for a title, his approach to Moon Knight, the space he got on Doctor Strange, writing a Marvel #1, the shared universe, working with artists, where he wants to go next, and more.`
Writer Nadia Shammas joins the show to talk about their career to date and the upcoming graphic novel, Confetti Realms. Shammas discusses the weird year, Confetti Realms, Barnes & Noble origins, manga's influence, the Marvel internship experience, the CORPUS anthology, the power of anthologies, collaboration, putting yourself in stories, their project mix, the roots of Confetti Realms, the cast and art of the book, the current state of comics, celebrating your work, and more.
Comics critic Oliver Sava returns to the show for the sixth annual Superhero State of the Union. Sava discusses the mini-series gap between the Big Two, Dawn of DC, DC's castings, the Knight Terrors bump, event comics, price points, Big Two cohesion, continuity, Marvel's current state, Al Ewing and the upcoming Immortal Thor, the X-Men line, Marvel's messiness, Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise, the Energon Universe, Daredevil, our most desired turns for the Big Two, and more.
Cartoonist Emily Carroll joins the show to talk about her career, craft, and upcoming graphic novel, A Guest in the House. Carroll discusses early influences, their lasting impact, storytelling flow, having fun in the work, experimentation, how she views her webcomics, her process, lettering and coloring, domestic life, A Guest in the House's lead, horror endings, age specificity (or the lack thereof), the long shadow of Through the Woods, pushing herself as a storyteller, and more.
Cartoonist Daniel Warren Johnson returns to the show to talk about his career and the upcoming The Transformers. Johnson discusses the San Diego Comic Con experience, how the con experience has evolved for him, a recent, giant commission, maintaining his passion, how The Transformers came together, the intensity of creator-owned, drawing for himself, figuring out how to draw The Transformers, Skybound's pitch, working with Hasbro, the version of the characters he's working with, the vibe he's going for, how his love of Transformers changes things, the freedom of Do a Powerbomb!, finding his answers, and more.
Retailer Eitan Manhoff joins the show to talk about his now Eisner Award-winning shop in Oakland, Cape & Cowl Comics, and what he's been seeing this year. Manhoff discusses that Eisner win, what went into it, Cape & Cowl's origin story, building his shop, accessibility, the selling secret, how the year is going in his shop, uneasy feelings, what's working, his online store, the impact of pre-orders, the Eisner bump, what isn't working, Marvel's troubles, how consumers have changed since he opened, the difficulty of ordering, and more.
Cartoonist Chris Schweizer joins the show to talk about his life, career, and collaborations with Kyle Starks. Schweizer discusses his Assassin Nation self, how his background shaped his path as an artist, comic strips, how he decided to make comics, his wide variety of jobs, finding new ways to tell comic stories, his middle-grade comic work, collaborating with Starks, problem solving, his coloring work, the underrated nature of Mars Attacks, his goals as a creator, and more.
Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick joins the show to talk about Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons and her approach to telling stories in comics and beyond. DeConnick discusses the life of a creator, the value of shutting our brains down, collaboration, artistic interpretations, controlling pace, letting go of the work, where comics are right now, her progression as a comic writer, Wonder Woman Historia's place in her career, growing as a storyteller, building communities, making panels fun, the freedom of Black Label, figuring out what projects to take on, and more.
François Hercouet, the Editor-in-Chief of France's Urban Comics (the publisher of DC Comics and assorted Image, Dark Horse, and BOOM! titles in the country), joins the show to talk about the French comic market and his work at Urban. Hercouet discusses connecting American comics with French readers, the essence of Urban Comics, emphasizing creators, production value, the France comic market, his path to running Urban, making superhero comics easier to read, working with retailers, curating a publishing line, having an art-centric approach, cover art, the evolution of comics in France, his view of the American market, and more.
Cartoonist Scott Kurtz joins the show to talk about the past, present, and future of webcomics and his career on comics like PVP and Table Titans. Kurtz discusses his earliest comics and main influences, the earliest comics he made, making his way into comics, the early days of webcomics, what success looks like, webcomics and community, what fueled the changes in webcomics, how they're changing, crowdfunding's role, his new career path, what's next for webcomics, and more.
Writer Ed Brubaker joins the show to talk about his latest graphic novel with artist Sean Phillips, Night Fever. Brubaker discusses the picket line experience, the insanity of Night Fever, his expectations for the response, the personal nature of the book, why it was the right idea right now, Refn vibes, section breaks, his artistic collaborators, Sean Phillips' working with bigger pages, the book's international feel, wanting to be someone else, the cover change of the book, how their sales have been shifting, their sales arc, the power of schedules, surprise comics, John Romita, Sr.'s greatness, and more.
Writer/artist Kyle Starks returns to the show to talk about his work in I Hate This Place, Where Monsters Lie, Peacemaker Tries Hard!, and more. Starks discusses his updated business card, the inescapable humor label, the impact of the Eisner Awards, where he's at now creatively, new challenges, comics as business cards, the James Gunn vibe, the origins of Peacemaker Tries Hard!, Steve Pugh's greatness, tonal balance, Black Label freedoms, his recurring use of dogs, condensing the conclusion of I Hate This Place, back matter, what he considers himself as a creator, and more.
Webtoon's VP of Content, David S. Lee, joins the show to chat about the world of Webtoon and its comics. Lee discusses his own comic story, his unexpected background, his recent promotion, how they find creators and comics, working with creators, Canvas vs. Originals, the impact of adaptations, creative vs. business, managing creator concerns, metrics vs. instincts, the power of accessibility, serving underserved audiences, discoverability, managing growth, and more.
Writer Kelly Thompson joins the show to talk about her creator-owned work and her overall approach to writing. Thompson discusses the superstar that is Jeff the Landshark, , the power of cute things, the glory of Stefano Caselli and Gurihiru, Jeff's appeal, the origins of Black Cloak, Meredith McClaren's gifts, collaboration, Black Cloak's cover design, world-building, handling mysteries, Substack's impact, the difficulty of creator-owned, Black Cloak's shape, narrative escape hatches, The Cull as a mini-series, her project mix, and more.
Writer Ram V returns to the show to talk about his approach to writing on titles like The Vigil, Detective Comics, and more. Ram discusses a sneak attack reveal, the Paris Fan Festival experience, balancing his workload, idea creation, his pursuit of the new, the idea of success, the origins of Rare Flavours, his Detective Comics run, Evan Cagle's covers, the artists he works with, contrasting Batman stories, the hook of The Vigil, the value of the big swing, the appeal of DSTLRY, what has him most excited about comics, and more.
It's Off Panel #400, and to make this anniversary episode of Off Panel special, it's the first ever call-in show, as listeners of the show ask the questions and I have the answers. That's right. I'm the guest, as I answer questions about the future of my theoretical comic shop, what my Stilt-Man series would be about, what takes me out of the reading experience, French museums, the responsibilities of the job, comic revisits, cat dad thoughts, favorite writers/artists, comic price points, surprising things I learned from the podcast, different formats at the Big Two, how I do what I do, which Original 5 X-Men has to go, my wife's comic thoughts, what more creators should do, the podcasts I learned the most from, and more.
The Beat's Heidi MacDonald returns to Off Panel to talk about the past month or so of crazy news in the world of comics. MacDonald discusses the merits of Free Comic Book Day, the onslaught of news, building up The Beat's staff, Ike Perlmutter's departure, how Marvel looks post changes, the impact of this move, IDW's layoffs and reorganization, IDW's identity, where things went wrong, where IDW is headed, our DSTLRY thoughts, Substack and Zestworld, what makes DSTLRY work (conceptually), the drop culture comic, the digital comics landscape, what young cartoonists are focused on, and more.
The Editor-in-Chief of Abrams ComicArts, Charles Kochman, joins the show to talk about the history and present of that graphic novel division of Abrams Books. Kochman discusses the details of his job, his work on Diary of a Wimpy Kid, his publishing background, the origins of Abrams ComicArts, the artists they work with, how MarvelArts came together, drawing in direct market creators, the evolution of Abrams ComicArts, its general vibe, taking on manga, the current landscape, and more.
Writer James Tynion IV joins the show to talk about launching his new Image series, W0rldtr33, in the current industry environment. Tynion discusses hitting final order cutoff, the collector market, cultivating hits, W0rldtr33's origins, its 90s aesthetic, the importance of a title's vibe, the key to a good first issue, its visuals, why it ended up at Image, learning from projects, publishing at Dark Horse, how publishers differ, creating your own cash flow, setting up his future, and more.
Cartoonist Joe Sparrow joins the show to talk about his work in animation and his new graphic novel at ShortBox, Cuckoo. Sparrow discusses taking on new roles, the advantages and pressure of comics, how animation jobs work, how his two roles impact each other, his influences, taking on shorter comics, the origins of Cuckoo, the superpowers of it all, how much of him is in the book, the evolution of its need, his comic making process, the book's cast, the appeal of ShortBox, and more.
Erica Henderson and Ryan North join the show to talk about their new graphic novel, Danger and Other Unknown Risks. They discuss the origins of the book, how it evolved, its Y2K setup, the Chosen One concept, scripting the book, their collaboration, the prologue of the book, how the visuals changed the writing, the space of graphic novels, how the realms impact everything, the book's main character, how people deal with the state of the world, all-ages comics, and more.
Writer Torunn Grønbekk joins the show to talk about her path to comics and her work on comics like Thor and Red Sonja. Grønbekk discusses the greatness of Nic Klein, her natural art lean, the Norway comic scene, how comics saved her, her breaking in story, the origins of her writing Jane Foster: Valkyrie, co-writing as a gateway, launching her Marvel career during the pandemic, being a pinch hitter, writing Red Sonja, her instinctual nature, genre leans, where she wants to go next, and more.
Retailer Steve Anderson joins the podcast to chat about how things are going at his comic shop chain, Third Eye Comics. Anderson discusses how he manages his seven shops, the importance of being proactive, the ComicsPRO experience, DC's smart moves, how he's feeling about comics retail, previous pessimism, pathing customers to comics, why success felt harder in 2022, his upcoming shop launches, what's working at his shops, trade waiting, building spectacle, what isn't working, how to adjust to uncertainty, and more.