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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.

Jul 15, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, The AV Club's Oliver Sava returns for our annual chat about the state of superheroes. Sava discusses where superhero comics are right now, DC's big changes, Marvel and DC's current architects, Bendis killing it on DC, Immortal Hulk, the coming Hickman era on the X-Men, Tom Taylor's greatness, recent moves by creators, house styles in art, The Joker and Harley Quinn's immense presence, Ink and Zoom's launch books, Squirrel Girl's coming end, what we're excited for on the horizon, and more.

Jul 8, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, comic retailer and the founder of ComicHub, Stu Colson, joins to talk about ComicHub - a hybrid point of sale and marketing solutions systems (of a sort) and why he decided to create this potentially game changing new system for comic shops. Colson discusses how he got into comics retail, the differences between American and New Zealand shops, what exactly ComicHub is, its origins, how it aids in discoverability, his partnership with BOOM! Studios, developing partners, comics being slow to change, managing sell-through data, prospecting for new customers, his hopes for the future of comics, and more.

Jul 1, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Brenna Thummler joins the show to talk about her path to comics and her graphic novel, Sheets. Thummler discusses her education and pre-comics plans, her original desire to not work in comics, what finally connected her to comics, illustration as storytelling, her first comic experience, her approach as a comics outsider, the development of Sheets, letting the art speak first, character acting, her colors, having her book represented on Free Comic Book Day, its upcoming sequel, Delicates, some spicy peanut butter takes, and more.

Jun 24, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, writer Christopher Sebela joins to talk about his writing on titles like Test and Crowded. Sebela discusses his recent efforts to take weekends for himself, getting out of the house on dog walks, his project notebooks, how they help his process, putting himself into his work, working at a test marketing firm, what his Test pitch is, its origins, what's next for Crowded, the book's cast, the success of creator-owned books, merch in comics, how much he's working on at on time, and more.

Jun 17, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, retailer Jacob Sareli joins to talk about his shop Comikaza, the first comic shop ever in Israel. Sareli discusses how he got into comics, the Israel comics scene, how he ended up taking over Comikaza, how the shop has evolved, what's working for his shop, the impact of manga and kids comics, how the past couple years have been, what he'd like to see more of, what doesn't work in his shop, Free Comic Book Day's impact, his shop's demographics, and more.

Jun 10, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, artist Michael Walsh joins the podcast to talk about his work and the upcoming Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice! Walsh discusses his fantastic author photo, finding a balance between his desires as an artist, the types of stories he's worked on, his experience on Secret Avengers, photo reference, adapting The Last Jedi, reflecting on his work, working with Jeff Lemire, the challenges of Black Hammer/Justice League, coloring himself, talent versus work, what he turns to if he needs a push as an artist, horror comics, Emily Carroll's greatness, and more, before we dive into five questions about Michael Walsh, the person.

Jun 3, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, the CCO & Editor-in-Chief and CEO & Publisher of Vault Comics - Adrian and Damian Wassel - join the podcast to talk about the world of Vault. The Wassels discuss how they decided their roles, why comics, why sci-fi and fantasy are their brand, what makes a Vault comic, where Myriad - their YA imprint - fits in their efforts, their perspective on the larger comic marketplace, design and production value, their approach on digital, what they've learned in the process of running Vault, creator relations, how they find collaborators, expanding the Vault footprint, building an audience, and more.

May 27, 2019

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, Andrea Demonakos joins the podcast to talk about the world of merchandising and White Squirrel, her company that's designed to help artists sell their products online. Demonakos discusses Toronto's part in her comic background, her varying roles in the comics and how they helped her better understand that world, running Vancouver Comic Arts Festival, the origins of White Squirrel, the evolution of cons, what merchandising does for creators, managing Kickstarters, where White Squirrel is headed, the future of merchandising, and more.

May 20, 2019

We have a special and atypical episode of Off Panel this week, as artist Jen Bartel joins the podcast for a deep dive discussion about how to get started as an artist. Bartel discusses the value of art school, developing your voice and style, having a day job, the tools of the trade, whether sequentials are essential, creating your portfolio, cover work, where fan art fits in a portfolio, the impact of social media, where conventions fit in, communicating with collaborators, the value of working with an editor, managing your own schedule, the importance of paying attention to the larger industry, and more. This is a beast of an episode, but if you're interested in working in comics, there's a ton to learn from here.

May 13, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Robbie Thompson joins the podcast to talk about his Marvel mini-series Meet the Skrulls. Thompson discusses shipping, fandom, why he wanted to write comics, the greatness of Javier Rodriguez, the origins of his current Marvel mini-series Meet the Skrulls, this being the most him Marvel project he's had, the themes of family and identity in the book, Niko Henrichon's art, the nuance of Skrulls, individuating shapeshifters, and more, before we close with five questions about Thompson, the person.

May 6, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Jody Leheup joins the podcast to talk about his Image series, The Weatherman. Leheup discusses the stories that made him, his time at Marvel editorial, what he learned during that time, spinning plates, the origins of The Weatherman, Nathan Fox's impact, Tom Muller's design, the complexity of series lead Nathan Bright, the troubling death from the first issue, our relationship with animals in fiction, the season model, what's coming next, marketing the book, and more.

Apr 25, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, former Marvel editor and the guy behind Comics Experience, Andy Schmidt, joins the show for a Marvel Cinematic Universe power rankings episode. Schmidt discuss the overall quality of the MCU, how being a former Marvel editor changes his viewing experience, Avengers Endgame expectations, and more, before we rank a whole lot of MCU related topics, like our favorite deep cut characters, the best castings, scores and villains, our favorite random moments, things that we were surprised worked, our favorite MCU movies, and more.

Note: This was recorded well before the release of Avengers: Endgame, so no spoilers are discussed here.

Apr 22, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Vita Ayala joins the show to talk about their work. Ayala discusses old video game loves, their gateway characters, the power of spinner racks, the importance of representation, bringing your worldview into your work, The Wilds, Emily Pearson's art, adding depth to reads, working at Forb idden Planet, how that changed their perspective about comics, DC's Talent Workshop, doing fill-in work, telling Livewire's first solo story, working with varying publishers, the con experience, the glory of cats, and more.

Apr 15, 2019

In this week's landmark 200th episode of Off Panel, friend of the show Brandon Burpee returns for a look back on 10 years of writing about comics in the podcast's longest episode ever. Topics discussed include giving out some awards for the decade, including MVP, most improved, publisher of the decade, and more, answering listener questions, like our comic book origin stories, thoughts on the comics internet, where back issues fit in comics, and more, before we close with sharing our ten favorite comics from the past ten years.

Apr 15, 2019

In this week's landmark 200th episode of Off Panel, friend of the show Brandon Burpee returns for a look back on 10 years of writing about comics in the podcast's longest episode ever. Topics discussed include giving out some awards for the decade, including MVP, most improved, publisher of the decade, and more, answering listener questions, like our comic book origin stories, thoughts on the comics internet, where back issues fit in comics, and more, before we close with sharing our ten favorite comics from the past ten years.

Apr 8, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Lucy Knisley joins the show to talk about her work and recent graphic novel, Kid Gloves. Knisley discusses the appeal of telling her own story in comics, how that changes fan interactions, the Instagram Effect, reflecting on her art as an artist and a person, the origins of Kid Gloves, representing all facets of having kids, how her art has evolved, food comics, the expansion of the comic market, making picture books, living and creating in Chicago, and more, before closing with five questions about food.

Apr 1, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel from Emerald City Comic Con, writer Matthew Rosenberg joins the show to talk about his path to Marvel and the experience of writing the X-Men. Rosenberg discusses how his work experience in comic shops impacts him, the role his Black Mask work played in getting him on radars, the DC Writers Program, why Marvel has been a good fit for him, the Bendis vacuum, tying his early X-Men work into his Uncanny run, Peter David's X-Factor, his oddball Uncanny team, their strange mix of costumes, managing expectations, what the X-Men mean to people, and more.

Note: this was recorded before the announcement about Jonathan Hickman's pending arrival on the X-Books.

Mar 27, 2019

In a special episode of Off Panel recorded at Emerald City Comic Con, writer Jim Zub joins the show to discuss his freshly announced and released ComiXology Originals series with artist Max Dunbar, Stone Star. Zub discusses the art of con karaoke, the con experience, Stone Star's bold release strategy, experimenting with comics, accessing the larger Amazon umbrella, downsides, what Stone Star is all about, Dunbar's art, making comics for everyone, world building, the ideal format to work in, and more.

Mar 25, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Jamie McKelvie joins the show from Emerald City Comic Con for a chat about his art and The Wicked + The Divine. McKelvie discusses fandom, his partnership with Kieron Gillen, long running titles, cover design, the importance of highlighting other artists, formalistic experimentation, the faux cartoonist, what he's learned in the process of making The Wicked + The Divine, getting things right with your art, the physical toll of art, and more.

Mar 18, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Eric Powell joins the podcast to discuss the 20th anniversary of The Goon. Powell takes us into the origins of the series and its cast, the experience of building an independent success, what the look of The Goon and Franky says about them, concept books, the learning curve of making a comic all on your own, when the idea of Chinatown came together, why he's doing more of The Goon and going back to self publishing, whether he considered changing the format of the book, what his art process is, how he uses color, why he's bringing in other creators into The Goon, building and keeping an audience, and more.

Mar 11, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, BOOM! Studios' President of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik joins the show to discuss the world of BOOM! and his recent speech at ComicsPRO's annual meeting. Sablik discusses his time at Diamond Comic Distributors, his role at BOOM!, the value of licensed books, what's dictating their move towards younger readers and women, where they are seeing growth, their bold plan for Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora's Once and Future, why they did it, what makes it stand out, staying in favor with multiple markets, servicing different audiences, marketing comics, the greatness of Giant Days, and more.

Mar 4, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Garth Ennis joins the show to talk his love of war comics and his latest series from TKO Studios, Sara. Ennis discusses where his love of war stories came from, why they speak to him as a writer, fitting those types of tales into Marvel and DC, the importance of editorial allies, the origins of Sara, Russia's secret police, the Eastern Front of World War II in fiction, how Sara thinks about war, the pacing and structure of the story, Steve Epting's art, why he worked with TKO on this book, why he works with so many different publishers, the importance of realism in his stories, and more.

Feb 25, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, Random House Graphic Publishing Director Gina Gagliano joins the show to talk about the upcoming children and teenaged graphic novel readers imprint she's building. Gagliano discusses her comic book origin stories, how she got into marketing, the beginnings of First Second, the elongated release window of the book market, her podcast, Graphic Novel TK, how Random House Graphic first came together, where you start when you are opening an imprint, her curation strategy, her very positive Twitter feed, Lucy Knisley at RHG, whether other Random House releases impact her approach, the biggest surprise of launching Random House Graphic, and more, before we close with a new segment, as Skybound's Sr. Vice President of Business Development, Shawn Kirkham, joins the show to highlight our Beasts of the Week in the world of comics.

Feb 18, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Erica Henderson joins the podcast to talk her art and upcoming series, Assassin Nation. Henderson discusses her background in film, animation and video games, storytelling in art, why she decided to work in comics, how she works, how a prolonged run impacted her approach on Squirrel Girl, her rules for that series, visual humor, managing workloads, how Assassin Nation came together, the development of the book, her coloring herself, the cast of characters, developing their looks, and more.

Feb 11, 2019

In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Tadd Galusha joins the show for a rare live episode about art and his upcoming graphic novel, Cretaceous. Galusha discusses how he got into comics, the magic of Capwolf, The Kubert School experience, interning at Heliscope, how he actually started working in comics, the artist grind, comics vs. other art fields, figuring out the work, the origins of Cretaceous, finding a home for the book, its silent nature, his research process, building an audience, creating comics in Alaska, and more.

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