In this week's end of the year episode of Off Panel, my pal Brandon Burpee returns to the show for a chat about the year that was in comics. Brandon and I discuss how our years were, the year in comics, how the way we engage with media is shifting, X of Swords, the best current fit for Maggott, the Hill House line's viability, horror comics, and more, before we dive into the countdown of our respective 20 favorite comics of the year.
In this week's special episode of Off Panel, we look at the defining themes of 2020 in comics with the help of Random House Graphic's Publishing Director Gina Gagliano, Third Eye Comics' Steve Anderson, and The Beat's Heidi MacDonald. Up first is Gagliano (1:15), who talks about a year of revolutionary change, the year's impact on promoting and publishing comics, how the book market was affected, and the year that was in that market. After that is Anderson (27:57), who discusses the disappearing backlist of trades in the direct market, distributor changes, and how single issues were affected. And to close is MacDonald (59:46), who talks about the end of the single issue, the rise of the webcomic, and how the balance of formats is shifting.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, artist Sean Phillips joins the podcast to talk about his career, art and the soon-to-be-released Reckless. Phillips discusses his early start working in comics, where he learned the craft, the comics he grew up on, whether he would have been satisfied drawing superheroes, what he likes to draw, avoiding boredom, how quickly he and Ed Brubaker realized they jived together, the importance of finding a creative home, pushing your collaborators, Reckless, bringing characters to life, characters smoking, the graphic novel format, the Image deal, how he works, working with his son, Jacob, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Ed Brisson joins the podcast to chat about crime stories and the currently being Kickstarted Catch & Release: A Murder Book Story. Brisson discusses the Halifax life, how he got into comics, marrying that interest with crime, his personal connection to these stories, writing what you know, the stakes of the stories he likes, returning to Murder Book, his collaborators, why Kickstarter, creating rewards, his preferred Ghost Rider, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, the co-showrunner of HBO Max's Harley Quinn, Patrick Schumacker, joins to talk comics and all things Harley. Schumacker discusses his early love of comics, how that affected his interest in storytelling, the origins of varying comic projects, what he saw in Harley Quinn, the mundane aspects of supervillains, Harley's malleable nature, the good and bad of the character, Easter Eggs, Noonan's Bar, finding the right casting fits, and a whole lot more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, colorist Tamra Bonvillain joins the show to chat about her path to comics and the world of coloring. Bonvillain discusses her early attractions to the comics world, when art entered the picture, the Kubert School, flatting's position in the coloring world, her process, finding artists you mesh with, how those partnerships come together, what capacity looks like, how the job shifts artist to artist, layers, for hire vs. creator-owned, dream collaborators, supporting your role in comics, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, podcaster and original art collector Jason Wood joins to talk about the state of original art collecting. Wood discusses how he first got into original art collecting, where to start, the impact of art reps, his collection, deciding what to get, supporting new artists, why the market has blown up during the pandemic, original art vs. commissions, tips for new collectors, comic connections, his podcast 11 O'Clock Comics, the comics community, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Trung Le Nguyen joins the show to chat about their origins and The Magic Fish. Nguyen discusses The Magic Fish's relatively autobiographical nature, the importance of libraries, fairy tales, the magic and value of comics, when comics and art came in, how The Magic Fish came together, its fairy tale foundation, the power of stories, working with Random House Graphic, the book's colors, the importance of language, the Minnesota comics scene, the name Trungles, the glory of hens, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer/artist Chip Zdarsky joins the show to chat about the wider world of Chip. Zdarsky discusses how Sex Criminals changed things for him, its community driven nature, photo reference, future interior work, his time on Daredevil, working within parameters, the art of Daredevil, the bad guys of the book, the origins of Stillwater and Afterlift, the appeal of complete stories, building an identity, the attractiveness and rules of Stillwater, Ramon Perez's strength, the disappearance of his beard, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer James Tynion IV joins for a deep dive talk about horror comics and his new horror anthology Razorblades: The Horror Magazine. Tynion discusses where his love of horror stories came from, how they became ones he wanted to tell, how he fits the genre, his favorite horror comics, the strengths and weaknesses of horror in comics, the evolution of horror, the origin of Razorblades, why Gumroad is its home, his tactics for attracting readers, the creators and stories of Razorblades, writing for horror versus other genres, how his plans have shifted, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Jordan Blum joins to talk about the upcoming M.O.D.O.K. series on Hulu and the upcoming M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games mini-series he's co-writing with Patton Oswalt. Blum discusses his comic book origin story, the appeal of Marvel oddities, his TV writing career, the origins of the M.O.D.O.K. show, what they saw in the character, the angle they're taking, the iconic look of A.I.M., their approach to M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games, the impact of Jack Kirby, deep cut characters in the show, how they figured out what to include, the cast and look of the show, how the comic and show fit together, promoting the comic in the show, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Mark Sable joins to talk about his truly unique career and the upcoming Miskatonic at Aftershock. Sable discusses what connected him with comics, his winding path, his A-list collaborators, the importance of finding artists early on, the origins of Miskatonic, its foundation, the series lead, the current fascination with Lovecraftian stories, his touring of genres, the book's creative team, his work as a futurist, how that affects his thinking about comics, the New York Knicks, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, John Weddleton - the owner of my local comic book shop Bosco's - joins the show to talk about the history of the shop and what goes into running a comic shop in Alaska. Weddleton discusses what made him want to own a comic shop, the origins of Bosco's, his favorite comics, how comics have evolved, the expansion of the shop, events and community, the differences of having a comic shop in Alaska, the Alaska comics scene, how interest in varying product lines shift, the impact of the pandemic, finding a balance, the importance of good employees, how things have changed over his 33 years, why comics are so lasting, favorite memories, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer/artist Erica Henderson returns for a chat about her work and the upcoming Dracula, Motherfucker! Henderson discusses her eclectic projects, Dracula, Motherfucker! being on vibe for her, the look of vampires, the project's origins and appeal, horror stories, the clarity of the script's vibe, her changes of approach in this story, the creative side of coloring, working with Alex de Campi, the look of Dracula, making action scenes work, teaching art, pandemic projects, and more.
In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Nick Roche joins the podcast to chat about his comics life and upcoming IDW series Scarenthood. Roche discusses growing up in a small town, stories sneaking up on you, his likability, when he first started reading comics, the development of his art, how he broke into comics, whether he wanted to do something smaller with Scarenthood, the scariness of being a parent, the origins of fear, character acting, telling more personal stories, shattering trousers, and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.