Cartoonist Lucie Bryon joins the show to talk about her career in comics and her ShortBox Comics Fair comic (and my comic of the year), Ocean. Bryon discusses her recent trip to Japan, France's relationship with comics, her gateway into comics, why manga works so well for her, her art school experience, expressing herself through comics, learning from her own work, the origins of Ocean, finding the universal in specificity, the colors of the comic, finding answers in the work, the book's leads, bending archetypes, her comic making process, the future of Ocean, what she wants from comics, and more.
In a special, year-end episode of Off Panel, friend of the show Brandon Burpee returns to chat about the year in comics before we count down our 20 favorite comics of the year. We discuss the year in comics, Brandon's disconnect from the larger conversation, the perils of being overinformed, deciding what to read, how the Big Two are doing, the end of Krakoa, the Ultimate Universe's return, honorable mentions for our faves of the year, our top 20 comics of the year, and more.
Bonus! By popular demand, our lists in full can be found below.
In a special year end episode of Off Panel, we look at the defining themes of 2023 in comics with the help of Books with Pictures' Katie Pryde, The Beat's Heidi MacDonald, and writer/artist Jamal Igle. Up first is Pryde (1:10), who talks about this unusual time in comics retail, what started us on this path, the exhaustion in the space, where it's manifesting itself, the metadata situation, how Books with Pictures is adjusting to it, and more. After that is MacDonald (30:01), who discusses the world of comics marketing, how the current state of social media and comic sites is affecting things, the unseen work of marketing, fitting within the distribution system, its impact, and more. And to close is Igle (1:02:15), who talks about the overwhelming fear of the unknown in comics, where and how it manifests, how it impacts things, the path forward, and more.
Writer Si Spurrier joins the show to talk about his dense workload of late on comics like The Flash, the Uncanny Spider-Man, Damn Them All, and more. Spurrier discusses this busy stretch, testing boundaries, the yes/no conundrum, balance within the chaos, finding his way into superheroes, delivering the necessary story, his contrarian nature, tie-ins, the X-Office, jumping on points, how his different flavors of writing impact each other, data pages, the difficulty of Damn Them All, the bad/good of that book, what he wants from comics, and more.