Category: Interviews

Spotlight Interview with Ian McGinty and Eliot Rahal, creators of the new OGN, Robot’s Tale

Spotlight Interview with Ian McGinty and Eliot Rahal, creators of the new OGN, Robot’s Tale

Hey folks!

Welcome back to another spotlight interview.

This time we bring you an interview that we did with comic creators Ian McGinty and Eliot Rahal. They are the creative team behind a brand new Original Graphic Novel called Robot’s Tale. It is based on the music of the band Dance Gavin Dance and being published by Z2 Comics.

Ian is an artist who has worked on the Invader Zim movie and done work for Boom! Studios on the Adventure Time comics and Bee and PuppyCat. He also illustrated Poppy‘s Graphic Novel Genesis 1 which was also published by Z2.

Eliot is writer of such comics as Hot Lunch Special and Midnight Vista from AfterShock comics. He has done a bunch of work with Valiant Comics and besides this Dance Gavin Dance book is currently working on Bleed Them Dry from Vault comics.

We had a great conversation about this crazy story that they are creating. The audio recording has a lot more organic conversation, but we transcribed some of the most important parts below.

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Pop Culture Squad: We are very excited about this book you are doing with Dance Gavin Dance called Robot’s Tale. Before we get to what goes on in the book, why don’t you tell us how you guys got brought together on it?

Eliot Rahal: That’s all Josh Frankel. I know Ian has been doing work for Josh as Z2 for quite some time. I met Josh about a year and a half ago at New York Comic Con through a mutual friend. I immediately loved this man. He is such a unique person.

Ian McGinty: He is an insane human being. I don’t even know how to describe Josh, but he is a nutso person in the best way possible.

ER: He is great. How Ian and I got placed together is that I had been in conversation with Josh for over a year, trying to find a project, and this one lined up and he asked me to do it, and then he lined up with Ian’s schedule and here we are.

PCS: I have seen Robot’s Tale described as bat-shit crazy. So, what can we expect from this book? Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Ian McGinty and Eliot Rahal, creators of the new OGN, Robot’s Tale”

Spotlight Interview with Comic Creator and Artist Craig Rousseau

Spotlight Interview with Comic Creator and Artist Craig Rousseau

Hey folks!

Welcome back to another spotlight interview. This time we interviewed comic creator and artist Craig Rousseau!

Craig has worked for a bunch of comic publishers including Marvel and DC. He is well remembered for a long run on Impulse with DC and he is the co-creator and artist of the Perhapanauts with Todd Dezago.

Craig and I talked about the new books he has coming out including Killing Red Sonja from Dynamite Entertainment and a re-release of Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl from Scout Comics.

We also reminisced about some of his other work and talked about what his art process looks like today.

It was a great chat. I hope you enjoy it.

Below you will find the audio recording of our conversation. We also transcribed the majority of the interview for you, but there are still a couple things that you will only find in the audio.

 

Interview with Craig Rousseau on 3/10/2020

Pop Culture Squad: Thanks for doing this. Let’s talk about Killing Red Sonja from Dynamite. How did that gig come about? What can you tell us about the story for that particular book? I believe it is a five-issue series?

Craig Rousseau: I believe that it is six, but I could be wrong. So, it actually it came about because I’ve worked with Nate Cosby in the past. He was my editor over at Marvel way back when, and every now and then, I would do a cover or a pin-up or a couple of pages for him over at Dynamite. And I said, ”Hey, if anything ever comes up, I would love to work with you again.” Originally, he was looking for an artist to do some samples for Red Sonja/Vampirella, and quickly, we realized, that I was much more attuned to drawing grumpy old men and weird monsters and not so much hot chicks in bikinis.

PCS: Or onesies?

CR: Yeah! So, after a few quick samples, we kind of switched gears, and he said “I think we have something else that might work better for you.”  That is when he pitched the idea of Killing Red Sonja. Which, I thought, was a lot of fun and really much more my wheelhouse. Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comic Creator and Artist Craig Rousseau”

Spotlight Interview With Comic Book Writer Rich Douek

Spotlight Interview With Comic Book Writer Rich Douek

Hi Folks!

Welcome to another Spotlight Interview with a comic professional. We had a chance to talk to writer Rich Douek. He has written Gutter Magic, which is coming back for a second arc from Source Point Press.

Last year, Rich had two stories in stores. Both Road of Bones, with Alex Cormack, from IDW and Wailing Blade, with Joe Mulvey, from Comix Tribe were excellent stories.

Recently, the spiritual successor to Road of Bones was announced. and Rich will be re-teaming with Cormack for Sea of Sorrows.

We spent some time talking about his inspiration and writing themes. I hope you enjoy it. Below you will find the audio recording of our conversation.

We also transcribed the majority of the interview for you, but there are still somethings that you will only find in the audio.

 

Pop Culture Squad: When we originally planned this interview, we were going to talk about the return of Gutter Magic and we will get to that, but this week your new series I from IDW was announced. It will have you returning to work with Alex Cormack. What can you tell us about Sea of Sorrows?

Rich Douek: Well, it’s kind of like a follow-up to Road of Bones. I wouldn’t call it a sequel, it similar to the threads running through like, Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, or like American Horror Story. That is kind of what we are looking to do.

You know, trying to explore the same themes like horrific real-world events that we get inspired from history and put them side by side with more supernatural horror and just see how those two ingredients play together. So, that was the idea because I think we were really happy how Road of Bones ended and didn’t really want to do a Road of Bones part two.  We really wanted to do something that’s like a similar kind of vibe but new story, new monsters, new characters and luckily IDW was on board. Continue reading “Spotlight Interview With Comic Book Writer Rich Douek”

Spotlight Interview with Comic Writer Paul Storrie

Spotlight Interview with Comic Writer Paul Storrie

Hi Folks!

We are back with another in depth interview with a comic book pro. This time we were lucky enough to spend some time talking with comic writer Paul Storrie.

Paul has written for DC, Marvel, IDW, Moonstone Books, Source Point Press, and others. He is well known for his original character Robyn of Sherwood.

He will have two publications coming to comic shops in the next couple of months. First, on February 12th the long awaited collection of the Gotham Girls mini-series will be published by DC Comics as Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls. It is written by Paul Storrie with pencils by Jennifer Graves, inks by J. Bone, colors by Trish Mulvihill, and letters by Tim Harkins and Phil Felix. The covers of the five issue series that was originally published in 2002 were done by Shane Glines and Rian Hughes.

Coming to stores in March is the second adventure of Elgven, the Viking Queen in Viking Queen: Sleepers in Shadow, written by Paul. It is published by Source Point Press and is drawn by Kristen Cella with colors by Sean Seal. It will be in stores on March 25th.

Below you will find the audio recording of our conversation with Paul. It is a great listen. We travel through his experiences with these two books and cover his thoughts on some other issues too.

We also transcribed the majority of the interview for you, but there are still somethings that you will only find in the audio.

 

Pop Culture Squad: I know you have two books coming out soon, so let’s take them in chronological order. First coming out in February is a collected paperback of your Gotham Girls series. It is being collected as Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls. Congratulations. I know it has been a long time coming. So, what do you remember about how this mini-series came to you and the origins of it getting done?

Paul Storrie: Well, it was interesting because I had done a couple of issues of Batman Beyond. One of which saw print and other one did not, because the TV show was canceled. They pulled the plug on the comic almost immediately thereafter. So, I was doing that, and I think I had done at least one Cass Cain Batgirl inventory story and my Justice League Adventure story at that point. I was pretty comfortable in the “animated series” universe.

One day the link came up, on what in those days must have been a message board that I was on, and I watched some of the Gotham Girls web series that was playing on the Warner Brothers animation website. I watched a couple of them, and I thought “Wow, why aren’t they doing a Gotham Girls comic to go along with the web series?” It seemed like it would be a synergistic kind of thing. Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comic Writer Paul Storrie”

Spotlight Interview with Comic Writer and Artist Rafer Roberts, Co-Creator of Grumble

Spotlight Interview with Comic Writer and Artist Rafer Roberts, Co-Creator of Grumble

Hi Folks, Welcome to another spotlight interview.

Recently we spoke with comic writer and artist Rafer Roberts who is the co-creator and writer of the comic Grumble which is published by Albatross Funny Books.

Rafer spoke about what has come before and what is on the horizon for Grumble. The collected second volume subtitled, “Raising Hell in the Garden State” is coming to shops and will be available digitally in February. The third arc, called “Memphis and Beyond the Infinite” starts in March. Be sure to check with your LCS about pre ordering.

This book is definitely one of our favorites. The concept is fantastic and the art, dialogue, and creative execution is just wonderful. Mike Norton is the co-creator and artist, Marissa Louise is the colorist, and Crank! is the letterer on Grumble.

You can listen to our conversation below or read the transcript below that, or you can go crazy and do both.

 

Pop Culture Squad: Let’s talk about the plot of the second arc of Grumble that has just concluded. We spoke at the end of the first arc, and you warned me that this one would take place in different parts of New Jersey. What was your reasoning behind bringing the story to the Pine Barrens?

Rafer Roberts: Well, I grew up in New Jersey. So, that whole second arc is basically a love letter to the state that formed me. I grew up on the shore, which is why the first part starts in Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore. But the state is not that big, and we would drive around and get lost and go into the Pine Barrens.

You hear the urban legends, like the Jersey Devil, and there was an albino asylum down there. I mean it’s somewhat offensive in the stories of roaming bands of albinos in the woods. Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comic Writer and Artist Rafer Roberts, Co-Creator of Grumble”

With Further Ado #78: The Uphill Battle of Harken’s Raiders

With Further Ado #78: The Uphill Battle of Harken’s Raiders

As a kid, I wasn’t into war comics, but I sure did love the “war comic for people who hate comics”: Marvel’s Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos.  That was the tagline that Marvel  developed for this offbeat war comic.  (I assume Stan Lee, as both writer and in-house ad agency, wrote that line.)

This series quickly became the print version of a WWII buddy movie.  The Howling Commandos were a special task force, more like Army Rangers than the British commandos, who were dispatched on fantastic, all-odds-against-them missions. The Howling Commandos joked and kidded their way through every adventure.  It all seemed like great fun, and in contrast to real war, downright happy and hilarious.

As we all got older, it was harder to choke down Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos.  We learned about the horrors and atrocities of war, and the meandering silliness of  this comic seemed to trivialize an admittedly awful subject. We could draw the line at glamorizing war, especially when used for macho adventure, but before long, treating it too lightheartedly was verboten.  In fact, in the waning days of the Sgt. Fury series, Marvel began swinging the pendulum in the other direction, most notably with titles like War Is Hell.

Still, there was so much to love about that series. Especially when it really hit its stride with Gary Friedrich scripts, Dick Ayers pencils, and John Severin inks.  Those were gripping, dense and clever comics.  One of my all-time favorite covers depicted on character on his way to a court-martial. Not the standard stuff of war comics.

That was then, and this is now. And I have some good news!  Ron Marz and Darryl Banks have reunited (You will remember them from their groundbreaking Green Lantern series.) to collaborate on a new “war comic”: Harken’s Raiders.

Continue reading “With Further Ado #78: The Uphill Battle of Harken’s Raiders”

Spotlight Interview with Love and Capes Creator, Thom Zahler

Spotlight Interview with Love and Capes Creator, Thom Zahler

What happens with super heroes when they are not fighting crime. Do they date? What are their private live like? Who are the people they interact with out of uniform? This are the questions that writer/artist Thom Zahler wanted to explore and decided to make a story about the personal lives of superheroes.

The first volume of Love and Capes was published by IDW in 2008. Three subsequent trade paperback volumes were published culminating in Volume 4 “What to Expect” which was published in 2013.  Since then, Zahler has worked on a bunch of excellent different creator owned properties and licensed material. All the while, he has been peppered with questions of when the will be more Love and Capes.

Recently, he has returned to Chronopolis and the world of the Crusader. Volume 5 of Love and Capes, titled “The Family Way”, will be published by IDW in February 2020, just in time for Valentine’s Day. We sat down and talked with Thom about what it was like to come back to the story after so much time and what has changed.

Check out our SquadCast interview on this page and a part of the interview that we transcribed below: Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Love and Capes Creator, Thom Zahler”

Spotlight on Butcher of Paris: A Review and Interview with Stephanie Phillips

Spotlight on Butcher of Paris: A Review and Interview with Stephanie Phillips

Coming Soon to comic shops is The Butcher of Paris from Dark Horse Comics. It is based on true events from World War II, and it is spectacular.

We reached out to the writer of the book, Stephanie Phillips, and she was gracious enough to talk with us. Stephanie is coming on strong in the comic scene. She has written Devil Within for Black Mask Comics, Descendent for AfterShock Comics, and just recently her first story for DC Comics was announced. She will be contributing to the February Valentine’s Day special Crimes of Passion.

We are big fans of her storytelling style and execution, and we were thrilled with the first issue of The Butcher of Paris. Check below to see our advance review of the book and our interview with Stephanie.

The Butcher of Paris #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Dean Kotz
Colors by Jason Wordie
Letters by Troy Peteri
Cover Art by Dave Johnson

Original Solicitation:

In 1944, as Swastikas flew over Paris, one of the most notorious and prolific serial killers in history turned the occupied city into his personal hunting ground.

Under the guise of opportunity and freedom, a killer preys on those desperate to flee . . . until a gruesome discovery alerts the police. In a city on the brink of war, the hunt for a serial killer begins as a French detective races to catch the villain before the Nazis beat him to it.

Written by Stephanie Phillips with art by Dean Kotz, The Butcher of Paris is a historical, true crime thriller about a killer wanted by both the Nazis and allied forces for the death of nearly two hundred victims.

PCS Review: Continue reading “Spotlight on Butcher of Paris: A Review and Interview with Stephanie Phillips”

Spotlight Interview with Comic Artist and Colorist, Christopher Sotomayor

Spotlight Interview with Comic Artist and Colorist, Christopher Sotomayor

Art by Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor

Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to sit down and talk comic with comic artist and colorist Chris Sotomayor. You have been seeing his “Soto” signature on comics from many different publishers for a couple of decades now. He is a native New Yorker who has made his mark in the field that fuels his passion.

He has worked for Marvel and DC quite a bit. Most recently he was doing the colors on Batman Beyond, Supergirl, and The Wailing Blade among other things.

He is also currently doing the colors on the recently release DC Black Label mini-series The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage. It is written by Jeff Lemire with art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz. Issue #1 comes out today, so go get it after you read this interview.

Chris is part of the faculty of Comics Experience and teaches online courses in comic coloring, for beginners and pros.

In this interview, we talk about how he got his start, his process, and his heroes.

Pop Culture Squad: Did you always know you wanted to work in comics?

Chris Sotomayor: Oh yeah! Since I was about five years old and watching the old 1966 Batman reruns on Channel 11. I just used to watch that all the time, and I loved Robin. I thought he was badass because he was younger like me. So, I really got into it.

Since that show, I used to draw Batman, and my parents used to buy me a comic book every once in awhile. I knew I wanted to be comics, and I was hoping to draw them especially when I found out that people drew them. Then, I found out that people drew them and made a living. I was like, “Wow! That is the awesomest thing ever.” Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comic Artist and Colorist, Christopher Sotomayor”

With Further Ado #069: The Forgotten All-Star

With Further Ado #069: The Forgotten All-Star

I’ve been reading stories by Gardner Fox all my life. And thoroughly enjoying them. His “upstanding citizen” version of iconic heroes may have, in some ways, fallen out favor today. But to so many fans, his work is the bedrock upon which superhero comics are built upon. Upon reflection, his version of herodom may also be what other comic innovators pivoted from.  For example, Marvel introduced flawed heroes with human shortcomings as an alternative to the Gardner Fox style of heroes. Indy heroes of the 80s introduced non-traditional protagonists as something new. Even DC comics, where Gardner Fox did so much of his writing, would, by the 80s, showcase heroes with dark histories or motivations, in stark contrast to their Golden Age and Silver Age heroes. 

I loved his stories. I loved his heroes and his twisty plots. His scientific explanations and extrapolations always made me think that much harder. And in the worlds that Gardner Fox created, friendships really meant something.

But I didn’t know much about Gardner Fox himself. I was enthralled when John Siuntres, in his excellent Word Balloon Podcast, interviewed Jennifer DeRoss  who just wrote the biography of Gardner Fox.  Forgotten All-Star: A Biography of Gardner Fox is a winner, and I had to reach out to the author.  Here’s what she had to say:

Ed Catto : I understand you had a family member who was very pro-comics when you were growing up. What’s the whole story behind that?

Jennifer DeRoss: Many people in my family read comics, but my grandmother was my biggest   literacy advocate. She is primarily a fan of the Sunday Funnies and would even clip out the strips she thought I would enjoy and mail them to me because I lived outside of any newspaper circulation areas. Garfield has always been her favorite and she still has quite the collection of Garfield related merchandise. She is also fond of Silver Age DC and when I took an interest in the superhero genre, she was more than happy to support that love.

My grandma would buy me comics right alongside her soap opera magazines every time we went grocery shopping together. She also exposed me to some of the older superhero cartoons, although she would eventually regret that a little after I began obsessively watching the Aquaman VHS every day.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #069: The Forgotten All-Star”