Category: Interviews

Special Squadcast Interview with Michele Abounader

Special Squadcast Interview with Michele Abounader

Well. our latest SquadCast episode is available on YouTube now. It features an interview with comic editor and writer Michele Abounader about her latest project: When I Was Young… (An LGBTQIA+ Charity Comic Anthology).

Michele has been the editor on several comic anthologies including: The Color of Always and Sharp Wit and the Company of Women. Both projects were crowdfunded and subsequently printed for mass distribution by A Wave Blue World.

The latest project is a collection of superstar creators who are contributing deeply personal stories for this anthology of short stories of inspiration, advice, and triumph. The money raised above paying the creators for their work and printing and shipping costs will be donated to the Trevor Project which is a charity that we support here at PCS.

This interview was recorded before the project was officially funded on Backerkit.com, but it is now fully funded and we encourage everyone to go and check it out.

Please enjoy this interview and the information regarding the project below and support this anthology.

Continue reading “Special Squadcast Interview with Michele Abounader”

With Further Ado #284: Up, Up, and Away! So long, Sid Friedfertig

With Further Ado #284: Up, Up, and Away! So long, Sid Friedfertig

It with great sadness that I reflect on the passing of my pal, Sid Friedfertig, who died on December 30th in Brooklyn at age 69. Sid was the man behind preserving a special bit of comics history – the daily Superman newspaper strips. Partnering with the American Library of Comics and IDW Publishing, Sid worked to publish these strips in beautiful hardcover collections.

It was honor to invite Sid to exhibit, and lecture, at recent ITHACON comic conventions. He was gentleman and a professional – always kind and patient with fans at his booth. And when on panels, he was informative and upbeat; never stuffy.

Every year at ITHACON I’d buy one more volume of this superb series – and ask him to autograph it, of course. ITHACON is a wonderful event, but for me, it will shine just little less brightly this year. Fandom will be just a little bit dimmer with the loss of this hard-working comics historian.

So long, Sid. It was great to know you – all too briefly. And thanks for being a great guy, a great father and an outstanding Superman Fan.

For this week’s column, I’d like to re-present an interview that I had the pleasure of conducing with Sid a few years ago.

With Further Ado #39: Look! Up in the Newspaper – A Super Interview with Sid Friedfertig
Originally published April 24, 2019

The irony of a reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper appearing in the funny pages of a great metropolitan newspapers, and quite a few rural newspapers, is not lost on me.

Superman in comics, in the movies, on TV or the in the newspaper inspires the best in us. I had the pleasure of catching up with entrepreneur and super-fan, Sid Friedfertig, at the 44th annual Ithacon and it was a such a treat. He’s a guy with great passion inspired by Superman. Through his Herculean efforts (or should I say “Kryptonian efforts”?) , fans can enjoy so many lost Superman adventures – and rediscover old adventures in longer stories with better, but still vintage, art! “What is this?”, you say? Well, read on and enjoy my chat with Sid Freidfertig:

Ed Catto: Can you tell me why you are such a Superman fan, and why do you feel Superman is so enduring?

Sid Friedfertig: Superman endures because he is unique. With every other costumed hero the plots must be crafted so the hero’s ability is able to counter the menace facing him. Superman is the reverse, he is the All-Good, the ideal. To me that makes him more interesting.

EC: How did you get hooked on the Silver Age Superman, and how did you develop such an interest in the Superman Newspaper Strips?

SF: I grew up reading the Silver Age Superman comic books, which featured covers mostly drawn by Curt Swan, while at the same time watching the Adventures of Superman TV series. George Reeves was Swan’s Clark Kent come to life. Sometimes though, the story inside the comics was drawn by another artist. I wanted to see Swan’s artwork that went with those glorious covers. Later I realized that Swan had drawn those same stories for the Superman newspaper strip. Here were the stories that went with those covers, and I decided that I was going to find all of them.

EC: I love how you partnered with IDW for this effort. Can you tell me a little about the relationship?

SF: I own the only known collection of Superman newspaper strips. I knew that fans had been for years demanding from DC that these stories be reprinted but DC did not have them. Due to a decision that is lost to history DC published the strips once then threw them away. No copies were made, no individual titles were recorded, we don’t even have an accurate list of which newspapers carried the strip in its final years, so I created a website to showcase my collection; it received a great deal of attention. IDW approached me and we have been working together ever since. They have a wonderful imprint called The Library of American Comics, headed by Dean Mullaney, whose aim is to publish as many lost American comic strips as is possible, not only Superman.

EC: How many books in the series do you have out now, and what’s coming up next?

SF: IDW picked up in 1943 where Kitchen Sink Press left off. In the late 1990’s they reprinted the first three years of dailies and Sundays. Each dailies volume covers 2 to 2 ½ years of episodes. The final Golden Age volume will be in stores in May. Next year we will enter the Atomic Age of comic strips after which comes the one I am looking forward to most, the final book in the series, the beginning of the Cambrian explosion of creativity also known as the Silver Age.

EC: The covers to these books are wonderful! How are they designed?

SF: The beautiful covers, front and reverse, were drawn by the great Pete Poplaski. Lorraine Turner designs all the books. I think each cover conveys the lighthearted spirit that permeated 60’s comics.

EC: What makes these Superman Newspaper Strips so special, and why should Superman fans read them?

SF: If you love Silver Age Superman stories that appeared in the comics, you will love these books. Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel was rehired by DC to transform scripts written for the comic books into strip format. The added length of the strip versions allowed Siegel to give the stories more depth and characterization than their comic doppelgangers. These strips were Siegel’s last Superman work and in my opinion the best work of his life.

EC: You recently were a guest at ITHACON. What was that like? Were there any surprises there?

SF: I loved attending Ithacon. The only surprise was how appreciative of my efforts were the comics professionals in attendance. It was very fulfilling.

EC: These newspaper strips have so many familiar supporting characters. Did they also introduce new characters or narrative elements to the Superman mythology?

SF: Because the comic books have a longer lead-time than the dailies, several episodes appeared in the strips first. As a result, the first appearance of arch foes Brainiac, Bizarro, Metallo, and Mr. Myxptlk occurred in the strips. Supporting characters like lovely Lyla Lerrol also made their debuts in the strips.

EC: Which creators worked on these strips and who do you feel delivered the best work?

SF: Wayne Boring was so adept at drawing the Superman strip that he drew both dailies and Sundays for a time and he remained on the Sunday strip for a quarter of a century. But the most fulfilling part of my journey has been publishing Jerry Siegel’s final Superman work that had been lost for over half a century.

EC: What’s your favorite Superman Newspaper adventure and why?

SF: Siegel’s story ‘Superman’s Return To Krypton’ is my favorite. In the comics, it appeared as a full-length novel, which means the single story occupied the entire comic book. When Siegel wrote the newspaper version he told the same story using about 50% additional panels giving the story great depth. The interaction of Superman and his doomed parents achieves great poignancy, those scenes always break my heart.

EC: Thanks so very much for your time and for all your efforts, Sid.

 

 

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 20: Special Guest – Steve Orlando

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 20: Special Guest – Steve Orlando

The SquadCast is back. Your hosts Mike Gold and Bob Harrison are back this week with comic writer Steve Orlando. Enjoy the show.

Steve Orlando is a super talented writer and a friend of the show. He has written comics for just about every publisher in just about every genre. We are excited to have him back on the show to talk about his work especially his latest release from TKO Studios that he cowrote with the world famous Chef Jose Andres called Feeding Dangerously.

You can watch below or go to our Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch pages directly to interact.

Spotlight SquadCast Interview: Shelly Bond Talks About Suddenly One Summer Camp From Hell Issue #1

Spotlight SquadCast Interview: Shelly Bond Talks About Suddenly One Summer Camp From Hell Issue #1

Welcome to the latest edition of the Pop Culture SquadCast.

We are super excited to bring you this interview with comic legend Shelly Bond. Shelly has been with us before to talk about her crowd funded comics and her career. She even joined us during our celebration of Women in Comics History month earlier this year.

This time she has come back to talk about her latest project. Suddenly One Summer Camp from Hell. It is currently available to back on Kickstarter and the campaign ends on November 15th, So don’t waste any time and get to backing it.

This project is to fund the first issue of the series. The completed series will comprise three single black and white comics with art from the amazing Liz Prince.

Having had a look at a working copy of this issue, I wholeheartedly recommend it and can’t wait to get my hands on it.

And now we hope you enjoy this conversation with the inimitable Shelly Bond.

Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview: Shelly Bond Talks About Suddenly One Summer Camp From Hell Issue #1”

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 19: Special Guest – Zack Kaplan

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 19: Special Guest – Zack Kaplan

The SquadCast returns for November. Your hosts Mike Gold and Bob Harrison are back this week with comic writer Zack Kaplan. Enjoy the show.

Zack Kaplan has become a major player in the comic scene over the last half a decade or so. He has consistently put out excellent thought provoking comics that challenge the traditional expectations of where society is and where it is going.  He has had his books published through AfterShock Comics, Image Comics, Vault Comics,  and Dark Horse Comics. He has two new series starting soon. They are Beyond Real and Kill All Immortals.

You can watch below or go to our Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch pages directly to interact.

Spotlight SquadCast Interview: A Discussion with Danny Fingeroth about Jack Ruby, Comics, Stan Lee, and More

Spotlight SquadCast Interview: A Discussion with Danny Fingeroth about Jack Ruby, Comics, Stan Lee, and More

How do you have a conversation that involves historically significant murders, Stan Lee telling convention promoters to back off, Jonathan Silverman’s father, and Taylor Swift? You invite Danny Fingeroth to talk about his latest biography. That’s how!

Danny Fingeroth started working in comics back in the days when superheroes were pretty much the only game in town and he built a career of delivering high quality comics through his writing and editing. He is well remembered for creating the fan-favorite character Darkhawk and a long run writing Dazzler as well has his excellent work editing books like Spectacular Spider-Man, The New Warriors, and more. In recent years, he has produced some excellent books about comics and comics history including A Marvelous Life, The Amazing Story of Stan Lee, the acclaimed biography of Stan Lee.

Jack Ruby: The Many Faces of Oswald’s Assassin is the newest book from Danny Fingeroth and will be released on November 21, 2023. The book explores one of the central figures to a touchstone event in the lives of an entire generation. We spoke with Danny about his motivation for writing such a book and what he discovered in through his writing process. We also managed to squeeze in a word or two about his career in comics and as a prose writer.

The entire interview is on our YouTube channel and streamable below:

The solicitation for the Jack Ruby is below and the book is available for preorder now on Amazon:

Jack Ruby changed history with one bold, violent action: killing accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV two days after the November 22, 1963, murder of President John F. Kennedy. But who was Jack Ruby—and how did he come to be in that spot on that day?

As we approach the sixtieth anniversaries of the murders of Kennedy and Oswald, Jack Ruby’s motives are as maddeningly ambiguous today as they were the day that he pulled the trigger.

The fascinating yet frustrating thing about Ruby is that there is evidence to paint him as at least two different people. Much of his life story points to him as bumbling, vain, violent, and neurotic; a product of the grinding poverty of Chicago’s Jewish ghetto; a man barely able to make a living or sustain a relationship with anyone besides his dogs.

By the same token, evidence exists of Jack Ruby as cagey and competent, perhaps not a mastermind, but a useful pawn of the Mob and of both the police and the FBI; someone capable of running numerous legal, illegal, and semi-legal enterprises, including smuggling arms and vehicles to both sides in the Cuban revolution; someone capable of acting as middleman in bribery schemes to have imprisoned Mob figures set free.

Cultural historian Danny Fingeroth’s research includes a new, in-depth interview with Rabbi Hillel Silverman, the legendary Dallas clergyman who visited Ruby regularly in prison and who was witness to Ruby’s descent into madness. Fingeroth also conducted interviews with Ruby family members and associates. The book’s findings will catapult you into a trip through a house of historical mirrors.

At its end, perhaps Jack Ruby’s assault on history will begin to make sense. And perhaps we will understand how Oswald’s assassin led us to the world we live in today.

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 18: Special Guest – Becky Cloonan

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 18: Special Guest – Becky Cloonan

The SquadCast returns. Your hosts Mike Gold and Bob Harrison are back this week with comic creator Becky Cloonan. Enjoy the show.

Becky Cloonan has been working in comics for over twenty years. She got her start in the Indie comics scene and has published work with just about every major publisher since. She is a multiple Eisner award winner who is as well know for her writing as her beautifully haunting art. Her lastest effort, Somna, is a joint project with Tula Lotay from the new and upcoming publishing outlet DSTLRY.

You can watch below or go to our Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch pages directly to interact.

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 17: Special Guest – Phil Hester

The SquadCast continues, and Mike and Bob are back this week with writer and artist Phil Hester. Enjoy the show.

Phil has been working in comics since the 90s and has worked for both Marvel and DC as well as Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, IDW Publishing, AfterShock Comics, Oni Press and more. He had long runs on Swamp Thing and Green Arrow. Some of his most notable recent work includes The  Family Tree with Jeff Lemire and Gotham City: Year One with Tom King.

You can watch below or go to our Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch pages directly to interact.

Special SquadCast Interview with Writer Joel Meadows

Special SquadCast Interview with Writer Joel Meadows

In our latest exclusive interview, we sat down and talked with Joel Meadows. He has been in the comic industry for over thirty years as the publisher of Tripwire Magazine, and he is now about to have his first graphic novel as a writer released.

We spent some time talking about his latest project Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders: Gene Genie, Vol. 1. that he has written with art from Andy Bennett. The book explores a new story in the world of the world’s most renowned detective. A black and white volume with covers by Mark Chiarello and Walter Simonson will be release later this year.

We also spent some time discussing Meadows’ career highlights as the publisher of Tripwire and his views on the state and future of comics.

You can watch the interview via our YouTube channel or listen to the audio on in our standard podcast platform.

If you want to know more about Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders you can check out the crowdfunding site zoop.gg.

 

With Further Ado #257: Sherlock and Joel on Zoop

With Further Ado #257: Sherlock and Joel on Zoop

Joel Meadows is a hard-working creative entrepreneur. You might know him from his brilliant work on Tripwire Magazine over the years. There’s been a lot of buzz this past week about the Tripwire Awards too, and that’s fascinating to see.

Joel also has a new project coming up with Andy Bennett called Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders. Here’s the official write-up:

Sherlock Holmes and the Empire Builders is an epic alternate world sci fi adventure featuring The World’s Greatest Detective as people have never seen him before.

When Watson leaves Holmes to help Crick unravel the DNA helix and finds himself in the employ of England’s most evil man, Holmes is forced to team up with an unlikely group to defeat this monstrous figure and return England to its status quo. With your support here we can get the first part of this exciting graphic novel out to readers!

Testing the waters with three shorts which ran in Tripwire magazine, we felt that now was the time to debut this in its own graphic novel series. This will be a hardcover with a dust jacket running at 88 pages with 68 pages of story (much of which will be new material) plus character sketches, script pages and an interview offering extra information on the series.

Continue reading “With Further Ado #257: Sherlock and Joel on Zoop”