Category: Webcomics

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Steve Conley and His Astounding Space Thrills

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Steve Conley and His Astounding Space Thrills

We got the chance to catch up with cartoonist Steve Conley recently. This is an interview we have been wanting to do for some time and the timing worked out great as Steve is in the middle of a fantastic Kickstarter campaign.

Steve is best known for his multi-award nominated webcomic The Middle Age, but this time around he is collecting and printing his turn of the century webcomic Astounding Space Thrills. The campaign is doing excellent and is something you definitely want to get in on.

Please enjoy this conversation where we talk about the Kickstarter for Astounding Space Thrills, Steve’s career, the history and future of The Middle Age, and we throw in a little pop culture etymology for good measure.


Check out the trailer for the Kickstarter campaign below:

 

What is Astounding Space Thrills about?

According to Steve:

Astounding Space Thrills is a fun, retro-futuristic, sci-fi adventure following hero Argosy Smith as he solves cosmic mysteries. Think of Argosy as 1/3 The Doctor, 1/3 Buckaroo Banzaii, and 1/3 every kid who grew up playing RPGs and video games.

There are very accessible backer reward tiers and so far the campaign is blowing by the stretch goals.

It is an amazing effort that Steve is undertaking by resurrecting and remastering a webcomic that was designed to be viewed on a monitor that used a VGA cable and a computer that required a hard wired cable to a dial-up modem to get to the internet. This is definitely a labor of love and we are looking forward to seeing the final results.

In our conversation, Steve mentioned that he is willing and excited to go back to the world of Argosy Smith if the people want more of it.  I say that sounds like a great idea.

What are the important things to know?

The campaign ends on May 26, 2021.

You can find the campaign page here.

Steve’s website is steveconley.com.

You can follow Steve on Twitter at thesteveconley.

Don’t forget to check out The Middle Age as well. You can find it at Webtoon, GoComics, Tapas, or even in Kindle or Print formats on Amazon.

Steve also has a Patreon page that we highly recommend.

With Further Ado #137: Catching Up with Thom Zahler

With Further Ado #137: Catching Up with Thom Zahler

One of the many nice things about attending conventions was seeing familiar faces. For fans and industry professionals alike, it’s a great way to catch up with, and be inspired by, the many creative entrepreneurs of Geek Culture.

One guy that was always working hard, and doing it with his natural, movie-star smile, was Thom Zahler. Since I can’t walk up to his cool booth at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, I just had to catch up with him ..via this column!


Ed Catto: How have you been managing during the pandemic?

Thom Zahler: I’m not gonna lie. It’s been rough and interesting and everything in between.

When the lockdown first happened, I was kind of designed to be fine through the summer. I was working on season two of Cupid’s Arrows for WEBTOON and that wasn’t affected by anything. I converted the last convention-exclusive issues of Love and Capes: The Family Way into a shop-exclusive version that I was able to put out when Diamond shut down. And, when it comes to how I work at home, quarantine isn’t a lot different than normal times. I couldn’t go to the gym anymore, and everything had an extra layer of complexity, but it wasn’t a big change. I was fortunate to be close enough to my parents that I could take care of them, do their shopping, things like that. And I live in a small town where you could still go out and take walks and not run into anyone.

Losing conventions certainly hurt, as much from the emotional hit as anything else. Conventions kind of recharge me. I can see the people who read my comics and that helps fuel me to make more. The loss of the revenue stream wasn’t great. But it was manageable.

Then the summer rolled on and nothing changed, and it got a lot tighter. I’m glad I bore down and prepared for the worst, squirreling money away and preparing for the long game. It still wasn’t awesome, but it was better than the alternative. Continue reading “With Further Ado #137: Catching Up with Thom Zahler”

Superheroes Deal With the Pandemic in “Love and Capes: In the Time of Covid.”

Superheroes Deal With the Pandemic in “Love and Capes: In the Time of Covid.”

Press Release:

1/5/2021 – Timberlake, OH

The Harvey-nominated superhero romantic comedy Love and Capes is taking on an unlikely foe: the coronavirus. In the recently-released free online comic, the heroes and their families take a light-hearted look at lockdown, masks, social distancing and all the other hardships of the last year.

“I was living through the lockdown like everyone else and have been keeping it out of the comics I was writing hoping it’d be over before it was an issue,” says series creator Thom Zahler. “Obviously, that didn’t happen. And then I got to thinking about how my Love and Capes characters would deal with the world today… and before I knew it, I had twenty pages of ideas.”

Zahler used this latest chapter of Love and Capes to launch a Patreon campaign. It quickly found an audience, and a new page appears every Thursday. For the New Year, Zahler has decided to make the older pages available for free on his website. Each Monday, a new page will be released to the public.

“Writing and drawing this story has helped me deal with the way things are right now. I think, even separated, we have a lot of shared experiences and there’s a lot of humor to be found in them. I hope it becomes a little moment of respite for everyone who reads it.”

The Patreon continues to provide members-only content, too, including weekly sketches voted on by Patrons, “Lost Tales” of pitches than never became comics, and more.

This is not the first pandemic-related Love and Capes venture. In the early days of March when comic companies and distribution centers were shut down, Zahler created a direct-to-shops version of the six-issue series Love and Capes: The Family Way and got those to local stores, even including local store branding on each cover. The books were printed with the assistance of Jones Printing in Eastlake, Ohio.

 


Thom Zahler lives in Northeast Ohio and has been creating comics for over fifteen years. Love and Capes launched as a hybrid print and web comic in 2005. Since then, the series has been self-published by Zahler’s imprint, Maerkle Press, and by IDW who also publishes the collections. The latest, Love and Capes: The Family Way, came out in November of last year. He also created the Webtoon series Warning Label and Cupid’s Arrows, and writes for IDW’s My Little Pony series.

Link to webpage: https://thomzahler.squarespace.com/love-and-capes-in-the-time-of-covid

Link to Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/thomzahler

Blackout: The Latest Season of the New Brooklyn Saga is on Webtoons

Blackout: The Latest Season of the New Brooklyn Saga is on Webtoons

What do you do when your Psychotic Vigilante Mother gets hold of an Apocalypse Sword?

Comic creator Dean Haspiel has been working on his original metaphysical superhero story The New Brooklyn Saga for a few years now, and the fourth season has just premiered on Webtoons.com.

The latest installment is called Blackout. Here is how Dean describes the new season:

When The Green Point’s apocalypse sword is reactivated by the malice of The Coney, The Red Hook must combat and convince his psychotic, vigilante mother to help finally destroy it, only to accidentally rebirth the wrath of an unexpected villain who threatens to save earth from the hierarchy of humanity by sending New Brooklyn back to the stone age! Does The Red Hook have to break bad in order to restore the goodness of society?

The Red Hook, crook turned reluctant hero, is an engaging character, and the world that he lives in is full of interesting characters. The big ideas that Haspiel explores in this series have always raised the quality of the story to lofty heights. The previous season ended with the sun being reignited by love; so, where do you go from there? Continue reading “Blackout: The Latest Season of the New Brooklyn Saga is on Webtoons”

Continued After the Next Page #014: Exercise Your Right to Vote For Comics – Ringo Edition

Continued After the Next Page #014: Exercise Your Right to Vote For Comics – Ringo Edition

This is the time of year when every comic fan can get involved in the process of recognizing excellence in comic making. The public nomination process is open for the 2020 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards.

One of the great features of the Ringo Awards is that all fans and professionals have the opportunity to nominate their favorite creators and productions from 2019.

The ballot is available here.

I have taken some time to go through things that I have read or seen that was produced in 2019. Below is a list of some suggestions for each category.

PLEASE NOTE THESE ARE NOT OFFICIAL NOMINATIONS!! These are merely my suggestions!!!

The initial public nomination process is a free form text option for each category. Unfortunately (Actually, it’s pretty great!), I have found so many worthy candidates for each category.

In my list of nomination suggestions are people and publications that I feel are deserving of nominations. I am one hundred percent certain that I have forgotten or not included worthy candidates. This may be the first and only time I do this based on how many people I offend. Please forgive any omissions. Continue reading “Continued After the Next Page #014: Exercise Your Right to Vote For Comics – Ringo Edition”

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”

Exploring Webcomics With the Pros – The Video SquadCast

Exploring Webcomics With the Pros – The Video SquadCast

Hey Everyone!!

Welcome to the Video SquadCast! This is the recording of the panel we hosted at Baltimore Comic-Con on October 20, 2019. The panelists are Steve Conley, Katie Cook, Dean Haspiel and Thom Zahler.  The video is hosted on our YouTube Channel and the audio version of the SquadCast can be found at the bottom of this post.

Be sure to check out this great conversation about webcomics and how these professionals work their craft. The will tell you the techniques they use for developing story and rendering it into art.


Continue reading “Exploring Webcomics With the Pros – The Video SquadCast”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection

Hey folks. It’s that time again. If it’s Friday, it must be time to tell you a about a Kickstarter that you should be backing. We search the current Kickstarter campaigns, and when we find one we feels needs a little boost, we let you know about it.

This week we are spotlighting The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection”

Baltimore Comic-Con 2019 Is Here And Pop Culture Squad Will Be There

Baltimore Comic-Con 2019 Is Here And Pop Culture Squad Will Be There

The twentieth anniversary celebration of the Baltimore Comic-Con will be taking place this weekend. It will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD from Friday, October 18, 2019 – Sunday, October 20, 2019.

This is one of our favorite conventions of the year, and various members of Pop Culture Squad will be on-site for it.  You can find our sage-in-chief Mike Gold at booth 118 with the great folks from Insight Studios. Evelyn Kriete and Adriane Nash will be there as well.  If you stop by, you may find that they have some exclusive PCS swag (stickers and buttons).

Our photographers will be out and about getting pics of some of the fantastic cosplay that is sure to be on the floor of the show. Stay tuned to PCS, here and on our social media, and we will bring you the great costumes that we see. Continue reading “Baltimore Comic-Con 2019 Is Here And Pop Culture Squad Will Be There”

Spotlight Interview with Dean Haspiel

Spotlight Interview with Dean Haspiel

One of the earlier interviews that we had in this series on Pop Culture Squad was with cartoonist and auteur Dean Haspiel. He was talking last year about his collected edition of The Red Hook for Image Comics. This year his second volume in that universe, War Cry, is about to hit stores October 9th.

War Cry is the continuing adventures of Sam Brosia and the characters created in The Red Hook. We have seen the story on Line Webtoon, but we have also seen a preview of the collected print edition, and it is fabulous.

We were able to have a conversation with Dean, and, as usual, it went far afield into storytelling techniques, comic making process, the anatomy of a sentient city, and his mom.

Below is a transcript of the majority of our interview.

Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Dean Haspiel”