Join us as we talk to comic creator Vito Delsante about his latest Kickstarter campaign for Stray.
One of the nice things about a driving commute is the opportunity to sit back, let your mind wander and enjoy something that sounds fantastic. I’ve got a bit of a commute these days. But to be fair, it’ nothing like I used to have going into the NYC from the ‘burbs every day.
I was looking forward to listening to a new podcast on my way into work. Batman: The Audio Adventures had a cool logo and seemed to signal that it would be a cool thing for an old-time radio/old movie fan, like myself, to enjoy on the morning ride. I gave it a try but only listened to about 3 minutes of it.
Ugh! It’s awful.
Here’s what Rich Johnston had to say about it on the on long-running Bleeding Cool site:
Batman: The Audio Adventures is a new audio drama podcast produced by HBOMax, the first American-made Batman audio drama serial since the 1940s. What they didn’t tell us was that the series is what you get if Saturday Night Live made a Batman radio show. The publicity for Batman: The Audio Adventures mentioned that the show takes a comedic approach to Batman. Just about every trope in the Batman mythos is here – the supervillains, the Batmobile, Commissioner Gordon, Gotham City as a major character – but given a heightened, slightly campy, comedic twist.
What a shame and what a weird product. I thought we, as a society (albeit one obsessed with media) had given up on the silly, overused, poke-fun-at-the-super-hero style of comedy. To me, this show was stupid, misguided and goofy. But hey, I know that I’m not the target. Maybe it’s aiming for the same kind of fans who love Star Trek: Lower Decks.
Instead, might I suggest two other radio drama programs disguising themselves as podcasts? And one “forgotten treat”? (Click on the images to find the podcasts and how to listen.)
The EC Vault of Horror Podcast is a lot of fun. It’s the audio version of the old EC comics with a little updating and tweaking. When I think of EC, I tend to think of my old favorite EC artists, so I wasn’t sure I would like this one. Turns out it’s a riot. Certainly worth a try.
The Frozen Frights Podcast is extremely well done. It actually owes a lot to that old 1950s style of horror comics – but like the EC Horror Podcasts, this one is updated and slick, so it appeals to both older and younger fans. A creepy good time is waiting for you…if you dare!
Rod Serling’s Zero Hour was one of his last projects. It’s from the early 70s, long after the Golden Age of Radio had ended. But this was on last try to recapture that lightning in a bottle. Serling worked with Elliot Lewis, a giant of old time radio, and some of the top TV stars of the day – folks like William Shatner, Bob Crane and Lee Meriwether. If you love The Twilight Zone, you’ll like this. Maybe not love it, but definitely like it.
Who needs a hackneyed, bloated Batman radio show? Sure, I’ve been waiting for a cool Batman radio show for a long time. But it’s easy not miss something like that when there’s so many other OTR-ish things to listen to!
*Thanks to Yamu Walsh for turning me onto these awesome podcasts in the first place.
David is known for his creator-owned titles Spencer & Locke, Going to the Chapel, Scout’s Honor, and The O.Z.
His work has been nominated for multiple industry awards and his catalogue of work is continuing to grow into new publishing venues.
His latest work, The O.Z., is a book that he is publishing through Kickstarter. The first double-sized issue was funded last year and currently the campaign for the second installment is underway. Backers have until September 15th to get behind this excellent comic.
Since David and I spoke for this Squadcast, the first issue of The O.Z. has been nominated for best single issue for the 2021 Ringo Awards.
David has grown as a writer and creator over the years that Pop Culture Squad has been around and he continues to be one of our favorite interviewees.
Check out the interview and the Kickstarter campaign below.
What if The Hurt Locker took place in The Wizard of Oz? Find out in The O.Z., an action-packed fantasy comic series from Ringo Award-nominated writer David Pepose (Spencer & Locke, Going to the Chapel, Scout’s Honor) and superstar artist Ruben Rojas (Proton) that transforms a childhood classic into a war story for the ages. Returning to Kickstarter with our double-sized, 44-page second chapter, this campaign is dedicated to bringing this adrenaline-fueled twist on L. Frank Baum’s iconic Oz novels to life. Fans of Mad Max: Fury Road, The Old Guard, and Fables will not want to miss out on The O.Z.
In our latest episode of the Pop Culture SquadCast, we spoke to comic book writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson. Phillip’s catalog of published comic work has increased significantly in recent years. He created and wrote the hit DC Comics Black Label series The Last God and currently is writing for both DC and Marvel comics. He is penning Action Comics for DC and the newly launched Alien book for Marvel, among others.
Phillip has an amazing “day job” as a member of the United States Army and has come to comic book writing later than others. His roots in comic publishing come from the creator owned space with books like Last Sons of America that was published by Boom! Studios, and his collaboration with Steve Orlando on the AfterShock Comics book Kill A Man was a significant topic in our conversation.
Phillip is often found to be thoughtful and excited about telling stories in the comic medium. It is always a joy to spend some time talking comics with him. Our conversation touched on a bunch of different topics including his current projects.
We delved into the world building that Phillip does in his storytelling and how from The Last God to Superman and Alien you can see the care that he takes in making the setting authentic. The topic of alien languages came up and people interested in how to make that work will be very interested in that conversation.
As a reader of comics, I often wonder how the dynamic of two writers works in the practice of writing the story. Phillip went into detail about how the project Kill A Man was proposed to him and about how he and Steve Orlando traded off on scenes and then came back to collaborate and create a fluid single voice to the book.
The concepts and plans that are coming in the second arc of Alien from Marvel were discussed, and Phillip has taken great care to tell interesting stories in the world of Alien that respect the fan base but also push the boundaries. He laid out the premise for “Alien: Sanctuary” which begins in September.
We hope you enjoy the conversation and it inspires you to seek out Phillips work. You won’t be disappointed.
Our latest Pop Culture SquadCast features comic writer Jeffrey Burandt who is in the midst of campaign to fund his latest comic on Kickstarter. Burandt’s style is satirical with warm heart. The best part about his writing is that while the things he writes about run the gamut from straight humor to life and death sci-fi, the reader gets the sense that Burandt is enjoying the telling of the story regardless of topic or genre.
We got a chance to talk to him about his new project with Jason Goungor called Killer Bad, and we also talked about his other projects including Odd Schnozz from Oni, anthology projects Love is Love and Pandemix, and more.
Killer Bad looks to be a hell of ride. This first issue that is being Kickstarted is a superhero slasher story set in the 90’s.
Check out the campaign information for Killer Bad and then go and back it.
The comic is described by the creators this way.
KILLER BAD is a brand new, superhero-horror comic book series with ’90’s comix flair! Each issue is a done-in-one story reflecting a different horror genre through the superhero lens, but with connective tissues of plot and character that run through the entire series. And you can start at the beginning right now with issue #1!
When an elite super-group travels to a remote island to retrieve a powerful artifact, they are stalked and killed by a super-slasher, serial killer. Killer Bad #1 is a grindhouse, gore-fest of world-shattering death and destruction!
The campaign ends on September 1 and is super close to being funded. There are terrific backer rewards tiers available. Below you can see the preview pages.
The latest comic from Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones, Groo Meets Tarzan, is brilliant. Tom Yeates is also along for the ride, and if you, like me, are ravenous for more of his artwork beyond the weekly Prince Valiant Sunday strip, his contributions to this one won’t disappoint you. The first issue kicks off with a double page spread showcasing the main floor of San Diego Comic-Con and it had me laughing out loud and missing it all -both at the same time.
To be sure, San Diego Comic-Con, or Comic-Con International, has grown to become a sprawling, wonderous event. It will be fantastic when things ‘get back to normal’ for this annual celebration. So… while we’re waiting for that, maybe now is the perfect time to learn a little about the origins of this event?
The new podcast Comic-Con Begins, is informative, illuminating and just plain fun. I had the pleasure of catching up with Mathew Klickstein to get the lowdown on it all.
Ed Catto: Why do you think there is such an interest in comic cons and specifically in the history of comic cons?
Mathew Klickstein: One of the many reasons we thought a history of “the” Comic-Con would be something worth investing massive amounts of blood-sweat-n-tears into is that there really hadn’t been a history like this put together before, at least not in such an extensive, extremely deep-dive investigative/exploratory way. Certainly not involving the entire force of folks who made it all happen back in the day.
There’ve been some great books – mostly academic/scholarly or personal memoir – about cons and fandom over the years, along with a handful of well-crafted documentaries and the like. But we just hadn’t seen too much in the way of such a long-form history, which again, was a principal motivator for us to plunge into the project with such breakneck insane passion, and certainly a major factor in why we wanted to do all we could to get it done “right.”
We wanted to fill in that lacuna, the gap in our shared cultural history. We aspired throughout the process to achieve that with Comic-Con Begins.
As for interest in the conventions themselves? I’m hoping too that that interest has been, if anything, bolstered by this past year+ of the lack of their happening in-person (or, in many cases, at all).
That this last year+, I hope and believe, has reminded people why a true in-person, “I’m there with the rest of the fans all together in a finite space” singular experience of being at a con is something we truly need as fans, as geeks, as “misfits” or whatnot who connect with members of their “tribe” through certain pop culture and creative/artistic entities and that going to conventions to see old friends and enjoy these experiences together, in person, is not simply a luxury. It’s something we desperately require as a social species. (Fan or otherwise!)
EC: And even though it’s not the biggest comic convention, many would argue that San Diego Comic-Con is still the most important. Do you think that’s true? Why or why not? Continue reading “With Further Ado #158: Comic-Con Begins: Five-and-a-Half Questions with Mathew Klickstein” →
Anyone who has been paying attention to comics over the past thirty years knows that Shelly has shepherded some of the most fantastic comic stories to ever come along. Her decades long tenure at Vertigo brought us books like Fables, Lucifer, American Virgin, Clean Room, Euthanauts, and so many more.
Over the past few years Shelly has been curating and publishing comics through Kickstarter. Her anthologies include Femme Magnifique, Insider Art, Heavy Rotation, and Hey Amateur!
Her latest offering which is still available to back is called Filth and Grammar, The Comic Book Editor’s Secret Handbook. It is written by Shelly as part memoire and part instruction manual.
We had the fantastic opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Shelly and talk about what has gone into the creation of this book and her stellar career in general.
This has been one of the most entertaining and productive interviews that I have ever conducted.
We hope that you enjoy the conversation.
Pop Culture Squad: Let’s talk about the newest project. Filth and Grammar. This is a departure from what we are used to getting from Shelly Bond. It seems very personal. What made you decide on this project?
Shelly Bond: Thirty-three years of blood sweat and red ink on my fingers. This is my magnum opus. You do this once in a lifetime and I have been chipping away at it for many many years. I started writing it officially in 2016, and I just wasn’t sure which way I was going to go with it but I was always sure that the title was going to be Filth and Grammar.
I didn’t know if was going to err on the side of more grammar and some filth or ninety percent filth and ten percent grammar. But I think I finally struck a good balance when I found my superstar artist trio. When you find the right team, most things fall into place.
I cannot wait to continue working on this book and bringing it to life. Really, for anyone who wants to make comics, anyone who wants to make comics better than they’ve ever made them before, and actually for people who want to become more discerning readers, it’s the kind of book for everybody.
There is plenty more in podcast, but some of the topics that we covered include:
What she enjoys about and some of the challenges of running a self publishing business through Kickstarter.
Her history as young comic editor at Comico to being Senior Editor at Vertigo, to running her own imprint at IDW, to the present. It is enlightening, and she has so much to offer in terms of her experience.
We spent some time talking about the process of making comics, and lettering nerds will find some fun points in the podcast.
Her work on Fables is a great topic of the conversation.
If you are into comics and want to know more about how they get made, this is a great conversation for you.
Also the Kickstarter campaign for Filth and Grammar, The Comic Book Editor’s Secret Handbook ends this week. You still have a few days to back it.
As a reminder, this was one of the campaigns that we highlighted earlier this month as a Kickstarter You Should Be Backing.
You can also find her projects at offregister.press.
Andrew Sumner is a dynamo wrapped in a fireball with the limitless energy of a blazing supernova. I’m always fascinated by everything he’s doing and the launch of his new podcast, Hard Agree, (I’ve become a regular listener) provided a great excuse to catch up with him!
Ed Catto: You’ve got so much going on now and such a cool origin story, Andrew. Can you tell us a little about who you are and how you ended up at your current position at Titan?
Andrew Sumner: My grandfather and best friend, Pops Smythe, served with an American unit in Normandy in WWII, and when he came back to Liverpool, England in 1947 (after spending two years as an MP on clean-up duty in post-Nazi-occupied Paris), he came back with a great love of America, Americans and American popular culture – as personified by movies, big band music and the comic books he’d received as part of his US Army rations. He transferred all of those passions to me – when I was three, he bought me my first US comic (Batman #184) and I was hooked for life. Continue reading “With Further Ado #147: Five and a Half Questions with Hard Agree’s Andrew Sumner” →