Category: Podcasts

Live SquadCast with Comic Creator Thom Zahler

Live SquadCast with Comic Creator Thom Zahler

Join us live as we talk to cartoonist and comic creator Thomas Zahler.  Thom is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for print edition of Cupid’s Arrows Season 2. That comic was originally published on Webtoons.com and delves deeper into the mythos of the covert teams of “cupids” who ensure that the right people fall in love with each other. It is a funny and heartfelt property that explores the nature of love and destiny through the lens of romantic comedy.

Thom is also running a Patreon page where he regularly updates new pages of the latest volume of his long running magnum opus Love and Capes. The latest collection will be called Love and Capes: Home For the Holidays and is a follow-up to last year’s Ringo Award Nominated Love and Capes: In the Time of Covid.

We hope you enjoy the conversation and check out the Kickstarter campaign for Cupid’s Arrows.

Spotlight Squadcast Interview: Jeffrey Burandt and Sean Von Gorman Talk Ghost Planet.

Spotlight Squadcast Interview: Jeffrey Burandt and Sean Von Gorman Talk Ghost Planet.

Our latest spotlight interview brought us to a team of collaborators about to bring a sci-fi horror comic to stores near you this October. Writer Jeff Burandt and artist Sean Von Gorman have Ghost Planet releasing on October 19th from Scout Comics.

We spoke with the two creators about the inspiration for the book as well as the interesting history of what went into getting it published.  Ghost Planet is a forty-page one-shot comic about a family of space explorers that land on a planet with a terrible secret. The first two chapters were released on Webtoons as part of a weekly challenge.

This pair have been frequent collaborators, and we talked about some of the cool things that they are working on besides Ghost Planet.

This conversation was a lot of fun. We hope you listen to the Squadcast below and then check out the info about Ghost Planet including our exclusive review following the audio.


Ghost Planet #1
Scout Comics
Written by Jeffrey Burandt
Art, Colors, and Lettering by Sean Von Gorman
Cover Art by Von Gorman

Release Date: October 19, 2022

Original Solicitation:

A family of deep space explorers rushes to solve the mystery of Ghost Planet before their recently-dead loved ones return to kill them next! Murder birds, eye stalks and space pigs abound in this 40-page graphic novella. Ghost Planet is a classic sci-fi tale with a body horror twist.

PCS Review: Continue reading “Spotlight Squadcast Interview: Jeffrey Burandt and Sean Von Gorman Talk Ghost Planet.”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Shelly Bond about Fast Times in Comic Book Editing

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Shelly Bond about Fast Times in Comic Book Editing

Our latest spotlight SquadCast interview is with comic editor and publisher Shelly Bond. She is a returning guest and we were able to spend some time talking about her latest project Fast Times in Comic Book Editing.

Her latest effort from Offregister Press, the company that she runs with her husband Phillip Bond, is part memoir and part editorial handbook focusing on her time working on the Vertigo Imprint at DC Comics.

She had a hand in some of the most important comics of the 90s and that helped shape her into the superstar comic editor that she is today.

We talked about Shelly’s projects including the recently completed Filth and Grammar: The Comic Editor’s Secret Handbook, and Geezer. We also talked about comic books in general and why they became her passion.

The latest book, Fast Times, is currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter and you can find out more about that project below the SquadCast recording.

We hope that you enjoy the conversation.

 


FAST TIMES IN COMIC BOOK EDITING

A Love Letter to New York City in the ’90s.

About the Campaign:

A collection of stories and comics that chart the rise and fall and rise of a career-driven editor working in New York City in the ’90s, who’s in over her head as she tries to secure a place in the male-dominated comic book industry.

FAST TIMES IN COMIC BOOK EDITING is told through a series of short comics, photo/visual montage timelines, prose, and experimental art including a satirical TTRPG “How to Climb The Corporate Ladder From Hell.” Guest writers and artists including Neil Gaiman, Jill Thompson, Paul Pope, Michael Allred, Steven T. Seagle, Mike Carey, and Peter Gross provide brief encounters along the way.

At its core, FAST TIMES celebrates the hustle of monthly comics and the rustle of feathers and heart chambers—the universal love for story and longing to connect through words and pictures. Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Shelly Bond about Fast Times in Comic Book Editing”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview and Review with Cecil Castellucci, writer of Shifting Earth

Spotlight SquadCast Interview and Review with Cecil Castellucci, writer of Shifting Earth

We have a special post today. This is a presentation of an interview that we did with writer Cecil Castellucci a few weeks ago as well as a review of her newest graphic novel, Shifting Earth.

Cecil is a fantastic writer and never fails to capture my attention. She has written comics, graphic novels, prose, opera, and was a rock singer at one point. Some my her favorite works of hers include: The Plain Janes, Shade: The Changing Girl, Girl on Film, Batgirl, and Female Furies just to name a few. We are very excited to get this recorded conversation to our audience. We delved into some of the interesting process that she uses in her writing and talked about her motivation for the stories she tells.

Cecil created her latest book, Shifting Earth, with artist Flavia Biondi for Dark Horse Comics’ Berger Books imprint. It is in stores now and it is wonderful.

The Squadcast linked below is a fun conversation that covers a lot of her work as well as her super interesting hobbies. We hope you enjoy the conversation.


 

Shifting Earth
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Art by Flavia Biondi
Colors by Fabiana Mascolo
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover Art by Biondi & Mascolo

Original Solicitation:
In a not-so-distant future, a freak particle storm has landed botanist Dr. Maeve Millay on an idyllic yet strange parallel Earth, with no way back home.

Here, two moons rule society, and nature outshines science. But just like her own climate ravaged planet, this verdant Earth has a sinister side. Children are rare. Humans must serve a purpose or pay an unthinkable price. Astronomer Zuzi battles this underlying darkness every day—just like Maeve did at home. Both women are fighters, and both face a choice: forge new paths, or save the worlds they’ve always known? Maeve will have to decide, and fast—because she’s fighting for more than just herself.

PCS Review:
I was blown away by this book. There are a lot of moving parts to the plot to this book and it is difficult to land on the proper cadence and pace of the story. Castellucci does not falter in that endeavor. The plot reveals seem to always come at the appropriate moment throughout the book. The interesting environmental and political topics that are explored in this book serve as a backdrop to a tale of two brilliant women and their struggles to both be heard and save their respective worlds. Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview and Review with Cecil Castellucci, writer of Shifting Earth”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Phillip Kennedy Johnson as He Begins a New James Bond Comic.

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Phillip Kennedy Johnson as He Begins a New James Bond Comic.

A couple of weeks ago, we caught up with rising superstar comic writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson. We talked about a bunch of cool topics and published that interview on our Pop Culture SquadCast: Interview Edition. Johnson is super busy creating comics, but we talked about the three biggest announced projects that he is working on.

Recently, it was revealed that he will be writing the new series of James Bond from Dynamite Entertainment, with artist Marco Finnegan providing the visuals. That series begins next month in August.

We also spoke about what is going on in the pages of Action Comics from DC Comics where Ricardo Federici, Johnson’s partner in crime from the Last God has taken over primary art duties from Daniel Sampere.

As is usually the focus of our comic creator chats, we spent quite a bit of time talking about Phillip’s writing process and techniques. Some of that highlighted the excellent work that he has been doing on the Marvel Comics series Alien with artist Salvador Larroca.

It is always illuminating to talk to Phillip and we have transcribed some of the interesting newsy bits of the conversation below the jump. Give the SquadCast a listen and let us know what you think.


Pop Culture Squad: Let’s talk about James Bond. Congratulations on writing the new James Bond series with Dynamite Entertainment. Before we get into the series, I want to talk about who is “your James Bond” Which actor is the one that you are always going to watch.

Phillip Kennedy Johnson: Daniel Craig, for sure.

PCS: Okay, good. I personally don’t have a favorite. I love them all. What was the first Bond movie that you saw?

PKJ: <laugh> I honestly don’t remember. And the reason is it wasn’t like there was just one that came on. This one time I was staying with my stepdad’s mother for the weekend, and there was this Bond marathon on TV.

PCS: So, you watched them all at once.

PKJ: Seriously. I watched like a dozen of them probably. I fell asleep during one of them. I was like, “Oh, I guess I’m going to go to bed.” And, at the time, I remember liking Sean Connery a lot. I thought like “This guy’s super cool.” And I still feel like he’s probably the coolest of the old Bonds of the pre-Craig Bonds.

Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Phillip Kennedy Johnson as He Begins a New James Bond Comic.”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comic Writer Mark Russell

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comic Writer Mark Russell

In this episode of the Pop Culture SquadCast we spoke with writer Mark Russell. It’s been about seven years since Mark burst on the scene with his breakthrough book The Flintstones from DC comics.

Since that time, he has delivered a string of smart, thought provoking stories in the medium including Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Second Coming with Ahoy Comics, Red Sonja from Dynamite Entertainment, Billionaire Island, Not All Robots from AWA Studios, and so much more.

We spent some time in this conversation talking about his two upcoming series which are Superman: Space Age on which he is work with legendary artist Mike Allred. And The Incal: Psychoverse that he is doing with Yanick Paquette.

If you are a fan of Mark Russell’s work at all, you know that we had to touch on some current events and nature of human society. It was a lot of fun.

We transcribed some of the interview below but also listen to the SquadCast to hear the whole conversation. We hope you enjoy it.


PopCultureSquad: You’ve written Superman before in Wonder Twins and One Star Squadron. How does this new story differ for you? Is it the same version of Superman?

Mark Russell: I wanted to write him as like sort of a wise old stoic, you know, sort of like Marcus Aurelius or Suetonius or something, but he doesn’t start out that way. And I think what is different about this story is it tells Superman from his beginnings to becoming that. So, it is much more about trial and error. It is much more about the process of him becoming Superman, about him absorbing the wisdom of the Kents and Lois lane, and synthesizing all of the influences that they have on his life and becoming what you would recognize as my Superman. He is an unflappable, wise character who realizes that he has to be the voice of reason, that he has to be the most generous soul in the room, because anything less than that would be a nightmare for the human race.

PCS: Right. And it’s interesting because the Superman that you have written is very different from Sunstar from Second Coming. Superman that you’ve written has that heavy gravitas to him. And you can tell that everyone who’s talking to him, or stuck talking to him, knows that they are talking to the most powerful person on the planet, and he is not acting like it.

MR: So. Yeah. When I had originally pitched the Second Coming story, I wanted it to be Superman, but, Dan Didio at DC said, “I get death threats when Superman fails to say the Pledge of Allegiance. You are not going to involve me in your blasphemy here.” So, luckily he said no to Superman, but he said, “You can write it as a creator own character, and I’ll approve it.” So, that’s when I created Sunstar. and it really turned out to be a good move, because Sunstar, I think makes a much better paring for Jesus Christ than Superman.

If it was Superman, then you just have two nice guys, two really wise guys bouncing off each other, and no one wants to read that. There is just really nowhere to go with that. Whereas, Sunstar is not that wise. He’s a guy who’s kind of spoiled, someone who’s leaned into his privilege, and Christ has to sort of dial him back a little. Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comic Writer Mark Russell”

Spotlight Squadcast Interview with Taylor Esposito, Letterer and Educator

Spotlight Squadcast Interview with Taylor Esposito, Letterer and Educator

We like to talk to comic professionals in all fields of expertise, and we have finally gotten a letterer on the Pop Culture SquadCast. We were able to catch up recently with Taylor Esposito for our latest episode.

Taylor has been a staff letterer for DC Comics and has worked as a freelance letterer for lots of publishers, including: DC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, AfterShock Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and more. He is also the owner of Ghost Glyph Studios which offers a wide range of comic book and graphic design services.

In addition to his freelance lettering work, Taylor is part of the faculty at the Kubert School where he imparts his expertise to the next generation of comic professionals.

We had a great talk about his origin story in comics and how he approaches his craft. The topics of discussion were far ranging, and we transcribed a bit of it below. Listen to the SquadCast to here the whole conversation. We hope you enjoy it.


Pop Culture Squad: What do you think is a part of the job of lettering comics that people don’t appreciate the most?

Taylor Esposito: Well, it’s not the most glamorous part. When you’re writing, you’re making up the stories, and when you’re drawing, you’re imagining the worlds. When you’re coloring, you’re kind of bringing them to life. Lettering is, to the untrained person, just dropping letters on the page, or dropping balloons. The thing is, and this is not to put anyone down, sometimes writers and artists are too into their part of the craft where they’re not thinking about the total page.

There is a legibility to these things. You know? If we’re in the American market, we read top down and left right. If we’re in the Japanese market, obviously it’s reversed, but same principle. It has to flow properly. If a reader is getting tripped up or stuck or confused, we failed. So if these things are not being resolved in the layouts before the final pages are drawn and if after the final pages are drawn, it’s not adjusted again for like space issues or, or readability or whatever, it comes down to the letter. It’s just kind of find a way to make it legible. And we do a lot of heavy lifting. Continue reading “Spotlight Squadcast Interview with Taylor Esposito, Letterer and Educator”

With Further Ado #164: Thanks Heavens for My Commute

With Further Ado #164: Thanks Heavens for My Commute

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.