Category: Squadcasts

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”

Spotlight Squadcast Interview with Comics Writer David Pepose

Spotlight Squadcast Interview with Comics Writer David Pepose

In our latest Squadcast interview we caught up with comics creator and writer David Pepose.

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.


THE O.Z. #1-2 – A Fantasy Classic Reimagined for Comics

What is the O.Z?

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 RoadThe Old Guard, and Fables will not want to miss out on The O.Z.

THE HUNT FOR THE SILVER SLIPPERS

Continue reading “Spotlight Squadcast Interview with Comics Writer David Pepose”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson

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.

 

You can find Phillip on Twitter at @PhillipKJohnson and also on his website phillipkennedyjohnson.com.

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Jeffrey Burandt

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Jeffrey Burandt

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.

 

 


We want to thank Jeffrey Burandt for sitting down with us and sharing the info about Killer Bad and his craft. You can find him online at jefwrites.com and on Twitter at @jef_uk