Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Alex Paknadel

Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Alex Paknadel

Alex Paknadel is a rising star in the field of comics writing. In 2019, he has completed his highly acclaimed first series with Vault Comics called Friendo. He has continued as the writer of the Lion Forge book Kino, which is set in the Catalyst Prime universe. He also wrote a four-part mini-series for Valiant called Incursion.

After breaking into the comics scene in 2015 with Arcadia from Boom! Studios, he has developed a reputation for thought-provoking storytelling. Often his topics cover deep socio-political subjects, but he can write a super-hero fight scene with the best of them. If you follow our Preview Reviews or Everything We Read columns, you will find Alex show up regularly there.

We caught up with Alex in Chicago at C2E2 in March, and this interview was captured then.

PopCultureSquad: Recently [in March 2019] there was an announcement that you and your White Noise studio mates [Dan Watters, Ram V, and Ryan O’Sullivan] have new books coming from Vault Comics. What can you tell us about that?

Alex Paknadel: We’ve re-upped with Vault for another tranche of books for 2019-2020. Dan Watters and I have started work on a book called Earthcrosser, which is being gorgeously illustrated by a brilliant Scottish artist named Pablo Clark. Ram and Ryan’s plans for 2020 are well-advanced too, so expect great things.

PCS: Ok, and you guys know what you are doing? You are excited about the new books?

AP: Yeah, we were able to get fantastic creative teams for the first wave of books, and we have managed to at least equal the quality of creative talent for this next set if not go beyond that.

We have been viewing Vault, and I hope they don’t get upset for me saying this but, as sort of an outlet for our “Boutique Books”. These are the ones where we take big risks.

PCS: Are they the ones that are most personal? Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Alex Paknadel”

Spotlight Interview with the Creators of Grumble: Mike Norton and Rafer Roberts

Spotlight Interview with the Creators of Grumble: Mike Norton and Rafer Roberts

Hey! Welcome back to our special feature Spotlight Interview column. When we are fortunate enough to get to talk to creative professionals, we love to bring those conversations to you folks.

Last month on March 24, 2019, we were able to get together with the creative team behind the hit comic series Grumble, published by Albatross Funnybooks.

We interviewed artist Mike Norton, and writer Rafer Roberts at their tables on the floor at C2E2.  The pair have previously worked together on Valiant’s Archer and Armstrong.

Mike is a veteran comic artist, having also done work for DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, and Devil’s Due. He is also well-known for the multiple award winning webcomic BATTLEPUG that he both writes and draws. Last year, he published a collected edition of his web comic strip Lil’ Donnie which is a satire of a certain orange infant that resides in a big white house.

Rafer is a writer and artist who has done a lot of work for Valiant, including Harbinger Renegade, and also wrote Modern Fantasy that was published by Dark Horse.

Grumble is a comic about a guy that magically gets turned into talking pug, and with his companion Tala, is on the run from multiple entities that are out to get him. It is fun and action packed. The writing and art are top notch, and the colors by Marissa Louise and lettering by Crank! make this an excellent book all around.

Pop Culture Squad: Where did the idea for Grumble come from?

Rafer Roberts: It started with Mike.

Mike Norton: I’ve always got pugs on the brain. That is not like a hidden thing about me, but I really was longing for a “Howard the Duck” sort of thing. I love those adventures with a character that you can sort of relate to, but it’s a completely alien sort of creature. I don’t know how it happened in my head, but one day I said out loud to the other guys in the studio, “What if John Constantine was Howard the Duck?”  Everybody hates John Constantine, but what if people didn’t want to be around him, not because he was bringing the devil or he was dangerous, but he was just an asshole. Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with the Creators of Grumble: Mike Norton and Rafer Roberts”

Spotlight Interview with Comic Artist: Joe Rubinstein

Spotlight Interview with Comic Artist: Joe Rubinstein

We were able to get together with a legendary comic book creator recently. Joe Rubinstein began his career in comics as a teenager in the 1970’s. He has been an excellent and prolific inker for a very long time.

He has worked on some truly important pieces of comic history including the original Wolverine limited series written by Chris Claremont and laid out by Frank Miller; Joe did the finishes. He was the inker on Infinity Gauntlet. An interesting claim to fame for Joe is that he was the inker for 99.9% of the character pin-ups for the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe over at twenty year period.

In 2016, Joe was inducted into the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame which is attached to the Inkwell Awards.

Joe is also a part of a team of well-known comic professionals who are producing a graphic novel called The Liberty Brigade. It was funded using Kickstarter in late 2018 and is in the process of being produced.

Recently, Joe has begun to put together a website to display his art and offer services directly to the public. You can find it at www.joerubinsteinart.com and below is our conversation with Joe about his career and what he is doing now.

Pop Culture Squad: I know that you are excited about the new website, what can you tell us about that?

Joe Rubinstein: It is still being filled, but it is up and running. It has a lot of my art, and also information about commissions and convention schedules. This piece is not up yet, but since a lot of my comic book work has become movies, we are going to be linking to trailers that have come from my stuff, like Infinity Gauntlet and Captain America and things like that. We will also have art lessons and tutorials. I will be posting instructional videos that will have free previews and a subscription service or something like that for full videos.

PCS: What can you tell us about the Liberty Brigade and how that is going? How did you get involved with that project?

Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comic Artist: Joe Rubinstein”

Spotlight Interview with David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr. of Spencer and Locke

Spotlight Interview with David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr. of Spencer and Locke

Welcome back to another Spotlight Interview. We had the great fortune to get together with the creators of the Ringo Award nominated series Spencer and Locke.

Spencer and Locke first debuted in 2017, and was published by Action Lab. It was created by David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr.  The creators have described it as riff on the idea of what would happen if Calvin and Hobbes had grown up in Sin-City.

The concept is so audacious, a lot of people wanted to look to see if we could stick the landing.

David Pepose

The collected first volume of this ambitious mashup series can be found at your LCS or on Amazon or Comixology. We highly recommend it.

Capitalizing on the success of their hit series, the guys are back with Spencer and Locke 2, and it is beginning on April 24, 2019.  You can find the preorder information on PreviewsWorld.

Our conversation with David and Jorge covered topics ranging from the inspiration for the series to process techniques, and fan reactions. Take a look below. We think you will be impressed with these guys and definitely intrigued about what you will find in Volume 2 of Spencer and Locke.

Pop Culture Squad: What was the inspiration for the original series of Spencer and Locke?

David Pepose (Writer/Creator):  It took me a while to muster up the nerve to think that maybe I could write a comic. I think there is a lot of mysticism about creating stuff that people think it is kind of magic. Where, to me, it’s more like building a chair.  It’s hard work, but there is a form to it that you can build upon. So, people say to write about what you know, and I thought, “Well I don’t know anything about anything, except for comics.” The more that I thought about that, the more I thought it was not as limiting as one might think. Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr. of Spencer and Locke”

Spotlight Interview: Don McGregor

Spotlight Interview: Don McGregor

A few weeks ago, Ed Catto sat down with Don McGregor for a lengthy chat