#692 “Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book”

Raphael/Spurgeon book on Stan Lee

Tim and Emmet begin a series on Stan Lee biographies with the 2003 book Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book by Jordan Raphael and the late, great Tom Spurgeon. What’s the tone of this book, and how does it portray Stan? How much of the Marvel Universe is he actually responsible for, and what were his motivations for taking more credit than he deserved? We discuss, and then Tim gets some background on the making of the book from co-author Jordan Raphael!

#690 “Dragon Age: Dark Fortress” and “Haha”

HAHA and DRAGON AGE

Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, following up on their appearance in episode 653, are back on the show to discuss their upcoming miniseries Dragon Age: Dark Fortress. How does the Dragon Age fan base compare with other ardent fan bases? How is Christina and Nunzio’s relationship with Dragon Age artist Fernando Heinz Furukawa? They discuss this and more with Emmet.

Then, Emmet and Tim discuss another miniseries, Haha, by W. Maxwell Prince with a variety of artists. The first two issues feature Vanessa DelRey and, a favorite of ours from episode 674, Zoe Thorogood!

#688 Jed MacKay interview

Black Cat

Candian Jed MacKay is rising through the ranks at Marvel with some stellar books starring secondary characters — the Black Cat, Taskmaster — and now the Avengers in mech suits (Avengers Mech Strike). In this episode he talks with Tim about why Taskmaster portrayals have become goofier, how he treats Black Cat as sexy but not cheesecake, how he manages his writing time and more.

#686 Con Chrisoulis interview

Con Chrisoulis has been on the comics scene since 1996, releasing comics in his native Australia, in Greece, and in the UK, as well as comics on the web. He’s best known for Tales of the Smiths, Rebel Rebel: The Graphic Biography of David Bowie, and King: The Graphic Biography of Jack Kirby. In this episode, he talks with Emmet about all these works, and the pushback on political commentary in some of his work.

#685 Hilary Barta interview

Where Monsters Smell

Hilary Barta has been drawing (and sometimes writing) comics for decades, for nearly any publisher you can name. He even worked with the great Alan Moore on “Splash Branigan.” In this week’s show he talks to Koom about working with Moore, his Plastic Man stint, and his new humor story with Doug Rice “When Monsters Smell” in Marvel #4. And, the utility of drugs to the creative process is debated.

HilaryBarta.com

Hilary Barta on Patreon

#683 COVID comics and graphic medicine

COVID comics

There have been plenty of comics made about the current COVID-19 pandemic, both instructional and autobiographical ones. In this episode Tim talks about about some of these with graphic medicine expert Alice Jaggers, a contributor to graphicmedicine.org, as well as other comics on health issues… one of which is none other than Fullmetal Alchemist!

The Graphic Medicine Database

The Lancet on COVID-19 and comics

COVID comics by NPR staff

Then, a talk with comics journalist Josh Neufeld, who recently did a piece called A Tale of Two Pandemics, exploring the myth that black people are immune to many illnesses. This idea popped up during both the 1918 flu pandemic and the current pandemic. Josh also talks about his comics journalism career and the experience of working with Harvey Pekar!

Josh’s story Supply Chain Superhero

We first met Josh at MOCCA 2016!

 

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#679 Mark Russell

Billionaire IslandMark Russell has been one of the standout comics writers of the past five years, in part because he’s possibly the only mainstream comics writer doing satire (or, he would argue, fables). Since he burst on the scene with Prez and The Flintstones, he’s written a number of comics for several publishers that aren’t just comedy or action, they express his views and have deeper meanings.

This time, Tim’s interview with Mark. How did he get into comics, and start out in a Big Two book? Why did he use ’60s Hanna-Barbera character Snagglepuss to tell a story of gays in the 1950s? How do you “punch someone in the beef”? What inspired his latest, Billionaire Island? And how does he feel about being the only writer of his kind in mainstream comics?

#676 “Ballyskillen”: An augmented reality comic

Ballyskillen

Over the years there have been some attempts at augmented reality comics — where a smartphone app pointed at a comics page will reveal a bit of animation. One issue with these projects is that they’re labor-intensive, and require several different skill sets to produce. Sam Noir and Andrew Dorland are Kickstarting an augmented reality comic called Ballyskillen, and Andrew has multiple necessary skill sets for the endeavor, which he’ll apply to the project in proportion to the amount of money raised. In this mini-episode, Tim talks with Sam and Andrew about the project, and also about Sam’s series of comics anthologies called Cauldron.

 

#674 Introducing Zoe Thorogood!

The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott

Zoe Thorogood is a young British woman whose first graphic novel, The Impending Blindness Of Billie Scott, will be released in October. It’s the story of a young woman who’s just gotten her big break, being asked to paint ten works for a gallery show, when an injury causes her to gradually lose her eyesight. Along the way, she meets a number of interesting characters.

In this episode, Tim talks to Zoe about the ins and outs of making the book, and then discusses the book itself with Emmet.

#673 Kismet, Man of Fate

Kismet

He first appeared in 1944, the Algerian super-hero who fought for the World War II Allies: Kismet, Man of Fate! The first known Muslim superhero, he appeared in all four issues of a series called Bomber Comics. Then the series was cancelled and Kismet was forgotten, until 2014 when the character, freshly out of copyright, was revived in stories by writer A. David Lewis and artist Noel Tuazon. In this episode, Lewis talks with Tim about the history of the character and the revival, and then Will Weaver joins Tim to review the revival book, Kismet, Man of Fate, vol 1: Boston Strong.