#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?

Critiquing Comics #182: “After the Fall” and “Organic But Not Mental”

Telling a story without dialogue can be difficult. Telling your story entirely with pictures takes excellent storytelling skills. What are the stakes? What are the characters’ motivations? What, exactly, is going on here?! Tim and Mulele discuss two submitted comics which partially or entirely rely on wordless sequences: After the Fall, by Jacqueline Goldfinger, Keni Thomas, and Taylor Esposito; and Organic But Not Mental, by Pier Dola.

Critiquing Comics #181: “Chad in Amsterdam 4”

Chad in Amsterdam 4

The latest installment of our beloved Chad in Amsterdam is here! As always, Chad combines some incisive but casual observational and philosophical discussion with the work of his great artist friends, but this time the focus is less on Amsterdam and more on Chad himself. Where is he from? What makes you “from” a place? Will Tim and Mulele like this issue as much as the others? (Well, what do you think!?)

Critiquing Comics #179: “The Solar Grid”

In a flooded New York City of the future, a corporate whistleblower is in a hurry to skip town. Tim and Mulele wish they understood more about the plot of The Solar Grid issue 1, by Gazeer, but this issue is more concerned with the comic’s world than its plot. So we critique what’s there!

#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.

Critiquing Comics #178: “Terminal Velocity”

Terminal Velocity

Terminal Velocity is a comic by Barry Corbett in which he reminisces about his life, centering around extreme sports and a family tragedy. While there is an overall story, the book can seem a bit disjointed. Tim and Mulele discuss the pros and cons of the book; then Mulele challenges himself and his friends: Let’s actually make some paper comics again!

#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.

#672 “Pulp” and Publishing Your Book

Pulp and comics publishing

The words “Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips” have essentially become the name of a genre, a certain kind of noir-ish crime story. The latest entry in this “genre”, an original graphic novel called Pulp, is in this vein but also features elements of the western. b joins Tim to review the latest by this renowned team.

Jason’s Kickstarter for Ghost Band

Then Tim talks to attorney and writer Gamal Hennessy about his Kickstarter-funded book The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing, avoiding the three mistakes many comics creators make when publishing their first book, and the general state of the American comic book industry.

Another interview with Gamal at Practicesource.com

Critiquing Comics #177: “Genius Animals?”

Back in the early days of the podcast, artist Jun-Pierre Shiozawa was one of our first interviewees. He recently resurfaced as artist on a comic written by sitcom writer and producer Vali Chandrasekaran called Genius Animals?, a comedy story about conspiracy theories. In this episode, Tim talks to the two of them about how they met and the origins of the script, and then Tim and Mulele critique the comic.

#671 Derf’s “Kent State”

Kent State

Fifty years ago, four students died when national guardsman inexplicably opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University. The craziness of 2020 has hindered planned observances of the craziness of 1970, but we do get this: Derf Backderf’s Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, a moving account of May 1-4, 1970, through the eyes of those who lost their lives.

In this episode, Tim and Kumar review the book, to be released September 8, and then Tim chats with Derf himself, answering our questions about the tragedy and the book.