#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.

#669 Chad, Live from Amsterdam!

Chad in Amsterdam

Chad Bilyeu’s Chad in Amsterdam series has been a favorite of ours on our Critiquing Comics spinoff show. In this episode, Chad talks to Tim about what it’s like living in Amsterdam, how he puts together his comic, and what’s coming up next from him!

#668 Baron and McNamara: Writing and Crowdfunding Comics in the “Corona” Era

"Florida Man" and "Nocturnal Commissions"

A couple of past guests return to the show with new material! Mike Baron, best known as writer of the Nexus series, talks about his comedy graphic novel (with artist Todd Mulrooney) Florida Man, and Jason McNamara has reunited with artist Greg Hinkle for a slightly creepy comedy series, Nocturnal Commissions. Both writers share with Tim their thoughts about crowdfunding (which was the publishing mechanism for both comics), story writing, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on fiction writing.

#667 Freelancer problems

Many of us have dreamed of getting paid to make comics. Except in rare cases, working in American comics means being a freelancer. While a creative career can be rewarding, there are plenty of downsides, too.

First, there are the day-to-day problems. Tim talks to Howard Simpson, a freelancer in Los Angeles, about time management, letting friends and family know you’re not ALWAYS free, dealing with lack of health insurance, and more.

Then, Asher Elbein talks about his recent article in The Daily Beast about how the recent allegations of top freelancers abusing their power to seduce young women, or certain publisher staff members outright abusing freelancers and others, are of a piece with the well-documented problems of freelancers like Alan Moore or Siegel and Schuster, who were vastly undercompensated for making wildly successful comics like Watchmen and Superman!

Critiquing Comics #174: “Caged Birds”

Caged Birds

A couple of years back, we critiqued Caravaggio: A Light Before the Darkness, written by Ken Mora. This time, Ken is here on the show, talking to Tim about his latest (with artist Gianluca Testaverde), Caged Birds. Then, Tim and Mulele critique the first two issues.

#658 John Allison talks “Giant Days” and more

Giant Days

John Allison has been a significant presence on the web comics radar for more than two decades. In 2013, he made the jump to traditional publishing with the fantastic Giant Days series from BOOM! Box, and also switched to only writing, while a selection of top-notch artists (for most of the series, Max Sarin) took over the visuals. Recently he put out the five-issue Steeple from Dark Horse, and started other projects—but now the printing presses, along with everything else, have ground to a halt in the COVID-19 era. The up side is that it means he has time to talk to us about his work, so this week, Tim calls him up!

Critiquing Comics #168: David Dye interview

In our December 25 episode, we reviewed two more comics from David Dye. While we’ve generally been very positive about his work, there was one bit that Mulele called “Racist AF” and Tim was also uncomfortable with (see below). David’s email in response to the episode made clear to us that the intent wasn’t racist… but then, what was it?

To find out, we invited David on our show, and he joins us from his home in Australia to discuss where his portrayal of space-terrorists went sideways, and to talk about his comics career so far.

#647 Tom Spurgeon Remembered

Tom Spurgeon remembered

Tom Spurgeon, a comics advocate, historian, and journalist, passed away on November 13, 2019. Tom was a frequent guest on this podcast, and had a huge impact on comics in general. In this episode, Tim and Kumar discuss his effect on the comics industry and his appearances on DCP. Then, Tim talks to three people who knew him well:

New York memorial for Tom on January 24

Comics Journal obit for Tom

Sequential Tart‘s interview with Tom and Dan from 2001

Tom’s appearances on our show:

#644 Bob Budiansky

Bob Budiansky

 

 

Bob Budiansky was a writer, artist, and editor for Marvel in the 1980s and ’90s, after starting out majoring in civil engineering. How did that change of direction come about, and how did his civil engineering background help him write Transformers comics? In this episode, he talks to Koom about that plus the origins of Circuit Breaker, his feelings looking back on his years at Marvel, and more.

#643 Ann Nocenti

Ann Nocenti

Ann Nocenti is a journalist and filmmaker who also has had quite a career in comics. She wrote Daredevil for several years and created the character of Typhoid Mary. In this interview with Koom, she talks about why writing ol’ horn head was difficult for her at first, and why she created Typhoid Mary, as well as her two new comics “Ruby Falls” and “The Seeds.”