#636 Dan Mishkin on “Warren Report,” “Amazon Academy,” and Ernie Colon

Warren Commission Report

In part two of Tim’s interview with longtime comics writer Dan Mishkin, Dan talks about writing Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation into the Kennedy Assassination with artists Ernie Colon and Jerzy Drozd; explores the reasons for Marvel’s breakout success in the 1960s, and compares working for DC vs working for Marvel; explains the concept of his web comic with Jerzy Drozd, Amazon Academy; and remembers working with the late Ernie Colon.

#635 Dan Mishkin talks “Amethyst”

Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld

Dan Mishkin has worked on many different superhero properties, especially for DC — big names such as Batman and Wonder Woman, as well as characters that he helped to create, such as Blue Devil and Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld. Tim has been reading the original 1983 Amethyst series, and in part one of his talk with Dan, we get some of the background on the series: the development of the idea, the intended audience, death in the series, why the second series came to be, Amy Winston’s unpublished Jewish backstory, and, if Dan could do Amethyst again, would he do anything differently?

#630 A Celebration of “SHAZAM!”

Shazam 75 years

Captain Marvel — the one who shouts “Shazam!” to change from little boy to adult super hero — first appeared in Whiz Comics #2, dated February 1940, almost immediately prompting comparisons to Superman and outrage at DC. Yet the “Big Red Cheese” actually outsold Supes in the ’40s. Why has the most popular hero of the World War II era fallen on hard times since then? How has the character changed as DC, now owner of the character, has repeatedly struggled to reboot his world? Tim and Emmet have read the book Shazam! A Celebration of 75 years, and discuss the stories, the character, and the recent film.

CBR on “Captain Thunder” story

#629 Mike Barr: My career with Batman

Mike Barr

Mike Barr is perhaps best known for writing the late-’80s hit comic series Batman and the Outsiders. He also created Camelot 3000 and Katana, and wrote many other books for Marvel, DC, and other publishers.

On April 13, Mike Barr was a keynote speaker at the Bowling Green State University (Ohio) Batman in Popular Culture conference. Tim was there, and recorded the whole thing, including the Q&A session. So enjoy the insightful, sometimes hilarious, presentation in this episode.

Click the image to enlarge

#628 Two viewpoints on “The Killing Joke”

The Killing Joke

Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke is a favorite of many, but also a tough read more many others. And perhaps there’s some overlap.

In this episode we meet two who both spoke on this book at recent Batman in Popular Culture conference in Bowling Green, Ohio:

  • William Weaver on the book’s portrayal of people reacting to trauma, something that Batman and the Joker have in common with virtually every hero and villain; and
  • Tricia Ennis on how a book reviled by many as a prime example of the “women in refrigerators” trope — where a woman is harmed solely to get at a man in her life, not because of who¬†she is — led to the much-loved heroine Oracle. How can something you hate be the cause of something you love?

#617 Swamp Thing meets the monsters

Swamp Thing 40

After, well, a slight delay, Deconstructing Comics continues its look at Alan Moore’s 1980s run on Swamp Thing— a run in which the title character met werewolves and vampires (as Moore and co. found a new way to use these old tropes), as well as new character John Constantine. Moore was aided by artists Stephen Bissette, John Totleben, and Alfredo Acala, among others. Koom and newcomer Darrell Epp discuss.

#608 JH Williams III talks “Promethea”

Promethea

A few months back, Kumar and Emmet discussed Alan Moore and JH WilliamsPromethea on the show, which led to a Twitter contact with Williams. In this episode, Emmet talks with Williams about the process of making Promethea with Moore in the early 2000s and the definition of “the end of the world”, as well as getting Williams’ thoughts on how DC has brought back the Promethea character.

#591 “Promethea”: A mind-bending, life-changing comic

While Alan Moore and J.H. Williams’ Promethea, published from 1999 to 2005, is not one of Moore’s most remembered works, it’s not because the author wasn’t at the top of his game. Kumar and Emmet find it to be entrancing, even if you don’t buy into the various magical and spiritual elements that Moore built into it.

Also, inevitably, the incorporation of Promethea and other Moore creations into the DC Universe comes up; is it really just a business decision, or is the publisher singling out Moore’s work out of spite?

#575 Helioscope: Karl Kesel and Dylan Meconis

This week we begin our visit with the creators at Helioscope, a comics studio in Portland, Oregon!

Karl Kesel has been in mainstream comics for 30 years and has worked on some of the most popular characters from the Big Two. How has the industry changed in that time, for good and bad? Why is his fingernail always broken? How is inking therapeutic for him?

 

 

 

Then graphic novelist Dylan Meconis (Bite Me!: A Vampire Farce; Family Man; Outfoxed) gives us a lot of thoughts and tips for promoting a comic online, as well as why foxes are thought of as tricksters in numerous cultures, and how we’ll know when comics have really “arrived”.

 

 

#565 “Mister Miracle” and comics journalism hype

Mister Miracle

DC recently launched a new Mister Miracle series, by Tom King and Mitch Gerads. Well and good, thought Emmet, but then he saw a certain CBR headline that set him off. “King and Gerads have redefined comics”? Hyperbolic much?

So Emmet recruited Kumar to review both Mister Miracle #1 and the hype surrounding it. Is the use of suicide in the story meaningful? Hackneyed? How accessible is this comic to readers who don’t know the character? And, why does everything in comics have to be super-hyped nowadays?

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