#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!

#666 “Animal Man”: Grant Morrison Plays God

Animal Man

Grant Morrison‘s DC Comics debut in 1988 was a run on Animal Man. Originally meant to be a four-issue mini, the series became an ongoing, prompting Morrison to turn it into a discussion of spirituality and the nature of reality — which, if you’re a comics character, means that you live your life enclosed in panels while watched by thousands of people.

Tim is joined by Matthew Brake, series editor of the Theology and Pop Culture book series, to examine the philosophy of this classic late-’80s run.

#665 Remembering Denny O’Neil

Green Arrow and Green Lantern

This week we take a look back at the career of Denny O’Neil, the longtime comics writer and editor who passed away June 11. Emmet discusses O’Neil’s legacy with Professor Jonathan W. Gray, author of such books as Civil Rights in the White Literary Imagination, and the founding editor of the Journal of Comics and Culture.

O’Neil was a force in the move to turn DC’s iconic but silly characters in a more serious direction — having substance, not only violence. What shaped his worldview? How much of his personal story was in evidence on the page? Was his editing a crucial component of Frank Miller’s best work? And more.

#650 Our favorite comics of the 2010s

Our favorite comics

This week, Emmet, Patrick, Tim, and Chuck Coletta talk about their favorite comics of the past decade! If you’re looking for good comics that you might have missed from the 2010s — from superhero to comedy, historical to horror — we’ll give you plenty of titles to look up!

(All titles below are linked to Amazon – to help support the show, pick up any titles you’re interested in through these links!)

EMMET

Finder: Talisman HC by Carla Speed McNeil

Love In Vain: Robert Johnson 1911-1938, The Graphic Novel by Jean-Michel Dupont and Mezzo

I Love This Part: Hardcover Edition by Tillie Walden

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris (DCP 613)

Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui

Gast by Carol Swain

Giant Days and Steeple by John Allison

Providence by Alan Moore & Jacen Burrows

Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett

Julio’s Day by Gilbert Hernandez

 

Orc Stain Volume 1 by James Stokoe

Sally Heathcote, Suffragette by Mary M. Talbot, Bryan Talbot, Kate Charlesworth

The Abaddon by Koren Shadmi

The Experts by Sophie Franz

Surface Tension by Jay Gunn

Special Exits by Joyce Farmer

SNARKED: Forks and Hope by Roger Langridge

Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt by Kieron Gillen and Caspar Wijngaard

Henni by Miss Lasko-Gross

 

PATRICK

Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga by Jiro Kuwata, translated by Sheldon Drzka (To the Batpoles! 64)

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics Of The 1950s edited by Greg Sadowski and John Benson

Rover Red Charlie by Garth Ennis and Michael Dipascale

Dungeon Quest: Book One by Joe Daly

The Bulletproof Coffin by David Hyne and Shaky Kane

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Southern Bastards by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour

Richard Stark’s Parker series by Darwyn Cooke

Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja

Moon Knight by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey

Madman In Your Face 3D Special by Michael Allred & Laura Allred

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton (DCP 222)

H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories by Go Tanabe (Tanabe’s take on Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness is discussed in DCP 641)

Providence by Alan Moore & Jacen Burrows

Rachel Rising by Terry Moore

Afterlife with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Francesco Francavilla, and Jack Morelli

Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook

Frontier #6 by Emily Carroll

 

TIM AND CHUCK

Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan and Karl Kerschl

Daredevil by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Marcos Martin (Brief mention!) (audio version of issue 1 discussed in DCP 313)

Scooby-Doo Team-Up by Sholly Fisch and Dario Brizuela

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (DCP 609)

Life With Archie: The Married Life by Paul Kupperberg, Michael Uslan, Norm Breyfogle, Andrew Pepoy, and Joe Rubenstein (Archie in general is discussed in DCP 338)

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (DCP 596)

Seconds by Brian Lee O’Malley (DCP 419)

The Superior Spider-Man by Dan Slott and various artists (Dan Slott’s earlier Spider-Man work is discussed in DCP 275)

#646 “New Teen Titans”: a turning point for DC

New Teen Titans

While Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans (1980-1988) goes over the top with purple-prose narration and unsubtle plot points, it represents a turning point for DC Comics in a number of ways: it introduced many heroes and villains who are still around today; it was set in New York City, rather than some fictional burg; it was a major step toward getting DC to care as much about continuity as Marvel had for nearly 20 years. Patreon supporter Dylan joins Tim to discuss the first two years of this milestone series.

#642 Klaus Janson and “Sacred Creatures”

Klaus Jansen and "Sacred Creatures"

Klaus Janson has a long and storied career, working for both Marvel and DC as a writer, penciller, and inker, including some famous collaborations with Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. His latest series, Sacred Creatures, is a creator-owned collaboration with artist Pablo Raimondi. In this extended-length episode, he tells Koom about the ideas explored in the new series, and shares musings on the artistic process.

#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.

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