#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.

#540 Jim Zub

Wayward

Jim Zub loves Japan. He visited twice last year, including in October for the Kaigai Manga Festa. He set his Image series Wayward in Japan; it’s drawn by Yokohama resident Steven Cummings. In this week’s show, Jim talks about the effort to make Wayward‘s Japan feel as close to the real one as possible; playing in the sandbox of Marvel’s Thunderbolts, the harsh realities of the North American comics market, making yourself known in the industry, and more.

#516 Irene jumps in the freelance (Gwen)pool

gwenpoolIrene Strychalski makes her fourth appearance on the podcast — this time as a full-time freelancer getting work from Marvel! We’ll talk about her depressing early comic, drawing from her own scripts vs. someone else’s, things people say to her when she draws in cafes, and more.

#505 Tiny Daredevil Hands and a Potato-Powered Bike

This week (and next), we turn the mic back on ourselves. What, in terms of comics, are we doing?

Frank Miller’s Daredevil and the Ends of HeroismFirst up, Paul, To the Batpoles co-host and occasional DCP contributor, talks about his book Frank Miller’s Daredevil and the Ends of Heroism , which will be out soon! In it, Paul reflects on how Miller’s Daredevil changed comics — and Paul.

 

 

The Mindgator

 

Then, Mulele catches us up on The Mindgator — soon to be Kickstarting volume 2 — and the new edition of his black cat comic Elbis!

#441 JM Ken Niimura & “Henshin”

HenshinAmerican comics fans were introduced to Ken Niimura back in 2010, when his art appeared in the Image miniseries I Kill Giants, written by Joe Kelly. Since then, Ken’s work has been seen in some short Spider-Man stories, and more recently, his book Henshin, which just came out in English from Image.

He currently lives in Tim’s stomping grounds of Tokyo, so this week it’s an in-person interview with Ken, about why I Kill Giants was in black and white, his story goals and storytelling techniques in Henshin, and much more.

#433 Transformers!

TransformersThis week a look into the world of toy-based comics! Kumar and his brother Ilango discuss two recent IDW Transformers books, More Than Meets the Eye volume 1, and Transformers vs. G.I. Joe.

Music (from the 1986 film The Transformers (The Movie)):

  • “The Transformers (Theme)” by Lion
  • “The Death of Optimus Prime” by Vince DiCola

The quote that Kumar was trying to find: Continue reading #433 Transformers!

#416 Grant Morrison’s “New X-Men”

WolverineIn the world of corporate comics, creators are challenged to put together a run on a given book that will stand out against everything that’s come before in that book, and leave a mark on the series that will last well beyond their run. Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, from 2001 to 2004, met that challenge. In the ten years since he left the book, several characters and situations he set up have endured, including Fantomex, the Stepford Cuckoos, and Scott Summers’ relationship with Emma Frost. Morrison had a good handle on all his characters, old and new, and introduced the new ones in a way that made us care about them, something that certain comics writers have failed to do.

Of course, it’s not perfect. The X-men going public seemed to be the biggest event of the run — somehow overshadowing the slaughter of six million mutants on Genosha. The art was inconsistent — great when Frank Quitely was on it, but questionable some other times. This week Tim and Kumar examine Morrison’s run, particularly the initial “Cassandra Nova” arc.

#410 Marvel Comics: Telling the Untold Story

Avengers 4

If you’re into American comics at all, you undoubtedly know how Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others changed the industry with their work in the 1960s, and set the template for kinds of stories Marvel still publishes today.

That’s just part of the story that Sean Howe researched for his 2012 book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. Through interviews, research of media reports, and of course tons of comics reading, Howe uncovered the backgrounds of many comics stories and rumors that longtime readers may have wondered about. There’s plenty of intra-creator acrimony to be found in its pages, yet Howe found that the book helped some of those involved to move on from decades-old wounds.

This week Tim talks to Sean Howe about the research, the reaction, and what this book has to say to aspiring creators.

#403 Joe St.Pierre, ’90s comics, and the Robin Hood of Cyberspace

liberaiderWhile the phrase “’90s comics” tends to elicit some eyerolls nowadays — Foil covers! X-men with huge guns and lots of pouches! — there was still some good comics work done in that era. What was it like to be in the business back then? Joe St.Pierre drew some Spider-man Clone Saga-related comics, so let’s ask him! (See his Marvel covers here)

St.Pierre’s work for Marvel back then springboarded him to storyboarding and commercial art gigs, but (naturally) he still loves doing comics. For the past few years he’s been publishing his Web comic The Liberaider through his site AstronautInk, and now he has launched a Kickstarter project to publish a hardcover edition. This week he talks with Tim about that and more.