Rank #1: Off Panel #67: The Best Intentions with Tom King
Writer Tom King joins Off Panel this week to talk his work on books like The Vision, The Sheriff of Babylon, The Omega Men and Batman. He talks his experience writing Batman, what appealed to him about comics as a storyteller, his career path, how he's refined his approach as he went along, the Trilogy of Best Intentions, the "Tom King" voice or lack thereof, why consistent artistic collaborators was so important for the trilogy, how his artistic collaborator changes how he writes, baking informational structure into his work, how he views continuity, and more.
Oct 24 2016
Rank #2: Off Panel #22: The Art of Comic Design with Tom Muller
Designer Tom Muller guests on this week's episode of Off Panel to talk the evolution of comic design. The pair talks Muller's background, how his role plays out on both creator-owned comics and on for-hire jobs, how comic design has grown in importance, the difference between creating covers himself and working with an artist, creating a holistic feel to a comic, the designers he enjoys, and much more. It's a chat that gives a lot of insight into the rarely looked at world of comic design, but beware, we had a little bit of a problem with Alaska's internet this week. There are some slight technical difficulties here.
Nov 11 2015
Rank #3: Off Panel #84: The Story of Image with Todd McFarlane
In the final Image founderscentric edition of Off Panel, Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane joins the show to share his perspective on the story of Image. McFarlane talks the appeal of the move away from Marvel, the story behind Image's creation, the meeting at Marvel and why they went to DC after it, why he stayed exclusive to Image, how the Image deal became more appealing to others, Robert Kirkman's fit as a partner, Eric Stephenson's impact, whether Image looks as he expected after 25 years, what the biggest difficulties were in figuring everything out, and more.
Feb 16 2017
Rank #4: Off Panel #65: Storytelling with Chris Samnee
Chris Samnee, the co-writer and artist of Marvel's Black Widow, joins Off Panel this week to talk his work on that book and his new Daredevil Artist's Edition from IDW Publishing. Samnee talks how that Artist's Edtion came together, his approach to art, why the inking process is so important to him, what makes working on Black Widow so special, how co-writing that book changes things for him, the superpowers of color artist Matt Wilson, character acting, and more. It's a great chat with one of the best in the biz these days.
Oct 17 2016
Rank #5: Off Panel #12: A Whole New World with Skottie Young
On this week's Off Panel, David talks with the cartoonist behind the upcoming I Hate Fairyland, Skottie Young, about his first foray into creator-owned comics with his new Image book. They talk about how the book came together, his affinity for Image Comics, the quality of 90's comics, the impact Marvel had on him, humor in comics, the influence of music on his work, cultural attitudes towards media, and much more.
Sep 01 2015
Rank #6: Off Panel #35: Funny Books with Steve Lieber
Steve Lieber, the artist of Superior Foes of Spider-Man and the upcoming The Fix, joins the show this week to talk his work, collaboration and more. Lieber shares what appeals to him about working with writer Steve Lieber, how his art had to change as humor became much more important in his work, what makes character work so interesting, the transition to digital art, the pleasure of making people laugh with his work, his Kubert School experience, the value of photo reference, Periscope Studios, whether or not he's comics' answer to Obi Wan Kenobi, Jeff Parker's badassery as an artist, the time he took on 4chan, and much more.
Feb 09 2016
Rank #7: Off Panel #123: Penthouse Forum with Matt Fraction
On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Matt Fraction joins the show to discuss his work on comics like Sex Criminals, Casanova, and Solid State. Fraction talks the impact of the Warren Ellis Forums, the rise of the Brimpers, why so many connected deeply to Sex Criminals, the book's backmatter, following your gut in writing, accessibility, getting over the fear of writing, integrating Elizabeth Breitweiser into their creative routine, collaboration, Casanova's impact, the unique challenge of Solid State, the importance of a comic being of physical substance, the Milkfed newsletter, and more.
Oct 16 2017
Rank #8: Off Panel #194: War All the Time with Garth Ennis
In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Garth Ennis joins the show to talk his love of war comics and his latest series from TKO Studios, Sara. Ennis discusses where his love of war stories came from, why they speak to him as a writer, fitting those types of tales into Marvel and DC, the importance of editorial allies, the origins of Sara, Russia's secret police, the Eastern Front of World War II in fiction, how Sara thinks about war, the pacing and structure of the story, Steve Epting's art, why he worked with TKO on this book, why he works with so many different publishers, the importance of realism in his stories, and more.
Mar 04 2019
Rank #9: Off Panel #81: The Rise of Image with Rob Liefeld
In a special edition of Off Panel, Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld joins the show to talk about the publisher 25 years after it started. Liefeld talks the popularity of the Image founders, why it needed to be more than just himself who did it, how Image came together, why Robert Kirkman fits Image so well, Eric Stephenson's role in Image's rise, whether Image's developing surprised him over its 25 years, who the heart and soul of Image is, what Image's future looks like, and more.
You can read the article I wrote on Image's history and evolution, featuring Liefeld, on The Ringer.
Feb 06 2017
Rank #10: Off Panel #205: Getting Started as an Artist with Jen Bartel
We have a special and atypical episode of Off Panel this week, as artist Jen Bartel joins the podcast for a deep dive discussion about how to get started as an artist. Bartel discusses the value of art school, developing your voice and style, having a day job, the tools of the trade, whether sequentials are essential, creating your portfolio, cover work, where fan art fits in a portfolio, the impact of social media, where conventions fit in, communicating with collaborators, the value of working with an editor, managing your own schedule, the importance of paying attention to the larger industry, and more. This is a beast of an episode, but if you're interested in working in comics, there's a ton to learn from here.
May 20 2019
Rank #11: Off Panel #108: War Secrets with Chip Zdarsky
On this week's episode of Off Panel, writer/artist Chip Zdarsky joins the show to talk about the magic of comics and everything he's up to. Zdarsky discusses the first comic that attracted him to the medium, the Warren Ellis forums, the Brimper community, how Sex Criminals changed his life, the cyclical nature of comics, why he decided to handle every aspect of Sex Criminals' art, the human cost of creator-owned, expectations about him and his work because of his public persona, finding the right balance on Spider-Man, collaboration, his recent focus on writing, how much he had to change at Marvel, the unending serial, and a lot more.
Jul 17 2017
Rank #12: Off Panel #182: Frontier Psychiatrist with Jeff Lemire
In this week's episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Jeff Lemire joins the show to talk about his work on titles like Black Hammer and Gideon Falls. Lemire discusses his organizational abilities, what getting ahead with your writing offers you, a day in his life, studio space, his connection to rural locations, Black Hammer's connection to his love of comics, the divide between independent and superhero comics, how Black Hammer evolved, his collaborators, expanding its universe, the appeal of horror, Gideon Falls's development, working with Andrea Sorrentino, the JH Williams III effect, creating tension, writing for others versus himself, him stepping back from for-hire work, and more.
Nov 19 2018
Rank #13: Off Panel #163: The Horror with Al Ewing
In this week's episode of Off Panel, writer Al Ewing joins the show to talk about his new series, the Immortal Hulk. Ewing discusses his background as a comic reader, the strips hew grew up on, his Marvel background and love of the Hulk, Peter David's Hulk, how the idea for the Immortal Hulk came together, the Banner/Hulk dichotomy, Joe Bennett's impact on the book, how they're handling the art on the book, his writing approach, consecutive double page spreads, borrowing from other creators, using your tools correctly, and more.
Jul 02 2018
Rank #14: Off Panel #202: The MCU Power Rankings with Andy Schmidt
In this week's episode of Off Panel, former Marvel editor and the guy behind Comics Experience, Andy Schmidt, joins the show for a Marvel Cinematic Universe power rankings episode. Schmidt discuss the overall quality of the MCU, how being a former Marvel editor changes his viewing experience, Avengers Endgame expectations, and more, before we rank a whole lot of MCU related topics, like our favorite deep cut characters, the best castings, scores and villains, our favorite random moments, things that we were surprised worked, our favorite MCU movies, and more.
Note: This was recorded well before the release of Avengers: Endgame, so no spoilers are discussed here.
Apr 25 2019
Rank #15: Off Panel #142: The Stegman Power Rankings with Ryan Stegman
This week on Off Panel, artist Ryan Stegman returns to the show for a special episode breaking down his personal power rankings of varying subjects important to him. Stegman discusses his favorite artists growing up, his most surprising influences, the Malice in the Palace, his personal Mount Rushmore of comics, the artists he'd steal the powers of, the most important meals of the days, his favorite projects, and more. It's a bit different for Off Panel, but I hope you enjoy it.
Feb 26 2018
Rank #16: Off Panel #100: The Holofoil Anniversary with Brandon Burpee
On this week's special anniversary episode of Off Panel, friend of the show Brandon Burpee joins for a head-to-head question off where we talk everything comics from the past, present and future. Topics discussed include who won each decade for superhero comics - Marvel or DC, favorite comic anniversary gimmicks, what we'd do to get OG Wolverine back, how to help people who want to get into comics, favorite Off Panel guests, how social media impacts our buying habits, LaVar Ball-ing our favorite comics, Marvel's biggest problem right now, what we'd like to see from Legacy, the tradewaiting experience, the divisiveness of fandom, the state of the X-Men books, and more.
May 22 2017
Rank #17: Off Panel #36: Beetlejuice! with Rich Johnston
Rich Johnston, the man behind Bleeding Cool, joins Off Panel this week to talk his site and the world of comics. The discussion goes all over the place, including how he first got into comics gossip, why he's an entertainer and not a journalist, how websites and news has changed, where his stories come from, breaking stories, his bar for substantiating stories, verifying and managing sources, his insane schedule, how Avatar influences his work, what's going on with DC's Rebirth, how he justifies running certain stories, and more. It's a really interesting listen with one of the most notable comic...entertainers around.
Feb 16 2016
Rank #18: Off Panel #101: The Comic Book Podfather with John Siuntres
On this week's episode of Off Panel, the host of the comic book interview podcast Word Balloon - John Siuntres - joins the show to talk about his 12 years hosting the show. Siuntres talks the origins fo Word Balloon, his background before the show started, the impact of having so many comic book podcasts, how he developed Word Balloon's audience, monetizing podcasts, the evolution of his show, Secret Empire and the state of Marvel and fandom, getting personal with his guests, show regulars, whether he thinks its harder to develop a show now, Newsarama's impact on the show's growth, before the show comes to a close with five questions about the 12 years of Word Balloon.
May 29 2017
Rank #19: Off Panel #198: The Power of X with Matthew Rosenberg
In this week's episode of Off Panel from Emerald City Comic Con, writer Matthew Rosenberg joins the show to talk about his path to Marvel and the experience of writing the X-Men. Rosenberg discusses how his work experience in comic shops impacts him, the role his Black Mask work played in getting him on radars, the DC Writers Program, why Marvel has been a good fit for him, the Bendis vacuum, tying his early X-Men work into his Uncanny run, Peter David's X-Factor, his oddball Uncanny team, their strange mix of costumes, managing expectations, what the X-Men mean to people, and more.
Note: this was recorded before the announcement about Jonathan Hickman's pending arrival on the X-Books.
Apr 01 2019
Rank #20: Off Panel #90: Anyone Can Cook with Jordie Bellaire
In the last episode recorded at this year's Emerald City ComiCon, colorist and writer Jordie Bellaire joins the show to talk her new book at Image Comics, Redlands. She talks the experience of announcing Redlands, how announcements differ between personal projects and for-hire jobs, what Redlands is all about, what made Vanesa del Rey the perfect partner for the book, how del Rey changed the book, how Bellaire's color brain influences he writer brain, why she wanted to add being a writer to her busy schedule, how she ended up in Ireland after living in Florida, why the rep of colorists has improved in recent years, and more.
Mar 20 2017