Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ryan Browne / Howard Chaykin Two Rebels In The Comic Book Industry

Today a great double feature with 2 distinct creators who are making creator owned comics their own way. First Ryan Browne is back with a new volume of God Hates Astronauts . The first volume was a massive kickstarter success. 
Ryan dipped his toe in the Image comics world and has decided to leave image and do his new volume using kickstarter once again. He explains why he's made this choice and what kickstarter looks like today . His new volume 3-D Cowboy's 2-D Spectacular. Is drawn by an all-star group of guest artists. The current campaign ends in less than  a week 
We also discuss his current Image collaboration with Charles Soule Curse Words , the crazy promotional tour they took last summer for the book, and a new creator owned project with Steve Seeley and Jim Terry called Trash Bridge they are currently hand selling at conventions.
Then we catch up with Howard Chaykin who’s been making his style of creator owned comics for decades.
His Divided States Of Hysteria lived up to its name with a flurry of critiques that frowned on his combination of exploitive smutty crime fiction action. We discuss today’s comic reader environment and how he’s dealing with it.
We also discuss his wickedly awesome take on today’s celebrity culture in the social media landscape with DC’s The Ruff And Reddy Show -A twisted Hanna Barbera reboot where the 50’s characters try to make a comeback and face the real world media circus at its exploitive worst. Beautifully drawn by Mac Rey.
He also has a new project in the works at Image called Hey Kids Comics which he describes as a Mad Men look at the comic book industry’s history. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Paul Cornell -Doctor Who & Wild Cards-Sara Richard & Franco's The Ghost The Owl

A double feature today. First Sara Richard and Franco talk about their atmospheric and delightful The Ghost The Owl a new children's graphic novel from Action Lab. You'll hear about Sara's start as a sculptor for Hasbro working on some popular franchises.





Then Paul Cornell is back to talk about his Target novelization of Twice Upon A Time, Peter Capadi's Doctor Who finale which was the Christmas Special crossover with the 1st Doctor. It's Paul's final word on the Whoverse, as he focues on only writing his original characters.


Plus new projects including short stories in the two latest volumes of Wild Cards George RR Martin's fantastic novel series of super beings in the real world. Low Chicago Features Paul's creation The Understudy

And an all Brit Volume of Wild Cards coming this summer, Knaves Over Queens 


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tim Matheson Talks Animal House Johnny Quest West Wing and More



What a treat to speak with the multi talented Tim Matheson. From his Hanna Barbera Animation days as Johnny Quest and Young Sampson To Animal House 1941 The West Wing Burn Notice to last year's Jumanji reboot, Tim is still killing it in front of the camera. He's also been directing and producing since the 1980s and we talk about his Film and TV work behind the scenes on things like The West Wing Burn Notice and Fox's Lucifer.
Tim has thoughts on co-staring with Hollywood Legends like John Belushi, Henry Fonda Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason and the multi talented voice actors of Hanna Barbera's golden age like Mel Blanc Don Messick and others. We talk about his association with National Lampoon beyond the films, when Tim was a co-owner of the brand trying to return the Magazine back to it's comedy strengths. 
Tim also goes into details about some of his iconic roles like Otter in Animal House, Dead Larry On Burn Notice and Vice President John Hoynes on The West Wing , and his thoughts on today's many TV and Film streaming platforms. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Green Lantern Reboot & Invisible Republic With Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman



So glad to welcome Gabe and Corinna back to praise their latest efforts. Green Lantern Earth One is a great new spin on the GL origin, with real surprises suspense and a great launching point to tell future stories. 

We also get into their first 3 volumes of Invisible Republic a great complex political sci-fi story that despite first coming out in 2015 resonates more in today's US climate. 


Friday, March 30, 2018

Svengoolie -The Secret Origin Of Rich Koz

Today Rich Koz aka Horror Host Svengoolie . A Chicago TV institution now a national celeb thanks to MeTV. Rich started as Svengoolie in 1979 when every big city  still had local television entertainment . Every weekend he’d host a classic or cheesy horror film and do jokes parody songs and comedy sketches inbetween film scenes. He was there after the original horror hosts of the 50s and 60s like Vampira and Ghoulari but Well before Elvira and Mystery Science Theater 3000. As Rich points out each show has its own style.

We talk about how he makes his show the movies and celeb guests and shout outs he’s recived from many pop culture stars. We also get into our mutual love of the 3 stooges and stooge mysteries like The Fake Shemp films. Catch Svengoolie every Saturday night at 8pm Eastern on MeTV

Breaking Into Comics With Andy Schmidt and Travis McIntire

Andy is the president of the Comics Experience? online school, and a former editor at Marvel and IDW. Travis is the president of Source Point Press. They've joined forces to creat a new line of comics debuting at C2E2 and wil be holding a launch panel at the con, and will be available for portfolio consultations and reviews all weekend.
Their books are Achilles Inc. by Andy Schmidt, Daniel Maine, Francesca Zambon, and ET Dollman; Wretched Things by Devon Wong and Ken Perry; The Family Graves by Tim Bach, Brian Atkins, et al; and Grief by Frank Gogol and various artists.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Gerry Duggan On Deadpool's Bucket List Marvel and Analog his new Image Series

Great to have Gerry Duggan back to talk about his meteoric rise at Marvel comics. His Deadpool run is coming to a close, but should be noted as Marvel's top selling trade collections behind Star Wars books. Pretty great, along side his avengers Hulk and Guradians stories.
Gerry is also starting anew Image series Analog with artist David O'Sullivan a cool spy series in the near future where online information has over saturated our society. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mathew Clark A Freelance Life - Doom Patrol Superman Felon Outsiders & More



Mathew Clark joins us to tell his comic book origin story, and highlights from his exceptional career. From Collaborations with Greg Rucka Judd Winick and Keith Giffen to his thoughts on Star Trek 

Friday, March 09, 2018

Tom King The Batman Catwoman Wedding Countdown & Mr Miracle's Private Hell

It's a new edition of The King's Speech and DC writer Tom King has a lot on his mind to discuss.We talk about Batman-issue 42 just dropped and in the midst of a Poison Ivy story I get name dropped in the middle of the book. Plus Joelle Jones just released her designs for Catwoman's wedding dress. Is this epic Batman/Catwoman  marriage really happening? We catch up on all the current Batman story arcs and future ones leading up to the wedding.

Then we look at Mr Miracle where we're mid-story on Tom and Mitch Gerads epic yarn. What is happening to Scott Free? A fever dream? A Darkseid plot? A New Gods version of Purgatory or Hell? How does the world's greatest escape artist get out of this one?
Plus more details on Tom's upcoming Sanctuary stories that will delve into the DC Universe Heroes and Villains psyches dealing with post traumatic disorders stemming for their near world ending experiences. Many thoughts on Comic Book History from The DC Silver Age, Thoughts on Stan Lee Jack Kirby Superman 1000 and more.




Friday, March 02, 2018

Joe Henderson Talks Lucifer Season 3 and his new Image Book Skyward

The Fox TV show runner takes us behind the scenes of the show & His New Comic Book


TV writer Joe Henderson is kicking ass with Fox's Lucifer. Season 3 is chugging along with the same energy its had since season one, plus the show got a creative shot in the arm casting Smalllville's Tom Welling as a new adversary for Lucifer . We get a good look at season 3 from Joe.
Plus he's written his first comic book debuting April 18th from Image. Skyward is a great take on a not so future Earth that has become a low gravity paradise and nightmare. We discuss the new book with Joe.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Rucka Debrief Superman Wonder Woman Lazarus Black Magick & The Culture Wars



It's been way too long since our last chat, but Greg catches us up on his creator owned books, thoughts on DC, the current culture wars and more 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Dana Gould On Adapting Rod Serlings Planet Of The Apes Screenplay For Boom!

There are Planet Of The Apes Fans and then there's comedian Dana Gould, who's die-hard devotion to the franchise has influenced his imagination and comedy since first seeing the films as a child. Gould's love of the franchise has included his own parodies portraying Dr Zauis in full costume and make-up on Turner Classic Movies on live comedy shows, and last week at USC's screening and Q&A to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the film's release. 
Gould is adapting Rod Serling's original 1964 screenplay as a graphic novel for BOOM! Studios later this year with artist Chad Lewis.


Serling's original ideas for the film had a very different look and tone from the 1968 classic starring Charlton Heston Roddy McDowell Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans.


Dana talks about the broadstroke differences between the stories, his deep affection for the Marvel Comics b/w Apes Magazine, and many thoughts on the original 5 Apes Films. Plus memories of writing for the Simpsons The Ben Stiller Show and creating his IFC horror comedy series Stan Against Evil. 

Friday, February 09, 2018

The Bendis Tapes-Leaving Marvel Joining DC Superman and a near death experience



Whew! Brian Michael Bendis has had a rollercoaster ride for the last 3 months... 

First he's leaving Marvel after 18 internet breaking years wrapping things up on his creations like Miles Morales (Spider-Man)  Riri Williams (Ironheart) and Jessica Jones .


Then he joined  DC to start a game changing run on Superman, creating a new DC imprint, and moving his Jinxworld titles (Scarlett, Taki-O, Powers) to the new company.


Then he faced a very serious health issue being infected with a septic MRSA infection nearly blinding and killing him (no hyperbole).


Thankfully he's getting better every day, and has joined Word Balloon Host John Siuntres in this marathon conversation. 


We'll get lots of details about how he sees Superman, Clark Kent, Lois and his whole supporting cast. You'll hear details about Action 1000 featuring his first Superman story, drawn by the legendary Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, The DC Nation special issue with stories by Bendis Scott Snyder and Tom King, his 6 weekly issues of Man Of Steel and writing Action and Superman . 


You'll also hear about Brian's health scare that nearly cost him his life, the courage and strength of his wife Alissa, and  great tales of support from Brian's best friends in comics, the fans, and many creators editors and publishers in the entire comics community. 


Here are some highlights from the talk


On leaving Marvel at this particular time-


"Legacy felt like these stories could be the "last stories" for these characters Riri Miles and Jessica...(Executive Editor) Tom Brevort came to me with offers to write Deadpool & Wolverine and some other big projects. Tom was being ambitious, but it felt like the mountain had already been climbed. "


"It was sad to write to my friends at Marvel that I had to go, because they're still my friends ... I was worried about my relationship with Joe (Quesada) because Joe is awesome. There was nothing to worry about . We're great."


"CB Cebulski being named EIC at Marvel brings me such joy, but I'm not part of it. I do know with CB there, what I helped build with Marvel will be maintained and thrive. What else could I ask for?" 


"I know people are tuning in to hear me say something bad about Marvel, but I gotta say there's no drama or gossip. I heard both company's plans for the future and they're both very good. There's more that I can accomplish with what DC was offering . There's more partnership involved. A deep partnership that Marvel, you know...they're not in that business right now. "


"I am of the unpopular belief that DC and Marvel are not in competition. They're in the same business keeping the medium alive...friendly competition will bring great products." 


"It did feel to me that we (The comics industry) needed some more of this stirring of the pot right now, and if I got off my ass, maybe others will get off their asses which seems to be going on and that makes me happy. "



On DC Publisher Dan DiDio's  offer to come over and a secret storyline Easter egg -


"Dan came to me with his master plan ...DiDio has plans for the publishing market that are unbelievable. He knows what he needs to implement the plan and I couldn't jump on fast enough...


"I like Dan a great deal... He texted me saying ' I have a creative challenge for you.'

It's something about the 80's which you'll see in my work later in the year , because I did accept his challenge . I texted back - You and I would've been friends in high school." 

On Taking over Superman instead of Batman 


" I said to Dan if Superman is available sometime in my contract , I want to take a shot at it. I think he thought I was going to ask for Batman...but I think Batman is well taken care of. Not That Superman isn't as well, the Mr Oz story is phenomenal, but one was pulling to me more. Dan said 'We're gonna start a new direction with Action 1000. What a great place to land you and say this is part of the legacy and how much we believe in it. ' ... I would literally have to start writing for DC the day after I finished writing for Marvel, but we could do it." 


On Moving his Jinxworld books to DC DC Imprint.


(For the Jinxworld line if books, this isn't just publishing my work and hoping for the best. They're treating the books as their own. There's a marketing campaign and a distribution campaign . It gives us an unheard of 2nd chance to get Jinxworld up and running at a level it should have been running at the entire time, which is more robust. We'll have Scarlett Vol 3 and The Powers Graphic Novel, and announce new books about a month from now (At Emerald City Comic-Con) featuring some really big collaborators people will be really excited about." 


Will Bendis write for DC Television shows or DCU Films

"At the moment I am not. The things I'm doing in TV and film haven't been announced yet but they are happening, and very exciting."

Plus more details about Bendis's new DC imprint 


behind the scenes stories at DC about the Superman Shorts debate,


The 2003 Batman/Daredevil Crossover (co written with Ed Brubaker) that almost happened. 


Tales from an ill fated all-star Superman Parade from years past in Cleveland, that was supposed to raise funds to build a Superman Museum 

and much more




Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Fred Van Lente On Action Presidents The Comic Book History Of Comics and More

Fred is back to discuss Action Presidents, the new spin on history entertainment from him and Ryan Dunlavey. They remind us how great some of our leadesr have been , starting with true adventures of the Father Of Our Country. 
We also discuss The Comic Book History Of Comics now in color with additional material covering the women of comics and the international contributions to the medium. 

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Jeff Lemire On Gideon Falls The Black Hammer Unvierse and His Return To DC Comics



Jeff Lemire is back to talk about Gideon Falls his new suspense horror comic with Andreas Sorentino. The Black Hammer Universe continues to expand with Sherlock Frankenstien and The upcoming Doctor Starr mini-series and we reflect on the origins of the BHU

Plus Jeff talks about his new DC projects The Terrifics and an upcoming look at DCU’s 1980s past with Keith Giffen .

We also discuss Jeff’s 2016  silent Graphic novel project with Rocker Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip original soundtrack , Secret Path. As it says on its website description-Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history – the long-suppressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system – with the hope of starting our country on a road to reconciliation. Gord was fighting cancer during this project and sadly passed away late last year. Jeff and I talk about the cultural impact of Secret Path on today’s Canadian culture.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dennis O'Neil - Out From Batman's Shadow With His Autobiographic Novel

Denny O'Neil is back to talk about his autobrigraphic novel The Perils Of Captain Mighty and The Redemption Of  Danny The Kid. The novel tells a lot of Denny's true life story,but he explains why it's also part fiction.
In the interview we get a lot of the real life version of Denny's story from his childhood beginnings getting socially active inspirations from radio serials like Superman and encounters with people that inspired many of his comic creations.
You'll hear the Origin of Leslie Tompkins Bruce Wayne's Crime Alley conscience, Tales of The DC offices, and first impressions of Batman writers like Devin Grayson Chuck Dixon Alan Grant and Frank Miller.
Denny has editing and writing tips, observations on today's comic book tv and films and much more.

Also Check out his 1st Word Balloon interview from 2006




Thursday, January 18, 2018

DC in D.C. With Tom King and Julie & Shawna Benson

Lots of fun catching up with the Benson sisters (Batgirl and The Birds Of Prey) and Tom King (Batman -Mister Miracle) after the big event DC Comics held last weekend in the nation's capital. 
You'll hear about their panels and red carpet encounters, plus Tom gives more background about Sanctuary, his concept to explore Heroes suffering from PTSD after their near death experiences .
Then we all settle in for some classic movie talk while we play a round of Old Movie Trivia. How well will you do compared to us? Play along. 

The Last Last Jedi Review With Art Baltazar and Franco!



It had to happen. The Aw Yeah Comics Creators Art Baltazar and Franco ( DC's Tiny Titans Super Powers Superman Family Adventures) Join me for another hilarious blockbuster movie review. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Mike Norton on his Trump comic strip Lil Donnie and more

We close out the year live at 4 Stars Studio kicking back with Mike Norton who tell us about the initial lark of  creating the comic strip Lil Donnie and it taking over a portion of his working life. It's syndicated by Go Comics home of Doonsebury Peanuts Calvin and Hobbes strips. 
We also talk about his new DC monthly Mystic U written by Alisa Kwitney h​is first web comic series Battlepug and more. ​

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Tim Seeley On Nightwing Green Lanterns and Steve Bryant's Athena Voltaitre


A double feature for today's Word Balloon Christmas edition . First Steve is back to tout the new Athena Voltaire arc starting in February from Action Lab Comics. 

Then Tim Seeley and I talk about his adventures working at DC guiding Dick Grayson and the new young Green Lanterns destinies, while making his creator owned books like Hack Slash and Revival .

We also discuss his new Vertigo book Imaginary Fiends as Vertigo re-positions itself for the current comics era.