Monday

My interview with Fady Joudah

I'm a great admirer of the Palestinian-American poet and translator Fady Joudah and I had the opportunity to talk with him for the Poetry Foundation for a profile that went up this week. We had a great conversation - the interview was edited for length because we spoke for more than an hour. I'm a big fan of both of his new books, Alight and Textu, and we spoke at length about poetry, translation, technology and more.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/article/245960

I'm not a fan of Relish

I'm not a big fan of the condiment, but in this case, the link - and the post - refer to my review of the new graphic novel Relish. I could explain why, but well, if I could explain it in fewer words, then I would have written a shorter review. Like a lot of comics readers, I've read The Comics Journal over the years and though I've published there before, this is my first review for them.

http://www.tcj.com/reviews/relish-my-life-in-the-kitchen/

Lisa Hanawalt's Dirty Dumb Eyes

Lisa Hanawalt is an Ignatz Award winning cartoonist, a James Beard Award-nominated illustrator who was a member of the former artists collective Pizza Island and co-host of the weekly podcast Baby Geniuses. Her new book is My Dirty Dumb Eyes, out now from Drawn and Quarterly, collects her comics and various other work from her own comics and different publications. It's an insane collection - and I mean that in the best possible way. Hanawalt offers advice for living with a significant other, divulges the secret lives of chefs, reviews movies, plays with the book's indicia and more.

I'm hoping that a few years down the road we'll get a book collecting her movie reviews - just read them and you won't think about Drive or Rise of the Planet of the Apes in quite the same way.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45544

Blutch bids So Long, Silver Screen

I'll admit that I'm not very familiar with the French cartoonist Blutch, but reading his book So Long, Silver Screen - out now from Picturebox - was an amazing experience and I have to say, the fact that this is his first book translated into English is a crime. It's incredible. I say that not just as a movie buff, but it's also a great graphic novel and a great meditation on fantasy, our relationship to movies and more.

The American cartoonist and teacher Matt Madden, who's in France right no, spoke with Blutch about the book and I introduced the interview, which is a lot of fun to read.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?id=45491&page=article

Sunday

Peter Bagge's Other Stuff

Peter Bagge is funny. It's hard to give more of an endorsement than that - and the fact that he's been so funny for long is impressive. His new book is Other Stuff, a collection of short comics by him and collaborations with other cartoonists he's made over the years, including stories he made with Alan Moore, Adrian Tomine, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Johnny Ryan and others.

We also talked a little about his upcoming graphic novel, Woman Rebel, a biography of Margaret Sanger, discusses his next miniseries with Dark Horse, a sequel to his earlier book Reset, and says that we'll see a collection of his short-lived series Sweatshop in the near-future.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45609

Monday

Losing Faith, or: Why I've Been Online Sporadically in Recent Months

Of course just typing that headline, I have the Eric Clapton song Running on Faith in my head...

Lately I've been running on faith
What else can a poor boy do?

I haven't been online as much recently and I've been blogging even less over the past few months for narcissistic reasons. Well, I can mockingly call it narcissistic now, but I was depressed for a time. I've been depressed before, and with some perspective, I can honestly say that it was not the worst case of depression I've ever experienced, but it was bad.

It was made worse because there were so many other things going on which made it worse. I applied to multiple graduate programs across the country and was rejected by every single one of them. At the time I described it as mildly soul-crushing, which seems about right. I was seeing someone for a short time, which ended. I feel as though workwise I'm stuck in place. My attempt to escape it, by going to graduate school, failed, because no one thought I was smart enough.

When I was applying, I couldn't help but feel that I should have applied years ago. Which begs the question of what to do when it's not going to happen. Of course the problem in this scenario is the falling mental dominoes: being rejected from all those schools leads to feeling stupid and worthless – and I don't think I'm a genius but there's something crushing about such a massive rejection – and that bleeds over into the rest of life. It's hard to pitch editors when in the back of your head you think it doesn't matter. It's hard to write something new when you can't stand to even open the file because you'll just ruin what little quality is there.

In some ways it's even worse than all that. I've become a big fan of the Longform podcast – Longform collects some of the great writing that gets published and on the podcast, they talk to some of the great writers doing this work like David Grann, Ted Conover,  Susan Orlean, Ta-Nehisi Coates. It can be depressing hearing about some of the great work people are doing and have done and had the opportunity to do when they were younger than I am now. But many also talk about the frustrations of the writing life and at a certain point just thinking they should go to law school and find a new line of work. What does it mean that I failed to get into graduate school? Is the only thing I'm qualified for is writing low paid articles or working a barista – and since I've been self-employed for years, they might not even get hired as one.

I think that one of the great secrets of the world is how fragile it all is. How the world runs on faith. Not blind faith, sure, but faith nonetheless. Everything from how we function in our daily lives to the larger systems at work. They all operate on faith. I kept functioning as best I could, but I had lost faith in myself. In the idea that I could ever be anything of value to anyone (including myself), do anything that I felt mattered, accomplish anything of value. I lost faith in myself. I lost faith in the future. I lost faith in life.

So once my depression started to pass, I started to think and assess and once I could lift my head up to see where I was, I started to plan. Of course making a plan is easy, but crawling my way back to normality, easy isn't necessarily bad – and it's a start.  There's a line in the movie My Dinner with Andre, where Wally remarks that when he was young he thought about art and music and literature and now he's whatever age and now all he thinks about is money. I feel that way sometimes. That everything I once cared about is lost and now I'm just in a day to day struggle to just make enough to get by. Once I could conceive that it's possible for the future to be more than the present, I could think about how to make that happen.

In one of her journal entries, Susan Sontag wrote:  "The fear of becoming old is born of the recognition that one is not living now the life that one wishes. It is equivalent in a sense of abusing the present."

So I'm not happy. I'm not even sure I'm content. But I'm okay – and that feels like something of an accomplishment. I have a lot to do. Odds are my days will be getting longer in the coming months. My monastic lifestyle will become more monastic and require more work. I don't think that's bad necessarily. A few people have been great help to me. That's been a good reminder. That I have resources and possibilities–and friends–even if I can't always see them.

Sunday

Connecticut and Traffic

I was at an intersection in New Britain, CT when a thought occurred to me. I had been in New York City recently and I couldn't help but compare how the two cities deal with pedestrians. In New York City at a four way intersection, a green light for traffic in one direction means that pedestrians can walk. In Connecticut, with few exceptions, when one hits the button to walk, the entire intersection in all directions get a red light so people can cross.

The difference is that in New York, the system is designed to move people as quickly as possible. Whether in a car, on a bike or on foot, the idea is that as many people should move through the intersection as quickly as possible.

In CT, though, that's not the case. Part of the reason for that is because pedestrians are fewer, so to make sure that cars pay attention and stop is to shut down the intersection. I get that. But I can't help but think that this very attitude is part of what's wrong with traffic and transportation in CT. The key should be to move people through the most efficient and effective ways possible–whether car, bus, bike, on foot, whatever.

If I had to redesign CT, I'd add more bike lanes – honestly, that's what a lot of people would say. But more than that, what CT needs are more sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. The region is designed for cars, not people. It's absurd at times just how unfriendly certain areas are for people. That's the problem that a lot of people don't recognize. Some think that we should build roads and highways and that the infrastructure should be designed to move as many cars as quickly as possible. It's not. Cars are a means to an end. It's about moving as many people as quickly as possible.

The landscape shouldn't be designed for cars, but for people. And yet, so many towns are designed for cars. It's sad to think about that – and worse, that so many people feel unable to even think about another way to live. A more human way to live.

What’s Next for SyFy?

With the announcement that Warehouse 13 will be wrapping up next year with a six episode final season–months after Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome wasn’t just not picked up to series, but first saw the light of day on the online channel Machinima Prime–I couldn’t help but think about what’s on the SyFy Channel.

Defiance has already been renewed for a second season. Merlin is wrapping up its final season now. Continuum starts its second season soon. This fall Haven will start its fourth season. Lost Girl will be coming back for a new season. Being Human will be coming back for a new season. Two series premiering this summer, Sinbad and Primeval: New World–shows that originated in the UK and Canada–were cancelled in their home countries after one season, making it unlikely they’ll be back after their initial runs.

Other than those shows, though, what is on the SyFy channel anymore?

Eureka and Sanctuary ended. Blood and Chrome, the network’s second attempt to launch a spinoff of Battlestar Galactica, this time focusing on a young Adama and the war, will not be going to series.Alphas was cancelled after two years. There are plenty of reality shows and Saturday night movies and reruns of different series but otherwise we’re talking about the network having six series on the air in the fall. Five, once Warehouse 13 ends. And of those five, two are Canadian shows being re-broadcast here in the states. Making new dramatic series is not a priority for SyFy, it seems.

By comparison, FX Network has four drama series with another premiering soon, seven comedy series and two comedy talk shows with more scheduled in the near future. HBO and Showtime have ten scripted series. TNT has eight. USA has seven with one ending and one debuting this summer. TBS, Starz and A&E have few scripted shows as does AMC, but those channels are mostly focused on other projects.

Battlestar Galactica was the channel’s flagship series for years, but it was never typical of what was on SyFy, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, there is no longer a show that’s managed to make that much of an impact, has represented the channel and made a bigger cultural impact. Or to phrase it another way, what is the channel’s identity? I understand that they changed the named because they no longer wanted to be thought of solely as a channel focusing on “SciFi” - though I don’t think anyone ever did.

I want to offer a few ideas that might help SyFy going forward.

One, import more series from around the world. Lost Girl and Continuum, in case you weren’t aware, are Canadian series. Merlin and Sinbad are from the UK. Why don’t we get more shows from overseas. Why is a show like Misfits on hulu and not Syfy? Why is a show like Dirk Gently–based on the books by Douglas Adams and starring Stephen Mangan (also currently starring on Showtime’s Episodes)–not available in the US? Why isn’t SyFy chasing after the producers of Metal Hurlant Chronicles to air the anthology series? With news of producers developing a series based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, why isn’t SyFy negotiating to produce and air such a series? There are 24 hours of programming space a day and lots of material being being created around the world, why not take advantage of this?

Two, A fantasy series. Something between Legend of the Seeker and A Game of Thrones. If you’re interested in following the lead of those shows, there are plenty of books to mine for ideas by a lot of talented writers ranging from Terry Brooks to R.A. Salvatore to Lloyd Alexander to draw from.

Three, a western–A weird western. A steampunk western. A remake of The Wild Wild West tv show (which will have nothing to do with that movie). I’m open to different possibilities. Admittedly this is a subgenre that over the past couple decades has been the subject of a few television series which tend not to last long (The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. with Bruce Campbell lasted a single season and Legend, starring Richard Dean Anderson–post-MacGuyver and pre-Stargate–and John DeLancie didn’t even last that long) but it’s fertile territory and it’s one that people can be passionate about.

Four, a series set in space. C’mon. This one should be obvious.

Five, something for younger viewers. As a kid I always hated shows that were aimed at kids, but something that could air in the afternoons or early in the evening and can be watched by younger viewers or for all ages would be great. I mean Warehouse 13 is fun, Alphas and Lost Girl are not meant for younger viewers, and it would be nice to have something an eight or ten year old could watch.

Six, something set in Eastern Europe. The film industry in Eastern Europe has made a lot of progress over the past two decades which can be seen by the number o big budget and low budget productions that shoot there, including a number of the SyFy Saturday night movies. What about setting a story in the region and find a way to incorporate a different culture and different setting than many North Americans are accustomed to.

Seven, something animated. It’s been years since the pilot for The Amazing Screw-on Head. It would be nice to see some more animation on the network.

Eight, a cyberpunk series. Again, like the space series, should be obvious.

Nine, can we declare a moratorium on show where the heroes chase after some kind of mutants/abnormals/alphas/aliens? Seriously. I’m begging. I ask this both as someone who read Norman Spinrad’s novel The Iron Dream when I was young and it changed how I looked at many science fiction and fantasy tropes, but also as someone who is sick to death of that formula. I understand the reason for the formula. That kind of procedural offers a way to make the concept open to new viewers and allows the creators to introduce the mythology of the show over time, but it’s tired.

Any other ideas for what the SyFy channel should or shouldn’t do?

Saturday

Comic Collections I would read if they existed

As I read more and more comics for work, I read fewer and fewer for pleasure. Which is fine. But I do keep running across references to creators or projects and think, I would read that. Why isn't there a collection of that.

What follows is the first of an occasion list of books/projects by people. Some have likely been released at some point and I don't know/have never come across them/are out of print. Others may be impossible. It should go without saying that the list is odd and incomplete. Most of these are controlled by publishers, though for those that aren't and the people who control them want to do something with them - let me know what I can do to help make it happen.

Vermillion by Lucius Shepard, Al Davison, John Totleben, et al.
A fabulous science fiction series from a great writer. The book only lasted twelve issues from DC's short-lived Helix imprint but had some fabulous art and some great ideas

Nathaniel Dusk by Don McGregor and Gene Colan
The pair created two four issue miniseries and there needs to be a collection. Honestly, there's no reason why quality work from two of the greats of comics shouldn't be collected.

Black Panther by Don McGregor, et al.
McGregor wrote some of the great Black Panther stories. It would be nice to see an entire volume devoted to his stories just so people can see why they were so influential and why so many people love them.

Killraven by Don McGregor and P Craig Russell
I'm still unsure why there isn't a collection of this.

The Phantom Stranger by Paul Kupperberg, Mike Mignola and P. Craig Russell, et al.
Why? Because it's a miniseries by Kupperberg, Mignola and Russell. Seriously, a Mignola-drawn miniseries that's not available? It sounds like money DC is leaving on the table.

Hellcat by Kathryn Immonen, David Lafuente, Stuart Immonen, et al.
Immonen wrote a series of short comics from Marvel Comics Presents and then a five issue miniseries with Patsy Walker Hellcat. Wouldn't it be cool if they were collected in a nice volume?

The Spectre by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, et al.
The duo had a long run on this series, and it's a shame that there aren't volumes collecting their run of the book - I'd prefer hardcover, but I'll settle for paperback.

Night Force by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, Tom Mandrake, et al.
I'd love two or three volumes collecting all three Night Force series.

The Ray by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Jamal Igle
Why the heck isn't there a collection of this miniseries? Seriously. I want some great Jamal Igle artwork in a book form.

Jonah Hex by Joe R. Lansdale, Tim Truman, Sam Glanzman, et al.
There needs to be an omnibus volume of the miniseries they made. Preferably a nice hardcover with quality paper. Tim Truman always looks better on quality paper. I mean Lansdale is a successful novelist and Truman is one of the great artists of his generation, and Jonah Hex has been a major character at DC in the past decade so I guess it's easy to see why they wouldn't want this book available...

Vamps by Elaine Lee, Will Simpson, et al.
Vampires plus the writer of Starstruck...sounds like a winner. Collect all the miniseries she did into one hardcover volume. I hear people like vampires.

Steeltown Rockers by Elaine Lee, Steve Leialoha, et al.
Slice of life tale about an up and coming rock band in an old steel town, from the writer of Starstruck and one of the artists of Fables. It would be nice if this got collected and maybe it could get the reception it deserves.

The Collected Comics written by Alan Brennert
For people who don't know, Brennert is an Emmy Award winning television writer and producer and a bestselling novelist and he wrote a few comics over the years, mostly at DC. I'd love to see DC collect the various stories including collaborations with Dick Giordano, Jim Aparo, Joe Staton and others - along with Brennert's Elseworlds Batman book Holy Terror, which featured some great Norm Breyfogle artwork.

Musing about the most recent Gutters comic

For those who don't know, Gutters is a three times a week comic which parodies/mocks/whatever the comics world online at www.the-gutters.com. I'm a fan of Ryan Sohmer, who's the man behind the project and writes most of the strips with a rotating lineup of artists from all over. The strip has generated some controversy, pissed some off, and honestly, I think that's a good thing.

So, the comic from Friday May 17th (http://www.the-gutters.com/comic/419-amy-mebberson) was written by Jill Pantozzi, who writes about comics online, and Amy Mebberson, an artist that I'm a big fan of. It takes on women and comics, which means that lots of people commented.

Now I could talk about women in comics and superheroes, but I don't care. I could critique the comic, but no one cares. I would like to address a problem that I had with the comic and I can't help but wonder whether it's my own personal problem.

The comic opens with five women dressed up like superheroes, Gail, Kelly, Louise, Amanda, Jill. They are all actual women who work in comics and they are, I presume dressed up as characters they are famous for writing or drawing (at least I think that's the intention). My problem is that I don't know what anyone in comics looks like. Let me rephrase: with few exceptions, I don't know what any people I haven't met look like.

In this case of course it means that I had to scroll down and see who these five people are. It wasn't listed on the page which means I had to read the comments to find out that the five are Gail Simone, Kelly Sue Deconnick, Louise Simonson, Amanda Conner and Jill Thompson.

(This is the point where it's clear that Jill Pantozzi and Amy Mebberson hate me. I don't know them; they don't know me, but clearly I ran over the pets, crippled their aunts, set fire to their homes or stole their lunch money. Why else would they create a comic that required me to read the comments to understand it?)

I did figure out that Amanda is Amanda Conner because she drew Power girl for a while and because of the line by a crazed fan in the comic "I'll blackmail the Eisner judges for you, Amanda." (For those who don't know, Conner was not nominated for an Eisner Award this year and for some reason this stood out and some people ranted about it online). Otherwise, I had no idea who anyone was. Of course when I saw that one of them was Jill Thompson I felt like a moron because I should have known - she's one of the few people in comics that most of us who haven't met her could pick out of a lineup (the character Ragged Robin from The Invisibles was based on her). Everyone else, though, I had no idea what they looked like - and I still have no idea who they're dressed as. (Seriously, who is Jill Thompson dressed as?)

When I go to conventions, I'm one of those people who's always looking at name tag because I do 99% of my work on the phone or online so I have no idea what anyone looks like. Am I alone in this? Do I just not go to enough events or socialize enough with people while there? Is finding a list of first names and my brain doesn't automatically associate them with comics people, is this just a flaw in my mental architecture akin to my inability to do crossword puzzles? Does the average fan know what comics creators look like and for them this cartoon was stupidly easy to understand whereas I'm scratching my head?

The answer is probably yes, I'm just that dumb.

Still, I had to take a shower after reading the comments and now I'm going to curl up in a hole somewhere and hope that my soul regenerates...

William Stout sings the Blues

I'm a huge fan of William Stout. This is the second time I've had the opportunity to interview Stout, and the truth is that we've barely scratched the surface of his work and career. Here's a man who's worked in comics and illustration, design, movies, murals, science books. He's designed theme parks for Disney, developed a movie with Jim Henson, worked as a designer in movies for decades (including on Pan's Labyrinth), created movie posters and record covers, painted murals, and is one of the world's leading paleo-artists alive today. I asked him about Tarzan, his time working with the late Russ Manning, and asked about his major project about Antarctica in addition to his new book.

His new book is a departure and it's a fascinating one. The Legends of the Blues is a collection of one hundred portraits of American blues musicians and singers and thoughtful essays on each about why they're important and their important recordings.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45513

Dave Roman's Re-Entry

I'm a big fan of Dave Roman. One, because he's just a nice guy and on those rare occasions where we're in the same room, he's always a great guy with whom to talk. We spent some time recently discussing his new book, Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry. It is, no surprise, the sequel to Astronaut Academy which came out two years ago and while I had nothing bad to say about the first book, I really think this one is better. It's a lot of fun and I continue to be amazed at just how inventive and expressive his characters are with so few lines. It's an amazing skill that just continues to impress the heck out of me. Yes it's a book that may be shelved in the kids section, but it's for all ages and it's easy to love.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45377

The world's newsest swinging sixties super spy team, The Strangers

I talked to Chris Roberson, Scott Kowalchuk and Dan Jackson recently. They're the three man team behind The Strangers, the new ongoing series at Oni Comics. The first issue was just released on Free Comic Book Day (it was free) though if you missed it, the first issue will be reprinted later this summer and the second issue comes out in July. It's a fun book set in a fictional world of the sixties. I've been a fan of Roberson for years and interested to see what the three of them have planned in the months to come.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45384

Matt Kindt caught Red Handed

It's easy to tell form reading the article, but I'm a big fan of Matt Kindt and have been for many years. His new book, Red Handed, which is just out from First Second, is to my mind, his best. Or at least it's my favorite of the books he's made so far in his career - I freely admit that sometimes when one is enamored of a creator, of the stories they tell and how they tell it, we're not always the best judge of quality. In this case, though, I think it is his best. It's a mystery told in a fragmented way that forces the reader to be actively piecing things together, a examination of the comic Dick Tracy and how it would work in real life, a piece examining the meaning of crime and property.

And it's fun and inventive and crazy and heart-stopping.

That's why I like his work, honestly. He has this knack for pulling all those elements together and it never comes off as overly academic and it never comes off as forced, of a story trying to be smart and instead coming off as pretentious. Red Handed is a masterful work.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45369

Terra Tempo and adventure education

Recently I had the chance to speak with David Shapiro and Christopher Herndon, a writer and artist team who are behind the Terra Tempo graphic novels. The second volume, The Four Corners of Time, came out earlier this year. The book is for younger readers, say middle school or elementary school, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. Part of that is simply the fact that it's a well constructed, thoughtful story that's well plotted and involves kids traveling through time (cause who doesn't love that? I would have been obsessed with the books when I was a kid). Part of it is because it does manage to do a fine job of telling an interesting story and being educational. Being structured like a thriller helps in this regard, as we talk about in the interview, but it's an impressive accomplishment to make geology and other topics fun. I know that the duo is working on a third book right now, but if their working continues, I'd be really interested to see what they do in the years to come. They're definitely two to watch.


http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=44501

Paul Cornell on London Falling

I'm a fan of a lot of Paul Cornell's work. He's a television writer who's worked on Doctor Who in addition to other shows like Primeval and Robin Hood. He's a comics writer whose miniseries Knight ans Squire, about a pair of British heroes, has to be one of the best superhero comics of the 21st Century. I'm also a fan of Saucer Country, a series that just ended, but Cornell teases a little about the series returning soon. He's also writing Wolverine, drawn by Alan Davis.

Cornell has written audio dramas, novels and more, but his new book is the first of a series. London Falling is about a police unit in contemporary London that gets caught up in the supernatural. The book has magic, centuries old myths, football, the complicated history of London and an analytic look at magic.

http://suicidegirls.com/interviews/2915/Paul-Cornell-London-Falling/

Miriam Katin on Letting It Go

Miriam Katin is an incredibly talented artist whose second graphic novel is Letting It Go. Her first book was published when she was in her sixties and recounted her and her mother escaping Budapest before the Nazi arrival, hiding out in the countryside during World War II. Her new book is very different tale. In it, Katin's adult son announces that he intends to move to Berlin, a decision to which she does not respond well. It is the story of her coming to terms with his choice and her own feelings about the city. It is also funny and light-hearted, as playful as her first book was stark. It was a real pleasure to talk with Ms. Katin. I hope it shows.


http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45113

The Life and Legacy of Al Capp

Denis Kitchen and Michael Schumacher are smart, thoughtful guys who know a lot about comics and it was a great treat to talk with them about their new project, a biography of Al Capp. Before reading the book, I knew a little about Al Capp, but to read the story of his life is incredible. He grew up poor, became rich and famous, was at the top of his profession, could be incredibly kind and generous, but he was also cruel, petty, at times sadistic even. His downfall and his dark side was so dark, that it manages to overshadow what he did accomplish. Capp is a guy who's impossible to love but hard to dismiss.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45040

Chris Schweizer and Gregg Taylor on Crogan's Adventures, the Red Panda, radio and comics

I'm a big fan of both Chris Schweizer (the cartoonist who writes and draws the Crogan's Adventures series of graphic novels) and Gregg Taylor (the man behind Decoder Ring Theatre, one of my favorite audio adventure podcasts) so getting both of them on the phone to talk was a lot of fan. Schweizer wrote a series of Crogan's Adventures audio stories that Taylor directed and I took advantage to talk with them about audio drama, comics, writing in different media and more.

Of course we talked for an hour and I never did get a chance to ask any fanboy-ish questions, we didn't talk much about working with actors, never even brought up Black Jack Justice, but hopefully I'll get the chance some other time.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45096

Paul Kupperberg's Life with Archie

Paul Kupperberg is a nice guy and talented writer and I had time talking with him. Of course to prepare for our conversation I read more than one thousand pages of Archie comics over the course of a few days. As work goes, I'm not going to complain. I got to talk with Paul about his work at Archie on the Life with Archie magazine exploring what if Archie went onto marry Veronica and Betty, his recent prose novel set in the comics world in the 1950's, we touched on his years working at DC.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=44825

Ann Nocenti on her careers in comics, journalism, and more

I admire the hell out of Ann Nocenti for a number of reasons. She's a journalist, editor, filmmaker, teacher, comics writer. She's a world traveler who's worked in multiple countries. She's edited a number of different magazines, been published all over the place. She's a talented comics writer. She also changed careers in her thirties, going from a writer and editor of comics to a journalist. Reading the interview it's clear that she's smart, thoughtful and is coming to comics from a different position than many people.

http://suicidegirls.com/interviews/2914/Ann-Nocenti-Katana/

Joëlle Jones on Hellheim

Joëlle Jones is to my mind a great comics artist. I've interviewed her a few times over the years as she's jumped from one project and one genre to another. Her new project is Hellheim, a Viking fantasy/horror tale, written by Cullen Bunn, the writer behind The Sixth Gun. It's a different project for Jones and in the interview she walked me through her process and showed off her thumbnail sketches and inked pages, taking us through how Hellheim comes together.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=44849