Archive for the 'podcasts' Category

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Inkstuds Spotlight in the Rear View

February 27th, 2014 Posted by david brothers

Inkstuds Spotlight is done! Thank you for listening, or sharing the links around, or telling me or the creators I spoke to how much you dug what they had to say. It was a lark, it worked, and now I’m going to type too much about why and how I did it. But first, an index:

Darryl Ayo: CA | Inkstuds | Website
Jay Potts: CA | Inkstuds | Website
Jimmie Robinson: CA | Inkstuds | Website
Whit Taylor: CA | Inkstuds | Website
LeSean Thomas: CA | Inkstuds | Website
Spike Trotman: CA | Inkstuds | Website
Qiana Whitted: CA | Inkstuds | Website

I love writing about comics. More specifically, I love talking about them with other people, and writing gives me a chance to trick people into having conversations with me about comics. Writing is just a way of organizing my thoughts or interrogating what I think about a book. Now that I work in the industry, though, I understand that my words have an aspect they didn’t before: even when I’m not representing my company, people will look at it like I’m representing my company. Before, I appeared courtesy of myself. Now, I still do, but the perception may be different depending on who and where you are.

I’m still figuring out that balance. I don’t want to not-talk, but I don’t want to have people looking at me like “Well, you had no business saying this since you’re working professional #teamcomics.” I’m very careful about recommending Image books or dissing other books, because I feel like my word has some value, and I don’t ever want to trade on that for garbage reasons.

A weird part of paring down how often I’m writing about comics is that I spend a lot more time thinking about comics and why they work the way they do. Absence makes the heart grow even more curious, until finally the heart is like “chill out dude, just get over your dumb self and do something you want to obviously do.”

Robin McConnell founded and runs the Inkstuds comics podcast. At last year’s Emerald City Comicon, Robin asked me about doing some programming for Inkstuds. I thought about it, but couldn’t come up with any ideas worth doing, and then I quit my job, ComicsAlliance died, and I got another job, so doing podcasting wasn’t even really on my radar.

On January 15, after realizing that Robin’s show was about to hit 500 episodes, an idea popped into my head. I know comics, and I know some people in comics, but I don’t know about what people actually do in comics. Where they came from, how they came to comics, why they do comics, how they do comics, what influenced the way they make comics…stuff like that. This stuff is usually beyond the purview of the hype-oriented interviews in comics, and that’s no good for me, because I really want to know this stuff.

Basically, I figured out how to satisfy my own curiosity in a way that might be entertaining to others, which is probably the whole reason I started a blog, and it was constructed in such a way that I couldn’t over-think it the way I do everything else. I couldn’t worry about crossing some invisible line of professionalism. I only had time to do it, and once it was done, I couldn’t take it back.

I made a list of people I thought were in interesting positions in the industry, and focused on people I haven’t interviewed or discussed before, with one exception. I emailed Robin with the idea and the list, and he was into it. I googled around for email addresses, DMed a few people on Twitter, did some research, came up with a few possible avenues of conversation, and then got started. Before the first show went up, I had the vast majority of them recorded. By the end of the first week of February, I had all of them done.

I think about the divisions in comics a lot, the way we’re bunched up into various factions. It’s shorthand, of course, but there’s TCJ comics, cape comics, mainstream comics, manga, and more. There are all these little islands of interests, and for the most part, they keep to their own. Inkstuds has its own remit, but I realized that I didn’t just want to limit myself to that audience. I was tempted to just post them here on 4thletter!, but I know the size of me and Gavin’s platform here, and I wanted something bigger. I reached out to Joe Hughes at ComicsAlliance with the idea. He was into it, and provided some feedback that I think made it a lot better.

Inkstuds and ComicsAlliance don’t have a lot of overlap in terms of audience, or at least it doesn’t feel that way going by what they each have covered, and I liked the idea of using both outlets to expose people to stuff they might not have known. Joe and Robin were both fine with me doing it on my own terms, too. I was thinking about the value of ownership and control even before CA closed last year, and the money in writing about comics simply isn’t good enough to do it any way but the way I (and you, if we’re being really real with each other) want to do it. So I laid out my terms and goals like a prima donna, they were fine with it, and we were off to the races with a project I maybe made more complicated than it had to be, but one I liked.

So, now that it’s all done, I wanted to publicly explain why I did it, and to say thank you to Joe and Robin for letting me borrow their platforms for selfish reasons. Darryl Ayo, Jay Potts, Jimmie Robinson, Whit Taylor, LeSean Thomas, Spike Trotman, and Qiana Whitted were incredibly generous with their time and thoughts, and each of them leapt at the chance to talk to me about my vague ideas, which I’m exceedingly grateful for. I learned a lot, and I’m very appreciative that they were down to chat. I left every conversation energized about comics and making stuff, which is a sometimes-rare feeling and almost the whole entire point of the entire project.

Thanks for listening.

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Fourcast! 101: Catching Up

December 19th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-I’m traveling, and I totally forgot to post this earlier today.
-We did a catch-up review show that basically turned into us talking about how DC’s New 52 shook out.
-Esther ain’t too fond of Mr Terrific and Batwoman.
-But she’s digging Batgirl and Wonder Woman.
-I like WW so much I barely have anything to say about it.
-I’m also digging Green Lantern and Justice League.
-Pazow!
-There’ll be another next week!
-See you, space cowboy!

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Fourcast! 100: Episode 100

November 7th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-Cripes, we’ve done one hundred of these things
-This time, we’re just talking about various things we like about comics for an hour or so
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-Here comes a new challenger!
-See you, space cowboy!

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Fourcast! 99: Fhourrorcast!

October 31st, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-Let’s talk about all things scary!
-Books, comics, movies, dates…
-Emily Carroll’s His Face All Red
-Colson Whitehead’s Zone One: A Novel
-Stephen King’s Desperation and The Regulators.
-Daniel H Wilson’s Robopocalypse: A Novel.
-The Bad Seed:


-The Good Son:

-Junji Ito,
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-Here comes a new challenger!
-See you, space cowboy!

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Fourcast! 98: On Comedy and Comics

October 17th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-We’re talking comics!
-Not comic books. Joke comics. Ha ha ha.
-This is the second half of the conversation.
-Here’s Kristen Schaal’s Sexy Book of Sexy Sex.
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-Here comes a new challenger!
-See you, space cowboy!

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Fourcast! 97: On Comics And Comedy

October 10th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-We’re talking comics!
-Not comic books. Joke comics. Ha ha ha.
-This ended up being a fairly long conversation, so I split it (roughly) in half.
-We tell some jokes, we talk about some jokes, you know how it goes.
-We talk about tv shows, mainly Louie, 30 Rock, the usual suspects
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-Here comes a new challenger!
-See you, space cowboy!

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Fourcast! 96: Welcome to Pluto

September 19th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-I was out late doing karaoke before recording, sorry if I sound tired
-Esther made me read Gail Simone and Neil Googe’s Welcome to Tranquility
-I made Esther read Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto
-Esther claims that I’m why we can’t have happy comics, because I like sad things
-We didn’t like each other’s books very much, I think. Can you tell?
-So we switch gears to talk about stuff we do like.
-Esther liked a pretty good bit in Spider-Island with the Punisher
-Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto’s Punisher is aight, it’s aight, but it shoulda been more john blaze than that
-Esther really digs Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon’s Punisher
-I’m not as keen on the changes to the origin story
-(it’s a good comic for someone who’s not me)
-The thing I said was from Daniel Way and Steve Dillon’s Punisher vs Bullseye was actually from Judd Winick and Doug Mahnke’s Under the Red Hood, and also the note said “LOL” and not “gotcha!”
-Here’s something similar from the series though:



-Buy John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew, thanks.

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Fourcast! 95: The New 52

September 12th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-DC’s in the process of releasing 52 mostly-new comics!
-We’re talking about the first full week.
-Esther picked up Action Comics, Stormwatch, Green Arrow, and Batgirl
-I picked up Static, Justice League, and Animal Man
-I also bought Swamp Thing, but didn’t manage to discuss it. It was fine–I just don’t think I’m much of a Swamp Thing fan is all.
-We have a conversation about whether or not people from the Midwest say “ain’t” in casual conversation.
-I think they do, because I assume all farmers talk like Southerners, and back home, we say “ain’t” like ain’t nothing wrong with that
-Esther says they don’t
-It turns out I have feelings about how cool Superman breaking chains on homage covers are
-Those feelings amount to “Ugh, why?”
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-Here comes a new challenger!
-See you, space cowboy!

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Fourcast! 94: Foodcast!

August 8th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-Two books, two podcasters!
-I’m talking about John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew, which you can read here
-Esther is talking about Aimee Bender’s The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
-The two books are thematically related, I figure, under the umbrella of “secret truths revealed through food.”
-It’s an interesting connection, and Bender’s book sounds pretty neat. Chew, of course, is something I buy monthly.
-Check both out.
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-Here comes a new challenger!
-See you, space cowboy!

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Fourcast! 93: Capcast

August 1st, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-Esther and I saw Captain America
-We figured that spending an hour talking about and around the movie and the character would be neat
-Good movie, wasn’t it?
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-Here comes a new challenger!
-See you, space cowboy!

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