I was at San Diego last week and audio recorded 24 panels with a focus on comic history. You can hear them all at my website.
The panels are:
Jack Kirby's Consciousness, Roger Zelanzny's Lord or Light, Barry Ira Geller and the Real Argo (48:05, 45.1mb)
On the panel was Barry Ira Geller and Mike Royer. Barry talked about Kirby's and Royer's involvement in the Lord of Light project. Barry announced that Lord of Light is being produced as a television series. Barry said 80% of the movie Argo was not true. They played 2 clips from CIA Agent Mendez regarding the Argo plan that Barry said was true. Barry mentioned he talked to the son's of the Iranian revolution and they told him that Jack's artwork made them believe the Hollywood production was real. Royer said he could tell that the Lord of Light was special to Kirby by the work he put into the drawings. They talked about specific pieces of art and plugged a kickstarter to make 3D versions of the Lord of Light figures.
Mike Royer Spotlight (46:05, 43.2mb)
Moderated by Mark Evanier. Mike revealed how he got started in comics, his working on the Marvel animated cartoons particularly Marvel Superheroes and the 1966 Spider-Man. Mark and Mike talked about editor Chase Craig and how important he was to furthering their careers. Royer gave his views on inking other people's work, Mike's work for Jim Warren and his views on Jim. Royer spoke about his meeting Jack Kirby for the first time and the circumstances on inking his work, how Royer also lettered Jack's work and it was delivered to DC camera ready which was new for DC's production dept who previously always "fixed up" artists work to give it the DC touch. Royer then discussed why he took a hiatus from inking Kirby's work and how Kirby reacted, Royer spoke about working on staff for Disney, what work he was proud of and Jack not wanting his faces changed.
Paul Levitz in Conversation with Karen Berger (48:41, 45.7mb)
Karen started off talking about Paul hiring her, she then interviewed Paul about his being a writer and a businessman. Paul discussed getting started working for DC and writing comics. He also spoke about balancing being a creative writer vs business man and the conflict that brings, having to go to meetings with upper level executives in his early 20s where everybody else was much older and richer than he was. Paul gave advice on editing creative people, who his writing influences were, his work now for Dark Horse Comics. Karen talked about doing books that made Paul uncomfortable and Paul giving her a lot of rope. Paul discussed the comics sales transitioning from the newsstand to the Direct Market and how that affected the writing. Karen revealed how she finally got approval to print the word "" in a DC comic, the creation of Vertigo and why. They spoke about finding a Graphic Novel format that worked in the marketplace. Finally, Paul revealed what his is most proud of in his career thus far.
Editing Comics (51:24, 48.2mb)
Moderated by Chris Butcher, on the panel were editors Shannon Watters, Mark Siegel, Cassandra Pelham and Robin Herrera. They started by introducing themselves and answering Chris's question: Do editors talk to each other? Robin then spoke about her editing style on different books, the groups discussed different types of editing and how not all editors are good at all aspects of editing, they said if they still like reading comics for pleasure. Cassandra talked about how she edits different creators differently. Mark spoke about being more transparent about his job, the pitch process and what does and does not matter. The group discussed using the thumbnail for editing, using Skype for communicating with creators, catching problems early to avoid costly corrections later, the mental fatigue of doing a graphic novel and how to combat it. Shannon revealed how certain books of hers came about and how to manage the collaborative process. The group then discussed if they are on the creators side or the publishers side.
Why Will Eisner Still Matters at 100 (58:30, 54.9mb)
On the panel was Paul Levitz, Jackie Estrada, Maggie Thompson and Paul Dini. They first discussed why Will is not just important, but still relevant. Will owning his work and expanding the readership of comics into the bookstore market. Will as a person, how he adapted over the years and his communicating through images. Will as a teacher, role model, how he made changes to the Eisner Awards, his ability to tell short stories, the line between art and craft and how Will balanced and transcended them. They also discussed his treatment of fans, the human reaction in his stories, the cinematic method of telling his stories, exposing people to Will's work and Ebony.
The Forgotten Trio: Letterers, Inkers and Colorists (42:21, 37.7 mb)
Panelists include Dave Lanphear, Le Beau Underwood, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Veronica Gandini and moderator Jessica Tsang. They started out with what they are currently working on, do they feel they are getting enough credit, where the industry falls short in crediting them. They then went into their specific fields and discussed how to be a successful inker, the difference between good and bad lettering and how it affects a story, colour vs. black and white comics, what a flat is, how the colourists chooses the colour types, grayscale colouring, how they choose a colour palette and they gave career advice for people breaking in.
Publishers Weekly: Selling Comics to Diverse Audiences (51:11, 48mb)
On the panel was Calvin Reed, Christopher Butcher, Terence Irvins, Jennifer Haines and Kristen Parraz. They started with an introduction and what diversity means to each of them. Is diverse material available and where is the demand coming from, distribution issues in regards to retailers getting diverse books, diversity of reading material and formats, why Marvel is not selling well and is it because of diversity and different types of retail stores.
Graphic Novel Creator Richard Kyle's Legacy (44:06, 41.4mb)
A collection of Richard's friends and colleagues gather to discuss the recently departed Richard Kyle. They were David G. Brown, Maggie Thompson, Greg Koudoulian, Mike Royer, Phil Yeh, Ron Turner and Jamie Coville. The group, including audience members who knew Richard spoke about his intelligence, kindness, his bookstore, his strong opinions, creating of the term Graphic Novel and more. An audio clip was played from his interview with me and the panel told some stories about Harlan Ellison as well.
Comics Arts Conference #5: Lassoing the Truth: Marston vs Wertham in the Wonder Woman War (53:41, 50.3mb)
After a brief introduction by Kate McClancy, the panel moderated by Travis Langley consisted of Christie Marston, Phil Jimenez, Alan Kistler, Trina Robbins, Dr. Mara Wood, Mike Madrid, Danny Fingeroth and Andy Mangels. They started out describing the differences between the Martson's and Wertham's disciplines. They cleared up what Marston did and did not invent in terms of the Lie Detector Test and its impact on the court system. The group discussed the mythological aspects of Wonder Woman's origins, Harry G. Peter, Marston's book The Emotions of Normal People, what Marston was saying about bondage, Wertham's view of Wonder Woman as a lesbian Batman, The Comics Code effect on Wonder Woman comics, Wertham's psychoanalysis on Pop Culture, Jill Lepore's book on Wonder Woman and the problems with it.
Keith Pollard Spotlight (46:45, 43.8mb)
Mark Waid interviews Keith Pollard. Keith talks about becoming a comic book artist, his time in highschool and getting into college. He reveals his jobs prior to comics, meeting Jim Steranko and Neal Adams and getting their critique, his friendship and collaboration with Arvell Jones, working with Rich Buckler, his first solo Marvel work, inking, his influences, moving from Marvel to DC, how Jim Shooter helped him out of a jam, working with Roy Thomas on Thor and working on Master of Kung Fu. [Note: I came in a few minutes late for the panel]
Will Eisner: Mentor and Friend (45:23, 42.6mb)
Denis Kitcken was joined by Danny Fingeroth. Denis started talking about his first meeting Will Eisner. He then spoke about Will's early work. They both spoke about how water was a theme in Will's work and how Harvey Kurtzman came up with a term for it. They discussed Will's work for the Army, his educational and commercial work, his contributions to the underground, A Contract with God, the term Graphic Novel, his autobiographical books The Dreamer and The Heart of the Storm, how Will planned the pages and not using standard layouts. Danny questioned why Eisner and Kitchen connected despite their differences, Will's reaction to the first underground comic he saw. They also discussed Will's relationship with Jack Kirby & Harvey Kurtzman and that Stan Lee once offered Will the job of EIC of Marvel.
Jack Kirby: Family and Friends (48:48, 45.7mb)
The panel consisted of Jillian, Lisa, Tracy and Jeremy Kirby, Mike Thibodeaux and moderator Mark Evanier. Mark started out with a funny story about Jack being physically strong and cleaning out the stables for Lisa's horse. Lisa told a story about Jack going to her school and doing drawings for her classmates, which helped her make friends. Granddaughter Jillian talked about how people around her react when they find out who her grandfather was. All the family members told when they realized that Jack Kirby was special. Mike spoke about meeting, hanging out with Jack and loving his work. They told stories about introducing Jack to other people and their reaction. Jillian spoke about her Kirby 4 Heroes campaign that she runs to raise money for the Hero Initiative. Jeremy talked about how fans react to them because they are related to Jack. The panelists spoke about Jack's warmth in dealing with his fans. Lisa told a funny story about a cult coming to the door and wanting Jack to sell all his possessions and move out to the desert with them. They talked about the D23 convention where Jack was honored as a Disney Legend. David Glanzer, Director of Marketing and Public Relations of Comic-Con International then announced that San Diego is giving Jack Kirby their Icon Award, something they give to 1 person per year and only give it to people who are alive. Jack is the first person they have given it to posthumously.
Ron Wilson Spotlight (44:33, 41.8mb)
Mark Waid interviewed Ron Wilson. Among the topics discussed were: How he was first exposed to comics, drawing on newspapers, how being an artist helped him, his schooling, his influences, breaking in, what he learned from John Romita Sr, his favourite inker, meeting Jack Kirby, how he got the job for Luke Cage, Marvel 2 in 1, working with John Byrne, his boxing matches with Jim Shooter, his work on He-Man and Pro Wrestling comics, his work on Superboxers and Kyle Baker inking his work.
Manga Superheroes: Super Differences Between Japan and US (56:25, 52.9mb)
Moderated by Deb Aoki, the panelists were Brigid Alverson, David Brothers, Chris Butcher, Carl Horn and Andy Nakatani. The group went through how Manga and US creators were influenced by each other in major ways, starting with Osama Tezuka being influenced by Disney. Other examples were Lone Wolf and Cub influencing Frank Miller, Cyborg 009 & X-men and more. Chris talked about the cultural exchange that happens between French, USA and Japanese creators. The group talked about Ultra-man, Magical Girl Manga (Sailor Moon in particular), One Punch Man, the weird stuff that Japan does with their superheroes that's different and ended by talking about My Hero Academia.
Mike Grell Spotlight (45:48, 42.9mb)
Mike Grell was interviewed by Derek Maki. They started by announcing that Mike had been inducted to the Wizard World Hall of Fame. What he did before becoming a comics artist, what comics he read as a child, advice he would give to those just starting out. Grell told a story about a brutal deadline and working so long without sleep he saw hallucinations while driving. He told stories about crazy jobs, what he finds easy and hard to draw, being on safari in Africa, having to pee and draw at the same time, he revealed an Easter egg in an issue of Warlord, what underwear he wears, what he wants to be remembered for. They did a trivia contest at the end. You can find out more about Mike Grell at his website.
Spotlight on Brigitte Findakly and Lewis Trondheim (51:20, 48.1mb)
Karen Green interviewed Brigitte and Lewis, often through the use of a translator Julia Pohl-Miranda. They talked about their book Poppies for Iraq. Karen asked why are we seeing women telling their stories regarding leaving the Middle East instead of men? They spoke about the printing of photographs, why they did it, which ones they chose and why they placed them where they did throughout the book. They discussed the unsettlement within the book in both the past and the present. Brigitte and Lewis talked about the government issued poisoned grain that was within the story. They then turned to when Briggitte began drawing, their collaborative process, the other books they worked on, the pacing of a joke, subtle bit of info that is important, but not highlighted and why Lewis chose to do it that way. Brigitte revealed how extreme the antisemitism was in Iraq. The danger there was in France when she first moved there, how poor kids in Iraq are expected to help clean the school but the rich kids are not, what country they now consider to be "home" and both Lewis and Brigitte wanted the audience to know that Poppies for Iraq is a happy book.
Joe Staton Spotlight (47:49, 44.8mb)
Paul Levitz interviews Joe about his career. Joe revealed that his bought some early Marvel age comics off the stands as a kid. He talked about starting at Charlton, E-Man and why he was created, working with Gill Kane on Spider-Man, inking Sal Buscema and then Herb Trimpe. Paul revealed that he hired Joe to work at DC and what for. They then went through the books he worked on at DC, JSA, the creation of Huntress, doing Marvel books, working with Brian Bolland, children comics regarding various diseases and drawing Tracy. He also revealed he co-created Kilowog and said he was now working on a successful kickstarter campaign to reprint Family Man, a Paradox book that was not printed very well the first time around.
Spotlight on Arthur Adams and Joyce Chin (46:48, 43.9mb)
The moderator was Kirk Thatcher. Both Joyce and Arthur received Inkpot Awards. They talked about a wide variety of topics, including a toy package design he did, Arthur's love of Godzilla, how they work under the same roof, splitting of domestic duties, what pushed them to become artists, Joyce talked about how her mother learned to read English via comics and read them to her, their parents reaction to wanting to be artists, Joyce talked about working on Green Lantern, they both talked about working on scripts, their influences, movie work, designing characters, Monkeyman and O'Brien, their most unusual project, the toys they surround themselves with and inking their own work.
That 70s Panel (1:20:21, 75.3mb)
On the panel was Keith Pollard, Marv Wolfman, Joe Staton, Ron Wilson, Elliot S! Maggin, Mike Grell, Paul Levitz and moderator Mark Evanier. Mark began by asking them what assignment did they get that made them really feel like they were a comic professional. Elliot told a story about selling a school assignment story to DC Comics, he also told stories about Curt Swan. The artists told how they felt about other people inking their work, Mike Grell told how he broke in, Paul told a funny story about Grell being unhappy with his current inker and inking his own pencils before sending in the pages, Paul also talked about push back from the 2nd generation of artists regarding certain inkers. Everyone discussed who's work they admired. Mark told a story about Jerry Siegel and the change with him over the years in regards to DC Comics. They all told a story about the worst deadline crisis they've had, Paul talked about the DC Implosion and both Paul and Marv Wolfman discussed having to let people go.
John Stanley: Giving Life to Little Lulu (49:33, 46.5mb)
Bill Schelly and Gary Groth talked about Bill's new book on John Stanley. The revealed what characters that Stanley created for the Little Lulu comic title, what John did before he worked in comics, they revealed why he was listed as F4 and couldn't serve in the military, they spoke about Tubby and fantasy stories, how Carl Barks and John Stanley felt about each other was discussed, the horror stories that John liked and did, the scrutiny that Stanley came under when he got a new editor and Dell Comics were using the "Dell Comics are Good Comics" pledge, Stanley being hired to create a line of titles for Dell after the split, what he did after working for Dell, Stanley's personal demons and what work he did when he couldn't do comics anymore, John's only convention appearance and interview and the commissions he did towards the end of his life.
James Hudnall Spotlight (49:51, 46.7mb)
James was running behind so the panel started with moderator Dr. Terry Cronin talking about his love of Eclipse Comics, which was followed by David Lloyd discussing how he came about working with James on ESPers and why he liked the book. Lloyd also spoke about John N. Burnes, who is a hero of his. When James came in Jackie Estrada gave him an Inkpot Award. James spoke about getting to work with David Lloyd, his getting work at Marvel, going from Strikeforce: Morituri to Alpha Flight, then over to DC where he wrote Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography. James discussed many of the books that James worked on over his career. Hudnall and Lloyd spoke about John Ridgway and why he loved talking on the phone so much. They also spoke about Malibu's Ultraverse and his books Hardcase and The Solution.
Comics Art Conference #15: Fangirls (1:14:55, 70.2mb)
Moderated by Kate McClancy, Angelica Kalika, Angela Chiarmonte and Caitln O'Shea spoke about their academic work on different aspects of fangirls. Angela talked about Ms. Marvel and David Gabriel's statement about diverse characters, why Millennials love Ms. Marvel, what elements of Ms. Marvel appeal to Millennials. Caitlin spoke about harassment of female fans, particularly in comic shops, she read some quotes from interviews she conducted from a number of female fans, comic store employees and store owners, then gave some conclusions and recommendations. Angelica spoke about Spider-Gwen and why she is successful and the community built up around her, she went into Speech Codes Theory, Millennials and Feminists, why Spider-Gwen loves the series and conclusion from her research.
Comics Art Conference #16: The Culture of Comic Con: Field Studies of Fans and Marketing (50:09, 47mb)
Peter Coogan started by giving an introduction to the panel. Matthew J. Smith moderated a large panel of young, mostly first time Comic Con attendee's academic students who were all studying an aspect of comic con. They were: Blythe Bull, Jesse Booker, Sarah Irby, Carlos Flores, Kristi Fleetwood, Kyle Hanners, Borin Chep, Morgan Mitchell, Conner DuRose and DeAnna Volz. They all introduced themselves, what they were studying and how they were examining it. They also spoke about how being a part of comic con affected them and possibly their work and how they might have affected comic con.
Pro Vs Fan Comic Trivia (40:13, 37.7mb)
The Fans were: Peter Svensson, David Oakes and Tom Galloway, The Pro's were Glenn Hauman, Elliot S! Maggin and Len Wein. The very hard questions asked by David McCaw involved Thor, Ghost Rider, Luke Cage, Demon, Black Lighting, Black Panther, The Thing, Boy Commandos, Spider-Man, Machine Man, Atlas, Captain America and more. Some members from the audience also participated in answering some questions.