Mon, 31 December 2012
Of course, on this last episode of 2012, we reflect a little and celebrate a lot. Plenty of great interviews were had this year, tons of fulfilling conversations, some big belly laughs, and even a few cries. It's been a good one, 'Nation.
Thank you sincerely for hanging out with us over the last twelve months. We couldn’t have done it without you all.
Thank you to each and every guest who made the time to come on the show and chat. You are appreciated! *Tupac voice*
Thank you to Graham Crackers Comics for continuing to be the best sponsor around. John, you and the guys are the best!
And my personal thanks to Dwight and Adrian for having my back on these here mics. The three of us form a unit like Voltron, yo!
Mon, 3 December 2012
Steve Rude aka the Dude is by far one of my favorite comic book artists and illustrators. By far. So it was a real honor to finally interview him for this podcast. Oh, sorry — Steve Rude is generally known as the Dude to his friends. (Come on, try to keep up.)
I’m a fan of the Dude’s going back to my late teens. With his brilliant, sci-fi adventure series Nexus (with writer Mike Baron), The Incredible Hulk vs. Superman, World's Finest, X-men: Children of the Atom, and his work on so many other titles; the guy is just the best.
I have my pal Don Hillsman to thank again for turning me on to Nexus, and essentially, on to Steve Rude. Don was reading Nexus in the ‘80s, and as he had done many times before, shared the love. I said he was a pal, right?
After that, I became a rabid fan of Rude's stuff. I bought all of his comics, and eventually his art books, too. And discovered he was not only an outstanding comic book artist, but an outstanding all-around artist. The Dude can do it all — illustration, portraits, landscapes, commercial art — all of it! But as we found out in our talk with him, at the end of the day, comics are home. They are his calling.
Originally from the Midwest (like Dwight and I), Steve now makes his home in Peoria, AZ. He’s a family man (which comes up in the interview), fiercely loyal to his friends, and dedicated in the truest sense to his craft. You won’t meet a guy more committed to growing as an artist.
Our conversation covers it all, although not step-by-step. We thought it best to try and ask the Dude good questions and just let him talk. I mean, he’s been at this thing for over 30 years, right? We figured he had some stories to tell and opinions to share. And he damn sure did!
Our thanks to Steve for coming on with us and being so epic. (We knew he would be!) Our thanks to you all for listening in and supporting the show. And check out Steve’s new DC project, a Dollar Bill One-Shot, when it hits stores everywhere in January. It looks amazing.
Okay, enough typing. It's time for hyperspeed! It's time for the Dude!
**Scoop a copy of his 2007 art book — Steve Rude: Artist in Motion.
Mon, 19 November 2012
I wanna talk about Adrian Johnson for a minute. Yes, I know today’s interview is with 'The Quiet Superstar' Leinil Yu — but indulge me, please.
The three of us are all fans of Leinil’s, but it was Adrian who pulled the trigger and invited him on the show. Yu and Adrian are roughly the same age, both are Image Comics babies, and Adrian became a fan of Leinil’s right from the jump: his professional comics debut on Marvel’s Wolverine (1997).
Adrian was majorly excited when the Manila-based artist said yes to the podcast invitation. He dove headfirst into his prep and research for the talk. And it was a real treat to sit and watch my boy cheezin’ like the Cheshire Cat as he interviewed someone for whom he's been a longtime fan. Matter of fact, it always is. When Dwight does it, I love watching it; and I’m sure when I do it, those two guys get a kick out of it. Okay, back to Leinil!
Wolverine, Superman: Birthright, Batman/Danger Girl, New Avengers, Supercrooks, Superior, and now Indestructible Hulk — Leinil Francis Yu is rocking it. And not just because of the kinds of books he works on. The dynamism and raw energy in his work put him head and shoulders above many of his peers — but then so does his prolificity. In a fanboy world where we throw the term ‘superstar’ around willy-nilly because someone “draws good” and quickly gains popularity, Yu actually cranks out the pages.
He does the work. He makes comics.
It’s a shame that one has to parse that distinction from other so-called comics superstars, but it’s true. (They know who they are.)
Enjoy hearing about Leinil’s early days and the influence of guys like Travis Charest and Yu’s mentor, Whilce Portacio. Enjoy hearing about his excursions into concept art (Serenity) and his experimentation with different media. Enjoy hearing Leinil very pragmatically reconcile himself with the lofty term ‘superstar’. And definitely enjoy listening in on the good time we had chatting with this humble, interesting, yet multi-faceted guy. Because it was like that!
Mon, 12 November 2012
On this podcast, we talk to tons and tons of creators. The vast majority of which have had long and very fruitful careers. They've seen it all and done it all, too.
Well, we thought it was high time we got off our asses and created a format where we could bring some relatively new talent to the fore. You know, guys and gals who are on the front ends of their careers, but show incredible promise even now. Hence, Rise & Shine: Their stars are on the rise and we wanna give them some shine. So, here goes!
First up is Jane Radstrom. Without giving too much away here, Jane is an artist and illustrator based out of Austin, Texas. She's a grad of the Ringling College of Art and Design and now works, not only as a freelance illustrator, but also as a drawing instructor for The Art Department (TAD).
Don't be fooled, though. Jane's real secret weapon is her personal work. Not to downplay her skills as a commercial artist (she's got 'em), but her fine art is amazing. You can find the charming Ms. Radstrom on-line right here. Do click now.
Next up is sensational young comic artist James Harren. James hails from Doylestown, Pennyslyvania, but received his formal art training at The School of Visual Arts in New York. And as fate would have it, legendary artist and inker (and past SiDEBAR guest) Klaus Janson was one of Harren's instructors while he was in school.
After SVA, James cut his teeth freelancing for a year at Marvel Comics, then settled in nicely with the folks over at Dark Horse. So far, he's done a killer job on titles like Abe Sapien, Conan the Barbarian, and of course, B.P.R.D.
Tue, 6 November 2012
Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. — Unknown
Our Halloween shows are little more than another opportunity for the three of us to run our mouths, but we do try to make them special. And finding ways to connect our nerdiness with our love of 'the scary' is far from a chore — we love it!
That said, today's episode is all about superheroes who wield magic and mysticism, or in some cases, the straight up occult. Many of these characters are incredibly powerful with god-like abilities, yet when you think about it, they are generally not super popular. Why is that?
The Spectre, Dr. Strange, Zatanna and even Death herself are just a few of the conjurers and other-worldly types we bring up in our conversation. We also dig around in their origins and shrouded pasts, as well as make fun of their alter egos and nicknames (some of which you won't believe).
As always, thanks for tuning in, 'Nation. Let us know what you think, and we hope all who celebrated it had a happy and safe Halloween!
**Lots of episode-specific music played on this one: "Abracadabra" by The Steve Miller Band, "Strange Magic" by ELO, "You Can Do Magic" by America, and Nina Simone's "I Put a Spell on You".
Fri, 26 October 2012
Podcast Episode 203 :: "Read Between the Lines..." - Exploring HBO's Brilliant Polica Drama THE WIRE (Part II)
As promised, here is part two of our epic discussion of HBO's The Wire. From the towers, to the terrace, to every corner in West Baltimore — Adrian and I dig in.
This one covers most of season four and also, season five, the final season. And I gotta say, watching the last episode of the last season was tough. It was like saying goodbye to a new best friend I had made at summer camp — on the very last day of camp. Bittersweet...
As established on part one, these shows are super spoilerific. You have been warned!
Mon, 15 October 2012
Podcast Episode 202 :: "Listen Carefully..." - Exploring HBO's Brilliant Police Drama THE WIRE (Part I)
(WARNING: Due to spoilerific content, listener discretion is advised.)
About a month ago, Swain and I plowed through all five seasons of HBO's The Wire. Disc by disc.
"What took you guys so long?!"
I hear you yelling. But I think I speak for both of us when I say that we had reservations regarding the nigh-universal and perpetual acclaim that the series garners. Could it live up to the hype? Five seasons later — yes!
From some of The Wire's most memorable characters (Jimmy McNulty, Omar Little, Stringer Bell, Snoop), to the behind the scenes production, to our favorite quotes; Swain and I delve fully into the world of West Baltimore.
And again, if you have not seen the show and plan to, I highly recommend you save these episodes until after you do (trust).
Like the epic scope of the series itself, we'll deliver our conversation to you guys in two parts. In other words, we're dropping off "that good package". So step on it and get your fix.
Mon, 8 October 2012
Pascal Campion is the definition of prolific. As a matter of fact, if you look the word up on dictionary.com, it hyperlinks to his website (kidding). Sarcasm aside, this man does his thing, he does it well, and he does it a lot! His friend Anthony Vu says he has over a 1000 Campion images saved on his computer. And Vu received all of them via email — one day at a time.
I became a stalker fan of Pascal's work like most of you did. Somehow, I stumbled across his sketch-a-day drawings and simply fell in love. And I mean that. I started going to his blog daily to check for them. It became a bit of an obsession!
If you aren't familiar with Pascal's art, specifically his sketches, they're the best. These colorful slices of life that are superbly rendered and warmly captured. Turns out, Pascal is a listener to the podcast, which is always flattering to hear. We're humbled to say the least when artists, especially great artists, enjoy the talks.
Two new Campion books out this year: Papa c'est Moi, a family-focused collection of his work, and Sunny Side - The Art of Pascal Campion. The latter is a bigger book, we hear, and has way more in it in terms of the "how". Click and buy if you wanna soak up his goodness in hardcopy form.
To Pascal, my friend: I appreciate your putting up with my feeble attempts to affect a French accent during the interview. I wanted to impress you, but I suspect I missed. (C'est la vie?) Either way, thanks for coming on the show and chatting with us. Dwight and I enjoyed it immensely.
**Anthony Vu produced a short video on Pascal and his art. Take a look here.
Tue, 25 September 2012
"DJ, please ... pick up the phone, I'm on the request line!" — Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three
Today's topic is "milestones", and two hundred podcasts is definitely a milestone for the three of us. We not only didn't think we'd ever get here, we never even thought about getting here! We just took it a step at a time, a day at a time. And so...
Thank you to everyone who called in for the Listener Call-In Show. It was made special only by your presence. And a huge thanks to everyone who has ever downloaded an epsiode, sent an email, posted a comment, made a donation, or said "hello" to us at a con or event. Every single interaction we've had with you all has meant a lot to us.
You are friends. You are the 'Nation.
Hope you enjoy listening to episode 200. And as several callers warmly wished us during the recording — here's to 200 more!
- DWiGHT, SWAiN & ADRiAN
Tue, 18 September 2012
As we waited to hear from the 'Nation — the three Amigos, the Siblings, Dwight, Swain and Adrian — decided to reflect a little. Basically, it was our normal intro for episode 200, but we went deeper. You know — how the show got started, what we thought then versus what we think now, changes along the way.
And it only seemed right after listening to the audio to give that reflection its own space. Besides, we got so many great calls and heard from so many of you, you all deserved your own space, too.
So, we hope you enjoy this little apéritif. Coming up next, the main course!