As y’all know, I’m a comics process nerd. I like in-depth interviews with writers, artists, store owners, editors, and anyone comics-adjacent. So you can imagine my delight when I found David Harper’s Off Panel – an interview podcast that discusses all things comics with people both inside and adjacent to the industry.
Each Monday, Harper talks with a different comics creator (or other guest) about their work, often including their comic book origin story and what that creator’s up to right now. But Harper also goes deep on each creator’s process and outside interests, and sometimes, he releases episodes that look at the state of comic shops or the industry as a whole, rather than an individual creator’s work.
To convince you that you, too, should be listening to Off Panel, I’ve compiled a list of six of my favorite semi-recent episodes, which include creators, comics, and topics that I love. If you’re a comics process nerd, and you listen to the episodes below, I think you’ll be convinced to add Off Panel to your podcast feed.
For my money, Lazarus is the best comic currently running. Harper got to talk with Lazarus writer Greg Rucka about the book’s upcoming switch to quarterly releases (a fascinating choice), how artist Michael Lark and designer Eric Trautmann help define Lazarus‘s world, and soccer. A whole lot of soccer.
Every so often, Harper brings comic shop owners on to Off Panel to … well, talk shop. In this episode recorded during ComicsPRO 2018, Harper leads a discussion between Big Bang Comics‘s John Hendrick and Third Eye Comics‘s Steve Anderson, in which the shop owners talk store layout, the weird phenomenon that is Rick and Morty, and sales patterns from 2017.
After wrapping up his lengthy run on The Mighty Thor, artist Russell Dauterman stopped by the show to talk about what it means to complete such a long run, his background in art school and character design, his art process (including working with colorist Matt D. Wilson), and what he’s up to next.
BOOM! Studios senior editor Dafna Pleban (who, among other things, oversees the Power Rangers line I love so much) joined Harper to talk about her comic shop origin story, how she moved up through BOOM!’s ranks, what it’s like editing licensed comic books, and her all-consuming love for The Terror television series.
In this episode, Harper talks with fellow comics journalist Oliver Sava (of The A.V. Club) about the state of superhero comics in 2018, including the then-recent news of Geoff Johns’s new DC imprint, Brian Bendis’s start on the Superman books, and what Marvel is even doing.
And finally, Harper talks with Skybound Entertainment head honcho and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman about all things comic books, including Kirkman’s tendency to keep experimenting within the medium he loves. The episode also covers Invincible‘s end and a fascinating letter writer by the name of Andrew J. Shaw.
And that’s the list! If you listen to those six episodes of Off Panel, you’ll get a good sense of what the show’s about, as well as whether it’s for you.
Assuming it is (because you like good things), you can find Off Panel‘s over 170 episode archive here. If you find a favorite episode of your own, be sure to link it in the comments below; I haven’t listened to the full back catalog yet!