Thursday, May 24, 2018

Michael Kupperman's By The Numbers Looks at His Dad's Reluctant Childhood Fame



What Happens when a Child Media Celebrity doesn't want to be famous ? Kupperman's new graphic novel is a serious look at his father's years as a childhood star of Old Time Radio's The Quiz Kids. The weekly Chicago based radio and TV program was hugely successful in the war years and early 1950s.

Joel Kupperman joined the show as a math prodigy at age 6 but never enjoyed the fame game. It so embittered him, that he dropped Math as a pursuit and refused to talk about his 9 years of fame. As described in the amazon entry

"In this moving graphic memoir, Eisner Award-winning writer and artist Michael Kupperman traces the life of his reclusive father—the once-world-famous Joel Kupperman, Quiz Kid. That his father is slipping into dementia—seems to embrace it, really—means that the past he would never talk about might be erased forever...With wit and heart, Michael Kupperman presents a fascinating account of mid-century radio and early television history, the pro-Jewish propaganda entertainment used to counteract anti-Semitism, and the early age of modern celebrity culture."

Jessie Blaze Snider Crowns The King Of Kings In A Rock Parody Graphic Novel



Jesse Blaze Snider brings his brand of humor in this new graphic novel. The Rocker's new GN is a hilarious comment on Religion by way of a musical reality show competition His indie go go campain is underway. He talks about the unique way he's promoting the project including some hilarious music videos of himself as Jesus and his dad Dee (Twistd Sister Frontman ) Snider as The Norse God King Odin . The two also plan a summertime live music event at The Whiskey A Go Go in LA with other music guests.
We also talk about Jesse's prrevious comic book stories for DC BOOM! and Dynamite Comics doing stories about Batman, The Muppets Toy Story and Brian Pulido's Evil Ernie

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Charles Soule His New Novel Plus Wolverine X-Men Star Wars & Daredevil

Charles is back to promote his debut novel The Oracle Year. A real world look at what happens when an honest to god prophet starts correctly predicting the future and how the reliogious political and social cultures respond .

Plus we talk about his hilarious Image Series Curs Words With Ryan Browne .
Then its all abut his Marvel takes on Daredevil The X-men's ressurection of Charles Xavier , The Hunt For Wolverine and his star wars books. In in depth discussion of Darth Vader and how the Peo Dameron book is pushing the official star wars saga forward with plots tha happened after the events of The Last Jedi !


Peter Milligan Serving Time With Titan's The Prisoner



Great chance to catch up with the celebrated writer of X-Static, Human Target, and Shade The Changing Man to talk about his new books including a new story set in The Prisoner Universe created by Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein in 1966. The new Titan series has started with a great combination of modern espionage action and strong ties to the original series.
We also get into details about his IDW Black Ctown series Kid Lobotomy and Vailliant's Ancient Roman detetctive series Britania and more.


Monday, May 14, 2018

#SaveLucifer The Series Finale and hopeful future with Showrunner Joe Henderson

Lucifer Showrunner Joe Henderson is back with a spoiler filled look at the series finale. We get into the character arcs of season 3 and the excellent performances and storytelling the cats and crew created this year.

We also discuss the save lucifer campaign fans launched by Lucie Fans and the distinct possibility that Henderson Tom Ellis and company can continue the story to a more satisfying conclusion.

You'll hear Joe's plans for a season 4, the fates of charcters who seemed to "die" and the potential directions the story can go in.


Friday, May 04, 2018

it's Word Balloon's Anniversary month! here are some early WB conversations

On May 10th 2005 I created Word Balloon and debuted with 4 posted MP3 conversations on my website. By Sept 2005 a listener suggested I start posting my show at iTunes and the rest is history. Then in September 2006, iTunes deleted my original RSS feed and I had to re-post many interviews from the the first 17 months of the podcast.

I've been slowly re-posting many episodes, and to celebrate this month going into the podcast's 14th year, here a several all star episodes from the early WB period.

First Max Allan Collins who was interviewed for a crime comics documentary that never finished production recorded in December 2004.

Next a June 2005 talk with the incredible Colleen Doran . This was recorded within word balloon's first few weeks of existence. We talked a lot about her creator owned series A Distant Soil and Her Vertigo Collaboartion with Warren Ellis Orbiter about a crashed NASA space shuttle


Here's Paul Jenkins talking Spider-Man Hulk and other projects from December 2005.


Rags Morales was very candid about his work on Identity Crisis with Brad Meltzer and other DC projects.

and finally here's the first time Brian Michael Bendis came on the show. This was January 2006, two months before the first Bendis Tapes



Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ryan Browne / Howard Chaykin Two Rebels In The Comic Book Industry

Today a great double feature with 2 distinct creators who are making creator owned comics their own way. First Ryan Browne is back with a new volume of God Hates Astronauts . The first volume was a massive kickstarter success. 
Ryan dipped his toe in the Image comics world and has decided to leave image and do his new volume using kickstarter once again. He explains why he's made this choice and what kickstarter looks like today . His new volume 3-D Cowboy's 2-D Spectacular. Is drawn by an all-star group of guest artists. The current campaign ends in less than  a week 
We also discuss his current Image collaboration with Charles Soule Curse Words , the crazy promotional tour they took last summer for the book, and a new creator owned project with Steve Seeley and Jim Terry called Trash Bridge they are currently hand selling at conventions.
Then we catch up with Howard Chaykin who’s been making his style of creator owned comics for decades.
His Divided States Of Hysteria lived up to its name with a flurry of critiques that frowned on his combination of exploitive smutty crime fiction action. We discuss today’s comic reader environment and how he’s dealing with it.
We also discuss his wickedly awesome take on today’s celebrity culture in the social media landscape with DC’s The Ruff And Reddy Show -A twisted Hanna Barbera reboot where the 50’s characters try to make a comeback and face the real world media circus at its exploitive worst. Beautifully drawn by Mac Rey.
He also has a new project in the works at Image called Hey Kids Comics which he describes as a Mad Men look at the comic book industry’s history. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Paul Cornell -Doctor Who & Wild Cards-Sara Richard & Franco's The Ghost The Owl

A double feature today. First Sara Richard and Franco talk about their atmospheric and delightful The Ghost The Owl a new children's graphic novel from Action Lab. You'll hear about Sara's start as a sculptor for Hasbro working on some popular franchises.





Then Paul Cornell is back to talk about his Target novelization of Twice Upon A Time, Peter Capadi's Doctor Who finale which was the Christmas Special crossover with the 1st Doctor. It's Paul's final word on the Whoverse, as he focues on only writing his original characters.


Plus new projects including short stories in the two latest volumes of Wild Cards George RR Martin's fantastic novel series of super beings in the real world. Low Chicago Features Paul's creation The Understudy

And an all Brit Volume of Wild Cards coming this summer, Knaves Over Queens 


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tim Matheson Talks Animal House Johnny Quest West Wing and More



What a treat to speak with the multi talented Tim Matheson. From his Hanna Barbera Animation days as Johnny Quest and Young Sampson To Animal House 1941 The West Wing Burn Notice to last year's Jumanji reboot, Tim is still killing it in front of the camera. He's also been directing and producing since the 1980s and we talk about his Film and TV work behind the scenes on things like The West Wing Burn Notice and Fox's Lucifer.
Tim has thoughts on co-staring with Hollywood Legends like John Belushi, Henry Fonda Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason and the multi talented voice actors of Hanna Barbera's golden age like Mel Blanc Don Messick and others. We talk about his association with National Lampoon beyond the films, when Tim was a co-owner of the brand trying to return the Magazine back to it's comedy strengths. 
Tim also goes into details about some of his iconic roles like Otter in Animal House, Dead Larry On Burn Notice and Vice President John Hoynes on The West Wing , and his thoughts on today's many TV and Film streaming platforms. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Green Lantern Reboot & Invisible Republic With Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman



So glad to welcome Gabe and Corinna back to praise their latest efforts. Green Lantern Earth One is a great new spin on the GL origin, with real surprises suspense and a great launching point to tell future stories. 

We also get into their first 3 volumes of Invisible Republic a great complex political sci-fi story that despite first coming out in 2015 resonates more in today's US climate. 


Friday, March 30, 2018

Svengoolie -The Secret Origin Of Rich Koz

Today Rich Koz aka Horror Host Svengoolie . A Chicago TV institution now a national celeb thanks to MeTV. Rich started as Svengoolie in 1979 when every big city  still had local television entertainment . Every weekend he’d host a classic or cheesy horror film and do jokes parody songs and comedy sketches inbetween film scenes. He was there after the original horror hosts of the 50s and 60s like Vampira and Ghoulari but Well before Elvira and Mystery Science Theater 3000. As Rich points out each show has its own style.

We talk about how he makes his show the movies and celeb guests and shout outs he’s recived from many pop culture stars. We also get into our mutual love of the 3 stooges and stooge mysteries like The Fake Shemp films. Catch Svengoolie every Saturday night at 8pm Eastern on MeTV

Breaking Into Comics With Andy Schmidt and Travis McIntire

Andy is the president of the Comics Experience? online school, and a former editor at Marvel and IDW. Travis is the president of Source Point Press. They've joined forces to creat a new line of comics debuting at C2E2 and wil be holding a launch panel at the con, and will be available for portfolio consultations and reviews all weekend.
Their books are Achilles Inc. by Andy Schmidt, Daniel Maine, Francesca Zambon, and ET Dollman; Wretched Things by Devon Wong and Ken Perry; The Family Graves by Tim Bach, Brian Atkins, et al; and Grief by Frank Gogol and various artists.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Gerry Duggan On Deadpool's Bucket List Marvel and Analog his new Image Series

Great to have Gerry Duggan back to talk about his meteoric rise at Marvel comics. His Deadpool run is coming to a close, but should be noted as Marvel's top selling trade collections behind Star Wars books. Pretty great, along side his avengers Hulk and Guradians stories.
Gerry is also starting anew Image series Analog with artist David O'Sullivan a cool spy series in the near future where online information has over saturated our society. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mathew Clark A Freelance Life - Doom Patrol Superman Felon Outsiders & More



Mathew Clark joins us to tell his comic book origin story, and highlights from his exceptional career. From Collaborations with Greg Rucka Judd Winick and Keith Giffen to his thoughts on Star Trek 

Friday, March 09, 2018

Tom King The Batman Catwoman Wedding Countdown & Mr Miracle's Private Hell

It's a new edition of The King's Speech and DC writer Tom King has a lot on his mind to discuss.We talk about Batman-issue 42 just dropped and in the midst of a Poison Ivy story I get name dropped in the middle of the book. Plus Joelle Jones just released her designs for Catwoman's wedding dress. Is this epic Batman/Catwoman  marriage really happening? We catch up on all the current Batman story arcs and future ones leading up to the wedding.

Then we look at Mr Miracle where we're mid-story on Tom and Mitch Gerads epic yarn. What is happening to Scott Free? A fever dream? A Darkseid plot? A New Gods version of Purgatory or Hell? How does the world's greatest escape artist get out of this one?
Plus more details on Tom's upcoming Sanctuary stories that will delve into the DC Universe Heroes and Villains psyches dealing with post traumatic disorders stemming for their near world ending experiences. Many thoughts on Comic Book History from The DC Silver Age, Thoughts on Stan Lee Jack Kirby Superman 1000 and more.




Friday, March 02, 2018

Joe Henderson Talks Lucifer Season 3 and his new Image Book Skyward

The Fox TV show runner takes us behind the scenes of the show & His New Comic Book


TV writer Joe Henderson is kicking ass with Fox's Lucifer. Season 3 is chugging along with the same energy its had since season one, plus the show got a creative shot in the arm casting Smalllville's Tom Welling as a new adversary for Lucifer . We get a good look at season 3 from Joe.
Plus he's written his first comic book debuting April 18th from Image. Skyward is a great take on a not so future Earth that has become a low gravity paradise and nightmare. We discuss the new book with Joe.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Rucka Debrief Superman Wonder Woman Lazarus Black Magick & The Culture Wars



It's been way too long since our last chat, but Greg catches us up on his creator owned books, thoughts on DC, the current culture wars and more 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Dana Gould On Adapting Rod Serlings Planet Of The Apes Screenplay For Boom!

There are Planet Of The Apes Fans and then there's comedian Dana Gould, who's die-hard devotion to the franchise has influenced his imagination and comedy since first seeing the films as a child. Gould's love of the franchise has included his own parodies portraying Dr Zauis in full costume and make-up on Turner Classic Movies on live comedy shows, and last week at USC's screening and Q&A to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the film's release. 
Gould is adapting Rod Serling's original 1964 screenplay as a graphic novel for BOOM! Studios later this year with artist Chad Lewis.


Serling's original ideas for the film had a very different look and tone from the 1968 classic starring Charlton Heston Roddy McDowell Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans.


Dana talks about the broadstroke differences between the stories, his deep affection for the Marvel Comics b/w Apes Magazine, and many thoughts on the original 5 Apes Films. Plus memories of writing for the Simpsons The Ben Stiller Show and creating his IFC horror comedy series Stan Against Evil. 

Friday, February 09, 2018

The Bendis Tapes-Leaving Marvel Joining DC Superman and a near death experience



Whew! Brian Michael Bendis has had a rollercoaster ride for the last 3 months... 

First he's leaving Marvel after 18 internet breaking years wrapping things up on his creations like Miles Morales (Spider-Man)  Riri Williams (Ironheart) and Jessica Jones .


Then he joined  DC to start a game changing run on Superman, creating a new DC imprint, and moving his Jinxworld titles (Scarlett, Taki-O, Powers) to the new company.


Then he faced a very serious health issue being infected with a septic MRSA infection nearly blinding and killing him (no hyperbole).


Thankfully he's getting better every day, and has joined Word Balloon Host John Siuntres in this marathon conversation. 


We'll get lots of details about how he sees Superman, Clark Kent, Lois and his whole supporting cast. You'll hear details about Action 1000 featuring his first Superman story, drawn by the legendary Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, The DC Nation special issue with stories by Bendis Scott Snyder and Tom King, his 6 weekly issues of Man Of Steel and writing Action and Superman . 


You'll also hear about Brian's health scare that nearly cost him his life, the courage and strength of his wife Alissa, and  great tales of support from Brian's best friends in comics, the fans, and many creators editors and publishers in the entire comics community. 


Here are some highlights from the talk


On leaving Marvel at this particular time-


"Legacy felt like these stories could be the "last stories" for these characters Riri Miles and Jessica...(Executive Editor) Tom Brevort came to me with offers to write Deadpool & Wolverine and some other big projects. Tom was being ambitious, but it felt like the mountain had already been climbed. "


"It was sad to write to my friends at Marvel that I had to go, because they're still my friends ... I was worried about my relationship with Joe (Quesada) because Joe is awesome. There was nothing to worry about . We're great."


"CB Cebulski being named EIC at Marvel brings me such joy, but I'm not part of it. I do know with CB there, what I helped build with Marvel will be maintained and thrive. What else could I ask for?" 


"I know people are tuning in to hear me say something bad about Marvel, but I gotta say there's no drama or gossip. I heard both company's plans for the future and they're both very good. There's more that I can accomplish with what DC was offering . There's more partnership involved. A deep partnership that Marvel, you know...they're not in that business right now. "


"I am of the unpopular belief that DC and Marvel are not in competition. They're in the same business keeping the medium alive...friendly competition will bring great products." 


"It did feel to me that we (The comics industry) needed some more of this stirring of the pot right now, and if I got off my ass, maybe others will get off their asses which seems to be going on and that makes me happy. "



On DC Publisher Dan DiDio's  offer to come over and a secret storyline Easter egg -


"Dan came to me with his master plan ...DiDio has plans for the publishing market that are unbelievable. He knows what he needs to implement the plan and I couldn't jump on fast enough...


"I like Dan a great deal... He texted me saying ' I have a creative challenge for you.'

It's something about the 80's which you'll see in my work later in the year , because I did accept his challenge . I texted back - You and I would've been friends in high school." 

On Taking over Superman instead of Batman 


" I said to Dan if Superman is available sometime in my contract , I want to take a shot at it. I think he thought I was going to ask for Batman...but I think Batman is well taken care of. Not That Superman isn't as well, the Mr Oz story is phenomenal, but one was pulling to me more. Dan said 'We're gonna start a new direction with Action 1000. What a great place to land you and say this is part of the legacy and how much we believe in it. ' ... I would literally have to start writing for DC the day after I finished writing for Marvel, but we could do it." 


On Moving his Jinxworld books to DC DC Imprint.


(For the Jinxworld line if books, this isn't just publishing my work and hoping for the best. They're treating the books as their own. There's a marketing campaign and a distribution campaign . It gives us an unheard of 2nd chance to get Jinxworld up and running at a level it should have been running at the entire time, which is more robust. We'll have Scarlett Vol 3 and The Powers Graphic Novel, and announce new books about a month from now (At Emerald City Comic-Con) featuring some really big collaborators people will be really excited about." 


Will Bendis write for DC Television shows or DCU Films

"At the moment I am not. The things I'm doing in TV and film haven't been announced yet but they are happening, and very exciting."

Plus more details about Bendis's new DC imprint 


behind the scenes stories at DC about the Superman Shorts debate,


The 2003 Batman/Daredevil Crossover (co written with Ed Brubaker) that almost happened. 


Tales from an ill fated all-star Superman Parade from years past in Cleveland, that was supposed to raise funds to build a Superman Museum 

and much more




Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Fred Van Lente On Action Presidents The Comic Book History Of Comics and More

Fred is back to discuss Action Presidents, the new spin on history entertainment from him and Ryan Dunlavey. They remind us how great some of our leadesr have been , starting with true adventures of the Father Of Our Country. 
We also discuss The Comic Book History Of Comics now in color with additional material covering the women of comics and the international contributions to the medium.