Decompressed is a sporadic podcast about comics craft. This time we’re talking to Al Ewing about his writing on the recent Mighty Avengers #1. Our topics include the problems of writing in a crossover, the marvel method, lettering as dubbing, diversity, class, fair pay for a days’ job, the A-list vs the C-list and lots of ums as we try to avoid fucking up.

Want to read the whole thing? It’s available to buy on your local comic shop, or via Comixology here.

You can download the podcast from here. Its webpage RSS page is here. And you can find it on Itunes here.

Or you could use this handy little embed.


Page 2, panel 1

Page 3

Page 4

Page 7

Page 8

Page 12

Page 19, Panel 1

Page From Iron Man 8 We Talked About

Joe Hughes’ Mighty Avengers piece.
Good Hair.
Al Ewing’s Tumblr on Monica’s Hair.
The Mighty Avengers 4 Ronin Cover.

Our theme tune? Los Campesinos’ We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed.

Iconoklastic Kieron Gillen
“Gallant” Gillen
Kataclysmic Kieron Gillen
Kalamitous Kieron Gillen
Konkatenating Kieron Gillen
“Kula Hater” Kieron Gillen
Kagey Kieron Gillen
“kraKOOOOM” Gillen (for Thor, assoc. Kirbygods)
Kooky Kieron Gillen
“Gizmo” Gillen (for Iron Man, etc.)
Kind-Hearted Kieron Gillen
Kiloton Kieron Gillen
K-Dogg and the J-Unit

And I’m spent.

Except to say “Oohh, oohh, oh, money, eh? Money. That’s a bit of a hot topic, ooh, isn’t it? First you’re selling photos of yourself in action, then you’re charging for hero services like a PI, then you’re some kind of privately-financed peripatetic paramilitary organisation, aren’t you, eh? Unless you go for a government contract, ooh, and from there it’s just a seven-league step to being a militarised superhero like the Avengers or Ultimates, or putting on the jumpsuit and joining S.H.I.E.L.D..

“I mean, Bill Watterson, isn’t it?”

Because apparently, I’m Andy Parsons.

I mean, it’s superhero as vocation versus superhero as ~*vOcAtIoN*~, isn’t it? And even poor oul’ Peter Parker was monetising his Spider-gadgets by the end, there (although one suspects it was more about raising him up for a greater fall than pedantically working around the great conceptual flaws of Spider-Man).

It all depends on which metaphor you want to ride, dunnit, and how trenchantly “real” you want things to be. What’s the priority: trying to give your characters a grounding in the real world, or getting around the vulgar business of keeping the meter fed while you biff the bad’ns? I mean, who hoovers the Enterprise, anyway?

How hard you steer into those problems probably determines how fast it all falls apart. Because with great moolah comes great bureaucracy, right? Or possibly greater pettifogging moral complexity.

SpOck being a galloping hypocrite is no surprise. His destiny is to be slapped in the face by the calamari of his own criminality, apparently. He isn’t beholden to Peter’s geis – using his powers for personal gain (although, etc., etc.) – and that’s probably going to be his undoing. Plus he’s wearing shoes!

Still haven’t had a chance to try Marvel Method. Might go for a hybrid on the next short strip, but it’s still a bit of a mental leap for me to separate the dialogue from the rest of the action.

Bon podde. VERY much looking forward to the next one.