DECOMPRESSED 027: BECKY CLOONAN ON BY CHANCE OR PROVIDENCE

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In this very special podcast, I’m joined by Eisner-award winner Becky Cloonan.

Becky’s career dances between what we could term the mainstream and what we could term the alternative, never resting, never finding a home, but never once seeming uncomfortable. I’ve loved her since the Jennie Zero graphic novel with Brian Wood, and never done anything to make me feel otherwise about her work. Today, we’re talking about her self-published trilology of short comics – Wolves, The Mire and Demeter, which are being collected into an expanded hardback under the name By Chance Or Providence.

However, I do warn you, This really is a very special podcast in a very real and not particularly complimentary way. The skype recording went amazingly haywire, randomly double-tracking Becky and losing me for ten minutes at a time, before returning to normal. I’ve actually done a massive editing job, re-interjecting questions and similar. It just about hangs together.

Just about.

The three minicomics are available to buy directly from Becky, as well as digitally through comixology . Also the expanded collection of all three is available to Pre-order presently.

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.

Study Aids

WOLVES

Wolves Front Page
One of the front pages for Wolves. Immediately the mood is set. I love the complicity in the fourth-wall breaking.

Wolves title page
The first image of the story proper, and a flash forward.

Wolves page 2
The furthest-forward in time sequences.

Wolves 18 Panel
Close on the alternative art style for the flashback sequence to the earliest periods.

THE MIRE
The Mire Title Page
First image in the Mire. One bit I lost in the recording was talking about how the neutrality of this is very understated first time through the book, which alters with later knowledge. White space is key here.

The Mire Collage
The Mire Collage 2
The much-discussed collage/romance sequence.

DEMETER
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The image in Demeter before the story. Way to set the mood, y’know?

Demeter Peering through window and SHHH
Dialogue behind windows.

Demeter shhhh
The segue from the shh of the sea to “Shush”.

THINGS MENTIONED?
Pre-order for By Chance Or Providence
Selkies!

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

DECOMPRESSED 026: ANTONY JOHNSTON ON THE FUSE #1

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This time I’m joined by Antony Johnston. Antony previously appeared in Decompressed 15, talking about THE COLDEST CITY. But that was in front of an audience at Game City, so we were on our best behaviour. This time we’re mumbling on Skype, as is a comic creators preferred form of communication. Except passive-aggression, obv. Anyway! Antony’s career as a writer is divided between his work in Games and Comic. In comics, until recently his signature work was the post-apocalyptic series WASTELAND. That may be changing, as he’s recently launched two new series via Image. The first, UMBRAL is an excellent Dark Fantasy book. The second, and the subject of today’s discussion is, THE FUSE, his book with Justin Greenwood, Shari Chankamma and Ed Brisson.

The Fuse is available to buy in your local comic shop, as well as digitally through comixology and direct from Image.

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.

Study Aids

Page 1
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Page 2
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Page 3, Panels 4 and 5
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Page 4 and 5
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Page 6 and 7
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Page 8
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Page 19, Panels 1 – 3
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THINGS MENTIONED?
One point perspective in Kubrick.
German Consultant to everyone in UK Comics and artist, Julia Scheele.
Iron Wok Jan
Frank Ironwine

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

DECOMPRESSED 025: THE YOUNG AVENGERS AFTERPARTY PANEL

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In picture, from top left, clockwise: Annie Wu, Kieron Gillen, Christian Ward, Matt Wilson, Jamie McKelvie, Joe Quinnones, Becky Cloonan, Ming Doyle, Tiny Emma Vieceli.

At this year’s always excellent Thought Bubble, an odd opportunity presented itself. Our final issues of Young Avengers were what’s oft referred to as “Jam Issues.” In other words, multiple artists telling a single story. By an odd quirk of fate, all the artists and most of the colourists were going to the same con. In other words, we could totally do a panel together about the experience.

And lo! There was a people’s revolutionary meeting gathering.

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Photo via Abigail Brady

There was one problem. The issues in question weren’t out yet, and we were incredibly sensitive over spoiling stuff. So as well as swearing everyone to secrecy, we were pretty obtuse in terms of what we did talk about. This makes this a quite hard one to follow without looking at the slides you’ll find below. You’ll see they were – er – often edited. If you have read the issue, it’ll probably be easier to flick through each artist’s section when they talk. If you don’t own it, it’s available digitally.

There’s another problem. This is recorded by my microphone in the middle of the room, and the sound is crapper than usual. I’m really not joking.

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.

Study Aids
YOUNG AVENGERS AFTERPARTY SLIDES
(In a handy PDF format)
These slides were done the morning of the event. The program crashed three times, losing all the work. They’re not exactly masterworks, shall we say.

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

DECOMPRESSED 024: AN AUDIENCE WITH ED BRUBAKER AND SEAN PHILLIPS

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Recently, I was asked by the great GOSH comics whether I’d be interested in hosting an audience with Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips about their work together. As if I was going to turn that down, eh?

And they let me record it to play to you lot.

We cover everything from their earliest work together, to the hardest scenes in the latest issue, from working with colourists, who really is a tracer, taste, storytelling choices in the Image age versus the grids, adding or removing panels, teasing and more.

Hope you find it interesting.

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.

Study Aids
We talk widely rather than specifically about scenes. However, there are a few exceptions. Here they are…

Some of Sean’s Pencils
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The first page of Sleeper…
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From the latest Fatale…
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And if you haven’t seen much of Ed and Sean’s work, here’s some previews from recent issues of FATALE…
A Preview
Another Preview
A further Preview.
And another Preview.

Links To Stuff We Talk About
Adventures In The Screen Trade – William Goldman

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

DECOMPRESSED 023: DUBLIN INTERNATIONAL COMICS EXPO “COMICS ARE FOR EVERYONE” PANEL

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Photo via David Ferguson. Jordie turned up later, as she was getting an apple.

Decompressed is a sporadic podcast about comics craft. Rather than our usual format, this is a recording from the Dublin Internation Comics Expo. All the paneling was excellent, but we got special permission to run this one, as we were all buzzing about it. Go follow DICE on twitter to get updates about when the rest go live (and follow them on facebook too). It’s the Comics Are For Everyone panel, which is basically us discussing diversity. Who is talking? Jordie Bellaire, Becky Cloonan, Paul Cornell, Emma Vieceli, yours truly and Declan Shavley.

It had so much energy, I had to share.

The topic is enormous. We race to include as much as we can, and fail badly. Ideas come rushing out. People put positions forward that by the chat after the panel they’ve changed their minds about. It’s fluid, but fluid like lava. As I was on this panel, I moved between from red hot anger to complete and utter love for everyone who’s ever lived.

Listen. Hope you find it interesting.

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.

Links To Stuff We Talk About
The kids response to the Cheerios advert.
Red Sonya Covers.

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

DECOMPRESSED 021: AL EWING ON MIGHTY AVENGERS #1

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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.

AND STUDY AIDS!

Page 2, panel 1
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Page 3
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Page 4
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Page 7
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Page 8
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Page 12
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Page 19, Panel 1
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Page From Iron Man 8 We Talked About
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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.

DECOMPRESSED 020: ANKA, DOYLE AND MCKELVIE ON COSTUME DESIGN

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Decompressed is a sporadic podcast about comics craft. This time I’m talking to Kris Anka, Ming Doyle and Jamie McKelvie to talk about the art of character design. It’s a visual medium, so this stuff is absolutely paramount. Ming’s designs are central to her wonderful MARA with Brian Wood, Kirs’ designs are all over X-Force and McKelvie has (damn him) has sent more cosplayers rushing to their sewing machines than any artist working today. We cover the whole topic, in terms of how they specifically approach the choice, their favourite designs, the question of plausibility, specific costume designers, Emma Frost’s clothes pyre, my inability to say “Segue”, the horrific idea of how I’d redesign Batman and on and on and on. Join us! It’s not rubbish.

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.

AND STUDY AIDS!

KRIS ANKA

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(This isn’t one of Kris’ actual designs, but we talk about it a little, so thought best to include it.)

MING DOYLE

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mara03

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JAMIE MCKELVIE

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The Project Rooftop designs of
Kris
Ming
Jamie

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

DECOMPRESSED 019: BETTIE BREITWEISER AND MATT WILSON ON COMICS COLOUR

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Decompressed returns, with a difference. This time we’re talking to Bettie Breitweiser and Matt Wilson, two of my favourite colourists about their work, primarily related to FATALE 14 and WONDER WOMAN 20. If there’s any one part of collaborative comics’ creative engine that is underdiscussed and misunderstood, it’s colouring. It’s always been important, and in the last decade, it’s only become more so.

You can buy Fatale 14 and Wonder Woman 20 from your local comic shop, or digitally. Fatale is here and Wonder Woman is 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.

AND STUDY AIDS!

FATALE 14

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Page 2
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Page 3
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WONDER WOMAN 20

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Page 2
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Page 3
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Our theme tune? Los Campesinos’ We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed.

DECOMPRESSED 018: JASON LATOUR ON WINTER SOLDIER 15

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This decompressed we talk to artist/writer Jason Latour about the process of starting his first ongoing run for Marvel, on WINTER SOLDIER 15.

Is that a worryingly prosaic and sensible intro for Decompressed? Don’t worry. It was recorded in a busy cafe in November, the day after a con, and features our minds wandering over such stuff as ads in Breaking Bad, UP-as-serial-killer, the Dukes of Hazard as founding influence, love of old white dudes AND we have a guest appearance from Ivan Brandon, snoozing. This isn’t a podcast. This is a defining cultural moment for a generation.

Actually, it’s a podcast.

You can Winter Soldier from your local comic shop, or online digitally.

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

Or you could just sit here on this tab in your browser and use your embed. I won’t judge you.

(Only you can judge you, Mr Judge.)

AND STUDY AIDS!

Page 1
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Page 1 (Alt Version from Image Map)
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Image Map (Low Res)
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Page 3
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Page 4
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Page 11
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Page 14-15
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Page 20
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Stuff we briefly mention includes THE GILLEN MCKELVIE PARADIGM and this page by Dustin Weaver.

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

DECOMPRESSED 017: SAM HUMPHRIES ON UNCANNY X-FORCE #1 AND SACRIFICE #4

This Decompressed is like turning up to a gunfight and discovering the dude’s got two guns and you have to (er) dodge both bullets? I was originally going to do a sex metaphor, and thought better of it. Extrapolate for yourself. ANYWAY! Writer Sam Humphries has two comics this week, and I thought a compare and contrast could be interesting. UNCANNY X-FORCE #1 with Ron Garney is a relaunch as part of the Marvel NOW initiative. SACRIFICE #4 with Dalton Rose isn’t just creator owned – but actually self-published, moving towards its conclusion. How do the two experiences work? There’s got to be something to talk about there. And lo and behold, there was.

You can buy both from your local comic shop, or online at digital comic shops (Here’s X-Force’s comixology page and here’s Sam’s page to point at all the places you can buy Sacrifice, online and off).

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

And if you’re very still, and look down, you may spot the embed in its natural habitat, just below. Be careful. Don’t startle it.

Oh, that’s beautiful. That’s just beautiful.

AND STUDY AIDS!

Sacrifice Pages 4-5

Sacrifice Page 12

Sacrifice’s Indicia

Uncanny X-force, Page 1.

Uncanny X-force, Page 2-3

Uncanny X-force, Page 9, Panel 1

Uncanny X-force, Page 13, Panel 1

And we talk about more “other” stuff than normal.

Here’s my Decimation speech from Thought Bubble.
Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest by Mathew Restall.
which Sam recommends.
Timeline: Invention is the cardgame I mention.
The Royal Tenenbaums, which you’ve probably seen but it pays to be comprehensive.
Sam’s Mohawk Storm tumblr.
Battles Without Honor And Humanity, as curated by Sloane Leong, as written up by David Brothers. I thought Sam said Sonia Leong, and was actually entirely unaware of the exhibition, which looked like it was fucking great.

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