Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dan Slott The Spider Man Exit Interview





Hours ago, Dan Slott called me up at 430am and said "Hey let's do a podcast. Today is my last day writing Spider-Man ."

Issue 801 is out today, and Dan wanted to look back at significant Spidey Arcs character moments collaborations and more .

Friday, June 15, 2018

Tini Howard On Writing Rick And Morty Comics Assasinistas and Hack Slash









Great to welcome Tini Howard to word balloon. Tini is killing it writing Rick and Morty comics for Oni Press. Her stories match the irreverent comedy of the tv show and we discuss her past and future R&M stories .

We also talk in depth about Assasinistas her IDW/Black Crown series with the legendary Gilbert Hernandez . It's another fun action comedy about hit-women who were carefree killers in the 20s dealing with getting older while still trying to be contractors in the modern era.

Tini also talks about her current run on Hack Slash, Tim Seeley's hilarious horror comedy

The Legacy Of George Carlin-With Kelly Carlin





Ten years ago this month George Carlin passed away . His daughter Kelly joins us to talk about her father's incredible career and the release of a new DVD box set the explores the comedian's comedic evolution. From his "Mad Men" clean cut persona in the early 60s, his seven dirty words observational period of the 70s and 80s to his eventual "angry old man" pieces and of the 90s thru the 2000s. 
The set also contains never released material from all the various eras of Carlin's career fom 60s variety shows to 80s tv pilots and live footage from the 2000s of Carlin working out material at comedey clubs.
Kelly is a fellow podcaster and gives us her unique observations of her father's legacy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Will Dennis - JH Williams - Wendy Wright Williams : Where We Live



Where We Live is The Image Comics anthology in tribute to the victims and survivors of The Las Vegas Shootings .Today's episode feature conversations with some of the creative forces behind the project.

First Editor Will Dennis is back to talk about his work on the book, plus we catch up on his current work as a freelance editor for some of the best creator owned comics being made today with creators like Brina Azzarello Eduardo Risso Jeff Lemire Scott Snyder and more. You'll also hear memories of working with the legendary Joe Kubert on some of his final works.

Then JH Williams and Wendy Wright Williams talk about putting Where We Live together.
We talk about The Las Vegas Comics Community and share some of the incredible stories in the Anthology . 

Comedian Phil Proctor :His new Podcast-Show Biz Stories & Incredible Encounters



Comedy Legend Phil Proctor of The Firesign Theater is back to share more stories from his career in films, television, sketch comedy albums and animation voice overs .

Phil has a new podcast of stories from his show biz career- The Proctor Podcast which debuted last friday .

He shares encounters with fellow funnymen Harry Anderson Phil Hendre and Phil Hartman, working on The Hunt For Red October, The origins of the Firesign Theater on radio and hilarious memories of 60s protesting with Peter Fonda.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

I made a guest appearence on the Radio Girl Podcast

 Radiogirl Podcast

My friend Margaret Larkin has been interviewing Chicago Radio broadcasters for almost 10 years.
I was very flattered she asked me to talk about my radio and podcasting careers. You can listen here or download the episode by right clicking the link.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Dan Brereton Talks Nocturnals &The Return Of The Bat-Verse Thrillkiller Stories



Word Balloon welcomes artist extraordinaire Dan Brereton back for a fun conversation . Dan chats about his career from his work creating The Nocturnals series to his spin on the Dick Grayson Barbra Gordon Love Affair "Batman : Thrillkiller" co created with Howard Chaykin. Think Grayson as Elvis and Barbara Gordon as Ann-Margaret

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Stuart Immonen Retrospective



Big news yesterday that Stuart and Kathryn Immonen are stepping away from comics for awhile. Let's look back on my conversations with Stuart about Nextwave, Ultimate Spider-Man, Fear Itself, His Superman run as writer and artist , The Final Night and many other projects with Warren Ellis Matt Fraction Brian Bendis and Kurt Busiek among others.

A Kathryn Immonen Retrospective



Sort of shocking news yesterday that Comic creators Kathryn and Stuart Immonen are stepping away from the industry for awhile to focus on non comics projects.

Stuart is getting the majority of the coverage, but Kathryn has always been a strong writer with great stories about Hellcat Agent Carter X-men Runaways and her creator owned projects with Stuart like the WW2 spy adventure Moving Pictures .

We look back to our word balloon coversations with Kathryn

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Michael Kupperman's All The Answers 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."

Jesse 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 campaign 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 (Twisted Sister Front-Man ) 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 previous 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