Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SPOILER ALERT! Ed Brubaker on Criminal & The New Cap

In this SPOILER FILLED edition of Word Balloon, Captain America writer Ed Brubaker sat down with host John Siuntres and went through the details of the new issue #34, featuring the debut of the New cap. If you haven't read the issue yet and don't want the details spoiled, stay away until you do... But then come back, because they also discuss the release of Criminal Vol 3 LAWLESS from Icon, Ed's creator owned crime comic drawn by Sean Phillips. Some Criminal info disclosed by Bru... The next few issues will be a series of one shot stories featuring minor characters from previous arcs. The article/essays in CRIMINAL's future issues will include an appreciation of EC Comics legendary CRIME SUSPENSE STORIES artist Johnny Craig by Brubaker and Max Allan Collins,. Crime novelist Duane Swierczynski will do an article, and an interview with writer Charles Ardai, the editor of HARD CASE CRIME novels.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

FX CON-The Lives of Brians (Azzarello & Wood)

This week, the Word Balloon podcast will feature coverage from the FX International Convention, held last weekend in Orlando, Fl. Word Balloon host John Siuntres moderated this panel, featuring the two Vertigo writers. Brian Azzarello talks in depth about his ongoing work on 100 Bullets, Loveless, and reflects on past works like Doctor Thirteen, Lex Luthor Man Of Steel, and the differences between writing for the DCU and Vertigo. Brian Wood gives background and details about the work he puts into DMZ and Northlanders , plus he talks about his indie books Demo, and Local. Two private writers who usually hate live interviews slowly open, up and provide an hour of insightful views.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Beware The Fists Of Matt Fraction

Today's Word balloon podcast finds Host John Siuntres in conversation with writer Matt Fraction. They discuss Fraction's Marvel work on Punisher War Journal, The Immortal Iron Fist and his one shot specials, including the sixth issue of Young Avengers Presents, and a special featuring Thor and the Asgard Gods. Fraction also talked about the cancellation of his new team book The Order, drawn by Barry Kittson. Some quotes from Fraction on The Order, which ends with issue #10... "The writing was on the wall... but Marvel was very gracious letting us get off the stage the way we wanted was a great opportunity working with Barry (Kitson), and I can't wait to work with him again." Here are some other highlights from the audio interview ... On Punisher War Journal. "We're going to get serious again with The Punisher The Kraven-Rhino-Vulture fun time arc is over... We're doing two one shots to lead into the jigsaw arc, Howard Chaykin will be doing the art... Punisher War Journal #16 is hands down my favorite comic he's done since he came back to comics...and he's sticking around for the Jigsaw/Lady Punisher arc, so I couldn't be happier." Matt is writing the 6Th Young Avengers Presents book. "It's about The Hawkeyes, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, and will be drawn by Alan Davis. We finally get to see what happens when Hawkeyes collide." Fraction's upcoming Thor special... "These are Tales of Asgard... the cool thing about Ragnarok is there are survivors after the Apocalypse and the cycle continues until the next Ragnarok... the stories explore the different eras of the Norse pantheon ...We'll see what Asgard looks like in the past and the future and what it means to be Thor Odin and Loki these different eras. I hate elves on horseback. They put me to sleep. ...If you're like me and you hate Tolkien but love Frank Frazetta heavy metal album covers, then this is the Thor for you...Leave your D 20 at home, Nerdo, this is a different kind of Thor." The Immortal Iron Fist "The New Special will feature more adventures of Orson Randall The Iron fist of the 1920's & 1930's and the Confederates of The Curious... my god, I get to work with Russ Heath, I wrote a "Cowgirls at war" tribute sequence to his1970's National Lampoon work, and he delivered... Nick Dragota and Mike Allred are doing pages for it too, it's outstanding." On Casanova "The current arc ("When Is Casanova Quinn") goes to #14. Fabio (Moon) is just starting #13 and says it's the best script I've ever given him. #13 is cool because Casanova finally does show up, but in flashback scenes only.We'll see these scenes replayed but extended, and from a different perspective than the first time."

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Loeb Report Part 3

Word Balloon Host John Siuntres continues to ask Marvel writer Jeph Loeb questions provided by the podcast's listeners. In this wrap up to The Loeb Report, Jeph looks back at past projects like Heroes Reborn and his relationship with Rob Liefeld, Batman-Hush, and some unused ideas for All Star Batman and Robin. Here are some transcribed highlights... The Wolverine arc with Simone Bianci was meant to put an end to Sabertooth's killing spree. "I feel like when a villain takes that many lives it diminishes the heroes because of the continued was my intention to try to figure out their relationship, and once you try to define something there will be some people who will disagree with it, and some who say, "oh that's cool." That story isn't done it was supposed to be 12 parts but there was no way with Simone's schedule to get it done, is my hope that we will get together to do the last six, and there may be surprises so people will understand the first six a whole lot better." Why return to onslaught reborn? "The reason we all did O.R. was because Marvel offered me a chance to make a substantial contribution to my son's scholarship fund. Rob and Sam had a special relationship. He enjoyed poking fun at Rob and saying "So people actually like your art?" When I knew Rob was doing it, I was on on board." On Bringing Jason Todd back in Hush "Nobody liked Jason they thought it was the worst idea in the world to bring him back for the story. it was my feeling that he had been forgotten. I didn't intended to bring Jason fully back... dead is dead as far as I was concerned, but it was my idea to leave his body missing at the end of the story." The future of NBC's Heroes stories "The focus on the older generation of heroes (Linderman's group) will continue. WHEN depends on when the WGA strike gets settled. Volume 3 is called Villains and will begin with the next episode. I think season three will be outrageous and bombastic. There's no doubt we'll be back to work in June, but (the strike) is an important issue. " Will Jeph be working with Michael Turner and the aspen crew again? "Yes, and there's a major announcement forth coming."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Loeb report Part 2

Part two of our conversation with Jeph Loeb. Some highlights from both parts... Who will the Red Hulk face? The cast we see in issue one with be the group we initally follow. In particular,"Leonard Sampson will be seen as an FBI profiler based on his years observing superhero behavior. He has always been regarded as a c-level hero and he wants to change that perception." Ed McGuiness has a long list of Marvel Heroes he wants the Red Hulk To face and Jeph is agreeable to all suggestions "There isn't anybody in the Marvel Universe That he doesn't want the Red Hulk to smash. We want to be on this book forever, which for me is like 25 issues. Ed is living every Jack Kirby fantasy he's ever had with a Red Hulk doing the damage. "The book was never intended to be called HULK RED...It is by people's estimation other than my own, it's a take on "the hulk" that hasn't been done before.I don't claim that, I just think Ed and I are telling a very fun Hulk story." On possible future Marvel Color books with artist Tim Sale . "Nothing can happen until Tim's exclusive deal with DC ends. Marvel could have kept doing them without us, but I'm glad they didn't. " "We have an idea about Capt America White... The idea behind the color books is the hero losing an important early love of his life. In Cap's case I have a story but it doesn't involve Sharon or Peggy (Carter). I can see an Iron Man Yellow story, if I could convince Tim. " On the Ultimates Vol 3 Why kill the Scarlet Witch instead of Pietro? "I think Wanda is the glue that holds Pietro together, and I do not think good things will come out of this. I can put together any version of this team I wanted to. My version of Hawkeye is the next step in terms of where Mark and Brian were going, that this guy was losing his grip on reality and here he is, to the point where now he won't let anyone see his face. I'm having a blast with the Ultimate Black have no idea where that's going. I'm also having fun with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and when you see what I'm doing with Valkerie hopefully you'll like it as well." On The Ultimates Vol 4 I think Ultimates Vol2 #6 which is the Defenders story was the best story Mark has ever written. It's a bunch of folks who want to be heroes and get the crap beaten out of them. What happens to them when their dreams come true, and what is the price of that? That is the basis for Ultimates 4, and who will draw that, I'm not sure cause my original artist is having too much fun drawing a red monster. The Spider-Man story Loeb and J Scott Campbell are working on takes place in current brand new day continuity.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Loeb Report

Writer Jeph Loeb is a fan of the Bendis Tapes, and after hearing the last session, he wanted to take questions from WB listeners . What follows is a funny discussion that covers Jeph's current books like HULK with Ed McGuiness and THE ULTIMATES Vol 3 with Joe Madureira, but also reaches back to loeb's early Marvel days, his classic takes on Superman & Batman, his film and TV work, and much more.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Rucka debrief-The Crime Bible Code

In this edition of Word Balloon, host John Siuntres discusses 52 Aftermath, The Crime Bible with it's writer Greg Rucka . The miniseries continues the personal journey of the new Question, former Gotham City Detective Rene Montoya, but also focuses on the book , complete with text pages and illustrations from the crime bible itself. In an earlier article at Newsarama, we discovered a notebook The Question is using to assemble clues to locate the Crime Bible. Greg talks about the creation of these clues, and further locations to more viral info that enhances the story behind the book. "With all the events in comics it's easy to have missed this mini series, but Rucka and company are delivering a very fun DaVinci Code puzzle in the story, and these various artifacts and clues," says Siuntres. They also talk about Checkmate the DCU spy series , The future of his Queen and Country at Oni Press, and his latest novel, Patriot Acts, featuring Atticus Kodiak. Finally, Greg discusses his future, including the decision to end his exclusive contract with DC, but why he'll continue writing comics for the company.

The Bendis Tapes Dec 2007 Pt 2

On this episode of the Word Balloon podcast, it's time for the conclusion of the Bendis Tapes, as Brian Michael Bendis and WB host John Siuntres wrap up the answers to questions posted at Brian's message board. You'll hear info about Secret Invasion, the Avengers books, Ultimate Spider-Man and more. Plus a new wrinkle to the Loeb vs Bendis arguments at the last Marvel Story Summit, which leads to the next episode of the WB podcast, coming next week.

The Bendis Tapes Dec 2007 Pt 1

Time again for another Word Balloon edition of The Bendis Tapes. Host John Siuntres and Marvel Comics scribe Brian Michael Bendis answer fan question from his message board. Among the subjects covered they discuss the recent Marvel creator retreat, some tidbits about the upcoming Secret Invasion storyline, and many plots questions involving Powers, Daredevil: End of Days, Ultimate Spider-Man, and the two Avengers titles. Here are some highlights from Part 1... Bendis has two Hollywood projects he's due to start once the WGA strike ends, He can't talk about them until after the strike is settled. Could Powers continue after the death of either Christian Walker or Deana Pilgrim? Bendis: "Sure. How do you know I haven't (written) that already?" Don't speculate that the Hood's group of villains in New Avengers books represents Bendis new take on the "Masters of Evil". That story is still coming. There will be rotating artists on New and Mighty Avengers due to the nature and pacing of the Secret Invasion story. This will allow a bunch of artists to jump on the books whose schedule would only allow one or two issues. After that there will be a regular artist on New Avengers, and a surprising announcement about Mighty Avengers. Secret Invasion will deal with The Hand's reaction to their being led by the Skrull/Elektra, and we'll see more of the Infinity Gem in Black Bolt's possession (a dangling plot line from The Illuminati mini-series). What does the future hold for Quicksilver? Bendis: "He was a big topic of the last Marvel retreat... in fact a vote was put about his future as a character, so you'll be seeing a lot of him." Daredevil: End of Days has been delayed due to artists David Mack and Klaus Janson getting other front burner projects that have to take priority, but work continues on the DD story. Bendis: "I've seen pages and they're gorgeous." The Bendis/Alex Maleev Spider-Woman book starts, "The moment Secret Invasion ends." Bendis defended his story choice of having Wolverine confront Spider-Woman in the shower. In New Avengers #36. Bendis: "Wolverine would wait till she's in the shower, at her most vulnerable. Plus Jessica and Logan have had an intimate relationship in the past. I know nudity and sex makes people uncomfortable, but I don't care...It's never done cheaply (by Bendis)." If Bendis' voice is raspy it was due to his loud disagreements with Jeph Loeb at the Marvel retreat. Bendis: "When we're yelling we're like it's the end of civilization...Sometimes the argument brings out better ideas for both of us, but it's really like Joe putting two pit-bulls in the same room..." Siuntres says, "That story is truly one of the funniest creator anecdotes I've heard since starting the Word Balloon podcast.”