Friday, February 24, 2012

Comic Books Past Present And Future With Neal Adams and Tony Akins

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On this episode of Word Balloon, legendary artist Neal Adams is back to discuss many issues of the current comic book scene. From finding a neutral way to help Gary Friedrich's financial situation, without taking sides in the Disney-Friedrich-Ghost Rider lawsuit, to DC and Marvel's new place in their corporate parents business.
Neal talks about the recent Comic Book films based on DC Marvel and Dark Horse properties, and asks why wasn't John Stewart in the Green Lantern movie, given his prominent place on TV's Justice League series, which had a built in audience of millions?

You'll also hear a good dose of comic book history. From Neal's point of view of the Pinoy artist invasion of the 1970's with guys like Tony De Zuniga and Alfredo Alcala, plus other Adams peers like John Buscema, and Gene Colan.

We discuss Batman Odyssey and Neal's Dark Horse Presents serial Blood. Plus some current and future projects including hints at a new Marvel project. We wrap up with an interesting look at how the idea of the motion comic has evolved into Neal's work in animatics for the motion picture industry.

Then Tony Akins talks about joining the creative team on DC's Wonder Woman sharing alternate art chores with Cliff Chaing. Tony and WW writer Brian Azzarello are longtime Chicago Comic creator pals, going back to the days of companies like Now comics and Comico, and they've been trying to work together on various Vertigo projects for years. The former Jack Of Fables artist admits he's not a big super hero fan these days, but this warrior versus horror villains take on WW intrigued Tony enough to take himself out of the running for some other big ticket books.

Being a working vet of the Chicago Comics scene for over 20 years, Tony talks about the old days of Chicago's thriving comic book publishing scene in the 80'sand 90's, and looks ahead to his pending move to Seattle later this year.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Word Balloon Talks With Halo's Master Chief, Scott Lobdell, and Paul Jenkins

Today a triple feature on Word Balloon as we tak about the worlds of comic books and video games.

First up Steve Downes a fellow radio announcer. Steve is the Morning Host of The Classic Rock radio station WDRV-FM: The Drive in Chicago and the syndicated rock documentary radio show The Classics , but to gamers and fans of Sci-Fi Steve is best known as the voice of Master Chief in The Halo Games. Steve talks about his history with the character details on the upcoming Halo 4 game this Xmas, and what it’s like to be the voice of a cultural icon.

Then writer Scott Lobdell  joins us to talk about his 3 DC books Superboy Teen Titans and Red Hood and The Outlaws. Scott explains his pitch process for his NU 52 books, his ideas behind the characterizations he's chosen for both new and old characters, and we talk about the fan reaction to the titles, including last falls outrage at the sexualization of the character Starfire .

We wrap things up with an insightful talk with Paul Jenkins who discusses his recent Marvel mini series like Ka-Zar and the aborted Captain America:Band Of Heroes, plus his DC work on Batman:The Dark Knight with David Finch and the Deadman arc in DC Universe Presents. Paul also gives us behind the scenes details on the new Darkness 2 Video game and his thoughts on the evolution of story telling in video games.  Paul also has news about his website and upcoming projects including some new creator owned comics.

Time Code 
  00:00 - 32:29     Master Chief Steve Downes 
  32:30 -  2:02:04  Scott Lobdell 
2:02:05- End Of Show Paul Jenkins 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tonight Prophets Of Science Fiction -Issac Asimov

My debut on the Science Channel's Prophets Of Science Fiction is tonight at 10pm eastern, 9pm central.

Tonight it's all about robotics, and the amazing author Issac Asimov. It was a true honor to be part of this program, which also features our Fireside Chat pal Matt Fraction.

Watch it tonight! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Before Watchmen Scott Porter Jim Henson's Tale Of Sand and Tom Fowler

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On this week's Word Balloon, we cover a lot of pop culture ground. First DC Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development John Rood and SVP of Sales Bob Wayne discuss The Before Watchmen project, and debate the question of what happens to creator owned deals that hinged on reverting back to the creators once a book's print run sold out now that digital books have infinite copies and would never "sell out" .

Then actor Scott Porter joins us. Scott played Cyclops on the G4 X-Men and Wolverine anime series and X-Men Destiny Video Game , but you might know him better in his TV roles as George Tucker on Heart Of Dixie, Friday Night Lights QB Jason Street , or as Rex Racer in the Wachowski's Speed Racer Film . As a huge comic fan, Scott is in a great position to give us his point of view on the current Hollywood -Superhero Genre relationship.

Keeping with the film discussion, Archaia's Editor In Chief Steve Christy and artist Ramon Perez are up next to talk about adapting the 1967 Jim Henson Jerry Juhl screenplay Tale Of Sand as an original graphic novel. We talk about the book, and a side of Filmmaker Jim Henson Muppet fans might not be aware of.

Finally artist Tom Fowler joins us to discuss Hulk Season One, the 100 page original graphic novel written by Fred Van Lente. Fowler talks about some unique ways he's addressing the art, plus we talk about his work on Venom with rick Remender, and loads of canadian pop culture talk.

Time Code
00:00 -  14:48 Wayne and Rood on Before Watchmen
14:49 -  51:42  Scott Porter On G4's  X-Men Anime, Speed Racer and More
51:43 - 140:39 Ramon Perez and Steve Christy On Jim Henson's Tale Of Sand
1:40:40- End Of Show Tom Fowler on Hulk Season One Venom and More

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Time Out Chicago-Robert Feder Profiles Word Balloon

This was a real shock. Chicago Media critic Robert Feder has been a supporter of my radio work, since my days at the Score. When my partnership with Mike North ended, Feder was very kind on a phone call about my dismissal saying "You're a talented guy John, you'll bounce back."

Cut to 11 years later...

I wanted to make Robert aware of my upcoming appearance on The Science Channel's Profits Of Science Fiction Series (Next Wed at 10-9 Central) and had hoped to get a paragraph mention in a multi-item column. He quickly responded with a positive e-mail, and asked for more information about Word Balloon. The result? This flattering piece about the podcast and where we're at in the pop culture world.

Thanks Robert.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Walter Simonson on The Judas Coin-Mike Costa and Ryan Browne's Smoke and Mirrors

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On this episode of Word Balloon, Walter Simonson is back with details about his OGN The Judas Coin, coming out in October from DC Comics. Simonson explains the projects origins and inspirations.
Then lifelong pals Mike Costa and Ryan Brown discuss their new mini series coming out next month from IDW Publishing: Smoke And Mirrors. The book has magic, but with a real world twist as a stage magician from our world finds himself in an alternate universe earth, where real magic has evolved side by side with technology. The book even has real stage magic tricks that the reader will experience while reading the comic.
Mike also talks about the cancellation of Blackhawks from DC Comics, which ends with issue 8, and his work at IDW on G.I. Joe Cobra, while Ryan discusses his web comics God Hates Astronauts and Blast Furnace.