Word Balloon Podcast

Word Balloon Podcast – John Romita Jr. Part 1 & Denys Cowan

Show Notes

On this episode of Word Balloon we present a double feature with two artistic masters.

First up, it's part one of a conversation with John Romita Jr. We talk about his current run on Avengers with Brian Bendis and Kick-Ass 2 with Mark Millar. John also previews a creator owned series in the works with Howard Chaykin, a 1970's New York crime/fantasy pastiche called Schmuggy and Bimbo. Part 2 of the Romita interview will be released later this month.

Then, Milestone founder Denys Cowan heads a panel recorded at this past weekend's Summit City Comic Con with fellow artists Angel Gabriel and Jeff Newman. Cowan and company recall their early days assisting Deathlok creator Rich Buckler when Denys was 14.

Our reaserch exposed a dark secret to the audience, forcing Gabriel and Cowan to confess to their time in the 80's in Regional TV Wrestling on a show called POWERSLAM with infamous stars like Dick The Bruiser and Ox Baker. Gabriel was known as The Dark Angel, and Denys was a manager.

Then Denys talks about his days on titles like The Question, Black Panther, Power Man and Iron Fist, and a classic Batman run with Sam Hamm (the screenwriter of the 1989 Tim Burton film).

He also tells the story of the formation of Milestone and the creation of their line of multi-racial heroes He reminisces about his friend the late Dwayne McDuffie, who was the first creator he approached to join the venture, and talks about the successes and struggles that came after the company debuted. The panel talk about the creation of Hardware and the symbolic metaphor of the glass ceiling struggle the creators dealt with.

Then Denys hints at 2 new upcoming projects; a 5 part Batman story about the 5 phases of accepting death by Paul Levitz, and a new Vertigo mini series with Selwyn Hinds, who worked on Case 21 with Cowan in the recent Strange Adventures anthology.


Get Involved

Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 2 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

  • E-Mail us at contact@ifanboy.com with any questions, comments or anything that may be on your mind.

Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!


  1. I just can’t do John Romita, Jr. books any more. His character faces drive me nuts. And it’s really disappointing since I remember what his art once looked like before he turned to his new stylized look.

  2. I agree while sometimes his art works well for some stories but most of it lately just looks amateur compared to the great artists in circulation right now.

  3. The Denys Cowan panel was fascinating.  Hearing that the Black Panther was called the Black Leopard for a few issues and that an anti apartheid storyline was held back was a real eye opener.

  4. Big fan of Cowan. Looking forward to this episode.

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