Word Balloon Podcast

Word Balloon Podcast – Jonathan Hickman & Francis Manapul

Show Notes

On this episode of Word Balloon, Jonathan Hickman is back to tell us about the wrap up to his epic 3 year story in Fantastic Four. He’s not done with the Four, or the Future Foundation (FF), and tells us what to expect in the months to come. You’ll hear about his writing chores on the upcoming Avengers Vs. X-Men projects, and what it was like co writing with his architect buddies Brian Bendis, Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker,¬†and Matt Fraction¬† We also discuss SHIELD and his run on The Ultimates.
Then we go in depth on Jonathan’s creator owned books past and present at Image Comics. From the debut issue of The Manhattan Projects drawn by Nick Pitarra to next month’s start of the spy series Secret with artist Ryan Bodenheim. Hickman also made a big splash at Comixology releasing all of his earlier creator owned works as digital products, including one big bundle of all 5 works The Nightly News, Pax Romana, Red Mass For Mars, Transhuman, and The Red Wing. He gives us all the details in his decision to release them now, and in the formats he chose.
Then, artist writer Francis Manapul is back to tell us what’s been happening in the pages of The Flash for DC Comics. We talk about his unique art choices to display the hero’s super speed, and the Flash’s point of view when faced with the choices of how to stop a crime or disaster from happening. Francis also talks about his writing process with his co-writer and colorist Brian Buccelatto, and what it’s like to have put The Flash back in the top 10 of comics ordered by direct market stores.


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  1. Really agree with Hickman’s statements about the 6 issue arc right now. I’ve felt it myself. It used to never bother me, in fact the opposite, but as six issues became more and more the norm we were able to really see through that shit. Now I can feel a six issue arc even if I don’t know how many issues it’ll be. It feels SO slow. I start getting bored. I’m honestly even getting bored with Ultimate Spidey right now, and that’s the book that got me into comics that I swore I’d never drop. Walking Dead? I can’t hang anymore. A trimmed down 3 or 4 issue arc just DESTROYS me right now.

  2. For whatever reason I thought Francis Manapul would of been more flighty, but he has some amazing ideas on comic craft and storytelling. Plus he sounds like a scholar and a prince.

    Loved both the interviews, made me love some current comics a little more.

  3. I don’t like all of Hickman’s work, but holy crap do I love hearing his thoughts on the future of comics. I’m totally on board for the idea of “Mister Creator’s Corporate Superhero Limited Series” that have beginnings, middles and ends while allowing creator’s to pick and choose the continuity elements that serve to enrich the story without shackling it to the perpetual second act.

  4. That ABC comment may have ruined Claremont for me – ha ha

    This was a great interview with Hickman. I totally agree with comment above. Over the past few months I have been focusing on following my favourite creators and man do I enjoy comics more than when I was a slave to the characters and marketing of the big 2.

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