Word Balloon Podcast

Word Balloon Robert Kirkman And Marty Pasko pt 3

Show Notes

On this episode of Word Balloon we check in with writer Robert Kirkman . You'll hear about the genesis of his new series with Rob Liefeld The Infinite from Image, plus an update on the status of their coloboration on KILLRAVEN for Marvel comics.
We also go in depth on The Walking Dead , discussing the differences in working on the TV show, and writing the comic. Robert takes us into the writing room, and production process with some details on season 2.

Note-This was recorded before the San Diego Comic-Con, and the departure of Frank Darabont as the day to day show runner producer on The Walking Dead.

Then we wrap up or talk with Marty Pasko, which continues to explore little known facts about DC Comics in publishing television and film. Pasko try figure out  the answers to the questions of why is The DC reboot happening, why are the Retroactive books happening now? We also talk about Marty's TV and animation work on shows like GI JOE, and The Twilight Zone .You'll also hear details on the histories of Green Lantern, and the strong connection between some of the greatest authors in science fiction pulps and DC editors Julius Schwartz and Mort Weisinger. Pasko dispells the beief that Alfred Bester came up with GL's Oath, and attributes it to another Sci-Fi great. We'll also learn the secret origins behind the 80 page giant Annuals that began in 1959.

Note- That amazing Pasko Portrait was created by Marty's one time collaborator on KOBRA artist Michael Netzer


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 reckon these marty episodes have been some of the best world balloon episodes ive ever heard

  2. A seperate Retroactive line of books could be very cool.

  3. Jon, Marty’s interviews have been really awesome. I was surprised by how much i enjoyed them.

    Keep up the good work

  4. All talk about the Walking Dead TV show is depressing until the 2nd season starts.

  5. I know you said at the end of the show, but I really do hope that you have Marty on some more. I can listen to you too for 8 hours straight.

    Great job as always.

  6. Love hearing from Marty, but he made a sort of specious argument regarding ignoring(or giving it less credence) continuity. “if they had been concerned with continuity back then…you would not have half the material you have now [sic]”

    1) totally dismissing continuity willy nilly is not the same as occasionally making tweaks, I’d argue that this major reboot is much closer to the former than the latter.

    2) While it MAY be true that the current sotries would not have had the same material to draw onm, we can not say whether that would have been good or bad. Thus a moot point.

    I am also confused how he starts off by saying he understands why people would not be interested in stories that would not matter in 6 months, but then says they are wrong more or less for feeling so.

    I think the “what matter is good stories” argument is enitrely overused.
    A good story is not merely a one shot event, superhero comics are not -by default- a collection of illustrated anecdotes that happent o share characters that happen to have the same name and/or costumes.

    There is a beneficial effect of reading a long running comic versus a one shot indie book. Obergeist was a great trade, but would I pick it over the entire run of JSA, or Hulk or heck, Hellblazer? No because while I may go back to Obergeist every so often, I like the comfort and consistent ability to go and get an issue of a major run and read it. There is something appealing about knowing there is a continuous cosmology that I can immerse myself when I like.
    Do i like EVERYTHING that is done in my comics? No. If I could I’d love to drop kick Morrison for what he did to the Xmen, but such is life.

    Readers develop relationships with their books and characters, and of course they will be irritated if someone comes along and says “oh, none of this matters”.

    John brings up a point about ressurecting dead characters- I think we all know that superhero comics can only change so much, before it is no longer that commodity. That’s why comics do have to soft reset every so often, but its a far cry to compare resurrecting phoenix versus deleting 15 years of a heroes background.

    Speaking of continuity and stories evolving. I have been reading Invincible and I love it, but reading it one can see a major flaw- at some point somethings gotta give. If things continue in the way they are going, with entire cities disapearing and the world genuinely in danger, the story and atmosphere will have to change. In other words issue 1000 will be entirely different from issue 10. That’s neither a good or bad thing, but I would like to point out another image title that just went long past it’s expiration date – Spawn.

  7. I have loved all of these Pasko interviews. They even made me go download and relisten to the old Pasko interviews and even get the Marv Wolfman, Steve Englehart and David Micheleine shows. this is where the show shines. When it talks to people who can speak to the history of comics, rather than people who are promoting current work. That i can get from most websites, podcasts etc. Unlike other artforms (and as Marty has spointed out) comics has classicly been one where the primary means of sharing the history has been an oral tradition. Until the last decade or so there have been very few books or documentaries about this medium, so heraing these stories, and documenting them in a form that can live on into the future. is a worthy endeavor.

    Johns seems intent on making the argument that modern storytelling techniques with multi issue stories will not play well with the “new digital audience”. while a concern to be sure i think its not as much of a problem as John may think. Many modern TV shows like the Killing, Lost, 24 and others have shown that an audience will come back for a continuing story if it is engaging enough. Snyders detective was a long narrative but every issue held its own pretty well. well enough that people WANT the next part. Id say the same for many comics. Sure there are also plenty that read just like 20 page sof a novl, but thats a problem in print as well. The digital audience may not be “trained” to read like that but then again everyone reading comics now wasnt trained at one point. Comics that work well as stand alone things will always appeal more to new or casual readers and larger more complex narratives that require a commitment will appeal more to existing fans in both print and digital.

    I do agree that making whole stories available as one click is essentail (and inevitable) but its sad to think that anyone would pass on something because they ahve to click BUY six times instead of one. I know its true but its sad.

    • @abstractgeek

      i don’;t believe you can equate consumer consumption of monthly comics story telling , to weekly tv story telling. Compare the time spent absorbing the story. the average comic takes 10 minutes to consume, versus 40 minutes of TV. plus the longer TV product comes back with a new chapter in 7 days, not 30.

      we’ll all see how things turn out, but apples to oranges comparisons isn’t a way to predict the outcome.

  8. I like Marty Pasko. I had never heard of him before word balloon. Wow. Radio comics ectasy.

  9. Marty pasko seems like such a nice guy. He’s really knowledgeable about nearly everything, and I have loved these conversations with him.

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