Podcasts

Mon
15
Jun

Critical Blast Announces Online Launch Party for New Book, The Devil You Know

Launch Party for The Devil You Know

Critical Blast Publishing will be releasing their newest anthology, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW on July 1, 2020.

The speculative fiction collection -- featuring the works of Jared Baker, Erica Ciko Campbell, Sarah Cannavo, Michael W. Clark, Christopher Cook, Andra Dill, Cara Fox, R.A. Goli, Gerald A. Jennings, Kevin Kangas, Daryl Marcus, Damascus Mincemeyer, Steve Oden, Evan Purcell, Troy Riser, Joseph Rubas, Hannah Trusty, Wondra Vanian, Henry Vogel, and KD Webster -- recounts tales of meetings with the literary Devil, in the vein of "The Devil and Daniel Webster," "Faust," and other such similar conventions. With stories set in the past, present, and future, and ranging from comedy to horror, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is designed to appeal to as wide a readership as possible.

Sun
07
Jun

The DC / Diamond Divorce Dominates Discussion: The LCS Guys

The LCS Guys talk DC and Diamond

The buzz of the comics industry this week has centered around the shocking (or not so shocking) news that DC has ended its decades-long arrangement with Diamond Comics Distributors in favor of splitting their workload over two smaller distributors, Lunar and UCS.

Naturally, that was the dominating topic in this week's round table with The LCS Guys -- Uel Carter of Fantastic Comics, Berkely, California; Dave Dyer of Cosmic Comics in Belleville, Illinois; Michael Tierney of The Comic Book Store in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Ryan Seymore of Comic Town in Columbus, Ohio. Find out how retailers feel about the decision, their hopes and concerns, as well as what's selling this week and what's languishing on the shelves, as we settle in for another bullpen session.

Thu
21
May

Emerging from the Comics COVID Crisis: Retailers Speak Out

LCS Round Table 20200520

This week saw the return of New Comic Book Day -- kind of. DC Comics, which has been ahead of the distribution game since Diamond Comics Distributors closed their doors for the coronavirus outbreak, is putting comic books out, while Marvel is still waiting a later production date. Our team of comic shop retailers from around the country -- Michael Tierney of Arkansas, Dave Dyer of Illinois, Uel Carter of California, Ryan Seymore of Ohio, and @ComicPerch of Washington -- talk about why this is going to be a powerful negotiating tool for DC when signing creators in the future.

Also discussed is the first shipment from Diamond since the reopening -- and whether the comeback is truly bigger than the setback with Diamond's #BackTheComeback hashtag campaign. Plus -- opinions on Ruby Rose leaving Batwoman, Brec Bessinger debuting in Stargirl, and HBO Max releasing the mythologically legendary Snyder Cut of the Justice League movie.

Mon
18
May

Broadsword Comics Celebrates 20 Years

Broadsword 20th

At the auspicious rolling of the celestial odometer -- also known as the year 2000 AD -- Jim Balent, who had come to stardom through his work on DC Comics' CATWOMAN series, took a foolhardy leap into the realm of independent publishing. He didn't have the backing of a Kickstarter or an Indiegogo; it was just him and fellow artist and spouse Holly Golightly, and a dream. That dream coalesced in the form of TAROT, WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE, where the team's pin-up style and background in magick could have expression.

Twenty years later, TAROT is still going strong, and the company has celebrated with a successful Kickstarter campaign to cap off two decades with a limited edition trade paperback (plus other goodies).

Tue
12
May

Wizards of a New Oz: Zeb Hatfield and Eric Weathers on Battle Brick Road

Battle Brick Road

Some classics lend themselves to modern exploration. Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND has been exploited in films such Disney's iconic animated masterpiece, to books like Frank Beddor's LOOKING-GLASS WARS. James Barrie's PETER PAN has been a mainstay of musical production for decades while going through dark reimaginings like Brom's THE CHILD THIEF.

Similarly, L. Frank Baum's WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ has been interpreted and reinterpreted over the past century in television mini-series, animated cartoons, and comic books, either in adaptive retellings or wholly imagined variations.

Mon
11
May

Comics Retailers Weigh In on Changes in Distribution Paradigm

After the Great Disaster

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Critical Blast has been meeting regularly with comic shop owners through online roundtable meetings to discuss how they are finding ways to stay afloat. Some stores are in states where business closures have been mandated. Others are in states where they are open but without new product because the sole distributor for comic books, Diamond Comics Distribution, closed down, leaving those stores essentially closed as well.

With new distributors entering the game, thanks to intervention on behalf of DC Comics, we meet once again with Dave Dyer of Cosmic Comics in Belleville, Illinois, Michael Tierney of Collector's Edition in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Uel Carter of Fantastic Comics in Berkeley, California to catch up on how the latest shifts in this new and untamed business landscape have affected them.

Wed
06
May

Martina Markota's Long Road to Bring Lady Alchemy to Comics

Lady Alchemy

There are so many different crowdfunded comics popping up these days of varying degrees of quality. And with the mainstream comics market in a state of flux, the projects at Kickstarter and Indiegogo are poised to reap the benefits of the comics distribution shutdown.

One such project is LADY ALCHEMY, a magical hero's journey from Martina Markota and MONSTER M.D.'s Von Klaus. LADY ALCHEMY originally funded two years ago, but then ran into choppy waters with the original creative team. Now, with a fresh writer and artist, Markota's vision is on track to be released soon.

We talk with Klaus and Markota in the livestream below, including some exclusive first looks at the new interior artwork.

Thu
23
Apr

32 Days Without Comics: COVID-19's Crisis in Infinite Comic Shops Continues

32 Days Without Comics

With a large portion of the country locked down economically due to COVID-19 restrictions, comic shop retailers find themselves in an unusual predicament. While many shops are open in states that have not had mandatory shutdowns, they nevertheless find themselves without product due to the shutdown at Diamond Comics Distribution, the lynchpin of the entire direct market system.

Thu
16
Apr

Zenescope Co-Founder Ralph Tedesco Discusses COVID-19 Impact on Comics Publishing and Distributing

Zenescope livestream interview 2020-04-16

Critical Blast has talked a lot with retailers during the COVID-19 induced industry shutdown that has impacted the comic book supply chain nationwide, even in states where stores are not facing mandatory closures.

But while the end-user impact is important, we also want to make sure we shine a spotlight onto how the shutdown -- specifically the Diamond Distribution shutdown, which services as the bottleneck for the entire logistics model of getting comic books from publishers to consumers -- has impacted the publishers that bring us our weekly dose of fantasy, horror, action, and every other genre of four-color entertainment.

Thu
09
Apr

Crisis in Infinite Comics Shops: How the Corona Shutdown is Impacting Retailers Across the Country

No Comic Book Day

Across the country, small businesses, deemed non-essential, have been shut down. And while some states have not issued such orders due to their lack of cases of the coronavirus COVID-19, may are still feeling the pinch.

Tue
08
Oct

Joker and the Myth of Media-Inspired Mayhem

Joker, Dr. Susan Lewis

It's the movie "they" didn't want you to see -- the film that glorified killing to such an extent, it was expected the easily influenced would take it as a training manual and copy the techniques to commit mass acts of violence.

But, thus far, the only reported incident requiring police intervention involved two men arrested for smoking during the film. (No word if the film was at midnight, or if the two smokers watching JOKER were using marijuana. Thank the Steve Miller Band for my going the long way around for that pun.)

So was all the media hysteria for nothing, or was there a predictable risk that JOKER could set in motion a wave of violence among those already suffering mental illness?

Thu
22
Aug

Introducing: Bulletproof

Bulletproof

You've seen the banners. You've seen the tweets and the Facebook postings. BULLETPROOF is coming...

But what is BULLETPROOF? And when is it coming?

Time for the Critical Blast staff to sit down and have a little geek out about the Disney/Sony custody battle over Spider-Man, the upcoming CW crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, the continued tomkinging (yes, we've verbed it) of Batman this week -- oh, and lots and lots of discussion about BULLETPROOF, including the hotly anticipated release date!

Click and enjoy. (And if you like this type of content, by all means click that Subscribe button. It costs nothing, and it means the world to us!)

Wed
12
Jun

Set Phasers to Fail: Podcaster Redshirts after Shatner Death Twish

Shatner and LLAPawsper

There's a secret about Twitter that a surprising number of people haven't figured out yet. It's not just a leading social media tool, a great way to promote your brand, and a fun way to connect with people who share common (or uncommon) interests -- it's also public and "out loud" and whatever you say on it is seen by everyone and, if archived, lasts forever. Many have been the times an unwary person has spoken in anger, in jest, in drunken carelessness, only to find they've become an overnight sensation or a symbol of infamy.

Such seems to be the case when Star Trek fan, Heather Rae, took to Twitter with her "Hot Take."

Sat
09
Mar

Apex: Legends Character Profile - Gibraltar

One of the things that makes Apex: Legends so unique is their voice talent.

Sun
10
Feb

Closing in on 19 Years of Broadsword Comics with Jim Balent and Holly Golightly

Jim Balent Holly Golightly 2019 Interview

Over two decades ago, Jim Balent had a comfortable gig with a big time publisher, bringing his own inimitable style to CATWOMAN for DC Comics.

Then, in 2000, he walked away from that to go independent with his own imprint, Broadsword Comics, and his own creation, TAROT, WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE. And he did this without the benefit of the existence of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or any other crowdfunding assistance.

It was a huge leap of faith, and now, 19 years later with nary an issue missed of the 114-book run, Broadsword Comics is still going strong with Jim and Holly Golightly doing everything from writing, drawing, lettering, coloring -- the whole shebang.

We were privileged to get this livestream interview with The Busiest (and Most Fun) Couple in Comics, to talk about Tarot, comic books, and... STAR WARS? We hope you'll have as much fun watching this as we had doing it!

Sat
26
Jan

State of the Comics Industry, with LCS Owner Michael Tierney and Alterna Publisher Peter Simeti

Tierney, Simeti

One's in the system trying to make a buck. The other is trying to buck the system.

Michael Tierney is the owner of two comic shops -- The Comic Book Store in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and Collector's Edition in Little Rock, Arkansas. With 37 years experience running the business and as a contributor to the Overstreet Price Guide, he has a keen insight into the state of the comics industry from the front lines.

Peter Simeti is the publisher of Alterna Comics, an independent producer of comics done on newsprint with a price point unheard of since 1985 -- and he's got some radical ideas for changing the accepted dynamics of the comic book distribution model.

We've been keen on getting both of these guys on a livestream, but then it hit us: What if we brought them together on the SAME livestream, to bounce ideas off each other and maybe, just maybe, come up with one or two good ones.

The results were better than we could have hoped.

Fri
28
Dec

Exclusive Reveal! The Title of the Next ANGST Novel by David J. Pedersen is...

Angst Audiobook Cover

Fans of David J. Pedersen's ANGST series are in for a couple of treats, not the least of which is the newest installment of the epic "Midlife Crisis in Medieval Times."

The ANGST books have followed a pattern, beginning with the second book, of giving readers clues to the magical elements involved in each adventure, with titles like BURIED IN ANGST (Earth), BURNING WITH ANGST (Fire), and DROWNING IN ANGST (Water).

So what is the fateful title of ANGST 5? That's part of our exclusive interview. Watch here...

(Rather just listen? Plug in and take a listen to the CRITICAL PODBLAST podcast!)

Thu
13
Dec

Mitch Breitweiser: Red Rooster and the State of the Comics Industry

Red Rooster

There's a new hero on the horizon, a mythic figure of folk legend who fights for justice for the common man--the flyover man. His name is Red Rooster, and his is a mantle that passes from generation to generation.

The Red Rooster is the creation of comic book creator Mitch Breitweiser, who, along with his wife, colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser (SKYBOUND), is driving hype for one of the most hotly anticipated crowdfunded comics to come down the pike.

We sat down to talk to Mitch about this project, and what it's like using the crowdfunding vehicle to bring a dream to reality, complete with its triumphs--as well as its surprising adversities.

Click below to listen to the Critical Blast Podblast.

Sat
17
Nov

"Slick" Jimmy Love Talks Little Girl Lethal

Sugar Lightspeed

After decades upon decades of the Big Two being the place to go for comics, with distribution ranging from the classic spinner rack at the corner drug store to a direct sales market structure, a new way of getting comics has been gaining traction: Crowdfunding. Whether through Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other means, creators have found ways to take charge of their ideas and bring them to the masses without having to dilute them through the traditional channels.

One of those projects that's been generating a lot of buzz is LITTLE GIRL LETHAL, starring the enigmatic and sexy Sugar Lightspeed. But as intriguing and arousing as the artwork appears, what is LITTLE GIRL LETHAL all about?

We sat down for a chat with Sugar's creator, "Slick" Jimmy Love, to get an in-depth and personal look at the world next door -- a world of sexy assassins where seedy sins aren't necessarily hidden in the shadows; the world of Sugar Lightspeed."

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