It’s almost time for the Rose City Comic Con — the one weekend a year when the Oregon Convention Center transforms into a wonderland of geektastic celebrities like Weird Al Yankovic rubbing spandex-clad shoulders with over-the-top costumes that make Halloween green with envy.
Today, we get your engine primed with some of our favorite interviews with comic book creators we met this year who’ll appear at the con.
From ‘Wonder Woman’ to ‘Stumptown’ With Greg Rucka - 2:40
Portland-based comic book writer Greg Rucka is one of the giants in Oregon’s comics ecosystem. And he has a unique relationship with Wonder Woman, having two acclaimed runs writing the character for DC Comics, including the recent “Wonder Woman: Rebirth” series. We talk with him about Princess Diana and the incredible female leads in his creator-owned series, like “Black Magick,” “Stumptown” and “Lazarus.”
For those who want more, check out our extended interview with Rucka.
David Walker Revives ‘Power Man and Iron Fist’ - 13:11
Netflix has thrust the unbreakable superhero Luke Cage into the national spotlight, although he’s been around since the early ‘70s as Power Man. Portland writer David Walker grew up on Cage, one of the only black comic book characters at the time. So it was a dream come true for Walker to resurrect “Power Man and Iron Fist” and now the standalone series “Luke Cage.” He’s also got a mini-series prequel right now for “War for the Planet of the Apes”, and the Lion Forge series “SUPERB” featuring a hero with Down syndrome.
Listen to an extended interview with David Walker.
C. Spike Trotman Tackles the Stories She Wants to Read - 22:48
C. Spike Trotman got her start in comics with the web series “Templar, Arizona,” about a slightly irregular town filled with junkies, millionaires, strange subcultures, and weird religions. After realizing that no one was publishing the kind of stories she wanted to read — stories about people of color, queer people, poor people, people dealing with the everyday issues of being human — she decided to start her own publishing house, Iron Circus Comics. She has since used Kickstarter to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to put out graphic novels and comic anthologies of all sorts. But it hasn’t been an easy road. Trotman tells us about carving out a place in the business and building the business model.
Trotman also recommended five webcomics you have to check out.
Kurt Busiek’s Been Thinking About ‘Autumnlands’ For 20 Years - 33:03
Veteran comic book author Kurt Busiek has written many of the big names — the Avengers, Superman, Batman, Iron Man — as well as his own masterful, long-lived and much-loved superhero anthology series, “Astro City.” But one of his most exciting recent series stands out: “Autumnlands” is a fantasy epic getting critical raves for its vivid world and social commentary. Brought to striking life by artist Benjamin Dewey and colorist Jordie Bellaire, “Autumnlands” opens in a futuristic world where anthropomorphized animals are king, with humanity as we know it only a distant memory. Busiek and Dewey sit down with us to discuss.
Brave enough for some spoilers? Then check out our extended interview.
The Fearless Art Of Leila Del Duca Mashes Up Talking Animals, Animate Clocks, And More - 41:18
Every once in a while, you run across a comic whose visual style offers a little bit of everything. Portland artist Leila Del Duca has been drawing the Image Comics series “Shutter” since 2014. Written by Joe Keatinge, it’s the story of a hard-charging young adventurer named Kate Christopher whose travels take her around the world and into space with a colorful cast of talking animals, mid-century knick-knacks sprung to life, and a most genteel undead butler.
Del Duca also tried her hand at the writing side of the book with the recent fantasy YA graphic novel “Afar,” set in an Afro-futurist society. We spoke with her and artist Kit Seaton about it.
Chris Sebela’s thrilling comic “Heartthrob” Is Far From A Romance Novel - 45:29
Written by Chris Sebela with art by Robert Wilson, “Heartthrob” tells the story of a woman who gets a heart transplant that not only saves her life, but throws her into a chaotic affair love story with a man that may not exist.
Sebela moved to Oregon in 2010 to break into comics and hit paydirt in 2015 with the graphic novel “High Crimes.” Sebela has a thing for heroes with flaws, from the disgraced snowboard at the center of “High Crimes,” to his thieves in love in “Heartthrob,” to the out-of-work movie monsters in “Screamland.”