For this interview episode, the Two Guys with PhDs talk with Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, the creators behind The Damned, from Oni Press. This is a series with some history, beginning back in 2006 with the five-issues run, “Three Days Dead,” and then the three-issue miniseries from 2008, “Prodigal Sons.” Soon after that, Cullen and Brian began The Sixth Gun, but now that that long-running series is behind them, they decided to revisit and revitalize their first creative project together. Over the course of their conversation, Cullen and Brian talk about their efforts to reprint the original comics in color — and with the help of the new series’ colorist, Bill Crabtree — the impetus behind the new on-going series, their work together on The Sixth Gun, and their process of collaboration on The Damned. Andy and Derek also ask them about some of their other projects, including Cullen’s Harrow County (with Tyler Crook) and Brian’s Poppy! and the Lost Lagoon (with Matt Kindt).
Derek is back at his local shop, Collected Comics and Games in Plano, TX, and this month the topic is open and general comics talk. Anything goes, and over the coarse of the conversation, Derek discovers that anything does go in talking with the shop’s customers. Joining him for this free-flowing exchange are regulars Shea, Craig, Matt, and Chris, and the discussion topics are wide-ranging. They begin with a conversation on the relative disappearance of westerns and war comics as a popular genre. Sgt. Rock comes up a lot, of course, as well as Garth Ennis’s recent revival of his War Stories series coming out from Avatar Press. And Craig reminds everyone about a title he brought up in the February episode, Max Brooks and Caanan White’s The Harlem Hellfighters. Via a reference to one of Derek’s favorites, Weird War Tales, the talk shifts to horror and mystery comics and then takes an abrupt shift into Kickstarter territory. This leads to a discussion of the recent shenanigans of Archie Comics in their Kickstarter campaign, and then a brief digression into the concept of variant covers. Webcomics is another topic that comes up, with everyone chiming in on whether or not they read them, as well as the pros and cons of digital delivery. There is a brief conversational tributary into mainstream superhero comics, specifically what’s going on with Convergence and Secret Wars, and then they wrap up with a discussion of some of comics everyone has recently read for the very first time (not necessarily brand new titles). These titles include Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart’s Fight Club 2, Cullen Bunn and Taylor Crook’s Harrow County, Kelly Thompson and Ross Campbell’s Jem and the Holograms, P. Craig Russell and Neil Gaiman’s Elric: Stormbringer, Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeodand’s Kaptara, and various books from Hans Rickheit (the latter are Derek’s picks). The chat ends abruptly when the recorder is accidentally shut off (unbeknownst to the guys), but that doesn’t happen until the tail end of the conversation. But while the mic is still on, there’s a lot of great comics talk, as there usually is at these on-location episodes.