New to comics: Episode 3 – Art and meaning

In this final episode, we spend a significant chunk of time discussing Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli. While I haven’t had a chance to dig in and read Asterios Polyp yet, it was fascinating to flip through the book as we were recording. When we started this journey, one of my primary goals was to uncover a story that could only be told in comic form. Asterios Polyp is one such story, where everything from the art style to the lettering change throughout the book in order to to tell the story.

The show notes are shorter than usual, mostly because we spend the majority of the episode discussing the art and deeper meanings that can be found in comics. Think of the notes as guide posts for the conversation.

(By the way, when ABC is airing a Star Wars / Marvel crossover TV series Chewie and The Beast [aka Hank McCoy] in a couple years, just remember that you heard it here first).


Show notes

  • There are many different jobs required to create a comic, including: writing, drawing, coloring, and lettering. Each of these components may be handled by different artists for a single book, or they may all be done by one creator.
  • Which comics are too complex to be well suited to film adaptations.
  • How animation is a prime medium for comic adaptations, beyond their shared use of sequential art.
  • Comics are no longer for kids, which may be part of problem for the industry. We brainstorm some ways to introduce comics to kids today.
  • Can comics be dissected in the same way one can study poetry, literature, or film?


Music in the podcast is “Save the Girl” by Pixel Head. Comics, artists, and authors that were mentioned in the podcast include:


Lauren Williams has been an avid comic reader for the past 7 years and has attended San Diego Comic Con since 2005. An all around nerd to the core, you can find Lauren enjoying the latest episode of Doctor Who over a hot cup of jasmine green tea or laughing over Alex Trebeck’s latest quip on Jeopardy.  She has previously produced “In the Ring,” a radio talk show exclusively about Professional Wrestling (go figure) and is currently dreaming of a career in voice acting. Her senior year thesis at CSUSM was about Batman; seriously.

Nick Lane can usually be found at Disneyland, or at home where he’s either violently throwing video game controllers across the room, or organizing his iPod, and pouring over his latest musical discovery. Nick has been an on-and-off reader of comics since he was 5 years old, but didn’t become an avid fan and regular of his local comics shop until the last nine or ten years.  But even when he wasn’t reading comics, he ALWAYS had, and still has, an undying love for all things Batman.

His ultimate dream for the majority of his life has been to become the new revolutionary face of radio. He’d also settle for a decent paying job doing anything, so long as it’s in the radio or voice business. He currently works as a board operator at AM 1170 KCBQ. Oh yeah, and Nick is also a lover of most things sci-fi. His favorite show of all-time is The Twilight Zone, and he has a sweet poster of a DALEK hanging in his living room. That should say it all right there.

This podcast is part of the New to Comics series, listen to all of the entries in this series here.

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