Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shortbox Showcase #012

Lone Wolf & Hobbes

After taking some time for a brief "state of the pod" discussion, Professor Alan & Emily move into a discussion of two of the titles that intrigued them from the "60 Comics Everyone Should Read" list, covered in episodes 7, 8, & 9.

But we shake things up a bit ... Alan, who has never read an issue of manga in his life, tackles issue 2 of the 1987 First Comics version of the highly-regarded Lone Wolf & Cub. And Emily learns about her dad's parenting philosophy by reading some Calvin & Hobbes comic strips. And now many things from her childhood make sense.

Do these comics live up to the hype? Listen to the episode to find out!

Send e-mail feedback to

You can follow Alan on twitter @ProfessorAlan

Promo: Earth Destruction Directive

Click on the player below to listen to the episode:

Right-click to download episode directly:

You may also subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or the RSS Feed.


  1. Regarding the writer/artist credits in manga, the artist is the one always credited, because it's an almost entirely artist driven industry with few actual writers. Occasionally a screenwriter or novelist will team up with an artist for a specific project, but for the most part, the artists are telling the story on their own as they draw the pages, and fill in the dialogue after. Very much how Jack operated on his own after leaving Stan, or when John Byrne started writing his own stuff, or, as Emily mentioned, how many webcomics work. They do have a studio of assistants, but mostly for technical work like inking, toning, detailing backgrounds, and laying the word balloons. Writers are very rarely credited because there simply aren't very many writers. And thus, a lot of manga storytelling relies heavily on tropes and simple archetypes, because that's not the mangaka's strongsuit as they're focusing on the art and designs. Think of the early Image era, where all those artists declared they no longer needed writers, and look at how that turned out. :)

    Kazuo Koike is a very rare exception in the field. He came in as a novelist helping out a few artists on things, but then created a prolific string of wildly successful and iconic titles, and became a writer many artist leapt at the chance to work with. There are very few like him in that industry.

    1. That's interesting, Noel. I am a "story first" guy when it comes to comics, bordering on "story only." I wonder if this plays into my lack of interest in most manga, which comes from an "art first" perspective.

      Maybe that's also why I resonated more with Valiant than Image, back in those dark, dark days.