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Stuff Said 036: Mark Waid




  • Mark Waid’s website and twitter
  • Mark’s digital comics platform, Thrillbent!
  • Mark’s comic shop in Muncie, Indiana: Alter Ego Comics.
  • Comic Book City Con & Acme Comics
  • The unsent letter I read to Mark in all of its unsent/incomplete splendor, AND the sample pages I also never finished or sent, featuring the Rainbow Raider (click to enlarge): Letter_to_Waid_01 Letter_to_Waid_02 Letter_to_Waid_03 Flash_UnfinishedSample_01 Flash_UnfinishedSample_02 Flash_UnfinishedSample_03
    Who knows what would have happened had I taken to my word processor and finished those pages…
  • Here’s the double page spread Mark mentioned that he scripted as two pages – which, in its original form, was bisected right down the page gutter (click to enlarge): Shield_Spread
  • Captain America #14, the issue from which Waid had his (interior) credit removed… Cap14
  • A 19-year-old Mark Waid and Robby Reed from Dial H for Hero: Mark_&_Robby
  • Here’s another tale of the Assistant Editor Classes run by Mark & Chris Claremont during my time as an assistant at Marvel.
  • Robert Kirkman’s Mission Statement
  • The chapter of INSUFFERABLE (on with the piranha sequence Mark described is here.
  • BONUS AUDIO: Recording started before the show began, just as Mark told this story about Alex Ross: 
  • BONUS AUDIO: Prior to recording we took questions from the audience and here’s the audio of that: 
  • BONUS AUDIO: Stephen Mayer, one of the organizers of Comic Book City Con, gave this very nice introduction to the panel (the first 10-15 second or so are very quiet as Stephen’s mic wasn’t yet recording) 
  • Thanks again to Stephen Mayer, Jermaine Exum, the staff & volunteers at Comic Book City Con, and Griffin Kale for working the soundboard and managing the recording.
  • “Stuff Said Theme” by Craig Chin (also on Soundcloud)
  • Other music: “She is Staggering (instrumental)” by Polaris, “Letters” by Marching Band, “Hand Clapping Song” by The Meters


  1. J. L. Bell

    A very interesting conversation. Thank you.

    Your comments about the Thrillbent/”Mark Waid format” comics made me suspect you’re reading them in a program that slides each new screen to the left while bringing in another from the right—an effect the iPad designers delighted in using as often as they could. I spent a long time looking for a PDF reader (Stanza) that lets me turn that off and make each new screen appear immediately. That means that on screens where the only difference is a new balloon, or a change of facial expression, or another small alteration within the same image/scene, the difference pops out. No need to go back. I wouldn’t want to read the Thrillbent comics any other way.

    Alas, Stanza has some other problems and drawbacks, so I use it only for Thrillbent comics and choose the other PDF readers I accumulated in my search for other types of documents.

    • Gregg

      Hey J.L.

      You know, one of the challenges of an audio show, and I thought something like this might happen, is in talking about something so visual, especially as it pertains to some nuts and bolts of reading comics.

      I actually read the Thrillbent comics AT, for the most part. When I referred to “having to go back” I didn’t mean go back a page or screen, but more that my eye would be at the right side of the page, reading as we do in the states, left to right, and then I’d click the next page and the “new element” was a pop-up panel or balloon or element on the left side of that same page, at which point I’d have to “go back” with my eyes in a way that, for me, impeded narrative flow for the sake of a neat technological flourish…even that might not be a great explanation.

      Basically I was saying moments come up where the “Mark Waid format” might/can get in the way, for lack of a better term, of the simplicity and clarity of a comics page as a storytelling device on its own, minus additional bells and whistles (and a comics page on its own can have plenty of bells and whistles, just look at what someone like Marcos Martin can accomplish with that real estate –

      Thanks for the comments, J.L. I appreciate you listening and your attention.


      • J. L. Bell

        Thanks for the clarification. Yes, comics are so much a visual medium that podcasts can’t reflect all the information they convey, and yet there are so many comics podcasts!

        I think I understand what you’re saying about the eye going back against the (western) left-to-right flow of words, balloons, panels, and actions. We’ve learned to make a quick “carriage return” with our eyes every time we move to the next line of text or the next tier of panels, however. In a Thrillbent comic the underlying image might not change, but in that case I read a bit of time passing, which still had storytelling value.

        I suppose that it might be possible to harness to “wrong way” impression within a Thrillbent-type story: a disruptive character constantly pushing readers’ eyes back to the left.

        • Gregg

          There’s absolutely storytelling value to any of the tools in the toolbox (even the oft maligned layouts of the early ’90s have some merit in there),J.L., for sure. It becomes a question of using those tools most effectively and, with these new presentations, how those work with respect to the end user experience.

          To that end, I was just recently I reading one of the Batman ’66 digital comics and found the panel presentation and word balloon distribution genuinely frustrating. There’s an adage that goes along the lines of “if the reader’s noticing the layout or lettering you’re doing something wrong”, and I was noticing the layout and the lettering way more than anything else.

          I’m very pro-digital comics. I want them cheap and plentiful and I’d love for digital comics to be a volume business…but I also pro-readable comics, in whatever format they’re delivered.

          And yeah, there are a lot of comics podcasts…I hope “Stuff Said” is high on your list (if you’re inclined to ranking and listing podcasts)!

          • J. L. Bell

            I, too, have been bothered by some of the Batman 66 transitions—I even started to wrote about them as a counterexample in my last comment, but that seemed too much. The Thrillbent folks are more subtle with their tricks.

            I should mention that I found “Stuff Said” by looking for podcasts with Chris Giarrusso. (Still waiting for a discussion of the development of G-Man universe!) My favorite comics podcasts are from creators rather than fans, and enjoy your discussions with the Brooklyn indy crowd and Marvel veterans.

          • Gregg

            The G-Man-verse gets very briefly touched upon in episode #29, but again, it’s quite brief.

            And it might surprise you to know some of that Brooklyn indy crowd actually live in Queens!

            Thanks again, J.L. for the comments, the discussion, and for listening!

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