Neil McLean

Stop-motion animator Neil McLean is building an amazing little empire in his rigorously crafted world of Dungeon, sure to impress a lot of people when the series debuts a little later this year! I sat down with Neil, accompanied by my pal, artist Seamus Smith, to talk about Dungeon the morning after I got a chance to be blown away by the first short, (watch it now at neilmclean.net.) We got way under the skin of the project, discussing how he came to be making such an arduous project and why he couldn't help but to do. As we recorded with his sets and characters all around, the conversation got deep behind the scenes, revealing secrets of the big reaches imagination will make to solve problems, where specific secrets in design can come from, British upbringing vs American upbringing, and the different yet similar inspirations those contained. Doctor Who, MST3K, Rankin & Bass... no stone is left un-turned. The whole thing has an underpinning of solid humor, nerdy art references and some very keen political/social commentary. It's a packed episode that doesn't drop the beat for a second. We had a terrific time recording it! The amount of takeaways, laughs and sheer level of inspiration is surefire proof.

Watch the progress of Dungeon at neilmclean.net, and follow Neil McLean on twitter and instagram @remdiavideo.

Follow Seamus Smith on twitter and instagram @seamussmithart, and Seamus Smith Art on YouTube.

Follow me on twitter and instagram @kraigcomx. Support this show by shopping on my site, monkeygong.com/shop, or by becoming a patron at patreon.com/monkeygong.

Please rate and review this podcast on iTunes to help build the community.

Jimmy Palmiotti, Brian Schirmer & me w/mc Chris Brandt

Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western, Hype), Brian Schirmer (Ultrasylvania, Blackjack Ketchum), and I, moderated by Chris Brandt (Hero a Day, Independents), did a panel at Wondercon in 2013, in which we breakdown the mysteries of running a kickstarter and being an effective creator in the new entrepreneurial age. Both Jimmy and Brian bring incredible wisdom to the conversation, straight from their multiple kickstarter successes. So, if you're thinking of running a campaign, this episode has you covered. From planning and preparing, through the day-in-day-out of managing, marketing and succeeding at your fundraising goal. Throughout, Chris Brandt helps keep the whole thing relevant and focused, making sure everything sticks to the message that you CAN make your own thing, while providing numerous ways to go about that.

Literally the most takeaway packed episode of this show so far. Wall-to-wall wisdom (and wisecracks)!

Thanks very much to Jimmy, Brian and Chris for letting me record this as a podcast. It's twice as pertinent now as in 2013!

Follow Jimmy Palmiotti on twitter & instagram @jimmypalmiotti. Check out his group site paperfilms.com to keep up with Jimmy, Amanda Connor, Justin Gray, Paul Mounts & Frank Tieri. Pick up Jimmy's books All-Star Western and Hype wherever you buy comics.

Follow Brian Schirmer on twitter @brianschirmer and keep up with him at brianschirmer.com. Buy his books Ultrasylvania and Blackjack Ketchum.

Follow Chirs Brandt on instagram @heroaday and keep up with his site bainst.com. Look for Independents the documentary there!

Follow me on twitter & instagram @kraigcomx and support this show at monkeygong.com or patreon.com/monkeygong.

Please rate and review this show on iTunes, iHeartRadio or Stitcher Radio.

John Hyams

Film director John Hyams sat with me in a noisy Hollywood motel room to discuss his solid career as a director, from his terrific documentary start, to his great work with Jean Claude Van Damme, especially the bravura surprise that is Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, and his unique childhood that, along with art school and some illustration chops, helped prepare him to become the powerful filmmaker he is today. We get into the difference between directing for TV and feature films, how TV and movies have switched narrative places, the future of cinema, and some incredibly tangible mental tools that allow you to make better films (or really any project.) In addition to dozens of great takeaways for creators, this episode is chock-a-block with behind the scenes wisdom and anecdotes from some very notable projects and moments in time, including the Universal Soldier films, Z Nation, his secret doc that I don't want to spoil here, and it's incredibly timed connection to the world of MMA/UFC, to some projects he didn't direct, but rather observed being made... Why am I being vague?

Listen to find out!

Follow John Hyams on twitter @jrhyams. Keep watching Z Nation, the Originals & Chicago PD to support John's TV work, and watch out for his upcoming projects Bullets for Breakfast and the (serious) remake of Maniac Cop (written by Ed Brubaker!!)

Follow me on twitter and instagram @kraigcomx and keep up with the show and my comics work at monkeygong.com.

Please share this show with your friends, as well as rate and review it on iTunes to help increase the reach!

Jim Woodring, Miriam Libicki, Derek Kirk Kim & me, w/mc Andrew Farago

Way back in 2012 I was invited to join a panel at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, entitled "Using Childhood Experiences to Create Adult Stories," featuring Jim Woodring(!), Miriam Libicki, Derek Kirk Kim, and mc'd by Andrew Farago from the Cartoon Art Museum. The panel stayed more on point than most and provides, as advertised, a slough of childhood tales, origin details, influences, inspirations, adventures and, naturally, misadventures. Despite some sound issues, which mostly clear up less than 15 minutes in, this is a terrific episode featuring and bunch of young upstarts (us) and a verified legend (Jim) sharing a thought provoking journey through our pasts, and our guts as artists. This episode is just as juicy as I like 'em!

This episode was originally posted during the first run of this podcast in 2013, but since that feed is gone and the the sound was so awful, it's basically new to everyone including me this time out.

Thanks very much to all the speakers!

Follow Miriam Libicki on twitter @realgonegirl and her site realgonegirl.com.

Follow Derek Kirk Kim on facebook and his site derekkirkkim.com.

Follow Jim Woodring on twitter @woodring_jim, on instagram @jimwoodringcartoonist, and at his site jimwoodring.com.

And last but not least, follow me on twotter and instagram @kraigcomx and keep your peepers peeled for more at monkeygong.com.

Please rate and review this show, it helps us get more listeners:)

 

Peter Kleeman

Peter Kleeman (founder & curator of the Space Age Museum,) recently wrote a terrific article for Quartz entitled "If you want to change reality, read more science fiction."

He did not pen that headline, which couldn't be more evident when you hear that his perspective goes far beyond just reading science fiction, an instead cuts to the core of the science fiction experience-- the fascination with space, imagination, long term vision and planning, society, spectacle, and of course, the enthralling sense of mysterious wonder for exploring the unknown.

This is a tremendously inspiring, compassionate, universal talk about the human side of politics and society, eschewing party lines and labels to discuss the truth that WE. ARE. ALL. HUMAN. We go deep about how we are in this together and we need to start acting like it. It's episode after my heart, reveling in levels of my mind I love to explore.

Please share this episode everywhere, to help get the attention of JPL, NASA, Elon Musk and the like, as they may be positioned and interested in supporting the Space Age Museum. This conversation is (on behalf of Peter and the Space Age Museum,) a shout out to the pioneers and dreamers who are advancing science and society inspired by their own love for science fiction.

Visit the Space Age Museum online for a dazzling tour of just a fraction of their collection: http://www.spaceagemuseum.com/ and follow the museum on twitter and instagram @spaceagemuseum.

Read Peter's excellent, optimistic and powerful article at Quartz: https://qz.com/894823/science-fiction-films-and-novels-could-help-us-save-the-world/

Follow me on instagram and twitter @kraigcomx. Keep up with my work and shop at monkeygong.com.

Please rate and review this show on iTunes or wherever you hear your shows!

Jimmie Whisman & James Pietragallo

Jimmie Whisman and James Pietragallo, comedians & cohosts of the breakout podcasts Crime in Sports and Small Town Murder, joined me to record this in the green room at Stand-Up Live in Phoenix, AZ. It has the slightly rowdy, sarcastic vibe of a night out, while simultaneously delivering a keen perspective on comedy tastes, the difference in comedy styles, growing as a comedian, performing in the age of YELP! and some not-so-secret-secrets of how boys play with action figures. We also take a hard look at pop culture icons, why modern movies suck sometimes and much more with some big laughs along the way!

Follow Jimmie Whisman on twitter @whismansucks, and catch him at the San Jose Improve with Jessimae Paluso February 17th-19th, as well as regular gigs at Stand-Up Live and the Tempe Improv in the Phoenix area.

Follow James Pietragallo on twitter @jimmypisfunny and subscribe to his podcast PS I hate this movie (cohosted by Sarah Hunt.)

Subscribe to Jimmie & James' podcasts Crime in Sports and Small Town Murder wherever you listen to your pods!

Subsrcibe to this show at any of those places too!

Follow me on twitter and instagram @kraigcomx and keep up with this show and my comics work at monkeygong.com.

Lonnie Millsap

Cartoonist Lonnie Millsap has been impressing me (and cracking me up) with his keen observations and high output for years. It was a long awaited pleasure to sit down and discuss the discipline of producing a regular comic strip, how to navigate relationships, how other people see artists, using social media for good instead of ill, convention hacks, life balance and a lot more. It is, unsurprisingly, also quite topical as the shadow of the orange tyrant looms over all the land, and is impossible to avoid discussing.

Find Lonnie Millsap's current strip Bacon at gocomics.com/bacon, and pick up collections of his past works at lonniemillsap.com. Follow him on instagram and facebook too!

Follow me @kraigcomx on twitter and instagram, and keep in the loop about the show and shop at monkeygong.com.

Please subscribe to, rate & review this show on iTunes, stitcher, soundcloud, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

Gareth Reynolds

Comedian/writer/podcaster Gareth Reynolds (The Dollop, Point vs Point, Maron, the Idiotsitter) shares keen observations about language & culture, how Trump was destined to happen, how Hollywood is like a certain very painful type of Shaolin Kung Fu training, as well as a handful of practical rules about how to manage social media and our tech obsession. Follow these simple rules, and "we will probably get a lot more done, and get a lot more pissed off..."

Glad I got a comedian on here to talk about our scary new American landscape in an entertaining and thought provoking way. One of the richest and most entertaining episodes yet!

Follow Gareth on twitter @reynoldsgareth, and keep up with his tour dates and more at garethreynolds.com.

Follow me on instagram & twitter @kraigcomx, and follow the show and my work at monkeygong.com.

Please rate and review, when you subscribe to this who on iTunes.

Neil T. Weakley

Film Critic Neil T. Weakley (comedyfilmnerds.com) joined me to hash out our favorite films, filmmakers, film quirks/sublteties that make films improve as we grow with them, a whole bunch of Star Wars talk, and what it means to truly critique a thing. There's a strong thread of allowing art to be what it wants to be, not what we want it to be. It's a playful, nerdy, detailed and altogether story praising episode. Hear us two fanatics dish on levels rarely seen on even this podcast!

Follow Neil on twitter @FilmNerdNeil and read his writing at comedyfilmnerds.com.

Follow me on twitter an instagram @kraigcomx. Support this show by shopping at monkeygong.com, or subscribing, rating and reviewing on iTunes.

Andy Ristaino

Andy Ristaino has managed to not only accomplish the completion of some gorgeous comic book art, but to also be indelibly involved in creating one of the great animated shows of the 21st century, Adventure Time. Serving many functions, and truly putting his stamp on that show, he learned his way around Cartoon Network and is now following that relationship to produce a brand new, top secret animated show of his own. We hash out what it's like to grind on the animation schedule vs. freelance, as well as the ins and outs of contracts, work/life pressure, staying healthy and making art long term. We also go deep talking about his two books "The Babysitter" (SLG) and "Night of the Living Vidiots" (self-published and amazing!) If you're not familiar with his work, you'll be in for a treat. This is a tremendously honest, entertaining and practical episode. If you work in the arts, no doubt this chat has some wisdom to share.

Find Andy's books at skronked.com and follow him on social media @skronked!

Follow me on the socials @kraigcomx, Kraig Rasmussen or monkeygong on Facebook, and stay up to date with the show and the shop at monkeygong.com.

Please subscribe, rate and review this show on iTunes.

Kraig & Mike Workshop it

In a companion to the last episode, but not a continuation, my epic recording session with Mike Dubisch took a turn into hypothetical territory, where we engaged in some epic brainstorming on his behalf. It turned into a de facto business strategy planning session (and almost squarespace add,) while diving deep into how to build a comic once you have the art, how to print it, present it to publishers or self publish it, market it and sell it. Truly a practical episode if I ever heard one. On top of all that the whole thing has the energy of a resolution, not just for the New Year, but for one's whole career. A perfect closer for 2016!

Happy New Year to all of you listening. Enter code "pod" when you shop at monkeygong.com/shop until January 3rd.

Thanks for your continued ear-time!

Follow Mike Dubisch on social media @mikedubisch, and Facebook. Get art and comics from him at mikedubisch.com and mysterymeatcomix.com.

Follow me @kraigcomx on twitter and instagram, stay up to date and shop at monkeygong.com and redbubble.com/kraigcomx.

Subscribe & listen to this show, rate and review it (please), on iTunes, stiticher, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio and more!

Mike & Kraig's Interruption-Cast

Mike Dubisch and I sparred with each other as we dissected our approach to process... not a talk so much about art process as our actual thought process about that process. More engaging than you'd think, since we happen to be a couple of passionate weirdos when it comes to making art, and that lead to a rousing good time. So much of a good time, that this is one of two episodes recorded that day. Not part one, just the first of two very separate conversations. Join us as we cleave away the old pretenses and myths we used to tell ourselves about art, and listen up for several very practical thoughts and details about managing your time, your life and long term career as a creator.

(This is me siphoning Mike's longer experience in comics and professional illustration, as I continue to learn tips of how to live like a pro from him, not just make money as an artist. Sure to have takeaways for many of you.)

Follow Mike Dubisch on the socials @mikedubisch, and get art and comics from him at mikedubisch.com and mysterymeatcomix.com.

Follow me @kraigcomx on twitter and instagram, stay up to date and shop at monkeygong.com and redbubble.com/kraigcomx.

Subscribe & listen to this show, rate and review it (please), on iTunes, stitcher, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio and more!

Jeff Johnson

Comic Book artist Jeff Johnson (Wonder Man, Way of the Rat, Bornehome) sat with me to breakdown the life impact of making comics, especially on relationships, how using "art as an emotional escape is great training, but bad business [and life] planning", the value of practice, long term career stability, staying healthy and a whole heckuva lot more! It is a terrifically connected and insightful episode, and makes clear why Jeff's work is always inspiring to behold. A must listen for comics amateurs and pros alike, as well as for those who are driven to pursue a passion or craft of any kind.

Follow Jeff Johnson instagram @johnsonverse, as well as on Facebook to see a ton of great art. Buy his books Bornehome & How to Draw Fight Scenes Like a Pro, and watch the animated Transformers dag nabbit!

Please subscribe, rate and review this show on iTunes or anywhere you listen to podcasts!

Follow me on twitter and instagram @kraigcomx.

Kraig & Mike's Reality Distraction Time

Mike Dubisch joins me on this solid three-peat of our co-hosting adventure, in which we peel away the layer of distraction and concern caused by current events and our reactions/overreactions to them. In addition, we get very specific about time management, time perception, following the muse/flow, and putting in the extra effort to do work that grows you as an artist, to find the maximized version of you and your work. It's a terrific look into our weird (but productive) heads, and a very personal glimpse at a little of our respective craziness. Another one I'm proud to present!

Follow Mike on twitter and instagram @Dubisch, go to http://dubisch.com & http://mystermeatcomix.com to find his work.

Follow me on twitter and instagram @kraigcomx, find my work at http://monkeygong.com and The Crossing on the Stela Unlimited comics app.

Please subscribe, rate, review and enjoy on iTunes.

Brian Hibbs has Comix Experience

Brian Hibbs, owner of Comix Experience in San Francisco breaks down the retailer-creator relationship as we navigate a multi-layered chat about comic books and retail in the digital age. The talk takes some surprising turns and was far more creator-centric than I ever expected, proving that Brian has a keen grasp of everything that goes into comics, and passion for the medium that rivals the most fervent creators. This is another episode to take notes on for future use. We also delve deep into his monthly Graphic Novel Club (graphicnovelclub.com) as we explore the nature of the comic book store going forward. It's a tremendous and rich conversation.

Follow Brian on twitter @savagecritic, read his regular contributions to cbr.com (comic book resources) and comicsbeat.com. Find out more about his stores at www.comixexperience.com.

Subscribe to and participate in the amazing Graphic Novel Club at www.graphicnovelclub.com.

Follow me on twitter and instagram @kraigcomx.

Please subscribe and rate this show on iTunes!

Jason McNamara

Jason McNamara sat down with me on some steps at Duboce Park in San Francisco to record this talk nearly four years ago, and it's easily still on topic for this show. Taking a breather from the current national blowback and the holiday crush, this episode features an interesting talk at a key moment for both of our careers, when things were about to shift, and we really, really wanted them to. Numerous insights and laughs fill an energetic discussion about breaking in, staying in, doing work that matters to you, feeling like outsiders and seeing things from that perspective. The episode was recorded to coincide with the Kickstarter campaign for The Rattler, written by Jason and illustrated by the inimitable Greg Hinkle. After the success of that kickstarter, the book went on to be one of my favorite reads in the last few years, and ultimately it was picked up and re-published by Image Comics. This conversation and the amazing book Jason and Greg made, are a testament to the fact that you can make it happen for yourself in comics if you're willing to put in the work. Buckle up for plenty of insight on that, and some incredibly entertaining convention anecdotes.

Follow Jason on the tweets @JasonMcNamara, on instagram @ramonesome, and pick up the Rattler online or at your local comic shop dag-nabbit!

Do your Black Friday-Cyber Monday shopping at monkeygong.com and please subscribe to this show on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and more!

Mike & Kraig talk dystopia/utopia, fiction/reality and politics (sorta)!

After a week of sitting in stunned, post-election silence, (actually, we recorded an angry episode last week that promptly/conveniently/thankfully vanished,) Mike Dubisch and I convened once again to discuss the state of craft in the midst of tumultuous social and political upheaval. The conversation takes incredible turns from art and reality merging to powers behind the throne and on to why some storytellers are able to prophesize the future of society so accurately. It's an amazing recovery from the emotional mulligan that is the election of President... (bleh!)... Donald Trump. And don't worry, we do a pretty decent job of intertwining any politics with talk of craft, and even avoiding it for large chunks of the show. (Quite a feat, really!)

Follow us on twitter and instagram @mikedubisch & @kraigcomx

Please subscribe to the show on iTunes.

Kraig & Mike discuss the Chelsea Cain incident and more!

Mike Dubisch joins the Storycraft podcast as the abby-normal co-host, bringing a new, much needed pulse to the show. We get in neck deep right away with a bristling indictment of misogynist Twitter trolling, fear of feminism, an obvious schism in American society, as well as the dreaded upcoming Presidential election and a whole helluva lot more.

If you have the habit of trolling people online and being vulgar, belligerent, threatening or hateful, this episode is ABOUT you, but probably not for you. Unless you just can't resist... But maybe just do us all the favor and steer clear?

Find Mike Dubisch online under Mike Dubisch on all the various platforms, and find me under Kraig Rasmussen, @kraigcomx, and at monkeygong.com.

Please subscibe to this show on iTunes.

Mick Gray

Mick Gray drops knowledge and perspective from a long career inking the likes of JH WIlliams III, Ryan Sook, Pat Gleason, Barry Kitson, Kevin Nowlan, and, wait for it... Jack Kirby. Known for his current work on Superman, an epic run on Batman & Robin (Robin, Son of Batman,) and before that, the incredible Promethea, Mick is without a doubt one of the master inkers in comics. He knows how to deliver a eye poppingly bold and expressive work, and he's kind enough to share insights on how he got there in this really great talk.

Check out his new music show the Deep Cut Podcast on Youtube, and pick up the new issue of Superman at your local comic book shop!

Subscribe to this show on iTunes.

Chris Gore

Founder of Film Threat magazine, recently revived as a website thanks an huge kickstarter success, Chris Gore chats with me about keeping things balanced as an entrepreneur, weird health hacks, fandom, the state of science fiction and a whole host of awesome fun. Like most makers, he leads a varied career as stand-up comic, podcaster, film writer, former host of Attack of the Show and much more, which all adds up to someone following their passions with verve. It's a spirited, laugh filled ride with tons of takeaways.

Follow Chirs on twitter @thatchrisgore

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