Category Archives: Graphic Policy Radio

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Die with Kieron Gillen & Stephanie Hans. Listen on Demand

Die is a pitch-black fantasy published by Image Comics where a group of forty-something adults have to deal with the returning unearthly horror they barely survived as teenage role-players. If Kieron’s in a rush, he describes it as “Goth Jumanji.” That only captures a sliver of what you’ll find in oversized debut issue—where fantasy gets all too real.

I got to interview two of the biggest talents making comics today: Gillen and Hans.

Kieron Gillen is an award-winning writer based in London, Britain. He is best known as the co-creator of The Wicked + the Divine and Phonogram. His comics work has been published by basically everyone and he’s written all the Marvel superheroes you’ve heard of and a few you’ve haven’t. He has written extensively for Star Wars, and is the co-creator of Doctor Aphra. Die is his latest ongoing comic. He mainly plays fighters with big mouths.

Stephanie Hans is an artist based in Toulouse, France. She is one of the most prolific and in demand cover artists in the anglophone sphere, and has worked for all the major comic publishers. Her sequential work has been seen in the Wicked + the Divine, Spider-Man, Angela, Journey into Mystery and Batwoman. Die is her first ongoing comic. She mainly plays wizards with big swords.


  • Role Playing Games is being in a band, but for story-telling.
  • Wrestling with Tolkien
  • RPG handling of class and Class, race and Race.
  • “If anyone is going to pick up on that it’s Elana”
  • “All the metal album covers are real”
  • Fantasy is a peacock
  • The birth of the 90s
  • Gaming and comics as collective storytelling
  • Sensitive metal-heads
  • And which new RPGs to pick up!

Daredevil Season 3 with Senior National Security Correspondent Spencer Ackerman. Listen to the Podcast on Demand

Daredevil was “Born Again” in Season 3 of the Netflix series. From brown-washing the FBI to NY pizza history, questionable journalism to plot significant Abstract Art and Catholic Symbolism as far as your radar can sense. Who better to talk about it all than Pulitzer Award winner Spencer Ackerman, Senior National Security Correspondent for The Daily Beast (and lifelong New Yorker).

Stay till the end for Spencer’s shocking assessment of Iron Fist Season 2.  And a predictably high amount of art history lessons from your host Elana Levin.

Stan Lee: Politics and Business With Spencer Ackerman. Listen to the Podcast on Demand and on the Go

The politics and place of Stan Lee, as told by two self admitted Jack Kirby Jacobins trying to find a balance in a tale of conflict and legends.

Stan Lee and:

Being Jewish

The creative process

  • Civil Rights
  • The Vietnam War
  • The lawsuits
  • The digressions
  • And screwing over Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko

Host Elana Levin is joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Spencer Ackerman, a senior national security correspondent at The Daily Beast. Read his article on Stan Lee’s legacy here.

The Venture Bros. Podcast: Finale! Season 7 Ep 10: The Saphrax Protocol

We survived the election to bring you in-depth analysis of the Season 7 finale of The Venture Bros.. Join us for a look at the season’s themes, “Empire Strikes Back vs Barbarella” (only one of them has Terence Stamp playing Dildano) and a whole lot of Guild of Calamitous Intent ritual borrowed from the Masons. Steven Attwell explains who the fuck is Saphrax (and also who’s Hank & Dean’s mom!) and we get into the twin’s psychology again (Jungian and otherwise).

Fair warning: Elana’s knowledge of the Masons largely comes from watching avante-garde filmmaker Matthew Barney’s Cremaster cycle and we both geek out about Alan Moore’s From Hell (which are probably Hammer and Publick’s sources on The Masons anyway).

Matthew Barney as the Entered Apprentice Mason in Cremaster 3

Matthew Barney as the Entered Apprentice Mason in Cremaster 3

Batman’s Secret Files with Cheryl Lynn Eaton. Listen on Demand and on the Go

Batman: Secret Files #1 features comics writer and critic Cheryl Lynn Eaton‘s debut Batman story! She joins us to talk about her comics and critical writing about DC, Wildstorm and the latest Marvel Netflix series.

A New York metropolitan native (now safely nestled in the outskirts of Atlanta), Cheryl Lynn Eaton has contributed to pop-culture sites as a columnist and reporter, held court as founder of the Ormes Society, maintained a position as an editor for an academic press, written for comic publishers such as Image and DC Comics, and served as an editorial intern for Publishers Weekly. She is on twitter at

The Venture Bros. Podcast: Season 7 Ep 9: The Forecast Manufacturer

Things get Freudian, Jungian and John Carpenter-ian in the penultimate episode of Venture Bros Season 7. Join @Elana_Brooklyn and @StevenAttewell on a journey up the Hudson River to a real life secret island castle and meet the Villian With 1,000 References. We play Myth Busters about such topics as lawn darts and “chelation”.

So listen to the podcast here, on Graphic Policy Radio’s iTunes  or find all of our Venture Bros episodes on this playlist.

PS: Here’s the short story sequel to The Thing I recommended: Sam J Miller’s Things With Beards. Here’s the music video of Cult of Personality.

The Venture Bros. Podcast: Season 7 Ep 8: The Terminus Mandate

Come for the long game Venture Bros. lore, stay for the explanation of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels. Which far fetched as it sounds, is a real thing.

Our podcast examines the themes of The Venture Bros show and all of its cultural and historical references. In this episode Steven Attewell and Elana Levin draw on their knowledge of NY, pop culture and discuss significant themes this season.

Listen here, or on Graphic Policy Radio’s iTunes  or find all of our Venture Bros episodes on this playlist.

PS Elana is on two panels at NY Comic Con: New York TimesOUT presents LGBTQ in Pop Culture and Old Classic, New Voices: Diverse Creators Rate the Comics Canon both on Saturday Oct 6th.

The Venture Bros. Podcast: Season 7 Ep 7: The Unicorn in Captivity

This week’s episode, “The Unicorn in Captivity” is a perfect illustration of why we do this podcast: it is rich with Christ symbolism and Kubrick references. The episode is named after and significantly features one of a series of High Renaissance unicorn tapestries I just so happen to have studied, set in NY’s none-more-goth museum, The Cloisters.

This is the Venture Bros. podcast for people who want to dig into the narrative parallels between our two unicorns; Rusty Venture and The Monarch as well as the symbolism, the history and philosophical questions raised by the hit Adult Swim cartoon.

Steven Attewell examines the episodes’ commentary on sci-fi genre paradoxes via Warren Ellis and Fantastic Four comics. And OSI is no longer just a spoof of GI Joe, it’s a critique of the military industrial complex.

So join us! Here or on Graphic Policy Radio’s iTunes  or find all of our Venture Bros episodes on this playlist (plus Episode 6 which is here).

And comment or tweet me here if you have thoughts about this week’s format. We went long this week. I promise you it’s worth it.

Ramon Villalobos, Comics Artist, talks Border Town his new Vertigo series

Ramon Villalobos is a professional comic artist living in Stockton California. He’s worked on books for Marvel such as Nighthawk, Secret Wars: E is for Extinction, America, among others and now Border Town (co created with Eric M. Esquivel) for Vertigo Comics.

“When a crack in the border between worlds releases an army of monsters from Mexican folklore, the residents of Devil’s Fork, AZ, blame the ensuing weirdness—the shared nightmares, the otherworldly radio transmissions, the mysterious goat mutilations—on “God-dang illegals.” With racial tensions supernaturally charged, it’s up to new kid in town Frank Dominguez and a motley crew of high school misfits to discover what’s really going on in this town torn between worlds.”

The Venture Bros. Podcast: Season 7 Ep 6: The Bellicose Proxy

The Venture Bros has rich continuity and character arcs over years. Layer on pop culture and historic reference with thematic significance? It’s a lot. So join pop culture & NY history experts Elana Levin and Steven Attewell for our podcast examining each episode of the Adult Swim show.

Season 7 episode 6: The Bellicose Proxy


  • Newish villain Augustus St. Cloud is explored
  • Architecture reveals a lost subway location
  • The Guild is bad at being a labor organization
  • Anais Nin books your mom may or may not have hidden in a closet
  • The late Burt Reynolds is saluted
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