Tag Archives: the new yorker

Daniel Kibblesmith: writing Loki, Colbert & being funny on the Internet

Daniel Kibblesmith is an Emmy-Nominated writer for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and the writer of comics like Marvel’s “Loki” (2019), “Black Panther Vs. Deadpool” (2018) and others. He’s also the author of picture books like “Santa’s Husband” (2017) and the upcoming, “Princess Dinosaur” (2020). He was one of the founding editors of ClickHole (2014) and his humor writing can be seen in places like The New Yorker and McSweeney’s.

We talk about the differences between writing humor in comics, TV, movies, and Twitter.

Also:

  • The universal appeal of a High School AU
  • Loki as a 60 year redemption project
  • Is Loki immune to woobification?
  • “Like you’re all playing MST3K together but with the entire world”
  • That Low Key t-shirt
  • A hierarchy of 4th wall breaking

Follow @Elana_Brooklyn on Twitter.

Baltimore Comic Con 2011 – Spotlight on Shannon Wheeler

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Shannon WheelerWhen I go to conventions, I tend to spend my time on the floor talking to publishers, writers, artists or stumbling through Artist Alley.  But, there’s usually an excellent choice of panels to attend too, that I never seem to manage to attend.  At Baltimore Comic Con, I decided to attend the panel hosted by BOOM!‘s  Chip “Cuddles” Mosher spotlighting the talented Shannon Wheeler.

Wheeler is the creator of Too Much Coffee Man, and recently won an Eisner Award for his collection of rejected New Yorker cartoons, I Thought You Would be Funnier.  Shannon also has written an opera and you might see his work in The New Yorker.

Wheeler began cartooning at an early age, taking classes from Michael T. Gilbert during the evenings.  He went on to study architecture at Berkley and started to create cartoons for $10 a pop.  Shannon from there began to recount stories that were beyond entertaining.  In the first he recounted how he and a friend dissected cartoons and how jokes were told.  This lead to a lot of discussion, but not a lot of creating.  The second explaining how he had to defend his cartoons at Berkley as he was lined up with the other cartoonists and would be grilled if his comic met certain criteria in it’s depictions.  The lesson he learned from there was to answer “yes.”  His first major comic at Berkley was Tooth & Justice.

Around 1988 Shannon moved to Austin, Texas where he became a video store clerk and would hang out at The Daily Texan newspaper with other legendary cartoonists such as Chris Ware.

His first real hit was Too Much Coffee Man which saw over 10,000 copies sold for it’s first issue and is in it’s seventh printing.  The series ran for ten issues (sort of).  Wheeler explained how he skipped two issues because he wasn’t having fun creating it, thinking the readers wouldn’t have fun reading it.  He really liked the ending, so decided to skip two issues.  He needed to skip two so that the covers worked the way he wanted.  This lead him the exclaim:

There’s nothing rarer than a non-existent comic book.

The stories flowed from there and here are the highlights, some never having been told before.

  • In 1993, Wheeler and his friends decided to make a bullet hole comic book gimmick.  They’d shoot a comic with a bullet and work the hole into the stories (one person forgot that part).  They debated if it was a good idea, Wheeler said no matter the idea, people will look for excuses not to do it.  They shot the books 3 times with the last time being done in a house garage and music covering up the gun fire.  A 9mm gun and a shotgun has been used and the shotgun was guaranteed “unreadable” selling fort $20.  The lesson, as condition goes down, the value goes up.
  • Japanese bootleg shirt – this was the “big story reveal’ of the show.  Wheeler wanted to do a t-shirt with Kanji writing and a picture or Too Much Coffee Man.  He felt it was a bit pretentious to do.  But, if the t-shirt is already selling in Japan, that’d justify the t-shirt.  So began the story of the bootlegged shirt.  Wheeler explained to people that a friend saw the t-shirt and that he was bootlegging and bootlegged t-shirt.  The translation was even off stating, “Person who drinks coffee often” as you’d expect in a t-shirt of that nature.  Ironically he was later contacted by a Japanese company, who actually licensed the t-shirt.
  • Wheeler was irritated he at one point had never gotten an award, so he had planned on creating a fake award for him to receive.  While this was in the planning stages he then actually received one, scrapping the plan.

The stories went on and on, going over the Too Much Coffee Man opera, his work for The New Yorker and his latest book collecting rejected submissions.  Wheeler throughout was honest and open recounting the good and bad.

The panel was engaging and entertaining, running over it’s hour allotment.  If you head to a convention and have a chance to see him speak, absolutely take advantage, you’ll be entertained and learn a lot.

New Yorker Condemns Kick-Ass


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The New Yorker has decided to take up arms against Kick-Ass (you can find our review here).  In the review the writer clearly thinks less of comic books and pop culture as a whole than normal high literary fair you’d find in books.  What’s fascinating is the reviewer clearly aware the movie is based off of a comic book writes as if director Matthew Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman are responsible for the entire plot and story, but I digress.

In a rant that condemns everyone from the adapters of the comic to the MPAA, the reviewer attempts to sound intelligent about his subject with lines such as:

“Kick-Ass” is violence’s answer to kiddie porn.

I wonder if the reviewer “gets” the movie at all?  The sophistication that the Anthony Lane mocks in the beginning of the article is lost on him.  I wasn’t a fan of the movie, but understood it’s point by showing such violence depicted by such young individuals a point clearly lost on Lane.

The review focuses on the children committing violent acts as if the age of the transgressor matters.  Is it any better if a 30 year old woman says the “c” word?  Or was Pulp Fiction’s violence brilliant only because it was acted out by adults?  That’s part of the point of Kick-Ass, a fact Lane in his clear snobbishness chooses to overlook.