Classic Comics Cavalcade

Interview: Gahan Wilson

An episode of Classic Comics Cavalcade

By Jason Sacks
We explore all areas of comic book history in our own unique way. You'll have fun, get insights and learn a lot at the same time.
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Aaron Kashtan Takes Users from Pen to Pixel
This week Jason is joined by Aaron Kashtan, author of the Eisner Award-nominated Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future. Aaron and Jason have an interesting discussion around comics theory and practice, focusing on work by Chris Ware, Lynda Barry, Alison Bechtel and more, around questions of the power of physical books, the ways to simulate hypertext in print, and the ways digital versus print books work for readers. It makes for an interesting and multifaceted discussion we think you'll enjoy.
June 12, 2019
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Part Two: the 1986 Black and White Bust
Carlos Rodela joins Jason again to talk about one of the biggest impacts of the success of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: the epic 1986 black and white comics boom and bust.
June 5, 2019
Sim-pathy for Dave Sim, with guest Keith Silva
This week Jason is joined by Comics Journal writer and reviewer Keith Silva to discuss the complicated legacy of Dave Sim, the controversial aueturist creator of Cerebus. Sim is generally acknowledged as one of the finest cartoonists of his era but the subject of his alleged misogyny continues to haunt his legacy. Jason and Keith discuss that legacy and attempt to help find Sim's place in the pantheon. Jason and Keith wrote about Sim before in 2013. That article is available on Comics Bulletin. Show notes at
May 29, 2019
Chatting About Mark Waid's Flash Run with Chris Kiser
Jason's old pal Chris Kiser joins Classic Comics Cavalcade to discuss one of his favorite comic runs, Mark Waid's epochal run on The Flash.
May 22, 2019
Kurtis Findlay on "For Better or For Worse", the Library of American Comics, and some classic comics picks
Vancouver-based editor, podcast host and fellow comics lover Kurtis Findlay joins Jason this week to discuss Lynn Johnston's brilliant classic comic Strip For Better or For Worse, which Kurtis is assembling and editing for the Library of American Comics. Jason and Kurtis also discuss his work for the LOAC before launching into a discussion of some comics they will have to trade with each other someday when they finally meet up.
May 15, 2019
J. Michael Catron On What Made EC Comics Great and What Makes Publishing Comics Fun
This week Jason speaks with J. Michael Catron, a senior editor at Fantagraphics Books who is responsible for the E.C. Comics and Disney Comics libraries, among others. Jason and Mike talk for around an hour about what made E.C. the greatest company of their time, celebrate some great cartoonists and some rather subpar lettering. They also delve into Mike's history as a publisher at his own Apple Comics.  Show notes at
May 8, 2019
Eddie Campbell on Great Cartoonists, Establishing Shots and more
This week Jason chats with one of his favorite cartoonists of all time about many topics, including Campbell's remarkable work of comics history "The Goat Getters: Jack Johnson, the Fight of the Century and How a Bunch of Raucous Cartoonists Reinvented Comics." It's a very fun listen. Show notes at
May 1, 2019
Jon B. Cooke on 'Weirdo', one of Robert Crumb's Longest Lasting and Most Impactful Creations
Jon B. Cooke has once again delivered a definitive comics history. "The Book of Weirdo" is an amazingly in-depth history of one of the most important comics anthologies of the 1980s and 1990s, featuring work by such prominent cartoonists as R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, Bill Griffith, Kim Deitch, Ace Backwards and many more, as well as by some of the most obscure and fascinating talented creators of that era. I had a great time talking "Weirdo" and its impact with Jon and I think you'll enjoy the chat too. For more on Weirdo and Jon's book, click here. Jon's podcast is called Subterranean Dispatch -- and the first episode includes an interview with R. Crumb. Show notes at
April 24, 2019
The Birth of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
We've all forgotten how strange the phrase "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" sounds. To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Turtles, Carlos Rodela joins Jason to discuss the creation and amazingly rapid rise of the Turtles, to a point where the two creators were earning $50 million a year from the Turtles. Show notes -- including some vintage photos from Eastman -- are posted at 
April 17, 2019
Bill Schelly on James Warren: Empire of Monsters
Jason interviews award-winning comics historian Bill Schelly about his new book James Warren: Empire of Monsters. Warren was a fascinating and important character in comics history, and Schelly shares some fascinating stories about this unique and often person. Show notes are at
April 10, 2019
Translator Zack Davisson on the Art of Translation
Jason talks with Zack Davisson, translator of classic manga by creators such as Go Nagai, Mizuki Shigeru, Satoshi Kon and Leiji Matsumoto , about the art of comic translation and what happens when you finally achieve everything you've dreamed of.
April 3, 2019
Kurt Mitchell on the Greatest Comics of the 1940s
Jason chats with Kurt Mitchell, author of The American Comic Book Chronicles: the 1940s, about some of the most important and exciting comics from that era. We talk Simon & Kirby, Eisner, Lou Fine and a slew of more obscure creators and comics. Kurt's book is available at or, or through Diamond at your local comic shop. Show notes, including pages from some of the comics we mention are available at
March 27, 2019
The Life and Great Comics of Steve Gerber
Jason is joined by Daniel Elkin of My Chicken Enemy and Nick Hanover, esteemed critic, for a discussion of some of the fascinating life and career of writer Steve Gerber. Nick, Daniel and Jason discuss the chilling feel of the Foolkiller comic, how writing six comics per month can change one's attitude, and the importance of having the right artist to match a story. Show notes at Please leave us a review on iTunes and tweet us @jasonsacks!
March 20, 2019
The Crazy History of American Comic Book Distribution in the 1980s and 1990s
In part two of his history of the crazy American comic book distribution system, Jason talks about the 1980s comic book boom and bust and about the 1990s comic book boom and its terrible bust, which led to bankruptcy for many businesses and a single national distributor of comic books. How did we get to the bizarre place in which only one company distributes comic books to American comic stores? Find that answer -- and a lot more -- in this week's Classic Comics Cavalcade.
March 13, 2019
The Corrupt and Crazy Beginnings of the Comic Book Direct Market
We're all used to Diamond Distribution being the only company that distributes comic books to the American direct market. But how did we get that way? We look at the corrupt and complex beginnings of comic book distribution and learn about a crucial lawsuit that changed everything.  Part one of two.
March 6, 2019
Comic Books and TV Shows: From Umbrella Academy to Superman
This week Jason joins Carlos Rodela of the ALOTOFTHINGS podcast to talk about comic book TV shows. They start with a lively chat about Doom Patrol and The Umbrella Academy before talking about every single comic book based TV show ever produced. Yeah, it's a tough job but who better to handle it? Show notes are available at
February 27, 2019
An interview with Tom Mason
Tom Mason was in the front line for some of the most interesting events in comics history, from the black and white boom of the 1980s to the creation of Image Comics to Malibu Comics' purchase by Marvel. Tom shares some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories of his long career in this very fun episode.
February 20, 2019
DC Brutalized Heroes in the 1990s
Broken backs. Madness. Hands eaten by piranhas. A job at Taco Bell? DC abused their mainline heroes in the 1990s -- and were rewarded with great sales.
February 13, 2019
1993: Craziest Year Ever for Comics? Part 1
1993 was a weird, wild year for comic book fans. On one hand, traditional super-heroes seemed to be drifting away from what fans loved about them. On the other hand, a befuddling number of new comics lines were created. We begin exploring that crazy year in this episode.
February 6, 2019
Interview: Gahan Wilson
For many years, Gahan Wilson has been one of our smartest and darkest cartoonists, with brilliant work appearing in the pages of The New Yorker, Playboy and other magazines. It was a thrill to get to speak with the master creator as he launched a kickstarter project.
January 30, 2019
Profile of Jim Shooter
Jim Shooter is one of the most controversial creators in comic book history. But is that controversy justified? I explore that topic in my latest episode.
January 23, 2019
Interview: Mark Schultz
Reviving an interview I conducted with the great artist Mark Schultz in 2011 to discuss his amazing Xenozoic Tales, Prince Valiant and artistic independence.
January 16, 2019
A History of Valiant Comics
Valiant Comics was one of the most important and influential comic book companies of the 1990s. In this episode, I trace Valiant's long and winding history.
January 9, 2019
Steve Englehart's Justice League of America
Steve Englehart's run on Justice League of America is a lost classic. We explore it here.
January 2, 2019
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