Study Group Radio: Process Party


Study Group Comics has a podcast! Join hosts Zack Soto (Secret Voice, Power Button) & Mike Dawson (Rules For Dating My Daughter, Troop 142) as they discuss their own creative processes, comic art, family life, and a ton of other stuff.
Each episode finds a new guest from the world of comics joining Mike & Zack for an in depth conversation, and occasional guest segments from their pals around the world. Subscribe via iTunes or a podcatcher of your choice, or via the embedded audio in the posts themselves.

Theme music by Brandon White. Bandcamp/FB


  • Episode 01 – Vanessa Davis Your hosts break the ice, cartoonist Shanna Matuszak talks this week’s comics, and guest Vanessa Davis talks about two Formative Works: 100 Demons by Lynda Barry & Charlotte: Life or Theater by Charlotte Salomon.
  • Episode 02 Elijah Brubaker Mike tells us all about his experiences cosplaying at the New York Comic Con. Zack chats with Shanna Matuszak about this week’s new releases. Then Elijah Brubaker (Reich, Jezebel) joins us on the party floor to talk about his process and also, Nth Man!
  • Episode 03 – Derf – Derf  joins us to talk about his career from the heyday of the alternative weekly newspaper, to finding a new creative lease on life as a graphic novelist. Shanna Matuzak talks this week’s comics, and Mike & Zack discuss cartoonists and literary agents: threat or menace?
  • Episode 04 – Matt Furie – Mike & Zack introduce a special episode – Illustrator & cartoonist Matt Furie interviewed by Justin “Scrappers” Morrison, recorded at this year’s 2016 Linework NW festival in Portland, OR.
    What follows is a great chat about Pepe the frog, creativity, parenting, and Aquaman. Shanna’s in Japan, so no Weekly comics segment. #savepepe!
  • Episode 05 – Julia Gfrörer – Zack and Mike chat with Black is the Color and Laid Waste cartoonist, Julia Gfrorer in this wide-ranging episode. We discuss foundational works of Julia’s, including work by Ivan Brunetti, Al Columbia, Tony Millionaire, and Chris Ware.

  • Episode 06 – Stunned Confusion / CAB & Short Run Reports Just the two of us reeling over the election, mainly. We also talk about attending CAB & Short Run before the world got weird(er) & crazy(er).
  • Episode 07 – Malachi Ward Malachi joins us on the party floor to talk about comic collaborations and hard science fiction. His new book, Ancestor, created with Matt Sheean has recently come out through Image after being serialized in Emma Rios & Brandon Graham’s Island magazine. Also: Mike & Zack talk Patreon & Shanna is back from Japan and ready to report on her travels.
  • Episode 08 – Tom Kaczynski –  We’re talking to Uncivilized Books/ODOD publisher & talented cartoonist Tom Kaczynski. Topics include nostalgia, Polish comics, kickstarters, publishing and more. Plus: Everyone is sick! There are some sniffles. And: New comics chat with Shanna, including a discussion of Highbone Theater and the return of Saxophone Man!
  • Episode 09 – Rina Ayuyang – Welcome cartoonist & Yam Books publisher Rina Ayuyang! We talk pens, musicals, sketchbooks, publishing and podcasting. A new segment called “Breaking The Ice” is debuted, Zack teases a fan-fiction project, and Mike has a brand new webcomic to announce!
  • Episode 10 – Jason Lutes – Jason Lutes (Jar of Fools, Houdini: The Handcuff King (drawn by Nick Bertozzi), The Fall (written by Ed Brubaker), & his long-running Berlin) is here in ONE FROM THE VAULTS! Mike interviewed Jason in 2011 for a previous podcast, but is presented here with a slightly different edit. They discuss Berlin, CCS, his interest in gaming, particularly role-playing games, and the ways in which such things influence storytelling and world-building.  PLUS: Mike comes clean about his Kevin Smith fandom, and Zack and Shanna talk new (& very old) comics!
  • Episode 11 – Simon Hanselmann – Mike & Zack (aka “The Party Boys”) welcome Simon Hanselmann (with appearances by his wife & Fantagraphics publicist Jacq Cohen who was also on hand) to the Party Floor! They talk his new 2Dcloud book DRONE v2, drugs, absent friends, music, & truth (zone). Mike & Zack also discuss the Doctor Strange movie, kickstarter, & publishing strategy.

  • Episode 12 – Best of 2016! Mike & Zack haven’t read as much as they’d have liked this year, but they succumb to societal pressure and break down their favorite books of 2016! Plus: Guest reviews from Josh Bayer, Sarah Glidden, Jim Rugg, Kris Mukai, Box Brown, Gina Wynbrandt, Joe McCulloch,  Josh Simmons, Leela Corman, Chris Pitzer, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Sammy Harkham, & Sarah Horrocks!
  • Episode 13 – Looking Forward! –  In this episode, we’re all a little wiped out from the holidays and our big “Best of” episode last time, so The Party Boys take a minute to take stock of 2016 & look forward to 2017. Plus! Shanna returns to talk Red Red Rock & Black Widow #9 with Zack in the New Comics Roundup!
  • Episode 14 – Toshio Maeda! – The boys are joined by guest critic Joe McCulloch! He brings the context to our larger discussion of the work of Urotsukidoji & Demon Beast Invasion creator Toshio Maeda. We also have a live recording of the trailblazing erotic mangaka’s talk with Tim Goodyear at Floating World Comics last month. It’s a funny, loopy chat we thought our listeners would enjoy. PLUS: Mike & Zack check in with a Progress Report on their 2017 creative goals!
  • Episode 14.5 – Bonus Episode: Teenaged Memedream! –  The boys, spurred on by an internet meme, take a spontaneous trip down memory lane and talk about some of their most influential comics read while enduring their teenage years. Important questions like: Who shoplifted comics from the B.Dalton? Is The Death & Return/Reign of the Supermen better than Love & Rockets? And what’s better: Inferno or Acts of Vengeance? This episode explains a lot about your hosts, whether they like it or not!
  • Episode 15 – Leela Corman! – This week, we welcome talented illustrator, cartoonist & belly dancer Leela Corman! She’s the author of the graphic novel Unterzakhn (Schocken) & the recent short story collection We All Wish For Deadly Force (Retrofit). We have a spirited discussion about her upcoming work, making short comics vs longform comics, and generational trauma, among other things.
  • Episode 16 – Noah Van Sciver! This week, we welcome Noah Van Sciver to the party floor! We talk Blammo #9, listed by many (including this podcast) as one of the best books of the year, post-project depression, Fantagraphics, coming up hungry, Patreon, and what’s next for Noah. Formative Works Eightball #11 & 16 are discussed. Also, Mike & Zack alternate talking trash & rhapsodizing about Noah; and Shanna & Zack break out Dad’s Weekend, The Goddamned, Southern Bastards, & 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank on New Comics Roundup!
  • Episode 17 – Mardou! We welcome the excellent Mardou to the Party Floor. She’s the author of the 2015 Revival House Press release Sky in Stereo, and is currently working on a sequel volume.  We dig into Mardou’s writing method, get the scoop on her next comics project, talk drugs, religion, self-care, generational ambivalence, postulating about 9-panel grids – this episode has it all! PLUS: Mike in Atlanta! Zack at the hospital! AND: Shanna talks She Wolf vol 1, On Topics #2, & Island #14 on New Comics Roundup.

  • Episode 18: Joey Alison Sayers! –  The hilarious author of Just So You Know, Thingpart, and prolific contributor at The Nib joins us on the party floor! We talk parenting, twitter, Mad Magazine, webcomics, taking breaks when you’re not feeling it, dive into Joey’s career & her thoughts on humor comics. PLUS: Mike & Zack talk about 5 year plans, agents, & those infuriating prodigies!
  • Episode 19 – Rich Tommaso! – This week, we talk to Rich Tommaso about all things She Wolf! One of the coolest current Image Comics series, She Wolf is a hallucinatory take on the werewolf genre that has led to some of Rich’s most impressive visuals and elliptical narratives yet. Plus: Zack & Mike talk “the canon” in comics history, Will Eisner, & The Joe Kubert School.
  • Episode 20 – Recent Reads! –  Mike & Zack take an “us” day and chat about some recent comics reads. Last Man vols 1 & 2 by Balak, Michaël Sanlaville, Bastien Vivès, Beauty by Hubert & Kerascoet, “Black History” by David Heatley, and Captain America #344 by Mark Gruenwald & Kieron Dwyer.
  • Episode 21 – Jason Latour! The co-creator of Southern Bastards, Loose Ends and Spider-Gwen joins us on the party floor. We get deep into the creative life of a writer-artist juggling several projects at once, putting yourself into genre work, the genesis of Southern Bastards, the return of Loose Ends, and dive deep into what it means to truly collaborate with other artists in a multitude of ways. Plus: Mike & Zack talk their new collabs, we see the return of the 5 Year Plan, and mike tries to rebrand PP as a “Comics Salon” (it doesn’t fly).
  • Episode 22 – Joe Decie! England’s own Joe Decie joins us on the party floor to chat about his forthcoming book from Jonathan Cape, Collecting Sticks. We talk about why he made the switch from short-form to long-form work, family vacations, and Brexit. Joe fills us in on how making the shift from a part-time to full-time artist has affected his ability to do DIY jobs around the house, and he confesses he’d never go to a campout in his town for fear of a gang of yobbos coming around to kick the tent down. Plus: Zack reports From the Road, on his way back from ECCC in Seattle, and lets us know how that all went down.
  • Episode 23 – Eleanor Davis! The renowned illustrator and cartoonist Eleanor Davis joins us to talk about her new books You & A Bike & A Road, and Libby’s Dad! Illustration work, bike tours across the country, politics, keeping in contact with art directors, short story vs graphic novel writing, politics and more are all discussed in this great conversation with one of the best current comics creators around. PLUS! The return of Shanna! She and Zack talk the end of ISLAND, her new job, PULP magazine, LOGAN, and James Stanton’s new comic. AND! Mike and Zack are absolutely RUINED by Daylight Savings Time, and we chat about Mike’s new comic over at the Nib.
  • Episode 24 – Julia Gfrörer & Sean T. Collins! Julia & Sean join us to talk about Mirror Mirror 2, the upcoming horror/pornography anthology they’re editing for 2Dcloud. We cover the intersection of horror and sex, editing for the first time, collaboration, Goth music & capturing a mood via curation, and we dive deep into both Julia and Sean’s contributions to the book, as well as wax fannish over several of the contributors to Mirror Mirror 2. ALSO: Mike & Zack talk about comic book layouts and how and why you might do them when making comics. PLUS: Mike comes to a conclusion!
  • Episode 25 – Hazel Newlevant! Welcome to the Party Floor Hazel Newlevant, editor of Chain Mail Bikini, co-editor of the upcoming Comics For Choice, and author of If This Be Sin, No Ivy League, & the upcoming Sugar Town. We talk editing anthologies, abortion rights, her early life and experiences as a home schooled kid, dating, stepping out on her own, queer visibility, polyamory, fake news, and the ethics of including others as characters in her story. PLUS: Mike & Zack talk the week’s creative progress, make dumb jokes about being old, and revisit where they’re at with their own personal Struggles With Layouts. *sob!*
  • Episode 26 – Mike & Zack 5: No Guests, No Masters!  Happy half birthday to us! It’s our 6 month anniversary, and we celebrate by talking all kinds of Jibba Jabba! Zack’s new comic, Mike’s Dad Problems, creative blocks vs procrastination, new brush pens, posting instagram videos, feeling good about your work, mike’s crab hand, and cartoonists we wish were still cartooning are just some of the topics at hand this time.
  • Episode 27 – Simon RoyWelcome the creator of Habitat, Tiger Lung & Jan’s Atomic Heart, and artist/co-writer of Prophet, Simon Roy! We cover Simon’s career from college years to post-Prophet success, and his interest in barbarian comics, anthropology, science fiction, barbarians, and more barbarians! PLUS: Zack’s sudden turn into autobiography, Notebook Weakness, Mike’s famous actor friends, making comics “just for fun”, and having life experience vs wanting to make “Great Art”!
  • EPISODE 28 – Jason Shiga! – We talk to the  author of Meanwhile, Bookhunter, Empire State, Fleep, and Demon about math, parenthood, action, books-as-computers, cliffhangers, living in France and more. Plus: Zack juggles projects! Mike’s got a new comic on the Nib! And we talk computer coloring and sound like a couple of idiots.
  • EPISODE 29 – Keith Knight! –  We talk to Keith about his new book Jake The Fake, moving to the south, homeschooling, why representation in media matters, get into the nuts and bolts of what it’s like to be a daily strip cartoonist while juggling the production responsibilities for his new book series. PLUS: Mike & Zack wax poetic about that mostly absent feeling of a single issue comic release feeling like an honest to god event.
  • Episode 30 – Julia Wertz! – We join our pal Julia Wertz to talk her new book Tenements, Towers & Trash, working for the New Yorker, moving cross country, her experiences at the MacDowell Colony and Short Run Trailer Blaze residencies, growing to love other people’s kids, the differences between working with “big publishers” vs comics publishers, and more! But First: Mike & Zack talk comics community, tumblr likes as currency, and daydream about the Marvel & DC bullpens of the 1970s!
  • Episode 31 –  Bill Kartalopoulos & Austin EnglishThis week at The Process Party, we’ve got comics educator, editor
    and scholar Bill Kartalopoulos and cartoonist and publisher Austin English here for a conversation about the graphic novels Patience by Daniel Clowes, Peplum by Blutch, and Superboy #104, published by DC Comics, in April 1963. Some interesting contrasts and comparisons are made. It’€™s a fun chat with two very smart and engaging people from comics.

  • Episode 32 – Tom Spurgeon! – We meet with the Comics Reporter himself! Tom Spurgeon comes to the party floor to talk the recent Fantagraphics oral history “We Told You So: Comics As Art.” It’s a book we loved digging into and Tom brings a wealth of behind the scenes magic to the story OF THE STORY (of the story?), very high concept this is. We also cover Tom’s work at CXC and the future of The Comics Reporter! PLUS: Mike & Zack talk about their bedtimes!


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