Panel Discussions Podcast: Greg Rucka's Panel Discussions podcast is back! Sorry for the irregular schedule of late, but I [...]'s Panel Discussions podcast is back! Sorry for the irregular schedule of late, but I had a kid back in March and if you think the release slate for the show is irregular, you should see my sleeping schedule.

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This week we're joined by Greg Rucka, a giant in comics and a terrific novelist who tackled espionage and adventure like few others out there. You can check out his site, follow him on Twitter or buy his new book, Alpha (out today) at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. And consider checking out Bad Medicine, a book Greg recommends. No music this week, although I've got a band at work right now recording something special for the show. Look for that to drop soon! Check out an excerpt from this week's interview below, and download the episode here. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed (even if I don't know how it works), follow me on Twitter for more updates throughout the week or like the Panel Discussions Facebook page (linked above). The show is sponsored by Single Bound Studios. And as an added-value bonus, you get about ten minutes of Greg and Russ just shooting the breeze before the tape was supposed to be running. Luckily, nothing dangerous appears to have been included but somehow in the editing process an earlier version of the talk got included in the show. D'oh. The "real" interview starts around the 18:30 mark. There are also a few naughty words, so be warned. You're doing your books and you're doing The Punisher at the same time. We talked about the troubles with work-for-hire comics, so what brings you back to a character like The Punisher? Greg Rucka: What brought me back to it was Steve Wacker, to be perfectly, brutally honest.  It was Wacker came after me and said, "I think you'd be really good on this," to which I said, "Well, that's funny." And he said he was serious, and he wouldn't let it drop. He kept engaging me in this conversation and he did what good editors do—he hooked me. He asked me the right questions and the next thing I knew I was like, "Okay." It's interesting because I didn't think I'd be working in the mainstream again, honestly. I thought that I was pretty much done, and it turns out not so much. The right place at the right time makes it an appealing thing to do; I am enjoying it thoroughly. The editors I'm dealing with—Ellie Pyle, Tom Brennan, Steve Wacker in particular—they're all excellent, but Jesus Christ, Marco Checchetto is astounding. He is an astounding talent, I think, and I'm going to be able to say I got to work with him before everybody knew who he was.