The Panel Discussions Podcast with THE WALKING DEAD's Rus Wooton

This week, I'm joined by Rus Wooton--who helpfully recommended on Facebook that the pair of us [...]

This week, I'm joined by Rus Wooton--who helpfully recommended on Facebook that the pair of us should have a morning drive-time radio show called "Rus and Russ in the Morning" or something like that. I'd listen! Listen to this week's Panel Discussions here. At any rate, Rus is an old friend of mine from our mutual time in the Wizard: The Comics Magazine salt mines. These days, he's best known as a letterer, and one of the more prolific ones out there. He's arguably most notable as the longtime letterer on Robert Kirkman's Skybound titles, including Invincible, The Walking Dead (which featured in one of his early issues the page at right; I can' t think of an image in all of comics which more prominently features the work of the letterer without seeming like it's trying too hard) and The Infinite. His connection to the latter drives the conversation in some interesting directions, as the always-controversial Rob Liefeld, artist on the series, comes up time and again given his connection not just to DC's New 52 initative but to a lot of the more negative and angry aspects of fandom and the comics press. In addition to our original concept--which was to explore the art and science of lettering and discuss what makes it a job unto itself instead of just something the inker or colorist does while they have the pages--we discuss many topics, including the sense of pervasive negativity you can get on the Internet, the pressure of being the last guy to touch a page before publication and what the move toward digital will mean for the industry, especially as it applies to smaller press or lower-print-run books. We also touch on the idea of Wizard--which has turned out not just he and I, but Robot Chicken honchos Matt Senreich and Doug Goldstein, Archaia's Mel Caylo, Buddy Scalera of Comic Book School and more--as something of a farm club for comics press and pros, turning out guys who have committed themselves to comics in spite of becoming an easy target in its later days. Our opening music today is a clip from "Kicking & Screaming" by the Cloak & Dagger Dating Service, whom you can follow on Facebook. Check out Rus Wooton's website! Like Panel Discussions on Facebook or check out last week's episode!