Do you think comic book media often times has a bias against DC? Or cynicism? Maybe I’m reading too much into it but with all the discussion recently about the lack of diversity at Marvel, some websites seem to ignore or acknowledge DC’s efforts at diversity among its creators and characters since the DCYou launch? DC still has a lot to improve on, but I think it’s a huge step from where they were 2 years ago. Not saying journalist should be praising DC, but at least acknowledge their efforts.

I think comic book media en masse is maybe not biased against DC per se, but perhaps afraid to go after Marvel and overcompensating in DC’s direction at times. It’s a cyclical thing, though; I’ve been doing this long enough that I remember when comic book media was massively in the hole for DC.

Favorite pre-SW Marvel comic and the post-SW comic you are looking forward to the most?

Favorite pre-Secret Wars Marvel comic… of the past 70-odd years? That’s a tough one, but I’m tempted to say Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom’s West Coast Avengers. If you mean immediately prior, then G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and team’s Ms. Marvel.

The one I’m most looking forward to after Secret Wars? Either New Avengers or Ultimates, because I love Al Ewing’s work. Unsure about either of the art teams on the books, but (a) willing to be proven wrong, and (b) it’s a Marvel book, so chances are the artists on the first issues won’t be there by #7 anyway.

Why haven’t more publishers tried their own version of the Image Expo?

Probably concern that they’d look like copycats. Which is ironic, considering how much Image Expo bites off the Apple event format.

I think we’ll see more moves in this direction, though; Valiant’s Periscope’d #valiantsummit before Comic-Con being the most obvious move in that direction, but even Marvel’s All-New All-Different Marvel Previews book was an attempt to control the message in an Expo-esque manner, to some degree.

“So many swipes….” Indeed. From Garfield– the Laziest Legionnaire –to Drulliet’s Lone Sloane, to the infamous Creation of Adam double-page spread in the Great Darkness Saga, to the Last Supper of super-villains in the ’84 Legion…. It’s hard to keep up. I don’t even know what / if he swiped for Omega Men, or his Dr. Fate stories, or The March Hare, or Video Jack. All I know is his recent stuff gets Kirby’s compositions, dynamism & texture(!!!) like no other King-mimic.

It’s weird that he’s ended up back at Kirby, considering how much some of his early-ish work (Defenders, particularly) lifts from the King. I wonder if he’s cycling through his influences…?

In Marvel the genius hero (who’s been acting the fool) rarely gets any kind of comeuppance for said douchebaggery (e.g. current Hank McCoy). Do you think this more a reflection of the past decade of TV or does it go all the way back to Stan & Jack?

I’m not sure it’s even the past decade of TV as such; I think it’s something from a wider cultural perspective that stems from populist fear of intellectualism. It’s not just that geniuses are douchebags who get away with it, but that all geniuses are somehow douchebags, as if being smart somehow automatically negates empathy or emotions.

The lack of comeuppance is debatable; you could say that the geniuses being douchebags of recent years led to the destruction of the multiverse in Avengers, after all. But moral comeuppance? Yeah, they tend to avoid that, in part because there’s currency in creating stories where the game is always rigged against “us.”

What do you think would be the best way to improve the current state of comics journalism?

Either teach the big sites not to be so scared of the big publishers, or somehow start a site that paid writers who were unafraid of being critical without being assholes about it some decent money to actually write critically about the industry, the comic books and the culture surrounding both.

Also, introduce a firewall between personal fanboy feelings and what you write. There are some crazily embarrassing things out there masquerading as “journalism.”

What prose books have you read recently that you’ve really enjoyed?

Currently really enjoying Si Spurrier’s Unusual Concentrations, and before that, the Kindle Single Oral History of Gawker, which started well and then drifted off midway through – I think it needed to be a full-length book, really. My Duane Swierzcynski deep dive was endlessly enjoyable, especially the Charlie Hardie series, and I’ve been getting back into the Dortmunder books again, after somehow drifting away earlier…