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Interview with Justin Peterson

of Very Near Mint


We had the pleasure of talking to artist/writer of the indie comic, Very Near Mint - Justin Peterson. In anticipation of the release of the third volume of Very Near Mint, we talk to Justin about his process, Kickstarter, his fascinating day job, and more. This interview was really one of our favorite episodes. Justin has a really distinct view on the comic book industry and what it takes to succeed. You’re going to like this one!

More on This Interview & the Art of Justin Peterson

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Authors: Phil Hester, David Hine, Ian Edginton and Matz.

Artists: Frazer Irving, Chris Burnham, Lee Moder and Hugo Petrus.

“Days Missing” is a graphic novel that was published in 2010. After reading it I am excited to say that I will be trying to find the rest of the series. This book is written by several different authors and illustrated by several different illustrators. It was published by Archaia and Rodenberry, yep Eugene Rodenberry. What caught my eye at first was the book had a foreword written by Warren Ellis, and anything Ellis writes, I read.

“Day Missing” is the story about The Steward. This character can bend and warp time to help humanity in case of a global or catastrophic disaster. The Steward has been around since the dawn of time. He has taken the load of leading humanity through ups and downs of survival. The Steward can fold time and erase catastrophic events with the hope of fixing the event so humanity does not go extinct.

The Steward spends his time lying in wait in a giant library of human events, existing outside of time. He quietly guides humanity through various events, some of which could have led to the destruction of humanity. He can only time travel for 24 hours at a time, so he must take careful precautions each time he comes to an event as he only has a limited time.

Events such as the Swanzi Flu and just how deadly it would have been had they not found a vaccine. The Steward was there and helped the doctors find a vaccine for the disease. The Steward then wrestles with the monster Frankenstein and the repercussions if man did find a way to bring the living dead back to life. The third chapter has The Steward stopping the discovery of space and time travel as a precaution to the end of time and space completely. Not every choice is as clear cut though as he has to try and stop Hernando Cortez in the fourth chapter from dying at the hands of the Aztecs. This in turn though leads to the destruction of the Aztec Empire. The final chapter is about the creation of intelligent life through nanotechnology and it takes every bit of effort from The Steward to fix this day.

This book was surprisingly good. I had no expectations going into reading it and came out hooked. The end of the story has a great cliff hanger and I cannot wait to find more of The Steward’s adventures. Go check it out, it well worth it.

The Most Important Boxie!

year end comic book boxiesHere at Short Box, we cover lots of different geek mediums. That said, we favor our favorite medium the most…comic books! We freely admit to reading much more super hero comics than other genre because…it’s what we like. That’s not to say we don’t read a good amount of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy but Super Heroes dominate our pull lists. This year was a year of change in the comic book industry. From the first full year of DC’s New 52 to the start of Marvel Now, the Big 2 made big moves (including stepping up the importance of digital comics). Our favorite comics this year are a mix of books from Marvel, DC, and Image. In fact, we picked two from each publisher.

The Boxie goes to:

  • Batman by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

The other nominees:

  • Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo/Nick Bradshaw/Ramon Perez
  • Daredevil by Mark Waid & Paolo Manuel Rivera/Marcos Martin
  • The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard
  • Saga by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
  • Animal Man by Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman

Let’s get into our top pick first and a little bit about the others after.


Snew 52 snyder court of owlsnyder and Capullo’s Batman relaunch had four issues released in 2011 with all the rest appearing in 2012. Adam and I had the chance to interview Scott Snyder on the Pittsburgh Comic Podcast after issue four came out and then again after issue five. This is significant because with issue four we were already blown away but he told us the best was still yet to come. Boy was he right! The introduction of the Court of Owls, Gotham City’s further personification, and the twist at the end of the first successful crossover in the New 52, “The Night of the Owls”…2012 was a big year for the Bat.

scott snyder new 52 dc comicsGreg Capullo’s art work has evolved through the year into one of the most memorable depictions of Batman in years. The emotions Bruce goes through and decent into sheer madness in his dealings with The Court of Owls were eerily drafted by Capullo. His previous Spawn work has been combined with a style almost Bruce Timm-like that has made this book look like nothing else he has done before.

This collaboration continued later in the year for what is already one of the most memorable Joker stories ever. Waiting to bring the Joker in this way makes his appearance feel like a true event. Snyder’s twisting of the Joker’s motivation is something that hasn’t been done with the character before and sets him apart from other super villains as something totally different. There’s still so much to come but the Joker’s return in Batman #14 is one of the most memorable appearances of the character’s long history.dc comics new 52

The issue where I knew something was really different was issue #5. Snyder knew this as well when we talked with him a couple of weeks before it came out. He said he needed to talk with us again after that issue dropped because he felt like it would blow our minds. Well…he was right! Even the formatting of book was up for grabs in this book that made the reader feel, at times, claustrophobic, freaked out, and angry thanks to Capullo’s layouts. We went through this maze with Bruce and we came out knowing that this new threat was one that would forever change the Dark Knight. This team is creating stories that could only be told like this in the comic book medium with a character who already has thousands of stories told about him. Here’s hoping to AT LEAST another year of this team on the book!

The Walking Dead

The number one best selling single issue of a comic book this year was The Walking Dead #100…a book published by Image Comics. That’s impressive! The Walking Dead comic has been doing great for years and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The AMC TV series is actually bringing new readers into the comic stores in ways big budget Marvel and DC movies even haven’t. The reason? Strong characterization, risk taking, and big moments that matter. Unlike your popular super hero comics, you really don’t know what’s going to happen in this book.

Pretty much anyone could die or be changed in lasting ways at any point. In fact, some characters die in ways not nearly as grand as you would expect. The reason for that is…that’s life. We don’t all get to die a hero. This year escalated the danger and brought in a new villain who rivals the Governor. This isn’t REALLY a horror comic…it’s a survival comic. I hope it survives for years to come!


marvel comics mark waid

Daredevil’s success comes from Mark Waid knowing that the book needed to go in a different direction than was obvious. By taking Daredevil out of the Noir of Frank Miller and Brian Michael Bendis, the book could be judged against a totally different light. Here’s an action/adventure book that is a little more super heroic than year’s past. Through strong characterization of the supporting cast, mixture of new takes on villains, and shorter more succinct stories, this run is one of the most loved books out there today. The chemistry between Waid and Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin (as well as Mike Allred) have created some of the most fun and beautiful books Marvel has produced in years.


creator owned comic books

This is how the Image comics solicit for Saga sold us this book: STAR WARS meets ROMEO AND JULIET meets GAME OF THRONES. Umm…YES?! So much has already been said about this book in the few months since it’s initial release because this is something totally different from anything out there right now. Somewhere between Science Fiction and Fantasy, this is a story destined to be told in other mediums. One of Brian K. Vaughns greatest talents is pairing himself with an artist who really puts a definitive stamp on the book. His collaborators are often known primarily for their work with him from that point on. I feel like that will be the case for Fiona Staples with this book. That fact that you become so invested in these characters so quickly is only overshadowed by how fascinated you can become in this new universe of the book. BKV always does a great job of telling stories with definitive beginnings, middles, and ends. Here’s hoping the end doesn’t come to quick for this book.

Animal Man

It was between Animal Man and Swamp Thing for the best breakout hit from DC’s New 52. In my opinion, Animal Man has the slight advantage over Swamp Thing because of his cast. Swamp Thing’s cast is cool but there’s not much in the way of supporting characters. Animal Man, however, has a whole family of characters who are central to the very straight forward plots. The fact that Animal Man and Swamp Thing are both two sides of a war against the third is why they are often compared and why they are crossing over in one of the best storylines of 2012, Rotworld. One difference between Animal Man and Swamp Thing that a lot of readers don’t care for is the rotating artists. To me, each one has brought something different to the table while still being in a similar dark style. I think it’s what ties this book to it’s super hero roots.

dc new 52

Animal Man is not a super hero book but it has a super hero past. I think this is something that makes it feel like a hybrid DC/Vertigo Book. His past adventures as a super hero make for some cool vignettes but the further we unravel his true purpose the more we find out that it was just ruse put on by his creators. Between his family dynamic, his role as a substitute the true chosen one (his daughter), and never knowing what is going to come next, this book has proved itself worthy of comparisons to the book’s most famous run by Grant Morrison. Easy to pick up and get hooked on by non-comic book readers, Animal Man is all the things we were promised with the New 52 and the ultimate answer to the critics of the reboot.

Wolverine and the X-Men

This comic has it ALL! Each issue is jammed with tons of characters both new and old in a celebration of all eras of the X-Men. The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning is even crazier than Hogwarts! The new characters in this book instantly make you want to read more about them. Characters like Kid Omega, Broo, Kid Omega, Indra, and Genesis make you want more stories to feature them as opposed to the already well known and liked members of the X-Men. No easy task. The plotlines in this book are so weird and executed so well that these comics need to be immediately read again in order to believe what you are seeing. Some examples are Krakoa as the living security system/school grounds, fighting microscopic brood inside Kitty’s body, Toad and Husk’s romance, Angel’s new personality, and Wolverine and Kid Omega going to a space casino in order to get money to pay their debts.

wolverine broo kid omega

One single issue should be enough to tell you anything can happen in this book. That issue is #17 which stars Doop. Easily the weirdest character in the X-Men universe, Doop’s role is explained here in this packed issue without taking anything away from his mystery. A true test of how great this book is how it crosses over with the mandatory involvement with AvX. What often derails books actually worked beautifully in Wolverine and the X-Men. The last date between Colossus and Kitty is gut-wrenching and possible unforgivable. Professor X’s goodbye was so strong that it felt inevitable he was going to soon die. Everything said, this book is the densest most fun super comic on the market.

Robert Kirkman Podcast Review Image

The greatest comic book to live action TV show ever?! We think so. Especially after the way this season started. The jail, Michone, The Governor, and the deaths…this season has already had a lot of big moments in just the first four episodes.

Adam and Nick talk about what they love and what they think might be coming in the rest of the season. We are often asked what the differences are between the show and the comic…we go over that too.

WARNING! Only listen to this if you have at least seen up to season three episode four of The Walking Dead on AMC. In addition, we also make reference to things that happen up to issue 100 of The Walking Dead comic by Image.

Listen to the episode directly here.

Listen to the episode on iTunes here.

marvel dc articles

Adam and Nick talk about comics coming out in January 2013. New Marvel Now books as well as New 52 crossovers. It’s more than just talk about Marvel and DC, thought. We get into the upcoming ongoing Star Wars series by Brian Wood from Darkhorse as well as Image, IDW, and more.

Listen to the episode directly here.

Listen to the episode on iTunes.

Best Bets for November

comic book podcast

We pick our favorite comics coming out in November including the DC Comic Events of Rise of the Third Army, Hel on Earth, Rot World, and Death of the Family.

In addition to these DC Events, Marvel Now is in full swing with lots of new titles.

Check out what we think of these books based on their solicits.

Listen on iTunes!

If you don’t listen to your podcasts in iTunes, you can listen or download the episode .mp3 here.

Our ULTIMATE Episode

brian michael bendis short box podcast spider-man x-men

It started off as an experimental imprint in early 2000. The idea? Simple. Put the best creators available on iconic Marvel characters. The, start them from the beginning to modernize and make them approachable. This formula took off immediately. Nick and Adam talk about the legacy of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, where it started, and where it is today.

As always, you can listen to this episode on iTunes here.

If you don’t listen to your podcasts in iTunes, you can listen or download the episode .mp3 here.

The Superman Trilogy

films short box podcast review

Adam and Nick welcome Mikey back to the show to talk about the REAL Superman trilogy: Superman, Superman II, and Superman Returns….and maybe just a little bit of Superman III and IV. Just the tiniest bit.

The Superman movies directed by Richard Donnor (Superman I and the edited “Richard Donnor Cut” of Superman II) and the 2006 movie: Superman Returns (directed by Bryan Singer and inspired by Donnor’s vision). Superman I is the benchmark that all Super Hero movies have been tested against since it’s 1978 release.

This episode is SUPER! Why is the first Superman from 1978 still considered one of the best super hero movies of all-time? Why aren’t movies like this being written today? Why didn’t Superman Returns launch the Superman franchise again in 2006?

These questions will be answered by three big Superman movie fans.

Listen on iTunes.

Or listen/download the file here.

It’s the End Of The World As We Know It!

…and we feel fine. We talk about post apocalyptic movies, comic books, and TV shows this episode with guest, Mikey Wood. Some of our favorites are Kamandi, Y The Last Man, Planet of the Apes, The Walking Dead, event Waterworld…and a bunch more! What makes this genre so appealing? Why do WE like these stories?
You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out.

walking dead y the last man kamandi

We will have the show notes up for this episode soon. We’ll include links to the stories we reference and more.

Listen to us on iTunes

As always, it helps us a lot in the iTunes rankings when you rate, review, and subscribe to us. Help us grow this little community we started here.

Listen and/or download to the episode here

Episode 17 – Recommended Reading

Hi everyone! Episode 17 features our guest Jason Juniewicz. We go over storylines that we feel deserve more attention. The intro song is Mute City F-Zero by Power Glove.
We picked:
  • Marvel 1602
  • Teenagers From Mars
  • Transformers Autocracy
  • Spider-Man: The Other
  • Chew: Taster’s Choice
  • Joe the Barbarian

Marvel 1602

comics reviews podcast

Here’s a review of Marvel 1602.

Teenagers From Mars

The story that inspired this comic is the public hearings against the comic book industry that led to mass comic book burnings. Watch this clip to see how crazy things got:

comic book rob g rick spears
Trade Paperback Cover
comic books short box podcast
Interior Art

Transformers Autocracy

short box podcast

Autocracy #1 Cover

Autocracy Interiors

 Spider-Man: The Other

JMS short box podcast

Cover of Spider-Man: The Other

short box podcast reviews


the other death spider-man

The “Death” of Spider-Man by Morlun

tony choo short box podcast

Chew: Taster’s Choice Trade

comic book reviews short box

Interior Art

Joe The Barbarian

comic books reviews short box

Cover of the Trade Paperback

grant morrison short box reviews

Interior Art