Comic Book Couples Counseling Podcast
Samurai Rabbit with Stan Sakai & The Usagi Chronicles Creative Team

Samurai Rabbit with Stan Sakai & The Usagi Chronicles Creative Team

May 9, 2022

On the show this week, we welcome Stan Sakai and the creative force behind the new Netflix series Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles. Yeah, we can hardly believe it, either. After decades of anticipation, Miyamoto Usagi, the classic comic book character, finally has his own show. Kinda. But don't let that "kinda" worry you. It's all good.

Adaptation is a scary concept when you love something as much as we love Usagi Yojimbo. Stan Sakai's comic is legendary. Few have ever dabbled in his world. The idea that showrunners Candie Langdale and Doug Langdale were able to play with his rabbit ronin makes us jittery. However, having watched the ten Samurai Rabbit episodes currently available, we can breathe a massive relief. This cartoon is good. Real good.

And a big reason behind why the show works so well is how it circumvents fannish nitpicks by jumping into Miyamoto Usagi's future, following his brash, teenage descendant Yuichi Usagi instead. Samurai Rabbit skews a little younger than the comics, but it's not totally absent of corpses or stakes. Also, the series cleverly challenges Miyamoto's legacy through Yuichi's idolization.

In this episode, we first chat with Stan Sakai and art director Khang Le about the thematic and artistic twists this series pulls from the Usagi Yojimbo comic book. We then chat with Candie Langdale and Doug Landale about their anxiety in adapting such a precious franchise. And, um, we might get some hints about how Samurai Rabbit encourages Stan Sakai's desire to see other creators play with his toys.

Relevant Links to this Week's Episode:

Be sure to stay updated on all things Stan Sakai by visiting his Twitter HERE, his Instagram HERE, and his Website HERE. You can follow Candie Langdale and Doug Langdale on their Twitter HERE, their Instagram HERE, and their Website HERE. You can follow Khang Le on his Instagram HERE and his Website HERE. Oh! And don't forget to watch Samurai Rabbit, produced by Gaumont Animation, now streaming on Netflix.

And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

Creator Corner: Jeff Smith on Tuki

Creator Corner: Jeff Smith on Tuki

April 27, 2022

We owe our imagination to Jeff Smith. His masterpiece, Bone, shaped our inner lives, molding our philosophies as much as our creativity. It's a work so profound it's nearly impossible to consider that any future work could ever live up to its brilliance. But then we read TukiFight for Fire and TukiFight for FamilyWe now welcome these comics into our hearts, beating side by side with the Bone cousins. 

Two million BCE. Multiple human species existed alongside each other. We live and breathe as a result of their struggle and collaboration. For many years, Jeff Smith percolated on this unique moment in time, and Tuki is the result.

Like Bone, it's a quest saga sitting atop an ever-growing mythology. The title character reluctantly surrounds himself with individuals in desperate need of companionship despite their fear and weary judgment of each other. Tuki is a comic speaking to our moment as much as it underscores our evolutionarily catastrophic history. You will recognize the hardship in its pages. You'll also recognize the hope.

We were more than delighted to chat with Jeff Smith about Tuki and why this narrative has haunted him for so long. We were damn giddy. We discuss Smith's obsessions, his process, his audience, and more. We celebrate where comic readers are today, where they were yesterday, and where they'll be tomorrow. Our conversation is an epic one. We know you'll enjoy it.

Relevant Links to this Week's Episode:

Be sure to stay updated on all things Jeff Smith by visiting his Twitter HERE, his Instagram HERE, and his Website HERE. You can purchase Tuki: Fight for Fire wherever fine comics are sold, or you can click HERE. Tuki: Fight for Family arrives on shelves in early July. You can pre-order a copy HERE.

And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

CBCC 81: Marko & Alana - Saga Volume 9

CBCC 81: Marko & Alana - Saga Volume 9

April 20, 2022

Goodbye, Marko & Alana. We're not ready. No other comic book couple has occupied as much space on our podcast as these two. Therefore, it's not terribly surprising that our final conversation discussing their epic romance is our BIGGEST EPISODE EVER!

You probably remember where you were when you first read Saga #54. And you probably remember exactly how its last few pages made you feel. Saga Volume 9 is a tough storyline to process, and we've had years to do it. We trudge through the comic, practically page-by-page, emotion-by-emotion. The conversation was...a lot, but also incredibly cathartic.

Thankfully, helping us grapple with sorrow is author Helen Russell and her book, "How to Be SadThe Key to a Happier LifeEverything I've Learned About Getting Happier, by Being Sad, Better." We can't fight sadness, and it's not good or bad. It's merely essential to our human experience. Embrace it.

Issues Covered in this Episode: Saga # 49 - 54, collected in trade paperback Volume 9. They were written by Brian K. Vaughan, fully illustrated by Fiona Staples, and lettered by Fonografiks. Image Comics originally published the issues between February 2018 and July 2018.

If you require catchup on our Saga series, please listen to our previous episodes discussing Marko & Alana: 

Other relevant links discussed this week:

And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

Creator Corner: Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino on The Bone Orchard Mythos

Creator Corner: Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino on The Bone Orchard Mythos

April 7, 2022

In this week's episode, we offer a warning. The Bone Orchard Mythos from Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino represents a layer of dread not previously explored by the creators. The new shared universe from Image Comics is the first time Lemire and Sorrentino have fully plunged themselves into the horror genre. 

Oh, you thought Gideon Falls was creepy? Sure, it got under your skin, but as you'll hear in our conversation with Lemire and Sorrentino, The Bone Orchard Mythos finds the collaborators daring to unleash a horror experience unlike anything else they've committed.

Your first chance to dive into The Bone Orchard Mythos arrives on May 7th, Free Comic Book Day, when Lemire and Sorrentino unveil their Prelude single issue. The next chapter, the original graphic novel The Passageway, lands in comic book shops on June 15th and in bookstores on June 21st. Next, they'll drop their Ten Thousand Black Feathers mini-series in September. And that's just the beginning.

Be sure to stay updated with Jeff Lemire by visiting his Twitter HERE, his Instagram HERE, and his Substack HERE. Track Andrea Sorrentino via his Twitter HERE and his Instagram HERE.

Other Relevant Links to this Week's Episode:

And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website, where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

CBCC 80: Marko & Alana - Saga Volume 8

CBCC 80: Marko & Alana - Saga Volume 8

March 29, 2022

When you think Saga, you think of "fun-filled" adventures, right? Oh, and tears. So many, many tears. Welcome to our penultimate episode discussing the heroically heartbreaking relationship between Marko & Alana. No other comic book couple has preoccupied as much space on our podcast as this one, and as we approach their end, we prepare to embrace our own grief as well as theirs.

Helping us grapple with sorrow is author Helen Russell and her book, "How to Be SadThe Key to a Happier LifeEverything I've Learned About Getting Happier, by Being Sad, Better." Ignoring sadness is not only impossible, the attempt to do so is detrimental to our health. Marko, Alana, and Helen are here to lend aid.

Issues Covered in this Episode: Saga # 43 - 48, collected in trade paperback Volume 8. They were written by Brian K. Vaughan, fully illustrated by Fiona Staples, and lettered by Fonografiks. Image Comics originally published the issues between May 2017 and October 2017.

If you require catchup on our Saga series, please listen to our previous episodes discussing Marko & Alana: 

Other relevant links discussed this week:

And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

Creator Corner: Chris Samnee & Laura Samnee on Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters

Creator Corner: Chris Samnee & Laura Samnee on Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters

March 22, 2022

Breaking News! Chris Samnee and Laura Samnee join us in the love nest to discuss their new all-ages comic book series, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters. Yeah, we're just as surprised about their appearance here as you are, but we're mostly beyond excited to have our first creative couples session with those responsible for one of our favorite comics on the stands.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters is a lovingly warm adventure tale set in a world of titanic beasts. With their dad missing, Rainbow and Jonna scour the land, stumbling into one danger after another. Thankfully, the littlest sister packs quite a punch.

In this week's episode, we chat with the Samnees about why this series demanded collaboration. We celebrate how Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters represents a true family project, inspired by their daughters and Chris Samnee's intense fear of birds. Yeah, we get into it.

We're honored to have Chris and Laura on Comic Book Couples Counseling, and you should feel honored too. This episode is the very first podcast Laura Samnee has ever recorded. We hope we haven't scared her off the format forever, but we think it's the start of some tremendous podcast potential.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters Volume 1 is currently available from Oni Press. Volume 2 will appear on comic book shelves on April 6th, and issue #9 will arrive in shops on April 20th.

The comic is written by Chris Samnee and Laura Samnee, featuring art by Chris Samnee, colors by Matthew Wilson, and letters by Crank! We do not give away too many spoilers beyond the premise, so venture within safely if you're new to this world. After this conversation, we're confident that you'll be as addicted to Jonna as much as we are, demanding at least a seventy-five issue run.

Be sure to continue this conversation with Chris Samnee via his Twitter and Instagram. You can also give Laura's one Instagram photo a Like by clicking HERE.

If you'd like to listen to the Ghost Cage #1 Interview with Nick Dragotta and Caleb Goellner referenced in the outro, you can do so by clicking HERE.

And here are the relevant Saga Marko & Alana links: 

Finally, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

CBCC 79: Marko & Alana - Saga Vols. 6 & 7

CBCC 79: Marko & Alana - Saga Vols. 6 & 7

March 13, 2022

In Saga, Marko & Alana cannot escape sadness. Rather than running, they lean into it, and by sharing their sorrow, they gain strength. Any Star Trek V: The Final Frontier fans out there? Sybok knew what was up.

We race toward Saga's halfway point and the tragic cliffhanger ending to end all tragic cliffhanger endings, which is really saying something when discussing Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' sci-fi romance masterpiece.

As we did the last episode, we consulted Helen Russell's "How to Be Sad: The Key to a Happier LifeEverything I've Learned About Getting Happier, by Being Sad, Better." If she can help us embrace our sadness, maybe she can help Marko & Alana through their tumultuous journey.

Issued Covered in this Episode: Saga # 31 - 42, collected in trade paperback Vols. 6 & 7. They were written by Brian K. Vaughan, fully illustrated by Fiona Staples, and lettered by Fonografiks. Image Comics originally published the issues between November 2015 and January  2017.

Previous CBCC Saga Episodes: 

Other Relevant Links:

Be sure to follow the podcast on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

CBCC 78: Marko & Alana - Saga Vol. 5

CBCC 78: Marko & Alana - Saga Vol. 5

February 27, 2022

Saga is back! And if Saga is back, then we better get back to investigating Marko & Alana's tumultuous, universe-threatening romance. After we finished Saga Volume 4 on the podcast two years ago, we took a break, waiting for Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples to get back into the business of publishing rad comics. It took a little longer than we expected, but the single issues are flowing again, and it's time for us to catch up.

Knowing how challenging Saga can be on our emotions, we thought the best way to approach Marko & Alana this time around was through Helen Russell's self-help book, "How to Be Sad: The Key to a Happier Life: Everything I've Learned About Getting Happier, by Being Sad, Better." Sadness is not something to fight but embrace. Marko, Alana, and Helen will help us realize this natural human experience.

Issued Covered in this Episode: Saga # 25 - 30, which were collected in trade paperback Vol. 5. Written by Brian K. Vaughan, fully illustrated by Fiona Staples, and lettered by Fonografiks. The issues were originally published by Image Comics between February 2015 and July 2015.

Previous CBCC Saga Episodes: 

Relevant Helen Russell Links: 

CBCC Guest Appearances:

Lisa's YA Free Period Column:

Support the Must Love Dragons Kickstarter 

And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

Creator Corner: Garth Ennis on Battle Action

Creator Corner: Garth Ennis on Battle Action

February 18, 2022

Battle! Action! To hear Garth Ennis explain it, these two British publications are responsible for the comic book landscape we're all living in today. Without their influence, the Briitish invasion would never have occurred in the states - no Watchmen, no Sandman, no Preacher. No, thank you.

This week, Garth Ennis joins us to discuss his upcoming Battle Action Special as well as his Hawk the Slayer sequel (wait, what? Yes!) from 2000 AD. From there, we gain a better understanding of how Garth Ennis became the writer we know him to be, and we delve into his philosophies around war fiction and how they fed his interpretation of Frank Castle, Marvel's The Punisher.

The Battle Action Special will hit comic shops in June and everywhere else in September. Hawk the Slayer #1 hits the UK in April and the US in May. You can learn more by visiting the 2000AD website.

Other Relevant Links:

And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

Creator Corner: Skottie Young on I Hate Fairyland

Creator Corner: Skottie Young on I Hate Fairyland

February 4, 2022

Oh, Muffin Fluffer! Skottie Young joins us for a deep dive discussion about his creative process, his obsession with relationship stories, and what we can expect when I Hate Fairyland returns in July. Right now, we're witnessing a significant moment in his creative evolution. With books like Strange Academy and The Me You Love in the Dark, Skottie plunges into himself and pulls out relatable turmoil for all of us to consume. In the process, we all become better people.

Teaming up with fellow creators like Dean Rankine, Fábio Moon, and Gabriel Bá, Skottie Young is building toward I Hate Fairyland's return with his Stupid Fresh Mess Substack release, The Unbelievable, Unfortunately Mostly Unreadable and Nearly Unpublishable Untold Tales of I Hate Fairyland. By inviting others to his party, he solidifies his world as one of the greats.

After listening to the episode, you can continue the conversation through his website, his Instagram account, and Twitter feed. And you can subscribe to his Substack by clicking HERE.

Our next Couples Session begins next episode when we return to SAGA by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. We'll be covering trade paperback volumes 5 - 9. Make sure you catch up on our previous SAGA conversations:

And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.

Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-Star Review on Apple Podcasts.

SUPPORT THE PODCAST BY JOINING OUR PATREON COMMUNITY.

Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.

Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

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