From Mad Magazine to Sexy Mothman


Since 2011, The last podcast on the left, hosted by Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski, shared scary stories with fans, covering topics including cults, aliens, true crime, cryptids and more. Over a decade later, the team is moving beyond podcasts with a comic book anthology in stores now and a second on the way.

The Last Comic Left is curated by the podcast hosts and features work from Bob Fingerman, Vincent Kings, Tyler Boss, Sean Von Gorman, Kjersti Faret, Ryan Cady, Morgan Beem, Fred Stresing, Noah Van Sciver, and more. This collection presents stories of horror and humor in the spirit of Crazy review. CBR spoke with Zebrowski and Parks about their latest anthology, their influences, and their creative process.

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CBR: What inspired you to go beyond podcasts and create this anthology?

Henry Zebrowski: Marcus and I have always been huge comic book fans. Z2 Comics approached us about our interest in an anthology series. Be old school mad magazine monsters, MP and I jumped at the chance to do an extremely dark version of what we loved as kids.

Marcus Parks: Having the chance to work with so many contemporary creators that we respect was a big selling point, especially considering how comics have seen something of a horror renaissance over the past few years.

What can you accomplish in the comics that you might not be able to do on the podcast?

Zebrowski: You can see the pictures! During the podcast, we can describe things as clearly as possible, or I can animate a character situation using just my voice, but that leaves it up to the imagination of the listening audience. The medium of comics is so versatile, and with a talented artist, you can bring any image to life. MP and I always ask ourselves: “What can only be done in a comic?” whenever we are stuck for an idea.

Parks: Watching the creators interpret the types of stories we’ve covered on the show in a way that can only be told in graphic form has been a lot of fun for us. Things play out so much differently in the comics. In podcasting, it’s kind of a go-go-go, moving on to the next kind of sensation. An image in a comic is static, so the audience can really absorb the subject.

What was the biggest challenge when transitioning from podcasts to comic books? What was similar and what was different?

Zebrowski: To be quite frank, they couldn’t be more fundamentally different. The main similarity is that with comics, we can continue to show that people really care about true crime, aliens, ghosts and the occult all at once. Last podcast left has a wide range of material that we can cover, just like the book.

Parks: Constraints are by far the biggest challenge. In podcasts, you can go as long as you want for as many episodes as you want, but with comics, you have a certain number of pages to fill, and you have to tell the story in that number of pages. defined . As for the similarities, I agree with Henry. There is almost nothing else quite like it.

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You mentioned that this anthology was made in the tradition of comedy comics. What do you take from this tradition? What are you changing?

Zebrowski: MP and I’s whole sense of humor started with the first few doses of mad magazine. Our goal was to make a naughty version of it. I was an EC Comics fan and was obsessed with weird indie comics as I got older, like Weird, Yummy Fur with Ed the Happy Clown, and Harvey Pekar. We took all those influences and mixed them together.

Parks: I came across a pile of Mad MagazineIssues in a comic book store for a penny each when I was a kid and loaded up but the problem was they were all from the 70s so I had a deep knowledge of All in the family, love story, and the Lighter side of the gas crisis without any cultural background. But it exposed me to all sorts of pros like Don Martin, Sergio Aragones, Antonio Prohias and Al Jaffee at the top of their game, so it certainly had a huge effect, not only on my comedic tastes, but also on my sense humor in general. .

When it came to finding artists and writers for this anthology, how did you go about finding them?

Zebrowski: That’s all Z2 Comics. The talent they pulled was amazing.

Parks: Z2 asked for a dream list of designers we’d like to work with, and since I’m still a weekly raffle box guy at my local store, I gave them a long list of the two people who do solid work in a way consistent these days and those who have been doing it for decades. Most of the time we’re just looking for someone who has the Last Podcast tone and can match it, and since there’s so much horror stuff going on right now, it’s easy to find artists and writers who can do it.

What was it like collaborating with so many other writers and artists?

Zebrowski: It’s intimidating! They are truly the experts of the medium. MP and I are just starting to get our feet on the ground when it comes to making comics. They taught us so much; the way they interpret scripts, the way they respond to comments and ratings from our editors. It’s a master class in comics.

Parks: Yeah, it’s a dream come true to be in the midst of all this comic book creativity.

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Your podcast covers a wide range of topics, from serial killers to urban legends. What kind of stories did you want to include in this anthology?

Zebrowski: As much as we can!

Parks: Indeed, for the most part, we wanted to leave it up to the creators to tell the kind of stories they wanted to tell instead of telling them what we wanted to see. Like I said, as long as they have the tone, that’s all we asked for.

What are some of your favorite comics from the anthology?

Zebrowski: The story of “The Sandown Clown” was particularly disturbing. I loved how they really created a sense of otherness. Also, I’m sensitive to my story “Detective Popcorn” because it’s fun to see a character in my brain dancing in a book. Eliot and Ian crushed the work on this track.

Parks: I’m also a fan of the story of “The Sandown Clown”, if only because it’s one of my favorite lesser-known topics we’ve discussed. It was amazing and surprising.

Besides simple stories, there are also a number of sight gags in the form of classic commercials or pin-ups. What was the inspiration for these additions to the anthology?

Zebrowski: We wanted to fill the book with as many gags as possible. It’s just more artillery ammo, baby, and it’s really fun to see a sexy Mothman. Ask anyone in West Virginia.

Parks: It all comes down to mad magazine, those big one-page gags they used to do. It is also, once again, about letting the artist do what he wants. Sexy Mothman, Black Death, MK ULTRA commercial, whatever, go for it.

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What about Tthe last comic on the left will appeal to your long-time fans? How will this appeal to new fans?

Zebrowski: For longtime fans, they already know the shit. They have done the reading and know what they are talking about. We do our best not to disappoint them. For new fans, welcome to the anthology comics! There is something for all of you.

Parks: Yes, longtime fans will see plenty of Easter eggs and references to the series. If you’ve never heard of Latest Podcast however, if you like all the subjects of Unsolved mysteries, but you want them mostly resolved and blood-soaked with a heavy dose of weirdness, we’ve got the book for you.

Speaking of your fans, is there anything you would like to tell them as your first comedy anthology takes off?

Zebrowski: Thanks guys as always for supporting us in our new venture. Let us know what you all want to see in future versions of the book! We are doing this for Satan!

Parks: Same! We hope you all like it and that it leads you to discover more work by these artists and writers.

With Volume 2 confirmed, what do you hope to accomplish that you might not have been able to do with Volume 1?

Zebrowski: More blood, more courage, more mystery, more laughter. We’re pumping it up with even more of the most talented people in comics. We’re incredibly lucky to have access to the kind of talent we have in Volume 2.

Can you give us a preview of what we can expect with Volume 2?

Zebrowski: You will have to check it out! There will definitely be more writing by MP and myself in the book. Watch our imagination come to life. I mean, not our deepest thoughts because most of them shouldn’t be shared in public. We keep them for our wives!

What did you learn from book 1 that you hope to apply to book 2?

Zebrowski: I hope for more boobies, of all kinds.

The Last Comic Left is available now from Z2 Comics.

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