Off Panel #398: The Comic Arts with Charles Kochman

The Editor-in-Chief of Abrams ComicArts, Charles Kochman, joins the show to talk about the history and present of that graphic novel division of Abrams Books. Kochman discusses the details of his job, his work on Diary of a Wimpy Kid, his publishing background, the origins of Abrams ComicArts, the artists they work with, how MarvelArts came together, drawing in direct market creators, the evolution of Abrams ComicArts, its general vibe, taking on manga, the current landscape, and more.

You can find Kochman’s work in Abrams ComicArts’ releases and in Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, amongst other places.

You can download the episode directly here on Libsyn.

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Thanks to the sponsor of this week’s podcast: Zoop! May is lining up to be one of the biggest months ever for Zoop! It will feature campaign launches for the Stardust Anthology spearheaded by Van Jensen, Jason Copland’s powerhouse Full Tilt, Shaennon K. Garrity’s Skin Horse, Luciano Vecchio’s Sereno and an art book by the one and only Jorge Molina! Not only that, but you still have time to support Mark Nelson’s Thunder Hunters and rising superstar, Marco Fontanilli! Head to Zoop’s website to support the live campaigns and sign up for launch alerts for what’s next. Also, Zoop is taking submissions! So creators, reach out at to learn more!

Also, thanks to the other sponsor of this week’s podcast: Bad Idea! Bad Idea’s biggest swing is coming soon in Megalith! Megalith is an epic of unparalleled detail and artistry. The result of a mammoth five year production journey where no expense was spared. A monument such as this demands an equally worthy presentation. We need your help to make that a reality. In 2018, Matt Kindt and Lewis LaRosa set out to create a comic book without the constraints of time and with an unrivaled budget. What resulted is an event comic unlike any before it — the comic book known only by its codename, Megalith. A comic book of such breathtaking beauty that it needs to be seen to be believed. It’s launching soon on Kickstarter, so keep an eye on it or sign up for notifications there!

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Header photo is from Alex Ross’s cover to Fantastic Four: Full Circle. Off Panel’s opening theme music is Vulfpeck’s “Outro,” used with permission from the band (and thanks for me for them doing so!), with the rest of the music being an original track by custom music agency Upright T-Rex Music, written and performed specifically for the podcast. A huge thanks to Ross and Cody from Upright T-Rex Music for putting the track together!