Off Panel #428: Three Themes with Katie Pryde, Heidi MacDonald, and Jamal Igle

In a special year end episode of Off Panel, we look at the defining themes of 2023 in comics with the help of Books with Pictures’ Katie Pryde, The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald, and writer/artist Jamal Igle. Up first is Pryde (1:10), who talks about this unusual time in comics retail, what started us on this path, the exhaustion in the space, where it’s manifesting itself, the metadata situation, how Books with Pictures is adjusting to it, and more. After that is MacDonald (30:01), who discusses the world of comics marketing, how the current state of social media and comic sites is affecting things, the unseen work of marketing, fitting within the distribution system, its impact, and more (quick note: We recorded the Mark Millar part before the events of last week transpired). And to close is Igle (1:02:15), who talks about the overwhelming fear of the unknown in comics, where and how it manifests, how it impacts things, the path forward, and more.

You can find Pryde on Books with Pictures’ Instagram, MacDonald and Igle on Twitter, and their work at Books with Pictures’ site, The Beat, and in varying comics respectively.

You can download the episode directly here on Libsyn.

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Thanks to the sponsor of this week’s podcast: Zoop! It’s the last month of the year, and Zoop is saving its best for last! Zoop is proud to be the home of the first ever Jack Kirby crowdfunding campaign. Stay tuned for the launch of Kirby and Wally Wood’s “Sky Masters of the Space Force – The Complete Sunday Strips.” Also, there’s still time to support the Conan The Barbarian Colossal Edition featuring the art of John Buscema, Gil Kane, Barry Windsor Smith, and other legends! There are more campaigns coming this month from Maui Strong, Oni Press, Cullen Bunn, K. Lynn Smith, Stacked Deck Press, and many more! Also, Zoop is taking submissions! So creators, reach out at to learn more!

Also, thanks to the other sponsor of this week’s podcast: Omnibus! Omnibus is a modern digital comic book store and reader app carrying your favorite single issues, volumes and omnibuses (all day and date). They’re pay-per-book like your LCS, but digital, so you’re already used to the experience. Their focus is on building an excellent customer shopping and reading experience and using novel discovery features to help fans find their next new favorite book. They feature top-tier content and already have many of the top publishers in comics today. Want to find the right digital comic shop for you? Download Omnibus today on the Apple App Store to do just that, or try out the new web store and web reader on its website.

Also, big thanks to my patrons, including – but not limited to – Danny Ollie, Charlie Stickney, Tom Drennen, Jeremy Thomas Burke, Jared Schwab, Scott Dunn, Chip Mosher, Allen Ellsworth, Seth Pomeroy, James McEwan, Kenny Meyers, Andrew Leamon, Christina Merkler, Scott Place, Travis Gibb, Darcy Van Poelgeest, Tom Evans, Natalie Mokry, Reid Beaman, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Max Wood, Jeremy Lambert, Brian Hole, Chris Doray, Nir Levie, Dennis Hoffman, Jason Hussa, Kieron Gillen, Jonathan Kent-Uritam, Henry Johnston, Django Bohren, James Tynion IV, Chris Lankford, Jason Wood, Tom Peachey, Ben Damstedt, Ram V, Nick Walker, Patrick Coyle, Isaac Orin, Scott Carpenter, Rentnarb Studios Comics, Capes and Tights Podcast, Klaas Van de Ven, Brian, Submet Industries, Jack Mulqueen, Karl Kerschl, Robert Masella, Elsa Charretier, Luc Nakashoji, Dr. Luke, Scott Haselwood, CanadianByProxy, Bradley Roeder, Carl Choi, Brandon De Pillis, Patrick Brower, Declan Shalvey, Dan Gearino, Atom Freeman, Ben Wild, Brian Klein-Q, Nick Bennett, Daniel Whitfield, Susana Polo, Reed Hinckley-Barnes, Mario Tiambeng, Andrew Kurita, Matt Mahoney, Stefan Hull, Phillip Maira, Chris Bachalo, Torunn Grønbekk, FuzBubbles, Christopher Ta, Transmitterdown, Walt’s Comics & Books, Akil Wilson, Alex Dimitropolous, Terry Dodson, Wesley Gift, Shawn Kirkham, Julio Anta, Brett A. Schmidt, Jason Goodmanson, Paul Reinwand, Vita Ayala, Akylle, Phillip Sevy, Al Ewing, Ryan Alcock, David Kelley, Nick Poleto, Matthew Groom, Jason Nassi, Adam Bogert, Matthew Taylor, Nick Pitarra, Jacob Sareli, Ford Gilmore, David Baroldy, Nick Hall, Bjorn Basen, John Hendrick, Steve Anderson, Ian Maxfield, Cliff Chiang, Colin McMahon, Nathan Fairbairn, Adam Highfill, Fiona Staples, Mark Abnett, Michael Shirley, Tom Barnett, Jim Demonakos, Norbert, Nick Lowe, James Kaplan, and Mission: Comics and Art in San Francisco. You’re all the best.

Have a question for Off Panel? You can reach David by email or Twitter.

Header photo is of Portland, Oregon’s Books with Pictures. 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!