Timed to coincide with [email protected], the comics publisher Humanoids announced the Humanoise podcast, co-hosted by their publisher Mark Waid and former Paste Magazine Comics editor Sean Edgar. The first episode, an interview between Waid and ZHumanoids CEO Fabrice Giger, just went live. The podcast features interviews with creators in and out of comics including Deadpool and Terminator: Dark Fate director Tim Miller, film producer and comic writer Helen Mullane, and familiar names like Matt Fraction and Brian Michael Bendis. The Beat had the opportunity to interview Waid and Edgar about Humanoise. Check out what the duo had to say about the origins of the podcast, their process, what they hope to get out of the experience, and more.
How did you two originally meet?
Mark Waid: In the Humanoids offices. Sean was already on the job of promoting our line, and I was immediately impressed by his energy.
Sean Edgar: Though I’ve only personally known Mark for a few months, his words have been reverberating throughout my head since grade school. In that regard, he’s the most familiar stranger I’ve ever met.
What prompted you to start the podcast?
SE: Humanoids’ trajectory is so far-reaching, so ingrained in popular culture, that the history of science-fiction and fantasy is essentially the history of Humanoids. Moebius, Druillet, and Jodorowsky laid such a dense root system that weaves through the works of Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Hayao Miyazaki, Nicolas Winding Refn, and far beyond. Brian Michael Bendis said it best in his foreword to The Incal: “There are literally whole sections of this work that have been lifted whole cloth and put into major motion pictures where neither the writer nor the artist has been credited.” Humanoids is more than a publisher, it’s a tradition and state of mind. We’ll be looking at the past and future of that innovation throughout the podcast, even including musicians and game designers in addition to filmmakers and comics folk.
MW: Especially given the state of the world today, it’s more important than ever to reach out to fans and would-be fans. Sean’s been great about connecting us with celebrities you wouldn’t necessarily think of as stealth Humanoids fans.
How does the podcast connect to Humanoids?
MW: We’re there to talk about how each guest’s work has been influenced by the works of Moebius, Jodorowsky, and the countless other creators who’ve been a huge part of the Humanoids line.
SE: Stemming from my previous answer and what Mark said, the Humanoids founders and the magazine they launched in France—Metal Hurlant—introduced genre fiction to the sexual and psychedelic revolutions trailing from the ‘60s. That degree of creativity, fearlessness, and pure craft has remained nearly unrivaled for almost half a century. Creators ranging from Deadpool director/Love Death + Robots creator Tim Miller to Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner have carried that baton forward. We’ll also obviously be talking to our creators paving the future of transgressive storytelling.
Has anything surprised you about the process of making the podcast?
MW: That so many of them HAD, by their own admission, been clearly influenced. Everyone we’ve spoken to could draw some sort of straight line between their own body of work and what they read from Humanoids as a younger person.
SE: The sheer amount of adoration (and knowledge) that guests have of the older material. It’s sacred to so many creators, and its magic hasn’t been replicated. The Incal and The Metabarons are still peerless.
Was your chemistry as co-hosts immediate or something that grew over time?
MW: It’s flowing well. Part of Sean’s responsibility is to gently steer us back into Humanoids talk whenever we end up deep in the weeds about other things.
SE: Dude, I’m on a podcast with Mark Waid. I don’t think anyone’s tuning in to hear my thoughts. [laughs] I’ve done my podcast time; I’d call myself more of a producer who gently chimes in. Just wait till you hear Mark with Tim Miller…
How did you decide on guests?
SE: It’s a Venn diagram of creators who have been directly influenced by Humanoids, as well as creators currently writing and drawing under its banner. Tomorrow we’re talking to the creative team behind an upcoming game called Sable, which pays homage to Moebius’ aesthetic and worldbuilding. The net stretches far wider than I could have ever fathomed.
Will the conversation focus on the guests’ careers as a whole or will you really dive into the nitty-gritty of storytelling?
MW: While we obviously want the podcast to reference Humanoids, there are no edicts to the guests, and we’ve ended up drifting into all sorts of fascinating territory about current influences, work methods, and more.
SE: There’s even a woman in Los Angeles who makes jewelry inspired by Humanoids stories. It’ll be both.
Will all the episodes have guests, or will there be some with just the two of you?
MW: As delightful, witty, and sparkling a bon vivant as I am–it’s been said that I’m practically Bennett Cerf reincarnated–there’s so much more to be gained by bringing in other voices despite the fact that most of them are Philistines who have never heard of Bennett Cerf.
SE: Mark doesn’t know about the holiday episodes where I read my seasonal Barbarella fan fiction. Don’t tell him; he thinks Ridley Scott and Alex Garland are scheduled.
How frequently will the podcast release?
SE: We’ll be releasing every other week initially!
What do you hope to gain from the experience of making the Humanoise podcast?
MW: It’s about outreach to fans of Humanoids and of the guests’ works, but it’s also about Sean and I getting new insights on the company and its catalog from outside perspectives, which is invaluable.
SE: It’s a huge celebration of decades filled with space barbarians and cosmic terror and fiction unafraid to make our reality more colorful. Humanoids is such an endless cornucopia of hidden treasures that span continents. Going through the library is akin to comics archaeology; you’ll find gems you’ll never find anywhere else. If we can channel that awe to new readers and honor its legacy, Humanoise will have lived up to its mission.
Check out the first episode of Humanoise and keep an eye out for more!