Busiek and Allred Talk at SE:NYC

Kurt Busiek and Mike Allred are two of my favorite comic book creators. So when it was announced that they would be in conversation at SE:NYC, I knew I would be going to this panel.

busiek allred panel se nyc

Photo by Adrian King


The focus of the panel was to compare and contrast working for big comic book companies like Marvel and DC versus going it your own and self-publishing. At first glance, I figured Busiek would talk about Marvel and DC, and Allred would talk about self-publishing.

But early on in the panel, Busiek pointed out something that I never realized. He noted that Mike Allred made a name for himself in the 90s on the indie comic book scene with Madman and now works mainly work for DC and Marvel, while Busiek was the “company man” when he made a name for himself in the 90s, first on Marvels with Alex Ross, and then creating Thunderbolts with Mark Bagley, and his legendary run on Avengers with George Perez (not to mention Avengers Forever with Carlos Pacheco). For a while there, Busiek was Mr. Marvel. But Busiek’s current work is his creator-owned Astro City. It was interesting hearing these two legends in the field talk about the different ways they managed to break in, and how their points of view on working for big companies and self-publishing have changed over the years.

This was easily my favorite panel of SE:NYC. The only downside to the panel was the one guy in the audience who was snoring really loudly. I think the snoring threw Mr. Busiek during one of his answers, but he deftly played it off. Someone was nice enough to elbow the snoring guy in the ribs, and he was very apologetic afterwards.

After the panel, I had the good luck of getting into a conversation with Mike and Laura Allred for their entire walk back to their table in Artist’s Alley. They could not have been nicer and more accommodating. While we were talking comics, I had an almost out of body experience, where in the back of my head, 1997 me was yelling, “YOU’RE TALKING TO MIKE ALLRED! CREATOR OF MADMAN!” Thankfully, I managed to keep my cool….I hope.

Buddy Scalera moderated this panel, and did a great job. If this is any indication of the quality of panels that Buddy moderates, definitely look out for his name in future convention program guides.