Intro to Breathers & Creator Spotlight: Justin Madson

Welcome to another season of Storied Arcs! For this installment, Mike and Alex are going about as indie comic as they can get as they get ready to discuss Breathers by Justin Madson. They guys get you familiar with cartoonist Justin Madson, someone they understand is probably not that well known, if at all, by most comic readers, even the most dedicated ones, as well as some of his work, including Carbon and Tin Man. Then they preview Breathers, Madson’s story about a dystopian future where a virus in the air is lethal and everyone has to wear masks just to survive. Oh, aid we mention this comic was originally conceived by Madson back in 2006 and was first self-published as a completed work back in 2011? The guys discuss Breathers’ circuitous publication history, from self-published to It’s Alive! to Dark Horse, and try to convince you as to why you should read a book about the COVID-19 pandemic that isn’t at all about the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re assuming that the complete edition of Breather published by Dark Horse in October of 2023 is the only way folks will be able to read this comic. It’s 9 issues worth of material (about 440 pages), which is a lot to cover in one discussion, and it doesn’t have a clear mid-point that could serve as a convenient break. So what we’re doing for this book instead is having one long discussion, broken up into two parts. We’ll be talking about the book in totality across both weeks of the discussion, so be sure to have read all of Breathers before you start to listen.

You can learn more about Justin Madson at his website and purchase his books directly from his shop. Get Breathers there, from local shop, or from the public library and join us back here next week for Part 1 of our discussion!

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