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The Comics Alternative

Updated 3 days ago

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A weekly podcast focusing on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics. (There's nothing wrong with superhero comics. We just want to do something different.) New podcast episodes become available every Wednesday and include reviews of graphic novels and current ongoing series, discussions of upcoming comics, examinations of collected editions, in-depth analyses of a variety of comics texts, and spotlights on various creators and publishers. The Comics Alternative also produces "special feature" programs, such as shows specifically dedicated to creator interviews, webcomics, on-location events, and special non-weekly themes and topics.

Read more

A weekly podcast focusing on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics. (There's nothing wrong with superhero comics. We just want to do something different.) New podcast episodes become available every Wednesday and include reviews of graphic novels and current ongoing series, discussions of upcoming comics, examinations of collected editions, in-depth analyses of a variety of comics texts, and spotlights on various creators and publishers. The Comics Alternative also produces "special feature" programs, such as shows specifically dedicated to creator interviews, webcomics, on-location events, and special non-weekly themes and topics.

iTunes Ratings

45 Ratings
Average Ratings
41
2
0
1
1

Great, interesting comics podcast

By Pfrtta - Apr 27 2017
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I am glad to hear information and analysis of comics that aren't superheroes. I agree with the 2Guys + others assessment that the alternative comics get less attention than their superhero counterparts. I love that the Comics Alternative fills that niche. I always try to keep up with all of the wonderful content they provide. You can choose to only listen to the regular episodes, the special interest episodes, or do what I do and listen to everything! I cannot recommend this podcast highly enough!

Smart Talk about Comics

By Stinky Whizzleteats, Jr. - Dec 23 2015
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This is perhaps the most insightful comics-related podcasts out there. Fanboy/girl podcasts with “geek this” or “nerd that” are a dime a dozen, and those almost always focus on superheroes and mainstream comics ad infinitum. The hosts of this podcast make an effort to discuss small press and indie comics, regardless of style and genre. I’ve discovered so many great titles by listening to these guys. Their insightful, democratic, and humorous analysis should be a model for other podcasters. They’re the Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert of comics talk!

iTunes Ratings

45 Ratings
Average Ratings
41
2
0
1
1

Great, interesting comics podcast

By Pfrtta - Apr 27 2017
Read more
I am glad to hear information and analysis of comics that aren't superheroes. I agree with the 2Guys + others assessment that the alternative comics get less attention than their superhero counterparts. I love that the Comics Alternative fills that niche. I always try to keep up with all of the wonderful content they provide. You can choose to only listen to the regular episodes, the special interest episodes, or do what I do and listen to everything! I cannot recommend this podcast highly enough!

Smart Talk about Comics

By Stinky Whizzleteats, Jr. - Dec 23 2015
Read more
This is perhaps the most insightful comics-related podcasts out there. Fanboy/girl podcasts with “geek this” or “nerd that” are a dime a dozen, and those almost always focus on superheroes and mainstream comics ad infinitum. The hosts of this podcast make an effort to discuss small press and indie comics, regardless of style and genre. I’ve discovered so many great titles by listening to these guys. Their insightful, democratic, and humorous analysis should be a model for other podcasters. They’re the Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert of comics talk!

Listen to:

Cover image of The Comics Alternative

The Comics Alternative

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

A weekly podcast focusing on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics. (There's nothing wrong with superhero comics. We just want to do something different.) New podcast episodes become available every Wednesday and include reviews of graphic novels and current ongoing series, discussions of upcoming comics, examinations of collected editions, in-depth analyses of a variety of comics texts, and spotlights on various creators and publishers. The Comics Alternative also produces "special feature" programs, such as shows specifically dedicated to creator interviews, webcomics, on-location events, and special non-weekly themes and topics.

Manga: Reviews of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness and Golden Kamuy

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It's the end of the month, so that must mean that it's time for Shea and Derek to discuss their latest manga recommendations. They begin with Kabi Nagata's My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness (Seven Seas Entertainment), a deeply personal autobiographical work whose title is perhaps more provocative than it is revealing. In fact, the guys spend a good bit of time talking about the underlying impulses embedded in the text and how sexual preferences take a backseat to the deeper longings that Nagata reveals. This is a manga all about self-discovery, a diary-like account of the author's attempts to understand herself within the context of her culture and her yearning for what she calls “next level communication.” As Derek and Shea highlight, this is in some ways an example yuri manga, but at the same time such a designation doesn't do the text justice.

Next, they look at the first volume of Satoru Noda's Golden Kamuy (VIZ Media). This is a more realistically based narrative that takes place in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War. The protagonist, Saichi Sugimoto, gained a reputation during the war as an almost invulnerable hero, but he lives his post-war years unsuccessfully prospecting for gold in the Hokkaido region. There he befriends a young Ainu woman, Asirpa, and together they begin hunting down a legendary hidden treasure with a violent pedigree. Both Shea and Derek appreciate the story's realism and historical context -- in many ways, this is a didactic text -- but they're not yet sure of how Noda will handle the indigenous Ainu culture. That being said, they're both definitely on board for future volumes.

Jun 30 2017

1hr 26mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Karen Berger

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 - Introduction
  • 00:03:01 - Setup of interview
  • 00:04:46 - Interview with Karen Berger
  • 01:15:04 - Wrap up
  • 01:17:14 - Contact us

Paul and Derek are excited to have Karen Berger on The Comics Alternative. The first release from her new Dark Horse Comics imprint, Berger Books, occurs next week, and the guys talk with Karen on the cusp of this event. The Two Guys ask their guest about the genesis of Berger Books as well as her efforts in launching new titles -- such as Hungry Ghosts, Incognegro: Rennaisance, Mata Hari, and The Seeds -- and securing impressive talent. But they also talk with Karen about her time working at DC Comics and establishing the industry-defining Vertigo brand. This is a fun and informative interview, and Karen Berger is one of the most engaging and pleasant guests the Two Guys have ever had on the podcast.

Jan 25 2018

1hr 19mins

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Episode 275: The April Previews Catalog

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Gene and Derek are back for another look at the current month's Previews catalog. This one may not be as long an episode as last month's Previewshow -- which clocked in at just under three hours -- but it's nonetheless hefty. (Well...actually, it is almost as long as the March show.) They begin this week by discussing the new changes appearing in Previewsbeginning in April. They point out the additions of BOOM! Studios and Dynamite Entertainment in the premiere publishers section, prominently displayed in the front of the catalog; the reorganizations of solicits in a new manga section; the shake-up of what had been the book section; the flip arrangement with the toy and merchandise sections; and next month's departure of DC Comics' solicitations into their own supplemental catalog. After that, and several cynical comments (primarily from Derek), they get into the nitty gritty of the April Previewscatalog, highlighting a variety of titles from such publishers as:

  • Dark Horse Comics - Sword Daughter#1, Likely Stories, Gantz Omnibus Vol. 1, Hercules: Adventures of the Man-God, and EC Archives: War Against Crime Vol. 1
  • DC Comics/Vertigo - Plastic Man#1 and American Vampire Omnibus Vol. 1
  • IDW Publishing/Top Shelf - The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest#1, Look Back and Laugh, Comic Book History of Comics: Comics for All, The Unknown Anti-War Comics, and Burmese Moon
  • Image Comics - The Magic Order #1, The Weatherman#1, Proxima Centuri#1, Shanghai Red#1, and The Red Hook Vol. 1
  • Dynamite Entertainment - Nancy Drew#1
  • BOOM! Studios - By Night#1, Planet of the Apes Visionaries: Rod Serling, and Sanpaku
  • Arcade Publishing - Broken Glory: The Final Years of Robert F. Kennedy
  • Archie Comics - Cosmo: The Complete Merry Martian
  • Bongo Comics/United Plankton Pictures - Spongebob Comics Annual Giant Swimtacular#6
  • Conundrum Press - The Curse of Charley Buttersand Feast of Fields
  • Drawn and Quarterly - A Bubble, Shit Is Real, and The Strange
  • Fantagraphics Books - Poochytown, Dumb, Death Stand and Other Stories, Fab 4 Mania, and Dull Margaret
  • First Second - Science Comics: Rockets
  • Humanoids - Luisa: Now and Thenand Moon Face Deluxe
  • Knopf Books for Young Readers - Rickety Stitch and Gelatinous Goo, Vol. 2: The Middle-Route Run
  • Lion Forge - Mae Vol. 1, Mae Vol. 2#1, and Green Almonds: Letters from Palestine
  • NBM - A Tale of a Thousand and One Nights: Hasib and the Queen of Serpents
  • Nobrow - Nobrow Vol. 10: Studio Dreams
  • Oni Press - Shadow Roads#1
  • Rebellion/2000Ad - Jinty Vol. 1: The Land of No Tears and The Future Zoo
  • Secret Acres - Entropy
  • SelfMadeHero - Apollo
  • Silver Sprocket - Catboy
  • Titan Comics - Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer #1 and Tyler Cross: Black Rock
  • Twomorrows Publishing - Comic Book Implosion
  • Z2 Comics - The Sweetness
  • Kodansha Comics - Tokyo Tarareba Girls Vol. 1and Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku
  • Seven Seas Entertainment - Cutie Honey: The Classic Collection

Apr 04 2018

2hr 53mins

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Episode 289: The August Previews Catalog

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It's that time again! It's the beginning of the month, and the latest issue of the Previews catalog is out. And as they always do, the Two Guys meticulously go through the latest solicits, highlighting a variety of upcoming titles in Previewsthat they're interested in or they think is worth considering. Among the many publishers and titles that they focus on in the August catalog include:

Aug 08 2018

2hr 33mins

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Manga: Reviews of Ichi-F: A Worker’s Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and Platinum End

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This month on The Comics Alternative's manga series, Shea and Derek check out two very different titles. They begin with Kazuto Tatsuta's Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (Kodansha Comics). This is a 500+ page account of the reconstruction and cleanup in the wake of 2011's disaster in Fukushima. As the guys discuss, the text does two things at once: provides objective reportage of the situation surrounding Fukushima and reveals the author's very personal experiences  in securing and maintaining his role in the cleanup efforts. While both guys enjoyed the book, perhaps Derek more than Shea, they nonetheless wondered about Tatsuta's background as a mangaka -- "Kazuto Tatsuta" is a nom de plume, so it's difficult to determine any bibliography -- and any potential agenda (if any) underlying this work.

After their focus on real-world disaster, the guys move into the realm of fantasy. Platinum End (VIZ Media) is a current shōnen series from Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the same team behind Bakuman and Death Note. The second English-language volume was just released this month, so the guys have enough story under their belts to get a secure feel for the art and narrative. As Derek explains, the premise appears a little on the hokey side, at least at first, but as things develop the story begins to take on a life of its own, one that soon hooks you. Much of this is because of Obata's style, but there are also larger thematic issues that make this title worth exploring. The guys discourse over the text's theological import, its engagement with gender identity, and its satiric commentary on contemporary popular culture. This is definitely a series that both Shea and Derek will continue reading.

Mar 31 2017

1hr 14mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Josh Bayer

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Andy and Derek are glad to have as their guest Josh Bayer. He is one of the creative minds behind Fantagrahic's new retro-superhero series, All Time Comics. This line kicked off in March with its first issue, All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1, and in April they'll release All Time Comics: Bullwhip #1, soon to be followed by issues devoted to other characters in its universe, Atlas and Blind Justice. Josh talks with the Two Guys about the genesis of this project and his collaboration with his filmmaker brother, Samuel. He also shares his experiences in working with Herb Trimpe on the Crime Destroyer issue -- the last art by this comics legend -- and with Ben Marra, who provides the inks. The latter also provided the pencils on Bullwhip, along with Al Milgrom on inks. Over the course of their conversation, the guys discuss the strange retro feel of the series, one that is more of a heartfelt and sincere tribute and not a campy send up. Nonetheless, All Time Comics already has its share of wacky villains, including The Misogynist, Raingod, and the Time Vampire. Derek and Andy also talk with Josh about his recent efforts to support the ACLU and Planned Parenthood in light of recent political events, taking a cue from Sarah Glidden...and then going even further.

Join in on the fun with these free coloring book pages, brought to you by Josh and the good folks at Fantagrahics!

Mar 27 2017

1hr 28mins

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Euro Comics: Reviews of A Strange and Beautiful Sound and Inside Moebius, Part 2

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On this month's Euro Comics episode, Pascal and Derek discuss two recent French-language translations. They begin with Zep's A Strange and Beautiful Sound, the second of his books released through IDW Publishing. This is a story of a Carthusian monk who, because of a dead relative's last will and testament, reenters the everyday world after 26 years of seclusion. The art and colors of this narrative are quite striking, and while the subject matter is significantly different from his previous A Story of Men, both Pascal and Derek find a common style between these two texts.

Next, they check out the latest work in Dark Horse's Moebius Library, Inside Moebius, Part 2. The guys begin by contextualizing the first part of this improvisational journal, released earlier this year, and then go into detail about Part 2. This second book is much more metafiction and self-referential than Part 1, but like the first installment, it includes multiple representations of the author himself, along with encounters with his most notable creations, Arzach, Major Grubert and Malvina, Stel and Atan, and of course Lieutenant Blueberry. The text is free-flowing and surreal, but this is what makes Moebius's self-investigation so notable. Both guys eagerly await the third and final part of Inside Moebiuslater this fall.

Jun 28 2018

1hr 23mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Summer Pierre

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 - Introduction
  • 00:02:37 - Setup of interview
  • 00:04:33 - Interview with Summer Pierre
  • 01:19:14 - Wrap up
  • 01:20:13 - Contact us

The Two Guys were first introduced to the work of Summer Pierre during June of 2017. At the time, they were wanting to do a special episode of The Comics Alternative devoted to self-published creators, and John Porcellino recommended to Derek that they check out the work of Summer Pierre. At the time her minicomic Paper Pencil Life was at its fourth issue, and so they went to her website to get the full run of the title up to that point. They were impressed by her art and storytelling, and since then, Derek has made it a point of following Summer's work. She had told him last year in an email that she planned to have a new graphic memoir coming out from Retrofit in 2018, and at this week’s Small Press Expo that book will officially debut. All the Sad Songs is a moving account of the role of music in Summer’s life, from the creation of mix tapes to her performances as a musician, and how that music is linked to key moments with her various relationships and her growth as an artist. In many ways this book is a work of remembrance, but it’s not soaked in the kind of nostalgia that would come across as sentimental. On the contrary, Summer takes a hard look at herself during those times in her life, bearing herself in ways that, at times, may be a bit uncomfortable. But her story is authentic and speaks from the heart. In this interview, Derek talks with Summer about the genesis of this project, her experiences writing in long-form narrative, the role that music has played in her life, and the potential pitfalls in writing about her past in such an open and honest way. This is an interview that's been a long time in coming, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Sep 13 2018

1hr 22mins

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Episode 279: The May Previews Catalog

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This week, Paul and Derek take an extensive look at the May Previews catalog. In fact, their look is so extensive that their discussion evolves into an extra-long episode, spanning almost three hours! (Then again, listeners of the podcast probably are used to these long Previews episodes.) The Two Guys begin by sharing listener mail, and then they make a few comments about some of the changes Diamond has made to their catalog over the past couple of months. After that, they jump into the nitty gritty of the episode, highlighting a variety of solicitations that catch their eye this month. Among the many publishers and titles that they focus on are:

May 09 2018

2hr 54mins

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Episode 303: Our Favorite Comics of 2018

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:28 - Introduction
  • 00:03:49 - Context, and a few statistics
  • 00:10:41 - Our favorite comics of 2018, part 1
  • 00:40:03 - Our honorable mentions, part 1
  • 00:54:46 - Our favorite comics of 2018, part 2
  • 01:29:23 - Our honorable mentions, part 2
  • 01:47:47 - Our favorite comics of 2018, part 3
  • 02:08:23 - Wrapping up our favorites
  • 02:11:19 - Contact us

It's that time again! It's the end of the year, their very last weekly review episode of 2018, and so the Two Guys are ready to share what they consider to be their favorite comics of the past twelve months. This is Sterg's first time doing this, but he successfully steps up to the plate to reveal what he considers his 10 favorites of 2018. And Derek does the same.

Before that, though, they go over a few statistics from the past year. Over the course of 2018 -- at least up until the time of the recording of this end-of-the-year show -- The Comics Alternativereleased a total of 171 episodes of the podcast. Of that number, 55 were interviews, 10 were webcomics shows, 11 manga episodes, 10 from the Euro comics series, 6 were young reader shows, 16 on-location episodes, and 1 special. (And since Sterg and Derek recorded this "Favorites" episode, there have been at least three other shows for the current year, an on-location, a webcomic, and a Euro comics show. Maybe a manga episode will go up before the new year, as well?)

But of much more importance are the various titles that both Sterg and Derek picked as this year's favorites. Each chooses, in no particular order, what he considers to be his 10 favorites of 2018:

Sterg's Top 10 of 2018

Derek's Top 10 of 2018

The Honorable Mentions…These Titles Almost, but Just Didn’t Quite, Make It onto Each Guy's List For Sterg For Derek

Dec 26 2018

2hr 15mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Pat Palermo

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 - Introduction
  • 00:02:41 - Setup of interview
  • 00:04:04 - Interview with Pat Palermo
  • 01:06:50 - Wrap up
  • 01:07:33 - Contact us

Pat Palermo is an artist and Xeric Award-winning cartoonist living and working in Brooklyn. In fact, the intersection of “living and working” is the subject matter of his new series coming out from AdHouse Books, LIVE/WORK. The first issue of this magazine-sized comic came out last month, and it’s an ensemble narrative concerning the exploits of New York artists as they try to make their marks in the art world, while at the same time worrying about their living arrangements. In this episode of the interview series, Derek talks with Pat about the origins of his new series, how it began as a self-published endeavor, the autobiographical links embedded among his ensemble cast, and his thoughts on writing in a more realistic or slice-of-life mode – what's been called before on The Comics Alternative, verite dessinée. Along the way Pat discusses his own non-comics art endeavors, his Galveston Diary Project, and the ways in which his work in fine arts informs his cartooning…and vice versa.

May 08 2018

1hr 9mins

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Episode 297: Reviews of DC Comics before Superman, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, and Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1

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This week Sterg and Derek check out three intriguing, yet very different, titles. They begin with Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson's DC Comics before Superman: Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's Pulp Comics(Hermes Press). This is a collection of comics written or inspired by the writing of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson and an overview of the pre-Superman history of the publisher. After that they look at Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips's My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies(Image Comics), the latest noir narrative in their Criminal series. And then the guys wrap up with Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1, Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá's return to their Umbrella Academyworld.

Oct 24 2018

1hr 34mins

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Young Readers: A Discussion of the Nominees for the 2018 Eisner Awards for the Early Readers, Kids, and Teens Categories

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:31 - Introduction
  • 00:03:19 - Setup of the discussion
  • 00:05:04 - Nominees in the Best Publication for Early Readers category
  • 00:51:47 - Nominees in the Best Publication for Kids category
  • 01:31:45 - Nominees in the Best Publication for Teens category
  • 02:20:32 - Wrap up
  • 02:26:03 - Contact us

On this episode of the Comics Alternative Young Readers Show, Gwen and Paul detail the three categories of the Eisner Awards that focus on children and teens:

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9–12)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

  • The Dam Keeperby Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi (First Second/Tonko House)
  • Jane, by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramón K. Pérez (Archaia)
  • Louis Undercover, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault, translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi)
  • Monstressby Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Spinningby Tillie Walden (First Second)

In addition to reviewing each nominated text, the duo refers listeners to The Comics Alternativearchives for the shows that reference these nominees: Good Night, Planet by Liniers; Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez; The Dam Keeper by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi; and Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda.

Paul and Gwen use this episode to launch a general discussion of age designations and categorization of children’s and YA comics, and they reference the art of Bolivian painter and lithographer Graciela Rodo Boulanger, whose depiction of children resembles that found in Campbell Whyte’s Home Time. So, won’t you pour yourself a chilly beverage, kick back, and give a listen to the two PhDs -- more on Paul’s recent doctoral graduation from University of California-Berkeley will appear in the June podcast -- for a rundown of this year’s Eisner nominees.

May 28 2018

2hr 28mins

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Episode 276: Reviews of Milk Wars, Motor Girl Omnibus, and Strangers in Paradise XXV #1 & #2

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Paul is back on the podcast, fresh from working on his dissertation. On this episode, he updates Derek on his dissertating progress, and then the Two Guys plunge into the show proper. They begin by looking at the five issues that make up the DC Universe/Young Animal crossover Milk Wars(DC Comics). Both Paul and Derek share their experiences reading JLA/Doom Patrol Special#1Mother Panic/Batman Special#1Shade, the Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special#1Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye/Swamp Thing Special#1, and Doom Patrol/JLA Special#1. A significant difference between the guys' appreciation of the Milk Warcrossover is linked to each of their post reading history with both the Young Animal titles and DC's current superhero happenings.

After that, they celebrate the recent work of Terry Moore. The Two Guys discus in detail Motor Girl Omnibus, released just last month from Moore's Abstract Studios. This is a limited series that originally came out in 2017, but both Derek and Paul wanted to revisit the title now that the entire run is available in one volume. From there, they jump into the first two issues of Moore's latest efforts, Strangers in Paradise XXV. Both are excited to be back in the world of Katchoo and Francine, and even more compelling is the fact that Moore is crossing over his narrative worlds. There are elements of both Rachel Risingand Echoin this new SiP. And while those familiar with Moore's previous comics will bring an enhanced appreciation to the latest series, first-time readers of Moore will nonetheless get a lot out of Strangers in Paradise XXVwithout feeling lost. Both Paul and Derek love the work of Terry Moore, and their discussion of these new releases demonstrate this fact.

Apr 11 2018

1hr 28mins

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Euro Comics: Reviews of Brazen and Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures

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This month Pascal and Derek look at two recent books that, while strikingly different in their storytelling approaches, are both insightful examinations of the socio-historical forces that shape individuals' lives. They begin with Pénélope Bagieu's Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World(First Second), a collection of 29 short biographies profiling women throughout history who have pushed back and defined themselves on their own terms. This book began as a series of webcomics that appeared on Le Monde's blog between January and October 2016. There was actually one original entry, a biographical look at Phulan Devi, that didn't make it into the American text, and the guys speculate as to why this might have been.

After that they discuss Yvan Alagbé's Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures, just released from New York Review Comics. This is a much less conventional collection, at least in terms of its narrative and visual styles. The book includes seven short pieces that were originally created between 1995 and 2017. The title story is the longest, and most sophisticated, of the bunch, but Pascal and Derek also spend some time focusing on "The Suitcase" and "Postcard from Montreuil."  What almost all of the stories in this book focus on, in one way or another, is France's colonialist past and its ramifications to this day.

Apr 09 2018

1hr 34mins

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Episode 283: The June Previews Catalog

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Paul and Derek are back with another look at the latest Previews catalog. And for the month of June, they find a variety of fascinating title...and several of which they even resist mention on mic, in the interests of keeping the show containable and relatively short. Among the many publishers and titles that they focus on are:

Jun 13 2018

1hr 38mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle

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Time Codes:

  • 00:26 - Introduction
  • 02:22 - Setup of interview
  • 03:46 - Interview with Grace Ellisand Shae Beagle
  • 43:14 - Wrap up
  • 43:49 - Contact us

Mythical figures, anthropomorphic characters, and heavy dose of magic, all set in a contemporary urban landscape complete with coffeehouses, mobile devices, and garage bands. This is the world of Moonstruck, a series that began last year and coming out from Image Comics. The writer and artist of this series, Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle, were kind enough to come on The Comics Alternativeto talk about the completion of the first narrative arc and what we might expect with the second. These two creators have known each other for a long time, and, along with their editor and designer, Laurenn McCubbin, have experienced a curious incubation period for their project. Derek talks with Grace and Shae about the origins of Moonstruck, their unique mix of fantasy and contemporary cultural concerns, the process of collaboration, and their attempts to build a reading community, not only with their storytelling, but also through social media and a keen understanding of their target audience.

Apr 10 2018

46mins

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Young Readers: Reviews of The Prince and the Dressmaker and Speak: The Graphic Novel

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Time Codes:

Art and Perceptions

Gwen and Paul are back with another Young Readers episode. For February, they discuss two recent publications, both that explore how perceptions, for better or for worse, figure into our lives. They begin with Jen Wang's The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second), a fairy tale-like narrative focusing on romance, identity, and creativity. Next, they look at Speak: The Graphic Novel (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), a comics adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson's young adult novel Speak. Illustrated by Emily Carroll, it's a story of a young high school outcast who uses art to confront the hardships that have kept her on the margins.

Feb 20 2018

1hr 5mins

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Episode 280: Reviews of The New World: Comics from Mauretania, Young Frances, and A Walk through Hell #1

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On this episode of the podcast, Paul and Derek look at three new releases that, while all compelling readings, are vastly different in style and narrative approach. They begin with Chris Reynold's The New World: Comics fromMauretania, recently released from Gallery 13. This is a collection of Reynold's Mauretania comics published beginning in the 1980s. This volume was designed by Seth, and he also provided a brief and insightful note at the end of the text. Neither Paul nor Derek had encountered any of the Mauretania stories before, and they're sorry that they hadn't read Reynolds any sooner. The narratives are dreamlike and random in their coherency, and while making any sense of their meaning and action can be an exercise in frustration, they are strangely some of the most compelling comics the guys have read this year.

Next, the Two Guys turn to a creator whom they've read and loved before, but not by his current name. Both Paul and Derek are big fans of the series Pope Hats, authored by Ethan Rilly, an anagram of Hartley Lin. In Young Frances (AdHouse Books), Lin is now using his real name and collects issues #2, #3, and #5 of his defining series. The text presents the story of Frances Scarland, a young legal clerk whose efficiency and competency are admired by those around her, but who nonetheless wonders if she's just drifting through life without purpose. Her best friend, Vickie, is impulse and more scattered, yet talented enough to find a lead role acting in a hit television crime drama. This is yet another example of "verite dessinée" storytelling, a favorite of Derek's and Paul's.

The guys conclude this episode by looking at the first issue of Garth Ennis and Goran Sudžuka's A Walk through Hell (AfterShock Comics). A mix of horror and crime, this first issue establishes the premise of the series but does so in a way that poses a variety of questions. In fact, both Paul and Derek feel as if this first issue ended almost too quickly -- a sense that they've gotten with other AfterShock first issues -- although there is enough in this inaugural installment to have them wanting to come back to the series. In this first issue, Special Agents Shaw and McGregor work a recent race-related killing while at the same time investigating the disappearance of two fellow officers. What they stumble onto, and we never get a sense of what that is, is apparently something so horrific that even the most hardened law enforcers are unable to live with what they saw.

May 16 2018

1hr 43mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Talking Again with Jon Morris

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:17 - Introduction
  • 00:02:59 - Setup of interview
  • 00:05:14 - Interview with Jon Morris
  • 01:15:03 - Wrap up
  • 01:17:05 - Contact us

Jon Morris is back, once again, on The Comics Alternative, to share his research and sense of humor. His latest book The League of Regrettable Sidekicks (Quirk Books) is the follow up to his previous two works, The League of Regrettable Superheroes and The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains. In the spirit of the previous books, this one is a revealing and good-natured look at some of the strange creations making up comic-book history, figures that may be unknown or  completely forgotten by most enthusiasts. And perhaps for good reason. Also like the earlier works, Jon divides his survey into three temporal categories: the Golden Age, the Silver Age, and the Modern Age. Sterg and Derek have a fun time talking about the weirdness of this collection, their favorite "regrettable" sidekicks and henchmen, and their wonderment at how such figures made it into four colors. They also talk with Jon about his other work and future projects, including his own comics work.

See where it all started! Visit Jon's blog, Gone and Forgotten, and get the inside scoop on retro comicdom! And if you're a Columbo fan, check out his sleuthy podcast, Just One More Thing.

Dec 20 2018

1hr 19mins

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Episode 307: A Publisher Spotlight on Glom Press

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Sterg and Derek focus a spotlight on Glom Press and their 2018 releases.

Jan 30 2019

1hr 46mins

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Episode 306: Reviews of Now #5, Criminal #1, and Scratcher #1-3

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On this episode of the podcast Sterg and Derek look at three exciting titles. They begin with Now#5, the latest in Fantagraphics' outstanding comics anthology series. As the guys point out, they're dedicated to discussing every issue of Nowthat is released, and this one is chock-full of comicy goodness. Although all of the contributions in this issue are intriguing, some of the most notable that the guys discuss are those by Eroyn Franklin, Walker Tate, DRT, Ana Galvañ, DW, Maggie Umber, and especially Walt Holcombe.

And although Derek and Sterg spend the vast majority of their time discussing this anthology -- there's a lot to take in -- they also look at two other titles. One of those is most recent incarnation of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips's Criminal(Image Comics). In the new series' first issue, the protagonist is one familiar to Criminal enthusiasts, Teeg Lawless. But there are other manifestations of Brubaker and Phillips' world that are imbedded within. After that they look at the first three issues of Scratcher, John Wald and Juan Romera's self-published horror title that takes place at a tattoo parlor. This is actually a work that its writer alerted the guys to, and they're glad that he did.

Jan 23 2019

1hr 36mins

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Episode 305: Reviews of The Unknown Anti-War Comics, Love and Rockets IV #6, and LaGuardia #1 & #2

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On this episode, Sterg and Derek discuss three recent titles that run the gamut from sci-fi to political to slice-of-life (or what the Two Guys prefer to call  verite dessinée). They begin with the latest collection from Craig Yoe, The Unknown Anti-War Comics(IDW Publications/Yoe Books). This is a volume devoted to classic Charlton Comics stories from the 1950s and 1960s -- most probably written by Joe Gill -- that have a peaceful message to deliver. One of the highlights of this collection is the art of Steve Ditko. After that, the guys jump into the latest issue of Love and Rockets (Fantagraphics Books). Both Derek and Sterg highlight what they particularly like about this specific issue, but they also speculate on the current career trajectories of Gilbert and Jaime and even on what they see as some of the "excesses" of each brother. Finally, the guys wrap up with a discussion of the first two issues of Nnedi Okorafor and Tana Ford's LaGuardia(Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books). In fact, this is an appropriate title to bookend the episode, along with Charlton anti-war stories. Both Sterg and Derek are intrigued by the premise of this limited series, but at the same time they feel that there's something missing from the first two issues, which is half of the four-issue run. Is the narrative too decompressed? Lacking enough exposition? Regardless, both guys want to read on and see where Okorafor and Tana end with their timely story.

Jan 09 2019

2hr

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Critical Takes: A Conversation with Keith Dallas and Jason Sacks

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 - Introduction
  • 00:02:20 - Setup of interview
  • 00:03:54 - Interview with Keith Dallas and Jason Sacks
  • 01:22:12 - Wrap up
  • 01:22:52 - Contact us

On this, the second show in The Comics Alternative's new Critical Takes series, Derek has back on the podcast Keith Dallas, coauthor of the new book, American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1990s. Listeners might remember that he talked with Keith, along with John Wells, back last summer when their Comic Book Implosion was released by TwoMorrows Publishing. In fact, that was the very first Critical Takes episode. This time around, Keith is joined by Jason Sacks, another comics scholar and historian who has worked on other texts within the American Comic Book Chroniclesseries. The two have just released their volume on the 1990s, a curious and tumultuous time in American comics history. As you’ll hear in conversation, Jason and Keith discuss in detail their first-hand experiences during this decade, the process of researching for this project, the various stereotypes that they had to overcome when encapsulating the decade, and what each of them sees as key defining moments for comics during the 1990s. They also talk about the genesis of the American Comic Book Chroniclesseries and what we might expect with future volumes.

Jan 07 2019

1hr 25mins

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Episode 304: The January Previews Catalog

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It's the first episode of the new year, and for the January Previewsshow the Two Guys decide to try something different: invite a third person to join them in discussing the current Previewscatalog. This week Sterg and Derek are joined by Troy-Jeffrey Allen who works with community outreach at PREVIEWSworld. And given Troy's association with Diamond Distributors and the ins and outs of their monthly catalog, he's able to provide insights and additional commentary that results in an extra special discussion. And as you might expect, the addition of a third conversant makes this episode longer than usual...as if the guys' monthly Previews shows weren't long enough. Among the many publishers and titles that Troy, Sterg, and Derek highlight are:

A BIG THANKS to Troy-Jeffrey Allen for his contributions to this episode!

Be sure to keep up with the good people at PREVIEWSworld, and check out Troy on PREVIEWSworld's weekly YouTube show!

Jan 02 2019

2hr 47mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Happy New Yoe with Craig Yoe!

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:29 - Introduction
  • 00:02:38 - Setup of interview
  • 00:07:14 - Interview with Craig Yoe
  • 02:16:37 - Wrap up
  • 02:18:05 - Contact us

It's a new year, so that must mean that it's time for the annual Happy New Yoe show! On this, The Comics Alternative's very first episode of 2019, Derek talks with Craig Yoe about what he's been up to lately. They spend much of the time talking about the year in review for Yoe Books. And it was a busy one for Craig and his companion/colleague, Clizia Gussoni, who oversaw the publication of such titles as Limbo Lounge, Reefer Madness, We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust, Lou Cameron’s Unsleeping Dead, Super Patriotic Heroes, The Best of Don Winslow of the Navy, Super Weird Heroes: Preposterous but True!, and new collections of their Weird Loveand Haunted Horrorcomics. Craig also reveals some of the titles we can look forward to in the new year, such as The Unknown Anti-War Comics, Jungle Girls, Swamp Monsters, Clyde, Life on the Moon, and Matchless Beauties: The Art of Pin-up Matchbook Covers. Along the way, the two discuss Yoe Books' recent efforts to publish original graphic novels -- such as Limbo Loungeand Life on the Moon-- the glories of HeroesCon, the future for Craig's various comic-book series, which books caught the most fire in 2018, and plans for Yoe Books to branch out and cover more popular culture topics in addition to comics and comics history. And of course, there are the laughter and wry humor that Craig always brings to every interview he gives to podcast. And this marks the 11th occasion that Craig has been interviewed on The Comics Alternative!

And Craig is also an artist!

Design that Craig Yoe created specifically for The Comics Alternative!

Jan 01 2019

2hr 21mins

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Manga: Reviews of Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection and Dementia 21

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On this manga episode, their last of 2018, Shea and Derek look at two recent works of manga that are actually quite similar in a number of ways. They begin with Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection(VIZ Media). This isn't the first time, by far, that the guys have discussed Junji Ito's horror work, and whereas they've been less impressed with some of his more recent translations, they are more enthusiastic about this current collection. The standout story is Ito's adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic romance, which takes up almost half of the text. But the other stories in this collection, specifically the Oshikiri cycle ones, are gripping, as well.

After that the Two Guys check out a wild example of manga, Shintaro Kago's Dementia 21 (Fantagraphics). While both Derek and Shea had heard of Kago, until now they really hadn't read any of his works. This book, the first in a two-volume series from the publisher, is a collection of 17 stories that surround the escapades of Yukie Sakai, a young home healthcare aide. Her assignments to a variety of elderly patients all turn out surreal, taking her into mind-blowing adventures that are hilarious as they are nonsensical (and even metafictional, in some cases). Kago's manga has been described as ero guro nansensu, although in this collection there is more nansensu than there is ero guro. (For the latter, listeners are referred to another translated collection of Kago's, Super-Dimensional Love Gun, from Fakku Books.)

Dec 31 2018

1hr 41mins

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Euro Comics: Reviews of McCay and Bear's Tooth

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:03:11 – Getting caught up!
  • 00:04:05 – McCay
  • 00:34:54 – Bear’s Tooth
  • 01:10:58 – Wrap up
  • 01:12:04 – Contact us

For their December Euro Comics show, Pascal and Derek discuss two recent French titles in translation. They begin with Thierry Smolderen and Jean-Philippe Bramanti's McCay (Titan Comics), a surreal narrative surrounding the life of comics legend Windsor McCay. But this work is not a biography. Smolderen takes historical moments in McCay's life and from those weaves a fantastical tale that includes noir intrigue, metafictional elements, and the fourth dimension. After that the guys turn to the three volumes of Yann and Alain Henriet's Bear's Tooth (Cinebook).  Each of the three works -- Max, Hanna, and Werner-- is based on one of the three protagonists in this World War II tale. As Pascal reveals, Yann and Henriet's follow up to this series (not yet translated) continues the storyline, but with strange alternate history twist.

Dec 28 2018

1hr 14mins

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Episode 303: Our Favorite Comics of 2018

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:28 - Introduction
  • 00:03:49 - Context, and a few statistics
  • 00:10:41 - Our favorite comics of 2018, part 1
  • 00:40:03 - Our honorable mentions, part 1
  • 00:54:46 - Our favorite comics of 2018, part 2
  • 01:29:23 - Our honorable mentions, part 2
  • 01:47:47 - Our favorite comics of 2018, part 3
  • 02:08:23 - Wrapping up our favorites
  • 02:11:19 - Contact us

It's that time again! It's the end of the year, their very last weekly review episode of 2018, and so the Two Guys are ready to share what they consider to be their favorite comics of the past twelve months. This is Sterg's first time doing this, but he successfully steps up to the plate to reveal what he considers his 10 favorites of 2018. And Derek does the same.

Before that, though, they go over a few statistics from the past year. Over the course of 2018 -- at least up until the time of the recording of this end-of-the-year show -- The Comics Alternativereleased a total of 171 episodes of the podcast. Of that number, 55 were interviews, 10 were webcomics shows, 11 manga episodes, 10 from the Euro comics series, 6 were young reader shows, 16 on-location episodes, and 1 special. (And since Sterg and Derek recorded this "Favorites" episode, there have been at least three other shows for the current year, an on-location, a webcomic, and a Euro comics show. Maybe a manga episode will go up before the new year, as well?)

But of much more importance are the various titles that both Sterg and Derek picked as this year's favorites. Each chooses, in no particular order, what he considers to be his 10 favorites of 2018:

Sterg's Top 10 of 2018

Derek's Top 10 of 2018

The Honorable Mentions…These Titles Almost, but Just Didn’t Quite, Make It onto Each Guy's List For Sterg For Derek

Dec 26 2018

2hr 15mins

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Webcomics: Reviews of Snow Daze, Snow by Night, and Overwatch: Reflections

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On this webcomics episode, the last of 2018, Sean and Derek get into the holiday spirit. They discuss three titles that concern Christmas or the winter season (i.e., has the word "snow" in the title). They begin with Leonardo Faierman and Marcus Kwame Anderson's Snow Daze, a narrative about a group of enterprising teenagers in Queens, NY, who create a business shoveling snow, all the while dealing with the challenges of urban life, especially as it concerns matters of race. After that the guys look at another snow-related webcomic, Snow by Night, written by Eric Menge and with primary art by Julie A. Wright and Brittany Michel. This is a fantasy inspired by French colonial culture in North America, and largely revolves around a manitou, a nature spirit of the wilderness, who quests to find her "heart." Finally, Derek and Sean turn to a quite different webcomic, one created by the Blizzard Entertainment corporation to supplement one of their popular video games. Michael Chu and Miki Montlló's Overwatch: Reflectionsis a Christmas story involving the character Tracer as she attempts to find a last-minute gift and (predictably enough) learns the true meaning of the season.

Dec 23 2018

1hr 23mins

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On Location: The December Visit to Heroes Aren't Hard to Find

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Mike and Derek are back at Heroes Aren't Hard to Findin Charlotte, NC, for their December show. It's been a couple of months since their last visit to the shop -- this past fall was difficult for everyone -- but the guys are excited to sit down among customers and talk comics. And this being the end of 2018, they thought they'd discuss the year in review, the highlights, the news, and the notable titles that defined 2018. Among other topics, they cover the unfortunate passing of several comics legends over the past year, including Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, and Marie Severin. (They mistakenly bring up Bernie Wrightson, as well, although he died last year.) They also spend time talking about 2018 being the year that the imprints Black Crownand Berger Booksreally took off, the 1000th issue of Action Comics, the impact of Tom Kingthis year, Grant Morrison's new work on Green Lantern, and the past year in terms of the Marvel cinematic (and Netflix) universe. While Mike is free to share some of his favorite titles from the past twelve months, Derek is a little reticent because he doesn't want to give away what he'll discuss on next week's year-end episode where he and Stergios reveal what each considers their favorites of 2018. Stay turned for that!

And remember, The Comics Alternative's on-location series is part of the Queen City Podcast Network. Check out the other great shows that make up this audio community!

Dec 21 2018

1hr 20mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Talking Again with Jon Morris

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:17 - Introduction
  • 00:02:59 - Setup of interview
  • 00:05:14 - Interview with Jon Morris
  • 01:15:03 - Wrap up
  • 01:17:05 - Contact us

Jon Morris is back, once again, on The Comics Alternative, to share his research and sense of humor. His latest book The League of Regrettable Sidekicks (Quirk Books) is the follow up to his previous two works, The League of Regrettable Superheroes and The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains. In the spirit of the previous books, this one is a revealing and good-natured look at some of the strange creations making up comic-book history, figures that may be unknown or  completely forgotten by most enthusiasts. And perhaps for good reason. Also like the earlier works, Jon divides his survey into three temporal categories: the Golden Age, the Silver Age, and the Modern Age. Sterg and Derek have a fun time talking about the weirdness of this collection, their favorite "regrettable" sidekicks and henchmen, and their wonderment at how such figures made it into four colors. They also talk with Jon about his other work and future projects, including his own comics work.

See where it all started! Visit Jon's blog, Gone and Forgotten, and get the inside scoop on retro comicdom! And if you're a Columbo fan, check out his sleuthy podcast, Just One More Thing.

Dec 20 2018

1hr 19mins

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Episode 302: A Review of The Best American Comics 2018

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:23 - Introduction
  • 00:03:26 - Live streaming again...and some context
  • 00:06:25 - The Best American Comics 2018
  • 01:39:33 - Wrap up
  • 01:41:03 - Contact us

As they always do, the Two Guys with PhDs use their penultimate show of the year to discuss the current volume of The Best American Comics. this year guest edited by Phoebe Gloeckner. Earlier in the week they released their interview with Bill Kartalopoulos, the series editor, about the 2018 collection, and in that conversation they talked about the process of pulling the anthology together and Bill's experiences working with Gloeckner. But on this episode, Sterg and Derek discuss the actual content of volume. Among other topics, they highlight the "best of" contributions from creators they were already familiar with -- e.g., Gabrielle Bell, Geof Darrow, Guy Delisle, Jaime Hernandez, Jesse Jacobs, Joe Ollman, Gary Panter, Keiler Roberts, and Ariel Schrag -- and also talk excitedly about artists they hadn't yet discovered, including Margot Ferrick, Julia Jacquette, Julian Glander, Chloë Perkis, and Lale Westvind. In all, it's another great of Best American Comics!

Go to The Comics Alternative's YouTube channelif you want to see the recording of the guys' live-streaming broadcast of this show!

Dec 19 2018

1hr 45mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Back Again with Bill Kartalopoulous

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:16 - Introduction
  • 00:03:27 - Setup of interview
  • 00:06:18 - Interview with Bill Kartalopoulos
  • 01:13:04 - Wrap up
  • 01:14:09 - Contact us

As the Two Guys like to do every year, they are back talking again with Bill Kartalopoulos about the latest volume of The Best American Comics (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). This year the guest editor is Phoebe Gloeckner, perhaps best known for The Diary of a Teenage Girl. In fact, one of the topics of conversation with Bill is how different it might be working with vastly different comics creators as guest editors every year. Sterg and Derek also talk with their guest about the process of pulling together each year's volume, the inundation of submissions he receives, strategies for choosing what to include, the (at times) painful process of excluding from the anthology certain comics due to logistical reasons, his relationship with the publisher, and unique directions that perhaps he may want to take the series. There's not much discussion surrounding the content of this year's volume -- that will be the topic of this week's regular review episode -- but Sterg and Derek ask Bill about the process off Best American Comicsand get quite a bit of behind-the-scene answers. 

Dec 17 2018

1hr 17mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Another Conversation with Tom Hart

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:21 - Introduction
  • 00:03:12 - Setup of interview
  • 00:04:32 - Interview with Tom Hart
  • 01:32:14 - Wrap up
  • 01:33:38 - Contact us

On this interview episode, Sterg and Derek are excited to have Tom Hart back to discuss his new book, The Art of the Graphic Memoir: Tell Your Story, Change Your Life(St. Martin's Griffin). Tom was on the podcast not quite three years agoto discuss his new memoir at the time Rosalie Lightning, but this time he's returned to talk not so much about story content, but about the processof creating a graphic memoir. As he discusses with the Two Guys, Tom's latest book is more instructional or how-to, covering the necessary steps in planning for, organizing, structuring, visualizing, and finalizing a memoir through the comics medium. In addition, he points out that the very project of writing and illustrating one's own life story isn't only about sharing a story with readers, but perhaps just as important, using the very process of creation as a way of revisiting, revisualizing, and even coming to terms with important life moments. Along the way Derek and Sterg talk with Tom about his other instructional texts, such as How to Say Everythingand The Sequential Artists Workshop Guide to Creating Professional Comic Strips, his vast knowledge of the comics memoir genre, his new comic-strip project B. Is Dying, and his experiences teaching at and directing SAW, the Sequential Artists Workshopin Gainesville, FL.

Dec 14 2018

1hr 35mins

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Episode 301: Reviews of Che: A Revolutionary Life, The Lodger #1 & #2, and Die #1

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This is a very special episode of The Comics Alternative, in that it's the guys' very first live recording. That's right, Sterg and Derek decided to record this week's show via Google Hangouts. Yesterday -- Tuesday, December 11 -- they scheduled a live-streaming broadcast, and fans of the show could watch the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics record a show in real time. As Sterg put it on Twitter, "Come for the slow motion train wreck, but stay when it is instead a great talk about some recent comics!" And everything went off just fine.

On this episode they began with a discussion of Jon Lee Anderson and José Hernández's Che: A Revolutionary Life (Penguin Press). This is graphic adaptation of Anderson's 1997 biography of Che Guevara, and as the guys discuss, Hernández does an outstanding job of illustrating the broader life story of the famous revolutionary. After that they look at the first two issues of David and Maria Lapham's The Lodger. This is the latest series from IDW's Black Crown imprint, and Derek and Sterg note that it's classic Lapham crime noir. In fact, this storyline could easily fit into the Stray Bulletsseries. Then they wrap up with a look at Kieron GIllen and Stephanie Hans's Die#1(Image Comics). This is a D&D-inspired fantasy narrative, and the guys frame this within the context of similar stories, such as Stephen King's It, the Netflix series Stranger Things, and the first Jumanjimovie.

Go to The Comics Alternative's YouTube channelif you want to see the recording of the guys' live-streaming broadcast of this show!

Dec 12 2018

1hr 43mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Noah Van Sciver

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:15 - Introduction
  • 00:03:32 - Setup of interview
  • 00:04:53 - Interview with Noah Van Sciver
  • 01:15:14 - Wrap up
  • 01:16:39 - Contact us

The Two Guys with PhDs are very happy to have back on the podcast Noah Van Sciver. He was first on the show back in March 2015, and a lot of things have changed with him since the guys last talked with Noah (and not just his growing of a mustache). Most significantly, his output has been through the roof! One of the things Sterg and Derek discuss with their guest is the sheer volume of his comics creation. Over the past six months alone he has released four different titles, and from a variety of publishers: Constant Companion (Fantagraphics), Blammo #10(Kilgore Books and comics), One Dirty Tree(Uncivilized Books), and Fante Bukowski 3: A Perfect Failure(Fantagraphics). The guys talk with Noah about his work habits, his penchant for working with different publishers, his ability to juggle different projects at the same time, and his current work and what we can expect from him in the future. And of course, there is a lot of laughter in this episode. Noah is a humorous, and at time quite satirical, writer, yet the humor is often mixed with pathos, as we see not only his autobiographical comics, but most notably in his recent Fante Bukowski. This was a fun interview...and even more fun was had after they turned off the microphones and the guys hung out on Skype to talk about even more matters. Too bad that wasn't captured for the show, but this new interview with Noah Van Sciver is definitely a highlight of Stergios and Derek's year.

Dec 11 2018

1hr 18mins

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Euro Comics: Review of Piero and The First Man

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:23 - Introduction
  • 00:04:25 - Better late than never
  • 00:05:54 - Piero
  • 00:40:32 - The First Man
  • 01:23:26 - Wrap up
  • 01:24:39 - Contact us

Pascal and Derek are back with the latest Euro Comics episode...the very late November show. They begin with Edmond Baudoin's Piero(New York Review Comics). This is a fascinating and moving memoir -- or better yet, a series of remembrances -- from Baudoin and his relationship with his younger brother Pierre, or Piero. While the title and the story itself would lead one to believe that this is the story of Edmond's younger brother, it's actually a narrative that focuses on the author himself. Edmond, or Momon, as he's called in the book, is at the center of this text, and he's explored and defined within the context of his brother and their relationship, especially as it concerns art and illustration.

After that, the Two Guys turn to Jacques Ferrandez's adaptation of Albert Camus's The First Man(Pegasus Books). This isn't the first time the guys have discussed Ferrandez's adaptation. In July 2016, Derek and Gene looked at his graphic version of Camus's The Stranger. This book is similarly moving, but in many ways denser and more pensive than the earlier adaptation. The First Manwas the manuscript that Camus was working on at the time of his death, dying in a car accident. The unfinished work, and intended masterpiece, was finally published in the 1990s, but Ferrandez's text doesn't really feel like an uncompleted manuscript. This is quite a prose-heavy book, and philosophical in the way that Camus's essays and fiction were thought-provoking. Derek and Pascal didn't plan this when they chose these two books, but The First Man and Piero have a lot in common: thoughtful, pensive, and narratives scaffolded around memories and the past.

Dec 10 2018

1hr 26mins

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Manga: Reviews of Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Vols. 1 & 2 and Mob Psycho 100 Vol. 1

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Time Codes:

On this episode of The Comics Alternative/s manga series -- the November show, albeit a little late -- Shea and Derek take a look at two series that give us a varied understanding of the medium. They begin with the first two volume's of Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon Eternal Edition(Kodansha Comics). This is a classic shojo series from the 1990s, and as the guys discuss, it's something that they've heard about for years, but it's not a title that they actually read. Both Derek and Shea are quite surprised with the story, in that it's quite different from what they expected...and in a good way. The guys discuss Takeuchi's visual style, the complex layering of her story elements, and the fantastical tone of the narrative, among other aspects.

After that, the Two Guys check out One's Mob Psycho 100, Vol. 1 (Dark Horse Manga). This is the latest translated manga from the creator of One-Punch Man, which Shea and Derek discussed on the September 2015 show. Both enjoy this new (for English speakers) series, and it stands out from One-Punch Manin that One does both the writing and the art. In fact, they spend a bit of time discussing One's aesthetic, the art's "flatness" and simplicity. Some may not appreciate the style, but both of the guys are taken by not only One's storytelling abilities, but his illustrations, as well. They do mention in one long storyline the narrative seemed to drag, but other than that, it's a title, along with the new editions of Sailor Moon, that the guys heartily recommend.

Dec 07 2018

1hr 18mins

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Conor Stechschulte

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:15 - Introduction
  • 00:03:15 - Setup of interview
  • 00:05:06 - Interview with Conor Stechschulte
  • 01:15:57 - Wrap up
  • 01:17:44 - Contact us

On this episode of The Comics Alternative's interview series, the Two Guys have the pleasure of talking with Conor Stechschulte. The third volumeof his ongoing series, GenerousBosom (Breakdown Press), was released in the spring, and Sterg and Derek have an enlightening conversation with Conor about this narrative. While in the first two parts the story was flowing in one discernible direction, more or less, it takes a strange and disturbing turn in the third part. The guys talk with their guest about this narrative trajectory and what it may portend. And as they intuit from the latest installment of Generous Bosom, there are more surprises in store. They also talk with Conor about his other comics, The Amateurs (which was reviewed on the podcast in June 2014), his self-published work, his relationship with his UK publisher, and his inclusion in last year's volume of Best American Comics. This interview has been a long time in coming, and the guys make the most of it.

Be sure to check out Conor's band, Lilac, and the sounds they make!

Dec 06 2018

1hr 20mins

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