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Two guys with PhDs talking about comics. The Comics Alternative is weekly podcast focusing on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics.

Two guys with PhDs talking about comics. The Comics Alternative is weekly podcast focusing on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics.
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Charlotte , NC


Two guys with PhDs talking about comics. The Comics Alternative is weekly podcast focusing on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics.




Comics Alternative Interviews: Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky

Time Codes: Sean LewisCaitlin Yarsky In November of last year readers saw the first issue of what was a brand-new series from Image Comics, Coyotes. It was the latest creation from writer Sean Lewis, who had authored other Image series including The Few and Saints, as well as writing recent titles for Aftershock such as Betrothed and Clankillers. For Coyotes, Sean chose as his illustrator a relative newcomer to comics, Caitlin Yarsky. While this is the first ongoing series where she...


Episode 289: The August Previews Catalog

Witches and Adaptations 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: BlackbirdDead RabbitExorsistersJuke JointWytches: Bad Egg Halloween...


Critical Takes: A Conversation with Keith Dallas and John Wells

Time Codes: With this episode the Two Guys are starting a brand-new series on The Comics Alternative, one they’re calling "Critical Takes." This will be an occasion series devoted to critical and scholarly works about comics. In the past, whenever they've talked with a comics scholar or historian on the show, they’ve included those in their Interview series, one where they primarily focus on comics writers and artists. But they wanted to spin off their focus on critical works with its...


Euro Comics: Reviews of Hasib and the Queen of Serpents: A Tale of a Thousand and One Nights and Moon Face

Time Codes: Hasib and the Queen of Serpents: A Tale of a Thousand and One NightsMoon Face On the July episode of the Euro Comics series -- actually being released in early August -- Pascal and Derek discuss two beautiful texts. They begin with David B.'s Hasib and the Queen of Serpents: A Tale of a Thousand and One Nights (NBM Publishing), an incredible adaptation of one of the tales in the classic work. The guys point out the attention-gragging handling of Scheherazade "Queen of...


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

Michael and Derek are back at Heroes Aren't Hard to Find, in Charlotte, NC, for the first of their planned August on-location episodes. And as the Two Guys have been doing with their new format, Michael highlights recent mainstream publications and Derek focuses on more indie or non-DC and Marvel titles. Michael starts the ball rolling by discussing the recent work of Ta-Nehisi Coates, specifically his current writing on Captain America (Marvel Comics). He specifically focuses on the...


Comics Alternative Interviews: Another Conversation with Jules Feiffer

Time Codes: Jules Feiffer In 2014 Jules Feiffer published Kill My Mother (Liveright Publishing), a noir crime narrative set in 1933 -- and then later moving forward into 1943 -- involving not only hard-boiled characters, but also their exploits within the entertainment industry. Feiffer followed that up in 2016 with Cousin Joseph, the second book in what was now projected as a trilogy. That graphic novel is, in many ways, a prequel to the earlier book. Taking place in 1931, readers are...


Episode 288: Reviews of Five Recent #1 Issues

Time Codes: The Seeds#1Euthanauts#1The New World#1Unnatural#1Bone Parish#1 This is a special episode of The Comics Alternative, as it's the guys' sixth anniversary! The podcast began on August 1, 2012, and Paul and Derek discuss some of the things they've done over the past six years, the number of episodes they've published, the amount of interviews they've conducted, etc. It's a celebratory time, and the Two Guys hope that listeners will join in on the celebration and chime in with...


Manga: Reviews of My Solo Exchange Diary, Vol. 1 and Grand Blue Dreaming, Vol. 1

Time Codes: My Solo Exchange Diary, Vol. 1Grand Blue Dreaming, Vol. 1 Radically Different For July, Shea and Derek discuss two works of manga that are radically different, one from the other. They begin with Nagata Kabi's My Solo Exchange Diary, Vol. 1 (Seven Seas Entertainment). This is the follow-up to her previous autobiographical work My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, a text the guys discussed last year. Whereas the earlier work was more targeted to a particular experience,...


Webcomics: Reviews of Daisy Blackwood: Pilot for Hire, Moby Dick: Back from the Deep, and Hana and the Firebird

Time Codes: Daisy Blackwood: Pilot for HireMoby Dick: Back from the DeepHana and the Firebird For the July webcomics episode, Sean and Derek discuss three unique titles. They begin with Ryan Howe's Daisy Blackwood: Pilot for Hire. This is a series of short stories featuring an Indiana Jones-like figure whose job as a pilot introduces her to a variety of adventures. And many of these adventures involve supernatural elements. Next, the Two Guys look at a relatively new title, Moby Dick:...


Episode 287: Reviews of Nowbrow 10: Studio Dreams, Love and Rockets Vol 4 #5, and Last Mountain #4 and #5

Time Codes: Nobrow 10: Studio Dreams Love and Rockets, Vol. 4 #5Last Mountain#4 and #5 This week Paul and Derek discuss three unique titles that help define our understanding of what comics can be. They begin with a visual anthology that is, arguably, not a comic at all. Nobrow 10:Studio Dreams(Nobrow Press) is a series of 70 gorgeous illustrations by a variety of artists -- all of whom have contributed to Nobrow publications in the past -- that reveal their ideal studio space. The...


Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Carol Tyler

Time Codes: Carol Tyler On this interview episode, Gene and Derek are excited to have Carol Tyler back on the podcast. Her new book Fab4 Maniahas recently been released from Fantagraphics. It's Carol's memoir about her time growing up as a Beatles fan, covering the early years of the mop tops and especially The Beatle's presence in America. As Carol reveals, she was a devotee from the very beginning, watching the group's legendary appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964,...


Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Nate Powell

Time Codes: Nate Powell Paul and Derek are pleased to have Nate Powell back on the show. This time they talk with him about his new book Come Again, just released from Top Shelf Productions. They discuss the genesis of this project, the significance of the story's setting, the unsteady balance between needs for personal isolation and the importance of community, and the narrative's forays into the fantastic. Yet they also talk about several of Nate's other works, including March,...


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

Michael and Derek are back at Heroes Aren't Hard to Find for the first of two July on-location episodes. They visit the shop on Independence Day, and they use the occasion to discuss current trends and titles in the comics industry. Mike explores recent manifestations of The Avengersand Justice League, focusing on Marvel and DC through what he calls the "classic Coke" approach. His discussion takes him across the writings of Jason Aaron and Scott Snyder, and then circling back to Tom...


Comics Alternative Interviews: Julian Hanshaw

Time Codes: Julian Hanshaw Many U.S. readers were introduced to Julian Hanshaw through his book Tim Ginger, released in 2015 from Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing. It’s the story of man in his later years coming to terms with the decisions he’s made, including his choice to remain childless. As Julian discusses in this interview, the text was largely autobiographical in nature. And the same can said of his new book, Cloud Hotel. The story was inspired by a UFO...


Episode 286: The July Previews Catalog

Happy Independence Day! It's the beginning of the month, so it's time for another look at the latest Previewscatalog. On this episode, Paul and Derek highlight many of the upcoming titles solicited in July. And this is a long episode, running for just over 3 hours and 20 minutes, so strap in and get ready for a long ride. First, they begin the episode by sharing a variety of listener correspondences they've received over the past week...and there are a lot of them. Then they jump into the...


Comics Alternative Interviews: Another Conversation with Luke Healy

Time Codes: Luke Healy Ego Boost Luke Healy was first on The Comics Alternative at Small Press Expo in 2016, where he briefly spoke with Derek about his provocative self-published minicomic The Unofficial Cuckoo’s Nest Study Companion, which was nominated that year for an Ignatz Award. A couple of months later Luke came back on the show, this time for a long and more in-depth interview about his new book at the time, How to Survive in the North, released from Nobrow Press. And now,...


Manga: Reviews of Claudine and Tokyo Tarareba Girls, Vol. 1

Time Codes: ClaudineTokyo Tarareba Girls, Vol. 1 This is the June manga episode, and unlike Shea and Derek had been doing the past couple of shows, this month's manga episode actually comes out on the appropriate month...on time! And on the June show, the Two Guys discuss Riyoko Ikeda's Claudine(Seven Seas Entertainment), a shōjo narrative set in historical France. The titular figure is a trans man, feeling trapped inside of his female body. Claudine's journey takes him through several...


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

Time Codes: A Strange and Beautiful SoundInside Moebius, Part 2 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...


Episode 285: Another Publisher Spotlight on Koyama Press

Time Codes: XTC69Soft X-Ray/MindhuntersA Western WorldThe Ideal CopyWinter's CosmosSomnambulance The Two Guys with PhDs are back with another publisher spotlight, this one focusing on the spring releases from Koyama Press. (In fact, this is the third spotlight on Koyama, with the guys having previously discusses their seasonal releases in April 2015and May 2017.) All of these books debuted at TCAF last month, and Paul and Derek indulge in exciting discussions of these six new...


Comics Alternative Interviews: Sean Karemaker

Time Codes: Sean Karemaker Sean Karemaker’s comics are a different kind of reading experience. He illustrates in a highly detailed textured style, and his stories flow in a dreamlike manner, free from the constrictions of sequential paneling. In fact, he creates many of his comics in a scroll-like manner, writing out his narratives across a broad horizontal field, and then later deciding how to break up his illustrations across pages. The result, as we find in his latest book Feast of...