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The Comics Alternative

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Two guys with PhDs talking about comics. A weekly podcast focusing on alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics. There's nothing wrong with superhero comics. We just want to do something different.

Two guys with PhDs talking about comics. A weekly podcast focusing on alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics. There's nothing wrong with superhero comics. We just want to do something different.
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Frisco, TX


Two guys with PhDs talking about comics. A weekly podcast focusing on alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics. There's nothing wrong with superhero comics. We just want to do something different.




Episode 259: Reviews of Bad Mask, Evolution #1, and Doctor Radar #1

Time Codes: Bad MaskEvolution #1Doctor Radar #1 On this week's episode Gwen and Derek discuss three recent releases that, while all being quite different, nonetheless share a common theme of mystery. They start off with Jon Chad's Bad Mask (BOOM! Box), a multimedia project that explores perspective and interpretation. With its various components in multiple print formats -- comic book, trading cards, newspaper tabloid, mainstream news magazine, business reports, etc. -- it's an...

Duration: 01:06:53

Comics Alternative Interviews: Tim Lane

Time Codes: Tim Lane On this interview episode Derek talks with Tim Lane about his series Happy Hour in America, Vol. 2, the first issue of which is just being released from Fantagraphics Books. This isn't the first time that Tim has been interviewed on The Comics Alternative. In January 2015, Derek published on the blog a text-based conversation with him that he had conducted via email. That was a insightful and substantive interview, but the current one goes even further, allowing...

Duration: 02:18:49

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: Swan Song: The Musical Anthology

For this week's Kickstarter spotlight, Derek focuses on Swan Song: The Musical Anthology, a campaign underway from Cloudscape Comics. Discussing this project with him are Jeffrey Ellis and Oliver McTavish-Wisden, the assistant director/founder and the executive director, respectively, of the small Vancouver publisher and collective. Swan Song is an anthology including contributions from a wide variety of (mostly) British Columbia-based creators, all of which engage with music in one way or...

Duration: 00:18:10

Episode 258: Our Fifth Annual Thanksgiving Show

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and the folks at The Comics Alternative all gather around the virtual table to share what they are thankful for in terms of comics and comics culture. Pulling up a seat this year are Gwen, Paul, Sean, Gene, Edward, and Derek. Among the many things that they're thankful for are Science ComicsSecret CodersComix RevolutionHeroes Aren't Hard to FindCAKEGary PanterTrina RobbinsGoodnight PunpunNowHow to Read NancyResist!Craig YoeGilbert Hernandez What more could one...

Duration: 01:20:01

Comics Alternative Interviews: Mitch Maglio

Time Codes: On this interview episode, Derek talks with Mitch Maglio about his new book, Fiction House: From Pulps to Panels, from Jungles to Space, just out from IDW/Yoe Books. Mitch is an aficionado on Fiction House (as well as on the jungle girl genre), so he's the perfect writer/collector to discuss this historic publisher. He talks with Derek about the origins of Fiction House, its colorful founder, the publisher's major role in the pulps, its mostly forgotten stature during the...

Duration: 01:01:59

Comics Alternative Interviews: Ryan O'Sullivan and Plaid Klaus

Time Codes: Ryan O'SullivanPlaid Klaus Sean joins Derek to interview a creative team that the two have discussed previously, Ryan O'Sullivan and Plaid Klaus. Last year the guys reviewed Ryan and Klaus's webcomic Turncoat (now available in softcover), but this time they talk with the creators about a new print publication, their Image Comics limited series Void Trip. The first of its five issues comes out this week, and the Two Guys talk with Ryan and Klaus about the genesis of this...

Duration: 01:05:39

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: What Now, Bruno?

On this week's Kickstarter episode, Derek talks with Bruno Oliveira about his project What Now, Bruno? This is an autobiographical work exploring what can happen to a comics artist once he's established himself in the industry. Bruno has broken into the field, illustrating for such publishers as IDW (Drones), Arcana (Space, MN), and, most recently, Marvel Comics (Amazing Spider-Man Annual, Gwenpool Holiday Special, and Mosaic, among other titles). But now that he's on his way, how does he...

Duration: 00:17:57

Episode 257: A Publisher Spotlight on Conundrum Press

Time Codes: Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and MeDreams in Thin AirMorton: A Cross-Country Rail JourneyGetting Out of HopeMister MorgenThe Collected Neil the Horse This week on The Comics Alternative Andy and Derek return to one of their favorite publishers, Conundrum Press, for their next publisher spotlight. They had previously released a similar episode on Conundrum two and a half years ago, and they wanted to do so again with their fall 2017 releases. The six titles under discussion...

Duration: 02:06:35

Comics Alternative Interviews: Mark Voger

Time Codes: Mark Voger On this interview episode, Derek talks with Mark Voger about his latest work, Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture. The book comes out this week from TwoMorrows Publishing, and during their conversation Mark discusses the roots of groovy culture that reach back to early twentieth-century modernism and jazz, and are even apparent in discoveries during nineteenth century. But most of the interview is spent talking about the flowering, so to speak, of...

Duration: 01:10:06

Euro Comics: Reviews of Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker, and The Green Hand and Other Stories

Time Codes: Billie HolidayJosephine BakerThe Green Hand and Other Stories After having to readjust for a few major life changes -- including a new baby for first-time parents! -- Edward and Derek are back with the monthly Euro Comics series. For November they discuss two graphic biographies devoted to early twentieth-century artists as well as a collection of surreal and experimental fiction. They start with Carlos Sampayo and Jose Muñoz's Billie Holiday (NBM Publishing), a text that...

Duration: 01:26:57

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: LAAB Magazine #0: Dark Matter

This week Derek talks with Ronald Wimberly, Josh O'Neill, and Maëlle Doliveux about their Kickstarter project LAAB Magazine #0: Dark Matter. Published by Beehive Books, this will be a tabloid-sized newspaper annual filled with comics, interviews, artwork, cultural criticism, and writings on identity as played out in popular culture. This inaugural #0 issue will include Saul Williams Trenton Doyle HancockJames RombergerJean-Michel BasquiatAlexandra BellTHX 1138Ronald Wimberly'sSun...

Duration: 00:19:33

Episode 256: Reviews of Kid Lobotomy #1 and #2, Carnival of Contagion, and Monograph

Time Codes: Kickstarter seriesSlack channelKid Lobotomy #1 and #2Carnival of ContagionMonograph This week Paul and Derek review three new titles that are all quite different in content and audience. They begin with the first two issues of Peter Milligan and Tess Fowler's Kid Lobotomy, the first series in IDW's new Black Crown imprint. The guys start their discussion by referencing Shelly Bond and her stated intentions behind the new creator-owned line. But while they're certainly...

Duration: 01:25:35

Comics Alternative Interviews: Joseph Remnant

Time Codes: Joseph Remnant Derek is pleased to have Joseph Remnant on the podcast. His new book, Cartoon Clouds, was released last month from Fantagraphics. This is a graphic novel in the truest sense, a work of fiction that explores the nuances of relationships, defining yourself, and growing apart from those with whom you were once close. As Joseph reveals, this is a narrative that began in serial installments on a website he once maintained with Noah Van Sciver, but it soon...

Duration: 01:22:00

Webcomics: Reviews of Blindsprings, Albert the Alien, and A Fire Story

Time Codes: BlindspringsAlbert the AlienA Fire Story On the November webcomics episode, Sean and Derek look at three very different titles. They begin with Kadi Fedoruk's Blindsprings, a fantasy filled with magic and spirits, but one whose philosophical foundations are deeper than you may at first think. As the guys point out, the meticulous art is one of the highlights of this webcomic. After that, Sean and Derek turn to a lighthearted all-age series by Trevor Mueller and Gabo, Albert...

Duration: 01:28:14

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: SCI: The Jewish Comics Anthology, Vol. 2

For the second episode of The Comics Alternative's new Kickstarter series, Derek talks with Andy Stanleigh and Steven Bergson about their project, SCI: The Jewish Comics Anthology, Vol. 2. This book will be released by Alternate History Comics (of which Andy is the publisher), and it will follow Steven's first volume of The Jewish Comics Anthology, also published by AH Comics. What will distinguish this second collection is that each of the retellings from Jewish history, legend, and myth...

Duration: 00:18:32

Comics Alternative Interviews: Deb Olin Unferth and Elizabeth Haidle

Time Codes: Deb Olin UnferthElizabeth Haidle On this interview episode, Derek talks with Deb Olin Unferth and Elizabeth Haidle on the publication of their new book, I, Parrot (Black Balloon-Catapult). This is a graphic novel in the truest sense, a work of fiction, about a middle-aged woman who's prone to bad luck. She stumbles upon a bird-sitting job, caring for an aviary of exotic, rare, and very expensive parrots, and despite the help of her boyfriend and her young son, falls prey to...

Duration: 00:54:42

Comics Alternative Interviews: Katie Green

Time Codes: Katie Green On this interview episode, Paul and Derek talk with Katie Green about her recent graphic memoir Lighter Than My Shadow, released last month from Lion Forge's Roar imprint. The Two Guys reviewed the book a couple of weeks ago, but they were so moved by Green's story that they wanted to have her on the podcast to talk about her work. This insightful conversation adds more context and texture to Katie's memoir, and she shares her struggles in narrating her various...

Duration: 01:00:20

Episode 255: The November Previews Catalog

On this month's Previews episode, Gwen and Derek join forces to highlight the various November solicits that strike their fancy. In fact, this is Gwen's first time doing a Previews show, but she comes across as an old hand and suggests some wonderful upcoming titles that are sure to resonate with listeners. But first, the Two Academics Talking about Comics send out a BIG thank you to two dedicated -- and two very talented -- listeners, Holly English and Marc Casilli. Both have recently...

Duration: 01:35:56

Comics Alternative Interviews: Julia Wertz

Time Codes: Julia Wertz On this interview episode, Paul and Derek are pleased to have Julia Wertz on the podcast. Her new book, Tenements, Towers and Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, came out earlier this month from Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers. As the subtitle suggests, this is a different kind of history, a guide to the Big Apple's present as well as its past, investigating its architecture, its businesses, its facades, its entertainment venues,...

Duration: 01:14:55

Manga: A Discussion of Horror Manga 2017

Time Codes: Domu: A Child's DreamPanorama of HellMailDissolving ClassroomH.P. Lovecraft's The Hound and Other StoriesNeo Parasyte M Shea and Derek are back with their second manga episode of the month! On this show, they discuss several horror manga that will get you in the mood for Halloween tomorrow. As they did last year, the Two Manga Guys are both thrilled and chilled with by introducing listeners to a variety creepy titles, some older and some brand new. They begin with Katsuhiro...

Duration: 02:07:20

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