Comics Alternative Episode 113: Reviews of The Wake, True Stories, Vol. 1, and ODY-C #1

Is Double Ending Dirty?

WakeDeluxeThis week the Two Guys with PhDs (talking about comics) are back for another review episode, and this one is jam-packed with nougaty comics goodness. They begin with Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s deluxe edition of The Wake (DC/Vertigo). They had discussed the first couple installments of the ten-issue series on last year’s publisher spotlight on recent Vertigo titles, but now they are able to plunge into the the complete story…and they do so with relish. Both Andy and Derek love the way the narrative unfolds — it’s the kind of work they have come to expect from both Snyder and Murphy — although they do have their quibbles, e.g., unexpected/unlikely surprises in character development and occasional ambiguous transitions. But overall, the guys feel this is an outstanding story, an example of what Vertigo does best. TrueStories1Next, they turn to Derf Backderf’s True Stories, Vol. 1 (Alternative Comics), the first of four — or is it five? — collections of the “True Stories” pieces culled from Backderf’s comic strip, The City, between 1990 and 2014. While there are a few vignettes in this title that verge on belittlement, the collection as a whole is a discerning, satirical, and hilarious look at the state of our contemporary culture. Finally, Derek and Andy look at one of the new #1s coming out of Image Comics this month, Matt Fraction and Christian Ward’s ODY-C. This is an inverted retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, where genders are switched and the ODYC1high seas become the far reaches of space. This is a dense, immersive narrative that requires multiple readings. Knowledge of The Odyssey isn’t necessary, but it wouldn’t hurt for readers to have their copies of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology (or perhaps have Wikipedia) readily at hand when turning through Fraction’s narrative. And Ward’s art is what makes this first issue truly stand out, visually stunning and almost surreal, a nice pairing with one of the guys’ favorite comics storytellers. All in all, this was a fun week of reading!

This episode’s incidental music is brought to you by
Los Lobos’s El Cancionero: Mas y Mas
 Episode 113 Image
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About Derek Royal

The Comics Alternative is a weekly podcast focused on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics. (There’s nothing wrong with the superhero genre…we just want to do something different.) New shows become available every Wednesday…much like the comic books you get. Episodes feature 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, spotlights on various creators and their oeuvre, roundtable discussions with prominent critics and scholars in the field, and interviews with the artists and writers who make all of this possible. Along the way, Andy and Derek will talk about the various books that they are reading; the many pop cultural references that, for better or worse, inform their lives; and the unpredictable (and inexplicable) weirdness that seems to creep into each episode. In essence,The Comics Alternative podcast is brilliantly simple: Two guys with PhDs talking about comics.

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