Comics Alternative Interviews: Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller

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A F**k-filled Episode

humans_teamOn this interview show, Derek and Andy W. have a fun time talking with Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller. The first trade volume of their series, The Humans, recently came out from Image Comics, and next week the narrative arc will continue with issue #5, in which the simian bikers make their drug run in L.A. Although every issue of The Humans is filled with action and dynamic art, this upcoming installment is particularly energetic, complete with chase scenes, road fights, blown-off faces, pissing on police cars, plenty of explosions, and an abundance of profanity. In fact, as the Two Guys point out, this has to be the most “fucked”-filled episode of The Comics Alternative that the guys have ever recorded. (And of course, it bears the appropriate “explicit” rating in iTunes.) Keenan and Tom cut loose with the conversation, just as their biker gang rides roughshod over 1970s Bakersfield. They discuss the genesis of The Humans, the series’ humble beginning as a self-published #0 issue, their relationship with Image Comics, the joys of living and working (literally) right down the street from each other, the kick-ass work of colorist Kristina Collantes, and the creation of a larger Humans “universe,” HumansNo5complete with its own soundtrack. You will even hear in this interview original tunes created specifically for The Humans. Tom and Keenan also discuss their larger plans for the series, possible spin-off narratives that flesh out their storyworld, and Humans-branded biker magazines. Although most of the conversation is devoted to the current series, the Two Guys ask their guests about their past works, including Keenan’s Galactic Breakdown and Force Majeure, as well as Tom’s The Blot and Popeye. Derek is especially interested in talking with Tom about Henry and Glenn Forever and Ever, how he came up with the idea — not surprisingly, there was a lot of drinking involved — and the story behind the satanic Hall and Oates. Not only is there a lot of explicitness in this episode, but there’s tons of laughing, as well. If you love comics about biker apes, drug use, exploding heads, and blow jobs, then The Humans — and this interview with Tom and Keenan — is definitely for you!

Be sure to check out The Humans‘ website.


 Soundtrack for this episode:

  • The Zig-Zags – “Humans March (Let’s Die)”
  • Boss Kong – “Viet Kong”
  • Fairlight Empress – “Outside in a Cage”
  • Smelly Tongues – “Live to Ride”


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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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