The Comics Alternative, On Location: Talking with Creators at Fan Expo Dallas 2015

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Fan Expo Dallas was held May 29-31, and this year Derek was there in Artists Alley talking with a variety of creators. Some of those he spoke with are famous names and individuals who have been on the show before. Others were new to him and, and Derek used the opportunity to introduce himself and Comics Alternative listeners to their fascinating works. He begins by talking with two artists who have spoken with him at various cons in the past, Robert Wilson IV and Joe Eisma. The latter shares his experiences having illustrated Bitch Planet #3, the amount of attention that has brought him, and his warm relationship with Kelly Sue DeConnick. Robert also follows up on the success of Knuckleheads, which was released as a book last summer from IDW. Joe Eisma talks not only about his most recent work on Morning Glories, now in its second “season,” but also about doing a variant cover for the relaunch of Archie. After that, Derek speaks with two teams of creators whose work he has just discovered. Through Stephen G. Totten and his friend Mike, he learns about the webcomic Angry Cuddles, and how this work (written by Stephen and illustrated by Joseph A. Valero III) has recently become a video podcast. Derek also talks with Mark Schmidt, publisher of Stratum Comics, and his partner, Vince Chuter. Their title, The Threat, is an action comic reminiscent of Heroes placed in a Judge Dredd-type universe. Next, Derek talks with Steve Epting about Velvet — the second trade has recently been released — and the kind of fan response he’s been getting at the con. Steve shares a few words about working with Ed Brubaker on this creator-owned title as well as their collaboration on Captain America and Winter Soldier. After that, Jemma Young introduces Derek to her webcomic, Children of Eldair, her collaboration with its writer, Rachel A. Oaks, the title’s dedicated fanbase, and the challenges of putting out installments on a regular basis. Derek also meets Hector Rodriguez whose El Peso Hero, published through Rio Bravo Comics, is a potent mixture of superhero stories, sociopolitical commentary, and an exploration of race relations on the Southwestern border. Finally, Derek wraps up with Ellen Natalie, whose webcomic Furry Experience provides a glimpse into young adult experiences as they relate to religion, relationships, and coming of age. This was a particularly busy convention, and The Comics Alternative thanks all of these creators for taking the time to share their thoughts and experiences with its listeners.

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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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