Comics Alternative Interviews: Joe Keatinge and Nick Barber

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“A little bit of a crimey-ish angle to it”

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On this interview episode, Andy and Derek talk with Joe Keatinge and Nick Barber, the creators behind the new Image series, Ringside. The first issue will be released this week, and so the guys wanted to get the lowdown on what promises to be a fascinating and different title. Joe gets things rolling by Ringside01laying down the premise of the first narrative arc, introducing us to Danny Knossos, the once-famous wrestler called Minotaur. In classic noir fashion, the protagonist in this first issue returns to the old haunts from his past to help out a friend in trouble, and in doing so inadvertently becomes embroiled in a darker world that he had thought he had put behind him. This is more than a mere wrestling story, Nick and Joe explain. It’s a brooding, crime-infused drama that bumps up against the world of professional wrestling. What’s more, the series will have an ensemble cast, giving us shifting focal characters and rotating perspectives so as to flesh out a larger and more haunting landscape. The creators also describe how they met one another and how the idea for Ringside came about. They discuss their working relationship, the division of creative labor, and the history behind pitching the story to Image. In fact, Derek and Andy really don’t have to do much during this interview. They ask a few questions to get things started, and then Joe and Nick take it from there with their own stories, turning parts of the interview into a personal back-and-forth of a couple of guys catching up. And that’s part of The Comics Alternative is all about, isn’t it: bringing people together through comics?

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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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