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Real Life, in Pictures
On this episode in The Comics Alternative Interviews series, Derek is pleased to have as his guest Alex Robinson. His latest book, Our Expanding Universe, was released earlier this month from Top Shelf. It’s the story of three middle-aged friends going through life changes — kids, careers, and relationships — and how their friendships, and their marriages, weather those experiences. Readers already familiar with the author’s earlier works, specifically Box Office Poison and Tricked, will recognize the tone and subject matter. Robinson is a master of character-driven narratives, especially when his protagonists bump up against the social realities that reflect his readers’ own lives. He objective assessments aren’t distancing, but instead bear an empathic stamp. You may not particularly like the characters you encounter, but you certainly understand their motivations and their unique perspectives. Much of the conversation revolves around the new book, but Derek also talks with Alex about his early years as a comics artist and how his approach, along with his career, has evolved over time. And much of that evolution has involved podcasting. In fact, Alex Robinson may just be the most dedicated fellow podcaster that has ever appeared on The Comics Alternative. He’s currently involved in three different shows: Ink Panthers (a cartoonist’s “lifestyle” podcast that he cohosts with Mike Dawson), AlphaBeatical (an alphabetical look at the entire Beatles catalog, from 12 to Y), and the popular Star Wars Minute. The latter — a hot commodity right now, given all of the Force Awakens hoopla — is a daily podcast where each episode is devoted to one individual minute of the Star Wars movies, in order, beginning to end. Andy Kunka has often called his buddy-cohost, Derek, the hardest working man in comics podcasting, but it’s clear that Robinson has him beat. Between the comics and the podcasting, it’s a wonder that Alex even had time to be on The Comics Alternative.