Comics Alternative Interviews: Bill Schelly

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Andy and Derek are pleased to have as a guest on their show Bill Schelly. A new edition of his book, Otto Binder: The Life and Work of a Comic Book and Science Fiction Visionary, was released earlier this month from North Atlantic Books. The guys talk with Bill about the legendary writer’s work on the Captain Marvel and the Marvel family, his impressive run on Superman titles, and his role in the early science fiction pulps (mostly under the name he used when collaborating with his brother, Earl, Eando Binder). As they point out in the conversation, there are facets to Binder’s life that are overshadowed by his work on The Big Red Cheese, and Bill’s book thoroughly chronicles the sides of Otto Binder that you may not have known. Examples of this would include Binder’s work at EC Comics, his writing for Jim Warren’s Creepy, his close ties to comics fandom, his attempts at becoming science magazine publisher, and his later-life research on UFOs. They also discuss the darker aspects of Binder’s life and the challenges he faced in his last decade. In addition to their discussion of the new Otto Binder book, the Two Guys also talk with Bill about his other works, including last year’s biography of Harvey Kurtzman, his research on Joe Kubert, his upcoming book on John Stanley, and his histories of comics fandom. The guys come away from their conversation arguing that Bill Schelly’s research is indispensable to comics scholars and that he continues to provide detailed and highly readable, almost novel-like, chronicles of the medium.

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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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