Deconstructing Comics #567: Paul Gravett

Koom with Paul Gravett

At London Super Comicon last month, Koom got to sit down with Paul Gravett, a comics journalist and exhibition curator. Gravett is currently preparing the touring Asian comics show Mangasia, which will debut in Rome next month. This is a guy who’s read a lot of comics; do they all become a blur after a while? Koom asks him about avoiding burnout, the amount of progress comics have (or haven’t) made toward being accepted by the “art world”, and much more.

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Deconstructing Comics #566: David Roach

This time, Koom travels to Cardiff, Wales, to talk to David Roach, an artist who’s done work for 2000 AD, Dark Horse, and DC, and is currently working on Dr. Who Magazine in the UK. He’s also a comics archivist and historian, and has written several books about Warren Comics artists of the ‘70s, and one about great British comics creators. He tells Koom what inspired him to be an artist and how he broke into comics, and whether living the dream has lived up to the hype.

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Deconstructing Comics #565: “Mister Miracle” and comics journalism hype

Mister Miracle

DC recently launched a new Mister Miracle series, by Tom King and Mitch Gerads. Well and good, thought Emmet, but then he saw a certain CBR headline that set him off. “King and Gerads have redefined comics”? Hyperbolic much?

So Emmet recruited Kumar to review both Mister Miracle #1 and the hype surrounding it. Is the use of suicide in the story meaningful? Hackneyed? How accessible is this comic to readers who don’t know the character? And, why does everything in comics have to be super-hyped nowadays?

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Deconstructing Comics #564: T-Rex and CXC

Look who Tim (center) ran into in Columbus: Derf Backderf (My Friend Dahmer, Trashed), Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Reporter), Stephen Bissette (Swamp Thing, Tyrant), and Craig Fischer (English professor and occasional contributor to The Comics Journal)! (Click the photo to enlarge!)

TyrantIn this episode, Tim talks to Steve and Craig about their summer research tour that brought them to Columbus and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, and how it relates to Steve’s revival of his ’90s comics biography of a Tyrannosaurus rex, Tyrant!
Cartoon Crossroads Columbus logoThen Tom talks about the upcoming Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) event he’s organizing for the Billy Ireland, and the current state of mainstream comics.

As for Derf — that interview is coming later this month!

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Deconstructing Comics #563: Jenny Robb and Mike Curtis: Classic comics preserved

Classic comics preserved

At the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, curator Jenny Robb has what most of us would consider a dream job. But she and other staff members recently had an unenviable task: choosing which 40 items to include in the museum’s fortieth anniversary exhibit. In this episode, she talks about that decision process, and answers some burning questions: Why was the comics field so male-dominated in the 20th century? How were Windsor McCay’s colors for strips like Tale of the Jungle Imps transmitted to newspapers? And much more.

Meanwhile, in Arkansas, Mike Curtis is helping to keep alive another classic comic, Dick Tracy. He’s the current writer of the strip, which won the Harvey award for best syndicated strip for three straight years through 2015, and in this episode he describes his work process on the strip. He’ll also tell us about being one of Harvey Comics’ last writers, his long-running “furry” comic Shanda the Panda, and his Superman memorabilia collection. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a cheese box!

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Deconstructing Comics #562: Christopher Jones and Lucid

Chris Jones and Lucid

More Minneapolis comics creators!

Christopher Jones has done a variety of work for DC Comics (including The Batman Strikes and one story in Batman ’66) and other animation adaptations), a few things for Marvel, and Dr. Who comics for Titan. How did he break in, and why is so much of his work of a more “cartoony” nature?
Lucid is making her living from crowdfunding in support of her webcomic, Avialae, a “boy’s love” story with an emphasis on consensual couplings. She talks about how “living the dream” can sometimes be a double-edged sword.

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Deconstructing Comics #561: Minneapolis comics scene vignettes

Eliot Rahal interviews Kristin Tipping at New Comic Book Day at Day Block Brewing Co. in Minneapolis on July 19

Minneapolis is increasingly becoming a “comics town”. While it doesn’t have the publisher presence of Portland, it’s filled with comics creators of all stripes, from mainstream guys to indy creators to web cartoonists.

It also may be the only town in the U.S. where New Comic Book Day is a bar event every Wednesday, with comics giveaways, standup comedy, and a creator interview!

In this episode, Tim talks with:

Tim with Katy Rex

  • Katy Rex, writer of Jade Street Protection Services, from Black Mask, editor of another Black Mask title, Kim and Kim, and writer of a forthcoming Dr. Who special from Titan Comics. She also works at local retailer Hot Comics.
John Bivens and Eliot Rahal

John Bivens and Eliot Rahal

  • Eliot Rahal, writer of Bloodshot’s Day Off and other books from Valiant, and a host of the New Comic Book Day event.
  • John Bivens, artist on Image Comics’ Spread and Dark Engine.

Kristin Tipping

Also, you’ll hear Eliot interviewing Kristin Tipping, creator of Evil Witch Allie, a comic we’ve critiqued!

Become a patron and you can see video of some of the standup comedians at New Comic Book Day!

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Deconstructing Comics #560: Ted Anderson and “My Little Pony”

My Little Pony - Ted Anderson

My Little Pony is a toy line that initially had success in the ’80s (including TV and film appearances) but then stumbled until the 21st century. Its fourth iteration debuted in 2010, with a hit TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and more world building and continuity than before.

IDW has the license to make My Little Pony comics, and Ted Anderson is one of the writers on the book. Tim recently talked with him in Minneapolis about his approach to writing for kids, how he gets from a story concept to an actual story, the stumbling blocks in writing for a multimedia franchise, and more.

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Critiquing Comics #117: “Deiciders”

Deiciders

Andre Mateus, writer of Wanderer, is back, this time with artist Pedro Mendes, with issue 1 of sword and sorcery tale Deiciders. Tim and Mulele critique.

Also, Tim talks about his US trip so far.

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Deconstructing Comics #559: Drawn & Quarterly and Canadian comics

This week a wide-ranging discussion between two Canadians about comics in Canada. The talk centers on Montreal-based publisher Drawn & Quarterly, and two books from their catalog: Michel Rabagliati’s 2005 book Paul Moves Out, and the latest from Jillian Tamaki, Boundless. Also, some deep background on the history and people behind Toronto comics shop The Beguiling.

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Deconstructing Comics #558: “Transmetropolitan”

Spider Jerusalem

Transmetropolitan, by Warren Ellis and Darrick Robertson, was a 60-issue series that covered potential issues of the future as well as political issues for any era. Tim and Kumar have read the whole series, and now they’re here with an analysis. How does the series’ take on the future stack up, fifteen years later? How does it seem prescient, and how does it feel a bit off-base? What are the politics of the series? Why does it appropriate a couple of iconic images?

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Critiquing Comics #116: “The Love Suicides at Sonezaki” and “I am an A.L.T.”

Love Suicides/ALT

This time, two Japan-related comics from our friends at Big Ugly Robot Press in Nagoya: Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s The Love Suicides at Sonezaki, a story adapted from Bunraku puppet theatre by Chieko Kobayashi; and I Am an A.L.T. by Ian M., a memoir of the twists and turns of the author’s English teaching career in Japan — a topic on which Tim and (especially) Mulele have plenty to say! If you’re considering teaching English in Japan, listen to this episode — and read Ian’s book!

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Deconstructing Comics #557: Thi Bui and “The Best We Could Do”

The Best We Could DO


Our friend Matt Silady is back with us for the first time in five years, and he’s here to introduce us to a friend: Thi Bui, who recently completed her decade-long quest to create a graphic novel about three generations of her family in the context of Vietnamese and American history. After catching up with Matt, Tim talks with Thi about the book, The Best We Could Do, and how she now finds herself teaching comics!

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Deconstructing Comics #556: Vanessa Davis

Vanessa Davis

Vanessa Davis is an L.A.-based creator of autobio comics Spaniel Rage, Make Me A Woman and Out of Time. Koom has been an admirer of her work, and this week he talks with her in depth about whether she sees herself as part of a “movement”; the pitfalls of reporting in your comics on what your family members do (like that time with her mom in the museum…); how her parents affected the direction of her art; and much more.

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