This just may be the last on-location episode of The Comics Alternative conducted from Valhalla Games and Comics in Plano, TX. Derek is moving to North Carolina and will no longer be in the DFW area to do these shows. But customers of Valhalla and friends of the podcast, both long-timers and new listeners, come by the shop to say a fond farewell…and talk about comics. Joining Derek for this special episode are Craig, Matt, Jay, Tristan, and Kelly. Their interests are diverse, so the conversation reflects that. And they cover a lot of ground, so listen up!
Partings are tough. But as David Gates once sang, “Goodbye doesn’t mean forever.”
00:04:30 – The Hernandez brothers panel at HeroesCon
01:08:05 – Wrap up
01:09:46 – Contact us
A Big Deal
At this year’s HeroesCon, Andy and Derek moderated a couple of panels, one of which was entirely devoted to the Hernandez brothers, Gilbert and Jaime. In this on-location episode, you’ll hear the Two Guys talking with the brothers about their new magazine-sized Love and Rockets series, the logistics of going from an annual to a quarterly, the experiences of continuity and 35+ years of character development, their efforts (especially Gilbert’s) in producing standalone works outside of any serialized format, their historical places within the larger context of non-mainstream comics, and the brothers’ thoughts on the current state of the medium.
Last weekend was HeroesCon, and as they have for the past few years, Andy and Derek are on the scene in Artists Alley reporting the event from the floor. On this episode, you’ll hear the Two Guys sharing their varied experiences at the con. Among other topics they discuss the vendors they visited and the comics they were able to find, their attempts to interview creators at their tables, the two high-powered panels they moderated, the various artists they had signing their comics, the tone of this year’s crowd, Derek’s cool Space Babes shirt (design by Beto), the uncertainty of their table location, and their Saturday night dinner with Gilbert Hernandez’s family. And both Derek and Andy are most thankful for the various fans who stopped by their table to say “Hello!” and tell them that they’re avid listeners.
Much thanks to Daniel Yezbick for providing the pictures of the Two Guys in action!
In the second of two on-location interview episodes recorded at this year’s HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC, Derek talks with Fabian Rangel, Jr. (author of Tarantula), Charles Forsman (Slasher), Chris Sheridan (Motorcycle Samurai), Shawn Pryor (Cash and Carrie), and Alison Sampson (Winnebago Graveyard), and Andy and Derek speak with Darren Neely (Chase Van Bolt). Fun stuff!
Stay tuned over the next week for more HeroesCon episodes!
In the first of two on-location interview episodes recorded at this year’s HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC, Derek talks with a variety of artists, writers, and editors. Some of these are creators with whom Derek was already familiar, some have even talked on the podcast before, and some are are new discoveries. In this show you’ll hear brief discussions with Ben Sears (author of Volcano Trash), Abby Howard (The Last Halloween), Jody Leheup and Sebastian Girner (Shirtless Bear Fighter), Andy Hirsch (Science Comics: Dogs), Matthew David Smith and Jeremy Massie (Amazing Age), Tyler Chin-Tanner (Broken Frontier), Sam Costello (Split Lip Comics), and Thom Zahler (Time and Vine).
Stay tuned over the next week for other episodes generated at this year’s HeroesCon!
For Free Comic Book Day 2017, Derek visits his local shop, Valhalla Games and Comics in Plano, TX to talk with customers and shop employees about the various FCBD offerings this year. Joining him on this episode are Sabrina, the shop manager, as well as one of her associates, Stephanie. But also joining in on the conversation is a first-timer to the podcast, Naheem, who just happens to be from Derek’s hometown, Charlotte, NC.
Derek talks with Naheem about his favorite FCBD selections.
As he tries to do every month, Derek visits his local shop, Valhalla Games and Comics in Plano, TX, to talk with customers and employees about what they’re reading, what they’re looking forward to, and what interests them in current comics culture. For April the topic is open, so anything goes…and the resulting conversation is free-floating and casual. Among the topics that come up are local conventions, Bones of the Coastfrom Cloudscape Comics, getting caught up with the Marvel Universe on Netflix, Astro City, Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name, the return of Rat Queens, Kyle Starks’s Rock Candy Mountain, the convoluted world of Love and Rockets, the new Anne Hathaway movie Colossal,and speculations on how (and if) comics creators will eventually work Donald Trump into their stories.
As listeners of The Comics Alternative know, Andy oversees the annual Sumter Comic Arts Symposium every spring, and this year is no different. And this time, not only has he organized the entire event, but he also took time out of his duties to interview several of the creators who appeared at the symposium. First, he speaks with Sophie Goldstein and Carl Antonowicz at the local Waffle House — the sound quality isn’t ideal, but the breakfast ambience is palpable — and then he conducts an interview with Jeremy Whitley, talking primarily about his recent work with Marvel Comics.
This past weekend Derek attended Dallas Fan Expo 2017, and there he was able to talk with several creators and publishers for the podcast. Some of his guests are individuals who have been on the podcast before — either while at conventions or on regular interview episodes — although some are appearing on The Comics Alternative for the first time. Those talking with Derek on this on-location show include Robert Wilson IV, Terry Moore, Raechel Alexis Gasparac, Ed Brisson, Joe Eisma, and Matt Hawkins. Enjoy, won’t you?
After a month’s hiatus (due to unforeseen circumstances), the on-location episode is back! And for the March visit to Valhalla Games and Comics, the topic is completely open. On this recording Derek is joined my several of the shop regulars including Craig, Matt, and Tristan. Among the many topics they cover are the recent Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad miniseries; the latest (and one of the best) X-Men films, Logan; the news surrounding the production of Star Trek: Discovery; and lots of manga talk. In fact, from the amount of time everyone discussed Japanese comics, it looked like this might turn into the month’s manga episode. Along the way the guys discuss Stephen Hillenburg (the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants) and his recently announced fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, legally permissible uses of the word “mutant,” Derek’s shame at being so behind on Marvel’s Netflix and Fox series, and Tristan’s utter dislike of children.
For the December on-location episode at Valhalla Games and Comics, Derek talks with customers and shop employees about their favorite comics from the past twelve months. This is a look back at the various series, events, collections, and original graphic novels that made the biggest impressions in 2016. Joining in on the conversation are some of the usuals — Stephanie, Matt, and Craig — but Josh, a new fan of the shop and of the podcast, shows up to share his thoughts, as well. As might be expected, most of the titles discussed are from the Big Two universes, but there are a number of other titles that also resonated. One of the big takeaways from this conversation is the possible fatigue that is setting in when it comes to superhero events, especially as it relates to Marvel Comics. However, for some readers, a bright counterbalance can be found in IDW’s “Revolution”crossover event.
Did 2016 really, really suck? Yes, especially when it comes to politics and the possibility of social progress. But regarding comics culture, the guys at Valhalla Games and Comics have a different opinion.
Josh, Craig, and Stephanie discuss their favorites of 2016.
Once again, Derek visits his local shop, Valhalla Games and Comics in Plano, TX, to talk with customers and employees about the various titles they’ve been reading. And he has a large number of people joining him for this month’s on-location episode, including the owner of Valhalla, Dave Larson. Derek begins the episode by talking with Dave about the changes he’s bringing to the shop and his experiences in gaming retail. But others join in on the discussion soon enough, including the shop manager, Sabrina, one of her associates, Stephanie, and several of Valhalla’s regulars, Craig, Matt, and Chris. This month, the topic is open-ended, so the conversation freely flows from one subject matter to another. Along the way they cover the DC’s new Young Animal series, the changes wrought by Rebirth, the current state of various Marvel titles, the growing number of superhero-based films and TV shows, the narrative worlds of Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire, and, for at least one of the interlocutors, the discovery that Lucifer is actually a comic-book series.
Derek is back at his local comic shop, Valhalla Games and Comics in Plano, TX, for the October on-location episode. But it is also Halloween ComicFest 2016, adding even more flavor into mix. He is joined by customers of the shop, some of them in costume, to discuss horror comics, Halloween specials, as well as scary movies and games. They spend much of their time discussing the many free comic-book offerings for this year’s Halloween ComicFest. Derek is particularly interested in the special horror manga issues, such as VIZ Media’s Tomie and Drawn and Quarterly’s Shigeru Mizuki’s Kitaro: Strange Fun for Everyone. But there are many other titles that the gang discusses, ranging from holiday-appropriate (e.g., Comix Tribe’s Mummy’s Always Right, American Mythology’s The Three Stooges Halloween Hullabaloo, and the BoooOOOoooM! Box Halloween Haunt 2016) to Halloween-free, such as several offerings from DC and Marvel
In this final episode of the on-location interviews conducted at Small Press Expo 2016, Derek talks with Theora Kvitka, Sophie Goldstein, Melanie Gillman, Carolyn Nowak, Zack Soto, Jarod Roselló, Kevin Budnik, Andrea Tsurumi, Julia Gfrörer, and Joshua W. Cotter. Much thanks to everyone who was a part of these SPX episodes, the creators as well as the publishers, and who made all of these recordings possible!