Luke Healy was first on The Comics Alternative at Small Press Expo in 2016, where he briefly spoke with Derek about his provocative self-published minicomic The Unofficial Cuckoo’s Nest Study Companion, which was nominated that year for an Ignatz Award. A couple of months later Luke came back on the show, this time for a long and more in-depth interview about his new book at the time, How to Survive in the North, released from Nobrow Press. And now, Luke comes back on podcast to discuss his most recent work. His brand-new book revisits some of his older writings and places them within an entirely new context. Permanent Press has just been released from Avery Hill Publishing, and it’s a mock autobiographical text that explores the world of independent comics creators and the relationship between a cartoonist and his ego. What’s more, the new book incorporates the previously self-published The Unofficial Cuckoo’s Nest Study Companion, but it does so in a way that brings a fresh perspective to the story and even underscores its experimental nature. In this interview, Derek talks with Luke Healy about the origins of Permanent Press, its highly satirical tone, and the process of looking inside of himself and pulling out a narrative that is not entirely autobiographical, but at the same time, not purely fiction. As you’ll hear, Luke is certainly one of the medium’s most meditative creators.
On this interview episode Derek talks with Tim Lane about his series Happy Hour in America, Vol. 2, the first issue of which is just being released from Fantagraphics Books. This isn’t the first time that Tim has been interviewed on The Comics Alternative. In January 2015, Derek published on the blog a text-based conversation with him that he had conducted via email. That was a insightful and substantive interview, but the current one goes even further, allowing Tim not only to comment on his current work, but to delve into a variety of other topics, such as the business side of the medium, the state of comic books as a publishing platform, and matters of comics pedagogy. But the core of the conversation concerns Tim’s latest efforts in this new volume of Happy Hour in America, his fascination with twentieth-century Americana, his previous collections — Abandoned Cars and The Lonesome Go — and the interpretive biography he currently has underway, Just Like Steve McQueen. This is an unusually long interview, running just over two hours, but it’s an engaging conversation that will introduce you to Tim’s “Great American Mythological Drama.”