Comics Alternative Interviews: Hazel Newlevant

Time Codes:

  • 00:25 – Introduction
  • 02:19 – Setup of interview
  • 03:38 – Interview with Hazel Newlevant
  • 53:01 – Wrap up
  • 53:31 – Contact us

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Freedom of Choice

Hazel Newlevant is an artist and editor, known for their graphic novella Sugar Town, which they call “a queer poly rom-com,” as well as Tender-Hearted, winner of the 2017 Ignatz Award for outstanding minicomic. In 2016 the Two Guys discussed Hazel’s edited collection, Chainmail Bikini, an anthology of comics by and about women games released in 2016, and for which Hazel served as editor. Earlier this year they have had two other collections where they served as co-editor: Puerto Rico Strong, released in March by Lion Forge, and Comics for Choice: Illustrated Abortion Stories, History, and Politics, an anthology of comics about abortion and reproductive rights published by Alternative Comics. During this interview, Derek talks with Hazel primarily about Comics for Choice, but they also discuss some of their other work as well, including their many efforts as an editor within the comics industry.

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: Corpus: A Comic Anthology of Bodily Ailments

Body of Work

This week talks with Nadia Shammas about her Kickstarter project Corpus: A Comic Anthology of Bodily Ailments. It’s a collection of comics by various creators all focused on health issues, including physical ailments, mental illness, struggles with disease, and healthcare experiences.

The anthology is in full color and will include over 200 pages of content by a wide variety of artists including

To say the least, there’s a lot packed into this anthology! Be sure to back this Kickstarter campaign. It will be great for your health!

Sample Art

From “The Curse” by Christof Bogacs and Kaska Gazdowna

From “A Twisted Tale” by Ryan Estrada

From “Odin’s Eye” by Cody Sousa and Ben D’Amico

 

 

Comics Alternative, Episode 263: Reviews of Now #2, The Strumpet #5, and Barbarella # 1 & #2

Listen to the podcast!

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:32 – Introduction
  • 00:03:00 – Catching up with flu-ridden Gene
  • 00:04:21 – Now #2
  • 00:44:07 – The Strumpet #5
  • 01:11:49 – Barbarella #1 & #2
  • 01:26:56 – Wrap up
  • 01:27:55 – Contact us

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Anthologies, Origins, and Rebirths

This week Gene and Derek discuss three recent titles, two of which are anthologies and one a blast from the past. They begin with the second issue of Fantagraphics’ Now, edited by Eric Reynolds. As the guys mention, this one is comprised of various comics that run the gamut of art and narrative styles. While some of the contributions are more “traditional” in their storytelling presentation — such as the pieces by Susan Jonaitis and Graham Chaffee, Ariel López V., Dash Shaw, and Joseph Remnant — others challenge our understanding of the medium. Short works by Fabio Zimbres, Conxita Herrero, and James Turek are just some of the stories in this issue that experiment with how comics mediate narrative.

Next, the guys turn to another anthology, The Strumpet #5. Edited by Ellen Lindner and Glynnis Fawkes, this collection was successfully Kickstarted last year, and the theme of this volume is origins. As Gene and Derek point out, this understanding of “origins” is rather broad, with some of the contributions focusing on origins of identity, origins of awareness, origins of memories, origins of myths, origins of tyrants (Donald Trump, anyone?), origins of sexuality, and origins via birth. This is a transatlantic anthology, with creators from both North America and the UK providing a diversity of story and style. Gene had been familiar with some previous issues of The Strumpet, but this was Derek’s first exposure to the anthology. And he is sorry he hadn’t discovered it earlier.

The Two Guys with PhDs wrap up by looking at a new series from Dynamite Entertainment that brings back a classic, and controversial, figure from the 1960s. Barbarella is Mike Carey and Kenan Yarar’s contemporary take on Jean-Claude Forest’s legendary protagonist. The cheesecakey emphasis and the eroticism is definitely a part of this title, but Carey gives the space-traveling Barbarella more agency, making her more heroic, and less of a passive vessel, than Forest’s original incarnation. The guys discuss the first two issues of the series, the second of which was just recently released, and both Derek and Gene are hooked.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Tim Lane

Listen to the podcast!

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:24 – Setup of interview
  • 00:04:23 – Interview with Tim Lane
  • 02:13:48 – Wrap up
  • 02:15:18 – Contact us

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The Great American Mythological Drama

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.”

And be sure to support Tim Lane on Patreon!

 

Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 83: Reviews of The Best of Comix Book, Insect Bath #1, and Cosplayers #1

A REAL Alternative Show

ComixBookIt’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another regular episode of The Comics Alternative! This week, Andy and Derek really strut their alternative creds by focusing on three titles that keenly define “alternative.” First, they discuss the recent Dark Horse/Kitchen Sink book, The Best of Comix Book. This is a collection of comics culled from the original five-issue run of Comix Book, Marvel’s ill-fated attempt to partner with the underground comix movement of the early 1970s. The project was originally initiated by Stan “The Man” Lee and edited by underground maverick, Denis Kitchen. This recent collection features the work of such major underground comix figures as Justin Green, Trina Robbins, Kim Deitch, S. InsectBathClay Wilson, Skip Williamson, Lee Marrs, Joel Beck, Art Spiegelman, and Sharon Rudahl, and it includes a wonderful historical essay by James Vance. The Two Guys discuss the various pieces that are collected, comment on some of the artists represented here, and even speculate on why certain comics from the original run were included in this collection and why others were not.

Next, Derek and Andy turn their attention to two new single issues from Fantagraphics: Insect Bath #1 and Cosplayers #1. Edited by Jason T. Miles, Insect Bath is an anthology of comics that could be called contemporary manifestations of the “underground.” In this way, the book transitions well from Comix Book, in that it very much carries on in the tradition of the Cosplayers1underground, although with much more of a minicomics feel (and minicomics themselves are arguably the legitimate offspring of comix). The guys feel that the pieces included in this first issue of Insect Bath are hit or miss, but they are more excited about Dash Shaw’s Cosplayers. This is the first of a series — how many issues might there be? — where Shaw brings his experimental approach to a study of pop culture fandom. As Andy points out, Cosplayers feels much like a Daniel Clowes story, a far cry from what we saw last year in Shaw’s unconventional 3 New Stories and New School. There’s a lot packed into this episode, so plug in your earbuds and let’s get it on!

This episode’s incidental music is brought to us by
The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds Sessions

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Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 66: A Review of The Best American Comics 2013

Best. Best! or Best?

best-american-comics-2013This week the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics take their annual look at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s The Best American Comics collection (including material published between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012), this year edited by Jeff Smith. They begin by noting that this volume is significant for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this is the last to be overseen by series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden. Andy and Derek marvel at the work the two have been doing since they began with the 2008 volume, and they wish Abel and Madden well in their future endeavors…and they look forward to seeing what the new series editor, Bill Kartalopoulos, will bring to the table.

The guys highlight what they consider to be their favorite contributions to the 2013 volume, specifically commenting on the sheer number of entries that originally appeared in Dark Horse Presents. They also discuss the need for a book such as this to introduce readers to new material, ConcreteParkthe pros and cons of excerpting from longer works — Derek noted the potential pitfalls of the practice, although Andy was more accepting — how the 2013 volume differs from  previous years’ collections, the kind of trends they see in this year’s volume, the fact that Evan Dorkin has two different kinds of contributions in the book, the growing representation of webcomics in these yearly volumes, and the dominance of comics anthologies in Smith’s collection as well as the relatively little attention this year given to serialized titles. (Were there just not that many “good” serialized comics between September 2011 and August 2012?) The Two Guys also get into a larger discussion of the very idea of publishing a “best of” anthology of this type. The “best” according to whom? Might there be certain biases involved? What’s the role of editorial predilection? Who is included as part of the “best,” who is excluded, and why? They don’t attempt to second guess this year’s volume editor, Jeff Smith, but they do think it’s important to keep these questions in mind. Well…Derek does. He had a problem with the “Best” part of the title and would feel more comfortable with a different name. Andy thought that Derek was being too critical in addressing the series name. Derek said that maybe Andy should change his name, as well.

But once again, the Two Guys with PhDs hearty recommendation the annual Best American Comics collection, marvel at the gargantuan task undertaken by the editor, and thoroughly enjoy the many contributions collected between the covers!

FunStrips

This week’s incidental music is brought to you by
the wonderful holiday obscura collected by Andy Cirzan!

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Deconstructing Comics #346: Boston Comics Roundtable

The Boston Comics Roundtable is a thriving group of creators who have weekly meetings and put out anthology books of their work, including Show & Tell; a Collection of Comics about Teaching & Learning; and The Greatest of All Time. This week Tim talks to anthology co-editor (and comics creator) Dan Mazur, who publishes the books through his own imprint, Ninth Art Press; Norwegian artist Line Olsson; and first-time comics writer (and former English teacher here in Japan) Ben DiMaggio.

Deconstructing Comics site

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