This is a bittersweet episode of The Comics Alternative, because Andy and Derek are both highlighting and saying goodbye to a title that has been one of their favorites these past thirteen years, Bill Willingham’s Fables (Vertigo). The series finale was just recently released — issue #150, which also doubles at volume 22 of the trade paperbacks — and the guys go into detail about the wrap-up of the main storyline, the final confrontation between Snow White and Rose Red that has been building over the past several narrative arcs. They also discuss the collection of “Last” stories that round out this volume, short pieces illustrated by a variety of artists that give us a final (?) glimpse at some of Fables most important characters. In fact, this episode of the podcast is very spoiler-heavy, in that Derek and Andy couldn’t figure out how to do justice to the series without giving away a few important concluding plot elements. (So if you haven’t yet read this last installment of Fables, then perhaps you should do so before listening to this week’s show. Go ahead. The guys don’t mind. They’ll still be here waiting for you.) But this episode is also a retrospective on the entire run of Fables, its many twists and turns, as well as the many spin-offs it engendered. As such, the Two Guys also touch upon Jack of Fables, the Cinderella miniseries, The Literals, Fairest, the current series Fables: The Wolf among Us, and the standalone volumes 1001 Nights of Snowfall and Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland. (Unfortunately, they don’t get around to discussing the prose novel, Peter and Max. There’s only just so much time in a podcast episode.) It’s obvious that both Andy and Derek appreciate Fables and see it as one of the most important titles of the past decade, but being the discerning scholars that they are, the guys don’t shy away from critiquing the long-running series and pointing out some of the narrative elements they found “thin” or potentially problematic. But to paraphrase a common adage, we criticize those we love the most, and the guys make it clear what kind of respect, admiration, and outright affection they have for Fables. This episode is fond, heartfelt farewell to the team of Willingham (writer), Mark Buckingham (penciller), Steve Leialoha (inker), Todd Klein (letterer), James Jean and João Ruas (cover artists), Shelly Bond (editor), and an unparalleled community of collaborators.
This week Gene and Derek take a look at six new titles. They begin with a discussion of two new works from Image Comics, the first three issues of Alex + Ada (Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn) and Deadly Class#1 (Rick Remender and Wes Craig). They go into depth on both titles, especially Craig’s art in Deadly Class and the narrative pacing in Alex + Ada, which ultimately leads to a discussion on panel sequencing and story decompression. Next, they look at issues #1-3 of Letter 44, written by Charles Soule with art by Alberto Jiménez Albuquerque (Oni Press). They discuss its unique take on science fiction within the context of recent politics. From there, they turn to recent #1 issues from three other publishers: David Lapham’s Juice Squeezers (Dark Horse Comics), Bill Willingham and Sergio Fernandez DaVilla’s Legenderry(Dynamite Entertainment), and Curse from BOOM! Studies (written by Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel, with art by Riley Rossmo, Colin Lorimer). In this episode, the Two Guys with PhDs are all over the place, moving from all-age comics to Bush-era politics to licensed characters to horror titles to science fiction to steampunk to Reagan’s Morning in America. There’s a lot packed into this show…more bang for your buck!
Jimmy was at Heroes Con and moderated a few panels. This particular one was called Vertigo Visions! Originally, it was just Scott Snyder and Bill Willingham. Adam Hughes was added at the last minute. A great discussion was had about Fables, American Vampire, Batman, Before Watchmen, DC comics, becoming a writer in comics, transitioning within the comic industry, and so much more! Really great conversation filled with big laughs and informative lessons. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
Reviews: Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1, Fatima The Blood Spinners #1, Hit-Girl #1, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 2009, Massive #1, The Amazing Spider-Man film
Jimmy is joined in studio by good pal Matt Brick! They go over the recent Entertainment Weekly San Diego Comic Con edition and Jimmy chats about some of the highlights he’s going to cover while out there next week. And in the last of the awesome Heroes Con interviews, Jimmy chats with favorite Francesco Francavilla about Batman, The Black Beetle and how drawing is his life. News includes: Marvel relaunches Marvel Now!, Tony Daniel leaves Detective Comics, MonkeyBrain Comics launches, a zombie restaurant shambles into Tokyo and Adam Cadwell founds The British Comic Awards. As always, listener feedback, the Top 3 and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
Aww yeah, it’s another episode of my comic book shiz-ow! Pick Of The Week goes to Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples for Saga #4 (Image)! Fast Five picks include Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar’s Remedy #1 (Dark Horse), Daredevil #14 (Marvel), Glory #27 (Image), Fables #118 (Vertigo), and Dark Avengers #117 (Marvel). Spoilers!
Reviews: Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1, Kiss: Dressed to Kill #1, Spider-Men #1
Jimmy flies solo as he’s madly prepping for Heroes Con this weekend! Slow news week so he discusses some of the highlights of the upcoming convention in Charlotte, NC. Always a favorite show. CNI will have a table as usual and getting lots of interviews! Jimmy is also moderating a couple of awesome panels (one with Bill Willingham/Scott Snyder and the other with Steve Niles/Bernie Wrightson) so come on by if you’re attending! As always, listener feedback, the Top 3 and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
Happy Memorial Day weekend! No Pick Of The Week this time around, but we do have a delightful Fast Five! Picks include Batman, Incorporated #1 (DC), CHEW #26 (Image), Fables #117 (Vertigo), Prophet #25 (Image), and Justice League Dark #9 (DC). Spoilers!
First things first; RIP Moebius. Pick Of The Week goes to Scott Snyder & Yanick Paquette for Swamp Thing #7 (DC). Fast Five picks include Avengers Academy #27 (Marvel), Fairest #1 (Vertigo), Action Comics #7 (DC), Sweet Tooth #31 (Vertigo), and The Manhattan Projects (Image). Spoilers!
I began the show talking about the itch I feel from time to time. No, not THAT itch—the shopping itch. It’s the reason why guys may go a little overboard when it comes to our hobbies. I reminisce on a couple of old, but great, video games.
I wish I could say I’m finally done talking about Fables, but I’m not. I am done reading about it in Fables: The Dark Ages (Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham). It finally introduces and deals with things that should have been done way earlier.
No Pick Of The Week, but we have a wonderful art-driven Fast Five! Picks include X-Men: Schism #3 (Marvel), Avengers Academy #18 (Marvel), Fables #108 (Vertigo), Daredevil #2 (Marvel), and Hulk #39 (Marvel).
I stop myself from going on one rant by covering the new and surprisingly good, Thundercats show. Then I spend a few minutes going over my excellent, but out of print goody—Spawn Origins Deluxe Vol. 1.
Unfortunately, I must eventually move on to Fables: War & Pieces (Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham). It’s the most anti-climatic ending to the war with the Adversary, and the easiest war ever.
Good morning everyone! I delve into talking about my limited experience with the overrated Mass Effect 1. I also compare the differences between Mass Effect and Dragon Age Origins.
Because of some tiny convention this week, I believe it’s called San Diego Comic Con, there’s plenty of news. I go over the panels I wasn’t able to attend and the upcoming books. I’m one step closer to the end of Fables by reviewing Fables: The Good Prince (Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham).
It wouldn’t be an Independence Day weekend without a Michael Bay movie. So I give my spoil-free thoughts of Transformers: Dark (Side) of the Moon and about the trilogy in general. Even though I’m a HUGE Transformers fan, my thoughts are not as favorable as you might think.
I then cover Fables: Sons of Empire (Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham). It’s a very thick trade that’s all over the place. I’m not even sure who the sons of empire are.
In this fairly disappointing episode, I discuss only two titles, because these two were the only titles I somewhat enjoyed this week. I discuss Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates #5 (Marvel) and Fables #106 (Vertigo).
This episode has been brought to you by, THE SQUEEG!