Comics Alternative, Episode 303: Our Favorite Comics of 2018

Time Codes:

  • 00:01:28 – Introduction
  • 00:03:49 – Context, and a few statistics
  • 00:10:41 – Our favorite comics of 2018, part 1
  • 00:40:03 – Our honorable mentions, part 1
  • 00:54:46 – Our favorite comics of 2018, part 2
  • 01:29:23 – Our honorable mentions, part 2
  • 01:47:47 – Our favorite comics of 2018, part 3
  • 02:08:23 – Wrapping up our favorites
  • 02:11:19 – Contact us
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Standouts!

It’s that time again! It’s the end of the year, their very last weekly review episode of 2018, and so the Two Guys are ready to share what they consider to be their favorite comics of the past twelve months. This is Sterg’s first time doing this, but he successfully steps up to the plate to reveal what he considers his 10 favorites of 2018. And Derek does the same.

Before that, though, they go over a few statistics from the past year. Over the course of 2018 — at least up until the time of the recording of this end-of-the-year show — The Comics Alternativereleased a total of 171 episodes of the podcast. Of that number, 55 were interviews, 10 were webcomics shows, 11 manga episodes, 10 from the Euro comics series, 6 were young reader shows, 16 on-location episodes, and 1 special. (And since Sterg and Derek recorded this “Favorites” episode, there have been at least three other shows for the current year, an on-location, a webcomic, and a Euro comics show. Maybe a manga episode will go up before the new year, as well?)

But of much more importance are the various titles that both Sterg and Derek picked as this year’s favorites. Each chooses, in no particular order, what he considers to be his 10 favorites of 2018:

Sterg’s Top 10 of 2018

Derek’s Top 10 of 2018

The Honorable Mentions…These Titles Almost, but Just Didn’t Quite, Make It onto Each Guy’s List

For Sterg

For Derek

Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Noah Van Sciver

Time Codes:

  • 00:01:15 – Introduction
  • 00:03:32 – Setup of interview
  • 00:04:53 – Interview with Noah Van Sciver
  • 01:15:14 – Wrap up
  • 01:16:39 – Contact us

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All Over the Place

The Two Guys with PhDs are very happy to have back on the podcast Noah Van Sciver. He was first on the show back in March 2015, and a lot of things have changed with him since the guys last talked with Noah (and not just his growing of a mustache). Most significantly, his output has been through the roof! One of the things Sterg and Derek discuss with their guest is the sheer volume of his comics creation. Over the past six months alone he has released four different titles, and from a variety of publishers: Constant Companion (Fantagraphics), Blammo #10 (Kilgore Books and comics), One Dirty Tree (Uncivilized Books), and Fante Bukowski 3: A Perfect Failure (Fantagraphics). The guys talk with Noah about his work habits, his penchant for working with different publishers, his ability to juggle different projects at the same time, and his current work and what we can expect from him in the future. And of course, there is a lot of laughter in this episode. Noah is a humorous, and at time quite satirical, writer, yet the humor is often mixed with pathos, as we see not only his autobiographical comics, but most notably in his recent Fante Bukowski. This was a fun interview…and even more fun was had after they turned off the microphones and the guys hung out on Skype to talk about even more matters. Too bad that wasn’t captured for the show, but this new interview with Noah Van Sciver is definitely a highlight of Stergios and Derek’s year.

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: Kilgore Books and Comics’ 2018 Releases

More Kilgore!

This week’s Kickstarter episode is brought to you by the great folks at Kilgore Books and Comics. If that publisher sounds familiar, that’s because the Two Guys have discussed a variety of Kilgore publications in the past…including a publisher spotlight episode back in 2016!

Its current Kickstarter campaign is all about their 2018 releases. Dan Stafford, Kilgore’s head honcho, talks with Derek about the various titles scheduled for this year, and there are a lot. Backers can look forward to:

  • Blammo #10, by Noah Van Sciver
  • Tinderella, by M.S. Harkness
  • Tommy Time, by Tom Van Deusen
  • Baseline Blvd, by Emi Gennis
  • Lawns, by Alex Nall
  • September 12, by Robert Sergel
  • Angloid, by Alex Graham
  • Monkey Chef: A Love Story, by Mike Freiheit
  • And an untitled Inechi comic by Inés Estrada

As listeners of The Comics Alternative know, Kilgore publishes great titles, the kind that define what the podcast is all about. So be sure to back this campaign and get your batch of 2018 releases from Kilgore Books and Comics!

Sample Covers

 

 

Comics Alternative, Episode 216: A Publisher Spotlight on Kilgore Books and Comics

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Number 9

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:27 – Introduction
  • 00:02:28 – Setting up Kilgore Books and Comics
  • 00:05:28 – Conversation with Dan Stafford
  • 00:22:04 – Cosmic Be-ing #2
  • 00:28:45 – The Fifth Window
  • 00:35:24 – A Horse, a Crow, and a Hippo Walk into a Bar
  • 00:45:53 – Powermac
  • 00:55:16 – Paid for It
  • 01:01:56 – The Plunge: A True Story
  • 01:12:21 – What Happened
  • 01:18:23 – Scorched Earth
  • 01:25:44 – Blammo #9
  • 01:54:57 – Wrap up
  • 01:56:02 – Contact us

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On this episode, their final publisher spotlight of the year, Andy and Derek discuss the 2016 releases from Kilgore Books and Comics. They discuss nine titles, in all: four from the publisher’s spring catalog, four from the fall releases, and an in-between book that conceptually lives up to its interstitial positioning. The guys begin their spotlight with a brief interview Derek conducted with Dan Stafford at this year’s Small Press Expo. He introduces Kilgore to listeners, reveals its history and mission, and sets the contexts for the various 2016 releases. After that, the Two Guys with PhDs begin looking at the four titles from the spring, Alex Graham’s Cosmic Be-ing #2, Amara Leipzig’s The Fifth Window, Lauren Barnett’s A Horse, a Crow, and a Hippo Walk into a Bar, and Box Brown’s Powerman. They’re intrigued by the more abstract constructions of the former, and they contrast this with the humor and sheer fun found Barnett’s and Brown’s comics. And given recent political events, the satiric Powerman becomes disturbingly prescient.

And on the topic of satire…Andy and Derek next check out the latest work from one of their favorites, Joe Matt. Paid for It is a send-up of Chester Brown’s Paying for It. In it, Matt (writing under the name “Chesty Matt”) basically takes panels from Brown’s original texts, inverts their sequence, and tweaks the story so that it’s the protagonist who becomes the prostitute and the women who are the johns…or janes. It’s not often that we see anything new from Matt, so Paid for It is definitely an event worth noting.

The last part of the episode is devoted to Kilgore’s fall releases: Emi Gennis’s The Plunge: A True Story, Simon Moreton’s What Happened, Tom Van Deusen’s Scorched Earth, and Noah Van Sciver’s Blammo #9. The first is an historical account of the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and a reminder of the gender biases we continue to live under. Moreton’s is an introspective examination of childhood experiences, while Van Deusen’s is an no-holds-barred exposé of a dysfunctional individual, reminiscent of Sacha Baron Cohen and Curb Your Enthusiasm. But the guys save their most vocal praise for the latest issue of Blammo. They’ve discussed Van Sciver’s series on the podcast before, but this latest installment is a truly outstanding issue that stands above in its predecessors.

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Noah Van Sciver

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Woody

NVSportraitThe Two Guys with PhDs are glad to have on their show Noah Van Sciver, the creator behind the series Blammo as well as the recently published Saint Cole (Fantagraphics). The guys talk with Noah about the genesis of Saint Cole and how this became his follow-up graphic novel to The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln. For that matter, they’re even more curious to know why the artist chose our depressive sixteen president as his first long-form focus. While historical narratives aren’t unusual for Noah — he addresses the great 1863 Denver fire in his comic, A City of Whiskey and Fire (with Daniel Landes) — he’s quick to point out that he’s not a historically based cartoonist, as, for example, you might find in someone like Rick Geary. In fact, Noah tells Derek and Andy that he resists any kind of pigeonholing, even bristling at any attempts to place his work in the company of Robert Crumb or Chester Brown. He prefers to be a chameleon, changing up his subject matter at will, SaintColemuch like Leonard Zelig does in Zelig. And here is where the Two Guys demonstrate their characteristic talents for taking their interviewees into unlikely tangential realms. Throughout their conversation, Woody Allen becomes the topic that the guys keep returning to, especially since Noah is a big Allen fan. The creator even reveals that he’s currently working on project in the vein of Stardust Memories, a story about a successful artist who goes to a convention but feels alienated from his fans while he depressively reevaluates his life. But the conversation never evolves, or devolves, completely into a Woodyfest. There’s plenty of talk on Van Sciver’s Blammo series, his AdHouse collection Youth Is Wasted, his strips 4 Questions and Rufus Baxter, the World’s Oldest Unknown Rock Star for Westword, the Denver comics scene, his relationship with Kilgore Books and Comics, his desire to create a comic with a large ensemble cast, and his upcoming project for Fantagraphics, Fante Bukowski. So all in all, in this interview you get previews, you get insights, you get laughs, and you get a little cinematic Woody. What more could you ask for?

Be sure to check out Noah Van Sciver’s Website!

And you’ll find Blammo and other great comics at Kilgore Books and Comics’s website!

BecauseIHaveTo

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