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, On Location: The February Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Shop Talk

Derek is back at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find for the February on-location episode. As he usually does, he set up his mics on a Wednesday evening while customers were coming into the shop to pick up the weekly releases. And during this time a couple of Wednesday Warriors sat down with Derek to talk about what they were reading, what they were looking forward to in the coming months, and what about comics culture they currently find exciting. Both Zyg and Fadi shared the week’s titles that they had come to pick up, but the conversation went well beyond that. Among the various topics they discussed were current happenings in the Marvel Universe, favorite artists, eagerly awaited upcoming releases, the new Black Panther movie, Riverdale and other non-superhero comics adaptations, and (believe it or not) Hughes and Whitney’s HerbieYep, they talked about the Fat Fury.



Comics Alternative, Euro Comics: Reviews of Alone and Park Bench

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:26 – Introduction
  • 00:02:41 – Catching up
  • 00:04:47 – Alone
  • 00:44:03 – Park Bench
  • 01:12:16 – Wrap up
  • 01:13:10 – Contact us


Weirded Out by the Eyes

For the February Euro Comics episode, Edward and Derek discuss two works from Christophe Chabouté, Alone and Park Bench, both published by Gallery 13, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. The first is a largely quiet meditation on solicitude, exile, and imagination. Because of physical deformities, the protagonist lives isolated in a lighthouse, with only a couple of fishermen to bring him supplies and serve as his link to the outside world. By contrast, Park Bench is a completely silent narrative that is all about community. The titular object functions as a simple focal point that brings together, inadvertently, a variety of diverse individuals, demonstrating an interconnectedness that is not readily apparent. While Derek appreciates Chabouté’s uncomplicated style and thematic approach, Edward is more critical, preferring more visual difference and ambiguous messaging.

Comics Alternative, Episode 269: Reviews of The Lie and How We Told It, Abbott #1, and Punks Not Dead #1

Time Codes:


That ’70s Podcast

This week Gene and Derek discuss three fascinating titles…and with a ’70s twist! They begin with Tommi Parrish’s The Lie and How We Told It (Fantagraphics). Both had encountered Parrish’s work previously in the first two issues of the Now anthology, but this is the first long-form narrative from them that the guys have read. This is an intriguing work that begs for multiple readings and provides much discussion fodder. After that, Gene and Derek turn to two recent #1 issues. Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivelä’s Abbott (BOOM! Studios) is a crime noir story set in the early 1970s, and with a curious injection of horror. Punks Not Dead, the latest from IDW’s Black Crown imprint, is a wild tale from David Barnett and Martin Simmonds, one that mixes punk sensibilities with what appears to be X-Files-like undercurrent.

Comics Alternative for Young Readers: Reviews of The Prince and the Dressmaker and Speak: The Graphic Novel

Time Codes:


Art and Perceptions

Gwen and Paul are back with another Young Readers episode. For February, they discuss two recent publications, both that explore how perceptions, for better or for worse, figure into our lives. They begin with Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second), a fairy tale-like narrative focusing on romance, identity, and creativity. Next, they look at Speak: The Graphic Novel (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), a comics adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson’s young adult novel Speak. Illustrated by Emily Carroll, it’s a story of a young high school outcast who uses art to confront the hardships that have kept her on the margins.

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: Plaguers Int’l

On this weekend’s Kickstarter episode, Derek talks with Max Huffman about his current campaign for Plaguers Int’l. As described on the Kickstarter page, Plaguers Int’l is

a loud, fast comic-shaped comic, with elements of all three genres: madcap romp, slapdash genre pastiche and relationship disaster. A panel or two might be unsafe for work.

And its plot?

Swirving Wildley is the newest member of the world’s most beloved extranational paramilitary death squad. Movement Salon is the leader of a wasteland guerrilla junk cult. They have a long day.

This promises to be a fun project, one that’s right in The Comics Alternative‘s wheelhouse, an alternative look at established genres with a healthy dose of humor and visual panache. While you’re at it, check out more of Max Huffman’s work.

This is definitely something work backing. Learn more about Max’s Kickstarter!

Sample Art



Comics Alternative, Euro Comics: Reviews of Various IDW Translations from the Last Half of 2017

Time Codes:


Going Solo

Welcome to the January episode of The Comics Alternative‘s monthly Euro Comics series. That’s right, the January episode. As Derek explains during the opening of this show, he and Edward had planned on covering IDW Publishing works in translation that had been released in the last half of 2017, and doing so for their January episode. However, life got in the way again, and they had to delay the recording. Derek then sought out Dean Mullaney (editor of IDW’s EuroComics series) and Justin Eisinger (senior editor at IDW) to assist him with this show, but neither were available. So Derek decided to do the episode solo, something that he’s never done on the podcast before. And he hopes the results aren’t unlistenable.

And here you have it, the “January” episode of the Euro Comics series…albeit released in February. In it, you’ll hear Derek discuss six different titles from IDW released since July 2017, including Carlos Sampayo and Jose Munoz’s Alack Sinner: The Age of Innocence; Christian Perrissin and Matthieu Blanchin’s Calamity Jane: The Calamitous Life of Martha Jane Cannary, 1852-1903; Alain Dodier, Pierre Makyo, and Serge Le Tendre’s Jerome K. Jerome Bloche Vol. 1: The Shadow Killer; Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese: Fable of Venice; Zep’s A Story of Men; and Pratt’s The Man from the Great North.

Comics Alternative, Episode 268: Reviews of Recent Romance Comics

Time Codes:


Built for Love

It’s Valentine’s Day, and this week the Two Guys with PhDs are doing something they’ve never done before: devote an entire episode to recent romance comics. And this year, there are quite a number of new comics devoted to love and relationships…and with curious twists. And speaking of twists, they begin their show by discussing the first two issues of the new Image Comics series, Twisted Romance. This is a four-issue anthology published weekly throughout the month of February, and in issues #1 and #2 we see comics contributions from the creators Alex de Campo, Katie Shelly, Sarah Horrocks, Alejandra Gutierrez, and Meredith McClaren, with short prose offerings from Magen Cubed and Vita Ayala. From there they go to Death of Love #1 (Image Comics), written by Justin Jordan with art by Donal Delay. Much like Twisted Romance, this is a skewed look at love — and this one includes assholes and drugs.

Following that, Gene and Derek discuss one more recent release from Image Comics, Tee Franklin and Jenn St-onge’s Bingo Love. This is a unique LGBT narrative that focuses on the relationship of older citizens. While intended for teen readers, this is a graphic novel that can be appreciated by all ages. After that they visit, once again, the wacky world of Craig Yoe and his partner Clizia Gussoni. Weird Love, Vol. 6: So This Is Love! (IDW Publishing/Yoe Books) is the latest collection of their Weird Love series, classic romance stories from the 1950s and 1960s that not only appear warped to our contemporary eyes, but were probably strange to their original audiences. And finally, the guys wrap up their special Valentine’s Day episode with an offering from DC Comics, Young Monsters in Love. Much like last October’s DC House of Horror, this is an extra-long seasonal anthology issue written and drawn by a who’s who of DC creators. Included are stories focusing on, among others, Swamp Thing, Man-Bat, Raven, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E., Solomon Grundy, Deadman, the Creature Commandos, and (one of the guys’ favorites) Monsieur Mallah and the Brain.

Love is definitely in the air this week!

Comics Alternative Interviews: Bill Kartalopoulos and Ben Katchor

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:26 – Introduction
  • 00:02:30 – Setup of interview
  • 00:04:05 – Interview with Bill Kartalopoulos and Ben Katchor
  • 01:36:02 – Wrap up
  • 01:37:10 – Contact us


Challenging Comics

Derek talks with Bill Kartalopoulos and Ben Katchor about the 2017 volume of The Best American Comics (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). They are, respectively, the general editor of the series and last year’s guest editor. Paul and Derek had wanted to interview the two back in December, but due to life complications, they weren’t able to have them on the show. And although Paul wasn’t able to join in on this interview, he was with everyone in spirit. So better late than never, Derek speaks with Ben and Bill about the process of their collaboration, the challenges that they faced in collecting potential material, Ben’s choices in structuring and populating the 2017 volume, the ways in which current politics couldn’t help but find their way into the text, and the questions both editors faced with the very concept of “best comics.”

Comics Alternative, Webcomics: Reviews of The Flying Ship, Next Town Over, and Yu+Me: Dreams

Time Codes:


Fairytales, Steampunk, and Dreams

For February, Sean and Derek discuss three very different webcomics, each published by a single young female creator. They begin with two currently ongoing titles, Jess Milton’s The Flying Ship and Erin Mehlos’s Next Town Over. The first is webcomic inspired by a Russian fairytale, and despite its relatively short run so far, Milton does a great job at establishing a detailed premise. Mehlos’s Next Town Over is a curious mix of magic, steampunk, and the western genre (although not set in the American West). The Two Guys then wrap up with the already-completed webcomic, Yu+Me: Dream. This long-form narrative ran from 2004 to 2010, and there are several fascinating stylistic turns that the guys cannot discuss in detail for fear of soiling the webcomic for first-time readers.

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: Ada’s Adventures in Science

It’s Poetry in Motion

This week Derek talks with Edward Gomez and Laura Sorvala about their Kickstarter campaign Ada’s Adventures in Science. This project began as a three-comic-book series, starting with the idea, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” The ultimate goal of this Kickstarter is not only to excite children about science, but to empower them to pursue it. Edward and Laura’s protagonist Ada is a believable, relatable character pursuing her interests in science. She functions as both as a role model and as a conduit for the reader.

What is so significant about this Kickstarter campaign is that not only will you be able to get the collected three-issue Ada’s Adventures in Science series in one nice volume, but by backing this project you’ll be providing students around the world with copies of the comic books and encouraging them to pursue their own passions in science.

So help promote this educational tool, and read a great adventure, by backing this Kickstarter!

Sample Art

Comics Alternative, Episode 267: The February Previews Catalog


Gwen and Derek are back with another Previews episode. And since February is Super Bowl time, in the super spirit of that super day they present a super long show. That’s right, there were so many titles that the two wanted to highlight this month, that this episode inadvertently turned into (we think) the longest Previews show ever recorded on The Comics Alternative. History in the making, or an annoyingly long experience? You decide. Among the many comic books and graphic novels that Gwen and Derek highlight are:


Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Box Brown

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:43 – Introduction
  • 00:03:01 – Setup of interview
  • 00:05:06 – Interview with Box Brown
  • 01:05:35 – Wrap up
  • 01:06:48 – Contact us


Thank You Very Much

Box Brown returns to The Comics Alternative, this time discussing his new book Is This Guy for Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman, just out this week from First Second. Similar to his previous Andre the Giant, this is a graphic biography of a colorful celebrity with a complicated life story…and involving wrestling. Box talks with Derek about his ideas for beginning this project, his appreciation of stand-up comedy, the challenges he faced in constructing Kaufman’s story, and how his emphases are notably different from those of Miloš Forman’s 1999 biopic Man on the Moon. And since both Box and Derek are big Andy Kaufman fans, there’s a lot of nerding out and reminiscing over the comedian’s many TV appearances, many of which can be found on YouTube. So put on your wrestling tights, slip into that sequin high-collar Elvis jacket, and get ready to engage with this friendly, friendly world.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Dave Calver

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:22 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:42 – Interview with Dave Calver
  • 01:01:31 – Wrap up
  • 01:02:25 – Contact us


“Concentrating on the worms”

Derek talks with Dave Calver about his new book Limbo Lounge. This is his first graphic novel, and it’s a first for IDW Publishing, a joint effort between two of its imprints, Yoe Books and Top Shelf Productions. Over the course of their conversation, the two discuss the origins of this project, the author’s effective use of coloring as a narrative tool, the surreal and tonally ambiguous nature of the work, how Dave’s background as an illustrator informed his storytelling, and where his efforts, largely inspired by Limbo Lounge, are taking him now.

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: Birdcage Bottom Books 2018 Publications

Indie to the Max

On this Kickstarter episode, Derek talks with J.T. Yost about his current crowdfunding campaign for Birdcage Bottom Books’ 2018 publications.

This year, Birdcage Bottom Books is hoping to introduce to a wider audience a variety of cartoonists currently flying under many readers’ radar. By pre-ordering through this Kickstarter campaign, you’ll both ensure these publications see the light of day and save money. As J.T. points out, this is also your chance to get custom artwork, original comics page art, exclusive mini-comics, and more. But the core of this campaign is great comics such as

If you want to discover what indie comics are all about, then definitely back this Kickstarter!