Comics Alternative, Episode 287: Reviews of Nowbrow 10: Studio Dreams, Love and Rockets Vol 4 #5, and Last Mountain #4 and #5

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“There’s a lot of hey being thrown here”

This week Paul and Derek discuss three unique titles that help define our understanding of what comics can be. They begin with a visual anthology that is, arguably, not a comic at all. Nobrow 10:Studio Dreams (Nobrow Press) is a series of 70 gorgeous illustrations by a variety of artists — all of whom have contributed to Nobrow publications in the past — that reveal their ideal studio space. The styles in this volume vary widely, but each illustration is a luxurious work that invites visual lingering.

After that the Two Guys turn to one of their favorites, the Hernandez brothers. The latest issue of Love and Rockets (Fantagraphics) is notable in that it wraps up Jaime’s ongoing storyline, “Is This How You See Me?” This narrative began back in the New Stories volumes, and in it Maggie and Hopey attend a Hoppers reunion that begins well, but then takes a darker turn for the two. Jaime also contributes a couple of shorter comics that revisit Maggie and Hopey in their younger days, another narrative thread we’ve seen in recent issues of Love and Rockets. Gilbert’s contribution, “Rosy,” is a long story about one of Fritz’s daughters who confronts her mother’s colored career and decides what it means to her.

Paul and Derek wrap up the episode by looking at the two latest issues of Dakota Mcfadzean’s minicomic Last MountainIssue #4 is a surreal look at the disturbing power of product iconography, where a little girl is terrorized by a cereal box mascot. Issue #5, “To Know You’re Alive,” can be read as a response to the previous issue in that it also concerns childhood and media, but from the perspective of a stay-at-home father. Unfortunately, both of these minicomic issues are sold out, but as the guys mention, listeners should definitely keep their eyes on Mcfadzean as he releases new material.

Comics Alternative, On Location: Talking with Creators at SPX 2016, Pt. 2

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Let’s Get Small…Again

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In this second in a three-episode series of on-location interviews conducted at Small Press Expo this past weekend, Derek talks with Jessica Campbell, Molly Ostertag, Pranas Naujokaitis, Luke Healy, Kel McDonald, Dakota McFadzean, C. Spike Trotman, Cheese Hasselburger, and Keiler Roberts.

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Comics Alternative, On Location: Talking with Creators at SPX 2015, Pt. 2

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More Small Talk

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This is the second of three on-location interview shows based on Derek and Andy W.’s attendance at last weekend’s Small Press Expo. At the event, the Two Guys took the opportunity to talk with several creators exhibiting at SPX, interviewing each for anywhere from 5 to around 20 minutes. In some cases, the guys are quite familiar with the artist’s works (and may even have reviewed their comics on past episodes). At other times, Andy or Derek may not know the work of the creator, but use the interview opportunity to learn more about the artist. In this episode, you will hear conversations with:

The exhibition hall of SPX 2015 was packed, and, as a result, the din of the crowd was at times difficult to talk over. But the Two Guys addressed the sound challenges as best they could. Sometimes they talked with the creators at their tables, and at other times — such as the interviews with Gregory Benton and Dean Haspiel — they were able to find a space off the floor where the sound was less chaotic.

The final on-location interview episode will be released on Saturday. The first was published yesterday. And be sure to check out Derek’s much longer conversation with Bill Griffith that was released separately.

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Deconstructing Comics #456: Dakota McFadzean: What’s eating him?

Don't Get EatenThe daily strips on Dakota McFadzean‘s site are darkly humorous, or sometimes just dark. (Folks gets eaten!) On this week’s show, Dakota talks about how doing daily strips has helped him as an artist, surviving Cartoonist Boot Camp at the Center for Cartoon Studies, why kids stop drawing at a certain age (and why we should encourage them not to stop!), and more.

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Dakota McFadzean

Smiling Faces Sometimes

McFadzeanOn this episode of The Comics Alternative Interviews, Derek talks with Dakota McFadzean about the release of the latest issue of Irene — co-edited with Andy Warner and DW — as well as his own comics output. They begin by focusing on the eclectic comics and art anthology, now in its fifth issue, the genesis of the publication, and how co-editing Irene has helped define his career after having graduated from The Center for Cartoon Studies. Derek asks Dakota about the challenges of overseeing a graphic compilation and how his own work has seen similar inclusion in such anthologies as The Hic Hoc Illustrated Journal of HumorLies Grown-Ups Told Me, and Irene5the prestigious Best American Comics 2012. But the heart of the conversation is devoted to Dakota’s own prolific output, especially his daily online strip, The Dailies, and last year’s impressive collection, Other Stories and the Horse You Rode in On (Conundrum Press). Derek asks Dakota about the fantastical and even surreal quality of his stories, his penchant for childhood narratives, and the iconic prevalence of faces and masks in many of his comics (of which Dakota isn’t immediately aware). Stories such as “Standing Water,” “Ghost Rabbit,” and “Unkindness” — OtherStoriesall collected in Other Stories — are excellent introductions to Dakota’s unique style, as is the more realistic narrative Hollow in the Hollows (One Percent Press) that came out earlier this year. Indeed, the latter is one of Dakota’s most developed stories, and the two discuss the demands of writing more sustained and longer-form narratives as well as the artist’s plans for this kind of storytelling. Dakota also talks about his upcoming book from Conundrum, Don’t Get Eaten by Anything, a collection of the strips that make up The Dailies. This s definitely an artist to keep track of, and if you’re not familiar with Dakota McFadzean’s work, you should definitely check out The Dailies as well as has book through Conundrum Press.

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This episode’s incidental music is brought to you by
Camper Van Beethoven’s La Costa Perdida
Interview Image - McFadzean