Comics Alternative, On Location: The First August Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Politics and Monsters

Michael and Derek are back at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, in Charlotte, NC, for the first of their planned August on-location episodes. And as the Two Guys have been doing with their new format, Michael highlights recent mainstream publications and Derek focuses on more indie or non-DC and Marvel titles. Michael starts the ball rolling by discussing the recent work of Ta-Nehisi Coates, specifically his current writing on Captain America (Marvel Comics). He specifically focuses on the politics embedded in the narratives — and not only with Cap, but in his Black Panther work, as well — and how Coates is learning the form and growing as a comic-book writer. Derek discusses three recent #1 issues, including Rob Guillory’s Farmhand and John Layman and Nick Pitarra’s Leviathan (both from Image Comics), as well as She Could Fly, written by Christopher Cantrell and with art by Martin Morazzo (Dark Horse Comics). He links the comedy, and the outrageousness, of Guillory’s and Layman’s new titles, because the two made their big splash with Chew. The guys also talk about She Could Fly, not only on its own story terms, but as the latest contribution from Berger Books.

Comics Alternative, Episode 288: Reviews of Five Recent #1 Issues

Time Codes:

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Death and Zaftig Pig Girls

This is a special episode of The Comics Alternative, as it’s the guys’ sixth anniversary! The podcast began on August 1, 2012, and Paul and Derek discuss some of the things they’ve done over the past six years, the number of episodes they’ve published, the amount of interviews they’ve conducted, etc. It’s a celebratory time, and the Two Guys hope that listeners will join in on the celebration and chime in with some of their favorite moments from The Comics Alternative‘s past.

After a brief discussion of the podcast’s anniversary, Paul and Derek then leap into the episode’s core, a discussion of five recent #1 titles. They begin with Ann Nocenti and David Aja’s The Seeds, the latest in Dark Horse Comics’ Berger Books imprint. The guys are fascinated by this first issue, not only with Nocenti’s multi-layered storytelling, but also with Aja’s signature art and design. They then look at the first issue of Tini Howard and Nick Robles’s Euthanauts, part of IDW Publishing’s Black Crown imprint. While they’re intrigued by the series’ premise, they’re not entirely sure if this is a successful #1 issue. There are confusing moments and, arguably, too many unanswered questions that dampen any desire to read on before the trade.

After that, Paul and Derek discuss two recent #1 titles from Image Comics. First, they look at Aleš Kot and Tradd Moore’s The New World, an intriguing futuristic narrative that juggles contemporary socio-political concerns along with a Romeo and Juliet-inspired storyline. They also review the first issue of Mirka Andolfo’s Unnatural, an erotic — but tasteful — anthropomorphic tale that was originally published in Italian and now is available as a limited series.

Finally, the guys wrap up with the first issue of Cullen Bunn and Jonas Scharf’s Bone Parish (BOOM! Studios). This appears to be a horror title — after all, that’s primarily what Bunn is known for — but as Paul and Derek point out, this first issue reads more as a crime mystery than it does horror. It’s an interesting premise, one that the guys are curious to see unfold.

So enjoy this week’s episode, and celebrate The Comics Alternative‘s sixth anniversary!

Comic News Insider Episode 865 – The Trek to San Diego Comic Con!

Comic News Insider: Episode 865 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #1, Farmhand #1, Incredibles 2 #1, Superman Vol 6 #1, X-23 #1, Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters 

Jimmy leaves early Wednesday for San Diego Comic Con and is still madly organizing his schedule. Many thanks to pals Emily, Marta, Emmy, Jon and Heidi that sent in audio reviews. And big ups to old childhood friend Jessica for being this week’s newsreader. News includes: HBO picks up Joss Whedon’s sci-fi series The Nevers, Dark Horse Comics announced the release of three new titles in Mike Mignola’s Hellboy universe, DC Comics announced it’s next group of crossovers w/ Hanna-Barbera characters and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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On Location: The First July Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Happy 4th!

Michael and Derek are back at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find for the first of two July on-location episodes. They visit the shop on Independence Day, and they use the occasion to discuss current trends and titles in the comics industry. Mike explores recent manifestations of The Avengers and Justice League, focusing on Marvel and DC through what he calls the “classic Coke” approach. His discussion takes him across the writings of Jason Aaron and Scott Snyder, and then circling back to Tom King’s current work on Batman and the recent marriage event. Looking at the non-mainstream side of comics, Derek talks about his reaction to the first two issues of Evan Dorkin and Veronica Fish’s Blackwood and the initial offering of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, part of Titan Comics’ Hard Case Crime series. He also brings up Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys and the recent announcement of new Perfect Editions from VIZ Media. And, it being July 4th, the Two Guys also discuss comics, politics, and the current state of the country.

 

 

Comic News Insider Episode 857 – Heroes Con Recap w/ Monica Gallagher/Babs Tarr!

Comic News Insider: Episode 857 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Magic Order #1, Plastic Man Vol. 5 #1, Thor Vol. 5 #1, Archer s9 finale, Legion s2 finale, Supergirl s3 finale

Jimmy is back from Heroes Con and all you get is this dumb podcast! He got about 10 interviews and moderated 3 panels. You’ll hear those interviews over the next 2 weeks as well as 2 of the panels. In this episode, you’ll get interviews with Monica Gallagher (Assassin Roommate) and Babs Tarr (Motor Crush)! At Heroes, Jimmy sat down with friends Ashley Lanni and Sarah Delaine to review 3 comics this week. He also got friend Megan Fischer to send in an audio review. Thanks to all! News includes: new The Maxx comics are coming from IDW, the Lucifer TV show gets saved by Netflix, Dark Horse will publish a Stranger Things comic mini-series and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comics Alternative, Episode 284: Reviews of The Escapist Omnibi

Time Codes:

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Faux Histories

This week, Pascal (of the Euro Comics series) joins Derek on the weekly review show to discuss the two omnibi collections of The Escapist from Dark Horse Books. They look at both Michael Chabon’s The Escapist: Amazing Adventures (which was released this past February) as well as the latest collection, Michael Chabon’s The Escapist: Pulse-Pounding Thrills, published in wide release this week. The two guys discuss the faux history that Chabon and a variety of writers and artists have created, wedging this narrative into our recognizable comic-book history. They’re not able to discuss all of the selections in these two collections — between both volumes, there are almost 50 Escapist stories, some never before published — but they focus on many of the pieces that stand out to them. Among the Escapists stories they cover are those by such notable creators as Will Eisner, Eduardo Barreto, Jeffrey Brown, Howard Chaykin, Paul Gulacy, Jeff Parker, Marv Wolfman, Thomas Yeates, Brian K. Vaughan, Kyle Baker, Gene Colan, Matt Kindt, Kevin McCarthy, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jim Starlin, among many others.

Comic News Insider Episode 855 – Book Expo America w/ Ngozi Ukazu!

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Comic News Insider: Episode 855 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special #1,  Blackwood #1, Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey Special #1, Flash/Speed Buggy Special #1, Man Of Steel Vol 2 #1, Star Wars Lando Double Or Nothing #1, Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1 

Crazy schedules means a solo episodes with friends sending in their audio reviews! Thanks to Marta, Ashley, Jon, Rachael, Erica, Emily and Adam for those awesome reviews. Jimmy went to Book Expo America last week and sat down with cartoonist Ngozi Ukazu to talk about her webcomic Check, Please! that is being collected by First Second Books later this year. They have a great chat about how the project came to be, the characters, art, and of course, hockey. Jimmy also gives his thoughts on BEA and Book Con. News includes: a new scripted teen crime series podcast is coming from Alex Segura/Monica Gallagher,  Comixology is releasing creator owned titles, Archie 1941 will be a mini-series showing a more realistic look at the Riverdale gang back in the 40’s and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comic News Insider Episode 846 – Training For TCAF!

Comic News Insider: Episode 846 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Avengers Vol 7 #1, Coda #1, DC Nation #0, Red Sonja/Tarzan #1 

TCAF is approaching and Jimmy is madly prepping for it. Due to that, he has to fly solo but recruits friends to send in some audio reviews. Thanks to Amy aka The Frog Queen, Ashley Lanni, Erica Schultz and Rachael Smith. News includes: Gina Gagliano will serve as Publishing Director for the new Random House Graphic, the 2000AD Sci-Fi Special will have an all-female creative team including Babs Tarr/Tula Lotay/Leah Moore/Emma Vieceli/ Alex De Campi/etc,  Bill & Ted 3 is happening and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comics Alternative, Episode 277: Reviews of Von Spatz, Skyward #1, and Resident Alien: An Alien in New York #1

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Up in the Air

This week Paul and Derek discuss Anna Haifisch’s Von Spatz (Drawn and Quarterly), Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett’s Skyward #1 (Image Comics), and Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse’s Resident Alien: An Alien in New York #1 (Dark Horse Comics).

 

 

Comic News Insider Episode 839 – MoCCA Mirth w/ John Leguizamo!

Comic News Insider: Episode 839 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: The Curse Of The Brimstone #1, Demi-God #1, Isola #1, Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #1, Legion S2 premiere

Jon Hoche returns to the rotating co-host chair once again. Jimmy went to MoCCA Festival over the weekend and got some great interviews. Including a last minute/unplanned one with THE John Leguizamo! Jimmy gives his recap of the festival as well. The boys talk about the Legends of Tomorrow finale, the upcoming The Walking Dead finale and that Heroes For Hire rumored TV series. News includes:  a new Catwoman comic series is coming, a Y: The Last Man TV series is in the works, Toy Story 4 gets a release date and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comic News Insider Episode 838 – Ready For MoCCA!

Comic News Insider: Episode 838 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Adventure Time BMO Bonanza #1, Crow Memento Mori #1, Cyberforce Vol 5 #1, Goosebumps: Download and Die! #1, Shadowman Vol 5 #1 

Jon Hoche returns to the rotating co-host chair once again. Jimmy attending MoCCA Festival this weekend and talks about what he hopes to cover. News includes: The Fantastic Four are returning to Marvel Comics, Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill are retiring after their next LOEG comic series, Z2 Comics is publishing a comic based on the Japanese band BabyMetal and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comic News Insider Episode 832 – Wakanda Forever!

Comic News Insider: Episode 832 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Death of Love #1, Kick-Ass Vol 4 #1, Sideways #1, Black Panther film

Emily Edwards returns to co-hosting! Jimmy talks about meeting 2 of the 3 hosts of one of his favorite podcasts, My Dad Wrote A Porno and how dark Star Wars: Rebels has gotten. News includes: Marvel is having a “fresh start”, Abrams Books is publishing Congressman John Lewis’s new graphic novel called Run, Frank Miller is writing/drawing a new comic series based on his previous series 300 and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comic News Insider Episode 830 – Flea Flicking CNI!

Comic News Insider: Episode 830 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Motherlands #1, Silencer #1, Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny: Rose & Paige #5, Star Wars Adventures #6, Happy! season 1 finale, Cloverfield: Paradox 

Jon Hoche returns to co-host! They talk about some of the genre trailers shown during the Super Bowl, the Nerdist podcast name change and Jimmy thinks Jon is Henry Cavill’s double. News includes: Brian Michael Bendis will be writing 2 Superman titles for DC, Amazon is developing a new Conan series, a Mario Kart game is coming to smart phones and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Karen Berger

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:03:01 – Setup of interview
  • 00:04:46 – Interview with Karen Berger
  • 01:15:04 – Wrap up
  • 01:17:14 – Contact us

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Back on the Edge

Paul and Derek are excited to have Karen Berger on The Comics Alternative. The first release from her new Dark Horse Comics imprint, Berger Books, occurs next week, and the guys talk with Karen on the cusp of this event. The Two Guys ask their guest about the genesis of Berger Books as well as her efforts in launching new titles — such as Hungry Ghosts, Incognegro: Rennaisance, Mata Hari, and The Seeds — and securing impressive talent. But they also talk with Karen about her time working at DC Comics and establishing the industry-defining Vertigo brand. This is a fun and informative interview, and Karen Berger is one of the most engaging and pleasant guests the Two Guys have ever had on the podcast.

Episode 265: Reviews of The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head, Days of Hate #1, and Vinegar Teeth # 1

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Darkness, Cthulhu, and the Alt-Right

On this week’s review episode, Gene and Derek discuss recent titles that are quite varied in tone and narrative approach. They begin with  David Gaffney and Dan Berry’s The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head (Top Shelf/IDW Publishing). This is a somewhat surreal, and dark, look at a young woman and her various relationships with men. The memories of these encounters are something she apparently cannot let go of, and this is represented deftly through the metaphor of rooms and psychological compartmentalization. The guys like the fact that the story ends ambiguously — and with happy elves, no less! — but they’re not too sure what to make of the sudden shift in point of view about two thirds of the way through.

The Two Guys follow this with a very timely new title. Days of Hate #1, written by Aleš Kot and with art by Danijel Žeželj (Image Comics), is set in the year 2022, a time after some sort of civil war takes place in the US — we’re not sure yet of the details surrounding this conflict — and it apparently has resulted, or perhaps even caused by, the rise of extremist or alt-right groups in America. In this inaugural installment, we’re introduced to several characters on various ends of the political spectrum, some of which have intermingled and contentious pasts. There are many questions set up and left unanswered in this first issue, but that doesn’t detract from the intrigue and motivation to continue on with the series.

And what better way to follow up a story on the alt-right than a discussion of monstrous Lovecraftian mayhem? This is exactly what you’ll find in Damon Gentry and Troy Nixey’s Vinegar Teeth #1 (Dark Horse Comics).It’s a strange and wacky tale revolving around a schmucky, but effective, cop named Artie Buckle. An undercover assignment he’s on is almost ruined when a Cthulhu-like creature pierces his world’s dimension, with the unlikely result that the city’s mayor makes this creature a police officer and assigns him as Artie’s partner. What transpires is the beginning of a weird buddy cop story with interdimensional, and narratively warped, potential.