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

Time Codes:

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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.

Deconstructing Comics #578: Helioscope: Steve Lieber, Maria Frantz, and Ben Dewey

Steve Lieber, Maria Frantz, and Ben Dewey

Three more talks with the folks at Helioscope Studio in Portland in this episode!

Steve Lieber, an artist in his own right and also manager of the studio, gives us a brief history of the studio (including its self-naming woes) and tips on how to start your own studio.

Intern/mentee Maria Frantz, a university student and web cartoonist who grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes, explains her internship and the aims of her comics work, and how her generation approaches comics.

Finally, Ben Dewey (Autumnlands, Beasts of Burden) talks about his process of doing art (involving digital pencils and analog watercolors), why you shouldn’t get too fussy over your comics, managing your comics creating time, and what was good about Rob Liefeld’s work.

Deconstructing Comics site

Comics Alternative, Episode 254: Halloween Comics 2017

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Time Codes:

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Behind You!

Once again, it’s that creepy time of the year: the Wednesday before Halloween. And as the Two Guys have done for the past several years, they’re using this occasion to highlight a variety of Halloween-specific and recent horror titles. This time around, Paul joins Derek in discussing a variety of comics, ten in all, that will appeal to a diverse community of readers. There’s something for young readers, something for more mature fans, something for classic horror aficianados, something for comedy lovers, something for mainstream superhero readers, and something for those who appreciate the truly offbeat. Specifically, on this episode Paul and Derek discuss:

Comics Alternative, Euro Comics: Reviews of Moby Dick and The Interview

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:26 – Introduction
  • 00:02:36 – Catching up
  • 00:05:04 – Moby Dick
  • 00:48:50 – The Interview
  • 01:18:18 – Wrap up
  • 01:18:58 – Contact us

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Pasteboard Masks

This month on the Euro Comics series, Edward and Derek discuss two black-and-white narratives, one an adaptation of a classic text and another an offbeat tale of aliens and relationships. They begin with Christophe Chabouté’s rendering of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (note the lack of hyphen in the title), released earlier this year from Dark Horse Books. After mentioning many of the earlier comics adaptations of the great American novel — and there are a lot — they plunge into Chabouté’s handling, highlighting some of the differences from the earlier versions. Both cohosts come from two very different perspectives in their analyses, since Derek is very familiar with the original novel and Edward has not yet read it. As such, their approaches are varied and multifaceted.

Next, they turn to the latest translation of Manuele Fior, The Interview (Fantagraphics). This is a markedly different kind of story from 5,000 km Per Second, a book that Gwen and Derek reviewed last year. As Edward points out, the draw of The Interview isn’t so much the story, but its tone or the affect generated by the text. This is a tale about relationships, and Fior’s art deftly expresses the subtitles and complications that underlie all of our interactions. You may come away from this book with a feeling of uncertainly and irresolution, but that seems to be a part of Fior’s project.

 

 

Comics Alternative Interviews: Jeff Lemire

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:40 – Setup of interview
  • 00:06:49 – Interview with Jeff Lemire
  • 01:33:07 – Wrap up
  • 01:34:37 – Contact us

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Rotting Husks

On this interview episode Derek and Andy are excited to have Jeff Lemire as their guest. His new graphic novel, Roughneck, has just been released by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery 13 imprint, and he has a new ongoing series through Image Comics, Royal City. The guys talk with Jeff about those works, particularly their place within Lemire’s growing body of writing, but they also ask him about his other current ongoing series, such as Descender (with Dustin Nguyen on art), Black Hammer (along with Dean Ormston), and the miniseries A.D.: After Death (written by Scott Snyder). A lot of ground is covered in this interview, including revelations on the early origins of Roughneck, the long-range plans for Royal City, the themes and characters that seem to be woven throughout Jeff’s oeuvre, the curious links between Descender and Adam Strange, and Jeff’s thoughts on “slice of life” stories and their reception within the comics-reading community.

And here’s a fun fact! Jeff Lemire was actually the focus of the Two Guys’ very first creator spotlight way back in Episode 6 of The Comics Alternative, and at the time Andy and Derek thought there was almost too much to talk about in terms of Jeff’s output. But now almost five years later, and with so many more titles under Jeff’s belt, those assumptions seem amusing in hindsight.

It’s important to note that Andy and Derek recorded their interview with Jeff the day before this year’s Eisner Award nominations were announced, where he has landed in the Best New Series and Best Writer categories (both for Black Hammer). This is why no one brings up the Eisners at any time in the conversation. But a big CONGRATULATIONS to Jeff for this well-deserved attention!

Comics Alternative Interviews: Matt Kindt

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:35 – Setup of interview
  • 00:04:57 – Interview with Matt Kindt
  • 01:33:07 – Wrap up
  • 01:34:37 – Contact us

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“What if you set a book on fire?”

Andy and Derek welcome Matt Kindt to the podcast to discuss Grass Kings, published through BOOM! Studios, his two current ongoing series from Dark Horse Comics, Dept. H and Ether, and his voluminous work for Valiant Comics. The guys have been wanting to get Matt on the show for years, so this interview is a long time in coming. And the conversation is quite substantive. Among other topics, they discuss the geneses of these recent series; Matt’s strategies for juggling multiple storylines at once; his collaborations with Tyler Jenkins (on Grass Kings), David Rubín (Ether), and Brian Hurtt (Poppy! and the Lost Lagoon); the many titles he has written for Valiant Comics; his love of genre storytelling; the unique way he “signs” certain books at cons; and his creative direction after the groundbreaking Mind MGMT. This has to be one of the most prolific creators the guys have ever had on The Comics Alternative, and they come nowhere near covering all of the topics they wanted to discuss with Matt. But this is all the more reason to have him back on the show in the not-too-distant future.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Peter Bagge

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 – Introduction
  • 00:02:25 – Setup of interview
  • 00:04:45 – Interview with Peter Bagge
  • 01:35:33 – Wrap up
  • 01:37:22 – Contact us

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“Forever on the horizon, never out of sight”

The Two Guys are pleased to have Peter Bagge back on The Comics Alternative. His new book Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story comes out this week from Drawn and Quarterly. It is another in Bagge’s recent series of historical and biographical comics, following his brief biography of Isabel Paterson (appearing in Reason in 2010), Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story (2013), and Founding Father Funnies (2016). In this interview, Derek talks with Peter about the genesis of this project, what brought him to the writings and personality of Huston, the socio-political contexts surrounding Hurston’s work, and his research efforts in compiling the graphic biography. Fire!! is, in many ways, a companion piece to Woman Rebel, in that both focus on iconoclastic female figures, and their stories are told through an episodic, almost snap-shot, manner of narration. Although Peter and Derek spend the majority their time discussing Zora Neale Hurston, they also cover some of Peter’s other works, such as his Founding Father Funnies collection, last year’s Neat Stuff boxed set, and the possibilities of a similar treatment with Hate and other Bradley family stories.

Be sure to check out Peter Bagge’s other appearances on The Comics Alternative:

Comics Alternative, Episode 231: Reviews of The Excavation, American Gods #1, and Rat Queens #1

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Time Codes:

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“This is not my first detachable penis rodeo”

This week’s episode is an exploration of surrealism and fantasy, and one guaranteed to both fascinate and disturb you. It begins with a discussion of Max Andersson’s The Excavation (Fantagraphics). As the Two Guys with PhDs point out, this is a book that has been years in the making, and parts of it had originally appeared in other outlets, including Andersson’s short-lived Death and Candy series. Derek enjoyed this book, as he does other works by Andersson, although Andy was less charitable in his assessment. He feels that the dream-like meandering of The Excavation ends up leading to nowhere, that there isn’t much in the way of overt themes, and that it’s too much like other indie comics discussed on the podcast.

Next, they delve into the first issue of American Gods, a series from Dark Horse Comics that’s adapted from Neil Gaiman’s popular novel. Scripted by P. Craig Russell, and with art by Scott Hampton, this inaugural issue does a good job at establishing the premise and making the story assessable to those who have never read Gaiman’s original novel (and both Derek and Andy have not). However, the guys do have a little problem with the heavy-handed and spoiler-filled synopsis inserted on the first page of the comic book.

And finally, the Two Guys wrap up with Kurtis J Wiehe and Owen Gieni’s Rat Queens #1 (Image Comics). This is the first issue in the series’ second volume, and while both of the guys see the economic logic of a new #1 issue, Derek wonders about the narrative necessity of this publishing move. Nonetheless, both Andy and Derek are fans of the first iteration of Rat Queens, and they both feel that the first issue in its second volume is an effective jumping on point that could satisfy new readers.

 

Comic News Insider Episode 750 – The CNI Storm!

Comic News Insider: Episode 750 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Batwoman Rebirth #1, Super Sons #1, The Wild Storm #1, Humans season 2, SuperMansion season 2 premiere, The Walking Dead mid-season 7 

Jon Hoche returns to the rotating co-host chair after a week’s hiatus. The boys talk about doing a podcast cook book and the new Doctor Who rumors. News includes: The Allreds are bringing Bug!: The Adventures Of Forager as the first Young Animal mini-series, Pixar launches online storytelling course, Karen Berger and Dark Horse will launch Berger Books, Marvel and Archie Comics are releasing Marvel Comics Digests, FUNKO and IDW are joining together to start the Funko Comic Book Universe, Kevin Smith has a Sam and Twitch TV series in development at BBC America, Vertigo comic series The Kitchen is being adapted into film, Guillermo del Toro confirms there won’t be a 3rd Hellboy film and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Critiquing Comics #105: “Angel Catbird”

Angel Catbird

A Dark Horse press release touts volume two of Angel Catbird. Seems like a lame superhero comic, but … wait, it’s written by acclaimed novelist Margaret Atwood? Maybe it won’t be lame…? Do novelists make good comics writers? Tim and Mulele discuss.

Also: Yiffing in Hell continues to haunt us… and some listeners weigh in!

Deconstructing Comics site