Derf Backderf, author of My Friend Dahmer and a onetime garbage man, is back with Trashed, a book that defies pigeonholing. Part history, part awareness-raiser, part fictionalized reminiscence, part gross-out humor fest (and a few other “parts” as well), Trashed seems like a book that shouldn’t work, but does. In this episode, Tim interviews Derf about Trashed, the Dahmer movie, and more; plus, Tim and Kumar review Trashed!
Last weekend, Andy W. and Derek attended Small Press Expo in North Bethesda, MD. While there, they were able to interview a variety of creators about their recent releases, their larger body of work, and any future projects they may be working on. The result was an impressive collection of interviews — 28 in all — each of which lasted from anywhere between 5 minutes to over 20 minutes. The guys have now edited these conversations and are presenting them in a series of three on-location interview episodes conducted at SPX. In this first installment, Derek and Andy talk 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 persevered, despite the sound challenges. Sometimes they talked with the creators at their tables, and at other times — such as the interviews with Cole Closser and Meages Fitzgerald — they were able to find a space outside of the hall that demonstrated less auditory chaos.
This week the Two Guys with PhDs (talking about comics) are back for another review episode, and this one is jam-packed with nougaty comics goodness. They begin with Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s deluxe edition of The Wake (DC/Vertigo). They had discussed the first couple installments of the ten-issue series on last year’s publisher spotlight on recent Vertigo titles, but now they are able to plunge into the the complete story…and they do so with relish. Both Andy and Derek love the way the narrative unfolds — it’s the kind of work they have come to expect from both Snyder and Murphy — although they do have their quibbles, e.g., unexpected/unlikely surprises in character development and occasional ambiguous transitions. But overall, the guys feel this is an outstanding story, an example of what Vertigo does best. Next, they turn to Derf Backderf’s True Stories, Vol. 1 (Alternative Comics), the first of four — or is it five? — collections of the “True Stories” pieces culled from Backderf’s comic strip, The City, between 1990 and 2014. While there are a few vignettes in this title that verge on belittlement, the collection as a whole is a discerning, satirical, and hilarious look at the state of our contemporary culture. Finally, Derek and Andy look at one of the new #1s coming out of Image Comics this month, Matt Fraction and Christian Ward’s ODY-C. This is an inverted retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, where genders are switched and the high seas become the far reaches of space. This is a dense, immersive narrative that requires multiple readings. Knowledge of The Odyssey isn’t necessary, but it wouldn’t hurt for readers to have their copies of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology (or perhaps have Wikipedia) readily at hand when turning through Fraction’s narrative. And Ward’s art is what makes this first issue truly stand out, visually stunning and almost surreal, a nice pairing with one of the guys’ favorite comics storytellers. All in all, this was a fun week of reading!