Comic News Insider Episode 744 – CNI’s Best of 2016!

Comic News Insider: Episode 744 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

It’s our Best of 2016! And just like last year, Jimmy sits down with The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald and good pal Jon Hoche to go over their 2016 favorites in comic books, TV and film. They didn’t read or watch everything released that year, so it’s just the Best of what they did read/watch. Fun discussions on great comics, their creators, TV shows, films, actors and more. What were your favorites last year? Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 80: AYA – LIFE IN YOP CITY

In the West, there are few topics of conversation more rife with generalities, prejudices, and fear than that of Africa—especially sub-Saharan Africa. How easy it is for us to make a vaguely ridiculous, generalized statements about the Earth’s second largest and second most populous continent without fear of scrutiny! Racism, the legacy of colonialism, and the pervasive, disfiguring, narratives attached to this legacy has bred an easy sort of ignorance about the histories, cultures, and day-to-day lives of the people(s) who call the African continent their home. Aya of Yop City offers a wonderful response to (or perhaps a reprieve from) the monolithic narratives that crowd our perceptions about “Africa.”

LISTEN: Want more Gabby Beans podcasts? She hosts an episode on the graphic novel INCOGNEGRO!

Written by Marguerite Abouet and drawn by Clément Oubrerie, this colorful, refreshing, and vibrant comic follows the adventures (and many misadventures) of the eponymous character and her two best friends as they navigate adolescence. The story takes place in Yopougon-Koute, which is a large suburb of Abdijan, the economic capital of the Ivory Coast. We enter the story at a particularly interesting point in the history of the Ivory Coast. Set in the 1970’s, Aya and her friends are living during the time of the “Ivorian Miracle,” a time at which there was a thriving middle class and unparalleled wealth and opportunities. Theirs is a moment of burgeoning freedom, and a large part of the fun of this book is watching as the young women contend with the values of their parents and elders while forging their own identities in a rapidly changing social and economic landscape.

HEAR: ComicsVerse is committed to doing podcasts on graphic novels! We discuss and interview SUPERMAN writer, Gene Luen Yang’s opus, AMERICAN BORN CHINESE in this podcast!

Just as the main characters in “Aya” face issues that range from the most superficial teenage spats, to questions of their aspirations being limited by their gender, so too did our discussion range from larger sociopolitical realities evinced by the nuanced characters and stories in the book, to the pert and twinkling humor throughout. Helmed by our fearless leader, Justin Alba, our wonderful cast relived our teenage years while confronting our own biases and pre-conceived notions about “African” stories. Bintu Conteh, Columbia grad and arts administrator/producer at-large offered her fruitful insights as a student of history and culture, as well as a person of Sierra-Leonean descent. The effulgent Amna Pervez (who introduced Justin to this book), also provided personally relevant anecdotes interspersed with laser-sharp political and literary analysis. ComicsVerse writer and intern, Tim O’Reilly proved to be an incredibly insightful reader and thinker in this, his first ever podcast!

If you’re in the mood for a witty, subtle, and enlightening read, be sure to pick up Aya of Yop City. In the mean time, enjoy the podcast!

For your convenience, this podcast is also available on iTunes!

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source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-80-aya-life-yop-city/

Comics Alternative Interviews: Chester Brown

Listen to the podcast!

Sex and the Single Girl

Chester Brown by Sook-Yin Lee

Photo by Sook-Yin Lee

It’s not often that Chester Brown comes out with a new book, but his latest, Mary Wept over the Feet of Jesus, was released last month from Drawn & Quarterly…giving the Two Guys with PhDs an occasion to celebrate. And compounding that celebratory spirit is the fact that the artist is now appearing on The Comics Alternative podcast! In this episode, Andy and Derek are pleased to have Chester as their guest, where they talk with him about his new book, the research MaryWeptthat went into it, and the reaction he’s been getting from readers and critics. Mary Wept over the Feet of Jesus is a series of adaptations of Old and New Testament texts as they relate to prostitution and religious observance. In it, Chester interprets the stories of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Mary of Bethany, and Mary, mother of Jesus, along with other narratives that surround Book of Genesis, the Gospel of Matthew, and the Parables of the Talents and the Prodigal Son. What all of these explorations have in common, and what Chester makes clear during the interview, is how all inform a reading of scripture surrounding sex workers. The guys talk with their guest about these issues and how his previous works — Paying for It as well as his earlier comics adapting the Gospels of both Mark and Matthew — may have laid the groundwork for the current study. Much of the conversation is spent on Chester’s almost-lifelong research into biblical scholarship, especially as it comes out in the extensive notes he includes in Mary Wept…hand-written annotations that take up almost a third of his book! But Andy and Derek also ask Chester about his earlier comics, such as Ed the Happy ClownThe Playboy, and Louis Riel, the death of serialization within small-press comics, and his single-panel method of composition. In other words, the guys cover a lot of ground during this interview. But as Derek and Andy point out toward the end of this episode, there was some interesting conversation that took place after the guys turned off their recording devices. But fret not; Derek was able to capture some of that talk once they realized how appropriate it would have been in their recorded interview. So if you listen all the way through to the very end of this episode, after the closing theme music, you’ll be able to hear a few comments as an extra added bonus.

MaryWept-Sample

Much thanks, not only to Chester Brown, but to Sook-Yin Lee who helped to make this interview possible by providing her Skype account (and who can be heard in the background toward the end of the podcast preparing dinner).

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Comic News Insider Episode 666 – Best of 2015!

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Comic News Insider: Episode 666 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

It’s our Best of 2015! Jimmy sits down with The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald and good pal Jon Hoche to go over their 2015 favorites in comic books, TV and film. They didn’t read or watch everything released that year, so it’s just the Best of what they did read/watch. Fun discussions on great comics, their creators, TV shows, films, actors and more. What were your favorites last year? Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comic News Insider Episode 608 – TCAF: Jillian Tamaki/Ed Piskor!

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Comic News Insider: Episode 608 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

At TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival), Jimmy sat down with Jillian Tamaki to discuss her fantastic work on Skim, This One Summer and SuperMutant Magic Academy. They talk about her process on graphic novels and webcomics, working with her cousin Mariko, storyboarding Adventure Time, identifying/not identifying with characters in her work and even a fun tangent about Archie Comics!

Jimmy also had a chance to talk with Ed Piskor of Hip Hop Family Tree fame. They reminisced about some of their favorite old school rappers, characterization of some of the figures in the comic, the massive research for these comics, the style of art, why you should get the collections even though it’s available as a webcomic, the rap scene today and more!

Both are fantastic interviews! Jimmy is a great admirer of both of their work and you will be too after hearing this podcast. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!

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And yet even more TCAF interviews this week with MICHEL FIFFE, KAGAN MCLEOD, JONATHAN BAYLIS, WILLOW DAWSON, CONOR MCCREERY, ROBERT GOODIN and DAN BERRY! 

Comic News Insider Episode 606 – TCAF Recap: Andy Belanger/Lucy Knisley/Mike Maihack/Babs Tarr

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Comic News Insider: Episode 606 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: No reviews this week!

Jimmy does it solo after planned co-hosts schedules didn’t permit them to hang. He got A LOT of coverage at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival and shares just a few interviews. He talked to Andy Belanger (Southern Cross, Kill Shakespeare), Lucy Knisley (Displacement, Relish), Mike Maihack (Cleopatra in Space), and Babs Tarr (Batgirl). He gives his overall recap of the show which is basically that it’s awesome and you should all attend! News bits include: Archie Comics launches Kickstarter campaign for “New Riverdale”, new Thor identity revealed, the Flash/Arrow spin-off gets a name with DC’s Legends of TomorrowAgent Carter gets picked up, Hugh Jackman says Wolverine 3 will be his last appearance as character, The Coldest City by Antony Johnston/Sam Hart will be adapted to film starring Charlize Theron, Brad Bird confirms The Incredibles 2 will be his next film, and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!

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Even more TCAF interviews this week with CHIP ZDARSKY, JILLIAN TAMAKI, and ED PISKOR! And yet even more next week with MICHEL FIFFE, KAGAN MCLEOD, JONATHAN BAYLIS, WILLOW DAWSON, CONOR MCCREERY, ROBERT GOODIN and DAN BERRY! 

Deconstructing Comics #448 “A Drifting Life”: Memoir and manga history

A Drifting LifeYoshihiro Tatsumi, although he was a somewhat influential figure in the manga of the 1950s and ’60s, is largely forgotten in Japan today. However, within the past 10 years he has gained some belated fame in the West, thanks largely to the efforts of Adrian Tomine and Drawn & Quarterly.

Tatsumi passed away last month, prompting Tim and Kumar to finally pull his comics memoir (which also includes considerable amounts of 1950s manga history) A Drifting Life off the shelf and do a review! And here it is.

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Comic News Insider Episode 589 – CNI Favorites of 2014!

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Comic News Insider: Episode 589 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Jimmy is joined in studio by The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald and frequent co-host/pal Jon Hoche! They dive in deep and have a lengthy/lively discussion on their 2014 favorites in comic books, TV, animation, film, video games and more. So much love shown to a lot of the people and things we loved in 2014. Did we leave anything out? You’ll have to tune in for that answer and let us know your picks of the year! We do cover some news as well that includes: Image Expo announces massive slate of titles to be released, Emerald City Comic Con partners with ReedPop, animated Vixen series coming to the CW Seed, and Kate Beaton’s new collection Step Aside, Pops will be released from Drawn & Quarterly this September. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!

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Deconstructing Comics #130: “Scott Pilgrim” and “Paul Has a Summer Job”

FLASHBACK! Tim and Brandon review of two Canadian coming-of-age comics: The first three volumes of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s “Scott Pilgrim” series, and “Paul Has a Summer Job” by Michel Rabagliati.

Listen carefully, because later this month, Tim and Cassey will discuss the entire series, and Tim’s take on it has changed…

ALSO: Give today to the Deconstructing Comics pledge drive!

Originally published June 2, 2008

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Deconstructing Comics #387: You’re All Just Jealous of our Grab Bag of Comics

jetpackTim and Mulele discuss more comics Dale sent us from L.A., including “Jingles are for Losers” by Jared Samms; “Dark Mouse” #6 and “A Mouse to Sea” from Nathanial Osollo and Evan Spears; “Start Your Day with a Smile” from Amanda Millar; “Deadeye” and “The Gifted” by Nathan Gooden and Damian Wassel; and Thi Bui‘s “Labor” and “Backwards”.

Also in this episode: science, religion, literature, and pop culture battle it out in Tom Gauld’s “You’re All Just Jealous of my Jetpack“!

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Deconstructing Comics #366: “Paying For It”

Paying For ItKumar and Dana get together — in the same room! — to discuss Paying For It, Chester Brown’s chronicle of his decision to punt “love relationships” and hire, er, escorts instead. What does the book have to say about relationships? Is loves simply a social construct? Is Brown persuasive in his arguments for decriminalizing prostitution?

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Deconstructing Comics #339: “King-Cat”: The Mundane, Re-observed

kingcatIf you’re old enough to remember pre-Internet days (like us geezers who make this podcast), you remember how new comics creators used to get known. No Web comics, Tumbler, podcasts, etc. Like John Porcellino, they hit the “zine” scene, announcing themselves through Factsheet Five and getting placement in a few comics shops. Porcellino’s King-Cat, with its accounts of his pets, his dreams (the sleeping kind), amusing anecdotes, and occasional fiction, drew notice in the comics world for the way it eloquently fed the reader’s life back to him, making note of things the reader might have missed. Drawn & Quarterly is releasing selected King-Cat comics in hardcover; Tim, Kumar, and special guest Tom Spurgeon discuss the first collection, King-Cat Classix.

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Deconstructing Comics #335: Teenage Love, Middle-age Lust

An experiment with magic brings a mummy to life! And… wow, is he a hunk! Dan Jolley and our friend Natalie Nourigat bring us Wrapped Up in You!

John is 40, in his second marriage, and still dealing with the fallout from the first, especially where his daughters are concerned. With a baby and two cats, he’s dealing with a lot of, er, poop — both literally and figuratively. Will he keep it together, or is that cute singer going to tempt him to mess up his life more? It’s Joe Ollmann’s Mid-Life!

Tim and Brandon discuss both books this week.

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Deconstructing Comics #333: “Louis Riel”

Louis Riel

If you’re not Canadian, this week’s topic may be a bit of a head-scratcher. Louis, uh, who now? To Canadians, though, including our own Kumar and Dana, Riel is a famous historical figure of the 19th century who led a rebellion against the Canadian government. His story is the subject of Chester Brown‘s recent graphic novel which, while complete with end notes, also takes Shakespearean liberties with the historical record. And what’s up with the weird placement of characters on the page? An accident? No… nothing in this book is an accident.

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Deconstructing Comics #316: Matthew Forsythe

It pays to advertise! In episode #311, Tim asked Matthew Forsythe to contact him for an interview, and Matthew responded! This week he tells us about his two books that are informed by Korean (and other) folktales, Ojingogo and Jinchalo; about his tools, influences, and developing a style; and much more.

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