Comics Alternative, On Location: SPX 2018, “The Practice of Diary Comics” Panel

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:27 – Introduction
  • 00:02:12 – Panel context, with Glynnis Fawkes
  • 00:14:02 – “The Practice of Diary Comics” panel
  • 01:09:40 – Wrap up
  • 01:10:50 – Contact us



The middle of last month, September 15-16, saw the Small Press Expo held in North Bethesda, MD. At the event, Derek moderated a panel on that Sunday afternoon entitled “The Practice of Diary Comics.” Participating in the discussion were Glynnis Fawkes, Summer Pierre, Kevin Budnik, and Dustin Harbin. This episode of the podcast presents an audio recording of that event, and joining Derek in setting up the context is Glynnis Fawkes. She, Derek, and Summer Pierre were the ones who organized the panel, decided on its topic focus, and reached out to the other contributors about joining in. In setting up the panel recording, Glynnis and Derek discuss their initial plans for the session, some of the concerns they had in coming up with a focus, and how the topic evolved. Then they get to the recording of the event. The sound quality of the audio is “rough” at times — the gain on some of the microphones sounds as if it was turned up a bit too high — but that’s something that the participants had no way of controlling. Nonetheless, everything is legible, and you can certainly make out clearly what everyone says…as well as Dustin’s singing and consuming of donuts.

A big thanks to Rob Clough for working with us on this panel and for overseeing the programming at this year’s SPX!

Participants from the left: Dustin Harbin, Summer Pierre, Kevin Budnik, Glynnis Fawkes, and Derek Royal

Comics Alternative Episode 133: A Publisher Spotlight on Koyama Press

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Life Stories, Evil Philosophers, and Butts with Eyes


Occasionally, Derek and Andy like to devote an episode to a particular publisher, looking at the recent or seasonal releases and providing a snapshot of the kind of books they publish. So for this week, the Two Guys discuss the spring publications from Koyama Press, a Toronto-based small press founded in 2007 by Annie Koyama. This is a publisher that the guys deeply appreciate but have discussed little on the show. (They reviewed Renee French’s Baby Bjornstrand in November of last year, and there have been a few reviews of Koyama books on the blog.) The conversation begins with Alex Schubert’s Blobby Boys 2, a minimalist collection of stories with a punk aesthetic and a great sense of humor. This is a follow up to the first Blobby Boys book, which came out in fall of 2013. The guys discuss the book’s wild and violent comedy, and while they enjoy the strips devoted to the titular characters, they particularly like the two stories focusing on Fashion Cat, a hip, powerful, yet ill-fated celebrity of the fashion world.  KoyamaPressLogo1After that, Andy and Derek look at Ginette Lapalme’s Confetti. This is not really comic — although there is a little sequential narrative in the opening pages of the book — but more of an art book. Lapalme’s illustrations, paintings, and object art are featured throughout, and the guys try to find several iconic themes that link the pieces together, such as melting heads, bodily fluids, butts with eyes on them, and the obvious prevalence of cats. Next, they turn to an unequivocal comic, A. Degen’s Mighty Star and the Castle of the Cancatervater. This is special kind of superhero story, one that is largely silent. (There is text that introduces each chapter’s dramatic personae, and there are vague sounds, represented by Ns and Hs, that are sprinkled throughout.) Degen’s unique take on the hero or adventure genres is both compelling and metaphorical. But when it comes to thought-provoking texts, there is perhaps no book discussed this week more philosophical than Dustin Harbin’s Diary Comics. This project began as an online illustrated journal that Harbin kept beginning in January 2010, where he would try to represent each of his days with at least one comics panel. He continued this experiment off-and-on until September 2012, eventually releasing hardcopy issues of this work in four short installments. Now, all of those life stories are collected in a single volume, and one of the pleasures of reading Diary Comics is seeing the development of Harbin as an writer and how his art, as well as his understanding of himself as an artist, progresses over time. Indeed, the highlight of the text is its opening and closing sections, where Harbin introduces his project and provides a interpretive context that is much more than mere navel gazing. This is the kind of meticulously crafted and experimental work, much like that other books discussed on the episode, that represents Koyama’s mission and deserves far more attention from comics readers.



A big THANKS to Ed Kanerva for helping to make this show possible.
And be sure to check out the Koyama Press website, where you can see cool caricatures of Annie Koyama!



Comic News Insider Episode 562 – Yet Even More SDCC w/ Lucy Knisley & Yomi Ayeni/Corey Brotherson!


Comic News Insider: Episode 562 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Lady Zorro #1-2, Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1, Outlander (on Starz)

Jimmy is joined in studio by podcast wife Erica Schultz! Been too long since the podcast marriage came together and they have lots to chat about. Erica talks about her recent appearance at Boston Comic Con, Jimmy was a guest on friends Brea Grant and Zane Grant’s podcast Mystic Party (Episode 22), and they get excited over the rumored Blu-Ray release of the original unaltered Star Wars trilogy. Producer Joe jumps in to review Outlander with Jimmy as well! It’s the last of our San Diego Comic Con interviews as well and we go out with a bang of comic book goodness. Jimmy chatted with the amazing Lucy Knisley about her new work and had a great convo with awesome UK comic writers/pals Yomi Ayeni and Corey Brotherson about their latest outputs. News includes: Marvel tests the Wal-Mart waters, Valiant brings free comics and a new non-revival comic, Dustin Harbin will draw anyone for $50 and Sony’s Powers TV show casts the leads. Come back this weekend to hear the Francesco Francavilla panel that Jimmy moderated at SDCC! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!

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Comic News Insider

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Deconstructing Comics #311: Hold your comic for ransom! Will readers pay?

Evil DivaIn the course of doing this podcast, we often find comics that we’d like to read more of, but seldom can because we have to move on to the next podcast topic, and there are only so many hours in a day. This week, Mulele & Tim thought they would revisit some previously reviewed Web comics and see how their creators had progressed. But, wait, hold the phone — what’s going on with Evil Diva? (original 2009 critique was rerun November 5, 2011) The work-for-hire Web comic abruptly changed its business model last summer. Are the site’s handlers killing the comic while trying to save it?

Also, Mulele revisits Dustin Harbin‘s site, with asides about Matthew Forsythe and boycotts of Marvel & DC.

Deconstructing Comics site

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HeroesCon Panel 2010: Craft and Process in Comics

With the increasing prevalence of technology, there are more ways to approach making comics than ever before, from good old fashion inks and brushes all the way to 100% digital comics. Join Jim Rugg (Afrodisiac), Roger Langridge (Muppet Show), and Drew Weing (Set To Sea) as they discuss their varying approaches to pen and ink and pixels, moderated by HeroesCon Creative Director (and cartoonist) Dustin Harbin.

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