Comics Alternative, Episode 266: Reviews of Red Winter, Motherlands #1, and The Archies # 4

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:30 – Introduction
  • 00:003:11 – We get significant listener responses!
  • 00:07:41 – Red Winter
  • 00:32:46 – Motherlands #1
  • 00:50:03 – The Archies #4
  • 01:14:34 – Wrap up
  • 01:15:39 – Contact us

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Here We Come, Walking Down the Street…

This week Gene and Derek discuss, yet again, three diverse titles. They begin with Anneli Furmark’s Red Winter (Drawn and Quarterly). It’s the the first in a trilogy of graphic novels, although this is Furmark’s first work translated into English. The narrative is set in the late 1970s and centers on two lovers struggling with complicating relationships, both marital and political. Each chapter focuses on a particular character involved in the drama, and Furmark’s presentation is both contemplative and tonally provocative. The guys eagerly await further Furmark translations coming from Drawn and Quarterly.

Next, the Two Guys check out the first issue of a new Vertigo Comics miniseries, Motherlands, written by Si Spurrier and with art by Rachel Stott. This is a sci-fi, futuristic story of a middle-age multi-dimensional bounty hunter, Tabitha Tubach, trying to earn a living, while at the same time struggling with her past and a mother who marked it (and not for the better). And as if familial matters couldn’t get more any more trying, the end of this inaugural issue brings additional complications with the emergence of Tabitha’s sibling, Bubbsa.

Gene and Derek wrap up this week’s show with Alex Segura, Matthew Rosenberg, and Joe Eisma’s The Archies #4. It’s unusual that the guys review an issue of a series beyond the first one or two issues, but this is a special case. The focus of The Archies #4 is a musical group near and dear to both Derek and Gene, The Monkees. That’s right, Davy, Mickey, Peter, and Mike meet The Archies…which is not as unusual as you might think. After all, both groups have been perceived as “fictions,” both have been categorized as bubblegum pop, both inadvertently find themselves in weird dilemmas, and both have a history with Don Kirshner. Hey hey…

Episode 264: Our Favorite Comics of 2017

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:27 – Introduction
  • 00:03:14 – Contexts and caveats
  • 00:11:32 – Our favorite comics of 2017
  • 02:09:06 – Wrapping up our favorites, and honorable mentions
  • 02:13:52 – Contact us

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And the Winner Is…

Paul and Derek are back with The Comics Alternative‘s annual “Favorites” episode. This is where the Two Guys share what they consider to be the best comics of the past year. Usually this year-end show is released as the very last regular review episode of each year, but this time around the guys had to postpone the recording due to family issues. But we’re not far from the end of 2017, and Paul and Derek wanted to get the show out in as timely a manner as possible. So here you have it, the Two Guys’ 10 favorite titles of 2017:

Paul’s Top 10 of 2017

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Derek’s Top 10 of 2017

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The Honorable Mentions…These Titles Almost, but Just Didn’t Quite, Make It onto Each Guy’s List

For Paul

For Derek

Comic News Insider Episode 825 – The Best of 2017!

Comic News Insider: Episode 825 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Heidi MacDonald (The Beat) returns to join Jimmy in the annual “Best of 2017” podcast! While there were many amazing comic books, TV shows, films and more…these are the best picks that THEY happen to read/watch. They probably missed some of your favorites but hope you check out what they really enjoyed in 2017. I mean, just check out that picture above. They covered A LOT! They’re definitely more loquacious than laconic so buckle up for a long ride! So many great creators in comics this year and quite a few got multiple kudos throughout the podcast. Thanks to Penelope Bagieu, Emil Ferris, Tillie Walden, Tom King, Greg Pak, Sina Grace and many others for bringing us such amazing work last year. Looking forward to all of your future projects! Drop us a line and let us know what some of your favorites were so we can check them out. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Thanks for listening!

Comics Alternative, Episode 228: Reviews of Scooter Girl and My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 1

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Mods and Monsters

Time Codes:

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On this week’s episode the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics do deep dives into two recent, and very different, publications. They begin with Chynna Clugston Flores’s Scooter Girl, just released from Image Comics. This is a brand new color edition of a six-issue black-and-white series originally published by Oni Press is 2003-2004, and then collected as a trade in 2004. Derek describes this it as an adult Archie, and throughout their discussion the guys make reference to the series that Chynna Clugston Flores is perhaps best known for, Blue Monday. As is evident in the recent publication, her writing is heavily infused with music and pop references — specifically, mod culture and the mod revival during the 1970s and early 1980s — and her art has a manga flair. As Andy and Derek point out, much of the appeal of Scooter Girl is the author’s ability to take a milieu out of time and set it in a time and place where in never really existed.

Next, the Two Guys spend a lot of time discussing Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 1 (Fantagraphics). This is a phenomenal new work from an artist that neither Andy nor Derek knew about until the release of Resist!, to which Ferris contributed a story. The range and depth of this narrative is truly impressive, and as the guys make clear, it’s a text that requires serious research and sustained analysis. The storytelling is ambitious and multilayered, its engagement with identity and marginalized cultures is sophisticated, its art style is unlike any other, and its treatment of late 1960s horror culture is thematically resonant. In short, this is one of the most astounding works that Derek and Andy have encountered so far this year. However, as much as the guys agree on this book’s significance, they disagree on what constitutes the narrative’s turning point. On one occasion in their discussion, Derek describes a particular illustration that Andy feels is a spoiler and could potentially diminish the emotional impact of the story. Derek disagrees, and the guys go back and forth over role of Ferris’s art in establishing the text’s climax (or climaxes). As their debate demonstrates, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is a richly textured work that should generate future analysis. And the guys eagerly await the second volume, which is due out in the fall.

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