Comic News Insider Episode 864 – SDCC Press Barrage!

Comic News Insider: Episode 864 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Batman Vol 3 #50, Captain America Vol 9 #1, Catwoman Vol 5 #1, Elvira Mistress Of The Dark Vol 2 #1, Ant Man and The Wasp 

Prepping for San Diego Comic Con leaves Jimmy curled up in a ball of stress so he recruits pals to help out! Thanks to Ashley, Rich and Jon for those audio reviews. And to newswoman Emily for providing the news! Which includes: DC Comics announced Anatomy of a Metahuman with stunning art from Ming Doyle, Neil Gaiman announces Neverwhere sequel, R.L. Stine has signed an original graphic novel deal with Boom! Studios 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 852 – TCAF: First Second Special Pt 2 w/ Hope Larson/Charise Mericle Harper!

Comic News Insider: Episode 852 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Jimmy went to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) over the weeekend and got a ton of great interviews! In this episode, he talked to Hope Larson and Charise Mericle Harper. Hope chats about her new book All Summer Long as well as her run on Goldie Vance and Batgirl. Charise talks about crafts and her new book Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comic News Insider Episode 848 – TCAF: First Second Special Pt 1 w/ Vera Brosgol/Jen Wang!

Comic News Insider: Episode 848 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Jimmy went to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) over the weeekend and got a ton of great interviews! In this episode, he talked to Vera Brosgol and Jen Wang. Vera talks about her current semi-autobiographical book Be Prepared and they even go off on a tangent about cooking. Jen talks about The Prince and the Dressmaker and Jimmy wonders if she could have a second career as a fashion designer. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comic News Insider Episode 845 – La Vie en Podcasts avec Pénélope Bagieu!

Comic News Insider: Episode 845 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Jimmy finally got to sit down with friend Penelope Bagieu for a lengthy interview about her new graphic novel, BRAZEN: REBEL LADIES WHO ROCKED THE WORLD. They chat in detail about the book, past work, music, film, comedy, travel, fans and her rap name. (Tune in to find out!). Enjoy this engaging, smart, thoughtful, and funny interview with one of the most interesting and delightful people around. And go buy that book! You’ll love it! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Mairghread Scott and Robin Robinson

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 – Introduction
  • 00:02:49 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:58 – Interview with Mairghread Scott and Robin Robinson
  • 01:03:26 – Wrap up
  • 01:04:32 – Contact us

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If You’re Going to San Francisco

First Second has recently published The City on the Other Side, a historically based fantasy written by Mairghread Scott and with art by Robin Robinson. Gwen and Derek talk with the creators about their new book, the genesis behind the concept, and their decision to base their narrative in San Francisco. This is a compelling story that should have wide appeal, and not only with younger readers. Over the course of the conversation, Mairghread and Robin share their experiences researching various cultures’ folklore (upon which many of the figures are based), the importance of character design, their methods of collaboration, and the significance of maps.

Comics Alternative, Euro Comics: Reviews of Brazen and Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures

Time Codes:

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Pants On

This month Pascal and Derek look at two recent books that, while strikingly different in their storytelling approaches, are both insightful examinations of the socio-historical forces that shape individuals’ lives. They begin with Pénélope Bagieu’s Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World (First Second), a collection of 29 short biographies profiling women throughout history who have pushed back and defined themselves on their own terms. This book began as a series of webcomics that appeared on Le Monde‘s blog between January and October 2016. There was actually one original entry, a biographical look at Phulan Devi, that didn’t make it into the American text, and the guys speculate as to why this might have been.

After that they discuss Yvan Alagbé’s Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures, just released from New York Review Comics. This is a much less conventional collection, at least in terms of its narrative and visual styles. The book includes seven short pieces that were originally created between 1995 and 2017. The title story is the longest, and most sophisticated, of the bunch, but Pascal and Derek also spend some time focusing on “The Suitcase” and “Postcard from Montreuil.”  What almost all of the stories in this book focus on, in one way or another, is France’s colonialist past and its ramifications to this day.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Marcus Sedgwick and Thomas Taylor

Time Codes:

  • 00:26 – Introduction
  • 03:15 – Setup of interview
  • 04:11 – Interview with Marcus Sedgwick and Thomas Taylor
  • 51:00 – Wrap up
  • 52:16 – Contact us

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Gothic Tintin

On this interview episode, Gwen and Derek talk with the creative team behind Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter, a new book out from First Second. Both Marcus Sedgwick and Thomas Taylor share their experiences conceiving the premise, their process of collaboration, and their hopes to further explore this fantastical world. Scarlett Hart is the story of the titular protagonist who carries on in her deceased parents’ footsteps, keeping her city free of monsters. With the help of her steadfast assistant Napoleon, she hunts down big nasties while trying to stay one step ahead of her nemesis, fellow monster hunter Count Stankovic. Over the course of their conversation, Marcus and Thomas discuss their love of weird monsters and young adventure narratives, combining these passions to create what they refer to as a “gothic Tintin.”

Comics Alternative for Young Readers: Reviews of The Prince and the Dressmaker and Speak: The Graphic Novel

Time Codes:

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Art and Perceptions

Gwen and Paul are back with another Young Readers episode. For February, they discuss two recent publications, both that explore how perceptions, for better or for worse, figure into our lives. They begin with Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second), a fairy tale-like narrative focusing on romance, identity, and creativity. Next, they look at Speak: The Graphic Novel (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), a comics adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson’s young adult novel Speak. Illustrated by Emily Carroll, it’s a story of a young high school outcast who uses art to confront the hardships that have kept her on the margins.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Box Brown

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:43 – Introduction
  • 00:03:01 – Setup of interview
  • 00:05:06 – Interview with Box Brown
  • 01:05:35 – Wrap up
  • 01:06:48 – Contact us

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Thank You Very Much

Box Brown returns to The Comics Alternative, this time discussing his new book Is This Guy for Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman, just out this week from First Second. Similar to his previous Andre the Giant, this is a graphic biography of a colorful celebrity with a complicated life story…and involving wrestling. Box talks with Derek about his ideas for beginning this project, his appreciation of stand-up comedy, the challenges he faced in constructing Kaufman’s story, and how his emphases are notably different from those of Miloš Forman’s 1999 biopic Man on the Moon. And since both Box and Derek are big Andy Kaufman fans, there’s a lot of nerding out and reminiscing over the comedian’s many TV appearances, many of which can be found on YouTube. So put on your wrestling tights, slip into that sequin high-collar Elvis jacket, and get ready to engage with this friendly, friendly world.

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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Comics Alternative for Young Readers: Reviews of Good Night, Planet, The Dam Keeper, and Misfit City, as Well as a Look Back at 2017

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Time Codes:

  • 00:31 – Introduction
  • 03:51 – Greetings and apologies
  • 05:36 – Good Night, Planet
  • 13:15 – The Dam Keeper
  • 24:59 – Misfit City
  • 39:30 – A look back at 2017 in young reader comics
  • 56:56 – Wrap up
  • 57:25 – Contact us

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New and Review

It’s the end of the year, and for their December episode of the Young Readers series, Gwen and Paul discuss three exciting titles as well look back at the past year’s releases. They begin by discussing Liniers’s Good Night, Planet, part of Françoise Mouly’s TOON Books series. After that they look at Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi’s The Dam Keeper, recently released from First Second. Then they wrap up with a comic-book series, Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith,‎ Kurt Lustgarten,‎ and Naomi Franquiz’s Misfit City (BOOM! Box).

They also take a look back at 2017, where both Gwen and Paul discuss what they consider the best of comics of the year for young readers.

Comic News Insider Episode 821 – Crisis on Earth CNI!

Comic News Insider: Episode 821 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Batman Vol 3 Annual #2, John Wick #1, Justice League of America Vol 5 Annual #1, Star Trek Discovery #1, Agents of SHIELD s5 premiere, Crisis on Earth-X (CW crossover w/ Arrow/Supergirl/The Flash/Legends of Tomorrow)

Jon Hoche returns to co-host! He and Jimmy talk about that awesome Batman Ninja trailer and Jimmy is planning the big birthday this weekend. News includes: DC is releasing a new line of comics this January, showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green are leaving American Gods ahead of season 2, the live-action The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is coming to Netflix 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: Back with Andy Hirsch

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Time Codes:

  • 00:25 – Introduction
  • 02:55 – Setup of interview
  • 04:20 – Interview with Andy Hirsch
  • 57:15 – Wrap up
  • 59:51 – Contact us

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Acorn Flipper

Andy Hirsch is back on the podcast, and this time he talks with Gwen and Derek about his new book, Science Comics: Dogs: From Predator to Protector. This is the next volume in First Second’s important Science Comics series, one that uses comics to educate both younger readers and adults. In fact, Gwen and Derek spend a lot of time asking Andy his illustrative strategies for taking complex concepts and making them understandable to a broader audience. There is a lot of science packed into this book, and not all of it specifically devoted to canines. But Andy uses colorful charts and graphs, as well as particularly effective storytelling conventions, to present his dense subject matter. Guiding the reader through all of this information is Rudy, the lovable mixed-breed narrator who, in many ways, functions as a stand-in for Andy Hirsch himself. Over the course of the interview, Derek and Gwen talk with their guest not only about the new book, its genesis, and Andy’s growing association with First Second, but they also share their own love of and histories with dogs, making this episode of the interview series somewhat of a canine lovefest.

Comics Alternative, Episode 252: Reviews of Spinning, Love and Rockets, Vol. 4 #3, and Slots #1

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Time Codes:

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On the Ice, in the Casino

On this week’s episode of The Comics Alternative, Paul joins Derek in discussing three exciting new titles. They begin with Spinning, Tillie Walden’s new book and her initial release for First Second. What makes this work stand out from her previous comics, such as The End of Summer and I Love This Part, is that it is an outright memoir. This is a coming-of-age narrative, and Walden uses her history of competitive ice skating as a scaffolding for her life story. There’s a lot in this memoir about her chosen sport, but Spinning is much more than a book about skating. In it, we see Walden’s key relationships, her search for a mother figure, and her coming out to family and friends.

Next, the guys check out the latest issue of Love and Rockets (Fantagraphics). In this issue, the third in the magazine-sized fourth volume, both Jaime and Gilbert continue the storylines they had begun in the earlier New Stories annuals. Gilbert gives us the further adventures of Fritz, her daughters, and the Fritz wannabes, while Jaime returns to his Princess Anima story and the Hoppers punk reunion. What most strikes both Derek and Paul, however, are the two short pieces early in the issue where Jaime visits the young Maggie and Hopey in 1979. The guys hope there is more on the teenage locas in future issues.

Finally, the Two Guys wrap up by discussing the first issue of a new series from Image Comics, Dan Panosian’s Slots. This is the story of Stanley Dance, a former boxer and antihero who does what he can to get by. It takes place in Las Vegas, and both Paul and Derek are struck by how Panosian’s art, as well as his storytelling style, captures the loose and freewheeling feel of the gambling capital. They’re impressed by this first issue and plan to continue with this series.