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Perhaps one of the most puzzling comics releases in years was The Book of Genesis, Illustrated by R. Crumb. While it’s a virtuoso art performance, the exact purpose of the book was puzzling to Crumb fans (“It’s not a parody?!”) and religious readers (“This comic is not for kids?!”) alike. Both groups have been taken aback by how straight Crumb plays it — neither parodying nor bowdlerizing the work. Which is not to say that nothing in it is Crumb’s own interpretation. Tim and John discuss the issues raised — both by Crumb and by his audience.
Destruction, Death, and the Holocaust…an Uplifting Show!
This week on The Comics Alternative, Derek and Gene put on their happy faces to review three titles concerned with the positive and uplifting sides of life. First, they go through Loïc Dauvillier and Marc Lizano’s Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust (First Second), a new graphic novel focusing on genocide. A translation of the 2012 French album, L’enfant cachée, this is the story of a survivor telling her young granddaughter the traumas she underwent in 1940s France. Perhaps even more significantly, it’s a story about hiding: hiding from terror, hiding who you are, hiding your experiences, and hiding from your family. Among other facets of the book, the guys focus on the possible audience assumptions with this story, how it’s crafted for younger readers while at the same time having an all-age appeal. Next, they turn to Genesis (Image Comics), the new one-shot from Nathan Edmondson and Alison Sampson. Gene is uncertain about the issue, feeling that the story reaches for a deeper significance that it never really earns. Derek is a little more positive, arguing that Sampson’s intriguing (and at times, surreal) art goes a long way in carrying the weight of this quasi-parable. The story has everything to do with death and destruction…much like Hidden, and much like the next title that the Two Guys review. The latest issue of World War 3 Illustrated (distributed through Top Shelf Productions), #45, is described by editors Peter Kuper and Scott Cunningham as “the death issue.” All of the 31 contributions to this anthology have something to do with death, whether it be the passing of a family member, the “death” of an idea or identity, coming to terms with the end of life, or the presence of death in art and literature. As Derek and Gene discuss, some of the most moving, and most notable, pieces in this latest issue of World War 3 Illustrated include comics by Kuper, Rosalie Lightning and Tom Hart, Hayley Gold, Seth Tobocman, Sandy Jimenez, and Kevin C. Pyle. The tone of the comics discussed in this episode may be dark or heavy, but the stories are all fascinatingly told and well worth reading.
This episode’s incidental music is brought to us by
Elvis Costello’s Blood and Chocolate
The Backroom Comics crew interviews Jessica Levey from the web comic Raincloud With A Bar Tab, discuss the complicated history of the X-Men, and review the Harvey Award nominees.
As a bonus, Chris gives a brief update of the latest comics movie news.
Questions? Comments? Please visit the Backroom Comics Podcast website.