On this interview episode Derek and Andy are excited to have Jeff Lemire as their guest. His new graphic novel, Roughneck, has just been released by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery 13 imprint, and he has a new ongoing series through Image Comics, Royal City. The guys talk with Jeff about those works, particularly their place within Lemire’s growing body of writing, but they also ask him about his other current ongoing series, such as Descender (with Dustin Nguyen on art), Black Hammer (along with Dean Ormston), and the miniseries A.D.: After Death (written by Scott Snyder). A lot of ground is covered in this interview, including revelations on the early origins of Roughneck, the long-range plans for Royal City, the themes and characters that seem to be woven throughout Jeff’s oeuvre, the curious links between Descender and Adam Strange, and Jeff’s thoughts on “slice of life” stories and their reception within the comics-reading community.
And here’s a fun fact! Jeff Lemire was actually the focus of the Two Guys’ very first creator spotlight way back in Episode 6 of The Comics Alternative, and at the time Andy and Derek thought there was almost too much to talk about in terms of Jeff’s output. But now almost five years later, and with so many more titles under Jeff’s belt, those assumptions seem amusing in hindsight.
It’s important to note that Andy and Derek recorded their interview with Jeff the day before this year’s Eisner Award nominations were announced, where he has landed in the Best New Series and Best Writer categories (both for Black Hammer). This is why no one brings up the Eisners at any time in the conversation. But a big CONGRATULATIONS to Jeff for this well-deserved attention!
Reviews: America #1, Amerikarate #1, Brave Chef Brianna #1, Riverdale One-Shot, Royal City #1, Logan
Jimmy is back in NYC and Jon Hoche joins him back in the rotating co-host chair! They chat about Jimmy’s trip to his hometown of Jacksonville & last week’s podcasting with old pals. News includes: Shelly Bond joins IDW to oversee new imprint Black Crown, Ryan Gosling is producing Jeff Lemire’s The Underwater Welder into film, Jason Isaacs has beeen cast as Captain Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery, Patrick Stewart teases possible Deadpool 2 cameo, the 6 DCU/Looney Tunes crossover comics were announced including Batman/Elmer Fudd, Image Comics is publishing Shirtless Bear-Fighter and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!
Once again, Derek visits his local shop, Valhalla Games and Comics in Plano, TX, to talk with customers and employees about the various titles they’ve been reading. And he has a large number of people joining him for this month’s on-location episode, including the owner of Valhalla, Dave Larson. Derek begins the episode by talking with Dave about the changes he’s bringing to the shop and his experiences in gaming retail. But others join in on the discussion soon enough, including the shop manager, Sabrina, one of her associates, Stephanie, and several of Valhalla’s regulars, Craig, Matt, and Chris. This month, the topic is open-ended, so the conversation freely flows from one subject matter to another. Along the way they cover the DC’s new Young Animal series, the changes wrought by Rebirth, the current state of various Marvel titles, the growing number of superhero-based films and TV shows, the narrative worlds of Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire, and, for at least one of the interlocutors, the discovery that Lucifer is actually a comic-book series.
Welcome to the final episode of Followup Fall for 2016. In this episode, we return to Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire. We talk about the world, the prophecy, the characters and more. This is a truly interesting episode where Dylan and John have very different ideas about the story.
Use of the R-word (3:00)
Prophecy as a story telling device (5:02)
The World (11:05)
Jeppard abandoning his son to the dog boys (17:30)
Gus killing the gator kid in the sewer to protect Wendy (21:38)
Gus’ innocence despite this bleak world (28:34)
Jimmy journeys out to the Garden State (New Jersey) to find the podcast wife Erica Schultz! She returns after a long absence and they record in the remote CNI studios chatting about Jimmy’s first Ren Faire, Batman Day and a big nerd win at The Emmys. News includes: Margot Robbie will produce and star in a Harley Quinn spinoff film, Valiant Comics will have cat cosplay variant covers, Mariko Tamaki and Nico Leon are the creators behind an upcoming new Hulk series focusing on Jennifer Walters, Todd MacFarlane confirms a new Spawn movie, Simon Bisley is returning to Lobo, a new Kate Bishop Hawkeye series is on the way and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!
This week is a C2E2 double-header! First up is Warren Simons, editor-in-chief at Valiant Entertainment! I got the chance to interview him at this year’s C2E2, which was the perfect opportunity to catch up on what this excellent comics company has going on these days! We discussed A&A: Archer and Armstrong, the Faith miniseries, and other great books including 4001 A.D. and others! He also talks about what impact if any the recent movie deal Valiant signed will have on their books, so don’t miss it!
Then everything wraps up with the return of Richard Rivera, creator of the great indie comic Stabbity Bunny! He introduces us to his new projects, including Wild Bull & Chipper and a coloring book that was a hit at the aforementioned C2E2 convention! Oh, and he also updates us on how the next issue of Stabbity Bunny is coming along, so you’ll want to hear what he has to say, then check out his stabbity bunny.com website!
On this week’s review show, Derek and Andy W. look at three new titles, beginning with the new graphic novel from Ethan Young, Nanjing: The Burning City(Dark Horse). This is a riveting historically based narrative centered on Japan’s actions against the Chinese Nationalist capital during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It involves a captain in the Republic of China’s army trapped within Nanjing, now overrun by the Japanese, and his attempts to get himself and one of his soldiers out to safety. Young never flinches from the horrors of the war, yet at the same time he never falls prey to the temptation of demonizing the aggressor. His is a very human story, and both the invading Japanese troops and Chinese victims are shown in all of their complexities. Next, the guys discuss the first issue of Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox’s new series, Plutona(Image). This is a different kind of spin to the superhero genre, and the story begins by introducing us to a group of five suburban kids, each with his or her own personality and complications. What binds them all together is the discovery of the titular character, one of their city’s crime-fighting heroes who now lies inert in the woods. What makes this first so compelling is not only Lenox’s unique art, but the colors provided by Jordie Bellaire. And this more conventional narrative stands in stark contrast to the third title the guys discuss, Michael DeForge’s Lose #7 (Koyama Press). This is the latest in DeForge’s annual one-man anthology series, and in this issue we get three stories. The first and third are short, untitled abstract narratives, but the middle story is longer and more traditional in its construction. “Movie Star” is an unusual tale about a daughter whose father unexpectedly finds his long-lost sibling and how this discovery changes his life in unlikely ways. As Andy points out, all of the stories in this latest issue of Lose are thematically linked by a search for identity. In fact, you could look at all of the comics discussed on this episode as dealing with this very theme.
On this podcast we talk about Diggle’s new helmet, the Arrow: Season 4 trailer and Force Friday. Then it’s on to comics with reviews of Plutona #1, Deadpool vs Thanos #1 and Miracleman #1. Everything old is new and reprinted. Listen in!
The Two Guys with PhDs are back with another review episode, and on this one they explore three fascinating titles. They begin by discussing the much-anticipated recent release from Scott McCloud, The Sculptor (First Second). In fact, Derek and Andy begin their conversation with the very fact that this was a much-anticipated, and heavily reviewed, new book, and how all of that attention may be affecting the book’s reception. They speculate on the ways in which the artist’s prestige and reputation feeds into the expectations. Although McCloud has created memorable narratives — e.g., the Zot!series and The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln — this is an author most famously known for Understanding Comics and the expository/instructional books that followed, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics. The guys question if the author can ever get beyond his reputation as primarily a theoretician of the medium, and if he can ever gain renewed recognition as a creator of innovative narrative forms. And both Derek and Andy feel mixed over the prognosis. Yet despite all of the extra-textual commentary, the Two Guys spend most of their conversation in a close reading of the text. Much of their talk centers on the book’s protagonist, David Smith, and the author’s possible attitude toward his creation. Does McCloud want us to see Smith as a heroic (possibly romantic?) figure, or are we expected to read the sculptor more critically and as a flawed artist? This is a question that remains unanswered, and perhaps it speaks to McCloud’s talents that the Two Guys cannot put a finger on an exact character assessment. They also discuss The Sculptor as not only as a creative treatise on art and its place in our culture, but also, and perhaps more specifically, as a commentary on the comics industry today. Theirs is not a gushing, unequivocal endorsement of the new graphic novel — there are already plenty of those out there — but Andy and Derek do see this as a serious new work and give it the full Comics Alternative treatment…spending a little over an hour discussing the text! Next, the guys look at two new number one issues from some of their favorite creators. Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine’s Divinity #1 (Valiant) is a beautifully rendered science fiction narrative that apparently rests just on the periphery of the Valiant University. This is the first of a four-part series, and Hairsine’s cinematic style is the perfect platform for Kindt’s complex storytelling. Both Derek and Andy love Matt Kindt as a writer/artist, but this time around they get their fix through his scripting only. They experience the same with Descender #1 (Image), written by Jeff Lemire and with art by Dustin Nguyen. Most times they discuss Lemire’s work — and the Two Guys have done this often — they do so by looking at him as a sole creator, but his new series with Nguyen demonstrates without a doubt Lemire’s developed writing chops. The first issue accomplishes what it sets out to do, establishing a premise and tone that will both frame and propel the first story arc. This is definitely not a title that encourages trade waiting. Indeed, with both Descender and Divinity, you’ll want to get every issue as soon as they come out.
Reviews: All-New Hawkeye #1, Big Man Plans #1, Con Job #1, Descender #1, Princess Leia #1, Powers, The Returned, Chappie
The podcast mistress Emily Edwards returns! She and Jimmy chat about the Melissa Benoist as Supergirl promo picture, the Chris Pine as new Green Lantern rumor, the new Daredevil trailer and James Gunn’s claim that Marvel wont be attending San Diego Comic Con. News includes: Yet another Ghostbusters movie is on the way along with branding opportunities, Jada Pinkett-Smith is leaving Gotham, Star Trek concert tour launches, Valiant to bring their comics to the big screen and the as yet untitled The Walking Dead spinoff gets a 2 season order. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!