Comics Alternative for Young Readers: The Eisner Award Nominations for Early Readers, Kids, and Teens

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:27 – Introduction
  • 00:02:57 – Context of the 2017 Eisner Awards
  • 00:06:14 – Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
  • 00:57:02 – Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
  • 01:49:53 – Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
  • 02:52:17 – Wrap up
  • 02:53:05 – Contact us

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Jam-Packed

This month, Gwen and Paul discuss the three Eisner Award categories that focus on comics for young readers. And this is a jam-packed, extra-long episode! As they work through each set of nominees, Paul and Gwen discuss the value of prizing in general and the challenges faced by the judges when they must cull such a small number of texts from a pool that is increasingly deep. Inevitably, they mention many other texts that felt were strong contenders for recognition, making this episode a great resource for any parent, child, teen, or teacher who is eager to learn about this year’s great comics.


Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

Comics Alternative Interviews: Jessica Abel

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Story Time

j-abel-head-web-500x500On this episode of the interview series, Andy W. and Derek have as their guest Jessica Abel, whose latest book, Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio, was recently released by Broadway Books. In her conversation with the guys, Jessica discusses her history with narrative-based radio and how her earlier work, Radio: An Illustrated Guide (cowritten with Ira Glass), helped to open the door for her exploration of the medium. Out on the Wire is based on over three years of research and hours of interviews she conducted with the creators behind programs such as This American LifePlanet MoneyRadiolabThe Moth, and Snap Judgment. The text culls the various storytelling strategies of these producers and dissects their effectiveness. This kind of expositional writing — or “documentary comics,” as Jessica calls it —OutOnTheWire is something that the Two Guys rarely discuss, so they use this opportunity as a way into the genre. Along the way they also talk with Jessica about her podcast based on the new book, her work on Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars, her series editorship (along with her husband, Matt Madden) of the annual Best American Comics for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and her earlier books, including La Perdida, the instructional text Drawing Words and Writing Pictures (again, along with Madden), and the series Artbabe. For those interested in storytelling and the spoken word —  and not only for radio, but also as it applies to podcasting — this interview with Jessica Abel is essential listening.

Be sure to visit Jessica’s website, where you can find out more about her new podcast and newsletter!

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Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 66: A Review of The Best American Comics 2013

Best. Best! or Best?

best-american-comics-2013This week the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics take their annual look at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s The Best American Comics collection (including material published between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012), this year edited by Jeff Smith. They begin by noting that this volume is significant for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this is the last to be overseen by series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden. Andy and Derek marvel at the work the two have been doing since they began with the 2008 volume, and they wish Abel and Madden well in their future endeavors…and they look forward to seeing what the new series editor, Bill Kartalopoulos, will bring to the table.

The guys highlight what they consider to be their favorite contributions to the 2013 volume, specifically commenting on the sheer number of entries that originally appeared in Dark Horse Presents. They also discuss the need for a book such as this to introduce readers to new material, ConcreteParkthe pros and cons of excerpting from longer works — Derek noted the potential pitfalls of the practice, although Andy was more accepting — how the 2013 volume differs from  previous years’ collections, the kind of trends they see in this year’s volume, the fact that Evan Dorkin has two different kinds of contributions in the book, the growing representation of webcomics in these yearly volumes, and the dominance of comics anthologies in Smith’s collection as well as the relatively little attention this year given to serialized titles. (Were there just not that many “good” serialized comics between September 2011 and August 2012?) The Two Guys also get into a larger discussion of the very idea of publishing a “best of” anthology of this type. The “best” according to whom? Might there be certain biases involved? What’s the role of editorial predilection? Who is included as part of the “best,” who is excluded, and why? They don’t attempt to second guess this year’s volume editor, Jeff Smith, but they do think it’s important to keep these questions in mind. Well…Derek does. He had a problem with the “Best” part of the title and would feel more comfortable with a different name. Andy thought that Derek was being too critical in addressing the series name. Derek said that maybe Andy should change his name, as well.

But once again, the Two Guys with PhDs hearty recommendation the annual Best American Comics collection, marvel at the gargantuan task undertaken by the editor, and thoroughly enjoy the many contributions collected between the covers!

FunStrips

This week’s incidental music is brought to you by
the wonderful holiday obscura collected by Andy Cirzan!

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