Comic News Insider Episode 894 – NYCC: Erica Schultz/Chris Eliopoulos/John Patrick Green/Rafael Rosado!

Comic News Insider: Episode 894 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Jimmy attended New York Comic Con and boy are his arms tired. As usual, he got lots of 1:1 interviews and covered as many press rooms as he could. Producer Joe even got in on the interviewing action! In this episode, you’ll hear from Erica Schultz (Twelve Devils Dancing), Chris Eliopoulos (Monster Mayhem), John Patrick Green (Kitten Construction Company), and Rafael Rosado (Monsters Beware!). Be here all month to hear more interviews/press rooms from NYCC! 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 Hippopotamister and Camp Midnight

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This month’s show includes a review of two recently released graphic novels, John Patrick Green’s Hippopotamister (First Second) and Steven T. Seagle and Jason Adam Katzenstein’s Camp Midnight (Image Comics), as well as interviews Andy conducted at the first-ever Anne Arundel County (Maryland) Public Library Comic Con, held on May 14. At this event, Andy had the chance to speak to a number of young readers, as well as their parents, about their favorite comics and about their own work as budding comics creators.

At the beginning of the podcast, Andy reads an email that comics writer Samuel Teer wrote to him and Gwen regarding their October 2015 review of Veda: Assembly Required (Dark Horse), an all-ages comic that he wrote in collaboration with artist Hyeondo Park and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick. Samuel was kind enough to thank the two for their positive review of the book and mentioned that the two people with PhDs gave him some helpful suggestions for future works. (Glad to oblige, Samuel! Keep those great comics coming!)

First up in the review segment is Hippopotamister, a title that both Gwen and Andy can say three times fast and recommend three times over. This graphic novel for younger readers provides a humorous, carefully-crafted story about the way that two friends, Red Panda and Hippo, enter into the “human world” in order to find jobs, after their city zoo falls into disrepair. Red Panda, who leaves the enclosure first and returns with tales of his exciting forays into the world of work, Hippo_Interiorencourages his friend to join him, but he cautions, “amongst the humans you can no longer be just a hippopotamus. You must become…HIPPOPOTAMISTER!” What follows is a tour through occupations that help Hippopotamister and Red Panda figure out their natural talents. Of course, complications arise on these friends’ paths to self-understanding and a regular paycheck, but both end up finding work that suits them well.

In addition to praising the color work of Cat Caro, Andy highlights one of the funniest splash pages in the comic that depicts Hippopotamister’s invention of a new hairstyle entitled “The Hippopompadour.” Gwen loves the whimsy of that scene and notes that, in addition to creating vibrant splash pages, Green excels at planting small details across the entire graphic novel that are clearly put there for the amusement of adult or middle grade readers. For instance, the restaurant where Red Panda and Hippopotamister try their hand at being sous chefs is called “Trattoria Della Bestia,” a name that draws a fine line between those animals that prepare the food versus those who serve as the meal. Andy and Gwen also point out the effectiveness of Green’s images in moving the narration along. As Andy puts it, a beginning reader could figure out the action of the story, even if s/he couldn’t read all of the words, yet the wordplay throughout the comic underscores the fine balance that Green achieves in his comics artistry.

Next, Gwen and Andy discuss Camp Midnight, a collaboration between longtime friends Steven T. Seagle, a TV writer/producer and comic-book author, and Jason Adam Katzenstein, a cartoonist whose work regularly appears in The New Yorker. Their colorful and sophisticated all-ages comic follows Skye Sullivan, a disgruntled tween, who boards the wrong bus and ends up at a summer camp where everyone but her new friend, Mia, sheds their daytime human exteriors in order to reveal their true monster identities. At first, Skye wants nothing more than to head back home, but she finds herself drawn to Griffin, a boy worthy of “cute guy alerts,” and she wants to figure out why Mia is also something of an outcast at Camp Midnight.

Both Gwen and Andy comment on the powerful, saturated colors employed throughout the comic, as well as the realistic depiction of all of the joys and pitfalls of living away from home with a group of kids who are all too eager to form cliques and exclude outsiders. Like Hippopotamister, Skye learns a great deal about herself and then uses that knowledge to help a good friend. Gwen and Andy highly recommend Camp Midnight to tweens and teens, alike, though adults may also enjoy the coy humor and fantastic line style that carries across the text.

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Comic News Insider Episode 685 – Snowjob!

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Comic News Insider: Episode 685 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: The Doorman #1 & #2, Killbox #1, Micronauts #1

Jimmy is joined in studio by good pal Jon Hoche! They talk about the recent Game of Thrones episode, The Killing Joke trailer, and the rumor of Swifty as Dazzler in X-Men: Apocalypse. News includes: Jeff Smith is bringing more Bone in July, Congressman John Lewis’ March is being adapted into an animated series, Alicia Vikander is the new Lara Croft, NBC/Universal to buy Dreamworks Animation, Marvel has ordered a Punisher Netflix series, a new SpongeBobSquarePants episode will feature the voices of the Happy Days cast,  a new animated Peanuts series is coming to Boomerang, Marvel’s Agent Carter is 99.9% canceled and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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