It’s Episode 300!! Yay, round numbers! This week we have a look at Journey Into Mystery #653! Beta Ray Bill is back! And things are generally in disarray! Also, I give some brief spoiler free thoughts on The Last Jedi! Nuff said!
It’s our 300th episode! Yes, it says 299 above, but it’s true! This week we celebrate our tricentennial episode by covering Journey Into Mystery #652 featuring The Lady Sif! In this episode, Sif travels with the Earth goddess, Gaea out to the orbit of Jupiter, where they run into an old friend! There’s tree murder, crocodile teeth, and more!
This week we vault into a new series, as we start covering Journey Into Mystery with issue #646! Here’s the scoop. Sif wants to be a better warrior, so she seeks out the one who can teach her how to be more of an asshole. On the way she belittles a little girl and talks with a stupid dragon! This will go well…
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Last weekend, Andy W. and Derek attended Small Press Expo in North Bethesda, MD. While there, they were able to interview a variety of creators about their recent releases, their larger body of work, and any future projects they may be working on. The result was an impressive collection of interviews — 28 in all — each of which lasted from anywhere between 5 minutes to over 20 minutes. The guys have now edited these conversations and are presenting them in a series of three on-location interview episodes conducted at SPX. In this first installment, Derek and Andy talk with:
- Derf Backderf
- Theora Kvitka
- Ethan Riley
- Miss Lasko-Gross
- Stuart and Kathryn Immonen
- Jennifer Jordan & Sophie Goldstein
- Gina Wynbrandt
- Julian Hanshaw
- Kristen Gudsnuk
- Rune Ryberg
- Ben Towle
- Cole Closser
- Meags Fitzgerald
The exhibition hall of SPX 2015 was packed, and, as a result, the din of the crowd was at times difficult to talk over. But the Two Guys persevered, despite the sound challenges. Sometimes they talked with the creators at their tables, and at other times — such as the interviews with Cole Closser and Meages Fitzgerald — they were able to find a space outside of the hall that demonstrated less auditory chaos.
Two other episodes of on-location interviews will be released on Friday and Saturday. Derek’s much longer conversation with Bill Griffith was released separately. But for now, enjoy the smooth, creamy, indie goodness of today’s installment.
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Fun with AdHouse
The Two Guys with PhDs are back for another Publisher Spotlight, and this time they turn their attention to recent releases from AdHouse Books. On this episode, they look at the publisher’s 2015 catalog (so far), but first Derek talks briefly with AdHouse’s founder and publisher, Chris Pitzer. He gives the lowdown on the origins of the press, how he translated his designer skills into publishing acumen, the process of artist acquisition, and some of his most notable (and unlikely) publishing successes over the years. After that, the guys plunge into their discussion of the five books that have come out — or are about to come out — from AdHouse this year. They start with the new edition of Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s Street Angel. Both Derek and Andy Kunka had already discussed last year’s Street Angel when they had Rugg on for an interview earlier this year, but this new edition gives the reader a different color experience. Whereas the earlier book contained black and white art, this one sets the illustrations on pink paper, giving Jesse “Street Angel” Sanchez’s adventures a whole new feel as she keeps the world safe from ninja gangs, evil geologists, nepotism, and math homework. Next, the Two Guys discuss a truly offbeat book from Eric Haven. Ur is a collection of strange, absurd, and hilarious short comics reminiscent of the works of Michael Kupperman, Evan Dorkin, and Ryan Browne. Highlights include the heroics of Bed Man, Dream Lord of the Night Sky, and the demented adventures of everyman Race Murdock. Without question, this is one of the guys’ reading highlights of the week. Next, they turn to the fourth issue of Ethan Rilly’s Pope Hats. The guys bring different perspectives to Rilly’s work, with Derek having read the previous issues and this being Andy’s first exposure to the series. Fans of Pope Hats will find this a different kind of issue. The story of Frances and Vickie is temporarily put on hold while Rilly presents many of his previously published short comics, including the meditative “Stained Glass” and the psychologically moving “The Nest.” After that, the guys look at Sophie Goldstein’s novella-length work, The Oven. This is an alternate world, post-apocalyptic narrative about living off the grid and how empowering and life-changing such a move can be. Goldstein’s simple, evenly paced art reveals deeper levels of understanding than its small page count might suggest. Finally, Derek and Andy wrap up their spotlight with a discussion of Kathryn and Stuart Immonen’s soon-to-be-released Russian Olive to Red King. Much like The Oven, this is a relationship story that unfolds slowly, allowing character to develop in organic and natural ways. In addition to the art, one of the most striking aspects of the book is it’s last third, composed almost entirely of text. The guys note that while prose-heavy narrative can be a potential put-off in comics, Kathryn Immonen handles the story brilliantly, using the text to add depth to its more stoic art. Andy declares this one of his favorite books of 2015 so far. In fact, you could say something similar about all of this year’s AdHouse books taken together.
A big THANKS to Chris Pitzer for helping to make this show possible.
And be sure to check out the AdHouse Books website for a full range of their publications!
Avengers vs. X-Men is well underway, but the fights have just started. This week, we review AvX: VS #1 and the Hulk vs. Colossus fight over in Uncanny X-Men. Things aren’t looking good for the X-Men or the reader. Listen in!
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