Comics Alternative, Episode 241: Reviews of Boundless and User

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:23 – Introduction
  • 00:05:11 – Welcome new Patreon supporters!
  • 00:08:34 – Boundless
  • 00:44:55 – User
  • 01:16:41 – Wrap up
  • 01:17:43 – Contact us

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Reality Askew

This week on the review show Paul joins Derek in discussing two new recent releases. They begin with Jillian Tamaki’s Boundless, published by Drawn and Quarterly. This is a collection of nine short stories, most of which have been previously published in FrontierNobrow, and Hazlitt.net. The guys begin by discussing how Tamaki structures the contents, along with including new pieces, in order to give the collection visual and thematic coherency. Unlike her longer narratives Skim and This One Summer, both with her cousin Mariko, Tamaki tends to use the shorter storytelling forms to create pieces that are slightly askew and bend the reality that we know.

Next, Paul and Derek turn to Devin Grayson, John Bolton, and Sean Phillips’s User (Image Comics). This was originally published as a three-issue prestige-format miniseries through Vertigo Comics in 2001, but until now has never been collected in a single volume. User is the tale of a young woman finding refuge in a MUD, escaping the chaos that surrounds her real-life work and family. What makes the narrative notable is its handling of online interaction and gender identification, quite provocative at the time of its original publication. And while the guys appreciate what Grayson and company are doing, they note the slightly dated nature of this comic. As they point out, understanding the temporal context puts everything into perspective.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Jeremy Sorese

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Orange Is the New Black

Sorese-Curveball

On this interview show, Andy W. and Derek have the pleasure of talking with Jeremy Sorese. His book, Curveball, was published by Nobrow Press in late 2015, but it’s up this year for a Lambda Literary Award in the “LGBT Graphic Novels” category. Those award winners will be announced in June, and the guys talk with Jeremy about the attention that Curveball has been receiving. This is his first long-form comic, and Jeremy describes it as a queer sci-fi romance. The story takes place in an indeterminate future, but the generic elements take a backseat to character relationships. At the same time, Jeremy talks with the guys about how science fiction is an appropriate platform to explore facets of identity. Derek and Andy also ask their guest about the series for which he’s more popularly known, Stephen Universe, and the other work he’s done for BOOM! Studios. They also discuss his interests in short narratives, the unbelievable mileage he’s gotten out of his early comic, “Love Me Forever! Oh! Oh! Oh!”, and what projects he’s working on currently.

Curveball-interior

Check out Jeremy’s website to discover more of his art!

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