Comics Alternative, On Location: The Hernandez Brothers Panel at HeroesCon 2017

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:26 – Introduction
  • 00:02:22 – Setup of the recording
  • 00:04:30 – The Hernandez brothers panel at HeroesCon
  • 01:08:05 – Wrap up
  • 01:09:46 – Contact us

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A Big Deal

At this year’s HeroesCon, Andy and Derek moderated a couple of panels, one of which was entirely devoted to the Hernandez brothers, Gilbert and Jaime. In this on-location episode, you’ll hear the Two Guys talking with the brothers about their new magazine-sized Love and Rockets series, the logistics of going from an annual to a quarterly, the experiences of continuity and 35+ years of character development, their efforts (especially Gilbert’s) in producing standalone works outside of any serialized format, their historical places within the larger context of non-mainstream comics, and the brothers’ thoughts on the current state of the medium.

Deconstructing Comics #548: Jaime Hernandez

Jaime Hernandez

Love and Rockets continues to impress, and in this episode Koom asks creator Jaime Hernandez some burning questions. Hernandez talks about writing Maggie and Hopey, the dynamics of working on something with your brother, why he gravitates toward female characters, his influences and art style, and more.

Also, Tim and Mulele discuss the current state of the US comics market and Marvel’s recent problems.

Deconstructing Comics site

Comics Alternative, Episode 236: Reviews of What Parsifal Saw, Love and Rockets #2, and Redneck #1

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Land of Hopey and Glory

This week the Two Guys give you a double shot of recent Fantagraphics books. They start off with a discussion of Ron Regé Jr.’s What Parsifal Saw, his followup to 2012’s The Cartoon Utopia (the paperback edition of which has also just been released by Fantagraphics). This is the first time that Andy and Derek have covered one of Regé’s books on The Comics Alternative — they’ve discussed his comics before, but only as part of an anthology — and they point out how his art requires a different way of reading. After that, they look at the latest issue of Love and Rockets. The guys never miss an opportunity to discuss what the Hernandez brothers are up to, and in this second issue of the new series they see how both Gilbert and Jaime are continuing the storylines they began in the last couple of Love and Rockets: New Stories annuals. Finally, the Two Guys wrap up with the latest title from Donny Cates, Redneck #1 (Image Comics). With wonderful art by Lisandro Estherren, this is a contemporary vampire story set in East Texas (and not far from Derek). Both feel that this is a successful first issue, but Andy points out that the structure feels similar to what Cates has been doing in God Country and The Paybacks.

Comics Alternative, On Location: The April Visit to Valhalla Games and Comics

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Catching Up

As he tries to do every month, Derek visits his local shop, Valhalla Games and Comics in Plano, TX, to talk with customers and employees about what they’re reading, what they’re looking forward to, and what interests them in current comics culture. For April the topic is open, so anything goes…and the resulting conversation is free-floating and casual. Among the topics that come up are local conventions, Bones of the Coast from Cloudscape Comics, getting caught up with the Marvel Universe on Netflix, Astro City, Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name, the return of Rat Queens, Kyle Starks’s Rock Candy Mountain, the convoluted world of Love and Rockets, the new Anne Hathaway movie Colossal, and speculations on how (and if) comics creators will eventually work Donald Trump into their stories.

Comics Alternative, Episode 218: Reviews of Love and Rockets #1, Garden of the Flesh, and The One Hundred Nights of Hero

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Testicle Jones

Time Codes:

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This week the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics check out three recent titles, including the latest contributions from the Hernandez brothers. They begin with Love and Rockets #1 (Fantagraphics), the launch of the brothers’ new (fourth) series that will appear quarterly and in magazine-sized format. This kind of presentation harkens back to the original run of Love and Rockets beginning in the early 1980s. Andy and Derek are quick to point out that, while the format may have changed, the storytelling picks up where the Love and Rockets: New Stories annual left off. Jaime continues his previous storylines surrounding Princess Animus, Vivian’s half-sister Tonta, and, perhaps most notable, Maggie and Hopey’s punk reunion. With Gilbert, it’s the always evolving and convoluted Fritz saga, with even more Fritz imitators to keep track of.

And on the topic of Beto…The next book under discussion is his Garden of the Flesh (Fantagraphics). This is Gilbert’s treatment of the Book of Genesis, although with less fidelity than Robert Crumb has demonstrated. As you might expect, there’s a lot of explicit content, something that you might find in his Blubber series. In fact, the guys note that what we have with Garden of the Flesh is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Noah and the flood…but with a lot of money shots.

Finally, Andy and Derek turn to Isabel Greenberg’s The One Hundred Nights of Hero (Little Brown). This is her follow up to 2014’s The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, and everything is set in the same storyworld. Here we find the return of god/creator BirdMan and his children Kid and Kiddo. And as with Greenberg’s first book, the overriding theme in The One Hundred Nights of Hero is storytelling. This time around, however, that theme is linked directly to female empowerment and sisterhood. With more than a tip of the pen to One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Greenberg’s tale demonstrates not only how worlds are created through language, but the dynamics underlying the control of those worlds.

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Comics Alternative, Episode 183: Reviews of Love & Rockets: New Stories 8, Girl Crazy, and Blubber #2

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“At this point Gilbert is just f**cking with us”

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This week’s episode is a Hernandez-centric show. On it, the Two Guys with PhDs play a little catch-up with some of Gilbert and Jaime’s comics that have come out over the past few months. They begin with the latest installment of Love & Rockets: New Stories (Fantagraphics), and most of the tales in this volume continue what began in last year’s annual. In fact, both Andy and Derek feel that New Stories 8 can be best appreciated, and better understood, when read alongside its predecessor. Jaime’s contributions — the Princess Animus, Maggie and Hopey, and Tonta storylines — are fairly straightforward, although the guys aren’t entirely sure how Princess Animus will ultimately fit into the Love & Rockets world. (Is it similar to the Ti-Girls with Jaime playing around with the superhero genre again? Might Penny Century be involved in some way?) But things aren’t as clear-cut when it comes to Gilbert’s selections, all centered on Fritz in some way. Over the last two New Stories annuals, Gilbert has been mapping out a complex narrative concerning the B-movie star and her imitators, chock-full of unusual characters, many LoveRockets8-interiorof whom look alike…and purposefully so. The guys comment on the ways in which Gilbert is manipulating his sequential chronology and the general weirdness surrounding Fritz’s world. And given the labyrinthine nature of this current volume of Love & Rockets, Derek advocates for a much-needed Hernandez brothers wiki and challenges listeners to begin creating one. Next, they turn to the new edition of Girl Crazy (Dark Horse Books). This originally began as a three-issue miniseries published by Dark Horse in 1996 and then collected as a single volume the following year. But that book has been out of print for some time, and now the publisher is rereleasing this new hardbound edition to stand alongside other Dark Horse books by Gilbert, including Speak of the Devil, Citizen Rex (with his brother, Mario), Fatima: The Blood Spinners, Loverboys, and last year’s Grip: The Strange World of Men. Both Andy and Derek note that, with Girl Crazy, the story still holds up, and it’s yet another example of Gilbert’s no-holds-barred storytelling. At the same time, they point out that the art in Girl Crazy is noticeably different from his most recent style, with its detailed texturing and heavier inks. Finally, the guys wrap up with the second issue of Gilbert’s Blubber (Fantagraphics), a comic-book series that is a strange amalgamation of experimental storytelling and pornography. This is definitely not a title for those with tender sensibilities and who are easily offended. In fact, Derek and Andy point out that, for the most part, all the stories in this issue include a lot of sucking and f**king…and not only between humans. There are zombies, robots, and fantastical creatures involved, as well. It’s all weird, wacky, and fun, but after discussing Blubber #2 the Two Guys really feel like they need to take a shower.

GirlCrazy-interior

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Deconstructing Comics #440: Love Bunglers

Love BunglersDid you think Love & Rockets was over?! Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez continue to release new work about once a year, and in this episode Kumar and Matt sit down and discuss some of it, with particular attention paid to Jaime’s The Love Bunglers. (Spoiler warning!)

Also: the tension between indy creators who want to do single-issue type comics, and the economic realities shoving them toward larger collections…

Deconstructing Comics site

Deconstructing Comics #405: Teaching comics as literature

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It’s been a long time coming, but a fair number of teachers in mainstream American education are finally recognizing that what the comics medium brings to the table can be just as meaty and challenging as the best prose novels. This week we meet Juan Mah y Busch, an Associate Professor at Loyola Marymount University. Juan teaches comics like Frank Miller’s 300 and Anders Nilsen’s Dogs and Water not in special “comics appreciation” courses, but alongside novels like Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” to make other points about cultural history.

How do fellow faculty and administrators react to comics in the classroom? Do students have any trouble with the concept? Why can comics often be better for teaching cultural history than most other media? That and more in this episode!

Deconstructing Comics site

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Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 65: A Review of Love & Rockets: New Stories No. 6, Maria M.: Book One, and Pretty Deadly #1

“There’s more than one severed penis in this comic.”

MariaMThis week the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics review three new titles, and boy, are they geared up! They begin by looking at the Hernandez brothers’ latest issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories (Fantagraphics). Focusing first on Jaime’s contributions, they comment on how his narratives have evolved after the “Love Bunglers” storyline from issues number 3 and 4 of New Stories. They’re particularly interested in Jaime’s deeper exploration of the family of Vivian Solis, L&RNS6AKA Frogmouth, especially as it relates to Tonta and the reappearance of Angel Rivera (last seen in the “Ti-Girls Adventures”). Next, Andy and Derek delve into Gilbert’s contribution to the latest New Stories, spending a good deal of time doing close readings of the multiple narrative levels at work: the current story of Dora “Killer” Rivera’s visit to Palomar, the flashbacks to her deceased aunt and great-grandmother, and the films surrounding her great-grandmother, Maria. Here, the Two Guys bring up Gilbert’s new graphic novel, Maria M.: Book One (Fantagraphics), and how it plays off of so well the new Love and Rockets. They look at Maria M. not only as another installment of PrettyDeadlyFritz’s b-movie books — along with Chance in Hell, The Troublemakers, and Love from the Shadows — but also, and perhaps more significantly, as a point of convergence among the various generations of Luba’s family. While Andy feels that Maria M. is a kind of retelling of Poison River (one of the most significant storylines in the first volume of Love and Rockets), Derek sees it as more of a prequel or lead-up to that narrative. Finally, the guys look at the first issue of Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos’s Pretty Deadly (Image Comics). They discuss the density of comic, while at the same time commenting on the decompressed nature of the series’ premise.

There is a lot packed into this episode, plenty of close and detailed readings, and you’re going to have to listen to this show multiple times in order to savor every drop of the Two Guys’ insights…for what they’re worth.

This week’s incidental music is brought to you by
Game Theory’s Lolita Nation

Episode 65 Image

EMP Presents: B.Y.O.B. Episode 1

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Individually they were just like those guys who like to hang around the comic book shop and talk comics but together they form the Earth’s Mightiest Podcast!

Bring Your Own Book! Alex, Corwin and Viet are joined by the Chris Partin from Comic Addiction.Net to talk about what we’ve been reading (Non Avengers and X-Men that is…).

Books covered:

Love and Rockets- Fantagraphics Books
Sheltered- Valiant Entertainment
Archer and Armstrong- Valiant Entertainment
East of West- Image Comics
Hellboy- Dark Horse Comics
Private Eye – panelsyndicate.com
Ghosted- Image Comics
Lazarus- Image Comics
Infinite Kung Fu- Top Shelf
Artifacts- Image Comics
Fatale- Image Comics
The Wake- Vertigo Comics
Jupiter’s Legacy- Image Comics

Kirkman’s Manifest

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Deconstructing Comics #305: Love & Rockets: Gilbert Hernandez

In episode #300, we took a look at the sometimes wacky and cartoony Love & Rockets work of Jaime Hernandez. This week, Tim and Kumar are again joined by Tom Spurgeon to look at the somewhat darker, more violent and yet rather hard-to-pin-down work of Gilbert Hernandez in his stories of (or, sometimes merely tangentially related to) the isolated Mexican village of Palomar.

Deconstructing Comics site

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Deconstructing Comics #300: Love & Rockets: Jaime Hernandez

L&R JaimeThe series Love & Rockets, featuring individual works by the Hernandez brothers, started in 1981 as a self-published magazine, but was quickly picked up by Fantagraphics. Over the last 30 years, the brothers’ work has continued to develop & astound. This week Tim and Kumar take a look at the Love & Rockets work of Jaime Hernandez, with special guest (and former Fantagraphics employee) Tom Spurgeon!

Deconstructing Comics site

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The Next Issue 57: This is what we do…

The Next Issue Podcast

Join us in Issue 57

We interview cosplayer Iggy Tissera (The Joker)

…and then onto the show
Is Nintendo starting up the next gen system wars?

Early Thor reviews looks promising

Batman year One casting info and Batman Dark Knight Returns Rumors

And then there is some Bourne casting news that just recently surfaced

In What’s Tangling the Webs we discuss Rise of the Apes WETA trailer and the Skyrim gameplay trailers

In 1st impressions we discuss the Mortal Kombat Legacy series and A Game of Thrones on HBO

Our Comics reviews features Nonplayer, Butcher Baker, Secret Warriors, Bookhunters, Love and Rockets and a few other titles

Also worth mentioning are Avengers 12 and New Avengers 11, Amazing Spider-man 658, Captain America 616.

Mike’s Top 5 preview corner rounds off the show

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