On this interview episode, Paul and Derek are pleased to have Julia Wertz on the podcast. Her new book, Tenements, Towers and Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, came out earlier this month from Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers. As the subtitle suggests, this is a different kind of history, a guide to the Big Apple’s present as well as its past, investigating its architecture, its businesses, its facades, its entertainment venues, and the many colorful figures who have populated its boroughs. The guys talk with Julia about how different this book is from her previous works — e.g., Drinking at the Movies, The Infinite Wait and Other Stories, Fart Party— which are primarily autobiographical. For this project, the author considered herself an urban explorer, forgoing the inward gaze and focusing instead on the city that she called home between 2007 and 2016. Tenements, Towers and Trash includes a variety of stories that compose its past, and punctuating the text is a series of before-and-after illustrations of storefronts and city blocks that underscore New York’s ever-changing nature. This isn’t a nostalgic look back at what once had been, but a chronicle of a dynamic urban space in the process of becoming. And of course, the book has more than its share of Julia’s poignant, even laugh-out-loud, humor.
Paul and Derek are pleased to have on The Comics Alternative the great cartoonist, Roz Chast. Her new book, Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York, was recently released by Bloomsbury Publishing. The Two Guys have been longtime fans of Chast’s offbeat and hilarious New Yorker strips for years, and they spend a good bit of time talking with their guest about how she has translated that sense of humor into a long-form narrative. They also talk with Chast about her previous book, Can’t We Please Talk about Something More Pleasant?, her memoir on living with aging parents, and how her mother and father find prominent places in the latest work. Along the way, Chast discusses her process of writing — she indiscriminately explores narrative paths to see what does and doesn’t work — her unique non-comic-book community of cartoonist colleagues, and her experiences editing last year’s Best American Comics volume. And of course, she spends a lot of time talking about her experiences and love of Manhattan, complete with its mind-blowing variety of restaurants, its subway system, its out-of-the-way specialty shops, its giant waterbugs, and the annoyance of rat afterbirth. Yes, rat afterbirth.
This week the guys talk about their experience at New York Comic Con 2017! They talk about what they saw and how the con went. Plus they bring you an interview with Richard Rivera, Alex Lobato and Clara Meath where they talk about their new comic Shadow Play. All this and more, enjoy!
Host Anthony Desiato reunites with his Season 1 Finale guests, Steve Oto and Bill Maio, to discuss the aftermath of Alternate Realities’ closing and to answer the question, “Whatever happened to the man behind the counter?”
Peter Kuper has been pushing the boundaries of comics for over two decades, using media like linoleum prints, scratchboard, and stencils & spray paint (including in The System) to make a wide variety of comics, from those with political or environmental messages to autobiography, adaptations of Franz Kafka’s writings, and (since 1997) Spy vs. Spy.
In this episode, Peter talks with Tim about the varied media; his youthful encounters with Harvey Pekar, R. Crumb, and Howard Chaykin; his ambitious graphic novel Ruins; the importance of getting out of your comfort zone; and much more.
MoCCA Festival, presented by the Society of Illustrators and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, was held at Metropolitan West in New York City on April 2 and 3. This week, the tablers Tim talked with on the second day.
Also, excerpts from a panel discussion called “Autobiography: Revealing the Self in Comics.” The panel was moderated by Heidi MacDonald (The Beat) and featured Gabrielle Bell (Truth is Fragmentary), Nicole Georges (Calling Dr. Laura), Jennifer Hayden (The Story of My Tits), and Gina Wynbrandt (Someone Please Have Sex With Me).
Click on “Continue reading this Post” to see photos of everyone in this episode.
MoCCA Festival, presented by the Society of Illustrators and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, was held at Metropolitan West in New York City on April 2 and 3. Tim was there, and talked with a lot of folks who were tabling about their work. Follow along with the photos below as you listen, and click the links to check out their work!
Alvin Buenaventura, who died last month at age 39, was a guy with a great eye for unusual art, and he had a large impact on the comics publishing world. He’s perhaps best known for publishing a $125 comic, the 16” x 21” tome Kramers Ergot 7 (shown)! This week Tom Spurgeon joins Tim to discuss Alvin’s impact.
You may have heard Matt Seneca on the podcast Comic Books are Burning in Hell (and, hey, he was on our show once, in the persona of a mild mannered comics shop manager!), but he’s also a comics creator in his own right. His comics are deep, dark, and very honest in expressing his opinions. This week he talks with Tim about the lack of sports in American comics, why he needs to feel hate for something to make a good comic, and more.
Tim came back from his Tim Across America trip with an assortment of comics, including a couple from the New York Aspiring Comics Creators Club, and trove of self-published books that he bought at Isotope Comics, including one about a feline pirate captain. This week, he and Mulele read through those comics and review them:
Jules Feiffer’s Sick Sick Sick began appearing in the Village Voice in 1956, satirizing both the kinds of people he met in New York, and politicians and the military-industrial complex. Feiffer remains a highly influential creator, with a new graphic novel coming out later this year. Tom Spurgeon, former editor of The Comics Journal, joins Kumar and Tim to discuss Sick Sick Sick and Feiffer’s work in general.
Sortafellas, a comic submitted to us by Ed M., is set on the mean streets of 1970s New York; a police “bag man” goes to “Junkie Central” to pick up bribe money for his superiors. Having seen only 10 pages, Mulele & Tim aren’t quite sure where it’s going, but would like to see more!
In this clock-busting episode, Chris hooks up with THE HARRY POTTER ALLIANCE members Hope Mullinax, Dinah Russell and Andrew Slack! Topics range from Wizard Wrock to social activism and the Harry Potter universe, the Rowling books, the movies, undead sex toys and a whole HOST of other topics! For example, did you know there were nearly 700 Harry Potter wrock bands? Check them out here: WIZROCKLOPEDIA