Comics Alternative Interviews: Another Conversation with Jules Feiffer

Time Codes:

  • 00:24 – Introduction
  • 02:16 – Setup of interview
  • 04:20 – Interview with Jules Feiffer
  • 58:54 – Wrap up
  • 59:26 – Contact us

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Accidental Noir

In 2014 Jules Feiffer published Kill My Mother (Liveright Publishing), a noir crime narrative set in 1933 — and then later moving forward into 1943 — involving not only hard-boiled characters, but also their exploits within the entertainment industry. Feiffer followed that up in 2016 with Cousin Joseph, the second book in what was now projected as a trilogy. That graphic novel is, in many ways, a prequel to the earlier book. Taking place in 1931, readers are introduced to police detective Sam Hannigan, a figure who looms largely over Feiffer’s recent run. His spirit is likewise prevalent in the new graphic novel, The Ghost Script. With this book, Feiffer wraps up his series, which he has called an “accidental noir trilogy.” In this interview, Derek talks with Feiffer about the “accidental” nature of his writing and how the idea for a trilogy came into play. They also discuss his writing style, where, curiously enough, Feiffer sees himself as both instigator and observer to what unfolds under his pen. Over the course of their conversation, Feiffer meditates on his love of noir fiction and films, the challenges he faced in writing this trilogy, and the overriding influences of such legends as Milton Caniff and, especially, Will Eisner. He also discusses the impact of 1950s red scare and the blacklist, which is the temporal setting of The Ghost Script, what that time meant to him as a young writer, and how those politics are not entirely alien to us today. The guys had the pleasure of talking to Feiffer back in 2014 when Kill My Mother was released, so it’s only appropriate that Derek talk with him again upon the completion of his noir trilogy.

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: Skullduggery, Issue 2

Perry Mason Meets Disney

This week on the Kickstarter show, Derek talks with Jason Beirens about his current campaign for the second issue of his series, Skullduggery.

Jason calls Skullduggery a “legal fiction,” a Disney-inspired crime narrative that is less police procedural and more based in the courtroom. His previously Kickstarted first issue of Skullduggery is described as

the beginning of a look into a double homicide of two known criminals by Judge Stewie Sponte, his assistant Maggie P.I. (a magpie) and his owl. Other characters come into play, two street smart tough guys, brothers Vinnie and Berg De Novo. Lastly, Whimsy Noir, as every detective story needs a dame, right?

Populated by anthropomorphic figures, curious criminals, and unusual courtroom proceedings, this will be a fully colored story worth checking out. And there’s even a reward level where you can get not only the second, but also the first issue, of Jason’s Skullduggery the series so as to get the entire story up to this point. Head on over to #2 campaign and see what it’s all about!

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Comics Alternative, Episode 272: Reviews of Babylon Berlin, The True Death of Billy the Kid, and The Highest House #1

Time Codes:

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Mysteries

This week Gene and Derek discuss three recent titles, all of which concern mysteries. They begin with Babylon Berlin (Titan Comics), Arne Jysch’s comics adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s noir prose novel. It takes place in 1929 Berlin and set in the Weimar Republic, with all of its historical and cultural contexts embedded within. The guys are very impressed with Jysch and Kutscher’s narrative, and they spend a lot of time not only discussing the work as an example of crime noir, but also the issues involved in adapting a text from one medium to another (including the recent Netflix series).

Next, they look at Rick Geary’s latest efforts, The True Death of Billy The Kid (NBM Graphic Novels). This began as a Kickstarter campaign back in 2014, and in many ways it follows the format of Geary’s true crime comics. Indeed, both Derek and Gene are big fans of Geary’s art and his handling of the history and research surrounding infamous deeds. This is not a biography of Billy the Kid, but true to the book’s title, it focuses on the days that lead up to the death of this legendary figure.

Finally, the Two Guys turn their attention to The Highest House #1 (IDW Publishing). Released in conjunction with the French publisher Glénat Editions, this brings back together Mike Carey, Peter Gross, and Yuko Shimizu, the creative team that brought us The Unwritten. This story is more of an overt fantasy than the previous series. The inaugural issue sets a solid foundation for Carey’s world building, and as both Gene and Derek observe, the larger album format allows a full display of Gross’s marvelous art.

Comics Alternative, Episode 269: Reviews of The Lie and How We Told It, Abbott #1, and Punks Not Dead #1

Time Codes:

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That ’70s Podcast

This week Gene and Derek discuss three fascinating titles…and with a ’70s twist! They begin with Tommi Parrish’s The Lie and How We Told It (Fantagraphics). Both had encountered Parrish’s work previously in the first two issues of the Now anthology, but this is the first long-form narrative from them that the guys have read. This is an intriguing work that begs for multiple readings and provides much discussion fodder. After that, Gene and Derek turn to two recent #1 issues. Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivelä’s Abbott (BOOM! Studios) is a crime noir story set in the early 1970s, and with a curious injection of horror. Punks Not Dead, the latest from IDW’s Black Crown imprint, is a wild tale from David Barnett and Martin Simmonds, one that mixes punk sensibilities with what appears to be X-Files-like undercurrent.

Critiquing Comics #124: “The Adventures of Rage” and “The Big Sheep”

In this special Monday edition of Critiquing Comics, Tim and Mulele take on a couple of comics by our listeners:

First, Chris Calderon’s The Adventures of Rage drops us right into the middle of a battle. This is a time-honored approach, but is it being done well here?
Then, Andre Mateus and Rahil Mohsin’s The Big Sheep gives us funny animals in a noir setting. How does this compare with Andre’s previous submission to Critiquing Comics?

Deconstructing Comics site

Comics Alternative, Episode 259: Reviews of Bad Mask, Evolution #1, and Doctor Radar #1

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Time Codes:

  • 00:01:26 – Introduction
  • 00:03:48 – Post-Thanksgiving digestion
  • 00:05:07 – Bad Mask
  • 00:30:41 – Evolution #1
  • 00:46:48 – Doctor Radar #1
  • 01:03:06 – Wrap up
  • 01:04:36 – Contact us

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Mystery!

On this week’s episode Gwen and Derek discuss three recent releases that, while all being quite different, nonetheless share a common theme of mystery. They start off with Jon Chad’s Bad Mask (BOOM! Box), a multimedia project that explores perspective and interpretation. With its various components in multiple print formats — comic book, trading cards, newspaper tabloid, mainstream news magazine, business reports, etc. — it’s an intelligent exploration of how we define “hero.” Next, the Two PhDs Talking about Comics explore the first issue of Evolution (Image Comics). This is a different kind of comic in that it’s written by four authors…and the result is solid and far from fragmented. James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, and Joshua Williamson contribute to the story, with Joe Infurnari providing the art. Finally, Gwen and Derek look at Noël Simsolo and Bézian’s Doctor Radar #1 (Titan Comics). This is a translation that taps into the crime noir genre, expertly done and perhaps the highlight of the week.

 

Trekker Talk Episode 26: Rites of Passage Part 2

In Trekker Talk Episode 26 we discuss Part 2 of Rites of Passage by Ron Randall. We also share our thoughts about the new Wonder Woman movie and read your listener feedback.

Promo #1: Soundtrack Alley

Promo #2: The Quarter-Bin Podcast

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Thank you for listening and please consider leaving a review to help promote the show!

Trekker Talk Episode 24: Ron Randall “Rites of Passage” Interview

In Trekker Talk Episode 24 we interview writer and artist Ron Randall about his new book Trekker: Rites of Passage as well as his work on Future Quest.

 

Trekker Talk is part of the RaD Adventures Network

Please try our other podcasts:

Warlord Worlds at http://bit.ly/1rDBTJr

Xenozoic Xenophiles at http://bit.ly/1WaFVG1

 

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Thank you for listening and please consider leaving a review to help promote the show! 

Comics Alternative Interviews: Matt Phelan

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Pictures, Moving and Otherwise

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Time Codes:

  • 00:24 – Introduction
  • 01:40 – Setup of interview
  • 02:03 – Interview with Matt Phelan
  • 51:30 – Wrap up
  • 52:16 – Contact us

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Gwen and Andy W. are very pleased to offer up another milestone for the Young Readers edition of The Comics Alternative: their first interview! And they couldn’t have asked for a better person to talk to than Matt Phelan. The Two People with PhDs talk to Matt about his new book from Candlewick, Snow White as well as Matt’s previous books, The Storm in the Barn (2009), Around the World (2011) and Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton (2013). In addition to a great discussion about Matt’s books, you’ll also hear talk on a wide range of interesting topics such as film noir, silent movies, the creative process, and teaser or two about Matt’s upcoming projects. We hope you’ll join us for a great talk with creator Matt Phelan!

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Comics Alternative, Episode 214: Reviews of Recent Crime Comics, Part 2

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Book ’em, Danno!

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Time Codes:

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In the second of their two-episode look into recent crime comics, Andy and Derek turn up some truly incriminating evidence. They begin their investigations with Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me, adapted by Devin Faraci and Vic Malhotra (IDW Publications). The guys spend much of their time comparing this adaptation to the original classic noir novel, yet at the same time they try to focus on the comic on its own terms. Next, they briefly discuss Christopher Sebela and Niko Walter’s Demonic (Image Comics), a mashup of both crime and horror, and the first issue of Wolfcop (Dynamite Entertainment). The latter is Max Marks’s spinoff of the 2014 movie, and despite (or because of) its over-the-topness, it doesn’t capture much of the guys’ attention. But Derek and Andy are  much more interested in the next two #1 issues, Frank J. Barbiere and Victor Santos’s Violent Love (Image Comics) and James Robinson and Tom Feister’s Grand Passion (Dynamite Entertainment). These are both crime narratives with a twist of romance, stories that look to play off of the young-couple-on-a-crime-spree formula. Finally, the guys wrap up with the first volume of Goldie Vance (BOOM! Box), Hope Larson and Brittney Williams’s all-age detective series, reminiscent of Nancy Drew and Sally Lockhart stories.

And if you  haven’t already, be sure to catch last week’s episode, the first in the Two Guys’ look at recent crime comics.

The incidental music in this episode is from classic crime TV shows, and you can find these theme songs in Television’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 1Television’s Greatest Hits Vol. 4, Television’s Greatest Hits Vol. 5and Television’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 6. Check out the fun!

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Comics Alternative, Episode 213: Reviews of Recent Crime Comics, Part 1

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Nut Drugs

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Time Codes:

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There has been an abundance of crime comics published over the past several months — see, for example, the Two Guys’ earlier discussions of Weird Detective, ControlKill or Be Killed, Cousin Joseph, Black  Monday Murders, and Sombra — but recently this number has been almost dizzying. In the first of a two-episode series devoted to current crime comics, Andy and Derek discuss six titles that take the genre into curious directions. They range from the historical (Rick Geary’s Black Dahlia), to the formula-bending (Chris Hunt’s Carver: A Paris Story and Janet Harvey and Megan Levens’s Angel City), to the genre-blending (Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s Moonshine), to the comedic (Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s The Fix), to the truly hardboiled (Walter Hill, Matz, and Jef’s Triggerman as well as Christa Faust, Gary Philips, and Andrea Cameron’s Peepland). There is a lot of crime/detective/noir/procedural goodness packed into this show, and the same is in store for the next week’s episode, the second in the series.

The incidental music in this episode is from classic crime TV shows, and you can find these theme songs in Television’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 1Television’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 3Television’s Greatest Hits Vol. 4, and Television’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 6. Check out the fun!

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Trekker Talk Episode 20: Star Trek Memories

Star Trek 50th Anniversary Logo V1

In Trekker Talk Episode 20 we share our Star Trek Memories and discuss the Star Trek Unlimited comics with art by Ron Randall. We also share your feedback in Trekker Transmissions.

Promo #1: The Hammer Strikes Podcast
Promo #2: The Film and Water Podcast

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Thank you for listening and please consider leaving a review to help promote the show!

Comics Alternative, Episode 198: Reviews of The Blue Dahlia, Kill or Be Killed #1, and Sombra #1

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Moral Black Holes

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This week the Two Guys with PhDs turn their attention to three recent noir titles. But before they jump into their reviews, they talk about comics news and recent awards.

First, they congratulate Sonny Liew on receiving this year’s Singapore Literature Prize for English fiction for his best-selling work The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. This comes on the heels of him getting the Book of the Year accolade at the Singapore Book Awards, held in May.

Next, Andy and Derek say a few words about the results of this year’s Eisner Awards, announced at SDCC last Friday. The guys note that there are really no surprises in the winners, and that with perhaps one or two exceptions, those coming out on top in their categories make perfect sense. They are particularly pleased that so many of the titles and creators that they’ve discussed on the podcast received this recognition, and they are especially excited that so many friends of the show — such as Craig Yoe and Tom Heintjes — received the coveted Eisner.

After all of the awards talk, the guys get into the nitty gritty of this week’s episode. They start off with an adaptation of James Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia (BOOM! Studios/Archaia), the first in the novelist’s L.A. Quartet. Adapted by Matz and David Fincher, and with art by Miles Hyman, the story springs from the real-life murder of Elizabeth Short in 1947. As with the original book, this graphic novel reveals the dark underside of Los Angeles and the post-war days of its entertainment industry. And it contains all of the icons and tropes that define noir narrative.

From there the guys turn to the latest collaboration from the superb crime-writing team of Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser, Kill or Be Killed #1 (Image Comics). This first issue has all of the trappings of the kind of stories we’ve come to expect from Brubaker and Phillips (e.g., The Fade OutCriminalSleeper), but there’s a particular twist to the plot that recalls the supernatural tinges of Fatale. In fact, Derek and Andy aren’t sure if what happens in the story is because of other-worldly forces or just the result of psychological imbalance.

Finally, the guys wrap up with yet another crime comic, Justin Jordan and Raul Trevino’s Sombra #1 (BOOM! Studios). This story revolves around a young DEA agent, Danielle, and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of her father, also an agent. This first issue takes the narrative into some dark places, and the guys focus on this comic as a retelling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. In fact, the missing DEA agent is name Conrad Marlowe. How appropriate!

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Rich Tommaso

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Dark Stuff

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On this episode of the interview series, Andy and Derek talk with Rich Tommaso about his recent publications from Image Comics, She Wolf #1 and the trade collection of Dark Corridor. Both were released last week. The guys begin by trying to wrap their brains around She Wolf, a surreal lycanthrope narrative with a 1980s flair. Rich reveals that this is a planned four-issue arc, and that if the interest is there he has plans to continue and expand the story. He contrasts this publication strategy with that of his earlier series, Dark Corridor. That began as a more ambitious project with more of an ongoing storyline. But, due to the sales, he decided to wrap up the title sooner rather than later. In fact, Rich speculates that crime comics may not be a current interest with the comics-buying public, at least compared to horror and science fiction. He also suggests that autobiographical or slice-of-life comics — as found in his earlier works, Let’s Hit the Road and Pete and Miriam — may not be his forte, and that genre stories are more his style. You’ll also find in this interview a lot of talk about film, crime fiction, and the recent HeroesCon where the guys first met Rich. So whether you like your Tommaso comics plain or genre-flavored, this conversation has something for you.

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