Comics Alternative, On Location: SPX 2018, “The Practice of Diary Comics” Panel

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:27 – Introduction
  • 00:02:12 – Panel context, with Glynnis Fawkes
  • 00:14:02 – “The Practice of Diary Comics” panel
  • 01:09:40 – Wrap up
  • 01:10:50 – Contact us

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Sriracha

The middle of last month, September 15-16, saw the Small Press Expo held in North Bethesda, MD. At the event, Derek moderated a panel on that Sunday afternoon entitled “The Practice of Diary Comics.” Participating in the discussion were Glynnis Fawkes, Summer Pierre, Kevin Budnik, and Dustin Harbin. This episode of the podcast presents an audio recording of that event, and joining Derek in setting up the context is Glynnis Fawkes. She, Derek, and Summer Pierre were the ones who organized the panel, decided on its topic focus, and reached out to the other contributors about joining in. In setting up the panel recording, Glynnis and Derek discuss their initial plans for the session, some of the concerns they had in coming up with a focus, and how the topic evolved. Then they get to the recording of the event. The sound quality of the audio is “rough” at times — the gain on some of the microphones sounds as if it was turned up a bit too high — but that’s something that the participants had no way of controlling. Nonetheless, everything is legible, and you can certainly make out clearly what everyone says…as well as Dustin’s singing and consuming of donuts.

A big thanks to Rob Clough for working with us on this panel and for overseeing the programming at this year’s SPX!

Participants from the left: Dustin Harbin, Summer Pierre, Kevin Budnik, Glynnis Fawkes, and Derek Royal

Comics Alternative, On Location: The Second September Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Batman’s Junk

Michael and Derek are back at their local shop, Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, to discuss recent mainstream and indie titles that have captured their attention. Mike starts the ball rolling by focusing on recent expressions of a couple of second-tier characters, Doctor Strange and Hawkman, as handled by Mark Waid and Robert Venditti, respectively. He then takes the conversation into a more “adult” direction with the first issue in Batman: Damned, part of DC’s new Black Label imprint. This title is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it’s now difficult to find, and as such, both fans and retailers are selling copies for a hefty price. But even more significant is the fact that in this first issue, readers get to see Batman naked. That’s right, Wayne’s wang. Batman’s junk. The recent titles that Derek brings up are much tamer in nature. He begins with Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins’s Black Badge (BOOM! Studio), the second issue of which will be released next week. This is a promising new limited series that has all of the secretive, undercover, and espionage-y markings of a Kindt narrative. However, Derek isn’t as excited about the new Image series, Man-Eaters, written by Chelsea Cain and art by Kate Niemczyk. While he admires the message that seems to be embedded in the story, the first issue is rather sketchy in laying any satisfying narrative groundwork. But Derek more enamored by the minicomic Common Blessings and Common Curses, written by Maritsa Patrinos and nominated this year for an Ignatz Award in the Outstanding Minicomic category. It was a wonderful find at this year’s Small Press Expo.

Remember that The Comics Alternative‘s on-location series is now part of the Queen City Podcast Network! Check out the great podcast series that give life to Charlotte!

Comics Alternative, On Location: Talking with Creators at SPX 2018, Pt. 2

Time Codes:

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More Good Smallness

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Last weekend Derek attended the Small Press Expo, which is held every September in North Bethesda, MD. At the event, he talked with a variety of artists who tabled there. This is the second of two on-location shows featuring these brief interviews, the first being released earlier this week. These short conversations range from around 6 minutes to 23 minutes in length, and while most were recorded on the floor of the convention, some were conducted outside on the hotel’s patio. The creators Derek talked with on this episode include Jennifer Hayden; Fernando De Peña, Rodrigo Vargas, and Coni Yovaniniz; Ellen Forney; Miss Lasko-Gross; Michael DeForge; Evan Dahm; Ben Costa and James Parks; Ivy Atoms; M.S.  Harkness; Maritsa Patrinos; and Maransa Harmon and Eric Taylor.

Comics Alternative, On Location: Talking with Creators at SPX 2018, Pt. 1

Time Codes:

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Small Is Good!

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This past weekend, Derek attended Small Press Expo in North Bethesda, MD. While there, he interviewed a variety of creators, some of whom he didn’t even know, about their recent releases and their upcoming projects. In this, the first of two on-location shows recorded at SPX, Derek talks with 15 different creators, with each brief interview lasting anywhere from 4 to about 17 minutes. Among the writers/artists/editors Derek talks with are Mike Freiheit, Madeline McGrane, Kelly Phillips and Claire Folkman, Karl Christian Krumpholz, Max de Radiguès, Ryan Holmberg, Scott Roberts, Nathan Gelgud, M. Dean, Emi Gennis, Alex Nall, Ash Thomas and Sara Guzman, and Ellen Lindner.

Comics Alternative, On Location: The First September Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Legacies

It’s time for another on-location episode recorded at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find in Charlotte, NC. In this first of two planned September visits, Michael and Derek talk with customers — Zyg, Brian, and Alonzo — and discuss some recent releases that strike their attention. Focusing on the mainstream, Michael highlights Fantastic Four #1. He discusses Marvel’s former flagship title’s return, and he goes on to speculate on the significance of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s creation…not only with the Marvel Universe, but for all comics. Derek focuses on a few non-superhero titles, including Christopher Sebela and Shawn McManus’s House Amok #1 (IDW/Black Crown), Eric M. Esquivel and Ramon Villalobos’s Border Town #1 (DC/Vertigo), and the first two titles in DC’s new Sandman initiative, The Sandman Universe #1 and The Dreaming #1.

With this episode, The Comics Alternative’s on-location series joins the Queen City Podcast Network!

Comics Alternative, On Location: The First August Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Politics and Monsters

Michael and Derek are back at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, in Charlotte, NC, for the first of their planned August on-location episodes. And as the Two Guys have been doing with their new format, Michael highlights recent mainstream publications and Derek focuses on more indie or non-DC and Marvel titles. Michael starts the ball rolling by discussing the recent work of Ta-Nehisi Coates, specifically his current writing on Captain America (Marvel Comics). He specifically focuses on the politics embedded in the narratives — and not only with Cap, but in his Black Panther work, as well — and how Coates is learning the form and growing as a comic-book writer. Derek discusses three recent #1 issues, including Rob Guillory’s Farmhand and John Layman and Nick Pitarra’s Leviathan (both from Image Comics), as well as She Could Fly, written by Christopher Cantrell and with art by Martin Morazzo (Dark Horse Comics). He links the comedy, and the outrageousness, of Guillory’s and Layman’s new titles, because the two made their big splash with Chew. The guys also talk about She Could Fly, not only on its own story terms, but as the latest contribution from Berger Books.

On Location: The First July Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Happy 4th!

Michael and Derek are back at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find for the first of two July on-location episodes. They visit the shop on Independence Day, and they use the occasion to discuss current trends and titles in the comics industry. Mike explores recent manifestations of The Avengers and Justice League, focusing on Marvel and DC through what he calls the “classic Coke” approach. His discussion takes him across the writings of Jason Aaron and Scott Snyder, and then circling back to Tom King’s current work on Batman and the recent marriage event. Looking at the non-mainstream side of comics, Derek talks about his reaction to the first two issues of Evan Dorkin and Veronica Fish’s Blackwood and the initial offering of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, part of Titan Comics’ Hard Case Crime series. He also brings up Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys and the recent announcement of new Perfect Editions from VIZ Media. And, it being July 4th, the Two Guys also discuss comics, politics, and the current state of the country.

 

 

Comics Alternative, On Location: The June Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

New Format!

It’s another on-location recording at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find in Charlotte, NC. But with this episode the podcast is doing something different. The on-location show will be going up twice monthly — schedules permitting — and joining Derek on these Heroes shows will be Michael Kobre, another guy with a PhD talking about comics. On their on-location shows, Mike and Derek will discuss very recent comics, those being released in the week or two before the recording, that have caught their attention. Mike will primarily focus on the DC and Marvel mainstream titles, while Derek will concentrate on non-mainstream, or alternative and indie, comics. And, of course, they will invite customers and employees of the shop to join in on the conversation.

On this episode, Mike discusses the work of Tom King, including the recent deluxe edition of The Sheriff of Babylon, his work on Marvel’s Vision, and his run on Batman. Derek comments on recent issues from Image Comics — specifically Farel Dalrymple’s Proxima Centauri #1Jody LeHeup and Nathan Fox’s The Weatherman #1, and Joseph Keatinge and Bret Blevins’s Stellar #1 — as well as the minicomics he recently discovered from Natalie Andrewson.

Stay tuned, because Mike and Derek will be back at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find in a couple of weeks!

Alonzo Cunningham, Zyg Furmaniuk, and Michael Kobre

Alonzo Cunningham and Zyg Furmaniuk

 

Comics Alternative, On Location: HeroesCon 2018, the “How to Read Nancy” Panel

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:26 – Introduction
  • 00:02:17 – Panel context
  • 00:04:01 – “How to Read Nancy” panel
  • 01:04:50 – Wrap up
  • 01:05:19 – Contact us

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“Draw, you varmint”

This past weekend was HeroesCon 2018, and while there Derek was a part of two different scholarly panels. One was about the relationship between print and digital comics texts, “Between Pen and Pixel,” a recording of which was released earlier this week. The second was a panel based on the book by Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden, How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels. Andy Mansell, who oversees the programming every year at HeroesCon, wanted to pull together a panel of scholars to discuss the significance of How to Read Nancy and its potential place in the classroom and in scholarship. In addition, he wanted the panelists to discuss other important books about comics, comics history, and formal aspects of the medium. Other panelists included the former cohost of The Comics Alternative, Andy Kunka, Craig Fischer, Jennie Law, and the new cohost for the podcast’s bi-monthly on-location episodes, Michael Kobre. The resulting panel, “How to Read Nancy and Other Indispensable Books about Comics,” is part of the ongoing series of panels that Andy Mansell organizes every year, which he calls the “Comics Canon.”

A big thanks to Andy Mansell, not only for pulling together this panel, but for all of the hard he does every year in overseeing the programming at HeroesCon.

Comics Alternative, On Location: HeroesCon 2018, the “Between Pen and Pixel” Panel

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:27 – Introduction
  • 00:02:27 – Aaron Kashtan provides context
  • 00:07:11 – “Between Pen and Pixel” panel
  • 01:08:58 – Wrap up
  • 01:09:55 – Contact us

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Dead Print?

This past weekend at HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC, Derek was on a panel based on a recent book by Aaron Kashtan, Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future (Ohio State University Press). Aaron pulled together several comics scholars — in addition to Derek, his former cohost, Andy Kunka, and Craig Fischer — along with Matt Kindt, whose work Aaron sites extensively in his book. This episode is a recording of that panel, which explored what comics can tell us about the future of the printed word (as well as the digital text), the book industry, and comics as an art object.

Stay tuned over the next week for more HeroesCon episodes!

 

Comics Alternative, On Location: Talking with Creators at HeroesCon 2018

Time Codes:

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Straight from Artists Alley

This past weekend was HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC. It was a great convention, organized by the folks at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find. And as Derek likes to do every year, this past weekend he walked around Artists Alley talking with various creators about what they’re doing, what they’ve recently published, and what they may have in the works. The result is a series of short interviews with various creators, some of whom have been on The Comics Alternative before, others that Derek met for the very first time.  In this episode are brief conversations with, in order, Rich Tommaso, Steve Conley, Milton Lawson, Naomi Franquiz, Dave Chisholm, James F. Wright and Jackie Crofts, Scott Wegener, Natalie Andrewson, and Michael Eury.

Stay tuned over the next week for more HeroesCon episodes!

Comics Alternative, On Location: FCBD at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Discoveries

For the May on-location episode, Derek is back at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find for Free Comic Book Day. This is a big occasion, and business at Heroes was bustling and crowded, with customers lining up to get in as early as 5:30 am. In fact, this show was recorded outside of the shop where things were less chaotic. Joining Derek was Zyg (who has become a regular at these on-location shows), David, Adam, Jake, and Emily. Everyone talks about the various FCBD titles and which ones they’re particularly drawn to, but they also discuss other comics-related topics, such as the recent Avengers movie, the kind of comics that they’re currently reading, and upcoming titles that they’re particularly looking forward to.

Comics Alternative, On Location: The April Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Secret Identities

It’s the April on-location visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find in Charlotte, NC. As he usually does, Derek is at the shop talking with customers about comics-related matters. But his time at Heroes also corresponds with the visit of Queens University Prof. Michael Kobre’s class, “Secret Identities, Diversity, and Popular Culture.”

 

 

Comics Alternative, On Location: The March Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

How Much Is Too Much?

For the March on-location recording at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find in Charlotte, NC, the topic of discussion is comics adapted into movies and television series (especially superhero properties), and if we’re about to reach the point of oversaturation. Joining Derek in the conversation are shop customers Zyg, Jack, Jesse, Erica, and Christian. All of them are fans of superhero film and TV, and each brings a unique perspective to the discussion. And, as expected, everyone varies in their opinions on how much is too much when it comes to superhero adaptations. Among the various movies and series they discuss are Black Panther, the Iron Man seriesWatchmen, The CrowJustice League, Tim Burton’s Batman, Gotham, the various Netflix series, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. They also talk about non-superhero comics adaptations such as LuciferiZombie, Ghost World, and, of course, The Walking Dead. And toward the end of their conversation, everyone expresses her or his own wish list of other properties that could be adapted into television series or films.

Comics Alternative, On Location: The February Visit to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Shop Talk

Derek is back at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find for the February on-location episode. As he usually does, he set up his mics on a Wednesday evening while customers were coming into the shop to pick up the weekly releases. And during this time a couple of Wednesday Warriors sat down with Derek to talk about what they were reading, what they were looking forward to in the coming months, and what about comics culture they currently find exciting. Both Zyg and Fadi shared the week’s titles that they had come to pick up, but the conversation went well beyond that. Among the various topics they discussed were current happenings in the Marvel Universe, favorite artists, eagerly awaited upcoming releases, the new Black Panther movie, Riverdale and other non-superhero comics adaptations, and (believe it or not) Hughes and Whitney’s HerbieYep, they talked about the Fat Fury.