This week Gene and Derek discuss three recent titles, all of which concern mysteries. They begin with BabylonBerlin (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.
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, Control, Kill 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’sPeepland). 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 Comics Alternative is excited to have Rick Geary back on the show. The guys had last talked to him two years ago, after the publication of A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium, Vol. 1, and now Rick is returning to the podcast to discuss his brand new book, Louise Brooks: Detective (NBM). Although similar in tone to his historical murder mysteries, this is a very different kind of narrative for Rick. Here he uses the biography of silent film star, Louise Brooks, as a springboard for a fictional tale set in Depression-era Kansas (a setting with familial roots for Rick). After her heyday as a silent movie star, the toast of both America and Europe society, and a divorcée from two unsuccessful marriages, a still-young Louise returns to her family home of Wichita to regroup and assess her life. There, she attempts to readjust to small-town living, tries her hand at becoming a writer, and eventually becomes embroiled in an elaborate and seemingly indecipherable mystery involving a once-famous playwright. Andy and Derek tell Rick that this is one of the most tightly wrought narratives they’ve read this year, with the kind of pacing and art that define his best Treasury pieces. They even ask him if this is the beginning of a new series of tales, one where Brooks becomes a sleuth in the mold of Miss Marple or Nancy Drew. (There are no plans yet, but the very end of the Louise Brooks:Detective definitely leaves that door open.) The guys also talk with Rick about his other projects, including his previous book, Madison Square Tragedy: The Murder of Stanford White, his adaptation of classic works of literature for both Eureka Productions’ Graphic Classics and Seven Stories Press’ Graphic Canon series, his fascination of architecture and period dress, his Blanche stories, and his plans for future historical murder mysteries. Rick tells the guys about a few of his upcoming projects, including a new work based on the 1947 Black Dahlia case and his soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter campaign, “Murder at the Hollywood Hotel.” Unfortunately, the guys didn’t have the time to ask Rick about everything they wanted to discuss with him — e.g., his upcoming appearance at the SDCC and his work on last year’s A is for Antichrist: Obama’s Conspiracy Alphabet — but there is nonetheless a lot packed into this interview. It is a fun and informative conversation, and the guys look forward to the time that they can have Rick back on the show for a third interview.
On this podcast we’re joined by the head muckety muck of Rhymes With Geek as we talk some Marvel TV / DC movie news, and review Armor Hunters #1, Revenge #4 and Original Sins #1. That’s a face full of entertainment. Listen in!
Live from San Diego Comic-Con, it’s More To Come! Interviews fresh from the convention floor from Heidi MacDonald, the Eisner-nominated blogger of ComicsBeat.com, Calvin Reid, Senior News Editor of Publishers Weekly, with new episodes daily during the con!
In today’s episode, Calvin and Heidi interview Carl Gropper, nephew of Will Eisner and head of the Will and Ann Eisner Foundation, Eric Reynolds, associate publisher of Fantagraphics, on reconnecting with the market, and veteran comics creators Rick Geary of A Treasury of Victorian Murder and Keith Knight of The K Chronicles on their comics and Kickstarters in this podcast from PW Comics World.