Comic News Insider Episode 744 – CNI’s Best of 2016!

Comic News Insider: Episode 744 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

It’s our Best of 2016! And just like last year, Jimmy sits down with The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald and good pal Jon Hoche to go over their 2016 favorites in comic books, TV and film. They didn’t read or watch everything released that year, so it’s just the Best of what they did read/watch. Fun discussions on great comics, their creators, TV shows, films, actors and more. What were your favorites last year? Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comics Alternative, Episode 220: Our Favorite Comics of 2016

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The Results Are In

Time Codes:

  • 00:01:50 – Introduction
  • 00:03:37 – Setting up our favorites
  • 00:07:16 – Year-end statistics
  • 00:15:54 – Our favorites of 2016
  • 01:43:22 – Wrapping up our favorites, and honorable mentions
  • 01:48:55 – Contact us

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This is the last regular review episode of 2016, and as the Two Guys with PhDs do annually, they use their final show of the year to share their favorite comics from the past twelve months. Both Andy and Derek have each chosen what he considers the 10 best of 2016 — and in no particular order — but neither has shared his list with the other until the recording of this episode. So there are some surprises along the way. There is not much overlap between the guys’ lists, and only two titles are mentioned by both. Taken together, this is a wide-ranging selection that includes everything from mainstream superhero comics to small-press selections, from webcomics to manga, from comics in translation to works that are sure to become part of many readers’ canon.

However, before they plunge into their lists the guys share some year-end statistics. By the end of 2016 The Comics Alternative will have produced 162 episodes (including this episode and the December manga review). Among those shows, 278 print titles will have been discussed along with 36 webcomics. Derek also crunched the numbers in terms of the most reviewed publishers. The one whose titles were discussed most frequently was Image Comics, with the guys focusing on 25 of their titles. Next is Fantagraphics and Dark Horse Comics with 21 reviewed titles each. After that it’s IDW with 19, DC/Vertigo with 17, First Second with 13, and BOOM! Studios with 11. Other publishers whose titles have been reviewed at least 5 times over the past year include Kilgore Books (9), Kodansha Comics (8), Alternative Comics (7), Aftershock (7), Floating World (6), Drawn and Quarterly (5), Retrofit/Big Planet (5), and Avery Hill Publishing (5).

After that numerical rundown, the Two Guys get into their 10 favorite titles of 2016:

Andy’s Top 10 of 2016

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Derek’s Top 10 of 2016

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The Honorable Mentions…These Titles Almost, but Just Didn’t Quite, Make It onto Each Guy’s List

For Andy

For Derek

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Tom Hart

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Gene and Derek start off the week presenting a powerful interview with Tom Hart. His new book, Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir, is being released this week from St. Martin’s Press, and it’s an honest and heartrending work. It chronicles the days following the unexpected death of Tom’s daughter, Rosalie, as he and his wife anguished over the loss and tried to make sense of RL-Coverwhat had happened. In addition to their grief and feelings of emptiness, they also had to continue struggling with the frustrations of the mundane, such as trying to sell their apartment in New York. It’s a story about putting the pieces of your life back together, reflected in large part through the structure of Tom’s narrative. Gene notes the images that bind the scenes together, such as the visual prominence of circles, and Derek believes the Rosalie Lightning reads much like poetry with its associative, non-linear linking of emotions and memories. The guys also use the opportunity to talk with Tom about his other work, such as his Hutch Owen comics and his educational efforts. In fact, they talk a good deal about the Sequential Artists Workshop that Tom founded in 2012 in Gainesville, Florida, as well as the online course he offers on graphic memoir writing…an endeavor that largely grew out of his own experiences documenting his loss. As the guys point out in this episode, Rosalie Lightning an important new book from Tom, one that is sure to resonate beyond the comics and graphic novels community of readers.

To find out more about Tom’s work, visit his website. And also check out the Sequential Artists Workshop.

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Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 81: Reviews of Hidden, Genesis, and World War 3 Illustrated #45

Destruction, Death, and the Holocaust…an Uplifting Show!

HiddenThis week on The Comics Alternative, Derek and Gene put on their happy faces to review three titles concerned with the positive and uplifting sides of life. First, they go through Loïc Dauvillier and Marc Lizano’s Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust (First Second), a new graphic novel focusing on genocide. A translation of the 2012 French album, L’enfant cachée, this is the story of a survivor telling her young granddaughter the traumas she underwent in 1940s France. Perhaps even more significantly, it’s a story about hiding: hiding from Genesisterror, hiding who you are, hiding your experiences, and hiding from your family. Among other facets of the book, the guys focus on the possible audience assumptions with this story, how it’s crafted for younger readers while at the same time having an all-age appeal. Next, they turn to Genesis (Image Comics), the new one-shot from Nathan Edmondson and Alison Sampson. Gene is uncertain about the issue, feeling that the story reaches for a deeper significance that it never really earns. Derek is a little more positive, arguing that Sampson’s intriguing (and at times, surreal) art goes a long way in carrying the weight of this quasi-parable. The story has everything to do with death and destruction…much like Hidden, and much like the next title that the Two Guys review. The latest issue of World War 3 Illustrated WW3cover(distributed through Top Shelf Productions), #45, is described by editors Peter Kuper and Scott Cunningham as “the death issue.” All of the 31 contributions to this anthology have something to do with death, whether it be the passing of a family member, the “death” of an idea or identity, coming to terms with the end of life, or the presence of death in art and literature. As Derek and Gene discuss, some of the most moving, and most notable, pieces in this latest issue of World War 3 Illustrated include comics by Kuper, Rosalie Lightning and Tom Hart, Hayley Gold, Seth Tobocman, Sandy Jimenez, and Kevin C. Pyle. The tone of the comics discussed in this episode may be dark or heavy, but the stories are all fascinatingly told and well worth reading.

This episode’s incidental music is brought to us by
Elvis Costello’s Blood and Chocolate

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