Comics Alternative, Episode 226: The February Previews Catalog

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Hobos!

It’s that time of the month, and on this week’s regular episode of the podcast, Andy and Derek take a look at the February Previews catalog. Before they do that, though, they update everyone on current comics news and podcast updates, as well as share listener mail. Then they get into the current Previews catalog, highlighting a variety of upcoming titles from both large and small publishers alike. Among the upcoming comics they discuss are offerings from:

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Comics Alternative Episode 140: A Publisher Spotlight on AdHouse Books

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Fun with AdHouse

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The Two Guys with PhDs are back for another Publisher Spotlight, and this time they turn their attention to recent releases from AdHouse Books. On this episode, they look at the publisher’s 2015 catalog (so far), but first Derek talks briefly with AdHouse’s founder and publisher, Chris Pitzer. He gives the lowdown on the origins of the press, how he translated his designer skills into publishing acumen, the process of artist acquisition, and some of his most notable (and unlikely) publishing successes over the years. After that, the guys plunge into their discussion of the five books that have come out — or are about to come out — from AdHouse this year. They start with the new edition of Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s Street Angel. Both Derek and Andy Kunka had already discussed last year’s Street Angel when they had Rugg on for an interview earlier this year, but this new edition gives the reader a different color experience. AdHouseLogoWhereas the earlier book contained black and white art, this one sets the illustrations on pink paper, giving Jesse “Street Angel” Sanchez’s adventures a whole new feel as she keeps the world safe from ninja gangs, evil geologists, nepotism, and math homework. Next, the Two Guys discuss a truly offbeat book from Eric Haven. Ur is a collection of strange, absurd, and hilarious short comics reminiscent of the works of Michael Kupperman, Evan Dorkin, and Ryan Browne. Highlights include the heroics of Bed Man, Dream Lord of the Night Sky, and the demented adventures of everyman Race Murdock. Without question, this is one of the guys’ reading highlights of the week. Next, they turn to the fourth issue of Ethan Rilly’s Pope Hats. The guys bring different perspectives to Rilly’s work, with Derek having read the previous issues and this being Andy’s first exposure to the series. Fans of Pope Hats will find this a different kind of issue. The story of Frances and Vickie is temporarily put on hold while Rilly presents many of his previously published short comics, including the meditative “Stained Glass” and the psychologically moving “The Nest.” After that, the guys look at Sophie Goldstein’s novella-length work, The Oven. This is an alternate world, post-apocalyptic narrative about living off the grid and how empowering and life-changing such a move can be. Goldstein’s simple, evenly paced art reveals  deeper levels of understanding than its small page count might suggest. Finally, Derek and Andy wrap up their spotlight with a discussion of Kathryn and Stuart Immonen’s soon-to-be-released Russian Olive to Red King. Much like The Oven, this is a relationship story that unfolds slowly, allowing character to develop in organic and natural ways. In addition to the art, one of the most striking aspects of the book is it’s last third, composed almost entirely of text. The guys note that while prose-heavy narrative can be a potential put-off in comics, Kathryn Immonen handles the story brilliantly, using the text to add depth to its more stoic art. Andy declares this one of his favorite books of 2015 so far. In fact, you could say something similar about all of this year’s AdHouse books taken together.

A big THANKS to Chris Pitzer for helping to make this show possible.
And be sure to check out the AdHouse Books website for a full range of their publications!
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Comics Alternative Interviews: Jim Rugg

Big Jim

JimRuggAndy and Derek are happy to have on the podcast the multifaceted Jim Rugg, whose new printing of Street Angel (created with Brian Maruca) was just released by AdHouse. The guys talk with Jim about the significance of the new printing — a colorful discussion — as wellStreetAngel as the book’s protagonist Jesse Sanchez, an “orphan of the streets and skateboarding daughter of justice” who “fights a never ending battle against the forces of evil, nepotism, ninjas, and hunger.” The artist discusses the title’s early days at Slave Labor Graphics as a serial and its final issue as the launching pad for another Rugg/Maruca creation, Alan “Afrodisiac” Driesler, the mysterious, irresistible, smooth dark chocolate brother of the streets who fights to protect his turf and his ladies. And of course, it’s inevitable that the guys get into a discussion of 1970s culture and comics, including kung fu, TV cop shows, blaxploitation films, and Big Jim action figures. Derek and Andy also talk with Jim about his work on other titles, including Supermag (AdHouse), The Plain Janes (DC/Minx), and his art for titles as diverse as The GuildAdventure Time, and Henry and Glenn Forever and Ever. It’s a fun conversation, one with as much savvy and street smarts as the characters who populate Jim’s stories.

Be sure to visit Jim’s website!

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Comic Book Pitt #89: Conversation with Jim Rugg

We had the distinct pleasure of talking with Jim Rugg about…almost everything! Here’s a short list of some topics we discussed:

– Podcasting, building a local listenership and being part of a community
– The new back issue market
– Image Comics: Then and now
– 90s comics and the comics renaissance in the early 2000s
– Media influence on comics reading
– Creative challenges and separating creators from their work
– Can Marvel/DC still bring in new/casual readers?
– Webcomics/indie/art comics
– Jim’s previous/current work, creative influences, “This #*?! Isn’t Very Funny“, future shows and, of course, Rob Liefeld

Make sure to check out Jim’s exhibit, This #*?! Isn’t Very Funny, which runs at the ToonSeum from March 29th-May 6th. An opening reception will take place on March 29th from 7pm-9:30pm.

Don’t forget to also check out the Toonseum Mini-Con, April 5th & 6th, 6pm-9pm.

Comic Book Pitt t-shirts are now available! Get one for yourself or that special nerd in your life.

Comic Book Pitt can be found on iTunes, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Email us at comicbookpitt@gmail.com or call our voice mail line at (412)450-0CBP (0227).

Thanks for listening!

Gutter Trash – The SPACE Extravaganza 2

A few weeks ago, Jason and I went to SPACE – the Small Press And Comic Expo – in Columbus, OH. We had a lot of fun and recorded from our table and talked to some awesome people. We split the weekend up into three segments.

In Part 2, we talk with Kurt Dinse (One Year in Indiana) and Jim Rugg (Street Angel).

Check out Jason’s site, Eric’s site and our new project Ok, PANIC!.

Email Eric or Jason.

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